Ahead of Thursday night's GOP gubernatorial debate, a small group of retirees and senior citizens braved the bitter cold and held a protest outside of ABC 7 Studios in Chicago, where the event was being held, to call on candidate Bruce Rauner to "put seniors before profit."
Chicago resident and retired Chicago Public Schools teacher Beatrice Lumpkin, 95, joined the protest, orchestrated by the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans.
"I was horrified to learn that someone who wants to come and run things for Illinois and Springfield (was) one of the owners of a Florida nursing home," Lumpkin said of Rauner, who is in a four-way race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. "And those places they're really good. They take care of people. People can take care of themselves. But some of them are just hell houses, and he's been cited for that kind of thing. We don't want him having anything to say about nursing homes in Illinois."
Lumpkin was referring to the string of abuse and neglect cases at nursing homes owned by GTCR, a private equity firm headed by Rauner until 2012. Rauner's ties to the nursing home business is the subject of a recent ad backed by the Illinois Freedom PAC, which is associated with public employee unions.
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