Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » 2008 » April
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
This just in… Ata to plead guilty *** Ata admits getting job via Blagojevich contribution *** Alleges direct quid pro quo with governor *** Feds outline scope of Blagojevich probe ***

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008

*** Click here to read the plea agreement… And Click here for the superceding information statement ***

* 3:21 pm - The prosecutorial noose tightens around Rezko

A former top official in Gov. Blagojevich’s administration plans to plead guilty this afternoon to charges tied to a loan-fraud scheme involving Tony Rezko.

Ali Ata, 56, of Lemont, is expected to plead guilty to making false statements to a federal law enforcement officer and a tax-related count. Ata is a former executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority. […]

While executive director of the state finance agency, Ata signed a letter bearing the agency’s name to help Rezko fraudulently secure $10 million in loans, prosecutors charged. They said he did so at the request of Rezko to make it appear that an investor had partial state backing for a deal to acquire two groups of Rezko’s Papa John’s pizza restaurants in Chicago and Milwaukee. […]

Ata gave $65,000 to Blagojevich’s gubernatorial fund and thousands more when Blagojevich was in Congress. In January 2004, Blagojevich appointed him to a $127,000-a-year post as executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority. Though Ata left that post about a year later, after a critical audit, he soon was awarded a $55,200-a-year contract to be a consultant for the agency - a three-year deal he declined to sign after the Chicago Sun-Times raised questions about a foreclosure case he did not disclose when the governor hired him.

*** 3:56 pm *** Ata’s guilty plea includes this language…

[Ata admits lying to the FBI when he said] he did not receive anything for his political contributions to the campaign of Public Official A, whereas as defendant then knew such statement and representation was false, namely, that in fact he did receive something for those contributions, specifically employment with a state agency, namely a position as Executive Director with the Illinois Finance Authority with an annual salary of approximately $127,000.

Translation: Ata admits - and the feds insist - that he paid for his job via a campaign contribution to Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Read the plea agreement by clicking here.

*** 3:59 pm *** Ata is taking us right inside Rezko’s office, where we find Governor Rod Blagojevich

In or about August 2002, defendant Ata held a small fund-raising event for Public Official A that Public Official A attended. In advance of that fund-raising event, defendant Ata committed to Antoin Rezko that he would raise $25,000 at that event, which he eventually did, personally contributing at least approximately $5,000.

Later that year, Rezko approached the defendant for additional monetary support. Defendant Ata agreed to contribute $25,000 in additional monies to the campaign of Public Official A.

The defendant, subsequently and by prior arrangement with Rezko, brought a check in this amount to Rezko’s Rezmar offices on Elston Avenue in Chicago. After he arrived at the Rezmar offices, the defendant was greeted by Rezko to whom he handed the check in an envelope.

Rezko, carrying the check, ushered the defendant into a conference room where he met with Rezko and Public Official A. Rezko placed the envelope containing the defendant’s $25,000 check to Public Official A’s campaign on the conference room table between himself and Public Official A and stated to Public Official A that the defendant had been a good supporter and a team player and that the defendant would be willing to join Public Official A’s administration. Public Official A expressed his pleasure and acknowledged that the defendant had been a good supporter and good friend. Public Official A, in the defendant’s presence, asked Rezko if he (Rezko) had talked to the defendant about positions in the administration, and Rezko responded that he had.

*** 4:01 pm *** And here we get the quid pro quo

In or about July 2003, Rezko asked the defendant to make an additional $50,000 contribution to the campaign of Public Official A. The defendant agreed to contribute the same amount as he had previously, namely $25,000. The defendant made this contribution on or about July 25, 2003 by check payable to Public Official A’s campaign. The defendant gave this check to Rezko. Thereafter, the defendant had a conversation with Public Official A at a large fund-raising event at Navy Pier.

During this conversation, Public Official A told defendant that he had been a good supporter, indicated that Public Official A was aware that the defendant had made another substantial donation to Public Official A’s campaign, and told the defendant that Public Official A understood that the defendant would be joining Public Official A’s administration. The defendant responded that he was considering taking a position, and Public Official A stated that it had better be a job where the defendant could make some money.

[Emphasis added.]

*** 4:03 pm *** From someone who was at the hearing today…

“As the prosecutor read more and more of the plea, the jaws in the courtroom inched closer and closer to the floor. These aren’t even material to Rezko’s current charges.”

*** 4:17 pm *** Take a look at the superceding information statement about Ata and you find this statement of fact from the feds…

There was a federal criminal investigation into allegations of mail fraud, bribery, political corruption, and other criminal activities in connection with the granting of state jobs and the appointment of officials to agencies and boards and commissions of the State of Illinois. It was material to the investigation to learn what influence, if any, Antoin Rezko had in the making of appointments to positions with the State of Illinois, and whether campaign contributions to political office holders and candidates were required in order to obtain positions with the state.

That pretty much shows us where they’ve been going. And none of it is good for Gov. Blagojevich.

*** 4:32 pm *** The Tribune really needs to change its headline: “Ex-director of Illinois Finance Authority admits getting post after paying Rezko”

Ata did hand the money to Rezko, but the cash went to the governor’s campaign fund, and the governor was aware of the contributions and the appointment.

- Posted by Rich Miller   93 Comments      

Various stuff

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008

* For the first time ever, Capitol Fax is an official sponsor of the annual House vs. Senate softball game. It’s my favorite evening of the year, so I’ve thought for a while about signing up as a sponsor. I was informed yesterday that I was accepted.

This year’s game will be Wednesday, May 14 at Springfield’s Lincoln Park. The start time is 5:30pm. See you there.

* Nothing else has worked for the Chicago Republican Party, so maybe this might…

Go over and check out the party’s site in all its glory. [I saw this earlier on another blog, but now I can’t remember where it was. Sorry for no h/t.]

* Buried deep in this critical piece of Democratic congressional candidate Colleen Callahan, was this nugget, written by a member of the Legislative Affairs Committee for the Peoria Area Association of Realtors

For example, a primary concern of the Realtor industry is that, as independent contractors, we lack the ability to obtain group coverage for health care - a major problem for those with pre-existing conditions. As a result, 60% of Realtors lack health insurance.


* Attorney General Lisa Madigan: Grandma Alice’s cheese enchiladas…

Nutrition information per serving: 688 calories, 53% of calories from fat, 40 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 59 mg cholesterol, 57 g carbohydrates, 25 g protein, 1,599 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

* Regular commenter Jacob Schulz has posted a new “in your face” campaign ad…

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Edgar audio; DuPage; Greens; Wilhelmi; Black (Use all caps in password)

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Question of the day

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008

* Does Earth Day mean anything to you today? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      

Local lobster hiring examined

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008

* I’m not sure that this bothers me all that much

With a looming meltdown of the Chicago Transit Authority atop the 2007 legislative agenda, transit agencies spent the most in Springfield: nearly $700,000.

The transit system was facing a fiscal meltdown, so dumping money into lobbyists is a natural reaction for anyone under siege.

* Here’s where that number came from…

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform found that local governments and public agencies in Illinois paid $5 million to lobby state government over the course of a year.

The group identified 110 government bodies that hired contract lobbyists. The contracts went to 65 different lobbying firms in a 12-month period ending June 30, 2007. […]

Cynthia Canary, the non-profit group’s director, called the $5 million a significant outlay in public funds but a fraction of the money special interests spend to pass or kill legislation and to influence the actions of the executive branch.

Emphasis added to make a point. It does look like a lot of cash, but it isn’t in the grand scheme of things.

* The more important question is whether these local governments got anything for their outlays, either in the budget, or through special legislation. That wasn’t looked at by ICPR, but the Post-Dispatch did check out one contract between the Madison County Regional Office of Education and former Rep. Steve Davis

“The state representatives that represent our region are great people,” but can’t realistically be expected to keep up with every issue facing schools in Madison County, said Robert Daiber, who heads the Edwardsville-based Office of Education.

He credits Davis for helping convince lawmakers to maintain hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of state special-education funding that had been slated to end. “That’s well-invested money” in the lobbying contract, Daiber said.

* ICPR had a reason for doing the research…

The voluminous research released Monday by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform found discrepancies in the required reporting and suggested state lobbying laws be tightened.

* But at least one of those “discrepancies” wasn’t. According to the State Universities Retirement System, they did fully disclose their lobbying contract, contrary to what ICPR reported.

* One of the reforms pushed by ICPR as a result of this study was restricting “revolving door” lobbying - requiring a waiting period of six months to a year before a legislator could begin lobbying. Yet there weren’t really any horrible revelations that I saw in the report which would buttress that demand.

Still, I do commend the hard work by ICPR staff with filing all those FOIA requests with local governments and crunching the numbers. It’s good to have this info about how tax dollars are being spent as reforms are drafted.

Read the full report for yourself.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      

Rauschenberger vs. Obama

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008

* Former state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger has been a designated attack dog against Barack Obama as of late. Here he is quoted in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal

“Barack was one of the smartest people I ever worked with, but he was more interested in moving up,” says Republican Steven Rauschenberger, who served with Mr. Obama in the state senate. “I never thought he was very engaged in the state senate, because he didn’t think that much of it.”

* Let’s take these one at a time. As Rob accurately notes, Rauschenberger spent the last few years of his own state Senate career trying desperately to get out - with no luck. He ran for US Senate in 2004 and was thumped in the GOP primary by Jack Ryan. He then turned right around and ran for governor, dropped out, and ran for lt. governor and was trounced again in the primary by Joe Birkett. And he won the top job at NCSL after promising insiders that he wouldn’t run for governor, which he did. Pot, kettle, etc.

* When Rauschenberger was in the majority, he did take his responsibilities fairly seriously. He was often quoted in the media on budget issues, for example, and he was a champion of a modernized sales tax, which went nowhere. It’s not difficult to believe that Rauschenberger was more involved than Obama was, but until his final few years, he was more involved than most everyone.

* Rauschenberger was also on Fox News recently and blasted Obama for switching his votes after the voting closed. The LA Times reported several weeks ago that Obama switched his vote six times.

Rauschenberger said of the vote switching: “Generally, it’s people, in my opinion, who are politically ambitious.”

Last week, I was flitting back and forth between the House and Senate and heard at least six instances in one day where members asked that their votes be switched. This is an extremely common occurence.

Rauschenberger pointed to a riverboat vote where Obama was getting pressure from both sides and Obama voted “Yes” but said he hit the wrong button and should be voted a “No.” Rauschenberger claimed: “It’s very difficult in those charged votes to believe that someone pushed the wrong color button.”

But I’ve seen this a kabillion times, too, and so has Rauschenberger. People are sometimes away from their desks and staff hit the wrong button, or they just goof. Six times in eight years ain’t much. Let’s say Rauschenberger is right on that one boat bill. That’s once in eight years. Not exactly a pattern.

* Rauschenberger also claimed that Obama “wasn’t a reformer” on Jeff Berkowitz’s show, mainly because he endorsed John Stroger over Forrest Claypool for county board president primary race and that nobody has been convicted of crimes due to the Obama/Dillard ethics bill.

Obama didn’t endorse John Stroger over Claypool. Instead, he was neutral and announced the day before the election that he was voting for Claypool. And I doubt that Rauschenberger’s fellow Republican Sen. Dillard thinks that ethics bill was worthless.

* If you have the time, watch the Berkowitz interview. Rauschenberger claims he doesn’t know where Obama is on issue after issue, but the conservative Berkowitz points out where he’s wrong time and time again. It looks to me like sour grapes on Rauschenberger’s part.

Again, Rauschenberger makes a few very good points, but overall his message seems, well, “bitter.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      

Blagojevich attacks Dems on health care, slashes funding for nutrition education

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008

* You’ve probably heard about this already…

Blagojevich was asked multiple times by reporters Monday whether the [Rezko] trial is making it difficult for him to do his job.

* Instead of answering the questions, the governor turned on the House Democrats

“When you consider the dynamics, I think we’ve made a lot of progress. It could be a heck of a lot more harmonious, though, if those Democrats in the House stand for what they say they’re for.”

* And…

“We wish the General Assembly and especially the House would be less obstructionist and be more willing to embrace health care for children, health care for working families,” Blagojevich said.

* But how concerned is he really about the health of children and working families? Only on the stuff he cares about, apparently

A state program that helps educate Illinois’ poor is one of many state programs on the chopping block, as Gov. Rod Blagojevich considers withholding promised dollars to fill a $750 million hole in the Illinois budget.

More than 1 million of Illinois’ food stamp-eligible residents take advantage of University of Illinois Extension’s Food Stamp Nutritional Education Program. […]

“There isn’t anyone else in the state that does what we do,” said program Director Robin Orr, who leads the University of Illinois Extension program that serves 535,000 people in 97 of Illinois’ 102 counties. “In a budget that’s already passed, I have no idea why you don’t release money.”

So, let’s see, offering health insurance to people knowing that many doctors won’t accept it because the state is so slow in paying (and pays so poorly) is priority number one, even though he can’t get his program through either chamber of the General Assembly. But funding an existing program that helps more than a million people learn better nutrition, and, therefore, live healthier lives to begin with, is just too expensive to keep around.


* Meanwhile, Fritchey has some choice words for the governor’s latest attack…

Suffice it to say that it doesn’t bode well for a productive, let alone timely, session if the Governor is already in demonizing mode, which he apparently is.

* And this was just posted at CDOBs

At 2pm today, Judge James Epstein is set to hear a motion requesting compliance with the Preliminary Injunction against Governor Blagojevich issued last week.

The Healthcare and Family Services Defendants have yet to take the
necessary steps to comply with the injunction previously issued. Judge Epstein will consider a contempt action to compel compliance with his previous order.

* Other stuff…

* EIU raises tuition almost 12 percent for students entering school next fall

* Blagojevich no friend to 4-H’ers across the state

* Lake County Extension Foundation begins drive to offset state reduction

* Stop the bullying; release extension, conservation funds

- Posted by Rich Miller   50 Comments      

Morning Shorts

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008

* Ford Heights loses police dept.

* State questions Welch’s use of campaign funds

* State’s attorney: Officer targeted Stanford mayor in traffic stop

* Firm owner accused of scamming $1 million

* Inverness Man and His Engineering Firm Indicted in IDOT Fraud

* We can’t turn our backs on the violence ravaging our city

* Daley rips CTA over Blue Line response

* Daley’s man Grrr . . .

* Cook County health chief gone

* $100 million for museum?

* The Call for a Constitution Convention

* Governor’s plan to add inmates at Thomson prison has skeptics

Union officials say they aren’t convinced the switch would save money, and they worry that inmates with families in the Chicago area wouldn’t get visits because of the longer distance between Joliet and Thomson, which is located about 150 miles west of Chicago.

* Suburbs are key to Democratic victory

* Rauschenberger vs. Obama: Rounds 3&4

* Quote of the Day: Irony, thy name is Rauschy

* Fat cats of politics scratch for an edge

History suggests an uphill battle. Wealthy candidates often fare poorly in the electoral field, despite occasional exceptions like New Jersey’s Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine or Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), both of whom pumped millions into their campaigns. In 2006, 28 congressional candidates spent $1 million or more of their own money on their campaigns. Just four are in Congress today.

* Rezko cohort details fee scam

* Rezko trial: Loren chokes up on stand

* Ex-pension fund attorney tells jurors of ‘mistake’

* Witness calls insiders ’stupid’

* Attorney on stand at Rezko trial recalls corruption on pension board

* Testimony: Rezko attended fundraiser for President Bush

- Posted by Kevin Fanning   6 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Auto Industry is Part of the Solution

Monday, Apr 21, 2008

The following is a paid advertisement

Last December, the federal government passed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The centerpiece of this historic legislation was an unprecedented forty percent increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade association of ten car and light truck manufacturers, was instrumental in passing this groundbreaking energy bill.

The legislation is a comprehensive and aggressive federal response to the climate change issue. Lawmakers and the environmental community alike have hailed the legislation as “landmark” as it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new automobiles 30 percent by 2020 and save 18 billion gallons of gasoline per year.

Rather than follow the federal standard some in IL are seeking to adopt California’s standards and create a confusing and inefficient program at the state level. That is why the Alliance, as well as many partners in the agriculture, manufacturing, and labor communities, oppose House Bill 3424. CA LEV not only binds Illinois to excessive state-wide fuel economy standards, but it contradicts the state’s commitment to E85 fuel and technology and relinquishes Illinois’ air quality authority to California.

- Posted by Capitol Fax Blog Advertising Department   Comments Off      

Bill Anderson, Richard Piccioli

Monday, Apr 21, 2008

* Statehouse lobbyist Bill Anderson passed away Saturday. Bill had one of the strongest wills to live that I’ve ever seen. His doctors told him he was a goner long ago, but he survived and continued living a full life right up to the end.

A friend passed this along about the services. I’ll update when I get more info…

The service will be at the Cathedral of St. Paul, 815 S. 2nd St, Springfield at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. The family is asking contributions go to the SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute at the SIU School of Medicine.

Simmons Cooper Cancer Institute
Chemo Infusion Area
SIU Foundation
PO Box 19666
Springfield, IL 62794-9666

Here’s his lobbyist registration photo, which isn’t very good but it’s the only one I have…

* Also, if you’re looking for service information for Richard Piccioli, click here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      

Question of the day

Monday, Apr 21, 2008

* In your snarkiest opinion, what is the Allmighty trying to tell Illinois with these events?

The U.S. Geological Survey says it’s recorded the strongest aftershock so far from Friday’s Illinois-centered earthquake. […]

Today’s aftershock was at least the 15th since Friday’s quake.

- Posted by Rich Miller   48 Comments      

Bill would force “conversion” of private nursing homes, hospitals

Monday, Apr 21, 2008

* The SJ-R does a pretty nice job of summing up Rep. Mary Flowers’ bill to establish a single-payer healthcare system in Illinois over ten years

Adoption of a Canadian-style “single-payer” health-insurance system in Illinois is viewed as a long shot by key legislators, but the Health Care Availability and Access Committee voted 8-4 to send House Bill 311 on to the full House. The bill also would need Senate approval and the governor’s signature to become law.

The sponsor, Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago, told the panel on Tuesday that the bill would “put the control of the health-care system back in the hands of the health-care deliverers rather than health-insurance companies.”

Democrats on the panel supported the bill, but Republicans said the plan is too radical, lacks specifics and would give more authority to a state government that already has mishandled the Medicaid program.

* The huge tax hike required to implement the program probably dooms the proposal. Buried way at the bottom, though, is this little nugget which, if it stays in the bill, pretty much guarantees a rough road in the House…

Investor ownership of hospitals, nursing homes and other “health delivery facilities” would be illegal. Those facilities could be converted to non-profit status, and investor owners would be “compensated for the loss of their facilities.

* Read the bill. Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   50 Comments      

Poll shows strong support for recall, term limits; Weak opposition to Con-Con

Monday, Apr 21, 2008

* My syndicated newspaper column isn’t posted yet over at the SouthtownStar, probably because I was sick on Friday and didn’t get it finished until early Saturday morning. Oops.

But, since I also just happen to have a copy we can look at it anyway…

A poll taken earlier this year for the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs and released last week shows overwhelming public support for legislative term limits and recall of elected state officials.

The poll of about 1,000 Illinois residents taken in January found that 70 percent support both term limits and recall. The numbers are close to a Glengariff Group poll taken late last year which showed 65 percent favored recall. Glengariff did not ask about term limits.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s astounding unpopularity was measured by a different poll released this month. According to the highly respected Ipsos firm, the governor has a 13 percent job approval rating, with 54 percent disapproving and 33 percent reporting mixed feelings.

* There was another aspect to that Institute poll…

Every twenty years, Illinoisans vote on whether to call a constitutional convention and add, subtract or rewrite our state’s founding document. Another vote is scheduled for this November and the Institute’s poll found just 18 percent of respondents were opposed (8 percent strongly opposed) to the coming convention proposal, while 39 percent supported it. The rest were undecided.

The last time voters had a chance to decide whether to hold a constitutional convention, in 1988, both political parties, plus just about all business groups and labor unions teamed up to defeat it. Only 19 percent voted in favor of a “con-con,” while 58 percent opposed it and about 23 percent skipped over the question.

According to the latest poll, the weakest support for a con-con came from Republican voters and independents. About 30 percent of self-identified Republicans, “strong” Republicans and independents favored the idea, while over 40 percent of all Democrats backed the plan. Republican attitudes may change because some prominent GOP figures are said to be preparing to come out in strong support of the convention vote.

There are a whole lot of undecideds in this issue. According to the poll, 43 percent of all respondents said they didn’t know how they’d vote on the con-con. A convention has to be approved by either three-fifths of those voting on the question or a simple majority of all who cast ballots in the election, so both sides have their work cut out for them.

* Con-Con arguments, both pro and, um, con, were tested…

Some arguments against holding the convention tested pretty well with the poll’s respondents, with 60 percent or more saying the “anti” arguments that special interests and incumbent politicians would control the con-con are good reasons to vote against calling a convention.

Some arguments in favor of the con-con seemed to work well with the respondents as well. Arguments that scored in the mid to high 50s included, “State government is not working well at present, and only fundamental constitutional change can fix it,” and “There are a few major reforms that would improve government in the state but that cannot be passed except by having a convention,” and “Conventions are the only way to give ordinary people a say in how Illinois state government is run.”

* And the big finish…

Besides your vote for president, the con-con could be the most important issue you face this November. Take a good, long look, and try not to be swayed by fear. We’ll talk more about this as November approaches.

* More on the poll here and here.

