State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale), who’s not officially in the race yet but will be this summer, says Rauner isn’t really a Republican.
“Bruce Rauner, while running in a Republican primary, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to (former Chicago) Mayor (Richard M.) Daley, Democrat members of Congress including Jan Schakowsky and Bill Foster, and hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrat governors nationwide,” he said.
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, also running for governor, criticized Rauner for making his campaign announcement via a video on his website, Rutherford making the point that he meets the public and the press face-to-face.
He added that criticism over campaign contributions to top Democrats must be viewed with a grain of salt. He gave money to four Democrats, two of whom are particularly notable.
“I’ve worked with Rahm Emanuel and Rich Daley because they control the public schools in Chicago and they are powerful allies who you need to work with if you hope to transform the schools,” Rauner said. “It’s the same technique the teachers’ union uses on both parties to block reform. I’m using it back on them.”
Numerous other contributions have been made in his household, but he claimed those come from his wife. He called her a staunch Democrat.
Saying Rauner is contributing to candidates when it’s actually his wife is gonna backfire badly if this keeps up. Just sayin’.
Rauner was criticized by fellow candidate Dan Rutherford as the state treasurer faced the media and citizens in a 13-city tour for his own announcement. Rauner decided to announce his campaign via video in order to reach more supporters.
“We’re trying to maximize my exposure as much as possible,” he said. “Launching a video that could be spread throughout the state digitally was hugely powerful. When we launched our two-minute video, we thought we would get 2-3,000 views that first day. We got 40,000.”
[Rauner] said the accusations by State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) over his connection to fraudster Stuart Levine is non-existent.
“He’s bringing up some guy named Levine who I’ve never had any interaction with and didn’t even know he was there,” Rauner said. “Somehow my old investment firm is involved in corruption and has something to do with him? It’s pure bologna.”
The connection is indirect: a company that was owned by Rauner’s firm once hired Levine as a consultant, so Rauner did not “employ” Levine.
* The anti-frackers are furious at Gov. Pat Quinn for signing the fracking regulatory and taxation bill yesterday. From a press release…
“It is obvious from his signing this bill that the Governor did not do his due diligence on this issue,” said Dr. Lora Chamberlain, spokesperson for the coalition, adding, “Any responsible person after looking at the evidence for serious harm caused by fracking across the nation would have wanted to investigate further to make sure that the regulations, written primarily by the industry, in SB1715, were sufficient to protect Illinois. But Gov. Quinn is acting like a desperate man and his actions will prove to be penny wise and dollar ridiculous. We will see how this plays out here in IL, but it is our prediction that the state will end up paying dearly to clean up the environmental mess from fracking and the resultant health problems. Polluting our precious fresh water permanently for oil will also turn out to be very unwise.”
OK, first of all the regulations were not “written primarily by the industry.” The negotiations were, in reality, based on the environmentalists’ legislative template. The fracking industry cooperated because Speaker Madigan threatened them with a moratorium.
Secondly, the Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Counsel and the Illinois Environmental Council all backed the bill. Those groups are made up of “responsible persons.”
With the signing of this bill the Shawnee National Forrest located south of Carbondale will be fracked and tourism in the area will be negatively impacted, many local business might be devastated. Penni Livingston of the Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment stated, “With a stroke of a pen, the Governor may have harmed irreparably the tourism industry in the Shawnee National Forest today.”
The Shawnee is located in parts of Pope, Jackson, Union, Hardin, Alexander, Saline, Gallatin, Johnson, and Massac counties. Current unemployment rate for each county…
Except for Jackson, which has SIU, and Massac, which has a casino, employment in that region ain’t exactly strong. They’re just not making it on tourism alone.
The coalition is asking the Governor to follow this dangerous technology very closely, and create the investigative task force that is included in SB1715 as soon as possible, so that they can start an independent examination of the many negative effects of fracking. The coalition is asking that the Governor include public hearings in this task force in order to provide a transparent avenue by which the citizens of the state can be heard. Dr. Lora Chamberlain said, “The last thing the Oil and Natural Gas companies want is public participation, but it is quite clear to this coalition that it is the public who is paying attention to the devastation from fracking around the country, and not our legislators or our Governor.”
