* Congressman Bill Enyart has a new TV ad highlighting the infamous Mike Bost House floor rant. The tagline is, “Mike Bost, 20 years yelling, 20 years being the problem”…
Since Bost has a new ad portraying himself as calm and reasonable, I’m figuring that Enyart believes this line of attack works well.
This is the problem. That’s Mike Bost
That’s Mike Bost 20 year Springfield Politician
Bost voted for dishonest budgets and raised taxes, borrowed billions, and wasted money
And we’re paying the price
Mike Bost, 20 years yelling
20 Years being the Problem
- Posted by Rich Miller
Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014
A new subpoena seeking records about Gov. Pat Quinn’s botched 2010 anti-violence program has been issued, this time from a federal grand jury based in Chicago.
The request marks the first subpoena issued by Chicago-based federal authorities in the probe into Quinn’s $54.5 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. Numerous prior subpoenas had come from federal authorities in Springfield. […]
The new federal subpoena comes from a special February grand jury in Chicago. It was delivered to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, a state agency that took over the anti-violence program two years after it started, according to a copy the Tribune obtained. […]
What’s unclear is how the two grand juries differ or if federal authorities in Springfield and Chicago are working in tandem. The Chicago-based district covers the city and the suburbs where the grants in the anti-violence program were distributed, but the central district has increased its focus on grant fraud over the past few years.
…Adding… I’m told the Chicago grand jury has subpoenaed the same records as the Springfield US Attorney. It appears they’re working together somehow.
Also, the grand jury already had the records via the state’s attorney, but they apparently needed the originals from the state.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* Both campaigns have taken extraordinary measures in recent weeks to keep opposition “trackers” out of their events. But this was a bit much, if you ask me…
Oh, c’mon, man. That’s just overkill.
*** UPDATE *** Sun-Times…
“When I asked about future events, she said that it was their ‘policy’ that only credentialed press would be allowed in,” [Columbia College Professor Curtis Lawrence] said. “When I mentioned that some of the students were published in the school-sponsored website, ChicagoTalks, she reiterated that they too would need credentials. This has never been an issue with other campaigns and we do this regularly during campaign season.” […]
“It appears we just got a sneak preview of what it would be like to cover a Bruce Rauner administration: little access and no respect for young journalists,” said Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson. […]
“When I reminded some of the students that have taken classes with me before that this experience was totally different from when we covered Quinn’s press conference announcing Vallas as his running mate, one replied: “Yeah, they gave us candy.”
- Posted by Rich Miller
* From the Bruce Rauner campaign…
Bruce Rauner today called for openness and transparency in the application process for Illinois medical marijuana licensing. Recent media reports have shined a light on Pat Quinn’s effort to block public access to information regarding Illinois medical marijuana facility license applicants. The legislation enabling the sale of medical marijuana makes the applications for companies vying for facility licenses “secret.”
“My message to Pat Quinn is this: Governor, the jig is up. Stop this rigged process before it moves forward any further,” Rauner said. “The application process for medical marijuana should not be held in secret where insiders win and taxpayers lose; it should be open and transparent.”
Under legislation signed by Pat Quinn, 22 licenses will be issued by the Illinois Department of Agriculture for “cultivation centers” that are legally allowed to grow medical marijuana. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation will issue 60 licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries. By statute, Pat Quinn’s administration will get to pick the winners and losers for both types of licenses.
Enter Quinn’s former chief of staff, Jack Lavin. During Tuesday’s televised Chicago Tribune gubernatorial debate, Pat Quinn was pressed to explain who in his office recommended illegal patronage hires to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Quinn pointed the finger at his former chief of staff and best friend, Jack Lavin. A federal grand jury also recently subpoenaed Lavin’s email as part of the U.S. Attorney’s investigation into Quinn’s failed anti-violence program. After signing off on illegal hires at IDOT, Lavin is now representing one of the potential medical marijuana applicants. Last week, Bruce called on Quinn to direct all state agencies to refuse lobbying efforts from Lavin.
“The medical marijuana process is straight out of the Rod Blagojevich playbook,” said Bruce Rauner. “Instead of a non-transparent program manipulated by Pat Quinn’s cronies, we should auction off licenses to the highest qualified bidder, with full disclosure of each company’s financial interests.”
The Illinois General Assembly should pass new legislation authorizing a competitive and transparent process for pre-approved applicants to bid on medical marijuana growing and dispensary licenses, ensuring appropriate safeguards for intellectual property, financial and security capabilities and detailed information on the financial interests of bidders. Winning participants unable to meet the terms set forward by the state would lose their license, allowing the state to competitively rebid for services.
* But according to a Democratic backgrounder, Rauner has his own connections to med-mar investors…
Turns out 2 of Rauner’s top supporters - Steve Denari and Tom Cronin are trying to cash in on medical marijuana big time:
Steve Denari is on the Board of Democrats and Independents for Rauner SuperPac: http://www.bnd.com/2014/04/15/3162876_carl-officer-forms-superpac-to.html
Denari is also the Chief political strategist of Democrats and Independents for Rauner, Denari and Tom Cronin, the River Forest Republican Committeeman got together to start a fund to give loans to companies starting marijuana businesses. They are trying to raise between $50 and 100 Million [according to Crain’s Chicago Business]
…Adding… It doesn’t appear that the SuperPAC mentioned above (via the Belleville News Democrat) has yet been formed. However, Denali says in the article that he backs Rauner and Cronin is a Rauner contributor.
* From Crain’s…
Prairie Wellness Fund originally intended to raise about $50 million to meet demand in Illinois, but after announcing its plans earlier this month the level of interest among potential applicants has increased its goal to “somewhere between $50 million and $100 million,” said Mr. Denari, who is CEO of Political Action League and chief political strategist for Democrats and Independents for Rauner, a super PAC formed by East St. Louis Mayor Carl Officer. In 1994, Mr. Denari was the Democratic opponent of former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert after chairing Texas billionaire Ross Perot’s 1992 presidential campaign in the Chicago area.
The organizers of Prairie Wellness Fund are still gauging demand and aren’t yet soliciting investors until they prepare and issue a private placement memorandum, probably around Sept. 1. They plan to seek investors only from Illinois, primarily wealthy individuals and family-run investment pools.
In addition to the short-run opportunity of providing loans and letters of credit for applicants, there may be long-term financing needs to get marijuana businesses up and running. With plans to charge interest rates of about 24 percent, Mr. Griffin said returns to investors should range somewhere above 20 percent, net of fees and before taxes. […]
“If anybody can’t afford 2 percent a month in this business, you don’t want them,” Mr. Denari said. “There’s something wrong with their business model.”
That’s a pretty hefty vig, if you ask me.
*** UPDATE *** From Illinois NORML…
Illinois NORML (National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws) is appalled that Bruce Rauner wants to delay the application process for the dispensary and cultivation center licenses of the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program by having the Illinois legislature pass a new law regarding transparency and bidding in the application process. Medical cannabis patients have been waiting for years for the bill to pass and have now had to wait months for the agencies to adopt rules and regulations that would guarantee a professional program to help ensure that program will eventually be made permanent.
Dan Linn, Executive Director of Illinois NORML commented, “Bruce Rauner essentially told every cancer, ALS and Multiple Sclerosis patient in Illinois that they are now pawns in his political game. If he wanted to comment on this law or any aspect of the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program he could have done so during the public comment period of the draft rules or at any of the three town hall meetings that took place over the summer. By calling for a delay in the application process and the issuing of cultivation and dispensing licenses now, he is telling seriously ill patients that they should wait longer to get access to this medical treatment.”
The fact that Bruce Rauner wants to auction off licenses to the highest bidder shows how familiar he is with using his vast fortune to squash attempts for small businesses and entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in an industry. Medical cannabis patients should not have to wait any longer to get access to this medicine, as many are struggling to survive and are in constant pain; to use them as a tool for political leverage is disgusting. Furthermore, the pilot program is set to expire in less than four years and medicine will probably only be available for less than three years of that time, so any further delay is going to negatively impact the health of many patients who are eagerly awaiting safe and legal access to this medicine.
“Mr. Rauner has now demonstrated his lack of compassion for those who are seeking relief through the use of medical cannabis.” Linn added.
Illinois NORML also noted Rauner’s lack of familiarity with the law since as written it is designed to cost the taxpayers of Illinois nothing and must be financially self sufficient. By claiming that the application process will cost taxpayers he has revealed his lack of understanding of one of the basic aspects of the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.
Illinois NORML Assistant Director added, “Many Illinois patients have died while waiting for legal access to this important medicine, including some who worked for years to help pass the law but were never able to take advantage of it themselves. This proposed delay is unacceptable and patient access should be provided as soon as possible.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** From Evelyn Sanguinetti…
“As a woman living with Multiple Sclerosis, I will not allow Pat Quinn’s allies to politicize MS or any other disease in order to mask his cronyism and corruption. There is nothing that prevents medical marijuana from proceeding in an open and transparent manner except the corrupt insiders who have something to hide.”
