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Question of the day

Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Sun-Times editorial

Funding primary candidates from another party with the intent to set them up for a loss in the general election undermines the American idea of democracy.

An example of this trending political strategy will be at the top of the Illinois November ballot: Gov. J.B. Pritzker vs. state Sen. Darren Bailey.

The ploy began a few months back when the Democratic Governors Association and Pritzker began investing millions of dollars through advertisements boosting Bailey’s views — bringing more eyes on the Donald Trump-endorsed state senator than the more moderate Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who had $50 million in donations on his side and dubbed himself as “Pritzker’s worst nightmare.”

Pritzker got what he wanted when Bailey won the Republican nomination for governor in the June primary. Now it’s up to the voters to decide between him and a candidate who is anti-abortion, pro-guns and known for wanting Trump’s approval. […]

It doesn’t matter if candidates are trying to keep a political seat blue or red. Influencing elections by funding and boosting weaker opponents pollutes the nature of our democracy.

Keep it clean. The power to choose representatives must stay with the voters.

* The Question: Does funding primary candidates from another party with the intent to set them up for a loss in the general election undermine the American idea of democracy? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


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100 Comments
  1. - The Captain - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:57 am:

    I reject the premise of the question because he didn’t fund them. The Governor and his allies made their own expenditures funding their own messages.

    The Republicans in their primary attacked the Governor. He’s allowed to fight back and he did, a right that is protected in the first amendment and the Supreme Court has gone so far as to defend the spending as first amendment protected speech. That’s what the Governor and his allies did, they spent their own money and promoted their own messages, exactly as the constitution says they can.


  2. - A-Man - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:57 am:

    Funny that Illinois Republicans are suddenly concerned about undermining American democracy after turning a blind eye to an insurrection.


  3. - Nazgul - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:57 am:

    JB has by far been the worst Governor America has ever seen.


  4. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:59 am:

    I voted no even though I’m not wild about it. This sort of activity is perfectly legal under our Constitution and should remain so. I’m not sure how it could be constitutionally restricted. I’m more concerned about the American idea of democracy being undermined by people unable and unwilling to accept the results of free and fair elections.


  5. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:00 pm:

    Voted yes, but noting that I don’t recall Republicans up in arms about Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos.”


  6. - Tood Aloo - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:00 pm:

    I voted yes because I agree with this in theory. However, as long as there is transparency in who is paying for the ads, I think it’s fine.


  7. - Incandenza - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    What’s fascinating to me is that Democratic forces boost far right Trumpian Republicans who are still viable and for whom the GOP base will fall in line come the general.

    On the other side, GOP forces will only boost distraction candidates like Kanywe West in Wisconsin in 2020. They will never support or boost a politician who was their ideological opponent like someone who would fit in with the squad.


  8. - ChicagoVinny - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    I voted no because this is a symptom, not a cause.

    If you want money out of politics, pass robust public funding, or do what it would take to have meaningful campaign finance reform up to constitutional amendments.

    If you are unwilling to tackle the root cause, this just seems like whining to me.


  9. - Save Ferris - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    Absolutely not. So long as primaries are taxpayer funded, anyone should be allowed the freedom to support whomever they want.

    Want to stop this cross funding? Use the Maine model of non-partisan binding primaries with automatic runoff. Everyone runs in one primary. There is no meddling possible. And taxpayers stop paying for private organizations to poll the public to choose their standard bearer. Chicago already uses a similar method for mayor.


  10. - The Opinions Bureau - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:02 pm:

    Not if it’s disclosed that it’s from an established group like the DGA or the Pritzker campaign. If it’s some dark money (c)(4) incorporated in Delaware two days before the ads start, that’s a different story.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===JB has by far been the worst Governor America has ever seen.===

    Considering all the governors in America since 1792, and how many have gone to jail, as merely ONE criteria…

    I dunno, it might be too early to imbibe at the level that sees Pritzker as the worst.

    To the QOTD?

    Voted “no”

    Why?

    Run em all. As my philosophy has been that anyone and everyone qualified should be able to run, funding a candidate that might reflect the worst of the other party’s base, giving them the candidate they “want”, but the candidate that can’t win… no, I’m fine with it.

    In the specific case with Bailey, Bailey IS the ILGOP base, others just helped the base find him.


