Still afraid of Rauner? Read this!

This article is written by economist Steven Moore.  Moore is a co-author of a book called Rich States, Poor States which compares what works and what doesn’t in all 50 states.  It was written years ago, but Illinois was still at the bottom even back then.  If you have any reservations about voting for Rauner, Moore’s comments are a must read.

The Biggest Election of 2014
Republican Bruce Rauner may take the governorship of America’s worst-run state.


If you want to know which individual political race has the biggest stakes in 2014, look no further than the Land of Lincoln.

The Illinois governor’s race pits incumbent Pat Quinn, a Democrat, against upstart non-politician Bruce Rauner. Why are the stakes so huge? Because Illinois is arguably the worst-run state in America. It’s a blue state that has been run for many years by corrupt and bungling politicians, including Rod Blagojevich, who went to jail for trying to sell a U.S. Senate seat, and Mr. Quinn, who has run the state’s finances into the gutter.

This year shows no improvement. Even as the national employment picture has improved, Illinois actually managed to lose more than 15,000 jobs throughout the first half of 2014. In June of 1998, Illinois had 5.07 million private-sector jobs. In June of 2014, Illinois had just 4.98 million. Somehow, Illinois managed to lose jobs during this 16-year time frame.

If Illinois were to elect a reform-minded governor in a deep blue state that’s hemorrhaging cash, it would be a thunderbolt to the political class around the nation. Illinois could become a laboratory experiment about whether conservative ideas can work in a state that has been ruled by teachers’ unions and a self-serving political machine in Springfield and Chicago.

I caught up with Mr. Rauner in Chicago last week. He’s ruffling liberal feathers by going into black inner-city schools and Hispanic neighborhoods and talking about school choice, economic opportunity, family stability, and jobs. “I’m getting standing ovations when I go to black churches and talk about school choice,” he says. “Parents understand it is their kids that are victimized by lousy public schools in Chicago.”

Rauner wants to cut taxes to revive the economy and talks about “restoring Chicago’s status as a world-class city.” The “unfunded pensions and taxes are holding back a real recovery in Illinois,” he says. He talks about Jack Kemp as one of his role models.

Mr. Rauner is a fabulously successful money manager who has been a lead investor in some of the great iconic American companies over the last three decades. He’s the opposite of slick — he’s a little awkward as a politician on the stump — but what he exudes is sincerity. He’s running as a non-politician who has the business experience to turn around the state’s finances. He won his five-person primary by telling voters, “I’m the only one up here who isn’t a professional politician. These are the people who created the problems in Springfield.” In this era of rage against the political class, the message (and the millions of dollars he poured into his campaign) carried the day.

He’s promised to take a jackhammer to the bloated state budget. The Left is already rolling off the shelf the anti–Mitt Romney campaign — i.e., rich people like Rauner don’t care about people like you.

That isn’t working — at least so far. The polls have this race at a tossup, in a state that Obama won by nearly 20 points.

It’s a race about whether Illini voters understand fully how much trouble the state is in. Even with Mr. Quinn’s giant tax hike, the state is bleeding cash. It has billions in unpaid bills to vendors — a problem that has persisted for years — and its credit rating is the worst in the nation after a recent round of additional downgrades. There have been 13 downgrades on Illinois bonds since Quinn took over.

The corporate tax rate of 9.5 percent, the fourth highest in the United States, combined with the federal tax rate gives Illinois a business tax exceeding any national corporate income tax in the industrialized world. After the 2011 tax hike, the state had the largest rate of outward migration in the nation. Over the last five years it has been in the bottom ten states in the nation in job growth.

The income-tax rate was 3 percent when Quinn entered office.

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28 thoughts on “Still afraid of Rauner? Read this!

  1. I have no doubt that Quinn needs to go, but Rauner has not been forthcoming about his past political antics. I would like him to address why, if he’s a Republican, has he donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats. If the voters could know if this man is sincere or just looking for more power and money for himself, they could make a better informed choice. Right now, I’m voting for the Libertarian because if a man cannot be honest with the people about his political past, then how can we be expected to believe what he says about fixing Illinois? Rauner is best friends with Rahm Emanuel and we are supposed to trust him? If we only have a choice between a Democrat and another Democrat, I’m voting Libertarian. I would urge everyone else to do the same.


    1. The Libertarian Party has no chance. If you want to see Quinn re-elected – go for it though. How does a guy do business in Chicago without donating to Democrats?


      1. You could safely say that at one time, but people are fed up with Democrats and Republicans especially in Illinois. If people are sick enough of it, they will take a chance. It sure can’t get any worse. I saw a recent poll that showed Rauner in the lead with ~60% and the Libertarian in 2nd with ~25% and Quinn in dead bottom at less than 1% so I’m not worried that voting for the Libertarian is going to give it to Quinn. Libertarians want really small government. So do I.


      2. Not sure where you saw that poll, especially since the union will vote for Quinn. The last poll I saw had Rauner by 14 points over Quinn. The state will never survive 4 more years of Quinn, of course when he goes to jail we can get Vallas.


