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Another new way to find and target voters

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* The wave of the future

DirecTV and Dish are using digital technology to match voter registration information with subscriber homes, and are now offering political campaigns the ability to send targeted ads to select households. For example, politically conservative satellite customers might see a TV commercial for a Republican candidate, while their liberal neighbor gets an ad for a Democrat. […]

DirecTV and Dish this year formed a partnership called D2 Media Sales to sell targeted spots to candidates and ballot measure organizers. The partnership represents the nation’s “largest household addressable TV advertising platform,” the companies said, with more than 20 million homes.

Working with a handful of consulting firms, the two satellite giants now have access to databases containing voter information on 190 million people. That trove of data enables them to create a new sales pitch: transmit ads into the homes of partisan voters, frequent voters and swing voters, in specific states.

D2 Media Sales struck a partnership in June with the Arlington, Va., political firm i360, which focuses on targeting Republican and conservative voters. Then, last week, D2 entered into a similar arrangement with Clarity Campaign Labs and TargetSmart Communications, left-leaning data firms that help campaigns mine Democratic National Committee voter databases. […]

“Instead of hitting everybody, including the people who won’t vote, or won’t vote the way we’d like them to, we focus the ads and the dollars on just the voters that candidates want to persuade,” Palmer said. […]

The DirecTV and Dish initiative is offering its service on statewide levels, but in future years could offer politicians more segmented regions, such as individual counties or congressional districts.

They need to narrow those regions down a lot more, but this could be a game-changer, particularly if cable finds a way to do it as well.

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      


Citizen Action rails against Uber

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* From a press release…

Today, the California based billionaire CEO of Uber blew into Illinois to call on Governor Quinn to veto the ridesharing consumer protection act, which was passed by the General Assembly with bi-partisan support last spring.

Travis Kalanick, the newly minted billionaire joins his allies in the Republican Party and fellow billionaire Bruce Rauner in standing against basic consumer safety. “In calling on the Governor to veto this landmark consumer protection legislation, the self-serving billionaires are throwing the safety and well-being of rideshare customers out the door,” said Lynda DeLaforgue, co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois.

If signed into law, the bill requires very simple consumer friendly protections such as requiring drivers who work more than 36 hours in a two week period to have a chauffeur’s license, and for all drivers to carry commercial liability insurance.

Yesterday, Citizen Action launched a new online petition for consumers who support basic rideshare safety in Illinois. The petition calls on Governor Quinn to sign HB4075 & HB5331 - the Rideshare Protection Act.

“Most Illinois consumers probably already think they have sufficient insurance and a safe driver who has had a proper background check when they get into a rideshare car. The truth is that unless the Governor signs these bills, Illinois will be the wild west of ridesharing. Other states such as New York have already implemented similar protections, why can’t Illinois?” DeLaforgue asked.

Citizen Action/Illinois also released a fact sheet outlining the “Top Five Uber-Bad Actions in 2014,” attached to this release.

* The fact sheet…

TOP FIVE UBER-BAD ACTIONS IN 2014

1) After an Uber driver hit and killed a 6-year-old girl in San Francisco, Uber denied responsibility and kept the little girl’s family from any insurance compensation.

San Francisco Gate, “Uber denies fault in S.F. crash that killed girl”

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Uber-denies-fault-in-S-F-crash-that-killed-girl-5458290.php

2) A NBC 5 Chicago investigative team report found numerous UberX drivers with criminal pasts, including an ex-con on probation with a list of felonies over twenty years long, even after company “background checks.”

NBC Chicago, “Ride Service May Pose Risk To Passengers”

http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Ride-Service-May-Pose-Risk-to-Passengers-256639641.html

3) In March, a Chicago Uber driver sexually assaulted a young woman, driving her the wrong way from home and “repeatedly fondled her legs, groin area and breasts.”

Chicago Tribune, “In lawsuit, woman says Uber driver harassed, fondled her”

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-19/news/chi-uber-sexual-harassment-lawsuit-20140319_1_driver-wrong-way-lawsuit

4) Lyft claimed that Uber drivers and employees had hailed and then canceled more than 5,560 Lyft rides over a 10-month period, effectively keeping Lyft’s cars busy while Uber scooped up the fares.

New York Times, “Accusations Fly Between Uber and Lyft”

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/12/accusations-fly-between-uber-and-lyft/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

5) In April, Uber began forcing their passengers to pay a so-called “safety fee.” By doing this, Uber keeps its 20% off the top and makes a rider pay extra to have a supposedly modicum of safety.

