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Campaign notebook

Friday, Sep 9, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Sen. Darren Bailey was in Sandwich yesterday

Are you concerned about election integrity? You should be. Do you realize the Constitution has a position for us to serve in to monitor election integrity. It’s called poll watchers and election judges. The poll watchers, we’re training poll watchers, I am assigning pollwatchers into high-risk precincts that we’ve located. We’re going to train you, we’re going to equip you, we’re going to be there to support you. And as you’re keeping records and doing your job and see something that’s concerning, there’s going to be lawyers available that we can call and get advice and take care of business and activity if it so happens. Our state, our future, our children are depending on this, friends.

We’ve discussed his campaign’s emphasis on Chicago poll watchers before. It’s a huge waste of resources, unless he’s preparing the grounds for some sort of excuse about how he didn’t really lose. I mean, his campaign’s State Election Integrity Coordinator worked at a radio station which organized a January 6 bus trip.

* Equality Illinois…

Equality Illinois, the state’s civil rights organization for LGBTQ+ Illinoisans, on Thursday announced Illinois General Assembly and county-level endorsements for the November 8, 2022 General Election.

“Equality Illinois is excited to announce our state legislative endorsements today as we continue to make our state fairer and more just for LGBTQ+ people,” said Justin DeJong, Board Chair of Equality Illinois, a 501(c)(4) organization. “In recent years, Illinois has been a beacon of equality and inclusion. Ensuring our beacon continues to burn brightly is so important at a time when anti-equality forces have introduced more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in state houses across the country. These endorsed candidates will continue to advance our progress as we keep fighting for equality and inclusion for all LGBTQ+ residents and visitors in Illinois.”

The full endorsement list is here. It’s quite long, so I asked my associate Isabel Miller to go through it and find Democratic incumbents who were not endorsed for reelection…

    Sens. Patricia Van Pelt, Emil Jones III, Napoleon Harris III, Bill Cunningham, Patrick Joyce, Meg Loughran Cappel, Scott Bennett and Kris Tharp.

    Reps. Jawaharial Williams, Angie Guerrero-Cuellar, Curtis Tarver II, William Davis, Mary E. Flowers, Cyril Nichols, Marcus Evans, Nicholas Smith, Frances Ann Hurley, Kelly M. Burke , Fred Crespo, Martin J. Moylan, Lance Yednock, Anthony DeLuca, Lawrence Walsh, Jr., Jehan Gordon-Booth, Sue Scherer and LaToya Greenwood.


Republicans from across Chicagoland joined together Wednesday night at the Jefferson Park Copernicus Center for a standing-room-only grassroots fundraising event to highlight the 65 Republican candidates running for office in Cook County and the City of Chicago - a historic number.

“Never before have we seen the grassroots energy that we’ve seen so far this cycle. A record number of Republican candidates stepped up and answered the call to run for office up and down the ballot in Chicago,” said Chicago Republican Party Chairman Steve Boulton.

Cook County Republican Party Chairman Sean Morrison added, “Voters are fed up with the dangerous ‘soft on crime’ policies of Kim Foxx and Toni Preckwinkle. We’re energized to take on their failed tax & spend policies that have given us record inflation across Cook County. It’s time to put an end to the institutional corruption of the Chicago Democratic Machine. Taxpayers can no longer afford it.”

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy echoed their sentiment, “Republicans are ready to take back our state after decades of mismanagement, corruption, and turning a blind eye to the rise in crime all across this great city. There’s no better evidence of this energy than the presence of so many great candidates who have stepped up and put their names on the ballot to take on this corrupt machine. The path to victory in November goes through Cook County and voters are clearly fed up with the status quo.”

Last month, the Cook County and Chicago Republican Party slated over 30 candidates for the November General Election. They joined the 35 Cook County and Chicago Republicans running for offices ranging from Illinois State Legislature, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, and Cook County Commissioner who were already on the ballot.

Several of their slated legislative candidates did not survive the petition process. Click here for the list of objections sustained and overruled. Only two were overruled.

* It’s tough to imagine the mild-mannered Demmer as some far-right MAGA guy, but I suppose the object here could be to make him deny that he is one…

With two months to go until the general election, it’s far past time for MAGA conservative candidate for Illinois treasurer Tom Demmer to explain why he has been a consistent anti-woman, anti-worker, pro-gun vote in Illinois.

Demmer refused to complete any candidate questionnaires during the primary, trying desperately to dodge his own far-right agenda and his support for former President Donald Trump, former Governor Bruce Rauner and GOP gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey.

Voters are still waiting for answers to major questions such as:

• Do you stand by Darren Bailey’s extremist positions, his obstructionist voting record, and his divisive rhetoric?
• How will you prioritize fiscal responsibility after leading the voting bloc to help Rauner break the state by going two years without a budget?
• Why do you oppose common sense gun measures to restrict dangerous military-style weapons?
• Why did you vote against the Equal Rights Amendment?
• Why did you refuse to support critical health measures for working families such as a cap on out-of-pocket insulin costs?

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs’ record of delivering for Illinoisans speaks for itself. Over two terms, he has:

• Created one of the best college savings plans in the country, increasing college savings from $7 billion to $17 billion and saving families more than $100 million in fees.
• Established a retirement savings program that travels with the worker, enabling over 100,000 workers who previously did not have a retirement plan to now save $85 million with Secure Choice.
• Returned a record $1.5 billion in unclaimed property and tripled the number of claims paid per year, streamlining the process such that some residents do not even have to file a claim in order to be paid.

* Pritzker campaign…

A new ad from longtime political loser Dan Proft and January 6-supporting megadonor Dick Uihlein calls Darren Bailey a “practical problem solver” — but his legislative record tells a different story.

Candidate Darren Bailey is quick to point out issues facing Illinois, but State Senator Darren Bailey has roadblocked progress by consistently voting against solutions every chance he got and is best known for trying to separate Chicago into its own state.

Following decades of financial mismanagement by previous administrations, Gov. JB Pritzker has enacted four consecutive balanced budgets and delivered an unprecedented amount of tax relief to working families. Darren Bailey voted against all four budgets and voted against pension consolidation, which takes pressure off of property taxes. Bailey also voted to raise property taxes 81% while serving on a local school board.

While Bailey often calls out “high crime rates” as a key issue plaguing the state, he’s also spent the last four years standing in the way of budgets that prioritize public safety and voting against bipartisan legislation that supports law enforcement. Bailey voted against the single largest investment to expand cadet classes in Illinois history, $10 million for a local law enforcement retention grant program, and $8 million for a multi-year equipment replacement program at the Illinois State Police.

This ad is just the latest in Bailey’s long pattern of saying one thing while doing the opposite. While he parades himself around as a “practical problem solver” — Illinoisans know the truth: on the issues that matter most, he’s all talk and no action.

* Pritzker campaign highlights the founding chair of Personal PAC…

Lifelong conservative and Winnetka-native, Marcie Love, is the latest Illinois Republican to denounce Darren Bailey and his radical plans in a new video released today. Bailey’s extremism continues to show he’s unfit for office, and Illinois Republicans are speaking out against his cruel and hypocritical stances on abortion, LGBTQ+ rights, and health care.


In my mind, no Republican woman and no man who loves a woman should vote for Darren Bailey. Unless you want him in your bedroom.

I’m Marcie Love, an 84-year-old lifelong Republican. I live in Winnetka.

I think of myself as a limited government person. I do not believe that the government should come between individuals and what they do in their bedroom or at their doctor’s offices.

That, to me, is very important. It’s a privacy issue.

When I hear that Darren Bailey is against abortion for rape or for incest, I think he must be a very cruel man. How can anybody be against abortion for a ten-year-old who’s a rape victim?

Rape and incest?

Tell me that. Tell me where their heart is.

If Daren Bailey wants to intrude in our private lives on the issue of choice, what else does he want to intrude in? What else, in personal liberties, does he want to take away?

…Adding… ILGOP…

llinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs has a long history of changing his facts. Last week, he lashed out against State Rep. Tom Demmer and the media for repeating comments he made about taxing retirement at the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce Forum in 2020.

FACT: Frerichs added one argument for the progressive tax is the consideration of taxing retirement income of those who can afford it.

Daily Herald, June 17, 2020: ‘Frerichs added one argument for the progressive tax is the consideration of taxing retirement income of those who can afford it. He said he knows people who receive 6-figure yearly pensions and do not pay income taxes, but the current system doesn’t differentiate between them and retirees who barely get by on their savings or pensions.

“One thing a progressive tax would do is make clear you can have graduated rates when you are taxing retirement income,” he said. “And, I think that’s something that’s worth discussion.”

