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*** UPDATED x1 - Rauner personally interviewed *** The one-day body man

Tuesday, Jul 18, 2017

* It’s a good thing that the governor and his new team are so focused on retooling his messaging program…


* From the story

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s “body man” — a hand-picked assistant chosen to travel with the governor on a daily basis — was fired Monday on his first day of the job after a series of homophobic and racially insensitive comments were found on his Twitter page.

The exit is one of at least 20 since last week — when Rauner began a rash of firings, with others resigning in protest.

Ben Tracy was chosen by the administration to replace Kyle Haevers as the governor’s “body man.” Haevers on Sunday was told his services were no longer needed but that he could choose to work for another state department.

A “body man” serves as the governor’s assistant — traveling with him, taking pictures, collecting business cards and helping people connect with the governor. In some cases, the role requires work seven days a week, depending on the governor’s schedule.

* More

We asked the governor’s office additional questions about vetting and to what extent the governor was involved in picking Ben Tracy as his personal aide (as was practice in the past) — the office hasn’t responded.

Tracy did intern with the conservative Illinois Opportunity Project from 2015-2016.

More recently, he was employed by the Senate Republican campaign operation. He also did a stint with the House GOP.

*** UPDATE ***  I had been saving this little tidbit for subscribers tomorrow, but I’m sure there will be plenty of other stuff to tell them. Rauner did, indeed, personally interview Tracy according to my own sources…


There’s also a funny and revealing story about the governor to go along with this, but I’ll keep that to myself for today, unless somebody else gets it.

…Adding… Sen. Jil Tracy just called to say that while she has a son named Ben, it’s not the same guy. She’s not related to the jettisoned body man.

* Related…

* Rauner ‘body man’ fired first day on job after racially insensitive, homophobic tweets surface

* Rauner Staffer Fired On 1st Day After Homophobic, Other Offensive Tweets Surface

- Posted by Rich Miller        

75 Comments
  1. - Puddintaine - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:35 am:

    Next mayor of Pekin by a landslide if he wants the job.


  2. - Rod Sez I'm Pork - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:35 am:

    I wonder when the ‘ov starts singing “My Way.”


  3. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    I thought City Hall’s recent escapade would’ve been the major headline.


  4. - Here we go again - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:37 am:

    That one is going to sting.


  5. - illini - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    It looks like the B-team is off to a great start.


  6. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:40 am:

    It’s called “The Google.” Use it. Always the first thing I did after interviewing someone for a job.


  7. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    So this isn’t the kind of radical candor the administration is looking for? Strange.


  8. - Not It - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    I’m torn between thinking that this racist, homophobic, jerk got what he deserved, but also feeling sorry for a kid just starting out in his career, who made a stupid mistake, had his reputation forever ruined.


  9. - Collinsville Kevin - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    Seems like an opportune time for BVR to step aside as well.


  10. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    This story reminds me that despite all that’s wrong with our state/country, we’ve made a lot of strides. When I was growing up the Sun-Times ran a story by the late Steve Neal about how Pate Phillips used the n-word to descirbed African-Americans trying to buy homes in DuPage county (as well as slurs for Catholics and Jews - he was an equal opportunity bigot). Nothing happened to him - Pate would continue in power, and continue to make racist statements, until he retired. Today’s Sun-Times: far less is completely unacceptable. Instant firing.

    To the post - all of this is due to Rauner not being able to control his inner child, even after taking a breath and reflecting with his better half. He’s never seemed more Trump-like.


  11. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    Here’s a hint for the Superstar IPIes:

    Less rollerblading. More vetting.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    Rule #1 Get off Twitter.

    It’s like 6,594 to 1, the number of negative things that can happen in politics and governing to the positive.

    I read tweet after tweet of those in “public” only to have the tweeters either apologize or worse…

    This isn’t even close to me apologizing for this man, whose tweets repulse me. What I’m saying is in far too many cases Twitter isn’t a great thing in a public arena position.

    In this case, the exposure of these tweets is a rightful embarrassment for Mr. Tracy and the Governor and his new Crew.

    Just a few moments to see social media would’ve avoided this embarrassment, and in all likelihood changed Mr. Tracy’s career long ago.


  13. - Blue Bayou - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    Trump: Watch while I cripple the administrative parts of the federal government.

    Rauner: Hold my bottle of ‘82 Chateau Lafitte.


