August 5, 2020
THE END OF THE MADIGAN ERA? NOT WITH $23,529,621 CASH ON HAND

It is said that all good things must come to an end. It is said in some political quarters that Mike Madigan’s 36-year reign as speaker of the Illinois House is now and has been a good thing. It is said in other quarters that it must come to an end, that it is a bad thing. Here’s the reality: It IS A GOOD THING for many, including sitting Democratic state representatives, trade unions and lawyers, and it is NOT going to come to an end anytime soon. The 78-year old Madigan may hang on well into the 2020s.  As of Aug. 1, Madigan had cash-on-hand of $23,529,621, including $14,544,269 in Friends of Mike Madigan, $2,449,732 in the Democratic Party of Illinois, of which he is chairman, $4,300,413 in the Democratic Majority Fund, which he uses to elect/re-elect Members to retain his 74-44 House majority, and a whopping $2,235,207 in the 13th Ward Democratic Organization, of which he is Committeeperson. Wrap your brain around that: $2 million-plus in donations to a WARD Democratic organization? The donation norm (excepting Ed Burke) is around $15,000. Full Article...


July 29, 2020
1876 ELECTION "DEAL" IS ORIGIN OF 2020 U.S. RACE RELATIONS

Can you imagine a contemporary America in which at least nine states have a Black population majority, a Black governor, one or more Black U.S. senators, a Black congressional delegation majority and a Black-dominated state legislature? That was well within the realm of possibility 150 years ago in the 1870s. But because of a bunch of scheming, self-serving politicians, opportunistic presidents, and the squalid "Deal of 1876," it never happened. What did happen was that Rutherford Hayes (R), with the connivance of both pro-Republican commercial interests and ex-Confederate Southern white politicians stole the 1876 presidential election from popular-vote winner Samuel Tilden (D). The electoral vote was 185-184. And that resulted in the disenfranchisement of 4,880,000 freed southern slaves, which lasted for the next century. That's 4.8 million people. The situation was kind of like a "Cancel Culture, Part I," but against Black slaves. Full Article...


July 22, 2020
COVID-19 NO IMPEDIMENT TO PRITZKER'S FUNDRAISING -- BUT OTHERS ON "PAUSE"

Governor J.B. Pritzker has $744,615 cash on hand and raised $3,026,001 since Oct. 1. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has $1,257,528 on hand and raised $42,483. County board president Toni Preckwinkle has $4,553 on hand and raised $266,794. Speaker Mike Madigan has $13,630,169 on hand. For incumbents, money de-stabilizes a level playing field - unless the officeholder is egregiously incompetent and unpopular. Then it matters not. Think former Gov. Bruce Rauner. For challengers, having money equal to the incumbent levels the playing field, allowing the challenger to define himself/herself before the incumbent does so. D-2 campaign fund-raising disclosures must be filed quarterly. This week's chart covers receipts for the past three 90-day quarters and cash on hand as of June 30. Here are my takeaways. Full Article...


July 15, 2020
CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION FLUNKS IN 3RD DISTRICT IL HOUSE RACE

A teacher's pet almost always gets to the head of the class. But a Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) favorite doesn't necessarily go to Springfield - as was demonstrated in the Hispanic-majority 3rd Illinois House District way back on March 17. Eva Dina Delgado defeated teacher and CTU activist Nidia Carranza 6,302-5,922, with 51.5 percent of the vote despite her being the hand-picked choice of criminally-charged former state Representative Luis Arroyo (D-3) and because of the key backing of Alderman Gilbert Villegas (36th), an Arroyo protŽgŽ who replaced him as 36th Ward committeeperson. Villegas is also Mayor Lori Lightfoot's City Council floor leader. He's also Arroyo's still existent 36th Ward political operation. Son Luis Arroyo Jr. is a county commissioner, and his term expires in 2022. Carranza raised $264,999, most from the CTU and teacher sources, and Delgado raised $194,258. With Arroyo gone, a battle or North Side NUMERO UNO is underway between Iris Martinez and Gil Villegas Full Article...


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