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Monday, Apr 29, 2013

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Bill would remove limit on abuse suits

Monday, Apr 29, 2013

* From the Senate Democrats

Victims of childhood sexual abuse would no longer face legal deadlines regarding how long they have to seek damages from their abusers, under legislation state Sen. Terry Link passed out of the Illinois Senate this week.

“I don’t know how you put an expiration date on being scarred for life,” Link said after his legislation, Senate Bill 1399, was approved 48-4. It now advances to the Illinois House for further consideration.

Current state law imposes a 20-year deadline for a sexual abuse victim to file a lawsuit against the abuser. More specifically, the victim has 20 years from the date that he or she knew of the abuse to go to court.

Link’s plan simply eliminates that deadline so a victim could sue for damages at any time.

The bill is here.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      


Madigan asks for extension on gun case

Monday, Apr 29, 2013

* Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked the US Supreme Court to grant an extension in the concealed carry case. Read the filing by clicking here.

Madigan has to file her petition for certiorary by May 23rd, while the spring session is still in session and several days before the June 9th appellate court deadline is imposed on the state. She’s asking for a 30-day delay.

Gov. Pat Quinn is listed on the request as a petitioner. Quinn has publicly urged Madigan to file an appeal.

From the AG’s office…

The June 9 deadline still stands for the legislature to act. This filing doesn’t impact that.

What this filing does is allow us more time to prepare a petition, and to the extent the legislature takes action before June 9, it allows us to take that action into consideration as we draft a petition for review as the Attorney General continues to assess the appropriate next steps.

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      


Justice Harrison

Monday, Apr 29, 2013

* Former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Moses Harrison passed away last week. This is his career defining quote

“People often ask how I see my role as a judge. It is to protect ordinary citizens against wrongdoing by the government, large corporations and powerful individuals.”

* Here’s another one

In a 2002 Supreme Court news release announcing his retirement, Harrison said his small-town upbringing in Collinsville instilled within him a philosophy that “the reason for our existence is to help other people.”

* And he championed the end of the death penalty

One of the more well-known dissents Harrison delivered came in November 1998, when he wrote that the state’s death penalty was unconstitutional because “the execution of an innocent person is inevitable.”

About three months later, according to the court’s 2002 release, Death Row inmate Anthony Porter was exonerated and released after someone else admitted to the murders that put him behind bars.

“There are some who say Chief Justice Harrison was the first to call for a stop to executions in Illinois,” the court’s 2002 release states.

Not even a year after Harrison issued a public statement in 1999 that said the governor had the constitutional power to stop executions, the release notes that former Gov. Ryan issued a moratorium on the state’s death penalty.

* Where to give

Memorials may be made to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 111 O’Fallon Troy Road, O’Fallon, IL, 62269, or the Justinian Society of Lawyers Scholarship Fund, 734 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL, 60610.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


Gill mulling another run as Dems turn to Callis

Monday, Apr 29, 2013

* Democrat David Gill on his loss to Republican Rodney Davis last November

“When you look precinct by precinct, you see the impact that John Hartman had,” Gill told me last week. “I would have won by at least a point and a half had there not been a John Hartman.”

Yeah, and if Davis wasn’t on the ballot, Gill would’ve won by a landslide.

Whatever.

He was a weak candidate. End of story. If Gill runs again and wins the primary, he’ll be a weak candidate again.

* As I told subscribers last week, the DCCC is pinning its hopes on the chief judge of the 3rd Judicial Circuit Ann Callis

Callis was in a similar situation before. Two years ago Democrats tried to talk her into running in the 12th Congressional District, for the seat that had been held by former U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville. She took a pass that time — “I came to the conclusion that at this time, I could not leave a community that I love, employees and colleagues of Madison County Circuit Court that have become like family to me,” she said — and the seat eventually went to Rep. William Enyart, another Democrat.

But Democrats now want her to run in Davis’ 13th Congressional District, even though her home outside of Troy is in the 15th District represented by Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville. […]

As the chief judge in the 3rd Judicial Circuit, she has name recognition in several counties in the southern end of the district, she has contacts and money (she self-funded her campaign for judicial retention last year and her father, Lance Callis, is a Granite City trial lawyer who made millions by investing in the Argosy Casino in Alton, then selling his shares in 2005) and she has a good reputation.

Callis can self-fund, which is a big plus for the DC folks. Expect an announcement soon.

- Posted by Rich Miller   22 Comments      


Question of the day

Monday, Apr 29, 2013

* From WUIS

The governor’s latest tax returns also show he gave $7500 to charity.

That’s about $4000 less than he gave in 2011.

* The Question(s): Which charities do you usually contribute to, and what percentage of your income goes to charity?

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      


Meeks appears in another round of anti gay marriage robocalls

Monday, Apr 29, 2013

* Former state Senator Rev. James Meeks appears in a new robocall aimed at African-American voters. Meeks encourages people to call their Illinois House members and demand they vote against the gay marriage bill. Listen

* Sun-Times

“The [African-American Clergy Coalition] has begun distributing fliers to Cook County African American Churches,” a release from the AACC said today. “African American Clergymen have now taken the AACC flier and began instructing their Congregations to call their legislators.”

The fliers contain a list of African American House members with their phone numbers.

Direct lobbying by pastors in their churches seems pretty darned close to the line. Click the fliers for a larger view…

* In other news, Carol Marin writes about House Republican Leader Tom Cross’ stance on gay marriage

Inside Cross’ caucus of 47 Republicans, David Harris and most others will vote “no” when the time comes. Only two Republicans, Ron Sandack of Downers Grove and Ed Sullivan of Mundelein, have publicly voiced support for same-sex marriage. And they’re reportedly taking a huge amount of heat from some GOP brethren because of it.

Enter Cross.

“I’m trying to balance . . . and respect the wishes of a whole caucus . . . at the same time trying to remind everybody in our caucus that there are folks who are for this. You have to respect them,” he said by phone on Friday.

The ironies abound.

Some of the downstate members of Cross’ caucus who invoke their conservatism in opposing gay marriage don’t seem very conservative at all when it comes to pension reform. On that issue, they seem to have found common ground with their liberal Democratic colleagues, dependent as many of them are on the support of public employee unions.

* Related…

* New conservative lobbying push for gay marriage: The group has spent $500,000 on lobbying since last month, including efforts in Rhode Island, Delaware, Indiana, West Virginia and Utah.

* Rhode Island Beats Illinois To Gay Marriage: The risk of a black lawmakers losing his seat seems minimal, though. They can’t lose their seats to Republicans, and in 2014, is any Democrat going to run a primary campaign on the issue of opposing same-sex marriage? The winner wouldn’t have a lot of friends in the House Democratic Caucus. More likely, a black legislator trying to move up to alderman, county board, state senate or Congress would be denied a Sunday appearance at a conservative black church. That’s a valuable endorsement in the black community, so that may be enough to make a politician hesitate before pressing “yes.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   54 Comments      


Credit Union (noun) – an essential financial cooperative

Monday, Apr 29, 2013

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- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      


A very long to-do list

Monday, Apr 29, 2013

* As Doug Finke points out, there’s an awful lot to do in the next five weeks

The deadline has now passed for the House and Senate to act on bills that started in their respective chambers, marking the halfway point in the process. Let’s see where some big things stand.

The state budget? It’s not May yet, so of course it’s nowhere to be seen. Outside, that is, of Gov. PAT QUINN’s budget that was outlined in March and hasn’t been heard of since. Even Quinn’s budget probably wouldn’t be out there if the state Constitution didn’t force him to do it. Bzzzt. (Cue the penalty buzzer).

Gambling expansion with its lure of easy new millions for the state? Hasn’t’ passed either chamber. Bzzzt.

Concealed carry seems headed toward the state in one form or another after a court-ordered deadline of June 9. Surely the legislature has acted to put its stamp on that, right? Nope. The House has debated and voted on two concealed-carry bills — one restrictive, one not — and rejected both of them (guess they get points for consistency). That still puts the House ahead of the Senate, which has yet to publicly debate and vote on any concealed-carry bill. Bzzzt.

Compared to all of that, there’s been an explosion of activity on pension reform. The Senate actually passed a reform bill (on the second try) dealing with one of the five systems. The House has passed three reform bills over to the Senate.

Unfortunately, none of that stuff is the final version of pension reform. Plus, it all passed before the spring break that ended April 5. Since then, nothing

* Add Rep. Adam Brown’s bill to the list

Brown, in his second term in the House, is sponsor of HB 2496, a bill to provide state incentives to help lure a $1.2 billion fertilizer plant to Tuscola, a project that would be an economic boon to East Central Illinois. Iowa also is competing for the plant.

Brown had lined up two dozen co-sponsors for the measure, met with House leaders, the governor and others, got the bill out of committee unanimously and thought it was in good shape for passage.

“It was getting extremely close to being called. We had a meeting with Speaker (Michael) Madigan, (Democratic Leader) Barbara Flynn Currie and (Republican Leader Tom) Cross where we sat down and discussed all the issues at hand. They indicated they were supportive,” Brown recalled.

“And then a couple days later, John Bradley filed Amendment 3.”

Amendment 3 forgives a $15 million state loan to the Chicago Port Authority that was made 25 years ago.

The odd thing is that Rep. John Bradley is from Marion, about 310 miles from the offices of the Chicago Port Authority. But Bradley is also among Madigan’s assistant leaders.

The amendment was approved in a voice vote on the House floor, so now it’s part of Brown’s bill for the Tuscola fertilizer plant, a bill that was seemingly headed for approval. Now his bill is on hold.

“I tried to remove it,” Brown said. “But it turned out that wouldn’t work out.”

A pattern is developing in the House of holding off on all the goodies until the hard stuff is passed. Brown is a conservative, but he’s against pension reform. He’s also a likely “No” vote on the budget. The thinking may be to not give him what he wants for his district until after the hard stuff has passed.

But that means a ton of legislation (far more than listed above) is backlogged. It’s gonna be a crazy May. Either that, or nothing will get done.

* Related…

* Editorial: Don’t give state more money to throw away

* Vendors step up to pay Illinois’ bills

* Editorial: Illinois road paved with patronage

* Economic development, Texas-style: What Illinois can learn

* Bost: Link Card abuse out of control

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      


Poll: Downstaters don’t care about Chicago concealed carry

Monday, Apr 29, 2013

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

A new statewide poll shows a majority of Illinoisans favor concealed carry. But an overwhelming majority in every area of the state also say it’s OK with them if Chicago and Cook County police have additional authority over who gets to carry in their own jurisdictions.

The Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll of 1,284 likely voters found that 52 percent say they approve of allowing concealed carry.

“Illinois lawmakers are debating proposed laws that would allow some citizens who are properly licensed to carry concealed firearms,” respondents were told. “In general, do you approve or disapprove of allowing licensed citizens to carry loaded, concealed firearms?”

The poll, taken April 24th, found that 46 percent disapprove and just 2 percent were neutral or had no opinion. The poll had a margin of error of +/-2.7 percent. 26 percent of the numbers called were cell phones.

Geography breaks down pretty much how you’d expect. Chicagoans staunchly opposed concealed carry 69-29, while suburban Cook County voters opposed it 52-46. Downstaters strongly support the proposal 67-32 and collar county voters support it 53-46.

Women disapproved of the idea 55-43, while men supported it 64-34. Republicans backed it 72-26, Democrats opposed it 65-34 and independents favored it 61-36. African-Americans opposed the idea 61-36, but whites backed it 56-43, as did Latinos, 56-43.

The results for the poll’s second question were even more interesting.

The Senate is currently considering a plan that would allow Chicago police and the Cook County Sheriff to reject State Police-issued concealed carry permits if they have questions about the applicants’ character. The plan stalled last week when Republican Senators balked after strong National Rifle Association opposition and Chicago-area Democrats demanded more restrictions in the rest of the bill.

But the voting public absolutely loves this idea, with a whopping 73 percent voicing their approval. “I can’t get 73 percent of people to agree that it’s dark at midnight,” joked We Ask America pollster Gregg Durham last week.

“If a concealed carry law is passed, Chicago and Cook County law enforcement officials want the right to stop a permit being issued to any individual in Chicago or Cook County when there is a concern about the applicant’s character,” respondents were told. “Do you think they should be able to stop a permit in Chicago or Cook County under those circumstances?”

A mere 22 percent disagreed with the proposal and only 5 percent were neutral or had no opinion.

The results didn’t surprise Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), who is attempting to craft a compromise bill. Raoul said he believed that Downstaters don’t care what happens in Chicago or anywhere else as long as they get their right to carry. And Chicagoans are so concerned about guns that they want their local cops to have an extra say.

According to the poll, a hugely strong 71 percent of likely Downstate voters said they approved of the plan, while 25 percent were opposed. The NRA has threatened legislators with retaliation if Chicagoans don’t end up with the same access to concealed carry as everyone else, but that particular message may not fly as long as Downstaters get what they want for themselves.

Even so, Downstaters seem to be sticking with the NRA. “I am working to pass a Concealed Carry law that specifically says it SHALL apply to all counties in Illinois,” state Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) wrote on his website last week. “The Second Amendment of the Constitution applies [to] all citizens, including those in Chicago.”

But a sky-high 80 percent of likely Chicago voters approved of the proposal, as did 72 percent of suburban Cook voters and 71 percent of collar county voters.

Support was also very high across all demographics. Women were 80-14 in favor, and men were 62-32 in favor. Black voters backed it 75-16, whites supported it 65-34 and Latinos approved of it 75-18. Republicans supported it 64-30, Democrats favored it 82-13 and independents backed it 67-23.

Results like that could make you think this ought to be a no-brainer issue. But the NRA is bringing all of its considerable might to the table here, and that muscle is, so far, outweighing overwhelming public opinion.

Subscribers have crosstabs.

* Related…

* Quinn: Cities, not state, should approve concealed guns: Sen. Tim Bivins of Dixon, the Republican negotiator on the issue, supported Raoul’s idea of a “compromise” giving Chicago more authority if carry permits were more readily available to lawful gun owners in the rest of the state. But he was much more cautious late last week after seeing the proposed language. A more widespread local option is out of the question, the former Lee County sheriff said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   91 Comments      


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

Monday, Apr 29, 2013

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* State Journal-Register endorses Rauner "with reservations"
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker campaign lawyer hints at defamation suit, claims campaign was never served
* Rauner says he's "trying to eradicate" the Madigan machine "cancer," but the "treatments are tough"
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x2 - Speaker Ryan to campaign for Davis *** Trump likely coming to Illinois to boost Bost
* Musical Interlude: Try (just a little bit harder)
* Tell me another fairytale, Grandpa
* Rauner again denies any delays at Quincy veterans' home
* "Speed dating" candidates
* Lawyer won't answer simple questions as some anonymous former Pritzker staffers speak out
* AFL-CIO launches "massive" digital ad buy
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
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