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Odds and Ends

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants Gov. Pat Quinn to sign the speed cam bill

The legislation would allow red light cameras near schools and parks to be used to ticket people who speed through those areas.

The Illinois House and Senate approved the measure last fall, but Quinn has yet to sign it, saying he is still studying the idea.

Emanuel says the study shows a new law could reduce fatal accidents.

“We have seen all the data that show when you put the cameras in – actually – traffic, people comply, and it’s the right thing to do,” Emanuel said. “I didn’t think it was going to be popular. The question is can I save lives.”

* The Expired Meter blog FOIA’d Quinn’s office on the public response to the bill, and it wasn’t even close to positive

The Governor’s office released a report via a Freedom of Information request by The Expired Meter, that shows the Governor’s office has received a total of 224 phone calls, emails or letters from constituents regarding SB965, of which just 19 were in support of the bill. The other 205–over 91%–were opposed to the bill and urged the Governor to veto it.

In total the Governor’s office received 15 letters (11 opposed, 4 in support), 36 phone calls (35 opposed, 1 in support) and 173 email comments via the Governor’s website (159 opposed, 14 in support).

* Meanwhile, another call has been issued for a race to the bottom

[Kim Clarke Maisch, Illinois director for the National Federation of Independent Business] said the governor should start considering how Illinois can compete against neighboring states that have enacted or are considering right-to-work legislation. The Indiana House recently approved a proposal banning contracts between companies and labor unions that require employees to pay union dues. The Indiana Senate will consider the measure this week and is expected to approve it. Gov. Mitch Daniels has said he will sign it.

Supporters say right-to-work laws make a state more attractive to businesses, but opponents say such laws are an attack on labor unions and will drive down workers’ salaries.

“Indiana is a game-changer,” said Maisch. “Most of the economic growth over the past 20 years has occurred in the right-to-work states in the South and West. But it’s coming to the Midwest now, not just in Indiana but Michigan is looking at it too, and that is going to give businesses here a very convenient alternative to Illinois.”

She warned that Illinois has to keep up with its neighboring states or its business climate will get worse.

If you compare Mark Kirk’s 2010 Downstate vote totals to Bill Brady’s, you’ll see that Kirk does slightly better. Some say the reason for that is Brady’s support of so-called right to work legislation. Also, too, Cook County. This is just talk for the NFIB base, nothing more.

* And speaking of elections

A new progressive Democratic leaning SuperPac–called CREDO–announced Monday that Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) will be one of their first targets. Walsh, a freshman, is running in the Illinois north suburban 8th congressional district. Democrats Tammy Duckworth and Raja Krishnamoorthi are locked in a March primary battle.

Earlier, the Democratic House political shop said Walsh is also one of their prime targets.

The group is spending $3 million on ten races.

* Back to state stuff

A local pastor accepted a bribe from a Danville Correctional Center prisoner to take time off the man’s sentence, according to law enforcement officials.

The Rev. Floyd S. Crenshaw Sr., 51, of the 500 block of East Main Street, appeared Thursday afternoon in Vermilion County Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing on a felony charge of official misconduct. […]

Bank records indicated that Crenshaw received two payments from the prisoner’s wife. Kilduff said the first, which totaled $4,000, was made to a non-profit organization handled by Crenshaw. The second payment was $700 sent via PayPal to a website handled by Crenshaw.


* Other stuff…

* Suburbs have sway on governor’s pension team

* Rockford Rep Dave Winters Endorses Kinzinger for New 16th CD

* Springfield’s election-year inertia could keep tough issues off the table

* Regional Superintendant Says Earlier Intervention Key To Lowering Drop Out Rate

* Heating bills bucking upward trend

* Editorial: Another cellphone law is unnecessary

* Study: Low Wages For Restaurant Workers Costs More In The Long Run

* RTA replaces thousands of reduced-fare cards


  1. - fed up - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 2:41 pm:

    Wow a super pac is going after Joe Walsh, its second target Joe Paterno, I mean come on just let Walsh be Walsh he had 15 mins that will last exactley 2 years. But they will claim success in taking out Walsh

  2. - Dirty Red - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 2:58 pm:

    re: speed cams: Is this Quinn not wanting to sign a bill his office deems unpopular, or is this another fight with the Mayor for relevancy?

