[Updated and bumped up because of some interesting new content.]
Â· There may not be any blogging tomorrow because of the holiday. So while I’m waiting on the guv’s campaign to e-mail me its response to Rauschenberger’s piece, I figured I’d clean out my inbox.
Â· Senate President Jones has doubts that JBT can pass her casino idea.
A top Democrat from Chicago says it’d be difficult to get enough votes in the Illinois Legislature for a possible casino in the city.
State Treasurer and Republican gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka has proposed a plan to license a casino in Chicago to generate billions of dollars for Illinois.
State Senate President Emil Jones says some legislators from downstate won’t take kindly to that idea.
“It’s very difficult because you got several areas that want it, you know. So, it’d be very difficult. Very difficult,” he says.
Â· A southern Illinois school official was put on the hot spot this week and may have said more than he intended.
Despite invitations and despite being in the same town, Gov. Rod Blagojevich declined to visit Carterville High School Wednesday to see firsthand the conditions of the worse-for-wear facility desperately awaiting the passage of a capital bill. […]
The governor said he is well aware of the problems Carterville and many other construction-starved school districts are experiencing. However, he said the issue should be brought up instead with the Republicans, who would not extend the necessary votes to bond the capital bill projects during the spring legislative session.
I think the governor has been very plain as to where he stands,” [Carterville District 5 Superintendent Tim Bleyer] said. “We can’t get leadership to get Republicans and Democrats to work together to do what’s best for the state and what’s best for the kids.”
Â· AFSCME scored a big win this week when it forced an employer to give up the ghost.
Striking drug-abuse counselors at a LaSalle County prison agreed Tuesday to return to work after the private company that employs them decided to sever its ties with the state.
State officials will replace Gateway Foundation, which provides substance-abuse treatment programs at Sheridan Correctional Center, with a new company by the time Gateway’s contract expires Dec. 31.
About 40 of 53 counselors at Sheridan, which is devoted to treating drug-abusing offenders, walked off the job June 6 after failing to reach a contract agreement with Gateway. The non-profit Chicago operation continued to offer programs at Sheridan with management employees.
Â· And the governor’s campaign is making some bold statements about law-breaking by the Topinka campaign.
Topinka failed to meet the basic requirements of current campaign finance law on a report she filed last month which was loaded with violations in every section of the report. One month has passed and Topinkaâ€™s campaign has yet to amend her report to fix multiple violations of election law. Some of the violations include hiding payroll expenses for the month of June, and failing to find critical information on over 80 donors and improperly reporting of expenditures such as payments made directly to Judy Baar Topinka, in violation of rules for expenditure of that type.
Â· UPDATE: The Illinois Green Party will be on the ballot. From a Rich Whitney press release:
This morning, the State Board of Elections voted unanimously to certify the Green Party state slate to appear on the November ballot. The people of the State of Illinois will now have a third, and better, choice of candidates for all state constitutional offices. […]
Whatever one may think about me or my proposals, I think that we have at least established that I am a serious candidate for governor. We have demonstrated this by making the monumental effort to get on the ballot and beating back the petition challenge. We have also demonstrated this by providing voters with detailed proposals and position statements on all of the major issues facing the people of this state. The voters deserve to hear the points of view of all ballot-qualified candidates in the debates. […]
At least one sponsor of an upcoming debate, the Illinois Radio Network, has informed me that, as of now, I am not being invited to participate in a debate scheduled for October 2nd. However, they also informed me that their position could change if the other two candidates agree to include me in that debate. Unfortunately, we cannot seem to get a straight answer from the Blagojevich campaign regarding whether I should be included in
future debates. When asked by reporters, Mr. Blagojevich has repeatedly dodged the question. On the other hand, at least one Blagojevich spokesperson has stated that the decision is up to the debate sponsors. So if a sponsor tells us itâ€™s up to the other candidates and one other candidate tells us itâ€™s up to the sponsors, I hope you can appreciate that this creates quite a dilemma for us.