By: Mark Glennon*
Apologies, Sun-Times. Our earlier story should have said your editorial about Chicago’s budget was runner up for worst one of the week. We hadn’t read Crain’s yet.
Governor Rauner’s reform proposals are “worth fighting for,” Crain’s said in an editorial yesterday. So, you’d think they’d call on Cullerton, Madigan and the boys to agree to that agenda to resolve the budget standoff, right?
Nah. This is Crain’s. “It’s well past time for the governor to drop his ‘turnaround’ agenda,” they say. Their headline screams, “Rauner, even your allies are losing patience.”
Rauner’s Republican “allies and business pals” increasingly want Rauner to back off, Crain’s says. Their basis for that claim? Only former Governor Jim Edgar. He’s all they cite.
For starters, Jim Edgar has never been a reform “ally.” He supported fellow old guard, pro-public union Kirk Dillard against Rauner in the primary. The Southern has a particularly fine opinion piece about why Edgar is out of touch. The Tribune said much the same. We listed three clear reasons why Edgar has no credibility on budget issues.
Crain’s certainly could have found business people and Rauner supporters who question his budget strategy, if they weren’t too lazy to find some and write their reasoning up specifically. Reasonable opinions have always differed about how best to deal with the the Illinois’ political establishment. But, jeez, Crain’s, can’t you judge this on the merits yourself instead of sticking your finger up in the air to see what the likes of Edgar are saying? Maybe you could even consider pointing out that the get-along-go-along crowd is a large part of our business community — and a big part of how we got into this mess. Their opinions, too, aren’t necessarily valuable (and that’s putting it mildly — a topic for another day).
This goes for many of the milquetoast editorials being written about the budget standoff. Tell us how it should rightly be resolved: Are the reforms Rauner wants valid or not? If they are, tell the other guys to back off. If you don’t like the reforms (and we know Crain’s really doesn’t), don’t be two-faced. Explain why you don’t like them. The budget standoff should be resolved on the merits. Spare us the silly platitude about just locking up Rauner and Madigan until they agree.
It’s all a nice reminder. The political establishment that must be overcome to fix Illinois includes most of the state’s press. These clowns were asleep at the switch while the crisis was allowed to spin out of control. They still are.
Memo to file: Don’t write a “Dumbest Editorial of Week” article until Crain’s is finished for the week.
*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints. Opinions expressed are his own.