Quick Hits – February 2, 2016
A two-year budget?
That’s what some savvy Springfield assemblypersons are saying.
Having issued a somewhat conciliatory state of the State address, Bruce “I drop the last g in every word” Rauner faces his most daunting dissertation yet – the February 17th Budget address. It’s then that the Guv will purportedly propose a two-year deal to break the deadlock and save face at the same time.
But alas, Governor Rauner’s almost always unique propositions seem to come with problematic strings attached, and this two-for-the-price of one deal ain’t gonna fly because any time soon because that patently pesky State Constitution says:
“The General Assembly by law shall make appropriations for all expenditures of public funds by the state. Appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.”
So much like Ted Cruz’s Iowa victory is utterly meaningless because he isn’t a “natural born citizen,” any effort towards a two-year budget deal will fall flatter than Donald Trump in an Iowa Caucus.
Doen’t Bruce have any decent advisers? You’d think there’d be at least one.
And speaking of Springfield…
Republican legislators, who clearly have nothing better to do, are already busy dissing President Obama’s Feb. 10 state capitol address. Why, those fine GOP folks, who have a deathly fear any original thought, are collectively caterwauling, “he’ll just tell ‘em to raise taxes, he’ll just tell ‘em to raise taxes!”
NO HE WON’T
Why can’t republicans get over the fact that not only has Presdient Obama consistently cut taxes, but he’s presided over the slowest federal spending growth since Dwight David Eisenhower. And that includes the two terms of their hallowed hero Ronald Wilson Reagan.
Look it up if you don’t believe me.
So here’s how the President’s speech will go:
- He’ll muse that he’s happy to be back in Illinois because we make that Washington Gridlock look tame by comparison.
- Then he’ll call out the Democrats for putting the state in its current fiscal position, adding that the last thing Illinois citizens and businesses need is higher taxes.
- Then, the Presiding will chide Governor Rauner with words like, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” explaining that it took years to get into this mess and it’s going to take more than a year to get out of it.
- He will add that, given the pension problem, Illinois may have no choice but to raise taxes to some degree as part of a comprehensive budget plan.
- Lastly, he will remind the General Assembly that a good compromise means that no one’s really happy and they should come together for the good of the State of Illinois.
I know Republicans want to believe he’s coming here to take white folks’ guns and girlfriends, but I will personally guarantee that won’t happen.
Help me Obi Wan Kenobi! You’re my last hope!
Alright, alright! That may be a bit over the top, but considering the state of the Illinois conservative movement, it really ain’t all that far-fetched.
But I gotta tell ya, when I sat down with former Left, Right and You co-host and 66th District State Rep. candidate Allen Skillicorn last week, I was very impressed. He certainly wasn’t the ideologue with whom I once toiled.
Allen dropped the “I’m not the other guy” campaign stuff, he provided clear and eminently attainable legislative goals, and he harbored a clear understanding of how the Illinois political process works – right now. And that last piece is critical because if you don’t start with where you are, you’ll never get anywhere.
And his answer to my “what three things must every state rep always keep in mind” made me downright giddy. To paraphrase, Allen said, “There are time you work behind the scenes, there are times you make a public stand, and there are times you sit on your hands and wait for a better opportunity.”
All that said, despite an early lead in the polls, Allen faces a tough race involving three primary opponents, each with a distinct advantage. One has the Walsh PAC endorsement, one has more McHenry County name recognition, and one is a woman.
But Allen does know how to campaign and I understand Governor Rauner’s throwing some money his way, so he might just pull it off. Please don’t disappoint me Allen!
Defending the Daily Herald?
Yes! Though it pains me to no end.
As a result of publishing their Kane County candidate profiles ahead of time, it came to light that some March hopefuls didn’t receive their questionnaires, while others got something somewhat different than what they saw on thefirstward.net.
Not to fear my confounded candidates! There is nothing nefarious going on here. As Jim Fuller duly noted on last Thursday’s Left, Right and You, the DH used a new system to distribute thousands of profile questionnaires and there are still some bugs to be worked out.
First, check your spam filter. If it’s not there, get in touch with Jim (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I’m sure he’ll have it sent out forthwith.