Gawker, “Why is Uber Charging You Extra to Not Get Assaulted?”

http://valleywag.gawker.com/why-is-uber-charging-you-extra-to-not-get-assaulted-1567825107

We’ve seen most of this before, and I read somewhere this week that Lyft is being accused of the same highjacking scheme as Uber. Also, Citizen Action is very close to organized labor, which is backing the taxi companies in this fight.

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


Does it feel like August to you?

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* Man, it’s only August 20th and it seems like October. At one point yesterday afternoon, CapitolFax.com was loading slowly, so I called my local web hosting company to ask what was going on. They said the site was getting 50 visits per second. I thought we were under attack or something. But no. It was all legit traffic.

We ended up with over 290,000 page views yesterday - twice the number we had on the day Rod Blagojevich was arrested (which stood as a record for a very long time) and more than all days but one during the record-setting month of this past May, when we came close to 5 million page views.

To put this into perspective, Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish had about six million page views last month. Sully’s blog is read all over the world. This blog is read almost solely in Illinois.

What was that line in Godfather, Part II? “Michael, we’re bigger than US Steel.”

Just kidding.

Sullivan has far more unique visitors than we do here, but our folks come back constantly throughout the day and into the evening. So I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank all of you for your presence here.

* Despite the increase in traffic, comments have remained mostly civil. Thanks for that as well. The newbies have yet to arrive, however. They’ll undoubtedly descend upon our beloved website to spew their DC talking points as we get closer to election day, even though, as I said, it’s already starting to feel like the home stretch.

* And speaking of the fast-approaching election, things are getting a little testy behind the scenes between the two campaign staffs. Gov. Quinn’s campaign communications director Brooke Anderson blocked some Rauner comms staff from following her Twitter account today. One of Rauner’s guys sent me this…

From Brooke…

A. Whiners. B. I’ll make them a deal: they can follow my personal Twitter if they’ll disclose their candidate’s full tax records!

Lol

Heh. She does use that account quite a lot for her job, though. And the Rauner staff hasn’t Twitter-blocked anyone from the Quinn campaign… yet.

Anyway, it’s a small thing, but I do expect this situation to get plenty worse by November. My pre-election party for top campaign staff should be interesting.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


*** UPDATED x2 - Rauner responds - Decision posted *** This just in… Appellate court affirms term limits ruling

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* 1:46 pm - An attorney close to the lawsuit over Bruce Rauner’s proposed term limits amendment just called to say the appellate court has ruled against Rauner and upheld the lower court ruling that forbade the measure from appearing on the ballot.

You’ll know more when I know more. The deadline to certify the ballot is Friday. So, the Supreme Court would have to act almost immediately or a court would have to suspend the deadline date, and neither of those may be in the cards.

*** UPDATE 1 *** The opinion is here.

The most important line

Based on the cases discussed above, some components of the Committee’s proposed amendment may very well comply with article XIV, section 3. However, the proposed amendment is ultimately invalid because of its term limits provision. CBA II viewed term limits as a matter of the “eligibility or qualifications of an individual legislator,” and in turn, neither structural nor procedural.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…

With the Appellate Court’s ruling today, Bruce Rauner, Chairman of the Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits, has directed his legal team to immediately file an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court to quickly take up the matter of whether or not voters will have the opportunity to vote on the Term Limits and Reform binding constitutional amendment in November.

“Let the people of Illinois decide for themselves if they want to term limit legislators. Time is running out - the Illinois Supreme Court needs to take the case. Nearly 600,000 Illinoisans signed the petition to put our amendment on the November ballot and the State Board of Elections has certified that we submitted enough signatures to be on the ballot. The people deserve to have their voices heard.” Bruce Rauner said. “The Illinois Supreme Court should not ignore the people of Illinois.”

“Our Term Limits and Reform amendment was carefully crafted to meet all the requirements that the Illinois Supreme Court very clearly laid out in its 1994 decision and we are hopeful that the Illinois Supreme Court will find in favor of the citizens of Illinois,” Rauner concluded.

Um, no, it clearly was not “carefully crafted to meet all the requirements that the Illinois Supreme Court very clearly laid out in its 1994 decision.” Look at that excerpted line from the appellate decision above. This was doomed from the start.

- Posted by Rich Miller   59 Comments      


Libertarians likely on ballot, Greens up in the air

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* Nothing is official yet, but a hearing officer ruled in favor of the Libertarian Party’s petitions this week, and there’s a full State Board of Elections meeting Friday to make it official

The Libertarian candidates appear likely to prevail in their case. On Aug. 15, a hearing officer ruled the Libertarian candidates had enough signatures to be on the ballot. In the past, the elections board has generally followed the hearing officer’s decision, but it doesn’t have to. A 4-4 tie would favor the Libertarians.

* The Green Party lost its case at the hearing officer level, but the party has filed suit to get its candidates on the ballot

On Thursday morning, Judge J. John Tharp Jr. is scheduled to rule on a motion for preliminary injunction in a ballot-access lawsuit filed by the Illinois Green Party. […]

The Green Party’s lawsuit argues Illinois has thrown up so many hurdles for non-established parties that the whole process is unconstitutional. If Tharp grants the preliminary injuction, it’s likely the Green candidates will go on the ballot because counties have to get started on the process soon to have the ballots ready for early and absentee voting. The chairman of the Illinois Constitution Party has said his party plans to join the Green lawsuit, but it has not yet done so.

The Green Party lawsuit affects only statewide candidates. The party’s candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and the Metropolititan Water Reclamation District already are assured of their places on the ballot.

- Posted by Rich Miller   16 Comments      


Prank ad posted on craigslist

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* A help-wanted ad on the Chambana craigslist promotes a $22 an hour “Copywriter/Proofer for Statewide Political Campaign (Champaign)”

Statewide political campaign in desperate need of a copywriter and proofer. The candidate loves to see himself on Facebook and Twitter, but to date, we’ve made way too many mistakes with typos and bad photos.

Key Responsibilities include: proofing the videos that the campaign makes to make sure we aren’t saying something false in them, editing and writing Facebook status updates and email blasts, watching the campaign posts on blog comment sections to make sure they don’t post stupid things and even holding up a ‘meet the candidate sign’ so he doesn’t have to.

Dress code: Need to be able to wear a suit. Even to places you shouldn’t.

We’d prefer someone who has worked with celebrities or perhaps infants. Either way, someone who is willing to tolerate vanity and a ‘pay attention to me!’ type of attitude from the boss.

If you have a library of tall/height puns, all the better.

Must be able to spell the words “Treasurer” and “Treasurer’s Office” properly.

More than a little insidery, but still somewhat amusing. Plus, I’ve never seen that tactic used before.

…Adding… The Tom Cross campaign says it’s not from them and not authorized by them.

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      


Lewis takes next step, files D-1

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* Illinois Review

CTU boss Karen Lewis officially files to run for Chicago mayor

Actually, no. She merely filed a D-1 for a new campaign committee, Citizens to Elect Karen Lewis Mayor of Chicago.

* Lewis talked about this last night in Beverly. “I did file my D-1 in order for us to comply with campaign finance laws in Illinois.” She also said she’d be passing petitions. “The decision will be based on what the people want,” she said. Watch

She’s obviously putting some thought into this campaign and issues that will come up, and appears to be inching forward. “I am so seriously considering this,” she said. “Before, I was just thinking about it.”

* Meanwhile

Karen Lewis said Tuesday that a $1 million pledge of support from the American Federation of Teachers “automatically changes the calculus” of a potential mayoral campaign.

But apparently not enough to push the Chicago Teachers Union president any closer to deciding whether or not to actually challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“I want to run things on my time line,” Lewis told a capacity crowd of union members at Morgan Park’s Beverly Woods Banquet Hall.

It was her third “conversation” with Chicagoans.

And she’s got 74 more to go.

* More

“I speak to rank-and-file cops and firefighters who tell me all kinds of things,” Lewis said. “What we have is a demoralized city work force that doesn’t feel appreciated.”

Lewis said if elected mayor, she absolutely would put more police on the streets, but didn’t mention how’d she pay for such a move. She also said she’d put an end to hiring workers from outside of Chicago to run city departments. Lewis wouldn’t say whether she’d oust Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, but said she would get “rid of the title CEO. Call it what it is: superintendent.”

Asked how she’d handle Chicago’s financial mess, including massively underfunded public pension systems, Lewis said the city would “have to get more creative about revenue,” including considering a commuter tax and a tax on financial transactions in the city. But she offered up no specifics beyond that.

Lewis didn’t shy away from criticizing Emanuel directly, at one point saying he’s intent on lying about his record. “Rahm Emanuel thinks Chicagoans aren’t very bright,” she said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      


Schneider still under fire over tax returns

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* News-Sun

Disclosure of income tax information continues to be a campaign issue for Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) even after he made his 2013 return public.

Schneider submitted his 2013 federal and state tax returns Aug. 12 after taking a permitted extension from the April 15 filing date and made them available for viewing by the media Aug. 14.

Submitting his return as a married person filing separately drew criticism from the campaign of former Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth). Dold and his wife, Danielle Dold, filed a joint return for 2013, as they did in previous years.

“After stalling for months and ignoring demands (to release) his tax returns from the years immediately before he took office, Congressman Schneider (masks) his 2013 returns to conceal his household income from the public,” Dold Campaign Manager James Slepian said.

Schneider is not disclosing information about the career of his wife, Julie Dann. She is a senior managing director for Mesirow Financial, according to the company’s website.

* Some context from Greg Hinz

The income tax issue first surfaced in 2012, when Mr. Dold was still in office. Mr. Dold released his returns and challenged Mr. Schneider to do the same, with his aides suggesting that the returns would show Mr. Schneider really wasn’t the successful businessman he claimed to be but pretty much lived off of the income from his wife, Julie Schneider, a senior managing director at Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc. here.

Mr. Dold since has renewed his challenge and Mr. Schneider eventually agreed to release his 2013 return — something that has become fairly standard in American politics. But he filed for an extension, and it wasn’t until just before the weekend that the Schneider campaign actually released anything.

What it released was not the return but a one-page summary, indicating that Mr. Schneider had federal adjusted gross income of $220,216 last year, tax liability of $60,678 after $28,000 in federal deductions, and received a $13,491 refund.

* From the Bob Dold campaign…

“The great lengths that Congressman Schneider and his staff have gone to keep his background under wraps are astonishing to say the least – nearly two years of defiance, a four month delay in sharing already publically known information and now mocking the public’s demands by filing separately from his wife. His deceptive actions have gone from troubling to disgraceful,” said James Slepian, Dold for Congress Campaign Manager.

“While his own party has called the releasing of back years of returns as the ‘low bar of disclosure’ and ‘an easy test of whether he is worthy of the public’s trust,’ it would be wise for the Congressman to remember that his seat in Congress doesn’t belong to him, it belongs to the people of the 10th District. If he can’t be trusted to answer their questions about his past, he can’t be trusted to represent them in the future,” Slepian concluded.

Since Congressman Schneider knew that the media and the very people he represents have called for this transparency since the 2012 campaign, then:

    Why did he still file his returns as an individual instead of with his wife as he has always done?
    Why did he delay the viewing of his returns for over four months?
    Why is he still refusing the release his 2011 and 2012 returns, and did he pay all of the taxes he was legally required to pay in those years?

I can certainly see the reasoning behind the attacks, but they’d probably better tread lightly on the wife issue.

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


True, but…

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* From RollCall. Valid

The national political tide isn’t looking good for Democrats, but in Illinois this November, down-ballot candidates have an even bigger problem: the drag of Gov. Pat Quinn.

* Valid

Absent from the Governor’s Day lineup were any of the three Democrats facing competitive re-elections in the Land of Lincoln: Reps. Cheri Bustos, Brad Schneider and Bill Enyart.

Bustos and Enyart hail from the northwest and southwest corners of the state, respectively. President Barack Obama carried their districts in 2012, but Quinn lost them by large margins two years earlier, and this fall is looking even more troubling for the governor.

Schneider is facing a rematch with former Rep. Bob Dold in the 10th District — the Republican he ousted in 2012 by a mere 1-point margin, even as Obama won there with 58 percent. The district is located in the northern Chicago suburbs, and while it votes Democratic in presidential cycles, it sent moderate Republican Mark S. Kirk to the House for five terms before he rose to the Senate.

Former Judge Ann Callis, the Democratic nominee taking on Rodney Davis in the Springfield-based 13th District this fall, attended the breakfast. But she did not speak, nor did she bring with her any sort of large presence of supporters or staff to boost her candidacy.

* Goofy

While vulnerable Democrats avoided sharing the spotlight with Quinn during their day at the fair, GOP candidates and elected officials clamored to share a stage with Rauner. They included Kirk, Rep. Aaron Schock and Rodney Davis, and each talked more about Rauner and a rising Republican tide in this traditionally blue state than they did about Obama.

Davis represents Springfield and he has some former aides working on Rauner’s campaign. Mark Kirk isn’t up this year and Schock barely has an opponent.

Absent from the festivities were Republicans Mike Bost, [Bost was apparently there, but I didn’t see him] Bobby Schilling and Bob Dold. Yet their Democratic opponents were zinged by RollCall for not showing.

Look, there’s no doubt that Quinn will be a drag on most of these races, particularly Downstate contests, and those Dem candidates don’t wanna be seen anywhere near the guy. But at least use the same standard when judging them.

* Also, the reporter described how some of Quinn’s backers were bused to Springfield. That happens every year and Rauner did the same exact thing. And she said there was no energy at the Quinn Director’s Lawn event. Was she even there? I thought they did a decent job firing up the crowd - not as well as Rauner did, but decent enough for showbiz.

- Posted by Rich Miller   6 Comments      


Is it tightening?

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* Democratic pollster Garin Hart Yang Research Group has Bruce Rauner ahead of Gov. Pat Quinn by 44-41. Two percent lean toward each candidate. The firm conducted the poll for Sen. Dick Durbin. These are likely voters, which makes it even more interesting since most of the polls showing a tight race are simply registered voters (where Dems do better). Greg Hinz

But a Garin Hart Yang survey released on May 14 had Mr. Rauner up six points, 46 percent to 40 percent. And another in April had the race 49 percent for Mr. Rauner to 39 percent for Mr. Quinn.

All of those polls were taken before the Quinn campaign and an independent group, Illinois Freedom PAC, began dropping millions in ads that slash Mr. Rauner for not paying enough income taxes, investing overseas and other rich guy sins. But the new survey was taken after those ads hit, specifically last week, on Aug. 12 to 14.

What I find particularly interesting is that Mr. Quinn’s numbers haven’t moved much since spring; he’s still right around 40 percent. But Mr. Rauner’s numbers have dropped — a classic sign of a negative campaign that is making some voters reconsider their position.

But there’s this

President Barack Obama’s job approval rating in the state is negative, with 51 percent disapproving of his performance and 47 percent approving. He was up 50 to 49 in the survey as recently as April.

Again, keep in mind that this is a Democratic pollster, but numbers is numbers and candidates like to know exactly where they are. To do otherwise would be foolish.

* Other stuff…

* Tribune poll: Chicago voters split on luring Obama library

* Pat Quinn to team up with Pat Quinn for Ice Bucket Challenge

* Greek parade organizer: Rauner, Quinn lineup left him sleepless: Parade organizer Basilios Dimitrios Mataragas, who is also president of the Federation of Hellenic American Organizations of Illinois, said he didn’t know of an attempt to kick Rauner out… “Four days before, I could not sleep because the pressure I was under for who I put in front and who I put behind,” Mataragas told Early & Often. “I felt, I cannot play anybody’s political campaign. We were not there to promote anybody’s campaign.”

* Korecki: Rauner pushes Uber; but Quinn’s camp uses it more often: For Quinn, the total is about $674. For Rauner, it’s about $581.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


Question of the day

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* Gov. Pat Quinn’s new TV ad includes this tagline

Bruce Rauner, if he wins, we lose.

* The Question: Should the Quinn campaign keep that slogan or come up with something else? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


polls

- Posted by Rich Miller   67 Comments      


*** UPDATED x4 - Rauner promised return to NBC5 before primary - Quinn camp says Rauner “proposed a phony alternative of concocted venues” *** Rauner proposes attending four candidate forums, three public debates, one private debate

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* From a press release…

Bruce Rauner today confirmed eight gubernatorial debates and candidate forums leading up to the November election.

“I look forward to comparing my vision of freezing property taxes, rolling back the Quinn-Madigan income tax hike and reversing the governor’s education cuts to Pat Quinn’s failed record of job losses, broken schools and Blagojevich-style corruption,” Rauner said. “I am running to be governor for all people in Illinois and our debate schedule should reflect the diversity of our state.”

Rauner’s proposed debates and candidate forums include:

    Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable Candidate Forum - Wednesday, August 27, 2014
    Metropolitan Planning Council Candidate Forum – Thursday, August 28, 2014
    Chicago Tribune Joint Endorsement Session - Tuesday, September 9, 2014
    Polish-American Leadership Political Action Committee Candidate Forum - Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    League of Women Voters/PBS Peoria Debate - Thursday, October 9, 2014
    Urban League/Business Leadership Council/DuSable Museum Debate - Thursday, October 14, 2014
    Lake County Municipal League Candidate Forum*
    League of Women Voters /ABC7 Chicago Debate*

*Dates Pending

I’ll let you know what the Quinn campaign says in response.

*** UPDATE 1 *** The response…

Below is the statement of Quinn for Illinois Communications Director Brooke Anderson following news that Bruce Rauner refused eight neutral debates with Gov. Pat Quinn and proposed a phony alternative of concocted venues to help himself:

“The public knows virtually nothing about Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner and he wants to keep it that way. In limiting the number of debates to a paltry three, he is hiding from a transparent airing of his views and plans for Illinois.

“This is unworthy of a candidate for governor and a disservice to the people of Illinois. Mr. Rauner won’t let us know about his finances. He won’t let us know about the shady dealings of his business. He won’t let us know about his foreign investments and partnerships. He won’t let us know about the exotic vehicles he uses to dodge Illinois and U.S. taxes.

“In the 2010 election, Republican nominee for governor Bill Brady readily agreed to five debates without condition.

“By hiding from debates about the future of Illinois, Bruce Rauner is letting us know ONE thing: he wants to hide from the judgment of the people. By doing so, Mr. Rauner is disrespecting Illinois voters.”

In addition, Bruce Rauner attempted to mislead the public and brand five additional appearances as “debates,” which they are not. For example, the first two events noted by Rauner in his list - hosted by the Metropolitan Planning Council and Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable - are not even joint appearances, much less debates. At both events, the candidates will arrive and speak separately. The Chicago Tribune endorsement session is not a debate but a session closed to the general media. The Polish American Political Action Committee is a small group whose chair is the head of Polish Americans for Rauner. The president of the Lake County Municipal League is also the chairman of Mayors for Rauner and a Rauner business associate who recently put up an illegal sign to help Rauner’s campaign.

Below is a list of 11 confirmed debates the Governor of Illinois committed to, with Rauner’s denied participation noted:

    1. Sept 17th: Daily Herald

    2. Oct 1st: Governor’s State University

    3. Oct. 7th: University of Illinois in Champaign

    4. Oct. 9th: League of Women Voters/ PBS Peoria

    5. Oct. 14th: Urban League and Business Leadership DuSable Museum

    6. Oct 16th: League of Women Voters / ABC7 Chicago

    7. Oct. 19th: Elmhurst College

    8. Oct. 23 - NBC5/U of C Institute of Politics

    9. Oct. 28th- CBS2/Daily Herald/WBBM Radio

    10. Oct. 30th: WTTW/ Chicago Tonight

    11. Date TBD by debate host: WGN/Channel 9 (Oct. 22nd or Oct. 29th)

The criticisms, particularly about the forums, are valid.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Two of the debates on this list, Governors State and CBS2/Daily Herald, were not on the original list of debates Quinn demanded earlier this month. So, they’re padding the numbers here.

Also, I’m hearing that the CBS2 debate was also supposed to include Andy Shaw of the BGA and that might have been why Quinn didn’t agree to it then, but is saying he would now.

*** UPDATE 3 *** My phone blew up with text messages from the governor’s campaign after that second update. A sample…

We are not padding #s

We listed the gov state as tentative - and he other two weren’t confirmed - they have since been confirmed

*** UPDATE 4 *** This video clip was slipped to me a few minutes ago. It shows Bruce Rauner promising Carol Marin that he would return to the station for a debate against Gov. Quinn

Transcript…

Carol Marin: With 30 seconds to go, do each of you promise, assuming one of you is chosen, to come back and meet your opponent on the Democratic side in another one of these forums?

Bruce Rauner: I would look forward to that day. Pat Quinn’s the worst governor in America and I look forward to debating him.

- Posted by Rich Miller   50 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Yes, he did, but so did Quinn

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* On September 18, 2012, Bruce Rauner appeared on a panel in Chicago to discuss Illinois economics and taxes. He was asked about Jimmy John’s CEO Jimmy John Liataud’s decision to leave Illinois

“I’m deeply saddened, outraged and ready to fight to make that not the case for you [Liataud] and your fellow entrepreneurs. We have got to change the direction of our state. And the rest of us in this business community who’ve been here for our whole lives to say ‘enough, no more, we’re not going to stay in this death spiral, we want great entrepreneurs to stay and thrive and build your companies and your jobs here in Illinois.’ That’s what our future’s about.

“Backstory on us, I’m in the venture capital business, private equity business. We’ve helped start almost a hundred companies. We’ve financed the growth of hundreds of companies. And we’ve been integral to the location decision of where they will base their operations, where they will base their headquarters. We’ve been the driving factor in much of that decision.

“It’s driven me nuts for decades that we are unsuccessful in convincing many of the entrepreneurs that we back to headquarter in Illinois. And many of the companies that we’ve helped started in Illinois have decided to leave the state. I know dozens of business owners who’ve left. I know dozens of others who are ready to leave. I know many successful business executives who were born and raised here and they changing their residency. They’re changing it to Florida, they’re changing it to Texas, they’re changing it to Nevada. We’ve got to say ‘Enough. No more.’

“And it’s, it’s in part about taxes, but it’s really about confidence and value. We’ve got to have confidence in our, in our government institutions. And in Illinois, for good reason, we have almost none.

“I mean, I, if we, if you were going to invest in a new plant that would come to Illinois, I’d like to say yes, but I’d have to say no.”

* The Quinn campaign wants you to focus like a laser on that last sentence, so a top official sent along this short clip

Out of context, that could very well work in an ad.

* But I think the “we’ve been integral to the location decision” line could also be important. Why? Well, yesterday, Rauner said this

“I have never closed a plant and moved those jobs overseas or that sort of thing. That’s not what my business was. Never done that.”

* Now, let’s get back to H-Cube, the outsourcing company mentioned in the governor’s new TV ad. The company eventually changed its name to Zenta. The governor’s campaign passed along some intel on the company, including this…

Zenta Downsized 25 Person Group to 12, Trained Indian Managers, and Began “Transferring Process Related Functions to India.” According to a case study listed on the Zenta website in November 2009: “[The] Client had a 110,000 loan, $25 billion residential master servicing portfolio in an industry with shrinking margins and increasing client service demands. Zenta Solution…Downsize 25 person group to 12. Remaining U.S. employees refocused on client management. Train Indian managers in U.S. Brought in experienced U.S. management. Indian managers return to Chennai to train new team…Begin transferring process related functions to India. Results: Reduced operational costs by 60%… Developed a leading third party master servicing platform in the U.S.” [Zenta.com, 11/09]

* From the DGA…

According to Rauner American job loss to low-wage markets like China, India and Mexico by announcing that “Not every job should be in America.”

Now that he’s squarely on the record concerning outsourcing at the expense of American jobs, here are a few questions for the tycoon who told a blatant falsehood concerning the outsourcing strategies of his own companies:

Question 1: What about Zenta?
“GTCRauner formed an outsourcing company in 2005 that, at its very outset, made clear it would deliberately exploit cheap labor in places such as India, China and the Philippines. Combining under the Zenta brand name, the conglomerate was designed specifically to send a wide range of American white-collar work overseas. In some cases, low-wage workers from places like India came to the United States to be trained by the very people whose jobs their firm would take. Rauner’s firms claimed they pioneered the outsourcing of jobs in the financial services and real estate markets. In fact, sending jobs overseas to exploit cheap labor was their guiding principle. They exploited American workers, too, and were successfully sued for labor violations.”

It’s pretty clear that Rauner wasn’t telling the full truth when he said “I have never closed a plant and moved those jobs overseas or that sort of thing. That’s not what my business was. Never done that.” He apparently did do that.

* And that “Not every job should be in America” line is gonna come back to bite Rauner for sure. From Illinois Freedom PAC…

Yesterday, Bruce Rauner fiercely defended his record of outsourcing U.S. jobs, saying “not every job should be in America.”

Neal Waltmire, Communications Director for Illinois Freedom PAC, released the following statement in response to Rauner’s remarks:

Spoken like a true vulture capitalist, Rauner defends his record of destroying middle class jobs and shipping them out of the United States.

When candidates for Governor speak of creating jobs, we assume they are talking about here in Illinois. But when Rauner talks job creation he means in foreign countries, conveniently leaving out the American jobs that will be destroyed in the process.

Rauner’s statement proves once again that his barometer of success is not creating middle class jobs or growing local companies. His primary metric is how much profits he and his billionaire buddies can suck out of our economy.

Rauner - and the executives he picks to run his companies - will do just about anything to make money, even if it means destroying middle class jobs, abusing and neglecting vulnerable citizens, and bankrupting companies.

Tom Gaulrapp, a Freeport resident whose job was outsourced to China in 2012, hit the nail on the head when he told a group in Rockford last month that this election is about “keeping one of these vulture capitalists who thinks it’s a good idea to pack up our jobs and move them somewhere else, to keep him from being in the governorship of Illinois.”

* Then there’s Polymer Group. From another opposition research file that was tossed over the transom…

Rauner was on the Board of Directors, including the audit committee, of Polymer Group until 2003. Under GTCR and Rauner’s leadership, Polymer posted five straight quarters of losses starting in late 2000 through 2002. While the company wasn’t making money, Rauner and GTCR were loading it up with debt. And in 2001-2002, Polymer defaulted on its loans to creditors three times and its bond rating was slashed to “D” by S&P. To cut costs, the company laid off 500 workers, 14% of its workforce and moved some jobs to foreign countries. Later, in May 2002, Polymer Group filed for bankruptcy. Despite all of this, according to the Daily Deal, GTCR “managed to escape with a profit.” […]

Polymer Group Laid Off 500 Employees, 14% Of The Workforce. “Johnston said the corporation is progressing with plans to lay off more than 500 employees, or 14 percent of the work force, to trim costs. He said less than half of the cutbacks are complete, but most of the reduction will be finished by early 2002. [Post And Courier, 1/1/02]

The jobs were moved to Canada, which isn’t “overseas,” but still technically a foreign nation. And keep in mind that Rauner said his firm exerted control over operation and HQ sitings.

* But the Rauner campaign is countering with its own claims of Quinn outsourcing. From a press release…

“The fact is Pat Quinn is invested in the Caymans and has engaged in business outsourcing as governor. Pat Quinn has clearly reached all out desperation mode with his new false and misleading attack. Only a failed governor who wants to cover up his own record of tax hikes and job losses would make outrageous claims like these.” – Rauner Spokesman Mike Schrimpf

* Details…

The Quinn Administration Gave Maximus A Two-Year, $76.8 Million Contract To Scrub The State’s Medicaid Rolls. “The Department of Healthcare and Family Services, which administers Medicaid, said the verification process is “well within the time frame mandated by the new law.” The state last Thursday finalized a contract with Maximus Health Services to conduct the review. The company gets paid on a per-case basis and is expected to earn about $76.8 million during the two-year contract.” (Doug Finke, “GOP: Quinn Administration Slow To Review Medicaid Eligibility,” The State Journal-Register, 9/18/12)

Maximus Describes Itself As Providing “Business Process Outsourcing.” “MAXIMUS (NYSE: MMS), a leading provider of government services worldwide, announced today that several case studies highlighting the Company’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Business Process Management (BPM) solutions were recently featured in the Gartner research report, ‘Use BPM to Drive Revenue, Not Just Efficiency.’” (Press Release, “MAXIMUS Business Process Management Highlighted in Gartner Research Report,” Maximus, 1/15/13)

AFSCME Denounced The Maximus Contract As “Outsourcing.” “‘It’s time to end this failed experiment with outsourcing a critical public watchdog role to a private, for-profit corporation,’ AFSCME director Bayer said. ‘The arbitrator’s order will bring oversight back to state government where it is directly accountable, and save money in the process.’ The backdrop to the Maximus contract was a backlog in Medicaid eligibility redeterminations caused by staff shortages in the departments of Human Services (DHS) and Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). Rather than hire sufficient staff, the state outsourced the work to a for-profit company. Council 31 filed a grievance, contending that outsourcing violated provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.” (Press Release, “Arbitrator’s Order Will End Wasteful Outsourcing, Return Medicaid Oversight To State Government,” AFSCME Council 31, 12/18/13)

Maximus Still Has Numerous Contracts With The State Of Illinois, And Was Paid $44,892,852.22 In FY2014. (State Contracts Database, Illinois Comptroller, Accessed 6/4/14)

*** UPDATE *** From the Rauner campaign…

POLYMER GROUP’S U.S. OPERATIONS EXPANDED SIGNIFICANTLY DURING GTCR’S INVOLVEMENT

In 1996, The Polymer Group’s U.S.-Based Manufacturing, Warehousing and Research & Development Facilities Occupied 1,781,500 Square Feet In Four States. (SEC Form S-1/A, Polymer Group, 5/7/96)

By 2003, The Polymer Group’s U.S.-Based Manufacturing, Warehousing And Research & Development Facilities Had Increased By More Than 1 Million Square Feet (To 3,051,677 Square Feet) In Ten States. (SEC Form 10-K, Polymer Group, 4/14/03)

They don’t say how many jobs were added, however. Warehousing facilities are highly automated these days.

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      


You gotta do what you gotta do

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* Reporters use different strategies to get their questions answered at press conferences. TV and radio reporters tend to have big, booming voices that they use to get attention from whoever’s speaking. Others have to try different avenues.

I cracked up yesterday when I listened to the Bruce Rauner press conference. Rauner doesn’t hold too many press conferences in Springfield, so Ray Long of the Tribune wanted to get in a couple of questions. Rauner orchestreated the event to put pressure on the Illinois Supreme Court to hear the appeal of his term limits case as soon as possible. Ray wanted to know if Rauner backed Pat Quinn’s term limits plan in 1994, but tons of other reporters were also asking questions at the same moment. Check out what Ray did…

* Later in the presser, Ray used the same repetitive strategy to try and get an answer out of Rauner about Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s public demand that Rauner release his full tax returns. I told Ray last night that I may make this one into a ringtone…

Heh.

…Adding… The above exchanges reminded one commenter of this Family Guy clip

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


Rate Pat Quinn’s new TV ad

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014

* Outsourcing and the Cayman Islands

* More on the outsourcing company his firm created that’s referenced in the ad

The Quinn-Vallas campaign provided information showing that Rauner’s former investment firm, GTCR Golden Rauner, formed a company called H-Cube in 2005, and it acquired a majority stake in Zenta in 2005. An announcement on PR Newswire said H-Cube was formed through a partnership between Henry Hortenstine and GTCR Golden Rauner “to create a world-class business process outsourcing company.”

H-Cube later acquired Global Realty Outsourcing Inc. and Blackheath Financial Inc, all of which specialized in things including business process outsourcing. H-Cube integrated the operations of the companies in 2007 and changed its name to Zenta.

We’ll have more on this later today.

- Posted by Rich Miller   62 Comments      


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* Quinn updates new TV ad to add Rauner "Not every job should be in America" quote
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