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Rauner blames Republican Nazi and “nut” candidates on Madigan

Friday, Aug 10, 2018

* Dave Dahl

Holocaust denier Art Jones and 9/11 and Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Bill Fawell are Republican challengers to Democratic incumbents in Congress. The governor says you have Democrats to thank for that.

“If a district is rigged, it’s hard to get them to recruit,” Rauner told reporters at a news conference following a bill-signing in his Springfield office Thursday. “I believe in the last couple of election cycles, in a significant majority of the general election races, there was no opponent. When that happens, that creates a vacuum, and that allows nut cases or despicable people like Nazis to sneak in, because there is nobody looking at it, nobody working on it, nobody running for the position. That’s the biggest problem. We’ve got to stop the gerrymandering.”

* Bernie

“It’s hard to get people to run in races in districts that have been rigged for the incumbent under our gerrymandered system by Speaker Madigan,” Rauner said.

An avowed Nazi is running as a Republican in the Third Congressional District in Cook County. And Republican Party officials have disowned a GOP candidate running in the 17th Congressional District who holds conspiracy theories about 9/11 and the Sandy Hook school shooting.

The district is currently represented by Democrat Cheri Bustos, although President Donald Trump carried the district in 2016.

Gov. Rauner himself won that Bustos district by almost 10 points in 2014. And he only lost the Lipinski district by a single point that year.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Cheryl 44 - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:24 am:

    I think these guys are the result of the GOP’s leaning that way since the Southern Strategy.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:24 am:

    You buy a party, you own a party.

    Rauner failed, as the purchaser of the ILGOP brand, and the $20 million to own the ILGA Caucuses too…

    Sorry. Like Colin Powell once said… you break it, you bought it… and Rauner bought the ILGOP… and it has shattered since his ownership began.

  3. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:25 am:

    Mike Madigan and the Nazis he controls.

    Sorry, Rauner, but the white supremacists and ghoulish conspiracy peddlers are part of the GOP. Now they feel emboldened by our racist president, with his legitimizing racists, comments on infestation and darker-skinned people not wanted because they’re from [expletive] counties.

  4. - Publius - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    This governor has no shame blaming everyone but his own incompetence. Did madigan stop the governor from challenging the petitions and have him removed from office? NO.

    Madigan is not the problem you are governor

    There are no “safe” districts if you give people a good candidate to vote for.

  5. - Nick Name - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:29 am:

    Oh, it’s not gerrymandering that forces Nazis and conspiracy theorists to gravitate toward the Republican Party.

  6. - TKMH - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:34 am:

    I kinda get what he’s saying, that lopsided districts tend to attract nutty, vanity opposition (like when LaRouce types ran as Dems in heavily GOP areas) but c’mon, we’re talking about a district that sent Bobby Schilling to Congress.

  7. - Steve Rogers - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:34 am:

    By that logic, in red states where Republicans totally control the gerrymandering, Democrats should be nominating Marxists and Communists to run against Republicans. Where is that happening?

  8. - Norseman - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    Bruce, you can’t pull off the Trump shtick. Illinoisans had Trump pegged in 2016. After almost 4 years of your failed leadership which has damaged public universities, social service agencies and state government, nobody is going to buy that the Trumpian approach will help you govern. Remember, you’re not in charge. Be happy in Italy.

  9. - Mike Cirrincione - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:38 am:


    - Richard M. Daley

  10. - TooManyJens - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    And yet somehow, Democrats manage not to run Nazi candidates in states that have been gerrymandered for the Republicans. Weird.

  11. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:50 am:

    I didn’t know it was Mike Madigan’s responsibility to recruit quality GOP candidates to run for Congress.

    Doubt Madigan knew that either.

  12. - Wensicia - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    Was he laughing when he made this ridiculous statement?

  13. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:58 am:

    –“I believe in the last couple of election cycles, in a significant majority of the general election races, there was no opponent. When that happens, that creates a vacuum, and that allows nut cases or despicable people like Nazis to sneak in, because there is nobody looking at it, nobody working on it, nobody running for the position. –

    So it’s Gov. Nobody now? This guy is a laugh riot.

    Dude, you bought the Illinois Republican Party. You handpicked the peeps to run it. You’re (surprise) responsible.

  14. - Mr. Mojo Risin - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    I think Rauner makes a good point on the gerrymandering, but the problem is he makes it political by pulling Madigan into it. And then it makes him sound stupid. Let’s face it, both parties draw districts in such a way to benefit themselves when they have the power to do so. Don’t think Madigan has not done so. The guy is too crafty and power hungry to not do so. We need districts drawn in an objective, non-partisan manner, and that includes not purposefully drawing districts in ways that favor certain people groups. Just start in one corner of the map and start drawing districts based on population size, as each district should be about the same in terms of population.

  15. - lakeside - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:26 am:

    Every time he gives one of these just foolish remarks, I think about the debates we’re going to have to sit through.

  16. - lost in the weeds - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:40 am:

    After looking at the New York Times map of the 2016 presidential election I am having a hard time avoiding the the thought the GOP is not a party based on being white.

    Many of these precincts Trump receieved 70 -95 percent of the vote.

  17. - Baggs McCoy - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:43 am:

    People are missing the point to what Rauner is saying. These nut jobs aren’t running in strong red districts because normal(?) republicans are running. Because of the gerrymandering there are super blue districts that no normal republican will run in. So you get the nut jobs running. The Bustos district had a normal republican running but dropped out. As for the Nazi, yes that is on Rauner and his crew. They were asleep at the switch.

  18. - zatoichi - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    I wonder if Madigan shows up in Rauner’s dreams.

  19. - Streator Curmudgeon - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:53 am:

    “Hey, didn’t that garden gnome just move? Maybe it’s…Madigan!”

  20. - GOPgal - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    The Republican Party is supposed to be the party of personal responsibility, and then there is Bruce Rauner. Consider some of the things GTCR did under Rauner. Rauner’s whole working live has been avoiding personal responsibility. He’s certainly not going to change now.

  21. - My New Handle - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    And remember that the Illinois House Republicans had control of the House for only 2 years under their own gerrymandered map back in the 1990s.

  22. - JS Mill - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:18 pm:

    So what are Rauner’s thoughts on all of the downstate and central Illinois districts where republicans run unopposed?Are they “rigged” too? And explain “rigged”. Like a sailboat?

  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    === Because of the gerrymandering there are super blue districts that no normal republican will run in===

    OK, but there are also some very, very GOP districts in this state. They gotta pack ‘em somewhere. Last I checked, no Nazis had won a Dem congressional primary this year.

  24. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:53 pm:

    ==- Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:22 pm:==

    And look at the wider net of GOP candidates across the country. There’s a Hitler fan boy GOP state house nominee in Missouri, Virginia’s GOP nominated a Confederate fan boy for US Senate.

  25. - SOIL M - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    Rauner can try to blame someone else but this lays directly at his feet. Nobody has damaged the Republican Party more than Rauner. No Democrat has come close to the damage Rauner has brought. Why in the world would any bright young hopeful want to associate themself with Rauner? The only questions should be, after Rauner is gone how long will it take to rebuild if it can be rebuilt. And how to recruit good candidates in the future.

  26. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:16 pm:

    Brucie did such a great job of shaking up Springfield. Can he name any accomplishments since he took office? Why would anybody vote for somebody that can’t get anything done, blames Madigan for his failures, and yet Madigan will still be there? How can Rauner succeed going forward with Madigan still in place? Answer that question Governor.

  27. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    This is highly unlikely, but imagine if Rauner was reelected and Madigan said, “I’m outta here.” Who would he blame everything on? Bueller?

  28. - revvedup - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    @Arthur Anderson:
    (with apologies to South Park’s “Blame Canada!”)
    Blame Madigan!
    Blame Madigan!
    It’s all his fault you know!
    Blame Madigan!
    Blame Madigan!
    Along with worker’s rights he has to go!

    Nazis running as Republicans? Like the R-Party needs the help to self-distruct?

  29. - lost in the weeds - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 3:36 pm:

    GOP is now the party of white nationalists. From Atlantic Monthly.

  30. - Anon324 - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 4:58 pm:

    In a non-dysfunctional party, you’d simply pick a “good soldier” to run and take one for the team to avoid stuff like this. The understanding being “yes, we know you’re going to lose, but you’ll get a job on someone’s staff in return.” The party decided it wasn’t worth their time, money, or effort to be bothered putting a token candidate on the ballot. This is what they get, and it’s entirely their fault.

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