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Cullerton: “Gov. Rauner has chosen to hold the budget hostage” … “Unlikely we can get anything done”

Sunday, May 31, 2015

* Senate President John Cullerton held a news conference today. Whew

* Cullerton’s complete statement…

When I became Senate President 6 years ago, my top priority was ending the political rancor that had paralyzed this state. After of years of stalemates and political fights, I was committed to changing the tone in Springfield.

It was a goal that I was able to largely accomplish thanks to Republican Leader Christine Radogno. As many of you recall, she and I were elected to the leadership posts in large part because of our personal commitment to working together.

No, it hasn’t always been easy, but we have tackled huge issues and, up until this session, we’d almost always done it together.

Capital bill. McCormick Place reforms. Education reform. Marriage equality. Immigrant drivers licenses. Medicaid reforms. Workers Compensation reforms.

Nothing has been more important to me than working together in a civil, respective manner.

I make it a point to go to dinner over the course of the session with every Republican member. And every year I ask the entire senate, including the Republican caucus to a bipartisan dinner.

I do it because we need to work together. I do it because I respect the Republican members. I do it because we are all elected to come here and solve problems.

Today, I’m disappointed.

The road we started down together six years ago I fear has been abandoned by many Republicans, lured away by the siren song of Bruce Rauner’s campaign cash.

And once again we find ourselves trying to work with a governor who continues to run campaigns rather than run the state that elected him. Rather than roll up his sleeves and work on solutions, he dictates demands and threatens those who defy him.

As you know, a few days ago I attended an end of session leaders meeting.

When I emerged from that meeting I restated my commitment to work with the governor on compromises that will move this state forward. Because I am committed to compromise.

But there was something that I left out of my comments – and that is my disappointment in the direction that this state is about to take under Governor Rauner’s leadership.

The governor made it clear that in the next few days, he will launch a multimillion dollar negative ad campaign designed to demonize those who are standing up for the middle class.

Nothing could be more damaging to the prospects of compromise than deploying Washington style campaign tactics rather than working on bipartisan solutions for this state.

* A few quotes and paraphrases from the Q&A

Gov. Rauner has chosen to hold the budget hostage

Instead of working on his budget, he’s sitting down with his ad writers

When did Giv. Rauner start filming ads…while we were here working on the budget?

He won the campaign, but now he’s gotta govern.

Middle class workers lose, corporate CEOs win. Slash pay, benefits, protections and make more for CEOs. Have nothing to do w state budget.

We don’t have any bills in front of us that would resolve the conflict that he’s created.

In spite of governor’s stated concerns about a balanced budget, his own budget wasn’t balanced from the start:

That budget we passed is going to be very close to the final budget

It’s unlikely we can get anything done.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


24 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:23 pm:

    ===When did Gov. Rauner start filming ads…while we were here working on the budget?===

    If anyone is under the illusion Bruce Rauner wanted compromise, to work together for Illinois…

    …timelines never lie.


  2. - MrJM - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:25 pm:

    “Instead of working on his budget, he’s sitting down with his ad writers”

    If they hammer and hammer this message in advance of the ad blitz, it could frame Rauner’s ads evidence of Rauner’s unwillingness to do the work.

    (But that’s just partisan tactics. I don’t know that it would help get Illinois out of our deep yogurt.)

    – MrJM


  3. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:28 pm:

    ===Instead of working on his budget, he’s sitting down with his ad writers.===

    And…

    ===He won the campaign, but now he’s gotta govern.===

    Understanding that Rauner has never had the stomach to govern and “own” the Rauner Cuts and have those like @StatehouseChick say it’s “Democrat” leaders is why meeting with Ad writers made more sense to the “True Believer Rauner” than the elected Governor Rauner.


  4. - illlinifan - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:39 pm:

    Illustrates how cash can affect partnerships developed….Radogno has sold out and will never get my vote again. I always saw Cullerton as an adult in the room so when he says this kind of thing I have to listen. It will be a long summer


  5. - up2now - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:43 pm:

    We are at an inflection point in the history of the state of Illinois. This is going to be a PATCO moment, for better or worse, one way or another. Hold on to your hats.


  6. - Anonymous - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:44 pm:

    I’ve had the impression (optics?) that campaign cash (or “member initiative” consideration in the budgets) has been used as a lure to get legislators to vote a certain way for a long time. Am I wrong in that impression or is Rauner’s cash to Republicans different than the Chairman of Illinois Democratic Party’s cash to Democrats? Real questions. I’d like to know the difference.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:48 pm:

    Good stuff here…

    ===@hannahmeisel: Cullerton says he’s worried republicans in the legislature will be lured by “siren song of @GovRauner’s campaign cash” instead of compromise===

    If there is any confusion as to why I’m a Republican and still big a supporter of Rauner, here is one of the few points that make only one conclusion for me possible;

    A party co-opted away from diversity and growth by the influx of cash, be it for reward or discipline, no longer understands what being a political party should be about.

    It’s no different with Slytherin ideals than with Raunerite policies, propped up with monies driving a policy, not Republican is scope, but Raunerite in focus.

    The GOP GA. Are they just colored buttons of a voting machine owned by another branch of government? Is GOP GA autonomy that “dangerous” to the state?

    Is it solidary or fear keeping the GOP GA in the Rauner Camp?

    Is $400K more about hearing that sweet siren of cash, or muting the loud alarm of discontent?


  8. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:49 pm:

    “…not a big supporter …”


  9. - Wordslinger - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    Rauner could have been running spots for weeks already if his goal was to build public support for his legislative agenda.

