Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders are set to meet again Tuesday for talks on the state’s budget situation after a marathon of closed-door meetings last week, which spilled into the weekend, brought the two sides no closer to a deal.
Heading into the Tuesday afternoon meeting, Rauner’s Republican Party continued to stoke its newest attack campaign against Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, adding four Democratic lawmakers to a list of rank-and-file legislators who the state GOP alleges to be part of the veteran speaker’s “web of influence.”
The list, which is kept on the website BossMadigan.com, is a continuation of the Illinois GOP’s election-season effort to link Democratic lawmakers to their party’s longtime leader in an attempt to erode Madigan’s power at the statehouse. It’s also a sign of the state of negotiations as Madigan-led Democrats and Rauner-led Republicans continue a nearly two-year stalemate over a long-term budget plan for state government.
Asked Monday if it was wise to launch political attacks on Madigan while the two sides were trying to negotiate a budget compromise, Rauner asserted that “mature” politicians could separate the political maneuvering from governing.
“You know what, this is the job we’ve chosen,” Rauner told reporters after delivering a speech to the Illinois Farm Bureau. “We’re in a field where politics is always going on, partisan stuff. That’s on the side. We can keep that out. That’s not in the room when we’re negotiating.”
The Republican governor, whose party is the one launching the attacks, continued: “That’s its own process. I have nothing to do with it. I don’t spend my time thinking about it or focusing on it. We ought to be mature enough, thoughtful enough that we can put politics aside — politics are always going on. That’s the world we live in.”
Those remarks came after the governor on Friday had urged Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Democratic legislative leaders to act "mature."
"This is rhetoric — heated rhetoric doesn’t help, getting emotional doesn’t help, pointing fingers doesn’t help. Let’s stay mature. Let’s stay thoughtful. Let’s stay positive. Let’s stay persistent," Rauner told reporters after addressing the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association luncheon at a Loop hotel.
Added to the GOP website’s list of Madigan loyalists Monday was Villa Park Sen. Tom Cullerton, a top target in the November election who managed to hold onto his seat, and Reps. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook, Sue Scherer of Decatur and Marty Moylan of Des Plaines. (Kim Geiger)
What’s on tap
*Mayor Emanuel is scheduled to be at the groundbreaking of the new McDonald’s corporate headquarters in the West Loop.
*Gov. Rauner is scheduled to speak to Illinois Joining Forces, which bills itself as "a statewide network of public and not-for-profit organizations that connects veterans to needed services and resources." He’s also got a 2 p.m. meeting with legislative leaders at the Thompson Center as work on an elusive state budget continues.
*Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart will be part of a "candid conversation" with the City Club of Chicago in the morning.
What we’re writing
*Emanuel, aldermen try to whistle in Rauner to publicly back Chicago’s sanctuary city status.
*The new state comptroller takes over facing Illinois’ $10.4 billion backlog of unpaid bills.
*Hipster gift guide includes a man bun grooming kit and a mustache guard.
From the notebook
*The fight between the Rauner administration and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is likely headed to a new venue after a state labor panel on Monday issued a written ruling declaring the state and its largest public worker union at impasse in their contract talks.
In the weeks since the Illinois Labor Relations Board declared impasse in the stalled contract negotiations, Rauner’s team had announced plans to impose some of the governor’s preferred new terms on workers.
AFSCME argued that implementation of the new terms was premature, since the labor board — a panel of people appointed by the governor — hadn’t issued its official written ruling yet. The union intended to appeal the labor board’s decision in court, but needed the written ruling in order to take that step.
Late last week, AFSCME asked a judge in downstate St. Clair County for a restraining order that would halt the Rauner administration’s implementation of the new contract terms. But on Monday, the labor board circulated its written ruling.
AFSCME petitioned an appellate court in Cook County to review the labor board’s finding of impasse, and the union says it plans to ask the court to prevent implementation of the Rauner contract terms while the appeal is underway. (Kim Geiger)
*Republicans want testimony from Quinn officials: The political wrangling has begun following an investigation by the Chicago Tribune that examined abuse and neglect at the state’s group homes for people with developmental disabilities. Republican lawmakers say the answers lie in former Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration.
Republican legislators have requested that officials from Quinn’s administration also be called to testify in a hearing on the matter scheduled for later this month. Current Department of Human Services Secretary Jim Dimas is already scheduled to testify.
The Tribune found at least 42 deaths linked to abuse or neglect in group homes or their day programs in the last seven years, as care often fell to employees who were unlicensed or poorly trained.
“But as the Chicago Tribune’s investigation made clear, the problem occurred almost entirely during the administration of Governor Pat Quinn. All but one of the deaths occurred between 2008 and 2014. In order to fully understand the cause of these tragedies, and inform us about the steps we can take to prevent this from occurring again, we need testimony from senior Department officials who were present between 2008 and 2014,” Republican lawmakers wrote in a letter sent Monday to state Sen. Daniel Biss, a Democrat and chairman of the Senate Human Services Committee.
They want to hear from former human services department heads Carol Adams and Michelle Saddler.
The hearing is scheduled for Dec. 13 in Chicago.
Biss called the request "embarrassing," saying "the question isn’t who to blame but how we fix it."
"The most important question is ‘What now?’ and that is definitely not a question for the administration that has not been in office for two years," Biss said. (Monique Garcia)
*Like mother, like daughter: When Susana Mendoza was sworn in as Illinois’ new comptroller Monday, her mom was so excited that she began to recite the oath of office along with her daughter.
The moment came as state Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke administered the oath. Mendoza was joined on stage by her mother, husband and 4-year-old son. Burke asked Mendoza to state her name, prompting mother and daughter to declare “I, Susana Mendoza,” in unison.
Mendoza later joked about the incident in a speech, noting that she shares a name with her mother.
“She is the original Susana Mendoza, so you’ve got two for one,” Mendoza said. (Monique Garcia)
Follow the money
*State Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno reported $130,000 in contributions Monday. Among the biggest givers: The Illinois Health Care Association committee was in for $30,000. Rivers Casino owner Neil Bluhm and his son, Andrew, gave $5,000 each, as did the casino itself. And daily fantasy sports giants FanDuel and DraftKings gave $5,000 each.
*New Republican state Sen. Tom Rooney of Rolling Meadows received $2,500 from the man he was appointed to replace, Matt Murphy of Palatine. Murphy, who now works for a public affairs firm, still had more than $200,000 in his campaign fund at the end of September.
*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.
*Trump nominates former rival Ben Carson to be his Housing and Urban Development secretary.