Observer Russ Stewart write columns of insightful political commentary for Nadig Newspapers.
His latest is entitled, “‘Madigan’s tax increase’ boosts Rauner for 2018.”
Here are a couple of paragraphs:
“Rauner emerged triumphant because he can now trumpet for the next 17 months four magic words: I KEPT MY PROMISE. He pledged in 2014 to oppose any raise in state income taxes, and he vetoed the Madigan/Democratic tax hike recently, which was narrowly overridden. Voters expect politicians to lie in order to get elected, and then “cave” to reality shortly thereafter. Had any Republican other than Rauner been elected governor in 2014, they would have caved long ago, worked out a “grand bargain” with the Democrats, and be on a trajectory to losing in 2018…
“Rauner played hardball by not capitulating to demands of “good government” entities, media and liberals that he be “responsible” and hike taxes, incurring their wrath. But he fully understood that his base, roughly 45 percent of the electorate, voted for him because they expected him to act like a Republican…and he has. Had Rauner caved, his base would have crumbled, discarding him as just another mealy-mouthed, untrustworthy politician. But he didn’t cave, he actually got the state budget slashed by $3 billion, and his base is rock-solid. He starts the 2018 campaign not with lame excuses, but with promises kept.
“…it is the Democrats who enter 2018 on the defensive.”