PALOS - Despite being featured as a main attraction for weeks, Governor Rauner won't be attending Saturday's Southwest Suburban Republican Picnic after all, says Cook County GOP Chairman Sean Morrison.
Apparently, the sudden change in plans resulted from the governor signing into law a measure Thursday that would require taxpayers to pay for abortions for low income women and state employees.
“Governor Rauner had committed to attending our Republican Family Picnic several weeks ago," Morrison told Illinois Review. "In lieu of Thursday's bill signing, it was agreed that the governor's attendance would only serve as a distraction to our goal of a Republican family values event.”
The featured speaker at the Village Green in southwest suburban Palos Park from noon to 3:00 PM will now be IL GOP primary candidate Erika Harold.
Morrison made clear his disagreement with Rauner on House Bill 40.
“I am very disappointed in Governor Rauner's decision to sign HB 40. Illinois taxpayers should not be funding abortions. No matter your political views, allowing taxpayer dollars to fund abortions - especially for a state like Illinois which is billions and billions of dollars in debt - is an unacceptable use of taxpayer money,” Morrison said.
Rauner was expected to be greeted by pro-life protesters at the picnic on Saturday. Since Rauner will no longer be appearing, protest organizer John Ryan says he'll be encouraging those frustrated with Rauner to attend the Students for Life protest downtown at noon on Saturday.
Or, Ryan encourages people that want to speak up locally to go to the SW GOP picnic and enjoy a family-friendly event. "Don't hesitate to express the need to leave Rauner behind and move in a pro-life direction," Ryan said in an email. "I'm quite sure they will find themselves in good company!"
Before Thursday invite said: