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READER COMMENTS CLOSED FOR THE WEEKEND

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Talk at you Monday!

Here’s your Illinoize fix:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Question of the day

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

It’s Friday, so it’s time to change gears.

Have you vacationed any place special in Illinois this summer? Describe your experience.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


The “City that works” a potential national laughingstock

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

My Sun-Times column this week is a bit of a departure for me. I blog about Chicago and Cook County politics, but I don’t often write about them, unless they have a state connection. This one has no such connection.

Most pundits have decided that they no longer want Mayor Daley’s political machine running things, but almost no thought has been given to what could happen if the “enemy” is ever vanquished.

It’s a little bit like the debate over enforcing democracy in the Middle East. Is the end result worth the chaos?

Unlike Iraq, there won’t be gun battles in Chicago’s streets if the Machine finally falls, but there will be plenty of political chaos.

And for those of you too lazy to click through and read the whole thing but still motivated enough to post comment, this is in no way a pro-machine column.

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


Governor criticized for slow response to devastating storms

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Did the governor drop the ball during the aftermath of the Metro East storms last week? The governor was on vacation last week, and it wasn’t until Saturday that his IEMA director arrived on the scene - three days after the first major storm hit. On Wednesday, the governor finally asked President Bush to declare five counties a federal disaster area.

The move by Blagojevich was made a week after Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt’s decision to activate the National Guard and five days after Bush’s emergency declaration on Friday covering St. Louis…

Meanwhile, the local emergency management guy is upset.

“Whenever Ameren tells you this is something like four times bigger than anything they’ve had, that ought to tell somebody something,” said Jack Quigley, director of Madison County’s Emergency Management Agency. “Why they weren’t moving faster on getting federal aid here, I don’t know.”

The local Democratic state Senator is fuming mad.

State Sen. William Haine and state Rep. Dan Beiser, both Alton Democrats, penned a curt letter Wednesday afternoon asking for the state to act on the federal aid request as soon as possible. Haine said he had been told that state officials were questioning whether to seek aid at all because the storm’s damage might not be severe enough.

“The state director said to me that there wouldn’t be an application,” Haine said. “I don’t know how they could possibly conclude that we don’t meet the requirements at this stage.”

And the governor has yet to visit the region.

A spokesman for the governor said Wednesday that he would visit the Metro East area soon but provided no details.

I got about ten e-mails a day from the governor’s office after Hurrican Katrina hit the Gulf coast describing everything the guv was doing for residents of other states. He ought to get on the stick.

How big were last week’s storms?

The National Weather Service believes seven tornadoes touched down in the St. Louis area last week as part of two storms that ravaged the region.

Scientists have analyzed the damage from the storms that hit July 19th and again two days later. They believe tornadoes touched down July 19th near Bunker Hill on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River, and Edwardsville on the Illinois side.

The Friday storms spawned at least five tornadoes, including two just south of Troy, Illinois.

The storm’s straight-line winds were almost tornado-like. The Weather Service believes winds reached up to 90 miles per hour.

And then there’s this.

Some of the tons and tons of debris from last week’s storms began going up in smoke Thursday.

The fire could last until Wednesday, said East St. Louis Fire Chief William Fennoy, who supervised the start of the burn.

He had no estimate on how much debris would be burned, but the city’s application filed with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency sought permission for burning 300,000 cubic yards of material.

The debris is mainly from East St. Louis, Cahokia, Centreville, Alorton and Washington Park. Another burn site is planned in Granite City.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


What the heck is going on here?

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Jenner & Block defends IDOT against a lawsuit filed by former IDOT workers who say they were illegally fired. Jenner & Block decides it wants off the case. Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the state’s top lawyer who officially represents the state in all legal matters and who appointed Jenner & Block to the case in the first place, asks the firm for its files. Firm says No. Lisa asks why. Firm says IDOT’s chief legal counsel ordered it not to hand over the files. No reason for IDOT’s order given.

Then things get bizarre.

Matt Vanover, a Transportation Department spokesman, defended the agency’s refusal to give Madigan the lawsuit files.

He said IDOT wants to continue using Jenner & Block, which has handled the case for nearly two years. Vanover said IDOT is the defendant and should be the one to decide what attorneys to use.

Despite Jenner & Block’s request to withdraw, Vanover said the firm has agreed to stay on the case. The attorney general’s office said it had never heard that claim until Thursday.

Huh?

- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      


Is the 10th District in play?

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Cook and Rothenberg differ on the 10th District race between incumbent Mark Kirk and Democrat Dan Seals.

The Cook Political Report, a Washington-based non-partisan on-line analysis of congressional races across the country, now lists the 10th District race as one of 54 Republican seats nationwide that could be competitive in November. The seat is still listed as “likely Republican,” the least competitive of three categories identified in the report. It was previously considered a safe seat. […]

“We’re watching it,” said Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the Rothenberg Report. “We met with Seals and thought he was a good candidate but right now we don’t see the seat being in danger,”

Amy Walter, senior editor of the Cook Political Report, said “the reality is Mark Kirk is very difficult to beat one on one” during a normal election year and he’s still favored to win the race at this point. […]

[However] “It’s not really about Mark Kirk or Dan Seals,” she said. “It’s about the political climate.”

Read the whole thing. This is a very good political story from a suburban weekly. That’s not a common thing.

Also, take a look at a recent bipartisan poll of the 50 most hotly contested congressional races in the country, 40 of them which are Republican. [pdf file] It’s not great news for the nation’s majority party.

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      


Morning shorts

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

· The I-Team investigates *999, a state-funded emergency call service that critics call confusing, dangerous and a waste of tax dollars.

· Editorial: State must protect patients from felons in nursing homes - Agency has not looked into a single case

· Chicago Federation of Labor President Dennis Gannon threatens “World War III” if Daley vetoes big box ordinance.

· Downtown march to demand better teachers

· Gas prices arise in gubernatorial race

· “Neither Gov. Rod Blagojevich nor his challenger, Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, responded directly to a candidate survey from an anti-gambling group. Instead, both sent letters about their positions on gambling to Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems. ‘They (the letters) are very vague and leave a lot of wiggle room,’ said ILCAAAP Executive Director Anita Bedell.” Read the governor’s letter here, Topinka’s letter here.

· “Nobody in an oversight position at the Illinois tollway or the governor’s office knew about plans to spend nearly a half-million dollars on the big blue signs that advertise Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s name to thousands of motorists a day on Chicago-area toll roads, the toll authority’s chairman says.”

· Ameren debt ratings downgraded - ‘Political and regulatory environment’ in Illinois played into decision

· Blagojevich grants clemency to dying woman

· Officials feud over agency merger

· “llinois Central College will join other community colleges in a lawsuit against Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan over her interpretation of a state ethics law.”

· Editorial: Failed festival blows the whistle on budget deals

· The governor’s pet ferret

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Illinois sending delegation to Seattle to look around, won't meet anyone
* Rauner signs new EDGE into law
* Chicago's Latino population expands, black population plummets
* The return of the circular firing squad
* Foxx won't run for AG, Drury may
* Question of the day
* Berrios reveals Burke daughter may run for AG
* Rauner also working with St. Louis on Amazon
* I just don't think a capital bill is yet on the horizon
* Another oppo dump, this time on Kennedy
* The mad dash for AG
* Oppo dump!
* Mendoza is "one tough lady"
* A look at the running mates and Kennedy's latest complaint
* Another potential crisis is on the judicial back burner
* *** UPDATED x1 *** More extreme DCFS dysfunction
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker has new online ad about Trump
* Cosgrove: HB40 won't be sent to Rauner until he agrees to sign it
* Two female pioneers announce retirement
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

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* Infrastructure talks could begin - IllinoisHome.....
* Rauner Signs EDGE Bill - Alton Daily News..
* Beiser Backs Vet's Legislation - Alton Daily News..


* Secretary of state warns of hurricane-related investor scams
* Navy Pier's Chicago Shakespeare Theater opens new 3rd stage
* Football players face felony charges in 2016 hazing incident
* EXCHANGE: Program pairs students, developmentally disabled
* Palestinian activist to be deported to Jordan from Chicago
* 32 Illinois counties get grant money for emergency centers
* Illinois Supreme Court to honor late Justice John Stamos
* Illinois State Univ. announces $150M fundraising campaign
* Dixon man fatally shoots 5-year-old son, self
* Close to $5 million awarded siblings shot by Chicago officer

* Rauner signs revamp of EDGE business tax-credit
* Rauner to lawmakers: Help me balance the budget
* Bernard Schoenburg: Running mates help balance governor tickets
* Statehouse Insider: AFSCME contract suit may not be heard until next year
* Chris Kennedy and running mate bring anti-violence campaign to central Illinois
* Rauner ending trade mission with visit to Chinese university
* Barbara Flynn Currie: The time was right to retire
* Lisa Madigan not seeking another term as attorney general
* Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie won't seek re-election in 2018

* Obama goes from White House to Wall Street in less than one year
* First American moves into Wisconsin market with Kenosha deal
* Longford Capital raises biggest litigation fund
* What's behind Rauner's retirement savings plan? It's a mystery.


* 12-year-old boy hit by pickup in Sycamore
* Man killed, 5 people wounded in Monday shootings on South, West sides
* Man shot while sitting in vehicle in Little Village
* Police seek witnesses to Aurora shooting
* Police: Man killed in Bridgeport shooting
* Man seriously wounded in South Deering shooting
* Man hurt in Englewood shooting
* Dear Abby: Mom’s too negative to be my mother figure
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for Sept. 19, 2017
* Man charged with fatally shooting man in head in Jeffrey Manor


* Man fatally struck by Amtrak train at Northbrook Metra station Sunday
* Hurricane Maria lashes Dominica as Category 5, now menaces other islands
* Man, 28, killed in Bridgeport apartment among 6 shot citywide
* Group releases plans for walkway under Brown Line
* Morning Spin: List to replace Attorney General Madigan grows
* Will South Side presidential center serve as the Obamas' final resting place?
* Sheriff searching for suspect accused of sexually assaulting woman
* Sister loses sleep over unethical relationship
* At U.N., Trump to lay out vision of U.S. role in the world, focusing on 'outcomes, not ideology'
* Brent Suter, Ryan Braun help Brewers beat Pirates to gain in playoff race


» Looking For Analog: Old Button-Mashing Arcades Come Back For A New Generation
» County In Illinois To Use Grant To Aid Endangered Bumblebee
» Canada Could Stop Dealing With Boeing Over Dispute
» Currency Exchanges Pushing Fee Increase
» 3 Big Takeaways On Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Decision To Not Run For Reelection
» Judge: Sessions Can't Deny Grant Money For Sanctuary Cities
» State Week: Blagojevich Speaks; (Lisa) Madigan & Currie Leaving
» Illinois Attorney General Won't Seek Re-election In 2018
» House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie Won't Run Again
» Garry McCarthy For Mayor? New Campaign Committee Is Exploring A Run


* Marc A. Thiessen: Hillary Clinton still doesn't get 'what happened' in the 2016 election
* Rauner signs revamp of EDGE business tax-credit
* Rauner to lawmakers: Help me balance the budget
* George F. Will: New Vietnam documentary series provides a timely booster shot
* Their View: Why every Illinois politician should read Blagojevich's words
* Bernard Schoenburg: Running mates help balance governor tickets
* Statehouse Insider: AFSCME contract suit may not be heard until next year
* Our View: Push for a fairer redistricting process needs to be focus of 2018 election
* Madeleine Doubek: More work needed until all is right in Illinois
* New calling in life: Women's health care


* Rick's Six: Fog advisory, road work, street alignment costs and health care
* Area Calendar 9/19/17
* National Weather Service issues dense fog advisory for Q-C region until 10 a.m.
* Legislative leaders eyeing tax increases for road plan?
* Bridging cultures: Student group worries about impact of immigration changes
* Group raises funds to restore cannon, build carriage
* Linemen aid in hurricane restoration
* Prices at pump could drop sharply
* Editorial: Railroad track dangers result of pushing fate
* Colleges seeing steady enrollments


* Secretary of state warns of hurricane-related investor scams
* Football players face felony charges in 2016 hazing incident
* 4 US monuments to be scaled back hold artifacts, key habitat
* For a new Key West resident, Irma was her welcome-to-town
* Cibulkova, Garcia move into Pan Pacific 2nd round

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* Hultgren calls on FEMA to help assess Nort...
* Naperville's Lauren Underwood to run for R...
* Congressmen Say They Will Seek Federal Ass...
* LaHood opposed Harvey relief with short-te...
* Teacher raised in Yorkville running agains...
* Congressman Randy Hultgren Visits Raue Cen...

* Top Senate Dem: We're going forward with u......
* Sen. Durbin urging lawmakers to support DR......

* Grant to support pregnant women, infants i......

* Chicago deposits $20 million into the city's last black-owned bank, and other news
* Nocturama is the most important new movie to play in Chicago this year
* A Bloody Decade Of The iPhone
* If George W. Bush Can Be On Ellen, Of Course Sean Spicer Will Be At The Emmys
* Who Is Stealing Wisconsin's Birch?
* Don't Ever Conflate Disaster Recovery With Education Reform
* How "White People" Were Invented By A Playwright In 1613
* Regarding Equifax | Make Credit Freezes Free In Illinois
* Amazon in Chicago – how can they seriously consider any other HQ site?
* The Voice Of Suka


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* Keybase Launches Teams, a Free End-to-End Encrypted Alternative to Slack
* First ‘in the wild’ Huawei Mate 10 pic confirms largely familiar design, front fingerprint reader
* Apple is making iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 7 and 7 Plus screen repairs pricier than ever
* Pokémon GO Creator's Next Game Will Integrate Audio Cues Into the AR Experience
* iOS 11 is heading out today to eligible iPhones and iPads, but Apple Pay Cash needs more time
* Before you update to iOS 11 here’s how to check which apps won’t work
* Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 will follow 2014 original with modest screen, decent SoC, 3GB RAM

* Sox Century: Sept. 18, 1917
* Prospect Hansen eyeing bigs after strong '17
* White Sox Minor League Update: Sept. 17, 2017
* Podcast: A new way to rate MLB stadiums
* In My Words: Konerko keeps on learning
* White Sox held to 1 hit by Boyd in Detroit
* Anderson proving capable asset to White Sox


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