Who's ready for a mud bath?
Another week, another shameless display of political character assassination. Let's jump in!
Quinn vs. Rauner. The two clashed on jobs, ethics and the NFL as Rauner moved to gain back ground lost from weeks of public missteps including the revelation that he once supported eliminating the minimum wage entirely.
While Quinn trumpeted Illinoisians' promising job prospects, with the unemployment rate at its lowest in six years, his Republican rival slammed the incumbent Democrat for promoting possibly "misleading" data and declared, "The voters know and they've told me crystal clear that they don't believe Illinois is going the right way and they are suffering."
The venom continued on television, radio and the interwebs with dueling attack ads that focused on moral character: Rauner's campaign homed in on its ongoing "Quinn is corruption" theme with a noir-influenced spot linking the governor to his jailbird predecessor Rod Blagojevich; Team Quinn called out the Winnetka venture capitalist for his former private equity firm's scandalous sale of a "lemon" of a company to Universal American Corp., and also knocked the firm, GTCR, for having no African-American employees.
Meanwhile, amid the NFL domestic abuse scandal capturing national attention, Rauner—a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2008—appeared caught off guard on Wednesday when our very own Mary Ann Ahern pressed the candidate for comment on the unraveling controversy.He said he was focused on his campaign, but several hours later his PR issued a statement saying he thinks the league "badly has mishandled the (Ray Rice) situation." Not missing an opportunity to slime Quinn, a Rauner spokesperson added: "As a husband and father of four daughters, Bruce stands for women's health and safety everyday. Sadly, Pat Quinn has done just the opposite and cut funding for domestic violence shelters by nearly 15 percent.That never should have happened, but Pat Quinn was too busy funneling millions into his own political slush fund that is now the subject of two federal grand jury investigations."
Pouncing on Rauner's initial tightlipped response, Quinn had implored his challenger to denounce domestic violence, citing a "special responsibility that owners of teams have." He'll get more chances to character-assassinate Rauner, especially in the eyes of women, when Gloria Steinem heads to Chicago next Friday to sprinkle some of her intellectual gravitas upon the man Rauner dubs a "bumbling fool."
Karen Lewis vs. DFER. D-WHAT?For the unitiated, DFER (Democrats for Education Reform) is what happens when a bunch of "heck yeah, school choice!" hedge fund dudes who support Rahm Emanuel get together and put pressure on Lewis, the Chicago Teachers Union leader who's maybe running for mayor, to declare her candidacy or step down from her day job. Quoth a rep for DFER's Illinois branch: "With a $40,000 contribution to her mayoral campaign, President Lewis has made it clear she is running for mayor, but she has also said that she will force negotiations over a new teachers contract this year. Doing both would present nothing short of a conflict of interest. Chicagoans won't know whether President Lewis is representing her members, her political interests, or if she’d use the negotiations merely as an extension of her campaign." Lewis dismissed DFER's statement, telling the Sun-Times, "Yes, I can do both jobs. People act like I'm the only one in this office and that I do all these different things. We have a bargaining team of 75 people. ... I don't care what DFER tells me. They can go back to running their 'Hey, Girl' racist radio spots." In the group's defense, Karen are you going to run or not? Please check "yes" or "no" and slip your answer underneath Ward Room's door. "MAYBE" IS NOT AN OPTION.
Rodney Davis vs. Ann Callis. The race between Republican Rep. Davis and his Democratic challenger in Illinois' 13th congressional district is getting nastier with seven weeks left 'til the Nov. 4 election. Callis dropped another negative ad Thursday, taking swipes at Davis for allegedly spending too much time wining and dining with DC "insiders." (It all comes down to wine, doesn't it?). Retaliating, Davis' campaign invoked Callis' "growing residency scandal" and called her spot "smarmy," "desperate" and "untruthful." But according to Callis, Davis did indeed spend nearly $40,000 at Washington steakhouses, which proves that the congressman really loves a good steak.