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Program reminder

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

* The two major party candidates for Illinois comptroller will appear on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight program at about 7 o’clock this evening. They’re streaming it live on their website, so click here.

The Green Party candidate plans to protest…

WTTW Studio Protest Tues. Night Demands Equal Airtime for Candidates

WHO: Activists & Illinois Comptroller candidate Tim Curtin
WHAT: Protest against partisan bias in public broadcasting
WHERE: WTTW11 studio building, 5400 St. Louis Ave., Chicago, IL
WHEN: Tonight, Tues. Oct. 25th, 6:00pm to 7:00pm

There are four candidates on the ballot in Illinois this year for Comptroller, but viewers who tune into local PBS affiliate WTTW’s candidates’ forum on Tuesday will only see two of them. Tim Curtin, the Green Party candidate for Comptroller, isn’t taking it lying down: he’s organized a demonstration of supporters and equal airtime activists outside the WTTW studio, 6pm to 7pm on Tuesday, Oct. 25th.

“Street action is obviously a last resort,” said Curtin. “We tried repeatedly to work with the station to ensure airtime for all ballot-listed candidates. There are four names on Illinois ballots for Comptroller this year, and I don’t think it’s a controversial position to say that something billed as a Comptroller candidates’ forum should include all four of those individuals.”

* Anyway, use this post’s comment section to let everyone else know what went down.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      

I am dreading this World Series

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

* Ugh…

At least they admitted their mistake on that last one.

- Posted by Rich Miller   16 Comments      

Question of the day

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

* Comptroller Leslie Munger’s new TV ad has footage of Susana Mendoza seconding the nomination of Michael Madigan for House Speaker

* Script…

VO: Susana Mendoza spent her political career following Mike Madigan’s orders.

SM: “I second the nomination of Michael J. Madigan for Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.”

VO: Mendoza called him her mentor- but the Chicago Tribune called Madigan “the architect of Illinois’ financial downfall.”

VO: Together they voted for the largest tax hike in Illinois history and even raised their pay by a whopping 13 percent.

SM: I for one am thankful to the Speaker…for what he’s done for each and every one of us.

VO: Susana Mendoza. Just a career politician and Illinois just can’t afford her.

* Video of her full nominating speech is here. The transcript of that speech is here.

* The Question: Rate Munger’s new TV ad on a 1-5 scale, with 5 being the most effective and 1 being the least effective. Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

panel management

- Posted by Rich Miller   47 Comments      

The Financial Times reports from… Ottawa?

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

* Lindsay Whipp at London’s Financial Times wanted a local angle on Illinois’ US Senate race. So, a mutual friend put us together and I suggested she head to LaSalle County, a blue-collar area that Barack Obama won handily in 2008, but lost by just a hair in 2012 and the site of an intense state legislative battle

US veteran Stan Mazon enjoys a cigarette and beer on his porch, star-spangled banner swaying to his left, as he soaks up the afternoon sun in his sleepy home town of Ottawa.

Mr Mazon is not sure who to back in November’s presidential election, despite usually voting for the Democratic party’s candidate. Like many residents of Ottawa, the 68-year old is not necessarily voting along party lines in all races. The choice in the key Senate contest between incumbent Republican Mark Kirk and rival Tammy Duckworth, for instance, is a no brainer for Mr Mazon. He is voting for the Democrat.

As a fellow veteran, Ms Duckworth lost both her legs in Iraq in 2004. Senator Kirk’s campaign, however, has been criticised for misstating the extent of his military service. He has apologised, but for some it has not been enough.

“She’s a veteran and what she’s been through, she’s got my sympathy there,” Mr Mazon says. “Kirk did the wrong thing by lying about being a vet.”


Go read the whole thing.

What a great name for a reporter, by the way.

- Posted by Rich Miller   4 Comments      

Caption contest!

