* 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.
Q: Where do you stand on gay marriage? Should Illinois legalize gay marriage?
A: “I guess we’re done.”
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.