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Playing both sides

Monday, May 5, 2014

* Bruce Rauner has been making the rounds of association lobby day events the past two session weeks. I’ll have more on this for subscribers, but it was pretty obvious that, after months of attacking the Springfield culture, Rauner was doing everything he could to ingratiate himself with people who spend their lives working in that very culture.

Anyway, Bernie looked at some of what Rauner said in Springfield last week

“I’m right in the middle of the process of meeting with every legislator here in Springfield,” Rauner said. “I want to get to know them all. I’ve spent time with the speaker and the president and the caucus leaders and their members. I’ve met with all the Republican members, and I’m in the process of meeting with all the Democratic members.” […]

“Maybe Mr. Rauner confused his Cullertons, because the Senate president hasn’t talked to him in three years,” and it was about school reform, said Rikeesha Phelon, spokeswoman for Cullerton. “There was no meeting. There was no conversation. There was no telephone call.” She said Rauner also has not met with state Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park, a distant cousin of the president.

Steve Brown, spokesman for Madigan, said as far as he knows, the last time Madigan met with Rauner was more than two years ago, also on school reform.

* Now, compare that to what Rauner told reporters when he turned in his term limit petitions…

“We have career politicians who are fundamentally corrupt and engaging in patronage cronyism and failing the people of our state, and we’ve got to dramatically change that culture,” Rauner said at the event.

* Bernie asked Steve Brown for a comment

“He was calling everybody corrupt, career politicians,” at one event, Brown said, “and now he’s trying to pretend like … he’s having meetings and he’s not making them the boogeyman.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Not Five Thirty Eight - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    It’s the ol’ post-primary 180-degree two-step.

  2. - Walker - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    Seems to be creating his own reality, and expects us just to smile and nod our heads.

    Such statements can work in a board room when you’re the one controlling the money, but this is the real world.

  3. - Norseman - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    So much for the non-politician narrative. Classic politician moves by Raunerovitch.

  4. - Mighty M. Mouse - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    This type of behavior is to be expected because Mr. Rauner is a compulsive liar.

  5. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    Why ask Brown anything about Rauner? That is like asking Ted Cruz about something Obama says.

    Fact is, Rauner is going to continue pouring millions into this campaign and advertise himself as the greatest friend to every Illinoisan. Just like Quinn has and will.

    Rauner will not allow Quinn or Brown to Brady him out of a win this November. Go ahead and be all frustrated. Bruce expects to frustrate and doesn’t care.

    Now Rauner has these Quinn scandals to advertise to every voter.

    Rauner is calling the shots and Quinn is on the defensive.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    The Two Rauners are at it again.

    We had a governor who use to say things, over and over and over… thinking all he said, as often as he said it, would make it true.

    Ask him. He had loads if time. The hair may be grayer, and the view of the Rockies must be spectacular, but it’s through a barb wire fence all the same.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Tom Hagen only met with those looking to BE manipulated, or those the Don needed manipulated.

    You spend time with Tom Hagen at your own peril, you spend time with Bruce Rauner to begin your own demise.

  8. - A guy... - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    If he met with them 2 years ago and 3 years ago (respectively) and their positions are precisely the same on many issues, doesn’t it still count that he met them? I for one think he’s better off meeting with the rank and file legislators anyway. Any real reform will come from there, not current leadership.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    ===…he’s better off meeting with the rank and file legislators anyway===

    Telling those rank and file members to tell both Rauners their fears, their weaknesses… That should be fun.

    BTW, will both Rauners meet with the 1/3 GOP GA corrupt members too?

    Meeting with Rauner is like having Paulie Cicero or Tony Soprano know your fears or weaknesses.

  10. - chad - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    This is what happens when one uses over-confident, absolute language. Perhaps appropriate when bullying opposing financial deal-makers, but difficult to reverse when talking to millions of voters.

  11. - olddog - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    === If he met with them 2 years ago and 3 years ago (respectively) and their positions are precisely the same on many issues, doesn’t it still count that he met them? ===


    Not when he says things like “I’m right in the middle of the process of meeting with every legislator …”

    He’s lying again.

  12. - Frenchie Mendoza - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    Is this when the label “sociopath” gets bandied about again?

    I remember those discussions here about Blagojevich — especially during the “it’s basically an up day” period.

  13. - zatoichi - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    Last week: These people are corrupt and have failed the people.

    This week: I am ‘in the middle’ of get to know you meetings so we can work together.


  14. - Living in Machiaville - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    OW, all due respect but “you spend time with Bruce Rauner to begin your own demise”, seems hyperbolic even for you. Rauner is a wealthy successful businessman who is running for governor against a career politician who can’t effectively run the governorship. What’s to debate?

  15. - DuPage - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Rauner is just determining who will play ball with him, and who won’t.

  16. - LincolnLounger - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    It is truly troubling how casually both major party nominees for Governor lie.

    It’s like preparing to choose between a poke in the eye or a kick to the groin.

  17. - John Galt - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    You can say two contradicting things for awhile until one of two things happens:

    1) The media calls you out on being two-faced; or

    2) After winning the election, real-world decisions and policy choices force you to pick a path.

    Of course, his strategy might be to either honestly triangulate–split the difference in many circumstances–or he might try to play this “one thing to the cameras; another when they are off” if/when he’s in office.

