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McCombie talks about the difficulty of protecting moderate candidates from attacks by the “far right”

Friday, Nov 18, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* House Republican Leader in waiting Rep. Tony McCombie was interviewed today on WXAN

Q: I think the real challenge for Republicans in Illinois is that you have a very conservative voter base throughout the Republican districts of the state. Then when you run statewide, you have to also communicate effectively with people who are more in the center and running that gambit is difficult politically. And so you look over the horizon, like how Republicans can be successful and grow in terms of their numbers in the General Assembly. Is that gambit in your mind?

A: Absolutely. I think one of the things when you’re, I feel we are the party of the of the big tent. I see that. I believe it. I don’t believe that we as a Republican Party have to all agree. And just because we may disagree on an issue or a strategic way … We we always judge our folks, you know, and call each other RINOs and do all that, but it’s the American way. We should have some disagreements. I think that makes us better even within our own policy. So for me, I can still be who I am and totally respect to who my neighbor is.

And when I first got in there, we had folks more in the suburbs, we had folks that were actually pro choice. The difference with those folks is, they would never in a million years have voted to repeal parental notification. They would never have considered a bill that’s going to allow abortion up to nine months. So that’s the difference of the extremes. There’s folks in the suburb, there’s folks in Cook County that are conservative that want to put their names forward, but are kind of nervous to do so because they don’t want to be attacked by, for lack of a better term, the far right. And we have to be willing to listen to them, embrace them, speak to the common sense voters. And I look forward to messaging that because it’s going to be a challenge. We need to worry about talking about the issues in Illinois, especially with corruption, the high taxes, our education, serving our most vulnerable. We all have the same views, it’s just how do we get it and if we can get somebody to sit in a seat in the suburbs in a left-leaning district and there’s gonna be with the conservatives, you know, 90-95 percent of the time, Bravo, then we’ve done it, we’ve done the right thing. So I look forward to that challenge. And after this election, it’s a big, big challenge. […]

Q: And does that specifically mean tailoring a new message for Republicans in the suburbs?

A: I think it’s tailoring a new message for everyone around the state. Democrats in Illinois certainly didn’t win the cycle because they fixed all the problems, right? Look at crime, look at our economy, crushing tax bills, continued corruption that it seems like people don’t even pay attention to anymore. And that’s embarrassing to Illinois. And so we need to work on those issues, obviously. And we need to have a party that’s going to have candidates that will appeal to younger, independent, moderate and women voters. We’re out there and we just need to change the message to let people know that we’re with them. And we’re gonna do that by having plans, having messaging, working really hard.

What they need to figure out first is how to successfully shepherd moderate, pro-choice, pro gun regulation suburban candidates through the Republican primaries. And that also means somehow dealing with the bigtime contributors like Richard Uihlein, who despises “RINOs” and, if history is any guide, would likely step in to try to foil any such moderation plans.

By the way, any Republican candidate who would vote to reinstate parental notification is gonna get whacked with a broad brush by Personal PAC and the Democrats. Judy Baar Topinka was pro-choice except for that one exception, and she was painted as an anti-abortion extremist back in 2006 by a lousy governor whose chief fundraiser was indicted days before the election and who still won by more than 10 points. These are not by any means new issues, nor are they new obstacles.

Not easy. Don’t envy her at all.

       

66 Comments »
  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:27 am:

    Some of these words seem so…. familiar… for me.

    Dunno why. But they seem familiar.

    Then again, it was fashionable to throw out folks who disagreed with Rauner, couldn’t back Trump, were told “we don’t want ‘Democrat-Lite’…”… and it still is the base of the “GOP” the cult thinking.

    I may be new to this thinking I guess, ya know, the “Reagan Rule”, discouraging a monolithic party, purity…

    … all new to me.


  2. - Demoralized - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:27 am:

    ==And that’s embarrassing to Illinois.==

    You aren’t going to win elections by calling the voters stupid. It still seems like to me the Republicans haven’t learned their lesson when they continue to talk like this. Maybe it’s not that they don’t have ideas. Maybe its that people have rejected their ideas.


  3. - btowntruthfromforgottonia - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:27 am:

    “we are the party of the big tent.”
    Oh no they’re not.


  4. - LOL - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:28 am:

    So if you’re trying to talk about recruiting pro-choice candidates then maybe don’t throw a wild far right talking point about abortion up to 9 months in your answer. They’re never going to be able to solve that problem if that’s how they talk about abortion. Women aren’t stupid. They know women don’t just wake up at 8.5 months and deicide they want an abortion.


