SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Oddities and ends

Thursday, Jan 26, 2012

* Groups often give stipends to people who agree to attend an event, like a few dollars and a box lunch to travel to Springfield for a day of “lobbying” or a protest event. It’s a common practice, but can sometimes do more harm than good because the bused-in folks are just bodies designed to fill a room. They don’t usually know what the heck they’re doing there. Remember when ComEd worked with Chicago-area ministers to send a bunch of people down to Springfield to demand a rate increase? I talked to some of them and they had not one clue why there were at the Capitol.

But I can understand why folks are upset that some ministers bused in protesters to a community event in order to loudly support the Chicago Public Schools’ position of closing a school, . The Sun-Times editorialized on the issue today

Outrageous.

There is no other way to describe the practice, revealed by the Sun-Times and other media, of ministers hiring “rent-a-protesters” to advocate for proposed Chicago public school closures.

Reporter Rosalind Rossi on Tuesday told the story of two men who said they were offered $25 to $50 to support the closures of two schools. Both men said they were asked to attend two separate closure hearings this month after they showed up to apply for financial help with their energy bills at the Englewood office of the HOPE Organization.

The Rev. Roosevelt Watkins III, who runs the group, denies they were paid to protest, saying the money paid was for training. The facts say otherwise, including testimony by many who watched the so-called protesters, many of whom switched from pro-closure to anti-closure by the end of the hearings, along with the container of envelopes filled with cash seen at the HOPE office after the hearings. WBEZ profiled a third protester allegedly paid by HOPE and a fourth who said she was among a busload of rent-a-protesters paid at a different hearing by another church.

We hope the outing of these rent-a-protesters will be enough to kill the practice.

It might “kill the practice” on the school closure issue, but the rent-a-body game has a long history in Illinois because it brings in revenues. What nobody has asked yet is if Rev. Watkins is using indirect taxpayer cash for these actions.

Rev. Watkins, by the way, was part of AT&T’s Statehouse “citizen lobbying” effort in its legislative fight against Comcast a while back.

* Props to Tim Furman for shooting this video of the rent-a-protesters at a West Side school closing hearing. The protesters are completely ignorant of why they are there, including one person who says to Furman that she’s there to “save our school for the children”

Sheesh.

* Furman wrote about the protesters on his blog last weekend, before the source of their funding was known

With the exception of a lone “boo,” the paid people were silent until near the end, when one of them - I believe it was this fellow on the right - gave an incendiary anti-teacher, anti-Crane, anti-union speech. I’ll dig up that audio later. In any event, the audience was howling, and a bit of a shoving match followed. A lot of people out of their chairs, but it ended quickly. I’m not sure who’s paying these people to come in but I can’t imagine that bringing in these obvious fakes is in anyone’s interest. If I were a charter operator busing in ringers for a public hearing, I’d want better ringers.

Good ringers are hard to find.

…Adding… WGN also has video of the rent-a-protesters.

* Meawhile, go get ‘em, Lisa

The Illinois attorney general filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing Standard & Poor’s of misleading investors by assigning its highest ratings to risky mortgage-backed investments during the years leading up to the crash of the housing market.

The lawsuit from Lisa Madigan’s office alleges the agency compromised its independence by issuing high ratings for unworthy or risky investments as part of a strategy to boost revenue and market share. The lawsuit cites internal emails and conversations, including an instant messenger exchange in April 2007 in which an employee tells another that an investment “could be structured by cows and we would rate it.”

“Publically, S&P took every opportunity to proclaim their analyses and ratings as independent, objective and free from its desire for revenue,” Madigan said. “Yet privately, S&P abandoned its principles and instead used every trick possible to give deals high ratings in order to retain clients and generate revenue.” [Emphasis added]

But, now, of course, S&P’s ratings are supposed to be akin to the word of God when it comes to Illinois finances.

* Did Congressman Don Manzullo scrub his website? From a Congressman Adam Kinzinger press release…

For years, members of congress came to Washington with one goal: let’s start spending. Some like Congressman Don Manzullo even bragged about it. The times have changed leaving long-time politicians to decide one thing: stand by their past spending record or run away from it. Congressman Manzullo decided not only to run away from his record but also to erase it.

Just last week, under Don Manzullo’s biographical page of his governmental website, he proudly highlighted a laundry list of earmarks totaling millions of dollars. The disappearing language came after the Kinzinger campaign questioned Congressman Manzullo’s record on earmarks. Now, in order to find any mention of what was once proudly and easily found on his congressional website, one must now dig through thirty-nine pages of past press releases.

Hilarious.

* What happens when you quietly give a former alleged mob bookie a state job and then have to quickly fire him when word leaks out? He gets reinstated, of course

According to IDOT, an arbitrator recently ruled the state did not have “just cause” to fire Peluso. The arbitrator ordered him reinstated to his job, including back pay totaling more than $103,000.

IDOT said in a statement that it is disappointed: “The department aggressively defended its position and strongly disagrees with the arbitrator’s decision.”

“Why would the collective bargaining agreements protect someone like this?” Rep. Ed Sullivan asked.

The Republican state representative is asking for an investigation into Peluso’s re-hiring, as well as how the ex-mobster got the job in the first place.

* Usually, one can expect one’s attorney to stick up for him when a reporter calls. Sam Cahnman’s lawyer kinda threw his client under the bus when the SJ-R asked him about his attempts to have a civil “no-contact” order dismissed against Cahnman, a Springfield alderman who is running as a Democrat for the Illinois House…

Through his attorney, Dan Fultz, Cahnman, 57, is requesting that the case be tossed because, when filing her petition for a no-contact order, the 23-year-old who sought it didn’t allege sexual conduct between herself and Cahnman was “non-consensual.” The motion to dismiss states that “non-consensual sexual conduct or non-consensual sexual penetration” is a requirement under the Civil No Contact Order Act.

Peggy Ryan, the woman’s attorney, has asked that the motion to dismiss be denied. She says non-consensual sex can be alleged not only through the petition but also through sworn testimony.

“Mr. Cahnman, seven months after an emergency civil no contact ordered was entered, is asking the court, despite (her) sworn testimony before the court and statutory provisions requiring that testimony to be taken into account, to dismiss the petition because a pro se petitioner did not use the words ‘non consensual’ in her petition,” Ryan wrote.

Fultz said Wednesday that Ryan’s response is “well taken,” and he will meet with Cahnman to decide how to proceed. [Emphasis added.]

That’s all you got, dude? Really?

* Other stuff…

* School watchdog probes reports of paid protesters

* Paid protesters a new force in school closings debate - Protesters say they were paid $20, $25 to attend hearings

* Standoff Between City Colleges And Their “Frontline” Employees

* Illinois Humanities Council board member resigns in protest of auctioning a dinner with Bill Ayers

* City watchdog accuses Emanuel administration of stymying probes

* ‘Disturbed’ Preckwinkle announces changes at Cook County morgue

* City stumbles with damage control on NATO/G8 summits

* Jesse Jackson Jr. Absent During State of Union

* Illinois Commerce Commission executive director departing

- Posted by Rich Miller        


10 Comments
  1. - Knome Sane - Thursday, Jan 26, 12 @ 2:20 pm:

    “Illinois Commerce Commission executive director departing”

    Tim Anderson is a classy guy for whom I wish nothing but the best! Good luck in your new role as Secretary of the Senate!


  2. - Shore - Thursday, Jan 26, 12 @ 2:39 pm:

    The trend with “conservative” members of congress has been they campaign against DC but from the moment they get in they start falling in love with the system. If Kinzinger wins, I’d bet money we’d see him 2-3 cycles down the road touting his work delivering for the district, among other things that he’ll hit manzullo for doing.


  3. - Rod - Thursday, Jan 26, 12 @ 3:06 pm:

    Rich in relation to the rent a protester issue. I believe that the Chicago Public Schools inspector general is investigating if any CPS funds given to the church organizations were used to pay these protestors. I do not know about other government entities investigating.

    Yesterday Mayor Emanuel was asked about this issue at a press conference and all he would say is that the ministers were interested in children getting a good education. He refused to comment on the payments issue. It did not look good on WGN last night.


  4. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 26, 12 @ 3:23 pm:

    Good for the AG. There’s a lot of raw meat against S&P in the Senate testimony and evidence presented last year.

    If nothing else, maybe it will light a fire under the SEC and Justice Department, who have never seemed to eager get to the bottom of things when it comes to the crash.


  5. - Kerfuffle - Thursday, Jan 26, 12 @ 3:30 pm:

    Cahnman - If this guy had any class he would resign his position and just go away.


  6. - WashingtonIrving - Thursday, Jan 26, 12 @ 3:40 pm:

    Rent-a-mob


  7. - mark walker - Thursday, Jan 26, 12 @ 3:51 pm:

    Lisa’a got a point, but will there be some payback against the state by S&P and other rating agencies?


  8. - Judgment Day - Thursday, Jan 26, 12 @ 5:20 pm:

    Re: S&P

    Could there be blowback over the whole S&P ratings on the MBS securities ratings meltdown?

    Well, yeah - but the IL AG’s part in this entire mess is ultra tiny, and the blowback won’t be aimed at the IL AG as much as everywhere and anywhere else (The Mortgage Servicers, the credit rating agencies [S&P, Moodys, & Finch], Wall Street in general, MERS, all the “Too Big to Fail” [TBTF] banks; FHA, Freddie/Fannie, the US “Lack of Justice” Department, most of the different entities in the US Treasury [in both Bush43 & Obama administrations]).

    IF (hopefully; “WHEN”) it all blows, it’s going to be spectacular to see all the rats and various other rodents scurrying around looking for a place to hide.

    Btw, there’s other state AG’s who have already pushed these same buttons, so IL AG is not first in line on this one.

    There looks to be an enormous amount of corruption going on here that is almost beyond comprehension, it’s so extensive and pervasive.

    Watch blogs like Naked Capitalism and Zero Hedge to get the flavor of exactly how bad it really is.

    Also, there are reasons that the credit ratings companies haven’t been sued up to now. Many MBS issues have already been downgraded, but the real issue is were the downgrades valid? If a rating gets dropped below A-, many institutional investors can’t hold them, or are severely limited on how much they can hold.

    This is a really problematic area on these credit rating agencies. Lisa has to be somewhat careful here, because she could really kick something off that could have lots and lots and lots of unintended consequences.

    Not saying good or bad, just reality…..


  9. - reformer - Thursday, Jan 26, 12 @ 6:49 pm:

    Kerf
    There have been no criminal charges in Alderman Cahnman’s case after 7 months, just a no contact order. There’s no reason to assume guilt in someone who hasn’t even been accused.


  10. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 26, 12 @ 8:01 pm:

    “Rich in relation to the rent a protester issue. I believe that the Chicago Public Schools inspector general is investigating if any CPS funds given to the church organizations were used to pay these protestors. I do not know about other government entities investigating.”
    That is narrowing the investigation far too much. Asked that way, it is like saying was the money I gave your left hand used improperly? No? Fine then. Meanwhile the money from the left hand is underwriting these frauds. The better question I whether and why any public dollars are going there at all.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

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

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Android Wear update comes to LG G Watch
        * How to fix the four most annoying quirks of Yosemite
        * 6 easy ways to show off your best photos
        * Amazon accepting pre-orders for HTC accessories for Nexus 9
        * Review: Photoshop Elements 13 gets Photomerge and content-aware fill
        * Sony sales target lowered once again
        * SensorCore and Lumia: My Experience

        * Microsoft Windows 10 Technical Preview Update Released
        * Sony A7000 Could Be The NEX-7′s Successor [Rumor]
        * Congress Shuts Down FBI Director’s Decryption Law Proposal
        * Raspberry Pi Touch Screen Unveiled By Eben Upton (video)
        * Touching Story Reveals How Siri Came To Be An Autistic Boy’s Best Friend
        * What Are Some Things That Are Legal, But People Think Are Illegal?
        * Alpine Headphones Literally Let You Feel The Music (video)

        * 23 potential MLB free agents as SkyMall items
        * World Series Game 1: Notes and discussion
        * The e-gus off-season plan
        * Reading Room: A wild card of a World Series
        * Following same path as '59 White Sox, KC eyes title
        * larry's Offseason Plan
        * Abreu wins Sporting News' AL Rookie of the Year honors


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

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

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

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Haine calls on Gov. Quinn to deny clemency to c.....
        * Attorneys due in court for Quinn hiring lawsuit.....
        * Attorneys expected in court for lawsuit over hi.....
        * Gov. Quinn announces almost $1M in funds for Pa.....
        * A ‘Closing Argument,’ Brought to You by the Koc.....
        * Only a Few 2014 Legislative Races Are Competitive..
        * The Clintons, the Democrats' 2014 super surrogates..
        * Illinois' top educator: Funding problems to remain..


        * Self, Weber expected at Wayne McClain funeral
        * Durbin, Oberweis to meet in 1st US Senate debate
        * Attorneys due in court for Quinn hiring lawsuit
        * Vice President Joe Biden to campaign in Illinois
        * Man convicted in officer's killings paroled
        * No trick: Across US, Halloween bumped for football
        * Family, friends remember women slain in Indiana
        * Indiana man was violent long before 7 killings
        * Family, friends remember women slain in Indiana
        * Indiana man was violent long before 7 killings

        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates
        * What to watch for in third governor debate tonight
        * U of I sees turning point as election nears
        * Chicago Sun-Times endorses Rauner for governor
        * Sun-Times, Belleville, Champaign, Peoria newspapers endorse Rauner for governor
        * Bill Clinton to address workers at pro-Quinn rally
        * Body camera use concerns Illinois police officers

        * What's next for Tribune, Sun-Times in burb paper deal
        * Chicago heating bills will be significantly lower (if winter cooperates)
        * Chicago heating bills will be far lower (if winter cooperates)
        * Walgreen seeks to seal parts of former CFO's lawsuit
        * Big-biz group a big Mike Madigan donor


        * Sparse crowd at CPS HQ before Board of Ed vote on Hancock school
        * Indiana officials identify fourth body found after arrest of suspected serial killer
        * Jail guard smuggled weed in sandwiches, feds say
        * Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85
        * Back to the past with mayor’s move
        * Court officials suggest ISIS wannabe could be released from jail on bond
        * Tentative deal at U of I hospital averts threatened nurses’ strike, union says
        * Unemployment rates fall in 31 states, including Illinois
        * Dr. Lawrence Solomon: Renowned dermatologist, book collector loved a mystery
        * Emanuel’s cable tax hike to cost average consumer $28.80 a year


        * Fire fighters battle blaze in Logan Square
        * Woman killed in Park Manor car crash
        * Two injured in Warrenville car crash
        * Public weighs in on Museum Campus plan
        * Waukegan schools remain closed Wednesday
        * 2 from Liberia screened for Ebola in Chicago after falling ill
        * At least 5 people wounded in shootings since Tuesday evening
        * Man dies 5 months after Southwest Side shooting
        * Naperville police ask for help locating "person of interest"
        * Inquiry broadens into suspect in Indiana serial killings


        * Business Report: Former Restaurant Near Statehouse Up For Auction; Downtown Springfield Inc. Update
        * 13th Dist. Candidates Talk NAFTA, Ebola During Springfield Debate
        * Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series To Focus On "Lincoln's Funeral"
        * Small Campaign Contributions Amount To Chump Change
        * Civic Fed: Lawmakers Once Again Taking Illinois Down Bad Budget Path
        * Cheddar's Leaves Springfield WUIS-SJR Business Report
        * Area Cub Scouts Burned In Explosion
        * Notes On The Final Governor Debate
        * Task Force Hopes To Help Turn Students Into Good Citizens
        * Digging up the history of a Civil War camp on Chicago's South Side


        * Our Opinion: Choice for Illinois comptroller comes down to experience
        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Joanna McQuillan Weeks: Cheese balls deserve more respect
        * Our Opinion: White, Madigan for another term
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Our Opinion: Say yes to Magro’s project
        * John Schick: Letter confirmed aggression toward bicyclists
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates
        * U of I sees turning point as election nears


        * Photographic memories
        * Off the beat: Band’s tour bus ransacked outside popular St. Louis restaurant
        * Upcoming Services (Oct. 22, 2014)
        * Area Calendar 10/22/14
        * A preview of Randolph County election races
        * Race preview: 15th Congressional district
        * Candidate interview: John Shimkus
        * Candidate interview: Eric Thorsland
        * Top of the Morning, Oct. 22, 2014
        * Reservations due for Palms dinner programs


        * Women from Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Geneva and Wheaton to compete in Cook of the Week Challenge cook-off
        * Dawn Patrol: 2 passengers into O'Hare monitored; Biden in Vernon Hills
        * Improvements coming to Lombard Prairie Path crossing
        * Durbin, Oberweis interested in finding O'Hare noise solutions
        * Two historic downtown Des Plaines buildings up for auction

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Defense firms prefer GOP, but spread campa......
        * Early voting; HRC scores congress; alderma......
        * Early voting; HRC scores congress; alderma......
        * Senate Candidates to Debate...
        * Senate Candidates to Debate...

        * Online Marketplace for Sex Led Indiana Ser......
        * Alleged Serial Killer Used Online Advertis......
        * Chicago Innovation Exchange opens flagship......

        * Pumpkin Carving Contest At Buena Beach Bar & Grill This Thursday
        * Early Voting Taking Place Now
        * Rauner’s Neely talk not as first seems
        * Because it was awesome.
        * Waukegan’s school board president speaks. Crazy talk.
        * New Bost ad hits Illinois 12th Congressional District [video]
        * Batinick says Dunn's desperate campaign charges are "ridiculous"
        * Topinka says reducing income tax would cause a heart attack to the state
        * Early Voting Halted in Winnebago County, Illinois Due to Ballot Mistake
        * Illinois Supreme Court Candidate Exposes Members of Shadowy Political Group


        * New TV Ad: Endorsed
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Positive Economic News - Illinois Led the Midwest in Job Creation in September and Had Second Best Growth in Nation; Unemployment Rate Has Dropped More Than Any Other State in the Last Year
        * Rauner Campaign Statement on Final Debate
        * What They’re Saying About Pat Quinn
        * What They’re Saying About Bruce Rauner




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