Back in 2012, before he was Governor, before he made Illinois a sanctuary state and legalized taxpayer-funded abortions, millionaire Bruce Rauner was buying up the Illinois GOP like it was a depressed financial asset.
Rauner had spent his professional life as a vulture capitalist and he knew the Illinois Republican party could be bought at bargain basement prices. He was openly pro-abortion, pro-amnesty, and had padded the coffers of everyone from Planned Parenthood and the ACLU to the Democrat National Committee. He was besties with Rahm Emanuel and made him a millionaire. Rauner’s ugly history was out in the open like laundry on a clothing line.
Some Republicans would have you believe it was a secret. It was not.
I believed then – and still do now – that Rauner was a clear and present danger to the Republican Party and sounded the warning bells. Unfortunately, my criticism was met with derision…and threats from the GOP establishment.
Didn’t I know Rauner was paying top dollar for Republican loyalty – not just hundreds of thousands of dollars – but millions?
I was spoiling their Grand Ole’ Party.
Even Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass, who made his name railing against the Combine, was riding the Rauner train. In July 2013, he wrote this gushing column, “Illinois Republicans: Get ready for Bruce Rauner, multimillionaire businessman and possible candidate for governor could be just the ticket to take on the status quo, fix broken state.”
I’m not kidding. That’s the title of Kass’ column. The equivalent of a sloppy wet journalistic kiss. You can’t pay for that kind of media…or can you?
It was official: Bruce Rauner, the Combine millionaire was now Illinois’ newest savior.
Today is a different story. In the wake of the political bloodbath of HB40, Rauner’s once merry band of conservative enablers are desperate to rewrite history. All of a sudden, they are pointing the finger at Rauner, calling him a liar, crying that they were “deceived.”
This outrage is fake.
Republicans who took millions of dollars from Rauner are the ones shrieking the loudest. In the National Review, political operative Dan Proft lashes out at Rauner’s “radical-left social agenda.” Does that mean Dan will be giving Rauner his $5 million back?
By claiming Rauner deceived them on abortion and illegal immigration, Rauner’s shills are lying to voters again. Shamelessly, they are also demanding voters support their hand-picked candidate against Rauner in the GOP primary.
Why should anyone believe them after the destruction Rauner has wrought? Or is a ruse designed to help Rauner in this desperate but deep blue state?
Suddenly even John Kass is anti-Rauner and he’s pushing his own candidate too.
Rauner donated $510,000 to the ACLU in 2012, specifically to fund pro-abortion-related litigation. He named Obama’s former Chief of Staff Bill Daley to his transition team. Since elected, he has continued to fund Planned Parenthood with taxpayer-funded grants. In 2016, Rauner also signed a bill forcing pro-life doctors and crisis pregnancy groups to promote abortion. He made Illinois a sanctuary state and the day after the bill passed the legislature, Republicans said nothing.
Where was the outrage of my fellow conservatives then? Rauner isn’t the liar here. The hacks took his money are. They duped local GOP officials statewide and they duped the voters into supporting Rauner. We need to hold them accountable.
I’m relieved local Republican leaders and voters finally know the sad truth about Bruce Rauner. Because Illinois cannot afford for history to repeat itself in 2018 and we cannot afford another Bruce Rauner.
We really can’t.
William J. Kelly is the host of “The Citizen Kelly Show” on AM 1590 WCGO. In 2015, he busted the caps in the Chicago mayoral race, forcing Rahm Emanuel into a historic run-off election. Kelly is also an Emmy award-winning TV producer and frequent contributor to American Spectator, The Washington Times, Breitbart.com, and writes “The Chicago Rules,” a monthly column for Newsmax.