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  • Illinois DNC Delegation Takes Aim At Billionaire Governor Bruce Rauner
    Posted On: Jul 31, 2016

    By JoAnne Powers, August 1, 2016

    With a standoff over the rights of workers threatening schools and public services across the state, Billionaire Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has made no friend of teachers and organized labor.  The governor vetoed the state budget in 2015, saying he won’t sign it unless the legislature passes his so-called “Turnaround Agenda”, including anti-worker provisions such taking away collective bargaining rights for local government employees and elimination of prevailing wage protections for construction projects.  Rauner was a target of the state’s delegation at the DNC in Philadelphia on Thursday, with Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery taking the governor to task for comments he made describing half of Chicago Public School teachers as ‘virtually illiterate’:

    [Dan Montgomery]: “I’m a high school English teacher from Skoke…and, yes, I can read!  I’m actually literate, despite what our governor might think.  I graduated Summa cum laude from the University of Michigan.  I have a masters’ from Northwestern.  Teachers are well educated, highly trained, amazing people doing amazing work.  Two out of three teachers from the Chicago Teachers Union have masters’ degrees.  Shame on this governor!  Shame on him!”

    Montgomery also thanked state lawmakers such as Democratic House Speaker Michael J. Madigan for defending labor and working people in the State of Illinois, even as it’s resulted in vicious personal attacks from the governor:

    [Dan Montgomery]: “The slings and arrows of Bruce Rauner.  If you go around the state you see signs, you see unbelievable things aimed at Michael J. Madigan.  It’s not because Bruce Rauner doesn’t like him or doesn’t even like his politics.  It’s about power and control and he wants to go after whoever is going to stand up for working people.  The Mayor of Chicago stands up and defends Chicago Public Schools and the city of Chicago against this outrageous claim we’re going to bankrupt our public schools, and the governor turns against Rahm Emmanuel.  When we have disagreements, we have disagreements, but we have a common enemy out there in Bruce Rauner, and now Donald Trump.”

    While Rauner’s current term doesn’t end until 2018, Montgomery vowed to mobilize his union’s 100,000-plus members this November:

    [Dan Montgomery]: “Every labor leader in this room, we’re gonna get our members out on the street.  We’ve got a plan.  We’ve got a strategy.  There’s no turning back.  There’s no pulling the foot off the gas pedal.  We do have to work harder than we’ve ever worked, and if we do that, we can elect the great Democratic candidates who are on our ticket from Hillary Clinton, Tammy Duckworth, Susana Mendoza, right down to maintaining and improving our majority in the house and senate in Illinois.  We’ve got to do that.”

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