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Where do these people learn to talk like that???

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* From a Southern Illinoisan article about a dispute over debates between Bill Enyart and Mike Bost

“Springfield insider Mike Bost has no answer as to why he thinks we should lower the minimum wage and make thousands of Southern Illinoisans suffer, while at the same time he takes a pay raise from taxpayers for $3,100. It is not surprising he is now backing out of every debate possible,” said Enyart campaign advisor Jason Bresler. […]

This is just another example of Beltway Bill trying to distract from his votes in favor of Obamacare, Nancy Pelosi and and Washington DC. Mike has fought Springfield politicians at every turn, anyone who says differently, hasn’t seen YouTube,” [Bost campaign spokesman Jim Forbes] challenged back.

Ugh.

For crying out loud, learn to talk like human beings. Nobody’s gonna tune into those quotes except people who are already insanely hyperpartisan.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      


Suarez stands by her ad, produces evidence

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* Well, didn’t this story just get interesting?…

Rich,

I was just alerted to your post saying that someone else wrote the piece about women in the military. As I told you, I stand by my ad. Here is the original letter to the editor that was published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch on October 14, 1998. There is only one Kurt Prenzler (that we can find) living in the United States and he was living in Brentwood, MO at the time.

I think what you found was a post on Facebook by a gentleman trying to confront Prenzler with the words and Prenzler deleted it.

Please call me if you have any questions.


Marleen Suarez
Democratic Candidate - Madison County Treasurer

* The letter to the editor…

Oh, that’s gonna sting.

…Adding… If Suarez wants to raise any money to get that ad on the air, then she probably ought to update her fundraising link, which no longer functions.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* From an NBC Chicago report on Bruce Rauner’s Labor Day parade attendance

* The Question: Caption?

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Lifestyles of the rich and famous

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* The Tribune had a story the other day about Rahm Emanuel’s ties to Bruce Rauner. It skipped some important bones of contention, particularly those Rauner robocalls slamming Rahm’s pension reform plan. But, anyway, from the story

Just a few months before announcing plans to become Chicago’s next Democratic mayor, Rahm Emanuel strolled down the gravel path to a Montana resort restaurant with Republican businessman Bruce Rauner, both men smiling as they carried bottles of wine.

In his hand, Emanuel carried a bottle of Napa Valley Reserve. The wine — which a spokeswoman says was not Emanuel’s — is so exclusive it is available only through a private vineyard whose members pay six figures to join the club. […]

[Emanuel’s spokeswoman] said the bottle did not belong to Emanuel. Officials from Rauner’s campaign declined to comment.

* The Sun-Times followed up

Q: Do you belong to a wine club that costs $100,000 to be a member of?

RAUNER: (Laughs) I have many investments and I am a member of many clubs.

REPORTER: So that is a yes?

RAUNER: Yes.

* And the Quinn campaign pounced…

Quinn for Illinois spokesman Izabela Miltko issued the below statement regarding Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner’s comments today confirming that he belongs to an invitation-only wine club that requires a more than $140,000 initiation fee, a fact he hid from the Chicago Tribune over the weekend.

According to the wine club, the membership structure is similar to most fine private clubs. Membership is non-equity and by invitation only. There is a membership deposit with two levels of membership: Estate Vineyard Program and Designated Vineyard Program, both requiring an initiation fee of more than $140,000.

“You just can’t get more out-of-touch than Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner.

“While enjoying a luxury $140,000 wine club membership, Republican Bruce Rauner actually proposed to cut the minimum wage, taking $2,000 a year out of the pockets of hard-working Illinois families.

“Mr. Rauner’s proposal to cut the minimum wage was heartless on its own merits. The fact that when he made it, he was wining and dining himself on the best wine money can buy is even more callous.

“Bruce Rauner may not like the minimum wage, but he sure loves his vino.”

*** UPDATE *** From what I know of Rauner (spend big bucks on things that appreciate, like land and mansions, don’t spend money on stuff like watches and cars, which often lose value), I wouldn’t have guessed he would get suckered into spending that much money to join a wine club. WaPo has another possible explanation that makes more sense to me

While Rauner said he belongs to the club, it’s not clear if it’s NVR — or what he might have paid for that membership. As Worth dot com notes, Rauner was also a silent partner in Harlan’s first investment in vineyard property in Napa Valley. Perhaps his investment in land that Worth (the site) says could have been worth (the noun) somewhere in the neighborhood of nine figures meant he was grandfathered in.

- Posted by Rich Miller   68 Comments      


A very good point

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* Illinois has a veterans hiring preference law. So, handing out a few hundred state government jobs to the politically connected when those positions should’ve been handled by the civil service system (which would mean veterans would have a preference) does, indeed, harm some vets


- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      


Rauner outspent 2-1 on Chicago TV last month

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* Keep in mind that these Quinn-Rauner ad spending totals don’t include spending by that union-backed PAC which has run ads attacking Bruce Rauner

During the last month, the two campaigns spent nearly $3 million on TV ads in the expensive Chicago broadcast market, records show. And experts say the pace of ads and the amount spent will only grow in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 4 election.

From late July through Friday, Quinn aired 1,133 ads at a cost of nearly $1.97 million. That includes 159 airings of an unusual one-minute spot to introduce his campaign at a cost of almost half a million dollars. Rauner aired 1,382 half-minute commercials that cost just more than $1 million, records show.

People in the area tell me that both candidates have been running ads on St. Louis TV, which is almost unheard of at this point in the game.

Quinn is on a pace that pretty much everybody predicted. Rauner’s ad buys, however, are a whole lot lighter than I figured they’d be. Only a million for the entire month?

* But Rauner is picking up the pace this week

Rauner bought 466 spots for more than $536,000 in Chicago, including $90,000 for a pair of 30-second ads on Sunday’s Bears home game. That number could be even higher, as TV station records were incomplete late Friday. Quinn had bought 269 ads for the week at a cost of more than $420,000.

…Adding… Background info from a certain campaign…

Since the primary (3/18/14):
Rauner: $6.5M on broadcast, cable, & radio.
Quinn: $4.2M on broadcast, cable, & radio.

Since 6/11/2013:
Rauner: $15.8M on broadcast, cable, & radio.
Quinn: $4.2M on broadcast, cable, & radio.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      


So far, it’s still stuntish

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* Gov. Quinn was asked today about how the minimum wage challenge was going for him

Gov. Pat Quinn says his experience trying to live on the minimum wage for a week has meant graham crackers for dinner. […]

Quinn told reporters Tuesday that he’s opted for water instead of iced tea while eating out. He made the comments after talking to Chicago students returning to school for the first day of classes. […]

Quinn says he’ll spend $79 this week on food and other expenses. His campaign says that’s the estimated amount left for minimum wage workers after transportation and housing costs.

* React

State Sen. Bill Brady, who ran against Quinn in 2010, calls it a publicity stunt.

“Frankly, it kind of mocks the struggles those who are living on minimum wage are dealing with,” Brady said. “It defers the attention that really needs to be focused on creating good paying, career-oriented jobs. That’s what we’re about.”

This is merely a simulated experience. Quinn won’t have to constantly fret this week about paying his rent, or making his car payment, or buying school clothes for his kids, or keeping his phone and electricity turned on, or paying for a dentist to deal with an other-worldly toothache, or the myriad other soul-crushing emergencies that the working poor deal with every single day.

If the governor talked more about those realities, I’d be more inclined to say this isn’t a stunt.

* Quinn did talk about the policy importance of the minimum wage today, but it was the same old lines he’s been using…

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      


Politico report: Enyart slipping fast, Callis dumped

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* Politico’s Alex Isenstadt says Bill Enyart could be dumped soon

Despite the GOP’s troubles, Democrats remain anxious that the political environment could deteriorate still further before Election Day. They say two of their vulnerable incumbents, New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and Illinois Rep. Bill Enyart, may soon be lost causes and are scrambling to prevent that list from growing.

We’ll see. That’s certainly a tough district for Enyart in an off year with Pat Quinn’s numbers in the tank. But only one occupation polls lower than a sitting congressman: Illinois state legislator. Mike Bost has taken lots and lots of votes over the years.

* By the way, Bost is airing his first TV ad

* Back to the Politico article. Most of the chatter I heard over the weekend was about Ann Callis

Democrats have gradually narrowed their focus to protecting jeopardized incumbents and are likely to seriously invest in only the dozen or so candidates seen as realistic contenders for Republican-held seats. At the start of the cycle, for instance, national Democrats had been talking up the candidacies of Ann Callis, a former county judge running for an Illinois seat, and Amanda Renteria, a former Capitol Hill aide seeking a California seat. Neither candidate is now seen as likely to win, and neither is receiving as much attention.

The DCCC’s only evidence that they haven’t yet jettisoned Callis is their media buy reservations haven’t been canceled. Kinda thin soup.

* Meanwhile

Katie Prill, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the GOP’s Illinois strategy has changed from defense to offense. The NRCC has spent a half million dollars on television ads to support Dold against Schneider, and a total of $1.4 million to support Mike Bost, who is facing the Democrat Enyart, and Davis in their races.

Prill singled out the Dold-Schneider race as a “huge pickup opportunity” for Republicans. Dold lost to Schneider in the independent-leaning district by about one percentage point in 2012.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent $800,000 on ads so far in the Dold-Schneider race, and about $3.5 million in the other two districts. U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently appeared in Chicago to rally with Callis and Schneider, and push the Democratic campaign themes of equal pay for women and raising the minimum wage.

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - Another poll shows single digits *** Poll: Durbin with a single digit lead and slightly below 50

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* During the Illinois State Fair, I was chatting with a friend of mine who’s also a Chicago TV reporter. The conversation turned to Jim Oberweis and Dick Durbin. My buddy said Durbin would win going away. I said I thought it would be closer than that, partly because Durbin’s been in DC so many years. So, we made a bet. I bet the final spread would be single digits, my friend said it would be double digits.

The last We Ask America poll of this race in late July had Durbin ahead 53-38. The poll was taken before the State Fair, so I could understand why my buddy was so confident.

But things can change in politics. And while I haven’t yet won that bet, I may be on my way to collecting some cash

In a year that’s expected to tilt toward Republicans across the nation, Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. Senate, is leading Oberweis, who is making his third run for the Senate, 47.8 percent to 40.5 percent, the [We Ask America] survey commissioned by the Sun-Times’ political portal shows.

And in the first major survey since an Illinois State Board of Elections ruling allowed the Libertarian Party onto the ballot, candidate Sharon Hansen had a showing of about 4 percent.

Now you see why the Republicans wanted the Libertarian Party off the ballot. She’s getting 8 percent of the independent vote, according to the poll. So far, anyway, she’s splitting the anti-Durbin vote with Oberweis. We’ll see what happens when party loyalty kicks in.

…Adding… Something happened to half this post. It didn’t publish. Hold on a bit. I’m reconstructing now.

* More

Of those surveyed, 60 percent responded they were less likely to vote for a U.S. Senate candidate who had served in Washington, in the Senate and Congress, for 31 years. […]

Still, when asked: “If a candidate for the U.S. Senate has run five unsuccessful campaigns for various public offices in the past, would that make you more likely or less likely to vote for him?” [54 percent less likely] 44 percent said they were either more likely to support that person or that it made no difference.

* From the pollster

“The tight numbers may be a reflection of a Republican year,” he said. “Still, Sen. Durbin is close to 50 percent in the poll. He has the advantage of a large campaign fund and an experienced campaign staff. That can’t be ignored.”

*** UPDATE *** Durbin, you’ll recall, refused to release his own polling results last month. But Oberweis has released the results of his poll

Incumbent Democratic Senator Dick Durbin leads Republican challenger Jim Oberweis by a mere 6% among likely voters in the upcoming November mid-term elections. Receiving 44% of the vote, the 32-year incumbent is well below the 50% threshold.

Durbin and Oberweis receive comparable support from voters of their respective parties. Durbin garners 76% of the Democratic vote and Oberweis receives 77% of the Republican vote. Oberweis has a slim lead over Durbin among independent voters at 38-37%.

Libertarian Sharon Hansen receives 8% of the vote, noting that third-party candidates traditionally poll higher than the vote received at the ballot box.

On the generic ballot for Senate, the Republican candidate holds a slight lead at 44-43% over the Democratic candidate. Independents prefer to vote for a Republican (43%) over a Democrat (27%) to represent them in the U.S. Senate.

More results here. Durbin’s approval rating is upside down. Not good.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* Meanwhile, Oberweis got a big boost from a prominent black minister

Bishop Larry Trotter, the senior pastor of Sweet Holy Spirit Church of Chicago, said Sunday he’s backing Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis for U.S. Senate, changing allegiance from longtime incumbent U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. […]

He said he’s switching his support from Durbin to Oberweis after seeing meager economic development in African-American neighborhoods; a lack of a south suburban trauma center and a perceived “lack of access” to Durbin.

“When you pastor 8,000 people, I think you ought to get a return phone call,” Trotter said at a news conference in his church office Sunday afternoon.

He said he has spoken with Durbin only once despite “many attempts” to express his concerns to the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. Senate.

I’m betting the real reason is Trotter’s leadership of the anti gay marriage effort last year. Oberweis voted with Bishop Trotter. Durbin supports gay marriage. No mention of either fact in the article, however.

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - Suarez produces evidence *** A big swing and an even bigger miss

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

*** UPDATE *** As noted above, Marleen Suarez has now produced evidence which indicates that her ad is, indeed factual. Click here to read her response and see her evidence.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

Remember that brutal campaign video I posted a month ago about the Madison County Treasurer’s race? The ad, by Democrat Marleen Suarez, alleged that all sorts of bad things were discovered at Republican incumbent Kurt Prenzler’s daycare center, including “rat droppings and roaches.”

Well, Suarez’s campaign is at it again, but this time they’ve missed the mark, to say the least. Watch

Oof.

* But the allegations don’t appear to be true.

A Google search for the phrase “Meanwhile, there is sex in the barracks and the U.S. Navy has transformed itself into a floating brothel” turned up a cached result of a deleted comment on the Madison County Treasurer’s Facebook page.

That comment appears to have been written by somebody named Edward Hartmann, not Prenzler. Here’s a screen capture

Oops.

Amazingly enough, Prenzler doesn’t appear to have responded. Also, keep in mind that we’re talking Madison County here, perhaps best known nationally for its lawsuits. Stay tuned.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - Dold response *** Schneider up with first TV ad

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* As we’ve already discussed, outside groups have bought over a million dollars worth of TV ads attacking freshman Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider. Today, Schneider launches his own TV buy. From a press release…

U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) launched his first campaign television ad this election, highlighting his Democratic values and commitment to stand up to the Tea Party.

The ad features Schneider explaining what it means to be Democrat, including his support for marriage equality and protecting a woman’s right to choose. In contrast, former Republican Congressman Bob Dold makes no reference to his party affiliation in his most recent ad.

* The ad

* The script…

Here’s the thing.

To me, being a Democrat means we can’t let “We the People” turn into “We the Few”.

It means tea party obstruction has to stop.

Being a Democrat means we should lower the tax burden on the middle class.

It means we have to protect a woman’s right to choose and every person’s right to choose whom to marry.

I’m Brad Schneider and I approve this message because we’re all in this together, accountable to each other.

We can still accomplish great things.

Discuss.

*** UPDATE *** Dold campaign response…

At a time when voters have had it with do-nothing politicians and the bitter partisanship that has paralyzed Washington, Congressman Brad Schneider is demonstrating just how out of touch he is by doubling down on his record of serving his party leaders rather than the people of the 10th District.

No need to take our word for it, Congressman Schneider says it all himself in his new campaign ad while taking himself out for a coffee break.

After voting with Nancy Pelosi 90 percent of the time, Congressman Schneider’s own ad reminds everyone how enthusiastically he embraces blind partisanship and rejects the independent-minded leadership the 10th District enjoyed under Mark Kirk and Bob Dold. As if anyone needed a reminder.

But what Schneider deliberately leaves out in his first ad is 1) any record of accomplishment on anything at all from his time in office 2) the fact that he is the 10th District’s current sitting member of congress.

Why would the Congressman leave important details like these out?

“After amassing a record as a hyper-partisan politician who’s earned a toxic 28 percent approval rating and has been ranked as one of the least effective legislators in all of Washington, it’s no wonder that Congressman Schneider makes no mention of his abysmal record or even the fact that he’s a member of Congress,” said James Slepian, Dold for Congress campaign manager. “Congressman Schneider has demonstrated that he knows how to hide from his constituents, but the voters won’t let him hide from his record at the ballot box.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      


This year’s best test of party strength

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* My Crain’s Chicago Business column

If you’re a committed, socially moderate Republican or a hard-core Democrat, then the Illinois state treasurer’s race is a whole lot more important than you might think.

Don’t yawn. Let me make my case.

