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

Monday, Feb 27, 2012

* Congressman Adam Kinzinger just crossed a line and Rockford Register Star columnist Chuck Sweeny is having none of it. This is a quote from a Kinzinger mailer

“A Rockford Register Star columnist recently said Congressman Manzullo’s voting record bears resemblance to ‘that of Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank.’ No, it wasn’t Barney Frank’s record but it was actually the voting history of my opponent, Congressman Don Manzullo.”

* But this is what Sweeny actually wrote

“Kinzinger and Manzullo are engaged in a fight-to-the-finish duel about who is more conservative. And Kinzinger is characterizing Manzullo’s record as something resembling that of Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank.”

And there’s more

In a newspaper-type mailer Kinzinger’s campaign sent to my house, Kinzinger charges that Manzullo “joined liberal Democrats in (a) movement to impeach President Bush.” Kinzinger claims that in 2008, Manzullo “shockingly voted for left-wing Dennis Kucinich’s legislation to order the House Judiciary Committee to consider impeaching President Bush over ludicrous reasons.”

Well, well, well. Let me quote from a piece I wrote July 16, 2008, about Manzullo’s vote for Kucinich’s wacky impeachment bill:

“I did the constitutional thing, which was to send it to committee, where it will be killed. If it did not go to committee, it would stay on the floor and then we would have started impeaching the president,” Manzullo told me at the time.

This goes beyond the usual political crud, which the media tends to basically ignore. Twist a columnist’s words into absurdity, though, and you’ll find yourself on the receiving end of serious negativity. Sweeny’s column by itself won’t have a gigantic impact, but if Manzullo uses the column in his paid media blitz to accuse Kinzinger of being a liar, it could very well move some numbers.

Both of these guys have been attempting to make the other guy look like he’s not conservative enough. It’s been a bogus argument from Jump Street. There are things about both men that aren’t 100 percent pure conservative, but, really, c’mon here, we’re talking infinitesimal degrees of separation. This latest Kinzinger attack is through the looking glass bizarre and a total amateur mistake. He’ll deserve any backfire he gets.

* We didn’t do much politics here last week because it was budget address week and it sucked up all my attention. So, I neglected to point out this weird Tribune endorsement in the 2nd Congressional District. The paper whacked Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. in four, long paragraphs and concluded that Jackson’s explanations for all his troubles are “unsatisfying.” But then the editorial board proceeded to ridicule Jackson’s primary opponent Debbie Halvorson

Halvorson is alarmingly unqualified to represent the district.

Seated beside her “distracted” opponent at our head-to-head candidate interview, it was Halvorson who fudged, stumbled and stammered. Asked to explain her one-and-done tenure as representative of the 11th District, she blurted out that voters can be “fickle.” She later said that was a bad choice of words. Asked to name federal programs she would target for spending cuts, she couldn’t think of one. Over and over she offered, lamely, that voters should send her back to Washington so she could help “innovate” the country out of its current mess. We don’t think so.

Jackson ran circles around Halvorson in our interview, showing a 16-year incumbent’s command of the issues. When Halvorson said he had failed to advance his plan to build a third regional airport near Peotone, Jackson’s response assured us yet again that he’s relentlessly focused on making it happen. (Her comments, meanwhile, convinced us she is not.) Jackson is endorsed.

Oof.

* This story also “broke” last week while I was so distracted

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel waded into a contested suburban Democratic primary for Congress, backing former U.S. Veterans Affairs official Tammy Duckworth. […]

Duckworth is in a primary battle with former deputy state treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi for the right to take on freshman Republican Joe Walsh in the 8th District. The district includes parts of northwest Cook and northeast DuPage counties, but does not include any homes in Chicago.

It’s been known for a while that Emanuel is with Duckworth, so the only newsworthy item is that he chose to formally announce his support.

* And a roundup…

* ADDED: Press release: Today, Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, endorsed Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) for the newly drawn 16th Congressional District. Schock is the youngest Member of Congress and has served as a leading advocate for the conservative principles that reflect the values of the people throughout Illinois.

* Supreme Court race hits TV, as funding picks up: Going on TV was incumbent Justice Mary Jane Theis, who hit Chicago stations Monday morning with a buy of 600 ratings points, costing a few hundred thousand dollars.

* Early voting in Illinois begins

* How Duckworth, Krishnamoorthi differ on deficit: Duckworth also says Congress should consider eliminating the $385-billion dollar fleet of F-35 fighter jets, currently being developed.

* Key Ill. primaries: 8th Congressional District

* Democrats spar over donations, support at congressional forum: Sheyman attacked Schneider for campaign contributions he made to Republicans including Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk. Schneider responded by criticizing the policies of some of the groups that have endorsed Sheyman and by extolling the campaign work he’s done for Democrats including former Rep. Melissa Bean of Barrington.

* Illinois House races heating up: “I don’t see any of those four candidates giving Dold any heat,” said Green.

* Brad Schneider Extended Interview

* IL a battleground for U.S. Congress races:
But Republicans are ceding nothing. They believe they still have momentum from the 2010 victories that put five GOP freshmen in office and gave them their first state congressional majority in in seven years. And they believe another factor will help them when voters go to the polls: Anger over Illinois’ state fiscal crisis.

* VIDEO: Joe Walsh: Fighting For Millionaires

* Tribune: For the Republicans: Kinzinger

* Tribune: Theis for the Supreme Court

* Tribune: For the Democrats: Duckworth

* Tribune: For the U.S. House

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


Caption contest!

Monday, Feb 27, 2012

* You people are boring me to death today. Or, maybe I’m boring you with too many budget posts. I’ll put up some political stuff later today, but until then…

That’s Chrysler President and CEO Sergio Marchionne with Gov. Pat Quinn.

- Posted by Rich Miller   62 Comments      


Question of the day

Monday, Feb 27, 2012

* The setup

A judge in northwestern Illinois said Friday he will allow camera coverage at the second trial of a man accused of killing eight people in two states.

In doing so, Judge Jeffery O’Connor rejected arguments from both prosecutors and the defense that media scrutiny would make it impossible to pick an impartial jury in a third trial for Nicholas Sheley. […]

O’Connor’s decision to allow cameras whenever it the trial starts means it will, after all, be the first big test of the Illinois Supreme Court’s recent decision to experiment with cameras in state courts. The high court said that if all goes well, it would eventually pull Illinois from of the group of 14 states that still ban extensive media access in courts.

The Whiteside County judge told attorneys that Sheley’s case has already garnered so much attention since his alleged killing spree in Illinois and Missouri over several days in June 2008, so any level of media attention now wouldn’t make it any harder to pick a jury.

* The Question: Do you agree with cameras in courtrooms even if prosecution and defense attorneys object? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


Digging deeper into the budget

Monday, Feb 27, 2012

* The AP looks at the Department of Corrections budget and finds some confusing claims

Department of Corrections statistics show population has increased pretty steadily for the past decade. At the end of November, it was 2.3 percent above the 2010 level and 6.6 percent above 2001. Annual reports don’t reveal any significant drop in population since 2002.

To support Lavin’s claim of a downward trend, the Department of Corrections offered newer numbers showing a drop of 725 prisoners, or 1.5 percent, in the last five months. In addition, the department projects a drop of 2,746 in the next budget year.

Why does the department expect such a dramatic decline? That’s not entirely clear.

A spokeswoman said it’s based on plans to close those six halfway houses for inmates nearing the end of their sentences. The logic seems to be the department can close some facilities because the population will drop, and the population will drop partly because the department is closing some facilities.

* WBEZ has more on the closure of those six halfway houses

The halfway houses funded by the Department of Corrections are known as adult transition centers. There are seven in the state, and all but one would be shut down under the budget proposed by Quinn last Wednesday. The low-level offenders who spend their nights there would instead be sent home and placed on electronic detention. […]

After the additional costs of electronic detention are subtracted, the Quinn administration projects a $17.7 million savings in the next fiscal year by closing the adult transition centers. There are currently more than 1,100 offenders housed at the centers, according to the administration.

But

The prisoners would be checked on by parole officers, even as Quinn’s budget calls for severe cuts to the number of parole officers in the state. Solano noted they would likely be hired back to other jobs as the parole department is reorganized, though she said details of that plan aren’t yet available.

The governor is actually proposing a 50 percent reduction in parole staff - 200 positions - at the very same time he’s dumping 1,100 more people into the system.

* Meanwhile, Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget has another idea which will supposedly save $91 million

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to slash state spending on a health insurance program for more than 65,000 retired teachers and community college retirees.

Under the governor’s plan, the state would no longer share in the cost of the system that helps pay for the Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program and the College Insurance Program, which administers health insurance for community college retirees. […]

The governor’s office did not respond to specific questions about the proposal, which was tucked into Quinn’s 438-page budget blueprint released Wednesday.

“Due to the state’s fiscal challenges created over decades of mismanagement, we have zeroed out those lines and will work to achieve savings,” said Quinn budget spokeswoman Kelly Kraft.

But there’s a problem with this plan. The two programs are funded with a continuing appropriation, meaning that the annual funding is automatic unless the General Assembly repeals the statute.

* The state’s share of the costs is only about 20 percent

The state covers about 20 percent of the program’s cost. Much of the rest is paid for by contributions from working teachers and premiums from retirees that average about $577 a month, said Dave Urbanek, spokesman for the Teachers Retirement System.

* More details

There are a total of 71,538 members of TRIP, including 61,188 retirees and 10,350 dependents. There are about 90,000 retired educators in Illinois.

Bachman said about 5,000 TRIP members age 65 and over don’t qualify for Medicare, leaving them with only TRIP for their health coverage.

“You (also) have a lot of people between the ages of 55 and 65 who wouldn’t qualify for Medicare yet,” he said.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      


He’s right, but is he up to it?

Monday, Feb 27, 2012

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

When Jim Edgar was governor, reporters covering his annual budget speech would approach Senate President Pate Philip as he descended afterward from the House Speaker’s podium to ask about Edgar’s proposals. Eventually, or even right away, we’d hear an emphatic “No!” from Pate, and then we’d pronounce a good chunk of the budget dead on arrival.

Times were simpler back then than they were last week after Gov. Pat Quinn finished his latest budget address. Quinn’s proposal “benefited” from a lack of major specifics on the big issues of the day — the exploding costs of Medicaid and the state pension system.

The only things left to attack were program cuts and facility closings (and Republicans who did so risked being labeled as false budget hawks) and the phony complaint that his budget called for higher spending (operating costs are falling by about $400 million, but total state spending is going up mainly because pension payments are rising by about $1 billion next fiscal year).

To compensate for the lack of specifics, Quinn alternated between a gravely warning tone (welcoming legislators to their “rendezvous with reality” on the twin crises of Medicaid and pension spending) and overtly offering to partner with members on finding solutions. Quinn also mixed in a bit of tough love, demanding an answer from his pension reform commission by mid-April and warning legislators that if the Medicaid issue isn’t resolved, they could plan on spending the summer in Springfield.

It wasn’t the best budget speech ever given, but it was surely Quinn’s best. He finally appears to be getting his arms around his job. We’ll see how he does in the coming days, weeks and months when he isn’t sticking to a prepared script, but there was a distinct sense in the building last week that things might not be so hopeless after all.

While criticizing Quinn’s lack of specifics and his tardiness in realizing the importance of getting the budget in order, House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) said he planned to again work with House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) on the budget this spring. Sen. Matt Murphy, the Senate Republicans’ budget point person, offered many of the same criticisms as Cross but repeatedly claimed that his caucus did, indeed, attempt to work with the Democrats last year on budget cuts and would be willing to do the same this time around.

Both Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) pledged to work cooperatively with the other party, expressing a realization that these big issues are so difficult that there’s no way a partisan solution could possibly be crafted.

A thaw in the Statehouse’s longtime partisan rancor began last spring when Madigan realized he would need a bipartisan majority for a budget deal, not only to pass painful spending cuts but to also provide political cover for any budgetary gimmicks the House used. The Senate, meanwhile, began working cooperatively on workers’ compensation and education reforms.

But the House GOP’s budget work was ridiculed by their Senate counterparts, and the Senate GOP’s compromise on workers’ comp was derided by the House Republicans as inadequate. Only the education reforms received large bipartisan votes in both chambers.

The education reform working group therefore has become a template for the coming legislative session. Quinn has appointed working groups to tackle pensions and Medicaid in hopes of repeating last year’s success.

Politicians often work best in crisis situations. It’s a natural human tendency to rally together at such times. The governor did a good job last week of calmly and logically explaining the urgent need to work together for the benefit of the whole state.

There will be much shouting and moaning and protesting ahead, however, as significant cuts are made and these gut-wrenching problems are addressed. We’ll soon find out if Quinn has grown enough to hold it all together or whether the legislative leaders have to step in and do it for him.

Either way, Quinn is absolutely right that these problems need to be solved.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition and a big campaign roundup

Monday, Feb 27, 2012

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

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)

Monday, Feb 27, 2012

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

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Protected: *** UPDATED x1 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: This just in…

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012

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

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Cable TV buys
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Rauner vetoes several social service bills
* Ok, that's enough
* I truly hate this US Senate race
* Rauner signs life insurance bill
* Question of the day
* State bond sale goes well, but still paid a higher price
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Picking on the little guys
* We've been a sorry state for a long time
* Munger and Mendoza face off in hostile debate
* I'm still befuddled by this move
* *** UPDATED x5 - Motion approved - Noven to withdraw - $421 million budget hit - One appointee appears to be ineligible - The plot thickens as three new board members appointed *** Controversy expected at TRS hearing today
* React to remap reform ruling
* Divided court kicks remap reform off ballot
* 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

  
* The flagship is dead, long live the new flagship
* Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus 10 expected at IFA 2016
* Eighth beta for Apple software out for devs, seventh iOS 10 beta for public
* China’s Galaxy Note 7, the same as everyone else’s — 4GB RAM, 64GB storage
* Google Wallet debuts automatic transfers so you can skip “cashing out”
* Android 7.0 factory images are live for most Nexus devices
* Sony Xperia X Compact and Xperia XR specs revealed

* Sox offense unloads as everyone chips in
* Sox topple Seattle on Quintana's gem, 4 HRs
* Rodon, Walker duel to wrap Sox homestand
* Sox topple Seattle on Quintana's gem, 4 HRs
* Sox topple Seattle on Quintana's gem, 4 HRs
* Does Eaton have edge on first Gold Glove?
* Sale sticking to regular rest despite workload

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


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

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

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

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress

Loading


* New Illinois law makes insurance companies find.....
* Bernard Schoenburg: Davis, GOP quick to attack .....
* Statehouse Insider: Do we hafta put all of that.....
* Will Rauner and Trump A) help B) hurt Illinois .....
* Rauner kicks off Governor's Ride at Du Quoin St.....
* Editorial: Abandon all hope, ye who enter Illinois..
* Governor stops in Mt. Vernon - Mt. Vernon Regis.....


* Elections board appeals ruling on independent candidate
* Southern Illinois highway named for fallen Green Beret
* 2 dead, 1 hurt in Chicago house fire; arson suspected
* In wake of cousin's fatal shooting, Dwyane Wade speaks out
* Regulator: Dakota Access pipeline worker killed in accident
* Northwest Indiana seeking to lure Chicago commuters
* Appeals court grapples with unions, free speech, giant rats
* New corn disease found in Illinois field
* EXCHANGE: Scout spends summer cataloging Senators' trophies
* EXCHANGE: Back-to-school shopping is more than crayons

* Despite budget warnings from Rauner, TRS board votes to lower investment estimates
* Progress on U.S. 67 sputters due to lack of funds
* New law makes insurance companies find, pay beneficiaries
* Decatur woman can petition to become nurse under new law
* Illinois redistricting referendum won't appear on ballot
* Comptroller hopefuls argue independence from Madigan, Rauner
* Springfield-area jobless rate remains lowest in Illinois
* Illinois 'Obamacare' health insurance rates up significantly
* Rauner's office warns teachers' pension change could be 'devastating'

* What do you get for $2,000 in rent?
* Cubs stars growing too big for Chicago market
* Warehouses are sexy all of a sudden. Here's why.
* How Macy's retreat is affecting this REIT's fortunes
* What's not to like about Obamacare? Plenty in Illinois


* Quintana gets 11th win, has solidified status among game’s best
* Man shot during West Garfield Park robbery
* Avila has a blast upon return from DL in Sox’ win
* Nobel laureate, U of C professor emeritus James Cronin dead at 84
* Teammates tout Heyward’s everyday impact despite slumping bat
* Strained relations? Irate Hammel not happy with Maddon
* 19-year-old shot in West Pullman
* In ‘Rose,’ a matriarch’s lifetime of suppressed emotion
* Navy’s new $2.7B attack sub to be sponsored by Michelle Obama
* CPD to Rhymefest: We’re sorry how cops treated you after mugging


* Pushing back retirement age to 70 would be harder on low-income workers
* White Sox bats back Jose Quintana in 9-3 victory over Mariners
* Inside debate prep: Clinton's careful case vs. Trump's unpredictability
* 49ers QB Kaepernick refuses to stand for national anthem in protest
* What's up with Joe Maddon and Jason Hammel? Talk to the hand
* Eyebrow-raising moves early in 3-2 loss show Cubs pulling out all stops
* Dwyane Wade's cousin shot dead while pushing her baby in stroller on South Side
* Colombian peace deal could mark a rare victory for U.S. diplomacy
* Tinley Park elementary school to be demolished this fall
* Joe Maddon on Jason Hammel: 'I just didn't see the game straightening out'


The widget AQL4JYGHIY powered by Feed Informer does not exist.


* Angie Muhs: The ups and downs of online comments
* Bernard Schoenburg: Davis, GOP quick to attack independent Gill
* Statehouse Insider: Do we hafta put all of that money into pensions?
* Their View: Fair maps shouldn't be victims of partisanship
* Raising awareness to end domestic violence
* Mom's legacy lives on through fund
* Despite budget warnings from Rauner, TRS board votes to lower investment estimates
* Progress on U.S. 67 sputters due to lack of funds
* New law makes insurance companies find, pay beneficiaries
* Charles Krauthammer: The bribery standard


* Tate: Good vibes start with 'D,' recruits
* Illini legends, lists and lore: Defensive debuts
* North Dakota State beats Charleston Southern 24-17 in OT
* Log throwing, music and dancing all highlight this year's Erin Feis
* LIVE! Illini Classic: Missouri State
* Lacon WWII vet surprised with honor during parade
* Women enjoy shooting down stereotypes at Chillicothe Sportsmen's Club
* Lacon WW II vet surprised with honor during parade
* Rauner kicks off Governor's Ride at Du Quoin State Fair
* Saluki volleyball wins IUPUI Invitational


* Boys soccer: Warren's a winner at Grayslake North
* Girls volleyball: Radtke, Stevenson collect Crosstown title
* Latest loss ends Cougars' playoff chances
* Girls volleyball: Kaneland tops Glenbard West at Wheaton North
* Quintana gets some rare run support as White Sox roll over Mariners

* 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

* Des Plaines Gets $11.4 Million To Purchase......

* Says they're all orphans and widows becaus......
* Supreme Cout nominee Merrick Garland tells......

* Rauner Signs Sportsmen Bills Aimed at Conservation and Investing in Young Hunters
* John Oliver’s smack-down of charter schools.
* Keeping retirement weird. Learning theory and the ukulele.
* Back To School Picnic On Wednesday
* Even nonpartisan attempt at redistricting reform was partisan effort
* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* Person Shot At Wilson/Hazel Friday Evening (Updated 3x)
* Person Shot and Killed At Wilson/Hazel Friday Evening (Updated 4x)
* Person Shot At Wilson/Hazel Friday Evening
* Judge Orders Release Of Additional Clinton Emails


* Statement on Redistricting Referendum
* Rauner Administration Takes Action to Help Illinoisans Find Lost Life Insurance Money
* Illinois Residents Encouraged to Register for ‘The Great ShakeOut’ Earthquake Drill - 'Drop, Cover and Hold On’ Drill Set for October 20
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Seeking Flexibility to Improve Delivery of Behavioral Health Care




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