Failed Governor Rauner Doubles Down on Special Interest Agenda with New Top Hire

Chicago, IL — Following four bipartisan veto overrides, Bruce Rauner named a new chief of staff that doubles down on his special interest agenda and moves his administration even further in line with the extreme right. Kristina Rasmussen joins the Rauner administration following a lengthy tenure leading the Illinois Policy Institute, a right-wing think tank funded by Rauner and the Koch brothers’ network to the tune of over half a million dollars.
 
Rasmussen has a radical conservative record, signaling that stubborn Rauner is in no way ready to compromise. Among other things, Rauner’s new top hire:

  • Called an attempt to raise the minimum wage “cruel” and “economically backward."
     
  • Commended neighboring states for enacting Right-to-work laws.
     
  • Opposed Obamacare's Medicaid expansion that covered 650,000 Illinoisans.
     
  • Proposed a budget that would remove 600,000 Illinoisans from Medicaid, slash state payroll by 10 percent, and strip funds from local governments.
     
  • Praised New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — who has an abysmal 15 percent approval rating — saying Illinois needs a "strong dose of the Christie Way." 

Rasmussen’s radical special interest agenda is no surprise. The Illinois Policy Institute is a sponsor organization of ALEC, the Koch-backed organization that churns out radical conservative policy to state legislatures across the country. With those special interests shaping Rasmussen’s career, it’s no surprise Bruce Rauner chose to double down with her at the helm after an embarrassing public defeat.
 
“With Bruce Rauner’s choice of Rasmussen, he makes it official: the Koch brothers and their special interest agenda are here to stay,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Rauner’s first attempt to force a special interest agenda on Illinois unleashed a two-year budget crisis that did permanent damage to our state. But instead of learning from his many mistakes, Rauner is gearing up for round two with Rasumussen and the Koch brothers leading the charge.”

Crisis Creatin' Rauner