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CAT CEO goes with Rauner, who talks collaboration, dodges gay marriage question

Friday, Jun 7, 2013

* Sen. Kirk Dillard has been counting on people like Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman to back his second gubernatorial bid. But rich guys tend to stick with other rich guys, so Dillard missed out

Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman announced a personal endorsement of venture capitalist Bruce Rauner one day after the GOP candidate entered the gubernatorial race.

The businessmen visited the Caterpillar site in East Peoria before holding a news conference in Two25 Restaurant in Peoria.

“I am here as an individual citizen and taxpayer. It has nothing to do with what I do in my day life or what I do for a living. This is a personal endorsement by Doug Oberhelman,” Oberhelman said.

Oberhelman lauded the political candidate for his high ethical standards, calling Rauner “absolutely incorruptible,” as well as praising his background of supporting education and as a breath of “fresh air” from career politicians.

Oberhelman had been on the Aaron Schock bandwagon because Schock is a local guy. But Schock dropped out, ironically after being pressured by anonymous attacks that many believe were funded by Rauner.

* Speaking of Peoria and Rauner, as mentioned above the new gubernatorial candidate held his first press conference yesterday since announcing his candidacy. He took questions from the local media, and, as you might expect, most of the questions were softballs. But he sounded far more conciliatory than he has in the past. For instance

Q: As a political outsider, how do you plan on working with the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate in light of the gridlock in the last couple of weeks?

A: “Well, I’m a big believer in communication and close communication with everyone in a decision-making position. I look forward to working very closely with Speaker Madigan, President Cullerton, the legislative leaders throughout. We have many problems to solve, and I’ll try to take a collaborative approach. […]

Q: Gov. Pat Quinn has been criticized as being disengaged with the Legislature. How will you work with lawmakers?

A: “I would say Gov. Quinn has done an atrocious job of working with the Legislature. The governorship, again, is powerful, and the governor can lead the negotations and drive results because the governor has leverage points in negotiation that Quinn has never tried to take advantage of.

* He was, however, asked about his tax returns

Q: When do you plan on filing your tax returns?

A: “We’ll have to check the time - somewhere uh, during the race. I think more in the fall probably.”

Keep that promise in mind as we move forward.

* Heh

Q: Where do you stand on gay marriage? Should Illinois legalize gay marriage?

A: “I guess we’re done.”

* Meanwhile

As he announced his run for governor or this week, venture capitalist Bruce Rauner said the best way to deal with the same-sex marriage question is by taking it out of the Legislature and putting the question to voters.

There’s a bit of a problem with going that route, gay rights activists say.

It would, in effect, do nothing.

“The only way there can be a ballot initiative is an advisory referendum, which would not be binding,” said Camilla Taylor, senior staff attorney with Lambda Legal, which has been in the thick of the legal and legislative battles to legalize same sex marriage. “It’s simply a statement of desire on the part of the voters for the Legislature to do something.”

Which puts the matter right back in the Legislature’s ball park.

There is a way to amend the constitution. That too, requires action by the General Assembly.

“The only way to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot is by passing both houses with a 3/5 majority,” Taylor said. If that passed both houses by a supermajority it then would go to voters.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


51 Comments
  1. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:18 am:

    The only way to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot…. Duh!! That is what Rauner is saying. He would support that process. What does it say about the Democrats who HAVE THE POWER TO PASS THE LEGISLATION NOW - IF THEY WANTED TO?? The supporters of SSM don’t want it to go to the voters, they know what would happen. By the way - this “Juggernaut” of SSM has only been passed by 12 out of 50 states. Democracy was a founding tenet of our company. Let the voters speak. If we can vote on whether to make government employees pensions a constitutional obligation - why can’t we vote on SSM??


  2. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:20 am:

    founding tenet of our country. Sorry.


  3. - Knome Sane - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:23 am:

    How does Rauner feel about “district” shopping? That is when an uber-wealthy individual establishes an alternate residence in a different school district to take advantage of an elite prep school for his daughter, who didn’t qualify in the first place. The “Rauner Iniative” includes giving your rolodex a workout to “clout” your unqualified daughter into the elite school by calling in favors or flexing political muscle. All at the expense of another child who did qualify but had to forfeit his/her seat to Rauner’s daughter.


  4. - Knome Sane - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:24 am:

    Jeesh. I meant “initiative”, not “Iniative”. Fat fingers today.


  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:27 am:

    He can’t duck the gay marriage question. I don’t know why he thinks he can.

    The CAT CEO endorsement is kind of a surprise. What does it get Oberhelman, besides being associated with an ant-union hothead?


  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:27 am:

    VoR, that’s not what Rauner is saying. He’s never mentioned a constitutional amendment. Also, an amendment requires three-fifths in both legislative chambers. They can’t even get to a simple majority in the House.


  7. - too obvious - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:31 am:

    First of all, a guy who has made as much money as he has managing Illinois pension funds, and who has given as much money as Rauner has to Democrats, is no “outsider.”

    Second, as Rauner’s handling of the gay marriage issue demonstrates, he’s not ready for prime time.


  8. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:32 am:

    I need to get on this Rauner consultant gravy train, those guys are phoning it in and cleaning up. Seriously, you don’t get to the big chair by dodging questions, pick a lane and put that big money to work.


  9. - too obvious - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:33 am:

    BTW, there was a conservative led attempt to place an advisory referendum on gay marriage on the ballot in 2006. It failed to get on the ballot but was a serious attempt. Rauner was nowhere to be found.


  10. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:42 am:

    ==why can’t we vote on SSM==

    You don’t get to vote on issues of equality, nor should you. This isn’t a direct democracy. You don’t get to go to the polls every time a decision needs to be made. That is a founding tenet of our country. You apparently need a lesson in it. If people want to continue to be bigots and anti-gay then they have every right to do so. What they don’t have a right to do is use that bigotry to justify making others second class citizens. You are hardly the “Voice of Reason.”

    Oh, and apparently you can divine what Rauner is thinking since he hasn’t provided any sort of comment on the subject.


  11. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:44 am:

    Rauner had a banner ad on Drudge today that said he would fight the “Quinn-Madigan Machine.” Thus proving he’s too dumb to be governor.


  12. - Nick - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:44 am:

    === Also, an amendment requires three-fifths in both legislative chambers. They can’t even get to a simple majority in the House.===

    An amendment might actually be easier to get through the legislature. Instead of continuing to push for SB10, Rep. Harris could try to convince the more socially conservative legislators that having SSM on a general election ballot would benefit them.


  13. - dazed & confused - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:45 am:

    “Absolutely incorruptible”??? Obviously Mr. Oberhelmen has not read Crains and other reports about Rauner clouting his kid into a certain Chicago school, claiming multiple homestead exemptions, hiring Stu Levine, and giving the Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell a cool $200,000 contribution and then seeing his company’s state contract jumps by tens of millions of dollars.

    Mr. Oberhelmen either doesn’t know or doesn’t care.


  14. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:49 am:

    Rich: Rauner said, Let the voter’s decide.” Who’s fault is it that “they can’t get a simple majority in the House??” Certainly not Rauner or the Republicans.

    Wordslinger: “What good does it do Rauner to comment on an issue he CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT?? We have a Democratic Gov.& Democrtaic super-majorities in both chambers. THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO ACT UNILATERALLY. The Republicans can’t pass legislation if they wanted to. You are asking the wrong person.


  15. - Meanderthal - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:50 am:

    Proponents of same sex marraige shouldn’t care one iota what Rauner thinks about the issue. Not when the Democrats and their supermajority in the House are the real problem.


  16. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:52 am:

    Its too bad Rauner couldn’t have used some of his secret pac money to fund more house gop support for the ssm bill so he could have successfully dodged the question for 2014. Would have been a win-win.


  17. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:53 am:

    For crying out loud, a real Voice of Reason would not need the hysterical CAPS all the time.


  18. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    ===What good does it do Rauner to comment on an issue he CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT?? ===

    So, he shouldn’t comment on any state issues then? Nothing on the income tax? Nothing on pensions? Nothing at all?

    Stop making excuses.


  19. - Whatever - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:55 am:

    Does Dillard consider this a “traditional” endorsement?


  20. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:55 am:

    - What good does it do Rauner to comment on an issue he CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT? -

    Well, if he becomes governor before marriage equality becomes law, he certainly could do something about it. It would be nice to know what that would be.

