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FRESH RESULTS THREAD

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007

* Sorry about that disappearing post. Luckily, Paul still had a copy on his browser and we were able to reconstruct it. Let’s start afresh, shall we?

* First, remember to tune into CBS 2 Live Election Coverage by clicking right here:  Live Video

* 9:33 pm - Daley won, obviously, but getting more than 70 percent was key. He showed his critics he can still rack up a landslide. The over-under for Dock Walls was 10 percent, and he didn’t make it. At least his delusion is over, for now.

* 9:40 pm - Lots and lots of runoffs, some more unexpected than others and a few that weren’t on very many radar screens: 2 (Fioretti-Haithcock); 3 (Tillman-Dowell); 15 (Foulkes- Simmons-Stovall); 16 (Thompson-Coleman); 18 is a possible (Lane-Stewart); 21 (Brookins-Jones); 24 (Chandler-Dixon); 32 looks like a runoff (Matlak-Waguespack); 35 also looks very likely (Colon-Colom); as does 43 (Vi Daley-Smith); and 49 is right on the brink (Moore-Gordon).

* 9:44 pm - Almost nobody had Brendan Reilly on their possible win lists. Maybe he was at the bottom, but almost no one saw this coming except those of us who bothered to look and get past the notion that Natarus was unbeatable.

Why did Brendan win? Simple. Reilly ran a great campaign. Nearly perfect, even. Ald. Natarus ran a terrible campaign. Right until the end, he was too arrogant to believe he was ever in any real danger. I may have more on this race in tomorrow’s Capitol Fax, or it will be at the blog, depending on space. It’s a heckuva story. Bye-bye, Burt.

* 9:50 pm - How is it possible that broken-down warhorse Bernie Stone may manage to hold on without a runoff against two very strong challengers?

Stone’s organization is vastly underrated. A couple of years ago, Stone ran a candidate against Rep. Lou Lang in the Dem primary. That candidate carried Stone’s ward against the veteran legislator. I always figured that if they could drag that guy across the finish line they could certainly do the same for the big boss. LATE UPDATE: Stone is just barely heading for a runoff with Naisy Dolar. She has a lot of ground to make up, but the unions could play a major role here if they choose to intervene.

* 9:53 pm - Sandi Jackson’s big win over Darcel Beavers was extra special for Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s organization today. The Shaw brothers brought troops in for Beavers. The Jackson’s and the Shaw’s are old and bitter rivals.

* 10:00 pm - Every Machine goon in town will be in the 32nd Ward for the runoff between incumbent Ted Matlak and Scott Waguespack. This is an old-time Machine ward, but Matlak ran a horrendous campaign. Daley had to bail him out today with 75 paid “volunteers,” but it wasn’t enough to avoid the runoff.

* 10:08 pm - Needless to say, it’s a huge night for organized labor. “I think we did OK,” Chicago Federation of Labor chief Dennis Gannon said tonight. “It was a big night.”

That’s an understatement. All but one of the runoffs forced tonight were the result of organized labor’s support for the challenger. Victors Brendan Reilly and Sandi Jackson were also labor-backed candidates.

Like I said… huge.

* 10:15 pm - That’s all I have for now, except to say I’m floored at how poorly Shirley Coleman and Dorothy Tillman did. And I’m amazed that Aurenda Troutman got just 32 percent (with 88 percent reporting).

Discuss away if you’re still awake. Check the results here.

* 10:25 pm - OK, one more thing.

According to Aldertrack, Natarus refused to concede tonight. He got thumped and he doesn’t have the stones to admit defeat. He said it, not me… the man is a buffoon.

Here’s an automated news feed for AlderTrack, which has some interesting stuff…

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      


Election Results Open Thread

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007

CBS 2 Live Election Coverage Live Video

* 7:55pm

Ward 2

Bob Fioretti 865 26.1%
Madeline Haithcock 792 23.9%
David Askew 561 16.9%
Kenny Johnson 478 14.4%
Wallace Davis 359 10.8%
Larry Doody 259 7.8%

Ward 12

George Cardenas 898 59.6%
Carina Sanchez 375 24.9%
Jesus Salazar 73 4.8%
Alan Mercado 71 4.7%
Alberto Bocanegra 58 3.8%
Jesse Iniguez 32 2.1%

Ward 19

Virginia Rugai 3,680 56.5%
John Somerville 1,504 23.1%
Timothy Sheehan 1,328 20.4%

Ward 32

Ted Matlak 1,635 47.4%
Scott Waguespack 1,379 39.9%
Catherine Zaryczny 439 12.7%

Ward 42

Brendan Reilly 1,924 54.2%
Burton Natarus 1,627 45.8%

Ward 50

Bernard Stone 728 69.8%
Naisy Dolar 153 14.7%
Greg Brewer 123 11.8%
Salman Aftab 39 3.7%

* 8:01pm

Latest update: With 79% of preceincts reporting, Riley is ahead of Natarus in the 42nd ward by 800 votes. He won Natarus’s home precinct.

* 8:08pm

Ward 7
67.69% of precincts reporting

Jackson, Sandi 4,798 57.32%
Beavers, Darcel (i) 2,767 33.06%
David, Ron 653 7.80%
Brown, Eric

Ward 20
48.0% of precincts reporting

Willie Cochran 2,108 62.7%
Arenda Troutman 1,042 31.0%
Edward Chaney 210 6.2%

* 8:12pm

All major outlets have just called it for Daley. Shocking.

* 8:14pm

Ward 43
37.3% of precincts reporting

Vi Daley 1,630 47.4%
Michele Smith 1,122 32.6%
Tim Egan 413 12.0%
Peter Zelchenko 173 5.0%
Rachel Goodstein 99 2.9%

* 8:34pm

CARBONDALE MAYOR
Precincts Reporting 26 96.3%

Sheila Simon 1042 53.19%
Brad Cole 759 38.74%
Jessica Davis 81 4.13%
Pepper Holder 74 3.78%

* 8:38pm

Ward 12
83.3% of precincts reporting

George Cardenas 2,230 58.4%
Carina Sanchez 1,088 28.5%
Jesus Salazar 169 4.4%
Alan Mercado 148 3.9%
Alberto Bocanegra 133 3.5%
Jesse Iniguez 50 1.3%

* 8:43pm

Ward 50
66.7% of precincts reporting

Bernard Stone 3,697 53.5%
Naisy Dolar 1,746 25.3%
Greg Brewer 1,078 15.6%
Salman Aftab 385 5.6%

* 8:55pm

Update: Expect a victory announcement from Brendan Reilly in the 42nd ward between 9-9:30pm

[Comments now closed. We’ve got a fresh thread above]

- Posted by Paul Richardson   8 Comments      


Ameren offers to pay up

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007

Ameren IL CEO Scot Cissel just offered $35 million in rate relief and conservation programs. The offer came during testimony at the House’s Committee of the Whole meeting today.

But Speaker Madigan’s office immediately rejected the plan as insufficient.

More in tomorrow’s Capitol Fax.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


Election predictions open thread *** Updated x3 ***

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007

[Comments are now closed. Use the thread above.]

*** IMPORTANT UPDATE *** A few items of note…

* I’ve added a list of results pages, live media and continuous coverage links in a new pull-down menu to the right. Lots of stuff there, so don’t miss it. It looks like the first radio station to go up with continual election coverage will be WBBM at 7 pm.

* We’ll have CBS-2’s live feed here at 10 pm.

* I forgot to link this earlier, but Crain’s has a new interactive feature that allows you to track Mayor Daley’s contributions in several different ways. Also, Naisy Dolar’s campaign is blogging all day today.

* The Reader’s Clout City blog is going gangbusters today with reports from citizen journalists. I’ve created a continuously updating, automated news feed so you can keep track throughout the day and into the evening. Earlier stories that aren’t showing in the feed can be found here

*** UPDATE 2 *** AlderTrack has this report from the 42nd Ward…

Several reports suggest that polling place administrators across the Ward have been agressively challenging the credentials of SEIU-related poll watchers. At 515 N. State St. the police were called. The diversion apparently allowed some precinct workers to distribute Natarus palm cards inside the “red zone”

Typical.

*** UPDATE 3 *** For those of you keeping track of Sheila Simon’s bid for Carbondale mayor, here’s a news feed just for you…

—————————————————————

I belatedly added a request for Chicago election predictions at the end of Paul’s local roundup this morning, but I thought I’d close out those comments and move everything to the top so we can consolidate it all here.

Use the comment section to predict results in local elections. Also, file any precinct reports, observations, etc. you may have.

Meanwhile, Irish Pirate, a regular commenter here, has produced a ton of YouTube videos blasting Ald. Helen Shiller. The pirate is backing challenger James Cappleman, the former president of Dignity/Chicago, which his website describes as “a Catholic organization for the GLBT community.”

A couple of things. First, some might find this video too harsh. I can understand and empathize, but it was too funny to pass up, particularly the Daley robocall schtick. Second, there are references to the League of Women Voters and Lincoln Park in the video. Shiller upset the LWV by breaking a promise to the group. And Shiller has been quoted as saying that if people don’t like her ward they should “move to Lincoln Park.”


“Because as I always said, there is nothing more wholesome than a fish.”

[Comments are now closed. Use the thread above.]

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Hoffman; ICC; Boland; Dillard; Shimkus; Rose; Reboletti; Madigan; GRT; Stem cells; Smith; Interesting bills (Use all caps in password)

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Enter your password to view comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007

The fight to become the state’s “official” soft drink attracted just two bidders, Coke and Pepsi.

“We wish there were 25 bidders, because of the competition, but we’re satisfied there were two,” said Mike Klemens, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Revenue.

What, no RC?

We could have a serious debate about whether this is a good idea, or even whether it’s hypocritical of the governor to force schools to stop selling soft drinks (which brings in big bucks) while encouraging their use statewide so the state could bring in big bucks.

Instead, because I feel like something a little lighter today, here’s the question: Coke or Pepsi?

- Posted by Rich Miller   52 Comments      


“Real ID” program causing legislative concern

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007

The Pantagraph has a good story today about the controversy over the federal Real ID program and a legislative resolution that expresses the state’s concerns over the issue.

Illinois could soon join the chorus of states to “revolt” against a federal law requiring standardized driver’s licenses across the country.

In the past months, a host of states have expressed varying levels of frustration with the Real ID Act — a law that would require citizens to have a federally accepted form of identification to get onto airplanes or into some government buildings.

Some have said having a massive national database of personal information could lead to identity theft problems.

Ed Yohnka, spokesman for the Illinois branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, characterized the states’ frustration as a “revolt” and hopes Illinois effort will get federal lawmakers to act.

A resolution that could be debated in the Illinois General Assembly would be similar to some other states in that if it’s approved, the rebuke wouldn’t carry legal weight. It’s designed to send a political message.

Go read the whole thing. Secretary of State Jesse White is scheduled to testify on the resolution this week. The resolution’s text can be found here.

RESOLVED, That the members of the Illinois General Assembly oppose any portion of the Real ID Act that violates the rights and liberties guaranteed under the Illinois Constitution or the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights;

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


Reform and Renewal - The mess at DHS

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007

OK, just what in the heck is going on over at DHS?

Carlos Estes claims Department of Human Services chief of staff Teyonda Wertz sexually harrassed him, threatening to fire him if he didn’t have sex with her. Wertz denies the charge but a judge ordered that the case continue against her last week.

Wertz is still the DHS chief of staff and has no intention of resigning, but Estes was fired about a month after the incident on what looks to be a trumped up charge of misusing a state vehicle. The governor’s office has completely backed up DHS Secretary Carol Adams’ decision to oust the accuser.

“The secretary did her job. When she learned an employee was misusing state resources, she dismissed him,” Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff said.

According to the original Sun-Times article, Director Adams and chief of staff Wertz are “close friends” and chief of staff Wertz allegedly became upset about the same time Estes was fired because Estes was in a relationship with another woman.

Wertz has a history of misusing Estes…

Adams once disciplined her chief of staff for instructing Estes to pick up her dry cleaning on state time, court records show.

Estes was paid $70,000 a year to basically chauffeur the chief of staff around. His “official” duties were to act as a “liaison to DHS administrators, conducting site visits, research and as a policy-making advisor,” according to a DHS spokesman. But Estes didn’t even have a high school diploma when he was hired.

“Let’s put this in perspective,” Rep. Jack Franks told the Sun-Times of Estes. “He’s making more money than a member of the General Assembly for driving a staff person who has to report to the General Assembly.”

And even Sen. Carol Ronen, who is the governor’s floor leader and top Senate supporter, is having her doubts.

“The facts as they appear in the paper are very, very troubling. But I’d like to reserve judgment until I can learn a little more about them,” said Sen. Carol Ronen (D-Chicago). “It does raise a very troubling issue about the allocation of staff resources.”

When you lose Carol Ronen, you’ve lost all hope.

Director Adams needs to do a clean sweep over there. If she won’t, the governor should.

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      


Rate rage prompts Committee of the Whole

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007

* Today’s House Committee of the Whole to discuss electric utility rates and deregulation will begin at 1 o’clock. You can listen live by clicking here.

* I’m not sure how much I buy into this lede

The leader of the Illinois Senate, who in recent months has been the Legislature’s top opponent of attempts to freeze electric rates, may be softening that stance in the face of intense downstate anger over skyrocketing Ameren electric bills.

A freeze “is one of many options that is being looked at,” said Cindy Davidsmeyer, spokeswoman for Senate President Emil Jones.

Jones is the main reason the Legislature didn’t freeze electric rates before they jumped dramatically in January, but there have been several indications lately that his thinking on that may be changing.

“Especially with Ameren, we have heard the concerns of a lot of consumers,” Davidsmeyer said Monday.

Jones’ apparent shift comes as the House convenes today a rare special hearing of all 118 members to consider the utility rate hike issue. The House passed a rate freeze once. It’s expected to easily pass a second time if it comes up for a vote, with lawmakers being inundated with calls from angry consumers who are getting their first look at the new rates.

There’s no doubt that Jones is feeling heat from his downstate members in Ameren’s turf. But remember that Jones still wants to protect ComEd, and he moved legislation out of Rules Committee last week that would impose a six-month rate freeze on Ameren only.

House Speaker Michael Madigan wants to extend the freeze to both Ameren and ComEd. As I told my subscribers last week, Madigan told me soon after Jones moved the Ameren-only bill that an amendment would be waiting for that legislation if it made to his chamber.

* Meanwhile, ComEd is offering up some token assistance to help “ease” its rate hikes.

ComEd promises to spend $30 million over the next three years on conservation programs and to help low-income and senior citizen utility customers cope with January’s 24 percent rate increase.

“We’ve done all the things we know how to do to soften the transition to the new rates,” said Frank Clark, CEO of the utility, which serves 3.7 million northern Illinois customers.

$8 per customer. Man, they really dug deep on that one.

* Illinois House set to discuss electric rates:

State Rep. George Scully, a Flossmoor Democrat who pushed for the special hearing, said it would last for several hours. “Consumers should be confident that their legislators are taking up this task,” he said.

* Editorial: Focus on real electric rate fix, not knee jerk response

These hikes are a real hardship for many, so a rate freeze may sound appetizing. But knee-jerk responses to complex issues are almost always a bad idea, and a freeze still won’t fix the underlying problem, namely that the Legislature’s 1997 deregulation plan failed to create competition, exposing residential customers to monopolized market forces. Ameren says a freeze would junk its credit rating, force layoffs and jeopardize service reliability.

For his part, Cisel says he will testify in Springfield today and hopes to offer a “workable compromise” on rates, the specifics of which will be divulged then. We’ll be all ears. House lawmakers should be, too. They should avoid posturing in this largely symbolic session and get to work on a real, long-term solution, which means compromising with Senate colleagues and exploring other avenues - including a serious study of re-regulation.

* The jolt of electric rate increases

Randy Huckelberry braced himself for a higher electricity bill when the state’s decade-old freeze on rates expired last month.

Huckelberry, 40, looked around at the new windows, insulation and siding he’d installed in his home in Downstate Carrier Mills. His highest bill in the winter months had been $300, maybe $400, so perhaps, he thought, it would go up a few hundred dollars. That definitely would be tough.

But he was floored when the bill turned out to be $870.

* And just remember this last point: February has been much colder than January, and Rep. Scully mentioned to me yesterday that usage is up over 100 percent. Those March bills are gonna cause yet another round of outrage.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      


Local Elections Roundup & predictions open thread *** Updated x1 ***

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007

[Note from Rich Miller: Despite today’s Committee of the Whole meeting in the House, we do hope to have some updates for you tonight on Chicago election results. Check back around 8ish.]

* Daley’s fundraising juggernaut

* Voter guide to city and suburban elections

* Daley confident, but not overly confident; poised to outdo his Dad

* Summary of today’s key races

* 2nd ward race heats up in final hours

* Final countdown to Chicago election

* Dist. 88 goes digital in plea for tax increase

The 10-minute DVD depicts crowded hallways, outdated classrooms and traffic congestion around both schools. Volunteers wrote and narrated the film, while the village of Addison shot footage and the district conducted interviews with local residents.
Sherri Amsler, District 88 community relations director, said the film is a modern way to get word out to voters.

* Late mailed postcards may be one of several factors to low turnout

A decline in the number of registered voters in the city — now roughly 1.4 million, down about 30,000 since the 2003 election — is perhaps the most significant factor, but bad weather, a one-sided mayoral race and many uncontested aldermanic races also may contribute to voter apathy. Turnout was about 34 percent four years ago.

* Illinois election involves few contests

* Low voter turnout may decide Naperville mayoral election

* Eric Zorn: Casting a vote against Daley

Traditionally, I vote against Daley purely on the theory that overwhelming electoral mandates–three times he has polled over 70 percent of the vote–are bad for the democratic process. A system in which the man or woman at the top can take re-election for granted might as well be a dictatorship.

* Three will lose today’s Hoffman Estates primary

* All eyes on 6 aldermanic races in Springfield

*** UPDATE *** Use the comments to predict the outcome of your local races, and any others you know something about. Also, give us an update on your precinct observations.

[Comments now closed so we can consolidate the posts. Go here instead.]

- Posted by Paul Richardson   3 Comments      


Morning Shorts

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007

* Police office claims that Harvey Mayor forced him to return gun to suspect

* Human Services Dept. Chief of Staff scandal infuriates legislators

* Harassment charges dog Governor’s trade office chief

* Republicans try to ensure that state won’t sell tollway

The Republicans said the idea, originally floated last year, was “still on the table” and might be resurrected by Blagojevich or other legislators as a tempting “quick fix” for the state’s budget problems.

* Editorial: Stem cells not a state issue

* Contractor wants $11 million for work done before being fired

IPAM argues it wasn’t given a chance to remedy any mistakes and was fired only after public criticism of Blagojevich and his department.

* Stroger uses first veto on sulfer-dioxide tax

* Editorial: Turn away the convicted corruptors in today’s election

* Editorial: Crosstown plan ignores reality of current needs

* Phil Luciano: Raise driving age to 18

As USA Today noted in a lengthy report on teen driving, “Evidence is mounting that a 16-year-old’s brain is generally far less developed than those of teens just a little older.”

* Critics say Springfield psychiatric hospital would harm downstate facilities

* Neal Williamson: Now is the time to revamp state juvenile justics system

- Posted by Paul Richardson   5 Comments      


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        * Paper, ministry partner to help families in need


        * Churches, organizations offer free Thanksgiving meals to people in need
        * More than 30 horses reported dead in Crystal Lake-area barn fire
        * Ferguson prepares for grand jury decision
        * Constable: Bears make teen's wish come true
        * Churches, organziations offer free Thanksgiving meals to people in need

        * The path to winning back the House in 2016
        * Randy Hultgren tops Dennis Anderson for 2n...
        * Rep. Lipinski Accepting Service Academy Ap...
        * Another run? Enyart says he hasn't decided...
        * Politics as Usual: Illinois lawmakers on i...
        * Republican Rodney Davis wins race in 13th ...
        * Three-peat: Schneider eyes another race ag...
        * Shimkus continues push for DOTCOM Act - Th...
        * Hennepin mill sold, future use uncertain -...
        * Kirk the Jerk is scared of Tammy Duckworth...

        * Durbin, Corker Introduce Water for The Wor......

        * Algonquin chief recommended to be next U.S......

        * Somos todos Ayotzinapa. Chicago.
        * The Better Government Association continues to spread the lie about public employee pensions.
        * Marion Barry has passed away
        * Sherman’s Maps
        * An Encounter Along Sherman’s March
        * Rethinking Sherman’s March
        * The Civil War’s Environmental Impact
        * Who Burned Atlanta?
        * The Burning of Atlanta
        * How Lincoln Won the Soldier Vote


        * Illinois Residents Asked to Put the Tobacco Down - Support the Great American Smokeout – November 20
        * Governor Quinn Statement on President Obama’s Executive Action
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Selection of New University of Illinois President
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Senate Committee Passage of Minimum Wage Legislation
        * Governor Quinn Statement on the Installation of Archbishop Blase Cupich




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