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Friday, Mar 21, 2014

* Commenter Yellow Dog Democrat took a break for a while, but he has reappeared on the blog with a vengeance. From earlier this week

The GOP is a failed brand, so weak that Rauner was able to stage a hostile takeover, which the unions almost trumped with a hostile takeover of their own

YDD also noted that Rauner is no longer branding himself as a “businessman” but as a “community leader.”

* And YDD posted this gem yesterday, after Bruce Rauner’s campaign manager Chip Englander announced opposition to Speaker Madigan’s millionaire tax surcharge

Yellow Dog Democrat responds to Bruce Rauner campaign:

“Bruce Rauner thinks the voters ought to get to decide whether or not gay couples can marry, but not whether or not millionaires ought to pay their fair share to fund schools.”

“Bruce Rauner believes every option ought to be on the table, including taxing the retirements of middle class seniors, but not asking millionaires to pay a little bit more.”

Welcome to the big leagues, Chip.

* Those two comments by YDD are infinitely better than any spin we’ve ever seen out of the Quinn campaign, which goofed up badly yesterday. Remember the Simpon’s video which attacked Rauner? It claimed that the video was “Courtesty of 20th Century Fox,” but the network gave no such approval

Within an hour Thursday afternoon of the Chicago Sun-Times inquiring with Fox Broadcasting whether Quinn’s campaign had sought permission to use the image and voice of “Mr. Burns,” the link to the online ad went dark, replaced by this statement: “This video contains content from Fox, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”

A Fox spokesman told the Sun-Times by email that the company does not allow campaigns, like Quinn’s, to use characters, voices or footage from the long-running animated series, even though the online world legally remains the Wild West when it comes to copyright protection.

“Fox doesn’t authorize use of Simpsons imagery in any political campaign,” Fox spokesman Scott Grogin said.

Rauner’s campaign pounced on the Quinn campaign snafu.

“Looks like Pat Quinn is running his campaign as poorly as he’s running the state,” Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf told the Sun-Times. “At least this mistake didn’t cost taxpayers money.”

…Adding… Do you think maybe YDD can outspin the Quinnsters on this Rauner press release? My money is on our guy…

At the same time Illinois’ top Democrats announced a plan to raise taxes on small businesses and family farms, the Illinois Department of Employment Security announced another month of dismal jobs numbers and a horrible unemployment rate.

IDES announced the unemployment rate for February remained unchanged at 8.7%. That’s by far the worst unemployment rate in the Midwest and second worst in the entire nation.

“Pat Quinn’s policies have led to fewer jobs and lower incomes. He is failing Illinois,” said Bruce Rauner. “He’s run out of new ideas and the working people of Illinois are running out of time. We need a new direction.”

How many family farmers make more than a million bucks a year?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - circularfiringsquad - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    Good to see the undermanned Sun Times help out the Mitt Rauner campaign with calls to FOX. We are guessing they are trying to get Mitt to ante up some cash for the the Jasculka newsletter project

  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    If you put up a shingle…

  3. - Upon Further Review - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    Send out an immediate press release: Quinn opposed to intellectual property rights and rips off Simpson’s cartoonist, Matt Gronig.

    I always got a kick out of Mister Burns. The former owner of the local bank in these parts was one “Mister Burns” and he actually looked something like the fictional character as he was bald.

  4. - OneMan - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Well if you are going to put up that it was video was “Courtesty of 20th Century Fox,” and 20th Century Fox is very good at protecting it’s IP you might be a bit curious if Fox gave it’s permission or not.

    As for millionaire farmers, well if we follow Colorado on pot at some point we may have a bunch of them :-)

    The other thing about the spin is did anyone ask if Rauner was against it being on the ballot or against the idea or both?

  5. - Obamas Puppy - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    Well done YDD, but now you know why Dems are so nervous about Quinn. Does he have the ability to pull this off? Time will tell. NY

  6. - Not Five Thirty Eight - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    You can be a millionaire but not have $1,000,000+ in annual income…

    It’s called savings and as I read the proposal people like farmers, small biz owners, etc. wouldn’t be impacted by the tiny request to fund schools.

    …By the by, how is it that a 2% tax increase is always spun as “67%”? Even the media and some Democrats now repeat that spin as fact.

    When the rate goes back to 3% (ie, a full 2% drop)… will the conservatives call it a “67% drop” … or a “60% drop” … or just a “2% drop”?

