STUMP » Articles » Illinois Election Wrap-up: Congrats, Rauner, I guess » 6 November 2014, 16:57

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Illinois Election Wrap-up: Congrats, Rauner, I guess  


6 November 2014, 16:57

So Rauner won the governor’s election in Illinois with a razor-thin majority.

But what’s this I see?

Republican Governor-elect Bruce Rauner announced an all-star cast to his transition team on Thursday, as he addressed the public for the first time since he clinched the governor’s race on Tuesday.

Rauner tapped a transition team that includes former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, former Gov. Jim Edgar, the Rev. James Meeks and the Rev. Corey Brooks, among others he said hoped would help turn the tide in Illinois. Rauner said he sought to represent diversity on the team.

A Daley. Just great.

Look, we already know about Rauner’s dodgy links already, and picking these people. Bill Daley was WH Chief of Staff for all of one year, who was brought in to replace Rahm Emanuel when he ran for mayor of Chicago.

If you look at the list of WH Chiefs of Staff, Obama has been going through them at an impressive pace. The only other president who comes close to the pace was GHW Bush.

Rahm held on for less than two years, then some guy was interim chief for a few months, then Daley for one year, then Jacob Lew (he of the bizarre signature who left to become Secretary of the Treasury), and now some guy who has managed to last at least one year. Let’s see if he tenders his resignation soon. It cannot be fun to be Chief right now. Whoa, he’s only 44? He looks a really rough 44. Yeah, I would be betting on resignation.

Anyway, Rauner seems to be making some interesting choices for his transition team, but he’s got some rough seas ahead no matter how ‘diversely’ he picks his team:

But where Illinois is headed with Rauner at the helm remains something of a mystery.

How exactly will he bring back Illinois? How, indeed, when he must work with Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, not to mention the “union bosses” he regularly criticized until he won the GOP primary.

And while Rauner is a wildly wealthy and successful private equity business expert, he also has been a practitioner of new math. How will a Gov. Rauner set a new direction? How will he bring back Illinois?

He’s yet to show how plans for $600 million in new sales taxes on services, vague pledges to find and cut waste, and a vision for dropping the income tax rate over four years will add up to equaling enough to cover the full-year, $4 billion gap created by the law that drops the income tax rate to 3.75 percent come January.

Then there’s the out-of-whack budget Democrats approved last May. Laurence Msall, president of the nonpartisan fiscal watchdog Civic Federation, says that budget borrows to pay for regular operating costs, underfunds some costs and will grow our bill backlog from $6 billion last fiscal year to $6.4 billion at the end of this one.

Illinoisans ought to brace themselves and prepare to pay. Rauner just might soon be suggesting the Illinois fiscal crisis is so great that he doesn’t want to let the income tax rate drop Jan. 1 from 5 percent to 3.75 percent. The question is will Madigan and the Democrats help him solve that equation that simply and quickly?

Heck, even if they felt kindly towards Rauner there is no simple, quick, easy fix to the mess Illinois is in.

They can’t meet regular operating expenses, guys.

If you’re having to charge your rent and other on-going costs, you are not in a nice place — you are in a rapidly-heading-towards-bankruptcy place.

That would have been true whether it was Quinn or Rauner who was making the victory speeches.

So good luck, Rauner. You’re going to need it.

Compilation of Illinois posts

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