With Rauner’s victory, voters get change they sought

SHARE With Rauner’s victory, voters get change they sought

It looks like Illinois voters are finally going to get that “change” thing they’ve been wanting all these years with Tuesday’s election of Republican Bruce Rauner.

I hope the majority is correct in its calculation these will be positive changes.


If nothing else, I can certainly predict this next year in Springfield should be the most interesting in my adult lifetime as the wealthy businessman completes his hostile takeover of state government.

No switch in administrations in at least the last 42 years has portended as much of a sea change as Democrat Pat Quinn giving way to Rauner, not that anyone can say for certain what Rauner will do in his first political office. One way or another, he’s going to make a splash.

It’s no secret I was four-square opposed to Rauner’s election.

But I certainly understand voter dissatisfaction with our state government and its ruling Democrats. Democrats aren’t always happy with the ruling Democrats either.

Although I would have assigned blame differently than taking it out on Quinn, I realize that was the best lever available to voters at this time.

I’m sure every Illinois resident hopes Rauner can help the state regain its economic luster of yore as he promised.

If he can do that without trampling on little people, then he will deserve our gratitude.

If he chooses to make the rights of working people his first target, though, he can expect a long four years.

There is much in what Rauner said on the campaign trail on which Democrats and Republicans can agree.

His emphasis on pulling Illinois out of its financial problems through growing the economy would be at the top of my list.

At the beginning of the campaign, I was hoping Rauner’s business background would produce new ideas on how to deal with the state’s many problems. I never heard any new ideas, but he starts over today with a clean slate.

Rauner will benefit from the fact the economy here is already trending gently in a positive direction. But small improvements are not the expectation he has created.

There is also a great expectation among Rauner supporters that he will checkmate the mighty House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.

That definitely will be one of the most closely watched aspects of Rauner’s introduction to governing.

I’m not sure anybody other than Madigan himself could accurately predict how that relationship is going to play out.

Will Rauner really try to fight with Madigan, or will he try to work with him? Either way, it’s hard for me to imagine Rauner outmaneuvering him.

The election is over. Let the games begin.

In the interim, Quinn and the Democratic-controlled Legislature need to stand down on extending the income tax increase until Rauner takes over.

The voters of Illinois have clearly stated that they prefer Rauner’s approach to the state’s financial issues, and maybe now he’ll actually clarify what that approach is.

If he wants to keep the income tax increase, then let him own it. If he wants to do without it, then let him outline his proposed cuts.

It’s true that Democrats have left the budget in a terrible mess for Rauner, and by all rights, it ought to be their responsibility to clean it up.

But Rauner helped put on the heat that made it politically impossible for many legislators to vote in favor of the tax increase.

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