Rauner says Dems made 'power play' but he wants to rise above

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Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner at a Downstate event Friday. | Jon Seidel/Sun-Times Media

Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner accused Democrats Friday of a “partisan politics power play” and then said he wants to rise above political bickering.

Rauner, a Republican, also said he’s not going to sue over a bill triggering a special comptroller election in 2016. It sailed through the Democratic-controlled Legislature Thursday and outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn has promised to sign it before he leaves office.

“I’m not going to let anything distract me,” Rauner said. “We’ve got to solve problems on a bipartisan basis. We’ve had a lot of partisan bickering and partisan power plays in Illinois for years. I want to be above that.”

The incoming governor made those comments at a community center in Downstate Chillicothe. He shook hands, posed for pictures, signed autographs and promised to “rip the corruption and the conflicts of interest out of Springfield.”

The visit was part of his statewide “ready-to-work” tour ahead of next week’s inauguration.

He promised to issue “a number of executive orders starting right away” when he takes office, focusing on ethics, conflicts of interest, efficiency in government and cost-cutting. And he said he doesn’t want anyone donating to his inaugural celebration who “does any business with the government at all.”

“That’s the thing we’ve got to stop,” Rauner said.

Finally, he invited Illinoisans to visit Springfield this weekend for the inauguration festivities, where museums will be opening their doors for free. He also promoted Monday’s inauguration concert featuring Toby Keith and Buddy Guy.

“Rather than a formal, stuffy, black-tie thing, which I don’t like, we’re going to have some good country music,” Rauner said.

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