Skip to comments.Mark Kirk v2.0 - The 2018 Illinois Governor's Race
Posted on 10/06/2017 12:41:32 PM PDT by jfd1776
In the summer and fall of 2015, many Illinois Republicans called for the party to retire incumbent US Senator Mark Kirk in the primary. Despite some party pressure, but obviously not enough, he refused to sit out the election. He campaigned for re-nomination, which scared both candidates and money out of the primary, and he won the spring losing the fall as everyone predicted.
Mark Kirk was elected narrowly in 2010, in a race that should have been a landslide even in Illinois. It was the best year for the Republican party in generations, and he was fortunate to have a general election opponent whom even the Chicago Tribune called the mobs banker.
In office, Kirk suffered a stroke, severely limiting his campaigning ability... and several political choices as a Senator, particularly his support of carbon cap and trade regulation and belief in the manmade climate change hoax, utterly doomed his candidacy for re-election.
Mark Kirk had never been comfortable with the Republican base, and the feeling was mutual. His hostility to conservatives was kept somewhat in check as a Congressman but was unleashed, full-force, once he reached the Senate. The power of incumbency enabled him to coast to re-nomination in 2016, but his repulsion of the partys base doomed him in November.
And it was predicted.
Second Verse, Same as the First
We see the same story being written again for 2018, this time in the Governors race.
Bruce Rauner and Mark Kirk have very different histories, of course; one a lifetime businessman, new to politics, and the other an old legislative aide and Congressman who rose to statewide office in the usual way.
But they also have incredible similarities. Both were always distrusted by the partys base. Both gained statewide office as something of an internal compromise by conservatives hes not one of us, but he may be the best we can get hell still be better than a Democrat would be. So the base may not have chosen them in the primaries, but accepted them in the generals, and pushed them over the line in their first Novembers.
But as we close in on three years of the Rauner experiment, we find ourselves in much the same position we were in at this time in 2015 with Mark Kirk.
Rauner has turned off so many core constituencies through such fatal errors as signing a sanctuary state law, allowing transgender drivers licenses, and taxpayer funding of abortion that he has utterly lost the republican base.
As everyone knows, Illinois is a difficult state for a Republican. Its not impossible, but it is hard, and getting harder every year, as the majority of the 95,000 or so who annually flee the state are Republicans.
This means that a Republican candidate for statewide office simply cannot turn off any major element of the GOP base, and Rauner has turned off several. He promised to be no more than a moderate on the issues on which he is wrong; contrary to his promises, he chose in 2017 to be downright radical on them.
The war chant of the rampaging RINO has always been Where else can they go? and that argument has often won the day, because in fact the patriot must usually admit that a modern Democrat would always be worse.
But Mark Kirk often made us question that argument, and Bruce Rauner in 2017 has made it his business to destroy it.
It is almost inconceivable that even a Democrat would dare statewide funding of abortion-on-demand, or turn the entire state into a sanctuary state. Chris Kennedy, in recent weeks, has even made some pointed centrist remarks on such key issues, to ensure that if he survives his partys primary, he can run to the right of Rauner on issues of importance to the GOP base (Kennedy doesn't need to win us all, he just needs to splinter us).
Bruce Rauner cannot win the entire Republican base, and build on it with a majority of the middle and a decent subset of the left, as he did last time. He got into office with an outsiders magic act that simply cannot be repeated, now that he has a record.
The luster is off the statue now, as independent businessman Bruce Rauner has become a politician and not a particularly successful one at that:
His claim of being the stern money manager, holding out for systemic reforms before approving tax increases, collapses under the weight of his signature of the abortion bill and the sanctuary bill, because as everyone knows the half-million-plus illegal aliens in Illinois are a huge part of the states financial troubles from the costs of crime, welfare, healthcare, and the competition in employment.
The single easiest way to plug our budgetary hole would be to eject the illegal aliens who arent allowed to be here anyway; inviting countless more to flood in, through sanctuary status, is fiscal (as well as cultural) suicide.
A governor who is concerned first and foremost about fiscal responsibility would have to be on the side of law enforcement here, not on the side of the sanctuary millstone that is fast sinking our state (along with so many others).
This issue can only become ever more obvious over the course of the year to come. Bruce Rauner cannot win re-election in November by competing only over the left and the middle, having ceded the right to two sad choices: either leaving our ballots blank in disgust, or voting for third parties in desperation.
