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“No Compromise” Rauner Is Just So Done With Governing

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Rauner Doubles Down with New Chief of Staff from Far-Right, Koch Brothers-Affiliated Group 

Fresh off the humiliating bipartisan override of his budget vetoes, Rauner doubled down on his reelection strategy of offering no compromise with the announced hire Kristina Rasmussen, formerly of the Illinois Policy Institute as his new Chief of Staff.

The IPI and Rauner have always been linked; Rauner’s donated over $500,000 to group and recently nominated two IPI staffers to administration positions. But the hiring of Rasmussen will formally join Rauner to the right-wing group that has close ties to the Koch Brothers, and is funded by Koch Brother-affiliated donors. The IPI holds far-right policies, including eliminating the minimum wage, ending the Obamacare Medicaid expansion currently serving 600,000, curtailing collective bargaining, and draining public education via vouchers.

Recently, Rasmussen argued Rauner should reject the bipartisan budget because it was good politics to appease Rauner’s base voters:

“The results reveal that in supporting a tax hike budget plan, the governor is pursuing a politically disadvantageous course. The budget the governor is backing is unpopular with his own base of support…”

Rasmussen’s hiring signals Rauner’s policies and message will be focused on his Republican base, and not on the well-fare of Illinois middle-class families. This campaign-first focus will make compromise and bipartisanship that much harder. In short, Rauner is done governing.

“If Illinois voters had any hope Rauner would come out of the state’s budget fiasco looking to govern in a bipartisan manner, today ends that dream,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “To lead his office, Bruce Rauner found a far-right wing partisan operative who recently encouraged the Governor to reject a bipartisan budget for political considerations. With this hire, Rauner’s my-way-or-the-highway attitude to compromise will only get worse. Rauner, suffering from rock-bottom approval ratings and a failed record of leadership dragging him down, decided to focus on his own reelection rather than working for Illinois families.” 

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Background:

The Illinois Policy Institute Was One Of The Charles Koch Foundation’s Partner Organization. According to the Charles Koch Institute, “The list of partner organizations with available roles changes from year to year, based on the needs of each organization. Below is a partial list of past and present partner organizations that have hosted educational program participants. Additionally, both the Charles Koch Institute and the Charles Koch Foundation hire participants as part of our educational programs. PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS: […] Illinois Policy Institute.” [Charles Koch Institute, Partner Organizations, accessed 7/10/17]

The Illinois Policy Institute Received Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars From The Koch Brothers, Koch Groups, And Koch-Related Donors. According to the Center for Public Integrity, the Illinois Policy Institute received funding from the Donors Trust that was funded by The Knowledge and Progress Fund, The Charles Koch Foundation, and Koch-Related Donors. [Center for Public Integrity, accessed 7/10/17]