I’m not buying Gov. Bruce Rauner’s fishy feud with Rahm Emanuel and neither should you.
It’s a ruse. A PR stunt. A #fakefeud.
This is what’s really going on: Mayor Emanuel and his cronies in the Chicago City Council just passed a massive $720 million hike in new property taxes and fees. They don’t want you to know or remember that they didn’t cut a single dime out of their own budgets. They increased their budgets instead.
Rahm doesn’t want you to think about how he’s stealing from you. How he’s using your tax dollars to increase his political power and line his pockets. How he’s planning his third term so that you’ll be stuck with him. How he’s rewarded his friends and punished his enemies. How he’s used TIF money as his political slush fund. How he hasn’t done anything to slow the homicide rate or the body count. How he’s fudged the crime statistics.
Yes, I agree, it would be dangerous for the public to think about any of this for too long.
Recently, Rahm was faking it in Springfield too. He was just pretending when he tried to lobby Springfield legislators to pass an exemption for homes valued at $250,000 or under. Nothing has come of it and, if it happens to get General Assembly approval, the Governor will veto it.
That’s where the Mayor’s buddy Bruce Rauner comes in. You may have seen all the media stories about the Governor’s supposed “war of words” with Rahm.
Gov. Rauner accuses Rahm of being another “tax and spend politician” but he and Sen. Mark Kirk both joyfully endorsed him for re-election over the Republican alternative – me. That is what kind of faux “Republicans” we have in Illinois – the kind that would endorse the likes of Rahm Emanuel. They knew Rahm was planning a massive post-election property tax increase so why act all surprised now?
Because it’s good political theater. The kind of political theater that distracts people from what they are truly angry about.
You may have even seen Rauner’s photo in the newspaper holding up a dead fish and joking about sending it to the Mayor. The photo op was pretty lame.
Governor, here’s a little advice:
You have held office for almost a year now and not once have you actually submitted a balanced budget. You were elected without detailing any financial plan for this state and your friends in the media never pressed you on it. In fact, they actually endorsed you anyway.
As the former executive director of National Taxpayers United, I have fought corrupt tax and spenders for decades and you have been bankrolling them. You have said you are willing to support a tax increase despite your campaign pledge not to do so. The protracted budget impasse means that Illinois and its taxpayers will be left in an even worse financial position than ever before.
Didn’t a small majority of Illinois voters take a chance on you because they believed you had at least “some” business skills? Where are they? Was it all for show?
If I were in your position, I would want a good distraction too.
But if you are going to mock Rahm’s “dead fish” past, at least do it right. Here’s an ad from my mayoral campaign. It’s called “The Dead Fish Blues.”
The attack ad outlines Rahm’s record of failure – a record you, Governor, chose to ignore.
Your friends in the Chicago media, who also helped re-elect Rahm – also chose to ignore his record. Instead they issued gushing, slobbering endorsements.
For decades, you and your longtime friend, Rahm, have made millions doing business together. As an investment banker, he made sure your company, GTCR, received an FCC exemption for a business deal that shoveled a half billion dollars in your pockets in just six months. In return, the fees from that deal made Rahm a millionaire overnight.
You’ve always been a political insider though you routinely claim outsider status. You were appointed by Mayor Daley to head-up Choose Chicago, the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. In that position, you aggressively led the push and sought financing for Rahm’s $30 billion casino project.
We know this is just a power grab for you, Rahm, and your elitist inner circle.
So, again, pardon me if your so-called feud with Rahm smells fishy.
Because it is.