* Brian Mackey…
In the week since his budget address, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has done little to promote his plan or defend it from attacks by Democrats.
That’s a significant departure from last year. Back then, Rauner toured the state, highlighting his call for greater funding of public schools. This year, he took a ski vacation in Utah.
On Wednesday, Rauner made a brief speech at an education conference in Springfield. Afterward, he refused to answer questions from reporters.
The ski trip was reportedly to celebrate his birthday, but Rauner would not say which — until an aide told him, “You can answer how old you are.”
He’s 61. Wikipedia lists his age as 60, so there was some confusion.
* Mackey was not as kind on Twitter yesterday…
A bit harsh.
* Monique Garcia…
Rauner spoke at three separate events across the state, starting his morning in Chicago, where he addressed the Illinois State Board of Education. The governor’s official schedule listed him as not doing a media availability at that stop, but indicated he would field questions from the media at later events in Bloomington and Springfield.
That didn’t happen. Press aides cited a change in plans due to the governor’s busy schedule. Reporters asked some questions anyway as Rauner entered and exited a gathering of school administrators at a Springfield convention center.
“How are you and CK getting along?” Rauner asked a Chicago Tribune reporter, referring to his spokeswoman Catherine Kelly. […]
Rauner also riled up lawmakers by posting a campaign video shortly after his speech touting “a grand bargain” to end the budget. That’s the same term the Senate has adopted for its plan, and some felt the governor was trying to take credit for work done by lawmakers.
On Wednesday, Rauner did not answer when asked if he felt his speech ultimately would help or hurt the Senate’s efforts to strike a budget deal, nor did he respond when asked what feedback he has received from lawmakers. The governor also remained silent when asked about criticism of the campaign video.
He has an event scheduled at his office today at 11:30, an hour after AFSCME announces its strike authorization vote results, so he is expected to talk to the media today.