If you really want to see the differences between Republican candidates and Democratic candidates in the mid-term elections, you really only need to look at two races. One is the race for governor in Illinois. Incumbent Governor Pat Quinn is one of if not the least incumbent Governor in Illinois history. His approval rating was as low as 25% at one point. The Republicans thought this was a prime target for them. His opponent, Bruce Rauner was supposed to run away with the election.
As late as August, Rauner had a 13 point lead in the race. That lead has evaporated to a point where recent polls show Quinn with a 4 point lead. This evaporation isn’t because Quinn has suddenly become a popular governor. It is because Illinois voters are learning just what type of “business man” Rauner really is, and it isn’t sitting well with them.
Rauner’s first goof up came when he announced his support for an effort to lower the state’s minimum wage a full dollar per hour. That became such a bad choice for Rauner he has backed off of that support. He also has an economics plan that really is weird, but typically Republican. His plan calls for income tax cuts for the wealthiest people. This in a state that is already facing budget problems. Not to worry though, his plan to make up the money is to increase the state sales tax.
On Tuesday, it didn’t get any better for Rauner. The Chicago Sun Times published a report about the “business divorce” between his investment firm and LeapSource a business outsourcing firm in Arizona in which Rauner’s company invested. Rauner recruited an accounting executive named Christine Kirk to run LeapSource, but the relationship soon went sour, and Rauner blamed Kirk for its failure.
Kirk filed suit against Rauner’s firm, alleging a hostile work environment and claiming that Rauner made threats against her – including a threat to “hurt you and your family” if Kirk took legal action against Rauner’s firm, GTCR.
“If you go legal on us, we’ll hurt you and your family,” Kirk claims Rauner told her in a February 2001 dispute.
Kirk also contended that Rauner made threats against her through Thomas Gilman, who, like Rauner, was a member of LeapSource’s board. Rauner allegedly told Gilman that he’d “bury” Kirk and make sure that “[s]he will never get another job anywhere, ever. I will bankrupt her with legal fees.”
The Rauner team have denied Kirk’s claim and pointed out that much of the lawsuit including the threats were tossed out. Fair point. But it may help focus the “hardball tactics” Rauner has used in his business dealings. That is not something that generally gets votes. Only time will tell if this newest story gains any traction for Quinn.
The other race is in Georgia where Republican David Perdue is running against Democrat Michelle Nunn for the Senate seat. This was supposed to be an easy election for the Republicans. Georgia is a heavily red state with strong conservative backing. However, this race also has tightened beyond belief. Purdue now leads Nunn by a mere two points in the most recent polling.
Perdue also apparently has put his foot in his mouth so bad that even conservatives must be wondering about their candidate. Seems a few years back, David Perdue went on record describing his work. In response to a direct question asking him, “Can you describe your experience with outsourcing?”, he described how he spent most of his life “outsourcing.” When the proverbial shit hit the fan, everyone wondered how Perdue would back out of it. He didn’t. He doubled down on it and said “Defend it? I’m proud of it.”
Perdue even went on to describe how the media and literature have misrepresented the whole process of outsourcing.
“This is a part of American business, part of any business. Outsourcing is the procurement of products and services to help your business run. People do that all day.”
Perdue then attempted to draw a distinction between the federal government’s policies and his own decisions as head of the company.
“I think the issue that people get confused about is the loss of jobs,” he said. “This is because of bad government policies: tax policy, regulation, even compliance requirements. It puts us at a competitive disadvantage with the rest of the world. Even today, right now this administration has policies going on that are decimating industries today.”
I want to get this straight. According to Perdue, outsourcing is “part of American business” and “people do that all day.” Well if that is true, what’s the big deal right? Oh, maybe it is the millions of people that Perdue and his fellow outsourcers are proud of having put out of work. The southern region once had a huge factory base making furniture and carpets, among other things. These industries are to the point of not existing anymore.
Perdue says that is all the fault of the government. If the government would just stop taxing companies, stop regulating safety in the workplace, and let employers pay less than minimum wage, everything would be just fine. Maybe he has a point. Look how well the people in Malaysia and Vietnam are living the high life on their low wages.
These two people are not alone in their views either. The Republican party is full of plutocrats just like Rauner and Perdue. Hell, even Wisconsin Governor Walker just announced that $7.25 per hour is a livable wage. That is what we will get if we give the Republicans gain control of the Senate in November.
Of course, even the conservative media is ignoring these two as much as they can. They are focusing on the more serious threat of ISIS and Ebola. According to Fox News, we are on the verge of being wiped out by one or both of these menaces. As I wrote before, don’t be fooled by outside influences. Vote your pocketbook. In the last 55 months, we have experienced private sector job growth. All of the doom and gloom predicted by the Republicans over the ACA and the end of the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthy have proven to be fairy tales.
If we continue to vote in people like Rauner and Perdue, we won’t have an economy left. Reagan’s supply side economics is a bust. You cannot grow an economy by outsourcing jobs and selling cheap products if no one has any money to purchase them! But, Republicans know that if you ruin the economy, you can remove job safety bills, corporate taxes, and eliminate minimum wage. That is how you create a Plutocrat Paradise!