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Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* Drive-By Truckers

With a swagger that can set the world at ease

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Today’s map: Every state’s wealthiest person

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* Click the pic for the full national map…

An interactive version is here, but it crashed my browser, so beware.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      


Question of the day

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* Election day this year is Tuesday, November 4th. What do you think Monday, November 3rd will look like in Illinois?

- Posted by Rich Miller   49 Comments      


The Sun-Times’ inexcusable reefer madness

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* Eric Zorn

Wednesday, the Chicago City Council banned medical marijuana dispensaries — the city is slated to have 13 — from manufacturing districts and transportation corridors, from areas near parks and forest preserves, and from certain downtown areas.

Even this wasn’t enough to prevent our friends at the Sun-Times from splashing their front page with the alarming headline “Neighborhood joints: New zoning rules mean medical pot spots likely to pop up in busy areas.”

You’d think Illinois was the first state — not the 20th — to OK the medical use of marijuana. You’d think there were no data whatsoever about the impact, if any, of dispensaries in busy or even comparatively idle areas.

But police agencies and academics have looked at just these sorts of concerns over the years. The Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., has collected the results; nearly all of it reaches the same “hey, no big deal” conclusion reached by researchers from the University of South Florida, the University of Colorado and the New York City Criminal Justice Agency when they studied 275 medical marijuana distribution sites.

Despite all the advance warnings, they wrote in a paper published earlier this year, “these centers do not appear to have any impact on the urban landscape and, therefore, on the health of the communities in which they are located.”

The media needs to grow up, already.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


Today’s long read

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* Tribune

As Gov. Pat Quinn’s aides sought to pump up an anti-violence program ahead of his November 2010 election bid, they decided to add to the pot $3.76 million in federal disaster recovery funds from Hurricane Ike to make loans to small businesses.

In the rush to get the program launched, the Quinn administration hired a financially troubled West Side business development group to dole out loans, despite concluding the organization had recently misspent state grant funds.

The group, Chicago Community Ventures did not make a single loan, but was allowed to keep more than $150,000 when the contract was nixed, the Tribune has found.

Quinn aides say they caught the problems early by carefully monitoring the group and opted to let the organization keep the money because it had been spent appropriately on administrative costs.

But the administration would not specify how the group was vetted and whether other warning signs about the group’s finances were taken into consideration before it was selected.

Go read the whole thing.

* The story was apparently sparked by a letter written by US Sen. Mark Kirk, a Bruce Rauner ally, a week ago

The Illinois Auditor, State’s Attorney office and the Audit Commission have only focused on the estimated $50 million in state funds used for the NRI. I am concerned that without your investigation into the micro-lending component of the NRI, there will be no oversight of the $5 million in federal disaster funds used for this questionable program.

I ask that you investigate and make public how these funds were used. I also request answers to the following questions regarding the NRI micro-loan program.

1. Who were the final recipients of the NRI micro-loan program and where were they located?

2. Did any of these businesses lie within areas of significant damage caused by Hurricane Ike?

3. What criteria was used to select micro-loan recipients?

a. Who chose the criteria?

4. What criteria was used to select micro-loan lenders?

a. Who chose this criteria?

5. How many jobs were created by this micro-loan program?

a. Which businesses created these jobs and what metrics were used to verify job creation statistics?

6. Was the NRI micro-loan program an eligible activity under the law that appropriated the money?

7. Did the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity accurately report the functions of the micro-loan program in their mandated Ike quarterly reports to allow for proper HUD oversight?

8. The Accion press release stated minimum requirements to obtain a NRI micro-loan. Were all of the recipients properly notified of the disaster requirements necessary to qualify for Ike Disaster Recovery Funds? Were these requirements posted online?

9. Did all of the recipients of the loans meet Ike Disaster Recovery Funds requirements?

10. I understand Illinois submitted waivers to forgo a portion of the HUD requirements for the Ike funds. Did these waivers permit micro-lending activity?

In addition to the answers to these questions, I would like any and all documents related to the site visits and subsequent concerns that were forwarded to the lenders as mentioned in the state’s Ike Quarterly Performance Reports to be made public.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


How times change

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* OK, here’s something that you wouldn’t have expected out of Jim Oberweis six months ago. From a media advisory…

U.S. Senate candidate Jim Oberweis will rally against violence tonight (Friday, Aug. 1) as part of the “Brothers on the Block” initiative organized by Pastor Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church. Oberweis was the first major candidate to attend the weekly rallies earlier this summer and has made numerous visits to the South Side during this campaign.

8:30 p.m. — New Beginnings Church, 6620 S. King Drive Chicago.

Brooks has endorsed Oberweis.

* Meanwhile

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), along with other Great Lakes senators, are calling for urgent action to stop the spread of Asian Carp and other invasive species.

In a letter sent Thursday to John Goss, the Asian Carp director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the senators asked for the official’s help “in urging the Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee to make recommendations for short- and medium-term solutions to safeguard the Great Lakes from Asian carp and other invasive species as soon as possible.”

I only mention this because, believe it or not, I’m a co-sponsor of this year’s “Original Redneck Fishing Tournament” - which is something that I never thought I’d ever do

Rednecks from all over the world travel to the little metropolis of Bath, IL (Pop. 350) for one fun weekend each summer to celebrate…and catch thousands of Asian Carp from the Illinois River. Whether it’s a final summer weekend trip of crazy fun before going back to school, or a inexpensive vacation getaway, this redneck event is becoming a must on summer bucket lists. Held along the banks of the Bath chute of the Illinois river, hundreds of boats compete each day for prizes, bragging rights, and for the sheer fun of catching silver carp out of the air. Thousands more come to sit along the banks of the river, play some family games and soak in the mardi gras atmosphere and smells…that last part isn’t really true, but it must be a good event because people stick around in spite of the smells. Come in costume, or just bring your lawn chairs and a camera, but be prepared for a weekend of Redneck fun!

The concept is to pilot your boat up the Illinois River and catch as many Asian Carp as possible. They mostly just jump right into your boat, but people also use nets to catch even more. Helmets with face guards are recommended. A twenty-pound carp smacking you in the head while you’re going 20 miles an hour can be quite problematic, to say the least

Teams may want to consider some sort of protection from the flying fish such as helmets (especially if children are participating) and to wear padded life jackets throughout the event…even idling at the start line may get you hit by a fish or two. Another suggestion is to have something in the boat (such as an old garbage can or tote) to store the fish you have caught…they hurt when flopping around on the floor of the boat so a club or something to knock them out is sometimes used as well. Getting them from the riverbank to the drop-off site can be a challenge if you have caught dozens or hundreds of fish…so use the garbage can or tote to haul them to the drop off dumpster.

So, when Oberweis is at a black church, I’ll be co-sponsoring a redneck carp fishing tournament.

Weird, that.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


4,700 percent increase in Chinese students at UIUC since 2003

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* More than 600 Chinese kids are enrolling at UIUC this fall

They will represent nearly 10 percent of the entering freshman class at the state’s most competitive public university, up from fewer than 20 freshmen in 2006. And they are so important to the university’s present and future that a U. of I. team flew halfway around the world this summer to conduct three orientation sessions in their country.

While the students and their families are betting their futures on a U. of I. education, the university depends on the full tuition they pay — a minimum of $31,000 a year, in some cases totaling twice that of an Illinois resident, plus housing and other costs.

U. of I. has more international students than any other American public university, and it trails only the University of Southern California, a private institution. All told, including graduate students who qualify for some aid, about 9,400 international students funneled $166 million into the Urbana-Champaign campus budget last year in tuition alone, triple the amount from just five years ago.

When fees and housing are factored in, international students contributed $211 million to the campus budget, accounting for 25 percent of the amount paid by all students. Nearly half that sum came from China, university figures show.

