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A gush is worth a thousand details

Tuesday, Apr 7, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The Tribune editorial board gushed all over Gov. Rauner today, calling his agenda “The Rauner Revolution”

“We have a moral duty to have an efficient government. The tax money belongs to the taxpayers. It doesn’t belong to the bureaucracy, and government is not a welfare system.”

— Gov. Bruce Rauner to the Tribune Editorial Board, April 6, 2015.

The common gold-throated U.S. officeholder, politicianus americanus, enters conversations desperate to please you, the voter, right now. Ask about any substantive issue — immigration policy, coal standards, Asian carp — and you’ll often get an obsequious answer intended to convey empathy: “I share your concern about your issue. I’ve looked into it, and, um, everything should be on the table!”

Not so with the rookie governor of Illinois. Bruce Rauner sounds as if he wants to get to every issue, eventually. Now, though, he’s focused on precisely one item: an agenda he calls The Illinois Turnaround. He’s barnstorming the state this week, distributing thick binders and committing himself to transform our governments — especially the broke, broken one headquartered in Springfield.

* And, as usual, the Tribites ain’t worried about the details because WE HAVE A NEW SAINT

We hope, though, that voters who elected him in November see the thrust of this agenda, if not its every jot and tittle, as a path to growing Illinois’ economy and thus its revenues.

* From news coverage of the editorial board meeting

Rauner says the package would save state and local governments money and would make the business climate in Illinois more competitive. But during the hourlong meeting, the rookie governor repeatedly steered discussion away from specifics, preferring instead to drive home his contention that “the system is rigged” against taxpayers and employers.

One such moment came when Rauner railed against public worker unions that donate heavily to further their political aims. Asked how he intended to get a ban on union campaign contributions through a legislature that is heavily backed by organized labor, Rauner pointed to the binders his staff had prepared.

“Read it,” he said. “Change the law … that’s what our proposal is.”

Pressed to explain, Rauner simply said: “Crisis. Crisis creates leverage.”

But specifics are important, because you gotta pass a bill. So let’s take a look.

* The newly updated “Turnaround” proposal can be read in full by clicking here. He’s put a bit of meat on some of his bare campaign bones


Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. To recover on a workers’ compensation claim, the employee bears the burden of showing s/he has sustained accidental injuries arising out of and in the course of employment.

Currently, if the employment is related at all to the injury, no matter how indirectly, the employee’s injury is compensable. If a work injury aggravates a pre-existing condition even slightly, the employer is 100% liable for the workers’ compensation claim.

Twenty-nine states have a higher causation standard than Illinois. Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee recently passed laws requiring the workplace to be the primary cause for workers’ compensation to be compensable. Florida’s major contributing cause standard is identical to the one we are proposing.


    • The causation standard should be raised from an “any cause” standard to a “major contributing cause” standard. The accident at work must be more than 50% responsible for the injury compared to all other causes.

* Some have the tiniest bits of meat added. For instance

This legislation would repeal the Illinois Prevailing Wage Law. Projects funded by the federal government would still be subject to federal requirements, including the Davis-Bacon Act. Wages would also still be subject to generally-applicable state laws, such as the Illinois minimum wage. While home- rule local governments would be able to determine local prevailing wages, a local prevailing wage would not apply to a state-funded project (but a federal prevailing wage would continue to apply, if the project is federally funded).

Emphasis added for purely snark purposes.

* Collective bargaining exclusions

This legislation would authorize local governments, acting through their governing bodies or by voter- initiated referenda, to exclude certain topics from collective bargaining. These topics include:

    • Use of third-party contractors;
    • Wages in excess of aggregate limits established by the local government;
    • Health insurance benefits;
    • Use of employee time for the business of the labor organization;
    • Required levels of staffing;
    • Procedures and criteria for personnel evaluations and use of seniority; and
    • In the case of schools, curriculum or standards of student academic performance, conduct, and
    discipline in school.

* Some proposals appear to have not been updated to reflect new developments

This legislation explicitly authorizes municipal bankruptcy. There are no requirements, pre-conditions or other limitations to a municipality’s access to Chapter 9 in the proposed legislation. The decision whether to file is left entirely up to a municipality.

Rep. Ron Sandack has already agreed to create some sort of board to help municipalities find a way out of bankruptcy. Rauner wants none of that.

* And then there’s his property tax freeze

• Starting in property tax year 2016, payable in 2017, all property tax extensions from local taxing districts will be equal to the extension from 2015.

• This will impact home rule and non-home rule units of government and both PTELL and non- PTELL counties.

• It will still be possible for a property owner to see fluctuations in property tax bills due to an increase/decrease in value, new construction or the expiration of a tax increment financing district.

• Through a referendum voters may decide to break through the property tax freeze.

* But

And, “there’s no chance of the property tax freeze” Rauner wants to impose, [GOP state Sen. Dave Syverson] said, because “he’s already cutting funding for local government.”

          Click here to help buy presents for LSSI foster kids!

  1. - From the 'Dale to HP - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    Not sure what to say… this is starting to look like it’s going to be even crazier than Blago’s tenure. Also have to ask: How does Rauner expect to govern with no money?

  2. - Graduated College Student - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:10 am:

    I bet you could pay for the autism program with the money it took to pay for those thick binders.

  3. - Shemp - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    Those reforms aren’t enough to even offset half the proposed loss to local government. If property tax is frozen (the main source of revenue for fire and police pensions), locals are beyond screwed.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    The Chicago Tribune Edit Board and “@StatehouseChick” can’t get enough of Sonny.

    Funny thing about ALL these proposals, and thoughts, plans and ideals…

    It’s 30, it’s 60, and there are few, if ANY, avenues that can lead to implimentation.

    Even the Owl Ron Sandack knows…

    To the Owl,

    You get “one” pass. Next time, call “Mr. Uhiline” before you start saying… words … that might lead to anger. Remember, once you’re co-opted, you stay co-opted. K? K.

    My family is gushing over my plan and binder explaining how I’ll win the 2015 Masters golf tournament. Of course all of us know that ain’t happening, but, oh, the gushing!

  5. - MrJM - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    The Tribune’s editorial swooning over Bruce Rauner — “He’s so dreamy!” — would be harmlessly amusing if they were written by teenage bobby soxers rather than professional journalists.

    – MrJM

  6. - chi - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:14 am:

    He really thinks he’s some kind of salesman, doesn’t he? Purveyor of the finest snake oil, from Rockford to Marion.

  7. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:16 am:

    I was impressed by the governor’s thoughtful and statesmanlike response to a question about the Indiana civil rights controversy.

    –”Believe me, I’m going to rip — try to rip, the economic guts out of Indiana” Rauner said. “I’m one of the baddest, you know, enemies anybody can have.”–

    Overcompensating for something, perhaps, but still, thoughtful and statesmanlike.

    And, later, when asked what he found most enjoyable about being governor.

    – “To crush your enemies, to see your enemies driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.”–

    Actually, the last one is from “Conan the Barbarian,” but given the governor’s agenda to date, I think it captures the spirit.

  8. - Cable Line Beer Gardener - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:16 am:

    What a contradiction in today’s Trib, first the front page article that stressed that Rauner was reluctant to get into specifics then the fawning all over Rauner editorial board. Does Rauner have a split personality or the Trib?

  9. - Mister M - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:17 am:

    Ahhhhh, paving the way for Lisa.

  10. - chi - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:19 am:

    When I buy my snake oil, I at least want to be shown the patients it’s cured. Who is he showing us Kansas? Wisconsin? They used the snake oil, and they’re much worse off. Florida? Do we have over a thousand miles of coastline in a tropical climate (and given all that Florida has, it’s still… Florida)?

    Why should we buy his snake oil? It hasn’t worked anywhere.

  11. - JoanP - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    “This legislation would authorize local governments, acting through their governing bodies or by voter- initiated referenda, to exclude certain topics from collective bargaining. These topics include:


    There, fixed that for them.

  12. - The Captain - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:22 am:

    I am one of the baddest, you know, enemies anybody can have.

    This is a real quote that made it into print and not The Onion.

  13. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:23 am:

    He has a point on WC causation, and I’d like to really examine how Prevailing wage is determined (but it shouldn’t be abolished, I’m too proud of my state to think that it should pay its workers as little as possible).

    But the rest is nonsense on stilts, borne not of any actual analysis of the state’s problems, but a long standing and frankly pathetic preoccupation with organizations of employees.

  14. - Crispy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:26 am:

    The continued downward spiral of a once (pretty) noble newspaper. …

  15. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    == Rauner simply said: “Crisis. Crisis creates leverage.” ==

    He says this three times in a row every day, then clicks his heels together.

  16. - out of touch - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    We should view these proposals from a “who pays?” perspective. Union employees, those earning prevailing wage, injured workers, and victims. Who profits? Big business, insurance companies. The maldistribution of wealth is already staggering (and widening); why would we want to make the middle class and poor even poorer? And that Rauner blatantly admitted that victims such as children with autism are being used as “leverage” to achieve these goals is an outrage.

  17. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:32 am:

    “Efficient government” is code for cutting government spending especially for social programs. The Tribune doesn’t understand what makes government “inefficient.” It’s things like the Illinois Purchasing Code and CMS.

    If they want to talk about government efficiency then they should do some investigative reporting instead of issuing their political agenda disguised as editorial opinion.

  18. - batgirl - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:36 am:


    It’s not about improving IL for the masses but enriching the .1%– Rauner and his buddies.

  19. - Formerpol - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    Save the outrage, “out of touch”. Groups whining that their state moneys cannot possibly be cut use children and crying mothers as ‘leverage’ and as ‘props’ all the time.

