* Tribune editorial…
We understand that many of Rauner’s critics want to energize their loyalists; others demonize him to raise donations. No problem, free country, all fair.
What we don’t understand is the Rauner critics’ willingness to see services shrink and institutions close. Their reluctance to get in Michael Madigan’s face, just as they get in Bruce Rauner’s.
* Let’s walk down memory lane, starting with the SJ-R…
“I think we can drive a wedge issue in the Democratic Party on that topic and bring the folks who say, ‘You know what, for our tax dollars, I’d rather help the disadvantaged, the handicapped, the elderly, the children in poverty,’ ” Rauner said, instead of directing tax dollars to the Service Employees International Union or “AF-Scammy,”
* A Tribune news report on a Tribune editorial board appearance last year…
“Crisis creates opportunity. Crisis creates leverage to change … and we’ve got to use that leverage of the crisis to force structural change,” said Rauner […]
One such moment came when Rauner railed against public worker unions that donate heavily to further their political aims. Asked how he intended to get a ban on union campaign contributions through a legislature that is heavily backed by organized labor, Rauner pointed to the binders his staff had prepared.
“Read it,” he said. “Change the law … that’s what our proposal is.”
Pressed to explain, Rauner simply said: “Crisis. Crisis creates leverage.”
So, can you see why most legislators who aren’t in the governor’s party are so reluctant to do a deal with him? He said he would create a crisis and he did it. If they give in, he’ll probably just do it all over again.
* Let me be abundantly clear here that I have been pushing for and demanding a resolution to this impasse for a very long time. I believe that the governor makes extremely good points about the state of our economy and about the unfairness of our property tax system.
But, at the same time, it’s really not too difficult to understand why the other side doesn’t want to cave.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Chicago Rep. Will Guzzardi is not at all what you would ever call an “organization Democrat.” He defeated an organization Dem on his second try. His response to the Trib’s editorial on his Facebook page…
Here’s the thing about this article. It operates on the same faulty premise that I think the Governor has: fear of Speaker Madigan is the only thing keeping us from being full-throated advocates of the Turnaround Agenda.
That’s just wrong. You could have another Speaker tomorrow and you’d still be miles away from 60 votes on right to work, ending prevailing wage, gutting workers comp, capping remedies in civil court, or any of the rest of Rauner’s “reforms.”
I’m opposed to those things, and it’s certainly not because I’m under the thumb of Madigan. Most of my colleagues are opposed to them too. It’s because we actually believe in the merits of those programs.
Anyone who wants this thing to end needs to realize that, irrespective of Madigan, there is *no way* that the Turnaround Agenda will pass the House. Insisting on it as a precondition of a budget deal is the same thing as saying “I do not want a budget deal.” That’s why we blame Rauner.
You may disagree with his ideology, but you can’t argue the merits of his argument here. Very, very good points. [Hat tip: 47th Ward in comments]
*** UPDATE 2 *** Good points by a commenter…
The Democrats undeniably did the following things:
1) They passed a tax increase with a sunset provision, then for 4 years and total control of Congress and Gov’s office they took no action to either get expenses in line to prepare for the drop off in income tax, OR to renew the tax rates before they hit sunset. They could have taken that action as a party at any point from 2011 to 2015. They could have extended the tax sunset in the lame duck session of 2014 but they did not do that.
2) Democrats passed an unbalanced budget twice, once in 2014 when there was a Democratic governor and again in 2015 with Rauner.
Yep. Very true. Blame for the past, even the recent past, is very easy here. Going forward, however, I don’t see how it makes much of a difference.