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Gubernatorial campaign notebook

Thursday, Aug 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* It only took Sen. Bailey 24 hours to walk back his “Chicago is a beautiful city” comment. Tribune

For the first time this election season, the two main candidates for Illinois governor Wednesday appeared back-to-back at a downstate agriculture forum, where Republican Darren Bailey still highlighted crime in Chicago and Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker tried to demonstrate he could still connect with farmers despite lacking a rural background.

Amid a backdrop of cornfields and wind turbines on a farm 120 miles south of Chicago, Bailey slammed violence in the city as he has repeatedly done throughout the campaign.

“The things that need to change are the fact that the city of Chicago has become the O.K. Corral with shootouts and homicides every night because people don’t feel safe,” Bailey told a crowd of about 100 people, many of them farmers during the forum in rural McLean County. “It’s real. Especially on the South Side where they’re being ignored.”

* An actual policy proposal, via Craig Wall

Bailey talked agriculture with his fellow farmers on the campaign trail, while addressing concerns facing those who earn a living off the land.

“As governor, I will work hard to repeal the estate tax,” Bailey said.

* More from Mike Miletich

Bailey said Illinois has one of the highest estate taxes in the country at a time when some blue states are eliminating it. If elected governor, the millionaire farmer said he would work hard to repeal the estate tax and help farms write off investment costs.

“They steal the sweat equity that we farmers and business people spend a lifetime building,” Bailey said. “The government steals it from our families just to give to Springfield.”

Pritzker’s response to the same question about the state’s $4 million estate tax threshold

I think it’s totally reasonable for us to have a conversation, especially in light of inflation, about lifting the cap on that so that the exemption is higher than where it is today. It is important that we maintain maintain family farms in our state. This is part of the legacy and history and important future of our state.

* Also from the event was this Pritzker Q&A

Q: With California on the verge of passing a law that would mandate all electric electrical vehicles by 2035 and multiple states are possibly ready to follow, can we have your commitment to ensure that Illinois consumers have the choice in what type of vehicles we drive and we do not follow California’s lead?

A: I had the opportunity to sign on to that pact and didn’t. So that should give you some indicator. Look, do I think we ought to see electrification? Yes, of course, I’ve encouraged that I think it’s a good thing for us to electrify. But it is going to be gradual, it is going to take time. Illinois is not going to snap its fingers and require you to go buy an electric vehicle tomorrow. […]

Q: As Governor, would you support legislation to create statewide controls over the siting of wind or solar projects?

A: No, in fact, I’ve specifically avoided that. I don’t think that’s the way. We’ve got to have a continuous conversation, the one that we’ve been having for years now, between the state and local governments and local control, so that we decide together about siting.


Even when they agreed, though, the two didn’t always play nice. Bailey implied Pritzker would do away with the sales tax exemptions and incentives on seed, feed, fertilizer, and agriculture equipment. He said that would decimate family farms, which already have razor-thin profit margins.

“My opinion is it needs to stay as it is. We feed the world any kind of production business. That’s the way it’s been. That’s the way it needs to stay. But I want to tell you it is under threat. So I hope you ask our governor that exact same question,” said Bailey.

The roundtable did, in fact, ask it.

“I preserved the state tax exemption on agricultural equipment. And as long as I’m governor, no one is going to repeal it,” said Pritzker.

* Capitol News Illinois

Pritzker continued to tout the $45 billion capital infrastructure bill that includes money for broadband infrastructure and all modes of transportation. It’s a program Bailey opposed while in the General Assembly.

“We’re going to be building our roads and our bridges, and our airports, and our ports all across the state of Illinois so you can more easily get your goods to market across the board,” Pritzker said. “Take note that the majority of the dollars that we’re putting into infrastructure are invested downstate.”

Bailey, meanwhile, continued to assert that state finances can be improved with “zero-based budgeting,” a concept of justifying every dollar spent up front rather than carrying over costs from a previous budget year.

* Claim…

Fact check…

And for good measure…

* Marni Pyke

Gov. J.B. Pritzker used the suburbs and a major trade union Wednesday as backdrops to tout his labor-friendly platform and poke his gubernatorial rival, Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey.

