* From a press release…
Bruce Rauner’s attempt to shed his out-of-touch billionaire image by touring Southern and Central Illinois is nothing more than a gimmick, according to the Dillard-Tracy team.
“Wearing a Carhartt vest and a cheap watch won’t fool voters in central and downstate Illinois,” State Senator Kirk Dillard said. “Bruce Rauner made over $1 million a week last year, and is apparently so close to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel they vacation together. That’s not someone who understands struggling downstate families.”
“I don’t need a ‘listening tour’ to bring me up to speed,” Dillard said. “I’ve crisscrossed this state hundreds of times, talking to central Illinois farmers and southern Illinois coal miners. They want someone with the experience to get Illinois moving again, and you can’t do that from your 33rd floor penthouse.”
Dillard’s running mate, State Representative Jil Tracy, expressed similar concerns. “I’m a southern Illinois native, whose first job was in Monroe County working for Inland Steel. I understand southern and western Illinois because I’ve spent my entire life living and working with the families of this area. The people of Anna, Mt. Vernon, Oblong, West Frankfort, and Neoga know better than to fall for a Chicago politician.”
The “listening tour” seems designed to distract voters from some of the real issues dogging Rauner in this GOP primary:
• Voted Democrat: Why did Rauner vote Democrat in 2006?
• Democrat Donations: Why Did Rauner contribute hundreds of thousands to state & national Democrats?
• Influence: Why did Rauner hire a convicted Blagojevich influence peddler to get state business?
• Chicago Mayor: How close is Rauner to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel if they vacation together?
“Rauner needs to answer these questions, sooner rather than later,” Campaign Manager Glenn Hodas said. “No fancy bus tour is going to make them go away. People deserve to know if Bruce Rauner is hijacking the Republican Party.”
Dillard and Tracy both noted that they have been working around the state since early last fall and are continuing their travels in advance of the March 18 Republican Primary.
Dillard noted that during his recent Southern Illinois travels he took part in the DuQuoin State Fair parade, the Williamson County GOP dinner, met with Effingham City leaders on economic development, discussed pension reform issues with retired correctional officers in Chester and attended a BBQ fundraiser in Ste. Marie.
Representative Tracy marched in the Murphysboro Apple Festival and Deer Festival in Golconda parades, took part in the SIU Homecoming festivities, met with agricultural and business leaders in Mt. Vernon, and attended GOP fundraisers and party functions in O’Fallon, Olney and West Frankfort.
“It takes a southern Illinois native, or someone like Kirk who spent many summers with his grandparents in rural America, to be able to understand and improve our state’s economic climate and bring jobs back to the region,” Tracy concluded.
If Dillard had the money to get that message out he’d be in much better shape right now. But his campaign is running on financial fumes.
Also, spending summers with your grandparents in rural America makes you “able to understand and improve our state’s economic climate and bring jobs back to the region”? I don’t get it. And doesn’t Rauner constantly brag about spending summers with his grandparents on their farm? If that’s what qualifies you to jump-start the economy, then Rauner is qualified by Dillard’s own goofy measuring stick.