SPRINGFIELD – Former Governor Jim Edgar wrote in the Springfield Journal Register Monday that he's very pleased that Congressman Rodney Davis voted to pass U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan's negotiated compromise budget before the Christmas break.
Illinois is into its seventh month without a functioning budget, and that is bugging Edgar.
“I learned I couldn’t get everything I wanted at one time,” Edgar said on WGN 720 in October. “My sense is (Rauner) thinks other things are just as important, and that’s probably where he and I probably have a different point of view. I just think the budget, particularly with the state’s history of the last decade of some real serious financial problems, we need to concentrate first on that.”
Edgar's op-ed Monday was especially interesting because its content could be interpreted as serving two purposes: publicly patting Congressman Davis on the head for playing nice in D.C. and privately back-handing Governor Bruce Rauner for being so stubborn and uncooperative.
Ridiculous? Read carefully Edgar's words:
In my experience, you don’t always get everything you want. But it is important to keep making progress and stay focused on solving problems. Davis voted to lead, to govern and to make progress. He did the right thing.
Governing is challenging. Negotiating with divided branches is difficult and success comes slowly. When I was governor, for all but two years, we had a divided government and I often faced situations where I didn’t always get the reform I wanted. But even in divided government, we were able to work together to eliminate a massive backlog of state bill payments, build historic state budget surpluses and reduce the size of government.
We made progress together because we were disciplined, kept lines of communication open between the divided branches of government and recognized the need to compromise for the good of the people.
Think the enjoying-retirement governor wasn't sending a message to Bruce Rauner, whose determination to "Turnaround Illinois" has run him into AFSCME's brick wall and House Speaker Mike Madigan's non-negotiable mine field?
Here's Edgar's public conclusion:
In this time of polarizing politics, our country needs to make progress. I appreciate true leaders who will make the tough decisions to strengthen America and tackle problems. And I count Rodney Davis as one of them.
"Bruce Rauner" wasn't mentioned.