Republican Candidate for Governor of Illinois Wants to Shut Down State, Fire Union Members

Republican candidate for governor of Illinois Rauner prepares to speak at a public forum at the University of ChicagoIllinois Republicans and more-money-than-God have spoken and they want billionaire Bruce Rauner to be the next governor in one of the largest and bluest states in the Union. Which is scary considering that Rauner wants to shut down the entire state and fire all union members – at least according to video’d talks he’s given at least twice recently. The fact that such potentially damaging talk delivered in front of fellow rich conservatives has been filmed and shared to us peons shows us not only what he thinks about us, but also how similar he is to ex-presidential candidate Mitt Romney. While Romney infamously led a vulture capitalist firm that depleted and then fed off the carcasses of companies, Rauner’s style has been to make his billions from public coffers. It seems he is now ready to go into the carcassing business, using the governor’s mansion as his base of evil operations. Hopefully, Bruce Rauner will meet the same end as Romney.

The Republican infatuation with all things Ronald Reagan has once again taken a dark turn. Yes, Reagan wasn’t all bad, but where he was bad, he was really bad. Now the Zero-Point-One-Percenter gubernatorial candidate wants to follow his steps into one of his most dangerous turfs – anti-union control. As he said in a speech at a county-wide Republican party:

We may have to go through rough times. We may have to do what Ronald Reagan did with the air traffic controllers. Sort of have to do a do-over and shut things down for a little while. That’s what we’re gonna do.

Rauner said similar things at another county Republican Party party:

I may have to take a strike and shut down the government for a few weeks and kinda redo everybody’s contract.

Because you know who’s making too much money? Those greedy-ass public employees. Yeah, they’re making waaaay too much money off the public dole. And they expect to retire, too? This is completely unlike Bruce Rauner and his cronies who got richer than Costa Rica through the hard work of funneling public money and charging us for the privilege… oh wait… But don’t worry about that, y’all. Old Rich Daddy Rauner’s got plans!

First off, he’s invested in charter schools. This works two ways: One is that public unions are being demolished and the middle class is slowly being eroded as a result; the second is that even though funding from charter schools comes from private financiers, these financiers get to double their investments in a matter of seven years. Even though that money is coming from local, state, and federal government coffers. Which means more of our tax dollars are going to fill the pockets of billionaires like Bruce Rauner while we get less from our tax dollars.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a firm believer that tax monies should be used in ways that benefit the public good. Neoliberals like Bruce Rauner and Rahm Emanuel, however, believe that public goods are good for the taking and need to be monetized for private consumption of the very rich.

Both the middle class and working class are losing on either ends. And what is the benefit when these schools do not outperform the very public schools they’re compared to? Oh, that’s right – charter schooling isn’t made for poor people or even middle class people. If the non-capitalist classes want to benefit, serious investment must be made in public schools and wealth equality would need to be kept in serious check. But the opposite is happening and will continue to happen under people like Bruce Rauner. He’s a capitalist vulture in the public funds, remember.

But charter schools aren’t the only place where Rauner gets public money. He made his billions partly by managing pension funds for public employees. Pension funds are how those who work for public schools pay for retirement; and they’re in a bit of a crisis recently partly because the state of Illinois hasn’t been investing properly in them. As for Rauner, it seems he’s already found ways of charging millions and millions of dollars to the public for basic fees and percentage charges while underfunding the very pensions that are now coming up short but didn’t need to if they were just put in low-risk US bonds. Rauner has recently argued that pensions should not only be cut – and the savings go into income tax cuts which benefit the very rich – but that they should be moved out of pension funds and into privately-held 401K accounts. Which may sound good until you realize that 401K’s tend to buzz in larger fees for managing groups. This means that the states – yet again – lose more money than they save. And where does that money go? Yep, the very, very rich.

This is all scary as Rauner is leading the polls in Illinois. The only candidate with any chance is incumbent Pat Quinn and he’s trailing in polls. Share the word about how Rauner would destroy the middle class and unions while robbing the government blind; it’s not too late.


When he’s not riding both his city’s public transit system and evil mayor, Jasdye teaches at a community college and writes about the intersection of equality and faith - with an occasional focus on Chicago - at the Left Cheek blog and on the Left Cheek: the Blog Facebook page. Check out more from Jasdye in his archives as well!


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