Black lawmaker confronts Rauner on cartoon controversy

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Today, black lawmakers praised Governor Rauner for signing a bill to seal some criminal convictions.  It only made sense that we ask the lawmakers about that the Illinois Policy Institute cartoon making news.

Rep. LaShawn Ford challenged the governor about it.

“Let's make it right today. Can you apologize?” he asked Rauner.

Rauner replied,  “Let me be clear, I'm not apologizing for anything that I have nothing to do with.”

This Illinois Policy Institute cartoon, which shows a black child asking a fat white man for money, continues to dog Rauner.

This afternoon, after signing various criminal justice reform bills with several black lawmakers looking on,the governor had a chance to put the controversy to bed.

“Governor, please join us in condemning hate and racism in any form in Illinois,” Ford said.

“We in American stand united against racism,” Rauner said. But made no mention of the cartoon.

The governor has faced enormous criticism for his response to the drawing which some have called racist.

On Tuesday, the governor's office released a statement saying, “…the governor – as a white male – does not have anything more to add to the discussion.”

The governor would distance himself from that statement put out by his office.

And overnight, Rauner's entire communications team departed.

“There are four folks who are not with us going forward,” he said.

Four staffers were either fired or resigned including the two aides who worked on the "white male" statement.

“I believe it was drafted by Diana Rickert and sent out on her e-mail by Laurel Patrick,” he said.

WGN News asked the governor repeatedly today whether he agrees with the cartoon's message but he won't say.

“Here's the issue I have been talking about for years. We have a TIF system. A use of TIF districts, particular in the city of Chicago that is excessive,” he said.