Rauner's bank account drarfs that of Rep. Ives
The Republican primary campaign for governor officially got underway last week, although it’s hard to tell anymore when a campaign starts or whether it ever stops for people in either party.
Gov. Bruce Rauner formally hit the campaign trail last week, the first time since some folks did a lot of hand-wringing last summer over whether Rauner would even run again.
To most people’s non-surprise, he’s running and started with a couple of campaign appearances. His campaign, Citizens for Rauner, also announced a new website, “OurHomeOurFight.com.” According to the campaign, it will be “highlighting Governor Rauner’s achievements and agenda for the future of Illinois.” Rauner opponents can insert their own jokes here.
The other part of this is that a lot of the agenda is the same stuff that the governor has been touting the past few years. That includes things like property tax relief, economic development and job expansion, and term limits. Sound at all familiar?
Oh, and don’t forget tax cuts. Rauner wants to get rid of the tax hike enacted in July as part of the state’s first budget in more than 2 years.
At least with that one, voters will have some solid information available to them. They can look back on the past couple of years to see what life was like without the tax increase and see whether they want to return to the good old times. Or they’ll have a fairly good idea of what will have to be cut in order to get by without the extra revenue.
Ives for Illinois
Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, filed paperwork creating a new campaign committee, “Ives for Illinois.” When you create fundraising committees like that, you have to say what they’re raising money for. The paperwork says, “Election of Jeanne Ives Governor of Illinois.” Seems clear enough.
Ives still has to collect enough valid signatures before Dec. 4 to get on the ballot. But she should be able to tap into large numbers of social conservatives to help circulate nominating petitions, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Then we’ll have to see whether she can be competitive, appealing to the party’s conservatives while likely being heavily outspent by Rauner.
Speaking of which, when Ives opened the new campaign account, she said it had $267,725 in it.
Meanwhile, Rauner reported having $65.6 million in his campaign account at the end of September, the last quarterly reporting period. Since then, he’s reported another $110,000 or so in pocket change contributions from his supporters.
So yes, Rauner has a slight advantage heading into primary campaign season.
Rauner tossed a curve of sorts into the discussion about the prevalence of sexual harassment around state government.
The General Assembly acted with decidedly uncharacteristic haste to draft and pass legislation meant to address the suddenly prominent (as in public) crisis of harassment of women around government, the Legislature in particular. Bills were passed and sent to Rauner for his signature. But Rauner didn’t sign them the second they reached his desk, even though some people apparently thought that’s what he should have done.
A day went by, then another, then another with no signature on the bills. It left an opening for a couple of Democrats to question why the Republican governor wasn’t making the issue a priority.
A reasonable guess was that Rauner wanted to arrange a bill signing ceremony of sorts that would allow him to take maximum credit for the legislation while also leveling complaints at some lawmakers (you know who) for not doing something sooner.
But then, Rauner signed the bills last week. No ceremony. No excessive criticism. At least not in the sense that he blamed House Speaker Michael Madigan for the entire problem.