  7. - Fan - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    There are three ways to improve th states fiscal position and not one politician has addressed the best option. Tax, tax tax is all that is being talked about. Soda tax, millionaire tax, tax ATV’s, a Progressive Income tax.

    You could cut, cut, cut spending. I know, all this new talk of taxes are for the “keeds”! Sure it plays well, but what where the addition money ends up is always suspect. In the terrible shape we are in cuts have to be talked about.

    Finally a combination of the two. Cut some junk, then base your tax on the broadest base you can. Fuel, income, property I don’t know. Cuts have to be part of this equation. No matter who is governor, the legislature is heDingin the wrong direction… still.

  8. - Perry Noya - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    If you go from 3% to 5%, that is a 2 over 3 increase, or 67%. There is a difference between percentage and percentage points.

  9. - Lisa Douglas - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    I guess it depends on how you define “farmer”:

    “(T)he Farm Bill is paying 930 farmers within the city limits of Chicago. The payments total $6.1 million and a number of them are sent to multi-million-dollar Lincoln Park homes. In all, there are 224 Farm Bill recipients living in that one small neighborhood alone. Many are listed on densely populated streets like Fullerton Avenue and Lincoln Park West. Perhaps while the neighborhood is mysteriously enjoying more police protection than any other in the city, the cops can find these 224 missing farms.” Illinois Herald

  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    ===I guess it depends on how you define “farmer”:===

    It’s “family farms” in the release.

  11. - LisleMike - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    My concern is not if you make $1MM per year but if you are deemed worth $1MM.
    We have a family farm which has been in the family since 1840’s. In the last 4 years, the property value has increased and makes our farm in excess of $2MM. IF WE SELL IT! It has value on paper and in real estate taxes, but not in the bank. We have attempted to keep life insurance on family members to allow for buy out should the surviving spouse want their share of the value of the farm. However, the farm does not generate enough income to pay for the level of life insurance necessary to allow for the buy out. Why should I have to sell a family asset that no one wants to sell outright because some clown decides that it is taxable? That is the concern I have.

  12. - A guy... - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    ===How many family farmers make more than a million bucks a year?====

    Total snark here from an old joke. The answer to this question is:
    Depends on how many mail boxes he has.

  13. - Timmeh - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    ==How many family farmers make more than a million bucks a year?==

    Family farmers that grow magic beans.

    ==will the conservatives call it a “67% drop” … or a “60% drop” … or just a “2% drop”? ==

    They’d call it a 40% drop (5% to 3%). It’s accurate, but it sounds bad (or good if you’re lowering back down). The local media rarely covers the actual tax rate and how it compares with our neighbors.

  14. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    ===My concern is not if you make $1MM per year but if you are deemed worth $1MM.===

    What does that have to do with taxing income of over $1 million?

  15. - LisleMike - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    I guess I misunderstood. This concern has been on my mind for estate planning, and I maybe too close to it. Sorry, Rich. My bad focus and reading

  16. - Taxed_out - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Speaking of farmers why not make them pay property taxes on the market value of their ground like everyone else does? Of course that’s too simple though isn’t it?

  17. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Weren’t cuts made already? The state already outsources many services. The SMART act was a 2.5 billion dollar cut. Employment in State offices is down significantly. consolidation of offices have occurred statewide. I’m sure there are more opportunities but remember it costs money to do anything. So beyond the constant rhetoric of “cut, cut, cut” make some real decisions of cuts and revenue options.

  18. - Anon - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    YDD is an Illinois treasure.

    I never knew how much extremism there was in Illinois until I started reading his posts.

    Keep up the fight, man! Extremists begone!

  19. - Jaded - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    ==When the rate goes back to 3% (ie, a full 2% drop)… will the conservatives call it a “67% drop” … or a “60% drop” … or just a “2% drop”?==

    They will call it none of the above because the rate does not go back to 3%. It drops to 3.75% until 2025 and then back to 3.25%, so really the temporary tax increase is…not.

  20. - Soccermom - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Hey, YDD - If you get a call and need an extra pair of hands, let me know.

  21. - lakecounty - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Rauner will be defending himself for the entire election season. MJM is the master strategist and his latest proposal is brilliant. Quinn’s folks are also brilliant. They got a lot of free play out of the comparison of Rauner to Mr. Burns. Even i am writing about it. What I can’t understand is why Rauner would put himself in harm’s way. He is under a electron microscope now and probably has lots of skeletons in the closet.

  22. - countyline - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Extremism depends on where you’re sitting…

  23. - bored now - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    the first thing i would ask is whether YDD is available to the quinn campaign…

  24. - Jorge - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Lakecounty,Rauner does have nine homes. That’s a lot of closets.

  25. - x ace - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    Change name to “Millionearner” instead of Millionaire.

    (Then no confusion with Family Farmer whose land value may make him a paper millionaire but whose taxable income is less than a plumber.)

  26. - Mittuns - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    Oh man, I missed the ad. Is there anywhere else to view it?

  27. - justsayin' - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    You don’t need permission to use the Simson’s in a political ad used for parody or commentary. It’s called fair use. Duh.

  28. - Norseman - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    If YDD is not already plugged in to a Dem official, he should be. As Rich noted, he’s good.

    However YDD, despite your excellent comments I’m still voting for Willy to be Gov.

  29. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    What I have been appreciating about YDD recently is his cool objectivity and focus on the campaign messages. It has not been fun reading through all the emotional anti-Rauner crap because most of it is based on class warfare, which won’t work. Rauner won, but almost lost because of union support, not because he was bashed about his wealth.

    YDD has repeatedly cut through this baloney and considered how voters voted and why. He is interested in knowing what motivates him. He recognizes that Quinn won’t win by merely running anti-Rauner ads.

    I have tried to do something similar, but my postings got bashed for being pro-Rauner. Nonsense.

    Since Rauner’s win, and especially after Madigan’s political play, the blogging hornets are all a-twitter over Rauner’s wealth again - and that’s stupid. That isn’t how Quinn can win.

    First off, Quinn is going to have to patch up his relationship with the unions. He has not been our friend at all. He owes us all an apology for his backstabbing, his political PR stunts and his unforgivable posturing against unions. While Rauner tells us he is opposed to union benefits - Quinn has not been as honest.

    Thank you YDD for seeing beyond the hooey and bull crap that has been passing as intelligent blogging this week. Rauner will win if his political opposition keeps looking like class warfare jealous whack jobs. Beat Rauner on the issues - not Madigan Millionaire Tax stunts.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    === Rauner will win if his political opposition keeps looking like class warfare jealous whack jobs. Beat Rauner on the issues - not Madigan Millionaire Tax stunts.===

    I point to Obama besting Romney in Class Warfare strategy win.

    Can you find the Class Warfare strategy working for the GOP?

    There may be some, but Illinois seems to skew more Dem than GOP in this battle.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:51 am:


    You are one of my Personal Favorites, I think I have in the past nominated you for a Golden Horseshoe.

    You still owe me Cannoli for the “Davis-Gill” race. I’ll bring the coffee, and clear a few hours.

    - Norseman -, watch out for like likes of a - YDD -, those are the ones who will deny victory, not the Nominees. It’s in your hands.

  32. - Just Observing - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    === You don’t need permission to use the Simson’s in a political ad used for parody or commentary. It’s called fair use. Duh. ===

    Obviously “fair use” has limits… duh. I’m not saying one way or the other if the Quinn campaign crossed the line as it relates to fair use, but just declaring “fair use” doesn’t mean it is.

  33. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    YDD’s post yesterday was excellent, and I enjoyed the long thread that went into this morning.

    What I’d like to see Quinn do is not respond directly to certain negative attacks but fight for the narrative. I’d like to see Quinn begin quickly advertising himself as someone who came into the state when it was a horrid mess and took serious steps to begin fixing it. He took a stand for taxpayers also and had to make very unpopular but right choices. Maybe there’s a way to sugarcoat the language of pension reform for union members, but he should tout his accomplishments.

    I think Quinn should also be the Social Reformer, the guy who helped make Illinois a better place to live by passing SSM and MMJ.

    Quinn should also have an accompanying strong negative response to attacks. What would my opponent do? He won’t tell you. Why? because he knows his ideas are not right for Illinois. There is so much to choose from, including this slither on the millionaire tax.

  34. - Try-4-Truth - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    See, here’s the problem with the political debate in today’s America. Madigan proposes a “tax” (or “surcharge” if you will) on INCOMES of over $1 million. And, the right wing immediately starts to talk about family farmers and “small” businesses.

    If a farmer makes (that’s profit, income less expense, take-home, etc) over $1 million, then maybe they should pay full price for their property taxes.

    Adding… we also need to stop talking about this tax affecting job creation. Profit and jobs no longer correlate in today’s economy.

