October 9, 2014

Bruce Rauner, “We’ll hurt you and your family”

By Mark Wachtler

October 9, 2014. Tempe, AZ. (ONN) The accusations of threats, terror and armed intimidation by Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner continue to grow. The latest example comes from a ten-year-old lawsuit and reported extensively by one of Chicago’s major newspapers two days ago. The account cites multiple witnesses, as well as court depositions, quoting Bruce Rauner threatening to hurt not only his business adversaries, but their family members as well.

Chad Grimm, Libertarian candidate for Illinois Governor. Image courtesy of GrimmForLiberty.com.

A spokesperson for the Rauner for Governor campaign denied the accusations. But polls show voters may no longer be buying the never-ending denials of armed terror, intimidation and threats of violence against seemingly innocent people. There are simply too many victims and witnesses to pretend like there is no truth to any of the accusations. And if Illinois voters want a Governor that gets his way by threatening violence upon people’s families, then Bruce Rauner is their man.

Threats and intimidation

Bruce Rauner is no stranger to being accused of violence, threats and armed terror to get his way. It was only six weeks ago that numerous independent voters not connected to any political campaign came forward telling of armed thugs coming to their homes and terrorizing them with guns to sign legal documents to help the Rauner campaign.

Those armed thugs were hired by Illinois Republicans who were paid by Bruce Rauner and/or his campaign. Their goal was to get the Illinois Libertarian Party and its candidates removed from the November ballot because they take exponentially more votes from Republicans than from Democrats. It’s the same reason they also kicked the Illinois Constitution Party off the ballot and the Democrats kicked the Illinois Green Party off the ballot. Welcome to Illinois democracy. Read the Illinois Herald article, ‘IL GOP sends Armed Thugs to Libertarians Homes’ for further details.


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With Rauner trailing Governor Quinn by four percent right now, Libertarian Chad Grimm’s 6% would be enough to put the GOP’s Rauner in the Governor’s mansion instead of the Democrat incumbent Pat Quinn. In hindsight, not only did the GOP’s anti-democracy terror campaign not work, it blew up in their faces. The Libertarians are on the ballot. They’ve received millions of dollars in free media exposure. They’ve gained the sympathy vote and the protest vote. And there is no way in hell most Illinois’ independents, Libertarians, Greens, Constitutionals, Veterans or any other opposition voter will cast a ballot for Bruce Rauner.

“We’ll hurt you and your family” - Bruce Rauner

With multiple reports of Republicans with guns going to the homes of independents and Libertarians fresh in the minds of voters, the news that GOP Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner allegedly threatened the family of a female business subordinate with violence isn’t so difficult to imagine or believe. Especially since the episode was detailed in two full pages of Tuesday’s Chicago Sun Times.

Businessman Bruce Rauner is accused by the Quinn campaign of making his fortune by laying off American workers and sending their jobs to other countries. The formula proved so profitable for the Illinois businessman, he literally launched an outsourcing firm in Tempe, Arizona that specialized in helping other US companies put their American employees out of work and sending their jobs overseas. It’s that business endeavor that has suddenly thrust a spotlight on Bruce Rauner’s morality and ethics.

Between 2001 and 2005, the female CEO of one of Rauner’s firm’s subsidiaries, one in which he played an active role, sued Bruce Rauner, his Chicago-based company GTCR, and a number of others connected to the parent company. The suit, on behalf of CEO Christine Kirk and six other employees, attempted to collect on financial and contractual obligations GTCR supposedly made to the subsidiary. It was during court depositions and testimony under oath that two witnesses confirmed Bruce Rauner threatened the CEO. The suit was settled in 2008 with Rauner’s firm paying $511.000.

Bruce Rauner quotes

In a sworn deposition, CEO Christine Kirk testified that Bruce Rauner personally threatened her. In addition, she testified that a company Board member also relayed threats to her from Mr. Rauner. In separate sworn testimony, that Board member confessed to relaying the threats saying, “threatening things were said to her.”

According to the former outsourcing CEO, and in some cases other witnesses, Bruce Rauner not only threatened Christine Kirk, but her family as well. She testified that Rauner personally threatened her saying, “If you go legal on us, we’ll hurt you and your family.” The suit also names Chrysler Financial executive and fellow Board member Thomas Gilman as a witness to the threats.

Kirk swears Bruce Rauner used Gilman as a middle man to relay threats such as, “I will bury her” and “I will make her radioactive.” The lawsuit also quotes Rauner allegedly telling 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.”

Rauner campaign denies allegations

The same Chicago Sun Times report quotes Rauner campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf dismissing the allegations saying, “It’s no surprise these false allegations were dismissed in summary judgment, which means the complaint had no merit in the eyes of the judge.” Not surprisingly, that’s not exactly true. ‘Summary judgment’ simply means the case was decided without a full trial. And in the lawsuit against Bruce Rauner and his firm GTCR by Christine Kirk and six fellow employees, the judge ruled that half of their complaint was dismissed while the other half was credible enough to proceed.

As reported by CapitolFax.com, The judge’s exact ruling in the case read, “IT IS ORDERED that the motion for summary judgment by defendants GTCR Golder Rauner, L.L.C., GTCR Fund VI, L.P., GTCR VI Executive Fund, L.P., GTCR Associates VI, Joseph P. Nolan, Bruce V. Rauner, Daniel David A. Donnini and Philip A. Canfield (doc. 347) is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part, as hereinafter ordered.”

As passionately as we at the Illinois Herald are condemning Bruce Rauner over the accusations, the publishers of Capitol Fax are defending Bruce Rauner just as fiercely. The outlet writes, ‘Christine Kirk’s complaint alleges that, after she was fired as Leapsource’s CEO, Rauner spoke to her on the phone and said “If you go legal on us…we’ll hurt you and your family.”’ They insist she contradicts that accusation in follow-up testimony writing, ‘In her sworn deposition, Kirk says the phone call she referenced in her complaint was “Entirely professional.”’

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The report goes on to remind readers that of the $511,000 in financial damages awarded to the former employees, none of it went to the victims. ‘GTCR’s settlement agreement explicitly states that the settlement payment was for the Plaintiffs’ out-of-pocket legal expenses,’ they write, ‘The Plaintiffs did not collect a single penny in damages.’

There you have both sides of the story. Readers will have to decide for themselves who to believe - the former employees or the campaign spokesman. Regardless of which side is telling the truth, the damage may have already been done. It’s safe to say the Pat Quinn campaign is taping the attack ads right now, complete with a frightening voice-over quoting Bruce Rauner’s immortal words, “We’ll hurt you and your family.”

If this were the first or only accusation against Bruce Rauner of intimidation, terror and threats of violence, it probably would be inconsequential. But it’s not the first credible accusation, or even the second, or the third, or the fourth. The Libertarians are currently suing on behalf of a number of victims of the terror campaign. Nearly a dozen former employees also sued, documenting a similar terror campaign. How many victims does it take to sink a Gubernatorial campaign?

Chad Grimm, the blacked-out candidate

Want to see an example of blatant unethical electioneering in action? Check out this poll result announcement from Rasmussen Reports covering the race for Illinois Governor, ‘The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Illinois Voters finds Quinn with 44% support to Republican challenger Bruce Rauner’s 42%. Six percent (6%) like some other candidate.’ That “some other candidate” is the Libertarian Party’s Chad Grimm. If that weren’t bad enough, the race’s first televised debate is tonight and the Libertarian candidate is not listed in the program.

That’s not surprising since the debate is sponsored by the League of Women Voters, the most notorious organization for excluding independent, reform and third party candidates from debates. Perhaps the two remaining debates will be sponsored by a pro-democracy group and the voters of Illinois will get to meet all three candidates on the ballot and not just the two establishment-backed nominees. But don’t hold your breath. This is Illinois after all, the state where Democrats and Republican need only 500 signatures to run for Congress while independents, Libertarians, Greens and all others need over 20,000 to run for the same office.



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