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The renegade master

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

Long before Bears kick-return specialist Devin “Anytime” Hester tied an NFL record with a 108-yard return (of a botched field goal, no less) against the Giants, he was a magic man with the Miami Hurricanes.

Bears fans, you must check out this truly awesome video from Hester’s college days. Colts fans, this is one reason why your team’s gonna lose. Whiny, always-wrong hater columnists, bite me.


This is another Chicago Bears open thread.

- Posted by Rich Miller   54 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Jones vs. Madigan vs. Houlihan; HGOPs; Hastert; Franks; Legislative staff; Leadership; Lottery (Use all caps in password and use YESTERDAY’S password)

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Enter your password to view comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

A couple of months ago, I went out with one of my best friends from grade school. We lived near each other on farms in rural Iroquois County, which is directly south of Kankakee.

Anyway, we spent quite a bit of time jostling back and forth over whether Chicago should be kicked out of Illinois. He said, only half-jokingly, that we ought to string a barbed wire fence around the city.

The evening came to mind after reading some comments this morning under a State Journal-Register story about Barack Obama’s Springfield presidential announcement and how the Prairie Capital Convention Center would be the backup site (the Old State Capitol will be the primary site). The first comment set off quite a fight.

Obama has no connection to spfld..stay in chicago with the majority of liberals, lincoln would turn over in his grave, he better be charged full price for the rent of the pccc!@!!!

Other comments included this one:

I dont know why he is paying attention to springfield when he hasnt before.

And…

He is just using you, he is a liberal senator from chicago who will use the small midwest town backdrop as a hook, he is from chicago and that is where his roots are. He served his chicago district for 8 years, bomke was my senator in sangamon county.

Today’s question: Why do you think so many downstaters seem to hate Chicago and don’t consider it part of Illinois? Does racism explain some of it? Backwardsness? Or is it just the natural outgrowth of intense regional conflict over limited resources? Something else?

- Posted by Rich Miller   122 Comments      


Identity theft tops consumer fraud list for first time

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

[This was originally the Question of the Day, but I changed it.]

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has released her annual list of top 10 consumer complaints. From a press release issued late yesterday afternoon:

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that for the first time in the history of the Illinois Attorney General’s Top 10 Consumer Complaint List, identity theft complaints topped the list, exceeding the other categories by far. Madigan attributes the dramatic increase in consumer complaints concerning ID theft to her office’s new Identity Theft Hotline, announced in February 2006.

Madigan also announced that her office’s Consumer Protection Division received a record number of consumer complaints in the last year. In 2006, the Consumer Protection Division received 32,724 consumer complaints, a more than 18 percent increase over the 26,652 consumer complaints received in 2005. This increase follows a nearly 11 percent increase in consumer complaints in 2005.

And here’s the list:

CATEGORY - # OF COMPLAINTS

1. Identity Theft - 5,237

2. Credit - 3,444

3. Construction/Home Improvement - 3,204

4. Telecommunications - 2,782

5. Promotions and Schemes - 2,261

6. Financial Services - 1,695

7. Motor Vehicles/Used Auto Sales - 1,486

8. Mail Order - 1,475

9. Business to Business Fraud - 815

10. Motor Vehicle/Non-Warranty Repair - 790

Question: Have you ever been tempted to call the AG’s consumer complaints tip line? What’s your story? Without names, of course.

- Posted by Rich Miller   4 Comments      


Madigan introduces February primary bill

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

Speaker Madigan has introduced his legislation to move the spring primary up six weeks, from March to the first Tuesday in February. Madigan said earlier this month that he wanted the state to play a larger role in the presidential election and felt the move would benefit Barack Obama’s candidacy. The Post-Dispatch has reaction. Initially, Senate President Emil Jones was skeptical, but he’s moving off the dime a bit:

Since then, Jones has endorsed the idea in concept but not Madigan’s bill in specific.

“Conceptually, it benefits the people of Illinois to have an early say in who the presidential candidate is. However, we’re still reviewing the bill,” said Jones spokeswoman Cindy Davidsmeyer.

