* From former Republican Congressman Bob Dold’s campaign..
The Dold for Congress Campaign today announced the debut of two new ads that will begin airing this week throughout Illinois 10th District. The ads will run on broadcast television and digital advertising platforms.
The first of two ads in the series, “Tables,” features Bob Dold addressing the most challenging issues facing 10th District families—from the rising costs of food and fuel to government gridlock and hyper-partisan politicians in Washington and Springfield who simply aren’t listening. Dold also discusses his commitment to restoring honest, effective and bipartisan leadership to the 10th District’s seat in Congress.
The second of the two ads features Dr. Kristie Dold-Bennett, an OBGYN in Buffalo Grove and the youngest of Bob’s three sisters. In “Healthcare Choices,” Dr. Dold-Bennett discusses Bob’s record of commitment to expanding choices in women’s healthcare.
Buoyed by clear momentum and overwhelming support among 10th District voters, the Dold for Congress Campaign also reserved nearly $1 million in Chicago network television in October and November.
“The 10th District wants serious and thoughtful leaders like Bob Dold who have a track record of rolling up their sleeves and getting things done for their constituents, not their party bosses. As has been widely reported, the momentum in this race is clearly behind Bob Dold as voters grow more tired of the divisive political games, partisan politics and ineffective representation that have defined Congressman Brad Schneider’s record in Washington,” said James Slepian, Dold for Congress campaign manger.
* The Schneider campaign provides a “fact check” on that second Dold ad…
Despite his rhetoric, former Congressman Bob Dold voted with Republicans seven times against women, including voting to defund Planned Parenthood and to undermine a woman’s right to choose.
“When Bob Dold had his chance, he joined Republicans instead of protecting women’s health and voted to defund Planned Parenthood and allow hospitals to deny women lifesaving care,” Schneider for Congress spokesperson Staci McCabe said. “Women deserve leaders like Brad Schneider who are 100 percent pro-choice, not a reliable Republican like Bob Dold, who voted repeatedly to undermine women’s rights to make their own health care decisions.”
“Washington shouldn’t limit the options women have on their own health care.”
Dold voted to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides critical health care services to women. [HR 1, Vote #147, 2/19/11].
Dold voted to allow hospitals to deny lifesaving health care to women and restrict a woman’s ability to use her own private insurance for health care. This legislation is also known as the “Let Women Die” Act. [HR 358, Vote #789, 10/13/11]
Dold voted to undermine a woman’s right to choose. In 2011, Dold voted for a bill that undermined and harmed women’s health by limiting access and funding for abortions. [HR 3, Vote #292, 5/04/11]
Family planning is a “personal issue.”
Dold refused to take a stand against the Hobby Lobby decision, which allows employers to interfere with a woman’s access to birth control. [Crain’s Chicago Business, 7/9/14] [Daily Herald 7/9/14]
In contrast, Schneider has earned a 100 percent score from Planned Parenthood and has been endorsed by both Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro Choice. Schneider stood up against efforts to limit a woman’s right to choose and helped introduce legislation to combat the disastrous Hobby Lobby decision.
* And here’s Schneider’s ad, which is a kinda/sorta revisit of that brilliant “too Repubilcan” ad he ran last time around…
* After over a month off the airwaves, the DGA and union-backed Illinois Freedom PAC is back in the game with a new TV ad. Rate it…
Bruce Rauner: “The businesses are leaving and they’re taking Illinois jobs with them”
Narrator: Bruce Rauner should know. His firm made millions outsourcing American jobs.
Narrator: Even worse, Rauner’s firm started an outsourcing company to help other American businesses ship our jobs overseas.
Narrator: When asked why it’s okay to make millions sending our jobs overseas, Rauner said,
Bruce Rauner: “Not every job should be in America”
Narrator: Bruce Rauner. Thousands of our jobs overseas. Millions in Rauner’s pockets.
Subscribers may recall a piece I did the other day about the level of expected DGA involvement from here on out. That would be, at least partially, this ad and others that could follow.
* Meanwhile, reporters aggressively attempted to get answers out of Bruce Rauner today on the nursing home scandal. They didn’t have much luck…
…Adding… Check out the look on Gov. Chris Christie’s face when Tribune reporter Rick Pearson points out that he is under federal investigation. Priceless. It starts at about the 2:10 mark.
…Adding More… From the Quinn campaign…
With a visibly bewildered Gov. Chris Christie looking on, Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner could not credibly answer a single question regarding his intimate involvement with the deadly nursing home chain that is currently the target of a federal lawsuit in Florida and which GTCRauner is a named defendant.
Freshmen Democratic State Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch has joined the chorus of Illinois House members denouncing Senate Bill 16, a massive education funding reform bill proposed by downstate freshmen Senator Andy Manar of Decatur. On Tuesday, Welch signed on as a co-sponsor of House Resolution HR1276 urging the members of the 98th General Assembly to cease efforts to pass SB16. Welch’s sponsorship of HR1276 gives the bill bi-partisan support. To view the complete text of House Resolution 1276, please visit www.ilga.gov.
According to HR1276, the purpose of SB16 was to propose education funding that provides adequate, equitable, transparent, and accountable distribution of funds to school districts that will prepare students for achievement and success after high school. However, if passed, several schools in the 7th Representative District stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars including Proviso Township High School District 209 and Westchester School District 92.
Prior to becoming State Representative in January 2013, Rep. Welch served on the Proviso School Board from November 2001 to May 2013. He served as Board Chair for a decade, and he lead the district in the creation of the Proviso Math and Science Academy (PMSA). Newsweek Magazine recently named PMSA one of the best high schools in the nation.
“SB16 is a disaster. If this bill passes in its current form, SB16 would devastate schools all across the 7th District and the State of Illinois,” Welch said Tuesday. “Schools in my district need more funding, not less.”
Rep. Welch, a long term school board member, a school attorney, and a member of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys, is scheduled to speak on Thursday in Washington D.C. on how to stop the schools to prison pipeline. A key component of Welch’s presentation is equitable funding for schools.
“I’m not against what Sen. Manar is trying to do in principle. I just think there is a more equitable and reasonable approach to education funding reform,” Welch said Tuesday.
Rep. Chris Welch serves all or most of the following west suburban communities: Bellwood, Berkeley, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, LaGrange Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, River Forest, Westchester, and Western Springs.
* The biggest news of the day could be that Republican Congressman Rodney Davis is being endorsed this evening by the United Mine Workers union.
* Now, let’s move on to some new TV ads. From Cheri Bustos…
Today, Cheri Bustos for Congress launched a new TV ad that highlights Cheri’s fight to cut wasteful spending so we can protect Social Security and end tax breaks for corporations that ship Illinois jobs overseas. “Basketball” makes clear that Cheri’s priority is to give the “middle class a fair shot.”
* Bustos goes positive while the DCCC goes negative…
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching its first television ad in Illinois 17th Congressional District, highlighting how former Congressman Bobby Schilling turned his back on workers who had their jobs outsourced to China.
The ad comes two years after more than 100 jobs at the local Sensata plant were shipped to China by Bain Capital and highlights how Schilling has voted to protect tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs – and even voted to let them keep their government contracts. The ad starts running today.
Former Chief Judge and Congressional challenger Ann Callis today put to rest the dishonest rumors that question her Illinois residency. Ann Callis’ family retained two independent legal professionals from Illinois and one from Missouri – none of whom have contributed to the Callis campaign – to provide legal opinions that conclusively affirm her residency in Illinois and discredit the allegations that she acted incorrectly by signing mortgage documents that listed a Missouri address.
The facts clearly show the allegations levied by Congressman Rodney Davis’ campaign, notably that there was a dishonest pattern of activity and that Judge Callis had signed fraudulent documents, are completely baseless. Similarly, the Davis campaign recently had to retract a radio advertisement after being caught making inaccurate claims, and the Illinois Republican Party previously faced pressure after they were slow to retract disproven claims that Callis had plagiarized sections of her website.
