* Charles McBarron takes a look back at the summer of 1988, when Big Jim Thompson muscled a bill through both chambers to keep the White Sox in Chicago…
In the late afternoon on June 30, based on Senate President Phillip’s opposition, Lt. Gov. George Ryan pronounced the Sox stadium bill “dead.”
Phillip had a vice-like grip on his members, so there was no reason to doubt Ryan as the bill awaited a Senate vote. But, Gov. Thompson wasn’t giving up.
“I said, ‘Pate, this is personal. I want this stadium and you have to help me,’” Thompson said.
In a surprise, Phillip dropped his opposition, allowing his members to vote as they wished. The Senate Minority Leader smirked as Thompson prowled the Senate floor, looking for Republicans willing to support the bill.
Shockingly, Thompson convinced three Republicans to go along, giving the bill the minimum 30 votes needed. As soon as the votes were tallied, Thompson and his lobbying team literally sprinted into the House chamber to try to get the bill passed before the midnight deadline.
What happened next was as dramatic as anything that happened at Comiskey Park in the during the 80 years it hosted ballgames.
You can hear WMAQ’s tone that clearly signaled midnight before the vote was taken. But Charlie couldn’t hear anything on the other end because it was so loud in the chamber. Back in those days, the three-fifths vote requirement for bills with an immediate effective date didn’t kick in until July 1. It was most definitely July 1 when that bill passed.
Illinois Board of Higher Education Executive Director Al Bowman said that 29 percent of Illinois high school seniors left the state to go to college in 2002. Now, he said, that figure is just more than 46 percent.
“That’s something we need to do something about,” Bowman said on WGN AM-720. “Fortunately for Illinois, two-thirds of those kids who get degrees out of the state come back. But among Illinois residents who earn degrees in the state, 92 percent of them remain in the state after graduation,” he said.
Bowman said there are more than 80 schools outside the state that have full-time offices in the Chicago area to recruit Illinois students.
“We not only produce a lot of students, we produce very good students and they’re in demand. States around us like Indiana and Iowa don’t produce enough high school graduates to fill their enrollment targets. They need Illinois residents,” he said.
The full program, hosted by Rick Pearson, is here. Rick’s show is always a must-listen.
* IBHE Chairman Tom Cross told the Trib that the constant bad-mouthing of Illinois by its leaders and its residents isn’t helping, either…
“We all fall into that trap and when people repeat it time and time again and you read it in the paper and you hear it on the news, if you’re a student and you’re thinking about where you want to go to school and all you’ve heard about is how bad Illinois is on all of the issues, then I think that perpetuates the problem even more,” he said.
Chris Roegge said the legislative fixes are a good solution for the short-term, but they don’t address long-term needs. Roegge serves as the director of the University of Illinois’s Council on Teacher Education, and he’s seen a decline in the number of students enrolling in teacher preparation programs. A report from the non-profit Learning Policy Institute cites a 35 percent decrease nation-wide in teacher education enrollments between 2009 and 2014. Roegge attributes that in part to the narrative around the field.
“There’s been this swirl of negative press going back for more than five years around teaching, the conditions of teaching, the status of the job, the difficulty of the job – all of these things,” he said. “I think we’re starting to reap what’s been sown by that.”
Roegge points to the report from the Learning Policy Institute that identifies what attracts people to the field and what improves retention once they’re there. He said the four key ingredients are: compensation, preparation, induction and mentoring, and teaching conditions.
In many cases, improving these four areas requires more resources – whether that’s more money for teacher salaries and classroom materials or grants and scholarships for college students interested in the field.
Obviously, we need to entice more students into the pipeline.
They work as private tutors and soccer coaches, as waiters, grocery clerks and ride-share drivers.
Across the country, 18 percent of teachers earn income outside the classroom, according to a National Center for Education Statistics report released Wednesday. […]
According to a report by the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teacher union, the average teacher salary fell by 3 percent between 2006 and 2016 after inflation was taken into account. Teachers in the United States earn on average just 60 percent of what other professionals with similar education levels make, according to a 2017 education report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The United States had the lowest relative teacher salaries among the 28 member nations that participated in the report.
Spend a fortune on tuition and wind up driving an Uber just to make ends meet.
Downstate state Sen. Sam McCann is expected to file paperwork on Monday to run as the Conservative Party’s candidate for governor, creating an obstacle to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s re-election bid if McCann can stay on the ballot.
McCann, a Republican of Plainview in central Illinois, is a supporter of organized labor and often has been at odds with Rauner. He survived a primary re-election challenge backed by the governor two years ago. Now, McCann’s spokesman said he will file his petitions with the State Board of Elections to run for governor ahead of Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline.
His bid could capitalize on fissures within the state’s Republican Party that were on display in March, when Rauner defeated GOP primary challenger state Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton by only 3 percentage points. Ives’ bid was motivated by anger from social conservatives over Rauner’s signature on laws expanding abortion, immigrant and transgender rights.
McCann could combine backing from social conservatives as well as supporters of President Donald Trump, in addition to union members who the governor has angered through his so-far-unsuccessful efforts to weaken organized labor.
As we celebrate Pride Month, Kwame Raoul’s campaign for Attorney General has released a new video, “Republican Erika Harold: Wrong for Illinois,” highlighting her shocking views on the safety of children and same-sex couples who wish to care for them.
“As both a father and public servant, it’s unconscionable to me that the safety of a child would ever be up for debate,” said Kwame Raoul. “When I was a county prosecutor, I took children out of abusive homes and helped place them with loving families without prejudice. Discrimination has no place in our laws, and my focus as attorney general will be on protecting at-risk children and defending the equal rights we’ve fought so hard to secure.”
Republican Attorney General candidate Erika Harold … was being hit from both the right and the left for something she is quoted as saying at a beauty pageant.
Harold was asked… “If you had to place a child in foster care, and the choices were either A) a loving gay couple, or B) a heterosexual couple who were known child abusers, who would you choose?”
Harold reportedly stated she would choose to place a child in an abusive heterosexual home.
One of the pageant officials tells us, “Her answer stopped the room.”
* Back to the Raoul campaign…
Harold has repeatedly supported policies that discriminate against LGBTQ individuals. During her 2014 congressional campaign, Harold supported a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and protection for employers who fire employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Erika Harold’s disturbing opinion that even an abusive home is better than the nurturing family a same-sex couple can provide is an insult to all parents, but for me, as both a mom and a member of the LGBTQ community, she’s doubled down on the disgusting here,” said State Representative Kelly Cassidy. “The shortage of options for abused and neglected children is at a crisis point, exacerbated in other states by discrimination against gay foster and adoptive parents. We can’t afford to elect an attorney general whose commitment to at-risk kids’ safety is in question. I’m proud to stand with Kwame.”
“As an adult adoptee and someone who has fought for years to assure every child in care is placed in a loving home, I am gravely concerned about Erika Harold’s unconscionable position which threatens the progress we have made in building families through adoption,” said State Representative Sara Feigenholtz. “We need an attorney general dedicated beyond question to protecting children, and if Erika Harold continues to sit back while Trump tears families apart and refuses to stand up to harmful policies, she has no place in the AG’s office. I’m proud to support Kwame Raoul, who quarterbacked life-changing adoption legislation and whose profound ability to listen and lead is beyond reproach.”
“We fought for decades to make marriage equality the law in Illinois, and passed laws to protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. It’s important that our next attorney general enforces those laws and defends Illinois families against blatant discrimination, but if it were up to Erika Harold, these important protections could easily be rolled back,” Assistant House Majority Leader Greg Harris said. “I support Kwame Raoul, because he has always stood up for our rights.”
The video is currently running on digital platforms.
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan will be on the ballot in just one of Illinois’ 118 House districts this November, but his name and reputation will be featured in electoral battles throughout the state.
Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Republican Party will use Madigan against every Democrat from J.B. Pritzker on down to maybe even mosquito abatement district races.
Can Madigan’s lousy statewide image be used to defeat his fellow Democrats?
On the surface anyway, Madigan is less popular in Democratic Illinois than are unpopular Republicans Rauner and President Donald Trump. Sixty percent of Illinoisans polled in a recent Capitol Fax/We Ask America survey said they had an unfavorable view of Madigan, compared to 56 percent for President Donald Trump and 55 percent for Rauner.
They’re all doing pretty poorly, but Trump “wins” this category if you look at people with “very unfavorable” opinions. Forty-nine percent of 600 likely Illinois voters who were polled June 9-11 hold a very unfavorable view of the president, while 46 say they have a very unfavorable opinion of the Illinois speaker and 39 percent say that about the Republican governor. In contrast, 27 percent say that about J.B. Pritzker. The poll’s margin of error was +/-3.99 percent.
Overall, the poll found that Pritzker led Rauner by nine points, 36-27, with 26 percent choosing an unnamed third-party candidate and 11 percent undecided.
Just 31 percent of Democrats have a favorable view of Speaker Madigan, while 41 percent of Democrats have an unfavorable view, according to the poll. And lots of folks within what’s considered the “base” of the Democratic Party’s statewide strength don’t like Madigan, either. African-Americans are split 43-43. Women turn thumbs down 27-56 fave/unfave, as do Chicagoans (30-58), suburban Cook County residents (34-53) and labor union households (36-54).
Rauner has his own troubles with his party’s base. The only important GOP demographic he’s not underwater with outside of self-declared Republicans is senior citizens, and they just barely tolerate him. The Democrats are sure to use Rauner’s name and reputation against Republican candidates throughout the state.
So, my pollster came up with a question to try to see who was more popular (or unpopular, as the case may be) with voters in actual down-ballot races: “If the election for state legislator were being held today, are you more likely to vote for a candidate supported by Bruce Rauner, or a candidate supported by Michael Madigan?”
Forty-one percent said they’d be more likely to vote for a candidate backed by Rauner, while 32 percent said the same about Madigan. Another 27 percent said it wouldn’t make any difference either way.
While majorities or pluralities of Democratic base elements chose Madigan, significant minorities chose Rauner. For instance, 11 percent of Democrats chose a legislative candidate backed by Rauner, compared to 59 percent for Madigan (among Republicans, those numbers were 6 percent Madigan and 79 percent Rauner).
Among African-Americans, a significant 23 percent would choose a Rauner-backed candidate and 54 percent would choose a Madigan-backed legislative contender. Chicagoans were 19 percent for a Rauner candidate and 43 for a Madigan person; the Cook County suburbs went 32 for a Rauner candidate and 41 for a Madigan candidate, and union households broke 30 percent for the Rauner candidate to 43 percent for the Madigan candidate.
Another way of looking at it is that Rauner out-performs his personal favorable/unfavorable ratings across the board when we stack him up against the image of Speaker Madigan.
Just 36 percent of whites viewed Rauner favorably, but 44 percent would vote for a Rauner candidate over a Madigan candidate. Thirty-six percent of collar county voters like Rauner, but 49 percent would pick a Rauner candidate over the 29 percent who’d choose a Madigan candidate. Forty-four percent of Downstaters said they had a favorable impression of Rauner, and 51 percent would vote for a Rauner-backed candidate over a Madigan-backed candidate. I could go on, but you get the idea.
So, what does this tell us? Well, first of all, neither state politician is beloved (duh). Indeed, they’re so disliked that candidates should avoid any association with the both of them. But hotly contested campaigns are often won on the edges, and the anti-Madigan message might have an edge over the anti-Rauner message.
We didn’t do this test with President Trump, who will certainly be used by the Democrats against the Republicans in many areas. And there are other issues out there that will decide various races. Plus, as always, this is just one poll in June.