Thursday, October 21, 2010 Formidable opponents: Dems must overcome themselves to keep Ill. Legislature

I'm guessing the straight-talk Mike Noland mentions ain't going to be enough,

Democratic campaign funds have raised $7.8 million since July, compared to $2.9 million for Republicans. At the beginning of the month Democrats still had more than $7 million in the bank, while the GOP had $3.2 million.

First-term Sen. Michael Noland, an Elgin Democrat, believes straight talk will rescue his party. He's engaging voters on tax reform - he voted for an income tax increase last year but wants it coupled with local property-tax relief - spending cuts, bolstering the economy, and limiting borrowing.

"We've got a real mess, and people know it. They understand it. And they realize that it's not just one party versus the other," Noland said. "They look at it as, 'Look, you guys are both to blame. Fix it. We're not wedded to one ideology versus another.'"

Steven Rauschenberger believes the problem for Democrats goes beyond party, too.

"What we're seeing nationally and locally is an anti-arrogance vote. It's not just about Democrats," said Rauschenberger, an Elgin Republican attempting a comeback against Noland, who took the seat in 2006 when Rauschenberger ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor.

"It's about incumbents who don't listen," Rauschenberger said. "It's about political power bosses who don't care."

That is what has contributed to the meltdown, Republicans say, where even Democrats can't agree in Springfield, where a Senate with a supermajority of Democrats and a House just a vote shy of one can't agree with the Democratic governor on budget spending priorities and simply hand him a lump sum to dole out as he decides.

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