Friday, January 31, 2014

Paying their own way means they’ll listen to no one. Is that what we want?

Why do I sense that the Illinois Republican Party’s worst nightmare these days is for the top of their ticket for this year’s election cycle to wind up being a pair of rich white guys?

RAUNER: The multi-Million Dollar Man?
Guys so rich that they plan to essentially finance their own political desires. Which means they’re not going to be inclined to listen to anyone.

NOT EVEN THE people in their own political party who theoretically are their allies. And who most definitely are the base of voters to whom they’re going to have to rely upon if they don’t want to totally get their hats handed to them by Gov. Pat Quinn.

The man whom is supposedly beatable because of that 26 percent approval rating. Which may be accurate, but doesn’t take into account the fact that the electorate in Illinois probably doesn’t like anybody else any better!

What I’m talking about is the potential pairing of venture capitalist Bruce Rauner getting the GOP nomination for governor, with investment firm and dairy owner (and state senator) James Oberweis becoming the Republican choice to challenge Richard Durbin for his seat in the U.S. Senate.

At a time when the Republican operatives wanted to turn the attention onto Quinn by claiming that his State of the State address this week to the General Assembly was just a lot of campaign sop with no substance that covered up the state’s flaws, too many of us are focused on how much the two millionaires are relying on their own funds to buy their way into office.

THE STATE BOARD of Elections indicated that Rauner gave his campaign fund another $1 million, on top of the more than $4.5 million he has already spent in his effort to bolster his name recognition to the point where all the other, more politically experienced, opponents come across as paupers unworthy of GOP consideration.

OBERWEIS: Buying Senate seat?
It may well be that Dan Rutherford’s campaign buy of television advertising time during the Winter Olympic Games is too little, too late!

Rauner will not be outspent. Depending on how many more $1 million loans he can keep giving himself, he may well be able to match the nearly $4 million that Quinn has accumulated – but not spent – during his primary fight. Saving it all up for the general election fight.

He’ll definitely be the only Republican candidate who will be able to match Quinn – although it’s going to depend on how close to financial ruin he’s willing to drive himself.

DURBIN: Going for Term 4 in Senate
GOP OPERATIVES LIKELY would be much more comfortable with Rutherford or the state senators – Kirk Dillard and William Brady – just because the fact that they’re raising money from business interests and other contributors. Who they would be compelled to listen to after-the-fact.

The same goes for Oberweis, whom the Chicago Tribune reported has lent his campaign fund some $500,000, to go along with the $105,000 it managed to raise from donors, according to the Federal Election Commission.

He’s going to have the funds to whomp on Doug Truax come the March 18 primary cycle. Although some wonder if the characteristics that resulted in his past political failures for governor, U.S. Senate and member of Congress will crawl out of the woodwork and take him down in this latest political bid.

We’re talking about a pair of men whose egos make them think the public is dying for the chance to have them guide our government through our futures. The fact that they can fund themselves is just going to subject us to their egos-run-amok even longer than they would if they had to rely on more traditional finance methods for their campaigns.

QUINN: 'Common' guy, by default
DO WE REALLY want to rely on rich, white guys for all our government officials? Somehow, I doubt it.

And that’s going to be the reason why attacks on Quinn and Durbin in coming months as being out-of-touch with the electorate are going to be just a bit too much for the bulk of us to believe.


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