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The messaging plan that wasn’t?

Wednesday, Aug 2, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Before it quietly updated with a new story, the Illinois Policy Institute, like Gov. Rauner, was claiming a vote to accept Rauner’s SB1 amendatory veto only required a simple majority…

* Now, let’s look again at the brutal video of Gov. Rauner being informed that it’ll require a three-fifths majority to accept his amendatory veto and not the simple majority that Rauner claimed…

Watch how the governor physically leans into his answer. People often do that when they’re trying to emphasize a point.


REPORTER: What makes you think that three-fifths of the House and three-fifths of the Senate will agree on any particular thing here?

RAUNER: Well, upholding — Dave, it’s a great question — upholding my, uh, amendatory veto and passing it in concurrence requires a simple majority. Upholding my amendatory veto, supporting the changes I’ve recommended just, just…

REPORTER: Democrats say otherwise because of the immediate effect, because it needs to take effect immediately.

RAUNER: So, okay, so, upholding it can be a simple majority

“Great question,” he says, as if he’s actually been prepared for this very query. And then he says twice that it only requires a simple majority and tries to say it yet another time, but is cut off by a pesky reporter with an annoying fact.

* So, why is this important? Well, because it would’ve been a really good message: Hey, it just takes a simple majority to accept my changes while it will take a three-fifths super-majority to override my AV, so let’s just accept it and move on. Easy peasy.

Indeed, Rep. Avery Bourne, a close Rauner ally and one of just eight education funding reform negotiators, used that very same messaging on Facebook recently

* And the Champaign News-Gazette, which has been a staunch Rauner supporter, published this editorial on July 27th

Rauner wants the bill now so he can use his amendatory veto power to excise the Chicago-friendly provisions.

Then the General Assembly has three options

It can do nothing, effectively killing the bill. It can override the veto by a three-fifths majority of each chamber. Or it can agree with the recommendations made by the governor by a simple majority vote in each of the chambers.

Gov. Rauner is hoping his planned action will be sustained in the Legislature, most particularly the House, where Speaker Madigan lost his super-majority in the last election. Madigan will be looking for four Republicans he can buy off to be able to overturn Rauner’s amendatory veto, the tactic he used to pass his version of the state budget/tax hike plan over the governor’s veto.

It sure looks to me as if the Best Team in America™ had a plan in place, but it was based on an erroneous assumption.

* Back to the press conference transcript…

REPORTER: Wouldn’t that be something though that your staff would have found out before you did this? Are you concerned at all that there’s a big difference between a simple majority and three-fifths and this could all blow up?

So, it may not just be a foiled messaging plan, it could also be a foiled legislative strategy that could do real harm.

* Perhaps the governor should’ve taken a meeting with Senate President John Cullerton before issuing his veto. Cullerton wanted to explain what the veto would mean, but Rauner called that suggestion “outrageous”. And the Chicago Tribune editorial board slammed Cullerton’s request for talks as an unconscionable delay tactic

Cullerton says he will send the bill to Rauner on Monday, the last day of Rauner’s special session. Brinkmanship, pressure, lurching. The whole idea is to continue manufacturing — let’s copyright this phrase and not let him change the subject — “Cullerton’s School Crisis” ©2017.



  1. - RNUG - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    The new team is just like the old team: they don’t know what they don’t know.

  2. - Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    His body language in that video says it all. Complete and total failure (exclamation point)

  3. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    I guess when you’re not a real news outlet you don’t have to issue official corrections.

  4. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    Plan? I never get tired of this quote: “I don’t see any method at all, Sir.”

    If they wanted to win the messaging war on this one, they’d have a team of educators criss-crossing the state like Manar does. They’d have yard signs like Manar does. They certainly wouldn’t rest their entire strategy on process stories. They’re just flailing and acting out of pique.

  5. - Norseman - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:25 am:

    How’s that purge thingy working out for you Rauner?

  6. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:27 am:

    Team Rauner IPI and La,La,La…

  7. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:27 am:

    Who was the repoter? Couldn’t place it.

  8. - Rogue Roni - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    And these superstars deserve a six figure salary?

  9. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:29 am:

    The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight

  10. - Ginhouse Tommy - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:30 am:

    It looks like Bruce doesn’t know everything after all. You could tell at every press conference he could wait until SB1 hit his desk. He was gonna show them. If he had used his head and listened to Cullerton he might have asked Okay what options do we have? Instead he looks like a deer in the headlights and that will be replayed throughout the campaign by his opponents. What a train wreck.

  11. - Huh? - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:30 am:

    Don’t you hate it when a plan doesn’t come together? For the supposedly smartest people in the room, they seem awfully dumb.

  12. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    –So, why is this important–

    Great question, Rich.

    It’s simple: if The Boss isn’t aware of the basics of his job, his staff should prepare him so he doesn’t make a fool of himself on camera.

    Of course, the BTIA would have to be a little more personally involved in their jobs for that to happen.

    If Rauner already hadn’t cleaned house recently, an executive would likely fire the lot who hung him out to dry like that.

  13. - Ghost - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    RNUG but term limits are a good idea…. that way nobody knows what they dont know

  14. - Hmmm... - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    That video is brutal. I love how Rauner focuses back on the message that the bill should have arrived earlier to his desk.

    Why? It took a whole two months for Bruce to screw this up.

  15. - Boone's is Back - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    Governin’ by dropping the G

  16. - Roman - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    Unfortunately, this is more than just an “oops.” This is the kind of failure and dysfunction that happens when political pros and experienced government hands are tossed overboard because they’re part of a “broken system.”

    It also what happens when editorial boards go all-in supporting one side, instead of remaining above the fray, where they can gather facts with a clear head before forming opinions.

    Go ahead, throw the bums out, but don’t be surprised when you run into an iceberg because there aren’t any experienced sailors left to sail the ship.

  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    If only the Governor had someone on someone on his staff, who was trained to interpret statutes, they could run such questions by. A competent legal mind, if you will.

  18. - GOP Extremist - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    A experienced politician would have know this, but some believe politics is the only profession in the world where experience is a hindrance.

  19. - Real - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    This is the type of inexperience you will get with term limits.

  20. - Dave Dahl - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    == Who was the repoter? Couldn’t place it. ==

    Dave Dahl, WTAX / WBBM
    Amanda Vinicky, WTTW
    Sara Burnett, AP

  21. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    –A experienced politician would have know this,–

    Rauner’s nearly three years into his governorship and was a big-money political playa for years before that.

    It might be time for the chief executive to take a personal interest in the nuts-and-bolts of the gig.

    Because his new team doesn’t seem ready to do the heavy lifting for him.

  22. - Come on man! - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    they don’t even need a competent lawyer, anyone who reads this blog knows this. I find this hilarious yet sad.

  23. - Jocko - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    It has to hurt when three separate reporters knew more on the subject than Bruce and the Superstars combined.

  24. - Henry Francis - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    The combination of arrogance and ignorance has always been so strong with Rauner and his crew.

    I think it is his arrogance that keeps him ignorant. Did you see how he shrugged off the mention of the Supreme Court ruling that contradicted what he just said? He doesn’t care what the Supreme Court says. He doesn’t care what the constitution says. He doesn’t care what the vote counts in the legislature are.

    He is smarter than all of us. He knows better than all of us. And the sooner we all accept that and get out of his way, the sooner we will all be prosperous, competitive, compassionate, and free.

  25. - Union Dues - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:42 am:

    I am guessing the Governor vocalized some radical candor toward his staff yeaterday.

  26. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    OW- Just like CBS is spinning off a new series from The Big Bang Theory with Young Sheldon, your team might want to consider a miniseries like “Mr. Rauner Gets Schooled” ;)

  27. - walker - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    Cullerton, as he occasionally does, tried to help the Governor.

    Too bad there’s so much distrust and suspicion between all the parties.

