BARTLETT - Monday, Tri-County-Teas Party leader Rick Newton broke through a perceived hush among Illinois conservatives about what to do in the November election. Newton, whose group meets twice a month, said in an email plea that conservatives have been hesitant to lock arms in support of Rauner, mostly questioning whether he was "conservative enough" for their support. Newton argues Rauner is the only choice in November, writing:
Over four months after the Republican primary election, we continue to hear conversations among conservatives about the uncertainty/lack of comfort with Bruce Rauner as a candidate for Governor. In my opinion, however, I sincerely believe that it’s time for anyone in Illinois whose political beliefs lie anywhere right of center (and even a little to the left!) to come to grips with reality. Not only is the primary over, but more importantly, this state is in the throes of a veritable economic death spiral.
Yet, we have people who would normally vote Republican who continue to quibble over degrees of conservatism while our state is bleeding jobs, money, and people! Do we truly believe that re-electing Pat Quinn to work in tandem with the Michael Madigan and John Cullerton will create even a modicum of meaningful, positive improvement for this state? Not only should our answer to that question be a well-deserved “Hell no!”, but it shouldn’t require deep thought.
Yes, from a conservative’s viewpoint, the Illinois GOP has ample room for improvement – but its ability and willingness to become more aligned with its own party values is not going to happen overnight. That’s going to take strong grassroots efforts to make that happen and that’s where we in the TP movement exert the most influence.
The good news is that Bruce Rauner has a viable chance to be elected Governor of Illinois. But because he’s opposing an incumbent, because Illinois politics is a cesspool of corruption and selfishness, and because the state’s Republican Party is too often its own worst enemy, we cannot afford to succumb to the distractions that would divert our focus.
It’s time for the whining to stop and for all of us to ask voters to put on their big boy/big girl underpants and recognize what’s at stake. Bruce Rauner can win this election, but it can’t happen without conservatives all rowing in the same direction and with optimal energy.
Newton's group includes Tea Party supporters from Cook, DuPage and Lake counties.