Sunday, August 03, 2014

Will Illinois Elect A Sleazy Billionaire Sociopath As Governor? Meet Bruce Rauner


There is no way to shame a Republican. None of their selfish, narcissistic behavior ever seems to embarrass them. As Wall Street attorney Oliver Budde explained, "[O]ur ethos in a nutshell: grab every dollar you can, for as long as you can, using every scheme you can think of, and pay out to yourself and your cronies as much as you possibly can, as quickly as you can. You don't sweat morals or ethics; if it looks doable without getting caught or at least without serious risk of penalty to the executives (who couldn't care less if the corporation has to kick back some of the loot later), you do it. So subprime MBS and CDOs rated safe as mothers' milk, lying to and stealing from clients, misleading investors and the public (including Congress, even under oath), cheating on taxes, financing drug lords, laundering terrorist and Ponzi cash, ripping off the central bank that just saved your bacon, hell, even proclaiming love for America while simultaneously raking in hundreds of millions persuading American corporations to move offshore or even driving your own bank right off the cliff if the money's right: it's all good in the 'hood if you like the odds."

Last week, Senate Democrats tried shutting down the Republican filibuster of a bill meant to close tax loopholes that actually encourage corporations to avoid paying American income taxes. S.2569, had 25 cosponsors, from liberals like Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to so-called "moderates" like Mark Pryor (D-AR), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE)… but no Republicans; not one. Although a majority of the senators voted to end the filibuster and move on to a vote, they couldn't get the 2/3 majority they needed for that, but the Republicans had decided to obstruct the bill and kill it. It failed 54-42, only one Republican voting with the Democrats, scared that she could be defeated in November.

Elizabeth Warren called the Republicans and their corporate allies out for free-loading. "These companies," she told her fellow senators, "are renouncing their American citizenship, turning their backs on this country, simply to boost their profits. They are taking advantage of all the good things that our government helps provide-- educated workers, roads and bridges, a dependable court system, patent and copyright protections-- and then running out on the bill. If a person did that, we'd call them a freeloader. For a person who doesn't want to pay a fair share, our message is clear: you can renounce your citizenship, but don't come back and expect the rest of us to pick up your tab. But we don't do that for corporations. Corporations can renounce their American citizenship-- and make absolutely clear in legal documents that they're doing so to avoid their US tax obligations-- and not suffer any consequences. In this corner of the tax code, we've gone way past treating corporations like people. In this corner of the tax code, we treat corporations better than people." Water off a duck's back. It's part of the nature of conservatism.

Take Bruce Rauner, a typical crooked financial manipulator, a tax-cheat, and a shady billionaire who bought himself the Illinois Republican gubernatorial nomination, writing himself a nice $9.6 million check to crush his opponents. His three main priorities are lowering taxes on the super-wealthy, lowering the minimum wage, and wrecking the public schools system and replacing it with for-profit charter schools.

Would it surprise you to know that Rauner also hides much of his wealth offshore to keep from paying his fair share of taxes? Chicago media has been reporting that he has refused to release a full set of his most recent tax returns that would show the full extent of what many know is a great deal of unethical and probably criminal behavior.

Brooke Anderson, the spokesperson for Governor Pat Quinn, pointed out that Rauner "doesn’t just use exotic methods to dodge taxes. He even uses exotic, offshore locations. No wonder why Mr. Rauner won’t release his full tax returns. He’s been stashing money in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying U.S. and Illinois taxes." He's a real sleaze bag and was once caught in an elaborate scheme to cheat on his property taxes for just a $1,600. He's just a greedy, selfish sociopath who can't help himself.

Margaret Niederer a former long-term care ombudsman in Springfield penned an OpEd for the State Journal-Register last week, Bruce Rauner is not the change Illinois needs.
Nursing homes and disability homes owned by Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner’s firm have been implicated in numerous and repeated incidents of abuse, neglect, rape and even death of residents.

As a former Illinois Long Term Care Regional Ombudsman who protected the rights of residents in long-term care facilities for more than a decade, I am appalled.

Leading up to the primary election, I was horrified by the stories of elderly individuals suffering preventable deaths because of avoidable falls, pressure ulcers and infections in nursing homes owned by a company that Rauner helped found.

Rauner shrugged off responsibility and refused to explain to the voters of Illinois why these patients received such atrocious care.

Now we know that the extreme negligence that occurred in Rauner’s nursing homes were not isolated incidents. Illinois voters recently learned from news reports the gruesome stories of sexual abuse, assault and death at facilities for people with developmental disabilities owned by another company Rauner’s firm created. These crimes were so horrendous that one of the facilities was shut down by the state of Texas.

Rauner simply blamed the management team and called the company a bad investment.

I am all too familiar with long-term care companies skirting their responsibility of providing person-centered care to their patients. Horrendous incidents like this don’t happen repeatedly by accident. They occur in poorly run facilities owned by companies that value profit margins over the lives and well-being of residents.

Rauner and his investor buddies cut staff, which subsequently led to poor patient care. I have seen first-hand the effects of this scheme before. Residents are left frightened for their safety and personal well-being and, inevitably, a resident unnecessarily suffers or even dies from lack of care.

Rauner says he will come to Springfield and run it like a business. If the morally bankrupt and slipshod manner in which he ran his health-care companies is any indication of how he will run government agencies, including the Illinois Department of Public Health, which is responsible for oversight of long-term care facilities, then this is indeed, a very scary situation.

I personally have serious doubts that Rauner would be the kind of governor Illinois needs. If he is elected, will he ignore problems in the state’s long-term care system, public education and our rapidly deteriorating infrastructure?

The voters of Illinois deserve a governor who puts people first, always.

I sense Illinois voters hunger for change, but I know that Bruce Rauner, who has shown no interest in protecting our most vulnerable citizens, is not the change Illinois needs.

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At 6:11 AM, Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

The answer is probably. But, Rauner is running a very flaccid campaign right now hoping "scandals" will bring down Quinn and Bruce can saunter into the governor's mansion. Whereupon he will begin instituting the Neo-feudalist right-wing agenda of wage slavery and adulation of the Rich.


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