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Roskam claims health care plan

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2006

I’m posting this not only to give y’all a chance to pick it apart, but because I’m wondering if other Republican congressional candidates and incumbents will be using the same template.

Sixth District Congressional candidate Senator Peter Roskam outlined a 4 point health care agenda focusing on more choices, greater quality and reducing costs for suburban families and businesses. […]

“As the brother of 5 doctors, I am a natural advocate for finding innovative ways to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for suburban families and businesses,” said Roskam. “I believe Congress needs to give families and businesses more control over their own
health care decisions. I will work to provide healthcare consumers more choices and greater quality while reducing the cost of health care” […]

Roskam 4 Point Health Care Agenda for Businesses and Families

Step 1: Enact legislation to create Small Business Health Plans

Roskam will support legislation creating “Small Business Health Plans” which provide small businesses the opportunity
to band together to enjoy greater bargaining power and administrative efficiency.

* According to the Small Business Administration, 99% of all employers are small businesses and would benefit from these plans.

* Specifically, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that small businesses would see an average premium reduction of 13-25% under Small Business Health Plans (CBO, January 2000).

* This represents a real cost savings of $450 - $1,250 per employee. Most importantly, according to CONSAD Research Corporation, as many as 8.5 million previously uninsured workers would receive coverage thanks to Small Business Health Plans.

Step 2: Expand Tax Free Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s)

Roskam supports legislation expanding Health Savings Accounts by increasing contribution limits allowing families and businesses to contribute the maximum amount under their Health Savings Account.

* Co-Sponsor H.R. 5262, the “Tax-Free Health Savings Act.”

* Under this legislation, HSA’s would allow existing plans such as Flexible Savings Accounts to roll into HSA’s so they can take advantage of the additional benefits of this plan.

* HSA’s offer triple tax savings: 1) tax deductions when you or your employer contributes to your account, 2) tax-free earnings through
investment, 3) tax-free withdrawals for qualified medical expenses (U.S. Treasury Department, April 2005).

* In addition to healthcare cost savings, HSA’s have helped to combat the rising number of uninsured. According to the America’s Health Insurance Plan Trade Organization, 30% of individual HSA purchasers were previously uninsured. While critics seek to paint HSA’s as an option “for the rich only”, Assurant Health data indicates that 50% of purchasers have family incomes of less than $50,000.

Step 3: Promote healthcare efficiency and effectiveness with Health Information Technology

Roskam supports legislation to implement electronic health care records and health information technology.

* Researchers from RAND have concluded that effective health information technology and electronic health record implementation could save more than $81 billion per year, in addition to countless lives.

* Recently, the Health Information Technology Promotion Act of 2005 passed the House with 58 cosponsors and bipartisan support (H.R. 4157). Peter Roskam wholeheartedly supports this effort to provide quality healthcare at an affordable cost.

* Specifically, H.I.T. can reduce the rate of serious medical error by 55% and decrease the rate of potential adverse drug events by 84% (The Center for Health Transformation).

* Electronic Health Records offer a secure, portable way to maintain and share patient information between healthcare providers. These records have shown to reduce the rate of adverse drug events by 34%, decrease unnecessary lab utilization by 9%, and save over $44 billion per year (The Center for Health Transformation).

Step 4: Medicare

Roskam will work to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse and crack-down on those who abuse Medicare.

* The corrupt Medicare practices that are costing taxpayers as much as $54.5 million a day.

* According to the HHS Inspector General, waste, fraud, abuse, and improper payments drained as much as $19.9 billion from the Medicare Trust Fund in 2004 alone.

* Support the “Medicare Fraud Prevention Bill” sponsored by Congresswoman Judy Biggert which would reduce erroneous payments and strengthen law enforcement powers relating to Medicare abuse.

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      


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Tuesday, Aug 29, 2006

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Question of the day

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2006

What are your impressions of Sen. Barack Obama’s trip to Africa?

