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Ginning up the base

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* From the IL GOP…

The Illinois Republican Party sent a second “voter fraud alert” robocall to Illinois Republicans this afternoon, following a new round of questionable issues at polling locations, including an admitted “vote buying” attempt by a Chicago Alderwoman.

“This election is far too important for the Democrats to get away with their attempts to rig the election for Pat Quinn,” said Tim Schneider, Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. “We deserve a change from the Democrats’ corruption and ‘same-old, same-old’ failures in our state.”

* Robocall script…

Hello, this is Chairman Tim Schneider calling Republicans with another important voter alert. Across the state we’re seeing electronic voting machines that automatically switch a vote from Republican to Democrat. We’re also seeing news reports of Democrats offering money and prizes for votes. Tampering with voting machines and vote-buying is illegal - it’s a felony, and we’re going to make sure anyone who does it gets prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But we need your help. If you see something, say something. If you suspect your voting machine was mis-calibrated or you see offers of money for votes, call our voter fraud hotline at 312-201-9000. Don’t let the Democrats steal this election - get out and vote, and help us stop voter fraud. This call was paid for by the Illinois Republican Party. 312-201-9000.

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      


Cool new online stuff

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* We Ask America has a new turnout effect calculator. It looks pretty cool, and it ought to because I had a little input into how it was built. From the explanation

The calculator splits Illinois into four regions (Chicago, Suburban Cook Co., Collar Counties and Downstate) and we preset the turnout in each of those areas to match the 2010 midterm turnout. Of course, you can change those anyway you want. We’ve also populated the vote splits with our latest poll results, but you can wipe that out and put your own numbers. After you twiddle the numbers, click the submit button to see what it does to the final results. The whole thing is designed to fit on an iPad, and we included a RESET button to put all the numbers back to presets.

With the Illinois governor’s race as tight as it seems, this shows how tweaking a few numbers effects the final result. Instructions are on the page (just click on the INSTRUCTIONS button).

Have fun.

Click here to try it out. Post your result in comments and the person who is the closest to all three candidate results will win a steak dinner with Gregg Durham.

Just kidding.

Or not. We’ll see how Gregg reacts to this post.

* Meanwhile, subscribers already know that I’ve endorsed TrackBill, a really well-designed bill tracking system. It constantly scans everything over at LIS and will text or e-mail you right after any sort of legislation is introduced or moves that relates to your interests.

Very cool stuff, but - and this is important - make sure to click on their ad in the center column or click here so this website gets the credit. I love the product, but a guy’s gotta eat.

* Back to politics, the folks at Bing.com would like you to know that they have a fancy new election forecaster. Click here to see how their system sees the Illinois governor’s race playing out.

Have you seen any cool new political apps out there?

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      


It’s just basic mathematics

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Bond expert states the obvious

In Illinois, which has the most underfunded retirement system among U.S. states with a $100 billion uncovered pension liability, incumbent Democratic governor Pat Quinn wants to turn a temporary income tax rise enacted in 2011 into a permanent one.

His Republican opponent Bruce Rauner wants to phase it out and suggests savings instead, such as ending the practice of ramping up state employees’ pay before they retire to boost their pensions.

“The permanence of that tax increase would make it a better credit,” said Peter Hayes, Head of BlackRock’s Municipal Bonds Group, which holds a variety of Illinois-based debt. Hays said that could potentially make the group notch up its exposure to the state’s debt.

* And now, let’s clean out my in-box. AP

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner picked up additional endorsements from newspapers around the state.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan endorsed Quinn on Wednesday, while The Quincy Herald-Whig endorsed Rauner on Thursday.

The Southern described its choice of Quinn as “the devil you know.” The endorsement says Illinois is a “mess” but questions Rauner’s proposals to reduce the state’s income tax and freeze property taxes.

The Herald-Whig says it backs Rauner because the state needs “bold, decisive leadership.”

* Pat Quinn’s latest 15-second TV ad

* Tribune

First lady Michelle Obama will appear Saturday in Moline at a get-out-the-vote rally for three Democrats: Gov. Pat Quinn, Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Cheri Bustos.

All three are running for re-election Tuesday and face Republican challenges.

* BND

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will attend a rally Sunday in East Alton for GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner.

* Not playing well in the sandbox

In a press release today, the Illinois Conservatives Facebook page announced they are recommending that Illinois conservatives vote for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner in Tuesday’s election.

The announcement caused division within the Facebook page’s leadership. Two longtime conservatives on the board - Downstate businessman Brian Milleville and attorney Sharee Langenstein - resigned after the board voted by 70 percent to endorse Rauner.

* I’ve been warning the GOP about this for a while now. Sending voting reminder notices to Democrats is not a good idea…


* Speaking of the twitters…


Heh.

* Other stuff that’s keeping my browser tabs open all day…

* Bernard Schoenburg: Bell accuses Scherer of ‘illegally’ taking tax break while he got same exemption

* Even with GOP pushback, Libertarians optimistic in final stretch

* Chicago ad execs on the Bruce Rauner and Pat Quinn ad campaigns

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


$580 MILLION EXELON RATE HIKE?? That’s the price tag for their nuke bailout…EVERY YEAR!

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

“Exelon Corp. is urging state utility regulators to press for changes in power markets that would boost revenue at the company’s Illinois nuclear power fleet by about $580 million.” [Crain’s Chicago Business, September 24, 2014]

Exelon wants a $580 million rate hike!! $580 million…for what??? Even if ratepayers bail out Exelon’s plants with $580 million every year, they won’t even guarantee to keep the plants open.

Illinois’ businesses and citizens are still struggling and the last thing we need is a massive rate increase to bail out Exelon nuclear plants built during the Nixon administration and already paid for several times by ratepayers.

Even ComEd, Exelon’s own sister company, doesn’t agree with subsidized generation at above-market prices:

“ComEd has long believed that competitive markets will work in the best interests of our customers…so we are concerned about the negative impact on our customers from a requirement that would force utilities to buy subsidized generation at above-market prices.” [Crain’s Chicago Business, November 20, 2013]

Yet now Exelon is demanding an annual 580 million dollar bailout from ratepayers—industrial, commercial and residential—because they don’t want to face the risks of the market they championed when it helped Exelon. So much for the “best interests of our customers.”

Just Say No To Exelon’s $580 Million Rate Hike!!

- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      


Schilling sat on racist recording for three months

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* An uproar developed earlier this week when Bobby Schilling released a secretly recorded conversation with a Cheri Bustos congressional district office employee. The employee made some racist remarks about Rockfordians, and then resigned when Bustos found out.

It’s probably no surprise, but the person who made the recording once worked for Schilling’s campaign…

Austin Quick, 33, was paid a $3,792 salary in 2009 to work for Schilling’s 2010 congressional campaign, records show. He currently is a seminary student at Mundelein Seminary in the Chicago suburbs. […]

[Schilling campaign spokesman Jon Schweppe] said no one from the campaign asked Quick to make the recording. In a Facebook post dated the same week the recording was made, Quick posted a photo of Schilling and his wife and remarked on having had dinner together.

Contacted by phone Thursday, Quick would not say why he made the secret recording. Asked whether he was denying having covertly recorded Bustos’ district director, Heidi Schultz, he replied, “I’m saying there’s no proof to that.”

Schultz, who resigned her post Monday, said she was provided a photo of Quick and is certain he is the man who appeared in her Rock Island district office late last year, asking about her boss’ position on abortion.

* Now, there’s no defense for what that employee said. Zero.

However, the story also notes that the guy gave the Schilling campaign the recording three months ago.

Let’s revisit Schilling’s press release from earlier this week…

This recording is particularly revealing and Cheri Bustos has a lot to answer for. The views stated on the recording are a window into a cynical operation that does not respect the people she serves.

But it’s in no way “cynical” to sit on this until a week before the election?

C’mon.

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      


Question of the day

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Two of the three gubernatorial candidates bumped into each other today…


* The Question: Caption?

- Posted by Rich Miller   71 Comments      


Dold campaign celebrates Sabato ratings change

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* From a press release…

Adding to the growing momentum leading into Election Day behind Bob Dold’s (R-10) candidacy for Congress, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball – the nationally recognized nonpartisan Congressional rating system that is housed in the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, upgraded its race rating from “Toss-Up” to “Lean Republican.”

Sabato’s move marks the second time that the leading political handicapper shifted the race in Dold’s direction. View the rating’s change here. The Roll Call newspaper has consistently listed Congressman Schneider as one of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents in the U.S. House of Representatives.

* They did change the rating, but this is what Sabato’s managing editor wrote

Finally, Reps. Brad Schneider (D, IL-10) and Rick Nolan (D, MN-8) are perhaps the best bets to survive on this list, but strong challengers could very well do them in, even on Democratic turf.

* By the way, he also wrote this

We have long said that Rep. Nick Rahall (D, WV-3) is in deep trouble, and we continue to believe that he is the most endangered Democratic House incumbent in the country. Right behind him is Rep. Bill Enyart (D, IL-12), whose southern Illinois seat is trending GOP.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      


Rate “K Text”

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Remember the College Republicans’ “Say Yes To Bruce Rauner “ online ad? Despite huge publicity nationally and locally for the political spoof of a popular cable TV show, it has received fewer than 15,000 views, less than any other state where the ad appeared.

The Quinn campaign’s “Wolf of Winnetka” online ad, which y’all absolutely hated and which got zero earned media, has more than twice as many views as the College GOP ad, 32K+. The follow-up to that “Wolf” ad has almost 24,000 views so far, more than half again as many as the “Say Yes To The Dress” spoof.

I guess there’s no accounting for taste.

* Here’s the new College GOP ad for your amusement. It’s called “K Text”..

Hat tip: Illinois Review.

- Posted by Rich Miller   58 Comments      


Today’s quotable

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* From last night’s debate between Congressman Bill Enyart and Republican challenger Mike Bost Here’s Bost answering a question about corporate personhood

“I believe that corporate…corporate…corporations that are making up this United States are also individuals, that those individuals have rights and therefore the corporations have rights to establish what they believe because if you go…and and we’re talking about Hobby Lobby, but how about if we go down to the family farm which is also incorporated? When we start telling them that, okay, you’re incorporated, now you can’t follow your own religious beliefs. I don’t agree with it and I’m…I’m just adamantly opposed.”

If you watch the video, he received significant applause for that one.

- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      


Frerichs lashes out at outside intervention in campaign

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* From a fundraising pitch by the Frerichs campaign…

Yesterday, the Koch Brothers-backed American Future Fund bought attack ads on 12 downstate radio stations in an attempt to rescue Tom Cross’s Treasurer bid.

This is the same PAC that spent millions to limit labor rights in California and has backed extremist conservative candidates across the nation.

This should come as no surprise, as Tom Cross has time and again put the Koch brothers and other big business interests ahead of Illinois residents. Cross voted against legislation to warn parents of contaminated drinking water and against a bill to protect Lake Michigan from waste dumping, siding with corporate interests.

Don’t let the Koch Brothers buy the State Treasurer’s race! Donate $10, $25, or $30 today so Mike can reform the State Treasurer’s office so that it works for the people of Illinois instead of the special interests!

Thank you!

Team Frerichs

The Koch ties are somewhat tenuous, but, whatever, it’s a fundraising e-mail. You can’t fire people up by screaming “Nick Ryan!”

* Listen to the ad…

* The AFF press release

The American Future Fund Political Action issued a new radio advertisement in support of Illinois Treasurer candidate Tom Cross. The ad focuses on Cross’ experience, bipartisan record, and reform-minded approach to clean up Springfield, stand up to the Governor’s deficit spending, and protect the hard-earned tax dollars of Illinois families.

The ad, titled “Clear Choice,” is airing on radio stations statewide.

Nick Ryan, Chairman of the American Future Fund Political Action, said: “The Illinois state government has become a pool of corruption that is wasting tax dollars for the benefit of corrupt politicians. Time has come for a change in Springfield. There is one candidate in the race for Illinois Treasurer who will stand up and fight this corruption and stand with Illinois voters – and that choice is Tom Cross.”

* The official Frerichs campaign media statement…

Across three decades, when energy companies and polluters have needed a friend in Springfield, Tom Cross has been their man. Tom Cross was one of only a handful of lawmakers to oppose bipartisan legislation backed by Mark Kirk, Barack Obama and even Jim Durkin to prevent toxic sledge from being dumped near Lake Michigan, and Tom Cross voted to allow toxic mercury into the drinking water of millions. Its no surprise the Koch Brothers, who are leading the charge against the environment in Illinois, are coming to rescue their friend Tom Cross.

The group has not yet filed a report with the State Board of Elections.

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


McKeon upset by “hatchet job”

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* From pollster Mike McKeon regarding my opinion of yesterday’s Sun-Times poll story…

Rich, hadn’t seen your hatchet job before I talked to you. If you even bothered to check the cross tabs you would have seen that the reporter was referring to the Southern Illinois section of my poll (below) and not downstate out side the collar counties. If you are calling an area that has St Clair, Madison and Jackson counties in it a traditional Republican strong hold then - I fear- you are snorting pixie dust..

If you believe that social issues - which is all the Dem super pacs are pushing -are more important to women then jobs, good luck. And you think Frerichs is a much more traditional ballot name than Cross? Also the Rauner spokes person is a moron, he has a chance to say Rauner is doing well with women talking jobs and he blasts the down state numbers instead?

As for the “controversial” women’s vote I go with what is there. Whether it is Madigan (see attached) to LaRouche, to Duke in Louisiana, to the recall elections in Colorado last year or showing that Rahm was not viewed favorably - that is what I do - show what’s there when I poll. I know I will take heat when I come out with things like this. Been taking heat for a long time, no problem.

As for your offer to kiss my ass if I am right I will pass- would not be able to tell if your mooning or kissing.it.

All the best Mike

* OK, first of all, I excerpted the Sun-Times story on the Downstate numbers. If he has a beef with that, he should take it up with the Sun-Times.

Secondly, here’s how McKeon explained the highly unusual poll result showing women favored Rauner 55-38

But McKeon stands by the numbers, saying the high percentage of cellphone interviews in his polling captures a better cross-section of women of all ages than other surveys that are more dependant on traditional land lines.

And McKeon said women want to hear more about good-paying jobs and the economy and believe that the Democratic message has been too focused on social issues and the minimum wage.

“Women are in bad shape in the work force and the Democrats, all they’re doing is pushing social issues, overwhelmingly,” McKeon argued.

* Thirdly, notice how he never explains why Quinn is supposedly leading Rauner among men by 23 points, 53-30. I mean, that’s more unusual than the women’s preference. By far.

From the 2010 exit poll

* And lastly, I did indeed tell him yesterday that I would publicly kiss his behind if the exit polls show Quinn winning men by a huge margin and losing women by a huge margin while still managing to win the race. I figured it was a safe bet.

* Also, the attachments he sent are here…

* Regions defined

* 1983 letter from Mike Madigan

* 1980s era article on the LaRouchies

* 1991 articles on David Duke race

* 2013 Colorado recall press release and article

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      


Run away! Run away!

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Rep. Marty Moylan debated his Republican opponent Mel Thillens yesterday

In response to a question from debate moderator Joe Campagna, past president of the Park Ridge chamber, only one candidate said who he is supporting for governor.

“Bruce Rauner’s got to be the guy who goes to the governor’s mansion next,” Thillens said. “We’ve got to change the conversation in Springfield.”

Moylan didn’t declare.

“I’m concentrating on my election. … I’m worried about Marty Moylan.”

* The Rauner campaign react…

“Independent suburban voters are rejecting Pat Quinn and his plan to raise taxes right after the election. You know Pat Quinn’s in serious trouble when members of his own party won’t admit they support his re-election with under a week to go.” - Rauner spokesperson Mike Schrimpf

- Posted by Rich Miller   60 Comments      


*** UPDATED - Quinn response *** Rauner complains that Quinn “stole” his accomplishment

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* From a press release…

“With five days left before a close election, Pat Quinn is so bankrupt of ideas he has to steal one of Bruce Rauner’s accomplishments to get positive press coverage.” – Rauner spokesperson Mike Schrimpf

Fact: Bruce Rauner was an early supporter and helped create the plan for the recently launched UI Labs, a research and commercialization collaborative. The Chicago Tribune reported on it in January 2013:

    “Some students and researchers prefer the city to a smaller community … so this could increase the quality of the faculty,” said Bruce Rauner, a prominent Chicago venture capitalist who has worked on the development of this plan. “This can drive better research.”

The intent is to develop a “junior year abroad program” as well, with the aim of attracting top students from overseas.

Fact: With five days left before a close election, Pat Quinn is so bankrupt of ideas he has to steal one of Bruce Rauner’s accomplishments to get positive press coverage. #desperate #shameless #timeforchange

But that Tribune story also noted

The goal of this project, supported by Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is to retain the next generation of Illinois-trained innovators.

* From February, 2013

The University of Illinois is taking its second big step in a month to sharply increase its involvement in a Chicago-area economy that arguably could use some help.

Gov. Pat Quinn will announce today in his State of the State speech that the Urbana-Champaign school, in partnership with its National Center for Supercomputing Applications and private companies, will be forming an Illinois Manufacturing Lab likely to be located in the central area of Chicago.

* From December, 2013

Plans for Chicago to become a hub for advanced manufacturing technology are moving down the assembly line with people, money and pilot projects.

Gov. Pat Quinn, who laid out the idea for a manufacturing lab in February, is expected to announce this morning that it will be the first assignment for UI Labs and will begin pilot projects with 10 manufacturers.

Mr. Quinn’s Illinois Manufacturing Lab was launched with a $5 million commitment from the state. University of Illinois trustees are expected to vote today on providing matching funds for the project. Chicago manufacturing consultant Scott Miller has been named interim director of the IML.

More here.

…Adding… If Quinn did steal it, and he may have, he’s been stealing it for almost two years now.

…Adding More… From Quinn’s press release…

Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and leadership from UI LABS to break ground on UI LABS’ future headquarters and the new Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII). The event is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.

“I’ve made this facility a major priority for Illinois by personally making our case to both the White House and Secretary of Defense, as well as securing key private sector partners because I know how important this institution will be to revitalizing our manufacturing industry,” Governor Quinn said. “The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute will help keep Illinois’ economic comeback going. I’m pleased to break ground on this facility that will solidify Illinois’ position as a high-tech manufacturing hub, support our growing technology and innovation sectors and create jobs across the state.”

The Governor personally petitioned the Secretary of Defense twice and made the case to key White House officials about the benefits and importance of DMDII. The Governor also worked to bring key private sector partners into the initiative, including CAT, Deere & Company, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and many more.

…Adding Still More… The Rauner folks have been pushing back on this all morning and moments ago sent me a link to this Greg Hinz piece

Mr. Rauner put out a rather overblown press release today terming today’s news “one of Bruce Rauner’s accomplishments.” That’s a bit overstated, and I’ll put that down to an overeager press aide. But it is an absolute fact that the first person I heard about UI Labs from a year and a half ago was Mr. Rauner, who had been quietly pushing the concept for some period.

The press release said Quinn stole Rauner’s “accomplishment.” That implies that Rauner did the whole thing, which is completely bogus. He didn’t say that Quinn stole his idea. He was most definitely in on the original idea. But the record is obvious that he did not “accomplish” this thing entirely on his own. Period.

Greg also wrote this

Credit also goes to Mr. Quinn, Michael Sacks at World Business Chicago, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and — legitimately — Mayor Rahm Emanuel. All were heavily involved in lining up companion state and local funding, and in pushing the Obama Administration to just say yes.

In 30 years of covering this kind of thing, I’ve not seen anything that’s drawn this much potential. Try working together some more, gang. And don’t blow it.

Exactly.

…Adding Quinn Response… From a press release…

Quinn Communications Chief Responds to Bruce Rauner’s Arrogant “It Was All Me” Claim

As Governor Pat Quinn stood with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Senator Dick Durbin this morning to break ground on a new digital manufacturing hub that they worked together to make possible, Quinn for Illinois communications director Brooke Anderson responded to billionaire Bruce Rauner’s false and arrogant claim that this hard-fought manufacturing win for Illinois was all about Rauner:

“Only billionaire Bruce Rauner - who couldn’t name a single one of his companies that created any jobs - would resort to arrogantly taking credit for the Governor’s work and partnership with other leaders to bring this advanced manufacturing hub to Illinois.

“All week, Mr. Rauner has complained about good economic news that he views as detrimental to his doomsayer campaign. Fortunately for the people of Illinois and unfortunately for Mr. Rauner, Illinois is making a comeback and currently leading the Midwest in job creation.

“Given that Mr. Rauner’s whole career has been about eliminating jobs, making millions at other people’s expense and always passing the buck when things go wrong, we’re not surprised that he’d be exemplifying this behavior down to the very end. ”

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


Two colleagues, two different takes on a reporter’s resignation

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Bruce Rushton at the Illinois Times writes about his good friend Dave McKinney

Reporters get lied to every day. It’s part of the job. But if you’re a journalist with any gumption, you can’t work with people you can’t trust, and so McKinney had no choice but to quit after this bizarre shell game with his livelihood in the finishing weeks of a white-hot gubernatorial race.

McKinney will land on his feet somewhere, but maybe not in journalism. All newspapers talk a good game, but lots of editors are afraid of someone like McKinney who, naively or not, demands as much integrity from his employer as he does from himself. […]

In the end, then, we have learned nothing about either Rauner or McKinney. We have, however learned a great deal about the Sun-Times. The only thing that can salvage a shred of the newspaper’s credibility now is an explanation that makes sense coupled with a rolling head or two. You can’t suspend a reporter, then say you have that reporter’s back, then yank his byline, all the while proclaiming that everything is on the up-and-up. If McKinney’s marriage was going to cost him his job, he should have been told before the wedding. Instead, the Sun-Times told him that everything would be fine, then cut him off at the knees on the back end.

* McKinney’s former Sun-Times colleague Neil Steinberg had his own take

The news was nauseating when it first hit, but now it’s settled down a bit. I don’t know all the intricacies of what occurred, just what I’ve gleaned from the buzz going around. So my take is both half-informed and skewed from someone who has worked at the Sun-Times for 27 years and did not quit on the countless occasions when I ran into aspects of the business that made me wince.

A previous owner, David Radler used to push for all sorts of squishy stories to benefit his pal, Rod Blagojevich; the trick was to accept the assignment, and then quietly bury it into a Dumpster and forget about it, so ethics weren’t compromised. It worked; Radler’s long gone and Rod’s long gone—both men wound up in prison—but I’m still here. To me, the still-being-at-the-paper part is important. Rauner getting Dave fired and Dave quitting are functionally the same thing—he’s gone either way—and while I admire Dave as much as anybody, I can’t fight the creeping feeling he played into the hands of the Evil We All Oppose.

A few things to keep in mind: A) the newspaper that many are castigating for supposedly caving to Rauner is the same newspaper that just last week was happily publishing McKinney’s sharp pieces shredding Rauner; B) the endorsement of Rauner, though regrettable, is a different beast entirely than the supposed pressure he put on reporters. Every owner in the history of newspapering ballyhoos candidates he likes, a little or a lot, though no one is arguing that this was smoothly done; C) Rauner’s accusations that McKinney’s wife, a Democratic operative, was somehow driving the stories, while ridiculous—a story either is solid or it’s not; it hardly matters who suggested it, not that I have any reason to doubt Dave’s version of events—had a veneer of seriousness that justified investigation, and being nudged off your beat for a week is not, in itself, a big deal. I was suspended for a week last year for what struck me as a truly tenuous reason. But I didn’t tell anybody and few noticed (sigh) making it a whole lot easier to come back and start doing my job again, which is the route I wish Dave had chosen to take since while it is courageous to make a stand for journalistic integrity, you can only self-immolate once, there’s a dramatic flash and then ashes but what have you accomplished? The bottom line is, D) I sincerely believe that had McKinney managed to just step around this mess and gone back to doing his job, an important life skill in journalism, instead of pouring gasoline over himself, and the paper, and striking a match, the whole thing would be over by now and he’d be back to kicking Rauner’s ass, which is what this is supposedly all about; E) I wish this were “The Front Page” era so everybody involved could just go out and get drunk together, shake their heads at their collective stupidity, and go back to work the next day. But F) it’s not. The only upside I see in the real world is that G) Bruce Rauner revealed himself even more starkly as the ruthless, vindictive creature that he most certainly is, eager to try to squelch a story by leaning hard on the little folk reporting it. I can’t imagine anybody wanting that as governor. So maybe it’ll do some ultimate good, though the sting will linger on this one, and now we have to find somebody who thinks it’s a good career move to spend time in Springfield.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   63 Comments      


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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Rauner with 2-1 money lead over Quinn

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Tribune

Republican Bruce Rauner and Democrat Pat Quinn are on pace to spend more than $100 million on the Illinois governor’s race, doubling the state’s previous record in a closely watched contest featuring heavy investment by business and labor.

As of Wednesday evening, Rauner had collected $63.75 million and Quinn had raised $29.3 million — the balance tilted to the Republican side largely because the Winnetka equity investor has dipped into his own fortune for $26.1 million. […]

Campaign disclosure reports show Rauner has raised his money from more than 8,500 separate donations. But 23 individuals or groups account for donations of $100,000 or more, generating more than $47 million of the $63 million he’s raised. Rauner sits atop the list with his own $26.1 million — nearly as much as Quinn has raised overall.

Rauner’s top six donors, excluding himself, account for $15.2 million: the Republican Governors Association with $8.6 million; Chicago hedge fund CEO Ken Griffin with $4.6 million; longtime conservative donor Richard Uihlein and his Uline Corp. with $640,000; the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association with $565,000; and Rauner former equity firm business partner Edgar Jannotta Jr. and Elizabeth Christie, another donor to GOP causes, with $405,300 each.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


Waukegan school strike finally ends

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Things got tense in Waukegan Tuesday night when an angry audience confronted the local school board over a three-week teachers strike

Tempers flared in the north suburbs Tuesday night as anger and frustration over a three-week teachers’ strike boil over.

Despite extra security, metal detectors and barricades for crowd control, the Waukegan school board abruptly ended its meeting. […]

When the school board announced the time allotted for public comment would be shorter than expected, tempers flared.

Board members tried to conduct the meeting, but the crowd shouted them down. What happened next eliciting even more anger.

And

In response to jeers, school board member Victoria Torres leapt off the stage and into the crowd, where she scolded teachers and parents.

“Alright, let’s go! I’m a parent too! Yeah, sit down and shut up. Yeah, shut up!” Torres told the crowd. […]

“Her conduct was unacceptable, unnecessary, unprofessional; and I think the only thing she should do now is resign her position,” Waukegan Mayor Wayne Motley told a local CBS outlet. “I will contact the board members. I think that she set negotiations back two weeks.”

Raw video is here. Torres apologized the next day.

This strike has torn open some major wounds, as teacher strikes usually do. But quite a few politicians embraced the striking teachers, putting even more pressure on the school board.

* Yesterday, Gov. Quinn dispatched his state school board chairman Gery Chico to help mediate and the strike was finally settled last night. From a joint statement from the Board of Education and the Waukegan Teachers’ Council…

Shortly before midnight tonight, the Board of Education for Waukegan Community Unit School District # 60 and the Waukegan Teachers’ Council reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract.

All schools will remain closed on October 30 and October 31, as both parties review the agreement. Pending a ratification by teachers on Thursday, teachers will return to work on Friday to help prepare schools for re-opening to students on Monday, November 3.

“This tentative agreement represents not only a compromise between the Union and the Board, but an end to what was a long, trying process for all parties involved,” said Waukegan Teachers’ Council President Kathy Schwarz. “We are grateful to the entire Waukegan community that struggled with us through these difficult times. We would also like to thank Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery Chico for their assistance during the conclusion of contract talks. After years of instability, we are hopeful that this agreement will be the first step in giving our students the schools they deserve.”

“It is with great delight that we acknowledge having reached a Tentative Agreement with our teachers that will return our students to their classrooms. These last four weeks have been difficult for everyone involved. Both the Board of Education and I have witnessed first hand a great passion for education from parents, students and community members.

We eagerly look forward to working together as a community for the betterment of our students,” said Waukegan Superintendent Dr. Donaldo R. Batiste, and we thank the many community partners who came forward to offer invaluable support and assistance. Particular gratitude is extended to Governor Quinn, ISBE Chairman Chico, State Superintendent Koch, and Regional Superintendent Wood,” said Superintendent, Dr. Donaldo R. Batiste.​

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      


*** UPDATED x2 Siedle responds - Rauner response *** Today’s must-read

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Ted Siedle at Forbes

In short, I learned from my experience with Rauner that you don’t have to be brilliant to be successful in the silly business of buying and melding together established businesses—businesses you really know very little about—using state workers’ retirement savings. Access to public pension assets is the key prerequisite.

Trust me, any money manager with workers’ monies committed to funding his professional development for a protracted period of time, eventually—assuming he’s reasonably intelligent and capable of learning from his mistakes—will stumble upon a winner. Worse case, he’ll lose much of the workers savings over the course of the standard ten-year lock-up commitment period and pocket millions in asset-based management fees along the way.

Just being around all that pension cha-ching, tweaking purchase and sale agreements and engaging in thinly-disclosed rampant self-dealing virtually guarantees the manager blessed with Other People’s Money under his care will end up wealthy himself. Call it a “wealth transfer.”

Better still, thanks to private equity secrecy agreements, your clients may never know just how much you profited potentially at their expense.

Read the whole thing.

*** UPDATE 1 *** The Rauner campaign responds by attacking the author…

EDWARD SIEDLE IS A UNION ATTACK DOG

Siedle Wrote Articles Attacking Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo For Investing In Private Equity Funds. “In an online column for Forbes on April 4, Siedle blasted Raimondo for dramatically increasing both risk and fees by steering a sizable chunk of Rhode Island’s $7-billion state pension fund into ‘alternative investments,’ including hedge funds. He accused her of enabling a ‘Wall Street feeding frenzy.’” (Mike Stanton, “Former SEC Watchdog Edward Siedle Criticizes Rhode Island Treasurer’s Pension Strategies,” Providence Journal, 6/30/13)

Shortly After Attacking Raimondo, Siedle Was Paid $20,000 By A Union Hostile To The Treasurer. “A month later, he was having lunch in Providence at Capriccio with Rhode Island union officials and retirees who had read his columns, including two top officials of the state’s largest public employees union, Council 94 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Shortly thereafter, Council 94 hired Siedle for $20,000 to investigate Rhode Island’s pension funds. Siedle declined to reveal his fee, but Council 94 president J. Michael Downey confirmed it after questions from The Providence Journal.” (Mike Stanton, “Former SEC Watchdog Edward Siedle Criticizes Rhode Island Treasurer’s Pension Strategies,” Providence Journal, 6/30/13)

Forbes Forced Sielde To Stop Writing About Rhode Island. “Raimondo immediately attacked Siedle’s credibility and motives. ‘This was a bait and switch,’ said Raimondo spokeswoman Joy Fox. ‘He sold himself as a journalist while pitching a local union for business.’ Raimondo complained to Forbes, which says it has asked Siedle, an unpaid contributor since 2006, to ‘cease writing about Rhode Island.’” (Mike Stanton, “Former SEC Watchdog Edward Siedle Criticizes Rhode Island Treasurer’s Pension Strategies,” Providence Journal, 6/30/13)

*** UPDATE 2 *** The author has responded to the Rauner camp’s claims…

While Gina Raimondo, Democratic Treasurer of Rhode Island (and candidate for Governor) did indeed complain to Forbes about my writings exposing her Wall Street agenda, Forbes never asked me to stop writing about her. I have written a dozen articles on Forbes about her since her complaint which have been read by hundreds of thousands.

Check the record Bruce before you embarrass yourself with bogus allegations.

What about the red flags I’ve identified at GTCR, conflicts and secret dealings? Will you make public the potentially damning evidence?

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: Crosstabs, cable TV buys, mail, etc.

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

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Good morning!

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Ms. Franklin will do the honors this morning

Because company’s alright with me every once in a while.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Final thoughts before calling it a night
* *** UPDATED x2 - Script *** Quinn airs radio ad of Rauner joking about being "scared" of four African-Americans
* Karen Lewis endorses Chuy Garcia for mayor
* Friday night TV ad rating
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Proft responds to HRO
* Quinn, Rauner head downstate
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - HRO responds to Proft
* Emptying out my in-box
* Vast Majority of Illinois Voters Support Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency
* Inducement or just a party?
* Question of the day
* UPDATE: $580 MILLION EXELON RATE HIKE?? Do They Really Need a Bailout After Making Nearly $1 BILLION In The Last 90 Days?
* Very late Rauner oppo
* *** UPDATED x2 *** And speaking of abortion...
* GOP defends Rauner on "employer-provided birth control"
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Friday morning fundraising report
* It's not anything new, but that doesn't make it Kosher
* Polling averages, models, projections, etc.
* Today's number: $3.5 million
* Rauner makes "Top 10" robocall list
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Cable TV buy report and a spending update
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

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