Can you believe it's almost over?
In a matter of days we'll have a new governor of Illinois: Will it be Pat Quinn? Bruce Rauner? Chad Whatshisface?
Time flies when you're slinging mud.
Lo and behold, my final report of the season:
Rauner vs. Quinn. The GOP nominee thinks the Democratic governor is being a total credit hog by touting Republican-y things like bringing jobs to Illinois. Only Republicans are allowed to do that. You know Team Rauner quietly fumed when Quinn—in a "na-na-na-na-na" move—announced that Amazon will hire 1,000 employees for its new warehouse here. "Together with great companies like Amazon growing and thriving in Illinois, we'll build on this progress and create even more jobs," declared Quinn, rubbing it in and basking in his excellent timing so close to Election Day. But Rauner, who knows from jobs-creation because he is a Republican and a multi-millionaire investor who can make it rain like Leo in Wolf of Wall Street but without the trainwreck, sniffed that the incumbent (whom he's repeatedly blasted a "failure" on the economy) had not achieved "nearly enough" to boost the state's business prospects. Now they're both fighting over who gets props for the new Goose Island-based Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute: Quinn celebrated the facility's Thursday ground-breaking alongside Chicago Mayor (and Rauner pal) Rahm Emanuel; Rauner was so miffed, he released a statement accusing Team Quinn of brazen theft.
"I certainly won’t take all the credit for that project that has had many partners and people to play the role in that project. But I developed that plan, I proposed that project. I went to the mayor of Chicago six years ago with that project, took us a little while to get it off the ground," said Rauner, thumping his chest. "That was my brainchild. I’m proud of it. I don’t take all the credit at all, but it’s an indication we’ve had a governor for six years who hasn’t shown much initiative, who hasn’t come up with any new, innovative ideas. I’ve got a lot."
Quinn countered that he indeed contributed to getting the project off the ground—securing federal funding and the like—and seized another opportunity to slime his opponent as a "bully." (Dear Pat: Playing the victim makes you look kinda weak. Especially in a debate. Bruce has more swagger than you. Where's yours?)
Meanwhile, the money kept rolling in—and with that, extra mud to fling. Together the candidates are on the path to surpass a record-breaking $100 million on this knock-down, drag-out, toss-up of a gubernorial race. Cue a tidal wave of ubiquitous, inescapable television ads!
Let there be comfort in knowing that post-election, no nasty real-life political attack spots will distract from your total enjoyment of Alicia Florrick's fictional campaign for Illinois State's Attorney on the Good Wife. That is all that matters.
Durbin vs. Oberweis. Even if you don't support anything Jim Oberweis stands for, you've got to give the GOP ice cream magnate some credit. There's something Rudy-esque about his tenacity and pluck. He squared off against U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Downstate Democrat and DC power broker, in one last debate before Nov. 4. Oberweis dubbed Durbin a "walking job killer." Durbin sniped that Oberweis is too "extreme," too tea party-ish for the state.
The Illinois GOP vs. RAMPANT VOTER FRAUD. The Republican Party is going all "code red" on allegedly fraudalent activity at the ballot box. In a robo-call to registered loyalists Thursday, GOP chair Tim Schneider warned: "Across the state we’re seeing electronic voting machines that automatically switch a vote from Republican to Democrat. We’re also seeing news reports of Democrats offering money and prizes for votes. Tampering with voting machines and vote-buying is illegal—it's a felony, and we’re going to make sure anyone who does it gets prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." Now that sounds desperado, paranoid even, possibly a response to the surge in early voting across Democrat-leaning Cook County, the state's most powerful bloc and an election-decider. But seriously? Robocalls are ridiculously annoying. (Rauner himself is among the "Top 10" biggest robocall-offenders in the nation.)
Is it too late to send out a petition for Alicia Florrick?