SOURCE: PC TALK LIVE
Who will replace Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), a key ally of Gov. Bruce Rauner, who announced his resignation this week to become a well-paid lobbyist? It's a question you'll see asked on little blogs like Capitol Fax or downstate papers like the Springfield Journal Register. Other than to inside baseball political enthusiasts, it's not all that important in the scheme of things.
There are other things that are much more important.
In conservative Republican circles, Rep. Tom Morrison, also of Palatine, is being touted as Murphy's natural replacement especially by those in the pro-life community.
Morrison has said, "There's no one more pro-life than me" and many in the pro-life movement believe what they hear. But instead of believing what they hear, they should believe what they see.
The video above reveals who was on the right side and wrong side of the pro-life issue during the 2014 governor's race. Rep. Tom Morrison was on the wrong side...when it counted most.
A few weeks ago, Rauner signed SB 1564 into law, forcing Christian doctors and crisis pregnancy centers to refer abortion and discuss abortion benefits with their patients. Since then, Rep. Morrison and other pro-life leaders have been wringing their hands in outrage at Rauner's betrayal.
"I am greatly disappointed in his [Rauner's] decision today. The message delivered to Illinois citizens is that their religious beliefs and free speech rights do not matter. Illinois is less free and more hostile to people of faith as a result of this likely unconstitutional law," said Morrison.
But Morrison sung a pro-abortion tune in 2014 when Rauner was running for governor.
In the video above, Morrison concedes he sat out the Republican primary for governor and did not support the pro-life candidate in the race. When questioned about Rauner's pro-abortion views, he attempted to lobby the pro-life voters in attendance to support Rauner anyway.
"The issue of marriage, the issue of whether it's the right to life, it's not strictly fought in the legislature. It's not fought in the courts, it's not fought alone in the legislature, it's not fought alone in the schools," Morrison said desperate at the time to convert the pro-life gathering.
But Morrison was not the only one who knowingly and intentionally bowed to Rauner and his pro-abortion stance. Some pro-life leaders caved or said they were "confused." Others stood up and spoke out.
In the video, David Smith of the pro-life Illinois Family Institute says, "I am conflicted because on one hand Bruce Rauner says that he believes life begins at conception. But then he says he believes in the right of a woman to kill that life that began at conception. I'm basically saying I'm conflicted. I don't know where I am right now on this issue," Smith said.
When your organization is devoted to pro-life issues, how can you possibly be conflicted?
"If we can't turn around this economy, funds for crisis pregnancy centers, for right to life groups, for Illinois Family Institute, they dry up. If someone can't afford to have a roof over their head, they can't write a check to Dave Smith," Morrison added.
"So vote for the pro-death candidate so Dave Smith can get more money?" said Pastor John Kirkwood only half-joking.
Carol Ann Parisi, formerly with Jack Roeser's Champion News, clucked at everyone who wasn't buying the liberal millionaire's schtick. "When you hear soundbites of people shrieking, 'no exceptions!' Excuse me that's stunning!" Parisi bellowed in an attempt to mock pro-life voters. "Because ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry but there are exceptions!"
Kirkwood wasn't having any of it: "What in Bruce Rauner's background gives you any confidence that he's going to do any of [school choice, etc.] those things?"
"He gets stuff done. To make billions of dollars you gotta get stuff done," shrieked Parisi.
"John Corzine got stuff done," said Kirkwood.
I was at this forum and was shocked at how many supposedly pro-life conservative "leaders" were shuffling their feet on Rauner or were clearly present as surrogates to make his case to the pro-life voters in attendance. It would not be the first time these conservatives would act as surrogates for Rauner at forums and meetings across Illinois. And each time, they would proclaim their pro-life credentials and tell pro-life voters to ignore Rauner's stance on abortion.
"No conservative, no Christian would be supporting Bruce Rauner but for one thing - his money," I said at the forum.
That is really what this comes down to: Bruce Rauner's money.
I was very clear about my position on Rauner then and I have continued to passionately debunk the myth of Rauner as "conservative" in my columns at Newsmax, the Washington Times, and the American Spectator.
Over and over again, Rauner has betrayed the pro-family community and there has been silence from the usual suspects who we either know or can guess are in his pockets. These are the people who didn't say boo when Rauner cut off social services for the disabled and didn't blink when his hand-picked comptroller, Leslie Munger, doled out millions in taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood. Rauner counts himself as a major donor to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU's Reproductive Rights Project but Munger claims to be pro-life. Is she? I would argue not.
Some pro-life leaders play coy and others don't hide it at all.
Mary Ann Hackett of Illinois Right to Life told me during the general election that her group served as organizers for Rauner's term limits initiative. That's one way to support a pro-abortion governor and still claim to be pro-life.
But now Illinois Right to Life's Emily Zender is outraged at Rauner's betrayal of his promise that he would "steer clear of social issues" as evidence by his support for SB 1564.
Steer clear of social issues? Was giving millions of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood when the state is in a fiscal crisis steering clear of social issues?
In late October 2014 (right before the election), Diana Rauner sent an email to her supporters, subject line, "Bruce Rauner is pro-choice!" In the email, she says, "He [Bruce Rauner] won the primary despite his pro-choice stance, in part by convincing pro-lifers to put aside their views on this issue in favor of economic ones."
Is this the "deal" Rauner struck with so-called pro-life legislators and leaders in Illinois?
I'm afraid so.
It would be uncivilized to point the finger at Rep. Tom Morrison alone. There is a cadre of so-called "conservative" legislators and surrogates who have long been in Rauner's pocket or have been busy hatching their own political schemes.
For instance, Paul Caprio, head of Family PAC, endorsed Bruce Rauner for governor despite his pro-abortion views. But it didn't stop there. Caprio was the lone "conservative" leader to endorse Bryce Benton over veteran pro-life Sen. Sam McCann, who was viciously attacked with millions of dollars in negative ads courtesy of Rauner.
I've talked to many pro-life activists who are salivating over the idea of getting big checks from Bruce Rauner or one his foot soldiers like Dan Proft of Liberty Principles PAC.
Proft is involved with another Mary Ann Hackett-operated group, Catholic Citizens. I'm not sure when being Catholic included helping pro-abortion candidates and attacking pro-life candidates with millions of dollars - but the fog of Rauner's cash apparently has that effect on people. Proft's Liberty Principles PAC is funded primarily by two major donors to Planned Parenthood - Sam Zell and Bruce Rauner - and Proft attacked scores of good pro-life Republican candidates earlier this year, many of whom didn't have a nickel to defend themselves.
Yet Rauner, through his man servants at another Proft-directed fund, Illinois Opportunity Project, donated millions to liberal Democrat Ken Dunkin, a man with a criminal history of abusing women.
Is that what a real conservative pro-life Christian does? Or is that what a corrupt politician does?
Rauner's best friend, Rahm Emanuel, taught him well.
Has anyone in the conservative or pro-life community said anything about what Rauner did to conservative candidates through his scurvy minions?
Only a few.
So when Rep. Tom Morrison claims he's outraged over Rauner's betrayal, remember he didn't endorse the pro-life candidate for governor and told pro-life voters to ignore Rauner's pro-abortion positions. When Dan Proft speaks at a pro-life event, remember that he takes millions from Planned Parenthood donors to attack pro-life Republicans and line his own pockets. When Paul Caprio endorses one of Rauner's pet candidates, give his endorsement all the consideration it is due.
Being pro-life means more than believing what you hear. It means believing what you see.