  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    Remember, as Rauner said during his budget speech. God didn’t make Republicans or Democrats. His philosophy is, if you don’t agree with me, I will spend millions of dollars to make sure your not reelected and, I will continue to extort anyone who gets in my way. Remember, the world revolves around me and me only. And, the way I do things is the cost of doing business with you. Come again!

  21. - 3234 - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    Have you ever read anything from@statehousechick

  22. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:39 am:

    Good ole Governor Extortion

  23. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:46 am:

    It’s amazing how deeply in the tank they are for Rauner. What’s more amazing is that they are perfectly willing to suspend all of their journalistic training to ask tough questions…questions like:

    1) Is that constitutional?
    2) How can you get that past the Democratic super-majorities?
    3) Once you fail to pass that through the Democratic super-majorities, what is your fallback plan?

    But I suppose if they didn’t ask those questions during the election, they’re not going to ask them now. Sigh.

  24. - Salty - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:49 am:

    He also proposed a 30% reduction to the medical fee schedule for workers’ comp. There was lots of opposition when that was done in 2011. Are the Republicans willing to put their votes on it?

  25. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:50 am:

    How about selling the Governor’s mansion and living in a real house like the rest of us have to?

  26. - Juice - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:51 am:

    “For our agenda to create a great and prosperous state, let us look at the enlightened policy agendas of the great states of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee” said no one thoughtful, ever.

  27. - Bobby Hill - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    “…government is not a welfare system.”

    I go pretty far right on some issues but think about that statement for a minute…

  28. - Linus - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:56 am:

    Sick kids, troubled teens, the working poor, etc are indeed finding the Governor is “one of the baddest, you know, enemies anybody can have.”

    Don’t you just swoon with the Trib’s harrumphing? Makes one’s monocle drop to one’s spats, just to hear such throat-clearing phrases as “every jot and tittle.”

  29. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    Wordslinger, thanks for the Conan the Barbarian quote. Used to read those novels the nights before football games.

    I think we have seen the State’s proposals for the next contact. Add in a complete pay freeze, including step increases and moving all supervisors out of the union.

    July will be interesting.

  30. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:58 am:

    Who will be able to afford to buy and fix the governor’s mansion Anon? Nobody who works for the government, that’s for sure.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 11:59 am:

    - Cheryl44 -


    Please call Ron Sandack for all “Owl” questions. He’ll get back to you after Gov. Rauner says its ok.

  32. - PJ - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    It’s funny that the Trib- which often speaks from one side of its collective mouth with major long-format stories and series on failures of “the system”, such as the recent series on youth housing facilities- can speak from the other, gushing over a governor who proposes to decimate funding for numerous safety net programs that support people dependent on “the system.”

  33. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:03 pm:

    Let me fix that typo:

    The Rauner Devolution.

    “I’m one of the baddest, you know, enemies anybody can have.”

    That comment wasn’t about Indiana. It’s for any citizen in this state who disagrees with him.

    Rauner’s minions on the Tribune editorial board will back every move he makes, even if he tanks Illinois.

  34. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:05 pm:

    Content and perspective aside, the writing is just awful, like “Jackie Harvey” from “The Onion.”

    That’s satire, though.

  35. - pundent - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:07 pm:

    Both the Tribune and Rauner are struggling to stay relevant. If either side admits to the futility of any of this the discussion pretty much ends and their isn’t anything left to talk about.

  36. - jerry 101 - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:14 pm:

    While it seems like there’s a need to change worker’s comp law in Illinois, this story shows the human cost of going too far.

    When I looked up this story on the google, I saw that the top headline that was returned (just 3 hours ago), was that Alabama had introduced a law to reform it’s worker’s comp laws to increase compensation to amputees. Of course, it’s just a bill…

  37. - jerry 101 - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:16 pm:

    chi: isn’t that what he did at GTCR? Sold people on buying into GTCR’s funds?

    He’s not a businessman, he’s a fancypants used car salesman.

  38. - Rapscallion - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:24 pm:

    Arsenal, the Prevailing Wage rates are established by the Federal Department of Labor based upon the highest UNION wages in a region. Not the average, not the most common. If it’s gong to be kept around, it should perhaps be based upon the Bureau of Labor statistics average labor cost by trade.

    Remember that the purpose of the act isn’t to ensure fair wages for workers. It was to make unionized labor costs at least competitive with regular labor, though the added cost of union job jurisdiction (you can’t have someone in the plumbers union cleaning up electrician or carpenter trash) that adds to cost.

    On some projects, a non-union bidder wins the contract, and has to pay higher wages and benefits, ONLY when the worker is doing public work, under prevailing wage than they would building a commercial office building or private school.

    Bottom line its in the public interest to have the work done by the lowest cost qualified bidder. It’s time that Springfield acted in the public interest, don’t you think?

  39. - Anon - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:25 pm:

    “I’ve got binders full of women, I mean, proposals here. Shoot, this governin’ business is hard.”

