Illinois GOP campaign targets longtime Democrats' grip on power
The Illinois Republican Party launched digital ads this week to highlight disproportionately lengthy tenures of Illinois' leading career politicians, including State House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Dist. 22) and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), following “disastrous” decisions made recently in Springfield by the General Assembly.
“Today, leaders of the Democratic Party of Illinois held a breakfast blaming everyone but themselves for Illinois’ problems,” Illinois Republican Party spokesman Steven Yaffe said. “But what they didn’t mention was that they have collectively run Illinois into the ground for almost 200 years.”
Yaffe named half a dozen lawmakers who have accumulated almost two centuries of power among them: 45 years for Madigan, 41 years for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, 37 years for State Sen. John Cullerton (D-Dist. 6), 33 years for Durbin, 15 years for Chicago City Clerk and former State Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Dist. 1), and 14 years for State Treasurer Mike Frerichs.
“That’s 185 years of power,” Yaffe said, adding that Durbin, who is Madigan's pick for governor in 2018, is a career D.C. politician who opposes term limits and would be “a rubber stamp” for tax hikes.
This past spring, State House Democrats prioritized their allegiance to Madigan over Illinois’ fiscal well-being, Republican leaders said. By approving a “disastrous” budget that would boost the deficit to $7 billion and spike taxes by $1,000 per family, Democratic legislators evidently “would rather jump off the fiscal cliff than stand up to Mike Madigan,” the Illinois Republican Party said on its website.
To combat the perceived recklessness, the House Republican Organization initiated robo-calls throughout seven key districts to publicize the decision, followed by robust social media advertising.
“For State House Democrats, it was the ultimate loyalty test,” the voice-over for each ad states. “Given two hours to read Chicago Political Boss Mike Madigan’s phony, 500-page budget, the choice was simple: Protect Illinois or do Madigan’s bidding?”