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Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* Ray Long is reporting the Speaker does not yet have the 60 votes needed to remove the sunset date from the income tax hike…

The speaker, talking to reporters the day he was easily elected to a fifth term as Illinois Democratic Party chairman, said voting to keep the personal income tax rate at 5 percent instead of letting it fall to 3.75 percent on Jan. 1 will be a “difficult roll call.”

“Every person in the legislature is going to be called upon to make a budgetary decision — either a reduction budget or an as-is budget or a slight-increase budget,” Madigan said. “And they’ll be called upon to vote for the money to support the budget that they want.”

Madigan also said he is trying to round up votes to increase the state’s minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $10 an hour or more. “Once we get to 60 (votes needed to pass), we’ll be prepared to call the bill,” Madigan said.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   24 Comments      


Question of the Day

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* This year’s State Fair Grandstand show lineup…

* American Idol Live (pop), 8 p.m. Aug. 8, $29/$34/$39/$49 (tickets on sale May 10). By the time the state fair rolls around, one of the remaining finalists will be the 2014 champion of “American Idol’s” annual talent search. The TV show airs on WRSP-TV (Channel 55, Comcast cable Channel 7 in Springfield).

* Pitbull (rap), 8 p.m. Aug. 9, $40-$65 (tickets on sale May 3). The Miami rapper had his first No. 1 single in 2012 with “Give Me Everything,” and returned to the top of the charts earlier this year with “Timber.” His other Top 10 singles include “Feel This Moment” and “I Know You Want Me.” Pitbull is a Latin Grammy Award winner for “Echa Pa’llá (Manos Pa’rriba).”

* Florida Georgia Line/Colt Ford (country), 8 p.m. Aug. 10, $30/$35/$40/$40/$55 (tickets on sale now). As Florida Georgia Line, the duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelly has hit the top of the Billboard magazine country music chart twice so far, with “Cruise” and “Stay.” Ford has recorded the hit country/hip-hop albums “Declaration of Independence,” “Every Chance I Get” and “Chicken & Biscuits.” All track seats, and seats in the lower levels of the Grandstand, for Florida Georgia Line have already been sold.

* Boston/Sweet/April Wine (rock), 8 p.m. Aug. 12, $17/$22/$27/$37 (tickets on sale now). Boston was big in the 1970s and ’80s with “Piece of Mind,” “Don’t Look Back” and “Amanda.” Sweet recorded the 1970s hits “Little Willy,” “Ballroom Blitz,” “Fox on the Run” and “Love Is Like Oxygen.” April Wine is best known for 1981’s “Just Between You and Me.”

* Hunter Hayes/Sam Hunt (country), Aug. 13, $29/$34/$39/$49 (tickets on sale May 3). Hayes has recorded the country hits “I Want Crazy,” “Invisible” and “Wanted.”

* Steely Dan (rock), Aug. 15, $29/$34/$39/$54 (tickets on sale May 3). Steely Dan, the longtime duo of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The group’s hits include “Peg,” “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” and “Reeling in the Years.”

Question: What was the best Grandstand show you have seen at the Illinois State Fair or Du Quoin State Fair?

For bonus points: Who would you most like to see play at the Grandstand?

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   35 Comments      


REAL Peoria mayor defends Twitter raid

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* From the Journal Star…

Jim Ardis said he doesn’t regret his attempt to protect his identity. Some City Council members and others regret Peoria has become a nationwide punchline.

Debate about the Peoria mayor’s legal pursuit of the creators of a Twitter account that parodied him reached dramatic tones before and during a council meeting that extended late into Tuesday night.

Ardis defended his actions, which led to search warrants, a police visit to a West Bluff residence and the arrest of one occupant on a marijuana-possession charge.

He said the profane tweets, on a Twitter account created by Peoria resident Jon Daniel, could not be tolerated. That was true even after the account was re-labeled as a parody and was deactivated.

“I still maintain my right to protect my identity is my right,” Ardis said in an interview with the Journal Star before the council meeting.

More…

Montelongo said the episode represented an abuse of Ardis’ authority, as well as the police department’s.

“There was too much power of force used on these pranksters,” said Montelongo, the 4th District councilman. “It made it look like the mayor received preferential treatment that other people don’t get or will never get.”

In his pre-meeting interview, Ardis said he believed his complaint was handled no differently than anybody else’s would be. He said he didn’t orchestrate the police investigation, nor the search-warrant process.

“That’s a heck of a lot more power than any mayor I know,” Ardis said.

Seriously?

It gets even better…

“You’re the ones responsible for getting full information, but not to spin it in the way you want to spin it,” Ardis said to a Journal Star reporter. “To make us look stupid.

“It’s your responsibility to put actual information out there and cover both sides. Not to opine. And that didn’t happen. Clearly, that didn’t happen.”

Umm, that’s funny because this was from the editorial that reporter’s paper put out last week when the story was fresh…

Among the some 50 tweets were vulgar references to sex and drug use and comparisons to erratic, reprobate Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Ardis says that “you couldn’t print the things it attributed to me in your paper,” that it was embarrassing to his family and that “there’s a line here that was not just crossed, but vaulted over.” We can appreciate how irritating that would be. It doesn’t say much for the adults who were responsible, who certainly invited scrutiny they may not have gotten otherwise. Ours is emphatically no defense of them.

(Emphasis added.)

Unreal.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   35 Comments      


Noland lone “No” vote on Madigan for DPI chair

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* The DSCC re-elected Speaker Madigan chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. But it wasn’t without a little drama…

The Chicago Democrat received near unanimous support from the party’s state central committee during a meeting in Springfield on Tuesday. The only committeeman to oppose him was state Sen. Michael Noland of Elgin.

Noland says he “respectfully” voted against Madigan but declined to detail why. He says the two have a difference of opinion and spoke by phone about the issues in recent days.

He says it’s “nothing personal” and he plans to honor his commitment to Madigan to not talk about the disagreement.

* How it went down…

Transcript…

Rep. Al Riley (D-Olympia Fields): “The question is shall Michael J. Madigan be Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois? All those in favor state by saying ‘aye.”

Democratic State Central Committee members: “Aye.”

Riley: “All those opposed, nay.”

Sen. Michael Noland (D-Elgin): (delay, soft)

Riley: “The opinion of the chair … I’m sorry?”

* Amanda Vinicky of WUIS/Illinois Public Radio provided us with raw audio of Noland speaking with reporters after the vote…

The Speaker’s response…

Madigan said he’s open to opposition if it advances the progress of the party.

“Whenever I’ve had opposition in the legislature or the state Democratic Party, we’ve usually made converse of those problems because we want to work with the people and we want to move in the right direction,” Madigan said.

Discuss.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   21 Comments      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Not yet
* Question of the Day
* REAL Peoria mayor defends Twitter raid
* Noland lone "No" vote on Madigan for DPI chair
* Yesterday's blog posts

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