Thursday, April 10, 2014

EXTRA: Give it up, Bruce!

Days after taking some political hits because he didn’t immediately denounce one-time political powerhouse Bill Cellini, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner is once again trying to get us to look behind a different curtain.

BLAGOJEVICH: A political boogeyman?
He’s now essentially reminding us that Gov. Pat Quinn was the lieutenant governor under Rod Blagojevich – who is still serving a lengthy prison sentence out in Colorado. Is Rauner now going to trash long-time Republicans who ever said anything even remotely supportive of George Ryan?

ALTHOUGH THE REAL issue that was brought up was that Rauner didn’t immediately try to separate himself from Cellini – whereas when Quinn was associated with Blagojevich, the man didn’t have a felony conviction.

Show us some evidence that Quinn has kept ties with Blagojevich since he was found guilty following two criminal trials in federal court, and then maybe it’s the same thing.

You won’t find that. In reality, let’s not forget that Quinn was the man who was kept so far out of Blagojevich’s political loop that there was one point at which the two men went nearly a full year without speaking.

To now try to claim they were somehow intimately connected is a bigger lie than any of the tales that the Quinnochio character tries to tell these days about the governor. Or is that what Rauner really means by "shaking things up" on the Springfield political scene?

SO SEEING THAT e-mail message from the Rauner campaign Thursday that included the old file photograph of Quinn standing with Blagojevich makes me wonder; do we now convict everybody who ever had their picture taken with Milorod?

Will we now get a Soviet-style rewriting of history, with people trying to destroy any evidence that they were ever in the same realm of existence with Blagojevich?

Or will we have enough sense to realize this is a stupid allegation that is best ignored?

CELLINI: Are they comparable?
Let’s be honest about one other point – the idea that Rauner deserves much blame for being in the same room with Cellini (who has served his sentence and is now a free man) earlier this week in Springfield is also a non-issue.

PARTICULARLY BECAUSE THERE’S no evidence the two talked at all on that occasion, or really have much of any relationship.

And if Rauner were really anything resembling a respectable candidate for public office, he would have been able to put this issue to rest instantly. Trying to score political points for himself now just comes across as lame.

We’ll see how the two men conduct themselves when they wind up appearing together Friday at the Illinois Education Association meeting to be held in Chicago.


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