Bruce Rauner Wants to Put This Man on a Pedestal?

Bruce Rauner says his role model is former governor of  Indiana Mitch Daniels.  The guy George W. Bush called “Blade”.  Who ran the Office of Management and Budget under “W”.  Who  told us at the time the Iraq War would cost a measly $65 million.   When it really set us back something closer to a trillion.

When he was the Hoosier governor (for 2 terms) “Blade” excised the public unions, menaced  women’s reproductive rights, privatized public roads, championed education vouchers, and didn’t do much about raising personal income.

And he went after free speech.

He didn’t like populist historian Howard Zinn much.  It seems he took particular exception to Zinn’s ” A People’s History of the United States” .  When Zinn died at the age of 87 in 2010, here’s what Rauners’ hero called Zinn’s sweeping account of the common man and woman in America’s story: “an execrable anti-factual piece of disinformation that misstates American history on every page.”

Then Daniels explained what he’d like to do about this evil  account of the travails of ordinary folks,  the working class, the disenfranchised, the poor and the old, the slave and the tenant farmer,  the struggle for civil rights and human dignity, the pursuit of  social and economic justice and the advocacy for  peace.  The living and breathing real America.  Here is what he would do:

“Can someone assure me that it is not in use anywhere in Indiana? If it is, how do we get rid of it before more young people are force-fed a totally false version of our history?”

And here are some of the ideas that  terrified Daniels so much…that he found so dangerous and  worthy of suppressing:

“The real heroes are not on national television or in the headlines. They are the nurses, the doctors, the teachers, the social workers, the community organizers, the hospital orderlies, the construction workers, the people who keep the society going, who help people in need.  They are the advocates for the homeless, the students asking a living wage for campus janitors, the environmental activists trying to protect the trees, the air, the water.  And they are the protesters against war, the apostles of peace, in a world going made with violence.”  (Howard Zinn, “A Power Government Cannot Suppress” p. 222)

We don’t need as our next governor  a clone of Mitch Daniels.  We need someone to represent the  men and women  Howard Zinn notably and so   nobly chronicled.


Filed under: government, history


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  • If you Google unemployment statistics Indiana you get 5.9%. The same chart shows Illinois 6.8%. IIRC, while NW Indiana is a bit of a cesspool, it still has its steel industry. Illinois does not.

    Apparently Quinn can no longer run on his record, since every one of his commercials starts with BILLIONAIRE Bruce Rauner. Do you remember the last Illinois governor that ran such a string of commercials? Do you remember at which federal penitentiary he is now an inmate?

    So what is the alternative to Quinn on the ballot? I want to know.

    Meantime, I received Sec. of State Jesse White's rundown of constitutional amendments. More obfuscation from the legislature, and he is right when he says the opponents say that the amendments are meaningless. However, I guess I am against crime victims and voters if if I vote no. But I am tired of being manipulated, and I will vote no, probably on October 20, surely no later than October 21.

  • Quinn is not Blago, whatever else he is. I think he'll do better the second time around. My opinion, and hope.

    I have no confidence that Rauner would do anything except the same Republican mischief and nonsense.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    I guess you didn't read today's Tribune article on that some community organizations gave back Quinn's "job creation" money. At least they didn't steal it, but THEY DIDN'T CREATE ANY JOBS.

    In the meantime, the U.S. Attorney of the Central District of Illinois is continuing his probe, and an legislative inquiry into NRI is going forward.

    In the meantime, Quinn is doing nothing to end the usual Madigan and Cullerton mischief in Illinois. At least jobs were created in Indiana.

    And what is your man Quinn going to do when his pension reform bill is declared unconstitutional? They way it looks it will. What will be his alternative then--raise the income tax to 9%?

    Quinn is nothing but nonsense.

  • In reply to jack:

    Quinn could take one positive step Daniels did take:to raise revenue: tax high incomes. BTW the jobs Daniels created were mostly low-paying ones. And he had a Republican legislature to work with.

    Jack, I respect your reasoning. I simply disagree with it. Rauner's business track record leaves many questions about his integrity and moral fiber. Wealth in itself does not qualify someone for public office; a candidate should not buy votes as Rauner seems to think with his pledge to a Black credit union. And he talks out of both sides of his mouth on the minimum wage.

    I'm counting on Quinn to rediscover his Progressive roots.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    After 6 years, you can't count on Quinn to do anything, except make good on his promise to the Daily Herald to raise taxes in a lame duck session, except he tried to weasel out of it in the Tribune the next day.

    One who counts on a complete phony to change his stripes shouldn't count on anything. I suppose next, Mike Madigan will be convinced by Quinn to support term limits and implement the Transit Task Force recommendations.

    And what high paying jobs has Quinn created, except for patronage cronies?

    Instead of "trust," why not do what Wayne Driscoll suggests, and write a piece on what Quinn ha actually accomplished for the economic, political, and ethical good of Illinois?

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks, Jack, for the suggestion. I'm looking into it.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Also, Rauner clarified his position on the minimum wage. Because of that the Retail Merchants Association refused to endorse either.

    Therefore, I suggest that if you believe your position, you boycott retail merchants.

  • In reply to jack:

    They're entitled to their position. As for a boycott, I'll buy fewer suits on the Magnificent Mag.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    I would think that stores on the Mag Mile are more likely to pay in excess of the minimum wage. If someone pays $5 grand for a suit, maybe they expect that the tailor speak English.

    Heck, you can even buy groceries as a UFCW represented grocery. Of course, you'll pay twice per pound for produce or deli, but that's your choice in a free market.

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    In reply to Aquinas wired:

    You say "Quinn could take one positive step Daniels did take:to raise revenue: tax high incomes" Actually, he cannot, without the help of both the legislature and the voters, since Article IX, Section 3 of the Illinois Constitution states "At any one time there may be no more than one such tax imposed by the State for State purposes on

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    You criticize Daniels' numbers, but you support Quinn who first said that his 33% income tax hike would get the state on the wrong track. Instead, he broke his word and raised the tax rate by 67% with a promise that it would be "temporary", yet the pile of unpaid bills went up and his response is to make the tax hike permanent? What exactly has Quinn done to gain your confidence, other than have a "D" behind his name on the ballot?

  • In reply to Wayne Driscoll:

    If you want a distinction between Quinn and Daniels, I noted that the current governor in Indiana is Mike Pence, because Indiana has had (at least since the 1960s of which I am aware) term limits.

    Quinn has a Dem. legislature, because (1) he got through a constitutional amendment abolishing cumulative voting and (2) signed the gerrymander bill in 2011. Maybe he ought to take some responsibility for those two things.

  • Oh Aquinas! Why would you think this-
    "I'm counting on Quinn to rediscover his Progressive roots."
    After 6 years, why would he "rediscover" anything in the next 4?

  • In reply to Realpro53:

    I don't know. But hope springs eternal.

  • If it's any consolation, I believe Quinn will win. Why? Because too many people expect too much from government, and Quinn promises to deliver.

    Rauner is a go-along type of guy. He will have to be to pretend to be governor, with Boss Madigan and Cullerton cracking the whip on him.

    I know it must not be obvious to you, but taxing higher incomes will only result in more people moving body and wallet elsewhere. There is little reason to live here when and all the reason to visit for the wealthy.

    I travel the Midwest constantly. Even Michigan is in better shape than Illinois. I have no reason to lie about this. I am sad about it, but I will never retire here. It's unaffordble, unless you have a nice public pension coming in, with healthcare coverage. (Of course, who knows how long that will last).


  • BTW, Zinn was an interesting fellow, but I never got the sense of any attempt at objective reporting in his writings, which is fine. But I think the man himself was confused as to what he believed. Better he would have spent his time collecting the letters and narratiaves of ordinary people involved in some of the seminal events he covers. His choice of topics is colored --as are we all-- by his life events and slip-sliding philosophies. That, would be a" history of the people", for the better and sometimes for the worse.

  • Good to hear from you, Richard. "...confused as to what he believed...."slip-sliding philosophies". Please elaborate.

  • Aquinas, you show an example of Daniels charging Zinn with writing false history..."an execrable anti-factual piece of disinformation that misstates American history on every page."...You then give an account of Zinn's higher ideals, qualifying that it was those ideals that Daniels feared instead of concluding that it was the 'anti-factual piece of disinformation' that Daniels feared. That's disingenuous.

    It is not the higher ideals of a Progressive thought that disturbs conservatives. It is the dishonest use of those ideals to rob the state blind that disturbs them. Like terrorist hiding behind women and children.

    I'm not convinced that this logic escapes you. Again, I'll say, that this really comes down to the much needed pension reform. What a shame that Illinois has come to the point where modest pensioners are left defending corrupt union bosses and corrupt politicians with false narratives. 'Oh, the humanity' indeed.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    Censorship is disturbing no matter the reasons.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    After delving deeper into the subject, I've come away with a lot more than I expected. I must admit that I've knew nothing of the man Howard Zinn before your post.

    Yes, I agree that censorship is disturbing, but so is historical libel. A pair of dark twins in a way.

    I found an interesting counter bio on your hero here. I am very interested in reading the rest of Zinn's account of history, I had the odd sensation of a much larger political onion peeling back as I did this research. As usual, I appreciated your forum Aquinas.

  • Once again, you've hosted an admiral argument in the logical (not fighting) sense. Having learned more recently about T. Roosevelt and Progressive ideals, I wish we had more of them in this state. I share your admiration. However, I think Rauner's idea of governing without a salary or pension, so that he cannot be bought, is the admirable stance here. I once admired Quinn, but he has not lived up to his views.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Margaret, assuming dead presidents could somehow be reenfranchised, TR himself would not vote for Mr. Rauner. He probably would consider Rauner a financial plunderer, a disreputable member of that part of the wealthy class whose moral code has been perverted by profit at all costs.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    I also seem to remember that TR was a Republican. I wonder what he would have thought of the antiDemocratic Democrats in Illinois.

