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Primary 2014 Notebook 2

"First-time candidate Bruce Rauner eked out a surprisingly narrow victory over state Sen. Kirk Dillard for the Republican governor nomination in Tuesday's primary as Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn launched an early TV attack ad against his wealthy challenger," the Tribune reports.

Surprising only to those who believed the polls. For example, the Beachwood Bookmaking Bureau never wavered from placing Dillard atop the leader board - though we certainly should have downgraded the sliding Bill Brady had we updated the board since its last, Feb. 28 posting.

In fact, one has to wonder how much the polls showing Rauner with a 20-point lead affected the race. Were potential Dillard voters discouraged? Were wavering voters persuaded to "go with the winner?" What about the impact of the cynical punditry that kept insisting the election was a lock? And what about the overall media performance that delivered Rauner gobs of attention - not all of it positive, to be sure - while the other campaigns were left begging?

As I've said before, Rauner's money didn't just buy saturating advertising, but saturating reporting. And yet, we're left with a candidate who was allowed to dodge just about every issue and outright dodge reporters - even on Election Night.

When the pundits do their analyses of what happened and why, I'm sure they'll leave themselves out of the equation. But we all know media coverage impacts campaigns. If it doesn't, why bother?

Poll Pablum
"On the Democratic side, Quinn recived a commanding 72 percent with 97 percent of precincts counted. Challenger Tio Hardiman, the former leader of the anti-violence group CeaseFire, had 28 percent," the Trib reports.

That 28 percent is a far cry from the 36 percent that, again, some pundits bought into. (On Chicago Tonight this week, Carol Marin also repeated the 36% claim unquestioningly.)

As I pointed out at the time, the poll was done by a Republican activist whose methodology wasn't revealed. In a low-turnout election, 27% is nothing; Hardiman pulled 227,646 votes, which is considerably less than the 326,331 votes Rahm Emanuel pulled to win the Chicago mayoralty in 2011.

Difference Makers
Dillard lost his home county of DuPage, which is likely what cost him the nomination - possibly in combination with votes that black ministers in Chicago (like James Meeks) delivered to Rauner. Crunch those numbers!

Reporting Rauner
"Making the rounds of morning television news programs after winning the Republican nomination for governor, Bruce Rauner said he anticipates a 'very, very tough' general election," Natasha Korecki reports for the Sun-Times.

Last night was a different story.

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But still, an ongoing problem.

"Rauner has been available to reporters in Springfield woefully few times," veteran statehouse reporters Bernie Schoenburg reports for the State Journal-Register.

"And those encounters did not paint a good picture about how he'll relate to the public.

"The day in August that his press folks made sure reporters knew he was arriving to events on his motorcycle, he refused to say, when asked, if he was for a law that would require riders to wear helmets. He wanted to stick to his agenda for the day. He did tell me in a telephone interview weeks later, on Sept. 3 - when he wanted to talk because he was announcing a petition drive for a term-limit proposal - that he opposes a helmet law.

"That Sept. 3 interview was also when he told me he had not spoken to U.S. Education Secretary ARNE DUNCAN, when Duncan headed Chicago Public Schools, about getting one of Rauner's children into the prestigious Walter Payton College Prep high school in Chicago. He told others later he had talked to Duncan about his daughter. In a live TV debate in Springfield on Feb. 18, Rauner apologized to me, saying he couldn't really remember if he or his wife spoke to Duncan. Then I heard an interview he did on WLS radio in Chicago weeks earlier, describing details of the conversation he had with Duncan.

"'So I called Arne and I said, Hey Arne, she'd really like to go to Walter Payton,' he had said back on Jan. 14. Rauner did always say he asked for no special favors. But he either lied to WLS or on live TV in Springfield, or his mind is going. This signals a serious credibility problem."

See also: When Will "Another Day" And "Later" And Any Other Real Answers Come From Rauner?

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Rauner even refused to appear before the Springfield State Journal-Register for an endorsement interview. He did appear before the Tribune editorial board, of course, which apparently isn't bothered by Rauner's refusal to cooperate with reporters. See, the Tribune editorial board is a political organization, not a journalistic entity. So they endorsed Rauner - and if he stiffs their reporters, so be it.

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Back to the Sun-Times:

"But heading into Tuesday's vote, few seemed to give Dillard much of a chance to close the gap against Rauner."

Let me fix that for you:

"But heading into Tuesday's vote, few in the media seemed to give Dillard much of a chance to close the gap against Rauner."

#Raunerland!
"Rauner has raised about $8 million in individual donations, much of it in six-figure amounts from leaders of investment firms with stakes in an array of businesses," the Tribune reports.

"Yet Rauner says he is confident those donations will have no influence on his decisions as governor."

Unlike the influence he sought when he donated to campaigns.


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"On the stump, Rauner also talks up his modest upbringing, relating a sometimes incomplete biography. He reminisces about growing up in a small Deerfield ranch house, not mentioning that parts of his youth were also spent in upscale Lake Forest as well as Scottsdale, Ariz.

"Rauner also mentions that his father was an electrical engineer at Schaumburg-based Motorola, often not pointing out that the elder Rauner also was a lawyer who ran the patent department at the electronics giant and rose to senior vice president."

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"GTCR Golder Rauner, which Rauner chaired for a quarter century before leaving in 2012, made tremendous profit in the corporate takeover business, squeezing out efficiencies as it bought and sold an eclectic blend of companies, from fried chicken franchises to nursing homes."

Let me fix that for you:

"GTCR Golder Rauner, which Rauner chaired for a quarter century before leaving in 2012, made tremendous profit in the corporate takeover business, squeezing out efficiencies by sending workers to the unemployment line and then complaining about lazy folks in the unemployment line as it bought and sold an eclectic blend of companies, from fried chicken franchises to nursing homes."

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"City records show that Rauner was granted extraordinary personal access to Emanuel and then-schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard when the new administration began putting its stamp on school policy."

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"But while arguing in the governor's race that he can bring major change to Springfield, Rauner has also publicly lamented how little his donations have done to improve education.

"'My wife and I have spent more than $20 million trying to donate to teacher training, principal development, charter schools,' he told an education conference in 2012. 'And I would say probably 80 percent of the dollars that we donated have been wasted. Lost. No result.'"

So his record is worse than CPS's.

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TweetWood

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Previously:
* Primary 2014 Notebook 1: Russell Brand vs. The Chicago Mediocracy.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Noelle Jezek:

Is it any wonder Rauner is 'friends' with Rahm? Two pit bulls who for sport flay not only their enemies but the little people with their power from money and trashy mouths. I'm disgusted. Can't wait for the electorate to realize what they've done.



Permalink

Posted on March 19, 2014


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BOOKS - Dots & Dashes.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: My Bastard Heart.


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