A new poll released this weekend not only shows that Pat Quinn has a lead in the race for Illinois governor but also that the Libertarian Party candidate is earning 7% of the statewide vote, more than enough to block Bruce Rauner's path to victory.
The Libertarian Party candidate, Chad Grimm, is the only third party candidate who made it on the ballot for Illinois governor this year. Pat Quinn's campaign successfully knocked the Green Party candidate off the ballot. Thus, for voters who have grown to dislike both major party candidates, there is only one person on the ballot who can get all the protest votes. In a close race, where the consequences of the outcome are monumental and the future course of the state hangs in the balance, there is no excuse for protest votes. We have an incumbent and one credible alternative. A vote for anyone else in this case, is a tacit, reckless endorsement of the status quo.
Chad Grimm is one of the least qualified people to ever seek high office in Illinois. Scott Lee Cohen holds that title for now, but Grimm is not far behind. Grimm has no meaningful leadership experience of any kind in business, society, politics or community. He previously ran for office in his hometown of Peoria and was rejected by the voters who know him best...twice. His only real talent seems to be amateur level acting, which explains why he wants to draw attention to himself despite having nothing important to say. His own campaign website doesn't bother to articulate his position on any important issue. In media interviews and op-eds, he says he will end state pensions for workers, but doesn't explain how. He told Chicago Magazine that he would close various state agencies; but, failed to name one example. His distinguishing issues seem to be that he is pro-life (though doesn't explain what they means) and he will legalize marijuana in Illinois (doesn't get into specifics). Because apparently abortion and weed are far bigger challenges in Illinois than upside down budgets, terrible credit ratings or economic stagnation?
This is not a serious campaign and Grimm is not worthy of a single vote in this particular race. He offers no meaningful ideas, no practical solutions and no bold, new proposals. I have nothing against the Illinois Libertarian Party, but if you are going to run a candidate for governor, at least make sure they have qualifications, a platform and a rationale. It would also help if they were a real libertarian.
For as awful a candidate as Chad Grimm is, he is not the real problem. Anyone who votes for him is.
In theory, anyone who is in the 7% who say they will vote for Grimm are opposed to the status quo and do not support Pat Quinn as governor. A majority of the state seems to be in agreement that Quinn is not worthy of another term. However, those 7% want to vote for an alternative and for whatever reason, Bruce Rauner does not appeal to them.
I believe in Bruce Rauner's potential to dramatically change the course of public policy and governance in Illinois for the better. I will go into more detail in the coming weeks as to why I believe in Bruce, especially as a young person. For now, I understand that Rauner still needs to sell himself to those disgruntled voters who don't want Pat Quinn but would rather lodge a protest vote than vote for him. I hope he is persuasive in tonight's debate and upcoming public appearances.
Let's make one thing clear: voting for Grimm is not a protest vote. It's a vote for Pat Quinn.
There is a reason the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 donated $30,000 to him. Grimm might as well be a Pat Quinn union guy.
Bruce Rauner is the only viable alternative to Pat Quinn in this race. Grimm, and curmudgeons like him, pout when they claim that there is no difference between Quinn and Rauner. The truth is that there is a world of difference between the incumbent who will sell out the state's future to present day union bosses/special interest groups and a political outsider who is thinking about how to put public unions/special interests in their place and get them out of the way of economic growth for the future. There is a huge difference between a corrupt, life long politician who hires political workers into state jobs and hands out taxpayer dollars to political allies and a businessman who has dedicated his life to growing businesses so that the middle class has more opportunities to be honorably hired into the work force. Quinn stands for restricting school choice while Rauner wants every child to have a fair chance at a life-changing education. If Grimm can't recognize the difference, it's because he isn't paying attention.
Bruce Rauner is a real break from the past and the polar opposite of Pat Quinn and his policies.
Chad Grimm is not a viable alternative to Quinn, not only because he has no chance of winning, but because he offers no alternative vision for Illinois. Any votes for Grimm are simply cynical people voting to accept the status quo out of a sense of misguided hopelessness. It is not a vote for change, for a new vision or for reform. Quinn's votes are coming from the politically connected who use government as an ATM to rip off the unconnected and enrich themselves at the expense of the common man or woman. Those of us who do not hold such selfish views and want shared prosperity can not afford to split our votes, we have to focus them on one candidate so we can overcome the united Democratic front.
For pro-life voters who are frustrated that Bruce Rauner has marginalized the issue of abortion in his campaign and buy Grimm's self proclaimed pro-life illusion, ask yourself this: If voting for Grimm costs Rauner votes and helps get hardcore pro-choice Pat Quinn re-elected, why would you want to caste a vote that has the effect of helping Pat Quinn expand public access for elective abortions? Further, what does Grimm mean by pro-life? Is he opposed to abortions in all cases, including rape and incest? Would he seek prosecution of physicians who perform abortions? What specific legislation or executive actions does he support to restrict access to or public funding of abortions? Or is Grimm a deceptive, opportunist putting on an act to lure cultural conservative votes away from Pat Quinn's real challenger?
Bruce Rauner may not be the top choice for cultural conservatives; but, he is a lot better than the alternative, Pat Quinn. Of the two choices we have, Rauner is clearly more inline with conservative principles. It is better to vote for someone you generally agree with than to throw away your vote on a charlatan and help someone who primarily advocates views completely opposite of your own.
Voting for Chad Grimm is voting against the only person in this race who can offer Illinois some glimmer of hope, Bruce Rauner.
If you are thinking about voting for Grimm, please visit his website, search his media interviews and do your homework on him. I know you will find that he is a hollow, empty, joke of a candidate unworthy of your valuable support. Take another look at Bruce Rauner. Watch the upcoming debates, read his policy initiatives and spend some time on his website. If you still can't bring yourself to fully support him by Election Day, consider casting your protest vote against Quinn for him instead of Chad Grimm. At least your vote will go toward a highly qualified leader who has a vision and a plan.
Bruce Rauner is the only real alternative to Pat Quinn.
It will be embarrassing enough if our state re-elects Quinn. Let's not humiliate ourselves any further by having him win by a plurality because frustrated citizens lodged protest votes for the unqualified guy who ran for governor without a plan as some kind of sick prank.
Scott Lee Cohen costing Bill Brady the 2010 election was a bad joke. Chad Grimm costing Bruce Rauner this race would be a tragedy in which we all suffer.
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