It was a massacre.
It wasn’t pretty.
There was no forewarning; it happened quickly and abruptly.
And Sneed hears there is more to come.
To wit: While Gov. Bruce Rauner’s press and policy troops were busting their butts during budget negotiations, plans were already afoot to make a hard right politically — clean house and bring in a new team.
On Monday morning, Rauner personally ousted his Chief of Staff Richard Goldberg, who was described by his troops as fiercely loyal to the governor and his mission.
It would be the only one the governor would personally fire.
“Everyone was in shock,” said a Rauner staffer who asked to remain anonymous.
“I mean everyone came to work Monday morning. But when we were told Richard [Goldberg] was out, we had a feeling if he could do that to him — who was a leader and fiercely loyal — who wouldn’t they do that to?
“Over the next 24 hours everyone was a wreck,” the source added.
“Staff fear was at its height. Doors were shut. People were crying. We then watched one person’s head roll after another. When you see a friend you respect who has worked so hard get dismissed just like that, it’s very difficult.”
• On Tuesday morning, Rauner’s communications director, Brad Hahn, was fired by Rauner’s new Chief of Staff Kristina Rasmussen — who had served as president of the Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative-leaning think tank.
• The buckshot: Hahn was calmly told his services were no longer required and was asked to clean out his office before being escorted out of the building.
Laurel Patrick, who worked for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, is now head of communications.
• On Tuesday evening, Catherine Kelly, deputy director of communications for Rauner’s administration, was also abruptly fired by Rasmussen.
Kelly, however, who was also asked to clean out her office before being escorted out, was in the process of delaying an anticipated move to Texas in August, where her husband had been offered a job with a law firm.
Did he see the handwriting on the wall?
Lance Trover, the gov’s prickly deputy chief of staff for communications, had given his notice last month.
• The big question: Will Mike Mahoney, the governor’s policy chief, be told to leave?
“Mike was the guy who kept the troops together, but the expectation is that there is a lot more to come in the cleaning house department,” a Rauner source said.
“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.”
Sneed hears Rauner and his wife, Diana, were planning on making these changes earlier — especially in the communications department — but surprised some of their advisers on how quickly they moved to do so.
“I knew a few heads would roll, but am told there’s more to come.”
Moving on . . .
Meanwhile, Rauner and his wife, Diana, headed out to New Hampshire to attend a daughter’s college graduation.
A Jarrett jot . . .
News may have surfaced yesterday via the Viking Press former White House BFF Valerie Jarrett is writing a book.
But then again, Sneed told you that exclusively June 30, when I wrote . . .
Yes . . . yes . . .
Former White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, who is Barack and Michelle Obama’s BFF, is writing a book.
• The big buzz: Will Jarrett have the guts to talk about all the people in the White House’s West Wing she detested . . . and vice versa?
A Jarrett jab. . .
So who were the people Jarrett disliked?
How about Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Bill Daley and David Axelrod?
Sneedlings . . .
Today’s birthdays: Harrison Ford, 75; Yadier Molina, 35; Cheech Marin, 71; and Vito Burdi, ageless.