- Posted by Rich Miller
Coming off a weekend where he’s reportedly down in the polls, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner launched one of the harshest attacks yet against Gov. Pat Quinn, likening Quinn to a crafty political patronage boss who heads an “Outfit” that’s steeped in cronyism.
Rauner described himself as decidedly different: “I’m nobody that nobody sent,” he said.
Looking down at prepared remarks, Rauner read off a lengthy attack on Quinn and a patronage hiring scandal at the Illinois Department of Transportation, saying Quinn has failed to fire more than 60 percent of those who were deemed political hires at the agency.
“This scam, perpetrated by Pat Quinn has got to end,” Rauner said. “Pat Quinn is not the folksy, bumbling fool he’d like us to think he is. He knows what he’s doing. He knows what he’s done.”
Rauner said if elected, he would partner with Michael Shakman to work out a settlement that includes a federal hiring monitor. His remarks came after Quinn on Friday released the names of more than 100 clouted state transportation employees who were part of what the state’s top ethics watchdog dubbed an improper hiring scheme. Quinn also said he would keep the 103 IDOT employees on the payroll.
* Rauner’s comments referred to this Friday AP story…
Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration hired more than 60 percent of the Illinois Department of Transportation workers whose employment was deemed improper by a state watchdog, a document released Friday shows.
The IDOT document shows that 173 of the 245 people hired as “staff assistants” since 2002 still work for the state, including 161 at the transportation agency. […]
An IDOT spokesman said none of the remaining employees will be fired, as Rauner has demanded.
…Adding… The Quinn campaign notes a mathematical error in the AP story. They didn’t subtract the 58 “staff assistants” laid off by Quinn.
* And speaking of the Shakman case, this is also from the AP…
Gov. Pat Quinn contended in a federal court filing late Monday that a court-appointed monitor is not necessary to ensure compliance with political hiring bans, as suggested by an anti-patronage attorney.
In the filing by the attorney general’s office, Quinn says his response to allegations of political hiring in the Department of Transportation has been “prompt, appropriate and aimed at a long-term solution to preventing any such improprieties in the future.” […]
Quinn said he ordered that all Transportation Department executive-level staff members undergo training on proper hiring practices; that the department employees receive written performance evaluations on an annual basis; the creation of a merit board to “ensure the integrity of all personnel matters” and provide greater accountability and transparency, and a moratorium on the creation of positions that can be filled with political hires until the inspector general’s recommendations are implemented satisfactorily.
“Despite plaintiffs’ contentions, the uncontested facts do not demonstrate a widespread patronage problem,” the filing
* Rauner campaign response…
“This is a flagrant betrayal of the public’s trust,” Rauner said. “If Pat Quinn was willing to brazenly mislead a federal court, there is no reason to start trusting him now.”
Protecting cronies, public deception, misleading the courts - those are not supposed to be the actions of a governor.
Those are the actions of someone leading the outfit - and make no mistake about it, Pat Quinn is leading a patronage and cronyism outfit in Springfield and Chicago.
* Tribune editorial: A management problem? Give us a break. This was a patronage hiring scam, pure and simple. And Quinn owns it.
* News-Gazette editorial: Gov. Quinn should have wiped the entire slate clean. The decision to allow some to stay reveals a disturbing double standard while the lawsuit challenging the layoffs demonstrates a deceitful political calculation. That’s exactly the wrong message to send to the public.
* Rauner’s call for firings of ‘illegal patronage hires’ would affect many in Springfield
- Posted by Rich Miller
* A friend sent me this text message Saturday evening. I enhanced it with links…
Just witnessed: Quinn’s van attack ad immediately followed by the Rauner van ad
Took ALL of the wind out of Rauner’s ad
An hour and a half later, from the same friend…
Dude. It just happened again but with the minimum wage ad
The more I think about it, the more I believe that van ad is a silly mistake on Rauner’s part.
* And speaking of the minimum wage…
The [Tribune] poll found 69 percent of Illinois voters back an increase in the state’s $8.25-an-hour minimum wage to $10 by Jan. 1 for adults over age 18. Only 27 percent oppose the proposal, while 5 percent had no opinion. The statewide poll, conducted among 800 registered voters Sept. 3-12, had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. […]
Nearly 9 in 10 Democrats favor a wage rate increase. Republicans are split, with 51 percent opposing it and 42 percent supporting it. But among independent voters, traditionally a swing voting bloc, 65 percent favor a wage rate increase and 30 percent oppose it.
