Sneed scoop: Why former Republican Gov. Edgar is on Pritzker’s transition team

SHARE Sneed scoop: Why former Republican Gov. Edgar is on Pritzker’s transition team

Former Gov. Jim Edgar| Sun-Times file photo

Sneed exclusive . . .

The Edgar award . . .

No, this isn’t about naming the winner of this year’s best mystery novel.

The mystery is solved: Republican former Gov. Jim Edgar has been named a member of Democrat Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker’s transition team, and he’s “looking forward to helping him getting the state back on track.”

Reached by phone while on vacation out of the country early Thursday morning, Edgar, a teetotaler who was known for the art of compromise — except when it came to permitting alcohol in the governor’s mansion — told Sneed:

“Well, we are not going to agree on everything — but I will tell you one thing that struck me about J.B. whom I’ve know for a long time since we served on a board together.

“He [J.B.] knows what he doesn’t know,” said Edgar, who had been critical of incumbent GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner’s leadership style.

“That quality is huge. It’s the trait or characteristic of someone who is a success at what he does . . . and is very savvy,” added Edgar, a popular governor who served two terms in the ’90s.

“He [J.B.] asked me if I’d be a part of the transition team about a week ago,” said Edgar, who said he talked to Pritzker on Wednesday morning after the election. Pritzker told him he had already talked to the Republican leaders (Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkinand Illinois Senate Republican leader Bill Brady).

“I felt that was a very, very good sign. A great sign he wants to reach out and talk to both parties.

“I know we will have our differences, but J.B. knows how important it is to reach out to both sides and work on the art of compromise.

“This guy listens. Really listens. And is willing to compromise.”

One of Pritzker’s most controversial proposals is a graduated income tax, which has met resistance from both sides of the political aisle.

“Well, it’s a dilemma, and there are certainly pros and cons,” Edgar said.

“Even if it was the right thing to do, the state wouldn’t receive any money for at least four years because you’d have to go through a long process to get it done,” he added.

“A constitutional amendment would have to be passed, then it would have to be voted on in the next election and then it would have to be implemented.

“That’s at least a four-year process before the state would receive any money,” Edgar said.



Pritzker prologue: Tax plan shift, blind trust talk, transition team tapped

After victory, Pritzker names chief of staff, heavy-hitting transition team

Mansion musings . . .

The big question?

Will the new old pile have new style?

When M.K. Pritzker, the state’s new first lady, hits the Governor’s Mansion — newly renovated under the watchful eye of former first lady Diana Rauner — will she add her own personal touch?

(We are not talking toilet removal!)

• Backshot: M.K., a busy mother of two who plans to spend family time at the mansion, was also a member of the Illinois Executive Mansion expansion project — and told Sneed in 2016 she felt “honored” to be asked to work on “a project of historic significance, restoring the integrity of the people’s house.”

• Upshot: Please note M.K. came well qualified to do so: She studied art and architecture at the University of Nebraska, and historical architectural renovation at the Art Institute.

Pigskin pages . . .

Book ‘em: Sports rep Steve Zucker, who left his criminal defense attorney job behind in the mid-’80s after the legendary “Punky QB,” Bears Quarterback Jim McMahon, asked Zucker to be his attorney — has written a memoir that includes his years adding 11 more big Bears to his roster as head of Zucker Sports Management. Titled “Playing Sports is Serious Business,” it’s due to hit the bookshelves Nov. 26 via Amazon and Can’t wait to read the vignettes.

Sneedlings . . .

Oops! Apologies to Emily Miller, who tells Sneed she will not be joining any mayoral campaign, playing any role in any race and has not had any conversations with anyone about playing a role in a Susana Mendoza mayoral campaign — contrary to an item in Sneed’s Thursday column. Becky Carroll, who had advised J.B. Pritzker’s gubernatorial run, tells Sneed she works only in advisory capacities and doesn’t hold official campaign positions. . . . Today’s birthdays: French Montana, 34; Nick Lachey, 45; Eric Dane, 46.

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