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The exodus continues

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The governor has often bemoaned the number of people who are leaving Illinois. Well

Last week paleoecologist Eric Grimm, the director of science at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, rented an 8-meter-long truck, bought $500 worth of lumber, and built temporary shelves in the back. Then, with the help of his wife and former coworkers, he loaded his cargo: roughly 30 sediment cores drilled from lake bottoms.

The cores, which hold pollen grains, minerals, and other clues that help researchers reconstruct past environments, had been stored at the museum where Grimm has worked for 28 years. But the museum is scheduled to close on 1 October as the result of a tense budget standoff between the state’s Democrat-led General Assembly and its Republican governor. So Grimm is moving his collection to the University of Minnesota’s National Lacustrine Core Repository (LacCore) in Minneapolis. And he’s retiring from his post at the museum—with a certain sense of dismay.

“It’s a travesty,” Grimm says of the political stalemate that has dominated Illinois for months, and the consequences for the museum. “I think it’s political corruption and malevolent anti-intellectualism.”

Grimm isn’t the only one mourning the imminent closure of the 138-year-old Illinois State Museum and four related sites. Researchers know the museum as the home to the largest collection of mastodon fossils in the world, databases used by international scientists, and artifacts from native Midwestern tribes. Its collection includes some 13.5 million objects, including 8.5 million anthropological and archaeological artifacts. The museum also hosts a relatively small but active research program, run by a staff of 10 curators and scientists. […]

For now, Grimm and his colleagues are continuing to pack up their boxes. Soon, he’ll be driving to Minnesota to sort his sediment cores and preparing to move from Illinois. “I can’t even stand to look at it,” Grimm says of the museum closure. “You watch the whole thing you helped build be brought down basically because of politics.”

* Meanwhile

“I am very disappointed they are moving forward with the closure,” said Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, who said he’s had “ongoing discussions” with Rauner’s office during the whole closure process.

“I’m going to continue talking to them,” he said. “We need to have a plan to reopen the museum. I do believe there is a commitment from the governor’s office to reopen the museum once we have a budget. It will be difficult. We’re going to lose some very good employees.”

Not everyone agrees. Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, defended the closure.

“The governor does have to do it,” Brady said. “The Democrats have left him with a multiple billion dollar budget deficit that has to be dealt with. I blame the Democrats with this.”


  1. - Lt. Guv. - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:12 pm:

    Just absolutely pathetic. IL is a joke.

  2. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:12 pm:

    Brady’s pull string is in working order.

  3. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:14 pm:

    Blame being the operative word. Who cares about the consequences? Just talk about who to blame.

  4. - Shark Sandwich - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:15 pm:

    This sounds like a core constituency is not being represented/served well…

  5. - burbanite - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:17 pm:

    It is really sad. Some stewards we are for our children….

  6. - Macbeth - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:17 pm:

    Brady’s wrong — and embodies every bit of the malevolent anti-intellectualism Grimm mentions.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:17 pm:

    ===”The governor does have to do it,” Brady said. “The Democrats have left him with a multiple billion dollar budget deficit that has to be dealt with. I blame the Democrats with this.”===

    With respect, and I respect Sen. Brady, very much…

    Governor Rauner has made a choice, just like Candidate Rauner said clearly Governor Quinn made a choice.

    I have yet to understand how a “Governor’s choice” just 1 year ago now becomes a Legislative one.

    If all parties want to publicly say that Gov. Rauner is incapable to the duties of choice… if all want to admit that, heck I’ll be the first to blame Legislative Democrats. No problem. Just admit the duties, the powers, the office, the choices a Governor makes are beyond Rauner, I’ll blame that pesky Legislature.

    With respect, Sen. Brady.

  8. - Tournaround Agenda - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:18 pm:

    It’s good to see the governor responding to the desires of his anti-museum, anti-tourism and anti-history constituents.

  9. - Liberty - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:19 pm:

    Did he collect the cores on state time using state equipment?

  10. - Jeep - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:20 pm:

    It is a travesty! And the best excuse Brady can come up with is “blame the democrats?” Talk about anti-intellectualism.

