Another Open Letter to Governor Bruce Rauner

Illiinois Governor Bruce RaunerDear Governor Bruce Rauner,

You may not remember me, but I had written about several of my concerns in an open letter from January 2016. Since then, I had hoped that you might reconsider your approach – you know, the “my way or the highway” approach to reform.  Given the tasks you sought, I really hoped that you would embrace the principle that “Strong political leadership is similar to strong business leadership in that great leaders act from a set of principles and get buy-in”.

In fact, in light of recent events ranging from the Illinois Senate overriding your veto of a tax hike (which is now before the state House) to your recent veto on a tax for 911 emergency services, it looks like you’ve actually gone in the other direction. Standing firm because that “evil” Mike Madigan won’t let you get your way. (Or, to use the language of your supporters, “Chicago Democrats”).

But all of this could have been avoided had you taken Sean Connery’s advice from The Untouchables: (about 40 seconds into the clip):


Seriously, many of your issues as governor have been your own making, since you seem to be reluctant to do the job you were elected to do. With social services, state universities, and other critical services affected,  many people throughout the state are being hurt and enduring additional challenges.

Many of those people voted for you as governor. And you failed them.

Rather than work with the legislature (and yes, it is possible to work around legislative roadblocks), you’ve taken to auditioning for the role of Al Borland in the potential Netflix revival of Home Improvement:


I will avoid making the obvious “I don’t think so, Bruce” reference.

Right now, very few people are thinking “That Governor Bruce Rauner is sticking to his ethical guns.” It’s more like “Geez, why doesn’t Governor Rauner simply compromise and pass a budget?” When members of your own party cross over to keep Illinois’ credit to be downgraded to “junk”, you’re not just being oblivious…you’re being toxic to the state.  And presuming to run for reelection while not doing your current job…doesn’t bode well.

You remind me of an old consulting client I had years ago…the company was a startup in downstate Illinois. The focus was on a high-end service, and my job was simply social media. The CEO considered himself a marketing “guru” because he knew all the buzzwords. He ended my contract without paying for my final month of work. After six months of hounding this individual, he complained that he had problems with his new iPhone (which was the same amount that he owed me) and that he wasn’t going to pay me because, well, “he didn’t think I contributed anything.” (Well, that and he didn’t get a salary himself…so why should I complain?)

I should hook the two of you up….because as it stands, you’re not contributing anything either as Governor of Illinois.

But I’ll make this offer…closer to the election, I’ll write a final Open Letter. I would like to be able to cite one positive accomplishment, like “Governor Bruce Rauner cuts taxes for everyone” and “Governor Bruce Rauner gets term limit legislation passed” (because that’s something you and I both agree on).

Because that downstate startup I worked for had big plans to go national….and six months ago, I saw that one of their competitors was aggressively advertising on national television. That downstate startup, to the best of my knowledge, is still downstate.

Several wealthy candidates are running for governor. I would rather you be given a fair shake, Governor Rauner…but you’re going to have to earn it.

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