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State Week: Rauner Blames Stalled Agenda On Emanuel, Republican Lawmakers

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Brian Mackey
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NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner requested a sit-down with the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune, and covered a range of grievances in his hour-long conversation.

He blamed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for not supporting the governor's agenda, he said House Republicans were not principled enough, and he seemed disappointed that Illinois no longer had a crisis he could leverage to pass his business-friendly, union-weakening agenda.

“We had the possibility of a transformation for the state with the crisis that we had — if we had a principled caucus. It’s the primary reason I ran. We had the opportunity for a massive transformation. We lost that,” Rauner told the Tribune.

Meanwhile, Rauner and his administration are still under fire for Legionnaires' disease deaths at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy; a computer transition meant the state cut off food stamp benefits for thousands of people, just before the holidays; and Illinois is no longer the fifth-largest state in America (congratulations, Pennsylvania).

Sean Crawford hosts with regular panelists Charlie Wheeler and Brian Mackey, and guest Rick Pearson of the Chicago Tribune and WGN radio’s The Sunday spin.

The State Week panel wants to hear your questions.

If there's anything you've ever wondered about Illinois government and politics — whether a current event or something historical — we want to answer your question on air.

We'd also like you to ask your question on air. There are two ways to get in touch:

  • Leave a voicemail at (217) 206-6412.
  • Record a voice memo on your smart phone and email it to brian.mackey@nprillinois.org. (Here's a helpful guide from NPR. Be sure to begin by saying who you are and where you're from, along the lines of: "Hi, I'm Brian Mackey from Springfield, and I've always wondered ...")

We hope to hear from you soon.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
The former director of the Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) graduate program is Professor Charles N. Wheeler III, a veteran newsman who came to the University of Illinois at Springfield following a 24-year career at the Chicago Sun-Times.
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