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Damaging their brand… Again

Wednesday, Oct 4, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The Illinois Policy Institute has tended to avoid openly opining on “social issues” and has concentrated instead on its economic and government reform agendas.

But its leader John Tillman is so upset with Gov. Rauner’s HB40 signature that he landed on last weekend’s Sun-Times front page

Gov. Bruce Rauner suffered new fallout Friday from his shocking decision to sign a controversial abortion bill — scratched as the featured speaker at a suburban Republican picnic to avoid creating a “distraction.”

The backlash even hit a personal note from one of Rauner’s closest political allies, John Tillman, the CEO of the conservative Illinois Policy Institute.

The think tank leader labeled the governor “Benedict Rauner” for disregarding his previous claims that he wouldn’t sign the controversial House Bill 40, which expands public funding of abortion and protects it in case the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe V. Wade.

* And now the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service is jumping into the fray

No federal money for abortion, but Illinois can and will pay

There is a law that bans the federal government from using tax dollars to pay for most abortions. Illinois’ new law that will have taxpayers pay for abortions gets around that by leaving federal money out of it.

Taxpayers in Illinois will pay for 100 percent of the costs of a new law that allows women on Medicaid to get an abortion because of the federal Hyde Amendment, which bans federal dollars from paying for most abortions. […]

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, which oversees Medicaid, said they estimate the cost at almost $2 million a year.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said the cost could be ten times that.

Ives said Illinois can barely afford the 3 million people enrolled in state Medicaid right now.

Yes, because Rep. Ives would know the potential costs better than the state agency which administers the program.

Also, DHFS filed a fiscal note estimating the cost at $1.8 million before Rauner said he’d veto the bill and long before he signed it.

But, hey, just quote someone who has been talking about running against Gov. Rauner in the primary or at least how she will work to ensure his defeat without once mentioning her political intentions…

The news service does some good work. I use their stuff often. This article gives me pause.

* The Illinois Policy Institute not only damaged Gov. Rauner’s brand when several of their employees went to work for him, it damaged its own brand by associating too closely with an unpopular governor. And then again damaged its brand when their people failed to right the ship. And then again when Rauner signed several “liberal” bills into law while some of those same staffers were on the payroll (including his chief of staff and his chief policy advisor).

Jumping into social issues will only cause more damage.

* But they appear to be going all in

Illinois’ current budget needs either more taxes or less spending to balance. After Gov. Bruce Rauner flip-flopped on a controversial abortion bill, will GOP members upset with the betrayal break with the party and support more taxes or fees to balance a budget?

Republicans are doubtful, but it happened with budget and tax hike votes in July and could happen again.

In signing House Bill 40, Rauner went back on his promise to conservative lawmakers that he would veto the measure that allows taxpayer money to fund elective abortions in the state. With the ensuing backlash, the governor and other GOP leaders will have to keep an unhappy party in line come time to address the state’s budget, which Rauner has in tax hikes.

On what planet is a veto session tax hike to balance the budget being considered? That’s just plain goofy, but it’s another way they can work their HB40 rage into their “fiscal” stories.


  1. - Moe Berg - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    It’s not a “news service.” It’s a political propaganda vehicle that sometimes does legitimate work. But, that doesn’t change the reason for its existence or the motivations of its funders.

  2. - Fax Machine - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    Is Ken Griffin pro-life/pro-choice/doesn’t care?

  3. - redraider - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    Jeannie Ives truly represents the very worst in people from a humanity standpoint. This is a person that has seen the worst in anyone that works in the public sector and even went so far as to try to stop firefighters from ” Filling the boot” for MDA. The residents in her district must be so proud that this ” fine” person is representative of their values, much like Congressman Steve King does the the citizens around Storm Lake, Iowa.

  4. - Rod - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    As someone who has real concerns over JB defeating Gov Rauner Rep. Ives comment helps calm me greatly. She is working hard to get JB elected, by destroying Rauner from the right. Good Job.

  5. - Sour grapes - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    John Tillman and his crew damaged their own brand when they became Rauner surrogates. There is no conscience here. There is no ethics. If Greg Hinz is to be believed, they are were all in for money and power.

  6. - cdog - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    Are there still IPI people in the Gov’s office?

    Pretty treacherous duty, if they are. They’d be smart to exit and let him play his “independent moderate” thing. I would guess Diana has it all under control. /s

  7. - Sour grapes - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:34 pm:

    If Tillman is backing Ives, why would anyone support Ives? Anyone who supported Rauner and got paid they need to give all of the money back or else why believe them at all.

  8. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:36 pm:

    If you compare their FB page w/ Rauner’s, it’s pretty clear whose “brand” is suffering. It’s not IPI’s.

    Also, lol.

  9. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:41 pm:

    Don’t question Jeanne Ives. She knows all and sees all. And throw in Roskam and you bet your bippie Wheaton has the representation it deserves.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:41 pm:

    ===Are there still IPI people in the Gov’s office?===

    From Rich, above…

    ===… And then again when Rauner signed several “liberal” bills into law while some of those same staffers were on the payroll (including his chief of staff and his chief policy advisor).===

    So there’s that, but note IPI alum litter the agencies that Rauner staffed.

    The IPI was promised the Governor’s Office, Proft wanted/hoped for the Rauner political apparatus.

    At one ponit, Rasmussen ran the Governor’s Shop (IPI) and Matt Besler controlled the Rauner apparatus (Proft) and the trolling press release where it was described, like a new car pamphlet, all Besler (and Proft) won, and all Z left behind.

    This now? In part, this is the fallout of a money and power deal gone sour.

    The rest is the window dressing of a think and radio host upset that in the end, Diana Rauner figured her own brand was being damaged more that what she obsessed about from afar.

    That’s how warped this all is.

  11. - All in - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:43 pm:

    I think we know what “all in” looks like with IL Policy and a legislative agenda. HB40 backlash — for the sake of what’s in the bill itself — ain’t it. They would be far more angry with the fact that Madigan will now run roughshod in veto session than the content of one bill that falls outside anything they’ve done that I have seen. Reading Tillman’s full FB post actually makes that pretty transparent.

  12. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    It seems like Bruce chose to go with Diana
    Damn the consequences
    IPI is in free fall
    Rauners people are in free fall
    The end is nigh
    Throw him out
    Primary him and end the nightmare

  13. - Depressed in DuPage - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:46 pm:

    I’m really afraid to say this, but from a purely financial standpoint, isn’t it cheaper to pay for an abortion than for childbirth? So given that these pregnancies would have been paid for by Medicaid or employee insurance, wouldn’t the cost of an abortion be offset by the money that won’t be spent on the birth? So there should be a net savings.

  14. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:46 pm:

    If Tillman backs Ives, Rauner will really look like a moderate. Maybe that’s the “plan”. Turn loose a shrieky, far-right legislator on Rauner for the primary to re-inforce his “brand” and showcase “look what you might get if you don’t vote for me” messaging. Ives may want to re-considered the “sacrificial lamb” status many would be more than willing to let her have. Ives is not good enough to “Trump” Rauner.

  15. - JC is just saying... - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:46 pm:

    Typical GOP eating their own - Rauner creates the monsters and when those monsters fear their sugar daddy might be gone they jump onto someone else’s gravy train…

    I’m no fan of Rauner but I would should love to see him and his money pals punish his real enemies - Proft and Tillman - before they totally destroy the GOP for the next decade.

    However, it appears that Rauner is complicit in their activities and refuses to work with what is left of the quality members in the GOP caucus…guess with that, Rauner gets what he deserves.

    DEMS gotta be jumping for joy about now.

    Hey GUV – remember you inspired this nightmare!

    Betrayal is about learning not to idealize external sources.

    Betrayal does that betrays the betrayer.

  16. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    What are they worried about? Given the state’s chronic deadbeatism under Rauner, who’s going to provide this procedure to Medicaid recipients or the state-insured?

    Those who don’t want to get paid?

    Cry me a river on “fiscal impact” when the state is short $5B to health insurance plans right now.

    By the way, if X equals $2M, $5B is X to the power of 2,500.

  17. - Macbeth - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:54 pm:

    I’d like to know more about this weirdly incestuous relatioship between Rauner, Diana Rauner, and the IPI. I know, for example, that IPI folks have recently landed in agencies — so even if they’re not (still?) in the gov’s office, they are, in fact, still around.

    But what is this relationship? And what is Diana’s role? Apart from her cocktail parties and brand concerns — what, exactly, is she doing? And for whom? I thought she was a “lifelong democrat” — yet she’s pushing for a statewide IPI infestation?

    I don’t get it.

  18. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:57 pm:

    Everyone in ILGOP is looking for an escape pod to jettison away from the alien who took over their party. They realized that Rauner is undisciplined, unprincipled and heading for a loss. They need to get out. Look at the legislators heading for the exits.

    If Rauner gets renominated, ILGOP is looking at possibly a complete dominance of the Democratic Party in Illinois. ILGOP will become a door mat.

    With the failure of this administration on both fiscal and on social issues, Rauner is running on fumes.

    Bail now.
    Find someone.

  19. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:59 pm:

    News service does a good job ???
    Silly Sauce closet must have swung open early
    The news service is good is you want to ready whatever blurts out of McSweeney’s mouth every morning or whatever real or usually imagined Dem. offense they can dream up.
    The freeCollegeIves campaign would be a hoot

  20. - cdog - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    You’re on to something, Word.

    It’s Planned Parenthood of Illinois that will go in the queue to get paid.

    So here’s the snarky question. Do Mendoza and Diana now become besties to make sure that the claims don’t go unpaid for 700 days?

    It would be ironic if asked for payment upfront. /s

  21. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 1:09 pm:

    I’ve seen some heavy anger by conservatives in social media comments. There seems to be a lot of people angry at Rauner for voting to pay for abortions with their tax dollars, as well as his voting for so-called sanctuary cities legislation.

    How consequential this is to Rauner’s reelection chance remains to be seen, but he’s catching a lot of heck. If this anger from voters has staying power, that’ can’t be a good place to be while seeking reelection.

  22. - Macbeth - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    So is this the real Ives or the fake Ives (that today — apparently) started a fake Twitter account.

    As Radical Candor points out, it’s hard to tell the real Ives from the fake one. But when you stop and think: it’s really not. The fake one (today, at least) condemning Rauner for staying silent on Sharia law … well, I figured that was the real one.

    Who knew.

  23. - Albany Park Patriot - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    These mercs always fall in line. You wait and see.

  24. - PJ - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    ===As someone who has real concerns over JB defeating Gov Rauner Rep. Ives comment helps calm me greatly.===

    Here’s the problem; the side Jeanne Ives is on always loses. I doubt she’s ever voted for a bill that actually passed (absent the unanimous ones no one cares about). She has nearly a 100% track record of losing on every issue she claims to care about.

  25. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    If Rauner gets renominated, ILGOP is looking at possibly a complete dominance of the Democratic Party in Illinois. ILGOP will become a door mat.

    ILGOP was a doormat before Rauner/Griffin came along and rebranded it, and arguably gave an appearance of life where none existed prior. Who would fill the vacuum and actually be effective? Hard-right social conservatives have never been successful in this state.

  26. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 1:37 pm:

    1:36 was me.

  27. - Roman - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    - Depressed in DuPage -

    You are absolutely right. Neither side of the abortion debate likes talking about it much. Pro-lifers want to fire up opposition by exaggerating the cost to taxpayers, while pro-choicers are afraid they’ll be labeled as heartless if they point out the cost savings. But bottom-line, it’s cheaper to abort a fetus than to birth and provide long-term Medicaid funded health care to a child.

  28. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 1:43 pm:

    ===ILGOP was a doormat before Rauner/Griffin came along and rebranded it, and arguably gave an appearance of life where none existed prior.===

    This was the molasses…

    … the vinegar was the destroying of social services, crippling higher education, running up an incredible deficit, and holding hostage a state to diminish or end prevailing wage and collective bargaining.

    The joke was… Diana Rauner, another investor, got to control the social agenda, by putting her own name to millions, and her face to ads to fool voters by telling them, now, the 100% truth about Bruce’s social agenda.

    ===Who would fill the vacuum and actually be effective?===

    Dan Proft is angling to fill the void he’s creating to make as much money as possible by dividing what’s left of the former GOP by being against both Rauner AND those who stood up to Rauner.

    Got all that?

    ===Hard-right social conservatives have never been successful in this state.===

    Proft doesn’t want them or any GOPers to be all that successful, but wants the vacuum to be filled… by him… and “other people’s money”.

  29. - cdog - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    “Hard-right social conservatives have never been successful in this state.”

    Times are changing.

    Honest, hard-working people, across the political spectrum, are tired of business as usual here in Illinois.

    I know I am. I was raised in a conservative household but would not have considered myself conservative until recently.

    Rauner had the right message with property taxes, pension ponzi, etc. He just doesn’t have the integrity it takes to incrementally turn this state a new direction.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===Times are changing===


    The last statewide election Hillary Clinton beat Trump by 17 points.

    What changed in 9 months in IL that has a conservative winning, on this playing field.

    A center-right statewide has won many times….

  31. - John Gregory (ex-IRN) - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    ==The news service does some good work. I use their stuff often.==

    Respectfully have to disagree with you, Rich. There may be some kind people there but it’s all filtered through the lens of their agenda. If it’s not going to align with their cause, they don’t report on it.

  32. - Hit or Miss - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    “Illinois’ current budget needs either more taxes or less spending to balance.”

    Is there a list of which programs (budget items) in addition to the cost of HB40 the IBI would like to cut and by how much? Do they have a specific amount in mind to cut from the budget that will be approved by the GA?

  33. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    ===I know, for example, that IPI folks have recently landed in agencies===


  34. - JI - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 3:11 pm:

    Hawaii spent $585,000 on a similar Medicaid policy in 2010, for a Medicaid program serving 235,000 people.

    Maryland spent $3 million on a similar Medicaid policy in 2010, for a Medicaid program serving about 750,000 people.

    Washington spent $6 million on a similar Medicaid policy in 2010, for a Medicaid program serving about 1 million people.

    New York spent $17 million on a similar Medicaid policy in 2010, for a Medicaid program serving 4.7 million people.

    Illinois’ Medicaid program serves more than 3.1 million people. A $2 million fiscal note does not seem reliable.

  35. - JI - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    Data for the above was taken from pro-choice Guttmacher Institute:

  36. - Cosgrove - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 6:02 pm:

    Rich, Please post the fiscal notes for HB 4013, the exact same bill on Medicaid and state employee coverage of abortion as HB 40 (just without the trigger repeal) and EVERY fiscal note said there would be no cost to the state and one even said it would save $. $1.8 or $60 million is all political BS.

  37. - anon2 - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 6:20 pm:

    When Ives and company complain about the cost to taxpayers, they conveniently ignore the far greater cost to taxpayers if the unborn babies are born to mothers on Medicaid. Which indicates that cost is not their real objection, just a handy argument.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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