  5. - Techie - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:29 am:

    They could always restructure their primary elections to avoid the current system which squeezes out centrist voices. Move from the choose-only-one system to one where they can vote for all candidates they approve of. This would give less extreme Republicans a better shot at winning primaries.


  6. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:30 am:

    =Look at crime, look at our economy, crushing tax bills, continued corruption that it seems like people don’t even pay attention to anymore.=

    Because statewide crime, the economy and property taxes are non-issues and mostly can’t be handled by the Governor? Run those issues again - and lose again. the broad brush of corruption?

    At least she didn’t say because Madigan.


  7. - MaddyMoon - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:31 am:

    The reality is republicans have officially hit perpetual minority status in Illinois. Like the great states of Maryland, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. There are people that identify as republican voters, but they have been gerrymandered into irrelevance. They have ceded party control to the most radical wing of the party. The suburbs are no longer in play.

    get used to 35-40 republican house seats for the next decade. doesn’t matter how many times you change leaders, nothing will change. this is the new status quo for this generation of Illinoisans.


  8. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:32 am:

    ===by calling the voters stupid===

    I think she was referring to the people in charge.


  9. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:35 am:

    –for lack of a better term, the far right.–

    There isn’t a lack of a better term though. She’s just trying to keep them in that ‘big tent’ by refusing to acknowledge what they are.

    Good luck with that. That plan has worked out swimmingly for the ILGOP so far.


  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:35 am:

    ===They could always restructure their primary elections ===

    That would require a change in statute.


  11. - Arsenal - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:36 am:

    ==I feel we are the party of the of the big tent. I see that. I believe it. I don’t believe that we as a Republican Party have to all agree.==

    The problem is, when it comes time to pick a nominee, why shouldn’t I as a voter pick the one I agree with the most? And if I’m very pro-life, very pro-gun, etc., I can respect someone who’s not, but why do I have to vote for them, especially in a primary?


  12. - Chicago Republican - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:39 am:

    The Republican Party is like a Chariot Driver with two head strong horses that both want to go in opposite directions.


  13. - Rabid - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:41 am:

    New message , crime, taxes, corruption. the only message


  14. - Jerry - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:43 am:

    Republicans just dont get it. They run around accusing Democrats of being “Socialist”. There is nothing more Socialist than telling people what they can and cannot do with their own bodies. Its not limited government conservative by any sense of the word.

    They just dont get it.


  15. - Roman - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:48 am:

    == figure out first is how to successfully shepherd moderate, pro-choice, pro gun regulation suburban candidates through the Republican primaries. ==

    Unlike Uihlein, this seems like the kind of party building that Rauner and Griffin would not have been ideologically opposed to. But that kind of approach requires a patient commitment to the long game. Rauner and Griffin are not patient people. I’m not sure if any rich political benefactors are.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:48 am:

    ===The Republican Party is like===

    … a cult where the minority of voters are held hostage to a MAJORITY of the voting GOP aren’t so… open.

    ===These are not by any means new issues, nor are they new obstacles.===

    Spot on. Exactly.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:50 am:

    ===Rauner and Griffin would not have been ideologically opposed to. But that kind of approach requires a patient commitment to the long game. Rauner and Griffin are not patient people.===

    Rauner and Griffin are anti-labor.

    Can’t win ejections when ALL of labor see you as an existential threat. Not in Illinois.

    How was jbt’s labor record?


  18. - Incandenza - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:53 am:

    === There is nothing more Socialist than telling people what they can and cannot do with their own bodies ===

    I can actually think of a lot of things. Don’t try to put this on some other ideology, controlling women’s bodies is a conservative hobby horse and has been for decades.


  19. - Norseman - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:55 am:

    Big tent? Said by a party that censured members for calling out the big lie.

    I expect little positive from a leader who didn’t care about the health of her fellow members.


  20. - John Lopez - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:57 am:

    === What they need to figure out first is how to successfully shepherd moderate, pro-choice, pro gun regulation suburban candidates through the Republican primaries. ===

    The task would be easier if moderate/pro-choice/pro-gun-regulation voters would VOTE in a Republican primary. Many times, going back to the 1990s, moderate voters of both parties stayed at home during primaries, unless something compelling was on the ballot, like a local tax referendum.

    Unless Illinois goes to a blanket-primary, or possibly ranked-choice voting (RCV) or combination like Alaska (top-4 blanket primary, RCV general) is using this year, would go a long way to solving this problem, and other problems seen in 2022.

    On November 7, Congressman Bill Foster, in a local podcast interview, came out publicly for an RCV system, and was watching the city of Evanston’s referendum on RCV for city council elections, which was approved.

    As Foster said in the interview, RCV kept Sarah Palin out of Congress in the special election in August, and appears to be doing so again.

    RCV will likely decide the AK U.S. Senate race, with Lisa Murkowski being reelected over the Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka.

    The Alaska system could go a long way to stop the mega donors, from both parties, determining the outcomes if nominees under the current system.


  21. - vern - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 11:58 am:

    ===he difference with those folks is, they would never in a million years have voted to repeal parental notification. They would never have considered a bill that’s going to allow abortion up to nine months. ===

    So the funny thing is that lots of suburban Republicans ran on this message in the general election, with one key difference: they refused to describe themselves as pro-choice. When asked about abortion, they’d say they support PNA and oppose late-term, but I don’t think a single Republican legislative candidate put the words “pro-choice” in any paid communications. Greg Hart did it for DuPage County Chair, and mostly outperformed his slate by a few points.

    And remember, this was after the primaries. Any of these candidates could’ve sent mail to moderate voters promising to protect abortion rights. They wouldn’t do that, even after the threat of a primary was over for the year. Sure, Personal PAC paints with a broad brush, boo hoo. But we’ve seen already that false negative attacks don’t work as well as true ones. But if Republicans won’t communicate that they’re pro-choice, Personal PAC’s mail gets a lot easier for voters to believe.


  22. - The Ford Lawyer - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    “And if I’m very pro-life, very pro-gun, etc., I can respect someone who’s not, but why do I have to vote for them, especially in a primary?”

    You can vote for a candidate who is just as far to the right as you are in the primary election. Just don’t expect to win any general elections in Illinois. On the other hand, you might want to consider a candidate who is closer to the middle and might have a chance of actually winning and affecting the way the state government is run for the next four years.


  23. - Henry Francis - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:11 pm:

    In recent years, the gop has become more and more dependent on low information voters, and they use fear and misinformation to gin them up. Those tactics aren’t going to appeal to educated moderate folks in the suburbs.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:12 pm:

    ===Unless Illinois goes to a blanket-primary, or possibly ranked-choice voting (RCV) or combination===

    That’s conceding that the GOP is held hostage by a majority of the members that identify as losers in general elections.

    How exactly do you see this happening, legislatively?


  25. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:14 pm:

    If you have to protect members of your party from one another your biggest problem is evident.


  26. - H-W - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:17 pm:

    = I feel we are the party of the of the big tent =

    = we always judge our folks, you know, and call each other RINOs and do all that, but it’s the American way. =

    Actually, no. Republicans are not the party of the big tent. They are the party of the “my way or the highway” tent. That’s the problem. They need to open up the tent, and allow fresh air into that tent, rather than insisting that the stale air inside the tent is good enough for young people today.

    As to the second point, no. It is not the American way that most people desire. Name calling, insults, ostracism, defamation and exclusionary practices are not the way to create community in the presence of diverse people with diverse beliefs and needs and desires. Tolerance, not intolerance, must be the American way.


  27. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:19 pm:

    ===They would never have considered a bill that’s going to allow abortion up to nine months.===

    I stopped reading after that.


  28. - Montrose - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:22 pm:

    I am wondering if Jim Durkin is laughing or crying as he reads that interview.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:22 pm:

    ===is laughing or crying===

    “Not my problem” probably means a bit of both


  30. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    === Not easy. Don’t envy her at all. ===

    I could probably come up with 100 ways the McCombie could improve the odds of electing moderate Republicans in Illinois. But I bet I can come up with atleast 101 ways that Speaker Welch could stop her.

    You have to admit first that Republicans messed up horribly by refusing to be a part of solving anything during Governor Pritzker’s first two years. That locked them out of redistricting. And I am guessing when Illinois Election Data gets around to telling us how Darren Bailey and Donald Trump did in all of these new GOP districts, we’ll see that these are very Trumpy primary districts indeed. Same for the suburban seats picked up or held by Democrats.

    They made the hill very steep for themselves.

    McCombie is fighting a war on two fronts. If she wants to beat Uhlein and Proft, she is gonna have to make peace with Speaker Welch, Governor Pritzker, and their key allies.

