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Reader comments closed for the weekend

Friday, Aug 27, 2010

* I’m going on vacation until after Labor Day. My interns Barton and Dan may pick up the slack next week, but we’re still talking about it. Check back Monday.

The Beach Boys will play us out


She goes with me to a blossom world

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


“Best Game in Town”

Friday, Aug 27, 2010

* I have worked out an arrangement with WBEZ to give my blog readers an exclusive advance listen to the station’s new weekly political program: “Best Game in Town,” hosted by Steve Edwards. From producer Justin Kaufmann…

This episode: We talk with pundits, analysts and reporters about the week in Illinois politics.

WBEZ’s Sam Hudzik gives us background on the resignation of Governor Pat Quinn’s Chief of Staff Jerry Stermer. Capitol Fax Editor Rich Miller likens the race for Illinois governor to the 1980 presidential race between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. And we talk with Laura Washington, Scott McPherson and Michael Bauer about this week’s political news.

“Best Game in Town” will cover Chicago politics from the Statehouse to the White House with lively analysis, insightful interviews and in-depth feature reports. The name is nod to the colorful world of Chicago politics – and comes from Cheryl Corley’s weekly political show in the early 90’s on WBEZ of the same name. (We’re resurrecting the title). The Best Game in Town is tentatively scheduled to air Fridays on WBEZ and as an extended weekly podcast via iTunes. The show is hosted by Steve Edwards and produced by Justin Kaufmann.


And here’s the link to your exclusive first look
. Subscribe to the iTunes podcast by clicking here.

Many thanks to everyone at WBEZ for helping me supply fresh content to my readers. Have at it.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      


Question of the day

Friday, Aug 27, 2010

* It’s Friday, so let’s go with a light one. Congressman Mark Kirk on stage…

* The Question: Caption?

- Posted by Rich Miller   70 Comments      


Big bucks for Kirk, but also some trouble ahead

Friday, Aug 27, 2010

* The unintended consequences of the federal judicial ruling forcing a special US Senate election on election day continue to pile up

POLITICO has learned the National Republican Senatorial Committee has dedicated $3.4 million in coordinated funds to Kirk’s campaign against Democrat Alexi Giannoulias.

The national party committees can spend up to $1.7 million in coordinated funds in Illinois, according to federal election rules. However, the NRSC, according to a source close to the committee, will take advantage of a recent court-ordered special election that effectively doubles the total allowable amount that candidates can fundraise – and committees can spend in coordination with candidates.

The funds will surely be welcome: The Illinois race is expensive and very competitive. A Kirk spokesman, Kirsten Kukowski, confirmed the campaign would get the maximum funds and said, “We are grateful for the NRSC’s strong support for Congressman Kirk.”

Kirk is already ahead of the money chase in the race. At the end of June, Kirk reported having $3.9 million in the bank; meanwhile, Giannoulias reported just over $1 million cash on hand.

* Even if the Constitution Party candidates don’t make it onto the ballot, Kirk will still have to worry some about the Libertarians eating into his base

The nominating petitions for the Libertarian and Constitution parties both faced objections, and were both reviewed by election officials. In the end, the Libertarians were found to have collected enough signatures to get on the ballot, but candidates from the Constitution Party appear to have fallen short.

The Illinois Republican Party acknowledges it is paying the attorney who led the challenges, though its chairman, Pat Brady, denies the GOP is targeting conservative candidates out of fear they’d steal away votes from his party.

BRADY: Anybody on the ballot poses a threat to the Republican ticket. That’s why we’re running hard and we’re going to continue to run hard. So I don’t think we’ve diced it out to say that one threatens more than the other.

The Illinois Republican Party worked so hard to keep the Constitution people off the ballot for a reason. Bill Brady’s base is fine. Kirk’s isn’t as secure. If the race is close, it could make a difference. Then again, if Quinn continues to tank he’ll likely take Giannoulias down with him. Not to mention all that money that Kirk and the nationals are planning to spend.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      


Two big holes in Quinn’s logic

Friday, Aug 27, 2010

* Yesterday, our commenter P. Symth pointed out the gigantic flaw in Gov. Pat Quinn’s announcement that he wants to use the income tax increase to force local school boards to lower property taxes

This shows he doesn’t know anything about the State money going to the schools. The schools in the highest taxing districts do not qualify for state money; the schools in the lower income areas do. Thus, Quinn is saying “If you are a school district in a poor community, we want you to take less money and try to make it work, while the rich guys over there have no problems and don’t have to lower their taxes”.

The commenter is absolutely spot-on.

Jamey Dunn tried to get some specifics yesterday from Quinn’s office, but had no luck

Requests to Quinn’s budget office for more specifics on his proposal were met with referral back to tape of the news conference that Quinn held in Chicago earlier today, where he took questions on the plan but did not get into the numbers.

This looks like an on-site audible by Quinn. Either that or his new media guy suggested it without running the numbers first.

* Remember the new TV ad that Pat Quinn is running?…


Well, according to Todd Vandermyde of the NRA, the gun pictured at the start of the video is already illegal in Illinois.

“That is an MP-5,” Vandermyde said this morning. “It’s illegal as a machine gun, it’s illegal as a short-barreled rifle.”

* Related and a roundup…

* State-funded pensions tapped

* State pension systems planning to sell assets to pay benefits

* Quinn suggests tax switch

* Ex-inspector general: Quinn’s ex-chief of staff should not have resigned

* E-mail trail: The hunt for a new Executive Inspector General

* The real issue lurking behind Quinn’s email `scandal’

* Quinn names Duffin acting DHS secretary

* Fewer Tollway workers to get state cars

* Tollway reduces car perk, reviewing transponders and phones

* Tollway targets free rides for employees

* Tollway wants accountability in Hoosier toll mistake

* Lawsuit targets state juvenile department for teen’s suicide

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


Holdout juror addresses critics; Robert Blagojevich’s “deal”; Wingers funding Rod?

Friday, Aug 27, 2010

* JoAnn Chiakulas, the lone holdout juror on several Blagojevich counts, takes on her critics

In the week since the trial’s end, Chiakulas has been branded “the holdout” for her refusal to convict the ex-governor on the Senate seat allegations. Her life has been placed under a microscope, with some questioning whether her former government job or her ex-husband’s campaign donation to Blagojevich three decades after they divorced played a role in her decision. […]

Chiakulas, for her part, said she was a public servant hired during Gov. Jim Edgar’s administration. Her ex-husband was politically active before his death, but they were divorced more than 30 years ago.

She also said she did not know Blagojevich co-defendant Chris Kelly, who lived in the same subdivision as one of her relatives before committing suicide a year ago.

The inferences — along with suggestions that she’s “crazy” — anger Chiakulas. She said it upsets her that people want to find an ulterior motive for her decision, rather than believe it’s possible that the prosecution had not proved its case.

“It was something that I took seriously and didn’t ask for,” she said. “And then to be treated the way I’ve been treated, it makes me wonder about being a juror and the system itself.”

Go read the whole thing.

* Prosecutors didn’t offer Rod Blagojevich much of a deal

But just the night before, federal prosecutors were on the phone offering Robert Blagojevich something he always wanted: a separate trial from his celebrity brother.

* Good analysis by Patrick Collins

Former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins said it was “extraordinarily rare” to drop a defendant in a high-profile case.

“I think what the government did today was both smart tactically and just,” Collins said.

Prosecutors likely recognized Robert Blagojevich was a sympathetic figure, that he would be difficult to convict in a retrial and that his testimony as a co-defendant could be helpful to his brother, Collins said.

“Tactically, dismissing him streamlines the case and partially rebuts the ‘persecution’ claims that Rod Blagojevich is making,” Collins said. “It helps the government in the court of public opinion — which does matter in this extraordinary case.”

* And in an unusual admission, Robert flat-out said that his statements to the press after the hung jury were designed to influence the next jury

“The strategy was, it was a disappointment I wasn’t acquitted. It was important to reach the next jury pool. We had a 9-3 vote in my favor, so we came very close. And that was with a jury pool that had been polluted by [U.S. Attorney] Patrick Fitzgerald‘s press conference. So now that we had a trial, it was a good time for me to make a case, be interviewed, explain my situation, and emote whatever I could emote.

* Kadner

As far as I’m concerned, the decision by the U.S. attorney is a disappointment only because Ettinger had promised to call U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-2nd) as a witness at a retrial, along with the Indian-American businessman who allegedly told Robert he could raise $6 million if Jackson was appointed senator.

“The whole story” about the sale of the Senate seat will come out, Ettinger vowed, although he implied it would prove there was no deal to sell that seat.

I still think the public is owed an explanation, some detail, whether or not it helps or damages the federal government’s case.

* Will the Wall Street Journal editorial board and national right wingers be funding part of Rod Blagojevich’s defense? Sneed

Sneed hears inquiries have been made about privately funding additional attorneys for the retrial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

“The federal government will only pay for two attorneys for Blagojevich, but private donations could pay for other attorneys,” said a source.

“The inquiries are in the early stages, but there is talk about help on Rod’s retrial and some of the calls are from people unhappy with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald for the way he handled the Scooter Libby trial,” the source added.

Hilarious.

* Related…

* Adams stay on Blagojevich case - for now: Although they figure to face a more focused prosecution and with diminished resources at their disposal, Rod Blagojevich’s attorney Sam Adam says reports that he and his son will be leaving the former governor’s defense team are greatly exaggerated.

* Our Opinion: National media miss mark on Blagojevich

* Justice demands new trial for Blagojevich

* Two jurors happy with Robert Blagojevich decision

* Charges dropped against Blago’s brother

* Robert Blagojevich’s Million Dollar Defense

* Feds drop charges against Rob Blagojevich

* The Morning Drive Podcast: Rod Blagojevich is on his own in his upcoming re-trial

* Rod Blagojevich is lone target now that brother is cleared

* No new trial, but no vindication for Robert

* Judge says ex-gov’s retrial won’t start until January

* Blagojevich to be Retried in January

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      


Enough, already

Friday, Aug 27, 2010

* My Sun-Times column makes it clear that I’m sick of the stupid

Maybe I’m just stupid, but I find it hard to get too excited about what passes for public discourse these days.

For instance, I probably have more reasons to hate Muslims than just about anyone I know. My wife’s Christian family was literally run out of Iraq by Muslim terrorists. Their house was bombed three times, and a gang of Muslim thugs threatened to take my wife’s brother hostage and make him a martyr by strapping a bomb to his chest.

But I don’t care at all about the Islamic center that some group wants to build two blocks from Ground Zero in New York, partly because I know all too well how the First Amendment was designed to protect unpopular speech and unpopular religions from the majority.

If you want to debate a zoning issue 800 miles away, go right ahead, but you also have to realize that you can’t legally stop it, so turn down the crazy knob, please. This looks more like a pogrom than a debate.

The only gun I’ve ever owned was an old, broken pistol given to me by a relative. I don’t know what happened to it, and I don’t want another one. But Gov. Quinn’s new TV ad blasting his Republican opponent, state Sen. Bill Brady for being soft on an assault weapons ban doesn’t particularly move me.

Maybe that’s because I live in a very safe neighborhood. Maybe it’s because I don’t easily succumb to fear tactics. Maybe it’s because I know gangsters’ weapons of choice are cheap, easily concealed and disposable pistols, which were banned in Chicago for years. Maybe it’s because the ad isn’t particularly well made.

Or maybe it’s because I noticed that two of the three Brady votes cited by Quinn’s TV ad took place in the 1990s. The Democrats have been bludgeoning the Republicans with this subject for decades. Tired, old subjects rarely strike fear into my heart.

My political newsletter is still doing well despite the Great Recession. But I am borderline enraged that unemployment is so high and nobody at any level of government seems to be talking about what to do.

Unlike some of my other positions, I think I’m with “the people” on this one. A recent Rasmussen poll showed that 87 percent of Illinoisans know someone who is unemployed or looking for work. And a solid majority of 55 percent named “economic issues” as their No. 1 priority for choosing a candidate.

Instead, the media want to spend their time yakking about that Islamic center, and Quinn is spending a half-million dollars on that assault weapons ad.

And then there’s Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, who has spent a fortune this summer railing against “mob banker” Alexi Giannoulias.

Giannoulias, on the other hand, has talked about jobs since he kicked off his campaign last year. That issue has kept him in this race, despite all of his obvious problems. You’d think other candidates and pundits would learn from Giannoulias’ survival miracle. They haven’t.

It’s as if nobody even noticed that 500,000 people applied for new unemployment benefits last week alone. People are scared to death out there, and they are completely justified. But I’m thoroughly disgusted that the powers that be are channeling legitimate anger into useless “debates” over stupid “issues” rather than addressing the real problems head-on.

Dishonesty and incompetence must be exposed. The role of government absolutely needs to be debated. I don’t expect or want a one-note campaign here.

But we are in desperate need of ideas about this economy and I’m more than willing to listen if the candidates and the media would simply engage.

Rasmussen’s latest poll has Giannoulias leading Kirk by 17 points among those who put economic issues at the top of their list of things they’re looking for in a candidate.

* Related…

* 1 in 10 Illinois mortgage holders missed payments‎: The Mortgage Bankers Association, in their second quarter delinquency report, also found that the percentage of home loans in Illinois that were in foreclosure rose to 6.02 percent in the second quarter, from 5.85 percent in the year’s first quarter.

* Unemployment increases in 8 Illinois metro areas

* Alton jobless rates reaches 13 percent

* Unemployment rate remains above 10 percent in metro-east

* Unemployment ticks upward in Springfield area

* Jobless rate highest for July in McLean Co. since ‘76

* July’s unemployment rate in Boone and Winnebago counties jumped to 15.7 percent, or 27,895 people, according to data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. That’s up 0.9 percentage points from June, but down 0.3 percentage points from a year ago.

* Unemployment rates in West-Central Illinois increase second straight month

* Decatur area finally gets some good news in lower unemployment rate: It was 12.4 percent in July, according to Illinois Department of Employment Security statistics released Thursday.

* The unemployment rate for the five-county Peoria metropolitan area was 10.5 percent in July, up slightly from 10.3 percent in June, but down considerably from 12.8 percent in July 2009.

* Q-C jobless rate remains at 8.4%

* Jobless rate rises in Champaign-Urbana, Danville areas: The Champaign-Urbana metro area – which includes Champaign, Ford and Piatt counties – had a 9.8 percent unemployment rate in July, up from 9 percent a year ago. The Danville metro area – which consists of Vermilion County – had a 12.4 percent rate, up from 11.8 percent a year ago.

* Unemployment declines in some cities but not Illinois Valley: Unemployment increased to 12.7 percent in July 2010 from 11.6 percent the previous July in the Ottawa-Streator Area, according to IDES. Job declines occurred in the sectors of manufacturing (minus 650) and leisure-hospitality (-325). In Bureau County, the increase in the unemployment rate was from 10.2 percent to 11.2 percent. In La Salle County, unemployment was at 13.3 percent in July 2010, compared to 11.9 the previous July.

* Birth Rates Fall Amid Economic Uncertainty: Recent data indicate that Illinois’ birth rate is at its lowest level since the Great Depression, with similar trends appearing in California and Arizona.

* Taxpayers Subsidize Low-Paid Warehouse Jobs

* Cost of Filing for Bankruptcy Increased Substantially

* Brady, Quinn launch dueling TV ads in governor’s race

* Sen. Scott Brown headlines fund-raisers for Mark Kirk’s Senate campaign

* Brown in Illinois to raise Senate money for Kirk

* Senate hopefuls agree on transit needs, disagree on funding

- Posted by Rich Miller   86 Comments      


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Friday, Aug 27, 2010

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


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Question of the day

Thursday, Aug 26, 2010

* What “super hero” do you think the four “big” statewide candidates (Pat Quinn, Bill Brady, Alexi Giannoulias, Mark Kirk) have patterned themselves after? Explain, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller   54 Comments      


Quinn now wants to use tax hike for property tax cuts, and furlough program basically canceled

Thursday, Aug 26, 2010

* Gov. Pat Quinn has had almost as many positions on tax hikes over the past 18 months as the Ricketts have lost games.

And now we have another one

Quinn, speaking to agriculture leaders, said his proposal for an income tax increase would lead to lower local property taxes. Pressed afterward on how that would happen, Quinn said he would seek legislation requiring schools to reduce property tax bills before they could get additional state support.

“I think it should be mandatory,” the Chicago Democrat said. “I think if the state helps local schools with more money … it also means cutting local property taxes.” […]

Quinn said, his tax plan would generate $3 billion for schools and reduce property taxes. Eventually Quinn acknowledged he wants to force schools to cut local taxes. If they have to cut as much as they gain from the state, schools would be left with no increase in available money.

Cutting property taxes is a good issue to run on. The trouble is making people believe he’ll actually do it. And if schools are getting the same amount of money, that means layoffs and cutbacks will continue. The unions won’t like it. The voters might, if they believe it.

* Bill Brady also has a property tax reduction idea

Brady said he’d want to set up a fund to give local homeowners property tax relief. Under Brady’s plan, state money would be put into a fund, sent to local officials, and used to lower property tax rates.

“That fund would build on itself each and every year,” Brady said.

The problem with that, of course, is there is no money. He wants to cut taxes on businesses, get rid of the gasoline sales tax, eliminate the inheritance tax and send money to local governments to lower property taxes? In what parallel dimension does he reside?

* Speaking of Quinn changing his mind

Gov. Pat Quinn’s office has changed the rules about how non-union state workers can take furlough days.

Quinn has ordered about 2,700 non-union state workers to take 24 unpaid days off this budget year because of Illinois’ budget crisis.

Under the new rules, those workers can to use vacation and personal days to fulfill their furlough requirement. The administration on Wednesday said that means workers won’t lose pay if they schedule furlough days to coincide with vacation and personal days off.

And that means

Last Friday, Quinn’s office issued a memo that he was imposing emergency rules that would let those workers take their vacation and personal time, which are paid days off, as furlough days. That means Quinn could still claim that he instituted a furlough program, even though it might not save a dime now.

* Related…

* McQueary: Where Scott Lee Cohen is getting it right

* New jobs from ‘jobs bill’? We’ll believe it when we see it

* Late payments from state threaten aid to immigrants

* Performance-based funding for public colleges gets a look

* Senator skeptical of $2.5 million deal for Metra consultants

* Dan Seals and Robert Dold disclose finances in 10th District House race

* 10th Dist. candidates back stem cell research, oppose injunction

* Foster, Hultgren try to clear up positions on Social Security

* Candidates to address special needs forum

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      


Rate Gov. Pat Quinn’s new TV ad

Thursday, Aug 26, 2010

* “The more we learn about Sen. Bill Brady, the worse it gets.” Rate it


The ad’s tagline which may be repeated over and over before election day is: “Who is this guy?”

The spot is the first one produced by Quinn’s new media firm. As you already know, Quinn fired AKPD last week.

- Posted by Rich Miller   85 Comments      


This just in… Feds drop case against Robert Blagojevich - January trial date - Robert rejected offer

Thursday, Aug 26, 2010

* 11:13 am - Sun-Times

Feds drop case against Robert Blagojevich.

More to come.


* 11:17 am -
Chicago News Cooperative

Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar said Thursday that the federal prosecutors will not pursue Rod Blagojevich‘s brother in the upcoming retrial due to “disparity of charges.”

Schar said the government will absolutely proceed with the retrial of Rod Blagojevich.

“You’re done,” lawyer Michael Ettinger said to Robert Blagojevich on the phone afterwards. “You’re free.”

Ettinger said Robert responded, “Words can’t decribe it.”

* CBS2

At a hearing Thursday before U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel, prosecutors announced they are not planning to proceed with the indictment against Robert Blagojevich, a Nashville businessman.

* Sun-Times

His wife, Julie, cried in the background, according to his lawyer, Michael Ettinger, who said,: “Words can’t describe it.”

Ettinger said Rob Blagojevich screamed when he heard the news by phone.

“He screamed: ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!’” Ettinger said. “His wife was hysterical.”

* Tribune

Robert Blagojevich was charged with two counts of extortion conspiracy and one count each of wire fraud and extortion.

* AP

Prosecutors said Thursday they made the decision based on the brother’s less central role in the alleged schemes.

*** 11:37 am *** The Rod Blagojevich retrial won’t start until at least January 4

Federal Judge James Zagel said Thursday that he’ll set a retrial date for early January. Zagel says the trial won’t begin any earlier than Jan. 4. But he didn’t immediately set a specific date.

*** 1:24 pm *** Did the feds offer Robert Blagojevich a deal yesterday? Interesting

[Robert] Blagojevich said that the Feds had come to him yesterday “proposing something we rejected.” He would not elaborate on the discussion.

* Blagojevich news roundup…

* Two Blago Lawyers to Stay On: Rod Blagojevich‘s attorneys Sheldon Sorosky and Aaron Goldstein will stay on the case, according to the lawyer representing the ex-governor’s brother.

* Blago auction included confidential papers: NU

* School: Blago auction boxes contain client files

* Father-son lawyer team pulling out of Blagojevich retrial

* Blagojevich may be Adam-less for retrial

* Blagojevich jury questionnaires destroyed, judge’s clerk says

* Forms Blagojevich jurors filled out destroyed

* The battle of wits redux

* First steps being taken toward Blagojevich retrial

* Blagojevich Hearing: Date for Retrial Could be Scheduled

* Blago may have to live with ‘discount’ defense

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      


More unanswered questions

Thursday, Aug 26, 2010

* I have at least three remaining questions about the Jerry Stermer debacle. The first is who illegally leaked the Stermer report to the media. The second is whether former Executive Inspector General James Wright knew/heard/suspected that Gov. Pat Quinn was about to replace him before he turned in his report on Quinn’s chief of staff. There’s some suspicion among Quinn’s partisans - rightly or wrongly - that Wright could’ve kept that report about Stermer’s self-reported three campaign-related e-mails in a desk drawer as a sort of employment insurance (Quinn said he interviewed several replacement candidates this year, so the scuttlebutt around the office was probably intense), and might have leaked it to the media in retaliation for being fired

The state watchdog who was fired after investigating one of Gov. Pat Quinn’s senior aides says he’s surprised the chief of staff resigned over the issue.

Former executive inspector general James Wright tells Chicago’s WLS Radio that he thinks Jerry Stermer is a “stand-up guy.” Wright says he didn’t seek Stermer’s resignation and he thought a verbal reprimand would have been enough.

Awww. That’s so sweet. Seven months investigating somebody who in the end deserved only a verbal reprimand?

My last unanswered question is about Quinn: What the heck was he thinking firing an executive inspector general two months before an election? Is he daft?

* The goo-goos’ reaction to the Wright investigation and Stermer’s resignation is fascinating, by the way

“In this particular situation, you’ve got a man who’s widely thought to be an honest and honorable guy who reports his own mistakes, and then we spend resources and months sorting through 37,000 e-mails.”

Andy Shaw, director of the Better Government Association, called Stermer’s transgressions “the ethics equivalent of jaywalking.” […]

Kent Redfield, emeritus professor of political studies at the University of Illinois Springfield, said the incident shows that more transparency is needed regarding what inspectors general are doing. […]

“In Illinois we need to really put things on a scale. I don’t think we need to waste a nickel on this,” Canary said.

But Shaw said the panel should pursue the matter “if they think there is value in coming out with an explanation and a finding that can be used in the future.

Jerry Stermer is a decent guy and I hate to see him go out like this. The OEIG has done some good work in the past, but they appeared to lack perspective on this one. Stermer turned himself in for what Shaw is correct in saying is the “ethics equivalent of jaywalking.” And then Wright claims he spent more than seven months investigating the man. The goo-goos helped write this law, which has so clearly gotten out of hand. They ought to help reform the reform.

* Related…

* Hard to believe coincidence in inspector’s firing

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Rate Bill Brady’s new TV ad

Thursday, Aug 26, 2010

* Bill Brady has a new TV ad up and running. Rate it


Make sure you watch it at least once with the sound off.

*** UPDATE *** Tribune

Brady’s campaign is spending about $250,000 to air the ad in the Chicago TV market through Sept 1, according to a source familiar with political television ad buys in the city who was not authorized to speak publicly.

- Posted by Rich Miller   67 Comments      


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* Illinois Policy | Illinois' comeback story star.....
* Parkland’s Trustee Convincing Board Members to .....
* Morning Spin: City Clerk Mendoza to take oath a.....
* Comptroller Susana Mendoza could have power to .....
* Six Illinois Democrats Sue Comptroller Over Leg.....


* North Dakota pipeline protesters vow to stay despite victory
* Man captured in killing of Chicago-area security guard
* EXCHANGE: Couple grateful for gravestone picture return
* After major victory, ND pipeline protesters to defy deadline
* Federal government blocks Dakota Access oil pipeline route
* Purple Christmas lights honor 'Purple Rain' singer
* Another year of financial uncertainty looms for Illinois
* More private college presidents top $2M in pay, study finds
* The Latest: Sheriff's office lifts blockade at protest camp
* The Latest: No progress from meetings on Illinois budget

* 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

* Keep your eye on these top young Chicago CEOs
* Ann Nathan, matriarch of River North Gallery scene, is closing
* NU's Schapiro tops U of C's Zimmer as highest-paid Illinois college president
* Like our roundup? Share it around.


* Jessica Chastain reveals political dirty tricks in ‘Miss Sloane’
* Woman gives birth in SUV in Grand Boulevard on way to hospital
* Obama guidance, press schedule Dec. 5, 2016
* Trump taps Ben Carson to be HUD secretary
* Man, 78, dies after being struck by vehicle in Des Plaines
* 3 wounded in Humboldt Park shooting
* Police: Man fatally shot in Chatham
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for Dec. 5, 2016
* Dear Abby: Our child’s friends need help on fees
* 3 shot, 1 seriously, in Near West Side


* Morning Spin: City Clerk Mendoza to take oath as state comptroller today
* Hammond mayor plans to close city court, says Pence judge appointment is 'big middle finger'
* Arrest in slaying of security guard in Harvey
* 10 thoughts on the Bears' 26-6 win over the 49ers
* North Dakota protesters vow to stay despite major victory to reroute oil pipeline
* Run-down Oakland warehouse was a 'death trap,' former tenant says; at least 33 dead
* LINDA C. BLACK HOROSCOPES for 12/5/16
* New Zealand's John Key to step down as prime minister
* President-elect Donald Trump taps Ben Carson as housing secretary
* In helping kids select college, parents along for more than the ride


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* Our View: Susana Mendoza, be a voice of reason for the state’s finances
* Lisa Madigan: Illinois needs to protect children from lead exposure
* 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?


* After snowstorm, rain, freezing rain on the way
* Goodfellow Fund 12/5/16
* How government seizes property
* Civilian police board prepares for proposal
* 'Moana' continues its run at the top
* Soup kitchen's move is underway
* Urbana thrift shop benefits the needy
* Dr. Sally Foote/Pet Talk: Practice proper play
* Democrats back Weibel for county board chair
* Abortion has led to corruption


* Trump taps former campaign rival Carson as housing secretary
* Crash on I-90 near Barrington Road causing delays
* Dawn Patrol: First snowfall of the season blankets suburbs
* Mourinho irritable as Man United keep throwing away points
* Sub-.500 bowl teams now becoming almost routine

* 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 ......

* Congressman Gutierrez calls for fight against Trump
* 13 Facts that Should Be Etched on Castro’s Tombstone and Highlighted in Every Obituary
* Rauner-Appointed Commission Continues Battle Against Religious Freedom in Illinois
* Energy Poverty Is Much Worse for the Poor Than Climate Change
* Mapping the Frontier for the Next Generation of American Health Care
* Illinois House stops voter registration effort for non-citizens
* Are Regulations Causing Pain at the Pump?
* Summertime reminiscences appropriate – even if Chicago memories fall short
* Trump’s Carrier hocus pocus. Sanders says it stinks. AFL CIO is quiet. UPDATED: Steelworkers union supports Trump/Carrier deal.
* Standing Rock Tribe’s Chairman David Archambault II statement on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision to not grant easement.


* 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




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