“Thanks to your support we’ve transformed Illinois into the most pro-labor state in the nation,” Pritzker told a crowd of workers at the Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council offices in Elk Grove Village. It was the Chicago Democrat’s first stop on a statewide “Working Families” five-day bus tour.

Pritzker credited the state’s $45 billion capital plan, which includes tax incentives for data centers, for stimulating the economy and creating jobs in locations like Elk Grove Village.

“But there’s still more to do. This November, a Workers Rights Amendment is on the ballot that would make union organizing a constitutional right and stop Republican efforts to eliminate collective bargaining,” he said.


  1. - XonXoff - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:10 pm:

    More good measure from the twitterverse…

  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:12 pm:

    “Now, are these really the issues voters here want campaigns to answer? Texting services and license plates? Please tell me Bailey has something more. These two candidates are on the trail for their political lives. Please tell me that Bailey’s campaign hasn’t pinned all it’s hopes to a license plate.”

  3. - NotRich - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:14 pm:

    Rauner set back the Illinois GOP a decade.. Bailey could set them back a whole generation..

  4. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:20 pm:

    I am glad Bailey is running. I am learning more and more about all the tax breaks subsidies and handouts large corporate farms get. The more I learn the more I think they should secede. Keep our taxes up here The collar counties and Chicago support this state

  5. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    Rookie mistakes keep coming. If you’re going to hit your opponent for something, you always first make sure your candidate can’t be hit for same - otherwise you’re just wasting your time and your candidate’s campaign funds. I know Darren is loyal to his young campaign guy, but this is a prime example of why you should bring in outside professionals for a general.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    ===Rauner set back the Illinois GOP===

    The Ruinous Rauner, “Florida’s Own”, left a hollowed out shell of phonies and cronies, ill-prepared for a cult takeover.

    Bailey could likely implode the shell… and the small fragments left… they will then be blown by the wind of voters in the suburbs, including women, in 2022.

    The Democrat that should take the most credit for this complete demise is Diana Rauner, the Illinoisan, but that’s another discussion for another day.

    Think on this;

    Both Brady and Demmer are either married to Trump or Bailey, or worse, married to both.

    Neither is finding a lane for themselves, and, well, I’m not saying they aided Rauner in this beginning of the end, I’m not saying that…

  7. - StateEmployeeThatIsNotInAFSCME - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:31 pm:

    ==Rauner set back the Illinois GOP a decade..==

    Long before Rauner, George Ryan and Scott Fawell started that exact process.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:36 pm:

    ===George Ryan and Scott Fawell===

    … and yet Rauner *did win*, after GHR, as did Mark Kirk, winning a senatorial seat.

    Please, keep up.


  9. - Johnny Tractor - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:39 pm:

    I grew up on a farm, and the idea that farmers have any sort of “right” to maintain family ownership of land into perpetuity has always struck me as absurd. We didn’t create the land that’s the basis of agricultural productivity and wealth, unlike business owners who create their businesses from an idea and sometimes nothing more.

    And I get it - it’s campaign season, and with this audience, it’s like addressing ethanol production: gotta be all for it. But I also loved the next issue addressed - we get to keep our other tax breaks no matter what happens with the estate tax, right?

  10. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:41 pm:

    After GHR, Dan Rutherford wins statewide, Judy Baar Topinka won statewide

    Beginning with Munger losing in Rauner’s midterm, no Republican has won statewide, it’s likely one couldn’t name anyone on Rauner’s statewide re-elect ticket without “The Google”

    I’d be hard pressed to find folks who can name Mendoza’s opponent off the top of their head.


  11. - Lake Villa Township PC - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:43 pm:

    Restore the estate tax to its pre-bush tax cuts glory nationwide. Darren Bailey is a champion for Illinois’s wealthy.

  12. - Norseman - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:50 pm:

    Well done Oswego Willy @ 1:12 pm

  13. - MoralMinority - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:50 pm:

    200K to send texts that in many cases get deleted without being read? Wonder what the Mountain Dew bill is for Team Bailey?

