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*** UPDATED x1 - Quinn reaction ***Topinka: No legislative paychecks without an appropriation or court order

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013

* From a press release…

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka made the following statement Thursday after a legal review of the Governor’s Amendatory Veto of legislative salaries:

“After the Governor used his Amendatory Veto to remove the budget line items for lawmaker salaries, I asked my staff to conduct a legal review and determine the appropriate course of action. That review included discussions with the Governor’s legal staff, Legislative legal staffs and the Attorney General’s Office. While there is conflicting opinion on this matter, I believe the case of AFSCME vs. Netsch provides the most pertinent guidance. In that case, the court ruled that the Comptroller could not pay state employees without an appropriation.

“This situation is different in that it involves two, co-equal branches of government, and that distinction may well be considered by the Court down the line. But at this point in time, the Attorney General has advised that these payments cannot be made without an appropriation or court order.

“It is my deep hope that this matter is resolved expeditiously either by legislative action or court intervention. Given the serious precedent that is being created, I look forward to receiving additional guidance from the judicial branch.

“By way of Editorial comment, let me be clear: this is no way to run government. Threats, blackmail and inertia may be good theater, but it makes us look ridiculous and takes away from our ability to get things done. It is time for leaders to lead.” [Emphasis added]

It’s almost certain that the General Assembly will have to take this one to court, and that means somebody’s gonna have to actually file a hugely unpopular lawsuit.

…Adding… Raw audio of JBT’s presser…

*** UPDATE *** From Gov. Pat Quinn…

“Today Comptroller Topinka properly recognized and adhered to my line-item veto of appropriations for legislative salaries.

“By doing so, she followed the express provisions of the Illinois Constitution.

“Legislators should not be paid until they enact comprehensive pension reform.

“In addition, I’ve also asked the comptroller to withhold my own paycheck until this important reform is achieved.

“Pension reform is the most urgent priority facing the state of Illinois.

“Nobody should be paid until the job gets done for taxpayers.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   68 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 - RTA sides with Dillard ***Daley proposes RTA revamp

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013

* From a Bill Daley press release…

In the wake of a growing scandal at Metra and the apparent inability of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) to effectively oversee public transit in the six-county area around Chicago, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Daley called for sweeping changes of the public transit structure in Illinois, essentially eliminating the RTA as we know it and investing the savings to hold down fare increases and restore service cuts for Metra, Pace and CTA riders without raising a dime in new taxes.

“The RTA spends over $33 million per year and does not provide a single ride for anyone in Illinois. It has morphed into a bureaucratic Frankenstein that must be completely rethought, and in many ways, eliminated,” said Daley.

Daley offered four principles that he will use to reorganize transit policy:

    Eliminate redundant operations by getting rid of RTA operations already performed by other government agencies and invest as much as $33 million in savings to hold down fares and restore service cuts

    Retain RTA’s strong bond rating by keeping its tax and bonding functions independent so the State of Illinois’ bad credit rating downgraded multiple times under Governor Quinn does not raise borrowing costs for public transit

    Make Metra board more accountable to the Governor

    Create a single fare card for all three service agencies and increase ease of integration for riders

Daley questioned the need for the existence of the RTA as currently structured. “The RTA claims to be the agency that makes Metra, Pace and CTA all work together, yet we still don’t have a single fare card you can use on all three systems. They spend $33 million per year and no one can tell me what they actually accomplish,” said Daley.

While Metra, Pace and CTA have all had to cut staff, reduce service or raise fares, RTA payroll has grown steadily.

* Suburban Republican reaction was expectedly suspicious

But state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, who is seeking the Republican nomination, says the solution to what ails Metra is not to abolish the RTA but to strengthen its powers over both Metra and the CTA. With Democrats completely running Springfield and now perhaps moving in on the RTA, “I hope this is not a plot to grab more money for the CTA (from the suburbs) while Metra is in chaos,” Mr. Dillard said in a phone interview. […]

Abolishing the RTA has won the support of some civic groups, such as Metropolis Strategies. But others have pointed out that eliminating the RTA has been a long-time wish for the CTA and Chicago City Hall.

Mr. Dillard clearly alluded to the latter in his interview.

“The RTA, while imperfect, still somewhat guarantees the funding equity between the CTA and the suburbs,” he said. If its oversight of Metra has been inadequate, the solution is to give it “more power for the RTA, CTA and Pace, and not only in spending but hiring . . . The CTA clearly needs oversight.”


*** UPDATE *** RTA ]RTA Chairman John Gates appears to side with Dillard via press release…

We hope that the Clifford matter can be the catalyst for something the RTA has long supported: greater authority to provide more extensive oversight of the service boards (CTA, Metra and Pace) and the authority to enforce compliance with RTA oversight.

I hope to have the support of all elected officials from the six county region, especially those who have appointing authority to the RTA board, in our efforts to remedy those statutory deficiencies so that we can ensure the Northeastern Illinois region area has an efficient, well-managed and world-class transit system.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

Question of the day

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013

* According to a friend of mine, this t-shirt is popping up in New York City, where Christine Quinn is running for mayor…

Let’s repurpose it for our own use.

* The Question: Agree or disagree: Anybody but Pat Quinn? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

survey services

- Posted by Rich Miller   78 Comments      

AFSCME spokesman explains why a probe is needed

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013

* The story about members of the Civic Committee apparently trying to jaw down the state’s bond rating is picking up a little traction. Illinois Radio Network

Anders Lindall of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees believes those business leaders were attempting to force Illinois into making steeper cuts on state workers’ pensions.

“These powerful CEOs and lobbyists are going behind closed doors to try and drive down the state’s credit rating,” said Lindall, “and drive up the state’s borrowing costs.”

Lindall says an investigation is warranted in case any members of the committee stood to profit from higher interest yields that would result from a lowered bond rating for the state.

“They may very well themselves own Illinois bonds,” Lindall said. “If that’s the case, then by pushing to drive down the state’s credit rating and drive up costs to taxpayers, they’re funneling more money into their own pockets.”

I just don’t know if this is a legal scandal. It’s not like these guys did this to pad their pockets off profits from the bonds, if they even had any. Maybe there was some incidental overlap, but was that their intent? Highly doubtful.

Their intent was to punish Illinois taxpayers in order to force pension reform. That may not be a crime, but it’s still unconscionable.

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      

Will Quinn’s veto actually delay reform?

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013

* It’s more than just possible that Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of legislative salaries actually slowed down the pension reform process. Legislators don’t like to be pushed around by a governor, and they appear to be in no rush to finish up talks

“I think we’re well into mid-August before we’d be in a position to present something to the General Assembly,” said Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington. “It’s not going as fast as we’d like. I imagine most of the members of the committee would say it’s not going as fast as they’d like.”

“I think we’re still making steady progress, but we’re not ready to unveil a plan,” said Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston. “To be perfectly honest with you, that week of the [State Fair] isn’t totally (out of the question). I don’t think this process is going to be driven by any deadline the governor chooses to make up off the top of his head. The concept of shooting for mid-August isn’t the craziest thing in the world.”

After holding a series of public hearings, committee members have been meeting privately in working groups to go over details of a reform plan. Those groups met last Friday and again on Monday. In addition, members have been speaking with each other outside the confines of meetings either of the committee as a whole or as working groups. […]

Nekritz said “it feels like weeks left” before the committee will agree on a plan. […]

“I’m not doing pension reform on that basis [of no pay for lawmakers],” Nekritz said. “We want to do this on a schedule that works for getting pension reform done, not somebody else’s schedule.”

No way do they want the finished product to look like a win for Pat Quinn. Subscribers know more about what’s going on with the legal process.

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      

Behind the derisive laughter

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013

* State and national media have been getting a kick out of kicking Ald. Joe Moore this week

In a case of only-in-Chicago political timing, the White House announced Monday it would honor Ald. Joe Moore as a “pioneer for political reform,” the same day the veteran City Council member revealed he has spoken to FBI agents about allegations he improperly paid two aides he fired.

The accusations involving the ex-employees surfaced in a report from Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan, one of several cases of alleged aldermanic wrongdoing the council’s watchdog highlighted.

* The award ceremony was hastily canceled

In a report released Monday, Khan said Moore fired a woman in 2009 after she complained about political work being done in his ward office in violation of city laws. The report says Moore paid the woman $8,709 — the equivalent of 3 1/2 months’ salary — and told her not to speak to anyone about political activities in the ward office.

The report also states that Moore, who has long been considered a progressive voice on the council, fired his chief of staff in 2007 and paid him $13,497 more than he should have based on the number of unused sick days the chief of staff could have accumulated.

Khan indicated that his office forwarded the information to the FBI and the Cook County state’s attorney. Moore said he spoke to FBI agents in May and they told him he was not a “target” in their investigation.

* The political work allegation is pretty weak. The fired woman fed the e-mail which she claims got her fired to NBC 5

“I was like, ‘Joe, I was watching your back,’” Sullivan said, insisting she was shocked when she was fired after raising the allegations. To prove her point, the former aldermanic employee provided an email she said she sent to Moore at the time, warning him of the political work she saw taking place.

“I just helped our intern with a constituent issue,” she wrote Moore in November of 2009. “And found our volunteer at the front desk putting mailing labels on a big flyer for Toni Preckwinkle.”

“This really concerns me,” she continued. “I fear that one day we’ll have a reporter at that front door, and THEN what? … You don’t need a scandal over something so completely avoidable!”

Again, pretty weak sauce. Not within the boundaries of the law, of course, but a single unpaid volunteer affixing mailing labels for another candidate isn’t really prison-time stuff.

* But here’s Moore’s problem. Local law doesn’t allow for severance pay

The Legislative Inspector General’s office declared there was no provision in the city codes for employees to be paid severance.

“[Sullivan] continued to get full time salary and full time benefits,” said Kelly Tarrant, Khan’s chief of staff. “That’s ghost payrolling.”

The report found that a former chief of staff in Moore’s office had also benefitted from similar largesse two years before Sullivan. Khan demanded that Moore repay the city more than $22,000.

“Heck no,” said Moore, asking why the inspector general’s office never allowed him to provide his version of the episode.

Moore claims the fired woman was “toxic” to the office environment. Maybe so, but he should’ve checked the law before he paid her off because people have gone to prison for ghost payrolling. And, obviously, it’s never a good thing when the FBI comes calling.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      

Unions demand Fahner probe

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013

* From a press release…

The following statement is attributable to the We Are One Illinois union coalition, in response to the revelation by Ty Fahner, president of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, that members of the Civic Committee lobbied the three major credit rating agencies to downgrade Illinois’ bond ratings:

    “Ty Fahner and unnamed members of his corporate-backed committee have shown their true colors. Fahner bragged openly about joining members of the business-backed group, behind closed doors, in lobbying credit rating agencies to lower Illinois’ bond ratings in an irresponsible and unethical attempt to put the state in an even more difficult position. They show total contempt for the taxpaying public, total disregard for the difficult fiscal challenges the state faces, and total hypocrisy over their alleged care for the working families of Illinois.

    “In addition, a serious conflict of interest may exist if either these unnamed CEOs or the big corporations they control profited in any way from lobbying to make Illinois pay more interest on its bonds — bonds which they or their corporations may hold.

    “Governor Pat Quinn should coordinate with the appropriate state and federal authorities to launch a full investigation into this matter. The public has a right to know whether any laws were violated and how much financial injury the Illinois taxpayers suffered at the hands of the corporate elite.”

