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Republican leaders to Dems: You first

Friday, Feb 22, 2013

* I’m really not sure why the two legislative Republican leaders sent a letter to the governor and the Democratic leaders outlining what they see as the budget pressures facing the state, demanding immediate action and then ending it this way

The full letter is here.

Yeah, they’re the super-minority. Yes, it’s the Democrats’ show right now. No doubt.

But why even bother sending this letter if they have no solutions of their own?


Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    No idea. Maybe it’s on the order of “we told them to do something.”

  2. - nobody - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:27 pm:

    Republicans are irrelevant in Illinois. That letter certainly shows why. Complaining without offering any solutions or other courses of action is getting old. They should save the state some money and stay home if all they are going to do is go to Springfield to complain.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:29 pm:


    “We are Irrelevent, so being such, Tom Cross is planning his golfing schedule and Christine Radogno tries to herd the 18 members in the one or two places in Illinois that will resever a room for 20 or less, so we are writing this letter to point out what is goin on, and why we won’t come up with any solutions. Just so you know.”

    Or …

    “Hey … there’s a hole in the boat … right there … a hole … well I am inept and have no plan to fix the hole …or even a suggestion of how to stop the water filling the boat … but … there it is … a hole….”

    That is what that letter is saying.

    Maybe this is passive-aggressive? Who in their right mind … suggested this as a GOOD idea?

    “Write a letter, from both of you … now, say all that needs to be done … how’s that? … No, don’t seem engaged, just point to the mess…. OK, we will get that sent to the Governor fairly quick …”

    What do you tell the 66 districts that have a Republican member of the General Assembly…

    “Boy, you should have read that letter we sent to Quinn … we let him have it about what need to be done … No … No … we didn’t offer any solutions … but we told him but good!”

    “Fire Madigan”, “Call me, Maybe?”, now, “Chain Letters”

    “By the way, Governor Quinn, pass this letter to 7 people not related to you in 7 days or you will have bad luck.


    ‘Two-Putt’ & ‘Commander Galloway’…”

  4. - Questioning - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:34 pm:

    Ah! You have just reached the fundamental answer on why the GOP flopped in the last election. Not one constructive idea on what to do, other than to demonize Mike Madigan.

  5. - BleugrassBoy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    Dear Mike and John….(oh, yeah, you too Pat),
    Things are bad and getting worse. Since you can pretty much do whatever you want, why don’t you hurry up and do SOMETHING?
    Love, Tom and Chris

  6. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:40 pm:

    They have no ideas or at a minimum, they lack the political guts to offer their ideas and stand behind them.

    They almost certainly will vote against bills designed to solve the problems their letter so accurately describes: borrowing to pay past due bills, pension reform, etc.

    But the best part of the letter? “While a bi-partisan approach has been undertaken to enact many solutions, full execution of those solutions requires unreserved follow through by the majority party…”

    In other words, “we’ve told you what to do, but we won’t help you get it done.”

    And they still get to cash their paychecks? Pathetic.

  7. - PublicServant - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:45 pm:

    Ask John Tillman. He just told them what the Koch Brothers want them to do…as a private citizen, of course, thus retaining the non-partisan nature of the IPI.

  8. - Capitol View - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:49 pm:

    an offer to jointly look at a support options would have been constructive… but that is not the GOP way, for the last few years.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:56 pm:

    Maybe this is an “excused absence” type of letter;

    “Dear Governor, President, and Speaker,

    Please excuse all 66 Republican members of this General Assembly from working to get anything done.

    We added a list of ’stuff’ YOU guys may wanna ‘do’ or don’t wanna ‘do’.

    We will wait to see what you come up with so we can make sure to vote ‘No’ while offering nothing constructive to these tough choices.

    Further, we are taking are ‘ball’ as well, and figuratively ‘going home’.

    You’re Pals,

    ‘The Irrelevents’…”

    If it were me, I would have made it a “Doctor Note”… from the Med Society?

    Boy those Senior Politcal/Governmental Advisors of the GA GOP, nice work! Well, at least the letter proves they are doing something for the pay like - 47th Ward - pointed out.

  10. - Jeeper - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:56 pm:

    This letter is an apparent attempt to move the debate from the legislature to general public discussion.

    That seems obvious to me. The reason they took this route also seems to obvious to me: Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton routinely refuse to acknowledge that Cross, Radogno and the other Republicans in the Legislature have said anything at all.

    Saying the Republicans lack the will (spine, courage, whatever) to state their ideas and stand behind them is just wrong.

    Saying they have no ideas is also wrong. Madigan and, to a somewhat lesser degree, Culerton are the problem. When they start to allow honest debate of ideas without regard to which caucus originated the idea, we will get better government.

    Until then, prepare for more of the same: higher taxes, more revenue (until the taxes chase away enough business that the state economy irretrievably collapses), a constant $4B annual deficit, increasing bill backlogs and nonstop posturing without any meaningful results.

    Personally, I have had about enough of this; I want some adults to run Illinois…

  11. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:59 pm:

    ===When they start to allow honest debate of ideas===

    You gotta have ideas before they can be debated.

  12. - GA Watcher - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 12:59 pm:

    I’ll bet the minority leaders believe that calling for reforms that reduce the level of spending is being specific. It’s part of the national GOP handbook afterall. The one entitled, “The Party Comes First”.

  13. - Skeeter - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:01 pm:

    So basically they are taking the same position that Bill Brady took in 2010.

    How’d that work for you guys?

  14. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:01 pm:

    –Saying the Republicans lack the will (spine, courage, whatever) to state their ideas and stand behind them is just wrong.

    Saying they have no ideas is also wrong.–

    Did they just forget to include them in the letter?

    Look, whatever they’ve been doing ain’t working.

    They should be engaging the public with ideas. They’re so far down, what do they have to lose?

  15. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:02 pm:

    ===They should be engaging the public with ideas.===

    Well, to be fair, the SGOPs did propose a list of budget cuts a couple years ago and their candidates were hammered for it during the last election.

  16. - Publius - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:06 pm:

    At a hearing yesterday the clueless director of hcfs had no apparent idea about how much, if any, money was really saved in medicaid cuts last year. And it became clear that one reason was because the administration hasn’t even begun to get ineligible people off the rolls. Perhaps this is what the reps are saying, you have to manage government to make it work.

  17. - Foxfire - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:07 pm:

    How about this?

    “You all worked so hard to obtain complete control of state government. Congratulations, you won. Or so you think.”

    “We don’t believe think you all can work together well enough to patch a pair of pants, let along the state’s budget. So, we’re sending this letter just to remind you how screwed up things really are. When you fail, or claim that Republicans should offer their help, we can say that we told you so.”

  18. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:08 pm:

    ===This letter is an apparent attempt to move the debate from the legislature to general public discussion.===

    Tha is a “loser and non-starter”, because the first thing the public will ask … “What are your plans/ideas?” They don’t have them!

    ===Saying they have no ideas is also wrong.===

    Examples? Bill Numbers? Budget Proposals?

    ===Saying the Republicans lack the will (spine, courage, whatever) to state their ideas and stand behind them is just wrong.===

    Are the GOP engaged in writing their own Bills and budget proposals to take to the people, have a spine and stand up to the scrutiny of those proposals …or are the “Irrelevents” just pointing at things with no answers of their own?

    To your Post,

    The last two parts of your statement, wanting adults? Don’t children usually point to things that are wrong and then when asked how to fix it, they respond, “I dunno??”

    If you think this letter is leading or is leadership, and if you have those Bill Numbers, Budget Proposals, share. No snark. I would like to know, because this letter, no matter what you may come up with might refute that, because reading that ending, it seems that “Two-Putt” and “Galloway” … “look forward to your response on how you (Democrats) plan to address …”

    That don’t sound too forthcoming with their own plan.

  19. - Jeeper - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:09 pm:

    GA Watcher: Its the GOP with the “The Party Comes First” mentality? Get serious; check Rahm’s “Whoever wins has to be on Team Chicago.” remark in the 2D primary.

    For the Dems, it appears to be “Chicago First; Illinois -well- after; no one else need apply.”

    I would point out that until Madigan saw some political advantage in messing with employee retirement benefits, the -only- people that had tried to fix the pension mess were Republicans. Madigan didn’t like the deal as it was made during the only 2 years he has not been Speaker in the last 32 years and initially refused to consider it valid.

    Rich Miller: If you never get a hearing of your idea, did you ever really -have- one? Have you not observed Madigan cutting Republicans out of the debate/decision cycle in the past? I have and your vantage point has been -much- nearer the action than mine.

  20. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:12 pm:

    ===Have you not observed Madigan cutting Republicans out of the debate/decision cycle in the past?===

    Lots of times. So, now it’s ok to just stop having ideas? Might as well turn their paychecks back in and go home for two years.

  21. - Flyer - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:13 pm:

    That’s been there style for the last ten years- tell us what you guys want to do, then we’ll tell you why you’re wrong

  22. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:14 pm:

    Suggested response…

    Dear Legislative Leaders,

    Thank you for your letter. I’m sure it was an administrative oversight, but the letter received was missing a paragraph about the solutions you’d like us to take regarding our state’s fiscal condition.

  23. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:14 pm:

    - Foxfire -,

    Ok, now build a political campaign strategy based on what you posted. No snark, I can’t see one to have a mail, tv, or ground game based on that.

    It’s “Fire Madigan” without the Madigan…

    - Rich Miller - made a great point about the SGOP trying the strategy of a plan and it backfiring. So maybe how do you come up with a hybrid strategy of having a plan that the Dems won’t like or use, AND have some appeal of having a plan, while not having the anchor of the plan like last time.

    Is that where the GA GOP need to be? I don’t know, but we better come up with a hybrid of some positive things and not be the “Party of NO” again come petition time.

    Good luck with the GA GOP Senior Political Staff.

  24. - Jorge - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:15 pm:

    Just another illustration as to why the ILGOP isn’t a viable alternative at the moment.

  25. - Ahoy! - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:16 pm:

    seems status quo of the Republican party in Illinois to me. Their just very open about their ability and desire to do nothing.

  26. - soccermom - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:17 pm:

    Jeeper, and all the rest of you whiners — Oh, for heaven’s sake. Does the all-powerful Madigan control the op-ed page of every newspaper in the state? Does he personally limit access to the podium of every meeting of organization statewide? Does he own every radio and television station?

    If you have a good idea, get out and run with it. Talk about it. Build support for it. Hold one of those Sunday afternoon news conferences and throw down a gauntlet or two. Make it impossible for the other side to ignore you.

    Yes, as Rich points out, there are political liabilities to every action. But as you are finding out, inaction carries its own risks.

    Show the people of this state that you pursued higher office for a reason — that you want to do things to make Illinois a better place to live, work and raise a family — and maybe you’ll find that your ideas actually get heard.

  27. - Anonymoose - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:19 pm:

    They forgot the P.S.

    “P.S. However, we are UNITED and look forward to bi-partisan cooperation in our primary Republican agenda item…that being the ban on tanning for youth under the age of 18. Helpfully and adamantly yours, TC and CR”

  28. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    - soccermom -,

    (Scurring getting note pad and pen, titling page “Good Ideas the Irrelevents Need to do”)

    Do you have anythng else to help? Please? …Please?

    Great points, - soccermom -, I am afraid my party in the GA is reduced to “Chain Letters” and inaction, with a smidge of Partisanship and Frustration.

    A mix a party doesn’t need with field ops like you working against us …

    (licking tip of pen, preparing to write …)

    Any other ideads?

  29. - Skeeter - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    If anybody in the GOP leadership had any brains, they would be going into detail just to get the people to start thinking about finances and stop thinking of the GOP position on gay marriage and how many times the GOP can stay stupid things about rape.

    They have a chance to turn the debate to an issue where, if they have any ideas at all, they can win and instead they blow that too.

    As noted above, they are just not very good at politics.

  30. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:24 pm:

    - their candidates were hammered for it during the last election. -

    I guess no one ever taught them to get back on the horse.

  31. - John A Logan - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:29 pm:

    Republicans should give up and become democrats. Abandon all conservative principles and double down on anything and everything proposed by the ruling majority. If we are going to run this ship of state aground, let just get it over with.

  32. - So. ILL - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:29 pm:

    Just watch…when nothing happens this session, when no solutions are reached on our pressing fiscal issues, despite their irrelvance, and despite this being the Dems’ ’show’, top Democrats will blame Republicans for the mess. Its the Bill Clinton and David Axelrod way…demonize, distract, shift blame. So, letter or no letter, ideas or no ideas, top Dems and a compliant print and web media will buy into and promote the narrative that this is somehow all the Republicans’ fault.

  33. - Endangered Moderate Species - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    The Republican’s do have answers, but they are filled with political pitfalls. They want to cut our way out of this mess without any increases in tax revenue. They don’t actually want those ideas in the form of a Bill.

    They are in a position to complain, because they have no skin in the game.

    The solutions to our fiscal crisis will require deeper cuts and increased revenue. Neither of these ideas are popular platforms. The ILGOP is already at the political bottom and the ILDems are at the political pinnacle.

    Why not sit, watch and prod? The ILDems have some tough decisions and can’t look for cover with the ILGOP. Statistical gravity will close the margin between the two parties.

  34. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:31 pm:

    –So, letter or no letter, ideas or no ideas, top Dems and a compliant print and web media will buy into and promote the narrative that this is somehow all the Republicans’ fault.–

    Sure. Every day, it’s obvious the Tribune Co. is in the tank for Democratic leadership.

    And Pat Quinn holds the media in the palm of his hand.

  35. - Skeeter - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    Good point, SO IL.

    They are all out get you.

    Careful, they may be hiding in your closet right now.

  36. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:35 pm:

    - So. ILL -,

    So? Now what? You can’t be a defeatist, even if the Irrelevent leaders are steering us toward that device! Don’t be resigned to a fate that has yet to happen, but ask those Dopes to stop the letter and start with the leading.

  37. - So. ILL - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:37 pm:

    Hey if you need a more specific and timely example that fits what I am saying, look no further than the sequester fight in Washington. The sequester was President Obama’s idea…that can not be debated. He even came out and said that any attempt to stop the automatic cuts would be met with his veto pen. Fast forward to today and all you hear is how the Republicans have to do something to stop the sequester. This is just reality. I am not whining…the GOP just has to find a way to either live with this new bizarro world or change it.

  38. - GA Watcher - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:38 pm:

    For once, I’d like to see the minority party show that they are on Team Illinois vs. Team GOP.

  39. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:41 pm:

    ===Why not sit, watch and prod?===

    Because when you are walking precincts, and you have to explain the candidate is a Republican to Republican housholds and they say …”All those Republican in Springfield do is say, ‘NO, NO, NO.’..or say, ‘What did ‘X’ do this session… nothing’ …”

    What is the response … “Sorry, we are inept”, or “Sitting on our hands is what we do best”, or my favorite, “I think it’s Madigan and the Democrats fault, and with your help we can defeat Mike Madigan!”

    And… door slam.

    Gotta do… something!

  40. - Endangered Moderate Species - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:46 pm:

    ‘Team Illinois vs. Team GOP’

    It is more difficult for members of the GOP to compromise because of two key principles their party has been built upon since Coolidge. Less government, less taxes.

    Compromising on these two principles presents a quandary to their ideals.

  41. - Jeeper - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:46 pm:

    Oswego: You just about had me convinced to do some of that research until you said ==no matter what you may come up with…== You don’t sound reasonable on this.

    Soccermom: Do editorial pages get bills passed? No; Madigan is not omnipotent; I never said he was.

    While you are making suggestions like “Show the people of this state that you pursued higher office for a reason — that you want to do things to make Illinois a better place to live, work and raise a family…” I would counter that Madigan’s leadership has not accomplished ANY of those things and has, in fact, done the opposite.

    Or are things better today and I just didn’t notice?

    Are the Democrats - those who control -all- the levers of power in Illinois:
    Reducing the annual deficit? (No)
    Paying the backlog of bills? (No)
    Fixing the pension mess? (Maybe; but IF they do, they will do it by making the employees pay for the money the legislature has stolen from them.)
    Improving the state economy? (No)
    (BTW, haven’t ALL of these gotten worse under current management? Uh… Yes, they have…)
    Acting like -adults- by meeting their obligations? (No, they have not…)

    OR, are they spending all the revenue generated by the income tax increase on something else? (Yes)

    What reason do you suppose moves Madigan, Cullerton and Quinn?

    Let me help you with that: acquisition and exercise of power for its own sake.

  42. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:49 pm:

    ===Oswego: You just about had me convinced to do some of that research until you said ==no matter what you may come up with…== You don’t sound reasonable on this.===

    Fair enough, to your point and to finsh that,

    “No matter what you may come up with, the Leaders sent a letter, stating they are NOT and have NO plan, so when you find that, no snark, explain those you find fitting into the Bills and plans you found that are running counter to this Dopey letter?”

    Apologies. - Jeeper -, you are right, so find those and help me understand this dopey strategy as this letter is out there now?

    No snark.

  43. - Meaningless - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:52 pm:

    This is a terrible and fatal strategy on the part of the Republicans to place the ball totally in the hands of the Democrats without offering any ideas of their own to help solve the issues referred to in their letter. How can the Republicans expect anybody to support what they stand for if they don’t put their plans on the table? This is a typical example of why the Republican Party is so weak in Illinois. If the Republicans were in tune with the political climate in Illinois, they would be more aware of the opportunity that exists for attracting new supporters, especially with the extreme unhappiness related to some of the so-called “progressive democrats” and their abandonment of their traditional support base. We all know how difficult it is for a third-party to join the ball game, but there are large numbers of traditional Democrats just waiting for a good reason to shift their allegiances.

  44. - Endangered Moderate Species - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:54 pm:


    You are making an assumption that the ILGOP is effective in walking precincts and knocking on doors, but they are ineffective in their message of ideas.

    I make the assumption the ILGOP is ineffective in walking precincts and knocking on doors because many of their candidates do not understand the value of personal face to face contact with voters.

    An effective candidate needs go out and visit with all types of voters and let them know they are human and they understand the challenges that families and individuals are facing.

    The GOP has a tendency to overplay and cater to the business community and forgets about the people whom are actually voting.

  45. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:55 pm:

    –It is more difficult for members of the GOP to compromise because of two key principles their party has been built upon since Coolidge. Less government, less taxes.–

    That’s the rumor. But the reality is that the GOP has, at times, been for fewer taxes (but often, for more) but very little evidence they are in favor of less government.

  46. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 1:59 pm:

    Not making excuses for them, but I suppose if you had been pummeled for Social Security, Medicare, and other national issues you’d be a little gun shy about making specifics.

    That being said (written), why bother writing the letter?

  47. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:02 pm:

    ===You are making an assumption that the ILGOP is effective in walking precincts…====

    No, I am going for personal experience of past elections… I know the ILGOP is inept, hit “The Google Key”

    You other points are On Point …

    But to the beginning, what are those Bills, those Budget Proposals? …

  48. - Endangered Moderate Species - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:05 pm:


    I agree with you.

    George Bush paid heavily for straying off the GOP message and a whole new Conservative movement began. Led by talking heads like Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck.

    Since the Bush Presidency, GOP members are called out by their own when they stray off course, thus the quandary I referred to.

  49. - Willie Stark - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    Credit where credit is due. What about the GOP leaders’ tender concerns for organized labor?: “employees in unions have faced financial and emotional uncertainty due to the lack of a collective bargaining agreement.”

  50. - nobody - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:18 pm:

    “Don” Madigan should bring all of the leaders and the Governor together and begin the meeting with…How did we ever let things get so far. I believe this pension business is gonna destroy us in the years to come. I mean, it’s not like gambling or liquor, or even women, which is something that most people want nowadays and is forbidden to them by the pezzonovante of the church…. I hoped that we could come here and reason together. And as a reasonable man, I’m willing to do whatever’s necessary to find a peaceful solution to these problems…. But I’m a superstitious man. And if some unlucky accident should befall Lisa - then I’m going to blame some of the people in this room. And that I do not forgive. But that aside, let me say that I swear on the souls of my grandchildren that I will not be the one to break the peace that we’ve made here today.
    Problem solved!

  51. - East Central Illinois - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:19 pm:

    I agree with So. ILL Cullerton and especially Madigan need to present a plan or idea. All three positions of power belong to the Dems, and still no leadership has been shown. I think it makes perfect sense for Cross and Radogno to call out all three Dems at this point. Especially when/if it gets the three big Dems to keep pointing fingers at each other.

  52. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:23 pm:

    - East Central Illinois -,

    Ok, Cross and Radogno did that …

    Now what? What’s next in your plan for the GOP?

  53. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    Endangered, I’d suggest it goes back much further than Bush, more to the final defeat of the Taft wing of the GOP at the ‘52 convention.

    Besides wanting to roll back the New Deal, Taft wanted to drastically shrink the military, end the Truman Doctrine, kill NATO and bring all the troops home.

    You can’t really have small government, or less taxes (without massive borrowing) when you have a world empire.

    GOP presidents have paid lip service to smaller government since then, but we all know the reality.

    The race between Ike and Taft was a near thing. Ike was greatly helped by Sen. Nixon’s undermining of Gov. Warren’s Favorite Son candidacy in California. In the end, Warren threw in with Ike, Nixon was rewarded with Veep and Warren got Chief Justice.

    An interesting footnote I ran across recently. To blunt Ike’s military credentials, Taft had pledged, if nominated, to name recently fired Gen. MacArthur as his running mate.

    Taft died suddenly in 1953. If he had beaten Stevenson, MacArthur would have been president — a prospect Gen. Bradley wrote in his memoirs that he considered “terrifying.”

  54. - East Central Illinois - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    I would start with looking at the proposal that Ralph Martire has proposed regarding the pension situation. This would be a good jump start.

  55. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    - East Central Illinois -,

    Congratualtions, you are doing more than Cross and Radogno …

    My point in asking is that, “So now what” has to be something. You can’t have 2 years of nothing and expect the voters to think we in the GOP are engaged in the solutions.

    So you are doing more, right now … then they are.

    Scary, right?

    Wish they were doing more than we all could suggest, besides one dopey letter.

  56. - East Central Illinois - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:36 pm:

    Oswego Willy - - I totally agree. I wish ALL OF THEM - Dems & GOP were doing something more. I guess that is why I see no problem with Cross & Radogno’s letter - it somewhat pushes the enveloped. Could the letter have had more in it? Yes, abosulely!!! Should the “Big 3 Dems” being doing more? Yes, absolutely to that too.
    That’s what makes all of this so frustrating! It’s the movie western; high noon; the gunfighters are on the street yet no one has the guts to draw first!

  57. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:51 pm:

    - ECI -…

    Hate to say it, it’s 12:01

    We are on the same page.

  58. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:51 pm:

    Jeez-what’s the point, really, other than to be reminded that, of course there is an overall GOP Agenda that needs to be respected, and, yet, shouldn’t the main Republican goal during these times in dealing with this D.-Dominated Legislature and Gov.’s Office be to reasonably and calmly seek, and get, whatever you CAN at least, without seeming too pushy ‘cuz there’s little you can do about it ANYway when the gettin’ ain’t GOOD?

  59. - Earnest - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:52 pm:

    Willie Stark, you beat me to my phrase. Credit where credit’s due on it not being a sound bite and not seeming intended to appeal to only one constituency. Even so, I’m flummoxed on the purpose of the letter. Maybe it’s making the point that they were cooperative and bipartisan in passing managed care and then the democrats failed to effectively implement the reforms? If that’s what they were going for, they should have stopped there instead of implying they’re now going to do nothing but watch and see what the democrats do. They say they look forward to the democrats’ response as though they’re trying to make them give one, but the fact of the matter remains that the democrats have no choice but to act, so why ask for a response?

  60. - caveman - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:53 pm:

    You guys are funny. Everyone knows what Republicans stand for. Cut spending and do it everywhere. Especially entitlements. Cut deep because it helps nothing to take from workers and give to those that ain’t. It hurts to raise taxes because it slows the economy. Borrowing solves nothing.

    And if you think there is anyway any of this is going to occur when Democrats rule, I have a bridge….

    You’re wasting you breathe to complain about what R’s will or won’t do. You have made them irrelevant.

  61. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 2:55 pm:

    ===Everyone knows what Republicans stand for. Cut spending and do it everywhere. ===


    Do you realize how many Republican legislators represent areas with large state facilities, universities, etc.?

    You’re daft.

  62. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 3:08 pm:

    Good Lord, First I get a migraine and now this.
    Happy Friday? Not.
    To the post, I got nothing that word or Willy hasn’t already said.

  63. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 3:29 pm:

    - AA -,

    If you have a migraine, don’t read the Sen. Silverstein post. It got … weird.


  64. - Going nuclear - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 3:35 pm:

    So.ILL —

    The sequester was a bipartisan deal to “kick the can down the road.” Now it’s up to the GOP and Dems to prevent the sequester from going into effect. It’s obviously going to take a compromise on spending cuts and revenue increases. Same thing here in IL. This is not a time for political gamesmanship.

  65. - soccermom - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 4:01 pm:

    Word — that is fascinating. We just studied a case history of the MacArthur firing in one of my classes — they didn’t mention the VP thing. Really interesting.

    Jeep — I was actually offering real advice (at a much lower rate than normal.) If the ILGOP would end its obsessive focus on Madigan and start making a case to the voters, they would be so much better off. But hey — if crabbing about Madigan is more fun than actually going to battle and getting something accomplished, I am more than cool with that.

  66. - So. ILL - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 4:15 pm:

    Going nuclear - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 3:35 pm:

    OK can you honestly tell me that when I heard the President say he would veto any attempt to change the automatic spending cuts that I was just dreaming or something? That happened. Also, what’s happening now is POTUS is on every media outlet lambasting the GOP for not offering a solution. However, if they offered a solution, they would be lambasted for each cut they proposed. This is mirror image relatable to this entire thread. If the GOP offers an idea, it is slammed. If the GOP does nothing, the GOP is slammed. If the GOP is in the super minority in both IL chambers and does not occupy the Governor’s mansion, which is the case now, then when nothing happens this session in regard to pension reform or a balanced budget or the backlog of bills, Republicans will wear the jacket. Why? See So. ILL @ 1:29 PM.

  67. - walkinfool - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 4:20 pm:

    It’s a little more complicated than it appears.

    Good GOP legislators, and yes there are many, do have good ideas and do propose them. Some of them are included in the pension proposals being pushed mostly by Dems right now, for example, and there have been many other cases of team creation of solutions. The best ideas coming from GOP legislators often end up within bills sponsored by Dems, which are then favored in the sausage-making process.

    Bi-partisanship in substance, (but not in appearance), can be supported by the current process and leadership. But politics then raises its ugly head on both sides.

    Here’s the rub: these hybrid bills will often be brought to fruition only as long as the party in power will get chief sponsorship and public credit for the bill.

    Conversely, the GOP will frequently caucus and decide as a group to vote against their own ideas, even when they are a substantial part of a bill, if the Dems or the Governor might get the most credit for passing it.

    The process is not helpful or fair, but there it is.

