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New Rauner comms staff officially announced

Monday, Jul 17, 2017

* From the governor’s new communications director…

The governor has made several changes to his communications staff, so I wanted to share the names and some background information with you:

Diana Rickert starts today as Deputy Chief of Staff of Communications. Many of you have worked with Diana during her six years at the Illinois Policy Institute, where she most recently served as vice president of communications. At the Institute, Diana was directly responsible for liaising with hundreds journalists from Illinois-based and national news outlets, resulting in more than 5,000 news placements for the Institute annually. Diana’s writing has appeared regularly on the commentary pages of the Chicago Tribune since 2013. Before joining the Institute, Diana was an accomplished journalist who worked for the Northwest Herald, Associated Press, Daily Herald and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among other publications. Diana’s reporting on the Illinois pension crisis during her time at the Northwest Herald won more than nine prestigious journalism awards. Diana also holds a journalism degree from Marquette University.

Laurel Patrick joins the team as Director of Communications. Laurel holds a master’s degree from the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She comes to the governor’s office with a robust background in broadcast and public affairs reporting, as well as government affairs and media outreach. She previously worked as Press Secretary and Deputy Director of Communications for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and is thrilled to return to her home state of Illinois.

Meghan Keenan starts today as a communications specialist. Meghan also is an Illinois native who studied journalism at the University of Illinois. Most recently, she was a communications analyst at the Illinois Policy Institute and worked regularly with reporters to book interviews and assist with stories about Illinois’ economic climate and reform opportunities. Meghan also has worked as a reporter and editor for Red Alert Politics, and as an account associate at CRC Public Relations. She previously held internships at the office of Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger, the Daily Herald newspaper in suburban Chicago and the National Journalism Center.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

29 Comments
  1. - Ghost - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:47 pm:

    So is there anyone at the “non-partisan” IPI that he didnt hire?


  2. - Boone's is Back - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    LOL- so two MORE hires from the IPI and one from Scott Walker. Sounds like Bruce is throwing in the towel on passing any legislation next session…


  3. - Under Influenced... - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    First release uses “robust”…smh


  4. - GA Watcher - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 12:57 pm:

    It’s good to see another product of Jesuit education (Diana Rickert) join the likes of Speaker Madigan, Senator Harmon and Representative Thapedi in state government. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, Diana.


  5. - Keyrock - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:01 pm:

    Does this mean Diana does the dictation to Tronc now?


  6. - Sideline Watcher - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    So who runs the IPI now?


  7. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:12 pm:

    Is “won more than nine” the new way of saying ten?


  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    ===So who runs the IPI now?===

    It’s been consolidated.

    It’s “CMS-IPI”.

    It’s a think tank (IPI) taking over a state government to dismantle the state from within (CMS)

    They’re keeping CMS first for appearances.


  9. - Gadfly - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    Who is in charge of editing and proofreading?


  10. - stateandlake - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:22 pm:

    There is no doubt that these staffers come well prepared to do what will be expected of them.


  11. - Mama - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:28 pm:

    Expecting a bloated blood- bath for the Dems via print, TV, social media news until Rauner is re-elected.


  12. - A Jack - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:31 pm:

    Will the OEIG be watching so they don’t do IPI work on state time?


  13. - Amalia - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:34 pm:

    typical Rauner. he sees the State as junk status so he allowed a takeover. The Gov’s office is the IPI now.


  14. - Anon - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    For those who don’t know, the IPI is funded by the State Policy Network, which is itself funded by the Koch Brothers Network.


  15. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    -who runs IPI now?-

    The same people running the governor’s office.


  16. - Keyrock - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:53 pm:

    -who runs IPI now?-
    The same people running the governor’s office.

    They also run the Tribune editorial page and much of the other media in the state. And to top it off, they now have the keys to the Rauner Word Jumble.


  17. - Mince - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:56 pm:

    A Jack - Nah OIEG doesn’t care. They totally looked the other way when DCEO did nothing except set up a private agency. One person involved was actually drawing two salaries. Look at the date of incorporation and the officers. Then check the state roster. OEIG is about busting the little guy. Look at all the Rauner bigwigs turning right around to be lobbyists. Look at Coli getting Teamsters 4 mil in bonuses when we were broke as a state. OEIG…..pssssh….please


  18. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    So what happens after the last real Republican leaves this administration?

    I recall history in noting Rauner isn’t the first glorious leader to question the stamina of his chosen minions while bunkering down in defeat.


  19. - @bamatthews - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 2:12 pm:

    === Diana was directly responsible for liaising with hundreds journalists from Illinois-based and national news outlets ===

    If this was an official release from the Comm. Director, you’d think there would have been a little editing? Maybe?


  20. - @bamatthews - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 2:17 pm:

    And, it appears we may be seeing more of the Carhartt and “rolling trash can” with Diana in the mix ..

    “Then revert to Rauner circa 2014. Dig the Carhartt jacket out of the closet. Gas up that old van, the “rolling trash can.” Hit the road, and lead the crusade he started in 2014.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-bruce-rauner-failure-budget-address-perspec-0214-20170213-story.html


  21. - anonymous - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 2:18 pm:

    Don’t be fooled by Illinois Policy Institute. This has been in the works for a long time. They say they don’t like taxes but they’ll profit from them.


  22. - Juvenal - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    Ms. Rickert:

    “Liaising” means that you were involved in some sort of cooperative venture with journalists.

    All working toward the same goal, so to speak.

    As in “legislative liaison” or “Congressional liaison.”

    I am not sure that journalists really see themselves that way. At least, I hope not.


  23. - Shytown - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 3:39 pm:

    So the Governor’s Office and IPI have officially merged into one entity. Someone pinch me.


  24. - orzo - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 3:44 pm:

    Diana won “nine prestigious journalism awards?” For what, changing the lede on the same Trib opinion piece and repeating the same piece endlessly?


  25. - Who was responsible - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 4:51 pm:

    For vetting Ben Tracy?


  26. - Dome Gnome - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 4:59 pm:

    For as little as the governor’s accomplished, I’m not sure why he even needs a staff.


  27. - Chicago 20 - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 9:32 pm:

    The Governor’s office has been assimilated by the IPI.
    Resistance is futile.


  28. - Lando Rauner - Monday, Jul 17, 17 @ 9:41 pm:

    ==The Governor’s office has been assimilated by the IPI.
    Resistance is futile.==

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78wFeJ9wtJQ


  29. - Rabid - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:14 am:

    The govenor has had a failure to communicate his turnaround agenda


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