The Republican party has only one choice, if it wants to retain the Executive Mansion in Springfield for the critical 2019-2022 term the term in which the legislative remaps set the table for the 2020s:
We need to see beyond Rauners massive war-chest - since he has already rendered himself unelectable, his war-chest doesnt matter and look to November.
Rauner won the primary last time because the legitimate Republican candidates split between three choices Dan Rutherford, Bill Brady, and Kirk Dillard. This time, the opposition must unite behind one person with impeccable party credentials and a voting record that shows consistency with the party platform a county chairman, a state rep or a state senator, who can mount a credible campaign in the fall against whichever left-wing amateur the Democrats nominate.
Illinois Republicans have to learn from 2015, and do what we should have done then: every single GOP county committee should issue a resolution that We Will Not endorse Bruce Rauner for re-nomination, period.
We must treat this race as an open seat, one in which the extremist Bruce Rauner need not apply and run one great, winnable Republican to lead our ticket in the fall.
Illinois Republicans have a choice to make:
Either we beat Bruce Rauner in the Primary, or we watch the Democrats beat us in the General.
Copyright 2017 john F. Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance lecturer, writer and actor. His columns are regularly found in Illinois Review. Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the IR URL and byline are included.
The ILLINOIS GOP better come up with another candidate. I, for one, will NEVER VOTE for baby killer and liar BRUCE RAUNER. Many feel the same as me.
1. Baby killer
2. Motor voter registration expanded to pretty much all state offices
3. IL now sanctuary state
4. Tax increases?
Kirk? He is a Rauner clone :(
I never thought I would say it, but I am now of the thinking that it might be smarter to have the true democrat in office—the RINOs are simply place holders keeping potential true conservatives from filling the offices thru primaries.
Good article. If Rauner isn’t unseated in the primary, I’m writing in my cousin.
[Kirk? He is a Rauner clone :(]
I’m thankful we got rid of that baby killer. The GOPe lied about his positions when he was first elected.
Conservatism is dead, as far as elected office goes. No one governs conservatively. They may run as a conservative, but once elected they will go along with the sanctuary city, amnesty, global warming, ant middle class agenda. They all betray you in the end. No point in voting anymore. 2016 was the last election I vote in. It doesnt matter who or what office, whoever is elected will work against our interests. Every one is a Democrat at their core, so I dont care who wins or loses anymore
I had a personal call from KIRK’S campaign assuring me that he would remain neutral on social issues. Sound familiar?
Di Leon is right: If Rauner survives a primary challenge, a Dim will win the gubernatorial election. Rauner is a one-termer, one way or the other.
Yup. I voted for him last time, but there is no way I can vote for him again. He is indeed akin to Mark Kirk: I voted for Kirk in 2010, but in 2016 I wrote in my dog’s name.
Seats gone. No sense getting a good feeling out of losing ‘our way’. Bigger fish to fry.
I am a native Illinoisan who lived there 56 years before escaping to Indiana four years ago, but I still work and own some property there, and love Illinois as a place, so I have an interest in how this turns out. I wanted to like and trust Rauner and hope for the best. He really began to show his true colors after Donald Trump won the nomination and Rauner ran like a scared rat from him. I don’t know that he has even embraced Trump since his election. I used to feel sorry for Rauner because he couldn’t get anything he needed to do through the legislature. That opinion changed after he signed bills that made Illinois a sanctuary state and now, his latest, expanding Medicaid coverage for abortions on demand. With its current government, Illinois is a lost cause. That’s too bad, because there are lot of Illinoisans who don’t deserve it.
LOSERS....ALL of them are LOSERS!! Illinois is SO corrupt, they don;t even want these losers.
[I used to feel sorry for Rauner because he couldnt get anything he needed to do through the legislature. ]
RAUNER willfully signed his signature on EVERY evil anti-famly, anti-life bill that crossed his desk. Sadly, there were good pro-life, pro-family Republican candidates who ran against him. In the end, a majority of Illinoisans shut their eyes to his liberal views on LGBTQ, the family, and life, putting their pocketbooks BEFORE their consciences.
He is accountable to GOD ALMIGHTY what evil legislation he gleefully signed into law.
And they wound up with neither their pocketbooks nor their consciences satisfied.
Is Jim Thompson still alive?
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