Editorials

Illinois needs its politicians to pay by the word to get their way

IllInois Gov. Bruce Rauner just put $50 million of his own money towards his 2018 re-election campaign. He also challenged the state’s largest union to pay for the $2 million a day they are costing taxpayers by blocking a new contract. Maybe legislators, too, should put their money where their mouths are.
IllInois Gov. Bruce Rauner just put $50 million of his own money towards his 2018 re-election campaign. He also challenged the state’s largest union to pay for the $2 million a day they are costing taxpayers by blocking a new contract. Maybe legislators, too, should put their money where their mouths are. Photo illustration

Maybe Illinois should change its motto to “put your money where your mouth is.”

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is doing that, putting $50 million of his own cash into his 2018 re-election campaign. He advocates changing in the way Illinois does business, and is willing to spend a considerable chunk of his personal fortune to continue the quest.

Rauner expects the same from his opponents.

If the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees really believes in its lawsuit to stop Rauner from imposing the contract that the Illinois Labor Relations Board ruled should be implemented, then AFSCME and the state union workers it represents should be on the hook for the $2 million per day they are costing Illinois taxpayers by delaying the new contract. Rauner filed an unfair labor practice against the union seeking those damages for the delay.

Remember, 18 other state employee unions have agreed to similar contracts. Plus, the average Illinoisan earns half the $64K of a state worker represented by AFSCME.

The motto could also be an aspiration. State lawmakers have yet to put their money where their mouth is, whether it be making good on pension promises, paying past due bills or telling local government what to do without providing the funding.

The U.S. Supreme Court considers political contributions to be free speech because it recognizes that talk is cheap, but that those willing to risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor hold a special place in our political pantheon.

Welcome to Illinois: Put your money where your mouth is.

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