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Prison reform group responds to new Rauner ad

Saturday, Sep 20, 2014

* The John Howard Association has responded to today’s new TV ad that slams Gov. Quinn’s 2009 early release program…

As Illinois’ only non-partisan prison watchdog, the John Howard Association doesn’t care who becomes the state’s next governor, but we do care about safe, fair, and effective criminal justice policy. That’s why in 2012 we led a broad-based coalition to reform Illinois’ early release program, which Govern Quinn had suspended a few years before. Our proposal won significant bi-partisan support in both chambers and was signed into law not only because it made needed changes to the old early release program, but also because it addressed the fundamental reality of our prison system: almost all prisoners eventually come back.

Illinois needs a correction system that is as good at returning people safely and successfully to their communities as it is at incapacitating offenders. The state has made significant progress in this respect since 2009, from reducing our costly use of juvenile incarceration to removing barriers to employment for people with criminal records, but we have a long way to go before we can say our prison system makes wise use of our limited resources. The only way we are going to get there is if we continue to embrace thoughtful approaches to crime and punishment and abandon the failed policy and politics of over incarceration.”

John Maki
Executive Director
John Howard Association

* Somewhat off-topic, but the new Rauner ad has a typo

A Quinnster commented…

The more desperate they get - the sloppier their work

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Quinn hit on botched early prisoner release program

Saturday, Sep 20, 2014

* A Bruce Rauner TV ad opens a brand new (for this year) and powerful front against Gov. Pat Quinn.

The new ad slams Quinn him for his administration’s botched early prisoner release plan that just about cost the governor the 2010 Democratic primary. Bill Brady didn’t really emphasize the botched program, but Rauner isn’t making that same mistake. Have a look

* Script…

230 violent criminals, secretly released early by Pat Quinn.

Sex offenders, wife beaters, convicted murderers.

What happened after Quinn freed them is unthinkable.

Sexual assault of a minor, violent domestic abuse and more senseless murders.

The unthinkable didn’t have to happen.

Now Pat Quinn wants four more years?

* This is no one-off, either. Expect Quinn to get pounded on this and other topics for the rest of the season.

* Documentation from the Rauner campaign…

On December 14, 2009, The Associated Press Reported That The Illinois Department Of Corrections Had Instituted A Secret Early Release Program Known As “MGT Push” And That 850 Inmates Had Already Been Released Weeks Earlier Than They Should Have Been. “Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has suspended a prison program that allowed repeat drunk drivers, drug users and even people convicted of battery and weapons violations to serve less than three weeks’ total time behind bars. Records obtained and analyzed by The Associated Press show that since September more than 850 inmates were released weeks earlier than they ordinarily would be. The Corrections Department was saving money by abandoning a policy that requires inmates to serve at least 61 days and awarding them discretionary good-conduct credit immediately upon entering prison.” (John O’Connor, “Ill. Suspends Program That Released Inmates Early,” The Associated Press, 12/14/09)

At Least 230 Of The Inmates Quinn Released Early Were Serving Sentences For Violent Crimes Or Crimes Involving A Weapon. “Corrections also dropped a 61-day minimum stay for all inmates, meaning scores of prisoners spent a total of less than three weeks behind bars, including county jail time. They served, on average, 26 days in the state pen, from as few as seven to 60, just below the old minimum. On the updated list, at least 230 released early were convicted of violent crimes or those that involved weapons. (John O’Connor, “Ill. wrongly reported early release prisoners, The Associated Press, 1/23/10)

Criminals With Histories Of Murder And Rape Were Released Early Under Quinn’s Program. “A west suburban man sentenced to prison for murder conspiracy was freed early under a controversial state program that Gov. Quinn called a ‘mistake’ and discontinued last week, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found. Also sprung early were 20 other men with killings or attempted murder in their criminal backgrounds, records show. Six were convicted of murder, five of second-degree murder, one of manslaughter, one of murder conspiracy and seven of attempted murder…During a news conference last week, neither Quinn nor Randle pointed out the degree to which people with murder, armed robbery, rape and other convictions for violent crimes had been released under the program.” (Frank Main and Chris Fusco, “Back on the street,” Chicago Sun-Times, 1/6/10)

Criminals With Histories OF Domestic Battery Were Released Early By Quinn. “Quinn on Wednesday has backtracked from earlier statements, acknowledging that he knew ahead of time that the state Department of Corrections had planned to release some inmates early as part of a cost-saving measure. Quinn, however, has refused to say whether he knew that some of the prisoners had been convicted of violent crimes that included domestic battery.” (“Gubernatorial Challenger Hynes Takes Quinn To Task,” Belleville News-Democrat, 12/17/09)

Darrell Bracey Was Released From State Prison On September 23, 2009 Under MGT Push, After Serving Just One Year Of A Three-Year Sentence For Burglary. “The 23-year-old Bracey was freed Sept. 23, 2009 after serving one year of a three-year sentence for burglary, including 55 days in the state penitentiary.” (John O’Connor, “Ill. Parolee Wasn’t Picked Up After Battery Claim,” The Associated Press, 9/20/10)

On January 4, 2010, Bracey Allegedly Had Sex With A 14-Year-Old Girl. “If he had been picked up in December, he could have been back behind bars Jan. 4, the day he admittedly had sex with the 14-year-old girl, according to investigators. Naperville police investigated the incident as a criminal sexual assault, records show, but prosecutors have not filed charges because the victim’s family is not cooperating, according to the Will County state’s attorney’s office.” (John O’Connor, “Ill. Parolee Wasn’t Picked Up After Battery Claim,” The Associated Press, 9/20/10)

Joshua Paddock Was Let Out Of Prison November 6, 2009 And Was Arrested December 12 For Domestic Battery. “Joshua Paddock, 21, who was sentenced to four years in early 2008 for aggravated battery. Lake County Jail held him about 18 months, he left Stateville Nov. 6 after 14 days, and was arrested later that month for driving without a license. But Corrections did not revoke his parole until after he was arrested Dec. 12 on four charges of domestic battery.” (John O’Connor, “Quinn: Secret prison early release ‘big mistake’,” Associated Press, 12/31/09)

Paddock’s Victim Was Beaten And Choked For Four Hours In A Hotel Room. “According to the Corrections documents, the victim contends Paddock stripped her, kicked her, choked her and dragged her across the pavement and back into a hotel room over the course of four hours.” (John O’Connor, “Crimes come to light Gov. Quinn denies knowing offenses of released inmates,” Associated Press, 1/9/10)

Edjuan Payne Was Serving Time For Criminal Damage To Property When He Was Released Early Under MGT Push. “Payne was serving time for criminal damage to property when he got out last fall as part of Quinn’s secret early prison release program, although he also had an earlier murder conviction. He was sent back in January for violating parole on the property damage charge by drinking alcohol and not properly reporting to his parole agent. He was freed in March. On Friday, he was charged with murder in Peoria.” (”Parole Violator Now Charged With Murder Was Released Early,” The Associated Press, 5/18/10)

Payne Was Sent Back To Jail In January Of 2010 For Violating His Parole. “Payne was serving time for criminal damage to property when he got out last fall as part of Quinn’s secret early prison release program, although he also had an earlier murder conviction. He was sent back in January for violating parole on the property damage charge by drinking alcohol and not properly reporting to his parole agent. He was freed in March. On Friday, he was charged with murder in Peoria.” (”Parole Violator Now Charged With Murder Was Released Early,” The Associated Press, 5/18/10)

Payne Was Released From Prison Again On March 29, 2010. “Payne would have served the remainder of his sentence (which was one year because the state counts each day served as two) and been released at the end of July 2010. The state’s Prison Review Board, however, allowed Payne to be released from prison on March 29, 2010. The PRB is an independent agency. It does from time to time make confidential recommendations to the governor relative to clemency petitions.” (Andrew Greiner, “Former Convict Accused of Second Murder,” NBC Chicago, 5/14/10)

On May 13, 2010, A Month And A Half After He Was Released From Prison, Payne Was Arrested For the Murder Of A 41-Year-Old Peoria Woman. “Peoria police arrested a Chicago man Thursday in connection with the death of a 41-year-old woman whose body was found in an alley. The woman’s body was found Thursday morning in the alley in the 1400 block of Northeast Perry Avenue and she has been identified as Orvette Davis. The 8-month-old infant found lying on the ground next to her is her granddaughter, Aaliyah Gaston. The infant was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center on Thursday morning with what police described as non-life threatening injuries. Police arrested Edjuan L. Payne, 40, of Chicago and booked him on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and endangering the life of a child. (Scott Hilyard, “Police Arrest Homicide Suspect,” Peoria Journal Star, 5/13/10)

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Reader comments closed for the weekend

Friday, Sep 19, 2014

* So after an exhausting bout with an ear and throat infection, I woke up early yesterday morning with a stye in my left eye. I put some medicine into it and went back to bed, then noticed that Oscar the Puppy had gotten sick in the bed and then on the floor.

