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Bill Daley wants to wait on slating

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

* I told you earlier today that the Democratic Party of Illinois plans to meet later this month to decide whether to slate statewide candidates before the primary. This is from Bill Daley’s campaign manager Tom Bowen…

“The Democratic Party of Illinois should allow its voters to hear more about the candidates for Governor and their choices for Lieutenant Governor before selecting a candidate for endorsement. A vote to not endorse allows this process to play itself out and let the people choose their nominee.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** How can we miss you if you won’t go away?

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

* Illinois Review

Joe Walsh for U.S. Senate 2014? While the title is just a teaser but the former Illinois congressman and current talk show host is talking about it. He spoke to about 60 people Tuesday night for the Chicago Young Republicans monthly business at the Hubbard inn.

Walsh brought up the U.S. Senate race. He said he Is giving “serious consideration” to running against Dick Durbin. Of course, he would have to win the GOP primary first.

On the other hand, last Saturday Walsh told Will County Tea Partiers he was focused on helping other candidates in 2014.

FYI, there are also rampant rumors about a possible Walsh primary bid against Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

*** UPDATE *** IR

Within minutes of posting that former Congressman Joe Walsh told Chicago Young Republicans he’s “seriously considering” a bid against Dick Durbin in 2014, sources told Illinois Review that Walsh associates are telling people he’s taking a serious look at challenging Congressman Adam Kinzinger, and that Club for Growth is encouraging him.

“We won’t confirm to whom we have or haven’t spoken concerning a primary in the 16th CD,” Club for Growth’s Barney Keller told IR, “but we’re certainly interested in talking to a pro-growth alternative to Kinzinger.”

“Adam Kinzinger is one of the biggest RINOs in the U.S. House,” Keller said, and listed several votes Kinzinger made in the past year that were opposite of the Club’s positions. “He voted for the fiscal cliff, opposed the budget conservative Congress members supported. He was one of only ten Republicans that voted for a bill that was one of Nancy Pelosi’s pet projects for her San Francisco district.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      

Vacation photos

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

* Before leaving for vacation, we dropped Oscar the Puppy off at a “pet resort.” It was a nice place, very clean. Oscar had a two-room suite and his own flat-screen TV. And the price was more than reasonable, so, I figured, what the heck.

The “resort” owners posted pics of Oscar on their Facebook page. Here he is tearing around the place like he does when he needs to blow off some energy…

He made some new friends and played Frisbee…

Some of the other dogs couldn’t keep up with him, but this one turned out to be his bestest buddy…

And then he got a haircut…


Man, that’s short. He looks so different I wouldn’t recognize him on the street.

Oh, well, it’ll grow out.

Here’s a pic I took on our way home…

You might be able to see in his eyes how tired he was. He played very hard. But he’s happy to be home. I’m happy he’s home, too.

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      

Question of the day

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

* From Rep. Tom Cross’ Twitter feed

* The Question: Fill in the blank?

- Posted by Rich Miller   101 Comments      

“Convenient” timing on HQ move

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

* Greg Hinz has an hilarious follow-up to the governor’s announcement that I told you about earlier today…

Just a day after a big Illinois manufacturer announced that it’s moving 400 jobs to Wisconsin from Lake County, Gov. Pat Quinn today tried to even up the public relations score by announcing that a well-known beverage company “is opening” its new U.S. headquarters on the Near West Side.

In fact, the U.S. headquarters of Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co. opened here in April 2012 — a year and a half ago.

Mr. Quinn’s office counters that the move and the 80 new jobs Mike’s will have here are real and never had been announced as the company quietly filled out its executive team. So are the up to $1.86 million in payroll tax credits Mike’s will get over the next decade, plus a $25,000 job-training grant.

But the timing of today’s press-release announcement certainly is “convenient,” Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson conceded.

Oh, for crying out loud.

- Posted by Rich Miller   16 Comments      

The final final term?

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

* Secretary of State Jesse White announced his reelection bid today

One of the things that sets White apart is the promise he kept when he was asked years ago whether he would use the secretary of state’s office as a stepping stone to run for governor.

“And I said I would run for this office and this office only,” White said. “I’m true to my commitment. I always want my word to be good.”

Um. From 2009

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is seeking re-election for the last time.

The Democratic state officer said if re-elected to a fourth term in 2010, he will retire in 2014 and pursue only volunteer work.