Yesterday, Capitol Fax shared a video of Fahner speaking before the Union League Club, where he said, “Me and some of the people that make up the Civic Committee…did meet with and call…Moody’s and Fitch [Ratings] and Standard and Poor’s…and say, ‘How in the hell can you guys do this [i.e., maintain the state’s credit rating]? You know, you are an enabler to let the state continue. You keep threatening more and more and more.’”

Fahner then took credit for the subsequent downgrades to Illinois’ credit ratings, stating, “But if you watch what happened in the last few years, it’s been steadily down. Before that, it’s been the blind eye.”


- Posted by Rich Miller   74 Comments      

Question of the day

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013

* I went to two White Sox games this week, Monday and Tuesday vs. Detroit.


I just don’t see anything but drift. There’s no strong management, no clear direction, high-dollar players are just plain lazy, our pitching appears to be collapsing.

* Whatever you may say about the Cubs, and I’ve said a lot of nasty things about that team over the years, at least they seem to be working toward an objective. I don’t see anything comparable to that with the Sox.

As Mick Jagger once said: “Everybody’s got to go.”

Or maybe you have your own opinion. So…

* The Question: What can the White Sox do to make sure next year doesn’t suck as bad as this year has?

- Posted by Rich Miller   62 Comments      

Report: Former Rep. Howard to plead guilty

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013

* To those who know her, this is probably a big surprise

Former State Rep. Constance “Connie” Howard, a once-prominent South Side Democrat, is expected to plead guilty to a single count of federal mail fraud Wednesday related to misusing scholarship funds from a charity she founded.

Howard is expected to admit skimming roughly $28,000 out of about $76,700 raised between 2003 and 2007 from the Tee Off For Technology charity golf outing, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Springfield.

The money that she took went for personal and political purposes and to the benefit of an unnamed individual.

The event was designed to raise scholarship funds for needy students pursuing college degrees in computer science and related fields. But out of the nearly $77,000 raised, Howard is expected to admit awarding only five $2,500 scholarships.

From the US Attorney’s office…

Today, at 1:30 p.m., a court hearing is scheduled in Springfield, in federal court, for former Illinois State Representative Constance ‘Connie’ Howard to waive indictment and enter a plea of guilty to an information charging her with a single count of mail fraud. Howard is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore.

For more information, the case U.S. v. Constance A. Howard, Court Docket #13-30057, and the filed information are available at the U.S. Clerk of the Court, on PACER… The U.S. Attorney’s Office expects to issue a news release following completion of the scheduled court hearing.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

Candidate encouraged by physicists’ response

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013

* George Gollin, a 60 year-old University of Illinois physicist from Champaign has announced that he’s running for Congress. Gollin will be up against former Judge Ann Callis for the right to take on Congressman Rodney Davis in the fall, or Erika Harold if she somehow manages to win the Republican primary.

Tom Kacich reports

Gollin, who has been exploring a congressional race since April, said he has been encouraged to run by his academic colleagues.

“What I’ve been doing is talking to my colleagues in higher ed and mostly physics. Everybody has said that this is great,” he said. “There’s been nobody I’ve spoken to who’s a scientist who’s been anything other than wildly enthusiastic about this.”

Um. Ok.

Callis has the support of the DCCC and Sen. Dick Durbin, she has a big fundraising head start and, most importantly, she’s not relying on physics teachers to pump her up with smoke.

* Meanwhile, National Review takes a look at Congressman Davis’ GOP opponent Erika Harold

Thus far, her fundraising numbers have been underwhelming, according to Roll Call. Abby Livingston writes that Harold “should have been prepared for a stronger showing against Davis, a prolific fundraiser, to show her force in this potentially competitive primary. Davis raised $455,000 for the quarter and reported $702,000.”

A We Ask America poll from June has gloomy numbers for Harold: Of 1,178 likely GOP voters, only 16.38 percent said they’d vote for her if the primary were held that day. And though three times as many respondents had never heard of her, 6.98 percent say they disapprove of her, while 6.16 percent disapprove of Davis.