The poor little guy looked so pathetic I almost cried. I took him outside (with one eye closed), then cleaned up the bedroom. I carried Oscar to the tub and gave him a bath and took him to his room and then I started to get sick. I wrote yesterday’s Capitol Fax with one eye closed in between sprints to the bathroom. I was exhausted all day, and went to bed right after work.

I woke up this morning and the stye had moved to my right eye.

“No way am I doing this again,” I said as I medicated my eye and crawled back into bed with Oscar. We both slept until nine.

* My brain is mostly OK, but my body feels completely spent. The combination of a long weekend at the Phases of the Moon Festival, the ear/throat infection, yesterday’s illness and yet another stye has me feeling like I’ve been beaten up.

If it wasn’t for the kindness of two friends who brought me soup (chicken on Tuesday, beef on Wednesday), I’m not sure I woulda made it. Also, I have a new intern and he drove me to the doctor’s office on Monday and has run some other much-needed errands this week. He’s been invaluable. Good kid. You’ll meet him soon.

And thanks to everyone I deal with every day for trying not to be overly harsh to me during this amazingly screwed-up week.

* With the TMI stuff out of the way, let’s move on to the Phases of the Moon festival. I wanted to write about it all week, but I was too tired, too busy and too ill to get into it.

I posted some videos on my Facebook page (I’ve switched pages, so click here to “like” and follow).

You can’t control the weather, and there will be hiccups with the first anything. It was cold. It rained. It was a bit muddy. I didn’t really care. Everybody was sweet and nice and chill. I loved every moment of it.

* As I told you last week, I missed Thursday because I was working. I arrived Friday evening in time for most of the Grace Potter and The Nocturnals show. Wow, that woman has some pipes

Grace was followed by The String Cheese Incident, who put on a solid show. After their first set, I went back to the camp site to set up my camper and chat with my neighbors, including Rep. Chad Hays and Rep. Mike Tryon. I’d missed their performance on Thursday and they filled me in on what was going on, how best to get around, etc. Around midnight, some of us ventured forth to see the Monophonics, but I was just too tired by then and wandered back home through what sure seemed to me like freezing rain or even snow. Man, it was cold.

* We started Saturday with an 11:30 am set by Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers. She called it the “hangover show.” The sun came out and she was eventually joined on stage by members of Leftover Salmon

What a great way to start your day.

We went back to the camping area for a fabulous breakfast, then on to Leftover Salmon, followed by, for my money, the biggest breakout act of the weekend, Jackie Green. Here he is doing “New Speedway Boogie”

* Tedeschi Trucks Band was the next set I saw, and it was the best show I’ve seen all year

We ended the night with Widespread Panic. Actually, that’s not true. We had several musicians back at camp (Sen. Don Harmon had left, but then returned Saturday) and they entertained us until the wee smalls. It was freezing cold, but they never stopped playing. We’re going to need a fire pit next year for sure.

* Sunday morning started with a rockin’ set by Leon Russell, then Vintage Trouble, then Robert Randolph

And then Gov’t. Mule

Man, I surely didn’t expect to hear “No Quarter” Sunday night.

By then, I had to go home. I missed Railroad Earth (which I really wanted to see) and Widespread Panic’s second set. Not to mention all the side stage acts throughout the weekend that I didn’t make it to.

* Phases was one of the best festivals I’ve ever attended and I will definitely be back next year, but with warmer clothes and boots!

