Monday, July 1, 2019

Productive? More like, “Drop dead!”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave Mayor Lori Lightfoot the time of day, as the two of them had a one-on-one meeting Saturday to discuss various issues – including whether or not state government would be capable of offering help to city government in meeting pension obligations.
LIGHTFOOT: Wants state aid on pensions

Oddly enough, both officials issued canned statements where they both said the meeting was “productive” without offering much of anything in the way of details.

WHICH I SUSPECT really means the governor told Lightfoot something the equivalent of “drop dead,” and waited until after she left the room before bursting out in hysterics.

With Lightfoot muttering under her breath at the lack of consideration she saw the governor offering up aid to the state’s largest city.

For what it’s worth, the city currently has pension funds that are about $28 billion underfunded. Which had various reports indicating that the mayor saw the solution as having the state combine the city’s pension funds into the funds that cover other municipal governments across Illinois.

In short, the state would have taken on the city’s problems – with the city then being allowed to use its sources of income to pay for other issues and problems it would rather resolve instead.

IT DOESN’T SEEM to be happening, although both officials feel the need for showing a sense of decorum. Largely because both of the government officials carry the “D” label following their names.
PRITZKER: How quickly did gov. say 'no'

If this were the “good ol’ days” of Democrat Rahm Emanuel and Republican Bruce Rauner, the two of them would be dreaming up choice insults to toss in each other’s direction. And you just know Rahm’s insults likely would have included a borderline vulgarity or two.

Because it really would be fantastical for anyone to think that Illinois state government, which has financial dilemmas of its own, would have any willingness to get itself into resolving a city government problem.
RAUNER: Would he have offered any aid?

If anything, I could envision that residents of the 96 counties outside of metropolitan Chicago (who at most account for about one-third of the state’s population) would be prepared to have a hissy-fit if Pritzker offered up any sort of aid on this issue.

IN FACT, I’VE heard so many tales throughout the years of the amount of aid the state has had to provide to bail Chicago interests out of assorted problems that I have no doubt any attempt to contemplate state aid to resolve a city pension problem would run into serious political opposition that I’m sure Pritzker would not want to have brought down upon himself.

Meaning it was a fantasy, at best, to believe the state would be able to offer up much help.

The pension problems the city now faces are most likely going to be ones that will dominate the Lightfoot Years, and may be what prevents her from being able to afford the kinds of things that Mayor Lori would prefer to be doing so as to build herself up a municipal legacy of significance.

One other point I should note; it seems that both Lightfoot and Pritzker managed to use an identical phrase – they “look forward to continuing to work together” on various issues.
EMANUEL: How vulgar would his vocabulary become?

AS IN BOTH of them still plan to ask the other for many, more favors in the future. They’re expecting that the “D” they have in common will result in each of them having their phone calls to each other returned.

They both have to continue to deal with each other for the next few years.

So Saturday’s meeting wasn’t of real significance. With the real story being what was said immediately after the two met.

And whether either one of these esteemed public officials said anything in private that would top Rahm Emanuel’s vocabulary at its most vulgar.


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