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Elections Fri Jan 17 2014

Bruce Rauner's Bad Week

During the past week Bruce Rauner has flip-flopped on minimum wage and it has been revealed he gave money to a foundation for Walter Payton College Prep, a high school he used his clout to get his daughter into.

With the attention and criticism directed at him, Rauner even went as far as to say a forum among the Republican candidates was amounting to them beating up "Brucey all morning."

Although Rauner claims the abuse he received from other candidates was the result of him leading the polls, he really should look back at the news he's generated to understand why people are beating up "Brucey."

There was first the news of him using his clout to get his daughter into Payton College Prep after her application was rejected. Rauner touted in a campaign ad that he supports charter schools for Illinois, as well as merit-based pay for teachers. The case where Rauner used his clout to get his daughter into one of the Chicago Public Schools' elite selective enrollment high schools was one of several incidents where clout-based admissions occurred, according to the Sun-Times.

It ends up looking like Rauner is saying, "I think charter schools are great! But they're not good enough for my children." If a politician says "Our schools are great!" or "Charter schools are great!" but won't send their children to the schools they're praising it seems like it's a statement said to appeal to certain voters to try to hide a real lack of confidence in an education system.

What also hurts Rauner is he used his clout to get his daughter into Payton College Prep. He did not settle for his local high school, which happens to be New Trier High School, or decide to send his daughter to a private school like the Latin School of Chicago or the University of Chicago Lab School. It comes across as though he felt Payton College Prep was the only high school his daughter could go to and he would do anything possible for her to go there.

Then there is his ever-switching position on the minimum wage. In September 2013 he said he was opposed to raising the minimum wage, which is currently $8.25 per hour in Illinois. Then he said in December 2013 he felt Illinois needed to lower the minimum wage to the national minimum, $7.25 an hour. After that statement surfaced, he then said, "I made a mistake. I was flippant and I was quick." On Jan. 9, 2014 he wrote an opinion piece for the Tribune saying he would support raising the minimum wage in Illinois.

With how quickly he changed his opinion on the minimum wage it does not seem like he was being genuine about his stance on the minimum wage when he said he supports a raise. It seemed more like a move someone on his campaign told him he needed to make to not lose support.

Finally, there was news about him giving $250,000 to Payton Prep Initiative for Education after his daughter was accepted to the high school. Although his campaign does not appear to have said much about this news, it still looks interesting that he gave money to the school after he pulled strings to get his daughter into the school.

Although Rauner can lament people beating up "Brucey," but the reason why his opponents can go after him is there are plenty of things that come to light and end up being gaffes for his campaign.


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