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Campaign notebook

Friday, Aug 19, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The Tribune reported yesterday that Darren Bailey had confirmed he’d agreed to the two debates proposed by Gov. Pritzker. Bailey’s remarks yesterday indicated that he hadn’t agreed. So I checked last night with his campaign manager, who told me this..

We never agreed to those debates.

…Adding… I should’ve added this Bailey quote from August 9

So, JB, if you can fit it into your presidential campaign schedule and want to talk about someone in this race for governor and about the people of Illinois who are struggling under your watch, well I’m here in Illinois. And I’ll be waiting when you fly back. I’ll debate you anyplace anytime.

* Press release…

In recognition of his monumental achievement of enacting the “Rebuild Illinois” capital plan which put billions of dollars into action supporting state transportation and infrastructure projects, technology, education, worker safety and job creation, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC Illinois) has presented a special “Champion of Infrastructure” Award to Governor JB Pritzker.

“Rebuild Illinois” is Illinois’ first capital plan in nearly a decade, providing over $45 billion in investments in roads, bridges, railroads, universities, early childhood centers, and state facilities over six years, creating and supporting over 540,000 jobs and revitalizing the state’s economy. The historic, bipartisan legislation enacted a multimodal plan with over $33.2 billion in funding for various types of transportation infrastructure, including $10.4 billion for state roads and bridges. The recently passed federal Infrastructure investment and Jobs Act adds another $17.8 billion to the state’s infrastructure renewal resources.

A crowd of over one hundred, including the leadership of ACEC Illinois and members from across the state, gathered Friday to honor JB Pritzker’s singular dedication to passing a bipartisan capital plan in his first year in office, as well as his continued support of accelerated road, bridge and construction projects. Many member companies of ACEC Illinois are engaged in the design and planning of projects envisioned with this investment, and speakers credited the Governor with positioning Illinois ahead of other states in this regard.

“Real leaders bring people together, and that’s exactly what Governor Pritzker did when he developed the Rebuild Illinois program that was approved with significant bipartisan support. The reinvestment in Illinois under the Rebuild Illinois program has reinvigorated Illinois’ infrastructure industry and has created thousands of new jobs across the state,” said Kevin Artl, president and CEO of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois. “And now, because of Governor Pritzker’s leadership, Illinois is one of the best-positioned states in the nation to take advantage of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. With the investment at the state and federal level along with the commitment of the nation’s most talented and innovative engineers located right here in Illinois, the Land of Lincoln is well-prepared for the challenges of the 21st century.”

The historic $45 billion capital plan is expected to address decades-long problems with the state’s infrastructure, improve communities for the next generation, and create hundreds of thousands of new direct and ancillary jobs. Speaking to its importance and impact, its passage by the General Assembly was supported by a range of non-partisan organizations including the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and the Chicago Federation of Labor.

“I’m so honored to receive this year’s Champion of Infrastructure Award, particularly from a dedicated organization like the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Illinois has some of the top infrastructure in the country—and I’m not saying that just because I’m biased. We’re consistently ranked among the best because of our commitment to improving the foundations of our state. Rebuild Illinois, our Multi-Year plan, and all the work we’ve done to build a resilient and responsible Illinois are possible because of the pride that people, like ACEC, have in our state.”

* Oof…

* The Rauner campaign did this sort of thing in one of his races. Politico

State Rep. Tom Demmer, the GOP nominee for state treasurer, has launched a super-targeted paid digital program for the State Fair. The program has created a “geo fence” around the fairgrounds where everyone within its boundaries will be targeted with digital attack ads against incumbent Treasurer Mike Frerichs on the issue of taxing retirement income like pensions.

* Politico

Several Republican candidates for Cook County office booted or withdraw from November ballot: “Among those kicked off: Todd Thielmann, who until recently worked for Tammy Wendt, a Democratic commissioner on the Board of Review. Wendt and Thielmann are cousins — she eventually fired him after the county’s board of ethics sued and fined her for violating the county’s ban on nepotism,” by Tribune’s A.D. Quig

— Congressman Sean Casten (IL-06) is being added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Frontline incumbent-protection program, which provides support for vulnerable incumbents. Casten also has been endorsed by all 14 members of the Illinois Democratic Congressional delegation, including Rep. Marie Newman who he defeated in the June primary. Casten faces Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau in November’s election.

* From earlier this week…

Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America announced four critical endorsements for Congress: … Eric Sorensen (IL-17) … These candidates are running to represent their respective districts in the U.S. House of Representatives.