  40. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:31 pm:

    OW - If you have time to enlighten me -

    The Owl comments on Sandack are funny. But I miss the point. I believe it goes back to the election? A quick run down on what you are talking about would let me in on the joke. And I love jokes!

    Thanks, with respect, if you are able…..

  41. - Buzzie - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:33 pm:

    The Chicago Tribune 1) froths at the mouth about unions contributing to politicians but finds nothing wrong with businesses and corporations doing it; 2) by its silence condones reduced funding to autism programs (because the “suits”probably think most of “those people” probably don’t vote or read the newspaper); and 3) should beware of Rauner’s statements and promises because if its true he reneged on an autism pledge to the Democrats can he be trusted with any other of his pledges?

  42. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:36 pm:

    “Bottom line its in the public interest to have the work done by the lowest cost qualified bidder.”

    No, it isn’t. It isn’t in the public interest to pay people working for the state as little as possible, or to have a state project cut corners. The meager savings in “tax dollars” will be more than offset by the depression of wages and the need to redo the work. I for one am proud that my state mandates that its contractors cannot engage in a race to the bottom on employee compensation. And I think that anyone who thinks the state should ultimately be an employer of the lowest common denominator suffers from a paucity of pride in their state.

  43. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:36 pm:

    RE: Trib gushing.
    I haven’t seen a group this excited about punishing the innocent on Good Friday since the Roman Empire.

  44. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:38 pm:

    ““Bottom line its in the public interest to have the work done by the lowest cost qualified bidder.”

    No, it isn’t.”

    Actually, let me rephrase- it *might* be in the public interest, but the word “qualified” necessarily includes paying employees something better than the bare minimum.

  45. - HappyToaster - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:41 pm:

    Tribune = Mom and Dad split and left the kids in charge.

    Somebody REALLY needs to come in and clean house.

    Whether it becomes another Murdoch mouthpiece, or Gannett picture pages, or whatever, pretending the Colonel has stepped out and will return shortly is delusional.

  46. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    Did “god” tell you to say that too? Yes, lets let contractors be able to underbid another company so they can get the contract to line their pockets in the process while paying off our current governor to push their agenda.

  47. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    - allknowing… -,

    It goes back to Sandack trying, endlessly, first with Lavin, then with Barbara Shaw and NRI.

    Sandack was questioning everyone, especially those two cited, with “Who” questions, in hopes of anyone saying “Quinn” with a Dopey “gotcha!” moment to help Rauner, and not, optically, looking anything but to help Rauner, at all costs at times (personal perception costs) with “who”

    “Who told you”, “Who did you tell that to?” etc..

    Sandack became Rauner’s “Owl” with owl behavior, then having to admit, it was a poorly run program, no “who”.

    That’s the short version, and Sandack’s fear of getting Primaried and that back story is for you to search, start with Proft, and where the money came, and Rauner.

    Ron Sandack broke my heart, one “who” at a time.

  48. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:51 pm:

    OW - thank you sir, I will do some research.

  49. - chi - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:53 pm:


    You are incorrect.

  50. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 12:56 pm:

    - allknowing… -,

    My pleasure. Glad it helped. Thanks for the kind words too.

  51. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    HT, the Trib has been for sale for a vey long time.

    Just no buyers, at any price.

  52. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 1:23 pm:

    The turnaround plan is based on the voter turning on it’s government. Exploiting the crisis and taping into voter anger like a leverage buyout would go down.

  53. - Stones - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 1:26 pm:

    There is more white paper than detail in the “Turnaround Proposal”. Still concepts and no real plan.

  54. - Shoedoctor - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 1:42 pm:

    Efficient government means reducing the 7,000 units of government in this state. One of the highest in the nation. By reading the comments here, Apparently no reform is needed and we should continue to do things exactly the same as we have been doing them. The results have been fantastic, Illinois is performing far better than the rest of the states. Does anyone really believe that? If you want to attract businesses that will employ our citizens and pay for all the good the government does, reform is needed.

  55. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:02 pm:

    =he’s a fancypants used car salesman.=

    You can use the term “fancypants” a million times and it still won’t be enough, priceless!!

  56. - 1776 - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:02 pm:


    And if you actually use the comparison calculator, you’ll see that Illinois often pays 300 percent more than the national average for many WC claims.

    By the way, employers have to pay for 100 percent of the cost even if the workplace only aggravated a pre-existing injury so there is a huge need for a causation standard. Even Attorney General Lisa Madigan has agreed with this!

  57. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:03 pm:

    ===Apparently no reform is needed and we should continue to do things exactly the same as we have been doing them. The results have been fantastic, Illinois is performing far better than the rest of the states.===

    Ok, pick a reform, any will do.

    Now, honestky, go through the way to impliment your reform, given the landscape right now, and the Constitutional impact or legal way to reach your desired reform.

    It’s one thing to say “it hasn’t worked in the past”, it’s another to understand, within the landscape and laws, his to get a desired result.

    Compromise for shared goals, and working and understanding what is possible and legal, and knowing hyperbole that can’t be achieved is important to moving anything forward.

    That isn’t happening with “Sonny Mode”. The FY2015 “fix” is now tainted by the Rauner double-cross.

    Campaigns are hard, governing is difficult, and governing with double-crosses and a lack of keeping your word, impossible.

    But, you tell us, it has to be easy…

  58. - Earnest - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:04 pm:

    “We have a moral duty to have an efficient government.” I get stuck right there, the corporate morality of the bottom line at the expense of all else.

  59. - Anonin' - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:08 pm:

    Whoever this version of the campaign speech had meat on it has spent too much time at slenderama.
    We are still in the race to be West Indiana. Anyone else notice that 14 of the 38 page spiel were out of towner clips and bullet points.
    They real question is who gets knocked down on the autism cuts — that was a no no.

  60. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:09 pm:

    Let’s be clear: This farce of a Governor will never balance the budget by ending corporate entitlements, increasing taxes on the super rich, or disagreeing with the pronouncements of the IPI or IMA…the Unions and the Trial Lawyers are to blame for all our woes…it’s going to be a long four years…

  61. - Muscular - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:11 pm:

    This is Bruce Rauner at his best: full frontal on his hind legs. He is aggressively taking on the entrenched practices and special interests to turn Illinois around. Bruce Rauner is proceeding exactly like he did in the scores of companies he controlled at GTCR. He’s taking charge, cleansing the entity of bloat, and eliminating dysfunction. For those who doubt his turnaround, Bruce Rauner is a leader with a great track record, although nothing on this scale though.

  62. - Shoedoctor - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:12 pm:

    Why the hostiity to corporations? I would think everyone would agree we need to create an environment to attract businesses to Illinois so we can lower our unemployment rate, reduce poverty which would lower the amount of government assistance we give to those able to work. Modest reforms in workmen’s comp, tort reform would go along way towards making Illinois more competitive with other states.

  63. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:17 pm:

    ===Bruce Rauner is a leader with a great track record, although nothing on this scale though.===

    Couldn’t name a single job he created. Not. One.

    Bankrupting companies helped fuel his wealth. What does the Owl Sandack do? A former mayor running a bill wanting, you guessed it, muni bankruptcies.

    Lying is part of his track record? Welp, lying to the Speaker is now part of his governing track record.

    While you talk about imagery and puffery for ole Bruce, how about you point to one agenda point, just one, and its avenue to be implimented. Let’s try that.

    Raunerbots; they love the image, just not the details.

  64. - Jack Stephens - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:18 pm:

    Anytime you’d like to propose some reforms….go
    ahead and do so.

    I propose a 25% across the board cut in Wealthy Welfare!

  65. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:19 pm:

    ===Why the hostiity to corporations? I would think everyone would agree we need to create an environment to attract businesses to Illinois so we can lower our unemployment rate, reduce poverty which would lower the amount of government assistance we give to those able to work. Modest reforms in workmen’s comp, tort reform would go along way towards making Illinois more competitive with other states.===

    You didn’t miss one buzz word, and still kept facts out to boot. Good on you!

    lol, ok, pick any reform, tell us how we get there. Honestly get “there”. Legally, politically, governmentally, enlighten us.

  66. - Norseman - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    Rauner: “My superstar staff makes nice binders, don’t they.”

  67. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:22 pm:

    You mean the entrenched practices of corporations which you fail to mention that funnel money into non-profit PACS that don’t have to reveal who their donors are? Taking charge and actually doing something are two different things. There are people who work for a living and those who don’t. Obviously, he doesn’t. His whole turnaround agenda is deaminizing anyone who disagrees with him. Anytime he wants to speak to the public without hiding behind his staff and doing his dirty work for him, he is more than welcome to. He is no different than anyone else, but heaven forbid you disagree with him. Like King Henry, off with your head!

  68. - Shoedoctor - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:26 pm:

    So we have a great business environment Willy? What are you reading? You want to keep the indefensible status quo for whatever reason. That is much tougher to sell than any Rauner proposal.

    Please explain why tort reform, workmen’s comp reform are such radical ideas? Maybe if the state was not run by trial lawyers the busness climate would be better.

  69. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:30 pm:

    - Shoedoctor -,

    Rauner has a full list, a binder, full of reforms.

    You pull one out, your choice, you walk us through it.

    You clamor for reform, pick one, make the case, make the case it can get done, how it would get done, legally, politically, governmentally…

    Tell us of these reforms you speak…

  70. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:31 pm:

    Like he told the Legislative Black Caucus. I am going to turn the press on you if you don’t do what I want. No worry, I will get my attorneys drag things on in court for years to get my way. My money is free speech!

  71. - Crispy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:38 pm:

    Muscular–Is this from the Onion?

    Rauner’s business model involves swindling workers and customers (e.g., nursing home residents) to yield more profits for investors, then leaving someone else holding the bag when the reckoning comes. “Great track record”? More like “wide swath of destruction.” Save us from Raunerite “leaders.”

  72. - G'Kar - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:39 pm:

    “Believe me, I am going to rip — try to rip the economic guts out of Indiana,” he told the newspaper. “I am one of the baddest, you know, enemies anybody can have. And when I set a goal, we do it. I don’t care what the headline is. I want the results. And we’re coming after Indiana big time. But you know what, we’re going to do it on our terms, the right way.”

    ISTM that this was a shot across the bow of anyone who does not get on board with Rauner, not just Indiana.

  73. - Shoedoctor - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:45 pm:

    Why do you dismiss all of these reforms before even knowing what they are and say they are impossible. I honestly can’t believe any one would defend the status quo that has seen our state decline so much. Why are trial lawyers good and corporations bad? Why is raising taxes so people can’t afford to live in Illinois any more good and lowering them bad? Rauner has said he just wants our business climate to be average not one of the worst in the country. Try telling someone who is unemployed how terrible businesses are

  74. - downstate commissioner - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    @Shoedoctor “means reducing the 7,000 units of government in this state” Actually, I believe it is closer to 5,000, and it IS the highest in the nation, but so what? Most of these governmental units were created by voters who wanted more services, not less. “Efficient government” has NOTHING to do with the number of governmental units in this state. In many cases, the smaller governments (like townships) provide services cheaper and much more efficiently than larger ones.
    I agree that some agencies could be eliminated or consolidated, such as “pass through” fire districts, where the tax money is just passed through the district to a larger fire district for the actual fire fighting.
    On the other hand, there are agencies like Mosquito Abatement or Street Lighting districts that sound silly, but can’t or won’t be abandoned voluntarily until another larger organization GUARANTEES to continue the service. There would also have to be a way to
    Unfortunately, in many instances, there is no mechanism to self-disband or discuss an upward merger by the governmental agency; so instead of fixing that problem first, outsiders (You?) want to push mandated dissolutions or force votes by people not even involved.

  75. - AlabamaShake - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:50 pm:

    BTW… did I just miss it, or has Rauner removed the prohibition on campaign contributions from the IHA and the nursing homes from his “turnaround” agenda?

  76. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:53 pm:

    ===Why do you dismiss all of these reforms before even knowing what they are and say they are impossible.===

    How can you be for blatant talking points with not one bill of substance of any reform ready to “run”, lol. Golly, it must be fun being so trusting!

    === I honestly can’t believe any one would defend the status quo that has seen our state decline so much.===

    Nope. You tell me the reforms, how to get there, then talk about where anyone stands. It’s as though reading is difficult for you. Rauner has a binder of “nothing”, that’s not implimenting, governing, or leading. It’s like the kid who needs 1000 word essay, but says nothing for 1000 words but vocabulary the teach likes.

    ===auner has said he just wants our business climate to be average not one of the worst in the country. Try telling someone who is unemployed how terrible businesses are===

    Ok, how is Rauner proposing to correct all that, and show me the path to get there.

    Rauner wanted the gig. He got it. So, pick any reform, talk us all through its implimentation.

  77. - Shoedoctor - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:55 pm:

    So people want more services not less, but they also want lower taxes. Obviously both are not possible. I don’t know how I could be an outsider I have lived in Illinois my entire life and am not planning on leaving any time soon. I want to see the state fixed and not have the worst bond rating in the country. Those that defend the status quo and criticize every attempt to make the state more competitive are the problem not me.

  78. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:56 pm:

    – full frontal on his hind legs–

    Muscular, I could have lived without that mental image, but if it brings you pleasure, who am I to judge?

    But give us a rundown please of all those successful companies Rauner turned around. He didn’t mention one in two years of campaigning. He couldn’t name one when asked directly to do so during a debate.

  79. - Toffee - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 2:58 pm:

    I am really tired of his “moral duty” talk. I think the constitutional and statutory duties of the office are pretty well delineated; maybe he could focus on those.

  80. - Toffee - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 3:01 pm:

    Of course his desire to play morality cop is bleeding into overreach: “Rauner: Illinois Supreme Court part of a ‘corrupt system’”:

  81. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 3:02 pm:

    ===So people want more services not less, but they also want lower taxes. Obviously both are not possible.===

    Maybe you need to tell the Governor to stop promising things then, when he says he’s kerpung things at one stop, and bashing at another stop, spending tgst he just promised, lol.

    === I don’t know how I could be an outsider I have lived in Illinois my entire life and am not planning on leaving any time soon. I want to see the state fixed and not have the worst bond rating in the country. Those that defend the status quo and criticize every attempt to make the state more competitive are the problem not me.===

    You are now just a troll. I try to get you to stop being a troll, but a troll you be.

    I asked you at least twice to pick a reform, and you respond with Dopey Raunerite whining.

    I’m done feeding you. You go back and think on all those reforms you refused to show how they would be inplimented.

    This place isn’t the Trib’s comment section. You actually haveta go beyond talking points. You can’t.

  82. - Shoedoctor - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 3:07 pm:

    Why am I the troll, I said workmen’s comp and tort reform should be pushed. Someone introduces a bill and the governor signs it. Watch schoolhouse rocks sometime it is not that difficult. When costs on businesses go down they can afford to expand. That is also common sense. All you ever do is bash Rauner and defend the status quo, you are the troll not me

  83. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 3:12 pm:

    ===Someone introduces a bill and the governor signs it. Watch schoolhouse rocks sometime it is not that difficult.===

    This is EXACTLY why you’re a troll, lol.

    Utterly clueless.

  84. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 3:16 pm:

    All those downtown ladies call him “Treetop Lover”
    All the men just call him “Sir”

  85. - Shoedoctor - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 3:19 pm:

    tell me how laws are passed oh wise Willy. I would love to sit in the front row for your Poli Sci lecture.

    I know you can’t respond and explain yourself without snark. No solutions just ripping Rauner to shreds and defending the lack of reform in this state

  86. - Outsider - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 3:21 pm:

    I really enjoy Oswego Willy….

  87. - Muscular - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 3:21 pm:


    Bruce Rauner’s success was measured through his overall portfolio of companies rather than one. His strategy with Trans Health Care was flawed. He eventually disposed of the assets in this business and moved onto other investments.

    @Oswego Willy

    Bruce Rauner is an investor not an entrepreneur. His duty was to create a great return on the investment, not generate jobs. This return allows many retirees to have a comfortable life, as their pension funds supplied capital to Bruce Rauner to manage.

    @ Shoedoctor

    Great attitude on posts, but think Austrian not Keynesian. It is possible to stop the inflationary cycle of government and do more with less. Private business is reducing costs and increasing services. For examples consider the ride share companies and the Internet retailers. If Bruce Rauner is successful, citizens can have their increased services the downstate commissioner says they want yet reduced taxes.

  88. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 3:30 pm:

    Oh - Shoedoctor -, your naïveté is only surpassed by your brazen way to ignore it.

    - Outsider -… Thanks(?), snark or not…

    - Muscular -, government is about profits. It is about ensuring you follow the constitution, provide the necessary services, even limited services, knowing there will not be one dime in return of those services, and understanding that compromise by all to achieve goals to make things better, be it by enacting laws, or removing laws, to give everyone opportunity without government stifling or hindering or even unevenly help one over the other.

    Rauner did none of that in business. Two different animals. Rauner hasn’t figured that out yet. Maybe you haven’t figured that out too.

  89. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 3:31 pm:


  90. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 3:39 pm:

    Oops, commented on the wrong post.

  91. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 4:04 pm:


    You are a good cheerleader for proposals that don’t even exist. Once the Governor has an actual proposal then I’ll comment on it. But don’t try to defend something that doesn’t exist. You are full of talking points. Talking points don’t mean squat, especially when they aren’t even tied to any actual proposals.

    Also, it’s ok to be a cheerleader for business. Who doesn’t want jobs created? My problem is who the Governor is stepping on in his quest to get his “agenda” enacted. I’ll give you a hint - he’s stepping on you and me and the poor.

  92. - One Small Detail - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 4:11 pm:

    Rauner told the ed board that he wants to see a constitutional amendment put before voters in 2016 that would, essentially, be an end-run around the courts that are likely to declare his current pension plan–put everyone onto Tier 2–unconstitutional. Isn’t that a fairly important statement? In essence, the governor seems to be saying that his plan won’t work without a constitutional amendment and getting it is the long game. He’s already said, pretty much, that pension reform is the key. If he can successfully compartmentalize the constitutional amendment, would that have any legs?

  93. - Buzzie - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 4:20 pm:

    Shoedoctor and Muscular——drinking the kool aid.

  94. - Do It - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 4:37 pm:

    it seems that 98% of the posters on this site are adamant defenders of the failed status quo, and when one person tries to start a dialog of alternatives, he gets slammed and attacked.

  95. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 4:41 pm:

    - Do It -,

    What specific alternative woukd you like to discuss?

    Explain what it is, how it can be inplimented, is it constitutional, and further, will the political landscape allow for it to be possible.

    If you tell us all to look at Schoolhouse Rock, please, just think it, don’t “say it”

  96. - Norseman - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 5:03 pm:

    Do It, I’ll try to explain it to you with an analogy.

    We have a person named George G. Assembly. He’s been eating way to much and has become very obese. His gastronomic overindulgence is leaving less for his family and others in the household. Everyone tells George he needs to lose weight. He recognizes the need, but can’t control himself. Finally, the family tells George to go to a doctor. The family hears these great ads from Dr. Rich Guy Rauner touting his great prowess in getting weight off patients. Convinced of this Doc’s great abilities, they urge George to see him for treatment. Dr. Rauner tells George that he’s a big fat slob and needs to lose weight. (Not very tactful, but everyone knows it’s the truth.) Dr. Rauner then tells George and his family that he will cut off George’s legs to reduce 40 lbs. In addition, the family is asked to give up most of their food supplies and give them to the doctor’s Country Club. Unsurprisingly, George and his family are not to keen on Dr. Rauner’s plan.

    That’s where we are at this point. We understand the need, but have an extreme problem with the simplistic and dangerous solution.

  97. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 5:11 pm:

    @ Soccermom 3:39 p.m. –

    Looks like we’ve got several people commenting on the wrong thread this afternoon.

  98. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 5:12 pm:

    Evidently workers comp and tort reform are off the table but They could probably agree to name a post office.

  99. - PoolGuy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 5:16 pm:

    Shoedoctor at 3:07pm - someone introduces and bill and the Governor signs it.

    Lol if it’s so easy then why doesn’t Rauner just introduce and sign bills now instead of travel the state all week with his turnaround agenda? Really you did not just reference Schoolhouse Rock. Wow.

  100. - PoolGuy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 5:19 pm:

    I hope Rauner’s “superstar” staff are not reading these comments, and scrambling to Youtube to watch the Schoolhouse Rock video on how a bill becomes a law…

  101. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 6:02 pm:

    – someone introduces a bill and the governor signs it–

    If I remember my “AmericanRock, (not Schoolhouse) I’m pretty sure there are a couple of more steps in between those.

  102. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 6:05 pm:

    “government is not a welfare system”

    [grabbing a bullhorn]



    “I really enjoy Oswego Willy….”

    Me too. He’s spot on in this thread and many other topics.

  103. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 6:05 pm:

    Or hanging out at Deja Vu down the road from Rauners office….

  104. - PoolGuy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 6:12 pm:

  105. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 6:26 pm:

    ShoeDoctor, since you are a doctor, you might want to talk to your MD friends and their friends in the House GOP caucus. They’re the ones who killed bipartisan workers comp changes last time out that would have lowered costs. The docs wouldn’t take the haircut.

    As for “tort reform,” those are just buzz words until you and your boss Bruce put some meat on it.

    In fact, anytime you guys want to propose anything of substance, feel free. So far, all we’ve got is a budget proposal that’s about $3 billion out of balance and a lot of “enemies everywhere” rhetoric.

    Get to work already, and enough with the whining.

  106. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 6:34 pm:

    - GoM -, thanks, much respect.

    To your…”image” you laid out with the bull horn, spot on, restaurant quality, framed comically. Good stuff there.

  107. - Truth - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 6:43 pm:

    Enough with the gushing already Tribune. Sit up straight and act like a newspaper, why doncha!

  108. - ABC - Tuesday, Apr 7, 15 @ 7:11 pm:

    I quickly read over the turnaround document and noticed a few issues/errors. I am sure there are more, but these were obvious with just a quick reading. First, in two places they claim they want service limited to eight years. They go on to claim in another part that service should be limited to ten years total. Which one is it? Secondly, they claim worker compensation commissions should be able to consider independent medical exams in addition to the exams provided by the employee’s doctor. The last time I checked independent medical exams are taken under consideration on a regular basis. Thirdly, doctors get paid less for procedures completed under work comp vs regular private insurance. The turnaround document seems to argue that work comp pays doctors more for procedures than private insurance does. As I stated, I quickly read the document so I may have misread something, but these three things popped out at me. It seems to me that having such well paid, superstar employees should result in documents not filled with wrong and/or contradictory information. Add the other misinformation and errors in documents prepared and released by the governor’s office and I see a disturbing pattern. Again one that shouldn’t take place with such superstars doing the work.

  109. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Apr 8, 15 @ 9:44 am:

    OW or Mr Miller, why is no one discussing taxing the pensions with a progressive tax? This seems a reasonable solution.

  110. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 8, 15 @ 9:56 am:

    HB, when someone starts out “why is no one discussing” it usually means they just haven’t been paying attention, not that the issue hasn’t been discussed at length for years.

    That’s certainly the case here.

    Reading the Illinois Constitution would be a good start for you to form a knowledge base on issues involving taxes and pensions.

  111. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 8, 15 @ 9:58 am:

    - Honeybear -

    Any form of changing “income taxes” beyond what the Illinois Constitution states as a flat tax would require amending that Constitution.

    Your suggestion of the policy of a progressive income tax would have many hurdles. Retirement income being taxed, how it would BE taxed (progressive, not progressive…) and by taxing retirement income here in Illinois, lots of blowback that might not be worth the finite increase in revenues such a tax might generate(?)

    When we are talking $6-9 Billion in the hole, while every single dollar counts, does retirement income, or even “progressive” income tax rates, it’s a tough sell, even without the Constitutional restraints on the “simple” idea of a progressive income tax as a stand alone.

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