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*** UPDATED w/ Videos *** Brady, guns, superintendents, scholarships and a roundup

Wednesday, Mar 3, 2010 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We’ll have more on this later, including some video, but the Senate Appropriations II Committee held a hearing this morning on a ten percent across-the-board budget cut. The idea was to illustrate what would happen if the likely Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady is elected.

University presidents were up first

Stan Ikenberry, head of the U of I, said the cuts proposed would mean a $74 million cut in state support to that university’s campuses. For perspective, he said that is the amount of support combined for Illinois’ Springfield campus, law school, med school campuses, dental school and college of education.

Glenn Poshard said such a cut would immediately trigger a 15 percent layoff across the SIU campuses, something he said is “not practical, prudent nor possible.”

The underlying but publicly unmentioned goal of today’s discussion in a Senate budget committee — discussion that will carry over to tomorrow — is to focus political ire on state Sen. Bill Brady, a Bloomington Republican and the likely GOP nominee for governor. On the campaign trail, he’s denounced tax increases and called for across the board 10 percent cuts.

The Democrats who control the General Assembly are now giving members and the public a taste of what Brady’s budget would do. So far, the state’s two largest public universities are describing layoffs, program cuts and double-digit tuition increases, which will further drive up the costs of a degree.

They’ll continue the hearing tomorrow. Check back for some videos in a few.

*** UPDATE *** Senate Approp II Chairman John Sullivan was asked repeatedly today what his committee was supposed to accomplish with this hearing and whether it was a shot at Sen. Bill Brady. He denied everything. Sullivan did, however, say that Brady was free to testify if he wanted. Have a look

U of I interim Stan Ikenberry discussed his testimony to the committee

GOP Sen. Chris Lauzen responded

[ *** End of Update *** ]

* I showed this video to subscribers this morning, but it’s worth showing everyone. Watch Rep. Julie Hamos and Rep. John Bradley go after each other over a provision in Bradley’s concealed carry bill that would not allow guns in schools

* This is certainly egregrious, but it’s far from surprising

The state’s school superintendents are cutting costs in a gruesome budget cycle, but they can take some consolation: Their own paychecks are growing comfortably.

The average salary and benefits of Illinois’ top school executives grew 4.1 percent last year, about 10 times faster than raises enjoyed by other wage earners in the Chicago metro area, according to state data. A record number of superintendents — 150 — earned $200,000 or more.

The earnings report comes as school districts from Amboy to Zion have threatened to trim teaching positions, close swimming pools or cancel lacrosse and band programs — all in an effort to balance budgets.

The new salary information, provided by the Illinois State Board of Education, shows that the average compensation of full-time superintendents grew from $145,000 during the 2007-08 school year to $151,000 in 2008-09.

We see the same thing in the private sector all the time. Corporate boards award lavish salaries to CEOs and high-level execs. Look at the Tribune Co.’s recent request to a bankruptcy court to award $45 million in management bonuses. Meanwhile, the Trib lays off reporters.

The difference, of course, is that this is taxpayer money we’re talking about here.

If the locals won’t control themselves, should the state step in? Worth pondering.

Then again, the GA has its own issues…

* Legislators shouldn’t give scholarships

* Eliminate legislative scholarships

* Local officials: Modify, don’t toss, scholarships

* Roundup…

* Capitol Fax Video: Sen. Sandoval talks about working on red-light cam reform

* Capitol Fax Video: Sen. Duffy discusses red-light cameras

* No statewide repeal of red-light cameras: State Sen. Dan Duffy, a Lake Barrington Republican, admitted he’ll have to do “a lot of selling” to get others on board with his proposal to purge cameras from the state except in construction zones and railroad crossings, but he’s confident he’ll be able to work with colleagues to refine camera enforcement.

* Lawmakers rail on state’s juvenile prison system

* Proposed law: Helmets on kids

* Legislators again grappling with malpractice awards

* Election commission bill’s status in limbo

* Traffic quotas ban bill stalls in House

* State Capitol Q&A: Legislators again grappling with malpractice awards

* Interlocking puzzlement

* House committee approves break for hair braiders: The measure would require hair braiders to take 300 hours of training, including 70 classroom hours and 230 hours as an intern. But that would be a break from the current rules.

* Local governments push for pension changes

* Medical society planning rally to protest state payment delays


  1. - Coach - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 1:12 pm:

    That is the most logical argument I’ve ever heard John Bradley make. Well done, John.

  2. - UISer - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 1:15 pm:

    I love that the Senate Dems are putting Brady’s plan out there. He wasn’t willing to do it. The 10% cut across the board has always been a ridiculous idea.

  3. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 1:38 pm:

    Hamos’ position is revealed as disingenuous at best. It is challenging enough to address the real concerns regarding an issue, without having to deal with an opponent who patronizes supporters by claiming to agree with them in order to make them appear foolish. Hamos and her approach is dishonest and amateur.

    There are real concerns without playing silly debating games.

    As to Brady’s 10% across the board budget cut - what we have here is strikingly similar in debating tactic. Proposing and “seriously” debating a bill that the bill’s authors had no intention of presenting credibly, robs voters of an opportunity to hear a real debate. Instead, we get a political game that involved spending money we do not have in order to gather together university presidents and staffers in order to turn the bill hearing into a mockery for sheer political gain.

    What kind of precedents are we seeing here? Are we going to be spending the money we do not have everytime the Democrats wish to mock the Republican gubernatorial candidate by these politically staged games?

    Has anyone ever heard of asking questions in the public arena instead of taking it into the people’s buildings to waste our time and money?

    While Mr. Brady’s proposal was campaign piffle, what the Democrats are doing with it - isn’t. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

    We’re broke. Stop spending our money on your political games!

  4. - the217 - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 1:38 pm:

    It is absolutely embarrassing that the Senate Dems are wasting their time holding this hearing. We all know that Brady’s plan is ludicrous but he isn’t the governor. They should be focusing on balancing the budget. I know Governor Quinn has not presented his plan yet, but will the legislative leaders even consider it anyways? Right now they should be focused on solving the budget crises which means looking for ways to minimize expenses and increase revenues, while trying their best to not hurt those most vulnerable. Political grandstanding will not move us one inch closer to solving the problems that this state faces. We all know the Democrats are better at playing politics in this state than the Republicans and they will control both chambers on November 3rd, so while in session they should stick to the legislating and not politicking.

  5. - Will County Woman - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 1:40 pm:

    Bad move on the part of the senate dems. lemme get this straight cullerton has joined with madigan in refusing to allow a tax increase vote to be called setting a possible scenario that causes the state to have to borrow more money for the short term, unless quinn finds the courage and strength to circumvent the house and senate leadership and get members of his party (too) to support him on his tax increase. by the way no one is really helped by a stopgap expect the politcians, certainly not U of I or SIU. In fact they are hurt even more by it because it only further delays any chance of their getting paid. at the rate we’re going they might never get paid monies owed! if a tax increase should come down the pike at the 50 percent level quinn proposed it probably still won’t be enough given the budgeting foolishness that is going on this year alone.

    U of I and SIU et al were already facing tough choices as a result of budget constraints, so…so what that Brady’s across the board cuts make them have to deal with even tougher choices. brady has an entire state with which to be concerned about and it looks very selfish of U of I and SIU to only be thinking of themselves right now. the U of I has also got some nerve considering that it is mulling over the idea of a 20 percent tuition increase.

    as a taxpayer I am not too keen on the idea of schools being allowed to borrow. on the one hand i understand that they are hurting because so much money is owed to them, but at some point i suspect these schools will borrow just to enable spening figuring that the taxpayers will just pick up the tab. what type of oversight/transparency will there be to ensure that schools are borrowing for justified reasons?

  6. - fed up - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 1:44 pm:

    Maybe the states dems could man up and hold hearings on why they passed so many unfunded programs the last 6 years and what effect it has had on the state budget.

  7. - Ghost - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 1:44 pm:

    I beleive the superintendent salaries, like those of a judge, are statutorily set and increases are required.

  8. - Ghost - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 1:51 pm:

    I think the debate over brady’s 10% budget cut bill is needed for the pulic to understand what they are voting for if they vote for the canidate making that proposal. Those complaining about the tactic are really asking that voters not consider the impact or meaning of a canidates major election talking point. The general assembly has an olbigation to keep us infromed of the real world impact of such proposals. It is political, and their job.

  9. - Jim - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 1:51 pm:

    How about hearings being held on balancing the budget, the job that the GA and the governor should be doing.

  10. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 1:56 pm:

    That hearing was a bit of political theater that could bring out the “look, a kitty” line. The line, and these people, are getting old and boring. The electorate should see them for what they are - protecting their fiefdom from the marching hordes of ticked off voters. “It’s all okay, here, folks. Move along, there is nothing to see. We have everything in hand here - don’t worry your pretty little heads”.

    Gruesome, isn’t it?

  11. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:00 pm:

    “The difference, of course, is that this is taxpayer money we’re talking about here.”

    it is all our money…taxs…consumer spending kust comes out of pockets

  12. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:03 pm:

    Those complaining about the tactic are really asking that voters not consider the impact or meaning of a canidates major election talking point.

    That’s odd. I believe my real reasons were what I actually believed and wrote.

    How about you?

  13. - fed up - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:04 pm:

    Maybe the Dems could hold hearings on the U of I fiasco and why 7 of the 9 trustees resigned but 2 didnt. What was it that was so special about those 2 trustees that Quinn felt their resignations were not neccasary after repeatdly stating that he would move to remove them if they would not tresign. Pehaps Quinn could give some testimony under oath what changed his mins about removing these 2 trustees.

  14. - downstate hack - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:07 pm:

    A 10% budget cut is dismissed as unattainable. If that is the case the democrats better pass an income tax increase tomorrow.

    Glenn Poshard said such a cut would immediately trigger a 15 percent layoff across the SIU campuses, something he said is “not practical, prudent nor possible.” If Poshard said it it must be true or at least copied from someone.

  15. - Amalia - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:07 pm:

    Rep. Bradley’s retort was poor. cars can go on any road but the speed is restricted. it’s not the same analogy as keeping guns out of schools. also, it’s fun watching Todd and company admit to having to regulate themselves. that should make all their black helicopter/I want my machine gun pals disagree with them.. the second amendment says well regulated, and amen
    to that, even though my long guns are safe in their locked cabinet.

  16. - Will County Woman - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:13 pm:

    look ghost the public needs to understand that day of reckoning is at hand and that is the cold, hard reality we must all deal with now. personally i wish it weren’t entirely so. but it is what it is at this point. cuts are painful because they are just that—cuts.

  17. - Ghost - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:18 pm:

    == I believe my real reasons were what I actually believed and wrote…. How about you? +==

    === Proposing and “seriously” debating a bill that the bill’s authors had no intention of presenting credibly, robs voters of an opportunity to hear a real debate. ===

    I think that is a illogical conclusion not supported by any facts. A real canidate proposes real 10% cuts to the entire budget. So lets take a real look at what that really means. being afraid of that discussion is tryibng to keep voters from considering the real meaning of the campaign point.

    And again you talk about a politicaly elected political person in a political jobs using politics like there is a seperation between politics and the operation of governemnt. They are not seperate functions/activities. Politicians should be enagegd in political activities which emphasize operational fallacies with somone seeking to have authority over State operations.

    it would be silly to conclude otherwise.

  18. - Soxfan - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:21 pm:

    The whining has started from the college and university folks who are always the first up to the public trough - grow up and get real -pretend you are a private school

  19. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:23 pm:

    Brady put it out there. Surely he wants people to talk about it. He doesn’t lack in public proposals that spark interest and conversation.

    After all that’s gone on and the way things stand today, every instinct says this should be a GOP year at the top of the ballot. If Brady has an A-game, he better start bringing it, soon.

  20. - Dnstateanon - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:26 pm:

    I love that the Senate Dems are putting Brady’s plan out there. He wasn’t willing to do it. The 10% cut across the board has always been a ridiculous idea.

    Funny how the some in the MSM didn’t pick up on the fact that Ikenberry said that the state; Quinn and Madigan owes the University of Illinois $500 million dollars which is what a 70 percent cut in their 2009 budget. The democrats are talking about Brady’s 10 percent cut, isn’t Quinn proposing an almost 10 percent cut for his 2010 budget with his 8 percent cut? Brady probably won’t have to do his cut by the time Brady gets into office with all of Quinn’s cuts of 80 percent of the budget. The democrats should have asked Ikenberry how he felt about Quinn’s cuts to his budget they were attacking the wrong person for cutting

  21. - Dnstateanon - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:28 pm:

    That should be 2010 and 2011 budgets.

  22. - fed up - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:28 pm:

    Brady and Quinn are one termers whoever wins. The mess that is the states economy will have to be fixed and it will be painful through tax hikes and budget cuts no one is going to be happy with the results. Madigan for Gov 2014 is the real winner in this whole mess.

  23. - More Courage - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:30 pm:

    Were the university officials also asked how they do under Governor Quinn’s introduced budget? Oh, that’s right, we don’t know yet.

    Were they asked how they did under the Blagojevich/Quinn/Madigan/Jones/Cullerton budgets over the last 8 years?

  24. - ABCBoy - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:33 pm:

    I think Hamos looked pretty goofy in that exchange. Bradley made an excellent point. Even though his analogies aren’t perfect, the overall point remains: just because we put reasonable restrictions on things, it doesn’t mean it’s therefore so dangerous that we out to outright ban a practice. There is a sliding scale there, and her playind dumb to make a political point just made her look silly.

    “If the locals won’t control themselves, should the state step in? Worth pondering”

    Normally I’m for local control whenever possible. The government closest to the people governs best. But in the event of the salaries, I believe that the state does pay out the pension salaries whereas the locals pay the regular salaries themselves. From what I understand, a good part of one’s retirement pension is based off the average of one’s salary of the last X number of years of active service.

    Or do I have that wrong?

    So where the state can step in is when the localities play accounting games to beef up the salaries of these folks the last 3-4 years, simply to give sweetheart benefits (and extra burden) to the state pension system for decades. Localities pay the burden of those sweetheart deals for a few years and the state must keep pace at that level for decades.

  25. - TaxMeMore - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:33 pm:

    Let’s see the Democrats put Rich Whitney’s campaign budget plans up to the same political games using a committee hearing. How about a hearing on Rich Whitney’s North Dakota style state bank or his tax increase ideas or his drug policy reform budget cuts if they are going to use committee hearings to attack candidates for Governor? Lets have some real political theater if they are going to use committees for campaigning.

    The worst of this economic mess is yet to come. They don’t have time for these games.

  26. - OneMan - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:34 pm:


    - Ghost - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 1:44 pm:

    I beleive the superintendent salaries, like those of a judge, are statutorily set and increases are required.==

    And you would be wrong. They are contracts with individual school districts.

  27. - Votecounter - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:43 pm:

    As Ditka would say “Who are you crappen?” Anyone who denies that this is a Democratic ploy and it is strictly political and is illegal. You can’t make a political call from your offices yet you can use the taxpayers money to run a political stunt with no possable chance of any law coming from this? There is no Bill. They haven’t passed a budget or their constitutional responsibility of balancing a budget. The Governor has not proposed a budget yet and still the media puts up with this? If this was the GOP people like Rich would be screaming politics and calling for charges. This is why voters don’t bother to show up to vote. BTW this is what is called the combine pol’s and the media pushing their liberal agenda.

  28. - 2010 - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:45 pm:

    If the Sen Dems are serious about cutting the budget by 10%, by all means move forward with hearings, but to use this as a political game? In a time like this? Shame on them.

    Fix the problem!

  29. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 2:58 pm:

    So lets take a real look at what that really means.

    If you think that what we witnessed and paid for was a real look, or a serious one, then you are probably not alone - but are one of a few.

    When it is time to have a real look, politicians usually put away their Punch and Judy puppets first. What we saw was nothing but a publically funded puppet show designed to pummel Brady. Hope you enjoyed the show, because we paid for it. Once again, we saw a public waste of money. We saw legislators who have been hiding behind political games, come out to pull puppet strings instead of ending the political games.

    And don’t forget, I’m a Democrat saying this. I am ashamed.

  30. - Irish - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 3:14 pm:

    Superintendents salaries - are negotiated in contract discussions with the School Board. However a common practice is that the superintendent gets an increase equal to that of the teachers in his district. ie Superintendent’s salary, usually negotiated at hiring, is raised by 4% if the teachers in his district get a 4% raise, also negotiated.

    Debating Brady’s budget by the Senate Approp committee is a time consuming showboat ploy to get the discussion off of the real issues at hand and to get the attention away from the fact that the Gov. hasn’t come up with his plan yet. Okay so some information is getting out to the public, I’m sure that was totally unintentional. The State is crumbling and the GA is not solving the real problems, they are pulling stunts like this and working on passing bills like outlawing cigarette lighters that look like something other than cigarette lighters, or making sure that a veterinerian has to oversee anyone other than a vet who wants to care for your pets or animals. I guess I didn’t realize Veterinerians were such a large lobby group.

  31. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 3:31 pm:

    It’s legal for an off-duty or retired cop to go to a bar with a firearm and get intoxicated? Seriously?

  32. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 3:34 pm:

    Superintendent salaries are really set when a school board searches for a new supt. Because developing and executing a search is time intensive, many school board will hire a consultant to coordinate the search. the consultant tells the Board that to get good applicants (the pool is said to be small), they will need to offer a high salary. The consultant will push the Board hard for a high salary. Once that high number is put on the advertisement, the die has been cast. If regular pay increases aren’t provided, a good superintendent will move to a new district (and make more money) and the next one hired will expect to make as much as the one that left.

    Of course, none of this is set in law, it is the free market (with help from hired consultants) that sets the high salaries.

  33. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 3:45 pm:

    VMan, what exactly are you ashamed of? The Senate discussed a budget proposal. Was someone harmed here?

    What’s your idea, that it’s off limits to discuss a public proposal?

  34. - Greg B. - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 3:47 pm:


    Executives who give themselves bonuses while their businesses get fired or go out of business if the results aren’t there for shareholders. If they take federal money, the President’s pay czar can take a whack at them and Sen. Webb was just on CNBC touting a bill that would tax this year’s bonuses for execs in companies that have taken $5 million.

    I say all this to quibble with your moral equivalency assertion. Business is accountable to the marketplace. Government isn’t accountable to anyone anymore, it seems.

  35. - Brennan - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 3:49 pm:

    Better rush to book that income before the tax rate increase.

  36. - Mongo - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 3:54 pm:

    So much to choose from.

    First, Hamos…or really, Bradley. He couldn’t answer her dang questions and turned to Todd for the answer and he gave NRA talking points. Answer the question…is the proponent of the bill acknowledging that carrying a concealed weapon in a bar is bad? Todd talks about Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky for cryin’ out loud! Hamos knows the bill is getting out of Committee. Hamos also knows the GA won’t pass this. We are a lot of things but we ain’t Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky!

    Next…VM and Senator Brady. Brady (as someone else said) is a real live candidate. And real live voters ponied up for him, and I bet some did because of the goofy 10% across-the-board cut line. All the D’s are doing is forcing his words into the light of day…here, from those who would be affected, are the results of the candidate’s 10% cut proposal.

    In this razor-thin race against Senator Dillard, gee, I bet 300 people might have voted for Brady just because of the 10% cut idea.

    Brady is the one who is disingenuous. He knows that plan won’t work. He said it for one reason only: to get votes.

  37. - PalosParkBob - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 4:10 pm:

    It’s just like Ikenberry, the consummate politician, to cut instruction instead of the low value fat in the budget.

    Here’s the breakdown of where the $4,662,528,000 budget goes(Ref University of Illinois Budget Summary for Operations FY )

    Instruction 20.3%
    Research 18.2%
    Public Service 9.7%
    Academic “Support” 9.3%
    Student Services 2.9%
    Institutional support 7.0%
    (wonder what this entails!)
    Plant Operations 6.6%
    Hospital Operations 11.8%
    Auxiliary and Independent
    Operations 10.2%
    Scholarships/Fellowships 4.0%

    It seems that there’s a LOT of places to cut other than instructional staff, which is only 1/5 the budget.

    Cutting research that’s not funded by outside grants is a start. May be we can live without knowing about the “amorous adventures of fruit flies” for a few years, or another treatise on Emily Dickenson.

    When you spend about half what you spend on instruction for “public service” there’s got to be some non-essential cuts available there. Extension services provide some value, but the University shouldn’t overburden students with funding it.

    It should only provide what the state decides to fund, Perhaps it shold be separate from the university.

    Perhaps, if the Hospitals the universities run lose money, they should be separated and funded separately by the state so that tuition doesn’t have to subsidize inefficient medical bureaucracies and mid six figure “Hospital Board member” salaries based on political clout.

    “Auxiliary and Independent Operations” spending about half of what’s spent on instruction? That’s certainly worth a critical look.

    It would be truly interesting to see exactly what cuts and efficiency could be made if a dedicated and qualifed team went about the task without any consideration to patronage, union clout, or local featherbedding.

    In this state of confusion and corruption, I doubt we’ll ever find out!

  38. - M - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 4:10 pm:

    Rep. John Bradley needs to just get it over with and join the Republican party.

    And Rep. Hamos has it right on the money. Either concealed carry is a good thing or it’s not. The exemptions in the bill prove that carrying weapons in public is dangerous even when done by “law abiding citizens”.

  39. - Greg B. - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 4:15 pm:

    Across the board cuts have long been a politically acceptable but not necessarily policy wise choice during a downturn. I though this budget situation was a “crisis” that called drastic action such as tax increases. Is it a crisis/emergency or not?

    My question is are the Pheasants Forever guys going to testify. What the wine growers are Sen. D’s calling them to testify? How about all the companies receiving corporate welfare. Are they showing up to testify?

    Seems to me in a serious situation you’d start with what might be well meaning and deserved programs — no matter their size — and cut them first.

    Cutting my cable bill isn’t going to cover my mortgage should I lose my job. But when it’s time to save money for the necessities maybe I don’t need 500 channels of nothin’ to watch.

  40. - Will County Woman - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 4:15 pm:

    conceal and carry is a good thing.

  41. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 4:16 pm:

    You mean like when someone drops a purse?

  42. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 4:17 pm:

    Sorry, my last comment was addressed to M.

  43. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 4:23 pm:

    It’s generally the people who argue in favor of conceal carry who I really don’t want anywhere near guns. They seem to (in general) be the type who really, really wants to pull their gun out and pop “the bad guy.” Only I don’t trust their aim.

  44. - IIlogical Bradley - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 4:41 pm:

    The PURPOSE of rollercoasters is to entertain. The PURPOSE of cars is personal transportation. The PURPOSE of medicine is to make people feel better. The PURPOSE of guns is…

  45. - SIUPROF - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 4:44 pm:

    Sox fan:”The whining has started from the college and university folks who are always the first up to the public trough - grow up and get real -pretend you are a private school”

    If we acted like private schools, tuition would be triple what it is and we would not need state appropriations.

  46. - Greg B. - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 4:57 pm:

    The purpose of a gun is to fire a projectile. It’s a tool. You can use it to harvest, protect, coerce, salute, and any number of other useful purposes.

    And people all over Illinois own guns and often carry them — regardless of statute. Some for protection some for nefarious purposes… Guns are ubiquitous. They are a right.

    There are more vehicle fatalities in the US then gun deaths, by the way.

  47. - IIlogical Bradley - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 5:04 pm:

    How is a gun used to harvest? Harvest bodies maybe?

  48. - Brennan - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 5:08 pm:

    All the scare tactics the gun control lobby uses don’t add up after the conceal and carry bills are signed into law. Just ask Ohio. But if the Joyce Foundation is throwing away money wouldn’t you take it too?

    Knives are worse, but what are the limits on them? You can’t bring them on planes and into courtrooms.

    There’s still plenty of money to grant in gun control so I doubt they ever yield. It pays the bills.

  49. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 5:09 pm:

    Even with where I stand on guns, Greg, and clearly see how your definition could be useful, I have to disagree with you. Guns have a specific purpose.

  50. - southern illinoisan - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 5:13 pm:

    Rep. Bradley is right on in this argument and by the way — he would be welcome in the Republican party. Hamos is a left wing liberal who is against guns in general. Bradley has put forth exemptions to be more inclusive. I have to agree with Hamos irrational argument though. If we are going to have a concealed carry law let’s go all the way. Look folks guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Her example of walking by a bar and a drunk with a gun coming out and shooting her is lame at best. How about this — she is driving by a bar and a drunk in a car runs over her. Same analogy. The fact is that 2 states in the Union — Wisconsin and Illinois(Chicago) do not allow some form of concealed carry. So the entire country is wrong on this issue and these 2 states are the beacon of truth? Give me a break.

    Hamos is also the rep that feels that inmates at Tamms CC have been abused and denied basic rights. Of course most of the offenders in there are locked up for heinous crimes such as rape and murder. I wonder if they were considering their victims rights when they were killing them?

    The Senate hearing on Brady’s campaign issues is totally inappropriate. Save it for the camapign debate. The GA should be about the people’s business right now and not playing partisan games to help their parties nominee. And you wonder why the Republican’s tell Madigan that he can pass an income tax bill w/o them? Democrats control everything in this state. Don’t layout this lame bi-partisan let’s cooperate now to get out the mess that the Dems got us in to. You broke it, now fix it………..

  51. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 5:17 pm:

    Will people who carry firearms on their person be required to have insurance to cover their liability if they behave irresponsibly or allow their firearm to pass to someone who misbehaves?

    I wonder what conceal-carry insurance would cost.

    If it were affordable, that suggests that allowing conceal-carry would not be a big risk.

    If the insurance were rather expensive, that suggests that allowing conceal-carry would be more than a trivial risk.

  52. - JonShibleyFan - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 5:32 pm:

    I am not necessarily opposed to some limited for of CC, but Bradley’s argument is thin at best. It’s a political distinction. Proponents are willing to make exceptions because it is more acceptable politically and makes them less apt to be labeled extremists.

    And -M- I would disagree about Bradley leaving the party. There is plenty of room for ideological differences on the D side of the aisle.

  53. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 5:48 pm:

    I forgot to mention I am against the handgun ban. I just don’t want people carrying them around. You want one for protection in your own home, fine.

    But I’d tax the $%&#% out of bullets.

  54. - Manny H. - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 6:02 pm:

    southern illinoisian:
    Tamms…hmmm….that has to do with what? The fact that you hate Hamos and think she is a liberal? Why don’t you bring up her years of advocacy for rape victims then?

    Since you did bring it up, yes there is and was a serious problem at Tamms with prisoners were being held in isolation that is mentally and physically damaging. And the IDOC was not telling legislators or the public the truth about why they were there (with no due process, and, even though they had not committed crimes in regular prisons). There were Republicans, not just Democrats, who recognized this problem. It was a surprising act of good government for the crisis at Tamms to be recognized.

    As for the gun argument, why do people think Hamos is being disingenuous? She is openly against conceal carry. She is pointing out that even the proponents have to concede that they recognize that carrying a gun is dangerous. Then she points out that it is just as dangerous right outside those exclusion points. If you think people should be able to carry guns anyway, in spite of the dangers recognized by the sponsors, fine. But that was her point. Bradley never answered it.

  55. - Greg B. - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 6:14 pm:

    Yes, a gun has a specific purpose. To fire a projectile. Look it up if you don’t believe me. I said that. it’s a weapon… but anything can be a weapon. And fyi, the reason the Army went to the .223 (NATO 5.56 mm) is because the purpose of the round was to incapacitate…not kill. The idea being to use the least amount of force necessary to bend the enemy to your will.

    As far as regulations regarding carrying a gun in a bar or a church or something like that isn’t an admission of anything on anyone’s part. Guns and alcohol don’t mix well that’s a reasonable restriction. Guns can kill. You shouldn’t drive a truck or handle a chain saw if your are drinking, either.

    As far as churches go. It’s their property they should have a right to regulate it. Of course public accommodation laws and supreme court rulings, those kinds of property rights have been weakened so appealing to legislature also seems reasonable. Of course you rarely here defenses of property rights by commenters, or Rep. Hamos, so I guess they get recognized when people prefer something else even less.

  56. - City Girl - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 6:29 pm:

    Greg B.–Why the exclusion from schools?
    And, if drinking and guns don’t mix, then shouldn’t there be a restriction zone around places designed for drinking, or in the vehicles you use to drive home from bars?

  57. - Bill - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 6:40 pm:

    I was hoping Bradley was going to break into his Bill Clinton imitation.

  58. - Greg B. - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 6:59 pm:

    I don’t know why they excluded what they excluded.

    Had someone in the room had a gun to defend themselves at VA Tech or NIU or Columbine, they wouldn’t have had them. At my high school, police served as security…They had their guns. You wouldn’t have had a columbine in a Springfield high school in the 1980’s.

    Your second question makes no sense. A bar is a public accommodation. A car isn’t. Nor is a private home. I don’t believe a bar and a home are different, both should be private property but they aren’t under the law. Besides, there are enforcement issues, here. When you say “should we ban something somewhere” you have to ask the question “can you enforce it?”

    48 states have concealed carry. It hasn’t been the end of the world and hasn’t changed crime rates. Chicago has a legal ban an it is a leader in gun deaths. You may wish the streets of places that have concealed carry were turned into blood baths to continue to push limiting people’s freedoms but it didn’t happen. You can’t get around that. Concealed carry just isn’t a big deal. Sorry. It’s just not.

  59. - southern illinoisan - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 7:12 pm:


    I do not hate Rep Hamos or liberals for that matter. I do disagree with her on ideolgical issues and many of her positions. I brought up the Tamms issue to point out that she is VERY liberal. Are there problems at Tamms? You bet! There are problems in the entire IDOC. And do you want to know why? Because of of extremely poor management that started with the Blagojevich admin and has carried over with PQ. The common denominator there is that they are both Democrats.

    Regarding Bradley not addressing her claim, wrong. He did say that she is generalizing what is dangerous and he used cars,medicine and roller coasters as an example. Watch the video again…

  60. - Old Milwaukee - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 7:21 pm:

    The whole state has become a bunch of whiners, lead by whiner-in-chief Glenn Poshard. Can’t live with cuts? Get a different job. There’s no money. Deal with it, whiners.

  61. - Manny H. - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 7:32 pm:

    s. illinoisan:
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but Tamms was designed and launched by a Republican administration, and carried out horribly by the next Republican administration. Overall, IDOC policies could not have been worse under Republicans, and we agree, were mostly just terrible under Blago.

    Bradley’s discussion of cars and roller coasters is a red herring. Her point is that if guns are, by the sponsor’s acknowledgment, too risky/unsafe to be in schools, bars, etc. then they are equally risky right outside the schools, right outside the bar, etc. He wouldn’t admit that, or answer the point. he can’t. He doesn’t want to admit it. So instead he says, “What, we can’t do anything that involves risk? That’s not fair.”

  62. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 8:17 pm:

    Yes, a gun has a specific purpose. To fire a projectile. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

    We can go back and forth on this all day, but I just want to clarify what I was trying to say re: your definition in case you misunderstood. (It might be obvious that in this case, the definition in the dictionary means little to me.)

    A gun is a weapon; not a “tool”.

    I would imagine that if one had to point a gun at someone, they would like that to be understood–and it would probably be wise for the other person to have the same understanding.

    To confuse the situation by claiming it’s, e.g., a “harvesting tool” sounds like something out of a Monty Python skit–and I just don’t understand where you’re going with that.

  63. - Rick - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 9:14 pm:

    Senator John Sullivan is an honest man

  64. - southern illinoisan - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 9:36 pm:

    Tamms was recommended by a bi-partisan commission to improve security in the IDOC. It is true that it was built and opened during the Edgar administration. The initial guidelines for inmates transferred to the CMax was that they they were to be reviewed at least every 2 years to determine if alternate placement was warranted. This policy continued under the Ryan administration.

    I know a little bit about the IDOC because I have been employed by the agency for over 17 years. I have witnessed the changes that occurred when Tamms was opened and stricter security procedures implemented in all maximum security institutions. And many won’t like to hear this but Director Snyder made all prisons even safer by increasing security. He had faults and was obviously corrupt, but he knew how to run a prison.

    Let’s fast forward to the Blago / Quinn years. Now we have been saddled with total incompetence on almost every administrative level. Party hacks were hired in to key policy making decsions with little to no experience. Couple that with short staffing and the department is in the worst shape it has ever been.

    This brings me to the this point - Tamms CC was designed to house the worst of the worst and make all IL prisons more secure. This goal was achieved and up until 2004 was effectively managed. Rep Hamos was correct to question the administration about current procedures because they had gotten away from the rules and regulations that were in place to insure compliance standards were being met.

    Don’t think that Tamms hasn’t been successful and still can be. But this requires effective and competent leadership and this has been severly lacking for several years.

    As for gun control, I will say it again — guns don’t kill people, people kill people…..

  65. - No Comment - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 10:08 pm:

    CCW is mainly proposed by those in more rural areas, and the argument is that they should be afforded this right for personal protection. Umm… how often is someone actually accosted in a rural area? If it were a common thing, they’d have a much stronger argument. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but by the way they tell the story, you’d think everybody faces grave danger every time they walk out their front door. This simply isn’t the case.

    Now on the anti side, these folks fear a wild west scenario. Not one of the 48 states that have CCW have ever experienced anything that can remotely be portrayed as such. I think it’s pretty obvious why guns in densely populated areas are not exactly a good idea though. A stray shot (yes, those happen) in a public area anywhere north of I-80 has an exponentially higher possibility of injuring or killing an innocent bystander than in a small town downstate. And no matter how intensive the prerequisite training, nervous people with deadly weapons in crowded areas is a scary proposition.

    In other words, everybody says “what if” but nobody says “what IS”. I could care less if law abiding citizens in the communities that want CCW are granted the right to carry. They pose less danger than the average bar hopper behind the wheel on any given night.

    Alas, CCW will never become a reality statewide, so if it’s so important to to some communities, why not push a bill that will leave it to municipal/county governments to decide? Perhaps even require a referendum with a 2/3 or 3/5 voter approval threshold.

  66. - Downstate Commissioner - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 10:43 pm:

    No Comment, there is some merit to your plan, but you are overlooking one point- the county I live in is rural, CCW would probably pass a referendum easily; unfortunately, the mid-size cities (Decatur, Champaign, Springfield) that I have to shop/travel in are in different counties. If they fail to pass CCW, my local CCW permit won’t help me where I feel that I would need it the most: in the urban areas where crime is more likely. I do agred that CCW statewid is unlkely.
    As for some of the Bradley-Hamos comments by others, the only reason for banning CCW in schools is political reality, which readers of CapFax should be familiar with. Bradley knows this, and deferred to the NRA for its experience in other states in presenting this bill.
    I support CCW, and I personally would prefer that my children and grandchildren be protectd by a few legally carried guns in their schools, rather than be at the mercy of a deranged parent or student attclomg with any form of deadly weapon

  67. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Mar 3, 10 @ 10:56 pm:

    ==Had someone in the room had a gun to defend themselves at VA Tech or NIU or Columbine…==

    There would potentially have been a lot more dead people. Picture a lecture hall with the students taking notes. They hear shots and look up, a couple of students draw their weapons as they rise. When they look around the room, they see several other people with drawn weapons, who do they shoot? They might just as readily shoot each other as the real assailant, and the other students are in the cross fire. When the Police arrive, who do they shoot?

    Concealed carry sounds like a great idea for personal protection, and, in a one-on-one situation, it just might work out for the best. However, in the mass killings cited above, the amateurs pulling out their guns are very likely to get shot or shoot the wrong person. (They are also likely to end up in jail as the witnesses misID them as shooters.)

    I support the rights of gun ownership, but I keep my guns at home.

  68. - Greg B. - Thursday, Mar 4, 10 @ 8:55 am:

    pot calling kettle, well yes, potentially. Potentially, all of kinds of scenarios could have resulted. To get a cc license in VA you have to be trained and you have demonstrate some skill. CC and defending yourself w/a gun is just some kind of wild-eyed cowboy.

    There is also a deterrent effect. If nut jobs know that others are around w/guns they’ll be much more likely to not to go on a spree. Ever notice how all these incidences occur in “gun free” zones? More often than not the mere presence of another with a fire arm deters would be aggressors. Most example of successfully defending yourself don’t involve firing your weapon.

    You choose to keep your weapon at home. That’s great. But that doesn’t give you the right to deny the night - auditor looking for fraud the right to protect himself. Or a professor at a University or a veteran who knows how to safely use firearm.

    But CC licenses come w/training and knowledge of the law. They aren’t amateurs. And oh… by the way, I wouldn’t go somewhere where I would need to carry a side arm. Like you, I leave them at home but I don’t presume that what’s right for me is right for everyone.

  69. - Greg B. - Thursday, Mar 4, 10 @ 9:05 am:

    and oh…to harvest refers to hunting. DNR refers to the deer harvest etc.

    A tool is an implement used to practice a vocation — a calling. A weapon used in defense is a tool. A weapon used in hunting is a tool. A weapon used to salute the fallen is a tool.

  70. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 4, 10 @ 12:59 pm:

    I would be very surprised if a “nut job” such as the shooter in VATech, NIU, or Columbine would care if there were people around with CC. They appeared to have no intention of getting out alive.

    In addition, a little training does not a professional make. A law enforcement officer receives extensive training (including regular refreshers) on how to identify a dangerous person and best to neutralize them. In a scenario such as those I have listed, an amateur would be way beyond their expertise. Indeed, they would be very likely to be perceived as a “bad guy” in such a situation. If they weren’t shot (by officers or other CCers), they might well be arrested, charged, and even convicted.

    Play out a likely scenario of a CCer in a college classroom pulling their weapon in a shooter scenario. The first responders will see a person with a weapon surrounded by bodies. Most of the witnesses will remember the CCer as one of the shooters. I don’t see how that would end well.

  71. - Greg B. - Thursday, Mar 4, 10 @ 5:17 pm:

    PcK, you don’t have any training do you? In most defensive situations you’ll ever face, the the firing of a weapon will be the last resort and most likely unnecessary. The mere presence of guns takes care of a lot of it. See DC post Heller.

    Va Tech — VA is a cc state, Va Tech bans guns. That nut job when where there were no guns. They tend to do things like that. They often don’t have a death wish until the very end when they’ve realized what they have wrought. That’s the theory — it’s obviously tough to prove w/out a seance.

    And police don’t shoot people unless people shoot at police. And if police were there, first responders — whatever — you really wouldn’t need to do anything, now would you?

    Finally, I’ve fired my pistol more than most average law enforcement officers this year. Only your SWAT guys put thousands of rounds through their weapons. When I’m active I put 250 rds through my pistol per week.

    And training is a relative term. You don’t have to be Rambo to be effective, safe and legal. And you don’t need a huge amt of the population carrying to have the desired impact.

  72. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 4, 10 @ 6:10 pm:

    VA Tech - the nut job was a student there, he was on a suicide mission, he did not care whether or not the folks had guns. This is true of most, if not all of these mass killers. They leave suicide notes, they don’t care from the moment they begin. The cops call it suicide by police.

    I respect your many rounds fired and hours of training. I suspect it is not the situational training the police receive. Even if that is what you receive, that is not what is required for CC.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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