Quick Hits – Reports of Rauner’s impending victory have been greatly exaggerated!

Quick Hits – Reports of Rauner’s impending victory have been greatly exaggerated!

Despite his campaign manager’s overly enthusiastic proclamations to Crain’s political columnist Greg Hinz, I have a better chance of running away with Lucy Liu (Call me Lucy!) than Bruce Rauner has of running away with our November election.

Because even if those utterly ineffective Porcelain Prince attack ads were actually catching on, as those eminently quixotic Rauner folks insisted, our clueless Governor would still be doomed to defeat. And I can sum up the inexorable causality for this self-evident truth in two simple words, “Sam” and “McCann.”

Rauner McCann

As soon as our downstate State Senator turned in those 60,000 plus signatures, Governor Rauner should’ve read his concession speech right then and there. I know he’s got more money than God, but why waste all that now pointless campaign cash?

You see, in a marvelous example of the efficacy of Newton’s third law, the equal and opposite reaction to Rauner’s attempt to unseat McCann, is McCann’s mic drop move of entering the gubernatorial race as a third party candidate.

And given Illinois Republicans’ capacity to vote for idealist folks who can’t possibly win, even if McCann gets only 5 percent of the GOP vote, it’s curtains for our soon-to-be one term governor.

So, when Capitol Fax’s Rich Miller thought he had a real story when he reported that Speaker Michael Madigan’s team procured a significant amount of those 60,000 plus signatures, my immediate response was, “Tell me something I don’t bleepin’ already know.”

Because while the rest of y’all post memes, practice your outrage face in the bathroom mirror, and annoy the crap out of those of us who actually have a clue, Michael Madigan simply gets the job done.

Before you hit the send button, I’m not a fan of Madigan the State Rep, but one must pay the appropriate respect his political ground game.

Of course Madigan got signatures for McCann! Democratic gubernatorial nominee J. B. Pritzker is his man and he knows a conservative Independent spoiler virtually locks up his election. It’s a magnificent, and far too rare, case of walking the shortest distance between two political  points.

Even if the Supreme Court finally deems those stiltedly districted maps undemocratic, Madigan’s ground game would still regularly rack up Republican concession speeches.

I’ve said it many time before! If the Illinois GOP really wants to compete, they have to at least equal and probably surpass the Speaker’s capacity to get the right vote out. Simply stomping your foot and regularly shrieking about the state of the State ain’t gonna do it. But I can’t find a Republican who’s finally figured that out.

The irony is, when the Illinois GOP finally elected a candidate with the kind of cash to give the Madigan team a run for their electoral money, the Governor used it to go after Republican dissenters instead. It’s what a Shakespearean tragic comedy would look like if he ever wrote one.

This is exactly why the too-common practice of legislative leaders running candidates against legislators who don’t amuse them is such a bad idea. It never instills fear and almost always provokes the kind of response that comes around to bite you in the butt.

C’mon! McCann knows he can’t win, but he’s certainly going to make a point!

Though I’m frequently dismayed by the Kane County Board’s petty bovine manure, the majority of Chairman Chris Lauzen’s issues with that body stem from him running candidates against dissident board members.

Former Chairman Karen McConnaughay did it too (badly), until her opponents got someone bigger and badder to run against her. And before you say a word, a State Senate seat is no consolation prize.

The bottom line is, you don’t see Mike Madigan on Facebook. Aside from the former budget battle, you don’t see him directly attacking Republicans in public, either. And you certainly don’t hear him bitch and whine about his political lot in life.

In fact, he rarely makes any kind of statement at all.

No! The Speaker simply, and quite often correctly, determines the best way to achieve a political goal and then follows a statistically sound step-by-step plan like an overly focused bulldog. You want Rauner gone? Then Sam McCann is your man! It’s really that simple.

And the one thing you can count on about Illinois Republicans is that they will never learn!

3 thoughts on “Quick Hits – Reports of Rauner’s impending victory have been greatly exaggerated!

  1. As an old time Republican you are right I am tired of people buying an office. Work a few precincts first. Republicans have done this for years. Now the Democrats were bought by JB. Good for McCann stick a finger in Rauners eye and I hope it is the middle finger. Rauner is is he absolute worst governor in my lifetime and that includes Quinn Walker and Edgar and everyone’s punching bag Blagojevich
    Rauner will not run away with anything but I hate to tell you his campaign of Madigan Madigan Madigan will get him close. Maybe so close McCann gives it to JB and then Madigan draws the redistrict map and retires cutting off Republicans for a generation. All the while Republican voters still trying to figure out what Madigans name was not on their ballot.

  2. Former Chairman Karen McConnaughay did it too (badly), until her opponents got someone bigger and badder to run against her. And before you say a word, a State Senate seat is no consolation prize.

    Jeff, I know you’re not here to tutor us, but would you mind giving a brief explanation? I always thought McConnaughay and Lauzen traded seats in a straight-up swap because each wanted the other’s job.

    (Personally, I’m not sure which job I’d want. Actually, I’m not sure exactly how many of my own teeth I’d be willing to pull out with a Vise-Grip as an alternative to taking either one.)

    1. Pan,

      This one’s easy because I was right there in the middle of it!

      And trust me, I’m not trying to overestimate my role, but then Beacon-News reporter Dan Campana and I started weakening McConnaughay by regularly writing about her antics. Dan, of course, did all of the pay-to-play research.

      As she was weakened, she started striking back against the elected official whom she believed was behind the bad press.

      That infuriated the then countywide electeds including, Pat Perez, Deb Seyller, Jack Cunningham, Dave Rickert, and Chuck West. Of course West was one of McConnaughay’s favorite targets.

      So, Cunningham and Rickert approached then State Senator Chris Lauzen promising him the support of all of those previously mentioned folks – as well as financial support – if he ran for Kane County Chairman. They also appealed to the prospect of actually accomplishing something here as opposed to being a Springfield outsider.

      Chris accepted and, realizing there was no way she could beat him, McConnaughay didn’t bother to run again. Though some serious folks consistently deny this, I’ve heard that the 33rd State Senate District was created just for her.

      But she’s hated that job every step of the way because she’s just a downstate minion now. She was on the fast track for greater things with the Rauner administration – Bruce became quite enamored of her – but when a couple of her peers disclosed her vast union connections, Ms. McConnaughay’s star suddenly dimmed.

      And there you have it!


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