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PostBruce Rauner Wins in Illinois (David Duggan, USA, 11/07/14 8:06 pm)
To Randy Black's list of the table that the Republicans ran on Tuesday night, we should add the deep-blue People's Republic of Illinois, one-time home to Barack Obama, where governor-elect Bruce Rauner (Dartmouth '78) defeated my one-time law school fellow-student Pat Quinn by taking 51% of the vote to Quinn's 45% (a libertarian candidate got the balance). Quinn, who had worked for reform Gov. Dan Walker in the 1970s, got to Northwestern because Walker (a NULS classmate of my father) had placed a phone call (one of several such special admits), and promptly began his political career before turning 30, getting enough signatures on a ballot initiative to reduce the size (and ultimately rig the composition) of the Illinois legislature. (I won't go into the details because they are too difficult to explain without writing a treatise, but for those who heard or watched on-line my presentation on Chicago politics at last year's Adrian WAIS conference, they are suitably Byzantine). This initiative passed, and the Democrats have controlled the Illinois House for 30 of the last 34 years. Since 1980 when Quinn graduated, he's drawn a public paycheck for 90% of those years, from the Citizens' Utilities Board (a "watchdog" group that has tried to prevent "regulatory capture" by the utilities of the rate-setting Illinois Commerce Commission), the Board of Review of property tax assessment appeals, or from the State as treasurer, lieutenant governor or (accidental) Governor, after current guest of the federal government, Rod Blagojevich, was impeached. Oh, and there was a brief time as Mayor Harold Washington's revenue director, but Washington fired him for what amounted to incompetence. Quinn ran for lieutenant governor in the 1990s, and in what seems like a pattern, he contested the primary results by claiming fraud. At a news conference on Wednesday, he refused to concede to Rauner, saying merely that he didn't have the votes. Utterly classless.
I was at Rauner's campaign headquarters Tuesday night at the Hilton downtown (formerly Stevens Hotel, built by the father of now retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens before he went into bankruptcy during the Depression), and the atmosphere and enthusiasm were electric. It's been a long time since I have yelled myself hoarse (certainly the Bears and Cubs have not merited my doing so), and I nearly got to shake the Governor-elect's hand in the sea of humanity, crying "Go Dartmouth" at the top of my lungs. My voice didn't recover for two days. At Rauner's press conference yesterday announcing his "transition team," he sadly included Democratic retreads like Bill Daley (the former mayor's brother, Al Gore's first-mate-on-the-Titanic-campaign manager, Obama's chief of staff, and co-fee-monger with Mayor Rahm Emanuel in putting together the Ameritech-AT&T merger in the late 1990s where they both used their political influence with the Clinton administration), and Ron Huberman (Mayor Daley's head of the CTA, the public schools and LBGT poster child). Only a cynic would say that these appointments were payback to Emanuel, whom former investment banker Rauner employed to grease that telecom merger, and who was conspicuously silent as to his preference in the race (though his PAC wrote a $150K check to Quinn's campaign: that's about 1% of its balance sheet). When will they learn that diversity is not a synonym for competence?
Oh, and did I mention that both Barack and Michelle came to Chicago to raise money for Quinn? Don't be surprised that the next news coming out of Washington will be that the Obama Presidential Library will be going to some other state than Illinois. I hear that Hawaii is lovely this time of year.
JE comments: Is there a US presidential library in Nairobi? (Ha! Randy Black and I don't agree on politics, but he knows I have a sense of humor.)
I didn't know Governor-elect Rauner was a Dartmouth grad; makes me proud. Coincidentally, Jack Ryan, who lost the Senate race to Obama in 2004 because of a sex scandal, is also a fellow Dartmouth alumnus. Ryan is probably more responsible than any individual on this planet for Obama becoming president.