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Rauner launches another missile

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Paris had the scoop

“Chicago Tonight” has learned that Gov. Bruce Rauner and top Republican leaders are planning to introduce legislation aimed at an emergency financial takeover of the city of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools. This comes in light of an imminent $500 million shortfall within the Chicago Public Schools system.

The Republican leaders are set to announce the legislation tomorrow, but Paris Schutz has the exclusive information tonight.

Sources tell “Chicago Tonight” that the governor and his top two legislative leaders – Senate minority leader Christine Radogno and House minority leader Jim Durkin will file a package of legislation Wednesday that would allow for an emergency financial oversight board appointed by the state to take over the financially strapped school district. Other legislation would allow for emergency financial oversight of the credit-beleaguered city of Chicago.

Legislation would also allow for CPS and the city of Chicago to declare bankruptcy – something by law both cannot currently do.

We’re also told that the legislation would call for an elected Chicago Public Schools board once the financial situation is remediated. This, in light of the fact that CPS has set now as a deadline to receive $500 million in relief from the state or else lay off thousands of employees, including teachers.

* Tribune

“The mayor is 100 percent opposed to Gov. Rauner’s ‘plan’ to drive CPS bankrupt. If the governor was serious about helping Chicago students, he should start by proposing — and passing — a budget that fully funds education and treats CPS students like every other child in the state,” Emanuel spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said in a statement Tuesday.

Radogno brought up the bankruptcy option on last weekend’s “Sunday Spin” radio show on WGN-AM 720. Declaring bankruptcy would allow the district to ditch its union contracts, which dovetails with Rauner’s broader union-weakening push.

On Tuesday, Rauner was asked about a CPS bankruptcy bill and took shots at the mayor.

“I’m worried that the mayor is failing. The mayor gave in and caved on the (teachers) strike 41/2 years ago. Hurt the taxpayers, hurt the schoolchildren as a result. I’m very concerned about the trajectory of where we’re going with CPS. And right now, the mayor’s only real message to the state government is ‘Hey, we failed financially our schoolchildren, send us half a billion dollars. That’s not a reasonable position for the mayor to take,’” Rauner told reporters.

* Forrest Claypool’s react

“The governor is defending a school funding system that is separate but unequal. Our children are facing systematic discrimination. CPS represents 20 percent of state enrollment but gets just 15 percent of state funding, even though 86 percent of our children live in poverty. The missing 5 percent represents nearly $500 million, the exact amount of our budget gap. Our children’s futures are just as important as those in the suburbs and downstate. But the state does not value them equally.”

* Politico

Rauner is in the midst of a political war with Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, whose spokesman Tuesday night likened the takeover proposal to the state of Michigan’s takeover of Flint, Michigan which is now in the midst of a water lead poisoning crisis.

“I would say that anybody worried about state takeovers should look at Flint, that’s what takeovers look like,” Brown told POLITICO. “That may be the template you may want to use when you evaluate whether it’s a good idea to take over. Look at what happened to the people in Flint and try not to repeat mistakes.”

The school proposal would include a provision that would apply state oversight rules to Chicago schools if the district falls below a certain financial threshold, sources say. Under state law, school boards can be removed and replaced by the state board when that happens. CPS was exempt from the oversight, but the proposal would remove that exemption.

Um, but as that article points out, the General Assembly passed a bill last year to do just that.

* One of the bill’s Democratic sponsors talked to Greg Hinz

Specifically, I’m told, the package offered by the two top Republicans would extend to Chicago a measure authored by Sen. Heather Steans that allows the state to intervene in and effectively run troubled downstate and suburban districts. Such a move would be initiated by an independent review panel appointed by the State Board of Education.

The bankruptcy measure likely would be in separate legislation. Local units of government are not allowed to file for bankruptcy under current state law, but a pending GOP bill in the House would allow cities and villages to file.

Steans, in a phone call, confirmed that her takeover bill last year excluded CPS, which has been treated differently than other districts since lawmakers turned control over to then-Mayor Richard M. Daley a generation ago.

Steans said her view of a state takeover of CPS might depend on whether it came with additional state aid, but said bankruptcy would be “insane,” potentially undoing gains in CPS performance in recent years. “You’d have a much harder time fixing the schools” under a bankruptcy filing, she contended.

That bill is here.

* I’m told that Radogno and Durkin could claim today that the legislation is the result of anxious constituents who worry that the city and CPS will drag the state down. The press conference is at 9:30. I’ll have live coverage.


  1. - The Captain - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 8:48 am:

    Finally after months and months of getting pummeled the Mayor’s press shop is about to have a good day, probably a great day. They have a new top villain, his name is Rauner and his plan to fix the economic engine of the Midwest is to bankrupt it. This is too good to be true.

    Also about to have a good day: the Speaker. They Mayor has been trying to straddle the fence of the Springfield war between Rauner and the Speaker but there’s no way the Mayor passes up the chance to go all in against Rauner now. It may not improve the relationship between the Speaker and the Mayor but now they both have the same #1 adversary.

    I literally can’t believe the Republicans are about to hand the Mayor and the Speaker a victory this big, this easily. It’s both hilarious and dumbfounding.

  2. - Stones - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 8:50 am:

    The Governor’s real agenda notwithstanding, I find it interesting that while claiming to profess the concepts of “local control” the Governor’s proposal would create a state emergency financial oversight board to oversee CPS.

  3. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 8:51 am:

    Comparing this to Flint Michigan is not the way to go. I’d stress the fact that years ago Bruce Rauner used his money and clout to get his child into a CPS School. But now wants CPS to declare bankruptcy putting other CPS students, who don’t have the same clout or opportunity, at risk of losing their education and being left behind compared to other students in areas like Winnetka.

    My two cents for what’s it’s worth.

  4. - Sam Weinberg - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 8:53 am:

    The Governor’s strategy is perfect … if it was January 2011 and he was Governor of Wisconsin.

    Since it isn’t and we don’t, it is pretty clear that “Governor Dunning-Kruger Effect” is on his A game today.

  5. - Dilemma - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 8:54 am:

    I would add an amendment that only allows bankruptcy if the state has a current budget that fully funds the school district at its requested levels or within some percentage of the prior year, but financial conditions remain untenable.

  6. - Century Club - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 8:54 am:

    With the State’s stellar financial record, CPS will be better in no time!

  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 8:56 am:

    My first take on this?

    Rauner has given up on Rahm “helping” him in any constructive way… so… Hammer and Shake Chicago, give red meat, make this a Chicago/Subrubs/Downstate talking/pressure point and if ya can’t get 60/30 for anything, spill some gas and light a match.

    Thus also, for me, puts public employees in the “bad guy” light once again.

    So… Democrats, Chicago, Public Employee Unions, Regionalism, and Raunerite Red Meat… my first take on ALL this.

    Not helpful. Ugh.

  8. - uptown progressive - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 8:57 am:

    This is running government like a business. Bankrupt CPS and sell off its assets. From a cash perspective it makes sense. For the children, not so much.

  9. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 8:59 am:

    So Illinois Democrats were for school takeovers before they were against school takeovers?

  10. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:03 am:

    The bills will not go anywhere, but the atmosphere for negotiations keeps getting worse. Rauner continues to embrace his OODA loop strategy of disorienting attacks. Fun for Rauner and the frat boys, but terrible for so many in need and others impacted by the lack of a budget.

  11. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:05 am:

    By allowing GPS to go bankrupt and a State take over allows 1.4% to do the very thing that he most desires - breaking the CTU.

  12. - Fusion - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:05 am:

    Math doesn’t lie. We have a revenue problem. Taxes are too low. We need to increase tax rates to pay for things that we need - like public education.

  13. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:07 am:

    Steans bill has some language protecting / retaining existing labor contracts which is probably a good thing during a time of reorganization. Rauner probably doesn’t like that part of it.

    I have to think Rauner’s bankruptcy play is designed to bust the union and an attempt to negate the CPS pension debt. This may be the big picture item, to get into Federal Court and see if the IL Constitution’s Pension Clause will fall to or override bankruptcy.

    I see any bill allowing bankruptcy being hard to pass but you never know for sure. I’ll be waiting for Rauner to try to slip the bankruptcy poison pill into Steans bill.

  14. - illinoised - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:08 am:

    The Turnaround Blitzkrieg continues.

  15. - Anon - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:09 am:

    Who can track whether any of the money to Proft winds up going to Resolute? It would make sense that Rauner would want Resolute involved in the work that Proft does with the money he provided, and Resolute has provided the strategy to take it to Speaker Madigan thus far. Is this something that would be trackable on the state board of elections website?

  16. - Joe cannon - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:09 am:

    For decades the complaint by many has been that Chicago has been running the state, no it’ll be th other way around. Delicious irony

  17. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:09 am:

    One week to go before the big speech. How many more “wonder bombs” will be dropped by Rauner & Co. LLC before then? Will the ILRB rule in his favor? Will his FBL (Final, Best, Last, or the acronym of your choice) offer be sent down from on high? Will students ever get their MAP grants? And Olive Branch, will they ever get their FEMA monies?

    Oh, OW, you have the makin’s of a mini-series here! Emmy Award Winnin’ stuff!

    On a more serious side, Rauner’s truest colors are coming to full light in the magical, mystical coat of lights he is creating for himself. It’s time for those in the GA, in Labor, in the Schools, and in the Communities of Illinois to put on their shades and pull his plug. He’s not worried about the bill. After all, it’s going to be up to the GA to PASS legislation just to pay the CWLP bills due in Springfield. I don’t see an Executive Order comin’ down to do that… does anyone else???

  18. - Say What? - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:09 am:

    Maybe the Republicans proposing such “emergency” measures should think of 2 words only — Flint, Michigan. Just look at how well emergency takeovers are working for the people there.

  19. - Carhartt Representative - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:11 am:

    Now the Governor can have his first demand that must be included in the new budget. Unless Madigan and the corrupt politicians he controls push the bankruptcy agenda, no budget.

  20. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:12 am:

    Allowing bankruptcy would take a huge chunk out of the dam holding back the waters of fiscal disaster. Allowing bankruptcy does nothing to fight corruption and poor fiscal decisions but rather shifts the cost to directly to the public. When local entities are allowed to get out of contracts with venders, unions, etc. It will not only destroy companies and workers it will calcify distrust of government. Holy Mother of God do these people in their hubris not understand what blowing up the dam will do to the majority of the population of the state. They keep thinking that they can just rebuild after the flood. No people this is not venture capitalism where you buy it, break it, and sell it or remake it. This is reality where broken systems can take decades to recover if ever. Look at how long it has taken Pennsylvania to recover from the loss of manufacturing. Look and Kentucky with it’s loss of coal. Look at Detroit and Flint for the love of God. The models are there to learn from. Dam is breaking. The dam is being broken.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:13 am:

    ===Oh, OW, you have the makin’s of a mini-series here! Emmy Award Winnin’ stuff!===

    It’ll be a 5-Part mini-series, with funding only to cover the first 3 episodes…

  22. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:14 am:

    Still Crazy After One Full Year

  23. - NewWestSuburbanGOP'er - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:14 am:

    As Oswego Willy keeps pointing out and I agree… Labor, you have to wake up and see Rauner for what and who he is. A corporate vulture, who is out to DESTROY UNIONS! Make sure you let your legislators know you will not be supporting them if they continue to bow to Rauner and his billionaire buddies/pacs. All of those “yellow buttons” should be voted out of office.

  24. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:16 am:

    I would think that the ability to declare bankruptcy would make muni bonds less attractive and, therefore, more expensive. The bill would have a cost…

  25. - Jack Stephens - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:17 am:


    Want to save half a billion?

    Put an end to the Downstate Republican Jobs Program called Prisons.

    Release everyone who is down there for smoking pot.

    That would close all but 2 of them. The rest of the workers can get jobs at your nursing home or at one of the restaurants off the interstate.

    I’m a taxpayer who is tired of funding this.

    Your an alleged businessman, prisons are not profitable and controlled by unions. So do something about it. Your obsession with teachers unions is baffling.


  26. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:19 am:

    –anxious constituents who worry that the city and CPS will drag the state down.–

    How about all the damage rauner is doing? That is what is dragging the state down.

  27. - Fine - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:22 am:

    Does anyone know if this GOP news conference will be on live radio or TV?

  28. - Boss Tweed - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:22 am:

    So, the state is supposed to make CPS’ budget now? Well, let’s take a look at how the state’s budget making progress has been this year…oh.

    Well, listen, this is the first year of a new Governor (second now, but barely), so let’s take a broader look, how have state budgets been in the last ten years or- oh.

    Okay, look, I think they’ve been bad, but that’s just one man’s opinion, right? The Governor, he has better information than me, maybe he thinks the budgets have been bett- oh!

    Well, sure, this is a kind of idea, then.

  29. - Centennial - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:23 am:

    Here’s what I don’t get. BVR, et al. has to know this bill will never make it out of Rules, right? So what’s the point?

  30. - Mandy Pawtinkin - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:24 am:

    I think the Governor plans to do nothing and allow thousands of pink slips to get issued to CPS Teachers and let parents with kids in CPS panic because the Mayor has not articulated any educational plan to fix CPS’ many problems (gigantic debt, graduation rates) or needs (lower class sizes and many more elite high schools like Walter Payton to keep the north side tax base happy and in the city) but instead has only come up with tiny, uninspiring, conservative plans designed to win the daily news cycle.

    Once a financial crisis starts (which Rauner wants), this legislation becomes a prescient moment in time. The Mayor has put himself in a precarious position because he hasn’t articulated any large vision for CPS that would satisfy or motivate his own base of voters on the north side to challenge Rauner’s plan.

    I’m not a big fan of the Chicago Tribune but I do agree with this editorial:

    “When you quickly follow a big property tax hike with a request for more billions in borrowing authority, they also sense that you have no strategy beyond running from problems. That you’ve doomed them and their children to … more big tax hikes. Five years in, your City Hall still spends far more than its income justifies.”

  31. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:25 am:

    Geez, governor, I was just kidding around when I said you planned to bust out the state.

    But all actions to date are those he employed as a vulture capitalist. Acquire a distressed enterprise, milk it dry, run it into the ground, then take it into bankruptcy.

    The hoped-for-payoff for this bustout isn’t financial, but political, busting unions.

    Did you ever think you’d see the day when Illinois GOP leaders were all-bankruptcy, all the time?

    For crying out loud, the Main Street GOP old-timers of my youth thought bankruptcy was something to be ashamed of, to be avoided at all costs, not a cynical tactic to be abused for financial or political gain.

  32. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:25 am:

    Is it possible to have a discussion about the potential merits of a CPS bankruptcy? Many people who are not Rahm haters have suggested that the benefits might outweigh the costs. First, it is an open question whether bankruptcy could let CPS cut some of the pension burden (based in-part on the argument that federal bankruptcy law takes precedence over state laws that conflict with it). Second, remember those “toxic swaps” that progressives blame so much for CPS’ woes? They’d be in the mix during a bankruptcy too. Third, CPS is over a billion dollars in debt! Do you know why all those schools had to close a couple of years ago? Apart from the migration of many African-American families out of the city? Because of that deficit, and to pay for the pay-raise-during-the-great-recession that ended the CTU strike. Chicago property owners are already about to be pummeled with tax increases.

    There are some serious potential dangers with a CPS bankruptcy too, but it deserves a debate on the merits, not just more “Rauner vs. Madigan.”

    As to the politics, I’ll repeat something I’ve mentioned before: my Democrat suburban reps seem to have an antenna to voter concerns that they’ll be asked to bail out CPS. If Rauner can paint himself out to be anti-CPS/defender of the taxpayer, that’s a better optic for him.

  33. - Chicago Hustle - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:28 am:

    Chicago has the only unelected school board in Illinois (that predates Richard M. Daley by many decades); Chicago also has the only unelected community college board; it is one of a few cities with an unelected park district board; in Chicago all of these positions are filled by mayoral appointees. Is it any wonder that waste, cronyism and patronage are the order of the day in Chicago? In a non-binding, advisory referendum, 86% of Chicago voters supported an elected school board.

  34. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:29 am:

    Sorry, meant “not Rauner haters” - it’s hard for me to keep them straight despite the public positioning.

    (PS Wordslinger - FWIW I saw your reply to me on this topic a while back but had to get back to work and my response would have been so delayed I didn’t think you’d see it - sorry bout that)

  35. - anon from the north - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:29 am:

    Maybe this was always part of the plan…they did break bread together and share in the w(h)ine of the month.

  36. - pundent - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:30 am:

    -Here’s what I don’t get. BVR, et al. has to know this bill will never make it out of Rules, right? So what’s the point?-

    You can say the same thing about a turnaround agenda that can’t get the needed votes in the House and Senate. Hasn’t stopped him from pushing that so why not pile on?

    The bankruptcy message will resonate with a small number of individuals who see it as a punitive weapon to teach everyone a lesson. I’m not sure exactly what that lesson is but they sure love to talk about it. The problem is that Rauner’s message is resonating with a smaller and smaller group. Perhaps that’s because it’s becoming more and more apparent that his “constituents” are very narrowly defined.

  37. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:31 am:

    Be careful what you wish for! What if Rahm said take the CPS and comrade Karen Lewis now? Would the state be on the hook for the CPS pension contributions the same way they do for all the other teacher’s in the state?

  38. - burbanite - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:31 am:

    The state needs to get its own financial house in order before it starts pointing fingers at other houses and telling them what to do. Do as I say not as I do?

  39. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:36 am:

    Anonymous - possibly not: again, it’s an undecided question whether bankruptcy might allow for reduction of pension debt (CPS would have to sell off all its assets and pay what it could - a judge would determine how much they could shed). I think something similar was presented in Detroit and the courts ruled that they did have the power to cut previously vested pensions, but the differences between there and here could make the decision here different.

    PS For the record, I consistently said that the Illinois Supreme Court should uphold the state constitution pension clause else it would make a mockery of the rule of law.

  40. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:38 am:

    LCD “As to the politics, I’ll repeat something I’ve mentioned before: my Democrat suburban reps seem to have an antenna to voter concerns that they’ll be asked to bail out CPS. If Rauner can paint himself out to be anti-CPS/defender of the taxpayer, that’s a better optic for him.”

    An exodus of families with school age children to the suburbs would be good for suburban property values and the suburbs tax tax base. Of course, this type of exodus would be disastrous for Chicago’s property values and tax base.

  41. - Streator Curmudgeon - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:39 am:

    This will be extremely unpopular downstate.

  42. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:41 am:

    LCD: “CPS would have to sell off all its assets” - I think that a judge would allow the CPS to provide educational services and shed debt (bond, vendor and retirement obligations) before this happens.

  43. - sal-says - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:46 am:

    == “I’m worried that the mayor is failing. ==

    What a joke. Perfect description of himself & still spews it out.

    Said it before: H.Y.P.O.C.R.I.T.E

  44. - Overbite - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:47 am:

    Wasn’t Rauner part of the Bird Bennitt scandal? Wasn’t he part of the board which recommended implementation of the no bid contract for the Chicago Public School system?

    SUPES training program was launched with seed money from Rauner’s non for profit. Records indicate Rauner was a key player in the group referring SUPES to CPS.

  45. - Mandy Pawtinkin - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    Here is what Detroit is debating to do with their schools: “The Senate bills, which were finally proposed more than eight months after Gov. Rick Snyder first unveiled the concept, do not yet identify the funding source needed to retire Detroit Public Schools’ operating debt and launch a new district in July. The legislation also does not include the Republican’s proposal — backed by a coalition in Detroit — to create a commission that would hire an officer to potentially close poor-performing public schools, regardless of whether they are traditional ones or independent charters.”

  46. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    These proposals may not be going anywhere in the legislature, but they could put pressure on the city to stop asking for more state money and solve or partially solve their own school funding problems. The CTU doesn’t want a bankruptcy judge taking over labor negotiations and deciding salaries and other benefits. Doesn’t the CTU advocate more local taxation to fund schools, thus more independence from the Statehouse. Bankruptcy looks bad for Emmanuel’s self-esteem, but perhaps the threat of bankruptcy would make negotiations with CTU more productive.

  47. - Earnest - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:53 am:

    Agree or disagree, at least he’s coming right out and saying things. That’s what we need–none of the meaningless catch-phrases. Put it out there in an election year and fight the good fight for the voters. If he would just let go of the despicable hostage-taking of the poor and disabled we might see a chance for progress. I’m still hoping for real numbers come budget address, though my hopes aren’t too high at this point.

  48. - jerry 101 - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:55 am:

    Two thoughts…

    1. Self fulfilling prophecy is being fulfilled. For a few years now, republicans have been crying out Chicago is the next Detroit with no evidence to back that claim up. But Rauner’s doing his best to make this happen.

    2. This is Richard Daley’s legacy. This is the mess he created. Rahm’s doing a terrible job of cleaning it up, but this started with Daley. The coming fiscal doomsday was obvious to anyone who was looking 10 years ago, but the press and city council were just lapdogs to Daley, so everyone went along with his terrible ideas. Thank god Chicago didn’t get the Olympics.

  49. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:56 am:

    Take a look at some “restructuring” of Public Schools being proposed in Michigan.

    DPS is currently getting hammered with “sick outs.”

  50. - Angry Republican - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:56 am:

    For anyone advocating bankruptcy as a way to reduce pension debt, please identify ANY municipality where pensioners took more than a 10% cut. Using bankruptcy to get out of pension debt has FAILED every time it has been attempted. Detroit pensioners took a very small cut, 6% or 8%, and bondholders took a huge cut. CA supreme court ruled Stockton must pay full freight into Calpers, even though the city can’t really afford it. Even libertarian/conservative think tanks have given up on this tactic.

  51. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 9:59 am:

    Anon (or Anons) - Yes to both. CPS would of course be allowed to keep some of its assets to stay functioning - I meant to say they couldn’t just shed all their debt and not have to try to pay some of it by selling off assets (like real estate holdings). The potential for middle class flight is one of the strongest arguments against CPS bankruptcy, but it’s complicated because a lot of the stuff CTU pushes (not to mention the prospect of even greater property tax increases) can trigger that as well.

  52. - Rock and Roll - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    You have to be insolvent to jam a bankruptcy through. The City of Chicago is not insolvent if you consider the airports as an asset that should be sold. The airports, unlike parking meters, do NOT provide income to the City’s budget. In fact, they increase the budget by forcing the City to hire people to run the airports. How much do you think O’Hare would sell for—$10-$15 Billion? Cities across the country that are in financial straits could do the same.

  53. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 10:17 am:

  54. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 10:19 am:

  55. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 10:25 am:

    I’ not seeing how even the unlikely prospect of a school bankruptcy makes Chicago look like a great business destination. So tacky. You want to live in a place where the schools are so bad they are under receivership. People have choices where they live. And the fact that a business guv is actively proposing it might carry some weight in the business community.

    This is a negotiating move.

  56. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 10:32 am:

    Last week, the City wanted $190M for the land for the Tollway’s O’Hare project. This week Rauner wants to enable bankruptcy for the CPS and the City. Don’t believe either are truly actionable. Enough posturing already, and do the work to put new revenues in place.

  57. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 10:48 am:

    My BOOZE Bros conspiracy theory is playing out…..

  58. - Triple fat - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    Forrest Claypool, Speaker Madigan and Mayor Emanuel,
    Please check out I find it odd that out of GTCR’s Vice Presidents, Managing Directors, Principals, Senior Associates, and Associates, 56 positions, not one position is filled by an African American. Perhaps the racial makeup of the GTCR Team helps explain the Governor’s lack of empathy for the low income minority children attending the public schools of Chicago. Any past support the Governor gave to CPS was aimed at privatizing what he could, via charter schools, because there is money to be made at the public trough. I would like to know if the Governor’s staff is similar to the complection of GTCR’s Team. I like Separate and Unequal rather than Separate but Unequal. It’s kinda catchy.

  59. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 11:14 am:

    RNUG@9:07. Yes indeed. I believe if the RAUN Man gets this, he can claim victory and raise taxes. His wine drinking buddy gets everybody off his back, and he too can start planning for his next political move.

  60. - Sense of a Goose - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    How many fights can a man pick? Michigan has shown how well this works. For God’s sake, govern the state before you show us what a great job you’ll do with the city.

  61. - DuPage - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 11:40 am:

    Changing the law in Illinois to allow cities,

    towns, counties, school districts, etc. to declare

    bankruptcy will raise the cost of bonds and other

    forms of credit drastically. Also, vendors are

    going to want payment up front, they would be

    foolish to extend credit to CPS with Rauner

    controlling the finances. Also, what few

    businesses and contractors that will risk doing

    business with local entities are going to bid way

    higher on their prices. This will result in

    increased costs to taxpayers statewide, exactly

    opposite to what Rauner claims to want.

  62. - Sue - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    To all of you Naysayers- say whatnyounwant but getting all parties before a federal bankruptcy judge who has authority to balance all competing interests is the ONLY way to save the Chicago School System. The union to date has refused to accept reality( as has the Mayor). Allowing a bankruptcy filing will accelerate a long term solution where every party will be forced to give up,something. Anyone who believes there is some other answer is simply refusing to comprehend the severity of the problem

  63. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 12:21 pm:

    we did this to E St Louis. i actually think this might be a good idea. i am sure this is mostly a political ploy aimed at the mayor to punish hm for not back Rauner…. rauner likes his vengence…. Which is unfortunate because the underlying idea is not bad given how disfunctional the cps is, not unlike E St Louis, corruption, missing resources etc.

  64. - siriusly - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 1:37 pm:

    I think he now knows that compromise with the Dems is nearly impossible on anything. And as others have said - the Rahm piece is getting cast aside as well.

    The new strategy is just to keep swinging hard. I think as a message it works for November.

    But as far as Governing goes - he is just plain awful.

  65. - quincy - Wednesday, Jan 20, 16 @ 6:44 pm:

    Sounds like Bruce what to be another HILTER

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