Bill Brady has a pretty long list of newspaper endorsements on his website: the Morris Daily Herald, the Dixon Daily Telegraph, the Northwest Herald, the Sterling-Rock Falls Daily Gazette, the DeKalb Daily Chronicle.
That proves Brady is popular in small towns and suburbs all over the state, right?
Actually, it just proves he’s popular with Shaw Media, a 159-year-old newspaper chain in northern Illinois. Shaw owns all five newspapers, and ran the same editorial in each one.
“It’s a company-wide endorsement,” said Jim Dunn, editorial page editor of the Shaw-owned Sauk Valley Newspapers, which includes the Dixon Daily Telegraph and the Sterling-Rock Falls Daily Gazette.
“[Gov. Pat] Quinn’s plan is to tax and spend our way out of the hole. There must be a more reasonable way to pay for the incompetence of past leadership," the endorsement reads. "Republican Bill Brady represents change for Illinois. The state senator offers a level of credibility and leadership unmatched by the others seeking the office.”
Brady does have some other newspaper endorsements. Here's the Belleville News-Democrat, which probably needs to change its name: In a nutshell, Quinn wants to raise your taxes; Brady wants to cut state spending. That key difference in approach is the reason we endorse Brady for governor. Brady is a businessman from Bloomington -- the folks in Chicago call that downstate -- who understands that government has to dramatically reshape itself to deal with the new fiscal realities.
“Look, we like Quinn personally,” the Daily Herald editorialized. “We think he means well. But he’s not equipped to get Illinois out of this sorry situation. With that as the backdrop, we endorse state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington for governor...Not an ideal candidate, Brady’s personal views veer to the right of our tastes and the well-being of the state, but we take him at his word that he won’t push a social agenda as governor and we call on him to govern from the middle.”
Quinn, by contrast, has only the Pioneer Press and the Sun-Times behind him.
The Pioneer Press was just as unenthusiastic about Quinn as the Daily Herald was about Brady, writing, “The state needs a leader with fiscal discipline and a sense of compassion for the state’s residents. Sadly, neither candidate fits that description, but Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn clearly demonstrates a broader grasp of potential solutions.”
The Pioneer Press is part of the Sun-Times newspaper group, but at least it wrote its own editorial. Given that Brady padded his list, and that not all the newspapers who endorsed him are looking forward to seeing him in charge of Illinois, we’d have to call the endorsement battle even.