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*** LIVE *** Gubernatorial debate coverage

Thursday, Sep 20, 2018

* The gubernatorial debate begins tonight at 6 and the station is promising “a Q&A session” with the candidates after the forum officially ends. So the fun won’t stop after an hour. The debate is being moderated tonight by the inestimable Carol Marin. My fave Mary Ann Ahern will take questions from the audience with Karla Leal.

* NBC 5’s embed is a bit janky and takes several seconds to load. If it doesn’t work well for you, use the “full screen” option or just click here and watch it on their site

* You can also follow along with ScribbleLive

- Posted by Rich Miller   54 Comments      

Ives doesn’t believe Rauner can win, won’t rule out another gubernatorial bid

Thursday, Sep 20, 2018

* I’ve had a lot of stuff about the Big John & Ramblin’ Ray show on the ol’ blog lately. They had the governor, Mrs. Rauner and Jeanne Ives on their show (separately, of course) and the hosts continually mentioned that Rep. Ives was scheduled to be a special guest at their “Politics And A Pint” event in Naperville last night.

Some tracker footage came in over the transom of Ives’ talk today. Here’s one bit

RAMBLIN’ RAY: “We talk about the polls, and I think John said Rauner’s down 16 points, we don’t know about the polls rights? We learned about that in 2016 when Donald Trump became President, right? So, there’s a thinking in the state that Rauner might have a little more of a chance than we’re hearing about, because why replace one billionaire with another billionaire, isn’t it just better keeping the guy that we have in and maybe staying the course? Do you think there’s any truth to that? I mean is there – “

REP. IVES: “There’s no – no, you know I don’t think that there’s any way for him to come back. I’m just being truthful, I mean I’m not being wishful here I’m being truthful. And that’s because his unfavorables are so high. So, I think they’re at over 54 percent and I think when you hit that threshold of unfavorables, unfavorables, that’s what’s difficult to overcome.

* Another one

RAMBLIN’ RAY: “Would you go for the governorship again?” [APPLAUSE]

REP. IVES: “You know what’s exciting about being the governor is you can really affect change if you’re paying attention to the right things. You have so much power as the governor of the state of Illinois. You can get in there and you can really dig into those agencies and find out where there’s mismanagement. And you have the ability to hire and fire the right people, and make the changes happen. You have a bully pulpit, you have a bully pulpit where the media’s going to pay attention to you, where you can go out and be that champion for folks, where you can connect dots for them and you’re going to be heard. Right? Very few people get that opportunity, to actually be heard and listened to. That’s the power of the governorship. You can really affect change regardless of what the legislature looks like. You can do it, and you can bring people along to common sense, and you can stop people with that veto, which is really a big deal.”

Something she could do in the meantime is speak out on Rep. Jerry Long. If she wants to be a leader then she should, you know, lead.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      

Answer the question, please

Thursday, Sep 20, 2018

* Click here and scroll down to read the transcript, and watch below to see how Erika Harold refused for about four minutes to offer a straight answer to a simple question about her stance on gay marriage


* The problem for Harold is she filled out an Illinois Family Institute questionnaire in 2014 and gave an interview to the Champaign News-Gazette in 2013 that say something quite different than what she’s saying now. Perhaps you think that’s “old news.” OK, but here’s what she said she believed just a few years ago

Regarding the “absolutely false” claim that she believes in workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, in 2014, Erika stated that she opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

In 2014, Harold supported prohibiting the U.S. Department of Justice from undermining the Defense of Marriage Act, which the Supreme Court had already found unconstitutional.

Harold also advocated for a constitutional amendment “defining marriage as being between a man and a woman,” months after marriage equality became law in Illinois in 2013.

People can change their minds. But Harold will only say today that she supports the law of the land. Laws can always be changed, however, and a constitutional amendment (which she supported) would obviously overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage.

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      

Two more ads from Pritzker

Thursday, Sep 20, 2018

* Press release…

Today, ahead of the first televised gubernatorial debate, the Pritzker campaign is releasing two new TV ads that show how Bruce Rauner drove state finances into the ground.

The ads highlight another central failure of Rauner’s tenure: gross fiscal mismanagement at the expense of Illinois taxpayers. “Credit” focuses on Rauner dragging the state’s credit through eight downgrades to the lowest of any state in U.S. history while “Interest” focuses on Rauner wasting over $1 billion of taxpayer money on late fees for unpaid bills.

“Bruce Rauner wrecked Illinois’ finances at the expense of taxpayers across the state,” said Pritzker campaign communications director Galia Slayen. “This failed governor is responsible for wasting $1 billion and eight credit downgrades, leaving Illinois with the worst credit rating of any state. While it will take years to recover from this damage, one thing is abundantly clear: four years of failure is enough.”

* “Credit”

* Script…

Want to see what failure looks like? Under Bruce Rauner, Illinois’ credit rating has been downgraded eight times to the lowest of any state in American history. Bruce Rauner, four years of failure is enough.

* “Interest”

* Script…

Want to see what failure looks like? Bruce Rauner has wasted over a billion taxpayer dollars on interest penalties for the state’s unpaid bills. Over a billion dollars. Bruce Rauner, four years of failure is enough.

By the looks of things, that “Four years of failure is enough” tagline will be driven so deep into everyone’s heads by November that people will be mumbling it in their sleep.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      

Report: Edgar “coaching” Pritzker

Thursday, Sep 20, 2018

* Mark Maxwell

Edgar, an increasing critic of Governor Bruce Rauner during and after the state’s unprecedented budget impasse, has been coaching Democrat J.B. Pritzker in private discussions about how to woo voters and dodge controversy all while leaving himself enough room to maneuver in office. […]

From Edgar’s vantage point, the more promises a politician makes on the campaign trail, the more hobbled they can become in office.

“I don’t think anybody should explain a blueprint right now on all these issues,” Edgar said Monday.

The former governor, who was widely seen as a popular, moderate state executive, argued that Pritzker should focus on winning election now, and splitting hairs in the statehouse later.

“I would be very cautious on too many specifics before the election because they don’t have all the information, and they won’t have the information until they’re in the office,” he said. “And they won’t really know what might work and not work until they sit down with the legislative leaders in a non-election environment and try to get things done.”

On the campaign trail, Pritzker appears to be heeding Edgar’s advice.

Serious candidates for governor often ask former candidates for advice. That’s nothing really new. I’ll bet he’s talked to other candidates and incumbents as well. That’s just practical. Even Rauner talked to Edgar a bit during the 2014 race.

But this story running so near to the first gubernatorial debate has got to irk Rauner a bit.

* Also, Edgar’s 1990 campaign was pretty issues-focused. From the late, great Paul Green

One issue dominated this campaign statewide: taxes. Hartigan took a very strong antitax position. He advocated (1) allowing the temporary two-year income tax surcharge to expire on June 30, 1991, (2) “cutting” 2 percent, or $573 million, from the state budget and (3) allocating 25 percent of new state revenue to education his first year and 50 percent thereafter to make up for the $383 million annual loss to education by discontinuing the surcharge. Edgar supported continuation of the income tax surcharge, and he was as firm in advocating state control over rising local property taxes by placing a cap on them equal to either the annual cost of living or 5 percent, whichever was less. Edgar rejected Hartigan’s projections for new state revenue as a hollow promise to education because the current economic slowdown and a possible recession would strangle state revenue growth.

Edgar won in a Democratic-leaning year. He was also one of the first statewide candidates here to realize that suburban women were a major key to victory and so he played up his pro-choice philosophy.

* Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Illinois has put together a new video featuring Edgar and Jeanne Ives talking about Rauner

- Posted by Rich Miller   48 Comments      

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Thursday, Sep 20, 2018

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Pritzker’s Downstate response ad: “Lie. Lie. Lie.”

Thursday, Sep 20, 2018

* You’ll recall that Gov. Bruce Rauner launched an ad over the weekend that included a bunch of hot-button issues targeted at Downstate voters. Pritzker’s campaign never lets anything go unanswered, so earlier this week they started running their own Downstate ad. It’s quite something

* Script…

Bruce Rauner lies.

He lied to the Cardinal of the Catholic Church about signing an abortion coverage bill. He lied about Jeanne Ives. And now he’s lying about JB Pritzker.

Lie. Lie. Lie. Four years of failure is enough.


- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      

Mendoza bobs and weaves when asked about running for mayor

Thursday, Sep 20, 2018

* From yesterday’s Tribune editorial board interview of the three candidates for comptroller

Tribune: So, we’re gonna jump right in with a burning question right now, um, Mayor Emanuel’s decision to not run for re-election next year has thrown a different factor into the November races. So, Comptroller Mendoza, do you plan to run for mayor?

Mendoza: Way to start off with a softball, right? So, hello! Uh, I am running for comptroller, that’s why I’m here and I’m very excited to talk about the record of accomplishments that I’ve done over the last almost now two years and uh the reason I’m here is I love my job and I’m very focused on being comptroller, so there’s still 48 more days to go, and I have a message to share across the state of Illinois and that is what my commitment is. I know that there’s a lot of speculation going on but I don’t think that anybody here can know exactly what the future holds for any of us, what I know is what I can do today and that is stay focused on this race and and ask people to give me an opportunity to continue to represent them.

Tribune: Can you give us an idea of where your thought process is, because obviously voters don’t want to elect someone for comptroller and then you spend the next six months running for mayor.

Mendoza: Right, well, you know, my thought process is that I love this job and I think that it’s super flattering and it’s, you know, the greatest honor to have people say and suggest that I am capable and experienced to lead a higher office, but you know, the mayor just dropped a bombshell on the city of Chicago and the dust is still settling and I can’t get distracted from what my job is which is to manage the state during this fiscal crisis and I’m committed and continue to do that. So, again, I don’t know what the future holds for any of us but what I know is that every single day that I’ve served in this position and every single day that I continue to serve is with the people of Illinois’ best interests in mind and that is what I’m focused on.

