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Quinn cries fowl on Rauner budget plan

Thursday, Jun 12, 2014

* From a point-by-point rebuttal by the Quinn campaign to Bruce Rauner’s “plan,” which is far better than the campaign’s initial hyperventilating response…

Here are some corrections and context.


RAUNER: Mentions $12M in payments to the deceased…over 44 years.

FACT: Most of it has already been recouped and every penny will be recovered in the coming months.

Prairie Chickens

RAUNER: Claims Gov. Quinn flew prairie chickens around.

FACT: Um, no he did not. State hunters pay a fee into an endangered species replenishment fund that transported this species. The federal government also supports this program. State taxpayers did not pay a single dime for this endangered species program.

Supreme Court

RAUNER: Counts $40 million in spending as “waste.”

FACT: Enhancing the state’s probation system to keep Illinois residents safer is hardly wasteful.

Governor’s Pension and Salary

RAUNER: Says he won’t take any pay.

FACT: In 2012, Rauner took in $53 million, about 300 times the Governor’s salary. Guess only millionaires and billionaires need apply.

Defined Contribution System for Legislators

RAUNER: Claims the change would save $60 million over 30 years.

FACT: Gov. Quinn’s REAL pension reform to the General Assembly Retirement System will save taxpayers $302 million over 30 years. Quinn’s full pension reform law saves Illinois taxpayers $140 BILLION over the next 30 years.

Constitutional Office Budgets

RAUNER: Wants a 10 percent cut.

FACT: Already happening - Governor Quinn has already reduced the Governor’s Office budget by more than 25 percent and called for other constitutionals to follow suit.

Comptroller and Treasurer’s Office

RAUNER: Wants a merger.

FACT: Doesn’t understand this requires a constitutional amendment.

CMS Cuts

RAUNER: Wants to cut $500 Million from Central Management Services.

FACT: CMS is the agency that handles administration of much of what the state does. It polices state purchases and makes sure they are handled fairly. Saying you can just cut the administrative agency that identifies efficiencies and achieves economies by finding better deals for taxpayers shows just how little Rauner understands about state government.

Medicaid Verification Reform

RAUNER: Wants it.

FACT: Already happening. And as a result of the Governor’s efforts to root out waste, fraud and abuse, Illinois is expected to save about $86 million this year. Not only has the Governor cut waste, he overhauled the state’s Medicaid program entirely in 2012, which has so far saved taxpayers more than $3 billion.

By the way, I brazenly stole the above headline from a “47th Ward” comment.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 4:11 pm:

    Why did the chicken cross the road?

    To distance itself from that embarassingly awful budget blueprint Rauner just unveiled.

  2. - Jimbo - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    Why did Bruce Rauner’s budget cross the road? Becaue it was stapled to the prairie chicken.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    Is this an ‘Up’ day for the Rauner Crew?

    The headline was way too good to pass up.

  4. - Just Trying to Survive - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 4:23 pm:

    To the uninformed Rauner’s plan might look like he’d actually be doing something. However, by listing what he did, he was playing it absolutely safe so as not to ruffle any feathers (of the prairie chickens…). What a wimp.

  5. - Mason born - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 4:27 pm:

    This would almost be comical if it weren’t for the fact that we and our families live here. Bumbling Incompetant on one side empty suit on the other.

  6. - Newsclown - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 4:29 pm:

    Quinn’s statements are all true except the one about reducing his office budget. What he’s been doing there is to offload governor’s office expenses into the budgets of other agencies so it shows up in the books of IDOT or Ag or Corrections or whatever, instead of the Gov’s office accounting books.

  7. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 4:31 pm:

    “Well they blew up the Chicken Man at Midway today,

    Now they blew up his budget plan, too.

    Down under the Big Dome they’re gettin’ ready for a fight

    Gonna see what them Rauner boys can do…”

  8. - Anon. - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    ==Saying you can just cut the administrative agency that identifies efficiencies and achieves economies by finding better deals for taxpayers shows just how little Rauner understands about state government.==

    Wait — I thought we were talking about CMS!
    My take on all this is Casey Stengel — “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

  9. - Leave a Light on George - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 4:41 pm:

    ‘FACT: CMS is the agency that handles administration of much of what the state does. It polices state purchases and makes sure they are handled fairly. Saying you can just cut the administrative agency that identifies efficiencies and achieves economies by finding better deals for taxpayers shows just how little Rauner understands about state government.”

    Not Fact It’s Fiction.

  10. - Oneman - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 5:03 pm:

    Too bad his response isn’t going to get any play since I think the KKK comments in that endorsement thing Quinn was at will get more attention

  11. - Downstate Illinois - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 5:10 pm:

    Newsclown, didn’t Quinn learn that from Walker?

    As to CMS saving money, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone in state government who would back up that statement when it comes to the agency’s actual operations.

  12. - Amalia - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 5:12 pm:

    what a week. Cantor loses to Professor “it’s a miracle,” and Rauner gives a gift that will keep on giving.

  13. - Wensicia - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 5:30 pm:

    When I think of all the serious issues Rauner could have highlighted, the fact that he chose the endangered Prairie Chicken as his optic stuns me…

    This childlike comprehension of state issues and campaign themes doesn’t speak to low information voters, instead a lower information candidate.

  14. - Skirmisher - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 5:36 pm:

    “Bumbling Incompetant on one side empty suit on the other.” Mason born speaks to the guts of the issue in the November election.

  15. - Federalist - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 5:44 pm:

    FACT: Quinn’s full pension reform law saves Illinois taxpayers $140 BILLION over the next 30 years.

    Hardly a FACT- at least yet. So If I were Quin I would not go there unless he has the inside line on the ISC. If so, please share with the rest of us rabble.

    Otherwise he makes a lot of good points and Rauner still has not put out a credible budget and tax plan.

  16. - Chris - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 5:49 pm:

    “Hardly a FACT- at least yet.”

    Question is: Is Rauner’s plan to impose a ‘401k’ on the legislature constitutional, too? If it is not, then that is apples to apples by PQ.

    Really, Rauner needs to stay away from claimed savings from pension reform, unless it is lead-pipe-lock constitutional, *unless* he is claiming (based on reasonable scoring of the plan) substantially more savings than PQ is.

  17. - Andrew Szakmary - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 6:01 pm:

    Comptroller and Treasurer’s Office

    RAUNER: Wants a merger.

    FACT: Doesn’t understand this requires a constitutional amendment.

    How can Quinn ignore the plain meaning of a constitution he solemnly swore to defend with regard to diminishing pensions, and now cite that very same constitution as a barrier to combining the Comptroller and Treasurer’s Offices? I think this take hypocricy to a new level.

  18. - LincolnLounger - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 6:05 pm:

    I’m kind of impressed at this rapid response from Team Quinn. Way more adept than I would have given credit.

    Conversely, this high powered and bloated payroll Rauner product is humiliatingly amateurish.

    That being stated, it might look way different with thousands of media points behind it.

  19. - Tom Pliura, M.D. - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 6:50 pm:

    I previously thought Capitol Fax blog was an objective attempt to sort through the baloney and objectively report political news in Illinois. I previously ran in the 2010 Primary for State Senate (and I lost handily), as a first time candidate. But I had my eyes opened to how the political process works. I am now of the opinion Capitol Fax is not an objective attempt to report political news, but is instead simply a re-packaged website designed to slant the news to favor the desired politician/political party favored by those reporting the “news”. I guess that really should not surprise me, but I had been somewhat fooled for a long time. I never cease to be amazed by the abundance of individuals who have self-appointed themselves as authorities on subject matter about which they have little, if any real experience or knowledge. On the other hand, we do still live in the United States where people are allowed to freely express whatever opinions they wish, notwithstanding the fact that they have no real basis for to say what they are saying. I get a kick out of some of these blogs, which I occasionally review. For example, I am amused with the concept that if someone types out the word “FACT” and then thereafter writes a comment, I am somehow expected to believe the comments after the word FACT is automatically true. I hold no authority over granting or denying anyone the ability to express their individual opinions. But quite often, I find the comments and writings on this blog so extraordinarily ridiculous that it strains my ability to keep my mouth shut. I am not an authority on much of anything, but many people who comment on this blog would be well-served to take a step back, and call a time out, before they fire off comments about subject matter they clearly have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Tom Pliura, Le Roy, Illinois (

  20. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 6:57 pm:


    This looks a lot like one of those stunts you see when the candidate is handed the steering wheels of the campaign.

    As I said yesterday, the new clock website is more psych ops than campaign tactic, designed to rattle the campaign.

    I can’t believe that someone as disciplined as Rauner has been apparently lost his cool so badly. And chickens? Gracious. “Rauner Budget Plan Lays an Egg”

    About the only thing worse than this media event is the threat of more just like it.

  21. - Wensicia - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 7:06 pm:

    @Tom Pliura, M.D.

    If you think so little of us and this blog, why bother coming here or commenting? I’m sure you can find the right echo chamber elsewhere.

  22. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 7:09 pm:

    ===is instead simply a re-packaged website designed to slant the news to favor the desired politician/political party favored by those reporting the “news===

    First, bite me.

    Second, you are seeing only what you want to see. Ask PQ about whether he thinks I’ve been nice to him.


    Also, take a look at what we did to the Squeezy the Python rollout. You think this was harsh? Not even close. Stop being a victim.

  23. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 7:12 pm:

    FWIW, the majority of commenters in the Rauner Facebook page think the “plan” is great.
    #snark (mostly)

  24. - A modest proposal - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 7:27 pm:

    Tom Pluria just went Rogue Elephant all over Capitol Fax. #Snark

  25. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 7:38 pm:

    Dr. Pliura:

    On behalf of everyone here at Capitolfax, particularly all of the regular commenters, I want to offer the sincerest apology I can for offending you.

    As a token of my sincerity, please accept this free chicken. It is like new.

    While we humble folks here at Capfax may not have PhDs or JDs or MDs, most of us did graduate high school.

    And so we understand that when a candidate offers a “plan” to balance the budget that is so utterly lacking, to the point where even if you believed Rauner was going to prestidigitate $500 million outta CMS, THIS PROPOSAL STILL LEAVES A $3 BILLION HOLE.

    So yeah, we consider ourselves pretty knowledgeable on arithmetic.

    As for your charge of bias: an old time lawmaker once said to me “We already have term limits. They are called elections.”

    My retort: “Not if you guys can’t run better candidates than Topinka.”

    My point: Politics is Darwinian. I would like to see Democrats offer better candidates with better ideas. But until Republicans can nominate better candidates with better ideas than what we saw today, there is no selective process to force my party to evolve.

    Rauner was awful today, plain and simple.

    Maybe a bump in the road, or a sign of thinks to come…but news broke this am that he was up ten points in the polls and he managed to bury it.

  26. - olddog - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 7:41 pm:

    === I am not an authority on much of anything, but many people who comment on this blog would be well-served to take a step back, and call a time out, before they fire off comments about subject matter they clearly have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. ===

    Good advice! I hope you follow it.

    While you’re taking a step back and thinking things over before you fire off your next comment, why don’t you learn how to recognize material that is obviously in a direct quotation? For example when “someone types out the word ‘FACT’ and then thereafter writes a comment” in Quinn’s press release quoted above. Here’s a tip sheet for college students writing their English papers that may help you understand the difference:

  27. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 7:41 pm:

    – I am now of the opinion Capitol Fax is not an objective attempt to report political news, but is instead simply a re-packaged website designed to slant the news to favor the desired politician/political party favored by those reporting the “news”.–

    Don’t leave us hanging, cousin, who’s Rich in the tank for, Quinn or Rauner?

    Don’t worry, no matter how you answer, it will be very amusing.

    And hit that return button every once in a while, too. Easier on the eyes. Much obliged.

  28. - MrJM (@MisterJayEm) - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 8:13 pm:

    Dr. Thomas Pliura, MD,

    Next time, consider using paragraphs.

    – MrJM

  29. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 8:15 pm:

    == I previously ran in the 2010 Primary for State Senate==
    Actually, it was the 2012 Republican Primary, Dr. Tom. Those pesky facts again.

  30. - Amalia - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 8:26 pm:

    Dr. Pliura, physician, heal thyself.

  31. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 8:28 pm:

    I would trust Rich Miller’s knowledge of Illinois politics over Tom Pliura’s any day of the week. Having an MD doesn’t make you an expert in anything except medicine.

  32. - x ace - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 9:52 pm:

    Looked up Pliura. Says he’s a lawyer too ?
    But he didn’t use J.D. after his name just M.D. Does he thinks Dr.’s are better than lawyers ?
    His comment suggests other initials may fit.

  33. - Getting Their Dues - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 11:24 pm:

    Anybody who read Pliura’s entire post above, raise your hand.

    I thought so.

    100 words or less, please.

  34. - PublicServant - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 6:18 am:

    FACT: Jeez, we’re tickin off docs now guys. Let’s tamp it down a bit, ok?

  35. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 7:03 am:

    - Tom Pliura, M.D. -,

    We are a community here, and Rich runs a real good place.

    On any given day, the “GOP” will complain, and give it about 10 minutes, and the “Dems” will have a beef.

    The reality is, and what makes this place so special is that you do something well, you will get praise, you do something Dopey, you will find yourself “in the barrel” and you will take some lumps.

    Rich keeps us all in line, and the commenters here help with that. Drive-bys are torn down, talking point and boiler plate are mocked, and you better have facts, because opinion sold as fact is really put in its place.

    - Tom Pliura, M.D. -, your clueless idea of what this place is, and what goes on puts in perspective more about your own biases than understanding what a community says about the politics it sees.

    Please think before you comment, read before you question, and comprehend before you question.

    This is the deep end of the pool of political blogs. Attacking the host and this community is not only bad form, but risky because your ignorance is now on full display.

    With kindest personal regards, I remain.

    Sincerely yours,

    Oswego Willy

  36. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 7:25 am:

    Ow… You forgot the host has an eclectic taste in music… For an older fella… He will be the DJ at the party Willy… Tom you are invited, like here, all are welcome. I disagree with much, but learn so much more from the other views. Nobody get’s a pass. This was a HUGE mis-step by Rauner. Probably the first by a well run campaign. Time will tell if it was an anomaly or they learn…fast.

  37. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 7:27 am:

    The reason you will get Term Limits here in Illinois is because those on power have become arrogant. Those in power, on both sides of the aisle, have failed to learn from history. Sir Rauner has appeared on the scene and the lifers clearly understand what this means….the writing is on the wall….and no matter how the lifers squirm….no matter how much dust is thrown into the air….Term Limits are coming…and my, oh, my, how the landscape will change……and the ‘ole man and his court…his entourage….well that is over….and the people will take back what is theirs….

  38. - Tom Pliura - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 7:32 am:

    The term limits comment was from me. I neglected to sign my name to it. My apologies.

    Tom Pliura
    LeRoy, IL

  39. - Chi - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 8:02 am:

    That Term Limits comment has a certain “Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction” feel to it.

  40. - Jimbo - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 9:09 am:

    Term limits will come when you either the legislature proposes an amendment, or the constitution is changed by convention. Not before. Maybe you should read up on the history of the issue Tom.

  41. - Walker - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 9:22 am:

    Dr. Tom: You say that term limits are the real threat to the “lifers”, and that’s the real reason why Rauner’s budget “savings” are being unfairly criticized?

    Perhaps you might consider that what is being expressed here is frustration and disappointment, because we want to get the best state budget possible, with real smart savings where they are, and flimsy claims won’t get us there.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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