GOP candidate Bruce Rauner has had a rough week after bloggers and reporters revealed his former company, GTCR, had been linked to countless lawsuits for neglect, abuse, and even wrongful deaths with nursing home facilities. The company invested in Trans Healthcare Inc. (THI) in 2003, a decision that they most likely regretted. GTCR wound up losing $60 million after THI was sued and wound up filing for bankruptcy. Even worse, when the firm began to face lawsuits in 2004, GTCR’s net income of $9.4 million wound up being a net loss of $26.6 million.
Rauner was co-founder of GTCR, and was with the firm for three decades. (The company was created in 1980). Rauner stepped down in 2012 when he announced his bid to run for governor. Since he was with the company for such a long stretch of time, especially with regard to all the lawsuits involving nursing home facilities, it is more than likely that these lawsuits will be a source of criticism for his bid for the governor’s seat, a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by his Republican opponents. This is simply a given.
One of his Republican opponents, Kirk Dillard, who has been in government for decade did now have good things to say about Rauner and the lawsuits against his former company and colleagues. Dillard was quoted saying, “People have died [in] nursing homes, because of the way Bruce Rauner and his friend have invested in these homes.” Indeed, Dillard will not be the only candidate to raise these points about Rauner’s past with GTCR.
In addition, Rauner has no track record in government, like Dillard and his other Republican opponents. So, as already mentioned, these recent revelations about his former company aren’t good for his campaign. The GOP rookie has also been accused of pulling a “Governor Chris Christie attitude” with reporters, and thus being churlish and refusing to answer questions about the story. (All media requests for an interview with Rauner form outlets that covered the story were refused by the candidate). Without a track record in government, Rauner was going on his business background, and this black mark isn’t doing him any favors.
Of course, the Tribune did point out that the story is more complicated than the way in which Dillard and the anti-Rauner blogger portray it to be. That said, in the age of sound bites, which have become even tinier in size as a result of the enormity of the Internet, the complexity of the story – unfortunately – will be lost to most voters. One thing is certain, Rauner’s PR team are hard at work on this one, and as the election heats up, chances are, we’re going to hear more revelations in coming months.
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