Warning: Campaign Season Ahead!

 It’s Lincoln Day Dinner season in Illinois!


Republican candidates for office will be fanning out across the state, giving speeches, shaking hands & trying to convince the faithful that Republicans should vote for them in the all too soon primary. Some of those making the circuit are old hats & there are a few new faces as well. Let’s take a brief look at some of the candidates that might or might not run for various statewide offices.


Bruce Rauner for Governor – Successful businessman who idolizes what Scott Walker has done to the unions in Wisconsin. I can’t fault his success. I can fault his ties to Mayor Rahm and his & his wife’s past campaign donations to Democrat candidates, campaigns & PACs as pointed out by Illinois Review contributor Sam Pierce. Rauner’s stances on social issues are supposedly in question as well, but opportunities for Rauner to explain those will be forthcoming over the next few months.


Kirk Dillard for Governor – Ran in 2010 & lost to Bill Brady by the narrowest of margins. Dillard does have pretty good conservative credentials & has a name presence in the suburbs – a key voting demographic. Dillard does have some problems though. He ran before & lost & convincing voters that he can get the job done this time will be tougher than last time. Also, must deal with a divided downstate voters as multiple downstate candidates could enter the race.


Dan Rutherford for Governor– He won bigger than Gov. Pat Quinn & did better than expected within Chicago itself when he ran & won for IL State Treasurer. He has statewide name recognition & has a statewide campaign framework in place from his last campaign. However, Rutherford was the only Republican to vote in favor of civil unions during the lame duck session of the IL GA in 2010 which many conservatives still remember & conservatives are the ones that generally turnout in numbers during primaries.


Bill Brady for Governor – Shortly after his loss to Gov. Pat Quinn in 2010, he notified his campaign supporters to “save the signs” indicating then & there that he planned a third shot at winning the Governor’s mansion. Unfortunately, Brady’s time has come & gone & many of those that went to the mat for him remember his far from stellar debate performances, lack of campaigning in Chicago & overall lack of campaign defense against him by Personal PAC & others in the final week of the campaign.


Joe Walsh for Governor – Firebrand conservative who has many Tea Partiers excited about a possible run. Walsh’s words have gotten him in trouble in the past & could hurt him in the long run. Plus, he was only a one term Representative & lost in his first re-election try. Staying power & statewide appeal will be his biggest criticisms to fight, not his conservatism.


Aaron Schock for Governor – A once rising star in the Republican Party, Schock – even in 2010 – was considered to be the next candidate for Governor. Two years is 10 lifetimes in politics & now Schock faces a media blitzkrieg from Bruce Rauner & conservatives alike. Schock has earned the ire of others because he seems to be one of the Anointed Ones by the Illinois Republican leadership. Schock will have a hard time convincing Republican voters he can win if a pre-emptive strike by Rauner has already damaged his chances for winning the nomination for Governor.


Adam Andrzejewski for Treasurer – Don’t yell at me about not putting him in the Governor race column because sources I trust have indicated that he will be running for Treasurer as soon as Rutherford announces for Governor. If I’m wrong so be it. Andzejewski was a successful businessman & new comer during the Governor’s race in 2010. He did surprisingly well downstate where his conservative anti-Chicago, anti-government message met receptive ears. Andzejewski has been active since his run with For the Good of Illinois & therefore maintains a decent name ID. Andzejewski’s biggest hurdle will be convincing voters not in downstate Illinois to vote for him though if nobody with higher name ID enters the race against him, he should sail through the primary.


I’ve heard other names tossed about for Governor like Dan Duffy, Jason Plummer & a few others. I didn’t include them in this initial list because I haven’t heard anything else out of those other potential candidates regarding their possible runs. The same goes for other Treasurer candidates, though Andzejewski has been the only name I’ve heard for that office. As far as Senate, Comptroller, Lt. Governor & Attorney General , I have not heard any names for those offices.


The main point of this article is to point out both some positives & negatives of potential Republican candidates for statewide office in 2014. I know some of you support one person over another or are not satisfied with any of the candidates mentioned. That’s completely understandable. Each candidate has their problems, each candidate has issues they must overcome to win Republican voters. I also understand it’s quickly becoming primary season in Illinois & the long knives will be coming out as Republicans trash Republicans, conservatives argue their candidate is more conservative than the next & candidates trash candidates. Such is politics – there is no way around it.


As the campaign season begins to get into full swing & more people announce/explore, I plan on writing follow-ups to this article.

 By: Brian Milleville

Illinois Conservatives Leadership Member

Illinois GOP officials pour in money to elect liberal Chicago Democrat

By DOUG IBENDAHL • February 24, 2011
Website: http://republicannewswatch.com/wp/?p=9620

How many times have you heard GOP officials complaining about, or blaming all of our state’s problems on those awful Chicago Democrats? Pretty much constantly right?

