|Pate won his political fight in Hegewisch|
I remember then-Senate Minority Leader James “Pate” Philip back in 1990 making the trek from his suburb near O’Hare International Airport to visit Hegewisch to reassure the residents that he would oppose all efforts to pave over their streets and homes to develop a new Chicago-area airport.
PATE WON THAT political fight. But the reason the event sticks in my mind is that it is among the few bits of attention paid to Hegewisch by anyone with political influence.
|Will Rauner be less successful in his brawl?|
Political people making the trek out to Hegewisch do it so infrequently that it is still considered a big deal locally that the final public appearance Richard J. Daley made as mayor was to Mann Park out on 131st Street – where he shot a basketball through a hoop. He died later the same day in December 1976 while visiting his doctor at a Michigan Avenue office.
That is why it is unique Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner felt compelled to make the trip to Hegewisch on Wednesday, where he hoped to encounter a sympathetic audience of people as part of his last-ditch effort to urge the General Assembly to go along with his rejection of a state budget -- thereby keeping the political battle alive.
Specifically, he went to one of the few places in Chicago where the eastern boundary isn’t the Lake Michigan shoreline, but is State Line Road – with the Hoosier State of Indiana lying just across the street.
|130th Street/Torrence Avenue one of the few entrance points to Hegewisch|
Just like they can get gasoline for their cars for anywhere from 20 to 30 cents per gallon less in Indiana.
|Hegewisch is the land by the landfills where Chicago used to dump its trash|
Rauner might as well be doing the work of Chamber of Commerce groups throughout Indiana in letting people know how miserable a place he thinks Illinois will become. What with him dragging out business-types from the Hegewisch neighborhood who were willing to say they’d be willing to “pick up and drive two minutes to Indiana.”
ALTHOUGH I DON’T think the governor is really that concerned. He’s trying to minimize the damage to his political reputation since it appears that the winner of the partisan battles of the past two years will turn out to be Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago.
He’s going to be able to claim he and his allies on Thursday finally got a budget passed – with no help from Rauner or his people.
Of course, Rauner will claim over and over (actually, he’s already started) that Madigan’s plan is a tax hike of some 32 percent. Actually, it’s a 1.25 percent boost in the rate, meant to produce some 32 percent more revenue, but facts and details rarely matter to the people spewing partisan nonsense.
|DALEY: It all came to an end in Hegewisch|
Personally, I think it is sad it took two years to reach this point. This particular increase could have been done during the spring of 2015 and we never would have known the misery of the past two years watching our politicos stumble about like rubes.
WHICH IS WHY there really isn’t a winner. There’s merely a stage set for the partisan nonsense we’re going to be subjected to between now and the general elections of November 2018.
Voters will get their chance at that time to show which of the two political leaders they are most disgusted with – both are convinced that it has to be “the other guy.”
Madigan has made statements about “working with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to begin healing the wounds of the last several years.” Although the interesting point will be to see which wounds develop on the GOP side.
I’m sure those Republican legislators who wound up switching sides against Rauner’s budget rejection will lose out on the financial help the governor would have provided to their re-election bids. How much more spiteful Rauner can be remains to be seen.