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Rauner accuses union leaders of “bribing” politicians

Thursday, Jan 9, 2014

* Bruce Rauner on WGN Radio today

“The government union bosses, they are bribing politicians to give them unaffordable pensions, free healthcare, outrageous pay and benefits and they’re bankrupting our state government, they’re raising our taxes and they’re forcing businesses out of the state, and as a result we’ve got brutally high unemployment.”

* This is a guy who has used his millions to his own benefit, political and maybe otherwise. For example, he made huge contributions to a Democratic governor and then received a bigtime pension investment deal

Rendell left the meeting buoyant, but confessed to aides he never asked the would-be donor for a set amount. Rendell “just had a feeling,” he told them. A week or so later, the Chicagoan, Bruce Rauner, sent a check for $200,000. Another check, for $100,000, came just before the election. At the time, Rauner’s private-equity firm had business with the state of Pennsylvania. GTCR L.L.C. was managing $110 million in pension funds for the State Employee Retirement System, records show. After Rendell became governor, the state doubled its stake in GTCR funds, to $226 million. That meant at least $4 million more in management fees to the firm.

* He also used his big pile of cash to help pass education reform

Edelman openly bragged about how his group had outfoxed the teachers unions and the Illinois media, and had taken advantage of an opening with House Speaker Michael Madigan to pass his sweeping education reform proposal, which is now state law. His remarks created a huge stir and Edelman has since apologized for his candor, but most of what he said about Illinois politics was quite fascinating and definitely worth a look.

Edelman told the Aspen Institute’s conference participants that wealthy investor Bruce Rauner had approached him about expanding his group’s school reform efforts to Illinois.

* And then there were all the conveniently timed contributions to local political organizations just ahead of slating sessions

State Senator Kirk Dillard released the following statement today regarding the Cook County Republican Party endorsement:

“Today’s endorsement is yet another sad example of Bruce Rauner buying the election. Ask yourself: why would Cook County GOP bosses support Rauner, knowing that he voted democrat, gave millions of dollars to state and national democrats, is a Rahm Emanuel insider, AND hired a convicted Blagojevich insider to win state contracts? There’s only one explanation — the Bruce Rauner money machine was at work again. Only in Illinois would the legitimate concerns of rank-and-file, grassroots Republicans be dismissed so brazenly. Welcome back, pay-to-play!

Not to mention that if the unions had successfully “bribed” politicians here, why did pension reform pass and get signed into law?

I mean, really, he’s fast becoming a bigger drama queen than Joe Walsh.

Seriously, this is the same guy who has pledged to fund a political committee after he’s elected to give money to legislators who are with him.

* The IFT’s president responds…

“We are starting to learn quickly that billionaire Bruce Rauner’s Carhartt jacket not only still has its tags on, but it’s very transparent sheep’s clothing,” said Dan Montgomery, President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers and a high school English teacher of 20 years. “The real Bruce Rauner is a hypocrite who will stop at nothing to enact his right-wing fantasy of cutting the minimum wage by a dollar an hour – including accusing teachers, firefighters, and nurses of illegal activity as he did today. Like any typical politician, he is desperately trying to convince voters that he’s just like you and me, but he crossed a line with this allegation.

“It’s also hard to understand how a guy who makes $25,000 an hour has the audacity to call the $40,000 average salary of a teacher ‘outrageous’ and would cut the income of our most vulnerable citizens by 15%. It’s hateful, it’s hypocritical, and Illinois voters aren’t buying it.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Mason born - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:32 pm:

    It appears that more than drivers are spinning out this week.

  2. - Mouthy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    Who could be worse for Illinois than Brady and Quinn? Rauner.

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    Yeah, those union bosses ruled on pension reform.

    The holidays are over, and so is the pre-season. We’re going to find out soon if Rauner can take a hit.

    He got his bell rung pretty good on minimum wage and seems a little disoriented right now.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    “Bruce Rauner” does not bribe.


    According to “Bruce Rauner”, he and his wife … “advocate” … like for a Denied New Trier Daughter … who was taught … you guessed it … by Chicago Teachers!

    When you “advocate”, like taking a dollar an hour away from those making minumum wage, it’s not a bribe.

    Ethical and Moral people bribe.

    “Bruce Rauner” is neither … ethical or moral… when it comes to clouting, or “advocating” to “pay to play” …

    It’s really a non-story, and “Bruce Rauner” is on the money …oops, I said money …lol

  5. - Federalist - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    Fortunately businesses and individuals never try to bribe politicians. Only unions do that.

  6. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    The rantings about greed coming from probably one of the greediest people on Earth are delusional. Perhaps a mental checkup is in order? Or is he trying to entertain us with lots of belly laughs?

  7. - Norseman - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    Can’t help but think about the old saw - The pot calling the kettle black.

  8. - truth hurts sometimes - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    When Rahmner does it he calls it a “business investment”, not a bribe.

  9. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    By the time this is all over, I think Baron von Carhartt will be pretty beat up. Another words, if he were a punching bag he would need a couple roll of duct tape to seal the rips.

  10. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    =this is the same guy who has pledged to fund a political committee after he’s elected to give money to legislators who are with him. =

    I wonder who will be the first to publicly announce he agrees with…oh wait! lol

  11. - James the Intolerant - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    There was a great Frontline on last night about insider trading, hundreds of millions made on insider information. A few go to jail, the man in charge paid a fine, he was smart enough to have a lot of buffers.

  12. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    So when FarmerBrucey spends it is just a noble investment, but when union officials or anyone else spends it is a “bribe”
    So his “noble investment” in Stu Levine was a step toward better health care.
    No we understand….FarmerBrucey might want to stick to taped messages.

  13. - too obvious - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    The Rauner flame is burning out and no amount of money will save it.

  14. - Bill White - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    Blame the unions?

    Here is a Danziger classic:

  15. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    Rauner rails on union leaders “bribing” public officials while he runs around dumping loads of cash on local GOP organizations in exchange for their endorsement. I guess its only a bribe if it is supporting something Rauner is opposed to.

  16. - Left Leaner - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    Is his 15 seconds of fame up yet? Bored now.

  17. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    It is interesting that prior to the greedy banker/invester caused recession Illinois didn’t have brutally high unemployment. All of the rest of the factors he is stating existed then. Perhaps the real reason for “brutally high unemployment” are greedy schemers like you that found ways to milk & bilk the system, at the exspense of the rest of us.

    “The government union bosses, they are bribing politicians to give them unaffordable pensions, free healthcare, outrageous pay and benefits and they’re bankrupting our state government, they’re raising our taxes and they’re forcing businesses out of the state, and as a result we’ve got brutally high unemployment.”

  18. - foster brooks - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    Thank god for the union boss’s otherwise this clown would have nothing to say. Lol

  19. - skeptical spectacle - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    This is going to be a very fun election cycle to watch. Bruce Rauner is a disruptive force, like him or hate him, and there is nothing more interesting in politics than watching a well funded disrupter take on the establishment.

    Yes sir, I predict this to be one of the most fascinating elections in decades if Rauner makes it to the general.

  20. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    You’d think Rauner would be pro-pension, considering how much money he made off them.

  21. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    Cap Fax, Dec. 6, 2013:

    * Bruce Rauner was asked this week how he would deal with the General Assembly. His response…

    “We’re gonna raise a PAC, we’re gonna raise a fund dedicated to the state Legislature, members of both parties who take the tough votes. We’ve gotta protect the members who take tough votes. –

  22. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    “outrageous pay”

    I resemble that remark, and I will voice my displeasure with Rauner when I casually run into him in Switzerland or the French Riviera. That’s it, no more Learjet pleasantries and small talk at the private airport from me.

  23. - PoolGuy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    skeptical at 2:24pm

    with hundreds of thousands in political contributions over the years to Daley, Rahm, etc., in Pennslyvania for pension work, wouldn’t you say Bruce is part of the “establishment” and pretending to be a disrupter?

  24. - Walter Mitty - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    Skeptical… I agree. I am not saying this is great. But unexpected? Come on. I heard the WGN interview. He said he’s pro union. Against public union bosses. These attacks are coming now to take him out of the primary. If these attacks by the teachers translate to lots of money to another candidate… It’s all white noise. And Alot of the ammo spent. It’s getting interesting. The referendum narrative I keep believing is the path to a win or a big loss. Either way, he’s begun a simple discussion for the electorate..

  25. - Fiercely Independent - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    “The government union bosses, they are bribing politicians to give them unaffordable pensions…

    Has anyone actually identified any of these “union bosses”?

  26. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    Keep talking Bruce! Your blah blah does not match up with your actions. Pathetic.

  27. - PoolGuy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    he’s pro union? really?
    he said last summer that state workers are paid too much, they should be stripped of their bargaining rights, Illinois should be a right to work state, and public sector pensions should be ended and turned into 401-k style plans. how is that pro-union?

  28. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    –and there is nothing more interesting in politics than watching a well funded disrupter take on the establishment. –

    How is Rauner not “establishment?”

  29. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    When you are dropping six-figues to donate to politicians and the end game is to get state work, you are part of the establishment.

    ===watching a well funded disrupter take on the establishment.===

    How did he get “well-funded”?


  30. - Endangered Moderate Species - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 4:10 pm:

    Rauner is a classic example of someone who finds his own faults in others.

  31. - skeptical spectacle - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    good point. he is for some reason part of the establishment (not exactly the same establishment as springfield, but definitely a financial establishment), but now wanting to disrupt it. i don’t quite understand it, and I don’t want to pretend I know what is in his head.

    Rauner is a somewhat ironic disrupter I agree. At first glance it doesn’t make sense. But because of his immense wealth gained in financial establishment, he is a candidate to attempt to disrupt a political one.

    He is unusual, no doubt. Not many like him.

  32. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 4:24 pm:

    - skeptical spectacle -,

    Can’t be a “little pregnant”

    When you make monies, large sums, millions upon millions, of Public Pensions you secure with cozy relationships and donations to Democrats and Republcians to get the work …

    You ARE part of the establishment.

  33. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 4:25 pm:

    This Rauner has been drinking the same kool aid that the Chicago Fop President has been drinking. What a goof. Prove it Bruce.

  34. - PoolGuy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 4:36 pm:

    whether it’s in chicago or springfield, its still part of the same establishment. when you say springfield maybe you mean public sector unions. and bruce is on the other side with corporate interests and big banks. same establishment just opposing sides IMO.

  35. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 4:51 pm:

    –when you say springfield maybe you mean public sector unions. and bruce is on the other side with corporate interests and big banks.–

    Or both sides, when it comes to taking his cut in public pension business.

  36. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 4:55 pm:

    When Rauner gave $150,000 to Daley, what did he get?

  37. - PoolGuy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 5:08 pm:

    touche Word

  38. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 8:06 pm:

    “BRIBing?” You’ve got to be kidding me. Unions may be passionate at times about their viewpoints, but this baseless accusation is just going TOO FAR!! Will someone stick a wad of COTTON maybe in this fella’s mouth before anything WORSE comes out of it as has been the case for the past 24 hours?!

  39. - Toure's Latte - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 4:46 pm:

    Well, it seems that cork ain’t ever going back in…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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