Monday, September 22, 2014

Who really benefits from Rauner’s donations to GOP organizations?

Much is being made of the fact that Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner is making regular donations to the Illinois Republican Party; supposedly to build up the party organization so as to bolster the chances that a “Gov. Rauner” wouldn’t be a lone Republican in a sea of Democratic officials with the appetite of piranhas.


Although it seems to me that the real effect of that money is going to be to bolster the chances that voters sympathetic to Rauner (actually, they’re openly hostile to Gov. Pat Quinn) will actually get out to vote.


OR ELSE, THE fact that this has become a solidly Democratic-leaning state will send Rauner to the same fate as Jim Ryan, Judy Baar Topinka and William Brady.


For the record, records indicate that Citizens for Rauner gave $750,000 to the state Republican Party last month, and has donated $2.775 million to the state party since June.


Its money meant to bolster the organizations across the state that have become decrepit in recent years (1995-96 when the GOP was all dominant in Illinois seems like such a fantasy; did it ever really happen?). It is a step that will need to be taken if the Republican Party is ever to be a serious player in statewide electoral politics.


The Chicago Sun-Times did report recently that some $577,000 has been donated by the state Republican Party since June to the House Republican Organization.


THAT IS THE group supporting legislative candidates of the Republican persuasion in hopes that they can elect enough GOPers to make Michael Madigan a minority leader for only the second time (the aforementioned ’95-96) in the past four decades.


Although a more realistic goal would be to knock off just enough Democratic legislators so that Dems couldn’t automatically override any vetoes a “Gov. Rauner” would try to impose.


But it really is more about getting people to vote for Rauner, first and foremost. I suspect Rauner is more interested in getting himself elected, rather than worrying about whether he’ll have any Republican allies alongside him.


This could easily be a state government where the only GOPers are Rauner and Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka (whom some Republicans regard as their party’s “crazy auntie Judy” whom they wish they could disown).


I COULDN’T HELP myself but laugh when I received a pair of e-mail messages on Friday from the James Oberweis for Senate campaign. He’s crying broke. He needs our campaign contributions to pay for more broadcast ads to spread his message that we need to dump Dick Durbin at all costs!


“If you want to make sure that the Federal government and the State of Illinois stops raising your taxes, starts protecting our borders, begins implementing  Medicaid reform and stops spending more than they take in every year, then you need to get involved,” said the message signed by Oberweis himself.


Apparently, none of that Republican money being donated by Rauner is working its way up to the election that, theoretically, is the TOP of the ticket in this year’s election cycle.


Perhaps it also shows the difference between the wealth of Oberweis, an investment manager who also runs the Oberweis family dairy business, and the venture capitalist Rauner – who admits he’s in the top “0.0001 percent” of society’s wealth.


OR MAYBE IT means that Oberweis has the sense to realize that trying to “buy” a political office gives off the impression of sleaze that takes from any credibility one might have if they were actually to win on Election Day.


Regardless, Rauner seems well on his way to spending so much of his own money to prop up his campaign that he’ll set a record for the most money spent per vote – regardless of whether he wins or loses.


If it turns out to be the latter, that’s going to be one heck of a binge Bruce will go on come Nov. 5.



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