Three neighboring GOP governors are the ones doing the attacking. Republican Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Eric Greitens of Missouri and Eric Holcomb of Indiana each deliver a sarcastic “thank you” to Madigan for “raising Illinois taxes” and “helping create new jobs” in their states.
Rauner, who has slumping approval ratings, does not appear in the ad, continuing a trend from his previous two campaign commercials. Instead, Greitens makes mention of Madigan “blocking Rauner’s reforms” without specifying the changes Illinois’ Republican governor has unsuccessfully pushed.
Holcomb contends “Hoosiers love you Mike Madigan,” while Walker adds, “Cheeseheads love you Madigan” and Greitens says, “Big fans here in Missouri. Big Time. Thank you, Mike.” Then a logo reading “Stop Mike Madigan” appears onscreen.
In a statement Tuesday, Madigan said the new Rauner ad highlights the governor’s “own failure to lead, and fully embraces the race to the bottom being led by his role models from states where middle-class wages are a fraction of what they are in Illinois.”
“It’s deeply disappointing that Gov. Rauner would rather work with right-wing governors from other states than with legislators seeking bipartisan compromise right here in Illinois. But his actions ultimately reaffirm our resolve in the legislature to continue our work in a bipartisan way without the governor’s involvement — just as we have for many months now.”
Records show that in September 2016, Rauner gave $100,000 each to the campaigns of Greitens and Holcomb. In addition, the three governors each represent right-to-work states where union membership is not a mandatory precondition for some jobs. A court case involving a challenge to Illinois’ status, backed by Rauner, is before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Rauner’s ideological battle against Madigan was a major factor in the state’s historic two-year budget impasse, which ended when some Republican lawmakers rejected the governor’s plea for unity and joined with Democrats to enact a spending and tax hike package in July. The state income tax rate rose by 32 percent, going from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent. That will cost an extra $1,200 a year for a family with a net income of $100,000.
“Even now, after a bipartisan group of lawmakers agreed to make the tough decisions the governor was unwilling to make, Gov. Rauner would still rather play political games than work cooperatively to repair the damage he has done,” Madigan said in his statement.
In his statement, Madigan hailed a bipartisan compromise for producing “Illinois’ balanced budget.” But Rauner maintains the budget enacted over his veto is $1.7 billion out of whack and it counts on $500 million in savings from a new pension program that cannot be implemented quickly.
Rauner’s latest ad comes as social conservatives among the rank-and-file Republicans are looking to field a primary challenger to him after he signed a bill expanding taxpayer-funded abortions.
Despite Rauner’s considerable campaign cash, state Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton is actively considering a run against Rauner if she can get pledges for significant financial backing. Ives has reported starting October with nearly $8,500 in her campaign and raised an additional $14,000 since. Rauner began the month with $65.6 million and has since gotten $284,000 in donations.
As for the new ad, federal records show Rauner has committed spending more than $213,000 for 174 TV ads alone on ABC-Ch. 7 in Chicago through Nov. 5. He’s also spending $134,000 during the same period for 134 spots on CBS-Ch. 2 Chicago.
By: Rick Pearson Chicago Tribune
Article Video Link: Republican Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Eric Greitens of Missouri and Eric Holcomb of Indiana each deliver a sarcastic “thank you” to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan in an advertisement for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s re-election campaign.