  11. - concern1 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:21 pm:

    Activate Amendment 31 and do it NOW

  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:24 pm:

    ===“I am very disappointed they are moving forward with the closure,” said Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, who said he’s had “ongoing discussions” with Rauner’s office during the whole closure process.===

    “Dear Rep. Butler,

    Talk to the Democrats. You are wasting your time talking to the Office and the man who actually, truly decided to close the museum.

    Please, talk to those the Office and the man want to blame for the decision.



  13. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:25 pm:

    “The governor does have to use these people as pawns because mean old Madigan and the Politcians He Controls made him. Nyah. And so’s your old man.”

  14. - Homer J. Quinn - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:26 pm:

    we’re halfway through his first year. what will we have lost by year three or four of The Neverending Crisis?

  15. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:27 pm:

    ===as the result of a tense budget standoff===

    Meaning that the governor won’t do a budget. It is a one man standoff.

  16. - Gobsmacked - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:28 pm:

    The cores should be preserved, and given to a place capable of doing so. Those who saw fit to close the museum likely would see 30 piles of dirt and would dispose of them. Bravo to Mr. Brady for doing what was necessary in the face of arrogant stupidity.

  17. - Gobsmacked - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:29 pm:

    Not sure how Mr Grimm became Mr Brady. Mr Grimm, bravo to you. Lumps of coal for the other guy.

  18. - AC - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:31 pm:

    As “realworld” mentioned on another thread, it’s time to close state parks too. I’d add rest areas, conservation areas, and everything else that isn’t a critical requirement. After all, if we have no choice but to close the museum, we have no choice to keep a whole other set of services operating. If we do have a choice, then that’s a whole other matter altogether. If it’s a choice, lets keep it open.

  19. - Tired - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:33 pm:

    “Did he collect the cores on state time using state equipment?” Researchers like Dr. Grimm and other scientists at ISM apply for and receive Federal NSF and HEH Grants which pay for their research.

  20. - Tired - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:36 pm:

    I meant NEH

  21. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:37 pm:

    These are being moved, not destroyed. Until we can get our house in order, let them go to someplace that can (honestly) afford to utilize them.

  22. - crazybleedingheart - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:38 pm:

    So Dr. Grimm (rightly) packed up his samples and moved them to MN, which will now benefit from the indirect costs from his federal research $.

    Meanwhile, we’ll eventually pay for a new Dr. while we pay his early retirement pension.

    Dear Rauner:
    Cool budget savings, bro.

  23. - Name Withheld - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:38 pm:

    I had the good fortune to tour the Collections and Research facility of the ISM earlier this year, due to an invitation extended to my daughter for a letter she wrote. I came away with a far greater appreciation for what the ISM does and its prestige in the scientific and historical community. Make no mistake - justified or not - the closure of this museum and the loss of the incredibly talented and knowledgeable staff has already damaged Illinois in a way the pension issue never came close to doing. We will not recover from this for a long time.

  24. - Norseman - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:42 pm:

    Butler is a travesty. He’ll talk the talk, but will not walk the walk. He represents Rauner, not his district. Rauner owns him.

  25. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:44 pm:

    hold up… the tim butler quote “do believe there is a commitment” about the museum re-opening when a budget is in place makes it sound like there is a question whether the illinois state museum will EVER re-open. I dont think that the potential permanence of these moves has been previously communicated.

  26. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:45 pm:

    crazybleedingheart- “Meanwhile, we’ll eventually pay for a new Dr. while we pay his early retirement pension.”

    What makes you think a new hire is in the cards! Have you been paying attention!?!

  27. - Huh? - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:47 pm:

    This is a continuing example of how little the governot sees in the cultural and scientific history of Illinois because it is not business related.

    And yet, he will spend money to attract the headquarters of a company to Chicago.

    Misplaced priorities.

  28. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:48 pm:

    Notice you said federal research money right? That also attracts jobs and the state is not responsible for the person’s salary. Do some research already before bashing people on a personal level who disagree with you.

  29. - Tha missin g - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:50 pm:

    “Let them go to someplace that can (honestly) afford to utilize them.”
    So what is MN doing, differently than IL, that affords them the capability to maintain a public museum?

  30. - Dale Cooper - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:52 pm:

    Bruce didn’t want to do it. He loves this state more than an ice cold glass of fresh milk. You Democrats made him do it. He’s losing sleep over this every night.

  31. - Liberty - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:52 pm:

    Nothing on the state museum website about closing today.

  32. - Former Hoosier - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:53 pm:

    Some act as if closing and re-opening the museum is an simple task. Tomorrow, the museum will close and I doubt it will re-open. If it does re-open, it will do so without dedicated and knowledgable staff members such as Dr. Grimm, leaving it a shell of its’ former self. As Dr. Grimm said, it is a travesty.

  33. - Liberty - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:55 pm:

    Huh- Thanks for posting that about Con-Agra. I note Rauner is giving tax credits to a company to move to Chicago when the CEO already lives in Winnetka.

  34. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:56 pm:

    Think about this: Rauner will be governor when Illinois celebrates its bicentennial on December 3, 2018; that is, if Illinois even makes it that long. Rauner may just close up shop permanently–then maybe we’ll become West Indiana or South Wisconsin.

  35. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:57 pm:


    Governot? Typo on purpose or hilarious accident???

  36. - Norseman - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:58 pm:

    === Bruce didn’t want to do it. He loves this state more than an ice cold glass of fresh milk. You Democrats made him do it. He’s losing sleep over this every night. ===

    Spit take (it wasn’t milk)

  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:58 pm:

    Someone who loves his state would never promote and choose to shut down the state’s own museum.

    Speaks volumes…

  38. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:01 pm:

    ==You Democrats made him do it==

    Will some of you freaking people grow up already.

    If this were a drinking game that we were playing and everybody drank every time somebody said [insert name] is to blame we would have all died by now from alcohol poisoning.

    Enough already.

  39. - Norseman - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:01 pm:

    === Nothing on the state museum website about closing today. ===

    It’s a secret, just like Rauner likes it.

  40. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:01 pm:

    @Dale Cooper
    Your talking about the same person who’s calling state workers, the whole judicial system, and anyone who disagrees with him a conflict of interest and who has an obsession of going after the middle class? I think you may mean a cold glass of jack daniels versus milk.

  41. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:02 pm:

    olddog- That’s when it hits home! He’ll have some peddling to do then.

  42. - Huh? - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:05 pm:

    Ducky- On purpose, stolen from somebody else. Liked it, so I will keep using it as long as I am allowed.

  43. - Stones - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:07 pm:

    Didn’t the Governor use words to the effect “We might have to shut it down for a while” when referring to Illinois government. Now you’re seeing the impact.

    Sen. Brady needs to quit playing the blame game.

  44. - Stay tuned - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:09 pm:

    There’ll be plenty more nasty national coverage before this is over. And we can blame Rauner. He said so right after the election. He said that all kinds of unpopular things are going to happen, and he’s willing to take the blame. You can look it up. So Rauner needs to stop blaming anyone but himself and remember what he said last winter.

  45. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:09 pm:

    No one complaining can find $400K?

  46. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:10 pm:

    Soon we will see the @StateHouseChick story about Rauner and literal moving vans that can be directly linked to Rauner? Or will that be IPI?

    Just so I am clear: Brady is complaining that Democrats won’t raise taxes?

  47. - Daniel Plainview - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:15 pm:

    C’mon guys, everyone should be like Bruce and make gobs of money while being ignorant about nearly everything.

    Who needs science?

  48. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:15 pm:

    Anonymous- “No one complaining can find $400K?”

    Can you find the budget? Unless a budget is submitted and reviewed line by line, no we can’t. I doubt, even if someone donated the money that Rauner would back down and turn around. After all, he didn’t pledge to live in the Museum.

  49. - crazybleedingheart - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:16 pm:

    Anonymouses, maybe I wasn’t clear about what side I am on. It appears to be yours. I know how federal grants work and the good that they do locally and for individual institutional overhead, as well as when they do (and when they do not) cover state salaries and pension costs.

    I do think that ISM will eventually reopen; the biggest issue is that it will have been needlessly pillaged of collections, brains, and more.

    In the future, I think we WILL be paying to re-create things we already had.

    A lot of the Rauner budget “cuts” have been like this: save fake cash now, pay double later.

  50. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:18 pm:

  51. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:19 pm:

    Ummmm…does the state or Mr Grimm OWN those samples? If he doesn’t own them, he has no business taking them to Minnesota. The University of Illinois has extensive natural history collections. The museum artifacts, including the mastodon fossils, should be sent there where they already have a museum for this and such things for scholarly research. It doesn’t seem like he even contacted them before his “five finger discount” withdrawal. Did he use those samples, and perhaps other Illinois property, as an enticement to get a job in Minnesota? If so, he’s really using the “Chicago Way”!

  52. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:22 pm:

    ===The University of Illinois has extensive natural history collections.===

    Until Rauner shuts down all the Universities…

    See how that all works…

  53. - Crispy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:23 pm:

    =So what is MN doing, differently than IL, that affords them the capability to maintain a public museum?=

    Well, for one thing, a few years ago, they got rid of their no-compromise, supply-sider, zealot, “pro-business,” social services-slashing GOP governor, Tim Pawlenty–who, using a play book similar to Rauner’s, ran the state into the ground–and replaced him with a progressive Democrat, Mark Dayton. Dayton–himself a billionaire with a net worth greater than Rauner’s–was instrumental in raising state tax rates for the wealthy. (Minnesota has a progressive income tax.) He also raised the state’s minimum wage. He restored critical funding slashed under Pawlenty.

    Under Dayton’s tenure, Minnesota’s economy is booming, Minnesotans enjoy one of the highest standards of living and rates of health insurance in the nation, and the state has erased its deficits and has been running healthy surpluses.

    Oh, and they still manage to keep their state parks and museums open, educate their children, feed their disabled vets in VA homes, keep their driver’s license facilities running, fund their universities, etc. …

  54. - Outsider - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:24 pm:

    Why do we all fall into the trap of supporting the scam that Illinois is loosing people…..remember, the population today is 12,880,000+/- and in 2010 it was 12,830,000…we are not loosing population…although there are more than a few I’d like to see leave.

  55. - Secret Square - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:27 pm:

    “Rauner will be governor when Illinois celebrates its bicentennial on December 3, 2018″

    And as I noted a couple of days ago in this space, we’re already falling behind the curve on that. Mississippi, whose bicentennial is in 2017 — a year sooner than ours — plans to open TWO new museums in its capital city to mark the occasion.

  56. - vole - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:27 pm:

    In 2012, Illinois, if ranked as a country in GDP, would have fallen within the top 20 nations in the world. For any politician to argue that Illinois does not have the revenue is too freaking ridiculous. There are plenty of national and state economies much smaller than IL that support their public museums, many of world renown.

    The DNR should not escape their role in this debacle. When Rosenthal was named as the head — “don’t worry, the general has got it” — some of us had right instincts to worry.
    The DNR has grossly mishandled the entire episode.

    And what is there left to say about Rauner, Inc.?

  57. - Stuck on the 3rd Floor - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:30 pm:

    The article states “his collection”.

    And given the necessity that some of these collections remain in strictly controlled environments, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the ISM to get these things out to places that aren’t in imminent danger of having their power cut. Just because our leaders are infantile doesn’t mean we as a citizenry have a right to deprive others of the opportunity for learning and discovery.

  58. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:33 pm:

    So we’re going to send state collections to the U of I and tell them to maintain them even as they have no state budget or state support?
    Nice to see you turnaround and support unfunded mandates.

  59. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:38 pm:

    Boy, mention “malevolent anti-intellectualism” and AB answers Pavlovs bell, blows off his preparations for the Denny’s early bird and is on job!

    Woof, dude, you should be the COO or something.

  60. - vole - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:39 pm:

    There were ernest efforts to find a home for ISM (outside IDNR) within other research institutions within IL, including the U of I system. Guess what? None of them had the budget to support such a move.
    As for those samples, the data derived by Dr. Grimm will become available to all upon publication. Had the samples stayed here they would likely remain undeciphered. ISM is very unlikely to hire another paleoecologist. And why would any researcher of any stature ever again accept a job with ISM?

  61. - alas - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:41 pm:

    If it ever reopens maybe Con-Agra will fund an exhibit of SlimJims over the ages if they get corporate naming rights

  62. - Cathartic - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:45 pm:

    Gov don’t care. Burn it down — burn it on down.
    Burn it ALL down…down to the ground.

  63. - sangamo girl - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:46 pm:

    The U of I used to have museums all over campus run by various departments. They started closing them years ago and sent the collections to the State Museum.

  64. - illini - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:47 pm:

    Willy@4:22 and Michelle - great points, I remember looking at the artifacts many years ago when a student at the UofI. Points should be well taken by all.

    And Arizona Bob - seems like some specious accusations without any substantive evidence of all the details,

    Just saying.

  65. - SourKraut - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:50 pm:

    Anybody still think Rauner’s “winning”? LOL. He’s going to own this fiasco hook, line, and sinker.

  66. - Bemused - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:56 pm:

    Brady and LaHood represent my little part of the world. I’m as happy as a Grasshopper covered in a Cowpie.

  67. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:01 pm:

    @Arizona Bob
    You do not live or pay taxes here except on property. When Sheriff Joe decides to follow the law he swore to uphold, instead of a federal master appointed by a judge doing so. I will believe you then

  68. - Enviro - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:06 pm:

    “The person who had the singular authority to avoid all this was Gov. Rauner,” Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said.

  69. - AC - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:07 pm:

    Does anyone still think these consequences are unintended? Rauner wants this, it’s a choice he made, and that includes all the drama that goes along with it.

  70. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:13 pm:

    Arizona Bob — here’s a question for you. What is the value of those core samples absent a scientist specially trained to study them? Their value lies solely in his research — otherwise they’re just old mud.

    And it seems unlikely that there’s someone at the U of I who does this highly specialized type of research.

    Let’s remember that, in Minnesota, these cores will be available to Illinois researchers. They wouldn’t be, if they stayed in Illinois. Sadly. a

  71. - History Prof - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:24 pm:

    Several comments have said that Illinois is pathetic or something to that effect. But the problem is not Illinois. This is happening in Kansas and in Wisconsin, and in the Federal Government. It’s happening wherever the Republicans have any power at all. Illinois is not the problem. The problem is the unwillingness to acknowledge that Government does important and sometimes even wonderful things, and that government costs money.

  72. - vole - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:26 pm:

    Rauner told us we all going to have to sacrifice something. Boy, he couldn’t have picked a more symbolic target to make at least those who value and appreciate ISM suffer such a great loss for such a small gain.

    Robert Frost wrote, “the land was ours before we were the lands”. Men like Eric Grimm help us find our place in it. Gov. Rauner can never take that away from us for this is something that cannot be bought or sold like a commodity. But, still, this is a terrible hit. Rauner will never be forgiven for this malfeasance.

  73. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:26 pm:

    - History Prof -

    Rauner is NOT a Republican, he is a Raunerite that took over the ILGOP and plans, starting with Ken Dunkin, to infiltrate Democratic Prinaries and Democratic politics.

    In Illinois, huge difference.

    The Raunerite Agenda is Bruce and Bruce’s alone.

  74. - Tatler - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:29 pm:

    Rich, I know you want a public discussion, but I am really tired of all “Anon” an “Anonymous” commenters. Brave up people.

  75. - History Prof - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:35 pm:

    Dear Oswego,

    I have every respect for your comments here. I learn a lot almost every day from your greater understanding of Illinois politics. That said, I still think the “burn the house down if we have to” mentality IS, for the moment at least, a nationwide Republican Party trait. I hate to say that and I feel your pain here. But they just smoked the Speaker of the House out of his job for his unwillingness to defund the non-abortion services of Planned Parenthood. (I apologize, I know you already know this.)

    I will give you that the anti-Union demands are Rauner’s, but the habit of holding the system hostage, THAT is currently an expectation, nay a demand, of the Republican base. Rauner is only channeling that apocalyptic energy for his own agenda. The willingness and energy were there before he showed up.

  76. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:36 pm:

    the population today is 12,880,000+/- and in 2010 it was 12,830,000

    Well, whatever growth there is, is concentrated in about 6 counties, that slightly make up for the other 90+ counties, mostly rural or containing mid-size cities, where people are slowly trickling away.

  77. - cdog - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:46 pm:

    “The governor does have to do it,” Brady said. “The Democrats have left him with a multiple billion dollar budget deficit that has to be dealt with. I blame the Democrats with this.”

    8th grade civics. It is the Governor’s Agencies which need to be funded with his budget. GA just approves. WTH are these “scorched-earth obstructionists” talking about!???! (Krugman, NYT, Blackmail Caucus)

    The encouraging thing for me is that every single Republican that I know is starting to talk about how bad Governor Rauner is.

  78. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:48 pm:

    - History Prof -

    It’s all good, thanks for your kind words.

    Where it’s different than even the Speaker in DC is that the economic and union busting agenda being owned by Rauner is basing its success on just getting the votes necessary on Rauner’s own ideology, not a party platform (see Planned Parenthood).

    The zealots of the GOP want to hijack the Party, then push an agenda. Rauner wants an Agenda first, party is really inconsequential. Nothing that Rauner promotes takes on the building of a party narrative.

    It’s odd, I’ll give you that, but the premise it’s similar in political strategy is that Rauner is hiding in the ILGOP brand, not advancing the ILGOP.

    Hope that helps a bit. We are in strange times.


  79. - olddog - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:53 pm:

    @ History Prof 5:35pm — I’m afraid you’re right. Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein put it succinctly in their book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” summarized in an April 27, 2012, op-ed piece (linked below) headlined “Let’s just say it. The Republicans are the problem.” The Democrats aren’t much better, but Mann and Ornstein say:

    “The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.”

    Certainly Rauner, if not all GOP members of the state legislature, fits that mold. Re-reading Mann and Ornstein in the context of closing the ISM, that sentence about being “unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science” jumped off the screen at me.

    It’s worth reading in full.

  80. - GraduatedCollegeStudent - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:54 pm:

    ===No one complaining can find $400K? ===

    Brucie probably wrote a larger check to Dartmouth just so they could name their special collections and archives library after him.

    Speaking of which we should probably start campaigning for Dartmouth to remove Rauner’s name from the part of their library dedicated to history in light of moves such as this. That might actually have an impact with him.

  81. - Mister Whipple - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 6:05 pm:

    Bil, Bill, Bill.

    I’ve known you for years. Decades, even.

    I’ve voted for you. State House, State Senate, Congress, Governor. Written you checks. Every time.

    So, I’m asking you nicely:

    Just Stop.

    You know, I know, we all know the Governor’s budget is $3B in the hole and the Speaker’s budget is $4B in the red. The differences can be resolved in a heartbeat.

    Quit the blame game. No one’s buying it anymore. You’ve been around a long time. Quit mouthing this drivel. You’re a party leader. LEAD.


  82. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 6:12 pm:

    =With respect, and I respect Sen. Brady, very much…=

    OW- With the utmost respect, I enjoy your posts and along with RNUG and Word often find myself in agreement. When in disagreement, I enjoy the discourse.

    I say this as a preface to my thoughts in response to your comments on Sen. Brady. I find him to be the poorly educated on most topics he chooses to blather about. He is a reprehensible individual and a hypocrite as well as unethical. I know him too well…

    With respect.

  83. - Jeep - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 6:20 pm:

    I really like GraduatedCollegeStudent’s idea. The governor should not be shuttering ISM while being hailed as a benefactor of history at other institutions of higher learning. You’re either anti-intellectualism or pro-intellectualism. You can’t be both.

  84. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 6:20 pm:

    OldDog, Ornstein and Mann exposed the bankruptcy of “on the one hand.,.” false equivalencies.

    Which is what were dealing with here. Only one principal has willfully chosen to sabotage the state’s fiscal position and core responsibilities, as a strategy, to advance a personal, reactionary political agenda.

    Only one principal refuses to address the disaster of his own making without pre-conditions.

    Not even Blago was that nuts.

  85. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 6:24 pm:

    - JS Mill -,

    I know I can’t speak to your own interactions or relationship with Sen. Brady, I will say without taking anything away from your thoughts or history, I’ll stay put on mine and will respect that you have your reasons.


  86. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 6:50 pm:

    When the state universities shut down and kids are moving out of dorms, losing credit but no refunds are possible…

    … Rauner still will push to end collective bargaining and prevailing wage and convince the GOP GA that kids not in the state universities is… good?

    We are no closer right now then we were when Rauner gave his Budget Address.

    “How do you know?”

    The State Museum, an easier lift, is closing tomorrow.


  87. - Gramps - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 7:07 pm:

    Any chance people receiving welfare should have to prove they are looking for work or in school to collect “their” money? I had to prove I was trying to find a job to get unemployment….and it runs out.

  88. - Cheswick - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 7:07 pm:

    == “Let them go to someplace that can (honestly) afford to utilize them.”
    So what is MN doing, differently than IL, that affords them the capability to maintain a public museum? ==

    Well, one thing off the top of my head, Minnesota has a much more realistic state income tax than Illinois does.

    (See Crispy at 4:23 above.)

  89. - Cheswick - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 7:14 pm:

    == If it does re-open, it will do so without dedicated and knowledgable staff members such as Dr. Grimm, leaving it a shell of its’ former self. As Dr. Grimm said, it is a travesty. ==

    Earlier this summer Rosenthal, director of DNR, the agency that oversees the museum, said words to the effect of, “there will be plenty of people lined up to replace them if and when the museum re-opens.” (That was a paraphrase.) I don’t know about the truth of that, but I bet that just made Bruce Rauner so proud how quick he turned the politician into a corporatist.

  90. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 7:19 pm:

    Just as I was feeling bad about “the number of people who are leaving Illinois”, Bob reared his head to remind us of its upside.

    – MrJM

  91. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 7:20 pm:

    Gramps, no, it’s pretty much no-strings attached for the Illinois welfare going to struggling waifs like Amazon and ConAgra.

    Same for Capital One, EBay, CDW….

  92. - illini - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 7:23 pm:

    Dale Cooper ( sorry I am late at picking up on your post ), but give me a break - you really don’t believe what you posted - did you?

  93. - Truthines - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 7:27 pm:

    The way Republicans govern they either want us to become (a) Mexico or (b) Indiana; because that’s where they say the jobs go, or where they’re not in trouble financially. Basically a lawless state, and a lot of industrial wasteland.

    But it’s the unions fault…right….

  94. - Wading in... - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 9:24 pm:

    The ISM is symbolic of where our Governor plans to take all State operations, if he can get away with it. Close it, cut it, mash it, bash it, whatever it takes to save money (as defined by Rauner). He doesn’t care about the babies in the bathwater. As Rosenthal said, they’ll just get more babies.

  95. - GlimmerGirl - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 9:45 pm:

    Dr. Grimm is a highly ethical, brilliant, and internationally known researcher. A huge loss for the ISM for him to retire, and a huge loss to see him and his wife leave Springfield. They are the kind of people that you want in your community.

  96. - DuPage - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 9:47 pm:

    @sangamo girl 4:46 =The U of I used to have museums all over campus run by various departments. They started closing them years ago and sent the collections to the State Museum.=

    ISU had a sizeable mineral museum run by the geology department. It was closed due to no budget a couple decades ago. They also sent it to the State Museum, thinking it would be the one absolutely safe place for it.

  97. - John Herath - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 10:26 pm:

    In regard to ownership of the core samples - they are not owned by the State of Illinois, they belong to whomever funded the research. Whether that was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or a science organization funding research through a grant, they own the core samples. I’m sure Eric worked with that owner or owners to make sure the samples were taken somewhere where they could be properly stored and still be available for research. Most Illinoisans are unaware of the important, internationally-recognized research that takes place at the ISM. Unfortunately their eyes are being opened to it too late. Not only will the intellectual loss be tremendous, but the museum stands little chance of regaining the millions in grant and contract money it has historically earned each year.

  98. - XDNR - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 11:20 pm:

    Travesty as morale at DNR is now lower than under Blago as what’s left of the best minds are now leaving. Rosenthal thinking he can just replace valuable institutional knowledge with farm hands coming to the ranch is just clueless. Rauner is destroying Illinois!

  99. - See the forest - Thursday, Oct 1, 15 @ 5:18 am:

    Thanks, Rauner.

  100. - salvador dali - Thursday, Oct 1, 15 @ 5:31 am:

    the museum closure is a tragedy, but pales in comparison to what is to come…….

    laying off current employees to meet pension obligations at the state level, in our schools, in our municipalities, social service system.

    hospitals going out of business because the state won’t pay bills on time, many other vendors who depend upon state business going out of business.


  101. - Hugo Stiglitz - Thursday, Oct 1, 15 @ 6:26 am:

    I recently read that our state approved a $250 million tax break for Amazon’s new warehouse in Joliet. I also recently read that Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is working on his own plans to “conquer space” by building rockets and investing in space travel. This current system of essentially bribing companies to build here (or anywhere) to create $12-$14 / hour jobs to pick mostly Chinese-made items off shelves has to stop. It won’t, and we’ll keep hearing the same narrative that companies are too highly taxed, the CEOs create jobs, etc. We are a country, taxes should be going to state and federal programs; NASA should be going to space to represent America. Instead, this country is becoming an incubator and enabler of the ultra-rich’s fantasies. I’d hate to be one of those Amazon warehouse workers that calls in sick and gets fired, meanwhile Bezos is toying around with outer space fantasies like a little kid.

  102. - Property of IDOC - Thursday, Oct 1, 15 @ 6:49 am:

    Isn’t this unconscionable, blatant corruption?? willful in its intent, to create a pseudo crisis, for leveraging his personal agenda…isn’t something in this immoral, unethical plan illegal?
    Illinois tax payers ultimately own the ISM, shouldn’t we get some input concerning the closure? It is clear Rauner’s intent is to destroy our state for personal/ 1%ers’ gain. How can there be no check&balance for this sort of corruption??
    Let’s recruit Dayton from MN!! (Crispy @4:23)

  103. - Aldyth - Thursday, Oct 1, 15 @ 8:08 am:

    Over the last ten years, I’ve had to watch a good portion of my life’s work in services to people with disabilities get taken down due to funding cuts. I sympathize and agree that Illinois is winning the race to the bottom.

  104. - burbanite - Thursday, Oct 1, 15 @ 8:13 am:

  105. - ottawa otter - Thursday, Oct 1, 15 @ 8:27 am:

    The question is should a Governor, any Governor, refuse to propose or negotiate a budget to advance an agenda? If this Governor can do it, future Governors will do it. Is it legitimate? Do we want this as part of our political process? This is new political territory. The legislature, specifically the Republicans in the legislature, need to weigh and consider if this should be standard operating procedure in Illinois.

  106. - cdog - Thursday, Oct 1, 15 @ 8:37 am:

    I think we all need to research how to bet against Illinois, i.e. credit default swaps. /s

    That’s how people like Mr Big Equity make their money, create a crisis then profit from it.

    btw, Radagno, Brady, and the other GOP simpletons/fools/mockers are completely owned and not to be trusted or respected.

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