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Rauner wants to skip pension payments

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013

* OK, well, that’s pretty much the only way to read Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s latest press release.

First, though, this is what Gov. Pat Quinn actually said yesterday

Illinois’ five pension systems are a combined $96.7 billion short of what’s needed to cover promised retirement benefits to current and former workers. Over the years, the state either shorted or skipped pension payments.

Quinn said that proposal should include a guarantee that Illinois will meet its annual required contribution.

“The state can never ever again not pay what it should pay every year to the pension account. That’s why we’re in this situation,” he told reporters in Chicago.

* Rauner’s press release…

Rauner Statement on Quinn “Pension Guarantee”

Chicago, IL – Yesterday, Governor Pat Quinn announced his support for a guarantee of pension payments to be added to the overall pension reform bills. Bruce Rauner released the following statement:

“After years of continued mismanagement, Governor Quinn continues to reveal his true colors: a lackey to the government union bosses.

“Governor Quinn’s giveaway to government unions will only make our pension crisis worse. Because of years of bad deals and poor decisions in Springfield, we have $100 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.

“It’s clear that career politicians in Springfield don’t have the backbone to stand up to the union bosses they depend on for re-election and are willing to sacrifice Illinois taxpayers for their own political needs.”

Guaranteeing that the state make its required payments to the pension systems by allowing people to sue if the state doesn’t hold up its end of the bargain is a “giveaway to government unions”? Are you freaking kidding me? After decades of the state not paying into the systems, now Rauner thinks that it’s a bad idea to fulfill the state’s responsibilities? And skipping payments will somehow lower the unfunded liability? Is he stupid?

Did he maybe think Quinn was talking about guaranteed payments to retirees? And if he did, what does that say about him?

What is Rauner really up to here?

- Posted by Rich Miller   112 Comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013

* My mom has been sending around childhood photos of me. In this one, my Uncle Denny is pulling me in a Kankakee Fire Department wagon, which I think may have been a Soap Box Derby entry….

* The Question: Caption?

Every snarky commenter should [but aren’t actually required to] also click here to donate to Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. I’m 51 today, so how about giving $51? Or $510 if you’re a big bucks type? Thanks!

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      


Today’s memo

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013

* The Illinois State Rifle Association has instructed its members to crash yet another legislative forum, this one being held by Rep. Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines)

URGENT ALERT – YOUR ACTION NEEDED

GUN GRABBER REP. MARTY MOYLAN TO HOLD TOWN HALL MEETING

YOU NEED TO BE THERE

* The ISRA wants to make sure that Moylan gets “tough questions”

Don’t let him hide behind words like “reasonable,” or “common sense.”

Yes, because reason and common sense are such un-American concepts.

- Posted by Rich Miller   55 Comments      


Morning Shorts and a ScribbleLive blog

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013

* We used to do these back when I had an intern. Since I won’t be blogging much today, I thought you’d like a roundup…

* Lt. Gov. Simon keeps options open for 2014

* Quinn wants funding guarantee in pension bill: “The state can never ever again not pay what it should pay every year to the pension account. That’s why we’re in this situation,” he told reporters in Chicago.

* Chamber sees progress on Illinois pension crisis

* Tom Kacich: Pension reform OK’d, but not by downstate officials

* Can Legislature take next step on pensions?

* Editorial: We need ICC to keep a lid on utility bills

* Parents sue in attempt to keep Murray Center from closing

* Fracking: Put on the brakes

* Fairmount faces more issues than the snow

* Quinn pushes extensive road and bridge construction

* State unveils spring road work plans

* Medical marijuana legalization effort ‘one or two’ votes short in Illinois House

* Illinois: House Committee Approves Industrial Hemp Bill

* Redflex Warnings Go Back Years

* Rally for gay marriage: ‘Tired of being a second-class citizen’

* Durbin fired up over coal-fired ferry

* Hinz: What does the GOP really want to be?

* And a ScribbleLive blog. Blackberry users click here

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


Durbin goes after Quinn again

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013

* Sen. Dick Durbin said it again

Durbin repeated what he said in Washington last week: that fellow Democrat Quinn’s political future depends on whether or not the state’s fiscal crisis is resolved.

“I believe this governor, any governor is going to be judged based on performance and the likelihood of Governor Quinn being re-nominated and re-elected depends to a great extent on his success in Springfield,” Durbin said in Chicago Monday.

