The head of the City Council Budget Committee on Tuesday sought to point the blame at Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner when it comes to finding a way to avoid a looming financial meltdown at Chicago Public Schools, saying in the often-blunt language she’s known for that “somebody needs to take Rauner by his neck and wring it.”
When asked about ways the city might be able to help the school district from going broke around the end of June, Ald. Carrie Austin toed the line of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration by trying to blame the governor, using rougher language in the process.
“Why won’t anybody go after the governor?” asked Austin, 34th, who was referring to the prospect of further city tax increases or draining funds from special taxing districts to help CPS. “Why is it always a strain on us? Why? Nobody ever asks that question. You don’t see this going on in any other school district, except for Chicago. Somebody needs to take Rauner by his neck and wring it.”
Rauner’s spokesperson Eleni Demertzis said Austin’s “outlandish rhetoric can’t paper over the years of fiscal mismanagement that triggered” the financial crisis at CPS.
”Rather than throwing unnecessary insults, it would be helpful if all sides would come together and work on an agreement that balances the state budget along with property tax relief and job-creating reforms that will grow our economy,” Demertzis wrote in an email.
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“Alderman Austin is a passionate and committed advocate for our schools, and while we all express exasperation differently, make no mistake, we’re all exasperated by the governor’s leadership failures,” [Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s] spokesman Matt McGrath said.
Twice in the past month or so, people have casually asked me why nobody has yet “taken out” Speaker Madigan.
Leaders need to realize that their words can be taken literally, particularly in this insane age.