That was something less than a gracious parting statement from Gov. BRUCE RAUNER last week.
The governor hasn’t answered questions from the news media since he badly lost the election on Nov. 6. For that matter, he’d only made two public appearances since then.
That changed Thursday when the governor came out to talk after the General Assembly had wrapped up this year’s veto session. If the intervening three weeks had mellowed Rauner in any way about the majority Democrats, he kept it well-hidden.
“I’ll say this about the election, I’m very scared for the people of Illinois,” Rauner said in the quote that got the most attention out of the roughly 20-minute appearance.
For the record, the question he was answering was how he accounted for what amounted to the blue wave in Illinois government during the election. Rauner never did actually answer the question. He did, though, recite a litany of woes he sees facing the state with Democrats in charge, including budget deficits, higher taxes, over-regulation and self-dealing. There was nothing said that resembled best wishes to the incoming J.B. PRITZKER administration.
Yes, there is nothing like an outgoing governor offering as his parting words, “Be afraid, be very afraid.”
* Having said that, Rauner offered that his staff is doing everything possible to make the transition for Pritzker assuming power go as smoothly as possible.
“It’s the right thing for the people of Illinois,” Rauner said. “I won’t comment too much on my predecessors today. I will in the future, but today I’ll say that my immediate predecessor did the exact opposite. I learned what not to do, how to behave during a transition four years ago.”
Of course, four years ago PAT QUINN was the outgoing governor and he was not cooperative about making a smooth transition for Rauner. You may also recall that Quinn didn’t bother to attend the inauguration ceremony in 2015, which some felt was rude. Rauner said he plans to attend the Pritzker inauguration.
“It’s the right thing to do. I will be at the inauguration,” Rauner said. “It’s the appropriate thing to do.”
* Like a good entertainer, Rauner teased some upcoming events.
He was asked, for example, what effect President DONALD TRUMP and his brand of politics may have had on the outcomes in Illinois.
“I will be commenting more on the president in the future, not today,” Rauner responded.
Likewise, he said he wasn’t ready to talk about whether his campaign strategy — like making opposition to House Speaker MICHAEL MADIGAN a major focus — was a mistake. And he also sidestepped questions about the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
“We have some specific recommendations for the incoming administration,” he said. “We have some specific recommendations or requests of you in the media to focus on this huge problem in the state.”
Can’t wait to hear about those.
* One other thing Rauner sidestepped was what the future of the state Republican Party will look like.
Namely, will the party take a hard right turn or will it be dominated by moderates. Rauner barely survived a conservative challenge in the primary and may never have fully recovered from the contest.
Rauner would only say that it’s appropriate for the Republican Party to do some reflection and have a discussion about its direction in the future.
“Clearly changes are needed. Clearly improvements are needed. Democracy doesn’t work on a one party basis,” Rauner said.
* ”There were many bad bills that passed the General Assembly this year. There are every year, but this year was particularly bad for legislation that’s harmful to taxpayers and to economic competitiveness.” Rauner offering a critique of the final legislative session of his term.
Contact Doug Finke: firstname.lastname@example.org, 788-1527, twitter.com/dougfinkesjr.
01-All No Sub,02-Pol,08-RK,19-Legal,22-Talk,26-Delivered
Region: Springfield,Feeds,Opinion,Region: Central,City: Springfield
via Opinion – The State Journal-Register https://ift.tt/2R6HXHD
December 1, 2018 at 02:59PM