A major increase in the price to register as a state lobbyist has been halted by a federal judge who deemed the $1,000 annual fee too high.
U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall issued a preliminary injunction late Friday that puts on hold the 2009 law that nearly tripled registration fees for most lobbyists.
More than 3,900 lobbyists and lobbying groups have been registered in recent years, but none was required to register or pay fees this year while the state awaited action in the lawsuit.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, which brought the case, argued that the state law violates the constitutional right to freedom of speech because it requires an unreasonable fee to lobby before the Illinois General Assembly.
This law would cost a small not-for-profit whose executive director doubles as a part-time lobbyist $2,000 a year - half for the exec director’s fee and the other for the association’s fee. Ridiculous.
* Dear Aaron Schock and John Shimkus,
I don’t think anybody is asking you to give back project money that you voted against…
Two congressmen representing the Springfield area Friday defended earmarks they requested for local projects, even though they voted against the measure that paid for them.
Republican U.S. Reps. Aaron Schock and John Shimkus were at Lincoln Land Community College to tout a $350,000 grant for a green technologies education program. Both voted against the budget bill that funded the project after pushing for its inclusion as an earmark.
Some are just asking you to be honest about how y’all rail against spending while you’re in DC while using that spending to glorify yourselves back home.
* Dear Illinois Responsible Budget Coalition,
Your group’s abbreviation - ILResponsibleBudget - is a bit, um, off. And your Internet promo video? Ummm…
* Dear IllinoisIsBroke.com,
The form e-mail that you want citizens to send to their legislators is intellectually dishonest and, frankly, an insult…
If you would like my support (and the support of my considerable circle of family, friends and acquaintances) this election year, then take a public stand for fiscal responsibility. Publicly promise to balance the state budget by cutting expenses until they are in line with revenues. Reform our unaffordable pension and retiree health care programs. Please assure me you will be part of the solution and not a continuation of the problem.
How about giving people the real scoop on what cutting expenses by $13 billion a year - close to 40 percent of state spending - would do to the budget?
* Dear SouthtownStar editorial board,
The problem with the current redistricting process isn’t that strongly Democratic areas have lots of Democratic legislators and strongly Republican areas are represented by Republicans…
While population shifts during the past 15 years created a more stable Democratic base in the south suburbs, Democratic control of the remapping process in 2001 formally extinguished any chance of bipartisan south suburban representation.
We’re not picking on the Democrats. Republicans control other parts of the state, and residents there are not well-served, either. The point is, competition infuses accountability into government.
A non-partisan map would still undoubtedly produce lots of all-Republican and all-Democratic districts. That’s just how people cluster themselves. I seriously doubt, for instance, that you could get more than the one Republican House district they have today in Chicago. Heck, you might not even get that if the districts aren’t allowed to cross-over into the suburbs - as the redistricting plan you’re supporting would require.
The way you get some minority party representation in those areas is to go back to the pre-Cutback Amendment days.
* Your turn…
…Adding… Dear Chicago Tribune editorial board,
Calling (again) for the downsizing of the capital bill is crazy on a number of fronts, including the shape of the job market these days. Then there’s this…
Engineers are recommending Illinois invest at least $27 billion into fixing its deteriorating infrastructure — about double the state’s $13 billion budget deficit.
The American Society of Civil Engineers performed a study on Illinois’ infrastructure and gave the state a D+ overall.
The study looked at Illinois’ aviation services, bridges, dams, drinking water, water ways, rail services, roads, transit and wastewater infrastructure. Each category was rated and the average grade was found. […]
Drinking water received a D+, and the engineers group recommended a $13.5 billion investment in the next two decades is to get the state’s drinking water up to par. As for wastewater, the group recommended $13.4 billion go into new infrastructure over the next 20 years in Illinois. […]
“Much more is needed than what that capital bill is funding,” King said. “Our capital bill in Illinois is going to hit some of our infrastructure, but a substantially larger investment ultimately is going to be necessary.”
It was a thing of beauty to watch Rachel Maddow rip Aaron Shock a new one on Meet The Press for his hypocrisy on the stimulus project. She also whacked him but good on other issues where he tried to have rhetoric substitute for facts.
I posted the schock clip below because he got absolutely manhandled. Brooks (u of chicago) and maddow (rhodes scholar) gave him a bit of a whack.
He also got destroyed on national security issues. less time taking pictures at pools with women in bikinis and gq more time being a congressman.
To the conservatives who hate on mark kirk but think that people like richard shelby and shock and shimkus are ok because they are pro-life, remember that Kirk unlike those guys who eat pork every day in d.c. does not take earmarks and he’s on the committee most members join just to get earmarks.
- Will County Woman - Tuesday, Feb 16, 10 @ 12:56 pm:
Look, I just want the best governor that I can get. I don’t care what political party or if many/most of his ideological views may differ from my own so keep this in mind with respect to my first two offerings…
Dear Paul Vallas:
I repsect your interrest in helping the Haitian education system post devastating earthquake, but in many ways Illinois government, given its many deficiencies, especially when it comes to leadership or prospects for leadership, is a lot like Haiti. Besides, charity begins at home. Your time, talents and skills are so needed here. Illinois has no chance without someone like you running for governor. Please reconsider your position on not running for gov this year. PLEASE! If you were to throw your hat into the ring, you’re polling would be off the charts—it would be so high against the present crap, er i mean crop. please note that I did NOT vote for Blago in 2002. :)
Dear Bill Brady and Jason Plummer:
Let Dillard run in either or both of your places he has exectutive office experience and understands how politics works here. Neither of you are very convincing and I don’t think either of you are prepared to govern, epsecially in the crisis situation Illinois is in.
Scott Lee Cohen:
Whatever tricks you may have up your sleeve as it relates to the remainder of the 2010 election cycle, spare us! You quit, that’s it.
Dear Rev. Sen. James Meeks:
Seriously, what have you actually DONE for the betterment of education in Illinois? other than talk? Where are the children in downstate areas to go if their schools are failing them? Will they get vouchers to attend “good” schools in the nothern part of the state, such as New Trier? You’re talk is not very practical, and until you have actual results to bring forth to show that your ideas will work maybe its best that you actually do something before proposing radical changes. Some bright person once proposed cutting back the IL GA, and that proposal was put into effect. As I am sure you are aware that cutback, while well-meaning and well-intentioned, had some serious consequences. Illinois is suffering today as a result of that cutback action.
Dear Gov. Quinn and David Vaught:
If you guys are around next year, get your budget done on time, and make that a yearly goal through 2014. You have responsibilities and no one forced either of you to be in your present jobs. You wanted the job, you accepted the job. You got it and all that it entails. Part of your responsibility is to make the budget address the third week of february. that you have been campaiging for the primary and therefore were unable to do the budget on time is not a valid excuse. death in the family or illness or other things of an unaviodable or unplanned nature are valid, but campaiging isn’t. And whatever you do, don’t even think about pursuing a stopgap for fy11.
Dear Speaker Madigan:
Get your house dems to approve Quinn’s tax increase. let’s have no back and forth with republicans on this.
Now that there is a prominent gubernatorial candidate calling for Illinois to cut taxes AND cut the budget to bring it in balance, please do a better job this year of explaining the Illinois budget to the state’s constituents.
That means what a $13 billion cut means and what Illinois’ tax burden is compared to other states.
It ain’t easy, but the burden is on your end to make it understandable. If taxpayers don’t understand it, that means it is your fault to convey the message.
“Ummm” is a very kind assment of that glorified Powerpoint with music. There’s actually a compelling story for them to tell, but this falls way short. Find someone who knows how to put together a decent video.
Dear Rocky Wirtz — Outstanding work up to now. This is your year, if you get another goalie. Please do so.
Dear Jerry Reinsdorf — Go all in for Lebron in next year’s free agency sweepstakes. The masochists currently selling out the United Center for your weak product will gladly pay another $20 a ticket to see a new Bull’s dynasty built around James, Rose and Noah.
Dear Carlos Zambrano — push yourself away from the dinner table every once in a while, take your meds and start earning your #1 Starter contract.
Dear Ozzie Guillen — now that the Juiced Player Era is over, let’s see some real Ozzie Ball.
Dear Frank Thomas — Thanks for the memories and for playing by the rules. You were one of the best right-handed hitters of all time.
Dear Mark McGwire — stop your crying and just go away, again. And take that lying Tony LaRussa with you.
Dear Ted Phillips, Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith — enjoy your last year in Chicago.
===In essence, Miller was saying Brady’s voting record was far too conservative for Illinois voters. I suppose Mr. Miller forgot about then-state Sen. Peter Fitzgerald–who was just as conservative as Brady–who defeated incumbent Carol Moseley Braun in 1998 for the United States Senate. But all because Miller authors Capitol Fax that doesn’t mean facts like this should get in the way of his argument. You see, something’s are all in a name.===
“In essence,” I said that Brady needed to learn to speak the language of a general election, that he had a voting history which could appeal to reform-minded independents, but did have some votes that put him out of the mainstream that could cause him political trouble. I also said he had a legit shot at winning.
Also, picking on my interns is something I won’t soon forget.
Take a good look at whats happening in New Jersey as far as budget cuts. I believe ill. is in worse shape finacially then Jersey but there is no easy way out of this mess. Madiagan and Quinn just want to get through this election before the roof caves in.
Ha. Not only do they brag about the money coming to their district for projects they voted against, but I also find it amusing that this project in question is for “green” technologies education when the Republican Party is so adamant against accepting any science related to climate change. What happened to God deciding when the earth will end, Rep. Shimkus? What of your concern that capping carbon dioxide emissions will limit “plant food” in the atmosphere?
I believe Obama Jackson Davis Durbin Rush Schankowsky all voted against Bush budgets but were happy to talk about money they brought home to the voters. nice doublem standard. Schock does look like an idiot, why anyone does those shows is beyond me.Although Quigley did ok on the Colbert report.
===Miller’s “interns” found that Brady, “sponsored legislation to ban the use of state funds for stem cell research.” Oh my! I think Mr. Miller’s “interns” left out the word “embryonic” in that sentence. But maybe they don’t know the difference because they’re only “interns”.===
Stay classy, RFFM… whatever that is.
Illinois State Board of Elections: Your website is still garbage. Still.
Jim Ryan: The voters have sent you yet another not-so-subtle hint. Your time is over. Take your buddy Joe Birkett with you. P.S. I don’t know what is in the water at the DuPage SA’s office, but man do the guys in that chair age poorly.
Dan Seals: Last chance buddy, it is either DC or a real job.
Everybody: Brace yourselves, Judy is indeed “back.”
Betty Loren-Maltese: Run again. Why not? The last Vil. Pres. was a shoe salesman and the current Pres. is, well… he has his issues. Popularity is relative my dear Betty!
Rich, as a conservative, there are many issues that you and I will disagree on. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoy CapFax and have not seen anything that is blatently wrong or misleading. You post the facts. I also think it is great that you have the ability to “sponsor?” interns. DZ is wacko (to use highly technical medical terminology).
He’s just whacking you because their LG nominee has taken the hit for claiming more experience than justified since he was only an intern.
- A matter of Trust - Tuesday, Feb 16, 10 @ 2:00 pm:
Under our current map, their have been 547 general elections that included an incumbent. The incumbent record is 536 to 11. Incumbents have won 98% of the time. You can’t tell me that incumbents drawing their own districts did not play a small part in their victories. There are plenty of advantages that incumbents have over challengers to be successful, but challengers should at least be able to start the election with a balanced district.
Even more appalling than the lack of competition is that the map stalemate is broken by a game of chance by ‘lot”, literally out of a hat for a political party to have complete control of the process.
There a numerous reasons to support the Illinois Fair Map Amendment. It provides for the drawing of General Assembly districts by a bipartisan commission. The commission meetings will be open to the public and it shall hold several hearings across the state to take testimony before a map is drawn and after it creates a suggested map. Maps will be drawn in a manner that prior voting data and incumbency shall not be considered and maps shall not be drawn to favor or discriminate against any political party or group. It raises the bar by Changing the vote required by the General Assembly in creating legislative districts from the current simple majority to a 2/3 vote. Finally and I find to be the most important, the current “tie breaker” system of drawing one of two names out of a “hat” is replaced with a “Special Master” chosen by the Illinois Supreme Court Justice and a justice of the opposite party.
Don’t forget elections 101, keep your message concise and tight so that voters can understand it. This is one segment of election reform will provide for fairness in elections. Trying to do to much in one amendment such as the Put Back Amendment will complicate the presentation to the public and increase the chances that it will fail.
===There a numerous reasons to support the Illinois Fair Map Amendment.===
More reasons than opportunities perhaps. Not to criticize anyone’s efforts, but $13,000 and, from what I hear, less than 1,000 signatures collected thus far isn’t a very strong showing for a statewide ballot initiative.
Also, redistricting press conferences with all white faces at the table? Talk about messaging and elections 101.
Maybe the amendment is a good idea in substance, maybe it isn’t. But for some of us, the process is just as interesting as the eventual outcome. This “process” looks to be off to a shaky start.
===Maybe the amendment is a good idea in substance, maybe it isn’t.===
It has serious substance problems - too much legislative power vested in IL Supreme Court, for one - and I’m not sure it can even withstand judicial review to get on the ballot.
But most of the editorials I’ve seen focus on two things - that Democrats horrifyingly represent Democratic areas and Republicans represent Republican areas. That won’t change unless we have a government resettlement program. lol
Also, the edit boards rightly slam that crazy congressional map. I seriously doubt that’ll ever happen again, though.
We need reform. Badly. But for the right reasons. The congressional map is a prime example of politicians choosing their voters. That has to end.
Dear Aaron Schock and John Shimkus,
Some are just asking you to be honest about how y’all rail against spending while you’re in DC while using that spending to glorify yourselves back home.
“I believe as elected representatives we have a responsibility to advocate for our districts,” Schock, of Peoria, said after a press conference at the college. “Because I don’t believe that the budget is responsible doesn’t mean that I’m going to abdicate my second responsibility, which is to advocate for our fair share of the funding.”
Sounds like an answer to me.
Maddow’s disingenuous tantrums on this point ignors the realities of politics. If you needed a new car, you shouldn’t have to pay $1 trillion more than you expected it to cost. If you are overuled, it doesn’t mean you don’t get your car.
Maddow’s argument is as ridiculous as those who are demanding that Illinois towns that don’t want casino gambling, shouldn’t get any casino gambling tax revenues.
What do you expect the Congressmen to do? Show up at the ribbon cutting ceremonies complaining that although they got money for the projects they wanted, they were outvoted at the trough by bigger piggies?
Well, here is your chance to impress, got any issues, candidates, ideas, etc., you want to make a case for to the voters, agenda maybe?
Dear Pat Quinn,
“1, 2, 3 …” don’t count those chickens too early. Be a governor, show the GOP as “do-nothings”, run with Lisa and Jesse and stay away from Alexi. You got away from primary disaster, make the most of your second electoral chance.
Dear GOP Guv candidate (Brady, for now),
Do not get painted in any light. Define yourself, and do yourself a favor; think FISCAL not SOCIAL. The state is ripe to remove the Mansion from Dem control, but if you keep going with this “Social” agenda as the spearhead, getting that out there first, heaven help you. F I S C A L…..
Dear Nomineee Plummer,
Stop talking. Literally. Go on vacation. Write a book. Eat a sandwich. Get on your Fischer Price computer, look up races with candidates who were real young, no legislative experience, and were in high profile races … and read. Do not say, “You know, I’d gladly match my leadership and my executive experience up to most anybody’s.” or “I know hard work, and I had to buy my car. …”
Do yourself that favor, Do not talk, study those races, and pray Celerity was not just something that your Dad was the sole investor, and daddy let you play with like Lincoln Logs, then sold it, by which, you lost your toy.
Dear Speaker Madigan,
Do not forget the MJM Rules when picking the LG nominee with the SCC. You will catch flack, they are going to berate you, but you will outlast them all. Do nothing to upset/harm the House Majority, Do nothing to harm or likely harm Lisa. Show that discipline we know you have.
Let MJM live by his rules, and an opening will be found to get back the Mansion. Do not get in the way of your enemy self-distructing. Re-charge, Re-group, and rally around the guv nominee. this is the best chance to get the mansion back since Ryan lost to Rod, do not blow it.
Be careful lining up with the big business special interests in your campaign for redistricting reform.
Their interests aren’t better government, just government that is better for them.
- A matter of Trust - Tuesday, Feb 16, 10 @ 2:32 pm:
Obamarama. It is not a very credible position to start your argument with hearsay. Your experience has been in complete contradiction to mine. I see a vast coalition of reform groups, political groups, and advocacy groups on board and active in the movement. I see many events taking place and troops on the street collecting signatures door to door, at community events, and business activities. I see leaders of the movement making the pitch to other organizations with grass roots capability. I see the same leaders of the movement working the mass media and getting solid statewide coverage. I see social media networks that have grown dramatically in the past two weeks in support of the IL Fair Map. Heck, I have personally gotten 400 signatures myself. So I know that your assessment is wrong and an attempt to demoralize those that are out making a difference. Rest assured we will get this done and provide change even for you.
“Also, the edit boards rightly slam that crazy congressional map. I seriously doubt that’ll ever happen again, though.
We need reform. Badly. But for the right reasons. The congressional map is a prime example of politicians choosing their voters. That has to end.”
You know how the massive old Post Office building straddles the Eisenhower expressway near downtown Chicago? Well word was that when Cardiss Collins’s district was being redrawn and a new, Hispanic district had to be drawn, the mappers considered running her district from the western edge of the center of Chicago through all of the West Side, then under the Post Office via the Eisenhower; then they would have expanded it along the lakefront to include Cardiss’s condo and as much population as they needed. Then the new Hispanic district would have run through the Post Office over the Eisenhower to connect the north side and southwest side Hispanic populations.
But the mappers decided that three-dimensional districts were just a little too crazy. So you see, it could have been worse.
Well I will be glad to take back anything that isn’t true. You have 400 signatures. Fine. I believe you. How many are there total? How much money has been raised so far for the effort?
Also, a lot of the reform groups and organizations that are participating are 501c3 organizations that are limited in the amount of political activity that they can engage in, not to mention how small the full-time staffs of nonprofits are.
If this effort wasn’t a long shot, why are we seeing so many of these organizations cozying up to the very businesses and interests they have spent most of their existences working against? Oh right, a common interest in “good government.” Give me a break.
You can’t be against everyone else’s pork but your own, like you seem to be arguing.
If you get money from the legislative processes for a needed project, but the process itself becomes corrupted, that doesn’t mean you have to hold your tongue. You are still reponsible for exposing the corruption. The fact that this wasteful “stimulus” bill passed and included the money needed to fund your particular project, doesn’t make you a thief too. Prosecutors do discriminate between the guys carting off the Trillion, and the guys who changed their minds, but still got project funding.
This isn’t, “In for a penny, in for a pound.”
These people are supposed to discriminate where our money goes. If they follow this line of thinking, then they are not doing their jobs.
Congressmen Shimkus and Schock have explained why the are excited over getting the funding they needed for this community college project. Then they explained how they can discriminate between their constituent’s needs for this project from the corruption that occurred during the legislative process to get that funding.
Congress shouldn’t operate under the “Honor Among Thieves” standard, as suggested by critics and cynics alike.
One thing I would add, Obamarama, is that some groups like the Chamber which fought tooth and nail against the constitutional convention are now backing this amendment.
- Will County Woman - Tuesday, Feb 16, 10 @ 3:34 pm:
Oswego Willy, we finally. agree on something, though it would’ve been nice had Quinn actually started governing last year, instead of squandering opportunity and seriously damaging his credibility. I agree with you about Plummer. He strikes me as the type who watches and Hannity, and thinks Sean Hannity is the most brilliant and knowledge about politics/governing.
Heet101 if you and the others don’t mind I have this bit of unsolicited advice for Bill Brady Jason Plummer…
Bill Brady, if you, by some miracle, win the governor’s race, don’t give Jason Plummer a lot of (good) stuff to do. Just let him serve on the two councils that the lt. gov serves on and call it a day. Also maintain your good health and don’t wittingly or unwittingly engage in any criminal acts. the last thing Illinois needs is for Jason to ascend to the governor’s office because you fell ill or were removed.
Jason: stop watching and listening to Hannity. he’s not that smart and he doesn’t really know what he is talking about. Has he ever been elected to a public office? See, what I mean.
- Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Feb 16, 10 @ 3:37 pm:
Dear heet101, please post more like your 2:37.
That was the “spit out the Diet Coke” moment of the day.
- Will County Woman - Tuesday, Feb 16, 10 @ 3:46 pm:
oh shoot! reading about Evan Byah just caused me to think of one more…
if you want to win you better stir up strong vote the incumbent out feelings in illinois. it’s your only way. i’m guessing you’re more of a threat to quinn than brady because it is the dems and independents who are most unhappy and looking for somewhere else to turn. ;)
- Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Feb 16, 10 @ 3:51 pm:
Dear Sen’s Munoz, Luechtefeld, and other Exec Appointments members:
Before your vote to confirm the 29-year old (wow, he’s only 2 years older than that baby Plummer) State Police Director, visit www.ispeeved.blogspot.com and see what a number of the Troops think of their “chief.” Taking first aid training is hardly burnishing his scant resume. (AA would assume he already knew how to fire a service pistol and the firearms training was perfunctory.)
Dear General Assembly and Governor Quinn,
Please read New Jersey Governor Christie’s recent speech on the fiscal state of emergency that New Jersey is now in and the reforms he proposed to begin the process of digging out of it.
Are you brave enough to take a similar course of action with IL’s fiscal emergency? If not, we are all doomed. You can’t make changes around the margins with this large of a budget deficit. Imagination and courage coupled with real change are needed.
As long as you’re out driving up and down, where to who knows, drop that blade and push all that blowing/drifting snow off the road. Three to four inches across the lanes seems like a good time to not only get where you’re headed but to also put yourself to use as you get there.
NJ Gov Christie cut $1.3 billion for this fiscal year.
Their deficit for next year is $11 BILLION.
If he is getting this much uproar over the expected fare increases, increased property taxes, and other public-opinion outrages that will result from this budget, imagine what cuts 10 TIMES as big would do?
George….. The main point I was trying to make about Gov Christie’s speech is that drastic measures have to be taken to help balance the budget or even to shave a mere 1.3 billion off the budget. If not the ones that he proposed, then what??
Try to understand and exploit the difference between when the GOP threatens to fillibuster health care and actually forcing them to do so. Instead of backing down when threatened, perhaps you might ask Senator Reid to encourage a GOP fillibuster over healthcare.
Let them take and hold the floor of the Senate, preventing any other business from being done. Let it go on for days, weeks even. 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will surely backfire on them.
Then, once America sees the GOP for what it is on healthcare, ie, enabling insurance companies that are dumping people with pre-existing conditions (while earning record profits), and denying millions affordable coverage, all it will take it 50 votes plus Biden to put this country on the path to long term economic recovery. In the process, it’ll also save the Democrats’ bacon in November.
You should do more homework. The Schock-Shimkus deal is dead wrong. You are misleading everyone. They asked for the money prior to the stimulus bill, it was included in an omnibus bill, that was eventually rolled into the stimulus bill. Yes while the voted against the stimulus bill, they can still take credit for the project as they made the request prior to it being rolled into the stimulus bill. The school would not have received anything had it not been for them. So yes they can take some credit. Voting against stimulus also gets some credit. It takes guts to vote against something that contains some of what you worked for, but most of what you worked against. It is a nice political ploy so you can create problems later on. This is going to be a Democratic strategy forward; show hypocrisy by putting one thing a Repub wants in a bill loaded with more stuff they don’t want, then when the Repub votes against it, call him/her a hypocrite. Good political strategy, bad for us civilians. Please don’t cheer lead for political games.
Dear Springfield, please unbury the parking ticket payment drop box on the corner of 2nd and Monroe. I think that ticket payments should not be overdue until that box is unburied.
- fredformeranon - Wednesday, Feb 17, 10 @ 8:44 am:
-Not when you’re in the minority and you know it’s going to be passed and signed anyway. It’s called having your cake and eating it.-
At that point in time, no one, not even you, knew what was ahead for the Republicans. So in hindsight, it is have your cake and eat it too. But at the time, it was very risky. With what appeared to be a mandate, a quickly disintegrating economy, and an extremely popular president, I wouldn’t call it a low risk vote on his part at all.
Again, I am not cheerleading for the guy. I think Maddow is part of a new generation of smarmy John Stewart type journalists where humor and snarkiness are accepted and manners go out the window. Ya, ya, ya Fox News is evil. I am not supporting Fox News either. So lets stay on point.
- Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Feb 17, 10 @ 8:45 am: