According to records obtained by Real GOP Illinois from the Illinois comptroller database, taxpayer-funded grants to First Lady Diana Rauner’s group, Ounce of Prevention, appears to have jumped from $1 million to more than $5 million dollars during Gov. Rauner’s first term.
From 2014 – 2015, Diana Rauner’s group received $1,123,729 million in state grants from Illinois taxpayers. In 2016, her group received $5,071,947 million in Illinois funds:
Did Gov. Rauner approve these funds at a time when Illinois was at a budget impasse? Until last month, Illinois was on the verge of being downgraded to junk bond status. Was there suddenly room in the budget to give state grants to Diana Rauner’s non-profit group?
Did Rauner approve this funding to his wife’s group when Republican voters trusted him to balance the budget and rid Illinois government of waste, fraud, and abuse?
If he did, the question is why.
In this week’s interview on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight,” Gov. Bruce Rauner claimed his wife, Diana was his “most senior advisor. She is a lifelong Democrat.”
According to the Chicago Sun-Times,“A former Rauner staffer confirmed Diana Rauner was involved in all of the governor’s major speeches, including his budget address and his state of the state address: ‘Everything had to be run by Diana. She frequently would come back with edits and rewrites.'”
Rauner is trying to block Politico’s FOIA request for Diana Rauner’s official emails
On Monday, Gov. Rauner moved to block the release of official correspondence of his wife, First Lady Diana Rauner. Politico has submitted a FOIA request for the emails due to Diana Rauner’s involvement in policy and staff decisions. According to the Governor’s office, Mrs. Rauner has sent 350 emails to Gov. Rauner’s Chief of Staff in the first six months of 2017. She also communicated with other staff on messaging and communication strategy.
Diana Rauner’s history of pro-abortion and Democrat donations and activism
Real GOP Illinois is deeply troubled by the involvement of Diana Rauner in Gov. Rauner’s administration.
In October 2014, Mrs. Rauner bragged in an email to supporters that:
Bruce has been one of the largest supporters of the ACLU Reproductive Rights Project for over 20 years. He has been a major supporter of Planned Parenthood both locally and nationally for a similar time, such that Cecile Richards told her local staff in Illinois earlier this year, “if I hear anything negative about Bruce Rauner my head will explode.”
Bruce has been unequivocal in his support for reproductive rights throughout a contentious Republican primary and publicly stated his support for reproductive rights in primary debates. He won the primary despite his pro-choice stance, in part by convincing pro-lifers to put aside their views on this issue in favor of economic ones.
The Rauners have donated to Emily’s List, Personal PAC, a total of $65,000 to the Democrat National Committee and the Democrat Congressional Committee, Barack Obama, Sen. Dick Durbin, Tammy Duckworth, Melissa Bean, Jan Schakowsky, Frank Mautino, the Democrat Senatorial Committee, and a $300,000 contribution to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA). After Rendell’s election, Pennsylvania doubled its stake in GTCR funds to $226 million.
Did Mrs. Rauner influence her husband on funding Planned Parenthood during the budget impasse?
In 2015, then Illinois comptroller Leslie Munger, Rauner’s appointee, authorized more than $ 3.6 million in taxpayer grants to Planned Parenthood – at a time when Rauner was railing against state spending and Illinois was backlogged with millions in unpaid bills and mounting interest payments.
In April 2017, the Governor and his wife, Diana, were listed as $50,000 sponsors of a Planned Parenthood of Illinois fundraiser.
If Diana Rauner is Bruce Rauner’s “most senior advisor,” no wonder Illinois is in trouble and so is the Illinois Republican Party.