Well they do that of course because they think it plays well with the rubes.

But usually their words don’t match their actions. Here’s just the latest example.

Democrat Susana Mendoza is a liberal State Representative from Chicago. On Tuesday she was elected Chicago City Clerk by a big margin.

Here is a list of Republican officials who contributed to Mendoza’s campaign:

State Representative Mark Beaubien contributed a total of $2,000 ($1,000 on 12/16 and another $1,000 on 2/16).

State Representative Patricia Bellock contributed $250 on 12/16.

State Representative Ed Sullivan, Jr. contributed $1,000 on 12/12.

State Representative Michael McAuliffe contributed $1,000 on 12/10.

U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock contributed a total of $10,000 ($5,000 from Schock for Congress and $5,000 from GOP Generation Y Fund, all on 2/8).

State Central Committeeman Roger Claar contributed $2,000 on 2/12.

Deputy State Central Committeeman Christine Dudley contributed $300 to Mendoza on 12/15, and $250 on 12/3 to Gery Chico, another liberal Chicago Democrat.

What’s worse, all of the Republican officials listed above, except for Dudley, made the contributions from their political committee’s bank account. In other words, in all likelihood most of the money came from Republican donors who probably assumed they would be helping to elect Republican candidates – not liberal Chicago Democrats.

In addition to those Republicans, Mendoza also had the endorsements of: AFSCME, Chicago Teachers Union, EMILY’s List, Equality Illinois, Gay Chicago Magazine, Personal PAC, SEIU, Sierra Club, Dick Durbin, Lisa Madigan, Mike Madigan, and John Daley (the Mayor’s brother) – to name just a few.

With all the high powered help Mendoza already had, it’s a mystery why so many Republican officials felt the need to chip in. And I want to be clear here – I’m not criticizing Mendoza. As far as I know, she’s always been honest about who she is – a Democrat. I can at least respect an honest, worthy adversary.

But “Republicans” who don’t know how to lead and who play dishonest games – I do have a problem with.

If you’re a dedicated Republican somewhere in Illinois who has ever run for a local office – like clerk – now you’ll understand why you may have felt frustrated by lack of help from “the party.” Complaining about Chicago Democrats while writing checks to elect Chicago Democrats is very time consuming.

Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.

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FEC Report gives clues to November races (15-19)

15th Congressional District (-R- Tim Johnson)

Many few Tim Johnson as the most moderate Republican from Illinois outside the Chicago area. This district has been represented by the GOP since 1977. This district also voted for Bush both times and McCain in 2008. Tim Johnson is being challenged by David Gill. The GOP is poised to hold this seat. Johnson holds the money advantage $192,497 to Gill’s $17,114. Not a real strong conservative in the race but Johnson would be better then another yes vote for Obama.

16th Congressional District (-R- Don Manzullo)

Don Manzullo looking strong as usual in the 16th. The  Incumbent Manzullo has $429,324 on hand. Democrat challenger George Gaulrapp has only $5,302 on hand. George has gotten very little help from the Democratic Party as well. Manzullo has served this district since 1993. He has stood opposed to moving suspected Terrorist to the Thompson Prison. Manzullo has gotten over 66% of the vote since 2000. An easy win for Manzullo and the GOP. Great win for conservatives!

17th Congressional District (-D- Phil Hare)

The 17th district is another district here in Illinois that the GOP hopes to pick up. A new poll came out showing GOP Challenger Robert Schilling beating the Incumbent Hare 45-32. Hare is a big Pro-Choice democrat. Him and the Speaker work hand and hand on most issues. During the Obamacare drama Hare was caught saying “I don’t worry about the constitution on this to be honest.” This shows just how far out there Mr. Hare is. As conservatives we need to elect Bobby Schilling.

18th Congressional District (-R- Aaron Schock)

Aaron Schock looks like a lock to win re-election. Also, this district hasn’t been represented by a Democrat since 1939. Most consider Aaron to be a fiscal conservative but more moderate on the social issues. Aaron is facing Deidre Hirner. Hirner has $16,727 to the Incumbents $430,736.

19th Congressional District (-R- John Shimkus)

John Shimkus looks like another safe Republican here in Illinois. He is facing a very light challenger in Tim Bagwell. The FEC report shows that Bagwell has $4,546 in the bank compared to the Incumbents $1.4 million. Bagwell and Shimkus faced off back in 2004 with Shimkus prevailing 69%-31%. Look for Shimkus to easily be re-elected in the 19th.

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