Gov. Emasculated or Gov. No new taxes unless we get real reforms? Will the real Gov. Rauner stand up?

In the words of Dirty Harry, the 23 Republican  legislators who supported on Friday the Madigan fiscal 2018 spending resolution  need to ask themselves the same question the perp was asked by Harry as the perp started to reach for a gun…"I bet you are wondering, did he fire six shots or only've got to ask yourself one question, do I feel lucky, well-- do you punk."

All right, State Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) do you you feel lucky?

Yes?  OK, then, go ahead, General, and vote for Madigan’s massive tax increase!


From the IL House Floor debate, Springfield, July 1, 1 pm.

Leader Durkin: [Madigan] sending members home until late Sunday does not help. I want this done today… "We can do this. Continue working."


Sadly, State Rep. and Statehouse Republican Leader  Jim Durkin has taken to groveling and begging the Speaker for a deal, including one in which Rauner signs onto a five billion dollar tax increase. Durkin needs to remember "Weakness is provocative."


As a former State’s Attorney prosecutor, Durkin should know “Weakness is provocative.” But, since he thought Rauner wanted him to get a budget deal, he was out there, like a good little puppy, doing his master’s bidding, or so he thought, begging Republicans to support a tax increase.  This was in contrast to Rep. McSweeney (R-Cary ) who was saying “Hell no,” in response to the five billion dollar tax increase proposal.

There was a time, in September, 2015, early on in this budget fight, when Durkin said before he could support a tax increase, he wanted to see real reforms Watch Durkin here [0:00 to 0:45] . He said, if you agree to a tax increase with Dems first, you will never see the reforms. That was then. This is now, thought Jim. Think again, Jim. Leader Durkin needs to spend more time learning about and promoting the 7.1 billion dollars in reform savings that could balance the budget without a tax increase. Watch IPI's Ted Dabrowski here [And, Gov.Rauner, should especially watch 19:30 to 22:30]. 


Speaker Madigan—no budget deal for Rauner

Speaker Madigan does not want a budget deal. In his view, that makes it more likely that Rauner will be re-elected in 2018.

Every fiber in Speaker Mike’s middle class, upper class body is against that ending to this political drama. Everything that the Speaker has fought for over the last four decades is being challenged by Rauner.

Speaker Madigan, Q/A with the media at the Thompson Center in the Chicago Loop on Saturday, December 3, 2016, when the Speaker lectured the media yet again about how the Speaker and his budget promote middle class values, after meeting with Gov. Rauner and the other state legislative leaders, aka the Four Tops

Speaker Madigan, Q/A with the media at the Thompson Center in the Chicago Loop on Saturday, December 3, 2016, when the Speaker lectured the media yet again about how the Speaker and his budget promote middle class values, after meeting with Gov. Rauner and the other state legislative leaders, aka the Four Tops.

That includes ironclad, one person control over the State; propping up of union power; and enormous patronage power.

The Speaker doesn’t want simply to beat Rauner and remove him from the Governor’s mansion. He wants to toy with him, humiliate him and emasuculate him.

Speaker Madigan does feel some pressure from his House Dem Caucus but more so from the Senate Dem Caucus-- to get a budget.

But Senate President Cullerton has lived in the shadow of the Speaker for three decades and John has said to Rauner that he is not about to change that now. That is, Cullerton will continue to take his marching orders from the Speaker, like everyone else in the IL Democratic Party.

Gov.  Rauner has always said no to a budget deal and a tax increase, unless real reforms accompany a balanced budget

Rauner, on the other hand, did and does not want a budget deal, unless he can get real reforms. But with real reforms and significant state spending cuts and caps, the Governor, from the Get Go, said he would support new taxes as part of a balanced budget deal.

When the Gov- Leader meetings fell apart last December because the Speaker had no interest in  agreeing to real reforms, Radogno and Cullerton decided to try to reach a deal between themselves—the Grand Bargain.

Chris Radagno is a nice person, but she has shown, in her twenty years in state government,  little real interest in philosophy of government, e.g., less spending, less regulation or lower taxes. So, she negotiated the worst possible deal for Republicans: fake workers comp. reform, fake pension reform, and a property tax freeze, riddled with so many exceptions and exemptions as to be no freeze at all, all accompanied by a massive income tax increase.

Rauner’s and Madigan’s useful idiots

While the negotiations were going on, Gov. Rauner seemed to view Radogno (and no offense intended, Chris) as a “Useful idiot.” Similar to the way the Communist Party in the old Soviet Union thought of American Communists as “Useful idiots.”

Rauner had no real interest in what Radogno was doing with Cullerton. But, the Governor thought, by encouraging her discussions, even though it was clear Cullerton would offer no true reforms, he would look to moderate Republicans and some Democrats like he was being reasonable.  And, in the unlikely event that Cullerton would offer real reforms, Rauner would jump in, agree to the deal and take it to Madigan. But nobody, especially Rauner, thought there was a snowball’s chance in Hell of that happening.

As expected, Radogno’s deal was awful, so Rauner quietly killed the Cullerton-Radogno Grand Bargain, but took no public credit for what most true Republicans thought was a humane homicide.

Meanwhile, Madigan seemed to view Cullerton (John, no offense intended) to be his “Useful idiot.” The Speaker didn’t want a deal, but like Rauner, Mike thought he would look reasonable to his Dems who wanted a deal-- as he gave the Grand Bargain tacit support and crocodile tears when the  Republicans pulled out of the deal.

Kirkies persuade Rauner to support a budget deal, no matter how bad the deal

In the last month or so, it appears that the Kirkies, who dominate in the Rauner administration leadership, convinced the Governor that he needed a budget deal to get re-elected, no matter how bad the deal might be. So Rauner decided he wanted a deal in the worst way, not unlike Obama with Iran.

And, like Obama, Rauner got a deal in the worst way-- the worst possible deal.  No real reforms and a 5 billion dollar tax increase.

This is why Donald Rumsfeld said, “Weakness is provocative.” It provokes your opponent to slaughter you.

And, many Republicans in the State House and State Senate started to go after a budget deal, no matter how bad it was for the State. Many of these legislators have no philosophy of less government, lower taxes or free markets.  They have no philosophy or principles at all. But, many have prisons, colleges, state employees or  significant numbers of other vested interest beneficiaries of state spending in their districts.

So, these Republicans don’t think of what is good for the state. Instead, they think it will be good for their re-election via union contributions and campaign workers to advocate for more state spending, no real pension reforms, no real worker comp. reform, no higher education reform and higher taxes. In other words, they become Democatic Party Light.

So, Team Rauner let it be known that the Gov wanted a Budget passed, no matter how bad the budget, how high the taxes, how little restraint in spending and how few real reforms were present.

23 Republican Party collaborators with the Democratic Party & Speaker

So, with the above the New Republican thinking, 23 so-called Republicans- or more accurately Democratic Party collaborators- in the State House signed on, earlier this week, to Speaker Madigan’s spending plans of a 36.5 billion dollar budget for fiscal year 2018.

The mainstream media (“MSM”) emphasized how reasonable this was because the spending was less than Rauner’s proposed budget, albeit 1.5 billion dollars more than the FY 2015 budget.  But, the Dem leaning MSM forgot to note that Madigan removed the billion dollars that Rauner wanted to spend to bring State Government’s technology into the 21st century.

And, Madigan’s Budget knocked out half a billion dollars devoted to Medicaid Reform. Instead of Reform, Madigan used the 1.5 billion dollars for his patronage.

CLTV-WGN’s Runge promotes tax and spend budget deal

How could the Dem leaning MSM argue with that? Journalists like CLTV-WGN’s (Aka Children’s TV) Erik Runge give their unabashedly liberal support to any deal, no matter how high the spending and taxes. With state spending running 4 billion dollars more in 2016 and 2017 than fiscal year 2015, Runge never explained where the increased state spending went, if the “Needy,” got less in the last two years.

Meanwhile, the IL Republican party base, led by the IL Policy Institute and its CEO, John Tillman; Dan Proft, the biggest conservative IL radio celebrity (WIND, 560 AM radio) and Dick Uihlein, megabuck Republican legislator financial backer, let Rauner know they were not going to go quietly into the night.

Perhaps Tillman, Proft, Uihlein and other Republican components of the base reminded Rauner why George Herbert Walker Bush lost re-election in 1992. Bush 41 had said in ’88 when he ran for President, “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Then in 1990, Bush raised taxes massively, pushing the economy into a tailspin, allowing Bill Clinton to win easily with the slogan, “It’s the Economy, Stupid, ” as the Republican base sat out the 1992 election.

Then, in 2012, when Obama thought he might be in trouble, he played to his base and beat Romney easily. In short, no politician ever wins election without his or her base.

Republicans push for a school voucher program in FY2018 

Perhaps Rauner has realized now that perhaps he ought to focus on his base. Yesterday, Capitolfax’s Rich Miller reported that at least some of the Republicans involved in budget negotiations are asking for 1.5 billion dollars for a school voucher program-- as part of any budget deal.

Gov. Rauner visits and participates in some learning at a K, 1st grade charter school in Austin, on Chicago's West Side, in June, 2016.

Gov. Rauner visits and participates in some learning at a K, 1st grade charter school in Austin, on Chicago's West Side, in June, 2016.

Some Republican state legislators view that voucher proposal as a sign that Rauner has come to his senses and is now trying to blow up a deal bad for Republican legislators, taxpayers and the Governor -- as Democrats, as a party, are more opposed to school choice, vouchers and charters, than any other reform.

No deal yet on a tax hike and real reforms?   .

And word went out in late afternoon yesterday that although the Speaker is calling Rauner’s proposed 5 billion dollar tax increase for a vote, there is no agreement by the Republicans, i.e., Rauner and R legislators to support it and apparently no promise by the Democrats to support reforms.

So, maybe the Governor, who was starting to see Gov. Junk replaced with the moniker, Gov. Emasculated, decided alienating his base might not be the ticket to re-election.

Maybe the 23 Republicans who voted for the Madigan spending plan will find themselves in the awkward position of having to back off from the tax hike needed to support that spending. If they don’t, they just might be “Primaried by candidates supported by Rauner, Tillman, Proft, Uihlein, Griffin, et al.”

Those 23 Republicans just might ask themselves today at 2 pm-- do they really want to take on the Governor and support a 5 billion dollar tax increase without any real reforms?

But first, in the words of Dirty Harry, they need to ask themselves the same question the perp was asked by Harry as the perp started to reach for a gun, with Harry’s gun pointed at the perp, after Harry had fired off five or was it six rounds from his 44 magnum revolver, “I bet you are wondering if I fired 5 or 6 rounds... All right Bucky, are you feeling lucky. Well, are you punk?

Because they might need that luck to keep their legislative seats. All right, State Rep. David Harris, are you feeling lucky? Well, are you?


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