The Enemy Within!
We are a little under a year until the Democratic Primary Election for Governor and you can see the momentum building up across our great state. Each of the candidates are attending forums, rallies, County Party events and media interviews. I am excited to see how each of the candidate’s campaigns is taking shape and the issues they want to champion. There is something else that is brewing and it is something that I want to address with each of you.
In today’s political environment of social media and instant cable news, it is easy to see campaign rhetoric get heated quickly. We are starting to see this in our Governor’s race and that is why I am cautioning everyone. I am not singling out any one candidate but recently the tone has started to change. Whisper campaigns, back biting and other malicious comments lose us elections. It is very easy to quickly turn against each other when we have a heated primary. Primary fights can be a good thing if they help energize our Party. What we are seeing now is not that.
Some of this rhetoric is being fueled by activists, strategists and staff that are supporting our candidates. I believe that individuals who perpetuate these types of activities are “The Enemy Within” the Democratic Party. Their actions leave deep scars that no nominee can heal and hand elections to the Republicans.
I have met with all our great candidates for Governor. I have even met our current Governor once at the Capitol. I can say without hesitation or reservation that any of our candidates are far superior to Governor Rauner. Rauner has used his unlimited resources to exploit, engrain and fabricate a false narrative of who we are as a Democratic Party. All the Democratic candidates are good people with good ideas about a vision forward for our state. Furthermore, let me be crystal clear about this. The IDCCA’s goal is to make sure that a DEMOCRAT wins the Governor’s race in 2018.
We cannot, as good Democrats, do the Republicans work for them. It will be harder to unite our Party and win if the Republicans are running ads against us using comments made in this Primary Election. Our candidates, their supporters and staff must focus on what this Governor has done to hurt our state. They must focus on sharing their vision to fixing the problems that Rauner has created. They must connect with voters and share their stories.
The Democratic Party is considered the “Big Tent Party”. We accept different points of view and are willing to work with individuals from all backgrounds to advance our message of fighting for the Middle Class. The politics of division will fail us as a Democratic Party. We are better than that and citizens of Illinois deserve better than that.
If you think about our Democratic Municipal candidates that won last month, what is the one trait that each of the campaigns share? They worked together with several different groups towards a common goal. They shared their vision for the communities and worked hard to communicated that vision to the voters. Their efforts were rewarded when communities resoundingly elected Democrats in all corners of our state.
When we focus on a common goal and not tearing each other down, we can do great things. So, when you hear a candidate, staff, surrogate or fellow Democrat say anything disparaging about any of our candidates for Governor, please ask them to stop it. Please ask them to share their vision for our state and how, working together, we can fix it. The Democratic candidates for Governor have some great ideas and we should all be supporting them as we work to fix our broken state from the mess that Rauner has created.