Politicians and Other Animals

"Merriehill Fine Line," barn name "Becca," peers over a wall as she gets a bath from owner Laura Schaufelberger of Chillicothe at the Illinois State Fair Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

"Merriehill Fine Line," barn name "Becca," peers over a wall as she gets a bath from owner Laura Schaufelberger of Chillicothe at the Illinois State Fair Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders  speaks to supporters gathered at a fundraising rally at Park West Monday, August 17, 2015 in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders  speaks to supporters gathered at a fundraising rally at Park West Monday, August 17, 2015 in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Sandra Kirkland of Chicago holds up a sign in support of Presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders at his fundraising rally at Park West Monday, August 17, 2015 in Chicago.  (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Sandra Kirkland of Chicago holds up a sign in support of Presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders at his fundraising rally at Park West Monday, August 17, 2015 in Chicago.  (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Taylor Donelson, 19, of McClean County, gives Scotty, her Land of Lincoln grand champion steer, a bath after Gov. Bruce Rauner purchased the animal for $61,000 at  the annual Sale of Champions at the Illinois State Fair Tuesday, August 18, 2015 in Springfield. The governor plans to donate meat from the steer to the University of Illinois. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Taylor Donelson, 19, of McClean County, gives Scotty, her Land of Lincoln grand champion steer, a bath after Gov. Bruce Rauner purchased the animal for $61,000 at  the annual Sale of Champions at the Illinois State Fair Tuesday, August 18, 2015 in Springfield. The governor plans to donate meat from the steer to the University of Illinois. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Taylor Donelson, 19, of McClean County, brushes Scotty, her Land of Lincoln grand champion steer, after Gov. Bruce Rauner purchased the animal for $61,000 at  the annual Sale of Champions at the Illinois State Fair Tuesday, August 18, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Taylor Donelson, 19, of McClean County, brushes Scotty, her Land of Lincoln grand champion steer, after Gov. Bruce Rauner purchased the animal for $61,000 at  the annual Sale of Champions at the Illinois State Fair Tuesday, August 18, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Scotty, Taylor Donelson's Land of Lincoln grand champion steer, gets a bath after Gov. Bruce Rauner purchased him for $61,000 at  the annual Sale of Champions at the Illinois State Fair Tuesday, August 18, 2015 in Springfield.

Scotty, Taylor Donelson's Land of Lincoln grand champion steer, gets a bath after Gov. Bruce Rauner purchased him for $61,000 at  the annual Sale of Champions at the Illinois State Fair Tuesday, August 18, 2015 in Springfield.

Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks to his supporters during Governor's Day, Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. Republican politicians and party members gathered for a rally on the director's lawn at the state fairgrounds. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks to his supporters during Governor's Day, Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. Republican politicians and party members gathered for a rally on the director's lawn at the state fairgrounds. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Protesters chant about budget cuts and other issues outside of the director's lawn where Republican party members gathered for Governor's Day at the Illinois State Fair, Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Protesters chant about budget cuts and other issues outside of the director's lawn where Republican party members gathered for Governor's Day at the Illinois State Fair, Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Penny Oldfather of Fairbury waits as two of her 14 goats get milked by an automatic goat-milking machine at the Illinois State Fair Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in Springfield. She and her husband Mark purchased the machine so they don't have to milk their goats by hand twice a day. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Penny Oldfather of Fairbury waits as two of her 14 goats get milked by an automatic goat-milking machine at the Illinois State Fair Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in Springfield. She and her husband Mark purchased the machine so they don't have to milk their goats by hand twice a day. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Penny Oldfather of Fairbury hooks one of her goats to an automatic goat-milking machine at the Illinois State Fair Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Penny Oldfather of Fairbury hooks one of her goats to an automatic goat-milking machine at the Illinois State Fair Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Cows rest in the sun in the "Hall of Champions" barn at the Illinois State Fair Tuesday, August 18, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Cows rest in the sun in the "Hall of Champions" barn at the Illinois State Fair Tuesday, August 18, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

A butterfly sits on the left shoulder of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White as he gives a speech during Democrat Day on the director's law at the Illinois State Fair Thursday, August 20, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

A butterfly sits on the left shoulder of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White as he gives a speech during Democrat Day on the director's law at the Illinois State Fair Thursday, August 20, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Supporters of the Republican party hold up American flags during Governor's Day, Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Supporters of the Republican party hold up American flags during Governor's Day, Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Tucker Beckmier, left, and his sister-in-law Michelle Beckmier, of Atwood, shear one of their sheep at the Illinois State Fair Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Tucker Beckmier, left, and his sister-in-law Michelle Beckmier, of Atwood, shear one of their sheep at the Illinois State Fair Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Kate Luthin of Riverton scrubs the hooves of her horse "EF Spur of the Moment," who she also calls "Moe," before showing her at the Illinois State Fair Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Kate Luthin of Riverton scrubs the hooves of her horse "EF Spur of the Moment," who she also calls "Moe," before showing her at the Illinois State Fair Wednesday, August 19, 2015 in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Gov. Bruce Rauner dons his leather vest as he departs Governor's Day on his Harley Davidson motorcycle Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Gov. Bruce Rauner dons his leather vest as he departs Governor's Day on his Harley Davidson motorcycle Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

I photographed U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders during a rally at small music venue in Chicago, just one stop on his nationwide presidential campaign. His fans paid $50 each to see him speak at the fundraiser. 

The next day, it was off to Springfield for a mix of Democrats, Republicans and livestock at the Illinois State Fair. Gov. Bruce Rauner attended the "Sale of Champions" livestock auction and purchased the Land of Lincoln grand champion steer, Scotty, for $61,000 from McClean County teen Taylor Donelson. He plans to donate the meat the University of Illinois. Money from the auction is split among the young exhibitors, including Future Farmers of America and 4-H.

Governor's Day at the fair included a barbecue lunch for attending politicians and supporters of the GOP who showed up to cheer for Gov. Rauner and his fellow Republicans and loudly boo the mention of Democrat House Speak Michael Madigan. A group of protesters (who did not get the lunch) stood outside the gathering, vocalizing their anger over Gov. Rauner's budget cuts.

The Democrats got their turn the following day, with a brief appearance and speech from Speaker Madigan, and longer speeches from the likes of U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth and others, but far less turnout from supporters.

The animals of the state fair proved much more interesting and I wandered around to find their handlers bathing, scrubbing, milking and brushing them for show.