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

* Oswego Willy (in disguise) posing with Tom Ricketts at the friendly confines…

I have a few errands to run, so I’ll be back shortly after 1. Have fun, but be kind to each other.

- Posted by Rich Miller   74 Comments      

Nope. That was the Russians, not us

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

* I see this video posted on Twitter at least once a day, usually more…

* From

On 10 October 2016, the Christian Times Newspaper web site published an article reporting that “new evidence is surfacing” showing “widespread voter fraud carried out by Hillary Clinton supporters during the primary election” […]

This report is false, and no alleged “hidden camera and surveillance footage” documenting voter fraud is actually viewable on the site. The screenshot that accompanies the article was actually taken from BBC news footage about alleged vote fraud in Russia, not the United States […]

The Christian Times Newspaper (not to be confused with the legitimate Christian Times newspaper) is a fake news web site that has exploited the current political scene by publishing multiple fabricated clickbait stories related to the upcoming presidential election, including a false claim that thousands of pre-marked ballots for Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates had been found in a warehouse in Ohio.

How ironic.

* I’ve also seen a 2014 story about electronic votes being changed from Republican to Democrat recycled to make it look like this was actually happening to Trump backers. Click here for the Snopes debunk.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      

Another Republican touts Green Party vote to help Rauner

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

* Remember this Phil O’Connor op-ed from the other day?

Millions of Republicans, independents and Democrats across the nation are conflicted (read: HORRIFIED!) by the presidential candidates on offer from the two major political parties. In Illinois, where Hillary Clinton is certain to win the state’s 20 Electoral College votes, the question many are asking is: “How can I make my vote for president count?”

There is a way. Vote for the Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein, to help re-elect Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2018.

That’s right. Voting for the hard-left Dr. Stein, who makes Sen. Bernie Sanders seem like a sober bank president, can help Rauner win what is certain to be a hard-fought contest two years from now.

Here’s how it works.

If Stein receives 5 percent or more of the presidential vote in Illinois on Nov. 8, then the Green Party will qualify as an “established political party,” making it eligible to place a full slate of candidates on the 2018 statewide ballot. A Green Party candidate for governor in 2018 will attract several percentage points of the total vote — most of it coming at the expense of the Democratic nominee.

* Well, the idea appears to be catching on with some top GOPs. Former Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady had this response to Laura Washington’s question about how he plans to vote next month

“Jill Stein. Green Party,” the lifelong Republican replied in an email. “Want Greens to get to number so they are on ballot in 2018. Helps our side.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

The opposite of transparent

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

* What the what?

Chicago Public Schools officials are moving ahead with plans to add hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to the district’s books, setting up a blitz of construction projects.

The Chicago Board of Education on Wednesday is expected to approve borrowing as much as $840 million. But CPS won’t tell the public what it plans to spend the money on until after the district goes to market for the new bonds.

I doubt an elected school board could get away with doing that. Just sayin…

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      

Tribune attempts Kirk diagnosis

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

* Tribune

As U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s re-election bid approached, his camp knew it would have to convince voters that he is still able to serve following a major stroke in 2012.

Kirk’s first TV ad sought to address that question head on, taking people behind the scenes of the Republican senator’s grueling rehabilitation. The 60-second spot, dubbed “Courage,” showed the senator wrapped in medical gear as he struggled to walk on a treadmill, then slowly climbing stairs in Willis Tower and finally returning to Washington and ascending the steps of the Capitol with the help of a cane and a couple of colleagues. He was making a comeback to honor everyone facing their own challenges, Kirk said into the camera.

While Kirk has presented that image to the public, he has declined to produce detailed documentation on his recovery, treatment and physical and mental condition, making it difficult for voters to assess his fitness for office.

And then the Tribune proceeds to try and figure out what, if anything, is wrong with him. Go read it and report back.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

Wagers made on World Series

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

* You’ve probably seen these by now…

Has anyone else ever noticed that Ricketts looks a lot like Ted Cruz?

I kid.


* From the Sun-Times

“How about, let’s have a wager on the World Series?” Rauner said in front of Wrigley Field, standing next to Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts.

“If the Cleveland Indians are victorious, I’ll bet you I’ll deliver to you an extra-large Chicago-style deep dish pizza and a case of terrific Chicago-brewed microbrew beer,” Rauner said.

Rauner joked that Kasich will never get that food.

“You’re not going to get that delicious food and beer,” Rauner said. “We’re going to eat it here. Because you know what? The Cubs are going to win.”

Kasich posted his own bet on Facebook, saying he’d send Rauner “fan favorites from Cleveland” if the Indians lose.

Kinda lame, but any time that Rauner can get into a news story with a national figure who isn’t Donald Trump is a good day.

* Meanwhile…

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Cubs) and Sherrod Brown (D-Indians) made a bet today on the outcome of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. If the Cubs win, Brown will bring beer from Cleveland’s Platform Brewing Company to Durbin’s office. If the Indians prevail, Durbin will deliver beer from Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery to Brown’s office.

Really? With all the great Chicago microbreweries out there Durbin picks an InBev beer?

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      

A good question

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

* From a reader…


Maybe I have missed something, but I have never heard what the Republicans think will happen if Madigan is gone? I get that right now that would require them to win a majority. But if MJM just dropped the mic and walked off, do they think the caucus would rush to Rauner’s agenda? I just don’t get it.

It’s mainly just a schtick. Madigan is spectacularly unpopular. The Republicans think that unpopularity can move voters, so you go with what you think will work. Campaigns are different from governance.

My beef isn’t so much with the Republicans (campaigns are campaigns) but with supposedly sentient editorial boards and columnists who’ve never once pondered the above question.

And, yeah, it’s not like an overwhelming number of Democrats are ever gonna be eager to whack organized labor and the trial lawyers hard and cut off people from workers’ comp benefits.

- Posted by Rich Miller   50 Comments      

Could the SJ-R move the needle for DelGiorno?

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

* Springfield is one of those areas where newspaper endorsements can have an impact, especially in races that are totally within Sangamon County. So this surprise endorsement of Democrat Tony DelGiorno over Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez might possibly move the needle a click or two

Jimenez, the 99th district incumbent, began her career as a television journalist before going to work for state government, including communications jobs for the state treasurer, state comptroller and House Republicans. She was serving as chief of staff to first lady Diana Rauner before moving to the state House. DelGiorno is a lawyer and a member of the Sangamon County Board.

Jimenez cites her top priorities as education and solving the state’s budget crisis. She backs the governor’s desire to tie parts of his turnaround agenda to passage of a budget. She correctly takes the approach that the state needs to get its spending under control before considering additional revenue. But despite her background as a state government employee, she struggled to convey any of that inside knowledge or provide many specifics on some of her objectives. Her answers hewed to more partisan lines.

DelGiorno, by contrast, offered numerous specifics on policy, including practical ideas such as reinstating a lapsed state tax credit for research and development and looking to emulate a New York program that encourages new businesses to expand or relocate there through tax breaks and partnerships with higher education institutions. He does support redistricting and, seeking to dispel the notion that he’s a pawn of Madigan, said he’d support someone else as House speaker if he faced opposition. That’s not likely to happen, but it’s encouraging that DelGiorno did say he would support term limits for legislative leadership.

In this race, based on preparedness and specific ideas, DelGiorno earns the edge and the endorsement.

Sounds like Sara has been too closely handled. She’s smart, she’s been around the process for years and generally knows her stuff. I was shocked at that editorial.

You’ll recall that DelGiorno recently touted an early October poll which had him trailing by just 5 points, 43-38. 38 is a very long way from 50 plus one. But the unions are making a big push for him on the ground that doesn’t show up in his relatively weak campaign finance disclosures.

Jiminez, on the other hand, is getting big bucks from the GOP. Stay tuned.

* Related…

* Bernard Schoenburg: DelGiorno apologizes for backer’s vulgar Facebook post

- Posted by Rich Miller   52 Comments      

Chicago appears to account for most of state’s net voter registration gain since ‘08

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

* Early voting increases every year as people figure out they can do it. Some folks see it as a sign of intensity, and that could be true, too. But there’s a natural trend here

In Chicago alone, 17,493 voters had already cast ballots as of about 5:30 p.m. Monday, on the first day of expanded early voting. That beats a city record of 15,000 early voters on Day One in 2012, according to Chicago Board of Election Commissioners spokesman Jim Allen. Another 22,000 voters have already voted early — as Chicago voters were able to vote at a “super site” in the Loop beginning on Sept. 29. That marks the earliest early voting had begun before an election in Illinois.

* This, however, could be more significant

Illinois also had more than 7.9 million active registered voters as of Monday — beating the state’s previous high total of 7.8 million registered voters in the 2008 election during Barack Obama’s first presidential election, according to Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Jim Tenuto

OK, that shows intensity.

* And it turns out that Chicago accounts for most of that net state increase since 2008. According to the city elections board this morning, 1.497 million Chicago voters were registered in 2008. As of a week ago, the city was at 1.570 million registered voters.

The city’s elections board spokesman Jim Allen said his office processed “several thousand” online voter registrations over the weekend, which aren’t included in those totals. Allen also pointed out that there’s still a lot of time for voters to register, including grace period and election day. He estimates that the city has seen a net gain of 100,000 registered voters since early August. That number, of course, doesn’t include people who have changed their registration after they’ve moved.

Keep in mind that Chicago’s population has not significantly increased during that same time period.

* Back to the Sun-Times

In DuPage County, which typically leans Republican, 9,272 ballots have been mailed in, with just three voters using early voting. In Lake County, which also has a conservative tilt, 1,619 have early voted, with 10,742 mail in ballots already received of 31,976 requested.

Keep in mind, however, that Barack Obama won DuPage and Lake counties the last two cycles.

* More from the Chicago elections board…

Vote By Mail numbers are up: over 76,000 applications and more than 13,000 returned. That’s far many more applications to Vote By Mail in either 2008 or 2012.

Again, this could be a sign of intensity, but part of it could be that people are figuring out they can vote early and shut off the madness while they await the 2016 Sweet Meteor of Death.

…Adding… Press release…

A record number of suburban Cook County voters took advantage of the first day of Early Voting on Monday, shattering all previous marks for the day.

On Monday, 25,579 suburban Cook County residents voted throughout the 52 Early Voting sites in suburban Cook County and at Cook County Clerk David Orr’s downtown Chicago office. An additional 838 people registered and voted through Grace Period registration.

The previous record for the first day of Early Voting was set in the 2012 Presidential Election, when 13,779 suburban Cook County voters cast their ballots on Oct. 22, 2012.

“This is an incredible testament to the rising popularity of Early Voting,” Cook County Clerk David Orr said. “Whether it’s voting early at one of our 52 sites throughout Cook County, or voting from the comfort of home via a mail-in ballot, Cook County voters appreciate the options they have. There are contests and initiatives up and down the ballot that are generating a lot of interest from voters, who obviously want to make sure their votes are cast.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

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Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016

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* Program reminder
* I am dreading this World Series
* Question of the day
* The Financial Times reports from... Ottawa?
* Caption contest!
* Nope. That was the Russians, not us
* Another Republican touts Green Party vote to help Rauner
* The opposite of transparent
* Tribune attempts Kirk diagnosis
* Wagers made on World Series
* A good question
* Could the SJ-R move the needle for DelGiorno?
* Chicago appears to account for most of state's net voter registration gain since '08
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Dold demanded DCCC ad linking him to Trump be taken off the air
* Yesterday's blog posts

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