Bruce Rauner is promising no patronage hiring if he’s elected governor, and the state Republican chairman says that’s OK with him. Ordinarily, county chairmen and other party leaders have individuals whom they recommend for government jobs, but state Republican chairman Tim Schneider says the party will work for Rauner even in light of a promise that those opportunities will not exist.
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“The Republican Party has never been, in my opinion, about getting a job or patronage. It’s always been about what’s best for the people of Illinois and what’s best for our legacy and what’s best for our children and grandchildren,” he said. But Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Paul Vallas, who was a legislative staffer when Republican Jim Thompson was governor, says of course Republicans used patronage. “Absolutely, especially in Central Management Services. That was the haven of patronage during the Republican governors,” Vallas said.
The Rauner promise applies to the top people in the administration, as well as to rank-and-file state workers who often come recommended by a political patron. “That guy’s gonna have to get in line just like everybody else that’s applying for a job,” Schneider said. Vallas says if Rauner wins, he probably won’t keep his pledge.