Gov. Bruce Rauner personally interviewed his new “body man” last week — and then fired him three days later.
The administration also opted not to train Ben Tracy for the sensitive personal assistant position, allowing him to jump right into the job Monday, the day he was fired after staff discovered homophobic and racially insensitive tweets.
Ben Tracy’s exit is one of at least 20 following a whirlwind of firings and resignations in the Rauner administration since last week.
Tracy was interviewed by Rauner on Friday, according to a former Rauner staffer. Tracy, a former intern for the “free market” group the Illinois Opportunity Project, was chosen by the administration to replace Kyle Haevers as the governor’s “body man.” Haevers on Sunday was told his services were no longer needed but that he could choose to work for another state department.
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A “body man” serves as the governor’s assistant — traveling with him, taking pictures, collecting business cards and helping people connect with the governor. In some cases, the role requires work seven days a week, depending on the governor’s schedule.
The former Rauner staffer said typically a former “body man” helps train the new one. Tracy’s transition was quick, however, and an offer to train him was rejected, the staffer said.
Instead Tracy began his first day traveling with Rauner to a stop in Mount Zion. By mid-afternoon, he was out of a job after the tweets were discovered.
Among Tracy’s tweets is one from May 2017 in which he commented on Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte, who was elected a day after body slamming a reporter: “Maybe body slamming reporters is the winning formula for republicans in IL?” Tracy wrote.
In several others from 2012 and 2013, Tracy tweets the homophobic slurs f—– and f–. In a November 2013 post, Tracy tweeted “To the Indian people in the library: SHUT THE F— UP.”
The administration on Monday confirmed his termination, while calling the tweets “unacceptable.”
Applicants for the position are typically vetted by the governor’s research director. In the past, a “body man” is usually interviewed by a former “body man” or senior staffer, as well as the chief of staff.
After that interview process, the governor is brought in to meet the new “body man.”
Sources said the governor has hired Anthony Galullo to replace Tracy. Galullo previously worked on agency “transformation” projects, which included helping agencies move to online applications instead of paper.
According to his LinkedIn page, Galullo was a James H. Dunn Fellow for the governor’s office from August 2015 to July 2016. Rauner’s new chief of staff Kristina Rasmussen, former CEO and president of the Illinois Policy Institute, has in the past criticized the program, saying the $31,332 internship with benefits is “lavish.” She also suggested cutting the program.