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Reader Comments Closed for the Weekend

Friday, Sep 28, 2007

I don’t know if you remember me telling you this or not, but the Daily Southtown has been running excerpts from the comments here in the paper. Lately, they’ve been putting those excerpts online. Go check it out. You’re famous.

It was a short, but productive week. Had a couple of good scoops in the subscriber-only Capitol Fax and we had a lot of interesting comments here. Have a great weekend, and don’t forget about Illinoize. It’s a great place to visit…

And for your video enjoyment, Hesitation Blues by Hot Tuna…

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Governor demands speed limit veto be upheld

Friday, Sep 28, 2007

This could be a fun debate here. Let’s consider it our second question of the day. From a press release…

Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s top transportation officials were joined today by traffic safety and law enforcement advocates in urging legislators to sustain the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 540, which would have raised the speed limit for trucks in Illinois to 65 miles per hour. The Governor has fought to keep the 55 mph speed limit in place for trucks on Illinois highways for the safety of everyone who travels our roads. During Gov. Blagojevich’s administration fatalities on state roads have dropped by 200 a year, the lowest levels since 1924.

“Raising the speed limit for trucks means more people will die in accidents. It takes a large truck traveling 65 miles per hour 40 percent longer to stop than a truck traveling 55 miles per hour. And that same truck traveling 65 miles per hour has an impact that is 40 percent more destructive than a truck at 55 miles per hour. That’s why I urge the Legislature to sustain my veto of SB 540.” […]

According to AAA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), when tractor-trailer trucks travel at speed rates of 55 mph or higher, it significantly increases the likelihood the truck will either jackknife or rollover. The vast majority of persons killed in crashes involving trucks are occupants of passenger vehicles, not trucks. […]

In 1996, the year after Missouri increased the speed limit for trucks, it recorded 70 more fatalities caused by large trucks, increasing from 97 to 167. If Illinois had a corresponding 72 percent increase as Missouri did, that could translate to 114 more fatalities in one year.

How do you feel about this one?

* Also, as an aside, that line about how traffic fatalities are at their lowest levels since 1924 is something that’s always fascinated me. Check this out from 1999

Six times as many people drive today as in 1925, and the number of motor vehicles in the country has increased 11-fold since then to approximately 215 million. The number of miles traveled in motor vehicles is 10 times higher than in the mid-1920s. Despite this steep increase in motor-vehicle travel, the annual death rate has declined from 18 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1925 to 1.7 per 100 million VMT in 1997 - a 90% decrease.

Amazing, eh?

* Here are some more Illinois stats, taken from the guv’s press release…

There were 1,454 total fatalities in 2003 and by 2006 the number of fatalities in Illinois was down to 1,254, the lowest number of fatalities since 1924, when there were 1,065.

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - SEIU mailer and target list; Coulson; Washington; Gaming; CTA; Special education; Thomas; Rates (Use all caps in password)

Friday, Sep 28, 2007

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Question of the day

Friday, Sep 28, 2007

The setup from Sneed

Tipsville: State Sen. Kirk Dillard tells Sneed he’s seriously considering running for a statewide office for the first time.

• • Quoth Dillard: “I would consider running in 2010 if there’s an open seat, especially if the Illinois attorney general seat opens up.'’

• • The gov’s job? Dillard claims he doesn’t have his sights on the governor’s mansion but . . .”I am keeping my options open.” There ya go.

Question: Rate Dillard’s chances.

- Posted by Rich Miller   42 Comments      


New spin is empty, misleading and false

Friday, Sep 28, 2007

* It appears that Gov. Blagojevich has found a new way to spin his budget vetoes. If you oppose him then you’re against breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment for hundreds of thousands of women. But, in the end, as you’ll see, it’s a bunch of empty rhetoric based on a hugely inflated promise.

* The background

Gov. Blagojevich on Thursday announced plans to provide free mammograms and breast cancer treatments to all uninsured women over age 40. The state also will offer free pelvic exams and Pap tests to uninsured women over age 35, and pay for cervical cancer treatments.

* The setup quote

“We will save lives,” [Blagojevich] told supporters at St. Elizabeth Hospital.

* Almost there

“We’re paying for it by the vetoes of pork-barrel projects and other special-interest spending that I vetoed in the budget,” Blagojevich said.

* Now here comes the spin

“I dare the state Legislature to take this one away,” Blagojevich said.

“…I still have the spending authority as the governor and whether they’re there or not, I simply choose to spend the money on mammograms for women instead of pork barrel projects for legislators.”

* Spinning like a top

“If they’re not going to give us a budget that provides enough money for the important priorities, then you have to make decisions on what’s more important, and I defy any of the men and women of the general assembly to tell me that there’s a more important priority in providing women a chance to get mammograms,” the governor said.

* He’s a veritable whirling dervish, even

The governor told a reporter the women of Illinois should thank state Rep. Tom Holbrook, D-Belleville, and state Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, for indirectly providing the funds to expand the cancer screening program.

“I vetoed their pork barrel projects to pay for this,” Blagojevich said.

Oof.

* The new plan also includes an additional bonus for the governor

Health-care advocates lauded the expansion, which will be coupled with a public awareness campaign

“Saving lives… Brought to you by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.” Perfect.

* I’m wondering if that PR campaign is included in the projected cost

Blagojevich said expanding the women’s cancer screening program could cost about $50 million. His spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff said that would be the total cost of the program if all eligible women get screened and treated.

* And even that’s misleading, as the Tribune points out

…Blagojevich said up to 260,000 more women will be covered by expanding the existing Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. But spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff said the state expects about 5,000 of those 260,000 women to get screenings in the next year, with about 50 needing treatment.

* So, once again we have a huge splash, but little benefit. And there’s more

It was unclear Thursday how the program, which at full capacity would cost about $50 million a year, will be funded. Blagojevich said it would be paid for by his recent cuts of so-called “pork” from the state budget, while Ottenhoff said the program would be supported primarily through an additional $1.75 million set aside in the budget for public health.

Incredibly enough, the spin appears to be completely false. Imagine that.

- Posted by Rich Miller   48 Comments      


Poking the pigeon

Friday, Sep 28, 2007

* Recently, a couple of Tribune reporters have wondered aloud about Mayor Daley’s almost complete silence on the mass transit issue and the property tax assessment caps debate.

My column in today’s Sun-Times attempts to answer those questions and more. The bottom line for Daley, his raison d’être, if you will, is his quest for the Olympic games

Politicians love it when a fellow politician wants something really big. They’re called ‘’pigeons'’ because they’re ripe for the plucking.

Mayor Daley is now a pigeon.

Daley’s overriding lust to land the Olympic Games has put him at an extreme disadvantage in dealing with Gov. Blagojevich, who is playing the mayor for all he’s worth.

Several months ago, Daley used both barrels to blast Blagojevich’s proposed gross receipts tax on business, saying if the tax were enacted we could all wave goodbye to businesses as they moved out of state. The two men went out to dinner not long afterward, and Daley subsequently toned his comments way down.

What happened?

I’m told on high authority that Blagojevich laid it out for Daley. The mayor needs strong support from the state to convince the Olympics committee that Chicago is a viable siting option. The governor knows the same thing and told him so. The implication was clear: ‘’Mess with me and I mess with you.'’

Anyone who has watched this governor for any length of time understands that Blagojevich is just crazy enough to go all populist on the Olympics and announce that the cost is not worth the benefits.

So, despite the occasional mumbles and grumbles about the lack of comity in Springfield, Daley has done his best to stay mum.

Please, go read the whole column before commenting. Thanks.

* Part of my analysis has to do with Daley’s weakened political organization. There are a couple of articles today that provide more info on that…

* Sun-Times: Shakman monitor objects to Daley-run hiring office -Federal Watchdog cites ‘history of noncompliance’

* Tribune: Nobody in Mayor Richard Daley’s administration can be trusted to keep city hiring free from politics except the inspector general, a court-appointed official has concluded.

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      


Weller district: No clear favorite? Plus, two looks at the race to replace LaHood

Friday, Sep 28, 2007

* CQPolitics (Congressional Quarterly’s online service) claims there are “four highly competitive [congressional] races” in Illinois.

Retiring Republican Jerry Weller’s seat is listed as “No Clear Favorite,” which seems to be a growing consensus these days. Perennial targeted Democrat Melissa Bean’s district is listed as “Leans Democratic.”

CQ has Mark Kirk’s seat and retiring GOP Congressman Denny Hastert’s district as “Leans Republican.” Two districts are ranked as “Republican Favored,” including freshman Peter Roskam and retiring Congressman Ray LaHood’s seat.

* Bob Novak, who has claimed that Weller’s district leans toward a Democratic takeover, has a different take on LaHood’s seat. While Novak eventually concludes that the outlook leans towards a Republican retention, he also says it’s nearly a tossup because of a celebrity Democratic candidate…

Illinois-18: The entrance of former basketball coach Dick Versace (D) brings to a near tossup the race for the Peoria-based seat left open by the retirement Rep. Ray LaHood (R).

Versace was the head basketball coach in the 1980s at Bradley University in Peoria, the golden era of the program. He later coached the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, worked as an on-air commentator and served as the head coach of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. The other Democrat in the rate is retired Navy Captain Chuck Giger (D).

The Republican field features 26-year-old State Rep. Aaron Schock (R), Peoria businessman Jim McConoughey (R) and former Peoria City Councilman John Morris (R). Rep. LaHood’s son, Darin LaHood (R), took a pass and is instead challenging the incumbent state’s attorney.

Versace’s wide name recognition combines with a likely strong Democratic year in Illinois to wipe out the generic advantage a Republican has in this district, which Bush won by 5.5 points in 2004 and which has been in Republican hands for 70 years (including former Minority Leader Bob Michel). Versace has media experience, but as a political rookie, possibly facing more seasoned (although much younger) opponents, he faces many likely pitfalls. This one could swing the other way if Versace proves to be a strong candidate, but right now it is still tilting towards the Republicans. Leaning Republican Retention.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      


Morning shorts

Friday, Sep 28, 2007

* Governor calls VA ordeal an ‘unbelievable thing’

* Lawmakers say politics is behind anti-violence program

* Coalition tells Stroger: Skip this sales tax hike

* Stroger at the heart of tax debate

* Foes organize against sales-tax hike; more here

* CPR: Cook Co. deficit tops $300 million

* McNulty: Reporters stay above fray in museum fight

* Ald. Reilly uses foe’s book to sway colleagues; more here

* Field museum asks for more green

* City plan takes aim at resident’s’ illegal hotels

Burke gets a lot of legislative ideas from New York City, and the crackdown he introduced at Thursday’s City Council meeting was no exception. The Big Apple has launched its own crackdown against “illegal hotel conversions” after residents complained.

Burke’s ordinance would require short-term renters to buy $400-a-year city licenses and secure $300,000 worth of general liability insurance. Violators would face fines as high as $100 a day.

* U of I’s alumni group’s conservative curriculum plans are blasted

Conservative commentator Robert Novak said Thursday that his Washington colleagues were stunned to learn that a University of Illinois alumni group was setting up an organization to encourage and finance conservative studies on campus.

They asked, “Capitalism and limited government at a public university? How can that be?” Novak, an Illinois graduate, told about 250 people gathered for the launch of the Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government Fund.

Some U of I faculty members fear that the group’s plans to raise money to pay for classes and research on free-market capitalism and limited government would create an undue conservative political influence on campus. They also complain that the new group was formed without faculty input.

* Friday Beer Blogging: Return to Schwelmer edition

- Posted by Paul Richardson   12 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (Use all caps in password)

Friday, Sep 28, 2007

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PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Will Illinois really break the spending record?
* Ives gears up, Walsh waits in wings
* *** UPDATED x1 *** "I’ve had hands up my skirt. I’ve had my hair pulled - There’s just kind of nothing you can really do"
* Rauner's federal pension idea allows "some level of bankruptcy"
* Dems pounce on new Rauner ad
* Poll: Pritzker leads Kennedy and Biss 39-15-6
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* Rauner's federal pension idea allows “some leve.....
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* Smithsonian museum to exhibit post from pipeline protest
* Meijer recalls some packaged produce due to listeria risk
* Dem attorneys general unite against concealed-carry gun law
* 4 Wheaton College players to be arraigned in battery case
* 4 Wheaton College players to be arraigned in battery case
* 9 hurt when SUV backs into suburban Chicago restaurant
* 'Welcoming City' resolution considered for Springfield
* Family donates boxed linked to Lincoln to historical society
* Family donates boxed linked to Lincoln to historical society
* Vietnam veteran from Coffeen has been awarded Bronze Star

* Governor's race could be costliest in U.S. history
* Voter advocates push Illinois to exit multistate database
* Lawmakers set to return Tuesday for veto session
* Illinois Lottery's new manager projects $4B in sales
* UIS students could study at newly proposed Chicago research center
* Aaron Schock attorneys contest federal claims on misstatements
* Under the Dome Podcast: Will lawmakers address gun control during the veto session?
* Chicago lawyer announces bid for Illinois attorney general
* Illinois borrows $1.5B at reduced interest to pay down debt
* Rauner cuts human services, other area in state budget

* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* Northwest Indiana: 'Right-to-work zone'
* Is Dem primary over? No, but Pritzker rivals need to pick up pace
* The biggest Chicago-area building sales
* Here are the sites Chicago is pitching to Amazon


* Tillerson says room for Taliban in Afghan government
* McCain issues veiled criticism of Trump’s Vietnam deferment
* Bartlett man facing child pornography charges
* Trump tweets that 401(k) contributions ‘safe’ in tax plan
* Trump denies he forgot name of fallen soldier during call with widow
* Breast cancer charities: Where to give — and where to avoid
* AFL-CIO re-elects Richard Trumka president at convention in St. Louis
* Today at Chicago International Film Festival: ‘Life and Nothing More’
* VW: Golf Alltrack gives SUV buyers something to think about
* Tamarack bog, BOTW: Unplugged, gun repair: Notes, Chicago outdoors


* Child deaths spike after DCFS privatizes 'intact family services'
* Weekend toll in Chicago: 31 people shot, 2 fatally
* Trump tweets that 401(k) contributions are safe in tax plan
* Forest preserve to review proposed cell tower at Countryside Golf Club
* Chicago nightlife at Prysm Nightclub last week
* Sgt. Bergdahl faces life in prison for endangering comrades
* LINDA C. BLACK HOROSCOPES for 10/23/17
* Politics on display as David Letterman receives Mark Twain Prize
* 'The things you remember': Centenarians share what it's like to be 100
* 4 years ago, they were the 'Lastros.' A spectacular rebuild has them in the World Series.


» Where Can Homeless People Pitch Tents In Chicago?
» Voter Advocates Push Illinois To Exit Multistate Database
» Lawmaker Says Facebook Refuses To Fact Check Ads
» State Week: Chasing Amazon, Bonding Debt
» Teaching Kids To ‘Say Something’ In An Era of School Shootings
» Illinois Issues: Cities Lose Out On Retail Tax As Online Shopping Booms
» What Could Hurt Chicago’s Bid For Amazon’s HQ2?
» At CPS, More Special Education Dollars Go To White, Wealthier Students
» Illinois Bond Sale To Help Pay $16bn Debts
» Mayor To Propose Higher Prices For Ridesharing, Big Concerts


* George Will: The fatal conceit of planning for the future
* Our View: Overriding this veto is a no-brainer
* Governor's race could be costliest in U.S. history
* Statehouse Insider: Will veto session show GOP revolt?
* Our View: Figure out how to make Innovation Network a reality
* Angie Muhs: Recognizing what resonates with readers
* Guest View: It's time for more oversight at CWLP
* Young Philanthropists: Banding together to make a difference
* Voter advocates push Illinois to exit multistate database
* Lawmakers set to return Tuesday for veto session


* Bruce Rauner announces re-election bid
* NOW: Monday Morning QBs
* Business Briefs: New doctor joins Memorial Medical Group; construction groups to hold career fair
* Search on for missing Urbana boy
* Highland drivers plow through competition at snow plow ‘Roadeo’
* City council to hold special meeting to discuss business districts
* Governor Rauner announces re-election bid
* Rauner announces re-election bid
* Illinois lawmakers considering gun control after Las Vegas shooting
* Those Who Served: Bon Bui


* Wheaton College football players facing hazing charges in court today
* Seven-time jiu jitsu world champ shares skills at Bloomingdale studio
* After big lull, suburban apartment construction has boomed since 2013
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* Police close Kenneka Jenkins investigation but for some photos of her body ‘raise more questions than answers,’ and other Chicago news
* “States’ rights” was always a euphemism for racism. Rauner’s call for Washington to overturn Illinois’ constitution demonstrates that fact.
* Tony at the Red Line Tap.
* What's Going On At JJ Pepper? Your Guess Is As Good As Ours
* Can the Dodgers match the ’05 White Sox postseason accomplishments?
* East Platform & Wilson North Entrance Open At Red Line Station Monday - Full Purple Line Express Service Begins
* Video Catches Images of Package Thief Entering Building


* 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

  
* Huawei Watch 2 Pro makes domestic debut with eSIM at $390 equivalent
* Samung Galaxy S7 gets nod over Apple iPhone 8 according to Consumer Reports
* Animal Crossing Smartphone App Will Be the Focus of New Nintendo Direct Coming This Week
* This is most likely the low-cost Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 with a large 2:1 Full HD+ screen
* Samsung launches the business friendly Galaxy Tab Active 2
* Tronsmart Edge 20,000mAh portable charger review: Fast charging on the go
* Burn in or ghosting, Google looking into problem with Pixel 2 XL screen

* Podcast: 2017 White Sox Pitchers and Catchers season review
* Steep climbs ahead for oft-injured White Sox
* #AwardWorthy: Vote for Engel's glove
* Sporcle Saturday: Long bombs
* Petricka undergoes surgery on right elbow
* Avisail sees similarities in rebuild, stellar year
* White Sox Arizona Fall League overview


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