  14. - Free Set of Steak Knives - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    Wonder if he will file for unemployment insurance benefits?


  15. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    “Resolved to ruin or to rule the state.” — Dryden


  16. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    He didn’t work there long enough to qualify for validated parking, let alone unemployment.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    - lake county democrat -

    I’m always puzzled when you seem so disturbed about racial things and your complete lacking in apologizing for putting others in that light so recklessly and frivolously.

    Your feign distain is noted, by me.

    I’d let my comment be, I do not plan to discuss your lacking on this any further.


  18. - Grand Avenue - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    Is Ben Tracy related to Jil Tracy or Don Tracy?


  19. - Whatever - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    Guess he was punished for his “radical candor”. Obviously Rauner’s vetters didn’t complete their staff work.

    So it’s out with the Keystone Kops and in with the Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight. Hardly inspiring. So much for Rauner’s vaunted managerial experience.


  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    Dick. Tracy… for obvious reasons


  21. - WSJ Paywall - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    The main issue isn’t that they’re bad at vetting - it’s that this person advanced this far in top Republican circles while slinging slurs and being openly homophobic. I just can’t with this; it’s upsetting.


  22. - DuPage - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    Working for Rauner = job security, NOT.


  23. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    Remember that we are now talking abut the IPI when we speak of the Rauner Administration and thus this wasn’t a vetting issue. The IPI not only didn’t care that this yahoo is a racist and a homophobe, they applauded it and advanced him up through the ranks. The IPI just really doesn’t care. The few humans left in the Executive branch were the one’s that ID’d this as a problem. Illinois? Meet the real IPI. IPI? Meet reality.


  24. - DeseDemDose - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:07 am:

    This was Rauners right hand man? Worse than I thought.


  25. - Illinoisian - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    Not surprising. This happened before but didn’t make the papers. GO has (had?) an in-house researcher who can’t seem to google their hires or do much of anything else…


  26. - Free Set of Steak Knives - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    @Anonymous:

    I think he just has to have worked “somewhere” in the last quarter and earned more than $1600.


  27. - Curl of the Burl - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    Rich - please post the story. I am curious to learn about this as much as anything else.

    I get that he would personally interview his body man. I would actually expect that. Those guys or gals are around the Governor as much (if not more) than top staff.


  28. - Clark - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    “The IPI not only didn’t care that this yahoo is a racist and a homophobe, they applauded it and advanced him up through the ranks.”

    Take away the ignorant stuff he posted on social media, and he actually turns out to be a decent, bright guy. It’s a shame that the media is portraying him to be some one sided horrible person, which for others that know him, know he is not.


  29. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    I’m sure former Rauner staffers have many interesting and funny stories to tell these days.

    The way this mass purge is going down is shockingly stupid.

    It’s bound to create vengeful enemies out of trusted loyalists — who have stories to tell.


  30. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Mr/Ms GrandAvenue
    We are assured that young Ben is no kin to Sen. Jill or Gamin’ Bd Boss Don or any element of DOT Foods. But maybe our sources are wrong


  31. - Dome Gnome - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Yes, we all could use a funny story about now.


  32. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    BTW is this a good place to thrown out some kudos to Gov “Happy” Junk for killin’ Trumpcare and savin’ IL. Nice work.


  33. - New Slang - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    News flash! Everyone who follows you on Twitter is NOT your ‘friend’…

    #KeepYourFriendsClose

    #KeepYourEnemiesCLOSER

    A frequent Millennial misnomer on followers count: Just because your follower count is high doesn’t mean you’re popular. Rather, people always like watching a good train wreck.


  34. - Real - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    All one needs to do is look at the IPI comment board and you will find plenty of body man. This is the IPI/Rauner base supporters. I believe they were fully aware of the tweets and maybe someone should of researched who he was connected to on Twitter.


  35. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:27 am:

    Was he forewarned that he could be fired for anything negative things he writes on social media?

    He deserves to be fired, put putting the guy’s picture on the front page of the newspaper seems a bit much.


  36. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:27 am:

    My Bad. The IPI vetted and applauded this numbskull’s racism and homophobia, but it was the Illinois GOP that patted him on the back and advanced him up the ranks. Kind of defines the distance between the IPI and the ILGOP as, you know, not very far at all.


  37. - CookR - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    The tweets were wrong and wrong-headed. He lost the job. They should’ve vetted him better. All true.

