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Late, late poll… Who won the debate?

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* Coming way late to this, but try to explain yourself


- Posted by Rich Miller   60 Comments      

*** LIVE COVERAGE *** Last gubernatorial debate

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* I’ll have video and a ScribbleLive thingy set up later. The Associated Press has a preview, which you can read by clicking here. The debate begins at 8 o’clock.

In the meantime, click here and download the Chicago Republicans’ version of “Quinn Bingo.” It’s actually pretty good.

* I don’t see any embed code, so click here to watch the debate live at 8 o’clock.

* And here’s our ScribbleLive feed

- Posted by Rich Miller   135 Comments      

Sign of the times?

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* So, what happens when a campaign doesn’t have a lot of extra money and yard signs still need to go up? Well, they could choose to cut off part of a 2010 Quinn/Simon sign and repurpose it…

The above photo was taken yesterday in central Illinois by a longtime friend.

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      

A long, long way to go

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* Sun-Times

From the 2007-08 fiscal year to 2014-15, state spending on K-12 education in Illinois fell 9.3 percent, or $222 per student, after adjusting for inflation, according to a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-of-center Washington think tank.

That puts Illinois in the bottom half of all states, though far from the bottom of the list. That distinction goes to Oklahoma, where state funding for K-12 education dropped 23.3 percent over the same period. The median change for the 47 states in the study was negative 3.2 percent.

The study looked at states’ major funding formulas, which make up a large proportion of total funding in most states. In Illinois, this formula accounted for half of all state funding for K-12 education.

As states have cut back on education funding, cities and local school districts have had to make up the slack through increased taxes or make severe cuts. Across the U.S., 260,000 education jobs have been lost since August 2008, according to the study.

Yep. State education funding crashed in FY09 here and elsewhere. A temporary infusion of federal cash helped ease the pain caused by the Great Recession, but this state, like many others, has yet to recover.

It’s been particularly difficult to get back on track in Illinois because this state, unlike just about any other, picks up the employer share of teacher pension payments. And since Gov. Quinn decided that the state was going to make full payments, everything else has been, um, squeezed out.

That was just one reason why pension reform was pushed so hard here. But it doesn’t look like it’s gonna work.

* And speaking of pension costs, this is from a Tribune editorial about a recent Civic Federation report

• This year Illinois’ general funds will receive $4.5 billion from Washington, much of it for Medicaid. So-called state-source revenues will total $30.6 billion. Of that total — essentially the taxes you pay to Springfield — total pension costs will consume 1 of every 4 dollars, or 24.7 percent. If you wonder why Illinois has so little money for other priorities …

• Worse, taxpayers’ pension contributions “are expected to increase sharply in fiscal year 2016″ from the current year, 2015. Why? Because the state’s largest pension funds are cutting their too-bullish expected return on investments.

The Civic Federation report estimates an $800 million increase. I’d estimated the hike at about a billion some time ago.

The biggest problem that Bruce Rauner has completely nailed is that Illinois isn’t getting out of this mess until it vastly increases private sector growth. Whether he can do it or not is yet to be seen… if he wins, that is.

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      

Statewide roundup

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* The Tribune has one of the more interesting profiles I’ve read this year of Gov. Pat Quinn

The Tribune interviewed about two dozen current and former Quinn aides, lawmakers, union officials and policy advocates to get some insight into how Quinn governs. A picture emerged of a leader who can be an idealist but dabble in partisan political games, inclusive in seeking opinions but mistrusting of those outside his small inner circle.

He’s viewed as an awkward executive who sometimes struggles to make eye contact during meetings, opting instead to write in a tiny notebook he clutches close to his face. He prefers tattered notecards over a fancy planner. He can be a detail-oriented micromanager, but also more concerned with the public perception of an issue than the intricacies of actually getting something done. […]

The governor has hired a number of his brother’s former students who now serve in key positions, including campaign manager and deputy chief of staff, leading some insiders to refer to them as the “Fenwick mafia.” The title is reflective of the frustrations of some within the administration who say it can be hard to gain the governor’s trust if you are outside that circle or haven’t been a longtime friend. A key player in the small group is brother Tom Quinn, a lawyer at Schiff Hardin and fellow Fenwick alum relied upon for political advice. […]

Quinn is also known for taking his time to make a decision. Views differ on whether that’s a strength or a weakness.

Go read the whole thing.

* The Tribune’s profile of Bruce Rauner was also well-written

He vows to “prosecute” corruption if elected governor (he would have no legal authority to do so), pledges to jump-start major policy initiatives through executive orders (a power significantly limited by the Illinois Constitution) and complains of voter fraud he calls “massive” (few documented cases have come to light).

At one GOP forum, he spoke of “friends” telling him how elections were so rigged by Democrats that “there’s still about one-third of the precincts in Chicago where the bosses just talk over what they want the turnout to be, what they want the margin to be. Then they just do that.”

Such notions may resonate with GOP audiences ripe for Chicago bashing, but they also play to an archaic stereotype rendered all but impossible in today’s era of electronic voting.

For all his blunt talk and broad assertions, Rauner’s campaign sometimes seems a study in mixed messages and contradictory images.

Again, go read the whole thing.

* In other news, Lynn Sweet has a story about turnout

* In Illinois, Democrats are running a coordinated GOTV drive led by Durbin, Quinn and Democratic Party of Illinois Chairman Michael Madigan, speaker of the Illinois House. The Republican Illinois GOTV operation is led and heavily bankrolled by the Rauner campaign. […]

* Democrats are also getting a heavy turnout assist from Democratic-allied unions bankrolling a drive to approve a ballot question about raising the minimum wage in Illinois. That’s a turnout tool. The “Raise Illinois” Coalition plans to knock on 300,000 doors emphasizing early voting starting on Saturday.

* Why the emphasis on early voting? Campaigns go to a lot of trouble to identify their likely voters, and they want to bank them early in order to not be at the mercy of variables, such as weather. Also, campaign workers keep track of early voters, so once the ballot is cast, they don’t have to waste any more effort on that person.

* From Illinois Review

A group urging voters to support the three percent tax hike on Illinois millionaires received a $250,000 boost from a national teachers union Monday morning.

The National Education Association handed over to “Fairness for Working Families” - a group formed in late August to advocate “passage of the advisory constitutional amendment for a 3% millionaire surcharge dedicated to public education - the only funding the group has received thus far.

* And Carol Marin traveled to Putnam County

The people of Downstate Putnam County don’t mince words about politics. Or about Chicago politicians running for governor.

Take Alma Toedter, who at 76 has been a Republican committeewoman for 35 years and is the GOP chairwoman in these parts.

“I think (voters) are so fed up with the one we have now (Pat Quinn), and then the other one, (Bruce Rauner) he sounds like he’s got so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it all,” she tells me. “So I don’t know how this is going to go. I really don’t.”

Mrs. Toedter and I are sitting in the basement of her spacious home where hundreds of bowling trophies adorn the walls — she is a champion bowler — alongside countless pictures of the diminutive grandmother with presidents Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II.

* Other stuff…

* U R G E N T ! Read this story about candidates’ desperate email fundraising

* Move over, Bruce. $1,825,000 for Marsy’s Law PAC to back crime victims

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      

Question of the day

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* WUIS Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky and Chicago Sun-Times Statehouse Bureau Chief Dave McKinney…

* The Question: Caption?

- Posted by Rich Miller   56 Comments      

Last night’s oddest moment

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* From the Tribune’s coverage of last night’s GOTV rally for Gov. Quinn

President Barack Obama on Sunday night helped launch an all-out effort by Democrats to get voters to the polls for Gov. Pat Quinn, telling thousands gathered at a South Side rally to cast their ballots when early voting starts Monday. […]

Quinn, who has tried to make Rauner’s wealth a central issue of the campaign, wants to keep the state income tax rate at 5 percent instead of letting it fall back to 3.75 percent as scheduled in January. “As long as I’m governor, we’re not going to give tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of cutting our schools,” Quinn told the audience.

