Rauer's Anti-Madigan Mailers Show Political Strategy

With Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's major political cash reserves, his campaign can continue, even six months after he was sworn in as governor. Capitol Fax's Rich Miller takes a look at the situation:

House Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters earlier this month that he'd had a "frank discussion" with Gov. Bruce Rauner, "and I gave him good, solid advice."

Word is, that advice had two parts.

First, the Governor needs to find a way to get himself out of this long overtime session, no state budget mess.

Second, if the Governor thinks he can get himself out of this mess by somehow breaking the Speaker's will, he's mistaken.

But the governor isn't giving up. In fact, he has doubled down.

Rauner has made it clear that there will be no budget talks until the Democrats give in on his "Turnaround Agenda," including his anti-union demands.

And several days after receiving Speaker Madigan's "advice," the governor started sending some very negative direct mail pieces into some Democratic-controlled legislative districts.

The Rauner folks say almost 20 legislative districts were targeted last week. Both House and Senate districts were targeted. "More to come," a Rauner guy told me.

Illinois government running like one big political campaign
The mailer I obtained from one of my former interns features an ominous photo of Speaker Madigan above and behind a picture of a smiling Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg), who won her race by three percentage points last year, despite optimism by Republicans that they had her on the run.

"Chicago political boss Mike Madigan wants your Rep. Michelle Mussman to kill the reforms you voted for," claims the mailer, which displays her district office number and asks recipients to "Call Michelle Mussman now and tell her to side with taxpayers, not with Mike Madigan's Chicago political machine."

"Michelle Mussman should work for you, not Mike Madigan," claims the other side of the mailer. "Tell Madigan & Mussman: No property tax hikes!" the mailer exhorts.

Read the rest of Miller's analysis of Rauner's campaign money strategies at Reboot Illinois.

Speaking of campaign cash, one Illinoisan is topping up his supply: State Sen. Daniel Biss filed paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections to run for state comptroller in the 2016 special election. Biss also has about $1.2 million in campaign money saved, say supporters. Biss would be challenging current Comptroller Leslie Munger, who was appointed by Rauner after the unexpected death of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka. Check out who his other competition could be--and his or her high-profile supporter--at Reboot Illinois.