Sunday, November 19, 2017

Jeanne Ives: "I am the chief sponsor of a tax increase bill"

Should Governor Bruce Rauner have a primary debate with State Rep. Jeanne Ives, he'll have a good point to use against her.

While the governor vetoed the income tax increase (SB 9), Ives was the Chief House Sponsor of it. She filed the bill in May.

In this interview (at the bottom), she says, "I am the chief sponsor of a tax increase bill."

Her rationalization for sponsoring the bill which raised corporate and individual income tax reminded me of a quote.

There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.

In the interview, she says she filed the bill because even though she was against raising taxes she wanted "to be part of that conversation." This is the kind of logic politicians use that just doesn't make sense to ordinary voters. How did that "conversation" go? I bet Mike Madigan and the Democrats were really receptive to her ideas (sarcasm).

Additionally, Rauner (or William Kelly, the other challenger) can point out that Ives missed the veto override vote.  She could rebut by saying it had 71 yeas anyway (the minimum necessary amount to override a veto), so her vote was inconsequential, but missing votes on important issues never looks good. She could also point out that she did in fact vote no on the bill itself. The trouble is, she voted no on a bill that she was the Chief House Sponsor of. Awkward.

Ives seems to be selling herself as an individual with the pugnacity to take on figures like Madigan or Rauner, but some are going to question if she knows the ropes well enough to effectively do so. We already have a governor who misunderstood and underestimated Madigan.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

December 5th: Libertarian Debate

Three candidates seeking the Libertarian nomination for Governor will face off on December 5th at UIUC.

The candidates are Kash Jackson, Matthew C Scaro, and Jon Stewart.

The debate will take place in Gregory Hall, room 112.

Doors open at 6:30.

After the debate, there will be a meet and greet.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Picture of the Day: Trust Issues

How come so many people don't trust the media?

The mystery continues...

Bear Down: Bears Owner McCaskey Goes After Rauner, Supports Ives

Chicago Bears owner Virginia McCaskey is not a fan of Governor Rauner and she is letting it be known through the power of her purse.

McCaskey was recently listed as a host for a Jeanne Ives fundraising event. To be a host, one needs to contribute 10,000 dollars.

McCaskey has been known to support socially conservative Republican candidates in the past. Over the last two decades, she has spent 43,700 dollars to various candidates throughout the state. She has also given 18,700 dollars to Family PAC, a pro-life organization who says they are not supporting Bruce Rauner in 2018.

Haskell Running in Illinois 16th Congressional District

Earlier I shared a story about James Marter challenging Adam Kinzinger in the Republican primary for Illinois' 16th congressional district.

There is at least one other person who is challenging Kinzinger.

Jason Haskell is a 33 year old construction manager from Peru (the municipality) who describes himself as an unorthodox Republican who sides with the GOP on financial issues but is libertarian on civil liberties. For example, he is pro-choice and believes in anti-discriminatory laws that would protect the LGBT+ community.

On healthcare, he sounds like a moderate, believing in key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, like protecting individuals with preexisting conditions. He also believes in taking action to stop the rising costs of prescription drugs.

He wants to reduce foreign aid and withdraw troops from the middle east. He sees those conflicts as unwinnable and best left for the people there to sort out.

James Marter Challenges Adam Kinzinger for Congress

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cracking The Pritzker Code: Why J.B. Pritzker Won't Shut Up About Donald Trump

For several months now, billionaire Democratic gubernatorial candidate, J.B. Pritzker, has been hammering Donald Trump.

I had wondered if that was simply a social media strategy. (Facebook does seem to be more popular with younger people than older people.) However, within the last week or so, I started to see Pritzker's Trump bashing played on regular television commercials.

Prior to this new wave of anti-Trump commercials, Pritzker's TV ads usually emphasized his role in investing in businesses or his work as a philanthropist. Admittedly, I thought those ads were relatively effective because they showed regular people (often times minorities in Chicago) vouching that Pritzker had helped them and their community.

I am not a fan of the Trump bashing. How does that help Illinois? Why should people vote for you just because they don't like Trump? How can you tie Rauner to Trump when those two don't even get along and have significant policy differences? And with Illinois being such a mess, what are you going to do for our state? These are all questions that many people, including some Democratic activists I know, have wondered.

So why is Pritzker campaigning like this? I believe I have cracked the Pritzker code.

The Pritzker Code Demystified 

The first thing you need to understand about elections is that certain ones have higher turnout than others. For instance, odd year elections involving municipalities have the lowest turnout. A midterm election, like the one we're about to be in, has much higher turnout. The 2018 election, at least in Illinois, will feature races with every member of the Illinois House, a bunch of state Senators, and statewide elections (Governor, Comptroller, Secretary of State, etc.). Even with the midterm elections where U.S. Congressmen are up for election + all the state electoral stuff going on, an election like 2018 or 2014 still doesn't get as much turnout as a presidential election, like 2012 or 2016. Pritzker is reaching out to people who exclusively vote in presidential elections.

Second, and along these lines of the first point, Pritzker is hammering Trump because it's safe politics for him. Illinois is a blue state. Hillary won by double digits. There are many people in the country who are primarily motivated by stopping Trump. Anger is what wins elections most of the time. When the opposition party makes gains in a midterm election, it's backlash driven politics. Pritzker is going for the "resist" movement.

Third, Pritzker is flooding the media with ads. He could present himself as an entrepreneur or a philanthropist, but instead he's presenting himself as the opposition to Trump and Rauner. This is closely related to the last point, pandering to the resist movement, but varies slightly. There are many candidates in the Democratic primary, but most of them have almost no exposure. Pritzker is drowning out his primary competition through a sheer money advantage and campaigning as if he's in a general election, thus conditioning Democrats that he's their guy.

That's about it. It should have been pretty obvious to me, but for too long I made the mistake of watching his commercials as a concerned Illinoisan and not a political strategist. It's not bad politics on Pritzker's part. There are so many candidates in the primary, and if Pritzker gets a significant advantage with low-information voters (those who don't do any research but hear about politics passively, like seeing commercials) by flooding the market with commercials then he could win the primary.

(The photo above was taken at a "Women's March" in Springfield, IL.)