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Question of the day

Wednesday, Jan 9, 2019

* House Speaker Michael Madigan used his inaugural address to bash Gov. Rauner, but Senate President John Cullerton took a different tack. From Cullerton’s speech

Governor Rauner, thank you for presiding over today’s ceremony.

And, on behalf of the Illinois Senate, thank you for your public service.

We may have had our differences, from time to time, but you took on a challenge when others merely complain from the sidelines.

Thank you, and I wish you and your family the best.

* The Question: What is the truly nicest thing you can say about the departing governor? This is a serious question, so no snark. And if you can’t say anything nice, then please do not respond to the question.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

76 Comments »
  1. - ZC - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:46 pm:

    His libertarian views were in line with mine on some important criminal justice reform issues.


  2. - Stuck on the Third Floor - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    His efforts to restore the mansion were laudable, and it’s no longer an aging wreck.


  3. - G'Kar - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    He spearheaded the renovation of the Mansion and he was a friend to the craft beer industry.


  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    Already deleted one comment. You’re gonna make me grumpy if this continues and I could wind up putting you in permanent moderation, so don’t test me.


  5. - Perrid - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    He is definitely a man of conviction. Whether or not you call that perseverance or stubbornness mostly depends on whether or not you agree with him.

    He was determined not to kick the can down the road on IL’s finances. While his execution could have been better (I’m really trying here Rich) the decision that the status quo was not acceptable is laudable, compared to past politicians.


  6. - JoanP - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    The restoration of the Governor’s Mansion, done with private funds, was a high point. Truly appreciated.


  7. - Gallactic Cupcake - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    He spent time in springfield outside of the capitol and mansion. Havent seen that in a while.


  8. - Montrose - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    I would point to the restoration of the Governor’s mansion and his support of HB40.


  9. - Not again - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:51 pm:

    Happy hour and the mansion are nice.


  10. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:51 pm:

    You recognized that Illinois was not in good enough shape for the SNAP work requirement
    That we didn’t have the jobs for people
    You signed the request for the waiver
    to the requirement.
    That was the right thing to do
    And you did it.
    I wish that had made your list of accomplishments
    It certainly most effected the good Illinoisans
    I serve every day.
    You protected them

    Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents
    Had meals
    Because of you.
    It’s just too hard right now to get a steady 80hrs of work a month in many places in Illinois.
    Thank you


  11. - Gohawks123 - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:52 pm:

    Honestly Rauner helped with buying land around Starved Rock State Park. This area is beautiful and those bluffs are being attacked due to the sand plants in the area buying up land . Being from that area it made me happy to see that those lands will be protected.


  12. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    I have 2 things:
    1) the Governor’s Mansion. It’s truly a spectacular transformation from what it was four years ago. this was not possible without the Rauners support.
    2) I liked the fact that he would attend local Springfield basketball games, go out to eat at local restaurants, and even show up at a few Springfield elementary schools to give talks.


  13. - I11inois - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    Thank you for signing HB40.


  14. - Stones - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    I agree with the Governor’s mansion comments here.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    The restoration of the mansion is legacy style stuff that this state owes a great deal of thanks and appreciation.

    Buildings like the mansion are much more than the plumbing, bricks, mortar, woodwork, the mansion is our state history with those occupying that house the leaders of our state. It’s important to preserve our history. I’m very grateful for the restoration.

    Thank you, Governor Rauner, Mrs. Rauner.


  16. - SOIL M - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:01 pm:

    He donated money from his own foundation, not just other people’s tax dollars, to at least one worthy development project. I do not know if there were more or not, but a sitting Governor opening his own checkbook to support a Port Project in Cairo is laudable.


  17. - Jen - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

    He truly seemed to enjoy living in Springfield and interacting with the people and experiences here. And ditto the mansion, that was badly needed.


  18. - Duke of Normandy - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    His efforts with criminal justice reform and reducing the prison population were a huge step forward for the state.


  19. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:05 pm:

    Rauner consistently pointed out where Illinois was failing and attempted to offer solutions. His solutions were rejected, but his highlighting of problems where our state would often kick the can down the road hopefully will not be forgotten. His personal generosity helped restore the Governor’s Mansion, and I’m thankful I saw the results of those efforts last December. His personal generosity included being the highest bidder at the State Fair of livestock, and taking steps to the long overdue revamping of the State Fair Grounds. He consistently put millions of dollars of his own personal funds for charities and projects benefiting the people of Illinois. He poured millions of dollars into the State GOP party apparatus, and into campaigns of other GOP members, and received few thanks for his generosity, and plenty of complaints for not being even more generous.

    With the passage of time, history will be kinder to him.


  20. - Goner - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:08 pm:

    Say what you want about the political jousting that led up to it, but in the end, he put pen to paper and signed the education funding formula. That’s important work. Reducing prison population by 19% is big stuff too. For all the pain of the budget impasse, some lives were impacted in very real ways. And a Republican signing HB40 in an election year took true guts. It nearly cost him an embarrassing loss in the primary, but he did it anyways. Bravo.


  21. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:10 pm:

    Restoration of the Governor’s Mansion.

    I would agree with the “man of conviction” comment because that came to my mind even before the mansion. He definitely stuck to a few core ideas, but when asked about them, he would often hedge or deny. So, “man of conviction” ends up with an asterisk.


  22. - lakeside - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:14 pm:

    He fixed the Mansion and signed HB40. The first was generous, and he despite backing himself into a corner on the second, he still did the right, humane thing.


  23. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:19 pm:

    The man had the courage to put his ideas on the line regardless of what came his way. I met him several times at non-political events around the state. No security or entourage. A little small talk and handshake. Not what I expected at all.


  24. - Dog on Sheffield - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:24 pm:

    The first governor in my lifetime that I would enjoy having a beer with


  25. - Interested - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:24 pm:

    He overrode the mean spirited recommendation from the leadership at the Illinois Department of Human Services and applied for and got the SNAP waiver, keeping thousands of poor people from being hungry.


  26. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    The man genuinely loved the retail politics aspect when at events; he wanted to shake hands and take selfies with as many people as he could.


  27. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    As mentioned above, the progress he made on criminal justice reform was very laudable.


  28. - Perrid - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    I had forgotten about the SNAP waiver decision, I’ll definitely add that to my list of praiseworthy actions.


  29. - Gooner - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    The general idea of selling the Thompson Center was sound.

    There are a lot of reasons that the building is just not a good fit for the state.

    Hopefully, those sale discussions will continue.


  30. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:33 pm:

    He saw the problems of this state and chose to try and address them it with his time and his treasure when he could have easily remained uninvolved. He stepped into the arena and that is laudable, too many don’t. The improvements on criminal justice we long needed and something much like ‘Only Nixon could have gone to China’ that a Republican Governor could have done.


  31. - Shemp - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:34 pm:

    He put his money where his mouth is and he tried to do what he said he would. There are a lot of people sitting on sidelines just ranting on social media at all levels of government.


  32. - Mod Dem - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:36 pm:

    He pulled BCCS out of CMS creating DoIT. Although challenges remain in technology, the foundational component of elevating’s technologies importance in resolving the State’s challenges is commendable.


  33. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    He was very consistent.


  34. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    He’s not issuing a bunch of EOs or making self-indulging political appointments (that I’m aware of) on his way out like some previous governors.


  35. - allknowingmasterofraccoodom - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:46 pm:

    1. Prison Reform - so badly needed nationwide
    2. The mansion
    3. Agree with him or not, but he spent 5-6 years of the best time of his life (retired and rich) trying to make Illinois better. And he put his own money up to do it.


  36. - Earnest - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:46 pm:

    I appreciate his accomplishments in criminal justice reform. I also respect the fact that he was a hard worker.


  37. - Excessively Rabid - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:56 pm:

    Say what you will about the Illinois Republican Party after Rauner, but think about what kind of shape it was in before him. He did breathe some sort of life into it.


  38. - Informed Mom - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 3:56 pm:

    Rauner’s “Good Friday Massacre,” on World Autism Day in 2015, was a turning point for me and spurred me on to eventually be a much better advocate for adults with developmental disabilities. This isn’t snark; he’ll forever be part of my history.


