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*** UPDATED x1 - Play-by-play *** Plummer and Enyart square off tonight *** LIVE VIDEO ***

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012

* The embedded video below will go live tonight at 7 o’clock when 12th Congressional District candidates Bill Enyart (D-Belleville), Jason Plummber (R-Fairview Heights), and Paula Bradshaw (Green Party-Carbondale) square off for their second debate. Click here or here if there’s a problem with the video…

[Embed removed because event is over.]

* Plummer’s staff will be live-Tweeting the event here. The Belleville News Democrat says they’ll be doing some live stuff as well.

You can watch the first debate the candidates had by clicking here.

I have to be away tonight, so I won’t get to watch it. Be helpful, if you can, and live-blog it in comments.

(I think I just destroyed any plans Oswego Willy might have had for the evening.)

*** UPDATE *** The Southern Illinoisan Scribble-Lived the event. You can read the play-by-play by clicking here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 - Unemployment rises to 9.1 percent *** Quinn wants another minimum wage hike, hopes for gaming bill by January 9th

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012

* Gov. Pat Quinn told reporters today that he wants another increase in the state’s minimum wage, already one of the higher minimums in the nation.

“I’ve always pushed that,” Quinn said when asked about whether he’d make raising the minimum wage a priority. The governor added that the state should tie minimum wage increases to the annual cost of living. “We’ll be talking about it,” he said.

* Quinn also dodged questions today about whether he’d introduce his own gaming expansion bill, but said he feels that the General Assembly would “address” the casino issue and maybe even resolve it by the 9th of January, which would be the end of the lame duck session. The governor reiterated his support for using new gaming money to fund education programs.

* Raw audio…

*** UPDATE *** I had to be out of the office part of the day, so I missed this one. The unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday in its monthly report on statewide unemployment that the state saw sharp increases in the number of people employed in educational and health services jobs and in leisure and hospitality fields. In all, Illinois added a net 9,600 new jobs in August.

Construction firms and trade, transportation and utility employers shed a combined 2,500 jobs in August.

Department Director Jay Rowell says the summer rise in unemployment mirrored the summer of 2011. Last year, unemployment started dropping again in the fall.

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      

Today’s number: 660,000

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012

* From Larry Joseph, director, Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children…

“The Census Bureau today released its American Community Survey data. As a multi-issue child policy and advocacy organization, Voices for Illinois Children is particularly concerned about the following data:

    • The child poverty rate in Illinois jumped to 21.6% in 2011, up from 19.4% in 2010 and 15.4% in 2000. In 2011, nearly 660,000 Illinois children lived in poverty, up from 600,000 on 2010 and 500,000 in 2000.

    • In 2011, only 3.7% of Illinois children lacked health insurance coverage, compared with 7.5% nationwide. Only four states had lower uninsured rates for children. Illinois has also substantially reduced racial-ethnic disparities in health insurance coverage.

* Tribune

An estimated 1.9 million people in the state were living below the federal poverty rate last year, almost 150,000 more than in 2010, according to the new American Community Survey. Chicago saw another 15,000 enter poverty last year, bringing the city’s total to 261,400, the ACS survey showed.

The trend of increasing financial woes, dating back to the recession that began in late 2007, also includes a shrinking paycheck for those who are employed as people who were laid off from white-collar jobs take lower-paying work where they can get it. Last year the median household income in Chicago was $43,628 — $4,000 less than in 2009 and part of a steady decline over the past three years, the census figures show.

“The low-paying sectors are growing,” while higher-paying industries continue to shed jobs, said Sheldon Danzinger, a University of Michigan economist who has written extensively about poverty trends. “Service, retail, food. They don’t pay very high wages. That’s a reason why a lot of working people are getting food stamps.”

The numbers bear out in Chicago, the ACS survey shows. The number of workers in 2011 who earned $25,000 to $35,000 grew by nearly 9,300 compared with 2010, according to survey estimates. Meanwhile, the number of people with annual salaries of $75,000 to $100,000 dropped by almost 4,000 during the same period.


- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

Question of the day

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012

* John Tillman, the CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, has a new op-ed in the Tribune

A specter is haunting Illinois — the specter of government unions.

State taxpayers bear the burden of more than $200 billion in unfunded government retirement costs. Yet unions resist any and all changes, and shouted down Gov. Pat Quinn at the Illinois State Fair for merely entertaining the thought of reform.

With whatever means they have at their disposal, government employee unions have become a reliable obstacle to positive, necessary and long overdue changes that will give taxpayers relief from the burden of unaffordable employee benefits, improve failing schools and make core government services more efficient.

It is high time the grip government union bosses have over taxpayers and union members be exposed publicly, starting with how Illinois labor law has allowed Karen Lewis of the Chicago Teachers Union and other government union officials leverage over taxpayers:

• Union bosses have exclusive representation over workers.

• Workers are forced into membership whether they want it or not.

• Union bosses automatically confiscate money from worker paychecks to spend as they see fit.

• Once organized, unions and worker membership are close to permanent.

All of this has allowed government unions to cause or aggravate most of the fiscal and economic problems that Illinois faces, hurting our children, the poor and taxpayers alike.

* The Question: In your opinion, have government employee unions caused or aggravated most of the fiscal and economic problems that Illinois faces? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller   94 Comments      

Davis slams Gill for “government takeover of health care” and higher taxes

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012

* Republican congressional candidate Rodney Davis has a new TV ad attacking David Gill. Rate it

* Script…

VO: David Gill simply isn’t telling the truth about Rodney Davis

But Gill is honest about one thing:

He wants to raise taxes to pay for a government takeover of health care.

On Obamacare:

GILL: “I don’t think that it went nearly far enough”

VO: On taxes:

GILL: “…we shouldn’t be allergic to raising revenues in this country.”

VO: David Gill. A true liberal.

Rodney Davis’ plan?

Repeal and replace Obamacare.

Keep taxes low.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      

Caption contest!

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012

* Bruce Rauner, a possible Republican gubernatorial candidate, an adviser to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a kabillionaire who’s invested tons of money into charter schools and a major foe of teachers unions was profiled by the Tribune this week about his thoughts on the recent teacher strike and busting up the union in the future

“Wherever we come out on it, the good news long term, the taxpayers are frustrated in this city and they’re beginning to push back and very importantly, the parents are awakening to the issues in the city and I think we’re going to have a multiyear revolution,” he told an audience of business and political leaders at a seminar held jointly by the Dallas-based President George W. Bush Institute and the right-leaning Illinois Policy Institute.

“The critical issue is to separate the union from the teachers. They’re not the same thing,” Rauner said. “The union basically is a bunch of politicians elected to do certain things — get more pay, get more benefits, less work hours, more job security. That’s what they’re paid to do. They’re not about the students. They’re not about results. They’re not about the taxpayers.”

The CTU and its teachers will “always be aligned” over higher pay, he said. But teachers could be split off from the union’s leadership on the issues of evaluations and merit pay, he said.

“The good teachers know they’ll do fine. They’ve got the confidence. I’ve talked to them. I know,” Rauner told more than 200 people at the Art Institute of Chicago. “It’s the weak teachers. It’s the lousy, ineffective, lazy teachers that — unfortunately there are a number of those — they’re the ones that the union is protecting and that’s where there’s a conflict of interest between the good teachers and the union bosses.” […]

“You’ve got to break apart the union bosses away from the really talented teachers,” he said. “That’s doable. It’s not easy, but that’s doable and critical to improving the schools long-term.”

Since 90 percent of all teachers voted to strike, I’m not sure that he’s succeeded just yet.

* A photo of Mr. Rauner…


- Posted by Rich Miller   67 Comments      

It just doesn’t pay to side with the governor

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012

* Earlier this week, I told you that the House and Senate Republican complaints about the pace of implementing a Medicaid reform were off base, as were their insinuations that the “delay” (which wasn’t really a delay) in implementation was somehow political. Gov. Pat Quinn jumped on the issue yesterday

“Well that’s complete baloney and she knows it and the Republicans know it,” Quinn said, referring to Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont). “We are carrying out the Medicaid reforms with dispatch. We are going at full speed.”

