CHICAGO - In an email sent out Tuesday evening to members of the State Central Committee from IL GOP elected officials and statewide candidates calls for "Rauner Party" Chairman Tim Schneider to be re-elected.
The appeal boasts how the Republican organizations work better together than ever before under Schneider's leadership at the IL GOP, but does not mention that the IL GOP has lost any meaningful financial support from grassroots and Illinois rank and file under Schneider's leadership. The IL GOP's latest filings show reports less than 10 individual contributions in the past six months.
As a result, the Illinois Republican Party is owned and directed by its biggest donor, Governor Rauner. Chairman Schneider appears to be fine with that. And evidently, all the statewide IL GOP candidates and every Republican member of Illinois' congressional caucus agrees with Rauner's funding and political strategy because they all signed onto the plea to support Schneider's re-election.
The IL GOP is divided between Rauner loyalists and the conservative base after a heated primary challenge by State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) - and the letter does not reflect respect or appeal to those Republicans that are opposed to the governor's IL GOP platform-rejecting political philosophy.
The letter from the leadership of the now-dubbed "Rauner Party" urging support for Schneider as distributed:
We are at a critical juncture in Illinois’ history. Pundits tell us the national headwinds are against us. Illinois Democrats have just nominated a billionaire candidate for governor who is willing to spend unlimited resources to empower Speaker Madigan and protect the status quo in Springfield. And to the detriment of hardworking taxpayers and families, Madigan continues to consolidate power and block reform at all costs just to protect his rigged Chicago Machine.
Now more than ever, we need a capable and proven Republican to lead our Party to victory as we enter what may be the most consequential election of our lifetimes in Illinois.
That is why, as elected Illinois Republicans and Republican candidates for public office, we wholeheartedly and without reservation endorse Tim Schneider for reelection as Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party.
As we approach the 2018 General Election, Tim is uniquely positioned to lead us to victory again.
Tim Schneider is a small business owner and entrepreneur. Unlike our Machine Democrat counterparts, Tim didn’t cut his teeth in politics; he owns several successful small businesses. That private sector experience has taught Tim that less government is better government, politics is about providing value for taxpayers, and, as Republican Party members and elected officials, we must innovate to not only survive, but thrive and win.
Tim Schneider is a tested and proven fighter for taxpayers. As a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, the second largest county in the United States, Tim has led the charge against the Chicago Democrats’ reckless tax hikes. Late last year, Tim along with other Republican board members, successfully led the coalition against the soda tax, and in several other sales tax hikes in years past. Like us, Tim knows that Republicans have the policy solutions to tackle the challenges facing Illinois.
Most importantly, Tim Schneider knows how to elect Republicans. Tim was elected party chairman in 2014 with a vision to unify the Party, bring all Republican stakeholders together, and win elections. Like us Republican elected officials, Tim himself has had to get on the ballot, run his own campaigns and win – and he has successfully done that many times over. Tim’s personal experience of running and actually winning campaigns has proven to be invaluable for the Party.
Under Tim’s leadership, party organizations like our seven Congressional campaign committees, Governor Rauner’s campaign committee, the Republican State Senate Campaign Committee, the House Republican Organization, and others have worked more closely than ever before. In our “Blue” state, Tim has beat the odds and worked successfully and collaboratively to elect Republicans statewide – defending our Republican members of Congress, increasing the ranks of Republican lawmakers in Springfield, and electing Governor Rauner. Tim is ready to do it again and turn our state “Red” as we approach the critical 2020 redistricting process.
We strongly believe that the future of our great state of Illinois depends on having experienced and tested Republicans like Tim Schneider leading our Party. We hope that you join us in supporting Tim Schneider for reelection as Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party.
Bruce Rauner, Governor
Evelyn Sanguinetti, Lieutenant Governor
Jason Helland, Republican nominee for Secretary of State
Erika Harold, Republican nominee for Attorney General
Darlene Senger, Republican nominee for Comptroller
Jim Dodge, Republican nominee for Treasurer
John Shimkus, IL-15
Peter Roskam, IL-06
Randy Hultgren, IL-14
Adam Kinzinger, IL-16
Rodney Davis, IL-13
Mike Bost, IL-12
Darin LaHood, IL-18
Bill Brady, Senate Republican Leader
Jim Durkin, House Republican Leader
The IL GOP's most recent filings show Rauner as the biggest donor - with few individual donations through the 3/31/2018 filings:
More on this story to come ...