  39. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:00 pm:

    In no particular order (and trying to avoid any snark):

    1) Lived in Springfield and supported local businesses

    2) Restored the Mansion

    3) Did some good for the State Fairgrounds, including starting some public / private partnership s

    4) Recognized State spending needed to change; unfortunately didn’t manage any lasting changes

    5) Has a view of smaller government I could agree with but …

    6) Achieved much needed Criminal Justice reform

    7) Did sign school funding reform

    8) A lot of people won’t agree with this one, but he did mostly prevent further unnecessary statewide gun control

    9) I’m still of a mixed mind on the results of this one, but with DoIT he moved the State closer to Dale Brown and Jim Norris’ (there’s a couple of names out of the distant past) goal of a truly central State computer agency.


  40. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:11 pm:

    He was willing to take a lot of harsh personal criticism and unpopularity for what appears to be truly held libertarian beliefs.


  41. - Hyde Parker - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:11 pm:

    I have always, even at the height of the budget crisis, felt that Gov. Rauner is a genuine, principled libertarian who acted according to his conscience. As somebody who wants a strong progressive in office, I think my ideal politician would share his commitment to principle, even if it meant risking the future.


  42. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:13 pm:

    Rauner is naive about how the legislative process works.

    It is incremental.

    He does not understand that.


  43. - Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:17 pm:

    Apart from the criminal justice reforms I didn’t agree with him on much of anything but I have to respect him for his tenacity in trying to do what he believed in.


  44. - Leslie K - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:21 pm:

    I wasn’t aware of this until Gohawks123 @ 2:52pm said it, but I’ll go with protecting land around Starved Rock State Park because I wouldn’t have expected a pro-environment decision. But HB40, prison reform and the mansion are also high on my list.

    Thanks for asking this question, Rich. Reading everyone’s choices is a reminder that even difficult times can have some bright spots.


  45. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:24 pm:

    As a general rule I always thank anyone willing to put their name on the ballot even if I disagree with everything they stand for. I don’t have that type of courage and I thank those that do.


  46. - Joe M - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:27 pm:

    His appreciation of old VW vans was nice. I can relate to that. One from the 60s rather than the 90s though, would have been an ever nicer touch.


  47. - Scamp640 - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:28 pm:

    Gov. Rauner’s pro-choice legislation is to be lauded in my opinion.


  48. - movieboy97 - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:30 pm:

    At least he the much needed renovation, and facelift of the Governors mansion, plus making it good with stuff to comply with the Americans with Disability act. Which is good.


  49. - illini - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:31 pm:

    Although it is still a work in progress, I do have to give the Governor credit for supporting the Discovery Partners Institute.

    This will bring far more recognition and respect for our finest Universities than anything they could do on their own.

    This support must continue through the next Administration as well.


  50. - Lost In Chicago - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:43 pm:

    He’s one of the few elected officials who actually kept a campaign promise. He said he would not sign a budget without other reforms, and he stuck to his campaign promise on that.


  51. - Duopoly - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:48 pm:

    He seemed to be a good dog owner.


  52. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:53 pm:

    Signing HB40 was a good thing.


  53. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:54 pm:

    He signed the The Opioid Alternative Pilot Program expanding the Medical Cannabis Program allowing people with chronic pain who are dependent on Opioids for pain relief an alternative.


  54. - Blue Dog Dem. - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 4:56 pm:

    Named sweet corn the state vegetable.


  55. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 5:05 pm:

    He had a knack for staying on message. Like him or not, it was truly amazing watching it.


  56. - Hawkeye - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 5:07 pm:

    2 things stand out to me. He seemed to really believe in his “Agenda” and he was not reluctant to talk to ordinary people; even after his popularity tanked.

    I agree with the Dog on Sheffield - BR would be an interesting drinking buddy.


  57. - perry noya - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 5:10 pm:

    He gave Illinois a civics lesson in what works and what does not work in advancing your goals in politics. I am serious and this is not snark.


  58. - Informed - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 5:29 pm:

    - Interested -

    I can’t tell if your comment is serious or not, but you are completely wrong re: the ABAWD waiver. It was the Department of Human Services who convinced Rauner’s advisors that the State apply for the waiver, and not the other way around. Everyone at DHS knew it was the right thing to do and fought hard for it. That was the case this year and for the previous two. So respect to the Governor to deferring to the judgment of the leadership in his agency who knew the issue well.


  59. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 5:53 pm:

    His support for reproductive rights was greater than I would have imagined.


  60. - Anon E Moose - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 6:04 pm:

    Criminal justice reform.


  61. - ste_wit a v_en - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 6:10 pm:

    He stood up for trans rights and a Romans right to choice, even when it got him a primary.
    The mansion and numerous other private donations.
    Criminal Justice reform, auto voter registration (eventually), among others. In the end, he fought to make the state a better place. And he’ still wealthy enough to do whatever he wants.


  62. - Kentucky Bluegrass x Featherbe Bent x Northern California Sinsemilla - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 6:43 pm:

    As someone who is likely in permanent moderation…

    Gov. Rauner issued the medical cannabis licenses when Gov. Quinn wouldn’t. While Rauner was no friend to the Medical Marijuana Program in many ways he did issue the licenses, expanded the program to include terminal illness & PTSD, pushed back the sunset date, signed marijuana decriminalization legislation, Ashley’s Law and hemp farming. So while some folks may say he was bad for the ganja in IL, he actually signed more bills than any previous governor for IL.


  63. - Tim - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 6:58 pm:

    He was a principaled man with good ideas on how to fix the state. It’s unfortunate this state is not ready to do the right thing at this time.


  64. - OldDutch - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 7:28 pm:

    The support for the Governor’s Mansion and the
    State
    fairgrounds


  65. - Rabid - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 8:15 pm:

    Thanks for giving of your time and money to natural disasters


  66. - Hickory - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 8:54 pm:

    He saw what Illinois is and tried to change it for the better. His main fault was that he could not keep the GOP together.


  67. - DQ Cards Fan - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 9:12 pm:

    Gov. Rauner will be proven right about many of the drastic reforms he promoted. His Turnaround Agenda deserved more serious consideration and may, in the future, see new life in other hands. Well-intentioned, honest man who underestimated the partisanship that regretfully bogs this state down.


  68. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 11:26 pm:

    –I agree with the Dog on Sheffield - BR would be an interesting drinking buddy.–

    I’d love to meet him on Lower Wacker outside the Goat after we’ve exceeded our tipping points, any time to express my appreciation on his tenure.

    It didn’t make the cut, but I submitted a nice ditty about Rauner traveling the state and meeting the folks. I meant that.

    But I’m not ready to accept War of Northern Aggression revisionist history on his tenure yet.

    The dude was a willfully malignant disaster. It was part of the plan. And it’s going to take a long time, in baby steps, to clean it up.


  69. - Eire17 - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 5:21 am:

    Agree on the mansion. Great job and long overdue. Also give him a lot of credit for being out in the community. Saw him at a number of high school basketball games on some cold dreary nights.


  70. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 5:30 am:

    He got all his wealthy buddies wealthier.


  71. - Harvest76 - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 6:03 am:

    He had a vision for the Mansion, and it was realized. It certainly is striking.


  72. - Lord Voldemort - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 7:50 am:

    I think Rauner had a real sense of the problems facing this state, and the dangers he warned about are real even if they were a bit exaggerated at times. That includes his take on organized labor — exaggerated but real. To the extent he struggled and even failed in office, it has to be said in his defense that there was a shortage of people who shared his general worldview and had day-to-day experience in government. (Yes, we’ve had GOP administrations, but Edgar was not exactly a conservative stalwart.) A lot of mistakes were made because Rauner and the folks around him didn’t know better.

    We’re going to need someone like Rauner again at some point if Illinois is going to turn itself around. Hopefully next time there will be people who learned the lessons from this and can guide the next conservative administration with more savvy and skill.


  73. - Dome Gnome - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 8:23 am:

    He said he wouldn’t accept a salary and didn’t.


  74. - Anonni - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 9:05 am:

    Broadly, the criminal justice reform efforts, and specifically closing Stateville’s terrible roundhouse/panopticon. That place was pure torture — on inmates, staff, everyone.


  75. - Mr.Black - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 9:21 am:

    He expanded abortion coverage and rides cool motorcycles.


  76. - Winston - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 11:27 am:

    He is a man of principle when he supported my first amendment rights in Janus v. AFSCME. Best Wishes Gov!


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