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About today’s endorsements

Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014

* From today’s Tribune endorsements

Republican state Rep. Sandra Pihos of Glen Ellyn says business costs are too high in Illinois — yet she voted against a work comp bill that has helped to curb those costs. She says public employee pensions have to be fixed — but she voted against the comprehensive pension reform bill that was signed into law. Surprise, surprise, she’s received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from public employee unions. You can’t count on Pihos to make the tough decisions needed to build a strong Illinois economy. Enough. Attorney Peter Breen of Lombard knows that Republicans have to lead on this. As a Lombard Village Board member, Breen has pushed to keep taxes and spending low. We’re confident he would protect taxpayers in Springfield. We have no confidence in Pihos. Breen is endorsed.

A few points.

First, almost all House Republicans voted as a bloc against the workers’ compensation reform bill.

Second, Bruce Rauner has dismissed that workers’ comp bill as weak and ineffective. Rauner also strongly opposed the pension reform bill. So, keep an eye on the Tribune’s endorsement in the governor’s race to see how those two issues play into the paper’s decision.

* And, third, do you notice anything missing? How about what Peter Breen does for a living? Breen is the former executive director and current Vice President and Senior Counsel for the Thomas More Society. The group is staunchly pro-life and has worked hard to stop gay marriage in Illinois. From his Thomas More Society bio

Peter Breen has appeared in state and federal courts in Illinois and across the country in defense of life, marriage, and religious liberty. Peter is regularly sought out by the television, radio, and print media as an expert legal analyst and in connection with the Thomas More Society’s lawsuits. Prior to his recent promotion, Peter served as the Society’s Executive Director & Legal Counsel, directing its day-to-day operations. During his five-year tenure as Executive Director, the Society grew substantially, successfully taking on numerous lawsuits of national importance, setting fundraising records, and retiring all of its long-term debt.

You’d think the guy’s day job would be relevant here.

Breen is also being backed to the hilt by Dan Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC.

…Adding… Like Rep. Pihos, Democratic House candidate Will Guzzardi is receiving big bucks from public employee unions. Actually, he’s getting tons more money than she is.

And like Pihos, Guzzardi opposes pension reform.

Yet on the very same page, the Trib endorses Guzzardi over Rep. Toni Berrios, who voted for pension reform

Will Guzzardi lost the Democratic primary in 2012 to state Rep. Toni Berrios by just 125 votes. Guzzardi is trying again to defeat the daughter of Joe Berrios, the Cook County assessor and Democratic Party chairman who loves to install family members in government jobs. Toni Berrios is a loyal soldier for House Speaker Michael Madigan. Though we disagree with his position on pension reform and some other issues, his election would bring some much-needed independence to the House. “The monolithic structures of power in Springfield aren’t doing any good for anyone,” he says. Voters who are fed up with patronage and cronyism should turn out for Guzzardi. He is endorsed.

* But Mother Tribune is OK with “patronage and cronyism” in another House Democratic primary

Chicago Ald. Deb Mell held this House seat before she was appointed to succeed her father, former Ald. Dick Mell, in the City Council. The Northwest Side district is now represented by Dick Mell’s former aide Jaime Andrade Jr. We were prepared to work up another lather about insider appointments and such but … it turns out Andrade is pretty gutsy. He took a tough vote in favor of pension reform in December and, for that, the state’s biggest employee union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, wants to punish him. AFSCME is bankrolling Nancy Schiavone, an attorney who ran for alderman in 2011. There are other choices. Aaron Goldstein is a sharp, ambitious attorney who served on Rod Blagojevich’s legal defense team. Wendy Jo Harmston is a consultant who started a dog-sitting business. Mark Pasieka also is on the ballot. But Andrade knows and serves his community and understands this state still faces a financial crisis. Andrade is endorsed.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    The St Thomas More Society represents Catholic values, is there anything wrong with that Miller or are you bigoted against anyone that decides to follow Catholic values.

  2. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    ” She says public employee pensions have to be fixed — but she voted against the comprehensive pension reform bill that was signed into law.

    They failed to mention that the new pension law is currently in the courts, and there is a good chance it will be overturned as unconstitutional. I guess the legality of a bill should not be considered when casting a vote. Additionally, some of the GOP voted against the bill because they thought it didn’t save enough money. Geeez.

  3. - Obamas Puppy - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    The other endorsement of Guzzardi is border line schizo. I thought formula for Trib endorse was a)repeal tax increase b)more pension reform c)get no pub employee union $ - I’m confused.

  4. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    Anon, don’t be such a victim. All I did was point out what he does for a living and linked to his bio and said his activism ought to be relevant.

    Are you ashamed of what he does?

  5. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    Anon - I’ve been reading some of Pope Francis’ interviews and am not at all certain he’d agree with your characterization. Regardless, the point is whether those positions should be disclosed to the Tribune’s readers when urging them to cast a vote for the guy.

  6. - justsayin' - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    The Thomas More Society is also connected to CatholicVote - which is renting space to Rauner’s term limits group. Why does a “catholic” group rent space to a politician when he represents social views counter to their mission and why is Rauner renting from CatholicVote? He could rent from anyone. CatholicVote’s president Brian Burch is on the board of Dan Proft’s Illinois Opportunity Project and routinely promotes John Tillman, Dan Proft, and Bob Costello (former treasurer of the term limits PAC) at its events.

  7. - Bill White - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    One would think that all this media spending would be a terrific Keynesian stimulus to the local economy.

  8. - Big Muddy - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    Proft is clearly the head of the House Slytherin movement. Proft claims to be a Constitutional expert but courts all across this great nation are striking down SSM bans including the SCOTUS striking down DOMA. The fact that he uses the word liberty in his PAC name is comical. Liberty for those that are “pure” like him only and not for anyone else.

  9. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:30 am:


    Red Bull and Dorito sales are through the roof!

  10. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    Does the Trib have as much circulation as The Reader in those North Side districts?

  11. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    The Trib and Andy Shaw share this fantasy that reformers and GOP are gonna hook-up and beat back the Democratic Party and economic populism (Trib’s mortal enemy).

    So, the Trib throws endorsements to progressive reformers in Dem primaries. But in their heart they still want to shill for rich people.

  12. - circularfiringsquad - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    The Tribbies take another step toward extinction with this round of endorsements. Whack jobs Ives and Breen; backing Guzzardi despite the sex offender issue all point how the process is of no real value.
    They were better when they were trying to hustle state cash for the Cubs. Now just a set of very dizzy choices

  13. - Ggal - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Thanks for heads up on Peter Breen Rich, I thought that name was familiar but couldn’t place it. I failed to read his Trib endorsement, as I was too angry at the Jeanne Ives endorsement to read any further.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    What was the old adage?

    “Never get into a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel”?

    Funny thing about ink, it stains the hands of those using it.

    When I read the Trib nowadays, I pretend they are in competition with The Onion more than the Sun-Times, but that’s me I guess…

  15. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    Guzzardi would do a better job than Berrios.

    They got that one right, imho.

  16. - A guy... - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    The GOP ought to own Worker’s Comp as an issue. Tom Cross made a cynical and critical mistake turning it into a caucus vote. The GOP supported it in the Senate. They were promising a perfect bill instead of a good start. And it has been a good start, ask any business owner who’s seen rates go down instead of up. The GOP has been so unclear on general economic policy, nobody knows what they stand for and if they “think” they do, they don’t believe them. Saber rattling in the minority is just foolish. The GOP looked especially idiotic on that particular vote.

  17. - seanoge - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    Did Rich Miller point out that Pihos is a teacher for a living? Is there an agenda Miller?

  18. - seanoge - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Yes Miller is a little sensitive when he is called out

  19. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    It’s a little too much to expect reason and consistency from Big Brain Bruce and the other Tribbies in The Tower.

    Jeff at the Goat provides a strong pour for lunch.

  20. - Commander Norton - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    So let me get this straight. Rep. Berrios is a Madigan Duckling who has ties to a corrupt Chicago power broker and voted for pension reform. She’s a crony who needs to be thrown out. Rep. Andrade is a Madigan Duckling who has ties to a corrupt Chicago power broker and voted for pension reform. He’s “gutsy.” The Sun Times had the right idea about getting out of the endorsement game - except that they left the road wide open for this clown car.

  21. - Walker - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    A Guy: === The [House] GOP looked especially idiotic on that particular vote. ==

    Couldn’t agree more. They refused to take half a loaf on one of their key platform issues, and so voted against any reform.

    It’s a strange GOP jiu jitsu, hurt themselves rather than agree to any movement toward their position by the Dems.

    The result is that most Conservative achievements in Illinois are actually driven by the House Speaker — which almost no one can get their minds completely around.

    Out-of-staters are completely clueless about this reality of Illinois politics — as are those who listen to out-of-state right-wing messengers.

    (Thinking of Rauner’s campaign team, Illinois Review, and IPI.)

  22. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    ===looked especially idiotic on that particular vote===

    Not to the Med Society.

  23. - Goya - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    The Guzzardi endorsement is weird. They’re basically saying don’t vote for Toni Berrios solely because she is the daughter of Joe Berrios. While that is no doubt their true motivation, couldn’t they at least attempt to come up with a positive reason to support Guzzardi

  24. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Carl - so are you saying the Tribune shouldn’t endorse “progressive reformers”? That people shouldn’t vote for “progressive reformers” over the corrupt-but-more-electable likes of the Barrios clan? Or just saying the Tribune is being hypocritical (though not following why they wouldn’t still prefer the “progressive reformers” in the Democratic field even if you took general election politics out of it)?

  25. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    === ===looked especially idiotic on that particular vote===

    Not to the Med Society.===

    Here endeth the Lesson.

    It’s the backstory of the “Why”, not the overt vote that tells the tale.

  26. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    I think Tribune endorsements should be seen as what they are, part of a larger ideological agenda.

    And the Trib’s larger ideological agenda is to implement an economic system that works well for capital and rich people and the rest of us have to fit us into their system.

  27. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    “Andrade is pretty gutsy. He took a tough vote in favor of pension reform”

    So we can throw out his longtime association with the corrupt Mell/Blago machine and base an endorsement on a single vote. No wonder Illinois is in the mess its it. You can be as corrupt as is possible, as long as you vote right.

  28. - Walker - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    Breen is a major political player in Illinois. Not relevant to an endorsement?

    Rich is right.

  29. - A guy... - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    Here beginneth the lesson. The Med Society? Really? I guess IRMA and IMA and every last Chamber of Commerce and the State Chamber pale in comparison to the Med Society. Not to mention every last self, small and large employer in the State. Even with that reform, we’ve got a long ways to go and you gotta start somewhere. I am an employer. I appreciate it. 4 putt was a goof on that one. Like someone said above, the legacy of Mike Madigan leading the charge on Pension Reform and Worker’s Comp Reform will make our cowardice party look foolish in history. We need more WC reform. I’ll cry less for the Med Society once we get it. I just read the headline that all the doctors went broke- oops no I didn’t. But I read daily about businesses dying or leaving. Gimme a break man.

  30. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    === So we can throw out his longtime association with the corrupt Mell/Blago machine and base an endorsement on a single vote. No wonder Illinois is in the mess its it. You can be as corrupt as is possible, as long as you vote right. ===


    Wouldn’t the unions be backing Andrade is he voted against the pension reform bill?

  31. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    The Democrat Party establishment whines when Toni Berrios critics connect her with her father.

    But when Chicago Tonight did a story on the race, Toni Berrios wouldn’t even grant an interview. Joe Berrios spoke on her behalf.

    So, she’s in her mid to late 30s and has been a state rep for a decade and officially lives with her father.

    When faced with an interview by Chicago Tonight, Rep. Berrios has her father do the talking.

    Of the money that gets raised for Rep. Berrios, what percentage comes from MAB making the phone calls and how much comes from JB, MJM and their reps making the phone calls?

    If Joe Berrios wants MAB to be seen as independent he might want to back off and let her fight her own fights.

    In the Chicago Tonight interview Joe Berrios was talking about the relationships he had and the favors he was going to call in. He didn’t say…

    “The Berrios family has a long history in these communities. Both Rep. Berrios and I, as well as other members of our family, have helped various people through the years. Rep. Berrios has been a reliable ally of various interest groups that are part of the Democratic Party coalition. Rep. Berrios and I will be tapping into that good will and history of past service to make sure Rep. Berrios has the support necessary to win.”

    But Joe Berrios can’t give that speech. The number of people who have loyalties to MAB separate from Joe Berrios is small. Apparently, it’s so small, Joe Berrios doesn’t even consider them part of the coalition to re-elect Rep. Berrios.

    Also, I’ve knocked on doors in the 31st Ward for Guzzardi.

    There are a bunch of people who have strong feelings against Joe Berrios and his family. When people make fairly normal requests of the Berrios family, Joe Berrios tends to ignore the requests unless they come from someone with clout.

    So, there are a bunch of people who are looking forward to giving Joe Berrios a comeuppance.

  32. - Goya - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    Let’s be real, the Tribune couldn’t endorse white candidates over Latinos in both the 39th & 40th districts, so they decided that between the 2, the one they go after is the one whose father is Joe Berrios

  33. - Goya - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:20 pm:


  34. - Goya - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    It’s fine to connect Toni Berrios to her father - but if you’re going to criticize her for who was present when she was conceived, don’t whine when Guzzardi gets called out for opposing sex offender registration in the past. If background is fair game, then background is fair game

  35. - DuPage - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    Speaking of Dan Proft, I got a robo-call/live “town hall” meeting singing the praises of Jeanne Ives. He implied she was going to save the public retirees pensions, etc.. Just the opposite of my impression of what she told me in person a few months ago. I was asking about ways to modify “the ramp” on the public pension systems. I did not get a chance to finish my question. As soon as she heard “public pensions” she shot from the hip with a rant about teachers, public schools, state retirees, and she would work to force all of them into 401Ks. I was going to tell her she was looking at one, but I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

  36. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    –And the Trib’s larger ideological agenda is to implement an economic system that works well for capital and rich people and the rest of us have to fit us into their system.–

    The Trib’s trolling for a buyer. Not exactly flying off the shelf.

