Rauner slammed for $100K wine club membership3rd September, 2014 by Simon Howland
Bruce Rauner, the Republican gubernatorial candidate for Illinois, has come under fire after admitting he is a member of a wine club which costs $US100,000 (£60,000) to join.
Rauner is known for wearing an $18 (£11) watch in public but when it comes to wine he’s not exactly popping the “Two-Buck Chuck”, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Earlier this week Rauner acknowledged he belonged to an exclusive, invitation-only wine club called the Napa Valley Reserve that costs upwards of $100,000 (£60,000) to join: “I have many investments, and I am a member of many clubs.”
Pressed further on whether or not he was a member of the club Rauner responded “Yes” but did not elaborate.
And it turns out the Republican candidate has a history with the Napa Valley as a silent partner in purchasing 480 acres of prime Napa Valley real estate, valued at up to $300,000 (£180,000) an acre, with the Napa Valley Reserve founder Bill Harlan.
“Bruce’s membership in Napa Valley Reserve is part of a number of investments in real estate, wineries and vineyards that he has made in the area,” said Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf.
The acknowledgement comes at a time when incumbent Illinois governor, Pat Quinn, is living on $79 (£48) a week, the cost Quinn calculated is leftover each week for minimum wage workers after taking out housing, transportation and taxes.
His decision to live on a meager income is designed to underscore the governor’s pledge to raise the minimum wage to at least $10 (£6) and to underscore Rauner’s wealth.
Rauner, meanwhile, has repeatedly pointed to his personal wealth as a sign of his success and for which he is not apologetic.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times news of Rauner’s ties to Napa Valley’s premier wine-makers, came after the Chicago Tribune re-published a photo that appeared in the Montana Pioneer of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Rauner in Montana in August of 2010.
The two, who are friends, are pictured carrying bottles of wine with a Napa Valley Reserve label.