    In the meantime, Quinn claimed that he solved the NRI problem by firing the head of that agency, but she's on the stand now defending her stewardship of the project, So who would Teddy believe?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    It is also obvious from your response to Margaret Serious and your Mag Mag line that your sole objection is that you hate people with money. If that's your stance, who is going to pay for Quinn's fiscal mess? The lower middle class?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Thank you for a thought-provoking idea. I'm beginning to think the true progression (as in progressivism) would be paying this much attention to the primary-election process so that we got candidates who are better than the present bunch.

  • Dear Jack, believe me, I have no problem with the rich as long as they act in the public interest and are true economic patriots. BTW, TR felt the same way.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

    Sherlock Holmes

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    So, what's the deceptive fact? That Quinn is a "leader" as he says in his commercials?

    Maybe Sherlock ought to join the U.S. Attorney's office.

    In the meantime what is a "true economic patriot?" Someone who donates to Mike Madigan to get some business advantage? If you are going to use vague terms, define them in concrete language.

    If nothing else, what Margaret cites is economic patriotism, in my book.

  • In reply to jack:

    Economic patriotism is paying your fair share of taxes and not using corporate tax loopholes nor stashing your money in the Cayman Islands or Swiss banks; Economic patriotism is creating real jobs in America and not ones overseas in sweatshops. Economic patriotism is supporting an increase in the minimum wage to allow people to live above the poverty line. Economic patriotism is spending money not to oppose universal healthcare but to insure it. Economic patriotism is to recognize the vast gap of inequality in wealth between the haves and have-nots in our country and to promote public policy to narrow it. Economic patriotism is to think first of the common good and not how great a fortune one can amass.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    However, though, meaningless concepts, for the most part. Since Apple has stashed most of its money overseas, I suppose that Steve Jobs should be dug up and burned at the stake.

    The tax rate one we discussed before.

    I don't recall Rauner having a position on Obamacare.

    " Economic patriotism is to think first of the common good and not how great a fortune one can amass." is apparently the reason you support Quinn while he takes the state into the economic abyss. Feel good does not pay the bills. Putting the minimum wage on an advisory referendum doesn't enact it.

    You promised to research what Quinn has actually done for the economic, political, and ethical well being of Illinois. I still don't see that.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    BTW, to bring up the Boul. Mich. point again, I assume you are a man of your word and buy your clothes at such an emporium where they are tailored in the U.S., as opposed to the usual store, where the clothes are made in Bangladesh, Jordan, Vietnam, Malaysia...

    I also assume you eat at only high end restaurants and tip well.

    I assume you don't buy anything from something owned by a venture capital firm, such as Jewel-Osco or Mariano's (Chairman Bob doesn't own Roundy's).

    You have to put your money where your mouth is.

  • In reply to jack:

    The Mag Mile quip was a lame attempt at humor. As for my shopping habits, I'm a man of simple tastes and modest means. I deplore the lack of home-made goods and try to buy American whenever I can. I do shop at Jewel on 103rd in Oak Lawn. A Mariano's just opened near 111th and Cicero; it's very popular---breaking records I hear.

    I am not, as I have said, anti-rich; but I do believe the wealthy have a moral obligation to give back to their society. I share Teddy Roosevelt's view about giving all members of society at least a shot at working for a living wage. A chance at being healthy, educated, and sufficiently housed, clothed, and fed.

    I believe I am a man of my word, whatever else I happen to be. My core political, social, and economic principles are suffused, I know, with a bit of idealism, but they are far from meaningless.

    I see that Governor Quinn's candidacy is a contentious, divisive issue. I recognize the failings and disappointments of Quinn's tenure in office. I would have preferred another candidate to carry the Progressive banner. But I also believe Rauner's qualifications and resume are far worse.

    I will vote, as is my right, on the basis of who will do the least damage. And hold my breath and nose.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks, Jack. That's the way I see it.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    I agree.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Ah, you scintillate today! Well done!

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    PS That scintillating remark was actually a reply to the Conan Doyle quote. Many thanks.

  • I'll get off the personal hypotheticals, but I will cite another example of how unDemocratic the Illinois Democratic establishment has become.

    There have been a series of stories, culminating in this Tribune article that the state rep from Highwood is suing for defamation for some campaign ad, and was denied an injunction to get the ad off the air (or cable).

    If there is anything fundamental about First Amendment law (1) political speech is at the core of it, and (2) prior restraint generally violates the First Amendment. So, I wonder if his futile effort to get publicity is going to do him any good, or the voters in Lake Forest, Highland Park, and Glencoe are intelligent enough to figure out that this guy (like most Illinois politicians) has no respect for the Constitution.

    Also, remember the previous discussion with 4zen that this was the one vote that blocked the "millionaire's tax" constitutional amendment. So, I guess he is not your kind of politician, either.

    But my vote is going to be based on not voting for those who have conspired to deprive Illinois voters of their constitutional rights. That includes a governor who won't stand up to the Madigans.

  • In reply to jack:

    Rauner did make some good points in the debate. He may win. If he does, I hope he justifies your faith in his incorruptibility and respect for the constitutional rights of all Illinoisans.

  • I hope so, but the essential point is the one I made at the top of this topic that some other alternative who will has not been presented. And, of course, nobody has provided me a way to vote for an opponent of Mike Madigan (or the 68 members of his caucus other than my rep.) directly.

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