Why I’m voting for Bruce Rauner

Why I’m voting for Bruce Rauner

Four years ago I voted for Pat Quinn.  I did it while holding my nose.  I think it was less of a vote for Quinn and more of a vote against the Republican nominee, Bill Brady.  I didn’t– and still don’t– see eye to eye with him on social issues and I felt very comfortable voting against him, albeit in so doing, not completely comfortable with giving my vote to Quinn.

Four years later, I don’t regret that vote.  But, if I have to make that same choice in the next general election, I’ll probably hold my nose and vote for Bill Brady.  Now that marriage equality has passed, I feel more compelled to vote on fiscal issues rather than social ones.  Even if Bill Brady is governor, he won’t be able to roll back marriage equality; yet hopefully he can do more work toward making our state fiscally sound than Governor Quinn.

Hopefully, I won’t have to chose between Quinn and Brady– which is my nightmare scenario.  Hopefully, Bruce Rauner is the Republican nominee.  That’s why I’m pulling a GOP ballot and voting for him next Tuesday.

The fact is our state’s fiscal position is horrible.  It has been for some time and our representatives in Springfield have just watched it happen.  Looking at the Republican candidates for governor, I see three men who are part of the problem.  Kirk Dillard has served in the state senate for 20 years.  Bill Brady has also served in state government for roughly 20 years, in the senate since 2002 and prior to that in the General Assembly for seven years between 1993 to 2000.  Finally, Dan Rutherford, before he became Illinois treasurer, served in the House and Senate from 1993 to 2011.

If these guys have the ability to lead this state, why haven’t they done so already?  If these three guys are qualified to lead this state, why is the state in such fiscal peril?  These three have been in the room since 1993– shouldn’t they be held accountable for how messy it is now?  If Dillard, Brady and Rutherford were such leaders– the state wouldn’t be in such peril.

And I don’t dislike those guys.  Had Dillard won the primary in 2010, I would have gladly voted for him in the general election.  But he didn’t.  And it’s time we hold the people we elect accountable for the mess that our state is in.

All three of those gentlemen, being leaders in the Illinois Republican party, were in a position of power since the state increased our income tax rate.  And now we see our state in need of more funds.  So instead of the income tax increase starting to be rolled back as scheduled next year, some are questioning whether such rollback is feasible or sound.  The purpose of the increased state income tax was to repay the backlog of unpaid bills.  Those bills remain unpaid.

So what has the state done with our money?

And more importantly, we should ask what has Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard and Dan Rutherford done to get Illinois in a better fiscal position?

So I’m going with the businessman who has not been in state office since the early 90s.

It appears to me that our state is doing the same thing over and over and over again and hoping for a different result, which we all know is the definition of insanity.  I’m going to vote for the guy who has not been a part of the problem for over 20 years.  I’m going to vote for the man who will lower Illinois’ overhead and make our state– like private business– become more efficient.  I’m going to vote for the guy who will find waste and cut it.

In a sign of early fear, labor unions are running ads against Bruce Rauner in the Republican primary.  Why?  Because labor will lose control of the state if he wins.

And if he doesn’t win, you’ll get four more years of the same.

And I’m tired.  I’m tried of public finances being mismanaged.  I’m tired of us reelecting the same people to higher state office and expecting different results.  Ultimately, the state’s finances are OUR FAULT.

I’m going to vote for Bruce Rauner.  If we want to change our state government, we have to elect someone who hasn’t been a part of it for the last twenty years.

Filed under: Illinois Politics


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  • I've said elsewhere that I already voted, and also that the 3 clowns you mentioned are running on a platform of "I can cooperate with Madigan and Cullerton," which is the problem itself. I'll only add that the commercials painting Dillard as part of The Combine are correct, and some Bronzeville blog wouldn't put up my comment in opposition to her position that 10% waste is o.k.

  • The state is a mess and Rauner won't have much leverage when -- or if-- he gets to Springpatch. We all know the state is run (into the ground) by Madigan and Cullerton, and that is not going to change because a new sheriff comes to town.

    I agree with your examination of the situation, and the three other Republican candidates have done nothing, and Quinn, well, what can you say: he likes being the pilot of the Titanic, but this state is so down the fiscal hole that it will not be saved without a lot of social upheaval.

    Likely Quinn -- the perfect puppet for Madigan and Cullerton-- will be re-elected, because not enough people have come to the same conclusion you have.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Richard: YOU AND I AGREE? God help us!

    I've missed debating with you. Good to see you again, via Al Gore's internets.

  • In reply to Brian C. Thomas:

    Yes, the heavens have opened and you and I agree, Brian.

    I haven't had too much time to use Al Gore's invention, because I've been shoveling the global warming snow.

  • Wow surprised Doubting Thomas - Rauner is the ultimate wolf in sheep's clothing here. While you are 100% correct that the other candidates are "part of the problem" I would just like to point out that much of that problem has been induced by the iron-fisted control of one Michael Madigan. In many a conversation with, at the time House Minority Leader Tom Cross, I was told in no uncertain terms that the reason the GOP can't make inroads is because what Madigan (and his built in super-majority of goons) don't want - won't happen. As a matter of fact, Madigan's favorite saying to GOP members is "go pound salt."

    And that, my friend, is the fundamental problem here.

