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Roads to nowhere

Monday, Sep 28, 2015

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

A poll and a speech may have hardened positions even further on both sides of the highly partisan and bitter state government impasse.

The speech, by Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich, you likely already know about. The survey, taken by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s pollster, you probably don’t. So, let’s start with the poll.

Basswood Research, which has done extensive work for the Rauner campaign, surveyed 800 likely Illinois general election voters September 14-15 and found quite a bit of support for Rauner and a whole lot of opposition to House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The poll, which had a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent, found that 45.5 percent approve of Gov. Rauner’s job performance, while 40 percent disapprove and 14 percent don’t know. Not great.

But a whopping 71 percent agreed with the statement: “Bruce Rauner is trying to shake things up in Springfield, but the career politicians are standing in his way,” while just 21 percent said that wasn’t true.

Another 55 percent agreed that “Bruce Rauner is working to find bipartisan solutions that will help fix Illinois’s budget mess and improve the struggling state economy,” while 34.5 percent said it wasn’t true.

President Obama’s favorables (50 percent) were higher than Gov. Rauner’s (47 percent) in the poll, but Obama’s unfavorables (45 percent) were higher than Rauner’s (40 percent).

Only 11 percent approve of the job being done by the General Assembly, while 73 percent disapprove. House Speaker Michael Madigan’s favorable rating was only 21 percent, while his unfavorable was 60 percent. Only 19 percent had no opinion of Madigan either way, which means that Madigan is quite well known to voters.

An overwhelming 76 percent agreed that “Mike Madigan controls the Democratic legislators in Springfield,” while a mere 10 percent disagreed and 14 percent weren’t sure.

If you trust these poll results, then the public is largely siding with Rauner and views the General Assembly as unlikeable obstructionists tools of the House Speaker. So, a well-crafted, well-funded message which ties legislators or legislative candidates to Madigan could be disastrous.

There are caveats here. This is Rauner’s pollster, so the Democrats will likely be dismissive. Also, the group which commissioned the poll, the Illinois Business and Industry Council, is an unknown quantity with a vague website that was created this past July.

But Rauner’s pollster was almost alone in accurately predicting the governor’s win last year. So, keep that in mind when the naysaying starts.

And the point isn’t what the Democrats or even you or I think of the poll anyway. The point is that the Rauner people trust that pollster and are convinced of the poll’s results. So they truly believe they are winning and can make Madigan pay a steep price for losing.

But on the other side of the equation, we now have some very powerful folks who believe they have God – or at least the Pope – firmly on their side.

Archbishop Cupich’s September 17th speech to the Chicago Federation of Labor was perhaps the most profound rallying cry for the importance of organized labor that I’ve ever seen. Without mentioning the anti-union governor’s name, he made it clear that he and Pope Francis stand firmly with unions – both public and private sector – and against those who would exploit or weaken them.

Two years ago, Speaker Madigan specifically credited Pope Francis’ words of inclusion for his change of heart about gay marriage. You could argue that Madigan was simply using his Pope to justify a popular position change, but this time around he has a pretty clear mandate from his church’s leadership. “The Archbishop has said the same thing that we’ve been saying in Springfield,” Madigan told reporters after Cupich’s address.

The problem with mixing religion too deeply with politics, of course, is that religious beliefs can’t easily be negotiated away. So Cupich may have complicated matters.

Both the poll and the speech came during a period when folks with ties to both sides were attempting to get the top dogs to talk. Some are saying that the governor will further narrow his economic demands to a far more politically doable list before he’ll agree to finally deal with the state budget.

But the poll numbers could easily harden the governor’s position, and the Archbishop’s timing might very well end up hurting many of the neediest people served by his church’s charities if we don’t get a budget deal anytime soon.

I never seem to have any good news.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

109 Comments
  1. - walker - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:30 am:

    “We hear what we want to hear, and disregard the rest.”


  2. - A guy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:30 am:

    Now it’s petition season, the door to door work is in full swing. My own experience squares with the poll. While folks aren’t in love with the Governor, they do see and name the Speaker as the biggest impediment to progress. They’re citing his name more than I’ve ever experienced. These are very strange times, indeed.


  3. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:32 am:

    Great line Rich - this is Rauners pollster so Democrats will likely be dismissive. The comments to follow will most certainly prove you correct.


  4. - very old soil - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:35 am:

    “I never seem to have any good news.”

    Sure you do, Rich. You are healthy and doing your cardio rehab! How is Oscar? Time for another appearance by the little guy?


  5. - RNUG - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:35 am:

    When I predicted October for a budget deal, I was expecting the leaders to be at loggerheads.

    Now I’m thinking the only way this gets resolved is IF one side or the other wins an overwhelming victory in 2016. Until then … see you in court.


