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*** UPDATED x6 - Pritzker campaign responds *** Wednesday night massacre?

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* Lots of rumors that some top communications staff and at least one (and maybe more) legal staff have resigned or have been pushed out. Legal staff resignations are reportedly unrelated to the comms staff cleanout, which are directly related to the “as a white male” PR disaster. The comms staff rumors started last night, but their “resignations” were delayed for whatever reason..

*** UPDATE 1 ***  Pritzker campaign…

Bruce Rauner Goes Full On Trump In Latest Staff Purge

New Illinois Policy Institute Staff Last a Mere 37 Days

Chicago, IL – In a move straight out of the Trump playbook, Bruce Rauner has reportedly fired his communications team who were just 37 days on the job. The rash move comes after the failed governor had to publicly rebuke his own staff yesterday after they said “as a white male — [Rauner] does not have anything more to add to the discussion” on the racist IPI cartoon.

“There is a problem that no amount of staff changes can fix and his name is Bruce Rauner,” said Pritzker communications director Galia Slayen. “This governor has no moral compass, no vision, and no loyalty. Churning through staff faster than we can say Scaramucci is not going to change the fact that Bruce Rauner is entirely incapable of leading this state.”

*** UPDATE 2 ***  Rasmussen is not yet confirmed, but sources say her resignation may happen later in the week

Some reports say Rauner’s chief of staff, Kristina Rasmussen, may be out, but are still not confirmed. Sources tell NBC 5 perhaps Rauner’s entire communications team and his general counsel are all out.

Sources confirmed that Diana Rickert, Laurel Patric and Britany Carl, who once compared abortion to Nazi eugenics in a controversial blog post, were all out.

It’s believed Rickert wrote the vexing “white male” press release from Tuesday and Patrick sent it out. Former staffers say Rasmussen would have signed off on it.

Attempts to reach the Rauner team have been unsuccessful. Whether all were fired or quit is not clear.

*** UPDATE 3 *** I’m hearing the same on comms and sources say that more than Murashko may be out in legal staff…

*** UPDATE 4 *** Tina (name used with permission)

A day after crafting a controversial statement citing Gov. Bruce Rauner’s position as a “white male,” the governor’s new communication staff has been ousted — with more exits on the way, according to multiple sources.

Sources said the staffers — hired in July after a staff purge and series of protest resignations — were asked to resign; one was asked to stay but chose to resign.

Sources say that includes former Illinois Policy Institute staffer Diana Rickert, who served as the governor’s deputy chief of staff for communications; Laurel Patrick, communications director; Brittany Carl and Meghan Keenan, both communications specialists.

A spokeswoman for the lieutenant governor’s office offered no comment on the resignations but said that she would be assisting with media calls.

*** UPDATE 5 *** I’m hearing the Looch has been set loose. Not confirmed yet, though.

*** UPDATE 6 *** If this does happen, he won’t be chief very long. Just sayin…

- Posted by Rich Miller   101 Comments      

Rauner College Prep supports SB1 override

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* Dusty Rhodes thought to ask

Schools across Illinois are still waiting for state money while legislative leaders try to agree on a new funding formula. Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed large portions of a Democrat-sponsored plan, saying it was too generous to Chicago Public Schools. The list of educators lobbying for lawmakers to override that veto includes some surprising names.

School administrators have had to choose sides in this political fight — whether they support the governor, or the bill Democrats originally passed. That leaves Rauner College Prep in a strange position. It’s one of 17 high schools in the Noble Network — the largest group of charter schools in Chicago — and the first named after a donor. Rauner and his wife Diana have given more than $3 million to Noble.

“Yeah, we’ve appreciated their support over the years. They’ve been supporters of Noble,” says Cody Rogers, communications director for the network. Michael Milkie, Noble’s​ CEO, has publicly supported the Democratic plan. And that makes economic sense. Most charter schools in Chicago are authorized and funded by CPS.

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      

Madigan upset about Rauner veto of workers’ comp insurance bill

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* Press release…

Gov. Bruce Rauner has sided with big insurance companies and against Illinois employers, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan said, criticizing the governor’s veto of legislation offering Illinois businesses the ability to reduce workers’ compensation costs.

“The governor’s actions show his real agenda is not to do what’s in the best interest of Illinois employers, but only to serve the interests of multibillion-dollar insurance companies and further enrich corporate CEOs,” Madigan said. “Instead of helping local employers reduce their workers’ compensation insurance costs, the governor has blocked reform to protect corporate profits. House Democrats will push to override the governor’s veto and provide relief for Illinois employers.”

Madigan and House Democrats passed House Bill 2622, which would provide employers with relief from workers’ compensation costs. While Rauner has consistently identified reduced workers’ compensation costs as a way to turn the state’s business climate around, the governor vetoed the bill last week.

The measure would have created a not-for-profit insurance provider that would be able to sell workers’ compensation insurance to businesses throughout the state. The Illinois Employers Mutual Insurance Company would offer the same quality insurance as for-profit companies, but would be committed to delivering the best value for businesses, not turning a profit for investors. This competition would also encourage for-profit insurers to offer lower-cost options for Illinois employers. Twenty other states, including Missouri, Kentucky, California and Texas, currently offer employers the option of purchasing workers’ compensation coverage through a state-run, non-profit insurer. Americans for Insurance Reform, a coalition of 100 consumer and public interest groups, studied similar state-administered workers’ compensation insurers currently in place in other states. Their report concluded that these state options operate at a high level of efficiency, resulting in “far lower expenses” and lower overhead costs.

“The governor’s veto rejected competition that would give Illinois employers the same advantages employers have in other states,” Madigan said. “House Democrats continue to try to meet the governor half way by putting forward real reforms that make Illinois a competitive place for business, but the governor continues to show that his only interest is padding the profits of insurance companies, big businesses and corporate CEOs.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

Protected: *** UPDATED x2 ***SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - An interesting development

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Elections board puts off decision on Kobach Commission request

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* Catching up on this one from late yesterday afternoon

The State Board of Elections put off a decision Tuesday on the latest request for Illinois voter information made by a panel formed by President Donald Trump to look into his claims of voting irregularities in last year’s presidential election.

Instead, the board is sending a letter requesting more information about the purpose of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Illinois officials also want to know whether any information provided truly could be kept confidential, as the federal panel pledged and as Illinois law requires.

The privacy issue is a critical one for state election officials. In early July, the bipartisan elections board rejected an initial appeal for “publicly available” voter data by the federal panel because, under Illinois law, it had no such information available that could be publicly disclosed.

The elections board had agreed to consider the latest request from the federal panel after it issued a new request that vowed to keep voter information confidential.

* Ami Gandhi with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights made an interesting claim in a recent letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections

Voters in Illinois and across the country have been contacting election officials asking to be removed from the rolls rather than have their personal information turned over to the Commission. The Commission should have the burden of demonstrating that voter information will be kept private and secure, especially given the ongoing threats to election security both locally and nationally. We urge the State Board of Elections to refrain from turning over our voter information until the Commission has sufficiently safeguarded against misuse of this information.

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      

Question of the day

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* From today’s endorsement

* The Question: Caption?

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      

Emanuel connects cartoon response to SB1 veto

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* Sun-Times

The same “blind spot” that triggered Gov. Bruce Rauner’s timid response to a racist cartoon prompted his veto of a bill rewriting a school funding formula that “punishes” poor and minority students, Mayor Rahm Emanuel charged Wednesday. […]

“Everybody that looks at that cartoon can see that cartoon for what it says. And that same blind spot led a governor to a veto of an education bill that doubled-down on the failure of the most inequitable funding of education. It’s wrong and it’s time the Legislature override the governor,” the mayor said Wednesday. […]

Emanuel made those remarks after joining forces with mayors from Democratic suburbs to turn up the heat on the General Assembly to override the governor’s veto of a school funding reform bill that the governor has condemned as a “Chicago bailout.”

Robert J. Nunamaker, mayor of Fox River Grove, was asked why he was supporting a bill that would give $300 million to the Chicago Public Schools.

“We’re smart enough to know that Chicago is the economic driver of northern Illinois and, if Chicago is sick, we all catch cold someplace along the way. And Chicago is not gonna be great without good education. You have to see through that,” Nunamaker said.

* Not everyone sees the cartoon as racist, however

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      

Pressure builds on Rauner as Trump supporting sheriff tries to calm nerves on the far right

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* From the Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier interview of Gov. Bruce Rauner

BAIER: There are some families who say they’ve lost loved ones because of sanctuary status or policy and they’re trying to meet with you. Do you want to hear that point of view?

RAUNER: I want to hear everybody’s point of view. I work for everybody in the state of Illinois. Our immigration system is broken and we need to have a system that keeps the people of Illinois safe, the people of America safe. We’ve got to put that as the first priority.

* The Illinois Review did a brief piece on this social media meme

* From the story

The families of these three Illinoisans that died at the hands of immigrants in American illegally have yet to hear from Governor Rauner, although he promised Fox News’ Bret Baier he would speak with them before his final action on SB 31. The deadline for action on the bill is August 29th.

“No, the governor hasn’t called me yet,” Brian McCann told Illinois Review Tuesday morning. “It’s very disappointing. There are four families that want a chance to share their stories with him in person. We’re all hoping he does what he said he would do.”

The above meme is circulating the internet, encouraging calls to the governor’s office to veto SB 31.

* As you already know, the governor is supposed to sign SB31 next Monday. But that’s giving time for public pressure to build

Fran Eaton, co-founder of the conservative Illinois Review website, questioned whether Rauner’s support for the bill was “the beginning of the end.”

