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…)