Republican voters were told by conservative leaders at the Illinois Policy Institute that Rauner was a fiscal conservative. Ignoring Rauner’s history as a major donor to Planned Parenthood, Rauner’s well-paid band of merry men at the Illinois Policy Institute convinced conservative voters that Rauner would not betray us on social issues like abortion or illegal immigration.
Did Illinois Policy Institute know just how bad, how wrong, how immoral, and how not conservative Rauner really was or did they just didn’t care? Why would Illinois Policy Institute care? Rauner was lining their pockets with millions of dollars in funding.
Illinois Policy Institute lied to Republicans in 2014 and they continued to lie/cheat/snooker us/cover-up for Rauner over the course of the last four years.
Republican voters didn’t get what they were promised in Rauner. He promised to “Shake up, Springfield.” Did he shake it up? If anything, he shook it down.
Rauner has raked it in from GTCR’s state pension fund fees, $188 million in 2015 and $91 million in 2016. By comparison, he earned a pittance of $57.4 million before he assumed office. Rauner’s pal from Illinois Policy Institute, Marc Levine, chairs the Illinois Board of Investment and oversees Illinois pension fund investments. Sweet, eh?
We were promised a fiscal conservative who would, as Rauner promised in 2015 in his Turnaround Illinois Tour, take “power away from the special interests in Springfield,” and empower voters. Another lie.
The Illinois Comptroller’s office reports that as of December 31, 2017, Illinois incurred more than $1 billion in late payment interest fees for bills that have been piling up since 2015. Some of the debt is carrying interest of up to 12% annually.
Rauner was alleged to be this competent money manager, this super genius of finances that would fix our broken state. Not so much.
The report further states….
The agencies with the largest late payment interest liabilities accrued thus far include the Department of Central Management Services with $434 million and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services with $236 million.
Agency totals ($741 million) combined with interest payments already made in 2017 ($143 million) and pending payments at the Comptroller’s office ($116 million), show that the state incurred $1.03 billion in late payment interest penalties in 2017, primarily caused by the record two-year budget impasse that ended in July of last year.
It gets worse.
Under Rauner rule, the State will spend another $2.3 billion in the fiscal year that ends June 30 – billions of dollars that were never approved by the Illinois General Assembly. Billions that Illinois will spend and that Illinois taxpayers will be obligated to pay.
Taxpayers would never have known about this if it weren’t for the bipartisan override of Rauner’s veto of the Debt Transparency Act last November. The legislation requires state agencies to report monthly the amount of bills being held, liabilities that are being appropriated and liabilities that may have late interest penalties.
Is this what Rauner meant when he promised taxpayers transparency? An end to Springfield’s corrupt insider deals?
Even the National Review, which calls out Rauner as “The Worst Republican Governor in America,” couldn’t name a single fiscal accomplishment and mocks his “Turnaround Agenda.”
“He reduced his goals to just five, including a property-tax freeze, tort reform, and term limits. He also announced that he’d trade a tax increase for substantive gains. ‘Take everything else off the table,’ he said,” John J. Miller writes. “The result was a two-year budget deadlock. Rauner failed to achieve any of his major objectives, with the possible exception of breaking the Democrats’ supermajority in the statehouse.”
Real GOP Illinois wouldn’t want to run on Rauner’s record. Would you?