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HomeIllinois NewsBrzoska: In Response to Rauner Attacks on Ives

Brzoska: In Response to Rauner Attacks on Ives




By Ron Brzoska –

In the six or so days since Jeanne Ives whipped Governor Rauner at the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board, I have seen more fire and fury from the ILGOP against a Republican candidate in this short time than I have seen against their sworn enemy, Michael Madigan, in a decade. I have seen officials and party members that are always telling you how “conservative” they are using the same extremely long leaps in logic and buzz words that come out of the talking heads at MSNBC, the Young Turks, and Vox to paint their opposition as racist and remove her.

The attacks and calls for removing commercials and canceling speakers are coming from the right, not the left. This is sickening. You don’t see this type of division and creation of bulletin board material for the opposition party among Democrats. Before today, I saw at least three officials on my Facebook wall calling out Jeanne Ives publicly. All of these people have her phone number and if they were a true friend or a team member (Team GOP) they would have contacted her. But they are not friends or true team members. They are climbers, appointees, and any other description you can have for the simple political hack.

The last three days in particular have confirmed that the ILGOP is more concerned with keeping its current biggest donor than improving the lives of the people of Illinois or attracting people to build their lives here. Let’s see if Rauner remains a donor past November or if he returns to filling the bank accounts of Democrats. Let’s not forget that he has only been a Republican for three and a half years and that his wife is the leader of Democrats for Rauner.

The last three days have cemented just how bankrupt the Illinois Republican Party is. The Tribune Editorial Board event showed that Governor Rauner cannot run on who he is or what he has done. He cannot run against who Jeanne Ives is or what she has done. Instead he has lackeys inventing a new Jeanne Ives, that could still even beat him (that’s just how bad Rauner is), but would be unelectable in the general election. In fact, you will see the term “unelectable” being used in the attacks on Ives. Look for it to be the repeated drumbeat going forward.

Let’s look at the possible outcomes from deploying these tactics:

  • If Rauner wins the Republican primary – he still loses the general election to the Democratic Party challenger, only he loses by an even bigger margin. The attacks on Ives will not make it easy for party unity to rebound after the primary is over. Many Republicans will just skip the governor’s race on their ballot. Rauner will not convert Democrats to his cause, and there will be fewer Republican voters. It’s just stubborn, simple math. The apolitical generally won’t care about Governor Rauner’s stands on social issues because he doesn’t provide a contrast to the Democrats, but his failure to do anything positive for the economy or taxes clearly paints him as the failure he has been. A rerun of term limits and fair maps won’t cut it. Rauner will not get help from the middle. Another side affect is that Rauner’s presence will have an effect down-ballot: apathy. Other Republican candidates will have problems because of the lack of incentive to come out in November.
  • If Ives wins the Republican primary – her road has gotten harder. Primary attacks and arguments get resurrected in general elections. A Republican running statewide against a Democrat in this blue state is tough enough, but now the consultants are being given free material. Even so, Ives has a better chance against Pritzker or whoever the Democrats put up. Ives is the underdog. Ives is new and brings excitement. The problems down-ballot do not exist. If you are voting for Ives you are also voting to bring her the help she will need. Will the ILGOP establishment stay home? I think not. They will just recalibrate. The straight ticket voter will show up to the polls to fight Madigan with the candidate that has and is actually showing the willingness and energy to fight. I want to believe, but this attempt to create this unelectable image of Jeanne Ives, will poison the chances of the candidate from our side.

The poisoning came from the ILGOP party establishment. It came from state party Chairman Tim Schneider. It comes from Cook County Chairman Sean Morrison. It comes from DuPage County State Rep. Grant Wehrli. It comes from downstate Rep. Avery Bourne. It came from now-resigned State Central Committeeman Blair Garber.

It is the Republican Party that is unwittingly “doing the bidding of Mike Madigan” and will be the reason that a Democrat will occupy the Governor’s mansion. ILGOP, if you want a big tent, you need to stop with the baseless attacks and operate with the philosophy that principle and platform are more important than personalities. Stop neglecting the ocean fishing for a single whale. Campaign all you want, but don’t lie about rising stars and sacrifice the future for one self-interested donor.

Most importantly, learn the lesson that results wins more votes than empty promises.


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  1. I agree with everything written above, except ‘It is the Republican Party that is unwittingly “doing the bidding of Mike Madigan” and will be the reason that a Democrat will occupy the Governor’s mansion.’ They know EXACTLY what they’re doing. Open your eyes.

  2. Well we saw all of this, almost following the exact same playbook, two years ago. In fact, by the exact same figures. It failed then. We ended up actually winning. And, nationally anyways, a bunch of these swampfigures were relegated to the other party where they always belonged.

  3. The Jeannie Ives Campaign for Illinois continues to surge as the Rauner campaign fizzles. Rauner has his surrogates, mostly elected officials, with same old tired talking points. Rauner needs to come out of hiding and have a couple of debates. The problem is he lost the Tribune debate badly, and probably can’t come up with anything new.,
    Today Jeannie Ives is speaking at public policy forum at the City Club of Chicago, 11:30am lunch at Maggianos in River North. I heard there are a few seats still available.
    I might have an extra seat if Bruce Rauner wants to join us., Rauner has been invited to the City Club numerous times yet he is the only major political figure in Illinois to never attend a forum there.

