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Obamarama - Benefitting from the pack mentality? *** Updated x2 ***

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007

Let’s start with Sen. Joe Biden’s recent remarks about Obama. Biden is gearing up for his own Democratic presidential bid.

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

His comments weren’t way over the top (if you listen to the audio, there should definitely be a comma after “African-American”), but some of the reaction has been. As Democratic blogger Atrios predicted today…

Volumes could be written about all that was wrong with what Biden said about Obama, but I believe we’ve just witnessed the shortest presidential run in history.

The problem for Biden is that while in South Carolina to speak to a Rotary Club meeting, the Delaware Senator described his home state this way:

“…a slave state that fought beside the North. That’s only because we couldn’t figure out how to get to the South - there were a couple of other states in the way.”

And then there’s this Biden quote

“You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

Reporters and bloggers are a lot like Pavlov’s dogs. They regularly replicate story memes that are guaranteed to attract attention. In many reporters’ and bloggers’ minds, widespread attention of their reporting or posts validates their existence. CNN’s debunking of the madrassa-jihad weirdness, for instance, was universally heralded as a great piece of journalism, even though it was really just basic stuff (with a souped-up travel budget). But the attention the story attracted was more important in many ways than the actual content.

The growing meme on Obama is that the bigots and the right wing are out to smear him. Couple that with the obvious recognition rewards for helping debunk those smears, and, for now at least, there is a strong incentive for reporters and bloggers to get into the act.

So, Biden’s latest comments might provoke some unhelpful reportorial and bloggy type pokes through his remarks and Senate votes on racial issues. It’s already starting.

What is happening with Obama is almost completely the opposite of Hillary Clinton’s treatment. She cracked a little joke the other day about “evil men” and the media and the blogs analyzed it to the point of bizarre superfluity.

Reporters, pundits and Hillary-hating bloggers seem to amplify every attack on her, often devising their own when others aren’t available. Part of the reason for this is that reporters, pundits and bloggers have tagged her as supremely calculating, so they believe they must parse every word to discern what she “really” means. The “best” of these are then praised by other pundits/bloggers/Drudge who share the same “insight” into Hillary’s character. That recognition, of course, just provides additional incentive to concoct more silly stories, columns and blog posts.

Meanwhile, Obama has been hammered on liberal blogs for not being tough enough on the right wing, but today many are noting approvingly this Washington Post blog story that he is apparently still holding a grudge against the much-hated (on the left) Fox News for broadcasting the ridiculous madrassa-jihadist story and never fully retracting or apologizing for it.

…the Obama camp has “frozen out” Fox News reporters and producers in the wake of the network’s major screw-up in running with the erroneous Obama-the-jihadist story reported by Insight magazine.

“I’m still in the freezer,” one Fox journalist said, noting that the people at Fox “suffering the most did nothing wrong.”

Perhaps in an attempt to make up for the madrassa stories and/or to jump on the “Obama is being smeared, we must report” bandwagon, Fox News has a new story on the Biden controversy which claims that the Delaware Senator had “fighting words” for Obama.

And finally, our old buddy Rush Limbaugh has apparently dropped the “half minority” label for a catchier version: “Halfrican American.”

Hey, Barack Obama has picked up another endorsement: Halfrican American actress Halle Berry. “As a Halfrican American, I am honored to have Ms. Berry’s support, as well as the support of other Halfrican Americans,” Obama said.

He didn’t say it, but — anyway, there are those out there — greetings.

I’m telling you, folks, and I am not making this up, the man is a twit.

*** UPDATE *** Hotline blog: Biden Calls Obama To Clarify

Rush, apparently, feels no need to do the same.

And if this is not an unseemly analogy, I don’t know what is. “How Obama is Like Barbaro.” Just so there’s no confusion of what I mean: They just killed the horse.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Too funny. Instead of talking about his brand new presidential campaign today, Biden is now being forced to constantly praise Obama to the heavens with every breath. No soup for him.

Back in ‘04, the big joke was that Obama had some sort of supernatural power, or that he was being watched over by a very powerful political god. Everyone who stood in his way was vaporized, often in a gruesome manner. Apparently, he’s still got the mojo.

- Posted by Rich Miller   60 Comments      


Job opening *** Updated x1 ***

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007

I haven’t done this sort of thing in the past, but I think I’ll do more as they come up. SEIU is looking to replace Marrianne McMullen. It’s a sweet-looking gig and the pay is decent. But the application deadline is coming up soon, so if you’re interested you’d better get a move-on.

Position title: Communications Director, SEIU Illinois Council

Responsibilities: Provide communication leadership and support in the state’s highest priority organizing, contract, political and legislative campaigns. Serve as primary media contact for SEIU Illinois, with functions including story pitching, message formation, matching journalists with appropriate SEIU sources and preparing those sources. Facilitate work among and training of all communication staff at Illinois’ five major locals. Oversee writing and production of political materials for state council-endorsed candidates. Assist locals in developing and implementing communication strategies in support of their organizing, contract and legislative campaigns. Maintain and update state council website. Compose and coordinate email activism through regular Get Active alerts.

Requirements: Minimum 10 years professional communications experience, with an emphasis on media relations. Related degree, labor movement and political campaign experience preferred.

Salary and benefits: Commensurate with experience, plus full family health, dental, vision and paid leave benefits.

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Starting date: March 15, 2007

Application process: Please send cover letter, resume, three references and three work samples to Kathleen Benton, SEIU Illinois, 111 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 2500, Chicago, IL 60601.

Application deadline: Friday, February 2, 2007.

*** UPDATE *** The Illinois Restaurant Association is looking for a new president. No details yet, but a search committee is being formed. Colleen McShane is leaving after 14 years with the group.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Question of the day

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007

Predict Mayor Daley’s final vote percentage in next month’s election.

Bonus Question: Springfield-area residents should predict Mayor Davlin’s final percent.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      


Lottery and gaming dreams discussed *** Updated x1 ***

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007

Filan explains why he wants to lease out the state lottery.

The governor’s idea to lease the Illinois lottery didn’t generate much enthusiasm from state lawmakers last year, but the state’s chief operating officer pushed the idea anew Tuesday, arguing that Illinois must relieve itself of the risk posed by the lottery.

“I think revenue is at risk,” said the state’s new chief operating officer, John Filan, during an appearance before the Union League Club of Chicago. “I’m concerned lottery revenues will go down, not up, over time. I want to pass that risk on to the private market.”

Gov. Rod Blagojevich has suggested that a long-term lease of the lottery could generate new money for schools, but lawmakers are skeptical.

“I think they’re grasping at straws to come up with some plausible explanation as to why they want to sell a state asset, use the money now and not worry about it down the road,” said Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) who said he has requested hearings on the lottery proposal when lawmakers return to Springfield early next month.

Rep. Brent Hassert (R-Romeoville) questioned why private companies would give a “whole boatload of money for the lottery” if they’re looking at the same risky market.

Filan and the administration claim that current state law ties the state’s hands in expanding the lottery’s revenues. For instance, they’re limited on how much money they can spend on advertising and they can’t pay incentive sales bonuses to vendors or sales people.

The governor’s proposal, as far as we’ve seen, assumes that the General Assembly will remove those restrictions from a private company. I wouldn’t bet on that. As Rep. John Fritchey has noted, the plan also seeks to reduce the number of payouts, another not so popular idea.


Speaking of betting
, Rep. Lou Lang unveiled yet another gaming plan yesterday.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich has agreed not to interfere with a new gambling-expansion bill if it advances in the legislature this spring, the measure’s sponsor said Tuesday.

Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat who previously pushed for additional Illinois casinos, said Blagojevich recently told him he would decide the merits of Lang’s latest proposal if and when it reaches his desk.

Blagojevich, a Chicago Democrat, in the past has publicly discouraged lawmakers from even sending him such legislation, by threatening a veto.

“The governor assured me that he was not going to say or do anything that would get in the way of my attempting to move this legislation,” Lang, chairman of the House Gaming Committee, said at a Chicago news conference. “That is what he told me, and that is what I expect will happen.”

Wanna take odds on the governor keeping his word?

*** UPDATE *** Mayor Daley’s response, via Chicago Public Radio.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


Reform and Renewal… Part 46,397

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007

Funny how things work out, isn’t it?

A Chicago drug-testing company with a long-standing no-bid state contract is under state and federal investigation amid allegations it billed the state for drug tests it never performed.

The company–K.K. Bio-Science Inc.–came under scrutiny following an Oct. 27 report in the Tribune detailing how Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s wife, Patricia, earned more than $113,000 in real estate commissions from the company’s owner and president.

Remember that one? Here’s a refresher

When questioned by a Tribune reporter, Anita Mahajan denied her friendship with the Blagojeviches and said didn’t know who Patricia Blagojevich was until someone brought it up at the first closing.

“I didn’t hire her,” Mahajan said in a brief interview from the balcony of her Chicago townhouse. “I didn’t even know who she was until closing. That’s when I heard she was the governor’s wife. I try not to get involved in politics.”

Eventually, her lawyer told the Trib that the couple have been “friends for a long time” with Mrs. Blagojevich.

The governor’s office flatly refused to give the Tribune or any other reporters documents related to the company last year, claiming it would be an “unwarranted invasion of privacy.”

Anyway, back to today’s story.

K.K. Bio-Science abruptly closed down Jan. 19, giving its employees no warning. Company representatives then spent the next week tossing records and office equipment into trash bins, said other building tenants.

“They threw away an incredible amount of stuff,” said Paul Leslie Beals, who works across the hall at the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing. “I counted at least five Dumpsters in the hallway. There was a printer in there that one of my colleagues took. There were all kinds of files and documents. Somebody said they even saw some checks in the trash. They were throwing away everything.”

Gov. Blagojevich’s spokeswoman, Abby Ottenhoff, declined Tuesday to address the specifics of the investigation.

Mahajan’s bank has also lent millions of dollars to none other than Tony Rezko. What a coinkydink.

Meanwhile, back at the DeFraties hearing

An administrative law judge halted testimony Tuesday in the case of two state workers accused of breaking government hiring rules.

Anthony Dos Santos ordered Blagojevich administration lawyers to hand over copies of job applications they claim were improperly handled by Dawn DeFraties and Michael Casey.

DeFraties and Casey were personnel officials at the Department of Central Management Services. Gov. Rod Blagojevich fired them last spring for allegedly manipulating the hiring process. The hearing will determine whether they get their jobs back.

Blagojevich lawyers want to introduce handwritten logs that, according to DeFraties’ subordinates, show some applications got special treatment. The logs contain as many as 1,200 names.

And

The documents issue arose Monday during the testimony of CMS employee Marc Longmeyer. He said he would get job applications from DeFraties and Casey that had been graded and put into a computer database ahead of other applications. Longmeyer kept a written list of the names - nearly 500 of them - that came from DeFraties and Casey. The list was submitted as evidence.

Draper, though, argued that if the list was going to be used to impugn his clients, he was entitled to the application forms for he people on it. Attorneys for the state produced six application forms Tuesday, but Draper said that wasn’t enough.

He repeatedly complained that information was withheld from his clients that they need to defend themselves.

CMS Director Paul Campbell testified Tuesday that he signed off on termination proceedings against DeFraties and Casey based partly on a report from the inspector general’s office. However, Draper said the report has never been turned over to him or his clients.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


Morning Shorts

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007

* Editorial: Taxpayers being robbed by vacant LDC site

* Guv signs bills targeting “wannabe” Irish judges: Hoping to stop lawyers from adopting Irish names to run for judge, Gov. Blagojevich has signed a bill requiring candidates who have changed their names within three years before running to have a “formerly known as” under their name.

* Editorial: Lend more support to ID theft victims

* Final certified Chicago election ballot

* City ward supervisor kept Land Rover in city garage

* Daley calls shakedown lawsuit just election-year politics

* More demands for Stroger cut more of his own budget fat:

And one commissioner said board members deserve more than what they’re getting to run their offices and shouldn’t have to cut their staff at all.
“You explain that to the doctors and nurses you’re going to lay off,” said Commissioner John Daley, referring to cuts that have been proposed to fill a $500 million budget deficit.

* IL National Guard among nation’s worst in inventory for equipment

* Aldermanic free-for-all in 2nd ward

* Peotone residents airport expansion Bill of Rights: “I wish this wasn’t needed,” said Dugan, who called herself an airport proponent. “There have been a lot of problems with how the state has handled things.”

* Center for Tax & Budget Accountability claims state owes Cook Co. $243 million in Medicaid

* Sun-Times Editorial:

Time to get the state code on the right side of the law: The Criminal Law Edit, Alignment and Reform Commission, led by former Gov. James Thompson and former Appellate Court Justice Gino DiVito, spent 18 months carrying out the mission described by its name. The group has presented a plan to streamline the code, cut redundancies and inconsistencies, drop unconstitutional provisions and end the confusion that, as DiVito put it, “has led to lengthy and expensive disputes, retrials and delays.”

* Daley refuses to fire “cooperative” official; it would hint at retaliation

* Tribune Editorial: Coming up short…on education funding

* At fatal Riverside teen-crash site, Sandoval backs stronger driving law

* Local officials discourage Dupage Co. sales tax vote

* Carol Marin: Who can fix the County Dems?

- Posted by Paul Richardson   18 Comments      


The renegade master

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

Long before Bears kick-return specialist Devin “Anytime” Hester tied an NFL record with a 108-yard return (of a botched field goal, no less) against the Giants, he was a magic man with the Miami Hurricanes.

Bears fans, you must check out this truly awesome video from Hester’s college days. Colts fans, this is one reason why your team’s gonna lose. Whiny, always-wrong hater columnists, bite me.


This is another Chicago Bears open thread.

- Posted by Rich Miller   54 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Jones vs. Madigan vs. Houlihan; HGOPs; Hastert; Franks; Legislative staff; Leadership; Lottery (Use all caps in password and use YESTERDAY’S password)

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Enter your password to view comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

A couple of months ago, I went out with one of my best friends from grade school. We lived near each other on farms in rural Iroquois County, which is directly south of Kankakee.

Anyway, we spent quite a bit of time jostling back and forth over whether Chicago should be kicked out of Illinois. He said, only half-jokingly, that we ought to string a barbed wire fence around the city.

The evening came to mind after reading some comments this morning under a State Journal-Register story about Barack Obama’s Springfield presidential announcement and how the Prairie Capital Convention Center would be the backup site (the Old State Capitol will be the primary site). The first comment set off quite a fight.

Obama has no connection to spfld..stay in chicago with the majority of liberals, lincoln would turn over in his grave, he better be charged full price for the rent of the pccc!@!!!

Other comments included this one:

I dont know why he is paying attention to springfield when he hasnt before.

And…

He is just using you, he is a liberal senator from chicago who will use the small midwest town backdrop as a hook, he is from chicago and that is where his roots are. He served his chicago district for 8 years, bomke was my senator in sangamon county.

Today’s question: Why do you think so many downstaters seem to hate Chicago and don’t consider it part of Illinois? Does racism explain some of it? Backwardsness? Or is it just the natural outgrowth of intense regional conflict over limited resources? Something else?

- Posted by Rich Miller   122 Comments      


Identity theft tops consumer fraud list for first time

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

[This was originally the Question of the Day, but I changed it.]

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has released her annual list of top 10 consumer complaints. From a press release issued late yesterday afternoon:

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that for the first time in the history of the Illinois Attorney General’s Top 10 Consumer Complaint List, identity theft complaints topped the list, exceeding the other categories by far. Madigan attributes the dramatic increase in consumer complaints concerning ID theft to her office’s new Identity Theft Hotline, announced in February 2006.

Madigan also announced that her office’s Consumer Protection Division received a record number of consumer complaints in the last year. In 2006, the Consumer Protection Division received 32,724 consumer complaints, a more than 18 percent increase over the 26,652 consumer complaints received in 2005. This increase follows a nearly 11 percent increase in consumer complaints in 2005.

And here’s the list:

CATEGORY - # OF COMPLAINTS

1. Identity Theft - 5,237

2. Credit - 3,444

3. Construction/Home Improvement - 3,204

4. Telecommunications - 2,782

5. Promotions and Schemes - 2,261

6. Financial Services - 1,695

7. Motor Vehicles/Used Auto Sales - 1,486

8. Mail Order - 1,475

9. Business to Business Fraud - 815

10. Motor Vehicle/Non-Warranty Repair - 790

Question: Have you ever been tempted to call the AG’s consumer complaints tip line? What’s your story? Without names, of course.

- Posted by Rich Miller   4 Comments      


Madigan introduces February primary bill

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

Speaker Madigan has introduced his legislation to move the spring primary up six weeks, from March to the first Tuesday in February. Madigan said earlier this month that he wanted the state to play a larger role in the presidential election and felt the move would benefit Barack Obama’s candidacy. The Post-Dispatch has reaction. Initially, Senate President Emil Jones was skeptical, but he’s moving off the dime a bit:

Since then, Jones has endorsed the idea in concept but not Madigan’s bill in specific.

“Conceptually, it benefits the people of Illinois to have an early say in who the presidential candidate is. However, we’re still reviewing the bill,” said Jones spokeswoman Cindy Davidsmeyer.

Madigan’s bill would affect more than just the presidential races. It would move the entire primary election forward, including all federal, state and local races. States like Iowa, in contrast, hold an early presidential caucus, separate from the primary election, to vote only on the presidential races.

“While some states do have two primaries in presidential years, the notion of that kind of change is complicated,” said Steve Brown, spokesman for Madigan. “Let’s not make it too complicated for voters: Have them come to the polls once and let their voice be heard.”

Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson, R-Greenville, while in favor of a larger state role in selecting the next president, said he worried about lengthening a campaign season that he says is too long already.

The Southern Illinoisan editorialized against Madigan’s idea and against the whole frontloaded system in general.

The “problem” isn’t Illinois’ date being too late. The problem is other states being too early.

If anything, the caucuses and primaries should take place later. Many voters are sick of the pre-election hype already. Others aren’t paying attention.

Political-beat reporters don’t help with their constant badgering, asking potential candidates when they will declare their intentions like a bunch of kids on a family vacation asking, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, wants to move Illinois’ 2008 primary election from March 18 to Feb. 5 - in part, to boost the chances of state Sen. Barack Obama.

The primary date shouldn’t be changed to help - or hurt - a person.

But Dan Johnson-Weinberger predicts the bill will become law and he’s for it.

I predict it will be signed into law and I think for 2008, that’s a good thing. For other years (that is, when Barack isn’t running for president), I’d rather have nice weather for elections, as I don’t like walking in the cold, so if it was up to me, I’d move the primary to June or September. And I’d imagine most campaign workers would agree with that sentiment (ignoring the speculation on how cold weather might impact election results).

You can read Madigan’s bill by clicking here. Please, if you have a question about the specific legislation, try reading it first before commenting or simply asking others to do your homework for you.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      


White powdery substance, a buffoon’s money and felonious pols *** Updated x1 ***

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

Ald. Arenda Troutman says the white powdery substance the feds found in a ziplock bag in her office was dietary fiber, not drugs.

Ald. Arenda Troutman (20th) said today she doesn’t use drugs and is “betting my life” that the white powdery substance found in her home was not narcotics, but a dietary fiber she uses to cleanse her colon.

Troutman charged that federal agents who found the powdery substance during a raid on her South Side home and ward office already know the results were negative and that they’re keeping the information quiet to continue to smear her.

“I can’t understand that you don’t know by now if that was a drug or not,” she said after chairing a City Council Committee hearing. “That’s been over three weeks ago and you mean to tell me with all the technology we have today that they have not let the press know? They’ve let you guys know everything [else] to this point.”

The feds say that the tests haven’t come back yet, but, regardless of whatever else you may think of her, she has a good point here. It shouldn’t take three weeks to see if it was cocaine or heroin.

Meanwhile, a group of 30 Chicago organizations that are critical of Mayor Daley released a “Report Card for Change” yesterday, and found that one particular alderman, who recently described himself as a “buffoon” (a year or so after he denied he was a buffoon), was raking in cash from developers.

Real estate interests contributed $1.7 million — more than any other industry — to the campaign coffers of 20 Chicago aldermen over an 18-month period, and 13 percent of that money went to one politician: Ald. Burton F. Natarus (42nd), a study shows.

Natarus, whose booming, development-rich ward includes the Gold Coast and downtown areas, was the No. 1 earner in three categories of the dozen industries surveyed by a coalition of community organizations:

Real estate interests gave $1.75 million to the 20 top-earning aldermen and Natarus got 13 percent of that money. Business services gave $313,052 and 19 percent to Natarus. Retail and wholesalers gave $661,889 and 13 percent to Natarus. Ald. Danny Solis (25th) also got 13 percent. Entertainment sports and gambling interests gave $114,657 and 27 percent of it to Ald. Shirley Coleman (16th).

And finally, convicted felons are allowed to run for alderman, according to a judge.

Former Ald. Virgil Jones (15th), who was convicted on corruption charges in 1999, can run to regain a seat on the City Council in the Feb. 27 election, a Cook County judge decided Monday.

Circuit Judge Alfred Paul ruled that a state law that would ban Jones from the race is unconstitutional because it applies only to ex-felons running in local races and not statewide elections.

So, there may be hope for Troutman down the line if this federal thing doesn’t work out too well.

*** UPDATE *** It would be a big help if you would use the comment section to post Website addresses to local campaigns and blogs and forums set up to discuss them.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


Bungled case?

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

The AP takes a look at each of the 28 state-job applicants who allegedly received special treatment from Dawn DeFraties and Michael Casey and finds a whole bunch of holes in the administration’s case. Here are just a few of them, but go check out the entire list:

1. Ascaridis, Beverly, 56, Chicago, applied for Senior Public Service Administrator on 4/12/04: Resubmitted application doesn’t appear on Casey’s log, so it’s unclear how the government believes Casey or DeFraties knew about it or intervened improperly; never promoted to SPSA; now a public service administrator for the Department of Natural Resources. News reports in September revealed that Ascaridis got the job shortly after her husband, a lifelong Blagojevich friend, gave a $1,500 gift to one of the governor’s daughters.

2. Baksys, Mary, applied for Public Service Administrator on 11/29/04: Never appears on Casey’s log, never hired. […]

8. Dirksen, Julie, 64, Springfield, SPSA, 2/4/04: Initial application marked “incomplete;” awarded a job exempt from all hiring rules, so never needed CMS evaluation; now an SPSA for the Historic Preservation Agency.

It’s amazing that they’re trying to make those two take the fall for Beverly Ascaridis. Beyond chutzpah.

Along those same “beyond chutzpah” lines, the administration is asking that the Civil Service Commission pay no attention to the man behind the curtain:

An attorney for the Blagojevich administration said Monday that the case against Dawn DeFraties and Michael Casey should focus on what they did, not on what others in state government might have done, to promote certain people for state jobs.

“This is really about the conduct of Dawn DeFraties and Michael Casey,” said attorney Joseph Gagliardo in opening statements at a Civil Service Commission hearing where the two fired workers are trying to get reinstated.

“Any attempt to blame others for their misconduct does nothing to mitigate their responsibility.”

The defendants’ attorney claims they did nothing wrong, which may be a bit of a stretch.

Carl Draper, attorney for DeFraties and Casey, said the administration lacks “proof that anybody got any favorable treatment.”

Draper has suggested DeFraties and Casey are scapegoats of an administration engulfed in a federal hiring scandal. U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald said last year that serious allegations about hiring problems exist throughout the Blagojevich administration.

Draper said no rules or laws prohibited DeFraties’ and Casey’s actions. He added that administration officials asked for applicants to be graded ahead of time to fill some positions quickly and that they acted in ways similar to members of prior administrations.

Even so, Marc Longmeyer, a grading supervisor under DeFraties, said some applications coming directly from the offices of DeFraties and Casey were graded and placed on an online database ahead of other applicants.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


Morning shorts

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

[Compiled by Paul Richardson]

* Illinois Teachers Invest in Hedge Funds

* USAToday: Seat belt laws clicking in Illinois:

In January, the group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety named Illinois one of four “best performance states” for passing at least two of 15 laws it says are proven to reduce highway deaths injuries.
“Illinois has been very consistent in its passage of key laws,” says Judie Stone, president of the safety group.

* Iraq veteran struggles to find employment

*Rep. Franks discusses disappointment in electric rate increase

* State launches new ad campaign aimed at young drivers

* The Todd couple: “Cook County Commissioner William Beavers, a fan of old-school clout, has no problem saying he considers himself “the hog with the big nuts.”

* Ex Chicago Park District official gets 3 years for $8 million scam

* Editorial: Right-to-breathe

* Cook County jail medical execs get axed; protests against budget cuts continue:

Jerry Roper, president of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, told commissioners: “There’s nothing left to tax, ladies and gentlemen. The taxpayers deserve better solutions.”

* Editorial: Guv gave hook too quickly to Madigan’s mortgage plan

* Editorial: Selling the lottery not a long term solution for schools: “We’d prefer the governor spend his incredible energy devising a fairer way to pay for schools. The overreliance on property taxes is unfair, especially to those who live on fixed incomes.”

* Mark Brown: Burke’s 1st rival in 36 years isn’t taking the hints

* Blagojevich seeks federal dollars for counties hit by Dec. storm

* Editorial: Cross has solid advice for legislative session

* Actuary predicts Bears win

- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      


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        * Rauner Trying To Broker Mega-Deal In Illinois L.....
        * State education board member quits over superin.....
        * Inside Illinois' crumbling governor mansion..
        * Illinois board of education member resigns over.....
        * The Latest: Spain calls on EU to take action on.....
        * Service held to mark 20 years since Oklahoma Ci.....
        * Gov. Rauner Attempts to Broker Mega-Deal in Sta.....
        * 5 essential stories, week of April 12..
        * Video: Islamic State kills Ethiopian Christians.....
        * Wartime climate in Saudi puts calls for reform .....


        * Hopes dim for school funding formula overhaul's passage
        * State education board member quits over superintendent hire
        * 2 hospitals battle over $253 million project
        * Hopes dim for school funding formula overhaul's passage
        * Mourners remember Fairdale tornado victim
        * Chicago team heading to robotics world championships
        * Section of Mississippi River reopened after diesel fuel leak
        * Man who fled after fatal hit-and-run extradited to Chicago
        * Man who fled after fatal hit-and-run extradited to Chicago
        * N. Illinois judge says Outlaws cannot reclaim vests, patches

        * Statehouse Insider: We're getting to the bottom of this
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Bruce Rauner is no Jim Thompson on labor issue
        * Madigan forms committee to review Rauner budget activities
        * Bill expanding in-car blood-alcohol devices passes House
        * Bobcat hunting bill passes House by slim margin
        * Madigan forms committee to review Rauner budget actitivities
        * State restores part of funding cut from schools
        * Bill banning powdered alcohol cruises through Senate
        * Official state pie? Illinois House approves the pumpkin variety
        * Springfield branch of The Autism Program lays off five workers

        * Teacher, what's white-collar crime?
        * How could Chicago Public Schools be so dumb?
        * Now an even easier way to get mac 'n' cheese delivered to your home
        * OCC owners want dibs on half the pie
        * Bruce Rauner is no info junkie, and it shows


          * Police: Murder, robbery charges filed in restaurant stabbing
          * Rain on Sunday and relatively cool week ahead
          * 1 killed, 4 wounded in city shootings
          * 5 hospitalized after multiple-car crash in Englewood
          * Woman, young son killed in Bolingbrook crash
          * Woman arriving from Jordan arrested at O'Hare in 2009 Kansas murder
          * Cardinal George's legacy one of conviction, humility, Chicago Catholics say
          * Prosecutors: Teen fatally shot man in 'drug deal gone bad'
          * Prosecutors: Armed guard sexually assaulted another woman
          * Woman starved 2 puppies, forced other dogs to fight: Prosecutors


          * Cardinal Francis George helped 'make his people holy'
          * Remembering Chicago's Cardinal Francis George
          * George helped 'make his people holy'
          * Schock donor sues ex-US congressman seeking reimbursement
          * Is that the Loch Michigan Monster lurking off Fullerton Beach?
          * Chicago's retired Cardinal Francis George dies at 78
          * Canine flu outbreak sickens hundreds of dogs in Midwest
          * Rauner's first 100 days: The politics of negotiating a budget
          * 'Right to Try' measure passes Illinois House
          * Chicago council approves $5M settlement in police shooting


          * Statehouse Insider: We're getting to the bottom of this
          * Statehouse Insider: We're getting to the bottom of this
          * Our Opinion: Stick up for taxpayers, charge Schock for special election
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Bruce Rauner is no Jim Thompson on labor issue
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Bruce Rauner is no Jim Thompson on labor issue
          * Madigan forms committee to review Rauner budget activities
          * Heather Eagleton: Illinois should regulate step therapy treatments
          * Bill expanding in-car blood-alcohol devices passes House
          * Bobcat hunting bill passes House by slim margin
          * Our Opinion: Springfield's flood warning signs an investment in safety


          * 2015 Beaux Arts Ball senior maids
          * LIVE: 2015 Ebertfest Day 5
          * LIVE! at Illinois Field (Indiana: Game 3)
          * Woodford County to look at tax levy question
          * Civil War Timeline: April 1865 – A Chronology
          * Divorces 4/19/15
          * Daily Digest 4/19/15
          * Crime blotter 4/20/15
          * New location allows expanded cancer care
          * Voices: Why 'Life Itself' didn't win the Oscar


          * Brad Richards' favorite playoff moment
          * Mourners gather for Fairdale tornado victim
          * Czech Republic beats France 3-1 in Fed Cup semis
          * Almonds get roasted in debate over California water use
          * 'Furious 7' speeds ahead of the competition

          * 14th Congressional District: Randy Hultgre...
          * Bost 2016 Campaign Already at $407,000
          * Russia Impinges on Israeli "Right" to Bomb...
          * Lawmakers: Bill could increase federal fun...
          * Kirk gives national broadcast speech on Iran
          * READ IN: Trading Spaces Edition
          * Following a familiar path, Bost raises ove...
          * Kinzinger releases statement following dec...
          * Foster drops out, announces support for Du...
          * Poll: Bennet-Coffman race close -- Rubio l...

          * The Bigot Game...

          * The Senate’s Red Line: No Immediate Sancti......
          * Obama is prepared to give Iran anything an......
          * Sen. Kirk: Iran regime is the world’s bigg......

          * The Old Turnaround
          * Marco Rubio talks "radical Islam," 2nd Amendment at NRA Leadership Conference
          * Asked why Hillary should be President, college kids give exact same response
          * New Police Commanders In Both Uptown Districts
          * Gene Roddennberry's intro to "The Cage"
          * Church in North Caolina Vandalized by Gay Activists
          * Church in North Carolina Vandalized by Gay Activists
          * Waddle Over To The Milwaukee County Zoo To Celebrate World Penguin Day
          * Durbin: Hillary would be an "extraordinary" president
          * Foster: Rubio, just another token candidate


          * Illinoisans Receive Governor’s Volunteer Service Award - 6thAnnual Awards Ceremony to be Held on April 20thin Springfield
          * Get Smart About College Planning During Money Smart Week® - College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program offers tips to plan for--and afford--the cost of college
          * Motorcycle Season Revs Up, Riders Urged to “Gear Up-Ride Smart” - New Campaign Touts Staying Safe Through Proper Gear, Education
          * IDOT’s Operation Teen Safe Driving Program Announces 2014-15 Winning Schools - Innovative Program Helps Save Lives, Promotes Safe Driving Habits
          * State of Illinois Takes Action on Medical Cannabis Dispensary Applicants





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