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Campaign notebook

Thursday, Sep 22, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* New poll in CD17…

Today, 314 Action Fund released toplines from a new poll of likely voters in IL-17 that shows meteorologist and climate communicator Eric Sorensen with a commanding lead over his opponent, Republican Esther Joy King.

An initial horserace finds Sorensen with nearly a majority of voters behind him with 47% of the vote to Esther Joy King’s 38%. The poll found 15% of voters not sure of who they would vote for in November. The poll also found that 86% of voters believed abortion should be legal or legal in cases of rape, incest and to save a woman’s life – a contrast to Joy King’s support of a total abortion ban.

The poll was conducted from September 21-22, 2022 and surveyed 642 likely voters in IL-17 with a margin of error of +/- 3.9%.

“Esther Joy King and her extremist views on abortion are wildly out of step with those of the people she wants to represent,” Josh Morrow, Executive Director of 314 Action Fund, said. “Voters in Illinois deserve to hear just how radical Esther Joyce King and her anti-abortion backers are before they step into the ballot box on Election Day.”

According to the Public Policy Polling survey, President Biden is underwater in the district. His approval rating is 41 and disapproval is 49. Gov. Pritzker leads Darren Bailey by 5 points, 47-42 with 11 percent undecided. He won it by 9 points four years ago. Also

Which comes closest to your view on abortion:

    Abortion should always be legal 35%
    Abortion should be legal most of the time 16%
    Abortion should be illegal except in cases of rape, incest, and to save the mother’s life 35%
    Abortion should be illegal without any exceptions 7%
    Not sure 7%

The poll also asked respondents for whom they voted in 2020, and Biden voters were 7 points higher than Trump voters. That basically matches the actual results.

* Back to the release…

Last week, 314 Action Fund announced its 2-week, $700k TV buy in IL-17 slamming Republican Esther Joyce King for her extreme views on abortion, as well as the anti-abortion, right-wing radical donors bankrolling her campaign. 314 Action has endorsed meteorologist and climate communicator Eric Sorensen for Congress in the 17th District.

The spot, titled “NOPE” will run across all markets in the district for two weeks and total 1150 points. The ad hits King on her past lies about her resume which was exposed by Politico in 2020, as well as her vocal support of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision which ripped away women’s right to choose across the nation. The spot also focuses on King’s backers, who are in favor of a total ban on abortion.

n 2020, 314 Action Fund spent $25 million on behalf of its endorsed candidates and raised a total of $5 million in grassroots donations for scientists and engineers running for office.

The ad is here.

* Sean Casten…

Earlier this month, Keith Pekau posted a video on Facebook of himself discussing the SAFE-T Act. This video has now been flagged as misinformation by independent fact-checkers.

“Keith Pekau has no issue with misleading voters and using fear as a campaign tactic,” said Casten for Congress spokesman Trevor Nyland. “Meanwhile, Rep. Casten is voting in DC this week to pass a robust public safety package that will help police departments recruit more officers and bolster their ability to solve violent crimes. Instead of fear-mongering, Rep. Casten is actually doing the work to keep the 6th District safe.”

The flagged post is here.

* Bailey on a bus

Darren Bailey is hitting the road on a bus tour — totaling nine stops along the way — with five being in Chicago.

With a little less than seven weeks to go until election day, Bailey is attempting to appeal to voters by painting incumbent JB Pritzker as big on taxes, but soft on crime with his backing of the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today law, otherwise known as the SAFE-T Act, set to go into effect on Jan. 1.

“Under my administration, we will repeal the SAFE-T Act because we must,” Bailey said. “We will eliminate letting murderers back on the street as they await trial.”

On the opposite end of the ticket, Pritzker received an endorsement from the Theatre and Moving Picture Union, criticized Bailey’s anti-abortion stance, and provided a rebuttal on the SAFE-T Act.

