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Reader comments closed for the weekend

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* Aretha


It seems to keep rainin’

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Illinois rated second most likely governor’s office to flip parties

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* Washington Post

When it comes to gubernatorial races, Republicans say they’re victims of their own success from two great election cycles in a row. Going into 2018, Republicans control a near-record high of 33 governor’s mansions, including a number in blue and swing states.

So the only place for Democrats to go in 2018 may be up. What Democrats win back is critical for the future of their party. Many of the governors in these states will have strong influence over the legislative districts drawn when new Census data arrives in 2020.

A full election cycle before that, Democrats will have a lot of opportunities to chip away at their deficit. Of our top 10 governor races in 2018, eight are for Republican-held seats. […]

2. Illinois (Republican held. Previous ranking 4): This is probably the most drastic move on our list. Everyone we spoke to agrees that Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) is one of the, if not the, most vulnerable governors in America, despite his billions. He’s facing another billionaire, J.B. Pritzker, of one of the wealthiest families in the country. What happens when two billionaires clash can be unpredictable, but the emergence of a third-party conservative candidate, state senator Sam McCann, really hurts Rauner’s already iffy chances for reelection.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


It’s just a bill

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* AP

People caught texting while driving will face stiffer penalties under a new Illinois law.

Starting July 1, 2019 drivers caught texting will be issued a moving violation that will go on their driving record. Anyone convicted of three moving violations in a 12-month period may have their license suspended.

Under the current law that took effect in 2014 a first offense for texting while driving is a non-moving violation and doesn’t affect a person’s driving record.

* Common sense…

A new Illinois law championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) will prevent the penalization of police officers for seeking mental health services.

Cullerton’s House Bill 5231, which removes possession of a FOID card as a condition for employment for officers, was signed into law Friday. This clears the way for officers to remain employed if they have been a patient in a mental health facility but not been determined to pose a danger to themselves or others

“This new law will allow officers who have endured traumatic experiences to seek medical assistance without fear of losing their jobs,” Cullerton said.

Although the law protects officers that seek mental health services, it does not prohibit an employer from determining an officer’s fitness to serve.

“Our law enforcement officers keep us safe. In doing so, they experience disturbing situations that may warrant their use of mental health services. This makes them human,” Cullerton said. “We are all safer if we make sure these officers have access to the proper mental health services to deal with the traumas they routinely face.”

House Bill 5231 is an initiative of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council, which said requiring a FOID card for law enforcement officers – many of whom are active service members and veterans of the armed forces – creates an unnecessary obstacle to receiving mental health treatment.

According to a study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 22 veterans commit suicide every day in the U.S.

Cullerton, Chairman of the Illinois Senate Veterans Affairs Committee who served as an infantryman in the Army from 1990 to 1993, continues to work toward eliminating the veteran suicide epidemic in Illinois.

“Our nation’s heroes have fought to protect our freedoms and democracy. This commonsense measure will look out for them,” Cullerton said. “It’s our duty to remove all obstacles to mental health treatment for our military veterans and public safety personnel.”

House Bill 5231 passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support and will take effect immediately.

* Also common sense

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law making it illegal for Illinois lawmakers to silence sexual harassment victims with taxpayer money.

Even though the bill’s sponsor isn’t aware of it happening, given Springfield’s secretive nature, he said it’s best to get ahead of it.

State Rep. David McSweeney’s bill is straightforward. It says no public funds “shall be paid to any person in exchange for his or her silence or inaction related to an allegation or investigation of sexual harassment.”

With news coming out that members of Congress had done this, McSweeney said laws need to be in place to protect Illinoisans’ taxpayer money from any type of similar behavior.

* Other stuff…

* Rauner signs bill preventing professional license suspension for student loan delinquencies: Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law the Career Preservation and Student Loan Repayment Act on Aug. 14. The new law will prevent Illinoisans who fall behind on student loan payments from having their professional licenses denied, revoked or suspended for that reason. State Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, introduced the measure, which passed 54-0 in the Illinois Senate and 104-3 in the House of Representatives.

* Governor signs bill requiring public notice of tollway contracts: A new law requires the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority to publicize information about contracts over $100,000 at least two business days before tollway board meetings.

* Illinois Governor Approves State Breast Density Reporting Bill Into Law: Illinois becomes 36th state overall, and fifth in 2018, to enact legislation requiring providers to inform patients about their fibroglandular breast density

* You can tell state lawmakers what you think will solve SIU’s ‘turmoil.’ Here’s how.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - A couple of new mailers and a fundraising list

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Question of the day

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* Your rating of this new Pritzker TV ad?

And keep in mind that people get far more information from the visuals than the voiceovers.

- Posted by Rich Miller   50 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - ICPR responds again

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Rauner says “left-leaning” Chicago press is “plenty biased”

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* Gov. Bruce Rauner was on WFMB earlier this week and Sam Madonia asked him whether he liked to campaign. He said he loves campaigning. And then

MADONIA: How about dealing with the press?

RAUNER: [Laughs]

MADONIA: Is that all good, you want to play that again?

RAUNER: [Laughs] If the press wasn’t, you know if everyone was like you, Sam, playing down the middle –

MADONIA: Well, we try.

RAUNER: Play down the middle, that’d be fine. You know [laughs] one of my biggest frustrations is there’s a lot of left-leaning press, especially up around Chicago, and they’re plenty biased. And that’s been a frustration. But you know what? The press is all human beings. Every human being has their bias, whatever, and it’s all part of it, got to move past that.

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      


Keep your trackers out of taverns

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* Mark Maxwell’s story last night is definitely worth watching…



* SJ-R editorial

It’s sad, but sadly no longer surprising, when political campaigns bring out the worst in people.

We unfortunately saw that in action Wednesday after a now-former field director for U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis’s campaign was arrested for allegedly harassing Davis’ challenger, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, and her supporters at a private campaign event. […]

We hope this is the last time we see such an uncivil display. Yet given the tone of politics these days — where doing what gets the most attention often trumps doing what is right — we worry what else we might see as campaigns continue.

Election Day is Nov. 6. Candidates want your vote. They should get it by conducting themselves in an honorable manner — and making it clear to their staffs that they must act that way too. No one wants a repeat of what we saw here this week.

I asked Londrigan yesterday why she didn’t have the tracker removed right away. She said the guy was just hanging in the background doing his thing and then suddenly went off without warning.

But every time I’ve seen a tracker in a tavern, the bar owner/management has tossed the person out. Bars are private businesses. They need to protect their customers. Idiots walking around videoing people having a drink should be immediately ejected. That tracker shouldn’t have been given a chance to go nuts.

And, frankly, Rodney Davis’ campaign should’ve known better than to send a tracker to a bar in the first place. I doubt they’d like it if Londrigan did the same to them.

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      


“If any region should feel alienated from state government, it’s the suburbanites”

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* Tribune

The Illinois State Fair traditionally has been an unofficial kickoff for fall election campaigns, but it also has proven to be a place to see how candidates play on the state’s political and geographic diversity that often represents how Illinois votes.

Case in point: When Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner spoke before the fair in Downstate Springfield to the party’s State Central Committee and its county chairs, the largely Democratic city of Chicago was among his targets for criticism.

“Everything’s on the line,” the governor said. “We have the threat of complete hostile takeover of our state by the corrupt Chicago Machine. That’s what’s at stake right here.”

Playing regional politics in Illinois is nothing new for Rauner or other candidates over the years, leaning on stereotypes cast decades ago that can make people living outside Chicago feel they are being shortchanged when it comes to government services and the use of their tax dollars.

* Scroll all the way to the bottom of that story and you’ll see a reference to this recent Paul Simon Public Policy Institute research

The research shows the south region receives $2.81 in state funds for every $1 generated. The central Illinois region of 50 counties receives $1.87 back for every $1.00 sent to Springfield. All of the downstate regions receive more from the state budget than they pay in taxes. By comparison, Cook County receives 90 cents for every $1, and the suburban counties only 53 cents for every $1 generated.