  6. - Honeybear - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:37 am:

    The questions on the so called “poll” are so leading it’s not even funny. Come on really? That is such bull crap. And at the other end of it, does anyone really follow what an archbishop says? I mean really. Having been clergy,(although not Catholic I will admit) I have a lot of trouble believing that the Archbishops’ words, as admirable as they are, will be followed. AND I even heartily agree with him and the Pope! I think that the positions have been calcified for a long time now and that’s why we’re in this pickle. Common folk are just now waking up to the reality. Even if they become vocal I don’t think that it will sway either side. Both sides are deaf to the screams of the suffering.


  7. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:40 am:

    ===The questions on the so called “poll” are so leading it’s not even funny===

    I’m pretty sure you’re wrong, but your reaction is expected.


  8. - Wordslinger - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:42 am:

    “Bruce Rauner is working to find bipartisan solutions that will help fix Illinois budget mess and improve the state’s struggling economy.”

    I wonder how the governor would respond to that one?


  9. - RNUG - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:43 am:

    - Honeybear -

    I hear a lot of non-Catholic Christians tuning in to the Pope’s message. Pope Francis is probably the most populist pope for many years, if ever. Now whether that translates into political action is another story …


  10. - Langhorne - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:45 am:

    Ok, so rauner moved the dial w his message. Rauner good. Madigan bad. 1) They didnt test, or at least arent releasing, degree of support for busting unions, defunding autism and child care, and other punitive cuts. 2) it may make members nervous about the campaign season, but doesnt convince them the pain is aceptable.


  11. - RNUG - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:48 am:

    == “I never seem to have any good news.” ==

    Sure you do. You managed to get out this weekend with your dad, play with cars and listen to live music.


  12. - Georg Sande - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:50 am:

    This is bad news, very bad news, for the Democrats; especially Suburban House & Senate D’s knocking on doors right now. #MoreToCome


  13. - AC - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:55 am:

    We don’t get the government we need, but we do get the government we deserve.

    Sam Roberts Bridge to Nowhere could’ve been this morning’s song, if only for the closing line:

    “If this is a race then I hope you come last
    You’re on a bridge to nowhere
    And you’re gettin’ there fast”


  14. - RNUG - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:55 am:

    - Honeybear -

    Also, as Rich noted in his post, the point is not whether the poll is accurate or not. The point is that Rauner will believe the poll.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:56 am:

    Rauner has nothing to fear. The Unions and the Union narrative is getting swamped because their own refusal to educate people as to what Rauner’s Agenda is, and what it could mean.

    Rauner spent $60 million to “play” governor for his agenda, not the governing and the loggerheads plays into a narrative, a simple narrative. Rauner, when we look at January 2017, there will be $100 million spent ($60 million to get himself in, cutting out the middlemen) on “Fire Madigan, 2.0″ and an agenda that if explained might have better numbers.

    It’s embarrassing to be winning an argument based on the premise that I’m powerful because I’m inept. That’s Rauner’s message. “I’m fightin’ for you, but I’m inept, and refuse to be a governor”.

    Until the unions like Local 150 educate the Reagan Democrats in a way find out what a Raunerite agenda means for them, Rauner will really not fear any retaliation. If I were Rauner, I feel it’s playing out as I hoped, and in 8 years, Rauner will have a Raunerite Majority, not a Republican, because Democrats not with the Raunerite beliefs, and Unions lost to that nine-figure plan that led to their demise.

    Just wait till 3 more Raunerites are seated in the House, and maybe 1-2 “Democratic” Raunerites join the Raunerite voting block in that chamber.

    Just wait till 3 new Raunerites are seated in the state Senate, maybe sneaking in a single “Democratic” Raunerite in just for fun.

    It’s happening. It’s real. The Democrats and Unions just refuse to see how dire it is. Talk is cheap.


  16. - Wordslinger - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:56 am:

    No specific questions regarding the governor’s proposals on collective bargaining, prevailing wage, workers comp or his ending welfare-to-work child care assistance?

    Is he not interested in what people think of his actual policies? Or does he already know?


  17. - Joe M - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:57 am:

    ==“Bruce Rauner is working to find bipartisan solutions that will help fix Illinois’s budget mess and improve the struggling state economy,”==

    If that isn’t a slanted question to lead respondents to answer a particular way, then I don’t know what is. Spelling out what his anti-union solutions actually are may have generated a far different response.


  18. - Demise - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:58 am:

    I would have to say yes to the question about shaking up Springfield. That doesn’t mean I don’t WANT the career politicians to stop him.


  19. - Demise - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:00 am:

    Does the poll ask if the voter is aware of Rauner’s “solutions”?


  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:01 am:

    ===…the point is not whether the poll is accurate or not. The point is that Rauner will believe the poll.===

    That’s is good as it gets there.

    - RNUG - pointing out Rich’s take is right, exactly right.


  21. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:01 am:

    It’s not “his Pope” it’s the Pope and the Pope is not for gay marriage but treating everybody including gays with respect and dignity.


  22. - Annoner #231 - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:02 am:

    > I never seem to have any good news.

    Not your fault. The pie is shrinking.


