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The [Friday] Papers

"As the final hours of the spring session ticked down, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner railed against Democrats for failing to send him a budget and for letting the state government stalemate spill into its 24th month," the Tribune reports.

"The public scolding came after Rauner had spent time working to ensure that a Democrat-led attempt to pass a spending plan with multiple tax increases never made it to his desk."

That's because it would have interfered with his re-election message.

"While Rauner's reelection strategy hinges on branding Democrats as tax-happy, he might have had difficulty explaining to voters why he vetoed a budget that would raise taxes but also would have ended an impasse that's diminished the state's financial standing, decimated social services and starved universities."

The alternative - Democrats passing Rauner's "turnaround" reforms - is a bridge that has been too far since day one. The result: gridlock.

And that's why he governor is to blame, no matter Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan's role in this mess.

The governor already has put $50 million of his own money into his re-election bid and given millions more to the Illinois Republican Party, which has been plastering Democratic districts with attack ads.

Asked about those ads, which ran during the make-or-break final month of the session, Rauner said, "I don't know, I mean, whatever. I spend no time thinking about the politics. That's separate and I don't spend time on it."

"There are people outside of government whose job is the politics and the messaging around politics," Rauner continued. "That's it's own process. I literally, I mean, I probably spend 2 percent of my time or my thought process on that stuff outside, you know, in the evening or weekend. But it's virtually none of my time."

What an appalling lack of responsibility. Rauner is funding the state party practically single-handedly. It's also beyond belief that he's had nothing to do with the messaging. Even if that were true, he could always call on those who purportedly do to knock it off. Instead, he's only encouraged it - almost as if he wanted to sabotage a budget agreement. Or maybe no "almost" about it.

Senate Democrats blamed Rauner's ongoing campaign for poisoning their attempts to negotiate a budget with Senate Republicans.

"It was literally every week, we were met back in the district with, 'All they want to do is raise your taxes, they don't want to vote on any reforms,'" said Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, who was among the bipartisan group of senators working since January to strike a "grand bargain" on the budget.

That was - and is - the message Rauner is funding. Is it true?

For months, Rauner lavished praise on the Senate negotiators, predicting the talks were close to a resolution. The idea was for the two sides to agree on a plan to raise taxes, cut spending and grant Rauner some of the items on his legislative wish list, including changes to the state's insurance system for injured workers and a freeze on property taxes. The governor leaned heavily on the Senate talks in his February budget proposal, which left a $4.57 billion line-item titled "working together on 'grand bargain.'"

As the group got closer to a deal, Rauner swept in from the sidelines to tank it, according to the Senate Democrats.

Why? He said it was because Democrats didn't make enough concessions, such as loosening collective bargaining rules guiding public works and school boards around the state. But that sounds like an awfully convenient excuse.

"Rep. Christian Mitchell, a Chicago Democrat, said the governor's contradictions spooked Democrats.

"'He's saying privately that he understands that there needs to be revenue to balance the budget even if he gets his reforms, but then he's sending out letters saying, 'Hey we deserve a budget with no tax increases,' Mitchell said. 'Or sending out tweets that say, Taxes aren't the answer. We need reform. So you're sort of saying one thing in public and another thing in private, and I think there are many who would argue that reveals your character.'"

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Speak of the devil . . . "Let's Understand Why Illinois Property Taxes Are Highest."

There is an opening in Springfield for a radical change agenda. It's just not an agenda that reflects Rauner's priorities. And on those priorities is how he should be judged.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Gas Pump No. 8
SuperAmerica.

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: The Amazing Heeby Jeebies, Murder Junkies, Sara Watkins, Jerry Joseph, Sam Prekop, Mukqs, TALsounds, Mickey Thomas, Terri Nunn, Lou Gramm, Major, The Outer Vibe, Arbouretum, Brokeback, and Yngwie Malmsteen.

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Beachwood Sports Radio: What's Wrong With The Cubs
A lot of things, it turns out. Plus: The Good News And The Bad News About Hawk Harrelson; MLB Standings Review; Ryan Pace, Secret Agent; The Patrick Sharp Dominoes; Pens Up; Warriors Golden; and Schweinsteiger!

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BeachBook

Republican Congressman Refuses To Say If Americans Entitled To Eat.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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You might have to click through to see this in full.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Deadline extended.



Permalink

Posted on June 2, 2017


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock Including Riot Fest Highlights.
TV - No Rehabilitating Vietnam.
POLITICS - Rauner Vetoes Online Privacy.
SPORTS - Coffman: Cooper's Blooper Not As Bad As You Think.

BOOKS - Quimby's Adult Thrillers!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: Black Jeans In White Tel Aviv.


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