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Not defending, just saying

Monday, Jul 31, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Bernie

One of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s first acts after a major shakeup of his staff was to call a special session to try to force action on an education funding bill on which he’s at odds with the legislature.

The first three days featured little movement, with more time spent in dueling press conferences. Lawmakers are meeting this weekend to try to negotiate before Rauner’s promised veto of the bill, which the Senate is supposed to send to him on Monday.

Opinions differ on whether it was wise for Rauner to call the special session, and on how his new top staff members might be affecting his administration.

“I don’t know if this new staff … knows what special sessions are,” said former Gov. Jim Edgar. “I mean, they’re completely from outside of state government.”

The former governor isn’t around much and the “Institute” has been a thorn in his side for a few years, so he may be forgiven for apparently not realizing that Rauner’s new chief of staff, Kristina Rasmussen, has been a Statehouse lobbyist for the Illinois Policy Institute for several years. So, I think she probably knows what a special session is.

And, while almost none of the other new Rauner hires has any real government experience, almost all they did at the “Institute” was follow every twist and turn of state government. That doesn’t make them experts at governing, by any means, but they do at least know the topic.

Can they govern? To be determined.

Your thoughts?


  1. - Demoralized - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    It depends on how they approach governing. If they approach it with an “I know everything” attitude then they will fail. If they approach it from the perspective of having ideas and then utilizing people who understand how government works to implement those ideas then they might do ok.

  2. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:05 pm:

    They probably know more than the former Mark Kirk staffers.

    Did any of them have any experience in Illinois state government?

  3. - RNUG - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:08 pm:

    == Can they govern? ==

    Without 71 & 36, the better question is can they get Rauner to govern? Which happens to include honest negotiations and ability to recognize a reasonable deal (partial win).

  4. - Jc just saying... - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:11 pm:

    They’re not there to govern. They’re the to help with messaging and hold onto their right wing ideology without room for negatiations. That’s not governing that’s failure.

  5. - Blue Bayou - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:11 pm:

    RNUG is exactly right.

    The first step in governing would be to acknowledge that the GA is controlled by the other party and that you won the Gov’s seat by a narrow margin.

    You should try to get what you can. But you also have a responsibility to everyone in the state to do the basics of government, at least.

  6. - Arsenal - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:12 pm:

    I think Jim was exaggerating for effect a bit there, but I do suspect a bit of Rauner’s tap-dancing has been because his shop didn’t really understand the mechanics of an AV.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:12 pm:

    I think Edgar is now trolling the IPI hands and Tillman’s takeover of Rauner’s Administration.

    I read it as…

    … Edgar is calling out the collective IPI running the Gov’s Office, not the nuts and bolts of the governing or even the real words of “understanding” the governing.

    It’s really about putting a spotlight on the collective hires, not “truly” about the hires’ understanding.

    It’s actually a really fun tweak, if we weren’t taking about a failing governor and his 63% disapproval… and school funding’s “fate”

  8. - Blue Bayou - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:12 pm:

    Jc: “negatiations”

    That might be the typo of the year.

    Perfect for what the ILGOP is doing.

  9. - walker - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:14 pm:

    They’re not here to govern, but to try to force and justify structural change.

  10. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:17 pm:

    The old crew wasn’t able to move Rauner to lead, compromise, or accomplish much of anything.

    So the bar is quite low as to whether the new crew can govern.

    I’d argue that it isn’t the crew, but rather the Rauners, who need to govern.

  11. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:20 pm:

    Edgar: guy not around much? Compared to whom? Quinn?

  12. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:21 pm:

    What do you call compromising on the biggest problem Illinois has - pension reform by supporting the Democratic Senate’s version of reform?

    Not compromising by agreeing with Senator Cullerton and the majority of the Senate?

    it is the Speaker that has not moved on anything in two and half years.

    Just admit it.

  13. - Back to the Mountains - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:22 pm:

    It depends what your definition of governing is. Can they serve the office until the voters call BVR home? Sure. Can they govern in the Edgar-esque sense of the word, where they reach across the aisle to accomplish things for the good of the people of Illinois? That would require quitting the ideological bomb-throwing cold turkey. No offense to them intended, but there’s a reason that quitting anything cold turkey isn’t advised. It seldom works.

  14. - Ginhouse Tommy - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:23 pm:

    Converting theory into practice is easier said than done. As far as Mr Edgar goes, during his administration I clearly remember there was a budget impasse where Gov. Edgar wouldn’t budge. He went into the hospital for heart surgery and his Lt. Gov. took over. Within a week with some creative horse trading, some give, some take they had a budget. On any legislative matter, it isn’t I win, it’s Not exactly what I wanted but I can live with it. They have to learn that or it’s a long rough road.

  15. - Mama - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:25 pm:

    =walker - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:14 pm:=

    “They’re not here to govern, but to try to force and justify structural change.=

    You are right in that Rauner’s new staff is here to force Rauner’s agenda. They were not appointed to govern since that would require them to compromise.

  16. - ArchPundit - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:26 pm:

    While I think Rich’s point is interesting, they don’t seem to understand anything about how Illinois works other than yelling Madigan.

    Maybe that’s just rhetoric, but many of them seem to actually buy into their own nonsense.

  17. - Carhartt Union Negotiating Team - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:29 pm:

    Can they govern?
    Rather, “Do they even want to govern?”

    Seems to me that they have every intent to “govern,” so long as it follows the (foreign to Illinois) parameters they demand…

    This includes:
    - No compromise with Democrats. None;
    - Use the office to harshly punish unions and any other dissenters (real or perceived);
    - Use every possible resource of government to coordinate, assist and advance the likes of Americans for Prosperity, IPI, Proft, Liberty Principles, ALEC, the Bradley Foundation & Bradley Impact Fund, as well as all wealthy funders of these well-organized government takeover experts;
    - Apply hyper-partisanship to any issue that can be manipulated to try to sway the public;
    - Heavily promote the idea that government only does harm…with the goal to rapidly increase contempt for government at all levels;
    - Erode the “moderate” voices from both parties to craft a distinct far left and far right difference.

    So long as everyone can agree to that, I’d say we’ll get along just swimmingly.

  18. - King Louis XVI - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:36 pm:

    –Edgar is calling out the collective IPI running the Gov’s Office, not the nuts and bolts of the governing or even the real words of “understanding” the governing.–


    The difference between knowing the “price” of something and its “value.”

  19. - don the legend - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:39 pm:

    Can they govern? No because they and many Republicans have hated on the institutions of government for so long that they cannot possibly admit that those same institutions are legitimate and serve a vital function in our capitalist economy.

    Reagan famously said “Government isn’t the solution, it’s the problem.”

    Well many times government is the solution (military, police, fire, health inspections etc.) When you hate on something how can you hope to manage it?

  20. - Skeptic - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:47 pm:

    LP: So by your argument, by Rauner veering hard to the right, we’re even less likely to see any compromise. How is that helping? How is that Madigan’s fault?

  21. - Mama - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 5:20 pm:

    =Carhartt Union Negotiating Team - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:29 pm:= “Heavily promote the idea that government only does harm… with the goal to rapidly increase contempt for government at all levels;”

    That goal is completely un-American. Sounds like Rauner & crew want to move IL from a democracy to an authoritarian rule. Like Trump wants to move our country to an authoritarian rule like Russia.

  22. - Mama - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 5:24 pm:

    =Skeptic - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 4:47 pm: =

    Rauner only blames Madigan because he doesn’t want the voters to blame him for tanking IL.

  23. - Anon - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 7:11 pm:

    ===I think Edgar is now trolling the IPI hands and Tillman’s takeover of Rauner’s Administration.===

    I think OW’s is right, but I think the potential that Edgar might just be grumpy for having supported Rauner in the first place to what has basically been a betrayal of what Edgar has at least said he’s stood for in the past.

    I would imagine Edgar doesn’t want any of Rauner’s stink on him.

  24. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 7:51 pm:

    I’m sure they can govern just swell if 12.8M citizens and 177 legislators suddenly have a conversion to their zealotry.

    If not, the democratic republic model can be tough sledding for the self-righteous and pure.

  25. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 8:21 pm:

    Edgar and everyone else should have seen Rauner for what he is: a smug, self-centered pirate of the business world with complete disdain for government and especially government employees.

    He really believes that “crisis is opportunity” bunk. He pushed Illinois as far into crisis as he could until some of his own party pushed back.

  26. - Captain Ed Smith - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 8:43 pm:

    Just because she is a lobbyist does mean she she knows what a special session is…

  27. - Tim Snopes - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 9:01 pm:

    Edgar has a point.
    If there had been no staff changes, IPI might be screaming for a special session. And the adults in the room would be ignoring them.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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