FACT: Frerichs has been flip-flopping on whether he supports combining the offices of the Comptroller and Treasurer.

Chicago Tribune, September 21, 2014: “I think his statements on Israel bonds weren’t carefully thought out. It’s been one of the better investments in the state treasurer’s office,” Giannoulias said of Frerichs.

Giannoulias also appeared critical of Frerichs’ back-and-forth on the issue of combining the offices of state treasurer and comptroller. Frerichs had supported the idea, later appeared to back off the position, but then said he was in favor of combining the offices.”

FACT: Rather than taking accountability for his statement on retirement income or repeated flip-flops on the Comptroller’s Office Frerichs said everyone else is lying.

Herald-Whig September 1, 2022: “It is good to hear that Tom Demmer agrees with me in that retirement income should not be taxed and that the comptroller’s office should be folded into the treasurer’s office,” Frerichs said, in an email to The Herald-Whig. “I’ve been saying the same thing for years. Anything that contradicts these statements simply is not true. Anyone who contradicts these statements should be asked, ‘Why are you lying?’

FACT: Frerichs has been supporting a progressive income tax as a way of raising taxes since 2007.

Frerichs introduced his own constitutional amendment to create a progressive income with SJRCA69 in 2007 and followed with two more amendments SJRCA92 and SJRCA89 in 2008, SJRCA101 in 2010, SJRCA17 in 2013.


  1. - DeeLay - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:19 pm:

    Which PAC is pushing the Safe-T bill hysteria right now? Last 48 hours have been wild on social.

  2. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:20 pm:

    It’s a matter of time until one of our dumber conservatives shoots up a polling place. I was surprised it didn’t happen in 2020.

    Bailey is putting it to them in black and white that this is a life or death issue. “Our children are depending on this.” In which case, “this” is equal to “republicans win or the election was illegitimate.”

  3. - Interesting - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:24 pm:

    Meh, candidate questionnaires are gotcha documents. Many established candidates don’t fill these out at all.

  4. - Cosgrove - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:29 pm:

    Thank you Marcie Love. Too bad not a single moderate pro-choice Republican remains in Illinois. Long gone are the days when Governor Thompson vetoed 34 of 34 anti-abortion bills and the 1990s forward when there were so many proud pro-choice Republicans in the General Assembly. Now they’re all right-wing anti-choice anti-democracy clones and part of the MAGA cult.

  5. - Baloneymous - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:30 pm:

    Is Bailey going to send poll watchers to precincts in his own senate district? or to the predominately white north shore or northwest suburbs? nope. Because all those voters are pure of heart and good Christians and would never cheat or try to vote multiple times, which isn’t really possible to begin with, right?

    I hope the news crews are out when Bailey has his right wing MAGA troops going to “high risk” precincts in East St. Louis, Peoria and Chicago’s south side. Or worse, trying to start skirmishes outside polling places to dissuade people from voting. This is the kind of news well before the election that shows just the type of person he really is.

  6. - Norseman - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:32 pm:

    MAGA GOP definition of election integrity is to implement measures to suppress Dem vote. In addition to new Jim Crow laws, it includes turning poll watchers into suppression operatives - harass voters and election workers, and to consider themselves spies seeking out ginned up conspiracy theories.

  7. - The Captain - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:33 pm:

    I don’t have a problem with Bailey recruiting poll watchers, that’s what every good campaign should do. I also don’t have an issue with Bailey going a little overboard with his rhetoric while he’s trying to recruit, it’s a pretty thankless job and the polls are open for 13 hours on election day, it’s not easy to recruit for.

    But I just don’t think they’re going to find all that much, poll watchers seldom do. And in overwhelmingly Democratic Chicago a really large number of people will have already voted early or by mail by the time election day rolls around.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:36 pm:

    ===I mean, his campaign’s State Election Integrity Coordinator worked at a radio station which organized a January 6 bus trip.===

    Vote accordingly.

    Bailey welcomes literal insurrectionists

  9. - Roadrager - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:39 pm:

    ==But I just don’t think they’re going to find all that much, poll watchers seldom do.==

    Follow similar exercises in “poll-watching” around the country, and you’ll discover they have much less to do with finding something than they do with starting something.

  10. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:39 pm:

    ==It’s a huge waste of resources unless he’s preparing the grounds for some sort of excuse about how he didn’t really lose==

    There are lots of reasons/motivations to have poll watchers. There are many precincts with “civic organization” i.e. union poll watchers just sitting there for 12 hours. Happens at my home precinct.

