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Column

Rauner must show more leadership

SPRINGFIELD – There is an old Marine Corps saying that goes something like this: Lead, follow or get the out of the way.

Gov. Bruce Rauner would do well to remember that adage.

Because this past month he has failed at all three.

His first two years in office have been marked not so much by accomplishment but by clarity of vision.

But in the last month he has even botched that.

The Bruce Rauner who voters chose in 2014 was a man who stood for lower taxes, for reduced government spending and for reforming Illinois’ sleazy political culture.

He was the guy who ran on the platform of “shaking up Springfield.”

Well, he’s well on his way toward becoming what he ran against.

Remember he was the fellow who ran against “career politicians?”

And then last month he hired a failed one to be his deputy governor. Leslie Munger may have been an OK comptroller, but the voters gave her the boot and the governor’s office shouldn’t serve as a soft-landing pad for Rauner’s failed political friends.

After all, Illinois voters chose him to govern – not to cut sweetheart deals.

These are the type of political shenanigans that have infested past administrations. The folks who elected you, Bruce, wanted something different.

Oh, I know you have Rasputin-like advisers who are whispering in your ear: “Be Mr. Nice Guy, stay above the fray. And, remember ‘help’ your friends.”

That’s worthless advice.

The recent budget address could be best summarized as: Um, I dunno.

It had as many question marks as digits.

The only thing that Rauner’s critics and his past supporters seemed to agree on was that it was billions of dollars out of whack.

That’s not leadership. It’s vacillation.

In a state where ambiguity has long been the password for the status quo, Rauner is proving himself to be more of the same.

Illinois voters deserve to know where our governor stands.

Right, now, that’s a big question mark.

His administration isn’t beyond redemption, but it’s well on its way. We are left scratching our heads and wondering what does our state’schief executive stand for?

It’s time to stand for something.

Because, Bruce, we just don’t know you well enough, to miss you when you are gone.

• Scott Reeder is a veteran statehouse journalist. He works asa freelance reporter in the Springfield area and produces the podcast SuspectConvictions. He can be reached at ScottReeder1965@gmail.com.

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