December 22, 2013 By: Mark Glennon
“I still can’t believe that no other media outlet has yet picked up on the fact that the unions and others are about to jump into the GOP primary against Rauner.” That’s from influential political reporter Rich Miller yesterday. Union bulletin boards are alive with discussion about the idea, with the Illinois Education Association — a teachers’ union — apparently at the forefront of the possible effort.
Unions are freaked out that Bruce Rauner, an outspoken critic of public unions, has taken the clear lead in the Republican race for governor. Yesterday, he trounced opposition to win the endorsement of the Cook County GOP. Unhappy with Governor Quinn and with no faith in his ability to defeat Rauner, the union plan would be to endorse Kirk Dillard or Dan Rutherford in the GOP primary, and encourage members to cross over and vote as Republicans in the primary against Rauner. Both Dillard and Rutherford have been union-friendly and sought some union endorsement during the run up to the vote on the recent pension bill. Both opposed the bill hoping to placate unions.
Dillard appears especially anxious to oblige the unions, and issued this blistering attack on the Cook County GOP process and Rauner after his loss yesterday. It’s as harsh as you could expect to see from any Democrat. Dillard is now apparently willing to go for broke: Either win or be forever remembered as a traitor to his party. In light of his penchant for changing positions on major issues, you have to wonder if he’s not regretting running as a Democrat against Quinn, who has lost his base of support.