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Doug Finke

Rauner tells GOP: ‘I’m not a politician’

As incumbent governor, though, when does he become one?

As incumbent governor, though, when does he become one?

Gov. Bruce Rauner spoke last week at the annual Sangamon County Republican Party Lincoln Day dinner.

There was the usual rah-rah stuff you’d expect any politician to deliver to a gathering of the party faithful. In this case, that included talk of Republicans taking control of the House in the November elections and the requisite bad-mouthing of House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago.

And there was also this: “Now look, you know I’m not a politician. This is all new to me.”

Um, OK, but we’re now 3 years into his first term and he’s seeking another one. Just how long does it take someone in politics to become a politician? And when does the job stop being new?

During his speech, Rauner mentioned his grandfather and how he got his work ethic from the man.

To his credit, Rauner this time did not claim that his grandfather was an immigrant from Sweden, which he wasn’t. That used to be a staple of Rauner on the stump.

THAT NOW-INFAMOUS AD aired by Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton in her attempt to unseat Rauner continued to reverberate last week.

The criticisms continued to flow from people who’ve used terms like racist, sexist and homophobic to describe its content. Ives, speaking at an event in Chicago last week, insisted she didn’t understand what all of the fuss was about because she was just stating facts.

The other line that’s been going around about the ad started with some Ives supporters and has been advanced by some others, too. That one says the ad, even if it’s somewhat over the top by political ad standards, was a smart move by Ives. That’s mainly because the ad generated a lot of news coverage – free media exposure – for a candidate who isn’t well-known by Illinois voters, according to the polls.

There is no question the ad is generating buzz about Ives. The question is how that sorts out for Ives. If the first someone hears of her is in stories about that ad – most of which haven’t been kind – does that turn away someone who might have been tempted to vote for her otherwise?

AND WHILE we’re at it, Rauner has started airing an ad critical of Ives.

It wouldn’t be a big deal except that Rauner has pretty much ignored that Ives is even running in the primary. Rauner has been running ads, but they’ve focused on attacking J.B. Pritzker, who was widely viewed as the favorite to win the Democratic nomination and thus the real threat to Rauner.

But Rauner isn’t ignoring Ives any longer when it comes to an attack ad. He’s got one that resorts to the tried-and-true formula of linking an opponent to Madigan. The ad says Ives bragged about Madigan supporting her bills and that Ives defended Madigan.

Actually, in a joint appearance with Rauner at the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board, Ives had the temerity to say Madigan isn’t going anywhere, so it’s better to figure out a way to work with him. But then she’s been around since 2013, so she’s not new to the job.

THERE IS a resolution pending in the Legislature to study the creation of something called the Abraham Lincoln Golf Trail.

The idea is to link seven golf courses together into the trail for tourism purposes.

It’s a fine idea except for one thing: There aren’t any courses on the list from Springfield. How can you have a Lincoln golf trail and exclude the very courses that Lincoln played?

Rauner tells GOP: ‘I’m not a politician’ The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill., Doug Finke columncf784b87-d9f6-4559-af2e-09e02697ab1c/image-pv_web.jpgshaw-push-component-1