Illinois liberals and local media have made a big deal about Bruce Rauner's personal wealth, particularly his donation of nearly $10 million to his own campaign fund since the start of the primary race last year. Rauner is not entirely self funding his campaign. The Repulican Governors Association has poured in $4 million, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin has put up more than $3 million in fundraising and in-kind donations of his personal property and a variety of business owners have made five and six figure contributions. While Rauner has raised a lot of money from a large number of state and national donors, his personal contribution dwarfs all of them combined.
In politics, we constantly lament the roll money plays, because those who donate have sway over the politicians they help to elect. In this case, no one will have more sway over Bruce Rauner...than Bruce Rauner. If elected, he will not be subject to financial coercion by the donors who got him there.
The same can not be said for Governor Pat Quinn. While Bruce Rauner has made headlines with his massive investment in his own campaign, the sitting governor is raking in money from the forces of the status quo.
Taxpayer funded public unions and private unions whose members work for companies with state contracts are gathering as much money as they can to prop up their puppet, Pat Quinn. While the Democratic Governors Association is the single largest donor to Pat Quinn's campaign fund, labor unions are right behind. Here is a partial list of the donations Pat Quinn has received from Big Labor:
- SEIU HealthCare IL IN PAC - $500,000
- SEIU Illinois Council PAC Fund - $500,000
- United Association Political Education Committee (one of the major national building-trade unions representing plumbers, pipefitters, welders, sprinkler fitters and HVAC workers.) - $300,000
- International Association of Fire Fighters - $200,000
- United Steel Workers Non Federal Acct-Illinois - $50,000
- Southern Central Illinois Laborers' Political League - $50,000
- Political Fund of Illinois (United Food and Commercial Workers make large donations into this fund) - $50,000
- Painters Dist. Council #14 Political Action Fund - $50,000
- North Central Illinois Laborers' District Council - $50,000
- International Union of Operating Engineers Local 965 PAC Fund - $50,000
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association PAC - $50,000
- Health Care Council of Illinois PAC - $50,000
- CHIPP Political Account (Carpenters and Joiners union fund) - $50,000
- Illinois State AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education - $50,000
- Illinois Laborers' Legislative Committee - $47,000
- SW IL Laborers' Political League - $25,000
- Mid-Central Illinois District Council of Carpenter - $25,000
- Local 841 Illinois PAC - $25,000
- Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2 - $25,000
- IUOE Local 399 Political Education Fund - $25,000
- Chicago Auto Trade PAC - $15,000
- Chicago Federation of Labor & Industrial Union Council PAC - $15,000
- Heat & Frost Insulators & Allied Workers Local 17 Political Action Com - $10,500
- United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers - $10,000
- Sprinkler Fitters Local 281, U.A., Political Education Fund - $10,000
- Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 137 COPE Fund - $10,000
- Operator Action Fund - $10,000
- Illinois State Conference of IBEW PAC - $10,000
- Motion Picture Studio Mechanics Local No. 476 - $10,000
This list is a Who's Who of union clout in Illinois. They are the largest donors for Illinois Democratic candidates and essentially own the party. This is a big part of the reason Illinois finds itself in the fiscal vice it is in today. With Democrats dominating state government and the governor's mansion, unions have rigged negotiations on their compensation over the years. Union reps are on one side of the table and union purchased elected officials are on the other side. No one represents Illinois residents who neither work for the state nor belong to a union.
In the coming years, Illinois will have to address its public employee pension and healthcare spending as well as overall compensation packages for state employees. If Pat Quinn is re-elected and both houses of the state legislature remain firmly in the grips of union bosses, average taxpayers will be stuck with monumental tax increases that will expedite the exodus of middle class residents and families from the state. With those taxpayers gone and Big Labor's anti-business attitude keeping small firms from opening, the fiscal situation will deteriorate further as revenues decline due to population loss despite the per capita taxes rising.
Illinois union bosses have made it clear they will not accept concessions to secure their retirement or health care funds without a fight. They do not see themselves as part of the Illinois family where sacrifices have to be shared. They see their members as superior to other working class and low income residents of the state who make half as much money and enjoy half the benefits of those whose salaries they pay. Misguided union bosses believe their members are entitled to more benefits than they currently receive and that the families they are supposed to serve owe, them more money. Union leaders fear Bruce Rauner because they don't want those families to have a voice in budget negotiations. They rigged the deliberations long ago and have no desire to engage in substantive negotiations.
Having self funded much of his campaign, the mob of unconnected, cloutless Illinoisians will have a chance to be heard in Bruce Rauner's administration. Owing everything to Big Labor, Pat Quinn will once again turn away from unconnected, cloutless Illinoisians and sell out our state's future to pay off his current political allies.
If you follow the money, you will find the truth. The current state leaders are looking out for the well-connected. Isn't it time we have at least one leader who owes nothing to any special interest and can finally give the average Illinois family a voice in Springfield?
I think it's long overdue.
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