The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Rauner's Latest Not A Campaign Ad Trumpets Small Business Week

By aaroncynic in News on May 4, 2017 7:15PM

Gov. Bruce Rauner, in Chicago on Mexican Independence Day. (By Tyler LaRiviere/Chicagoist)
In his latest “I’m definitely not campaigning” campaign video, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner touting his alleged workin’ class roots along with his love of small business owners and entrepreneurs.

“For the small business owners, the entrepreneurs, the risk-takers and change-agents, there’s no 9-to-5,” the ad begins. “Work doesn’t stop and they don’t stop.” To the beat of a sweeping, theatrical score, the narrator describes how while Rauner made his name running “one of Illinois’ most respected businesses,” he made his way parkin’ cars and cookin’ burgers, just like a regular person.

The Rauner ad comes days after gubernatorial rival and fellow billionaire JB Pritzker released his first campaign ad, which touts the businessman’s creation of a tech incubator that the ad claims created 6,000 jobs.

As it’s “small business week,” this is another one of those ads that’s definitely not a campaign ad because Rauner is once again touring the state, pushing for ‘real reform.’ “Rauner released a new digital ad highlighting the role small businesses play in Illinois, and how his business background and reform plan is paving the way to deliver change for struggling small businesses,” said the Illinois GOP in a press release.

Still, Illinois Republicans criticized the governor’s Democratic challengers for “shockingly” having nothing to say.

“J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, Daniel Biss and Ameya Pawar refused to even acknowledge small business week and the challenges that half of Illinois’ workforce faces,” said the Illinois GOP.

But while Rauner and the GOP are celebrating the billionaire hedge fund managers alleged love of small businesses, the state’s ongoing budget crisis has caused problems for would-be “risk takers” and “change-agents.” In September of 2016, Crain’s Chicago reported about a quarter of small-business development centers on college campuses around the state closed due to lack of funding.

"It is the height of hypocrisy for Gov. Rauner to tout his failed political agenda at a college small business center while the Rauner budget crisis has shuttered similar centers across Illinois,” said the Illinois Working Together Campaign in a statement to Chicagoist. “By holding the budget hostage, Gov. Rauner has forced nearly a quarter of college small business centers to close and others to severely cut programming.”

Alderman Pawar too, pointed out that Rauner’s love of appearing folksy is little more than a Halloween costume:

“Like Donald Trump, Bruce Rauner was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and this video is just another attempt to draw a veil over a life of privilege,” Pawar said in a statement published by Capitol Fax. “Governor Rauner, you might have been “successful” in business, but spare us the theater, the costume, and the phony accent. Do your job and pass a budget.”