By Terri Koyne -
Everyone keeps talking about Rauner’s great deception. What deception would that be? During the 2014 election cycle Rauner didn’t hide who he was, what he was about, he didn’t lie to the voters. He said he was pro-choice.
Now, after Rauner did exactly what he said he would do, people are wringing their hands and crying foul? Look, you all can’t claim to have been deceived when you CHOSE to ignore the facts.
The facts were there:
- Rauner donated lots of money to Planned Parenthood, Personal PAC, and Emily’s List – all pro-choice organizations. Their sole purpose in existing is to expand abortion on demand.
- Rauner refused to fill out any conservative group’s questionnaire but filled out Personal PAC’s questionnaire. He made it clear with his answers that he was okay with expanding abortion on demand.
- Diana Rauner’s email to all her pro-abortion friends proudly stating that they both were staunchly pro-choice was published - before votes were cast on election day.
- And last but not least – Rauner SAID he was pro-choice.
From the questionnaire he filled out for Personal PAC - and this was public when he ran:
- Will you SIGN legislation repealing this 1975 law and replacing it with a law stating that decisions about reproductive matters are to be made privately between a woman and her doctor, without government interference? Rauner’s answer – YES
- Will you SIGN legislation restoring abortion coverage under the state Medicaid plan? Rauner’s answer – YES
- Will you SIGN legislation to restore state employees’ health insurance coverage for abortions? Rauner’s answer – YES.
Well there you have it, folks. Looks a lot like the language of HB 40, doesn’t it? So, whom exactly did the governor deceive?
What made anyone believe that this zebra would change his stripes once he was in office? Did anyone actually think they could force him to do the right thing? How? Did you think our elected officials had any pull? What leverage do the legislators have to get him to bend in their direction? It sure isn’t money, since Rauner has financed many of their campaigns.
Every single Republican vote cast in the legislature was against HB 40, yet Rauner signed it anyway. Rauner has shown himself to be a dictator when it comes to votes on the floor – you vote his way or he will bury you. This man doesn’t negotiate; it always has been and always will be his way or the highway.
When dealing with someone who has no moral compass, you cannot negotiate with them on moral issues. They are not going to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do. He has repeatedly thrown members of his own caucus under the bus, so why did they trust him when he said he would veto HB 40? I am now wondering if he really did say that or if once again, people just heard what they wanted to hear.
So, if Rauner didn’t deceive the voters, then who did? First on that list would be the Illinois GOP leadership. It was easy for them to shut down anyone who questioned Rauner and his liberal leanings because many of them don’t agree with the platform either. Besides, they were too focused on the wheel barrels of cash that came along with the Rauner candidacy to worry about what our party is supposed to stand for.
The ILGOP was broke at the time and Rauner promised unlimited funding. This was their opportunity to publicly cast aside the Platform and the party’s conservative base (something that they had been doing for years behind closed doors, by the way).
Long story short – they willingly sold the party to Bruce Rauner.
The ILGOP selling out was bad, but who was the most deceptive during the 2014 election? By far, it was his supporters on the ground who were the most dishonest in all this. I include some of the Tea Party-type groups in this category. These devoted supporters were bullies and almost militant at times. The people I dealt with were telling people that Rauner was “personally pro-life”, and when further questioned on the issue, would quickly follow with “But we shouldn’t be focused on social issues this election anyway. Rauner said he won’t do anything to expand abortions in Illinois, so we need to stay focused on fiscal issues."
I was called a liar when I pointed out that Rauner was pro-choice and failed to go along with their false narrative. As a result, they tried to smear my reputation. Now HB 40 is the law of the state and not only does it expand abortions, it increases the burden on taxpayers. How is this fiscally responsible?
Simply put – they lied.
Another lie tactic they repeatedly used in 2014 was “You have to vote for Rauner - we can’t survive four more years of Quinn!” Please explain to me, how are we any better off today with Rauner in office than we would have been with Quinn? What has Rauner accomplished?
Rauner has supported and signed legislation into law that goes completely against our platform. The state and its citizens are certainly no better off. Nothing has changed in state government except we now have two dictators threatening to knock off anyone who doesn’t bow down and kiss their rings.
The ILGOP along with its infrastructure is greatly damaged. Volunteers have been told that they are not needed and replaced with hired hands. The base has been told that they don’t matter. Most of our elected officials are not raising their own campaign funds. Do they even know how to at this point?
Most are like baby birds sitting in their comfy nests with their mouths wide open, screeching for someone to feed them. What happens when Rauner’s checkbook goes away? Can the ILGOP or its legislators survive now that they have become solely dependent on Rauner for financing? So, who - besides those who are personally profiting financially from Rauner’s reign - are in better shape today than they were four years ago?
The election results from November 2014 said we won, but did we really? A lot of people lied, bullied others, put their wallets ahead of their principles, conned others down the path with them and we got a so-called “win."
But at what cost?
The 2014 elections are over and there is nothing we can do about that now. Where do we go from here?
Rauner says he is running and his petitions are being circulated. Do we learn from our past mistakes or do we choose to repeat them? Get ready folks, because this time it isn’t going to be fiscal issues that are constantly thrown out there to shut us down; it is going to be “THE MAP." Prepare yourselves for it.
“Do you want the democrats completely in charge of remapping?” “If you don’t support Rauner, we will be handicapped for the next decade.” “If the democrats draw the map, we are going to lose seats!”
Don’t fall for the well-funded hype. Listen, we have won races in spite of the democrats’ maps in the past, and we did it without Rauner’s money.
We have a choice to make – doing what is right, or winning at all costs. Just remember that the costs include shredding our platform and what it stands for and continuing to make our party a mirror image of the democrat party.
If you are not willing to let this liberal blight continue to spread in our party, here are a few suggestions:
- Stop buying into the lies and stand up for what you believe in. Do you regret voting for Rauner in 2014? Then don’t do it again. It doesn’t matter whether a candidate has an “R” or a “D” after their name on the ballot, if they do not share your principles and values, don’t vote for them.
- Start doing your own research on these candidates and stop listening to people in leadership who don’t care about your values. Stop listening to the commercials, stop reading the mailbox hit pieces, and stop reading slanted so-called newspapers. These are coming from the same people who only care about the money, the power, and the win. But as it says in Matthew 16:26 “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” The day our leaders sold out the party to Rauner for his millions, is the day our party lost its soul.
- If you are like me and believe in what our party’s platform stands for, then stay focused on it. Support only the candidates that line up with our platform.
- There are wolves in sheep’s clothing in our party and unfortunately, they hold places of leadership and elected office. The only two things these people understand are money and vote totals. If you want to send a message to them then start by not financing them. If Rauner wants to own and control the Republican Party in Illinois then let him and him alone finance it. Quit giving your time and money to the state party; quit giving to the caucus leaders who do Rauner’s bidding; quit giving to those county organizations that aid and abet Rauner and his agenda to pull our party further to the left. Donate DIRECTLY to the candidates who stand behind our platform. Finally – QUIT voting for candidates that do not share your values and principles. The only thing that gets through to political weasels faster than a drop off in donations is a huge undervote in their chosen candidates’ races.
We may lose a battle or two, but it is the only way to win the war. And make no mistake about it – we are at war.
Terri Koyne served as Macoupin County IL GOP Chairman until recently, when she resigned. She was a member of the 2016 Illinois Republican Party Platform Committee and serves as Benld, Illinois city clerk.