“Moderate” Bruce Rauner really just another Koch lackey

August 11, 2014

Need proof that Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is no moderate? Look no further than the billionaire’s “charitable” giving to see where his true priorities lie: as has been recently exposed, Rauner “has given more than $2 million to extreme right-wing causes and groups associate with the Tea Party and the billionaire Koch brothers.”

This is the same Bruce Rauner who likes to tout his “everyman” credentials by wearing an $18 watch and driving an old camper van, while also spent $100,000 on a single parking spot at a Chicago condo building and bragging about his status among the wealthiest .01% in the country.  Over the past 10 years, Rauner’s given millions to Koch-backed groups and other extreme right-wing groups that want to move the state and the country backwards on the minimum wage, Social Security, Medicare, abortion, marriage equality, climate change, and the environment.

Here’s a sample of Rauner’s extreme priorities:

  • He’s on record saying that he is “adamantly, adamantly” opposed to raising the minimum wage, and he gave $885,000 to groups that support lowering the minimum wage, oppose raising it, or want to abolish the minimum wage altogether, like the Koch brothers’ political arm Americans for Prosperity.
  • Rauner gave $150,000 to Americans for Prosperity, which supports privatizing Social Security and ending Medicare.
  • Rauner gave $25,000 to tea party lobbying group FreedomWorks, which helped usher in the tea party wave in Congress and has vocally opposed health care reform.
  • Rauner has given at least $700,000 to Donors Trust, the right wing’s “dark money ATM,” which hides donors’ giving to extreme tea party-linked groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute – all Koch-backed groups.
  • He supports groups that compare people who believe in climate change to the Unabomber, and has given money to groups that support tax breaks for oil and gas companies and drilling for oil in the Great Lakes and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which would harm sensitive ecosystems. Not coincidentally, the Kochs support keeping tax breaks for oil companies.
  • Rauner vowed to veto the marriage equality bill that gave gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, and he gave $400,000 to the Family Taxpayers Foundation, a group adamantly opposed to rights for LGBT people.
  • Rauner has also given $200,000 to Club for Growth, which attacked Mitt Romney for suggesting that minimum wage should keep pace with inflation, an idea supported by 75 leading economists.

It’s clear that a “Governor Bruce Rauner” would be no different than a “Governor Charles Koch” or “Governor David Koch” – driving an extreme policy agenda out-of-touch with Illinois’ working families.

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation