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Rauner attempts to fend off attacks over nursing home abuse

Friday, Feb 21, 2014

* Carol Marin took a look at the allegations against Bruce Rauner of nursing home resident abuse

Arlene Townsend’s family said she fell 18 times over 6 years at the same nursing home, the last time in 2007 resulting in her death.
92-year-old Elvira Nunziata died after falling down the stairs in her wheelchair at another nursing facility in 2004. A Florida newspaper reported no one knew she was missing for almost an hour.

In January, Rauner was asked about the deaths and financial judgments. “The attacks, we will have plenty of time to talk about them, there’s no there, there,” he said. When asked if his firm was culpable for the jury verdicts, Rauner replied no.

At the time of the deaths of Elvira Nunziata and Arlene Townsend, Rauner’s company, THI, had ended its relationship with the nursing homes.

But attorneys representing the three families contend in this lawsuit filed in January that not only THI, but GTCR should have to pay the financial judgments regardless of the timing of the deaths.

The family’s attorney Isaac Ruiz-Carus.

“It was an enterprise, a conglomerate of companies that,” said attorney Isaac Ruiz-Carus, who represents the three families, adding the companies, “Short-staffed it. Under-budgeted it. As a result the nursing home residents were suffering.

In a statement the Rauner campaign called the allegations completely false and said “Pat Quinn, the Democratic Governor’s Association and the government union bosses behind this ad should be ashamed.”

Rauner declined to speak to NBC 5 on camera.

In the end Rauner’s GTCR lost $60 million in the nursing home business according to a court document.

Video is here.

…Adding… Here’s the more easily embeddable YouTube version

* Rauner’s campaign already has a new ad up responding to the latest union-backed nursing home TV spot. Rate it

* But Sen. Bill Brady’s campaign is demanding answers. Press release…

BRADY DEMANDS ANSWERS FROM RAUNER ON NURSING HOMES ABUSE AND NEGLIGENCE

Senator Bill Brady, Republican candidate for Governor, tonight demanded that Bruce Rauner come clean on questions about his role in nursing homes where patients allegedly suffered abuse and neglect that led to their death.

“Tonight we again saw more of the same from Mr. Rauner in declining to answer questions about the tragic circumstances in nursing homes owned by companies in which he had a substantial financial interest. It’s more of a pattern, whether it’s nursing homes, Arne Duncan, Stuart Levine, Ed Rendell, or accounting fraud at a Michigan firm, and it’s time for him to answer the questions, “ Brady said.

“He’s trying to earn the support of Illinois voters in the primary less than four weeks from now, and his not me, don’t remember, didn’t know, didn’t have anything to do with it brush-offs are a disservice to all Illinois citizens.”

“The voters deserve transparency from people who want to be their governor, and they certainly deserve the truth,” Brady said.

“What’s the truth, Bruce?”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


116 Comments
  1. - Bill White - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    Rauner is the guy who wants to run the Illinois Medicaid program “like a business”


  2. - CicrcularFiringSquad - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    Mitt Rauner will have a tough time with the “Killing Grandma” scandal that others issues —clout daughter, accounting fraud, stu Levine, etc., etc.
    Everyone knows biz guys hustle for every buck they can grab…as opposed to union bosses who just dump millions on pols and get no show jobs (NOT), but killing Grnadma is just a little too much.
    How will FarmerBrucey shake this one up?


  3. - Downstater - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    Nursing home abuse? Please. Anytime you put people in nursing homes they are going to fall or there are going to be accidents. My father was in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s and fell numerous times. There was no abuse. What a misleading and biased headline.


  4. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    If Rauner leads among senior citizens in the GOP Primary. This needs to be hit over and over again, until that’s all they can think about when it’s time to mark their ballot.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    The “race” to see which Bruce Rauner gets defined is being joined by Bill Brady now.

    “Bruce Rauner” is starting the long final lap, the education of the real Bruce Rauner is now off the blocks, looking at the first straight away.

    It’s not Brady, or Dillard, or even Rutherford. The monies and the silence is the race, with a mere 10% negatives against “Bruce Rauner”. Just wow, given the hypocrisy of how Bruce Rauner lives, makes money, makes family decisions, and rails on those who make his monetary success a reality.

    “Bruce Rauner” is at 10% negatives. Will the real Bruce Rauner sink the watch, the Carhartt, the Ads, the money…

    Will GOTV and “education” finally be used? Tick tock… tick tock.


  6. - RNUG - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    This is the issue that is going to resonate downstate and with seniors statewide. The fact that Rauner is defending against it tells you the attack is hitting home.


  7. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    ===What a misleading and biased headline.===

    Bite me.

    He’s fending off attacks about nursing home abuse. It’s a completely factual headline.


  8. - Bill White - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:40 am:

    How many of the GTCR nursing homes had patients who were on government assistance?

    Just as Rauner made money milking the investment side of union pensions, it appears he made money by taking in government checks and then cutting back on the services that were provided in exchange for those checks.


  9. - truth hurts sometimes - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:40 am:

    Rauner ad quoting from the Orland Park Prairie?!?

    Never heard of that media giant.

    Did Bruce just buy it?


  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:40 am:

    ===The fact that Rauner is defending against it tells you the attack is hitting home. ===

    He responds to everything, which is what a good campaign does.


  11. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    ===Did Bruce just buy it? ===

    That’s Jack Ryan’s newspaper.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    - Downstater -,

    How flippant you are.

    Families who have/had loved ones in the care of Nursing Homes know all too well there are “accidents” and abuses. If you feel the need to arbitrarily throw all in one side or the other, and you choose the ” Meh, it happens…”, you will lose credibility real fast with so many. Very disappointing and sad is you comment.

    Don’t tell me I need to understand.

    I. Do.


  13. - Jake From Elwood - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    How many dots do you have to connect between Rauner’s corporate interests buying a nursing home business to the individual treatment given to some nursing home patients? Bruce Almighty is not emptying bed pans or walking elderly patients down the hall, is he? Too flimsy of a connection to stick IMHO.


  14. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    Interesting. Rauner’s crew just put a new, nursing home front end on the response to the Stu Levine/Blago spot.

    In reality, in this spot, Rauner, himself, is not even responding to the nursing home allegations. He’s talking about Stu Levine/Blago.

    Never seen a one-size “I’m being attacked” response spot before, lol.

    I guess it’s “case-closed” when Champion News and the Orland Park free penny-saver weigh-in.

    Judging from Brady’s release, I doubt the other candidates will see it that way.


  15. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    ==Nursing home abuse? Please.==

    If you have read previous stories on this, you know that the allegations have to do with patterns of how the nursing homes were operated which then resulted in greater than the expected number of injuries to the residents because of understaffing.

    This gets to the heart of the Rauner campaign. IF we are to buy into his pledge that he will run the State like he has run his businesses AND he then says he did not know how his businesses were being run THEN what are we to conclude about how he will run the state?


  16. - Governor Danger - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    Money and support from just about anyone is justified in order to counter the one-sided republican primary that Rauner has been able to run.

    While we all know money wins elections, it is still disheartening witnessing the wholesale assault by Rauner buying the primary. Unimpeded by any meaningful opposition, Rauner has freely defined himself as the businessman “outsider” with Carhartt jacket and cheap watch. Hey, it’s America, and if you have enough money you can do pretty much whatever you want.
    Bruce Rauner, to his credit, has become a self-made Billionaire possessing all the accoutrements that come with the power and freedom of immense wealth; even the ability to acquire the Office of Governor. Good for him, but not so good for Illinois is this one-sided primary; unless you are a Democrat.
    I am amazed at the complete ignorance of so many Republican Township Committeemen on their lack of understanding of Bruce Rauner, let alone knowledge of the average run of the mill Republican voter. In testament to the successful Rauner campaign, these so called “in the know” Republicans cite the Rauner campaign catch phrases as their only support for Rauner: “He is an outsider”, “he is not a career politician,” “he will shake up Springfield.”


  17. - too obvious - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    If Republicans don’t wake up soon this guy brings down the entire ticket in November. This nursing home issue is a deal killer (no pun intended). Good to see at least some reporters finally getting off their butts about the biggest story of this campaign.

    I did enjoy Rauner citing Champion News for defense, the wholly-owned website of Jack Roeser who is wholly-owned by Rauner. Jack may be the only person in Illinois who hates unions more than Bruce.


  18. - Conservative Republican - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    1. The sad fact is that low income nursing home neglect has been going on for decades. Both before and after Rauner, despite the fact that he is being smeared with this accusation.

    2. Re Brady and the “accounting” issue in “Michigan”. Haven’t seen a story on that. What’s that about? Link appreciated.


  19. - G'Kar - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    Isn’t the second half of the Baron’s ad the same as what he says in his reply to the Stu Levine ad?


  20. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    I forgot that’s Jack Ryan’s paper.

    Check out the online edit. Notice anything in the background, lol?

    http://www.opprairie.com/Articles-Opinion-c-2014-02-19-275937.114133-False-attacks-on-Rauner-campaign-a-new-low.html


  21. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    in the words of reagan “speak no ill of fellow republicans”,or “I paid for this microphone”?


  22. - YO - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    Not the least bit surprising. And I’d bet there’s far more to come. You don’t amass Brucey’s wealth by being kind, compassionate and doing things the “right” way.