  11. - Amalia - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:44 pm:

    NW GOP, which part of the Copernicus Center? Cause the party part of that place is actually pretty small.

  12. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:50 pm:

    ===just sitting there for 12 hours===

    They’re not just sitting there, they are coordinating with GOTV workers.

  13. - zatoichi - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:51 pm:

    Exactly what is a poll watcher watching? They checking every ballot compared to the election workers marks in their voter ID books? They counting the physical number of voters vs number of used ballots? They counting R vs D? If they cannot touch ballots what are they there for? Does Bailey have any proof of voting issues anywhere or is this a Rudy “we have theories but no evidence” PR plug?

  14. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:52 pm:

    === Cause the party part of that place is actually pretty small===

    Lots of folks were in there on Labor Day during Taste of Polonia.

    Mmmm. Taste of Polonia.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 2:59 pm:

    ===Exactly what is a poll watcher watching?===

    Ever *work* an actual precinct?

    Precinct Captains of great renown would have the following;

    * 2 judges they can count on reporting for on Election Day

    * 2 runners, for door hangers and shagging pluses after 3pm

    * 1 poll watcher, crossing off names on a poll sheet, already marked with pluses

    The captain? Organizing and running the operation, and doing all the other jobs (less election judge) after getting donuts for breakfast and fetching lunch.

    Poll watchers are the map to what’s left out there to vote.

  16. - ArchPundit - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 3:00 pm:

    —-Do you realize the Constitution has a position for us to serve in to monitor election integrity. It’s called poll watchers and election judges.

    I know it’s verbal nonsense, but what is he talking about with the Constitution? Is there something in the Illinois Constitution about election judges?

  17. - Groucho - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 3:04 pm:

    In an election such as this one where polls seem to indicate an easy win for Pritzker, a republican poll watcher will have little value. But if this was a close election, having poll watchers can be helpful. For example, sometimes the precinct captains are a little to friendly with judges. I am not saying that there is blatant vote stealing or ballot stuffing, but even things such as the precinct captain having to much freedom helping voters in the polling place can make a difference in a very tight race.

  18. - Norseman - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 3:07 pm:

    A lot of folks talking about the poll watchers of old - traditional GOTV function. MAGA GOP is seeking to change that as I described above.

    See the following story about a MI MAGA GOP poll watching training:

  19. - Mary - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 3:07 pm:

    Not a true statement on Demmer, “Why did you refuse to support critical health measures for working families such as a cap on out-of-pocket insulin costs?” He voted for HB1466 and Amend. 1 which has the $35 insulin cap in it.

  20. - Just Saying - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 3:07 pm:

    ==Sen. Darren Bailey was in Sandwich yesterday…==

    I assume for the Northern Illinois State Fair (aka Sandwich Fair).

  21. - Just Saying - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 3:09 pm:

    ==Sue Scherer==

    Surprised considering the revamped 96th, that she didn’t have a primary challenger earlier this year.

  22. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 3:11 pm:

    -And as you’re keeping records and doing your job and see something that’s concerning, there’s going to be lawyers available that we can call and get advice and take care of business and activity if it so happens.-

    Their idea of something concerning: non-white people voting. Look forward to some of them trying to “take care of business” and getting arrested.

  23. - Just Saying - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    ==Established a retirement savings program that travels with the worker, enabling over 100,000 workers who previously did not have a retirement plan to now save $85 million with Secure Choice.==

    “But are you wanting to tax that same retirement?”

  24. - Downstate Sportsman - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 3:37 pm:

    Darren Bailey stopping in Sandwich… I heard they have a high quality gentleman’s club right down the road in Somonauk… I’m starting to see the bigger picture… Support small business…

  25. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 3:41 pm:

    =unless he’s preparing the grounds for some sort of excuse about how he didn’t really lose.=

    He could lose by twelve million votes and he will still say it is election fraud. Funny thing is, they are not embarrassed by being so transparently pathetic.

  26. - Middle Way - Friday, Sep 9, 22 @ 3:53 pm:

    Tom Demmer is about as stand-up of a guy as you can find in the IL GOP now and should be attractive to voters who want a check and balance and more financial oversight of a state gvt. run primarily by D’s. Tom should get some distance from Bailey and he’ll have a fighting chance. Tell it like it is and voters will respect him more

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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