Actually, that was a Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll which I shared with subscribers only. Not cool on National Review’s part at all.

* But since it’s out there, here are the results…

If the Primary Election for your Member of Congress were held today, for whom would you vote?

    Rodney Davis 53.55%

    Erika Harold 16.38%

    Undecided 30.07%

Please tell us your general opinion of Rodney Davis.

    Never heard of 20.67%

    Approve 50.61%

    Disapprove 6.16%

    No opinion 22.56%

Please tell us your opinion of Erika Harold.

    Never heard of 61.29%

    Approve 19.75%

    Disapprove 6.98%

    No opinion 11.98%

Those are solid numbers for a freshman. I just don’t see Harold’s path to victory.

The poll of 1178 likely GOP primary voters was taken June 10th and has a margin of error of ±2.86 percent. Subscribers have crosstabs.

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      

Actually, Fahner did say he met with the bond raters

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013

* Yesterday, I told you that Civic Committee honcho Ty Fahner said some members of the Civic Committee, but not him, met with bond rating agencies to put pressure on them to lower Illinois’ credit rating

“The Civic Committee, not me, but some of the people that make up the Civic Committee… did meet with and call - in one case in person - and a couple of calls to Moody’s and Fitch and Standard & Poors, and say ‘How in the hell can you guys do this? You are an enabler to let the state continue. You keep threatening more and more and more.’”

* But after prompting from a reader, I listened to Fahner’s comments yet again. The actual quote is this…

“The Civic Committee, not me, but me and some of the people that make up the Civic Committee…”

Listen for yourself by clicking here. Fahner’s comment comes at the 47:35 mark.

It seems contradictory. “Not me, but me and…” So, maybe we need a legislative hearing to clear up this matter.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 - Nope - A manufactured story *** Is Quinn planning yet another stunt?

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013

*** UPDATE *** After listening to the raw audio of the governor’s walk and talk with reporters, I’ve come to the conclusion that this was a manufactured story by the media. The governor didn’t sound to me like he was planning any sort of special session. Listen for yourself…

It appears that some folks were desperate for copy. That’s not a good thing.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* AP

Gov. Pat Quinn is hinting at the possibility of a special session on pensions when lawmakers are in Springfield next month for the Illinois State Fair.

A bipartisan panel is attempting to come up with a solution to the nearly $100 billion crisis after the House and Senate remained deadlocked. However the panel blew past Quinn’s deadline to report back and he halted their pay as a consequence.

Quinn told reporters Tuesday that legislators will be in Springfield for the annual days devoted to state political leaders and it’s an “ideal time” for them to also work on pensions. But the Chicago Democrat wouldn’t specifically say if that’s his plan.

If the pension reform conference committee is still meeting by State Fair time, then this would be a needless stunt. Period. End of story.

But, of course, the media will lap it up. Quinn will fail again. Legislators will be even angrier.

And the 15-day clock might start ticking on Quinn’s vetoes if the House convenes a regular session, which would make this an even bigger stunt, with more media lapping, more angry legislators, more failure.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

Mell replaces Mell

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013

* This was obviously wired from the very beginning

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today named state Rep. Deb Mell to succeed her retiring father, longtime 33rd Ward Ald. Richard Mell, on the Chicago City Council.

The family succession plan, which was widely expected, will formally unfold at this morning’s council meeting. Before then, Emanuel appeared with Rep. Mell at Horner Park to announce the switch.

During brief remarks introducing Rep. Mell, Emanuel referenced the possibility that her appointment will be seen as a case of nepotism. “Others will say what they will, but while it would not be fair to appoint Deb just because her name is Mell, it would have been equally unfair to her constituents and the city to refuse to appoint her because her last name is Deb Mell,” Emanuel said.

The mayor went on to talk about Mell’s good work as a legislator, saying they have disagreed on legislation, “and that’s the type of alderman I want, somebody who has the independence and the strength and the character to speak up and speak out when she believes in something.”

