From Springfield: Speaking at the breakfast for the Republican Chairmen, who are gathered to celebrate Governor’s Day at the State Fair later, Gov Rauner pushed again his agenda of making Illinois politics more competitive.
Gov Rauner noted that about 2/3rds of the legislators running for reelection this year have no opponent in the November election. A result he said of political parties drawing of the legislative districts so that they are lopsidedly Republican or Democrat, with few districts being politically competitive.
“This is not democracy. This democracy is rigged.” Gov Rauner told the assembled.
The Governor noted that 600,000 had signed a petition to put the option of having an independent commission draw political districts, on the November ballot as a Constitutional Amendment, but that is now in question following a ruling by a judge against the proposal.
To that, the Governor said, “Those Chicago judges are elected by the Chicago political machine.”
The Governor told the Republican Chairmen, that “in the past, we’ve been outspent by two to three to one… but not this time.” With the financial support of the Governor, the Republican party this year has enough to flood a number of districts with mailers, radio and television ads.
While the Democrats in the legislature currently hold substantial majorities in both the House and the Senate, the Governor said, “We’re going to pick up seats.”
Governor’s Day features speakers from the party in power, with office holders and candidates speaking before party supporters. It marks the traditional kick-off to the fall campaign season. On Thursday, the Democrats gather with their slate of candidates.
Today, SEIU union plans to have a group protesting the Governor’s policies, which they claim are anti-union, as they gather just outside the Fair Director’s lawn, where the Republicans will gather.