Thursday, April 17, 2014

Will Bruce Rauner wind up being “da winner,” or the guy who spends the most per vote in a losing campaign?

This is what our election cycle for governor of Illinois has devolved to – it is between two guys who have differing ways of wanting to be perceived about the kind of campaign cash they’re actually raising.

Far in lead financially, for time being
We have one guy who’s more than capable of self-funding his campaign, yet he seems to want us to think that he’s actually raising the nickel-and-dime donations from the general public, so as to create the impression that people like him, they really, really like him!

BECAUSE IF WE truly comprehended just how wealthy Republican nominee Bruce Rauner was (he wasn’t exaggerating with that self-description of being in the 0.001 percent of society), we might actually think less of him.

We might figure that for all his money, he should find something better to do with his life than try to buy a government office.

Then, we have another guy who’s going to go out of his way to brag and boast about every dollar he manages to raise.

Because the perception some people want to have is that Gov. Pat Quinn is such a schnook that he can’t possibly come up with the kind of campaign cash to be competitive against Rauner’s personal wealth.

THE BOTTOM LINE is that we have two truly different men, and we have a clear-cut choice when we have to make our pick Nov. 4 as to who will be the chief executive of Illinois government.

Which has me wondering if Rauner, deep down, would like to proclaim himself the CEO of Illinois, rather than using such a mundane title as “governor?” But that’s a debate for a different day.

I make this observation in part after seeing the statement Rauner’s campaign released earlier this week about his campaign finances for the first three months of 2014.

RAUNER: Carhartt coat appeals to 60 percent?
Rauner highlighted the fact that 60 percent of the people who made donations to his campaign were individuals who gave $100 or less. In short, the Joe Schnooks of the world who decide to make some sort of symbolic political statement – rather than coming up with the kind of cash that gets a political person’s serious attention.

BUT WHEN ONE considers how much more money the remainder were donating, it makes that 60 percent majority seem so insignificant.

In fact, with Rauner raising not quite $9 million during those three months, it should be donated that $5.3 million were the donations Rauner – a venture capitalist who turned himself into an extremely wealthy man – made to himself.

That’s the part Rauner doesn’t want us to look at. In his best “Mighty Oz” impersonation, he tells us not to look behind the curtain that contains his personal checkbooks.

All I know is that while I do have a personal interest in public policy and government, if I had that kind of wealth, I could think of a lot more worthwhile things to spend the money on than trying to win an election.

THEN, WE GO to Pat Quinn. He’s the guy who had about $5 million raised previously, and raised about another $5 million during the past three months. Not bad for a guy who’s going to have a larger percentage than “60 percent” of Joe Schnook-type guys making campaign contributions for him.

The Chicago Sun-Times, however, pointed out what may be the intriguing part of the whole equation. Both candidates began the second quarter of this year far apart.

Rauner spent so much money to win his primary that his campaign account had about $1.3 million on April Fool’s Day, while Quinn had $8.8 million to work with. Largely on account of the fact that he didn’t have to do a thing in order to beat Democratic challenger Tio Hardiman.

Quinn is loving it these days, now that he’s the “big money” guy – although not really.
Would either candidate actually live here if they win?

FOR RAUNER HAS the kind of personal wealth that he can give himself yet another loan to catch up to that $8.8 million. And Quinn is going to have to start spending that cash in order to rebut all the knockdown allegations Rauner will try to offer up against him.

Although I’m sure Quinn will have his own share of political bodyblows – as I’m sure the labor union political action committees will be more than anxious to keep Pat adequately funded to cope with Bruce.

Which means the next seven-plus months will be headache-inducing, what with all the nonsense we’re going to hear spewed by the candidates and their lackeys toward each other.

The only winners? Those people who get their joy after Election Day from calculating who spent the most money per vote they actually receive! Even money on whether Rauner will be the big winner, or the most foolish man ever to try to get into Illinois politics, come Nov. 5!


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