U-46 CEO Tony Sanders is one of my favorite people. Not only does he make an incredibly difficult job look easy, he never seems to lose his love for gig that would make me homicidal in a scant 48 hours.
One must also give him credit for the leadership role he’s taken in putting the pressure on Springfield to pass a bleepin’ budget. Considering his already insurmountable duties, he’s been on this one like white on rice!
So I can’t tell you how much it pains me to have write this letter to Tony explaining that, as long as Bruce Rauner is governor, there will be no budget. So here goes!
The entire U-46 School District applauds the fact that you managed to meet with Darth Madigan and Sith Lord Rauner to insist they sit down and strike a budgetary deal. But sadly, your semi-Herculean effort will never amount to the irresistible force that can move the intractable object.
Because that immovable object is Governor Rauner.
I’ve never been a big fan of the Speaker, his policies or the fact he’s managed to amass as much power as he has. But this kind of Rome wasn’t built in a day and the “Shake up Springfield” guy knew exactly what he was getting into. When questioned by the papers, he declared that he could work with everyone.
But Bruce Rauner can’t work with anyone! It’s why, in an unprecedented move, the Sun-Times, Tribune and Crain’s all rescinded their endorsements.
I’ve said it before, I’m not a big biblical passage fan, but there is one that always seems to ring true:
“I’ll say it again–it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
What Jesus meant was, since rich folks have the wherewithal to create and live in their own reality, they never experience the connectedness that Jesus referred to when he said:
“You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.”
Thus, Governor Rauner doesn’t even listen to his own advisors because, in his closed mind, he’s always right. The only way the Governor will finally shed this reality is when he’s badly beaten by Chris Kennedy or J. B. Pritzker.
But the damage to the state will have already been done.
You see Tony, the Governor thinks he’s winning this budgetary battle and no one can tell him otherwise. He even believes his Lucy strategy is working! Every time he declares a deal is near, and it’s been four separate times, the Governor pulls the football away firmly believing voters will blame the Democrats for the ongoing stalemate. And he’s so tone-deaf he has no clue that’s not the case.
C’mon! The man is already running campaign commercials that claim he’s actually accomplished something.
So when you told Governor Rauner that, without a budget, U-46 will shut down around Thanksgiving, he wasn’t the least bit concerned, because it’s exactly what he wanted to hear. The Governor has convinced himself that doing serious damage to state universities, school districts and social service agencies will finally incite the kind of anti-Madigan revolution that he believes is one small spark away.
His political immaturity is so pronounced that, not only does the Governor think he can get everything he wants all at once, but the voters won’t hold him accountable for failing to make some sort of deal.
When those shutdowns do occur and Republicans take the brunt of the blame, the Governor still won’t get the voter message. Since he’s never wrong, he’ll simply double down. Bruce Rauner doesn’t care if he has to destroy the state to “save it,” because he’s rich enough that he doesn’t have to care.
I’m not saying you should give up the “we need a budget now crusade,” Tony. I’ve been wrong before. But considering the massive amount of evidence supporting my contention, I’d start preparing for the shutdown.
I wish I had better news.