Gov. Rauner take the bait to threaten “PATCOING” State employees?

Gov. Rauner and Acting Director Janice Glenn, IL Dept. of Human Rights, waiting to deliver their remarks at the Black History Month celebration on Friday at the Thompson Center in the Chicago Loop

Gov. Rauner and Acting Director Janice Glenn, IL Dept. of Human Rights, waiting to deliver their remarks at the Black History Month celebration on Friday at the Thompson Center in the Chicago Loop

Jeff Berkowitz: If AFSCME goes out on strike, would you PATCO the State employees- remember Reagan did that [hired new air traffic controllers when their union went out on Strike], would you do the same thing?

Gov. Rauner: What I will say is—the strike is not the right thing, we should implement our new contract. We are prepared, if a strike were to occur, we are prepared to keep essential government services running, but the right thing to do is to implement our new contract.

Press Conf. following Gov. Rauner’s remarks at yesterday’s noon time Black History month celebration, Thompson Center, food court level, in the Loop.

--Rauner’s “Scott Walker moment.”       

Dan Proft, WIND 560 AM Radio morning drive co-host and Republican operative and Rauner ally has said in the last few months that Rauner needs a “Scott Walker” moment.  That is, he needs something to energize his base, moderate Republicans and independents.

With the State teetering on the brink of financial disaster, suffering from outmigration of jobs and taxpapers, the State needs something to get the attention of those folks and entities leaving the State and get them to reverse direction.

Something that will persuade those folks  and businesses outside of Illinois that there is a new day in Illinois, one that will reward them for staying or coming here.

Rauner, with 36% approval ratings, way day from his 51%-46% general election victory in 2016, needs to accomplish something that paints himself as an effective reformer and leader. And he needs to do that NOW.

So, this reporter gave Rauner an opportunity to step up to the plate. Rauner could have made February 24, 2017, the day he started to become a bold leader, as he was when he ran for Governor.

The Governor needs to do what he promised. Shake things up, turn Springfield upside down and turn around Illinois.

Somebody has to tell the Governor that he is in a downward spiral politically and as a matter of public policy. Indeed, Dan Proft recommended Rauner PATCO some State employees 18 months ago. [Watch the first ten seconds of this clip with Proft]

The AFSCME vote this week to authorize a strike should have been a wake-up call for the Governor.

--What if Gov. Rauner threatens to “PATCO” the State employees  

If Governor Rauner threatens to PATCO the state employees and AFSCME backs down and accepts his latest contract offer, that saves the State about a billion dollars a year, which ain’t peanuts.  That would be a big victory for the Governor and fiscal sanity in the State.

Further, put five “Big ticket or system change” items of that type together and you might be able to solve a $5 billion budget hole without a gigantic job killer tax hike.

If AFSCME strikes, Rauner replaces all the State employees, with the new contract terms. Hell, if Reagan could find air traffic controller replacements, it can’t be harder to find state employee replacements.

--What if Gov. Rauner threatens to “PATCO” the State employees  

So, what is Rauner afraid of? Perhaps Gov. Rauner should have a sit down this weekend with Gov. Walker (R-WI) when Rauner attends the Republican Governors’ Association meeting in Washington, DC.

Who has persuaded Gov. Rauner the road to re-election victory is paved with meek intentions and pale pastel paintings-- instead of bold colors and Leadership?

Whoever it is, that person should be removed and replaced by someone who can help the Governor lead the State to its needed Turnaround.  Someone who understands bold TV messaging, economics and public policy.

But, who this man could be I just don’t know [Watch here, 5:04 to 6:11].

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