Rauner ‘not surprised’ he and President Obama share a backer

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Republican gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner said Thursday that it doesn’t surprise him that one of  his campaign contributors would also host Democratic President Barack Obama while the president is in town. 

Obama’s Thursday visit to Chicago includes a reception at the Gold Coast home of Invenergy LLC CEO Michael Polsky. Campaign records show Polsky gave $5,000 to Citizens for Rauner Inc. in April 2013. 

They also show Polsky gave $1,000 to Citizens for Lisa Madigan last year and $2,100 to groups supporting Gov. Pat Quinn in previous election cycles.

“We have support from all corners and all sectors,” Rauner said during a campaign stop in Chinatown. “So I’m not surprised that someone who might be a supporter of the president or other politicians might also support us.”

RELATED: Obama here to raise money for Durbin, other Democrats

After his Chinatown Chamber Business Lunch at Lao You Ju, Rauner also said he’s not surprised Illinois House Democrats don’t have the votes to pass Quinn’s bid to block state income tax rates from rolling back in January. Rauner said voters don’t want higher taxes.

“They want the tax burden reduced on homeowners as well as the income tax,” Rauner said. 

And despite repeated questioning from reporters, Rauner only said he would release his own alternative tax plan “long, long before the election.” 

And then he took a shot at the Quinn administration.

“Right now they’ve got a bumbling system, broken promises, misleading the voters. Pat Quinn said he was going to make economic growth and job creation a top priority. We have the third highest unemployment rate in America. Highest in the Midwest. He said education was a priority. He’s cut education funding when he did not have to.

“And he’s got three investigations going on in his administration. He’s an extension of the old Blagojevich administration. Corruption. Cronyism. Patronage. Same people worked for Blagojevich. Same people worked for Pat Quinn.”

Later Thursday, Quinn’s campaign responded with a statement touting 250,000 private sector jobs since the economic recovery began, and pointing out Illinois’ unemployment rate is the lowest since 2008. 

“In contrast, Billionaire Bruce Rauner refuses to tell us his plans beyond proposing to cut the minimum wage, which would cost working families $2,000 per year. But Rauner has a record of buying companies, mismanaging them into bankruptcy and firing workers while he made millions.

“Bruce Rauner is running for governor.  The voters of Illinois deserve to know his plan now, if he actually has one.”


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