In Politics You’re Only As Good As Your Word

Following Governor Bruce Rauner’s decision today to sign HB 40 after promising House and Senate Republicans, faith-based groups and other Illinois conservatives that he would veto it, State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) issued the following comments:

“I want to talk today about the glue that binds us together as honorable men and women, in business, in marriage and in life. I want to talk today about trust.

As I went through law school and entered the practice of law, it was constantly hammered into me that a lawyer’s word is his bond. Say what you will about the profession, but in my 35 years of practice, I’ve never had a reason to doubt another lawyer’s word.

As I entered the General Assembly, I was told that if I ever broke my word to a fellow member, regardless of party, I would never get a second chance to redeem myself.

To change one’s mind on an issue is not a sin, so long as the reason for change is honestly held and is clearly communicated to those to whom you’ve given your word. There are a million clichés about change; there are many reasons why changing one’s mind about this position or that is valid. Political expediency is not one of them.

Bruce Rauner looked us in the eye in April and said that he would veto HB 40, the bill which grants public funding for abortion in Illinois. Today, he spat in our eye. His decision to sign that bill is a betrayal fueled by political expediency and nothing more. Any trust which he may have earned on this issue or any other is gone.

I guess this day has been a long time coming. We saw it with the staff purge in July. Since he’s been Governor, he’s treated the General Assembly like employees of a company he just bought whom he wouldn’t have hired in the first place if he’d had the chance. The only difference is that he can’t fire us.

With all the issues facing Illinois, we need strong leadership now more than ever. Sticking a finger in the air to see which way the political wind is blowing is not leadership.

If the Governor wants to defend his decision to sign HB 40 in this District, or anything else for that matter, he can come up here and do it himself.”