Political Observer Russ Stewart Concludes Advantage Rauner

Observer Russ Stewart write columns of insightful political commentary for Nadig Newspapers.

His latest is entitled, “‘Madigan’s tax increase’ boosts Rauner for 2018.”

Here are a couple of paragraphs:

Governor Bruce Rauner uses his income tax hike veto pen.

“Rauner emerged triumphant because he can now trumpet for the next 17 months four magic words: I KEPT MY PROMISE. He pledged in 2014 to oppose any raise in state income taxes, and he vetoed the Madigan/Democratic tax hike recently, which was narrowly overridden. Voters expect politicians to lie in order to get elected, and then “cave” to reality shortly thereafter. Had any Republican other than Rauner been elected governor in 2014, they would have caved long ago, worked out a “grand bargain” with the Democrats, and be on a trajectory to losing in 2018…

“Rauner played hardball by not capitulating to demands of “good government” entities, media and liberals that he be “responsible” and hike taxes, incurring their wrath. But he fully understood that his base, roughly 45 percent of the electorate, voted for him because they expected him to act like a Republican…and he has. Had Rauner caved, his base would have crumbled, discarding him as just another mealy-mouthed, untrustworthy politician. But he didn’t cave, he actually got the state budget slashed by $3 billion, and his base is rock-solid. He starts the 2018 campaign not with lame excuses, but with promises kept.

“…it is the Democrats who enter 2018 on the defensive.”


Political Observer Russ Stewart Concludes Advantage Rauner — 9 Comments

  1. Democrats can point to Rauner holding up the budget, at times for issues completely unrelated to the budget, such as term limits or redistricting.

    They can point to him not submitting a balanced budget despite the Illinois Constitution requiring the governor do that.

    They can point to the credit rating downgrades.

    They can point to the backlog of bills which grew under Rauner.

    Then you have the simple fact that Republicans are abandoning Rauner for various reasons — social conservatives are ticked off at him, there are integrity focused reformers mad at some of his patronage hires, there are the Trump Republicans who are mad he doesn’t even acknowledge Trump.

    Heck, there’s even a bunch of people blaming Rauner for the tax hike — Illinois Review has even published stories saying exactly that.

    Republicans also know they can’t get anything they want done, the best they can do is obstruct Madigan.

    That may not be a winning message.

    Meanwhile, Democrats hate Bruce Rauner, and anger is a strong motivator.

    Rauner won because the Republican base was mad, and the Democrats were apathetic.

    I think you’ll find the opposite next year with the Democratic base being mad, and Republicans being apathetic..

    Moderate people and apolitical people liked Rauner’s message, but will they stick around?

    Has he delivered?

    I don’t think he’ll have as much of an advantage with these voters next year.

    One last note, Rauner probably has a better chance should Pritzker win.

    Progressives just seem to hate the guy.

    And if you think they’ll vote for him just because they’re Democrats and he is too, ask Hillary Clinton how that turned out.

  2. JOE since you’re a psuedo-Progressive yourself, how about bugging off for awhile?

  3. Saying something that’s accurate but true doesn’t make someone a progressive.

    Let me know if you help get the government to kill any spending projects, vote against prevailing wages, or do anything conservative other than comment on a blog.

  4. DEMOCRATS vote for Pritzker, a rich White male ?

    Isn’t this the very demographic they so dearly despise ?

  5. That’s right Honest Abe.

    That’s the criticism they have of Pritzker.

    He’s rich, perhaps richer than Rauner.

    Biss seems to be the guy progressives like.

  6. Rauner gets all the benefits of the tax break without shouldering the blame.

    Lucky him

  7. Michael Madigan could have attempted to pass the state income tax hike (SB 9 / PA 100-0022) 2 years ago.

    Why didn’t he?

    He deferred until July 6, 2017 in attempt to inflict maximum political pressure on the Republican legislators and Governor Rauner.

    Michael Madigan controlled the contents of the bill.

    The Republicans and rank and file legislators did not have adequate time to review the contents of the bill.


    Organized labor (unions) are largely backing Mr. Pritzker as the Democrat candidate for Governor in the March 20, 2018 primary election.


    In another organized labor influence on the upcoming election, the powerful AFL-CIO affiliate named the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL), which is itself an affiliate of union locals, is among the investors that have purchased the Chicago Sun Times.

    The President of the the CFL, Jorge Ramirez, is rumored to be the top contender for Chairman of the Chicago Sun Times.

    The investors have stated there will be a wall between the Chicago Sun Times and the CFL.

    The Project Veritas Rigging the Election series of videos revealed ways to circumvent walls…daisy chain…A communicates with B who communicates with C who communicates with D.

    A so called wall of direct communication exists between A and D, yet indirect communication occurs.


    An open question in the 2018 primary is who are the candidates for Secretary of State and do they include Democrat McHenry County Board Chair Jack Franks.

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