* Jim Edgar via the Sun-Times…
Former Gov. Jim Edgar — one of the state’s most popular Republican governors — said Tuesday that Illinois is in its worst shape in 50 years, and warned that Gov. Bruce Rauner must tone down his “rhetoric” and abandon his “Turnaround Agenda” to get a complete budget done. […]
Edgar said budgets were accomplished in the ‘90s, despite many hardships, “because we compromised.” He called negotiations with Madigan during his tenure as governor during a budget impasse tense, but civil in the end because “we both tried to watch our rhetoric.” […]
“You can’t get things done if you’re not willing to meet your adversary halfway, and again we’ve gotten away from that,” Edgar said, noting the state must try something different.
“It’s obvious what we’ve done the last year hasn’t worked,” Edgar said.
“It’s critical that in public arenas that we treat our adversaries with civility because one of the things I also learned (in politics is that) today’s adversary is tomorrow’s ally because issues change. But if you just call somebody stupid or a crook, it’s going to be a little harder the next day for you to meet them as allies,” he said. […]
While Edgar opposes a short-term budget deal for the state, he said he saw one good sign in that Rauner had dropped his requirement that lawmakers approve the governor’s turnaround agenda as part of a stopgap spending deal.
“The good thing the governor said was he was going to set aside his turnaround agenda. Now I think the next good thing he ought to do is just set aside the turnaround agenda until they get a real budget bill,” Edgar said.
Rauner “kind of took the first step. I hope he’ll take another step, and I hope the Democrats will meet him halfway and maybe even figure out some things they can give to him,” Edgar said.
Edgar, who served as Illinois’ governor during the 1990’s, predicted programs will have to be cut and taxes will have to be raised, painful votes for both parties, he noted. He said he wishes he could say he sees a “light at the end of the tunnel.” But doesn’t.
“I’m afraid we’re going to end-up with a makeshift — what they call a temporary budget. And we still aren’t going to solve a lot of the problems out there,” Edgar said. “And it’s just going to dig the hole deeper.”
* WLS AM...
“The essence of democracy is compromise. Particularly in a state like Illinois, with the diversity this state represents. You have to be willing not only to listen to the other point of view but you’re gonna have to find common ground.”
* And the Raunerites at the Illinois Policy Institute chimed in…
The ramp was a bipartisan, politically do-able plan. It wasn’t the optimal solution. But it was made far worse by efforts to get around the ramp by skipping and skimping on payments and by borrowing to make the payments.
Instead of addressing what Edgar actually said, they issued their usual ankle-biting attack. Why? Because Edgar, even to this day, is far more popular than Rauner. So they attempt to undermine him.
* But Edgar is absolutely right that the actions of the past year haven’t worked. Anybody with half a brain can see that.
And, by the way, everybody in power shares blame in this, from the governor down to the most recently appointed state legislators. Everybody.