* In actual reality, however, there’s very little downside to this choice

Emanuel’s decision to write a Mell family sequel to Chicago’s long-running saga of “All in the Family” politics is unlikely to sit well with some independent voters.

It will look like a continuation of the longstanding tradition that has allowed fathers like former Ald. Anthony Laurino (39th) to handpick their daughters — like Marge Laurino — and wives — like Carrie Austin, who replaced her late husband, Ald. Lemuel Austin (34th).


Emanuel, who has long been a fan of Deb Mell, can curry favor with Chicago’s politically potent gay community with the appointment of the City Council’s first openly lesbian alderman and third openly gay alderman.

Deb Mell also burnished her credentials as a “reformer” by chairing the House Committee hearing that forced the release of ousted Metra executive Alex Clifford’s explosive report that included patronage allegations against. House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago). […]

Emanuel briefly touched on the criticism he’ll face.

“Others will say what they will, but while it would not be fair to appoint Deb just because her last name was Mell, it would have been equally unfair to her constituents and the city to refuse to appoint her because her last name was Mell.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   56 Comments      

Rep. Hays’ blistering denunciation

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013

* Rep. Chad Hays (R-Catlin) recently penned a magnificently blistering op-ed on Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of legislative salaries due to the General Assembly’s inaction on pension reform. Let’s take it in pieces. First, the consequences

Today the issue is pension reform. What will the issue be tomorrow in terms of threatening the people’s duly elected representatives? Will it be bullying them into accepting the temporary tax increase as permanent because the governor declares that to be the new “crisis”?

What would downstate voters think if the governor had decided to hold hostage your legislator until he/she came around to his way of thinking on the right to carry issue? The truth is that one can insert any issue here, from any political point of view, and the conclusion is still the same.

The precedent that this type of blackmail represents is reprehensible and has no place in the governance model held up as the gold standard around the world. […]

Even a fledgling third world republic would not allow a governor to shake down the people’s elected representatives. This type of heavy-handed thuggery might pass for democracy in some parts of the world (generally identifiable by the marching in the streets to overthrow the leadership), but not in the 104th District. The vote is not for sale, even when car payments begin to be missed. This is a Blagojevich-style circus stunt.

* The alternative bill…

There was absolutely no need for the Legislature to adjourn the spring session without a pension reform bill in place. Senate Bill 2404 would have passed the House with a veto-proof majority had the speaker called the bill. It had previously passed with 40 of the 59 votes in the Senate. […]

The notion that it is acceptable to hold legislators for ransom because they have serious concerns about the approach in Senate Bill 1 favored by the speaker and others is outrageous on its face. Scholars who have looked at that plan found it blatantly unconstitutional at worst and at best extraordinarily punitive toward retirees who did their part and played by the rules.

Regardless of the constitutional debate, the bill only received 16 of the 30 necessary votes in the Senate. Not a close call. Please do not confuse the speaker’s unwillingness to call a vote on SB 2404 with some newly discovered fiscal conscious. He presided over $2 billion in supplemental spending over and above the FY 2012/2013 budget this spring alone.

Critics suggested that SB 2404 would not save enough money. That is primarily because only one-third of the savings are sent back into stabilizing the system, largely due to the majority party favoring spending the rest on other initiatives. I suggest an amendment that rolls ALL of the savings from this concept back into the pension system.

* Media coverage of the governor’s veto…

How is it possible that the Midwest’s largest newspaper is silent on the matter of the bill favored by the majority of the House not being called for a vote, but issues an endorsement of a gubernatorial tactic that can reasonably be termed grandstanding by a desperate politician? I think I just heard Thomas Jefferson gasp.

That a publication as prominent as the Chicago Tribune would state on its front page that this tactic is appropriate is mind-boggling. The editorial board must be meeting at Mike Royko’s old table at the Billy Goat Tavern making decisions such as these in the early afternoon between refrains of “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.” I direct you to the Constitution and the concept of co-equal branches of government.

Sometimes political theater needs interpretation. There was a day when the media employed excellent investigative reporters who helped the public sift through the talking points and blather. Some still do (including The News-Gazette, with Tom Kacich), but many now have their own political agendas, or simply can no longer afford the veteran reporter who can decode the Springfield nonsense. In light of this painful reality, let me help.

The governor has established a pattern of sitting out the discussion on a myriad of issues, only to issue grandiose statements after the fact. He is remarkably unskilled in terms of navigating the legislative process and has few identifiable allies in the General Assembly; a strange and crippling combination for a chief executive.

He is, however, populist enough to understand that most media outlets will follow any shiny object without digging beneath the surface. He conjures up “they are not doing their job … don’t pay them.” No culpability for him as a leader, no call for even a single idea or creative thought. The media goes into a frenzy.

* Conclusion…

Leaders lead. Pretenders hide in the shadows and hold press conferences hundreds of miles from the Capitol. Unilaterally declaring in the fashion of a barfly on his ninth beer “don’t pay the bums” sounds great at the corner tap. Don’t confuse this with governing, governor. It more readily defines a grifter.

We are not for sale in the 104th District and have no earthly intention of being intimidated. The people themselves will retain 100 percent of the responsibility of deciding who will be paid to represent them at our Capitol. Not you.


- Posted by Rich Miller   70 Comments      

* More shenanigans!
* Saturday campaign money report
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Shenanigans!
* Tribune drops bombshell on Biss running mate
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Rauner: "Madigan has rigged the Democratic primary for Pritzker"
* New Ives radio ad claims Democrats are trying to help Rauner, while Brady does Rauner robocall
* *** 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
* Pro-life group launches GOTV effort for Lipinski
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner opens new online track against Ives
* Erika Harold still can't remember comments, but says "I was wrong"
* Rauner calls Madigan "a unified force of bad, of evil"
* Sen. Duckworth gets involved in another state central committee race
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Has Pritzker gone to ground?
* Illinois House Bill HB 4900 Wastes Government Resources
* McCann, barred from SGOP caucus meeting, claims Rauner threatened to "destroy you and your family"
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Caption contest!
* Obama mailer kerfuffle in Lipinski district
* Rauner attended Quincy campaign event after Quincy veterans' home presser
* After spending millions in Dem primary, Rauner accuses "Washington liberals" of "hijacking" the GOP primary
* Yesterday's stories

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* The short-handed Bulls fight to the end, but too much LeBron James in crunchtime
* Cubs split spring training doubleheader with Indians, 300 miles apart
* Holy shot! Another miracle finish for Sweet 16-bound Loyola
* The ‘force’ with Mark Hamill at Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day
* Man killed estranged wife then abducted kids, prompting Amber Alert: prosecutors
* Vatican bows to pressure, releases retired pope’s letter

* Turtle racing's had a long, slow burn in Chicago
* For 'Black Panther' fans, what to know about the suburban hamlet of Wauconda
* Trump-linked data analysis firm harvested 50M Facebook profiles without user permission
* Loyola headed to Sweet 16 after Clayton Custer hits game-winning shot in final seconds
* LeBron James' triple-double too much for Bulls as Cavs pull out 114-109 victory
* Rocky toppled: Clayton Custer's do-or-die shot lifts Loyola over Tennessee and into Sweet 16
* Man killed in fall from Loop high-rise
* Bridge collapse victim's uncle rages at 'incompetence' as bodies removed from wreckage
* Bears free-agency tracker: Colts and Jets trade shakes up top of NFL draft
* Fired FBI deputy director kept personal memos on Trump, and Mueller has them

» A Feisty Debate, Offshore Accounts — And Some Side-Eye
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: March 16, 2018
» The Week in Review: Pritzker Slammed Over Offshore Holdings
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: American Airlines Changes Stance
» How Parking Ticket Debt Punishes Black Drivers In Chicago; The Best Illinois Movies
» State Week: Rauner's Gun Veto; Dem's Mean Debate
» #642 Songs About the Music Industry & Antibalas
» March 15, 2018 - Full Show
» Illinois Has Issues: Gov Candidates Talk Marijuana
» Rauner: Replace Legionnaires’-Stricken VA Home With New ‘Ultra-Modern’ Facility

