Rauner backs 29-year “career politician” in Kentucky Primary

By DOUG IBENDAHL • January 18, 2014


Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner says he has a big beef with career politicians. And for that reason Rauner’s supporting an Illinois term-limit initiative.


Meanwhile, down in Kentucky there is a hot Republican Primary pitting long-time incumbent U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell against conservative challenger Matt Bevin. Many analysts have the race at the top of their “must-watch” lists. See here and here.


In some ways, Bevin is sort of a more impressive version of Bruce Rauner. Bevin is a successful businessman in his own right who among other things saved his family’s bell manufacturing company from pending bankruptcy. Today that company, Bevin Bros., is doing fine and continues to make thousands of bells a year, including those used by the Salvation Army and Macy’s.


Unlike Rauner, Bevin wore the uniform and rose to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army.


Given Rauner’s purported distaste for career politicians he would never of course support someone like Mitch McConnell who has been in Washington continuously since first being elected in 1984, right?


Guess again.


When given the opportunity to vote with his checkbook, Rauner chose McConnell. Rauner gave McConnell’s campaign $1,000 on June 28 of last year. The Federal Election Commission record specifically earmarks the contribution for use in the Primary.


And in yet another demonstration of Rauner slacking on his due diligence, a significantly younger Mitch McConnell firmly voiced his strong opposition to term limits. Watch the C-SPAN video here.


Bevin officially announced his candidacy in July of last year. There is no record of Rauner assisting Bevin. In any case, giving money to a 29-year incumbent is, to say the least, very inconsistent with support for term limits.


It’s just one more example where Bruce Rauner’s actions speak a lot louder than his words.


Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.


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