* From a recent Champaign News-Gazette editorial

A 2017 Paul Simon Public Policy Institute survey found that downstaters especially thought state government ignored them. Asked “How much attention do you feel state government pays to what the people in your community think when it decides what to do,” 73 percent of downstaters replied “not much.” That was a marginally higher level of alienation than Chicagoans (72 percent) or suburbanites (67 percent).

If any region should feel alienated from state government, it’s the suburbanites, according to the research. They get back about 53 cents for every dollar sent to state government.

Ironically, it’s traditionally been downstate lawmakers who push frivolous notions to separate Chicago or Cook County from the rest of the state. The most recent is a resolution introduced late in May — long after the legislative deadline for consideration of such measures — that called on Congress to declare Chicago the 51st state and break it off from the rest of Illinois. The resolution’s sponsors included state Reps. Reggie Phillips and Brad Halbrook, both of whom represent counties with state universities and community colleges.

* One Illinois’ Ted Cox

Sometimes, what’s required is the compassion, understanding, and empathy to accept and act on those facts.

Chicagoans and suburbanites need to comprehend that the rest of the state not only has much to offer culturally, agriculturally, and aesthetically — in monuments like “The Hewer” in Cairo and in the vast green expanse known as the Garden of the Gods in Shawnee National Forest — but it also needs that added assistance because it doesn’t have the resources the city and suburbs have at hand.

And residents in the rest of the state need to know when they’re being played by politicians lying to them that Chicago is a behemoth taking everything that’s best in Illinois and hoarding it away. It’s simply not factually true.

Meanwhile, suburbanites, who might be the first to grant that they have the best of both worlds, need something more than just recognition to keep them from feeling no better than a cash cow being milked by the rest of the state.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


Democratic legislator files resolution condemning “scofflaw counties”

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* Non-binding state resolution condemns non-binding local resolutions…

State Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison has filed a state resolution to counter the wave of local declarations establishing “gun sanctuary counties.”

“I have been deeply concerned by the actions of several county boards in Illinois that have passed resolutions declaring that they will prohibit the enforcement of new gun laws passed by the General Assembly,” said Willis. “County board members are required to take an oath of office that includes a vow to uphold the Constitution of the State of Illinois. Instead, some are passing resolutions intended to set aside legitimate state law.”

The resolution challenges the legitimacy of county declarations and names each county action as a “shameless political stunt which undermines the rule of law and threatens the safety of all Illinois citizens.”

The full text of HR 1197 is here:

    WHEREAS, Gun violence is an epidemic in America and in Illinois, touching all parts of the State; and

    WHEREAS, The legislative and executive branches of the State have lawfully regulated guns and gun trafficking; and

    WHEREAS, The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of reasonable state gun violence prevention regulations; Conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito stated in the McDonald decision that state “experimentation with reasonable firearms regulations will continue under the Second Amendment”; and

    WHEREAS, President Trump’s administration appears to be willfully ignoring the problem of gun violence in America, and at the same time, is attempting to coerce municipal police forces into diverting their resources towards harassing immigrant populations; some municipalities have lawfully opposed having their local law enforcement used for such purposes and have been dubbed “sanctuary cities”; and

    WHEREAS, Some counties in Illinois have erroneously tried to liken the cause of a sanctuary city with opposition to gun violence prevention measures by declaring themselves “gun sanctuary counties”, thereby declaring their intention to refuse to enforce any gun safety measures lawfully passed by the State with which they disagree; and

    WHEREAS, These counties are trying to use those lawful sanctuary cities as an excuse to unlawfully ignore important, democratically-implemented, state laws; and

    WHEREAS, These so-called “gun sanctuary counties” are nothing more than scofflaw counties, usurping the judiciary and role of separation of powers in our government, while openly encouraging criminal behavior; therefore, be it

    RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE HUNDREDTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we condemn these scofflaw counties and declare their attempts to label themselves as “gun sanctuaries” as an unconstitutional and shameless political stunt which undermines the rule of law and threatens the safety of all Illinois citizens.

