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Wednesday, Jun 27, 2007

* 1:35 pm - The Senate just recessed, but there will be no further floor action until tomorrow. So, Senate President Emil Jones’ threat to call the rate freeze bill today was either another hollow gesture, or the negotiations have made significant progress. Both parties are caucusing now.

* 2:25 pm - Looks like the unions and the CTA have reached a deal. Details will be announced later today. Management was looking for give-backs on pensions and health insurance.

* 2:28 pm - It’s pretty brief, but if you want to see the House Democratic analysis of the one-month budget proposal, which was discussed in committee today and will likely be voted on by the full House later this afternoon, click here.

* 2:34 pm - A possible GOP opponent already for Repub-turned-Dem state Rep. Paul Froehlich?

[Hoffman Estates resident Aaron Muller] said he has been planning to run for several months. “I’ve been kind of feeling it out, trying to align myself in the right circles and seeing what would develop as things came along.” […]

Muller, who owns Barrington Resale, a used furniture store in Lake Barrington, has never held political office. He said he has been involved in charitable work, providing furniture to the needy.

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


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Wednesday, Jun 27, 2007

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Question of the day *** Updated x1 ***

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2007

Before we begin, I’ve narrowed yesterday’s caption contest down to two entrants, although there were lots and lots of funny ones. So, would “Not So Fast” (”Yeah, Sis, walking on water was pretty cool, but did he make an airport disappear overnight?”) and Austin Mayor (“A spokesman said that no one in the mayor’s office knew that Sister Mary-Elephant did not actually own and operate the Roman Catholic Church when the City awarded the Vatican a multi-million dollar contract earmarked for women- and minority-owned businesses.”) please get in touch with me? I’ll buy each of you something from our charity project site. Your choice.

——————————————-

Now, on to the question, which has a summertime flavor: Should the state require motorcycle riders to wear helmets? Explain.

*** UPDATE *** The commenter “Not So Fast” has asked, Stevie Wonder-like, that his/her award be given instead to “Bue,” whose entry “Mayor Daley introduces Stage 1 of the White Sox restructuring plan” was also one of my faves. So, Bue, reach out to me and I’ll get you some victory swag.

- Posted by Rich Miller   78 Comments      


Ground him?

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2007

* Rep. Bill Mitchell has found an almost perfect press release vehicle

Like Dad taking the car keys away from a troublesome teenager, a lawmaker wants to ground Gov. Rod Blagojevich for not finishing the state budget.

Rep. Bill Mitchell is proposing banning the governor and legislative leaders from flying on state aircraft if they if they haven’t agreed on a budget by the May 31 deadline — as happened last month.

* This is a very big state, so I don’t agree with the particular legislation in question. The governor ought to be able to get around quickly. But Mitchell’s timing was solid and it seemed to strike a nerve at Blagojevich HQ…

The governor’s office has refused to respond to questions about the matter. But spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff said in an e-mail Tuesday, “Rep. Mitchell should focus his energy on doing something constructive to move the budget forward instead of on state officials’ transportation.”

* Speaking of “Air Rod,” I’ve been thinking about putting this cartoon on a t-shirt as part of our charity project. Perhaps you can come up with a suitable caption in comments today…

* More budget-related stories, compiled by Paul…

* Illinois officials hope to pass temporary budget this week

* Illinios eyes temporary budget

* Stopgap budget set to be approved by Madigan’s House

* Agreement will keep Illinois operating until the end of July

* Carson and Williams-Harris: One month budget by Friday

* Editorial: Tricks usually not cheap when legislature involved

* Cindy Richards: Quit the petty sniping and pass the budget

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      


Reform and Renewal - Illegal plot to pack elections board abandoned

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2007

* I haven’t given this story nearly the attention it deserves. Here it is in a nutshell

Blagojevich filed four temporary Board of Elections appointments with the secretary of state last month, to become permanent upon Senate approval… Permanent appointments to the board must be approved by two-thirds of the Senate, meaning Republican support would be needed for them to pass. Temporary appointments don’t need immediate Senate approval.

[Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson] has alleged that Blagojevich is attempting to “skirt” state law by inserting people onto the board without Senate approval and that early primary elections in Illinois make the issue more timely

* Here are the four people the governor tried to appoint to temporary board slots, with potentially problem areas highlighted by myself…

- Bruce Meckler, a Democrat whose Chicago law firm has contributed $127,000 to the governor’s campaign fund. Meckler’s firm has done more than $550,000 in business with the state in the past two years.

- Mary K. Penn of Bloomington, whose husband, John Penn, is chairman of the McLean County Democratic Party and is a prominent official with the Laborers’ International Union, which has contributed more than $1.3 million to Blagojevich’s campaign fund.

- Nicholas Grapsas of Palatine, an attorney who is a partner in the Chicago law firm of Quinlan & Carroll. The firm is chaired by the father of the governor’s chief legal counsel, William Quinlan. Blagojevich nominated Grapsas as a Republican.

- Keith Fruehling, a Republican attorney from Champaign County.

* So, how was Blagojevich able to make temporary appointments?

State statute requires that the Senate confirm all new nominees to the Board of Elections before any of them can take office. However, the state constitution allows governors to make temporary appointments to fill state board vacancies when the Legislature is in recess.

* But there was a problem with the move…

The office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an advisory letter last week that called Blagojevich’s temporary appointments “nullities” because the vacancies they attempted to fill had not yet been created and the Senate still is in session.

* Yesterday, the governor backed down

Gov. Rod Blagojevich backed down Tuesday from a controversial bid to remake the state’s election board. […]

“I’m pleased that was worked out,” Watson said after a meeting with the governor.

Watson credited Madigan’s five-page opinion as being a key to getting Blagojevich to reverse course.

“I think he’s got enough on his plate right now without having to deal with that problem,” said Watson.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      


Is Dillard treasonous? “No,” says Tribune

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2007

* The Tribune’s editorial board thinks that Sen. Kirk Dillard’s TV ad for Barack Obama is a peachy keen

Treason? Hardly. Dillard has responded like a real person, someone whose admiration for a colleague isn’t predicated on an R or a D.

* Dillard told the edit board that his phone was ringing off the hook…

“The ultra-right committeemen called and expressed their disappointment yesterday and today,” Dillard said. “They’re calling right now, thanks to agitators out there who spanked these guys into a frenzy.”

* Today’s Senate GOP caucus should be interesting. Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson wants Dillard, a member of Watson’s leadership team, to explain himself to his fellow Republicans…

Watson… called on Dillard, a Senate Republican whip from Hinsdale, to “address why he did this and the ramifications of it” in a meeting with the Senate GOP lawmakers Wednesday.

“He is a leader in the Republican Party, and I think maybe that’s a step beyond where he should have gone,” Watson said.

* But Dillard was defiant, and claimed that the ad was no big deal and said “My caucus should thank me” for all the publicity…

“The bigger message being sent is that we know how to cooperate, and the current crop of Democrats needs to have an infusion of Republican input because it’s just gridlock and economic chaos coming out of Springfield,” said Dillard, a supporter of GOP presidential contender John McCain of Arizona.

* As you can imagine, former Senate President Pate Philip is not a happy man. Pate recommended Dillard to replace him as DuPage County GOP chairman, never liked Democrats much and wasn’t exactly the most open-minded person on racial issues…

“To say I was disappointed in him would be an understatement,” Philip said.

I’ll bet.

* And what happens if John McCain doesn’t win the primary? Well, this is what Dillard told ABC7

Dillard also said he isn’t endorsing Obama “at this juncture,” but he has not decided what he will do if McCain loses the Republican nomination and Obama ends up winning the Democratic race.

* Related stories on the GOP’s latest problems…

* GOP stalwart switches sides - Democrats welcome Froehlich’s move

* Illinoize: GOP loses solid conservationist

* Illinois Reason: On Froehlich switch

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


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Morning Shorts

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2007

* Senate could vote today on electric rates

* House GOP says Congressman Kirk has special needs

* Daley challenges CPS to improve science scores

* CPS boasts higher test scores; more here

* Chicago Public Radio: Public housing study say vouchers working

* Editorial: Illinois needs to use land money as it was intended

* Program helps seniors, disabled cool off during summer

* Broadcasters statewide report glitch with emergency system; more here and here

* Editorial: Protect speech at college papers

Despite a lackluster spring session, the Illinois Legislature managed to eke out several good bills. Among them is the College Campus Press Act, a measure meant to thwart censorship of student newspapers by designating them as “forums for student expression,” an important distinction that guards the First Amendment rights of budding journalists.

* Editorial: No downside to signing West Chicago tax relief bill

* Sun-Times Editorial: All earmark requests should be revealed

If citizens can see who is requesting what, then members of Congress are more likely to police themselves, and undeserving projects are more likely to wilt under the glare of public scrutiny. That’s why every member of Congress from Illinois and indeed all 535 members should be equally candid.

* Region would suffer under planned Metra political move

* Shakeup coming on Metra Board?

* Are teen drivers really worse than elderly drivers?

Illinois already is home to some of the toughest senior driving laws in the nation. It’s one of only two states to require everyone older than 75 prove their behind-the-wheel capabilities with a driving exam every two years. Once drivers turn 87, the exams are required annually.

* Excerpts from recent Illinois editorials

- Posted by Paul Richardson   3 Comments      


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* Open thread 2
* Open thread
* DHS slammed after care disrupted for "thousands" of mentally ill
* Mendoza wants emergency Deloitte contract review
* The plot thickens on Rauner's AV
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Important update and a supplement to today’s edition
* Frerichs: Don't use new federal rules on 529 programs for state taxes
* "Watchdog" flatly denies getting money from Illinois Policy Institute, but group funded 98 percent of budget
* Governor promised "superstar" appointee a year ago, hasn't delivered
* Chicago survives the first cut in Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes
* Rauner to air entire Blagojevich/Pritzker audio this weekend
* Adlai III endorses Biss
* Yesterday's stories

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* Court in Chicago to hear arguments on sanctuary cities
* 30-year sentence for man in sexual assault of elderly woman
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* Champaign man pleads guilty in '85 murder case
* 80-year-old accused of bank robbery has decades-old record
* Officer's lawyers plan change of venue poll in McDonald case
* Illinois man pleads guilty in 1985 death of 15-year-old girl
* Indiana State Police join 4-state human trafficking campaign
* Citing police torture, judge orders convicted murderer freed
* Indiana officials say they won't go overboard to woo Amazon

* U of I trustees approve 4th-straight tuition freeze
* Rauner to air extended ad of Pritzker, Blagojevich on wiretap
* Mendoza to keynote Women's March Saturday in Springfield
* Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid
* Under the Dome Podcast: More Blago-Pritzker talk, Rauner confirms Duke is racist
* U of I withdrew 35 job offers after background checks
* Frerichs: Can't get tax break for using college savings plan on private K-12 tuition
* Illinois governor to air extended ad of rival, Blagojevich on wiretap
* Chicago a finalist for Amazon's second headquarters
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $26M in last 3 months

* United to offer upgraded economy section on some global flights
* What Chicago is up against in Amazon HQ2 race
* Emanuel, Rauner clash in wake of Amazon news
* Data center company sues Aurora over telecom tower


* 18-year-old woman shot in Englewood
* Police: Burglars stealing electronics from Roseland, West Pullman homes
* Drone rescue off Australian beach heralded as world-first
* Dear Abby: Does former farm kid have to be lonely?
* LeBron James, Stephen Curry are captains, will draft NBA All-Star Game teams
* Woman, 30, shot during argument in West Garfield Park
* Horoscope for Jan. 19, 2018
* Police: Burglars stole cash registers from Far South Side businesses
* LA Times CEO under investigation after report of sexual impropriety
* Police warn of North Side robberies


* 8 wounded in city shootings
* Pope shocks Chile by accusing sex abuse victims of slander against bishop
* Government shutdown looms despite House action, short-lived Senate discussion
* Los Angeles Times publisher under investigation by parent company over alleged misconduct
* 'I just don't like Muslim people': Trump appointee resigns after racist, sexist and anti-gay remarks
* 'I'm sickened': Parents scrambling after word of Catholic school closings
* Bears offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich sees Mitch Trubisky as coachable, accurate
* Wisconsin's Walker proposes work, photo ID requirements in welfare overhaul plan
* Amazon HQ2 contenders include Chicago; Rauner, Emanuel react by trading jabs
* Chicago's competition: A look at the 20 bids for Amazon's HQ2


» Sheriff Offers To Help Review Police Shootings In Suburban Cook County
» A Prescription For Fruits And Veggies: One Solution To Food Insecurity in Illinois
» A Call For Transparency
» 2 Illinois Governor Candidates Spend $26M In Last 3 Months
» State Board of Education: Double School Funding Now
» Lawmakers Demand Fast Internet For Rural Schools
» 2 Dreamers Discuss Helping Other Immigrants Amid Uncertainty
» Rauner Spokesman: 'Governor Believes David Duke Is A Racist'
» Rauner Signs Law To Help Women Behind Bars
» A Poor Neighborhood In Chicago Looks To Cuba To Fight Infant Mortality


* Point: Trump's stance gives hope to an Iranian majority that longs for freedom
* Counterpoint: Trump's assertive policies rally Iranian support for the Ayatollahs
* Thumbs Up: To investing in infrastructure
* Eugene Robinson: An administration with no credibility cannot lead
* U of I trustees approve 4th-straight tuition freeze
* Rauner to air extended ad of Pritzker, Blagojevich on wiretap
* Mendoza to keynote Women's March Saturday in Springfield
* Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid
* Under the Dome Podcast: More Blago-Pritzker talk, Rauner confirms Duke is racist
* U of I withdrew 35 job offers after background checks


* New device at St. Elizabeth's helps monitor heart failure symptoms
* St. Elizabeth's new pacemaker is one-tenth the size of a normal one
* PHOTOS: Power up: Johns Hill, Dennis robotics teams gear up for state
* Tim Cooksey
* Shirley Roberta Koenig
* Ines M. Powers
* Jerrel Clay 'Jerry' Mulvey
* Joyce E. Wilson
* Margaret Maxine Stone
* Allen E. Moore


* Buffalo Grove HS orchestra to perform piece written to honor 3 teachers
* Sizzling Avs win 8th straight by holding off Sharks 5-3
* Blues score 3 times in second period, top Senators 4-1
* Smith's shootout goal leads Predators over Coyotes 3-2
* Couturier's goal lifts Flyers over Leafs on Lindros' night

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* Anita Alvarez’s campaign consultants gave her talking points before she announced charges against Jason Van Dyke, and other Chicago news
* Gov rejects handing more powers over to McHenry County Bd Chairman
* Rauner calls for bill to ban Madigan from appealing property taxes
* New IR Poll: Who will win Illinois' 2018 Democrat Party gubernatorial primary?
* Thorner: Chicago celebrates life in single digit temps
* Illinois Review poll draws attention as Ives supporters outnumber Rauner's
* Thorner/O'Neil: Social Engineering: Transferring Parental Control of Children to Teachers
* Former Rauner staffer seeks public access to First Lady's emails about abortion bill


* 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

  
* Affordable LG X4+ goes official with rugged design, Hi-Fi DAC, LG Pay support
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* Bitcoin may help TSMC’s bottom line as premium smartphones take a toll
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* ZTE gets an Android 8.1 phone certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance
* Samsung patents fix “The Notch,” iPhone performance boost & more – Pocketnow Daily
* So far, Fuchsia OS looks good on a Pixelbook

* Inbox: Who replaces Rodon in the rotation?
* 2018 South Side Sox Hall of Fame Ballot
* With maturity comes lofty expectations for Eloy
* Collins ranked MLB's No. 9 catching prospect
* With maturity comes lofty expectations for Eloy
* Pirates rebuild not met with enthusiasm
* Moncada guiding Robert during mini-camp


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