    The GOP has had no leverage for some 30 years and if anyone thinks the Tribune is correct in calling Rauner an "change agent" well they will see that what he really is - is someone even more willing to work with Madigan and Cullerton. Otherwise - he can't keep the promises he made as being a "so-called outsider."

    Truth be told, a Rauner victory only means more state money diverted to the City of Chicago and his thisclose buddy Rahm Emanuel.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Thank you Michael Ciric. I am hoping more people play up the connection between Rauner and Emanuel. Rauner is anti-union, pro-charter schools and willing to buy his victory in this election!

  • In reply to cbhillman:

    But, on the other hand, Quinn is willing to buy the election with either taxpayers' money, or more likely, just violating the balanced budget provision of the state constitution by giving grants and jobs to his political cronies. Do you believe that the unions really support Dillard?

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    I can't disagree with you Micahel. I get that Michael Madigan is the problem-- but that's not one you and I have any control over. There is no reason for his district to vote him out (if I lived there, why would I want to vote out the most powerful person in Illinois politics?) and dems in the House continually vote him as Speaker becasue he holds the purse strings.

    Is Quinn a better choice? I'm told one reason to vote for Quinn is to thwart Madigan, who wants a Republican governor. Unfortunately our choices are limited.

    And trust me, I hear Aquinas loud and clear: "Be careful what you wish for..."

  • I enjoyed your column. Well said. I voted for Bruce Rauner on yesterday. Vote for the man, not the party. The Democrats have taken the Black vote for granted for too long. Enough. I Look forward to working with him. He has solutions from a business perspective. This is just what we need now for the State of Illinois.

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    In reply to Hermene Hartman:

    I get it that the Dems have taken us for granted are you saying the Reps haven't? I've been in corporate America for many years and have seen some very intelligent business decisions that but the company in a great financial position but hundreds of people were collateral damage and now I own my own business and I know that in running a business people are not always the priority, and as much as people would like to run the government like a business it's business is people. I want to see fiscal responsibility, I also want to see the business of government, people, be factored in the equation.

  • I voted for my friend. There's NOBODY worth voting for in this race. NOBODY worth voting for in IL. So until someone puts Michael Madigan and John Cullerton out of their collective misery, I will continue to vote none of the above...by writing in qualified friends and associates.

    Hey, they couldn't do any worse!

  • Who isn't disgusted with the mismanagement of Illinois governance? But Rauner? A shifty pocket-lining financier who wouldn't recognize the common good if it stared him in the face? Be careful what you wish for.

  • This State is being held hostage by Madigan. And this, I say, as a proud Democrat. What he has done, trading our State's future with pension dollars should be criminalized. Rauner, tight with Rahm, is also no friend to the City of Chicago -- certain to be selling off our future not through pensions, but in education at the expense of children and profiting his charter cronies. What needs to happen has not a thing to do with who is our next governor. What needs to happen is a coup of Madigan's district, but sadly, he has bought those votes for generations with contracts and patronage. His district will continue to protect their privilege, at the cost of every other Illinois citizen. It makes me sick.

  • In reply to Mary Tyler Mom:

    Holy crap! I agree with you. Brian, you have united all; maybe you need to run?

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    Rauner built his fortune through legalized bribery and now that he’s looking for a new polo pony, you’re willing to throw the dice and indulge him. Well at least you’re voting which is more than I can say for most people. I agree with most of your points regarding the other GOP candidates but I think you are wrong about Quinn and Rauner. The choice between the two couldn’t be starker. The fact that Pat Quinn got the job the way he did (political miscalculation by the powers that be) should make you pause and give thanks that AG Lisa Madigan wasn’t Lt. Governor. First off Quinn’s heart is in the right place that may not count for much in some circles, but I know you’ll never see him frog marched out in hand cuffs for feathering his nest. So we can avoid that national embarrassment again. Second he could be the only selfless politician (two words seldom seen together) who could write Illinois economic ship by supporting a progressive tax system. Most don’t realize the recent limited tax increase went mostly to service our existing debt. Our current regressive Flat tax system can’t support any 21st century’s state economy. If this faulty tax policy that unfairly taxes the working poor and middle class isn’t addressed, we will continue to see cuts in all services across the board. I’m tired of watching these guys kick the can down the road and I want to see Illinois get its fiscal house in order. That’s why I’m voting for Pat Quinn. Don’t believe me? Check these guys out. They are unbiased bean counters with no skin in the game. http://www.ctbaonline.org/reports/case-creating-graduated-income-tax-illinois

  • I am not voting for Rauner. Ms Kennie James

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    If the general election were held tomorrow, I'd vote against Pat Quinn. What I'd like is a solid reason to vote FOR another candidate.

    For all his boasting that he's "going to drive career politicians nuts" and "shake up Springfield" I haven't hears a single concrete proposal from him on how he is going to change Illinois while working within the constitutional limits of the office of governor or Illinois.

    Unless he does, he will continue to remind me and many other voters of ineffectual Dan Walker, who never really believed that he'd be elected, and because of that, hadn't laid the groundwork that would have enabled him to fulfill his promises.

    The only term he can limit without the support of the legislature is his own. Even if the minority GOP were to back him once in office, the most that they could accomplish would to be to TRY to create Washington-style gridlock.

    What COULD make a difference would be to make a sincere effort to take redistricting out of the hands of the legislature. Working to get that to the House floor as a bill, even if it doesn't have a prayer of passing, would do a lot to help Raumer gain real credibility instead of just having a lesser stink compared to his opponents.

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