Obviously, he changed his mind.

* White also admitted to a big mistake today

White did acknowledge one mistake: his backing of Rep. Derrick Smith. White helped Smith get appointed to the Illinois House in 2011 only to see Smith be charged with bribery by federal authorities less than a year later. White said he “tried to set the record straight” by calling for Smith to step down and backing his challenger, but voters decided to re-elect Smith anyway, even after Smith was kicked out of the Illinois House.

No word yet on whether White will field a primary challenger against Rep. Smith.

* And he got a boost from MRE

White launched his re-election bid at a downtown hotel where he was introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who noted that White supported his efforts to become mayor. Emanuel said he wasn’t just backing White to return to the favor, but because of their “shared bond” of public service and White’s “commitment to the next generation coming behind us.” White is well known for the youth tumbling team that bears his name.

White will make another campaign stop today in Springfield. A Republican candidate has yet to surface, leading White to quip that “life is good.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      

State Dems to consider slating

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

* From a press release…

Democratic Party of Illinois Chairman Michael J. Madigan announced Thursday that the party’s state central committee will meet Sunday, September 22 to discuss the slating of statewide candidates for next year’s General Election.

“We plan to have a vital campaign in every region of the state and this meeting will give the candidates an opportunity to convey the strengths they bring to the ticket,” Chairman Madigan said.

The meeting will take place on Sunday, September 22 at 2 p.m. in the Governor’s Ballroom at the State House Inn, located at 101 East Adams Street in Springfield. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

The democratic state central committee is composed of 38 members, one man and one woman elected from each congressional district. Each member will have a weighted vote in selecting the nominee that is equal to the number of Democratic ballots cast in their congressional district in the February 2, 2010 primary election.

DPI hasn’t slated statewide candidates in a primary since Lisa Madigan first ran for attorney general. [ADDING: I was reminded by a commenter that DPI slated Paul Mangieri in 2006 for treasurer. He lost to Alexi Giannoulias.]

- Posted by Rich Miller   22 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** No dogs, unstaffed guard tower at Dept. of Corrections

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

* This story has been getting some play

It took more than four days for the Illinois Department of Corrections to capture escaped prisoner Jared Carter. The hunt involved more than 100 department employees, as well as helicopters, airplanes, and state police personnel. But there’s one thing that was left out of the search due to Illinois state budget cuts: a prison canine unit.

To help slash his state’s budget, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn nixed five dog-handling jobs in the department last year, according to information obtained by The Quad-City Times. And, without handlers, that meant Gov. Quinn had to lay off the dogs.

Local police dogs were used in the search, which the Department of Corrections says worked out fine.

* But there were some items in Kurt Erickson’s original story unrelated to the search for the escaped prisoner that stood out for me. For instance

The unit was in place primarily to search cells for drugs and contraband, and to sniff out problems with visitors and vendors.

Without those dogs, the guards have to do the cell and visitor searches on their own, so contraband could get by them.

* And then there’s this

Along with having no dogs within the agency to search for fugitives, Shaer confirmed that one of the guard towers was not staffed when Carter walked off.

But, he said, Carter’s departure spot could not be viewed from the tower anyway. “The tower being manned was not a factor,” he added.


*** UPDATE *** From AFSCME’s Anders Lindall in comments

Due to staff cuts, Tower One at Robinson is closed save for three approximately hourlong periods each day. Contrary to Shaer’s claim, frontline employees at Robinson report that Tower One is located just 200 yards from where the escape occurred and has a direct line of sight over the area.

Perimeter security has also been reduced at Robinson due to lack of staff. A van that used to patrol the facility’s perimeter 24-7 is now in use only from dusk to dawn, and even then not continuously as the van driver also performs other duties.

So at the time of this escape, the tower nearest the site was closed, there was no patrol outside the perimeter - and no canine unit to respond.

All this at a facility more than 200% overcrowded. Built for 600 inmates, Robinson had 1,209 at the department’s last quarterly report to the General Assembly.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      

Big manufacturing tax cut leads to loss of two factories to Wisconsin

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

* From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel...

An Illinois lighting company with 400 employees plans to move across the state line to Kenosha — the second manufacturer in a week to say it will leave northern Illinois for Wisconsin.

Kenall Manufacturing plans to relocate its headquarters and factory from Gurnee, Ill., to a 354,000-square-foot facility to be built near I-94 along Highway 158.

The company is getting over a million dollars in incentives…

One aspect of the various government incentives is ready: Kenosha County will provide $1 million from a special economic development fund authorized two years ago, County Executive Jim Kreuser said.

Another $250,000 from the fund was used recently to help woo Hanna Cylinders from Libertyville, Ill., to Kenosha County. That relocation, announced last week, will bring about 100 manufacturing jobs to Pleasant Prairie by the end of the year. Hanna, which makes hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders, will occupy a 105,000-square-foot plant in Lakeview Corporate Park.

* But the specific incentives are only part of the bigger picture…

Another key to luring companies such as Kenall to Wisconsin, he believes, is the virtual phasing out of the state corporate tax on income generated by manufacturing production. Enacted in 2011, the legislation will effectively cut the tax on production from 7.9% to 0.4% over the next few years, Battle said.

He said Kenall and other firms consider “the direction and velocity of the state’s business climate” when making location decisions, and that the elimination of almost all of the tax on production earnings “clearly was in our favor.”

* But the Hanna Cylinders move has a bright side

(A) Chicago-based developer already has eyed the site along Route 176 for an industrial facility.

Bridge Development Partners LLC plans to invest $25 million to $30 million in two buildings with a mix of light assembly, manufacturing and warehousing uses.

The project marks the first speculative construction of its kind in Libertyville in several years.

Although the facility would be built without specific tenants in mind, the site could attract 200 to 300 jobs — a “realistic expectation,” said Mark Christensen, a principal with the commercial real estate firm.

* And this is from a press release…

Governor Pat Quinn and Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co. today announced that the premium malt beverage maker is opening its new U.S Headquarters in Illinois, creating 80 jobs. The office, located at Jackson and Jefferson Streets in Chicago’s West Loop, is positioned to tap into the region’s substantial marketing talent and consumer product expertise. The announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to drive Illinois’ economy forward and create jobs.

“Mike’s chose to relocate to Illinois because of the state’s central location, leading education institutions and its progressive business environment,” Governor Quinn said. “The presence of a dynamic company like Mike’s is the kind of business Illinois needs to advance our vision of becoming one of the most exciting and vibrant business corridors in the nation.”

* Related…

* Chicago-area foreclosures down 59% from last August

* In Quest For Lower Taxes, How Far Is Too Far?

* Whole Foods coming to Englewood

- Posted by Rich Miller   48 Comments      

Door quotes

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

* House Speaker Michael Madigan’s press secretary Steve Brown reacting to Gov. Pat Quinn’s angry denunciation of the pricey Statehouse renovations

“It looks like the governor’s a couple days late, possibly jet-lagged from his trip to Japan, because he took his usual Sunday morning press conference cheap shot and did it on a Tuesday afternoon.”


* And not everybody is up in arms about the alleged scandal

A spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), whose office is in the newly renovated wing, defended the expenditures and the project, in general.

“At this point in time, any spending on anything can be made to look extravagant,” Radogno spokeswoman Patty Schuh said. “But this is part of a long-term, long-range maintenance and restoration plan for a historical building that has 200,000 people in it every year. The bulk of the project is the beyond-necessary mechanical fixes, ADA access and life-safety and fire code requirements.”

* Meanwhile, there’s more than a little doubt that the governor’s “suspension” of funding for more Statehouse construction actually means anything

“It’s up to the governor whether to make that money available for bidding and construction purposes,” Blanchette said. “And that’s what he’s doing, is holding up the release of funding for items that have already been placed in the budget by the General Assembly, until such time as things can be carefully examined.”

But no money has actually been appropriated for the north wing yet. So is anything actually being halted?

“No, there’s nothing to stop at this point,” UIS Political Science Professor Kent Redfield said.

Redfield believes this was a purely political move by the governor.

“It’s election season, and the state is having a lot of really bad fiscal problems,” Redfield said. “And so this becomes an issue that you can be against it, and particularly since you can’t have any impact on what’s happened, then it’s a pretty easy thing to take a public stand on it.”

…Adding… I forgot to post this one

Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, who’s also trying to win the Democratic nomination for governor, says Quinn is ultimately responsible.

“The problem with the governor’s action is, he was asleep at the switch when all this funding was approved,” says Daley’s campaign manager, Tom Bowen. “So this action is typical of Gov. Quinn: too little, too late, reacting to a mistake that’s already been made.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** This just in… Illinois Supreme Court expands gun rights

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

* 9:57 am - The Illinois Supreme Court has issued two gun-control rulings that are undoubtedly bringing great cheer to the NRA.

In the first, People v. Aguilar, a person was arrested in his own friend’s Chicago yard because he was holding a pistol. The Supremes cited the Heller decision and the 7th US Circuit’s recent landmark public carry decision (Moore v. Madigan) to knock down the arrest as unconstitutional

if Heller means what it says, and “individual self-defense” is indeed “the central component” of the second amendment right to keep and bear arms (Heller, 554 U.S. at 599), then it would make little sense to restrict that right to the home, as “[c]onfrontations are not limited to the home.” Moore, 702 F.3d at 935-36 […]

Of course, in concluding that the second amendment protects the right to possess and use a firearm for self-defense outside the home, we are in no way saying that such a right is unlimited or is not subject to meaningful regulation. See infra ¶¶ 26-27. That said, we cannot escape the reality that, in this case, we are dealing not with a reasonable regulation but with a comprehensive ban. Again, in the form presently before us, section 24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(A) categorically prohibits the possession and use of an operable firearm for selfdefense outside the home. In other words, section 24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(A) amounts to a wholesale statutory ban on the exercise of a personal right that is specifically named in and guaranteed by the United States Constitution, as construed by the United States Supreme Court. In no other context would we permit this, and we will not permit it here either

However, the defendant in the case was just 17 years old at the time of his arrest and the Supremes decided that the statute regarding age minimums was constitutional

…for present purposes, we need only express our agreement with the obvious and undeniable conclusion that the possession of handguns by minors is conduct that falls outside the scope of the second amendment’s protection

* The second case, Coram v. Illinois, involved a man who pled guilty to domestic battery in 1992 and paid a $100 fine. At the time, there was no prohibition against Coram possessing a firearm or receiving a FOID card. When he applied for a FOID in 2009, however, he was denied based on a 1996 federal law. The Supremes upheld his right to a FOID card. Read it here.

*** UPDATE *** From John Boch of in comments…

Our take on the decision: The IL Supreme Court has said today that until and unless the Illinois State Police begin issuing carry licenses, Illinois has a flat prohibition on carry of firearms outside the home and that, ladies and gentlemen, has just been recognized and determined to be in violation of the right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the second amendment to the United States Constitution.

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      

Dillard numbers

Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

* We discussed this quote from Sen. Kirk Dillard yesterday

To improve education, Dillard said he would prevent Chicago schools from taking about $1 billion they currently take away from downstate schools.

“A child who lives in poverty in downstate should be equal to one in Chicago,” he said.

Dillard was speaking to the Ford County Republicans when he made those comments. Ford County’s population at the last Census was 14,081.

During the 2012-2013 school year, Chicago Public Schools administrators identified 18,669 CPS students as homeless.

* Meanwhile, David Ormsby has a post about Dillard’s campaign reporting $169,300 in contributions last night

The lion’s share came in three checks of $52,600 each. The contributors were: Illinois Operating Engineers Local 150, Chicago Land Operators Joint Labor-Management PAC, and the Illinois Lunch Pail Republicans PAC.

The $169,300 brings Dillard’s total fundraising from large contributions to $207,300 for the third quarter. Without that large infusion of cash before the third quarter fundraising ends in less than three weeks, Dillard’s campaign would have looked dead-in-the-water by the time campaign finance reporting arrived on October 15.


On September 6, the Lunch Pail reported a $52,600 contribution from the Washington, D.C.-based Engineers Political Education Committee PAC. And three-days later the Pail, which has raised or donated no other money recently, funneled the same amount to Dillard

It looks like the Engineers’ money got laundered.

The Lunchpail Repubicans PAC is all but an arm of Local 150, which has a lot of members involved in road and bridge construction. So maybe we now know why Dillard said recently that he preferred a second gas tax to gaming expansion.

- Posted by Rich Miller   57 Comments      

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* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Fracking rules finally unveiled
* Question of the day
* A big IDOT roundup
* Even Steven, for now
* *** UPDATED x1 - Confirmed *** Report: Libertarians file charges
* Big guys dinged a bit, but little guys helped a lot
* Today's photo
* Yesterday's blog posts

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