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Today’s most excellent rant

Monday, Jun 16, 2014

* Mike Flannery went off on the General Assembly recently for its “grotesque irresponsibility” when passing a new state budget. Some of what he said…

“I can’t recall seeing as irresponsible budget as was just approved… You’d think that the whole General Assembly was on medical marijuana when they were passing this thing. It’s grotesquely out of balance… They emptied their whole dirty bag of tricks to make it look balanced.”

Yep, yep and yep.

* Watch the video clip

We’ve given Bruce Rauner a very hard time over the past few days for his stupid chicken stunt, but what the GA did was all too real, not some campaign gimmick.

The full interview is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


34 Comments
  1. - Bill White - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    Too many Democratic members of the Illinois House seem to believe that if they close their eyes and wish hard enough they can avoid the difficult choice between;

    (A) 5% income tax

    and

    (B) Devastating cuts

    Bruce Rauner’s phony baloney budget is his attempt to avoid this very same dilemma.

    But remember, Quinn, Cullerton and Madigan all faced this issue openly and head on.


  2. - Bourbonrich - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    I agree that the general assembly punted this issue and I am still waiting for either party to address realistically what happens on Jan. 1 when income goes down 12.5%. The budget that passed has no relationship to reality but don’t blame just the Democrats if no one else offers an alternative.


  3. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    But remember, Quinn, Cullerton and Madigan all faced this issue openly and head on

    Ummm, he could veto it immediately.


  4. - Norseman - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    This budget should be Exhibit A in the pension lawsuit showing that the General Assembly is incapable of acting responsibly. The pension diminishment clause was put in place to protect employees from irresponsible actions by the General Assembly. This General Assembly showed that they expect the employees to suffer for their irresponsible actions and that they are free to continue such actions.


  5. - LizPhairTax - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    Tasteful shirt this time at least, Mr. Flannery.


  6. - Sun - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    I always pay keen attention when the “newsman” is yelling.


  7. - William j Kelly - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    Flannery is very smart… Smart enough to know which side of the bread is buttered! I woooooonder what turned Flannery into a Rauner/ iPi guy after years of being a Daley guy? Gee… I woooonder???


  8. - Bill White - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    == Ummm, he could veto it immediately. ==

    Perhaps, but Quinn, Madigan and Cullerton have already been more honest and transparent about the budget situation than any prominent Republican has been.


  9. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    ===”But remember, Quinn, Cullerton and Madigan all faced this issue openly and head on.”===

    In what universe?


  10. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    Many of the Democrats and all of the Republicans would have voted no on keeping the income tax increase.

    The way I see a fault with Madigan and others perhaps is that they didn’t offer a compromise budget, with the income tax gradually diminishing. Would that have solved the problem in this anti-tax atmosphere? I can’t answer that question.

    If a compromise plan would have not been acceptable, and the tax increase could not have been kept in any form, who would be to blame then? I think the voters share in some of this blame, but which political pundit would slam them?

    We can see how this problem has hampered Rauner, who announces a “chicken” budget that doesn’t address the lack of revenue in the future. A robust budget plan would stick it to someone, either the taxpayers with a tax increase or government workers and recipients of government benefits. Rauner doesn’t want to “go there.” Quinn has been there, and he knows how painful it is politically.


  11. - Norseman - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    Beyond the rant - which was very good by the way - Flannery had an interesting interview with Vallas and Martire. Of course, Vallas danced around the issue of what Quinn is going to do with this joke of a budget: noting that more work is to be done. Everyone took pot shots at the Raunervich non-plan.


  12. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    I don’t know. Shorting pension payments year after year and pension holidays have to be in the class picture when you’re talking most irresponsible budgets.


  13. - Frenchie Mendoza - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:20 pm:


    A robust budget plan would stick it to someone, either the taxpayers with a tax increase or government workers and recipients of government benefits.

    If Rauner wins, the first target is the state employees. We know he’ll “go there” within days — if not on the first day — of being sworn in.

    The question is not whether he will do it. The question is whether he will admit to voters that state employees are, indeed, his primary target.

    The next target is the union. We know this, we know this. Rauner will claim he has no agenda for union issues, but of course he does: his benefactors want the unions busted. Rauner will do attempt to this as one of his first “reform” measures.


  14. - Amalia - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    Ah, Flannery. Sox fan, Stones fan, rant man.


  15. - OneMan - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    Frenchie Mendoza,

    I suspect if you polled voters and asked your choices are

    A) Increase your taxes
    B) Pay state workers less and/or have fewer of them.

    Like it or B is going to win big.


  16. - Fed up - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    The general assembly rule one is protect the majority. What’s best for the state how naive. As long as madigans and culler tons law practices are thriving off state contractor and campaign donors tax appeals who cares about the rest of the state.


  17. - Norseman - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    === I suspect if you polled voters and asked your choices are

    A) Increase your taxes
    B) Pay state workers less and/or have fewer of them.

    Like it or B is going to win big. ===

    Which proves what, that people would prefer someone else get screwed to themselves having to pay more money. No surprise there. That doesn’t make it right or fair.


  18. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:32 pm:

    ===I can’t recall seeing as irresponsible budget as was just approved===

    He must have a terrible memory. This budget process was horrid, for sure, but wordslinger@1:20pm has it right that there is a line out the door in the competition for most irresponsible budget even in the last decade.


  19. - Empty Suit - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    The whole general assembly? It appeared that only the democrats voted for the budget. Maybe he should have asked Vallas about that $300k per yr contract he got from the Illinois State Board of Education.


  20. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    “If Rauner wins, the first target is the state employees. We know he’ll “go there” within days — if not on the first day — of being sworn in.”

    Perhaps, but he’s staying away from it for now, because of the political fallout. One scare seems to be enough for Rauner. The less he riles up the unions, the better.

    “A) Increase your taxes
    B) Pay state workers less and/or have fewer of them”

    I don’t think it’s that simple. If you added information, such as should the wealthy be taxed a little more to save state jobs, more people may answer yes. When put in the context of other proposals, the voters may have different answers.


  21. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    –”If Rauner wins, the first target is the state employees. We know he’ll “go there” within days — if not on the first day — of being sworn in.”–

    I’m not convinced that Rauner wants to “do” anything.

    I know for sure he wants the gig, but I think it’s more of an ego thing than anything else. He wants the trappings of the office, something he can’t buy.

    Is he going to bang his head against Madigan and Cullerton super-majorities every day for some “agenda?” I doubt it.

    He’s been playing ball with inside guys like that a whole lot longer than he’s been on the rubber-chicken circuit.


  22. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    He has been covering the budget process for several decades, and THIS is the worse? That is saying something, even if others could debate him on the definition of worse.

    When a Mr. Flannery has lost his patience with the current state of affairs in Illinois, and is willing to openly say so on television - you shouldn’t dismiss him by claiming he is ranting. If he is ranting, then what about the rest of us? Polls repeatedly show that Illinoisans are unhappy, yet we keep hearing from the administration’s defenders myriad excuses that these people are playing victims, are basically complainers, are Republicans, are ignorant, or some other type of malcontent.

    Millions of Illinoisans and dozens of Dome watchers, are probably not wrong.

    What the Governor has to do is act like a governor and denounce the budget in a spectacular veto message. Quinn has to throw this embarrassing mess right back at Madigan and Cullerton. It is what they are for, in an election year where the polls show Quinn trailing.

    This is a big chance for Quinn to clear the air on this kind of government. Quinn can turn this into his own rant on how he has been ignored repeatedly on the tough questions he has the willingness to lead the state through. Quinn can take a stand. He can renew calls for a balanced budget. He can stand for good government, blah, blah, blah - and explain again why he supported a continuation of the income tax increase.

    This can be Quinn’s chance to demonstrate that he is just as ticked off at the GA and the messes he has inherited as Rauner. This is when Quinn can tell voters that we don’t have to wait for someone else to “shake up Springfield”, because with his veto pen - the shaking up begins NOW.

    Be a governor, Governor!


  23. - OneMan - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    I don’t think it’s that simple. If you added information, such as should the wealthy be taxed a little more to save state jobs, more people may answer yes. When put in the context of other proposals, the voters may have different answers.

    Well yeah…

    If I asked the question…

    Hey how about if I raised someone elses taxes to pay for stuff… I bet you get a lot more answers.

    To make the wealthy pay ‘just a little bit more’ will require the state constitution to be amended.

    That isn’t going to happen in a week even a year.


  24. - illinifan - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    To One Man as others have said the answer is always B because the public firmly believes that there is bloat in state government employment even though Illinois has one of the lowest number of state employees per capita in state employees in the nation. Then when the public gets the results of their B answer and they can’t get the state services they currently pay for, they again yell that it is because of all the bloat and state employees being lazy….it becomes a vicious cycle. It is time for our legislators to step up, be leaders, and vote for what is needed vs. what is expedient.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    Was at lunch with someone and played the rant. Man, that is good stuff.

    To the Post,

    What is difficult for My Party seems to be taking the GA to task. Throw in that holding Quinn accountable is borderline laughable, this rant of where the leaders are, a what is happening is a great way to focus on what message can be simplified to help Durkin win seats, and the SGOP to be impactful when they can.

    It’s as though to get the credibility needed on inept governance, My Party needs Flannery to set the table for credibility.

    This is not about the messenger, but Flannery knowing the message that is out there to make hay, and My Party focusing on just saying no.

    The point that this has been going on for decades is owning the problem, which can lead to solutions, not diluting the partisanship to make it less effective.

    Understand that part of this Quinn fail, this MJM and Cullerton fail… understand that owning part of the decades old problem allows My Party to “hammer” those three is the prism, and Flannery is spot on in a great rant


  26. - ed - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    It’s difficult to believe any budget proposals that can be casually adjusted by 50 mil for votes in Chicago.


  27. - Ahoy! - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    The Governor could have vetoed the budget. Bring everyone back in a campaign year and let the carnage play out for a while before an election.


  28. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    ==He wants the trappings of the office, something he can’t buy….===

    Word-

    I would argue, “He’s trying.”


  29. - Lobo Y Olla - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    Sorry, me at 2:37


  30. - Rod - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    Here is what I think about Mike Flannery’s rant, it was largely BS. The current budget gimmicks are not really any different than the past budget gimmicks that we have seen over the last 20 years. This year instead of shorting the pension funds by $1.2 billion like in 2005, the budget requires approximately $650 million in “inter-fund borrowing,” money taken from state funds to cover general spending. How is this budget really the worst Flannery has seen.


  31. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    Where was Flannery for the FY 2003 budget?


  32. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 7:14 pm:

    So, Dog, tell me about the 2003 budget


  33. - Just Me - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 11:42 pm:

    What about the year the General Assembly didn’t even pass a budget? Remember that year? Just pass one big lump sum and let the Governor figure it all out. Talk about fake governing!!

    I can forgive Rauner for not governing, he is just a candidate. I can’t forgive Quinn/Madigan/Cullerton. They wanted to win all those elections so they could make the touch decisions: SO MAKE THEM!


  34. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 8:59 am:

    @Just Me:

    Um, there has always been a budget passed. A lump sum budget (crappy as it may be) counts as a passed budget.

    Also, I can’t forgive Rauner for being ignorant of the budget as he showed with his absolutely pathetic budget “rollout” the other day. It’s not his job to govern as you say. But it would be nice if, as a candidate, he might give me just a little hint as to what he plans on doing when he can govern.


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