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Being a conservative Republican in Illinois means that from time to time you are going to feel like Charlie Brown. Every once in a while, just as you are starting to feel good and like you are part of the team, Lucy pulls the ball away from you and you land on your butt. That happened today when Senators Mark Kirk and John Cornyn were asked about Jim Oberweis and his bid to unseat Democrat senator Dick Durbin. In one sentence, each senator undermined the candidate and their own party.

First Mark Kirk:

“I’m going to be protecting my relationship with Dick and not launching into a partisan jihad that hurts our partnership [in which we] both pull together for Illinois.”

Then John Cornyn, the head of the Republican Senatorial Committee in charge of promoting Republican senatorial candidates:

“The reason I’m here is for my own reelection, and so I’m not getting involved in the Illinois Senate race at this time.”

So Mark Kirk does not want to hurt his partnership with Dick Durbin. A partnership implies that your goals and strategies are aligned. If this is true, how can he call himself a Republican? You certainly can’t call Dick Durbin a conservative Democrat, let alone a Republican. Mark Kirk is surrendering the battle before the first shot can be fired. Here we are mere days from the several unity events across the state where Republicans are asked to put aside their differences and rally behind the primary winners, and the highest Republican elected official in the land is waving the white flag because it doesn’t help him.

John Cornyn is even worse if you think about it. He has no relationship with Durbin. He has nothing to fear by supporting Oberweis. In fact, he is the head of an organization with the state purpose of electing Republicans to the Senate. To be non-committal to Oberweis is a dereliction of duty.

These two statements by Kirk and Cornyn are not leadership. They are cowardice. We expect more of you. Wake up!

Mark Kirk

Quotes are courtesy of http://www.wlsam.com.

http://www.wlsam.com/common/page.php?pt=Oberweis+shunned+by+fellow+Republicans&id=90473&is_corp=0

 

By Ron Brzoska

Since last Tuesday, I have seen a number of news reports and articles telling us what the results of the Illinois primaries mean for us that live here, and how it projects to the rest of the country. Since they completely miss the mark, I am compelled to relate my experience and tell you what I have learned.

THE ILGOP IS WEAKER THAN EVER

If one general conclusion can be drawn and a brush swept broadly across a banner in the sky, this is what it would have to say. This is quite a statement when you compare it to the bloodbath Illinois experienced in November of 2012. I should be more specific. The ILGOP establishment is weaker than ever before. I say this for a number of reasons. First and foremost is Bruce Rauner. The final tally will say that he only won by three points. This is a misnomer. Rauner would have won by well over ten points in a four man field if it weren’t for the massive GOTV effort made by the unions that came to back Kirk Dillard. The party is now embracing Bruce Rauner, but they need to do some introspection and answer these questions for themselves:

  • After the debacle of 2010, why weren’t they able to recruit a field better than two retreads and a one that would be easy to blackmail? Did they try?
  • Is it ok for republicans in Illinois to recruit from voter bases that are decidedly not Republicans only to be beholden to them later.
  • Will Bruce Rauner be as interested in furthering the Republican party as he has been in furthering his own ambitions?
  • Will the Rauner voters stay with the party after he is gone?
  • Why was the only real hope and excitement for Illinois’ future provided by someone who is known as Rahm Emmanuel’s vacation buddy?

Another area of weakness was exhibited by the House Republican Organization (HRO). They seem to favor compliance over participation in the political process. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars protecting their candidates from primary challenges. This has House Minority Leader Jim Durkin beside himself. He was so upset that he held a press conference where he sounded more like an Occupy Wall Street protester lamenting the Koch Brothers than a Republican leader. He was not happy with the dollars spent by Liberty PAC, Illinois Family Action, and others to unseat incumbents that had voting records that Michael Madigan approved of, but their constituents did not. When asked if those same restrictions and levels of transparency should be applied to the HRO, Durkin refused to answer. Do as I say and not as I do.

This weakness manifested itself in the nastiness exhibited in this election. You have the ugliness of the Rutherford scandal. Then there was Goel v Kaifesh, Sandack v Matune, Sullivan v Bednar, Gorman v Bellar, and others. Without rehashing any of the details and bad blood, it is safe to say that strong leadership within the ILGOP would not have tolerated it and candidates would have been less inclined to behave that way in the first place.

