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Campaign notebook

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Illinois Right to Life is essentially looking the other way while Bailey attempts to reinvent his image

He’s running for the highest seat in Illinois government, but Republican candidate Darren Bailey says he’d be powerless to change abortion laws if elected.

“Nothing’s going to change when I’m governor. I couldn’t change them if I could [sic],” Bailey said at the debate Thursday night.

Anti-abortion groups have backed Bailey since the primary. His apparent side step of the issue Thursday did not shake their faith in their candidate.

“Bailey is unapologetically pro-life and he will work to undo some of the extremism that we have in our state right now.” Amy Gehrke, the executive director of Illinois Right to Life said. […]

“If elected, I’m going to work to make sure abortion becomes unnecessary day one,” he said at a campaign event the day before the primary.

…Adding… Bailey’s running mate is not so reserved

Vowing that this is just the beginning, about 100 anti-abortion activists gathered outside a planned abortion clinic at 611 Auburn St. on Monday to pray and hear from Stephanie Trussell, the former conservative radio personality turned Republican candidate for lieutenant governor. […]

“They talk about the violence in some of these communities but more violence is happening right there in an abortion clinic,” Trussell said. “We expect people to value life, but we’re not valuing babies.”

* Meanwhile, from the Tribune

Stumping for votes in conservative southern Illinois, Republican governor hopeful Darren Bailey took the same stage as Donald Trump Jr. on Saturday night, with the former president’s son encouraging those in attendance to back Bailey while Bailey stuck to his campaign speech and didn’t publicly acknowledge the younger Trump’s presence.

The scene was markedly different from the one that unfolded in the waning days of the GOP primary this summer, when former President Donald Trump endorsed Bailey. Since that endorsement, however, Bailey has slowly tried to distance himself from Trump as Bailey faces a general electorate in Illinois that twice rejected the former president by a 17% margin.

* Really good story in the Tribune on what I believe is the most overlooked political trend in this state

(I)n the 2022 general election at least 22 Illinoisans of Asian descent are running for office in November, from county commissioner to state representative to U.S. senator.

That could herald the state’s largest Asian American caucus ever and reflects a national trend of Asian Americans getting elected to public office. […]

Jue has also consulted for Hoan Huynh, who’s running to represent portions of the North Side in the Illinois House and who would be the legislature’s first Vietnamese American representative if elected.

Jue and others who spoke with the Tribune said the current wave of Asian Americans engaged in politics is decades in the making and speaks to the organizing prowess of their community leaders. They also noted recent topics in the news — such as the rise in anti-Asian attacks and 2020 U.S. census figures showing Asians are the fastest-growing racial group in Chicago, Illinois and the country — demonstrate the urgency for more political representation. […]

[Hoan Huynh’s] Democratic primary opponents included Eileen Dordek, the former board chair of the pro-abortion rights Personal PAC who was endorsed by heavy hitters such as Gov. J.B. Pritzker, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and a slew of other Democrats. The only elected official willing to support Huynh back then was state Rep. Theresa Mah, the first Asian American elected to the General Assembly in 2016. […]

Down in the slower paced, more homogenous towns of central Illinois, Sharon Chung didn’t plan on drawing attention to her Korean ancestry when she took office in 2018 as the first Asian American elected to the McLean County Board. In some ways, that’s still the case when she’s campaigning as the Democratic nominee for the Illinois House’s new 91st District, an open seat that was redrawn this year to bring together more Democratic-leaning voters.

* On a somewhat related note, WGN TV’s Lourdes Duarte has a good piece on the growing influence of Latinas in Illinois politics. Take some time to watch it

* Clem Balanoff was very involved in campaigns during the 1994 GOP landslide. He has seen the wild swings in off-year elections up close and personal, so when he talks about the open-seat races in the 13th and 17th congressional districts with Politico, you should listen

Balanoff, the Illinois operative, expects voter interest to continue shifting before November.

“If the election were held today, I think Democrats would win both seats. But it’s two more months, and that’s an eternity,” he said at the time, adding what would be a prescient comment. “One bad break and things change dramatically. What if OPEC said they were to cut production and prices go up? You just never know.”

