Gov.-elect Rauner: 'Transformation is coming' to Illinois

  • Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner gives thumbs up during a in Moline, Ill., on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, to thank supporters ahead of his inauguration Monday, Jan. 12 in Springfield. Rauner was accompanied by Lt. Gov.-elect Evelyn Sanguinetti and Leslie Munger, who is Rauner's choice to fill the comptroller's post left vacant by the unexpected death last month of Judy Baar Topinka.

    Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner gives thumbs up during a in Moline, Ill., on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, to thank supporters ahead of his inauguration Monday, Jan. 12 in Springfield. Rauner was accompanied by Lt. Gov.-elect Evelyn Sanguinetti and Leslie Munger, who is Rauner's choice to fill the comptroller's post left vacant by the unexpected death last month of Judy Baar Topinka. Associated Press

  • Lt. Gov.-elect Evelyn Sanguinetti, left, and Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner listen as Leslie Munger, center, addresses supporters in Moline, Ill., on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. Munger, a suburban Chicago businesswoman, is Rauner's choice to fill the comptroller's post left vacant by the unexpected death last month of Judy Baar Topinka. Rauner and Sanquinetti are on a tour of the state before their inauguration Monday, Jan. 12 in Springfield.

    Lt. Gov.-elect Evelyn Sanguinetti, left, and Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner listen as Leslie Munger, center, addresses supporters in Moline, Ill., on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. Munger, a suburban Chicago businesswoman, is Rauner's choice to fill the comptroller's post left vacant by the unexpected death last month of Judy Baar Topinka. Rauner and Sanquinetti are on a tour of the state before their inauguration Monday, Jan. 12 in Springfield. Associated Press

  • Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, center left, poses for photos with supporters at a stop in Moline, Ill.,on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, during a tour of the state before his inauguration on Monday, Jan. 12 in Springfield.

    Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, center left, poses for photos with supporters at a stop in Moline, Ill.,on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, during a tour of the state before his inauguration on Monday, Jan. 12 in Springfield. Associated Press

  • Leslie Munger listens as Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner answers questions in Moline, Ill., on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. Munger, a suburban Chicago businesswoman, is Rauner's choice to fill the comptroller's post left vacant by the unexpected death last month of Judy Baar Topinka. Rauner is on a tour of the state to thank supporters ahead of his inauguration Monday, Jan. 12 in Springfield.

    Leslie Munger listens as Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner answers questions in Moline, Ill., on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. Munger, a suburban Chicago businesswoman, is Rauner's choice to fill the comptroller's post left vacant by the unexpected death last month of Judy Baar Topinka. Rauner is on a tour of the state to thank supporters ahead of his inauguration Monday, Jan. 12 in Springfield. Associated Press

 
Associated Press
Updated 1/10/2015 11:37 PM

QUINCY, Ill. -- Still speaking in campaign themes, Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner met cheering crowds at stops Saturday to thank supporters and ready taxpayers for a "transformation" on the way.

The Republican, who will be sworn in as governor on Monday, was making more stops in a state fly-around he began a day earlier, bringing with him a celebratory mood and promises of "a big turnaround" in Springfield.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

He was accompanied by Evelyn Sanguinetti, the incoming lieutenant governor, and Leslie Munger, a suburban Chicago businesswoman who is Rauner's choice to fill the comptroller's post left vacant by the unexpected death last month of Judy Baar Topinka.

"Transformation is coming. Special interest groups like the way things are going, and they're going to try and hold on to that power from the lobbyists," Rauner told a crowd in Quincy, a Mississippi River town and site of the sixth Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1858. "We're going to take them on. I can stand up to these groups like they've never been stood up to before."

Rauner, who's never held elective office, defended his position that critics have called anti-union, saying he's against conflicts-of-interest in which union leaders cut deals with politicians. And he said he is "never going to apologize" for being a wealthy and successful businessman despite derision from opponents.

After campaigning against an extension of incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's four-year income-tax surcharge, which lawmakers allowed to expire this month, he has been playing up the budget mess in Springfield in recent weeks, contending it is worse than he had anticipated.

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"Boy, it's horrible," Rauner said at his first stop of the day, in Maryville, about 18 miles northeast of St. Louis. " I knew it was bad when we started the campaign, but now that we've gotten inside and started looking ... they're putting bills in drawers, and they're not paying."

Munger, an unsuccessful candidate for state representative last fall, will be appointed after Rauner is sworn in on Monday. She told the southwestern Illinois crowd that she will "call out the budget games that have put our state on a path to fiscal insolvency" and will explore an often-discussed proposal to combine the jobs of state comptroller and treasurer.

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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com