Republican: Bruce Rauner

Winnetka, age 57. Private equity specialist. (Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune / June 8, 2013)

Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner on Tuesday defended Archer Daniels Midland for requesting state tax breaks to move its headquarters to Chicago and blasted Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn for tying the issue to legislative reform of the state's woefully underfunded public worker pension system.

While comfortable ripping the governor for a "lack of leadership," Rauner acknowledged he didn't know enough about the Decatur-based agribusiness giant's tax break request to say whether he would approve it.

"From what I've seen of their request, I'd have to understand what the trade-offs are. I haven't gone deep on it," Rauner said.

"Corporations are successful because they're tough and aggressive negotiators and they're looking out to save every nickel and every penny they can. That's good management. You don't blame ADM for that at all," said Rauner, a wealthy equity investor.

Rauner's response marked the latest case in which he has declined to state his position on an issue. He repeatedly has refused to express his position on same-sex marriage. He's even dodged saying whether the state should have a mandatory helmet law after his campaign helped facilitate media coverage as he rode his motorcycle to Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair.

ADM, with $90 billion in revenue in 2012, is seeking up to $1.2 million in tax breaks for the next 20 years to move its international headquarters from Decatur to its preferred choice of Chicago. The firm also is reportedly exploring locations outside Illinois.

Quinn has said ADM should hold off on seeking incentives and instead lobby legislators to come up with a solution to Illinois' worst-in-the-nation $100 billion unfunded public employee pension liability. Resolving the pension issue would help all businesses, he has said.

Rauner's comments on ADM came as he announced as his running mate a little-known, two-year member of the Wheaton City Council. Rauner said he chose Evelyn Sanguinetti after "a thorough search looking for a star to join his campaign."

Sanguinetti, 42, an attorney, is a native of Miami, the daughter of Cuban and Ecuadorean immigrants and speaks fluent Spanish. She said she was diagnosed in 2007 with multiple sclerosis, has a medical regimen of pills and diet, and "it's never held me back."

Sanguinetti was an assistant attorney general handling workplace discrimination and wage issues under former Republican Attorney General Jim Ryan. While in the job, she said, "from a distance, though, I saw the corruption. I saw the insider dealings. I saw the special-interest back-scratching. It shocked me."

But Sanguinetti did not say whether she reported any instances of corruption to her bosses or authorities.

In Sanguinetti's 2011 bid for the Wheaton council, she and her husband provided about $27,000 of the $31,000 spent on the campaign, records show.

Neither Rauner or Sanguinetti specifically cited a job duty she would have if the team is elected. The office of lieutenant governor has few identified duties. Instead, Sanguinetti said she would work "full time" in the office communicating Rauner's message.

Rauner was the last of the four major Republican candidates for governor to select a running mate under a new state law that requires the two to run as a team in the primary, rather than seek nomination separately.

State Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale has named state Rep. Jil Tracy of Quincy as his running mate, while state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington selected Maria Rodriguez, a former eight-year mayor of Long Grove. State Treasurer Dan Rutherford of Chenoa has chosen unsuccessful 2010 GOP attorney general candidate Steve Kim of Northbrook to be lieutenant governor.

Quinn has yet to announce his choice for a running mate.

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