Chief of Staff Rasmussen quits Rauner Administration
Kristina Rasmussen has resigned from her post as Governor Bruce Rauner's Chief of Staff, one week after Rauner signed a bill to force Illinois taxpayers to fund abortions.
Rasmussen replaced previous chief of staff Richard Goldberg, who was fired by Rauner in July.
Rauner fired Goldberg after 15 Republican Illinois legislators turned on the governor, siding with Democrat House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) to approve a 32 percent income tax hike.
The governor blamed Goldberg and his staff members for his failure to stop the tax hike.
They countered by starting an anonymous Twitter account to mock Rauner and harass their replacements.
Rasmussen is the latest in a string of resignations by Rauner staff members that began in late August.
On Aug. 24, Rauner's entire communications staff quit after he publicly blamed them for media criticism over his tepid approach to the debate over school funding legislation.
Chicago Democrats had outmaneuvered Rauner, who ended up signing a bill that forced suburban and downstate taxpayers-- his key GOP constituents-- to bail out the insolvent Chicago Public Schools, which have amassed $17 billion in debt.
Like Rasmussen, Rauner had aggressively recruited Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Diana Rickert and Director of Communications Laurel Patrick to leave their current posts and join his administration, replacing Goldberg's team.
But they, along with their deputies Brittany Carl and Meghan Keenan, would quit after just six weeks in his office.
Former U.S. Attorney Rodger Heaton of Springfield is replacing Rasmussen.
In 1996, Heaton helped prosecute the owners of Management Services Incorporated (MSI)-- big backers of then-Governor Jim Edgar-- who were charged with overbilling the state by $7.8 million.