      3. It’s attitudes like this that keep the Democrats and Republicans in office. Libertarians don’t take votes away from Republicans, the elephants and the asses steal votes from the Libertarians with help from the news making people believe THIS is the race that matters. I don’t know how people sleep at night supporting the 2 corrupt parties. If you really want to make things change, quit following the crowd.


  2. Buyer Beware! Rauner is a sheep in wolf’s clothing. He is trying to knock the Constitution Party and the Libertarians off the ballot. The Libertarians have already been through the signature challenge, and have a little over 30,000 signers. But wait! Rauner has hired private investigators to harass the circulators, and telling them to sign an affidavit stating that they did not collect the signatures…and they are fraudulent. He has resorted to good old fashion corrupt Chicago strong are political tactics. He also has a ton of very young paid interns and staffers…and they are going door to door trying to get people who signed the Libertarian petitions to sign affidavits stating that is not their signatures. He is desperate….and is playing dirty politics. If he is not a “politician”…then what is he? Don’t fool yourself.


      1. Rauner is a very crooked man if he does not want the people to have a choice. It does not matter. People who vote for Libertarians would never vote for a Democrat or a Republican anyway. If there is none on the ballot, the just won’t vote. If he doesn’t want you to have a choice, he does not have your best interests in mind. He has only his own interests in mind. I would never vote for a person like that. We’ve had enough of that.


      2. There is a fallacy in place here. It would be assumed that individuals who voted for a third-party candidate in 2010, such as the Libertarian Party’s Lex Green, would have voted for Brady. First, recent election results support a split in Libertarian voters second choice. This is a fact that was supported by the 2013 gubernatorial election in Virginia, where the Libertarian party candidate, Robert Sarvis, pulled more from McAuliffe (D) than from Cuccinelli (R).

        And since votes are to be earned it is up to the candidate to demonstrate reasons why they are worthy of such votes and not demonstrate cowardly behavior in not objecting to the efforts of the state party. While it is within the GOP’s right to challenge, it weakens their position if they challenge third party access, as it shows they see them as a threat and would rather deny choices than face them on issues. In fact, as Doug Ibendahl said previously, the Illinois GOP are behaving like Chicago Democrats regarding challenges. It is things like this that continue to push people from the GOP ranks to look for other options.


      1. The choice of voting for the lesser of two evils is that you are still voting for evil. The continued belief the the left/right paradigm will save us is a suckers choice. There is very little difference except for the momentary change of the power structure. Quinn needs to go, and Rauner “might be” better. WIthout an answer to my concern, I will waste my vote in your opinion staff. However I will stick to my principles which trumps your opinion. This country is dying due to the lack of principles of which made it strong. I stand.


  3. We get stuck with Quinn because Republicans never have good strong candidates. They are no different than Democrats. That’s how we got stuck with Blago TWICE! Those who vote for Rauner thinking things are going to change if he’s doing all that you all say that he is doing, he’s worse than Quinn. Agenda 21 anyone? We have to stop voting for criminals period!


  4. Would be nice if someone(s) would step forward who has been bribed to say they didn’t sign a petition that they did or that they were threatened if they were. We the people have to stop voting for criminals. Libertarians or Constitution candidates are far more trust worthy than people like Rauner and Quinn.


  5. Brady didn’t loose in 2010 because of the Libertarians. He lost because Quinn pulled 30% from down state. Besides, Brady was a long shot…even the GOP was shocked that he won the primary. Also, the Green Party and Scott Cohen pulled well over 200,000 votes from the Democratic Party…much more than the Libertarians pulled from the GOP. Besides, who’s to say that those that voted Libertarian would have voted for Brady? Each candidate earns their vote…and not one…not the D’s or R’s own those votes. If the Libertarians don’t get on the ballot…I will be voting NOTA.


  6. Web Staff is right on this one. We do not live in la la land. This is a race between Rauner and Quinn. A vote for anyone else but Rauner is a vote for Quinn (and a vote for the leftist agenda continuing to ruin this state). This is the reality we are dealing with.


    1. So I really hate the policies of “A” and I feel “B” isn’t isn’t quite as bad as “A” but still pretty bad. However, “C” is great. “C” is so different then “A” or “B”. But, everybody have always voted for “A” or “B” and I don’t want to upset everybody so I’ll convince myself that voting for who I truly believe will do the best job is just crazy.


      1. You’re not crazy. The ones who keep doing the same things over and over and expect a different outcome are the crazy ones! I am so happy to have a different choice. I feel really good after I’ve voted now. I used to hate voting when I was still brainwashed. I never liked any of them. Now I know why.


  7. The “Leftist Agenda” abounds…even in the Republican Party. The GOP is just as responsible for the demise of this country. People have a tendency to get sucked into the left right mindset through political propaganda, and can’t think outside the box. Once you finally “get it”…you won’t vote for another D or R again.


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