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Our sorry state

Thursday, Aug 30, 2018

* Brian Mackey takes a look at regional jealousy and the debate over how to pay for things

“Do we get our cut of the pie?” asks John Jackson, a professor of political science at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

“It’s probably a more explosive question in Illinois because we have such a long-standing, divisive debate about regionalism. And that debate takes the form of Chicago/Cook County versus Downstate. … And Downstate that resonates because we firmly believe that we’re not getting our fair share,” he says.

* He brings up Paul Simon Public Policy Institute polling which always shows that Illinoisans demand state budget cuts, but not to schools, universities, public safety, anti-poverty programs and programs for people with disabilities

Jackson says political scientists call that disconnect “symbolic conservatives and operational liberals.” Such people want government programs, especially if it benefits them directly, “but they want to get rid of somebody else’s waste and fraud. And that’s the way the legislature has essentially acted, and government in the state has acted.”

The idea of symbolic conservatives and operational liberals calls to mind something a state senator told me years ago. It was Jeff Schoenberg, a Democrat from Evanston who’s since left the legislature. Then-Gov. Pat Quinn had proposed closing a few state facilities Downstate, and local legislators were resisting.

“They talk a good game about being fiscally conservative, but when it comes to closing a public facility that’s under-utilized or not cost efficient, they’re like New Deal Democrats,” Schoenberg said in 2012.

Yep. Remember this story?

An effort to give lawmakers the power to block Gov. Pat Quinn from closing large state facilities fell one vote short of passage in the Senate Wednesday. … In addition to Forby, those supporting the idea included state Sens. Mike Jacobs of East Moline, John Jones of Mount Vernon and Kyle McCarter of Lebanon.

The year before Sen. McCarter tried to block Quinn from shuttering a facility in his district, he did this

State Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon… conducted a Statehouse news conference just now to accuse Democrats of not taking the budget crisis seriously. McCarter and other GOPs called for a $30 billion ceiling on the budget (it’s a little over that now), with cuts and reforms designed to get rid of the major new income tax hike that went into effect this year. […]

McCarter delivered the message standing next to a 125-pound roasted pig that a butcher in his district had had shipped in to dramatize the pork-laden state budget.

Gov. Rauner, by the way, pledged to keep that facility open during the 2014 campaign.

* Mackey also made the same observation I did on Monday evening when Metra melted down for the second week in a row

Remember earlier today when several suburban Republican legislators were screaming about the prospect of more government spending? One even called increased spending “evil.” I wonder if any of them took the Metra home after their press conference.

* And that brings us to yesterday, when Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti was asked how the governor planned to cut taxes

Chris Kaergard: What’s your plan to reduce the tax hike? Speaking of plans that need fleshing out what’s your administration’s plan to reduce the tax hike?

LG Sanguinetti: Well our administration’s plan over the course of the four years that we’ve been in leadership, in going forward, is to [cross talk]. Well of course because there will be another term because I firmly believe that after the voters do their homework they will find that Bruce Rauner is, is the leader in Illinois that will make Illinois a wonderful place to have businesses, to grow your families here, to grow your businesses here. Why? Because over the course of time we will be less punitive to businesses, which is something that we’ve always fought for. We’ve seen it with the Angel Investment Tax Credit and the fact that we resuscitated it. We saw that with the LLC fees and the fact that Bruce Rauner took it back to the tune of 70%. Why? So that our small farmers could decide to open up their businesses. Other businesses could come here and take a leap rather than doing it in our neighboring states where it was so much cheaper in the past. This is the sort of governor that you will have in Bruce Rauner. One that will not be punitive to businesses and one who is truly a leader. Not an individual that was anointed by Mike Madigan who has been in office since I was a mere 3 months of age. Thank you.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 2:38 pm:

    “All politics is about one question - who pays?”
    -Paul Green

  2. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    Gobbledygook from Sanguinetti

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    Rauner had a “solution” to the disconnect for a couple of years: pile on a new $12 billion in unpaid bills, and have your self-described “wingman” comptroller pay out first to those in districts of GA loyalists.

    But the grift couldn’t last, especially after Mendoza got the checkbook.

  4. - Leigh John-Ella - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 2:48 pm:

    What’s the height restriction on being a “small farmer”?

  5. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 2:49 pm:

    This person is a heartbeat away from becoming the next governor?

