* Bruce Rauner’s campaign sent this out earlier today…
It has been widely reported in news outlets including the Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times and Capitol Fax that Pat Quinn’s Democratic Party and labor union allies - a coalition that has invested $10 million in Quinn’s political career - are threatening to spend millions of dollars in this year’s Republican Primary trying to pick the GOP nominee for governor who they think will be easiest to beat in November.
The Republican Governors Association called it an “outrageous act of despair” that is an “attempt to subvert the democratic process.” The Illinois GOP condemned these types of “tricks, games and campaign schemes” and said they show “a blatant disregard for the voters of Illinois.”
Despite state and national Republican leaders speaking out against the planned efforts, GOP candidates Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, and Dan Rutherford have been silent on it.
“Republican primary voters deserve to know whether Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, and Dan Rutherford are working together with Pat Quinn and his allies to try to hijack the Republican primary,” said Chip Englander, campaign manager for Bruce Rauner. “Will they side with grassroots Illinois Republicans who want to choose our party’s nominee, or will they side with Pat Quinn’s efforts to attack Bruce Rauner?”
“The longer they stay silent, the more obvious it is that they condone and encourage this Democratic partisan attempt to meddle in the Republican primary,” Englander added.
At the same time, local Republican Party organizations are continuing to line up with Bruce. He has already earned endorsements from the Cook County Republican Party, Cuba Township Republicans, Wauconda Township Republican Club, Hanover Township Republican Organization, Palatine Township Republican Organization, New Trier Republican Organization, Palos Township Republican Organization, Republican Club of Evanston and the Northfield Township Republican Organization.
“Local Republican leaders and grassroots activists aren’t about to let Pat Quinn’s allies subvert the Republican primary, and neither should any of the other candidates running for governor,” Englander concluded.
Not a bad move.
*** UPDATE *** Natasha Korkecki has the Dan Rutherford campaign response…
“Rutherford has absolutely no involvement in this rumored coalition. To suggest that Rutherford’s silence is ‘condoning or encouraging’ such activity is ludicrous,” said Rutherford spokesman Brian Sterling. “Anyone who has the money and wants to spend it buying TV time is entitled to their share of the airwaves. He, of all people, should recognize that. Rauner should be worrying about things he can control.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** Dillard campaign…
Dillard-Tracy Campaign Manager Glenn Hodas today issued the following statement in response to Bruce Rauner’s press release: Quinn Allies Attempting to Hijack GOP Primary. . .
“Rauner’s correct when he says ‘someone’ is hijacking the Republican Party. HE is.
“Rauner is a Democrat in sheep’s clothing. Rauner doesn’t want GOP voters to know that he voted Democrat, gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats to DEFEAT Republican candidates, and is on a first-name basis with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. And let’s not forget the State Journal-Register story, where Rauner admits giving $300,000 to Ed Rendell, the head of the Democrat National Committee, because Rauner, “wanted to have influence with the head of the DNC.”
“Like a hedge-fund vulture, Bruce Rauner is staging a hostile takeover of the Republican Party. Rauner reminds you of an Illinois Gordon Gecko, but with a cheap watch.”
*** UPDATE 3 *** Brady’s response…
“First and foremost, I have absolutely no connection to whatever efforts by third-party groups may be underway,” Brady said in a statement. “I’m working to defeat Pat Quinn and overturn the disastrous policies of Democrats that are driving Illinois jobs away.”
“Mr. Rauner fails to recognize that there are many union members – in both the public and private sectors – who are Republicans, who are disgusted with the failures of Pat Quinn, and who want to make sure their party nominates the best candidate to turn Illinois around,” he added in the statement.