* As noted below, the IL GOP is paying for a new TV ad touting Bruce Rauner’s support of employer birth control coverage. As we’ve already discussed, the IL GOP is also spending big bucks attacking the Libertarian Party candidate Chad Grimm on social issues. Greg Hinz has more…
GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner frequently has said he “has no social agenda” on hot button issues such as gay marriage and abortion, even emphasizing through his wife, Diana Rauner, that he in fact is pro-choice. But in the final days of his campaign, his money is saying something else.
In the past 24 hours, Rauner-funded flyers and robocalls have surfaced that savage another candidate for governor, Libertarian Chad Grimm, for backing same-sex marriage and legal abortion. Republican insiders fear that Mr. Grimm’s small-government message is playing well in conservative sections of the state and could take away votes that otherwise would go to Mr. Rauner.
“Libertarian Chad Grimm’s party supports gay marriage,” says the flyer, which was passed on to me by a Burr Ridge resident who got it in the mail yesterday. A similar phone message that also was also passed on to me says, “His party’s 100 percent pro-choice.”
Both the flyer and the calls were paid for by the Illinois Republican Party.
Mr. Rauner’s campaign, in a statement, denied any responsibility.
“This is not a Bruce Rauner mail piece,” said a spokesman, later extending his comment to cover the robocall after I emailed him a copy. “Bruce doesn’t have a social agenda — he’s pro-choice, comfortable with the existing marriage law and doesn’t seek to change it.”
But it’s impossible to believe that the state party would have send out either communication without the approval from Mr. Rauner. He’s contributed at least $4.5 million to the state party since summer — comprising 80 percent of the party’s total receiptss in the quarter ended Sept. 30. And he largely was responsible for the selection of Tim Schneider as the party’s chairman earlier this year. The previous chairman, Pat Brady, was forced out in part because of a flap over his support for same-sex marriage.
* From the Quinn campaign…
Directly disproving his claim that he “has no social agenda,” Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner is spending millions of dollars attacking reproductive freedom and marriage equality. Crain’s Chicago is reporting that Rauner is bankrolling anti-choice, anti-marriage equality efforts and advertisements. Rauner has sought to hide his beliefs from voters throughout the campaign. Quinn for Illinois communications director Brooke Anderson responded:
“Just days before the election, Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner’s true colors are showing - he really does oppose a woman’s right to choose and equal marriage rights.
“Mr. Rauner cannot be trusted to look out for women’s reproductive freedom and equal marriage rights when in fact he’s spending millions of dollars attacking those freedoms.
“Under Governor Quinn’s leadership, our state has made real progress from enacting marriage equality to one of the strongest pay equity laws in the nation.
“Mr. Rauner’s out-of-touch social agenda would be a setback for women and families in Illinois.”
*** UPDATE 1 *** More from the Quinn campaign…
Quinn for Illinois Media Advisory
**Friday, October 31, 2014**
CHICAGO – Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor Paul Vallas will be joined by women leaders and legislators to discuss Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner’s real position opposing a woman’s right to choose and marriage equality. Crain’s Chicago is reporting that Rauner is bankrolling anti-choice, anti-marriage equality advertisements in the closing days of the campaign.
WHEN: 2 p.m.
WHERE: Personal PAC - 7th Floor
134 N. LaSalle St.
*** UPDATE 2 *** From a press release…
Equality Illinois today condemns Republican nominee for governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois Republican Party for attacking a rival candidate for supporting marriage equality and women’s rights.
The campaign tactic was funded by Rauner despite his protestations that he has no social agenda, Crain’s Chicago Business reports today.
A flyer and robocalls put out by the Rauner-funded Illinois Republican Party attack Libertarian nominee for governor, Chad Grimm, who Republicans fear will siphon votes from Rauner and help Gov. Pat Quinn win re-election. The article and a copy of the flyer can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/Rauner-Anti-Gay.
“This is just the latest evidence of Bruce Rauner showing his true conservative social agenda and his opposition to marriage equality for same-sex couples. It is condemnable and unsurprising at the same time,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.
“We’ve exposed his repeated statements against marriage equality when he thought he was only speaking to conservative audiences. Now, there is one more direct evidence of Bruce Rauner money funding an anti-marriage equality mailer,” Cherkasov said. “It is clear for all that Bruce Rauner has no moral compass, and will say anything to win, and that makes him unqualified to be Governor of the Land of Abraham Lincoln.”
* Associated Press: Gay marriage, abortion issues take back seat in governor’s race