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Rich Miller biography

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Rich Miller has been writing about Illinois politics since 1990. He began publishing Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, in 1993. He is recognized …

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Miller: Wary of Rauner, Mike Madigan moves left

Worries about low Democratic turnout in an off-year election for an unpopular governor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s millions in campaign spending are obviously driving much of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s legislative agenda this year. “If you’re an African-American on the South Side, …

Miller: Rauner trying hard to pretend he’s not anti-union

It didn’t take long for Republican gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner to drop the word “unions” from his vocabulary. After bashing public employee union leaders for months as corrupt bosses who buy votes to control Springfield, Rauner and his campaign have assiduously avoided the use of …

Miller: Rutherford credibility, candidacy fading fast

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford delivered a forceful, even believable, defense of himself last week during a news conference hours after he was hit with a federal lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and coerced campaign work. Rutherford made a strong case that at least some of the …

Miller: Rauner’s TV blitz also hurting views of Quinn

Without a doubt, the most overlooked aspect of Bruce Rauner’s multimillion-dollar spending on TV commercials has been his advertising campaign’s repeated attacks on Gov. Pat Quinn. “Career politicians are running our state into the ground, and Pat Quinn, he’s at the top of the heap,” …

Miller: Topinka worked hard to get key labor support

I don’t think I’ve seen a Republican or just about any candidate of any stripe work as hard for an AFL-CIO endorsement than state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka did. She assiduously courted the unions that represent workers in her office, worked to help the Teamsters …

Miller: Poll shows Rauner pulling away in GOP race

A solid week of horribly negative media coverage of Bruce Rauner was apparently outweighed by lots and lots of television commercials because his numbers are still rising. A new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll found that Rauner’s lead has increased in the Republican gubernatorial primary …

Miller: Rauner tries to overcome stumble on minimum wage

If Bruce Rauner manages to successfully back away from his recently unearthed statement in December that he favored reducing the state’s minimum wage by $1 an hour, he will have dodged a serious political bullet. A new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll indicates that lowering …

Miller: Unions gear up to try to stop Rauner in GOP primary

It’s no secret that Republican primary election voters in Illinois have been almost rigidly hierarchical when it comes to choosing gubernatorial candidates. They pretty much always choose the candidate who can best demonstrate that it’s his or her “turn.” In 1990, after eight years as …

Miller: Too late for Madigan to change his image

House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman said last week that his boss’ statement opposing further corporate “handouts” basically “speaks for itself.” But does it? Madigan invoked the populist gods last week as he called for an end to the “case-by-case system of introducing and debating legislation …

Miller: Big money pours into Rauner campaign, thanks to rich pals

By now, it should be self-evident that Bruce Rauner has locked up pretty much all the big money in the Republican primary election for governor. The Dec. 3 pension reform vote in the Legislature provides even more evidence. Rauner has built an impenetrable fortress of …

Miller: Pension reform a boost for Quinn in two ways

The Legislature’s long-awaited and much-anticipated approval of a pension reform bill this week, narrowly passing despite the support of the four legislative leaders, is designed to do away with the state’s roughly $100 billion pension debt over 30 years — mainly by raising the retirement …

Miller: For Illinois unions, it’s anyone but Rauner in GOP governor race

Illinois union leaders are reportedly mulling several options about what to do in the governor’s race. But the only thing they appear to agree on so far is that anti-union multimillionaire Bruce Rauner cannot be allowed to win. Some union honchos are looking at endorsing …

Miller: Rauner digs into his deep pockets as poll shows he’s running last

Back in mid-August, near the end of his summertime TV advertising blitz, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner scored 14 percent in a Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll of likely GOP primary voters. That was up a tick from the 12 percent he got in a …

Miller: Expensive effort by anti-gay marriage group fails in Illinois

Perhaps the biggest loser in last Tuesday’s historic passage of a gay marriage bill in the Legislature was the National Organization for Marriage. The group, based in Washington, D.C., has been at the forefront of attempts to stop gay marriage in states throughout the country. …

Miller: Petulant Madigan getting thrown off his game

The rich irony of House Speaker Michael Madigan denouncing somebody else for attempting to be a “kingmaker” is so obvious and laughable that I can’t help but wonder why a guy who’s been a take-no-prisoners kingmaker for so long would ever think of saying such …

Miller: Rahm, NRA may be close on gun control bill

Back when Richard M. Daley was Chicago’s mayor, hizzoner would hold a big, splashy news conference every year with cops and prosecutors and crime victims to unveil his new gun control legislation. The Chicago media poobahs would shout their huzzahs, the National Rifle Association would …

Miller: Campaign finance reports show haves, have-nots

Let’s take a quick look at the campaign finance disclosure reports filed last week by some statewide candidates, shall we? Bill Brady — It goes without saying that the $66,104 Brady reported raising during the third quarter was beyond pathetic. But here’s how bad the …