Rauner signing of abortion bill angers conservatives

By John Dempsey, WLS-AM News

(CHICAGO) Republicans and anti-abortion groups are denouncing Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner for signing a bill expanding abortion rights in Illinois.    The bill, SB 40, guarantees that abortion will always be legal in Illinois regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court does in the future.   It also provides for Medicaid funding for abortions for low-income women.

West suburban Lombard Republican State Representative Peter Breen told “The Big John and Ramblin’ Ray Show” on WLS, that he can no longer support Rauner.

“This was the straw that for me, finally broke the camel’s back,” said Breen.  “I know others have already been disgusted by the Governor, maybe they didn’t feel comfortable speaking out on it.   I felt like at this point where he literally goes back on his commitment to the people of the State of Illinois, the Legislature, even Cardinal Cupich, I mean you lie to a priest, and once he’s done that, there’s no one left who thinks that this guy is a credible Governor or candidate to continue to be Governor going forward.”

Breen was asked if he would consider running for Governor against Rauner and he responded that he is planning on running for re-election to his House seat.   He did say he is certain Rauner will face a primary challenge.

“There is going to be a primary challenger to the Governor and I want to make sure we frame it correctly.   The person will likely be more conservative certainly on the social issues than the Governor but we don’t have a litmus test in the Republican party on abortion.   Certainly we are a pro-life party as a platform plank but I mean we were willing to support a pro-choice moderate Governor.   The idea of paying for 20 or 30 thousand abortions with our state tax dollars when we don’t have two nickels to rub together, is extreme.”

Breen was critical not only of the Governor’s conservative credentials but also his competence, after Rauner, a businessman, who won election in 2014 with no political experience, has endured a rocky first term, culminated by an embarrassing defeat in the legislature this past summer when a number of Republicans joined with Democrats  to override Rauner’s veto of a bill raising Illinois income taxes.

“There are a lot of deep pockets and a lot of people that are very unhappy about this action and really the combined actions of the Rauner administration, just general incompetence of the administration and really it goes right to the top,” said Breen. “He’s been hiring and firing staff members, it’s like the coach of a team that keeps losing and losing and losing.  He brings in new teammates, he brings in new assistant coaches and you sit there and go ‘At some point it isn’t everybody below you who are all very competent and successful, it’s you, the coach needs to go.’  The Rauner experiment is done.   Those folks who are still interested in having a viable and functioning Republican party have to get together and figure out how are we going to re-group and move forward.   I don’t even know the Governor is even going to be able to get the signatures necessary to get on the ballot.”

On Thursday Rauner said  he understands the moral objections to abortion but signed the bill into law because he believes all women should have the same health care options.

This past April, Rauner said he would veto the plan, but now he says  “I tried in the spring, and I’ve tried for months as this bill was debated and ultimately passed, to find common ground with both sides of this issue.  We were unable to do that. The passions run too deep.”​

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