Friday, December 30, 2016

$1.6 million? Rahm's a political pauper, at least when compared to Gov. Bruce

The reports were in the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday – Mayor Rahm Emanuel has managed to raise some $1.6 million from various sources during 2016 – which gives him a nice chunk of change to start off his re-election fund he will need three years from now.
EMANUEL: Labor wants Rahm back in '19

It makes me feel old to admit that I remember a time when I’d be thinking that made Emanuel overwhelming and dominant and someone who could not be messed with on Election Day.

YET WITH THE modern circumstances, I have to admit my initial react was to think to myself something along the lines of, “$1.6 million? What a cheapskate!”

Largely because it was just a week ago that Gov. Bruce Rauner juggled some money around his political bank accounts so as to provide $50 million for the fund he will be relying upon for his 2018 re-election bid.

Of course, there is one difference. Rauner is looking not only to get himself re-elected as governor, he also wants to be able to help out in the campaigns of various candidates for the General Assembly.

Because the biggest problem (at least as he views it) for Rauner is that he has had to deal with a state Legislature that does not agree with any of the measures he wants to impose – and has been more than willing to tell him to stuff it!

A GOVERNOR RAUNER paired up with the existing legislative circumstances will result in no significant change. There also are, of course, those people who would say that dumping Rauner himself is the key to breaking the deadlock.

All I know is that Rauner is making it clear he’s more than willing to use the personal fortune he amassed as a venture capitalist in order to keep the post that cost him some $65 million to win back in 2014.

It’s really a sign of how the business-oriented folks want government to look out for their interests over all else, to the point where they’re now willing to run for office themselves. Because they saw that political people couldn’t be trusted – they might actually put the needs of the electorate above all else.
RAUNER: Makes Emanuel look like a pauper

So Rauner juggled about the funds and now has an intimidating financial base from which to campaign. It may well take a J.B. Pritzker (of Hyatt Hotels fortune) as the Democratic challenger in order to be able to match the Rauner funds.

ALL OF WHICH makes the Emanuel campaign fund appear all-the-more miniscule. Of course, Emanuel won’t have to go through as competitive a fight as Rauner will.

I don’t doubt someone will come forth in 2019 claiming to be a candidate of the people to challenge the political pomposity that is the Emanuel persona. But once he makes it past the primary, he’s in.

Unlike Rauner, who will have to focus primary attention on making sure no wiseacre Republican thinks of challenging him, then taking on the Democratic political structure of Chicago and Illinois.

Which is what is largely responsible for the Emanuel money.

THE CHICAGOLAND OPERATORS Joint Labor-Management PAC and the International Union of Operating Engineers local 399 political education fund both gave the maximum amount of cash they could for this year to the mayor, and likely will come up with more money in future years.
PRITZKER: Can he match Rauner' s money?

Of course, those labor interests likely will be devoting some significant attention to the Rauner race as well – because dumping the governor would be their highest priority, perhaps even more than helping Emanuel come up with so much cash that he scares away any potential challengers.

And now that they see the $50 million figure that Rauner has concocted for himself, they’re going to have to get busy on trying to help any aspiring gubernatorial challenger match it.

Because money has become far too significant a factor in determining just whom we vote for on Election Day. Particularly when too many people vote knee-jerk for whichever name they most recognize from all the televised campaign ads they see trashing one another.


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