* Rep. Tom Demmer goes after Incumbent Michael Frerichs’ support for a 2020 graduated income tax amendment (that was rejected by voters) Crain’s

Frerichs made a comment at a forum in 2020 in which he said a graduated income tax could allow for a broader conversation about taxing high levels of retirement income.

“Treasurer Frerichs can go out and make the case for why we should tax retirement income, I’ll make the case for why we shouldn’t tax retirement income,” Demmer said.

Frerichs has consistently said he doesn’t support a retirement tax.

He said he made the 2020 comment in a discussion with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Todd Maisch at a forum to debate the graduated income tax. Frerichs said he was trying to convey that he doesn’t support a retirement tax, but anybody looking to tax pensions should support a graduated tax structure which would allow for taxation only on higher levels of income, rather than the flat rate required under current law.

“I have been very clear, and my opponent knows this, that I didn’t support a retirement tax. I don’t support a retirement tax, and I will not support a tax on retirement,” he said, claiming Demmer repeats the claim to distract from his anti-abortion record and placement on a Republican ticket topped by controversial candidate Darren Bailey.

* GOP press release with more attacks on Frerichs and Secretary of State candidate Alexi Giannoulias…

Treasurer Mike Frerichs and candidate for Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias are both hiding from their records and are hoping voters won’t notice.

Giannoulias’ past is well-known as he attempts his rebrand 12 years after last being rejected by Illinois voters on account of his abysmal record as Treasurer and allegations of his shady past. Under then-Treasurer Giannoulias, Illinois parents lost millions in college savings. According to NBC Chicago from January 6, 2010:

“Bright Start was supposed to be Alexi Giannoulias’ shining achievement. Instead, the beleaguered fund, which lost more than $150 million through risky Oppenheimer investments, is radiating trouble for the Illinois State Treasurer and his Senate campaign.”

Giannoulias’ family bank also gave loans to mob bankers when Giannoulias was Senior Loan Officer, “The family bank of Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias loaned a pair of Chicago crime figures about $20 million during a 14-month period when Giannoulias was a senior loan officer,” according to the Chicago Tribune from April 1, 2010. Later, federal regulators seized the Giannoulias family bank.

Meanwhile, his eventual successor Mike Frerichs is attempting to hide his own abysmal record and troublesome policy statements. Under Frerichs, once again the Illinois College Savings Programs have lost millions. When questioned, Frerichs’ office passed the buck onto struggling families, “[I]ndividuals choose their 529 investments based on their own risk tolerance, goals and time horizon”.

Further, a second term of Frerichs could be costly for Illinois retirees. Frerichs has floated potential support for taxing retirement income. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, “Frerichs made a comment at a forum in 2020 in which he said a graduated income tax could allow for a broader conversation about taxing high levels of retirement income.” Additionally, Frerichs was one of the biggest proponents of Governor Pritzker’s failed 2020 tax referendum.

“Treasurer Frerichs and Alexi Giannoulias owe Illinois voters answers. Treasurer Frerichs must defend his record and past statements of potential support for taxing retirement income. Former Treasurer now SOS Candidate Giannoulias must fully explain how voters can trust him to lead Illinois’ largest state office, despite his past fiscal mismanagement of Bright Start and his family bank loans to Chicago crime figures and subsequent bank failure,” said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy.

* Politico…

— Pricey party: Gov. JB Pritzker, Senate President Don Harmon, Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Illinois Democratic Party Chair Lisa Hernandez headline a Democratic Party fundraising reception Sept. 28. Prices to attend range from $1,000 to $22,000. Here’s the invite

— Eric Sorensen just launched a new ad, titled “Neighbor.” Sorensen is the Democratic nominee for Congress in the IL-17 Congressional District now held by Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos. The ad is airing in the Quad Cities, Peoria and Rockford media markets.

— Congressman Sean Casten, a Democrat, has released his second digital ad of the cycle in the IL-06 congressional race.. The ad features a doctor talking about Republican opponent Keith Pekau’s views on abortion.

* More…

* Raoul racks up endorsements from gun control groups

Many thanks to Isabel for compiling a lot of these stories.


  1. - Amalia - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 3:15 pm:

    Thanks Rich, and Isabel. I’m looking forward to more coverage of Bailey. Red alert if he goes to Manny’s.

  2. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 3:18 pm:

    Seriously Dems, is this the best we can do?

    Inept and possibly felonious are words that come to mind.

    As for Bailey, someone needs to inform him that he’s running for government office, not a reappointment as Pastor.

  3. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 3:28 pm:

    -“We will eliminate letting murderers back on the street as they await trial.”-

    There is literally nothing preventing judges from having accused murderers held until trial. Also, Sen. Bailey, you don’t get to call them “murderers” until after the trial. Sorry for that minor inconvenience.

  4. - SuburbanRepublican - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 3:29 pm:

    Um, note to ILGOP…Frerichs was re-elected to his second term 4 years ago. He’s seeking a third term.

  5. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 3:32 pm:

    ===Darren Bailey is hitting the road on a bus tour — totaling nine stops along the way — with five being in Chicago.===

    Why is Bailey spending so much time in the city at the expense of focusing exclusively on the suburbs where he has at least a sizeable level of support to build upon? This is campaign malpractice.

  6. - ANNON'IN - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 3:33 pm:

    We had forgotten Demmer was still in the race. He needs a new issue…maybe a newer or real one

  7. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 3:35 pm:

    ===time in the city===

    He likely won’t get media coverage in the burbs. Plus, he can more easily troll Chicago and boost Lightfoot’s numbers some more /s

  8. - Baloneymous - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 3:57 pm:

    — with five being in Chicago.===

    I can repost my list of restaurant suggestions when Bailey’s back in Chicago. If he’s staying in the Hancock Building and he’s too scared to venture out on the streets, I’m sure he can have Cheesecake Factory delivered to his apartment which is right in the building. Or if he wants to try a couple of long-time local spots, Volare on Grand has great Italian food and Sayat Nova on Ohio serves some very wonderful Armenian dishes and are very close by.

  9. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 4:13 pm:

    -Volare on Grand has great Italian food and Sayat Nova on Ohio serves some very wonderful Armenian dishes-

    Agreed. Well, they have Eye-talian where he is from, but that other one sounds kinda “foreign.”

  10. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 4:19 pm:

    Props to Isabel for pursuing a career in journalism. Enjoy reading your work.

  11. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 4:27 pm:

    Recommend that Candidate Bailey make a reservation at La Scarola on Grand for an authentic Italian meal. After dinner, Darren can stop in at Richard’s Bar for a nightcap.

  12. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 4:29 pm:

    ===La Scarola on Grand===

    Man, don’t be giving out all the secrets

  13. - Baloneymous - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 4:35 pm:

    - Ron Burgundy

    Yea, Volare is not Olive Garden or Carrabba’s. And Sayat Nova is probably too exotic or daring for most people. That’s why I tossed out Cheesecake Factory first.

    Another place I would definitely suggest, if it was still around, was the Como Inn. I’m still mad at myself for not going there the first time I moved to Chicago almost 30 years ago.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 5:00 pm:

    Isabel is doing great work, much appreciated. Thank you.

  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 5:14 pm:

    If Pritzker is up 5 points in CD 17, it is going to be a long election night for Republicans.

  16. - Early Wynn - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 5:31 pm:

    It was over before it started . Money wasted on ads and campaign staff .

  17. - Tony DeKalb - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 7:35 pm:

    At least he’s not calling it the Bailey Reality Bus Tour.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* AG Raoul orders 'Super/Mayor' Tiffany Henyard's charity to stop soliciting donations as Tribune reports FBI targeting Henyard (Updated x2)
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
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* Caption contest!
* House passes Pritzker-backed bill cracking down on step therapy, prior authorization, junk insurance with bipartisan support
* Question of the day
* Certified results: 19.07 percent statewide primary turnout
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Update to today’s edition
* It’s just a bill
* Pritzker says new leadership needed at CTA
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