    But to what extend do insiders care what he says in public as long as he starts to play ball with them once he’s in Springfield? True, they might not like getting rhetorically beaten up by him in the media, but as long as he is actually OK to work with, is that so bad? In that instance, the people Rauner would have to be most worried about wouldn’t be the insiders, but the activist outsider types that are dismayed that he isn’t truly “taking a hammer” to the insiders.

  18. - Walker - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    A guy: nice try.

    The problem is he apparently didn’t meet with most of the rank and file either.

  19. - In the Middle - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    LincolnLounger @10:32. Priceless.

  20. - Wensicia - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    At this point, Rauner will say anything if he thinks it will gain votes.
    And you can’t believe anything he says.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    - Living in Machiaville -,

    You don’t get quoted as wanting to know “fears and weaknesses” and want to meet people like that.

    That is not a partner, that is a parasite looking to exploit not to be a partner.

    Would you want to meet with anyone who calls you corrupt and picks, arbitrarily, a 1/3 of the ILGOP in the GA as corrupt?

    I wouldn’t. No trust there…

  22. - DuPage Rep - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    Come on Willy. Bruce is not Scotch Irish. Give his a break with this Hagen stuff.

  23. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    - DuPage Rep -,


    “I want to get to know every legislator on a first name basis. I want to get to know them, their families, their hopes, their dreams, their fears, their weaknesses, their vulnerabilities. I want to get to know them well.” - Bruce Rauner.

    It’s creepy. It’s borderline bully-ish behavior, and looking for an upper hand, not a partner. Bruce Rauner is not a “friend” to the GA, his “corrupt” description of them say that, not me.

    Wolz had a response to Hagen, then had a horse head. Just saying.

  24. - Skeptic - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    “Wastin’ away again in Machiavelli-ville
    Lookin’ to give Governor a shot
    Some people say there’s a position I take,
    But I know, the money’s all I’ve got.”

  25. - Precinct Captain - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    ==Why ask Brown anything about Rauner? That is like asking Ted Cruz about something Obama says.==

    LOL, wut?

    Ted Cruz is asked about something Obama says probably everyday, but for sure in every single national media interview.

  26. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    If Barack could eventually patch things up with Billary, then Rauner can eventually patch things up with Springfield.

  27. - Living in Machiaville - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    OW at 10:59. You’re describing Madigan of course. The definiton of cold calculus.
    Skeptic, clever. If you get the time or inclination, one done to a Harry Nilsson classic would be cool. gracias

  28. - Pete - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    One of the biggest concerns in politics from a voters perspective is partisian gridlock.

    Attempting to show that you’re willing to cross the aisle is something some independent voters use as a measuring stick. I don’t get the impression that Rauner is trying to build a platform off this event.

  29. - the Patriot - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    I don’t see the problem. They are crooks and they are career politicians, and Rauner is saying I pull no punches and will tell it like it is, but he will be involved and have meetings with them. Availability is still an important ability.

    Don’t downplay the fact some legislators want him to win, can’t be “the guy” for a billionaire their blue collar districts. Knowing he will work with them is a lot.

    Also, don’t downplay the significance of 2 billion dollars. A lot of people can’t stand up to Madigan because they can’t afford to have a Madigan backed opponent. Rauner can balance the table.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    - Living in Machiaville -,

    Nah, I base my comment on this quote;

    “I want to get to know every legislator on a first name basis. I want to get to know them, their families, their hopes, their dreams, their fears, their weaknesses, their vulnerabilities. I want to get to know them well.” - Bruce Rauner.

    Pretty easy to follow.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    - the Patriot -,

    Is that the 1/3 corrupt GOP GA members that are going for Rauner, or the veto-proof Dems excited about the Bruces.

    Anyone who fibs about talking to the 4 Tops, and calls when he did it as recent, tells me that it’s Rauner trying to sell that the GA likes him, not me saying the GA should be weary.

    You can’t even trust Rauner to tell you the truth about speaking to MJM or Cullerton and when.

    Yikes! Dude, Rauner is playing you on this idea everyone fears him, but can’t get enough of him too. That speaks volumes how Rauner thinks voters are Dopes and believe anything said enough!

  32. - wordslinger - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 4:46 pm:

    –I for one think he’s better off meeting with the rank and file legislators anyway–

    The fundamentally corrupt ones? Is that how you shake it up?

    Why is he seeking out all these crooks? What is he up to, lol?

    Pick a lane with this guy. You either drink the Kool-Aid or you accept that he’s been the biggest, bankrolling enabler for the status quo for years.

    The dude wants the gig, late in life, because money doesn’t always buy fame.

    It’s a different business model than Trump (Rauner has much more money) but the personal needs are the same.

    Pay attention to him!

  33. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 7:02 pm:

    Rauner can’t seem to get his message straight.

    Quinn, meanwhile, refuses to meet with the business groups?


    Pat, I’m with you on the importance of college. How about taking that message to the business leaders and challenging them to join you in preparing the next generation for the jobs of tomorrow…no better way to grow our economy than investing in our people.

  34. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, May 5, 14 @ 7:37 pm:

    Yeah…trying NOW to ingratiate himself with the folks who bust their tails every day to serve the People of Illinois in Springfield when he bought himself the Nomination “HAMMERING” them and how corrupt and horrible they are…don’t even BOTHER, Loosey Brucie! These folks see right through that blarney–aka the HEIGHT in Hypocrisy…!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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