Tribune: So, will you pledge that if elected you will fill your full term as comptroller?

Mendoza: Again, you know, I don’t rule anything in or out, I think that there’s been lots of people before me, and even people that are right now currently running for mayor, who are in a similar position as I am in, where I think a lot of people have gotten out front on this issue and are focused on the mayor’s race, my focus continues to be the comptroller’s race and again I don’t know where I’ll be in three years, I hope I’m healthy, first and foremost, and everybody else that’s sitting at this table, but I think that my commitment continues to be to run for comptroller, I haven’t made any noise in terms of running for mayor. Um, and that is something that needs to continue to be the case, it’s one election at a time, and I’m very focused on this election right now.

Tribune: Do either of her opponents, do either of you want to weigh in on this mayoral issue?

Senger: You know um, I could just tell you one thing right now is when elected and if elected comptroller, I will serve four years as comptroller, and unless something, like merging the comptroller’s office and the treasurer’s office happens, so that’s an issue there, but, [to Mendoza] I would like to see a commitment that on November 7th, if you’re elected, you’re gonna be there for four years, and you’re kind of hedging it.

Mendoza: I’m not hedging anything, I’m very committed to be the comptroller, that’s what I’m running for, that’s why we’re here, and I do think it’s ironic though, all kidding aside, that the person who is saying she doesn’t want to even serve as comptroller because she wants to eliminate the office is questioning my commitment to this office. I think I’ve shown my commitment over the last two years, I have lead this state through the worst fiscal crisis, it’s been my greatest honor, and it’s nice that people think that I am capable of doing something else. But right now I am here to talk about my record and why I believe that the people of Illinois should be happy to continue to hope that they have a, you know, a fiscal watchdog that is looking out on their behalf. So, that is my focus, um, again, as someone who doesn’t even want to serve a whole term as comptroller, when the comptroller’s office is very important in the state of Illinois, I would say that that’s a little bit disingenuous, as well.

Senger: And again, the function’s not going away, the cost of having two offices are…

Mendoza: -I’ll be happy to engage in that debate in a little bit.

Senger: But again, you haven’t answered the question, on November 7th are you…

Mendoza: I think I’ve answered the question and I would be happy to talk about my record as comptroller and why I deserve to be re-elected as comptroller, thank you.

Tribune: If you are thinking about running for mayor, you’d have to turn around almost immediately after election day and prepare for that.

Mendoza: So, here’s the great part, like the media and everyone else gets to speculate and have fun with that…

Tribune: I’m not asking you to speculate. I’m saying that you would have to turn around immediately to prepare, get petitions,

Mendoza: sure..

Tribune: …to run for office, so it’s hard to me that you wouldn’t be making a decision on this before election day.

Mendoza: All those points are true, all those points are true. But again, I am very focused on the next 48 days and everyone who has called me to ask that I consider running for mayor I have given the exact same answer that I’m giving you, which is that I am very focused on this election, I have been working hard across the entire state of Illinois. Not a single thing has changed on my schedule as to am I in Chicago more versus Downstate more. I am here today with this Tribune editorial board because I think that it’s important that your readers know what I’ve done for the state and why I’m asking them to give me another opportunity to continue to represent them. And again, what the future holds, I can’t tell you at this moment whether I’m going to comptroller for four years or forty more years. I certainly hope not, right? But I would say that uh, you know, I’m committed to this job, and that’s why I’m here. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be here, and I think that uh, that that’s very clear.

Tribune: Do you have any members of your team that are looking into it is as you’re maintaining focus?

Mendoza: No, every single person that works for me is focused on leading this state through the worst fiscal crisis, which still continues to be a very intense crisis. There are people who have been trying to draft me to run for mayor, I can’t control what they do, again it’s again, you know, very flattering, it’s a high honor. But I keep telling every exactly which is what I’ve told you, including those who have called me to urge me to run for mayor, and that’s that my focus is the next 48 days. I mean, at the time that they called it was a different number, right, but I’m very focused on that election and you know, it’s nice that people think that but again, one race at a time. And the race that I’m running for right now is comptroller of the state of Illinois.

Senger: Would you endorse someone else to run for mayor? Rather than yourself because you’re running for comptroller?

Mendoza: We don’t even know who’s running for mayor yet, Darlene. There’s like 20 thousand people, maybe some people in this room besides the names that have been mentioned might throw their hat in the ring for mayor. It seems like it’s a free for all right now, but my focus is on this job. I’m not even going to entertain or worry about the mayor’s office from now until election day and this is the only job that I care about.

You can watch the whole thing by clicking here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Rauner vetoes second bill to address gender wage gap
* Munger moves to DCEO
* Preckwinkle mayoral announcement roundup
* Follow the money
* Empty threat? Or does somebody know something we don't?
* A couple of quick debate clips
* Supremes side with hospitals on property taxes
* Report: IEPA stonewalls AG until HGOP leader steps in
* A TIF primer
* Raoul's new ad blasts Harold over abortion rights
* Debate coverage roundup
* Question of the day
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

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