…Adding… Many thanks to the festival organizers, particularly Jeanie Cooke. You’re the best. Thanks to Chad Hays for scouting out a perfect camping spot in advance and for keeping things moving smoothly all weekend - and to Mrs. Hays for being the best “camp mom” ever. Thanks to the local county sheriff and his deputies for being so laid back and so understanding of a somewhat “foreign” culture. The workers and volunteers did the best job humanly possible of cleaning up after Wednesday’s storm, so thanks to them, too. Literally everybody I came into contact with - from the tschotske vendors, to the golf cart taxi drivers, to the security folks, to the artists, to everyone in the crowd - were warm and inviting and friendly. I just couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Have a great weekend!

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

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Friday, Sep 19, 2014

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

*** UPDATED x1 - Griffin gives another million *** Rauner giving more cash to state GOP

Friday, Sep 19, 2014

*** UPDATE *** I thought he’d lay low. Apparently not…

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* Greg Hinz

The Illinois Republican Party has just received another big bag of sweet stuff from its favorite sugar daddy.

That would be GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner, whose campaign committee, according to a disclosure filed today, donated another $750,000 to the suddenly flush state party yesterday. By my count, that makes at least $2.75 million this summer alone, with most of that cash originally coming from Mr. Rauner himself.

Neither Team Rauner nor the party’s spokesman is commenting on how the money will be spent. It appears to be a combination of Mr. Rauner running expenditures for mailers through the state party so it can get a better rate on postage than the Rauner campaign can on its own. More significantly, donations will be used to help candidates for the Illinois Senate and, particularly, the House.

* Dave McKinney

By far, the largest expenditures the state GOP has made since Rauner opened up his campaign committee’s fundraising spigot have gone to the House Republican Organization, which is focused on ending House Speaker Michael Madigan’s 71-vote supermajority.

State campaign records show that the House Republican Organization has collected more than $577,000 from the state GOP since June.

If Madigan were to lose just one seat, House Republicans then would have the power under the next governor to block veto override attempts and borrowing proposals.

* Meanwhile, on a somewhat related front, a buddy sent met this stuff the other day…

In June Bruce & Diana Rauner donated the max $10,500 each to the Illinois Republican Party.

On 9/12 one of them donates $10k to Henry County Repubs

On 9/17 Henry County Repubs donate $7k to Illinois Republican Party.

On 8/14 Rauner donates $7k to Hanover Elects Responsible Officials (HERO

On 9/17 HERO donates $7k to Illinois Republican Party. HERO had $1,399 in the bank on 6/30.

I asked the state party what was going on and they didn’t have an explanation. You’ll recall a similar thing happened a few years back with a couple of other wealthy Republican donors, the Griffin’s.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      

Question of the day

Friday, Sep 19, 2014

* Ben Yount discussed “Downstate independence” in the context of yesterday’s failed Scottish referendum

I think his fatal flaw is believing that Downstaters want “smaller government.” If you look at the pension votes, the screams about facility closures, etc., lots of Downstate legislators, at least, don’t necessarily want a smaller government in their areas.

* Greg Hinz

Maybe we could learn something from that. And maybe some of our politicians would learn something from Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, the main instigator of the independence movement.

After his view that Scotland would do better as an independent nation was rejected by voters by a better than 55 percent to 45 percent ratio, he announced his resignation both as leader of Scotland and as head of its leading political party. The message: The people have spoken. They rule.

When’s the last time you saw an American politician fall on his sword, metaphorically? When did a House speaker who couldn’t deliver what he promised, a mayor who has fallen short or a governor who has struggled to deliver anything at all accepted responsibility, much less offered to quit? And let’s not even talk about the last indicted Illinois legislator who walked away from his job, rather than waiting for the trial and impeachment.

Good for the Scots. I hope someone in Illinois is watching.

* The Question: Did you learn anything from the failed Scottish independence campaign? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

Schimpf trying to raise money to air radio spot

Friday, Sep 19, 2014

* From Illinois Review

Friday, Republican candidate for Illinois attorney general Paul Schimpf sent out an email asking for financial help in getting the following radio ad on the air. His Democrat opponent, incumbent Attorney General Lisa Madigan is sitting on $4 million in her campaign coffers.

* His hoped-for ad

Schimpf has reported raising $19,155.69 since July 1st.

