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Can’t anyone land this plane?

Friday, May 19, 2017

* For whatever reason, Crain’s Chicago Business published my column online early this week. So, we get to talk about it today instead of on Monday..

Back in 2011, private citizen Bruce Rauner was involved with legislation in Springfield to change how public school teachers were evaluated and to curtail the power of the state’s teachers unions. Rauner didn’t care for the outcome, but after months of tedious and often contentious negotiations, the bill passed with just one “no” vote in both chambers.

Rauner wanted to use the legislation, in part, to prevent the Chicago Teachers Union from striking the following year. One important thing to know about Rauner is that he hates the CTU above all else. But a small portion of a subsequent “cleanup” bill allowed the CTU to decide who could vote on a strike.

“This has to be killed,” Rauner wrote in a May 24, 2011, email to the Illinois House Republican leader’s political director. “Every repub has to vote against.”

Three days later, the Senate approved the bill 51-5 and then the House passed it 116-0. The House Republican leader, the target of Rauner’s insistent email, was a chief co-sponsor.

That may give you an inkling of what the General Assembly has been dealing with since Rauner was sworn in as Illinois’ 42nd governor two and a half years ago.

Rauner came into office with the same bluster he displayed in that email. It was his way or the highway. The only difference now is that when he wants something killed, it gets killed. Republicans almost never cross him. One tried, and Rauner spent millions to defeat him in a primary.

After another failed negotiation session to end the long governmental impasse with Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan last December, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno approached Senate President John Cullerton about devising their own plan, which was eventually called the “grand bargain.”

The e-mail mentioned above is here. Lots of naughty words at that link, so be careful if you’re at work.

And click here to read the rest of the column before commenting, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments »
  1. - Slim Pickens - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 9:29 am:

    I can, but surely you can’t be serious Rich.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    This is the case I’ve tried to make since jump street;

    Autonomous, independent Caucuses, working with Rauner to find 60 and 30, that is how governing happens.

    Rauner holding hostage this entire state for his anger (and dirty words to express that anger) should not be a surprise.

    The fact Rauner undercut Leader Radogno, the way has with other things too, it’s about the Rauner wins, not the state existing or functioning.

    The most telling?

    That’s easy.

    Rauner more concerned that Madigan didn’t have 71 to override ANYTHING, to force the state to suffer, as opposed to finding 60, to have the state survive and thrive.

    That’s who Bruce Rauner is. Rauner is a destroyer, passively of actively, until his way of destruction can be his own win.


  3. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    I read it early this morning. Excellent column.

    This is another example of Rauner hating the types of people who helped enrich him and his firm. This must be mentioned, as a character issue and hypocrisy for the harsh cuts he wants to impose on public employees, as well as trying to permanently weaken them through ending fair share fees.


  4. - PublicServant - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    ===Rauner came into office with the same bluster he displayed in that email. It was his way or the highway. The only difference now is that when he wants something killed, it gets killed.===

    I’ll take the highway, instead of Rauner’s low road anyday. If he won’t accept the best he’s going to get, then give him nothing, and vote his intransigent grass bowl out at the next chance. Elections, especially one in which a lot of people were conned by Rauner, have consequences. I think it’s down to suffer those consequences, and move on.


  5. - Texas Red - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    Rauner is the duly elected Gov and he operates from one set of general proprieties that may or may not always include.. fiscal austerity, endorsing RTW, WC reform, school choice, property taxes relief, term limits …. these generally align with his base. MJM has been the Dem leader in power for 38 years and he operates from another set of priorities, pro union, pro gov’t programs, …. these generally align with his base. I understand the legislative process and that Rauner does not have the 60 and 30 votes, but I am always amused that day after day those opposed to Rauner are surprised he will not abandon his priorities. Emphasis on 38 years, Oh well - same story different day


  6. - Nick Name - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    “Rauner is the duly elected Gov and he operates from one set of general proprieties that may or may not always include.. fiscal austerity…”

    Ballooning the state’s bill backlog from roughly $4 billion to - what is it this week, $14 billion? - counts as fiscal austerity?


  7. - Pundent - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    If there was any doubt that Rauner isn’t an ideologue, this article blew it completely out of the water. Not only does this expose Rauner for exactly who he is, it also underscores the sad reality of how much we need more journalists like Rich.


  8. - T Sowell - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    == underscores the sad reality of how much we need more journalists like Rich==

    No doubt that Rich is a talented writer, but he is in good company in terms of approach on Rauner.


  9. - Veil of Ignorance - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    The Governor could’ve cut smaller agreements by now that easily could’ve been political “wins” for him on this Turnaround Agenda, so I’m left with only three possible explanations of his behavior regarding the budget: he’s either (1) a very crappy negotiator who consistently overplays his hand and expects to get everything his way, (2) his real goal is to destroy IL (”kill the disease by killing the patient”) and irreversibly dismantle our services network, or (3) a combo-goal of both (1) & (2).


  10. - VanillaMan - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    The Persistent Rascal believe in only his righteous reality. Everyone else is wrong! Rauner believe that he can cause enough mayhem, crisis and harm to force his political opponents into bowing before him.

    Rauner doesn’t respect democracy and government enough to not poison it with his chemotherapy. He believes in only himself.

    Worse than Blagojevich.


  11. - Chicago 20 - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 12:23 pm:

    Rauner’s email to Rahm; “You’re a good politician -value-add scores are best answer but years away and even then will be controversial - the longer we wait, the more trepidation there will be as we’ll be reporting on new
    administration rather than prior decision-makers -ACT Is simple, objective, standard for all college-bound kids; Its degree of difficulty can’,t be manipulated by politicians- if we start right now to have every
    school in every grade every year publish its students’ act or nwea avg scores and its teachers’ act avg scores, we will send a powerful message to everyone in city that there is a new culture of measurement and
    accountability in cps - no need to set minimums or targets, just firm push for continuous Improvement- every principal in the system will )mmediately begin to think about the talent of their teachers and
    explore ways to recruit more intelligent, academically accomplished teachers so that their school does not stay at bottom of rankings on t_eacher test scores - no edicts or directives needed from central office -
    we can leave it to the media and parents to discuss whether there is or should be a correlation between teachers’ scores and student achievement and why schools like ausl, noble, cics, whitney young, and
    waiter payton have higher teacher act scores - this will lay the groundwork for constant measurement and reporting (like all great organizations do) so that when cps rolls out student growth grades for
    teachers and schools, the psychological shock will not be as big and we’ll be set for a whole new ballgame.”

    Constant measurement for continuous improvement.

    It’s easy to apply to the Governor’s job performance.
    No accomplishments in over two years, no expectations of a achieving any of his set goals.
    No improvement but rather a stark and profound regression.

    The media and taxpayers could decide except for the overwhelming media buys distorting perceptions.

    Shear Hypocrisy.


  12. - ste_with_a_v_en - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    -Worse than Blagojevich-
    I mean, he is in prison. And was impeached.


  13. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    In the private sector, Rauner seems to have had a series of negotiations, each time with a different set of people. He now finds himself negotiating with the same people again and again.

    He has some negotiating habits that may work when you deal with new people every time and can walk away if the deal is not what you want. These habits/behaviors are not working for him now.


  14. - RNUG - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 2:23 pm:

    == In the private sector, Rauner seems to have had a series of negotiations, each time with a different set of people. ==

    When you buy them out so you can tell.them.what to do, it isn’t a negotiation.

    Rauner is under the illusion he bought the entire State of Illinois, instead of just one political party.


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