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Today’s quotable

Friday, Dec 1, 2017

* Daily Southtown

“This guy hasn’t stopped campaigning since day one,” [Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Tinley Park] said. “I try to be quiet about these things but I can’t help it. My district is the heart and soul of organized labor in the entire state of Illinois.”

Large numbers of tradesmen, teachers, public safety and other government workers live in the area, Hastings said. He said Rauner once invited him to the Governor’s Mansion to talk issues over beer and cigars.

“He asked me, ‘How do you feel about organized labor?’” Hastings recalled. “‘How do you feel about unions in the state of Illinois?’ as if he didn’t do his research about the district I represent.”

“‘Would you be willing when the time came to take a vote and make Illinois a right-to-work state or diminish workers’ rights?’” Hastings said the governor asked. “It’s almost like getting a slap in the face, right there, when it’s one-on-one. I didn’t know whether to go off the chain or whether to be calm.

“But I’m thinking to myself, ‘These people are my neighbors, these people are my family members, these people put food on the table for their children, and I’m going to vote against that? You’ve got to be out of your mind.’ It’s an example of his lack of leadership, and knowing who you’re talking to.”

Asking Sen. Hastings, of all people, to consider voting for a “right to work” bill is a truly silly idea.

But the real quotable here is Hastings claiming “I try to be quiet about these things.” /s

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Retired Educator - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 4:27 am:

    Rauner was able to convince Rep. Avery Bourne and several others to follow along. They obviously took the money and gave the vote. Bourne has two prisons, and thousands of state employees, and retirees in her district. She turned her back on them, The Governor thought everyone was for sale. He has been shocked to find out some people actually care about their representative areas.

  2. - PublicServant - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 5:45 am:

    ===…some people actually care about their representative areas.===

    And the ones who didn’t will soon be hitting the road with Rauner.

  3. - Radio Flyer - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 6:36 am:

    Didn’t Rauner say he only wanted “right to work zones”? Looks like he actually wanted statewide right to work.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 7:12 am:

    Rauner felt, and probably still feels, that “working” GA members is done two ways;

    Flat out buy their buttons (Red, Green, Yellow) and clntrol then at his (Rauner’s) will

    Think that “he”, Bruce Rauner the person, the governor, the man who can’t even tell the truth to a Catholic Cardinal…

    … that he and his word should be enough to get anyone to flip to be for anything, core belief or not… “because”

    Rauner, thru Durkin, coulda had a lot of things work, thru normal governing channels, thru 60 and 30.

    This ”story” shows Rauner knows so little of the charge the voters gave him, and how to get things done within the Office he holds.


    Pathetic to the man, pathetic to understanding the job, the politics, and the honesty to brokering and working all.

  5. - Roman - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 7:51 am:

    Hastings isn’t alone. Rauner’s “get to know you” sit downs with Dem general assembly members during his first Spring session were all unmitigated disasters.

    As much as Hastings likes to mix it up in public, he is the kind of legislator who would gladly cut a deal if he could sell it in his district. Rauner’s inability to understand that has been his undoing — as Baise mentioned with his “30 and 60″ quote.

  6. - Newsclown - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 8:13 am:

    Legislators are acutely aware that they have a district of voters to answer to, if they don’t “vote their district.” Whatever they personally think and feel and decide as a steward, they also must weigh it against what their voters declare they want. The two don’t always mesh perfectly, and that’s a feature, not a bug, because a good steward, like a good parent with a clear conscience, sometimes decides an issue based on a higher, wider good or principle than the voters are pushing. But - break that contract too often, and the voters move on to someone else who may be more compliant to their will. It’s a delicate balancing act for any legislator. Hastings gets that. It’s why Rauner is leaking members who pull away from his agenda to make veto overrides in bi-partisan deals. Rauner can afford to spend campaign money against defiant members, sure, but they know, in their heart of hearts, Rauner can’t buy them a district with any amount of advertising cash, if they’ve broken that faith with the voters and lost their support. They would be out of a job either way, just slower or faster.

    For Rauner, this concept is an abstraction, if he even gets it at all. Granted, his job is tougher because it’s state-wide. He doesn’t have just one legislative district to placate - he has to weigh ALL of them, 59 Legislative Districts and 118 Representative Districts, so he plays the percentages, calculating which and how many districts he can anger or hurt, and which he can please, to build a base of support reliable enough to win an election and pass an agenda. This is governing 101 stuff.

    Strategy for Rauner seems to come down then to pitting the interests of these districts against each other in artificial competition for state resources, with him as the arbiter. But that’s not how a *functional* government works.

    If Rauner seems unable to govern or be consistent, I think it may be because he’s constantly re-figuring that hierarchy of whom to anger and whom to court. And while he may well have a head for business deals in the private sector, where he can be a dictator strictly by reason of having money, this skill has not translated well to the game of statewide politics. He has just enough skill to campaign strongly, where it’s all about branding and projecting what the audience likes to hear, but actually making a government WORK, day to day, uses a different set of muscles he apparently never developed. Never had to.

    There’s a reason that wonky public service nerds generally outnumber charismatic strongmen in governments: they know how to run things day to day and manage the process, and in the end, THAT’s what voters respond to. Nothing demonstrates this better than local aldermanic operations. People will elect and re-elect someone that demonstrably Delivers for them, that demonstrably hears them. Rauner’s take on that is highly superficial, with lots of promises that never really materialize, and lots of obvious pandering.

    Voters are coming to realize that. They turned on Quinn because he became ineffectual, could not deliver enough, and flocked to Rauner’s promises that he could and would. Rauner talks a good game but like Quinn, does not in the end deliver. You get the sense he’s not in it as a steward, but as an individual, for himself and his own agenda. Just as they did with Quinn, voters are dropping away, looking for a candidate that will *deliver*.

    Rauner can’t. He’s an Executive that can’t execute.

  7. - Pundent - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 8:37 am:

    =The Governor thought everyone was for sale.=

    There’s a lot of truth in this statement and it succinctly captures what Rauner is all about. It also helps in understanding the importance of Griffin, Uihlein, Proft and others in the equation. It gets at the core of what I believe Rauner’s venture capital background has taught him. Everybody’s available for a price and once you find out what that price is anything can be accomplished.

  8. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 8:57 am:

    Seems the kind of negotiatin’ he understands best is hagglin’ over price. If you agree on price he owns you and dictates everything that follows. If you don’t agree on price, you both walk away.

    Maybe he’s finally learning that government is different. Maybe he’ll never learn.

  9. - Arsenal - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 8:58 am:

    “as if he didn’t do his research about the district I represent.””

    It’s not “as if” that, it’s exactly that. I’ve heard stories from other legislators that he didn’t know a thing about their districts and thought just a few props- cigars, or costumes- would win them over.

  10. - Honeybadger - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 9:10 am:

    Mike Hastings is a rising political star. This just goes to show, Rauner has, had and never will have a clue on how to get things done politically.

  11. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    As far as I can tell, Rauner has had one goal from the beginning: Get rid of unions. When you dig into seemingly unrelated issues, like the budget, it comes back to Rauner trying to get votes for right-to-work and other union killers.

  12. - wordslingerdebt wordslinges - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    Rauner could have chosen to do anything in retirement, and he chose to sabotage core state services while running up billions in operations debt in pursuit of a reactionary labor agenda.

    That’s where you land at the end of a successful career, when you have unlimited choices? It’s just malignant and weird.

  13. - Curl of the Burl - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    He tries to be quiet? I suppose that my definition of “quiet” is not shouting on the Senate floor and co-chairing a “dark money” group that ran ads for a good chunk of 2017.

  14. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 10:25 am:

    =The Governor thought everyone was for sale.=

    There’s a lot of truth in this statement and it succinctly captures what Rauner is all about.==

    Exactly right. And in Rauner’s defense, he had been surprisingly successful at it for his first three years - 4/5 of both republican caucuses, and Ken Dunkin (and I suspect Scott Drury to some extent, thought I can’t prove it) were willing to block overrides of his vetoes, even on legislation that would have been beneficial to their districts. If you break it down vote by vote, I don’t know that even the speaker has been able to get dem members to vote against their districts as often during this time period.

    ==It’s just malignant and weird.==

    This also stand true for these entire last 3 years.

  15. - Been There - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    ===I don’t know that even the speaker has been able to get dem members to vote against their districts as often during this time period. ===
    Well for a lot of legislators they have to be told to not take a vote they want personably and to vote for the district

  16. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    The governor is truly a class warrior. If you’re not a moneyed elite, you have no value or worth to Bruce Rauner.

  17. - Newsclown - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:13 pm:

    Rauner has yet to learn what every alderman knows:

    people support someone who votes their district and someone who Delivers. You can’t keep making empty promises OR threats for 3 years, and not deliver. Quinn leaned that. Rauner will, the same way,

  18. - City Zen - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 3:08 pm:

    “…as if he didn’t do his research about the district I represent.”

    Yes, Bruce should have cross-referenced the ISBE contributions database first.

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