It’s pretty clear that UIUC is using these kids to plug their budget holes. And what’s happening is those students are getting degrees, going home and then competing with us.

Spreading the American Way is a good thing. It makes this country stand head and shoulders above the rest of the world. And if that helps push real reform in China, then I’m for it. But, as the UIUC numbers show, the American Way these days has become too much about grabbing every dollar you can, almost regardless of the consequences.

* And, yes, I’m wincing at my own borderline reactionary xenophobia here. So, it’s important to also point out this

Meanwhile, the number of students from Illinois is down, to 5,358 freshmen last fall, but that is more a function of students passing on Illinois than the university rejecting them. U. of I. has admitted a consistent number of in-state applicants over the past five years, but a higher percentage of them are enrolling elsewhere.

I’d really like to know why this is happening. Is it the high tuition? Is it the lack of quality education? Is it the condition of the campus? Is it just that kids are tired of living in Illinois? What?

- Posted by Rich Miller   103 Comments      


Pollapalooza

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* Reboot has posted several new We Ask America Polls. First up, US Senate

Dick Durbin 53

Jim Oberweis 38

Undecided 9

A 15-point margin and an incumbent sitting at 53 looks tough to beat to me. We’ll see how things progress.

* Ditto for the AG’s race, although it’s obvious that Lisa Madigan is no longer the most popular politician in Illinois

Lisa Madigan 52

Paul Schimpf 35

Undecided 13

* That most popular moniker solidly belongs to Secretary of State Jesse White, who apparently has a 30-point lead in his race. I’d tell you what the numbers are, but Reboot has absolutely the worst poll reporting ever. You gotta read and read and read to find the topline head to heads, and they never once mentioned it in the SoS poll story and they have the wrong graph on the page.

* And JBT holds on to her title as most popular Republican

Judy Baar Topinka 51

Sheila Simon 32

Undecided 16

* A Republican friend tells me this is the third poll in a row she’s seen where Cross has at least a ten-point lead over Frerichs for state treasurer

Tom Cross 45

Mike Frerichs 34

Undecided 21

From the Frerichs campaign…

“While Tom Cross is better known than Mike Frerichs on August 1st, we have the resources and gameplan to turn that around and show voters there’s a clear choice between a prepared and experienced finance official and a twenty year Springfield insider to be the next state Treasurer. Mike Frerichs has detailed plans to clean up the mess created by the current Republican Treasurer and when voters tune into the race in the Fall, we are confident they will choose what Mike has been talking about for over a year now; bringing competency and transparency to the Treasurers office while making wise investments to help build our economy from the middle out.”

Notice that they didn’t challenge the poll results.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      


Another day, another $1.5 million

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* From the Tribune’s campaign contribution app…


Yesterday’s Rauner A-1 report listed 71 contributions, including $100,000 from John Childs of JW Childs.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


Justifiable turnabout or pay to play?

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* Mark Brown way back on March 19th

My take on Rauner is that he brings an owner’s mentality to politics. The State of Illinois is his next acquisition. He’s a goal-oriented man who has switched his sights from making money to acquiring power. He’s paid no dues but now is well on his way to buying an election.

* ABC Chicago’s Charles Thomas last night

Is it a multimillionaire stepping up to help a community, or is it a political candidate trying to buy votes? ABC7 Eyewitness News has learned Bruce Rauner has promised to give a South Side credit union $1 million.

Nothing like this has ever happened in Illinois politics: A candidate for governor promised $1 million of his own money to help the audience at a campaign event.

“I understand what he understands, and that’s money,” said Otis Monroe, Monroe Foundation.

Monroe was among the African American activists who greeted Bruce Rauner this week at the National Black Wall Street office. After the doors closed to the news media, Monroe says he asked the wealthy Republican to deposit $1 million in the South Side Community Federal Credit Union for loans to small businesses.

