CHICAGO, November 10, 2014 — Is it true love? As Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, Gov. Chris Christie lavished Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner of Illinois with $4 million in donations. Rauner, a wealthy venture capitalist and former chairman of private equity firm GTCR, won his race against unpopular Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn last Tuesday and now is in a position to return Christie’s political love if the sitting New Jersey governor decides to make a presidential run in 2016.
But Rauner’s record as a major Democrat party donor and supporter of the ACLU and Planned Parenthood could come back to bite Christie – and bite him hard. In Illinois, Rauner’s close ties to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his top donors did not become an issue in this deeply blue state but could become one if national conservatives get wind of Christie’s dalliance with Rahmbo’s political devil.
Rauner just named his “transition team” and it is chock-full of Democrat Party names, including former Obama White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley. Daley, a longtime business associate of Bruce Rauner’s, was on the other side of a deal with SBC that made Rahm “Dead Fish” Emanuel a millionaire and banked Rauner a half billion dollars in six months.
The Rauner record, then, involves crony business deals and ties to characters such as Rod Blagojevich and Rahm “Dead Fish” Emanuel. Of course, none of this stopped the RGA from pouring millions in Rauner’s campaign coffers. In fact, FreedomWorks’s Matt Kibbe was among the first to join Rauner’s exploratory committee.
Why? Because two years ago, in preparation for his run for Illinois governor, Rauner began making large donations to national Republican and conservative groups. Illinois Tea Party organizations looked past his sordid political history and his socially liberal positions and endorsed him in the GOP primary anyway, trumpeting him as Ronald Reagan and Scott Walker rolled in one. Yet Rauner has named Bill Daley — who, again, was formerly President Obama’s chief of staff — to his transition team.
Back in medieval times, some groups of Catholic bishops began to sell indulgences to the ignorant masses. It was simple: Pay a fee to the church and escape suffering in purgatory’s frying pan. It was said at the time, “As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs.”
If a candidate with Rauner’s history can buy political absolution with donations, after being a major donor to the Democratic Party, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU, then why bother with the seemingly petty exercise of living by a conservative creed?
To Gov. Chris Christie’s conservative critics, there are some questions you should be asking him about his new love, Republican crony Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner.
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