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Out of state biz journalists peeved at Rauner

Monday, Apr 27, 2015

* Welcome to Illinois

If it was part of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s agenda to court the press during his speech at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers conference in Chicago, it didn’t quite work out.

Rauner, a businessman who made his fortune in private equity, gave the keynote speech on Saturday, the final day of the conference, to a nearly-full ballroom, pitching his ambitious agenda to transform Illinois.

He opened his speech with a request to reporters to help him pass his reforms, asking for the press’s support three times during his 15-minute speech. […]

After the governor wrapped up his speech, he declared he wouldn’t answer any questions from the audience. An audible groan rippled through the crowd. As he left, several reporters followed him into the hallway. […]

According to [Marty Wolk, president of SABEW], it was a difficult process to get Gov. Rauner to appear at the event. He explained that all speakers know beforehand that their comments are on the record and are expected to take a few questions, given their audience is a room full of business journalists.

“An hour before he arrived, his advance person said no questions from the podium, but that he would be available for 15 minutes afterward to meet people,” Wolk said. Rauner left immediately after his speech.

“For a public figure to say, ‘I want you to help me sell this story’ and not understand it’s a two-way conversation, and not take questions? It fundamentally misunderstands the role of media in this age. In any age,” Wolk said.

* Video

Raw audio is here.

* This is not unusual. Here is the governor’s latest public schedule notice…

Daily Public Schedule: Monday, April 27, 2015

What: Governor Attends Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing Luncheon

Where: Chicago Marriott

540 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago

Date: Monday, April 27, 2015

Time: 12:15 p.m.

Note: No additional media availability.

What: Governor Discusses Turnaround Agenda at Great Lakes Economic Forum

Where: Chicago Cultural Center

78 E. Washington St., Chicago

Date: Monday, April 27, 2015

Time: 2:15 p.m.

Note: No additional media availability.

Emphasis added.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PublicServant - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 8:36 am:

    Ya know when God passed down the 10 Commandments, he didn’t take any questions either.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 8:37 am:

    I really have no real beef with Rauner not answering questions. That’s on him and his Crew, so if that’s their tact, ok.

    If I was a journalist and some Dopey governor asked me in a speech tailored to me and my colleagues to get the speaker’s agenda out there in the media, cover what they say, and THEN take zero questions, yeah, I’d have a serious beef.

    I’d be less inclined to do a follow-up story/angle for that Dopey speaker too.

    “Report what I’m doing, but no questions, thank you.”


  3. - Demoralized - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 8:42 am:

    So his message is: do what I want but don’t ask me any questions about it.

    Dear Governor:

    You aren’t a CEO anymore.

  4. - Hedley Lamarr - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 8:49 am:

    Doesn’t he treat the Le ge stature the same way?

  5. - Stones - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 8:50 am:

    It’s falls on Rauner’s inexperience as a public official. Simple as that.

  6. - zatoichi - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 8:51 am:

    I want your help, but will not want to help you.

  7. - Wordslinger - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 8:59 am:

    Get used to it.

    Rauner has proven that he can’t go off script, is not good on his feet.

    Probably has something to do with his willful ignorance, his choice not to be informed and his appalling lack of knowledge, as Rich pointed out last week.

  8. - Bushwacker - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 9:03 am:

    Already tired of this clown. Bruce please do us all a favor and return to the business sector!

  9. - Juvenal - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 9:04 am:

    The governor does not take questions because the governor cannot answer questions.

    Which raises serious questions about the quality of education at Dartmouth.

  10. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 9:07 am:

    If he is not going to take questions, then he should at least bring along the LT. Governor, and let her answer questions.

  11. - Ghost - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 9:12 am:

    It worked well for Blago At the end to stop taking questions.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 9:12 am:

    Slip and Sue can’t answer questions either.

    She was “hired” to keep quiet, do as she was told, and try not to have another personal injury lawsuiy that might undercut Rauner’s tort reform.

  13. - AnonymousOne - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 9:16 am:

    My way or the highway. Not interested in what anyone thinks.

  14. - Cheswick - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 9:18 am:

    Somewhat related: The governor was in Chicago for the speech Saturday (night?), then back in Springfield for motor cycle riding Sunday morning, then back in Chicago for Monday events. Yeow! I’ve got no sympathy for the guy, but that’s a grueling schedule, considering it’s all in a car, versus a plane, or the much more relaxing train. Perhaps if he did a little better planning, he could take some questions.

  15. - The Dude Abides - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 9:21 am:

    The previous posters have already neatly explained this pattern. He is acting like a CEO, not a Governor. It’s do as I say and no need to question me about it. Also if he has to go off script by answering questions, he’s liable to say something which will just lead to even more questions. Basically Rauner has been going all over the state to talk to people but not to listen to them. There’s no need to, this guy already has everything figured out, or so he thinks.

  16. - Sangamo Sam - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 9:22 am:

    ==Probably has something to do with his willful ignorance, his choice not to be informed and his appalling lack of knowledge, as Rich pointed out last week.==

    Amen Word, and I would emphasize “his appalling lack of knowledge”. As anyone who has spent any time in State government will attest, it’s a complicated machine. Holding back the fair share dues is but one example of an ill-informed idea. Taking questions would only further expose the Governor.

  17. - chi - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 9:22 am:

    Like Juvenal said-

    Why would you take questions you can’t answer?

    And this is nothing new, Rauner has been avoiding questions since he began his campaign to buy Illinois.

  18. - Gooner - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 9:27 am:

    Here’s the thing about Rauner that I’m not sure his staff understands — the Gov. has a bit of Reagan in him, in that he can make comments that seem evasive or nearly offensive (as when he almost seems to take pride in cuts for the most vulnerable) but voters seem to like him when he talks.