“He said he would commit not just a million dollars, but more than a million dollars to this institution,” said Monroe. […]

A Rauner campaign spokesman confirmed the $1 million dollar deal, calling it “one of many steps Bruce will take to reinvigorate our communities that have suffered under the failed policies and broken commitments of politicians.” […]

A spokeswoman for a stunned Quinn campaign wrote: “Any exchange of money for political support raises serious ethical questions. Pay to play has no place in Illinois.”

Partisan Republicans have long claimed that Democrats have used government and campaign money to “buy” black votes. So, I doubt anybody on Rauner’s side of the fence will be too offended by this bit of turnabout.

And I’d bet a whole lot of cash that this is only the tip of Rauner’s iceberg.

- Posted by Rich Miller   74 Comments      


Cook moves Enyart district from “Lean D” to “Toss-up”

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* The Cook Political report has shifted its projections to favor Republicans in 17 congressional districts and shifted ratings to favor Democrats in just four. Illinois’ 12th District has been shifted a notch away from the Democrats

Several polls show Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn well behind in this Downstate district, and that has Enyart backers worried. Democrats portray GOP state Rep. Mike Bost as “Meltdown Mike” for his infamous tirade on the state House floor, but Bost has worked hard to cast Enyart as “Beltway Bill” and actually outraised him in the second quarter of this year.

Some Democrats complain Enyart needs to work harder to raise his visibility in his district, otherwise Quinn could drag him down. Voter anxiety about the EPA could also play a role in a district where coal is a major industry. Private polling shows the race extremely tight, and Democrats may need to air footage of Bost’s meltdown to cast him as too hotheaded for Congress.

I’ll disagree with that last statement. If this develops into a truly anti-incumbent year (and it sure looks that way), then sending an angry hothead to Congress might be just what the voters want.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      


Two important inversion opinions

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

* Blog readers voted 65-35 yesterday that Gov. Pat Quinn needed to keep the heat on Walgreen’s for considering a corporate inversion - lowering its federal tax bill by moving its headquarters to Switzerland.

After blasting Quinn earlier this week and then back-tracking, the Sun-Times’ Dave McKinney tried to get a straight answer from Rauner yesterday

Republican Bruce Rauner said Thursday it would be “terrible” if Walgreens decided to move its headquarters to Switzerland to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

But the venture capitalist said the way to stop such so-called “corporate inversions” is for Congress to “overhaul our tax code so we’re competitive.” Rauner also said Illinois politicians must “change our economic climate so were pro-growth, pro-investment, pro-job creation.”

“It’d be terrible to lose Walgreens, but the real tragedy is that businesses have been leaving Illinois for years,” Rauner said. “We are not competitive. Our taxes are too high, and our regulatory burden is punishing.”

Video

Rauner really should dump his ownership stake in the Red Sox and invest in the Dodgers. It would be far more appropriate.

* But, anyway, what I really wanted to do with this topic today is to highlight two important dissenting voices from yesterday’s comments. They both focused on Gov. Quinn’s specific attempts to demonize Walgreen’s for considering the overseas move. First up, our long-beloved Arthur Andersen

Deeply in the minority here, but I would lighten up. I know a number of seniors who are as close to their pharmacist as they are to their doctor, and they love Wally’s. They might not understand inversion, but they understand messing with their pharmacy and they won’t like it.

* Our often not so beloved “A Guy” wrote this in response to an allegation made earlier in the thread that Walgreen’s has forced local pharmacists out of business

(S)ell that crock to every small community and neighborhood that couldn’t get any business to move in and Walgreens did. Even added produce in certain stores. Didn’t gouge to make up for higher operating expenses. They’ve been a great corporate citizen. This strategy is dopey with a capital D.

