Critics Blast Rauner For Veto, Pritzker Leads In New Poll – Third Coast Today 08-22-18

Governor Rauner Criticized for HB4469 Veto

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is taking heat for an amendatory veto of a bill that would’ve expanded voter education and access in Illinois jails.

Governor Bruce Rauner at the Illinois State Fair in 2015. Aaron Cynic/File

The legislation, which was sponsored by a statewide coalition and passed with bipartisan support in both chambers in Springfield, would’ve provided information on voting rights to recently released prisoners in Illinois, as well as given opportunity to vote for those eligible being detained pre-trial.

Rauner used his amendatory veto power on the bill on Friday last week, which the Illinois ACLU called “disappointing.”

“It is especially disappointing that a Governor, who has publicly stated that individuals who have served time in jails and prisons deserve an opportunity for redemption, rehabilitation and a second chance to be productive citizens, would use his veto to take away an opportunity for individuals leaving prisons and jails to know about their voting rights,” said Khadine Bennett, Advocacy and Intergovernmental Affairs Director, in a statement.

Democratic rival billionaire J.B. Pritzker condemned Rauner in a statement issued to the press on Tuesday.

“Historic voting rights legislation was passed because of the hard work of countless advocates, stakeholders, and bipartisan legislators — including my running mate Juliana Stratton — but Bruce Rauner is once again being an obstacle to progress and delaying this crucial bill from becoming law,” Pritzker said. “I’m deeply disappointed that this failed governor used his veto pen to stall efforts to expand voting rights in jails across our state. Exercising your right to vote is foundational to our democracy, and we must ensure everyone is able to use their voice at the ballot box.”

Color of Change, a progressive nonprofit civil rights advocacy organization, called on the Illinois legislature to overturn Rauner’s veto.

“Last week, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed historic legislation that would have ensured people awaiting trial have access to the ballot,” said Scott Roberts, senior campaign director. “The legislation would have also informed incarcerated people of their voting rights once released from awaiting trial while in jail. We are disappointed with Governor Rauner’s decision to block a signature piece of legislation that would have been a monumental win for Black and Brown people across Illinois.”

Pritzker Trounces Rauner In Latest Poll

New polling also shows Pritzker with a commanding lead over the Republican incumbent.

The poll, conducted by NBC/Marist, shows Pritzker leading Rauner by 16 percentage points, 46 to 30. Thirteen percent of those surveyed said they were undecided, and third party candidates Kash Jackson and Sam McCann received 6 and 4 percent respectively.

Both billionaires have less than a 50 percent favorability rating, with 38 percent of respondents saying they view Pritzker favorably and just 26 percent for Rauner, who polls even lower than President Donald Trump, who received a 30 percent favorability rating.

Rauner’s campaign dismissed the poll, trotting out a well-worn talking point tying Pritzker to House Speaker Michael Madigan. “We are focused on the issues that matter most to voters in Illinois,” a spokesperson told Politico. “No poll can change the fact that J.B.Pritzker and Mike Madigan stand for higher taxes and more corruption.”

The 2018 Illinois gubernatorial election is still on track to be the most expensive governor’s race in history, with the top two candidates so far spending a combined $160.4 million with a total of $233.4 million raised as of August 20, according to data published by Propublica.

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