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Question of the day

Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014

* Some of you have been wondering in comments today why a rich guy like Bruce Rauner would spend so much of his own money to win public office. A few have opined about where they’d escape to if they had Rauner’s cash. Some have pointed to the fact that the governor’s salary is so much less than Rauner is currently spending.

But take a look at this December, 2003 interview of Rauner by former Sun-Times columnist Dave Lundy. No link because it’s behind their archives wall…

Lundy: What are your goals over the next few years?

Rauner: I plan on continuing to work in our industry for a number of years. I love our business and would do it as a hobby. But it’s very important for me to have this social service element. And I want to continue to be more involved with my time as well as my money.

I know this will sound corny again, but I remember my grandfather saying, “Bruce, when you die, just make sure the world is a better place because you were here.” That’s just a huge issue for me. I don’t want to die and have people say, “Boy, he was a pretty good equity investor.” That’s nice, but it’s not what I want written on my tombstone.

He wasn’t totally consumed with making money. Yeah, he spent a whole lot of time doing it, but he also clearly wanted to do other stuff, even as far back as 2003.

Also, Rauner has said he will refuse to accept a salary if he’s elected governor. He doesn’t need the cash. He doesn’t want a state pension.

But, because it was a fun little diversion in comments, let’s go with this one today…

* The Question: If you were worth hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars and made $53 million in reported income last year, what would you do with your life?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


97 Comments
  1. - Nieva - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    First thing I would do is buy a subscription to the Capital Fax Blog!


  2. - The Whole Truth - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    I’d like to think the same thing Rauner is doing.


  3. - Dave Victor - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    Run for governor of IL.


  4. - OneMan - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    Well I would spend a couple of million to try and get a different governor.

    Would spend some of it building a nice curling facility in the western suburbs.

    Then perhaps start up the OneBrau brewery


  5. - OneMan - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    Might also hire a Bruce Rauner look-alike to go to Oswego Willie’s house once a week :-)


  6. - Chi - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    I’d promise that for every dollar contributed to Rauner’s campaign, I’d contribute an equal amount to one of the PACS trying to defeat him.


  7. - A guy... - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    Similar things as him. Oprah has worked on education in Africa. That’s a wonderful thing. I’d look at doing similar things in inner cities in the US, much like Fr. Mike Pfleger without all the drama around it. If we can fix education for the young, we’ve got the best education system on the planet for higher ed. Even the despots send their kids here for college. I’d focus on education and spend everything on it. It’s that important.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    Golf with Tom Cross over 1 year at the Top 100 golf course on the world…

    I need to think about this….

    Also, - OneMan -, I would have thought you would choose both Rauner and Jason Plummer alternating daily…I would!


  9. - Anon - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    Hunt. Fish. Camp.


  10. - countyline - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    Disappear, and become a character at Disney World.


  11. - Charlatan Heston - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    I’d donate money to proven charities rather than fuel the political campaign industrial complex.I’m highly suspect of politicians these days, I think few are in it for service


  12. - the unknown poster - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    Sell my house and buy an RV and see the country while not running for political office.


  13. - Ghost of John Brown - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    White Sox Luxury Box. Few things are better than watching a game without having to worry about the rain and having your own beer guy.


  14. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    I rather think I’d be doing something that would benefit those with the least, not using my millions to attain a position where I could cause further suffering and loss through massive cuts aimed at the poor and working people.


  15. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    Buy the Tribune.

    And, of course, buy a big piece of the White Sox.


  16. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    I once told my father if I got as much money from him as Peter Fitzgerald got from his dad, I woulda challenged Carol Moseley Braun in the Democratic Primary.

    My father told me if I got that kinda money I’d be a Republican.


  17. - Bogart - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    God’s work - with or without the money.


  18. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    I do think starting a think tank, media outlet or a university would be cool.


  19. - Chuck - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    I would give it away as fast as I could to school districts, universities and hospitals and not a dime to any political party. Thank you, I feel much better now. :)


  20. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    I would do three things.

    Family-related: buy a nicer home & put enough $$$ into my kids’s college savings accounts so they could both attend college for as long as necessary

    Selfish: buy small ownership stakes in my fave sports teams and purchase (or frequently rent) a jet to attend various NFL games all over the U.S.

    Righteous: support my church’s and sister church’s missions for people in Kenya, Myanmar, Southeast Asia, etc. and ensure I gave them enough $$$ so they do not have to appeal/beg for money from people without the means of a rich person


  21. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    Wing on over to London and jam with the Stones.