Check out the response

Later a spokeswoman for Quinn said, “No one has done more to achieve pension reform and shown more leadership than Governor Pat Quinn.”

Heh.

* Bobby Rush wasn’t happy with Durbin

Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush chided those who would criticize Quinn’s performance.

“The pot can’t call the skillet ‘non-productive’ if it’s non-productive,” Rush said.

Good point.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - Second threat received, charges upgraded *** Rep. Ives receives threat

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013

* A disorderly conduct charge has been filed against a Chicago man for a phone threat he made against a state legislator

Wheaton Police Chief Mark Field said 49-year-old Stephen Bona was charged Friday, hours after Republican state Rep. Jeanne Ives reported getting a threatening voice mail at her district office.

“Your Tea Party brethren Sarah Palin put up a map that included the names, locations and faces of Democratic candidates and put them in the cross hairs of a gun,” a caller says on the voice mail, a recording of which Ives provided to the Daily Herald.

The caller goes on to suggest that “perhaps we should do the same for you. We know where you live.”

What Rep. Ives said the other day was absolutely ridiculous and she refuses to back off

Ives has drawn heat for telling a Catholic Conference of Illinois radio show last month that same-sex marriages are “disordered.” and couples are trying to “weasel their way into acceptability.” […]

Monday, Ives said she didn’t regret her comments, noting “I know I speak for my district when I speak on that issue.”

“I knew exactly what I was saying when I said it,” she said.

But, really, I don’t care what she said then or now. Rep. Ives does not deserve to be physically threatened. Totally and thoroughly disgusting.

Watch your mouths in comments, folks.

*** UPDATE *** From a press release…

Charges Upgraded/Bond Set at $150,000 for Chicago Man Charged With Threatening State Representative

WHEATON - DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced today that bond has been set at $150,000 with 10% to apply for a Chicago man charged with making threatening phone calls to Illinois State Representative Jeanne Ives. Yesterday afternoon, Judge Michael Wolfe issued a $150,000 arrest warrant for Stephen S. Bona, 49 (d.o.b. 11/08/1963) of 903 W. Roscoe, Chicago. Bona was taken into custody late yesterday afternoon by the Wheaton Police Department. A short time later he posted bond and was released from custody.

It is alleged that on Friday, March 22, at approximately 9:42 a.m., Bona called the office of Representative Ives and left a threatening message. An investigation into the matter led to Bona who was charged with misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct. On March 25, following a second alleged phone call, the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office upgraded the charges to Threatening a Public Official, a Class 3 Felony.

“My office takes any threat or perceived threat against a public employee or elected official very seriously,” Berlin said. “For our government to function properly, it is imperative that public servants be allowed to serve without having to worry about their personal safety. I would like to thank the Wheaton Police Department for their fine work on this case as well as Assistant State’s Attorney Tim Diamond for his efforts.”

While probationable, a Class 3 Felony is punishable by up to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Bona’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 29.

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Paul Darrah
Communications Manager
DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office

[Emphasis added.]

Oy.

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      


Blogging forecast: Very light - And a request to donate to LSSI

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013

* Blogging will be very light today. It’s my birthday, but a breakneck session schedule the past two weeks has meant that I fell behind on lots of personal and business errands that I just have to deal with. Plus, my daughter is coming for a visit. I see a few stories online that I want to talk about, but unless something big breaks, don’t expect much by way of the blog today.

The only reason I mentioned my birthday is because I’d like to encourage you to donate to Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. We started this last year and I decided I want to help them again this year. No party this time around, though. Just a link. Click here to give, please. Dig as deep as you can and report back in comments. Thanks!

* Meanwhile, the National Journal’s Hotline made me a “Friday Feature” last week

Rich Miller runs the Capitol Fax newsletter, an IL politics newsletter/blog. He was born in Kankakee, IL and spent his early years on a farm in Iroquois Co. His mother was a Defense Dept. employee, which led the family to live in Utah and Germany. He later returned to IL, attended what was then Sangamon State University in Springfield (now the University of IL Springfield), worked construction, did telemarketing, sold knives and fire alarms. By 1990, Miller was working for Hannah Information Services, which gathered and disseminated legislative information for lobbyists in Springfield. He wrote a series for Hannah that year on the GOP’s inability to make a dent in state House Speaker Michael Madigan’s Dem majority. Miller wrote a series of pieces on GOP House Leader Lee Daniels. For Miller, the Daniels showdown convinced him there was a market for that kind of ground-level political reporting. In April 1993, he quit Hannah and started Capitol Fax. He initially charged $250 a year, grabbing customers through direct-mail marketing and sending the daily fax out himself. By October of that year, he had paid back the loan from his parents and bought a house. As the client base rose, he branched out with an Internet version of his newsletter. He moved to Chicago for a while, commuting to Springfield during legislative sessions. He pieced together a group of small newspapers to fund reporting trips to Kosovo (in 1999) and Baghdad (in 2003). Capitol Fax has subscribers throughout state gov’t including the General Assembly, large corporations media organizations and politicians. Today, he’s our Friday Feature!

Where’s your hometown?

    I was born in Kankakee, but we moved around a lot growing up (Department of Defense parents), so I don’t really have a home town.

What were you like in high school?

    A kinda/sorta bridge between the nerds and the jocks and the, um, partiers. I was eclectic and tried to have as many experiences as possible. Good grades, played in a rock band. Theater, wrestling. Party at the lake after lunch, college classes at night. Mime troupe, football. Also, I couldn’t wait to get outta there. I enjoyed high school, but I almost never look back with great fondness. Been to one reunion.

What’s your favorite story that you’ve had for Capitol Fax?

    Rod’s [Blagojevich] arrest. Finally, somebody listened.

What does downtime look like to you?

    Illinois never seems to stop, so I can’t ever completely shut down. I went to Miami a few years ago for a little winter R&R and Blagojevich appointed Roland Burris to the US Senate. Totally harshed my South Beach buzz.

How’d Capitol Fax start?

    I was making almost no money doing something similar for somebody else, so I quit and went out on my own.

Favorite IL politician ever?

    George Ryan, who’s from my hometown. We had the weirdest relationship. He wanted to love me because we were from the same small city. George loved everybody from Kankakee who wound up in Springfield. But that meant I was supposed to be on the team. I wasn’t, and he’d always get so angry at me over what I wrote about him. We had a real throw-down in Cuba at the ambassador’s mansion during a trade mission. Whew, that was something. His wife (may she rest in peace) even joined in. He was one of the most effective governors of my lifetime, but then there was that crookedness. His downfall was an all-around tragedy. Such a waste of talent.

Who do you look up to as a journalist?

    Bob Novak. Yeah, he had his share of problems and whatnot. But he stomped on the terra, man, and helped set the DC agenda for years. He also had a private newsletter. He was my inspiration and a personal hero. One of my greatest regrets is that I never tried to meet him.

What’s something about IL that outsiders don’t get?

    We don’t want nobody that nobody sent. Period. End of story. Go away.

Best pizza?

    “Chicago style” pizza sucks. That being said, there are lots of great pie shops all over the state. My personal favorite these days is Gabatoni’s.

Most underreported story currently going on right now?

    Down-ballot maneuvering ahead of the 2014 primary.

What’s your guilty pleasure TV and last good movie you saw?

    White Sox baseball. Actually, there’s no guilt involved whatsoever with that. I don’t watch much TV other than sports and movies. And NO cable TV “news” - the bane of our existence as a democratic republic.

    “Caine Mutiny” - just watched it again on cable a couple of weeks ago.


If you weren’t running Capitol Fax, what would you be doing?

    I’d probably be unemployed and homeless. I discovered a long time ago that I really can’t do anything else. My dream job used to be war correspondent. But I’d likely be dead by now.

In one sentence, your best advice to young, fresh-out-of-college journalists?

    Go to law school, but if you absolutely insist upon a career in journalism, then work sales for a while because nothing trains you to get what you want from sources better than that.

Finish this sentence, today I …

    Today I wasted way too much time trying to think of the last good movie I saw. I blogged a lot and, despite making several calls, I don’t yet have a good story for tomorrow. So it’s 4:51 pm and now I have to go out and find something to write about at tonight’s legislative cocktail receptions or I’m screwed because I spent too much time on this stuff that nobody cares about.

And, yes, next month will mark 20 years of Capitol Fax. There won’t be a big party. I’m saving that for the 25th anniversary. But I may do some more charity fundraising here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Two Burke-related scoops by the Sun-Times
* Today's must-read
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* Did Pritzker defeat an incumbent Illinois governor by the biggest margin ever?
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Caption contest!
* Sun-Times begins to hold candidates' feet to the fire
* CTBA responds to Fitch Ratings
* Unclear on the concept
* So far, so good for Illinois auto jobs
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Tax credit could help small biz deal with minimum wage hike
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

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