Please, click here to read the rest before commenting. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      


A boldfaced lie

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

“We should have billions of dollars every year as part of our budget process…(to) maintain and expand our infrastructure,” Bruce Rauner said last week, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Rauner has been doing his best to woo the road builders all year, and he was speaking to the Illinois Farm Bureau, which has lots of members who rely on roads and bridges to get their goods to market. So I understand the practical politics of his bold promise.

But this stuff costs money. Lots and lots and lots of money. And infrastructure is only his second priority. His top priority is education funding. He wants to spend even more money on schools.

Yet, Rauner says he wants to slash the state’s income tax rate. Can he really do all that with lower revenues?

There are three ways to pay for these pie in the sky plans: 1) Gin up the state’s economy to North Dakota levels; 2) Stop making the full state pension payments; or 3) Increase state total taxation far above current levels.

Let’s examine all three, shall we?

1) Rauner has been saying all along that economic expansion is key to generating the revenue needed to pay for everything he wants to do. Yes, Illinois’ jobless rate is down considerably over the last year. That’s good news. But unless oil and natural gas “fracking” turns our state into another Saudi Arabia, there’s just no way Illinois can hit Rauner’s fantasy projections.

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office issued a forecast that the nation’s economy will grow by a mere 1.5 percent in 2014. We’ll need state growth way beyond that just to start covering Rauner’s big promises. Does anybody out there really believe Illinois is capable of outperforming the national economy by that much, even with massive reforms to civil lawsuits, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance?

2) Resuming the state’s sad history of skipping or skimping on pension payments would likely result in a major bond rating downgrade, perhaps even to junk status. That’s really not an option. The other move would be to force local school districts to take over the state’s role of funding the teachers pension system. But Rauner has also proposed another amazing magical fantasy of capping local property taxes.

He can’t shift pension costs and cap property taxes all at once without decimating the budgets of every school district in Illinois. Period. End of story. And if he doesn’t muscle this local fiscal nightmare through the General Assembly in a big hurry (fat chance), there won’t be nearly enough money available to pay for even a little of what he wants to spend.

Rauner has also said he wants to immediately put all state employees, teachers and university employees into a 401(K) type retirement system to ease pressure on the state budget. But considering the Illinois Supreme Court’s clear hostility to anything that even remotely pares back public pension benefits, that idea ain’t gonna pass constitutional muster. Not to mention the huge outstanding pension debt the state has accumulated over the years, which still has to be paid off.

3) After assuring Republican primary voters that he’d slash taxes, the candidate now says he wants to gradually roll back the 2 percentage point, 2011 income tax hike over four years. That’s somewhere around $8 billion in lost annual revenue by his target date - about a 40 percent cut in current income tax receipts, and the personal and corporate income taxes account for a little over half of all state revenues.

According to the General Assembly’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, state revenues, including federal sources and the 2011 income tax hike, have grown an average of just 4.5 percent a year since Fiscal Year 1998.

Rauner’s proposed service tax would have to be ginormously biggerthan the $450 million or so he’s advertised to cover a nut like that. And never mind that taxes on services will tend to drive down consumption, which reduces demand, which hurts economic growth, particularly at the middle and lower ends (see fantasy #1).

Say what you want about Gov. Pat Quinn, and I’ve said more than my share of negative things over the years, but at least he tries to live somewhere in the neighborhood of budgetary reality. In contrast, the new government spending that Bruce Rauner is proposing on the campaign trail transcends the political posturing we’ve grown accustomed to as Illinoisans.

I don’t say this lightly, but it’s a boldfaced lie, cheerily spoon-fed to an angry, disgusted populace desperate for even a hint of good news. He needs to be called out for this.

…Adding… Greg Hinz

In an exchange of emails, the Rauner campaign appears to have removed any ambiguity about asking workers to accept less or to get their checks later rather than when due. “All benefits accrued to date will be paid fully and on time,” a campaign spokesman says. That means the money will have to come from somewhere else.

But where? Mr. Rauner has said he wants to repeal Mr. Quinn’s income tax hike over four years. He says boosting education aid will be his top priority and that much of the money will come from reviving the state’s still-lagging economy. But doing so will take time, sweat and the political skills of a Lyndon Johnson.

Even if Mr. Rauner somehow persuades Springfield Democrats to enact tort and workers’ compensation reform, switch out a tax on service for the income tax hike and take other controversial steps, will that provide enough revenue to make the schools happy and retire $100 billion in debt?

I doubt it.

- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      


Rate Gov. Quinn’s new TV ad

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014

* From a press release…

Featuring Governor Quinn’s 63-year-old push mower, Quinn for Illinois released a new ad today showing the Governor trimming his lawn and recounting the steps he has taken to rein in government spending and restore fiscal health to Illinois. The ad, which features the Governor mowing the lawn in front of his modest Georgian home in Chicago’s Galewood neighborhood, went up on the air this morning.

“I’m working to fix the mess and I’m not finished,” Governor Quinn concludes in the ad.

Governor Quinn inherited a mess, but he’s been making the tough decisions and getting the job done to move Illinois in the right direction.

* The ad

* Transcript…

Governor Quinn: “When I became Governor, state government needed to be cut, just like my lawn. So I got to work. I cut state spending by $5 billion, cut over 2 million square feet of office space, closed 50 state properties, and we’re selling 9 state airplanes. I suspended legislators’ pay along with my own. We balanced the budget in a fiscally responsible way. I’m Pat Quinn, I’m working to fix the mess and I’m not finished.”

…Adding… As you’ll recall, Quinn got some bad publicity not long ago when one of his neighbors complained that his lawn was too long. That could be seen as a negative metaphor here. Yeah, he’s cutting his lawn now, but he should’ve been cutting it all along… or something.

* The Rauner campaign is out with a “fact check”…

Quinnocchio Alert: New Ad Misleads on Quinn’s Record of Higher Spending, Higher Taxes, Unbalanced Budget

“Taxes in Illinois are a lot like the weeds in Pat Quinn’s yard – out-of-control and hurting his neighbors. The only thing Pat Quinn knows how to cut is education funding to the tune of $500 million.” – Rauner Spokesperson Mike Schrimpf

Quinn Claim: “I Cut State Spending By $5 Billion”

Reality: The Budget Has Grown Under Pat Quinn, And He Raised Taxes By $25 Billion

Spending From Illinois’ General Funds Has Increased From $32.23 Billion In FY2010 To $35.76 Billion In FY2015. (State Of Illinois Budget Summary - Fiscal Year 2015, Commission on Government Forecasting & Accountability, p.26)

Quinn’s Tax Increase Has Taken $25.7 Billion From The Pockets Of Illinois Families. “From an aggregate perspective, it is estimated, then, that a cumulative total of approximately $25.7 billion has been generated from the increases in the personal and corporate tax rate so far thru FY 2014.” (State Of Illinois Budget Summary - Fiscal Year 2015, Commission on Government Forecasting & Accountability, p.17)

Reality: Quinn Cut Education By $500 Million

Pat Quinn Has Cut Education Funding By $500 Million. (”State of Illinois Budget Summary - Fiscal Year 2014, Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, 8/19/13; “New Details Emerge on FY2015 Budget, Civic Federation, June 5, 2014)

Reality: Quinn Is Under Federal Investigation For His 2010 Slush Fund That Wasted $55 Million In Taxpayer Money

Pat Quinn’s Administration Is Under Federal Criminal Investigation For His 2010 Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. “Federal prosecutors and Illinois lawmakers are investigating a troubled state anti-violence program, creating a growing headache for Gov. Pat Quinn, who is locked in a tight re-election race. A legislative audit commission held a hearing Wednesday on the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative after subpoenaing members of Mr. Quinn’s administration. But the proceedings were hampered by federal prosecutors who recently confirmed that a criminal probe is under way into the program and warned lawmakers that public testimony could hurt their efforts.” (Mark Peters, “Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s Re-Election Hampered by Criminal Investigation,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/16/14)

The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative Wasted $55 Million In Taxpayer Funds. “The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative was launched in 2010 after Chicago community leaders called on Mr. Quinn to declare a state of emergency to address violence. The program, which had $55 million in funding in its first two years, focused on such areas as mentoring and assistance for those leaving prison. Earlier this year, the Illinois auditor general found ‘pervasive deficiencies’ in the program’s operations, including a lack of monitoring of expenses.” (Mark Peters, “Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s Re-Election Hampered by Criminal Investigation,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/16/14)

Quinn Claim: “We’re Selling 9 State Airplanes”