Obama, however, said Quinn was running to “provide the largest tax break in history of working families in Illinois.” A Quinn aide said the president was referring to Quinn’s call last spring for a property tax cut. That plan went nowhere in the General Assembly.

So, either the prez didn’t want to talk about the income tax issue, or he believes Quinn should be running on property tax relief instead. Either way, that was pretty darned weird.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      

So far, it’s (an almost) complete news blackout

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* At this moment, I agree with one of our commenters…

How many Illinois voters are going to pick up on this? Or the ties between Rauner (and Rahm) and the Sun-Times?

What they MIGHT pick up on is that pretty much every major newspaper in Illinois has endorsed Rauner, regardless of what’s behind those endorsements.

* So far, at least, the back story is being ignored by the rest of the media. For instance, here’s the AP

The Chicago Sun-Times has endorsed Republican Bruce Rauner over Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in the race for Illinois governor.

The endorsement published online Saturday calls Rauner “an extraordinarily capable businessman” who might be able to “break the stranglehold of uninspired, self-serving, one-party rule in Springfield.”

The newspaper calls Quinn a man of integrity. But it says his “uninspired tinkering on fiscal matters” won’t save Illinois.

The Sun-Times announced about three years ago it would no longer endorse candidates. It says it reversed course because of the importance of the race.

No mention of the McKinney controversy. No mention of the Quinn campaign’s reaction to the endorsement. Nada. Outside of here and a few other blogs around the interwebtubes, nobody out there in Voter Land knows about this.

* Another AP story

Republican businessman Bruce Rauner has picked up more newspaper endorsements in his bid for Illinois governor.

The Belleville News Democrat, The (Champaign) News-Gazette and the Journal Star in Peoria endorsed Rauner over Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in editorials published on Sunday.

Rauner also was endorsed by the Chicago Sun-Times in an editorial published online on Saturday.

He also has been endorsed by the Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business and the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald.

* From the Rauner campaign…

What They’re Saying About Pat Quinn

Newspapers across Illinois are endorsing Bruce Rauner over Pat Quinn. Here’s what they’re saying about Pat Quinn’s record of failure.

“Today’s Illinois, then, is broke and broken. Quinn’s most dubious achievement is a four-year income tax increase he now wants to make permanent.” – Chicago Tribune

“A vote for Pat Quinn, which is really just a vote for Madigan, is a vote for the same old crumbling thing. A vote for Bruce Rauner is a vote for bold and dramatic change, which cannot come soon enough. Pat Quinn seems content to manage our state’s decline.” – Chicago Sun-Times

“Gov. Pat Quinn has had six years in which to put the state back on course, but ultimately has shown he is not the leader we need.” – Daily Herald

“Gov. Pat Quinn has had more than 5 years to guide Illinois toward a brighter fiscal future. Instead, his incompetent leadership and regressive policies have driven the state to the brink of financial collapse…Simply put, Quinn’s tenure as governor has been a complete failure.” – Shaw Media

“…[Quinn]’s been in office for six years, he espouses policies that have landed the state in deep trouble and his perception that there’s no problem another tax increase can’t cure isn’t good for what ails Illinois.” – Champaign News-Gazette
“Quinn can’t blame Republicans for the failures. His Democratic Party holds a supermajority in both houses. The issue is Quinn’s failure to lead.” – Belleville News-Democrat

“Illinois has the worst credit rating of any state. It also retains title to the highest unfunded pension liability. Its overall business climate and actual economic performance rank 46th among 50, its economic outlook 48th. Illinois’ unemployment rate is near bottom of America’s barrel.” – Peoria Journal Star

“Mr. Quinn unfortunately has fallen victim to the vices of one-party rule, promoting patronage and passing around political favors…He is too ready to spend taxpayer money on projects that we can’t afford.” – Crain’s Chicago Business

* Also from the Rauner campaign…

What They’re Saying About Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner is sweeping newspaper endorsements across Illinois. Here’s what they’re saying about him.

“For the broke, broken Illinois of 2014, Bruce Rauner is two challengers in one: He’s challenging an incumbent who tried and came up short. He would challenge the power brokers who like Illinois just as it is. No wonder they loathe Rauner. He makes them sweat. He deserves your vote.” – Chicago Tribune

“Today we are putting our chips — we’re all in — on an extraordinarily capable businessman who just might have what it takes to break the stranglehold of uninspired, self-serving, one-party rule in Springfield.” – Chicago Sun-Times

“He is an outsider with no accumulated political debts and no reason to accumulate any…He can lead independently, without fear of abandonment by the voters or his party, and therefore work to build consensus that considers all interests fairly.” – Daily Herald

“Rauner will not be beholden to the special interests that have helped to corrupt Springfield…Bruce Rauner gives Illinois hope. That’s why we endorse Rauner, the Republican nominee for governor.” – Shaw Media

“Rauner has offered his skills to help the ship of state land safely, and voters should answer with an emphatic yes to his request for support.” – Champaign News-Gazette

“Rauner won’t take a salary or a pension, and he’s not beholden to any of the special interests in Springfield.” – Belleville News-Democrat

“If you believe as we do that state government — the whole culture of corruption and incompetence — really has to change and that single-party control just isn’t cutting it, then our best bet is with an independent candidate of the opposite party who emphasizes that ‘I don’t owe anybody anything’ and ‘being reelected is not on my bucket list.’ Bruce Rauner is endorsed.” – Peoria Journal Star

“Bruce Rauner is the best candidate to pull the Illinois economy out of its low-growth rut. For that reason, above others, he earns our endorsement for governor.” – Crain’s Chicago Business

* Maybe something will happen during tonight’s debate. Quinn better hope so, and he’d better hope it results in some actual news coverage, or all these newspaper endorsements - if used properly in a solid Rauner ad - are gonna hurt.

…Adding… Rioppel covered part of the controversy for the Daily Herald

Chicago Sun-Times Capitol bureau chief Dave McKinney has hired former Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins to look into whether Republican Bruce Rauner’s campaign for governor tried to influence the longtime reporter’s employment because of a story.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has jumped on the story in the heated campaign with the Winnetka businessman. “We’ve seen Rauner bully and bribe to get his way before, but trying to silence a journalist is a new low,” Quinn spokesman Brooke Anderson said in campaign email Saturday.

Rauner campaign manager Chip Englander said the campaign believed one story was unfair and wanted the paper to disclose that McKinney is married to a Democratic strategist.

- Posted by Rich Miller   68 Comments      

Stand down, lefties

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* These headlines caught my eye over the weekend…

* Huffington Post: Koch-Backed Group Ramps Up Intervention In Tight Illinois Governor’s Race

* Crooks and Liars: Koch Group Sends Fake Voter Information To Discourage Illinois Voters

* Daily Kos: Kochs now harassing voters in Illinois with registration mailers

* The alarming headlines were all based on this Decatur Herald & Review article

It’s not uncommon for residents such as Maryilynn Baer to receive political mail before the general election.

But when recent letter came to her home that asked for her husband, Edgar, to re-register to vote before the November election, Baer was overwhelmed and upset.

Her husband had been dead since May.

“It was upsetting,” she said. “His name had already been taken off the voter registration list, and I sent the letter to (Macon County Clerk) Steve Bean and told him I had already notified him that Edgar had passed away.”

But the letter did not come from Bean. In fact, residents across the state have received similar letters that are seemingly sent from their local officials asking them to re-register to vote, with return postage listing the local county clerk’s name and address. The letters are actually being sent by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, one of the largest conservative groups in the country.

* Trouble is, the article appears to have been mistaken. I called around over the weekend and was able to get a copy from the House Democrats. Nowhere in the mailer does it ask people to “re-register” to vote. Instead, it merely asks people to register if they haven’t…

Now, perhaps there is another mailer, but the one the Democrats have seems awfully benign.

And the fact that they’re mailing to dead people appears to suggest the group has an old list, not that they’re up to something deliberately nefarious.

…Adding… From AFP Illinois…


The mailer you have up on the blog is the only one that went out. Obviously, mailing to folks who have passed on is not what we want to do for a number of reasons. It’s not nearly as easy to identify unregistered people as it is registered, but we use a number of models and information sources to do so. Sometimes the data is imperfect but we’re trying to get as many people involved in the election process as possible.


David From

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      

Today’s number: $379 million

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* WaPo

According to the Center for Public Integrity, $379 million has been spent on commercials in the 36 gubernatorial races this fall — $58 million more than has been spent on ads in the 36 Senate races. That includes a stunning $62 million in ads in the Florida race between Gov. Rick Scott (R) and former governor Charlie Crist.

In Illinois, Quinn (D) and wealthy businessman Bruce Rauner (R) have spent almost $53 million on TV.

And eight of the 10 candidates who have spent the most money on campaign commercials this cycle are running for governor.

Keep in mind that Florida is a lot bigger than Illinois, with more expensive media markets.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      

Local 150 spending “six figures” on Libertarian candidate

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

I wasn’t hugely surprised when Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers contributed $30,000 to the Illinois Libertarian Party’s candidate for governor Chad Grimm earlier this month.

After all, the union’s president, Jim Sweeney, was out in front of the push to beat Bruce Rauner during the Republican primary. After a stormy meeting with Rauner, who is running on a pledge to allow local areas to opt-in to “right to work” laws, Sweeney demanded that organized labor stop the candidate in his tracks. The law would give workers the right to not join the very unions which negotiated their pay, benefits and working conditions.

Sweeney’s union contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to state Sen. Kirk Dillard’s primary campaign, and kicked in even more to the Fund for Progress and Jobs PAC, which was the vehicle some unions used to inform Republicans that Rauner was a “closet Democrat.”

Dillard just barely lost to Rauner in the primary, but Sweeney didn’t let up. When the Illinois Republican Party committed resources this summer to knocking the Libertarians off the November ballot, Sweeney bankrolled a crew that pushed back hard and kept the Libertarians in place.

But as it turns out, that $30,000 was just a down payment. A whole lot more help from the union is apparently on the way. Sweeney told me last week that his local is also planning a full direct mail and robocall program for the Libertarian Party candidate.

Asked about rumors that his union would spend between $200,000 and $250,000 to push the pro-gun, pro-life Grimm with traditional Republican voters against the much more liberal Rauner, Sweeney replied “More.” Asked if the budget was six figures or seven, Sweeney said “Six.”

The Libertarian’s Grimm is getting around 5-8 percent of the vote so far, depending on the poll. He appears to be taking away slightly more votes from Rauner than he is from Gov. Pat Quinn. The object is to push Grimm’s numbers up by informing conservative Republican voters that he’s the only pro-gun, pro-life candidate in the contest.

Sweeney explained last week that 42 percent of his members pull Republican ballots during primaries, and that many of those members are pro-gun, pro-life conservatives who want another option. But, obviously, the real object here is to defeat Rauner.

Rauner says he is pro-choice, and has run TV and newspaper ads in Chicago featuring women attesting to his pro-choice convictions. The National Rifle Association has refused to rate Rauner, claiming he won’t answer their questions. Rauner’s positions can’t be used by Gov. Quinn, who is solidly pro-choice and not exactly a gun lover, but Sweeney can sure use them.