“If he wants Republican support, then govern like a Republican,” Eaton tweeted. “It’s simple. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time & energy.” […]

State Sen. Dave Syverson of Rockford has said Republicans are concerned the “blanket prohibition could result in leaving criminal illegal immigrants, including those accused of violent crimes, on the streets.” The conservative news organization Breitbart just wrote an article on the bill suggesting Rauner would be helping Democrats “frustrate federal immigration enforcement.”

* But Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, a Republican and a supporter of Donald Trump, supports the bill

The legislation requires that local police not comply with immigration detainers and warrants not issued by a judge. Curran said that’s already standard practice.

But writing it into the law could help stop other sheriffs or police chiefs from going rogue, supporters say.

In addition, the TRUST Act would prevent local police from stopping, searching or arresting anyone based on their immigration or citizenship status.

Again, that’s already how it’s done in Lake County, Curran said. […]

“In order to police these communities, protect these communities from the true predators, you have to be able to pull up with lights and all and not have widespread fear and panic among citizens that really have nothing to do with the crime.”

* And that makes me wonder if Rep. Cabello understands the legislation

Also critical of the bill is Rep. John Cabello, a Republican of Mexican heritage who is a Rockford police detective and also co-chair of the Illinois Trump Victory fund. Cabello said the measure puts police in the position of choosing whether to uphold federal law or state law.

“We can’t cherry-pick which laws we are going to enforce, it doesn’t matter if this bill is signed into law or not, law enforcement will do what we have to do,” he said. “I think this bill is symbolic, no law enforcement officer is going to follow this bill.”

* Related…

* Illinois Review: Despite threats of federal police funding cuts, Rauner to join Emanuel in defying federal immigration laws

- Posted by Rich Miller   49 Comments      

Illinois is different than other states

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* This is just one of many, many reasons why it’s generally considered political suicide to bungle a racial issue in statewide politics here…

Not to mention that it’s probably best not to mess with Jesse White.

* Meanwhile, a commenter posted a link to this cartoon the other day

That’s from the far-right World Net Daily website, but it’s the same guy who drew the now infamous CPS/TIF cartoon for the Illinois Policy Institute. Yeah. No issues at all.

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      

Demmer strikes a nerve over cartoon as GOP primary threatened

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* Last week, GOP state Rep. Tom Demmer tweeted this about the Illinois Policy Institute’s cartoon…

* Dan Proft and Patrick Hughes of the Illinois Opportunity Project launched on Demmer during Proft’s radio show, which is sponsored by the Illinois Policy Institute

PROFT: Tom Demmer is stepping out to criticize the Illinois Policy Institute, to pile on and to provide again the political cover for the Democrats because that’s what so many Republicans do in this state, provide political cover. You point your finger, poke your finger in my chest and I fold. And Tom Demmer is a good example of why Republicans are the super-minority party in the state. Just as those 15 Madigan Republicans who voted for the Madigan tax increase without spending reforms are a good example of why Republicans are the super-minority constituency in the state. And why there’s an enthusiasm gap right now between Republicans and Democrats in Illinois, looking forward to the 2018 election.

And, boy, I gotta tell you, if you wanna ensure another generation of Madigan and Cullerton lordship. You wanna switch out Rauner for one of the fungible Chicago Democrats that are running for the Democrat nomination for governor? You know what you do? You entrust the Republican Party to the likes of Tom Demmer and those 15 surrender Republicans who voted with Madigan on the tax increases. And you won’t have to worry about the Republican Party being in charge of anything in Illinois again.

HUGHES: Yeah, and I remember when Tom Demmer ran the first time and he was very young, supported by the local party because he’d been sort of a volunteer and all that good stuff. I supported and you supported another candidate back then and I’m really sitting here today wishing mightily that that other candidate had won. And I’m wondering whether or not there should be someone else to run against Tom Demmer in this next cycle.

PROFT: Well, I gotta tell ya, I think we have enough dinks in the Republican caucus. We don’t need any more and we need to excise those that we have.

The video is here. It starts at the 5:09 mark.

…Adding… Hughes, by the way, is listed as the “External Relations Advisor” for the Illinois Policy Institute on its website.

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      

*** UPDATED x2 - Pritzker responds to ILGOP attack on White *** ILGOP claims Jesse White is “Mike Madigan’s top patronage chief”

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* Press release…

“Jesse White is Mike Madigan’s top patronage chief, using the Secretary of State’s office as a jobs machine for Madigan allies. J.B. Pritzker’s willingness to accept the endorsement of the Speaker’s top patronage chief is just another sign that Mike Madigan is orchestrating Pritzker’s nomination.” – Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Steven Yaffe

Jesse White is a Madigan ally through and through – and now he’s supporting J.B. Pritzker.

Just this month, Jesse White broke his promise to not run for re-election after Madigan worked to change his mind.

