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Afternoon updates

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* It won’t be long before this post becomes “Live Session Coverage.” Act accordingly…

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   5 Comments      


Question of the Day

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* Have a look…

Just because your opponent is hurling ridiculous charges does not mean you are free to disregard them. You may think it’s absurd to say that you are engaged in a “war on women.” But contempt for the accusation is not enough.

Some strategists argue that the key for Republican candidates is to downplay social issues in favor of economic arguments. I disagree. Pocketbook appeals are great, but the premise — that social issues damage Republican candidates — is shaky at best.

When Pew asked women voters to rank a list of issues in order of importance in September 2012, abortion was named less often than health care, education, jobs, Medicare, the economy, terrorism, taxes, foreign policy and the budget deficit. The only issues that ranked lower for women voters were immigration and energy. A post-election Kaiser poll found that only 7 percent of those who voted for President Barack Obama cited women’s issues as most important to their vote.

* The question: How much will social issues impact this year’s gubernatorial? Explain.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   32 Comments      


#AOLhacked

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* As many of you now know, Capitol Fax was one of the many victims of last week’s AOL hack. Rich has interrupted his time off on more than one occassion to post the latest updates to you about the situation, and pressure the once tech-staple to resolving the issue. This was part of a text message thread he sent late last night…

If AOL was truly concerned about its customers, it would’ve warned us about a week ago about this problem.”

Hard to argue that point. As a result of the hack, many Capitol Fax subscribers received auto-generated phishing emails.

AOL’s statement via the Tribune…

“AOL takes the safety and security of consumers very seriously, and we are actively addressing consumer complaints,” the company said in a statement. “We are working to resolve the issue of account spoofing to keep users and their respective accounts running smoothly and securely.”

A Twitter hashtag has been started to monitor the situation. You can follow it along here…


- Posted by Barton Lorimor   19 Comments      


GOP Leaders are “Nay” to Obama library

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* Leaders Durkin and Radogno both are against the Speaker’s $100 million grant for the presidential library…

Durkin said now is not the time to be using public money on a presidential library.

“The state of Illinois is beyond broke. We can’t pay our bills. We’re $7 billion behind paying state vendors. We have pension systems that are barely afloat. Who in the world thinks that the state of Illinois can afford that right now?” he said. “To say that we are going to put $100 million aside in the hope that Illinois – and, specifically, Chicago – will be the recipient, or will be the designation of the Obama library, I believe it’s inappropriate for that type of discussion at this time.”

* You will recall the “Leave” controversy that got the bill out of a subject matter hearing. Steve Brown…

But Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said Monday the matter would go again before the House Executive Committee on April 30 to silence criticisms.

* Although one media outlet reported he is staying out of it, Fox Chicago says Gov. Quinn has given the proposal a thumbs up…

The state is grappling with budget woes, but Quinn said Saturday the spending would be “an important investment.”

He pointed to the state’s financial support for the Lincoln library in Springfield, saying “it’s paid tremendous dividends in terms of tourism.”

Related…

* Editorial: It’s politics before prestige in Obama library bid

* Lee: No state funds for Obama library

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   156 Comments      


Reilly talks up TIF changes over prop tax

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* From this morning’s Sun-Times…

Instead of saving the Municipal Employees and Laborers Pension funds on the backs of Chicago property owners, Reilly, vice chairman of the City Council’s Budget Committee, zeroed in on Chicago’s 154 tax increment financing districts.

(Reilly) would change Illinois’ TIF statute to dedicate as much as 50 percent of all existing and future TIF funds toward pension liabilities, providing, what he called a “steady revenue stream” to help solve the city’s $20 billion pension crisis.

Reilly’s second idea tied to TIFs would pave the way for Chicago to borrow as much as $2 billion against the future proceeds of TIF districts.

Reilly’s third and final idea calls for the Illinois General Assembly to increase the “distributive share” of the state income tax increase earmarked for local governments, including Chicago.

You might want to read the whole thing. The story is full of information.

Meanwhile…

More than two dozen Illinois mayors are set to hold a news conference, hoping to encourage state lawmakers to make changes to pension systems for local police and fire departments.

The group meets Monday. They say pension problems are “choking local government budgets” and warn some communities will have to raise property taxes or cut essential services to cover pension obligations. Those service cuts could include laying off firefighters.

More…

The International Association of Firefighters and Illinois Fraternal Order of Police blame the recession, fund mismanagement the failure of some local governments to pay their share.

“No matter how many they say it, there are no facts to support the claim that benefits are have driven this problem,” Illinois Firefighters Union President Pat Devaney said.

Brace yourselves for a lot more of that back and forth.

Related…

* Sun-Times: For sake of higher education, fix pension bill error now: What they didn’t know is that a change in the “money purchase option” could cost some employees hired before 2005 nearly a third of their retirement income. But, university officials say, unless the dating error in the bill is corrected — and June 30, 2013, is changed to June 30, 2014 — that will happen. University employees in all positions, from professors to building service workers, will be affected.

* Suburban, downstate mayors want pension relief, too

* Suburban And Downstate Mayors Call For Police And Fire Pension Reform

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   46 Comments      


Morning Shorts

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* Illinois schools get waiver from No Child Left Behind progress mandate: Going forward, the state’s lowest-performing 10 percent of schools will receive extra services as “focus schools,” and the lowest half of those will get even more help as “priority schools,” Vanover said.

* Southern Illinois HIV Cases at Decade High

* Sun-Times: Casino bill must include Chicago — and safeguards: We’d be fine with a Chicago-only plan, because the city, which already draws many visitors, is the best place in the state to plunk down a new casino — or any casino. A city casino would not only encourage current visitors to spend more money while they are here, but also draw additional travelers and conventioneers, people who would spend money in restaurants, hotels and stores. Facing serious financial problems, Chicago needs the financial boost. We share the concerns of critics that casinos bring problems, such as binge gambling and crime, but that’s already here, just past the city limits and over the state line.

* Transit shake-up not on fast track, key lawmaker says: An issue as complicated as how the different transit agencies are governed and funded requires a lot more legislative work and thought, Riley said Monday. He doubted bills about them could be crafted or passed this legislative session.

* Watchdog to lawmakers: Move swiftly on transit reforms

* Arlington Heights girls’ puppy mill bill passes House

* Kane Co. officials urge school closings on election days

* Authorities file objections to some concealed carry permits: The Illinois State Police have received 1,669 objections from law enforcement agencies across the state, with about half of those coming from the Cook County Sheriff’s Department. That’s compared to 33,207 licenses that have been granted since Illinois first began approving licenses earlier this year…Ben Breit, Cook County Sheriff Department communications director, said the agency has filed more than half of the objections sent to the state police, with 839 for Chicago and suburban Cook County applicants.

* I-Team: New gun laws would save lives?: One hundred and eighty days is about the time the average simple gun violator in Chicago spends in jail under current law, and 930 days would be the number for the same gun possession crime if proposed legislation becomes law. With the casualty toll after Easter weekend in double digits, it is the remedy police and politicians count on.

* Feds create new Chicago teams targeting cybercrime, securities fraud

* Cook County Sheriff reopens investigation of priest

* Emanuel defends taxpayer-funded travel

* Mayor Emanuel urges people to stand together against violence

* Mayor decries weekend violence: ‘It’s whether you have values’

* Mitchell: People in violence-plagued areas have to ‘stand up’ to stem the problem: Police Supt. Garry McCarthy says he intends to put more bike patrols in 19 zones on the South and West sides that have a history of high violence. Given the carnage that occurred over Easter Sunday when another 37 people were wounded and eight others killed, there isn’t likely to be any reduction in the amount of police overtime either. But in certain neighborhoods, a squad car would have to sit on just about every corner to stop the brazen shootings.

* Community values, new cops called key in fighting city’s violence

* Marin: Fire cops in Koschman cover-up

* Former Cook sheriff, judge Richard Elrod dies

* Former Cook County sheriff dies at 80

* Preckwinkle names new Cook County CIO

* Cook County recorder’s hiring practices questioned

* Bill seeks to monitor defendants posting bail

* Shaw: Illinois morbidly obese with thousands of governments

* Lawyer: No more appeals for ex-Dixon bookkeeper

* Remap leaves two incumbents fighting for Englewood Council seat: Foulkes has told colleagues she will give up her 15th Ward seat, which was redrawn to give it a 68 percent Hispanic majority, to try to unseat Thompson in a ward that is now the home of many of her former constituents, sources tell me. I couldn’t get Foulkes to the phone to discuss her decision. Thompson said she was disappointed but not surprised.

* Sneed: Rahm orders air conditioning for every classroom within five years

* Lights, cameras but no action on video in Cook County courtrooms

* Apparent inmate suicide investigated at Lake County Jail

* Ex-Bensenville employee on work-release after pleading guilty to theft

* Past government mole arrested on federal charges

* State to spend $10 million on Cook County projects

* Governor announces Lake, McHenry projects

* Money for Lake Michigan shoreline projects

* City, county face lawsuit by Farmers Insurance for April 2013 flooding

* Daily Herald: Potential for train service is welcome news

* Average Kane County tax bill to fall for first time in recent history

* State wants Island Lake to return $239,000 grant: The grant was awarded in 1992 to help the village purchase about 12 acres called Greenleaf Woods. The sum covered half of the estimated $478,000 purchase price, documents show.

* Rock Island prepares for Mississippi flooding

* RI council changes course and OK’s sale of vacant lot to Arc

* Moline seeks land for parking

* (Quincy) City reaches deal with firefighters to prevent temporary station closures

* Quincy retail sales hit record in 2013, though sales fell off in December

* Peoria Councilman Jim Montelongo says Mayor Ardis should explain response to Twitter parody

* Bloomington mayor vetoes city budget

* Danville considers letting people raise chickens

* (Carbondale) new firehouse nearly ready for staff

* Bucky dome restoration project lifts off — finally

* Williamson County Regional Airport eyes new terminal building

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   2 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Afternoon updates
* GOP immigration unity at rally
* *** UPDATED 1x *** Patronage buster back at it; Rauner robos get cold reception
* Not yet
* Question of the Day
* REAL Peoria mayor defends Twitter raid
* Noland lone "No" vote on Madigan for DPI chair
* Yesterday's blog posts

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        * Ex-top aide to Stroger gets 6 1/2 years for theft, money laundering


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