December 18 Evening Edition

— Rauner reminds abortion foes he’s got deep pockets to help them – Rick Pearson
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Facing a primary challenge amid Republican unrest over his expansion of taxpayer-funded abortions, Gov. Bruce Rauner is offering a new answer to why abortion opponents should support him: Look at what his wallet has done. “I am the strongest supporter of candidates for office who are pro-life. Nobody has worked harder to elect pro-life Republicans than I have and I remind everybody of that. I have fought hard,” Rauner said Friday on WJPF 1340-AM in Herrin when asked what he was telling angry social conservatives. “I supported Bill Brady when he ran. I’m supporting Erika Harold,” the governor said of the unsuccessful 2010 GOP candidate for governor and current Republican contender for attorney general, respectively. “I’m supporting legislators who are pro-life. I am a strong ally and strong supporter for pro-life candidates.” During his interview with the radio station, which bills itself as “The Voice of Southern Illinois,” Rauner did not explain his reasons for signing the legislation or his personal values in support of abortion rights — a motivating factor behind the Republican primary challenge he now faces from state Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton. When Rauner signed the controversial abortion measure in September, he acknowledged he had “voted for and supported public officials and public servants who are pro-life.” But the governor also said by signing the measure, he was “being true to my values and my views. I have always been true to those.” David Yepsen, the former director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, said he doubts Rauner’s latest explanation will satisfy social conservatives — particularly Downstate. “I don’t think this is going to wash with pro-life Republicans. Rauner’s just coming off as being all over the map on this, trying to have it both ways and it’s already earned him a primary. He needs to come up with a better answer,” Yepsen said. To be sure, Rauner, a wealthy former private equity investor, has a history of giving to Republican candidates who oppose abortion rights, including Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty in the 2012 battle for the GOP presidential nomination. But Rauner also has given money to GOP candidates who support abortion rights, including Carl DeMaio of San Deigo, a gay Republican who unsuccessfully ran for Congress, and, closer to home, former U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and former North Shore congressman Robert Dold. Previously, Rauner contributed to Democratic candidates and causes backing abortion rights, including the Democratic National Committee in 2000 and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2003. In 2001, Rauner gave to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s congressional fund, and then-Montana Sen. Max Baucus. The governor and wife Diana Rauner also were listed as $50,000 sponsors of a Planned Parenthood Illinois fundraiser in April. At the time, Gov. Rauner had vowed to veto the abortion-expansion legislation. State Rep. David McSweeney, a frequent critic of Rauner who has endorsed Ives for governor, said that in the southern Illinois interview, it sounded to an uninformed listener that Rauner was opposed to abortion rights. “He happened to be on a very popular southern Illinois radio station and of course down there he told everybody he’s pro-life. That’s what you would actually think if you didn’t know the real story,” said McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican. “It’s another example of him going into different places and saying different things. Do you think he would ever say that to a Planned Parenthood meeting?” McSweeney asked. The lawmaker also said it’s another sign that for Rauner, “the issue is that it’s all about the money again.” Rauner pumped millions of dollars into GOP legislative campaigns last year, in part earning the allegiance of rank-and-file Republican lawmakers until earlier this year. Ives’ campaign did not respond to a request for comment Monday.)
— Will Rauner’s re-election campaign be, ‘Negative, negative, negative, negative?’ – Kim Janssen
(FROM THE ARTICLE: Gov. Bruce Rauner touted his top 10 accomplishments of 2017 in a news release Monday. But not everyone was buying the spin. Veteran Springfield journalist and Capitol Fax Publisher Rich Miller brought down the house at a City Club of Chicago downtown where he was asked by an audience member how Rauner can win re-election in 2018. “In a wave like this, he’s not going to win by touting his accomplishments,” Miller said to widespread laughter in a packed room of business and civic leaders that it’s fair to say tilted heavily Democratic. “He has to run the most negative campaign anyone in this room has ever seen, period. He has to drive down the black turnout, the woman turnout, Latino turnout, young people turnout — he’s got to drive them all down,” he said of discouraging voters most likely to cast a ballot for the Democrat running against Rauner. “The only way to do that — the only way to do that — is to be unbelievably negative, so negative that you just gasp at the TV ads.” Short of Twitter going out of business and “solving a lot of Republican problems” by silencing President Donald Trump’s social media output, “that’s what (Rauner) has to do,” Miller said, citing the higher than expected black voter turnout in Alabama’s recent special election as evidence of an energized Democratic base. “Negative, negative, negative, negative … what Rod (Blagojevich) did to Judy (Baar Topinka) times 50,” Miller said, referring to the expensive 2006 campaign ads in which Blagojevich painted the late Topinka as irresponsible by repeating the phrase “What’s she thinking?” over and over again. Rauner’s office didn’t respond to Miller’s comments. For the record, the list of Rauner accomplishments it was touting included passing education funding, the scholarship tax credit program, the Clean Energy Jobs Act, pushing EDGE tax credits, the state’s opioid task force, vetoing a “Madigan Tax Hike” and “ethical government and fighting corruption.”)
— No more valedictorian, class ranks at Kankakee High School – AP–class-rankings-kankakee-20171217-story.html


