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Professor: Dems just need “someone with a pulse” to beat Rauner

Wednesday, Jan 3, 2018

* “David Faris is an associate professor of political science at Roosevelt University and the author of Dissent and Revolution in a Digital Age: Social Media, Blogging and Activism in Egypt”

The popular belief that Rauner won because he’s rich, and the reality that he has already tossed over $50 million of his own money into his re-election race in the same way that normal people drop pennies into fountains, has led many state Democrats to think that you have to fight billions with billions. Rauner has unlimited cheddar, so goes this line of thinking, and therefore we need someone with unlimited cheddar to beat him. There is no other possible explanation for why political neophyte J.B. Pritzker is (supposedly) leading the Democratic race for the nomination, other than fear of Rauner’s riches and the fact that the Pritzker family name adorns roughly every third building in Chicago.

Here’s the reality: While the state faces some unique structural economic challenges that will be a drag on any Democrat, the party does not need a billionaire to win this year’s gubernatorial election. In fact, they probably just need someone with a pulse who isn’t a criminal or a serial sexual harasser.

Um, OK.

* Faris goes on to push Daniel Biss

Beyond Pritzker and the person regarded as his chief opponent, Chris Kennedy (and yes, he is that kind of Kennedy), there is a candidate who is getting overlooked but who might ultimately be the best choice: state Sen. Daniel Biss. A former University of Chicago math professor, Biss is now the default progressive darling in this race after Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar dropped out.

While he is somewhat unpolished on the stump, Biss boasts the most progressive platform of the remaining contenders, promising to do things that will put him on a collision course with the hated Democratic legislative machine, like enacting limits on how long one person can serve as the leader of the Illinois House or Senate. He wants to amend the state constitution to allow progressive taxation, eliminate tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy and publicly finance state elections. Biss also supports free community college and expanded investment in the state’s declining public universities, and opposes the kind of corporate tax giveaways embodied in Chicago’s plan to allow Amazon to keep its workers’ state income taxes should the company locate its second headquarters here.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

99 Comments »
  1. - Hmmm - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:27 am:

    I am assuming some people thought that anyone with a “pulse” could beat Pat Quinn in 2010, too…. and there were probably some Democrats who thought the same thing about our current President in 2016.


  2. - Dome Gnome - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    There are an awful lot of people with pulses, but cheddary pulses are more of a rarity.


  3. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:30 am:

    I would not called Biss unpolished - while he may have been a bit too cerebral for his own good a few years ago, now he’s very good in front of a crowd.

    I also agree that right now whichever of the big 3 Dems wins the primary should be considered the favorite for November. If Pritzker doesn’t win, unions - as well as rank and file Democrats - will pony up the tens of millions of dollars necessary for Kennedy or Biss to beat Rauner


  4. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    In town stupid.

    ==Sen. Daniel Biss. A former University of Chicago math professor, Biss is now the default progressive darling==

    Maybe by default, but as such, it isn’t worth much. The Rosa/DSA flap is still a problem for him, and it’s not gonna go away since Rosa is now running in his own primary.

    ==like enacting limits on how long one person can serve as the leader of the Illinois House or Senate. He wants to amend the state constitution to allow progressive taxation, eliminate tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy and publicly finance state elections. Biss also supports free community college and expanded investment in the state’s declining public universities, and opposes the kind of corporate tax giveaways embodied in Chicago’s plan to allow Amazon to keep its workers’ state income taxes should the company locate its second headquarters here==

    All 3 major candidates support more or less all of this.


  5. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    Daniel Biss: Progressive Darling *

    * by default


  6. - Conn Smythe - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    I wrote this off as “out of town stupid” when I read it earlier. Didn’t know the author was from Chicago. The naivety that Rauner is this beatable got Dems into this mess in the first place. There are plenty of reasons to not love running a billionaire as a Dem. “Any warm body will do” is not one of them


  7. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    The work still needs to be done to beat Rauner. Can’t just assume anything.


  8. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    What Democrats don’t need are puritopian “progressives” who want unicorns and ponies and who won’t vote for a billionaire because of his or her wealth.

    Minnesota elected a billionaire governor, and that state is doing quite well—better than any state who passed RtW/repealed the prevailing wage.

    Unless something drastic changes, there will be a massive difference in policy between Pritzker and Rauner.

    I believe Rauner can win reelection and think it’s foolish to dismiss him. It’s going to be tough to do, but he can be beat. There needs to be unity behind a candidate and tremendous amounts of hard work.


  9. - Piece of Work - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    Maybe a reason this guy teaches at Roosevelt U.


  10. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:38 am:

    Faris calls Illinois “a state that Democrats usually win in a walk”.

    Perhaps the professor would benefit from the help of a faculty member in the history department.

    In the last half-century, only the governor’s races in 2002 and 2006 could be called Democratic wins “in a walk.”

    Beyond that, the GOP won in 1968, ‘76, ‘78, ‘82, ‘86, ‘90, ‘94 and ‘98, with Dems taking squeakers in ‘72 and 2010.


  11. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    And of course the GOP also won in 2014.


  12. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    ==There are plenty of reasons to not love running a billionaire as a Dem. “Any warm body will do” is not one of them==

    And if “any warm body will do”, then *any warm body will do*. Not sure why that’s a good argument for Biss. The idea that he can’t win isn’t what’s holding him back.


  13. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    Somehow I doubt the late Paul Green would have shared these views.


  14. - A guy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    ==In fact, they probably just need someone with a pulse who isn’t a criminal or a serial sexual harasser.==

    Submit this one when you’re going for tenure Professor. Ugh.


  15. - Violet Seepage - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:43 am:

    Prof. Faris may be a learned gentleman, but he didn’t exhibit any street smarts with his naive assessment.


  16. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    Meh. They either need a billionaire or someone that can raise money effectively. Of the three major candidates in the Democratic primary, only one person checks either box.


  17. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    ===but he didn’t exhibit any street smarts with his naive assessment===

    He ain’t no Paul Green.


  18. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    Reads like a PoliSci professor with a conclusion lacking any real foundational argument other than his bias. Not exactly a thesis I’d give much weight to.


  19. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    More arrogance from an elitist professors at the 109th best regional university in the Midwest.

    “Here’s the reality: While the state faces some unique structural economic challenges that will be a drag on any Democrat…”

    JB, Speaker Madigan and Daniel Biss choose to ignore these structural economic challenges and propose spending more.

    So much for a mixture of cuts and revenues as well as changes to make Illinois businesses more competitive


  20. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    Thank you Professor Faris for the interesting paper.
    We now return to our normal reality.
    Interesting, was just reading that Zigmund is a professor at Roosevelt University as well.
    Are the Koch brothers cultivating a new think tank?
    I have often thought
    Counter Intel/ disinformation
    From universities to be ingenious


  21. - Gruden for Da Bears - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    Typical Chicago progressive. Has he travelled south of Interstate 80?


  22. - Actual Red - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    I’m not sure I buy “anyone with a pulse,” but I think the author has a point that we shouldn’t automatically assume Pritzker is the most likely candidate to win the general just because he has the most money.

    Rauner won by putting together a coalition that I just do not see holding together, especially given the national environment and his very visibly poor performance as governor. I think it’s pretty apparent that the fundamentals are against him, and I’d rate both Biss and Pritzker as favorites over him in a general, and possibly Kennedy too.

    I wish Biss and his surrogates would lean more heavily on the fact that he’s the only one in the primary with any experience actually governing the state. I get that his record in the legislature made him some pretty big enemies, but I still think the experience gap would be a good target for his campaign, and one that I barely see discussed.


  23. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:47 am:

    ==Minnesota elected a billionaire governor, and that state is doing quite well—better than any state who passed RtW/repealed the prevailing wage.==

    North Carolina would like to have a word with you.


  24. - Anonish - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:48 am:

    As hot takes go, this one is tepid.
    It wasn’t just that Rauner was rich and pumped a lot of money into his own operation, it was that it was spent well.

    “(T)he choice will ultimately belong to the voters” WAIT! SINCE WHEN?!?!
    Also he wrongfully pluralized “better funded rivals” based off the available fundraising data.


  25. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    “political neophyte J.B. Pritzker”

    WHA WHA WHAAAAT?

    He may be a first time candidate, but in no way is JB Pritzker a political neophyte.


  26. - Roman - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    == There is no other possible explanation for why political neophyte J.B. Pritzker is (supposedly) leading ==

    It’s not just that. Of course, the cash is the main reason for his front runner status. And Madigan’s support has helped a bunch, too. But Kennedy’s failure to raise money and create any real paid media presence is a big factor, as well. JB has also run a pretty good, mistake-free campaign so far. I think it’s fair to say he’s exceeding expectations as a candidate, while Kennedy hasn’t lived up to his.

    Still time for that to change, but not much.


  27. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:51 am:

    Actually, he’s not even a first time candidate - he ran for Congress before!


  28. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:52 am:

    =North Carolina would like to have a word with you.=

    Yes, North Carolina would like to learn how to raise wages and make life better for the working class, not just the wealthy. They really should talk to Minnesota.


  29. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:52 am:

    ==There is no other possible explanation for why political neophyte J.B. Pritzker is (supposedly) leading the Democratic race for the nomination==

    There’s lots of other possible explanations. My preferred one is that he’s the only one out there making his case to people, attacking Rauner and Trump and articulating policies that Democrats like.


  30. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:53 am:

    Rauner didn’t win because he was rich (though his war chest didn’t hurt). He won because he wasn’t Pat Quinn. I’m not sure that same dynamic applies this election. I don’t think a Democrat is going to win simply because they aren’t Bruce Rauner.


  31. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    ==He won because he wasn’t Pat Quinn.==

    That was undeniably a huge part of it, but I don’t think it was everything. I think his efforts to blur the line on social issues and successful courting of the media helped a lot, too.


  32. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    “North Carolina would like to have a word with you.”

    I ranked a bunch of states based on various economic factors not too, too long ago, such as unemployment rate, median incomes, percentage without health insurance, percentage working at or below the minimum wage, unionization rate, job gains, etc. North Carolina was either dead last or near the bottom. Minnesota was near the top.

    Minnesota blows some right wing ideas out of the water. That’s why certain people scramble to respond to such statements and try to spin out of it.


  33. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    Faris does not sound like he knows all that much about what is or has happened in Illinois.

    Yes, Illinois trends blue in national elections and when they show the map on CNN, it is blue. At the state level that is a different matter all together Illinois has an awful lot of red when you break it down to counties. No one should take anything for granted. Even Cook County has significant GOP numbers these days.


  34. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:57 am:

    JB has run a mistake free campaign ?

    He didn’t exactly knock it out of the park with his response to his property tax fiasco or non endorsement of President Obama calling him mediocre.

    You guys are in such a bubble/echo chamber.

    What make you think the average voter will get behind JB who offers zero specifics for improving Illinois?


  35. - Out of town - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:58 am:

    I thought one of the reasons Pritzker was so attractive to the Democratic Party types is that he would also rebuild the party as he runs for governor. He’s opened more than a dozen field offices across the state, and I’m guessing (hoping) ramping up the ground game while he does. Plus, Pritzer can help neutralize the “But Madigan” message from Rauner’s GOP, by keeping the heat on Rauner. Otherwise, Rauner’s campaign is a two-fer, casting his opponent as a puppet of Madigan while also making the case that the GOP needs to take back the House.

    The unions aren’t going to save the Democrats, especially if the Supreme Court rules against public employee unions, which pretty much everyone is assuming it will.

    Finally, if having a pulse is all that mattered, Judy Baar Topinka should have beat Blagojevich in a landslide. Alas, Blago pummeled her before she ever got her general election campaign going, with a barrage of ads from a very big campaign war chest.


  36. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:58 am:

    ==They really should talk to Minnesota.==

    They can both discuss the virtues of taxing retirement income.


  37. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:00 pm:

    Yeah, well, HW had a 90% approval rating in Nov. 1991. A year later, he lost with 37% of the vote to the governor of Arkansas.

    If the good professor’s crystal ball works so well, he should pick Powerball numbers, and give them to me.

    Rauner has won statewide. None of his potential opponents have. They haven’t had to stand up to millions in negative advertising before. They haven’t even been vetted to any significant degree.

    Rauner’s is in a lot of trouble, rightfully so, but election predictions are pointless and worthless right now.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:01 pm:

    It’s fun to knock Roosevelt University…

    … the place where Paul Green taught.

    Hmm.

    If you can’t knock the utter ridiculousness of this without the lone thing be the school, maybe it’s you that might need to think about how “smaaat” you are.

    To the Post,

    What made Green so great was realizing the raw politics of Illinois and in a raw way, given the rationale with facts and analysis of someone understanding how the “ting” works come election time.

    “Dis” ain’t “dat”


  39. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:06 pm:

    –They can both discuss the virtues of taxing retirement income.–

    You should really see someone about this nervous tic of yours.

    In the 177 member GA, I bet you couldn’t find 15 votes for such a proposal. When your “solution” is as realistic as raising chickens that lay golden eggs, perhaps you should treat yourself to the works on a mental and physical evaluation.


  40. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:06 pm:

    ===What make you think the average voter will get behind JB who offers zero specifics for improving Illinois? ===

    Worked pretty well for Rauner in 2014. lol


  41. - Responsa - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:08 pm:

    Whoa. Pro tip to David Faris: History and politics are innately entwined. Back in the day (and not even that far back) university level Poli-Sci profs (and especially associate profs) understood that while everyone has opinions which provide a lens through which they view the world, they primarily were hired by that institution to serve as teachers and learned observers not blatant activists.

    Hope the 15 minutes of fame was worth it, Mr Faris.


  42. - Dude Abides - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    Many good points made in previous posts. Yes, Republicans have fared well in the past 50 years winning the Governor’s seat, holding that seat for most of those years. However guys like Thompson, Edgar and George Ryan didn’t have the poor record to run on that Rauner has. What Crain’s said over a year ago is true today. “By nearly every measure Illinois is in worse shape today than before Rauner became Governor”. If Pritzger can run a sound campaign and having war chest to match Rauner, he’s the favorite to win.


  43. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:10 pm:

    ==What make you think the average voter will get behind JB who offers zero specifics for improving Illinois?==

    What makes you think the average voter will get behind a guy who hasn’t accomplished anything, blames everyone else, and who has publicly admitted that he isn’t in charge?


  44. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:12 pm:

    Rauner promised to oppose Speaker Madigan’s destructive agenda and change the way Springfield has been run for decades.

    JB embraces Madigan’s agenda of zero reforms and permanent tax increases.

    Which do you think will resonate with general election voters?

    Only Kennedy and Biss have acknowledged the elephant in the room- the Speaker is by far the most despised politician in Illinois.

    LOL


  45. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:14 pm:

    ==You should really see someone about this nervous tic of yours.==

    Curable only via baptism in Lake Minnetonka, no doubt.


  46. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:15 pm:

    ==What make you think the average voter will get behind JB who offers zero specifics for improving Illinois?==

    JB has given plenty of specifics on jobs, health care, education, and taxes, but really, people vote for vague aspirations all the time. That’s where the phrase, “We campaign in poetry, but govern in prose” comes from.


  47. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:17 pm:

    Also, while I wouldn’t call JB’s campaign “mistake free”, it’s by far the least gaffe-prone and most professional operation, including the incumbent’s.


  48. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:24 pm:

    ==treat yourself to the works on a mental and physical evaluation==

    Already at the clinic. Unfortunately, I’m behind a long line of patients suffering from “Illinois should be more like State X Syndrome”. The doctor is trying to give them a pill containing the one key antibody missing from their prescription. The Minnesota placebo is not effective without it.

    It might be awhile, so please bear with me.


  49. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:25 pm:

    – Back in the day (and not even that far back) university level Poli-Sci profs (and especially associate profs) understood that while everyone has opinions which provide a lens through which they view the world, they primarily were hired by that institution to serve as teachers and learned observers not blatant activists.–

    How is he being a “blatant activist” here? Because you disagree with his opinion? So do I.

