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*** UPDATED x1 *** Campaign roundup: Rodney Davis on governor’s race; DPI restructuring; No announcement at IDCCA brunch

Wednesday, Aug 18, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* US Rep. Rodney Davis talked to Mary Ann Ahern about the governor’s race

MAA: As new Illinois maps are redrawn after the 2020 Census. Census, Congressman Davis from downstate Taylorville, he wants to see what his district will look like. Already though he is more vocal in his criticism of Governor Pritzker.

RD: I’m excited about where 2022 is going to be for Republicans. … Once we see what the battlefield looks like. I’ve always been someone to help try to build the coalition’s that would lead us to victory.

[Pritzker TV ad excerpt]

RD: Well, he’s certainly going to need to run ads and he’s going to have to spend hundreds of millions more because he knows that he’s in terrible reelection shape. We’re going to have a Republican governor. […]

MAA: What will it take for a Republican to win in a blue state?

RD: I’m not a label person because, frankly. Somebody may think I’m too conservative and somebody might think I’m too moderate. I’m just me.

Davis said he’s been vaccinated, but opposes vax and mask mandates.

* Subscribers know the back story to this. From DPI…

In an overwhelming vote, members of the Democratic State Central Committee today affirmed Democratic Party of Illinois (DPI) Chair Robin Kelly’s proposed leadership structure for the state party.

“My vision as chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois is to bring more voices into every aspect of the party, and today’s vote puts us on a path to doing just that,” Kelly said. “I’m excited we can fully move ahead in strengthening and broadening our party across the state and electing more Democrats up and down the ballot.”

Today, members of Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) voted to create the Building Leadership, Unity, and Equity (BLUE) Illinois Committee, open access to the party’s advisory committees to non-DSCC members, and degender the party’s bylaws.

“The votes taken today represent a new day for the Democratic Party of Illinois,” DPI Executive Director Abby Witt said. “Whether it’s the BLUE Committee, opening other committees to new and experienced voices outside of our official structure, or making sure our rules are as inclusive as possible, the message from our Chair and our members is aligned and clear: this is a party for everyone. Illinois Democrats, welcome home.”

The BLUE Committee, in compliance with the affirmative advisory opinion from the FEC last month, is made up entirely of non-federal office holders not appointed by the chair, and will be dedicated to managing the party’s non-federal account. Voting members of the BLUE Committee are State Central Committee members Bill Houlihan, Carol Ronen, and Ald. Silvana Tabares.

“The majorities we hold as Democrats are going to be tested this cycle, and I’m excited to join Carol and Silvana in this new effort to keep Illinois blue in 2022 and beyond,” Houlihan said. “The BLUE Committee has an important role to play in building an enthusiastic coalition of Democrats across Illinois.”

“2022 is a pivotal redistricting year, and all of our local candidates will run in newly drawn districts,” Ronen said. “Our goal is to grow our majorities in the general assembly and make sure Democrats win the Illinois Supreme Court races. The BLUE committee will help to bring the necessary resources to win these races and ensure Democratic values prevail. I’m honored to be part of this effort.”

“The best way to continue to grow our party, attract voters and win elections is by expanding our statewide coalition of Democrats,” Tabares said. “I’m proud to be a part of a new way the party will achieve that.”

Not one Black person is on that BLUE Committee.

* This did not happen today

Watch for the news this morning at the County Chairs’ Brunch on the Crowne Plaza grounds in Springfield. More than 800 Democrats will be in attendance and 400 more will view online, according to McHenry County Democratic Party Chair Kristina Zahorik.

Sen. Dick Durbin is expected to announce that Nikki Budzinski will challenge Republican Rep. Rodney Davis in the 13th Congressional District.

Budzinski recently left the Biden administration last month, where she was chief of staff in the Office of Management & Budget. Before that she worked for Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration. […]

Durbin talked about Budzinski’s move Tuesday during a private party in Springfield leading up to today’s festivities. […]

What’s curious: Durbin specifically said Budzinski would run against Davis in the 13th District, which suggests the veteran Republican congressman will be safe in the remap. If that’s true, then one of the four other Republican representatives would be edged out as lawmakers redraw congressional districts to align with the state’s population decline.

There was never any plan to make this announcement, I was told early this morning. Not to mention that we have no idea yet what Davis’ new district will look like. Also, nice job by Durbin of stepping on Nikki’s eventual announcement. /s

*** UPDATE *** The Tribune ran a story last year on Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride’s retention bid

Billionaire conservatives, state GOP leaders and a dark money group are blanketing voters’ mailboxes with full-color attack ads that portray the justice as a Madigan puppet, citing the speaker’s large campaign contributions to Kilbride’s election efforts dating back to 2000. […]

James Nowlan, a former GOP lawmaker who chairs the anti-Kilbride committee Citizens for Judicial Fairness, asks political audiences in towns such as Carthage, Monmouth and Utica if they ever wished they could vote against Madigan. […]

A $200,000 donation from a dark-money group called the Judicial Fairness Project gave the anti-Kilbride forces a jump-start. The group’s registered agent is attorney John Fogarty, the Chicago-based general counsel for the Illinois Republican Party. Fogarty declined to identify the donors.

Paperwork filed with the secretary of state showed the group’s board of directors includes two members of the Republican state central committee and the former head of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association. Listed as the incorporator was Nick Klitzing, a former state GOP executive director. [Emphasis added.]

* I mention this because I just got an email from the Judicial Fairness Project…


You were recently emailed about a petition to clean up Illinois’ courts.

Will you take a moment to add your name to DEMAND that we clean up Illinois’s famously corrupt justice system?


We all know that Illinois has a reputation for corruption and crime. It goes all the way to the top, unfortunately – Illinois currently has a 4-3 partisan majority on the Supreme Court, and next year’s election threatens to shake up the balance of power in our state…

So the Legislature and Governor Pritzker jammed through a new, hand-drawn judicial map so they could protect themselves!!

That’s not all.

Last year, an incredible and shocking $10 million was spent on the retention race for the Supreme Court, and there’s much more coming next year with more judgeships on the ballot.

What will YOU chip in to bring fairness back to our courts – $10 million of your money??

    How about just $10?
    How about just $20?
    Other amount

Money. Hand-Drawn Judge Protection Maps. Corruption in the courts.

We deserve better. Will you join us?

…Adding… Also…

* Related…

* Democratic priorities benefiting working families to be highlighted at Governor’s Day rally

* Illinois State Fair 2021 set to kickoff political primary season: For Democrats, the big political race will be among the four declared candidates vying to replace Jesse White, who is not running for another term as Secretary of State.


* Secretary of State has plans to install cameras and call boxes in Stratton parking garage
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