2017 was the year Rauner (and his friends) wrecked the Illinois GOP and pulled out the rug from pro-life and pro-Trump voters. Is it safe to say Rauner & Co. decimated the landscape for Republican candidates, possibly, probably insuring statewide defeats for Republicans for years to come?

Rauner and his money grabbers at Illinois Policy Institute did this and more. The JOHN TILLMAN-run groups received millions of dollars from Rauner, his foundation, and his donors – more than any other group. Include in this tangled political web, the Illinois Opportunity Project, Liberty Principles PAC, and Local Government Information Systems.

Will Illinois voters ever trust a Republican again after the likes of Rauner and his policy institute hacks? Why should they?

Here’s a painful year in review recap of the devastation Rauner & Co. has wrought:

December 20, 2016 –  Illinois House Democrats introduce taxpayer-funded abortion bill HB 40, which removes a “trigger law” making abortion illegal if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The bill also guarantees free Medicaid abortions – without restriction. Conservative lawmakers are “mum” on the bill’s introduction.

Think about it – not one word about this bill’s introduction from conservative lawmakers – until after it passed. No warnings, no alerts, just silence. 

January 11, 2017 – Illinois Democrats and immigrant and refugee activists push the introduction of SB 31, known as the “Trust Act.” The Trust Act makes Illinois a sanctuary state, prevents law enforcement from detaining individuals based on the immigration status and prevents local cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

February 3, 2017 – Rauner hires failed Illinois comptroller LESLIE MUNGER as his Deputy Governor on salary during a budget impasse for $135,000/year.

April 25, 2017 – Taxpayer-funded abortion bill passes Illinois House.

May 5, 2017 – Illinois sanctuary state bill passes Illinois Senate with help from Republicans. Sen. Dan McConchie, Sen. Chris Nybo, Sen. Karen McConnaughay, and Sen. Christine Radogno.

May 10, 2017 – Taxpayer-funded abortion bill passes Illinois Senate.

Think about it again – not one word about this bill’s passage from pro-life or conservative members of the Illinois House and Senate until after Gov. Rauner signed it.

May 29, 2017 – Illinois sanctuary state bill passes Illinois House. Republican/conservative lawmakers say NOTHING about the Trust Act’s passage. 

June 20, 2017 – The Wall Street Journal editorial page writes scatching article accusing Rauner of capitulating on a tax hike.

July 7, 2017 – Conveniently, after Rauner vetoes the tax hike passed by the Illinois General Assembly, Republicans controlled by Rauner (dollars) vote to override his veto and impose a 32% income tax hike.

Rauner gets to say he vetoed the tax increase and the Rauner loyalists who voted for the override quietly opt out of running for re-election. New Rauner loyalists take their place. Everybody wins, right?

July 14, 2017 – Rauner fires staff, hires staff DIANA RICKERT, KRISTINA RASMUSSEN, and MICHAEL LUCCI from Illinois Policy Institute.

July 18, 2017 – Rauner hires MATT BESLER, president of Illinois Opportunity Project as his chief political operative. Besler co-founded the group with John Tillman and Dan Proft.


August 28, 2017 –  Rauner signs SB 31 and makes Illinois a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants.

August 29, 2017 – Voter backlash against Rauner and his conservative allies in the Illinois House and Senate.

August 31, 2017 – Too little too late. Six Illinois Republicans file bill to erase Rauner’s sanctuary state bill. Conservative lawmakers didn’t say peep about the sanctuary state bill until after Rauner signed it but want to show the public they are “mad as hell about it.” They file a bill to erase Rauner’s dirty deed but they want us to believe a Democrat legislature will repeal the bill? What are they smoking?

September 25, 2017 – Taxpayer-funded abortion bill held by parliamentary procedure and passed both the Illinois House and Illinois Senate.


September 28, 2017 – Rauner caves to Democrats and signs HB 40. Taxpayer-funded abortion without restriction is now law in Illinois.

September 28, 2017 – Pro-life voter backlash against Rauner. Rauner’s conservative allies, who knew Rauner was a top donor to Planned Parenthood, whine about being lied to by Rauner. Who is lying to whom?

October 6, 2017 – After 88 days of blithering incompetence, Rauner fires all hires from Illinois Policy Institute and Illinois Opportunity Project.

November 30, 2017 – Pro-life groups, many of whom said nothing for a year about HB 40, sue Illinois over Rauner’s bill to publicly fund abortion.

December 28, 2017 – Judge dismisses challenge of publicly paid abortions in Illinois. Rauner gets his taxpayer-funded abortions. Rauner’s conservative allies can now pretend they fought the good fight. Everyone’s happy right?

Better luck next year, right folks?



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