Thursday, June 06, 2013

Capitol Fax: Embrace politics and get things done

California Gov. Jerry Brown
Rich Miller at the Capitol Fax posted a piece by the IllinoisTimes' James Krohe Jr. that compared two blue-state governors. California's Jerry Brown and Illinois' Pat Quinn and the difference it's argues is both night & day. Gov. Brown so far has been plenty more successful than Gov. Quinn in handling the fiscal issues of their respective states.

Apparently Brown has been more successful in navigating the political climate of California than Quinn has in this state. It seems the Governor of California has utilized the skills of "deal making, persuasion and sheer immersion in politics".

Of the Governor of Illinois this Krohe observed, "As a citizen-advocate and later as a largely ceremonial lieutenant governor, Quinn got experience demanding what government should do but never had to learn how to do it."

As I've often stated Quinn is an honest man. He's a marked difference from the last two Governors who as a result of their political activities in office (corruption) were sent to prison. Alas when it comes to the many issues affecting this state during his tenure in office he has largely found himself inneffective. Although to be sure he has had some successes and has shown a willingness to work on these issues. Unfortunately, it appears after the end of the recent spring session of IL's general assembly some bad habits die hard.

Another observation by Krohe of Gov. Brown was that he "didn’t steer California back into deep water by being a “leader” but by assessing possibilities accurately, picking fights he could win, resorting to compromise when it was needed and exhortation only when it was likely to work."

Krohe also stated:
Illinois used to routinely produce politicians with similar gifts; its voters even elected some of them governor, the most recent one being George Ryan. But these days much of the public (and much of the Republican Party) thinks that possession of political skills disqualifies a person for public office.
The greatest politicians who just so happen to be executives whether Mayors, Governors or Presidents were those who were able to face great crises. Sometimes that means being a politician and doing what it takes to instill confidence in the government and finding ways to make the most difficult decisions. The recession starting in 2007-08 was a time to make difficult decisions and even now they still must be made.

We see the difference between two blue states. One is in better shape than the other and we're still trying to figure out how to become once again as Miller says "a state that worked". There's an election next year in Illinois, could any potential candidate on either side of the aisle be the politician who can utilize the same skills Gov. Brown has to bring this state back?

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