  23. - take that - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:09 am:

    Right now, there is bickering. Not a solution. Rauner claimed to have a solution even though he never offered a plan and no one held him to having one. It will either be tax increases or drastic social service cuts. Neither will leave Rauner with boasting rights. I’m not really impressed. This has been entirely mismanaged and its just a volley of political egos.


  24. - CrookCounty60827 - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:09 am:

    The Coucil is registered with the Illinois Secretary of State as a not-for-profit, with the listed agent as “Lance Minor”, 55 E. Monroe #3800, Chicago. That office is occupied by a consulting firm (Assurance International). The group describes itself as a “trade association” on its web site advocating for business, so little surprise Rauner’s team likely or backers would retain Basswood.


  25. - Just saying... - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:11 am:

    There’s no doubt that the GOP is going to pick up a net gain of anywhere from 2 to 4 seats this cycle. Though, I will say that with a quarter of their members being first time re-elects and many others retiring it ain’t going to be easy.

    Even if the GOP is able to pick up a couple more thanks to, in no small part, Rauner’s $$$$, union busting is not going to happen.

    The DEMS will still control the General Assembly and the GOP will eventually be forced to participate..

    I still think that Rauner will scale back some of his ridiculous ideological demands to save face and live for another day. However, that will require a vote to increase revenues and I just can’t wait to see how many GOP votes will be on that bill. Just saying…


  26. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    Is the “Fire Madigan” message going to work simply because Rauner has tens of millions to put behind it? Not to mention, it has to cut through presidential, senatorial, and congressional clutter next year.


  27. - PublicServant - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    Hrrrmmmm…who to side with? On the one hand, we have God’s earthly representatives, the pope and Archbishop Cupich, firmly siding with unions, and on the other hand we have the representative of a plutocrat who thinks he’s God, and is firmly against unions. Tough choice…not.


  28. - Arsenal - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    ==The poll, which had a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent, found that 45.5 percent approve of Gov. Rauner’s job performance, while 40 percent disapprove and 14 percent don’t know. Not great.==

    Best result that’s been released in a while, though. I think if you correct for it being a pro-Rauner outfit, it’s pretty consistent with the other polls we’ve seen, though.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    === However, that will require a vote to increase revenues and I just can’t wait to see how many GOP votes will be on that bill. Just saying…===

    With respect,

    To get a budget for Rauner, the payoff will be… all 67 GOP GA members… they all will be green on revenue.

    That’s the chit Madigan and Cullerton will demand, not ask, demand.

    It’s not the vote, it’s what the vote gets Rauner in the end, so no GOP member will be spared.


  30. - logic not emotion - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    This is scary news for those social service, public health and other entities caught in the middle and hoping for a budget resolution before they run out of cash reserves and have to close.


  31. - Team Sleep - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    Public - okay, so then if my church’s leadership sides with Governor Rauner, what does that mean?! Which side is right? Not saying that has happened, but just food for thought.

    This is why - and as a Christian and a political staffer, I hate to say it - churches should stay out of political issues altogether.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:24 am:

    ===Is the “Fire Madigan” message going to work simply because Rauner has tens of millions to put behind it? Not to mention, it has to cut through presidential, senatorial, and congressional clutter next year.===

    Nope.

    It’s going to work because of all that AND that the Unions, Democrats, and Social Service providers and advocates won’t get their act together in the end to defeat it.

    Sorry to be the bearer of this news, it gives me no pleasure, but 8+ months in, there’s no sense of an organized “opposition”.

    Rauner gambled correctly. It will be all the above, but the fact thise three groups will fail in educating voters, again, like 2014, that will seal the fate.


  33. - PublicServant - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    Team Sleep - It’s nothing more than an opinion, just like yours and mine, right. The only difference being that the pope’s approval rating is pretty high right now when compared, well, to pretty much everyone. When he or his reps speak, people listen.


  34. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:31 am:

    Madigan’s popularity has been in the toilet for a long time, yet it didn’t stop the Democrats from holding onto supermajorities. Until there’s a threat to Democratic control, I’d take these polls relatively lightly.

    I believe Madigan is absolutely doing the right thing in protecting union rights. I like very much that Democrats stripped the anti-union language out of a property tax bill. Republicans wouldn’t vote for it. Why won’t they help pass a part of Rauner’s “turnaround agenda” unless it includes anti-union language? Are they that much under the control of a few very rich individuals?


  35. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:41 am:

    “Bruce Rauner is trying to shake things up in Springfield, but the career politicians are standing in his way.”

    Heck, even I would have to agree with this.

    – MrJM


  36. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:41 am:

    So Cupich supports labor unions, but not one of the Catholic School teachers are in a union. Explain Archbishop????


  37. - Honeybear - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    -Unions, Democrats, and Social Service providers and advocates won’t get their act together in the end to defeat it.-

    Agreed but people are just trying to survive here. They don’t have the time for politics and don’t understand that the politics directly effect them. I’m honestly not evoking victimhood here but trying to explain that the inability to “get their act together” is not because of disorganization (okay well it is but) but rather because survival rates higher on Maslows hierarchy of needs than politics. I’m sorry that was way confusing. Can someone help me express this?


  38. - Mama - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:00 am:

    “Are they that much under the control of a few very rich individuals?” Yes


  39. - sal-says - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:01 am:

    A lot in this one post. Here comes some ‘naysaying’. You predicted it, Rich. +/- 3.5%?

    == “Bruce Rauner is trying to shake things up in Springfield, but the career politicians are standing in his way,” ==
    … Well, that’s probably true & even tho I’m totally opposed The Governot’s agenda, I’d have to agree with that statement. So, exactly what do those numbers mean, then? Fair & balanced?

    == Another 55 percent agreed that “Bruce Rauner is working to find bipartisan solutions that will help fix Illinois’s budget mess and improve the struggling state economy, ==
    … So, how has it worked out in WI after about 4 years? Is WI with Walker’s similar agenda ahead of IL?

    == But Rauner’s pollster was almost alone in accurately predicting the governor’s win last year. So, keep that in mind… ==
    … And the point is? Extrapolating that into trusting these +/- 3.5% numbers? And any numbers they come up with?

    == So they truly believe they are winning and can make Madigan pay a steep price for losing. ==
    … The Governot is probably winning and probably will win. But make no mistake, as suggested before, that this IS NOT a fight between Unions and 2 political personalities in IL, but a fight between middle class, middle income and needy people in IL versus the 1%’ers and the oligarchy. And, likely as not, we as a community won’t figure that out til it’s very late in the game & turning it around will not be likely.

    == But the poll numbers could easily harden the governor’s position, and the Archbishop’s timing might very well end up hurting many of the neediest people served by his church’s charities if we don’t get a budget deal anytime soon. ==
    … Maybe that depends on whether or not The Governot has any humility and humanity.

    == I never seem to have any good news. ==
    … It Is IL. Nobody seems to have good news since January.


  40. - AC - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:03 am:

    Honeybear - I’ve been actively involved in unions enough times and in enough places to know that organized labor is more of a misnomer than military intelligence.


  41. - A guy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    O Willy, what you said above is almost spooky. Have you concluded that the anti-Speaker (I’m avoiding the “Fire Madigan” term) messaging is ripe for consumption now? With strong messaging and a lot of resources behind it?


  42. - Political Animal - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    As someone who supports Rauner and his agenda generally, I think at least one of these poll questions is meaningless.

    “Bruce Rauner is trying to shake things up in Springfield, but the career politicians are standing in his way…”

    The responses don’t tell you very much. People could agree with that statement while supporting the career politicians standing in the way. Imagine a hardcore Dem who reads this and thinks:

    “Heck ya they’re standing in the way of his anti-union race to the bottom!”

    Again, I support Rauner but that poll results is objectively not very useful.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:17 am:

    - A guy -,

    Nope. Not at all. That’s not what I’m saying. If you read what I’m saying you’d know that.

    Given today’s parameters and the complete lack of organization by Democrats, Unions, social service providers and advocates… any message Rauner has unanswered by an “opposition”, unified and building to counter “Fire Madigan, 2.0″, Rauner will win, almost by default, no matter the choice of message.

    “Fire Madigan, 2.0″ is a big loser if fought in the micro and by all interested parties united.

    Right now that isn’t happening, Rauner is betting on that in the strategy, so far his bet is looking real good.


  44. - Norseman - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:23 am:

    Truly, we’re on a road to nowhere. Unfortunately for a lot of innocent people, RNUG is probably right that we’ll be court run until the next election.


  45. - Juvenal - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:25 am:

    The poll is designed to buttress the governor’s current position.

    The wording of the poll - and more importantly the decision by the governor to release the poll results - tell us more than the crosstabs.

    The governor’s team is digging in. Anyone whose livelihood depends on a tax increase needs to find a new line of work. Pronto.

    And if you are a state vendor not currently getting paid, I hope you aren’t planning on getting paid until January, 2017.


  46. - JS Mill - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    I have learned to avoid being dismissive of the Governor’s polling numbers. Last year was enough for me. Does not make them right, but dismissing them, for any number of reasons or rationalizations, is a mistake.


  47. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:41 am:

    ==Is he not interested in what people think of his actual policies? Or does he already know?==
    Maybe he didn’t release that part. I’d be surprised if he hasn’t polled individual planks from the Turnaround Agenda (the anti-union stuff, fair maps, term limits, tort reform).


  48. - Cathartic - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:42 am:

    Oswego Willie: Okay, so let’s stipulate that you’re absolutely correct. “What would [totally cohesive] organization by Democrats, Unions, social service providers and advocates look like?” What would “winning” look like. Yeah, I’m asking a lot of you, but what do they need?
    Money? Personality? A better message than the straight up warning that (he’s trying to kill us!…he’s trying to lower wages!…he’s trying to destroy the middle class!….he’s burning down the state!)? What would motivate a populace to wake up and see the obvious…if they don’t seem able to see the obvious?


  49. - illini - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:43 am:

    Willy, your last two posts are to the point. Wish to say, in some ways, that this was not the reality of the current situation, but am afraid that it is.


  50. - DuPage Bard - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:44 am:

    The Governor has played this well. The D’s aren’t going to be able to get all their partners on the same page. Every group the D’s have in their camp have a small conflicting interest.
    Sierra Club vs. Trucking Industry/Coalminers, DD facility providers vs. Minimum Wage Advocates. Teachers/Public Sector Unions vs. Trade Unions. There are more than that and I’m sure many of you can come up with some very good creative ones, as well.
    Those groups will not be able to fully get behind people and mass forces until they all get through their head-If I have to give up a little to stand together and fight, I’m willing to do that. Their unwillingness and how they all want a piece of the pie is why it took so long to get the Dillard campaign up and running. Had they all agreed in December and not argued until February, they could have Kirk Dillard as Governor now.
    The one saving grace is that when they did get behind Dillard they moved the needle pretty quickly. They never really, truly got behind Quinn.
    How long will it take for them to get their act together this time? Have they given the Gov too much of a head start? Who will be the one who takes the lead and pushes to save the majorities? Are all these groups willing to let the Gov have it all and see where the chips fall?


  51. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    - DuPage Bard -,

    It wasn’t Dillard’s issue, it WAS that the Unions refused to see their reality, along with their “purpose” of teaching Quinn a lesson by the Rank and File members in ALL unions at an alarming clip.

    - illini -, sometimes being honest in what we all see is better than trying to find any form of Silver Lining.

    - Cathartic -, I would direct you to google - Norseman - and his suggestions he had, think there were 7 or 8 which I feel really addressed what the education and coming together criteria far better than I have. Maybe - Norseman - can bring it up and address it. I’ll look for it too…

    I’m with 150, all day, every day, and twice on Sun-day. I can suggests things, some may be good, others could very well be awful, but it’s between the Unions, Democrats, social service providers and advocates to actually push back on their own terms, but unified all the same. They all have better people than me to give them that advice, I’m sure.


  52. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    Rauner will have plenty of money to get his message out.

    He is trying to slow the growth of government spending at the state level and through a property tax freeze at the local level

    That is a very popular message, particularly in light of the Cook County sales tax increase to the highest in the nation and Chicago’s largest tax increase in history currently on the horizon

    All working class families as well as everyone else is going to be paying these higher taxes

    There has been precious little reform reducing the cost of government through consolidation and other efficiencies to make the pain of the inevitable tax increases more palatable


  53. - Anon221 - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    Honeybear- “I’m sorry that was way confusing. Can someone help me express this?”

    When someone keeps chopping away at your legs, it’s hard to “stand together”.


  54. - Honeybear - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:09 pm:

    When someone keeps chopping away at your legs, it’s hard to “stand together”.

    Dude, that was good. I can’t wait to use that.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:19 pm:

    - Honeybear -,

    You are in the midst of a two front battle of what needs to be done, and what needs to happen to survive.

    The tough spot doesn’t get easier because if it’s “decided” in the collective or individuals peel away to focus on today, losing sight of tomorrow will make today seem like the good times. Again, if unions especially don’t see the need to continue the pushback, but focus only on, literary, today, Rauner will win your tomorrow.

    I as always wish you well.


  56. - a drop in - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:20 pm:

    Whomever defines their opponent successfully will win. I’m afraid the Ds are not doing that.


  57. - Wordslinger - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:23 pm:

    ADI, win what? specifically, what are you talking about?


  58. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:32 pm:

    ===He is trying to slow the growth of government spending at the state level and through a property tax freeze at the local level===

    You do realize prevailing wage and collective bargaining is also REQUIRED according to Rauner, correct.

    Not an aside, required.


  59. - Anon221 - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:34 pm:

    OW- For some of the groups that should be standing together, they have become so marginalized through lack of funds, and thus an inability to keep staff/clients, it becomes increasing hard for them to stand together. So, you end up with a smaller and smaller cadre of organizations and groups that have enough will, money, and time to wait Rauner out. That is what Rauner wants, and unfortunately is getting- hopefully only in the short term. And hopefully that short-term will not be another 7 years.

    I totally agree that the future must be planned for, but sometimes it’s easier planned than implemented. Rauner and his administration is going to have to become the ones marginalized, but it’s gonna take a whole lot more dissatisfaction to push the needle in his direction.


  60. - Honeybear - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:40 pm:

    OW et al, should the battle be waged in the media? I think it should. I disagree strongly with Anders. I think we should be fighting this out more in the media. Would that at least give the appearance of unity? Would that be useful on a macro level?


  61. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:46 pm:

    - Honeybear -

    I wish I could find that list - Norseman - made for the Union strategy. It was restaurant-quality.

