* I told subscribers about these mailers from the ostensibly “pro-Democratic” Illinoisans for Growth and Opportunity the other day…
It says that “state politicians have cut $14,036,198 from our neighborhood schools since 2010″ and that “without an immediate budget solution,” schools face “another $500 million in cuts to classrooms,” with more than 3,000 teachers laid off. The two-page flier lists Cullerton’s and Feigenholtz’s district office numbers and urges recipients to call them and “demand they stop playing games with our schools and pass a balanced budget.”
The flier does not mention that Rauner has held off on approving a tax hike he admits is needed to balance the budget until Democrats put limits on public-sector unions. The governor says those changes will save money and boost the economy, but Democrats say they would effectively destroy the collective bargaining process.
Cullerton, in a phone interview, pretty much shrugged off the attack, noting that he’s not up for re-election for three years. He and Illinoisans for Growth and Opportunity chief Greg Goldner, a prominent political operative who once was campaign manager for Mayor Richard M. Daley, have talked since the flier hit. Cullerton said Goldner “was not aware” that a bill already has passed the Senate by a veto-proof majority that would solve CPS’ current budget woes by giving it $200 million a year for pensions and allow CPS to defer hundreds of millions in other pension payments for two more years. The same measure would impose a two-year property tax freeze and mandate a rewrite of the state’s school-aid formula by 2017. [Emphasis added.]
OK, wait. First of all, Greg Goldner’s front group is using the exact same false attack that the Rauner campaign used against Quinn last year. The truth is that the state didn’t cut funding for schools. As I showed time and time again last year, school funding dropped after the federal stimulus package expired.
Also, Goldner is running a multi-million dollar attack machine and doesn’t even know that the Senate passed a Chicago schools bailout bill?
The flier “is propaganda” that “doesn’t tell the whole story,” [Rep. Sara Feigenholtz] said in a phone interview. “We could agree on the budget tomorrow,” but Rauner “is holding the budget hostage, presenting us with issues that have nothing to do with the budget. . . .He just wants the collective bargaining process to go away.”
Goldner, in a separate interview, noted that similar fliers have been sent to the districts of every lawmaker in the city and some in the suburbs. Beyond that, he insisted that the fliers are not intended to criticize but to inform.
Um, the same guy who wasn’t even aware of the Senate’s school funding bill before sending out two direct mailers on the topic to every legislative district in Chicago says he’s just trying to “inform” voters?