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The family business

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* Congressman Jerry Costello’s son is getting into the family business

State Rep. Dan Reitz said Wednesday he’ll likely leave office before his current term expires, and that he thinks a good appointee to finish his term would be Jerry Costello II, son of U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello.

“I’m leaning now toward not finishing out the term,” said Reitz, a Democrat from Steeleville. […]

“I’ve definitely decided I’m not going to run again. Having made that decision, it’s just a matter of sitting down to figure out when it’s in everyone’s best interest when to retire,” Reitz said. “I thought long and hard about running the last time.” […]

Jerry Costello II, a Democrat, has been rumored to be a replacement for Reitz. When new legislative maps were released a couple of weeks ago, state Sen. Dave Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, said he was told that one factor in deciding the legislative boundaries was having a district where Jerry Costello II could run. […]

“I think he’d do a good job,” Reitz said. “I’ve spoken with him on a number of occasions on different things, that being one of them. He was interested in running last time.”

Some have said Costello’s congressional district might not be winnable by a Democrat when he retires. But his son would have the same name, so if he gets his feet wet in the Illinois House, he could conceivably then move up the ladder to DC. I’m not saying this is the plan, but it sure looks that way.

* Former Congressman Bill Foster is already releasing a poll to knock back a potential opponent

Former Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), making a 2012 comeback bid in the new 11th congressional district, starts the contest in a much stronger position than potential Democratic rival John Atkinson, according to a poll Foster commissioned.

I was shown the entire Foster poll–by the Global Strategy Group–as Atkinson is weighing whether to run in the new 11th district–or stay with his original plan, to challenge Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) in the 3rd congressional district. Either way, Atkinson would face a Democratic primary.

The poll of 400 likely Democratic 2012 primary voters was taken between June 2 and June 5 and has a 4.9 percent margin of error.

Atkinson’s problem, the poll shows, is that he is virtually totally unknown, while Foster has a running start as a former House member. Just six percent of the voters in the new district are familiar with Atkinson, compared to 41 percent for Foster.

In a head-to-head, voters in the survey gave Foster a 30 point lead, 36 percent to Atkinson, 6 percent.

Atkinson, however, could decide to run against incumbent Democrat Dan Lipinski, the son of former Congressman Bill Lipinski. And Atkinson isn’t the only one looking at the 11th. From a press release…

Today, Aurora Alderman-At-Large, Richard Irvin, announced that he will form an exploratory committee to consider a bid for the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress in Illinois’ new 11th Congressional District. Richard Irvin was first elected Alderman-At-Large in 2007 and was re-elected to a second term in April.

Richard Irvin is a life-long resident of Aurora. After graduating from East Aurora High School, he joined the United States Army where he served in the first Gulf War. Upon returning, he earned a law degree from Northern Illinois University. After serving for several years as an Assistant State’s Attorney in both Cook and Kane counties, Richard formed his own successful law firm.

* Republican Congresscritter Bobby Schilling has been hit with a round of Medicare robocalls

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched a round of robocalls targeting 13 Republicans. The calls, according to a sample script released by the DCCC, hammer away at Democrats’ message of criticizing the GOP’s budget plan to dramatically overhaul Medicare.

The calls hit Members for voting in favor of Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget blueprint, noting the GOP’s “plan to end Medicare actually increases the debt by almost $2 trillion because of more tax breaks for millionaires and corporations.”

Democrats believe their Medicare messaging was a key component of their win in New York’s 26th Congressional district, where now-Rep. Kathy Hochul beat Republican Jane Corwin.

Schilling was the only Illinois Republican targeted in this round. Also, Schilling’s family was also just sued

The lawsuit, filed this week in Henry County Circuit Court, says [18 year old Thomas Reese] was at a birthday party for the Schillings’ son Levi in May of 2007.

That’s when Reese claims Levi Schilling along with Croegart, Dragolovich and Walters took gasoline from an unlocked area in the garage, filled the hopper part of a toy dump truck, and lit the gasoline on fire.

Then, according to the suit, one or more of the boys pushed the truck toward Reese, catching his shorts on fire.

Reese says as a result, he suffered severe burns on one third of his body and still deals with mental and physical pain.

The suit claims the four boys are at fault because they failed to warn Reese and the Schillings are responsible because they didn’t safeguard the dangerous substance. […]

Representative Bobby Schilling’s camp released a statement Wednesday saying “Some kids were over at the house, they were horsing around. An accident happened. The mom and dad are friends of ours. We see them at church every week. They donate to my campaign. They weren’t able to settle with the insurance company, so they have to do what they’ve got to do. That’s what happened. I just thank God Tom wasn’t hurt worse.”

* Is this the first step toward a state legislative campaign announcement? Perhaps

Former state Rep. Jay Hoffman will have a news conference today to talk about the delays in the Illinois 159 road project.

The $54 million project to straighten and improve Illinois 159 was planned in three phases and is currently in its second phase through Main Street and the downtown district. The third phase widens the road from Johnson Street to Kinloch Avenue, but money so far is only for land acquisition, not actual construction.

Hoffman, 48, a Democrat, was defeated in November by state Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, after 20 years in the state legislature. Hoffman couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

* Not much of a surprise

The runner-up in the 2010 gubernatorial race plans to seek another term in the Illinois Senate.

State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, announced Wednesday he will run in the reconfigured 44th Senate District in the 2012 election.

Brady, a 50-year-old real estate developer, will run in a district that includes most of Bloomington, none of Normal and a lot of new turf in Tazewell, Logan, Menard and Sangamon counties. […]

The district no longer contains the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, but does encompass the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield. He also would no longer represent Illinois State University. But, he would represent the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

I hadn’t noticed that his district went all the way down to the Springfield airport and the fairgrounds. Wow. Downstate Senate districts are all quite large, but that seems a tad strange.

* There was no mention of this story in the piece

Three contractors have claimed Brady Homes and a related company owe more than $400,000 in unpaid bills — a cash-flow problem the family-owned firm says reveals the depth of the homebuilding industry’s struggles.

The contractors filed at least 19 mechanic’s liens, totaling $402,107, on 10 Twin City residential properties owned by Brady firms in the past month, according to documents in the McLean County Recorder’s office. The liens allege unpaid bills for concrete and electrical work completed this year and other homebuilding materials.

Bob Brady, who owns Bloomington-based Brady Homes with his brothers, Ed and Bill, said Friday the liens were “just a cash flow issue” that would be resolved as each property is sold. Brady said their relationships with contractors and vendors remains good and they are “working civilly with everyone” involved. […]

Bob Brady said the brothers are not considering bankruptcy for Brady Homes, which he noted has five closings scheduled in just the next three weeks. He also stressed that the family’s other companies are financially “solid,” such as Re/Max Choice.

“These are just some bumps in the road,” Brady said.

The homebuilding industry is most certainly hanging on by a thread these days. Brady can’t really be blamed for an international financial calamity. These things happen in business, so it’s best not to make too much of them.

* Roundup…

* Black Power Wanes Amid Rising Hispanic Economic Clout in U.S.

* Senator Cultra ‘perplexed’ by Barickman’s decision to run against him: State Senator Shane Cultra says it “didn’t make my day” when Representative Jason Barickman told him that he plans to run against him for Cultra’s Senate seat next year… “I think I have a lot of experience and basically (Barickman) doesn’t have any,” Cultra said. Cultra says had Barickman decided to stay in the House, he would have had his choice of heavy Republican districts to run for in the next election.

* Shane wants to come back

* Sommer announces 88th District reelection bid

* Know your state rep: Derrick Smith

posted by Rich Miller
Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 11:15 am


  1. Would really like to see the cross-tabs on the Foster polling. Also when the guy who was the congressman for a decent part of the district only gets 36% in a poll of Democrats, that isn’t all that great.

    Comment by OneMan Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 11:28 am

  2. Good to see NoTaxBill back in the news. We were going to opine he needed the free state cash because the Bush Housing Disaster is not over - yet.
    Your fine linkage - no pun intended — confirms.

    Comment by CircularFiringSquad Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 11:31 am

  3. I have thought quite a bit about the problem of mid-term apointments — the problem being, to me at least, that it becomes almost a done deal that whoever is appointed will win the next election which means you don’t have the competition for the opening that you should have.

    One idea — a law that would prevent anyone who is appointed to a seat from running for that seat in the next election. They could run at some future point — but not the election right after their appointment. Would a law like that be constitutional? (referring to U.S. constitution here)

    Comment by Lakefront Liberal Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 11:46 am

  4. Rich, you are being too kind. Let’s remember that not every homebuilder is being hit with these types of liens — and Senator Brady was certainly not kind and forgiving about the connection between Illinois’ fiscal issues and the larger economic turndown.

    I understand that Illinois’ problems date back years before the recession — but certainly, that made our problems much worse.

    So - if you’re going to trot out the old hobbyhorse of “running the state like a business,” you’d better make sure that your business does not appear to be run like the state…

    Comment by soccermom Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 11:47 am

  5. And so the King hoped for a son so that he could one day annoint I mean “appoint” him to the part of the land that he ruled once he felt his son was ready. Illinois politics, nepotism gone wild.

    Comment by Bonsaso Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 11:51 am

  6. 53rd Dist ABC Anybody But Cultra

    Comment by x ace Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 12:09 pm

  7. Irvin, as a black Republican is gonna try and ride the Obama coat tails. I see many black yards with Obama/Irvin in the yards..

    Comment by Pink Girl Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 12:16 pm

  8. Jerry Costello better be warming up his phone. He’s going to have to make lots of fundraising calls because I sense the HRO will want to play in that district. It’s fairly conservative and includes the more conservative parts of St. Clair County and Monroe County. It wouldn’t be tough to find a county board member or county official to run in the new 116th.

    Comment by Team Sleep Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 12:22 pm

  9. Dan Reitz will be missed. His word was gold.

    Comment by The Captain Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 12:30 pm

  10. Great to see Schilling telling the world that he’s got insurance for that claim. I’m sure his insurance company is thrilled. He can now add a couple of zeros to the end of that verdict.

    Seriously, the guy claims to be an experienced businessman and tells the jury pool about insurance? Any decent defense counsel would have worked hard to suggest the exact opposite. Dumb as a rock.

    Comment by Skeeter Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 12:31 pm

  11. Jerry Costello Jr. That’s just so perfect for our doomed, corrupt state.

    Comment by Jim Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 12:37 pm

  12. 600,000 people in that Congressional District and only someone named Costello can represent it? That’s pathetic.

    Comment by 47th Ward Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 12:42 pm

  13. foster’s move seems more an act of desperation. Atkinson from reading this blog does not seem like he’s put the wheels in motion yet and so I am not sure how he would be competitive if no one’s ever heard of him. If foster was leading the poll 60-5 or something I could see that being an issue but at those numbers it’s more a sign of weakness.

    Comment by Shore Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 12:46 pm

  14. Costello’s are good folks. JC II would be a fine Rep. for the 116th district. Go get’m Jerry!

    Comment by Sportsman Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 12:48 pm

  15. Wump, what was pleaded was “an amount in excess of $50,000.00″. That is a jurisdictional thing in Illinois. Cases that seek less than that amount are treated differently from those seeking more. At trial, they can ask for an unlimited amount.

    Usually jurors seem to guess that there is some insurance. When it becomes obvious though, a $50,000 case can turn into $500,000. They think insurance money is not real money.

    Another note — burns are some of the most painful injuries you will find (that’s about the worst thing I want to read on a file, short of amputation or degloving).

    I’m not commenting on liability at all. Just saying it was pretty dumb to bring up the question of insurance.

    Comment by Skeeter Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 1:40 pm

  16. I agree with OneMan. You would think that Foster could muster a better showing than 36 percent. Not sure how that scares Atkinson - or any other opponent - away.

    And, PinkGirl, I hope you are being sarcastic. How can Irvin ask folks to vote for him and Obama. Can’t - at least not in the primary. And how is he going to explain to those same African-American voters that he is running as a Republican and going to help Obama. Pretty hard sell.

    Comment by Still Stuck with Sen. CPA Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 2:02 pm

  17. Let’s see it’s Congressman Costello, former congressman foster bot D’s but congress critter schilling not slanted at all.

    Comment by Fed up Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 2:54 pm

  18. Fed up, you really do look hard for ways to be insulted. Congresscritter is a word I use here in a bipartisan manner. I was once accused in comments of only using it for women.

    Comment by Rich Miller Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 2:57 pm

  19. Just having fun and trying to tweak but not insult you I do respect the job you do.

    Comment by Fed up Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 3:09 pm

  20. –600,000 people in that Congressional District and only someone named Costello can represent it?–

    Despite protests to the contrary, people love their political brand names, and not just in Illinois. Heck, Jerry Brown’s gone for a second bite at the apple 30 years later.

    There’s been a Freylinghusen in some sort of elective office in New Jersey since the revolution.

    Comment by Anonymous Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 3:40 pm

  21. Thanks for the legal lesson Skeeter, Esquire. Maybe I am arguing at their approcah.

    Comment by Wumpus Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 4:13 pm

  22. I’m dead serious Still Stuck, but I was referring to the General Election. Irvin will run as a Republican but quietly whisper he’s really a Democrat. His campaign manager last I saw was in the leadership of the Aurora Township Democrat Organization.

    Comment by Pink Girl Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 4:23 pm

  23. Shouldn’t it be a huge source of shame when elected officials take an elected office and then later reveal that they really weren’t that into it, and don’t even feel like finishing out the term?

    Comment by tired of press Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 4:28 pm

  24. –The contractors filed at least 19 mechanic’s liens, totaling $402,107, on 10 Twin City residential properties owned by Brady firms in the past month, according to documents in the McLean County Recorder’s office. The liens allege unpaid bills for concrete and electrical work completed this year and other homebuilding materials.–

    Homebuilding has been in the dumps since Lehman went down in 2008. The $400K in liens were filed this month for work and materials from this year.

    Who bankrolled the development in this housing market? Who thought they could sell them?

    Comment by wordslinger Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 6:18 pm

  25. Barickman for Senator in the 53 ? oh please ! He was Bill Brady’s gofer and that is ALL the experience the guys got. No thanks.

    Comment by Uncle Charlie Thursday, Jun 9, 11 @ 7:30 pm

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