    Considering petitions are rolling out right now for 2016, and seeing 2 of 5 union household voters voted Rauner last time, from now until January, I’d probably start on one specific front of getting your own Labor Movement “household” in order, and work internally to get that down to 1 in 5 for these state House and state Senate races.

    Pat Quinn ain’t ’round to vote against the nose on your collective faces…


  62. - Liberty - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:49 pm:

    The voters polled are the same uninformed who elected Ryan and Blago.


  63. - Jack Stephens - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:51 pm:

    Great poll questions! Fair and balanced…..


  64. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:52 pm:

    - Anon221-,

    I hear ya. I really, really do.

    It’s up to the very capable Political Crews of Madigan and Cullerton to tap into the large and small aspects of one single unifying message. Both Crews are more than able to do that, do need me to tell them, and frankly are far better at the Bear Bryant “Beat yours with his, beat his with yours” than I could ever speak to here or anywhere.

    The issue for me is really clear;

    When? How? How intense? How unified? Can all deliver?

    Rauner is betting no, and right now I’d be foolish not to agree…


  65. - Honeybear - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:54 pm:

    Jack that was my initial point about the survey as well. Unfortunately I did not get your point about the Bay of Pigs. Was the survey question “Do you believe that the Bay of Pigs would be a perfect amphibious landing zone just as every military expert in the United States does?” Something like that?


  66. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:54 pm:

    ===do need me===

    “don’t need me”


  67. - Norseman - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:56 pm:

    Willy, here are the recommendations to Lynch you were looking for:

    “Your focus now is to:

    - convene your leadership to discuss your options;
    - focus on ultimate goals - maintaining insurance, fair share … You need to consider pay freeze. MC pay has been frozen for 9 years.
    - plan public PR campaign to inform folks of Rauner’s unreasonable demands;
    - talk to fellow unions about unity against Rauner;
    - keep in close contact with Dem leadership;
    - plan for a strike only as a last result; and
    - carefully adopt a political plan, i.e. protect your friends first and intervene in races where you have a good chance of making a difference.”


  68. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:59 pm:

    Thanks, - Norseman -, really appreciate that.

    “Ball Game”.

    Can’t really think of a clearer, better, blueprint.

    In my opinion, It’s probably the best starting point. Great work there.


  69. - Honeybear - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 1:08 pm:

    OW- I remember that list. That was a couple months back I think. I remember it was heavy on educating the rank and file about the election consequences.


  70. - Jack Stephens - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 1:10 pm:

    @honey:

    Yes. Exactly my point.


  71. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 1:13 pm:

    - Honeybear -,

    Now take out where its AFSCME driven, make it Labor Movement centric, that’s where I’d be. - Norseman - is an outstanding touchstone, here’s a good example of it.

    No one is reinventing the wheel, even Rauner’s Crew. If anything “secret”, that’s the secret in all this.


  72. - Honeybear - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 1:23 pm:

    GREAT! Thanks Norseman!

    There it is “public PR campaign”. That’s a big one. I’m on board with that. In reviewing the list though, (from my rather limited knowledge) we’re engaged in a bunch if not most of those on the list. The big one that we aren’t is the public PR campaign. SEIU has put out a number of ads though.


  73. - illini - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 1:35 pm:

    Norseman has it right. And I am not a member of AFSCME or any other Union. I hope some people are paying attention.


  74. - Culver - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 2:05 pm:

    The budget impasse sure as hell hasn’t stopped Rauner from bringing in high priced out of state talent to run DCFS.

    As to polls… they are as accurate as the Capitol Fax…. ;)~


  75. - Tone - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 2:12 pm:

    Of course the general public agrees with the governor. The state is economic basket case in need of serious medicine. Madigan and many of the Assembly democrats have no desire for change. Change that is sorely needed.


  76. - Honeybear - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 2:17 pm:

    -No one is reinventing the wheel, even Rauner’s Crew. If anything “secret”, that’s the secret in all this.-

    Reminds me of that scene in Oceans 12 when Clooney, Pitt, and Damon meet with their secret contact to get the next job. Clooney and Pitt are speaking in a code that Damon, playing Linus doesn’t understand. Linus tries to join in but screws it up. I feel like Linus. Your point about broader labor movement is well taken though.


  77. - Jack Stephens - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 2:45 pm:

    @tone:

    In January Bruce said to let the income tax hike expire….he’d take care of everything.

    Since that happened he is making an extra $56,000.00 a month. That’s about what the average ‘Merican makes in a year. Not sure many people would agree with that…..


  78. - Jack Stephens - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 2:46 pm:

    I agree change is sorely needed. For instance, if you earn more…..you pay more in taxes. A flat tax rate is wrong.


  79. - illini - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 2:48 pm:

    As much as I find it to be personally gratifying, therapeutic and satisfying to post on this blog ( and hopefully I have had some pertinent points to make ), this train wreck is almost becoming too much to try to deal with.

    I would much rather be talking about the MLB National League Central race - Go Cards!


  80. - Anon - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    The Unions aren’t going to get anywhere with the membership they need to reach if they keep sending the kind of folks that you try to avoid having a conversation with in line at the grocery store out to talk to their members.

    And so far as I can tell, they’ve not really been focused on actually organizing their members.

    You can make all the plans you want, but someone actually needs to show up and do the heavy lifting.


  81. - SourKraut - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 3:16 pm:

    Nobody, and I do mean NOBODY, wins in this - not Rauner, not Madigan, not Cullerton, not the people of IL, and not the unions……we ALL lose.


  82. - DuPage Don - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 3:47 pm:

    OW - “Rauner gambled correctly. It will be all of the above, but the fact that thise (sic) three groups will fail in educating voters, again, that will seal the fate.”

    Willy, I see that you have lurched into the truth once again!


  83. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 3:52 pm:

    - DuPage Don -,

    It’s a snapshot of today, it may not be the end result we may see in 13 months.

    I don’t understand this “lurching” thing. If it works for you…


  84. - DuPage Don - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:01 pm:

    “Lurched” - meaning I am not necessarily in the camp with everything you say but I agree with your final destination.


  85. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:09 pm:

    ===I am not necessarily in the camp with everything you say but I agree with your final destination.===

    Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone…


  86. - DuPage Don - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:11 pm:

    Thanks, Willy!


  87. - What? - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:19 pm:

    I love when the Left (of all people) co-opt the Roman Catholic Church (of all institutions) for political gains. When does the crying start about “keeping religion out of politics”? Oh wait…that only works one way, I forgot.

    It’s good that the church has found common ground with their persecutors. Keep on appeasing, Bishop Cupich! I’m sure you will be rewarded with empty pews and further fines and mandates!


  88. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:26 pm:

    ===Keep on appeasing, Bishop Cupich!===

    Aw, c’mon, might as well add Pope Francis if you’re gonna Bible thump.

    As a Catholic, I’m reminded by the Pope if the hard Right wants Pro-Life “cover”, let’s not be Cafeteria Catholics on other issues too.


  89. - What? - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:33 pm:

    @ Oswego Willy

    As a Catholic myself and a former student of a Catholic institution suing the state and federal government over punitive mandates, I am reminded that the term “cafeteria catholic” goes both ways.

    And frankly, it usually applies to the same people who are now trumpeting Bishop Cupich. They usually only follow the church when it suits them.


  90. - Leading InDecatur - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:34 pm:

    Poll question for all the folks…
    ,,”given the meteoric rise in CEO income over the last twenty years, compared to the stagnation of middle class wages over the same time frame, would you be in favor of Governor Rauners plan to end collective bargaining, and eliminate prevailing wage laws?”
    Follow up… “If you are a non union worker, do you believe the trend in your wages would be more closely correlated with those of union workers or CEOs?”


  91. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:37 pm:

    ===As a Catholic myself and a former student of a Catholic institution suing the state and federal government over punitive mandates, I am reminded that the term “cafeteria catholic” goes both ways.===

    You can take it up with Pope Francis when it comes to Unions and such.

    ===And frankly, it usually applies to the same people who are now trumpeting Bishop Cupich. They usually only follow the church when it suits them.===

    … except when those decide that Pro-Life argumentors feel the need to trumpet a Bishop or Cardinal…

    I’d just add Pope Francis to your rant… You’ll feel better.


  92. - Demoralized - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:39 pm:

    @What?

    Wow. You play the victim well.


  93. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:43 pm:

    === I’m sure you will be rewarded with empty pews and further fines and mandates! ===

    Who’s the cafeteria Catholic now?

    lol


  94. - IL17Progressive - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 5:00 pm:

    The poll is really just confirmation of Karl Rove and Frank Luntz marketing mechanisms.

    Spread false information consistently (Karl Rove) against some boggy man (Madigan who few have any knowledge) and people will repeat the gossip until it seems true!

    The GOP newspapers are right on top of spreading the Rauner PR campaign with using the initial catch phrases over and over until they appear true. Those media outlets will not look at the underlying meaning .. just repeat because it sells media (Luntz).


  95. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 5:39 pm:

    To my fellow Catholics—-the pope seems to be worrying about global warning and nuclear disarmament, but not one mention about female priests. Go figure…..wait, what does this have to do with illinois politics?


  96. - What? - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 5:58 pm:

    @ rich miller
    I never said I was leaving the church, but I know that many devout Catholics do not care for the bishop’s politicized speech, which was not in line with Catholic doctrine (read the encyclicals sometime or at least GK Chesterton).

    But, I do find your humor to be very similar to your “reporting”, bias and inaccurate.


  97. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 6:07 pm:

    - What? -

    Archbishop Cupich is following Pope Francis, they are following the Pope Leo teachings.

    As a Catholic, I’m sure you already knew that… right?


