* Gov. Bruce Rauner spoke with the Belleville News-Democrat about Speaker Madigan and SB 1…
[Madigan] controls the General Assembly. He could’ve passed any budget that he wanted for the last two years. He wouldn’t pass any. Why? He wanted to force crisis and force a bunch of Republicans, so he didn’t have to put his vulnerable, um, members on a, on a bad tax hike vote. That’s why. He, he damaged our human services and our most vulnerable for his most craven political goals. This is just, this is wrong. This is unjust.
And I’ll tell you this, you know, when I first got to know him eight years ago, my second lunch with him, I asked him, because I didn’t know him, he didn’t know me. I was just a private citizen, you know, and I was advocating for school reform. And I raised a PAC and I was supporting money for D’s and R’s, a lot of D’s for school reform. So he met with me. I was no threat to him, he was no, he just wanted some of the PAC money. I asked him at a lunch, I said, ‘What’s your goal for improving the future for Illinois?’ I was like, you know, ‘You’re the most powerful guy, what do you want to do?’ He said, he laughed and said, ‘I got no goal like that.’ And I said, ‘Really? So, what you,’ he said, ‘Bruce, I do two things, I manage power and I make money from managing power.’ I want to throw up my lunch.
I mean, you, this is what we’re dealing with and he’s doing it right now to our, to our children and our teachers. This is wrong. This is wrong. We gotta, we need a, we need an insurrection. The people of Illinois, and this is not about D’s versus R’s. This is about good government and doing what’s right for taxpayers and children and teachers. […]
You know, it’s this Stockholm Syndrome. We suffer from this. And, you know, we’ve been so, we’ve been captive for 35 years. We’re so used to living on, living with this fear and this dictation of terms and, and living on Madigan’s crumbs, that’s what, that’s what people in Illinois have been doing. They’re used to it. […]
It’s not about regular Democrats and Republicans, this is about a power structure designed by one person for the insiders’ benefit. That’s what this is about and I think that with your help and the help of others in the media, we gotta lead a revolution on this and get power back to the people.
I’m told that Rauner has related that story about lunch with Madigan several times over the years, but his comms staff always stopped him from saying it on the record. He’s got a new staff now who either don’t have any control over him or who want to just let Bruce be Bruce.
* Gov. Rauner also dredged up this story about Senate President John Cullerton, which the governor claimed he heard from Cullerton as early as July of 2015…
I spent weeks negotiating with him, and he, he came into my office in, in, in Springfield, one, one day and he said ‘Bruce, I’ve lived in,’ this is a quote, and I’ve said this publicly, ‘I’ve lived in Mike’s shadow for 37 years, I’m not gonna step out now.’ That’s a quote. This is the problem. He’s the President of the Senate. And he, he, he gets his marching orders from one person. This is wrong, this is not democracy. […]
Alarm bells, the sirens have gotta be going off for the people of Illinois. Let’s not tolerate this. This is so clearly, so clearly a power grab and a leverage to on a crisis, that’s what this is.
* On school superintendents and the SB 1 showdown…
Our school funding has never involved pensions at the statewide level. This is a Madigan power play right now… When you look in their eyes how much fear do you see? They are petrified that Madigan will give ‘em less or nothing. And they’re, they, they got a gun to their head. That’s why. They, they are, they are so afraid of him and their schools not opening, they’re like ‘Oh, oh, give me wha, whatever you can give me I’ll take it, it’s fine, it’s fine.’ They, they’ve, this is what Madigan has done, that people live in fear, that’s why they support it. When they see the numbers, they go, ‘Oh, Governor, I love, that’s right, that’s the right answer, ooo I don’t want, I don’t, I don’t want him mad at me.’ This is, this is, this is tyranny, this is, this is, this is rule by fear. This is not right… live in fear that he’ll cut ‘em off. That if they don’t get this, he’ll cut ‘em. He’s cut, he’s done it to ‘em four times over the last ten years before I became governor. That’s what they’re afraid of. It’s better to get a, you know, kind of abused a little bit than maybe really damaged and that’s what he’s threat, that’s his threat to ‘em. And I’m saying, don’t do that any more, stand together as a people, let’s do what’s right.
* The paper followed up with some locals…
“They are petrified that Madigan will give them less or nothing,” [Rauner] said.
Granite City District 9 Superintendent Jim Greenwald doesn’t see it that way.
“We’re not scared at all,” Greenwald said. “… We’re looking for some fairness.”
Belleville District 201 Superintendent Jeff Dosier said the reason he supported Senate Bill 1 was “because it’s passed both houses.” The Illinois House voted 60-52 to approve the legislation, and the Senate voted 35-22.
“We just need to have that solution, and we need to have that sooner than later,” Dosier said. “… There are many schools in the state that depend on that money right away (in the school year). If it’s a couple months late, it doesn’t hurt us as bad as it does some.”
By the way, Politifact called his claims that the Democrats cut education funding four times “Mostly false.”