Thursday, October 5, 2017

Illinois GOP delegation in Congress thinks Harold more their type of Republican instead of Rauner

The Illinois congressional delegation's seven Republican members decided this week to get themselves involved in influencing the election cycle for 2018.

HAROLD: New GOP darling?
Erika Harold, the one-time Miss America from Urbana, Ill., who is now an attorney, can claim to have the Republican congressional endorsement for her dreams to run for state Attorney General. Well, sort of. It seems there’s one holdout amongst the Congressmen from the Land of Lincoln.
RAUNER: Illinois 'let-down?'

BUT THERE ARE no holdouts when it comes to governor. All seven of the congress members signed off on a statement saying that Gov. Bruce Rauner is a “disappointment” who “let down” Illinois – or at least that segment of the population that believes their beliefs on social issues are the only ones that ought to be taken into account.

Count the seven – Mike Bost of Murphysboro, Rodney Davis of Taylorville, Randy Hultgren of Plano, Adam Kinzinger of Channahon, Darin LaHood of Dunlap, Peter Roskam of Wheaton and John Shimkus of Collinsville – as being amongst the people whose support for Rauner is overwhelmed by the fact that he didn’t veto a bill that was designed to protect the legal rights of pregnant women to have an abortion, if they so wish.

ROSKAM: Not backing either
The outpouring of disgust with Rauner began within minutes of the governor signing the bill into law, and has some political pundits saying that Rauner’s political future is now fouled up beyond repair.

He went from being the so-called darling of the rural Illinois populace to being the damned, all within a matter of minutes. Which really goes to show you how shallow Rauner’s support was amongst those who voted for him – it didn’t take much for them to change their minds.

ON THIS PARTICULAR issue, some say it’s not surprising Rauner ultimately was supportive of abortion being a legitimate medical procedure. He had a past record of being “pro-choice” on the issue. But the “anti-abortion” types seriously believed that Rauner made a promise to veto this specific bill.

CUPICH: Questions governor's honesty
Even Chicago Cardinal Blasé Cupich has said he thinks the governor “broke his word” on this issue.

Perhaps this is a lesson of how “talk is cheap” when it comes to politics – and not just from Democrats which is what the conservative ideologues would want us all to believe.

So Rauner signed off on a measure that will allow Medicaid funds to be used to help cover the cost of lower-income women being able to terminate a pregnancy – a concept that has been anathema to the anti-abortion segment of society ever since abortion itself was upheld more than four decades ago by the U.S. Supreme Court.

EVEN HAROLD, AN Urbana-based attorney who has run unsuccessfully for congressional seats in the past, disagrees with Rauner on this issue. Although she has said she finds enough other areas of agreement with the governor that she’ll still support his bid for re-election.

Even if it’s largely because she can’t bring herself to think of supporting any of the would-be politicos seeking the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nomination.

A long time since days of 'Speaker Daniels'
But Harold can count on the support of most of the congressional delegation – who issued their own statement this week in support of her.

“Erika Harold is exactly who we need to take on the political machine. A Harvard-educated lawyer and a national leader combatting school violence, Erika Harold tells the hard truths and always stands up for those in need,” said Davis. Such overstated words are nice, but that may be her reward for the fact that when she lost to Davis in the 2014 GOP primary, she took defeat well and didn’t put up a rhetorical stink about losing.

THERE IS ONE congressman not backing Harold – that would be Roskam, whom the Chicago Tribune reports is waiting to see if one of the state’s attorneys from his west suburban congressional district decides to get into the attorney general mix.

But even he doesn’t seem anxious to bad-mouth Harold, at least not at this point. Maybe Roskam’s political venom is focused on bad-mouthing Rauner – along with so many other Republican operatives.

There are those who think now that Lisa Madigan is not a domineering presence to get re-election, that Republicans may have a chance to actually win the Illinois attorney general’s post – provided that the party unites quickly and keeps a unified front.

She may still be lacking in the political experience usually desired in a statewide public official. But considering that many Republicans are now eager to flush their would-be gubernatorial nominee down the political toilet, GOP backers need someone to cheer for at political rallies – or else face the prospect that 2018 will go down in the political history books as a clean-sweep for the Democrats as 1994 recedes further back into the past.


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