Chicago on road to bankruptcy, Gov. Rauner warns

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Gov. Bruce Rauner says the city of Chicago is on the road to bankruptcy.

Rauner says the city is "going down the drain" financially, and voters must consider the city's financial state when they go to the polls on April 7.

While Mayor Rahm Emanuel was in full campaign mode on Friday - shaking hands and greeting voters at a South Side CTA stop - the governor was at an unrelated event in Kendall County, where he weighed in on the state of the city.

"Chicago is sliding into bankruptcy. They can't pay their pensions. They can't pay their bills. The debt has been going up for years," Rauner said.

While the mayor and his opponent, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, debate the mayor's decision to close Chicago Public Schools and whether or not to keep red light cameras, the governor says it's time for voters to consider the city's finances.

"Who is financially sophisticated to deal with the issues? Who is ready to ready to stand up and fight for the taxpayers in the city and take on some of these government union power issues?" Rauner said.

Rauner says he's concerned about all government unions, not just the Chicago Teachers Union led by President Karen Lewis, who backs Garcia.

"It's the government unions influencing the politicians with campaign cash and getting them to get the pensions and spending out of control. Until we deal with that, Chicago is lost," Gov. Rauner said.

Officially, Rauner says he will not endorse Emanuel or Garcia. He says the election is up to the voters, but the connection between the government unions and the candidates is an issue he says must be discussed before April.
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