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Quinn heading to Asia

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011

* Gov. Pat Quinn said yesterday that he’s planning to lead a trade mission to Asia this September

The itinerary includes stops in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo, he said.

Mr. Quinn met with State Department officials earlier [yesterday] to discuss the trip, which will run from Sept. 16-28, according to an aide.

The governor mentioned the trip when he was asked what initiatives his administration was planning to help the biotechnology industry in Illinois. But an aide said the trade mission is aimed at helping a broad spectrum of Illinois businesses. The state hasn’t started lining up companies to participate yet, the aide said. […]

In January, Illinois signed an agreement with the Beijing International Brand Management Center to promote Illinois products and services in China. China is the state’s third-largest export market, and Illinois is one of the top five agricultural exporters to China.

Gov. Jim Thompson made several productive visits to Asia. Gov. Jim Edgar also traveled to China in 1996. I’ve already put myself on the press list for the excursion, although I’m not sure I’ll be able to do any live-blogging if I do decide to make the trip. A friend told me last year that the Chinese blocked access to this website during his trip. I’m not sure why. I guess I’ll have to check on that if I go.

* In other news, the governor received a major business award yesterday

A national biotechnology group has named Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn its “governor of the year.”

The Biotechnology Industry Organization presented the award to Quinn on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes leadership and support of the biosciences industry.

The group cites Quinn’s support for tax credits for investment in new business ventures and for small businesses that create jobs.

A whole lot of companies are at that convention, billed as “the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry.” The group has 1,100 corporate members, so I understand why Quinn went. I just hope he was working on the budget during the plane ride.

Also, so he’s now Governor BIO as well as Soy Boy? OK.

* Closer to home, this corporate siting decision will be interesting to watch

Ready-mix concrete company Ozinga Bros. is considering building a cement plant on Chicago’s Southeast Side, but it also has been wooed by Indiana officials to locate the plant in that state.

Building the $250 million plant would create almost 100 jobs and secure a more reliable supply of cement for Ozinga, Marty Ozinga IV, executive vice president of the company’s Chicago division, said Wednesday.

Construction of the plant could start sometime next year, but Mokena-based Ozinga Bros. is waiting on approval of its plans from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The plant would be off Torrence Avenue at Lake Calumet. The site, which was a former Cargill grain elevator, was bought by Ozinga Bros. in 2004, Ozinga said.

Ozinga ran for Congress as a Republican a few years back. He was soundly thumped by Debbie Halvorson.

* This is a typical DC maneuver, but it has an Illinois twist

A billion-dollar “technical revision” added to a patent bill passed by the House last week could provide huge financial benefits to one pharmaceutical company and a law firm.

On the surface, the barely noticed amendment simply clarifies a process by which the Food and Drug Administration approves a patent for a brand-name drug, and gives the manufacturer 60 days to apply for an extension with the U.S. Patent and Trade Office.

In reality, the measure could give a New Jersey drugmaker, The Medicines Co., 2½ more years of patent protection for its lucrative blood thinner Angiomax. It would also save the law firm WilmerHale $214 million it would owe the drug company under a malpractice lawsuit if a generic alternative is sold in the United States before June 15, 2015. […]

The company sued [after it missed a patent extension deadline by one day], and last August a federal district court ruled in its favor, ordering the patent office to recognize The Medicines Co.’s application as timely and saying the FDA and the patent office need to better coordinate their rules. APP Pharmaceuticals LLC of Illinois, which wants to market a generic brand of Angiomax, has appealed that ruling.

So, guess who persuaded the US House to reopen the vote on the bill? Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.

The House on Thursday had originally voted against the amendment to the patent bill, only to have the vote reopened after Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) protested that Members were still voting when it was gaveled down.

Yep. Jackson went to bat for a New Jersey company and a DC law firm at the expense of an Illinois pharmaceutical manufacturer with more than 1,800 employees. Heckuva job, Jesse.

* And while this isn’t exactly a business recruitment story, it is a quality of life story, so they’re closely related

Illinois beaches along Lake Michigan have the sixth-worst water quality in the country, a study released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council found.

* But this may help

A report on Illinois beaches released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council suggests that the use of border collies to harass gulls has helped reduce water contamination levels at area beaches.

The annual NRDC assessment says the difference was most apparent at 57th Street and 63rd Street beaches, where the first use of collies in 2008 coincided with significantly smaller percentages of days on which water contamination exceed state standards.

What’s more, the following year, when collies were not used, contimination levels climbed, and in 2010, when the collies were used again, levels fell again.

* Related…

* Private manager takes over Lottery operations Friday: Illinois’ private lottery manager takes over operations Friday, with both the company and the state envisioning greatly increased sales and more money for state coffers.

* Job-seeking public finds fewer online job postings: The number of online advertised job postings in Illinois fell 5.6 percent in June from May, but rose 15.5 percent from June 2010, a report released by the Conference Board Wednesday showed. There were 167,600 online advertised job vacancies this month, down from 177,500 in May and up from 145,100 in June 2010. Online advertised job vacancies nationally dipped 2.2 percent from May to 4.37 million and were up 20.9 percent from 3.62 million in June 2010.

* Bill Clinton kicks off U.S. jobs confab in Chicago

* Grease from Taste of Chicago to become biodiesel fuel

* Navy Pier to keep Children’s Museum under latest plan: The plan foresees a major expansion of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, with construction of a distinctively shaped new building, sources said. The proposal also calls for increased green space and upgraded landscaping, more restaurants, and improved retail offerings at Navy Pier.

* Losing Bears games to lockout could wallop Chicago’s economy: Players and owners bickering about how to divide an estimated $9  billion in annual revenue aren’t the only ones who stand the lose if a deal to end the NFL’s ongoing labor impasse doesn’t end soon. Chicago’s already fragile economy would suffer another late hit. It won’t just be football-starved fans with something at stake. Everyday Chicagoans will find themselves stuck in the middle. While this labor feud appears to be between millionaire players and billionaire owners, they are far from the only ones with fur in this fight.

* Illinois farmers optimistic about corn, soybeans

* Vista breaks ground on Lindenhurst medical office building

* Amazon ends deal with 25,000 California websites

- Posted by Rich Miller        


24 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 9:02 am:

    I don’t know why everyone is so pessimistic about the future of Illinois…with things coming down the pipe like “Clean coal” and “Smart Grid” and “High Speed Rail”, and “Green Energy” (like ethanol) and now “Biotech” (which will no doubt compliment Governor Blagojevich’s prior investments in “Stem Cell Research”), Illinois should be quite the hi-tech hub 10 years from now.

    Take that Indiana and Wisconsin!


  2. - Excessively Rabid - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 9:07 am:

    Anon, this is Illinois. I can’t even tell whether your snark setting is on or off.


  3. - Redbright - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 9:10 am:

    I was in China recently. The websites that get blocked are often bizarre. I could get thru to people with Gmail but not to Google (which didn’t surprise me - locals say they use the Hong Kong server). FB and Twitter were out but so was Rahm’s campaign website. My travelmates were having similar problems with websites they tried.

    Whether I could get thru to any given newspaper site seemed to vary by city. If I tried this site I did not get through.


  4. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 9:40 am:

    An Asia tour eh?

    “And now you find yourself in ‘82
    The disco hot spots hold no charm for you
    You can concern yourself with bigger things
    You catch a pearl and ride the dragon’s wings”

    Have fun with the Governor Rich, but bring home some tee-shirts. That should be an awesome show.


  5. - Pat Robertson - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 9:54 am:

    ==Anon, this is Illinois. I can’t even tell whether your snark setting is on or off.==

    If anon is a true Illinoisian, his/her snark on/off switch isn’t actually connected to anything. The same words come out either way.


  6. - Henry Kissinger - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:19 am:

    Blocked in China last year?!? Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao clearly view Capfax as a subversive influence :). Your reach is growing by leaps & bounds, my friend.

    Unless… of course! Rich MUST have designed Capfax as part of a covert national psy-ops initiave to destroy Communism.

    And here I thought he was just enlightening us to the ins & outs of state politics these past few years. Who knew???


  7. - Henry Kissinger - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:20 am:

    Are VanillaMan / Wordslinger / et.al in on this too? Sheesh.

    Stunning revelations today (ha!).


  8. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:39 am:

    Children’s Museum is a big victory for Alderman Reilly, and a smart move by the museum.

    Their fundraising seriously stalled, and the construction costs for building in Grant Park doubled.

    Staying at Pier means Pier visitors will foot much of the bill for renovations.


  9. - Shore - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:54 am:

    comment moderation will be tough and that will be blago sentencing and cellini trial lead up month. I am for bringing back barton.


  10. - Shore - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 11:06 am:

    You’ll also miss the cubs pennant run. Not sure you want to miss that.


  11. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 11:07 am:

    Shore, the trip is this September, not in 100 years. lol


  12. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 11:42 am:

    Hmmm…IMHO, this new “Anonymous” seems to be the anti-Anonymous. Quite consistent, too.


  13. - The Captain - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 11:52 am:

    So the Gov was at a biotech conference and “In the Heat of the Moment” let his Asia trip slip? Sounds good to me. But the real question is whether this mission will bear fruit. I guess “Only Time Will Tell.”


  14. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 12:45 pm:

    –A friend told me last year that the Chinese blocked access to this website during his trip. I’m not sure why.–

    Probably because Free Speech is practiced here. The CPC digs the money that comes with capitalism, but not the free exchange of information that usually accompanies it.

    How long they can ride that tiger, who knows?


  15. - paddyrollingstone - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 1:18 pm:

    Wonder what the story behind JJJ’s sponsorship of tthat sweetheart bill. Saving a law firm over 200 million is going to buy a load of loyalty.


  16. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 1:33 pm:

    “Well, I’m honored to be here in the Land of the Rising Sun, and to be presented with this lovely package of ramen noodles with my picture on it. Coincidentally, as bad as the economy is back in the Land of Lincoln, ramen noodles are pretty much all people can afford to eat…”


  17. - Newsclown - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 1:47 pm:

    I am picturing the Asian interpreters tryinf to keep up with Quinn’s rambling ad-libbed speeches. I imagine it will be like the Doonsbury comics where Ms. Honey “interpreted” Ambassador Duke’s comments to the Chinese authorities into shorter, sometimes unrelated but more appropriate things, in order to save everyone face, time, and trouble.

    Hey, …..can we get Quinn one of those for HERE?


  18. - Ghost - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 3:21 pm:

    Only Quinn can got to China it would appear.

    I would like to see Quinn encourage China to spend some of its money in IL on development, or maybe encourgae some joint movie productions between IL and China. It would be a great area for a venture, expanding IL move production facilities and helping the robust chinese movie production industry to expand to the US….not unlike a BBC america kind of thing.


  19. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 3:37 pm:

    Can we pass the hat to bribe the Chineese to keep PC?

    PQ can negotiate how fast they can strip the intellectual property from us. It’s apparently not getting there fast enough .


  20. - mokenavince - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 4:47 pm:

    Maybe he can convince them to purchase more of the tasty Asian Carp. Our state is known for.It could it could be a boon to central Illinois. 2 billon Chinese can’t be wrong.


  21. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 4:52 pm:

    Vince, they have their hands full with 1.3 billion. Another 700 million they don’t need.


  22. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 5:13 pm:

    Quinn is angling to get his picture on Ling Ling Potstickers.


  23. - Pat collins - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 8:23 pm:

    China has been blocking capfax since 2008 pretty consistently. At least, always when I was there.

    They didn’t block the weekly standard though…,

    You can get access via the net of foreign companies, if you have someone who can get you on. Or use vpn to tunnel to the US to access it.


  24. - mokenavince - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:43 pm:

    Word who’s counting?


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