Republican MAGAs target Illinois school boards.
It's part of a national playbook.
We voted for Brandon Johnson as Chicago’s Mayor this morning.
Although I had supported the incumbent Lori Lightfoot in the first round, I had always said that I would support Chuy Garcia or Brandon Johnson against Republican Paul Vallas.
The choice is a no-brainer.
It is shameful but no surprise that some national Democrats like our Senator Dick Durbin would back Vallas. No matter that Vallas has proclaimed himself a Republican earlier.
Durbin is part of the centrist wing of the Democratic Party that spends more time and energy attacking the Progressives than they do the Republicans.
Durbin was brought in to the Vallas campaign with a week to go to give some credibility to Vallas’s lie that he is a life-long Democrat, even as his own recorded words say something quite different.
In a 2009 interview with Jeff Berkowitz, Vallas described himself as a Republican:
BERKOWITZ: "You think of yourself as a Republican?"
VALLAS: "I'm more of a Republican than Democrat now, but I'm ..."
BERKOWITZ: "If you run again for office you'd be running as a Republican as opposed to a Democrat?"
VALLAS: "I would, yes, yes, if I ran for public office ..."
Chicago’s municipal elections are non-partisan, created after Democrat Harold Washington beat the Democratic Party Machine. The change was for the very purpose of allowing Republicans to stealth win in this heavily Democratic city.
A Vallas win would give momentum to a national Republican strategy of making inroads into areas of Democratic Party strength.
Democratic Party leader Dick Durbin just aided and abetted that strategy.
Another Republican game plan, as reported in today’s Chicago Tribune, is to target local elected school board races.
The Chicago suburbs have become a key battleground. From Oswego to Wheaton to Barrington to Lockport and beyond, tens of thousands of dollars are pouring into several ostensibly nonpartisan races ahead of the April 4 balloting as what have historically been low-interest elections are roiled by debates where Republican talking points such as “parental rights,” “gender ideology” and “critical race theory” are taking center stage.
It’s a national playbook, written primarily by conservatives and the GOP, aimed at gaining a political foothold, particularly in increasingly Democratic suburbia, by getting like-minded candidates elected to what are traditionally among the easiest and least expensive offices to win.
Next year Chicago will have an elected school board consisting of 21 members.
The Chicago school board elections will be supposedly non-partisan.
As the Tribune points out, the targeting of school board races by MAGA Republicans is part of the national GOP playbook.
National Democrats seem to be missing in action from this fight.
Like Durbin, they are too busy backing Republicans like Vallas and attacking Progressives like Johnson.
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