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“Rauner-funded Republican Party”

Friday, Apr 28, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Hmm

This week [Gov. Bruce Rauner has] been up against an onslaught of public protests organized in part by (taxpayer subsidized) public unions and groups demanding that taxpayers pay for abortions.

And all of it covered by journalists who refer to the Republican Party as the “Rauner-funded Republican Party.”

For those of you not versed in such things, quotation marks are considered almost holy to journalists. Put those quotes on what somebody said or wrote and it has to be accurate. Period.

* So, I did a Google search for that exact phrase. Click here to do your own search. It produced only nine results - a handful of Democratic press releases, that column above and a mention of that column elsewhere.

But Google came up with a total of zero news stories written by journalists.

Now, perhaps a TV reporter used the phrase and it didn’t appear online in a transcript. But you’d think if it was such a common and prevalent occurrence that a prominent Chicago columnist would use it to throw mud on his colleagues that something, somewhere would pop up.


* Also, if you search Illinois GOP contributions going back to January 1st of 2015, you’ll see that Rauner and his committees have given the state party $21.1 million, plus at least another $5 million that he washed through accounts controlled by Leader Durkin and former Comptroller Munger. During that same period, the party raised $31 million. So, the governor’s money accounts for at least 61 percent of that total, and likely significantly more.

Looks Rauner-funded to me.

* Also, the unions are only “taxpayer subsidized” if you believe that once a public employee is paid that their earnings somehow still rightfully belong to the government.


  1. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    Did you search the emails from the Rauner press office to Kass? I bet it’s in there.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    Democrat Diana Rauner, in her own name, has funded the Raunerite ILGOP.

    As a Democrat, since 2015, has Diana Rauner, by her name, donated anything near the monies labeled by her own name to Illinois Democrats?

    “No, I’ll wait, thanks.”

    The RaunerS, Democrat Diana included, are funding the Raunerite ILGOP.


  3. - jerry 101 - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    Somebody’s been reading too many Oswego Willy comments on Cap Fax and seems to have gotten confused.

    Darn that Michael Madigan and the Oswego Willy he controls.


  4. - Red Rider - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    Seems the dems can talk for themselves and the Raunerites speak through his money.

  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    Kass, a blow hard who lives in an alternate universe? Why, I couldn’t imagine such a thing!

  6. - Ok - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    It appears that newspaper article was Rauner funded as well.

  7. - @misterjayem - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    “For those of you not versed in such things, quotation marks are considered almost holy to journalists.”

    Waitaminute — we talking about journalists or John Kass?

    – MrJM

  8. - Ohhaimark - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 9:55 am:

    Yeah, another reason not to read the Tribune.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    ===It’s true. Rauner is a wealthy man who takes no pay as governor. And he has donated large sums to the GOP out of his own pocket. He doesn’t take it out of your pockets. He takes it out of his pocket===

    Let’s de-construct this, for fun;

    “It’s true. Rauner is a wealthy man who takes no pay as governor.”

    Just because Rauner takes “no pay” as governor doesn’t mean that his overwhelming ownership of a political party is “ok”. This, in of itself, is ridiculous to parlay together to justify one person controlling one party.

    “And he has donated large sums to the GOP out of his own pocket.”

    So if you donate enough, it’s acceptable to control one party, it just needs to be “large sums, not just normal sums.

    “He doesn’t take it out of your pockets. He takes it out of his pocket”

    So, the “Republican-Libertarinan” writer feels your Liberty within a party is ok to be usurped… if it comes from a pocket of a sole donor.

    Mr. Rauner, Party of One, your table is ready…

    - jerry 101 -

    I doubt Kass has read anything I ever wrote. He’s too busy enjoying what he writes to read anything else. Maybe.

  10. - Norseman - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    MrJM shoots and scores.

  11. - Porgy Tirebiter - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    Mr. Kass:
    Nothing is more annoying in your line of work than the irrelevant pretending to be relevant.
    Please go away.

  12. - Joey - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:00 am:

    Can I just stop you right there for a second? When people do this ” … “, I don’t really know what that means.

    “I’m sorry.”

  13. - Steve Polite - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:02 am:

    If unions are considered by some to be taxpayer subsidized then using the same premise churches and other religious organizations are also taxpayer subsidized. In fact every charitable donation made by any state employee is taxpayer subsidized. One could even take it further and claim every dollar spent by state employees is taxpayer subsidized.

  14. - Arsenal - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    It was an exceedingly odd column, like Kass is just now noticing the dynamic that has been in place for two years now.