    You’re always nostalgic for a time that never existed.


  50. - Roman - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:27 pm:

    - Lucky Pierre -

    The property tax break and the Obama non-endorsement are both real issues for JB, no doubt. But both pre-date his candidacy and can’t be considered campaign “mistakes.” And I don’t think his response as a candidate to either controversy has been botched — I’m not sure there’s a great way for him to explain himself out of either.


  51. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:27 pm:

    ==What make you think the average voter will get behind JB who offers zero specifics for improving Illinois?==

    JB has identified many fixes, just no specifics on how to pay them outside of recycling the same mysterious millionaire’s dollar over and over.


  52. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:30 pm:

    “Paul was really the catalyst in taking City Club of Chicago from a relatively small group to a premier public affairs forum with more than 2,000 members,” Doherty said. “The fact that he played it straight — Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, black or white — he was able to give us such credence.”

    No one would ever confuse Paul Faris with Paul Green who would never have written such a ridiculous opinion piece. Paul Green was not a smug elitist.

    His take to both sides equally with such humor is so missed in Illinois politics


  53. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:30 pm:

    ===Obama non-endorsement are both real issues for JB===

    That’s only an issue if a Democratic opponent has enough money to make it an issue, and I kinda doubt it.

    It’s only an issue in the fall if Obama doesn’t campaign for Pritzker (if Pritzker wins). Otherwise, it’s a non-issue.


  54. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===Paul Green was not a smug elitist.===

    You never drank with him, apparently. lol


  55. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:33 pm:

    ===Rauner promised to…===

    No.

    No, “Lucky Pierre”

    Rauner promised to the Tribune that Janus, RTW Zones, and defeating “AF-Scammy” was how he saw a second Rauner term.

    If Rauner didn’t get those, he’d hurt Illinois’ most vulnerable again until he got what he wanted.

    If you’d like, I can show you where.

    The tweet is Rauner’s costumed ridiculousness via 280 characters.

    Rauner told me, and the Tribune, what a second term meant. I believe him.


  56. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    ===No one would ever confuse Paul Faris with Paul Green who would never have written such a ridiculous opinion piece. ===

    … and yet, the first thing you did was type this…

    ===More arrogance from an elitist professors at the 109th best regional university in the Midwest.===

    Discredit the person, not the comment.

    Interesting pattern…


  57. - don the legend - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:38 pm:

    Lucky says “You guys are in such a bubble/echo chamber.”

    Wow. Just wow.


  58. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:40 pm:

    He promised not to rubber-stamp the Madigan agenda like JB will.

    Not a ridiculous platform, check the polls on Madigan and the ridiculous work rules AFSCME has

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/opinion/ct-sta-berg-afscme-st-0710-20160707-story.html


  59. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:41 pm:

    ==Obama non-endorsement are both real issues for JB==

    I don’t think the Obama non-endorsement actually is a big deal. Bernie showed us that insufficient loyalty to Obama isn’t a deal breaker for at least 48% of Illinois Democrats, and both Kennedy and Biss are trying to run as “outsiders”. There’s clearly an appetite for bucking the party grandees.


  60. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:43 pm:

    ==Rauner promised to oppose Speaker Madigan’s destructive agenda and change the way Springfield has been run for decades.==

    How did that work out? Though I suppose a Governor who claims to not be in charge is certainly a change to the way Springfield has been run.

    ==the Speaker is by far the most despised politician in Illinois.==

    True. Except he isn’t running for Governor. The Madigan angle is all he has to play because he’s been an utter failure as a Governor. I find it sad that we have a Governor who is relying on a “nothing is my fault” campaign. Maybe it will work. I don’t know. But what I do know is that the dynamics in the General Assembly (Democratic majorities) aren’t going to change after this election. I don’t know why we would elect a man who clearly cannot accomplish anything within that dynamic to be Governor once again.


  61. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:43 pm:

    There is a valid argument to be made here, namely that Illinois Dems should not feel like they have to vote for a self-funder in order to beat a self-funder like Rauner. That is because Rauner is weak and Democrats and Democratic interest groups (mainly unions) would sufficiently fund Kennedy or Biss should either win the primary in order to beat Rauner.

    The article however botches that argument horribly.


  62. - Bill F. - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    ===Worked pretty well for Rauner in 2014. lol===

    Come on, now. He had two slogans and drank a milkshake on TV.


  63. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:47 pm:

    ===the Speaker is by far the most despised politician in Illinois.===

    Rauner at 30/55… I guess that makes Rauner… beloved, lol


  64. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:49 pm:

    “Illinois should be more like State X Syndrome”

    You have it backward. Rauner wants us to be a RtW state like Indiana and Wisconsin—or RtW lite, as in local RtW. Those are his models, and he’s influenced by Scott Walker and former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels. ‘Member (h/t OW) when Rauner had red state governors doing a TV commercial for him?

    Some of us are debunking those models by pointing out states like Minnesota, Colorado and California, who are doing very well and whose policy centerpieces are not decimation of labor rights. Rauner said he thinks he can accomplish major goals in his second term via policies like ending union fair share fees for public workers and local RtW. That’s nothing like other successful states, and we clearly don’t need to do that in Illinois to succeed.


  65. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    A self funder like JB has no need to kowtow to Speaker Madigan unlike the rest of Springfield democrats whose primary interest is self preservation.

    Will he reverse course if he wins the primary to appeal to a majority of Illinois voters who cannot stand how the bigfoots Illinois politics?


