Minow, 88, an attorney and President John F. Kennedy's chairman of
the Federal Communications Commission, said Rauner would be a
bipartisan leader in a centrist Midwestern state.
"President Kennedy once said, 'Sometimes party loyalty asks too
much,'" said Minow. "I think this is one of those times. I'm a
strong Democrat, but I'm taking a leave of absence from my party
because Illinois is in desperate shape."
Minow, known for calling television a "vast wasteland," said the
state can change course with Rauner, a wealthy venture capitalist
who put $6 million of his own money into a campaign that blanketed
the airwaves with TV and radio ads in the leadup to winning the
primary election on Tuesday.
Rauner, a political neophyte, will in November go up against
incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, who took office in 2009
following the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich, now in prison for
Rauner, who has declared himself pro-choice on abortion, has mostly
steered clear of social issues in his campaign, and is concentrating
instead on the many economic problems in Illinois, the longtime home
of President Barack Obama.
Illinois is tied with Nevada for the country's second highest
unemployment rate at 8.7 percent.
Also appearing at the Chicago press conference was Manny Sanchez, an
attorney who has served as a member of the Democratic National
Finance Committee, and Rauner's wife, Diana Rauner, also a Democrat.
"Bruce and Diana have a bipartisan home life," said Minow. "They'll
also have a bipartisan administration. There won't be a big
difference between Democrats and Republicans because the problems
are too tough."
[to top of second column]
Asked if he would cut the number of state employees to reduce public
spending, Rauner said the state's workers could be more productive
and efficient through better use of technology, which he said is
"woefully behind" other states and the public sector.
The contest between Quinn and Rauner is expected to be both brutal
and expensive, in part because of Rauner's strong rhetoric against
labor unions' power in state government. He has also expressed
admiration for Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker, who
backed curtailing the collective bargaining rights of public workers
Unions are expected to strongly back Quinn's candidacy, though they
oppose a pension reform bill he supported.
A spokesman for Quinn's campaign was not immediately available for
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; editing by Barbara Goldberg and G.
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.