  28. - SAP - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:49 am:

    The policy staff is the same gang that thought the Governor could fire and rehire all state employees to get the state out of additional pension responsibility. Is anybody surprised that they don’t know how many votes it takes to accept an AV?

  29. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:49 am:

    –Too bad there’s so much distrust and suspicion between all the parties.–

    Given recent events, I suspect Rauner might be suspicious of his new team’s staffing chops.

  30. - QC Guy - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:52 am:

    Not one station nor the Moline Dispatch or QC Times has the awkward Rauner video. Isn’t it news that the Governor didn’t have a clue? This was good questioning by the reporters. The QC Times at least has an article detailing the local schools plight.

  31. - Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    (Said in my best Obi Wan voice) The farce is strong in this one.

  32. - Deft Wing - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    –”Cullerton, as he occasionally does, tried to help the Governor.

    Too bad there’s so much distrust and suspicion between all the parties.”–

    Well Walker, kinda. Cullerton did hold the bill for 2 months so let’s be clear he was angling too. Mr. Helper-Man, he’s not.

    True on the distrust, though. It is everywhere - even within some seemingly aligned groups.

  33. - tb - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 12:05 pm:

    I’m just a CPS mom and I knew they needed 3/5ths.

  34. - Liberty - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    No one brought this up at the cocktail parties…

  35. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 12:07 pm:

    This dude has been successful at everything he’s ever done.

    Just ask him.

  36. - Former Hillrod - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 12:10 pm:

    Or as Yoda would say….strong in this one is the farce.

  37. - Flynn's mom - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 12:10 pm:

    Will there be an early exit of any of the new superstars?

  38. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    Deft Wing, he held the bill for two months while Rauner tried to pass his Illinois Constitution test. Finally gave up.

  39. - Moe Berg - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    Kudos to Mark Maxwell. He’s become a state house stand out and is schooling some of the tired, bland Chicago TV folks on what real reporting that adds value to public understanding looks like. Also, if you look at his Twitter, he has the guts to go toe to toe with the IPI and not back down from its impotent threats or inability to admit a mistake.

  40. - votequimby - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    BVR: These go to 11!

    Press: Why not make 10 louder?

    BVR: These go to 11!

  41. - Wading in... - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 12:43 pm:

    Didn’t Ms. Bourne go to law school? Obviously, her skills at research pale in comparison to her parroting skills.

  42. - The Captain - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    The Governor vetoed and started a 15 day clock on the only bill we have that currently has the constitutional majority to fund education because he and his staff didn’t understand how the process works and he refused to meet with Cullerton prior to the veto when Cullerton’s stated intention was explaining this very concept to him. This is a massive miscalculation of the Governor’s education funding strategy. Now we need the General Assembly to step in and save the Governor from his own negligence.

  43. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    I guess Amanda Vinicky took Rauner’s advice to “focus,” then smacked him upside the head with it. Way to go, Amanda.

  44. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    - Dave Dahl - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    == Who was the repoter? Couldn’t place it. ==

    Dave Dahl, WTAX / WBBM
    Amanda Vinicky, WTTW
    Sara Burnett, AP

    Teamwork. Nailed it.

  45. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 1:22 pm:

    The current group wasn’t selected for their governing chops as much as they were for their messaging and campaigning skills. But much of this activity actually spanned 2 staffs.

    Rauner had plenty of time to sort all of this out. He’s been chastising the Senate (or more accurately/bizarrely Madigan)for months to get this bill to him. Now we all know that he intended to veto it. He and Purvis told us that 90% wasn’t good enough. But you have to think that somewhere along the way somebody would have asked “what happens next”. All of this suggests to me that Rauner was more focused on making some sort of a statement without any regard for the potential consequences. Cullerton seemed to grasp this and at least gave the appearance of trying to throw him a life preserver.

  46. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 1:24 pm:

    –The current group wasn’t selected for their governing chops as much as they were for their messaging and campaigning skills–

    Well, if the message is that “the governor doesn’t know what he’s talking about as it relates to his job,” they’re doing swell.