Even a majority of voters who consider themselves either very or fairly conservative — 54 percent — backed a higher minimum wage in Illinois, compared with 41 percent who oppose it.
* Geography and race…
* Bridge Project Video: Bruce Rauner: Adamantly Against What’s Right for Illinois
- Posted by Rich Miller
* My weekly syndicated newspaper column…
The Illinois House Democrats launched their direct mail and TV program weeks earlier than the House Republicans in an attempt to knock the GOP candidates down before they even had a chance to stand up.
The mail started going out not long after the mid-August Illinois State Fair. Four years ago, during a national Republican tidal wave, the House Republicans preemptively launched their advertising program in mid-September, catching the Democrats off guard. The Republicans won a few seats they might not have picked off had they started at the usual time. The Democrats learned a valuable lesson, raised an absolute ton of money, and began their mail and TV programs even earlier.
As a result, the Republicans, who don’t have much money, have been buried by hundreds of thousands of dollars in early Democratic advertising.
And the Democrats have also clearly beaten the Republicans to the punch when it comes to parroting the “message track” used by the current leader in the governor’s race, Republican Bruce Rauner.
Rauner’s been running his “Shake up Springfield” ads all year long. He’s spent millions building his anti-incumbent, outsider message of term limits, tax cuts and property tax freezes.
But if you look at what the Democrats are doing everywhere in the state, the long-entrenched super-majority party is running very similar ads to Rauner’s. They are, in one GOP operative’s view, protecting their members by portraying Republican challengers as tax-loving incumbents and “tying them to the dysfunction.”
“Mel Thillens in charge of our tax dollars is as reckless as a bull in a china shop,” blares the headline on a recent House Democratic mailer that attacks the suburban Park Ridge Republican.
“Mel Thillens never met a tax increase he didn’t like,” the claim is made on the mailer’s other side, noting that Thillens had voted to raise property taxes by almost 50 percent and voted for “deficit spending.”
Rep. Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines) is “fighting against unfair property tax hikes” by pushing legislation to cap them, it continues. A concurrently running cable TV ad presses home the same message: Thillens loves tax hikes and deficit spending.
“Politicians get enough perks when they retire,” another pro-Moylan mailer states. “They shouldn’t get free health care, too.”
On the flip side, the mailer makes note of the fact that Moylan opted out of the legislative pension system and sponsored legislation to get rid of health care for retired politicians. “Marty Moylan will fight to make sure our tax dollars are spent on our priorities, not perks for politicians.”
The Republicans have a positive piece in the mailboxes for Thillens. It points out that Thillens “helps run a multi-million dollar family business,” and explains why he wants to work “60 hours a week as a state Representative.”
Um, in the age of Bruce Rauner’s $18 watch and an intense anti-Springfield mentality, the Thillens’ message track is decidedly different than Moylan’s. Suggesting your candidate is a millionaire and claiming he can’t wait to dive into the business of Springfield probably isn’t a good idea.
As a result, Rep. Moylan is doing almost as well as Rauner in the 55th House District, according to a new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll.
The poll of 334 likely voters taken September 10th found Moylan was leading Mel Thillens 48-39. Rauner was ahead of Gov. Pat Quinn 52-39 in the district. The poll had a margin of error of +/-5.4 percent.
The early and quite expensive “independent outsider” messaging has attracted significant Republican support for Moylan. He’s getting 19 percent of self-identified Republicans, compared to Thillens’ 9 percent of Democrats. And the two are so far splitting the conservative-leaning independent vote, which made up 46 percent of the poll’s voter sample.
That can also be seen as a sign of trouble for Moylan, however. If Republican voters “come home” and independents break more heavily against the incumbent Moylan, this thing could tighten up. The House Democrats’ messaging is obviously designed to prevent that from happening.
Of course, this is just one poll - a “snapshot in time.” The House Democrats say their polling shows them “in the driver’s seat” in the district and the Republicans actually liked the We Ask America results.
But a poll taken near the beginning of the huge Democratic paid media onslaught found Rep. Moylan ahead 47-33, with Rauner leading 51-36.
That poll was done by respected national pollster Fabrizio Lee on behalf of WLS Radio talk show host Dan Proft’s political fund. The live-caller survey of 300 likely voters was taken the week of August 25th and had a margin of error of +/-5.5 percent. The House Democrats much preferred those numbers, of course.
…Adding… Greg Hinz…
* Mike Madigan pulls in $358,000 — in one weekend
- Posted by Rich Miller
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