Saturday, February 15, 2014

What does it mean that a teachers’ union (allegedly) likes Dillard?

DILLARD: Do teachers really like him?

That’s about all the reaction I can generate from the word that the Illinois Education Association, whose locals represent schoolteachers throughout the suburbs and rest of the state, is telling its members they should support Kirk Dillard for governor in the upcoming Republican primary election.

IT WAS NEVER a secret that groups representing education interests don’t think much of the gubernatorial candidacy of Bruce Rauner – who is targeting his campaigning to reach out to the kinds of people who like to dump on organized labor any chance they get.

The various unions have said they are interested in trying to knock out Rauner now, so as to not have him gain any strength that might bolster him in the Nov. 4 general election cycle against Gov. Pat Quinn.

So the endorsement by this particular teachers’ union really means nothing more than that they find Dillard – the state senator from Hinsdale who thinks the fact that he was once chief of staff to Gov. Jim Edgar anoints him as the front-runner – less offensive than the other Republican candidates.

Yes, it’s true that the GOP political operatives are thinking that with the lack of a competitive primary fight for governor and other political posts (does anybody think Tio Hardiman can top 10 percent of the vote on March 18?), there may be many voters ideologically leaning toward Democrats who will shift political parties for the primary to cast a vote for Dillard.

I’M JUST NOT convinced that it will be all that many people. Heck, Hardiman could wind up getting more votes than does any Republican gubernatorial candidate from a voter who usually leans Democrat!
RAUNER: Labor's Public Enemy No. 1?
I am convinced this is a whole lot of blather. Dillard – whom that Tribune poll earlier this week showed running dead last in the GOP primary for governor – may well be too far down for this to make any difference.

And I really believe much of the vote influenced by organized labor interests is going to remain in line with its usual thought process.

So yes, I believe that Rauner’s camp is being absurd with its own attacks on Dillard – whom he is trying to lambast for having anything to do with labor unions in any form.

AS RAUNER POINTED out in a statement he released Friday, Dillard has received campaign contributions in excess of $500,000 from unions that deal with state government during his time as an elected official.

QUINN: Will labor come back to Pat?
Considering, however, that Dillard has been in elected office since 1995, that means a half million dollars during a nearly two-decade period. Which really isn’t that much – particularly since most of that sum came specifically for Dillard’s failed 2010 bid for governor.

It comes across less as an attack against Dillard and more like a whine by Rauner that he’s not the one who’s getting the money – and that someone would dare to differ with him!

That’s what happens when one flaunts their own money about for a political campaign and makes it clear they’re going to be immune to the thoughts of certain parts of the political spectrum. You gain an enemy on Election Day.

BESIDES, I THINK that when the general election comes about, many of the people who cross over to Dillard will wind up coming back to Quinn. This may well be just another reason why whoever does win the Republican primary will wind up too bloodied to wage a serious fight against Quinn.

Who’s going to be well-rested and flush with campaign cash!

This could wind up being the photographic negative image of the 1994 election cycle – where Dawn Clark Netsch blew her financial wad to win a gubernatorial primary, and Edgar wound up tagging her right away with a negative image – one that she didn’t have enough money on hand to counter.

Rauner won’t be that broke on March 19. But Quinn will launch his political attack probably at 12:01 a.m. that very day! Which may sound mean-spirited. Then again, who really roots for the rich guy to prevail on Election Day?


FREHRICHS: The IFT-preferred pol
EDITOR’S NOTE: For what it’s worth, the Illinois Federation of Teachers (which includes the outspoken Chicago Teachers Union) isn’t backing anybody for governor on March 18. In fact, the only statewide election endorsement they have made is for Michael Frehrichs, the Democrat running unopposed for state treasurer. Which may be a bigger yawn than the IEA backing Dillard.

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