  14. - oifredleg - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 2:00 pm:

    OW, bravo. You want me on that bus. You need me on that bus.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 2:10 pm:

    (Tips cap… - Norseman - and - oifredleg -)

    In a much shorter window, primary to general, this cycle, the after Labor Day start for the season, if we ignite all the ads running now, what exactly will Bailey be able, himself, muster in a messaging way?

    Proft is hardening a base while maybe alienating a middle.

    What will Bailey do, and how will it be done, to get Pritzker under water and vulnerable to Bailey and his own real campaign problems?

    So… let’s talk license plates?

    I kid, I kid.

  16. - Occasionally Moderated - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 2:10 pm:

    Nashville Tennessee is the world capitol of rental coaches.

    In the entertainment business, when you need a coach for your music personalities to tour in, it comes from Tennessee. And just like when you rent a car, when you rent a tour bus it comes with license plates on it.

    Nothing to see here.

  17. - Sir Reel - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 2:19 pm:

    Shootouts and homicides because people don’t feel safe? Did he mean, people don’t feel safe because there’s shootouts and homicides?

    Word salad: music to the ears of the Republican base.

  18. - Pundent - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 2:39 pm:

    Bailey can’t win the governor’s race. His aim seems to be to win the most counties and claim that it represents some sort of victory. And yeah, Cook won’t be one of those counties.

  19. - Arsenal - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 3:09 pm:

    I actually stand to inherit a sizable family farm. I have no earthly idea why I shouldn’t be taxed for such a windfall. I clearly don’t work the farm, I’m on here posting all day.

  20. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 3:16 pm:

    Because your family member who owned and worked the farm has paid taxes every year they have owned it.

    Why is the state entitled to as much as 16% of the value of the farm not counting the Federal tax bite?

    Since the farm is an illiquid asset, where would the funds come from to pay the tax?

  21. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 3:35 pm:

    ===And yeah, Cook won’t be one of those counties.===

    Neither will DuPage, Lake or Will.

  22. - Demoralized - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 3:53 pm:

    ==Since the farm is an illiquid asset==

    It’s still an asset with value. You pay taxes on assets all the time. Just look at your house. I pay property taxes every year on the value of my home.

  23. - SomeGuy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 4:03 pm:

    IMO having IL plates on the tour bus would be more telling. That would indicate they bought a bus just for a the (relatively) short campaign season. Out of state plates mean it is a rental, which is a good financial decision.

  24. - Arsenal - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 4:28 pm:

    ==Because your family member who owned and worked the farm has paid taxes every year they have owned it.==

    Right, they did it, not me. So why should I get this asset tax free?

    ==Since the farm is an illiquid asset, where would the funds come from to pay the tax?==

    So, farms produce these things called “crops”, which can be exchanged for money…

    Don’t worry so much about me, LP. I’ve crunched the numbers, The Inheritance Tax isn’t even going to put a hitch in my stride.

  25. - (618) Democrat - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 4:30 pm:

    =Both Brady and Demmer are either married to Trump or Bailey, or worse, married to both.= They are both married to Rauner also.

  26. - Correcting - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 4:39 pm:

    Yes, the state should be split up. If downstate are mooches then you won’t mind them leaving. Upstate won’t have to pay for the bums and downstate won’t have to be governed by upstate. It is a win-win. Unfortunately, Darren Bailey backtracked on this as soon as he began running for governor. Pritzker is obviously not helpful on this issue either. I don’t like either of them.

  27. - Arsenal - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 4:41 pm:

    ==If downstate are mooches then you won’t mind them leaving.==

    What if they’re my brothers and sisters who need a little help from time to time?

  28. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 4:44 pm:

    - Why is the state entitled -

    Why are future generations entitled?

  29. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 4:53 pm:

    ===Yes, the state should be split up.===

    I guess the dorm rooms are filling fast. Fall classes are already started.

    Thursday begins the weekends, amirite?

    The state can spilt up… “really”?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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