Listening to Gov. Bruce Rauner complain about how he’s being outspent by Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker’s desires to replace him come Tuesday’s elections strikes me as being the whines of a political crybaby.
Rauner is seriously trying to get people – at least those of us who live in Illinois outside the Chicago metro area – all worked up over the notion that Pritzker is trying to use his personal wealth to buy the governor’s post for himself.
AS THOUGH RAUNER is the pauper who just can’t compete in such a political environment.
Even though I personally find it appalling to have to pick from so many excessively-wealthy people amongst our candidates, I can’t find any sympathy for our incumbent governor – and not just because I think Illinois will be much better off the moment we send Bruce packing.
For Rauner is very much the reason this trend of needing millionaire candidates with little interest in traditional campaign fundraising has come to Illinois.
Let’s not forget the 2014 election for governor; the one in which a record was set -- $127.3 million was raised and spent by the two major party candidates.
WITH RAUNER ACCOUNTING for some 70 percent of that spending. Rauner IS the ultimate rich guy who bought himself a political office to appease his ego and make him feel like his life is contributing to our society.
Of course, Rauner’s personal background (a venture capitalist who buys struggling businesses and bleeds them dry of any assets they have) mean he’s inclined to be sympathetic towards interests that the bulk of us living here are not.
If anything, this election cycle was expected to be more of the same. Remember back over a year ago when it was reported Rauner had already come up with some $50 million for his re-election campaign.
Along with money to support Republican allies in the General Assembly and other state government posts? This was supposed to be yet another year in which a Rauner version of the Republican Party would buy dominance over us all.
EXCEPT THAT DEMOCRATS managed to come up with a candidate in Pritzker who could produce his own funds to be competitive with Rauner.
Heck, Pritzker has already spent enough money on his campaign that he alone crushes the 2014 record. When you add in the Rauner bucks, we may wind up at just over $200 million for this election cycle in Illinois.
Is what really bothers Rauner is that his record of ’14 is already crushed into oblivion? Is Illinois Democratic Chairman Michael Madigan’s real political “sin” that he took the Rauner game plan and played it better than Rauner did himself?
It’s why I honestly hear nothing more than “Wah, wah, wah!!!” when Rauner tells a campaign rally in Quincy that Pritzker, “is outspending us by $100 million. Good grief, he’s trying to buy the election.”
IT TRANSLATES INTO blunt-speak English as, “he’s trying to buy my election away from me!” Or perhaps more like a line from the 1980 film "Cheech &Chong's Next Movie" in which Cheech Marin’s character is upset that someone stole from him the thing he stole earlier that day.
“Somebody just ripped off the thing I ripped off,” Marin said. A sentiment that Rauner may very well sympathize with these days.
Because as things now stand, all the money Rauner has pumped into himself and other Republicans to try to rebuild the one-time Party of Lincoln in his own image may have all been for naught. It may wind up that the only Republican who prevails Tuesday is Erika Harold’s state attorney general bid (it’s possible that some voters will be backward enough to reject Democrat Kwame Raoul’s campaign just because of a funny name).
Then again, carrying the taint of taking Rauner’s campaign money may be enough to drag her down, and make this Rauner era of Illinois government a complete and utter failure.