Rauner urges GOP to fight Democratic Party 'machine'
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner urged Republicans to take on the nefarious governmental force he called "the machine" and deprive the Democrat Party of its supermajority in the General Assembly.
"We're at a critical time in Illinois' history," Rauner told an appreciative crowd of fellow Republicans during Governor's Day at the Illinois State Fair. "This machine is strong. The special interest groups that make their money from your taxes, they are strong with them. We have got to break their grip on our beloved state of Illinois. To do that, we have got to get these guys out of the super majority in the General Assembly. We've got to do it. And this is our year to pick up seats."
Rauner made no mention of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, but there were quite a few signs supporting Trump's campaign, as well as that of U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), who is seeking a second term in office. There also were many signs supporting term limits and the coming budget fight this fall on display as Rauner concentrated his comments on Illinois and its issues.
Many of Rauner's comments concerned the machine that seems the root of all political evil in Illinois.
"A corrupt political machine has taken over our home," Rauner told the crowd. "And they are strangling our state. They are driving jobs away. They are raising your taxes to the highest property taxes in America. They are building massive government bureaucracy everywhere, crushing our economy. They are cutting our school funding - four times in the last 10 years before we came into office. And rampant cronyism, patronage, self-dealing and corruption. It's a machine that doesn't care about the people of Illinois. It's a machine that cares only about power."
The machine, however, is not the Democrat Party but the special interests that run it, Rauner said.
"That machine has taken over the Democratic Party," Rauner said. "That machine has taken over our state legislature. That machine has taken over a lot of state government. That machine has taken over a lot of the judges in our state. The patronage workers, the lobbyists work for that machine. That machine is corrupt, it's broken, it's wrong, it has destroyed our system of government. It has taken democracy away from us, it has taken democracy away from the people of Illinois."
It's up to Republicans in the state to take on the machine, Rauner said.
"And we are going to restore democracy to the people of Illinois by bringing term limits and fair maps," Rauner said. "Term limits and fair maps so your vote counts, so your vote counts."
Rauner also pointed out that two-thirds of the seats in the General Assembly up for election are running unopposed and admitted the machine has a better ground game than does the Republican Party in the state.
"It's a rigged system," Rauner said. "It's designed to protect the machine. That's what it's designed to do. And the machine gets power and money from the special interests. They take money from your wallet, give it to themselves and their cronies. It's a broken system and we've got to defeat it. We're going to change it, we're going to fix Illinois."
Rauner promised that once Republicans in the state overthrow the machine, there would be new state policies to grow the economy and create opportunity for the people of Illinois, in addition to a list of "pros": investment, jobs, business and opportunity.
"It's the No. 1 thing we've got to do and it's the No. 1 thing that the Republican Party stands for," he said.