Thursday, March 20, 2014

Illinois’ Rauner Stops Unions from Dictating GOP Winner

Says the conservative National Review’s Eliana Johnson, private-equity millionaire Bruce Rauner is “poised to give Illinois governor Pat Quinn a run for his money” and become the state’s first Republican governor in 12 years. A minor surprise--Rauner, like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, isn’t afraid to battle the state’s public unions:
Rauner’s targets didn’t take it lying down: The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and the Democratic Governors Association spent north of $3 million attacking him and trying to divert votes to one of Rauner’s primary opponents, state senator Kirk Dillard.
That’s far more than Democrats spent — $1.2 million — trying to steer Republican votes to Todd Akin in the 2012 Senate primary in Missouri, where Akin was viewed as the weakest candidate to take on vulnerable Democrat Claire McCaskill. [No kidding. Akin lost after calling some rapes “legitimate”.]
Of course, the Missouri race isn’t the only time Democrats fixed an election by supporting a weaker Republican or third party candidate. Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid helped nominate Sharron Angle over a stronger opponent in the 2010 Nevada Republican primary. Obama campaign chief (and Montana native) Jim Messina in 2012 arranged funding for a no-chance Libertarian in red state Montana who took enough votes from the Republican candidate to push Democrat John Tester back into the Senate. And Bill-Hill Clinton bagman Terry McAuliffe similarly arranged for money to go to a Virginia no-chance Libertarian who took votes from McAuliffe’s Republican gubernatorial opponent.

Finally, in Illinois in 2014, the Democrats’ dirty tricks didn’t work. The Rauner forces--they haven’t won yet!--remain defiant. Said one,
We have to be bold, tough, and fundamentally change government. Lobbyists run the government for special interests, and career politicians let it happen — powerful union bosses and trial lawyers on the Democratic party . . . and a large part of the Republican party too.

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