  12. - Roadrager - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:04 pm:

    Voted no. The Supreme Court decided money = speech, therefore more money = more freedom of speech. The rules are garbage and an obvious funhouse mirror interpretation of “freedom,” but if they’re the rules, may as well play by them instead of claiming some imaginary moral high ground and getting your face booted into the curb every November.

    ==JB has by far been the worst Governor America has ever seen.==

    Cite examples, it’s been a long week and we could all use the chuckles.


  13. - vern - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:05 pm:

    I voted no. The proximate threat to democracy in this situation isn’t the advertising. It’s Republican primary voters’ vulnerability to that advertising.

    I think it’s worth pondering why Republicans haven’t had success doing this in Democratic primaries. Republicans, unlike Democrats, have run a 20-year project to lower their base’s media literacy. Republican base voters are now primed to receive only information that fits their priors and makes them angry. The little “paid for by” text isn’t relevant to them anymore. Democratic voters consume their share of bias-confirming media, but they also generally understand what’s opinion and what’s reporting.

    Does anybody really believe that Trump could’ve successfully spent his way into a weaker opponent in 2020? As soon as the first dollar got spent, whatever candidate he tried to promote would lose all support and probably drop out. There wouldn’t be any threat to democracy because those voters are immunized.

    Republicans can do the same thing. At any time, they have the power to drop their crusade against shared factual reality and armor their voters against this meddling. They can buttress trust in the news media instead of undermining it. They can tell their supporters to stop going down the endless anger rabbit hole of partisan media. They’d rather have a permanently angry base, and that choice comes with an obvious tradeoff: angry people don’t think things through as much.


  14. - Seats - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:06 pm:

    I would say its the money required that undermines it.

    Does Irvin winning because Griffin blessed him with more money than any of his opponents make his victory more legitimate and better for democracy than JB making the money closer to equal?

    JBs intent is obvious, but I dont think a system where Griffin gets to decide who should win a primary with his financial blessing is any more pure.


  15. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:11 pm:

    For some, every time Candidate Bailey opens his mouth, he loses votes. Candidate Bailey is a man-child who claims he’ll die on his porch before he’ll give up his guns. What?


  16. - XonXoff - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:11 pm:

    “American idea?” Yes, for me.

    But considered among all the other greasy ways candidates and donors fund political ops these days, this is gamesmanship, imho.


  17. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:12 pm:

    Like a good politician, I’m going to answer the question I want to answer.

    JB Pritzker’s actions don’t “undermine democracy”. He didn’t actually “fund” Darren Bailey. He ran ads that explicitly said he’d be a bad Governor, in fact! That message, both in conclusion (”Bailey is bad”) and in reasoning (”He’s too extreme”) are the exact things Pritzker will be saying all summer and fall.

    That Republicans *want* an extremist…well, frankly, it sucks, but there’s not a lot JB Pritzker can do about it.


  18. - Tired Teacher - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:18 pm:

    What was said in the commercials that wasn’t true? And… Still waiting for GOP to call an insurrection and insurrection.


  19. - Ugh - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:18 pm:

    Voted no.

    If your vote is entirely based on the commercials you see, you are undermining democracy. We have a free press in this state; we have opportunities to hear directly from the candidates at speeches, town halls, and debates. We forfeit our right to democracy when we as voters don’t fulfill our role in the process, which is to become informed and make an informed choice.


  20. - Andy D. - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:18 pm:

    I voted yes. I agree that free speech implies folks can spend money how they like on political campaigns. But with wide gaps in wealth, the result is some have more (much more) free speech than others.


  21. - Louis G Atsaves - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:19 pm:

    I voted yes. Let’s check in during the next primary elections to see if those gloating over the success of that action are still gloating. Gives the Republicans time to study and respond in kind with their own meddling type of ads.

    Meddling in primaries of opposing parties isn’t new. Blowing millions of dollars to meddle with television and mailings to meddle is.

    When the Republicans successfully pull off that anti-Irvin type of process on Democrats during their primaries, then suddenly the alarm bells will go off. Until then, smirk while you still can.


  22. - Adroit Opiner - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:20 pm:

    Voted no. The GOP has made its business exploiting every unwritten rule to its advantage. The blocking of Garland for SCOTUS is the most poignant, but the former president’s entire term was defined by doing everything he could get away with, even breaking laws in a way that is difficult to prosecute. Crying foul on a creative Dem strategy to simply highlight a primary candidate’s “Republican” bone fides is ignoring the lengths at which Republicans will go to maintain power, and suggests there are different rules for the parties.


  23. - Anonsense - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:21 pm:

    First, “the American idea of democracy” assumes that everyone(or even a large majority) thinks alike. So the premise is flawed from the get go. Second, It seems to me that the information presented by the democrats about the republicans was more accurate than the information the republicans presented about each other. Is the truth anti American? Third, how was the voters power to choose taken away? It wasn’t.


  24. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:21 pm:

    “The power to choose representatives must stay with the voters [and Ken Griffin].”

    Seconding Seats comment.

    Citizens United undermined the idea of American democracy. In addition to Bush v. Gore, it was the harbinger of the full politicization of the judicial branch.

    The Sun-Times ed board, like the Trib’s, doesn’t grasp the moment. Instead, we get airy demands that “the Queensberry rules must be followed at all times, gentlemen. Huzzah.”


  25. - New Day - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:21 pm:

    “JB has by far been the worst Governor America has ever seen.”

    Completely agree. That business about balancing the budget three years in a row while putting a billion in a rainy day fund? Just horrid. And what’s with raising the minimum wage? I can’t think of a worse action by a governor than lifting people out of poverty. My God, what was he thinking. Fortunately the citizens of Illinois can see right through this smokescreen and we can all look forward to Governor Bailey for many years to come.

    As to the QOTD, voted no. Of course it doesn’t. And not sure how it’s a dirty trick. Did he say anything about Darren Bailey and Richard Irvin that wasn’t true? Nope. It’s a tried and true campaign tactic. The whining by edit boards? Oh give me a break.


  26. - ZC - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:22 pm:

    First off, I’m still processing that the “Nazgul” want us to think JB is a bad governor. (Sauron for Governor?)

    Second, I voted yes but one irony here, is if you agree with _Citizens United_ at least, the principle, then the answer has to be no (I’m not a fan). If the Dems and JB spent more money on more speech to inform Republican voters about Bailey, all that can do is … well, inform people. That’s *good* for democracy. More speech, more freedom. The Supreme Court’s whole principle is today that speech/dollars can’t corrupt an electorate; all it can do is give an electorate more of a sense of its options, and if the voters choose poorly, well, that’s democracy too. The -source- of the speech is similarly irrelevant; if it’s not a problem that it’s coming from a biased rich corporation, it’s not a problem that it’s coming from a biased DGA.

    I’d like to see the anti-JB-spending / pro-Citizens United theory of democracy, anyways, because I don’t see it.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:23 pm:

    ===- Louis G Atsaves - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:19 pm

    I voted yes.===

    Is Bailey the base of the ILGOP?

    Dems coerced 57% of Illinois Republicans to vote Bailey with FIVE other options available?

    If memory serves, you supported Rauner supporting Dems that supported Rauner, no?

    Maybe I should revisit that and your thoughts?

    Isn’t that meddling in primaries, in theory, too


  28. - OMG - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:23 pm:

    Citizens United is my response. There’s enough pollution to go around.


  29. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    It does. But just like my opinion of Illinois gerrymandering, all’s fair in love and war…and this, “friends”, is war.


  30. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    It’s fine.

    It points to a much more serious problem with the ILGOP that the party leaders had absolutely no control over their own primary process where someone like Bailey could even get close in the first place.

    Where were the ILGOP leaders when Bailey was turning the Senate floor into a circus with his anti-mask antics, that then spread to other members.

    Where were the party leaders when Bailey was using explosives and high powered weapons as his ‘reaction’ to the state budget.

    The only reason Bailey is here today is because there was a power vacuum in the ILGOP that he was able to fill.

    If the ILGOP can’t figure this out, the party is doomed to super minority status for a long time.


  31. - Back to the Future - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:25 pm:

    Read this Sun Times editorial last Sunday and thought it was very well done and brings up an issue that needs to be looked at.
    Voted yes as I agree 100% with the Sun Times editorial folks.


  32. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:25 pm:

    Voted no - I love seeing D’s spend (waste) money sending endless mailers to my address trying to influence my vote.


  33. - SAP - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:26 pm:

    Voted yes, although I am having a tough time articulating why. In this case, Pritzker’s Bailey ads were truthful, but the next person to play this game may not be as scrupulous.

    I suppose it’s mostly a symptom of too much money in politics and being required to declare party.


  34. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:30 pm:

    Voted “no”
    Question was silly, but we don’t pick em
    All the handwringers seem to ignore ‘Riffie dream teamers sending TrickyDick mail saying Bailey was for Biden and Sullivan backed Obama. Granted it as stupid mail. Where were the handwringers in’20 when ‘Riffie got the Confessed Congressman’s gag order lifted so he could trash Tom Kilbride?


  35. - Diogenes in DuPage - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:31 pm:

    I voted “yes” that it is a practice that undermines democracy — in its purest, most naive sense. I accept that “money is free speech” in the USA now. That doesn’t make it seem right, though. (And in reality, the ILGOP got the candidate its 2022 base wanted.)


  36. - vern - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:31 pm:

    === Gives the Republicans time to study and respond in kind with their own meddling type of ads ===

    Good luck, I don’t see it happening. In addition to the points I made above, Republicans have spent very little time and energy trying to understand the Democratic coalition. Previous Republican attempts to meddle in or hijack D primaries have looked incredibly silly. The FOP couldn’t bamboozle Martwick’s voters, and that was a much better try than others:

    https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/candidate-accused-of-changing-colors/1951459/

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-gop-candidate-in-arizona-who-changed-his-name-to-cesar-chavez


  37. - Shibboleth - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    Voted yes. I believe it is constitutionally protected and should not be banned, but I do believe it is harmful in that it will inevitably lead to increased polarization and elevation of the extremes.


  38. - clec dcn - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    I voted no it is free system and if someone chooses that way then so be it. That said due to the amount of money need to win elections the very wealthy are way ahead of regular folks. That is not good but right now I don’t have a better way.


  39. - zamdeuce - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:35 pm:

    A lot of angles to consider, but at the end of the day, the example cited illustrates support for a candidate made in bad faith. Overall not good.


  40. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:35 pm:

    Voted no for the exact reasons ChicagoVinny stated at 12:01pm. The ability to legally spend these funds is the problem. Until that’s solved, candidates should be able to play on the same playing field.

    Also, this is just a tangent, but I can’t help but wonder if the ST Editorial Board would be as concerned about the DGA and Pritzker’s spending if they had propped up Irvin. They seem awfully concerned about “the weaker opponent.”


  41. - Panther Pride - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:36 pm:

    Woops, Anonymous at 12:35pm was me.


  42. - Kevin Roos - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:39 pm:

    No more so than money in politics itself undermines democracy.


  43. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:40 pm:

    I will maintain those were negative ads and running negative ads is always a campaign tactic that is appropriate.

    I disagree with the tactic in how it was applied and think it might have been a misuse of donor funds who may have expected to do something to advance Democratic candidates because the impact was to raise Bailey’s profile among the GOP primary voters, but it by no means undermines democracy. But Pritzker had better win.


  44. - Jibba - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:43 pm:

    Not if you tell the truth. Of course truth is in the eye of the beholder, but we’re talking about morality here, so I can invoke fairy tale conditions.


  45. - Dave - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:46 pm:

    No–free speech is free speech, and money talks.


  46. - Curious citizen - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:47 pm:

    I voted no for all the reasons others have cited - SCOTUS says money equals speech, neither the DGA nor Pritzker “funded” any Republican, and every TV by Dems identified where the money came from.
    And as I’ve said before, I’m so tired of the idea that Dems “meddled” in the Republican primary. That idea completely ignores the fact that the richest man in Illinois picked someone to be the vehicle for destroying Pritzker’s career. How is that okay but responses aren’t okay?
    For me, the most devastating ad that the Dems ran (can’t remember who funded it) was the one showing clips of Richard Irvin praising Pritzker, especially Pritzker’s response to COVID.
    So until we have a system of publicly funded political campaigns, I have no problem with the Dems money attack. It definitely does no undermine the American idea of democracy.


  47. - Friendly Bob Adams - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:49 pm:

    This seems to be an issue of free speech, and as Citizens United tells us, money equals speech.

    So, say what you want, spend as much as you can, it’s all good, man..


  48. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:51 pm:

    Unless they were standing over people making them vote for someone then, no, it isn’t anti-democratic. What this tells me is that Republicans think there voters are too stupid to know what is going on.