Quinn wants the state to keep a closer eye on Medicaid to ensure the program is used only by people who meet eligibility requirements. “We don’t want anyone on the rolls that isn’t qualified or eligible for the Medicaid program, but in order to carry this out you have to properly follow the contract rules, procurement rules of Illinois [and] make sure the people are well trained so they do their job right,” Quinn said.

The state has hired a company to conduct the reviews, but that company needs three months of preparation before it starts.

Republican leaders have said that Quinn is taking too long and they want eligibility reviews to start in two weeks, but Quinn says they are just pushing for a political showdown. “This is all politics. We’re about seven weeks away from the election. That’s what they’re doing, it’s all politics. They know full well that Pat Quinn, the governor of Illinois, is ferreting out fraud [and] waste anywhere he sees it in state government.”

Don’t you just love it when politicians refer to themselves in the third person? And why does he still think that he has to identify himself as the governor?

Anyway, he’s right about the GOP attack. But his response left me feeling like I wish I hadn’t sided with him.

* Raw audio…

* Other stuff…

* Chuck Sweeny: Candidates, mental health pros should talk: If Bruscato was talking about the “old” Singer, with its 200-bed capacity, I’d agree with him. But the state has reduced Singer to a shadow of its former self. It has only around 40 beds to serve 23 counties, leaving not much room for Winnebago. Now, many in the local mental health community say it makes sense to move on to a community-based model that features nonprofits getting money from the state and raising their own funds as well.

* DCFS workers protest planned layoffs: Letreurna Packer, a DCFS intact supervisor, said she oversaw the case of a mother struggling with substance abuse and mental illness who has 10 children, including a 1-month-old. The family was displaced because of a fire in their home, Packer said. Under the new rules, the mother is ineligible for the program. Packer said they need to be heard. “A baby shouldn’t have to die for the system to change its protocol to give services to intact families,” she said.

* Rutherford Calls on Governor Quinn To Cease Prison Closure Plan

* Ill. senator to Quinn: Drop prison closure plan

* Pat Quinn orders Illinois agencies to share more data online

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      

Million dollars spent on Emanuel TV ad

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012

* Late yesterday afternoon I told you about a new TV ad featuring Mayor Rahm Emanuel and paid for by a school reform group. Since it was posted late, some of you may not have seen it. Have a look

* Script…

Like all Chicagoans, I’m glad the strike is over.

These were difficult negotiations, but here’s what we achieved.

A full day for our kids, so they can meet their full potential.

Principals will have the freedom to hire the best teachers.

Parents retain the right to choose the best school for their kids.

And for the first time, student achievement will be part of a teacher’s evaluation.

Change is never easy, and this contract certainly wasn’t.

But more time in class and more accountability is the right deal for our kids.

* What I didn’t know at the time was how much money was behind the ad. CBS2 has that info

A million dollar TV buy put the mayor’s spin all over the airwaves Wednesday. Emanuel discusses the teachers’ contract in the ad, which was funded not by the city or the mayor himself, but by Education Reform Now, a group which has battled teachers’ unions across the country.


Has there ever been anything like this anywhere? I have never heard of such a thing. A million samolians is plunked down by an anti teachers union group so that a Democratic mayor can stress the positive outcome of a teacher strike.

Welcome to the 21st Century.

* Meanwhile, the Chicago Teachers Union is running a radio ad…

* And the head of the CTU, Karen Lewis, says Emanuel hasn’t reached out to her since the union ended the strike

Has the mayor called?


But “I’m not surprised he didn’t call,’’ said Lewis, who said previously the mayor threw the f-bomb at her during one of their early private meetings.

“I haven’t had a relationship with him so I don’t know why it would start today,’’ Lewis said. “People want to make this out to be a big fight. I don’t even think about him.’’