  22. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    Get out of jury duty http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/I/IL_ILLINOIS_GOVERNOR_RAUNER_ILOL-?SITE=ILBLO&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

    Actually, I’d probably go just for the entertainment.


  23. - Levi - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    Travel the wide, wide world — every continent, as many countries as I could, trying as many different foods and meeting as many different people as possible. And give a 10th of it to my church, St. Peter’s Episcopal, Chicago, in an endowment that would throw off income for building repairs and outreach projects in perpetuity.


  24. - Toure's Latte - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    ==- Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:40 pm:
    Buy the Tribune. And, of course, buy a big piece of the White Sox.==

    Go ahead, WASTE your money…

    (just kidding)


  25. - Sunshine - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    Do all I could to help others in need, particularly children of circumstance, i.e., those without homes, without families, and those with ailments.

    I too would get my ‘prescription’ to CapFax filled as it is good medicine for those of us who choose to stay informed.


  26. - Joan P. - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    Honestly? After the sable coat, red convertible, and an apartment with enough space for enough built-in bookcases so that I can get the piles of books off the floor, I’d give a ton of it away.

    I’d give to cultural institutions (aside from commissioning an opera for Lyric based on the life of Samuel Insull, a lot would go to smaller companies that aren’t sexy enough for the big foundations), and organizations fighting against charter schools and for decent public education for EVERYONE.

    And I’d travel - in style. Can I still get a private rail car?


  27. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    Besides the now traveling PGA Tour stop of the BMW Championship, host, through a foundation, a PGA Tour stop in Chicagoland benefitting Lurie’s Children’s and Loyola Burn.

    Get the LPGA Tour stop back in Springfield benefitting Wounded Warriors.

    Self fund both tournaments in perpetuity.

    All monies made, since NO monies are needed to run the events off the revues, would go towards those cited, and I would NOT personally be seen there, making it about those getting the monies, and the players.


  28. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    First off, I’d allocate $25 mil a year (total) to all the St. Vincent de Paul food pantries around the country. Those folks get it done!

    Second, I’d allocate another $25 mil a year to fund Technology projects on ‘Kickstarter’ style (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_crowd_funding_services) projects. I want to push the technology envelope even further, and the really ‘forward’ style thinking doesn’t come from big corporations.

    My third project would be a little tiny thing (couple hundred grand a year). It’s called “Rivers of Recovery” (for vets). Link is: http://www.riversofrecovery.org/ It works!


  29. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    I would do nothing similar to Rauner. I’d try to help people. While I’m in Nice, running my foundation from there.


  30. - Hamilton - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:53 pm:

    I’d create endowments for some of the really great not-for-profits in our state who struggle with cash-flow everyday.


  31. - YO - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    If I had the burning desire, as Bruce does, to fix the state I love, I’d pour a ton of my own personal money into pension debt to bolster the fund. After all, I (as a wealthy, intelligent, educated person benefitted from all those that worked to get me where I am, and my daughter only gets the very best schools, so schools and the workers in them must be worth something!)


  32. - Stones - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    Donate some to charity & people I personally know who could use a helping hand and then head to the Caribbean - permanently.


  33. - Norseman - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    I’d fund a PAC to support moderate candidates who are willing to compromise in order to get things done. I would ask Willy to head it up, but he’s going to be Governor.

    I’d also fund a “Center on Government Dysfunction” at NIU to study actions by the executive and legislative branches that create barriers to the efficient and effective operation of government. Quinn’s violence prevention bribe would be a good case study. Blago would keep the professors and grad students busy for a long time. The Center would also look at the legislature’s propensity to create programs without funding.


  34. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    Stop hustling.

    Rest.

    Sleep through the night.

    Enjoy some peace of mind for a while.

    Drive an old Caddy convertible with fins on state roads from coast-to-coast, north, south, east and west. Get the lunch special and buy a round in every small-town tavern along the way.

    Eat my way through Italy.

    Hike Ireland.

    India by train.

    Enjoy the fat life in NYC and London for a while.

    Buy some rounds in Boston.

    Spend a lot of time in Northern California.

    Winters in Palm Springs, summers on the lake in Northern Michigan.

    Cruise the Med, walk the Holy Land.

    Geez, Rich, way to distract me. I guess I better get a Lotto ticket.


  35. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    I would also buy my own island in the Caribbean where I could be governor, queen or empress and give all of my subjects maximum wage, affordable medical coverage and a free, quality education for their children.


  36. - circularfiringsquad - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    lst we would buy the 1,000 year subscription to Capt. Fax
    2. Look for a region to create a pilot program to get parents involved in their child’s education…..take every good idea and try them all
    3 Travel to places we have not visited to continue to learn how the world works
    4 See a lot more Cardinal games


  37. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    - Norseman -,

    No snark, I would start a PAC or be part of your PAC parameters. It would be like the Notorious David Letterman Scholarship that requires but a “C” average, but make the case outside of grades.

    Call it “80% PAC”… If you have to ask if the PAC could help your campaign, odds are you know the answer already…


  38. - 4 percent - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    Buy a plane so I could go anywhere, anytime.

    Create my own PAC so I can help candidates that I want on both sides of the aisle.


  39. - A guy... - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    I’d heat Lake Springfield so Rich could be baptized in the plunge as deeply as Jimmy Fallon. I’d hire 8 more ladies to help him emerge from the lake. And a can of “spray tan” for his legs.


  40. - CLJ - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    I’d run for office then when that was over, squander the rest of the money on buying a sports team.


  41. - wowsers - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    And everything Wordslinger wrote


  42. - MrJM - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    “If you were worth hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars and made $53 million in reported income last year, what would you do with your life?”

    Squander it.

    – MrJM


  43. - Norseman - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    OW, you’re on. I’ll buy a lotto ticket and hope for the big one.


  44. - Angry Republican - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    As a tribute to Milton Friedman, I would buy Jim Oberweis’ black helicopter and drop money out of it as an economic stimulus program.


  45. - Jeff Trigg - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    Would it be enough to oust Michael Madigan from the house and his anti-democratic state party? If so, then that would be my first gift to the world to make it a better place. Derrick Smith? That is just insane.


  46. - Snucka - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    Put enough cash away so I could live off the interest.

    Help family and friends as much as possible.

    Travel.

    Donate to progressive/secular causes.


  47. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    I’d buy a huge ranch outside LA, build my own amusement park, fill my mansion with Disney décor, have dozens of plastic surgery, hire my own personal staff and then die while being anesthetized.

    Then leave it all to LaToya.


  48. - Snucka - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    And for the record, Rauner has accomplished one goal with this campaign already: “Pretty good equity investor” will probably not be on his tombstone.


  49. - redleg - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    Crusading is a luxury for the rich only. It seems to come with the territory.

    What I see in Rauner is that he has forgotten where he came from. Dirt poor right out of the womb.


  50. - Mason born - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    Donate my time and about 26 million a year to engineers without borders and another 26 million to the salvation army and lutheran church chaities. I think i can get by on the 1 mil left over.


  51. - Challenger RT - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    Donate whatever money needed to the state of illinois to get Illinois out of this budget mess and stipulate they use it for back bills and funding the pension system


  52. - Boehner - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    Run against and beat Durbin so there wouldn’t be any more crying on the Senate floor.


  53. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    Please don’t be naïve, Rauner made his money off of dirty insider deals. How many more deals will he make as governor? You don’t really think his “charter schools” are “about the kids” do you?


  54. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    ===Donate whatever money needed to the state of illinois to get Illinois out of this budget mess===

    Nobody has that kind of money. Not even John D. Rockefeller in his prime had that kind of money.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    (Tips cap to - Norseman - in agreement)

    I would also finance the complete renovation of Soldier Field, cosmetically, and redesign with a retractable roof, allowing Final Fours and Super Bowls, since the Landmark designation has been removed.


  56. - Levois - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    Hmmmmm, I would either run for office or start a charity or start a college scholarship. The possibilities would be endless, now I just need to figure out how to get Bruce Rauner’s wealth. Man :(


  57. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    Buy a lot of land to be a wildlife refuge.


  58. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    Because education reform/experimentation is a pet interest, I’d use some of the money to fund pilot projects. And help some friends out financially. BUt there are already enough great organizations for the rest - United Way, Catholic Charities, International Rescue Committee, Doctors Without Borders - they could have the bulk of it later. Not having to work and getting to see the world would be reward enough. One indulgence: flying first class: an utter rip-off, but having gone decades without free airplane food, I felt a wave of warm nostalgia from a free turkey sandwich and some warm (!) mixed nuts!


  59. - Arizona Bob - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    I’d put out a series of commercials regarding the reasons for failure of our public education systems, the truth about how the incredibly excessive public pensions in Illinois (particularly in univerisites and other public education) were the result of governmental corruption and lousy public policy, and exposing the dirty deals that go on in Springfield, Chicago, and just about every municipality and governmental body in Illinois. I’d probablu hire Andy Shaw (and maybe Rich) to get the research for these commerccials. I’d limit commercials to about 60 seconds (30 would be better) because that’s about the highest attention span most Illinois voters have. No long shows. No one wants to spend 30 to 60 minutes to feel depressed, despondent, and hopeless. 30-60 second commercials would just get them mad, which is a good thing!

    Other than that, I’d pretty much do the same things as the Koch bros.LOL


  60. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    Mason, that’s good stuff.

    Despite my day dreams, I’d be an easy mark for everyone I love and set up my peeps so they didn’t have to worry about money. Worry is a killer, and in my life I’ve seen too many good hard-working people worry themselves to death.

    I’ve worked and been broke, at ascending levels, since I was a pup. Thanks to the courage and hard-work of my parents, I’ve never been hungry or scared, ever, and that’s a helluva better hand than the great majority of humanity has ever been dealt.

    Still, before I check out, I’ll get that Caddy convertible and hit the back roads. I think I can swing that without the Lotto ticket.


  61. - Dan Johnson - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    I would be a major donor. And a major IE guy. That would be fun.


  62. - PERPLEXED - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    I would pay off the Illinois Pension debt and prove to the working men and women of illinois that I truly am a servant of the people and whats best for this State.
    Just like our forefathers in 1776, they served without compensation with the steadfast desire to build this country. Most returned home later having lost their entire personal fortunes because of the time the spent building this nation.

    Then I would buy Oberweis Dairies and have a double scoop of Strawberry ice cream.


  63. - Smoggie - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    I don’t think I have the drive to public service as others here do.

    I would move to an island where I can enjoy days on the beach and nights in some great restaurants.

    As much as I love Chicago, if the job wasn’t keeping here I’m not sure how much time I would spend here and I certainly would not care about the outcome of any elections.


  64. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    The same thing that I’m doing now, albeit in a warmer climate five months of the year.


  65. - circularfiringsquad - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    Mr/Ms JeffTrigg:
    The question was … The Question: If you were worth hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars and made $53 million in reported income last year, what would you do with your life? ”

    This would not be enough to complete your goal

    AND BTW read the little ditty about the FBI mole involved in the Brookins case and then ask about Rep. Smith.


  66. - Buster - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    I’m already old and white, so I’d concentrate on getting mean, conservative, bigoted and angry ( maybe about not having even more money.) I would use my resources to tell other people, especially those I wouldn’t associate with under any circumstances, how they should live their lives. I would spend a lot of time trying to reduce taxes and informing the world about the evils of government and elected officials (except for Ted Cruz) In other words, I’d behave pretty much like the other one percenters.


  67. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    Mason, your post prompted me to look up Engineers Without Borders.

    That’s some good people, brother. Thanks for bringing them up, your good deed of the day.

    http://www.ewb-usa.org/


  68. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    I can’t answer that question because that would, for me, be a pay cut.


  69. - Mason born - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    Word

    They gave a presentation while i was in School. It’s good stuff. Best part is a good project keeps going while allowing the communities to grow.


  70. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    –Not even John D. Rockefeller in his prime had that kind of money.–

    Junior sure did a lot of good with the old man’s money, though. The list is remarkable, amazing.

    Of the many great things, my favorite is Rockefeller Center. After the crash, he overpayed for a lot of midtown Manhattan and put thousands to work swinging hammers and catching steel beams for a complex of commercial buildings for which there was no demand. Some capitalist, lol.

    It was the largest privately financed building enterprise, ever, and he had no good reason to do it except for doubling down on America in troubled times. And it’s still there. It Rocks.


  71. - Just Me - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    I would start a blog about an issue nobody cares about and then make it interesting so people start caring about it.


  72. - Past the Rule of 85 - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    First thing I would do is start an Illinois version of FactCheck.org. I’d donate some money to worthy charities and then I’d emulate my hero Jim Bronson, hop on my new motorcycle, and spend my time “Going down that long lonesome highway.”


  73. - Just Me - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    On second thought, I would run to be the State Representative in the 22nd District. Now that would be fun!


  74. - one of the 35 - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    I’d run for Lt. Governor!


  75. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    I’d buy a Caribbean island and build a sustainable house and keep enough to travel and live on the rest of my life. With the rest, I’m assuming still hundreds of millions of dollars, I’d establish a charitable foundation and give most of it away to those in need or distress.


  76. - Jake From Elwood - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    Not sure, but it would start with one heck of a party.


