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Davis fumes about Clinton, while Emanuel court hearing to start Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec 28, 2010

* One of the reasons that labor unions backed off their initial intense opposition to Rahm Emanuel a couple months ago was that they were told Bubba and otheres were coming to town to campaign for the guy. Danny Davis isn’t pleased with the development

When Congressman Danny Davis first heard that longtime friend former President Bill Clinton was coming to campaign for a rival in the Chicago mayor’s race, he was unfazed.

But the more the Democrat thought about it, the more worried he got, and he decided to issue this message to the former head of state: Butt out of Chicago politics — or else.

Davis’ press release plays the race card hard

“While we recognize the right of any individual to endorse and support any candidate that they so choose, I am seriously concerned and disturbed by press reports that former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to come to Chicago to campaign for Rahm Emanuel, who is a candidate for Mayor.

“The African American community has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the Clintons, however it appears as though some of that relationship maybe fractured and perhaps even broken should former President Clinton come to town and participate overtly in efforts to thwart the legitimate political aspirations of Chicago’s Black community.

“We respectfully request and urge former President Clinton not to become involved in the Chicago Mayoral Election.

* Whatever happens, expect an appeal

Attorneys for Rahm Emanuel and those fighting his mayoral bid appeared briefly before a Cook County Circuit Court judge Tuesday, the start of what is expected to be a series of legal challenges to the Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners’ recent ruling allowing Emanuel on the Feb. 22 ballot.

Judge Mark Ballard set a hearing for next Tuesday, when both sides are expected to make their formal arguments — which are like going to sound very familiar. Ballard also gave Emanuel’s attorneys until Friday to respond to legal documents filed by those challenging his candidacy.

Burt Odelson, the main attorney for those objecting to Emanuel’s presence on the ballot, said he expects the judge to make a ruling on the case next Tuesday.

* Related…

* Candidate slams ‘overnight deals’ - Davis criticizes the role of political clout in Chicago.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Tribune catches up on tax/bond story - Plus, an Illinois TABOR?

Tuesday, Dec 28, 2010

* I told subscribers about this general idea a week or so ago. But I don’t think that the one-year plan being reported today in the Trib is actually what’s going on

As the state’s stack of unpaid bills grows, Gov. Pat Quinn is floating the idea of borrowing roughly $15 billion to alleviate the pressure, though taxpayers would be saddled with loan payments for years.

The governor has approached several lawmakers with a plan he’s dubbed a “debt bond.” While the name is somewhat redundant, the thinking is the state can pay back what it owes and plug its big budget hole — if only for a year.

A one-year “solution” would be a genuinely stupid move if true. So I really don’t think it is true.

The state has to solve two problems here. The first is the structural deficit, which is about half of the $13-15 billion in red ink. For that, you need recurring revenues. A one-off loan won’t do anything about those recurring problems. The second task is the pile of past due bills, which is roughly about another half. That’s the part which can be taken care of with a bond. If you just borrowed $15 billion and didn’t raise revenues above and beyond the debt payments to wipe out the structural deficit (or use cuts in tandem to eliminate it), you’d be right back to square one in a year. Like I said, it would be stupid. And that’s why I don’t think this is a one-off plan. They may borrow $15 billion (last week, it was more like $9 billion, but things do change), but they also need to get rid of this structural deficit to prevent more past-due bills from piling up again.

Paying for any plan will require a tax hike…

The most conventional source of money to repay the loan — an income tax increase — is also the most controversial. House Speaker Michael Madigan has been polling his Democrats on a variety of tax-hike options to gauge which might have a chance of passing. The scenarios include theoretical tax increases that would be billed as temporary or permanent and range from 1 to 2 percentage points.

As subscribers know, Madigan recently moved in the direction of one of those tax hike plans. But, as I always warn, things do change, and nothing is final yet…

Publicly, Quinn is sticking by his proposed 1-percentage-point income tax increase, which he has dubbed a “surcharge for education.” Privately, the governor has discussed with lawmakers dividing the money generated from a tax increase between schools and the state’s general revenue fund. […]

For his part, Quinn said he continues to work on creating a “comprehensive revenue package.” Quinn supports raising taxes on cigarettes by up to $1 a pack and has indicated to some legislators that he could be coming around the idea of raising the gasoline tax — a move he previously has opposed.

* Meanwhile, my syndicated newspaper column looks at some of the changes ahead

Organized labor is engaged in a furious multifront legislative war in Illinois, and more skirmishes may be on the horizon.

Trade and industrial unions are hoping to mitigate major damage from proposed workers compensation reforms. Teacher unions are trying to fend off what they consider to be some egregious education reforms. And public employee unions are warily eyeing a potential new battle against a well-known foe that their counterparts in other states have had to face in the recent past. Looking at the battlefield right now, you’d probably never know that Illinois Democrats held onto power in last month’s elections.

The House appears to be taking the more radically conservative approach, but the Democratic Senate president is determined to pass some form of workers compensation reform before the current General Assembly wraps up business in early January. The same unions that pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into Senate campaigns are now fighting the very people they helped re-elect just a few short weeks ago.

The teacher unions are preparing scorched earth tactics for the House’s education reform bill, which they say will all but take away their right to strike, severely limit their collective bargaining powers and impose new state standards for firing or laying off teachers.

The union focus lately has turned toward a proposed constitutional amendment in the House for a so-called “Taxpayers Bill of Rights,” or TABOR, as it’s more commonly known around the nation. The proposal was quietly introduced during the veto session by Rep. Keith Farnham (D-Elgin), who also is backing the education reforms.

The measure would limit state spending to the previous year’s levels plus the average percentage increase (or decrease) of per capita personal income over the previous five years. Any spending above that would require a declaration of a fiscal emergency by the governor and a three-fifths vote in both chambers of the General Assembly. Any “extra” money would be placed in a rainy day fund or given back to taxpayers.

While House Speaker Michael Madigan’s position is not officially known, the unions have convinced themselves that Madigan will push it next month when the lame duck session resumes. Colorado’s TABOR required voter approval before spending or taxes could rise and was twice watered down in referendum voting. Attempts at passing similar proposals have failed in other states. Illinois may be the only state where a TABOR has Democratic backing.

The assault on public employee unions and government spending is not confined to Illinois, of course. Several other states are considering legislation to undermine the unions. Wisconsin’s new Republican governor-elect wants to get rid of collective bargaining rights for public workers. And New York’s Democratic governor-elect, Andrew Cuomo, has demanded a wage freeze from state employee unions and hinted at major layoffs if he doesn’t get what he wants. Cuomo also wants pension reform, teacher wage cuts and a 2 percent local property tax cap.

The Illinois Senate has been far less receptive to the House’s education reforms and likely will not love the Taxpayers Bill of Rights if it arrives. But the unions point to the big majorities for pension givebacks this year in both chambers and the Senate’s push for business-backed workers compensation and Medicaid reforms, so they aren’t taking any chances.

Unlike New York, where Cuomo courted trade unions during the campaign and tended to ignore the public employee/teachers unions, Gov. Pat Quinn heavily courted all sectors of organized labor and received gigantic contributions from pretty much everybody. Quinn, the unions believe, could be the ultimate “stopper.”

But if these and potentially other reforms are used by legislative Democrats to pry loose Republican votes for a tax hike, Quinn may have no choice but to climb on board and bite the hands which fed him so well this year.

So far, the House Republicans appear to be a bit more receptive to Democratic outreach than they were even a few weeks ago. The odds are still stacked against it, but if the Democrats keep moving rightward, the Republicans might (emphasis on “might”) possibly release a few votes for a tax hike.

* Related…

* Chicago schools confront an uncertain future

* New 2011 laws affect politics, speeders, pet shops

* SURS change will affect only new hires

* Next phase of Wacker construction set to start

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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* Sen. Donne Trotter retires
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* Vitriol continues in Durkin's primary race
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Judge clears courtroom in Rauner lawsuit hearing
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* Illinois governor to air advert of rival, Blago.....
* Ives Beats Rauner in Straw Poll - Alton Daily News..
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* EXCHANGE: Few shelters from cold for suburban homeless
* EXCHANGE: Cannery now handles weddings instead of pumpkins
* Serial stowaway arrested again at Chicago's O'Hare airport
* Former teacher sentenced to prison in child porn case
* Illinois union pioneer Paul Booth dead at 74
* Indiana man gets prison term for selling guns in Illinois
* Serial stowaway arrested again at Chicago's O'Hare airport
* Possible sighting of cougar in DuPage County
* Court in Chicago hears arguments on sanctuary cities
* Prosecutors to seek death penalty in Chinese scholar case

* Rauner order bars lawmakers from property-tax appeals
* Outdoor sports participants hoping for larger cut in farm bill
* U of I trustees approve 4th-straight tuition freeze
* Rauner to air extended ad of Pritzker, Blagojevich on wiretap
* Mendoza to keynote Women's March Saturday in Springfield
* Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid
* Under the Dome Podcast: More Blago-Pritzker talk, Rauner confirms Duke is racist
* U of I withdrew 35 job offers after background checks
* Frerichs: Can't get tax break for using college savings plan on private K-12 tuition
* Illinois governor to air extended ad of rival, Blagojevich on wiretap

* What you need to know about the L.A. Times 'frat-boy executive' scandal
* Law firms' 2018 resolution: Less paper
* Could this company become Chicago's own Salesforce?
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* In Chicago, does the new tax law mean a bonus?


* CX-3 is mighty Mazda crossover
* Police: Target shoplifters fled police, caused crash in Plainfield
* US flu season gets worse, has ‘lot more steam’ than expected
* Chicago rapper Fredo Santana reportedly dead at 27
* Daughter, father seriously hurt in Burnside home fire
* Pence says troops should not have to worry about shutdown
* Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten denied parole by governor
* Man shot inside Far South Side home
* Dear Abby: I’m 27 and still suck my thumb
* Congress has shut down the federal government. Now what?


* Tenant causes relationship tension
* 3 hospitalized after carbon monoxide leak at South Side grocery store
* Man shot in front of 3 children when someone fired on house
* Disabato: Vinny Curta keeps grinning as NCAA scoring leader at Grinnell
* There's a strong case to make that Trump is a big reason for the government shutdown
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* Gov. Brown reverses decision to parole Manson family killer
* What a federal government shutdown would mean in Chicago
* Illinois falls to 0-7 in Big Ten after getting blown out by Wisconsin
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» Chicago Schools Chief: Cost A Driver In Special Ed Overhaul
» One Year Later, Women’s March Demands More Than Attendance
» State Week: Education Funding, Pritzker-Blagojevich, Rauner-Duke
» Sheriff Offers To Help Review Police Shootings In Suburban Cook County
» A Prescription For Fruits And Veggies: One Solution To Food Insecurity in Illinois
» A Call For Transparency
» 2 Illinois Governor Candidates Spend $26M In Last 3 Months
» State Board of Education: Double School Funding Now
» Lawmakers Demand Fast Internet For Rural Schools
» 2 Dreamers Discuss Helping Other Immigrants Amid Uncertainty


* Ed Rogers: High stakes for Trump at the World Economic Forum
* Scott Reeder: Formula for political success is to listen to voters
* Rauner order bars lawmakers from property-tax appeals
* Outdoor sports participants hoping for larger cut in farm bill
* Point: Trump's stance gives hope to an Iranian majority that longs for freedom
* Counterpoint: Trump's assertive policies rally Iranian support for the Ayatollahs
* Thumbs Up: To investing in infrastructure
* Eugene Robinson: An administration with no credibility cannot lead
* U of I trustees approve 4th-straight tuition freeze
* Rauner to air extended ad of Pritzker, Blagojevich on wiretap


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* Notes: Defense an issue in loss to Badgers


* North Korea offers to resume pre-Olympic visit to South
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* The Latest: Djokovic into 4th round at Australian Open
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* 7 members of Illinois Congressional delegation co-sponsor Born Alive measure
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* Mom and Dad is a bracing Mad magazine-style satire
* Illinois Congressman Backstage at the March for Life 2018


* 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

  
* Shell wants to turn smartwatches into smartphones on a wing (or two)
* Gboard goes big on GIF creation in the suggestion bar
* iOS 11 is now on 65 percent of devices
* FCC sees US variants of Nokia 6 (2018) or Nokia 7
* Skagen Falster smartwatches are now available to buy
* Google Play services update fixes Chromecast Wi-Fi bug
* AT&T to introduce iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus into prepaid service eligibility

* White Sox seeking new flagship radio home
* Engel working to steady barrel in Year 2
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* Inbox: Who replaces Rodon in the rotation?
* 2018 South Side Sox Hall of Fame Ballot
* With maturity comes lofty expectations for Eloy
* Collins ranked MLB's No. 9 catching prospect


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