Columns / Discourse / January 21, 2015

Rauner’s governorship

How in the world do you think Bruce Rauner got elected and how do you predict his term as governor will go?

I have extremely high hopes for Bruce Rauner. There are a lot of nasty rumors out there about himÑI’ve heard that his wife is extremely anti-contraception and that she wants to put an end to it (she isn’t, she actually works with Planned Parenthood), that he plans on personally buying up all the prisons and cutting the pay of all the prison guards (this is also untrue, his goal is to shrink the prison populations, which is a different plan of action), and I’ve heard that he wants to cut female workers’ pay (okay, he really has no control over that kind of thing, so I don’t have an explanation). It is extremely important to understand what a governor (or a president) has control over and what he or she does not. Another example of that would be gas prices.

The last Republican governor of Illinois (George Ryan Sr.) ended his term in 2003 only to face federal corruption charges, followed by some prison time that ended in the summer of 2013. Since then, Illinois has been run by equally corrupt individuals, one of which is also spending some time in the pen. To be completely informed, one must resist the urge to be biased. And I am not: most people elected to office in Illinois are corrupt, no matter the party, and why is that? The answer is Chicago. (And I’m fairly sure that I am a primary source when I say that the rest of Illinois is pretty sick of the place. Don’t be too shocked by that; the rest of us Illinoisans get pretty tired of Chicago arrogance and being referred to as “hicks” and “hillbillies” simply because we live south of a city that still isn’t even the most northern part of the United States). As long as people have had civilization, city politics have worked differently than lesser-populated places. It is my belief and hope that Rauner is different than these past politicians, mostly because the only county in Illinois that didn’t go red for him was Cook. Go figure.

As a libertarian, I can appreciate Rauner for what he has expressed about social controversies and opinions. He has expressed that his main focus in office will be fiscal and economic policies, but if his constituents really feel strongly about a social issue, he will work for them just as he was elected to do. I wouldn’t count out legalization of marijuana at this point; I would not at all be surprised to see this happen in Illinois under Rauner, especially if he sees the demand for those topics in the polls.

Rauner’s initial plan for Illinois includes a responsible minimum wage increase, the freezing of property taxes and the elimination of Pat Quinn’s tax hikes, among other issues. Along with investing in the workforce, Rauner’s plan is to help the working class in the ways that he is able to. It is of popular belief that the governor will not fulfill any of that because he is a “greedy rich man,” because, yes, being rich is actually some kind of horrible and legitimate crime (I sincerely hope you picked up that is sarcasm). Though the fact that money has corrupted many politicians and businessmen alike (and Rauner is both of those), I have faith that Rauner really can “shake up Springfield” with his transition into office without any greed in mind.

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Shannon Caveny

Tags:  bruce rauner chicago Conservative cook county future Governor White elephant in the room

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