Rauner’s Blago Ad shows he fears Pritzker most

Rauner’s Blago Ad shows he fears Pritzker most

Rauner’s Blago Ad shows he fears Pritzker most

Gov. Bruce Rauner launched a new series of ads attacking J.B. Pritzker, associating Pritzker with disgraced former Governor Rod Blagojevich. But the ads are premature and come during the March 20 Democratic Primary rather than in the November General Election campaign. It suggests that Rauner fears Pritzker and that is helping Pritzker gain momentum

By Ray Hanania

I never thought Gov. Bruce Rauner was very bright. Yes, he did defeat Pat Quinn in November 2014, but that isn’t much to brag about.

Voters didn’t vote for Rauner because they liked him. The voted for Rauner because they disliked the unreliable Pat Quinn. Quinn couldn’t escape his personal hypocrisies. Once in office, Quinn forgot about his friends.

But Quinn is yesterday’s news and the focus is on the governor’s race. Nothing really changes. Illinois has another bad governor leading our state. And this week, Rauner showed how stupid he really is when he unleashed a nuclear bomb TV Ad attacking Democratic candidate J. B. Pritzker.

J.B. Pritzker from his campaign Facebook Page at UFCW union endorsement.

J.B. Pritzker from his campaign Facebook Page at UFCW union endorsement.

Pritzker is a billionaire who bought his way into politics, much like Rauner. And his money must be having an impact.

The Rauner Ad features audio tapes collected by the FBI during their investigation of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich back in 2008. Turns out that Pritzker discussed the possibility of Blagojevich naming him as Illinois Attorney General, in exchange for his support. Blagojevich said he would if Pritzker backed Blagojevich’s effort to get Lisa Madigan, the daughter of Blagojevich rival House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, to run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama when he became president.

Blago wasn’t much of a political chess player. His big mouth pushed him deeper into a record setting prison sentence after his conviction.

Pritzker, who previously ran for Congress in the 9th District in 1998, losing to Evanston State Rep. Jan Schakowsky, one of the best qualified people to hold a congressional seat in Illinois, wanted any office, it seems. Congressman. Illinois Attorney General. And now Governor.

Pritzker is remembered for slandering Muslims during the 1998 congressional election by attacking the Muslim American Council of Illinois calling them a “terrorist” organization because they were critical of Israel. He’s been asked to apologize for that remark, but Pritzker has not done so.

The Rauner ad is the equivalent of a Political Nuclear Bomb. But it begs the question. Why is Rauner running that Ad now, when he could save it for after the primary election? Rauner has one challenger in the March 20 Republican Primary, William Kennedy, who he should easily beat.

Instead of focusing on his GOP primary, he is instead focused on the Democratic primary where Pritzker is battling Christopher Kennedy, the son of the late U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of the assassinated President John F. Kennedy, in the March 20 Democratic Primary.

Normally, a Republican would hold back such a powerful attack message like the one he has on the Blagojevich-Pritzker conversation. Why use it now? He should have held off until the Nov. 6, General Election, if Rauner defeats Kennedy, or not at all if Kennedy wins.

Rauner clearly fears Pritzker and see’s the Democratic billionaire as the strongest foe he can face. Rauner thinks he would have an easier time going head-to-head in November with Kennedy. But that theory suggests Rauner has political smarts. And honestly, I don’t think he does.

If Pritzker wins the Democratic Primary, a smart candidate would hold the Blagojevich-Pritzker Nuke until weeks before the General election, to have the greatest negative impact. And if he isn’t the candidate, then Rauner wouldn’t need to drop that bomb at all.

Rauner is counting his chickens before they hatch. I am pretty sure that in November, Illinois will have a Democratic Governor, either Pritzker or Kennedy. In this election, Rauner clearly is the weakest of them all.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Click Here to LISTEN to Hanania's live radio show on 2nd Friday every month 7 AM CST. Click here to listen to Ray's Podcasts. 

His columns are archived here. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at rghanania@gmail.com.

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