The last point demonstrating Republican weakness, was some Republican candidates appealing to Democrats to vote for them as a last resort. While theses candidates never uttered the words “Democrats, vote for me” their operatives actively made calls, posted on social media, and handed out fliers. The polling firm of Ogden and Fry has reported that approximately 65,000 votes for Kirk Dillard could be attributed to Democratic crossover votes. There obviously had to be some kind of effect down-ballot. I’m certain that my state rep district was decided by Democrats. I know teachers that were called and told to pull republican ballots, and I saw democrats tell my state rep that they voted for him. Ask yourself what if this happened in our governor’s race. What if Dillard had won, and he had the Democrats to thank? He didn’t run a social conservative platform (he made appeals, but it was not the thrust of his race). What couldn’t the Republicans offer that an “outsider” could?  Could we have been proud of that?

BUT THERE ARE BETTER DAYS AHEAD

There were encouraging signs however. Although they didn’t win their races, the campaigns of Doug Truax and Chris Balkema have to be eye openers. Both were a lot closer than expected and there is reason to believe that Democratic crossover would have benefitted them. God willing, this is not the last we hear of these two conservatives.

We also got some great victories across the state of Illinois. We have a promising candidate to take on Tammy Duckworth in Larry Kaifesh (CD-8). A handful of state reps give us a reason to feel the future is bright in election night winners Mark Ekhoff (34th), Jeannie Ives (Re-elected in district 42, but faced an establishment challenger), Peter Breen (48th), Keith Wheeler (50th), John D. Anthony (75th), Mark Batinick (97th), and Reggie Phillips (110th). Along with these gains are stories of victories in every county across the state. We have something to believe in and are waking up. Let’s keep it going.

Prologue: I sent this on February 25th. To date I have not received the courtesy of a response from either of them, an aide, or even an email auto-response. Since February 25th the House Republican Organization mailers have become even more vicious and toxic. I am ashamed of my party. I am distributing this publicly because the voice of the electorate needs to be heard, not ignored.

 

Leader Durkin and Representative Bellock,

My name is Ron Brzoska. I am a precinct committeeman in Downers Grove Township, precinct 104. I have been a consistent and hard worker in my precinct, first as an assistant, and now finishing my first term as an elected committeeman. I am an administrator on the DGTRO Facebook page and was one of the top petition circulators in the township despite living in a “blue” precinct. I tell you these things not to brag, but rather to illustrate my commitment to the Republican Party, and the quality of life that our beliefs bring to our families and neighbors.

That commitment is shaken.

Before the remap, I had the good fortune of having Representative Bellock as my representative in Springfield. Since the remap, I have had Ron Sandack as my state rep. I voted for him two years ago and have regretted it more often than not with each of his votes since. Ron Sandack misrepresented himself to me and does not represent the votes and values that I and most Republicans have. That is why I am supporting Keith Matune in this election.  Naturally, the HRO is supporting the incumbent. I understand HRO’s position of supporting its teammates and can appreciate it. I also appreciate positive pieces that highlight the credentials of the incumbent. What I do not appreciate is the lengths that HRO is going in this election to support this particular incumbent. I received the HRO mailer against Keith Matune. Because I live in School District 99, I know that it is a lie. I am angry to see a personal friend smeared, and ashamed that my party leadership would authorize distribution of flat out lies made against a fellow Republican. How do I sell the Republican Party to the voters of my precinct when they see this kind of vicious dishonesty on display?  The side of the mailer with the woman and her house in foreclosure is downright disgraceful. It is reminiscent of the attacks Democrats made on Paul Ryan where they said his budget was pushing grandmothers off of cliffs.

In the event you believe that I am mistaken, I am also attaching the real Matune voting record along with quotes from the District 99 board meeting minutes and Tribune stories where it is perfectly clear that he did not vote to raise the property tax levy. I will be spending the remainder of the primary season setting the record straight with as many voters in the 81st district as I can. My job to get out the vote for Republicans is harder now. People are not stupid. The question I am getting now is “If Republicans will lie about their own, what else will they lie about?”

I respectfully ask that a public retraction be made regarding the lies made about Keith Matune. Short of that, I can only say the disappointment and disillusionment that I and other die-hard Republicans have for what should be a stellar leadership team will grow.

Respectful and kindest regards,

Ron Brzoska – Precinct Committeeman – DGTRO – 104

Matune Tax Vote Facts

The following post was in this past Wednesday’s edition of Illinois Review.  http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2014/02/ideology-affiliation-and-the-choice-to-intervene.html

The writer, John F. Di Leo, hits it right on the head.

Subtitle: “Bruce Rauner and The Case of the Disturbing Checkbook”

Pennsylvania is a swing state.

Now, when we say this in politics, it can mean a number of different things. It can mean that the people tend to be moderate, or it can mean that the people are evenly split between conservative and liberal, or a number of other possible mixes too. In any case, it means that the state is winnable for either party in most election years (if the polls are kept reasonably free of the Democratic vote fraud that plagues so many of our big cities, anyway).

If you look at the list of Pennsylvania governors over the past century, you’re surprised at how evenly distributed the victories have been. A Republican, then a Democrat. Two Republicans, then two Democrats. Back and forth the state has flipped, from the Philadelphia liberals to the conservative Republicans outstate.

It’s surprisingly similar to Illinois in this regard, in fact, as our little northwest corner’s Chicagoland serves as an unfortunate counterweight to the much wiser Republican area that we call “downstate Illinois.” An evenly balanced electorate means that either party can win statewide elections, if they run the right candidate and campaign well.

In 2002, the state of Pennsylvania was in a challenging, but not bad, position. Republican Dick Thornburgh had held the governor’s mansion for two terms in the 1980s, then Democrat Bob Casey held it for two terms from the late 80s into the 90s, and then Republican Tom Ridge was elected to two terms in the late 90s and into the 2000s.

But then there was a monkey wrench, thrown by the islamofascist attacks of September 11, 2001. The nation’s capital decided to create a new federal Department of Homeland Security… and President George W. Bush decided that Pennsylvania’s incumbent governor, Tom Ridge, would be perfect for the new post of DHS Secretary. This left the governor’s mansion in the hands of the popular – but perhaps not popular enough? – Mark Schweiker.

While the GOP leadership liked Governor Schweiker, the state’s movers and shakers knew that 2002 would be a tough election year, so they decided to run the state’s popular conservative Attorney General, Mike Fisher, for governor. Fisher had won two statewide elections for AG already, and it was a proven launching point in many states, so it made sense. Their own former governor Dick Thornburgh, for example, had served as the nation’s AG under Presidents Reagan and Bush… the role is identified with solid executive authority. It’s a great resume for a gubernatorial candidate.

2002 was a tough year for Republicans nationally, however, and Mike Fisher lost. Ed Rendell, Mayor of Philadelphia, won the Democrat nomination, and early money helped the left-wing Ed Rendell beat him, (the first Philadelphia official to win the office in nearly a century, in fact), 53.4% to 44.4%.

While this is certainly a sizable defeat, it’s not a 70/30 kind of thing, as many races are these days. The magic number was five percent; if the last five percent who ended up deciding on Rendell had voted for Fisher, it would have been Fisher’s night instead.

Early Money

Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell won the Democrat primary, and immediately, money started coming in from all over the country. The Democrats naturally wanted to make the most of a midterm election under the opposing party’s president – that’s normal – and the swing states in Republican hands got their focus. By choosing to run an incumbent who had won two statewide elections already, the Republicans had ensured that the Democrats would have to spend money to beat him.

The Democrats were willing to do it. They were running the chairman of the DNC, after all; every likely donor to any Democrat campaign knew who he was. Ed Rendell was the Terry McAuliffe, Howard Dean, Tim Kaine, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of his time, but even so, flipping a governor’s mansion isn’t easy… especially in a state notorious for punishing the Philadelphia elites at the ballot box. A study of statistics would say that Rendell’s chances were slim, despite all the connections he brought to the table.

Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner, principal with GTCR LLC, a financial management firm, wrote Ed Rendell two checks that we know of – a $200,000 check very early in the race, and another $100,000 nearer the election. This $300,000 total, a windfall from an out-of-state businessman with huge state contracts with Pennsylvania (which doubled during the Rendell administration), certainly helped Ed Rendell win that election.

We have the advantage of hindsight today. We know that Ed Rendell won two terms, and became something of a rock star among Democrats as a result. He’s interviewed on the talk shows, he gives speeches, he’s a mover and shaker still. Knowing that Rendell won, this donation can appear an understandable contribution in a world of pay-to-play government contracting.

At the time, however, it was no such thing.

2002 was not the typical midterm election, in which the president’s party always takes a drubbing. 1996, 1998, and 2000 were not landslide elections, so there was no multitude of lucky Republican winners in Congress to turn out in 2002. President Bush was generally respected for his management of the post-9/11 foreign policy arena, so the November General election was a generally proper one: the better candidates with money who worked hard would win, without much of a national tide on either side to interfere.

In this environment, Attorney General Mike Fisher could be expected to do well.

Unfortunately for Pennsylvania and the country, however, Ed Rendell was able to pull in the kind of early money, spent well, that did damage against the conservative sitting state attorney general. Plenty of Republicans worked hard for Mike Fisher, but he was outspent 3 to 1 in a terribly expensive $50 million election season.

Putting $300,000.00 in context

What does Bruce Rauner’s $300,000 for Ed Rendell mean in this context? As an out-of-state person, Mr. Rauner would not have been expected to give a penny, so the $300,000 was gravy to the Rendell campaign. But we should look at it differently, to get the full impact.

As a big state contractor, Rendell’s campaign was reported to have “hoped for” $50,000 or so. When they got $200,000 at first, and yet another $100,000 later, it was reported to have surprised them. So, even accepting the idea of Rauner being a supporter and donor of left-wing Democrat Rendell, there’s still $250,000 of gravy for the Rendell campaign, unexpected and helpful in their goal of burying AG Fisher.

Radio ads in Pennsylvania, as in every state, run the gamut from cheap to expensive, with pricing ranging from under a hundred dollars per spot to several hundred. Think of what this $300,000 meant to the Rendell campaign. It was (or could have been) a thousand $300 radio ads… or three thousand $100 radio ads. Ads that Ed Rendell could use to bury Mike Fisher in the polls, early on, so that Fisher could never recover. Do you realize the impact of a media onslaught like that?

Or we can look at it another way. Bruce Rauner had no personal reason to be involved in Pennsylvania politics, but if he chose to – and he certainly could – as a Republican (yes, he says he both is and was a Republican), then it would make sense for him to donate to Republican Mike Fisher, not left-wing Democrat Ed Rendell.

Bruce Rauner is telling Illinois conservatives today that he’s one of them, that Bruce Rauner is a conservative, constitutional , small-government guy.

Well, that’s exactly what Mike Fisher is! Bruce Rauner didn’t HAVE to meddle in another state’s gubernatorial election, but if he chose to, why didn’t he help out Mike Fisher, the candidate most like the Illinois conservatives whom Rauner is currently asking for a nomination?

Think back to 2002 in Illinois. The Illinois GOP was stuck with the lackluster moderate Jim Ryan for a nominee; we would have loved to have a more dynamic, popular candidate like Mike Fisher at the top of our ticket. Bruce Rauner’s lack of excitement over the Illinois governor’s race might be understandable; we can see why he’d look for another state with a good Republican candidate worth helping.

Mike Fisher would have made sense. Rauner’s money would have been critical assistance to the outspent Fisher, and might have helped to stanch the bleeding as Rendell’s special interest money and union in-kind contributions started racking up. If Rauner had donated heavily to Mike Fisher, it would have been a logical and helpful act by a real Republican.

But that’s not what happened. Bruce Rauner, the alleged conservative Republican, bankrolled left-winger Ed Rendell against the conservative Republican Mike Fisher. This means that we shouldn’t look at the money as $300,000 at all.

Since he should have donated to Fisher instead, one can argue that this gift was an effective donation of $600,000 to Rendell: the $300,000 he gave Rendell, plus the $300,000 he denied Fisher by doing so.

If he liked Rendell, while really being a conservative at heart as he claims, he could have been justified in staying out of the race entirely. “Look,” he could say, “I like you, but I’m a Republican… so, tell ya what, I just won’t donate to Fisher. I’d be happy with either of you winning.” A peculiar position in a race in which the two candidates disagreed on virtually everything imaginable, but this argument has been given by other big money donors in the past. Rendell probably would even have been grateful.

But Bruce Rauner didn’t say that. He just wrote checks. $300,000 to one of the nation’s most prominent leftists, to help usher the Democrats back into the Pennsylvania governer’s mansion.

That may make Rauner the single most influential person in the distant Pennsylvania election that cost the GOP a critical governorship and did untold damage in the years since. Eight years of Ed Rendell at the helm enabled the Democrat vote machine to make Pennsylvania more winnable for the Democrats in national elections; even though Republican former AG Tom Corbett flipped the governor’s mansion again in 2010 and won it back, Rendell’s machine helped deliver Pennsylvania for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. How might those elections have gone if Rendell hadn’t had those two terms in the governor’s mansion, with Bruce Rauner’s help?