* Meanwhile

Paul Schimpf, the Republican candidate for Illinois Attorney General, issued the following statement today in response to news that a federal grand jury has recently issued subpoenas relating to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative and the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority of which Ms. Madigan co-chaired:

“I call on Ms. Madigan to disclose whether she, her office, or any members of her staff have been subpoenaed to provide information in this federal investigation. Whether state funds were used for political purposes is at the very heart of this investigation. As evidenced by a recovered email, Ms. Madigan’s Chief of Staff was directly overseeing bonuses and raises as a result an election. The citizens of Illinois deserve to know the extent of Ms. Madigan’s involvement in this matter and whether subpoenas have been issued to anyone connected with her office.”

* I asked AG Madigan’s spokesperson about this and her reply was…

We have not been served.

- Posted by Rich Miller   16 Comments      

This is what you’d call a “tell”

Friday, Sep 19, 2014

* The Tribune editorial page has often been called the “Winnetka Talking To Wilmette” section of the newspaper. Check out today’s editorial about how the Art Institute was just rated the top museum in the world by TripAdvisor

Now, let’s ask a potentially embarrassing question: Have you spent more time in museums in Paris or New York than you have in your hometown?

Yep, I don’t see those folks pushing a minimum wage hike any time soon.

* The full TripAdvisor list is here, by the way. Also, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum was rated 19th best in the US of A.

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      


Friday, Sep 19, 2014

* We’re coming to this a bit late, but the governor is hosting a live Q&A on Twitter. Some of the questions are good, some are funny, some are goofy trolls and the Rauner campaign has jumped in as well (Rich Goldberg’s tweets). Follow along with ScribbleLive

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      

Frerichs wants Cross to call off the state party dogs

Friday, Sep 19, 2014

* From a press release…

Downstate Democrat Mike Frerichs, candidate for State Treasurer, is calling on his Republican opponent Tom Cross to drop his party’s effort to knock Libertarian candidates off of the November ballot. The Libertarian Party has called for a criminal investigation into allegations of voter intimidation by armed security guards working on behalf of Cross and gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner. A Sangamon County judge rejected efforts by the Illinois Republican Party to force Libertarians off the ballot on Thursday, but the GOP has refused to say whether they will continue their legal challenge.

“I find Tom Cross and the Republican Party’s tactics outrageous,” says Frerichs, who at age 26 ran against a candidate backed by House Speaker Michael J. Madigan. “I know politics can be pretty rocky, but when Republicans sent men with guns to people’s homes and intimidated them, they crossed way over the line.”

Throwing Madigan under the bus, eh? That’s an interesting little turn of events. I covered that race. The Madigan guy went on to lose the general. Frerichs might’ve done better, were my thoughts at the time.

* They have a local angle as well…

The Frerichs campaign is also calling on Tom Cross and the GOP to drop plans to restrict voter access on college campuses and in minority communities on Election Day. Frerichs notes that the Republican Party has a long history of blocking student voter participation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), which Frerichs represents. On campus, Republicans have required college students to provide multiple forms of identification in order to cast ballots, generating long lines at the polls and discouraging voting.

* And then they tie him to ALEC…

Tom Cross has a history of opposing voter participation in Illinois. Cross voted against legislation in 2013 sponsored by Frerichs (House Bill 105) that encourages student voter participation. Republicans staunchly opposed the bill when it was amended to allow same-day voter registration to ensure that Illinoisans aren’t denied their vote simply because they had moved recently because it benefits students and poorer families. Cross was also one of only 22 conservative House lawmakers to oppose House Bill 226, a measure that allowed 17 year-olds to vote in the primary elections provided they turn 18 before the November general election.

Tom Cross is also affiliated with national efforts to block voter participation, according to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), a nonpartisan watchdog group. The CMD website,, says Cross is a leader within the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a rightwing corporate think tank. According to CMD, ALEC has led efforts to disenfranchise “students, African Americans, low-income, and older citizens” by passing voter identification laws across the country.

CMD also notes that Cross is a leading member of ALEC’s committee on civil rights. In 2011, Cross participated in an ALEC conference aimed at restricting the rights of women, racial minorities, gay Americans and older workers in all 50 states to sue for wrongful termination, workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.

“When the cameras are on and everyone is paying attention, Tom Cross says nice things and even occasionally votes the right way,” says Zach Koutsky, campaign manager. “When Tom Cross is exposed in the back room, it is a different story. The public should visit to find out what Tom Cross and ALEC really stand for.”


- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      

Rauner Internet ad pairs Quinn with Blagojevich

Friday, Sep 19, 2014

* Keep in mind that this is only a Web ad…

Rauner Web Ad: “Cut from the Same Cloth”

Over the past week Pat Quinn has admitted to protecting 103 illegal patronage hires – including 20 that could be fired immediately – and found himself at the center of a second criminal investigation by a U.S. Attorney.

In other words, it’s become clear that Pat Quinn and Rod Blagojevich are cut from the same cloth.

* The video

* The script…

Today’s finding was conclusive, guilty on 17 of 20 corruption counts.

Rod Blagojevich is just the tip of the iceberg here, the weight is on Pat Quinn.

Gov. Pat Quinn and impeached ex. Gov. Rod Blagojevich filled hundreds of positions at IDOT.

Culture of patronage when it comes to hiring.

It seems politicians have gotten better at covering their tracks.

Another day, another political scandal for IL Gov. Pat Quinn.

It feels like deja vu…

* There’s a reason why this isn’t on TV. The message probably won’t work on a mass scale. People don’t like patronage, they don’t like using government money to benefit a political campaign, but they generally don’t think the other party would be any different.

And since Rauner didn’t use the spring and summer to pound a “Quinn is corrupt” message home with millions of TV dollars, it may be too late to effectively start that track now. So, throw it up on the Web and get some media coverage.

* Plus, there’s a key difference here between what RRB did and what Quinn’s IDOT and Quinn’s top staff (and, maybe Quinn himself, we don’t know yet) did or are accused of doing.

Patronage is a civil issue. It became a criminal offense in Chicago because the patronage operation there did clearly illegal things, like claim a job applicant was interviewed on the same date the guy was actually out of the country.

The Illinois Attorney General conducted a massive investigation of Blagojevich’s hiring practices, but the US Attorney asked her to shut down her probe and forward him the results. He never used the info.

* From Steve Schnorf in comments last night

How do you know the clouting was political, not personal, in each case? How do you know that none of the people were qualified for the positions they were hired in to? How do you know all the staff assistant titles were misused and that none of the people hired into them performed the work called for in the job description? How do you know the promotions or transfers in each case happened as soon as possible? How do you know the promotions or transfers were each improper or unfair? How do you know each benefited “knowingly”? I missed answers to those question in the IG’s report. Do you have information that most of us don’t have, or are you inferring the answers?

Were there Rutan violation? My guess is there were a bunch. Were each of these the same, like a cookie cutter? Based on experience, I’ll bet there are a whole bunch of different scenarios that occurred here. Is patronage illegal per se? I don’t know how. Should those hirings be done in violation of Rutan? Surely not. What happened at DOT was clearly a significant problem, no doubt about it. On the other hand if things haven’t changed too much, the State probably hired in 20-25,000 people over the past twelve years, and promoted that many more, so 245 isn’t a huge number. If you see this as institutionalizing corruption, so be it. But I don’t…

* And as far as NRI goes, from what we know so far the corruption was mostly at the bottom of the rung. Now, the Quinn administration could very well be hiding something. Right now, though, there’s nothing in the documents released that connect any illegal dots directly to him.

Was the anti-violence program designed to help Quinn get reelected? Sure. But politicians do this sort of thing all the time. Bridges, roads, new facilities, new programs, new grants, whatever. And most people get that.

* This isn’t meant to be a defense of Quinn. It’s just a look at the realities of Illinois. If you want people to believe that Quinn the “reformer” is actually corrupt, you’d better spend a ton of money to do it. And spend it early. So far, neither has been done.

We’ll just have to see what happens. If that video goes viral, then maybe Rauner is on to something and it’ll wind up on TV.

…Adding… The Quinn campaign passed along this link to a 2007 interview with Rod Blagojevich where he claims that Lt. Gov. Quinn wasn’t part of his administration.

- Posted by Rich Miller   68 Comments      

Bost claims poll shows him up by 4

Friday, Sep 19, 2014

* From a press release…

Today, the Bost for Congress campaign announced a recent poll that shows Illinois 12th Congressional District candidate Mike Bost continues to maintain his lead over incumbent Beltway Bill Enyart.

Key Findings from Polling:

    Mike Bost has a +4 point lead over Democratic incumbent Congressman Bill Enyart.

    43 percent of district voters indicate that they would vote for Bost, 39 percent would vote for Enyart, 7 percent are voting for Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw, and 11 percent are undecided.

Bost continues his months-long polling lead. Throughout the race, Enyart has never lead in polling.

“Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama have spent millions trying to gloss over Bill Enyart’s disastrous record and it’s not working,” said Bost Campaign spokesman Jim Forbes. “This poll is just more proof that Beltway Bill Enyart and his Washington, D.C. cronies don’t understand what’s important in Southern Illinois. Voters would rather have Illinois authenticity than beltway talking points.”

The poll was conducted by the Tarrance Group, a nationally-recognized and widely-respected polling organization.

That Greenie may be hurting Enyart as much as Pat Quinn.

But notice no date is given for when the poll was taken. This release may be due to some nervousness about the new Enyart/DCCC “rant” ads.

…Adding… The Bost campaign says the poll was conducted Sept. 16-18.

* Meanwhile, the NRCC has a new TV ad in the district…

“Congressman Bill Enyart went to Washington and let Southern Illinois families down. Instead of fighting for them, he has sided with Nancy Pelosi to support Obamacare while voting to give himself taxpayer-funded perks. It’s time for new leadership in Washington and Mike Bost is just that. Bost has fought for this community for years and will continue that fight in Congress.” – Katie Prill, NRCC Spokeswoman

* The ad

* Script…

ANNCR: Bill Enyart claims he’s for us, but his votes tell a different story.

Enyart backed a plan that gives Congressmen taxpayer funded perks and special benefits.

Bill Illinois families got higher premiums and layoffs.

Bill Enyart let us down.

Mike Bost is different. He runs a small business, opposes Obamacare because we need lower premiums and more jobs.

Change Washington with Mike Bost.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is responsible of the content of this advertising.

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      

More than just unclear on the concept

Friday, Sep 19, 2014

* This piece is now “Exhibit A” when demonstrating the gross intellectual dishonesty of the Illinois Policy Institute

In the throes of Illinois’ fiscal crisis, nearly every nook and cranny of the Illinois state budget should be fair game for review and reduction. But some state lawmakers don’t seem to think so, especially when it comes to their money.

In the waning hours of the final day of this year’s spring session, state politicians chose to exempt their own budget from the scrutiny of the annual appropriations process, the first line of defense against irresponsible spending.

House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton joined forces to introduce and enact a law prohibiting reductions from year to year in the appropriations made available in the annual state budget for legislators’ salaries and legislative operating expenses. Plus, their new law permits the payment of these salaries and expenses even if there is no annual appropriation for that purpose. […]

The authority to spend without an annual appropriation (called a “continuing appropriation”) is traditionally strictly limited. Its primary use is to ensure holders of long-term state debt that the state will continue to pay debt service when due until the debt is fully paid, which can take 20 years or more. To equate the payment of current expenses for the General Assembly to these long-term obligations of the state is absurd.

To authorize a continuing appropriation for this purpose sets a terrible precedent. And, in a time of significant budgetary crises, it runs counter to responsible budgeting.

* The “think tank” never explains the reason for the continuing approp language: Gov. Quinn vetoed legislative salaries last summer during his pension reform push. Bruce Rauner would surely try the same thing if elected. A precedent had been set and it had to be stopped in its tracks.

Without that 2013 precedent and Rauner’s shut-down threats, I could see the Institute’s point. I mean, who in their right mind would veto legislative salaries?

* This measure addressed a very real issue - an issue that is only mentioned in the most oblique way (and in the 13th paragraph of a 15-graf piece) by the Institute

What prompted legislators to pursue this “no cuts allowed, no appropriations needed” measure for their own budget in the first place was an ongoing political and budgetary dispute between legislative leaders and Quinn.

That’s it? That’s all the explanation? C’mon.

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      

Quinn: “Everybody in? I’m driving”

Friday, Sep 19, 2014

* Taking advantage of newly announced unemployment rate numbers, the Quinn campaign is unveiling a new positive TV spot today…

Quinn for Illinois today rolled out a new campaign ad highlighting the Governor’s commitment to driving job creation and turning the Illinois economy around.

