SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Question of the day

Thursday, Jul 17, 2008

* We do this question every now and then, and since I’m busy with a story, I’ll just toss this breaking news out there

Democrat Barack Obama’s presidential campaign says it raised $52 million last month. […]

Last week the campaign of Republican John McCain reported raising more than 22 million in June, which was his best month of the year.

* Question: More broadly than just money, how do your think our US Senator’s presidential campaign is going?

- Posted by Rich Miller   63 Comments      

Reality check

Thursday, Jul 17, 2008

* This buried nugget is something that has been overlooked this week during the House veto override session…

With 27 members of the House absent, lawmakers had a hard time overriding the governor’s vetoes, many of which needed a three-fifths majority, or 71 votes, to pass.

* The result?

Only six of those 33 [override] motions to restore the funding passed, worth about $480 million.

Lots of legislators voted with their feet this week. They knew this game was essentially a farce. As long as the Senate refuses to return, their votes were meaningless, except as political cover and a vehicle to put the onus on the other chamber.

* This point was also buried or (mostly) not even mentioned in most stories

House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) refused to call legislation this week that would raise more money to avoid the cuts, including a measure that would allow the administration to dip into other state funds to cover expenses.

Jones spokeswoman Cindy Davidsmeyer also cited Madigan’s decision for why the Senate also wasn’t in town. “They didn’t pass the revenue, so there is no reason to come back,” Davidsmeyer said. […]

Blagojevich called the House overrides “totally irresponsible” and said he won’t call the Senate back to Springfield unless the House passes a meaningful revenue bill.

Restoring vetoed money without adding at least some revenue streams is not the most responsible thing the House has ever done.

* But this gives the wrong impression

Republicans, who opposed many of the motions to restore the cuts, complained the House votes were about political posturing that toys with groups in need of help. […]

House Republicans and allies of Blagojevich joined together to blast House Democrats for trying to promise money out of a budget that had none to offer.

They’ve joined the Senate in arguing the House wants more spending but doesn’t want to make the tough votes for money-generating measures needed to pay for it.

Because the House Democrats had far fewer than 60 members in town yesterday, every one of those successful veto override motions passed with GOP votes.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      

Fire, aim, ready

Thursday, Jul 17, 2008

* The AP finally updated their over-the-top story from yesterday which completely bought the claim by some Downstate Republicans that Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) had injected racial hatred into a committee debate. But maybe they should’ve just retracted the whole thing. The lede is the same from yesterday morning

Three Republican state representatives accused a Democratic colleague of spreading “racial hatred” during a committee meeting Wednesday and demanded that the speaker of the House investigate the incident.

“That type of racial hatred that was displayed in committee went out with the ’70s, and I respectfully request that you review the transcript,” Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Pecatonica, said on the House floor.

* And this paragraph was added later

A recording of the hearing shows that while Davis alleged some lawmakers want to keep crime rates up so that prisons stay full, the racial content was minimal: She argued that her fellow African-American legislators must fight hard for legislation to help former criminals go straight.

* The only people who really injected race into the debate yesterday were the Republicans making the accusations

Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Greenville, alleged that Davis specifically said some lawmakers want to keep prisons filled with “black people from Chicago.”

He called it “Alice in Wonderland kind of stuff” to suggest any lawmaker would want to keep crime rates up. Suggesting a racial motivation is even worse, he said.

“That is a criminal insult and she should be sanctioned,” Stephens said. Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst, agreed. He accused Davis of “race-baiting.”

* Sorry, guys, but you’re the ones doing the race-baiting. From the Tribune

But a tape of the hearing shows that Davis never accused the Republicans of protecting prisons on the basis of race. In fact, she said it was a matter of economics.

“Illinois must recognize there’s some people in the Illinois General Assembly who have prisons in their district and their whole objective is to keep them filled,” Davis said at the hearing. “Anything — anything — that would create an atmosphere to get those prisons with fewer people, were threatened to close, it’s a war. ‘We’ve got to have those prisoners. They got to come down here from Chicago and we got to keep em filled because that’s how we get work. That’s our economy. We no longer plant corn. We no longer have farms. We don’t raise cows and pigs. We keep prisoners.’ So if you don’t have prisoners you will not have the economy to keep their livelihood going.”

* What Rep. Davis did was impugn the motives of Downstaters with prisons in their districts. That was over the line. But if anybody ought to be “sanctioned” (and I’m not arguing for sanctions, just throwing their words back at them) it should be the legislators who shouted the bogus claims about “racial hatred.”

“Her comments were definitely racial,” [Rep. Jim Sacia] said after the hearing. “They were directed at white Republicans. It was totally unacceptable.”

What does their reaction say about those legislators? Davis talked economics and they heard race. Not a banner day.

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      

The stunt was goofy, but the problem is real

Thursday, Jul 17, 2008

* From what I gather, yesterday’s announcement by Gov. Rod Blagojevich that he wanted to “help” Chicago fight crime by sending in more police and possibly the National Guard was an “off script” moment.

Blagojevich had apparently mused about the idea in private, and then kinda blurted it out at a bill signing ceremony. Oops. Here’s how it started..

“Something is wrong, and this violence has to stop. And we have to do something constructively to try and make that violence stop,” he said. “Maybe, we can play a role and provide more manpower so that the mayor doesn’t have to make that choice between taking a police officer from, let’s say, the North Side and putting that police officer on the street in the South Side.”

* And then after the governor mentioned the state cops and the National Guard, he decided to take it one step further

“The mayor can be a great help in this in getting the House Democratic leadership to pass that big capital program,” he said.

* To which the House Speaker’s office replied

“My guess is the governor may be smarting because the mayor was quoted publicly as saying he tried to convince [Blagojevich] to have a more common-sense approach to the capital plan, and that advice was ignored,” Brown said. […]

“Making sure that kids aren’t shot and guns aren’t in the hands of bad guys is far from political,” [Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero] said.

* And the mayor’s office was not amused

“It is, at the very least, a little disconcerting that we’re only hearing about this as the media does,” she said.

* But the governor does have a good point about the violence

The governor noted 16 children — “almost one child a day” — have been gunned down in Chicago since June 26. The shooting death toll for Chicago Public School students stands at 29 since last fall.

“Twenty-eight of those kids are African-American and Latino. Hard to imagine that that would be acceptable if that were, in fact, the case in other parts of the city or in a middle-class suburb somewhere. . . . Something is wrong, and this violence has to stop,” he said.

* And this response from the city’s police department seems a bit odd, considering

But [police department spokeswoman Monique Bond] took issue with the governor’s contention that crime is “out of control” in Chicago.

In fact, she said if the current murder rate holds in the city, 2008 may end with fewer than 500 homicides and that it is expected to be one of the least deadly years in the city in the last 40 years.

It’s kinda weird that the cops think that 500 murders is something to be proud of.

In the end, this was a goofy stunt. But Chicago is overrun by gangs. Nobody knows how many gang members there are, but one report has the Gangster Disciples alone with 70,000 Chicago-area members.

Was the governor’s splash a goofy stunt? Yes. Is there an urgent problem in Chicago? Heck yes. Will the leaders be able to put aside their egos and work on that problem? Ha.

* Related…

* Daley’s $1 mil. push to buy back guns misfires

* Daley: Media has made cops timid

* Daley Goes After Media Coverage of Police

* Daley dodges questions about backing cops

* Blagojevich: State Troopers Could Help Stem Chicago Violence

* Blagojevich Answers Questions

* Crime’s up. Why?

- Posted by Rich Miller   57 Comments      

Morning Shorts

Thursday, Jul 17, 2008

* CTA to experiment with seatless rail cars

The standing room-only cars will begin operating within a few months, probably starting on the Brown Line and later expanded to the Red and Blue Lines, CTA President Ron Huberman told the transit agency’s board.

* Parking tickets to be picture perfect

* Daley ties in Special Olympics’ Chicago roots to 2016 bid

* LaSalle County OKs killing stray animals on the spot

* Fannie and Freddie mess

* FBI looking into IndyMac Bancorp

* Illinois to crack down on reckless motorcyclists

* 10th casino license for sale

* State’s 10th casino could be up and running in one year, chairman says

* House lawmakers verbally spar over loans-for-ex-convicts legislation

* State Reps Accuse Colleague Of ‘Racial Hatred’

* Bill sparks Illinois House debate on race, regionalism

* Law could make Cook Co. split easier

“If Cook County can’t improve, can’t change, can’t deliver the government we deserve … we feel we have the right to govern ourselves,” Murphy said.

* McHenry County putting sales tax hike to good use: Roadwork

* GOP presents its case for reform

* Ethics reform kind of slow— like governor

* ‘It’s a matter of setting priorities,’ governor

* Governor signs new gun law

* Obama’s goodie bag

In all, Obama doled out more than $3.6 million in state grants in just the last half of his state legislative career, records show.

* VP Speculation During Obama Stop In Indiana

- Posted by Kevin Fanning   20 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Veto override “program” *** UPDATED WITH ROLL CALLS *** (Use all caps in password)

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Enter your password to view comments      

Blagojevich may call out National Guard to stem Chicago violence *** UPDATED x2 ***

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008

* [CHECK UPDATE 3 BELOW] The governor says he might call out the National Guard

With gun violence at a crisis, Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday said he is in talks with Illinois State Police and the Illinois National Guard to see if more police officers can be deployed to the streets of Chicago.

The governor said Chicago Mayor Richard Daley hasn’t asked for help, but Blagojevich says he’ll call the mayor once he has some concrete suggestions about what help he can provide.

Blagojevich didn’t have many specifics, but he said it’s more likely that state police will be brought in than the National Guard.

He also apparently suggested that retired police officers could be brought back for duty. Interesting that he hasn’t broached the subject with Mayor Daley yet.

Grandstanding again?

*** UPDATE 1 *** The Tribbies have a story online, and it brings up an important point

Just how the State Police would play a significant role is questionable since Blagojevich has only recently begun rebuilding its ranks after union officials say the agency lost more than 10 percent of its positions from 2001 through 2005 and patrolling of many areas, particularly during nights and weekends, is spotty at best.

* They also have a response from the mayor’s office…

“We’re obviously not going to turn away help on a front as important as this,” Heard said. “At the same time, we’re a little puzzled about how it would work. It’s unprecedented. Obviously, help in the form of reducing the number of guns on the street go a long way to addressing the problem.”

* And this…

Blagojevich and Daley have not been politically close. Like Daley, Blagojevich has alienated many leading Democrats in the state—Senate President Emil Jones being a strong exception—over a style of governing that critics contend is dominated more by a personal publicity pop than putting any substance behind it.

No!!!! Really?

*** UPDATE 2 *** IIS has raw audio. Listen or download.

*** UPDATE 3 *** The governor’s press secretary has just issued this clarification…

As mentioned at today’s press conference, Gov. Rod Blagojevich said it was “highly unlikely” that the Illinois National Guard would be sent out to help the Chicago police. The more likely scenario involves the Illinois State Police. The Governor is meeting with law enforcement officials later today to look at options on how the state can help Mayor Daley with more personnel.

The National Guard will only be attending the meeting today for informational purposes.

The only way the National Guard would be involved, if they are involved, is with the use of tactical helicopters that are currently used in narcotic operations. No National Guard troops are being considered. [emphasis added]

So, no troops in the streets.

- Posted by Rich Miller   115 Comments      

This just in… *** No funds sweep bill from House *** Hospital, nursing home, SoS money restored in House *** Pattern develops *** Drug treatment override fails *** Rollcalls Now Online *** House votes to restore $43 million in drug treatment cuts *** Pattern finally breaks *** Elder abuse override rejected *** Big Medicaid delay override fails *** Community services override fails *** House adjourns *** HDems: $420 million restored *** Governor reacts ***

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008

* 10:59 am - There is quite a lot of dispute over what Rep. Monique Davis said in committee this morning, even among Republicans who were present, so hold your fire in comments. We’re working on getting some audio, but this broke open today when GOP Rep. Jim Sacia rose on a point of personal privilege this morning to protest what he described as outrageous racial remarks during a committee hearing

Three Republicans in the Illinois House are accusing a Democratic colleague of “race-baiting” and spreading “racial hatred.” They’re asking the speaker of the House to investigate comments made this morning by Representative Monique Davis.

The dispute arose when a committee debated legislation to help ex-convicts get jobs and start businesses.

Both sides agree Davis claimed that lawmakers with prisons in their districts oppose that kind of legislation because they want to keep the prisons full.

Outraged Republicans say she made it a racial issue and said they want prisons filled with “black people from Chicago.”

Davis denies she made the statement. More in a bit.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Here are some quotes from some House Republicans about what Rep. Davis may or may not have said during that committee. It appears that AP story may have overstated the GOP unanimity about what happened…

REP. RON STEPHENS: “The Representative from Cook was shouting in a very accusatory tone. At first I thought she was being sarcastic, so I started laughing, and then I realized that she was serious…

“I heard her say the term ‘blacks from Chicago’, but I could have misheard her…

“In all the 22 years that I have been here I have never been accused of being tough on crime in order to keep prison jobs in my district.”

REP. DENNIS REBOLETTI: “I’m not sure if I ever heard her use the term ‘blacks from Chicago’. It was very loud and heated in the room. However, there was a racial overtone to the whole debate.”

REP. JIM SACIA: “I never heard Rep. Davis say ‘blacks from Chicago.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** Kevin has listened to the audio of the committee hearing and says Rep. Davis never made reference to “black people from Chicago,” in the context that has been alleged and reported by the AP. Here’s the relevant quote…

“African-Americans [legislators] down here have to fight harder to stop this continued recidivism because opportunties are denied. But you have to take the names of people with prisons in their districts and see how they vote. They don’t want to stop crime, it’s their livelihood. It is sad when your whole economy is based on the imprisonment of Americans.”

I’m not sure what the heck the howling about racial stuff is based upon.

*** UPDATE 3 *** We now have audio. It’s not the greatest because we couldn’t directly convert the file provided by the House, but click here to listen.

* 11:08 am - This ain’t huge news, but Treasurer Giannoulias admitted yesterday to considering a run for governor

The ongoing budget battle in Springfield is not just upsetting voters. State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias said Tuesday in Galesburg that “to see what’s going on in state government is horrifying.” During a visit with a portion of the editorial board of The Register-Mail, Giannoulias said he is “open” to the idea of running for governor. […]

“If this was a private corporation, if he was the CEO of a private corporation, he would have been fired a long time ago,” Giannoulias said. “Sometimes … you wake up and say ‘you know, I think I could do a better job than the governor.’ I’m thinking about it (running for governor). I don’t stay up at night thinking about it.”

And check out this line…

[Giannoulias] said there’s been a lack of leadership in Illinois for too long, and labeled the Blagojevich administration as “vendetta-driven” government.

Asked to comment, Luis Guerrero, the governor’s director of communications, said by phone that his only comment was “accusations are counter-productive.”

That response might be read as: Keep your mouth shut if you know what’s good for you.

* 11:21 am - If you tuned into the House floor audio/video and are wondering why nothing is happening, the House GOP is caucusing on the budget, capital, etc. They should be back sometime soon.

* 11:24 am -
The negotiations still have a long way to go, particularly over the issue of health insurance payments, but an AFSCME strike doesn’t appear to be imminent

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has agreed to extend its state contract for several more weeks after saying “some progress” was made during two-days of mediated contract negotiations.

*** 11:37 am *** House Speaker Michael Madigan was just asked whether the chamber would advance any revenue generating bills today, including a special funds sweep. The House had been working on a scaled-back $300 million sweep as a counter-measure to the Senate’s $500 million sweep.

Madigan said they would not be moving a funds sweep. No further session is scheduled until November, so that’s apparently that.

*** 12:45 pm *** The House is now debating veto overrides. Here’s the bill in question. The first override attempt of a line item failed, but several House Republicans voted with the Democrats. The second override attempt received far fewer votes. The roll calls aren’t posted yet, but we’re gonna get them for you as well as (hopefully) the analysis of what was in that first override vote. We’ve got a long ways to go, however.

The third motion, to override the governor’s veto which effectively increases the payment cycle for hospitals is being debated right now.

*** 12:53 pm *** The House overrode the governor’s veto which increased the payment cycle on hospitals. They’re debating the same issue for nursing homes now. The pressure will be on the Senate bigtime with that hospital vote.

*** 12:56 pm *** As expected, the nursing home money was restored. Ibid above on Senate pressure.

* 12:58 pm - The SJ-R has some details on the first budget override attempt that failed earlier today…

The House voted 64-26 this afternoon to override the governor’s veto in five spending areas totaling nearly $40 million, including a $27.5 million increase for workers who serve the developmentally disabled. But the motion needed 71 votes to pass.

*** 1:25 pm *** A pattern has been developing so far. Reduction overrides - which require simple majorities - have passed, while line-item overrides - which require three-fifhts votes - are failing. A vote to override a line-item veto for the secretary of state failed badly a few moments ago, but an override motion of a reduction veto in personnel services for the SoS passed with 64 votes.

* 1:30 pm - The same thing just happened with a couple of human services overrides. Line item override failed, reduction override passed.

*** 1:48 pm *** In case you missed the link above, you can find roll calls on the override motions at this link. None have been posted as of yet, however.

*** 2:01 pm *** The House failed to override the governor’s line-item veto of millions of dollars for drug treatment programs. Again, the pattern holds. Line-item veto overrides are failing while reduction overrides are passing.

*** 2:08 pm *** The House Clerk’s office has finally put the override motion rollcalls online. Click here.

*** 2:17 pm *** Another drug treatment veto override attempt is forthcoming. The next one will require just 60 votes and will restore $43 million reduced by the governor.

*** 2:41 pm *** As predicted, the House just voted to restore $43 million in reductions to the state’s drug treatment programs.

*** 2:44 pm *** Again, the House failed to override of a line item veto on school construction grants. The motion received just 60 votes. Maybe if the House Dems had more members they could make some of these votes a bit closer.

*** 2:48 pm *** OK, we finally had a motion fail on a reduction veto. It went by pretty fast, but I think it was a community college veto. The motion came up a vote or two short of the sixty required to pass.

…Adding… It was a community college override. The governor had reduced the base operating grants. Motion 24 if you’re following along.

…Also… A human services reduction veto was not overridden just now (3:10 pm). It was Motion 17, which would have restored $33.5 million in cuts to the community care program.

…And… From the SJ-R, which is also following along

The House shot down restoring $148 million in construction money for Rochester and about two-dozen other school districts who have waited since 2002 for money promised by the state but never delivered. Lawmakers voted 60-26 to restore the money, but it needed 71 votes to pass.

“It’s important to these schools and it’s only living up to the obligation this state has had,” said Rep. Lisa Dugan, D-Bradley.

Then, the House rapidly rejected restoring six chunks of money worth tens of millions of dollars for higher education. That includes $18 million for the MAP grant increase, $10 million for community colleges and millions for grants and improvements at several state universities.

*** 3:17 pm *** An override motion to restore funding to elder abuse programs to the FY 08 level also came up two votes short.

*** 3:35 pm *** After stopping the governor from delaying Medicaid payments to hospitals and nursing homes, the House failed to prevent the governor from moving $185 million of Medicaid payments for prescription drugs, transportation, home health, medical appliances, hospice care and labs to Fiscal Year 10. The motion only required 60 votes, but came up way short.

*** 3:51 pm *** Yet another reduction override failed. This one would’ve restored about $27 million for cuts in community based services for developmentally disabled and mentally ill. The motion came up 2 votes shy. Some tourism vetoes were also sustained when the House couldn’t muster enough votes - one a line item and one a reduction veto.

*** 4:00 pm *** House Speaker Madigan is adjourning the House as I write this. He said he doesn’t intend to call the House back until November, but added that if the need arises he may call them back before that.

*** 4:00 pm *** Speaker Madigan’s spokesman claims the House has voted to restore about $420 million that was vetoed by the governor.

*** 4:37 pm *** From the governor’s press office…

The House passed a budget without approving sufficient revenue sources to pay for it. That is incredibly irresponsible — it’s the equivalent of writing a check that you know will bounce.

For most people, they’d be charged with a misdemeanor. In Springfield, it’s just more games. The Governor acted responsibly. He balanced the budget. The House should be using this time in Springfield to pass revenue measures already approved by the Senate rather than casting blame toward others. This is a problem they created. This is their budget.

- Posted by Rich Miller   73 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Letter to HDems; Autism; Brady; Secession; Con-Con; Voliva (Use all caps in password)

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Enter your password to view comments      

Question of the day

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008

* The setup

MillerCoors has picked Chicago for its headquarters.

The company, a joint venture of Molson Coors Brewing Co. and SABMiller PLC, will employ 300 to 400 people and is still finalizing a location downtown. [..]

The firm chose Chicago over Dallas for its new home base and is making a $39.5-million investment, according to a press release from the state. The state is providing an economic package of roughly $18 million, while the city is expected to provide between $2.5 million and $5 million in tax-increment financing subsidies.

The state’s incentives include an $825,000 grant over two years and tax credits totaling $17.5 million over 15 years, according to a spokeswoman for the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

* More

But landing MillerCoors comes at a price of over $20 million in state and city subsidies, raising an oft-asked question in economic development circles: Would it have come here anyway, even without an aid package?

After all, Chicago is hardly a Rust Belt relic. It’s what economic development experts would call a “winner” city, a place with a healthy, diversified economy and cultural and recreational amenities to attract highly skilled workers.

In fact, despite all the worries over lost corporate headquarters, the number of high-paying corporate management jobs—the kind MillerCoors will create—has grown at a heady pace in recent years, according to federal employment data.

* The question: Do you support or oppose economic development efforts like this one? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller   43 Comments      

House GOP unveils “Agenda for Action”

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008

* The House GOP held some town-hall meetings last night to unveil a campaign platform for the fall election campaign

House Republicans announced a new “Agenda for Action” Tuesday. It provides a seven-point platform — ranging from true balanced budgets to tough anti-corruption laws — to entice voters to put the GOP back in charge of the chamber in November.

That’s a tall task. Democrats now have a 67-51 advantage and are trying to build a 71-vote supermajority. Both sides know how legislators vote this week will be used in the upcoming elections.

* More

Speaking to a live crowd of about 70 at Forest View Educational Center and an Internet audience, Cross and colleagues accused Gov. Rod Blagojevich, along with House and Senate Democratic majorities, of profligate spending, misplaced priorities, veiled decision-making and failure to listen to constituents.

The Republicans hit hardest at Democratic spending.

“We have this mentality of spending money that we don’t have,” Cross said. “We don’t think about the fact that some day we’ve got to pay the piper. Well the piper’s at the door and has to be paid.”

State Rep. Mark Beaubien, of Barrington Hills, said Cross was generous in calling the recently passed budget $2 billion out of balance. The figure, Beaubien said, is closer to $3 billion.

* That’s the first time I’ve heard the $3 billion deficit figure, and it may not be the only thing the HGOPs are exaggerating

About 60 people attended the Town Hall meeting to participate in the range issues.

Some were broad: “Approve a comprehensive capital program that will reinvigorate Illinois’ economy, create 700,000 new jobs and rebuild and repair Illinois’ crumbling roads, unsafe bridges and overcrowded schools and hospitals.”

Quite a few of those in attendance were candidates, and even Gov. Rod Blagojevich only uses 600,000 as his job creation figure for the capital bill - and that’s undoubtedly overstated.

* You can see the entire agenda by clicking here. Dave Diersen has a few ideas of his own.

* Meanwhile, the House Republicans are divided over how to deal with the budget veto overrides this week and many aren’t looking forward to today’s budget action

Republicans say it’s unfair to force legislators to pick and choose which cuts should be restored now, especially since lawmakers could always come back this fall and do more.

“We ought to be looking at the total package, not playing politics where we’re going to do mine but we’re not going to do yours,” said Rep. Raymond Poe, R-Springfield.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      

Way too tiny or a good start?

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008

* As I told you yesterday afternoon, the House advanced a $1.8 billion “capital plan” out of the Executive Committee yesterday. At first, they claimed the proposal would generate about $5 billion, but they were apparently confused. The Dems defended the proposal

The House Democrats are trying to send a signal to the feds that Illinois has the money ready to go to fund the projects most at-risk of losing the federal funds, said Rep. Gary Hannig, a Litchfield Democrat sponsoring the measure [emphasis added]. “This would allow us to make our 20 percent payment. In turn, we would expect the federal government to then come up with the 80 percent. But these are projects that our congressmen have determined and earmarked in a federal transportation bill.”

Steve Brown, Democratic spokesman, said the measure aims to bring in $1.2 billion for highway projects and $600 million for mass transit projects. He said House Democrats proposed those amounts in response to information from the Illinois Department of Transportation about the federal dollar amounts at risk without a state match. But IDOT couldn’t confirm that information or interpretation of the situation. Department spokesman Mike Claffey said IDOT didn’t have a comment but was looking into the legislation.

And as Hannig said, no one really knows when the federal earmarks will expire. “I think the view is that the sooner we try to access this money, the better, clearly.”

* The House Republicans on the committee all voted for the proposal yesterday, but the governor’s office pounced

“This is designed to make sure Illinois doesn’t lose any federal funds,” said Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago). […]

“This House action puts us 1 percent closer to meeting our state’s infrastructure needs,” gubernatorial spokesman Lucio Guerrero said. “Before they start pounding their chests to congratulate themselves, it’s our hope they intend to go back to work and pass the other 99 percent necessary to meet our state’s infrastructure needs.”

* And the Senate Dems were skeptical

But even if the House approves the plan, the Senate does not intend to meet again until after the Nov. 4 general election.

The Senate, led by Blagojevich allies, previously approved the governor’s $34 billion capital construction plan. The House, led by Blagojevich adversaries, defeated that plan on May 31.

Lawmakers last approved a major capital plan in 1999.

“We feel our work is completed,” said Cindy Davidsmeyer, spokeswoman for Senate President Emil Jones Jr., D-Chicago.

* Erickson has the final word

But, given the political gridlock that has enveloped Springfield for the past year, it’s too early to begin revving up the bulldozers.

* Meanwhile, take this with a grain of salt

Tensions between Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and House Speaker Michael Madigan are still simmering in Springfield. Upstate, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he tried to play peacemaker - but got shot down. […]

DALEY: It’s a personal feud. It’s the Hatfield and McCoy’s, you know that. When people don’t trust each other in politics or in families, you have issues.

Daley says he’s tried to get the politicians together to smooth things out - but he says they won’t listen to his appeals.

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      

Pay raise politics finally getting some notice

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008

* Some of the mainstream types are finally taking serious notice of a topic I’ve been discussing with subscribers, column readers and you for months: The legislative pay raise’s impact on the Blagojevich-Jones-Madigan war. From CBS2

Under Springfield’s weird rules, if President Emil Jones convenes his State Senate for just two more days, every legislator immediately gets an almost 12 percent raise, even members of the House who voted overwhelmingly to reject the raise.

But there’s a catch. With many voters angry about their own pay cuts, Jones wants to delay the double-digit raise for legislators until after the November election.

So, important budget business facing the general assembly must wait, too.

“The tail is wagging the entire dog of the $60 billion state budget because a few senators want their pay raise,” said State Rep. Jack Franks.

* And the Tribune

The House is back this week to fight Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s budget cuts, but the Senate is avoiding the Statehouse in a move that protects lawmakers’ chances of getting a post-election pay raise.

Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago) has said there is no need for the Senate to meet because his chamber, unlike the House, has already approved funding plans that would alleviate the need for the governor’s veto of $1.4 billion in spending from the new state budget.

But critics said returning to Springfield also would force the Senate to vote on whether to boost base salaries for lawmakers next summer by 7.5 percent, to $72,985. Jones has not scheduled the Senate to return until after the November election, when it would be less volatile for lawmakers to take a vote. […]

Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest), who has fought the pay raise and wants a pre-election vote, contended the Senate is shirking its responsibility to tackle budget issues now because some senators want to protect salary hikes.

“Some people in leadership would rather us not be in Springfield because we would not have to address the pay raise,” she said.

This may have been too “inside baseball” for most publications back in May, but it’s having a serious impact on the Statehouse budget/capital/etc. stalemate and needs more coverage.

However, the Senate’s maneuvering might distract attention from the House Speaker’s role in the ongoing mess, including the fact that funding for cost of living allowance increases is included in the House’s budget bill.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      

All-Star game open thread

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008

Cubs lose again.


- Posted by Rich Miller   43 Comments      

Morning Shorts *** UPDATED x1 ***

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008

*** UPDATE *** ‘’Clout Kids'’ Get Summer Jobs, Part 1 and Part 2

* State Supreme Court keeps lawyer list secret

The list of lawyers licensed to practice in Illinois will remain secret under a ruling Tuesday by the state Supreme Court.

The court rejected a request for the list made by Avvo, a Seattle firm that grades attorneys and posts the results online.

* Weis says cops worry about suspensions

* Weis gets lesson in Chicago politics from aldermen

* Top cop grilled by city council committee

* Weis outlines crime tactics, talks about desire for strong relationship with City Council

* Carothers to Weis: I’m The Boss

* Weis Bringing Back SOS Unit

* Daley Calls Weis Headline “Fabrication

* State says seat belt usage up in Illinois

* Peoria Pundit evicted from hosting service

* Loan program assists efforts to go green

State Sen. David Koehler, D-Peoria, said the new program is a smart way to help out Illinois businesses and simultaneously help the environment.

At a time when many are frustrated with state legislators’ slow progress in settling on a budget, the “Green Energy” is a proactive program that will help Illinois businesses and consumers, he said.

“This is exactly what government should be doing,” Koehler said.

* State to present funds to Cahokia Mounds site on Thursday

* Riders hop Amtrak, dodge gas prices

* New fair-housing group debuts with hearing in Chicago

* Proposed City Colleges tax hike draws fire

Civic Federation President Laurence Msall, who plans to testify Wednesday at a public hearing on the budget, says, “In a time of economic hardship for Chicagoans, exacerbated by enormous recent property and sales tax increases, the federation believes that governments should focus their efforts on reducing costs, not increasing taxes and student fees.”

* No resolution yet in mediated AFSCME contract talks

* Incumbents outraising challengers in suburban congressional races

* Foster revving up 14th District’s cash register

* Foster’s fine line

“Coming out of the blocks, Rep. Foster had to decide whether to take his lead from pro-business Melissa Bean or pro-union Phil Hare,” says William Lane, Washington director of government affairs for Peoria’s Caterpillar Inc., the biggest manufacturer in Mr. Foster’s district. “We would say he chose poorly.”

* Congressional candidates rake in millions

* U.S. Rep. Bean reports $1.5 million in campaign fund

* Kirk, Seals in big money race to 111th Congress

GOP Congressman Mark Kirk and Democratic challenger Dan Seals have already raised nearly $6 million since their first contest two years ago.

* Dan Seals: Looking for Love From New York’s Charles Rangel

* Rep. Roskam with big dollar lead over Democratic rival

* Halvorson ahead in election fundraising

* Durbin’s GOP foe with plenty of money woes

- Posted by Kevin Fanning   10 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Morning video

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008

* We’ll talk about this more later today…

Sparkling, flavorful, distinctive!

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

This just in… *** House adjourns without taking action *** “Worthless” Gatehouse? *** House advances scaled back capital bill ***

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2008

* 12:41 pm - Just 87 members are present in the House today. Listen or watch here.

* 12:45 pm -
IL AARP takes a swipe at the guv for eliminating or cutting increases in funding for “programs and services that are essential to the welfare and safety of thousands of older adults in Illinois”…

Caring enough about seniors to offer them free rides should also translate into making sure that older Illinoisans have fully funded programs and services so they can live independently and with dignity in the communities of their own choice.

* 12:51 pm - The House was led in prayer today by Rep. Tim Schmitz, who was sent a prayer used in the Indiana House of Representatives several years ago…

Almighty God, You who created the heavens and the earth, light and darkness, the waters and the dry land, the stars and the moon, the plants and the animals, Adam and Eve in six days, help these hardworking legislators that they might successfully complete their work in sixty-one. Then after You have done that, please enlighten the governor as to the wisdom of their accomplishments so that they might rest securely in the knowledge that he won’t undo all the good they have done.



* 12:56 pm - The Illinois Federation of Teachers has sent a letter to Senate President Emil Jones…

We urge you to immediately reconvene a regular session of the Senate to act on the overrides.

Read the full letter here. Read the IFT’s letter to Speaker Madigan here.

* 12:57 pm - The House appears to be adjourning until tomorrow.

* 1:01 pm - GOP US Senate candidate Steve Sauerberg trumpets his polling numbers…

The polling, conducted by Southern Outreach, an Atlanta-based firm, shows Durbin struggling to break 50% in the uninformed ballot matchup against Sauerberg. In a head to head with Dr. Sauerberg, Durbin leads 52% to 35%. Outside of the Chicago-metro area, Durbin fails to garner 50% and only leads Sauerberg 47% to 40%.

The independent Rasmussen Reports recently polled the race at 61-27 for Durbin.

*** 1:07 pm *** The House has adjourned and will go to committees at 2 o’clock. The big action will be tomorrow. I doubt I’ll have more updates here for a while, but check back anyway.

*** 1:25 pm *** Uh-oh

As GateHouse Media Inc. stock sank more than 20% in early trading Tuesday — briefly touching $1 a share — Morningstar released a trenchant report declaring shares of the acquisitive community newspaper publisher “could be worthless.”

“Because of the company’s exposure to a challenging advertising environment, a debt-heavy balance sheet, and declining cash flows, we think the equity shares could be worthless,” stock analyst Tom Corbett wrote. […]

Morningstar also said GateHouse is close to violating one or more of the covenants on its huge debt. “Should that happen, its debt could become due immediately, resulting in a possible liquidation scenario,” Corbett wrote.

GateHouse owns the State Journal-Register, Peoria Journal Star and a bunch of other Illinois papers. It’s trading at $1.05 right now. Oy.

*** 3:02 pm *** The House Executive Committee moved a drastically scaled back capital plan to the floor this afternoon. The proposal would reportedly be worth about $5 billion $1.8 billion - far less than the governor’s $34 billion plan. But the House version will require no new money. The billion dollars in state cash $360 million - to be used to leverage about $4 billion $1.8 billion in federal money - will come out of the state’s Road Fund. More in tomorrow’s Capitol Fax.

- Posted by Rich Miller   47 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - HGOP live webcast update and related

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2008

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Enter your password to view comments      

Question of the day

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2008

* The setup

In the wake of a frightening incident in which a 7-year-old suffered a fractured skull from a foul ball at Wrigley Field, fans may be wondering what they can do to stay safe at the ballpark and, if they aren’t, who bears the legal responsibility for such an accident.

Lawyers say the liability is with the fan, because teams have virtual immunity in most cases. […]

A century of legal precedent from personal injury cases requires club owners to string netting in the most dangerous areas of the park but puts the onus on fans to protect themselves from bats and balls that aren’t stopped by the nets. Lawmakers bolstered the principle further in Illinois, Colorado and Arizona with laws in the 1990s that underscored immunity from lawsuits for ballplayers and the clubs that employ them.

The White Sox and the Cubs—a team owned by Tribune Co., which also owns this newspaper—sought the 1992 Illinois law after local courts had found them liable for fans’ injuries. Expansion teams in the other states asked for similar laws before opening their gates. The legal result is almost airtight.

* The warning:
Let’s try very hard not to drag this particular kid and the parents into our discussion.

* The question: Do you support leaving state law as it is or changing it to allow for some liability by team owners? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller   56 Comments      

The way things are done

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2008

* The original version of this story posted yesterday at the Tribune’s site included a quote that isn’t in the piece today

Chicago police were investigating an attempted arson that took place Sunday night at Cook County Commissioner William Beavers’ South Side office, police said.

A neighbor saw someone on the roof of the office, 2552 E. 79th St., about 10 p.m., police said Monday afternoon, citing preliminary reports. The neighbor notified police, and Chicago firefighters responded to pour water on gasoline found on the roof to dissipate it, said Officer Dan O’Brien, a police spokesman.

No fire was actually set.

“I understand [investigators were] out there today. Last night somebody poured gasoline on the roof and the building next door,” Beavers said. “It was an attempted arson.”

The original version quoted Beavers as saying, “It wasn’t me.” Not sure why the Trib took it out.

I showed the original story to somebody yesterday who asked, “Do you think he did it?”

No way, I said. He doesn’t have any sort of real election coming up. You only torch your own office so you can blame it on an opponent. Not that Beavers would ever do such a thing. I’m not saying, I’m just saying. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

I remember a Downstate legislative candidate years ago whose campaign van caught on fire right before election day [actually, now that I think about it, I believe the van was firebombed]. The local media openly speculated about whether his opponent set the blaze, but I always figured his people did it. Particularly one guy, but I won’t go into names. He was in town that day and, well, let’s just say he was somewhat of an over the top type trained in the dark arts of espionage.

* Anyhoo, speaking of the way things are done

A clout-heavy company with two generations of ties to the Daley family has been chosen to fill in a “missing link” in Chicago’s riverwalk at a cost of $8.1 million, double the city’s original estimate.

The contract awarded last month calls for Walsh Construction to build a walkway on landfill beneath the Michigan Avenue bridge so pedestrians can stroll along the Chicago River without running upstairs, crossing the street and going back downstairs.

The walkway was supposed to cost $4 million and be financed through the Central Loop tax increment financing district. Instead, Walsh will be paid $8.1 million. Walsh was the “lowest qualified bidder” after a seemingly lower bid was ultimately deemed to be higher.

And so it goes.

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      

Wearing the jacket

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2008

* The idea, as I’ve told you before, behind this budget fight is to force the House to finally relent and pass the capital construction plan. The way to do that is to put as much heat as possible on Speaker Madigan with these budget vetoes.

The House returns to town today to take up many of the governor’s budget vetoes, but it’s the governor who is wearing the jacket. Check out these ledes…

From foster parents facing rising food and fuel costs to the future of Illinois state parks, groups began stepping forward Monday to lobby against budget cuts made last week by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

In his on-going battle with the Illinois House, the governor last week pared $1.4 billion from the state’s spending plan in an attempt to bring it into balance.

The move, however, will hurt some of the state’s most vulnerable people and places, advocates said.

* And

Crime, violence and domestic abuse will increase in Illinois if the governor’s 43 percent funding cut to substance abuse and prevention programs is allowed to stand, program providers and law enforcement officials said Monday.

* And

From kids spending more years in foster care to kids not being able to go to a local park, it’s all because of the $1.4 billion in cuts Governor Rod Blagojevich made last week.

* And

Area social directors gathered Monday at the Illinois Centre Mall in Marion, where they voiced outrage over proposed budget reductions announced last week by Gov. Rod Blagojevich to community-based social service agencies.

* And

State budget cuts made by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will have a devastating impact on local substance abuse programs that treat some of the most vulnerable people in the state, Quad-City advocates said Monday.

* And

Rosecrance substance-abuse prevention and education programs in Rockford stand to lose millions of dollars in government aid thanks to Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s state spending cuts.

* And

Rep. Gary Hannig is learning just how deep Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s state budget cuts are, one ring at a time.

* And

As many as sixty Illinois historic sites could close after Gov. Blagojevich slashed half of the state’s budget to maintain and operate the sites.

* I found just one story, in the Northwest Herald, that has a “pox on both their houses” lede

Having a state budget in place means that state employees will get paid on time, providing that they don’t get laid off as a result of cuts to balance it.

But that is little consolation to the Adult and Child Rehabilitation Center and other agencies whose payments are being held up by the Democratic political infighting in Springfield.

* This one puts the guv in the second graf

Keith Kuhn is bracing for the implosion about to hit one of the state’s service systems that can least afford it.

Kuhn, community director of the Gateway Foundation in Springfield, and other substance-abuse prevention and treatment center advocates are pleading for help after Gov. Rod Blagojevich slashed $55 million in state money from their programs last week.

* And then there was this twofer in today’s Sun-Times

llinois legislators, this is no time for a pay raise. But they’ll get just that — nearly 12 percent over the next year — if the Illinois Senate doesn’t act soon.

The governor just cut $1.4 billion out of the state budget, affecting some of the state’s most vulnerable.

Yep. The grand plan appears to be working like a charm.

Message to governor’s office: When the governor - any governor - vetoes budget items, he always wears the jacket. Period.

- Posted by Rich Miller   58 Comments      

Fear and loathing on the con-con trail

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2008

* The groups that will put $3 million into a “Vote No” campaign on the constitutional convention ballot question held their inaugural press conference yesterday. From a press release

Members of the Alliance acknowledged the state faces real problems, but they stressed that electing better representatives and leaders is the real answer, not putting one of the most citizen-friendly and progressive constitutions in America up for grabs.

This new coalition includes the Illinois Chamber, the Illinois AFL-CIO, the League of Women Voters and on and on and on. In other words, the very same groups that have been endorsing and funding legislative and statewide candidates for decades. Now they say they goofed and backed the wrong people? Please.

* From Chicago Public Radio

Nancy Kaszak heads the Alliance to Protect the Illinois Constitution. It’s a group of higher-ups representing business groups mostly. Kaszak says she doesn’t trust the current leadership in Springfield to be involved in possibly changing the constitution.

KASZAK: It’s a gimmick to distract voters from Springfield’s failure. These politicians are blaming the constitution rather than taking responsibility for their own failures to solve problems.

Only a tiny handful of legislators are calling for a con-con. Most who have spoken up are opposed. So Kaszak’s argument is simply designed to incite fear and loathing in the electorate.

* Back to the press release

A constitutional convention is not the only way to amend the constitution, which already provides a clear mechanism for amending it. This amendatory process is proven to work — Illinois voters have considered 18 amendments; ten were passed.

Besides the House cutback amendment, the other amendments first had to be approved by the General Assembly. Only amendments dealing with the structure of the GA can be put on the ballot without first being approved by three-fifths of both chambers. So, the above argument is a fairy tale. The system will not change itself. Not. Gonna. Happen.

* More from the release…

“Scheduling a convention for 2010 would freeze any movement on pressing issues that need to be addressed,” said Kevin Semlow, director of state legislation for the Illinois Farm Bureau. “

That’s not a bad argument, but will anything get done anyway? I doubt it.

* Rep. Franks, unsurprisingly, disagrees with the “No” coalition

But one of those lawmakers, Democratic Rep. Jack Franks of Woodstock, accused the alliance of using “scare tactics.”

“It’s about protecting fiefdoms and protecting the status quo,” Franks said. “We need to end the status quo. We’ve got to end business as usual.”

“This is our best chance to end the culture of corruption that has infected both political parties in this state,” he added.

* And Pat Quinn chimes in

People are sick and tired of the political feuds, they don’t like an unfair tax system and corruption that exists for far too long in Illinois and this is our chance to send a message to Springfield that it’s time to reform and the people are gonna get the job done.

The idea is to tie a “Yes” vote to the fury over the total Statehouse breakdown That may be a good idea, politically, but it’s not completely honest. There’s serious work to be done here.

* And what about the cost?

Kaszak says a Con-Con could take years to finish and cost more than $100 million.

That’s probably an extreme overestimate, but Quinn’s numbers are way too low

Quinn says a constitutional convention would cost about $13 million.

* And, finally

Jan Czarnik, executive director of the League of Women Voters, added, “No one has shown us how a con-con is going to address the problems we all agree are endemic in our state government.”

Well, they didn’t look much then. A tougher balanced budget provision, scaling back amendatory veto powers, requiring computerized legislative redistricting, more precisely delineating special session powers, strengthening the education funding “preponderance” language to make it crystal clear to the Supreme Court are just a few ideas off the top of my head.

* John Bambenek adds

Many of the problems that Illinois faces are a direct result of a constitution written in 1970 to create a “strong government.”


* And Dan Johnson-Weinberger sums up

Only the electorate could amend the constitution. The delegates to the convention could suggest amendments. But only the electorate could approve or reject them.

The boogeyman is coming and he is going to have a $3 million campaign behind him to scare you into voting against giving yourself more power over improving your state government. Don’t hide under the blankets.

* Let me be very clear: I haven’t closed my mind on this topic by any means. I’m totally open to sound, logical, reasoned arguments for a “No” vote that don’t resort to silly fear and loathing tactics. But those were few and far between during yesterday’s press conference. It truly insulted my intelligence.

If they want to be leaders, then they should lead. Don’t treat us like children who are easily frightened and should do what we’re told.

- Posted by Rich Miller   100 Comments      

Morning Shorts

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2008

* Press release: Ronald McDonald Anti-Christian Bigot? McDonald’s Suggests Pro-Family Advocates Motivated by Hate

* Greg Harris talks civil unions

It’s one thing for California, Massachusetts and New York, the sort of coast states to do this, but opponents are pulling out all the stops and all the big guns for Illinois, so it’s very important for people to express their feelings to state legislators.

* Virginia Macdonald was one of few women in state legislature

* New voting machines could be coming

* More schools taking day off for election day

Citing safety concerns and faster voting operations, a growing number of school districts are giving students Election Day off this year.

* Ozinga: “There Are Very Few People Nowadays That Have No Health Service At All”

* Halvorson ahead in election fundraising

* Column: A ‘Schock’

* Jackson’s campaign cash at $894,000

* Sauerberg issues debate challenge

* Shimkus sitting on $1.5 million in re-election fund

* Bush to campaign for LaHood successor

* Mark Kirk Champions New Joint VA/Navy Hospital in North Chicago

* Olympic bid raises $12 mil., $37 mil. to go

* Chicago Olympic bid gets gold

* Judgement day

Embattled Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis will face the music this morning about the surge in homicides and other violent crime that boiled over at Taste of Chicago — and it probably won’t be pretty.

* Weis to Answer for Violence

* Chicago’s top cop on City Council hot seat

* Terrorist Watch List Hits One Million Names

- Posted by Kevin Fanning   11 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2008

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Morning video

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2008

* The headline in this morning’s Capitol Fax was “Only the Beginning,” but I decided to post this CTA song instead…

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

* Sunday leaders meeting notes: Madigan counts the minutes, Republicans claim "new level of stalling"
* *** UPDATED x1 *** *** LIVE *** Leaders meeting coverage
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Mendoza transition team responds to the Sun-Times' Madigan conspiracy theory
* *** UPDATED x1 - Durkin responds *** Back to the future: Madigan demands "memorandums of understanding"
* Question of the day
* Shimkus loses out on plum post
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Moody's says Rauner veto is just one of many problems facing CPS
* *** UPDATED x4 - Mendoza responds - Munger calls suit "cowardly" *** Lawsuit filed over legislator pay
* The "green energy" side of the Exelon bill
* Caption contest!
* How is this "breaking our agreement"?
* Positioning, practicalities and politics weigh heavily against a House override
* Report: A decade to reach solvency, if leaders cooperate on tough plan
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Rauner goes into the lion's den
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...






Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* BLU accuses Shanghai Adups of request violation, migrating updates to Google’s systems
* Cyanogen move is official and so is Steve Kondik’s departure — wither CyanogenMod?
* FCC policy on zero-rate streaming hardens towards AT&T and Verizon
* More than 100 SwiftKey themes go free for the holidays
* Design engineering firm: Galaxy Note 7 tolerances not enough for battery
* helps you explore the cool spots all around you
* Amplify lets you play synchronized songs across every phone in the room

* Several teams showing interest in Sale
* White Sox plans could clear up at Meetings
* Lawrie, Garcia settle with White Sox for 2017
* Garcia, Lawrie settle with White Sox for 2017
* Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal
* White Sox plans could clear up at Meetings
* Garcia among White Sox non-tender options


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Another year of financial uncertainty looms for.....
* Another Year of Financial Uncertainty Looms for.....
* Madigan: Illinois budget discussed for 14 minut.....
* Illinois Seeks ‘Light Touch’ Blockchain Regulat.....
* Another Year Of Financial Uncertainty Looms For.....

* Vets to help protesters, asked not clash with officials
* University of Illinois chancellor reviews emergency plans
* University of Illinois chancellor reviews emergency plans
* Another year of financial uncertainty looms for Illinois
* Another year of financial uncertainty looms for Illinois
* EXCHANGE: Augmented reality in app for visually impaired
* EXCHANGE: Man creates memorial for fellow servicemen
* Lawyer seeks to replace 105-year murder sentence
* Weather advisory issued for Sunday in northern Illinois
* Ukulele is a popular music-class addition

* Another year of financial uncertainty looms for Illinois
* Lawmakers sue comptroller for not paying them
* Electronic road signs are dark near Effingham due to budget
* State lawmakers vote to spare 2 nuclear plants
* Legislature OKs Exelon subsidy plan, goes to Rauner
* Rauner: No more stopgap budgets without property tax freeze, term limits
* Illinois shutters nation's last prison roundhouse
* Clinton nuclear plant has history of cost, job uncertainty
* AFSCME files lawsuit over labor contract
* Rauner to Dems: No budget without term limits, property tax freeze

* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* A right hook to men and women hurt on the job
* Nothing brings pols together like a bailout
* Drink up, Chicago. Jim Beam's in town now
* Think Springfield can borrow its way out of trouble? Think again

* Monday letters: Like after a flood, declare state of emergency
* Could be worse: Bears thump 49ers, 26-6, for third win of season
* Madigan: Illinois budget discussed for 14 minutes
* Mount Prospect man dies after crash on Route 390
* The days of the ‘Bench Mob’ are long gone for the Bulls in ’16
* Trump threatens payback for US companies that move abroad
* Steinberg: How to refute Trump’s lies? With force and alacrity
* City dispatches 210 snow plows as city’s first snow falls
* Ohio St.-Clemson, Bama-Washington set for CFB playoff
* Vehicle on tracks in Skokie suspends Yellow Line service

* Dylann Roof to judge: Let lawyers back on S.C. church death penalty case
* California warehouse fire: 30 dead, 'arduous' search for victims continues
* Week 13 live blog: Bears get third win of season, defeat Niners 26-6
* Petraeus defends candidacy to run State despite past 'mistake'
* Fidel Castro laid to rest in private ceremony in east Cuba
* Syrian army tells rebels in Aleppo to leave or die
* Northwestern will face Pittsburgh in Pinstripe Bowl
* 1 killed in shooting involving northern Indiana officers
* Washington gets final spot in college football playoff rankings; Penn State misses out
* Russian President Vladimir Putin calls Trump 'smart,' but it's not entirely a compliment

The widget AQL4JYGHIY powered by Feed Informer does not exist.

* Another year of financial uncertainty looms for Illinois
* Our View: Fall veto session leaves Illinois in worse state than before
* Bernard Schoenburg: Divine intervention on budget? Still waiting
* Statehouse Insider: No budget deal; see you in January
* Angie Muhs: New sports editor to start at the SJ-R
* Amy Voils: How do I really help the homeless?
* Jason Dockter: LLCC a leader in online education
* A home for the holidays: How do I really help the homeless?
* LLCC a leader in online education
* Guest Column: Where is the bailout for human services?

* Looking Ahead: Bucktown Building on Davenport council agenda
* Slippery roads reported following snowfall
* Hy-Vee seeds Mr. Thanksgiving's 2017 meal with $21,000 donation
* Dec. 4 Asmussen Top 25
* Club members give back, festively
* Follow-up file: 40 years ago, Broadway star Fred Applegate got first job at Circa '21
* Childhood favorite finds new home at museum
* Committee picks Alabama, Washington, Ohio State and Clemson
* Eastview Church welcomes, feeds, clothes thousands
* Coming home: Man freed after 18 years in prison

* Santa takes news copter to Schaumburg
* Bears beat hapless 49ers at snowy Soldier Field
* Florida, Iowa a matchup of 8-4 teams at Outback Bowl
* The Latest: Falcons left tackle Matthews injures knee
* The Latest: Western Michigan going to row to the Cotton Bowl

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Sen. Dick Durbin Unveils Protection Effort......

* SEIU leaders say planned Monday strike by ......

* Governor Rauner vetoes CPS budget agreement. “We know Trump,” says CTU President Karen Lewis. “We’ve had Rauner for two years.”
* Qualified.
* Sunday mishmosh.
* Zombies in Washington (an art project).
* A Nickel's Worth of Difference
* #TBT. Los Angeles. 1963. Fighting segregation.
* Peace through fear.
* On the day Trump formally handed the U.S. government over to Wall Street Executives (and not the first time this has happened by any means).
* Get it in writing? It is in writing. It’s called the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution.
* Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts to be Trump's deputy commerce secretary

* Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Brings Lowest Fatality Rate In Six Years
* Governor Announces Appointments to Illinois Bicentennial Commission
* Stateville Correctional Center’s F House Officially Closed
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* IEMA Highlights Safety during the Holidays - Encourages holiday shoppers to give preparedness gifts this year

      Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller