It might seem unfair to call bull before Governor Bruce Rauner gives his second State of the State speech, but the former and future venture capitalist, who took over as governor a year ago, has made misinformation, mischaracterization and the lobbing of canards his key tools as an elected official. So why would that change on Wednesday?
Reasonable people strongly suspect Rauner uses deceit to distract from the fact that he is severely lacking in accomplishments.
On Wednesday, the governor is likely to allege he’s had a fine first year, all things considered, and if the legislature will just cooperate, Illinois will be on the road to greatness.
Meanwhile, in the Illinois that actually exists, agencies that help the poor, the sick and children are being forced to reduce services. Grant money for college students is drying up. Institutions of higher learning are gasping for breath.
It might be sunny and 70 degrees on Planet Rauner, but the rest of us are in hell.
The governor’s spin team will be working hard to pre-sell his vision to reporters in the run-up to the State of the State…
Rauner told reporters Monday that his communications team would be giving “previews” of the speech to some news organizations. It’s a time-honored tradition for a governor’s press shop to float some of the main points of the speech before it’s delivered, though a bit unusual for the politician himself to acknowledge that’s how it works.
By “some news organizations,” the governor is assumed to include the Illinois News Network, a fake news organization owned by the Illinois Policy Institute, which itself is a fake “think tank.”
IPI is, in fact, a political advocacy organization that exists to boost Gov. Rauner, the Koch brothers and others who share the moneyed class’ philosophy of government and a hatred of unions.
In an incredible coincidence, the “Institute” was created with seed money from Bruce Rauner.
Founded in 2002, IPI is a nonprofit that says it “generates marketable policy solutions to unleash Illinois’ talent and entrepreneurial ability,” and Rauner’s family foundation has given it some $625,000.
This tie to a sitting governor has not stopped The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times and a number of other newspapers statewide from running IPI op-ed pieces attacking anyone who dares stand up to Gov. Rauner on his pet project, the anti-working families “Turnaround Agenda.”
It’s unclear whether the governor’s people will be briefing the respected, independent news authority on state government, Capitolfax.com owner/operator, Rich Miller.
The governor on Monday, apparently shooting from the hip, responded to a question about a Miller piece that he didn’t like with a slur.
* Gov. Bruce Rauner just told reporters that I used to work for Speaker Madigan.
I have no idea where he got that, but I did work as a House page for less than a month back in 1985. Perhaps that’s what he’s talking about. I have no idea.
If you have waders available, you might want to wear them on Wednesday. Considering the job the governor has been doing for the last year, we’re likely to be knee-deep in something pungent shortly after noon.