Sense of Urgency by IDCCA President Doug House
It is nice to have the March Primary in the rear view mirror. There are many positive indications that Democrats can compete and win against Billionaire Governor Bruce Rauner. That being said there were many things that we need to be on guard for. Now more than ever we need a sense of urgency if we are going to really take the fight to Governor Rauner.
I am happy to report that all three of the IDCCA endorsed candidates were victorious in the Democratic Primary. Also two of the highest financially supported Rauner candidates were beaten because of the efforts of the Democratic Party and Organized Labor. We can hold our heads high that on March 15th, we won the day. What we need to be on guard about are the problems that were being reported statewide.
The Democratic Primary saw record turnout and many counties were not prepared for this. Many counties did not have enough ballots for Democrats and Republicans. Election judges were also untrained or unprepared for Same Day Voter Registration. Many counties extended voting hours to 8:30pm because of the countless problems. This is something that should alarm every County Chairmen and every Precinct Committeemen. Going into the November election we must keep a watchful eye on these issues to make sure that the proper authorities are informed on these situations. In future newsletters we will go over training in Voter Protection to ensure that individuals are prepared come Election Day and that every voter has a chance to cast their vote.
By the time the General Election gets here the Democratic Party will be at full capacity with resources with multiple statewide races, legislative races (both Congressional and Illinois), local county wide races and the fight for the White House. We are facing the real possibility of Donald Trump as the top of the GOP ticket. Governor Rauner and U.S. Senator Kirk have already pledged their support for Trump if he is the nominee. We know we will not be able to compete with the money that these three individuals can throw around. But what we do know is that we have been candidates, we are able to organize better and a majority of the State of Illinois disagrees with their positions.
I know that is it only April but we need to start getting organized now. This should include the training that the IDCCA is putting together and it should include the recruitment of new Precinct Committeemen. We know that if we reach voters with our message that they are more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate. By November, the billions that will be spent on television and radio advertising will seem like white noise to voters. We need to be knocking on their doors and identifying the issues that are important to them. Event with unlimited resources, billionaire Governor Rauner will not be able to push his anti-Union, anti-student, anti-senior and anti-disabled agenda if we take our message directly to the voters.
The IDCCA will be playing a major role in helping each of the County Parties with organizing and taking the fight to Governor Rauner. We took a big first step last month at our first ever Chicago Reception on March 21st. Well over 200 people attended the event and we raised over $70,000 to go towards our three year plan. It was very inspiring to see so many people who support our organization and believe in the future of the Democratic Party. This event is something that has been talked about for a while and to see it finally come to fruition is very satisfying. Thank you to the IDCCA Executive Board, to the members of the Host Committee, to all of the event sponsors and to all of the County Chairmen who were able to attend.
Even though I am extremely proud of what we accomplished last month, I am immediately reminded that the big fight is still to come. One week prior to the Primary Election it was reported that Governor Rauner gave his campaign fund two million dollars from the reported 50 million he made last year in interest. It’s laughable when Rauner talks about how much he cares about Illinois while social services and universities are making drastic cuts because of his inability to do his job. We should be reminding voters every chance that we can that the House & Senate Democrats have passed a budget. Governor Rauner choose to veto that budget instead of working with legislators to make amendatory cuts. Under the Illinois Constitution, Governor Rauner is responsible for submitting a budget. So as we enter the 10th month without a state budget, Governor Rauner continues to act like a child.
We know what we are up against and we know what we need to do to fight off Governor Rauner in November. We cannot wait until Donald Trump or Ted Cruz is the GOP nominee. The Republican Party is imploding on itself because of extremist views like Trump and Cruz. There will be literally several issues on the ballot (i.e. Roe v. Wade, Union rights, Free Speech, LGBT rights) in the General Election. Add in the extremist views of Governor Rauner and proves that this election will be the most important of our lives.
We must act with a sense of urgency if we expect to fight back against these individuals. Each of us is a member of the Democratic Party for various reasons. Whether it is because of your commitment to Organized Labor, your support of civil rights issues, your support of women’s issues, etc. Many of the voters in your precinct share your commitment. We need to be reaching these voters now so that they know the Democratic Party is going to fight for them. If we can get these voters to turn out and vote, we can guarantee that we will be able to stop Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Bruce Rauner and Mark Kirk.