Famous Illinois Democrat bolts from the party's nominee for governor

States controlled by the Democratic Party tend to suffer from a failure to thrive. Jobs, people, and economic growth tend to flow to states like Texas that practice a low tax, low regulation, low unionization approach. Normally, Democrat politicians feign indifference, preferring to hold onto power rather than adopt Republican-like policies that would raise incomes, provide the dignity of jobs and self-reliance to their constituents, and empower job creators.

But eventually other people’s money starts to run out, and Illinois is far enough down that path that smarter and wiser Democrats realize that the jog soon will be up, and there won’t be enough money to pay the generous pensions they have handed out to their union donors. That just happened in Illinois.

If you were not of age in the presidency of Democrat secular saint John F. Kennedy, you may not recognize the name Newton Minnow. But for a few years of the early 1960s, he was one of the most famous voices among the liberal elite running America. As a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, he termed the offerings of the three television networks that dominated broadcasting a “vast wasteland.” This delighted the educated and affluent liberal wing of the Democratic Party. (At the time, the segregationist South and the labor unions comprised the other two legs of the three legged stool of Democrat power, but it was the cultural elite that set the tone in the Kennedy administration.)

Ever since returning to his home state of Illinois, Minnow has enjoyed the status of a grand old man of the Democrats, at least among his home base faction, a truth-teller of sorts, based on the Kennedy-era esteem he still holds.  He is a partner in the prestigious Chicago law firm Sidley Austin, which is where Barack Obama worked as a summer associate and met Michelle Robinson, and a specialist in telecommunications law. That is why his op-ed in the Chicago Tribune announcing his support for Bruce Rauner, GOP nominee for Illinois governor, must come as an unpleasant shock.

President John F. Kennedy once said that "sometimes party loyalty asks too much." 

I believe Kennedy was right as we consider the election for Illinois governor this year. As a longtime member of the Democratic Party, I’m taking a leave of absence from the Democratic Party’s campaign for governor in November and will vote for Republican Bruce Rauner for governor. Here is why.

He plays the Kennedy Card in the very first words of the lede. A nice touch, that.  And he goes on to explain why support for the incumbent Democrat governor is “too much”:

I believe [Governor Pat] Quinn is a decent, honorable man, but I also believe that if we continue on the same course he has taken, we will put the future of the state of Illinois at serious risk. Illinois is drowning in debt, unemployment and dysfunction. We need to change course.

Is Rauner perfect? Of course not. I disagree with him on some issues, especially guns. But on the issue of financial survival of our state, he is right. 

We have serious fiscal mismanagement, giving Illinois one of our nation’s highest unemployment rates and lowest credit ratings. Our neighbors in Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin are not smarter or more hard working than the people of Illinois, yet they are doing far better. 

We need change, and Rauner will  lead us in the right direction and improve the future for our families. He is a moderate on social issues, and his record on human rights, choice, freedom and equality is excellent. He is not a right-wing Republican.

The issue is financial “survival.” And the three neighboring states he mentions as doing better than Illinois all have Republican governors.

Because states cannot print money the way the federal government can, the impact of foolish Democrat policies hits home. Even lifelong stalwarts of the Democratic Party are starting to get it.