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“BVR is a boss too”

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017

* The Chicago Tribune continues to identify Diana Sroka Rickert as “a writer with the Illinois Policy Institute,” when she is actually “Vice President of Communications at the Illinois Policy Institute.” She’s not just a writer, she’s in charge of the group’s spin.

Anyway, here’s her latest for the Trib

“What would Illinois be like if we had different political leadership?”

It’s midafternoon on a weekday, and Illinois Rep. Christian Mitchell is on the other end of the phone. He laughs.

“Oh, you must be calling people who have already started drinking for the day,” says Mitchell, a Chicago Democrat.

And so began my quest to find out what Illinois could look like if it had new blood. By that, I mean: What if House Speaker Michael Madigan became former House Speaker Michael Madigan?

I teased Rep. Mitchell about that comment this morning. He chuckled and said she didn’t use any of his quotes about the current impasse and the governor.

* So, I asked Mitchell what he said and he sent me this summation…

You could remove Madigan from office, and Democrats would still oppose, almost lockstep, Rauner’s agenda. I didn’t like voting for pension reform, but I voted for it because I could score it. I could look at my constituents and say, you keep 87 cents on the dollar of what you earned - it’s not right that you’re being hit at all, but here’s where we are - and we have more dollars to spend on infrastructure, education and social services, while making sure you still have a pension.

I can’t do that with the turnaround agenda. We can move reasonably on workers comp reform, but we have to address insurance profits and exploitation of workers and businesses. A property tax freeze is a horrible idea that will cripple municipal governments and bankrupt our schools.

There isn’t a single independent analysis that demonstrates that the turnaround agenda will do anything to turnaround Illinois. On the other hand, I know that progressive tax reform that asks the Bruce Rauner’s of the world to pay their fair share for services means we can invest in the infrastructure that allows businesses to get their goods to and from market, and can put rural Illinoisans back to work. I know that reforms like fair scheduling and paid sick leave mean more workers will have more money in their pockets to spend and drive the economy. There’s data to show it.

Obviously she used none of that. But that’s what I said. MJM as the problem is simplistic. BVR is a boss too, and his agenda is anathema to Democrats.
So feel free to use that 😊

- Posted by Rich Miller        


35 Comments
  1. - anon - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    === BVR is a boss too.===

    But GOP bosses don’t count.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    ===He (Rep. Mitchell) chuckled and said she didn’t use any of his quotes about the current impasse and the governor===

    … this will continue until Democrats realize that their own message and messaging is not only not being picked up, they’re not even being put coward to be picked up.

    ===* The Chicago Tribune continues to identify Diana Sroka Rickert as “a writer with the Illinois Policy Institute,” when she is actually “Vice President of Communications at the Illinois Policy Institute.” She’s not just a writer, she’s in charge of the group’s spin.===

    Vertical Integration at its finest.

    Period.


  3. - slow down - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    This is the central point which isn’t said enough: we are supposed to take Rauner’s word for it that his agenda will “turnaround” the state but he’s provided no actual scoring or anything truly verifiable.


  4. - Hamlet's Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    Based on Christian Mitchell’s four paragraph summation, I think he’d make a fine Speaker.

    However, in light of how Team Rauner spins everything, for now the best strategy simply is to declare, “I am Spartacus!”


  5. - anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    Chicago Tribune isn’t a newspaper anymore, Illinois Policy Institute was never a 501c3, and Tribune should be censured by legitimate press for its conflict of interests with Rauner and lackeys like BVR.


  6. - anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Skip the last part. Wrote too quickly.


  7. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    - anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:21 am - Try slowing down enough to pick a name.


  8. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    Having Bruce effectively running the Trib almost makes me miss the days of Col. McCormick. At least he was upfront about how he ran the paper.


  9. - John Rawl - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    Snooze. Their only plan is a tax increase? Sad!


  10. - Highland, Il - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    Rep. Christian Mitchell, you sir just made the “Boss Madigan” list!


  11. - OkComputer - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    We have now heard the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association say twice now in the past two months that “you can do everything on workers’ comp reform and anything we get from that would be dwarfed by [this other issue].”

    What that says very clearly is, they don’t seem to care that much about workers’ comp reform.

    Who does care about it? Anybody?


  12. - OkComputer - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    Meaning - I doubt a single legislator ran for office to spend two years arguing about workers’ comp reform.

    And, yet, that is the line that has been drawn.


  13. - anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    @Norseman

    Try saying something useful. So far, you haven’t.


  14. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    –You could remove Madigan from office, and Democrats would still oppose, almost lockstep, Rauner’s agenda.–

    Well, duh. If that weren’t the case, Rauner and Griff could flip the lot of them with their dough.

    I wonder what the work product from IPI and the tronclodytes would be if they were principled, independent thinkers, and not bought-and-paid for shills coordinating with Boss Rauner?

    Probably not juvenile, simple-minded campaign slogans.


  15. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    By the definition of the Tribune and IPI’s own harping on Madigan’s donations to his memberes, Rauner is a boss because he does that on steroids. Remember, the top 10 political donations in the history of Illinois are all Rauner and Rauner-run groups.


  16. - Dude - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    - slow down - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    This is the central point which isn’t said enough: we are supposed to take Rauner’s word for it that his agenda will “turnaround” the state but he’s provided no actual scoring or anything truly verifiable.

    What is verifiable is the left-wing policies that have been done in the past to bring the state of Illinois to the brink of disaster. Unsustainable pension promises, out of control public sector unions, property tax increases that force people out of their homes, government assistance programs that create even more dependence on government. The TA seeks to undo some of the nonsense that is killing this state.


  17. - Earnest - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 11:16 am:

    Nice response with some vision and substance, but when does the Illinois Democratic Party make this the topic of conversation in the media rather than “Madigan?”


  18. - Archiesmom - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    Rep. Mitchell has explained the situation pretty eloquently, IMO.


  19. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 11:58 am:

    No one is surprised. Remember the fake movie featuring disconnected quotes and blame for all ills on Madigan? One featured actor claimed to have been “duped” Would have been better to ask for the outtakes. A former senator appeared to whine about the Madigan legislative rules. The IPies failed to tell the viewer the senator had voted for the same rules because the GOPies wrote them. The Tribbies were tryin’ to stop the of IPI fake news. Guess this an on-going battle.


  20. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 12:01 pm:

    it might be good if the IPies were identified as a Rauner funded, dark money lobby group too.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 12:12 pm:

    ===it might be good if the IPies were identified as a Rauner funded, dark money lobby group too.===

    … If you know of a Democratic message crafter to actively put that out there, pass that on to them. Passively pointing things out isn’t responding.

    ===No one is surprised. Remember the fake movie featuring disconnected quotes and blame for all ills on Madigan? One featured actor claimed to have been “duped” Would have been better to ask for the outtakes. A former senator appeared to whine about the Madigan legislative rules. The IPies failed to tell the viewer the senator had voted for the same rules because the GOPies wrote them. The Tribbies were tryin’ to stop the of IPI fake news. Guess this an on-going battle.===

    Passively responding isn’t passing muster maybe, too?

    Respectfully.


  22. - Aidan - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    I’m really sick to death of BVR portraying himself as the adult in this equation. Every time he gets Cullerton and Madigan in a room, he gets on the intercom and whispers “Quickly, Smithers! Release the hounds!” and by the time the Leaders are leaving the meeting, the BVR propaganda machine has spread lies and treachery. The Tribune - ever the mouthpiece of the robber -barons and the union-busters - is complicit. They can’t decry the fake news on the National scene when they take part in it on the local level. I’m glad Capital Fax is around…though you probably should watch your 6, Rich. These aren’t good people.


  23. - Dr X - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    The Republican leadership should hold a press conference and declare that they will get rid of all House rules used by Madigan to run the chamber - that would show they are serious about their spin.


  24. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    Great response by Rep. Mitchell. Madigan is Rauner’s and the ILGOP’s great blessing, believe me. They have a great smokescreen and scapegoat behind whom they can hide their ideological agenda and refusal or inability to quantify it with numbers and ROI.

    But as Rep. Mitchell states, Democrats won’t support
    Rauner’s agenda–at least much of it.

    “There’s data to show it.”

    Any time Democrats want to step up with unified messaging, policy agenda and numbers to back it up, feel free to do so.


  25. - walker - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    Radogno is the mover here. Guessed she’d come thru eventually. Strength personified.

    Still, timing makes this more signal than final proposal.


  26. - Not It - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    The problem with Mitchell’s line of reasoning is that it suggests the Senate Democrats also would be unable to compromise and find common ground. That is untrue as proven this week.


  27. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    @Keyrock:

    Colonel Robert McCormick was often at odds with the Republican Party, which was decided into competing factions. McCormick represented one faction, some of his Republican foes belonged to opposing factions. The GOP is not a monolith, then or now.


  28. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    –The GOP is not a monolith, then or now.–

    LOL, in Illinois? Have you not heard of the new sheriff? Better not let The Boss hear you saying that, or you’ll get McCanned.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 1:40 pm:

    ===Colonel Robert McCormick was often at odds with the Republican Party, which was decided into competing factions. McCormick represented one faction, some of his Republican foes belonged to opposing factions. The GOP is not a monolith, then or now.===

    Now? Now?

    With “Vertical Integration” from IPI, the phony news service and radio, the newspapers, the editorial boards that cut and paste whatever the Rauner Word Jumble spills out, and wrapped up nicely with the $20 million 2 years ago and $50 million weeks ago, “who” within this fictional ILGOP you think exists within the governing or political apparatuses?

    Jim Edgar is arguably the lone voice of dissent.


  30. - Chicago 20 - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 2:28 pm:

    - “Jim Edgar is arguably the lone voice of dissent.”

    Jim Edgar can dissent. He doesn’t need any of Rauner’s campaign “donations”. The others have to tow the line or soon realize the wrath of Rauner.


  31. - titan - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 2:44 pm:

    Rep. Mitchell said “I didn’t like voting for pension reform, but I voted for it because I could score it. I could look at my constituents and say, you keep 87 cents on the dollar of what you earned - it’s not right that you’re being hit at all, but here’s where we are - and we have more dollars to spend on infrastructure, education and social services, while making sure you still have a pension”

    The pension amount is a part of the employees employment compensation, and they are retroactively reducing it.

    Is there a similar proposal to retroactively claw back 13% of the amounts that the bondholders were paid? And to retroactively increase everyone’s state taxes by 13%?


  32. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 2:55 pm:

    ===Jim Edgar can dissent. He doesn’t need any of Rauner’s campaign “donations”. The others have to tow the line or soon realize the wrath of Rauner.===

    I see you caught my “obvious subtle” example…


  33. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:17 pm:

    ==Democrats also would be unable to compromise and find common ground. That is untrue as proven this week.==

    But Senate Dems compromised with Rodogno, who mostly threw out the Turnaround Agenda.


  34. - Albany Park Patriot - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:50 pm:

    IPI: Bruce Rauner’s Checkbook Speaks. What a bunch of hacks.


  35. - Chicago 20 - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:39 pm:

    - OW

    If you put it on the tee, someone will be happy to hit it.


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