Read Between the Lines
So the Tribune endorsed Ron Gidwitz in the upcoming Republican gubernatorial primary. And ordinarily, the Democrats might not pay that much attention to the endorsement, but those that read it got an eye-opening foreshadowing of what's coming down the pipe.
In the midst of the endorsement came these two shots across the bow:
In 2002, the Republican Party lost the governorship of Illinois in part because it didn't confront the depth of that anger. But after three years of a Democratic regime's insider deals, profiteering advisers and campaign lucre, it's clear Illinois merely changed channels: Dial out bribes-for-licenses, tune in pay-to-play...Now obviously, the paper leans Republican, but I think that there's more to it than just that. I think that the corruption, ethics, and pay-to-play issues are going to drown out most every other issue in the General Election.
Above all, come that general election, Republicans will need a candidate whom voters of all persuasions will trust to drain the moat of cronyism and self-dealing that isolates the domed Statehouse from 12 million Illinois citizens.
Don't get me wrong, pension and fiscal stability issues are going to be in the mix as well, but it's looking like every time the current administration will try to focus on the items that should be paramount - education, healthcare, economic growth, etc., they are going to have difficulty breaking out of the black hole that is ethics reform.
Personally, I think that he would be wise, substantively and politically, to push for passage of HB4073 (Fritchey-Black) that addresses the pay-to-play issue. Obviously, he would be assailed as being reactionary, but he is easily skilled enough to turn it into a political plus with the public.
I think that doing nothing on the issue, as well as letting his own campaign reform initiative lay dormant, simply opens him up to more criticism, which judging from the Tribune editorial, is not what he needs right now.