With Rauner being outspoken in his opposition to public sector "union bosses" and clearly opposed to the way Illinois' state employee pension is set up, observers were curious about how he would appeal to those that endorsed and financially backed his GOP primary opponent Kirk Dillard.
The Rauner campaign provided insight as to the points Rauner will make as he appears before teachers at Friday's meeting in Chicago. For one, the campaign says, Rauner is committed to strengthening education with more taxpayer funding.
"Bruce has pledged to increase education funding as governor. He believes education is the most important thing we do as a community and should be the top priority in Illinois," a campaign statement says.
Secondly, Rauner is "personally devoted to the cause." Rauner has invested time and resources to improving education in Illinois by leading the Chicago Public Education Fund, which helped more teachers achieve National Board Certification, and he has personally funded a Chicago program aimed at financially rewarding the best performing principals," the statement says.
Rauner also claims his investment firm has helped the Teacher Retirement System by producing "tremendous results." The Rauner campaign points to comments made by Governor Quinn's own spokesperson concerning GTCR, an investment firm Rauner founded.
"The state's largest pension program, the Teachers' Retirement System, has invested $120 million in three GTCR funds since 2000, with a return of 25 percent," spokesman Dave Urbanek told AP's John O'Conner in March 2013. "In comparison, all of TRS's private-equity investments have had a 10-year return of 14.6 percent, Urbanek said. The S&P 500 during that period has returned 3.6 percent, so GTCR indeed has more than doubled the stock market's performance specifically in its TRS work."
Rauner will remind the teachers that their IEA President Cinda Klickna Led Motion to Invest in GTCR back in 2003.
“On a motion by Cinda Klickna, seconded by Sharon Leggett, it was resolved: To allocate $50 million in GTCR Fund VIII, L.P., subject to satisfactory completion of contract and fee negotiations. Source of funds shall be the TRS Cash Flow account.”
Rauner will pitch that he wants teachers to control of their retirement savings - rather than leave it in the hands of "union bosses," something he's likely to leave unsaid in his sales pitch.
Rauner is expected to say he believes teachers should be able to keep the pensions that they’ve honestly accrued, but moving forward they should be shifted into a defined-contribution style system that puts teachers in charge instead of the politicians.