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The Vallas front

Monday, Apr 7, 2014

* The Sun-Times reports that Gov. Pat Quinn’s running mate Paul Vallas thinks Republican Bruce Rauner’s term limits proposal will survive challengers and make it onto the ballot

The former Chicago Public Schools CEO also said the proposed term-limit referendum has a good chance of landing on the November ballot, and of being approved by voters.

That’s how he said he would place his bet — if he were a betting person.

“I’m not a betting person, unfortunately,” Vallas said.

* Vallas also said he was against House Speaker Michael Madigan’s idea to make local school districts start paying for teacher pensions

“I don’t support that at all,” said Vallas, former Chicago Public Schools CEO.

Chicago schools already pay the employers’ share of teachers’ pension costs, but suburban and downstate schools don’t. Making the change has been pushed hard by House Speaker Michael Madigan but hasn’t found traction in Springfield as suburban and downstate Republicans in particular have feared loading more costs onto already cash-strapped school districts.

“For every rich district that can afford it, there’s a poor district that can’t,” Vallas said.

* In other news

Paul Vallas, Gov. Pat Quinn’s running mate has been hired by DSI Civic Financial Restructuring firm, whose president and CEO, Bill Brandt, donated $100,000 to the Quinn campaign last Dec. 31—a move that may well trigger some political ripples in the heated governors race.

Brandt, who is also chairman of the Illinois Finance Authority, a non-paid position, told me Vallas would not be working on any Illinois deals and will be a salaried employee. With Brandt on the IFA, the firm had not been “seeking” or “working on” Illinois business. […]

In a release, DSI, based in Chicago with offices in other cities, said Vallas “brings a solid grasp of state and municipal issues that complement the senior management team” of DSI.

DSI said in its release its built a wall around Vallas to avoid conflicts and his “practice will adhere to the firm’s present policy of only working on out-of-state projects. These protocols preclude DSI Civic from seeking or working on distressed municipal matters, or with troubled governmental units, within the state of Illinois, and have long been in place due to Mr. Brandt’s position as Chairman of the Illinois Finance Authority, as well as John Filan’s former role of COO of the State. “

Since they’re not getting state business anyway, it’s probably no big deal, other than it sure looks like another business as usual hire.

…Adding… Rauner campaign’s response

“Paul Vallas just helped Pat Quinn complete the transformation from self-styled reformer to another back-scratching Illinois politician in record time,” Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf told Early & Often. “Over the last five years, Pat Quinn has given special deals and appointments to Brandt and Filan. Now, they’re returning the favor in a Blagojevich-style move.”

* So, if you’re keeping score, that’s one comment in favor of Bruce Rauner, one comment opposing Speaker Madigan and a sweet insider job.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


12 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    Vallas was a very curious pick by Quinn, to say the least. Never saw the upside.

    Does anyone really think Vallas is going to spend the next seven months chatting up Pat Quinn to the media? He’s going to be talking about himself.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if by November it appears to be a three-way race: Rauner v Quinn v Vallas.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    “If you aren’t hurting, you’re helping. If you aren’t helping, you’re hurting.” Just saying.

    @FakeSheilaSimon - miss me yet @FakePatQuinn? #3Moves3BooBoos1RunningMate


  3. - OneMan - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    I know you can draw a salary from your federal campaign fund, but could Valas have drawn one from the Quinn campaign?


  4. - whalewatcher - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    HEY Rich…Great Blues band to close out the weekend..”


  5. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    DSI’s first rough draft press release: “Hey, revolving doors of well-connected folks is nothing new to us. But don’t worry, we’ve got protocols, snicker, snicker.”


  6. - Norseman - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    Vallas’ comment on the Speakers proposal shouldn’t be a surprise, but this points out one of his shortcomings as a politician. Quinn needs to have a “cut this out” conversation with his bud. Not that this would change Madigan’s position on the Governor’s race, but it could make the next term more miserable than it needs to be.


  7. - Marty Funkhouser - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    Was that really a pro-Rauner statement? Quinn may not be in favor of this proposal, but he’s in favor of term limits generally.


  8. - Arizona Bob - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    “For every rich district that can afford it, there’s a poor district that can’t,” Vallas said.

    Simple way around this, Paul. If a district is paying compensation more than 20% above state average, they’re “rich” and should pay for the penions contributioins from exhorbitant salaries that drive our pension deficit. Ohh, while we’re at it, why not designate any district that spends more than 20% above state average per pupil also as being “rich” and being able to handle the pension contributions?

    ooops!That wouldn’t make your IFT, IEA and CTU friends very happy, would it Paul?

    Vallas is no longer a serious bet to reform this pension and education system funding mess.

    I used to volunteer and donate to him. What a disappointment.


  9. - shore - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 4:37 pm:

    Vallas needs to be really really careful. We saw with Dillard’s embrace of Jim Edgar how long (not much) memories are these days of political reputations for guys who’ve been out the game for awhile. He needs to be clean and on message to be effective, otherwise I just don’t think enough voters remember what he was for him to free lance on his message.

    I think it was an inspired choice and he can be a major weapon for quinn, but guns that don’t shoot straight or malfunction don’t do damage to the target.


  10. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 7:43 pm:

    “Blagojevich style move….” Note “non-paid position” and “former” COO, as well as NON-Illinois work to be done, Raunerbots. Pfff–much to do about nothing.


  11. - Scoot - Monday, Apr 7, 14 @ 9:02 pm:

    I just came across this, if you guys hadn’t seen it already.

    http://gravismarketing.com/polling-and-market-research/illinois-telephone-survey/

    Rauner 43
    Quinn 35 for what’s it worth.


  12. - OneMan - Tuesday, Apr 8, 14 @ 8:47 am:

    Does anyone really think the optics on this are good…


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