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Eight days of intense and comical weirdness

Friday, Jul 13, 2018

* I’ve been meaning to do this all week and kept forgetting. Thanks to Radical Candor IL for reminding me…



* Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to Monday, July 10, 2017…

* Illinois Policy Institute President picked as Rauner’s new chief of staff (updated x9)

    * Welcome to the new world. Dan Proft had an on-air scoop this morning that Richard Goldberg is out as Gov. Rauner’s chief of staff and is being replaced with Illinois Policy Institute President Kristina Rasmussen

    * Hinz: Rauner signals war with new chief of staff

* Rep. Steve Andersson ousted from House GOP Floor Leader slot

    Andersson, of course, was one of the House Republicans who voted for the tax hike/budget bills and in favor of overriding the governor’s vetoes. He was also “whipping” HGOP votes in favor of both sets of roll calls.

* Tuesday, July 11, 2017…

* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Staff shakeup continues

    * Michael Lucci, the Vice President of Policy for the Illinois Policy Institute, has been hired as Gov. Rauner’s new policy director, according to a staff e-mail sent today by Rauner’s new chief of staff Kristina Rasmussen. […]

    Laurel Patrick is the governor’s new communications director. Patrick was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s spokesperson before eventually moving to the economic-right Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. Patrick replaces Brad Hahn, who was let go today. […]

    * Rauner’s chief of staff told her new charges today that “mutual respect paired with radical candor will make this an even greater place to work.”

* Hahn out, more to come (updated: CK out)

    Rauner spokesperson Catherine Kelly was just fired. What’s so unreal about this is that CK was a loyal Raunerite. She busted her tail for the governor. CK was expected to be leaving perhaps as early as next month anyway because her husband has a job in another state. But this action today was unexpected.

* Illinois Policy Institute’s Lucci, Scott Walker’s Patrick hired by Rauner

    * I told subscribers about these developments earlier today. This evening, Mary Ann Ahern published the full memo sent out today by Gov. Rauner’s new chief of staff Kristina Rasmussen

* Wednesday, July 12, 2017…

* Democrats respond to Rauner’s new hires

    * I cannot ever remember a time when this much focus has been placed on a governor’s staff changes. But it’s most certainly news and therefore political fodder.

* Clark out (update: Or not)

    @MaryAnnAhernNBC

    CORRECTION: “Jim Clarke has not, willnot and was never going to be fired.” From @GovRauner spksm [Clark was moved to IHDA the following month]

* “Outside the simulator”

    WGN: There’s a sense among some Rauner loyalists that the governor, discouraged by defeat in the Illinois legislature, is now being influenced to go to the right rather than the middle. “It was one thing when nobody cared what they have to say it will be interesting to see how they perform outside the simulator,” an insider said.

* Tillman claims his group has “unblemished” record of “decency, civility, and candor”

    * Click here for a reminder about their decency and civility.

* Thursday, July 13, 2017…

* More firing/hiring fallout for Rauner

    * AP: Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman said appointing former organization President Kristina Rasmussen his chief of staff is an “unmistakable signal” that Rauner intends to fulfill a promise to make Illinois “prosperous and free.”

    * Sneed: “It’s been tough. The morale is bad. People are afraid. It has been a coup d’etat type of environment. The conservative Illinois Policy Institute has taken charge.”

* “The damage has been done. We can’t turn back the clock”

    * Pritzker campaign: “As Rauner staffs up with a radical right-wing team determined to cause more devastation, our most vulnerable communities are still reeling from the damage of round one,”

* Leader Brady wants to use coming school funding crisis as “leverage” on “reforms”

* Rauner staff hirings prompt new “Trumpcare” questions

* Pritzker campaign mocks Rauner over new hires

    * Video: “We need brilliant people who are doing it for the right reasons to drive a result.”

* Where’s Rauner during unprecedented Lake County flooding?

    * You would think the governor’s new crack PR team would be all over this. As the old saying (from Gov. Rauner himself) goes: “Crisis creates opportunity.”