    The other option is keep doing what you are doing and watch your caucus shrink and become even more extreme and irrelevant in 2024, when Speaker Welch could pick up another 3-5 seats.


  31. - King Louis XVI - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:32 pm:

    — They would never have considered a bill that’s going to allow abortion up to nine months.—

    Yeah. That will attract moderates to be GOP candidates. McCombie is part of the GOP’s problem. Scroll through her Facebook page some day.


  32. - Pundent - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:32 pm:

    What tips the scales blue or red is largely dependent on where independent voters land. The lesson is to maintain your base while reaching out to the moderate voters who can be persuaded. It’s a lesson the ILGOP used to know quite well but is now largely ignored. So what you’re left with is a hollowed out regional party that continues to lose elections where it matters the most.

    I wish Leader McCombie well as it seems that she gets it.


  33. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:33 pm:

    Until McCombie can recruit, fund, win primaries and win elections with folks like a…

    Rosemary Mulligan, Eileen Lyons, Skip Saviano, Mark Beaubien…

    Until *these* type of candidates AND voters embrace the GOP and don’t see Democrats as their party… it’s a fool’s errand.

    But… ya gotta recruit… what candidate like those four do you see in any GOP these days, let alone the Illinois GOP?

    This is all new for me, this thinking, so please give me a chance to hash it all out…


  34. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:35 pm:

    ===I feel we are the party of the of the big tent. I see that. I believe it.===

    The tent has to be big in order to make room for the burning cross and the book burnings.

    ===that makes us better even within our own policy===

    Which policies are benefiting from this specifically? Is the GOP House Insignificant Minority Caucus planning on proposing legislation based off of policy that can pass the house?

    ===continued corruption===

    A member of the House GOP Caucus literally declared war against the United States of America in January of 2021. What’s the House Caucus doing to address their internal problem of supporting domestic terrorists?

    ===Not easy. Don’t envy her at all. ===

    She is fully aware of what she is taking on and we should take her press statements with a grain of salt until we see how she actually handles the caucus and deals with the He Man Women Haters that solely seek to use their elected office to support their own self importance.


  35. - TNR - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:41 pm:

    Ranked Choice Voting, jungle primaries, etc…

    == “How exactly do you see this happening, legislatively?” ==

    Good point. Democrats aren’t going to change a primary system that works pretty well for them and pretty awful for the GOP.

    Two well established, kinda moderate State House Dems lost primaries this year. Maybe if that turns into a trend the legislature will tinker with the primary structure in Illinois. But unless the Dems start losing seats because the system is nominating candidates that are “too liberal,” I don’t see it.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:43 pm:

    ===Democrats===

    Republicans aren’t either, as a jungle type primary *takes away* the opportunity where a Republican can win in a Dem leaning district just as much as a Dem can easily lose in a Dem home district.

    Where’s the 60/30 signature?

    There’s a reason “straight party” voting is gone, and both parties are fine with it, it appears.


  37. - John Lopez - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:44 pm:

    === A member of the House GOP Caucus literally declared war against the United States of America in January of 2021. ===

    Who? If you’re referring to Rep Chris Miller, the Legislative Inspector General cleared him of any wrongdoing in early June 2021, and the Democrats still refused to reverse their censure of Miller.

    If you’re referring to someone else, please name them.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:47 pm:

    - John Lopez -

    Insurrection apologist.

    Always appreciate when you remind of this.

    It’s the insurrection apologists that are equally to “blame” with racist thinkers and conspiracy theorists…

    … why the GOP can’t find moderates.


  39. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:49 pm:

    ===Democrats aren’t going to change a primary system that works pretty well for them ===

    The model for decision making for Illinois Democratic organizations and elected officials should probably be updated to a much more decentralized power base where the whims of one person doesn’t override the ability for a legislator to get something they think is good policy passed.


  40. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:52 pm:

    ===the Legislative Inspector General cleared him of any wrongdoing===

    Lol. The LIG used a very narrow lens to examine Miller’s actions on 1/6, finding that he didn’t misuse his position as an Illinois legislator when he participated in the insurrection. He may not have entered the Capitol, but he cheered on his comrades who did.

    The LIG’s ruling notwithstanding, Miller made it quite clear which side he was on that day. And it wasn’t on the side of democracy.


  41. - John Lopez - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:55 pm:

    === That’s conceding that the GOP is held hostage by a majority of the members that identify as losers in general elections.

    How exactly do you see this happening, legislatively? ===

    Legislatively, I don’t know, but if other states like CA, LA, WA & AK can do it (FL’s constitutional amendment to go to top-2 blanket primary failed 2020), IL can, too.

    Nobody concedes anything going to the AK system.

    New problem this year, which will become more common, is primary meddling from big dollar donors as was done in IL and other states. Tougher to meddle when blanket primary could interfere with your own real party preference.

    It would also stop the foolishness of “Operation Chaos” both parties been doing for nearly 20 years under current, separate party primary system.

    And would Michael Hastings been reelected to state senate in Alaska system with RCV?

    The Evanston RCV referendum passed overwhelming Nov 8, and I would see it spread in IL.


  42. - low level - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 12:55 pm:

    Notice repubs say the same thing after every cycle and its the same result? Good luck to Super Minority Leader. These trends have been in place for many years now. And if Trump is running, it will be even more difficult to recruit suburban moderates.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 1:00 pm:

    ===Legislatively, I don’t know, but===

    Yeah.

    I stopped reading. The dorm room is where this is best.

    60/30 signature… the GOP can’t see “this”, straight party, anything outside the traditional primaries as helpful, the Dems seem to concur in Illinois

    ===And would Michael Hastings been reelected to state senate in Alaska system with RCV?===

    You have no idea.

    Did Ed Burke win his aldermanic seat?

    Geez, Louise.


  44. - JoeMaddon - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 1:03 pm:

    **You have to admit first that Republicans messed up horribly by refusing to be a part of solving anything during Governor Pritzker’s first two years. That locked them out of redistricting.**

    Ah, yes. If only the GOP had played nice for the first two years, then Welch and Harmon would have let them help drawing the maps.

    🤣


  45. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 1:05 pm:

    Again… for the 6,144th time…

    56+% in a six-way primary voted for Darren Bailey.

    Bailey *is* the ILGOP.

    Unless Pritzker has some sort of voodoo thingy where a majority of voters that vote GOP listen to him… Pritzker woulda used that voodoo against *anyone* that won the nomination.

    Please stop.

    Eat it. Own it. Accept it.

    Bailey is the ILGOP.


  46. - JoeMaddon - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 1:06 pm:

    “And would Michael Hastings been reelected to state senate in Alaska system with RCV?”

    LOL

    Hastings’ allegations came out after petitions were due (and after the primary) and there were only two people on the ballot.

    So, yes, Hastings would have won even with RCV.


  47. - SIUEalum - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 1:33 pm:

    “successfully shepherd moderate, pro-choice, pro gun regulation suburban candidates through the Republican primaries“

    Is that all? Sounds like a piece of cake.


  48. - low level - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 1:40 pm:

    Im not at all convinced RCV would help Republican moderates or Republicans in general win elections. For one, Palin told her people not to choose a 2nd place, that is was somehow rigged. 2nd, the more moderate Repub didnt even make it to the final round.

    If he had, its not at all certain Begich would have won enough 2nd place votes to win.


  49. - John Lopez - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 1:40 pm:

    === - John Lopez -

    Insurrection apologist.

    Always appreciate when you remind of this.

    It’s the insurrection apologists that are equally to “blame” with racist thinkers and conspiracy theorists… ===

    Opinions vary, and I’m none of what you said.


  50. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 1:42 pm:

    ===The difference with those folks is, they would never in a million years have voted to repeal parental notification. They would never have considered a bill that’s going to allow abortion up to nine months.===

    The problem with this is that it assumes voters do not understand the issue. Late term abortions are very rare. “The majority of abortions in 2019 took place early in gestation: 92.7% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation; a smaller number of abortions (6.2%) were performed at 14–20 weeks’ gestation, and even fewer (


  51. - low level - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 1:45 pm:

    Dems should bring back straight ticket voting. It would help their candidates.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 1:48 pm:

    ===Dems should bring back straight ticket voting. It would help their candidates.===

    Honestly, how much better can the Dems get it?

    In an off year, Dems ran the table in Illinois.

    Why give the *GOP* a greater advantage where some GOP ticket splitters decide it’s just plum easier to vote straight ticket GOP?


  53. - Rabid - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 1:49 pm:

    Got to have a big tent when your on safari for rhino


  54. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 1:52 pm:

    I don’t have time to look, but I’d like to know what Rep. McCombie was saying back in 2009 when the tea party types used the outrage over a black president to start making rural America completely red. Those river towns like Savanna were hotbeds of that movement.

    The GOP at the time was fine with it, now they’re upset because the crazies drove away suburbanites? Cry me a river.