Interpreting the story in 2014

Bruce Rauner tells us today that he’s a Republican. In fact, he tells us that he’s a conservative, a populist, the kind of guy whom good Reaganites, good tea partiers, good movement conservatives should support without a question.

But we know better. In the best possible test case in Bruce Rauner’s personal history, one that would be viewed by a scientist as a “double blind test” since his participation was by no means necessary (he didn’t know either candidate personally, and didn’t live in the state) Rauner chose to help the ultra-left-wing Ed Rendell for governor against the platform Republican Mike Fisher, helping to give the Democrats one more huge plum on Election Day.

Illinois Republicans have learned to give candidates the benefit of the doubt, to forgive the occasional wandering off the reservation on controversial issues, even to forgive clumsy statements or painful personal foibles.

But this isn’t the average forgivable flaw. Reaching across state lines to bankroll Ed Rendell over Mike Fisher is like supporting Lawton Chiles over Jeb Bush in Florida in 1994… like supporting Tom Barrett over Scott Walker in Wisconsin in 2010… like supporting Carter against Reagan in 1980.

Giving $300,000 to a progressive big city mayor, a Democrat’s Democrat and the head of their national party… and then mustering up the gall to call yourself a Republican, and to seek the Republican party’s nomination for governor of Illinois? Not even apologizing for it as a mistake, but trying to convince conservatives that he supported Ed Rendell because – get this – he thought that the sitting national shop steward of the union-owned-and-controlled Democratic National Party would “stand up to unions” if he won???

There’s only one word for that. Unforgivable.

Copyright 2014 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based Customs broker and international trade compliance trainer. A lifetime Republican, he has served as a precinct captain and minor party leader in both Illinois and Wisconsin, including one term as chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party in the mid-1990s. He has never had $300,000 to donate to anybody, but if he did, he sure wouldn’t have given it to Ed Rendell.

Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the IR URL and byline are included. Follow John F. Di Leo on LinkedIn or Facebook, or on Twitter at @johnfdileo.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

… And remember when we told them that it would save $160 Billion? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

… Oh, good times! (chuckle)
pension_siging

By Ron Brzoska

I was going to blog about how bad a deal the Obama Administration brokered with Iran, but last night news came out of an even worse deal: the Illinois Pension Reform Deal that Illinois lawmakers are being brought back to Springfield to vote on next week.

The point of pension reform is different depending on who you ask. The public employees receiving the pensions want the current pension rules preserved. The public employee unions want that to go one step further and preserve the pension rules for future generations as well. The tax payers want lower taxes. The legislators want to make everyone happy while keeping the state solvent. As you can see, that is the General Assembly’s problem. They can’t accomplish their goal. They can’t keep everyone happy and pay all of the bills. They have to pick a side, and they are caught in a Catch-22 situation. Whatever they pick is going to upset a lot of people… enough people that they fear for their re-elections. With so many competing interests, the goal should be to satisfy only one master: math. Anyone else that is happy is a bonus. If we don’t satisfy the math, then no one is going to be happy. We will have failed everyone.

For that reason, the General Assembly should reject this latest compromise bill. The key points can be found here in this Illinois Review story. http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/11/pension-reform-details-released.html#more

The math just isn’t there. This reform will not do anything to keep the pension system solvent or keep Illinoisans from seeing significant tax increases. I don’t pretend to be a pension system expert, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I do know that 1 +1 = 2. Without getting tied up in the minutiae, here is why the newest plan is destined to fail and take us all down with it.

  • Our pension obligations are about $100 billion currently.
  • The state will add supplemental payments to the pension systems beginning in 2019 and totaling $1 billion per year starting in 2020 until 2045. For arguments sake, let us say this is $26 billion. $100-$26 billion is still a $74 billion shortfall. Will the grandfathering in of existing benefits coupled with new COLA adjustments close the gap? It’s hard to believe so. Also, where does this extra money come from? Hmmm… TAXES?
  • Employees will contribute one percent less to their pensions. How does paying in less help fund a pension plan?
  • Pensions are put to the front of the line and paid first before all other state bills. It is admirable that we take care of the retirees and make certain that the promise made to them is fulfilled. No one can say this is bad or irresponsible. However, if this means that more and more vendors are going to be subjected to late or non-payment, then this point only serves to rob Peter to pay Paul. If this requirement forced us to take a hard look at what really are essential state services and it forced us to make real cuts in government, then this could turn out to be an excellent point to rally around. Unfortunately, history has proven that the courage to make the tough decisions is lacking in Springfield.

We have not seen the bill yet, so maybe some of my questions are answered. Common sense however tells you that people only let you see what they want you to see. The lack of details where extra funding for the pensions is to come from, and how exactly all of the math adds up gives new credence to the expression “the devil is in the details.”

By Ron Brzoska

Today we are one more step towards a monarchy. Today Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats chose the “nuclear option” and changed the senate rules on filibusters to allow a simple majority to close a filibuster rather than requiring 60% for the Senate to close debate and call for a vote on judicial appointments. Democrats argue that this is necessary to stop the Republicans from spitefully blocking President Obama’s nominees from appointment. They argue that this stops gridlock and speeds up the business of government.

They are correct. They are correct because you can’t have gridlock without debate. They are correct about speeding up government, because you can’t stop if you remove the brakes. You may still wonder why we should be concerned. Doesn’t this make government more efficient? Doesn’t this stop the senseless bickering? Isn’t it ok because the same rules will apply when Republicans are in charge?

If by being efficient, you mean that there are no longer any checks and balances on presidential appointments, then yes, you would be correct. Going back to my earlier analogy about removing the brakes, does removing the brakes from your car make for a better car, or one that just blows through stop signs? You are not safer. This is not better government. This is a rubber stamp. This means that the only thing that can stop an Obama appointee from confirmation is scandal. The healthy debate over the course of policy in our country will not take place. This is what John Locke referred to as tyranny of the majority. All appointments will be made along party lines. The people are not being considered; agendas are.

But why? Why would the Democrats do this? Why would they have been so much against this in the past that they would do a 180 now? Where did this come from anyway? The truth of the matter is that President Obama will be making judicial appointments soon. In order to stave off the challenges to the executive orders and other overreaches his administration has put in place, he will need a very like-minded activist court that has an evolving interpretation of the Constitution. The ability to filibuster nominations forces President Obama to nominate more moderate judges to these posts in order to avoid filibusters and fill the vacancies. It is not a lock that a moderate judge will agree with the Obama Administration’s interpretation of the constitution and may vote in favor of a more Republican traditional interpretation. By taking away the filibuster, Harry Reid allows the president to appoint the most progressive judicial candidates, thereby insulating their policies from challenge.

If you agree with the policies of President Obama and Senator Reid, then you might tell me that it’s too bad. My side lost, get over it. This is what happens when you win elections. I respond by saying that winning and losing elections is not the point. American government is not supposed to be so knee-jerk. The United States is a representative republic. We cannot deny a party their right to participate. Would it be right if Mitt Romney had won Republicans were behaving the same way? No. It is not about the letter next to the Senator’s name. This is about consensus and cooperation forming policy, not partisanship. President Obama promised to be a post-partisan president. Today’s actions in the senate make him a hyper-partisan president.

capitol

By Ron Brzoska

In the last week there has been a lot of talk regarding the spending caps being removed on the Illinois gubernatorial candidates. It started last week with Republican candidate Bruce Rauner pumping $500,000 of his own money into his campaign. Good for him, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I would refer to this as a non-story because it should never have been a question of would Rauner self-fund his campaign, but when.
Today however, brings us something noteworthy. It was announced that former AllScripts CEO Glen Tullman donated $250,000 to the Rauner campaign. By all accounts, Mr. Tullman is a Democrat. A simple search shows that his history is one of an Obama supporter, Obama-care supporter, frequent visitor to the White House during the Obama administration, health technology advisor to the 2008 Obama campaign, as well as not thought throughout the industry as a person out for himself more than society. Sources are below:

http://www.thedoctorweighsin.com/why-ehrs-really-havent-made-us-healthier-a-response-to-glen-tullman/

http://www.fierceemr.com/story/ex-allscripts-head-glen-tullman-gop-meaningful-use-arguments-incorrect/2013-05-24

http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/tag/glen-tullman/

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/business/a-digital-shift-on-health-data-swells-profits.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1384970508-Dt5ZFt/6xYfSlfGHpvbYYQ