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement:

    “As we face the fight of our lives, electing leaders who we can count on to safeguard our fundamental rights has never been more important. With MAGA Republicans in Congress planning an outright ban on abortion should they win power, we are fighting seat by seat to ensure these extremists cannot enact their agenda.”

These candidates bring a wealth of experience and strong commitments to protect and advance reproductive freedom in Congress. Jevin Hodge, a long-time community advocate, is a staunch supporter of reproductive freedom and expanding abortion access for all Arizonans. Eric Sorensen, who would make history as the first LGBTQ+ member of Congress from Illinois, has worked to connect vulnerable communities to health services and is committed to protecting abortion rights. Monica Tranel, an attorney fighting for working Montanans, is an advocate for expanded abortion access and has vowed to protect reproductive freedom. Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming, a former member of the Southampton Town Council and prosecutor of sex crimes, has pledged to ensure access to abortion and contraceptives. All four candidates have committed to protecting and expanding abortion access by supporting the Women’s Health Protection Act to lock the federal right to abortion into law.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—ending the constitutional right to abortion and opening the door for extremist state lawmakers to put total bans on abortion in place. This decision is already having a devastating impact throughout the country as 14 states have begun enforcing extreme bans on abortion. The people hurt most by these bans and restrictions are those who already face barriers to accessing abortion care—including women; Black, Indigenous, and other people of color; those working to make ends meet; the LGBTQ+ community; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; and people with disabilities.

These endorsements come as NARAL Pro-Choice America is ramping up its work to elect candidates up and down the ballot during a critical moment in the fight for reproductive freedom. NARAL, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and EMILY’s List announced a partnership in May to collectively spend a historic $150 million on the 2022 midterms to elect reproductive freedom champions up and down the ballot across the country.

That’s quite a lot of money.


  1. - Commissar Gritty - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 1:33 pm:

    We pretending that Dan Brady works? I went to his office 4 times when I was an ISU student, during the middle of work days and avoiding the lunch hour. It was a ghost town every time.

    Would rather have someone who likes to show up to work as SoS, call me crazy.

  2. - illini - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 1:46 pm:

    So the latest in the on again off again debates is that they apparently are off again. Could the Tribune possibly have gotten this wrong? Or is the Bailey campaign simply trying to avoid embarrassing itself even more?

  3. - PublicServant - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 1:47 pm:

    Champion of Infrastructure, J.B. Pritzker or …
    Champion of Culture Wars, Darren Bailey …

    Just sayin.

  4. - Big Dipper - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:00 pm:

    If Brady won’t answer if he supports the top of his ticket he is unfit for office.

  5. - Pundent - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:04 pm:

    Brady’s non-answer response will only make matters worse and keep the question front and center. At some point he’s going to need to pick a lane and accept the inevitable consequence that goes with that choice.

  6. - JS Mill - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:13 pm:

    =We never agreed to those debates.=

    So who is actually dodging the debates? Me thinks it is bailey.

  7. - Norseman - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:13 pm:

    Dan Brady wants to win. Dan harkens back to when there was a saner GOP. The problem is that party doesn’t exist anymore. He knows associating himself with the crazies is a killer in IL. Maybe he can squeak by, but I’m not wagering anything on it.

  8. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:17 pm:

    Seen stronger endorsements for stomach flu.

  9. - vern - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:19 pm:

    The theory on debates is pretty simple: they’re better for the candidate who’s trailing in polls and fundraising. Getting two out of Pritzker is a gift, I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t accept that gift. Just say yes and get back to work?

  10. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:20 pm:

    Dan Brady is winning me over. Probably a bad sign for his campaign….

  11. - MoralMinority - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:20 pm:

    ==Do you want Darren Bailey to lead this state? Are you voting for him? I’m voting for Dan Brady==Seems like a clear answer to me: No.

  12. - Back to the Future - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:23 pm:

    Not sure why Candidate Bailey would not agree to every debate he could get into with Candidate Pritzker.
    As September approaches I would think that different groups and media outlets will be stepping forward to invite the candidates to debate.

  13. - Skokie Man - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:27 pm:

    The People Who Play By The Rules Pac is back with another “outsider” featured in an ad! This time it’s “K-12 Parent” Cedra Crenshaw and her husband Derrick. Ms. Crenshaw is a former unsuccessful GOP candidate for State Senate who was given well over $100,000 by the Illinois Republican Party and $20,000 by Ken Griffin. She was also already featured by Dan Proft back in 2020 in one of his pink slime fake local newspapers. I won’t link to it… Google for yourself if you’re a masochist.