* Personal PAC TV ad targeting Mark Curran

The group has a very similar ad against Justice Michael Burke. Click here.

* Politico

— IL-06: Democratic Rep. Sean Casten has been endorsed by BlueGreen Alliance, a group of labor unions and environmental organizations.

— IL-17: Republican Esther Joy King is out with a new TV ad titled “Crime.”

— State Rep. Deb Conroy is out with a new digital ad titled “Dedicated” and focused on her DuPage County board chair race.

* Tom DeVore on Twitter

Kwame Raoul is pandering for votes talking about his futile efforts to try and pass a 50-year old amendment to the constitution regarding equal women’s rights that none of you have likely ever heard about. A lot has changed since 1972 such as biological males trying to take over women’s sports & tampon dispensers in boys locker rooms. The list goes on. I have two 19-year old daughters whose rights I’ll fight for at every step and if Kwame really cared about my daughters rights, he’d address these real issues facing women today and not an out of date constitutional amendment that has little practical relevance five decades after the fact.

Also from DeVore…


* Common Cause Illinois

New voters have until today, Oct. 11, to postmark their mail-in application to register to vote in the Nov. 8 midterm election.

Should Illinois voters submit their application online, they have until Sunday, Oct. 23 at midnight. Additionally, Illinoisans should double-check their voter registration in order to update or correct any appropriate information, said Jay Young, Common Cause Illinois’ executive director.

“The right to vote is the foundation of our government, and elections — both generals and primaries — are a key element of that foundation,” Young said. “Please encourage your friends, family, and community to spend a few minutes ensuring their right to vote is intact and ready for Nov. 8 by registering to vote.”

Illinoisans can register to vote online and make any needed changes to existing voter registrations at

If Illinoisans miss the Oct. 11 or 23 deadline, they can still register through Same Day registration on Election Day at designated voter locations.

Other important election-related dates for voters:

    • Now - Nov. 7: Voters can request absentee or vote-by-mail ballots. If they request by mail, the request must be received by Nov. 3.
    • Now - Nov. 7: Early voting period. Check with your election authority for details.
    • Nov. 8: Absentee/mail-in ballots must be returned, either in person or by mail and postmarked by Nov. 8.
    • Nov. 8, Election Day: Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Roundup from Isabel…

    * ADDED: Press release: After closely aligning himself with Awake Illinois—named a “hate group” by Equality Illinois—anti-choice Republican Keith Pekau has announced plans to campaign with election-denying Congressman Jack Bergman (R-MI), a far-right Republican best known for supporting legislation to ban abortions in every case, with no exceptions for rape, incest or life of the mother. Bergman wants to go even further and create a criminal penalty for doctors who perform an abortion. Bergman is a former lobbyist for a non-profit that was forced to pay nearly one hundred million dollars to the Department of Justice for scamming veterans. He also voted against certifying the 2020 election and coordinated with local officials to attempt to overturn the results. “From accepting an award from Awake Illinois to jeopardizing the health of his constituents for cheap political points to campaigning with a radical, anti-choice insurrectionist who helped scam veterans, Keith Pekau has shown us who he is,” says Trevor Nyland, spokesperson for Casten for Congress. “It’s time that the voters of IL-06 believe him.”

    * Salvi expects ‘surprise’ win over Duckworth in Illinois Senate race: There’s a big disparity financially between the two: Duckworth with almost $8 million in campaign cash on hand at the end of June. That’s more than 100 times higher than roughly $66,000 for Salvi.

    * Lawsuits looking to block SAFE-T Act stacking up as Pritzker signals changes ahead: Last week, Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright filed a lawsuit challenging the act’s constitutionality for various reasons. Wright said in a statement the law set to take effect Jan. 1 “contains confusing and inconsistent provisions likely resulting in divergent interpretations and disparate outcomes” across the state. Other measures are clear, but raise “sincerely-held public safety concerns,” Wright said.

    * Gun violence is dropping in Chicago as police credit new tactics, community investment: While shootings like those that killed Zastro and wounded Barr continue, the violence does seem to be ebbing: An ABC News/Gun Violence Archives analysis of the nation’s 50 largest cities shows homicides are down nearly 5% from last year after two years of pandemic-era increases.

    * Candidates for Illinois governor offer ideas for gun control: There are several pending lawsuits in state and federal courts challenging a variety of Illinois’ gun laws, including the Firearm Owner’s Identification Card Act. During the first gubernatorial debate last week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker defended the FOID card system and an option to submit fingerprints.

    * Illinois political expert weighs in on first gubernatorial debate: Springfield political observer Kent Redfield said Monday that the debate likely didn’t help people who are undecided between Gov. JB Pritzker and Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia). The professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois-Springfield said Pritzker and Bailey were able to use their greatest hits with talking points about abortion, crime and the state’s economy.

    * Political expert: first governor’s debate won’t sway many voters: “There was nothing there that was a huge gaffe, a huge breakout,” Kent Redfield, political science professor emeritus of University of Illinois Springfield, said. “There’s nothing that’s going to be, you know, in the history books about what you should do right, or should do wrong in a debate.”

    * Pritzker, Bailey refuse to get specific in some important areas: For the governor, that was when he wouldn’t say what changes he’d make to the Pretrial Fairness Act provision of the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform that will end cash bail on Jan. 1. For the governor, that was when he wouldn’t say what changes he’d make to the Pretrial Fairness Act provision of the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform that will end cash bail on Jan. 1.

    * Supreme Court 3rd District: Burke, O’Brien vie for open seat: If Burke wins his race and Republicans also claim the newly redrawn 2nd District, the court’s majority would flip to the GOP. But Burke and O’Brien each downplayed the role partisanship plays on the court.

    * Daily Herald: Giannoulias endorsed for Secretary of State: Brady has a similar approach to providing tech upgrades, but we’re impressed by how well Giannoulias has laid his out. Giannoulias’ experience on the Chicago Public Library board — at a time when book banning is all the rage, is important as well. Giannoulias is endorsed.

    * Daily Herald Endorsement: Mendoza for Illinois comptroller: Mendoza’s record, her previous experience as a Chicago city clerk and Illinois state legislator and her seemingly boundless energy make her an exceptional fit for state comptroller. She easily wins our endorsement.

    * Illinois FOP State Lodge endorses Deering: “Regan Deering has earned our endorsement because she steadfastly supports the law enforcement officers who protect our communities, unlike many politicians, including her opponent, who favor anti-police and pro-criminal laws,” said Illinois FOP State Lodge President Chris Southwood. “Regan will be the strong voice we need in Congress to return sanity to our government and safety to our neighborhoods.”

    * Budzinski endorsement by AFFI: Today, Nikki Budzinski, candidate for Congress in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, highlighted her endorsement from the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois (AFFI). The AFFI organizes, supports, advocates, and promotes the interests of professional union firefighters and EMS providers in Illinois. … “Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, fire fighters are on-call to keep us safe. And when emergencies arise, they risk their lives to protect us. I was proud to advocate for firefighters and EMS workers at the International Association of Fire Fighters – and I’m proud to have the endorsement of Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois as I run to serve Central and Southern Illinois in Congress. I’ll always work to ensure our first responders have the resources they need to stay safe as they serve our communities.”

    * Illinois Black Caucus director stands at the forefront of change: The Illinois Black Legislative Caucus Foundation is dedicated to advancing the lives of Black citizens in the state. The foundation has opened doors to opportunities for many families through student scholarship funding, weekly forums on how to become politically engaged, and securing a seat at the table to facilitate change. The executive director of the Illinois Black Legislative Caucus Foundation, Tiffany Hightower, takes pride in ensuring that African American citizens are equally represented in legislative processes.

    * Illinois election 2022: See who the Tribune Editorial Board endorsed — plus how the candidates answered our questions: Before the primaries, the Tribune Editorial Board posed a series of questions to the candidates to inform voters and make endorsements.

    * Congressional candidate says he’ll leave GOP if elected, then pulls online prank: Schakowsky campaign manager Ben Head said the congresswoman “thinks Rice’s behavior and comments speak for themselves.”