    Might change your handle to voice of excuses, it would make much more sense.


  21. - Chi - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:56 am:

    True that Dems can’t get their act together on marriage equality. But assuming Rauner becomes governor, when marriage equality passes, he will have the chance to veto, which makes his view on the issue obviously relevant.
    The GOP loves dodging questions they don’t have answers for by saying “Dems are in power!”. That’s not an argument for putting the GOP in power.


  22. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 9:57 am:

    @dazed and confused - I vote the cat ceo doesn’t care. He’s just too psyched at the prospect of having an IL gov who would sign rtw even if there is no legislature to get that bill to his desk. Of course cat knows better than anyone that you don’t need rtw bills to bust unions nowadays.


  23. - Wensicia - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 10:09 am:

    “After the interview, a Rauner spokesperson said Rauner believes a statewide voter referendum should be held before the Legislature should pass a same-sex marriage bill. Asked if Rauner would push a same-sex marriage bill if voters supported it, the spokesperson said Rauner feels it’s not an issue he should involve himself with.”

    If it’s not an issue he’ll address or involve himself with, he has no business suggesting a voter referendum he’d most likely ignore.

    Sooner or later, he’s gonna have to take a side.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 10:15 am:

    I go to hit a bucket of golf balls and all this happens! (no snark)

    - Voice of Reason -

    Isn’t Rauner the candidate who is going to clean up Springfield, take no prisoners, etc, … and yet…

    Rauner can’t answer actual questions pertaining to Illinois issues? Furhter, who, in their …”rollout” tell the Press,

    “I guess we’re done.”

    Dope!!!

    This Rauner campaign can’t get a “fly-around” because they are not even close to organized, have no platform for those wanting to support Rauner to rally around, and Ruaner is afraid of the Press, his Clouting of his Daughter into Payton Prep, and the idea that all his pension and statewide “turnarounds” are goig to be seen as they are; unconstitutional, but catchy in a phrase!

    Rauner is not even close to be ready for Prime-Time.

    Finally, and this is going to be my favorite to follow; Tax returns.

    Where are those tax returns? What address are we using for those tax returns, Chicago, Winnetka, Wisconsin, Idaho … or “O Canada”?

    I will leave it there for now.


  25. - John Bambenek - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    We don’t have binding referenda, true, but that doesn’t mean the Legislature couldn’t pass a bill that says put the question to voters and if they say yes then law takes effect. It isn’t like they’ve never amended the Election Code, guys.

    It would be a very easy thing to do as far as the law is concerned.

    Now passing that law, another story of course, but it isn’t like there is a blanket prohibition against the ILGA putting questions on the ballot and making them mean something.


  26. - wishbone - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 10:22 am:

    “founding tenet of our country. Sorry.”

    Dr. Freud understands.


  27. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 10:30 am:

    ==Not when the Democrats and their supermajority in the House are the real problem.==

    This isn’t necessarily a partisan issue. When are some of you going to stop giving Republicans a pass? The real problem with this issue are legislators who don’t have the guts to do the right thing. It’s clear that this needs Republicans in order to pass. Stop with the constant whining and blame game. Participate or go home. I’m tired of this crap about Republicans not having to do anything. Go home if you want to whine about it.


  28. - votecounter - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 10:32 am:

    Whats good for the goose…The opponents of SSM spent a summer a couple of years ago collecting signatures from every county in Illinois. They raised the money and found volunteers to do it to try to get it on the ballot. The powers that be got lawyers to knock signatures off and the issue never got on the ballot. It was going to be nonbinding too but they did it. I believe they collected 350,000 signatures and had to follow some pretty difficult rules and in the end were not successful but they did it. If the GLBT community thinks this issue is as popular as they insinuate go to it.


  29. - AFSCME Steward - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 10:34 am:

    This is a great way of opposing SSM without saying so. Advocating a solution that would result in nothing happening is the same as opposing, without all the fallout.

    “As he announced his run for governor or this week, venture capitalist Bruce Rauner said the best way to deal with the same-sex marriage question is by taking it out of the Legislature and putting the question to voters.

    There’s a bit of a problem with going that route, gay rights activists say.

    It would, in effect, do nothing.”


  30. - Anyone Remember? - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 10:38 am:

    Any word on whether he still plans to “break the law” (i.e., repudiate union contracts)?


