Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 - Cochran apologizes - ILGOP responds *** Mendoza wrongly claims Rauner laughed at “rape culture” comment
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*** UPDATED x2 - Cochran apologizes - ILGOP responds *** Mendoza wrongly claims Rauner laughed at “rape culture” comment

Friday, Mar 31, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Media advisory…


WHO: Illinois State Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza
Rev. Marvin Hunter of Grace Memorial Baptist Church
Dr. Phalese Binion, Executive Director of Westside Baptist Ministers
Kathy Ragnar, Executive Director of Sarah’s Circle
Vickie Smith, Executive Director of ICADV
Rev. Stanley Watkins of New Covenant Baptist Church

WHAT: Women’s advocates will hold a news conference on the last day of Women’s History Month about rape culture language.

WHERE: James R. Thompson Center
15th Floor

WHEN: Friday, March 31, 2017
3:00pm – 4:00pm

ICADV is the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Sarah’s Circle provides services to homeless women.

* Here’s the full video of the presser from Comptroller Mendoza’s Facebook page

* So, what is this about? Well, you’ll recall that a recent Quad City Times editorial referred to Mendoza as a “slave” to Speaker Madigan.

Mendoza demanded an apology from the editorial board today.

* As we discussed yesterday, Mendoza called out the Illinois Republican Party for its Statehouse tracker video of her getting into her state-paid SUV by tweeting “Way to creepily stalk me.” CBS 2 Chicago picked up the story.

Today, Mendoza asked, “What’s next? My house? My family?” Good questions.

* But then we get to the “news” portion of the news conference. Gov. Rauner appeared on the Steve Cochran WGN Radio program earlier this week. After discussing Rauner’s new “duct tape” TV ads and then Rauner’s ongoing spat with Mendoza, Cochran said this

Maybe you could take, I was gonna suggest maybe you can take some of that duct tape you’re working with and put it over her mouth. But that probably wouldn’t be appropriate.

Ugh. What sort of person says something like that during a supposedly professional radio broadcast?

So, Mendoza rightly demanded an apology from Cochran today for “casually” suggesting that Rauner duct tape her mouth closed.

But Mendoza also claimed that Rauner “laughed right along with” Cochran. From her press release…

I am calling on WGN, on radio host Steve Cochran, and on Governor Rauner to issue an apology. Not for me, but for the millions of women who’ve been victims of violence or sexual abuse, who could turn the radio on, and hear a radio personality suggest to the Governor that duct tape be used to silence a woman and rather than have the Governor denounce that type of language, instead laugh right along with him. Rape culture language is not a laughing matter and it’s never OK.

She repeated the claim that Rauner laughed later in the press conference.

* I knew this was coming, so I isolated the audio. The first time I listened, I thought I heard Rauner laughing. But then I listened again a few more times and heard Rauner coughing and letting out a quick groan. He didn’t seem to enjoy the humor

Raw audio is here.

*** UPDATE 1 ***  Tribune

Asked for comment, Rauner’s office referred questions to the Illinois Republican Party, which the governor largely funds. GOP spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski issued a statement in which she said the governor “doesn’t chuckle” at the radio host’s remark.

“Here we go again. Another absurd rant from Susana Mendoza. Instead of encouraging Speaker Madigan and fellow Democrats to come to the table and pass a budget with real reforms, Mendoza is spending her taxpayer funded time coming up with wild, defamatory accusations about the governor,” the statement read in part. “It’s a ploy to distract from the fact that she has no productive solutions to Illinois’ crisis.”

Todd Manley, vice president of content and programming for WGN-AM, said Cochran planned to apologize for the comments.

“It was an unfortunate choice of words, there is no way around it. He should have never said it, and it’s as simple as that,” Manley said. “I know Steve regrets it.”

Manley is right. But since when has the ILGOP been about “productive solutions” to anything here? Asking for a friend.

*** UPDATE 2 *** From Steve Cochran…

I made a comment earlier this week while Governor Bruce Rauner was a guest on my show that has been misrepresented by Comptroller Susana Mendoza today.

The comment the Comptroller is apparently referring to was meant to be about my opinion that there is far too much grandstanding and not enough action by those in power to fix our state budget disaster.

I chose the words poorly and Ms. Mendoza was offended by it. I apologize.

Furthermore the words were mine and mine alone.

I must add the following. I grew up in a house where I witnessed violence by my father against my mother. Nothing is more offensive to me.

I have worked with agencies to raise funds and awareness to this cause. I have contributed my time and money to this fight. I have used my platform as a public person to speak out on this scourge for more than 30 years.

As a husband, father, and grandfather to two amazing women and 1 incredible little girl, I’m proud of the work I’ve done and continue to do on this cause.

My hope is that the leaders in state Government will work just as hard to finally finish a budget that will in part help fund the cause of stopping violence against women and helping the victims who are still in jeopardy.

Neither the Comptroller nor her office made any attempt to contact me prior to her public statement today. She is welcome on the show to continue this discussion in person and I hope she will join me.


  1. - 51st ward - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:53 pm:

    So we have Mendoza offering alternative facts and creating fake news.

