LIVE session coverage...
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
A head on the wall

Monday, Mar 3, 2014

* I’ve been telling subscribers about these developments for weeks

The future of pension politics in Chicago is playing out in an elongated statehouse district that runs from the Gold Coast to South Chicago, home to some of the richest and poorest folks in the city.

Here, first-term Rep. Christian Mitchell, a fast-rising, 27-year-old Democrat who voted for the statewide pension overhaul last year, is facing a tougher-than-expected primary challenge. Community organizer Jhatayn “Jay” Travis is backed to the hilt by the Chicago Teachers Union, which fears the Legislature will reduce its members’ retirement benefits so that the Emanuel administration won’t have to make a required $696 million pension contribution this year, more than triple last year’s payment.

Teachers unions at the city, state and national level are mobilizing scores of volunteers and have secured more than $300,000 to potentially spend on behalf of Ms. Travis’ campaign, even if winning appears to be a long shot. Meanwhile, on the Northwest Side, the union is mounting a less costly bid to unseat Rep. Maria “Toni” Berrios, daughter of Cook County Assessor and Cook County Democratic Party Chairman Joseph Berrios.

The effort signals a bold shift in strategy for the CTU, which for years has doled out donations in a mostly even-handed fashion. Now, the union is targeting Democratic incumbents perceived to be vulnerable in the March 18 primary. The union’s message: CTU support should not be taken for granted.

The idea is to put a big trophy head on the wall and (even if they don’t win) scare other Chicago legislators out of voting for Chicago pension reform.

The CTU’s independent expenditure PAC broke the seal on campaign contributions this past Friday. So now Mitchell can receive lots more contributions from Speaker Madigan’s operation.

And, by the way, Will Guzzardi has greatly ramped up his fundraising from unions to challenge Rep. Berrios. Guzzardi reported raising close to a hundred grand the other day, mostly from unions.

* Meanwhile, the Chicago Reader has been whacking away at Rep. Mitchell for weeks. The latest

Born and raised in Chicago—and a graduate of Kenwood High—Travis is a formidable candidate largely because of her years as executive director of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization. Among other things, she negotiated a community benefits agreement with the city’s Olympics backers.

In this case, Travis and KOCO were early and impassioned fighters against school closings and for an elected school board.

On October 10, as Travis was gathering signatures for her nominating petitions, Mitchell officially signed on as cosponsor to the elected school board proposal.

So now it has three sponsors but remains lodged in the rules committee. At this rate, it may be a law by the next century.

The candidates have different explanations for why Mitchell changed his position on an elected school board.

Travis says—well, you can imagine what she says. “It was quite interesting when, on the week I circulated petitions, Representative Mitchell signed on as a sponsor,” she says. “I think he signed on because he wanted to be able to send out that flyer, even if it’s misleading.”

Not so, says Mitchell. He insists that Travis’s candidacy had nothing to do with his ongoing evolution on the school board. He says it’s just another coincidence that he’s signing on to the measure now that the heavy fighting with the mayor over the cuts and closings is over.

Mitchell says he was originally for a “hybrid board” with five mayoral appointees and four elected members. “What moved me toward a full elected school board is talking to constituents.”

* Not mentioned so far by the Reader is one of the wildest opposition research reports I’ve ever seen, which was leaked in January and alleges that Mitchell’s opponent was involved in a bizarre cult. Here are the documents…

* Executive Summary

* Full report

* The Travis campaign response at the time…

We are currently seeking legal council to address the libelous, scurrilous, erroneous, statements shared with me earlier. Jay Travis is not and has never been a member of a cult or a party to abuse of any kind. For the past twenty years, Jay Travis has been and remains a champion of her community.

We will make every effort to identify the source of this pathetic attempt to draw attention away from the real issues of this race; gutting pensions, closing schools, and being in lock step with those in direct opposition to the needs of the people of the 26th district. That is why Representative Mitchell wants to spread erroneous information about Kwanzaa organizations, because he knows he can not stand on his record.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


21 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    “A head on the wall” indeed.

    How do you measure “power”?

    Sometimes its by who, or what you DEFEAT, versus what you win and THAT is a greater measuring stick and a bigger tactic to get what you want.


  2. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    CTU’s targeting of Mitchell begs a question. Why him? His voting record is no different from many, many other Democrats. Indeed, 47 House Dems voted for SB1. I think the answer is this: They think Mitchell is vulnerable because he took a leadership position on marriage equality.


  3. - Gern Blanston - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    “Currently seeking legal council” — Travis says she stands for education, but she can’t even spell.


  4. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    ===Why him?===

    He’s in his first term and almost all first-termers are vulnerable. It takes a long time and a lot of work before voters “know” their legislators.


  5. - A guy... - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    Make an extra bag of popcorn. This one will be worth watching. A fool and their money part quickly. The IEA, IFT, CTU are going “all in” in a lot of places all of the sudden. They’re too late in some places and too early in others. I think we’re seeing what it looks like when kids experience their first “Carnie” games. Weird stuff Maynard.


  6. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    Man that oppo stuff is strange….


  7. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    Um, so we’re to believe the Quakers were bankrolling an abusive cult? Seems a wee bit counter-intuitive.


  8. - Not Rich - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    It is all just an exercise by the CTU: spring training sort of, before Ms. Lewis runs for Mayor against Rahmbo


  9. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    == It is all just an exercise by the CTU: spring training sort of, before Ms. Lewis runs for Mayor against Rahmbo ==

    Oh man, now that would be epic…


  10. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    OneMan - what you said. I’d buy ringside seats to that.


  11. - A guy... - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    Just can’t wait to see what the army that responds to Karen Lewis’ bugle looks like.


  12. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    –Just can’t wait to see what the army that responds to Karen Lewis’ bugle looks like.–

    Teachers?

    Or are you trying to communicate something else?

    Maybe your head wouldn’t hurt if you weren’t spinning so much.


  13. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:50 am:

    ===we’re to believe the Quakers were bankrolling an abusive cult?===

    Unwittingly. They pulled out. Lawsuit was filed over her dismissal.


  14. - Eve - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    –The idea is to put a big trophy head on the wall and (even if they don’t win) scare other Chicago legislators out of voting for Chicago pension reform.–

    Maybe. Though if CTU, IFT, AFT, and their $250k+ in an IE committee created specifically to take out a particular legislator can’t win, it could have the opposite effect. Why not vote with the Mayor and legislative leadership for Chicago pension reform if even CTU’s best efforts don’t succeed? Maybe depends on how close the total vote is.


  15. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    === $250k+ in an IE committee created specifically to take out a particular legislator can’t win, it could have the opposite effect===

    Only for those who don’t care at all about getting that kind of cash spent against them, which is nobody.


  16. - john - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    Roland - I don’t think the CTU made the decision based on the marriage vote. CTU was in favor of marriage, as was IEA and IFT. Besides, Jay Travis is in favor of marriage equality. I tend toward 47th ward’s theory.

    That being said, I think the Mitchell race is a sideshow. The race in the center ring is Berrios v. Guzzardi. All the public sector unions are in that race. And it seems to be shaping up as “progressives” and public sector unions against the Madigan and Berrios machines. A loss in this race for the machine sends waves through the House Democratic regulars….”you can’t always be protected.”


  17. - Smoggie - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    I thought Oswego Willy would find the Christian Mitchell race amusing.

    He correctly notes that the GOP has a history of going after the ones not considered pure and in doing so, take resources away from battles against Democrats.

    So Oswego Willy, here’s a race where people on the left are doing the same. You would think they would have learned from the GOP experience.

    Another note on that race —

    I live in that district. They are both dropping mail nearly every day. They’ve reached the point where, based on mail room activity that I see, they aren’t doing much other than filling the recycling bin.

    That being said, Christian’s has gone over a broad range of issues.

    Not shocking given her backing, every single piece that I’ve seen by Travis attacks Mitchell on the pension vote.

    When all your support comes from one special interest that’s going to happen, but I don’t see it as making for a particularly effective campaign.

    One last note — Mitchell has run with the strong backing of Toni Preckwinkle and Will Burns. My understanding is that they are strongly behind him again. Interesting choice to take on those two. I have to give them credit for going big.


  18. - Cassidy - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    The unions have gotten themselves all pumped up by sitting around a circle, talking only to each other, and getting themselves all worked up to show everyone that they can be tough.

    In the end after Rauner is Governor they will discover that the majority of voters have had it with them.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    - Smoggie -,

    Being a Republican, why do I want to comment on Democrats tearing each other apart on Purity?

    I am amused.

    I just went beyond that as a Republican and looked at the “why” and commented, not to the reasons that led to this.

    I am more interested in Berrios seat. That is hand to hand combat; apartment building and houses and every vote counting up to the polls closing.

    Ground Game special when it is all said and done.

    Do voters lie to Berrios and get rides to bite against her, or do Guzzardi “pluses” fall short again? Will there be “discussions” by precinct workers leading to law enforcement engagement?

    Berrios - Guzzardi is more watchable as a GOPer than that other Purity race to show political muscle. Hope they tear each other up and it bleeds in the Dem narrative.


  20. - Ahoy! - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    This seems like it could be a risky strategy for the unions, if they loose these races they show their own vulnerability and give legislators who are looking at pension reform more confidence. Of course if they win they scare people, if they loose, they show weakness.

    High risk, high reward?


  21. - Former Cult Member - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 5:13 pm:

    A number of us former members still live in the city, and those of your who think it’s too wild to believe, believe it. The cult is real, and still is in action. The Quakers didn’t know a thing, because they were seeing results and numbers, which is easy to do when you have an army of “volunteers” who have orders to follow a certain path. Travis is all the OR says and more. KOCO is a front for their activities and they are seeking more access and more “power” to further their agenda, and they don’t care who gets damaged in the process. Travis herself oversaw the punishment of a female member for reporting the sexual abuse she endured by male leadership, and she’ll lie through her teeth to make herself seem legit. This is coming from someone who was threatened by her and her cronies and who still is concerned about being seen in public denouncing her because of concerns of reprisals. You may delete this because it doesn’t fit the mold, but there is much more information available, if you are willing to look…


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - EXCLUSIVE: Paul Green's Chicago election analysis
* *** UPDATED x1 - AFL-CIO calls bill "Trojan Horse" *** Rauner cranks it up another notch
* Priorities, please
* The Senate Dems fully join the fight
* Rauner asks agencies for strike plans, impacts
* Caption contest!
* Question of the day
* Illinois switches marketing gears
* December's quotable
* Pot, meet kettle
* Sign of the times?
* Exelon backs off closure threats for now
* Credit Unions – Cooperative in structure, valued in service
* Having it both ways
* No surprise, Trib is fully on board
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* Rauner again demanding Senate side with him over Madigan
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* 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

          
        * Google Now iOS clone, Samsung roadmap, iPhone SMS bug & more – Pocketnow Daily
        * Lenovo launches first media casting device, calls it Lenovo Cast
        * Buying a computer and an Oculus Rift should cost “around $1500″
        * Pebble Time pre-order date announced as Kickstarter units start shipping
        * Google adds app deep linking to goo.gl short links
        * Minecraft Pocket Edition getting skins update, plus more features
        * How to recover data off of your microSD card: a valuable lesson in backups

        * Lenovo’s Upcoming 11.6-Inch Mobile Notebook With Intel Celeron N2840 Processor
        * Secure Your Home Or Office With Camnoopy’s WiFi-Enabled HD IP Camera
        * Micromax’s New Canvas Doodle 4 Quad-Core Android 5.0 Smartphone With 6.0-Inch HD Display
        * Sprint CEO: Unlimited Data Is Great but It May Not Be Here to Stay (Video)
        * The Wireframe Equalizer Desktop
        * Lenovo Cast For Sharing To TVs
        * Lenovo ThinkPad 10 2015 Introduced At TechWorld 2015

        * White Sox slip past Blue Jays in 10 innings
        * Robertson loses Donaldson matchup, gets win
        * Shark positions White Sox for timely win
        * White Sox 5, Blue Jays 3 (10 innings): Wacky win
        * White Sox, Orioles set for makeup doubleheader
        * White Sox slip past Blue Jays in 10 innings
        * MLB.TV unveils new Web-based media player

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


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

        Archives
        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


        * Rand Paul Visits Illinois..
        * Illinois Senate rejects Rauner’s priorities..
        * Work Comp Bill Stalls..
        * Senate rejects Rauner’s priorities, moves budget..
        * Illinois Senate rejects Rauner's priorities, ad.....
        * Why is Rauner dissing the Chicagoland Chamber o.....
        * Illinois Senate panel rejects 1 of Gov. Bruce R.....
        * Democrats shelve Rauner plan to privatize busin.....
        * Senate Democrats block Rauner's workers' compen.....
        * Rauner again demanding Senate side with him ove.....


        * Is rent out of reach? Study shows how 11 US cities stack up
        * Photo shows Chicago cops posing over black man with antlers
        * Gay conversion therapy ban clears Senate committee
        * House passes 'mini' capital projects plan
        * Man acquitted of animal cruelty for blowing pot smoke
        * Illinois school funding would increase in Democratic budget
        * Democrats tweak plan to separate Lincoln museum
        * Man acquitted of cruelty for smoking pot with chameleon
        * Medical examiner says food critic drowned during seizure
        * Illinois House passes measure to battle heroin abuse

        * Gay conversion therapy ban clears Illinois Senate committee
        * Changes made to Gov. Rauner's hiring-reform legislation
        * New version of Lincoln Presidential Museum bill surfaces
        * Heroin abuse bill passes Illinois House
        * Illinois Senate rejects Rauner's priorities, advances budget
        * Lawmakers come to solution on body cameras, police reform
        * Heroin abuse bill passes House
        * Illinois Senate panel rejects Rauner's workers compensation proposal
        * Legislature takes up Gov. Rauner's proposed reforms
        * Democrats start passing parts of state budget; Republicans say it's phony

        * Illinois Senate rejects Rauner's priorities, advances budget
        * Andrea Zopp makes Senate run official
        * Top 0.01% of households gain as income concentration rises
        * Expect more cost cuts at Tribune Publishing papers
        * Michigan's Snyder clashes with fellow Republicans on union pay


          * Ex-Bear Ray McDonald arrested for 2nd time in week
          * Owner: Dog stolen from West Loop apartment turned in at shelter
          * Environmentalists sue to stop Illiana Tollway
          * Art Thieme, longtime Chicago folk musician, dies
          * Chicago to borrow $674 million, but junk status adds millions to cost
          * Cops warn of masked man who tried to lure girl on West Side
          * 2nd kidnapping count filed in stolen baby case
          * Senate Democrats block Rauner's workers' compensation measure
          * Man who blew marijuana smoke in pet chameleon's mouth acquitted
          * School board delays vote on Uptown charter, OKs charter for closed campus


          * Avian flu outbreak takes poultry producers into uncharted territory
          * Grand Jury Indicts 6 Baltimore Officers In Freddie Gray's Death
          * Illinois moves to downgrade pot possession to a fine
          * FIFA officials arrested on charges of bribery and corruption
          * For Bears chairman, plenty to second guess in McDonald case
          * Lawyer: Suburban Chicago man to plead guilty in terror case
          * South Siders lobby for neighborhood promises in writing as Obama library takes shape
          * South Siders lobby for promises in writing as Obama library takes shape
          * Democrats introduce proposed $36.3 billion budget for 2016
          * Chicago Bears' Ray McDonald arrested in domestic violence case


          * Gay conversion therapy ban clears Illinois Senate committee
          * Changes made to Gov. Rauner's hiring-reform legislation
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Langfelder seeks diversity, but looks at 'interior' of appointees
          * Eugene Robinson: Stop logging our phone calls
          * George Will: The separation of campaign and state
          * Michael Gelatka: Video gambling part of Illinois' success story
          * New version of Lincoln Presidential Museum bill surfaces
          * Heroin abuse bill passes Illinois House
          * Illinois Senate rejects Rauner's priorities, advances budget
          * Lawmakers come to solution on body cameras, police reform


          * Salt Fork, SJ-O softball on solid ground
          * Teens for Tomorrow accepting applications
          * Moline Public Library collecting supplies for schools
          * Free BHC class offers assistance to adults with mental illness
          * River Action, BHC team up for invasive species removal
          * Area's best at state track and field meet
          * Boys' state track & field breakdown
          * Rantoul's Washington leaps into contention
          * Tigers edged by Plains
          * Area softball leaders (Week of May 25)


          * Blackhawks beat Ducks 5-2 to force Game 7 in West finals
          * AP Source: Pelicans interview Jeff Van Gundy
          * Images: Hawks force game seven with a 5-2 win over Ducks
          * Boys volleyball: Lake County roundup
          * Blackhawks force Game 7 with 5-2

          * Chicago Urban League loses CEO to U.S. Sen...
          * Rigell, Duckworth propse easing access to ...
          * FIFA's commercial partners urged to make t...
          * Congresswoman Duckworth Introduces Biparti...
          * LGBT veterans honored with monument in nat...
          * Orange County teacher Omar Currie could re...
          * N.J.'s rookie Republican learns about life...
          * Ted Cruz, charlatan
          * Bustos has problems with fast-track legisl...
          * U.S. bill proposed to require breast-feedi...

          * Iran accord alarms many liberals, too...
          * Senators Seek To Expand Access To Treatmen......
          * Letter: Overinflation...

          * San Bernardino County gets $14 million fro......
          * Senator Mark Kirk Talks Trade Deal...
          * Senator Mark Kirk explains the local benef......
          * Mark Kirk Makes me Sick...

          * All Private parking when out in public?
          * Music At Mass Transit
          * #TBT Foster Avenue Beach 70 Years Ago
          * "American Revolutionary" Doc At The Bezazian On Saturday
          * The [Friday] Papers
          * Brookins' Ex-Aide Says Chicago Alderman Was Feds' 'Initial Target'
          * Readin' Writin' and Larceny
          * Fantasy Fix: Value Among The Viagra Set
          * Brookins' Ex-Aide Says Chicago Alderman Was Feds' 'Initial Target' (UPDATED)
          * Report Outlines 'Lapses in Care' At IDOC Facilities


          * State Announces Business Resource Event Coming to Aurora - ‘Make a Connection’ networking and resource program promotes economic growth of small and diverse businesses
          * Gulf War Veteran Reports for Duty as IDVA Women Vets Coordinator, Vet Business Champion
          * Illinois EPA Pollution Prevention Interns begin Twelve Week Program at Illinois Facilities - Students find cost-effective approaches for reducing environmental impacts
          * Vietnam Veteran Confirmed as IDVA Assistant Director
          * The Illinois Department of Public Health Urges Illinoisans to Take Precautions Against West Nile Virus - Illinois Department of Public Health offers tips for avoiding mosquito bites




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