Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Illinois Dems’ biggest plus may be that GOPers can’t play nice w/ each other

Republican sympathizers in Illinois wishing to retain the governor’s post in next year’s election cycle are counting in part on the notion of multiple candidates on the Democratic side taking shots at each other – knocking each other around and bloodying each other up to the point where none of them can win the ultimate election.

Can Ives' anti-abortion credentials ...
Yet it appears more and more those Republican operatives ought to look seriously at the damage they’re likely to do to themselves as they try to see whether Bruce Rauner is capable of retaining his governmental post.

RAUNER seems to have begun the active campaigning this week – just over a year away from the Nov. 6 general election (and in advance of the March 20 GOP primary).

His gimmick this week was to don the leather vest and climb aboard his motorcycle, making a ride from Chicago to Springfield and making stops along the way.

Rauner is a wealthy business executive with enough money that he practically IS the Republican Party these days – he’ll self-fund his own re-election campaign and those of sympathetic legislators to try to sway the General Assembly into a rubber stamp that gives him what he wants.

Instead of its current form of existence under Democratic legislative leaders who are more than eager to ensure that Rauner gets NOTHING. Although considering that many of the things Rauner wants are a series of changes meant to undermine the influence of organized labor within government, it shouldn’t be a surprise they’re hostile to him!

BUT NOW, BIKER Rauner is riding around, trying to make himself appear to be a few steps lower on the economic status ladder – almost as if he’s one of us, instead of looking down on us “little people.”

It will be intriguing to see how effective he can be, since Rauner has a challenger.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, who during her stint in Springfield has shown herself to be an ideologue of the hardest core on social conservative stances on issues, said this week she’s doing the exploratory route to see if she can be a viable candidate for the Republican nomination.

... undermine Rauner's financial advantage?
She only has a few thousand dollars (coming from assorted right-wing issue groups) that would fall far short of the roughly $65 million that Rauner has available.

BUT SHE’S COUNTING on the ideological wars to lead her to victory – she’s amongst the Republicans who will forevermore be peeved that Rauner signed into law a measure that permits Medicaid funds to be used in Illinois by lower-income women wishing to terminate a pregnancy.

Making it difficult for people to actually obtain abortion services has always been a tactic of the anti-abortion movement (figuring they’ll reduce abortion to a theoretical right that isn’t easily obtained).

Rauner’s conduct during his time as governor has stirred up much resentment amongst the two-thirds of Illinoisans who live in the Chicago metro portion of the state. Any Republican campaign is going to focus on the remaining rural third of Illinois.

She’s also the one who has said people who support transgender rights are the equivalent of “dirty old men” in that they’re exposing children to something immoral. Ives is hoping that talking like an ideologue and openly bashing about Rauner can help her undermine his vast financial advantage and lead her to a primary victory.

PRITZKER: Will he be beneficiary of Ives' attacks?
WHETHER SHE’D BE able to compete in a general election is questionable. She may come from the right-leaning town of Wheaton, but the DuPage County Republican organization isn’t what it once was – heck, Hillary Clinton won the 2016 general election in DuPage and all the other suburban counties (except for McHenry).

For as much as Republican operatives are counting on J.B. Pritzker, Christopher Kennedy and all the other Democratic gubernatorial dreamers to smack each other around, they may want to watch their own behavior in coming months.

For the Republican primary election cycle is going to be a test of whether Rauner’s overwhelming financial assets (and the advantages of incumbency) can be overcome by ideologues willing to bash people about for one of the few actions that Chicago-area voters may be willing to credit Rauner for.

In the end, 2018 will be the election cycle where we see which political party is capable of beating up on its own most intensely.


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