Madigan likes White because he is well known for a “pattern of patronage” in his office. Mike Madigan relies on patronage for his political machine.

J.B. Pritzker’s willingness to accept a Jesse White endorsement is even more proof that he would give the Governor’s office back to Mike Madigan.

A bit much. White’s still way more popular than any other statewide officeholder, including and especially the governor (which may be why they haven’t found their SoS candidate yet). But, hey, they got their message and they’re sticking to it and you can’t blame them. The one thing I totally agree with Bill Maher on is when he says “Democrats read polls, Republicans change them.”

*** UPDATE ***  And here’s the Pritzker campaign release…

Today, Secretary of State Jesse White announced his endorsement of JB Pritzker for governor at Eckhart Park on the West Side of Chicago. They event was kicked off with a performance by the Jesse White Tumblers.

The endorsement is the first by a statewide elected official in the Democratic primary for governor, and comes from a widely popular public servant who has won by large margins in his election bids. Secretary White is currently running for a record sixth term as Secretary of State, and has held a number of different public offices in Illinois for over 40 years. Under his leadership, Illinois has become a nationwide leader in road safety with strengthened DUI laws, a reformed CDL program, and improved teen driving guidelines. Jesse White is a veteran, former Chicago Public Schools teacher and administrator, and a lifelong public servant.

“For over half a century, Secretary of State Jesse White has defined public service in Illinois,” said JB Pritzker. “He is an Army veteran, a Chicago Cubs ball player, a Chicago Public School teacher, the first African American ever elected Illinois Secretary of State, one of the biggest vote getters in the history of our state, and a leader in every sense of the word. By his many good works and by his example, Jesse White inspires our young people to pursue public service and do good for Illinois. I’ve known Jesse for more than a quarter century, and back then as today, he inspires me. That’s why today, I am so proud to receive Jesse White’s endorsement in my campaign for governor.”

“I am so proud to endorse JB Pritzker for governor,” said Secretary of State Jesse White. “JB and I have known each other for 30 years and I can confidently say that he’s always stood up for what’s right. JB has spent his life fighting for Illinoisans, helping create opportunity for working families and expanding quality education for Illinois’ children. That’s exactly the type of leadership we need. As secretary of state, I’ve worked to rebuild trust in Springfield and make government work for the people, but I need a partner in the governor’s office. I know that JB is the right candidate to lead our ticket in 2018 and work with me to get our state back on track.”

*** UPDATE 2 ***  Galia Slayen with the Pritzker campaign…

Jesse White has served this state, our country, and contributed to communities across Illinois his whole life. JB is proud to have Jesse White’s support and looks forward to working with this tireless public servant to defeat Bruce Rauner. We know the Illinois GOP has a tough job propping up their failed governor, but Jesse White deserves better than their tired talking points and deeply out of touch attacks. Perhaps they need a refresher on Secretary of State Jesse White’s over 50 years of service to our state and country:

    Served our country in the U.S. Army and Illinois National Guard and Reserve.
    Founded the Jesse White Tumbling Team and volunteered for 57 years to help over 17,500 at-risk youth.
    Taught students in the Chicago public school system as a teacher and administrator for over 33 years.
    Started tutoring and scholarship programs to help kids thrive in school and go to college.
    First African American elected as Illinois Secretary of State and longest serving Secretary of State in Illinois history.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      

Rauner called out on debt transparency veto

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* One of the bills Gov. Rauner vetoed on Friday was this one

Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation that the Democratic comptroller says would help the state manage overdue bills.

The Republican governor rejected on Friday a plan pushed by Comptroller Susana Mendoza. It would require state agencies to regularly report the bills they’ve not yet sent the comptroller for payment.

I took notice of Mendoza not long after she was sworn into the House. She was working hard on some bill that was important to her district and had reached out to Democrats and Republicans alike. After the bill passed with a huge margin, she walked the entire House floor personally thanking each legislator who’d voted for her legislation. I was impressed.

* Comptroller Mendoza did the same sort of thing with editorial boards before Gov. Rauner vetoed her bill. And it’s paying off now. Favorable newspaper editorials generally don’t pass bills, but they don’t hurt, either. From the Daily Herald

In a statement defending his veto, Rauner said the bill “more closely resembles an attempt by the comptroller to micromanage executive agencies than an attempt to get the information most helpful to the monitoring of state government.”

But in truth, micromanaging payment of the state’s bills, within the context of the law and court orders, is precisely the job of the comptroller. Regardless of party, whoever is in that role needs to have a financial snapshot more frequently than once a year. What’s more, lawmakers need a more definite picture of the state’s financial status as they contemplate legislation, and taxpayers need to have that as they evaluate lawmakers and the actions of government.

The past-due balance of bills on the state’s ledger is an unqualified embarrassment for everyone in state government. It is reported to have produced $800 million — and constantly counting — in penalties alone.

No action is going to get such a huge backlog under control immediately, but no opportunity to make the process more manageable should be overlooked. This one could have been undertaken while simultaneously demonstrating the governor is not reflexively opposed to any meaningful legislation Democrats support.

Unfortunately, that leaves it to lawmakers to override the governor in yet another show of contention and discord. We’re disappointed by the appearances, but agree that lawmakers should take it on themselves to create a more reliable and up-to-date system of accounting for the state’s bills.

* Jacksonville Journal-Courier

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the measure Friday. In doing so, he said providing this information monthly would create more work for departments.

That’s not satisfactory. Pardon us if we seem uncaring about government workers having to push a few more buttons or take a few more hours out of their monthly schedule in the name of transparency. Taxpayers are having to work harder than ever to pay the debt, and they deserve to know the realities of state finances down to the penny. […]

Rauner has painted a vision of his administration as one that puts taxpayers ahead of the political status quo.

Yet his veto of legislation that would give a clear and useful accounting of the state’s debt load belies that.

Lawmakers on both sides of the political fence need to do what is best for taxpayers: Demand accountability and override this veto.

The Alton Telegraph ran the same editorial.

* SJ-R

The state of Illinois, as of Friday, owed its vendors about $14.7 billion.

At least, Comptroller Susana Mendoza thinks that’s what the debt is, based on the bills in her office and the ones she is aware of at state agencies.

Ridiculously, state agencies are only required to annually report in October the aggregate amount of bills being held as of June 30. By that point, it’s outdated. Mendoza said there have been four times since she became comptroller in December where a stack of bills that she was unaware of landed in her office. Some were 11 months overdue. One time, it added $1 billion to the backlog of unpaid bills. And, the state must pay penalty interest on those late bills.

Mendoza’s reasonable request is to lose the surprises that add to the already difficult job she has of triaging the state’s checkbook during times of unprecedented financial uncertainty. She wants to have, on a monthly basis, the most accurate snapshot of what the state’s debt is so her office can better manage it.

It’s dumbfounding to think such a policy isn’t already in place, but then again, Illinois isn’t exactly known for having its ducks in a row when it comes to anything financial. Mendoza is championing the Debt Transparency Act, which would require state agencies to report monthly to the comptroller’s office what bills they are holding and estimate the amount of interest that will be paid on those bills. […]

We encourage the General Assembly to override the governor’s veto and get this long overdue, best-practice accounting policy in place.

* The Dispatch-Argus

Gov. Bruce Rauner missed an opportunity to make reporting of Illinois’ outstanding bills and overdue interest more accurate, transparent and accountable when he vetoed the General Assembly approved Debt Transparency Act.

Politics clearly were top of mind for the GOP governor facing a crowded field of Democrats seeking to unseat him in 2018. […]

Politics aside, this is at its heart a good-government bill that does what a fiscally responsible state ought to have been doing from the beginning. Indeed, past comptrollers, including the late Ms. Topinka, a Republican, and Dan Hynes, a Democrat, championed similar efforts to increase bill reporting and transparency. […]

It’s time to end the practice of hiding and holding bills. We continue to believe the Debt Transparency Act will do that. A comfortable majority of lawmakers in both houses agreed. We urge them to set aside political concerns and override the governor’s veto.

* The Quincy Herald-Whig

The bill received bipartisan support in both houses in being approved last spring and was sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his signature. It seemed to be the kind of common-sense legislation that would appeal to Rauner, who has repeatedly vowed to apply sound private-sector business practices to improve the efficiency of state government.

Instead, the governor vetoed the bill Friday. […]

Clearly, accountability and good governance should transcend politics, but this is, after all, Illinois. Outwardly, Rauner’s veto decision appears to be based more on political tit-for-tat than reasonable policy differences. […]

It bears repeating: Elected officials need reliable financial information to make budget decisions, vendors and service providers deserve to know how long the line is for those awaiting payment, and taxpayers deserve to know the magnitude of the state’s debt.

The Debt Transparency Act clearly is a step toward achieving those goals. We urge lawmakers to override the governor’s veto and make it law.

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      

Education funding reform talks resume tomorrow

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* Subscribers have my take on this. So, I’ll leave it at that. Background is here. And here’s Tina Sfondeles at the Sun-Times

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan canceled a Wednesday House session — and a planned override of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a school funding measure — “in light of progress” made during lengthy leaders’ meetings about school funding reform.

Leaders met for more than five hours in Madigan’s office on Tuesday. The speaker last week said he’d call for an override of Rauner’s school funding reform veto. The Illinois Senate last week voted to override the veto. […]

Last week, Madigan – on a day intended to celebrate Rauner at the Illinois State Fair — vowed to keep fighting for the measure and held a test vote of Rauner’s amendatory veto. That was intended to be a public showing of the lack of support for his changes.

