SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – President Barack Obama returns to his political birthplace Wednesday with a plea to the Illinois Capitol for “better politics.”
But his message will fall among the acidic word-war that has stifled Springfield for nearly a year. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, Democrats who control the Legislature, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have exchanged criticism – sometimes uncomfortably personal – over the state budget mess, Chicago’s schools, Rauner’s appointments and more.
Rauner says Emanuel has “failed” on public safety and schools. Emanuel has told Rauner to “stop name-calling and just do your job.”
The governor has said the state is in a “slow death spiral” because Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan cares more about protecting a privileged “political class.” Madigan retorts that Rauner’s conservative agenda is “extreme” and compromise requires “moderation.”