Gov. Bruce Rauner is among three Republican governors attending an annual summit in California hosted by billionaire conservatives Charles and David Koch — a trip that’s drawn criticism from unions and some Democratic lawmakers over its timing.
The Koch brothers, the nation’s top conservative donors, have hosted gatherings of donors and politicians over the years, but usually in private. This year’s attendees include five Republican senators, three governors and two congressmen.
The governor’s office confirmed Rauner is attending the summit in Palm Springs, California, but said he’s there to discuss policy and the state’s achievements with criminal justice reform, not politics or fundraising. An administration aide added that Rauner is also meeting with people on the West Coast to recruit tech companies to come to Illinois.
But the Illinois Federation of Teachers, which is in a longstanding war with the governor amid the state’s budget impasse, on Sunday harshly criticized Rauner for what they called “huddling” with the Koch brothers as refugees are stranded and Illinois is in “crisis.”
“Actions speak louder than words. He’s not compassionate. He’s not willing to work together,” IFT President Dan Montgomery said in a statement. “In one of our darkest hours, he’s plotting with billionaires on how to make the rich richer.”
* More from the IFT…
* McQueary turned that exchange into a column…
Class warfare, preached and evangelized by liberals, is frustratingly nefarious and frustratingly effective. From the presidential campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to the state and local levels in Illinois, caricaturing Republican candidates as out-of-touch elitists is akin to linking them to thuggery.
The disgust. The furor. The loathing.
That’s why it will be fascinating to watch the 2018 gubernatorial election to see how the Democrats, who seethed over Gov. Bruce Rauner’s wealth, will handle J.B. Pritzker as one of their candidates and a potential gubernatorial front-runner or nominee. What a pretzel they’ll be in trying to repeat the themes of 2014. This time, one of their own candidates could be labeled as a self-funded billionaire, philanthropist and entrepreneur.
Then, will the Democrats be forced to drop the nauseating references to “Billionaire Bruce?” Will they have to stifle their hysteria over self-funded campaigns? Will they cast aside Pritzker because of his wealth?
Because at this point, Pritzker’s pockets are the primary reason he’s being taken seriously in Democratic circles. He can self-fund, pitting his money against Rauner’s and relieving a pressure valve on Democratic donors who can instead put their money into other races, perhaps legislative. Pritzker is seen as perhaps the only chance to take out Rauner.
Valid points all. But the one she missed is that the “Billionaire Bruce” attack didn’t work in 2014, and the “Billionaire Trump” attack didn’t work in 2016. Maybe it’ll work in 2018, but there’s a decent chance that the Democrats will also nominate a billionaire here.
Perhaps Montgomery is sending a message to Pritzker, or perhaps he’s just reaching for the nearest stick to use. If it’s the former, then fine. It’s a free country. If it’s the latter, then think it through a bit before doing so again.
Also, we’ll take up the local angle on the travel ban in another post, so let’s stick to this topic in comments, please. Thanks.