Thursday, July 9, 2015

It’s no wonder Rauner and Madigan don’t play nice. Pols don’t like each other even when they’re alleged allies

I still remember a former television reporter at the Statehouse in Springfield who quit the news business for a time to become a government spokeswoman.

Sheriff Dart doesn't really speak to the mayor ...
Because she took me out for lunch one time, and then proceeded to tell me about her biggest shock in the new job – her boss didn’t really like being around all the Republican government officials who theoretically were allies.

... nor the police superintendent
AND THOSE OFFICIALS really didn’t like having her boss around. These government people whom some of us thought of as being in some sort of ideological conspiracy with each other actually barely tolerated each other.

It’s probably naïve of us to think these people like each other.

So it probably shouldn’t have been any surprise that Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart gave an interview to Crain’s Chicago Business recently where he said he and Mayor Rahm Emanuel “probably haven’t spoken for four years.”

EMANUEL: Who does mayor talk to?
Also, it seems that Dart doesn’t have much of a relationship with Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. Instead, district commanders for the Chicago police usually meet with their equivalents with the Cook County sheriff’s police.

THAT’S THE DEGREE to which there is cooperation within the two top law enforcement entities that serve and protect (sort of) the state’s largest (by far) county.

QUINN: How long did he not speak to gov?
The Chicago Sun-Times went so far as to publish an editorial blasting the two officials, claiming they’re letting personal differences interfere with performing their sworn duty.

How sweet! They probably also believe in unicorns.

It is a shame that the leadership lets itself get thwarted by such political concerns. Then again, it’s not surprising in the least.

BLAGOJEVICH: Did he have any allies?
LET’S NOT FORGET that Dart is an ambitious sort who back in the 2011 election cycle gave serious thought to running for mayor himself. He ultimately backed off and settled for the sheriff’s post – citing the fact that he and his wife had so many young children (five) who needed their attention.

But it wouldn’t be surprising if Dart has some thoughts of running for mayor in the future – particularly if/when the day arrives that Emanuel decides to step down from being the “Man on Five.”

I suspect Dart doesn’t want to do anything that might make Emanuel look good and prolong his time in the fifth floor City Hall office to a point where Dart would be too old to be a credible candidate for mayor.

More importantly, he probably doesn’t want to get himself tied to Emanuel or McCarthy (who is, after all, a mayoral appointment) so closely that when the day comes Rahm steps down, Dart gets tagged with all of the current mayor’s misfortunes.

Do the governor and speaker have ...
IT MAY BE petty, but it is real. It also is not unique.

Let’s not forget the days when Rod Blagojevich was governor and, in the midst of all the turmoil, it came out that it had been years since then-Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn had been able to speak directly to the governor.

I remember even Howard Stern (whose attention span usually doesn’t go beyond lesbian sex) feeling compelled to mock Quinn for being unable to pick up a telephone and give his governor a call.

... the most honest political relationship?
Of course, that may have been more of an example of how Blagojevich didn’t trust anybody else – not even the guy who was supposed to be his running mate. Even though if we’re honest, Quinn was the guy whom circumstances forced upon him – there was no reason to think the two ever thought very highly of each other.

BUT THAT SHOULD have been the odd exception. Instead, it’s the rule. Which may make the relationship between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, the real exception.

The two men don’t even put up pretenses of trying to work together, openly showing us how they’re more interested in their own political power grabs than the good of the people.


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