The Callis campaign has copies of the following documents, which are available to media upon request:
Signed PDF copies of full letters from legal professionals
Deed to the house Callis owns in Troy
Callis’ Illinois Drivers License
Callis passports issued in Illinois
Callis’ voting record and registration sent to her Edwardsville residence
News clippings Callis’ son playing football at Triad High School
Report cards for Callis’ son’s from Troy’s Triad High School
Certificate titles of vehicles owned by the Callis family
Statements from Callis’ neighbors
A former high-ranking state public health official was charged by federal prosecutors Monday with bribery, theft and tax evasion as part of a $13 million state grant-fraud case.
But the accusations outlined Monday against Roxanne Jackson of Olympia Fields merely could be the first step in a possible plea deal that is the subject of a federal court hearing in Springfield on Tuesday. […]
Jackson, the former chief human resources official under the state Department of Public Health, is accused of participating in a kickback scheme with the agency’s onetime former chief of staff, Quinshaunta Golden, who is awaiting sentencing, and South Side businessman Leon Dingle Jr.
Golden — once a top aide to former state Public Health Director Eric Whitaker, a personal friend of President Barack Obama — pleaded guilty in April to bribery and accepting kickbacks as part of a broader scheme that steered millions of dollars in state grants and contracts to Dingle and several not-for-profits he ran. Dingle is awaiting trial next month on federal charges of fraud, money-laundering and tax evasion.
A former member of the Illinois panel that conducts hearings on alleged ethics violations has been fined $2,500 for attending a prayer breakfast and fundraiser for a political candidate, according to an ethics commission report released Tuesday.
The Illinois Executive Ethics Commission found Stephen Thurston violated state law by attending a March 25, 2011, prayer breakfast and fundraiser for David Moore, who was running for Chicago City Council. Thurston spoke at the breakfast about “Moore’s Christian character, the need for everyone to get involved in the election process, and that Moore would be a good alderman,” the ethics panel said in its report.
State law prohibits commissioners from contributing to political campaigns or even attending a rally for a candidate for a specific post.
The feds allege that Dingle used “straw grantees” to obtain the grants, then funneled the money to a for-profit company controlled by him.
One of the alleged “straw grantees” is the Broadcast Ministers Alliance, a group of several prominent South Side ministers, including the Rev. Clay Evans, founding pastor of the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago; Bishop Lucius Hall, pastor of the First Church of Love and Faith, and the Rev. Stephen John Thurston, pastor of New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church.
According to the indictment, the Broadcast Ministers Alliance was among the groups that won more than $11 million in grants between 2004 and 2010. About $3.7 million of that money was allegedly transferred to a for-profit business controlled by Dingle.
There’s no claim by the feds that the “straw grantees” were involved in any wrongdoing — including the Broadcast Ministers Alliance.
But anyone who has worked on behalf of a nonprofit knows how difficult it can be to get funding, and these charges won’t make it any easier. [Emphasis added.]
Quinn’s new response ad is nearly identical to his 2010 response, including the closing photo. Watch…
* Meanwhile, the Quinn campaign wants you to know about this press release that I didn’t post over the weekend…
A coalition of legislators and leading criminal justice reform advocates issued the below statement regarding Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner’s new desperate campaign television ad, which misleadingly attacks a program that was shut down by the Governor more than four years ago:
“Bruce Rauner’s latest television attack is disgraceful. The truth is the 2009 early release program was shut down by Governor Quinn more than four years ago.
“We worked with Governor Quinn, along with judges, experts and many legislators in both parties to pass one of the strongest criminal justice reforms in the nation and protect public safety.
“The Governor’s leadership led to landmark sentencing reforms and a new program, Illinois’ Supplemental Sentence Credit program, which is a national model in guarding public safety and providing incentives for non-violent inmates to engage in positive behavior and rehabilitation.
“Fundamentally dishonest attacks such as this Rauner attack ad cheapen the public dialogue on prison reform and distract from real steps needed to make our communities safer.
“The fact that Bruce Rauner is digging up an old, failed attack signifies his increasingly desperate campaign and insults the people of Illinois who deserve a debate on the real issues.”
The very long list of those who signed the letter is here.
QUINN’S CLAIM: “What are the facts about prisoners being released 60 days early?”
FACTS: The inmates were not released 60 days early. The average was four months, and in some cases it was six months early. The 60-day reference is to the old policy that inmates had to serve 60 days before being eligible to collect any time off for good behavior. Ending that policy meant some inmates were getting time off and being released almost as soon as they walked into prison.
QUINN’S CLAIM: “The very day Gov. Pat Quinn found out about it, he took control, took action, and shut it down. He issued an order and stopped it cold.”
FACTS: Quinn halted MGT Push on Dec. 13, the day of an AP story reporting its existence. But the week before, when asked about it, Quinn’s spokesman denied anyone was getting out early.
Two days after the AP article, Quinn said he had known about the program ahead of time and claimed it had been well-publicized but wouldn’t say why he was halting it at that time. The next day, he said then-Corrections Director Michael Randle had not followed specific instructions to bar violent offenders from early release.
QUINN’S CLAIM: “Pat Quinn took responsibility. He didn’t duck it; he took action.”
FACTS: He took action, but he didn’t take responsibility. Quinn blamed Randle, who resigned in September. “I take accountability for the mistakes. The director who made the mistakes takes responsibility for them,” Quinn said.
Since Quinn’s new ad is nearly identical to the old one, it’s pretty easy to fact check it.
* The Tribune has dispatched a reporter to cover the federal bankruptcy trial of a nursing home company once owned by Bruce Rauner’s firm. This part of the story is really disturbing…
At the trial in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, plaintiff attorneys played videotaped deposition testimony from an elderly graphic artist with no nursing home experience who expressed bewilderment over how he came to be listed as the sole shareholder of a company that bought nursing home chain Trans Healthcare Inc. as it was in financial freefall in 2006.
“I don’t know that company,” Barry Saacks testified when asked if he remembered signing papers to buy Trans Healthcare. “Somebody must believe me.” […]
On the taped interviews, recorded in 2012 and 2014, Saacks often sounded disoriented and confused about many questions posed to him by lawyers, sometimes flashing a sense of humor about his level of ignorance of a company he purportedly owned. In the latter of the interviews, Saacks was seated in a wheelchair and wearing a hospital gown.
Heavyset and wearing a white beard that flowed to the middle of his torso, Saacks recalled having a few discussions about buying computer equipment with a lawyer he knew socially. That lawyer, Leonard Grunstein, is a business associate of New York real estate investor Rubin Schron who was a partner with GTCR in the nursing home chain. […]
Saacks said as far as he knew the deal for him to buy computers never went through. He said he never received any computers and he’s never seen any money from the business. However, Brett Baker, a lawyer for the firm that handled the stock sale to Saacks, has testified in a deposition that Saacks was paid cash to sign closing documents, something Baker said he raised concerns about at the time with his superiors because it was so unusual.
* Former AFSCME honcho Henry Bayer sent this snarky note to the folks on his e-mail list today…
I understand that Rauner’s secret plan to deal with Illinois’s $100 billion pension liability is to sign it over to Barry Saacks, the same guy he unloaded the nursing home liabilities on.
Those cynical folks who think Rauner’s just being cagey and has no plan to fix the pension mess don’t understand how business works and don’t know how to apply its “principles” to a stodgy, uncreative government .
Barry, hold on to your wallet if you still have one with anything left in it.
I’ve been telling Henry for months that he ought to start his own blog.
*** UPDATE 1 *** From the Quinn campaign…
Bruce Rauner Called to Explain Nursing Home Deceptions
Billionaire’s Lack of Truthfulness in Wrongful Death Suits Exposed By Press
CHICAGO - Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner was called on Tuesday to explain the outright deception he used to avoid responsibility for wrongful deaths at a chain of nursing homes he owned and controlled.
The Chicago Tribune reported Monday that Rauner was not being truthful when he claimed to have a distant relationship to Trans Healthcare Inc. (THI). In fact, the Tribune reported for the first time, Rauner was not only seeking to profit from the nursing homes but actually part of the group “calling the shots,” and deeply involved in day-to-day operations. He personally signed off on decisions there.
Equally disturbing, Rauner’s firm may have exploited an elderly, nursing home-bound man to be the fall guy in avoiding $1 billion in settlements for the horrific conditions that led to six deaths in Florida alone.
Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor Paul Vallas joined legislators and senior advocates Tuesday at a Chicago senior housing complex calling for answers.
