As the budget stalemate in Illinois drags on, I’ve been puzzled to see that most of the pressure to fold has been on new Gov. Bruce Rauner. You would think that the pressure would be on the folks like longtime Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and the other actual architects of the deep mess the state is in.
Chicago progressives particularly seem to hate Rauner. Fair enough. They don’t like his agenda. But they should then own up to being Mike Madigan’s BFF. Because there are only two choices: Rauner or Madigan. If you want to oppose Rauner, then you just signed up to be part of Team Madiganistan.
I don’t support all of Rauner’s proposals, but it’s clear he’s the only chance Illinois has at changing the status quo. And I very much do support his plans to curtail public union clout in Illinois, which is foundational to almost anything else, such as reforming the Chicago Police Department.
My op-ed on the subject was just published over at Investor’s Business Daily. Here’s an excerpt:
Michael Madigan has all but ruled the state with an iron fist since becoming speaker of the Illinois House in 1983. Virtually every bad decision since happened with his approval. Some people now dub the state Madiganistan.
Likewise, Senate President John Cullerton has been in the legislature since 1979 and in charge of the Senate since 2009.
But in some bizarre inversion, Rauner is the one under pressure to fold and return to business-as-usual politics in Illinois. Even some of the governor’s own putative allies are turning up the heat. These include legacy Republicans such as former Gov. Jim Edgar, one of the key architects of the state’s current pension mess, and some weak-kneed business leaders.
But it’s mostly the usual suspects such as the unions and their allies. This includes the New York Times, which just ran a major hit piece on Rauner claiming he’s the front man for a cabal of wealthy financiers out to hurt the state’s citizens to further their own ideological interests.
The Times, however, couldn’t find room in its 3,000-word extravaganza to even mention Madigan or Cullerton, speaking volumes about its true agenda.
Click through to read the whole thing.