The same reporter that broke the story in the Chicago Sun Times of a “female” CEO that Bruce Rauner threatened to “bury” and make her “radioactive,” is now being bullied himself, along with another female, his wife. The highly-respected Sun Times political reporter, Dave McKinney, is on the receiving end of Rauner’s bullying tactics, highlighting the credibility of the original charges lodged against Rauner in an investigative piece that showed Christine Kirk, the CEO of LeapSource Inc., a now-defunct bankrupted GTCR company, being bullied by her boss. Rauner is again being accused of being a bullying in another piece, the Crain’s Chicago Business piece published yesterday, that shows Rauner attempted to kill the LeapSource story and “retaliate” and “bully” the reporter.
For good measure, Rauner’s team used the pretext of dragging McKinney’s wife into the narrative that the story should be “killed” by the Sun Times. However, the couple have bent over backwards to assure that their work would not conflict, reported Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax. Both are consummate professionals who would never allow their work to conflict.
McKinney’s piece in question was also co-written and co-reported by two others, Carol Marin and Don Mosely, yet neither of those reporters were accused of wrongdoing by the Rauner campaign. In fact it was Carol Marin’s reading of one of the more explosive parts of the story, that turned into an ad for the Quinn for Illinois campaign. Yet those reporters reporting on the story was not raised as an issue by Rauner, nor were they “retaliated” against, or “bullied.”
In response, the Quinn campaign said “Once again Bruce Rauner is blaming everybody but himself and refusing to take responsibility for his own actions. The irony here is that Mr. Rauner got into this mess by bullying a woman executive and then he paid $500,000 to make the lawsuit go away. Now here he is again, going after another woman executive.”
In the piece, Rauner allegedly responded by telling Kirk in February 2001: “If you go legal on us, we’ll hurt you and your family.” The Chicago Sun Times reports that through Thomas Gilman, a consultant and ex-top executive at Chrysler Financial, Rauner said, “I will bury her.”
“I will make her radioactive,” Rauner allegedly added to Gilman. “She will never get another job anywhere, ever. I will bankrupt her with legal fees. I don’t know if she has a family or not, but if she does, she better think twice about this.”
Once again the dark side of Rauner is emerging. The Rauner campaign, through its manager Chip Englander, attempted to “retaliate” against McKinney after the publication of the the Sun Times story. McKinney retained the services of Patrick Collins, the former U.S. federal prosecutor that sent former Illinois Republican Governor George Ryan to prison for corruption. Englander insists that the McKinney piece was “irresponsible” because they claim that the lawsuit was thrown out of court. However, a settlement was reached in the case in which McKinney reported, “Kirk and GTCR agreed to settle in 2008, with GTCR and a law firm associated with the deal agreeing to pay $511,000 to Kirk, Gilman and six other plaintiffs, all of who were LeapSource employees.”
Rauner contention is that if he is elected, he wants to “run Illinois like a business.” The question emerges is this: Would he run Illinois like he ran LeapSource? Or any of the other eleven companies that went bankrupt under Rauner and GTCR’s management over the years. Couple those failures with the “retaliatory” and “bully” tactics employed by his campaign manager at the orders of Rauner, and an ugly portrait of the man that would be Governor of Illinois emerges.