Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Is Rauner the perpetual candidate running to be the ‘ideologue’ governor?

RAUNER: Advertising like a candidate
Bruce Rauner is resorting to his campaign mode; using his personal wealth (and that of other corporate types who want a state government that will put their interests ahead of those of the public) to air television spots meant to trash Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and other Dems.

It seems Rauner thinks he can get the whole state so worked up against his political opposition that he will be able to impose his will on the public without having to compromise.

EVEN THOUGH COMPROMISE is inherently what democracy is all about, and that with a General Assembly with a veto-proof Democratic majority it is only natural that the governor should have to make concessions to his ideological desires in order to keep state government operating.

The sooner the governor realizes that, the better off Illinois will be.

Instead, we’re getting television spots like its campaign time. It makes me think the entire next four years is going to be like an election cycle.

All the mud that can be slung at everyone that dares to speak out against Rauner and have a difference of opinion.

WHICH IS WHY I was intrigued by the “Chicago Tonight” program Monday night on WTTW-TV. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton was interviewed, and he said that when he has had talks with Rauner, they have always been civil.

Rauner doesn’t go around saying much of anything nasty directly to Madigan or himself. In fact, Rauner in person comes across as someone who is rational and capable of compromise.

So does that mean we should disregard the trash talk we’re going to hear while watching our television sets for the next week?
MADIGAN: How will he fight back?
Should we think this is nothing that should be taken literal? In fact, is merely a political ploy to try to get away with conceding as little ground as is possible?

THAT MAY BE true. Although I think it says something about the Rauner character that he would feel the need to resort to such a tactic to begin with.

“All they want is higher taxes – again,” is what Rauner says about Democrats on television. Even though what it is that Madigan acknowledges is that government has obligations that must be met, and that claiming not to have the money is unacceptable.

As for whether the various anti-labor measures meant to undermine the authority of unions are proper, I’d argue it is really a separate issue. Whether or not you agree that such actions are possible, it is reckless to insist on getting it as part of the budget talks.

It really is an issue best put off to next year or any other time during what is left of Rauner’s gubernatorial term.

ONE PART OF this new advertising strategy does seem odd – the fact that the television spots are focusing on the Chicago media market.

Admittedly, that market does cover the part of the state where two-thirds of Illinoisans live. Yet it also is the part that has shown the most reluctance to listen to the Rauner rhetoric.

Most of the municipalities that were willing to back the symbolic resolutions that Rauner wanted passed to express support for his ideological agenda were isolated communities in rural Illinois. Perhaps television spots focusing on that part of Illinois would be more effective in stirring up so much outrage against Madigan.

Instead, they’re likely to be money spent on Chicago-area people who will be so offended by the message that it will build up support for Madigan and Dems. It’s not like the tactic worked in 2010 when Republicans tried to turn the entire statewide election into a referendum on Madigan!


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