Last week, Governor Rauner lashed out at pro-life Sen. Sam McCann, the Conservative Party candidate for Governor, calling him “a pawn by Pritzker and Madigan,” Rauner said at a press conference upon his return from an overseas trade mission. “And we’re going to win in November.”
The Illinois Review, which is sponsored by the Illinois Policy Institute, a group that has received millions in funding from Bruce Rauner, also took a swipe at McCann after the International Operating Engineers Union Local 150 donated $50,000 to his campaign. However, in its rip of McCann, Illinois Review left out a very important fact: The same union also supported Rep. Jeanne Ives. During the primary, the Democrat Governors Association also spent $500,000 on pro-Jeanne Ives ads the weekend before the Republican primary.
Chicago Tonight’s Paris Schutz queried McCann about the $50,000 donation during an April 24th interview. “Before Rauner came along, 150 gave to Republicans throughout the state. I think they gave money to Jeanne Ives at some point, they gave money to many if not all of the Republicans in office today. This union is comprised of working people. Half of that union is Republican. It’s about a 50/50 split between Democrats and Republicans and they have a membership that says we like Sam and we want to support Sam.”
McCann is correct: Local 150 has a long history of donating to Democrat and Republican candidates for office, including Rauner’s GOP primary opponent, former Rep. Jeanne Ives. Local 150 also helped circulate petitions for Dan Proft’s candidate Mickey Staub, who failed in his recent challenge to unseat GOP house leader Rep. Jim Durkin.
In the latest poll, Rauner is 18 points behind Democrat billionaire J.B. Pritzker. McCann says his third-party candidacy will take social conservative votes away from Rauner and downstate worker votes from J.B. Pritzker.