I agree with both commenters here. And I’d bet big money that satisfaction with Walgreen’s is a whole lot higher in this state than it is with Gov. Quinn. I just don’t see a win here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      


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National Review trashes Quinn

Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

* Writer spends a couple of days in fly-over country, begins his story with a little black kid in East St. Louis who says unkind words, race baits throughout the article, half truths abound, Illinois Policy Institute quoted, DH Brown’s is referred to as a “video-gambling establishment,” Interstate 55 is described as…

the dyspeptic alimentary canal of Illinois, from the shadows underneath the gloomy turret of the Joliet penitentiary to the stagnation of Normal and Bloomington, across the vast stretches of lightly populated Corn Belt and through the almost-as-empty state capital at Springfield

But along the way he does provide one or two helpful insights. Read it here. You’ll need to pay to read the whole thing.

Oh, and it made the cover…

The tear on Lincoln’s face is a definite tip-off.

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      


Question of the day

Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

* Gov. Pat Quinn yesterday…

“I made it pretty clear to Walgreen’s… If they decide to move to Switzerland to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, renouncing their American citizenship, I think they’re going to find a lot of consumers are heartily disappointed in that behavior.”

Walgreen’s, of course, is based here in Illinois and employs a lot of people in this state.

* The Question: Should the governor lighten up on Walgreen’s or keep up the pressure? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


polls

- Posted by Rich Miller   73 Comments      


Rauner mocks new Quinn TV ad

Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

* The Rauner campaign has taken the audio from Gov. Pat Quinn’s new TV ad and added its own, mocking video. Have a look

Gonna be a long and nasty one, campers.

- Posted by Rich Miller   72 Comments      


*** 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   44 Comments      


A third poll shows tighter race

Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

* Sun-Times

In a survey commissioned by Illinois’ largest teachers’ union, one of President Barack Obama’s pollsters is declaring the race between Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner “nearly a deadheat.”

Paul Harstad, with Harstad Strategic Research, gives the Winnetka Republican a slight edge, but his poll of 1,003 likely voters released Thursday gives the Quinn camp a modicum of relief since other recent polling has shown Rauner with a double-digit lead.

The Harstad poll, paid for by the Illinois Education Association and conducted using live interviews with respondents on a mix of landline and cell phones, has Rauner with 46 percent, Quinn with 42 percent and 8 percent undecided.

The poll’s margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.1 percentage points and was conducted between July 17 and 22.

That 4-point margin is more in line with two other polls showing the race at either three or six points. It’s also the same margin the governor’s campaign came up with by applying 2010 exit polling to the We Ask America poll.

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      


Topinka continues string of union endorsements

Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

* The Illinois Federation of Teachers endorsed Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka yesterday. From a press release

Responsible investment and spending of taxpayer dollars is of utmost importance to our members who dedicate their lives to public service,” said Montgomery. […]

“Comptroller Topinka consistently demonstrates that doing what’s right doesn’t have a political party, and we appreciate her dedication to Illinois families.”

JBT is really on a roll with the unions, man.

* The IFT also endorsed Sen. Mike Frerichs for treasurer

“As State Senator, Mike Frerichs has been a tireless advocate for what matters most to teachers and students, and we’re confident that he will continue to defend their interests in the Treasurer’s office.”

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      


Smallish potatoes

Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

* AP Chicago

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says the state’s workers’ compensation insurance rates will drop 5.5 percent next year.

Quinn announced Wednesday the cut in rates is being recommended by the National Council on Compensation Insurance, which annually reviews payments and fees and proposes new premium figures.

Illinois Department of Insurance officials are estimating the latest proposed reduction in workers’ compensation advisory and loss cost rates could result in overall reduction in premiums of up to $143 million in 2015. They say the total savings since the reforms were enacted in 2011 is expected to reach $458 million.

* Greg Hinz

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association President Greg Baise was considerably more restrained but still welcomed the news.

“More work needs to be done,” said Mr. Baise, whose organization has become a major supporter of GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner. “We applaud this news, but rates need to come down more if Illinois is to be competitive with competing Midwestern states.” […]

The workers’ comp system, which pays health expenses for injured workers, raises and spends about $3 billion a year, Mr. Baise said, so a savings of $450 million over three years would be only a fraction of that cost.

