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Learn history’s lessons - or face the consequences

Friday, Feb 26, 2010

* My Sun-Times column today takes a look back while looking ahead

I ran into Glenn Poshard the other day.

As I walked away from our pleasant little chitchat, I told my intern that Illinois would be a far different place today if Poshard had been elected governor in 1998 when he ran against George Ryan.

Federal prosecutors might not have had much interest in going after somebody who’d been voted out of public life. Even if they did, and Ryan still wound up in prison, he’d be an ex-secretary of state, not an ex-governor.

If the Democrat Poshard had prevailed, his fellow Dem Rod Blagojevich most likely wouldn’t have been elected governor four years later. Considering who he is, Blagojevich might’ve wound up in trouble with the law anyway, but not as our governor.

One big reason Poshard didn’t win was he was considered too far to the right for the Chicago area. Glenn Poshard was pro-gun, pro-life and anti-gay rights. Ryan had a reputation for being a conservative, but he ran to the left of Poshard on social issues and won.

Poshard won heavily Democratic Cook County by only 128,000 votes. To put that into perspective, Rod Blagojevich won Cook by over 500,000 votes in 2006. If Poshard had won Cook by just half that amount, he would’ve defeated George Ryan.

Sen. Bill Brady, the likely Republican gubernatorial nominee this year, has pretty much the same stances on social issues as Poshard.

Understandably, the Democrats will do all they can to scare people about Brady, and he isn’t doing himself any favors by reintroducing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages and civil unions.

Brady also caught some heat this week for recently introducing a bill to re-legalize the currently banned use of gas chambers to “euthanize” large numbers of dogs and cats at once. Illinois is home to almost twice as many Illinois pet owners as expected voters this November. Oops.

When Ryan defeated Poshard in 1998, the economy was humming along wonderfully, the state budget had a billion-dollar surplus and the last governor to go to prison for acts committed while he was in office was 30 years earlier.

I’m not saying that abortion rights, or gay rights or gun rights or even pet rights are unimportant here. They are to a whole lot of people. That pet gassing bill might actually say more about who Brady is than anything else. All of it deserves coverage and plenty of debate.

But Illinois’ unemployment is now over 11 percent. The projected state budget deficit is almost half of its operating budget. We’ve got one former governor in prison and another one on deck.

So far, Gov. Quinn hasn’t really come up with many great ideas to solve most of these problems. His budget plans have been unworkable and have therefore been tossed aside; his economic plan is mostly confined to public works projects; his reforms, while significant, have fallen somewhat short.

Brady’s budget plan is to slash programs and cut taxes, so we need to know far more about how, exactly, those ideas would truly impact Illinois. His economic program is somewhat vague, and while some of his reform ideas are pretty good, it’s unclear whether he can make them happen.

So, by all means, let’s pay attention to the hot buttons and the character issues, but this year we all need to give at least equal weight to how these two guys intend to repair the wreckage created after Glenn Poshard lost to George Ryan. The times absolutely demand it.

* Meanwhile, Brady’s gas chamber bill has Michael Sneed and Gov. Pat Quinn in an uproar and Quinn is vowing to keep the story alive

Gov. Quinn, the devoted owner of the state’s first dog, Bailey, is on the war path over a dangerous dog path.

• Translation: Quinn is aghast over legislation that was pushed by Quinn’s likely opponent, state Sen. Bill Brady, which could have allowed the mass killing of frightened, fighting and gasping shelter animals in a box of 10!

• Upshot: Quinn, who has a yelping 12-year-old Yorkshire terrier, is so incensed, he channeled up a dog legend Thursday. “If that bill had ever gotten out of the Legislature, I’d veto it faster than you can say Rin Tin Tin!” Quinn told Sneed.

• Tipshot: Watch for Quinn to show up Saturday at the dog rescue section of the 2010 Chicago Dog Show at McCormick Place to show his displeasure over the legislation, which wound up being gutted by Brady on Wednesday after being condemned as cruel by the Humane Society of the United States.

(The heinous legislation was first tipped in Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax newsletter, Springfield’s political must-read.)

• Dogshot: Sneed is told Quinn has invited Uno, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show award-winning Illinois beagle, to visit the mansion anytime.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


74 Comments
  1. - cassandra - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:21 am:

    It’s probably too late but what Brady should do is
    make a huge personal donation to the Anti-Cruelty Society or similar org and apolologize profusely.
    He also should publicly dump whatever staffer(s)
    prepared this proposal.


  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:23 am:

    That might work, but it might not. Remember, Brady also voted against the gas chamber ban bill last year.


  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:25 am:

    Also, staff didn’t “prepare this proposal.” He did.


  4. - Joe Dokes - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:26 am:

    Poshard? The man who got to be president of SIU despite being a plagiarist? Yeah, he’d do a lot for the moral quality of the state.

    And, really, his job as president of SIU shows how little respect anyone in Springfield has for education.


  5. - Greg B. - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:27 am:

    9 months of this, unh?


  6. - Former Card Carrying Repub - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:27 am:

    If my aunt had a ____, she’d be my Uncle.

    It’s always nice to speculate, but really, no one knows what Poshard would’ve brought to the table if elected. As we can see, this state is still caught up in Madigan machine. He has quite a bit a leverage, dontcha think, in all things Illinois. And Illinois, while horribly mismanaged by past administrations, is still a victim, not the cause of the national economic picture.

    That being said, I agree wholeheartedly with your conclusion. We, as a state, are not going to fix the mistakes in one fiscal year. But some real improvements need to made and progress achieved. And someone needs to step up and make that happen, to bring all our elected legislators together to make Illinois economically stronger.


  7. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:34 am:

    As the unofficial First Dog of CapitolFax, I’ve been sharing Senator Brady’s gas chamber plans with politically uninitiated pet owners this week.

    The common response is a jaw-dropping look of horror followed by either “Your kidding, right?” or “What’s wrong with that man?”

    What troubles me even more deeply about Sen. Brady’s insensitivity to animal cruelty is the undeniable link between it and other acts of violence, particularly toward children.

    We all know that animal torture is an indicator of violent anti-social tendencies, and a common theme in serial killer histories.

    Then there’s this:

    “A survey of pet-owning families with substantiated child abuse and neglect found that animals were abused in 88 percent of homes where child physical abuse was present.

    A study of women seeking shelter at a safe house showed that 71 percent of those having pets affirmed that their partner had threatened, hurt or killed their companion animals, and 32 percent of mothers reported that their children had hurt or killed their pets.

    Still another study showed that violent offenders incarcerated in a maximum security prison were significantly more likely than nonviolent offenders to have committed childhood acts of cruelty toward pets.”

    One of the favorite tricks of child abusers is, in fact, to threaten, abuse or beat a child’s pet as a way to emotionally torture the child.

    Maybe we should thank Senator Brady for bringing this issue to light?


  8. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:37 am:

    I’m willing to give Brady a pass on social issues if he puts pencil to paper and shows us how his budget and tax cut plan allegedly works. He shouldn’t get a pass on that fantasy.


  9. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:39 am:

    === It’s always nice to speculate, but really, no one knows what Poshard would’ve brought to the table if elected. ===

    It’s actually pretty easy to speculate.

    Poshard was a well-respected if not a little wonkish former member of the Illinois Senate. Relations with the Illinois General Assembly would have improved considerably.

    Poshard was a famed leader on education issues and a balanced budget advocate, who most assuredly would have pushed for education funding reform.

    Whatever criticisms “progressives” may have had of Poshard’s views on social issues, his ethics were above reproach. And the moral high ground is a very powerful tool.

    Then of course, there’s Vallas, our second bite at the apple.


  10. - Amalia - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:43 am:

    anyone who has tried to resist some of the activists on companion animal issues, in particular Paula Fasseas (sp?), knows that they are formidable and tireless in their pursuit of
    those who wrong them. Brady’s position, actively pursued,
    on this issue is so out of the mainstream in the field of
    animal care that it is shocking. But, it is indicative that
    there is a pattern with him as he is way out of the mainstream
    on so many social issues, also with passionate constituencies.
    the trouble for him is that with this issue, the passionate people against him so far outweigh those with him that he will continue to be buried. and everyone who loves their furry friends will stop and think about him in a bad light. on behalf of my tiny pals at home, we are going to be “dogged” in our opposition of Brady.


  11. - Fan of Cap Fax - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:45 am:

    Leave dogs out of politics for crying out loud. Now this IS going too far!


  12. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:46 am:

    What troubles me even more deeply about Sen. Brady’s insensitivity to animal cruelty is the undeniable link between it and other acts of violence, particularly toward children.

    We all know that animal torture is an indicator of violent anti-social tendencies, and a common theme in serial killer histories.

    You are getting carried away here. Senator Brady has not presented his reasons for supporting the usage of this means of euthanasia for stray animals. There are normal reasons for doing this, nothing remotely being related to some kind of inner psychological need to harm others.

    You have gone off the deep end.


  13. - Former Card Carrying Repub - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:46 am:

    YDD, I respectfully disagree. Not taking anything away from Poshard, and personally, I would’ve liked to have seen him elected, but after the honeymoon period, he still had to deal with the former 4 Tops. As evidenced by our current situation, everyone’s got something to say about solutions, but nothing is getting accomplished. And absolutely nothing was gained last fiscal year, sans Elvis.


  14. - Stones - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:48 am:

    Poshard would have been an excellent Governor without the ethical lapses of a Ryan or Blago. He had a history of bipartisanship in the legislature and also while serving as a Congressman.


  15. - Chad - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:56 am:

    I am one of the many who really regret that George Ryan was allowed a pass on that scandal during the campaign. Those of us in public policy or the press just did not do our jobs then, and perhaps we are not doing our jobs now. We need to force attention to the financial trainwreck that is going to tear the heart our of some of the more important aspects of state government that — actually — preserve a reasonable quality of life here. The mindless hard-line positions or complete thoughtlessness on the budget issues by candidates are things that we should relentlessly point out to everyone we can. The amount of attention to this dog story, as comical and politically useful as it is to Quinn, is another example of how we are piddling-away our chance to right the ship. Sorry to pontificate.


  16. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:58 am:

    What is more troubling, in my opinion, is Rich’s presentation that we ought to seriously consider Bill Brady for governor because I cannot do that.

    I’m not reading into this some kind of Miller endorsement, (that would be delusional), yet he clearly shows that serious times demand for us to be serious regarding our voting priorities. If our priorities override our political party preferences, Miller seems to be saying that we should override them.

    That, to me, would require taking Senator Brady serious.

    It would be easier to do so if Senator Brady publically recognized and discussed the impact upon others his political positions have. Being from Downstate, Mr. Brady doesn’t appear to be a statewide player. His positions on issues is incredibly narrow and local. He doesn’t seem to know Chicagoland without a Rand McNally road map physically, culturally, or politically.

    You couple him with Jason Plummer and you have two guys who don’t seem in touch with most Illinoisans on most personal issues and too amateur to even recognize this.

    I can’t take these two bumpkins seriously at all.


  17. - Amuzing Myself - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:58 am:

    It’s pathetic that this dog thing is Quinn’s shining political move. Says a lot about where we are. He can only hope the media will let him focus on this as opposed to his and his party’s utter failure at managing this state for the last seven years.

    YDD: That’s an amazing leap. Has anyone even asked Brady if he has a dog or cat? Before we jump off the cliff foaming at the mouth (pun fully intentional), a little perspective might help. The legislation was clearly a novice political move - especially for a candidate for governor - but I seem to remember one article quoting Brady saying he was against this proposal but was putting it forward for discussion at the request of a constituent. Should have known better, but I find it just a little refreshing to see someone do something for a constituent without political calculation.


  18. - xdtact - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 9:59 am:

    Until Quinn provides a better solution for homeless animals, or turns the governor’s mansion into a no-kill shelter, he really should shut up. I’m a dog owner and while the idea of gassing animals is apalling, we have to focus on the budget.


  19. - Wait a minute - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:03 am:

    So it’s alright for YDD to directly infer that Brady is a child abusing serial killer because of a bill to allow a fairly crude method of disposing of unwanted animals, but nobody better crack a joke on Pelosi?


  20. - Hank - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:04 am:

    Meanwhile, Brady’s gas chamber bill has Michael Sneed and Gov. Pat Quinn in an uproar and Quinn is vowing to keep the story alive…
    I guess Burr Oak has run it’s course?


  21. - Will County Woman - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:06 am:

    A with yesterday, Rich, your analysis fails to mention that Bill Brady’s proposal concerned STRAY dogs, not “pets” as you put yesterday in the title of your blog thread dedicated to the matter and as you imply in your column today.

    Some will say, especially dog-lovers and animal rights types, it doesn’t matter. I can appreciate and understand that. But, it does matter intellectually speaking. By the by, I gather these are the same types of people who were upset when a stray cougar roaming around a Chicago neighborhood was shot and killed by CPD a couple of years ago.

    It’s always good to be accurate with the facts and details so as to help keep things in better perspective. When I first read about the legislation Brady proposed, I realized that it would cause him problems politically because the opposition would take it out of context and try to make hay out of it. As a case in point: Dogshot: Sneed is told Quinn has invited Uno, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show award-winning Illinois beagle, to visit the mansion anytime. And yesterday’s blog.

    A pack of wild/stray dogs roaming around poses a serious health and saftey risk to the public (as well as domesticated animals), and as evidence by several cases of attacks/killings at the Dan Ryan Woods, where families picnic and people walk or jog, several years ago and over a several year period we have to understand there is a big difference between them and Fluffy or Rex the loveable domesticated family pet dog. If memory serves the stray/wild dogs involved with the Dan Ryan Woods cases were pit bulls.


  22. - Niles Township - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:08 am:

    I hear you on Brady’s extreme right wing positions on choice, civil unions, gun concealment and ownership and animal rights. This may be the only environment where someone like that can be elected in IL. But let’s also take a look at his budget policies. He is for cutting taxes, and hoping that will stimulate enough business development to eliminate the debt. That is his main policy as the 10% cuts he has proposed won’t come close to eliminating the deficit. How well has that that tax cutting thing worked out for deficit reduction on the federal level? And IL can’t just print more money.


  23. - ChicagoRick - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:10 am:

    “Stray” dogs were, for the most part, someone’s pet at one point. And even if the dogs are a safety risk, there is no justification for putting them in slow-acting gas chambers where they fight each other while gasping for air until they die.


  24. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:15 am:

    ===Bill Brady’s proposal concerned STRAY dogs, not “pets” ===

    Um, no. The ban also stopped puppie mills from killing dogs en masse when they got to old to sell. And, as someone pointed out above, most stray dogs started out as pets.


  25. - Objective Dem - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:15 am:

    Years ago I heard a bit of background on why the gay community disliked and opposed Poshard so strongly. There were significant issues with Poshard’s record so a meeting was arranged with Poshard and his key staff and the gay political leadership. When they met, Poshard and his staff refused to shake the hands of the gay activists. Needless to say, this escalated the conflict a few notches. (Its been awhile and I wasn’t there, so its possible the meeting was just with Poshard’s staff)

    I also believe it was Poshard’s campaign manager who went on a long vacation after the primary which gave Ryan a huge head start.


  26. - Realist - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:22 am:

    Wow. Quinn frames Brady as a dog gassing Nazi. Don’t you know its better to let them kill the stray dogs one by one or let them starve on the street?
    This is a perfect example of political “feelings” trumping politicians making real world decisions. Please visit your local animal shelter and adopt an animal if you care about this. Otherwise the animals will be euthanized one by one. What is the difference if 10 are killed at a time or ten killed one at a time?
    They act like this bill will take your pet and gas it.
    They are killing the thousands of abandoned/stray animals that are put on street across Illinois. So adopt a pet or open your own “no kill” shelter if you have a problem with this. Otherwise its just a political ploy to get your vote.


  27. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:29 am:

    ===What is the difference if 10 are killed at a time or ten killed one at a time?===

    You have obviously not been paying attention. Go back and read up on this and then come back later when you’ve filled yourself in. It’s not the numbers, it’s what happens when you gas them in large numbers.

    That push-back won’t work. Period. Don’t try it again.


  28. - Levois - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:29 am:

    Is this election turning into a horserace. Brady a man who was about to support the mass euthanasia of animals in a gas chamber. Then there’s Quinn who it seems there are many who aren’t happy with him. What to do? What to do?


  29. - TaxMeMore - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:29 am:

    If gays, abortion, and guns, are sooooo important for progressives, may I ask exactly what has been accomplished on those issues the last 8 years when not one Republican vote has been needed in Illinois? What has Michael Madigan done the last 8 years that is any different from Brady’s positions on the issues? With Brady as Governor, is Madigan going to change his position on all of those issues? Doesn’t Madigan hold the exact same view on those issues (except guns) as Brady does? So if Madigan and Brady are soooo much alike on gays and abortion, why aren’t the progressives going after Madigan with the same gusto as Brady, seeing as Madigan has a lot more power over legislation like that getting passed than Brady as Gov. will have?

    Can someone point out to everyone exactly what Madigan has done on abortion and gays the last 8 years that would be any different with Brady as Gov.? No?


  30. - Will County Woman - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:29 am:

    The story that you cited on yesterday’s blog thread had it as “strays.” When I read about it Wednesday night on the blog’s news tab section the story was reported as “strays.”

    If I’m wrong. fine,I stand corrected. Even if the actual legislation did include more than just strays, I don’t understand how or why family “pets” would need to be euthanised in volume by a kennel or what have you. It would seem to me that it would be kinda hard to have a high-volume of pets at any one time to kill. Times of death will vary unless there is a pet morgue keeping them until they get multiples of ten? Beyond that it would seem to me that people’s emotional attachments to their pets would preclude them from simply leaving it all up to kennel, or whatever, as to how the pet would be put down.

    The Quinn Camp, ought to be ashamed. So I guess that for his 30-year political career they have solid proof of how he been pro-dog/animal legislatively speaking, rather than simply trying to cheaply exploit the bad politics of his likely oppnent in the guv’s race?


  31. - jaded voter - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:36 am:

    Rich Miller,

    George Ryan and Poshard were essentially the same on social issues. The difference between them was about character and temperment. Poshard was a decent man of good intentions and G. Ryan was and arrogant, self satisfied political insider who thought it was his “turn” to be the governor.

    Ryan won for 2 reasons. One the press and the attorney general refused to follow the stink of scandal emanating from his Sect of State’s office during the election race. This spared Ryan much negative press [which he fully deserved by the way].

    Second and more importantly was MONEY. Money is ALMOST ALWAYS the deciding factor. [Please remember the recent election of (jerry springer guest)Scott Lee Cohen via $ 2 million expenditure vs competitors who spent a fraction of that amount.] George Ryan had $15mil vs $2mil for Poshard. Ryan spent a ton of money on TV ads suggesting in a scary tone that “Poshard was too extreme on guns.” Pretty neat trick considering that their positions on guns were almost identical. This was accomplished with MONEY, repeatedly drumming these ads into voters heads. It worked for Ryan. Rich Super Insider Andy McKenna came close to winning spending $4mil to transform himself into and “outsider”–almost worked. Money tends to overwhelm any other factors because with enough advertising one can “sell” almost anything.

    And yes not electing a good man in Glenn Poshard has had many negative consequences for the people of IL. Maybe people should pay more attention and take elections more seriously.


  32. - Justice - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:37 am:

    I simply cannot believe that the Senator Bill Brady/Jason Plummer team can win in November. Both have managed to give the Quinn campaign excellent ad material in this first partial month of the final campaign. One can only wonder what they will lay at their opponents feet between now and November.

    I think if I were Dillard I would insist on a recount. Sure, it might seem to be a long shot but given what I’ve seen to date it might just be the Republicans only shot.

    But then…..Quinn has a way of ‘inserting foot’ as well. Suffice it to say the CapFax will be very, very busy and the daily discourse very interesting.


  33. - Niles Township - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:38 am:

    So if Madigan and Brady are soooo much alike on gays and abortion, why aren’t the progressives going after Madigan with the same gusto as Brady
    ————

    If I lived in his district, I would run and/or vote against him, but I don’t. So I can’t go after him. My legislator is a GOPer who I have voted for precisely because I am anti-Madigan. I think the attempt to compare situations that you are making is just almost too ridiculous.


  34. - Niles Township - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:40 am:

    By the way, you could also go back and argue that the state would have been better off electing Pat Quinn as SOS in 1994 rather than Ryan. From political corruption to people’s very lives, Ryan cost this state alot. Quinn in 1994 and Poshard in 1998 would have been the right choices.


  35. - Loop Lady - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:40 am:

    WCW you are a broken record…the Quinn camp has nothing to be ashamed of here…Brady can’t run from an unpopular, rigid, inhumane stance…he is on record as supportive of this type of public health policy…so stuff it…


  36. - jaded voter - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:42 am:

    Getting serious about politics would mean stop pretending Brady is looking to kill puppies anywhere he can. This is just nonsense. There are real problems in IL.


  37. - Deep South - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    ===Quinn frames Brady as a dog gassing Nazi.===

    Really? Show me where Quinn is framing Brady as a Nazi…of any sort. And please define Nazi. I mean the right wing nut jobs are saying Obama’s a Nazi…I just wanna get some sources and some clarification.


  38. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:53 am:

    - I don’t understand how or why family “pets” would need to be euthanised in volume by a kennel or what have you. -

    Are you really incapable of logical thought? Do you maybe understand that pet owners may be sympathetic to the plight of other animals that aren’t their own?


  39. - western illinois - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:53 am:

    If the democrats want to prove their love of animals they could take the minor risk of offending some people who never vote for them anyway -the trappers. A Lake county Republican has introduced a bill to ban conibear traps.
    But the dems seldom have any courage esp under guys like Madigan who thinks Downstate is full of nothing but rustics and thus he cant offend them for reasons beyound my comprehension.
    Blago does deserve credit for vetoing a bill that would have leaglized incredibly creul snares
    I voted for him because of this and this alone -he got nothing for himself out of that veto and the suffering he prevented was immense but these are not issues that concern the pundit class very much
    BTW there have been grants to local communites to fix stray cats and cut euthnasia…but they have been cut due to the budget crisis

    In closing this rant The Dems will do little because they get to run against the Bradys. Mark Kirk has a very good animal record. Does he really want to be tied to this guy


  40. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:59 am:

    ===you could also go back and argue that the state would have been better off electing Pat Quinn as SOS in 1994===

    That election wasn’t even close. Go back and read the column again and pay special attention to the Cook County section.


  41. - the Patriot - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 10:59 am:

    Hey, I got an idea, lets just let the pets keep starving to death slowly in underfunded shelters. Look the Gas idea may be bad, but you have to find a realistic option to deal with unwanted animals.

    WE ARE BROKE people. What is Quinn’s solution. Hey, turn the murdous criminals loose on the people so we can afford to eurthanize fluffy in a humane manner. Right now we don’t get to choose the good solution, we have to choose the only ones we can afford.

    Key phrase Pat…”Solution we can afford.” No solutions and unfundable one’s are worse then bad one’s that are realistic to solve the problem.

    As bad as this idea sounds, it is a non issue.

    In the next 45 days more state funded programs will go belly up. The Governor will be starting an endeless battle with his own party leader over the budget, and over 1,000 teachers in the state will get pink slipps. Maybe Quinn’s bumper sticker should be,

    Pat Quinn, good for dogs not for people.


  42. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:00 am:

    ===what has been accomplished on those issues===

    Gay rights bill, numerous abortion bills. Not many gun bills, though.


  43. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:01 am:

    ===Look the Gas idea may be bad, but you have to find a realistic option to deal with unwanted animals. ===

    Dingdong, there is an option - injection - ergo the new law. Pay attention, please.


  44. - jaded voter - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:04 am:

    How many here who are appalled at the notion of putting down stray animal are untroubled by the practice of aborting babies? The outrage seems out of scale.


  45. - Will County Woman - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:06 am:

    LL, from a political strategic standpoint I don’t blame the Quinn Camp here. His camp is acting in textbook fashion. I understand that.

    I defense of Brady there are some ways to counter the Quinn Camp’s attacks here. In all honesty brady does have to engage in and embrace smart politics moving foward. The most minor or innocent of errors are costly at this juncture.

    I watched a statehouse video of Brady talking about the budget lastnight. In spite of Puppy-gate and his stances on some social issues, I like Brady. I still need to see more and better from him.


  46. - Champaign Dweller - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:08 am:

    Given the problems that we’re facing, I hope Quinn has something better to offer than “Brady wants to kill animals in an inhumane way.”


  47. - Pre - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:09 am:

    When do we see a commercial with Quinn playing with puppies and babies? Maybe by next week on You Tube? They can take something from the NRSC playbook - Brady would make Cruella De Vil proud.


  48. - Deep South - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:10 am:

    Jaded, the issue isn’t putting down animals, it is HOW they are put down. Your abortion tie is, well, out in left field.


  49. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:10 am:

    CD, Brady didn’t have to put it out there. He’s brought it upon himself. The reaction across all quarters was easily predictable.


  50. - Amalia - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:18 am:

    jaded voter, loading multiple animals into a gas chamber and killing them is the issue. it is sad, but, yes, often animals have to be put down, for many reasons, and we get that. humane
    treatment with an injection is the right way to go. abortion of
    a fetus should be safe, rare and legal. Note the rare, please, and while you may never term it thus, both positions are measured
    and humane.


  51. - ZC - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:22 am:

    Well, there’s not much point going back down memory road … water under the bridge, Poshard, Ryan. etc. What’s done is done.

    I will say, though, since you raise this issue Rich, that another -big- reason for Poshard’s loss to Ryan, was the very negative coverage and especially editorials run by the Chicago Tribune against him (to its credit, the Tribune actually did run an apology op-ed to Poshard later, for one of its critiques). For a newspaper that seems so obsessed now with good government and campaign reform, I hope the Trib board occasionally tooks a long look in the mirror and reflects how they unremittingly bashed one of the few members of the U.S. House who actually believed in and personally followed campaign term limits and self-imposed contribution caps, and they helped usher in George Ryan. I’m not sure what kind of governor Poshard would have been, and nobody will ever know, but agreed it would have been a different ethics storyline for IL.


  52. - steve schnorf - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:28 am:

    Dog, you’re killin’ me!


  53. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:54 am:

    abortion of a fetus should be safe, rare and legal.

    When the first and last are true, as in taxpayer funded abortion on demand with few or no age restrictions, it makes the second very difficult to achieve without major societal change implications. This is meant as an observation and not a policy position advocacy.

    But I digress. The most important issues of the day are being buried in an emotional noise fest (re: the puppy mill issue) of extraneous side issues.


  54. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 11:59 am:

    I believe we’ve found a running mate for the Gov:
    Quinn-Uno 2010

    “Senator Brady, why do you want to kill my running mate?”


  55. - steve schnorf - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:04 pm:

    Dog, I grant that I’m not doing much today, so I have time to play. Your post connecting Bill Brady to child abuse and serial killers thru the animal euthanasia bill had me laughing so hard for about 15 minutes that I really couldn’t do anything, and I’m still giggling every time I re-read it.

    But in the spirit of trying to devote as much creative thinking to responding as you did to writing, I went in search of the right response, and this is the best I’ve been able to do so far.

    “Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”


  56. - D.P. Gumby - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:34 pm:

    And if Poshard had won, we wouldn’t have had the death penalty moratorium and heightened attention nationally to flaws in death penalty system…for people, not dogs.


  57. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:41 pm:

    === That’s an amazing leap. Has anyone even asked Brady if he has a dog or cat? ===

    Well, I can tell you that Brady’s website makes no mention of owning a pet.

    And I can assure you that if Brady owned a dog, Jerry Clarke would have mentioned it by now.

    They’re probably adopting 30 puppies as we speak.

    @Schnorf -

    Its probably worth reiterating that the Humane Society was the first organization to campaign nationally for children’s rights.

    Prior to their work, both animals and children were considered chattel, with almost no limitations on how their “owners” treated them.

    Don’t get me wrong…I don’t mean to suggest that Senator Brady supports child abuse.

    But I do think it helps understand why he supports cutting state funding for child abuse treatment and prevention by 10%.

    As well as domestic violence and rape prevention programs, and assistance for victims, by 10%.

    To him, these just aren’t priorities.


  58. - Cosmic Charlie - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:42 pm:

    I too am opposed to “the mass killing of frightened, fighting and gasping shelter animals in a box of 10.”

    I prefer to kill frightened, fighting and gasping shelter animals one at a time. The way God intended.


  59. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    Michelle Flaherty - About spit out my coffee


  60. - (618) Democrat - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:44 pm:

    Bill Brady introduced a bill to kill pets, up to ten at a time, in a gas chamber.

    That is straight up and down, that is black and white. His name is on it.

    The Brady backers can try to sugar coat it all they want but it won’t work. People love their pets and this bill is just wrong.


  61. - Irish - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:53 pm:

    The present condition of the State is a product of the attention voters led by main stream media pay to non-issues vs the real problems. I agree with Rich that the “kill the kitties en masse bill” gives us a glimpse of Brady’s character. However we shouldn’t allow ONE non-fiscal issue mis-step write a candidate completely off. The more important point to me is that he has hammered on the issue that we can get out of this fiscal catastrophy not by raising taxes but by cutting, and then speaks of using the budget “surplus”. THAT speaks to a total lack of knowledge about the budget. Which is THE important issue of the campaign. Yet I would be willing to bet that more emphasis is placed by Quinn and the main stream media on the animal issue than the budget issue. If the budget statement was made BEFORE the primary and the main stream media presented it to the voters the primary outcome would have been completely different.

    The main stream media likes to focus on the “sexy” issues, those that get people riled up the quickest. They do not hold candidates to the fire and make them disclose their plans and ideas for the REAL issues of the campaign. Instead we are focused on all the fringe issues that sell print or ads instead of what’s important. Candidates and elected officials are very rarely forced to take a position. And I think that is why most of them can’t or won’t take a position when they need to, such as now in the crisis we face.

    Reporters should not allow them to get away with the “talking points” at anytime during any campaign. They should have to present their proposals in writing for every important issue. Just think of the many elections that might have gone differently if we had not been sidetracked by some “sexy” supposed scandal.

    As every one of us here knows, Rich is the only one that fully addresses the real issues, and that’s why we are here. Thank you Rich.


  62. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    === I prefer to kill frightened, fighting and gasping shelter animals one at a time. The way God intended. ===

    The Humane Society of the United States, not to mention the American Veterinary Medicine Association, recommends injections of sodium pentobarbitol, which leaves animals neither frightened, fighting or gasping for breath.

    Its worth reiterating that gas chambers, whether 10 at a time or one at a time, can take 20 to 40 minutes to kill a medium to large size dog.


  63. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:14 pm:

    === However we shouldn’t allow ONE non-fiscal issue mis-step write a candidate completely off. ===

    Let me reiterate then: Brady also supports cutting state support for:

    - Child abuse prevention and treatment;
    - Domestic violence abuse prevention and assistance;
    - Elder abuse prevention and enforcement;
    - Rape counselling;
    - Support for the disabled.

    You can tell alot about a society and an individual from how they treat their most vulnerable.


  64. - Irish - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:25 pm:

    YDD - you make my point for me. Are those issues being discussed and brought forward by main stream media? Or is the concentration on the stray animal issue?

    You could also say that PQ is of the same cloth. Look at what he is willing to sacrifice in the cuts he has laid out. Basically the same people.

    I am not saying I am for Brady or anyone. I am just pointing out that we get sidetracked by the media. Look at what the media did to Howard Dean. He got a little more jubilant in a campaign moment then they thought proper and that became the headlines. Pretty soon they had him being mentally incompetent. Was that a REAL issue? Hardly.


  65. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:31 pm:

    Irish -

    I don’t work for the Quinn campaign, but if they have any sense, they’ll be making the same connection.

    As for the Quinn budget, I have to confess I haven’t had a chance to read it yet…but I plan to over the weekend.

    I know he proposes $400 million in cuts to human services, but his last budget atleast preserved funding for child abuse prevention and treatment, and his nursing home task force recommends increasing protections against elder abuse and neglect.

    So no, they’re not comparable, not even close.


  66. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 1:36 pm:

    === Reporters should not allow them to get away with the “talking points” at anytime during any campaign. ===

    @Irish - I’d LOVE to see papers establish a policy of, instead of reiterating meaningless talking points, with analysis:

    “Asked how he would balance the state budget, Senator Brady reiterated a proposal that would cut state funding for education, child abuse prevention, elder abuse prevention and a host of other popular programs, not to mention skipping out on the state’s obligation to repay debt which would wreak havoc on our credit-rating.”


  67. - cermak_rd - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 2:07 pm:

    I think George may have been one of the last GOPers for which I ever voted. I am a Democrat so usually vote that way. Poshard, however, seems to have gone out of his way to diss the gay community in his run again Ryan. I can understand not embracing, say, marriage equality, particularly at that time, but he refused to even so much as send representatives to community fora and events. I’m not gay, but I am a member of a coalition of Democratic voters so I couldn’t vote for a man intentional in his mistreatment of another member of the coalition.

    The guns issue I could care less about.

    I don’t think the bifurcation of issues is as cut and dried as you do, Rich. To me, financial matters are far more ephemeral than how people treat each other.

    As for the treatment of unwanted pets, what the heck is Brady thinking? I’ve had to put pets to sleep due to illness and I understand the need to do it when dealing with the pet surplus issue. But, as a dog owner, I can attest that individually injecting the animal with barbiturate is a gentle, quick way to shuffle off into whatever doggy afterlife there is.


  68. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 3:38 pm:

    Brady also supports cutting state support for:

    - Child abuse prevention and treatment;
    - Domestic violence abuse prevention and assistance;
    - Elder abuse prevention and enforcement;
    - Rape counselling;
    - Support for the disabled.

    You can tell alot about a society and an individual from how they treat their most vulnerable.

    Your leaps of logic today are on an Evel Knievel
    level.

    Just because a politician is willing to cut a program, doesn’t mean they are opposed to those who benefit from the program. It doesn’t indicate empathy. It doesn’t mean that they are ignorant.

    Not even close.

    This is the kind of thinking that sets up this state to fail because it shuts down the political dialog needed to have serious discussions.

    A cut is a cut, and a pet euthanasia bill is a pet euthanasia bill. Mr. Brady suffers due to a lack of political empathy for a gubernatorial candidate, but that doesn’t mean he is psychotic.


  69. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 4:10 pm:

    @Vanillaman -

    To paraphrase Vice President Biden:

    “Don’t tell me what your priorities are. Show me your budget and I’ll tell YOU what your priorities are.”

    There’s just no way around it: Brady wants to cut funding for programs that protect the most vulnerable members of society.

    ALL of the cuts that Brady proposes could be restored simply by closing one-fourth of the corporate tax loopholes in Illinois.

    Faced with a choice between:

    1) Protecting children, seniors, the disabled, and victims of violence, or

    2) Protecting tax breaks for the corporations that fund his campaign;

    Mr. Brady chose the latter. I’m not saying he doesn’t care about the former at all, but his budget proposal makes clear what his priorities are.


  70. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 4:43 pm:

    I prefer this Biden quote -

    “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.” –

    Yeah - quoting Joe Biden gives every debate that extra special panache!


  71. - agree with walter - Friday, Feb 26, 10 @ 5:21 pm:

    Could YDD please document this statement: Its probably worth reiterating that the Humane Society was the first organization to campaign nationally for children’s rights.

    Prior to their work, both animals and children were considered chattel, with almost no limitations on how their “owners” treated them.

    Wow! I’ll bet there are alot of human rights groups out there that would dispute that claim.


  72. - krome - Saturday, Feb 27, 10 @ 11:07 am:

    So gassing one dog at a time is fine, but more than one at a time is a scandal? Is there an envoronmental issue here - is doing multiples “greener” maybe? The fuss on this seems silly to me.


  73. - wordslinger - Saturday, Feb 27, 10 @ 8:04 pm:

    Not much happening at your old critical state job today, VMan.

    It’s good you’re pulling down a taxpayer check defending the “open-minded” and dreaming up “business friendly” initiatives.

    How about one on waste and inefficiency.


  74. - Dnstateanon - Saturday, Feb 27, 10 @ 9:00 pm:

    Brady also supports cutting state support for:

    - Child abuse prevention and treatment;
    - Domestic violence abuse prevention and assistance;
    - Elder abuse prevention and enforcement;
    - Rape counselling;
    - Support for the disabled.

    Brady is only talking about trying to pay for what the state can afford and then those programs could count on receiving what has been budgeted. Right now Quinn and Madigan are funding these programs at about 20% of there appropriated budgets a catastrophic cut for most of them. So Brady wants to have budget discipline and fund them at what the General Assembly and Governor really agree to, rather then the make believe we have now. Quinn’s 2011 budget has an 8% cut across the board seems like I have heard that number before seems like a lot of people have missed that fact.


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