Feb
26
2015
6

I hope that Gov. Bruce Rauner (R, Illinois) knows what a blood oath is…

…because, according to George Will, he just took one*.

[Illinois governor Bruce] Rauner [R] hopes to ban, as some states do, public employees unions from making political contributions, whereby they elect the employers with whom they negotiate their compensation. Rauner notes that an owner of a small firm that does business with Illinois’s government is forbidden to make political contributions. Rauner also hopes to enable counties and local jurisdictions to adopt right-to-work laws, thereby attracting businesses that will locate only where there are such laws.

He hopes the legislature will empower voters to ratify changes to the state constitutional provision that says public pensions can never be “diminished or impaired.” He also proposes shifting state employees from unaffordable defined-benefit plans to a more affordable plan for the state. Furthermore, he hopes to end practices that now have more than 11,000 retirees receiving six-figure pensions.

(more…)

Feb
11
2015
6

Gov. Bruce Rauner (R, Illinois) is… actually going to go to war with the unions.

I may have to reassess my opinion of the nature of Illinois politics: perhaps somebody actually can achieve statewide office there without also being fully-tied into the Illinois Combine.  New Republican governor Bruce Rauner apparently wants to have a brawl: “Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner struck a first official blow on Monday against the public sector labor unions he has frequently criticized by ordering an end to a requirement that workers pay dues even if they decide not to join a union.” It’s an executive order, not legislation: because – like Barack Obama – Bruce Rauner has a pen and a phone, and is apparently unafraid to use either.  He also has a budget crisis that’s fueled in no small part by the inability of public sector unions to not be quite so greedy, which is one reason why we’re seeing this reform now.

Put another way… Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune is bitter, but accurate enough*: “Rauner’s order isn’t animated by empathy or some fastidious concern with constitutional fine points. It’s animated by a desire to put public employee unions into a death spiral, which will ultimately shrink the state’s payroll.” This, of course, is not exactly bad news to anybody who despises public employee unions, which are indeed kind of abominations unto the Lord – but I suppose that the Chicago Tribune might feel differently, given that the Tribune is fully-tied into the Illinois Combine.  (more…)

Dec
22
2014
6

How Bruce Rauner (R, GOV-ELECT, Illinois) can instantly become a Republican rock star.

I certainly hope that that gets his attention. Or that of his staff. Either will do.

Anyway… once upon a time, in the far-off year of 2004, there was a Republican candidate for Illinois Senator called Jack Ryan. Ryan was widely considered to be an excellent replacement for retiring Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald… right up to the point that the Chicago Tribune got tipped off to some juicy bits in Ryan’s divorce records. The Tribune petitioned to get the records unsealed; a compliant judge complied; Ryan had to withdraw from the race in disgrace, because frankly those bits really were kind of juicy.  Barack Obama went on to win that Senate race.

All of this is relevant because this was not the first time that the Chicago Tribune had gotten divorce records unsealed; during the Democratic primary the paper similarly petitioned to have then-frontrunner Blair Hull’s records unsealed. Blair Hull ended up losing that nomination… to, hey, Barack Obama! (more…)

Sep
09
2014
5

Mike Ditka endorses Da Bruce (R CAND) for Illinois-GOV.

It’s illustrative that when Pat Quinn’s campaign wanted to push back on Mike Ditka endorsing Bruce Rauner for Illinois governor…

..they didn’t say a word about Ditka. And here’s the thing: Mike Ditka endorsed Pat Quinn in 2010.  This is an endorsement that Quinn wanted.  The campaign can’t be happy that Ditka has since switched his support back to the GOP. (more…)

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