— Education funding, Amazon touted in Rauner’s top 10 ‘accomplishments’ – Tina Sfondeles


— DISGUSTING: Why Prospect Heights wagered $500,000 on a sports bar – Chacour Koop
— Heroin found near Elmhurst middle school


— How City Colleges manipulated graduation rates and won a national award – BGA


— Eat, drink and be merry? – Editorial


— Rich Miller is on the loose
(FROM THE ARTICLE: The people following state politics and government the closest read the Capitol Fax web site, and the people at the City Club heard from the man behind that one-man operation Monday. Rich Miller knows not to make predictions, but he has seen enough Illinois government and politics to say this: “(Gov. Bruce) Rauner or whomever the Democrat is will be left with another mess,” Miller said before raising his voice. “We really suck at this governing thing in Illinois!” And in the Republican primary, where’s the money? “We don’t know yet where (Republican uberdonor) Richard Uihlein is going to stand on this,” Miller said. “You pretty much can’t take any more money from him now, because (as a donor to (the U.S. Senate campaign of Alabama’s Roy Moore) he’s kind of tainted. He put a lot of money behind an alleged pedophile.” Miller, whose annual holiday address to the City Club is also a toy drive for Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, says so far Gov. Rauner is ignoring his March 20 challenger, State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton).)


— Rahm Emanuel’s jealousy of President Trump is killing Chicago, literally – DOUG IBENDAHL


— Jeannie Ives Plays to Those Who Don’t Know How Salary Costs Would Increase If Dual Districts Became Unit Districts


— Straub accuses Durkin of creating fake groups and using GOP to spread lies – Glenn Minnis


— Mercer County GOP hopes to flip two courthouse positions, fill board seats, vice chair says


— McSweeney backing Ives in bid to unseat ‘failed governor’ – Robert Hadley




— Chicago Bears co-owner Patrick McCaskey to speak at March for Life – Bradford Richardson
(FROM THE ARTICLE: The co-owner of the NFL’s Chicago Bears will address tens of thousands of pro-life advocates at the March for Life in Chicago next month. Patrick McCaskey, grandson of legendary Bears founder George Halas, is one of several high-profile speakers slated to address what is expected to be the largest pro-life rally ever held in the Midwest. Other speakers include U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, Illinois Republican, former Planned Parenthood director Ramona Trevino and Sarah Storto, vice president of Loyola Students for Life. Dawn Fitzpatrick, president of the March for Life Chicago board of directors, called on “religious, civic and community leaders to renew every effort to build a nation and culture dedicated to protecting life at every stage and eliminating the violence of abortion.” “Thousands of individuals and groups will come together on January 14 to proclaim that our women, men, children and families deserve better than abortion,” Ms. Fitzpatrick said in a statement.)


— WSJ: The Tax Cuts Will Grow the Economy by Much More than Expected – JOHN CARNEY
— American Economic Optimism Soars, Breaks CNBC Survey Record – JOHN CARNEY


— Democrats’ Favored DACA Amnesty Bill Would Cost $26 Billion – Will Racke
— Flawed Heritage Report On Refugee Resettlement Misses The Mark – Jim Simpson


— Left Eats Left: Progressives Go After One of Few Remaining Moderate Democrats (Lipinski) – Leah Barkoukis


— John Skipper Resigns as ESPN President, Citing Substance Addiction Former president George Bodenheimer will oversee transition at sports network over 90 days – Joe Flint

Author: David Diersen

The opinions that I express in GOPUSA ILLINOIS emails are based on experience that I have gained doing many things since 1948. I base my opinions on what I learned a) working for the federal government for almost 30 years -- Post Office 1966-1969, IRS 1971-1980, and GAO 1980-1997, serving on the Executive Committee of the Association of Government Accountants Chicago Chapter 1983-1996, and being a union member while I worked for the Post Office and IRS; b) earning an MBA from Loyola in 1976, a masters degree in accounting from DePaul in 1980, and a masters degree in financial markets and trading from IIT in 1997; c) passing the CPA examination on my first attempt in 1979 and passing the Certified Internal Auditor examination on my first attempt in 1981; c) serving as a Republican Precinct Committeeman since 1999, the GOPUSA Illinois Editor since 2000, the TAPROOT Republicans of Illinois Chairman 2005-2012, a member of the 2008 Illinois Republican Party (IRP) Platform and Resolutions Committee, a Wheaton Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee member 2003-2011, the Milton Township Republican Central Committee webmaster 2008-2010 and 2000-2004, an Illinois Center Right Coalition Steering Committee member 2003-2007, and an American Association of Political Consultants Midwest Chapter board member 2001-2004; d) attending the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 IRP State Conventions as a delegate; e) being the subject of a nasty 4-page article in the February 1978 issue of Money Magazine; f) pursing litigation including Diersen v. GAO and Diersen v. Chicago Car Exchange; g) being married since 1978; h) living in Crete 1948-1972, in University Park 1972-1976, in Chicago 1976-1978, and in DuPage County, Milton Township, and Wheaton since 1978; and i) being baptized, raised, and confirmed as a Missouri Synod Lutheran.