Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rauner’s trying to buy the office; It only makes sense to buy allies too!

Much is being made of the many millions of dollars being spent by Bruce Rauner toward his own campaign for governor (some $9.6 million, with more likely to come in the next three months).

Yet I couldn’t help but notice the latest study from the Better Government Association, which focused on the amount of money Rauner is donating to other Republican candidates.

AFTER ALL, WHAT good does it do him to be governor if it turns out he has a hostile General Assembly and other high-ranking statewide government officials.

Rauner could easily find himself outnumbered by Democrats within state government. Unless you think that he and Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka can be a new GOP dynamic duo and take on the mass of state government all by themselves!

Hence, he’s kicking in significant amounts of money to Republican organizations across the state. Which probably makes more sense than backing individual candidates.

Those organizations are the groups that know the local lay of the land and are capable of getting local GOP candidates in higher office, where they would become allies to a “Gov. Rauner,” should we wind up with that concept come next January.

THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES published a new Better Government Association study that reviewed the Illinois State Board of Elections records of Rauner’s campaign contributions.

This year alone, he has donated 119 contributions to 75 groups across the state.

Since 2012, he and his wife have donated about $1.5 million – compared to the period from 1998 to 2011 when the couple’s campaign contributions totaled only about $1.1 million.

Interestingly enough, some of that money wound up boosting the various re-election bids of now-former Mayor Richard M. Daley and also to Forrest Claypool – remember his bids to dump Joe Berrios as county assessor?

HE’S GIVING MONEY to the various rural county organizations, along with various suburban township groups. Even the Chicago Young Republicans got a bit of cash – according to the study.

Although the one that amazes me is a series of contributions coming from the “Citizens for Rauner” organization that is giving money to the Illinois Republican Party proper.

That organization has become so weak and ineffectual in recent years that somebody has to do something, unless the one-time “Party of Lincoln” is willing to abandon “Honest Abe’s” home state for good.

It seems Rauner’s campaign fund gave the state party some $750,000 each during both August and July, along with $525,000 during June.

TWO MILLION BUCKS during the summertime leading up to the serious campaign activity that usually kicks off with the coming of Labor Day.

Not that Rauner’s and Quinn’s efforts thus far haven’t been serious. It’s just that so many people don’t really pay any attention until next month – which is why it is possible to legitimately question all those polls showing Rauner administering a serious butt-whuppin’ to Quinn.

They also contain so many undecideds that we really don’t know what is going to result come the evening of Nov. 4.

Although I couldn’t help but notice the latest fund-raising pitch I received – an e-mail message Monday from the Quinn campaign’s manager.

IT TELLS US how Democratic campaign intelligence, so to speak, has learned of incidents where Rauner thought he was privately telling Republican partisans that he’s prepared to push for government shut-downs if he winds up having to govern as a Republican with a whole lot of Democratic Party colleagues.

Reformer my butt!!! That kind of talk is nothing more than trying to return to the past of Newt Gingrich (remember when they were amazed they got blamed rather than Bill Clinton because of a shutdown?). Or as Quinn people remind us, of the nonsense we saw in Wisconsin a few years back when Gov. Scott Walker decided to get all hostile with organized labor – regardless of the problems his actions caused for people.

Of course, the Quinn people want us to kick in our own campaign cash to back him, “… to make sure Rauner doesn’t get the chance to make good on his threats.”

Which is why Rauner would like to have a few more friends in politically prominent places. That might be the ultimate reason to think about voting against him come Election Day.


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