  55. - Steve Polite - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 1:59 pm:

    John,

    What does the LIG’s decision have to do with the Miller’s support of Trump, the big lie, and the insurrection? As an independent (former republican) voter, veteran, and someone who is not involved in politics, I am appalled at the republicans’ continued support for Trump, continued claim of the 2020 election being stolen, and the whitewashing and excusing of the insurrection on January 6, 2021. One branch of government was attacked, and the few republicans who spoke out against it were ostracized by the party. The rest supported it or turned a blind eye.

    Your claim about the LIG is a weak defense and doesn’t excuse the Millers’ support for Trump and those that did participate in the insurrection. The insurrection was part of an attempted coup to keep one man in power despite losing the 2020 election. Until the republican party rejects this fascination with authoritarianism and fascism, I will not support any republican. I’m just one independent and consider myself a moderate, and for the first time in my life, I voted straight Democrat in the November election.


  56. - John Lopez - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 2:00 pm:

    === Dems should bring back straight ticket voting. It would help their candidates. ===

    For younger people who weren’t old enough nearly 26 years ago to know what this is, this is straight ticket voting with one punch/selection on the ballot.

    Only 5 or 6 states have this feature anymore.

    Straight ticket voting still exists, just takes longer to do.


  57. - Roman - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 2:09 pm:

    == Dems should bring back straight ticket voting. It would help their candidates ==

    Not sure of that. Let’s wait for Scott Kennedy to update his spread sheet so we can see how many Dem legislators out-polled JB in their districts, or if there were any Dem legislative challengers who lost districts that JB won.


  58. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 2:16 pm:

    ===For younger people who weren’t old enough nearly 26 years ago to know what this is===

    You think that’s Rich’s commenters?

    Know your audience.

    ===Opinions vary===

    The fact you refuse to acknowledge an insurrection… where &@#% t-shirts read “stop the steal” on the day of certification happened.

    I’m always grateful when you remind, on your own, that you’re an apologist for the insurrection.

    Thank you.


  59. - cermak_rd - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 2:43 pm:

    Now that straight ticket voting has brought up, I don’t remember, were you allowed to vote straight but punch someone from another party for an office. Like if you liked Judy could you pick her for Treasurer and otherwise have your straight ticket control the other choices or was that just going to spoil your ballot?


  60. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 2:52 pm:

    948 people charged in the insurrection for far, just 30 from Illinois

    450 guilty pleas so far

    I didn’t see John’s name on this list

    https://www.insider.com/all-the-us-capitol-pro-trump-riot-arrests-charges-names-2021-1?amp


  61. - low level - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 2:55 pm:

    I suspect straight ticket would have defeated McConchie and helped MKO have a bigger cushion. Also helped Laditsch - Douglass.

    Conversely its difficult to find many Dem legislators who had voters who also voted for Bailey or any Repub at the top of the ticket.


  62. - low level - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 3:02 pm:

    ==Like if you liked Judy could you pick her for Treasurer and otherwise have your straight ticket control the other choices==

    Yes. You could for instance have voted straight D but switched to support JBT or whomever.

    Punch 10


  63. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 3:15 pm:

    - Lucky Pierre -

    Insurrection apologist…

    That’s the ball game here.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 3:33 pm:

    To bring this back to the post,

    A real challenge is kinda like the discussion here.

    You have folks in the GOP that *still* feel that being an insurrection apologist is fine, and if candidates that are still Trumpkins and with Trump trying to be on the primary ballots come 2024, there are going to be primaries where these kind of issues… along with abortion, along with 2A questions…

    How does McCombie, having a bigger problem going forward if these type of issues remain, get moderate GOP candidates thru the primary?

    The GOP wanted none of that apparently with Bailey and DeVore this last election…


  65. - Demoralized - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 3:49 pm:

    ==just 30 from Illinois==

    This is some sort of good statistic for you? lol. Yay Illinois. We only had 30 people who tried to overthrow democracy. You really will go to any lengths to make your idiotic points.


  66. - Mike Sorensen - Friday, Nov 18, 22 @ 3:51 pm:

    Reading these comments from Rep McCombie, it almost seems like a real attempt at reaching across the aisle…

    …until you read further and realize she’s only talking about Republicans and trying to pull them back together so they can get back to attacking Democrats.

    I’m reminded of a line Aaron Sorkin put into “The West Wing”:

    “(W)hat you’ve done in Florida is bring the right together with the far right.”

    That seems to be the only goal here.


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