According to Sweeney, his union local had a 50 percent unemployment rate during the depths of the Great Recession. Once proud, solidly middle class union members were relying on union-sponsored food banks. Several lost their homes, their cars, their families.

The unemployment rate for Sweeney’s members is now the second lowest in the country in that sector, thanks in no small part to a big public works program pushed by Gov. Quinn. Sweeney’s local endorsed Quinn four years ago over Bill Brady because Brady, like Rauner, favored “right to work” legislation.

Sweeney said he met with Rauner twice since the primary in an attempt to find common ground, but Rauner refused both times to come off his “right to work” stance and wouldn’t commit to a funding source for a new public infrastructure program.

And Sweeney doesn’t appear to be in the mood for any further discussions, telling me that even if Rauner publicly changed his position on “right to work,” as he has with the minimum wage increase issue and taxes, the union leader wouldn’t believe him.

A huge factor in Gov. Quinn’s win four years ago was independent candidate Scott Lee Cohen’s millions of dollars worth of TV ads. He ended up splitting the anti-Quinn vote with Bill Brady, The hope here is that Grimm can manage a repeat performance.

The universe Sweeney’s aiming at is probably pretty small. Partisanship is strong on both ends of the spectrum, and convincing people to “throw away” their vote on a third party candidate won’t be easy, to say the least.

But for those who sincerely believe that abortion is murder and who refuse to support any candidate who disagrees with them, it could be a powerful message. The same goes for the “true believers” who own guns.

And in a close race – and this race is close – every vote will count.

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      

More on McKinney

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* Jim Kirk, publisher and editor in chief of the Chicago Sun-Times, explains his version of the Dave McKinney back-story

It is not unusual for campaigns to vigorously argue against publication of a story, especially in the midst of a heated campaign like the current governor’s race.

What happened next, however, is unusual. Just hours before publication of the story, the campaign attempted to get the paper to stop publication by raising an alleged conflict involving a reporter on the story, Springfield Bureau Chief Dave McKinney, and his wife, Ann Liston, a partner in a firm that does consulting work for political clients.

As I told other media outlets over the weekend, the allegations leveled by the campaign were inaccurate and defamatory. We ran the story and continue to back it. And out of an abundance of caution, we did review the matter once again and are convinced Liston receives no financial benefit from any Illinois political campaign specifically because of the extraordinary steps she and McKinney have taken to establish business safeguards.

As I also told other media outlets, McKinney’s work in this campaign and in the more than two decades he has covered politics, including the stories he’s broken on the investigation involving Gov. Pat Quinn and the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, are consistent with the tough reporting he has done on both campaigns. As I also said over the weekend, both McKinney and Liston are conscientious, ethical and among the best at their professions. The Rauner campaign team had no problem citing our investigations into Gov. Quinn when it suited their strategy. And I assure you the governor’s camp was none too pleased at our investigations of the controversial grant program.

* OK, the allegations leveled by Rauner’s people were “inaccurate and defamatory.” I completely agree. But why did Kirk admit this to Greg Hinz?

Sun-Times Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk concedes that he did sideline Mr. McKinney for the better part of the week after receiving “inaccurate and spurious” charges against him from the Rauner campaign, but he notes that the reporter is back on the beat.

If the charges were so “spurious” and even “defamatory,” then why sideline his Statehouse reporter for five days, with three weeks to go until election day?

* Back to Greg

The Rauner campaign says “no one reached out to” Michael Ferro, who chairs the board of the Sun-Times’ parent company, Wrapports LLC, and who worked closely with Mr. Rauner when the latter owned 10 percent of the company. But no one who knows for sure is saying yet who pushed the idea of sidelining Mr. McKinney.

I think it’s most likely that Mr. Ferro did not know the details of the “firewall” agreement involving the McKinneys. When the firestorm burst, it’s quite possible that Mr. Kirk decided to throw his outraged boss a bone and spend a few days doublechecking to insure that the promised firewall indeed was in place.

