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DGA hits Rauner over Quincy flood waters claim

Thursday, Jun 14, 2018

Posted by Barton Lorimor

* From a DGA Press Release…

Governor Bruce Rauner really outdid himself this time. Yesterday, Rauner linked “tornadoes” to the 2015 outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that killed 12 people at the state-run Veterans’ Home. Rauner’s response to the outbreak has been questioned for months, and yesterday’s statement is just the newest twist in his attempt to dodge blame.

“State and local public health authorities have looked high and low for the sources of fatal Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks at the Quincy veterans’ home. Now, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is offering a new theory. ‘Massive floods and tornadoes’ and ‘a lot of dirt.’ But Rauner offered no proof, and experts who spoke to WBEZ were skeptical.”

In fact, the National Weather Service said there were no tornadoes or unusual flooding near Quincy in July of 2015.

This is not the first time Rauner’s administration sought to spin blame onto something or someone else. An earlier uncovered email from a top Rauner official suggested the administration “tie this back” to combat veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth. Rauner still has not said if he agreed with the email.

“What’s Bruce Rauner going to blame next? Did earthquakes cause the spike in state debt? Are alien abductions really driving out-of-state migration?” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner has now resorted to blaming mother nature for his failures but the truth is his administration has been a disaster of his own making.”

WBEZ posted its article last night that raised questions about the Governor’s remarks, which were made during an appearance Tuesday in Marion. Video of the event is here (Quincy Home comes up at about the 18-minute mark), and full audio is here (scroll to the 12th minute).

I have asked the Governor’s Office what information the Governor relied on in making his remarks, but according to McKinney…

Neither Rauner’s office nor the state public health department could point to any specific analysis that directly linked flooding in Quincy to the facility’s recurring Legionnaires’ outbreaks in 2015, 2016, 2017, and again this past February.

In a half dozen reports investigating the crisis at Quincy, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made no such linkage, and the head of the public works department in the west-central Illinois community told WBEZ he’s aware of no connection.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        

18 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 10:59 am:

    Rauner in his usual mode of ‘gasping at flaws’


  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    If Jake Blues isn’t the first thing you think of with Rauner blaming massive floods and tornadoes for the deaths at the Quincy Veterans’ Home…

    Here’s what I know…

    Darlene Senger wanted to pin the Veterans’ Home disaster on a combat wounded veteran that left the agency and no one in the emails thought enough to push back at her.

    Waiting days to notify staff of the danger is “fine”, but not having a narrative was the the concern of those when faced with the tragedy.

    Rauner wants the families of 13 victims of his mismanagement to accept the “acts of God” excuse, most notably used by insurance companies unwilling to pay on policies but take the monthly payments.

    It can be grossly unfair to blame governors, but governors own, and they own the good and the bad, but in this instance, waiting day upon day to notify, thinking to blame a wounded combat veteran that wasn’t even with the agency, and now the Jake Blues, shifty insurance company’s excuse to fend off liability…

    Illinois needs a governor who is in charge, not Bruce Rauner charging phantom massive floods and tornadoes with his own gross negligence.


  3. - Macbeth - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    The veteran’s home is up (along with most of Quincy) on a bluff.

    There’s no “massive flood” that would — or could — come close to the home.


  4. - IllinoisBoi - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 11:16 am:

    A severe thunderstorm did hit Quincy in July of 2015, causing extensive wind damage — but I can’t find any mention of a tornado or extensive flooding.

    http://www.wgem.com/story/29538410/2015/07/13/severe-weather-moves-through-the-tri-states


  5. - Albany Park Patriot - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    You can’t just make stuff up. Not when veterans died. This seems like fair questions and Gov. Bruce should not be allowed to throw this remark away. No way would he have let Pat Quinn off the hook for something like this.


  6. - Anon221 - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    So… Now it’s Mother Nature who’s in charge??? Rauner has, once again, that his governorship “has no clothes”.


  7. - seen the big picture - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 11:23 am:

    ‘Massive floods and tornadoes’ and ‘a lot of dirt.’ Is that code for lack of proper maintenance?


  8. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    Almost as bad as “these things happen.”

    Question for the BTIA: do you prep him for these obvious questions and he doesn’t follow your advice, or do you let him go out there with no script and cross your fingers?


  9. - Morty - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    OW- that was exactly what came to mind


  10. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    ==If Jake Blues isn’t the first thing you think of with Rauner blaming massive floods and tornadoes for the deaths at the Quincy Veterans’ Home…==

    Yup.

    Maybe the Guv is confused and thinking of statehouse chick’s hurricane?


  11. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 11:54 am:

    Is Rauner taking advice from InoWars now?

    Sounds like a wacky Alex Jones bit.


  12. - illini - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 12:02 pm:

    My friend Willy could not have said it better.

    Veterans died on his watch and Governor Rauner still refuses to acknowledge the fact that it happened on his watch.

    So I guess we go back to his normal playbook of obfuscation and deflection. Guessing “I’m not in charge” is true to some extent, but this stretches the limits of credibility and reason.

    Yet, unfortunately, many will believe this ruse and it will be reprinted in local media.

    Good work BTIA(tm).


  13. - Pundent - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 1:39 pm:

    He seems to be taking a page right out of the Presidents playbook. If you don’t like the truth just make something up and then attack the media as biased and dishonest if they call you on it.


  14. - dbk - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    This is so depressing and demoralizing.

    Do the Gov/BTIA not realize that anybody with an internet connection can find out what the weather was like in a given month/year? Or does he think we’re all too dumb to check or too indifferent to care?


  15. - illini - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 4:25 pm:

    @dbk - unfortunately you are correct on both of your valid points.

    Sad isn’t it?


  16. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 6:20 pm:

    You know, organizations as diverse as the US Armed Forces to NASCAR routinely record the weather conditions during their events. Are we going to have to do this for the BTIA as well?


  17. - Huh? - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 7:16 pm:

    “Are we going to have to do this for the BTIA as well?”

    NOAA already does this for free. Not to mention weather.com


  18. - Rabid - Thursday, Jun 14, 18 @ 7:53 pm:

    Illinois dirt is toxic, who knew


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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