  15. - Ward Heeler - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    What about the Madigan funded Democratic Party?

    While not necessarily his personal funds, all Democratic cash seems to pass through his committees and Madigan allocates who receives the largess.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    ===While not necessarily his personal funds…===

    Which is the argument Kass is making…

    Good try.

    It’s about Diana and Bruce Rauner’s ILGOP ownership. That’s the ball game, not the… “not necessarily his personal funds”

  17. - Annonin' - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    wow this is more attention than Kassamoron has received anywhere — including his own newsroom — in a long time. The problem is the Kassamoron pays no attention because many if not all of the issues raised in the $200,000+ special master report are rehashing old news from 2014 or earlier.

  18. - Ward Heeler - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    If Madigan controls who ultimately receives Democratic Party funding, what is the difference?

  19. - LizPhairTax - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:31 am:

    “You can look it up. It was in the Chicago Tribune.”

  20. - Arock - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:31 am:

    But the illegal patronage hiring by Quinn with Madigan’s blessing seems to be alright to Democrats as well Frank Mautino and his fishy accounting practices.

  21. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:31 am:

    I object to your suggestion that Kass is a journalist. He’s not. He’s a columnist and not a very good one. Ever since his column debuted with its clumsy attempt to copy Mike Royko by creating his own version of Slats Grobnik, Kass has been a joke.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    ===If Madigan controls who ultimately receives Democratic Party funding, what is the difference?===

    Personal wealth injecting itself so one person’s personal fortune dictates a whole party’s agenda and direction.

    You like one person owning one party by writing a check to control its entire apparatus, and crushing any dissent within that party?

    Rod Blagojevich thought this was the way to go too… Rid just had “no money”

  23. - Sir Reel - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    Rauner’s game plan in a nutshell.

    Decimate unions, especially public employee unions, starve the Democratic party, flood campaigns with Rauner and dark money, take over world

  24. - Wordslinger - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    So there was no Combine? It was just Madigan running things all these decades? That’s a historic revelation.

    From my observation, quotes to Kass are not only holy but obviously divinely inspired.

    His angelic chorus of the top inside dopesters always provide the perfect quote to support whatever grievance Kass has that day. Every time. Anonymously, of course. That can’t be by chance.

    If you find Kass informative, thoughtful, or entertaining, I’d suggest day drinking at your favorite dive bar.

    The lonely loud drunk permanently mounted at the end of the bar will give you the same stuff — over and over and over again — but you can have a beer and catch a ballgame on TV.

  25. - Jerry 101 - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    Oswego Willy:
    Perhaps not, but I notice that you didn’t deny being controlled by Michael Madigan. .

    But, to be serious, who really is the boss of his party? Madigan’s been around for a long time and has a pretty good amount of control over the party purse strings, but compared to Rauner’s control of the Republican party? Rich said 62% of the party’s money is coming from Rauner. What percentage is coming from the Rauner inner circle? Griffin and Uihlein?

    Rauner’s their godfather and they wouldn’t dare go against the family.

  26. - Union thug - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    Correct me if i am wrong please. Didn’t rauner make his money from medicaid and the retirment fund? Wouldn’t that qualify as tax payer subsidized funding of the Republican party? Going by the logic in the peace…..

  27. - JS Mill - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    This Kass quote is delicious-

    =’d like to think that most of the Democratic payrollers are dedicated, selfless public servants who work long hours.

    But since I’ve been covering politics around here for centuries, I’m guessing a few might also be lickspittles, political kids, morons, nincompoops, idiot relatives who couldn’t get a job without political clout and the help of those who get out the vote.=

    Maybe he should do a “where are they now?” for Munger and her office personnel?

    Mrs. Munger hasn’t met an election she couldn’t lose but she and much of her political staff seem to have landed very softly in some very nice state jobs, and are well compensated with taxpayer money to boot.

    I am sure Kass has not been given the green light by Rauner to run such a delightful expose though. /s

  28. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    ===Perhaps not, but I notice that you didn’t deny being controlled by Michael Madigan. .===


    I can neither confirm nor deny meeting with, any or all, individually or in any combination collectively, the Four Tops, or with the Governor. I won’t confirm or deny it, I won’t do it!

    How’s that?


    - jerry 101 -

    You’re on it, it’s come down to 3 family, and Diana Rauner holding hostage one whole party and its apparatus. How that can be healthy to growing a party of ideas, I can’t say that it is.

  29. - Ward Heeler - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    @Oswego Willy:

    Madigan isn’t driving the entire Democratic Party agenda? Sheesh!

