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New blog from Citizen Action/Illinois Co-director Lynda DeLaforgue on Governor Rauner's crusade to crush organized labor and the middle class in Illinois 

As newly elected Governor Rauner continues what will most likely be a four year crusade to crush organized labor in Illinois, it is important to realize that he is not working alone.  Rauner’s tactics are right out of the Koch Brothers –ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) playbook.  ALEC has launched a new initiative called ACCE (American City County Exchange) whose purpose is to target policymakers at the local village, town, city and county level.  The Governor’s targeting of local communities in his first three months in office fits right into ALEC’s agenda.

Not surprising is that one of the largest recipients of Rauner’s generosity is the Donors Trust. The Donors Trust is a pet project of the Koch Brothers.  Mr. Rauner contributed a total of $700,000 to the Donors Trust in 2011 and 2013. During the two years that he gave directly to the Donors Trust, the Trust gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to right wing advocacy organizations such as the Heartland Institute, Freedom Works, and Americans for Prosperity. The very same groups that Bruce Rauner himself also funded directly through his family foundation.

Let’s be clear, this is a dangerous path that our Governor is embarking upon and it will directly impact the lives many middle class families in Illinois if he succeeds. 

Citizen Action/Illinois is proud to be an ally of labor and we have appreciated the support they have given to our working family agenda over the past two decades.  When we needed support for payday loan reform it was the leadership of the Illinois AFL-CIO who stepped up to help.  The rank and file members of the UAW lobbied in Springfield for payday reform.  SEIU and AFSCME have played leadership roles in our goal to provide affordable, quality healthcare for all. The Amalgamated Transit Workers have partnered with us to secure good public transportation initiatives.  The United Food and Commercial Workers don’t just fight for their members to have paid sick days, but for all workers. The list could go on.

We hope the Governor will wake up and smell the coffee.  Labor Unions don’t just fight for their own members, they fight for a strong economy and opportunity for ALL families.  We call upon Governor Rauner to abandon this vitriolic campaign against working families, realizing that as long as he puts his money where his mouth is, this may not happen.  Rest assured Citizen Action/Illinois will fight to the bitter end to protect the rights of workers to organize in Illinois because without a strong organized labor workforce we all lose.  That’s why we are launching an Illinois Rights at Work Campaign.  We hope you will take the first step toward joining and sign our petition.