0929_glen-tullman2_320x181
Maybe I’m being hard on the man. Maybe, like many wealthy men (Bruce Rauner included), Tullman gives to both sides of the aisle to hedge his bets. Nope. Tullman’s campaign contribution history in the state of Illinois shows that until Bruce Rauner, all of his donations went to Democrats. http://www.elections.il.gov/campaigndisclosure/ContributionsSearchByAllContributions.aspx?ddlContributionType=All+Types&ddlLastOnlyNameSearchType=Matches&txtLastOnlyName=Tullman&ddlFirstNameSearchType=Matches&txtFirstName=Glen&ddlAddressSearchType=Starts+with&txtAddress=&ddlCitySearchType=Starts+with&txtCity=&ddlState=IL&txtZip=&txtZipThru=&ddlOccupationSearchType=Starts+with&txtOccupation=&ddlEmployerSearchType=Starts+with&txtEmployer=&txtAmount=&txtAmountThru=&txtRcvDate=&txtRcvDateThru=&ddlOrderBy=Last+or+Only+Name+-+A+to+Z&ddlVendorLastOnlyName=Starts+with&txtVendorLastOnlyName=&ddlVendorFirstName=Starts+with&txtVendorFirstName=&ddlVendorAddress=Starts+with&txtVendorAddress=&ddlVendorCity=Starts+with&txtVendorCity=&ddlVendorState=&txtVendorZip=&txtVendorZipThru=&ddlPurpose=Starts+with&txtPurpose=
Tullman’s federal campaign contributions total is $253,156.00. All but $500.00, or 0.2%, went to Democrats. Who was the lucky Republican? Mark Kirk. So if you are like me and recognize the truth that Mark Kirk isn’t really a Republican, then every single dollar that Glen Tullman has spent for political purposes has been for Democrats. http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/qind/
Is it possible that Mr. Tullman has been struck by the light that turned Saul into St. Paul, and he is a born-again conservative? Yes, but doubtful. For those of us that are skeptical of Kirk Dillard’s assertion that accepting donations from unions such as the Illinois Education Association won’t influence his votes and policy initiatives, we need to look at Bruce Rauner’s donors with equal scrutiny. A quarter of a million dollars is not just a token handout for a campaign. That kind of money is an investment. What kind of return is Mr. Glen Tullman expecting?

I have a game to play with you today. It’s called “Which Lie Is Worse?” I will give you two situations where a politician or apparatus of government lied. It is up to you to decide which lie was worse. I’ll change the names to protect the guilty, but the photos I’ll use in this post will probably give them away.

rahm2The first is a lie told by the mayor of a town that begins with “C”, ends with “O” and has a “hicag” in the middle. (Anyone remember the super-fans out there?) For the purposes of this game, I will call him “Tahm” Emanuel. Mayor Emanuel (shucks, I gave him away) created a new speed camera system in Chicago that places cameras a certain points in the city that are in the vicinity of schools for the purposes of catching speeders near schools that may be endangering children. It just so happens that the radius being monitored near schools encompasses about 90% of the city of Chicago. That isn’t the lie. That’s just an unfortunate (if you are a lead foot) circumstance. The lie comes from where the money collected from the speeding tickets is supposed to go. See, Mayor Emanuel sold the speed camera concept on the promise that the money collected from the fines would go into a special fund for the children of Chicago. A few days ago the mayor unveiled his 2014 budget. Strangely, there was no line item in his budget for a fund for children. Instead, nearly $70 million dollars will go into the general fund. I guess that’s one way to get people to vote for their own tax increases. Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-rahm-emanuel-speed-camera-funds-1119-20131119,0,7114410.story?r=5779D8151256F1Y

censusThe second lie comes from the “Consensus Bureau.” The Consensus Bureau takes a census every month (Doh! Did I give it away?) of people and their employment status each month. This data is used to help create our monthly unemployment report that we hear on the news outlets. It turns out that for some time, the bureau had directed one of its people to fabricate data used to create the unemployment statistics. This fabrication escalated as we got closer to the presidential election. This resulted in a 3 point drop just before the election that made it appear that President Obama’s economic policies were working. It can be strongly argued that these better unemployment figures stole an election and changed history. Source: http://nypost.com/2013/11/18/census-faked-2012-election-jobs-report/

 

So we have a tough one here. You decide which one is worse: Raising taxes in the name of children and using the money elsewhere, or lying to a nation in order to steal an election.
nixon

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