But come the general election cycle, candidates of both major political parties veer to the “center,” so to speak – so as to try to get as many people as possible to cast ballots for them.
COULD THE RE-ELECTION campaign of Bruce Rauner for governor become an exception to that “rule?” Could his campaign for the Nov. 6 election become a test of just how conservative can Rauner make himself appear to be?
Rauner is the guy who narrowly won the Republican primary held last week, with his opponent going out of her way to tag him as some sort of liberal freak who stands against everything “real” Republicans are about.
She brought up his actions during his first term as governor related to abortion, immigration and civil rights for gay people, and her message stuck. There are people who insist they’re Republicans, but won’t consider a vote for Bruce come the general election.
It doesn’t matter that the very essence of Rauner’s term as governor were actions meant to push for policies that would undermine the influence of organized labor within government. Rauner is anti-union enough to be a hard-core Republican, but that’s not good enough.
|PEREZ: Rauner's sacrificial lamb?|
There was that veto the governor handed down right before the primary election – the one in which he rejected a bill the Democrat-controlled General Assembly handed down related to firearms and state regulation of gun shops.
It was the Illinois Legislature’s reaction to the violence at a school in Parkland, Fla. – which means Rauner made his own statement with regards to gun control measures.
|IVES: Inflicted serious damage to Bruce|
And now, there’s the deportation of Miguel Perez, Jr., who served in the Army in Afghanistan and was under the assumption that he became a U.S. citizen at that point in time. But after military service, he became involved with illegal narcotics, wound up being arrested and serving time in prison.
PEREZ CAME TO the United States from Mexico when he was 8 and had a “green card.” But that was revoked upon his conviction, and because of his lack of citizenship, upon his release from prison Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials began the process of deportation.
Which in his case took 16 months because he tried fighting it. But in the end, Perez was among a group of deportees being held in Kenosha, Wis., who recently were put on a bus and driven to the Gary/Chicago International Airport, where they were put an an airplane and flown to Brownsville, Texas, Then, they were driven over the border into Matamoros in Mexico, where they were formally turned over to Mexican authorities.
It turns out that among the moves Perez tried making to stay in this country was a request for a pardon from Rauner. If he had been granted some form of clemency for his drug conviction, it might not have been able to be used against him as far as deportation proceedings were concerned.
But Rauner went out of his way to reject such a request. While refusing to be specific on his reasons, Rauner wanted it known he said “no” to a U.S. military veteran whose problems post-military were due to post traumatic stress disorder.
“WE MADE THE decision not to grant (clemency) in that case,” Rauner told WLS-TV.
|PRITZKER: Will J.B. be ultimate victor?|
Rauner already was getting grief from the ideologues because he didn’t veto a measure that restricted Illinois law enforcement authorities from cooperating fully with federal immigration officials, similar to the “sanctuary city” initiatives that exist in Chicago and Cook County or the “welcoming city” measures of places like Evanston and Oak Forest – or Gary, Ind. (whose airport is used as part of the deportation process, which angers some local officials).
So is forcing Perez, who hadn’t actually been in Mexico in 31 years and whose life is oriented towards being in this country, to leave just Rauner’s gesture of support to the ideologues? If it is, it’s a cold gesture.
It makes me wonder how many more “gestures” Rauner is going to feel compelled to give to the “right” to bolster his standings, and if he’s going to wind up becoming more “Trump-like” in his political behavior. Because, after all, he needs the votes to avoid getting his clock cleaned Nov. 6 by Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker.