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Pawar on Madigan

Monday, Feb 27, 2017

* Gubernatorial candidate Ald. Ameya Pawar was at DePaul last week

But, with four of Illinois’ eight most recent governors having spent time in prison, good governance has not always been the rule. And for the past 30 years of state politics, the elephant in the room has been House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Madigan has been criticized for his stewardship of the state, which has the lowest credit rating of any state in the country as well as a structural budget deficit and mountains of unpaid bills and pension obligations. While Pawar said he doesn’t know Madigan or “have a relationship with him,” he gave a mixed assessment.

“I’d argue that (Madigan’s) the one person standing in the way of the utter destruction of public sector unions,” Pawar said. “But I also recognize that both Democrats and Republicans got us here over the past 40 years. So, we all hold some responsibility. But the path forward is to stop turning (Republican leaders Christine) Radongo, (Jim) Durkin or (Democratic leaders) Madigan and (John) Cullerton into cartoon characters as they get into the room and stop demonizing each other and cut a deal.”

Thoughts on how he handled that?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

54 Comments
  1. - DDR - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    He handled it like an adult. That doesn’t bode well for a Springfield job.


  2. - Mahna Anon - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    Fair assessment.


  3. - The Dude Abides - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 11:52 am:

    He actually handled that pretty well.


  4. - RNUG - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    Good answer. Might have a future in politics.


  5. - phocion - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 11:56 am:

    He handled it poorly - a blatant apologist for Madigan. That message won’t sell well with Illinois voters.


  6. - Ole' Nelson - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    He sounded very reasonable!


  7. - IL-6 voter - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    Sounds reasonable but it doesn’t make him the front-runner now ($$$).


  8. - The Way I See It - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    Too adult for politics


  9. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:09 pm:

    Nothing wrong with the content, but he sounded like an op/ed writer, not someone who’s actually got a plan to fix anything.


  10. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:09 pm:

    They have been in a room many times together, it was even filmed

    “I’d argue that (Madigan’s) the one person standing in the way of the utter destruction of public sector unions,”

    Wow, so 39 of the 59 Senators and 65 members of the House are for the utter destruction of public sector unions?

    he needs to do better


  11. - scott aster - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    weak….idealist…40 yrs how about the last 14..that would be good for starters. Is is daddy rich??


  12. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    “They have been in a room many times together, it was even filmed”

    Probably why he didn’t say “get them in a room”.


  13. - Fax Machine - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    None of the Dems making noise so far - Kennedy, Pritzker, Pawar & Biss - owe anything to Mike Madigan, why are they so afraid of him when distancing themselves from him is such a no brainer (even in a Dem Primary, let alone the General)


  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:23 pm:

    ===Wow, so 39 of the 59 Senators and 65 members of the House are for the utter destruction of public sector unions===

    What are these numbers again? Just to clarify. Thanks.

    To the Post,

    It’s a B-/C+ response, much better than even some of Madigan’s own members trying to explain the Rauner hostage-taking.

    Where the message is failing is that Pawar can’t keep Madigan at arms length in the middle of a big ole hug.

    The better answer might be that Madigan is the champion trying to stop the destruction of organized labor and the state of Illinois, and while each specific and narrow example to that purposeful destruction by Rauner isn’t the way I plan on solving or attacking where Rauner continues to fail, I’m as committed as Madigan, as Illinois Democrats, as Illinoisans are in stopping Rauner. That’s where we can agree. The method or methods to stop Rauner and what happened before Rauner is where I think you will see those difference come to light.


  15. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    I think the best answer for Pawar is, “I don’t really know the guy since I’m not in the House, but Rauner’s weird hangup on him is only hurting the state.”


  16. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    LP, thanks for the scoop that the legislative leaders have been in the same room together.

    Read harder.


  17. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:43 pm:

    Fine, given his DePaul Democrats audience. In a general setting, I wouldn’t suggest leading with the defense of public unions issue as one of the Speaker’s positives, as it doesn’t resonate with the general public like it does on this blog or in that room.


  18. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:57 pm:

    The guy obviously has too much sense and sensibility to be electable.


  19. - Arock - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:57 pm:

    Madigan has failed the State, period. He could have been a leader the last two years and has done zilch for the people of Illinois. The down fall of Illinois is mainly on him and he refuses adapt. The constant during the last two to three decades of Illinois fall is Michael Madigan Speaker of the House. Everyone thinks that Rauner should compromise, where is Madigan’s compromise?


  20. - illinoised - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    I also thought he handled it well.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    - Arock -

    From a former governor, refuting you…

    ===“The governor is the top guy. He is the leader. House Speaker Mike Madigan is not. The governor has to make things happen. If he doesn’t get everything he wants, he’s got to figure out how much he can get. To get something done. He’s got to take the wheel. He’s got to have a plan. It’s like everything in life.”===

    “Pat Quinn failed”, - Arock -

    Candidate Rauner tells me so.


  22. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    Better than anybody else to date. By far.


  23. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 1:17 pm:

    Candidates need to pick one of two lanes:

    1) Do exactly what Pawar did.

    2) Explicitly blame all of Springfield, including Madigan, for the impasse.

    My guess is that Pritzker and Kennedy will also pick Lane #1. And he explained it quite well.

    But I’m not sure how Pawar will successfully differentiate himself against those candidates with more resources. He might have been better off running for the Bernie Sanders crowd.

    I’ll give him an “A” in executing the answer, but an “F” in strategy. When you have far less money than the other candidates, doing a good job at playing it safe won’t win you the election.


  24. - A guy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    The bar hasn’t been set too high. He answered and didn’t embarrass himself. So, these days that’s a victory.


  25. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    OW given Illinois desperate finances all Governors in the past 30 years have failed to balance budgets because of the Speaker’s intransigence and overspending

    that Constitutional balanced budget requirement seems to be more of a guideline than a rule


  26. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 1:37 pm:

    ===…given Illinois desperate finances all Governors in the past 30 years have failed to balance budgets because of the Speaker’s intransigence and overspending===

    You have no arguement, given Rauner’s 3 proposed budgets, including this recent one that’s $4-7 billion out of whack, phony and a sham. Rauner is doing exactly what…

    ===…all Governors in the past 30 years have failed to balance budgets…===

    Rauner proposed all his phony sham budgets on his own, less Madigan.

    ===that Constitutional balanced budget requirement seems to be more of a guideline than a rule===

    I’m surprised you aren’t more angry at Rauner for continuing the status quo.

    Why aren’t you?


  27. - Albany Park Patriot - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 1:40 pm:

    Good answer. Sounds like a grownup.


  28. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 1:43 pm:

    Reasonable and thoughtful response. But lacking in “zing.”


  29. - Mokenavince - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    A logical answer. A thoughtful answer.


  30. - Rod - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 1:59 pm:

    His comments were inherently contradictory. On the one hand he sees Speaker Madigan as the protector of public sector unionism in Illinois, on the other hand, he wants Madigan to make a deal with Senator Radongo and Durkin which likely requires some containment of public sector unions in Illinois. The bigger question than just public sector unions is revenue, does Ald Pawar have anything to say about the taxes needed to consummate such a deal? An easy analysis from the comfort of Ravenswood in Chicago.


  31. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:02 pm:

    The budget will never balance without changing the status quo on pensions.

    The state cannot continue to spend 50% of the higher education budget and 25-30% of the total budget on retirees and expect the economy to grow and attract new taxpayers.

    The only people who disagree and the beneficiaries of this gravy train which is why eliminating the pensions for future legislators is a huge development

    The budget is not phony with the proposed revenue and reforms, you forget that


  32. - Compromise requires two sides - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:07 pm:

    -lucky p-

    Legislatures appropriate funds only. Spending is done by the executive branch. The governor can ask each of his departments to spend the appropriated at the levels he wants them to.


  33. - Roman - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:08 pm:

    I think plenty of rank-and-file Dem primary voters would be receptive to a little Madigan bashing. None of the would-be candidates have gone down that road — yet.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:12 pm:

    ===The budget will never balance without changing the status quo on pensions.===

    Let’s start with this. If no budget until reforms is your tact, then you are saying and agreeing Rauner is holding up the budget. Not the Dems. So there’s one… another…

    … Rauner proposes 3 grossly unbalanced, phony budgets, and no constitutional legislation or the votes to pass pension reform, and still keep the protected pension require acts within a balanced budget.

    That’s on Rauner. Sorry.

    ===The state cannot continue to spend 50% of the higher education budget and 25-30% of the total budget on retirees and expect the economy to grow and attract new taxpayers.===

    Illinois can’t have a governor for 3 consecutive years propose unbalanced phony budgets that leave Illinois without a budget. Again, if you are advocating holding a budget hostage for an agenda, that’s on Rauner, a choice you advocate.

    ===The only people who disagree and the beneficiaries of this gravy train which is why eliminating the pensions for future legislators is a huge development===

    Then where is Rauner’s 60 and 30.

    It should be easy for Rauner to embarrass Madigan and Cullerton with the 60/30. Why hasn’t Rauner?

    ===The budget is not phony with the proposed revenue and reforms, you forget that===

    No, it’s actually $4.6 Billion phony, measured by the Governor’s office testimony.

    What else ya got?


  35. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:13 pm:

    Not true Compromise. the Courts have mandated spending in consent decrees the Governor has no authority to reduce. The Governor cannot line item the budget to balance.

    “But I also recognize that both Democrats and Republicans got us here over the past 40 years. So, we all hold some responsibility.

    The Speaker has never accepted any responsibility and after two years of impasse proposed anything new to change the trajectory of the state.


  36. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:17 pm:

    The Governor compromised on pensions by supporting Senator Cullerton’s pension bill.

    The Speaker said in 2013 that everyone recognizes the pensions are unsustainable but he has not lifted a finger to pass the Democratic leader of the Senate’s bill

    And for that you blame the Governor


  37. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:18 pm:

    ===…the Courts have mandated spending in consent decrees the Governor has no authority to reduce===

    A governor with a budget can reduce, spend, hold, whatever.

    Rauner has no budgets, never had his own budgets since being governor.

    If that’s breaking the status quo, then 49 other states are the status quo and Rauner is ruining Illinois to be… different. Um, ok.

    ===The Speaker has never accepted any responsibility and after two years of impasse proposed anything new to change the trajectory of the state.===

    (Insert the GHR quote about governors and Madigan, explaining that governors need to lead)

    Rauner isn’t a passenger. Why make any governor a passenger? lol


  38. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:21 pm:

    ===The Governor compromised on pensions by supporting Senator Cullerton’s pension bill.===

    … and then vetoed CPS’s $215 million, purposely to hurt Chicago students. You calm that supporting Cullerton’s pension bill? Again, um, ok, lol

    Rauner hurt Chicago students to side with Cullerton. That’s your position?

    ===And for that you blame the Governor===

    Holding a budget hostage and at the same time proposing 3 grossly unbalanced phony budgets, that’s on any governor doing that. You know, Rauner doing the status quo.


  39. - Earnest - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:26 pm:

    >The only people who disagree are the beneficiaries of this gravy train

    Lucky, I agree with your points about controlling costs gong forward. I might be old fashioned, but I wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t pay back the money we borrowed when we skipped our pension fund deposits over the years.


  40. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:52 pm:

    There’d already be a MadiganPewar.com page and a boss madigan press release if they thought he was the slightest bit of a threat. But yes, embracing Madigan is not the best strategy in the world these days.


  41. - Sillies - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 3:05 pm:

    As one of his constituents in the 47th ward, I find those remarks humorous as he himself uses most of his frequent social media efforts to turn Rauner and Trump into cartoon characters.


  42. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 3:06 pm:

    Rauner hurt Chicago students to side with Cullerton. That’s your position?

    OW as you well know the agreement struck in June for the extra 215 million for CPS pensions was linked to the passage of Senator Cullerton’s pension bill which still has not even been called. The agreement was supposed to happen by early January and now it is nearly March.

    The days of money for nothing are over


  43. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 3:10 pm:

    ===The days of money for nothing are over===

    Governors own the veto. It’s solely theirs.

    The Judge Smails defense doesn’t change the fact… Rauner’s veto, a veto only he (Rauner) can do, hurt Chicago students.

    What, Cullerton or Others took the Rauner Veto stamp and used it? Nope.

    You should cheer.

    You have no idea when you should be cheering or be angry. Is all this too confusing for you?

    You should be cheering the veto hurting Chicago students…

    You should be upset with Rauner’s phony grossly unbalanced budget.

    “Simple”


  44. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    @Chicago Cynic: I wouldn’t dismiss Pawar’s chances. His candor and integrity might come out ahead of “Vote for me, I’m a Kennedy” or “Vote for me, I’m a billionaire.” You never know. Also, please learn to spell his name.


  45. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 4:48 pm:

    ==The budget is not phony==

    I can’t believe you would say that with a straight face. The Governor’s budget was most certainly not balanced.

    ==The Speaker has never accepted any responsibility ==

    And neither has the Governor. So I suppose we’ve identified something they have in common. Maybe they can build off of that.


  46. - Touré's Latte - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 6:24 pm:

    ==Gubernatorial candidate Ald. Ameya Pawar…==

    What state?


  47. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 7:07 pm:

    CPS shouldn’t plan on spending any dough contingent on Cullerton’s pension bill. Another unconstitutional mess.


  48. - Gob Bluth - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 7:46 pm:

    How many more times are commenters going to make the “he’s too civilized for IL politics!” crack?

    It’s a pretty good response, he’s a thoughtful guy. But he doesn’t stand a chance for a number of reasons — and they aren’t because he’s more polite than our typical Pol. The first that pops to mind, alderman to Governor never has (and probably never should) happen.

    Maybe he can try again for congress or some smaller statewide office down the road. He’s young.


  49. - Michael Westen - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:50 pm:

    “The only people who disagree and the beneficiaries of this gravy train which is why eliminating the pensions for future legislators is a huge development”

    Then how on earth is Governor Rauner only at 32 percent approval? Are you saying that 68% of illinois citizens are beneficiaries of this gravy train?


  50. - Arock - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 8:30 am:

    -” Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    - Arock -

    From a former governor, refuting you…”

    Was this Governor a failure in his job, did he have truly balanced budgets? If not then his opinion is of no more importance than my own opinion. Madigan is a failure and you only have to see the shape the State of Illinois is in for verification. When was his last truly balanced budget that Madigan passed in the State? There are three branches of government for a reason and the legislative branch has been a failure under Madigan’s leadership.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 8:40 am:

    Oh - Arock -

    ===Was this Governor a failure in his job, did he have truly balanced budgets?===

    Are you talking about Rauner?

    Rauner has proposed 3 grossly unbalanced phony budgets.

    I’m so glad you recognize that Rauner is part of the status quo!

    LOL


  52. - Arock - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 11:17 am:

    I don’t agree with what Rauner did but he has always said he was open to tax increases to fill the budget shortfall if there was some compromise on his agenda. He will not show his complete hand until some movement on his turn around agenda comes to fruition. Madigan’s House is quite capable of bring forth a balanced budget as well the last three years and have also failed to do so, they do not show where their added revenue will come from as well.


  53. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    ===open to tax increases to fill the budget shortfall if…===

    I’m gonna stop ya there.

    It’s not a give if it’s required.

    Revenue. Is. Required.

    What part of the word “required” do you not understand.

    You can’t compromise something required. Never.

    The rest of your whole comment based on that is just silly to the governing.


  54. - Brian P - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 7:00 pm:

    I read his statement over a few times. Well spoken, but he won’t take on Madigan. Therefore there will be no change. Pawar is a light-weight anyway.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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