Madigan’s bill would affect more than just the presidential races. It would move the entire primary election forward, including all federal, state and local races. States like Iowa, in contrast, hold an early presidential caucus, separate from the primary election, to vote only on the presidential races.

“While some states do have two primaries in presidential years, the notion of that kind of change is complicated,” said Steve Brown, spokesman for Madigan. “Let’s not make it too complicated for voters: Have them come to the polls once and let their voice be heard.”

Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson, R-Greenville, while in favor of a larger state role in selecting the next president, said he worried about lengthening a campaign season that he says is too long already.

The Southern Illinoisan editorialized against Madigan’s idea and against the whole frontloaded system in general.

The “problem” isn’t Illinois’ date being too late. The problem is other states being too early.

If anything, the caucuses and primaries should take place later. Many voters are sick of the pre-election hype already. Others aren’t paying attention.

Political-beat reporters don’t help with their constant badgering, asking potential candidates when they will declare their intentions like a bunch of kids on a family vacation asking, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, wants to move Illinois’ 2008 primary election from March 18 to Feb. 5 - in part, to boost the chances of state Sen. Barack Obama.

The primary date shouldn’t be changed to help - or hurt - a person.

But Dan Johnson-Weinberger predicts the bill will become law and he’s for it.

I predict it will be signed into law and I think for 2008, that’s a good thing. For other years (that is, when Barack isn’t running for president), I’d rather have nice weather for elections, as I don’t like walking in the cold, so if it was up to me, I’d move the primary to June or September. And I’d imagine most campaign workers would agree with that sentiment (ignoring the speculation on how cold weather might impact election results).

You can read Madigan’s bill by clicking here. Please, if you have a question about the specific legislation, try reading it first before commenting or simply asking others to do your homework for you.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      


White powdery substance, a buffoon’s money and felonious pols *** Updated x1 ***

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

Ald. Arenda Troutman says the white powdery substance the feds found in a ziplock bag in her office was dietary fiber, not drugs.

Ald. Arenda Troutman (20th) said today she doesn’t use drugs and is “betting my life” that the white powdery substance found in her home was not narcotics, but a dietary fiber she uses to cleanse her colon.

Troutman charged that federal agents who found the powdery substance during a raid on her South Side home and ward office already know the results were negative and that they’re keeping the information quiet to continue to smear her.

“I can’t understand that you don’t know by now if that was a drug or not,” she said after chairing a City Council Committee hearing. “That’s been over three weeks ago and you mean to tell me with all the technology we have today that they have not let the press know? They’ve let you guys know everything [else] to this point.”

The feds say that the tests haven’t come back yet, but, regardless of whatever else you may think of her, she has a good point here. It shouldn’t take three weeks to see if it was cocaine or heroin.

Meanwhile, a group of 30 Chicago organizations that are critical of Mayor Daley released a “Report Card for Change” yesterday, and found that one particular alderman, who recently described himself as a “buffoon” (a year or so after he denied he was a buffoon), was raking in cash from developers.

Real estate interests contributed $1.7 million — more than any other industry — to the campaign coffers of 20 Chicago aldermen over an 18-month period, and 13 percent of that money went to one politician: Ald. Burton F. Natarus (42nd), a study shows.

Natarus, whose booming, development-rich ward includes the Gold Coast and downtown areas, was the No. 1 earner in three categories of the dozen industries surveyed by a coalition of community organizations:

Real estate interests gave $1.75 million to the 20 top-earning aldermen and Natarus got 13 percent of that money. Business services gave $313,052 and 19 percent to Natarus. Retail and wholesalers gave $661,889 and 13 percent to Natarus. Ald. Danny Solis (25th) also got 13 percent. Entertainment sports and gambling interests gave $114,657 and 27 percent of it to Ald. Shirley Coleman (16th).

And finally, convicted felons are allowed to run for alderman, according to a judge.

Former Ald. Virgil Jones (15th), who was convicted on corruption charges in 1999, can run to regain a seat on the City Council in the Feb. 27 election, a Cook County judge decided Monday.

Circuit Judge Alfred Paul ruled that a state law that would ban Jones from the race is unconstitutional because it applies only to ex-felons running in local races and not statewide elections.

So, there may be hope for Troutman down the line if this federal thing doesn’t work out too well.

*** UPDATE *** It would be a big help if you would use the comment section to post Website addresses to local campaigns and blogs and forums set up to discuss them.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


Bungled case?

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

The AP takes a look at each of the 28 state-job applicants who allegedly received special treatment from Dawn DeFraties and Michael Casey and finds a whole bunch of holes in the administration’s case. Here are just a few of them, but go check out the entire list:

1. Ascaridis, Beverly, 56, Chicago, applied for Senior Public Service Administrator on 4/12/04: Resubmitted application doesn’t appear on Casey’s log, so it’s unclear how the government believes Casey or DeFraties knew about it or intervened improperly; never promoted to SPSA; now a public service administrator for the Department of Natural Resources. News reports in September revealed that Ascaridis got the job shortly after her husband, a lifelong Blagojevich friend, gave a $1,500 gift to one of the governor’s daughters.

2. Baksys, Mary, applied for Public Service Administrator on 11/29/04: Never appears on Casey’s log, never hired. […]

8. Dirksen, Julie, 64, Springfield, SPSA, 2/4/04: Initial application marked “incomplete;” awarded a job exempt from all hiring rules, so never needed CMS evaluation; now an SPSA for the Historic Preservation Agency.

It’s amazing that they’re trying to make those two take the fall for Beverly Ascaridis. Beyond chutzpah.

Along those same “beyond chutzpah” lines, the administration is asking that the Civil Service Commission pay no attention to the man behind the curtain:

An attorney for the Blagojevich administration said Monday that the case against Dawn DeFraties and Michael Casey should focus on what they did, not on what others in state government might have done, to promote certain people for state jobs.

“This is really about the conduct of Dawn DeFraties and Michael Casey,” said attorney Joseph Gagliardo in opening statements at a Civil Service Commission hearing where the two fired workers are trying to get reinstated.

“Any attempt to blame others for their misconduct does nothing to mitigate their responsibility.”

The defendants’ attorney claims they did nothing wrong, which may be a bit of a stretch.

Carl Draper, attorney for DeFraties and Casey, said the administration lacks “proof that anybody got any favorable treatment.”

Draper has suggested DeFraties and Casey are scapegoats of an administration engulfed in a federal hiring scandal. U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald said last year that serious allegations about hiring problems exist throughout the Blagojevich administration.

Draper said no rules or laws prohibited DeFraties’ and Casey’s actions. He added that administration officials asked for applicants to be graded ahead of time to fill some positions quickly and that they acted in ways similar to members of prior administrations.

Even so, Marc Longmeyer, a grading supervisor under DeFraties, said some applications coming directly from the offices of DeFraties and Casey were graded and placed on an online database ahead of other applicants.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


Morning shorts

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

[Compiled by Paul Richardson]

* Illinois Teachers Invest in Hedge Funds

* USAToday: Seat belt laws clicking in Illinois:

In January, the group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety named Illinois one of four “best performance states” for passing at least two of 15 laws it says are proven to reduce highway deaths injuries.
“Illinois has been very consistent in its passage of key laws,” says Judie Stone, president of the safety group.

* Iraq veteran struggles to find employment

*Rep. Franks discusses disappointment in electric rate increase

* State launches new ad campaign aimed at young drivers

* The Todd couple: “Cook County Commissioner William Beavers, a fan of old-school clout, has no problem saying he considers himself “the hog with the big nuts.”

* Ex Chicago Park District official gets 3 years for $8 million scam

* Editorial: Right-to-breathe

* Cook County jail medical execs get axed; protests against budget cuts continue:

Jerry Roper, president of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, told commissioners: “There’s nothing left to tax, ladies and gentlemen. The taxpayers deserve better solutions.”

