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Campaigns react to Rauner address

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Chris Kennedy campaign…

“Governor Rauner promised a grand, unifying speech. Instead, all we got was a few minutes of empty remarks in an empty room. The only unifying thing Bruce Rauner is doing is bringing voters together to support radical change in Illinois. We have state leadership that has completely and utterly failed us. It doesn’t have to be this way. Compromise - real compromise - like the kind that happens before the session ends when lawmakers are debating the merits of their proposals, is not surrender.

“This speech is indicative of Rauner’s views on “unity”. He goes around our lawmakers, operates outside our legislative process, and talks into a camera in an empty room instead of bringing us a balanced budget.

“As he’s said before, if Chris Kennedy is elected as the next governor and he doesn’t balance the budget, he won’t run again. That’s the level of accountability and honesty that’s sorely missing in Springfield.”

* Sen. Daniel Biss…

“Illinoisans were just subjected to the worst infomercial in our state’s fiscal history—advertising more of the same hypocrisy out of Governor Rauner that we’ve seen over his entire term. While saying “failure to act is not an option” with regards to passing a budget, he doubles down on the very fecklessness that’s gotten us here in the first place.

I’ll remind the governor that he has chosen not to act for the last two years, putting himself, his wealthy friends, and his campaign first. It’s time he and Speaker Madigan sit down, take action, and end this pain.”

* JB Pritzker…

For nearly three years, Illinois families have seen and felt the impact of Governor Rauner’s disastrous and divisive leadership. Parents are struggling to pay the bills, schools are finding it harder to stay open, and vital social service agencies aren’t getting the funding they need.

The budget crisis has crippled our state while Bruce Rauner sat by and did nothing. Now today, on day 720 of the crisis he created, Rauner has decided he wants to make people think that he’d like to work together to get something done. But I don’t believe a word of it:

Click here to view video

Bruce Rauner calls his proposal a compromise budget, but that could not be further from the truth. There’s nothing about it that’s a compromise. There’s no unity in his call for unity. It’s a sham.

Our schools need funding. Our mental health facilities and our shelters need funding. Our social safety net needs rebuilding.

We need somebody who is going to stand up for Illinoisans. That’s not what Bruce Rauner is trying to do. What he’s proposing is a sham and I won’t stand for it.

Thank you –

* Ameya Pawar…

“Gov. Rauner is a liar, a fraud and a flake. In his brief televised address tonight, he said he wants to work with all members of the General Assembly to pass a balanced budget during the special session, but he’s attacking Democrats with TV ads, mailers and flyers. He said he supports equitable funding for public education, but he has threatened to veto a bill which would increase funding to 270 school districts in our state, including Chicago’s. When he was campaigning for governor he said he was pro-choice, but now he’s against a bill that would expand health care coverage for women that would provide more access to abortion care.”

“This has gone on too long. The governor has been exploiting the divisions between Chicago and the rest of the state and using coded language to play off people’s fears. He would rather see our state divided to put more money in the pockets of his donors than do his job and improve the lives of people across all communities.”

“Illinoisans deserve a governor who will stay true to his word and lead our state out of financial crisis. It’s not enough to talk a good game–we have big challenges as a state and we need a governor who understands how to cut through the politics as usual and get things done that actually improve people’s lives. That’s what I’ve done as alderman, by securing funding for neighborhood schools and passing several pieces of progressive legislation that directly benefit working families. And that’s the kind of leadership I’ll bring to the governor’s office if I am elected.”

* DGA…

“Tonight, Bruce Rauner tried to reset his failing tenure as Governor of Illinois by offering nothing new in terms of policy or message. Instead, he pretended he played no part in creating and exacerbating the state’s fiscal crisis. Bruce Rauner purposefully drove the state off the rails, leading to nation’s longest budget impasse in history, skyrocketing debt, a crippling blow to our higher education system, and a ruined social safety net. That is not the record of someone interested in unity or governing, but someone who is willing to sacrifice Illinois’ future for political points. Illinois, under Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership, is moving backwards.”

* Team Rauner…

Governor Rauner addressed the people of Illinois tonight from the Old State Capitol in Springfield on the eve of the legislators’ 10-day special session, stressing the need for unity and compromise.

This special session provides the opportunity for legislators to make lasting change for our state. We need a balanced budget with spending caps, long-lasting property tax relief, term limits, and reforms to grow jobs.

You can watch the Governor’s full address here, or read the quick recap below:

Gov. Bruce Rauner on compromise:

    “We’ve asked the General Assembly to come together in a special session for the next 10 days – not as Democrats and Republicans – but as leaders who share bipartisan concern for our state’s future.”
    “To do what those who came before us did that changed the course of history: have the courage to dare to do what is right … to act for the people.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner on a balanced budget:

    “Last week, we reviewed a compromise budget plan that I can sign… It is truly balanced. It funds schools, higher education, and human services. It provides a real path to property tax reduction.”
    “We must agree on a balanced budget plan, and get it to my desk before the end of the state’s fiscal year – one week from Friday.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner on real reform:

    “The plan also stands tall for fundamentals. Spending reductions. Limits on expenses. Debt reduction. And term limits on legislative leaders and statewide officeholders, including the Governor.”
    “Failure to act is not an option. Failure to act may cause permanent damage to our state that will take years to overcome.”

The text of the address is here.

…Adding… Not a campaign release, but this is Rep. Greg Harris, who spoke for the House Democrats…

“Democrats are returning to Springfield in hopes that the governor is finally ready to compromise on a budget. But, even now, the governor is talking out of both sides of his mouth: As he holds a campaign speech ostensibly calling for unity, he’s also bankrolling negative attack ads and mailers against House Democrats and the very people he is calling on to work with.

“House Democrats have said for two years that we believe a resolution to Governor Rauner’s manufactured budget crisis must be our top priority. We have continually looked for ways to compromise with the governor without hurting middle-class families, and have worked to find common ground so the governor will finally focus on a budget.

“At the governor’s request, House Democrats have voted to cut property taxes, reform workers’ compensation, improve the business climate, sell the Thompson Center and reform the state procurement code. With each attempt to meet Governor Rauner half way, we urged him to return to the table to negotiate a budget. Sadly, the governor refused each time.

“The budget supported by Governor Rauner and legislative Republicans is not balanced. It’s not the honest budget Illinois taxpayers deserve. It’s clear that real negotiations and real compromise are needed.

“Despite the repeated campaign attacks against House Democrats, we have continued to prioritize a balanced budget. In the weeks since the spring session adjourned, we’ve held a series of budget hearings where we’ve heard directly from the victims of Governor Rauner’s budget crisis. From the parents of children with developmental disabilities, to survivors of sexual assault, the men and women speaking out are in agreement: the governor needs to put aside his extreme agenda and compromise. The governor dismissed these people as ‘props’ instead of recognizing who they are – victims of his budget crisis.

“Governor Rauner, your actions speak louder than your rhetoric. After more than 700 days of blocking compromise, it’s up to you to prove that you are finally ready to put the needs of Illinois families ahead of political games and start working in good faith on a budget.”

* And one more

“Unity doesn’t come from a speech and it certainly doesn’t come from campaign attack ads aimed at your negotiating partners,” Cullerton said in a statement Tuesday. “It comes from a willingness for practical compromise with others and exerting the effort to round up the votes needed to make that compromise law. To date, we haven’t seen that from Gov. Rauner. I hope this signifies is a step in a new direction.”


  1. - Anon - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 8:38 pm:

    You have to love how Ameya Pawar’s didn’t even remotely hold back with his first sentence.

    Gov. Rauner is a liar, a fraud and a flake.”

  2. - Anon - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 8:43 pm:

    The speaker should offer the balance of votes for passage after every republican votes for the governor’s compromise budget. Then the same should be done in the senate. Every republican should vote for the budget, including revenue, before a single democrat is committes to vote for it. This will test the governor’s ability to lead and, ultimately, prove that he cannot lead. Republicans will not vote for this. They simply cannot govern. Please, Mr. speaker, make the offer and cal the bill!

  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 8:43 pm:

    I think the takeaway, for me, is that each campaign got what they wanted to take their turns to frame Rauner within a narrative.

    That also included Rauner…

    Rauner got his marker down, and now in 10 days, Rauner will then need to have “something”. A budget is ideal. A stopgap is only ideal for the hostages and the short term state problems, but tonight allowed these statements and these campaigns to give their best rhetoric a target or a prop to be used for good or to frame poorly.

    Maybe any or every statement here can be weighed again… in 10 days.

  4. - scooteriffic!!!! - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 8:59 pm:

    Dear Bruce, no one believes you.

  5. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 9:05 pm:

    Now for some fun from the right: The plutocrats at the WSJ are nailing Rauner as a loser who capitulated. They want RtW and collective bargaining reform, but in their world of unreality, they don’t understand that you can’t get those in Illinois.

  6. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 9:18 pm:

    Is it true that Greg Harris prerecorded his response before Rauner’s speech was delivered?

  7. - Muscular - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 9:26 pm:

    The speech was surreal. Rauner was in an empty legislative chamber with his voice echoing in the room. He looked and sounded alone and isolated. He voiced words but his tone showed that he had little conviction behind them. Also, his speech was poorly organized because its audience was not clear: was it for lawmakers or voters? Finally, he really never concluded the speech with what he would do or what he wanted the voters to do. Why have a broadcast address if you have no call to action?

  8. - Carhartt Union Negotiating Team - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 9:42 pm:

    This had to be one of the oddest exercises in dorkiness to date. Illinoisans aren’t glued to their seats waiting to hear how “above the fray” this Oscar-worthy Governor is. He isn’t above any of it - and we all know it. What’s scary is, he might not know it.

    Oh sure, the public might see a little clip on a Sinclair station, and I guess that’s effective for the news cycle. So, “effective” at trying to reshape a self-developed failed tenure is, I guess, something. Sort of.

    But people are rolling their eyes. REPUBLICANS are rolling their eyes. He is not in touch. And I’ve come to the conclusion that he actually has no typical human capacity to be in touch.

