He insists he’s not anti-union.

In Elgin last month, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner labeled the charge that he is anti-union, “horse manure.”

Yet, the governor sometimes publicly makes the claim that he’s not anti-union in the midst of an anti-union tirade.

What that says about him, or about what he thinks of the people he’s addressing, is unclear.

Meanwhile, according to Kurt Erickson in the Bloomington Pantagraph, Democratic lawmakers who met privately with Rauner are hearing a much different story, telling Erickson,

The governor suggested that if his policies are adopted by the legislature, union membership will be eliminated in Illinois within the next four years.

Clearly, lot of Rauner’s energy is being devoted to anti-union agitating and some legislators are tiring of it.

“We ought to be talking more about the budget. Instead of traveling around, he ought to be meeting with people about the budget,” said state Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville.

State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, also was in the meeting when Rauner predicted the eventual eradication of union membership in Illinois. He also said Rauner needs to focus on the state’s budget problems.

Both lawmakers said it was not surprising Rauner continues to focus on organized labor.

“Actions speak louder than words. His actions have indicated that he’s not pro-union,” Sullivan said. “I came away from the meeting believing that he believes in what he’s saying.”

Added Manar, “I wasn’t surprised by that part of our discussion. He’s been very blunt about this.”

It will be interesting to see whether, as he’s threatened, Gov. Rauner uses his $20 million campaign war chest to take out any fellow Republicans who aren’t on board with union-bashing.

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Governor Bruce Rauner, in between the attacks on working men and woman, likes to talk about “compassion.”

He started using the “c word” during his campaign and it was part of his Election Night victory speech:

“We need to be competitive and compassionate.”

He’s used social media to spread this talking point as well.

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But to quote a famous line from the film The Princess Bride,

“You keep using that wordI do not think it means what you think it means.”

In his new Crain’s column, CapitolFax’s Rich Miller spotlights the $108 million that the governor’s budget proposal claims will be saved by stopping child care payments to relatives who provide care in their own home, or in the child’s home.

As Miller states, there is support for discontinuing these payments, mostly from right-wing bloggers and other ideologues.

But, in reality, by pulling those payments, which are designed to help low-income parents go to school and work their way out of poverty, “grandma” could lose her income and may very well have to find a different part-time job, meaning the parent then has to search for another provider and the state saves no money.

And because relatives who provide child care are exempt from all state licensing requirements, that child could end up at a licensed day care provider, which costs the state a whole lot more money.

Miller points out that the amount to be saved is clearly an exaggeration. He could also have said the same about the governor’s claims of being “compassionate.”

It will take active involvement by all of those who care deeply about public education and children to make sure this state moves in the right direction.

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