Bruce Rauner for the first time personally responded to Early & Often reports that private investigators were armed with guns while working for the Republican effort to remove the Libertarians from the November ballot.
Rauner said in a news availability that he was “outraged” and “appalled” by the behavior, but said it had nothing to do with himself or his campaign.
Earlier this week, Early & Often reported there were strong ties between the effort and the Rauner campaign. That included Rauner personally contributed $6,500 to the Palos Township Republican organization — which is led by Morrison Security owner Sean Morrison.
It was Morrison’s firm that carried out the petition validating. Gov. Pat Quinn seized on the issue, with his campaign calling for an investigation into the matter. A Libertarian remaining on the ballot, which is the case, is detrimental to Republicans. A Green Party candidate remaining — which is not the case — would have been detrimental to Democrats.
Rauner said his campaign had nothing to do with a voter suppression effort.
“We’re checking into the detail of this now. I’m not familiar with all that’s happened. That program that was run, that was run by the state party,” Rauner said.
When asked about ties between the program and Rauner’s campaign, Rauner said: ”One person did but that person as far as I know was not involved in the specific issue that was raised. That person who we paid for a specific project that was done, it was a discreet project, it had nothing to do with this other work that the state party had to do. That was completely disconnected. Our campaign has had nothing to do with the issues.”
Pressed on how he’s handling the matter, Rauner responded: “I’m appalled by the behavior I read about. I absolutely reject it and would never condone it,” Rauner said. “It’s terrible. I don’t know if it’s true, but I would never accept it. I’m outraged by what I’ve read.”