After Ruling, Unions Seek Revenge on Illinois Governor

The blockbuster Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court decision handed down Wednesday is already shaping Bruce Rauner’s legacy as Illinois governor. But it also threatens to end his political career.

The blockbuster Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court decision handed down Wednesday is already shaping Bruce Rauner’s legacy as Illinois governor. But it also threatens to end his political career.

From the time Rauner first announced he would pursue the 2015 case that could financially cripple public sector unions — he was ultimately removed as a plaintiff by a judge for lack of standing — organized labor here has been on high alert.

Now, in the wake of the high court ruling stemming from that policy, Illinois unions — public and private — are committed to doing whatever it takes to send Rauner packing in November. And they say they’re more unified and strategically coordinated than ever.

Unions already stepped up political fundraising efforts and in anticipation of an unfavorable ruling, worked to increase recruitment and lock down membership, which stands at more than 628,000 in the Illinois public sector alone.

But this week, they delivered a far more strategic blow: helping to secure the candidacy of a viable third party gubernatorial candidate who will challenge Rauner from the right in November.

Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's senior web editor.
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