Who is Rauner trying to fool?
Failed Gov. Bruce Rauner is doing his best to mislead Illinois residents while making poor choices that put the interests of criminals above the interests of hardworking taxpayers, families and youth.
By Ray Hanania
Last week, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner plagiarized a bill proposed by Democratic Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart to make it easier for “low level” offenders to avoid having to pay bail to get out of jail pending trial.
Of course, Dart’s bill offered more substance that Rauner dropped, like adding another provision.
Dart, who is much smarter than Rauner, figured that if low level offenders who can’t afford bond should be given a pass, then high level offenders who can afford to make bail should face tougher restrictions.
Let me just say from the get go that I am against doing anything to make it easier for any offender, low level or high level, to side step the judicial system. I’m not sure how many people have been the victim of theft, but I have and it’s nothing that should be taken lightly.
But I don’t think Rauner really cares about the issues involved here. He’s pandering to a racial voter constituency.
You see, high powered consultants are probably telling Rauner that he can appeal to Blacks and Hispanics, who in Cook County which has a major influence on the state elections, have higher levels of contact with the judicial system. These consultants also are telling him that most the poorest people who might be impacted by this are Black and Hispanic, too.
Traditionally, Blacks and Hispanics are core voters among the Democrats, but Rauner is hoping to play politics with their suffering and tragedy by pandering to them in the hopes that he can undermine the Democratic leadership in Springfield headed by Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.
Rauner is so transparent.
But when you stop to think about it, most voters will wonder why is Rauner doing more to help criminals than he is doing to help honest, hardworking individuals who don’t steal, use illegal drugs, drink while driving or are involved in prostitution.
Sure, let’s make it easier for thieves, prostitutes, drunks behind the wheel and drug users to get out of jail.
So what if they spend more time in jail because they can’t afford bond waiting for a trial to determine their punishment. The extra time in jail might be good for them, providing them with shelter, food and keeping them in a jail environment that, for the most part, doesn’t allow them to use drugs. Well, we hope so anyway.
Rauner was an easy winner for governor the last round. He took on a weak accidental governor, Pat Quinn. Quinn failed because he abandoned those who supported his rise and started believing his own press releases. Rauner didn’t win that election for governor. Quinn lost it. So don’t pretend, Mr. Rauner, that you can take the voters for granted or that they voted for you because they love you. They don’t.
Rauner is in the hot seat. No matter how many millions he has at his disposal, he hasn’t come up with any ideas to strengthen the state economy or energize confidence in Illinois voters.
Beating up on Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton doesn’t cut it. And that’s not leadership. The fact is that regardless of what you might think of Madigan and Cullerton, they are two individuals who have dedicated their lives to protecting this state. And this state’s problems don’t rest on their shoulders alone. That burden also rests on the shoulders of Rauners allies, too.
So Rauner playing partisan politics and attacking Madigan and the State Democrats is really an involuntary admission from Rauner that he has no idea what to do, except play the very politics he decries.
How about not worrying about criminals, Mr. Governor, and start worrying about the hardworking, good people in Illinois who are the vast majority in this state.
Help them. Show some real leadership. Don’t hide behind the cash you can dole out to win support. Quinn tried it. How did that work out?
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and author. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)