- Posted by Rich Miller   62 Comments      


Bad news for IDOT leaders - Updated x1

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2006

[Bumped up because it was posted so late yesterday.]

Have a look at this. [pdf file - fixed link] IDOT Secretary Tim Martin and two of his deputies appear to be royally screwed.

Martin, Mike Stout and Scott Doubet were sued by several former IDOT employees who claimed their firings were politically motivated.

“During the first months of tenure as governor, Rod Blagojevich publicly announced plans to fire employees that he associated with high-ranking members of the prior Republican administration on allegations that they participated in personnel transactions that would protect their continued employment,” states the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield.

It also says that Blagojevich directed the hiring of people on contract “for the purpose of identifying employees in State agencies that could be targeted for firing based on alleged affiliation” with the administration of former GOP Gov. George Ryan.

The attorney general originally appointed Jenner & Block to handle the case, but J&B backed out and IDOT’s top lawyer ordered the firm not to turn over any documents to AG Lisa Madigan’s office.

The dispute went to court, and a judge ruled today in favor of Lisa Madigan, ordering J&B to turn over the files.

This is a lose-lose-lose for the defendants, who claimed that Madigan wasn’t representing their best interests. That’s pretty obviously happening, as Madigan appears to be representing the state’s best interests and not necessarily the three individual defendants. They have complained bitterly of this in various pleadings.

[As I just wrote in comments, it seems clear to me that Madigan believes or at least suspects that the defendants acted outside the scope of their employment or she wouldnt have done things like order three IDOT employees to turn over subpoenas and threaten them with contempt of court against the defendants’ wishes.]

[Parenthetical update: I just lost half this post after attempting to update on my Treo. From here on out is a recreation.]

The judge also ruled that they could not hire their own attorney unless they gave up indemnification, which isn’t much of a choice.

The Defendants, in their individual capacities, may always forego indemnification by the state and hire their own attorneys to represent them. If they do so, the Attorney General will still represent them in their official capacities since those claims are against the state of Illinois.

And in a final blow, the judge ruled that Mary Lee Leahy had to answer questions and was not protected by attorney client privilege. The plaintiffs and AG Madigan wanted Leahy to be deposed (which gives you another idea where Madigan is going with this.) Leahy had advised the governor’s office after Blagojevich was sworn in, and had met with top IDOT officials, apparently about the case in question.

Thus, the dispute about Leahy’s deposition is, once again, a strategic one about how to conduct the defense. The Defendants consented to the Attorney General conducting the defense and agreed to cooperate. The Defendants, therefore, gave the Attorney General the authority to make these types of strategic decisions. Again, the Defendants do not assert that the substance of Leahy’s testimony will be adverse to their interests. The Attorney General’s strategic decision to let Leahy be deposed, therefore, is not adverse to them and, so, does not create a conflict of interest between the Attorney General and them.

The Sun-Times wrote about this back in May in a story entitled “Gov muzzles his clout-buster.”

At his first press conference as governor, Rod Blagojevich announced he was bringing in a clout-busting lawyer to help take politics out of state hiring. But now the governor doesn’t want her talking about what she did. His lawyers are keeping attorney Mary Lee Leahy from answering questions about whether 17 state employees were bounced in 2004 because of their political ties. […]

Attorneys for the laid-off workers say the administration is muzzling Leahy because it broke rules designed to make sure politics is not a factor in the overwhelming majority of state jobs. The federal government has been investigating state hiring since last fall, when a wave of subpoenas hit the administration.

UPDATE: The AP has a story up now. Not much different than what I have posted, but go see it for yourself.

- Posted by Rich Miller   66 Comments      


No respect should be expected

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2006

Political scientists make the expected predictions.

A third-party candidate for Illinois governor will find out Thursday whether he’ll be on the ballot in November.

But even if the Illinois State Board of Elections rules in Rich Whitney’s favor, analysts say the Green Party candidate’s effect on the results of the election will be negligible.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of impact,” said Chris Mooney, a political scientist at the University of Illinois-Springfield. […]

“He may siphon off a couple of thousand votes, but it’s not going to mean anything,” said Roosevelt University political scientist Paul Green.

The most likely scenario is that Whitney will pull votes away from Blagojevich, said John Jackson, an analyst with the Paul Simon Public Policy Center at Southern Illinois University.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Radio Network has turned thumbs down on inviting Rich Whitney to participate in the governor’s debate.

Jim Anderson of the Illinois Radio Network has told candidate for Illinois governor Rich Whitney that he will not be allowed to join the Oct. 2 debate with Gov. Blagojevich and Treasurer Topinka.

That’s not unexpected. The IRN hired burly security guards for a debate a few years ago to prevent an uninvited third party candidate from crashing.

The state Green Party opened its southern Illinois office this week.

Music, food, speeches and a dancing chicken named “Gov. Cluck-o-vich,” are all needed for a successful Green Party headquarters opening. The Greens, lead by gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney, opened the doors to their Carbondale office Saturday afternoon.

Cluck-o-vich?

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


Weller

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2006

This is classic DC politics.

Rep. Jerry Weller, a sixth-term Republican who grew up on a family farm, represents a district in rural Illinois that’s a far cry from the sandy beaches of the Caribbean.

But in the past three years Weller has become Capitol Hill’s go-to guy for issues dear to the U.S. island territory of Puerto Rico, from getting more federal money for its hospitals to lowering a manufacturing tax that business interests say prevents U.S. companies from locating there. […]

Weller’s 11th Congressional District has hardly any Puerto Ricans, according to a 2005 U.S. Census Bureau survey that estimated of its roughly 698,000 residents, only 677 to 3,569 are likely to fall into that category — less than 1 percent of the total.

In addition to the manufacturing bill, Weller has also co-sponsored legislation to increase Medicare reimbursements for hospitals in Puerto Rico that advocates say could bring the island by tens of millions of dollars annually and another bill that would let Puerto Ricans vote on whether they want to continue as a U.S. territory.

Meanwhile, back in his actual district

Today’s celebration of the 22nd anniversary of the Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor authorization is bittersweet.

Sweet because, through the years, the canal has become a backyard haven for tourists, history buffs, and outdoor enthusiasts, plus has sparked new commerce and jobs in communities along the 96-mile historic artery from Chicago to La Salle.

Bitter, because the U.S. Senate today has still not authorized $10 million in funding for the corridor in the federal government’s 2007 fiscal budget, noted Ana Koval, president and CEO of the non-profit Canal Corridor Association, which operates the NHC. […]

Koval said Congressman Jerry Weller, R-Morris, who authored the measure in the House, said this was agreed-upon legislation he thought the Senate would pass a couple days later.

“But, the Senate went home without doing it. Until the legislation is actually passed, it doesn’t put the canal in line to be added to the budget,” said Koval.

“Meanwhile, the clock keeps ticking. Next to our name now on the appropriations list is a big fat zero. The deadlines for requests is long gone - it’s far along in the budget process.”

And the Chicago Reader had a cover story last week on the Congressman’s marriage to the daughter of a former Guatemalan dictator. The two recently had a baby, and the child was born in Guatemala.

I’ve known Jerry Weller a long time. He’s a natural politician and a great campaigner. With a litany like I’ve just laid out, and with a district that just barely leans GOP, those skills are undoubtedly the main reason he’s not on any political target lists this year. At least, not yet.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      


Morning shorts

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2006

· “The Fix” moves Illinois into play.

15. Illinois: Even Democrats acknowlege that Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) is vulnerable this fall. A cloud of ethical problems hovers over his administration and could counter the prevailing Democratic winds nationally. State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka (R) is far from a world-beater but the race is likely to be focused almost entirely on the incumbent. Topinka has struggled to stay within financial range of Blagojevich — a trend that if it continues will make it tough for her to push her change message. (Previous ranking: N/A)

· Study: Ill. tollways lease could mean toll increases for drivers

· ‘Sweetheart‘ deal given to gov donor slammed

· Editorial: The Cook County jobs machine

· Shakman goes after county hiring

· Alleged ghost worker gets pension

· “Chicago politicians rarely get the chance to lecture others about honest government, and U.S. Sen. Barack Obama took advantage of the opportunity Monday when he urged Kenyans to fight against public corruption.”

· Hanania: Reversing Vote Is Not Answer To Big Box Crisis

· Apparently, the governor is in southern Illinois.

· “Patti Blagojevich laughed and said the DuQuoin State Fair is a place where kids can be kids. ‘This fair is cozier and more comfortable for parents with children,” Blagojevich said. “But still it has everything you can find in Springfield.’”

· State’s crime rate drops

· Jeff Trigg moves to the National Taxpayers United of Illinois.

· Chapman: The wrong road to fuels of the future

· Gov’s administration settles union dispute for $1 mil.

· “Democratic U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean and Republican challenger David McSweeney clashed on stem cell research and tax cuts but fundamentally agreed on the Iraq war and immigration reform at a Monday debate in Waukegan.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


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Monday, Aug 28, 2006

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Why gaming?

Monday, Aug 28, 2006

My self-promotion instict has failed once again because I forgot for the umpteenth time to post my weekly syndicated column.

So, why did Judy Baar Topinka go with a Chicago casino idea to help fund her education, property tax and infrastructure proposals? Well, a general tax increase had been all but ruled out months ago. Polling and focus grouping showed high levels of opposition to a tax hike. Plus, Topinka already has enough troubles with her Republican base without doing something like that.

The campaign had already proposed about $3 billion in Medicaid and other state spending cuts over four years, but she can only back so many cuts. Topinka wants AFSCME’s endorsement and is on track to get the Illinois Education Association’s nod. Her pursuit of those tax-eating groups and others like them makes it highly unlikely that we’ll see many more budget-cutting ideas before November.

Topinka has strongly opposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s asset sale ideas, so that angle was out of the question. Temporary solutions like the four-year infusion of cash from the lottery sale would make her look too much like Blagojevich, so forget that.

Pretty much all that was left was gaming. Voters don’t like gaming all that much, but when given the choice of a tax increase for schools or a limited version of gaming expansion like Topinka has proposed, they’ll go with gaming more often than not, particularly Republican and independent voters.

Promising something big to Chicago’s mayor never hurts, either. Now that Mayor Daley knows his schools will get more money and his city will get more jobs and tourism, he might not be so eager to campaign extra hard for Gov. Blagojevich.

Read the rest to see why she proposed any details at all.

- Posted by Rich Miller   6 Comments      


Mailers make mainstream press

Monday, Aug 28, 2006

The Daily Herald coverage finally starts to catch up to Austin Mayor’s stellar job.

The National Republican Campaign Committee is blanketing 6th Congressional District mailboxes with an unusually early barrage of glossy ads attacking Democrat Tammy Duckworth’s views.

With five mail pieces on taxes and one on immigration, the House GOP’s political arm has spent nearly $200,000 before Labor Day, the traditional start of campaign season.

The influx of mail is viewed as a sign Republicans are nervous about the prospects of their candidate, state Sen. Peter Roskam, in the longtime GOP stronghold, which includes parts of northeastern DuPage and northwest Cook counties. Roskam and Duckworth are vying in the Nov. 7 election for the seat left open by the retiring U.S. Sen. Henry Hyde, who has served 16 terms.

“The poll data that I’ve seen on that race shows it’s a tossup,” said Paul Green, political science professor at Roosevelt University. “If they lose Henry Hyde’s seat, the chances are very good that (House Speaker) Denny Hastert will have a lot more time to watch wrestling matches.”

The national Republicans aren’t denying there’s at least some worry in the wake of Hyde’s retirement.

You can see copies of several of these mailers at AM’s website here, here and here. You may not agree with his analyses, but you can at least see the whole mailers.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


A family affair - Updated x1

Monday, Aug 28, 2006

Apparently, the Secretary of State’s office is being run like a family business. Meaning they hire every relative in sight.

Last week in this space, I wrote about how Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has been spending your money — specifically, how he put his biographer on the payroll at $73K a year, tripled his daughter’s salary in seven years and allowed the hiring of his chief of staff’s wife as a $25-an-hour part-time secretary.
Given Mr. White’s reputation as the nice guy of Illinois politics, I figured that would be it. We all mess up sometimes. On to more important stories, like Wal-Mart wages or who’s telling the biggest whoppers about Illinois finances.

As it turned out, last week’s column just scratched the surface.

Thanks to a series of phone calls and e-mails, I now have a fuller picture of who’s drawing taxpayer-funded checks in Mr. White’s office. Bottom line: There’s no need for family feuds here, because everyone’s making a buck. Even Chicago’s famed Roti clan — known for having every odd nephew and in-law on the city payroll — might be able to learn a few tricks. […]

On the other hand, the 18 job-holders referenced above are related to just 10 suits in the secretary of state’s office: Mr. White and nine senior executives that I specifically asked about. Who knows what else is going on?

Go read the whole thing for the details. There’s a lot more than this, I’m told, but White’s office doesn’t appear to be too concerned yet.

UPDATE: From a Dan Rutherford press release:

…Reconfirmed in published reports was that White accepts cash for Christmas gifts from his top employees, those he determines annual salary increases, like his predecessor George Ryan. He has also received a number of significant campaign contributions from his top staff.

“With just the examples included here, these few employees easily earn over $500,000 in taxpayer-funded salaries and contracts,” said Rutherford. “We are clearly seeing a pattern of impropriety coming to light. The people of Illinois saw Jesse White’s predecessor convicted for improprieties akin to what White is doing today.” […]

Rutherford called on Jesse White to make public his Personnel Policy with regard to hiring and promoting family members and his policy on awarding no bid contracts to family members and friends that do personal favors.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


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Monday, Aug 28, 2006

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Question of the day

Monday, Aug 28, 2006

With the one-year anniversary just around the corner of Gov. Blagojevich’s signing the medical malpractice bill into law, the Post-Dispatch takes a look back and ahead.

Doctors and business advocates want further reforms, as they consider Illinois’ bill only a first step. Lawyers and victims advocates are calling for a repeal of the legislation that they say hinders the rights of injured people. And both sides candidly agree the issue is thorny for elected officials.

“This has become a political football,” said Dr. Harold L. Jensen, chairman of the ISMIE Mutual Insurance Co., the major malpractice insurer in the state.

This was the most interesting quote in the story.

“They’re waiting to find a tragic case, one where it’s going to be very difficult for a jury and for a trial court judge to award only the capped amount of money,” said Ed Murnane, president of the Illinois Civil Justice League, which strongly supported the legislation.

Read the whole thing, then answer the question: Did the medical malpractice bill go too far, not far enough or was it just about right? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


Reform and renewal, Part 97,487 - UPDATED x1

Monday, Aug 28, 2006

Oy.

How does someone who lost a $250,000 state consulting gig — apparently for doing no work — get a $900,000 no-bid contract a few months later from Gov. Blagojevich’s administration?

That was the good fortune of Chicago lawyer Myron “Mike” Cherry, a major Blagojevich donor who is the main protagonist in yet another story of clout and big money in state government.

Cherry, a prominent Democratic fund-raiser who is linked to at least $60,000 in contributions to Blagojevich, has not been accused of any criminal wrongdoing.

But a 2004 investment proposal at the state Teachers Retirement System that would have netted Cherry the $250,000 has drawn scrutiny from federal investigators probing corruption at the pension system and under Blagojevich.

The feds have been investigating whether Blagojevich and fund-raisers Antoin “Tony” Rezko and Christopher Kelly were involved in a secret scheme to steer state pension business to top campaign donors — an accusation all three have adamantly denied.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: From a press release:

DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett called on Governor Rod Blagojevich to stop stonewalling on a secret no-bid contract to a top Democratic contributor.

When Crain’s Chicago Business first revealed the existence of a no-bid contract to lawyer Myron “Mike” Cherry on Feb. 22, 2005, the administration refused to comment on the scope of the work. In today’s Sun-Times, the paper revealed that Cherry was paid $900,000 in six months for work the administration refuses to detail.

“The public has an absolute right to know specifically what work was done by Myron Cherry to justify nearly $1 million in payments in six months,” said Birkett, running mate for gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka, the state Treasurer. “At a minimum the administration should turn over Cherry’s billing records.”

“Cherry is one of the most prolific Democratic fundraisers in the state. He has given Rod Blagojevich in excess of $60,000,” Birkett noted. “We need answers about this sweetheart contract.”

Birkett said the contract is especially suspect because several months before the no-bid contract, Cherry was poised to receive a $250,000 fee from the administration that the Teachers Retirement System determined was not justified. That potential fee is among those under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office, according to published reports.

“Until the Blagojevich administration answers questions about this contract, it will strongly appear that it was determined to reward a major campaign contributor. That is exactly the type of pay-to-play politics Rod Blagojevich said he would halt when he became governor,” Birkett added.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


Poll has mixed results for education funding advocates

Monday, Aug 28, 2006

The full poll and some crosstabs are in the subscribers-only section. Here’s a Southtown article on the poll that is to be released today.

Illinois voters say education funding is the leading issue in the race for governor, but only a slim majority are willing to pay more taxes to support low-income schools, according to a poll released today by Speak Out for Illinois Schools, a coalition of education and community organizations.

Forty-four percent of Illinois voters said education was the top issue in the November election, over issues like job creation, government waste and health care.

And nearly two-thirds of voters want to see an increase in the state share of funding for public education, compared to 24 percent who think it should remain at the same level.

But voters are split over whether they want to part with more of their hard-earned cash to fund education.

Just more than half are willing to pay more taxes to increase funding for low-income school districts. Samantha Anderson of Communities for Quality Education is optimistic about that 51 percent.

Funding for low-income schools was the only expense a majority of voters were willing to pay with a tax increase, the poll shows. Teacher training, school construction and programs for wayward youth, for example, garnered just 30 percent in favor of higher taxes.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      


Different regions = different ads

Monday, Aug 28, 2006

The Tribune did a story back in May about about how CMAG has tracked Gov. Blagojevich’s campaign spending, but the Post-Dispatch has a slight twist.

Barely a month after the March primary elections, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich spent $500,000 to go after Republican challenger Judy Baar Topinka with a rolling pin. In a major television ad buy beginning in April - far earlier than statewide campaigns usually start spending serious money - Blagojevich’s campaign aired a debate clip about banning assault weapons, in which Topinka says: “It’s very difficult to define what is an assault weapon. I mean, a rolling pin could be an assault weapon if you really want to look at it that way.”

As a photo of a rolling pin appears above Topinka’s head in the commercial, an announcer intones: “Topinka opposes an assault weapons ban … because she says it could ban a rolling pin. What’s she thinking?” […]

The rolling pin commercial, for example, ran almost 500 times over two months in Chicago, where there tends to be strong support for gun control. It didn’t run once in the Metro East area, where even Democrats often consider themselves pro-gun. Instead, Blagojevich has used his St. Louis television buys - almost $100,000 worth so far - to tout his own record on safer issues like education and jobs.

“There are different levels of interest in different issues around the state,” said Blagojevich spokeswoman Sheila Nix, explaining why the campaign didn’t focus on the assault weapons issue in the Metro East area.

I didn’t think he had run those ads downstate, and now we know he didn’t run them at least in the Metro East.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      


Morning shorts

Monday, Aug 28, 2006

· “A third former janitor with the secretary of state’s physical services division has pleaded guilty to his part in a scheme that resulted in the three being paid for hours they didn’t work.”

· Hiring freeze? What hiring freeze?

· It appears that the Daily Herald was hacked again. This time, I made sure to save a screen shot of their front page.

· McQueary: TK’s story shows state could do more for vets

· Workers with disabilities keep government going

· “Downers Grove attorney Carole Doris secured Metra’s top post Friday, continuing collar county oversight of the rail agency critical to suburban commuters.”

· Apparently, Greg liked my column. He also has some other ideas worth reading.

· Brown: Peraica volunteer learns how it is for GOP in Dem town

· Governor changes mind, puts up employees at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel (scroll down)

· Grilling the sexes on the GOP bus

· Tribune Co.’s Chicago Tribune said it plans to outsource its circulation customer contact center to the Philippines

· Hastert defends Congress on budget

· Anniversary muted as canal awaits fed funding

· “Having gotten a kiss from President Bush, I really insisted on one from the County Board Chairman, Bob Schillerstrom as well,” Topinka said. “I’m collecting. It’s one of the good things of being a female candidate, I guess.”

· Danny Stover speech on YouTube

· Washington: Tough job awaits new Urban League chief

· Suburban officials sold on Wal-Mart

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Schilling endorses LaHood
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Duckworth to announce on Monday
* Rauner mulls selling Thompson Center
* Question of the day
* It's just a bill...
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Brown: Exploring an exploratory committee is "under review"
* Rauner administration denies union report of progress on fair share suit
* *** UPDATED x2 - Durbin out of the running? *** Illinois Republicans react to potential Durbin elevation
* Is a new era finally dawning in Illinois?
* Meanwhile, in Opposite Land...
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

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        * A pro-labor mayor for Chicago?..
        * Effingham native Schultz brings entrepreneurial.....
        * Chuck Sweeny: Don't hide behind Amtrak's skirts.....
        * Rauner OKs compromise plan to fix budget hole; .....
        * Area joblessness is down, but so are jobs..


        * 12-year-old shot to death in Quincy
        * Chicago's retired Cardinal George readmitted to hospital
        * Chicago universities study astronaut on 1 year space mission
        * Bison to graze at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
        * Nation's biggest nuclear firm makes a play for green money
        * Chicago's Thompson Center could get price tag
        * Bison to graze at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
        * University of Oklahoma unveils racist chant probe findings
        * Bradley names Brian Wardle its 14th basketball head coach
        * Ferry reopening between southern Illinois, western Kentucky

        * Effingham native Schultz brings entrepreneurial spirit to state agency
        * Rauner's 'right-to-work' proposal focus of larger debate on business climate
        * Irresistable force, immovable object on business reform
        * Rauner considering appraisal of Chicago's Thompson Center
        * Budget-patching deal dips into various state funds
        * Comptroller Munger expedites funds to child care providers
        * Lawmakers' budget deal raises concerns over burial costs
        * Former Congressman Schilling making 'special announcement' Saturday in Peoria
        * Illinois Army National Guard member, cousin arrested for allegedly supporting Islamic State group
        * Senate passes plan to fix $1.6B budget hole

        * Chicago likely to get sacked by NFL draft
        * Would Cat be better off at half the size?
        * Is Mondelez the next takeover target?
        * Guess which carmaker is Chicago's favorite
        * Don't mention the “U” word around Rauner


          * Emanuel and Garcia scour city for votes
          * Cops: Woman dies in crash after husband drove car off closed bridge
          * Prosecutors: 7-Eleven robber told investigators 'I was just trying to feed my family'
          * Angie's List put expansion on hold, citing new Indiana law
          * Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge
          * Wrigley rooftop owner indicted on fraud charges in alleged $600,000 scheme
          * 12-year-old boy shot to death in Quincy
          * Bison to roam Midewin prairie again
          * Prosecutors: Man shot victim in head, stood over him and fired 8 more times
          * 1 fatally shot, 2 wounded in South Side shootings


          * With GOP votes, Indiana House approves religious objection bill
          * After spending scandals, Rep. Aaron Schock says goodbye
          * Legislature to consider Madigan plan to fill state budget gap
          * Rauner signs into law compromise plan to fix budget hole
          * Where can a politician wield more influence? Chicago's City Council vs. Illinois' Statehouse
          * More people moved away from Illinois last year than any other state
          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top Chicago Public School vending machines
          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top some Chicago Public School vending machines
          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top Chicago Public School vending machines
          * ACLU: Chicago police make more stops than New York at its peak


          * Effingham native Schultz brings entrepreneurial spirit to state agency
          * Rauner's 'right-to-work' proposal focus of larger debate on business climate
          * Rauner considering appraisal of Chicago's Thompson Center
          * Phil Eaton: Illinois can't arrest, treat or bury its way out of heroin epidemic
          * Charles Krauthammer: The GOP racing form: First edition
          * Quote of the Day: Saturday, March 28, 2015
          * Budget-patching deal dips into various state funds
          * Comptroller Munger expedites funds to child care providers
          * Lawmakers' budget deal raises concerns over burial costs
          * Former Congressman Schilling making 'special announcement' Saturday in Peoria


          * Best of Fred, No. 19: Birth of a program
          * The hunt is on
          * Week ahead looks wet, mild — and maybe even snowy
          * Egg hunts have same goal: The prize inside
          * Gifford Gets More Trees
          * Route 9 traffic diverted by accident
          * They just want to play: Special Olympians square off in Belleville soccer tournament
          * Special Olympians square off in Belleville soccer tournament
          * Mahomet-Seymour vs Urbana Baseball
          * ‘Smelled it, tasted it, felt it’: VFW leaders remember Vietnam at Belleville event


          * Keep the sofa ma, but have you joined Facebook?
          * Glenbard East cruises past Addison Trail
          * UConn wins in a rout; Dayton continues improbable run
          * Bartlett goes 2-2-1 in Tennessee
          * Staal, Faulk score in 3rd, lead Hurricanes past Devils 3-1

          * Rep. Barr Introduces Taking Account of Bur...
          * Former Congressman Schilling making 'speci...
          * Question of the day
          * Knox County Health Department receives $1 ...
          * Kelly develops ag platform for diverse dis...
          * Hultgren: Rooting out Medicare and Medicai...
          * Special election to be held to replace US ...
          * Post office named for Champaign County's 1...
          * Bustos announces health center funding
          * Obama Operatives Try to Sway Israel's Elec...

          * Schumer's Challenges Before Becoming Dem. ......
          * After 5 terms, Reid sets retirement...
          * Parker: Wacko birds continue nesting in U.......
          * How Chuck Schumer rose to the top of the U......

          * Tammy Duckworth to Challenge Mark Kirk for......
          * US Senate threatens Iran with new sanctions...
          * Brown supports bill to reduce OB-GYN short......
          * Chuck Sweeny: Poll shows most support Gov.......
          * Illinois’ GOP Seat In Jeopardy As Democrat......

          * The desperate panderer.
          * My dinner with Rahm.
          * Scientism in the Age of Obama
          * Stantis: Budget Bandaids
          * Illinois Congressman Luis Gutiérrez shouted off the stage at USC
          * Chicago Road Rage Caught on Camera
          * Vote daily to help Jirak get REALTOR® Magazine award
          * Opportunity Race: RPAC postcards support Giarrante re-election
          * Schilling looking at bid to succeed Schock
          * Corbett among eight honored by Illinois Jaycees


          * Governor Rauner Takes Bill Action
          * Nominating Petitions Available For Illinois Commodity Board Seats
          * Health Matters: 2015 Illinois Minority Health Efforts - Creating & Sustaining Healthy Communities
          * ‘Text First, Talk Second’ Often Best Way to Contact Loved Ones When Disaster Strikes - IEMA Encourages People to Have Plan for Communicating with Family Members, Friends during Emergencies
          * New Illinois Server Training Law effective July 1 - State currently offering FREE responsible beverage server classes




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