Nekritz went back to eating her salad.
On November 6th things looked pretty sweet for Democrats.
In Illinois too.
After all, there were several high-profile congressional races that the Democrats won. A couple were really unexpected – like in the 10th CD where Republican Robert Dold had a huge money advantage, but lost to centrist Democrat Brad Schneider.
And the Democrats won veto proof majorities in the state house and senate.
But scratch the surface, look a little deeper and there is trouble ahead.
Back before the election I posted about a conversation I had with Representative Elaine Nekrtiz, Democrat from the north suburban 57th house district.
This was at a luncheon of the North Lakeshore unit of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association.
I suggested to Representative Nekritz that the anti-labor stand of the Governor and the leading role of the state’s Democrats in going after public employee pensions would cause a rupture in the traditional alliance between labor unions and Democrats in the state. I further suggested that if the Republicans nominated a non-Tea Party moderate in the Jim Edgar mold, it would be difficult for a Democrat to hold on to the governor’s mansion.
Certainly not Pat Quinn.
Nekritz shrugged and went back to eating her salad.
She can’t say I didn’t warn her.
The defeat of the Constitutional Amendment gives a hint of what I called a stealth vote when I was on Ken Davis’ Chicago Newsroom last week.
With modest union effort and a grassroots campaign, the amendment garnered 1.7 million no votes. Given that the wording of the amendment as it appeared on the ballot essentially urged a yes vote, the no votes constituted an informed intentional voting bloc. And those voters are spread out in every legislative district in the state.
Pat Quinn’s unilateral termination of the AFSCME contract with state employees sealed the deal on his reelection. It won’t happen.
And there is more.
Read Glen Brown’s recent post on the theft of public employee pensions.
There won’t be a union voter in Illinois who won’t know about and be ready to retaliate over this attempt at grand theft robbery. Whether the theft is successful or not.
Illiinois Democrats should take no comfort in the November 6th’s wins.
They were mostly the result of Madigan-mandering state and congressional districts – not because of popular support. Without the hugely popular President Obama at the top of the Illinois ticket things will look very different in 2014.
Unless, of course, the Republicans nominate another Tea Party fool.