* Friday, July 14, 2017…

* Legislators want Rauner to declare emergency and call out National Guard

    * @MaryAnnAhernNBC: As he picks new staff, not until NBC5 & @capitolfax started asking, now @GovRauner WILL tour flooding in Gurnee this am #ILGov18

    * @MaryAnnAhernNBC: I’m not the only one who is noticing, @GovRauner wearing makeup on flood tour (filming ads too?) #ILGov18

* An “unblemished” record of “decency, civility, and candor”

    * @illinoispolicy: .@capitolfax tell Steve Brown aka wordslinger that if he cared about the democratic process he’d get his boss to change his House rules

* Question of the day

    * From a memo sent out Tuesday by Gov. Rauner’s new chief of staff: Please share with me your best ideas for transforming Illinois through better public policy and improved operations by Friday at 3:00 p.m.

* Rauner denies being distracted, says he’s “incredibly proud” of his staff

    * From the governor’s media availability: “We are always trying to recruit and retain the best people in America to serve the people of Illinois. That’s all that matters.”

* The Rauner purge restarts

    • Corrections and criminal justice adviser Jennifer Grady-Paswater;
    • Jason Heffley, who handled environment and energy and helped cut the recent Exelon nuclear funding deal;
    • Brian Oszakiewski who came from the staff of U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Chicago, and who handled transportation;
    • Daniel Suess, who made policy recs for smaller state agencies. […]

    *** UPDATE 1 *** Rauner spokesperson Eleni Demertzis has just resigned. Unlike some of the others, Eleni walked out on her own terms.

    *** UPDATE 2 *** Allie Bovis, who oversees agency communications and was the traveling press secretary today for the governor’s trip to Lake County, has submitted her resignation effective next Friday. She’s also leaving on her own terms.

    *** UPDATE 3 *** Jared Dubnow, who is the governor’s Director of Operations, is reportedly leaving and will be going to DCEO. He made the trains run on time, but before that he was the governor’s top advance man and was Rauner’s “body man” during the campaign.

* Another one goes: Mike Z leaves Rauner campaign

    * The governor recently asked him to stay on, so this is, by far, the biggest Rauner defection of the week. Boom

* Monday, July 17, 2017…

* The bane of their existence

    * My weekly syndicated newspaper column: Rauner has always been a big fan of the Illinois Policy Institute’s way of thinking and ways of doing business. He insisted, for instance, that Rasmussen be included in some policy meetings. Rasmussen reportedly voiced support at those meetings for things like shutting down some state universities and prisons, regardless of the consequences, including the possibility of a prison escape during a hastily arranged facility shutdown. That’s just the sort of “bold” thinking that Rauner likes.

* Mahoney is latest top Rauner administration official to resign

    * Mike Mahoney, the governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Legislative Affairs, resigned this morning.

    *** UPDATE 1 *** Sources close to the governor’s office confirm that the governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Engagement Phil Rodriguez has also resigned. Rodriguez worked for Comptrollers Topinka and Munger and ran both of their campaigns. He’s moving over to the Tollway.

    *** UPDATE 2 *** The govenor’s body man, Kyle Haevers, has been told his services were no longer needed and was asked to find an agency to move to. His replacement is Ben Tracy, who has already begun traveling with the governor. Kyle was a loyal Raunerite and has been part of Rauner World since 2014 and helped on the Rep. McAuliffe race last fall.

    *** UPDATE 3 *** Digital Director Bridget Davidson and Deputy Press Secretary Olivia Munson also resigned today. Davidson came on board last October from a TV station in Milwaukee. I’m told that under Davidson’s direction “Facebook followers grew organically (no paid or sponsored posts) by 300 percent” in seven months.

    *** UPDATE 4 *** Kathy Lydon, who runs the state’s Washington, DC office, has left. I’m told her deputy left as well. Lydon previously worked for Judy Biggert and goes all the way back to the Chuck Percy days.

    *** UPDATE 5 *** Bob Stefanski, Director of House and Senate Operations, has departed. The House and Senate Republican leaders both wanted the governor to keep him around.

    *** UPDATE 6 *** @IllinoisWorking: TWENTY ONE staffers have left or been fired from @GovRauner’s office since last week#ShakeUpSpringfield

    *** UPDATE 7 *** Anyone paying half attention to the RadicalCandorIL Twitter account today could’ve guessed this was coming: @MaryAnnAhernNBC The new “body man” doesn’t last one day! @GovRauner fires him #chaos

    *** UPDATE 8 *** Politico: Illinois GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner’s new “body man” — the government staffer who spends long days with governor — has a history of writing racially-charged, homophobic and sexually explicit tweets. “I’d f— her teeth straight,” said one. “To the Indian people in the library: SHUT THE F— UP!,” said another.

* More on the Mike Z resignation

    * If you’re scratching your head wondering if you’ve ever seen anything like this past week in Illinois politics, stop. You haven’t.

*** LIVE COVERAGE *** “Radical Candor”

    * It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what group of people are likely behind the new RadicalCandorIL Twitter account. I followed it closely all weekend and since the resignations are continuing, I thought you might want a ScribbleLive feed

* Rauner demands SB 1 be sent to him so he can AV it (updated x4)

* New Rauner comms staff officially announced

    * Press release: 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

* Rauner to school superintendents: “Don’t give in to a tyrant”

* Besler hired as Rauner’s “chief strategic advisor”

    * This is the new Mike Z…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments
  1. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:07 pm:

    What a way to end the week. Excellent roundup.

    AA out.


  2. - Politix - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    Nuttier than I had remembered.


  3. - Not Again - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    Just another reason to drink this weekend. Happy anniversary Bruce, seems like it went to plan.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    Tough to choose my favs…

    Diana Rickert’s “As a white male”
    The body guy’s tweets
    Rasmussen’s reaction to HB40
    The FoxNews / Bret Bair “What would be different in a second term”
    The veto override count ignorance
    Diana Rauner’s emails and rationale…

    It’s not close.

    Goldberg is my favorite, and that this Diana Rauner messaging fiasco was about Diana not appreciating the Superstars…


  5. - NIU Grad - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    This thread needs to be printed in the Illinois Blue Book and preserved for history…


  6. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    –Rasmussen reportedly voiced support at those meetings for things like shutting down some state universities and prisons, regardless of the consequences, including the possibility of a prison escape during a hastily arranged facility shutdown. That’s just the sort of “bold” thinking that Rauner likes.–

    Who urges actions “regardless of the consequences?”

    Dorm-room debate club bong-hitters.


  7. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:24 pm:

    #winning #upday


  8. - Son of a sailor jerry - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    I have to wonder what the chatter at the northshore cocktail party scene has been regarding his on point messaging in the last 365 days.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    It’s is good to point out the Rasmussen and the IPI for Lisa Diana Rauner favored… those IPI folks stressed the need to keep hurting Illinois.

    Diana Rauner wanted the messaging better, not the saving if illinois… as Pritzker bailed out The Ounce.

    Radical Candor indeed


  10. - Deadbeat Conservative - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    JB’s campaign people could use the help RC or somebody familiar with the Illinois Governor’s Office issues.


  11. - illini - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    That was indeed a memorable week in Illinois politics. Hard to believe it was only a year ago.


  12. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 2:52 pm:

    “Who urges actions “regardless of the consequences?”

    Dorm-room debate club bong-hitters.”

    The callous ultra-privileged and the costume-wearing phony, who has no idea and couldn’t care less about the consequences to the less-fortunate. Those who cry professionally about how bad it is in Illinois but are among the best-off here.


  13. - JS Mill - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 3:32 pm:

    =Dorm-room debate club bong-hitters.=

    Had to do a spit take there. Good stuff.

    The pritzker crew could glean enough info from that crazy list to fill the entire election cycle. What is the hold up?


  14. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 3:33 pm:

    Sounds like the workings of a very stable genius!


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* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Illinois rated second most likely governor's office to flip parties
* It's just a bill
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - A couple of new mailers and a fundraising list
* Question of the day
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - ICPR responds again
* Rauner says "left-leaning" Chicago press is "plenty biased"
* Keep your trackers out of taverns
* "If any region should feel alienated from state government, it's the suburbanites"
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* Rauner ad gets it wrong, but Pritzker needs to end his silence
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* Buttigieg delivered the best zinger of the day
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