Here is the WBEZ headline and lede for an article about one of the big news stories this week in Illinois:
Surviving War, But Not The Veterans’ Home
Since July 2015, 13 residents of a veterans’ home in west central Illinois have died
from Legionnaires’ disease. Eleven families are suing the state for negligence.
Typically this kind of governmental failure cannot be blamed on a guy who just took office less than three years ago. However, among the most publicized accomplishments of the Bruce Rauner administration is that fact that state-funded social services got short shrift during the two-year state budget impasse.
If that headline causes you a bit of deja vu, it might be due to Rauner’s documented track record in the private sector concerning nursing home facilities. You can read about that horrendous bit of history at Republican News Watch. The fact that lawsuits were settled with families of nursing home victims was the most ignored news story of 2014.
State Rep. Jeanne Ives demonstrates the level of competence Illinois needs in the governor’s chair. She has been outspoken — using the bully pulpit of her office to inform her constituents about important matters facing the state.
Bruce Rauner has failed to increase awareness in Illinois about the severity of our state’s fiscal problems. Illinois is not better off than it was three years ago by any measurement.
On the topic of which of the two candidates does more to unite Republicans, a quick scan of the state party’s 2016 platform can help. Rauner takes issue with a several key planks.
The GOP platform calls for low taxes, and takes a stand against raising taxes. Illinois is one of the highest taxed states in the nation. Despite that, Rauner was in favor of a tax increase. He only vetoed it after not getting what he wanted passed from his “turn around agenda.”
Here is another plank: “Caring for the dignity and value of every individual.” On that topic, see the news article above.
Another plank: “We call on the General Assembly to satisfy its constitutional obligation and pass a true, balanced budget every fiscal year.” The state constitution also requires the governor to introduce a balanced budget. Rauner has proposed three terribly imbalanced budgets.
Yet another plank: “We therefore urge reversal of “sanctuary city” policies, which bar our law enforcement officers from aiding Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents.” Rauner has done the opposite, making Illinois a sanctuary state.
Also in the platform is this easy to understand sentence:
We further call on the federal and Illinois government to abandon all incentives that encourage illegal immigrants to settle in Illinois, as these incentives put a strain on our already struggling economy and are insulting to those who immigrated here legally.
The platform’s pro-life language is also easy to understand:
We believe that our natural rights, as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, begin at conception and continue until natural death. We believe that these rights include the fundamental right to life of unborn children…
“We oppose the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions,” it goes onto say, “or to support organizations that perform abortions…”
There is more – see section VI here.
On education, the platform is explicit in its support of parental rights and school choice. Rauner’s approach has been to increase funding for the very public (government-run) school system that works against parental rights and school choice.
The 2016 Illinois GOP Platform includes this language in its closing section:
This Platform represents the majority opinion of the members of the Illinois Republican Party’s 2016 Platform Committee. The Committee acknowledges and respects reasonable differences in opinion among Illinois Republicans on the issues contained herein. . .
Therefore, we accept that good Republicans do not have to agree on all the issues contained in this Platform and that this Platform shall not be used as an instrument of division or attack on others within the party who hold opposing views. We must unite as a party behind those items on which we agree.
Highlighting policy differences is hardly “an instrument of division or attack.” Primary elections exist so Republican voters can make a change if necessary. Next March, Illinois Republic voters will decide whether Bruce Rauner should still carry the banner for their party despite his embracing of what are actually key goals of the Illinois Democratic Party.
Jeanne Ives’ policy positions have been inline with the Illinois GOP Platform. Since the platform represents the views of a majority of Republicans, more of them — fiscal, social and national security conservatives especially — should be able to come together to support her candidacy.
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