More of Rauner vs. public unions, for school reform

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By Jim Bowman

Writer

Much more is available from Bruce Rauner than what he said in River Forest last Thursday, among which is a long Chicago Magazine interview from last June, in which he tells what he's heard on a listening tour:

There's a business owner who has operations around th

Much more is available from Bruce Rauner than what he said in River Forest last Thursday, among which is a long Chicago Magazine interview from last June, in which he tells what he's heard on a listening tour:

There's a business owner who has operations around the Midwest, and he said… "workers comp costs five times as much in Illinois as it does in Indiana and we've been quietly shifting our jobs out of Illinois… and hiring in Indiana and reducing our job base in Illinois…." . . . .

. . . . I met with a young man who works in the [Illinois] Department of Transportation…. He told me a few years ago when Blagojevich through executive order forced in card-check unionizing, some of the union members came to him, basically threatened him, and said you have to sign this card or else…. He felt pressured… and signed the card. Pretty soon they pressured other people in his department. They got 51 percent to sign the card, they were unionized, and I believe he said the pay went up immediately 17 percent. And he said, in his view, the work effort has actually declined since unionization and the cost went through the roof.

Another source is a Chicago Tribune op-ed from a year ago, where he flayed public-sector unions:

The most powerful political force in Illinois today, by far, is the government employee labor unions. They have contributed mightily to our state's budgetary and economic chaos.

The bosses of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Service Employees International Union; and the Illinois Federation of Teachers/Illinois Education Association are in virtually every legislative meeting, every budget meeting, every policy meeting in Springfield. They take their taxpayer-funded, government-collected union dues and funnel them by the tens of millions to politicians in both political parties. They use their vast membership to supply patronage workers by the thousands for political campaigns throughout the state.

A few weeks ago, he talked up education choice, as by a voucher program in a WIND-AM interview in a manner that "set himself apart from his GOP competitors" in the race for the governor nomination," tying together

the issue of education choice with . . . criticism of teacher's union bosses when asked . . . by Joe Walsh on his WIND AM 560 radio show. How does Rauner plan to support a school voucher program with a Democrat majority in the Illinois General Assembly and strong opposition from the teacher's unions?

Rauner replied: I believe we can get it done in Illinois because there's a significant number of parents around the state who want school choice. I've met with African-American leaders, Latino leaders who tend to vote Democratic, who want and encourage vouchers and have school choice.

He told in this interview of how he

formed a PAC four years ago, and got a piece of legislation drafted, that took away tenure for ineffective teachers, took away the teachers' ability to strike in Illinois because its a nuclear bomb on our taxpayers, and it's a public safety issue for kids, and put in a rigorous school accountability system.

. . . the bill [was] drafted, it was pending in the legislature, Madigan, Daley - it [has] bi-partisan support, and we lost most of the bill. And you know who fought us the hardest in the legislature in the end when it got killed? Republicans in the legislature who take teacher union money.

An interesting candidate.

e Midwest, and he said… "workers comp costs five times as much in Illinois as it does in Indiana and we've been quietly shifting our jobs out of Illinois… and hiring in Indiana and reducing our job base in Illinois…." . . . .

. . . . I met with a young man who works in the [Illinois] Department of Transportation…. He told me a few years ago when Blagojevich through executive order forced in card-check unionizing, some of the union members came to him, basically threatened him, and said you have to sign this card or else…. He felt pressured… and signed the card. Pretty soon they pressured other people in his department. They got 51 percent to sign the card, they were unionized, and I believe he said the pay went up immediately 17 percent. And he said, in his view, the work effort has actually declined since unionization and the cost went through the roof.

Another source is a Chicago Tribune op-ed from a year ago, where he flayed public-sector unions:

The most powerful political force in Illinois today, by far, is the government employee labor unions. They have contributed mightily to our state's budgetary and economic chaos.

The bosses of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Service Employees International Union; and the Illinois Federation of Teachers/Illinois Education Association are in virtually every legislative meeting, every budget meeting, every policy meeting in Springfield. They take their taxpayer-funded, government-collected union dues and funnel them by the tens of millions to politicians in both political parties. They use their vast membership to supply patronage workers by the thousands for political campaigns throughout the state.

A few weeks ago, he talked up education choice, as by a voucher program in a WIND-AM interview in a manner that "set himself apart from his GOP competitors" in the race for the governor nomination," tying together

the issue of education choice with . . . criticism of teacher's union bosses when asked . . . by Joe Walsh on his WIND AM 560 radio show. How does Rauner plan to support a school voucher program with a Democrat majority in the Illinois General Assembly and strong opposition from the teacher's unions?

Rauner replied: I believe we can get it done in Illinois because there's a significant number of parents around the state who want school choice. I've met with African-American leaders, Latino leaders who tend to vote Democratic, who want and encourage vouchers and have school choice.

He told in this interview of how he

formed a PAC four years ago, and got a piece of legislation drafted, that took away tenure for ineffective teachers, took away the teachers' ability to strike in Illinois because its a nuclear bomb on our taxpayers, and it's a public safety issue for kids, and put in a rigorous school accountability system.

. . . the bill [was] drafted, it was pending in the legislature, Madigan, Daley - it [has] bi-partisan support, and we lost most of the bill. And you know who fought us the hardest in the legislature in the end when it got killed? Republicans in the legislature who take teacher union money.

An interesting candidate.

Contact:
Email: jimbowman31@yahoo.com Twitter: @BlitheSp

Reader Comments

7 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

muntz  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 3:23 PM

Bob-The private sector taxpayers who pay for these union benefits that exceed what they receive are the true "working class". I see Rauner's fight as one against the politically connected public unions, not the overall working class as you define it. The nurses, accountants, programmers, technicians, etc of the private sector, on the outside looking in, are the ones that are lacking a voice in govt.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 2:19 PM

Mr Simpson, nothing attacks the living standard of working class people, particularly minorities, like the bad outcomes created by the public education monopoly in urban areas. A voucher system would force bad inner city schools to adapt or close, which would indeed be a success for middle class & poor families now trapped by public ed unions. Why do you support enslaving minorities in poor schools? Your "casino capitalism" remark also clearly shows your lack of knowledge about Rauner & GTCR.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 1:29 PM

@ Mr Simpson. Have you ever meet anyone from Mr. Rauner's company GTCR? When you do you will find a person who loves their company gets free benefit package for all workers and has little to no turn-over in his firm. The firms they take over and manage have much the same story. GTCR is not a Casino capitalism company but has an incredible track record of success for its employees and the employees of companies it invests in. Is there need for adj in wages to state workers ...yes

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 1:18 PM

Bob, Mr. Rauner makes what he does by earning outsized returns on investment for the investors in his fund. He manages tens of billions of dollars. The investors that benefit from Mr. Rauner's "casino capitalism" include pensions of the working man you claim so much speak for.

Bob Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 12:19 PM

To be clear, I do not envy Mr. Rauner. To be "successful" at attacking the living standard of working class people while simultaneously dismantling public education is not a "success" I would wish on anyone. I will credit Mr. Rauner at having some skill at playing casino capitalism, you know, that game that nearly crashed the entire global economy in 2008?

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 11:46 AM

Rauner is an interesting candidate..we'll see how his ties to Rahmbo affect the race. The ideas expressed in this piece are all good. Mr. Simpson, please spare us the mindless class envy. In your world, any successful person is "hostile" to the working class, whatever that is. If he has shown any hostility, it's toward the political class in this state, which has earned it in spades. Our problem is govt, specifically that foisted on us by the Dems, & their allies in public unions.

Bob Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 11:27 AM

Bruce Rauner's hostility to the working class is based on his own status as a major hedge fund manager. According to the Sun-Times he made $53.4 million dollars last year. We already have a legislature that falls all over itself giving away tax breaks and subsidies to wealthy corporations. Do we really need a governor who directs his ire at the working people of Illinois while giving his assent to those in the corporate world who are looting the state? Like ADM in their recent bid for more tax dollars?

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