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items tagged with Bruce Rauner

Rauner’s “Wedge” Pledge Has Yet to Divide Democrats
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2016-02-07 11:13:26

Last week, a reporter said to Governor Bruce Rauner that Secretary of State Jesse White had suggested that Rauner bring in former governors, including George Ryan, to help break the long governmental impasse that has prevented the state from having a budget for more than seven months.

Rauner laughed and said, “Uh, wow.”

The governor clearly did not take the suggestion seriously.

“I’m not gonna talk about the failures of the past that created this mess,” Rauner said through chuckles. “I focus on the future. I don’t live in the past. We’ve had failure in our elected government for decades. This mess didn’t happen overnight. And what we’re not gonna do is reproduce the dynamic that created it.” The governor laughed throughout most of that last sentence.

Bringing in graybeards has been tried before without success. Governor Rod Blagojevich asked former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and then-Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard to town to help him pass his massive construction proposal that Speaker Michael Madigan refused to agree to. It didn’t work. The two men left town as soon as they realized how hardened Madigan’s position had become against Blagojevich.

While former governors have been through similar troubles, nothing really compares to today’s self-inflicted disaster. Madigan and Blagojevich played hardball, but the game is exponentially meaner now.


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Understandin’ the Governor’s Odd Speech Pattern
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2016-01-31 11:03:51

Every time Governor Bruce Rauner gives a major speech, social media (and even mass media) light him up over the way he drops his “g”s at the end of words.

He’s workin’ and doin’ his best and shakin’ up Springfield, or whatever.

Last year, after his first State of the State Address, Illinois Public Radio even interviewed a language expert about whether he was doin’ this on purpose.

It does seem contrived. Rauner was educated at Ivy League schools, after all, and worked in some of the highest echelons in business. If you listen to any of his speeches in the years before he ran for governor, you’ll notice that he talked back then like an educated Midwesterner.


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Rauner Bungles What Should Have Been Triumphant
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2016-01-24 11:09:09

Governor Bruce Rauner blew a perfect opportunity last week to finally drive a public wedge between Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan, to clearly put Madigan on the defensive, and to maybe finally make progress on an important issue that might save the state a billion dollars a year.

But he badly bungled the rollout of a deal with Cullerton on pension reform. Instead of describing the agreement for what it really was, Rauner greatly exaggerated its scope and portrayed it as a big defeat for AFSCME and other unions.

In reality, the deal with Cullerton (and there is still a deal with Cullerton, despite what you might be reading elsewhere) is narrow in scope and elegantly designed to put Madigan in a truly tough position.


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Governor’s Hard Line Not Supported by His Numbers
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2016-01-17 12:24:35

A lot of folks have taken to calling Bruce Rauner “Governor 1 Percent” because of his immense personal wealth. Rauner himself told the Chicago Sun-Times during the 2014 campaign that he was in the top one-tenth of 1 percent of income earners.

But, right now anyway, he ought to be referred to as “Governor 1.4 Percent.”

Stay with me a bit and I’ll explain.

I sat down for an interview last week with Rauner. As he does with just about every reporter, the governor blamed House Speaker Michael Madigan for stifling his beloved Turnaround Agenda. Rauner said he was “frustrated” with Madigan for saying that the anti-union, pro-business reforms were “unrelated to the budget.”

“For example,” Rauner said, “if we can get business regulatory change so I can recruit manufacturers here and more transportation companies here, and more businesses here, we can generate billions of new revenue without raising tax rates. That’s directly tied to the budget.”

“Billions?” I asked.

“Billions,” he replied, while promising to send me a detailed analysis.


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Governor Launches New Attacks Against Speaker, Mayor
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2016-01-10 11:20:52

“He has taught us how to deal with him,” explained one top official in Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration when asked why the governor has once again cranked up his public criticism of House Speaker Michael Madigan.

You may already know that the governor blasted both Madigan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel during an appearance on Dan Proft’s WIND radio program last week.

After accusing Emanuel of being “afraid” to take on Madigan, Rauner said the reason for this was self-evident: “The speaker has been the most powerful politician in the state of Illinois for decades. It’s the main reason we’re in such big trouble as a state.”

Rauner went on to essentially blame Illinois’ “long-term, slow death spiral” on Madigan and said the majority party “likes the status quo,” claiming the speaker is “not sensitive” to the real-world problems of the middle class. “He’s got a great system; he controls it. And right now they’re unwilling to change. And without change, we’ll never get a true balanced budget."

So what happened here? The governor seemed to mute his criticisms of Madigan in the closing weeks of 2015, even mostly holding his fire when Madigan skipped the last leaders’ meeting just before the holidays.

New year, new attitude, apparently.


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