Is Gov. Rauner Buying the Support of Illinois GOP County Chairmen?

Written by John Biver

Because the Illinois Republican Party nominated a radical left-winger in 2014 who has demonstrated an inability to lead, three years into his term Illinois finds itself worse off than when Governor Bruce Rauner took office.

What happens when that aforementioned Republican governor is willing to spend millions of dollars of his own money to purchase support? We’re witnessing the answer as candidate Bruce Rauner meets with county party chairmen and offers them assistance — in the form of money, candidate training, website support, etc.

Last week a member of the Winnebago County Republican Central Committee made some news with a Facebook post alleging that Rauner appears to be bribing county chairmen to support him over his primary opponent Jeanne Ives.

In order to learn more, Illinois Family Action recently spoke with Republican State Central Committee member Jan Klaas, who previously served as Chairman for the Winnebago County Central Committee. Klaas is an outspoken conservative.

According to Klaas, Governor Rauner met with several Republican county chairmen earlier this month in Rockford to offer them financial assistance and training support. He also tried to explain his support for legislation that has upset conservative voters, such as the most recent bill he signed into law, HB 40which uses tax dollars to pay for abortions through Medicaid and state employees’ insurance plans. Klaas said she believes it’s too late for Rauner to be discussing HB 40:

The damage has been done, and the Democrats (who run the legislature) will not permit a second hearing on abortion topics.

Talking at this point is only an attempt to smooth our ruffled feathers, not resolve the disaster Rauner has created. It’s one of those issues where Rauner thinks it’s easier to get forgiveness after the fact than permission before acting.

The only discussion we can have with Rauner now is to tell him to leave and let someone else make the decisions. Unless he has a way to un-sign the legislation, which of course he cannot do, we are stuck for the unforeseeable future with an estimated 15,000 more babies killed each year and loss of the recognition that life begins at conception.

It may seem desirable that financial support can be offered to local Republican party workers, but not when those funds are directly supplied by a candidate’s committee for public office. Even if we agreed with his politics, this action would be inappropriate.

Rauner is giving large amounts of money to county organizations. Some are receiving $5,000, while others $10-20,000. I’m afraid the money will inappropriately bias too many county chairmen in favor of Rauner. It’s disappointing to see Governor Rauner bringing Chicago style politics to the Illinois Republican Party.

Like a growing number of Republicans in Illinois, Klaas thinks that silence is not the proper response to Rauner’s legislative actions:

It’s not just our moral outrage concerning HB 40, but his attack on the religious freedom of Crisis Pregnancy Care Centers across the state (SB 1564), his support for altering transgender birth certificates (HB 1785), and preventing counselling of children with unwanted same-sex attraction (HB 217).

Klaas believes what is happening needs to be brought to light:

Grassroots Republicans should refuse to support any county chairman who accepts “blood money” from Governor Rauner. We cannot ignore the damage this Governor has brought on the unborn, families, and pregnancy care centers.

As the head of the Illinois GOP and by failing to adhere to the Republican Party Platform,” Klaas said, “Governor Rauner has done great harm to the Republican Party as well as all the citizens in Illinois. And if county chairmen accept his money, it will appear the Illinois GOP can be bought off!

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