Bejillionaire Republican Bruce Rauner would very much like to be the next governor of Illinois, and would like everyone to know what a regular, ordinary guy he is. Sure, maybe he occasionally indulges in a few nice things, like a membership in a wine club that costs $100,000 to join, but otherwise he’s just like any other regular Joe Six-Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru, really. He puts his bespoke jeans on one leg at a time just like anyone else, in one of his nine homes. And by god, if he becomes governor, he’ll live in one that’s located in Springfield, instead of flying from Chicago to the capital like incumbent Pat Quinn does, and then he’ll sell the state-owned plane on ebay just like Sarah Palin did, at a loss if necessary, to show He Cares About The Taxpayers. And to prove it, he’s made an ad featuring a 20-year-old Volkswagen camper van that you better believe is his daily driver, because owning an old truck is how rich guys with multiple houses get elected in America.
He brags that the van — not that he’d call it by its “EUROVAN” model name — has nearly 200,000 miles on it, and says, “My kids call it the rolling trashcan. I call it reliable.” Because Bruce Rauner knows that living simply is the way to go, a lesson that surely rubbed off on his daughter in 2009 when Rauner donated $250,000 to an elite public high school. That completely magnanimous gift and a personal phone call from Rauner to the principal mysteriously changed the girl’s application status from “rejected” to “Oh please come and drink deeply from the font of knowledge, to which we have affixed a plaque thanking your daddy for his generosity.” Again, this is just an example of what a regular everyday guy Bruce Rauner is. Some parents pitch in with setup for the choir’s annual Madrigal Dinner, and some contribute a quarter-million dollars to their daughter’s school.
And just to drive home the important point that he knows the value of a dollar, or several billion of them, a radio interview from January of this year has surfaced in which Rauner acknowledged that he once supported eliminating the minimum wage, although he does not think so anymore, because he has been convinced that it’s
economically politically unwise:
“I have said, on a number of occasions, that we could have a lower minimum wage or no minimum wage as part of increasing Illinois’ competitiveness. I’ve said that many times,” Rauner told WJBC host Scott Laughlin.
“It’s a mistake for me to focus on lowering the minimum wage or eliminating it because there are better ways to increase Illinois’ competitiveness,” Rauner said at the time.
Rauner’s position on the state’s minimum wage, currently $8.25 an hour, has been all over the place, but now, by golly, he thinks it’s a good thing. Maybe. Or not:
Last September, Rauner told a downstate audience that he was “adamantly, adamantly opposed” to raising Illinois’ minimum wage. Then in December, he proposed moving Illinois’ rate back to the national $7.25-an-hour rate.
Last January, he said that stance from December was “flippant” and a mistake and said he’d be open to actually increasing Illinois’ minimum wage if it was paired with business-friendly reforms.
But now, Rauner is very definitely absolutely in favor of considering a possible increase in the minimum wage, just as long as businesses get some reforms. Like maybe a wine investment credit, he’s just spitballing, mind you.