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So, where are all these great ideas?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

* Tribune

Early in 2013, as Bruce Rauner was still mulling a run for governor, the Republican businessman said he was working hard on a plan to fix Illinois’ broken pension system. “We are doing a lot of research on that topic and we have some good ideas coming,” he told WTTW-Ch. 11 back then.

Fast-forward 15 months

“We are doing all the detailed analysis now and we’ll discuss that when we unveil our plan,” Rauner said when asked to explain his pension plans after a campaign event Monday. He did not say when to expect that unveiling.

You really should go read the whole thing.

* More from the story

Candidates for major office typically offer up detailed position papers on education, the environment, public safety, taxes and other issues. Rauner, throughout a lengthy primary campaign and now two months into a general election battle, has largely confined himself to verbal shorthand.

Rauner’s campaign website’s “Issues” page is mostly just pablum and brief talking points.

* Even the legendary and usually mild-mannered WGN agriculture commentator Orion Samuelson is starting to get fed up. Check out what he told Rauner on Steve Cochran’s radio show late last month

“I continue to be disappointed by the lack of reference to the state’s most important industry, agriculture.”

Samuelson asked Rauner if he had an agriculture advisory committee. Rauner said he didn’t yet have any advisory groups on any issues, but said the groups were “in formation.”

Rauner then promised to work closely with Samuelson and called ag “the backbone of the Illinois economy.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


46 Comments
  1. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    In regards to the last sentence of this post.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJQ4SwC0Rbg


  2. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    Where’s the beef, Bruce?


  3. - Norseman - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    I suspect his campaign staff will be working on specifics right up to election eve.


  4. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    Let’s hear those specifics, Bruce. You’re the numbers guy.


  5. - Neglected stepchild - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    He has no need to serve up details. It would only divert attention from the stumbling, bumbling antics of our Failure-In-Chief Quinn and his water boys Madigan and Cullerton.


  6. - Walker - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    Rauner should just stop promising something detailed will be “coming soon” on any topic.

    He’s starting to disappoint even some of his own supporters.


  7. - steve schnorf - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Neglected, if you believe Madigan and Cullerton are Quinn’s waterboys, you are operating in some other distorted dimension so your observations may not have much value to us here on earth.


  8. - From the 'Dale to HP - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    ==Rauner said he didn’t yet have any advisory groups on any issues, but said the groups were “in formation.”==

    Ummm, are we aware if Rauner knows he’s running for Governor and if he wins he actually has to govern? That statement above is downright frightening and shows someone who isn’t prepared nor taking this very serious.


  9. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    The plan is….. I want the gig.

    I want to be on TV. I want to hold press conferences. I want to be on “Meet the Press” I want a police escort. I want bodyguards. I want people to stand when I enter a room.

    All these dumb bunny governors who don’t have a fraction of my cash get that stuff. I want it.


  10. - DuPage Bard - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    “Filipino tilt-a-whirl operators are this nation’s backbone.”- Cam Brady


  11. - Just Observing - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    Rauner is making it more and more difficult to support him. I’m no fan of Quinn, but Rauner’s lack of specificity is tiresome.


  12. - Cassandra - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    That’s a good point about the position papers, or lack thereof. This lack may well rival his unnecessarily harsh anti-union rhetoric as a rookie mistake. How many more rookie mistakes does he get? And how hard can it be given his personal financial resources to come up with some plausible “blueprints for change,” and the like.
    At least the blueprints would make it seem like he’s interested in doing the actual job of governing.


  13. - Wensicia - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    “We are doing all the detailed analysis now and we’ll discuss that when we unveil our plan..”

    We? What’s this We stuff? You are running for governor, Rauner, you shouldn’t need a committee to decide what you’ll do once elected. Keep evading questions and telling reporters your people will get back to you on this. Who’s gonna vote for a guy who can’t state his own opinions and plans?


  14. - RNUG - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    After reading the Trib story, the only thing I’m sure of is that Rauner’s position on pensions is “evolving”.

    If I was guessing, he’s seen just how much of a push back the unions managed in a few weeks during the primary and is worried about the general, he’s seen polls showing the teachers and other workers have the public’s support, and decided he needs to “walk back” some of his more drastic pension statements. Maybe Rauner figures it’s going to be a close election and he needs to try to regain some of those voters?

    If you take the current statements at face value, then Rauner is now opposed to most of the savings contained in SB0001, specifically the change to the AAI. It also sounds like Rauner is saying he would leave the current retirees alone and just offer a (forced?) choice to current workers and new hires. The changes to new hires would be legal; under current understanding of ISC rulings, the changes to existing workers would probably not be legal … that would be depend on whether it was a real, voluntary choice or not.

    Too bad we can’t be sure where he really stands on this issue …


  15. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    Sorry I didn’t see the link first time.

    Is there anybody on the statewide ballot running a solid campaign or have legitimate staff. I feel so many mistakes from the gubernatorial to the treasurer’s race are being made. Now is the time to gain an edge and gain ground. Not 7 days from the election


  16. - Sangamo Sam - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    “I want to be on TV. I want to hold press conferences. I want to be on ‘Meet the Press’ I want a police escort. I want bodyguards. I want people to stand when I enter a room.”

    Word: That all sounds so….Blagojevichian.


  17. - NoBody's Perfect - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    Down here at HQ we are working on how we missed snagging DOT Food heiress Jill Tracy to be our honorary chair ..and lost her to AG Candidate Shrimp….a tragic development
    If we offered plans we would just back track anyway so who cares?


  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    As Robert Redford said in “The Candidate”

    “Now what?”

    Both Rauners want to be Governor, to be “Governor”. That Rauner Crew’s only goal is to be on top Election Night.

    Heck, that is the very goal of EVERY campaign, but the goal of winning IS the Rauner. “Finish Line”.

    Do whatever needs to be said, put in Ads, agitate any and every person, group, class, no matter.

    It’s “The Candidate” mentality, with “Citizen Kane” persona of wealth and hubris.

    I am slow to - wordslinger - pointing this out, but it’s being shown to me more and more, with less and less being articulated.


  19. - MrJM - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    I suspect his campaign staff will be working on specifics right up to election eve.

    And if they win, well into the new year.

    – MrJM


  20. - illlinifan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    Sangamo Sam you are right….Blago talked big and delivered little….it is beginning to appear Rauner does the same. If you have ideas, say them and then also say you need to conduct research how they can be implemented…that is the purpose of calling yourself an idea man…you have to share the ideas and not say we will find out what you think only if we elect you….we have been there, done that and have been burned too many times.


  21. - Norseman - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    Steve, people like Neglected are trolls. They don’t bother with any facts. They simply spout off with goofy drive-by comments. Rich doesn’t like it when we feed the trolls.


  22. - Annie - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    @Wordslinger

    Touché.


  23. - Frenchie Mendoza - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    I mean, ‘toss under the bus’. Tossing employees under the boss would be entertaining — but it probably isn’t safe and would likely cost the state quite a bit in work-related injuries.


  24. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    The closer he gets to the general election, the more Mr. Rauner becomes aware of how craptastic our state’s finances are, the quieter he seems to get.

    By November he may feel like the virgin chosen to be thrown into the volcano to appease the gods.


  25. - Norseman - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    === Blago talked big and delivered little…. ===

    If this was all that happened during the Blago years, we would have been lucky. What he delivered was budgetary smoke and mirrors to support half-baked program enhancements that left the state in a fiscal mess that will take us a long time to fix.

    That is my fear with Raunervich. He talks big, but he’ll make our fiscal problems worse.


  26. - A Stranger in the Alps - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    Rauner, “Plan, of course I have a very detailed pl….. whoooa everyone look its Quinnochio, what’s that crazy guy doing here?”
    -Play me off Johnny-


  27. - Walker - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    ===The more Mr. Rauner becomes aware of how craptastic our state’s finances are, the quieter he seems to get.===

    VMan strikes with today’s Word Of The Day.


  28. - James formerly from Wrigley - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    Pat Quinn does not have an issues page. Pat Quinn does not list any advisory committees. Has Pat Quinn really been relevantly more specific than Rauner? I couldn’t find any Quinn position papers either. Anyone have links?


  29. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    Speaking of trolls, the highest ranking one in State Government has apparently changed his handle.


  30. - WhoKnew - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    –craptastic–

    Now there’s a word you don’t see everyday!!


  31. - How Ironic - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    @James,

    You’re kidding right? Quinn is the actual Gov, with plenty of past ‘ideas’ and ‘plans’. Some enacted, some not. Rauner is running to replace him.

    Or are you one of those people that calls a General Contractor over to do a $250,000 renovation on your home, and are willing to hand over the entire reno budget, in cash, before the work begins, without even so much as a sketch on the back of a napkin? Are you placated by repeated conversations with the contractor where he says “I have a team of craftsmen (non union of course) and they are working on designs, but I can’t show them to you until after you’ve paid for the work in full”.


  32. - Pete - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    @ How Ironic,

    So we get a contractor (P. Quinn) that promises to get the job done (pay down the back log of bills with the tax increase) on a schedule (Jan. 2015) and on a budget (5% income tax). That contractor was not able to get the job done within budget or schedule and is now asking for more time and money. So should you open your wallet?


  33. - Chris - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    “Or are you one of those people that calls a General Contractor over to do a $250,000 renovation on your home, and are willing to hand over the entire reno budget, in cash, before the work begins, without even so much as a sketch on the back of a napkin? Are you placated by repeated conversations with the contractor where he says “I have a team of craftsmen (non union of course) and they are working on designs, but I can’t show them to you until after you’ve paid for the work in full”.”

    Is my only other choice a guy that says “We have a very talented snake named Squeezy who will do most of the work”?


  34. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    @James:

    Pat Quinn is the Governor. I think what he wants has been pretty clearly put out there. You know, in the form of budgets, legislation, etc. Jeez.


  35. - Anon - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    Rauner says he’ll provide the strong leadership Quinn can’t. Yet Rauner won’t tell us where he wants to lead, yet he expects people to blindly follow. It will work at the Tribune and Paddock.

    One idea Rauner has is to submit a controversial issue — marriag equality — to referendum. Given that proposal, I don’t know how he could criticize the MJM referendums on minimum wage and the millionaire’s tax.


  36. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if once, just once, a candidate actually really did have some of those “great ideas”?

    There is a great opportunity for Rauner, or any candidate, to prove they are different.

    Too bad no one currently running seems to fit the bill. They all talk a good game, though.


  37. - Meanderthal - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    Not a subject I know diddly about but what is wrong with Illinois agriculture that a change in state law, regulation or policy is going to fix?


  38. - Frenchie Mendoza - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    If the idea is great, he’d run on it and advocate the heck out of it on the campaign trail. He’d convert the undecideds with great ideas.

    I suspect Rauner is fairly contemptuous of those that need details. Most business folks tend to be impatient with the “yeah, but can you break that down for me? Can you explain that?”

    The other issue (for me, at least) is that Rauner shows no interest to intellectually engage the difficult issues — pensions, medicaid, taxes. He’s not quick. He’s a poor public speaker. He’s memorized a lot of talking points, but he’s yet to show conviction that he can actually move beyond the talking points. And worst of all, he seems fundamentally “uncurious” about the stuff he doesn’t know about.

    My red flag is that he’s not even asking interesting questions. If he doesn’t have the great ideas, there’s no reason — except politics, of course — that prevents him from asking pointed questions about the stuff he doesn’t know about and wants to know more about. A good, complex question can at least show folks he’s thinking about the issues — even if he doesn’t have great ideas to solve the issues.


  39. - archimedes - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    James @ 12:28. Here is the proposal from Quinn,next year in detail and the next five years in general.

    I wish we had the same from Rauner…

    http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/budget/Pages/BudgetBooks.aspx


  40. - How Ironic - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    @ Pete

    I would rather work with Quinn, who at least got out in front of the pension and backlog by offering a plan, coupled with a tax increase. Like it or not, he stood in front of the voters and got it done. And one can’t argue it was popular.

    Would it be nice if it would sunset as ‘promised’ sure it would. But if the reality of the situation is that fiscally it can’t sunset…well then what do you do?

    Rauner isn’t even making an effort to pretend he has a plan. At some point, even his most ardent supporters have to begin wondering what’s behind the curtain. It’s becoming pretty clear that the only thing he has is big dreams, and no plan.


  41. - archimedes - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    Heck - here is the plan for next year, then the next four years that Rauner wants to be Gov - all on one page, then another without the 5% tax (3.75% instead). Just fill in the big picture stuff:

    http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/budget/Documents/Budget%20Book/FY%202015%20Budget%20Book/FY15%205yr%20blueprint%20to%20secure%20Illinois%20Financial%20Future.pdf

    http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/budget/Documents/Budget%20Book/FY%202015%20Budget%20Book/FY%202015%205yr%20Not%20Recommended%2032614.pdf

    If you want the 3.75% income tax instead of the 5% income tax, all you have to do is cut $5 billion by 2015-16. And, yes, the budget 5 year forecast with the 5% income tax includes the $700 million property tax credit. SO - get rid of that and the income tax could be 4.82%.


  42. - James formerly from Wrigley - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 3:10 pm:

    Thanks everyone.

    @how ironic: In Quinn, I see a carpenter who has built bad houses and lied to the people for whom he built those bad houses. I think i would be insane to hire that contractor again.

    In Rauner, I see a wanna-be carpenter who is seemingly telling me unrealisticly good info. He has no record building private, single family homes, but has done spectacularly in commercial real estate.

    In the end, I think I am going to vote for the unproven guy over the known poor performer. I think overall the question is generally what is worse: a bad choice or a risky choice.


  43. - archimedes - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 3:33 pm:

    Hey, using the Quinn 5 year template, I even have a plan to balance the budget if SB1 is found unconstitutional.

    For 2016-2019, need about $1.2 billion each year to offset the savings from SB1 (per COGFA. Get $700 mil from the Prop Tax Credit, $250 mil from Education (they still get 2% increases each year) and the rest from the annual surplus. It gets even easier the next 5 years, 2020-2025, since the average savings from SB1 foes down to about $940 mil a year.

    What financial crisis? Keep the 5% income tax and it is quite doable.


  44. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    @Meanderthal - Even if you know absolutely nothing about the practice of agriculture at all, you do understand its a business sector that like any other business sector can be affected positively or negatively by state laws and regulations, right?


  45. - Pacman - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 6:37 pm:

    Just look at what other R Gov’s are doing around the country like our neighbors in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana. He will follow the same script. That’s the plan.


  46. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, May 23, 14 @ 12:41 am:

    Remember that Old Song from the 60’s with the Lyrics: “SO tired, SO tired, so tired of waiting for YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!” It was, no doubt, SUCH an old-time Brucie Favorite…that he LIVES it OUT every day…!

    Shucks–I’d be luckier guessing at the Winning Numbers for the Lotto than figuring out what RAUner’s DETAILED Plans for Illinois’ future are..!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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