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*** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner releases ag plan

Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

* Other than praising existing farm exports and promising to do more without really saying how, paying some lip service to unspecified deregulation, supporting ethanol in all its glory and saying he’ll improve the State Fairgrounds, I’m not sure what the dealio is. We’ll monitor media reports. Click here to read Bruce Rauner’s Agriculture plan.

*** UPDATE *** Quinn campaign response…

Below is the statement of Quinn for Illinois Deputy Press Secretary Izabela Miltko in response to Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner’s latest policy pamphlet, which includes some inaccuracies. For example, CMS does not run the State Fairgrounds - the Department of Agriculture does.

“The farmers of Illinois know a pig in a poke when they see one.

“Number one, CMS does not run the State Fairgrounds - the Department of Agriculture does.

“Number two, what good does it do to pay your own first class ticket to travel abroad when you’re embracing policies that help corporate deserters avoid U.S. taxes? Only Bruce Rauner can tell.

“It’s also worth noting that Rauner’s agriculture pamphlet failed to mention the devastating impact the Rauner Budget would have on rural education.”

Governor Pat Quinn has been a champion for farm exports and agriculture, which is the backbone of the Illinois economy.

Below is a recap of some of Governor Quinn’s agriculture accomplishments:

National Leader in Soybeans & Corn: Under Governor Quinn, Illinois ranks 1st in soybean and 2nd in corn production.

Completed critical infrastructure improvements to the Illinois State Fairgrounds: Thanks to more than $700,000 in funding from the Governor’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, leaky roofs were replaced or repaired on several buildings, including the Artisans Building, 10 barns and Sheep Pavilion 33.

Biofuels: Governor Quinn has taken the lead on biofuels and as chair of the Governors’ Biofuel Coalition has developed renewable fuels standards that directly have benefited farmers.

National Leader in Agriculture Exports: With sales of $8.3 billion in agricultural products overseas, Illinois is one of the largest exporters in the country. Governor Quinn has worked hard to expand overseas markets through trade missions and aggressive outreach efforts, seeking and securing deals and protections for Illinois products in Mexico, Europe and South America.

Protecting rural education: Governor Quinn has fought to protect rural education and keep property taxes low for family farmers.

Farm Ownership: Governor Quinn’s support for agriculture has helped secure fair prices and retain family farm ownership.

Leader in food processing & sales: Because of Illinois’ bounty, food processing remains the state’s top manufacturing activity and the state leads the nation in processed food sales.

Hosted a record-breaking Illinois State Fair: Gate, parking and grandstand revenue totaled $3.93 million last year, breaking the previous record of $3.38 million set in 2012.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Newsclown - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    He says the fair is run by CMS… this may be news to CDB and the Ag Department. The fair is funded by the Legislature, so their budget is always a political football, THAT is why crucial maintenance keeps getting deferred.

    Hey, Bruce, how about making a statement on CAFO’s and their effect on local water quality? Are you going to regulate them tighter, or looser? Are you for or against more detailed labeling of meat products like beef, pork, and chicken? What about making Hemp legal to grow for oil and fiber? How much tax did you pay on your farm and ranch land this year?

  2. - Amalia - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    what Rich wrote. Quinn works with farmers and big ag to do good things. and he has staff with farm experience. think Rauner’s proposal is very thin and assumes lack not in evidence.

  3. - Norseman - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:53 pm:

    Rich, I’ll take your word for it. I’ve got better things to do than read political pablum - like doing dishes. Don’t expect much of substance from the Raunervich campaign.

  4. - MrJM - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    Pandering to farm families is the backbone of Illinois politics.

    – MrJM

  5. - OneMan - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    Quinn works with farmers and big ag to do good things.

    Then, not to sound silly here, why is Quinn about as popular south of I-80 as roundup resistant weeds?

    Then again he does call himself soy boy..

  6. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    Stressing property tax freezes include farmers and farmland. I get the impression that once all these Rauner position papers are released, instead of reading them all individually in a vacuum, we will have a better opportunity to connect a few more dots as to his positions and plans.

  7. - Rauner's robotic polling firm - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    That pre-primary polling was more accurate than this paper devoid of real details. No mentions of beef, University of Illinois, SWCDs, or really anything dealing with IL ag. Did they assign the lowest paid intern on the campaign to this paper. 1/4 of Illinois economy is based in ag and this is all we get. Nice try boys!

  8. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    Have you see Quinn’s front yard?
    Soy Boy is a lawn farmer!

  9. - Langhorne - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    Buzzword BS, not a plan. Freeze prop taxes, no increase in spending wout referenda? Not even natural growth in assessments, or new improvements=deadly for schools and svs not able to keep pace w inflation. Tho to be fair, BS is an ag product

  10. - Modest proposal - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    Newsclown - rauner is right when he says “managed by the cms bureacracy.” Cms constantly is sticking it’s nose in other state agency’s business making them do things more inefficiently. Rauner did not say cms puts on the fairs as you suggest.

    Anyone who works for the state has a love-hate (but mostly hate) relationship with cms.

  11. - SAP - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    Farmers pay next to nothing in property taxes, so I’m not sure how high Rauner wants to jack the rest of our taxes to help the farmers. Also, pointing out that IL is #1 in soybean, # 2 in corn, etc emphasizes a Quinn strength. Other than that, great paper.

  12. - Lil Squeezy - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    We need more farm welfare. I mean ethanol. We need more ethanol.

  13. - DuPage Bard - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    Maybe the staffer was told - “I need a farm plan, it has to be at least 4 pages long. Fill it with lots of double space and bold lettering. If you footnote a bunch that should take up some space as well. Now put it in a really nice binder and send it over to that Miller character and all his minions.”

  14. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    Dear Whoever Designs Bruce Rauner’s Campaign Publications: Grey text on a white background was trendy and hip a few years ago. Then and now it’s just more difficult to read. Stop.

    He’s going to make sure the lock and dam system and the rail ways are top-notch? Umm…how? The locks and dams are managed by the Feds, and the rails are privately owned. But whatever.

    “Emergency repairs to [State Fair Grounds, Executive Mansion, Captiol Building, Stratton Building, JRTC, Any of the Historic Sites in Illinois….] were more costly than regular maintenance.” Meh. You’re going to get the money from …? Oh, right. Jobs. Lots and lots of jobs. And tax cuts. Can’t forget those.

    Overall, give it a C. It’ll look pretty on glossy paper. But that means it’s not even good enough to line the bird cage.

  15. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    Solid B- minus eight-grade term paper on Illinois farms.

    Can we get off the ethanol subsidy crack pipe already? It’s not like there’s a lack of markets for corn. Why keep wasting all that ground water to produce ethanol in the middle of an oil boom?

  16. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    This isn’t an Ag plan for farmers. It is an Ag plan for people in, oh let’s say, Winnetka or maybe Inverness who really don’t know anything about agriculture, or farming, or anything really. But now they can say, “Oh look, our candidate has an Ag plan. Wow, he really has it together.”

  17. - Jimbo - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    Newsclown, CMS property management runs the fairgrounds capital projects. That however doesn’t mean that CMS red tape prevents or slows projects however. If anything it makes projects more likely, as CMS has the money to user fund CDB projects, whereas Ag never did. These “plans” remind me of presentations I winged back in school, and put together the last night before they were due.

  18. - Jimbo - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    I should say that CMS is the “user” representative, not Ag, on Department of Ag projects managed by CDB.

  19. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    Did he release the chickens with the ag plan?

  20. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Any Ag plan is likely to be about as insightful as another commercial showing a politician walking through crop fields with a farmer.

  21. - Amalia - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    @One Man, I would think because the area outside of the Chicago area media market is more conservative than Quinn, because farmers are like many others not one issue voters and perhaps because there could be more pr on what Quinn is doing in Ag.

  22. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    @ SAP ==Farmers pay next to nothing in property taxes==

    Granted Illinois farmers pay property taxes based on the income their farmland produces and not the market value of the land. However, farmers owning good farmland in Illinois pay around $25 per acre per year in real estate taxes. For a 1000 acre farm that comes to $25,000 annually. Plus, they also pay real estate taxes on their houses, and farm buildings in addition to the land tax bill.

  23. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    Lets look at a few points in his plan.

    * Regulatory issues - He talks of problems with regulation and rules but offers absolutely no examples or other information to let us know what the heck he is referring to.
    * Property tax relief/Ag Ed - Out of one side of his mouth he talks of freezing property taxes and out of the other side of his mouth he talks of funding Ag Ed. Education is primarily supported by property taxes. Still trying to figure out the math he uses in his “economic” plans.
    Ag Ed - State already funds Ag Ed. As a matter of fact it got almost a 50% increase this fiscal year. Seems like Governor Quinn might be handling that ok.
    Fairgrounds - Man, can these people do a little basic research. CMS doesn’t run the fairgrounds.

  24. - Hayseed - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    “Farmers pay next to nothing in property taxes” Now that is some real BULL$#!^. Our county tax assessor must not have gotten that memo.

  25. - Hayseed - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    Bruce knows farming….have you seen his coat

  26. - walker - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    Wait doesn’t Bruce own a farm somewhere for tax purposes? And maybe gov. subsidies?

    Maybe he’s really an ag expert.

  27. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 3:38 pm:

    Taking losses on his farming operations are how Rauner got out of paying Social Security and Medicare taxes.

    –Rauner’s tax returns report a payment of $15,777 of self-employment tax in 2012 but no payments in 2010 or 2011. He said he and his wife didn’t owe the tax in those two years because it is applied to only certain types of income — in his case the category that showed multimillion-dollar losses in regular business income.

    That is not to say that Rauner did not report making millions of dollars off GTCR and other enterprises, but his tax returns spread it among a variety of income categories and it is impossible to determine why he declared such big losses in one of those without the supporting tax documents Rauner declines to release.

    Asked to explain those losses, Rauner said he couldn’t recall details but speculated that a portion was likely connected with large ranching operations he owns in Montana and Wyoming. “Some of it’s farm and ranch income or losses,” he said. “That goes up and down year to year. Some of it’s operating losses from other investments that I have made.”–

  28. - Raging Bull - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 4:03 pm:

    Pay Quinn has been an excellent Ag governor. The Dept of Ag’s export programs have soared and the agency has been working more as a partner than regulator. Ag should have no complaints here. The only upside for Rauner here is that farmers tend to be Republicans even though Republicans want to cut their subsidies and cut rural funding.

  29. - Cheswick - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    Yeah, put on a Carhart, throw a steak on the grill, check the corn stats, and suddenly anyone can be an ag expert.

  30. - Been There - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    He missed a great opportunity to promote an actual plan and bash Quinn at the same time. Rauner should have said he would have signed the last gaming bill that Quinn vetoed. That had provisions to greatly enhance Illinois once great horse racing and breeding programs. In addition there were provisions in that bill for capital improvements at the fairgrounds. Also, the soil conservations programs throughout the state were to receive funds along with Ag educational programs. New, real money south of I-80.
    Instead another announcement amounting to nothing.

  31. - PolPal56 - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 4:31 pm:

    Brucie’s Empty Suit flaps in the wind once again…

  32. - OurMagician - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 4:41 pm:

    Since Illinois has been #2 in corn production for awhile, I don’t think that has too much to do with Pat Quinn’s leadership.

    “Governor Quinn’s support for agriculture has helped secure fair prices and retain family farm ownership.”-how? That’s as much of a platitude as Rauner’s “plan”.

  33. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 4:44 pm:

    –“Number two, what good does it do to pay your own first class ticket to travel abroad when you’re embracing policies that help corporate deserters avoid U.S. taxes? Only Bruce Rauner can tell.–

    Huh? Does that make any sense?

  34. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 5:06 pm:

    The only thing that was a bigger waste of time than reading the ag plan today was reading that Quinn press release.

  35. - A guy... - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 5:07 pm:

    To the update: Short, concise and sharp response. NOT.

  36. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 5:27 pm:

    FKA and a guy, no kidding, man.

  37. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 5:28 pm:

    When the lede of the campaign presser was “CMS
    does not run the Fairgrounds”…there’s your sign.

    When @TheRaunerChickens was faster, better, and funnier than the campaign..there’s really your sign.

  38. - Excessively Rabid - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 6:00 pm:

    As a partly-farm person, the scariest thing to me is that either of these bozos HAS a farm plan. I’d much prefer they went and helped somebody else.

  39. - RNUG - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 6:01 pm:

    Quinn could have stopped after: “The farmers of Illinois know a pig in a poke when they see one.”

  40. - anonymous - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 7:21 pm:

    I think the unspecified deregulation for Dept of Ag = the increased revenue from medical marijuana. It’s still regulated, but not in the same way…

  41. - Judgment Day - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 7:45 pm:

    “As a partly-farm person, the scariest thing to me is that either of these bozos HAS a farm plan. I’d much prefer they went and helped somebody else.”

    Absolutely right. Having had the opportunity in the last few years to work with a number of our state universities in the Agricultural area, and for a state with agriculture being so high on the economic front, it’s amazing how poorly both aspirants to the Governor’s office apparently understand agriculture.

    IMO, if knowledge about agriculture was calculated in terms of water, the combined level of such knowledge (for both candidates) would fill the average thimble to about the 50% level.

  42. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 9:06 pm:


    Quinn should have stopped before the pig reference.

    In the “pig in a poke,” the farmer is the one doing the selling, not the buying.

    And the “pig in a poke” is unseen, that is the whole point,

    Like Rich said. I wish I had stopped reading there.

  43. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 10:02 pm:

    I must have been unconscious for #2. Who was out of the country for what, and why do voters care?

    Where is Noonan? Noonan!!

  44. - Inthenews2 - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 10:16 pm:

    Is it me or does page 2 of the Rauner plan make the argument that Pat Quinn and the Department of Agriculture have done a great job of promoting Illinois agriculture? After all some of the data used in that document came from the Department of Agriculture.

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