  37. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    === I guess IRMA and IMA and every last Chamber of Commerce and the State Chamber pale in comparison to the Med Society.===

    Nope. In that specific instance on that bill, they held sway.

    === I’ll cry less for the Med Society once we get it. I just read the headline that all the doctors went broke- oops no I didn’t. But I read daily about businesses dying or leaving. Gimme a break man.===

    I think the “businesses leaving” cry has been discussed here often, so the point seems to be; the Med Society won, that is the lesson to the sideshow of the issues needing to be addressed. It’s the backstory as to why those you cited lost out(?)

    You don’t have to learn the lessons, but the lessons exist all the same.

  38. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    === But when Chicago Tonight did a story on the race, Toni Berrios wouldn’t even grant an interview. Joe Berrios spoke on her behalf. ===

    Is this true? If so, that is ridiculous.

    If she doesn’t speak for herself then she probably doesn’t vote for herself, either.

  39. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:32 pm:

    ===Is this true?===

    HDem candidates are almost always strongly discouraged from speaking to the media.

  40. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    Thanks for clarifying, Rich.

  41. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    The Tribune is still doing political endorsements?

    Where are they printed?

    Next to the Studebaker ads?

  42. - Rod - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    I can say this much about Rep. Toni Berrios she met for 45 minutes with three disabled community members about funding issues last session. Toni was on the Long Term Care Subcommittee.

    There are some members of the House that will not even meet with poor disabled people living on SSI about issues that are important to them and necessary for their very survival. That also doesn’t mean that Guzzardi would not have met with the same constituents if he were elected.

    But I don’t agree that Rep. Toni Berrios has her doors locked to the non-insiders.

  43. - belmont cragin - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    Rep Berrios read off a sheet at a neighborhood event, “Hello, my name is Toni Berrios….” from start to finish. Goya the point isn’t who was present at conception, but who is present with each and every vote today. Guzzardi wrote a college paper- Toni reads her father’s prepared statement. Big difference.

  44. - Under Influenced - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 3:15 pm:

    Wait, Ives….seriously??


  45. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    === Guzzardi wrote a college paper- Toni reads her father’s prepared statement. Big difference. ===

    Wow… her dad’s prepared statement? Do you have proof of that? If not, that’s a pretty misogynistic comment. Also, I don’t understand your point about Guzzardi writing a college paper. Its not the forum, but the content that what has drawn criticism. You have to admit that the idea of sex offender registration constituting double jeopardy is a pretty darn radical idea.

  46. - Anon - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    If Andrade earned the Trib endorsement by supporting the pension bill, then the Trib should endorse Brady, the only GOP gubernatorial candidate who supported it. Odds are the endorsement will go to someone who opposes the pension.bill.

  47. - DJ - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 5:29 pm:

    Does it matter from a Dem point of view? Once the new house member gets to Springfield they will have to get in line and me a loyal solider in Madigain’s army. Running against Madigan may get some votes, but once you get down there you will have to play nice or you will never get anything done.

  48. - Citizen Carl - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 9:40 pm:

    One has anyone actually read Guzzardi’s college paper that you reference in your baseless attacks.

    Two, these kind of outlandish attacks are exactly why I am switching my vote from Berrios to Guzzardi this election.

    If she cannot win on the issues she does not deserve to represent us.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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        * Selected photos from Jacksonville vs. Glenwood soccer
        * Trees cleared to show 1856 rail berm
        * No injuries, 13 arrests after weekend party bus crash
        * Shimkus, Bost discuss coal
        * Find your candidates here
        * Clerk challenger makes accusations about bid-rigging scheme
        * Kim kicks off Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra season tonight

        * Wonder Lake man ID'd in Bull Valley crash
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        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
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        * We’re grayer.
        * Glen Brown. Colorado Supreme Court rules against pension rights. It’s not Illinois.
        * Robling: Time to Defeat Dick Durbin
        * Police Admit to Roving Gangs Randomly Beating People in Champaign Urbana
        * Cook County Voting Machine Miscasts Candidate's Vote
        * Medicaid Expansion Increases ER Visits
        * Morning Minute: Tips to make your home more energy efficient this fall
        * Ted Cruz To Headline Chicago Fundraiser For 43rd Ward Republicans
        * Waukegan Teachers Strike Enters 10th Day
        * Quinn, Rauner To Debate Tonight In Chicago

        * What They’re Saying About Pat Quinn
        * What They’re Saying About Bruce Rauner
        * Illinois EPA Registration of Smaller Sources Program Hits Program Landmark - 3,000 Illinois Small Businesses Benefit from Permit Streamlining
        * Rauner Sweeping Endorsements Across Illinois
        * Belleville News-Democrat Endorses Rauner

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