Reality: Much Like His Lawn, Quinn Only Did Something About Illinois’ Wasteful State Airplanes When People Started To Complain

Quinn Only Cut His Lawn After The Press Reported That His Neighbors Were Complaining. ” My own guilt made it hard not to cringe when the pictures showed up in my inbox. The snapshots of a forest of dandelions — those hated flowering weeds that choke front lawns and spread their seeds on puffy white pillows caught in the wind — showed every homeowner’s landscaping nightmare. Even though the photos were not of my front yard, I was hit with pangs of guilt because I should have weeded my own front lawn garden weeks ago. ‘Footlong dandelions all over,’ wrote the unhappy neighbor who sent the pictures. ‘Worst on the block. … I don’t know what’s worse, the front yard or the back.’ The dandelion tattletale said he sent the pictures because the dandelions and tall grass grow on the front lawn of a prominent Chicagoan who prides himself on regular-guy sensibilities — Gov. Pat Quinn.” (Mark Konkol, ” Gov. Quinn’s Front Yard Dandelion Forest Frustrates Neighbor,” DNAinfo Chicago, 5/22/14)

Bruce Rauner Proposed Selling Illinois’ Wasteful Air Fleet On June 12. “Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner on Thursday laid out the first specific cost-cutting proposals of his candidacy, saying Illinois could save hundreds of millions of dollars, including by selling most of its airplanes, merging the comptroller’s and treasurer’s offices, and reforming the agency that oversees state property and purchasing.” (Tammy Webber, Rauner Details Cost-Cutting Ideas For Illinois,” The Associated Press, 6/12/14)

Quinn Said He Would Seek To Sell Nine Of Illinois’ State Planes On June 30. ” Illinois Governor Pat Quinn made $250 million in budget cuts and put nine airplanes up for sale as the lowest-rated state in the country struggles to improve its finances.” (Elizabeth Campbell, ” Illinois Governor Quinn Cuts Budget, Sells State’s Planes,” Bloomberg, 6/30/14)

Quinn Claim: “I Suspended Legislators’ Pay, Along With My Own”

Reality: Quinn’s Stunt Was Unconstitutional, And Slapped Down By The Courts

Quinn’s Move Was Ruled Unconstitutional By A State Judge And Lawmakers Were Paid Their Salaries, With Interest. “A Cook County judge decided Thursday that Gov. Pat Quinn’s move to stop paying lawmakers was unconstitutional and ordered Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to pay them immediately — plus interest. Cook County Judge Neil H. Cohen ruled that Quinn violated the section of the Illinois Constitution that holds that state lawmakers’ salaries must not be changed during the term in which they were elected.” (Dave McKinney, Jon Seidel and Mitch Dudek, “In Blow To Gov. Quinn, Judge Rules State Lawmakers Must Be Paid,” Chicago Sun-Times, 9/26/13)

Quinn Claim: “We Balanced The Budget In A Fiscally-Responsible Way”

Reality: Quinn’s FY2015 Budget Is “Grotesquely Out Of Balance”

The FY2015 Budget Signed By Pat Quinn Is “Grotesquely Out Of Balance.” FOX 32 POLITICAL REPORTER MIKE FLANNERY: “I can’t recall seeing as irresponsible budget as was just approved… You’d think that the whole General Assembly was on medical marijuana when they were passing this thing. It’s grotesquely out of balance. It doesn’t have nearly the revenue that they claim. They emptied their whole dirty bag of tricks to make it look balanced.” (Fox 32 Chicago, 6/15/14)

Illinois Is At Risk Of Having Its Credit Rating Downgraded Yet Again Due To Quinn’s Unbalanced Budget. ” A top Wall Street bond-rating agency Wednesday raised the prospect of a downgrade on state bonds because of concerns over the newly implemented state budget and a recent court ruling on retiree health benefits. Standard & Poor’s lowered its outlook on the state’s general obligation bonds to negative, though it retained its existing A- rating on state bonds. ‘The outlook revision follows the enactment of Illinois’ fiscal 2015 budget, which in our view is not structurally balanced and will contribute to growing deficits and payables that will likely pressure the state’s liquidity,’ Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Robin Prunty said in a prepared statement.” (Dave McKinney, “Bond-Rating Agency Shifts State Financial Outlook To Negative,” Chicago Sun-Times, 7/23/14)

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