  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:55 pm:

    If he didn’t enjoy the humor he should have said so and or ended the interview. The two of them are chuckling throughout the segment. Anyone I associate myself with, I would hope they would speak out immediately in response to that

  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    ===he should have said so and or ended the interview===

    I don’t disagree. But Mendoza claimed he did enjoy it. So, deal with it.

  4. - Grand Avenue - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:57 pm:

    It’s Friday afternoon - why bother?

  5. - 47th Ward - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:57 pm:

    The things this Governor actually does are outrageous enough. No need to embellish them or to make stuff up.

  6. - Earnest - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:58 pm:

    This is just more distraction from Mendoza’s deliberate starvation of human services over the past two years. /s

  7. - Peoria - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    Joking about taping someone’s mouth closed is not akin to joking about rape culture. Get a grip, people.

  8. - Do you want more... - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    Making stuff up with fake news… good game kids.

    Do you want more Trump?
    This is how you get more Trump.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:00 pm:

    Amateurs overreach.

    Why Mendoza decided to go with something like this…

    Not good. Not at all good.

  10. - A Jack - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:03 pm:

    But there was a second shot from the direction of the grassy knoll…

  11. - Ok - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    Rich Miller

    Are you on the Rauner payroll?

  12. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    =Amateurs overreach.=

    Just like her campaign. “I will make sure politicans get paid at the back of the line. Q-You can do that. SM-I can and I will” Not ready for primetime at all.

  13. - @misterjayem - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:06 pm:

    My folks raised me to know that a ‘joke’ like that needs to be unambiguously objected to — or you’re just playing along.

    Laughing or not.

    – MrJM

  14. - Mom Jeans - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    Did you decide he was coughing, or did the Governor come out and say he was not coughing and that he disagreed with Cochran’s statement?

  15. - Redraider - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:11 pm:

    Earnest , you are joking right? How long has Mendoza been Comptroller?

  16. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:12 pm:

    ===Did you decide he was coughing===

    Yes. That’s what I wrote.

    And to the person who asked if I’m on the Rauner payroll, let me just say to you: “Bite me.” Listen to the audio.

  17. - Saluki - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:12 pm:

    I like Mendoza, but she might be letting her disdain for the Governor get the best of her in this instance.

  18. - Perrid - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:13 pm:

    ==Joking about taping someone’s mouth closed is not akin to joking about rape culture. Get a grip, people.==
    Debatable. Silencing women in general is very much tied to rape culture by taking away women’s voice/agency. Or you could say that someone who disagrees with her is just tired of hearing her talk, the same as he would be with anyone else. I hear all the time that people want Republicans/Democrats to be quiet. Really depends on how you want to read it. Either way, not too classy.

  19. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:15 pm:


    Nah. It’s despicable. Rauner shoulda said something. But instead of just saying that, Mendoza claimed he laughed when he didn’t. Swing and a miss.

  20. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:21 pm:

    wow. Rauner sits there while he hears a joke about taping a woman’s mouth closed? its gross. it’s sexist. it’s rape culture. it’s taking away a women’s voice. speak up and tell Cochran that he is a jerk, Governor. I never, and I mean never, sit and say nothing when a racist, homophobic, anti semitic, sexist remark is made. speak up Governor.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:22 pm:

    ===Swing and a miss.===

    This… and this too…

    ===The things this Governor actually does are outrageous enough. No need to embellish them or to make stuff up.===

    You want to MAKE hay, you get face the possibility of swinging and missing. Badly.

    You make things up against someone with 58% disapproval… why? So it goes to 62%?

    You only look worse when you miss.

    Why make Rauner sympathetic?

    You don’t.

  22. - The Real Just Me - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:23 pm:

    May I suggest that the headline is little strong (”wrongly”), especially based on the subtle equivocation at the end (”didn’t seem to enjoy”)? Everyone can listen to the audio on their own and draw their own conclusions about a laugh or a cough and enjoyment or otherwise.

  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:25 pm:

    === Everyone can listen to the audio on their own and draw their own conclusions===

    You’re slightly unclear on the concept of blogging, methinks.

  24. - The Real Just Me - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:28 pm:

    Yes, admittedly, I am. Maybe I should be proud of that?

  25. - P. - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:29 pm:

    I hope the Governor recovers from his tuberculosis or maybe he has the black lung, papa.

  26. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:30 pm:

    ===Maybe I should be proud of that? ==

    After at least 8 months of commenting here? No.

  27. - Ok - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:33 pm:

    Rich Miller

    I asked if you were on the Rauner payroll simply because this story and headline is very petty. I would like you to provide the public with more information regarding the KOCH/Rauner agenda in Illinois than stuff like this.

  28. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:34 pm:

    ===I would like you to provide…===

    Get your own blog, let Rich run his.


  29. - ILPundit - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:34 pm:

    I listened to the audio and he definitely made a noise, and it didn’t sound like a cough or a groan. It sounded like a a suppressed chortle, like one sounds when they are trying to be polite after being told an unfunny joke.

    Either way, I think Rauner should have called Cochran out. And I think there is more than enough here to suggest that it could be easily seen as an affirmation by the Governor. And such, I think the headline on this post is misleading. At minimum, its a judgement call.

  30. - A Modest Proposal - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    The problem with news shows is that they are becoming entertainment instead of news. They are adapting to the demands that consumers of news put on them too. In fact, we don’t have news, but now have entertainment guised as news. This happens on the right, on the left, and in the middle.

  31. - A Modest Proposal - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:38 pm:

    —I listened to the audio and he definitely made a noise, and it didn’t sound like a cough or a groan. It sounded like a a suppressed chortle, like one sounds when they are trying to be polite after being told an unfunny joke.—

    Rauner trying to make his way through someone else’s awkward/unfunny/offensive joke shouldn’t be news.

  32. - A guy - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:39 pm:

    Radio jocks are out there to entertain. They worry little about their image compared to how funny they hope people find them.

    Political office holders are out there to get exposure and face/voice time.

    2 different missions that could create an episode like this. Neither of these two are new at this. The Gov should have politely admonished Cochran. Would have played right into the schtick. And he’d have left no doubt about himself not approving of that kind of talk.

    Mendoza? That’s trying way, way, way too hard. If you wait a bit, he’ll give you all you need. Instead, you whacked yourself with this one. Better…get better…at this.

  33. - Saluki - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:40 pm:

    == I would like you to provide the public with more information regarding the KOCH/Rauner agenda in Illinois than stuff like this. ==

    Dude. I’ve been around this blog for 8 years or so, if you don’t like it around these parts go somewhere else. This is one of the best political blogs because it’s not a purely partisan echo chamber. BTW, if I remember right, Rauner said at one point Rich was on Madigan’s payroll, so you might wanna find a new talking point….

  34. - The Real Just Me - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:41 pm:

    Rich, I takes me way longer than 8 mos. to learn all the nuances of something as complicated as blogging. I’m still in my rookie year.

  35. - Emily Miller - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:41 pm:

    Can folks please not forget in the midst of the very healthy conversations around rape culture that IL is currently providing ZERO funding for rape crisis centers? And domestic violence services were left out of the stop gap all together.
    So sure, comment on whether you think there was a cough or a chuckle, and remember that in the end we, as a society in Illinois, do not fund programs to end rape culture or rape.

  36. - cdog - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:42 pm:

    I listened to it several times and cannot discern the intention of Rauner’s noises.

    Regardless, the whole duct-tape thing is weird.

    Rauner’s supporters should probably think twice about their duct-tape jokes.

  37. - OverIt - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:42 pm:

    I have always liked Mendoza, but this has gotten out of control. Honestly, I’m starting to feel embarrassed for her. Using taxpayer money to hold a press conference to connect this interview with sexual assault? Amateur hour is over kids. Get to work.

  38. - Roman - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:44 pm:

    Sounds like a cough…but it is certainly a coincidence that it would come at that precise moment, isn’t it?

    A quick cough to cover up a reflexive guffaw?

  39. - Romeo - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:45 pm:

    Having lived in two other states, I can’t ever remember politicians being such clowns.

  40. - ILPundit - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:45 pm:

    @A Guy, I don’t entirely disagree. But to be perfectly honest, Mendoza trying to make an issue out of this really pales in comparison to the hundreds of times Rauner has actively tried to distort the public and private actions of just about everyone who disagrees with him since taking office.

    Mendoza is just playing Rauner’s game, and its clearly getting under his skin. I would submit that if Pat Quinn had shown half the fight as Mendoza has shown in the last few months, Rauner wouldn’t be Governor.

  41. - Soccermom - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:46 pm:

    First of all, I am with Emily Miller on this one. The Governor has a responsibility to offer a budget that will cover the state’s priorities — and if Rauner doesn’t prioritize rape crisis centers and domestic violence prevention, I’m not sure what he might consider important.

    Second — when I hear the tape, it sounds like one of those “heh heh” fake laughs to me. And I definitely do not hear him saying, “Hey — that’s out of bounds.”

    At worst, I think she fouled one back and stayed live at the plate.

  42. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:47 pm:

    How soon until he pulls his ads? Rip rip rip

  43. - @misterjayem - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 4:52 pm:

    “Rauner trying to make his way through someone else’s awkward/unfunny/offensive joke shouldn’t be news.”

    It wouldn’t be news if Rauner had simply objected to Cochran’s awkward, unfunny and offensive joke. If he’d simply said, “Oh come on, Steve…” this wouldn’t have become a problem for Rauner.

    – MrJM

  44. - walker - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 5:09 pm:

    I thought Mendoza also overreached with the stalker thing. Her criticism should have been directed to the speaker on this one, if at all.

    Mendoza has been effective so far at deflating Rauner’s bubble. She should stick with her best ammo.

  45. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 31, 17 @ 5:18 pm:

    ===this story and headline is very petty===

    That’s some Fake News stuff right there. The story and headline are accurate.

    As for stuff about Rauner, just scroll down one story for one example. Sheesh.

    One-off outsider trolls are the worst.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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