    The responsible thing for any legislator to do is to keep proposing, and drafting bulls, and get the right things done for the state, regardless of who might get initial credit for fixing something. They can then claim their rightful credit for what they accomplished as part of a team.

    General letters about the other party not fixing things, without firm specifics of your own, is a waste of everybody’s time.

  68. - soccermom - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 4:39 pm:

    Walk — Somebody smarter than I am once said you can accomplish anything if you don’t care who gets the credit. I realize that’s not a winning strategy in politics — but if you come out with a good idea and take it to the public early, it’s hard for the other side to take credit for it when it happens.

    I just spent a great hour listening to Governor Jerry Brown talk about his move to increase state income and sales taxes, after he had cut billions (BILLIONS! MANY BILLIONS!) from the state budget. He needed two GOP votes in each house to pass the tax increase, but couldn’t get anybody from the other side to put votes on the bill. So instead, he put a referendum on the ballot and passed a tax increase without their help.

    So tell me — is the Cal GOP better off for their intransigence? Or did they let the Democratic Governor take full credit for a popular move to put the state back on a solid fiscal footing — a move that almost immediately led to a boost in their bond rating?

    I sure wouldn’t want to run against Brown in ‘14.

  69. - Rep. Ed Sullivan - Friday, Feb 22, 13 @ 5:17 pm:

    House Republicans were joined by the Senate Republicans in this letter that asked the Majority party what their plan was to address the shortcomings of the FY ’13 budget. The FY ’13 budget was built around the belief that there would be cost savings from BI-PARTISAN reforms to the Medicaid program (SMART ACT/Community Care Program) and the Group Health Insurance program. The letter further discusses the Governor’s inability to finalize the AFSCME contract and the overall lack of movement and potential savings from Pension reform. Unfortunately none of these reforms have taken place. Republicans did participate in these reforms. The Democrat leadership has not demanded that they be enacted leaving a $1 Billion shortfall in the budget as well as potentially another $1 Billion in savings in Pension reform. There seems to be a relationship of convenience with the Majority Party. When they need hard votes they want to wrap their arms around the Minority Party. When they don’t need us anymore they tell us to go take a walk. So, this letter has one purpose; What is the plan to enact the reforms that were passed into law? When there is an answer to how they enact the reforms then the budget process can run more smoothly. The hope is that this will be done in a bi-partisan manner.

    Rep. Ed Sullivan

  70. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 25, 13 @ 8:02 am:

    Rep. Sullivan,

    First, with much respect.

    Thank you for posting a response to what we have been questioning, and trying to clear up it’s purpose.

    Again, with respect, If you have to explain the purpose of a letter for something that should be easily explained without the fear of it being misinterpreted, then you may be “losing the argument” for the letter.

    You are losing the perception of being engaged when explaining you are “waiting”… by asking about “the plan to enact the reforms passed into law”, and then stating “when there is an answer to how they enact the reforms, then …” that again, sounds a bit passive, and sounds like a question that could be asked without a 2 page letter making all of you,(you stated that House Republicans were joined by Senate Republicans, making it sound, by you, as all are involved) seem even less engaged in the whole process.

    Finally, as you explain away from the letter, the political realities of being removed from the process by the ballot box last November and being in the Minority and all that entails, it sounds, to me, more about the challenges of being in the Minority, and not much about the process of being engaged in what needs to be done.

    That is just how I saw, and see, this letter. I am sure there are things you may not see the way I see them, as I just showed you things I have a disagreement with you. I do respect you coming here, and explaining your points, and explaining the purpose of the letter itself.

    That being said, the bottom line is if a two page letter needs to be explained, then you may be losing the argument in the process.

    As a last thought, I am responding to your thoughts in hopes to try to help, and in no way dismissing your thoughts or the thoughts of the letter, and I hope you take the feedback as a positive, learning what others are thinking, which is my intent here with you.

    Again, with much respect, and thank you for taking the time to give us a straight answer to some questions, even when some, like mine, were not the nicest.

    Thank you.


    Oswego Willy

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