    Also, the tweets were made in 2012 and 2013, when this kid was probably 17 years old. Not right, but the age does explain a bit of the stupidity.


  38. - Rabid - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    The doctrine of completed staff work. Number 7 , would you be willing to sign the paper you have prepared, and stake your professional reputation on its being right?


  39. - Simple Simon - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    How can someone simply “choose to work for another department”? Someone got a Titan exempt position advertised for a “body man”? This kind of golden parachute, along with Munger and all her staff, is a corrosive example of waste in government.
    Why can’t either or both parties get behing eliminating this behavior?


  40. - Simple Simon - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    That’s “Rutan”


  41. - Flip357 - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    Rule #1 of staffing: Do not become the news.


  42. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    BTW most recent IOP 990 available (’14) shows Bessler knocked back $153K and left Item 4 of 990 Part IV blank ( that’s question about bein’ a lobo.
    We are sure the filed an amended form…..hmmmm


  43. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    This SJ-R is saying he was fired for his “past tweets”. Ok…

    His firing appears more of a political move to win votes from the LGTG group.

    I also feel they are sending a warning to all staff that they could be fired for any negative things they say on social media.


  44. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:47 am:

    Maybe he got caught filling out a union card and they used the tweets as cover…


  45. - Simple Simon - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:47 am:

    Moving toward a professional state labor force staffed right to the top, is essential to reforming state government and rooting out patronage. I would include even agency heads. Having staffs larded with no “connected” executive assistants or policy analysts would be a great example for the lower ranks, who are often criticized for leaning on a shovel handle too much, but are more often badly overworked.


  46. - Anon - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    Haevers on Sunday was told his services were no longer needed but that he could choose to work for another state department.
    Wonder where he’ll end up!


  47. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    “- Simple Simon - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:47 am:

    Moving toward a professional state labor force staffed right to the top, is essential to reforming state government and rooting out patronage.”

    So when do you think Leslie Munger is toast?


  48. - Dr X - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:55 am:

    This wasn’t a mistake by the IPI/Raunerites. They vetted Tracy, liked him, agreed with him. Only when the media pushed it, did they respond. Those tweets are IPI/GOP approved all day….until you et caught.


  49. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:54 am:Is me.


  50. - Simple Simon - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    As a defeated elected official, Munger should have been off the state payroll almost immediately. And there should have been little personal staff, but they should have gone too.


  51. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 10:44 am: =
    should read Today’s SJ-R…

    Sorry


  52. - @bamatthews - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    It’s interesting to me that this kid was on staff with the Republican State Senate Campaign Cmte and the Illinois House Republicans and nobody in those organizations thought to advise him to clean up his social media.

    It’s also interesting, to me at least, that he comes from Colfax, right in the heart of Jason Barickman’s district … and right on the edge of Bill Brady’s area.


  53. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    -Oswego Willy-

    And I’m still puzzled how you didn’t understand the post that offended you so was actually characterizing you as the opposite of racism, or my apologies to you if that wasn’t clear in the original post. For whatever criticisms I have of you, which are outweighed in my mind by your gifts and usually generous spirit, I have never thought you were racist. And when you said you were making your last post on the subject and ask that I not respond, I didn’t. But then you kept raising it, and you bring it back again here. I’m sorry you feel that way about me (or my criticisms of Pate/others) but in the grand (and not-so-grand) scheme of things I’m pretty insignificant.


  54. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 11:15 am:

    – Take away the ignorant stuff–

    How do you mean “ignorant?”

    He didn’t understand the words he chose? He didn’t know social media is accessible to the world?

    Or do you just make up new definitions of words for convenient rationalization sake?


  55. - Holy cow - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    Birds of a feather flock together Rauner should fire himself


  56. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    Rich, if Ben, the body man, was given another state office job, where did he land?

    Why where the others, whom Rauner fired, not offered another position with the state?


  57. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    At the coffee house this morning, i brought up this story. Noone knew this guy, blinked an eye or cared. Is this what we mean by 1.4%. The percentage of people who follow state politics? To me, what is really disconcerting, was only 30 comments on yesterdays post on work comp.


  58. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    They shook him in a day. Good on them. Someone should have caught this earlier, but saving that, they did the right thing when they did discover it. At the very least; it’s a teaching moment.


  59. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 11:39 am:

    ==Someone should have caught this earlier,==

    This mope worked at HRO, IOP and then the Senate Republican caucus. Someone knew….and no one cared. Only when it was pointed out did it become a liability.


  60. - @bamatthews - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    === Good on them. Someone should have caught this earlier, but saving that, they did the right thing when they did discover it. ===

    A guy … they did the right thing when they got pressure and negative publicity. And if nobody discovered in that referral/interview/hiring process what any one of us discovered in moments, that says quite a bit doesn’t it?


  61. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 11:58 am:

    Guy, you’re abusing the language.

    The new regime didn’t “discover it,” reporters called them on it when the Radical Candor people started spilling the beans.

    You’re also presuming that the new regime didn’t know already about this guy. The Radical Candor people were all over it instantly.

    How does it make sense that they knew this guy better than the people who brought him in? It doesn’t.

    It’s more logical that they thought others wouldn’t put it out there or they just didn’t care until called on it.


  62. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    ==Also, the tweets were made in 2012 and 2013, when this kid was probably 17 years old.==

    The post about bodyslamming reporters was only weeks ago


  63. - Markus - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    Raunerites, IPI & IOP are ideologues. They don’t get too deep into facts and analysis; they tend to cherry-pick data to support their established position. None have actually run an organization that was required to produce something and been successful at it. IPI is now tasked with policy messaging, IOP with campaigning. Yet no one is tasked to govern. Rauner is ineffective and incompetent; without money he is just another IPI blogger lacking the capacity to get anything of substance accomplished.

    Rauner has had 2.5 years to effect improving the way government works. He and his agency heads have done little in that regard so those agency heads will be the next group of terminations recommended by IPI. The cabinet will soon be filled with “body men”.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    As a personal note, if I knew where to send Cannoli to the @RadicalCandorIL Crew… they deserve it.

    OW


  65. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 1:23 pm:

    “Take away the ignorant stuff he posted on social media, and he actually turns out to be a decent, bright guy.”

    Just take away all the bad things he’s said and done and he doesn’t seem so bad?

    You should write obituaries.

    – MrJM


  66. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 1:46 pm:

    ==You’re also presuming that the new regime didn’t know already about this guy.===

    I am guilty of this presumption. Even hopeful with it. Not any good excuses to go around on something like this, but no matter HOW it came to light, swift action was taken.

    I would repeat that this is a very important and very good “teaching moment”.


  67. - Clark - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    @ wordslinger

    I’m not sure what you are trying to get at, but I’m not trying to “rationalize” or defend what he posted. As CookR pointed out, college kids say dumb things and put it up on social media, which again does not excuse it.

    Should he have gotten fired? Absolutely. Should he have his face on the cover of the Sun Times? I think that’s just overkill. Is he a terrible person? Absolutely not.


  68. - WSJ Paywall - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 1:49 pm:

    =Take away the ignorant stuff he posted on social media, and he actually turns out to be a decent, bright guy.=

    A decent, bright guy would not have posted the things he did on social media, sorry to break it to you. Calling people “f*ggot” is an indecent thing to do.


  69. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    @bamatthews - what is interesting about this kid coming from Colfax?

    Small rural Illinois farm towns have lots of Republicans in them.


  70. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 2:02 pm:

    Tracy is apparently not that kind of body man.


  71. - Johnny Number Five - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 2:52 pm:

    It’s clear that the new administration officials failed for two reasons.

    1.) They failed to do a standard background check on a new hire that would be publicly facing, and 2.) put their new boss in the middle of it by having him personally interview the new hire on Friday. Makes it really hard to separate the Governor from this, now it’s front page news.


  72. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 3:29 pm:

    Rauner is slowly but surely fulfilling Rickert’s goal of firing every public employee.


  73. - Anon E Mouse - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 4:10 pm:

    == Is he a terrible person? Absolutely not.==
    I’ve worked around people who expressed themselves in colorful way s. Ben Tracy’s expressions were not just colorful, they were violent. Firing Tracy was the best decision Rauner made while being governor so far.


  74. - walker - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 5:08 pm:

    Also worked a bit on House and Senate Republican campaign staff?

    Gonna be a lot of Twitter accounts reviewed all night tonight in Springfield.


  75. - XDNR - Tuesday, Jul 18, 17 @ 6:10 pm:

    At the executive level and even lower depending on clearance you vett any and alll positions. Obviously a failed disconnect between Rauner and his new IPI staff and ISP. Go figure…


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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