Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Proft claims Rauner could be in “deep trouble,” Hughes says “no way” Rauner can run as outsider
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Proft claims Rauner could be in “deep trouble,” Hughes says “no way” Rauner can run as outsider

Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016

* Dan Proft and Pat Hughes have a radio program called “Illinois Rising,” which is sponsored by the Illinois Policy Institute. This is from the most recent edition

PROFT: Here’s the Turnaround Agenda, it’s workers’ comp, it’s property tax caps, it’s pension reform. Those are bullet points. There hasn’t been a simply, succinctly articulated proposal to rally people around on any of these areas. So, it just becomes like an index card of five categories, and that’s not gonna inflame anybody’s passions, and it’s not going to persuade too many people because they don’t know exactly what you mean or what they’re gonna get if we did whatever you call workers’ comp reform or whatever you call a property tax cap, different than what Madigan and Cullerton, the Chicago Democrats, call those same things.

HUGHES: Yeah, and after 18 months, almost two years of it, even those sort of words that were meant to have some meaning, the meaning has been sucked out of them because they’ve been said so many times. It’s a laundry list of terms, so any value they had in the beginning they’ve lost in the entire process.

PROFT: Everybody in this state’s a fiscal conservative, everybody in this state supports property tax caps. We have the worst bond rating of any state in the nation in 25 years, not just in the present. And with respect to property tax caps, we pay the highest property taxes in the nation. So we’ve got a bunch of fiscal conservatives running around supporting property tax caps and we don’t have anything resembling either one of those things.

HUGHES: So the question is… why doesn’t he do it? We’re closer to this political stuff than most people are, we’ve seen the governor up close working publicly and privately. What is it about this circumstance that makes him resistant to what is an obvious, in our view… a smart, meaningful political plan?

* On to the next segment

PROFT: Pat, you posed a question about the risk, political risk Rauner needs to take to be a transformative governor. He needs to pose understandable and transformative ideas. He needs to take powerful stands, even though they are full of peril, because nothing is going to be given freely to Gov. Rauner by the Democrat power structure in this city and state. That is a known. So the unknown is why isn’t he doing some of the things we suggest he do. Even if you don’t want to pick the spot I say, I suggest you pick, then another spot to kind of get to the same place.

HUGHES: I know Bruce a little bit, I certainly know his history in business and he is not risk averse. You don’t get to be in his position by being risk averse… I think he’s getting advice from people who don’t want him to make the big mistake. Who don’t want him to take too big of a risk this far out, when they can bleed out circumstances, see how the country moves. Maybe Trump will be enormously popular, maybe circumstances will change on the ground. He knows he’s going to be resourced because he can spend $100 million of his own money, why take that risk?

…Adding… Just to clarify, on policy, Proft wants Rauner to take a much, much stronger stand against AFSCME and he wasn’t happy at all that Rauner signed the Exelon bailout bill.

Hughes then went on to question whether Rauner’s advisers were really tied enough to Illinois to want to make it a better place or just focused on Rauner’s reelection. Proft responded by saying Donald Trump “exposed” the consultant class. Trump, he said, didn’t need them, he won without them. Proft admitted that wasn’t easily replicable here, but then said

What Rauner and his people lack is the sense of there is a revolt that is bubbling below the surface and we need to figure out how ignite it and leverage it, productively. And I don’t think they want to do that. I think they want to play the same old game, and do so, maybe unwittingly, according to Madigan’s rules.

This idea that they’re bleeding the other side out. No. They’re being bled out. They’re the holdout… They’re down 15 and they’re playing Four Corners. They’re not up 15. And, because we have these resources, we’re gonna make Madigan and whoever the Democrat nominee for governor is in ‘18 more of a bogey man than they can make me a bogey man.

That’s not the transformative leadership that was effectively his value proposition when he ran in 2014 and was elected on that basis - that he was an outsider coming in to, lack of a better phrase, drain the swamp in Springfield, or… however you want to translate that to Illinois. And if he’s just playing the tradition game the same way, less reform-minded, less transformationally inclined governors of the past like a George Ryan or a Jim Edgar or a Jim Thompson. If he’s just going to play the same way they did - two bad ideas, let’s split the difference and come up with a bad idea we agree to, like the energy bill that he just signed. That’s a good example of it. If that’s the tack he’s gonna take, that’s the Jim Edgar, Jim Thompson, George Ryan model of governance. That doesn’t end well.

* More

HUGHES: No, and it also bleeds out his initial reason for being elected. He’s losing the outsider, he’s lost it. There’s no way to run as an outsider any more after some of these deals, the temporary budget he cut, the energy bill, the fact that he’s been battling with Madigan in Springfield for all these, the last couple of years. The outsider model is no longer gonna work. He’s gonna have to show that his governance was progress, both politically, which he’s done a little bit with these [legislative] races, but aside from politically, that people’s lives are starting to or going to improve as a consequence of the fact that he’s the leader of this state. And, currently, he can’t point to that.

PROFT: No, he can’t. So where does that put him with the prospects of facing a Democrat challenger that will have as much money as he does?… [Or if, say Downstate US Rep. Cheri Bustos wins the primary] Then Rauner is in deep trouble. And it seems to me they don’t have a sense of urgency, he doesn’t have a sense of urgency about the political trouble he’s in because of the lack of policy risks he’s taken.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - BK Bro - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    Hard to argue that the State HASN’T undergone widespread, systematic disruption. He’s probably came further than any previous Governor has in terms of changing the “system.” Whether ppl view that as positive or negative is different question. Insiders keep things the same, outsiders try and change things. Disagree with Hughes.

  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 11:59 am:


    I guess Uiehlein doesn’t think he’s getting his money’s worth with Rauner.

    Big Sugar Daddy Uiehlein is wacking Rauner through his bought-and-paid-for babbler, Proft.

  3. - The Captain - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:00 pm:

    1) This is a fascinating analysis and I’m surprised with how much of it I agree with.

    2) Having said that I think they overestimate what is achievable. Rauner has had no legislative successes and that failure is on him, but Proft and Hughes seem to think that he could be aiming at even higher goals and somehow achieve them without explaining the realistic path to get there.

    3) Rauner outsourced a not-insignificant amount of his political operation this past cycle to Proft, including several million dollars, and it’s rather remarkable to see him so critical of Rauner from 30,000 feet.

  4. - The Old Professor - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:03 pm:

    This isn’t the same Pat Hughes who is a Cubs announcer, is it?

  5. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:04 pm:

    They’re thinking about it too hard.

    Rauner’s not in trouble because he didn’t take a bold stand (what do you call the Turnaround Agenda?) or because he isn’t riding the Trump wave enough (the suburban vote indicates that keeping Trump at arm’s length was the right call).

    He’s in trouble because he isn’t getting results.

    His money and Dem incompetence can save him. But he’d probably rather they didn’t have to.

  6. - cdog - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:06 pm:

    This analysis is correct and should cause pause for Rauner and the consultant class.

    Rauner needs to make a deal that not only benefits the corporate class, but also benefits the working class.

    Get it done, Rauner. Your political capital is inversely related to the bill backlog.

  7. - Chicago Taxpayer - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:07 pm:

    I agree generally with these guys. What I’m not seeing in their conversation are specific recommendations of how to “ignite the fire,” either through a specific, better message or differently-packaged ideas. What’s the real gasoline for the fire?

  8. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    Dems need to find a ghost candidate to primary Rauner. Those same downstate GOP voters, I wonder how they would feel if they knew Rauner refused to say Trump’s name? These voters came out for Rauner in 2014 general would they do it again knowing that? And rail that he used his leverage to send his daughter to a CPS school. Add AFSCME you have Rauner spending tens of millions of dollars in a primary. And most importantly a GOP civil war north and south of I-80 after the primary.

  9. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:12 pm:

    Mr. 7 percent and his failed class of operatives.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    The fact that Rauner’s Crew is going so hard after Pritzker and Kennedy right now, today, probably speaks to the worries of Proft and their foundation in fact.

  11. - m - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    Maybe proft is smarter than people here give him credit for.

    The TA has been a hard to truly grasp, constantly changing wish list. It’s easier to identify it simply as Rauner’s demands, than it is to identify it with any real policy.

    Maybe the problem was that he bit off more than he could chew initially, had too many demands. But while I think most people outside of the process(and especially outside of here) blame Madigan as much or more than Rauner, few of them could say what Rauner is really aiming for, other than “reforms”.

    Add in the fact that Rauner is at war with so many groups and sides that he has no common ground or friend in common with D’s. All he has are asks, and they potentially affect so many groups that are now very tightly aligned with the D’s.

    For many formerly Madigan-hating groups, Madigan is now “our boogeyman,” and just like Arnold in Terminator movies, it’s easy to root for the “evil monster” when he’s on our side.

    So the only common want Rauner has with D’s is having a budget, but he’s worked so hard to position himself to be the guy willing to accept “their budget and revnue”, he doesn’t even see a budget as the ask that it really is.

  12. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    Note that in this entire dialogue between Socrates and Aristotle, the numbers “60″ and “30″ are never mentioned.

    What, Plato, might ask, achieves “60″ and “30?”

    Kids, playing with Uncle Dick’s money.

  13. - Norseman - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    Everything is a class now. So many classes being discussed that it reminds me of those long lines in college picking classes.

    Speak of college. Old Prof - Thank god this is not the same Hughes as our Cubbie guy. Unlike the IPI guy, our Hughes has class. (Couldn’t resist.)

  14. - Crazies - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    Wordslinger nailed it. These guys are great on talk radio talking to other conservatives. They do a terrible job of actually winning races.

  15. - AlfondoGonz - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:17 pm:

    “[T]here is a revolt that is bubbling below the surface and we need to figure out how ignite it and leverage it, productively” for the good of the people.

    “People, people, the harder we push, the faster we’ll all get outta here.” -Chief Wiggum

  16. - m - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:17 pm:

    But the D strategy of let “Rome burn because we have someone to blame it on” hasn’t been much better.

  17. - Deft Wing - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    They may well be correct. Who really has the “15 pt lead and is playing four-corners” is the question. Clearly, both Madigan and Rauner believe they are “winning” their war and are both a-okay running out the clock (and permitting the state to run around). Each believe the other will wear the jacket of responsibility. We’ll see, I guess.

    Rauner in addition to continuing with the non-stop campaign, try to work around Madigan and the legislature by offering specific reform initiatives, on top of the TA.

  18. - Disgruntled - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    Sounds like two guys who tried to force themselves inside the process, failed, and now want to shoot from the sidelines.

  19. - Fixer - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:19 pm:

    First thought is this seems odd coming from Proft and Hughes. Second thought (slightly more terrifying) is that I mostly agree with their train of thought on this.

    Rauner has thus far squandered two years on campaigning after he won the election. He’s had two years at the helm and has done exactly squat with it to benefit the state. Money is great, but it can only dig you out of so deep a hole.

  20. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:19 pm:

    “Just to clarify, on policy, Proft wants Rauner to take a much, much stronger stand against AFSCME…”

    Would love to see what a stronger stand against AFSCME consists of.

  21. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:21 pm:

    “But the Raunerite strategy of let ‘Rome burn because we have Madigan to blame it on’ hasn’t been much better.”

    Fixed it for you.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:24 pm:

    ===But the D strategy of let “Rome burn because we have someone to blame it on” hasn’t been much better===

    “Change is hard” - Bruce Rauner.

    Anything along the lines of forcing change or allowing things to purposely crumble, Rauner himself has taken that with pride.

    You are choosing to ignore that.

  23. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:25 pm:

    Honestly I don’t know where to even put this. The incredible disconnect with the regular Illinoisan is wider than I could ever have conceived. They are speaking of risk adverse when I was just trying to ascertain if the man I was working with had electricity and heat in the shed he was staying in in Sauget. 51% of Illinois school kids get free or reduced priced lunch. Whole agencies are now not even functioning, DCEO, and they are saying everyone supports property tax caps. What tha? Really? How many people are struggling to pay rent? This is truly horrific. Malignant Callousness personified

  24. - thunderspirit - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:26 pm:

    == He’s in trouble because he isn’t getting results. ==

    This, in a nutshell, is the Governor’s weakness; he’s got nothing on which to hang his proverbial hat except “but MADIGAN!”

    +1 to Oswego Willie’s observation about targeting Kennedy and Pritzker, and to wordslinger on the stubborn math that hasn’t changed since Governor Rauner took office.

    (Incidentally, Proft is off-base on Illinois’ property tax ranking, but the difference is *literally* 49th vs. 50th, so it’s close enough. He also doesn’t address the entire tax burden, but those numbers are less in favor of his stance, so it’s understandable.)

  25. - WhoKnew - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:27 pm:


    To quote the common vernacular!

    Word, dude!

    Thanks for the chuckle.

  26. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:33 pm:

    Dan Proft and his followers continue to live in an alternative reality.

  27. - m - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:35 pm:

    =You are choosing to ignore that.=

    Read my previous post, I’m not ignoring anything.
    My point is that the D strategy seems to be made up of nothing more than saying no and blaming Rauner. They can find a way to make a deal. Or they can find a better way to do what they are doing and at least sell it to the public.

    D’s (possible exception of Cullerton) and AFSCME are making Rauner’s press and political operations look a lot better than they are.

    What’s the D message?

    Rauner is on the offensive, D’s are behind a wall watching.

  28. - illini97 - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:38 pm:

    I have to agree with honeybear here. These two bloviating about lack of results and “everyone’s a fiscal conservative” is a bit tone deaf. They are right that there’s a storm brewing, but they too will fail to harness it with these comments.

    The storm is coming from people whose mothers are thrown out in the street when LiHEAP is robbed, and shelters close. It’s coming from people who have received exactly zero help from the State Executive while their steel mills close. It’s coming from mother’s who weep while their child loses access to Autistic spectrum services.

    “Because Madigan!” only works until one points out that Madigan has been around 30 years, Rauner for 2. When did these closures start? About two years ago? Hmm.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:41 pm:

    Nah, I read your previous comment. I read all of it.

    Your next comment, even coupling that with the former comment makes your latter comment an ignoring of Rauner making quite clear…

    “Change is hard”

    … and that ownership of the change, be it forced by the “impasse” or the crumbling as the feature of the “impasse” and his left-handed glee, “oh well” response reinforces Rauner’s acceptance of allowing it.


    I can read, thanks.

    The latter is completely ignoring “Change is hard”… and Rauner more than fine, in his own words, to this… change.

  30. - Moe Berg - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:43 pm:

    The walls are starting to close in on Rauner and the legislative Republicans. They’re starting to sense it and the edge of hysteria is creeping in. Madigan, who has been playing the long game, has seen it coming for a while.

    Hence, we see the Trib’s histrionic editorial beseeching the House Dems to elect someone else besides Madigan speaker. As if Dem lawmakers would be so studpid as to take advice from Rauner’s chief media enabler and cheerleader.

    So, we get distractions like attacking Pritzker and Kennedy, (don’t get me wrong, I know the Raunerites have it as part of their “master plan” and won’t relent) and the desperation of trying to meddle in the Speaker election, which is only proving Madigan’s point and strengthening him.

    Rauner has accomplished nothing of broad consequence to the general public and is not popular. A complete meltdown of government is going to:

    A. Improve his situation or B. Worsen it?

    The Rauner brains think they can blame their way out of it. But, as our dear Oswego Willy has told us since early 2015, “governors own.”

  31. - cdog - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:44 pm:

    I think the Social Darwinist, Rauner, will most likely be a casualty of Political Darwinism.

    Clinton won only 12 counties.
    Trump won 90 counties.

    I see no way for a train wreck like Rauner to convert any Clinton voters, and I know he will continue to lose Trump voters, especially if he can’t act competently soon.

    This chapter of Political Darwinism will be kind of tragic because he really could have proceeded much more effectively; instead, he chose his preferred petty SOP.

    Buh-bye Bruce 😘

  32. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:50 pm:

    Seen this game played before. They spend all their spare time agreeing with each other and offering little in the form of practical solutions to the problems Rauner currently confronts. Maybe I’ve been around too long. These two basically demand Rauner push his Turnaround Agenda so that they can mock his failure to push the entire Turnaround Agenda.

    They come from the “Why don’t you just abolish Obamacare” type of thought, giving little thought that Obama could simply veto anything put on his desk. They then blame the failure on not on their unrealistic expectations, but on those who can’t possibly implement them.

    There is an element within the GOP which does not want to see Rauner be successful, or anyone else who is not them for that matter. And no, Oswego WIlly, I’m not talking about you, so keep your powder dry. They are more pleased when there is a power vacuum within the GOP that they can exploit so that they become big fishes in a little pond. Watching the ILGOP work its way out of the wilderness is a struggle for them. They prefer the wilderness.

    Rauner has given the GOP in Illinois stability, and a foundation to build on for the future.

    Thus my main disagreement with Proft and Hughes.

  33. - Pawn - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:52 pm:

    College acceptance letters are starting to come in. In my house, two acceptances for colleges in Ohio, one that includes nearly $100,000 in scholarships. Illinois? nada.

  34. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:52 pm:

    The most interesting part of this post was the comment from Hughes questioning whether Rauner’s advisers really care about the future of the state because they aren’t really invested in what hapens to Illinois. First of all, it immediately made me think of Brad Tusk from the Blago years.

    But this question of loyalty and question of caring about the state is an area I would really like the 2018 Dem nominee to hit Rauner on.

    Rauner is governing this state like a man who has a mansion in Florida or a ranch in Montana to go to if the state falls apart from his intransigence at working out a budget. He isn’t loyal to his wife’s charity or other social service providers in the Chicago area. He isn’t loyal to the Downstate college towns that helped elect him.

    He only cares about one thing - Bruce. Not Illinois and not taxpayers.

    He ran for governor to cut his tax bill, achieved tax cuts for himself in the millions, and the rest of us all can all go to hell as far as he’s concerned.

    Bruce Rauner doesn’t care about Illinois.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:56 pm:

    - Pawn -

    When the offer is the cost of a condo worth of free education of pay a higher price to have a “prestige”…

    That free education worth the price of a condo is difficult to pass up.

  36. - CLJ - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:57 pm:

    The problem with the “Turnaround Agenda” is that it is the same chamber of commerce business policies that they have been pushing for decades and they do not appeal to the “average voter.” There is not populist energy on the issues making it easy for the Dems to simply not go along with them. Likewise, I think simply making Madigan out to be the bad isn’t the most effective plan either. What they really should be doing is what Trump did and blame the corporations, the lobbyists, all the people and groups that the “average voter” dislike. Then maybe you build a movement that will surprise and give the Republicans majorities in the legislature at which point he can pass all the business friendly legislation he wants.

  37. - don the legend - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:59 pm:

    Could it be the Dems realize the governor’s 2018 race is only in the early rounds? They have to know they are not counter punching. Rauner is like George Foreman, pounding and pounding, only to punch himself out and the Dems are playing rope-a-dope waiting to knock the giant out.

  38. - Pawn - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:00 pm:

    OW, That’s right. and in going to Case Western, he might not even sacrifice prestige. It’s just… when kids move away for school, chances increase that they will stay away, right? It happened to me - that’s how I ended up here.

  39. - DuPage Bard - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:02 pm:

    I’m kind of surprised I didn’t see it from OW. What Proft and Hughes are truly saying is “Governor’s Own.”
    They are both realizing, what the Governor owns is; unfunded Universities with one or two closed before end of first term, shootings up incredibly in Chicago, outmigration that more than triples from before he was Governor, budget backlog that was a 30 day cycle before he became Governor now is double, bill backlog of just over $3 billion before he became Governor to over $10 billion since, and as Jeanne Ives says a Big shiny Christmas bailout for Exelon.
    Plus for the Partridge in the Pear Tree- Conversion therapy bill and right of conscience forcing private religious institutions to provide abortion information. Bills absolutely hated by the base.

  40. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:06 pm:

    ===when kids move away for school, chances increase that they will stay away, right?===

    It’s always possible. College, even going in-state, allows a freedom that looking beyond what students know many times include different places to live.

    Metro Chicagoland still is a draw to live, but who is to say Columbus, Ohio, or Indianapolis, Louisville, Kentucky… a student becomes that “out of state” student, whose to say if they decide to be like the 37,000+ that moved out of Illinois too.

    Congrats on the scholarship offers, best of luck to you and your student.

  41. - east central - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:08 pm:

    The lack of a full budget has not yet yielded consequences that would move enough voters to clearly endanger re-election chances for the governor or many legislators. What happens over the next two years when crises start to occur that will move substantial numbers of voters, such as shutting down parts of state government or closing a couple universities?

    At that point would not the legislature rush a rescue package to the governor’s desk? He then either capitulates by signing or he dooms his re-election chances by vetoing. It seems he is in a vulnerable position. Perhaps he should start dealing sooner rather than later.

  42. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:11 pm:

    - DuPage Bard -

    I was using shorthand, not disagreeing with them by just making the single point I did make.

    By going after Kennedy and Pritzker, it is Rauner’s Crew seeing “Govermors Own” and it reinforces that they (Proft and Hughes) see that too.

    Same as it was WAY before Rauner, same as it will be way after Rauner too.

    Thanks for hat tip.

  43. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:12 pm:

    – Clinton won only 12 counties in Illinois. Trump won 90 counties.–

    What a yooge, historic, landslide victory for Trump in Illinois!

    Trump “exposed” that a GOP presidential candidate is capable of getting 39% and losing by 850,000 votes statewide.

    If you’re into counties, Trump lost DuPage, Lake, Will, Kendall and Kane.

  44. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:18 pm:

    (Tips cap to - thubderspirit -)

    - Louis G Atsaves -

    I’d agree there are elements in the Illinois Republican Party that aren’t about making or building a party, and you excluding me from them, I appreciate that very much.

    I dunno if Rauner “stabilized” the Illinois Republican Party. If Rauner did, it like s business takeover more than stabilizing, an “under new ownership” kinda deal.

  45. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:21 pm:

    I personally think a lot of their analysis is correct. I have often grimaced at some of the staffers Rauner has hired and the direction Rauner’s government/policy team has led him, but he has obviously done a good job politically. It would not be a horrible thing for Governor Rauner to step back and re-calibrate his Capitol and policy shops.

    A lot of what Rauner wants to do should sell well. Education reform? Property tax reform/limits? Term limits? Redistricting? Those should be easier to sell to both the GA and, if that fails, the public.

    If nothing is done in 2017 and 2018, however, then Rauner could wield those failed policy initiatives as an even bigger hammer against Speaker Madigan.

  46. - Dale - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:27 pm:

    Proft also likes to say that the political path forward for Republicans is growing the Republican Party in the suburbs. He is right, but his prescription for doing so is rolling back abortion and gay marriage rights. Either he has horrible political instincts, or he’s just interested in lining his pockets with Uncle D’s money. I have my guesses.

  47. - cdog - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:29 pm:

    “Trump … losing by 850,000 votes statewide. If you’re into counties, Trump lost DuPage, Lake, Will, Kendall and Kane.”

    Exactly, so Rauner has to find a lot more votes, out there amongst the corn and beans, amid people that like a “real” agent of change, not a fake one.

  48. - facts are stubborn things - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:35 pm:

    You don’t have to have a TA agenda, but you do eventually have to have a budget. Trying to leverage the TA (you don’t have to have) before you do a budget (which you have to have) is a loosing hand. It is false leverage and MJM knows it. Now with the election behind us, look for the Dems to say we need a full a balanced budget with cuts and revenue period. No K-12 funding on the side. Schools don’t open and the Dems are there begging Rauner to negotiate a clean balanced budget. Please Gov. Rauner release the hostages so we can get a budget and get the kids back in school and this state running again. Make 2018 a referendum on the TA.

  49. - m - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:35 pm:

    =The latter is completely ignoring “Change is hard”… and Rauner more than fine, in his own words, to this… change.=

    Not sure what you’re saying arguing with.

    In the leadup to WWII, the French government in their infinite wisdom once again fortified part of their borders, but not the part that the Germans used in WWI to steamroll them, the same part that was once again used to steamroll them.

    Obviously the German government was to blame for the attack and the destruction. But the French completely bungled their defense, in the exact same way they had already done. So it was more than right for a frenchman to ask his government, “And what did you do to stop it?”

    D’s say “Rauner did it.” That’s great, I guess if you can sell that.
    But if the follow up is “What did you do about it?”
    The D’s best answer right now is “We stood up and said no and refused to give anything in the hope we could just survive until 2018 and win the seat back.”

    So the strategy is to just let Rauner do what you (ow) so gleefully claim was his plan all along? Act like you put up a fight?

    So then the D defense is to use no defense at all. Take the beating and survive. You think that’s going to warm the hearts of those affected by the impasse?

    So when the homeless person on the street says, “What did you do?” The answer is “nothing.”

    Better hope the blame game works well enough that the questions like that don’t get asked.

  50. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:36 pm:

    No one cares what these two clowns say. Fortunately.

  51. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:42 pm:

    One thing I haven’t seen mentioned… Proft’s cognitive dissonance as he rails about the state’s bond rating while in the same breath he clamors for property tax caps. Why would capping a govt. revenue stream be viewed as anything but negative by ratings agencies evaluating the debt load of this state and its local govts?

    Will the fever ever break and Republican activists/consultants stop treating economics like fantasy fiction?

  52. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:42 pm:

    - m -

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

    The blame will be the defining element, not who coulda stopped what.

    That’s what both are counting on…

    “Pat Quinn failed”

    It worked because “governors own”

    To answer my own question, it was t over… when the Germans… bombed Pearl Harbor.

  53. - FRA - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:49 pm:

    Kind of funny to hear Proft talking about the “consultant class”. Jack Ryan, Alan Keyes, Cicero, etc.

  54. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:50 pm:

    Anonymous @ 1:36 PM just hit the nail on the old head- Proft “ran” for governor and the results (lack of) spoke to his influence. People could care less what he says, thinks or supports- except for the 3% of GOP who voted for him in a primary. His relevance comes from a few of the wealthy who support the policies of, well, the wealthy. the other guy (Hughes???),if possible, is even less relevant.

  55. - m - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 1:57 pm:

    =It worked because “governors own”=

    While I appreciate the Animal House reference…

    “What did you do?” still doesn’t have an answer.

    All of the French could root for victory over Germany, but when it’s over, Maginot probably doesn’t win any awards.(yes I’m aware he died before the line or the war were over.)

  56. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 2:04 pm:

    - m -

    Skyhook, in reverse.

    I don’t have to worry about that response, I’m not part of those campaigns, and they aren’t looking for me to be.

    Rauner already won with “governors own”

    So, there’s that.

  57. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 2:08 pm:

    Can we say “it’s over” yet?

  58. - m - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 2:11 pm:

    =I don’t have to worry about that response, I’m not part of those campaigns, and they aren’t looking for me to be.=

    So then why were you critiquing my assessment of the D strategy?

    For my rep and senator in my district, I want to know, “What did you do?” Because “say no and let the destruction happen” doesn’t work for me.

    I hope I’m not the only one.

    There’s an old saying, you can be part of the solution or part of the problem. Everyone seems like they chose the second.

    Rauner isn’t the only Rauner out there. Figure it out now or later.

  59. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 2:16 pm:

    - m -

    “Pat Quinn failed” refutes your continuous trying to spread bland around.

    It worked, Rauner is going after Pritzker and Kennedy because of “Skyhook, in reverse” and you obsessing on trying to pin down members isn’t going to deflect “Governors Own”

    Also, your patronizing of my “Animal House”… is noted.

  60. - m - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 2:26 pm:

    =your continuous trying to spread bland around=

    R”I want this!” D”You’ll get nothing”

    R”It’ll get bad!” D”Ok”

    R”See you in 2018!” D”Sounds good”

    Yep, seems like a great strategy on both sides.

    I’m not trying to spread the blame around, I think the people of this state have already done that. I’ll give you that there is a question of where that blame puts us in 2018. I’d rather see it end before that. I get that you’d rather watch the fire burn until then.

    As you love to say Rauner needs 60 and 30. But as I like to point out, Madigan needs 71. Nobody has what they need to do it their way. Rauner won’t sign a budget. Madigan won’t let Rauner’s bills get voted on.

    Rauner has plenty of asks, but he needs to find a give. D’s need to give him a victory or figure out how to do it without him.

    Neither side is doing what they can.

  61. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 2:30 pm:

    - m -

    Madigan doesn’t need 71, Madigan doesn’t want 71.

    Governors need to find 60 and 30

    Same as it ever was. That’s governing.

    When Rauner stops the “BossMadigan.Com” I’ll take your “idea” kinda seriously.

    Rauner like his “change”, loves his “BossMadigan.Com” but can’t run from “governors own”

    Even these two in the Post see that.

  62. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 2:40 pm:

    I agree with their analysis that Rauner cannot run again as an outsider.

    But I disagree with their conclusion. In order to have tangible accomplishments to run on, he needs to compromise more, and do more to seem reasonable (as Cullerton does), rather than taking more hard line positions.

  63. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 2:44 pm:

    In corporate America, there are financial people, such Governor Rauner, who set up organizations. The organizations employ marketers who establish marketing strategies to sell their goods and services. The organizations also employ sales staff who are the foot soldiers charged with implementing the marketing strategies. With respect to the “Turn Around Agenda”, it seems pretty clear that the marketing strategy, if there is one, is an abject failure. And, if there are sales people, they are hiding in the background. To this observer, the Governor’s program to turn things around is relying almost entirely on the bully pulpit. And, it isn’t working. Free advice for the Governor; get a new marketing staff, complete with spokesmen and advertising, and step down from the bully pulpit. A final point, the notion that Illinois needs a “turn around” is an easy sell. It is obvious. But, it isn’t being sold. So, get back to the drawing board.

  64. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 2:51 pm:

    ==Could it be the Dems realize the governor’s 2018 race is only in the early rounds?==

    No, it’s that “The Dems” and “The Democratic Nominee for Governor” (whoever that may be) are not the same entity, at least not yet, and their interests only converge so much.

    In other words, it’s not exactly Mike Madigan’s goal to protect Chris Kennedy right now.

  65. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 2:52 pm:

    ==Skyhook, in reverse.==

    PS, every time you use this, I imagine some awesome Kareem move.

  66. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 2:53 pm:

    Keyser - you and I are in nearly complete agreement. Hitting the reset button needs to happen.

  67. - m - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 2:58 pm:

    =Same as it ever was. That’s governing.=

    So you’re good with the strategy of “say no and watch it burn?”

    Duly noted.

  68. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 3:02 pm:

    ===So you’re good with the strategy of “say no and watch it burn?”===

    Rauner can get 60 and 30.

    He says ALL the time he has “Democrats”…

    He can show them, lol

  69. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 3:10 pm:

    ==So you’re good with the strategy of “say no and watch it burn?”==

    It’s Rauner’s job to pass Rauner’s agenda. He told us he could do it. He told us he could work with Mike Madigan. No one has to vote for things they don’t like just because he was wrong about that.

  70. - walker - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 3:24 pm:

    Louis Atsalves: Amen brother.

    I get what the guys are trying to say:

    –We need a “Wall,” not a multi-part “Agenda” as a rallying cry. –We need a Trump not a Jeb as our glorious leader.
    –We need to release the hounds in a giant movement hiding just below the surface, unnoticed by the establishment.
    –They all said it couldn’t be done nationally. Why not in Illinois?

    Well Rauner’s no PT Barnum. And he’s trying to revolt from within. Illinois has reserves of blue under the surface.

  71. - m - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 3:32 pm:

    =No one has to vote for things they don’t like just because he was wrong about that.=

    Gotcha, another vote for “say no and watch it burn.”

    Let me know how that works out for everything you care about that is state funded.
    If they go down, you can tell them you had a great plan to just watch it happen.
    Except that you won’t, because you’ll just blame it all entirely on Rauner. Because who cares what destruction takes place as long as you have someone to blame it on and run against.

    Enjoy your “victory”

  72. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 3:41 pm:

    - m -

    “Change is hard” - Bruce Rauner

    Again, kinda blows your idea out of the water.

  73. - NorthsideNoMore - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 3:42 pm:

    He can run as an outsider that has been stoned at the gates of Jerico. Insiders won’t buy it, but throngs of outsiders will still give BR the benefit of doubt. Question is who will be the Joshua to blow the horn and crumble the walls? Even with a W for BR in 18 guarantees nothing. Walls aint crumbling down that easy. Still way to many GA members being managed by leadership for any dynamic changes.

  74. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 3:58 pm:

    These two!
    Bunch of geniuses!

    Rauner never earned the trust or credibility of Illinois citizens after his election. That’s what a HONEYMOON is about. Bruce flushed his honeymoon away by exposing himself as a completely different guy than the one he sold to voters. BOOM! Rauner committed Hari-Kari.

    He never walked back this disaster, he doubled down with partisan attacks. The majority party bolted their doors. Rauner kept up his attacks. Who does this?

    He has been an amazingly bad political leader. They cash his checks, but they don’t drink his Kool-aid. This has been a disastrous administration. Wasted mandates, bridges burned, enemies made and then listed on television and the Internet. Nutty!

    Few accomplishments. No leadership. No hope.

    Rauner’s legacy is that you don’t elect someone who hate government and doesn’t respect what it does.

  75. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 4:00 pm:

    Long time listener, first time caller…….
    Why can’t the Governor be forced to perform is Constitutionally mandated duties? ie. The Budget. What as a citizen can be done?

  76. - m - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 4:01 pm:

    =kinda blows your idea out of the water.=
    Only in your mind.

    Rauner can “own.” Ownership doesn’t change the results of the impasse. Ownership doesn’t reopen a homeless shelter.

    You do something about it or you do nothing and become part of the problem.

    But don’t look for sympathy with those who are hurt by your lack of action or any strategy beyond “watch it burn.”

    You can make a case Rauner WAS sent here to do exactly what he’s doing. (insert any one of the old Rauner quotes that you love to post)

    Point me to the D who ran on a campaign of “just saying no” or “watch it burn.” They weren’t sent here to do that.

    Here’s the new 2018 bumper sticker for D’s, “Don’t blame me, I did nothing.”

  77. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 4:08 pm:

    - m -

    “Pat Quinn failed”

    Your typing keeps forgetting that.

    Governors own.

    Your rolling against the tide, even Rauner knows governors own, he ran a whole campaign on it, lol

  78. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 4:38 pm:

    ==Gotcha, another vote for “say no and watch it burn.”==

    This appears to be what you do when you have no response to what people actually said, you just pretend they said something about fires.

    Have fun with that.

  79. - AlfondoGonz - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 4:48 pm:


    As you and OW butt heads, I have at least a semblance of an answer to your original question. What the dems, or more accurately, the House and Senate, did was pass a full budget. It was not a balanced budget, and it is debateable whether it was more or less unbalanced than Rauner’s budget, but they did that. Rauner vetoed it.

    That right there was a demonstration that no matter what they “do,” if it does not appease Rauner, it ain’t worth doing. So, if they truly believe, as many people do, that the “reforms” Rauner wants would be bad for the working class people of this state, then refusing to give into him is about all they can “do.”

    Just my two cents.

  80. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 4:49 pm:

    The weirdest thing about all the “say no and watch it burn” meme is it applies to Rauner as much as anyone.

  81. - Roman - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 5:00 pm:

    Louis G. Atsalves said: “Watching the ILGOP work out of the wilderness is a struggle…they prefer the wilderness.”

    This is very true. The GOP is much better as an opposition party than a governing party. When you believe government is the problem, governing just doesn’t come naturally. Get ready to see plenty of evidence of this coming out of Washington.

    Conversely, the Dems are not very effective as an opposition party. Rauner’s daily pummeling of the General Assembly in the media is one example of how the Dems just don’t know how to frame an attack.

  82. - walker - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 5:08 pm:

    Fire burns everybody. There’s real blame is on both sides. This impasse should end now.

    But who’s more likely to lose — A Rauner on the statewide ballot, or 9 incumbent legislators, running in their districts, who have been publicly associated with Madigan?

  83. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 5:13 pm:

    ==That right there was a demonstration that no matter what they “do,” if it does not appease Rauner, it ain’t worth doing. ==

    For other examples, look at the couple of cracks they took at a property tax freeze, Cullerton’s pension reform idea, etc…

  84. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 5:40 pm:

    Clarence Paige said, ” We elect rich businessmen with no political experience and are suprised when they can’t govern.”

  85. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 5:43 pm:

    Woof, VMan goes yard with the truth, like the Kingman shot on Kenmore.

    Remind me not to ever honk off that guy, lol.

  86. - peon - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 7:10 pm:

    == He needs to take powerful stands, even though they are full of peril, because nothing is going to be given freely to Gov. Rauner by the Democrat power structure in this city and state. ==

    Essentially, why isn’t Rauner more of an aggressive CEO, ramming policy through the legislature ? The insult of “like Edgar” was even hinted at.

    All the comments above about 60-30 explain very clearly why this hasn’t worked. Now I’m afraid this isn’t just bad strategy. Maybe he doesn’t know where the political gas pedal, brake, and steering wheel are.

  87. - Rabid - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 7:28 am:

    He was outside throwing stones at government, now he’s inside throwing stones out the window

  88. - Rabid - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 7:38 am:

    How deep is the yogurt now?

  89. - Jon Zahm - Thursday, Dec 22, 16 @ 11:51 am:

    Well said..
    Disgruntled - Wednesday, Dec 21, 16 @ 12:18 pm:
    Sounds like two guys who tried to force themselves inside the process, failed, and now want to shoot from the sidelines.

    Got to laugh at the disloyalty of Proft and Hughes who spend millions of Rauner’s and Rauner’s cronies money on (mostly) losing campaigns and then turn on their master.

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