    If he starts running spots in a few days, to purposely sabotage three achievable items — workers comp, property tax, budget — it would suggest he was never pursuing his agenda in good faith in the first place.

    Like Blago, Rauner loves to campaign, but not so much on the governing.


  10. - Macbeth - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:50 pm:


    This is going to be a PATCO moment, for better or worse, one way or another. Hold on to your hats.

    Why in the world would this be a PATCO moment? Maybe because a lot of folks would like to see employees punished — okay. But how does punishment of state employees — who’ve done nothing to cause this — help the state? I’m curious about this?

    Why is massive punishment good for the state? The employees aren’t to blame — for anything. Anything.

    They’ve paid into the pensions, they’ve done what they’ve been told, and they have zero persuasion in how the state is actually run.


  11. - Bored Chairman - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:25 pm:

    I actually admire Cullerton, but his complaints about the negative ads are disingenuous. Starting with Local 150’s infamous attack ad on Rauner and every Republican legislator, to the more recent Democratic Party hit pieces, it was the Democrats who drew first blood. Cullerton’s complaints now sound like the kid who started the fight getting upset that the other kid fights back.


  12. - Austin Blvd - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:30 pm:

    To Anonymous:
    “I’ve had the impression (optics?) that campaign cash (or “member initiative” consideration in the budgets) has been used as a lure to get legislators to vote a certain way for a long time. Am I wrong in that impression or is Rauner’s cash to Republicans different than the Chairman of Illinois Democratic Party’s cash to Democrats? Real questions. I’d like to know the difference.”
    You are wrong.


  13. - Archiesmom - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:40 pm:

    Cullerton is framing his message well - and he’s been pretty damn consistent since day one of this mess. I may be wrong, but right now he’s being the grownup in the room. I wish him luck.


  14. - Team Sleep - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:57 pm:

    Austin - he or she is RIGHT.

    There is no difference. Look at how Speaker Madigan runs his program. If you follow his election/reelection plan, you get cash and workers. If not, you get bupkis. Just ask Rep. Smiddy. Why do you think Rep. Hoffman had and has (and always will have) such a large war chest? He knows that the Speaker will not support him. Speaker Madigan did NOTHING for Rep. Hoffman during the 2008 and 2010 cycles.

    MJM funnels cash to his vulnerable members but he expects some loyalty. That sounds awfully familiar.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 2:10 pm:

    - Team Sleep -,

    With respect,

    Is MJM spending $400K hours BEFORE a vote to all members, as a reminder?

    Nope…


  16. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 2:11 pm:

    Go to a Cubs-Cards game in STL…


  17. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    Write a treatment about a wealthy man running and winning the Governirship of a big state and how his staff is continually putting out or lighting fires.

    It’s a comedy.

    Watch it get turned down dozens of times as unrealistic…


  18. - low level - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 2:35 pm:

    OW: “The GOP GA. Are they just colored buttons of a voting machine owned by another branch of government?”

    Excellent question. I’m not sure anymore. $400,000 to each member before a vote? Wow.


  19. - PublicServant - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 3:25 pm:

    Cullerton is a true statesman. I’m moved by his honesty here, and his disappointment is palpable at the posturing of Radogno. Yet he still wants to work with his colleagues on a shared solution to the state’s problems. Rauner was elected, barely, because he wasn’t Quinn. He never enunciated his turnaround agenda’s specifics. If he did, he wouldn’t have been elected. The people need to follow the bills from Rauner, and ignore his babble. As it has been from time immemorial, actions speak louder than words. Follow his actions people, no his shouted words.


  20. - DuPage Dave - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 4:15 pm:

    Remember when Cullerton and Radogno voted for each other for senate president last time? Looks like that love-in won’t be happening again.


  21. - The Dude Abides - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 5:04 pm:

    As public Servant previously stated, don’t pay attention to much of what he says, watch what he does. I wish that much of what Cullerton said was just campaign rhetoric but unfortunately most of it seems pretty accurate. I don’t think Rauner is interested in a quick resolution because he thinks that he’s going to be able to win over the public with his summer ad barrage. I think there’s a decent chance that he locks out the workers too unless his expected veto of that bill is overridden and I don’t know how that one is going to turn out. From the very start of his administration he choose confrontation over conciliation and I think it’s going to get ugly.


  22. - DPGumby - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 9:01 pm:

    Very, very well said, Mr. President.


  23. - Pot calling kettle - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 10:21 pm:

    The point that needs to be made very clear is this: Rauner ran his general election campaign on fixing the fiscal mess. As Governor, fixing the fiscal mess has become secondary to his crush the worker agenda.

    I wonder if it would have been smarter to negotiate a budget fix this year and then roll out his personal agenda after he established a solid record on the fiscal side.


  24. - Carl LaFong - Monday, Jun 1, 15 @ 12:57 pm:

    I just do not see what Rauner will do that is positive for the working people of Illinois who earn a paycheck. Local communities are being drained of revenue to pay for services because corporations have spent the mant years to lobby government with such slogans as “worship the job creators” etc.

    The result of these pro corporate slogans have allowed the passage of corporate tax breaks, TIFF, No Child Left Behind, anti-union legislation, ALEC writing state laws, ungodly compensation for corporate executives, outsourcing jobs backed by tax breaks to do so, and the changes of accounting laws and CEO compensation that are the direct cause of Enron collapse as well as the housing collapse that lead the charge in the 2008 collapse of the economy.

    The only purpose of a corporation is to make money for their shareholders. If you are a corporate supporter there are only assets and liabilities, for the worship of profit, people are liabilities unless they can provide the company its greatest profit by any means. If you can’t do that then you are a liability.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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