The declines are most certainly heading in the right direction, but Baise is right. The savings aren’t a whole lot in the grand scheme of things and much more needs to be done.

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      


Sabato: Rauner now deemed favorite

Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

* Sabato’s Crystal Ball has moved Illinois’ governor’s race to “Leans Republican.” From Politico

In Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn’s (D) terrible approval rating and the state’s struggling economy threaten his reelection efforts. We are now making venture capitalist Bruce Rauner (R) the favorite in Illinois, changing the rating from Toss-up to Leans Republican.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      


Rahm has a point, but…

Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

* Mayor Rahm Emanuel was asked about his willingness to host a thousand refugee children from Central America

“You have a thousand kids fleeing violence in Central America. This speaks to who we are as a city in welcoming them,” he said.

“My grandfather left Moldova in Eastern Europe. His parents put him on a boat to get away from the pogroms [and] leave the violence. Thirteen-years-old by himself. Not a word of English to come to a place called Chicago. He left the violence of Eastern Europe.”

The mayor added, “These kids are leaving violence. There are 1,000 kids. We are not only a city of big shoulders. We’re a city of big hearts and we welcome them and get `em on their way. And we will also make sure that the city of Chicago has universal pre-K, universal kindergarten, expanding after-school programs, expanding summer jobs because the test and measure of this city is how we treat our children.”

Emanuel said when he met with the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. to discuss the humanitarian effort, Jackson “made a point that I had not thought of: when [then President Franklin Delano] Roosevelt turned away the St. Louis and sent the Jewish kids back to Nazi, Germany.”

The comparison with his grandfather fleeing Moldova is chillingly apt.

But the fact remains that too many of Chicago’s own kids just aren’t safe in their city.

* And this is kinda mind-boggling

On the day a think-tank publicly released a report that says the Chicago Housing Authority has been socking away hundreds of millions of dollars instead of using it for housing for the poor, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has asked the agency to do more.

“Since HUD learned of the level of the reserves, it has prompted CHA to issue more vouchers,” said Brian Gillen, a spokesman in the Chicago office, in a written statement. […]

According to the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability report, the CHA issued an average of 13,534 fewer Housing Choice Vouchers than it could have every year between 2008 and 2012. The vouchers pay the majority of the rent costs for apartments and houses for poor residents in the private market.

By not issuing the federally funding vouchers, the agency saved an average of $90 million every year over a nine year period. The CHA spent some of the federal dollars on other-housing related expenses, debts and obligations, but what was left over was put into reserves, which by 2012 totaled $432 million, the center’s report says.

How about using some of that money to “resettle” some Chicago kids into safer areas?

- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      


Rauner goes to ground in face of corporate inversion questions

Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

* As we discussed yesterday, this was Bruce Rauner’s reaction to the national debate over corporate inversions

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner blames the state’s business climate for Walgreens’ flirtation with Switzerland.

“America needs to compete, Illinois needs to compete. The right answer is not to create walls, to block companies and people,” Rauner said. “That’s terrible. We should be about freedom, choice and competition.”

* Gov. Pat Quinn lashed out

‘For anybody running for public office in Illinois to endorse that kind of bad behavior, loopholes that are really taking advantage of the American taxpayer … we really have to say that candidate is way wrong, way off base,’ Quinn told reporters in Chicago. ‘A corporation renouncing its American citizenship to stash money overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, that shifts the burden onto … everyday people who play by the rules.’

* And Rauner appeared to back away

[Rauner’s] campaign wouldn’t say Wednesday if he supported or rejected the practice of companies reorganizing abroad.

* More

Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf refused to clarify where Rauner stands on the issue of corporate tax avoidance.

But in an emailed statement he blamed Quinn for presiding over an uncompetetive economy.

