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You take the money, you take the branding

Monday, Dec 4, 2017

* This $5,600 contribution is a pittance, a drop in the bucket, no big deal at all. So, why take these few dollars and be forever branded as a Koch-funded governor?

Gov. Bruce Rauner is suffering a major conservative backlash — dissed by a leading magazine of the right this week and bracing for a potential Republican primary challenger next week.

But the first-term governor apparently hasn’t ruffled all the feathers of his party’s right wing.

Billionaire Charles Koch donated $5,600 to Rauner’s campaign fund this week. Koch and his brother David are the nation’s top conservative donors.

The left immediately blasted Rauner for accepting the support.

“This donation proves what many have long suspected: Bruce Rauner is the Koch Brothers’ favorite governor,” said Jake Lewis, campaign director for Illinois Working Together, a coalition of labor organizations.

…Adding… Pritzker campaign…

This week, Crisis Creatin’ Rauner introduces RAUNER TOP FIVE, a five-day series highlighting the lasting damage, misplaced priorities, and embarrassing stumbles that led Bruce Rauner to be crowned: ‘The Worst Republican Governor in America.’

To kick off the week, we turn to the two men behind it all: the Koch brothers. Late Friday, Rauner reported his first direct check from Charles Koch to fuel his special interest agenda and beleaguered re-election bid. While Rauner has been pushing Koch brothers’ priorities in Illinois for years, the donation makes it official and puts the Koch-Rauner agenda on full display.

“With few supporters left in his corner, ‘the Worst Republican Governor in America’ is clinging to the only two people he has never let down: Charles and David Koch,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “After three years of pushing this state to the brink with a Koch brother agenda, this failed governor is counting on the support of these anti-union zealots to carry him to re-election.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Come On Man! - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:27 am:

    The Koch’s are probably polling better than him

  2. - SAP - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:29 am:

    So taking the Koch money helps the Governor with his right flank, I guess.

  3. - Arsenal - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:30 am:

    Realistically, though, I think the Dem nominee can count on the vote of anyone offended by Koch money.

  4. - Frankly - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    Regardless of the amount, it signals that the Kochs approve of Rauner. That’s the kiss of death for many.

  5. - Commonsense in Illinois - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:33 am:

    …just as any Republican nominee can count of the vote of anyone offended by Soros money…

  6. - Langhorne - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:35 am:


  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    If you’re going to take Koch money, might as well take serious Kock money, like &100K.

    Why risk or want the taint of Koch in Illinois… for $5,600?

    It’s either brazen disregard or thinking it just won’t matter so “whatever”… or an unforced error actually taking… $5,600 and the heat for it when the worth of that heat should be a much higher price than $5,600.

    It’s a head scratcher.

  8. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    Comical, really, like a rich dude giving another rich dude pocket lint.

  9. - Beignets - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    It seems like this donation is meant to serve as a message to other conservatives that the Koch organization is still behind him. Rauner wanted his name to be public. Wouldn’t he rather own the Koch brothers mantle in the primary to hold institutional R, than risk losing a ton of his base support for the general?

  10. - Retired Educator - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:40 am:

    Rauner might be their favorite, but they are sure buying him cheap. Did he get the money on Black Friday? This is a real sale price.

  11. - Arsenal - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    ==…just as any Republican nominee can count of the vote of anyone offended by Soros money…==

    But like, most of the people offended by Soros money are just gonna assume that, say, Pritzker took Soros money. And I think the same goes for the Koch.

    I dunno. I mean, *I* don’t like the Kochs. I just don’t think this amounts to an effective attack.

  12. - Anon1234 - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    I’m confused what the message is from the Koch’s. A $5000 donation is so trivial from a monetary perspective for Koch or Rauner. Does giving any money show they support him and his accepting show he represents their agenda? Is that beneficial in some way?

  13. - Honeybear - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    BVR doesn’t need Koch money
    He’ll follow the game plan
    for free.
    As Rich said at the beginning,
    “He’s a true believer”

    Loving God
    Had we only realized.

  14. - Skeptic - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    “I’m confused what the message is from the Koch’s.” Me too. It kind of seems like leaving a $0.01 tip at a restaurant, intended as a slap in the face.

  15. - Phil King - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    ==So taking the Koch money helps the Governor with his right flank, I guess.==

    No it doesn’t.

    Your average conservative voter doesn’t care about the Kochs at all. It’s not like they’re someone the average voter looks to for determining support.

  16. - Aldyth - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 10:07 am:

    The Koch brothers have advocated the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid. Taking their money implies sympathy to their positions.

  17. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    Democrats and unions can’t allow Rauner to try to get away with portraying himself as a moderate. He’s a radical fiscal and economic right winger. I won’t call him conservative because true conservatives would not let debt balloon and damage higher ed, which is very important economically.

    Rauner and the Kochs basically are one—part of a movement to slash taxes on the wealthy or stop them from paying higher taxes, cut and gut the public sector and its unions, and so on. Rauner also starved the beast by deliberately making it impossible to agree to budgets, but he’s dishonest about it.

  18. - Arsenal - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    ==Your average conservative voter doesn’t care about the Kochs at all.==

    Indeed, I think Trump had some rhetoric attacking the Kochs.

    They’re mostly just a boogeyman for us on the left. I don’t think anyone else cares.

  19. - cdog - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Is this check a joke?

    It strikes me that it is a back-handed insult to the “Worst Republican Governor in America.”

    Now, that was a branding. /s

  20. - Jocko - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    I wonder if $5600 is the Koch equivalent of a Best Buy gift card.

  21. - Juvenal - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    Waste of time and resources by Democrats.

    Polling shows most voters do not have a negative opinion of the Koch Brothers because most voters do not have an opinion of the Koch Brothers.

    Every breathe you waste tying Rauner to Koch weakens your efforts to tie him to Trump.

    Stay. On. Message.

  22. - Frank Grimes - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    I’ve heard that it’s a bigger insult to a waiter to leave a $1 tip than no tip at all. That way they know you didn’t just forget to leave a tip. Maybe Koch just did this to Bruce with his $5,600.

  23. - ZC - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    Umm, folks, Rauner’s been attending Koch Retreats for years. It’s open knowledge.

    He’s not in their pocket, but he’s very much in the network. He wouldn’t be going, if he didn’t want to be part of what they’re about.

  24. - Anon221 - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 11:15 am:

    $5600 is the max an individual can contribute to a Candidate Political Committee. It was donated on 11-28-17 to Citizens For Rauner:

    25185 Koch Charles 11/28/2017 5600.00
    Individual Contribution Contribution to Committee Citizens for Rauner, Inc

    It’s a signal that Rauner is still “in the fold”, nothing more. Rauner has never shied away from the Koch Brothers, why should we expect anything less, now???

  25. - Skeptic - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    Anon221: Thanks, that actually makes sense then.

  26. - Generic Drone - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 4:03 pm:

    Its this type of political donation which makes it dair for unions to donate to their political candidate. I dont like it one bit, but until, (if ever) Citizens United is reversed, its all we have.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune asked 16 mayoral candidates to release tax returns, 6 complied
* A rough idea of what they're looking at
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Rauner was wrong about "record levels" of unionization
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Stava-Murray updates
* Pritzker's inauguration ball tix will benefit Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic and Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation
* Rauner claims he's been too busy to reflect on his term
* Pritzker's day in DC
* *** UPDATED x3 - Morrison wants emergency meeting of ILGOP - McConnaughay explains - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary
* Feds re-raid Ald. Burke's office
* Yesterday's stories

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