GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner and his Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti spoke to folks gathered at Panera in Fox River Grove on Saturday afternoon.
The meeting was inspired by 18-year old Precinct Committeeman candidate Jenna Wing, moderator Andrew Gasser said.
Gasser recognized Republican Precinct Committeemen by asking them to raise their hands.
Then he asked that they keep their hands up while those who were candidates for Precinct Committee raised their hands.
I was standing in the middle of the room at the time, but my guess is almost half in attendance at the time had their hands raised. By the time the meeting had ended fifty-seven people had showed up.
I started taking notes when Rauner stated, “We’re in a death spiral.
“Being re-elected is not on my Top 10 list,” he continued.
“I believe we need to restore public service in Springfield rather than [partisan politics].”
Rauner told of a national group favoring term limits that he had convinced to come into Illinois.
He reported that 160,000 signatures of the over 300,000 needed had been gathered. [Actually, at least twice the minimum required need to be collected.]
“When we get it on the ballot, it will pass,” he said quoting polling results for Republicans and Democrats favoring term limits.
“Then it will be eight years and out” brought applause from the crowd.
He quoted former U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen:
“Cleanliness is next to godliness, except in Springfield…where it is next to impossible.”
Rauner next explained his role in managing pension funds.
“I made you 17.4% over thirty-two years while your pension was earning 7%,” he said.
“I’m going to run Springfield like a business” got applause, too.
Evelyn Sanguinetti, Rauner’s candidate for Lt. Governor spoke next.
She told how her mother came from Cuba and her father from Equator.
“My mom had me when she was 15 years old.”
She explained she failed first grade and then transferred to a magnet school where she learned to be a concert pianist, a skill that got her a full scholarship to a Florida university.
She chairs the DuPage County Republican Hispanic group. Her goal is to “let my fellow Hispanics know they are really Republicans, but just don’t know it.”
She praised Rauner as someone who “will bring truth to that power [in Springfield].”
Rauner retook the floor and reported that he has raised over $6 million of which he had contributed $1.2 million.
“We’re kicking tails all over,” he said in reference to various local GOP straw polls.
Rauner told of speaking to a Romanian church full of Democrats one Sunday and getting a positive response. A Democrat had never done that.
“As conservative Democrats, we’re not going to carry Cook County,” he continued, [but] we need 22% in Chicago. I think we’ll get in the high twenties.”
He answered questions on pensions, the business climate, his relationship with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Common Core and Obamacare before I had to leave.
Attending the event were
- Jeff Thorsen, a candidate for County Treasurer
- McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi
- County Board candidates Donna Kurtz, Andrew Gasser, Charles Wheeler and David Stieper.
- McHenry County College Board members Chris Jenner and Tom Wilbeck
- Algonquin Township Trustee Larry Emery
- Nunda Township Republican Party Chairman Mark Daniel, also Vice Chairman of the County Central Committee, the first to host Rauner at an event locally
The event was not held in the Panera meeting room. It would have been too small.
Even regular customers were listening to Rauner make his pitch.