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*** UPDATED x1 *** Unsolicited advice

Friday, Jun 29, 2012

* Dear Sen. Dick Durbin,

I asked your staff earlier this week for comment on a Sneed item

Making an exit? U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin telling pals he might retire in two years.

So far, I’ve heard nothing back. I guess it’s time to start up the speculation machine before somebody else beats me to it. Oh, wait. Nevermind.

*** UPDATE *** OK, I finally heard back. Here’s the response…

Rich – Senator Durbin has answered this question a number of times in the last few months and his answer hasn’t changed:

Press Conference – 1.3.12:

    “My political future? I am exactly halfway through my term. So I have three years before I would be standing for reelection. I have not made any decision on this. If you ask me today, I’d say I’m announcing for reelection. But, at some point I will sit down with my highest counsel of advisors in my life, which would be my wife, and we will make a decision. But I enjoy the job and hope to continue doing it for a long, long time.”

Chicago Tonight – 10.10.11:

    Q: Got to talk a little politics here. So, Senator Durbin, I’ve been hearing that in 2014, you’re not going to run again.

    Durbin: Well, that’s just plain wrong.

    Q: Is it?

    Durbin: Where have you been hearing that Carol?

    Q: You know, I’ll go back to those people and tell them that.

We’re two-and-half years away from the 2014 election and have five months left in the current campaign. One election at a time.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* Dear congressional candidate Jason Plummer,

You said this to the Post-Dispatch about yesterday’s US Supreme Court opinion on Obamacare

“I didn’t argue it was unconstitutional, I argued it was poor public policy,” he said.

OK. Great. But check out this passage from your press release yesterday

“The Court’s ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and a tax goes against everything the President and his allies said as they were trying to pass the law, and puts an increased burden on working families. [Emphasis added.]

Your statement was e-mailed about two hours after the Supreme Court issued its opinion. There was plenty of time to check your work, dude. Try harder, please.

* Dear Sen. Gary Forby,

Do you still want to throw Chicago into the lake along with Gov. Pat Quinn?

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has approved a measure to help southern Illinois tornado victims rebuild their homes.

The Democrat signed a law Friday that creates a property tax exemption. It is equal to the difference in property values between a resident’s new home and the one destroyed by a Feb. 29 tornado in the Harrisburg area or another natural disaster.

Two main rules apply. The home must be rebuilt within two years of the destruction and the new residence must not be more than 110 percent of the previous home’s square footage.

The legislation was sponsored by two Democrats - Rep. Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg and Sen. Gary Forby of Benton.

Shockingly enough, there was no joint press conference yesterday.

* Dear Sen. Gary Forby,

While this could be more great fodder for your tough reelection bid, do you really want the General Assembly to have the right to force the state’s chief executive to spend money?

State Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, said he’s prepared to resubmit a bill limiting the state’s chief executive’s ability to close facilities if Gov. Pat Quinn shutters Tamms Correctional Facility as expected on Aug. 31.

Quinn has statutory authority to close state-run facilities even if the General Assembly’s bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability recommends facilities stay open, as was the case with Tamms and Murphysboro’s Illinois Youth Center.

Forby’s bill would have given the House and Senate the power to accept or reject COGFA’s recommendation. Under Forby’s proposed legislation, Quinn would not have been able to overturn the General Assembly’s decision.

Forby said to expect the bill to reappear in November if Quinn shutters Tamms, the state’s only supermax prison.

Also, sorry about the multiple submissions.

* Dear Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady,

Do you really think that President Obama was “trained” by Speaker Madigan? From a press release you issued yesterday…

When Barack Obama ran for President, he promised no tax increases on the middle class. But the only way he could convince the Supreme Court to approve ObamaCare was to call it a new “tax.” Promise made – Promise Broken.

This comes as no surprise since Barack Obama spent his formative political years in Springfield being trained by Illinois Democrats like Mike Madigan, who through years of mismanagement, have led Illinois to having the worst budget deficit, credit rating, pension debt and business climate in the nation – and last year a 67% Tax Hike in the middle of the night on the last day of a lame duck session of the state legislature after many of his party members promised to oppose any such tax hike. Promise Made – Promise Broken.

Be careful what you wish for, dude. One day, the media may actually start including some of your goofier press release claims in its reporting.

* Dear Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.,

When you finally finish recuperating from “exhaustion,” here’s another question you should probably answer

The timing of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s announcement on Monday that he had begun a medical leave of absence two weeks earlier has taken on new significance.

Frank Watkins, his Washington spokesman, said the news was released just before 5 p.m. Central Time on Monday. Five p.m. that day was the deadline for independent candidates to file nomination papers with the State Board of Elections for a spot on the ballot for the November election for the seat, said Rupert Borgsmiller, the board’s executive director.

Candidates typically bring their papers to the office, or have a representative do that, because they must be time-stamped by the 5 p.m. deadline, Borgsmiller said.

Watkins, in an interview, insisted there was no link between the delay in making the news public and the filing deadline. “That was not a factor at all,” he said.

An immediate disclosure of a leave of absence for “exhaustion” could’ve brought a major challenger out of the woodwork. Probably not, but whatever. I really doubt you wanted to take that chance.

* Dear Gov. Pat Quinn,

I understand your desire to deinstitutionalize the developmentally disabled. But could you please do something about easing the anxiety of the parents involved? C’mon, man. Get in the game here

During hearings last spring, administration officials pledged that a transition plan would be individually tailored for each resident.

But Robyn Pannier, whose son lives at JDC, said no such plan has been developed for her son. She attended a meeting with Department of Human Services staff and representatives of a contractor hired by the state to develop the transition plans. Pannier said she asked questions about how her son’s medications would be administered in a community setting and about security.

“They haven’t come back to us with any answers,” she said.

“That’s why these families are here, because they kind of feel like they’re sitting out in the wind and nobody is helping them,” Watson said.

…Adding… Dear Chicago Tribune editorial Board,

Practically begging Standard and Poor’s to lower Illinois’ credit rating before the November election is a bit much. Even for y’all.

* Your turn…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - too obvious - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 1:28 pm:

    “Be careful what you wish for, dude. One day, the media may actually start including some of your goofier press release claims in its reporting.”

    Good one Rich Miller.

    But it seems everyone in the media has recognized Pat Brady is not a serious person and is quite possibly out of his gourd.

  2. - Ahoy! - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 1:30 pm:

    In defense of Plummer, I think he’s actually trying very hard, I just don’t think he’s very bright. Do you remember the debates with Simon? He did so poorly I actually felt bad for both of them.

  3. - Uncle Leo - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 1:30 pm:

    Did anyone check the flight logs from the Peotone airport? Perhaps Jessie flew out of there!

  4. - The Captain - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 1:35 pm:

    Dear New York Yankees,


  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 1:54 pm:

    Dear Don Cooper,

    You might want to apologize to Chris Sale for trying to shove him into the bullpen some time before he starts the All-Star game.

    Dear Kenny Williams,

    Thank you for stopping Don Cooper from shoving Chris Sale into the bullpen.

    Dear Chris Sale,

    Work fast, change speeds, throw strikes. Splendid behavior, young man.

  6. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 2:04 pm:

    Dear Rich Miller,

    I love your Unsolicited Advice posts. Please consider making them weekly installments.

  7. - It's Just Me - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 2:11 pm:

    “trained by Illinois Democrats like Mike Madigan” is a fair statement I think. The key word in that sentence is “like”, and Madigan is the chairman of the state Democratic party too.

  8. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 2:16 pm:

    ====The key word in that sentence is “like”,===

    Yeah, and it’s used improperly.

  9. - MrJM - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 2:31 pm:

    Dear Pot Decriminalization Allies,

    When you react to news articles about reducing the penalties for smoking weed by posting comments like, “Great news! Let’s all get baked!” and “Marijuana should be MANDATORY for Republicans!!!11!” you help legitimize the Reefer Madness madness of our elected officials and stoke the fears of the undecided.

    Mellow out, dudes.

    – MrJM

  10. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 2:34 pm:

    Capt Fax…very hard to decide which point to comment on so let’s try two…”In defense of Plummer, I think he’s actually trying very hard, I just don’t think he’s very bright…..”

    Now there is a bumper sticker and let’s remember because he is still on an allowance he does not have the moolah to rewrite the entire press release he can only do half the job.

    And then there is Gags Brady who almost was onto something trying to attach The Speaker everyday, but as usual he steps on his tongue with this one. We think he was still prosecuting bad guys— oh wait he was limited to folks who forgot to put stamps on their tax returns — when Madigan supported someone else in the primary.

    It must hurt a lot when Gags steps down so hard.

  11. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 2:40 pm:

    Dear state Inspector Generals,
    Death is bad.
    Crumbs on the keyboard, not so much.
    Please prioritize.

  12. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 2:44 pm:

    Dear Patrick Fitzgerald:

    Congratulations and best wishes upon your retirement today.

    Don’t change a thing that you do.

    And thanks.

  13. - Wensicia - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 2:44 pm:

    Durbin would easily be re-elected; he’s not facing the problems moderate Republican and Democratic senators are facing in Tea Party happy states. I can’t see him stepping down unless something personal comes up.

  14. - Anon - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 2:48 pm:

    I never thought I would say this, but I will miss pat fitz. Those who loathed him feared being caught breaking the law. Those who like him tend to be those who get fleeced by corrupt politicians. I used to work for a corrupt pol. Now I’m just a taxpayer, and I will miss Fitz.

  15. - mokenavince - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 3:03 pm:

    Jason Plummer gets his messages from Chicken Little that the sky is falling .He reminds me of the Tin Man if he only had a brain.

  16. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 3:34 pm:

    Dear Gary Forby, never take an IQ test. You might consider the result some kind of miracle when it comes back the same number as your Senate District.
    PS:CFS, I got that one. Hope you didn’t dumb it down.

  17. - Anyone Remember? - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 3:43 pm:

    Anon 2:48

    IF the Durbin et al pick to replace Patrick Fitzgerald is anything like Stephen Wigginton, his pick to be US Attorney in Southern Illinois, things will be OK.

  18. - Skeeter - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 3:56 pm:

    Dear Rich Miller:

    Yeah, I know you are a baseball fan. But how about listening to your readers? How about an occasional open thread on soccer? If you are going to have your readers talk about sports, it would be great to have them talk about something other than baseball.

  19. - Jeff Trigg - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 3:56 pm:

    I’m not a Plummer fan, but technically, it doesn’t look like he argued that it was unconstitutional. He said SCOTUS said the mandate was unconstitutional, which is at least half right since its not a commerce clause mandate but a tax according to them.

    Unsolicited advice to Michael Madigan and the General Assembly, Get ready for another Illinois election law or three to be ruled unconstitutional this year. That’ll give Illinois the worst court record in the US for having ballot access laws overturned as being a violation of our US Constitution. And Illinois Democrats complain about Citizens United, sheesh.

  20. - Skeeter - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 4:00 pm:

    Dear Jesse Jackson, Jr:

    Why put out the “exhaustion” line? People assume one thing when they hear “exhaustion.” Why not just be up front about not answering? Better to say “JJJ is receiving medical care for a condition he is not disclosing at this time.” Show some respect for your constituents and at the same time, don’t make them all assume you are in detox.

  21. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 4:03 pm:

    Dear Alderman Maldonado,

    How can you worry about the message marijuana decriminalization sends to your young children when your ward is gang-infested and violent?

  22. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 4:14 pm:

    Dear commenters,

    My pet peeve is tortured semantics employed for hyperpartisan ends.

  23. - It's Just Me - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 7:20 pm:

    Rich, I so wish your blog had a “like” feature, but also sort of wish it had a “dislike” feature too. There are several comments today I wish I could like, and several more I wish I could “dislike.”. Your last comment at 4:14 would get a huge “like.”

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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