The speaker last week urged “reasonable Republicans” to join Democrats in overriding the veto “as they did on the budget making.”

* Finke

Durkin said it would be up to Madigan to decide whether to go ahead with an override vote in the House Wednesday. Brady, however, said it would be a gesture of good faith on Madigan’s part to delay the vote.

Later Tuesday evening, Madigan did just that.

* Tribune

It’s likely the veteran speaker didn’t have the votes to override Rauner on Wednesday anyway. Not only would Madigan probably have to put all 67 House Democrats on the override, but he would need at least four Republicans to break ranks with their governor. The minimum to override is 71. So far, no House Republicans have publicly said they’re willing to do so on the schools bill.

* Politico has some details, but keep in mind that some of this might be wishful thinking by the Democrats and the whole situation is very fluid at the moment

Scholarships — On the table to bring Republicans on board SB1 in the House: $75 million in private school scholarships. Under serious discussion is a 75-cent-on the dollar credit to families choosing private schools, with a five-year sunset on the program. That reflects the desires of Cardinal Blase Cupich and other advocates of the program, sources tell POLITICO.

SB1 — the funding boost for Chicago that Gov. Bruce Rauner detests, remains intact; SB1 itself changes very little, except for Democrats open to adding unfunded mandate and property tax relief.

Negotiations continue, but time is running out. Democrats don’t have the numbers alone to override Rauner’s amendatory veto, but believe eight Republicans are leaning heavily toward an override — even without the scholarships. That’s after various degrees of pressure for SB1, including support from superintendents statewide. Democrats point to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s education proposal, which didn’t get a single “yes” vote last week. Every day another member announces he or she won’t seek reelection, leaving behind a potential for more brazen voting. Add tanking poll numbers and ongoing turmoil in Rauner’s office and you have a governor holding a weak hand. The worst-case scenario for Republicans is for another override to happen and they have nothing to show for it.

* Meanwhile, the governor’s campaign has a new video

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 - Another one *** Why the Rauner silence?

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* Instead of dodging questions about a cartoon decried as racist, why didn’t the governor point to some real action yesterday? From the Illinois branch of the ACLU…

[Yesterday], Governor Rauner signed into law House Bill 3803, a measure that fixed the charge of unlawful gang conduct in Illinois statute. The charge has been used, largely with young men of color in Chicago, to arrest and charge individuals who are doing nothing more than being present in their own neighborhoods. Below, please statements from the two legislative sponsors – Senator Toi Hutchinson and Representative Kelly Cassidy – as well as my colleague Khadine Bennett.

Statement of State Senator Toi Hutchinson
Chief Senate Sponsor
House Bill 3803
August 22, 2017

With the Governor’s signature, we have been able to work together to make life better for thousands of persons – mostly young men of color – being arrested and subjected to prosecution for simply being in their own neighborhoods. I thank my colleagues in the Senate who joined in making this the law in Illinois.

Statement of State Representative Kelly Cassidy
Chief House Sponsor
House Bill 3803
August 22, 2017

The Governor today has moved forward a fix to one of the worst abuses of criminal law in our state. The notion that someone could be arrested and prosecuted simply for being in their neighborhood, talking to people, or in their own yard, is beyond troubling. I’m grateful to all of my colleagues who supported this fix. We ought to target our law enforcement resources towards those who are committing crimes, not just hanging out.

Statement of Khadine Bennett, Director
Advocacy and Intergovernmental Affairs
American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois
RE: Signing of House Bill 3803
August 22, 2017

Today, Governor Rauner helped bring a measure of sanity and fairness to the criminal justice system in Illinois – eliminating the charge of “unlawful gang contact” being applied to people who engage in no criminal conduct. These arrests – there were nearly 2,000 of them in Chicago during 2015 – resulted from such dangerous conduct as standing in one’s own yard, talking to neighbors or sitting on one’s porch.

The bill signed today simply requires that someone be engaged in a crime or other gang-related activity to be arrested and prosecuted for unlawful gang conduct. This reflects not just good policy, but aligns with our basic constitutional notions that police simply cannot arrest someone because they do not like who they are or where they are located.

We thank the Governor for seeing the wisdom in this position and Senator Toi Hutchinson and Representative Kelly Cassidy for championing this measure.

* Nothing from the governor’s office except this in a long bill-signing list…

Bill No.: HB 3803
An Act Concerning Criminal Law
Action: Signed
Effective: Jan. 01, 2018

* Sun-Times

Cassidy credited reporting by the Chicago Sun-Times for highlighting the unfairness of the current law. “When you draw attention to something that’s ridiculous, then you get a chance to fix it,” she said.

The Sun-Times reported earlier this year that Chicago police have made thousands of arrests for gang contact by parolees, mostly after the city decriminalized low-level marijuana possession in 2012. The total includes 375 arrests made this year through mid-May, city data show.

Cops have arrested parolees for doing nothing other than sitting on porches, getting rides or hanging out with neighbors identified as gang members.

Police say they stepped up enforcement in an effort to prevent gun violence. But Kelly and other legislators said the law is tilted against people who’ve returned from prison to neighborhoods on Chicago’s South and West sides, where it’s difficult to avoid other ex-offenders.

The earlier Sun-Times report was headlined: “Even being seen with gang member sends 1,000s to jail.” Definitely worth a re-read.

*** UPDATE ***  Again, not a single word out of the governor’s office on this bill signing even though he’s being pummeled for cavorting with racists. From a press release…

In the wake of growing outrage over acts of violence and hate in Charlottesville, VA, Governor Bruce Rauner this week signed legislation that strengthens penalties for those who commit hate crimes in Illinois.

State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove), Chief Co-Sponsor of HB 2390, said the signing of the bill sends a clear message to those who would target others based on their race, color, creed, religion or other perceived classification that their behavior will not be tolerated.

“The nation is still reeling from the acts of domestic terrorism that occurred just two short weeks ago in Virginia,” said Olsen. “As lawmakers, we must do everything in our power to help prevent future instances of hate crimes. This is not a partisan issue; it’s a human issue. I was proud to serve as the leading Republican on this incredibly important piece of bipartisan legislation.”

HB 2390, signed into law on August 22 as Public Act 100-0260, increases the amount of damages for which a defendant can be held liable and also ensures that sentences for multiple convictions for hate crimes will be served consecutively rather than concurrently. The new law also includes an educational provision, so that rather than just being penalized for their crime, defendants will face an educational sentence so they may learn why their actions were wrong.

The bill received unanimous support in both the House and Senate during the spring legislative session.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

Best Team In America™

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* NBC5’s Mary Ann Ahern

Facing increasing pressure to weigh in on a controversial cartoon from the Illinois Policy Institute, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bruce Rauner offered a lengthy response on the conservative think tank’s illustration Tuesday – but yet again refused to say whether or not the governor has seen it.

Hours later, the governor released another a statement saying the initial response “did not accurately reflect my views.

* The AP story went out on the national wire

Gov. Bruce Rauner offered conflicting statements Tuesday on a political cartoon critics have called racist, first saying he didn’t have anything to add to the discussion “as a white male” before walking it back hours later.

The first-term Republican had repeatedly said he hadn’t seen the image, which depicts a black Chicago schoolchild begging for money from a suit-clad white man who has cash stuffed in one pocket. The cartoon was circulated online last week by the Chicago-based Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative think tank Rauner has links to.

Lawmakers widely criticized the image, with Republicans and Democrats standing up in opposition on the Illinois House floor last week. The image, meant to illustrate inequity in school funding, was removed hours later.

…Adding… The story was picked up as far away as Taiwan. Go team!

* Sun-Times

For the second time in a little over a week Gov. Bruce Rauner scrambled Tuesday to clarify remarks that have drawn him heat in situations with racial overtones.

Late Tuesday night, Rauner sought to undo the damage from a statement his newly revamped communications office issued earlier in the day, when a top spokeswoman said that the governor would not offer an opinion on a cartoon some called racist — because he is “a white male.”

Democrats blasted Rauner all day — with one lawmaker accusing the governor of “cowardice” and Mayor Rahm Emanuel declaring that Rauner should be “embarrassed for turning a blind eye to what is plain for everyone to see.”

The governor sought to fix the gaffe Tuesday night.


Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s spokesman says “fixation” on a controversial cartoon published by a political organization with close ties to his administration is “disappointing” and that “the governor – as a white male – does not have anything more to add to the discussion.”

Legislators from both parties have condemned the Illinois Policy Institute’s cartoon as racist.

Now, legislators are condemning Rauner’s reaction to it.

* Politico

Team Rauner found a brand-new way last night to revive a story about a racially-charged cartoon created by a conservative think tank from which he’s hired some of his top staffers. Far from tamping down the flames from the governor’s non-answers on the Illinois Policy Institute’s political cartoon, his communication team dumped gasoline on the fire. Their response? The governor couldn’t weigh in further “as a white male.” Rauner, who was out of state helping one of his kids move in at college out East, then released another statement to disavow the earlier one from his own staff. He was skewered by critics and overshadowed headlines about school funding progress and his support for an immigration bill.

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      

Goldberg hangs out a shingle

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

* Sneed

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s former chief of staff, Rich Goldberg, is launching a strategic consulting firm based in Chicago. The new firm, RG Solutions, will also offer communications and crisis management consulting services to a wide range of corporate, non-profit and political clients.

Back in the day, we sold t-shirts and other tchotchkes here to raise money for charity. “Where’s Bradley Tusk When You Need Him?” was one of the most popular slogans. Rod Blagojevich’s former deputy governor wasn’t fully appreciated until after he fled to New York at the beginning of Blagojevich’s second term.

* And Goldberg, the infamous “Prince of Snarkness” and “Grassbowl” looks downright cuddly right about now.

In retrospect, Richard did a good job considering his boss and the environment he was dealt. Rauner’s slide in the polls was inevitable because of the impasse and who he is, but the governor was never put through the almost daily PR crises that he’s faced since he replaced Goldberg. Rauner never understood how much his staff did for him until it was too late. They quashed a kabillion potential crises that he never knew about.

RG is a friend of mine, but I also respect him. Hey, I don’t hang out with just anybody. Go get ‘em, dude.

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      

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Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

* *** UPDATED x6 - Pritzker campaign responds *** Wednesday night massacre?
* Rauner College Prep supports SB1 override
* Madigan upset about Rauner veto of workers' comp insurance bill
* *** UPDATED x2 ***SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - An interesting development
* Elections board puts off decision on Kobach Commission request
* Question of the day
* Emanuel connects cartoon response to SB1 veto
* Pressure builds on Rauner as Trump supporting sheriff tries to calm nerves on the far right
* Illinois is different than other states
* Demmer strikes a nerve over cartoon as GOP primary threatened
* *** UPDATED x2 - Pritzker responds to ILGOP attack on White *** ILGOP claims Jesse White is "Mike Madigan’s top patronage chief"
* Rauner called out on debt transparency veto
* Education funding reform talks resume tomorrow
* *** UPDATED x1 - Another one *** Why the Rauner silence?
* Best Team In America™
* Goldberg hangs out a shingle
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

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* Superintendents want quick action on funding reform
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* S&P: Borrowing money to pay old bills is OK
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* As Obama library refines plans, watchdog groups form
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* Wanted: Rich patron for the once-great L.A. Times
* Looking for something to do? Look no further.

* Anderson’s walk-off single lifts White Sox past Twins
* Dodgers lefty Rich Hill throws no-hitter through 9, loses in the 10th
* Man shot in Chatham
* Sources: Rauner ousts new communications team after ‘white male’ flap
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* Historic Preservation Commission recommends landmark status for old Nichols Library
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* 1 dead, 5 wounded in shootings in Chicago
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* Tim Anderson lifts White Sox to 4-3 victory over Twins with walk-off single
* Lake County Sheriff Buncich's towing bribery case heads to jurors
* Illinois school funding talks to resume, issues include whether CPS can raise property taxes further
* Charles Leno's four-year extension with Bears is a win for both sides

» Undocumented Mother Leaves Family Home, Seeks Sanctuary In Chicago Church
» Where Chicago Tickets For Parking In Bike Lanes
» South Side Struggles To Attract Young Homeowners
» 32 Letters Filed In Support Of Professor Charged In Chicago Death
» Rauner Says No Comment On Political Cartoon As 'White Male'
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» Prosecutors: Chicago Slaying By Northwestern Professor, Oxford Staffer Was Part Of Sexual Fantasy
» City: Graffiti Complaints Down 18 Percent
» Rep. Wojcicki Jimenez Not Seeking Reelection
» State Week: Fair Rallies, Fox News, Funding Schools

* Bernard Schoenburg: Mike Murphy interested in 99th House seat
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* Under the Dome Podcast: Is a school funding deal close?
* Citing progress, Madigan cancels House session on education funding
* Our View: Compromise on school funding reform
* Rauner clarifies comment on political cartoon
* S&P: Borrowing money to pay old bills is OK

* Fling: In Brief
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* Madison County Drug Court, Mental Health Court receive state certification
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* Time lapse of the solar eclipse from the St. Louis Zoo

* Boys soccer: Libertyville handles Maine S.
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* REALTORS® provide $37K to Illinois flood and tornado victims through relief funds
* The statue to the union war dead in Charlottesville.
* How Iraq Was Won and Lost
* If you don’t believe in the First Amendment for everybody, then you don’t believe in the First Amendment

* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

* Samsung accidentally confirms Gear Fit 2 Pro
* Top S Pen features on the Galaxy Note8: all new, if the Note7 never existed (Video)
* Meet the Samsung Galaxy Note8!
* 600MHz support out of the question for T-Mobile Galaxy Note8
* Rumors point to iPhone 8 storage options ranging from 64GB to 512GB
* In iOS 11, Safari will strip out Google AMP links for shared stories
* Hulu's Live TV Service Now Works in Mac and PC Browsers

* Anderson's walk-off single lifts Sox over Twins
* What you need to know for Players Weekend
* Moncada focuses on improvement, growth
* Bold bats will fit in nicely on Players Weekend
* Lucas Giolito holds his own without breaking stuff
* Bold bats will fit in nicely on Players Weekend
* White Sox Minor League Update: Aug. 22, 2017

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