* As primaries loom, downstate Democrats look for a way back
* Pritzker defends putting $69.5 million of his fortune into campaign
* Statehouse Insider: Sadly, the primary campaign is coming to an end
* Bernard Schoenburg: My predictions for Tuesday's primary election
* Our View: A recap of The State Journal-Register’s endorsements
* Bernard Schoenburg: Guessing who will be celebrating Tuesday night
* Madeleine Doubek: Time to end gerrymandering in Illinois
* United Way: Reporting results that matter
* Illinois governor race more fierce, costly as primary nears
* Madigan backs Dem central committee incumbent in 13th

* Man killed by Metrolink train near Fairview Heights station
* Martinez loses in national title match
* Concert to honor music teacher Heidi White on March 27 in Morton
* Should basketball state finals stay in Peoria?
* Alorton police officer sideswiped while in patrol car
* Wedding, parade among the ways Decatur residents celebrate St. Patrick's Day
* Man charged with child pornography
* Public safety: Man faces drug charges 3/18/18
* PHOTOS: St. Patricks Day Parade in Decatur
* Woman dies in Ford Co. wreck

* Softball: Walinski, Schuda power a Carmel victory
* Girls soccer: Wauconda shuts down Johnsburg
* Evanston's run leaves Larkin with fourth place
* Baseball: Wizceb helps pitch Vernon Hills past Hoffman Estates
* Belleville West edges Whitney Young in OT

* 18th District Democratic candidates: Wait ...
* LaHood: Illinois can decide Asian carp str...
* Peter Roskam: 'Big plan' on opioids is a '...
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* Floor Charts for the Floor Show
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* River Town Chronicles: Randy Hultgren is T...

* Congolese mother and child finally reunite......
* Congolese mother arrives in Chicago, still......
* Sen. Durbin receives Healy Award for servi......
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* Senator Durbin Receives Alumni Award...

* Congolese mother and child finally reunite......
* Schatz to convene field hearing on false m......
* Congolese mother arrives in Chicago, still......
* Duckworth on Zinke's improper use of Japan......
* US government denies Afghanistan War veter......

* State of the Legal Industry: A Leading Innovator Concludes that Inefficiency Prevails
* Wednesday, March 14, 2018
* Monday, 3/12/2018
* Online University Programs and Microcredentials Enhance Professional Learning
* AI is the new electricity, says Coursera’s Andrew Ng
* Bolstering Academic Integrity in the Online Classroom
* Here’s 5 Reasons Why You Should Study An Online MBA In 2018
* 3 Technologies that Education Needs, But Have Not Been Created
* Coursera to offer degrees from UK universities
* Thorner: Curse of Poet Emma Lazarus Lives on in Lady Liberty

* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties
* Winter Storm Warnings for Areas Along and North of I-80
* IEMA Encourages People to Prepare for Earthquakes

* Sunday debate: Notch vs full bezel
* AR company Avegant has replaced its CEO and laid off more than half its staff
* 9 reasons to be cautious with blockchain
* Nnedi Okorafor is writing a comic series about Black Panther’s Dora Milaje warriors
* Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica harvested data on 50 million Facebook profiles to help target voters
* Jakub Rozalski’s Howling at the Moon is a beautiful art book that merges real and fictional worlds
* Dozens of states are now considering plans to keep net neutrality rules

* Cool with No. 2? Avi paces Sox 5-2 win
* Lefty Ross making case for bullpen spot
* Shields honored to be Opening Day starter
* Shields honored to be Opening Day starter
* Shields to start for White Sox on Opening Day
* Shields to start for White Sox on Opening Day
* Your guide to pronouncing all those tricky White Sox names

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