Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rauner political influence, skill comes from friendly rich peoples’ wallets

What was that old line used to describe George W. Bush’s political and business acumen – he was born on Third Base, and thinks he hit a triple?!?

I’m starting to wonder if we need a similar line with regards to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who might not literally have been born to big money (I suspect real ‘old money’ thinks our governor is a garish rube), but certainly thinks the fortune he has accumulated and has access to entitles him to behave politically like a boor.

WE ALL REALIZE he got himself elected governor with absolutely no political qualifications because he was able to tap into millions of dollars more than anybody else could.

An amount that if you think about it too much becomes almost obscene – how many worthy goals could have been accomplished for the betterment of our society instead of spending it on rounds of campaign advertising meant to distort reality?

Now, it would seem that Rauner’s approach to governing is going to be the same – tap into so much money that regular people couldn’t even fathom having access to and use it to mold a public opinion that will be gullible enough to buy whatever he says.

All of this is to say that I was appalled by learning that Rauner’s “Turnaround Illinois” political action committee has come up with its first donor.

BOTH THE CHICAGO Tribune and Sun-Times reported Monday of the State Board of Elections filing showing that billionaire Sam Zell (who once tried to mold the Chicago Tribune in his own image) came up with a $4 million contribution.

I’m not saying I find it particularly noble when a political person says their campaign fund was constituted by people donating $5-10 each – as though the tiny amounts are somehow honorable.

But the reverse is also true – there’s nothing noble about someone who thinks that by coming up with some sort of private fund that will enable him to buy airtime and other communications tools he can somehow “buy” our political love.

I really think that this fund likely to receive donations from the many wealthy people who funded Rauner’s electoral campaign (along with the many millions of his own money he loaned himself) is meant to come up with all kinds of negative ads meant to make our legislators sound vapid, stupid and downright mean-spirited when they refuse to go along with his anti-organized labor rhetoric.

THIS IS THE governor who complains about the fact that labor unions have too much influence over political people because of the fact that they can help certain types of candidates raise the kind of money they need to hold their own against politicos who have the backing of big business-type interests.

Maybe it isn’t some ideological belief against unions as much as Rauner wants to be all-dominant over who has a say about what government does?

Which makes this particular political action committee sound downright venal.

This coming at a time when Rauner types are trying to get local government officials to pass symbolic resolutions meant to show how much they agree with his anti-union desires – his fantasies that would (in his own mind, I’m sure) culminate with “right to work” status coming to Illinois.

WHICH BASICALLY AMOUNTS to making it legal for companies to harass those interests that want to have union representation on their jobs!

I find it interesting that both the City Council and Cook County Board this week are contemplating resolutions expressing opposition to Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda,” which probably has Rauner thinking in terms of what tactics he must use to counter the significant negative blow his political dream will take.

In the world of partisan politics, making dreams become reality costs money. If Rauner can’t find more millions of dollars from business interests concerned with their selves, then the desires of the people might actually prevail.

That might be the most appalling thought of all to the business interests – and one we should all keep in mind in coming months when we hear all the nasty rhetoric about how Rauner is being prevented from doing what he thinks is right.


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