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Adventures in video tracking

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012

* Thanks to a commenter, here’s a video of Democratic state House candidate Stephanie Kifowit who was approached by a person identified on his/her YouTube account as “JT Lee.”

Kifowit was asked what she thought about the state income tax hike, and she quickly backed away, mumbling something about how the event was private, or something. She didn’t actually answer the question, but she didn’t look great, either. The video has gone viral, with over 10,000 views as of post time. Watch

* This one may not go viral, but Republican congressional candidate Jason Plummer’s DCCC video tracker posted a series of videos from the DuQuoin State Fair parade. At about two and a half minutes in, a Plummer person begins to politely and jovially mess with the guy. At one point, though, a person is heard to say “Well, you get scum everywhere, ya know,” and then another person says to the tracker, “They don’t pay you enough.” Have a look

* Near the end of Part 5 (of 6), the tracker can be heard saying “Good job today, Mr. Plummer. I’m out of here.” He’s then asked by a campaign volunteer if he wants a ride. He politely declines


All of the DCCC’s Plummer tracker videos can be found here. Let me know if you find anything. I have a life and can’t watch any more of them today.

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      

Question of the day

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012

* From a press release…

In the spirit of election season, the National Motorists Association (NMA) has conducted its own public polling to identify the worst speed trap locations across the United States and Canada.

Speed traps typically combine arbitrarily low speed limits with heavy traffic enforcement designed to generate ticket revenue. While the intent may be to modify driver behavior long-term, that is rarely the result. Speed traps keep springing up in the same locations, the issuance of tickets flows unabated, and there is no material effect on traffic safety. That is why the NMA advocates for increased speed limits in chronic speed trap areas supported by traffic studies and proven engineering principles.

The Methodology

The NMA analyzed the most recent five years of data from its website The National Speed Trap Exchange, which lists tens of thousands of chronic speed traps in the United States and Canada and includes descriptive commentary about each listing. Since postings are generated by the public, and users vote on which locations qualify as speed traps, the rankings reflect the consensus of thousands of drivers throughout North America.

To develop the rankings, the NMA calculated the total number of affirmative votes across speed traps in a given community and then indexed the total to the community’s population size. A preliminary screening process ensured that only speed traps with high levels of consensus were factored into the rankings.

Illinois ranked 22nd in the US and Canada for speed traps.

* The Question: Are there any notorious speed traps near you? Tell us where they are and a story to go along with it.

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      

Quinn a no-show for DuQuoin State Fair Democrat Day

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012

* Is this really a surprise?

The state’s highest ranking Democrat didn’t show up for Democrat Day at the Du Quoin State Fair on Saturday.

State Representative John Bradley tells WSIL-TV he’s not surprised that Governor Quinn didn’t come. He says Quinn has been pushing several policy issues that are unpopular with downstate people. Those issues include gun bans, facility closures, and a pension proposal that could put more of a financial burden on southern school districts.

More Bradley

It’s the second day of the fair and Governor Pat Quinn has yet to make an appearance. Officials at his tent say they’re not sure whether he’ll be at the fair at all. Democratic State Representative John Bradley says he’s not surprised.

“When you engage in that kind of policies which many people feel are anti to southern Illinois I don’t expect coming down here and having a funnel cake would make any difference,” explained Democratic State Representative John Bradley.

* Meanwhile, a trip to the fair didn’t end well for a few people

A field organizer for state Sen. Gary Forby’s campaign was cited for driving under the influence early Friday morning; passengers in the car he was driving included Forby and state Rep. Brandon Phelps.

Mitchell J. Schaben, 24, was ticketed for DUI and speeding after he was pulled over by state police on Illinois 37 at Marcum Branch Road at 12:28 a.m. Friday.

Schaben was driving a 2009 red Cadillac, registration number 59SN, and had three passengers in the car including Forby, D-Benton, and Phelps, D-Harrisburg. The third passenger was not identified.

The four had been at dinner and meetings at the Rend Lake Resort. The gathering included out-of-town visitors in the area for the Du Quoin State Fair.

“It’s unfortunate,” Phelps said. “I didn’t think (Schaben) was impaired, and I know Mitch didn’t think so either or he wouldn’t have driven. He’s a great guy.”

I can’t remember the last time that I saw a DUI police report which included the names of the car’s occupants. Not sure that’s very cool. And not to diminish what Schaben did, but he blew a .09, which isn’t far above the legal limit of .08. Even so, Forby probably should’ve just well enough alone

“He was only one-tenth of a .09. Probably if he’d done another test, it might have shown up he wasn’t, he didn’t have enough. So the boy, he was right there on the limit. He wasn’t really what I call drunk,” Forby explains. […]

Forby says, “Mitch drives for me all the time. You know, I’m 67 years old, it’s nice to have a young guy drive me around. I didn’t see a problem. I didn’t see a problem with Mitch. If I’d seen a problem, I would not have let him drive.”

* Luckily for Forby, his Republican opponent doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it

With ten weeks left until the election, Forby recognizes Schaben’s DUI could affect his campaign. But his Republican challenger Mark Minor says he doesn’t want to get into it.

“I’m a pastor, a school board member, a counselor. I deal with a lot of issues in peoples’ lives. So I know it’s important to keep personal issues on a personal level. I want to keep this campaign clean,” says Minor.

We’ll see what happens when SGOP staff gets involved, however. Minor’s campaign is more than a little clueless, and it reportedly doesn’t take direction from Springfield.

* Schaben’s official statement…

“I exercised poor judgment and got behind the wheel of a car to drive despite consuming multiple alcoholic beverages unbeknownst to the passengers accompanying me in that automobile.

“Shortly thereafter, I was pulled over by the Illinois State Police on Illinois Highway 37 for a possible speeding violation. During that traffic stop, I was asked and agreed to participate in a breathalyzer test that would show that my blood alcohol level was above the legal limit for an individual operating a vehicle.

“Today, I am deeply sorry for this occurrence, not because I was caught but instead because of the potential danger I could have posed to the residents of the 59th Legislative District, the passengers of the vehicle and myself.

“I would like to apologize publicly to not only the Forby for Senate Campaign but to the constituents of the 59th Legislative District for any distraction this incident will provide from a robust debate on the issues important to them in the coming months. I’m fully prepared to be held accountable for my regrettable actions and any shame I may have brought to myself, my family, coworkers and peers.”

* And speaking of Forby and Bradley

The president of the Illinois Senate, John Cullerton, said he would work to overturn Gov. Pat Quinn’s closure plan when the General Assembly meets in a veto session in November.

Cullerton, speaking Monday in Benton, also said he supported a bill from state Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, to limit the governor’s ability to close facilities against the recommendation of the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

“(Forby) sponsored a bill that would have said it’s up to the legislature to decide whether or not you can close these facilities,” Cullerton said. “Take it away from the governor’s hands, up to the legislature after you have those (COGFA) hearings. That bill failed by one vote.”

Cullerton’s support came on the same day Quinn’s office acknowledged it would not meet an Aug. 31 closure date for Tamms Correctional Center and other state facilities. The state and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union are in arbitration to resolve the closure issue after the union filed a lawsuit in Alexander County to stop closures.

* Bradley was pretty harsh in his comments, including a threat to go after funding for recycling programs

“We made tough choices, and this is a cowardice act… And we’re going to start going after things the governor cares about. How about green grants? If he doesn’t think he’s got enough money to keep the prison systems open, then why are we giving him discretionary money for recycling programs? Let’s start going after that things he cares about and tell him that what he’s doing is killing our area.”

* During his own speech, Rep. Brandon Phelps claimed that the Department of Corrections transferred an inmate out of Tamms to Pontiac and then quickly transferred the prisoner back to Tamms.

* Raw video

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      

Schock says he supports federal marriage proposal, then backs off

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012

* Congressman Aaron Schock talks about social issues, and shows a serious lack of study on a particular state vs. federal issue, gay marriage

Summing up, he said, “I think those debates are healthy, and I think America, certainly on immigration, on other issues, is changing its positions. On the issue of the marriage, though, that will be hammered out primarily in the states.”

Asked, then, if he opposed a federal marriage amendment, support for which was included in the draft party platform hammered out this past week, Schock replied, “No, I support that.”

When it was explained to him that a federal marriage amendment that would prohibit states from allowing same-sex couples to marry under their state’s law, he then hedged, saying, “I haven’t really thought too much about it.”

He then asked if the amendment had been voted on in Congress in the past four years. When told that it hadn’t and that he had not taken a position on it yet, he replied, laughing, “I’ll have to read it.”

* And for someone who has allowed his name to be floated for governor, he’s also apparently not keeping up on Illinois news about the topic

Asked about ongoing lawsuits brought in Illinois by the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal seeking marriage equality in his state, Schock replied he was unaware of their existence, saying, “That’s all news to me.”

* Other congressional stuff…

* The Thomson prison standoff - A Virginia congressman’s grudge puts his Illinois colleagues on the spot: We’ve asked several Republican incumbents to explain to voters why Illinois ought to lower the price on its state-of-the art prison when the feds have agreed to buy it for $165 million. The question has elicited a lot of stammering. How does lowering the price overcome the need for Wolf’s signature? They don’t seem to know. Why don’t they lobby their stubborn Republican colleague instead of asking Quinn — and Illinois taxpayers — to give up another $100 million or so? They’re pretty sure Schilling already tried that. Have they seen the state budget lately? Did they notice that the General Assembly cut education spending by $210 million this year?

* DCCC desperately tries to tie Dold to Akin in robo-calls

* Joe Walsh Endorsed by Fastener Business, Small Biz Group

* Press Release: National Federation of Independent Business endorses Joe Walsh

* Duckworth, Walsh to debate on the radio

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

79 percent of Illinoisans say corporations should have the same free speech rights as individuals

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012

* I’m not sure yet whether I buy into Crain’s new online polling results or not, but the publication has a new online poll of Illinoisans which has some interesting results. For example, respondents were asked if corporations have the same free speech rights as individuals

A whopping 79 percent of those surveyed agreed that businesses “have (the) same free speech rights as individuals.” Forty-one percent said they “strongly” hold that view. A total of 22 percent strongly or somewhat agreed.

* But, as always, there are mixed messages coming from the poll

Asked if owners of large businesses “should keep (their) political views private,” 64 percent indicated they should. Barely over a third, 35 percent, disagreed with that statement.

* And this overwhelmingly liberal response is somewhat surprising

65 percent said employers should be required to offer employee benefits such as health care for unmarried domestic partners. Of the total sample, 2 percent said that should apply to same-sex partners only, and 8 percent would offer benefits to opposite-sex partners only.

Just over a quarter, 26 percent, said they oppose requiring corporate health insurance benefits for unmarried partners

* Methodology of the poll of 600 Illinois adults…

The Crain’s/Ipsos Illinois Poll is a representative survey of voting-age Illinois residents conducted over the Internet. Ipsos validates the sample against offline data sources such as telephone surveys to ensure the accuracy of its weighting. The overall survey has an accuracy rate of plus/minus 4.7 percent, with higher margins for geographic subgroups such as Chicago or the suburbs.

I’m still not quite sure how they actually “ensure the accuracy” of their weighting, so please beware these numbers. Also, take note that these respondents are just adults, not likely voters.

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      

Poll: Brady leads among actual Republican voters

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012

* The state’s delegates to the Republican National Convention may overwhelmingly favor Treasurer Dan Rutherford, but, heck, he put together the delegate slate. So, the We Ask America folks decided to do a poll of likely Republican voters to see who they favored.

The poll of 1,245 likely GOP primary voters was conducted yesterday and has a margin of error of ± 2.9 percent…

1. Which of the following possible candidates would you most like to see become the Republican challenger for governor?

Bill Brady 24.05%
Kirk Dillard 8.66%
Matt Murphy 3.79%
Christine Radogno 2.20%
Bruce Rauner 2.61%
Dan Rutherford 10.62%
Aaron Schock 7.35%
Other (Someone else) 4.40%
Uncertain 36.31%

Yeah, it’s early. Way early. But the folks down in Tampa are talking about 2014 like it’s right around the corner, so a poll was in order.

Name recognition from 2010 alone is almost definitely keeping Sen. Brady at the top of the heap. The same probably goes for Treasurer Rutherford and Sen. Dillard.

* Here are the xtabs by gender. Click the pic for a larger image…

Lots more undecided women than men. Dillard, kabillionaire Bruce Rauner, Rutherford and “Other” all do significantly better with men than women. But, again, it’s way early. We’re only running this poll because the Daily Herald decided to poll convention delegates and thereby created a minor stir down in Tampa.

* And by location. Again, click the pic for a larger image…

Brady does best Downstate, but he still has some significant residual impact in the suburbs, particularly in Cook. Dillard is essentially tied with Brady in the collars, which is probably residual from 2010 and the fact that he’s from DuPage. Rutherford does best against Brady in Chicago, where they’re tied, but slightly trails Congressman Aaron Schock for a distant third place in Downstate.

- Posted by Rich Miller   52 Comments      

*** LIVE *** Republican National Convention coverage

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012

* BlackBerry users click here, everyone else can just sit back and watch…

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      

*** UPDATED x3 - Mayor Emanuel Responds *** Quinn vetoes gaming bill

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012

* From a press release…

Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action
**Tuesday, August 28, 2012**

CHICAGO –August 28, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bill:

Bill No.: SB 1849
An Act Concerning: Gaming
Creates the Chicago Casino Development Authority and amends several other statutes to expand gaming in Illinois.
Action: Vetoed

An outright veto. No funny stuff with an AV rewrite. So, it’ll be a straight up or down override vote with no decisions about whether an amendatory veto was constitutional or not

For months, Quinn has warned about what he views as shortcomings in the bill, saying the measure would not provide enough oversight of casino operators and other gambling interests. The Democratic governor also has said that any gambling expansion should set aside a proper amount of money for education.

The deadline to act on the proposal was today, or it would have become law automatically.

The bill lawmakers approved this spring calls for new casinos in Chicago, southern Cook County, Lake County, Rockford and Danville. It also would allow slot machines at horse racing tracks, which was a deal-breaker for the governor when lawmakers approved a similar measure last year. That bill never made it to Quinn’s desk after he threatened to veto it.

…Adding… Sneed

The deal breaker: After thoroughly reviewing the bill, which would have created five new casinos and permitted slot machines at horse-racing tracks, Quinn “was more convinced than ever the absence of a ban on campaign contributions from gaming licences and casino managers was a deal breaker,” a top source tells Sneed.

The source added: “With two governors in jail [George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich], ethics is something Gov. Quinn is not willing to risk.”

*** UPDATE 1 *** From a press release…


“We missed an opportunity today to add 20,000 new jobs and generate more than $1 billion in one-time licensing fees and more than $200 million in new annual revenue. Despite efforts that would have satisfied the Governor’s call for tighter restrictions and additional oversight, fiscal relief for the state has now been further delayed. Our leaders in Springfield are committed to getting us back onto steady financial footing and providing more economic opportunity to Illinois residents. We’re confident that they will do what is necessary so the state can benefit from sorely needed jobs and revenue.”

- Former State Representative Bill Black, Chairman, The Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance

*** UPDATE 2 *** A statement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel…

“A Chicago casino would create thousands of crucial jobs for Chicagoans and provide resources that would be used to rehabilitate neighborhood schools. Chicago loses $20 million a month and countless jobs to casinos in Indiana. Those jobs should be here in Chicago, supporting the families of our tradespeople and helping the entire city’s economic future. It is the responsibility of the Governor and all leaders in Illinois to stop this outflow of dollars and jobs.

“I spoke with the Governor this morning and we agreed, it cannot take another 20 years of discussion to draft and pass a bill that will be signed into law. I will continue to work relentlessly with all parties to pass a bill that will allow a Chicago casino to be built and implemented responsibly.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** Coverage roundup as of 1:30 this afternoon…

* Gov. Quinn vetoes casino bill; opponents vow override

* Mayor Clearly Upset With Quinn’s Gambling Veto

* Quinn confident gambling expansion veto will stand

* Joliet officials praise Quinn veto of gambling expansion

* Chicago Crime Commission Applauds Quinn’s Gambling Bill Veto

* Rockford casino vetoed by Pat Quinn

* Rockford area leaders disappointed in gambling veto

* Denied: Quinn Vetoes Chicago Gaming Expansio

- Posted by Rich Miller   61 Comments      

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune asked 16 mayoral candidates to release tax returns, 6 complied
* A rough idea of what they're looking at
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Rauner was wrong about "record levels" of unionization
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Stava-Murray updates
* Pritzker's inauguration ball tix will benefit Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic and Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation
* Rauner claims he's been too busy to reflect on his term
* Pritzker's day in DC
* *** UPDATED x3 - Morrison wants emergency meeting of ILGOP - McConnaughay explains - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary
* Feds re-raid Ald. Burke's office
* Yesterday's stories

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