Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New governor; same campaign rhetoric

We're now in the Rauner Era of Illinois government – as Gov. Bruce Rauner took his oath of office Monday and gave a predictable campaign speech filled with the same themes we heard all throughout last year’s electoral season.

As in the need for government to exist to bolster business interests and how he’s going to be the guy who brings to an end the problems of our state – but not necessarily in a way that the public at-large will enjoy.

PARTICULARLY IF ONE believes that government is in place to benefit the people, and that sometimes the desires of business conflict with the needs of the masses.

“To achieve (reform) will require sacrifice. Sacrifice by all of us – politicians and interest groups, business and labor, those who pay for government and those who depend on government services,” Rauner said during his inaugural address.

“Each person here today and all of those throughout the state will be called upon to share in the sacrifice so that one day we can again share in Illinois’ prosperity. We all must shake up our old ways of thinking,” the new governor said.

Now none of this should be a shock to those who were paying attention during the campaign season. Rauner went out of his way to avoid offering specifics about his intentions if he were to be chosen as governor.

BUT IT WAS clear from the big-money interests that were kicking in campaign cash to supplement the nearly $30 million of his own money that he spent that he comes from a unique mindset – one that wants government to get out of its way. Or do you believe that someone who is capable of working the next four years without a salary bears any resemblance to you and me!

Do you think those people who coughed up so much campaign cash are now going to settle for somebody as governor who doesn’t put them first? I expect they’d be the first in line demanding a refund/recount/recall if Rauner wasn’t a guy who wants to be the CEO of Illinois government.

That call for “sacrifice” could well be from the rest of us.

Particularly after I noticed the portion of his inaugural address that says he plans to issue an order calling for a thorough review of all government agency contracts issued since November – the time during which he was governor-elect and Pat Quinn was completing his term in office.

RAUNER SAYS THIS review is to, “regain our state’s good name and reputation.”

But it seems at this point more like an attempt to place blame on Quinn for everything he finds that doesn’t meet his business-oriented standards of satisfaction.

Quinn ought to become ancient history. He should have departed the governor’s office at the Thompson Center building in Chicago shortly after Noon and stepped aside from the public eye. There shouldn’t be anything about him that lingers when a new administration of the opposite political party takes control of state government.

But it seems that Rauner himself is eager to have the Quinn image remain for awhile. He wants a punching bag for use every time he turns up incapable of dealing with a problem confronting the state – “It’s Quinn’s fault!” is probably a line we’re going to hear repeated over and over in coming years.

WHICH IS WHY I wasn’t terribly offended by the fact that Quinn didn’t make the trip to Springfield for the inauguration ceremonies – it’s a new day, and living in the past does nobody any good! Although for anyone who cares, one of Quinn's final acts was to sign into law the bill concerning increased regulation of ridesharing services such as Lyft and Uber.

So excuse me if I’m not convinced by Rauner’s repeated talk of how he’s going to “shake up” the way Illinois government does things.

Because based on what I’m hearing and what I’ve seen in the past couple of months, it seems like it’s going to be a four-year term of Rauner in campaign mode; which we ought to realize amounts to four years of nonsense being spewed every which way.


No comments: