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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Gov. Bruce Rauner is set to give his second State of the State speech Wednesday, one that aides say will focus on reshaping state government," the Tribune reports.

"The administration late Tuesday released a list of talking points short on specifics that indicated Rauner will talk about making state government more efficient, including how taxpayer-subsidized health care is delivered and how the state buys goods and services."

Too bad Rauner hasn't focused on reshaping state government and delivering services more efficiently. That's the Rauner that won the election, anti-union rhetoric notwithstanding. That's what people expect when someone says they will run government like a business - even though anyone who has worked in the private sector knows business does not run efficiently. Look around your workplace right now. See what I mean?

Former Sun-Times political reporter Natasha Korecki, now of Politico, made this point a few months ago, I think on Chicago Tonight, and it struck me as a real insight. Where, she wondered, was the reshaping of state government of the sort expected of a business turnaround expert? Yes, I know that Rauner's private equity adventures were often exercises in sucking the assets out of businesses and leaving the carcasses to bankruptcy court, but the main proposition of a Rauner governorship was supposed to be that it would be like having a McKinsey consultant (for better and mostly worse) in charge. In that case, the Turnaround Agenda would have shut down some agencies, created others, consolidated still others, and, yes, reshaped state government - along with the kind of accounting, financial and budget expertise to better tackle the state's fiscal problems than someone like Pat Quinn could bring to bear.

(Like more of this sort of thing, which seems to have only just occurred now to give Rauner something to talk about on the eve of his State of the State address.)

It turned out that Rauner's hatred of "government union bosses" was really the only genuine part of his campaign, and it's something so visceral that you wonder what "government union bosses" did to him as a child. And that's why the state of the state is undoubtedly worse - drastically so - than it was a year ago. Rauner has not in any way "shaken up Springfield;" he's frozen it. And he has not in any way "brought Illinois back." He's brought it down.

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"I am elected to do a job," Rauner said. "And that is deliver a high-quality government that drives value for the taxpayers, it increases the quality of life for everyone here. That means a government that creates an opportunity for rising family incomes, a lower cost of living, a booming, strong, healthy economy and the best schools in America."

You haven't done that, sir. Not even close.

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Illinois isn't even working as a business under Rauner. If Illinois were a corporation, the board of directors would have fired Rauner as CEO by now for maniacally pursuing a single-minded agenda with such a failed strategy that the company is on the brink. Product is not going out the door. Our governor is even worse than Marissa Mayer.

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Emily Miller, director of policy and advocacy at Voices for Illinois Children:

"How many people have to stand in front of a microphone and say that their lives are being ruined before the governor decides to make passing a budget his number one priority?"

Rauner's response: "Change is hard."

I'm sure the state's children, elderly, poor and infirm feel great nobility in their sacrifice for the change necessary achieving the change the governor seeks. Every war needs front-line soldiers to give their lives to the greater cause of the politicians.

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Land Of Oz
"Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton announced Tuesday that Kristin Richards will be his new chief of staff," his office says.

Richards, who had served as Cullerton's Budget and Policy Director since he became Senate President in 2009, will assume the new duties beginning Feb. 1.

"There is no one in this operation whose insights I trust more than Kristin's," Cullerton said.

That's kind of a weird thing to say right in front of everyone else:

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Radioheadliners?
Lolla's big get? Plus: Tortoise, Wilco, T'Pau, Muse and more, in our Local Music Notebook.

Drawing Disaster
University of Chicago professor's new book examines comics as documentaries. Plus: The downstate reverend who inherited Picart images from 1723.

Immerse Your Kids In The Forest!
Chicago joins Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boise, and Seattle in a growing number of cities with programs increasing much needed access to nature for youth.

Revisiting Yummy Sandifer
Weekend TV, September 1994.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Stately.



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Posted on January 27, 2016


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