    * Opinion | More or Les: An open letter to secretary of state candidates: I think most of the time being secretary of state is a pretty good and non-controversial role: overseeing everything from what most of the rest of the world calls the department of motor vehicles to organ donor registries and working with non-profits. However, I have a couple of beefs with the last few incumbents of Illinois’ secretary of state office.

    * Mike Matejka: Amendment acts on basic protections: By voting yes, these fundamental workplace rights become more than law in Illinois, they are constitutionally protecting. Workers’ Rights Amendment opponents have raised the weak and false issue of increased taxes. There is nothing in this amendment that impacts taxes directly. This is a long-used fear tactic to evade the real issue, which is giving average working people a voice.


  1. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 2:10 pm:

    Why is Devore appealing to Candace Owens? What am I missing?

  2. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 2:15 pm:

    ===What am I missing? ===

    No idea, but it’s funny that he’s already blaring the “Do you know who I am?” line before the election.

  3. - Roman - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 2:20 pm:

    == Illinois Right to Life is essentially looking the other way… ==

    This is an interesting phenomenon that isn’t just happening here: Message discipline from anti-abortion groups that seem to grasp they’re in the minority in a lot of places and as such, realize now is not the time to step on the idealogical gas. It makes it easier for their allies to change the topic.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 2:24 pm:

    === Illinois Right to Life is essentially looking the other way… ===

    When the dog catches the bumper of the car, what else can they do?

    At this rate, any good rating from the Right to Life groups could be as bad as being connected to Madigan?

  5. - Rudy’s teeth - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 2:27 pm:

    Darren Bailey is the candidate of platitudes with no concrete plans. Blathering is not a solution or an option in governing.

  6. - twowaystreet - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 2:31 pm:

    So, Devore is no longer “everyday people” because he is running for public office? As if simply collecting signature is supposed to create some level of insulation from crap everyday people do have to put up with.

    Imagine what he would be like if he actually won election and had a public office…

  7. - MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 2:42 pm:

    “Nothing’s going to change when I’m governor. I couldn’t change them if I could.”

    Probably Bailey misspeaking (again), but look at how politically conveniently he misspoke.

    Everyone knows that one “could” should be a “would,” but which?

    His double-could allows voters who believe that the current protections for women’s choice are reasonable to think he meant to say the (to them) reasonable statement: “I wouldn’t change them if I could.”

    The erroneous doubling kept him from chasing them off.

    But it also allows voters who want to strip away a women’s choice to think that he meant to say the equally reasonable (to them) statement: “I couldn’t change them if I would.”

    The double-could kept Bailey from betraying his base.

    And best of all: Because everyone thinks they know what he must have meant, Bailey doesn’t have to publicly clarify his incredibly extreme anti-choice position at the debate.

    – MrJM

  8. - Gfalkes - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 2:42 pm:

    And don’t forget Sonni williams is running , as a Korean American, for the 3rd Dist appellate court.

  9. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 2:42 pm:

    ===No idea, but it’s funny that he’s already blaring the “Do you know who I am?” line before the election.

    That is hilarious. Especially since not many voters even know who he is.

  10. - Amalia - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 2:47 pm:

    Did not think DeVore could make me more anxious to vote against him but bashing the ERA as nothing oh boy.

  11. - cover - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 2:54 pm:

    Is DeVore basically saying that he got grifted? That would be some fine karma.

  12. - Jerry - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 3:06 pm:

    Interesting that all these “Pro-Life!” Christians, like Daryn, were not so “Pro-Life!” during a pandemic where wearing a mask could have spared the life of thousands of Illinoisans.

  13. - Socially DIstant watcher - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 3:07 pm:

    If DeVore says somebody’s pandering, I’m inclined to believe him; he’s something of an expert on the subject.

  14. - West Wing - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 3:13 pm:

    Esther Joy King running a crime TV spot is - no surprise - full of hypocrisy. When asked on a local TV show (CBS affiliate) to condemn the violence that injured 140 police officers on January 6, she took a pass.

  15. - Vote Quimby - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 3:24 pm:

    Devore: “Do you know who I am?”
    PayPal: “Yes.”
    Devore: ” “

  16. - MoralMinority - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 3:30 pm:

    I think it is kinda ironic that Darren is trying to make a feeble, halfhearted effort at pivoting this late in the game, at least on some issues. The abortion misspeak (did he mean to say could, would, or wanted) and distancing from Trumpworld (cold shoulder to Don Jr in Marion) are representative of the dilemma he is in. Continue to preach to the choir or try watering down the sermon for the congregation while winking at the choir and hoping they don’t walk out of the church. He just now is figuring this out.

    I think Darren was naive in thinking that he sailed right into his two statehouse gigs with little opposition and much acclaim, so the same should be true for the Governor’s race. If God was for him, who could be against him? Now the reality of some of the electorate north of I-80 might worship a different God has set in. Welcome to the cold, cruel world.

  17. - Sue - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 3:32 pm:

    Though not mentioned it seems appropriate for people to comment on our AG’s brilliant decision to support CA’s position on the pig case pending in the SCT of the US. Illinois has a lot of pig farms- does anyone truly think they support having to totally change their operations and incur enormous expense to conform to California’s requirements. With all the problems facing Illinois why can’t Raoul focus on his backyard instead of trying to destroy Illinois agriculture

  18. - GE - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 3:33 pm:

    Ah, Deb Conroy has a pulse. Haven’t seen anything from her. No appearances, no campaigning, no door to door visits, no signs - just hoping Pritzker carries the day for her - like Madigan did.

    She doesn’t seem very “dedicated.”

  19. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 3:42 pm:

    DeVore tweeting to someone recently proudly wearing a White Lives Matter t-shirt.

    Isn’t it ironic Don Jr. called Pritzker a lunatic?

  20. - Bunga - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 3:52 pm:

    Regan Deering once again still doesn’t have any TV ads so it’s possible NRCC has already triaged her.

  21. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 4:01 pm:

    According to the comments in the Twitter feed, PayPal sometimes seizes money when fraud is suspected lol.

  22. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 4:09 pm:

    This isn’t looking the other way. It’s the same thing the Supremes did when they said oh Roe is settled law. Lying.

  23. - Consider This - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 4:34 pm:

    Right to Lifers look the other way so much they should all have severe whiplash.
    All on board with lip service on Abortion but really could care less for the Right to Life of those who may not look like them or think like them.

  24. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 4:54 pm:

    The right to lifers are wasting their time at abortion clinics. Far, far more “lives” as they define it are being terminated at fertility clinics. How come you never see protestors there?

  25. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 5:07 pm:

    Thank you, Rich and Isabel, another great post with so much to chew on, I’m still running through it with a 1/3 to go.

    It’s indeed that time of the game…

    To the post, and tying in a couple with one swoop, the endorsement of Mendoza, Latina candidates and office holders, and Asian Americans holding office and running.

    First, congrats to Mendoza, well earned endorsement, a credit to her and very specifically to her term and team here.

    To the overall,

    For me, what makes Illinois do great is it’s diversity, and the opportunities, when available and not stifled, to the growth of diversity in the governing of Illinois at all levels.

    It’s not that one community is growing or rising above another, I’ve always had the perspective that the pie is never finite, and the table is always large enough for more seats.

    Like Sanguinetti and others before her, there are many that are now ready to step up and be the leaders Illinois needs, and the leaders of tomorrow, race or gender not at issue.

    It’s good that diversity is being spotlighted, there’s a strong need to show the changing landscape of Illinois which also includes politics.

    This post shows that diversity is being recognized by the news media, it’s about time it’s recognized more than during election time.

  26. - Amalia - Tuesday, Oct 11, 22 @ 6:59 pm:

    thanks for that video on Latinas in Illinois politics. a big piece of the population and not as seen as should be seen.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Afternoon roundup
* Meanwhile… In Opposite Land
* State school superintendent warns CPS for fourth time over illegal student restraint
* Bears stuff
* Fun with numbers (and history)
* Giannoulias takes legal action against Coinbase
* Question of the day
* DCFS "On-the-Spot Hiring" event in Rockford drew double the expected crowd
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* * Live Coverage * Jimmy Weiss trial
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

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