Illinois Policy Institute, you doth protest too much. Why did you retweet Rauner’s tweet praising the Janus case? You said he was politicizing the Janus case for political gain. What gives?

On February 19, Patrick Hughes, President of the Liberty Justice Center, the legal arm of the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI), blasted Governor Rauner in a letter:

I am writing to request that you immediately stop misrepresenting the [Janus] case and your role in it in public appearances and in the media…You have made the Janus case a centerpiece of your re-election campaign. In numerous interviews, you are falsely claiming involvement in the case and making predictions about its success — even though the justices of the Supreme Court have yet to hear oral arguments. You appear to have an immense misunderstanding of what’s really at stake in this case and what the implications would be. But perhaps most importantly, by touting this case in campaign-related events and interviews, you have recklessly politicized what’s at issue in Janus.

A few days later, Pat Hughes and Liberty Justice Center’s Jacob Huebert were flanking Governor Rauner for photos in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and John Tillman’s Illinois Policy Institute Twitter feed was retweeting Rauner’s Janus case praise. One big happy family? What happened between January 19th and January 26th?

Real GOP Illinois has long suspected this feud’s fakery.

Recall that it was reported by Crain’s Chicago Business last August that Rauner’s “romance had cooled” with the libertarian/not conservative Illinois Policy Institute after a money deal swap gone wrong. The soured deal was that IPI’s John Tillman, Pat Hughes and Dan Proft would raise $30 million for Rauner’s re-election (cough, as if he needed it) in exchange for government jobs for IPI staff and ceding control of GOP legislative races to Dan Proft.

By October, all IPI staffers were fired after a hilarious display of incompetence after only 88 days on the job. Rauner had fired his longtime staff to accommodate IPI back in July. The IPI staff evidently wasn’t ready for prime time. Tillman, Hughes, and Proft began blasting Rauner’s failures on social media and Tillman and Proft recruited Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-42) to run against Rauner in the GOP primary.

Illinois Policy Institute’s Tillman even pretended the feud was ideological: Tillman wanted conservative voters to believe he couldn’t stomach Rauner’s votes for sanctuary state and taxpayer-funded abortion legislation and that’s a crock. When has Tillman or Illinois Policy Institute ever said “boo” about abortion or illegal immigration? The Illinois Policy Institute is politically aligned and funded by the pro-amnesty, pro-abortion Koch brothers.

After the money swap deal went south, Rauner’s capitulation on abortion and illegal immigration provided convenient cover for Tillman, Hughes, and Proft to reclaim the moral high ground and preserve their standing with right-wing voters: no, there was no money swap deal, they claimed in a statement to Crain’s columnist Greg Hinz; it was Rauner’s betrayal on social issues.

Is the Illinois Policy Institute’s “feud” with Rauner fake or real? Is conservative voter anger being managed to get Rauner through the primary? Illinois Policy Institute hacks sold themselves to Rauner for money and power once.

They can do it again.



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