Random thoughts. Calling out John Cullerton.


Yesterday Senate President Democrat John Cullerton spoke to a group of parents at Coonley elementary school in his Chicago district. 

His speech went something like this: “Rauner, Rauner, Rauner, Rauner and Rauner.”

But the parents were having none of it. These were not parents who were Rauner fans. They were simply parents who weren’t buying Cullerton’s excuses.

Much like the parents who have been demanding to know why the powerful Democrat refuses to let the Senate vote on an elected school board for Chicago. 

The bill has already passed the House. Cullerton has blocked any vote in the Senate.

He can’t blame that on Bruce Rauner.

Chicago teachers are well aware of Governor Rauner’s role in blocking a state budget and making Chicago teachers and schools a punching bag.

But like Coonley parents, they also know there is plenty of blame to go around.

Tomorrow Wednesday, a CPS furlough day, the Chicago Teachers Union will be shining a light on others who have played a role.  They are calling for protests at 8:30 AM at the following downtown locations:




Larry Levy


River Point Plaza

444 W. Lake St.


Northeast corner of Lake and Canal

Larry Levy has donated thousands to Governor Rauner’s campaigns and his restaurant company has been sued for minimum wage violations in Chicago. He is also helping fund the governor’s campaign to change Illinois voting maps that would weaken the Black and Latino vote. He received $30 million in TIF funds for an unwanted luxury building downtown—money that could have gone to public schools.
Ken Griffin


Citadel Center

131 Dearborn


Griffin is a “close friend” of the mayor. He said his greatest disappointment with Emanuel is that he only closed 50 schools in 2013—stating it should have been more than 100.


Even though the Citadel CEO is the wealthiest man in Illinois, state income tax rollbacks saved him an estimated $16 million in one year. Citadel is among the top hedge funds whose mega-profits are protected by Illinois, requiring no sales tax on high frequency trading. A LaSalle Street Tax (or Financial Transaction Tax) would raise billions of dollars in revenue for Illinois paid by those who can afford it, while slowing down their risky behavior.


Instead of Griffin or his company paying their fair share, Griffin recently spent $500 million of his massive fortune to purchase two paintings which are going on display at the Art Institute. The misguided billionaire is also helping fund Rauner’s campaign to change Illinois voting maps that would weaken Black and Latino vote.

David Vitale


United Airlines

Willis Tower

233 S. Wacker

While David Vitale was president of the Board of Ed, he was also paid hundreds of thousands per year to sit on the board of directors at United Airlines. CTU members and parents asked again and again for Vitale to join us in calling for TIF money to be returned to schools to avoid cuts and closings. Instead of advocating for the schools that he led, he closed them while profiting from a $30 million TIF deal and $10 million in city grants at United.


Vitale was also a chief architect of the toxic swap deals that cost CPS over $500 million in profits taken by big banks for predatory deals. Vitale refused to sue the banks or even ask if they would be willing to give up a dime—instead closing schools and laying off teachers to make the payments. Further, without an elected school board, Vitale was safe to put his banker friends, business reputation and personal financial interests ahead of the school district that he led.


This former Board of Education president is also helping fund Rauner’s campaign to change Illinois voting maps that would weaken Black and Latino vote.

Board of Education




42 W. Madison


Demonstrators will call for an Elected School Board and for CPS to end its relationships with banks and toxic swaps and fight for progressive revenue. Parents and educators may take a vote of “no confidence” in CEO Forrest Claypool who has no long-term fiscal strategy to strengthen CPS.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel


Chicago City Council

City Hall

121 LaSalle


The CTU will join with citizens calling for an Elected Civilian Police Board in addition to its Elected Representative School Board. Educators will call on the mayor and the City Council to adopt progressive revenue options to fund public schools and to take a moral stand for the city’s more than 300,000 public school students by fighting for revenue, ensuring safe and healthy school buildings, restoring special education cuts, and ending toxic deals and contracts that cripple working families.

6 Replies to “Random thoughts. Calling out John Cullerton.”

  1. Fred,
    Why stop at Cullerton? This isn’t Rauner’s doing, he is calling for accountability. Not one of these jerks has ever been held accountable for tor their actions, not just today, but over a long period of time.

    Problem is bigger than an elected school board unless they have a printing press for $100 bills.

    1. Nope, Clyde. Wrong again. If you’re not for an elected school board then you’re not for accountability. You’re just a hypocrite.

  2. This event was totally misreported by capitolfax as some sort of pro Rauner reaction. As I suspected it was anger over the school board and perhaps anger at dems for extending this by not ending the insanity of Rauner at any time by impeachment and removal which they indeed are delaying because with the implosion of the republican party at all levels.Morally they should end this now because plus one or 2 house or senate seats are not worth the damage that will occur between now and January.

    1. Impeachment in Illinois is a complicated process that can not be done without a number of Republicans going along with it. The Republicans are being given big checks from Rauner, they are not about to go along with impeachment. Cullerton pointed out that the stopgap k-12 that Rauner demands be passed as is gives all districts full funding, except for CPS which is being cut by hundreds of millions of dollars. A few more Democratic seats that would allow veto overrides would make a big difference. The budget override attempts have fallen short by just one to three votes in the house. To override Rauner needed exactly every Democratic vote. Rauner proved he only needed to buy one Democrat to prevent the overrides.

  3. As the gov becomes increasingly unstable I could see him in a Hillary ad …if she needs to bother…on the dangers of voting in a mentally unstable rich guy who thinks he is richer than he is….and go with the predictable corrupt dem. I am more convinced Rauner is padding his wealth like Trump. He is more liquid but his tax returns are incomplete and seem to be his share of GTCR rather than income from a pile of wealth. I think his comment about his wife’s concern over his political spending……

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