    The experience seems to be that speaking to reporters is good for Rauner. Hiding him only creates an issue of “why isn’t he speaking?”

  19. - walker - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 9:41 am:

    A high-priced rookie who can’t hit the curveball.

  20. - MrJM - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 9:45 am:

    For a public figure to say, ‘I want you to help me sell this story’ and not understand it’s a two-way conversation, and not take questions? It fundamentally misunderstands the role of media in this age. In any age.

    Just put that in the file with “fundamentally misunderstands the role of government.”

    – MrJM

  21. - Aldyth - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 10:00 am:

    Rauner can’t answer questions that require actual knowledge and certainly from people who really know what they’re talking about.

  22. - scott aster - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 10:11 am:

    Rich….”Cheswick” seems too know the Gov where abouts in detail……soooo does Rauner not use the state place????

  23. - JoanP - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 10:20 am:

    “a request to reporters to help him pass his reforms”

    Just the fact that he’d make that request is offensive. It’s one thing in speaking to editorial boards and opinion columnists. But reporters are supposed to be objective. They’re not supposed to have “agendas”, theirs or anyone else’s. (I’m not saying they never do, just that they shouldn’t.)

  24. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 10:22 am:

    Now OW, let’s be fair to the LG. Her recent public appearance in Champaign was well-received by the audience, ending with cheers and a standing “O.” She got some TV time on the same day the VPOTUS was in town and the visuals were great.

    Of course, she was there to read and hang out with some third graders at a local school, but had to leave before “recess.”

  25. - chi - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    =The experience seems to be that speaking to reporters is good for Rauner. Hiding him only creates an issue of “why isn’t he speaking?”=

    I disagree, respectfully. I don’t think the average voter thinks Rauner is hiding. I think they get the impression that he’s all over the place. That’s in part because the media still isn’t calling him out for failing to back up his claims/answer questions.

  26. - veritas - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 10:25 am:

    So, this was really just Bryan Price without the expletives. I have an agenda. You need to help me move it forward.

    C’mon - that’s not the media’s job.

  27. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 10:34 am:

    - AA -,

    I keep underestimating Slip and Sue and how she relates to her sweet spot audiences. She’s Magic in the right setting.

    Wonder if the teacher(s) were Union teacher(s)?

  28. - Not buying it - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 10:35 am:

    “Out of state biz journalists peeved at Rauner”

    When are all the in-state journalists going to get peeved at him? He is constantly stretching the truth and outright lying about things. Why do so few call him on the carpet about it?

    As Finke points out in his column this week, Rauner is full of “anecdotes” and tall tales that fit his narrative — much like Blago. (Thank you, Bernie, for tracking those white lies throughout Blago’s reign. Those stories ended up telling us a lot about the guy we twice elected to lead our state.)

    I wish an enterprising in-state journalist would start a daily Rauner “truth-o-meter.” Now, that would be interesting.

  29. - Langhorne - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 10:46 am:

    I was going to say he is clueless, but this incident is quite revealing. Reporters, local officials, voters are there to be used. “Communication” is strictly one way. You dont like it, you can pack sand. He is just “staying on message”.

    It is offensive he thinks he can enlist journalists to advance his agenda. Wouldnt that make them corrupt?

  30. - Belle - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 10:53 am:

    These people are reporters. I can imagine that if he isn’t providing the information that they want, they’ll go out and find some on their own. He might not be as happy if that write about that information?

  31. - Anonin' - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 10:54 am:

    BVR got a little pub in WSJ Saturday with mention of his failed “fair share” onslaught, but no comment on growth of union members.
    Seems like BVR can tell the story, but not s’plain it.
    Where is IL press?

  32. - BlameBruceRauner - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 11:42 am:

    The Marshon Lynch of Governors. Im just here so I don’t get fined….or In Bruce’s case I’m not here because I DONT LISTEN TO ANYONE or could care less about 99.9% of you

  33. - Norseman - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 11:49 am:

    It’s all about controlling the message. Answering questions endangers that because of the accurate and well observed (at least by Capitol Fax commenters) problem with Rauner’s inability to go off-script.

  34. - Finally Out (and now very glad to be) - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    Daily Public Schedule: Monday, January 12, 2015
    What: Governor Rauner sworn in as new governor.
    Term: 4 years or less.
    Details: Will be coming soon.
    Note: No additional media availability for remainder of term.

  35. - Bogey Golfer - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:20 pm:

    Rauner believes he has hundreds of PR staff at his disposal and doesn’t have to pay them - they are the media. And there have been many pols who are not good in dealing with questions from the press. For Rauner to acknowledge he is not, is his prerogative - it just does him no benefit.

  36. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:54 pm:

    Monarchs don’t have to answer questions. Governors do. It would be helpful for him to learn which is which.

  37. - Really - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:26 pm:

    Confucius say: Watch what he do and not what his mouth does.
    Actions speak louder than words. This wasn’t a room full of constituents.

  38. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:30 pm:

    Confucius must be confused;

    Rauner, often, asks the journalists present to help spread the news of his agenda, then took no questions from those he just asked they do for him, be only a messenger(?)

    Confucius, even Confucius wouldn’t have logic for this.

  39. - Harry - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 3:43 pm:

    So is he asking reporters, not editorial boards, who are supposed to be impartial, to bend their ethics and take his side on a controversial matter? And then he insults them?

    Hmmmm, an interesting approach.

    He is obviously not a stupid man, which leaves me wondering what is his goal with this?

  40. - Emily Booth - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 4:52 pm:

    Not cooperating with the media is snubbing his nose at the people (or who Donald Trump referred to as the “little people”).

  41. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 8:04 pm:

    King Bruce has no time for answering questions from the peasants. But he expects them to go do his bidding. Classy.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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