News Local/State

Rauner Keeping His Distance From Reporter’s Resignation


Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says his campaign didn't cause a longtime Chicago Sun-Times reporter to quit.

Springfield bureau chief Dave McKinney resigned Wednesday, after he says the paper tried to push him out of his political beat.

McKinney said the Rauner campaign tried to kill a story that detailed allegations of a former business associate. In a sworn affidavit, the business partner says Rauner threatened her and her family.

Rauner's campaign failed to stop the story, but the campaign alleged McKinney had a conflict of interest because his wife is a Democratic political consultant.

McKinney said his wife works on out-of-state campaigns, and had taken special precaution to avoid any involvement in the race for governor.

After being temporarily suspended, McKinney said he quit because the protections between journalists and management had eroded, as Rauner had been a part-owner of the paper until last year.

But Rauner, who campaigned in Champaign Thursday, said he's not involved.

Listen to full exchange between Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner and Illinois Public Media reporter Hannah Meisel about former Sun-Times reporter Dave McKinney.

"I don't know, I don't know all the issues in that. I've had no involvement with that," he said.  "Our campaign expressed concern with an article we thought was extremely misleading and badly done but that goes on with media outlets all the time, there's nothing unusual about that."

Rauner's campaign wished McKinney well, and the candidate says the campaign did nothing wrong.

"I know that our campaign staff was very upset and talked with reporters and I believe editors at the Sun-Times about that particular article but that's part of the standard process, went through the proper channels," said Rauner. "It sounds like the Sun-Times has internal management issues and I have no interest getting in the middle of that, that has nothing to do with our campaign."

After three years of not endorsing candidates, the paper's editorial board endorsed Rauner on Sunday.