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Obviously, this ain’t the “Straight Talk Express”

Tuesday, May 31, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The Belleville News-Democrat asked gubernatorial candidates: “Who are your top three campaign contributors?” Here’s Richard Irvin’s response

We have three main contributors to our campaign to take back our state: people who tell us we have their vote, people who volunteer to put up signs or make phone calls to get our message out, and people who contribute financially to help us fight back against the millions of dollars. J.B. Pritkzer and his Democratic allies are spending on false TV ads attacking us. I’m proud to count Troopers Lodge #41, the Illinois FOP Labor Council, the Chicago FOP, the Aurora police union, and countless law enforcement leaders around the state as supporters of our campaign. I’m also proud to be supported by former Congressman John Shimkus and many other conservative leaders around Illinois.

Apparently, Ken Griffin is the man who must not be named.

…Adding… The Daily Herald endorsed Irvin, but with one caveat, and it was directly related to Ken Griffin

Two additional candidates round out the primary field, Gary Rabine, a highly successful owner of multiple businesses from McHenry, and state Sen. Darren Bailey, a farmer from downstate Xenia whose career in the legislature was most noted for his expulsion from the House floor when, then a state representative, he refused to abide by rules at the height of the pandemic requiring all members to wear face masks.

Be aware: We are not indifferent to the optics or the complications posed by Irvin’s well-publicized, well-financed backing by Illinois’ richest person, hedge fund manager Ken Griffin. Irvin still has far to go to prove that he is indeed his own person, willing to lead according to the dictates of his own conscience and insights and not those of a well-heeled financial backer.

But we hope he gets more opportunity in a broader campaign to show his full personal political profile.

…Adding… The Tribune endorsed Paul Schimpf (I did not make that up), used a quote from my publication to disqualify Bailey from consideration and had this to say about Griffin and Irvin

As politically engaged Illinoisans, Griffin and Uihlein are entitled to spend their money as they see fit. But we see troubling issues with both of their preferred candidates. […]

But we’re troubled by what occurred when Irvin arrived on the scene while officers were arresting his then-girlfriend, accused of hitting a security guard at a marijuana store last year. According to a police report, he said that the charges would be “taken care of.” He’s insisted he meant that the woman would be afforded an attorney but we’ve heard phrases like “taken care of” a few too many times before in Illinois politics and we need a better explanation.

We’re similarly troubled by Irvin’s frequent reticence when it comes to being frank with the media (although he did show up for us and answered our queries), his sometimes prickly temperament in the face of fair questions, and by a lack of a consistent worldview that could appeal to moderate Democrats and Republicans looking for a common sense candidate they can trust to safeguard their economic futures and solve some of the state’s problems.

If Irvin is willing to separate from Trump and appeal to moderate, common sense voters, including centrist Democrats, he should find the courage to say so, clearly, without weaving and dodging, flip-flopping and hedging his bets.

       

39 Comments
  1. - Roadrager - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 9:33 am:

    “Why is Richard Irvin afraid to even speak the name of the billionaire who’s given him $XXX million?” sure seems like part of an effective 30 seconds for the election of your choice.


  2. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 9:37 am:

    “Why is Richard Irvin afraid to even speak the name of…”

    I think he’s afraid because the unnamed person may have another meltdown like last week.


  3. - Immigrants Welcome - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 9:45 am:

    What a weasel (Weasley?)of an answer.


  4. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 9:46 am:

    “show his full personal political profile.”

    This IS his full personal political profile.

    It’s just like jazz. The meaning is in the notes that aren’t played.


  5. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 9:57 am:

    ==But we hope he gets more opportunity in a broader campaign to show his full personal political profile.==

    Hope is not a plan.

    Why you would expect Irvin to be open and honest in a general election facing Pritzker’s millions when he can’t even manage it against the absolute JV squad in the Republican primary is beyond me.


  6. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 9:59 am:

    The TV ads write themselves: Irvin pretends he’s the tough law and order guy but keeps evading questions like did he vote for Trump and who is his top donor.

    “The Daily Herald endorsed Irvin”

    Raunerites haven’t taught the Daily Herald a thing, or maybe they like sabotage and deliberate wreckage.


  7. - Rabid - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 9:59 am:

    Hard to be your own man, when team Irvin walks it back, puts words in your mouth


  8. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 10:04 am:

    The Daily Herald’s endorsement sounds a lot like many of the state’s other newspapers endorsements of Bruce Rauner back in 2004 -” We don’t know what he stands for or what he will do, but we are willing to give him a chance to show us”.

    How again did that turn out for the citizens of Illinois?


