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Reader Comments Closed for Spring Break

Friday, Mar 30, 2012

* Four-dozen contested primaries, plus session and two very large birthday party charity events means I’m done for a while. Nobody’s gonna be around anyway. I’ll be back Monday, April 9th.

I don’t even usually celebrate my birthday, let alone have parties, so this was a weird week for me. But it was all for charity, so I guess that’s OK. A million thanks to everyone who participated, contributed and had fun with me this week. I promise you this, I’ll never do it again. It was just too much “me” all the time. Not my thing. But we will raise money for charity again somehow.

* Crank it up

I tell you, folks
It’s harder than it looks

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

There They Go Again…

Friday, Mar 30, 2012

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

As opponents of SB 678 and the Taylorville Energy Center unleash their latest onslaught on the truth, Ronald Reagan’s famous line seems particularly apt.

There they go again.

The only thing that’s happening faster than the Exelon/ComEd/STOP penchant for saying anything to defeat the bill regardless of accuracy is the rapid-fire closing of coal-fired plants. And their seemingly endless collection of false claims hasn’t gone unnoticed by objective observers.

    “This episode was a lesson for us. It said ComEd would do anything necessary to protect its bottom line and keep competition away, no matter how much hyperbole and alarmism was necessary.”

    - Springfield Journal-Register Editorial – September 13, 2011

As the Chicago Tribune recently reported, ComEd parent Exelon spent $40,000 on a lopsided report full of “sky-is-falling” claims. Not only did this Exelon-funded “study” grossly exaggerate the unfavorable effect of natural gas price changes, but it ignored big improvements such as falling interest rates and increasing coal plant retirements that more than offset lower natural gas prices.

Why is Exelon/ComEd/STOP engaged in such a massive misinformation campaign and unleashing thousands of robocalls throughout the state? Here’s why:

    “If the plant is built, Exelon could lose more than $107 million each year in fees it receives from consumers as part of the auction-based system that reserves power in advance from generators to ensure lights stay on,’ according to Mark Pruitt, the immediate past director of the Illinois Power Agency.”

    - Chicago Tribune, March 16, 2012

So next time Exelon/ComEd/STOP try to scare you about SB 678 and the Taylorville project, remember: there they go again.

- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      

ComEd Modernizing and Strengthening Electric Grid

Friday, Mar 30, 2012

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

ComEd is investing $2.6 billion over the next ten years to strengthen and digitize the electric grid. Our work – a direct result of the historic Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act passed last October – is already underway. In the past few months alone, ComEd has:

Replaced more than 22,000 feet of mainline cable. Replaced or injected more than 300,000 feet of underground residential distribution cable (URD). By replacing cable where necessary or injecting cable to fill in voids in insulation, ComEd will reduce the number of service interruptions.

Reinforced and replaced utility poles in over 200 locations: ComEd is inspecting, treating and, where necessary, replacing or reinforcing wood poles. Properly maintaining utility poles will help ComEd keep customers’ power on during severe weather.

Installed more than 110 distribution automation devices: These devices will automatically detect problems on the electrical grid and reroute power, making service more dependable.

These and other improvements made in recent months are just the beginning of ComEd’s commitment to delivering power you can depend on. We will continue to update you on our progress in the weeks and months ahead.

- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      

Statehouse roundup

Friday, Mar 30, 2012

* I have a bunch of things to do today to get ready for Saturday’s big event, so blogging will be light. Sorry about that, but here’s a roundup to chew on for a while…

* Tuition break program survives attempt to put limits on it: The Illinois House killed legislation Thursday that would have put limits on a tuition break program for employees of the state’s public universities. The proposal mustered just 25 “yes” votes of the 60 needed for passage. It would have limited the current 50 percent tuition cut to families with household incomes of $50,000 or less.

* Juvenile Justice Dept. postponing work on detention center after lawmakers raise concerns: State officials postponed remodeling work on a juvenile detention center in northeast Illinois on Thursday after some lawmakers voiced concerns that the project was violating a law that dictates how state facilities must be closed. The Department of Juvenile Justice believes it wouldn’t be illegal to begin the $4 million upgrade of the Illinois Youth Center at St. Charles, even though it includes readying the facility for higher-risk offenders who are scheduled to be transferred from a detention facility in Joliet that’s slated to close. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability said the work appears to violate an Illinois statute that bars officials from taking any “action” to close a facility until 50 days after the governor notifies the General Assembly of the plan. That would be May 5 in this case.

* Controversy swirls around St. Charles youth center work

* Senate OKs plan to require more information in state leases: Legislation aimed at disclosing more information about the owners of state-leased buildings and the third-party contractors managing them passed the Illinois Senate unanimously on Thursday. The bill creating the new rules, sponsored by Sen. Susan Garrett, D-Lake Forest, would not apply to existing contracts, which means it would not apply to the management company owned by convicted Springfield businessman William Cellini

* Panel: Cut, don’t eliminate, superintendents

* Illinois hits jackpot with online lottery sales

* Will park fees turn off tourists?

* New “Bullying” bill passes Illinois House

* Morrison School Relief Bill Killed in Committee

* Illinois Policy Institute analysis of the House Budget: Still too big

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      

Question of the day

Friday, Mar 30, 2012

* How about you “help” this Saturday’s roasters by suggesting a joke about either myself or one of our panelists? The panelist list is here.

Have at it, but keep it clean and do your best to make sure your comments are funny.

- Posted by Rich Miller   49 Comments      

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

Friday, Mar 30, 2012

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Friday, Mar 30, 2012

* BlackBerry users click here and everyone else can just kick back and watch all of today’s events unfold…

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Three tickets available for Saturday!

Friday, Mar 30, 2012

* As always with big events, there are some cancellations. We’ve had a few for Saturday’s roast of yours truly, which has freed up three tickets. There’s been a mad scramble for last-minute tix and I’ve been doing what I can to help people. So, these three tix may take off some of the pressure.

The roast will be held at Maggiano’s in Chicago. Senate President John Cullerton is the emcee. House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, Sen. Donne Trotter, Rep. Skip Saviano, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Paul Green, Carol Marin and my brother Doug are all on the program, as is Attorney General Lisa Madigan (even though she won’t tell me what she’s doing). Live music, cash bar.

Cocktails start at 6 o’clock and dinner will be served at 7 sharp. It’s black tie optional, so up your game. Valet parking is available. Tickets are $200 each. Proceeds benefit Lutheran Social Services of Illinois.

* So, starting right now, those three tickets are up for grabs. E-mail Joy Medrano at for your chance to attend. These are the hottest tickets in town, so don’t delay. First come, first served. You’ll probably be required to pay today via PayPal just to make sure you’re actually coming, but that’s up to LSSI.

* There’s no guarantee that if you order more than one ticket you’ll be able to sit with the other person on your list, so keep that in mind. And, please, only send an e-mail if you are absolutely, definitely going. This is the first time I’ve offered tickets to the general public, so don’t disappoint me, please. Thanks.

Have at it.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

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

Friday, Mar 30, 2012

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

* NYT looks at Griffin, Rauner
* LaQuan McDonald case: Three suggestions for state action
* Yesterday's blog posts

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