I have to say it: I was right about Bruce Rauner.
Rauner had the opportunity to be a great Illinois Governor and he blew it. He could have proven me wrong. Instead, he proved me right.
Back in 2014, Rauner was touted as the second coming of Jesus by the Koch brothers-backed Illinois Policy Institute and various tea party groups. If you disagreed with the Raunerites, they attacked you. Voters later found out that many of these people were on the Rauner payroll. They were well-paid to deliver the conservative vote to Rauner and they did.
Others were just as guilty. Tribune columnist John Kass also groomed voters with lovey-dovey columns. In 2014, Family PAC's Paul Caprio endorsed Rauner. Illinois Family Institute's David Smith claimed he was "conflicted" over supporting Bruce Rauner. How could they be conflicted? Rauner was openly pro-abortion and they run pro-life groups.
I don't blame voters for falling for this con job by "conservative thought leaders." It was BS then and it's BS now.
Who was Bruce Rauner in 2014? Rauner was a major donor to left-wing causes and candidates. He even made Rahm Emanuel a millionaire.
One of Rauner's favorite speaking points is that pro-life Sen. Sam McCann, his lone conservative challenger, is backed by Democrat unions that are funding his campaign. But Rauner is the one who cut deals with Democrats for millions of dollars in union pension business. Rauner claims he is the true conservative and yet he signed Mike Madigan's bills expanding taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, legislation making Illinois a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants, and that 32% income tax hike he fake-vetoed. He also hates President Trump.
We're on to you, Governor Rauner. You can't fool us again.
During his term, Rauner has given millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded grants to Planned Parenthood. This is consistent with the kind of man Rauner was before he was elected: He was a big donor to the DNC, to Democrat candidates in Illinois and other states, and a big donor to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU's abortion rights legal arm.
The conservative establishment has also been crying that Rauner "lied to them" about his abortion stance. That's simply not true. Rauner paid for Personal PAC ads touting his abortion stance during his campaign and he pledged to expand taxpayer-funded abortion on the PAC's questionnaire.
Isn't this exactly what Rauner's conservative supporters claimed he lied to them about?
Why did the conservative establishment want voters to support this fake Republican? If a George Soros or a JB Pritzker had wanted to run as a Republican in 2014 and was willing to pay Illinois Policy Institute, John Tillman and Dan Proft would have supported them too.
In May 2017, I was the first Republican to challenge Bruce Rauner for Governor. Rep. Jeanne Ives entered the race in late October 2017, threatening a split three-way GOP primary. I didn't want Rauner to win so I withdrew from the race. That was a mistake and one I won't make again.
Rauner has failed Republican voters and yet the same GOP officials who supported Rauner in 2014 are supporting him in today's election. Even Ives, who apologized for endorsing Rauner in 2014, is supporting him for re-election. This is a betrayal of conservative voters. We need new conservative leaders who will never surrender.
Raunerism has ruined the Illinois Republican Party and it might take us years to recover. We need to start rebuilding the Illinois Republican Party - free of Raunerites - now.