* Related stories…

* Edgar says problems in state government close to insurmountable

* Student tries his hand at politics

* Con-Con debate heats up

* City Desk: Push to Recall Gov

* Change to popular vote in right way

* Recalling Pat Quinn’s rise in politics

* Will Governor Be Indicted Eventually?

* Illinois isn’t alone: House Won’t Vote On Ethics Bill Senate Passed

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

Another false red herring

Monday, Apr 21, 2008

* Not long ago, some IL politicians were saying, “If we don’t pass a capital bill right now, all the federal money will go away.” That breathless warning was bunk, but the propaganda keeps on coming.

* For instance, the governor had this to say last week

“If (the General Assembly) can get a capital bill done sooner rather than later, then the shovels will be in the ground before the Fourth of July,” Blagojevich told the Lee Springfield Bureau. “But it’s up to the legislature to do this and do it quickly.”

* Not.

Blagojevich’s own transportation department says some new construction could get under way in the latter part of the summer construction season, but that would require on-going planning and preparations from this point forward.

“It is possible that some projects could be started in late summer or fall, but it depends on issues like how much engineering has previously been done on specific projects and how much right of way needs to be acquired,” Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Claffey said. “A more significant number would begin in 2009 and I believe the funding would be spent over three to four years.”

* And that “pass it now or the money will go away” line? Well, it’s still out there

Recently, several of us Illinois mayors were in Sen. Dick Durbin’s office, and he shared with us that there is federal money in Washington — up to $10 billion — to be used as matching funds if Illinois passes a capital bill. However, there’s a time limit to how long those funds will be available, so that’s why we need to get moving on this.

Durbin told the mayors that whopper despite informing the Pantagraph earlier this month that the claim was false…

But that federal money and those matching grants will not disappear or be doled out to other states unless Congress takes drastic measures to do so. Illinois’ congressional delegation says that will not happen.

“That money will be available, it will just be worth less,” Durbin said, adding that last year, hundreds of millions of dollars were left behind when Illinois was unable to move on a construction plan.

* There’s no doubt that Illinois is in great need of a capital bill. Not only is our infrastructure crumbling, but the jobs would be a welcomed cushion against continued economic decline.

But do the proponents have to rely on so many untruths to get it passed?

* Side note to whomever is publishing the pro capital bill Illinois Works Coalition website: Reprinting newspaper stories in their entirety is a violation of federal copyright laws.

- Posted by Rich Miller   22 Comments      

Morning shorts

Monday, Apr 21, 2008

* Nicor wants $140-mil. rate hike

* Chicago Tonight: Children’s Museum

* The Corruption State

Tuesday’s ruling has to worry corrupt Illinois pols and their pals. No more hiding now in make-believe defenses, no more hoping the courts—judges are political creatures, right?—will leave definitions vague.

* Public Affairs with State Rep. John Fritchey

* Bill proposed to extend honorary degree eligibility

State Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, said he introduced Senate Bill 2682 – which would allow school boards to award high school diplomas to honorably discharged Vietnam veterans – after hearing about Raymond Collins’ struggle to get his.

* 2 yrs. later, is Illinois still ’state of shame’?

* Health care job eludes Iraq vet

Tammy Duckworth, director of the Illinois Veterans’ Affairs Department for the last 1? years, said she hears similar stories “over and over again.” The nation is becoming “overwhelmed,” she said, by the length of the war and the number of veterans who have come home needing jobs.

* Gavel-to-Gavel: This morning, Rezko a ‘free’ man

* Rezko freed on $8 million bond, home monitoring

* State helps fill local food pantries’ shelves

* Want Obama’s Senate seat? Join the crowd

* Suburbs try to angle ComEd transmission line

* A training exercise or free pool boys?

* Brenda Sexton, public libraries team up on book-film series

* Tollway tale gets more tangled

* Fix the toll collection system — now

* Strong aftershock reported in Illinois

* Inspections follow shaky morning

* Bridges Inspected For Possible Damage

* Autism Center waiting for money

* Single-Sex Ed Takes Hold in South Carolina

* SJ-R: Misguided bid to ‘protect’ marriage

* Energy speaker: Don’t underestimate the power of coal

- Posted by Kevin Fanning   4 Comments      

Note to subscribers

Monday, Apr 21, 2008

I was ill Friday afternoon, so I wasn’t able to work. Therefore, there is no Capitol Fax today.

The General Assembly is not in session, so Capitol Fax will be published Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday this week.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Early voting roundup
* Still more shenanigans!
* Sunday campaign money roundup
* Even more shenanigans!
* More shenanigans!
* Saturday campaign money report
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Shenanigans!
* Tribune drops bombshell on Biss running mate
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Rauner: "Madigan has rigged the Democratic primary for Pritzker"
* New Ives radio ad claims Democrats are trying to help Rauner, while Brady does Rauner robocall
* *** UPDATED x1 - DGA responds *** Elections board says DGA should file disclosure for Ives ad
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Jones; IEA/IFT; Reis; Mitchell; Edgar
* ISRA, Drury both try to claim Raoul inserted "poison pill" into gun bill
* Pro-life group launches GOTV effort for Lipinski
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner opens new online track against Ives
* Erika Harold still can't remember comments, but says "I was wrong"
* Rauner calls Madigan "a unified force of bad, of evil"
* Sen. Duckworth gets involved in another state central committee race
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Has Pritzker gone to ground?
* Illinois House Bill HB 4900 Wastes Government Resources
* McCann, barred from SGOP caucus meeting, claims Rauner threatened to "destroy you and your family"
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Caption contest!
* Obama mailer kerfuffle in Lipinski district
* Rauner attended Quincy campaign event after Quincy veterans' home presser
* After spending millions in Dem primary, Rauner accuses "Washington liberals" of "hijacking" the GOP primary
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...








* Gubernatorial candidates head to church on fina.....
* Reader opinions on election, steel jobs, Bellev.....
* Sunday campaign money roundup - The Capitol Fax.....
* Gubernatorial candidate makes local campaign st.....
* Illinois governor race more fierce, costly as p.....
* Illinois Governor Race More Fierce, Costly as P.....

* Security of state voter rolls a concern as primaries begin
* Judge sides with inmate on prosthetic leg, toilet access
* Illinois primary puts focus on security of state voter rolls
* City of Chicago increasing security at Millennium Park
* Effort underway in Kane County to save 1854 schoolhouse
* Holcomb signs bill to replenish eroded NW Indiana beaches
* EXCHANGE: Historian doesn't want hero's story lost
* EXCHANGE: Losing a limb has not handicapped Pekin bowler
* Illinois governor race more fierce, costly as primary nears
* Judge gives FBI more time in alleged serial killer case

* As primaries loom, downstate Democrats look for a way back
* Pritzker defends putting $69.5 million of his fortune into campaign
* Illinois governor race more fierce, costly as primary nears
* Madigan backs Dem central committee incumbent in 13th
* Trump factor looms large in Illinois governor primary campaigns
* Ray LaHood brokers deal for O'Hare expansion
* McCann says Rauner threatened to 'destroy' him in 2015 over vote
* Rauner looking into state buying vacant nursing home in Quincy
* Luciano: What if Downstate dumped Chicago and formed new state?
* AP review: Push for gun laws faces resistance in most states

* Crain's tells the stories of women in business
* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* Amazon search team in Chicago next week
* Amazon HQ2 search team visiting Chicago March 21-22
* Pension mess? You'd hardly know it from 2018's gubernatorial candidates.

* Jonathan Toews heating up just as Blackhawks season nears the end
* Man, 41, shot on Northwest Side
* Hikers find fatal car wreck in Mundelein
* Carson Fulmer or Hector Santiago? White Sox going down to the wire on key call
* Chicago drivers ignore rules on pedestrian walkways, making this writer cross
* Victor Caratini makes long-shot, final-week push for Cubs’ backup catcher job
* Parent calls for CPS enrollment simplification, transparency
* Girl, 15, reported missing from Little Village
* Bulls second-year player Denzel Valentine still feels he’s starting material
* Given the Bears’ free-agent history, maybe we should hold off on the parade

* DePaul ousted from women's NCAA tournament by Texas A&M after letting big second-half lead slip away
* Hikers find totaled car with driver dead in field outside Mundelein
* Denzel Valentine makes starting case
* Cubs' Joe Maddon willing to give Loyola a lift
* Faith in each other the biggest factor carrying Loyola into Sweet 16
* Syracuse tops Michigan State 55-53 to go from First Four to the Sweet 16
* Fact-checking Trump's error-filled tweetstorm about the Mueller probe
* Following fraud-tainted vote, Putin heads for big win in Russia's presidential election
* 9 shot in Chicago overnight, 1 fatally, including 2 cousins
* Turtle racing's had a long, slow burn in Chicago

