CHICAGO (CBS) — The two candidates for governor sparred over a new digital design center in Chicago as Gov. Quinn presided over the ground-breaking for the project on Thursday, which Bruce Rauner said was his idea.
The truth is that they probably both deserve credit, along with many others who convinced President Obama and Defense Department for $70 million just to prime the pump for the Goose Island Digital Design Center.READ MORE: 8-Year-Old Boy Shot, Killed While Playing On Front Porch In Markham
However, when Quinn scheduled the ground-breaking just before the election, Rauner cried foul.
The symbolism of the governor breaking ground here less than a week before the election for a facility he’d earlier called “part of my vision after making advanced manufacturing a priority” was clear.
But he stopped short of taking all the credit for the idea.
“The idea, the initiative, the first proposal, was mine,” Rauner said. “That was my brainchild. I’m proud of it.”
“I went to the mayor of Chicago six years ago with that project.”READ MORE: Vandal Caught On Camera Trashing Trader Todd's Bar In Lakeview, Leaving Racist And Threatening Graffiti
While Rauner is correct, a source close to the project tells CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine that Rauner’s participation ended in the early stages after suggesting the University of Illinois be involved. The heavy lifting that dealt with securing funding and lobbying for project was done by staff for the mayor and the governor.
Quinn’s campaign press secretary quickly responded accusing Rauner of “arrogantly taking credit for the governor’s work and partnership with leaders.”
While Quinn was with Mayor Emanuel when he announced the new digital design center back in February, emails obtained by CBS 2 show people congratulating Rauner.
One says: “Hi Bruce, I hope you’ll be able to get the credit you deserve for this victory.”
Another: “I offer my sincere and deepest thanks for being there at the beginning.”
It seems clear tonight the governor and others took Rauner’s idea, ran with it, and hit the jackpot.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Beach Hazards
Though neither wants to give the other any credit in a dispute that now goes a lot deeper than votes.