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Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* George will play us out

Beware of sadness
It can hit you
It can hurt you
Make you sore and what is more
That is not what you are here for

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Rauner vetoes several union-backed bills

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* From the governor’s office…

Veto message HB 5764
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois House of Representatives,
99th General Assembly:

Today I return House Bill 5764, which amends the Illinois Act on Aging to establish statutory wage increases for employees providing homemaker services.

This bill provides for successive rate increases in the Illinois Department on Aging’s Community Care Program (CCP) over the next four years and requires an enhanced rate for in-home service provider agencies that offer health insurance coverage for employees. The total projected cost to the Department on Aging of the rate increase over the four year period would be an estimated $1.1 billion. The enhanced rate adjustment for providers that offer health insurance coverage would cost an additional $50 million over four years. In total, this bill would more than double the costs of the entire Community Care Program over the next four years.

The monetary impact of this bill extends to the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), as DHS contracts with a number of vendors that employ individuals providing homemaker services. The costs to DHS would be $66.5 million over the first four years and then $23.9 million annually thereafter.

Importantly, there is no funding in House Bill 5764 to cover the more than $1 billion in additional funding that will be needed pay for this bill. At a time of unprecedented financial difficulty in the State of Illinois, this is unaffordable piece of legislation that will create an even greater financial hole for the State and will ultimately result in cuts to—and eliminations of—other important State programs. I share your desire to support the workers and programs serving our elderly and physically disabled residents. But we must do so in a responsible way that recognizes our current fiscal reality and does not jeopardize the long term sustainability of the very programs that this legislation is intended to support.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 5764, entitled “AN ACT concerning State government”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.

Sincerely,

Bruce Rauner
GOVERNOR

Veto message SB 2536
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois House of Representatives,
99th General Assembly:

Today I return House Bill 5764, which amends the Illinois Act on Aging to establish statutory wage increases for employees providing homemaker services.

This bill provides for successive rate increases in the Illinois Department on Aging’s Community Care Program (CCP) over the next four years and requires an enhanced rate for in-home service provider agencies that offer health insurance coverage for employees. The total projected cost to the Department on Aging of the rate increase over the four year period would be an estimated $1.1 billion. The enhanced rate adjustment for providers that offer health insurance coverage would cost an additional $50 million over four years. In total, this bill would more than double the costs of the entire Community Care Program over the next four years.

The monetary impact of this bill extends to the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), as DHS contracts with a number of vendors that employ individuals providing homemaker services. The costs to DHS would be $66.5 million over the first four years and then $23.9 million annually thereafter.

Importantly, there is no funding in House Bill 5764 to cover the more than $1 billion in additional funding that will be needed pay for this bill. At a time of unprecedented financial difficulty in the State of Illinois, this is unaffordable piece of legislation that will create an even greater financial hole for the State and will ultimately result in cuts to—and eliminations of—other important State programs. I share your desire to support the workers and programs serving our elderly and physically disabled residents. But we must do so in a responsible way that recognizes our current fiscal reality and does not jeopardize the long term sustainability of the very programs that this legislation is intended to support.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 5764, entitled “AN ACT concerning State government”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.

Sincerely,

Bruce Rauner
GOVERNOR

Veto Message SB 2964

To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois Senate,
99th General Assembly:

Today I return Senate Bill 2964, an amendment to the Prevailing Wage Act, with specific recommendations for change.

The Prevailing Wage Act requires public bodies, including the State of Illinois, units of local governments, and school districts, to pay prevailing wage rates for construction of public works. The law requires each public body to investigate and ascertain the prevailing wage for each trade every June. The law also requires the Illinois Department of Labor to conduct its own survey. In practice, many local public bodies rely upon the Department’s work and adopt the wage and benefit rates recommended by the Department.

Senate Bill 2964 would fundamentally change the law to delegate the rate-setting responsibility to labor organizations and to eliminate local government involvement. These changes are unconstitutional, would diminish local control over prevailing wage practices, and hurt taxpayers. I am therefore returning the bill with recommendations to address these concerns.

Unconstitutional Delegation of Government Power

Senate Bill 2964 would require the Department of Labor and each local public body to adopt the rates specified in collective bargaining agreements whenever as few as 30% of workers are represented by the union. The Illinois Supreme Court has previously held this arrangement to be unconstitutional. In 1951 the General Assembly amended the Prevailing Wage Act to provide that where workers’ wages are negotiated under a collective bargaining agreement, the wages specified in that agreement would be the prevailing wage. In Bradley v. Casey (1953), the Illinois Supreme Court held:

“[D]efining wages under a collective bargaining agreement as the prevailing rate of wages in a given locality[] is invalid for the reason that it delegates a discretionary power to private parties and that it tends to be too restrictive and discriminatory in defining that to be fact which is not a fact. Upon close analysis it can be seen that this amendment permits the fixing of the standard rather than finding or ascertaining an existing fact. This amendment then, being vulnerable to the foregoing criticism, is clearly unconstitutional.”

Proponents of Senate Bill 2964 note that, in practice, the Department has historically relied upon wage and benefit rates taken directly from collective bargaining agreements. But as the Supreme Court observed, there is a difference between relying on those agreements in practice and fixing a standard by statute.

Wage and benefit rates determined by a collective bargaining agreement are a relevant factor in determining the prevailing wage. But to limit the prevailing wage to the wage specified in a collective bargaining agreement would mean disregarding all those workers whose wages are not set by that agreement. Senate Bill 2964 would fix the prevailing wage to the wage applicable to as few as 30% of the workers in a given trade, meaning that the wage applicable to the remaining 70% of workers would be disregarded.

The bill also creates a presumption in favor of union rates, even where fewer than 30% of workers are represented by the union. The bill would place the burden on the challenger to prove that fewer than 30% of workers are represented, which would require the challenger to conduct a comprehensive market analysis – a virtually impossible task within the time constraints provided and the resources required.

For these reasons, Senate Bill 2964 does not meet constitutional standards and threatens to disregard a significant portion of the workforce. The changes recommended below would address these concerns while still ensuring that rates established by collective bargaining agreements are taken into appropriate consideration when setting prevailing wage rates. Specifically, with these changes the law would require public bodies to give appropriate consideration to rates established by collective bargaining agreements. The amended law would also permit a public body to rely solely upon collective bargaining agreement rates where the public body has determined that the work is predominantly performed under those agreements and that consideration of other evidence would not affect the prevailing wage rates.

Local Government Involvement

Senate Bill 2964 would also eliminate the role of local governments in setting prevailing wage rates. Illinois prevailing wage requirements add to the cost of taxpayer-funded projects. If the State is going to mandate local government compliance, the State should also respect the role of local governments in determining prevailing wage rates, which necessarily vary by county.

The changes recommended below would retain the role of local governments in ascertaining and adopting prevailing wage rates. The Department would continue to conduct a statewide survey. While local governments may continue to rely on the Department’s investigation, local governments should be ultimately responsible for setting local wage and benefit rates.

* * * * *

Senate Bill 2964 does not meet constitutional standards and would not be the best policy for Illinois or taxpayers. I am returning the bill with specific recommendations to address these concerns, while still ensuring that rates established by collective bargaining agreements are taken into appropriate consideration when setting prevailing wage rates.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(e) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 2964, entitled “AN ACT concerning employment”, with the following specific recommendations for change:

On page 1, by replacing line 5 with “Sections 2, 4, and 9 as follows:”; and

On page 5, by replacing lines 11 through 20 with the following: “locality in which the work is performed. The public body awarding the contract shall ascertain the general prevailing rate of hourly wages pursuant to this Act.”; and

On page 5, by replacing lines 21 through 25 with “(b) (blank).”; and

On page 6, by replacing lines 1 through 14 with “(c) (blank).”; and

On page 7, by replacing line 4 with “ascertained by the public body or by the Department of Labor”; and

On page 7, by replacing lines 11 through 24 with the following: “employed by them in the execution of the contract or such work; provided, however, that if the public body desires that the Department of Labor ascertain the prevailing rate of wages, it shall notify the Department of Labor to ascertain the general prevailing rate of hourly wages for work under contract, or for work performed by a public body without letting a contract as required in the locality in which the work is to be performed, for each craft or type of worker or mechanic needed to execute the contract or project or work to be performed. Upon such notification the Department of Labor shall ascertain such general prevailing rate of wages, and certify the prevailing wage to such public body.”; and

On page 8, by replacing line 2 and 3 with “that not less than the prevailing rate of wages ascertained as found by the public body or Department of Labor or determined by the court”; and

On page 8, by replacing line 13 with “by the public body or Department of Labor or determined by the”; and

On page 12, by replacing lines 6 through 8 with the following: “be consolidated in a single hearing before the Department. Such consolidation shall occur whether each separate investigatory hearing is conducted by a public body or the Department. The”; and

On page 13, by deleting lines 5 through 18; and

On page 13, by replacing lines 20 through 24 with the following:

“Sec. 9. To effectuate the purpose and policy of this Act, each public body shall, during the month of June of each calendar year, investigate and ascertain the prevailing rate of wages as defined in this Act and publicly post or keep available for inspection by any interested party in the main”; and

On page 14, by replacing lines 1 through 4 with the following: “office of such public body its determination of such prevailing rate of wage and shall promptly file, no later than July 15 of each year, a certified copy thereof in the office of the Illinois Department of Labor. The Department of Labor shall,”; and

On page 14, by replacing lines 8 through 26 with the following:

“ascertained on its official website each year. If a public body does not investigate and ascertain the prevailing rate of wages during the month of June as required by the previous paragraph, then the prevailing rate of wages for that public body shall be the rate as determined by the Department under this paragraph for the county in which such public body is located. As part of its investigation a public body or the Department of Labor shall give appropriate consideration to rates of wages required to be paid under collective bargaining agreements for those crafts and types of laborers, workers, and mechanics in localities. A public body or the Department of Labor may limit its investigation with respect to a specific craft or type of laborer, worker, or mechanic in a specific locality to only rates of wages required to be paid under collective bargaining agreements if the public body or the Department of Labor, as applicable, has first determined with competent evidence that work currently performed in that locality by that craft or type of laborer, worker, or mechanic is predominantly performed under a collective bargaining agreement and that consideration of other evidence would not affect the prevailing rate of wages.

Where the Department of Labor ascertains the prevailing rate of wages, it is the duty of the Department of Labor within 30 days after receiving a notice from the public body authorizing the proposed work, to conduct an investigation to ascertain the prevailing rate of wages as defined in this Act”; and

On page 15, by replacing lines 1 through 18 with the following:

“and such investigation shall be conducted in the locality in which the work is to be performed. The Department of Labor shall send a certified copy of its findings to the public body authorizing the work and keep a record of its findings available for inspection by any interested party in the office of the Department of Labor at Springfield.

The public body except for the Department of Transportation with respect to highway contracts shall within 30 days after filing with the Department of Labor, or the Department of Labor shall within 30 days after filing with such public body, publish in a newspaper of general circulation within the area that the determination is effective or on its public website, a notice of its determination and shall promptly mail a copy of its determination to any employer, and to any association of employers and to any person or association of employees who have filed their names and addresses, requesting copies of any determination stating the particular rates and the particular class of workers whose wages will be affected by such rates.”; and

On page 15, by replacing line 23 through 26 with the following: “objectionable by filing a written notice with the public body or Department of Labor, whichever has made such determination, stating the specified grounds of the objection.”; and

By replacing page 16 with the following:

“It shall thereafter be the duty of the public body or Department of Labor to set a date for a hearing on the objection after giving written notice to the objectors at least 10 days before the date of the hearing and said notice shall state the time and place of such hearing. Such hearing by a public body shall be held within 45 days after the objection is filed, and shall not be postponed or reset for a later date except upon the consent, in writing, of all the objectors and public body. If such hearing is not held by the public body within the time herein specified, the Department of Labor may, upon request of the objectors, conduct the hearing on behalf of the public body.

The public body or Department of Labor, whichever has made such determination, is authorized in its discretion to hear each written objection filed separately or consolidate for hearing any one or more written objections filed with them. At such hearing, the public body or Department of Labor shall introduce in evidence the investigation it instituted which formed the basis of its determination, and the public body or Department of Labor, or any interested objectors may thereafter”; and

By replacing page 17 with the following:

“introduce such evidence as is material to the issue. Thereafter, the public body or Department of Labor, must rule upon the written objection and make such final determination as it believes the evidence warrants, and promptly file a certified copy of its final determination with such public body, and serve a copy by personal service, or registered mail, or electronic mail on all parties to the proceedings. The final determination by the Department of Labor or a public body shall be rendered within 30 days after the conclusion of the hearing.

If proceedings to review judicially the final determination of the public body or Department of Labor are not instituted as hereafter provided, such determination shall be final and binding.

The provisions of the Administrative Review Law, and all amendments and modifications thereof, and the rules adopted pursuant thereto, shall apply to and govern all proceedings for the judicial review of final administrative decisions of any public body or the Department of Labor hereunder. The term “administrative decision” is defined as in Section 3-101 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Appeals from all final orders and judgments entered by the court in review of the final administrative decision of the public body or Department of Labor, may be taken by any party to the action.

Any proceeding in any court affecting a determination of the Department of Labor or public body shall have priority in”; and

On page 18, by replacing lines 3 through 7 with the following:

“In all reviews or appeals under this Act, it shall be the duty of the Attorney General to represent the Department of Labor, and defend its determination. The Attorney General shall not represent any public body, except the State, in any such review or appeal.”; and

On page 18, by deleting lines 9 through 25; and

By deleting page 19.

With these changes, Senate Bill 2964 will have my approval. I respectfully request your concurrence.

Sincerely,

Bruce Rauner
GOVERNOR

Veto Message SB 2931
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois Senate,
99th General Assembly:

Today I return Senate Bill 2931, one of several bills backed by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Illinois & Indiana that would impose unaffordable obligations on the State’s taxpayers.

The bill mandates an immediate increase from $13 to $15 in the hourly wages for personal assistants who perform in-home care for individuals with disabilities pursuant to the Home Services Program operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services. That is an immediate pay increase of over 15 percent. The bill also mandates a level of contributions to the union health care plan that covers these workers and requires comprehensive in-person orientation and training, for which these workers would have to be paid the mandated, higher hourly rate. Taken together, these changes would saddle the State’s taxpayers with almost $87 million in additional annual costs. This bill does not provide for a funding source for that $87 million. This is money that the State does not have and would have to offset through cuts to this and other programs.

Further, the individuals covered in this legislation already earn more than their counterparts, both here in Illinois and in other states. The average hourly wage for personal care assistants in the United States is $10.60. In Illinois, outside the Home Services Program, these workers likewise earn $10.60 per hour on average. Pursuant to collective bargaining agreements with the State, workers represented by SEIU already earn the hourly rate of $13, with more skilled workers earning much more. The State simply cannot afford to increase the hourly rate from $13 to $15. When the rest of State government is being asked to do more with less, it would be irresponsible to give one special group a 15 percent pay hike.

in the parties’ prior collective bargaining agreement, SEIU negotiated and secured the right to provide its own orientation and training to personal assistants. For SEIU now to insist on a mandatory orientation and additional annual training on taxpayers’ dime is troubling enough. It is doubly so when the bill would require that the workers receive a higher hourly wage for all of that time, and on an annual basis.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 2931 entitled “AN ACT concerning State government”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.

Sincerely,

Bruce Rauner
GOVERNOR

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      


This just in… Illinois Supreme Court accepts direct appeal of remap case

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* 3:34 pm - That was fast…

The complete document is here.

* 3:53 pm - From Dave Mellet at Independent Maps…

“We’re very excited that the Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to immediately review our case on an expedited schedule. The Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on a citizen initiative since 1994, but they will now have the opportunity to preserve this important constitutional right of Illinois voters. The lower court ruling - which agreed that redistricting reform is an acceptable subject for citizen initiative - left Illinois voters with no opportunity to make the changes needed to stop politicians from drawing their own legislative maps.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


Social service providers claim administration has “unchecked discretion” over paying off old contracts

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* From Pay Now Illinois, the group of social service providers suing the state. All emphasis is in the original…

Hi Rich,

Attached, please find the latest amended complaint from Pay Now Illinois and the 98 plaintiffs, which continues to demand full and immediate payment for services rendered under FY 2016 contracts. The complaint seeks declaratory and permanent injunctive relief, noting that the stop-gap budget leaves uncertain when and how much social and human service agencies will get paid.

The complaint states: “The so called stop gap budget does not guarantee any meaningful payment at any level and thereby further violates the constitutional rights of plaintiffs to equal protection and due process of law and to be free of impairment of contracts.” The complaint goes on: “Public Act 99-524 largely gives unchecked discretion by the defendant Governor and agency heads to determine how much to pay and whom to pay - not for contracts to be entered in the future but for contractual services already rendered.”

The suit continues to seek full payment on all amounts due on FY 2016 contacts, and an order that the Comptroller “pay immediately all such vouchers more than 90 days overdue out of general revenue or specific funds, regardless of whether there is a specific legislative appropriation or not.”

The complaint also notes the increasingly dire situation of the plaintiffs.

The next hearing date is 10am on Monday.

* Documents…

* Third amended complaint

* Renewed motion for preliminary injunction

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


GOP poll: Kirk and Duckworth essentially tied, Clinton leads by 14

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* The Super PAC helping Mark Kirk’s Senate bid has released a poll to Greg Hinz. It was taken by GOP pollster Basswood Research

The poll has Kirk edging ahead of Democratic nominee Tammy Duckworth 41.9 percent to 40.4 percent, within the poll’s plus or minus 3.5 percent margin of error, but better than the narrow 42.5 percent to 42 percent lead Duckworth held when Basswood last surveyed in April. […]

Normally I’d say an incumbent with only 41.9 percent backing is in some trouble. But this is a strange leader, and it’s hard to say without knowing more about the roughly one in five voters who is undecided.

In comparison to the Senate contest, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has a wide lead in her home state over the GOP’s Trump.

Specifically 46.4 percent of likely voters surveyed by telephone said they favor Clinton, 32.5 percent are for Trump, 5.2 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 2.6 percent for the Green Party’s Jill Stein. Just over 13 percent were undecided.

Back on the Senate race, Basswood says Kirk is doing 22 points better than Trump among moderates, and 24 points better among women. Basswood’s research memo didn’t say what the relative margin is among Republicans and men, but it obviously is much smaller.

There are other Senate incumbents polling around 42 percent, so it’s not completely unusual, but he really ought to be doing better than that.

…Adding… I was just reminded by a “helpful” Democrat that the poll was taken when Kirk was the only Senate candidate on the airwaves with ads. Duckworth went up the next day.

* Eric Elk, who commissioned the poll, told me that the poll’s partisan makeup was Dem+10. The survey size was 800 and it was conducted July 12-13. No word yet on what percentage of respondents were mobile phone users, which is an important thing to know these days.

…Adding… Mobile phone users were 25 percent of respondents. Could be higher, but better than nothing.

The pollster’s memo is here.

…Adding More… Kirk is actually doing much better vis-à-vis Trump than some of his GOP colleagues

“We’re not running presidential races,” said Ward Baker, the executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “We’re running sheriff races.”
So far, the divide is holding. Sen. Marco Rubio polls about 5 percentage points ahead of Trump in Florida, Sen. Rob Portman is 4 points up on him in Ohio, and Sen. Pat Toomey has a 6-point edge over the nominee in Pennsylvania, according to RealClearPolitics rolling averages.

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


Today’s quotable

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* CBS 2

Levine asked Kirk about a series of controversial statements he has made in recent memory. That includes a reference last year to Chicago’s South Side, when he referred to an unmarried colleague as a “bro with no ho.”

“When you’re in a race like I’m in, everything is taken the wrong way,” Kirk says.

But then he almost immediately let fly another headscratcher about the therapeutic benefits of pinot grigio. He says the wine has helped him talk more clearly.

“Suddenly, as the pinot grigio hit the brain stem, my speech abilities came back. And I said to my girlfriend, ‘OK, it’s going to be only pignot grigio.’”

I’m not sure how that could be taken the “wrong” way, unless it was the wine talking. /snark

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      


The Roger Ailes connection to Illinois

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* I’d completely forgotten about this until Mike Miner wrote about it in the Reader

In 1988 Roger Ailes fashioned the media strategy for George H.W. Bush’s successful campaign for president, and in 1996 he became the first CEO of Fox News. Between these two historic events, he came to Illinois.

His fingerprints were all over a nasty 1990 Senate race between two by-no-means-nasty people: Democratic incumbent Paul Simon and his Republican challenger, Lynn Martin, a moderate congresswoman from Rockford.

Ailes thought Simon, who won by a whisker in 1984, was vulnerable: arguably too liberal for the state, and after making a run for the Democratic nomination for president in 1988, perhaps not sufficiently committed to the job, in the minds of Illinois voters.

So Ailes rode into town to see to it Illinois sent Martin to Washington.

Ailes was already notorious, and Simon “had tremendous success raising a ton of money by using Ailes’s name as a scare tactic,” says Kerwin Swint in his 2008 biography of Ailes, Dark Genius. His hackles up, Ailes called a news conference. It didn’t go well.

Go read the whole thing.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


Even more editorial support for the Independent Map Amendment

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

Some additional editorial support for the Independent Map Amendment from news outlets across Illinois:

“The Independent Map Amendment would change a system that welcomes partisan power brokers to draw legislative district boundaries that enhance their strength into a system requiring boundaries that ensure citizens have choices to select leaders who truly represent their interests and values.”
-The Daily Herald; May 9, 2016

“There’s a remedy to this gerrymandering, called the Independent Maps Amendment. A bipartisan group of Illinoisans is trying to get this constitutional amendment on the November ballot. If voters approve it, political gerrymandering would be replaced by a nonpartisan independent commission that would draw legislative districts starting after the 2020 census.”
-Rockford Register Star; July 12, 2016

“Good government reform groups seeking to change Illinois’ badly broken and undemocratic mapmaking process deserve to celebrate an epic achievement—regardless of what happens next.”
-The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus; June 15, 2016

“Redistricting abuse by parties in power limits competition and accountability for state representatives and senators, who come to care more about pleasing political bosses in Springfield than the folks back home.”
-Sauk Valley Media; June 8, 2016

- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      


Question of the day

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* One of the more overlooked aspects of last night’s Trump address…


* From his prepared remarks

At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical community who have been so good to me and so supportive. You have so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits.

An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson, many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views.

I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans.

* The Question: Should churches be allowed to actively participate in and fund campaigns without any danger of losing their tax exempt status? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


survey tools

- Posted by Rich Miller   73 Comments      


Today in Illinois history

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* This is why the State of Illinois has both a comptroller and a treasurer…


- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


*** LIVE COVERAGE *** Rauner education press conference

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* BlueRoomStream.com’s live coverage is here. Watch it all with ScribbleLive


- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      


Trump’s best point of the night

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* From Donald Trump’s speech last night

“In the president’s hometown of Chicago, more than 2,000 have been the victims of shootings this year alone,” Trump said. “And more than 3,600 have been killed in the Chicago area since he took office.”

The rest of Trump’s speech was often bizarre, loud, angry and incredibly pandering (”Instant” solutions to huge problems without a bit of detail? Really?), but that passage resonated with me.

Barack Obama ran as a city Democrat, which this nation hasn’t had as its president since John Kennedy (and Boston is a pretty small city). But he’s barely lifted a finger for Chicago. It’s mired in problems, shootings being just one of them.

It is one of my two greatest disappointments about his administration.

- Posted by Rich Miller   77 Comments      


Mrs. Rauner appears to support Turnaround Agenda strategy

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* AP

A proposal bolstering Illinois funding for early education is now law.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the plan Thursday at an event with his wife, Diana Rauner. She runs an early education organization called The Ounce of Prevention Fund.

Under existing state law, 14 percent of grant money for early education was set aside for children up to age 3. Under the new measure, it eventually will grow to 20 percent.

* Both the governor and Mrs. Rauner were asked about the lawsuit that the Ounce had joined to force payment of state contracts to social service providers. Raw audio is here, but this is part of Gov. Rauner’s comment

I don’t blame the agencies and the human services and the community leaders who are very frustrated by the process. I’m with them. I share their frustration.

* Mrs. Rauner

I’ll just say that the Ounce of Prevention joined this lawsuit as a business decision to support and serve the organizations that we work with. And that was a decision that we made which I think is understandable considering the situation. I share the governor’s frustration with the lack of a balanced budget and structural reforms and hope that we can get to a position where all programs for vulnerable families are supported appropriately and all agencies are paid in a timely fashion.

That appears to be as close to an endorsement of the governor’s much-criticized “hostage” strategy as I’ve yet seen by her.

* Tribune

But when the first lady was pressed to weigh in on whether too much damage had already been done to social services, the governor stepped to the microphone instead.

“There are many, many human services, many social service agencies supporting our most vulnerable families that have not received the support they deserve. And that’s a tragedy,” the governor said. Then he moved on to a new question.

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


Caption contest!

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* From a longtime commenter…

Meanwhile, at “Symphony at the Park”… Pat Quinn… gathers signatures. He seems a bit oblivious that people are trying to escape from politics right now… Scoffs at people when they say no.

* The pic…

- Posted by Rich Miller   79 Comments      


Adding some context to Rauner’s e-mail diatribe

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* Subscribers have a different sort of context regarding Bruce Rauner’s e-mail five years ago about how half of Chicago’s school principals were allegedly “managerially incompetent” and half the city’s teachers were “virtually illiterate.” Here’s more from the Tribune

Appearing at a panel discussion in September 2012 as teachers were on strike, Rauner outlined a long-term plan to try to split “good teachers” from organized labor’s grasp using the issues of evaluations and merit pay.

“The good teachers know they’ll do fine. They’ve got the confidence. I’ve talked to them. I know,” Rauner told an audience of business and political leaders at a seminar held jointly by the Dallas-based President George W. Bush Institute and the right-leaning Illinois Policy Institute. “It’s the weak teachers. It’s the lousy, ineffective, lazy teachers that — unfortunately there are a number of those — they’re the ones that the union is protecting and that’s where there’s a conflict of interest between the good teachers and the union bosses.”

A week earlier, Rauner penned an opinion piece for the Tribune saying the strike “provides us all with a clear opportunity to examine the grossly inadequate performances of many public school teachers and highlight and reward the great performances of other teachers.”

“I have sat in a CPS math class and watched division being taught incorrectly. I have seen the standardized test scores of CPS teachers that indicate many of them aren’t even capable of scoring 21 on the ACT, the absolute minimum score needed to be ready for college. How can we believe that these teachers can prepare our children for success?” Rauner wrote. […]

“My wife and I have spent more than $20 million trying to donate to teacher training, principal development, charter schools,” [Rauner] told an education conference in 2012. “And I would say probably 80 percent of the dollars that we donated have been wasted. Lost. No result.”

* More from the Sun-Times

While Chicago teachers walked the picket lines for seven days, Rauner kept himself busy excoriating the union in scathing op-eds in the Chicago Tribune.

“While there are many excellent CPS teachers, the reality is a tragedy of epic proportions. Hundreds of thousands of children are being doomed to an unacceptably poor education and the diminished lives that come with it,” he wrote in one of those op-eds.

“It’s time we say ‘enough.’ Let’s recognize the CTU strike for what it is. Plain and simple, it is about the union’s drive to protect Chicago’s incompetent teachers at the expense of students and good teachers. We must not be fooled by the rhetoric that teachers are striking in the interests of students. Baloney. This strike is about protecting political power.” […]

“It will take a tremendous fight for us to take our schools back from the union bosses and their fellow bullies,” he wrote [after the strike was settled].

* Also

Last month, Rauner provoked a mighty backlash from teachers, parents and local officials when he compared the city’s public schools to “crumbling prisons.”

* And check out this e-mail passage not mentioned in the Trib

Rauner also advocated for “system structure, competition and incentives” as “key” to making sure that only “superstars” took jobs as network chiefs supervising the principals.

Well, now we know where his much-beloved “superstars” label comes from.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


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Oh, this ought to be good

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

* After it was reported that Bruce Rauner wrote an e-mail five years ago saying about Chicago Public Schools, “50% of principals are managerially incompetent and half of teachers are virtually illiterate,” check out what he’s gonna do today…

Daily Public Schedule: Friday, July 22, 2016

What: Governor Rauner Signs Legislation to Increase Transparency for School Testing and Honor Training for Teachers
Where: James R. Thompson Center – Blue Room
100 W. Randolph, Chicago
Date: Friday, July 22, 2016
Time: 11:00 a.m.​

You gotta figure this will be a well-attended press conference with some sharp questions. He’ll get his own chance to apologize in public while likely enduring some grilling.

* And he will likely be called upon to respond to this…

IFT President Responds to Governor Rauner’s Trump-esque Affront to Educators
Rauner Revealed: “Half of [Chicago] teachers are virtually illiterate”

CHICAGO – As GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump prepares to take the convention stage in Cleveland, Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) President Dan Montgomery responded to revealing emails written by one of Trump’s supporters, Governor Bruce Rauner.

    “Governor Bruce Rauner’s statement that half of Chicago teachers are ‘virtually illiterate’ is a grotesque affront to the thousands of dedicated, hardworking, and talented educators and, indeed, the children who learn from them and love them,” said Montgomery, a high school English teacher.

    “Perhaps the Governor is trying to one-up Donald Trump, whom he said he would support, in the level of hate and impropriety in civic deliberations.

    “While Rauner publicly claims to love Illinois teachers, his private emails reveal the appalling truth: he holds them in contempt. No public servant, let alone a governor, is fit to oversee the education of our children when he or she has so little regard for those who teach.”

* And this

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis described Rauner’s comments as “ridiculous” and “silly.”

“That’s on him, that has nothing to do with reality,” said Lewis, who like Rauner graduated from Dartmouth College. “Am I virtually illiterate? I have the same degree he has. Guess what? They didn’t just pass that out to me. … And if he threw everybody out who he claims is virtually illiterate, who would want to come into this system?”

* And

CTU president Karen Lewis took offense, saying she has yet to meet an illiterate teacher.

“Doesn’t that speak to his elitism and his attitude toward who we are?” she said by telephone of the governor she has long sparred with. “If he said that and put in an email, think about what he really says when he feels comfortable.”

Hopefully, the Rauner presser will be livestreamed. Either way, we’ll have a ScribbleLive feed set up by then.

…Adding… BlueRoomStream.com will livestream the event.

- Posted by Rich Miller   69 Comments      


Rauner apologizes for making “unfair, untrue” comments in old e-mail

Friday, Jul 22, 2016

[Bumped up for visibility.]

* Uh-oh

Gov. Bruce Rauner once told some of Chicago’s wealthiest and most influential civic leaders that half of the Chicago Public Schools teachers “are virtually illiterate” and half of the city’s principals are “incompetent,” according to emails Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration released Thursday under a court order.

Rauner made the assertion five years ago when he was a wealthy private equity executive and an active participant in Chicago school reform. His emails were part of a discussion with affluent education reform activists connected to the Chicago Public Education Fund, including Penny Pritzker, now U.S. commerce secretary; billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin; Chicago investment executive Mellody Hobson; and Helen Zell, the wife of billionaire real estate magnate Sam Zell.

“Teacher evaluation is critically important, but in a massive bureaucracy with a hostile union, where 50% of principals are managerially incompetent and half of teachers are virtually illiterate, a complete multi-dimensional evaluation system with huge subjectivity in it will be attacked, manipulated and marginalized – the status quo will prevail,” Rauner wrote in a December 2011 email arguing for a strong system of teacher and principal evaluations in the district. “It’s much more critical that we develop a consistent, rigorous, objective, understandable measure and reporting system for student growth upon which all further evaluation of performance will depend.”

* The good news is that Rauner’s spokesman Lance Trover apologized, which is a highly unusual move

“Significant change can be frustratingly slow; this is especially true in public education. Many of us, at one time or another, have sent hastily crafted emails containing inaccurate or intemperate statements,” Trover’s statement said in part. “This particular email was sent out of frustration at the pace of change in our public school system. The governor regrets writing it and apologizes to CPS educators for making an unfair, untrue comment.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   71 Comments      


Most. Unwatchable. Video. Ever.

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* Another blast e-mail from John Terranova to state employees…

Dear colleagues,

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to contact me in response to my last email. Your responses confirmed what we knew all along. State employees are hungry for accurate information. Rest assured, you can always count on me and my colleagues in CMS Labor Relations to provide it.

To that end, please take a moment to watch ASK JT: Answers to State Employee Questions and Concerns. In this clip, joined by my longtime colleague and good friend, Colleen Alderman, I answer important questions we’ve been receiving from employees. We cover the following topics:

    . ​health insurance,

    . strike-related issues (lost wages and benefits, inability to use vacation and other benefit time during a strike, as well as other issues),

    . impasse, and

    . merit pay.

I’m sure you have many more questions and encourage you to continue asking them. Colleen and I will do our best to respond, in writing and in future installments of ASK JT. In the meantime, please bookmark team.illinois.gov, where you can find a complete copy of our last, best, and final offer in the AFSCME negotiations. We will continue updating this website with additional information that our employees not only demand but have the right to know.

Yours,

JT
John Terranova
Deputy Director
Office of Labor Relations
Department of Central Management Services

* The video is over 20 minutes long, so it isn’t actually a “clip.” But if you can somehow manage to make it through all the way, please let me know in comments what you thought because I only made it about two minutes. Click here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   57 Comments      


Rauner continues to dodge Trump questions

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* Gov. Rauner again dodged questions about the presidential campaign today during a bill-signing event. Asked, for instance, if he planned to watch tonight’s big speech by Donald Trump, the governor said…

“I’m focused on Illinois’ prosperity and, uh, getting our Illinois, uh, reforms done. Political reform, economic reform, education reform.”

* Reminded that he said he’d support the party’s presidential nominee, so now that Trump is the nominee, what form would that support take?…

“Again, I, I’ve said what I’m, all I’m gonna say on the, on the presidential campaign.”

* Raw audio…

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


Unclear on the concepts

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* Sneed

Whoops! U.S. Rep. John Shimkus needs a geography lesson: He told Illinois delegates at a Yacht Club luncheon in Cleveland on Tuesday, “It’s great to be here next to Lake Superior!”

It’s Lake Erie, bud.

* Tribune

Tim Schneider, the Cook County commissioner Rauner tapped to be state GOP chairman, maintained talk of any divisions was illusory. “I’ve seen nothing but unity this whole week. I’ve seen nothing but unity,” Schneider said.

* $767? Really?

With average cost per delegate at next week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia running between $3,000 and $5,000, Democratic Sen. Mike Noland and his wife, Veronica, have set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for their trip.

The idea, Mike Noland tells me, came from Jose Alfonso Villalobos, who heads the Kane County for Bernie Sanders group. The Nolands hope to finance the trip “Bernie style” — a nod to the Vermont senator who amassed many small donations during his presidential primary bid.

While the GoFundMe page shows the Nolands raised about $767, Mike Noland says he’s also doing other fundraising to hit his $5,000 goal.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


Question of the day

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* Sun-Times

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., slammed Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Thursday for not endorsing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during his convention prime time address on Wednesday night.

“If you are invited to speak at the convention, though, you have to endorse him,” said Kinzinger, who is so reluctant to embrace Trump as his party’s nominee that he has been sitting on the fence for months.

“This is Donald Trump’s convention,” Kinzinger said on CNN. “He won the primary fair and square.”

Kinzinger said he was “blown away” with Cruz’s speech, where he urged Republicans to “vote their conscience” rather than say straight up to cast their ballots for Trump.

“I think it was ludicrous of Ted Cruz to do it, and it’s obviously political posturing for whatever comes next,” Kinzinger said.

Trump himself tweeted that he read the speech beforehand and allowed it to proceed. As I recall, the deal he cut with Cruz a while back to speak at the convention didn’t include any promises that Cruz endorse the nominee. Back in March, Trump rescinded his pledge (agreed to with the other candidates) to back the eventual nominee. And after all that, the Trump campaign scheduled Cruz to speak Wednesday night in prime time ahead of a speech given by Trump’s son and his vice presidential nominee.

All that said…

* The Question: Do you agree with Congressman Kinzinger? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


polls

- Posted by Rich Miller   63 Comments      


Today’s must-read

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* Ben Joravsky’s profile of Chicago Ald. Sue Sadlowski Garza is entertaining, well-written and informative. You gotta check it out.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      


Report: Rauner “can’t stand Trump”

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* Hmmm

Sneed is told Gov. Bruce Rauner, who detests Trump, may be a no-show here — but he is monitoring what’s going on.

“He’s been calling,” an Illinois delegate who asked not to be identified said. “He can’t stand Trump. He doesn’t like the way he does business.”

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   56 Comments      


Unemployment rate down, but IDES still gloomy

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* Press release

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate in June decreased 0.2 percentage points to 6.2 percent and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -2,200 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES. The decrease in Illinois’ unemployment rate is largely due to a decline in the labor force. Job growth is still below the national average, with Illinois -51,500 jobs short of its peak employment level reached in September 2000.

“In June, Illinois experienced yet another exodus and over-the-year job growth is still at half the national rate,” Director Jeff Mays said. “As we do our part in expanding services that help jobseekers find work more quickly, structural reforms are necessary to get the state’s economy back on track.”

“We’ve lost more than 9,000 manufacturing jobs over the last year, and replacing those middle class jobs has been an uphill battle due to the high costs facing Illinois businesses,” Illinois Department of Commerce Acting Director Sean McCarthy said. “Manufacturing has been a critical part of our state’s economy, providing stable, good paying jobs for Illinois families. We need action on structural reforms to Illinois’ dysfunctional worker’s compensation, regulation, and tax systems to make our state competitive and bring solid middle class jobs back to Illinois.”

In June, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+3,000); Financial Activities (+1,700); and Other Services (+1,500). The two industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were: Educational and Health Services (-7,300) and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-1,000).

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +41,300 jobs with the largest gains in Leisure and Hospitality (+19,100); and Professional and Business Services (+16,700). Industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines in June include: Manufacturing (-9,100) and Information Services (-2,700). The 0.7 percent over-the-year gain in Illinois is less than the 1.7 percent gain posted by the nation in June.

The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for June 2016, which increased to 4.9 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate stood 0.4 percentage points above the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 5.8 percent.

The number of unemployed workers decreased -4.1 percent from the prior month to 409,300, up +8.5 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force grew by +1.9 percent in June over the prior year, but decreased 0.5 percent over-the-month. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      


“Foreign” hack attack on state voter registration site

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* From the McLean County Clerk’s Facebook page

The State Board of Elections (SBE) fell victim to a cyberattack that was detected on July 12, 2016. Specifically, the target was the [Illinois Vital Records System] database. Once discovered, State Board of Elections closed the point of entry. On July 13th, once the severity of the attack was realized, as a precautionary measure, the entire IVRS system was shut down, including online voter registration.

SBE’s Information Technology and Voting and Registration Systems staff immediately began researching the extent of the infiltration. Thus far, we have determined the following:

    · The pathway into IVRS was NOT through our firewalls but through a vulnerability on our public web page that an applicant may use to check the status of their online voter registration application.
    · The method used was SQL injection. The offenders were able to inject SQL database queries into the IVRS database in order to access information. This was a highly sophisticated attack most likely from a foreign (international) entity.
    · We have found no evidence that they added, changed, or deleted any information in the IVRS database. Their efforts to obtain voter signature images and voter history were unsuccessful.
    · They were able to retrieve a number of voter records. We are in the process of determining the exact number of voter records and specific names of all individuals affected. (Because of the complex methods used to access the data, this may take 10-15 days.)
    · In an effort to prevent an attack such as this from happening in the future, we have made a number of security enhancements to the IVRS and POVA systems.
    · Once the system is brought back online, all IVRS user passwords will need to be changed at the first login (or by your vendor for system specific accounts). The new password must be a minimum of eight characters in length, one of which must be a non-alphanumeric character ($, *, # etc.).

Pursuant to the Personal Information Protection Act (815 ILCS530/), the Illinois General Assembly and the Office of the Attorney General have been notified of the incursion. Furthermore, once we have determined the number of voter records and the individuals whose information was collected, we are prepared to take the proper steps required to notify those persons.

A separate notification will be sent indicating when you and your staff may access IVRS. Thank you for your patience regarding this matter.

Kyle Thomas
Illinois State Board of Elections
Director-Voting and Registration Systems

* Dan Petrela

The registration database is a frequent target of cyberattacks, [Ken Menzel, the Illinois State Board of Elections’ general counsel] said, but “this is the first time that we’re aware of that anybody’s gotten into anything — not for lack of trying .”

Menzel said the board is confident that no voter information in the database was altered and will follow the proper notification procedures if any personal information was compromised.

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


Get in front of it, already

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* This passage from a Trib editorial on yesterday’s failure by the remap reform amendment is just plain intellectually dishonest

It ought to go without saying that this appeal deserves the prompt attention of the state’s highest court. But two years ago, the justices showed a shocking disregard for the hundreds of thousands of voters who signed petitions in support of a different amendment.

Illinois isn’t California. We can debate forever the legal arguments on this particular case, but just because hundreds of thousands of people sign a petition it doesn’t change the fact that our state Constitution drastically restricts any and all proposals for change. And in 1988 and 2008, Illinois voters soundly rejected calling a constitutional convention. I wrote numerous columns leading up to that 2008 vote supporting a convention, mainly to get remap reform on the table, but the question lost 3.1 million to 1.5 million.

3.1 million voters trumps 564,000 petition signatures in my book, as much as I strongly disagreed with their overwhelming decision.

* That having been said, there is a most definite political downside to Democrats with this ruling, as today’s Chicago Sun-Times editorial clearly shows

But the power to reshuffle that stacked deck lies, perhaps more than ever now, in the hands of the very people uninterested in any change — the state’s Democratic legislative leaders. The court ruled that the remap plan, which would have assigned new duties to the state auditor general and Supreme Court, went beyond constitutionally allowed “structural” and “procedural” changes to the Legislature.

Today’s court ruling was a defeat for democracy and a victory for House Speaker Mike Madigan and Company, who have consistently put their own political interests above the power of your vote.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Democrats need to get out in front of this issue with a real proposal of their own. If they don’t defeat Rauner in the next election and don’t maintain their super-majorities in both chambers in the next two cycles, then he’ll veto their remap bill and they’ll only have a 50-50 chance of drawing the next map.

And then all heck will break loose. I seriously doubt the GOP will make the same sort of mistakes that they made when they drew the map in 1991.

* Related…

* Mark Brown: Dems’ stance on redistricting reform will catch up to them

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      


What Rauner’s money and people are bringing to the GOP’s table

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* This new data sophistication that the state party chairman spoke about this morning is just part of what’s going on. The House and Senate Republicans now have much larger operations, with a much bigger infrastructure than they’ve ever had before…


- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      


IL Trump delegates defend the negativity

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* While some Illinois Kasich delegates (most notably the “Never Trump” former state party chairman Pat Brady) are quoted high up in this article, the Trump delegates fervently contend that the Republican National Convention’s relentless negativity against Hillary Clinton won’t hurt the party in the end

Trump delegates say they have no problem with the Clinton-bashing and do not fear blowback from women voters, a problem area for Trump.

James Devors, a Trump delegate from Aroma Park, 60 miles south of Chicago, agreed that he’d “like to hear more positive stuff about Mr. Trump.”

But the negative statements, Devors said, “are going toward those Republicans who are lukewarm to Mr. Trump. It’s, ‘You might not like Mr. Trump, but this is your alternative,’ is the audience they’re going for.”

State Rep. John Cabello of Machesney Park, 95 miles northwest of Chicago, an at-large delegate and Trump supporter, said reprisals from women voters shouldn’t be a problem because “Trump has a problem only with women who would never support him in the first place.”

Linda Lucchese, a Trump delegate from Park Ridge, Clinton’s hometown in Chicago’s northwest suburbs, disagreed: “It won’t hurt with any woman who’s got half a brain,” she said.

It did look a bit Third Worldish to be loudly chanting “Lock her up!” about an American political opponent, but I think that if the nominee has a very good night tonight, much of that might be forgotten.

But not all of it.

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      


Maybe not?

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* Richard Porter is the Republican National Committeeman…


* But…


- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      


Caption contest!

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* Brady is a “Never Trump” guy, so this is little surprise…


- Posted by Rich Miller   43 Comments      


*** LIVE COVERAGE *** Republican National Convention

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* Follow the Illinois angles with ScribbleLive


- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


Poll: Voters prefer union and government workers over tanking Rauner

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* From Anzalone Liszt Grove via AFSCME

To: Interested Parties
From: ALG Research
Re: IL Statewide poll findings

Illinois voters like labor unions. Conversely, they do not like Bruce Rauner or think he is doing a good job as Governor. They side with labor unions in fights with Bruce Rauner generally, and they side with AFSCME specifically in their current dispute with the Governor.

Key Findings

• Labor unions and workers are popular in Illinois. Voters are favorable towards “public employee unions” (51% favorable / 29% unfavorable) and “state government workers” (57% favorable / 28% unfavorable).

• Voters have turned on Bruce Rauner. Last April, voters gave Rauner a net positive job rating (45% positive / 42% negative) and personal popularity rating (47% favorable / 36% unfavorable). That’s now flipped, and Rauner has a poor personal rating (38% favorable / 50% unfavorable) and job rating (35% positive / 60% unfavorable). That includes bad ratings with:

    o Independents (32% positive / 64% negative job)
    o The Collar counties (45% positive / 50% negative)
    o Downstate (42% positive / 54% negative)
    o People who voted in the November 2014 election (37% positive / 59% negative)

• In general, voters trust public employee unions more than Bruce Rauner in a dispute. They favor public employee unions by 24 points (54% unions / 30% Rauner) when it comes to conflicts between them and Rauner, an improvement for unions since last April (51% unions / 33% Rauner).

• In the current dispute between state employees and Bruce Rauner, voters agree with state employees. Voters overall side with state workers, as do voters in the Collar counties, Downstate, Independents, and midterm-election voters:

“When it comes to the current dispute between the state employees’ union and Bruce Rauner, which of the following do you agree with more?

    o “State employees say they are willing to negotiate with Bruce Rauner, even offering to limit pay raises and pay more for their health care. But just like Rauner held the state budget hostage for a year, he refuses to negotiate with workers. Instead he’s trying to force our everyday heroes like caregivers and emergency responders to accept steep cuts to their standard of living. 56%
    OR
    o “Bruce Rauner says that we are in such a fiscal mess because past governors gave too much to government unions that funded their political campaigns. He says that the unions’ demands would cost taxpayers three billion dollars, and that the state can’t afford employee pay raises or generous health care benefits.” 34%

• On the following points of contention, voters also agree more with the state employees’ union than Rauner. Voters don’t just agree with ASFCME on the general issue, they also take the union’s side on the key specific points of disagreement between AFSCME and Rauner.

“Which of the following do you agree with more?”

    o The union says Rauner is wildly exaggerating the cost of workers’ pay and benefits for his own political gain. 58%
    OR
    o Bruce Rauner says the union’s demands would cost taxpayers three billion dollars. 32%

    o The union says public service workers are important. They keep us safe, protect kids, care for veterans, and more. 62%
    OR
    o Bruce Rauner says government unions are part of the corrupt bargain in Springfield causing our state’s mess. 28%

    o The union says Bruce Rauner is trying to destroy unions, so he can get a blank check to outsource public services for private profit. 60%
    OR
    o Bruce Rauner says we need to cut Illinois state workers’ excessive pay and benefits. They are the highest-paid state workers in the nation at $60,000 a year. 30%

The findings are based off of an n=600 sample poll of November 2016 likely voters conducted on landlines and cellphones. Interviews were apportioned geographically based on past voter turnout. The expected margin of sampling error at the 95% confidence level is +4.0% and higher for subgroups.

