As the keynote speaker at the La Salle County Democrats’ annual dinner, Democratic State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, blasted Gov. Bruce Rauner.
The event at Celebrations 150 on Saturday night drew candidates from the county to the state level. Attendance appeared to be about 350, but not the sold-out crowd from the previous year when Christopher Kennedy, a candidate in the Democratic primary, was the keynote speaker.
Additionally, Democrat of the Year awards — with standing ovations — were presented by La Salle County Democratic Chairwoman Amy Boyles to Rocky Raikes, who retired last year as the La Salle County Democratic chairman after 20 years, and to La Salle County Clerk JoAnn Carretto, who will retire this November after 38 years with the county clerk’s office.
Mendoza told The Times she thinks national politics will spillover into election wins for Illinois Democrats.
“We’re starting to see buyers remorse with Trump,” she said.
“There’s a blue wave coming,” she told the crowd. “I don’t see it yet, but I can feel the mist.”
Rauner, she said, “has a chronic inability to take any responsibility for any wrongdoing. The reality is that for the last 2 1/2 to three years now that he has been in office, he has single-handedly caused five universities in our state to go into deep junk bond territory status because of a lack of investment in the schools.”
Mendoza accused Rauner of having “dismantled our social safety network. Over a million people in the state of Illinois have lost access to necessary and critical services.
"These aren’t people who are takers, these are people who should be able to receive the things government should be there to provide,” she said.
“If government does nothing else right we should make sure our most under-served and vulnerable people have the assistance that they need to thrive,” she said. “When they thrive, the rest of the state thrives as well. Gov. Rauner has pretended those people don’t exist. They don’t exist in his mind.
“What doesn’t exist right now in the governor’s office is a moral compass — it’s completely lacking."