However, Lewis conceded, union literature about the deal specifically mentions that if the two sides don’t extend the contract to four years, it will conclude in the middle of a mayoral campaign.

Time to govern, people.

* Emanuel also hasn’t reached out to the “Rahm Emanuel likes Nickelback” guy

Conan O’Brien’s staff took notice, featuring the signs on the late-night comedian’s website and even parodying them. National and international news media ran stories about the guy with the Nickelback sign and a “denial” by an Emanuel spokeswoman that the mayor does not really like the Canadian pop rockers. (There was no reply to a Wednesday email asking if Emanuel likes the other seven performers Konkoleski chose).

In fairness, Konkoleski said he likes all kinds of music — except country — and admitted he has songs on his iPod by some of the acts he accused the mayor of liking, including one each by Milli Vanilli and Michael Bolton.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever meet face to face,” Konkoleski said, adding that he voted for Emanuel last year, “but if we do, we can at least strike up a conversation about Milli Vanilli and go from there.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition and a campaign roundup

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012

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Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012

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Group sponsors new Emanuel strike ad, while another group funds ads thanking teachers

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012

* A group called Education Reform Now Advocacy, which is the political arm of Education Reform Now, Inc., is running a new TV ad in Chicago featuring Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Hizzoner talks about the strike and what was accomplished.


* Script…

Like all Chicagoans, I’m glad the strike is over.

These were difficult negotiations, but here’s what we achieved.

A full day for our kids, so they can meet their full potential.

Principals will have the freedom to hire the best teachers.

Parents retain the right to choose the best school for their kids.

And for the first time, student achievement will be part of a teacher’s evaluation.

Change is never easy, and this contract certainly wasn’t.

But more time in class and more accountability is the right deal for our kids.



…Adding… Sun-Times

The mayor said the contract cost an additional $74 million — compared with $129 million for the last contract — because of changes in sick days, vacation days and a new wellness plan.

“We have other tough things to do, I never denied that we didn’t have tough things to do,” he said “but I can’t sit here and say in the first five minutes of this contract we negotiated that I can tell you exactly what’s going to happen four or five months from now.”

Emanuel would not speculate whether higher cigarette and amusement taxes would be needed.

“No, we’re going to make other changes,” he said. “I don’t know today and I’m not going to stand here but we know what we can afford and what we’re going to do and we’re going to make changes throughout the system.”

…Adding More… I may have already posted this one, but the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is running a TV ad thanking the teachers

…Adding Even More… Stantis’ new cartoon

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Supplement to today’s edition, crosstabs and some important campaign updates

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012

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*** UPDATED x1 - Jackson issues explanation *** Jackson camp mum about house for sale

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012

*** UPDATE *** From Congressman Jackson’s office…

Like millions of Americans, Congressman Jackson and Mrs. Jackson are grappling with soaring healthcare costs and are selling their residence to help defray costs of their obligations. The Congressman would like to personally thank everyone who has offered prayers on behalf of his family.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* Unsurprisingly, this move is causing a heckuva lot of speculation about Congressman Jackson’s future. Lynn Sweet

The Washington D.C. home of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) is for sale, according to several local real estate listings. The asking price for the red brick Victorian row house, just off DuPont Circle, is $2.5 million.

The sale comes as Jackson is recovering from bipolar depression–we’re told at this home–that has forced his absence from Congress since mid-June and treatment at the Mayo Clinic and a facility in Arizona.

While the official residence for the Jackson family is on Chicago’s South Side, their home here is a family base for their two children, who attend a private school here.

Nice place.

* Tribune

The Sept. 8 real estate listing, posted on the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, says the home was built in 1921 and has four bedrooms, three full baths, two half baths, five fireplaces, a gourmet kitchen, a sun room and a rooftop deck with a Jacuzzi.

It notes that the sellers “need to find a home of choice.”

* Crain’s

Around the time of the for-sale listing, Mr. Jackson left the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he was diagnosed with Type 2 bipolar disorder and was being treated for gastrointestinal problems related to weight-loss surgery in 2004.

“He is at home in D.C., convalescing with his wife and children,” his Chicago chief of staff, Rick Bryant, said at the time. “We hope to see him back to work on Monday.”

That Monday would’ve been Sept. 10. But he hasn’t been seen on Capitol Hill then or since.

* Politico

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer told reporters on Wednesday that he had spoken to Jackson Jr. two or three weeks ago and did not know anything about his house being listed for sale.

* Greg Hinz

One source in the middle of lots of political maneuvering says there are “strong indications” that Mr. Jackson will retire, either before the November election or shortly after.

That source says Ms. Jackson is interested in getting the job.

If the vacancy were to occur before November, the person to fill it would be chosen by Cook County Democratic Party Chairman Joe Berrios, who holds a majority of the weighted vote in Mr. Jackson’s 2nd District on the South Side and in the southern suburbs.

If the vacancy were to happen later, Ms. Jackson would have to run in a special election.

Jackson’s people have not yet responded to any of my inquiries. I’ll let you know if they do.

* Meanwhile

An opponent of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in this fall’s election called for the congressman’s resignation on Monday, saying Jackson is unfit to serve the district.

Anthony W. Williams, a write-in candidate of the 2nd Congressional District, complained Jackson is out of touch and outright absent from the district — an absence, he argued, that began well before his June 10 health leave.

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      

AFSCME protests DCFS cuts

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012

* Budget cuts could mean more families are broken up

For much of the past two decades, Illinois’ child welfare system has been hailed for its dramatic reduction in the number of children in foster care.

But with the state facing one of the most severe budget shortfalls in the nation, some fear cuts could reverse the trend.

Since 1990, the state has dropped more than 35,000 children from its foster care rolls to its current population of about 15,000. A variety of initiatives led to the decline. One prevention program named Intact has been widely credited with keeping thousands of at-risk children with their families and out of foster care.

But a $50 million cut by the Legislature to the Division of Children and Family Services enacted in August threatens to diminish the Intact program, raising protests among local court and police officials in Southern Illinois.

State officials said they had no choice but to cut back the program to serve fewer families and contract the services out to private agencies. The head of DCFS has said the move is likely to drive more Illinois children into costlier foster care while putting others at risk for abuse and neglect.

Others say it’s too early to tell whether more children will end up in foster care. Mark Testa, a former research director with Illinois DCFS, said policy changes and cuts such as these were being made nationwide because of budgetary concerns. Cuts in prevention programs may more adequately target needier families, or they may backfire, said Testa, now a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

* AFSCME sent out this press release yesterday announcing a protest…

Facing a looming threat of more than 375 layoffs that would end the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Intact Family program that intervenes to preserve families and prevent child abuse, DCFS employees and allies will demonstrate against the cuts at 12:15 p.m. TOMORROW (Wednesday, Sept. 19) outside the Thompson Center in Chicago.

Hundreds of DCFS workers carrying dolls that symbolize at-risk kids will hear remarks from fellow frontline employees describing their work to keep families together and protect at-risk children. At the conclusion of the short speaking program, workers will lay the dolls in front of an image of Governor Quinn and ask, “If we’re not here, who will protect the children?”

WHAT: Demonstration against Gov. Pat Quinn’s threatened layoff of 375 DCFS employees and elimination of Intact Family Services program
WHO: Hundreds of DCFS employees from throughout Chicago; short remarks by three DCFS workers, AFSCME Council 31 associate director Mike Newman, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) staff coordinator Jackson Potter
WHERE: James R. Thompson Center plaza (corner of Clark and Randolph) in Chicago Loop
WHEN: 12:15 p.m. TOMORROW, Wednesday, Sept. 19
VISUALS: Crowd of hundreds of workers carrying dolls, supporters with colorful signs, 8 foot by 8 foot banner with image of Gov. Quinn under headline “Who will protect the children?”

If the layoffs go forward, Intact Family Services will be eliminated. Eligibility has already been curtailed and the few families that now qualify referred to private agencies that lack the capacity to adequately serve them. If the cuts are not reversed, more children will be harmed, more families pulled apart and more children forced into foster care, resulting in more taxpayer dollars expended.

DCFS employees and their union, AFSCME Council 31, are calling on the Quinn Administration to postpone the layoffs, now scheduled for Oct. 1, and urging the Illinois General Assembly to approve a supplemental appropriation to prevent the cuts during its veto session in late November.

* A photo from the rally. Click the pic for a larger image…

* Gov. Pat Quinn was asked about the DCFS cuts today. The governor reiterated his position that he tried to preserve DCFS funding with a $50 million veto of the prison budgets. Listen…

Legislators with prisons in their districts are hoping to override the governor’s veto.

AFSCME is in the middle of a lousy argument here. Close prisons or cut DCFS? The union doesn’t want either. I’m not sure that’ll work.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** Schilling vs. Bustos: Pat Quinn, China, outsourcing, Sensata - Plus: Pundit rankings

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012

* Republican Congressman Bobby Schilling has a new TV ad that ties Democrat Cheri Bustos to Gov. Pat Quinn and China. Rate it

* Script…

Narrator: Cheri Bustos and Pat Quinn, killing Illinois jobs.

In Washington, Bustos would support higher taxes on local businesses.

Just like Quinn. Bustos supports a bring-back tax on job creators, resulting in even more area jobs being shipped overseas.

The same Cheri Bustos who personally profits from foreign investments. The top contributor to Bustos’ investment plan? A Chinese overseas land and investment company.

We’re stuck with Pat Quinn. We just can’t afford Cheri Bustos.

Quinn is hugely unpopular everywhere, so that ad ain’t good for Bustos at all. And Schilling employs a clever visual with that fake “Cheri Bustos endorsed by PAT QUINN” billboard in the background…

Like I always say, turn off the sound to best rate a TV ad’s effectiveness. And that billboard works quite well with the sound off.

* I asked the Schilling campaign to provide details of the Chinese company mentioned in the ad. They pointed to Bustos’ financial disclosure statement which lists the Janus Overseas Fund. Bustos reported having between $15,000 to $50,000 invested in the fund.

From page 4 of that fund’s 2nd Quarter 2012 report

China Overseas Land and Investment: We believe this leading Chinese homebuilder benefits from its strong brand and capital base, its ability to purchase land well, and a diversified land bank, especially in second tier cities which offer some of the best long­term growth opportunities.

The Schilling campaign didn’t point it out, but this is also from page 4…

Li & Fung: We like the Hong Kong­ based outsourcing and logistics company for its global leadership position in sourcing logistics for retailers. The company continues to grow through market share gains, new outsourcing customers and acquisitions.

I’ve asked the Bustos campaign for a response. They’re researching it as I write this. But Bustos should’ve cleansed her portfolio of that fund a long time ago. No excuse there.

* I mentioned the Hong Kong outsourcing company because, as the Schilling ad clearly shows, outsourcing is a huge issue in this campaign. The Bustos operation has a fact sheet on Schilling’s outsourcing record. Click here to read it.

* And speaking of outsourcing, Bustos has a new TV ad which claims that “Congressman Schilling wants to keep using our tax dollars to reward companies for shipping jobs overseas, and I’ll stop them.” Have a look

* The 17th District contains a whole lot of manufacturing plants and unionized workers

Democratic Congressional candidate Cheri Bustos turned her attention to job creation and trade policy in a conference call with reporters Monday, enlisting the help of former Maytag employee Dave Bevard to spell out a policy agenda that would reward companies for manufacturing in America.

“I know that we have the best workers and that they can compete with anyone as long as there is a level playing field,” Bustos said. “The problem is, that in Washington, Congress has passed legislation that makes an uneven playing field.” […]

“Congressman Schilling voted for trade deals that will result in more jobs going overseas and he supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs abroad,” she said. “I support common sense reforms to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and I support providing tax incentives to companies that want to move back to the U.S.”

* Schilling’s retort

“There’s a reason why John Deere and Caterpillar support me, and why major manufacturers in Rockford support me. We’re in a global market. Five percent of our customers are in America, 95 percent are outside. She wants a ‘bring back tax,’ so that when companies want to bring money back here, she wants to tax them, which incentivizes them to keep that money offshore,” Schilling said.

Schilling said he recently met with the CFO of NCR, Inc., about bringing jobs back to the U.S. from India.

“They’ve got 25,000 jobs in India, and they want to re-shore those. He said we should simplify the tax code, bring the corporate rate down from 35 percent – the highest in the world – to 20 to 25 percent. He said they’re OK with regulation, but not overregulation. Overregulation is crushing them. That’s the only incentives they need,” Schilling said.

* In other 17th District outsourcing news, Bustos’ campaign sent out this press release and video today…

In a stunning display of disrespect, Congressman Bobby Schilling yesterday walked out on voters and refused to answer questions about outsourcing and jobs at a town hall meeting in Freeport, Ill. The video can be seen here:

The workers were participating in a Congressman Schilling’s town hall in Freeport, where Sensata Technologies, a company owned by Bain Capital that plans to ship 170 jobs from the Freeport Sensata plant to China. Specifically, the workers asked Congressman Schilling if he would support the “Bring American Jobs Home Act” – common-sense legislation that would closes tax loopholes for companies that send jobs overseas and create tax incentives for companies to bring jobs back home.

Congressman Schilling has protected tax breaks for companies that ship American jobs abroad, while Democrat Cheri Bustos supports the Bring American Jobs Home Act and other efforts to create jobs here in Illinois.

Congressman Schilling’s willingness to walk out on local workers at the same time he became the Number One spender on Capitol Hill for using taxpayers’ hard-earned money on campaign style mass mailings demonstrates he has the wrong priorities.

“It is absolutely inexcusable for Congressman Schilling to walk out on Freeport workers when he supports the failed policies that are costing them their jobs,” said Bustos Campaign Manager Allison Jaslow. “Congressman Schilling has spent more than any other member of Congress on taxpayer-funded mailings to help him keep his job, but when he has to face simple questions about his record of giving tax breaks to companies that outsource jobs, Congressman Schilling walks out.”

“Congressman Schilling has the wrong priorities - he has no problem spending our money in an effort to keep his job while at the same time voting to send good-paying Illinois jobs overseas,” said Jaslow.

* The video

Looks like things got pretty darned heated on the workers’ side.

* From Schilling’s campaign manager…

We had requested a meeting with Sensata workers last Thursday. They rejected it because they felt it wouldn’t do any good.

So we had a meeting with farmers at the Stephenson County Farm Bureau. The Sensata people sat in the front row. Bobby opened it up to questions and the next thing I knew, they had 3 video cameras out and started chanting and disrupting the whole meeting.

We faked them out and continued the meeting after they pulled their stunt.

If they were serious about getting their jobs back, they would have taken us up on our offer to meet last week.

A bit on the harsh side, but he was frank, at least.

*** UPDATE *** The Schilling campaign has released the complete video of the town hall meeting

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* And, finally, the Telegraph Herald has pundit rankings for this race

llinois-17: Bobby Schilling-R (i) vs. Cheri Bustos

Roll Call: Tossup

Cook: Republican tossup

* And

Pollsters at the Rothenburg Political Report have moved the dial on their prediction for the 17th District from “lean Democrat” to “tossup/tilt Democrat.”

The change is good news for U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, who has a battle to hold onto his seat against Democrat Cheri Bustos in a district widely viewed as favoring Democrats.

In changing its rating on the 17th District, the Rothenburg Political Report said, “This Quad-Cities seat may be Republicans’ best chance of saving their trio of surprise freshmen in the Land of Lincoln, and both parties are already spending heavily and will continue to do so. The district looks like a Democratic bastion on paper, but Schilling is a terrific campaigner.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 - Plummer reacts *** Dem poll has Enyart leading Plummer

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012

* From The Hill

The poll, conducted for the Democratic House Majority PAC and SEIU, shows retired Gen. Bill Enyart (D) leading former lieutenant governor candidate Jason Plummer by 49 to 41 percent. The same poll shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by 50 to 41, a slight dip from the 11-point margin of victory he had in the district four years ago.

* I’m not so sure I buy into those numbers totally because Obama is leading by so much in the poll. We Ask America’s polling from earlier this month had Obama ahead of Romney by just one point, 47-46, in the 618 area code. The area code covers a huge swath of Illinois, and the 12th is a Democratic-leaning district, but nine points is quite large, although, I suppose, not totally out of the question because the poll was conducted before the end of the Democratic convention.

We Ask America had this at 45-34 for Plummer back in July. But that was before many people knew who Enyart was.

* And Enyart is still struggling to get known, according to the Democrats’ own poll

* Average the two known polls together and we get 43 for Plummer and 41.5 for Enyart. I’m hearing from other sources that this has indeed become a very close race, so the average may be nearer to what we actually have there.

*** UPDATE *** Plummer reacts

Plummer dismissed the poll results during a conference call Wednesday morning.

“What we have here is, Nancy Pelosi has to save a little face and Bill Enyart and his liberal allies are doing what they can to carry a message that the voters of Southern Illinois just aren’t buying,” Plummer said. “The only number I’m concerned about is the 10-and-half percent unemployment rate that this district is facing.”

After I posted this story, I talked to some more people and I’m more convinced than ever that this is a very tight race.

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      

Now or Never PAC goes big for Walsh

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012

* A super conservative Super PAC is spending super bucks on Joe Walsh

The group, which was formed earlier this year to support Sarah Steelman in the Missouri Republican Senate primary, released a new TV ad Tuesday supporting Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., possibly the most endangered incumbent member of Congress. The spot is running on five broadcast stations in Chicago for a cost of over $810,000, according to Federal Election Commission filings — more in one buy than the group spent in total for Steelman, who lost her primary.

Unlike most third-party ads, this spot is completely positive, touting Walsh’s record of holding town hall meetings and turning down congressional perks — just like Walsh’s minute-long opening TV ad released in August. To get a sense of the size of the buy, Walsh had just over $830,000 cash on-hand at the last FEC disclosure deadline at the end of June.

* Rate it

* Meanwhile

Congressman Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) said Tuesday that the recent arrest of a Muslim teenager from Hillside for allegedly plotting to detonate a car bomb outside a downtown bar proves his point about radical Islam is a real threat that exists in the Chicago suburbs.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports 18-year-old Adel Daoud is accused of trying to set off what he thought was a car bomb outside a downtown tavern on Friday. […]

Last month, the 8th District Republican said at a town hall meeting that “there is a radical strain of Islam in this country – it’s not just over there – trying to kill Americans every week. It is a real threat, and it is a threat that is much more at home now than it was after 9/11.”

The congressman went on to claim that radical Islam had found its way into the Chicago suburbs, including parts of his district. […]

“I’ve been very disappointed in Tammy Duckworth, because she sort of wants to score political points, and said that the fact that … I brought this issue up is reckless. I hope now that she’s been reminded that this is a serious threat,” he said. “We know this is going on in towns big and small throughout the country. And here we’ve got a young man who belonged to worship at a mosque in Villa Park; in, you know, the 8th District.”


- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

Question of the day

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012

* Who were the biggest winners and losers in the Chicago teachers strike? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller   99 Comments      

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Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012

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* More shenanigans!
* Saturday campaign money report
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Shenanigans!
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* *** UPDATED x1 - DGA responds *** Elections board says DGA should file disclosure for Ives ad
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Jones; IEA/IFT; Reis; Mitchell; Edgar
* ISRA, Drury both try to claim Raoul inserted "poison pill" into gun bill
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* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner opens new online track against Ives
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* Rauner calls Madigan "a unified force of bad, of evil"
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* *** UPDATED x2 *** Has Pritzker gone to ground?
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* *** UPDATED x1 *** Caption contest!
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