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Republicans picnic in Palos Park without Gov. Rauner

                                                                  Photo by Anthony Caciopo

Attendees of the sixth annual Southwest Suburban Republican Picnic hold their hands over their hearts as the “Star-Spangled Banner” plays Saturday at the Village Green in Palos Park. Standing are Jackie Burger (right) and (from left) Pierre Adams, Pat Burger and Phyllis Adams.

The Sixth Annual Southwest Suburban Republican Picnic held Saturday had all the promise of a fun-filled day in the sun, with food, live music, family activities and even a visit by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The party faithful missed a chance to meet the governor, however, when it was announced he would not be in attendance.

Cook County 17th District Commissioner Sean M. Morrison welcomed the crowd of picnic-goers at the Palos Park Village Green and revealed that, by mutual decision, Rauner would not be attending the picnic in order to not be a “distraction.”

Last Thursday, just two days before the picnic, Rauner signed into law House Bill 40, a controversial measure that expands taxpayer-subsidized abortions for women on Medicaid and women on state employee insurance.

“We all have a right to be upset about HB 40,” said Morrison. “It’s OK, we have that right. At some point, we’re going to have to come together and get behind our candidates on the state-wide slate, and that will include governor. We’re going to have to work through that.

“As angry as I am, J.B. Pritzker (a Democratic gubernatorial candidate) is not an option,” Morrison said.

Rauner has come under heavy fire from conservative Republicans for signing the legislation that many feel is not in keeping with their values.

“When Gov. Bruce Rauner ran three years ago he said he had no social agenda, and here we are,” said David Dewar who attended the picnic in the character of Uncle Sam.

“He promised a lot of pro-life religious organizations that he wasn’t going to do this,” Dewar said. “I believe in the right for babies to decide, not in reproductive rights. Now, they’re forcing me to take my tax dollars to fund something I don’t believe in.”

Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago tweeted that “Gov. Rauner has signed into law a very disturbing bill he once promised to veto.”

Rosemary Hackett, President of Illinois Right to Life, said “We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken that our Governor went back on his promise and signed the extremely out-of-touch, abortion0-expanding bill, HB40.”

Rauner, however, said that he is, and always has been pro-choice and that his stance will never change.

“I also believe that no woman should be forced to make a different decision than another woman would make purely based on her income,” he said. “I believe that a woman living with limited financial means should not be put in the position where she has to choose something different than a woman of higher income would be able to choose.”

At the picnic, Uncle Sam David Dewar was not the only attendee who disagreed with the governor.

“It’s not a Republican ideal,” said Jackie Burger.

“It wasn’t a smart thing, said Phyllis Adams.

“Don’t get me started,” said Pat Burger, who sported a badge on her blouse that read “Republican Women Are the Life of The Party.”

Commissioner Morrison took time to rally support for the initiative he is leading to repeal the controversial Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax, which began in August and had been planned for about a year. The tax is one cent-per ounce on sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages sold at the retail level in Cook County.

“Who likes that soda tax that we’re saddled with?” he said into a microphone from the bandstand.

“I sponsored an ordinance to amend the soda tax and we’re looking to repeal it,” Morrison said. “(Cook County Board) President (Toni) Preckwinkle and certain members of the board have used every tactic they could to keep it (the repeal ordinance) from coming forward to be called.

“We’ve played the chess game with them and now we have it to the point where they have no more maneuvers left, no more tricks,” he said. “On Oct. 10, at 10 a.m., the Cook County Board will take up the matter to repeal the soda tax.”

Morrison’s 17th District covers all or part of 32 municipalities and 11 townships. It is the largest district in Cook County.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” he said. “From the time it (the beverage tax) passed a year ago, it’s a completely different scenario now. I think a lot of the commissioners who voted to put the tax in have realized it was a very poor choice, not only from the public outcry but also because it’s a terrible policy.”

“Let’s start something,” said lead singer Lori Hall of the rock band Fifty-One Lincoln, which provided the live entertainment at the picnic. “Let’s dump all the pop into Lake Michigan!”

Other speakers at the picnic included Erika Harold, GOP candidate for attorney general.

But under the bright, blue sky in Palos Park, it was unity that was on the minds of many attendees.

“I’m a die-hard Republican,” said Christe Foss. “I stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, I stand for the flag. My father fought or this country.”

“We should be united,” said Arlene Gibbs. “United we stand, divided we fall. It’s so divided for political reasons these days,” she said.

 

 

 

 

ut Gov. Rauner

He would have been ‘distraction’

 

By Anthony Caciopo

Regional News Editor

The Sixth Annual Southwest Suburban Republican Picnic held Saturday had all the promise of a fun-filled day in the sun, with food, live music, family activities and even a visit by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The party faithful missed a chance to meet the governor, however, when it was announced he would not be in attendance.

Cook County 17th District Commissioner Sean M. Morrison welcomed the crowd of picnic-goers at the Palos Park Village Green and revealed that, by mutual decision, Rauner would not be attending the picnic in order to not be a “distraction.”

Last Thursday, just two days before the picnic, Rauner signed into law House Bill 40, a controversial measure that expands taxpayer-subsidized abortions for women on Medicaid and women on state employee insurance.

“We all have a right to be upset about HB 40,” said Morrison. “It’s OK, we have that right. At some point, we’re going to have to come together and get behind our candidates on the state-wide slate, and that will include governor. We’re going to have to work through that.

“As angry as I am, J.B. Pritzker (a Democratic gubernatorial candidate) is not an option,” Morrison said.

Rauner has come under heavy fire from conservative Republicans for signing the legislation that many feel is not in keeping with their values.

“When Gov. Bruce Rauner ran three years ago he said he had no social agenda, and here we are,” said David Dewar who attended the picnic in the character of Uncle Sam.

“He promised a lot of pro-life religious organizations that he wasn’t going to do this,” Dewar said. “I believe in the right for babies to decide, not in reproductive rights. Now, they’re forcing me to take my tax dollars to fund something I don’t believe in.”

Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago tweeted that “Gov. Rauner has signed into law a very disturbing bill he once promised to veto.”

Rosemary Hackett, President of Illinois Right to Life, said “We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken that our Governor went back on his promise and signed the extremely out-of-touch, abortion0-expanding bill, HB40.”

Rauner, however, said that he is, and always has been pro-choice and that his stance will never change.

“I also believe that no woman should be forced to make a different decision than another woman would make purely based on her income,” he said. “I believe that a woman living with limited financial means should not be put in the position where she has to choose something different than a woman of higher income would be able to choose.”

At the picnic, Uncle Sam David Dewar was not the only attendee who disagreed with the governor.

“It’s not a Republican ideal,” said Jackie Burger.

“It wasn’t a smart thing, said Phyllis Adams.

“Don’t get me started,” said Pat Burger, who sported a badge on her blouse that read “Republican Women Are the Life of The Party.”

Commissioner Morrison took time to rally support for the initiative he is leading to repeal the controversial Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax, which began in August and had been planned for about a year. The tax is one cent-per ounce on sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages sold at the retail level in Cook County.

“Who likes that soda tax that we’re saddled with?” he said into a microphone from the bandstand.

“I sponsored an ordinance to amend the soda tax and we’re looking to repeal it,” Morrison said. “(Cook County Board) President (Toni) Preckwinkle and certain members of the board have used every tactic they could to keep it (the repeal ordinance) from coming forward to be called.

“We’ve played the chess game with them and now we have it to the point where they have no more maneuvers left, no more tricks,” he said. “On Oct. 10, at 10 a.m., the Cook County Board will take up the matter to repeal the soda tax.”

Morrison’s 17th District covers all or part of 32 municipalities and 11 townships. It is the largest district in Cook County.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” he said. “From the time it (the beverage tax) passed a year ago, it’s a completely different scenario now. I think a lot of the commissioners who voted to put the tax in have realized it was a very poor choice, not only from the public outcry but also because it’s a terrible policy.”

“Let’s start something,” said lead singer Lori Hall of the rock band Fifty-One Lincoln, which provided the live entertainment at the picnic. “Let’s dump all the pop into Lake Michigan!”

Other speakers at the picnic included Erika Harold, GOP candidate for attorney general.

But under the bright, blue sky in Palos Park, it was unity that was on the minds of many attendees.

“I’m a die-hard Republican,” said Christe Foss. “I stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, I stand for the flag. My father fought or this country.”

“We should be united,” said Arlene Gibbs. “United we stand, divided we fall. It’s so divided for political reasons these days,” she said.

 

 

 

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