  23. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    “Nursing home abuse?”

    The plaintiff’s lawyers successfully argued that THI was severely negligent by creating abysmal conditions due to lack of proper funding. The plaintiff also proved that investors got their Medicare money and didn’t invest in the proper operation of the nursing homes.


  24. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    On the other hand…

    IF we are to buy into his claim that he is a hands-on, clean up the corruption kind of leader Illinois needs THEN it seems he must have known about Stu and the nursing homes, because that’s the kind of leader Bruce is. Of course, that means his denials are lies…


  25. - Robert H. Hanaford - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    @Downstater===Nursing home abuse? Please. Anytime you put people in nursing homes they are going to fall or there are going to be accidents. My father was in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s and fell numerous times. There was no abuse. What a misleading and biased headline===

    Yes Downstater, there will be falls, bed sores and other maladies common with nursing home patients. But, when the business model ignores competent oversight, abuse and neglect will result in many more otherwise preventable instances of needless patient injury, suffering and death.

    Downstater, probably a good thing your father was not in a Rauner Company controlled nursing home.


  26. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    Not much of a defense IMHO. However, in the context of his overwhelming presence on the airwaves, it restates his theme and plays to the folks who have decided to vote for him. Inquiring minds will expect more than.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    Bruce Rauner and “Bruce Rauner” is NOT a Republican.

    Both Rauners are “Raunerites”, running in the GOP Primary. “Rauner” is taking on Union Bosses and Career Politicians, “…and some Republicans too.”, while Rauner makes insider deals with Ed Rendell, Rahm Emanuel, and supported Rich Daley too, while even vacationing with Rahm, and both their families at Rauner’s ranch,

    The Rauners are “Raunerites”. Neither are Republicans.


  28. - veritas - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    Let’s see now: Rauner is dogged by controversy. He has the bad luck to always seem to have a connection, tenuous or otherwise, to dirty tricks: Schock, Rutherford - to questionable business deals: Stuart Levine, Ed Rendell, Rahm Emanuel/Bill Daley - to business deals that failed and were alleged to be fraudulent: Lason, THI - and to HUGE contributions to the Democratic Party. On the other hand, you do have the Orland Park World News defending him. Seems like a lot of baggage to me.


  29. - too obvious - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    AT BEST Rauner was the equivalent of an absentee landlord, getting rich via interests in nearly 200 nursing homes around the country, while not giving a hoot about the residents.

    If Obama was connected to JUST ONE such nursing home under similar circumstances, the GOP base would be burning tires in the streets.


  30. - From the 'Dale to HP - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    If Rauner is going to run the state like a businesses, does that mean he’s going to file for Chapter 11, create a new state with only the good assets while letting the ‘old’ state with bad assets die? Is he going to open up the entire state so there are no school districts and people can send their kid where ever they want? Is he going to start charging people for using all roads, and will it be based on usage or one flat fee per month?


  31. - Walker - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    Downstate: You believe that GCTR and Rauner are faultless, because, based in your own experience, falls and other harmful incidents naturally happen in nursing homes.

    — but this was a finding of gross negligence, in a legal trial, after reviewing evidence and testimony, for these specific cases. That’s not the same thing as your personal opinion on nursing homes.

    Now whether Rauner should shoulder any specific blame here, given the timing and organizational structure, is worth arguing.


  32. - MrJM - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    There was no abuse.

    Just off the top of my head, I can think of more than a billion counter arguments.

    – MrJM


  33. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    The nursing home scandal has a Federal RICO settlement attached, no?


  34. - Bored Chairman - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    Since nine of the RDS commenters here seem capable of actually rating the Rauner response…here goes.

    Solid, fact-based reply to shoddy, innuendo-oozing smear piece. Labor thugs think they can lie and bully their way to continued state domination. Their reign of terror is finally threatened, and they’re doing everything they can to hold on to power. Rauner is admired and supported because he is viewed as the only counterbalance to union control. The anti-Rauner echo chamber on this blog doesn’t get it. Never will.


  35. - davidh - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    Love the “staff report” byline on the Orland Park Prairie advertorial. Also amusing that it is a “22nd Century Media Publication.” So focused on *the future* that the 21st century is old news?!


  36. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    At least Brady is making some sense… but he only has cents… The undercurrent of the attacks on Rauner our class warefare…How he made his money is what a venture capitalist does…The question is, is classwarefare still viable? Owning companies probablly not even being aware of what ones doesn’t make any of this fact or fiction… It’s a referendum… Who will win?


  37. - Worth It - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    According to Rauner’s fact sheet, which is the only thing I’ve seen that lays it out in detail, Townsend’s death occurred over 2.5 years after THMI stopped managing the facility. Nunziata fell 7 months after they stopped managing that facility. As these deaths occurred as the result of falls, it would stand to reason the only management company you could blame would be the one managing the facilities on the day of the incident.

    Unless this information is wrong, it seems to me that it is nothing more than a lawsuit that goes after not necessarily those responsible, but those with the deepest pockets.


  38. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    in the words of reagan “speak no ill of fellow republicans”…

    +++++++++++++++++++

    There is a constant litany of criticism of Republicans by this Carhartt weary hypocrite. He even has set up a PAC to fund those Republicans that he determines to be worthy of his blessing.

    This Democrat supporting, clouting, insider creep is the ABSOLUTE WORSE THING that can happen to the Republican party, and the ONLY Republican in this race that makes Pat Quinn look good.


  39. - Walker - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    If Rauner’s biggest sales pitch is to bring his business expertise to Springfield, then the results of his business leadership are all fair game.

    He’s wrong on two counts, IMO.

    Business skills do not translate easily to leadership in government. An undeniable, proven fact.

    And his company has yet to demonstrate anything significantly positive beyond making profits for its partners and investors. At least Mitt and Bain Capital did in fact save some (not all) companies and help them grow, and they eventually employed more people. Not sure that’s true for Rauner et al.


  40. - Jimbo - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    Bruce, I trust the DGA and “Union Bosses” more than a grandma killer /snark (sort of)


  41. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    OW..In Illiois I am not sure who or what is a Republican? In the general, I can see Rauner pivot to say, yeah I can work with Rahm… I have before… He’s going to have to pivot… That may be a plus to independents..if the time comes…


  42. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    === Solid, fact-based reply to shoddy, innuendo-oozing smear piece. ===

    “Fact-based”? LOL. Thanks, I needed a good laugh this morning.


  43. - Westward - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Ok. Already know about this “scandal.” Waiting for Rich to elaborate on these much harsher union ads coming out. This meat is old. Need something with more zest to put a dent in this fine tuned, well oiled machine BR’s people are running.

    And while I’m still undecided, my observation of the overwhelming amount of criticism directed at BR on this blog is quite amusing. Less than one month before the primary and he’s doing almost everything right. His money is the difference maker, to be sure, but his message is solid and unwavering. You have to give the campaign props for where they sit in the polls. Like Rich mentioned, voter discontent is a strong motivater given the right message. BR is delivering the right message at the moment.


  44. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Something interesting about this nursing home issue is that I’ve noticed at least two different plaintiff’s attorneys firms running ads Downstate recently (Kanoski in Springfield being one of them) specifically seeking clients with nursing home abuse claims.

    Although I know this is totally coincidental to the Rauner issue flaring up in the campaign, these ads do sort of subtly reinforce the message of the Rauner nursing home ad. Just kind of interesting.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    - Walter Mitty -,

    How is Rahm polling? Just saying…

    - Norseman - well said. When the Raunerbot lemmings tell me to wake up, I ask myself, “when you jump off the cliff of honesty and integrity and ethics for ‘Bruce Rauner’, do you wake up on the way down before going ’splat’ or is the bliss of going against your own honesty, integrity and ethics so swell, you never feel anything?”

    I don’t know the answer, but it makes watching the lemmings at least sporting.


  46. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    Ow…About as good as the other “3″…Ha ha… I am just wondering how they pivot…?


  47. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    - Walter Mitty -,

    Primary first… Primary first. Much respect.


  48. - MrJM - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    Labor thugs

    Referring to unionized teachers, policemen and firemen with language like this is probably super-effective.

    – MrJM


  49. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    OW… I needed a pick up…thanks for that…it feels hopeless!


  50. - PublicServant - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    Brucey: That wasn’t me that was the company I founded, THI. And, ya know, companies are people too, and that person was despicable, but that person was not me, and, ya know, that person has declared bankruptcy and has ceased to exist, and so doesn’t have to pay any fines.

    As for those Union Bosses and Quinn stooges that say I purposefully underfunded and then looted THI, well, they’ve hit a new low.

    One more thing: The families of these dead people know they’re wrong and they’re just in it for the money…those takers!


  51. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    === BR is delivering the right message at the moment. ===

    The count is saying the right things to play to “voter discontent,” but so did Blago. The vehemence of the anti-count commenters goes to the desire to avoid another disaster.


  52. - Skeptic - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    “and the ONLY Republican in this race that makes Pat Quinn look good.” I respectfully disagree. They all make Quinn look good, just some more than others.


  53. - Jimbo - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    I’m a misleading and biased commenter. There FTFY Downstater


  54. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    ==The sad fact is that low income nursing home neglect has been going on for decades. Both before and after Rauner, despite the fact that he is being smeared with this accusation.==

    Agree completely with your first sentence. But Rauner owned one such abusive home! By your logic, a Rutherford supporter could say “Harassment of employees has been going on for decades, before and after Rutherford.”


  55. - Roadiepig - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Those “Newspaper” headlines cracked me up. Champion News? Not a real news service, just a one sided anti-union propaganda website. “Orland Park Prairie”? Go to this “editorial” and your browser has not one but three huge Rauner ads surrounding it.

    Does this remind anyone besides me of when a Hollywood movie studio has a real stinker of a bomb release, and they have headlines in the print ads from the Podunk Tribune and the Nobody Reads Our Newspaper’s movie critic saying “Movie of the year!”, even though every other reviewer on the planet pans their garbage? Keep hammering and shaking home that empty rhetoric to the low information voters Baron!


  56. - Walker - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    ===Rauner is admired and supported because he is viewed as the only counterbalance to union control.===

    Well, I sincerely hope you have better reasons to support Rauner, because unions are obviously not in control of Illinois government. You’re tilting at mythical demons.

    Anti-unionism is the driver of out-of-state big money for his campaign, however. Some buy into that national message.

    ===”Reign of terror” “union thugs” “domination”===

    Amazing! And you talk about “echo chambers?”


  57. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    @RobertTheBruce - Didn’t the original reports talk about multiple lawsuits related to multiple nursing homes?


  58. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    “Labor thugs”

    I think that no matter what happens in the elections, Rauner has a real problem because he was a major union ally when his firm managed union members’ pensions. He is inextricably tied to unions, and union members will know that. If he wins and goes on to attack public unions, he is already tainted, and no spin or simple talking points can change this.


  59. - AFSCME Steward - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Conservative Republican

    “The sad fact is that low income nursing home neglect has been going on for decades. Both before and after Rauner, despite the fact that he is being smeared with this accusation.”

    So because there has been a history of nursing home abuse excuses his involvement, right. Its characters like Rauner that are why the problem exists in the first place.


  60. - OneMan - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    I think the owner of the Prairie is Jack Ryan’s newspaper company…


  61. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    ===”Reign of terror” “union thugs” “domination”===

    Raunerbot talking points are always attacking, while never explaining the exposed hypocrisy.

    “Blagovian” while claiming leadership. Being a lemming has to be tiring.


  62. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    Shouldn’t that be ORLAND! Park Prairie…

    It’s good to know that JACK! is vouching for Rauner. That makes me more confident that there is nothing to this story and no new details will drip out of this after the primary. No sir, if JACK! says there is nothing to this, well, you can take that to the bank.


  63. - Loop Lady - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    Which is worse, a labor thug fighting for decent wages and benefits for union employees, or a billionaire profitting from the abuse of the elderly in a facility that he owns? Take all the time you need to answer…


  64. - Wensicia - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    This “labor thug” isn’t the person hefting a sledge hammer against opponents.

    You Raunerbots need to dial down on the hate messages, if you’re against class warfare as you claim. Unless you’re secretly working for Quinn?


  65. - Roadiepig - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    - Norseman - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    === BR is delivering the right message at the moment. ===

    The count is saying the right things to play to “voter discontent,” but so did Blago. The vehemence of the anti-count commenters goes to the desire to avoid another disaster.

    100% on the mark Norseman. That is my biggest fear also. I watched this state go through the hell that was Blago as both a citizen and a employees of the government, and seeing my fellow citizens elect and then somehow reelect the soulless egomaniac has been the politic low point of my life. I hope that it stays the low point, but it seems many of the same “angry” voters (plus out of state billionaires with a national anti-union worker agenda) are throwing their weight behind The Baron, for the same wrong reasons. I don’t think this state can survive 4 years of another “leader” who rules as if the laws and the constitution don’t apply to him, as we are still trying to recover from the damage done by that prisoner in Colorado.


  66. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    - Jake From Elwood - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    How many dots do you have to connect between Rauner’s corporate interests buying a nursing home business to the individual treatment given to some nursing home patients…Too flimsy of a connection to stick IMHO.

    Let me explain why this is different and why it should stick. GTCR came up with a roll-up strategy to buy nursing homes, strip them of care and extract more money for less service. That was a strategic decision that required a major infusion of capital to make it a reality. They also made the strategic decision to create a shell company which would have no assets to take into bankruptcy.

    Both of those were strategic decision taken at the highest levels. Look, I work with private equity folks and know how they are structured. These are not decisions made at lower levels that Rauner will be able to walk away from. Only thing he has going for him in this case, is that the Trib will do everything they can to whitewash this.


  67. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    “Labor thugs?”

    LOL, where do you think you are, “On the Waterfront?”


  68. - Upon Further Review - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    I am not a fan of Pat Quinn, but how does Rauner link Quinn to the production of this ad? Rauner also denies any connection to the Rutherford lawsuit controversy, but the connections between the lawyer for Michalowski and her former relationship as a one time lawyer for Rauner as thin as those ties are seem more substantial than Quinn developing this ad. The unions or their PAC did what they could, but I doubt Quinn had a hands on role as Rauner claims.


  69. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    Folks, it’s time to stop feeding the troll and move along. Thanks.


  70. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    Raunerbots, why did Rauner break the law and claim 3 homeowner exemptions for his homes in Cook County? Why did his company settle RICO charges related to the nursing home scandals? Why did Rauner break Illinois campaign finance laws by hiding his staff behind a payroll company? How did his daughter skirt the rules for admission to Payton Prep denying a qualified student a slot and then “donating” $250k right afterwards.

    Laws - doesn’t matter.
    Rules - doesn’t matter.
    Ethics - doesn’t matter.


  71. - Pensioner - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    I am a retired IDPH nursing home surveyor. FOR PROFIT companies are among the worst, always protecting the bottom line. Not all, but those on the “worst list” are all for profit. Caring for human beings is anathema to profit margins. I used to investigate incidents such as those described. I know what I’m talking about.


  72. - Soccermom - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    By Downstater’s logic, everybody in a nursing home is going to die sometime. Might as well be sooner rather than later….


  73. - Aldyth - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    Pensioner, well stated.

    So, Mr. Rauner. If your company wasn’t responsible for the injuries to those individuals due to neglect, what did your company do during its tenure to improve conditions and services to those residents? You say you want to run Illinois like a business? The business of a nursing home is to provide quality care and comfort to the residents. How about describing specifics about what your company did for them to make sure the residents and the tax payers got their money’s worth?

    That’s what I thought.


  74. - Governor Danger - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    If elected Governor, would it be beneath the egotistical “Governor Rauner” to plaster his name on toll booths.


  75. - IbendahlLuvsJBT - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    What did Rauner’s nursing homes pay their staff? What were the state report cards on those facilities while owned by Rauner’s vulture capital firm GTCR? These are facts that Rauner cannot escape from.


  76. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    I still think it’s odd that the Rauner crew chose to recycle old, generic footage of Rauner rather than create something fresh that addressed the larger issue.

    Why miss the opportunity to directly reassure seniors and those who have folks in nursing homes that you understand their concerns and that you’re up to the job?

    As governor, his administration would have direct responsibilities in ensuring the safety and care of seniors in nursing homes. as well as in the proper expenditure of Medicaid money.

    Instead, Rauner played the victim and ignored the larger issue.


  77. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    Wow, is Anonymous 9:50 with the Reagan reference continuing yesterday’s conversation in a vacuum?


  78. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    I think Rauner’s Crew has been really effective playing the “victim” card while on Full Court press mode, especially on TV. The “3″ can’t touch Rauner on TV, so keep the “attacking victim” narrative rolling.

    If it ain’t broke…

    Tactically, not surprised.


  79. - CollegeStudent - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    ===1. The sad fact is that low income nursing home neglect has been going on for decades. Both before and after Rauner, despite the fact that he is being smeared with this accusation.===

    So what you’re saying is that Rauner, despite having every opportunity to do otherwise, was not an agent of change in this industry.

    So on what grounds again are we to take him at his word that he’ll be an agent of change in Illinois?


  80. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    Cincy, your 10:07 almost makes it sound as if I’m the one who set up the PAC, etc. By “THIS…,” I’m assuming you are referring to Mr. Rauner?


  81. - olddog - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    @ Anonymous 12:15, 12:07, 9:50 etc.

    Which Anonymous are you?

    Are you on the bridge or under the bridge?


  82. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    - olddog -, don’t feed trolls, on or below the bridge.


  83. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    OK. The only one who seems to have tried (and I apologize if I missed anyone else) and was able–at least once to introduce a “defense argument” to further foster a two-sided conversation seems to be “Worth It.”

    Also, while this is obviously grounded in a highly-emotional issue, I’m not going to react–especially to some of “emotionally-laden” comments here. (I’m not arguing that this isn’t an emotional issues, I’m just stating that I’m not going to react to or with more emotion.)

    Instead, I’m going to research this further on my own as I believe many others will (based on the allegations, the timing of the incidents, what sounds like THI’s not even bothering to defend itself, etc.) and if an opportunity presents itself to discuss again, I will.

    Have a great weekend, Willy and Cincy–and everyone else.


  84. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    =Which Anonymous are you?=

    What does it matter who I am, or “which one” I am. Isn’t it what an individual brings to a discussion that should matter?


  85. - throwing stones - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    it comes down to 2 seperate but related issues people.

    1. put your elderly in florida where rauner cut costs to increse profits for himself and his counterparts which the staff and elderly of those nursing homes bared the burden.

    2. Rauner cut costs to medicaid in illinois which will decrese the overall debt burden (by his egotistical ideals anyway) on the backs of the elderly and the disabled.

    Which shows the fact that Bruce Rauner is prioritizing $$$$$$$$over lives.


  86. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    For example, things like this from “Willy” are just so helpful, aren’t they?

    - olddog -, don’t feed trolls, on or below the bridge.


  87. - DuPage Rep - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    “- Cincinnatus - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 11:22 am:
    Raunerbots, why did Rauner break the law and claim 3 homeowner exemptions for his homes in Cook County? Why did his company settle RICO charges related to the nursing home scandals? Why did Rauner break Illinois campaign finance laws by hiding his staff behind a payroll company? How did his daughter skirt the rules for admission to Payton Prep denying a qualified student a slot and then “donating” $250k right afterwards.
    Laws - doesn’t matter.
    Rules - doesn’t matter.
    Ethics - doesn’t matter.”

    Careful Frank C., your statements are actionable defamation. Better have your boss lock himself back up in his office and review per se defamation.
    Better yet, why don’t you focus on improving your numbers in your own senate dist. You campaign and tactics are pathetic.


  88. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    ===Post your comment… And please take a half second to come up with a nickname. It makes following the posts easier for everyone… Thanks===

    Not much more to say…


  89. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    And this adds quite a bit to the discussion, too. Doesn’t it?

    ===Post your comment… And please take a half second to come up with a nickname. It makes following the posts easier for everyone… Thanks===

    Not much more to say…


  90. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Mr. Dillard: As a strong supporter of yours over the years, “Cincy” and Willy are now very closely associated with your campaign based on their comments about themselves and the comments of others here claiming that they are and their not correcting those assumptions. Hence, they’re now a reflection upon you and your candidacy. And unfortunately, you’ve lost my vote because of how they interact with others.


  91. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    “Bruce Rauner” and - Anonymous -, the constant victims with the passive-aggressive.

    To the Post,

    Will reports like Marin’s get enough traction that when the Rauner Crew or Rauner himself refuse to talk to cameras and reporters, will the negatives rise?

    Tough sledding for education.


  92. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    Anonymous, don’t be a doofus. Willy’s not connected to any campaign and you aren’t welcome here with an attitude like that. Pick a screen name or go away. Also, stop whining like a little girl. Final warning.


  93. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    @hisgirlfriday - my fault. How foolish of me to think that he’d own only one of anything?


  94. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    Willy, these anonymous folks are either too lazy or lack any creativity to come up with a nickname. In either event, they’re not worthy of further consideration IMHO.


  95. - throwing stones - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    Rich, can we get a link to that article you posted a few weeks back about the rauner nursing home scandal relating to not providing enough funding to the nursing homes for supplies and such so the elderly could receive services. that may not be an exact quote, but not to far off. i just saw where someone wanted to research more, which should be readily available. thanks in ad advance if u do.


  96. - Samurai - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    -=Anonymous==For example, things like this from “Willy” are just so helpful, aren’t they?==

    Mr. - Anonymous - you are so confuseding.


  97. - Jake From Elwood - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 1:32 pm:

    Wow. I haven’t seen Cincy’s latest allegations (homeowner exemptions, campaign violations) reported in the media yet. So I cannot vouch the for the authenticity of these allegations.
    However, if proven to be true, that would be further proof that Rauner is ethically challenged, which matters so much more to me than the fallout from the financial transactions of his private equity firm.


  98. - Roadiepig - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    In the (many) years I have followed (and commented)on this wonderful blog, I have come to the point where I rarely pay much attention to the folks who post under “anonymous”. Many times their input can described as “drive by” at best, mean-spirited and/or adding nothing to the tread at the worst. Not that I think that what I post is any better than that, but at least I put my screen name up there in case someone wants to slam me for what I said…


  99. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    Stones, try the Google. Pops right up.

    For all you who either want to lock up Rauner or think he is being picked on, go back and listen to Carol’s concluding sentence.


  100. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    - DuPage Rep - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    “- Cincinnatus - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 11:22 am:
    Raunerbots, why did Rauner break the law and claim 3 homeowner exemptions for his homes in Cook County? Why did his company settle RICO charges related to the nursing home scandals? Why did Rauner break Illinois campaign finance laws by hiding his staff behind a payroll company? How did his daughter skirt the rules for admission to Payton Prep denying a qualified student a slot and then “donating” $250k right afterwards.
    Laws - doesn’t matter.
    Rules - doesn’t matter.
    Ethics - doesn’t matter.”

    Careful Frank C., your statements are actionable defamation. Better have your boss lock himself back up in his office and review per se defamation.
    Better yet, why don’t you focus on improving your numbers in your own senate dist. You campaign and tactics are pathetic.

    ++++++++++++++++++++

    Fact: Rauner paid fines on multiple homeowner exemptions in Cook County/

    Fact: RICO charges were settled in the Florida case.

    Fact: Illinois statute does not allow the hiding of campaign expenditures and Carhartt was forced to file amended D-2.

    Fact: Rauner daughter was magically admitted to a school after a call to Arne Duncan, as admitted by Rauner. He donated $250k shortly thereafter. There are only limited slots at Payton Prep, one student on, one student off.

    My name is Frank Canzolino. Share yours and explain the defamation again, idiot.


  101. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    ===your statements are actionable defamation===

    You Raunerbots are just like your candidate: Hypervictims.


  102. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    These cases don’t even occur while Bruce Rauner’s company even owned the nursing homes. For crying out loud, what a bunch of baloney.

    I guess it simply is a bad idea for anyone interested in a political career to invest into anything dealing with seniors, right? Is that where we’re going here?


  103. - Samurai - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    ===your statements are actionable defamation===

    I mean, in my humble and deferential opinion, Mr. Rauner is ethically challenged and a fake.


  104. - Mason born - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    Cincinatus

    Now don’t you know that facts are just vast Union-boss-Career-politician plots?? Come on man. He’s an outsider.


  105. - steve schnorf - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    cinci, you the man!


  106. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    ==These cases don’t even occur while Bruce Rauner’s company even owned the nursing homes.==

    Really? I honestly missed that part; would seem to be an important fact. Though potentially a dangerous one to say too often - what are the odds that there were no complaints during the time he owned the nursing homes?


  107. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 3:05 pm:

    You will always be - Cincinnatus -, to me, as I hope I will always be your 2nd choice for governor.

    Keep up the good fight; precincts, GOTV, pluses… and keep the education heat on High.


  108. - MyTwoCents - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    http://republicannewswatch.com/wp/?p=13297 According to the article Rauner’s firm 1) had a board of directors running nursing homes without a single health care professional on the board and 2) took their cut off the top leaving whatever was left over for the operating expenses, which doesn’t seem like the right way to run a business. That speaks volumes about Rauner’s business practices and that strikes right at the heart of his campaign.


  109. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    “These cases don’t even occur while Bruce Rauner’s company even owned the nursing homes.”

    One of the deaths may have occured when THI operated one of the nursing home in 2003. The victim suffered immensely in the nursing home but died outside of the nursing home shortly thereafter. The problem appears to be that THI bought the nursing homes but provided or contributed to abysmal conditions through underfunding and poor management, and that led to suffering and death.


  110. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    DuPage Rep… you there buddy? Time to put up or shut up.

    Samurai, will you defend me against “defamation” better than DuPage Rep can defend against the facts?


  111. - How Ironic - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    Cincy,

    D.R. doesn’t have any thing to say about “defamation”, after your defecation on his parade. Well played sir.


  112. - Spueranon - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    Cincy; If Scnorf says your the man. That’s a good day!


  113. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 4:27 pm:

    Have a good weekend, folks. Back to the trenches.


  114. - Walker - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    Worth It

    Your comment above at 10:07 is well worth it.


  115. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 4:50 pm:

    Cincinnatus,
    You have stones, dude. Have a great weekend.


  116. - Labordude - Friday, Feb 21, 14 @ 4:55 pm:

    Just to settle this question of ownership, Bruce Rauner’s company GTCR owned 87% of THI, the company that owned and operated the nursing homes. Rauner’s bunsiness partner ran the nursing home division that held over 200 nursing homes at one time. According to court records and expert analysis Rauner’s firm then begam to set up an elaborate, five-layered matrix of companies that then bought up pieces of the nursing home business. They were all companies created by Rauner and were formed with the sole purpose of dodging $1.5 billion in court awards and over $1 billion in debts owed. To understand thismore fully please look up the reports of Professor Emeritus Harrington, University of California, San Fran. She is considered the national academic expert on the nursing home industry and has written extensively about THI and its multi-layered ownership structure. The great innovation that Bruce Rauner brought to the healthcare industry was to create elaborate corporate veils that protected his companies from both debtors and liability cases. That is the truth about ownership of the nursingn homes. Bruces owned the homes when these acts occured and has spent millions of dollars in legal fees ducking and dodging responsibility ever since.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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