Bruce Rauner wants us whistling a little Dixie.


Illinois’ Governor Bruce Rauner was in Decatur yesterday explaining his Right-to-Work Zones.

This idea came to him on the campaign trail. Maybe handed to him by ALEC or the Koch bros.

As you know, right-to-work states thrive in the land of the Old Confederacy. Down in Dixie union shops are often illegal.

And this works for the benefit of bosses in the North. When union workers Up North ask for a raise, companies engaged in contract bargaining can use the threat of moving south.

“Take a pay cut or we move to Mississippi.”

Or they close shop and move south.

Here’s what Rauner said a few months ago:

“Create opportunities where our state is really suffering the most. Create opportunities of more flexibility where they can innovate and really create environments that are very attractive to business,” the wealthy businessman told AP in the recent interview. “What I’d love to do is travel, on my nickel, recruiting companies to come to those zones and … create some true economic growth in some of the most impoverished neighborhoods.”

The zones would “allow local communities to decide whether workers must join a union in order to get a job,” according to Rauner’s website. He told AP such zones would give counties and cities control.

But unions and Quinn blasted the idea – which has already been contentious between unions and Republican governors elsewhere – as hurting workers and unions.

Rauner wants little pockets of Dixie throughout Illinois until he can pack us all up and move the whole state South.

I’m not talking about what Anne and I have been doing this last week.

We have been enjoying Florida weather in January.

However, as a working teacher I liked working in a cold union state over whistling Dixie.

Rauner’s only obstacle are the Democrats in the state legislature.

They are a wobbly obstacle at best.

It will require our unions to keep Democratic Party bosses like Madigan and Cullerton from joining in singing a chorus of Dixie.

Are we up to the task?

I am.

I hate that song.