  77. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    Sell everything and move to Italy and buy a beautiful villa by the sea…

    Doanate a bunch of money to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, PBS, and the Anti Cruelty Society…

    Pay for college for 50 bright kids who can’t afford to go…

    Never read anything again related to politics…


  78. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    Levi! We go to the same church. Gotta say, I miss Sarah.

    Signed, a recovering catholic.


  79. - Todd - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    Buy my own island, navy and army and institute open carry by constitutional fiat


  80. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    I don’t know, but I would have one heck of a good time.


  81. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    If I had that kind of money, I don’t know whether I’d just go deeper into society or isolate more. It’s a tough call. I would probably do both, invest in the politics and media in which I believe, and go to a secluded and beautiful place, trip on some natural hallucinogen and paint. Just paint whatever comes out.


  82. - IrishPirate - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Hire Rich Miller’s doppleganger, the Trib’s Rick Pearson, to hang out in Springfield full time and do lots of embarrassing things while claiming to be Rich Miller.


  83. - abc123 - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Helping people like Rauner win. And, Rich, thanks for publishing that. I know him and I believe that’s what he’s about.


  84. - A guy... - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    Perhaps consider what Ben Franklin did; convert it to gold and put it in trust for the City of Philadelphia to open half one hundred years after his death and the other half two hundred years after his death. Hey, we’re still talking about him and his damn kite, aren’t we?


  85. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    My first project would be to start-up/acquire existing think tanks/research facilities that dive into specific issues associated with job creation/loss in our Nation and what happens/is projected to happen as those in our middle class fall into poverty. Then I’d look at what I could do personally with my money and influence both over the short and long-term to “correct” the direction in which I believe we may be headed (though the results might prove me wrong as to my current projections and hence what my overall goals will be (though I doubt it)); put all that into place; and then move onto my next topic(s)/issue(s).

    I’d also take a quick look at and put into place what I need to ensure that the basics of life are taken care of as mindlessly as possible so that I would not have to worry about winding up at some formal event I couldn’t get away with dodging in my pajamas or the black tights, t-shirts, cotton shirts and flip-flops I’d probably be living in the rest of the time. I’d buy low-maintenance but highly-versatile 400-500 square foot apartments in the major cities to which I may need to travel on a regular basis so that I wouldn’t have to stay in hotels…

    …and I’d hire a chef so that when I did not feel like cooking, I could have a half-way decent meal without having to go to a restaurant and continue to focus on my work.


  86. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    First thing I’d do is leave high-tax Chicago, IL for a place in low-tax Gary, Ind.


  87. - Lt. Guv. - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    I’d hire a speech therapist to teach me the proper diction relating to “ing” and how not to speak out of the side of my mouth.


  88. - Enemy of the State - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    I would fully endow the Rich Miller Chair of Journalism at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

    Then I would retire to a monastery and fast for the sins of the students.


  89. - Timmeh - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 4:03 pm:

    Build an Iron Man costume that works


  90. - Wilbur - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    rebuild Meigs Field


  91. - Louis Howe - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    I’d give most of it away to rascals and other deserving souls. Fund a few kick ass candidates with qualifications and good sense. I’ve leave enough to myself to enjoy a good steak, good bourbon, a great woman (my wife) and a leisurely life. I’d fund an education program for intelligent but not genius level kids with dreams and commitment to the common good. Pay off some student loans for my family and live a “causative life” as FDR’s Brain Trust advisor, Adolf Berle once said. Actually, pretty much what I am doing today, but currently at a much reduced level.


  92. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    Mason, got a great book for you, one I re-read during this brutal winter.

    “Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America” by John M. Barry.

    Besides the account of the flood and its aftermath, which is absolutely gripping, there’s fascinating stuff on the battle from the 1850s on over engineering the Mississippi south of the Missouri. The choices made affect how we live today.

    As an engineer with ties to the river, I think you’d dig it.


  93. - woodchuck - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    Oh wait — that’s already been done.


  94. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 4:35 pm:

    Probably scurry across Gotham City’s rooftops dressed as the animal that frightens me while my paid guardian of the last 20 years takes care of my mansion.

    I was told once Howard Buffet, who owns farmland outside of Decatur, offers to purchase service vehicles quietly for the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.


  95. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    Forget politics and government because I would now be able to buy immunity, anywhere.


  96. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 7:42 pm:

    Not run for Governor of Illinois and end-up WASTING so much of it, THAT much is for sure…!


  97. - Capo - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:33 pm:

    Spend it all to stimulate the economy. Then borrow some more to continue spending. It’s all for stimulating the economy and the children of course.


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