FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday April 13, 2017
Contact: Jake Lewis, Illinois Working Together
ICYMI - Rauner Campaign Tour Draws Protests Across Illinois
Gov. Rauner’s two-day, ten city re-election campaign tour was protested across Illinois by working men and women who rallied against the damage Rauner is doing to the state, the lack of a state budget, and the governor's refusal to compromise.
"Considering the damage Gov. Rauner has done to Illinois' students, seniors, and economy, it's no surprise the governor's re-election campaign tour drew protests all over the state. More than 18 months from Election Day, the message from the people of Illinois to Gov. Rauner is simple: drop the political games and do your job." - Jake Lewis, Illinois Working Together Campaign Director
Protests were covered by a variety of news outlets across the state:
Governor Bruce Rauner is used to protesters at the Capitol. Wednesday, they greeted him here.
The message was short and clear: "Do your job!" they chanted.
People protested outside HL Precision Manufacturing as the governor. Most are union members or leaders. They're calling on the governor to put more funding toward state workers and healthcare.
Inside, Rauner addressed a similar sized crowd. His message has been mostly the same since his election. He says balancing the budget is only part of what lawmakers need to do.
Local Republicans were told to be at the event, but not to publicize it in order to keep protesters away, though a few showed up anyway.
Protesters said he’s crippled the state’s universities, schools and social services, and they’ve had enough. They say if he won’t pass a budget, it’s time voters found someone who will.
"It's pretty unreasonable, in my opinion, for Governor Rauner to have the gall to get out like this and expect people to support him when he's been so incompetent that he has been unable to pass any kind of budget the entire time he's been in office. He's a failure," said protester Debbie Gunter.
Rauner’s visit also drew protests.
“It’s time for Southern Illinois to stand up and speak out against Gov. Rauner’s refusal to deal with with the Democrats,” Debbie Gunter of Marion said.
As part of his tour of the state, Rauner stopped at the Tuscany Grill in Robinson, where he was greeted outside by protesters.
"I'm extremely frustrated," said Bryon Steadman, Union President of Local 3649 Robinson Correctional Center, "There's no reason the state should be in this particular shape."
Retired teacher Barbara Ross was also there protesting on behalf of educators. Ross serves as the president of the Crawford County Retired Teachers Association.
"I continue to sub in the schools and I'm seeing what's happening with the lack of funding in the school system," she said, "The schools are suffering and we're suffering from not being able to have our pensions fully funded."
"There has to be a solution out there, absolutely has to be a solution," Ross continued, "and we've got to have that budget passed."
WTWO - Gov. Rauner visits Robinson
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner made a stop in Robinson on Wednesday afternoon.
He was greeted by some protestors, holding signs about the state's budget stalemate.
"We all came out today because none of us are happy with the job Gov. Rauner is doing. He is not serving the people of Illinois, and he is refusing to even come to the table and make any compromises or negotiate."
WICS - Rauner Says Democrats Have Blocked Progress
While Governor Rauner spoke inside, a crowd of protesters gathered outside chanting for Rauner to "do his job."
"I wish he would do his job. He can't dictate to people," said JoAnn Conrad, a Springfield resident and retired special education teacher. "He has to have a budget in place, he can't say, 'I'm going to shut down government and not have a budget because you people won't negotiate the way I want you to."