Bruce Rauner

Rauner Pumps $50 Million Into Re-Election Bid

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) “is dumping $50 million into his 2018 race for reelection, an infusion of cash that’s an indication he’s prepared to spend big bucks to win a second term,” Politico reports.

“The investment could be designed to scare off a prospective bid by Democratic venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker, a billionaire who is seen as a potential opponent.”

Rauner Pours $46 Million Into Legislative Races

With little more than two weeks until Election Day, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s (R) personal investment in eroding the ranks of legislative Democrats led by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) has grown to nearly $46 million, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“The massive influx of cash represents the election-year battle lines playing out in Illinois after more than a year of fighting between Rauner, the first-term governor, and Madigan, the nation’s longest-serving speaker, over the future of the state.”

Illinois Governor Sued by Wife’s Non-Profit

“A lifelong Democrat, Bruce Rauner’s wife Diana campaigned enthusiastically for the Republican multimillionaire businessman during his 2014 bid for Illinois governor,” ABC News reports.

“Now the child-advocacy group she leads is among 82 social service providers suing her husband’s administration for payment of over $130 million locked up in Illinois’ unprecedented budget fight with Democratic legislative leaders.”

Rauner Would Back Efforts to Recall Emanuel

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) “started off the new year swinging, offering vague criticism of Mayor Rahm Emanuel over his handling of police-involved shootings and vowing to sign legislation that would allow voters to recall Chicago mayors in the unlikely event the measure reaches his desk,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

Rauner said his longtime friend and former business associate “inherited a mess” but has done little in the way to overhaul how the city operates.

Remaking Illinois

The New York Times looks at how Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) and his wealthy friends are transforming the state and its politics.

“The families remaking Illinois are among a small group around the country who have channeled their extraordinary wealth into political power, taking advantage of regulatory, legal and cultural shifts that have carved new paths for infusing money into campaigns. Economic winners in an age of rising inequality, operating largely out of public view, they are reshaping government with fortunes so large as to defy the ordinary financial scale of politics.”

Rauner Keeps Spending to Bash Illinois Democrats

Bloomberg: “Bruce Rauner (R) spent more than $25 million of his own fortune to get elected governor of Illinois. While the state is running out of cash and thousands of state employees might not get paid because of a budget dispute, the Republican chief executive isn’t done spending yet.”

“As Illinois’s gridlocked government stumbles toward a shutdown, the independently wealthy Rauner remains in campaign mode. He sends cash to his party’s lawmakers and bankrolls statewide TV ads vilifying Democratic legislative leaders who oppose his agenda.”

Emanuel Takes Shot at Friend as Race Tightens

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) “offered up a double serving of political theater Wednesday, attacking his friend Gov. Bruce Rauner’s attempt to slash state spending and airing a TV ad in which the mayor appeared contrite about his first term but didn’t specify what he got wrong,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

“Rauner and Emanuel share a well-heeled pool of corporate campaign donors and have vacationed together. Still, Emanuel went so far as to take a personal shot at Rauner.”

Rauner Moves to Curb Power of Public Sector Unions

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R), “the newly elected Republican who has often criticized public sector unions, took his first step toward curbing their power on Monday by announcing an executive order that would bar unions from requiring all state workers to pay the equivalent of dues,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Rauner, who faces a Democratic-controlled legislature with strong ties to labor, took the unilateral step saying that he believed those fees violate the United States Constitution.”

Chicago Tribune: “Anticipating a strong pushback from organized labor, Rauner filed a pre-emptive federal lawsuit in Chicago seeking to have his decision declared legal. But the move likely will spark additional court battles as unions quickly decried the effort as an illegal abuse of power. It’s also possible Democratic lawmakers could vote to overturn Rauner’s executive order.”

Rauner Jacks Up Pay for Top Staffers

“While criticizing state spending and state worker salaries as too high, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) is paying top members of his administration significantly more than their predecessors in Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration,” a review by the Associated Press has found.

The review of state payroll records “found nine of ten top administrative posts paying more under Rauner, who took office earlier this month. On an annual basis, those Rauner staffers will make more than the equivalent Quinn staffers by nearly 36 percent, or roughly $380,000.”

Illinois Inauguration Raises Questions of Influence

Incoming Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) campaigned as a reformer of the state’s often corrupt politics, Reuters reports.

“But watchdog groups say activities surrounding his inauguration Monday are among the priciest of any incoming governor and take advantage of a loophole in campaign finance that allows wealthy special interests to gain access to those who hold political power. These groups say Rauner’s inauguration festival — with a total tab estimated to reach $10 million — is emblematic of a trend in other states. The costly celebrations, funded by private donors, skirt ethics laws and open conflicts of interest for elected officials, the critics say.”