Thursday, February 20, 2014

How sleazy is Bruce Rauner? Really!!!

During my time as a reporter-type person, I have done my share of stories that hinted on inappropriate conduct toward the residents of nursing homes or other facilities for the elderly.

RAUNER: Corporate exec? Or sleaze?
I am more than capable of coming up with disgusting anecdotes about mistreatment of people. Although I’m also aware there are facilities that operate properly and give respectable care to their residents.

BUT THE OPPOSITION to gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner is counting on people to have the image of the sleazy, crooked nursing home in their heads.

And they’re hoping we’re more than willing to buy into the idea that the venture capitalist (it means he puts his money into anything he thinks he can make a buck off of) is somehow connected.

The Illinois Freedom political action committee is taking credit for a new campaign spot; one that says Rauner’s company “was accused of draining money” from nursing homes, with residents “suffer(ing) from malnutrition and dehydration” as a result of Rauner being more interested in having his investment make a respectable financial return.

Rather than let some of that money be put back into the facility to maintain proper care.

OR AT LEAST that’s the line of reasoning we’re supposed to come to about Rayner.

How else to explain a campaign ad that ends with the line; “His companies’ nursing homes made over a billion dollars while seniors paid the ultimate price.”

Yes, death!

The Illinois Freedom PAC, in a prepared statement, cites lawsuits in which juries found that a company founded by Rauner’s investment firm (called Trans Healthcare) bought nursing homes, boosted their profitability by cutting staff and other treatment, and also piled on debt and did other financial maneuvers to try to get around legal liability from any lawsuits that might result.

IT’S JUST THE kind of legal action that puts enough distance (in a technical sense) between Rauner himself and the activities at the nursing homes. Which is why I’m sure it is truthful that Rauner himself never did anything inappropriate.

Which also is why Rauner, the candidate, responded with a statement that lambasts Gov. Pat Quinn for putting out the ad and calling it “desperate” and “disgusting.”

Of course, it can be argued that the Illinois Freedom PAC is not the Quinn re-election campaign. In exactly the same way it can be argued that Rauner himself did nothing inappropriate with those nursing homes.

I learned a long time ago that campaign ads are not to be taken literally. Which is the mistake most people make.

SO DO I think Quinn is “desperate” and “disgusting?” Not really. Just as I don’t think Rauner literally is responsible for killing elderly people by having them live in substandard housing – just so he can make a buck! Although it should be noted that there always is an element of truth from all the sides involved in any campaign spot.

Are the people who would like to see Quinn re-elected to another term as governor willing to play hardball by trying to turn Rauner (the only GOP campaign thus far that has gained any traction amongst the public) into some sort of sleaze that they’re hoping the Republicans will regret nominating come November?

And are the business exec types like Rauner (who when you ask them “What do you do for a living?” come up with an answer that sounds like gobbledygook to 99 percent of the populace) so focused on the financial bottom line that bad things can often happen because they’re not focused on the actual output of their business interests?

It’s sad to say that the answer to both is most likely “Yes!”


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the real solution is someone that uses some balanced approach to governing - rather than taking a hard line approach - like a billionaire businessman obviously would (or does a hard left bleeding heart liberal). There's pluses and minuses on both sides - unfortunately this concept is lost on the average voter leaving the door open for opportunists on both ends of the political spectrum to take advantage.