    That’s three ads from Uihlein and Proft where they fail to identify that the people they feature in their ads are on the GOP payroll. I guess they’re just Playing By The Rules ™.

  14. - twowaystreet - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:28 pm:

    I have a feeling trying to schedule a Pritzker/Bailey debate is going to be messier than the Rep Primary having two debates on the same night.

  15. - Pundent - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:35 pm:

    =He knows associating himself with the crazies is a killer in IL.=

    Can’t win with em’, can’t win without em’. That’s the reality confronting Brady. But I don’t think straddling the fence works either.

    =Not sure why Candidate Bailey would not agree to every debate he could get into with Candidate Pritzker.=

    He realizes his limitations. His candidacy was built for Facebook live not a debate stage. Bailey’s more interested in keeping his followers than expanding his reach.

  16. - Plus - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:35 pm:

    Lol @gritty

    You can disagree with Dan Brady on policy or party affiliation but questioning Dan Brady’s work ethic is laughable.

  17. - Siualum - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:44 pm:

    Seems to me a better answer from the Bailey campaign regarding debates would be something like “we’re working to coordinate dates”, or to that effect.

  18. - Big Dipper - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 2:49 pm:

    ==something like “we’re working to coordinate dates”==

    But he already said anytime anyplace.

  19. - Homebody - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 3:11 pm:

    I said this in a prior post: I don’t expect any Republican candidate for anything to act anywhere close to prior accepted norms. There is no reason to believe any Republican will agree to standard debates of the past.

    They get no benefit of the doubt, Bailey definitely included.

  20. - Pundent - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 3:17 pm:

    =They get no benefit of the doubt, Bailey definitely included.=

    They don’t get the benefit of the doubt or they don’t like answering questions? If you’re trying to create an alternative reality debates are an interference.

  21. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 3:18 pm:

    “I’m voting for Dan Brady”

    This is what many despise about politicians and drives people to support the former president—evasion and crafted responses. Take a stand, either support or reject Bailey, party of personal responsibility.

  22. - Commissar Gritty - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 3:22 pm:


    I’m just telling you what I saw, or more accurately, didn’t see. He and his staff were AWOL every time I tried to get his attention. No responses on emails or calls either.

    So ya, questioning that work ethic. If you can’t hit the fundamentals, you don’t don’t get to participate in the big show.

  23. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 3:33 pm:

    - has launched a super-targeted paid digital program for the State Fair. The program has created a “geo fence” around the fairgrounds -

    Glad to see the big brains of the IL GOP are wasting money on pointless stuff like this.

  24. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 3:44 pm:

    Wouldn’t it be better to get both candidates to agree to the debates before announcing them?

    Every farmer knows you don’t put the cart before the horse.

  25. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 3:45 pm:

    ===both candidates to agree to the debates before===

    Normally, I would agree with you, but Bailey said anytime anyplace.

  26. - duck duck goose - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 3:48 pm:

    Brady’s answer seems calculated to appeal to those who won’t support Bailey but who are less than excited to see Giannoulias back on the ballot. Which is to say…most of us.

  27. - Big Dipper - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 3:51 pm:

    ==Which is to say…most of us.==

    Um, he won the Democratic primary in a blue state.

  28. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 3:53 pm:

    Man, I sure wish Dan Brady becomes SOS. That would restore my faith in Illinois government. That dude doesn’t wanna’ be Governor, or Senator, or President — he just wants to do a good job. More like this please.

  29. - Rudy’s teeth - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 4:21 pm:

    Candidate Bailey is not prepared to debate as he lacks the capacity, skill set, and intellect to discuss issues with JB Pritzker.

    Bailey’s “I don’t have to answer that” response proves that he can’t function in a debate. Bailey will gain no votes by debating JB; he’ll only embarrass himself in front of a live audience.

  30. - don the legend - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 4:32 pm:

    I’ll watch just to see and hear the audience laughing at Bailey.

  31. - JS Mill - Friday, Aug 19, 22 @ 5:04 pm:

    @LP, maybe you missed it, the man of the people rolled up on the gop day in a $400k JD tractor(costs more than a Lamborghini or Bentley). AC goin to boot. He doesn’t know a cart from a horse.

    My daddy always told me never trust a soft handed farmer.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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