  47. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    The key to any successful sinister plot is to first have your facts straight. Double D’oh

  48. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 1:40 pm:

    Cullerton: Governor, I tried to save you from yourself.

    Rauner: John, we gotta focus, stay focused…

  49. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 2:11 pm:

    ==their messaging and campaigning skills==

    And this skills are shining brightly, aren’t they? BTIA

  50. - RNUG - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 2:31 pm:

    == Now we need the General Assembly to step in and save the Governor from his own negligence. ==

    Yep. Rauner is boxed in. Passing a new bill (same or different) with an immediate effective date will take the same number of votes as an override.

    If they don’t override, my money is on passing the same bill language again (with maybe one or two words changed) since it was previously agreed upon … and it would be a bowl of crow served cold.

  51. - PragmaticR - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 2:38 pm:

    If he was not supposed to be representing fiscal conservatives, I would find the deer-in-headlights moment much more amusing. Yes, it is clear that he did not know the rules, but this focus on 1/2 versus 3/5 ignores a much larger strategic blunder created by an inexperienced leader and support team.

    There will never be a vote to see if the AV can be sustained because the majority in the Senate controls the schedule. The Senate override vote will be held near the end of the 15 day clock. If the override motion passes, as it likely will, then the process moves to the House and does not return to the Senate regardless of outcome. If the override vote fails in the Senate, then Senate leadership needs to only wait for the 15 day clock to expire and the bill dies. Since the Senate leadership is well represented by Chicago interests and the AV dramatically lowers CPS funding, there is no other viable outcome. Override veto and distribute funds now or wait while a new bill is developed with 3/5 support and distribute funds much later.

    This is why the Senate President was holding the bill and attempting to negotiate last month. He understood the likely outcomes after an AV and wanted to avoid the chaos of no funding for months by reaching a deal. If the Governor had been given the accurate assessment that the AV had no chance to be sustained, he may have selected a different approach. There is no way to take back the AV, but Republican legislators should be aware that the Governor’s strategy was developed without any understanding of the consequences.

    Who gets hurt first if there is no law? Downstate districts with greater reliance on state funding, lower property values, and lower reserves.

  52. - anon2 - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 2:40 pm:

    The Rauner administration’s misapprehension about what kind of majority is required on his veto if the bill will take immediate effect, puts the onus on the Governor if the bill dies. His miscalculation based upon wrong information surely enhances his responsibility if things go south for the schools this fall.

  53. - Moody's Blues - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 3:05 pm:

    Rich, I’m unclear on your “Oops” comment.

    I clicked on your link but the Tribune editorial isn’t about do-we-meet-or-don’t-we-meet on the final day. Instead, the context for the brinkmanship passage you quote is about the long game — that Cullerton owns the two month delay. The paragraph right after your excerpt stops says: “Cullerton has been sitting on the bill since May 31.”

    Also, that editorial is dated four days before do-we-meet-or-don’t-we-meet came to a head.

  54. - Mongo - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 3:15 pm:

    Every time the rest of this month that I make a mistake, I’ll instantly feel better as I remember this goofy video. As Leonard McCoy would say, “Good God Jim, I’m a doctor, not a governor.” (Rich, apologies for the prior post)

  55. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 3:45 pm:

    For me this is the perfect example of the governor’s abject failure at governing these past 31 month. Is there anyone on this blog who didn’t know after 5/31 you need 3/5ths? Is there any junior lobbyist who doesn’t know that?

    We’re not talking about advanced governing here. This isn’t even Governing 101. It’s remedial process available from the book “Governin’ for Dummies.” The fact that the gov and his extremist amateur staff was clueless tells you everything you need to know about why he has failed and why he will continue to do so.

  56. - Mama - Wednesday, Aug 2, 17 @ 6:13 pm:

    This explains why we should never have “term limits”. Experienced people know the laws.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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