But if I were Mr. McKinney, I’d be outraged, because his de facto suspension tarnished his professional reputation. Any political writer — me included — can understand that. And, pending Mr. Collins’ investigation, no one yet knows for sure who called whom and asked for what.

In that context, the paper’s decision, announced on a Friday evening, to suddenly get back in the endorsement business after a three-year absence is pertinent. In fact, just before midnight on Friday, the paper posted on its website an endorsement of Mr. Rauner that his campaign immediately touted far and wide:

[The link changed on Greg’s column, and it’s now fixed.]

* Robert Feder wrote about Chairman Ferro a while back

With all due respect to David B. Speer, most Chicagoans never heard of the late president and CEO of Illinois Tool Works Inc., who died November 17. So when the Sun-Times devoted the entire front page of last Monday’s edition to Speer’s passing (and all of Pages 2 and 3 to his obituary and career highlights), it must have struck many readers as odd. But there in the ninth paragraph of Neil Steinberg’s laudatory obit was the answer: Speer was “a mentor and a friend” of Michael Ferro, chairman of the Sun-Times’ parent company, Wrapports LLC. (In 2006 Speer bought a software company Ferro owned, Click Commerce, for $292 million.)

Sources said Ferro personally ordered the Page 1 splash, overriding the judgment of his editors. It was a flagrant abuse of his power as publisher and yet another example of Ferro’s ego undermining the credibility of the paper. Hiring wannabe columnist Jenny McCarthy was merely foolish. But dictating news coverage is shameful and disgusting.

* More recently from Feder

In recent weeks, sources said, Ferro has been exerting pressure on editors regarding coverage of Rauner, who held a 10 percent stake in Wrapports before he became a candidate for governor.

Rauner campaign complains about story and reporter, paper runs story anyway, apparently more complaints result, paper sidelines McKinney, Mckinney brought back on the job after five days, paper abandons years-old policy and endorses Rauner and nobody else.

I’ll have more on that endorsement a bit later today.

- Posted by Rich Miller   71 Comments      

Rauner, GOP matching Madigan’s money in House races

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* My Crain’s Chicago Business column

You’re not going to believe this, and I didn’t either: For the first time, all-powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is not dominating the spending race this year.

I ran some campaign contributions numbers through the Illinois State Board of Elections’ website. When I finished I was so startled that I ran them again, just to make sure. Then I ran them again.

Click here to read the rest before commenting, please. Let’s transfer this load to their servers for a while.


- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      

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Monday, Oct 20, 2014

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Down, but not out

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* I’m not sure what happened to the site this morning, but we are slowly coming back online. Please stop hitting your refresh button to give us a little breather here.

…Adding… I’m told there was a power issue at our data center. Things are slowly coming back to life.

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      

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Monday, Oct 20, 2014

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Good morning!

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

* I’ve opened up comments on all the weekend posts. But let’s first wake up with the Bottle Rockets

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      

* Rauner oppo watch
* Zorn nails it again
* *** UPDATED x1 *** If at first you don't succeed...
* Lower ratings for ABC 7 debate
* Question of the day
* Bloomberg to spend $1.9 million on Dold
* Stand down... mostly
* BLS: A strong couple of months
* *** UPDATED x1 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraising reports by targeted legislative districts
* Rate Sheila Simon's new TV ad
* Poe set to begin transplant process, faces "extended" recovery
* Rauner runs new TV ad touting newspaper endorsements
* *** UPDATED x2 - "Comical" - "No interest" *** Despite shout-outs, Neely says she and Rauner haven't talked
* Grimm on 150 - Minimum wage battles in other states - The return of "Matt the Welder" - Rauner on "right to work"
* A bevy of new congressional TV ads
* Quinn tax hike dodge count: 4
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: Crosstabs, cable TV buys, ads
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Today's number: 165
* A grand good morning to you all!
* Yesterday's blog posts

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