Bruce Rauner still dodging questions, top aide curses reporter (VIDEO)

Bruce Rauner still dodging questions, top aide curses reporter (VIDEO)
Rauner refuses to answer reporter's questions

Chicago, Illinois - GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner talks but does he really answer questions?  Many media have criticized Rauner's lack of response or detailed plan about how he would fix what is broken in Springfield, how he would modify the power of public unions, about his financial relationship to charter schools, and many, many other annoying specifics.

It is arguable whether this stonewalling strategy worked well for him in the recent GOP primary - he won by just a little over 2% of the vote against Sen. Kirk Dillard after spending $6 million of his own money on TV ads.

Rauner has a serious problem when it comes to answering questions with any specifics. He knows that when you talk specifics, you risk criticism and votes.

That is why Rauner's  aides work so hard to shield him. They resent certain questions and - apparently - certain reporters. That was certainly the case when Rauner and his aides were questioned at the recent Illinois Educators Association's annual meeting.

See the video here.

Top Rauner aide preventing reporters into the event.

Top Rauner aide preventing reporters into the event.

Rauner's top aide, Lance Trover, was stationed at the door of the event and he was deciding which reporters to let into the room to hear the debate between Bruce Rauner and Gov. Pat Quinn. Mind you, it wasn't Trover's or Rauner's event.  I showed my Chicago press credential and he shut the door on me. Other reporters and TV crews were visible in the room.

Keep in mind, I've never met Trover before.

A few minutes later, Rauner exited the room and I asked him a few questions. Again, he dismissively dodged the questions.

One issue Rauner hasn't talked about much is his deep involvement in Mayor Emanuel's Chicago casino proposal. So I posed this question to him:

"Are you looking forward to giving Rahm his Chicago casino? Is this [the governor's race] what this is really all about?

No comment from Rauner.

Until he announced his candidacy for governor, Rauner was the Chairman of Choose Chicago and was aggressively leading the push for Emanuel's billion dollar Chicago casino  and a plan to raise more than $30 billion in investment. The plan requires state approval and that is where a hypothetical Governor Rauner could be very helpful to Emanuel.

Rauner was ushered away with his security detail and that was the end of the question and no answer period.

A few minutes later, I decided to try to get some answers from Trover, who was still in the hallway speaking with other reporters. Trover is a former top aide to Sen. Mark Kirk.

Trover - again, whom I have never met before - seemed to know me and called me casually by my first name. I asked him "why Rauner won't answer questions." He waived his hand disrespectfully. I tried again. His response was to curse me and call me and call a few of the reporters present "idiots."

"Get that f**kig thing away from me, Bill." Trover said referring to my microphone.

Is this the kind of arrogance what we can expect if Rauner is elected?

Fortunately, I am not fazed by bad behavior from politicians or their subpar staffs.

Ignoring Trover's crude response, I patiently explained to him that voters deserve to have their questions answered and that Rauner's lack of responsiveness is not what being a leader is all about. Again, Trover laughed off my comments and questions.

Rauner and his aides may not have any respect for the voters of Illinois but they do have respect for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

As they hopped into a car, I asked Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf about how Rahm made millions in commissions from Rauner's SBC deal back in 2001. Schrimpf's response?

"Rahm worked hard."

Really, Rahm worked hard?

Despite having no experience, Rahm was hired as an investment banker after he left the Clinton White House and helped Rauner's GTCR receive an FCC exemption.

According to the Chicago Tribune:

FCC regulations were forcing SBC to divest itself of SecurityLink. So GTCR, Rauner's firm, tapped Rahm Emanuel to use his influence with the Clinton Administration to make an exception. It was another sneaky insider maneuver. In the end, SBC financed all but $100 million of GTCR's $479 million purchase of the firm. After less than six months, Rauner's firm sold SecurityLink for $1 billion and made a quick $500 million in profit.

Will Bruce Rauner's approach to Springfield insiders be the same approach he used with DC insiders? An approach that has made him a billionaire?

That is a good question too.

To date, Rauner has gotten a pass on questions about his relationship with Stuart Levine, his relationship to the Ohio-based independent expenditure PACs that attacked his GOP political opponents, and his contributions to Republican non-profits that helped his campaign during the primary.

Hopefully, the voters of Illinois will actually get some answers from Bruce Rauner before the election - not after.


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  • But, as I said earlier, the only effect is that you are supporting Rahm's endorsed candidate, Quinn, who has done "such a fine job" leading this state in the past 5 years, and lied about the "temporary tax hike." Also, apparently has no intention to do anything to implement the recommendations of "his" transit task force.

    However, since your About says ".. a political satirist and commentator" maybe we should just treat you as another Daily Beefing. Does Rauner support compelled sex, too?

  • In reply to jack:

    Sorry Jack but - what I was doing was asking Rauner some questions. As a candidate for governor, he needs to answer some questions before we hand over Illinois to him. Get it? And I don't take being cursed at by anyone.

  • In reply to williamjkelly:

    So, it is about you again?

    Is Quinn giving you any interviews? Or do you ask interviews of people for whom you have already published that you detest?

  • In reply to jack:

    Rauner was the one who came out the door. If Quinn had been there, I would have asked him a question. BTW - Chicago reporters have a bias against Republican and conservative candidates. A bias bordering on hate. That doesn't stop them from asking questions of the people they have an opinion about. So your comment is extremely confusing. Are you saying that I don't have the right as a reporter to ask Rauner questions?

  • Maybe that's the problem They view you as a blogger and not a reporter.

  • In reply to SouthSideGT:

    FYI - Rauner is not being asked any tough questions and his people resent it when questions are asked.

    But to answer your comment - There are no rules in media anymore - as much as the old guard would like them. Reporters also blog and share their opinions as well as report news. Sen. Dick Durbin has disrespected new media for years - but even he was forced to admit that new media fell under the protections of the new media shield law.

  • Good reporting, i didnt know about the casino and rauners's involvement, did you read how he also tried cheating his taxes taking out three homestead exemptions on one house? This guy will cheat anyone for a few more bucks. I dont like quinn either, but at least he wont turn all public schools into charters or put casino on lake and make a bad overcrowded lakefront even worse. Both these govt guys are private industry wanks who will rape the public trust for their cronies. When will voters make guys like these guys go awa? Instead it is some sick team competition to win at all costs, no honor among thieves....

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