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It’s all about trust, or lack thereof

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2016

* Doubek

A profound absence of trust is what led to dueling press statements and disagreement about possible pension legislation last week and what has underscored the many months of state budget impasse that continues to endanger Illinoisans.

That’s true. The governor got way out over his skis and described an agreement he never made with Senate President Cullerton, and because there was such a lack of trust, Cullerton thought Rauner had reneged on the deal.

* Pantagraph

It’s clear that Rauner bungled the announcement and spent a lot of time back-pedaling. There is little trust between the state’s leaders and missteps like this make the situation worse.

That’s exactly right.

* The Tribune editorial badly bungled the setup

But then the meltdown began. Rauner misspoke at the news conference announcing the deal — or shall we say, he said too much. Too many verbal grenades that angered organized labor. Too much anti-union rhetoric that gave Madigan reason to slam the governor as anti-middle class. Like clockwork, Cullerton immediately backed away. He got spooked. Madigan had pulled the leash. End of short-lived pension deal.

Total malarkey. Rauner described a deal that didn’t exist. He then tossed in the verbal grenades, which only made it worse.

But the Trib did get this part mostly right

The pension deal could be a bipartisan, trust-building exercise that leads to more agreement on the state budget and more resources for human services.

That’s true, no matter if the actual proposal is constitutional or not. So, save your comments on that topic. It’s not really that important. The courts will decide one way or another.

* The goal here is to get everybody pulling in the same direction. That hasn’t happened in a very long time. Rauner just about blew it, but he recovered.

We’ll see if the governor can continue this momentum during his State of the State Address tomorrow. Stay tuned.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 3:56 pm:

    Rich, ask the Governor if he has any comment on the cost-shift idea. Cullerton’s “consideration” idea saves the state about $1 billion each year. If they added the cost shift, the state could save a lot more, and the cost shift has the added benefit of being constitutional.

    Of course, it’ll whack property taxes through the roof, but if it’s phased in over time, there might be a deal to be had on a big pension reform plan.

    Of course, if Rauner pours cold water on it, we’ll know it’s dead for now.

  2. - Chicago Guy - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 3:59 pm:

    Can someone explain what happened to the Tribune editorial board? I may be wrong, but at one time I thought they were largely main stream. They have really moved over to wing nut territory and lost objectivity.

  3. - Raging Blowhard - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:02 pm:

    Can someone explain where Rauner and Cullerton differ on collective bargaining?

    I can’t see what the difference is. If a raise is agreed to it is not pensionable.

  4. - Gumby - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:04 pm:

    For that to happen both sides are going to have to curb the rhetoric and insults. Rauner’s lack of experience could easily derail a compromise; like it almost did here.

  5. - tominchicago - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:05 pm:

    Chicago Guy - I am going with McQuery’s elevation to the board. She spent too many formative years with Kass.

  6. - Mama - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:07 pm:

    “Rauner just about blew it, but he recovered.”

    I must have missed something because it certainly looked like Rauner blew it! Not once, but twice.

  7. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:13 pm:

    ==I am going with McQuery’s elevation to the board. She spent too many formative years with Kass.==

    No, it’s Bruce Dold. This guy is as anti-union as Rauner. McQueary jumped onto his bandwagon when she joined the editorial board.

  8. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:14 pm:

    A lack of trust is just half the problem.

    There is no doubt that the Republican Governor and the Democratic legislative leaders don’t trust each other. No doubt at all. But why is that?

    It’s due to the other half of the problem: A lack of honesty. It’s a lack of honesty that goes back at least as far as election night and has manifested itself as recently as last week, with Cullerton and then again on Friday with Rich.

    It needs to stop. And stop now.

    Would I like to see more Trust in Springfield? Of course I would. We all would.

    But I’d also like to see a helluva lot more Honesty.

    – MrJM

  9. - History Prof - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:15 pm:

    Chicago Guy, hasn’t most of the Republican Party moved over into the wing-nut column? viz the current primary contenders and their poll numbers. The Republicans I know have for the most part lost it. As an historian its pretty perplexing. But I guess I’m not shocked that the Trib board has gone that way. Look at Edgar’s comments on Rauner; did anyone in the Republican Party even notice?

  10. - burbanite - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:16 pm:

    Raging Blowhard how does what you just stated transfer to remove wages from collective bargaining? When did Cullerton ever say he would agree to a ban collective bargaining on wages? Do you know what collective bargaining is?

  11. - Tier 2 Employee - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:16 pm:

    “That’s true, no matter if the actual proposal is constitutional or not. So, save your comments on that topic. It’s not really that important. The courts will decide one way or another.”

    It’s sad reflection of the current state of affairs when a cooperative game of “kick the can down the road” is an improvement.

  12. - Earnest - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:22 pm:

    I agree on the honesty.

  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:24 pm:

    Trust building for whom? Not for the public employees who go to work every day trusting that they will receive what they bargained for when they retire. Not for the taxpayers who will get stuck with even more of a bill down the road, both for the expenses of pointless litigation and for the increased costs of implementing any true revenue solution. Very myopic to be so caught up in the Springfield war of personalities that you lose sight of the importance of the real issues at stake. Pass anything just to pass something is not worthy of any trust whatsoever.

  14. - JoanP - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:27 pm:

    @ Chicago Guy -

    No, they’re just reverting to the old days of Col. McCormick, who was described in his NYT obit as a “dogmatic, intensely partisan, unpredictable man”.

  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:28 pm:

    “The governor got way out over his ski’s”

    I think he actually left his ski’s back at the lodge and went down the slope without them.

  16. - Facts are Stubborn Things - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:28 pm:

    total waste of time….to give raises and then not make them pensionable is illegal. The pension is based on your salary (or 48 highest months etc.) and if you take that away you have diminished pensions. Raises are not guaranteed by the constitution, but your pension is guaranteed, and once you are given a raise then the pension rules under which you were hired or that have been improved during your employment can not be changed. Legal ways forward would be a lump sum offer, CPI instead of 3%, cost shift, but in all cases the option to keep what you have must be on the table. Another option would be to negotiate lower wages and slow the growth of the wages during contract negotiations. you know what, the state just needs to keep paying the required pension payment (and starting with Quinn they have been) and get a budget passed that eliminates our long running structural deficit.

  17. - Enviro - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:29 pm:

    What happened to our priorities? Working on pension reform and school funding reform will take a great deal of time and be a distraction from passing a budget. We need to focus on the budget first.

    I am for sending Cullerton and Rauner to time out.

  18. - COPN - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:30 pm:

    ===We’ll see if the governor can continue this momentum during his State of the State Address tomorrow.===

    Tomorrow mornings poll question on whether the readership thinks that’ll happen???

  19. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:30 pm:

    have to disagtee with you Rich, a goal of just getting evryone to agtee and skipping over constitutionality lead to a few years of no funding solutions for the pension. And here we are at take 2 and still no ine is working in an actual funding solution. We keep using the canrad of but at least everyone agrees is good, regardless of the agreement.

    perhaps it woild be better to agree on funding solutions instead of trying to make illegal cuts. and if no one will call them illegal the. we will spend more years without a funding solution while everyone pats themselves on the back, again!

    the problem is not and never has been the bnefit level, it is that the state took the funding for half a century and spent it. now its times to repay the massive loan, so lets talk funding.

    after te banks swindld the world on mortgage securities we didnt ask the account holders to pay back the banks losses. we used tools to protect those funds and make sure they were not reduced a singl penny. perhaps we should do the same again for the pensioners.

  20. - morty - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:32 pm:

    “The pension deal could be a bipartisan, trust-building exercise that leads to more agreement on the state budget and more resources for human services.”

    so the definition of “bipartisan” is to agree to job public employees?


  21. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:34 pm:

    =If they added the cost shift, the state could save a lot more=

    Cost shift, depending on the year, saves $1.6-$1.8 billion. It is the only savings the state will get. It does not save local government money unless they include something to the effect that districts/agencies etc. cannot pick up the costs. Not likely to happen but that saves the state money.

  22. - mehh - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:37 pm:

    Yes, John Cullerton, join together with the man who wants to destroy your majority in the Senate. Work with him against the unions and then hope they’ll save you when Rauner’s dollars come after your caucus. Go ahead Senate targets, trust your leader and Rauner.

  23. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:39 pm:

    The Tribune Edit Board is nothing to read that adds objectivity. The Rauner talking points frame too many editorials.

    To the Post,

    Until structured roll calls happen and… a cleanly signed bill… no veto… gets through ALL parties, no one will trust anyone.

    If this is the issue to begin trust, then get to it already.

  24. - tominchicago - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:41 pm:

    Wensicia I am not disagreeing with you because you may have better knowledge of Dold than I do but I do believe that Dold has been on the editorial board for a while but the 90 degree right turn is pretty recent.

  25. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:43 pm:

    ===join together with the man who wants to destroy your majority in the Senate===

    Don’t be ridiculous. Do you expect the Republicans and Democrats to declare a general election truce? It’s not the way this thing is played. I assume that’s why you didn’t want the Republican minority to negotiate with the majority party back when the Dems held the governor’s office?

    Oh. Wait.

  26. - SAP - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:45 pm:

    == Rauner’s lack of experience could easily derail a compromise; like it almost did here. ==
    Announcing you starting position as the result of a deal isn’t from lack of experience. It is an inability to see reality.

  27. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:59 pm:

    Not that I expect the Tribune to see through the Rauner talking points and understand this reality, but the Senate Dems who complain the most about Cullerton acquiescing to Madigan are the Senate Dems who want to spend more money every time a budget is written. Cullerton angers some of those members when he doesn’t push Madigan to spend more and tax more. And the Tribsters should also realize that the Senate Dems who complain most about Cullerton “giving in” to Madigan are the Senate Dems least likely to vote for this pension compromise.

  28. - jdcolombo - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 5:00 pm:

    I’m pretty confident that this bill will be held unconstitutional by the courts, so if it helps the budget impasse for the three leaders to work together on passing a bill that eventually goes nowhere, why not? The public employees won’t ultimately get hurt, and at this point, if that’s what it takes to get some semblance of functional government, fine. (Full disclosure: I’m a public employee, but so close to retirement that Cullerton’s bill wouldn’t affect me.)

    The cost shift is just common sense - the folks that negotiate pension benefits ought to be on the hook for the cost. Skin in the game is a good thing. Phase it in over 10 years so everyone has time to adjust and do some long-term planning.

  29. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 5:05 pm:

    ==I do but I do believe that Dold has been on the editorial board for a while but the 90 degree right turn is pretty recent.==

    Yes, Dold has been around for quite a while, but the “recent” intensification of the editorial board’s anti-union, pro-business slant started when Rauner gathered strength as a candidate. I sat before the board several years ago as a member and representative of the IFT. Believe me, his questions/remarks about union matters and strategies were not positive as to our methods and goals.

  30. - Enviro - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 5:16 pm:

    After building trust by finding agreement on pension and school funding reform they can move on to term limits and minimum wage reform. Why waste time on passing a state budget./s

  31. - The_Equalizer - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 5:18 pm:

    ++It’s due to the other half of the problem: A lack of honesty. It’s a lack of honesty that goes back at least as far as election night and has manifested itself as recently as last week, with Cullerton and then again on Friday with Rich. ++

    This. When Governin’ Bruce started out with a lie on election night, that pretty much set the precedent that has continued to now. Not sure why they would trust Rauner when he’s told few truths and let his hired media hatcheteers do their work constantly.

  32. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 5:30 pm:

    Forget consideration the way it is being structured; take the cost shift and declare victory … even though the taxpayers (including any State employee who rents or owns a house) lose through higher property taxes.

  33. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 5:39 pm:

    But, RNUG, I think property tax increases are more of a hot button politically than income tax increases
    Quinn’s tax increase actually wasn’t that controversial when it was imposed-and you can certainly debate whether it lost him the election.

  34. - BeenThereB4 - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 6:04 pm:

    I would like to propose a law to stop the spiral into debt. Over and over someone comes up with a plan to overhaul the pension system. The problem is that they then include the savings in their budget. So when the plan gets thrown out by the courts, Illinois is further in debt.
    I propose that they new law forbids them counting the savings until it has survived court challenges and the plan has been implemented.

  35. - Jack Stephens - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 6:26 pm:

    I have more faith in Organized Labor than former “successful businessmen” turned Governor.

    See Michigan for an example. And Rick Snyder is so arrogant the people voted to eliminate Emergency Managers and he shoved up the states collective rear end by ramming the Emergency Managers thru the lame duck session of Congress attached to the budget.

    Something is really wrong with Republicans.

  36. - Qui Tam - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 7:00 pm:

    “The pension deal could be a bipartisan, trust-building exercise that leads to more agreement on the state budget and more resources for human services.”
    Maybe they could pull off a bank robbery together as a “trust building exercise” that leads them to govern. Expectations have sunk to a new low.

  37. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 7:02 pm:

    So the three amigos can agree on something that likely will go nowhere other than cost the taxpayers courts fees and this is some kind of breakthrough? How does this relate to agreeing on anything other than this attempt to just shut some people up?

  38. - So Blue Democrat - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 8:16 pm:

    I understand some private equity firms now own the Chicago Tribune. This happened after Sam Zell purchased it and then filed for Chapter 11. This explains what happened to their editorials in recent years.

  39. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 10:20 pm:

    “Whether the actual proposal is constitutional or not …is not real!y important.” That must be why both Rauner and Fullerton were required to take that oath about upholding the constitution.

  40. - justdoingtime - Wednesday, Jan 27, 16 @ 12:15 am:

    Legalize marijuana and use all the tax proceeds to pay on the pension debt, problem solved.

  41. - Chicago PR Guy - Wednesday, Jan 27, 16 @ 8:17 am:

    The Tribune editorial board didn’t take a right turn. It’s always been right. Until 2008 every presidential endorsement was Republican. McQueary didn’t “join” with Dold. She went onto the board with her conservative view point. It unnerved other board members who increasingly had become left of center. Editorial boards have biased points of view representing ownership and the Trib’s is conservative so really no surprises.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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