  9. - Pundent - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 10:18 am:

    Well to Richard Irvin’s credit, he’s not dressing up in costumes - yet.


  10. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 10:20 am:

    ==The Daily Herald’s endorsement sounds a lot like many of the state’s other newspapers endorsements of Bruce Rauner back in 2004 -” We don’t know what he stands for or what he will do, but we are willing to give him a chance to show us”.==

    Although it’s notable that this is a primary endorsement. Who knows what the DH will say in October.


  11. - JS Mill - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 10:22 am:

    The Irvin campaign contends, in their ads, that Pritzker is afraid of Irvin. Seems ironic given the fact the “honest irv” is afraid to speak the name of his sugar daddy.

    “Honest irv” cannot even give a straight answer to softball questions and this guy wants to be my latex salesman? Lol


  12. - Annonin' - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 10:27 am:

    Show of hands
    Silliest endorsement Tribbies go for Schrimpf
    or DailyHerald doing RichieRich?
    Both provide ample evidence that media endorsements are both amusing and totally worthless when it comes to informing voters. should say TTFNA to that practice


  13. - Grimlock - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 10:34 am:

    Can someone explain to me why Griffin is willing to spend so much for a chance at his preferred Governor when the House and Senate will still be blue either way? Is his investment really going to pay off if the legislature can override the Governor on any key issues?


  14. - Real - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 10:34 am:

    If Irvin ran his campaign on the same policy of law & order and flip flops without the backing of Griffin and the political establishment I doubt the Herald would bother endorsing him. The real story is the Daily Herald is in the same boat as Irvin. Empty vessels bought by money.


  15. - Mary - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 10:45 am:

    Grimlock - in this day and age, controlling administrative procedures can be more impactful than what legislators legislate (or fail to legislate). See everything COVID.


  16. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 10:45 am:

    ==Can someone explain to me why Griffin is willing to spend so much for a chance at his preferred Governor when the House and Senate will still be blue either way?==

    Well, if Irvin won, he could very well break the Dems’ supermajority in the House, so we’d be back to the Rauner era status quo of needing some Republicans to break away from him to override the veto. That would probably prevent some movement on taxes and regulations that Griffin would like to prevent, although without the state in such dire fiscal conditions as it was in 2015, Irvin probably wouldn’t have as much leverage to force change…and it didn’t even really work out for Rauner.

    Beyond that, it’s just rich guy contests.


  17. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 10:47 am:

    ===Can someone explain to me why Griffin is willing to===

    Most billionaires are fine purchasing mega yachts with helipads, private jets, art collections, castles, an island, basketball or football teams, or a spaceship to Mars. How blasé. Why just rent a senator or governor when you can own one?

    Remember when Howard Hughes lived in Las Vegas and bought a local tv station so he could call them up late at night to play his favorite movies? I yearn for those days.


  18. - Excitable Boy - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 10:51 am:

    - Can someone explain to me why Griffin is willing to spend so much for a chance at his preferred Governor -

    So he can get his phone calls answered and his emails returned. Read his leaked correspondence with Rahm, the dude just wants to feel special.


  19. - Lincoln Lad - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 11:00 am:

    The Trib backs someone barely in the race… with no real chance to win. How was that a good idea? They’ve been blatant in the past in pushing an agenda… not sure how this endorsement advances on one.


  20. - Back to the Future - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 11:01 am:

    Hats off to the Trib.
    Still a subscriber (along with the Times) since my days as a paperboy. Frankly have been a bit disappointed in the Trib, but the old paper sure stepped up to bat in this election cycle.
    The endorsement was very strong and made sense.
    Of course, the Irvin/Pritzker sleaze machines will soon be going after the Marine. IMHO it looks like a classic checkbook vs. character choice for Republican voters and for all voters in the fall.
    I know he doesn’t have much money and gets little to no coverage from media manager folks, but sometimes in politics the smarter folks win.
    Also not sure the Trib has the pull with Republicans it used to have. We will see.


  21. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 11:03 am:

    Tribune gotta Tribune


  22. - Lurker - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 11:12 am:

    I think this is good advice for New Coke … but he won’t follow it

    “If Irvin is willing to separate from Trump and appeal to moderate, common sense voters, including centrist Democrats, he should find the courage to say so, clearly, without weaving and dodging, flip-flopping and hedging his bets.“


  23. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 11:13 am:

    “not sure how this endorsement advances on one.”

    It doesn’t. It is really telling that even the Tribune editorial board thinks that Bailey and Irvin are too… too… too… gross? Too slimy? Too unacceptable to be the endorsed candidate. Paul Schimpf is the only person in this primary that I think may actually be a thoughtful, kind person.


  24. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 11:16 am:

    Schimpf is head and tails the best candidate on the Republican side. Which of course, isn’t saying much.

    But the Trib doesn’t always endorse the “best” candidate, and it’s usually been a dutiful voice for the Griffin/Rauner agenda before. So this is odd.


  25. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 11:19 am:

    -When we asked Bailey if there was “any daylight at all” between himself and the actions of former President Donald Trump, whom this editorial board long has regarded as pernicious to the future of the Republican Party, he answered “none.”-

    Good answer. Good answer. Woo Woo. /s

    Try thinking for yourself.


  26. - Roadrager - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 11:39 am:

    Read the Trib endorsement like you would the Gary Johnson one in 2016. “This is an opinion page by and for Republicans, and we are telling you, as a Republican, to throw your vote away because the only thing that makes us sicker than the Republican(s) who can win is the thought of voting for a Democrat.”


  27. - Real - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 11:40 am:

    Well, if Irvin won, he could very well break the Dems’ supermajority in the House,

    -I doubt Irvin could break any dem supermajority. It is most likely Griffin who can and we know why.


  28. - Real - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 11:44 am:

    - Can someone explain to me why Griffin is willing to spend so much for a chance at his preferred Governor -

    FBI should be finding the answer.


  29. - Back to the Furure - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:09 pm:

    Strong endorsement by the Trib.
    Thinking the Trib still has some influence among Republican Primary voters.
    Paul S. certainly has a strong resume with experience in the legislature and his career as a Marine. He also seems to be a genuinely decent person.


  30. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 12:55 pm:

    ===Thinking the Trib still has some influence ===

    Enough to maybe possibly matter in a super-close statewide race. Not enough to take a guy polling below Max Solomon and make him the nominee.


  31. - Back To the Future - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 1:33 pm:

    “not enough to take a guy polling below Max Solomon…”
    Agree Schimpf certainly has a long way to go, but the Trib. sells a lot of papers everyday, the undecideds are very high and the negatives for the other Republicans have got to be high.
    Going to be very rough with Irvin and Bailey on the tube countless times a day and Sullivan and Rabine having a base.
    Hope Schimpf hangs in the race. As they say “plenty of time left” and often the smart guy wins.


  32. - thisjustinagain - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 3:05 pm:

    Going way far out on this limb, but does it matter anymore who funds who? Politics is so awash in cash that who legally funds a candidate seems much ado about nothing. We know that big pocket individuals and companies fund campaigns on all sides of our political system at all levels of government. So “where’s the beef?”, as the old Wendy’s commercial asked. Guess I’m tired about harping about money when no party has clean hands, and never did.


  33. - Pundent - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 3:29 pm:

    =but does it matter anymore who funds who? Politics is so awash in cash that who legally funds a candidate seems much ado about nothing.=

    Richard Irvin, should he win in November, will be governor for the entire state. If one citizen spends $45M+ on seeing to it that he’s elected, shouldn’t we want to know what that individual hopes to achieve with his investment? Am I just to assume that Ken Griffin’s objectives are more important than yours and mine because he’s got a fat bank account? And if it’s no big deal, as you suggest, why doesn’t Richard Irvin say as much?


  34. - AC - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    ==Going way far out on this limb, but does it matter anymore who funds who?==

    “Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me.”

    Many millions of dollars comes with an ask, and in this case we only need to go back to the Rauner administration to see what that ask will be. Only this time, they just might have figured out that the Scott Walker plan of destroying labor unions one category at a time, instead of all at once, might be a better strategy.


  35. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 3:50 pm:

    ===does it matter anymore who funds who?===

    What planet are you from?


  36. - btowntruthfromforgottonia - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 3:59 pm:

    I liked Schimpf until he said he didnt think what happened January 6th was an insurrection.
    With that said he to me is the best choice the GOP has but has no chance of winning.


  37. - Streator Curmudgeon - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 4:37 pm:

    Griffin reminds me of the character in the H. Rider Haggard novel, “She.”

    Her name was Queen Ayesha, “She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed.”


  38. - dr. reason a. goodwin - Tuesday, May 31, 22 @ 10:12 pm:

    Good for the Trib. Schimpf is far and away the best candidate.


  39. - Logic not emotion - Wednesday, Jun 1, 22 @ 10:46 am:

    Also a fan of Schimpf as the one who would likely be the best Governor on either side. Hope his candidacy is viable. Not sure it is. Other candidates have too big of a financial advantage.


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