Mayor Rahm Emanuel discusses Safe Passage during a press event at Jones College Prep on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.
Capitol Fax, the Springfield tip sheet run by Rich Miller, commissioned a poll to find out whether Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s relationship with Rahm Emanuel will hurt him in the primary.
Rauner helped Emanuel get his start in investment banking, and Emanuel showed his gratitude by brokering a deal that made Rauner’s firm half-a-billion dollars. The two men have bonded over their love of money and hatred of unions. They vacation together. It’s said that Emanuel secretly wants Rauner to win the governorship.
Here are the poll’s results:
“Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate for governor if you found out he was a friend and political ally to Chicago Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel?” 1,102 likely Republican primary voters were asked on Aug. 13.
A truly astounding 83 percent of Republicans said they’d be less likely to support that candidate.
I suspect that so many Republicans are turned off by Emanuel because hatred of Chicago is central to the Illinois GOP’s identity. They see the city as a cesspool of crime, gun grabbers, unions and homosexuals, driving the state towards bankruptcy and Sodom. They also assume, incorrectly, that Chicago sucks up tax money from Downstate to pay for inner-city social programs. (In fact, Downstate collects more money from Chicago, to pay for prisons, universities, state parks and other public works.)
There’s no reason a Republican governor shouldn’t have a good relationship with a Democratic mayor of Chicago. It’s good for the city and the state. In the 1950s, Mayor Richard J. Daley and Gov. William Stratton collaborated on developing downtown Chicago, which hadn’t seen a new skyscraper since the Depression. In the 1990s, Mayor Richard M. Daley and governors Jim Edgar and George Ryan presided over Chicago’s re-emergence as a global city.
If there’s any reason to be suspicious of the relationship between Emanuel and Rauner, it’s because they both represent the interests of the investment class to which they belong. We’ve already got a Mayor 1%. Do we need a Governor 1%, too?