  98. - Wordslinger - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 6:07 pm:

    What, why don’t you climb down from your cross and point out the “bias” and “inaccurate” in Miller’s reporting?

    You wouldn’t want to bear false witness, now, would you?

    I’m not sure how you find “bias” or “inaccurate” in humor. But I’ll check with Chesteron on that.


  99. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 6:12 pm:

    For whatever it’s worth, here is an op-ed article that’s out today, talking about how union-bashing might have peaked. It mentions Rauner and the ILGA’s defeat of local right to work. It also mentions the Gallup poll that shows unions are becoming more popular again.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-09-28/political-appeal-of-bashing-american-unions-may-have-peaked

    **When does the crying start about “keeping religion out of politics”?**

    I think you are mixing things up. Religion has a place in politics. Religious leaders have every right to offer opinions and be advocates. The problem is when people use religion to disobey the Constitution and laws, like Kim Davis did in Kentucky. The Pope and Archbishop Cupich are not trying to force government to break laws. They are offering opinions.


  100. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 6:58 pm:

    And the Republican mission proceeds to atomize and destroy any organization, municipality or public corporation that stands in between the individual and the state. Fundamentally it’s fascism masquerading as libertarianism, and yet they’re winning the debate!! Read, and re-read, Oswego Willy’s comments. Realize and understand that these people are handing you up on a platter without any effective pushback from your party, your unions, your nonprofits. And then try and do something about it.


  101. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 7:29 pm:

    (Tips cap to - Angry Chicagoan -)


  102. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 7:30 pm:

    ===bias and inaccurate. ===

    And you come here why?


  103. - anon - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 8:59 pm:

    I think the fire Madigan campaign will work in 2016. The unions are not defending their positions and Rauner clearly is demonstrating that he is the outsider fighting against the “special interests.” How true that is, is another story. Madigan is more known now than before, and it will have an effect in the local districts. The Democrats did not lose a seat in the 2014 elections, but remember, they one several races on the fringes. Legislative races are won sometimes by just several votes in each pct. Madigan doesn’t have the seasoned veteran political operatives walking pcts like he used to. Further, you can count on Rauner paying folks to walk pcts. At the end of the day, that’s how you win seats.


  104. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 9:11 pm:

    - anon -,

    Keep in mind, Presidential years arguably favor a larger Democratic turnout inherit in the voter universes in the past in Illinois.

    No matter the Rauner messaging, a slightly more leaning Democratic voter increase is sonething “Fire Madigan, 2.0″ will face. If unchecked by Democrats, Unions, social service organizations and their advocates, no matter the presidential cycle, it will be bad. If all those actors tap into that voting universe in 13 months, who can say if “Fire Madigan, 2.0″ will do better. As a premise, it’s a hall of fame loser.


  105. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 6:57 am:

    The simplistic view that you’re either pro-union or anti-union is fairly common. Illinois public-sector unions have delivered large gains for their workers in recent decades while private-sector unions and workers in general have struggled, except at the top. And there’s the “reverse Robin Hood” effect of generous public compensation combined with a highly regressive tax regime.
    As the article notes, it is the poor who are most affected. The rich and public employees have more powerful backers.


  106. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 7:22 am:

    - Anon -,

    Respectfully,

    The issues of prevailing wage and collective bargaining effect all of organized labor.

    For Democrats and Social services and their advocates, the funds that are being denied and held for an agenda pushing for significant changes in prevailing wage and collective bargaining is the common thread.

    Right now, all those actors have no common message or a plan to work together, as a collective voice to defeat Raunerite advances. They have 13 months to peak, but if as a group this collective can’t get their act(s) together, “Democratic Raunerites” will emerge, and they will win, and it won’t be because “Fire Madigan 2.0″ found a voice, but because this collective has a silent voice.


  107. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 8:44 am:

    ==I know that many devout Catholics do not care for the bishop’s politicized speech==

    Man, you must really hate the Pope then.

    ==which was not in line with Catholic doctrine==

    Ahh, another I know everything kind of Christian. Who died and made you the keeper of Catholic doctrine interpretation? Go away already.


  108. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 8:45 am:

    I’m not sure if anyone will see this. Of all the nights for the old desktop to lose its modem. I would have liked to contribute to the religion in politics micro thread. I am very much a proponant of the social gospel movement and believe that the “good works” spoken of in the epistle of James to be of prime importance to government and social policy. There is no reason why caring for the poor, disabled and elderly can’t be incorporated into the functions and purpose of government. I think the Holy Father has mentioned the Epistle of James as the foundational theological source for both social function of government as well as support for workers unions. James is a quick read but you can immediately see the underpinnings of some of these religious ideas.


  109. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 8:45 am:

    =But, I do find your humor to be very similar to your “reporting”, bias and inaccurate.==

    Eternal victim.

    I laugh when people make these comments. Because I’m sure to you that “bias” is anything you disagree with. Actually, given your goofy comments I’m sure of it.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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