* Editorial: Guv gave hook too quickly to Madigan’s mortgage plan

* Editorial: Selling the lottery not a long term solution for schools: “We’d prefer the governor spend his incredible energy devising a fairer way to pay for schools. The overreliance on property taxes is unfair, especially to those who live on fixed incomes.”

* Mark Brown: Burke’s 1st rival in 36 years isn’t taking the hints

* Blagojevich seeks federal dollars for counties hit by Dec. storm

* Editorial: Cross has solid advice for legislative session

* Actuary predicts Bears win

- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Intra-party war heats up as Pat Brady calls Illinois Policy Institute "idiots"
* Senate Majority Leader Clayborne to retire
* PAC money starts flowing in pop tax debate
* *** UPDATED x2 - Campaign issues "clarification" - NGP: "Simple case of user error" *** "Awful" Dem software could lead to state fines for campaign
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - More candidate announcements
* Dem groups try to crank up the heat on Rauner over Graham-Cassidy
* Rep. Ives explains why she closed her district office
* Yep. I can relate
* Everybody wants to get in on the HQ2 bid
* McCann faces second tough primary in two years
* New generation of soybean prompts big spurt in complaints
* Are we making it too hard to get proper opioid addiction treatment?
* Downstate's Republican shift
* "I don’t like to borrow to fund deficits"
* Kwame Raoul and Maze Jackson bury the hatchet
* Rate the new Pritzker TV ad
* Englehart's debut
* Yesterday's stories

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* Madigan moves to pull plug on Preckwinkle's sod.....
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* 20-year sentence for man in attack on 94-year-old veteran
* Illinois receives $110M in emergency preparedness grants
* FBI warns about consequences of making social media threats
* EXCHANGE: Tom Lytle finds creative flow in sculpting
* 20-year sentence hand man for attack on 94-year-old veteran
* Woman injured by broken bank door awarded $4.5 million
* Granite City port getting $700,000 federal grant
* Girl hit by foul ball at Yankees game gets game's attention
* Chicago street gang indicted on federal racketeering charges
* Leaders: $271B needed for creaky Great Lakes water systems

* Raoul enters AG race, apologizes for 'Miss America' comment
* AG candidate Raoul apologizes for 'bad characterization' of opponent
* Report: Payments for treatment of addictions, mental illness often denied
* Republican McClure will run against McCann in 50th Senate district
* Republican McClure will run against McCann in the 50th Senate district
* Rep. Drury leaves governor's race to run for attorney general
* 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

* If you're late paying those higher auto premiums, Allstate now will ding you
* Chicago politicians craft weak disclosure laws for themselves
* Rosebud on Rush remains a crowd-pleaser
* That time the Chicago Marathon director pushed Porta-Johns down Lake Shore Drive
* Supreme Court ruling leaves wind-power line up in the air


* Of all the new NBC duties for Megyn Kelly, ‘Today’s’ special
* Ram Power Wagon has big attitude, impressive off-road capability
* 4th person charged with stabbing man to death in Elgin
* Unclaimed $550K lottery ticket sold in Elmhurst
* String of burglaries reported in Ravenswood
* Police: Man shot dead in Austin
* Man, 25, dies after suffering multiple stab wounds in Forest Park
* Renteria reflects on what he, rebuilding Sox have achieved in ’17
* Brewers one pitch away — twice — but Cubs teach newbies a lesson
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for Sept. 22, 2017


* Tribune investigation: IDOT approves red light cameras for already safe intersections
* Daughters fight back in battle with dad over 'priceless' CSO basses
* Morning Spin: Potential Lisa Madigan successors scramble to raise campaign cash
* Traditional home in Oak Brook: $869,000
* Father reels from stepfather's rage
* Cubs come back for thrilling 5-3 win over Brewers, decrease magic number to 6
* Jake Arrieta biggest positive on a night full of them for Cubs
* Cubs thrive in 'playoff'-like, extra-innings win over Brewers
* Timeline: Red light cameras OK’d after campaign donations made
* Budding rivalry with Brewers gets a jolt from Cubs rallying for victory


» In Cook County, 3 Prosecutors Are Handling Hundreds Of Wrongful Conviction Claims
» An Accounting For Meteorological Violence Among Insurers
» Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Murder Conviction Of Drew Peterson
» State Sen Raoul To Run For Illinois Attorney General In 2018
» Suit: Pregnant Illinois Officer Forced To Take Unpaid Leave
» Palestinian Activist To Be Deported To Jordan From Chicago
» 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


* Thumbs Up: To improving the health of local residents
* Eugene Robinson: The devolution of repeal-and-replace
* Celebrating Constitution Day with Alexander Hamilton
* Our View: Diverse voices needed as Statehouse makeup poised to change
* Bernard Schoenburg: Democrats highlight Rauner's 'broken record'
* Kathleen Parker: The New Center seeks volunteers
* Raoul enters AG race, apologizes for 'Miss America' comment
* AG candidate Raoul apologizes for 'bad characterization' of opponent
* Report: Payments for treatment of addictions, mental illness often denied
* E.J. Dionne: The priority is still to save Obamacare


* Never forgotten: Randolph County woman honors county Vietnam War vets
* Area Calendar 9/22/17
* Want to avoid traffic going to St. Louis? Ride a bike.
* Daily Digest 9/22/17
* Road work: Hovey, U.S. 24 closed
* Moline, Durant dismissing classes early today because of the heat
* Rick's Six: Early dismissals, fall arrives, dog fighting, and Assumption wins big
* Not cool: Autumn arrives amid sweltering heat
* Photo: Steam power
* Law strengthening role for some nurses


* 20-year sentence for man in attack on 94-year-old veteran
* Kim Jong Un: 'Deranged' Trump will 'pay dearly' for threat
* LEADING OFF: Dodgers try to clinch NL West, Verlander rolls
* 5 things to know about N. Korean leader's rebuke of Trump
* The Latest: Trump speaks with Puerto Rico governor

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* What suburban members of Congress say abou...
* Rep. Randy Hultgren announces 2017 Congres...

* Illinois receives $110 million in grants -......
* Illinois receives $110M in emergency prepa......
* Illinois receives $110M in emergency prepa......
* Illinois receives $110M in emergency prepa......
* Illinois receives $110M in emergency prepa......

* Illinois receives $110 million in grants -......
* Illinois receives $110M in emergency prepa......
* Illinois receives $110M in emergency prepa......
* Illinois receives $110M in emergency prepa......
* Illinois receives $110M in emergency prepa......

* Drew Peterson murder conviction upheld by Illinois Supreme Court, and other Chicago news
* Nibble Your Way Through Uptown Next Wednesday
* A Visit To Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine
* What’s going to kill Amazon.com chances? We can’t make up our minds
* Construction Begins on Structurally Deficient Lake Shore Drive Underpasses
* Pritzker "stands up" for abortion in new ad while Rauner continues to hide
* UPDATED: Cavaletto not to run for sixth House term in 2018
* Persons in Pink Hats to hit Chicago streets in November
* Gabriel García Márquez was also a great screenwriter
* Thorner: Heartland Institute Welcomes New President, Hundreds of Guests at Picnic for Freedom


* 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

  
* Get money back with Google Store trade-ins for Pixel and Pixel XL purchases
* watchOS 4 appears to lack advanced heart rate functionality on first-gen Apple Watch
* Asus ZenFone 4 lineup officially expands in Europe, but many key details are up in the air
* It’s official iPhone 8 launch day, and demand still seems impaired by iPhone X shadow
* Ocean Master may be HTC U11 Plus with 2:1 display
* Netflix for iOS Updated With HDR Support for iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X
* Galaxy Note 8 vs OnePlus 5: Twice the price, twice as nice? (Video)

* Lopez seeks another win over KC in opener
* Sox cool off Astros, leave town with victory
* Lopez seeks another win over KC in opener
* Fulmer (blister) out, but Volstad, 'pen deliver
* White Sox 3, Astros 1: Bullpen holds up after Carson Fulmer’s early...
* South Side Sox Live!: Is it worth it for the White Sox to get #1 pick?
* Fulmer out early, but 'pen shuts down Astros


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