Subscribers have toplines and more info. The poll was conducted July 6-10.

* From Team Rauner…

This fabricated poll is yet another attempt by AFSCME leaders to mislead and distract taxpayers from AFSCME’s true intention, which is a strike as early as September 1st.​

- Posted by Rich Miller   71 Comments      


IL delegate who goes by “whitepride” kicked out of GOP convention

Thursday, Jul 21, 2016

* Lynn Sweet

The Illinois Republican Party on Wednesday revoked the convention credentials of a Donald Trump delegate from Chicago “for publicly-made racist comments and threats of violence” on a Facebook posting.

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider told the Sun-Times the party, “has zero tolerance for racism of any kind and threats of violence against anyone.” […]

The Republican National Convention welcome party was thrown Sunday at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. [Fifth Congressional District delegate Lori Gayne] wrote, over a photo of law enforcement officials on the roof on the iconic building on the Lake Erie shore:

“Our brave snipers just waiting for some “N—- to try something. Love them.”

She used an abbreviation for the racial slur.

* From Gayne’s statement

The statements do not reflect my character or feelings toward minorities.

Oh, please.

* From a May 19th Tribune story

One of Gayne’s social media handles is “whitepride.”

“With all the racism going on today, I’m very proud to be white. Just like black people are proud to be black and now, as white people, whenever we say something critical we’re punished as if we’re racists. I’m tired of it. I’m very proud,” Gayne said.

“I’m so angry I don’t even feel like I live in America. You can call me a racist. Black Lives Matter? Those people are out of control,” she said.

The oldest line in the book is “I’m not a racist, but…” As a white man, I’ve heard it countless times.

* Tribune today

State Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park, co-chair of the Illinois delegation and a major Trump supporter, said he supported free speech but said Gayne had crossed the bounds to be a representative for Illinois Republicans.

“I don’t believe her voice is one we want in the party,” Cabello said.

Coulda thought about that before the convention even started.

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      


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* White Sox suspend top pitcher Chris Sale for 5 days
* Chicago schools with high lead levels not totals 99
* Retired Hammond firefighter among boat crash victims
* Police officers, families stage vigil for law enforcement
* Illinois governor working with police on marijuana bill
* Suspect in 4 bank robberies held in June heist
* Safety regulators get up for higher train speeds in Illinois

* State costs for amendment notices likely to top $2 million
* Rauner OKs regulating police use of cell-site simulators
* Illinois Supreme Court to consider remap ballot measure
* Rauner vetoes construction-wage, homecare-worker pay increases
* Rauner apologizes, Chicago teachers protest over 2011 email questioning their competency
* Providers: Stop gap budget won't have 'meaningful' impact
* Rauner apologizes for calling Chicago teachers illiterate
* Illinois ordered to rethink medical marijuana for migraines
* Rauner once called Chicago teachers 'virtually illiterate'
* Gov. Rauner signs early childhood law

* Verizon ends Yahoo survival fight with $4.8 billion deal
* Lolla at 25: The math on the tickets, the T-shirts, the grass (not that grass)
* How Clinton can out-convention Trump
* Trump's running mate has a business success story of his own to tell
* Duking it out for dominance at O'Hare


* 14-year-old girl shot in Englewood
* Police warn about armed robberies on Near West Side
* Three wounded in Englewood shooting
* Police search for Fulton man who wandered away in Avondale
* Man critically wounded in West Garfield Park shooting
* Man shot in Lawndale
* ‘Like a freight train’: California wildfire guts 18 homes
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for July 25, 2016
* Dear Abby: Wife of dementia patient fears the future
* Missing girl last seen in South Chicago


* 1 dead, 9 wounded in shootings
* And now this: John Oliver returns to take on the Trump convention
* Crash kills Nebraska punter Sam Foltz, former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler
* Bavarian official says attacker who blew himself up was denied asylum
* 'Like a freight train': California wildfire guts 18 homes
* 'How's Amanda?' A story of truth, lies and an American addiction
* White Sox reportedly left Seattle without leaving tips for clubhouse attendants
* Australia won't move into Rio Olympic Village after toilets fail stress test
* Dallas Cowboys bus involved in crash that killed 4
* Suburban lawmaker abruptly resigns, citing hacked social media accounts


* Pam Molitoris: Hunger doesn't take a summer vacation
* State costs for amendment notices likely to top $2 million
* Statehouse Insider: Rauner, AFSCME conduct PR war while labor talks at standstill
* Bernard Schoenburg: Buscher moves from independent to GOP, Trump
* Connecting people with volunteer opportunities
* Sommer family gives back together
* Joel Erickson: Sen. Kirk must stand up for veterans' rights
* Charles Krauthammer: Notes from Cleveland: The two-part rebellion
* Rauner OKs regulating police use of cell-site simulators
* Illinois Supreme Court to consider remap ballot measure


* Love of bagel draws fans out
* Phillip Egelston
* Julia Rowe
* Sidney Myers
* Tale of 2 shots at Benton Gold Cup
* East Moline blaze damages home on Forrest Road
* Colona robbery suspect crashes, airlifted to hospital
* Davenport takes trophy in 'Battle of the Badges'
* UI hoops recruit glance: V.J. Bailey
* Five questions before 2016 Big Ten Media Days


* New life, new destruction for Southern California wildfire
* Japan sees trade surplus in June as imports drop 19 percent
* Trump convention message cheers white supremacists
* Surge of methamphetamine hitting Indianapolis neighborhoods
* The Latest: China says talks with SE Asia nations 'positive'

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin, Senators Send Letter to DEA Callin......
* New Durbin, Senators Send Letter to DEA Ca......

* Laura Washington: Kirk woos Latinos in rac......

* No sale for Sale, even though many Sox fans liked the jersey giveaway
* Donkey Dung
* Behind Rauner’s insults. Whose schools?
* Jonathan Halabi at the AFT. The wrap up.
* Breaking: Rauner says Chicago teachers are illiterate and principals incompetent.
* Debbie.
* Rauner: A quick glimpse and confirmation.
* I’m not a Democrat and pension theft is a bipartisan effort.
* Mark Stefanik’s letter from Galway. Trump the Intruder.
* Random thoughts. This is not an election over who is a friend of Wall Street.


* Discount Admission Tickets Available For Purchase At Area Retailers - Fair to extend purchasing hours at Emmerson Building
* Governor Announces Appointments
* New Halsted Street Bridge Finished at Byrne Interchange, Multimodal Travel, Neighborhood Connectivity Enhanced - Last of Eisenhower bridges to be completed, project moves into next phase
* No Pokemon Go access on Veteran Home’s grounds
* Governor Takes Bill Action




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