Friday, November 15, 2013

It’s good to be the King! Rauner willing to fully use his financial advantages

It always amuses me when political observers think they can reform the electoral process by putting restrictions on the amount of money campaigns have to operate.

RAUNER: Emptying his wallet
Because the reality is that there are always those candidates who have sufficient funds on their own who won’t have to worry about exceeding the limits. It’s the people who don’t have a lot of funds who want the limits – so as to keep everybody down on their financial level.

THEY’RE THE ONES who see a problem. Yes, money can be an issue. But it isn’t something that really can be controlled in a campaign situation.

This became evident in the Republican primary for governor in next year’s election cycle.

Because Bruce Rauner, the Rahm Emanuel friend with money of his own, went ahead and gave his campaign a $500,000 infusion of his own funds – bolstering the total to $749,000 that he has spent on himself so far.

The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times both pointed out the significance of this particular contribution – pointing out that the Republican candidates had an agreement amongst themselves that they would not put more than $250,000 of their own money into campaigns.

AS THOUGH THEY’D be willing to rely on the money that they received in private contributions from supporters who were making donations supposedly out of the goodness of their hearts and a desire to see a particular individual prevail in both March and November of 2014.

With Rauner exceeding the limit, all the other campaigns seeking the chance to challenge Pat Quinn a year from now can now forget all about any self-imposed limits on using any wealth they have on their own to try to “buy” the primary election.

The Tribune also reported that the Rauner campaign is about to start a new wave of broadcast spots that will appear on television stations all over the state. The other campaigns are going to be compelled to keep up.

Some in both parties fear an Emanuel/Rauner alliance
If they can!

WHAT MAY HAPPEN (which I’m sure is what Rauner hopes happens) is that he will have so much money in his campaign coffers that the other campaigns won’t be able to keep up.

Because the reality is that it is still early in the election cycle. Campaigns haven’t officially even secured their spots on the March primary ballot.

Rauner is hoping that a blast of ads touting his name every time someone views television – to the point where everyone will know the “Bruce Rauner” name. Even if they don’t know anything about him, they’ll know the name to the point where it may just trigger a response and they cast ballots for him, just because!

There are some people who cast votes for such knee-jerk reasons. In a four-way race just like this GOP primary is promising to be, that could be just enough votes for him to win.

RAUNER WANTS SUCH a large lead early on, before most people pay any serious attention to the candidates, that he will become the favorite.

It doesn’t always work. Blair Hull tried to use his money in a similar strategy in the 2004 election cycle for a U.S. Senate seat, only to have sordid details concerning his divorce blow him away.

I don’t know that Rauner has anything comparable in his background. But he’s going to try to use his sudden infusion of campaign cash to try to put himself into the lead so that it would take something equally devastating to knock him out of the running.

QUINN: Facing a financial challenge?
Because Rauner is still the guy whose political aspirations arouse suspicions amongst many Republican rank-and-file members because of his ties to Emanuel.

THEY PROBABLY FEAR things will get a little too cozy with him as governor and Emanuel as mayor. Some of these people are the ones who want a governor who will stand up to the desires of City Hall.

Of course, if those people pick someone too strident as the Republican nominee it would arouse the anger of the urban vote – which could well decide to turn out in such force that we would get a return of Pat Quinn as governor – and Dean Vallas as the crazed political brother who makes Billy Carter seem subdued by comparison.


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