He smiled. He cracked jokes, about himself and others at the table. He looked relaxed, rested and at ease with himself—more so than in years. In fact, he looked like a man liberated.
That wasn’t what I expected when Gov. Bruce Rauner, who now is in desperate re-election trouble, stopped by to meet with Crain’s editorial board for an endorsement interview the other day. Lots of people in and around state government have noticed the same thing recently. As one knowledgeable source summarizes, “He’s made his peace with it”—”it” being losing his job in the Nov. 6 election.
I won’t throw dirt on the casket yet; Election Day is still more than a month away. But even if he does somehow pull it out, a Rauner who lately has been ruminating in public about the mistakes he made in the past four long years won’t be the same. It’s not too early to ask how a governorship that began with such promise went so horribly off track. […]
Some Republican governors have thrived in blue states, including Charlie Baker in Massachusetts and Maryland’s Larry Hogan. Others, such as Florida businessman Rick Scott, made the transition to governing after a bumpy start. Not Rauner. “It all comes down to arrogance. He had to have everything,” says one top insider. Adds another, “I don’t think he ever was willing to try to figure it out.”
Too bad. Illinois needed a good, experienced CEO who could put his ego in check. It still does.
Go read the whole thing. This could explain the governor’s renewed willingness to talk so openly about “right to work” zones.
Or, it could just be that this is his last election win or lose and he’s doing what he wants to do.
The Democratic nominee also appeared to signal the likely death of Rauner’s vaunted Discovery Partners Institute on Related Midwest’s 78-acre property at Roosevelt and Clark.
“It should have partners in private industry,” rather than just rely on a pending state grant of up to $500 million, Pritzker said. “There is no private support as best as I can tell,” despite several months of promises from Rauner, who told Crain’s that investors are willing to step forward if he is re-elected.
As a matter of practical politics, the DPI plan was the creation of Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Rauner soon could be out of office and Emanuel will retire after his current term ends in April.
So, there are willing DPI investors but the governor is keeping their names a secret because they’re only on board if Rauner is reelected?
…Adding… I posted this Democratic Party of Illinois press release on the live coverage post, but it also fits here…
One year ago to the day, Bruce Rauner said he came back from his trip to China and Japan with “nine projects that have a good chance of success here in the state of Illinois,” but today he’s coming up empty. Rauner was speaking at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce days after returning from what he dubbed a “trade mission.” But where are the jobs governor?
As WCIA and the Chicago Tribune’s Eric Zorn exposed, Rauner’s administration has been unable to show any real success from his Asia trade mission, or his more recent Germany trip. In fact, the only news Illinoisans are seeing is Japanese companies like Takeda and Daifuku Wynright moving 1,500 jobs OUT of Illinois. Zorn connected Rauner’s overseas flop to his overall jobs record – Rauner had blasted his predecessor as a “miserable failure on jobs” and promised to “get results,” but job growth has slowed during his tenure.
“After 1,500 jobs disappeared in six days, it’s clear why Bruce Rauner is a ‘miserable failure on jobs’ by his own measure,” said DPI Statewide Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Over promising and under delivering is a recipe for disaster, and it seems to be the only one Rauner has perfected.”
It’s kinda weird that the acronym for Rauner’s project and Madigan’s party are the same.
1) Does your campaign (or state party, as the case may be) utilize non-disclosure agreements that would in any way preclude, hinder or discourage campaign staff, volunteers etc. from reporting or speaking out about instances of sexual harassment? Please provide any NDA language to support your claim.
2) Does your campaign (or state party, as the case may be) utilize mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment complaints, reports, claims? Please provide any mandatory arbitration language to support your claim.
The deadline was today at noon. Responses listed in the order they were received.
* Aviva Bowen from the Kwame Raoul campaign…
1. Nothing in our NDA (attached for background) would discourage someone from speaking out or reporting sexual harassment, particularly when coupled with our sexual harassment policy (also attached) and requirement that all campaign staff take anti-harassment training, for which they receive a certificate of completion.
2. No, we do not have any mandatory arbitration provisions.
Further, as you know I am on leave from the IFT, where I serve as the Ethics Officer. I bring to the campaign my additional training and experience in this role.
The campaign’s harassment policy (which she included along with the NDA) ensures that anyone speaking out will not be subjected to retaliation. That, she explained, would negate the NDA.
