Voters Need to Know Where Their Republican Candidates Stand on the Issue of Leadership

Written by John Biver

The Illinois House seat that gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives is vacating has three GOP candidates vying to replace her. Ryan Byrne, Amy Grant and Burt Minor are on the primary ballot in the 42nd house district. At least two of those house candidates have chosen sides in that primary race for Governor.

Burt Minor is supporting Bruce Rauner’s reelection and Amy Grant has endorsed Jeanne Ives.

Only Amy Grant responded to the IFI Voter Guide questionnaire, and earned an endorsement from IFA.

Pro-family voters know their list of issues by heart. Is a candidate pro-life? Pro one-man/one-woman marriage? Pro school choice? Against expanding gambling? Against legalizing recreational marijuana? And yes, is the candidate serious about fixing our state’s fiscal mess so taxes can go down and not up?

Illinoisans have just lived through a three-year experiment with a Republican governor who was not with social conservatives on most of those issues but claimed to be all about that last one. He was a businessman, new to politics, rich enough so he couldn’t be bought, and had a “turn around agenda.”

More people are learning that Rauner is ZERO for 44 on his agenda items.

Taxes went up. Pensions weren’t fixed. No balanced budget in sight. No drop in the number of Illinoisans deciding to become residents of another state.

Rauner is telling us that in his second term, things are going to be different. The problem is they already are.

Taxpayer funded abortions. Transgender birth certificates. A fiscal condition made much worse. Rauner’s (and thus the GOP’s) credibility damaged.

State Rep candidate Burt Minor endorses Bruce Rauner. Why? What exactly is he endorsing? What possible list of accomplishments could Burt Minor tout for candidate Rauner?

If you live in a state house or state senate district that is being contested on March 20th, you might want to check in with the candidates to see who they are endorsing. If they are staying “neutral” or supporting Rauner, they are, in reality, endorsing someone who has shown no leadership ability as governor.

Leadership is talked a lot about in the business world. Books are written. Training is available. In politics, the word leadership is used — but without an attached definition. So more often than not, Republicans nominate people who seek to hold an office but have no clue how to use it once they get it. They have no idea how to win sufficient public support for reforms, build coalitions, or work with members of the other party on the big issues in a constructive manner.

Rauner has only been a part of the problem for three years. We have a couple of Amtrak train cars worth of elected Republican members of the Illinois General Assembly that are very comfortable with their own inability to lead. Yet, every state rep and senator — and certainly groups of them teamed up — can make an impact. Except they don’t.

Rauner should have stuck to his “no social agenda” stance and sought to hold onto the base of the party by honoring our State GOP Platform. His term would not have been a waste if he had spent his time and money bringing information to Illinoisans about the ugly details of the fiscal mess we’re in. Even if he had still gone ZERO for 44 in his turn-around agenda, but had greatly raised awareness about our state’s finances, he could have had an argument for re-nomination by his party.

Rauner failed on all counts. Yet guys like Burt Minor endorse him. Many others have been silent when it comes to their support for better leadership. It’s puzzling that some good conservative office holders and candidates are included in that silent brigade. How bad do things have to become before more “leaders” show courage and speak out?

Rauner cannot win re-election. The GOP’s only chance at holding the governor’s office is to nominate Jeanne Ives. She has the leadership skills needed. Watch her address to the City Club:

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