Set in front of the Ford plant in Chicago he worked with to help grow, the ad ends with Governor Quinn strapping into the driver’s seat and saying, “We’ve got a ways to go, but we’re making the tough decisions to get us rolling again.”

The state’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since July 2008, and there’s more work to do.

“Everybody in?” Gov. Quinn asks to conclude the ad.

The Ford plant is just one example of Governor Quinn’s commitment to jobs.

* The ad

* The script…

Governor Quinn: “This Ford Explorer was built at that facility by these folks right here in Illinois. Our economic initiative allowed Ford to hire 2,500 more workers, and that supports other Illinois businesses, creating even more jobs. Unemployment is now at its lowest level since before the Great Recession.

“I’m Pat Quinn. We’ve got a ways to go but we’re making the tough decisions to get us rolling again.

“Everybody in? I’m driving.”

* Meanwhile, from yesterday

“The key words I think today are unemployment is down and jobs are up,” Quinn said. […]

“It’s the steepest decline in unemployment in the last 30 years in Illinois,” he said.

In August of last year, the Illinois jobless rate was 9.2 percent. Last month’s rate was 6.7 percent as state officials report the creation of 13,800 jobs, including 2,000 in manufacturing.

“These unemployment rate statistics can be misleading,” Rauner said. […]

“Many thousands of families in Illinois have stopped looking for work,” Rauner said. “That’s not a good reason to have the unemployment rate fall.”

* Tribune

Speaking at a downtown job fair for veterans, Rauner said the data could be “misleading,” arguing the jobless rate may have dropped because many people have simply stopped looking for work.

“The voters know and they’ve told me crystal clear that they don’t believe Illinois is going the right way and they are suffering,” Rauner said, before attending a closed-door fundraiser with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate. […]

“For those who want to be naysayers, they’re missing the boat. Get on board, get on board with the people of Illinois,” Quinn said, before criticizing Rauner’s investments in companies that outsourced jobs overseas.

* Rauner has a point, up to a point. The reality is Illinois’ unemployment rate is hugely lower than it was a year ago and there’s simply no denying that. The non-stop naysayers need to take a breath already. Y’all are starting to remind me of those relentlessly goofy poll “unskewers” from 2012.

Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal has a totally different take. He thinks the federal government is somehow skewing the unemployment rates because Republican states are experiencing increased rates while Democratic states are showing declining rates. I kid you not

- Posted by Rich Miller   70 Comments      

The sleep gap

Friday, Sep 19, 2014

* From the Atlantic

Though Americans across the economic spectrum are sleeping less these days, people in the lowest income quintile, and people who never finished high school, are far more likely to get less than seven hours of shut-eye per night. About half of people in households making less than $30,000 sleep six or fewer hours per night, while only a third of those making $75,000 or more do.

“We all have sleep problems,” McCalman says, speaking of his fellow airport workers. “Everyone who is doing two jobs has a sleep problem.”

* The chart

When I was a young boy, my dad always worked at least two jobs and often three to make ends meet. I don’t know how he did it.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      

DCCC releases second Bost “rant” ad

Friday, Sep 19, 2014

* With the DCCC’s first “rant” ad, Mike Bost’s defense ad and Bill Enyart’s ad, we’re now up to four rant TV advertisements

* Script…

In Springfield, Mike Bost likes to throw tantrums…

But it’s what that means for people, that’s really concerning.

Bost wasted taxpayer money on a Chicagoland golf course.

But opposed funding for veterans’ disability benefits.

And even signed a pledge that protects special tax breaks for corporations shipping our jobs to places like China.

Mike Bost would make Washington worse.

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      

* Prison reform group responds to new Rauner ad
* Quinn hit on botched early prisoner release program
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's cable TV buys
* *** UPDATED x1 - Griffin gives another million *** Rauner giving more cash to state GOP
* Question of the day
* Schimpf trying to raise money to air radio spot
* This is what you'd call a "tell"
* #QsforQuinn
* Frerichs wants Cross to call off the state party dogs
* Rauner Internet ad pairs Quinn with Blagojevich
* Bost claims poll shows him up by 4
* More than just unclear on the concept
* Quinn: "Everybody in? I'm driving"
* The sleep gap
* DCCC releases second Bost "rant" ad
* Yesterday's blog posts

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