  49. - DS - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:52 pm:

    I voted yes and this brings me to something else I didn’t like about the Democrats’ response to the GOP primary. Democrats should not be attacking someone for working as a criminal defense attorney. The right to defend your liberty from incarceration - that ought to be a bedrock value for the Democrats. That rubbed me the wrong way. And I’m a JB supporter.


  50. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:54 pm:

    Voted No.

    Assailing fair and free elections, attempoting to coerce election officials to change votes, legislatures changing or attempting to change laws to allow them to overturn the vote and will of the people, well that is actually undermining democracy.

    I guess Louis Atsaves doesn’t care much about that though. He was the one smirking a few years ago. Not so much now.


  51. - RNUG - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:55 pm:

    ==JB has by far been the worst Governor America has ever seen.==

    Edwin Edwards


  52. - John Lopez - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:55 pm:

    Voted “No” and this nonsense taking place across the country.

    With Governor Pritzker and CA Governor Gavin Newsom BOTH testing the waters for possible 2024 POTUS run, Newsom, if he sees Pritzker as threat in 2024, will fund attack ads on Pritzker to help elect Darren Bailey this fall to torpedo his presidential candidacy?

    I’m with Save Ferris (12:01PM response), given the cross pollination of funding, IL should consider some form of blanket primary by 2024 elections, possibly the Alaska model being implemented this year.

    If IL Democrats win an early presidential primary for 2024, the current IL primary could be separated into a “presidential primary” for earlier date, and a “general primary election” for all offices under blanket primary in late May.

    IL General Assembly toyed with the splitting out the presidential primary back in the late 1990s. The presidential primary would be the only time a voter declares a party to cast a ballot, and then can elect presidential delegates, county party chairs, committeepersons, etc once every 4 years.

    General primary election could be late May, Tuesday before Memorial Day holiday, and voters don’t declare party and candidates appear on one ballot, regardless of party. Top-2/top-4 vote getters move on to November regardless of candidate’s declared party, where ranked-choice General election ballot will decide each race.

    Political parties mentioned nowhere in the U.S. Constitution, but they’re fact of life. Alaska, California, Louisiana and Washington are states using blanket primaries, and would make things easier in new reality of political parties paying for advertising in another party’s primary, by eliminating party primaries themselves.


  53. - Mr. B.A. - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:58 pm:

    As others have said, the Citizens United decision has made this act a moot point.


  54. - huh? - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:59 pm:

    It seems people are only up in arms when Democrats do meddling or gerrymandering or any number of things that the GOP does constantly because they are the more organized party.

    The GOP knows they can guilt the Dems into handing over all of their tools straight to them. Enough. I want a strong, fierce Democratic Party.


  55. - Southpaw - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:59 pm:

    === Chicago already uses a similar method for mayor.===

    There’s a ringing endorsement.

    Voted no. Like lots of other things political, hold my nose. Not illegal.


  56. - froganon - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:59 pm:

    Voted No. These tactics do undermine democracy but calling out one side isn’t the solution. Dirty tricks and bald faced lies (JB and pro-choice supporters support post birth abortions aka infanticide aka child murder) are constant Republican talking points. Citizens United and Supreme Court enabled voter suppression are killing democracy.


  57. - Steve - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:00 pm:

    Yes, it does but that’s life. If Illinois wants to go to a strict closed primary : that’s up to voters to make that change.


  58. - Frumpy White Guy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:02 pm:

    Voted No. The bigger detriment to democracy and fair campaigns is when billionaires hijack campaigns and disenfranchise working class citizens running for office.


  59. - The Way I See It - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:04 pm:

    The ads did double duty - drove the R base to Bailey and softened him up for the general. No foul.

    Running dummy candidates- different answer.


  60. - Montrose - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:04 pm:

    Nope. Passing voting laws that make it harder to vote does. Claiming fraud when there is no evidence does. Gerrymandering does.

    But running ads in the opposing party’s primary? Nope.


  61. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:10 pm:

    Voted no. How stupid does the Sun Times ed board think Illinois Republican primary voters are? Were they duped somehow? Perhaps by Griffin, but the DGA and Pritzker ads were honest about Bailey. And ILGOP voters overwhelmingly preferred Bailey. I mean, it wasn’t close.

    Who are they letting write these at the S-T? The interns?


  62. - Edgewater Elliot - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:10 pm:

    I voted no mainly because our democracy is already undermined and the Republicans would pull the same trick in a heart beat.

    If we really want to have a functioning democracy we would institute rank choice voting (I like the Alaskan system), have way more referendums on important issues including budgets (pure democracy), and a public campaign finance system paid for by a tax on campaign contributions over $1000, lobbying, advertising, or a mix of all of there.


  63. - Real - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:10 pm:

    The only thing undermining the democracy is the Citizens United decision. Whereas if it was not for dem strategy the only known candidate in the IL Gop would of been Irvin thanks to $50 million from Griffin. The dem strategy only exposed the lies that Griffin and Irvin hoped no one would notice.


  64. - May Soon Be Required - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:10 pm:

    Did I miss the General Election
    To the QOTD?

    Voted “no”

    Why? 58% of the vote


  65. - walker - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    No, mostly because it has been done since the beginning of the country — so it is indeed part of “American democracy”


  66. - Flying Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    Voted No.

    If you’re not willing or ready to put on brass knuckles and get waist deep in the muck, stay out of politics.

    …and that ain’t nothing new.


  67. - don the legend - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:27 pm:

    Voted no. Louis G and others are just upset that their party is stuck with a goofball at the top of their ticket. They had six choices and 57% wanted this bozo. The problem Louis, is not meddling but your weak candidate.


  68. - Ben Bluesman - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:29 pm:

    The Citizens United and SpeechNow decisions in 2010 destroyed any way to control these types of tactics from happening.

    McCutcheon v. FEC in 2013 also was detrimental in deterring this, as well.

    Clean Elections laws have regularly been defeated and poo-pooed by both parties.

    These decisions coupled with Reagan’s 1987 rollback of the Fairness Doctrine among other things have brought us the political climate we’re in today.

    Few are about promoting the best idea in the room rather, they are about the political W’s. The ads by both sides are just markers of the political climate - divide and conquer.

    Most moderate Republicans I’ve spoken to don’t like Bailey. Now, will they hold their nose and vote for him? Or will Pritzker do enough to remind of the gains in infrastructure and finances to earn a vote? It’s always been Pritzker’s election to lose. Did he need the help from the DGA? I don’t know. The Irvin Campaign was the most poorly run campaign I’ve seen in my lifetime. Did Irvin have enough sway to beat Pritzker in November? Not likely. Would it have been a decent fight if Irvin’s skeletons didn’t come out of the closet? Likely.

    If Bailey continues to stick his foot in his mouth, this is going to be an even bigger wash in November.

    I didn’t vote. I’m not voting for either one either way.


  69. - James - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:35 pm:

    I voted no. “The power to choose representatives must stay with the voters.” This power is not limited any any way by adds from the other side. It may be a cheap trick. It requires the largely ignorant voters to educate themselves. But it doesn’t make it harder to vote or dilute votes. Maybe a semantical argument, but to me undermining democracy means structural impediments like voter registration, polling places in certian places not others, technical attacks to get candidates off the ballot, laws to make it harder to run than necessary, etc. It does not include verifiable statements of objective fact made with malicious intent.


  70. - Benjamin - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:35 pm:

    I voted no. Gently nudging your opponents to pick an uncompetitive candidate for the general election is a time-honored tactic. Provided it was done by above-board means–and running TV ads is pretty above board–there’s no loss to democracy looming. Or if there was, then democracy already lost generations ago.


  71. - levivotedforjudy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:38 pm:

    I voted no, although I wasn’t a fan of the question’s phrasing. The key for me was the content. The DGA ads provided an opinion supported by real, verifiable actions and statements by Bailey. The beauty of it was that outside of the “too radical/conservative for IL” part was that the clips could have easily been in ads Bailey ran for himself. They helped tell who Baily is and what he is about. Also, how could you run an ad defining Richard Irvin? I still don’t know if the real him was Mayor Irvin or gubernatorial candidate Irvin.


  72. - twowaystreet - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:44 pm:

    Voted yes. I think a lot of people are missing the point of the question, though. It is not a question about the legality or constitutionality of it, it is a question of does it undermine the idea of democracy.

    There’s plenty of legal things through America’s history that undermine the idea of democracy.

    To my answer, the hypocrisy I struggle to stomach is that Pritzker help raise name ID recognition and viability of candidate who he claim is a threat to democracy. IF Pritzker truly believe the threat was that great why would you perpetuate their message?


  73. - Huh? - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:45 pm:

    “huh? @ 12:59 pm”

    Doppelganger get your own handle. I’ve had this one since blago was in office.

    To the post - No. Politics ain’t bean bag. If you are running in a primary, you have to be able to demonstrate your advantages against those running against you, but also your potential opponent in the general election.


  74. - Mr. Potato Head - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:51 pm:

    It’s pathetic and embarrassing, but there’s probably no way to effectively limit it from a free speech perspective.


  75. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===I wasn’t a fan of the question’s phrasing===

    It was taken directly from the editorial.


  76. - Anne Onymous - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:51 pm:

    Citizens United decided that this IS American democracy.

    Don’t want this to happen? Then change campaign finance laws.


  77. - Roadrager - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:57 pm:

    ==To my answer, the hypocrisy I struggle to stomach is that Pritzker help raise name ID recognition and viability of candidate who he claim is a threat to democracy. IF Pritzker truly believe the threat was that great why would you perpetuate their message?==

    Because the other viable potential opponent is also a threat to democracy and would be in a lot better financial and organizational shape for the general election. Give me the loser I can beat.

    And again, for all the accusations of “Democratic meddling”, I don’t think Democrats decreasing their “pro-Bailey” spending to zero would have taken 22 points off his primary vote share and given it all to Irvin instead. It may have provided insurance, but GOP primary voters pretty clearly knew who their guy was regardless.


  78. - ChrisB - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:58 pm:

    No. The other side is providing information. It’s up to the individual to decide what to do with it. If it helps the “More Extreme” candidate, then that’s on the party.

    In other words, ILGOP, do better.


  79. - TNR - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 2:00 pm:

    The much bigger threat to democracy is the fact that three individuals, JB, Grif, and Uihlein, shaped the race from beginning to end simply because they’re richer than everyone else.


  80. - BCOSEC - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 2:00 pm:

    Maybe change the primary system.

    Is having under 20% of eligible voters deciding the General Election candidates a good thing?


  81. - twowaystreet - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 2:11 pm:

    ==I don’t think Democrats decreasing their “pro-Bailey” spending to zero would have taken 22 points off his primary vote share and given it all to Irvin instead.==

    I doubt it would have change the results for this election either, but what the Irvin campaign did wrong is a very different question.

    Having one person help decide who both candidates are for a gubernatorial election is not something that I want to see increase in future elections. Please explain to me what voters gain by it and how any one can say this helps promote the ideal of democracy.


  82. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 2:14 pm:

    Voted yes, because that’s not what was done in Illinois. DGA didn’t “fund” Bailey. But they did help him win the primary.

    Considering his track record, maybe Griffin should have funded JB, guaranteeing him a loss in the primary. Try that strategy next time, Ken.


  83. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 2:16 pm:

    === Please explain to me what voters gain by it and how any one can say this helps promote the ideal of democracy.===

    Since 57% of the voters voted for Bailey, there’s not much to explain.

    Bailey IS the ILGOP

    Pritzker and the DGA amplified Bailey’s appeal.

    That’s the whole ball game… and Pritzker could he aided by an ILGOP party that loves to win primaries? Appealing to win general elections isn’t the end goal.


  84. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 2:23 pm:

    Voted no. Griffin has many more millions of dollars for politics than Pritzker, and Irvin’s sole purpose as a candidate was Griffin’s personal weapon against the governor. It was the smart thing to do, striking before the opponent gets more power and money. It was a lesson learned perhaps from the huge Fair Tax flop, where the opponent struck first and often.


  85. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 2:30 pm:

    JB ran ads attacking both GOP top candidates - Richard Irvin for being a corrupt phony and attacking Darren Bailey for being too extreme for Illinois. These expenditures were reasonable given both Irvin and Bailey were attacking Pritzker and the attack lines matched what would be the ad campaign run against the GOP candidate in the general.

    The only one the DGA propped up was Schimpf.


  86. - Commissar Gritty - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 2:58 pm:

    Does funding a weaker opponent constitute a threat to democracy? No, it’s just a solid argument against a closed primary system.

    Disenfranchising minority voters, reducing voting locations to one per county, and purging real voters from the rolls are actual threats to democracy. As are attempted armed insurrections.

    American media will “both sides” us into theocratic fascism if this continues.


  87. - Techie - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 3:06 pm:

    I agree with Save Ferris on this one. Party primaries themselves are an arbitrary construct - why are we artificially elevating parties themselves by having taxpayers pay to help the parties decide who to choose? The founders were pretty frightened at the power parties, or factions as they called them, would wield. Elevating them by guaranteeing all parties a spot in the general election is a bad idea to begin with.

    As Save Ferris says, we would be better off with a “jungle primary” the way California does it, forcing all candidates interested in a seat to vie for success in the primary, regardless of party. Then the top two vote-getters would advance to the general election.

    However, because such a primary would have a lot of candidates and result in vote splitting with our current choose-only-one system, the jungle/open primary should instead use approval voting, where you can vote for as many candidates as you like. It would still be the case that the two candidates with the most votes win and advance to the general election.

    This is exactly what St. Louis, Missouri did recently, and so far it seems to be working well for them.


  88. - low level - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 3:11 pm:

    ==undermine the American idea of democracy?==

    No. What undermines it is saying if the results show me ahead all good but if I am behind it was fixed. Or saying you will have ballot boxes confiscated.

    Opposition parties running ads about positions taken by candidates isnt even close to that.


  89. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 3:24 pm:

    I voted yes. First, free speech is free speech, right? Second, there would’ve been six candidates attacking Pritzker for months without a response if he doesn’t intervene. Why cede the battlefield in the spring when impressions can get set and the real contest is in November?


  90. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 3:25 pm:

    Whoops, meant voted no


  91. - Vote Quimby - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 3:27 pm:

    I voted no. Money has always influenced elections… taxation was the reason our “democracy” was founded. No matter the rules you create, smart people will find loopholes around them.


  92. - MG85 - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 3:42 pm:

    No. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it “undermines the American idea of democracy,” whatever that means.

    In fact, using one’s station and treasure to achieve one’s goals may be the most American thing a person or corporation could do according to some on the capitalist minded persuasion.

    Another stab at it, the framers were big fans of indirect democratic processes (or electoral college, original US Senatorial elections, coverture, etc). What is more indirect than one party spending money to influence an election it cannot partake in? Does this extension go beyond our borders? Should JB also not help Democratic candidates outside of Illinois? Should Don Harmon not help state senators outside his district?

    Jimmy Carter cheered when Reagan won the nomination because he thought he was too extreme to be elected. Reagan proved Carter and all the smart cookies wrong by a landslide. Bailey appreciated the help in the primary, so the GOP should appreciate it after the primary.


  93. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 3:59 pm:

    O.W. caught L.A by the old comments…ouch!


  94. - cover - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 4:00 pm:

    Is “Nazgul” (comment from 11:57 am) the pseudonym for Tom Devore?


  95. - sal-says - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 4:42 pm:

    Not since the Supreemies did Cit United.


  96. - Socially DIstant Watcher - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 4:46 pm:

    ==JB has by far been the worst Governor America has ever seen.==

    Cite examples, it’s been a long week and we could all use the chuckles.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrzMhU_4m-g


  97. - MyTwoCents - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 5:11 pm:

    No, as others have said, this is American democracy today. It was transparent, so nothing wrong with it. I also agree with Save Ferris and Technie are right. We need to move away from taxpayer funding of private functions, unless it becomes an open primary. While we’re at it, make all county & judicial races non-partisan.


  98. - Glengarry - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 8:11 pm:

    Voted no. Politics and war are extensions of one another. All is fair.


  99. - IL4Ever - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 9:01 am:

    It’s a Yes But. Yes it undermines the idea of democracy, but so does Citizens United where one person’s (or corporation’s) “voice” is effectively deemed more important than another’s by how much money they have. This is the flawed system we have. And it’s one of the reasons why we don’t actually live in a democracy.


  100. - Scott - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 9:24 am:

    I voted yes, but like gerrymandering, there’d have to be a national “ban” on it. Democrats are using such tactics to their advantage in Illinois, but there’s plenty of other states where Republicans are doing the same thing. Unless it’s an even playing field across the board…do what you gotta do.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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