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Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* Have a good one

Too many mountains, and not enough stairs to climb

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


One of the better descriptions of the new state budget I’ve heard

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* The Daily Herald’s Kerry Lester interviewed retiring Rep. Elaine Nekritz

Q. Are you happy with the budget that passed?

A. I’m happy there is a budget. It doesn’t create opportunities for us to be looking at new innovations. It’s really kind of a maintenance budget.

If it’s even that much.

Go read the whole thing. Good stuff in there.

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


Question of the day

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* Over the next ten days, Ameya Pawar will visit 20 towns…

Harvard, Rockford, Chicago Heights, Danville, Springfield, Sauk Village, Jacksonville, Macomb, Naperville, Schaumburg, Dixon, Tinley Park, Rock Island, Des Plaines, Waukegan, Chicago, Elk Grove, Morton Grove, La Grange, Downers Grove

* In this bus…

* The Question: Caption?

- Posted by Rich Miller   78 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - Meeks explains his silence *** Meeks goes silent as SB 1 fight cranks up

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* Phil Kadner

James Meeks, the pastor of Salem Baptist Church in Chicago, ran for the Illinois Senate as an independent in 2002 and won. Afterward, he made school funding reform his priority.

He told anyone who would listen that the school funding formula was a disaster and proposed an income tax increase and property tax swap. When his bill couldn’t get out of committee, he launched a series of protest marches, taking Chicago school children to New Trier High School in Winnetka to emphasize the disparities in school funding.

Working with Republicans and Democrats, Meeks eventually got a very complicated tax bill passed out of the Senate that would have raised $5.2 billion in new revenue, with much of that money — more than $2 billion — going to education.

House Speaker Michael Madigan killed the bill, enraging Meeks, who after leaving office endorsed Bruce Rauner, a Republican, for governor.

Rauner named Meeks to the state board of education, where he serves as chairman.

You may be aware that a bill has passed the state Legislature altering the school funding formula. It does not send billions of new dollars to education. It is, however, aimed at sending what meager new revenues there are to poorer school districts.

Rauner has vowed to veto the measure, claiming it includes a bailout for the Chicago Public Schools pension system.

I tried to reach Meeks this week to see what he has to say about all of this. I was told by the state board’s communications director that Meeks is not doing any interviews on this topic.

So the guy who was once the outspoken champion of school children is now silent.

I was thinking about calling Meeks today. Maybe I still will. He needs to speak his mind about this topic.

*** UPDATE ***  Chairman Meeks just called me. He pointed out that one of the quickest ways to undermine an attempt to mediate a fight is to start talking to the press.

In a situation like this, with hate and mistrust at epic levels, Meeks said, “Anything that you say they think you’re on the other guy’s side.” From my own experience dealing with these guys, I couldn’t agree more. Right now, he’s able to talk to everyone, but that role would end pretty quickly if he started expressing his opinions.

So, Meeks says he’s not talking to anyone in the media until this battle is over. “I wouldn’t do an interview for the Jesus Gazette,” Meeks said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      


Federal judge issues preliminary injunction on state “right of conscience” amendment

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* Press release…

The Thomas More Society has stepped into the fray over recent Illinois conscience legislation by suing Illinois state officials on behalf of over twenty pro-life pregnancy resource centers and pro-life physicians. The litigation is over P.A. 99-690, also known as SB 1564, an Illinois law which forces pregnancy care centers and doctors to promote abortion regardless of their ethical or moral views. Enforcement of that mandate has now been halted by a federal court. A July 19, 2017 preliminary injunction order by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois declared that P.A. 99-690, “targets the free speech rights of people who have a specific viewpoint.”

The preliminary injunction was issued in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates et al v. Rauner et al and is a general prohibition on enforcement of the law in Illinois. It thereby provides the same relief for the plaintiffs in the Thomas More Society case, Dr. Ronald L. Schroeder et al v. Rauner et al., and in consolidated state actions the Thomas More Society filed in Sangamon County, IL earlier this year. These cases are continuing since the preliminary injunction order will be superseded by a permanent order when the case has been finally adjudicated.

