Yes, it’s that time of year again, when the governor lays out an agenda for what he wants to do during the upcoming legislation session.

Based on what he said shortly after the new year started, Gov. Bruce Rauner plans to double down on a lot of stuff that hasn’t gotten much traction so far in the Democratic-controlled Legislature. Like his vision for changes to workers compensation or freezing property taxes that he thinks will improve the Illinois economy. And he’s also brought up the idea of term limits again.

That means his State of the State speech could have a relatively short shelf life in the Legislature. But maybe that’s to be expected because Rauner will have to turn around and make his budget presentation just two weeks later. And given Rauner’s statement about the budget last week, that will be the speech lawmakers really want to hear.

You see, at an appearance in Skokie, Rauner said that in his budget presentation he will ask for more money for education, explain how to cope with a deficit in the current budget, propose how to begin doing away with the income tax increase approved just last summer and make it all add up into a balanced budget.

If Rauner does all of that, lawmakers might be so shocked they pass term limits by accident.

* Or we could not worry about the speeches, the budget or anything else.

You get the feeling that more attention may be paid this year to the bill to ban tackle football for kids younger than 12 than anything else that will be considered.

* It was sort of a return to childhood courtesy of the campaign for governor in Illinois.

In the process, “Sharknado” has been injected into the campaign.

Remember when you were a kid, and your alibi for doing something that landed you in trouble was the tried-and-true “but (insert name here) did it, too.” Followed immediately by the tried-and-true parental rebuttal “if (insert name here) jumped off of a roof, would you do that, too?”

The Rauner campaign resorted to a slightly higher level of that logic with Democrat J.B. Pritzker’s continued fumbling for an explanation about why he was talking about getting an appointment from disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2008 in a phone call taped by federal investigators. Pritzker’s latest stab at an explanation was that “hundreds of people were speaking with Governor Blagojevich at the time.”

Not only did this provide an indication that the Pritzker campaign needs to work harder on an explanation, but it gave an opening to Team Rauner to mock the response.

“Just because other people were doing it does not make it the right thing to do,” the campaign said in a statement.

It then listed several things that many people have done that were not necessarily right. Such as “hundreds of people may have used steroids in baseball.” And what Rauner list would be complete without a jab at House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago. “Hundreds of people took patronage jobs from corrupt Illinois politicians like Mike Madigan,” was another example cited by the campaign.

But truly the oddest entry was “hundreds of people thought Sharknado was a good movie.” It is not clear why the campaign picked on "Sharknado" as opposed to any other subpar movie that nonetheless was popular with the public.

The campaign is not clear which "Sharknado" it feels is inferior. There were several "Sharknado" movies and only “Sharknado: the 4th Awakens” gets a really crummy rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The site credited the first one with being “proudly, shamelessly and gloriously brainless,” the kind of high praise you might wish was bestowed on some political activities.

Contact Doug Finke at, 788-1527 or