  66. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    ==Makes me wanna believe Chris Kennedy is the best man to beat Bruce Rauner.==

    Right, so, Vote JB.

    ==Will he reverse course==

    What course needs reversed? He’s already pro term limits and pro independent maps, which is a break from Madigan. He’s in favor of hiking the minimum wage and in favor of a progressive tax system, which, you yourself noted, Madigan never even put up for a vote last time Dems had the trifecta.


  67. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:56 pm:

    ====Makes me wanna believe Chris Kennedy is the best man to beat Bruce Rauner.==

    Right, so, Vote JB.==

    Stupid C&P error. The first quoted section should have been, “A self funder like JB has no need to kowtow to Speaker Madigan unlike the rest of Springfield democrats whose primary interest is self preservation.”


  68. - Nailrod1 - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:01 pm:

    Faris calls Illinois “a state that Democrats usually win in a walk”.

    “Perhaps the professor would benefit from the help of a faculty member in the history department.

    In the last half-century, only the governor’s races in 2002 and 2006 could be called Democratic wins “in a walk.”

    Beyond that, the GOP won in 1968, ‘76, ‘78, ‘82, ‘86, ‘90, ‘94 and ‘98, with Dems taking squeakers in ‘72 and 2010″

    A reality check:

    Look at the Presidential races. Republicans have not won since 1988 and Bush only beat Dukakis by 95,000 votes out of over 4.5 million.

    Increasing Illinois has a population base that has fewer Whites and more Hispanics and Asians. That trend has and will accelerate and means
    Democrats are overwhelmingly likely to win.

    As to Rauner, a bad Governor and many conservative don’t like him. He is toast and any Democrat will beat him.


  69. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:08 pm:

    ==Some of us are debunking those models by pointing out states like Minnesota, Colorado and California, who are doing very well and whose policy centerpieces are not decimation of labor rights.==

    Fantastic. Labor is one element of success. How about how we compensate our public sector workers? They are labor, after all. Should we follow Minnesota in that regard?

    Or how about education funding? That’s a core policy for any state. Do you think we should emulate any of these successful models for education funding per pupil?

    Let me know. Perhaps together we can create the perfect model of a state.


  70. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:57 pm:

    The professor is correct that dems don’t need a self-funder to beat Rauner, but they do need a self-funder for an entirely different reason - that is the only type of dem that would be able to wrest the party away from the speaker. Illinois dems have to push mike Madigan and his 80’s version of politics out the door one way or another, because these days he hurts the state party more than he helps it. If nothing else, Rauner’s team has shown that the speakers version of the state dem party is too old, too slow to react, too centrist in its governing style, and too beholden to old-timey political tactics. As of right now it seems as if passing on is the only way Madigan is leaving.

    That’s not to say Pritzker would be more willing to go up against Madigan, of course, but his money makes him better able to. Biss and Kennedy might be more willing to go against the Madigan machine, but I just don’t think they’d be able to successfully pull it off. With either of them, I can only see a repeat of the Quinn years. A billionaire, however, could offer enough campaign support to make Madigan and his state party apparatus unnecessary for Illinois dems on every level.


  71. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    ==He ain’t no Paul Green.==

    LOL
    That’s who I thought of immediately as well.

    I’ve been schooled dozens of times by Dr. Grren. I practically made his eyes roll out of their sockets in classes, or caused them to drop closed with my written work.

    He had no patience beyond professional coutesy.
    I really miss him.

    “Everything done in politics is about who pays.”


  72. - m - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:14 pm:

    =A billionaire, however, could offer enough campaign support to make Madigan and his state party apparatus unnecessary for Illinois dems on every level.=

    That’s the best real attribute JB offers to the people of this state. And yet he’s worked so hard to cuddle up to the establishment and he’s already locked up most of the party insiders including Madigan.

    The biggest openings for his opponents revolve around him being “madigan’s candidate” and the clear choice of the broken status quo. He could easily push away now, but he couldn’t even bring himself to truly criticize Berrios.

    =What course needs reversed? He’s already pro term limits and pro independent maps, which is a break from Madigan.=

    Just like Madigan’s state party apparatus has told Madigan’s preferred candidates to do in countless races. But they all take that first vote of the GA for him as Speaker, which is a vote to kill those same ideas. Will JB’s apparatus ask them to vote differently?

    When JB actually stands up to the status quo, let me know.


  73. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    ===…and the clear choice of the broken status quo. ===

    LOL

    “and the clear choice of the pineapple status quo.”

    Hysterical.

    ===When JB actually stands up to the status quo, let me know.===

    When Rauner signs a full budget to save Illinois, you let me know, lol


  74. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:24 pm:

    ==Just like Madigan’s state party apparatus has told Madigan’s preferred candidates to do in countless races.==

    So even when he disagrees with Madigan he’s doing Madigan’s bidding? C’mon now.

    == But they all take that first vote of the GA for him as Speaker==

    A vote that Governor Pritzker won’t take.

    No, I don’t think that JB will whip the Speaker vote against Madigan. But we’ve had a streak of Governors more-or-less hostile to Madigan since 2003, and look how good we’re doing with that.


  75. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    There is no such think as a default progressive leader. Moreover, there is little evidence of a massive, grassroots movement for Biss. It isnt reflected in his polling, his fundraising, or his social media following.

