* I thought this was a rather odd story when I first saw a Bruce Rauner opposition research report a few weeks ago…
Last week, the Daily Herald ran an interesting piece about how Mr. Rauner improperly had claimed homestead exemptions on three separate residences. The law says you’re supposed to get the tax break on only one residence, but Mr. Rauner for several years declared it on a Winnetka home, and on a Chicago penthouse and a condo located in the same building. […]
“Englander said Thursday that the Winnetka address is currently Rauner’s primary residence,” the Herald reported.
However, since October 2008, Mr. Rauner’s legal voting residence has been at 340 E. Randolph St. in Chicago. And, according to Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen, the law is clear: ‘You should register at your primary residence.” The courts have upheld that standard many times, he said.
So, where does Mr. Rauner live? In Chicago, where he votes, or in Winnetka, where he gets the tax break and where his wife, Diana Rauner, is registered to vote?
Mr. Rauner’s new spokesman, Mike Schrimpf, tries to blow off the whole matter as just a little unmeaningful detail.
“The Rauners have long owned a home in Winnetka, raised their children there and continue to cherish their ties to the community,” he said in a statement, “but Bruce also has worked in Chicago for years, spent a great deal of time there and been deeply involved in improving the city. Consequently, Bruce registered to vote there after purchasing an apartment in the city while Diana continues to vote in Winnetka.”
* The oppo was partially about his wife, so I took a pass. Maybe I shouldn’t have, because Greg Hinz kept digging and discovered something far more interesting…
I’ve heard of people doing almost anything to get their kid into Walter Payton College Prep High School. Whatever might work, I’m sure someone would try. […]
According to multiple sources at Chicago Public Schools, Mr. Rauner in 2008 picked up the phone and called Mr. Duncan on behalf of his daughter, who was trying to get into Payton. […]
As it turns out, in establishing residence in the city, Mr. Rauner also established the right of his daughter to attend a Chicago public school. But not just any school. She could have gone to New Trier, since mom still lived in Winnetka and New Trier is pretty highly rated itself. But Payton is rated better. […]
Moreover, another source with direct knowledge confirms that Ms. Rauner was not admitted to Payton via the normal best-score route, but by way of a supplemental, alternate procedure.
So, Rauner buys a condo in the city and establishes residency by registering to vote, falsely claims homestead exemptions on that condo and other homes, claims to the media that he bought the condo because he was “deeply involved in improving the city,” but conveniently fails to mention that he used the residence to help clout his kid into Payton.
* Look, I have no real problems with a parent doing all he legally can to get his kid into the best public school in the Chicago area. You gotta do what you gotta do.
What bugs me is that Rauner always talks about himself like he’s some outsider, just one of us, a regular guy in an inexpensive suit who really, truly believes that Illinois must be reformed. From Rauner’s Twitter feed…
Yep. He’s a reformer alright. Gonna clean up this state. As long as it’s everybody else who gets reformed.