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Today’s dodge word: “Comprehensive”

Monday, Mar 12, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Some additional background for this post is here. Gov. Rauner was asked several times today about his stance on a gun dealer licensing bill that’s sitting on his desk. He stayed mum. From the Sun-Times

“I’ve been clear on this issue,” Rauner said after being accused of stalling on the politically sensitive legislation in the midst of an election.

“No, governor, you’re not clear. It’s clear as mud,” a reporter said. “Are you going to sign it or are you not?”

Rauner responded: “A comprehensive solution, that’s what I support.”

Asked if his ambiguous answer could be interpreted as a plan to wait for several in-the-works gun control bills to reach his desk before taking any action, Rauner again dodged.

“A comprehensive solution is what I’m advocating for,” he said.

By my count, Rauner said “comprehensive” five times in two minutes. Check out the video

* Crain’s

“Comprehensive,” said Rauner, includes a ban on bump stock devices that effectively turn semiautomatic firearms into machine guns. It also includes improved school safety, improved efforts to keep firearms out of the hands of convicted criminals and the mentally ill, and more help for police.

But the GOP incumbent wouldn’t say whether that means teachers should be trained to carry firearms in the classroom. Nor would he say whether he’ll block the licensing measure; in previous appearances, he seemed to suggest it would be excessive.

“What I will do is work with the General Assembly to come up with real solutions,” Rauner added, denying that he’s engaged in his own version of a basketball four-corners stall in an effort to offend no one before the primary vote.

* Tribune

Emanuel on Monday again hammered Rauner on the licensing bill, as the mayor has done often since the House passed it. This time, he joined Johnson, gun control advocates and the families of gun violence victims at a news conference at police headquarters to try to pressure the governor to act.

Emanuel nodded to the political pressure facing Rauner, but said the governor has a greater responsibility to look past that and protect Illinois residents.

“When is the right time? Only one person can answer that,” Emanuel said.

“So I would just say the governor may be thinking of his primary election, but we are thinking of the primary responsibility he has for helping us keep our streets safe, whether that’s Downstate, suburban or in the city of Chicago,” he said.

Raw audio of today’s presser is here.

…Adding… The Pritzker campaign says he dodged a total of seven times…

With his primary eight days away, Bruce Rauner is refusing to take action to prevent gun violence, leaving the Gun Dealer Licensing Bill sitting untouched on his desk.

When reporters repeatedly asked about his position on the legislation, Rauner dodged, ducked and dived seven times. After recycling his favorite talking point that he has been “clear on this issue,” a reporter fired back: “clear as mud.”

“Instead of signing the Gun Dealer Licensing Bill immediately, Bruce Rauner is playing politics and putting lives at risk,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Illinoisans deserve better than a leader who would rather wait out his primary than act swiftly to keep families safe.”

…Adding… DGA transcript…

Question: Governor, as we meet here, the Mayor, the Police Superintendent and a bunch of other people are holding a press conference to urge you to sign SB1657, the gun shop bill, and the other legislation the General Assembly passed. As you know there’s been some action in Florida. The Governor there signed a bill that a lot of people thought a few years ago or a few months ago he would never sign. What are you going to do with this legislation?

Rauner: What I will do, and continue to do for many days, is to work with our members of the General Assembly on a bipartisan basis to come up with real solutions together, on a bipartisan basis. And I’m advocating that we try to accomplish four things. One is to ban bump stocks. Number two is to find ways to keep our schools safer - there are many things we can do in that regard. Third we should find ways, better ways, more thoughtful ways, to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. Mental illness, unfortunately I believe, has played a major role in a number of these horrible, horrible tragedies. And I believe we should find ways to work together to better support our police officers, our law enforcement officers who put their safety at risk to keep our families safe. I believe we can work together to do those four things.

Question: Since its NCAA time, have you gone to the four-corner offense here? Are you playing stall ball, trying to take the air out of the ball until after the March 20th primary on this issue?

Rauner: I’ve been clear on this issue –

Question: Governor, you’re not clear. As clear as mud. I mean what does that have to do with the bill that’s on your desk. Are you going to sign it or are you not?

Rauner: Comprehensive solution, that’s what I support. A comprehensive solution.

Question: So are you saying you’re waiting for all the legislation to pass through the legislature. All the pending gun bills before you consider any of them.

Rauner: Comprehensive solution is what I’m advocating for.

Question: Governor, you did say the other night apparently that you felt that the feds already sort of handle this gun dealer licensing. Is that where you stand?

Rauner: Well it is true that gun dealers are already federally licensed. That is true.

Question: So that doesn’t need any state intervention as well.

Rauner: Again, I’m going to look at a comprehensive solution.

“Question: Governor, this one seems pretty much like a stand-alone bill that makes a lot of common sense to a lot of people. Why not just sign this one now and work out the details with the other later?

Rauner: Again, comprehensive solution is what I’m advocating.”


  1. - Real - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    This reminds me of Rauner on Fox news last year where he kept repeatung “the system is broken”

    This guy is the most robotic and souless politician I ever seen. How anyone can vote for this empty suit of a broken record is beyond me.

