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Message to everybody

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2008

AOL has just informed me that their e-mail server is down. So I can’t reply to your messages this morning. The tech support guy said it might even be a “day or two” before it’s working again. Amazing.

Anyway, I am now hobbled. Not sure how long it will be. Sorry for not responding.

But, whatever. My brother is here and I need to get away from the computer. Kevin is in charge.

…Adding… Has a Capitol Fax Blog reader been “outed”? Check the 1:30 mark of this WGN TV video. (Thanks to WW for the tip. Quite the observant person.)

UPDATE: The e-mail problem appears to be fixed, but Kevin is still in charge. It’s about time for a blog break.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2008

* One of my all-time favorite teachers was David Heminway. David was a literature professor at the University of Maryland in Munich. I had read some Dostoyevsky in high school, and he was teaching a Russian Lit class and convinced me during orientation to give it a go. I did and was blown away, not just with the books, but with the way he taught them.

The man was brilliant, gentle and decent. He would have students over occasionally to his apartment and we’d marvel at how it was literally filled with books, good wine and hearty conversation.

I took his Shakespeare class the next semester and became a lifelong devotee of the bard. Heminway was one of those few teachers who had the power to change my life and I will always be grateful.

David died recently, and here is his obituary

DAMARISCOTTA (July 9): David Mason Heminway died peacefully at Cove’s Edge in Damariscotta on July 4, 2008, after a long, courageous struggle with pulmonary fibrosis.

David was born April 19, 1927, the son of Edwin Harwood Heminway and Josephine Hawkes Pott of New York City, N.Y. He grew up in Tarrytown and Hastings-on-Hudson.

After his graduation from South Kent School in 1944, he joined the Army, training as a radio and Morse code operator. He was stationed in Munich, Germany in 1945-46. Graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Hobart College in 1952, he studied for his master’s degree at Colombia. For the next several years, David alternated teaching at Harmon Hall in Maine and at the Peddie School in New Jersey with extended bicycle trips through Europe.

While writing poetry and short stories outside Florence, Italy, he met Elizabeth Lincoln Hilgenberg from Baltimore, Md.; they married in 1958. The couple lived in and around Florence where their two children, Olivia and Benjamin, were born.

David became part owner of the American Language Center in Florence as well as a teacher in the Gonzaga University program. His first three books of poetry were published during this period.

In 1966 David took an English post at the University of Maryland, Munich, a program for American students whose parents were stationed in Europe. He was an inspiring teacher who developed lasting friendships with many of his students.

In Munich he also produced and directed theater both at university and downtown venues and at JFK Centers, where he was invited to give a number of his own poetry readings.

Most holidays the family returned to the farmhouse they had bought in the Appenine foothills. Tragically, his son Ben died in an accident in 1979 while on a bike trip together from Munich to the Italian house. Eight years later, David and Betsy moved to Italy to live year round. There, David worked on a novel and wrote numerous poems. His fourth book, “It isn’t Every Day,” was published in 2001.

In 2003, David and Betsy moved to Damariscotta, a region they both had fallen in love with; they were not disappointed. David became an involved member of the Pemaquid Poets.

David’s tall, lean frame, intense blue gaze, and beard made him a memorable figure. With his creative, questioning mind, his humor, and his talent with words, he was a friend, mentor and inspiration to many people. The young especially gravitated toward David’s ebullient participation in life and living and responded to his original and insightful ideas and caring advice.

His involvements were far-ranging: poetry, theater, music, art, people and foremost, family. His enthusiasm for life never waned.

David is survived by his wife, Betsy; daughter, Olivia; son-in-law, Jethro Pettit; and grandchildren, Benjamin, Sophia Rose and Noah.

Now, that’s a life.

* The question: Who was your favorite teacher? Why?

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      


A sudden sense of loss

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2008

* I’m not saying that this won’t happen, it’s just that we’ve heard this pledge so many times before I kinda doubt anything will come of it

State education officials launched an investigation Monday into dubious after-school programs following a Tribune story that exposed questionable spending and political patronage.

The chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education vowed to reclaim misspent money and ratchet up oversight of the grant program.

The board already has begun looking into the $20,000 grants awarded to three groups that employed ex-cons, a violation of the state contract.

“The Tribune story raised the bar for us, and we plan to make these grant awards a much more rigorous process,” said Jesse Ruiz, chairman of the state Board of Education. “We have to go and try to retrieve funds if people are not doing what they promised us they’d do.” […]

In the Sunday Tribune story, Hendon said the state board is responsible for policing the programs that got money. Ruiz took him up on that offer Monday.

“If the lawmakers are going to throw this into our lap,” he said. “They will have to, hopefully, understand that some of these groups might not get the money.”

Many, many kudos to the Tribune for this story.

* The big worry, however, is that Sam Zell’s management will mean far fewer stories like this. The paper’s top investigative reporter just quit in protest

Maurice Possley, an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune whose reporting helped bring about the state’s death penalty moratorium, is resigning from the newspaper.

Mr. Possley, who joined the Tribune in 1984, on Monday volunteered to be one of the staffers laid off in upcoming newsroom cuts the paper is making to balance falling advertising revenue with expenses. […]

The Tribune is trimming roughly 60 newsroom staffers in the first cuts to follow two rounds of voluntary buyouts in the past year.

Mr. Possley’s decision was based on what he referred to as the “stunning . . . dismantling of our newspaper in such a short time,” according to his note.

* Meanwhile, GateHouse continues to crumble. Its stock price is in the dumpster and some of its newspapers are being forced to share editorials. The Patriot Ledger just ran an editorial from the Rockford Register Star…

Beginning today, we will occasionally offer editorials from our other GateHouse publications on a variety of subjects that may or may not reflect our editorial view.

They sound so enthused.

* If you want another reason to be troubled by the slash and burn at the Trib and the tanking media in general, check out this lede

One of the finalists to lead the office charged with ferreting out political corruption under Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is an attorney who led the county’s defense in a landmark illegal patronage case.

Only in Illinois.

And only Illinoisans can cover and analyze it. Not some far-away editorial board in Massachusetts.

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      


Money

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2008

* I told you yesterday that the governor had managed to shave a bunch of money off the debt he owes to Winston & Strawn…

The debt to Winston & Strawn has dropped from $965,352.04 in the last filing period to $750K in this filing period. But no money was reported as being paid to the firm this year. A campaign spokesperson said that the reduced amount was the result of negotiations with the firm. The guv’s people have said for some time now that they’ve disputed some of the charges, and subscribers know another story about the law firm that I told them a couple of months ago.

The spokesman added that no separate legal fund has been set up by the governor.

* Joe Ryan at the Daily Herald asked a good follow-up question

The last reported bill from Winston & Strawn is from October 2007, but campaign spokesman Doug Scofield said the firm continues to work for the campaign.

“They have been,” he said. “There has just been no charges from them during this six-month reporting period.”

Scofield said the amount of firm’s work has been “similar” to that of the past.

If the work load has been “similar” to what the firm has done in the past, then the governor’s campaign has apparently just not received a bill yet.

No report of new bills doesn’t mean there won’t be a bill soon.

* Meanwhile, the Tribune has a very good fundraising roundup today

Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan had $2.6 million after pulling in nearly $570,000 in donations during the first half of the year, while Comptroller Dan Hynes quietly raised nearly $740,000 and had almost $2.4 million in the bank. Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias raised nearly $660,000 and had about $1.3 million available along with nearly $2.3 million in previous family loans listed as debts.

Among possible Republican candidates for governor, Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington, an unsuccessful contender in 2006, had $67,413 in cash on hand and debts, largely personal, of $685,750 after raising $55,730. DuPage County State’s Atty. Joe Birkett, who lost for lieutenant governor two years ago, raised nearly $64,000 and spent $57,000, leaving $96,713 in his campaign fund.

In the legislature, House Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago reported a combined total of more than $1.85 million in cash between his personal campaign fund and the state Democratic Party’s committee he chairs. Rep. Tom Cross of Oswego, the Republican leader of the House, was expected to show $1.1 million in his own campaign fund, aides said. Another House GOP campaign fund held $111,779.

Democratic Senate President Emil Jones of Chicago listed more than $2 million in his personal and caucus campaign funds. Senate Republican leader Frank Watson of Greenville had more than $2.3 million in cash on hand in the campaign accounts he controls along with another $230,000 in investment funds.

* And expect more stories about this

A preliminary review of the donors reveals several state contractors. The governor has yet to sign an ethics measure on his desk that would make it illegal for state contractors to donate to such campaigns.

* The Sun-Times looks at a local race

In the hotly contested race for Cook County state’s attorney, Democratic prosecutor Anita Alvarez brought in $1.1 million in cash and in-kind contributions, along with a $600,000 loan from her husband. She spent nearly $1 million of it on her hard-fought primary election, leaving her $127,000 cash on hand.

Her Republican opponent, Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica, brought in about $73,000 and reported $44,000 cash on hand.

* The Reader claims that Anita Alvarez’s bigtime fundraising is a bad thing, and that Tony Peraica’s paltry take shows what a fine outstanding person he is…

Their success at fund-raising the last few months is similarly dissimilar, according to reports just filed with the state board of elections: she’s raised gobs of money from a long list of insiders; he hasn’t. She looks like she’s going to have a party apparatus working for her; he couldn’t find a party apparatus if he wanted to. She’s taking money from some of the very people she criticized in the primary; he can only dream of such lucrative, uh, flexibility. She’s—well, you get the point.

Warning: The comments over there are just ridiculously goofy. The Reader has the worst, nastiest most libelous and boorish commenters in all of Illinois. The paper ought to be ashamed of itself, but it refuses to do anything about the problem. Good luck with that.

* Related…

* Southern Illinois candidates report fundraising figures

* Rep. Wait, challenger about even in cash on hand

* Race on for political funds

* GOP light on funding for coming races

* Rep. Sommer reports $9,000 for November election

* Lawmakers disclose fundraising status

* Lawmakers report fundraising numbers

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


Morning Shorts

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2008

* Want a Better Life in Illinois? - Drive 33 miles.

* Week begins with more gun violence in Chicago

* Report: Overcrowding Correlates with Violence at Cook County Jail

* Atheist aims new weapon in his crusade

Sometimes it just took one phone call,” Sherman said. “But now [my threats to take legal action] aren’t just a bluff. I can back them up.”

Why? Because last year, Sherman said, he inherited from his mother a sum that he characterizes as “a multimillion-dollar amount . . . more money than I can ever spend.”

* City seeks ideas for new O’Hare terminal

* City may spend $2 million on O’Hare art exhibit

“Every penny that comes out of the airport’s discretionary funds is less money available for necessary projects that keep the terminals, runways and facilities in [good] operating condition.”

* AT&T refunds $1.5 million in Illinois settlement

* Illinois: AT&T agrees to refunds

Madigan’s office said the phone company quietly made the refunds last October and November. The refunds amounted to about $40 for each AT&T customer across the state, a Madigan spokeswoman said.

* Department of Natural Resources launches Web site

* State pension plans adjust strategies

* Oberweis stresses diversification necessary to reduce oil costs

“It’s really clear to me that we can bring the cost of energy down by encouraging more American-made energy,” Oberweis said.

* Foster finds border security needs enhancement while on fact-finding mission

* Rep. Foster Travels To U.S.-Mexico Border

* Feds want to slap $10,000 fine on Aviation Dept.

- Posted by Kevin Fanning   7 Comments      


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Tuesday, Jul 22, 2008

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Question of the day
* Here we go again...
* Who raised what in AG race?
* Warning issued over putting medically fragile children in Medicaid managed care
* Schakowsky, Gutierrez endorse Lipinski's Democratic opponent
* Rauner tied to Greitens, Pritzker tied to Blagojevich
* Some states looking for ways around federal tax law
* *** UPDATED x2 - Pritzker, Rauner, RGA respond *** Watch Dem candidates appear at Sun-Times
* Poll: Rauner leads Ives 65-21
* Not the governor's greatest day
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Kennedy needs to dig deeper, but can he?
* The fight for second place
* Group offers possible fix to problems with Rauner's AV
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

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* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in pa.....
* Rauner on Medicaid to Work Idea - Alton Daily News..
* Tracking Miles Driven? - Alton Daily News..
* Tracking Miles Driven? | Alton Daily News - Alt.....


* Chicago trader accused of killing friend, dumping body
* Illinois sheriff helping people find opioid antidote drug
* Judge keeping some documents secret in Hastert lawsuit
* Ex-Ataris bassist indicted, accused of telemarketing fraud
* Rock bassist indicted, accused of telemarketing fraud
* Suspect in terror-related case claims 'combatant immunity'
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in last 3 months
* Chicago group sues US Steel over Indiana plant's discharges
* 2nd case of measles confirmed in person who was at O'Hare
* Illinois woman gets 15 years for crash that killed teen

* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $26M in last 3 months
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in last 3 months
* Statehouse bill would connect rural schools to high-speed internet
* Statehouse bill would connect rural schools to high speed internet
* Education officials want to double state budget for schools
* University of Illinois trustee seat has been empty a year
* Rauner campaign: 'Governor believes David Duke is a racist'
* Rauner defends amendatory veto of school funding bill
* Rauner signs bill to focus on needs of female prison inmates
* Rauner tours Lincoln prison, touts reforms helping female inmates

