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After Spending Weekend With Koch Brothers, Rauner Sort-Of Criticizes Trump Immigration Ban

By aaroncynic in News on Jan 30, 2017 10:31PM

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner at the Illinois State Fair. Photo by Aaron Cynic.
While some Illinois lawmakers spent their weekend taking a stand in their districts on President Donald Trump’s executive order barring refugees and other immigrants from selected countries from the United States, Gov. Bruce Rauner spent his at a three-day summit hosted by the Koch brothers in Palm Springs.

Rauner was among three governors, five senators, two congressman and hundreds of donors attending the summit, hosted by the conservative billionaires, according to a report from the Washington Post.

Unions and others used the revelation to criticize the governor for the trip, which took place the same time airports nationwide were thrown into chaos that resulted in detentions and deportations for many.

“I don’t care what he says in a speech,” said Dan Montgomery of the Illinois Federation of Teachers emailed to Chicagoist over the weekend. “Actions speak louder than words. He’s not compassionate. He’s not willing to work together. In one of our darkest hours, he’s plotting with billionaires on how to make the rich richer.”

The Democratic Governor’s Association, a political fundraising group, asked where Rauner was while “Illinois spoke out against the president’s actions.”

“While people in Illinois were being detained, Gov. Bruce Rauner was relaxing with fellow millionaires in Palm Springs,” said Jared Leopold. Communications Director for the DGA.“The millions that Rauner is raising for the Koch brothers won’t do much to protect the people of Illinois from Donald Trump.”

Rauner, who supported blocking Syrian refugees from coming to Illinois last year, did not stay silent about Trump’s order, however. In a statement released on Sunday and published by Politico, the Governor’s Office said that he had “serious concerns” and urged their “swift resolution.”

“The governor has been supportive of tightening the vetting process for Syrian refugees because of ISIS attempts to infiltrate refugee flows — but he's opposed to immigration bans that target any specific religion.”

Interestingly enough, the Koch brothers themselves, who have long pushed for a myriad of conservative policies and politicians nationwide, were also unsupportive of the order.

“We believe it is possible to keep Americans safe without excluding people who wish to come here to contribute and pursue a better life for their families,” said Brian Hooks, co-chair of the Koch network, in a statement provided to Time Magazine. “The travel ban is the wrong approach and will likely be counterproductive.”

The exceedingly wealthy brothers and the governor are each expect to spend big money in upcoming elections for Republican candidates. Rauner has already given himself $50 million for the next governor’s race, and the Koch’s plan to spend at least $300 to $400 million on campaigns and policy in the 2018 cycle.