Thomas Olp, an attorney for the Thomas More Society, explained that the suspended law is actually an amendment to the existing Illinois Healthcare Right of Conscience Act. According to both cases, it violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution. “Our clients, which include Dr. Ronald L. Schroeder, 1st Way Life Center, and Pregnancy Aid South Suburbs, and around twenty other pregnancy centers in Illinois, provide pro bono medical care, emotional and material resources to women in crisis pregnancy situations. Their efforts are inspired by their religious faith, which precludes them from counseling about the supposed benefits of abortion or referring clients to abortion providers. This now suspended law required them to do just that, and could have exposed them to discrimination, sanctions, and liability if they did not comply. We are pleased that the court saw fit to prohibit enforcement of this unconstitutional law.”

The bill is here. Some background from the other side is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   3 Comments      


Rauner calls for “insurrection” and “revolution” against Madigan, says state suffers from “Stockholm Syndrome”

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* Gov. Bruce Rauner spoke with the Belleville News-Democrat about Speaker Madigan and SB 1

[Madigan] controls the General Assembly. He could’ve passed any budget that he wanted for the last two years. He wouldn’t pass any. Why? He wanted to force crisis and force a bunch of Republicans, so he didn’t have to put his vulnerable, um, members on a, on a bad tax hike vote. That’s why. He, he damaged our human services and our most vulnerable for his most craven political goals. This is just, this is wrong. This is unjust.

And I’ll tell you this, you know, when I first got to know him eight years ago, my second lunch with him, I asked him, because I didn’t know him, he didn’t know me. I was just a private citizen, you know, and I was advocating for school reform. And I raised a PAC and I was supporting money for D’s and R’s, a lot of D’s for school reform. So he met with me. I was no threat to him, he was no, he just wanted some of the PAC money. I asked him at a lunch, I said, ‘What’s your goal for improving the future for Illinois?’ I was like, you know, ‘You’re the most powerful guy, what do you want to do?’ He said, he laughed and said, ‘I got no goal like that.’ And I said, ‘Really? So, what you,’ he said, ‘Bruce, I do two things, I manage power and I make money from managing power.’ I want to throw up my lunch.

I mean, you, this is what we’re dealing with and he’s doing it right now to our, to our children and our teachers. This is wrong. This is wrong. We gotta, we need a, we need an insurrection. The people of Illinois, and this is not about D’s versus R’s. This is about good government and doing what’s right for taxpayers and children and teachers. […]

You know, it’s this Stockholm Syndrome. We suffer from this. And, you know, we’ve been so, we’ve been captive for 35 years. We’re so used to living on, living with this fear and this dictation of terms and, and living on Madigan’s crumbs, that’s what, that’s what people in Illinois have been doing. They’re used to it. […]

It’s not about regular Democrats and Republicans, this is about a power structure designed by one person for the insiders’ benefit. That’s what this is about and I think that with your help and the help of others in the media, we gotta lead a revolution on this and get power back to the people.

I’m told that Rauner has related that story about lunch with Madigan several times over the years, but his comms staff always stopped him from saying it on the record. He’s got a new staff now who either don’t have any control over him or who want to just let Bruce be Bruce.

* Gov. Rauner also dredged up this story about Senate President John Cullerton, which the governor claimed he heard from Cullerton as early as July of 2015

I spent weeks negotiating with him, and he, he came into my office in, in, in Springfield, one, one day and he said ‘Bruce, I’ve lived in,’ this is a quote, and I’ve said this publicly, ‘I’ve lived in Mike’s shadow for 37 years, I’m not gonna step out now.’ That’s a quote. This is the problem. He’s the President of the Senate. And he, he, he gets his marching orders from one person. This is wrong, this is not democracy. […]

Alarm bells, the sirens have gotta be going off for the people of Illinois. Let’s not tolerate this. This is so clearly, so clearly a power grab and a leverage to on a crisis, that’s what this is.

