Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Grand Poobah of Illinois Plutocrats: Bruce Rauner

December must be the beginning of Education Profiteer & Plutocrat season in Illinois. First, there was the Myles Mendoza op-ed in the Tribune, and now the grand poobah of Illinois plutocrats has emerged from his cave 6,870 square foot Winnetka mansion: Bruce Rauner. And what an entrance he's made, buying up lots of TV time to show off regular-guy things like cheap watches, plaid shirts, vests, and Carhartt jackets (this item being regular if you're a real rancher or have $100 to spare for a jacket). 

Like all grand poobahs, Rauner's inflated self-regard is blaringly evident in the "No Excuses" commercial currently airing. In it, he lets the good people of Illinois know he started his own charter school! WCT probably doesn't need to tell you why he's begun his own school. Implicit in Rauner's commercial is the tired notion that every other school is failing thanks to the uncaring, excuse-making people who work there! 

Rauner reads from what seems like the only page in the Corporate Education Reform playbook and states the following:
  • There's no excuse for failing schools (not even generational poverty or entrenched violence)!
  • We (is this the Royal we?) have to care enough to fix schools.
  • Merit pay shall be used to keep *great* teachers.
  • Competition shall combat bureaucracy (How will creating duplicate schools to compete with existing schools remove bureaucratic layers? Must be the cha-ching! factor).
  • More control (i.e., choice) for parents and not union bosses (Rauner conveniently forgets that union membership has been in steep decline, but sets up the perfect bad guy to his good).
He condescendingly tells viewers, "It won't be easy, it might not be popular with some, but it's the right thing to do for our kids." We hope everyone has their bootstraps ready, because from the sound of it, we'll need to pick ourselves up by them. He also insinuates that until this very moment, parents, teachers, and citizens have been doing the wrong things for kids everywhere. 

It's no secret that those with means often subscribe to the good for thee, but not for me motto, and Rauner proves no different. While he touts charters and choice as the answer to Illinois' education woes, nothing but the best will do for his family. The best in this case being CPS selective enrollment Walter Payton College Prep which he clouted his daughter into with a phone call to then-CPS CEO Arne Duncan. That's the Everyman $pirit we've come to expect from Illinois political hack$!

No matter how many regular-guy accouterments Rauner dons, he can't shake the fact he's besties with Rahm Emanuel. They're a perfect match since neither will be happy until all traces of social foundations--schools, teachers, pensions, public servants--are dismantled in the name of choice, control, and competition.

Readers: what do you think of the ads Bruce Rauner has been running and the plans he has for Illinois? Leave a comment or email wct.tips@gmail.com.


  1. Probable best to avoid centering the debate on things like his grammar, since he got himself into Dartmouth (graduating summa) and Harvard, while the average Chicago teacher ACT score is 19. http://www.examiner.com/article/chicago-teachers-average-19-on-act

  2. What did you get on your ACT? You didn't understand the point of the post if that's what you're commenting on. Try again.

  3. If Rauner gets elected, it is going to be bad for teachers, students, and public employees and retirees. The Robber-Barons will have complete control of everything.

  4. The bad things you hear about bruce are true, because they're true! "Except police and fire?" Are you serious. The whole pension system is used and abused by politicos to fund their bullshit pet projects instead of...oh yeah, funding the pensions! Unions are not the problem if the people run them for the right reason. ctu, made some questionable endorsement s but they are at least trying to run their own candidates instead of pissing money away to idiot hacks) Unions are needed now more than ever. This city would gladly let you work 8 days with one day off, on call status, for 50k. Why, to piss tax dollars away on bs social projects and handouts for people that shoot at people. He will convert your pension to 401k( which your boy bruce will make millions off of managing) no union protection for layoff, forcing out of job, no seniority. City support, ha, only people that are supported in this city are poor voters (along with paying them 50$ to vote and show up for public hearings to ensure their political career). This guy is a pure ass clown!

  5. To wirepoints- Who are you, Bruce's mommy? Who cares about his ACT score? Who cares about mine? Im glad that the average teachers ACT score is 19. Tell me how thats relative to raunner being a union busting jag out of touch with reality. There are soo many things that we can hit this guy with, ACT was never even an option. Gfy. hope you were joking...

  6. Hey Asshat, the examiner article is as nonsensical as your original comment.