Bruce Rauner answers your questions
We asked for questions from our readers for gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner. Here are his responses to some of them:
How will you work with Democrats in Springfield?
"We got into this mess on a bipartisan basis; we have to get out of it on a bipartisan basis. I'm getting to know every member of the General Assembly on a personal basis. This is very important. I'm going to work with the leaders, but I'm going to work with the members. I think former Gov. Thompson was known for this: Every day I want to be on the floor working with members, going to committee meetings, going to hearings, going on the floor, twisting arms, maybe breaking a couple arms, selling, cajoling, working, convincing on bills, because we've got to get some major legislation drafted and passed, and I will work on that process."
Why aren't your investments in Illinois?
"We have a charter, we have a duty to invest anywhere in America to get the best returns for our investors and we do that for all of our investors."
Running a state is different from running a business. How will you apply your experience in the private sector to the governor's office?
"There are important similarities between the private sector and government sector and important differences. The major similarities are really driving for results. Government should be about results just like business. It's different results. It's not a profit, but it's high employment, rising wages, excellent schools ...
"You set a goal, set an objective, lay out a plan to get there, pick the right team of people to drive that result and every year manage yourself on progress toward that goal. ... It's leadership, team building, problem solving, goal setting and management toward a result, all of which we need in government."
"What are the differences? You can't unilaterally decide everything and force it to happen. Some things you can, but many things you can't. You've got to be able to work on a bipartisan basis, sell, convince, negotiate, arm-twist. I think I've got good skills for that."
Would you tax pensions, Social Security or other retirement income?
"No. Quinn can't run on his record, so he runs on falsehoods about me. I would never tax pensions. I would never tax Social Security. I never said I would and I won't."
What would you do for veterans?
"I am very, very big veterans support guy. I think it's tragic what happened in our VA health system for veterans. I also think it's tragic that we have a number of programs set up for veterans in Illinois, but it's like a lot of things in Illinois. We don't follow through and actually manage to a result. In Illinois, we are not serving our veterans well. ... I, for years, in my work as my way of giving back, I've funded education and health care, but one big area of contribution for my wife and me has been veterans support. "
" ... The best thing we can do for our veterans frankly is get a booming economy where there are jobs for them."
Would you try to repeal gay marriage?
"I'll be crystal clear. My opponents try to dredge this up as an issue. It's not an issue. It's the law in Illinois now. I'm comfortable with the law. I don't support changing the law. It's done. We should be focused on what really matters for the voters now. That was important. It got worked through. It's the law. Fine, it's done. What we should focus on is jobs, tax reduction, quality schools and ending corruption. That's what we should focus on and that's what I'm focused on."