Why Are Dems So Furious With Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner?

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner

Some members of the Illinois legislature have had enough of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Deputy Chief of Staff Rich Goldberg. It seems the former Naval Intelligence Officer has quite a knack for infuriating Springfield Dems.

According to Tony Arnold of WBEZ, Goldberg is often sent to testify on behalf of Gov. Rauner in legislative committee meetings-and things have been getting heated.

“In one nasty confrontation captured in the report, an agency head appointed by Rauner deferred to Goldberg while being questioned on aspects of a bill, infuriating Democrats as Goldberg attempted to speak.

“Mr. Goldberg, when a senator is speaking to you, I would strongly counsel you to close your mouth and open your ears, and then you’ll have a chance to respond,” said State Sen. Don Harmon, who later told the reporter that he regretted his condescending tone.

Harmon later said that Goldberg’s job was to be the governor’s “unmentionable anatomy,” which the reporter translated as being equivalent to calling him an asshole.”

In another incident, one Dem blasted Goldberg and reminded him he was no longer inside the Gov.’s office.

“In May of this year. State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) called a hearing on workers compensation benefits. Raoul’s done a lot of work on the issue in the past and, and knows it well.

And Goldberg shows up. Here’s a transcription of how that went.

GOLDBERG: These reforms are directly tied to our budget, to the future of fiscal sanity in this state, to be able to grow our economy, to be able to create jobs, to be able have the revenue base for our budget so that we are not just…
RAOUL: I’d appreciate it if you could…
GOLDBERG: Mr. Chairman.
RAOUL: No, no. I am the chairman. I am the chairman.
GOLDBERG: Mr. Chairman.
RAOUL: I am the chairman.This is not the governor’s office.
GOLDBERG: Mr. Chairman.
RAOUL: Senator Haine, you’re recognized.
GOLDBERG: Mr. Chairman.

Democrats like Raoul feel like Goldberg breaks all kinds of rules of decorum by interrupting committee chairs and talking out of turn.”

Goldberg also has a habit of writing letters to legislative leaders when he doesn’t appear at meetings. Dems view him and the letters as pure snark while Republicans say Goldberg is quite smart and Dems should start listening to Rauner’s right hand man on legislative issues.

Goldberg’s bio notes he “has served as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer since 2006 and deployed to Afghanistan in 2011.”

Gov. Rauner is currently engaged in heated talks with Springfield leaders to pass the state  budget.