    = Some say the reason for that is Brady’s support of so-called right to work legislation. =

    I was in central, southern and western throughout that campaign and didn’t hear Right to Work mentioned once. huh.

  3. - Hillside - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 3:04 pm:

    Heh…Crenshaw should have just set up a PAC.

  4. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 3:13 pm:

    I just did some quick research on the claim made in the “race to the bottom” link, that right to work states have seen most of the economic growth in the last 20 years. I looked at states’ per capita personal incomes, comparing years 1990 and 2010.

    For personal income, the top ten states are not right to work states. Illinois is ranked 7th in top per capita income. Non right to work states also seemed to have outperformed right to work states in the last 20 years, when I compared some states. Illinois per capita income increased more in the last 20 years compared with Texas and Florida, which are right to work states.

  5. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 3:19 pm:

    Here’s a vote in support of the speed cams; I’m completely fed up with the way people here in Chicago drive, and they need to be held accountable. And right now, with the exception of the apparent sharp increase in police enforcement on Lake Shore Drive, people driving in the city of Chicago are not held accountable. The speed cams would go a long way toward ensuring that they are.

    While we’re at it, put them on the suburban arterial streets and highways as well. This has to be the only city I’ve been in where, on a highway or tollway, the general speed of the traffic slows down as you’re leaving the built-up area — simply because you don’t see any enforcement until you get into the countryside.

  6. - plutocrat03 - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 3:21 pm:

    I wonder if the troubled Austrailan Redflex has prepared the report Rham is referreing to?

    What happened to the good old days when a Chicago policeman would actually write a speeding ticked. Back in the day we all knew that if we were more than 5 over in the city, we would be ticketed. (And we were)

  7. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 3:48 pm:

    I don’t see the point of CREDO or anyone else spending a lot of money to oust Walsh. I think he’s doing a pretty good job of ensuring his own defeat.

  8. - Knome Sane - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 3:59 pm:


    So you’re saying that there are two entities targeting Joe Walsh?:

    1) CREDO
    2) Joe Walsh (self-immolation)

  9. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 4:03 pm:

    “Indiana —Game Changer” Come on Kim even IL’s biggest wing nuts won’t use those 2 words together. Remember IN is the state where the official sport is JARTS ( with the metal tips)

  10. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 4:05 pm:

    I think Cross and Radogno should introduce right to work legislation and every Downstate Republican should sign on as co-sponsors.

  11. - Dinsdale - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 4:20 pm:

    Speed cams in school zones would be tricky to do correctly and ripe for abuse by authorities. The Illinois law states “In Illinois, the school zone speed limit is always 20 miles per hour when school is in session and children are present. School zone hours are usually 7 am to 4 pm, but if all the kids are inside for classes then you may continue going the normal speed limit. However, if you see a child outside the school building, Illinois law states that you must slow down to 20 miles per hour.” The average Joe would have an uphill battle to appeal ticket, not to mention the cost to take time off for adjudication.

  12. - Generation X - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 4:30 pm:

    Who needs Right to Work legislation when the Governor ignores a contract anyway? Ms. Clarke Maisch should be giving credit to Illinois for skipping that whole messy legislative process

  13. - Been There - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 4:53 pm:

    ===The average Joe would have an uphill battle to appeal ticket, not to mention the cost to take time off for adjudication.===
    There are some zones now that have flashing lights when the speed limit is in force. Doesnt matter if kids are there. Lights flashing, you better be going 20.
    The red light zones would work the same way. Lights flashing and you are going over 20, FLASH and you get ticket in mail.

  14. - jaranath - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 5:19 pm:

    Did I miss something about the prisoner bribing story? Why is it bizarre? I’m not suggesting it’s common, but is it really that rare? This sounds like the kind of corruption you’d expect to find.

  15. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 5:21 pm:

    ===but is it really that rare? ===

    Are you aware of another such case?

  16. - southsider - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 5:38 pm:

    Its not all that unusual in chicago police stations for reverends in the community and sometimes aldermanic aides to plead for dropped charges. Bit different but I think they also take in some donations. As police cdrs are dependent on political support there is some definite influence$

  17. - Todd - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 5:48 pm:

    YDD please remove your tongue from cheek. I dont think they are that that gullible.

    While ms.maisch may be feeding the red meet to her members, her espoused policy would further drive the republicans into a perminent minority.

    I know that the majoirty of repulicans are not as easily brainwashed as these malconents here in Indiana.

  18. - aaron singer - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 6:01 pm:

    Red Light Zones?

    Wonderful. You mean like when my sister followed exactly what the Illinois Rules of the Road state, that you pull up in an intersection to turn left? She got the ticket because the camera flashed when the light turned red. How in the hell are you ever supposed to turn left, at an intersection with a left turn signal, if you can’t pull up in an intersection, which the rules of the road tell you to do? She protested the ticket and lost.

    I don’t have as big of a problem with speed cameras. Montgomery County Maryland makes a ton of money off of them. And we all know that revenue, not safety, is the real concern there. What Montgomery County had a problem with, though, was when a local physics professor got a ticket; obviously with speed cameras, you need 2 cameras to just that someone was speeding; he looked at the timestamps on the photos of his ticket, and did the math to prove he was going below the speed limit. The County had to spend millions, IIRC, fixing the triangulation on their cameras.

  19. - L.S. - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 6:38 pm:

    So Indiana will have Right to Work for Less laws. Does that come with a population base, skilled human capital, research universities, and more rail, road and water ways? So, it’s still Indiana, right?

  20. - jaranath - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 8:30 pm:


    That’s why I was asking. Personally having, or in my case lacking, anecdotes doesn’t really tell me if this is a rare issue, and I thought someone might know more. It struck me as plausible in the broader context of prison-related corruption, which is common (or so is my impression). It’s not that I see it as a big issue, and I have no agenda regarding corrections in general; it just seemed odd to me that this would be cited as particularly strange and my curiosity was piqued.

    So of course, I had to Google…and that was my pointless distraction for the evening: No good examples, lots of unhelpful noise, and no useful statistics of any kind. A couple anecdotal cases that are outliers (one was even for a scammer claiming he could arrange deals, but couldn’t). A clear answer’s probably out there, but I lack the time/skill/talent to dig it up. Personal credulity or incredulity doesn’t count for much, and there doesn’t appear to be a strong signal cutting through the noise, so I assume the null and agree with you, Rich: It’s probably rare.

  21. - Patrick - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:29 pm:

    Enjoy this vid

    It is about andy thayer and the opposing NATO in Chicago, Thanks.

  22. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 8:30 am:

    Even if speed cameras are about revenue, I’m tired of the way that the rules of the road are regularly ignored. I drive on 88 most mornings. It is rare to see anyone going the speed limit and I frequently see drivers going a good 15 miles over and weaving their way through traffic. I regularly see drivers speed right by the school on my corner despite the presence of crossing guards. I understand that it is not right to waste police presence on traffic laws when they could be minimizing thefts and violence, so I see the cameras as a good solution.

  23. - Bob Kastigar - Friday, Feb 3, 12 @ 10:57 am:

    Quinn should sign the speed camera law. It was passed by those that represent us.

    Only people who speed will get tickets.

    Speed kills - we need to slow down and make the public way safer.

    Use technology to enforce driving - and free the police to fight crimes against persons.

    Of course the proposal is unpopular. The income tax increase was also unpopular.

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