    He’s ‘different’ from most people and everyone knows it. He might not….The costumes. The droppin’ of g’s. I think he really believes he is the “regular guy” he has created in his very odd mind.

    I surely can’t be the only one who thinks this is all very, very weird.

  9. - raus heir - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 10:07 pm:

    There’s something about Rauner’s video this evening, particularly the FB version (lurking in shadows before and after and such), that has a Dukasis-in-a-tank feel to it. Ridiculous.

  10. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 10:09 pm:

    8 months ago I said anyone could beat Rauner. Repeat anyone. The party that I most closely ally myself too(I am an avowed independent), has put forth a field of wienies. If this field doesn’t improve, I will sit at home come November. Please Jerry II, submit your name.

  11. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 10:09 pm:

    To me, the silhouette of Rauner back in the shadows for almost three full minutes was reminiscent of the movie “It Follows.”

  12. - Fool On The Hill - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 10:26 pm:

    Blue Dog
    Please don’t stay home. Pick one or run yourself, but staying home undermines our democracy.

  13. - Grammarly - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 10:53 pm:

    Every one of these statewide campaigns need better proofreaders. It’s either that or stick to Twitter and skip the releases. The staff attention spans are obvi zero. The good news for the “crews” is that voters’ attention spans are even less. Considering that last point, doesn’t it make sense that the speech was short? He was just keeping it simple for the stupid.

  14. - Fixer - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 5:30 am:

    Nick Name, I was thinking the same thing.

  15. - Rabid - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 6:37 am:

    Setting himself up for failure, ten days to get enough votes for the turnaround agenda, after two years of trying

  16. - Arock - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 7:38 am:

    ““Despite the repeated campaign attacks against House Democrats, we have continued to prioritize a balanced budget” - haven’t passed one since 2001 and the one they sent to the Senate last year was $ 7 billion in the red. Keep telling me how you Bozos that created the problem are going to fix it by doing the same things you have done in the past.

  17. - Archiesmom - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 7:42 am:

    Amen, Greg Harris!

  18. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 8:02 am:

    ===by doing the same things you have done in the past.===

    The past was infinitely better than Rauner’s present.

    And seeing as how Rauner’s plan ain’t workin’, how bout he try sumthin’ different, him bein’ the governor and all.

  19. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 8:13 am:

    It’s hard to take his calls for unity seriously when he is actively attacking those he needs to be part of that unity. Actions speak louder than words Governor and your actions don’t indicate you want unity at all.

  20. - Really - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 8:24 am:

    I refused to watch, did I miss the governor apologizing for 2 plus years of not doing his job? I could not stomach to watch him act like he wants unity. Without an apology and a stop to the political ads there can’t be unity

    Governor , as one of your employers please submit your resignation.

  21. - Rabid - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 8:58 am:

    The govenor has given himself a mandate to cement his legacy

  22. - Tier 1 Gal - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:03 am:

    Definition of “unity” the state of being one; oneness. I believe the ‘oneness’ in this scenario is our Governor. Which sheds some light on Nick Name’s comment. Nobody was invited to attend…perfect for a campaign spots as everyone has figured out.

  23. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:20 am:

    ===Setting himself up for failure===

    I agree Rauner is setting this up to fail but he will not own the failure. He’ll blame it on the Dems for not agreeing to his “compromise budget plan”. Perpetually deflecting and shifting blame.

  24. - don the legend - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 9:31 am:

    At least in Springfield when Rauner plans an appearance, (i.e. Fulgenzi’s Pizzeria) the local republican party drafts their loyalists to fill the front rows so it looks like a supportive crowd.

    Perhaps they couldn’t get enough “volunteers” to fill the seats.

  25. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    Kennedy and Pawar’s responses were the best.

    But really, the bizarre spectacle of the empty, echoing room sells itself. 3 minutes that will be justifiably forgotten in a week.

  26. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jun 21, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    After having deprived our state of compromise, compassion, consensus and common sense, Bruce Rauner stood in an empty darken room to repeat himself. As the afternoon summer sun fought against the shuttered windows, A darkened figure swayed and lurched as a miniscule presence. For two minutes viewers saw this silent movie, looking like a scene from a Lon Chaney horror movie.

    Then the cornered figured walked quickly towards us, footsteps echoing in the empty chamber. Suddenly Rauner appears, looked away from us and read the same tired, worn-out campaign statements that won him election years ago.

    An eerie glowing purple light sprayed up a back wall next to the image of Abraham Lincoln, whose ghost still haunts to this day. Rauner reference Lincoln’s famous “House Divided” speech as an introduction to his thread bare campaign statement.

    If you left to get a drink, flush a toilet, or called for your dog - you missed what Rauner said. However, we’ve all heard his version of the “Macarena”, and its worn-out tune.

    “Blah, Blah - hands down in fron,
    Blah, Blah - hands placed behind back,
    Blah, Blah - jump up with a smile,
    Blah, Blah - spin around,”

    Lots of fun back in 2013 and 2014, but no longer danced to.

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