In a House district that is 51-percent Latino, state Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano said Tuesday he has lined up backing from the best-known Latino politician in Illinois.
Saviano (R-Elmwood Park), who is running against Democrat Kathleen Willis for the 77th House District, plans to announce an endorsement by U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) during an event Tuesday at Saviano’s Wood Dale campaign office.
“The leaders of the community know what I’ve done, and I’ve been working to get that message out,” Saviano told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“This just solidifies my whole record with the community,” Saviano said of Gutierrez’ endorsement.
* Here’s a photo of Democratic Congressman Gutierrez with GOP Rep. Saviano after last night’s big endorsement announcement…
* The Question: Caption?
Best comment wins a hard-to-get invitation to my election night party, which is being co-sponsored by Google. Yes, Google. I’m not making that up. I swear.
The prospect of Joe Walsh being re-elected to Congress is a bit like the threat of an actual zombie apocalypse: absolutely terrifying.
But while a zombie apocalypse is pretty unlikely, Joe Walsh’s reelection is a very real possibility and we only have 6 days left to prevent it. Will you contribute $10 now to help us defeat Joe Walsh?
Not convinced yet? Here are three more ways a second term in Congress for Joe Walsh would be like a zombie apocalypse:
1. They both involve lots of screaming. In the case of a zombie apocalypse, the screams would come from frightened victims. In the case of a Joe Walsh second term, the screams would come from a congressman who yells at his constituents and said he went to Washington to “scream from the mountaintop.”
2. Both would bring back to life something better left alone. The idea of dead bodies rising from their graves is pretty scary. So are the retro policies Joe Walsh wants to resurrect - including big tax giveaways to the wealthy and policies that side with big corporations that pollute the air and ship jobs overseas.
3. No matter how fast you run away, you won’t be able to escape its effects. If Joe Walsh is reelected, it would have consequences for everyone - from seniors who rely on Medicare to students seeking an affordable education.
We’re having some Halloween fun, but truly, we can’t afford to head into Election Day unprepared.
* From 21st Century Democrats…
It might be Halloween, but what is a scarier thought than Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in the White House and the Republicans in control of the Senate?
That would be horrible for our country.
But we are close to reaching our goal – we need to raise only $2,700 before midnight tonight.
With your help, we can do it!
Our candidates are counting on your support, so let’s make Halloween the scariest day of the year, not Election Day!
* And, of course, the Illinois Republican Party’s scary message about Speaker Madigan…
Be safe this Halloween. Observe your local ordinances regarding Trick-or-Treating hours, and above all, be on the alert for Democrats who may try to trick you with more debt, higher taxes, more wasteful spending and sucking the blood (money) out of suburban taxpayers with their plan to shift their pension mistakes on suburban homeowners who already pay some of the highest tax rates in the country.
House Speaker Mike Madigan, State Senate President John Cullerton and Governor Pat Quinn are plotting, scheming and threatening the state with more of the same, tired, 67% tax hike politics.
It’s a poisonous brew, but there’s no need to scream or be frightened.
Republican candidates can reverse the curse and put Illinois back on the right track.
The cable industry is asking lawmakers to place a NEW 5% tax on satellite TV service. HB 5440 is not about fairness, equity or parity – it’s a tax increase on the 1.3 million Illinois families and businesses who subscribe to satellite TV. They cannot afford another NEW tax – not now and not in this economy!
HB 5440 Will Hurt Illinois Families and Small Businesses
• Satellite TV subscribers will see their monthly bills go up 5%.
• This tax will impact every bar, restaurant and hotel that subscribes to satellite TV service, which will translate into higher prices, decreased revenues, and fewer jobs.
• Rural Illinois has no choice: In many parts of Illinois, cable refuses to provide TV service to rural communities. Satellite TV is their only option.
HB 5440 Is Not About Parity or Fairness
• Cable’s claim that this discriminatory tax is justified because satellite TV doesn’t pay local franchise fees could not be further from the truth. Cable pays those fees to local towns and cities in exchange for the right to bury cables in the public rights of way—a right that Comcast and Charter value in the tens of billions of dollars in their SEC filings.
• Satellite companies don’t pay franchise fees for one simple reason: We use satellites—unlike cable, we don’t need to dig up streets and sidewalks to deliver our TV service.
• Making satellite subscribers pay franchise fees—or, in this case, an equivalent amount in taxes—would be like taxing the air It’s no different than making airline passengers pay a fee for laying railroad tracks.
* The inability to date of third party candidate Lance Tyson to make sufficient headway against indicted and ousted Chicago Democratic state Rep. Derrick Smith (Tyson’s own polling shows him getting just 38 percent) will likely make some Democratic hacks quite proud, in a perverse sort of way. All their work over the past 60 years has produced a population that automatically votes “D.”
Christie Schilling: “He rejected the congressional pension because it was the right thing to do.”
Bobby Schilling: “On top of that, I’ve returned $110,000 of my budget to the taxpayer.”
Aaron Schock: “Bobby Schilling’s election to Congress made a real difference. For the first time in decades, we’ve spent less than the prior year. Cheri Bustos will cancel my vote in Congress. Bobby Schilling will be a real partner. We need to keep him.”
Bobby Schilling: “It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, this is about fixing things so that people can get to work. I’m Bobby Schilling and I approved this message.”
* Schilling’s Rockford closer is similar to the Peoria ad. Watch…
Hank Gray: “Bobby Schilling leads by example.”
Christie Schilling: “He rejected the congressional pension because it w
Bobby Schilling: “In Rockford, Illinois it’s all about jobs. If we allow the tax hikes to go into effect in January, what’s going to happen is it’s going to cost in Illinois alone about 32,000 jobs. It doesn’t matter if you’re Democrat or Republican, this is about fixing things so that people , it’s going to cost in Illinois alone
* Schilling-Bustos Both Receive Endorsements: Democrat Cheri Bustos received the endorsement of her former employer the Quad City Times where she worked for several years as a reporter and editor. Meantime, incumbent Republican Bobby Schilling picked up the endorsements of the Rock Island Argus and Dispatch and the Galesburg Register Mail. Schilling has also received the nod of the Peoria Journal Star, Rockford Register Star, Freeport Journal Standard and Chicago Tribune.
* As I told you late yesterday, Jason Plummer’s campaign held a press conference yesterday to “expose” his Democratic opponent Bill Enyart for being on the public pension dole. But, as it turns out, Enyart is not receiving any pensions. His wife, a retired judge, is. And while Plummer claimed that Enyart and his wife were receiving seven pensions, Enyart’s wife was receiving three, two of which are quite small.
Jason Plummer accused Bill Enyart and his family of living large off public pensions Tuesday, a claim Enyart rebutted in the latest fight between the two candidates for Illinois’ 12th congressional district.
Plummer, the Republican candidate, claimed Democrat Enyart and his wife, retired Judge Annette Eckert, collect more than $156,000 annually from among three public pension systems. Plummer also claimed Enyart was in line to get at least three more pensions but didn’t produce any documents to prove it.
The substance of Plummer’s accusations Tuesday focused on three of Eckert’s pensions collected from employment as a Cook County assistant public defender in the 1970s, from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, and from her judicial pension. Plummer said he obtained the information through various Freedom of Information Act requests. […]
Plummer said what he found on Enyart is indicative of the type of pension abuse “well-connected people” perpetrate in Illinois.
Nowhere does the article point out that Plummer more than doubled the number of pensions Eckert actually receives. And nowhere does the paper make clear that Plummer’s own research shows that Enyart himself isn’t receiving a pension.
Instead, we just get your basic he-said, he-said crud.
* Enyart is planning a press conference this afternoon, so The Southern will have an opportunity to redeem itself.
This attack by Plummer, coming on the heels of his campaign’s public insults directed at Enyart’s son, is the most poorly executed and untruthful “planned” earned media attack of any Illinois congressional race this fall. And that’s really saying something, considering.
* I’m not sure what this TV ad will accomplish, but the Chicago Federation of Labor is putting big money behind 1000 Chicago TV ratings points over two weeks. From a press release…
The Chicago Federation of Labor this week released a 30-second television ad aimed at bolstering turnout by working men and women in the November election and encouraging them to remain engaged when lawmakers return to work later in the month to address issues such as pension reform.
The ad, titled “Our Voice,” recalls that union members have worked for generation to build not only our cities but our communities as well. In recent years, however, politicians and others have tried to strip workers of their collective bargaining rights and cut wages, health care benefits and retirement plans. The best way that working men and women can fend of these attacks is by exercising their voice at the ballot box.
The Chicago Federation of Labor made a substantial buy for broadcast television for the week before Election Day. After the election, a modified ad will run for an additional week urging working people to keep a careful eye on politicians as they address issues such as collective bargaining and pension reform.
“There is so much at stake in this election for working people. They can make the difference in a number of close races by exercising their voice on Election Day,” said Jorge Ramirez, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor. “But that’s not the finish line. Working men and women need to stay engaged as elected officials go to work on issues that have a direct impact on them and their families.”
* Again, I’m not sure how much this will encourage union members to vote, but it’s still quite a dramatic and well-done video. You should definitely watch…
* We Ask America decided to do a poll of likely Illinois voters for the presidential race…
There’s been a surprising amount of conjecture coming our way lately about the possibility of Mitt Romney inching closer to Barack Obama in Illinois. We’ve not paid much attention to that conjecture until it started to be uttered in some national circles and a handful of reporters we respect called to ask if there was anything to it.
For those of you uninitiated in the Illinois political scene — outside of following the hijinks of our politicians in Popular Prison Monthly — Chicago and Suburban Cook County each account for about 20% of the vote in the Land of Lincoln. No matter how well Romney does in the five suburban “collar counties” or downstate (the rest of Illinois outside of Chicago, Suburban Cook & the Collars), the huge hunk of burning love that his home base provides the president simply cannot be toppled. Some of our projections include turnout scenarios that put Romney as close as 10 points from the lead, but there is no way that Chicagoland is going to abandon its Favorite Son.
* Down in the polls and apparently fed up with being belittled, Jason Plummer’s campaign first resorted to attacking Bill Enyart’s son and has now moved on to attacking Enyart’s wife in a press release that’s literally chock full of glaring mistakes.
While seniors and working families in Southern Illinois are left in limbo about the future of the pensions they earned, millionaire trial lawyer Bill Enyart and his family continue to enrich themselves on the taxpayer’s dime.
Enyart, who served as a political advisor to convicted felon Rod Blagojevich and Governor Quinn, and his wife Annette currently collect three taxpayer-funded pensions that pay more than $156,000 each year. With his household in line to receive at least four more taxpayer-funded pensions, how much more will Enyart collect off the backs of the taxpayers?
If elected, the Enyarts would add an eighth pension to their collection. This begs the question: Is he running to enrich himself or the lives of Southern Illinois families?
Much of Illinois’ dire financial situation is due to pension abuse, and Enyart’s insider dealings show how Illinois’ pension system has been corrupted. Two of the pensions that he collects come from positions that lasted a total of 14 and 19 months, respectively.
Again, Enyart is not collecting those pensions. Plummer’s own research shows that Enyart’s wife is collecting those monthly payouts.
Argue what you want about whether or not Enyart’s wife should be receiving those two pensions. The monthly payouts do look a bit excessive for the time employed, even if they are small.
To sum up: Plummer’s research shows three pensions for Enyart’s wife (one big, two small), but Plummer’s press release claims the couple is collecting seven pensions and that Enyart himself is collecting two, when Enyart is actually not collecting any.
Also, to say that Enyart was a Blagojevich “political adviser” is a huge stretch.
We’ll see soon enough how the southern Illinois media covers this, but this is a crock.
Bill Enyart, the Democratic nominee for the 12th U.S. House District seat, on Tuesday lashed out at GOP nominee Jason Plummer for claiming that Enyart and his wife. retired St. Clair County Judge Annette Eckert, were unethically taking advantage of state-funded pensions.
“I say this first as a father and a husband, for Mr. Plummer to attack my wife’s career of service is unconscionable because nothing matters to me more than my family,” Enyart said in a written statement.
Sandoval stood on a chair and attempted to shout his disdain for Republicans during a forum Saturday. The crowd drowned him out by chanting the Spanish word for “respect,” and event organizers and a police officer herded him out of the church hall where the event was held.
“The Republicans are not with our people,” Sandoval is heard saying in Spanish as he walks out of the building.
Sandoval is a supporter of Kathleen Willis, the Democratic candidate against veteran Republican state Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano of Elmwood Park in the 77th District race. Willis’ campaign has received heavy support from Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) as well as $5,000 from Sandoval on Oct. 15, state records show. Sandoval’s Senate district includes Madigan’s district. […]
Sandoval offered no apologies, saying Saviano and his supporters are racists who had made “a farce of democracy,” allegedly co-opting the community group that organized the forum.
Sandoval doesn’t represent the district, but he has very close ties to Speaker Madigan.
* The Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC has a new ad thwacking Democrat Brad Schneider. The PAC says it’s spending $900,000 on the spot. Have a look…
You work SO hard for it. And it’s never enough.
But Brad Schneider supports an extreme tax hike on the middle class…
Hurting families who can least afford it.
And while politician Brad Schneider would force you to pay more, he won’t come clean about what he pays.
He’s refusing to release his tax returns.
Brad Schneider: Hiding his taxes, while trying to raise yours.
The worst kind of politician.
Congressional Leadership Fund is responsible for the content of this advertising.
* Schneider’s business experience is a major aspect of other TV attack ads. Some of his former colleagues tried to help set the record straight…
The Schneider campaign was unwilling to give Patch much specific financial information about the candidate’s business success. It would only say he took over the Davis Dann Insurance Company in 1997 and turned it into a multimillion dollar business by the time he sold his interest in 2003, according to McCabe.
People familiar with Schneider’s work at Davis Dann also speak of his managerial skill. Marv Rotstein, now a senior managing director at Mesirow, tells how his former colleague came into the company knowing little about the life insurance business and made it a success. […]
After Schneider sold his interest in Davis and Dann, he joined the strategic services department of Blackman Kallick returning to his business roots of helping primarily family held businesses transition from one generation to the next or move to a management model which was not completely family based.
“He could really bring people together and pull ideas out of them,” Barry Cain, who recruited Schneider into Blackman Kallick, said. “He had a classic head for business. He really helped grow this area (of the company).”
Working as a team, Cain and Schneider were responsible for bringing between $800,000 and $1 million of revenue into Blackman Kallick annually in the six-year period Schneider worked there.
However, Schneider’s refusal to release his tax returns gives the Republicans an opening to demand to know what he’s hiding. It’s a totally expected part of the way the game is played nowadays.
Chicago’s homicide count has seen a general decline over the years. There were more than 900 murders a year in the early 1990s, and the city saw 601 murders in 2003.
It fell sharply to 453 in 2004 and has remained below 500 ever since with the exception of one year — 2008. There were 459 in 2009, 436 in 2010 and 435 in 2011.
This year threatens to be more than a minor spike in the statistics, though. The city got 2012 off to a bloody start with a 66 percent rise in homicides during the first three months of the year compared with the same time period in 2011.
* The Chicago Sun-Times published a list today of four candidates to replace former US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. But one name wasn’t mentioned…
former Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins, who spearheaded Operation Safe Road, which led to charges against Ryan — one of the most significant investigations in the history of the office.
Collins made big news when he spearheaded a fizzled Statehouse campaign reform effort. He was good at making allegations, but not so good when it came to actually getting something done.
I didn’t much care for the guy during his Springfield days. To me, it seemed like Collins believed it was self-evident that he was doing God’s work and that everybody should just fall in line. Sorry, but nobody should be exempt from making their their case when they push major legislation. Including reformers. But I did consistently write back then that he’d been a solid prosecutor, so I’m just a little bit surprised that he didn’t make the cut.
…Adding… From a commenter…
I’m surprised Mr. Collins didn’t make the final four as well, but if what you say is true about his attitude in Springfield and what I’ve heard from people who dealt with him while in his former government capacity, the US Attorney should not be a crusader with tunnel vision. A prosecutor’s job is not just to go all out, damn the torpedoes against anyone who comes across their radar. In fact, they have an ethical obligation not to pursue charges where they are not warranted and to treat defendants fairly. Perhaps tempering prosecutorial zeal with reasoned wisdom is something they are looking at, which in my opinion is always a good thing.
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is taking no chances.
Despite solid Democratic majorities in both houses of the General Assembly and President Barack Obama back on top of the ticket, campaign accounts that Madigan controls have raised and spent more than $6.5 million on the Nov. 6 election just in the last seven months.
That’s 50 percent more than the $4.3 million Madigan’s accounts collected and shelled out during the same period two years ago, a landslide year for Republicans nationally and one in which Democrats lost six seats in the House.
In all, 14 political funds controlled by or linked to the state’s two parties and its four legislative leaders have rung up $17 million in campaign expenses since the March 20 primary election, according to an Associated Press analysis of data provided by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. That’s a 53 percent increase from 2010.
A southern Illinois resident filed a voter fraud complaint against Republican Jason Plummer over questions about where the Metro East congressional candidate really lives and where he should legally vote.
It appears the complaint will go nowhere. St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, a Democrat, said: “I am taking no action at this time. The criminal justice process shouldn’t be used to influence an imminent election, absent a threat to public safety.”
Enyart got his press pop, but there’s no need to get the coppers involved during the last week of an election.
An Iraq war veteran claims Republican 12th Congressional District candidate Jason Plummer is guilty of voter fraud and says he intends to file charges with the state’s attorney’s office.
Will Attig, a retired sergeant of the U.S. Army who completed two tours of duty in Iraq, accused Plummer on Monday of claiming a tax break on a permanent residence in Edwardsville but voted in the March primary listing a residence in Fairview Heights. Attig of De Soto said he is filing the charge with the Jackson County state’s attorney’s office in Murphysboro. State’s Attorney Michael Wepsiec could not be reached for comment by deadline Monday to confirm whether or not he had received the complaint.
“These claims are completely without merit. (Plummer) wanted this to be a campaign about issues, but since that isn’t possible with Enyart’s Blagojevich-style character assassination, (Enyart) can explain how his 26-year-old law school student son owns two homes, including a vacation house in New Mexico, the fact that his family collects at least seven taxpayer-funded pension, and how he still has yet to meet with the O’Fallon Police Department regarding his assault of a sitting female judge,” Detmers said.
Jason Plummer is actually attacking the apparently well-off son of his financially well-off political opponent? Are you kidding me?
* The naïveté of the Peoria Journal Star’s editorial bashing the constitutional amendment requiring a three-fifths vote kinda overwhelms me…
Arguably only a legislator with a political death wish would sponsor legislation boosting retirement benefits now.
Actually, legislators sponsored pension boosts just last session.
* Look, the proposal is what it is: A bipartisan face-saving gesture from a General Assembly that couldn’t figure out what to do about pensions.
But unless it’s repealed, a constitutional amendment is with us forever. In years to come, when the pension furor has died down, the amendment would still be on the books.
* And, yes, it’s true that almost all pension sweeteners were approved by more than three-fifths majorities. But a constitutional requirement for a super-majority almost always means that legislation is given a closer look by members. Its status is elevated by the Constitution.
The proposal probably won’t accomplish much at all in the near future. But it could very well be a flashing caution light for future generations when they take up pension issues.
Fourth, philosophically speaking, it’s always wise to be wary of governing by supermajority, as it empowers the minority. Some may be more sympathetic to that on this specific issue, but this is a precedent Illinoisans should not want to take root.
Plenty of proposals have surfaced over the years to require three-fifths majorities for tax hikes, which would make them all but impossible unless we get another Republican governor who wants a tax hike and has the ability to accomplish his goal (see Jim Edgar and the permanent extension of the temporary income tax hike for our only example).
* Pretty much every newspaper editorial board in the state has railed against this proposal. So, we’ll see just how influential they are come election day. If this thing is approved, without any groups spending any real money promoting it, then editorial boards might as well hang it up.