* Jason Helland…
My campaign does not use any NDAs and we do not utilize mandatory arbitration.
* Will Allison at the Bruce Rauner campaign…
* Kara Highfill at the Michael Frerichs campaign…
All full-time staff on the Frerichs campaign including Frerichs have signed the framework policy provided by the AHEA panel. I added a clause to that policy that outlines that the Frerichs campaign does not utilize NDA agreements or mandatory arbitration clauses.
* Aaron Degroot at the Erika Harold campaign…
That’s a no on both questions for Citizens For Erika Harold.
* Travis Sterling at the Illinois Republican Party…
1. The Illinois Republican Party from time to time utilizes confidentiality agreements that seek to preserve the confidentiality of sensitive political information (plans, processes and the like) that may be disclosed to an intern or employee. In no way would (or could) such an agreement be interpreted to hinder any person from speaking out against or reporting an instance of sexual harassment.
2. No, the Illinois Republican Party does not utilize mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment complaints.
* Christie Lacey at the Susana Mendoza campaign…
No & no.
* Sam Salustro at the Democratic Party of Illinois…
Under our current policies, DPI does not use non-disclosure agreements or utilize mandatory arbitration.
* Rocco Claps at the Jesse White campaign…
* Galia Slayen at the JB Pritzker campaign…
1. Like most political campaigns, our campaign does have staff sign a privacy agreement to protect strategic campaign information. There is no expectation or mention of keeping information about sexual harassment private. All staff are required to receive sexual harassment training and our campaign has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or retaliation of any kind.
* Darlene Senger…
1) No, we don’t use NDAs.
2) No, we don’t use mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment complaints
I never heard back from Jim Dodge.
…Adding… There was an internal mixup, so here’s Dodge’s response…
We don’t use NDAs. We do not require mandatory arbitration.
* Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign reset speech was ready-made for editorial board meetings. Here he is with the Pantagraph…
He admitted, however, he might have pursued “smaller wins” rather than push so hard that the state went more than two years without a budget — and said he’s now better equipped to handle Madigan, a Chicago Democrat.
“What’s different is two things. One, I’ve learned to work with him and also around him. That’s how we got a lot of things done in the last year, 18 months,” said Rauner. “Two, he’s weaker in his strength in the General Assembly than at any time I’m aware of. … There are now so many more legislators who will stand up and say, ‘I’m doing this because it’s right.’”
Rauner said that approach will help grow businesses and address the state’s budget problems. He said that’s a better approach than a graduated income tax, which makes the wealthy pay more — a proposal Pritzker has made central to his campaign but Rauner opposes.
“We can all have our dreams, but we’ve got to deal with reality,” said Rauner. “More taxes are not going to give us a better future.”
As we clearly saw during the impasse, less taxes won’t balance the budget.
Also, what did he get done in the past 18 months by going around Madigan? I can’t think of anything offhand. Just the other way around, in fact. Also, those Democratic legislators who are standing up to say they’re doing something “because it’s right” are mainly liberals who have few policy agreements with the governor.
He also talked extensively about “right to work” and even claimed that the Toyota plant we lost to Mississippi will be staffed by union workers. I seriously doubt that. He claimed, as well, that factory workers in Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin make more than factory workers in Illinois. Not true.
* Anyway, speaking of editorial boards and Madigan, the Kankakee Daily Journal’s editorial board pressed former Rep. Lisa Dugan (D-Bradley) about whether she’d be voting for Madigan for House Speaker. Dugan is trying to regain her former seat after her 2013 retirement. She’s running against freshman Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee)..
Asked whether she would vote for Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, to remain as speaker, Dugan made no commitment. She noted that much of the GOP’s advertising ties her to Madigan. And she acknowledged she voted for Madigan four times during her nearly decade as a lawmaker.
“I worked with Michael Madigan for nine-and-a-half years and fought with him for nine-and-a-half years,” Dugan said.
As an example, she said she worked against Madigan’s transit bill because it took money away from the local transit district.
“What you have to do in Springfield is work with 117 other legislators and one of them is Michael Madigan. You have to work with leadership on the Democratic and Republican sides,” Dugan said.
Parkhurst, however, said her first vote in Springfield was against Madigan. She said Dugan voted for Madigan’s proposed tax increase and pension holidays, meaning the state delayed payments into the pension systems.
“(Dugan) will vote for Mike Madigan. Don’t let her fool you,” Parkhurst said.
Dugan was no shrinking violet when she was in the House. But she was also very popular with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle. The Republicans claim the Madigan stuff is damaging this year, though. We’ll see.
Also, the process is the two caucuses privately choose their candidates for House Speaker and then there’s a formal public election between a Democrat and a Republican. I’m not sure the Daily Journal gets that.
Voters don’t do nuance. Pritzker fully understood that concept in the primary when he went after Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss over their nuanced and limited kinda/sorta support for a maybe/possible tax on retirement income. He zapped them both with harsh TV ads and now he’s getting zapped by Rauner on the mileage tax.
* The Daily Herald, by the way, is not pleased that Pritzker is running away from the mileage tax that he suggested he could look at as a pilot project…
There’s a great irony in Pritzker calling Rauner a liar. It is Pritzker who, with our Editorial Board earlier this year, raised the possibility of a tax on vehicle mileage — and now denies that he mentioned it. Even though it’s fully recorded. Denied it outright Thursday night even when Carol Marin gave him a chance to acknowledge but downplay what he’d said.
Hours before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday said the process should be delayed after Thursday’s testimony of Christine Blasey Ford.
“Dr. Ford’s allegations are very serious and they seem very credible. I believe they deserve to be investigated and I believe a vote should be postponed until they are fully investigated,” Rauner said on WBEZ-FM’s “Morning Shift” program. […]
On Thursday morning, Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker was asked about anti-harassment policies proposed this week by a panel of women formed in the wake of allegations in longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan’s organization. In answering, he also raised the Kavanaugh case.
“I happen to think that in Washington, D.C., that the Judiciary Committee in the Senate should be handing over to the FBI the investigation of the allegations that have been made about Kavanaugh,” Pritzker said. “That’s the way to do it. I’m not sure that here in Illinois that things have been handled the way they should have, but under our administration, they will be.”
OK, everybody take a deeeeeeeeeeeep breath and then exhale fully before commenting, please. Leave your DC talking points out of the comment section. Something you saw on Facebook is also not an acceptable fact source here, so do an honest Google search.
In other words, don’t get banned for life.
...Adding… Speaker Madigan…
“Yesterday, we saw Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s courage in standing before United States senators and a criminal prosecutor to tell her story. The allegations against Judge Kavanaugh are extremely serious, and his belligerent testimony failed to address the concerns of women and men across our country. In fact, it confirms the concerns we’ve expressed about Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve on our nation’s highest court.
“Now, even conservative newspapers, the American Bar Association and Governor Rauner have joined us in calling on senators to stop this nomination on the floor and open an FBI investigation into the very serious allegations facing Judge Kavanaugh.
“I urge senators to do the right thing and allow for a full investigation.”
*** UPDATE *** Sen. Sam McCann…
In response to Governor Rauner siding with Senator Feinstein and the Democrats Sam McCann issued the following statement:
I am following the lead of the President of the United States, and the strong conservative leadership of Senator Grasley, who are intimately involved in the details of the allegations and hearings regarding Kavanaugh. I would not base any decisions on the slanted media and conjecture. Rather, I put my faith in our commander and chief who was duly elected by our electoral process of the United States of America. Unfortunately, Bruce Rauner has shown time and again, as highlighted this morning, when he sided with Diane Feinstein and the Democrats, that he has no faith in President Trump and the Republican controlled Senate. I call on the American people to put faith back in Government.
* Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich writes about prison reform, but of course he makes it mostly about himself…
Before my arrest and retrial, my life was the American dream.
Growing up, I had shined shoes, worked in a slaughterhouse, worked on the Alaskan oil pipeline, and delivered pizzas. I went to law school, I was a prosecutor for two years, I served in the Illinois House, the U.S. Congress, and was twice-elected governor. I won 14 elections in a row.
My gubernatorial administration made historic progress in Illinois on women’s and children’s healthcare. We opened free preschool to every 3- and 4-year-old. We also reduced repeat crimes by ex-offenders. My initiative, “Inside Out,” provided better access to education, job training, substance abuse treatment and counseling services to inmates and parolees. This led to the lowest conviction rate among parolees in Illinois history; a reduction in arrests among the parolee population; and reductions in repeat incarceration among parolees with substance abuse issues. The dramatic drop in recidivism even saved the state of Illinois $64 million in incarceration costs over a four-year span from 2004 to 2008.
Today however, I am living the reverse American dream – a bad dream that I share with other inmates at a prison in Colorado where I am currently serving a 14-year sentence. So what happened?
He got caught. That’s what happened. Anyway, he does make a few good points, so click here if you’re inclined.
* Terra Costa Howard is running against Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard). This is a Tier 1 race and as I’ve been telling subscribers, tons of money is being pumped into it. Personal PAC is also heavily involved because Breen is totally against abortion rights…
Statement from Terra Costa Howard
Democratic nominee for 48th District State Representative
Several weeks ago, I accepted the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board’s invitation to attend an endorsement session today.
Many friends and advisors warned me that I had no chance of getting a fair hearing, much less an endorsement. However, I thought it was important to give voters in the 48th District this opportunity to hear from me directly about my positions on the issues that matter most to us.
Then on Monday, I read Kristen McQueary’s column, which insulted every Democratic woman running for office in Illinois.
Ms. McQueary said the women running in DuPage County and other suburbs were “put up” by House Speaker Michael Madigan because we “poll well.” That’s offensive.
I’ve worked as an attorney in DuPage County for two decades, standing up for people who are vulnerable and in need. I’ve worked beside my husband to build a successful small business. I spent eight years on the Glen Ellyn school board, making sure our community’s excellent public schools serve the needs of our children – while keeping our budgets balanced, every year.
By any standard, I am more than qualified to run for State Representative – and to serve. Yet Ms. McQueary makes it sound like I’m some generic “woman candidate,” a pawn in a skirt whose name was randomly pulled from a hat.
She also claimed that any candidate who accepts support from the Illinois Democratic Party has to “give up control” of her campaign and winds up “subservient” to Madigan. That is absolutely untrue.
I’m proud to be a Democrat, and I’m proud that the Democratic Party of Illinois is supporting me.
I’m up against an incumbent who is backed by billionaires Bruce Rauner and Dick Uihlein (the top donor for Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama who was accused of sexually assaulting several teen girls.) Without the support of my party, I would have no chance to unseat an entrenched politician who has turned his back on our communities in favor of the wealthy special interests that support him.
But let me be clear: I am in full control of my campaign, and I am “subservient” to no one. When I get to Springfield, I will vote my district first, no matter what.
As for Ms. McQueary’s statement that Democratic women “have become adept at looking the other way” when women are abused or harassed, I will just say this: For 20 years, judges in DuPage County have chosen me to act as guardian ad litem for children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Those judges trust me to protect those vulnerable people to the absolute best of my ability – and they know I will never “look the other way” if my clients are in danger of harm or abuse. My integrity has never been for sale, and it never will be.
Every day, I grab a clipboard and walk from door to door in my district, talking to people about the issues that matter most to them and their families. I see no reason to waste precious hours of this campaign fighting to be heard in a room full of people whose minds were made up long before I walked in the door.
For these reasons, I am withdrawing from today’s meeting with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board.
The column in question is here. I’ve asked McQueary via e-mail for comment and will post it if she sends one.
Did she do the right thing, or should she have attended the forum anyway?
Today, the Betsy Dirksen Londrigan for Congress campaign called out the Congressional Leadership Fund, Paul Ryan’s Super PAC, for lying about her record on healthcare, and sent a letter to TV stations in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District demanding that their false ad be pulled. For a detailed explanation of why the ad is blatantly false, read the Londrigan campaign’s letter HERE and attached below.
“It’s clear that Paul Ryan’s super PAC knows Rodney Davis’s disastrous healthcare record has landed him in real trouble in Central Illinois. This ad is a desperate, fraudulent attempt to distract voters from that truth,” said Emma Brown, campaign manager for Betsy Dirksen Londrigan. “While this group lies about Betsy, here are the facts about Rodney Davis: he voted for a health care repeal bill that would have left tens of thousands of his own constituents without health care, weakened protections for those with pre-existing conditions and charged older Americans more for their care. This is who Rodney Davis has shown himself to be, a career politician who will say anything to distract from his record and try to get re-elected.”