  35. - Kerfuffle - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    Vanilla Man ===Quinn is going to have to patch up his relationship with the unions===
    I don’t think that will be necessary. In a battle between PQ and BR the unions will side with the devil they know – even if they aren’t happy with him. BR scares the bejesus out of them.

  36. - Hacks - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 1:02 pm:


  37. - Commonsense in Illinois - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    Hey YDD…Welcome home. Always enjoyed engaging with you in the past. Glad your back with this blog.

  38. - Bill White - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    @Lisle Mike

    If your family farm is worth $2 million - fair market value - then no worries.

    The federal estate tax exemption level is at least $5.25 million and the IL inheritance tax exemption level is $4 million.

    However, this does illustrate how people who are not subject to taxation (or minimal taxation) can be persuaded that the government is after their money.

  39. - Upon Further Review - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    I cannot deny that the Republican Party in the State of Illinois is a failed or failing brand (the GOP had a fairly good run and was once the majority party throughout most of the state).

    I think it would be a challenge for YDD to define what the Democrat brand is since the party no longer bears any resemblance to what it was earlier in my lifetime.

  40. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    So first Romney tells us that “businesses are people too,” in order to help him buy an election, and now Rauner (no stranger to that tactic) basically tells us that “people (who earn more than $1M/year) are businesses too.”

    May take some additional wordsmithing, but I’m fairly certain there’s some irony there…

  41. - Skeptic - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    Anonymous@1:25 — Well, the Citizen’s United decision said that corporations are people, so wny can’t people be businesses? Although we have to watch out, before too long we’ll have Corporations and LLC’s trying to marry each other. And the Corporations marrying other corporations. We can’t have that…THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

  42. - 47th Ward - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    Glad you’re back YDD.

  43. - A guy... - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    I dig the Dog.

  44. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    YDD, have you heard about this Con$ulting Firm…

    Welcome back. You’ve been missed.

  45. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    Thank you all.

    Rich, I am humbled.

    If I have seen further than others, it is because I am standing on the shoulders of giants. Most of whom go by aliases like mine invented on the spur of the moment, a long time ago.

    To be fair to spokespeople everywhere, it is without question one of the riskiest jobs there is. You are in front of millions of people without a net. Perfection is unattainable. Mistakes are inevitable. Forgiveness is essential.

    Which is why Chip and Bruce should not have doubled down on the whole lower taxes for millionaires thing.

    If you are gonna pivot, 90 degrees ain’t enough.

    But, given how Bruce flipped on minimum wage, I would not be surprised if he flips on this one. He ought to.

    This is an election, and in an election you don’t side with 13,000 against 13 million.

    To the post:

    Yes, I have a response. But since I am currently one of the 8.7%, perhaps I ought to keep my lips shut.

  46. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    - AA -,

    You have been reading my mind. You are the “closer”. Just keep this between us until its time.

    - UFR -,

    ===I think it would be a challenge for YDD to define what the Democrat brand is since the party no longer bears any resemblance to what it was earlier in my lifetime.===

    That is because the diversity of the Party, and finding that 80% agreement on Agenda is the best way to move their Party forward, and drag all the cats that need to be herded with them.

    Been a while since I heard a Dem question another Dem on their Party … “Credentials” …

    My Party can’t get through a discussion without one Legitimate Republican calling out another Legitimate Republican, for no good reason but red meat to Litmus Testers.

  47. - Norseman - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 4:13 pm:

    P.S. Here’s hoping your hiatus has been a very fun vacation or a lucrative out-of-town business adventure.

  48. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    @Vanillaman -

    For the record, I read and like your posts.

    I neither dismiss nor despise Bruce Rauner. I think that Dillard would have been the stronger General Election candidate, and we would have had a debate over the next seven months in the middle ground, which helps build consensus for action after the election.

    Now, we are likely to be treated to a seven month fireworks show, resulting in gridlock after the election.

    And that is a shame. Downright dangerous, really. Because Illinois has serious problems that require immediate attention.

    I once sat down with Bob Biggins for two hours, and in that time there wasn’t a single issue we could not find consensus on.

    People from opposite ends of the political system find common ground here every day on some of the thorniest issues.

    So why is it that when Madigan makes the perfectly discussable suggestion that someone making $2 million a year ought to pay an additional $30,000 in taxes, so we can ensure that every child in Illinois gets the world class education they deserve and our economy requires, Jim Durkin’s head has to explode?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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