“Bruce laid out a corporate welfare agenda that eliminates abuse of the tax code at the state level under Pat Quinn.” Schrimpf said. “He is hopeful that leaders in Washington can come together to craft comprehensive corporate tax reform that makes America more competitive and leads to more job creation.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   51 Comments      


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« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* React to Rauner vetoes
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Rauner vetoes several union-backed bills
* This just in... Illinois Supreme Court accepts direct appeal of remap case
* Social service providers claim administration has "unchecked discretion" over paying off old contracts
* GOP poll: Kirk and Duckworth essentially tied, Clinton leads by 14
* Today's quotable
* The Roger Ailes connection to Illinois
* Even more editorial support for the Independent Map Amendment
* Question of the day
* Today in Illinois history
* *** LIVE COVERAGE *** Rauner education press conference
* Trump's best point of the night
* Mrs. Rauner appears to support Turnaround Agenda strategy
* Caption contest!
* Adding some context to Rauner's e-mail diatribe
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Oh, this ought to be good
* Rauner apologizes for making "unfair, untrue" comments in old e-mail
* Yesterday's blog posts

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* iPhone 7 Pro dummy leaks, Galaxy Note 7 Iris scanner comments & more – Pocketnow Daily Recap
* Indian Lenovo K5 Note may get 4GB of RAM
* Galaxy Note 7 camera spotted on Zauba with 12 megapixels, OIS
* Cricket discounts Lumia 650 to $70 if you move your number over
* OPPO F1s launch will be in India on August 3
* Cyanogen will be restructuring, ditching many employees and shifting focus to apps
* FCC inspects at Honor 5X lookalike that could be Huawei 7P

* Sale suspended five days by White Sox
* Eaton's walk-off lifts White Sox in Sunday conclusion
* White Sox suspend Chris Sale five days for cutting uniforms
* Sale suspended five days by White Sox
* Sale's Sox future may have new wrinkle
* Sale suspended five days by White Sox
* White Sox-Tigers suspended after 8 innings

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


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* Kapos: Where are they now? Catching up with may.....
* Illinois governor working with police on mariju.....
* The Sunday Spin Full Show 7/24/16: RNC 2016 Ful.....
* New publication is conservative PAC-sponsored..
* Sex offenders sue, saying registry laws keep th.....
* State costs for amendment notices likely to top.....
* SIU at the crossroads: Leaders weigh future of .....
* State Gets Shut-Off Notice..
* EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Schock Reacts to Grand Jury De.....
* Opinion | Voice of The Southern..


* Chicago schools with high lead levels not totals 99
* Retired Hammond firefighter among boat crash victims
* Police officers, families stage vigil for law enforcement
* White Sox suspend top pitcher Chris Sale for 5 days
* Illinois governor working with police on marijuana bill
* Suspect in 4 bank robberies held in June heist
* Safety regulators get up for higher train speeds in Illinois
* Safety regulators get up for higher train speeds in Illinois
* Southern Illinois lacks hospitals with trauma centers
* Southern Illinois lacks hospitals with trauma centers

* State costs for amendment notices likely to top $2 million
* Rauner OKs regulating police use of cell-site simulators
* Illinois Supreme Court to consider remap ballot measure
* Rauner vetoes construction-wage, homecare-worker pay increases
* Rauner apologizes, Chicago teachers protest over 2011 email questioning their competency
* Providers: Stop gap budget won't have 'meaningful' impact
* Rauner apologizes for calling Chicago teachers illiterate
* Illinois ordered to rethink medical marijuana for migraines
* Rauner once called Chicago teachers 'virtually illiterate'
* Gov. Rauner signs early childhood law

* Lolla at 25: The math on the tickets, the T-shirts, the grass (not that grass)
* How Clinton can out-convention Trump
* Trump's running mate has a business success story of his own to tell
* Duking it out for dominance at O'Hare
* Why we need to reverse Chicago's tree loss, and other letters from readers


* Kapos: Where are they now? Catching up with mayor’s former aides
* Monday Letters: How you can help reduce sewage backups
* Shaw: Mayor, Council allies play games to get him his way
* Laura Washington: Kirk woos Latinos in race to keep Senate seat
* Editorial: Coming up short against Zika
* Man shot in Back of the Yards
* A kid’s game, yes, but no place for Chris Sale’s childish act
* DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz resigns amidst email uproar
* ‘Room’ Oscar winner Brie Larson to star in Captain Marvel movie
* Next season to be the last for ‘The Vampire Diaries’


* Cubs rally for 6-4 lead in 7th, Addison Russell departs due to heel bruise
* Thousands of pro-Sanders, anti-fracking marchers hit Philadelphia streets ahead of DNC
* Suspect in motorcycle death back in McHenry County after missing court date
* Verizon said to be buyer of Yahoo for $5 billion: reports
* California wildfires destroy 18 homes; 1 body found
* Crash kills Nebraska punter Sam Foltz, former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler
* In Trump's America, we're one another's enemy
* DNC chair to step down at end of party's convention
* Mother: 'Typical teenager' shot dead outside Calumet City home
* Local, rail officials won't get $110 million grant for South Side projects


* State costs for amendment notices likely to top $2 million
* Statehouse Insider: Rauner, AFSCME conduct PR war while labor talks at standstill
* Bernard Schoenburg: Buscher moves from independent to GOP, Trump
* Connecting people with volunteer opportunities
* Sommer family gives back together
* Joel Erickson: Sen. Kirk must stand up for veterans' rights
* Charles Krauthammer: Notes from Cleveland: The two-part rebellion
* Rauner OKs regulating police use of cell-site simulators
* Illinois Supreme Court to consider remap ballot measure
* Rauner vetoes construction-wage, homecare-worker pay increases


* Champaign County Fair:Horse Show and Waterball
* 2 killed in motorcycle crash near LeClaire
* Art with heart: Making children's health wards less scary
* Special court in Madison County helps veterans avoid jail
* Science Center in Carbondale to feature Smithsonian exhibit exploring water
* Carbondale to purchase Bleyer Field
* Carbondale accepts bid to demolish Horizon Inn: Officials hope to have it done by end of 2016.
* PFOP: WWI homefront featured French-Belgian relief
* Community unites at Cultural Fest, embraces differences
* Volunteers rush to safely move pets away from fire


* National Night Out in Vernon Hills
* Gospelfest at Greenbelt
* Cutting to the chase: White Sox suspend Sale for 5 days
* CDC to award Indiana $766,000 to help battle Zika virus
* Indians' miscue helps Orioles complete sweep with 5-3 win

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin, Senators Send Letter to DEA Callin......
* New Durbin, Senators Send Letter to DEA Ca......

* Laura Washington: Kirk woos Latinos in rac......
* Does Tammy Duckworth Support Expanding the......
* Letter: Kirk's integrity - Northwest Herald...

* Behind Rauner’s insults. Whose schools?
* Jonathan Halabi at the AFT. The wrap up.
* Breaking: Rauner says Chicago teachers are illiterate and principals incompetent.
* Debbie.
* Rauner: A quick glimpse and confirmation.
* I’m not a Democrat and pension theft is a bipartisan effort.
* Mark Stefanik’s letter from Galway. Trump the Intruder.
* Random thoughts. This is not an election over who is a friend of Wall Street.
* Laundromat Coming To Wilson & Magnolia Strip Mall
* Trumps returns to old ways: denials and finger-pointing about Cruz


* Discount Admission Tickets Available For Purchase At Area Retailers - Fair to extend purchasing hours at Emmerson Building
* Governor Announces Appointments
* New Halsted Street Bridge Finished at Byrne Interchange, Multimodal Travel, Neighborhood Connectivity Enhanced - Last of Eisenhower bridges to be completed, project moves into next phase
* No Pokemon Go access on Veteran Home’s grounds
* Governor Takes Bill Action




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