* On school superintendents and the SB 1 showdown

Our school funding has never involved pensions at the statewide level. This is a Madigan power play right now… When you look in their eyes how much fear do you see? They are petrified that Madigan will give ‘em less or nothing. And they’re, they, they got a gun to their head. That’s why. They, they are, they are so afraid of him and their schools not opening, they’re like ‘Oh, oh, give me wha, whatever you can give me I’ll take it, it’s fine, it’s fine.’ They, they’ve, this is what Madigan has done, that people live in fear, that’s why they support it. When they see the numbers, they go, ‘Oh, Governor, I love, that’s right, that’s the right answer, ooo I don’t want, I don’t, I don’t want him mad at me.’ This is, this is, this is tyranny, this is, this is, this is rule by fear. This is not right… live in fear that he’ll cut ‘em off. That if they don’t get this, he’ll cut ‘em. He’s cut, he’s done it to ‘em four times over the last ten years before I became governor. That’s what they’re afraid of. It’s better to get a, you know, kind of abused a little bit than maybe really damaged and that’s what he’s threat, that’s his threat to ‘em. And I’m saying, don’t do that any more, stand together as a people, let’s do what’s right.

* The paper followed up with some locals

“They are petrified that Madigan will give them less or nothing,” [Rauner] said.

Granite City District 9 Superintendent Jim Greenwald doesn’t see it that way.

“We’re not scared at all,” Greenwald said. “… We’re looking for some fairness.”

Belleville District 201 Superintendent Jeff Dosier said the reason he supported Senate Bill 1 was “because it’s passed both houses.” The Illinois House voted 60-52 to approve the legislation, and the Senate voted 35-22.

“We just need to have that solution, and we need to have that sooner than later,” Dosier said. “… There are many schools in the state that depend on that money right away (in the school year). If it’s a couple months late, it doesn’t hurt us as bad as it does some.”

By the way, Politifact called his claims that the Democrats cut education funding four times “Mostly false.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   108 Comments      


Cullerton to Rauner: Call a leaders meeting instead of a special session

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* Press release…

There’s no need for expensive special sessions, and Gov. Rauner should simply convene a meeting to end the secrecy regarding whatever classroom funding changes he has in mind, Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton said in a statement released Friday.

Here is the full statement from Senate President John Cullerton.

    “Education advocates and school leaders across our state support Senate Bill 1. They know what it does. What no one knows is what Gov. Rauner’s plan would do. So, rather than expensive special sessions and conflict-driving vetoes, let’s have a meeting so we can see what the governor’s plan is. It can be as simple as that. I would encourage the governor to convene a leaders meeting rather than a special session.”

I dunno. Maybe a special session will work better. It would give rank and file legislators in both parties time together to figure out how to move forward because the leaders clearly can’t work together. That’s what happened during the budget special session, after all.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


Rauner can’t say who came up with his school funding numbers, gets history totally wrong on CPS

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* Gov. Rauner was asked repeatedly by Statehouse reporters today to explain his planned school funding reform changes. First up, who did the district-by-district analysis?

REPORTER: Did ISBE score this version of your amendatory veto?

RAUNER: Uh, I don’t know. We, we’ve done the calculations.

REPORTER: Who is we?

RAUNER: Our administration in conjunction with, uh, our legislators and in conjunction with, uh, school officials.

Well, that totally explains everything. I’m so relieved. He’s out there spouting numbers and isn’t even sure where they came from. Excellent work.

* On to what it does. As you’ll recall, Rauner’s own website (which also has the district-by-district breakdown) explains his amendatory veto this way

The SB 1 number accounts for CPS’ tier funding and FY18 new pension pick-up, and the Governor’s plan number accounts for CPS’ tier funding, FY18 new pension pick-up, and net result of Chicago Block Grant elimination.

* But we don’t have any actual language yet, so a reporter asked him about it

REPORTER: Your website said you were eliminating the Chicago block grant.

RAUNER: OK. So, what we are going to do is make sure that the pension payments are treated separately. Chicago has received a special block grant that no other school district gets. Auburn doesn’t get any of that money. Springfield, Decatur doesn’t get any of that money. And that was put in place more than 20 years ago because Chicago pays its own pensions. So, we, all of us in Illinois, taxpayers have been funding, um, Chicago extra money. $250 million per year, in large part because Chicago pays its own teacher pension. That’s a, that was the, that was the tradeoff, that was the negotiated agreement.

* This is from Gov. Rauner’s own legal filing in defense of a lawsuit brought by CPS over its state funding

In 1995, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation providing for an annual “block grant” to CPS in lieu of separate funding for each program that the categorical grants fund for non-CPS schools. 105 ILCS 5/1D-1. CPS receives block grant funding for, among other things, bilingual education, the State lunch and free breakfast program, educational service centers, special education (funding for children requiring services, orphanage, personnel, private tuition, summer school, and transportation), regular and vocational transportation, agriculture education, early childhood education, and truants’ optional education. [Emphasis added.]

So, CPS didn’t get the block grant because of their pension payments, as Rauner claimed today. CPS got the block grant in lieu of categorical funding that every other district receives.

* The governor went on to say that after years of not properly funding their pensions, CPS wants both pension funding and a block grant and that’s just not fair. Except the block grant replaced categoricals and CPS is the only school district in the state that pays its pension costs, including its legacy costs.

However, according to the governor’s legal filing, CPS is currently receiving the same proportion of funding for its block grant as it did in 1995. So, there is most definitely an argument to be made against that block grant. What the governor said today isn’t that argument.

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner professes ignorance, shifts blame for one-day body man to staff

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* WSIL TV

One of his recent hires didn’t last a full day, after homophobic and racially-charged tweets surfaced.

Ben Tracy was hired to be Rauner’s body man, which is the assistant who travels almost everywhere with the governor. […]

“We have zero tolerance for any, any behavior that’s just fundamentally inappropriate,” said Rauner.

Although Tracy’s firing has been widely reported, Rauner appeared uncertain of the staffer’s position within his office when asked about it on Thursday.

“I don’t know (his) exact role or title. You know, we’re obviously adding people all the time,” said Rauner. […]

Rauner said he has a team of people who making hiring decisions.

“In that particular case, I don’t know. There are probably a dozen people who are involved in hiring,” said Rauner.

He didn’t know his own body man’s role? He’s only had a body man since the campaign. Perhaps he just doesn’t want to admit that he has a taxpayer-financed valet. And, by the way, there’s nothing wrong with having a body man. They play an important role.

Also, reporters have claimed, including myself, that sources have said Rauner interviewed Tracy. A governor who doesn’t interview his own potential body man is a pretty darned stupid governor. After all, a governor will be with the guy (or woman) hours and hours every day, sometimes seven days a week. So, I find that claim truly difficult to believe.

Also, great move throwing the new staff under the bus on this topic. Same as it ever was. Nothing is ever this man’s fault.

…Adding… As noted by a commenter, the governor said this not long ago

“On things that we can control, I would give us an A.”

Apparently, that grade is no longer correct, unless Speaker Madigan somehow exerted control over hiring Rauner’s personal aide.

…Adding More… Let’s look at this aspect of the interview

Rauner then described how he learned about the staffer’s social media postings.

“I heard something about it. I don’t know, but I heard somebody came in, they found some old behavior that was completely unacceptable. They terminated him immediately, which is the appropriate thing to do,” said Rauner.

Um, dude, weren’t you in the car with him when the story broke?

*** UPDATE ***  From the interview at the 1:59 mark

REPORTER: But weren’t you involved in interviewing him?

RAUNER: Interviewing?

REPORTER: When he was hired?

RAUNER: No. I met him once.

This guy.

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      


Rauner sets Monday noon deadline, says he’ll call special session if SB 1 not sent to his desk

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* SJ-R

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday issued an ultimatum in his battle with the General Assembly over school funding, demanding that legislative leaders send Senate Bill 1 to his desk by noon Monday. Rauner said that if legislative leaders do not do that, he will call a special session immediately.

More

“There is no legitimate reason for Speaker Madigan to be sitting on the school funding bill,” he said.

Rauner acknowledged that the bill in question is a Senate measure, but accused Senate President John Cullerton of acting on orders from Madigan.

“This is the cynical manipulation of this process,” Rauner said. ”(Cullerton) has told my Senate colleagues that Speaker Madigan has ordered him to sit on the bill. .. He takes his orders from Speaker Madigan.”

So, we’re back to the Cullerton is Madigan’s puppet line, eh?

* More headlines from the ILGOP…

Governor Bruce Rauner slammed Mike Madigan’s Democrats in a downstate tour this week, highlighting how Madigan’s Chicago pension bailout will take state education dollars away from downstate schools.

Mike Madigan is holding schoolchildren hostage – he’s having his allies in the Senate hold SB1 from reaching the Governor’s desk in a ploy to force a $500 million taxpayer funded bailout of Chicago schools with no promise of financial reform.

But Governor Rauner is bringing Madigan’s scheme to light.

Check out these headlines from Rauner’s tour:

The Southern: Rauner: Amendatory veto of K-12 funding bill would help Southern Illinois schools
Gov. Bruce Rauner said Thursday that his plan to change the language of a key K-12 funding bill would funnel more money into downstate schools and avoid an unfair “bailout” of Chicago Public Schools.
During an interview with The Southern’s editorial board, Rauner called for the General Assembly to send him the Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act, also known as SB1, which passed both chambers of the legislature on May 31 and has been held from the governor’s desk ever since.

Fox St. Louis: Gov. Rauner threatens to veto Illinois school funding bill over Chicago pensions
“What’s happening is our school funding for this year, August and September, that bill to fund that is being held up Speaker Madigan,” Rauner said.
…“They’re sitting on it, holding it until August to force a crisis to force taxpayers of Illinois to fund a bailout of Chicago pensions,” he said.

KFVS: IL Gov. Rauner sits down one-on-one to discuss school funding bill
“Release the bill, don’t sit on it, don’t wait until August to create a crisis,” Gov. Rauner said. “Send it to my desk and I will amendatory veto it and take out the bad pension payment part that’s going to cost tax payers money, and schools will open on time with more money.”

KSDK: GOV. RAUNER STOPS IN METRO EAST TO PUSH FOR VETO
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner stopped in the Metro East Thursday to talk about schools possibly shutting down because they can’t get state funding. The Governor was in Edwardsville trying to garner support for his plan.
Here’s the issue: Funding has been approved by the Democratic-led Legislature to fund public schools, but the Republican Governor said it unfairly gives millions of dollars to Chicago Schools.

* In other news, Sen. Andy Manar called out an ILGOP staffer on Twitter last night…


* Stuff is really heating up…


Heh.

- Posted by Rich Miller   59 Comments      


Rep. Martwick’s paperwork issues

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* Oopsie

A Democratic legislator from the Northwest Side was paid $170,000 for work as a consultant to fellow Democrats during two years when he failed to list that work as a source of income on his required state ethics filings, records examined by the Chicago Sun-Times show.

State Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, who is an attorney, says the economic-interest statements that legislators have to file with the secretary of state’s office every year are so “poorly written” that he didn’t understand what he needed to include.

“When I get to the disclosures, I try to be as open as I can be,” Martwick says. “I’m a lawyer, but, looking at those questions, I don’t know what they’re asking.”

The ethics forms ask legislators to “list the name and instrument of ownership in any entity doing business in the state of Illinois in which [their] ownership interest” is worth more than $5,000 or from which they made more than $1,200 during the past year.

Pretty simple language.

* Most of the piece is pretty entertaining, but this is a really unnecessary pile-on

The younger Martwick is the legislator who complained last August on Facebook that the state budget standoff delayed his paycheck. He blasted Gov. Bruce Rauner and then-state Comptroller Leslie Munger for withholding legislators’ checks, saying that amounted to “extortion and conspiracy.”