  31. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 10:45 am:

    ===Rep. Harris could try to convince the more socially conservative legislators that having SSM on a general election ballot would benefit them. ===

    LOL

    And my street might finally get paved, too.


  32. - warhed - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 10:48 am:

    Rauner is not ready for prime time? But quinn, blago and others were, huh? Give me a not ready for prime time player anytime!


  33. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    Payton Prep Clouter, Bruce Rauner, wants California Ballot Initiatives, Wisconsin’s Union/shutdown the state style Constitution, and Indiana’s Business Climate…

    “PPC”, Bruce Rauner IS running in Illinois…”right”?


  34. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 11:02 am:

    - Small Town Liberal -,

    Please see - Arthur Andersen -, as we are “forming” our Con$ulting Firm with - wordslinger -, and if we can charge, um, I mean, “offer” more to “PPC”, we can make this a “win-win” (throwing in tired business term to sound good to “PPC”)


  35. - ArchPundit - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 11:17 am:

    === As a political outsider, how do you plan on working with the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate in light of the gridlock in the last couple of weeks?

    Political Outsider doesn’t mean what the reporter thinks it means.


  36. - walkinfool - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 11:31 am:

    I would expect him to dodge this issue at this point in the campaign — especially if he’s OK with SSM. It wouldn’t help him with the primary. It could in the general.

    Big corporate and finance mostly live in a different political culture.


  37. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 11:42 am:

    Did anyone ask BigCAT how much the company will give CousinBrucey 501(C)(4)’s ?
    Maybe on the next trip


  38. - Not in the Know - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    Stop making excuses??? Someone please tell that to the Super-majority who seems to be getting a pass on this.


  39. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    ===Someone please tell that to the Super-majority who seems to be getting a pass on this.===

    Perhaps you missed all that coverage of the black caucus reluctance both before and after the vote? Did you sleep through it? Hello? Anyone home? Can you hear me now?


  40. - Not in the Know - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    Republican candidate gets thrown to the wolves on social issues, every time. The media falls in love with this exchange and strings it out as long as they can. Black caucus and coverage? I truly don’t see the ‘coverage’ being equal and balance, especially when Blago was in office with regards to this very issue. Perhaps I wasn’t home…out at the bars too much.


  41. - Tim Snopes - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 12:30 pm:

    Oberhelman has proven himself to be a political klutz on numerous occasions. His staff shudders when he opines about political matters. If you are a UAW employee earning your paycheck from CAT, it’s got to make you feel good to be contributing to the O’s wealth.


  42. - Nice Kid - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 12:32 pm:

    He is a big believer in communication unless it entails answering a direct question. Too funny. Maybe he thinks this thing will go away.


  43. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 12:33 pm:

    I don’t like defending super-rich guys, but I don’t envy Rauner with respect to gay marriage. If he wants to win the general he needs to support it. If he wants to win the GOP primary in a crowded field, he can’t support it.


  44. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 12:34 pm:

    Its throwing Bruce to the wolves to just ask him what his position is? GMAB.


  45. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 1:24 pm:

    To quote @DanL60 yesterday:

    “I share Meanderthals concerns for the more important issues. I insist that all campaign discussion be centered exclusively around SSM until further notice. The future of our state depends on this one issue.”


  46. - If the GOP chooses Dillard - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 2:23 pm:

    they will lose , again. And they would deserve it.

    Dillard sponsored and pushed through the NPV legislation and that PROVES he is steadfastly against the republican form of government. He wants the very same thing that put Quinn in office to put a president in office. Likely he thinks he’s the next two or three county governor.

    Dillard should be honest with himself and the rest of the state and just run as a democrat. That’s what he IS after all.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 2:29 pm:

    “Dillard is a RINO, we only agree 84% of the time, and if he doesn’t pass this Litmus Test, run as a Democrat, you RINO Dillard.”

    Yikes!

    Dillard, ===…just run as a Democrat.===

    Slytherin House Republicans…Unite!


  48. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 2:35 pm:

    - He wants the very same thing that put Quinn in office to put a president in office. -

    You mean voters, rather than cornfields?

    Sheesh, what a freakin’ commie.


