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Rep. Wheeler blames “betrayal” of GOP defectors and Rauner’s predicament

Wednesday, Aug 9, 2017

* Derrick Blakely at CBS 2 on why some House Republicans are retiring

But Barb Wheeler, who’s also walking away, says those Republican defectors — like [Rep. Mike Fortner, who voted for the budget and tax hikes] — wiped out Rauner’s leverage.

“That’s why I felt that strong betrayal. We were so close to getting real compromise in a budget that was so desperately needed. And our own members had cut that conversation short,” she said. […]

Another reason Wheeler’s leaving: She’s lost hope for Rauner shaking up Springfield, saying, “I’m not optimistic towards further reforms during his tenure.”

With a lack of GOP reforms so far, Wheeler said she believes Rauner will face significant headwinds in his re-election bid. Furthermore, she said she expects, in a non-Presidential year, Republicans will face losses nationally, as well.

* The DGA sent out a press release with that CBS 2 link, without the stuff about the “defectors,” of course, and added this comment at the end…

“Governor Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership has become so obvious members of his own party can no longer defend him,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Under Bruce Rauner, the state is doing worse as debt soars, jobs and people flee, and the state’s education system is pushed to the brink. Illinois voters have already turned on Rauner - it was only a matter of time before his own party did too.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

54 Comments
  1. - Porgy Tirebiter - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:27 pm:

    And the incompetence. Don’t forget the incompetence.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    Then… It’s a really good thing Ms. Wheeler is leaving… when an obstructionist leaves… more gets done.


  3. - Annonymous - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    Doesn’t help when the house dems block you at every turn.


  4. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:31 pm:

    What does she have planned? I’ve heard rumors that she wants to go run her local school district. I assume she will like herself up a nice second pension there. Double dipping is the Illinois way after all. I guess if you can’t pass reforms, you may as well benefit from the broken system!


  5. - Roman - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:31 pm:

    == “That’s why I felt that strong betrayal. We were so close to getting real compromise…” ==

    C’mon, Barb. Go ahead and criticize your fellow Republicans for supporting a tax increase if you wish, but spare us the nonsense about a “real” compromise being close.


  6. - Fixer - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:33 pm:

    Anonymous @230p, also helps when the person being blocked has a) a clue about coequal branches and the legislative process and b) an actual plan as opposed to lurching like a drunken sailor from one populous idea to the next with zero clue how to actually enact said idea…


  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:33 pm:

    “Why so harsh, OW?”

    ===”That’s why I felt that strong betrayal. We were so close to getting real compromise in a budget that was so desperately needed. And our own members had cut that conversation short.”===

    No, Rauner undercut Leader Radogno… twice.

    That’s why it couldn’t get done.

    Maybe Ms. Wheeler can think on that once retired.

    “We were so close to getting real compromise in a budget that was so desperately needed. And our own Governor had cut that conversation short”

    Right?

    Exactly right.


  8. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:33 pm:

    Tell you what Rep. Wheeler, how about you come visit a mental health or substance abuse clinic or CILA home. Look in the eyes of the staff and residents and make that comment about betrayal. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.


  9. - DuPage - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:36 pm:

    Rauner might have got some of his reforms considered if he had not tied them to unrelated budget items. Rauner = Failed Governor


  10. - Norseman - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:37 pm:

    OW, well said. The GOP legislators that saved the state from the impasse deserve respect while the others should get derision.


  11. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:37 pm:

    Last one out in the GOP caucus, turn out the lights!


  12. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:38 pm:

    Face it Wheeler, Rauner gambled everything on this tactic and it didn’t pay off.

    You know very well that losses will be enormous this next election.

    Perfidy doesn’t pay


  13. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:38 pm:

    Yep, gonna be all better when Rauner is gone and Madigan has full control again. Maybe this time we’ll see universal healthcare, universal preschool, universal gun control, and taxes doubled again so that the state union employees can continue to make outsized salaries and pension benefits. I’m sure the budget deficit will go away, the outstanding debt will go away, Chicago will pay all it’s outstanding bills. Can’t wait to see what this state looks like in a couple of years.


  14. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:42 pm:

    My goodness neverpoliticallycorrect that was some hairball you just got up. Feel better?


  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:43 pm:

    ===The GOP legislators that saved the state from the impasse deserve respect while the others should get derision.===

    And you also are On It, bud.

    The Raunerites crying about the blatently phony reality of Rauner’s making will not be missed.

    Ms. Wheeler’s embarrassing quote that flies in the face of what happened to Leader Radogno, those thinking that way, they aren’t helping in the GA now, won’t be missed once they leave the GA in 2019.


  16. - RNUG - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:50 pm:

    == Doesn’t help when the house dems block you at every turn. ==

    Minorities don’t get to demand things. If you don’t have the votes, and aren’t willing to horse trade or compromise on your wants, you don’t get anything. That’s just how it works.


  17. - DuPage Bard - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:52 pm:

    So why didn’t they follow up on why Rauner faces strong headwinds in her mind? If the Madigan angle is what the GOP is banking on that message has only gotten stronger, right?
    Seems to me while she blames her own folks for voting against the captain, she is stating the ship is going down and she’s bailing out.


  18. - RNUG - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:55 pm:

    == Yep, gonna be all better when Rauner is gone and Madigan has full control again. ==

    No, it won’t be. But maybe some of state government will once again work for the citizens and we won’t have all the pinstripe patronage (consulting contracts instead of delivering human services) we do right now.


  19. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:00 pm:

    “So close”? My god, what flavor was the kool-aid? We were close to nuclear meltdown

    you were “betrayed”, so you quit? Thank god for the “betrayers”. And ba-bye.


  20. - House of Cards - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:04 pm:

    = Seems to me while she blames her own folks for voting against the captain, she is stating the ship is going down and she’s bailing out. =

    My thoughts exactly. Rauner’s coat tails don’t seem so strong anymore, with the BTIA ™ running the show, the budget veto over ride and now the SB1 AV debacle. Sure, money talks. But it doesn’t vote.


  21. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:07 pm:

    (What on Earth did I say wrong to get my post blocked?)


  22. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:08 pm:

    So Rep. Wheeler lacks the courage for her alleged convictions. Oh, and she’s scared of headwinds facing the “governor” and the GOP nationally.

    Ok, don’t let the door hit you in the can on the way out Barb. Yet another profile in courage.


  23. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:10 pm:

    Another frustrated anarchist returning home with the same matches and gasoline she showed up with, all excited to burn the witch until cooler heads prevailed.


  24. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:11 pm:

    Barb Wheeler - “Governing is *hard*. I’m outta here”


  25. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:16 pm:

    So 2 years of holding a budget hostage until the Governor’s ever changing list of demands were met wasn’t long enough for you? I’m glad you are leaving. Just one question for folks who think like Wheeler, was the intentional 2 year impasse orchestrated by the Governor worth all the damage?


  26. - Lance Mannion - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:20 pm:

    It’d be kind of cool to view some comments, once in awhile anyway, from other than state government workers, public sector union officials, Democratic electeds or lobbyists, or surrogates of all or some of the above.

    In other words, it’d be just great to occasionally hear from private sector taxpayers.


  27. - Jocko - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:20 pm:

    ==Barb Wheeler, who’s also walking away==

    ’nuff said. Speaking of betrayal, ask Barickman the number of the bus that ran over him. Was it the same one that hit Rauner’s staffers?


  28. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:21 pm:

    “What am I most proud of? Trying to close social services by voting against paying them is up there, sure… trying real hard to close Eastern Illinois, that’s a highlight… I think I’m most proud of my votes that hurt the overrides, the ones that hurt people most, that, I hope, will be my legacy… Leveraging real pain to real people for 1.4% and $500 plus million a year in reforms” - Fake Rep. Wheeler…

    ===But Barb Wheeler, who’s also walking away, says those Republican defectors — like Fortner — wiped out Rauner’s leverage.

    “That’s why I felt that strong betrayal. We were so close to getting real compromise in a budget that was so desperately needed. And our own members had cut that conversation short,” she said===


  29. - A guy - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:29 pm:

    And now people who didn’t ever hear of or know of Rep. Barb Wheeler…well, now they do. /s


  30. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:30 pm:

    Don’t let the bronze door hit ya on the way out, Barb.


  31. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:31 pm:

    ===Yep, gonna be all better when Rauner is gone and Madigan has full control again. Maybe this time we’ll see universal healthcare, universal preschool, universal gun control, and taxes doubled again so that the state union employees can continue to make outsized salaries and pension benefits. I’m sure the budget deficit will go away, the outstanding debt will go away, Chicago will pay all it’s outstanding bills. Can’t wait to see what this state looks like in a couple of years.===

    Actually, if the R’s go the way of the Whigs, I’d expect “something” to rush in to fill the vacuum. Maybe a further factionalization of the D’s into centrist and progressive wings. Hey, look at what is happening with Ms. Preckwinkle’s Soda Pop Tax…it’s dividing the party into two camps.


  32. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:32 pm:

    Rep. Wheeler: If the budget was so important to you, why did you miss every one of Gov. Rauner’s special session days but the last? How in the world would you know that they were “this close” to a deal. You weren’t there. AWOL. While your colleagues were working, you were on vacation. Yep, your were very concerned. Nice.


  33. - Julian's Melange - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:32 pm:

    Lance, well yes but this is an echo chamber which does not tolerate others well.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:36 pm:

    ===…state government workers, public sector union officials, Democratic electeds or lobbyists, or surrogates of all or some of the above.===

    I’m not any of those.

    I’m a private citizen, a “taxpayer”, but, everyone is a taxpayer, so there’s that too…

    If you want to be a victim of commenters, that’s your choice.

    Make an argument, try that.


  35. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:37 pm:

    “Lance, well yes but this is an echo chamber which does not tolerate others well.” Speaking for myself, if the argument has substance and is not just “But…Madigan!” or “Waste, Fraud and Abuse”, I’m willing to listen. So far I haven’t heard any though.


  36. - Earnest - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:41 pm:

    >In other words, it’d be just great to occasionally hear from private sector taxpayers.

    Me too, as long as they address the issues and not the messengers. Lots of great debates to be had. (And, for me, as long as they use real numbers.)


  37. - Morty - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    Snowflakes gonna snowflake


  38. - Morty - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:48 pm:

    Btw Lance, I’m pretty sure you can get all the comments you need for self-validation over at the IPI page


  39. - Norseman - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:50 pm:

    Langhorne homers.


  40. - Julian's Melange - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:55 pm:

    Lance, as well demonstrated in the follow up comments, tolerance is not a key virtue here. But then they self-validate themselves here as well.


  41. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 4:20 pm:

    ===self-validate themselves===

    Redundancy. Or am I being too intolerant for you?


  42. - raus hier - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 4:26 pm:

    I know Rauner is loaded with cash and put millions in his fund. I know he can run a campaign.

    But, for the love of God, why no republican can stand up to him as a primary challenger is beyond me? They have to know it’s not looking good.


  43. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    “Yep, gonna be all better when Rauner is gone and Madigan has full control again. Maybe this time we’ll see universal healthcare, universal preschool, universal gun control, and taxes doubled again so that the state union employees can continue to make outsized salaries and pension benefits. I’m sure the budget deficit will go away, the outstanding debt will go away, Chicago will pay all it’s outstanding bills. Can’t wait to see what this state looks like in a couple of years.”

    I know it was afternoon when you wrote this, but still, isn’t it a bit early in the day to be knocking ‘em back?


  44. - raus hier - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 4:43 pm:

    Lance:

    The thing about feeling like you are in echo chamber: It will always feel like that when you are on a side losing so bad that few are still with you.

    I am sure the Blago defenders (circa 2008) felt pretty similar.


  45. - Lance Mannion - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 4:52 pm:

    raus hier-

    You knucklehead. We are ALL losing here in IL, unless you’re an IL government employee with a killer pension, or a Democratic lobbyist/political consultant raking in big bucks from IL’s governing largess. Or, maybe you’re an electric Democrat elected big-deal eating steaks and drinking wine between worthless committee meetings.

    The state is literally imploding but the folks here are just … fiddling around with themselves and thinking they’re “winning.”

    Like I said– echo chamber.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 4:54 pm:

    ===We are ALL losing here in IL, unless you’re an IL government employee with a killer pension, or a Democratic lobbyist/political consultant raking in big bucks from IL’s governing largess. Or, maybe you’re an electric Democrat elected big-deal eating steaks and drinking wine between worthless committee meetings.===

    Then how did Rauner, “retired” make $144 million last year?

    “No, no, I’ll wait for my answer”


  47. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 4:57 pm:

    =In other words, it’d be just great to occasionally hear from private sector taxpayers.=

    I am pretty sure there is no test of employment status to qualify as a commenter. Are you implying otherwise?

    Maybe you should consider a detailed comment versus tantrum next time.


  48. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 4:57 pm:

    To bring this back to Ms. Wheeler…

    I find it amusing that “betrayal” for Ms. Wheeler consists on continually hurting, on purpose, Illinois most needy, most vulnerable, students, higher education…

    Ms. Wheeler thinks betraying is actually trying to save Illinois from destruction.

    I’m relieved Ms. Wheeler isn’t coming back in 2019, for Illinois’ sake.


  49. - Juice - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 5:12 pm:

    What is there to say? Salvi’s gonna Salvi.


  50. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 5:20 pm:

    Lance, there are plenty of comment boards out there, you have your pick of dozens that cover Illinois politics. Why do you come here to call us names and denigrate our host? Seems like a dumb way to spend time if you ask me.

    Why don’t you try the Tribune or SJ-R? You might be happier somewhere else, somewhere less echoey.


  51. - Generic Drone - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 7:01 pm:

    Neverpoliticallycorrect @2:38

    Union members have not forgot,(unlike you), that it was Madigan and Quinn who froze wages and attacked pensions. In fact, many members are still owed thousands of dollars of back pay. The union offered a concession (on pension contributions) which was rejected by Madigan saying it wasn’t enough. Should have taken what was offered and came back again later. However with Rauners attacks on Madigan AND unions from the onset, unions were forced into Madigans corner. This was Rauners biggest mistake. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. When Rauner is finally gone, we are sure that Madigan will again try his attacks on pensions and wages. It seems that both parties like to use employees as pawns


  52. - Shemp - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 9:42 pm:

    When the going gets tough, ths, oh wait, nevermind


  53. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 10:38 pm:

    Gee, Lance, you get sad when people don’t think like you? Life must be tough.

    Just be happy you have a forum to whine about it. I’m sure that keeps you busy.

    Not exactly a John Wayne type, are you?


  54. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 10:50 pm:

    The way i see it. Everyone is doomed, particulary those barely making ends meet.


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