The demand for public hearings isn’t unreasonable at all. But hearings shouldn’t be turned into circuses. This is serious business, not a way for people to creatively vent.
* Fracking Standards Now Law In Illinois: The director of the Illinois Environmental Council, Jen Walling, says she wishes the state would ban the practice. But she says given that fracking’s already happening in Illinois, her group and other major environmental organizations agreed to the new law. Walling says it sets tough, comprehensive standards drillers must follow. “We don’t allow open pits storage of waste water afterward. This has been a huge problem in other states. Our law requires that all waste water be kept in closed loop tanks. That’s a really big deal.”
* Colleges plan training for gas drilling jobs: Both colleges plan to provide a safety program and other training needed by the industry. Southeastern Illinois College has submitted a custom training certificate program to the state for approval. Rend Lake College plans to establish an associate degree program in oil and natural gas.
* The Shale Boom Has Given America Tons Of Political Leverage In The Middle East: Many have been skeptical of the true extent of the shale revolution’s impact on the U.S. economy, beyond localized effects like lowering mid-continent crude prices and reducing costs for industrial petroleum product manufacturing. But in a new note, Standard and Poor RatingsDirect’s Peter Rigby says it’s actually given the U.S. a tremendous amount of political leverage.
* California Assembly Rejects Fracking Ban: The California assembly vote followed closely on the heels of a comprehensive federal study of water quality near more than 100 natural gas fracking sites in Arkansas. As Environment & Climate News recently reported, the U.S. Geological Survey study found the extensive fracking in Arkansas has not compromised water quality near any of the fracking sites. Lisa Jackson, who led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the first four years of the Obama administration, has repeatedly testified to Congress that EPA has never found a single instance of fracking polluting groundwater.
* 10:15 am - The US Supreme Court has granted Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s motion for a second extension to file a writ of certiorari on the concealed carry case. The Court extended the deadline until July 22nd, according to the attorney general’s office.
This means that AG Madigan won’t have to decide whether to appeal until after the appellate court’s July 9th deadline for enacting a public carry law. That deadline was also extended at AG Madigan’s request.
* Subscribers were told much more about this earlier today, but here’s a quick e-mail from Rep. Elaine Nekritz’s spokesperson…
I’m told the House committee this afternoon will not be acting on the new version of SB 2404 this afternoon. Testimony will be presented on the bill in a subject matter hearing.
Also, I’m told the plan for tomorrow is for the Senate to non-concur on the House-approved amendment to Senate Bill 1 that make up the House pension plan. The House would then refuse to recede, sending the issue to a conference committee.
The “new version of SB 2404″ is Speaker Madigan’s amendment which guts Senate President Cullerton’s union-negotiated bill. No vote means MJM has backed off a bit. A good sign.
And Madigan opposed formation of a conference committee last week. That position has changed. Again, subscribers know more.
*** UPDATE *** Subscribers were told about this as well…
Quinn's office: Gov, Madigan, Cullerton have agreed to set up a pension conference cmte Wednesday, then gov calls back lawmakers in July.
* Do you ever get the feeling that the Chicago Tribune editorial board has been taken over by drama queens? Check out today’s editorial on pension reform, which includes a shout-out to their new bestest buddy, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Daley…
Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley, who’s exploring a run for governor, took a stab at Illinois’ pension stalemate Monday. He had some good ideas for how Gov. Pat Quinn could force the issue — starting with a promise to veto any faux pension reform that doesn’t get the job done. […]
Daley endorsed Michael Madigan’s pension bill, which this page also strongly supports. We wish only that Daley had taken advantage of his news conference to do a dramatic reading of the names of the dozens of members of the House and Senate who have obstructed the Madigan bill. It’s a long list, we know. We wish Daley had read it twice, with feeling.
Oh, yeah, that would’ve made for great TV. A “dramatic reading” of a long list of names. Also, kicking off your campaign by making enemies with a hostile name-check would serve no useful purpose, especially since the pension issue is still evolving (subscribe for more info).
Daley had some pointed advice for another potential Democratic rival for governor, Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Daley said Madigan should weigh in with a legal opinion on the constitutionality of the rival pension bills, including the bill sponsored by her father, House Speaker Michael Madigan. Enough with standing on the sidelines while the state implodes.
* I asked for a response yesterday from the attorney general’s office to Daley’s demand that she issue a formal opinion on the constitutional prospects of the various pension proposals. Here’s what I got…
The Attorney General is already aggressively defending the state in multiple cases that will significantly impact what the legislature can do to solve this crisis, and for over a year, she has been providing the legislature with legal advice and analysis on the constitutional issues.
As everyone is aware, the constitutional questions involved will ultimately be resolved by a court opinion, not the Attorney General’s opinion. As a result, the Attorney General is doing her job to keep the state’s legal options open while building the strongest legal arguments to ensure that the legislature’s final plan survives an inevitable court challenge.
I asked for clarification in a follow-up call. The AG has apparently been helping legislative legal staff to formulate constitutional justifications for their respective bills. Does that mean she believes that the bills are constitutional? They wouldn’t say.
I don’t think issuing a legal opinion would be all that difficult. And since she’s been helping to construct justifications for the plans, it might not take all that long, either.
* But there is a new game in town. I gave this development short shrift on the blog yesterday, but that was a mistake.
Senate President John Cullerton now supports a pension reform idea that isn’t solely based on his demand that pension system members be given a choice before their benefits can be cut. The proposal, which is backed by the state’s university presidents, only currently applies to SURS, but it looks like a model for the other systems…
The plan would reduce the unfunded liability in the State Universities Retirement System by 28 percent, from $20.2 billion, and could be a model for a comprehensive solution. It would mean a paid-up SURS system by 2044 and, during that time, reduce state contributions by 47 percent, from $76 billion to $40 billion.
Although Cullerton supports the idea, Phelon said it’s uncertain whether he’ll sponsor the legislation. A version was introduced May 31 by Democratic Sen. Michael Hastings of Orland Hills.
• Change the annual Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) for future retirees from a guaranteed compounded rate of 3 percent annually to a yield that is linked to the actual inflation rate – which would deliver higher yields in periods of high inflation, lower yields in periods of low inflation. “The COLA is the biggest driving force in the state’s inability to solve the pension problem,” Poshard said.
• Shift the state’s 11 percent share of SURS pension contribution to the state’s public universities and colleges over 12 years. If used as a model for all the state’s public pension plans, the cost shift to local governments would be softened by guarantees of stable funding that would minimize or eliminate property tax hikes. “If you guarantee them at least level funding, not cutting their funding every year, why do you need a property tax increase?” Poshard said.
• Require employees to contribute an additional .05 percent towards pension cost each year over four years, increasing the annual contribution from 8 percent to 10 percent.
• Obligate the state by written contract to make full pension contributions annually or the pension system of any of its members would be able to take legal action to compel the state to make the specified payment.
• Allow new employees to participate in a hybrid pension plan comprising a defined benefit and an individual defined contribution portion that resembles the 401 (k) plans common to the private sector. Poshard said employees would be able to decide if they wanted to take on greater risk for the potential of greater reward.
I’m just not sure that trumpeting his stewardship of a “too big to fail” bank is gonna do him all that much good in a Democratic primary. Maybe I’m wrong. Feel free to correct me in comments.
*** UPDATE *** Oops. I meant to post this story as well. Sun-Times…
Bill Daley, who launched his race for Illinois governor last week, donated $100,000 to his warchest, while tapping long-time friends here, New York and Florida to help bankroll his Democratic primary bid, according to a report filed on Monday.
Daley contributed the $100,000 to his “William M. Daley Exploratory Committee” on June 11; a big enough sum to show that Daley is just not marking time waiting to see if Attorney General Lisa Madigan jumps in the contest.
* So, more than 30,000 votes in 2010 for Pat Quinn were fraudulent? That’s what Roger Keats says and Bill Brady appears to agree…
State Senator Bill Brady won the 2010 gubernatorial election, former State Senator Roger Keats emphatically alleged last week during a Chicago book tour, and Pat Quinn is governor today only because election fraud in Chicago and Illinois is prevalent and widespread.
“Bill Brady won the election. Even the media realized what had happened, but said nothing,” Keats said. “Brady knew it was hopeless to try to overturn the election, as those entities involved with deciding close elections were composed of majority Democratic members.”
State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), who is expected to declare soon another try at the governor’s seat in 2014, confirmed that Keats’ allegations aren'’t as far-fetched as they might sound.
“After a very close election in November 2010, there was a suspicion that voter fraud had taken place, but how would we prove the presence of fraud?” Brady said. […]
“Only 30,000 votes separated me from Pat Quinn. Lawyers were consulted, they advised me that it would cost millions of dollars to prove that fraud had occurred to result in my defeat,” he said.
OK, wait a minute here. This is just goofy on its face.
Republican Mark Kirk defeated Alexi Giannoulias by 59,220 votes in 2010. Those must’ve been some seriously sophisticated fraudsters if they were splitting their tickets like that.
“The funny thing is the vote fraud that saved Quinn was, I believe, really to protect Joe Berrios in his race against Forrest Claypoole [for Cook County assessor]. Quinn just benefitted from straight Democrat ballots,” Keats wrote in follow-up correspondence.
* Madison County’s state’s attorney was the first this month to say he wouldn’t prosecute anyone arrested for concealed carry, as long as they followed some rules. Several others have followed, including these…
Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz issued a formal statement stating such about noon Friday, saying that a recent federal appellate court ruling declared the state’s blanket ban on concealed carry unconstitutional.
“A citizen who wishes to exercise their Second Amendment right to carry a firearm outside of the home for self-defense should not be placed in the situation where they fear prosecution if they exercise a constitutional right,” the prosecutor said in a news release.
By 3 p.m., Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady said he agreed with much of what his colleague across the river said.
“Since the court’s ruling, Peoria County has been following the court’s opinion and not charging persons with valid FOID cards entitled to possess a firearm,” he said. “Our office seeks to follow the court’s opinion and honor a person’s constitutional rights outlined by the recent decision.”
Woodford County State’s Attorney Gregory Minger said he fully supported the Second Amendment and Umholtz’s stance as it related to concealed carry. He qualified his statement by saying he needed to talk to law enforcement in his county to see how such a change would manifest itself.
Macon County officials are crafting regulations to allow concealed carry in the county, State’s Attorney Jay Scott said.
Scott said he and Sheriff Tom Schneider plan to meet later this week to discuss some of the “sensible rules and regulations” which will dictate how and when residents will be able to carry firearms in public. […]
Scott said he will follow the ruling already sent down from the courts and craft their own regulations since no law has taken effect.
“Prosecutors and law enforcement across the board have to come up with some sort of policy to let the people know what’s going on,” Scott said. “Without a concealed-carry law and with the current law (banning concealed carry) being ruled unconstitutional, there’s just a lot of issue to sort through.”
Randolph County State’s Attorney Jeremy Walker told KFVS-TV that residents can carry concealed guns in public.
“Responsible, law-abiding citizens will finally be able to exercise their constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in Randolph County,” a statement from his office reads, according to the station
But in Rock Island County - this states attorney says he will be following the law - until the law changes.
“We are not legislators. That’s for them to write the laws. We enforce the laws that are written.”
The Illinois State Police, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Illinois Sheriff’s Association issued a public safety advisory in response to numerous inquiries from citizens to the Illinois State Police Firearm Services Bureau empasizing that it will continue to enforce Illinois’ current unlawful use of a weapon statute in all jurisdictions.
Current Illinois law prohibits the carrying of an immediately accessible or loaded firearm on your person or in your vehicle regardless of whether it is concealed. Persons in violation are subject to arrest until the law changes.
A move by several municipal governments to consider banning assault weapons has come to Lake County, and gun owners are preparing for a struggle.
The first arena will be village board and City Council chambers across the region, as firearms owners plan to speak publicly in opposition of local bans. If that doesn’t work, the next venue likely will be the courtroom, according to Mike Weisman, second vice president for the Illinois State Rifle Association.
“There is litigation around the country on ordinances like this, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more,” Weisman said.
A state law allowing gun owners to carry their handguns awaits Gov. Quinn’s signature, but it also starts the clock ticking for home-rule municipalities with regard to larger firearms, commonly referred to as “assault weapons.”