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Cullerton wants GOP “intervention”

Monday, Jun 19, 2017

* Pearson

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said House Democrats and Republicans should take a good look at the Senate Democrat-passed budget package approved last month and contended GOP lawmakers need an “intervention” to overcome Republican Gov. Rauner to end the state’s historic stalemate. […]

“I think we might be at a point where we need kind of a compromise between Durkin, Madigan, Radogno and myself, and we can pass this. And by definition, anything you pass is veto-proof so it might be time for an intervention,” he said, noting the extraordinary voting requirement needed to pass legislation.

“Jim Durkin is the key guy here. I understand, from his point of view, (it’s) tough working with the speaker, they fight each other over elections every November. He wants to probably be the speaker someday,” Cullerton said, adding that Rauner, a wealthy former equity investor, heavily funded GOP legislative campaigns last year and has more money to spend next year.

“I know that’s a really big influence. But if those guys over there realize they’re going down with the ship when this governor loses next year and that they probably should just pull away, do a deal with the speaker and us and Sen. Radogno and I, I think that’s probably the best, most likely and most optimistic way of looking at what could happen down there.”

The full interview is here.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

33 Comments
  1. - RNUG - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    Cullerton is pointing out the obvious path forward.

    The question is whether Durkin can get on board, and how much cover Madigan is willing to put up in terms of D votes so less R votes are needed on the tax increase.


  2. - Anon - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    Cullerton just said what I’ve been thinking since Rauner was first elected. He summed it up perfectly! In order for Republicans to get on board with this strategy, they will need to tone down the rhetoric and the re meat to the conservative base. Pump the brakes and work out the best deal that you can with your Democratic counterparts. Then be prepared to override the governor’s veto.


  3. - anon2 - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    If a deal relies upon House Republicans demonstrating independence, then there won’t be a deal. There’s nothing in their voting record during the Rauner regime to indicate Republicans are either willing to or capable of doing so.


  4. - A guy - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    Sen. Cullerton may have the cart out there well ahead of the horse, but I agree about an intervention. I was thinking more of the Holy Spirit than any of the usual suspects though.


  5. - Deft Wing - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    Cullerton can’t even do a deal with Madigan now, but Durkin’s supposed to do so? Meh.


  6. - Austinman - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Cullerton is speaking the truth, Dirkin needs to put his big boy pants on and cut a deal with the other 3 leaders bcz this Governor is done


  7. - Cubs in '16 - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    Republican legislators, please repeat the following:

    “I’m powerless over Rauner’s money and the state has become unmanageable.”

    This First Step is the path to recovery.


  8. - cdog - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    yes, A guy.

    Prayers of Intercession are very appropriate!


  9. - DuPage Bard - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    The key is if they do jump ship who’s willing to take a primary? You’d almost have to promise no general election for folks to be willing to take that leap.


  10. - Anon221 - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    Very good interview. Durkin has been given a key. He can break that key off in the lock and make this crisis even worse. Or, he can turn the key and join the other grownups at the table while Rauner plays games in the other room.


  11. - Juvenal - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    @RNUG:

    The key isn’t so much how many votes Madigan is willing to put on the tax hike, but whether Madigan is willing to give Republicans who vote for the tax hike a pass in the General Election.

    Those downstate Republicans are the least likely to vote for tax hike, unless they have a university in their district. The suburban lawmakers are the ones durkin needs to maintain his leadership spot. They can’t be beat in a primary, assuming the mayor’s and building trades are with them, but they are vulnerable in a general.

    With gaming on the table, a deal is possible.


  12. - Ratso Rizzo - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:47 am:

    After listening to this interview, I wish we had more people like Cullerton running this state. He’s reasonable and realistic, and he’s sees the forest through the trees. He believes in his partisan issues, but he also knows the other sides needs wins too. Madigan and Rauner are only interested in power and doing it their way while making the other side look bad. It will be a good day when both are gone from government.


  13. - Whataboutbob - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    Cullerton has finally said what everyone has been thinking. Time for both sides, especially the Republicans to quit cowering behind Rauner’s money and stand up for themselves. It’s only two men(Madigan and Rauner)against the entire House and Senate members.

    I think this is really why people want term limits for the congress is due to the fact too many use congress for a career and now are afraid of getting fired(voted out)if they go against the grain due to all the campaign money and won’t stand up for what is right, just, and honorable.


  14. - A guy - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    ==Those downstate Republicans are the least likely to vote for tax hike==

    Juvy, you need to get a fresh read on this. Cuz this one is very likely, very incorrect.


  15. - Arock - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    All the Big Boys who for the last couple decades have passed budgets with shady accounting principles? The Big Boys that kicked the pension problem down the road where it became the albatross around the neck of every taxpayer? The Big Boys who passed the temporary income tax increase that didn’t pay off all the old debt and the pension liability continued to grow? The Big Boys that have an unfunded retiree healthcare problem as well? The Big Boys who passed unconstitutional pension fixes just so they could say they tried. The Big Boys who failed to fund K-12 properly for how many years. Whether they be Republicans or Democrats those supposed Big Boys have failed the citizens of Illinois and seem to be more interested in getting re-elected then solving problems.


  16. - doggonit - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    Durkin must be thinking of life after Rauner by now. Rauner must know that, 850k suggests he does. At some point, though, the money doesn’t make up for how toxic the governor and the state’s finances have become. I think we’re there.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    ===The Big Boys who passed the temporary income tax increase that didn’t pay off all the old debt and the pension liability continued to grow===

    Are you saying the pension payments weren’t made and the backlog was worse WITH the temporary tax increase?

    It’s too early to be partaking in adult beverages.

    Your lack of math skills is noted.


  18. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    It happened in Topeka, can it happen in Springfield?
    Rise up Republicans.
    Sam McCann has shown you the way.


  19. - RNUG - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    == Are you saying the pension payments weren’t made and the backlog was worse WITH the temporary tax increase? ==

    -OW-, he’s partially right. The bit about the pension liabilities increasing is correct; on the Blago modified ramp we have yet to reach actuarial level payments. In other words, if you look at it as a teaser rate mortgage with balloon payments at the end, we are still in the “teaser” stage of it … but getting closer to the actuarial level.

    What you are right about, -OW-, is the (inadequate) scheduled pension fund payments were made and the ongoing debt backlog was reduced under Quinn using the higher income tax rate. And you are right that we would be in even worse shape had Quinn not made those payments.


  20. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    The comparison to Kansas in regards to taxes is ludicrous.

    Illinois tax burden is currently 5th highest in the nation.

    It is higher than Minnesota and California but one slot lower than Scott Walker’s Wisconsin who is also frequently mischaracterized as a disastrous tax cutter.

    A tax increase without reasonable reforms to slow the growth of government spending and help to attract business investment
    will not solve Illinois problems.

    http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/states-with-highest-taxes-11.aspx


  21. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 12:42 pm:

    ===A tax increase without reasonable reforms to slow the growth of government spending===

    An actual budget would be a big help accomplishing that.


  22. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:32 pm:

    Agreed but the Speaker considers any reforms grand or otherwise a “personal agenda” of the Governor totally unrelated to the budget.

    This is despite the fact that stabilizing the tax burden on middle class families and the businesses that employ many of them would go along way towards growing Illinois tax base that is needed to fund all of the promises we have made.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:41 pm:

    ===This is despite the fact that stabilizing the tax burden on middle class families and the businesses that employ many of them would go along way towards growing Illinois tax base that is needed to fund all of the promises we have made.===

    lol, actually, it’s been cited here by our host… the Civic Committee seems to believe your phoniness isn’t the answer but a budget is.

    “Civic Committee; Get Moving on a Budget Now”

    http://bit.ly/2tG3VW9

    You have no argument. You claim “business”, then Civic Federation, you say “Madigan!”, and it’s irrefutable it was Rauner blowing up bargains.

    ===…the Speaker considers any reforms grand or otherwise a “personal agenda” of the Governor totally unrelated to the budget.===

    Yeah, no…


  24. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    Listened to the entire interview. As usual Senator Cullerton says the Governor should be happy because he passed everything the Governor supposedly asked for but neglects to mention none of this was taken up by the House.

    Perhaps his words would be more credible if he blamed the Speaker for ignoring and trashing the Senate’s work.

    Instead he focuses on the Governor’s lack of experience as a disqualifier. If experience was all that was required for effective state government, Illinois would be leading the nation in approval.

    Instead we are at the bottom since before Rauner’s election. Senator Cullerton is blind to the lack of faith citizens have in Springfield.

    To put a twist on the Senate President’s words when will the General Assembly democrats realize this and tell the Speaker “this ain’t working pal”.

    Impossible to believe the Senator Cullerton’s claim that the legislators who are the most upset with the Governor are Republicans who he says he can’t name.

    That part is laugh out loud funny. There is zero daylight between the Governor and the legislature on his agenda.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===. As usual Senator Cullerton says the Governor should be happy because he passed everything the Governor supposedly asked for but neglects to mention none of this was taken up by the House===

    No, but your ignorance is noted.

    For your silliness to work, Rauner needed to support the SDems work and put SGOP votes on it. That’s why Cullerton is “Spot On”. Are you even trying today?

    ===Perhaps his words would be more credible if he blamed the Speaker for ignoring and trashing the Senate’s work.===

    Rauner proposed his own bills, no SGOP votes for Cullerton’s bills. Good try though, dishonest as it is.

    ===Instead he focuses on the Governor’s lack of experience as a disqualifier. If experience was all that was required for effective state government, Illinois would be leading the nation in approval===

    Experience would show when you get 90% of what you want, you take it. Rauner’s inexperience masks Rauner’s real plan of squeezing the state to ruin.

