Republican political strategist Mary Matalin predicts a 1980 redux on Election Day, with Mitt Romney emerging victorious by 7 percentage points in the popular vote.
Matalin, 59, spoke Thursday evening at St. Xavier University in the Mount Greenwood community of Chicago alongside Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, who believes the race will be much, much closer.
"Just 2 to 3 points, favoring the president," Brazile said.
Matalin and Brazile — who are close friends — went back and forth in a discussion of presidential politics and campaign war stories in SXU's Shannon Center before a crowd of 1,000 people.
Matalin, a Calumet City native who says she may never have left Chicago had the steel mills survived, allowed that she might be kidding herself. Still, she's thinking "landslide" because she believes Romney's ground game is just better than Barack Obama's, even though the Democrats are micro targeting people via their friends on Twitter and Facebook.
Brazile stood in for Arianna Huffington, founder and editor of the Huffington Post, who was co-headliner of the evening but had to back out due to hip surgery. Brazile said she believes Romney already has lost Ohio.
State Tax Hike Fear: Scott Reeder, reporting in the advance email newsletter for his Reeder Report, writes that that Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, believes the Democrats in the General Assembly may make the temporary 67 percent income tax hike permanent in the lame duck session that starts Jan. 9.
Radogno told the Reeder Report:
“It would be absolutely in character for the Democratic majority to call something like this up for a vote.”
Radogno said the ruling Democrats are spending money in a manner that would suggest they plan to make the tax hike permanent. She added she would not vote for an extension of the income tax increase either now or at the time it is set to partially expire at the end of 2014.
Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said via a spokeswoman that any notion of extending the tax-hike is "a flat-out lie."
Teachers Retirement System Could Bleed Out: IllinoisWatchdog.org is reporting that the financial prospects for the state's teachers retirement system are looking worse. The Teachers’ Retirement System is seeking $3.4 billion from the state for its portion of the pension costs for fiscal year 2014. That’s about $500 million more than the system sought from the state for the previous fiscal year.
TRS announced last week that it earned a mere .76-percent return on its investments, primarily because of a negative 11.71-percent rate of return on international stocks. Other investments, including real estate, bonds, private equity and hedge funds, had positive investment returns.
A year ago TRS reported a 23.6 percent return on its investments. TRS officials say long-term returns are what matters most, not year-to-year returns. They noted that TRS’ 20-year return on investment is 7.73 percent — a figure that is not nearly sufficient to make a dent in the debt, critics say.
During the summer, TRS revised downward its expected rate of return from 8.5 percent to 8 percent, under pressure from government accountability groups that say anticipated rates of return were unrealistic and too exaggerated.
This Patch on Politics post appears on the Patch network throughout Chicago and the suburbs.
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