Tuesday, November 4, 2014

EXTRA: Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner?

So how much change will Illinois government experience now that there is a governor of the opposition political party to the General Assembly?

Is the Statehouse Scene about to become the Bizarro-world version of the federal Congress, where a GOP Congress fights the chief executive.

WILL THE DEMS in the Legislature unite in opposition to a Gov. Bruce Rauner so as to keep him in his place and prevent his anti-organized labor attitude from running roughshod over the rights of workers?

Or is that a bit of overkill.

Personally, I noted the fact that Rauner's victory speech (about an hour after the Associated Press projected the era of the Mighty Quinn to be at an end) singled out the fact that he placed telephone calls to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and state Senate President John Cullerton -- both D-Chicago.

He said he doesn't want to "fight" and "bicker" with the Legislature, but wants, "to find solutions ... to solve the problems facing Illinois."

OF COURSE, RAUNER also said he will, "work with anyone and everyone who shares the goals." As though he expects the Legislature to follow his lead.

That will be the big key to determining what state government will become like for the next four years.

Because to be honest, Quinn wasn't all that well liked by his fellow Democrats in state government. Madigan often regarded the governor as being weak and capable of being pushed around, and that attitude trickled down to the rank-and-file of the General Assembly.

So maybe Madigan can work with Rauner, particularly since this election result now makes him the undisputed most powerful Democrat in state government -- rather than having to defer authority to a governor of his same political party.

IT WAS AMUSING to hear state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, talk about the issue with WMAQ-TV. Of the Legislature, Lang said, "we'll work with anybody."

But he also said that it is Rauner who's going to have to moderate the anti-union talk that had organized labor all so riled up during both the primary and general election cycles this year.

""If he doesn't do that, we'll have four years of gridlock" just like the activity on Capitol Hill, Lang said.

So what led to an apparent Rauner victory?

IT SEEMS THAT Rauner got the roughly 20 percent of the Chicago vote he was hoping for (21 percent and kept Quinn to 52 percent of the suburban Cook County vote.

Which makes one wonder how well he actually did amongst African-American voters. James Oberweis, in conceding his defeat for U.S. Senate, said he thinks he and Rauner achieved something significant in actively campaigning in South and West side black neighborhoods in Chicago.

"We showed that campaigning in African-American communities is possible" for Republican candidates, Oberweis said.

There also was an ethnic "first." Ecuadorean/Cuban-American Evelyn Sanguinetti becomes the first Latina elected to a statewide government post with her win over Democrat Paul Vallas to be lieutenant governor.

NOT THAT HER presence added that much to the campaign cycle. So little that while she tried making her own victory speech Tuesday night, every Chicago television station broke away from her ramble so they could broadcast Quinn.

Who, as it turns out, is not about to concede until every single vote is counted -- a process that could take the bulk of the week to complete.

Quinn tried to show some spunk (which reminds me of actor Ed Asner as Lou Grant telling Mary Richards "You've got spunk. I hate spunk!") when he told his followers, "our government of the many takes on the government of the money."

Although Rauner tried to put his own spin on Tuesday night's victory by saying, "This is the victory for every family in Illinois."


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