State Week: Education Funding, Pritzker-Blagojevich, Rauner-Duke

Jan 19, 2018

This week, Gov. Bruce Rauner dodged a Nerf-ball question about whether former Congressman and Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was a racist. Meanwhile, Rauner, a Republican, is running an infomercial about Democratic primary candidate J.B. Pritzker. And we hear the latest on the school funding overhaul that just won't end.

Within a day, the Rauner campaign sought to clarify that the governor does in fact believe "David Duke is a racist." It was part of Rauner's long-running attempt to avoid any engagement with questions about President Donald Trump, though it echoed Trump's own wavering on Duke.

Meanwhile, Rauner is buying 30 minutes of airtime in a handful of markets across the state to air what are purportedly the complete FBI wiretap recording of a 2008 conversation between Pritzker and then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  (The Chicago Tribune it's only costing $11,900 and is not in prime time.) He's hoping voters keep asking about what Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown calls the "question that just won't go away."

Finally, after Gov. Rauner vetoed a clean-up bill on the big changes to education funding, the Illinois State Board of Education called for quick action. The ISBE also decided the time was right to request that legislators double state money for public schools.

Sean Crawford hosts with regular panelists Charlie Wheeler and Brian Mackey, and guest Dusty Rhodes of the NPR Illinois Education Desk.

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