  4. It is worth remembering that the last Illinois Republican State Convention (where Schneider was the presiding officer) rejected a proposed party platform promoting the far left liberalism that Ives has been attacking so effectively. Ives’ criticisms of Rauner are actually grounded in the platform that the delegates adopted against the wishes of their so called party leaders. Schneider is pulling a Pat Brady in that he is rejecting the platform of the Illinois Republican Party.

  5. There are people (like Rauner and ex-ILGOP chair, Pat Brady) who prefer the Democrat platform, and who are trying to undermine the GOP from the inside. They and others like them need to be removed from party leadership. It is critical that party leadership agree with party principles.

  6. Sadly it works both ways. The Proft Machine either dug through my social media, or capitalized on another Republican who did, and orchestrated a pile on by my “friends” all to harm me and by association to me harm Bruce.
    I have to say it backfired on them because it showed everyone that I am and always was a Trump guy, and Bruce unhesitatingly appointed me which is awesome for conservatives!
    Meanwhile my “friend” Dan Proft is still a never Trumper, and Jeanne who I never attacked for anything she’s said was briefed (told) to pile on and demanded my resignation when asked at 9 am!
    I can tell you that Bruce and the Party establishment stood behind me 100%. It was my decision to resign my posts in leadership and absolutely nothing was demanded of me. In fact everyone was very sorry and sad that it happened, even before it became apparent it was either Proft or another Republican who combed through my social media looking for something to hang me with!
    So in my experience the people who stab their own in the back, were my “conservative friends” and the ones who stood by a fellow Republican was the establishment we always complain about.
    So it’s not so black and white who the good guys are and who in fact are not.
    312 961-1791

  7. So why is Bruce spending millions putting pro-life candidates into the legislature even though he’s personally pro-choice?
    My point is it’s not as black and white as you believe.
    It was also Bruce who appointed me, and “conservatives” who caused me to resign!

  8. So not only was I a deputy chairman on the platform committee, but my appointee Dave Carabota was one of the most conservative voting members.
    It was a conservative who leaked selected details of our organizational meetings which made everything far more difficult because it destroyed any hope for real candor and discussion.
    I also signed the petition for a motion from the floor which I championed in the State central Committee meetings prior to the convention.
    And which Tim Schneider and the Party did not oppose!
    So you are maligning both Tim and the Party extremely unfairly.
    I don’t even know what facts you actually know regarding the back story of how a floor vote was put in the 2014 convention rules. Although it was not in the 2010 rules when Pat Brady was Chairman.
    Tim Schneider stood up and called the vote in 2014, while Pat Brady blatantly cheated the delegates in 2010!
    Timbin fact did everything right! He deserves our praise not our censure. And that’s a fact.
    312 961-1791

  9. Jeanne Ives has learned an old lesson that we, who live and hunt in the woods, have long known:
    “Sometimes you have to throw a rock into the tree to get the squirrels to run out.”
    We are certainly seeing the leftist GOP “squirrels” running out from their concealment now, aren’t we?

  10. One has to give Schneider credit for being able to count. The conservatives were better organized than the moderates and liberals in Peoria and successfully resisted efforts to revise portions of the platform.
    That is not the same thing as saying that Schneider was in favor of the finished document.

  11. Every Airplane needs a right and left wing. Too many of our elected official are too left wing just like in former Soviet Union. The values of the National Socialist are in some parts of Republican Party. Read “The Hidden Hitler” in the Highland Park Library. Their are more in the Democratic (National Socialist)
    Love Saves Lives
    Carl Lambrecht

  12. Amazing, gold medal for mental gymnastics. I’ve never such a twist of logic so brazen. So let’s get this right.
    Rauner, who apparently only has the strategy is blaming Madigan, is actually doing Madigan’s bidding, after spending millions of dollars attacking him.
    Ives decides to put out an ad that the majority of Democrats and Republicans find at best distasteful and at worst horrible. Then Ives goes on to say that entire ad is factual and then defends Madigan while not realizing she is promoting actual racists endorsements of her.
    We are to then believe Ives actually has Madigan, the master political figure if this state, scared. So the majority of both parties are so scared of Ives that they are coordinating to take her down. Which means the personally battling Madigan and Rauner are United to state a state rep with exactly one major donor.
    The same person who demanded Blair resign has a staffer call the whole state a s_hole and does nothing.
    Rauner fights Madigan while reaching out to more liberal voters to pass a common agenda? Traitor.
    Ives insults the more liberal voters in this state and says she will work with Madigan? Republican savior.
    Gotcha. Makes perfect sense. Go for it.

  13. You guys can’t have it both ways. Stevie has been on here telling us that Not In Charge has no control over what the Republicans do in the legislature and you’re telling us he’s spending millions putting his people in the legislature. Which is it?
    As to your last sentence I’m not sure that’s evidence of Not In Charge’s reaching out to conservatives.

  14. “So why is Bruce spending millions putting pro-life candidates into the legislature even though he’s personally pro-choice?”
    Because the potential Republican pick ups are in rural Southern Illinois and being pro-choice does not sell South of I-80.

  15. Blair, old boy – do you still do most of your campaigning at the Evanston Presbyterian Convalescence home? As I understand it your GOP “organization” held its annual parties there.
    And aren’t your GOP voters more represented in the funeral homes than at the Evanston ballot boxes?
    You did not support President Trump.
    Can you deny that you are now the 3rd party, in once heavily Republican Evanston – behind the vote totals of the Democrats and the Green Party?
    May I ask – who are you to lecture any Republican on anything?