    You are too caught up with window dressing and raising distinctions without meaningful differences. Rauner is dominating the Illinois Republicans and Madigan is dominating the Illinois Democrats. The residents of Illinois are suffering from an impasse worthy of the Battle of Verdun.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:47 am:

    ===You are too caught up with window dressing===

    Twenty-one million dollars, personally invested in a party is lots of window dressing…

    ===…raising distinctions without meaningful differences.===

    When $21 million dollars isn’t a meaningful difference to your bank account, let me know.

    It’s one man, actually Diana and Bruce Rauner, paying for capitulation or exile from a party that use to be diverse of thought.

    Are you saying Dems are diverse of thought. That’s fun.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    “Are you saying Dems aren’t diverse of thought. That’s fun.===


  32. - Ward Heeler - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:54 am:


    No sense in debating with Oswego Willy. The Bubble Boy always wins.

    If you cannot appreciate the similarities between Madigan and Rauner dictating to their party members, there is nothing more to be said.

  33. - Chambananon - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:55 am:


    Not that I like defending Kass, but he dropped a word from the phrase that Monique and Haley at the Trib, and Bernie at SJ-R have been using: “Rauner-funded Illinois Republican Party”. Failure on Kass’s part to actually quote the phrase, but it has been basically used on numerous occasions.

    That said, the man HAS largely funded the ILGOP for the last few years, so it’s not like it’s an untrue adjective…

  34. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    - Ward Heeler -

    When Madigan donates $21 million of his own money, that’s the same.

    “Apples to Apples” in regard to Madigan, if you will…

  35. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    Rauner, his supporters and his shills have a lot of nerve calling Democrats and their supporters corrupt when a sitting governor spends millions of dollars to buy his political party. If that’s the definition of corruption–giving money to candidates and political parties and expecting favorable outcomes–Rauner is the most corrupt politician in Illinois history.

    Public union members are entitled to every political right that all other state residents enjoy. Fair share fees pay for the same things, whether in the public and private sectors. To take this away from one group of people is Jim Crow and turns that group into second-class citizens.

    Not only that, there are some who want to commit institutional genocide and wipe out public employee unions altogether.

    Yes indeedy, Rauner spends lots of public sector money on politics, it that’s the argument his supporters use to attack the people he and his opponents made as enemies, unionized public employees. He must have made lots of money off of public employee pensions, or why would he have mentioned his investing them at the presser when he released his 2015 tax return?

  36. - Harvest76 - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    Also, it’s disingenuous, at best, to conflate a columist’s job and a reporter’s duty.

  37. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    === disingenuous, at best, to conflate a columist’s job and a reporter’s duty===

    Quote marks are quote marks. If you use them, you better make sure they’re real.

  38. - Hit Em With the Hein - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    Crazy to think that JB has donated millions to his campaign that is dwarfed by Rauner but JB will be the one that they’ll paint as the elitist rich guy who funds a party. I’m thinking the Dems need to get all of the Guv candidates in a room and half wear a Carhart jacket and the other wear a leather vest. All with plaid underneath! This guy is so hypocritical it’s unbelievable. I’d like to see the non-trash can cars that he drives up to his other 9 homes throughout the world and see if he is just an average joe when he’s at his Park City condo, New York penthouse, or Florida beach front property.

  39. - Notacop - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:25 am:

    === Ward healer ===

    “If Madigan controls who ultimately receives Democratic Party funding, what is the difference? ”

    Like it or not, money gives you a voice. In the situation with Madigan there are a lot of different voices but all are giving their money to him (via the party) to control. If they didn’t like how he was handling their money, the source would stop giving. The fact that this hasn’t happened means that the people giving the money are in effect giving a vote of confidence to Madigan’s direction. Regardless of who is steering it there are a lot of individual voices behind it.

    In the case of the Republican party, the governor just grabbed a giant megaphone so his voice can be the loudest. And as mentioned above, if you include the voice of Griffin and Uhlein then there basically just 3 people shouting over everyone else regarding the direction the party should take.

  40. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 2:11 pm:

    –I am sure Kass has not been given the green light by Rauner to run such a delightful expose though.–

    Back in the day, terminally outraged Kass was conspicuous in never directing his self-righteousness at noted goo-goo reformer Fast Eddie V, either.

    From one tank to another.

  41. - JS Mill - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 3:15 pm:

    =Back in the day, terminally outraged Kass was conspicuous in never directing his self-righteousness at noted goo-goo reformer Fast Eddie V, either.=

    And now he may have a chance to visit him in the tank!

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