    Secondly, Pritzker isn’t “(supposedly)” leading. Most recent polling shows him with a sound lead, and i dont know any reasonable person that believes that Kennedy or Biss is currently leading or that the race is still competetive. It isn’t over, there are a lot of undecideds still, but Pritzker’s lead is commanding.

    Third: A lot of progressives do believe there is no way someone with Rauner’s baggage can win. They believed the same thing about Rauner in 2014, and they believed the same thing about Trump in 2016. Too be fair, conservatives often make the same mistake. This just underscores that we should take campaign advice from ideologues with some skepticism, and that they are horrific at data analytics.


  76. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    —-The professor is correct that dems don’t need a self-funder to beat Rauner, but they do need a self-funder for an entirely different reason - that is the only type of dem that would be able to wrest the party away from the speaker. Illinois dems have to push mike Madigan and his 80’s version of politics out the door one way or another, because these days he hurts the state party more than he helps it.

    Or a strategy based on small donors and activists instead of one person. I think such a strategy could be more successful than one reliant on a billionaire. That lines up with Biss better, though I think you can have a decent debate whether he’s the guy to introduce the strategy.


  77. - RU - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:31 pm:

    to Lucky Pierre:

    You can’t even get the author’s first name right (it’s David for future reference)? Maybe put the bottle down before commenting.

    to the post and other commenters:
    Prof. Faris is a great professor as was Prof. Green, I was fortunate to have them both during my time at the school. There’s really no need to bring Professor Green into this as we simply do not know for a fact what he would’ve thought about this race as he tragically passed away a few years ago.


  78. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    ===It isn’t over, there are a lot of undecideds still, but Pritzker’s lead is commanding.

    I think this is correct as is the rest of your comment. That said, late January will be the marker to whether someone is making a move. Polls after about January 20th will be the ones that might show Biss or Kennedy moving up.

    That’s not a prediction that they will, but the timing of when we might see movement. I am not comparing Pritzker to Hull, but Hull had reasonably solid lead into the new year. Pritzker is running a much better campaign and Biss doesn’t have SEIU.


  79. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    I’m not sure why the analysis on Rauner is being panned so hard. He’s a Republican incumbent in a blue state with an approval in the low 30s. The approval numbers are awful and the fundamentals are awful. He is no Larry Hogan or Charlie Baker.

    Add to that, a historically unpopular President of the same party who probably has a similar or lower approval to Rauner rating in Illinois heading into a midterm.

    Sure, something could change what looks to be a horrible election for Republicans in general and Rauner in particular. However, it isn’t likely. Nothing is going Rauner’s way right now. He can try and go scorched earth, but that probably hurts him as much as his opponents given a Republican base that is pretty low in motivation.


  80. - downstate commissioner - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    “Roosevelt University” My first thought was “Paul Green.” Met him through the Township Officials Spring Seminars years ago (HUGE fan of Township Government, incidentally). Smart and funny, definitely not common.
    As to the subject, I’ll vote for anybody but Rauner, but a lot of downstaters actually refuse to blame him for what has happened the last couple of years, they always want to turn it around against Madigan. But unless Ives can suck in some voters other than the anti-abortion groups, don’t think that she will beat Rauner in the primary. That means it will take cash to beat him in the general, and while Bliss has some stuff going for him, I don’t believe that he has the cash…


  81. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    ==That’s the best real attribute JB offers to the people of this state. And yet he’s worked so hard to cuddle up to the establishment and he’s already locked up most of the party insiders including Madigan.==

    Is that the case, though? I’m no insider, so I have no information on how he goes about accepting endorsements, but it could easily be the case that party bigwigs are working hard to cuddle up to JB and his bank account instead of the other way around.

    And let’s face it, whomever wins the primary is going to be stuck with the “status quo” and “madigans candidate” labels. Could just as easily be Kennedy that republicans will claim is “Madigan’s preferred candidate”. If Kennedy pulls this out despite his awful campaign, you can believe he will get tagged with it. In the end, I don’t think it’ll matter all that much. Regardless of what raunerbots would have you believe, only die-hard republicans are going to vote for Rauner because his opponent belongs to the same party as Madigan. Most rational Illinoisans realize by now that Bruce has to be removed from office before this state is going to get any better.


  82. - m - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    =So even when he disagrees with Madigan he’s doing Madigan’s bidding? C’mon now.=

    I don’t know if it’s Madigan’s bidding or not. I just know that Madgian’s apparatus has pushed their preferred candidates to take the same stance. So a dem, who has the backing of the party establishment, in Illinois, who states those positions should be taken with a grain of salt.

    He could’ve showed his independence in regard to Berrios, a position which would likely help him in terms of voter support especially with his history with prop taxes, but he didn’t. He’s shown no independence from Madigan and the establishment, so to believe he has would be foolish. That doesn’t mean he won’t…

    =When Rauner signs a full budget to save Illinois, you let me know, lol =

    Rauner offered a great opportunity for what you used to refer to as “my party.” GOP could compete on level ground financially (or even better) with dems. You’ve seen how that worked out.

    Pritzker offers to once again slant the table in favor of dems. Plus that money could also finally break the stranglehold of the guy who has held the purse-strings of the dems for years. But he has shown zero interest in upsetting the establishment applecart so far. Will he use his money to offer an alternative path for dems? Or will he use it to back up the establishment? The Prtizkerite path could lead to independence for dems, or it could simply harden Madigan’s iron grip, or it could lead to something worse. I have no crystal ball, so I make no assumptions about what will happen.

    I get it, you hate Rauner, any alternative is better. But past history seems to indicate that the strategy of “our billionaire” may not work out so well.

    You want a new direction for the dem party? The only thing that would lead you to Pritzker as the answer is hope.


  83. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    ==Or a strategy based on small donors and activists instead of one person. I think such a strategy could be more successful than one reliant on a billionaire. That lines up with Biss better, though I think you can have a decent debate whether he’s the guy to introduce the strategy.==

    I agree, but is it possible in this coming cycle? None of these guys really fires anyone up enough to drive huge numbers of small donations and I don’t know if anyone available could become the Illinois version of Bernie Sanders. IL dems need to play the hand they’ve been dealt, and without Biss or Kennedy proving they can put up decent totals with just small donors, why not go with the billionaire? This nomination could have been Kennedy’s for the taking, but he hasn’t energized activists or small donors and has fallen flat on his face over and over and over again. Pritzker so far hasn’t shown many weaknesses, even for a “political neophyte”.


  84. - m - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:32 pm:

    =but it could easily be the case that party bigwigs are working hard to cuddle up to JB and his bank account=

    I would personally be of the belief that the cuddling is mutual, for the exact reason you stated.

    =And let’s face it, whomever wins the primary is going to be stuck with the “status quo” and “madigans candidate” labels.=

    I would agree. It sticks better with Pritzker though, which isn’t a good thing in the general. People voted for Rauner because they weren’t happy with the the state’s direction. A lot of people may have to decide whether they prefer the “old broken” or the “new broken”. Not exactly a good message to energize voters in the middle.

    =Most rational Illinoisans realize by now that Bruce has to be removed from office before this state is going to get any better.=

    I’ve heard a lot of people in my neck of the woods who love to bash Rauner lately. But that ends quickly when you ask them if they are going to vote for Pritzker. Granted, I live in GOP territory, but a lot of people think the base has abandoned Rauner. I don’t think they will in November. Of all Rauner’s failings, he gets the fact that he needs to work harder to woo the middle than he does the base. The “Madigan’s candidate” message will take care of the base.


  85. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    ===But past history seems to indicate that the strategy of “our billionaire” may not work out so well.===

    In Illinois? Please cite. Thanks.

    ===Pritzker offers to once again slant the table in favor of dems.===

    Against the $100 million plus Raunerism is doing to this state, it’s a offer that Dems are taking seriously.

    ===Will he use his money to offer an alternative path for dems? Or will he use it to back up the establishment? The Prtizkerite path could lead to independence for dems, or it could simply harden Madigan’s iron grip, or it could lead to something worse. I have no crystal ball, so I make no assumptions about what will happen.===

    The goal is to, be it Pritzker or someone else, to save Illinois from Raunerism.

    You think that Pritzker will hold hostage social services and refuse to fund higher ed? Kennedy? Biss?

    None will do what Rauner did to Illinois. Even Diana Rauner, a social service president said the destroying and fighting it was a “business decision” while supporting Bruce’s plan.

    The Ounce is lucky that J.B. and the Pritzker family and their foundations saved them, even Diana Rauner knows J.B. and the Pritzkers care… not Bruce.

    ===You want a new direction for the dem party? The only thing that would lead you to Pritzker as the answer is hope.===

    I’m not a Dem, I’m not a Raunerite, and I’m especially not a phony conservative like Misters Barickman, Oberweis or Wehrli.

    I’m not a Ms. Wheeler, calling those saving the state from Raunerism someone who “betrayed” Bruce Rauner.

    Illinois has the worst Republican Governor in America. Illinois deserves better.


  86. - m - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:53 pm:

    =In Illinois? Please cite. Thanks.=

    See Rauner, Bruce. Thought that was clear, sorry.

    =The goal is to, be it Pritzker or someone else, to save Illinois from Raunerism.=

    That’s your goal. Rauner’s goal was to save us from Madiganism. Pritzker is going to save us from the bad guy who was the good guy who was going to save us from the other bad guy…

    Again, I heard the pitch in 2014, except Bruce was making it.

    =Illinois deserves better.=

    Agreed. Only question is who the “better” will be.

    =Misters Barickman, Oberweis or Wehrli=

    Sorry if my memory fails, but what did these three particulars do to earn your extra ire over the rest of the members of your former “my party?”


  87. - Steve - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:53 pm:

    2018 looks to be a good year for Democrats in Illinois. Although , the Dems who have dreams of a progressive income tax might have missed the boat now that SALT have limits….


  88. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:03 pm:

    ===See Rauner, Bruce. Thought that was clear, sorry.===

    One… is not a history. It reflects on Rauner.

    ===That’s your goal. Rauner’s goal was to save us from Madiganism===

    Bruce Rauner failed. Rauner is the worst Republican Governor in America, partially because Rauner is an uber-left, costal liberal on social issues. Rauner is a phony.

    ===Pritzker is going to save us from the bad guy who was the good guy who was going to save us from the other bad guy…===

    Pritzker, Biss, Kennedy, they’re gong to purposely destroy social services and higher education for an agenda that can’t pass the general assembly?

    LOL

    You go with that.

    ===Sorry if my memory fails, but what did these three particulars do to earn your extra ire over the rest of the members of your former “my party?===

    Barickman continues to be a phony, not sure he’ll support Rauner, but golly, when it came to the school funding, Barickman couldn’t sneeze without getting *corrected*… Oberweis wanted Brady gone over SSM, but “he’s cool” with Rauner’s uber-left, limousine costal liberal social agenda… Wehrli? Never seen such a twitter that is clueless to how Wehrli votes to destroy Illinois, then thinks his own voting has t aided Rauner’s social agenda freedom.


  89. - theCardinal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:14 pm:

    JB needs some traction his money hasn’t moved the numbers much but will when he dumps (or continues to) it into local Dem organization coffers. how would you like to be a ward boss jobber where he doesn’t win? Unless there are 100s you better have good excuse.


  90. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:20 pm:

    ===That’s your goal. Rauner’s goal was to save us from Madiganism===

    “After further review, the Perfect 10 and the Brave 15 knew, in the end, Illinois needed to be saved from Rauner”

    lol


  91. - Todd Knock - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:21 pm:

    Here is a recipe for success for the Illinois Dems: Nominate a billionaire scion of a family with a history of hostility to labor unions, make sure he looks like Flounder from Animal House, have him get a bunch of tax breaks on his Astor Street properties, and then have him adopt no reform positions at a time when the Dem primary electorate is angry as heck. And make sure he has a pulse. It will work, I assure you.


  92. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:35 pm:

    ==I don’t know if it’s Madigan’s bidding or not.==

    OK, so, Occum’s Razor, when two politicians take different sides of an issue, they probably disagree.

    ==He could’ve showed his independence in regard to Berrios, a position which would likely help him in terms of voter support==

    Would it? Berrios’ hasn’t even lost his primary yet, and, in his dust ups with Rauner and Kennedy, shown that at the very least he can land some punches as he’s going down. Frankly, I think Rauner and Kennedy’s “punch down” tactics were mistakes. One of the secrets of any competition is to not get pulled off of “your” game. That’s something Pritzker is doing well right now.


  93. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    –JB needs some traction his money hasn’t moved the numbers much–

    Do you have any recent numbers? Last poll I saw was Rich’s from late October. JB has been on the TV box a lot since then.


  94. - Veil of Ignorance - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:22 pm:

    I do wonder whether Ives’ campaign pretty much sinks Rauner’s ability to energize conservative turnout for the general election. If that’s so, then Rich’s prediction that this election becomes the most negative campaign that Illinois has ever seen. So which Dem has the most soft spots to be hit? What is the evidence of how effectively they’ll respond? Still waiting for those audio clips of Blago and Pritzker…it’ll be bad folks. Question is what’s the biggest lines of attack on Kennedy and Biss. That’s what I’d like to see discussed…along with whether Pritzker will drop tens of millions to beat Rauner and help build the party infrastructure even if he’s not the candidate (Hint: it’s a good question that somebody should be asking). Is this about helping IL progressives or is this PURELY a vanity project?


  95. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:32 pm:

    –I do wonder whether Ives’ campaign pretty much sinks Rauner’s ability to energize conservative turnout for the general election.–

    There likely will be a Libertarian candidate option. Keep an eye out for Rauner pistoleros knockin’ your door at knight if you pass petitions for them for the general.


  96. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 8:07 pm:

    ===I agree, but is it possible in this coming cycle?

    Good point and I don’t think we are disagreeing much if at all. I don’t think Pritzker solves the Madigan issue, but he solves the more important Rauner problem.


  97. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 8:09 pm:

    ===Do you have any recent numbers?

    Even if he did, we won’t see much until later this month is my guess. I think it’s safe to say on name recognition JB is going to be doing better than anyone else and seems to understand he’s running against Trumpauner.


  98. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 9:43 pm:

    –I think it’s safe to say on name recognition JB is going to be doing better than anyone else and seems to understand he’s running against Trumpauner.–

    Yeah, apparently not a lot of Camelot nostalgia in Illinois among likely Dem voters.

    If the name doesn’t help Kennedy either in the polls or fundraising, I think that explains the Hail Marys of going after Madigan, Emanuel and Berrios.

    https://capitolfax.com/2017/10/23/poll-pritzker-leads-kennedy-and-biss-39-15-6/


  99. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jan 4, 18 @ 8:38 am:

    ==Question is what’s the biggest lines of attack on Kennedy and Biss.==

    That we don’t know is its own kind of problem. An October surprise on an obscure State Senator could be punishing.

    ==Hint: it’s a good question that somebody should be asking==

    People have been asking. JB says he’s spending the money one way or the other. God knows he’s given Dems plenty of cash before this race.

    ==I don’t think Pritzker solves the Madigan issue, but he solves the more important Rauner problem.==

    I kind of suspect that only time will “solve” the “Madigan issue”, though there’s a non-zero chance he calls it a day if Dems take back the trifecta. I certainly think Kennedy and Biss, who’ve already demonstrated a need to rely on Madigan for money and manpower, can’t “solve” it.


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* Portrait Camera App 'Focos' Gains Real Lens Optical Effects and Improved Shooting Mode
* Shell wants to turn smartwatches into smartphones on a wing (or two)
* Gboard goes big on GIF creation in the suggestion bar
* iOS 11 is now on 65 percent of devices
* FCC sees US variants of Nokia 6 (2018) or Nokia 7

* Getting ready for Soxfest 2018
* White Sox seeking new flagship radio home
* Engel working to steady barrel in Year 2
* WLS parent company looking to end White Sox radio deal
* Inbox: Who replaces Rodon in the rotation?
* 2018 South Side Sox Hall of Fame Ballot
* With maturity comes lofty expectations for Eloy


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