  49. - Samurai - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 3:27 pm:

    ==Dillard should … [should] just run as a democrat==

    Dillard is a conservative republican on economic issues and most social issues; he just happens to be more attractive to moderates and independents. He is the type of candidate that can win the general election. I think he knows that the important issues confronting this state economic such as the budget, education and healthcare. Social issues are not a pressing concern for most Illinois residents and would not be in a Dillard administration. Edgar and Thompson were both understood what it took to govern this state and Dillard learned from them both.


  50. - Samurai - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 3:28 pm:

    Sorry for the redundant “should”.. Need more coffee.


  51. - dupage dan - Friday, Jun 7, 13 @ 3:29 pm:

    I agree with “Not in the Know @ 12:03 pm. I was listening to what some would call conservative radio and Rauner was being interviewed and the show host was relentless on the SSM/social issues bit. Other hosts for different time slots were playing part of the interview and making the same clucking comments. Rauner kept saying that his view is not important and that he would accept the results of a referendum. I don’t know if the guy knows that there is no binding referendum in Illinois or not. His point seemed to be that he wasn’t going to focus on social issues - much like what folks are urging GOP candidates to do - and he gets hammered, by “conservative talk radio” (or what passes for it in Chicago). John and Amy are a total joke. P!$$ poor crud.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * Quote of the day: Friday, Dec. 19, 2014
        * Quinn calls legislature back to Springfield to approve special election to replace Topinka
        * Audit: DCFS loses track of runaways
        * Audit: Illinois fails to monitor runaway kids
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Schmidt considers challenging Sgro for park board president
        * Brian Sauder: Faithful decisions for the holidays
        * Eugene Robinson: The price of being hacked


        * St. Charles students expelled after computer hack
        * Stephen Colbert retires his 'Report' and the host he played
        * 8 children killed, mother stabbed, in Australia
        * Theater shooter's parents plead for his life
        * East St. Louis youths learn respect for law enforcement
        * A change in weather ahead for Christmas Week
        * Illinois jobless rate falls to 6.4 percent
        * Illini scrapbook: Harry Combes and the slush fund
        * Daily Digest 12/19/14
        * Let's talk bowl games


        * Opinion: Notre Dame police subject to records law
        * Orlando hosts NYC March 8 in opener for MLS expansion teams
        * Parity abounds among women's hoops elite
        * National Football League
        * National Hockey League

        * 14th Congressional District: Randy Hultgre...
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        * Randy Hultgren, Candidate for U.S. Congres...
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        * How did your congressman vote on keeping t...
        * House approves $1.1 trillion government sp...
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        * Searching for local health care solutions ...

        * Durbin backs federal budget despite 'odiou......
        * Durbin on Cuba Relations...

        * GOP senator wants 'The Interview' shown at......
        * Sen. Kirk suggests raising campaign money ......

        * A Very Angry Bears Fan Christmas
        * City of Chicago releases youth violence report. Recommends more spending.
        * Durbin to GOP: Get Cruz under control
        * Government labor unions file lawsuit to stop Chicago pension overhaul
        * Illinois Watchdog Radio - Live on IR
        * Republican analysis calls for Rauner to pick new state comptroller for 4 year term
        * Crain’s Business slow pitches a snowball in hell.
        * An Illinois constitutional crisis. Who will keep an eye on our cemeteries?
        * DNA Info: Residents Rip CPS' Rejection of Private School's Offer To Buy Vacant School
        * The Joke Is On The #Bears


        * Governor Quinn Calls Legislative Special Session - Governor Urges Legislature to Set Up 2016 Special Election for Comptroller
        * Governor Quinn Announces Illinois’ Unemployment Rate Hits New Low - Illinois’ Economic Comeback Continues; Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Level in More than Six Years
        * Illinois Ranks #1 in Volunteer Rate Among the Country’s 8 Largest States - 2.57 Million Illinoisans Give $7.2 Billion in Service
        * Law Enforcement, IDOT Make Final Push to Save Lives in 2014, Roadside Safety Checks Planned Over Holidays - New Episode of “The Driving Dead” Premieres Friday as Holiday Travelers are Reminded to Drive Sober and Buckle Up
        * Department of Insurance Announces Two Convictions Resulting from its Workers’ Compensation Fraud Investigations - Former Crystal Lake Police Officer and Former Business Owner Convicted




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