– Posting from Brooklyn.
No politician has been better at brinksmanship and threatening Armageddon than Mayor Rahm.
Remember when he threatened to shutter 300 Chicago public schools? He ended up only closing 50 neighborhood schools.
Many of us took the position that every public school was our school.
But some understandably focused on their own neighborhood school and breathed a sigh of relief when their school was taken off the list.
Fifty neighborhood public schools were closed by Mayor Rahm. Nobody had done that in the history of the United States. But compared to 300?
Most of us were not fooled by this tactic.
But some were.
A classic bargaining position. Rahm is the master of threatening global nuclear war and then bargaining down from that.
Rahm went after city public employee pensions knowing full well that the Illinois Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on police power and the pension clause. He knows that it is quite likely the Court will rule against the state.
But this is his sick methodology. He is counting on using this bully tactic to get a favorable Plan B from the unions representing city employees after the court rules.
Governor Private Equity and Rahm are old friends. As my post yesterday shows, they share a wide network of wealthy contributors.
Excuse me if I am thinking that the doomsday budget that Rauner proposed this week wasn’t the work of someone who learned some of his bargaining techniques from the Rahm School of Screwing Working Families.
It is true that neither the union leadership nor Democrats in the General Assembly responded well to Governor Private Equity’s proposals.
Some of these Democrats have learned The Quinn Rule: There is a cost to pay for appearing to oppose the interests of working families, union members and labor in Illinois.
Surely Governor Private Equity knows that his austerity budget will not pass the General Assembly with the Democrats holding a veto proof majority.
He’s playing the Rahm game of threatening Armageddon. He calls it shaking up Springfield.
But beware of the compromise. What part of the austerity budget will Madigan, Cullerton and the Democrats agree to?
Starting next week our group of retired teachers will begin visiting legislators.
Our message will be that this austerity budget must be rejected in full.
No new attacks on pensions.
No cuts to education and public services.
No falling for Rauner’s Rahm-like threats of Armageddon.
When I was a teacher I bargained plenty of contracts. The most important thing I learned from those years of bargaining is the power of the word, NO.
Say yes and the bargaining is over. You get the what is on the table.
Say no and you get to fight another day.
Say no to any austerity budget.