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Madigan: Some Rauner actions “clear resemblance to Blagojevich tactics,” says governor is being “extreme”

Sunday, May 31, 2015

* As I told you earlier, House Speaker Michael Madigan appeared on Rick Pearson’s Sunday Spin show. Have a listen

* Some quotes

If you want to have a broad-based approach [on workers’ comp reform] it should include whether the insurance companies are being fair about this and whether they should reduce their premiums.

The number one problem afflicting the government of the State of Illinois is the budget deficit and the accumulated debt. That’s why the focus should be on the elimination of the deficit. Eliminating the deficit is going to happen in moderation. It’s not going to happen in the extreme. People will want to bring non-budget issues to this debate. They’ll be able to do it to the extent that they do it on the extreme, which I think Gov. Rauner is doing, they’re not solving the problems. The solution to the budget deficit problem will be in moderation.

* To the governror’s plans on advertising, again, to the extent that the advertising takes this debate and this discussion to the extreme, it doesn’t help to eliminate the budget deficit, which is the number one problem facing the State of Illinois. The solution to the budget deficit will be in moderation. Everybody being reasonable. To the extent that you take this to the extreme, you get into name-calling, all unrelated to the budget deficit, you hurt the solution, you don’t help the solution.

[The governor’s pending advertising is] a new element of consideration. We’ve thought about it, we’ve planned for it. We’re not going to move away from our belief that the governor’s non-budget issues will hurt the middle-class families of Illinois.

Every member of the General Assembly was elected based upon a campaign in their districts. For the Democrats, they were elected by middle-class families of Illinois and they’re not prepared to walk away from those middle-class families.

The governor apparently is spending time on fundraising and dispersing funds. I’m not doing that.

It’s incredible that there hasn’t been more reporting on something like this. A governor of a state files a budget, the budget presumes spending $2 billion in savings from a pension proposal and he never filed the bill.

I know you’re going to be surprised that the end game is in moderation.

I’m rejecting that linkage [to the governor’s Turnaround Agenda items] when it’s in the extreme.

* [Do you agree with one of your members that Rauner reminds him of Rod Blagojevich?] Well, I would be concerned if Mr. Rauner does start to act like Blagojevich. The governor one or two days ago said he was not going to call a special session because that would be like Blagojevich. It is true that there have been certain actions taken by Gov. Rauner which clearly look like the things that were done by Rod Blagojevich when he was in office. And I just don’t think Illinois needs Rod Blagojevich.

[What type of things?] Um, negotiating positions, and, uh, statements in these working groups that were set up by the governor. There, there was a, a clear resemblance to the Blagojevich tactics. And I know that Gov. Rauner was concerned about that. He has said he doesn’t want to be viewed as another Blagojevich.

* [Why aren’t you voting that much on bills this year?] If you would review my voting record over the entire session, you’ll find that I’m a very active voter on the bills, and you can check the last few days. Sometimes I don’t vote on a bill simply because I don’t feel comfortable that I have enough knowledge about the bill to vote on a bill.

[You’re the Speaker of the House, you’re the only guy in this building who reads every bill.] Yeah, but I’m busy talking to people like you.

* Madigan also appeared on Craig Dellimore’s program

While Governor Rauner castigates House Speaker Michael Madigan for rejecting most elements of his turnaround agenda, Madigan says it’s the governor whose staked out positions on non-budget items like term limits and workers compensation.

“What we need is for everybody to be reasonable,” Madigan said. “I’ve been through these disputes in the legislature in the past. I know from my experience that you don’t solve these problems by working in the extreme. You solve these problems by working in moderation. That’s what happened in the past when I worked successfully with Governor Edgar, Governor Thompson, Governor Ryan. When people are functioning in the extreme, they are not working toward a solution.”

He says he’s told the governor that Democrats are willing to make cuts in Medicaid, for example, but not lower the standard of living for the middle class.

“Illinois has severe budget problem,” Madigan said. “You cannot cut your way out of the problem. You need cuts such as the Medicaid program cuts and you need new revenue. On new revenue, you need reasonable people to come together, look at each other, commit to be reasonable and not functioning on the extreme.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:58 pm:

    ===I know from my experience that you don’t solve these problems by working in the extreme. You solve these problems by working in moderation. That’s what happened in the past when I worked successfully with Governor Edgar, Governor Thompson, Governor Ryan. When people are functioning in the extreme, they are not working toward a solution.”===

    Those Raunerites who don’t fully grasp what it means to work in divided government, this statement will sound like political rhetoric instead of showing the history of how things coukd work.


  2. - Let'sMovetoTexas - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:02 pm:

    Oh come on! The Speaker is continuously engaged in ‘raising and dispursing funds’. That is his political lifeblood and that is why the Dem Legislators are so spineless!


  3. - Wordslinger - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:08 pm:

    Remember when Rauner said he was going to be on the House floor, the Senate floor, work, work, working all the time?

    Instead, he spent the last two weeks of the session incommunicado in tne Blago Bunker, apparently ignorant as to the composition of his own budget proposal, three months after he made it.

    We’ve seen this movie, except this guy, rather than sitting around watching cartoons, is going to sit around all summer watching his own TV spots.


  4. - Grandson of Man - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:24 pm:

    “He says he’s told the governor that Democrats are willing to make cuts in Medicaid, for example, but not lower the standard of living for the middle class.”

    That’s it right there–some cuts, along with revenue increases. Let’s work on fixing the budget deficit first. That’s a compromise right there. I have reform wish list items also, but they ain’t going to get passed. Marijuana legalization would be good for the economy and would bring in lots of tax revenue. Putting a millionaire surcharge amendment on the ballot would be great for long term tax reform. Let’s not allow these things to get in the way. Like Rep. Franks said, we have to do small steps.


  5. - thoughts matter - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:26 pm:

    Madigan seems very reasonable to me, while Rauner seems very extreme. I think I may have to change my political party designation.

    FYI, Rich, I did change my nickname. Need to remain anonymous on social media.


  6. - Horse w/ No Name - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:26 pm:

    Madigan is beating Rauner in the first quarter of the press game. He’s clearly qued up to go here. Gonna be a long summer.


  7. - RNUG - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:28 pm:

    It’s clear there is a deal to be had on Work Comp but the insurance companies are going to have to take a shave. Just not sure how that is going to work since the newest Director is a former insurance company head.


  8. - RNUG - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:34 pm:

    As far as Rauner looking like Blago, Some of us here could see that back during the campaign. Rauner can’t avoid that image …


  9. - RNUG - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:37 pm:

    It’s clear there is a deal to be had … if Rauner wants it.


  10. - Test - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:48 pm:

    Test


  11. - Test - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    None of this is unexpected. The fight began when Madigan sent Blagojevuch a $2 billion unbalanced budget. The structural cuts never happened. Blago would not raise races on the middle class. Before the fight could occurs Blagi was arrested. Quinn then turned to tax increases. Again the structural cuts never happened. The cut fight must and will occur under Rauner. Madigan will try and deflect the fight again by tying to discredit Rauner with Blago comparisons and the media will play along because that spectacle is better than boring and complex discussions about the size if government spending. Let’s not get distracted.


  12. - Team Sleep - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 1:59 pm:

    I seem to remember Speaker Madigan co-chairing Governor Blagojevich’s reelection campaign. He made that a very public affair. Hmm.


  13. - nona - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 2:06 pm:

    Confrontation garners national attention, esp. on Fox. If the state shuts down, more positive Fox headlines for Rauner.


  14. - Pelonski - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 2:30 pm:

    Test,

    What structural cuts? I’ve yet to hear anything from the Governor on the structural cuts that are needed to state government. In fact, the only solution to the budget situation he has offered is to raise taxes in exchange for his Turnaround agenda which has no direct effect on the structure of the government. If he has a plan to balance the budget without raising taxes, I would love to hear it.


  15. - walker - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 2:46 pm:

    Test: just in case you didn’t notice, 1. operating spending cuts have been made for three years already, 2. Rauner’s budget proposal would require $3B more in cuts to balance. He hasn’t proposed them, leading many to believe he secretly wants a deal with more taxes to bail him out


  16. - walker - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 2:56 pm:

    Team Sleep: please stop with cheap shots. You’re well informed. You know Madigan as DPI head was an honorary campaign head but hated Blago, and did not go out of his way to help him. He obviously led the movement for impeachment many weeks before it occurred. You might not know that he actively, but discreetly, tried to recruit somebody to replace him on the ticket.


  17. - walker - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 3:29 pm:

    Team Sleep: To be clear, I value and appreciate your comments because they come with knowledge and fairness. This last one was not up to your usual standards.


  18. - Team Sleep - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 3:54 pm:

    Walker - fair point. I appreciate you as well.

    I remember that MJM worked in neutral for Sexy Alexi, too. But he still signed on as co-chair of Blago’s reelection campaign - and issued a press release stating as much - and he had the power to either make something happen or even not support Blago at all. Profiles in courage it was not.

    Imagine how much JBT could have done not only for Illinois but also for Speaker Madigan. Those two would have made grand bargain after grand bargain.


  19. - walker - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 4:08 pm:

    Team Sleep: Agreed. That would have been some pair.


  20. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Jun 1, 15 @ 7:43 am:

    More of this from Madigan, please. Up until now the Democratic leadership seems to have been almost invisible.

    Also, Test . . . the state’s share of higher ed funding has dropped from a third to little more than ten percent. Is that not structural? How about having a smaller per capita state government workforce than any other Midwest state? Sounds pretty structural to me. What structurally isn’t working is our revenue system. We leave a huge amount of money at the very top on the table compared to our neighbors and peers.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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