|Workers need more than a $1.75 raise.|
Mimicking former MSNBC great Keith Olbermann, I'm willing to go out on a limb a say that billionaire Bruce Rauner is the worst person in the world. And few would disagree, although Pat Quinn's running mate Paul Vallas may have a lock on second place. While Quinn proudly takes credit ("I was born for this...") for slashing the pension benefits of the state's public-sector workers, Rauner has vowed to do away with collective-bargaining rights and unions altogether, a la Gov. Walker in Wisconsin.
So why does the worst person in the world, hated even by most Republicans, have a double-digit lead over Quinn the incumbent with just 12 weeks to go? This in a state where only 27% of voters vote Republican. I would argue that it's not just the money factor. And it's not only because running-mate Vallas has hardly lifted a finger to help Quinn. Rauner can't even spend all the dough he's raising, even while saturating the market for almost a year now with trite, negative, sometimes laughable ads (what ever happened to Bruce-the-Hammer?). I mean, there's only so much money you can spend on a campaign without moving beyond your own base. The rest, he's has had to spread around to a host of ultra-right-wing, Tea Party and Koch Bros.-aligned groups.
|What ever happened to #Hammer & Shake?|
My assessment? This is one of the worst the-other-guy's-a-crook ("unpatriotic") campaigns in recent memory, which has to work in favor of the guy with the most money. Quinn's campaign has been pitiful, giving even the most avowed Rauner haters little to get excited about. Despite receiving gobs of money from the state's unions, Quinn has done nothing to win back the trust and support of the state's 850,000 union workers and especially its 87,000 retired teachers who he shafted with his support for the (unconstitutional on its face) pension-robbing SB-1 legislation. That is precisely the group of angry, activist voters who could put Quinn back on top.
Even Quinn's support for an increase in the state's minimum wage has been tepid. On an issue that could rally the base, the governor supports a measly buck-seventy-five-cent increase in the minimum wage (hardly livable) and that, only in a non-binding resolution. Pathetic.
And barely a word since April regarding public education funding, charter school expansion, school closings or much of anything else.
If it's his management team that's to blame for this weak stuff, Quinn needs to re-tool quickly.