Politico: Blue-State Executive to GOP, Vote Amnesty or No Donations

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

A GOP business donor from the high-immigration, Democrat-dominated state of Illinois is threatening to defund GOP legislators who do not support an amnesty which will deliver many more future Democratic voters into their districts.

John Rowe, the former chairman of Exelon Corporation, is “blackmailing them to commit political suicide,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies. She added Rowe is:

An identity-politics capitalist … the epitome of a Country Club Republican who uses immigration to bring in servants for his lifestyle, despite the effects on ordinary Americans, and who is completely insulated from the negative effects.

Politico quoted Rowe threat to deny funds to GOP legislators who do not sign the discharge petition which will create an amnesty for at least 2 million DACA migrants, plus many of their chain-migration relatives:

“Every member of the Illinois delegation knows this is one of the most important issues facing them and it determines how much money I’m giving them,” said Rowe, who heads a pro-immigrant business group in Illinois. This is the home state of Abraham Lincoln. We’re betraying our entire heritage if we don’t get this done.”

“In truth, we may not be a huge number of people, but in terms of being reliable, active donors, we’re people who give every year to candidates,” Rowe said.

While attending a recent fundraiser for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Rowe said he was direct with the Louisiana congressman: “There’s a whole bunch of Republicans like me who simply aren’t going to keep giving money if you don’t get an immigration bill done.”

Rowe’s open threat exposes the cheap-labor lobby that dominates the GOP’s donor class and also helps to explain why so many populist voters walked away from Rowe’s preferred candidates in 2016. Those voters left Rowe’s preferred candidate — Jeb Bush — and instead rallied around Donald Trump’s pro-American promise of less immigration and higher wages. That promise delivered a massive blue-collar gain for Trump and many GOP legislators — including California’s Jeff Denham who now is pushing for an amnesty.

Many in the GOP’s donor class strongly opposes Donald Trump’s low-immigration/high-wage policies and are using the discharge-petition amnesty to block Trump’s reforms. For example, the huge Congressional Leadership Fund is backing 11 of the 16 GOP candidates who had signed the petition by May 23. Five additional signers are not running or have resigned. Fundraising for the CLF fund is supported by House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Rowe’s identity-politics views allow him to believe Americans ignore their economic interests and supposedly prefer to vote for politicians who flatter their skin color or ethnic heritage, said Vaughan. In August 2016, the Associated Press published Rowe’s identity-politics misunderstanding of Donald Trump’s pro-American and populist campaign:

“He’s learned painfully, belatedly, that what stirs up a large part of the Republican primary electorate is not what wins general elections,” said John Rowe, a GOP donor and former CEO of Exelon, who is planning to vote for libertarian Gary Johnson. “You cannot win without women, Asians, Latinos, African Americans.”

In fact, Trump won because most Americans voted their wallet — giving him a high share of blacks, Latinos, and women. Rowe “has drunk the cool aid of this disproven [identity politics] theory that Republicans need to push for mass immigration for political survival — the exact theory that was disproved by Trump,” Vaughan said.

Rowe’s identity politics match his repeated demands for large-scale immigration to allow employers to hire a wide variety of cheap foreign workers instead of middle-class Americans. In 2014, for example, the Daily Caller reported:

Companies should be allowed to swiftly hire foreign professionalsand blue-collar workers for jobs in hospitals, universities and power-grid companies, according to John Rowe, a co-chair of panel at the Chicago council that is pushing for increased immigration.

“We need a more open and faster way of allowing people to get permits to come here,” said Rowe, a former chairman and CEO of Exelon Corp., a huge Chicago-based power-generation company that operates nuclear reactors.

“Different businesses want different kinds of people. A restaurant may want waiters and cooks, a hospital wants nurses and doctors, a university wants physicists, a business like Exelon needs more engineers,” Rowe told an interviewer on Chicago Tonight last February.

Rowe supported President George W. Bush’s amnesty push in 2007, and he supported President Barack Obama’s “Gang of Eight” amnesty-and-cheap-labor legislation in 2013


President Bush is introduced by John Rowe, Chairman, President, and CEO of Exelon Corporation, May 24, 2006, in Limerick, Pa.

In February 2016, GOP primary, Rowe backed the cheap-labor policies pushed by Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio. Both were quickly defeated by Trump’s blue-collar voters:

Rowe, a devotee to “the so-called establishment” said his heart moves to Ohio Gov. John Kasich but his head goes to Rubio, whom he described as “smart, young and seems to fit what people are after.”

Rowe said he would likely contribute to Rubio’s campaign and an outside group supporting him, which by law can take unlimited dollars, unlike campaigns which are held to contribution limits.

“I expect at some point I will write a $25,000 check,” Rowe said. “I’d like to wait a week or two, but my friends who are for Rubio say it’s more pressing than that.”

The Chicago Tribune posted a profile of Rowe in 2011, based on an interview and photoshoot in his skyscraper corner office:

As commuters bustled away from downtown on a recent Friday evening, Chicago’s skyscrapers turned to silhouette, framed by an orange autumn sunset.

But that wasn’t the view that made John Rowe linger. From his office on the 54th floor of Chase Tower downtown, the 66-year-old Exelon Corp. chief waited, before a commanding view of the skyline, for the dawning of his lights, those powered by Commonwealth Edison.

“When you fly into Chicago at night and you see those lights that go on and on and on, you just get the shivers,” he said, dressed impeccably in a suit and carefully chosen tie, his cuff links outfitted from two Athenian tetradrachm, the silver currency of ancient Greece.

The article made sure to highlight Rowe’s lobbying campaign for climate-change regulation, which helped raise the value of his company’s nuclear-powered energy plants.

Rowe’s brazen effort to buy political support for damaging and unpopular policies  “is the kind of spectacle that is disgusting to Americans,” said Vaughan, adding:

It is a perfect illustration of who it is that wants amnesty and ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ and more and more immigration. This guy is openly trying to buy votes for an amnesty that is contrary to the [economic and civic] interest of Americans and is bad public policy, and he’s trying to blackmail members of Congress by threatening to withhold support from them if they don’t sign on to this damaging discharge.

Rowe can profit from the cheap labor and flee from the social damage his mass-immigration policies cause to Americans, she said. “The winners are the donor class, and immigrants and the losers are Americans who have to foot the bill and compete for opportunities,” she said, adding:

This guy can jet off to wherever he wants to escape from the disastrous policies that he’s blackmailing peope to take … He’s completely insulated from the effect of the policies that he’s demanding.

Rowe gets his power “because too many members of Congress are addicted to the money, and they think with their campaign chest … rather than political instincts,” said Vaughan. In turn, Rowe’s identity-politics capitalism, she said,

has failed many politicians, such as [Senator] Marco Rubio. Republicans buy into this and they are usually darling of the establishment media when they are running against other Republicans, but if they get through their primary, the establishment media drops the, like a hot potato … their identity politics get them nowhere.

Amnesty advocates rely on business-funded “Nation of Immigrants” push-polls to show apparent voter support for immigration and immigrants.

But “choice” polls reveal most voters’ often-ignored preference that CEOs should hire Americans at decent wages before hiring migrants. Those Americans include many blue-collar Blacks, Latinos, and people who hide their opinions from pollsters. Similarly, the 2018 polls show that GOP voters are far more concerned about migration — more properly, the economics of migration — than they are concerned about illegal migration and MS-13, taxes, or the return of Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Trump’s policies are delivering higher wages and overtime to many employees, including African-American bakers in Chicago, Latino restaurant workers in Monterey, Calif., disabled people in Missouri, high schoolers,  resort workers in Hilton Head, the construction industry, Superbowl workers, the garment industry, and workers at small businesses, and even Warren Buffett’s railroad workers.

In turn, poll ratings for Trump and the GOP are climbing upwards before the elections. If the GOP embraces Rowe’s cheap-labor identity politics, said Vaughan, “it will come back to haunt them in November …  that is why blackmail is a bad thing.”

Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.

The Washington-imposed economic policy of mass-immigration floods the market with foreign laborspikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate priceswidens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.



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