U.S. Congressman Luis Gutierrez ( D-Illinois ) criticized Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy for lauding current Gov. Bruce Rauner.
According to a statement issued from Si! Communications ( which represents the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation ), Kennedy commended Rauner for "trying to do what he thinks is best for the state of Illinois. … His willingness to speak truth to power, to take on the powers that have been strangling our economy for decades in this state is something that I think he should be applauded for."
Gutierrez said, "I was surprised to hear Chris Kennedy offer a glowing assessment of Bruce Rauner. How can he commend Rauner after years of no budgets, reduced or eliminated human services, and chaos in our state government? My history tells me that it was Civil Rights leader Bayard Rustin who coined the phrase 'speak truth to power.' Governor Rauner is no Bayard Rustin; in fact, his administration has trampled on the rights of immigrants and women.
"Our state is worse off today than it was four years ago, when Bruce Rauner was elected. No Democrat in Illinois should be a cheerleader for Donald Trump's enabler, Bruce Rauner."
Responding to a request from Windy City Times, Kennedy emailed a statement that discussed fellow candidate JB Pritzker more than Gutierrez: "I've always been honest about Bruce Rauner's broken leadership in our state. Under Bruce Rauner's administration, our state amassed $15 billion in unpaid bills. Under Bruce Rauner's administration, our state went two years without a budgetthe longest budget impasse in U.S. history. Under Bruce Rauner's administration, 1 million people were cut off of social services. I'm running because Bruce Rauner has left our state in shambles.
"He's a failed governor and our state is desperate for radical change.
"Taking my remarks out of context is a weak attempt from JB Pritzker to deflect from the pressure he's under. JB is the poster child of pay to play politics in Illinois and the FBI wiretaps that feature him begging Rod Blagojevich for political favors prove it. He's everything the Republicans want to run against. I believe voters have a right to know what's on those tapes and I agree that they should've been released."
Several candidates are vying for Gutierrez's seat, as he recently announced he is not seeking re-election. Among the candidates is openly gay Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez.