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