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Quinn Camp: Rauner Is 'Hiding' From Voters, Released 'Phony' Debate Schedule

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner have agreed to take part in three traditional debates before the November general election. But the governor's campaign says the Republican is "hiding" from voters and "misleading" them about his debate schedule.

"The public knows virtually nothing about Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner and he wants to keep it that way. In limiting the number of debates to a paltry three, he is hiding from a transparent airing of his views and plans for Illinois," said Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson.

The first debate is set to take place in Peoria on October 9 and will be hosted by PBS and the League of Women Voters. On October 14, the Chicago Urban League and Business Leadership/the DuSable Museum will hold a debate with the two gubernatorial candidates. The last debate, scheduled for October 16, will be hosted by WLS-TV and the League of Women Voters.

But the Quinn camp is accusing Rauner of "hiding" from the public due to his refusal to participate in eight "neutral debates." Instead, Quinn's campaign alleges, the Republican has come up with "a phony alternative of concocted venues to help himself."

"This is unworthy of a candidate for governor and a disservice to the people of Illinois," Anderson said. "Mr. Rauner won't let us know about his finances. He won't let us know about the shady dealings of his business. He won't let us know about his foreign investments and partnerships. He won't let us know about the exotic vehicles he uses to dodge Illinois and U.S. taxes.

"In the 2010 election, Republican nominee for governor Bill Brady readily agreed to five debates without condition," she continued. "By hiding from debates about the future of Illinois, Bruce Rauner is letting us know ONE thing: he wants to hide from the judgment of the people. By doing so, Mr. Rauner is disrespecting Illinois voters."

Quinn is scheduled to appear at 11 forums and debates, while Rauner's camp has released a list of eight appearances labeled as such.

“I look forward to comparing my vision of freezing property taxes, rolling back the Quinn-Madigan income tax hike and reversing the governor's education cuts to Pat Quinn's failed record of job losses, broken schools and Blagojevich-style corruption,” said Rauner in a statement. “I am running to be governor for all people in Illinois and our debate schedule should reflect the diversity of our state.”

Those in the Quinn campaign, however, say Rauner's list of debates and forums is not an accurate reflection of what will actually occur at those events. 

"Bruce Rauner attempted to mislead the public and brand five additional appearances as 'debates,' which they are not," reads a release from Quinn's campaign. "For example, the first two events noted by Rauner in his list - hosted by the Metropolitan Planning Council and Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable - are not even joint appearances, much less debates. At both events, the candidates will arrive and speak separately. The Chicago Tribune endorsement session is not a debate but a session closed to the general media. The Polish American Political Action Committee is a small group whose chair is the head of Polish Americans for Rauner. The president of the Lake County Municipal League is also the chairman of Mayors for Rauner and a Rauner business associate who recently put up an illegal sign to help Rauner's campaign."

Quinn's camp provided a detailed list of 11 debates to which the sitting governor has committed, striking out the ones Rauner declined:

1. Sept 17th: Daily Herald
2. Oct 1st: Governor’s State University
3. Oct. 7th: University of Illinois in Champaign
4. Oct. 9th: League of Women Voters/ PBS Peoria
5. Oct. 14th: Urban League and Business Leadership DuSable Museum
6. Oct 16th: League of Women Voters / ABC7 Chicago
7. Oct. 19th: Elmhurst College 
8. Oct. 23 - NBC5/U of C Institute of Politics
9. Oct. 28th- CBS2/Daily Herald/WBBM Radio
10. Oct. 30th: WTTW/ Chicago Tonight
11. Date TBD by debate host: WGN/Channel 9 (Oct. 22nd or Oct. 29th)


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