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*** UPDATED x1 - Pritzker responds *** Rauner gets deer in the headlights look after Proft question

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Gov. Rauner took mostly softballs from TV interviewers yesterday, but Emilee Fannon at WCIA threw him a curve

Despite donating $2.5 million to Liberty Principles PAC, Governor Bruce Rauner denies he has any knowledge of a controversial, privately-funded newspaper organization run by the same political operative.

Dan Proft is a conservative radio talk show host who runs the Liberty Principles super PAC. Proft also launched a private news publishing group, which is not required to disclose it’s donor or “investor” list.

Last week, Democrats accused Proft’s ‘Local Government Information Services’ of spreading “fake news” in an alleged plot to sabotage the effort to alter the education funding formula. They claimed without providing any evidence that the erroneous, outdated information published in these papers was planted by the Rauner administration.

* Check out the video…


* And…

*** UPDATE ***  Pritzker campaign…

Today, on day 694 without a budget, Bruce Rauner finds himself embroiled in controversy over conservative fake news and the millions of dollars he spent to fund it. 
Yesterday, Rauner took a break from attending concerts and chatting on Facebook, to sit down for an interview with WCIA’s Emilee Fannon. It didn’t go well. Fannon pressed Rauner on his connection to Dan Proft and Local Government Information Services, a Proft run company responsible for spreading fake news to Illinoisans. Rauner’s response:

“I’m not familiar with it.”

There are a few problems with that:

Bruce Rauner donated $2.5 million to the organization he says he is not familiar with.  Local Government Information Services is just the latest iteration of Liberty Principles PAC. Rauner donated $2.5 million to the PAC back in June, which accounts for much of their funding. The PAC is known for, among other things, disseminating fake conservative news. 

Bruce Rauner’s administration potentially  leaked  false information to the organization he says he is not familiar with.  Just last week, the Rauner administration was caught leaking misleading and confidential state records to the conservative organization in order to prevent compromise on school funding reform.

Bruce Rauner has consistently benefited from the organization he says he is not familiar with.  694 days into the state’s budget crisis and it’s no surprise the real news hasn’t been too kind to Rauner. But Proft’s fake conservative news remains on his side. Proft’s organizations have consistently worked to advance Rauner’s interests in state legislative races and spreads fake news to his benefit. 

“Bruce Rauner can’t get any good news as he continues to decimate our state’s economy so he decided to create his own,”  said Prizker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “After spending millions of dollars to fund conservative fake news that lies to Illinois families, he says ‘I’m not familiar with it.’ Illinoisans have learned not to expect too much from Rauner, certainly not a budget or a firm grasp of the truth.”


  1. - Flynn's mom - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:43 am:

    At least he didn’t body slam her and break her glasses/s

  2. - odd - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    Not a well handled by Rauner, but also very strangely articulated questions.

  3. - Anon E. Moose - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    “I don’t keep track of the millions I give to people who happen to run a series of fake newspapers that exclusively support me. No knowledge.”

  4. - Huh? - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    The deer in the headlights look was capped off by rapid blinking of his eyes and panicky swallowing as he tried to come up with an answer on the fly.

  5. - Anon - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    Wow — that’s a man who’s obviously lying.

    The sigh, the exaggerated look, and then the staring down at the table waiting for the next question.

    That’s one of the weirder clips I’ve seen of Rauner.

  6. - Gruntled University Employee - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    WCIA and the rest of the Mass Media, More of this Please!!

  7. - Anon221 - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    I’m waiting for the gif :) Way to go Emilee!

  8. - facts are stubborn things - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    Might show up during the next election.

  9. - Linus - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    Good. Job. Emilee.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:55 am:

    To the Post,

    Raunerism is touted by the vertical integration the the RaunerS pay for, including Proft’s phony newspapers, filled with Rauner-leaning “news” designed and functioning perfectly with the INN/IPI and the radio commentary and the Editorial Boards of newspapers that 3 years ago made clear the Raunerism is what those boards allegedly want while working “independently” with exacting talking points and precise messaging timed perfectlyz

    That said…

    My take is this; I really don’t care that Rauner funds Proft. I do care that Rauner thinks I’m not smart enough to know it. That’s it. Own what you’re doing. You’re paying a good chunk of change, embrace it. Just be honest to the question. By doing so, it prevents these moments, even if Rauner is prepared for this questioning or not. Proft got $2.5 million. Why hide something already reported?

    The ethics might be why Rauner wa to to deny this connection, but the reality is Rauner gave that money, but the ethics of funding this phony news, Rauner can’t and won’t own that vertical integration.

    It’s easy to mislead on ethics, when denying truth IS showing a lack of ethics too. That’s a Rauner trait, lacking personal ethics, the dismissing of the payments is a continuation of the Rauner ethics lapses.

    To Emilee Fannon,

    This was Restaurant-Quality. Wow. That’s a reporter prepared and seeing something that needs sunshine, and that sunshine was so blinding, Rauner looked like a deer in the headlights.

    You did that, Ms. Fannon. You are a credit to yourself and your profession, your vocation. You made good. You proved to many that questions need to be asked, and you are someone willing to ask those questions.

    Cannoli for you, and my respect to you, and your work.

    Well done.

    Oswego Willy

  11. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    Rich, I beg you to use IL Working Together’s freeze frame photo for a caption contest.

  12. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    Always creepy when people lie, they know they’re lying, you know they’re lying, and they know that you know that they’re lying.

    But he lies, anyway.

    Why the lie? Does he think bankrolling Proft as an attack dog is a bad thing? Is he ashamed?

  13. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    This should be the goal of journalists, trying to get public officials to make that look. Nice picture from Illinois Working Together.

  14. - Chicago 20 - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    Thank you Emilee Fannon.

    More like this please.

  15. - Lance Mannion - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    That’s It!! Rauner’s done. It’s over.

    Whew. Now we can go back to governing as usual.

  16. - Caught - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    She’ll be fired for that

  17. - Ahoy! - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    The picture doesn’t really match the video… seems a little over blown and a desperate attempt at gotcha journalism.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    - Lance Mannion -

    Your pithy analysis says a great deal about your depth and understanding.

    Not one person said Rauner’s done or its over.

    The mere fact you thought to comment this, then actually did speaks to the simplicity of thought, not to the Post or what’s going on in it.

    I know, it made you feel better…

  19. - Winnin' - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    Sgt. Schultz. Welcome back.

  20. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Yoiks. I’ve SEEN deers in my headlights and they looked more cogent and composed than this guy.

    Proft’s propaganda “newspapers” are regularly called out by the Ottawa Times for their lies and exaggerations. Check your cowboy boots, Governor. I think you stepped in something.

  21. - Mr. K. - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    Based on his body language — obvious body lanaguage — this seems to be a lie with some actual intriguing substance behind it.

    Rauner gives it away here. There’s more to this story — and Rauner’s obvious nervousness. I hope the media goes after this — or, at least, continues to ask questions about this.

  22. - MissingG - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    Flynn’s mom is right. In Rauner’s defense, he DIDN’T assault the journalist for this question. We have to applaud him for that.

    The lyin’ is just the norm now

  23. - Mr. K. - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    BTW — why wouldn’t Rauner simply say, “I give millions to various places. I can’t possibly keep track.”

    As annoying as that response would be — it’s far better than the sighing, the blinking eyes, the bugging eyes, and then the staring down at the table hoping for the next questions.

    What the heck.

  24. - OurMagician - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    I hope Emilee enjoyed her last interview with the Governor. Bravo to her for being prepared. WCIA seems to be on top of things right now unlike the larger city in the NE corner of the state which seems to take the softball approach every time they have an interview with a state leader.

  25. - Norseman - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 10:45 am:

    Kudos to: Emilee for a high quality interview (unlike the softball interviews most locals give Rauner); Willy for the great comment; and, Flynn’s Mom for the great laugh.

  26. - Mike Cirrincione - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    @OW 955am:

    You are spot on! I believe in PR101 your taught to get in front of the message. When David Letterman had a problem a while back, he got on the air at the next opportunity….talked about it up front….and that was it.

    Governor Duck Tape now has the same problem as his boss at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave (by virtue of the fact he is the titular head of the same political party).

  27. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    Worst Poker Face EVER. Pretty much every tell humanly possible that he knew he was not telling the truth is in that video clip.

    That said, it was a poorly worded question.

  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    - Mike Cirrincione - and - Norseman -,

    Thank you both. Humbly and sincerely, but if I may…

    … the real thanks is go Ms. Fannon.

    It’s her fire and heat here that I’m borrowing from, it’s her professionalism and truth to her work that I’m glad we three are celebrating. Great stuff by her.


  29. - Jimmy H - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 12:05 pm:

    Wow… that’s good! Emily caught Rauner without his gaslight mask, exposing the truth. Emily, excellent journalism!

  30. - Pundent - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    =Why the lie? Does he think bankrolling Proft as an attack dog is a bad thing? Is he ashamed?=

    Simple, he wants to talk about Madigan, not Proft. Delving into and explaining his relationships with Proft, Griffin, Uihlein, etc. gets him way, way off message.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    To the Pritzker update,

    It’s a “B, B-”


    Right here… This is why…

    ===Bruce Rauner’s administration potentially  leaked  false information to the organization he says he is not familiar with.  Just last week, the Rauner administration was caught leaking misleading and confidential state records to the conservative organization in order to prevent compromise on school funding reform.===

    If you remove this passage… It takes nothing away from the entire response, it actually shortens it to a benefit, but by having it there, it gives, again, both Proft and Rauner’s governmental administration an “out” by having this flimsy account, even with disclaimers, be an opening to counter attack on “real” or “honest” pertaining to Proft and that information.

    Less IS more.

    Pritzker Comm Crew,

    Read that release again. Then… read it without that paragraph.

    It’s tighter, more pointed, more centralized, and doesn’t allow Proft or Rauner breathing room.

    It’s a “B, B-”… it falls upon the weight of that paragraph, but it doesn’t fail.

  32. - btowntruth from forgotonnia - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    Somebody better go tell Lucky to come defend his man.
    He got caught lying again.

  33. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 12:55 pm:

    Knowledge of Proft’s “private groups?”

    The “Gotcha” is where again? With knowledge of “private groups?” Newspapers are now “private groups?”

    Inarticulate question received the answer it deserved.

  34. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 1:02 pm:

    Every real journalist should be offended by what Proft is doing. Kudos to Emilee. Hope more follow suit.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    Oh - Louis G Atsaves -

    That $2.5 million didnt get to Proft via tooth fairy or spent to give even-handed news accounts, but you already knew that, counselor…

    Parsing your own words is a “Lawyer’s dodge”

    Do you want to admit the $2.5 million never was “donated”, or… lol

  36. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    Dazzling spin, Louis.

    I guess you think Rauner is an idiot, that he doesn’t understand the words entering his earholes, or doesnt know what he gets for his millions.

    Or you’re just cool with him lying.

    Like when he said he didn’t know who was bankrolling those dark-money negative spots against Schock, Rutherford, Dillard and Brady.

    Were you cool with that, against Republicans?

  37. - GA Watcher - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 1:06 pm:

    A police chief friend of mine once told me that one of the most obvious tells if someone is lying is how his/her eye blinking pattern changes. Re-watch the video and see how the Governor’s blinking increases when he is asked and he is answering the Proft questions.

  38. - Chicago 20 - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 4:48 pm:

    Fake Governor finances fake news.

    Rauner is a failure as a Governor and as a human being.

  39. - Anon221 - Thursday, May 25, 17 @ 5:45 pm:

    Louis G.- I’d love to know your definition of a real newspaper.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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