“Bruce Rauner was in the driver’s seat at THI and he did not tell the truth. He did not tell the media the truth. He is not telling the people of Illinois the truth now. Why the deception? What more is he hiding?” Vallas asked.
“Bruce Rauner has a responsibility to tell us why he deceived the public about his control of this nursing home chain. He should be called to account for the deplorable conditions there under his watch and as a direct result of business decisions he made. And he should explain just why someone who so frequently dodges accountability should be placed in charge of agencies that serve our most vulnerable citizens in Illinois.”
“I’ve spent my career working to protect the most vulnerable, and these issues are close to my heart,” State Representative Greg Harris (D-Chicago) said. “How you treat our most vulnerable is a good indication of your values. First we learned that Bruce Rauner’s business record includes abuse and neglect that led to tragic deaths at his nursing homes in Florida. Now we are learning more about how Mr. Rauner handled this matter — he ducked responsibility and he didn’t tell the truth.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** Fact check from the Rauner campaign…
The Plaintiffs’ Charges Against GTCR With Regard To Barry Saacks And The “Sham” Company Were DISMISSED By The Federal Judge In March. “The complaint does plausibly allege that the Debtor was essentially created as a sham corporation. According to the complaint, the Debtor was formed for the sole purpose of receiving THMI’s liabilities, while its assets were secreted away to FLTCH. But there is no allegation that the GTCR Group had any actual involvement in the Debtor’s creation or that GTCR had any control over the Debtor.” (Memorandum Opinion On Motions To Dismiss, In Re: Fundamental Long Term Care Inc., United States Bankruptcy Court Middle District of Florida, Case No. 8:11-bk-22258-MGW, 3/14/14, p. 20)
GTCR Maintains That The Firm Had No Knowledge That Barry Saacks Was Involved In The Sale Of THMI. “Defendants expect Plaintiffs to make much ado about the role Barry Saacks played in the transaction. But neither Jannotta, Holdings, nor the GTCR Entities had any interaction with Saacks, much less knowledge that Saacks owned FLTCI. In a January 17, 2006 memo to GTCR’s Investment Committee, Jannotta stated that ‘Holdings has preliminarily agreed to sell Baltimore and THI of Nevada II, Inc. to Fundamental, which appears to be affiliated with ABE Briarwood Corp., and [THI] has preliminarily agreed to sell Management, Inc., to Fundamental (or an affiliate).’ Again, Defendants understood the buyers were affiliated Fundamental entities.” (OPENING STATEMENT OF DEFENDANTS GTCR GOLDER RAUNER, LLC et. al, In re: FUNDAMENTAL LONG TERM CARE, INC, United States Bankruptcy Court Middle District Of Florida, Case No. 8:11-bk-22258-MGW, 9/18/14, p. 7)
GTCR’s Contemporaneous Investment Committee Memos Show That GTCR Believed That Fundamental Long Term Care Holdings (FLTCH) And Fundamental Long Term Care Inc (FLTCI) Were One And The Same. “Holdings has preliminarily agreed to sell Baltimore and THI of Nevada II, Inc. to Fundamental, which appears to be affiliated with ABE Briarwood Corp., and [THI] has preliminarily agreed to sell Management, Inc., to Fundamental (or an affiliate).” (GTCR Investment Committee Memo, 1/17/06, p. 14)
*** UPDATE 1 *** The Department of Corrections’ spokesman just called to say state statutes are the reason why alleged child murderer Derrick Allmon was released from prison. This has, the spokesman said, “Nothing to do” with early release. More in a bit.
*** UPDATE 2 *** From IDOC…
· The only reason Allmon was out of prison is because State law required Allmon to serve 50% of his sentence, with good behavior-which he did. Again, State law, not IDOC’s discretion or any policy of any one individual.
· [Allmon served 21 months of a 42-month (3 ½ years) sentence, not “18 months,” as Superintendent McCarthy stated]
· IDOC and no authority could keep him in prison. Not legally permitted after he served 50% of sentence.
· Allmon received no early-release program time credit
· Allmon was not even eligible for IDOC program time-credit under the strict guidelines of the program
· Based on the sentence given to him by the courts, he was paroled when we were legally required to release him
· Allmon was convicted of a Class 2 felony. Class 2 felonies, by law, require that the incarceration period be 50% of the sentence, if the inmate practiced good behavior, which Allmon did while in IDOC.
· The parole board (Prisoner Review Board, PRB) is separate from IDOC and uses no early-release program. It is required by law to consider Class 2 felonies for parole after 50% of sentence is served with good behavior.
· PRB thus paroled Allmon, with restructions, which IDOC Parole Division enforced.
[ *** End Of Updates *** ]
* From the Bruce Rauner campaign…
Governor, why was Antonio Smith’s killer on the street? Pat Quinn needs to answer for his violent criminal parole policies
This morning, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell poses a simple question: why was the man accused of killing 9-year-old Antonio Smith on the street?
At the Friday news conference, McCarthy said Allmon shouldn’t have been on the streets at all.
“The real kicker to this entire case is that it didn’t have to happen,” McCarthy said.
Allmon, who police say has the word “Blessed” tattooed across his chest, had just been paroled from state prison in early August after serving about 1½ years of a 3½-year sentence on a weapons conviction, according to McCarthy.
* Rauner campaign…
We have many questions about this case – and other cases too. But today, let’s hear Pat Quinn’s answer to the most basic question everyone is asking: why was Antonio Smith’s killer back on the street?
* Meanwhile, Gov. Quinn’s campaign is attempting to raise money off of Rauner’s new TV ad that bashes Quinn for his administration’s botched 2009 early release program…
This is the worst one yet.
Bruce Rauner has a new attack ad up that falsely accuses the Governor of “secretly” releasing prisoners early, and tries to link the Governor to sexual assault and murder.
We can’t just sit back and let Rauner spread this crap.
Chip in $5 or more today to fight back against this disgusting attack.
We saw this same attack from Republicans more than four years ago. It wasn’t true then, and it isn’t true now.
Governor Quinn didn’t authorize a single early release — in fact, the very day he found out about the program, he shut it down.
If we don’t respond now, you can bet Rauner’s attacks will get even worse. We’ve got to punch back, right now.
* The Rauner campaign responds with a “fact check”…
When The Associated Press First Asked About Quinn’s Early Release Program (MGT Push), His Office Defended The Program. “When The Associated Press first disclosed MGT Push, Quinn’s office defended it. Then Quinn halted the program. Later, he said he had known about it but ordered the department not to include violent offenders. On Wednesday, he said he didn’t know about it until reading the AP story. (John O’Connor, “Analysis: Questions Remain About Inmate Release,” The Associated Press, 1/2/10)
On December 16, 2009, Quinn Told The Associated Press That He Knew About MGT Push Before It Went Into Effect In September. “Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he knew ahead of time that his Corrections Department planned to begin releasing some prisoners after just a few days behind bars. But Quinn wouldn’t explain Wednesday why he halted the practice after The Associated Press reported the release of hundreds of inmates including some convicted of violent crimes.” (”Quinn Says He Knew About Prison Release Program,” The Associated Press, 12/16/09)
On December 30, 2009, Quinn Claimed He Didn’t Learn About MGT Push Until Reading About It In The Newspapers. “Quinn maintained Wednesday that he didn’t know about the MGT Push program until reading the Associated Press story about it. That contradicts a statement Dec. 16 that he did know about it. Either way, it does not explain why his office defended the policy change when the AP initially asked about it.” (John O’Connor, “Quinn: Ill. Early Secret Prison Release A Mistake,” The Associated Press, 12/31/09)
I’m hearing that the Quinn campaign has a response ad up on this issue, but I don’t yet have it. I’ll post it when I get it.
The warden of Dixon Correctional Center is on paid administrative leave during an investigation into something the Illinois Department of Corrections was made aware of Friday, an IDOC spokesman confirmed Monday.
Nedra Chandler was escorted off prison grounds Friday and given a ride home after surrendering her state-issued car, which is standard IDOC procedure, department spokesman Tom Shaer said.
* I’ve decided that what this campaign season needs is more music. Lots more music. So, that’s what we’re gonna have. Let’s start today with Jackie Greene covering The Beatles. Turn it all the way up and blow that sleep outta your eyes…