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article imageOp-Ed: Bruce Rauner, 'Mitt Romney of Illinois,' parks money in Caymans

By John Presta     Aug 4, 2014 in Politics
Chicago - Bruce Rauner denies he is the "1 percent." Asked last March, Rauner told Natasha Korecki of the Chicago Sun Times, "Oh I'm probably .01 percent." Rauner's personal wealth is estimated at $1 billion and much of that fortune is parked in the Cayman Islands.
In point of fact, Rauner relishes the idea that he is a "cut above" the "cut above," so the snarky comment that he is "probably .01 percent," is not out of character nor does he find it insulting. Rauner owns nine homes valued in the millions and reported earning $53 million in 2013. With this vast wealth, Rauner is making a serious attempt to buy the governor's mansion in Springfield, Illinois, and unseat the incumbent, Democratic Governor Pat Quinn.
Rauner has made one gaffe after another during the course of the campaign. He barely won the Republican nomination, edging out Illinois State Senator Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale by two points, in spite of a huge financial advantage over Dillard. Rauner had double digit leads over Dillard throughout the campaign, but news about his ownership in nursing homes in which patients were injured and died have come to haunt Rauner.
Mitt Romney had Bain Capital as a lightning rod. Bruce Rauner has the company he founded, GTCR.
Rauner has another in a series of "Mitt Romney-type" problems. It seems Rauner's fortune was made in the land of the U.S.A., but he has parked at least part of his massive fortune into the Cayman Islands, a Caribbean paradise long criticized as a tax haven for American investors, the Chicago Sun-Times political reporter Dave McKinney has learned.
The man known as the "Mitt Romney of Illinois politics" because of his remarkable resemblance to Romney's "out-of-touch" behavior. Like Romney, Rauner has used money to buy influence and power. In Illinois, the land where a "For Sale" sign hangs everywhere, Rauner used his influence, power and money to buy his daughter a place at an exclusive Chicago Public School (CPS).
He accomplished that feat the old-fashioned way, by picking up the phone and by just asking Arne Duncan, the current Secretary of Education and then head of CPS, to find his daughter one of the coveted spots in Walter Payton Prep Academy, reported Crain's Chicago Business last year.
The issue becomes even more important in view of the recent discussions by President Barack Obama, Democrats and even many Republicans, with the increasing talk of corporate tax reform known as "inversions." The populist issue of keeping American money in America, could derail what appears could be a promising candidacy by Bruce Rauner and his quest to become Governor of Illinois.
Recently, Rauner approved of the possible move of Walgreens out of Illinois and the United States, and to a foreign land setting up its corporate headquarters. Rauner acknowledged the move would be "terrible," but in the same breath defends the possible move.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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