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Sunday, August 18, 2019

McCarter: Rauner is 'the best Republican Democrats have ever had'

By Ann Maher | Aug 29, 2017

Calling Gov. Bruce Rauner "the best Republican Democrats have ever had," fellow GOPer State Sen. Kyle McCarter believes the sanctuary state bill signed into law yesterday will negatively affect the governor's re-election hopes.

"This is not just bad policy," McCarter said of Rauner's adoption of the Trust Act. "It's bad politics."

The "sanctuary state" measure in Senate Bill 31 limits the role local and state police can have in enforcing federal immigration laws.

While Rauner touts the Act as one that will improve "connectivity between immigrants and law enforcement, making Illinois safer for all residents," critics like McCarter say it shows the governor "is not committed to protecting the citizens of Illinois but criminal Illegals."

Leading up to Rauner's action yesterday, McCarter addressed criticism he faced for not backing his fellow Republican. McCarter said that party loyalty can only go so far.

"You can't overlook what's right and wrong, and you can't defend what's wrong as though it's right just because your party leader says this is the way it is," McCarter said in a Facebook post. "We all need to be held accountable."

In a radio interview with radio hosts Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson at AM 560 in Chicago on Tuesday morning, McCarter said he was concerned about "my party" and its brand being tainted, or at least "confused."

He said that within the congressional district he is considering taking a run at - the 15th Congressional District currently represented by Republican John Shimkus - a majority in the 33 counties of the southern Illinois district voted for President Trump.

"His immigration policy was one of the reasons they voted for him," McCarter said. "I think this is going to negatively effect Rauner's election."

When asked whether Rauner might face a primary challenge, McCarter said he wasn't sure it was a practical idea as any rival would run against "a very wealthy man."

But he also said that primaries are good because they make candidates better, forcing them to focus on what they stand for.

In a final segment of the radio program, Proft turned to an article in a news outlet Proft established - Prairie State Wire - that examines state contracts totaling $16.88 billion amassed for clients of Nancy Kimme, a Republican, whom he described as a "longtime inside player."

Kimme had served as chief of staff to the late Judy Baar Topinka, who passed away shortly after being elected state comptroller in 2014. After Topinka's passing, Kimme turned to lobbying, and according to Proft, had worked out of the governor's office under the "previous regime" before a staff shakeup in July.

Proft asked McCarter about Rauner's promise to "shake up" Springfield and turn around Illinois, as in his version of "draining the swamp."

"Unfortunately, Republicans in Illinois dwell in the swamp as well," McCarter said. "It's not just a home for Democrats. Cultures of corruption don't change overnight, no culture does...typically what happens when it does change, you have spectacular principled leaders and it's those leaders that stand strong and can really move culture in the right direction."

McCarter said he "knew the reality" of how things work in Spingfield when he had asked a state agency director about employment for someone he knew.

"I had asked a director one time in this administration if there was a place to provide a job to a man who was unjustly treated by the previous administration, and one of best workers we had in the state," McCarter said. "And he told me he couldn't do anything about that, but he told me that I should go to the firm of Nancy Kimme...I thought that was just a little odd."

Proft said, "The agency director couldn't do anything but the shadow government could, if you wanted to enlist them at a price."

"Exactly," McCarter said. "That is disappointing and shows you the depth of this culture of corruption."

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Illinois State Senator Kyle McCarter