…Adding… From comments…

Translation: “I will call out your political stunt with my political stunt.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   22 Comments      


Rauner ad gets it wrong, but Pritzker needs to end his silence

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* AP

“(Illinois House Speaker) Mike Madigan just raised your taxes 32 percent over Bruce Rauner’s veto. Now J.B. Pritzker wants to raise your taxes again. Pritzker and Madigan want to raise taxes on every middle class Illinoisan and increase tax rates another 26 percent,” in a [Gov. Rauner] TV ad launched last week. […]

Pritzker has not released a specific tax plan so it’s impossible to say how much he might raise taxes and who might pay more. […]

The additional 26 percent tax increase referenced in Rauner’s ad stems from a failed state bill this year that proposed raising the tax rate again by at least that much for anyone making more than $15,000 a year. When asked, Rauner’s campaign said that figure was used in the ad because it’s the only income tax plan a Democratic lawmaker has presented and Pritzker has not revealed how tax rates will change under his proposal. The Rauner campaign, however, could not provide any examples of Pritzker expressing support for the bill. During a March radio interview, Pritzker called an accusation that his tax plan would be similar to that bill “false.”

“JB does not support the bill referenced in Rauner’s ad,” his campaign said in a statement to the AP this week.

Once again with feeling: Politics abhors a vacuum. Until Pritzker defines what his graduated income tax will look like, the empty space will be filled by others.

…Adding… From Rep. Martwick…

Rich,

I guess I need to address my bill once again. That bill was filed at the height of the budget impasse. It was designed to show that by adopting the Wisconsin rate structure, we could stop the bleeding, provide basic services, properly fund education, and solve our pension problem. Rauner has had four years and has done NONE of that. I’m sorry but this debate over rates is silly, since we only get to decide rates once we have the ability to adopt them, and then you better believe the legislature is going to have a say on what rates are chosen. You could adopt progressive rates that give everyone a tax cut, but you would not solve a single problem. Or you could adopt the income tax rate structure of Wisconsin and solve almost all of your problems. So what’s the difference? With the Wisconsin rates, every single homeowner, renter, and business owner in Illinois would benefit from the largest property tax cut in the history of the state. Funny how Rauner never mentions that, even though he himself would likely save $40,000 per year on his property taxes. Perhaps that’s because his state income taxes would go up by $1.6 million. Oh, and all of those middle income folks that Rauner saying are going to get a tax increase? Well the typical family of four in the Chicago suburbs with an income of $85k, and living in a $300,000 home will see an income tax increase of approximately $1,000 per year and a property tax DECREASE of $3,500. Maybe that’s why Rauner and his trickle-down buddies don’t like it. It certainly will not benefit them.

Regards,

Rob Martwick

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


Just a small critique

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* Comproller Susana Mendoza was asked by a reporter yesterday to respond to Republican comptroller candidate Darlene Senger calling her a “Mini Madigan with a Mouth” this week and asked whether she viewed Senger as a legitimate opponent

Regarding those comments, I would just say that alliteration is nice, but a little considerations for those dead veterans in Quincy, their families and the remaining veterans would’ve been nicer.

I have yet to hear her apologize yet for trying to blame Tammy Duckworth - a decorated war hero who left almost half her body on the battlefield fighting for our country - for trying to pin the blame for these deaths, when it was in fact her boss.

You’ll recall that she sent an e-mail suggesting that they should blame this, maybe we can pin this on Duckworth. That is just so unacceptable, so lack of character and this is the woman Gov. Rauner chose to run against me.

Also, most importantly I would say, beyond that just morally corrupt stuff, the fact that she herself is running for the position of comptroller at the same time that she was working against the greatest transparency reform in the history of the comptroller’s office. The Debt Transparency Act. I mean, honest to God, does that make any sense? Again, no, just on Opposite Day, right? This is just par for the course for the Rauner administration, of which she was still a part of, where she was working against the very legislation that would shine a light that’s a critical light for the comptroller’s office to have. The person running for that job believes in less transparency. That just doesn’t make any sense and I think that voters see very clearly through that.

I was looking for a solid hook when transcribing her response, but while she makes some good points, her speaking style doesn’t allow for easy quotations. Almost every sentence includes an aside, or is incomplete or includes extraneous or repeated words.

…Adding… MrJM in comments…

Say what you say, then say the bumper-sticker version. It’s politics. People not only forgive repetition, they expect it.

So say it again, but shorter.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


Are the Democrats unified?

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* Public Radio

“There’s a basic rule in Illinois politics: The political party that remains united wins the election,” said Speaker of the Illinois House and chairman of the state Democratic Party Michael Madigan.

“Look around the room. We are different, but we are Democrats. And if we stay together, we will win the general election — every Democrat’s going to be elected,” he said.

And with a quick “thank you very much,” Madigan was gone… Madigan left the event after his brief remarks and was not mentioned again.

* AP

Rauner campaign spokesman Will Allison responded, “Republicans are united to defeat J.B, Pritzker’s agenda of higher taxes and more corruption. It’s Pritzker and the Democrats who are divided since none of them have the courage to mention Mike Madigan’s name.”

Well, the Dems are most definitely united in their silence. /s

* Meanwhile, from the Sun-Times

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown insisted the speaker is “not hiding,” saying Madigan has slipped out after his speech “for a number of years.”

“He just has to utilize his time. He had some other meetings in Springfield. He has to focus on fundraising. He did his part to get the crowd going. He’s not hiding from anything,” Brown said.

Brown called attention to Madigan’s exit “another desperate effort by Republicans to generate some attention for something other than the deaths of veterans at the Quincy Veterans Home.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   22 Comments      


Buttigieg delivered the best zinger of the day

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* Heh

South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was brought in last minute as the keynote speaker after former Vice President Joe Biden had to cancel because of illness.

“I can sense a little nervous energy in the room,” Buttigieg said. “I am conscious you did not come here to see me speak about waste water. I’m conscious most of you did not come here to see me speak at all.”

* And then he brought the heat

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said that Rauner, a private equity investor, had promised to bring a business approach to government.

“This governor was handed lemons, and he took those lemons and miraculously turned them into a Dumpster fire,” Buttigieg said. “Who runs a business like that?”

…Adding… Runner-up

“Now I don’t know if you heard, but Rauner says he plans to move to Italy if he loses in November,” Pritzker added. “So, after four years of failure, of maligning and attacking the very people who make this state great, I have just one thing to say to this governor: ‘Ciao, Bruce!’”

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


White vows to finish out sixth term

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* WTTW

Another long-time Democrat, Secretary of State Jesse White – who’s held that office for 19 years – used his time at the podium during Thursday’s breakfast to address talk that should he win another term, he’d likely resign mid-term.

White is running again this year, despite having announced his retirement.

“A reporter asked me. ‘Is it true that once you’re elected that you’re going to walk away?’ I reminded him that I served in the military not once, not twice, but three times – I used to jump out of … airplanes. You never jump out of an airplane and stop halfway. It’s all the way,” White said.

Assuming he wins, do you believe he’ll finish out his next term?

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      


Rauner to return to Quincy Veterans Home this weekend

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* Hmm…


- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      


*** LIVE COVERAGE ***

Friday, Aug 17, 2018

* Follow along with ScribbleLive


- Posted by Rich Miller   Comment      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Illinois rated second most likely governor's office to flip parties
* It's just a bill
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - A couple of new mailers and a fundraising list
* Question of the day
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - ICPR responds again
* Rauner says "left-leaning" Chicago press is "plenty biased"
* Keep your trackers out of taverns
* "If any region should feel alienated from state government, it's the suburbanites"
* Democratic legislator files resolution condemning "scofflaw counties"
* Rauner ad gets it wrong, but Pritzker needs to end his silence
* Just a small critique
* Are the Democrats unified?
* Buttigieg delivered the best zinger of the day
* White vows to finish out sixth term
* Rauner to return to Quincy Veterans Home this weekend
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

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* Leury singles against KC in return from DL
* White Sox 9, Royals 3: Coming up sevens
* White Sox ride 7-run 7th, Delmonico's 5 RBIs
* Williams has full confidence in Renteria, staff


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