    If she really worked at it, she could almost become Lucky Pierre.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 2:49 pm:

    The lone thing Ole Slip and Sue said that had a semblance of being coherent…

    ===…Mike Madigan who has been in office since I was a mere 3 months of age. Thank you.===

    Slip and Sue has been a heartbeat away from being governor for 3+ years… this is the best sentence she can muster to explain why Rauner deserves another term.


  7. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    Could be add to the requirements for Lt. Governor that they be conscious?

  8. - Huh? - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    “What’s the height restriction on being a “small farmer”?”

    There is a weight restriction too. /s

  9. - We'll See - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 2:55 pm:

    I remember watching (then) Rep. Jim Watson’s YouTube video on how to cut state waste juxtaposed to his battle with Quinn on the closure of the Jacksonville Developmental Center…. Jim the NIMBY.

  10. - Montrose - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 2:58 pm:

    Rauner’s camp is doing a great job of negating their talking point around JB having no specifics on his tax plan.

  11. - LXB - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 2:59 pm:

    To be fair, Illinois is hardly alone in this. I grew up in rural Michigan hearing about “Detroit” stealing all our money, then lived in Green Bay and heard about “Milwaukee” stealing it. Now I’m in southern Illinois hearing the same tune about “Chicago.” Kathy Cramer’s The Politics of Resentment does a wonderful job of studying this phenomenon in Wisconsin — she spent years conducting interviews in small towns around the state that reflect the themes we see every two years in rural legislative districts.

  12. - Keyrock - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 3:00 pm:

    The Lt. Gov. was allowed out of her “undisclosed location?”

  13. - Anon - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    Under neoliberalism, everyone gets shortchanged.
    Stop with the contrived Chicago vs. downstate factionalism and just massively redistribute the wealth of the Pritzkers and Rauners of the world.

  14. - Jerry 101 - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    Symbolic Conservatives and Operational Liberals aren’t unique to Illinois. Colorado has a plurality of them as well. I’m sure most, if not all, states do.

    There seems to be a growing belief that government services should be free. All the services, no taxes.

  15. - Chris Widger - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    ==Slip and Sue==

    Our tort laws were written by Democrats in the legislature. But I guess it’s only funny to make fun of people vindicating their legal rights (which, again, a Democratic majority could with some ease rewrite) when it’s women doing the vindicating.

  16. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 3:19 pm:

    I like this quote.

    “Well our administration’s plan over the course of the four years that we’ve been in leadership, in going forward, is to [cross talk].”

    Our plan is to [cross talk]. Sums up Rauner’s time as Governor pretty well.

  17. - Juice - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    So the big two accomplishments were something that was created under Quinn in 2010 and something he proposed doing in 2014. Well done BTIA.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 3:38 pm:


    ===Our tort laws were written by Democrats in the legislature. But I guess it’s only funny…===

    … when Ole Slip abd Sue claims she sued to teach a lesson and make a point, and also can’t disclose how much her lawyer got, what bills were paid, and if this was to teach a lesson, how much, after all her expenses, she gave to “charity” or whatever.

    Either know… or ask.

    You seemingly are told how things are like “Slip and Sue” and “magically” you forget you were educated.

    Slip and Sue isn’t a victim.

    All she had to do was come clean. What, her settlement was so complicated, so “educational” she has no clue where all the money went?



  19. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 5:05 pm:

    ==Our tort laws were written by Democrats in the legislature.==

    Illinois was founded in 1818 and the Democratic party was founded in 1828. So you are saying for ten years there were no torts?

  20. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 5:07 pm:

    ===Illinois was founded in 1818 and the Democratic party was founded in 1828. So you are saying for ten years there were no torts?===

    This is Restaurant Quality.

  21. - anon - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 7:03 pm:

    Take a look at the total average of inmates over the past 2 years at the Du Quoin boot camp and check the Rep in the district and this supports his point.

  22. - Seymourkid - Thursday, Aug 30, 18 @ 8:25 pm:

    Get Mark from WCIA to ask her that question. Maybe if he presses, she will actually answer it. How can she except us to vote for her if she doesn’t have an answer?

  23. - Rabid - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 8:12 am:

    Four years of the turnaround manifesto, I love it when a plan comes together

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* Sheriffs file suit against state for refusing to accept jail transfers
* Yesterday's stories

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