Former gubernatorial running mate Morthland calls out Pritzker for false promises, union raises
Like many politicians, Gov. J.B. Pritzker made promises on the campaign trail that he will not end up keeping, a Rock Island County Board member, former GOP House member and former candidate for lieutenant governor told Rock Island Today.
"In fact, they lie to get their jobs from the people so they can go ahead and do what they wanted to do, but were uncomfortable telling us about it," Rich Morthland added.
If politicians like Pritzker were honest, they would not be as popular with the people who elected them as they are with the special-interest groups they really care about, he said. Morthland, who ran with former state Rep. Jeanne Ives (Wheaton) against Gov. Bruce Rauner in the 2018 GOP primary, said Illinoisans are certainly seeing Pritzker behave as a typical politician, most particularly by giving out $1,600 cost-of-living raises to state union workers through the $40 billion budget he just passed.
"Don't forget I am a union teacher at a community college and I'm not anti-union, but unions don't deserve special treatment at the expense of the people," Morthland said.
By breaking the very promises that got him into the office, Pritzker has shown early on in his administration that he does not care about the taxpayers of Illinois, according to Morthland. And the future does not look any better, he said. As a college professor, Morthland said he polls students, asking them if they intend on staying in-state after graduation.
"In the Moline campus, not one hand goes up," Morthland said. "You think about it, for people who are trying to do what they need to do to advance themselves, for them and their family, they all want out."
Morthland said he is troubled about Illinois' future in every respect. He noted the irony of he and running mate Ives talking about their future hope for Illinois based on policy change not too long ago.
"[Rauner] kept claiming she was a shill for the Speaker of the House, Michael Madigan, which couldn't be further from the truth, whereas the person who now holds the office of the governor is," he said.
Morthland pointed to his personal life and family history of farm ownership since the 1800s as the things that keep him tied to Illinois while so many are fleeing.
"It would be a monumental sacrifice of the tradition for me to leave, but when we have politicians behaving in a manner like our new governor is, then we are going to continue to see the exodus and obvious outcomes with these types of policies," he said.