» A Feisty Debate, Offshore Accounts — And Some Side-Eye
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: March 16, 2018
» The Week in Review: Pritzker Slammed Over Offshore Holdings
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: American Airlines Changes Stance
» How Parking Ticket Debt Punishes Black Drivers In Chicago; The Best Illinois Movies
» State Week: Rauner's Gun Veto; Dem's Mean Debate
» #642 Songs About the Music Industry & Antibalas
» March 15, 2018 - Full Show
» Illinois Has Issues: Gov Candidates Talk Marijuana
» Rauner: Replace Legionnaires’-Stricken VA Home With New ‘Ultra-Modern’ Facility

* As primaries loom, downstate Democrats look for a way back
* Pritzker defends putting $69.5 million of his fortune into campaign
* Statehouse Insider: Sadly, the primary campaign is coming to an end
* Bernard Schoenburg: My predictions for Tuesday's primary election
* Our View: A recap of The State Journal-Register’s endorsements
* Bernard Schoenburg: Guessing who will be celebrating Tuesday night
* Madeleine Doubek: Time to end gerrymandering in Illinois
* United Way: Reporting results that matter
* Illinois governor race more fierce, costly as primary nears
* Madigan backs Dem central committee incumbent in 13th

* ELECTION 2018: Meet the Macon County sheriff candidates
* Tazewell, Woodford marriages, divorces: March 18, 2018
* Random Acts of Kindness: Dead battery, then a good Samaritan
* 'Thanks for the memories': Popular Facebook group inspires Decatur nostalgia
* Look Ahead: What's coming this week
* Photos: St. Patrick's Day in the Quad-Cities
* Illinois 200 | The Daley family legacy runs deep in Illinois, Chicago
* PFOP: Local minister became well-known newspaper columnist
* SIUC faculty will present research 'lightning' talks next week
* Public art could provide 'wow' for the riverfront

* Man found dead in crashed car near Mundelein
* Ronaldo scores 4 goals as Madrid beats Girona 6-3
* Carter scores 37 to lift No. 4 Texas A&M over No. 5 DePaul
* Oklahoma State gets second shot at beating Mississippi St
* MacKinnon scores twice, Avalanche beat reeling Red Wings 5-1

* River Town Chronicles: Randy Hultgren is T...
* 7 Democrats talk strategy for winning prim...
* 14th Democratic hopefuls talk guns at Bata...
* Primary candidates vie for Democratic nomi...
* 14th District candidates agree: Global war...
* ICOs Draw Fire at US Congressional Hearing...
* What to Expect When Congress Talks ICOs To...
* 7 Democrats talk strategy for winning Tues...
* 14th District Dems voice opinions on immig...
* Letter: Stripped state's rights - Northwes...

* A frustrated Trump lashes out at special c......
* Hillary Clinton is 'wrong' about Trump vot......
* President Trump lashes out at special coun......
* Rep. Trey Gowdy: Mueller probe should not ......
* Republicans warn Trump...

* Zinke defends use of Japanese word: How co......
* Congolese mother and child finally reunite......
* Schatz to convene field hearing on false m......
* Congolese mother arrives in Chicago, still......
* Duckworth on Zinke's improper use of Japan......

* Boss Berrios tanking and undecided for governor is in second place after having spent nothing on the campaign.
* Sketchbook.
* Our antiweed governor better take note: downstate is also going to pot
* Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers’ election interviews.
* This week.
* Tucker: Washington not worried about male wage crisis
* State of the Legal Industry: A Leading Innovator Concludes that Inefficiency Prevails
* Wednesday, March 14, 2018
* Monday, 3/12/2018
* Online University Programs and Microcredentials Enhance Professional Learning

* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties
* Winter Storm Warnings for Areas Along and North of I-80
* IEMA Encourages People to Prepare for Earthquakes

* Alcatel 1X and 3V confirmed for the US in the coming months
* No seamless updates for Galaxy S9 and Samsung won’t talk about it
* Six cities have wheelchair-accessible transit directions on Google Maps
* The US Navy’s newest submarine comes with an Xbox controller
* LG G7’s LCD display seen as a cost-cutting move
* A free anthology collects stories from 2017’s new sci-fi and fantasy writers
* Don’t underestimate pandas, their bodies can neutralize cyanide

* Spring Stats Glance
* White Sox announce James Shields as Opening Day starter, because of...
* Cool with No. 2? Avi paces Sox 5-2 win
* Lefty Ross making case for bullpen spot
* Shields honored to be Opening Day starter
* Shields honored to be Opening Day starter
* Shields to start for White Sox on Opening Day

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller