Home Illinois News Jim Edgar pats Davis’ head, backhands Governor Rauner in op-ed

Jim Edgar pats Davis’ head, backhands Governor Rauner in op-ed


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. 


  1. It was Edgar and Thompson that caved into the public unions and have our State headed straight towards a giant iceberg. Yes Illinois is the new Titanic. It was Thompson who took away Republican rights to control their party, the Illinois GOP has been eating under the table of the Democrats ever since. Apparently, that’s where Edger feels most comfortable.

  2. 20 years ago when Jim Edgar was serving his second term, he had solid Republican majorities in both houses of the General Assembly to support his budget and other policies. Bruce Rauner faces solid hostile Democratic majorities in both houses and that is an infinitely more difficult negotiating platform. Even when Edgar faced Democratic control of the Assembly in his first term, he never has to walk in Rauner’s shoes.

  3. Edgar was Gov during the 1990’s when there was an economic boom in this country. It even spilled over to Illinois.
    He had it relatively easy. And he still failed to fund the pension systems which would have been of tremendous help. Instead he kicked the can down the road and went on spending.
    Todays political and economic climate is far tougher.

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