* Here's Latinicity's new sit-down restaurant
* Paul Vallas says he's 'seriously considering' running for mayor
* Poll finds Rauner way ahead of GOP challenger
* Dow set to close above 26,000 for first time
* Dow closes above 26,000 for first time


* No one injured in Aurora house fire
* Drunken driver facing multiple charges after crashing into bench in Riverside
* Pair of burglaries reported at South Shore businesses
* Dear Abby: Boyfriend keeps stalling on popping question
* Mother of child killed in 2017 crash with CTA bus sues her driver, CTA
* Horoscope for Jan. 18, 2018
* Northwestern’s down year continues with 71-65 loss to Ohio State
* Bulls can try and copy the Warriors system, but talent remains a huge gap
* 2 burglaries in 2 days reported in same Grand Crossing block
* Schweinsteiger signs one-year deal to return to Fire


* Warriors down Bulls 119-112, tie team record with 14th straight road victory
* Fact check: Trump's 'Fake News Awards' focused on reports that were wrong — and quickly corrected
* Two shot in Albany Park
* Quarterback's death permeates NCAA convention discussions
* Bastian Schweinsteiger re-signs with Fire for 2018 season: 'I love this city, this sport and winning'
* Government shutdown threat remains with divisions over immigration, military dollars
* Trump allegedly told porn actress she reminded him of Ivanka during their affair
* Gay couple who ordered wedding programs got pamphlets about Satan instead, lawsuit says
* Archdiocese: 5 Catholic schools to close, several parishes merge
* Warriors respect talent and potential of Bulls' Lauri Markkanen


» 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
» Democratic Candidates In Lockstep At Justice Forum


* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $26M in last 3 months
* Our View: Focus on cost-cutting, then turn to taxes
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in last 3 months
* Statehouse bill would connect rural schools to high-speed internet
* Education officials want to double state budget for schools
* University of Illinois trustee seat has been empty a year
* Rauner campaign: 'Governor believes David Duke is a racist'
* Our View: Dubious tariff endangers newspapers' future
* Byron York: Paul Manafort has a point
* EJ Dionne: Will Trump exhaust our democratic capacities?


* '12 Strong' movie tells story of elite 'horse soldiers,' including Cahokia man
* Suspect barricades himself in car after police chase
* Parent who used SWIC childcare reacts to elimination of program
* Norman 'Jay' Elkins
* Margaret Maxine Stone
* LeClaire home offers beautiful views of the river
* Free workshop explains cancer
* David 'Hacksaw' Flannigan
* Paul D. 'Ike' Lincoln
* Jerrel Charles Mulvey


* The Latest: Benneteau beats 7th seed at Australian Open
* Federal responsibility in nuclear attack alerts is unclear
* Exports, consumers drive China's 6.9 percent growth in 2017
* Grandparents shocked by reports of 13 starved grandchildren
* Kazakhstan officials say 52 people die in bus fire

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* City Council Approves Cappleman-Sponsored Program To House Homeless
* Life In Chicago: Grant Fraud, Boot Bribery & Unnecessary OT
* Can The Winter Olympics Save The World?
* Gutierrez offers Kelly an apology, and all it took was the White House chief of staff implying Donald Trump, misspoke
* At The Illinois Holocaust Museum | Speak Truth To Power
* Happy Anniversary, La Patisserie P!
* Watch a BellyQ bartender make a newfangled old-fashioned using dancing fish flakes
* Activists clash with aldermen over community benefits at Obama Presidential Center hearing, and other Chicago news
* The [Wednesday] Papers
* Fix Illinois by breaking the state apart? A gubernatorial candidate makes the case.


* 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

  
* Tim Cook says future iOS update will let users turn iPhone performance throttling off
* Winter iPhone 8 and iPhone X demand forecast to be down
* Huawei integrating Android Messages app for SMS/RCS
* Apple’s future, iPhone addiction plans, Project Fi Unlimited & more – Pocketnow Daily
* Apple gives out $2,500 in stocks to most employees
* YouTube’s new monetization policies are cracking down on smaller channels
* Apple to Lease New Office Building in Culver City

* 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
* White Sox announce player development staff
* Robert at ease during Sox hitters mini-camp
* Moncada guiding Robert during mini-camp


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