CHICAGO — Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis is not known for holding back, and she certainly didn’t during her appearance at a City Club event this afternoon.
She went after Gov. Bruce Rauner, calling him a liar for saying he loves Illinois while trying to weaken the labor movement. But that language was pretty tame compared to what came next.
“You know, I`ve been reading in the news lately about all of these ISIS recruits popping up all over the place — has Homeland Security checked this man out yet?” Lewis said. “Because the things he`s doing look like acts of terror on poor and working class people.”
Meanwhile, teachers from Chicago took their fight to Springfield. Both the teachers’ union and CPS say the state needs to fix its school funding system to make it more fair in their eyes.
The governor didn’t have any public appearances today. His office did respond to Lewis’s comments in a very brief statement, saying: “This kind of rhetoric has no place in American public discourse and sets a terrible example for our kids.”
When asked about her comments after the event, Lewis said the governor is “holding people hostage” by delaying the budget.
“Who does that?” Lewis said. “You hold defenseless mothers who are brand new, you hold people who are disabled hostage because you can’t get something you else want that has nothing to do with a budget? It’s ideological. That’s terrorism.”
Lewis also told the City Club that Chicago is heading toward another teachers’ strike. But for those keeping track at home, there are still 26 days left in the mandated cooling off period.
CPS also asked the teachers union today to enter into binding arbitration instead of going on strike. Lewis called it a publicity stunt and flat out said “no,” that is not going to happen.