Governor Rauner Wishes WBBM Newsradio Happy Anniversary

Kris Kridel
May 08, 2018 - 1:03 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- WBBM Newsradio celebrated this week its 50th Anniversary of becoming an all-news station.

It was May 6, 1968 that WBBM Newsradio switched its format and became an all-news station. On Monday, Governor Bruce Rauner joined Regine Schlessinger and Kris Kridel in the afternoon to celebrate the anniversary. 

"It is great to be with you. You know, Regine, Kris, congratulations, happy birthday! You two are some of the best of the best and I was excited to stop by and say keep up the outstanding work. You guys are real pros. You know what, I was born in Chicago, near Wrigley Field. I lived in Chicagoland pretty much my whole life. I've listened to your station since the sixties. You guys do an outstanding job. Keep up the great work. Keep informing the people of Chicago about what is going on," Rauner said. 

Schlessinger: Governor, from the prospective of a newsmaker, what do you think is the significance of a station like WBBM? 

"Well you know what, being fair, and balanced, and thorough, and sweating the details and getting is right, really matters. And I will say this, Craig Dellimore, as an example, you know what, he's, as far as I know, on the other side of the aisle and we disagree on some stuff; but, I've never met anyone more thoughtful, more thorough, more professional. He is a quintessential pro. He is one of the best of the best," Rauner said.

"Another one I love, I just got to meet her for the first time, I've been trying to meet her for 20 years, is Felicia Middlebrooks. She is outstanding at her craft. She is one of the best out of anywhere in the country. I have huge respect for that," Rauner said.

Schlessinger: Craig, of course, was preceded by the dean of City Hall reporters, our Political Editor was Bob Crawford. 

"Well that's right, but you guys for your whole time have been informing the people of Chicago of the truth of what has been going on with the real news. You got John Callaway, outstanding, Brent Musburger - I'm a huge sports fan, big Bears fan and Brent Musburger, and now Jeff Joniak. I love talking to him, or listening to him, I should say. We've suffered through a lot of bad games over the years, but he tells it as it is and makes it entertaining," Rauner said.

WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

Kridel: Well 50 years ago, Otto Kerner was getting ready to leave the Governor's office. Chicago was dealing with rioting and...

"I'll tell you the summer of 1968 was a rough year in Chicago," Rauner said.

Schlessinger: In fact WBBM was supposed to switch to all-news format in July of that year, but because so much was breaking, they said we have to go with it now.

Kridel: So here we are in 2018 and the Governor's office is possibly yours to keep, but maybe not.

"Well every four years the people get to make their choices, it is a wonderful thing," Rauner said. 

Kridel: And the biggest issue is what?

"Oh boy, well there are many, but the two top ones: taxes and corruption. I'm running against folks who just want to put in a massive tax hike on the people of Illinois and we can't tax our way out of our problems. We need to grow. And number two is corruption. We've had so much self-dealing and cronyism and patronage that we have to get term limits on the ballot and we've got to get folks into office who are there for the right reasons, not to make money," Rauner said.

Schlessinger: Although your critics would say you have been there for almost four years now and Illinois' finances are still in as big of a mess as they have always been. 

"Yeah, well, the speakers legislators have refused to pass a balanced budget, but we will get there. When I got into office, there were $10 billion in unpaid bills and huge unemployment and massive unpaid pensions, it's been a mess. We are fixing it one step at a time. And we are going to get there," he said.

Schlessinger: Your primary opponent Jeanne Ives, who you narrowly defeated, has said last week on WBBM's At Issue that she would vote for you, but her endorsement was sort of lukewarm. Are you going to have problems within your own party getting those votes out?

"You know this election is very exciting, because it's not really about republicans versus democrats, it's about the people of Illinois against a broken, corrupt, political machine and political insiders. It's the people against political insiders and we are going to win and both the democrats are going to win and republicans are going to win. And we are going to make a better future for all of our children and grandchildren of Illinois.

Kridel: What does the behavior of our President - could that impact the Republican vote here? 

"Well certainly national politics impact local politics, but in the end, as many folks have quoted, all politics are local. And in the end, Illinoisans want to see a better future. We've got to end the corruption, we've got to stop this out of control spending and tax increases that are crushing our working friends and that is what we are fighting to achieving and we are going to be victorious in the end," Rauner said.