EXCLUSIVE: A Shocking Admission Comes From Within Darin LaHood's Disillusioned Campaign -- About IL GOP Governor Bruce Rauner Directing the Race
As we've reported here, those involved in the behind-the-scenes GOP nomination process -- from sheriff to presidential candidate -- are quite aware that the GOP leadership's carefully chosen argument employed against conservative, grassroots challengers is perhaps the least authentic, defensible opinion you'll hear coming out of Washington.
Conservative challengers are not engaged in a purifying "purge" of the GOP. Everyone -- except the private citizen voter and donor being misled -- knows the truth is the precise opposite.
Darin LaHood, the son of former Obama administration Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, is the GOP leadership/establishment favorite to replace disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock in Illinois' 18th District. The district is heavily conservative, and John Boehner, Steve Scalise, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the rest of the House GOP leadership fear an actual conservative holding this seat, as one would be able to retain it and be a consistent problem for them.
That's why Scalise and Boehner threw a D.C. fundraiser for Darin LaHood, that's why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave Darin LaHood their endorsement and thousands in donations, that's why Darin LaHood told the obvious lie -- what he knew the conservative 18th wanted to hear -- during his debate that he would oppose the Chamber's, Boehner's, and Scalise's "top priority" of passing Obamatrade, and that's why the Chamber went further, lying to a local newspaper that Mike Flynn had sought out their endorsement.
After Monday's final debate and the following endorsement for Flynn from kingmakers Mark Levin and Dana Loesch -- recall, Darin LaHood's campaign had only agreed to a debate if the candidates were limited to 90-second answers and not allowed to address each other -- tips have been flowing to me from the disillusioned within LaHood's campaign.
If it seemed to you, immediately following Aaron Schock's resignation, that the state GOP and Governor Bruce Rauner were trying to clear the field for Darin LaHood, that's because they were trying to clear the field for Darin LaHood.
Aaron Schock resigned on March 17; his final day in office was March 31. Governor Rauner then had a few days to announce the key dates for the special election.
Remember when Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned in 2012? Under then-Governor Pat Quinn (D), potential candidates were given 12 weeks to gather enough signatures to make the primary ballot.
Governor Rauner instead decided that candidates could begin circulating petitions on about April 7 until April 20: 13 days, instead of 12 weeks.
Rauner also set the initial primary date for June 6. Eventually he relented and moved the date until July 7, this Tuesday. But the petition period was kept at 13 days.
A source who was working in Rauner's office at the time -- and still is -- says the reason for this was exactly what it appears to be: Governor Rauner wanted to clear the field for Darin LaHood, hoping he would run unopposed.
Further, the petition dates seemed to only apply to challengers like Mike Flynn. Witnesses report that at the McLean County Lincoln Day Dinner on April 2, LaHood's team was circulating petitions.
Five days earlier than allowed.
Governor Rauner's undemocratic support for John Boehner's chosen candidate appears to have gone much further than setting near-impossible dates for challengers to comply with. In a special election primary, turnout is everything. Candidates must focus on getting out the vote for this election, which is predicted to only have a single-digit percentage of district voters participating.
Obviously, having an accurate roll of likely supporters to reach out to could be the resource that decides the election.
The approximately 40 interns who have been knocking on doors for Darin LaHood have been sent out prepped only with an app loaded with address information for voters who pulled the lever for Governor Rauner in 2014.
They will be using the Red Dialer app over the next few days until the July 7 election to contact those Rauner voters by phone.
The nascent Darin LaHood campaign, back in late March, told potential campaign employees that it would be an easy campaign because LaHood would probably be running unopposed. LaHood was called "the chosen one." (See below for background on that.)