Friday, December 1, 2017

Rauner calling Mendoza a “Madigan puppet” just an act of misdirection

When I learned that Gov. Bruce Rauner earlier this week went on the radio and denounced Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza as a “puppet” for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, I can’t say I was surprised.

Rauner wants to erase this image of himself
For one thing, Rauner was speaking at a Southern Illinois radio station – one whose broadcast signal doesn’t transmit much further than Carbondale and Marion. He was speaking to an audience eager to believe such nonsensical allegations. He wouldn’t dare say such a thing if he thought anybody local would hear it!

BUT ON ANOTHER level, such charges that Mendoza’s constant actions as head of the entity that actually pays state government bills are meant to benefit Madigan and not the state as a whole are more a matter of distraction.

My guess is that Rauner is going to go through the 2018 election cycle taking special aim at the candidacy of Mendoza – whom he’s still probably bitter was able to defeat in a special election last year the comptroller bid of Leslie Munger.

She’s the Republican whom Rauner tried appointing to fill the comptroller’s post when Judy Baar Topinka – who was elected to a four-year term back in 2014 – died before she could be sworn into office through next year.

If you want to be crude about it, you could say that Munger was Rauner’s puppet – the woman who would have been expected to run the comptroller’s office in ways that benefitted the political partisanship of the governor.

MADIGAN’S PUPPET BEAT Rauner’s puppet, so to speak, and he’s still peeved.

Beating up on Mendoza preferable to him
Largely because it means Illinois government these days is a Democrat-dominated General Assembly with Democrats in every single state constitutional office EXCEPT for governor.

Bruce is feeling mighty lonely. The loss of Munger left Rauner as the lone government official in Illinois willing to bear the Republican label.

And considering that his ideological leanings aren’t always in line on the social issues as the hard-core of right wing fanaticism, even the Republicans these days aren’t all that fond of him.

Was Munger a Rauner flunky?
RAUNER’S RHETORIC ABOUT the evils of organized labor isn’t sufficient for those ideologues – particularly the ones for whom abortion or firearms are the key issues that get them all hot and bothered.

So bringing up nonsense issues about Mendoza being a “puppet” is more about distraction. Focus our election cycle venom on Susana, who has the least seniority of all the Democrats running for statewide office next year.

She’d be the one most vulnerable to a challenger – although it could be argued she’s doing a competent enough job and really isn’t upsetting anybody in Illinois. Except for the ideologues who are going to look for nonsense arguments to make against her as they try to create a Republican ally for Rauner.

Because he certainly needs to have someone to support him. And not just the people running for other offices (mostly state Legislature seats) who are reliant on Rauner’s financial contributions to fund their own political campaigns.

WHEN HE TRIED to show a certain level of sense on abortion earlier this year, he made some serious enemies. When he became so incredibly stubborn for more than two years over state budgets, he managed to offend just about everybody else.
Gov. Rauner in his 'common man' costume
I’m amused to learn that the National Review, the journal of some serious conservative thought (or at least as serious as such thought ever gets) has labelled Rauner as “the worst Republican governor in America.”

With a cover depicting an animated Rauner standing alongside a rural road with a broken-down motorcycle (he owns a Harley and does ride it from time to time). Definitely not an image that Rauner wants catching on amongst the Illinois electorate between now and the March 20, 2018 primary elections.

Better to spew the nonsense-talk about Susana – which hopefully Illinoisans will ignore on the grounds that it’s too stupid to take seriously. Which is probably a good rule of thumb to follow with regards of what 99 percent of candidates for any office say in the months leading up to Election Day.


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