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Dusting off the playbook

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015

* Rep. John Bradley held yet another committee hearing yesterday in an attempt to figure out which state agency budgets are being tapped to pay the governor’s staff, and how much the governor’s staff is actually costing taxpayers.

Once again, the governor’s legislative liaison refused to attend, instead sending yet another snarky letter, which ends

* The committee’s minority spokesman Rep. David Harris asked both sides to cool their jets

“I would ask you to desist in this effort,” said Harris, the ranking Republican on the House Revenue and Finance Committee, which is chaired by Bradley. “Let’s put it to rest.”

At the same time, Harris also blasted the Rauner administration, saying letters being sent to Bradley by Rauner aide Rich Goldberg are insulting and hurting efforts to bring the issue to a close.

“These letters have got to stop,” Harris said. “They are an insult to the chairman of this committee. The letters are not helpful. They do not move the negotiation process forward.

* But this is interesting

Bradley, who may face a Rauner-backed opponent in the 2016 election cycle, said the hearings will continue because the budget cuts being sought by the governor could be offset by some of the $1.7 million difference in the salaries he’s paying.

“That may not be a lot of money to someone from Chicago, but down in my area that would pay for a juvenile detention center. It would pay for summer jobs. It would pay for an autism program. That’s a lot of money to the folks I represent,” Bradley said.

“Don’t send me a letter from Chicago telling me how the folks I represent feel,” Bradley said

* Bradley isn’t alone. The southern Dems are cranking up the rhetoric against “Chicago”

Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, and Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, have recently stated their beliefs that Chicago continues to stick it to downstate residents.

The Harrisburg Daily Register recently quoted Phelps defending cuts Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed to 4-H agricultural programs for youth. “The fact that the governor wants to target children in Southern Illinois rather than cut wasteful government in Chicago and Springfield puts him lock-step with some of his recent predecessors.

“We’ve heard this song before, with a Chicago governor targeting Southern Illinois for their own political games. “I will fight until the dogs come home for the families in Southern Illinois …”

And here’s Forby recently discussing slated closure of the Hardin County Work Camp with the Benton Evening News:

“We need to keep this facility open. It’s one of the largest employers in one of the most economically challenged areas in my district. I will continue to fight Governor Rauner and this war on Southern Illinois.”

You can pretty much always tell when Downstate politicians feel politically vulnerable by the way they talk about Chicago.

And, like it or not, the tactic is usually effective.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - siriusly - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:38 pm:

    That’s one message they don’t need poll testing to use.

  2. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:40 pm:

    David Harris is acting like an adult. Well done sir.

  3. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:41 pm:

    Methinks Rich Goldberg doth protest too much. What ARE they hiding….

  4. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:41 pm:

    Goldberg is still Rauner’s lapdog, it’s pretty sad say Rauner can’t write his own letters for once. No wonder why Goldberg got kicked out of the legislative hearing a few weeks ago. Please come down off the mountain already Rauner.

  5. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:42 pm:

    “And, like it or not, the tactic is usually effective.”

    The “those Big City Jerks” routine always plays well with the Hayseeds.

    And vice versa.

    – MrJM

  6. - Abe the Babe - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:43 pm:

    Everyone knows that death by a thousand letters as a strategy has worked every time its been used.

    And same goes for governing by press release. Just ask Rod.

  7. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:43 pm:

    @How Ironic

    Turns out, they’re all being paid through falsified medicaid reimbursements. That was the only way Rauner knew how to do it. /snark

  8. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:44 pm:

    With warmest personal regards, “I remain on my leash”…(Snark)

  9. - Abe the Babe - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:45 pm:

    For a man who made millions supposedly as a great dealmaker, Rauner sure seems like he left all his negotiating skills at the old office.

  10. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:46 pm:

    Kudos to David Harris. Well said.

    ==cranking up the rhetoric against “Chicago”==

    iirc, nearly all of the Dem leadership lives within just a few miles of each other in ==Chicago==, including Rep Bradley’s leader. Be cautious, as that charge cuts both ways.

  11. - ClumsyTuna - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:48 pm:

    Bradley’s race could be a bloodbath and don’t be surprised if even labor looks the other way. It’ll be up to the Speaker to defend Bradley. The rest of there southern DEMS, aside from Forby will have token resistance. People down south genuinely like Gary, JB, however has lost touch.

  12. - Concerned - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:48 pm:

    Is Rauner trying to triangulate by making cuts he knows will drive a wedge between so-called downstate Dems and so-called Chicago Dems?
    Could very well backfire and take away possible Republican pick ups in downstate Senate districts.

  13. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:48 pm:

    Forby, Phelps, Bradley, etc. coulda been easy gets for the Governor.

  14. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:50 pm:

    These may be sham hearings but this Goldberg guy is really a piece of work. Does anyone think that that his letters are appropriate? Is he this big of an a-s in real life?

  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:53 pm:

    In exacting proportions,

    My complete enjoyment of the snark is balanced, in that perfect exacting proprtions to my dismay how much it doesn’t help…

    … and these letters are just so, so good, so…

    Someday, Goldberg… someday…

  16. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:57 pm:

    When someone like Charlie Weikel gets a fancy title and big salary at CMS but is actually on the Governor’s staff, does he have to be graded by CMS for that title?

  17. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:57 pm:

    Maybe the dems should have been a little concerned when PQ was wasting millions and couldn’t account for millions more. Talk about running several juvenile detention centers…………

  18. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:59 pm:

    Twice this week. Harris must be bucking for the rational GOP legislator award. So far, he’s unchallenged.

  19. - DuPage - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:00 pm:

    The Carhartt jacket Illusion that had some downstate voters entranced with Rauner seems to be wearing off.

  20. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:00 pm:

    Bradley is not totally off of his rocker though. Speaking only for the area I work in, education, downstate has been savaged by reductions. General State Aid is only one part of the problem. Transportation is big cost for rural districts due to our large geographical size and low population density. We received a little more than half of what we should have from the state.

    Yet, some districts in the north, that rely on the state for the bulk of their funding, are running budget surpluses on that money.

    Hard to argue with some of what Bradley is saying.

  21. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:00 pm:

    say if bradley took goldberg up on the meeting would we even be allowed to know they met?

    and isnt disclosing this letter with possible information about when rauner might meet with somebody giving away those super secret “mental processes”?

  22. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:01 pm:

    Snark aside, the portion of the letter referencing the Governors current proposed terms for WorkComp is interesting. If true, that does indeed seem pretty close to a reasonable middle ground.

  23. - illini - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:02 pm:

    Interesting comments so far. As a Southern Illinois Democrat I have had many differences with those representatives of my party ( and none of them represent my district ) and I understand that the Governor thinks that they are going to be easy picking - he is wrong. We have been ignored and “played” for years - and by the Dems as well.

    Why doesn’t the Governor go after Hoffman or Claybourn - guess he doesn’t want to spend $1,000,000 of his money on a race he will not win - and I doubt his money will carry the day with trying to replace the conservative Dems from Southern Illinois.

    Time will tell!

  24. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:05 pm:

    JS - then where was Chairman Bradley when downstate transportation appropriations were cut?! He is, after all, Speaker Madigan’s budget guru and should have done something about it before now.

  25. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:16 pm:

    What’s the objective of the childish responses from the govemor’s office? Is it just to please themselves?

    You can say the same things without throwing a tantrum over and over.

    And what’s the justificatiion for refusing to give a hard number on the governor’s staff and what department’s they’re paid from?

    It’s a one-day story if late July if you disclose now. Why leave the issue out there?

  26. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:19 pm:

    If attacking Chicago Dems is the key to Bradley’s holding his seat, Madigan will gleefully write the ad for him.

  27. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:25 pm:

    @ Abe the Babe - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:43 pm:
    Remembers Jaba the Hut from Star Wars? This situation is a sharp contrast to it. Get the light sabers ready!

  28. - Former Federal Prosecutor - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:31 pm:

    I have to admit, I am completely baffled. I seem to recall that when an ILGOP and/or Rauner press release mentioned “the Chicago machine” and “Chicago politicians,” the comments section here was like a playground of screaming girls, talking about how old and tired and dead that trope was. What happened?

    And let’s also say that I find it at least a tad bit ironic that Bradley is blasting “Chicago,” which has had one Republican mayor since the Great Depression. Who exactly does he think that he’s fooling?

    Bradley’s math is wrong. It’s always been wrong. They got a polite response once. He just keeps pushing and pushing, becoming more and more disrespectful. If he thinks that’s the tactic that’s going to win him respect or get the Admin to cave, he better bring his sleeping bag to the next committee hearing. Cause he’s gonna be waiting for a long time.

  29. - Nick Danger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:33 pm:

    I get the gambit but a news outlet worth it’s salt would ask each of the Southern Illinois lawmakers what their first vote is for at the beginning of a new session. Wouldn’t they?

  30. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:35 pm:

    If Bradley didn’t beat the horse by holding the hearing, Goldberg wouldn’t beat the horse by sending a smart #~~ letter. It’s a waste of time on both sides.

  31. - CrazyHorse - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:36 pm:

    Goldberg’s letters were extremely entertaining once upon a time. Now they seem like Rick-rolling or some other joke that has just been beaten like a dead horse. Might as well write : “Hey, pull my finger!” This stuff got old quick.

  32. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:41 pm:

    Is anyone planning to hold a hearing to understand why the appropriation for the school in MJM’s district went through Jessie White? While I think we’ve all known that wages for some senior staff is pushed into agencies, and has been for decades - that school approp was a new one to me. Is that what we should expect in the future?

  33. - Tom - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:41 pm:

    Not sure many noticed, but in another bit of a tweak, Goldberg ended his letter with exactly the same closing salutation as Speaker Madigan.

  34. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:42 pm:

    ===hold a hearing to understand why===

    The reason is obvious. He didn’t want that approp held hostage by either Quinn or Rauner.

  35. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:46 pm:

    I know Rich - but that tactic strikes me as 1) a new work around standard budgetary practice, and 2) much more troubling than allocating salary to an agency (a practice in place for a really long time under both parties)

  36. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:05 pm:

    It seems to me that Rauner’s superstars are showing contempt for Democratic legislators and, frankly, contempt for transparency, Illinois residents and even governing. Ultimately, Rauner is responsible for their behavior. Rauner may own the people who work for him and elected Republican officials, but he does not own Illinois. And, we are now pawns in his sick game.

  37. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:12 pm:

    Suggestion: if Bradley does another hearing on the topic, go ahead and attend. Have the question asked by a committee member as to how this salary question merits this level of attention while no one even questions the significant dollars appropriated to the Sec of State to shield those dollars from budget cuts and the Gov’s grasp. And ask why most of that is in one particular district, not the entire state. And make sure the press gets and understands the story and the right sound bytes.

  38. - Beenthereseenthat - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:27 pm:

    Walker used the practice of “ghost ” patrolling extensively, so this issue is really nothing new. Southern Illinois politicians love to cry, Rauner is giving them an excuse. Funny though, Rauner could have that region electorally with just a little honey. Why he chose to antagonize such a plum is mystifying.

  39. - illini - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:32 pm:

    @LincolnLad - can you be more specific or what exactly are you implying?

  40. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:45 pm:

    Not implying anything. The money for a new school in MJM’s district was appropriated - but to the Sec of State, not through normal means. That left it out of the reach of the Governor, not subject to cuts that the rest of education faces. It’s been in the press, and that was an extensive amount of money. Google it, Illini.

  41. - illini - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:57 pm:

    @Lincoln Lad - did not know that that was what you were referring to. Yes I did read about that issue. And I agree that the process is flawed, b ut the same things happened when the R’s were in charge ( granted it was many years ago ).

  42. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:18 pm:

    @Lincoln Lad - Send Goldberg and have him bring that up? That committee hearing could charge admission.

  43. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:46 pm:

    Lincoln Lad:

    The governor could have vetoed the money, but he can’t hold it up once signed.

    Richard A. Goldberg:

    For future reference, it’s “The Ledger” not the “Ledger”. For the record, I am not pointing out your error so that everyone realizes your not as clever as you think you are. I am pretty confident they figured that out on their own.

    With warmest personal regards, I Remain.

    And I will bet a few bits that Bradley will remain longer than you or the governor. I’m just sayin.

  44. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:00 pm:

    Wasn’t it Quinn that would have needed to veto it?
    This isn’t a reaction to the current Gov - this is old news just being understood now.
    Unless I’m mistaken.

  45. - Falling Apples - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:28 pm:

    Mr. Goldberg is a prime example of the apple not falling far from the tree. His comments and strategy were clearly learned in DC under US Senator Kirk. Let’s hope Mr. Goldberg can learn to respect the process even though it is clear his comments show he does not.

  46. - Dissapointed - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 8:45 am:

    Mr. Goldberg does not understand the democrat definition of comprimise, which is:

    “Give up your principals and give us what we want, otherwise we and our friends in the media will call you extreme, mean-spirited and unreasonable”.

    Gosh. Some people just don’t get it.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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