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Today’s Rauner-related quotables

Monday, May 12, 2014

* We once again quote Illinois Manufacturers’ Association chief Greg Baise. This time it’s about Bruce Rauner

“He’s a transaction guy. He knows he can’t do this all alone. He knows he is going to have to come in here and work with” the legislative leaders, two of whom are powerful Democrats who currently hold supermajorities in their respective chambers.

* And speaking of Rauner, the Sun-Times ran a story over the weekend about how disgraced former Democratic US Senate candidate Blair Hull had given $5K to Rauner’s campaign

“I admire wealthy people who want to serve,” Hull told the Sun-Times in an interview last week. “I admire people like Michael Bloomberg, and I think he did a great job. People who are wealthy can really do what they believe, they can push for the right reforms.” […]

When asked if more financial backing was on the way, Hull laughed.

“He doesn’t need my money. He’s got a lot more money than I do,” Hull said. As for the $5,000 check he wrote to Rauner: “It was emotional support.”

* And one more. Winnebago County GOP Chairman Jim Thompson recently made a bit of news by writing this in his party’s newsletter…

“Media update for the week: saw on the news this week the offspring of a donkey and a zebra, black and white legs, rest all donkey. Not sure why this is news. Now if we can teach him to read a teleprompter, we could have two living creatures the media will fawn over that is part white, part black and all a**!”

Rauner eventually reacted, saying Thompson should resign

“Bruce believes the comments in the newsletter were wholly inappropriate and don’t have a place in the Republican Party. It would be best if he resigned,” said Mike Schrimpf, Rauner spokesman.

State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, confirmed that Rauner called him Friday afternoon and said it would be best for the party if Thompson stepped down. Syverson has been one of Thompson’s supporters, saying he should stay in his position because he apologized for the “joke.”

“He’s not racist and he apologized and if somebody took it the wrong way, he apologized and that’s all he can do,” said Syverson.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - too obvious - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:22 am:

    This is all just treading water. Once the Quinn campaign starts running ads with testimonials from family members of persons who died after neglect in GTCR controlled nursing homes, this race is over.

  2. - Tom Joad - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    “He’s not racist and he apologized and if somebody took it the wrong way, he apologized and that’s all he can do,” said Syverson. Well Dave, he could just resign!

  3. - Walker - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    ===Apologized if someone took it the wrong way===

    That cluelessness is almost worse than the original “joke”. It also speaks to his audience at the time.

  4. - Demoralized - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:27 am:

    ==if somebody took it the wrong way==

    Took it the wrong way? That was just as dopey a thing to say as the original joke. Of course everybody knows what he meant.

  5. - Walker - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:30 am:

    Rauner would do well to listen to Baise.

    Baise understands the challenge better than Rauner seems to.

  6. - Adam Smith - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    Rauner is right to press for Thompson to step down. Republicans far too often say flippant things like this that have helped erode the party’s image.

    If we don’t want to be seen as insensitive at best and racist at worst we have to start realizing that words matter.

  7. - LizPhairTax - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    Rauner: Thanks Blair! That $5,000 is just the punch in the shin my campaign needed!

  8. - wordslinger - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    What was the “right way” to take it, Senator?

    Just think how many chances Thompson had NOT to put something that stupid in a party newsletter. When he was writing it, editing it, proofing it, etc.

    Yet he went right ahead, anyway. That’s a special class of stupid.

  9. - AFSCME Steward - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    “As for the $5,000 check he wrote to Rauner: “It was emotional support.”

    Dear Blair Hull

    My spirits have been low recently. Any emotional support you could provide me would be helpful.


    Your dear friend
    AFSCME Steward

  10. - Samurai - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    Rauner understands that the Republican Party has a history of intolerance that needs to be reigned in for the better of the party.

    I can only imagine Rauner’s thoughts on what might come out of the mouth of the candidate for U.S. Senate in the next 5 months.

  11. - Wensicia - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    “He’s not a racist…”

    Because, of coarse, since Obama’s election we are now a post-racial society?

    That joke was deliberately placed in that news letter; the apology is worthless. Wrong Way Thompson should resign.

  12. - AFSCME Steward - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:47 am:


    “If we don’t want to be seen as insensitive at best and racist at worst we have to start realizing that words matter.”

    It’s not just words, it attitude thyat matters. Anyone who would even think that it was appropriate to think what was written does not belong as a chairman of anything. The GOP keeps saying it wants to become more inclusive. Does this look like inclusive ? There is a reason why minorities have fled the GOP, once the party of Lincoln. Contrary to the claims, Thompson is clearly a racist. Only a racist would write such garbage. Racists will never attract minorities to the party. Thompson, and all who think like him, needs to go.

  13. - OneMan - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    Dear Republican Party Chairmen and other leaders…

    Before you send out a newsletter or anything I would suggest you send a copy to a trusted member who is between the ages of 25 and 45 and ask them. Is there anything in here that might be offensive or taken the wrong way.

  14. - AFSCME Steward - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    One Man

    “Dear Republican Party Chairmen and other leaders…

    “Before you send out a newsletter or anything I would suggest you send a copy to a trusted member who is between the ages of 25 and 45 and ask them. Is there anything in here that might be offensive or taken the wrong way.”

    Why would anyone of any age think that was appropriate ?

