How GITMO in Illinois could be an X-Factor in both the Wisconsin and Illinois Governor races.

When looking at the race for Governor in both Wisconsin and Illinois, voters in the two states have jobs, taxes, and the economy as their first thoughts on the issues.  Now, there is a emerging issue in Illinois with the possibility of detainees from Guantanamo Bay held in Thomson, IL which is a three hour drive from both Milwaukee and Madison.    As the facility is located within driving distance of four major cities in two states raises the concern of national security being an X-Factor in both the Wisconsin and Illinois Governor’s races.

Governor Pat Quinn who is running for re-election in 2010 in spite of a harsh primary fight from State Comptroller Dan Hynes may see bringing GITMO detainees to the Prairie State as his possible downfall.  Also, if Quinn survives the Democrat primary for Governor less than 90 days from now the issue of GITMO could give the GOP a oversized punching bag to attack Governor Quinn on the issue.   Just about every Republican Governor candidate in Illinois is opposed to Guantanamo Bay detainees being held at the Thomson Correctional Center.  One of the Republican candidates, Dan Proft told the Chicago Sun Times over the weekend:  “that if we do not allow the GITMO detainees in Illinois, then Thomson’s empty cells should be used to help relieve prison overcrowding in Illinois.”    Bill Brady who is another GOP Governor candidate in Illinois has viewed Governor Quinn’s tactics as a bait and switch to the overburdened taxpayers of the Prairie State. The Downstate Illinois State Senator raised the question as Governor Quinn is asking for more taxpayer money to build more prisons while Thomson sits empty.  These two sentiments are part of a shared accusation against the Governor of playing a political shell game.

Despite the GITMO controversy in Illinois has serious issues for the Prairie State, there are serious national security implications in Wisconsin if terrorists are detained within a three hour drive of two major Wisconsin cities.  Despite the race for Wisconsin Governor between Scott Walker and Tom Barrett is underway, the GITMO issue in Illinois could be one of three X-factors in race for the Governor’s mansion in Wisconsin.   The other two X-factors in the race are conceal-carry and opting out of the Public Option.  With Barrett being a former Congressman,  his voting record on national security issues could come into play in the race for Governor on Homeland Security issues.  If GITMO in Illinois becomes the X-Factor in the race for Wisconsin Governor, Barrett will have a very difficult time  selling his campaign with independent voters if he supports housing terrorist detainees within a three hour distance of Milwaukee and Madison.   According to SurveyUSA, President Obama’s approval rating in the Badger State is only at 39% with independent voters in a poll commissioned by KSTP-TV in Minneapolis.

The factor of GITMO detainees housed in Illinois could be a reason why people in Wisconsin will pay attention to the primary for Governor in both parties in Illinois less than 90 days from now.   As people are concerned about the safety and security of the Badger State and the Prairie State, they will pay attention to the candidates who will make homeland security a top priority in their states.  GITMO could be another chip on the table to prove that next year’s Governor’s elections are a referendum on the Democrats in power and Team Obama.

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8 Responses to How GITMO in Illinois could be an X-Factor in both the Wisconsin and Illinois Governor races.

  1. grumps says:

    ” If GITMO in Illinois becomes the X-Factor in the race for Wisconsin Governor, Barrett will have a very difficult time selling his campaign with independent voters if he supports housing terrorist detainees within a three hour distance of Milwaukee and Madison. ”

    What does that sentence even mean?

    Why would this have any bearing at all on the Wisconsin race?

    Do you think that terrorists will be skipping out for day trips to Galena?

    What relevance does “a three-hour drive” have on anything but Gilligan’s Island?

    Have Wisconsin Independents really identified Illinois’ prison system as a concern for 2010?

    • Kyle Maichle says:

      Grumps, WI Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner has led the charge against GITMO in Illinois. He said on Today’s TMJ 4 at 10 last night that he opposes GITMO in Illinois in which is three hours away from Milwaukee and Madison.

      The issue of GITMO of Illinois could make people in Wisconsin concerned as terrorists could be housed within driving distance of four major cities. Milwaukee, Madison, Rockford, IL, and Chicago.

      Because the detainees will be tried in federal court, they will either have to go to Rockford or Chicago to go to court. However, if there are security concerns with the detainees going to court in Illinois, they may have to go to Milwaukee. Federal law allows for venue switches for court proceedings if the safety of court staff is threatened. The federal courthouse in Downtown Chicago (Everett Dirksen Building) is in the financial district of the city which is a prime target for terrorist attacks. Also add on Willis Tower (AKA Sears Tower) in the vicinity and you have a recipe for a major catastrophe.

      The possibility of detainees going to court in Milwaukee is a reason why Wisconsin people will be concerned. This is not a state issue grumps, it is national security issue that effects bordering states in its proximity.

      GITMO in Illinois is already a factor in the Illinois race for Governor with less than 90 days to go before the primary. If GITMO keeps lingering in Illinois, it will be a factor in Wisconsin’s race because it will put people in Southern Wisconsin in vicinity of danger.

  2. Jim Arndt says:

    So Kyle, are you scared of some incarcerated terrorists? Do you think they might break out? What’s the problem here?

  3. Zach W. says:

    When I have a bad day at work, I just come home and read this blog and suddenly I feel a smile on my face.

  4. Lennie says:

    Bringing the terrorists to IL for trial is ridiculous. They were captured on the battlefield and should be tried in military courts.

    In addition, housing them in the US invites attempts to break them out of prison. That won’t happen in GITMO.

    • Jim Arndt says:

      There is no way they are going to be broken out of a maximum security prison.
      And if they were to break out of a prison, I think they would be more likely to get away when there was water and Cuba in the vicinity, instead of thousands of miles of American soil. Of course anyone dumb enough to say “housing them in the US invites attempts to break them out” wouldn’t understand that type of simple concept.

      • grumps says:

        Prisons are one thing we do very well in this country. We may lag in schools and healthcare access but we excel at locking people up.

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