  2. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    AA had a Dodge once, from the State motor pool. It was one comprehensive piece of junk.

  3. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 2:46 pm:

    In his never-ending attempt to avoid being pinned down on anything, his evasiveness is his worst trait. He won’t say exactly what he wants, whether it’s this bill, or a budget deal, or on worker’s comp, school funding, property tax freeze etc. etc.

    Then he complains and refuses to sign bills because the General Assembly won’t pass exactly what he wants.

    January 2019 can’t come soon enough. He thinks he can win credit for only the good things that happen while avoiding blame for all of the bad. He’s like a child in that regard. A spoiled child who has never been taught any lessons about consequences.

  4. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 2:46 pm:

    I’m guessing he signs it a few days after the Primary. If he were going to veto it, he would do it now and collect some Primary Repubs. If he signs it, he needs to do it as far from the General Election as possible, so his base is not freshly ticked off.

  5. - Louis G Atsaves - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 2:50 pm:

    Bills named for Commonder Bauer. His assailant, a four time violent felon on probation, shot him multiple times while wearing body armor. The gun used was not purchased at a licensed or unlicensed gun shop and is now linked to another shooting on lower Wacker Drive, where the assailant allegedly prowled among the homeless and sold them drugs. Commander Bauer was shot in a legislated gun free zone at astaircase at the Thompson Center, across the street from the Daley Center, City Hall and The County Building.
    Add that the assailant was wearing body armor and had a long violent past.
    How does this bill and the others make me safer when I nearly daily enter these gun free zones Mr Mayor and the legislators who voted for this distasteful limp noodle soup. And the Governor is being pressured to immediately sign it?
    Dysfunctional government at its finest hour.

  6. - Keyrock - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    “In his never-ending attempt to avoid being pinned down on anything, his evasiveness is his worst trait.“

    Future QOTD: what is the Governor’s worst trait?”
    (I’d either go with his costumes, or his callousness to the poor and vulnerable.)

  7. - Dupage Bard - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 2:52 pm:

    Why doesn’t he just have Diane Rauner there with him from now on? From those emails that have come out she seems to have a much better grasp of political narrative and policy than he does. I bet she wouldn’t get stuck in the morass of mush mouth that the Governor usually falls in to.

  8. - dbk - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    What does “comprehensive” even mean in the gun control context? A “comprehensive” solution would be a federal solution, which isn’t coming down the pipeline anytime soon afaict.

    He can’t even indicate what he’s inclined to sign, what he’ll possibly sign, what he won’t sign (and why)? Clear as mud is right.

    It must be incredibly frustrating for reporters (and staff, and legislators) to deal with him on a day-to-basis.

  9. - Just Me - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    I personally support the bill, but I also agree with Rauner that passing a whole bunch of little bills one-by-one does not make much sense. A complete package would be preferable.

    However, getting guns off the street wasn’t the purpose of passing this bill.

  10. - Rutro - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    How can he sign it after the primary, if he wants a comprehensive solution? Diana, a little help here, messaging is confusing.

  11. - Nick Name - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 2:59 pm:

    What’s that thing around his neck? Is that a tie?

  12. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:03 pm:

    –“No, governor, you’re not clear. It’s clear as mud,” a reporter said. “Are you going to sign it or are you not?”–

    About time.

  13. - Norseman - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:04 pm:

    What we now know is that Louis isn’t going to sign the bill given his comprehensive comment. Now maybe we can hear from Rauner. Oh wait, he’s not in charge.

  14. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:08 pm:

    –How does this bill and the others make me safer when I nearly daily enter these gun free zones Mr Mayor and the legislators who voted for this distasteful limp noodle soup–

    So it’s not tough enough, Louis?

    Since you’ve appointed yourself Rauner’s spokesman on the subject, perhaps you could spell out what his “comprehensive” plan is? He seems to be having some trouble spitting it out.

    If not, you’re just another whiner who can’t stand a governor being asked a tough question.

    What did you and he think the job was?

  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:09 pm:

    The press pushed back.

    The problem is Rauner knows he can go over the press and run $50 million in ads that just swamp the great reporting, and the pushback…

    … then you have Kass and Katrina McQueary backing Rauner “in the end”… to stop the “Chicago Way”… which Rauner aided and abetted, then destroyed social services and crippled higher education…

    The blowback from HB40 was finally real.

    The questioning now is getting more real.

    Rauner will swamp the narratives.

    Will voters let him?

  16. - Henry Francis - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:09 pm:

    Obviously the Guv has one of those “word of the day” calendars. Today’s word must have been “comprehensive”. I remember one day it was “focus”. But I think 95% of the days the word is “Madigan”.

  17. - Skeptic - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:12 pm:

    Louis G Atsaves: While I don’t necessarily agree with your position, it certainly is a far clearer position than the one that the Governor claims he has clearly presented.

  18. - Anon0091 - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    “No, governor, you’re not clear. It’s clear as mud,” a reporter said. “Are you going to sign it or are you not?”

    Media has needed to go after this slippery governor for a long time. Glad it’s finally happening.

  19. - Wensicia - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    Rauner: “I can’t be more comprehensive until after the primary. Are we clear?”


  20. - Louis G Atsaves - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    @wordslinger, what are you supporting other than that wrapped in nothingness? Sign what?
    I stood by that staircase, a legislative gun free zone, looked the gun free zones of the State Bilandic Building, City Hall, County Building and Daley Court House.
    I believe in responsible gun ownership and gun control. These bills are paper machete that protect no one.
    And the press and Mayor are demanding signature of this empty series of bills?

  21. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:30 pm:

  22. - Rod - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:39 pm:

    Really 3D printed bump fire stocks are already being produced from what I have been reading. Digital blueprints are already floating around the so called dark web from what I have been reading. Much of this discussion on legislation is conceptually antique.

    If Defense Distributed can sell a full 3D system that will produce a fully operational 45 caliber semi-automatic out of 7075 billet aluminum without serial numbers it will be no problem to produce a plastic bump stock. I am finding this entire idea that things like a bump stock can be banned given the technology available today to be very bizarre.

    The cost of the Ghost Gunner 2 CNC machine is currently $1,675.00 and one can even get 12 month interest free financing. It ships from Austin Texas. I am not advocating people run out and make thousands of bump stocks, but this entire legislative agenda does not take into account how personal manufacturing of weapons and accessories has become simple. Illinois can make the possession of a bump stock a felony, but that is pretty meaningless for a mad person intent of recreating the Los Vegas mass murders in Illinois.

  23. - blue dog dem - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:42 pm:

    The governor once again fails both at governing and politicking. Who can argue with 25 year no parole for gun crimes. I thought I read hear that this election is going to be won by who captures Chicago suburban women. I can’t believe they wouldn’t be for tougher sentencing.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:43 pm:

    Diana Rauner wants the messaging clear.


    “Bruce won’t say anything, but the best way to dodge these questions is make the press use the word ‘comprehensive’ as the action word to make Bruce commit. Bruce can’t be seen as weak, but also be a fighter for something bigger, comprehensive, then Bruce can’t be held as dodging”

    - Fake Diana Rauner email.

  25. - @misterjayem - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 3:47 pm:

    “And the press and Mayor are demanding signature of this empty series of bills?”

    The Gun Dealer Licensing Act would hold gun dealers to an Illinois regulatory standard like business that sell liquor or tobacco, eggs, or cut and braid hair.

    [predictable switch from framing the bills as ‘empty’ to framing them as ’severe’ in 3… 2… ]

    – MrJM

  26. - My New Handle - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 4:27 pm:

    Rauner has at least learned that repeating a non sequitor response is the state politician/employee way to respond. I was had a meeting with Tim Mapes regarding a bill and got a consistent but non-answer every time I asked a particular question. It’s frustrating being sandbagged.

  27. - Change Agent - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 7:03 pm:

    In 2016, a coalition of justice reform and gun violence prevention advocates released a report “Building a Safe Chicago: Calling for a Comprehensive Plan” ( In addition to calling for gun dealer licensing, the report calls for putting public health first, tailoring punishment to the crime, ensuring police effectiveness, and investing to achieve equity. So Rauner is clearly going to support this comprehensive approach, right?

  28. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 8:16 pm:

    ===”The Gun Dealer Licensing Act would hold gun dealers to an Illinois regulatory standard like business that sell liquor or tobacco, eggs, or cut and braid hair.”===

    Except that a gun dealer didn’t sell the gun to the 4x felon wearing body army who shot the commander multiple times.

    So what gets fixed here? Nothing. Stopping a 4x felon from purchasing a gun illegally from a source who is not a gun dealer, and the solution is to “regulate gun dealers?”

    Feel good nonsense that solves little to nothing. Looks great on a campaign flier. Right Mr. Mayor?

  29. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 12, 18 @ 10:04 pm:

    Gee Louis, didn’t you here the boss: “comprehensive.”

    But, counselor, you make a brilliant argument against having any laws because criminals won’t obey them.

    Where did you get that, Big Rays Law School and Waffle House?

  30. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 7:31 am:


    Perhaps you might have an opinion on the Governor’s inability to give a straight answer. I would think he might be able to tell us what he intends to do with the legislation. You know he was elected to actually govern, right? Included in that is having opinions on legislation that gets to his desk. Perhaps you and the rest of his enablers can tell us exactly what it is you think the man’s responsibilities should be since you and he can’t seem to grasp what governing is all about.

  31. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 7:49 am:

    Except that a gun dealer didn’t sell the gun to the 4x felon wearing body army who shot the commander multiple times.

    So what gets fixed here? Nothing.

    So because a law doesn’t fix everything it fixes nothing, Louis?

    Illinois’ legal prohibition against murder didn’t prevent the killing of police Cmdr. Paul Bauer — do you also believe that law fixes nothing?

    I only ask so we can determine if your argument is incoherent or merely absurd…

    – MrJM

  32. - Mason born - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 8:12 am:

    Honest question no snark intended, but may I ask what the goal of the gun dealer liscensing by the state is? I quess my question is in what way are we declaring the ATF iscensing insufficient?

    Just curious.

  33. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 13, 18 @ 8:43 am:

    As the saying goes, “the perfect is the enemy of the good.”

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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