* Um, no. That’s a clear distortion. Martwick’s Facebook post was actually about a story on Rep. Jaime Andrade driving an Uber to make ends meet while he wasn’t being paid

Offering a financial incentive to an elected official to secure their vote on a subject is corruption. If you do that, you will go to jail. Withholding pay in order to force a vote is no different. Our impasse in Springfield has nothing to do with being able to do that math. Instead it is about one side wanting to impose profound change to our system and is trying to force the other side to do it against the wishes of the people they represent. Politicians in Illinois are not very popular. I often hear “you should work for free.”

Of course if we did that, then the only people who could serve would be people like Rauner, Madigan, Cullerton, and me. Shouldn’t everyone have the opportunity to serve? Do you really just want a bunch of wealthy businessmen and lawyers making the laws that affect your life? Wouldn’t you rather have some representatives who know what it means to struggle from day to day so that when they vote on laws, they can relate to the issues you deal with?

Jaime M Andrade Jr.. is an extremely effective, smart and hard working representative. He has an understanding of the legislative process that is unparalleled. By denying him pay, Leslie Geissler Munger and Bruce Rauner are trying, and succeeding, at putting him in a very difficult financial decision. That is extortion and corruption. Plain and simple. Kudos to Jaime for being willing to do whatever it takes to stay true to the people he represents.

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** “Nazi” abortion story to kick back up

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* JB Pritzker is holding a press conference late this morning to talk about HB 40 and “Bruce Rauner’s failure to fight for Illinois women.” He’ll be joined by Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, Sen. Heather Steans, Ald. Pat Dowell and others. I’m told the event will include a denouncement of Rauner’s new communications staffer Brittany Carl, who compared abortion to Nazi eugenics.

* Meanwhile, this was posted the other day but I didn’t see it until yesterday…


* Also…


* But this is from Dan Proft’s Chicago City Wire

Governor Bruce Rauner should be lauded for hiring “intelligent, diverse, and well-rounded” staff, says Illinois Right-to-Life Executive Director Emily Troscinski.

Troscinski’s comments come amidst demands by Rauner critics that he only hire staff who support abortion rights.

Rauner, who is pro-choice, has nonetheless employed both pro-choice and pro-life staff members since assuming the job of governor in Jan. 2015.

“Democrats and self-proclaimed ‘women’s rights’ groups seem more obsessed with having the government only hire employees that agree with their radical abortion litmus test, rather than hiring those best qualified for the job,” she told Chicago City Wire.

“Our state is on the verge of financial collapse and pro-abortion Democrats are standing knee deep in dredging up abortion quotes rather than fixing our state’s current financial crisis.”

Troscinski is referring to news stories published by media hostile to Rauner attacking a newly-hired communications staff member who criticized people using abortion to “rid the world of disabled and other ‘unwanted’ persons.”

The comment was made in an April blog post.

Reporters from the Chicago Sun-Times and Politico published stories suggesting Rauner should fire the staff member.

Trocinski called the stories “fabricated outrage.”

“This discriminatory smear campaign by pro-abortion democrats sends quite a clear message to Illinoisans: if you’re a successful pro-life woman, you’re not welcome in public service,” Troscinski said.

*** UPDATE ***  Pritzker campaign…

Today, JB Pritzker stood with HB 40 sponsors Representative Sara Feigenholtz and Senator Heather Steans, Alderman Pat Dowell, and Illinois women at a press conference at the Chicago Cultural Center to highlight the need for a governor who stands with them in the fight to protect women’s healthcare. JB also announced a postcard campaign, encouraging women from across the state to hold Rauner accountable for his promise to sign HB 40.

Despite campaigning on protecting women’s healthcare, Bruce Rauner has threatened to veto HB 40, critical legislation to protect and expand the right to choose in Illinois. In a further sign of his hard-right turn on reproductive healthcare, a new Rauner hire compared a woman’s right to choose to Nazi eugenics. Instead of condemning this statement, Rauner remained silent.

“I’m running for governor as a proud feminist,” said JB Pritzker. “For over twenty years, I’ve marched for women’s rights and for the right of women to access healthcare. From marching in Washington with NARAL 25 years ago, all the way to the march in Springfield alongside Alderman Dowell this April.

“In the last week, Bruce Rauner has made it clear that he has fully committed to heading down the same path of bigotry and hatred that Donald Trump paved for him. He brought a staffer into the governor’s office who compared the right to choose to Nazi eugenics. As a feminist, as a Jew, and just as a human being I am appalled.

“Today, I stood with Illinois leaders to talk about how we resist Bruce Rauner and Donald Trump and their attacks on women’s rights. We also signed postcards demanding that Rauner sign HB 40 into law. It won’t be long until he starts receiving thousands of them from women across the state. But we won’t stop there. This fight is too important. The stakes are too high. I look forward to standing with women across Illinois as we continue to resist and fight for what’s right.”

…Adding… Pritzker’s people are claiming a turnout of over 350…

- Posted by Rich Miller   58 Comments      


Kennedy campaign says story was “irresponsibly reported”

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* Sun-Times

Chris Kennedy touted health care coverage as a vital part of the “American dream” this week — yet newly filed campaign expenditures show the Democratic gubernatorial candidate hasn’t paid health insurance costs for his own campaign employees.

The Democrat’s campaign officials says they offered coverage, but no one took them up on it.

That puts Kennedy at odds with at least four other gubernatorial campaigns.

Democrats J.B. Pritzker, state Sen. Daniel Biss and Ald. Ameya Pawar, and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, all listed health insurance payments on campaign disclosure reports due on Monday.

But Kennedy’s health insurance payments are missing.

“It’s something you’d expect to see,” said Sarah Brune, executive director for the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

* From Kennedy’s campaign manager…

Let’s be clear: Kennedy for Illinois offers full health insurance coverage to all full-time staff members.

My team and I work for a candidate who believes healthcare is a civil right. There’s no discrepancy, no false promises.

Today’s Chicago Sun-Times story is a total nonstory that led with a couple iterations of a blatantly false headline posted online before editors settled on this misleading headline for print.

My pregnant wife delivered our first child prematurely. She has to have weekly shots to help her carry this pregnancy full term. We need health insurance and we have it, which is why I didn’t take the campaign up on its offer for healthcare coverage.

I wasn’t the only one who declined health insurance offered through the campaign. In fact, for the bulk of this campaign, all full-time staff members declined because they had other sources of coverage.

However, as support behind our campaign grows, so does our staff. We now have four staff members who recently requested healthcare coverage and will receive it effective this current quarter.

It’s disheartening that the topic of healthcare coverage, something so critically important to all of us, was irresponsibly reported.

Back to work,
Brendan O’Sullivan
Campaign Manager
Kennedy for Illinois

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


Way over the top rhetoric by Rauner and Preckwinkle

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

* WSIL TV sat down with Gov. Rauner yesterday

When asked about his relationship with Madigan and whether the two of them could sit down and talk, Rauner said he had spent “hours and hours and hours” meeting with the speaker.

“When I first met him eight years ago, I asked him what his goal was for improving the quality of life for the people of Illinois. You know what he said to me? He laughed and said ‘I don’t have a goal like that.’ He said ‘I do two things: manage power and make money for managing power,’” said Rauner.

I asked the House Speaker’s spokesman for comment. His e-mailed reply…

Sounds like another election night phone call to me.

You’ll recall that Rauner said on election night that he had spoken with Madigan about the future, but actually hadn’t.

* Meanwhile, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle talked about the governor yesterday

In a discussion about Rauner’s promise to veto a school funding bill that he has called a “Chicago bailout,” Preckwinkle called the governor “profoundly inept and mean-spirited.”

“I’ve lived in Chicago for 50 years. In that time Jim Thompson was governor, Jim Edgar, George Ryan. I disagreed with them sometimes, but I never thought they were unfit for their jobs or evil people. That’s where I am with this governor, and it’s profoundly disturbing,” Preckwinkle said in an interview with WLS-AM’s Bill Cameron, to be aired on Sunday’s “Connected to Chicago.”

Cameron asked Preckwinkle, who is also a ward committeeman with the Cook County Democratic Party, if she really meant “evil.”

“Yes, this is a person who cut funding for autism programs on National Autism Day,” Preckwinkle said.

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* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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