|Question of the day
Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
* Press release…
An innovative proposal from State Senator Heather Steans could help businesses and state government at the same time by paying down Illinois’ backlog of bills more quickly.
Steans’ measure would allow the state treasurer to take over debts more than 90 days old, pay the vendors and clear the bills from the state’s ledgers. The approach would enable Illinois to pay off old debts more quickly, slow the accrual of interest penalties and inject money into local economies where businesses have been harmed by the state’s ongoing budget difficulties.
“This is a winning strategy to make more headway on the bill backlog. Every taxpayer benefits,” said Steans, a Chicago Democrat and a Senate point person on budget matters.
“If the treasurer has funds sitting there unused, why shouldn’t that money logically be available for this need? It won’t solve the entire bill backlog problem, but it will get us to a resolution more quickly.”
The proposal, Senate Bill 2858, would allow the state treasurer to pay bills more than 90 days old if the vouchers in the comptroller’s office exceed funds available by $1 billion. It would save the state additional money by implementing a 0.3 percent monthly late payment interest penalty – rather than the 1 percent under current law – on balances paid off by the treasurer’s office through the Vendor Payment Program.
Last year, Illinois paid more than $1 billion in late interest penalties – an outrageous and inefficient use of taxpayer dollars that could have been directed to other needs, Steans said.
“This legislation will help stop the accrual of interest on late payments and enable us to turn around payments to companies that do business with the state in a more reasonable amount of time,” Steans said.
Senate Bill 2858 passed the Senate today and now advances to the House for further consideration.
* Treasurer’s website…
The Treasurer’s Office manages the State Investment Portfolio, with assets of approximately $12-$15 billion, providing the necessary liquidity to meet the state’s daily obligations while investing remaining funds in authorized short/long-term investment opportunities.
* The Question: What do you think of Sen. Steans’ proposal?
- Posted by Rich Miller
* From the NRCC…
It’s official – Illinois Democrats are #TeamPelosi.
Sean Casten, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, and Lauren Underwood have been silent on whether they’ll support Nancy Pelosi. That changes tonight at 5PM – DC time, not IL time.
Nancy Pelosi is headlining a fundraiser on Capitol Hill for them. The fact that they decided raising cash with Pelosi is more important than talking to voters in Illinois is a full-throated endorsement if I’ve ever seen one.
Looking forward to watching Casten, Londrigan, and Underwood parade around Illinois promoting Nancy Pelosi’s agenda.
List of upcoming events in IL-06, IL-13, and IL-14:
• Roundtable: repealing and replacing your tax cut, raise, and bonus.
• Panel: Impeach Trump Now!
• Debate: what is the definition of a crumb?
• Discussion: making room for a $32 trillion single-payer system.
For whatever reason, the release didn’t mention Brendan Kelly, who is also one of the beneficiaries (click here).
* The ILGOP didn’t make that mistake…
Not sure if you’ve seen, but wanted to flag an article and a DCCC fundraising invite (image attached) for you re Brendan Kelly:
Real Clear Politics - (4/25/18): Non-Supporter of Pelosi Benefits From Her Fundraising
You’ll recall… The Southern - (3/26/18): If he wins, Brendan Kelly wants a change in leadership — meaning finding options other than Pelosi
So Kelly tells voters in Southern Illinois that he opposes a Pelosi Speakership, but fundraises with her in DC? Hmm…
Other things of note from the RCP article: Sean Casten of IL-06 and Betsy Dirksen Londrigan of IL-13 were both noncommittal on supporting Pelosi for Speaker.
…Adding… I didn’t get this NRCC statement about Kelly…
“It is astounding that Brendan Kelly thinks he can get away with bashing Nancy Pelosi in Southern Illinois while also raising money with her in DC. Kelly is already the worst kind of politician – he says one thing to voters back home, and does the complete opposite in Washington. Voters should be misled no longer: a vote for Brendan Kelly is a vote for Nancy Pelosi.” – NRCC Spokeswoman Maddie Anderson
One of the resources the [Sean Casten] campaign used [in the Democratic primary] was a political action committee called “My Committee,” according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission.
“My Committee” funded attack ads on another Democratic candidate in the race, Kelly Mazeski. As a super PAC, the committee is permitted to raise unlimited sums of money and has no cap on spending either - but federal election law prohibits super PACs from coordinating efforts with the candidate they’re supporting.
That rule brings “My Committee” under scrutiny, as a key supporter was Casten’s father Tom Casten, who records indicate donated $150,000 to the super PAC, which was previously called the “Sunshine PAC.” […]
New polling released by Casten’s campaign on Wednesday indicated that the race appears to be a dead heat, with Roskam polling at 45 percent to Casten’s 44. […]
“Sean Casten using his daddy’s money to ensure that a qualified female candidate has no shot to make it out of a primary is both unoriginal and deeply concerning,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Maddie Anderson said in a statement.
That poll should help explain why this little bit of oppo was dumped.
- Posted by Rich Miller
Federal authorities on Monday said they are investigating the father of Waffle House shooting suspect Travis Reinking after he returned his son’s guns to him after they were confiscated by Illinois authorities last year. Reinking was arrested for using one of the weapons, an AR-15 rifle, to massacre four people Sunday.
The actions of the suspect’s father, Jeffrey Reinking, have also highlighted an Illinois gun law that one state senator calls a “loophole” in the system.
Democratic State Sen. Julie Morrison told BuzzFeed News on Monday that the state’s Firearm Owners Identification card (FOID) Act, which allowed the father, 54, to keep his son’s weapons, and then return them to him, “should be looked into.”
“It does highlight a problem,” she said, adding that not relinquishing weapons to a family member “is something to consider.”
The legislation, which should be made public later on Tuesday, is meant to deter a family member from returning a firearm to a relative whose gun licence has been revoked, Illinois State Senator Julie Morrison told Reuters. […]
Morrison’s legislation would require a person taking possession of guns to sign an affidavit acknowledging that it is a felony to give a firearm to a person who does not have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) gun permit.
The proposed legislation goes some way towards closing a loophole identified by gun control groups.
The proposal is here. It pretty much just allows local law enforcement to cover their behinds.
* In other news, the local state’s attorney seems to be proceeding with utmost caution against the father, a prominent local business owner…
Jeff Reinking [the father] was legally allowed to take the weapons because he had a valid FOID card at the time. In addition, it is permissible under Illinois law to “gift” a firearm to a family member. It might not be legal to own that weapon, but there is nothing against the law from a person giving a family member a firearm, said Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stu Umholtz, who stressed he didn’t know if the weapons taken last summer, specifically the AR-15 style rifle, were used in the shooting early Sunday.
But Nashville police have said that Jeff Reinking “has now acknowledged giving them back” to his son, according to the Associated Press.
But if it was the same weapon, it still might not be a violation of Illinois law for Travis’ father to have given the weapon to his son, the prosecutor said. Illinois allows “bonafide” gifted firearms to family members, even those who don’t have a valid FOID card. In that case, it’s illegal to possess, but there is nothing in the law to stop the transfer of ownership, the prosecutor said.
“It would not appear to be a violation of Illinois law if Travis was a resident of Tennessee and his father delivered the firearms in Tennessee,” Umholtz said, again stressing that he didn’t have all the facts and was making his observations based upon initial reports.
That whole “gift” to a family member thing is the real loophole, and it’s not addressed in any legislation I’ve yet seen. I have no problems with gifts of guns to relatives. But gifts of guns to relatives whose FOID cards are revoked is a whole other story.
* Meanwhile, it would be nice if we could get to the bottom of this evaluation…
In 2016 Illinois police took Waffle House shooting suspect Travis Reinking into protective custody after he was found in a CVS parking lot “delusional.” […]
Family members said he had threatened to kill himself and told police he “owns and had access to many firearms at his residence.”
Reinking, who was 27 at the time, was taken to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation. It’s unknown what the evaluation found or when he was released.
* Waffle House suspect’s ex-bosses asked FBI to keep, help him: The co-owner of a Colorado crane company where the suspect in a deadly weekend shooting at a Nashville restaurant once worked said she had urged federal officials to keep him in custody after he was arrested at the White House last year… “We told them, ‘Hang onto him if you can. Help him if you can,’” Sustrich said.
* Waffle House shooting suspect left trail of bizarre behaviors in Colorado: Turley said Reinking also called himself a “sovereign citizen” - a group the FBI defines as anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or “sovereign” from the United States.
* Obsessed with Taylor Swift, arrested outside the White House, and afraid police were following him: One of the employees at the [Colorado] crane company, Ken Sustrich, told police that he reached out to Reinking’s father with concerns about his son’s mental health. He said the father replied that he was aware of the issues and “had been recently trying to rekindle his relationship with Travis,” the police report said.
* Jeffrey Reinking, Travis Reinking’s Father: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know: [Reinking’s mother] also shared a note on a homeschool convention shared by the Association of Peoria Area Christian Educators, although it’s not clear whether Travis Reinking was homeschooled. She shared a video from Christian Life Academy called Seeds Family Worship. Judy also shared a Fox News article titled “’Calibration error changes GOP votes to Dem in Illionois County.”
- Posted by Rich Miller
McCann voted “No.”
* From Forsaken Generation…
Jen Suter is a single mom, activist and the Co-Founder of Illinois Coalition for Informed Consent… a group made up of over 1,000 Illinois residents, that stands for medical freedom, parental rights, vaccine safety and informed consent. In the Spring of 2017, alongside hundreds of dedicated Illinois activists, Jen took part in stalling a FLU mandate for healthcare employees. When she isn’t meeting with local legislators and working with all of the people of IC4IC to stop medical mandates in Illinois for both students and employees, she is homeschooling her 6 year old son Jackson.
* From the Illinois Coalition for Informed Consent’s web page…
IC4IC works closely with National Vaccine Information Center. NVIC is the number one organization with the most legislative experience regarding vaccine law in the country.
* From the LA Times…
The nonprofit NVIC says it “does not advocate for or against the use of vaccines” and describes itself as a proponent of “vaccine safety and informed consent protections in the public health system.” However, its campaigns portray vaccines as risky and encourage people to consider alternatives, like hand-washing. In his book “Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives,” Michael Specter calls the group “the most powerful anti-vaccine organization in America.”
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is a U.S based anti-vaccination organization which has been widely criticized as a leading source of vaccine misinformation and fearmongering. While NVIC describes itself as the “oldest and largest consumer led organization advocating for the institution of vaccine safety and informed consent protections”, it promotes false and misleading information including the fraudulent claim that vaccines cause autism, and its campaigns portray vaccination as risky, encouraging people to consider “alternatives”.
…Adding… Press release from the sponsor…
After an increase in hospital visits during what was reported as an extremely harsh flu season, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) increased efforts to provide students and parents research and prevention materials regarding influenza.
“There was a very rapid increase in the number of people going to see their doctors or health care providers with flu related symptoms,” said Hunter. “We have to get in front of this issue by providing children and families the information they need to live healthy lives.”
Senate Bill 2654 requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to develop informational materials about influenza and flu vaccines for school districts. Additionally, school boards would be required to provide that information to parents when notifying them of other health related matters.
“Influenza is a dangerous illness that can have serious consequences, but people can take steps to protect themselves,” Hunter said. “We need to make sure no one ends up severely ill because they lacked information on preventative measures they can take.”
According to reports, there have been, a total of 114 pediatric deaths related to the flu; 30 deaths so far this year. Doctors’ offices and emergency rooms experienced visits at levels almost as high as during the 2009 swine flu epidemic.
The bill passed 40-12 and will head the Illinois House of Representative for further consideration.
- Posted by Rich Miller
|It’s just a bill
Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
* Your thoughts on this?…
* AFSCME Council 31 action alert…
Senator Bill Brady has just introduced Senate Amendment 1 to SB 2680, which replaces everything after the enacting clause.
His amendment would amend the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act to provide that the design, implementation, and administration of a health insurance plan shall not be the subject of negotiations between the State of Illinois and any union representing public employees, and that the duty of the employer “to bargain collectively” shall not include any obligation to negotiate health insurance or health benefits.
This legislation would let Gov. Bruce Rauner set employee health care premiums based on the devastating terms he has been trying to impose on state employees.
* Illinois Board of Higher Education Chairman Tom Cross…
Illinois Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, has introduced a bill for the creation of a single state board with responsibility for higher education (SB 2597). I believe it outlines a positive means toward a stronger administrative structure for facilitating useful action steps to address priorities for Illinois’ higher education system. I urge members of the Illinois General Assembly to join with Senator Rose in reviewing this proposal further.
As a single board of higher education, leading a strategic process for development of statewide goals and recommendations for allocating state resources will be more effective. Simply put, one board, one staff, and one organizational structure streamlines the effort. Illinois higher education faces challenges concerning college costs; enrollment shifts resulting from increasing outmigration and changing needs of college students who are older, parenting, and working; and establishing effective and forward looking governance of Illinois’ higher education system. A unified board and staff organization can better focus on these challenges by being inclusive in representing the needs of students, public community colleges and universities, private institutions of higher education; and the faculty and staff serving the higher education system.
The legislation proposes a merger of boards and administrative operations of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. From my role as chairman of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, I am convinced that collaboration of common activities is not only necessary but also should prove more efficient.
* Other bills…
* Senate bill to reduce child absences passes
* Our View: Budgets should include estimates of late payment interest penalties
* ACA-Related Bill Fails in Illinois House: The measure would prevent Illinois from seeking waivers from the federal law’s requirements - like the one that say insurance companies cannot exclude people with pre-existing conditions. It would also keep the state from imposing work requirements on people in the low-income Medicaid program. The Trump administration has been encouraging both moves.
* Rezin’s robocall bill passed through Senate: Under Rezin’s Senate Bill 2573, robo callers would face a separate violation if they disguise or falsify their caller ID in any way, which is commonly known as “spoofing.” In addition, Rezin’s legislation would require prior written consent before robo callers could use auto-dialer software. The Illinois Attorney General would be given the responsibility of enforcement.
- Posted by Rich Miller
|Tronc to guild: No
Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
* Public Radio…
Organizers of a newsroom union at the Chicago Tribune have informed its publisher that colleagues have given such overwhelming formal support for their effort that the paper’s parent company should recognize the guild voluntarily and start to negotiate a contract.
The organizers gave the Tribune’s parent company, Tronc, a day to make a decision.
According to a letter from the Chicago Tribune Guild organizing committee obtained by NPR, the nascent union has received signed union authorization cards from more than 85 percent of staffers who would fall under the bargaining unit.
“Voluntary recognition would allow us to begin contract negotiations, saving the company the cost and inconvenience of a campaign and an election that will result overwhelmingly in our favor,” read the letter, sent Tuesday morning to Bruce Dold, the Tribune’s editor and publisher.
* The answer came today…
* The Chicago Tribune Guild’s response…
- Posted by Rich Miller
* Pro-legalization op-ed in The Hill…
Despite the progress made on cannabis policies within legislative chambers and ballot boxes across America, the rollout of successful regulated cannabis markets has been stymied in several jurisdictions, and the illegal market has remained strong. The single biggest reason why is legislative fear of creating sufficient retail access to meet market demand. Simply put: if cannabis consumers cannot conveniently access the regulated market, they will continue to purchase from the illegal market, be it the unlicensed dispensary across the street, or the dealer around the corner.
Real cities provide real examples of this. In Denver, where medical cannabis became legal in 2000 and adult use in 2012, city leaders licensed one cannabis retail establishment per 3,091 residents. The illegal market rate quickly fell to 30 percent. But in Seattle — which legalized medical cannabis in 1998 and adult use in 2012, and had a state-imposed cap of just 21 retail licenses and a resulting density of one dispensary per 30,373 residents — the illegal market rate was an astounding 70 percent. Subsequent declines in city’s illegal market rate came about only by doubling the number of licensed retail outlets, but they are still elevated.
Reasonable tax rates, availability of delivery services and social consumption lounges, as well as rational advertising standards that allow licensed businesses to differentiate themselves from illicit operators also play a role in the strength of the legal cannabis market. But bottom line: if the legal market is less accessible to the average consumer than unlicensed businesses, the regulated industry will struggle and likely fail.
State and local officials in California and Massachusetts, which are in the throes of launching their respective adult-use cannabis systems, would benefit from the experiences of other states with adult-use policy frameworks. To date, lawmakers in California have grappled to shift unlicensed operations into the legal market in the wake of opening its legal market in January 2018. Local governments have severely thwarted the ascendance of a regulated industry that is reasonably accessible to consumers. Almost 85 percent of local jurisdictions have placed bans on cannabis retail operations. Not surprising, as a result California is missing its cannabis tax revenue projections and many potential licensed operators have been forced to freeze operations and lay off staff.
Our own independent research of licensed jurisdictions indicates that the optimal density ratio is roughly one legal cannabis retail storefront or delivery service license per 7,500 residents. Once density falls below this level, the illegal market maintains a strong presence, and the legal market struggles to establish itself — to the point where traditional law enforcement efforts remain ineffective at containing unlicensed operators and the failed outcomes of the decades-old war on cannabis continue.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* Illinois News Network…
The Illinois Retail Merchants Association said Monday that it had obtained emails showing that municipal officials illegally shared local businesses tax information with an outside company that makes money auditing businesses on behalf of local governments.
Illinois Retail Merchants Association President and CEO Rob Karr read off emails the association acquired from local officials that shared tax information from local businesses with Chicago-based auditing firm Azavar. In a series of FOIA requests, Karr’s organization found officials from Elgin, Lockport, Homer Glen and Rockford being solicited by Azavar to participate in potentially illegal sharing of local businesses sales tax data to allow Azavar to do audits to potentially recover sales tax revenue a business would owe the local government.
“Sharing this information is outside of the law,” Karr said. “We wouldn’t do this to our individual taxpayers. Why would we do this to our businesses?”
In the emails, city officials were instructed by Azavar employees to turn over documents to the firm via a compact disc.
“Please do not copy us on the email, as we are still working with IDOR to be able to contact them directly on behalf of our clients,” Azavar Vice President Scott Shamberg wrote in an email to Lockport Finance Director Erik Brown.
Azavar President Jason Perry refused to comment on the emails.
Business tax information is generally regarded as confidential and municipal officials often go to lengths to make sure it is kept secret. Sharing such information could be costly for the local officials. According to the Illinois Department of Revenue, releasing information shared with the local officials via their reciprocal agreement on exchange of information is punishable with up to a $7,500 fine.
More here and here.
* Greg Hinz…
[Opponents] also charge the bill largely is the creation of Azavar Government Solutions, a Chicago-based auditing and consulting firm that has been politically active in recent years. The company has donated more than $200,000 since 2012, most of it to state lawmakers, including $11,000 to House Speaker Mike Madigan and $4,000 to House GOP Leader Jim Durkin.
One major watchdog is siding with the business groups in this fight.
Azavar is “a bounty hunter” that gets a contingency fee of as much of 50 percent of what it collects, says Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois President Carol Portman. The bill “would essentially outsource a government function to someone whose interests are not aligned (with the public interest),” she added.
Also opposed to the bill as it’s now written is the Revenue Department. “Third-party entities would be able to determine how the department uses its audit resources,” with the agency potentially swamped with private requests for probes, said spokesman Terry Horstman.
But Paul Rosenfeld, a lobbyist who represents the Illinois Coalition of Local Governments and lobbies for Azavar in Cook County, said the Revenue Department “has made mistakes. They don’t like it when someone looks over their shoulder.” Rosenfeld, who’s also the 47th Ward Democratic committeeman, said it’s not true, as Portman suggested, that the bill is the first step toward privatizing Revenue Department collections. […]
Rosenfeld said his group examined 66 cases and found in nearly half of the instances, the Revenue Department made mistakes, some involving hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Revenue Department objections “are a scare tactic by the (Rauner) administration,” Welch said. And in fact, the bill will strengthen confidentiality by shifting data from CD roms to an encrypted website, he said.
Azavar’s campaign contributions are here.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* GOP (dis)unity watch…
Just over a month after her narrow primary election loss to incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, state Rep. Jeanne Ives said she’ll continue to spread her message across the state.
“I have a responsibility. I can’t just hide,” said Ives, a Wheaton Republican, during a stop at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel to address members of the Restore Our Constitution political group. “I’m not going to hide or go away. I’m not going to do that.”
Ives said she plans to tour the state raising awareness of issues such as pensions and fiscal responsibility, and campaigning for fellow Republican candidates in an effort to win a majority in the state House of Representatives. […]
Ives said it is likely she will also start to make campaign visits with Republican candidates as the election season heads into the summer. […]
Asked who her supporters should line up behind [for governor], Ives said it was up to them to decide.
Full video is here.
“Bruce Rauner tried to ignore her, lie about her, and hide in Europe from her, but his Jeanne Ives problem will be front and center in this race,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Ives just told her supporters they could vote for anyone, including Sam McCann, and her continued presence on the campaign trail for anyone but Rauner is just a reminder of his failure.”
- Posted by Rich Miller
Governor Bruce Rauner’s poor primary performance keeps moving the Illinois governor’s race up the rankings as the National Journal’s Hotline ranked it the #1 most likely race to flip parties next year (it was previously ranked #5). Zach Cohen and Kyle Trygstad of Hotline wrote:
Rauner is the most vulnerable governor, and his seat is the Democrats’ best pickup opportunity. Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker won 200,000 more votes in his decisive March primary than Rauner, who won renomination by just 2 points […] in a state that Hillary Clinton won by a similar margin, and his odds further improved when Rauner’s alienation of the Right led to a third-party challenge from GOP state Sen. Sam McCann…
The new ranking coincides with Rauner return from Europe to find his base problem even worse. Before his trip, Rauner was merely failing to reunite his divided party after state Representative Jeanne Ives took 48% of the primary vote. Now, he returns home to find even more challenges after Republican state Senator Sam McCann joined the race and immediately began courting disgruntled Ives voters.
“Three years of failed leadership and a party unity problem add up to make Bruce Rauner the most vulnerable incumbent in the nation,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner’s record of failure has turned off Democrats and Independents — and has inspired Republicans to line up and hold him accountable. It’s no wonder Illinois is ranked as the most likely governorship to flip in America.”
* Pritzker campaign…
Today, the Pritzker campaign is introducing a weekly series to hold Bruce Rauner accountable for his frequent falsehoods, and will also debut “Rauner Lie Alerts” in real time when the failed governor is caught in a lie. With over 70% of Rauner’s 18 fact checks rated “half true” or worse, the truth is clear: Bruce Rauner is a liar.
Proposing a balance budget is the constitutional obligation of a governor, but Bruce Rauner has failed to meet that every year he’s been in office. Despite receiving a Pants on Fire! rating from PolitiFact for claiming he’s proposed a balanced budget in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, Rauner continues to pathologically lie about his failure. “Indeed, fiscal experts say Rauner has never proposed a balanced budget as required under the state Constitution since taking office in 2015,” the fact check concludes.
“Bruce Rauner failed to propose a balanced budget and then repeatedly lied about not fulfilling his constitutional obligation to Illinois taxpayers,” said Pritzker campaign communications director Galia Slayen. “Every single year this governor failed to do his job and then lied about it to the very same Illinoisans suffering the consequences of his failures.”
* Rauner campaign…
After yesterday’s launch of PritzkerMadigan.com, the Rauner campaign today added a companion parody Twitter account: @PritzkerMadigan
Follow for musings on the insider deals, out-of-control spending, and endless tax hikes holding Illinois back.
Feel free to send a Direct Message to our team at @PritzkerMadigan to inquire about available patronage jobs with the Pritzker-Madigan ticket (you never know when a U.S. Senate seat is going to open up).
From the account…
*** UPDATE *** Here’s the first “lie alert”…
RAUNER LIE ALERT: “New” Trade Show Announced 265 Days Ago
Chicago, IL – Bruce Rauner lied again. After spending a week and a half in Europe, Rauner “announced” a trade show coming to Illinois… 265 days after it was first made official.
“Bruce Rauner is fabricating accomplishments as he returns to Illinois empty handed from another failed trip abroad,” said Pritzker campaign spokesman Jason Rubin.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* Public Radio’s Daisy Contreras…
The Illinois General Assembly has only a few hours left to vote on a gun dealer licensing measure that would require gun shops to register with the state and pay a license fee. Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the proposal earlier this month, giving lawmakers only 15 calendar days to get enough support for an override. The deadline is today.
State Sen. Don Harmon – an Oak Park Democrat and sponsor of the measure, said he is still waiting to get enough support in the House and decided to not call it for a vote Tuesday evening.
“I recognize the political dynamic at work here, and it’s a tough vote for a lot of the members of the Senate, so I want to make sure we have at least a realistic chance of overriding the veto in the House as well.”
Harmon said some Republicans are needed for the override. “We just need a little more time to convince a few more suburban Republicans, in particular, to come on board and vote against the governor,” he said. “My sense is the governor doesn’t want the political embarrassment of an override. I think the issue at hand is much greater than the political dynamic here in the building.”
The measure would require five-year gun-shop licenses, employee training and in-store videotaping. Republican Rauner vetoed it as “burdensome regulation” that duplicated federal licensing.
Harmon’s proposed it before. This year it came after the February massacre at a Parkland, Florida, high school and because of ongoing Chicago gun violence. […]
Thousands of gun-rights advocates descend on Springfield Wednesday for their annual gun
More on the annual I-GOLD rally can be found here.
While the purported intent of this legislation was to enhance “responsible business practices,” these bills only prove that the intention is to close as many federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs) as possible. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) licenses and closely monitors all FFLs and strictly enforces any violation of federal law. SB 1657 and HB 1273 go so far beyond federal law in its mandatory regulations and red tape imposed at the state level that they would almost assuredly force the closure of most firearm dealers and prevent prospective owners from opening new ones. This legislation seeks to create so many department divisions, anti-gun 5-member licensing boards, and licensing fees that dealers would be forced to close through oversight by anti-gun appointees or being priced out of business.
* The Trace…
The Gun Dealer Licensing Act would require Illinois gun shops to obtain a state license in addition to their already mandated federal license. It would further compel dealers to conduct background checks of their employees, which federal law mandates only for shop owners, and have employees take part in mandatory training. The bill would also require shops to install video-monitoring systems in an effort to deter straw purchasing, in which a buyer purchases weapons on behalf of someone not legally allowed to own a gun.
Under the proposal, Illinois authorities would perform inspections of all gun dealers in the state. Currently, inspections fall to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the federal agency in charge of regulating firearms. However, as The Trace has reported, the ATF rarely meets its inspection targets for dealers. In 2016, agents inspected just 6.3 percent of gun stores nationally. In fiscal year 2015, the last year for which data is available, there were 2,925 dealers in Illinois.
In Chicago, a significant share of firearms recovered by police have been traced to gun dealers across the state. A report released by the city last year found that approximately 40 percent of the roughly 15,000 crime guns recovered by Chicago Police between 2013 and 2016 were sold by dealers in suburban Cook County. Almost a thousand guns that turned up at city crime scenes were linked to Chuck’s Gun Shop in the suburb of Riverdale. Midwest Sporting Goods on the West Side in the suburb of Lyons supplied nearly 700 crime guns.
State Senator Don Harmon, a Democrat who co-sponsored the legislation, said that the bill would give local law enforcement the “tools to crackdown on the handful of gun dealers who are abusing the process.”
The report is here.
* This Tribune bit could be very important and subscribers know just a little more…
Harmon said his focus was on convincing suburban Republicans to override Rauner. He said changes to the plan were being discussed in an effort to minimize the impact on gun shop owners.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* Pollster Dave Fako is a wise man…
As the 2018 election engages, the political chatter among pundits, analysts, consultants and the array of political professionals across the spectrum are openly talking about a Blue Wave in 2018. This Wave would be significant gains by Democrats, most likely majorities in the U.S. House and possibly Senate, along with significant gains among Governors and the state legislatures.
The degree to which this wave that Democrats may surf to victory, or if it even exists at all, is debated among all involved in the process.
I readily admit that history, recent election results, polling, other data, and anecdotal evidence among my personal networks suggest a good year for Democrats - but it is mostly built on hope that Democratic enthusiasm and dislike (more like disgust) with Trump and the GOP will fuel this wave and their victories.
This is where I want to raise the cautionary flags. The national Democratic political infrastructure has been a failure for a quarter century, with Congressional Democrats going 3w and 10L and the US Senate Democrats only doing marginally better since 1992. This has also trickled down to the state and local levels and has brought Democrats to true minority party status.
The reasons for this failure are varied, many of which are out of any organization’s control. However, poor leadership, a culture that repeated the same mistakes cycle after cycle and didn’t adapt, the lack of inspiring leaders who appealed beyond their core supporters, an over emphasis on micro identity issues, and the lack of a unifying economic, fiscal, values, ethics, character and government reform policy agenda and message contributed to the electoral failures. The constant hoping, or reliance on, the GOP to screw up to help Democrats succeed was a significant part of this failure.
Hope is not a strategy and hoping your opponent is terrible for you to win is an even less effective plan. This reminds me of a message I sent to a Democratic staffer on December 17, 2015 - long before the 2016 general election was engaged:
“As a side note, my anecdotal observations along with polling data I have seen in IL and throughout the country, show a very agitated electorate that directs most of its anger at Democrats and Obama…This is probably not news to you but I am hearing too many Democratic campaign staff, consultants, etc. throughout the country thinking that dislike of the GOP alone will lead them to a win. Although that may help, it should not be exclusively relied on. Outside of hardcore Democrats, very few people I know blame the GOP, or in IL, Rauner, for any problems. They may not like the GOP or Rauner, etc., but they almost always default to blaming Democrats for the actual problems and a lack of a solution. This is particularly true with Independent voters I know and especially women, older voters and white men. Trump reminds me a little of Perot - captures a small but vocal angry share of the electorate. These angry Perot voters caused some problems in 1992 and were part of the angry base that swept Democrats out in 1994, so pay very close attention to data on Trump and his voters, especially if they are typical non-voters who could change the composition of the electorate if they turn out. Hillary is not going to be a motivating Democratic candidate outside a handful of liberal female voters who are already voting Democratic, so she will not counter balance the Trump (angry white voter) wildcard even if she is more popular and winning over whomever is the GOP candidate.”
This may not have been a popular position to take late in 2015, but the polling data and tangential evidence I saw at the time backed it up and it needed to be said.
For Democrats and progressives to take the opportunity that exists in 2018 to build long term and sustained electoral, policy and governing success, Democrats and progressives are advised to put the culture of the failed past behind them.
Run candidates who can cross the political divides and don’t necessarily fit into a defined ideological box, accept diversity in the Party rather than demanding ideological or policy orthodoxy, develop and embrace a unifying economic and governing agenda that simply gets the jobs done and carries a strong character, values and ethics message. Don’t ignore or write off significant segments of the electorate hoping that the new emerging demographics will carry you to victory (this hasn’t worked). Be emboldened to criticize your own party or leaders when they are wrong or cross ethical, character or legal lines. Bottom line, embrace a new culture, character and values approach to policy and electoral politics and new ways to succeed in elections, governing and enacting progressive policies that earn support across the political spectrum.
- Posted by Rich Miller
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