    ===Instead we are at the bottom since before Rauner’s election===

    According to Crain’s, by nearly every measure Illinois is worse off since Rauner. Hmm.

    ===Impossible to believe the Senator Cullerton’s claim that the legislators who are the most upset with the Governor are Republicans who he says he can’t name.

    That part is laugh out loud funny. There is zero daylight between the Governor and the legislature on his agenda===

    … just as funny and “real” as Rauner saying Dems “he talks to”?

    Who has better credibility, Rauner or Cullerton?

    Before you answer, it was Leader Radogno that took Cullerton’s side, not Rauner’s on the who blew up the Grand Bargain(s), lol

    ===Senator Cullerton is blind to the lack of faith citizens have in Springfield===

    I’m sure Cullerton is aware Rauner has a 58% disapproval.


  26. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 2:17 pm:

    I am also sure Senator Cullerton (and you) know that the Speaker and his approval ratings are lower than the Governor’s.

    He sure doesn’t act like it though. No humble pie apparently on the menu in Springfield.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 2:22 pm:

    ===I am also sure Senator Cullerton (and you) know that the Speaker and his approval ratings are lower than the Governor’s.===

    (Sigh)

    Madigan - 61% disapproval
    Rauner - 58% disapproval

    Rauner will be on the ballot statewide, Rauner is down “solid” double digits to unnamed Dem opponent.

    Madigan will probably win the 22nd Representative District.

    “Anything else?”


  28. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 2:33 pm:

    Perhaps the Senator’s words would have a bit more credibility if he took one iota of personal responsibility for Illinois problems that happened during his 40 years in Springfield or in the twelve years of total control of state government of which he was in leadership.

    Would it also be too much to acknowledge the Speaker’s role in failing to compromise with the Senate the past three years?

    The Senate President “enjoys” a 25 % approval rating which trails the Governor by 10 points but you would never know it listening to him talk about how reasonable he is.

    Ihttp://chicago.suntimes.com/news/madigan-edges-rauner-in-unpopularity-contest-poll-says/


  29. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 2:41 pm:

    ===Perhaps the Senator’s words would have a bit more credibility if he took one iota of personal responsibility for Illinois problems that happened during his 40 years in Springfield or in the twelve years of total control of state government of which he was in leadership.===

    … and yet, Rauner’s status quo continues skyrocketing deficits, no budgets, no full funding of higher education, and your concern is for “40 years of”?

    Crain’s made it clear, by nearly every measure Illinois is worse off since Rauner became governor.

    ===Would it also be too much to acknowledge the Speaker’s role in failing to compromise with the Senate the past three years?===

    Since it was Cullerton and Radogno who were building a Grand Compromise to box in Madigan… and the second Grand Compromise Rauner blew up with Cullerton without Radogno to get a budget, your silly plea is ignoring quite a bit. But, you already know that.

    ===The Senate President “enjoys” a 25 % approval rating which trails the Governor by 10 points but you would never know it listening to him talk about how reasonable he is.===

    Full. Stop.

    You are touting a 35% approval rating?

    That’s your take on that?!

    Yikes, do better.


  30. - Rod - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 3:17 pm:

    Well since Senator Cullerton admits SB 6, the appropriation bill, is fundamentally the Governor’s budget proposal (WBEZ radio interview June 2, 2017) compromise with the Republicans is likely easier than with many House Democrats who see SB 6 as a Republican bill. Cullerton’s problem isn’t really Jim Durkin its also numerous Democrats in the House who see Cullerton as caving to team Rauner. I believe Daniel Biss and a very few other Democrats in the Senate voted for SB 6 with great reluctance.

    I think there is a problem with President Cullerton’s thinking because he is so vested in making a budget deal he has lost all sight of any type of progressive legislative agenda.


  31. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    Guy, does the Holy Spirit have more campaign cash than Rauner? Because his bankroll is what’s keeping in GOP legislators in line on running up GRF debt, bleeding higher ed and reneging on contracts to social service providers.

    You know, Illinois GOP conservatism.

    Speaking of, how’s your “desperate” fundraising going these days for Catholic Charities, to make up for the contract deadbeatism you support? What’s yöur dollar count?

    You’re awfully shallow and flippant on real serious things.


  32. - A guy - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 4:24 pm:

    Sling, thanks for asking.
    If you were the least bit genuine, I’d answer.
    But you’re not. Just taking the snide route; your default position.

    I’d say Senator Cullerton was a bit flippant in his response, but it did strike me that we need something akin to a miracle to get a budget after reading this.

    Is that serious enough for you? Something has happened to you. You’ve gone from funny cynical to very mean spirited cynical. I appreciated the former. I rather despise the latter. Go back to being the other guy.


  33. - Southern Wind - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 4:29 pm:

    Lucky Pierre also forgot, convienently I guess, how regressive the IL tax system is. A high tax burden could be handled by those capable of handling said burden.


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