  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    The second you use, “if I offended”, then you are a Dope, and probably not the most credible person to believe that you are sorry.

    Blair Hull is a perfect example of a Raunerite. The Raunerites do not want Republican help. They don’t. Bruce Rauner wants the ILGOP to shut their yaps, “eat it”, and let them bake a cake with the ILGOP being lemmings.

    ===“He’s a transaction guy. He knows he can’t do this all alone. He knows he is going to have to come in here and work with” the legislative leaders, two of whom are powerful Democrats who currently hold supermajorities in their respective chambers.===

    In this instance, no surprise, Greg Baise is a Raunerite, spouting Raunerbot talking points in the face of both Zbruce Rauner’s rhetoric. That is being a lemming, and worse, a Raunerbot.

    Maybe Mr. Baise can’t read, watch TV, or thinks Bruce is just ignorant. Or, maybe Mr. Baise thinks people are dumb.

    “Right? Exactly right.”

  16. - Soccermom - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    Word, you beat me to it. What is the “right way” to take that, Syverson? Please explain to me the benign interpretation, because I am not seeing it.

    You make me ashamed to be from Rockford, both of you.

  17. - the Other Anonymous - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    I was going to comment about “if someone took it the wrong way,” but others got there first.

    That leaves me free to say that now I have two reasons to be happy Blair Hull imploded in 2004. Not only it did launch the national career of Barack Obama, but we also avoided getting a Senator who openly supports a plutocracy.

  18. - too obvious - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    I’m just waiting for the headline, “Jim Thompson ousted from GOP.”

  19. - thechampaignlife - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    ===He’s not racist===

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  20. - The Prince - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    “also avoided a getting a (s)enator who openly supports a plutocracy…”

    Yes, completely avoided in its entirety.

  21. - Shark Sandwich - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    We need to get Thompson to do a debate with Linda Chapa Lavia on the plight of the ‘Halves and Halve-nots’.

  22. - Norseman - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    Why would you want someone this stupid as the head of your party?

  23. - Langhorne - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    OW is right. think stirling: “if i offended magic johnson…”

    i want to hear more about how rauner will bring in 30 superstars to set things right in a jiffy. how utterly condescending and naive. contrary to public opinion, there are a lot of really smart people in state government, who work very hard trying to solve problems and provide services. the problems are difficult. resources are inadequate. if medicaid was an easy fix, it woulda been done long ago.

  24. - A guy... - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    Thompson was a dum dum. Make an example of him. Show him the door. Syverson needs to quit apologizing for the qualified apology. He’s gotta go. Replace him with the right person and make lemonade out of this lemon.

  25. - Tea Party Artie - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    Bruce Rauner thinks that Thompson should resign for a bad joke? Shouldn’t Bruce Rauner resign from the Gubernatorial race for his bad joke? You know the joke…where Bruce Rauner was hired by the Illinois Pension Board to invest Illinois pension funds to secure future retiree pensions? Really folks? Isn’t it funny that Rauner is now running for Governor to “fix” what he couldn’t fix the first time? Oh, but you can bet Rauner made money on that deal. With the GOP backing imbeciles like Rauner at the State level and McCain, Boehner and Graham at the National level, it seems that the GOP wants to secure Democrats stay in office for the next thousand years.

  26. - How Ironic - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    @Tea Party Artie,

    I don’t agree with Rauner on much, but on this I do. It’s not a ‘bad joke’ that’s the issue, it’s the fact that it’s a thinly veiled racist ‘joke’. At a time the GOP is trying to build up the party and be more inclusive, knuckle draggers like Thompson should be shown the door.

  27. - D.P.Gumby - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    one need not “be” a racist to “be a racist”. For people like Thompson it is so second nature that it just occurs. such a person does not contemplate it or even have an awareness of it. It is those people that exist as a core of today’s modern racism.

  28. - Kimocat - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    The Illinois GOP, in fact all GOP, need to stop accepting this type in the party. It’s always been, “We’ll just look the other way because the racists vote with us.” Well not anymore. I used to be a Republican and I wouldn’t touch any of those guys with a ten foot pole.

  29. - Aldyth - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    No one misunderstood this joke, unless they somehow thought it was not racist. There are some things that just aren’t acceptable anymore and racist jokes in your political newsletter is one of them. You’d think people would have learned that by now, but some folks just don’t quite see it.

  30. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    Artie, the biggest joke on this thread appears to be your post.

    We’ve debated on several occasions, with facts and figures, the performance of Rauner’s firm in the funds in which State pension money was invested. The conclusion-they made money, a lot in a couple cases, and outperformed a group of comparable private equity funds.
    Further, Rauner has said a lot, but I haven’t heard him say anything about improving investing-is that your claim or are you just obtuse?

  31. - Willie Stark - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    “If somebody took it the wrong way” completely negates the apology - not that Syverson can really apologize on behalf of someone else. The racial hysteria around President Obama by the right and others who cannot accept the changing reality of American demographics and understand it is NOT a threat, is eating at the GOP like an acid. They should enjoy 2014 as much as they can, because 2016 and beyond is not going to be a favorable environment for dinosaur attitudes and “humor.”

  32. - Soccermom - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 5:07 pm:

    I guess I missed the thin veil…

  33. - Anon - Monday, May 12, 14 @ 5:14 pm:

    And Republicans just can’t understand why they attract so few African-Americans.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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