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Rahm Says Rauner Is Using CPS Students As 'Pawns' In Budget Fight

By Mae Rice in News on Jan 6, 2016 4:13PM

Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The day after Gov. Bruce Rauner promised to sign a mayoral recall bill—rendering himself the least loyal vacation buddy Mayor Rahm Emanuel ever had—Rahm struck back, accusing Rauner of using CPS students as “pawns” in the state budget negotiations.

“The children of the city of Chicago are not a pawn in a political game in Springfield to get an agenda done that people don’t agree with. They deserve to have full funding at the same level that the kids in the suburbs and the rest of the state have,” the mayor told reporters at a press at what the Sun-Times described as “an unrelated news conference at a CTA bus garage.”

You can also watch Rahm go off (and see the bus garage in question) in the YouTube video above, where he says, among other things:

I give the governor credit for being honest about that cynicism. You want to work out a budget? You want to play political machinations with the leadership of the two chambers? Go right ahead. But, being upfront, at least he said that and he was honest — that he is going to hold the kids of the city of Chicago hostage as a pawn in that pressure — they are not a pawn in your political maneuvers. The approach should be to pass a budget and get the job done.

Rahm is referencing the state budget crisis, which has left Illinois without a budget, or even the ability to buy itself Christmas lights, for almost a year. There’s no end in sight, even though key government programs are suffering.

Between the family vacations gone sour, the general cattiness and the millions of dollars at stake, we sometimes wonder whether Chicago politics are a remake of Gossip Girl that takes place in random garages rather than New York City penthouses. You know?

(Rahm is Blair and Rauner is Serena, obviously.)