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Illinois Family Institute weighs in on Dillard position

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

* From an e-mail…


Illinois Family Institute agrees with the Catholic Conference of Illinois and Senator Kirk Dillard. Civil Unions is proving to be a litigious nightmare! Just ask the Bed & Breakfast owners from Paxton, Illinois who only want to operate their business according to the dictates of their faith and not be forced to celebrate something they believe to immoral.

Here are just a few examples that prove just how litigious the marriage redefinition agenda is:

    • Washington State is suing a Christian florist who declined to provide floral arrangements for a homosexual “wedding” ceremony. The state is threatening thousands of dollars in fines and a requirement that the elderly florist provide floral arrangements to any homosexual couple that seeks her services.

    • The Christian owners of an Oregon bakery were contacted by the Oregon Department of Justice and were told that they are being investigated because of a discrimination complaint that followed their refusal to violate their beliefs by providing a wedding cake for a lesbian “wedding” ceremony.

    • A Christian owner of a bed and breakfast in Hawaii has been ordered to provide a room to any same-sex couple that wants to stay there, thus violating her religious convictions.

    • And in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the owner of Elane Photography declined to provide her skills and services for a lesbian commitment, explaining that doing so would violate her conscience as a Christian. As a result of a complaint being filed with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, a fine of $6,600 was issued against this small business for discrimination based on “sexual orientation.”

There are many more cases like these, and many more will be coming down the litigation pike. In each of these cases, homosexual activists prove that what they really want goes far beyond “equality” or “tolerance.” And they clearly demonstrate their lack of tolerance for any dissenting opinions.

Moreover, why would proponents of marriage redefinition seek to punish people of faith through litigation? Why wouldn’t proponents tolerate another person’s right to freely exercise their religious beliefs and an individual’s right of conscience, and their right to decline to provide goods, services, and accommodations to those seeking government recognition of same-sex unions as “marriage”?


David E. Smith, Executive Director

Illinois Family Institute

I’m busy with other stuff right now, so go ahead and discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   54 Comments      

CCI backs Dillard on “litigious nightmare” claim

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

* From the Catholic Conference of Illinois regarding a post from earlier today…


You posted today about Kirk Dillard’s comment on a 2012 candidate questionnaire regarding the civil unions law: “It is a litigious nightmare!” You then disagreed with Dillard’s comment by saying “it hasn’t really turned out that way.”

We disagree, and point to the 2011 court battle between the state and the Catholic dioceses of Belleville, Joliet and Springfield regarding state foster care contracts. The dioceses do not place children with unmarried, civil-union couples – whether gay or heterosexual. The dioceses sued the state to retain the right to continue their long-standing mission of caring for abandoned and neglected children. The court ruled against them, and the dioceses were forced to dismantle their foster care operations.

Yes, the dioceses filed the lawsuit – but only after the state threatened their contracts. Most importantly, Senate debate on the civil unions legislation expressly assured that religious social service agencies would NOT be affected by the legislation.


Robert Gilligan
Executive Director
Catholic Conference of Illinois

The dioceses lost their case because the court ruled that no group has an inherent right to a state contract. I stand by what I said. One lawsuit does not a “litigious nightmare” make. Add in two more lawsuits mentioned in the comment section by Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society and I still don’t buy into the “litigious nightmare” argument.

Also, even assuming their logic is correct, then wouldn’t pretty much all the state and federal anti-discrimination laws regarding race, gender, age and religious affiliation be classified as “litigious nightmares” because of the countless lawsuits they’ve spawned over the decades? And, more importantly, is that a valid reason to oppose those protections?

- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      

“The Next 89 WLS Talk Star”

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

* From WLS AM

Laura Kelly beat out four other finalists to become ‘The Next 89 WLS Talk Star,” winning the contest at a live finale at The Improv in Schaumburg Wednesday night.

“This is just so incredible!” Kelly said after 89 WLS midday host Lauren Cohn announced her as the winner.

Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft hosted the finale, and Kelly joined them this morning to talk about what she plans to do on her two-hour, 89 WLS talk show.

Proft said that her focus on getting Gov. Pat Quinn and Sen. Dick Durbin out of office is what put her over the top and separated her from the other finalists.

“That’s the reason I wanted to have a talk show, to be able to just focus on them and dump Dick Durbin. I just want somebody in there that will bring in good government,” Kelly said.

* Check out the video of the presentation

“There are many people who appreciate this station and appreciate Republican values,” Kelly said after she was awarded the prize.

- Posted by Rich Miller   52 Comments      

Question of the day

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

* Sun-Times

Alex Clifford is interested in rejoining Metra as CEO and would be willing to reopen his controversial separation deal to be rehired — under certain circumstances, Clifford’s lawyer said Wednesday.

But the attorney, Michael Shakman, contended that Metra officials can’t unilaterally “undo” Clifford’s 26-month farewell handshake or try to tap a $10 million insurance policy to cover some of the maximum $871,000 settlement tab, as some officials have suggested.

“If they want to reduce their obligation, Mr. Clifford is willing to talk about a new employment agreement extending some years into the future,’’ said Shakman, known best to some as the original plaintiff in a landmark City Hall hiring and firing case.

Shakman commented Wednesday after members of the RTA board, which oversees Metra’s finances, heard the initial results of an RTA audit into the Clifford deal and approved a resolution declaring it “not financially prudent.’’

The resolution also urged Metra to conduct “a thorough examination of its insurance policy’’ to see if a claim could still be filed.

* Daily Herald

Metra has no basis for canceling the agreement given it was made by a government body that had the proper authority to enter into such an agreement, Shakman said. He added that if Metra stopped payments, it would have to go to arbitration, and if the agency lost it would mean paying more legal fees.

Moreover, Shakman thinks the agency’s insurance policy would not cover Metra over a breach of contract dispute.

* The Question: Should Metra reinstate Alex Clifford with a multi-year employment agreement? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

survey services

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      

Sacia tells the back story of Quinn’s gay marriage push

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

* Rep. Jim Sacia (R-Pecatonica) pens a weekly column for his local papers. This is from his latest…

You are all aware that for the past two months the Governor has withheld our salaries until we pass “pension reform”. Certainly the Governor’s move is “politically correct” and the citizens seem to love it. “You go Governor - stick it to those lazy legislators”. Here is the fallacy. Where has the Governor been on comprehensive pension reform? Along the way I have been involved in many of the pension discussions. I have never seen the Governor at any of them. It certainly begs the question, where is his great idea and leadership?

A short week before our mandatory adjournment on May 31, the Governor called me to his office. As we were in session, I locked out my electronic voting buttons and headed to his office. It never entered my mind that it would be anything other than pension reform. You can’t make this stuff up folks - he wanted to know what it would take for me not to vote no on the gay marriage bill. It must be restated here - I have no issue with gay people. God loves us all. In my opinion politics has no place in sexual preference. The hundreds of gay couples in the capital complex certainly made the issue “politically correct”.

My response to the Governor was less than “politically correct”. “You could install a _____ no button”. The Governor smiled and dismissed me. It was not an attempt at being clever, more out of indignation, “you mean I’m not here to discuss pensions?”

I suppose Quinn should get credit for asking pretty much everybody to vote for gay marriage, and Sacia is retiring, so he’s a lame duck. But no way was the social conservative ever going to be a “Yes” vote. That was a total waste of time.

* He’d better have a much more effective pitch when the pension reform conference committee hands him their results. Speaker Madigan has said he won’t bring the House back to town until Quinn has found the 60 votes needed to pass the bill. And, as the governor acknowledged way back in 1980, he’s no lobbyist

“If you’ve got a bill you want passed, I wouldn’t advise hiring me as your lobbyist,” said Quinn. “I haven’t exactly endeared myself to the politicians in Springfield.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

I just don’t see his path

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

* Republican state treasurer candidate Bob Grogan reportedly met with Tom Cross yesterday afternoon, hours after Cross told his caucus that he would run for the statewide job. Shortly after the meeting, a defiant Grogan issued this statement…

After visiting more than 40 counties listening to voters, I’m ready to make it official .. Next week during the Du Quoin State Fair, I’ll be announcing my candidacy for State Treasurer, details to follow. While others can talk about political money raised, I’ll be talking about safeguarding the people’s money. As a CPA and Certified Fraud Examiner, I’ll be standing strong against the corrupt status quo. I hope I can count on your support as we make a break from the old politics of Illinois!

A red flag should always go up when a candidate dismisses the importance of campaign money, and that certainly applies here. Grogan is, to put it simply, a lousy fundraiser.

Grogan raised just $21K in the last quarter and had $19K in the bank. He raised just $4,800 in the first quarter, and about $5,000 all last year.

* On paper, Grogan could make an impressive state treasurer

“(B)eing the County Auditor in DuPage, I’m a CPA and a certified fraud examiner. I have a strong record as far as financial acumen so I will be able to keep and watch over the people’s money. I have a strong record of transparency putting DuPage Counties checkbook online when others said it couldn’t be done.”

From his campaign bio


    • Certified Public Accountant (2002)
    - Passed all four sections of CPA exam on first attempt: FARE- 95, ARE- 93, Audit- 92, Law- 92.
    • Certified Fraud Examiner (2010)


    • Commissioner, DuPage County Zoning Board of Appeals (2005-2008)
    • Staff Assistant, Rep. Harris Fawell, 13th Illinois Congressional District (1996-1997)
    • Secretary, Clarendon Blackhawk Mosquito Abatement District Board (2001-2006)
    • Board Member, DuPage Regional Planning Commission (2003-2005)


    • Miami University (Ohio)
    -Bachelors of Arts Degree
    -Double Major: Economics and Political Science
    • College of DuPage
    -Advanced Accounting Certificate
    -4.0/4.0 GPA
    -Phi Theta Kappa


    • Illinois CPA Society
    • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
    • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
    • Government Finance Officers Association
    • Illinois Association of County Auditors

But if you have no money, nobody is ever gonna know who the heck you are. And you gotta win in order to change things. Down-ballot statewide races are almost always about name recognition. No money, no name ID. It’s as simple as that.

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      

“Stand your ground” and concealed carry

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

* The Tribune has a very good story about Illinois’ century-old history of “stand your ground” court precedents. The article is also about how those precendents could prompt changes to the new concealed carry. The consensus is that nobody really knows yet what’s going to happen. Anyway, have a look

Under Florida’s self-defense law, a person who is attacked “where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force.” That includes “deadly force” if the person “reasonably” believes it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or to prevent an imminent felony crime from being committed.

Illinois’ self-defense statute is more generic, saying that a person who is attacked is justified in using deadly force “only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.” Similar language is used to allow self-defense in protecting a home or personal property. […]

A person unlawfully assaulted while somewhere they have a right to be who is put in real or reasonably apparent danger of losing his or her life or suffering severe harm “may stand his ground and repel force with force, even to the taking of the life of his assailant,” Justice Carroll Boggs wrote. […]

Case law has defined four elements to self-defense in Illinois: that unlawful force was threatened, that the person being threatened was not the initial aggressor, that the danger of harm is imminent and that the use of force was necessary.

All four of those conditions must be met for a self-defense strategy to succeed

In self-defense murder cases, for example, a jury can convict someone of second-degree murder, accepting that the person believed deadly force was justified but finding that the circumstances surrounding the killing showed the action was unreasonable.


- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      

Good news for Fair fans

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

* I truly enjoyed the Illinois State Fair this year. Obviously one reason was the perfect weather. But the entertainment was solid, the horse shows were fun as always, there were enough new food booths to keep me coming back for more and the fair’s fun quirkiness was ever present. So, I’m glad to see attendance was up

Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the recently concluded Illinois State Fair reported its highest attendance in more than ten years. A total of 961,142 fairgoers passed through the gates this year, an increase of five percent – or 42,707 visitors – compared to a year ago, when attendance was 918,435. The figure is the fair’s highest attendance since 2002, when an estimated 1.2 million people visited the fair. […]

Several records were set during the 11-day run of the fair as well.

The Grandstand entertainment was the highest-grossing line-up in State Fair history with ticket sales of $2.03 million. The sales figure eclipsed the previous record of $1.57 million set just last year. Grandstand attendance totaled 53,287, the most since 2000, when 54,345 tickets were sold.

Toby Keith was the biggest draw - his concert sold 9,367 tickets, 144 more than the Styx and REO Speedwagon concert (9,223). Governor Quinn is one of Toby Keith’s biggest fans and attended his concert, where he declared “Toby Keith Day” in Illinois. […]

The increased spending at the fair boosts purchasing at local businesses, which in turn stimulates economic growth in the area. The Illinois Department of Revenue collected a record $257,584 in sales taxes from Illinois State Fair vendors. That’s seven percent more than was collected a year ago. With the sales tax rate in Sangamon County at 6.25 percent, that figure means fairgoers spent $4.1 million on corn dogs, lemon shake-ups, and assorted trinkets this year. Gate and parking revenue was $1,530,676, breaking the previous record set in 2012 of $1,513,884. North American Midway Entertainment, the fair’s carnival contractor, reported record gross receipts of $1.4 million, surpassing the $1.29 million it collected a year ago.

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      

Poe vs. Durkin

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

* The battle to replace House Republican Leader Tom Cross is so far between Downstater Rep. Raymond Poe (R-Springfield) and suburbanite Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). The two men just couldn’t be more different

Poe said he didn’t view the campaign to replace Cross as a contest between a downstater and a suburbanite. However, Poe said his and Durkin’s differing views on how to approach pension reform “are probably the biggest thing going on.”

“I’m getting a bad rap that says I’m not for pension reform,” Poe said. “I am. I just happen to support (the union-backed plan), and [Durkin] supported the (Michael) Madigan plan. We’re both for reform, but it’s different reform and how we get there and how we take care of our constituents.” […]

Durkin said he thinks the key issue is the ability to raise money so the party can wage effective campaigns.

“The single most important position for the House leader is the ability to raise money,” Durkin said. “I just think I have an edge on him. There’s not a lot of money in the campaign coffers. I’ve got a relationship with the business community. You’ve got to be able to raise money in Chicago.”

* Keep in mind that a majority of House Republicans voted against the Madigan pension reform plan and were really upset with Cross over his pandering to Ty Fahner et al. The majority of the caucus represents Downstate districts, and there are very real tensions between the two regions. But neither man has yet sewn up enough votes to win, partially because of this guy

[Rep. Dwight Kay, of Glen Carbon] is a short-timer at the Capitol who may have a tough re-election race, factors making difficult a run for leadership against two more senior lawmakers.

Kay has the support of at least two other ultra-conservative House Republicans (reportedly Jeanne Ives of Wheaton and Tom Morrison of Palatine).

* Durkin is right that raising money is a key issue. And the real money is most definitely in the Chicago area, where he lives. Former Senate GOP Leader Frank Watson managed to do it from his Metro East district, but it wasn’t easy at all.

It would, however, be fascinating to see a Poe leadership win. I imagine that the Chicago Tribune editorial board’s collective head would explode if Poe took over the helm. And just imagine the position it would put Bruce Rauner in. He’d be bashing his party’s own House leader for kowtowing to the unions. Priceless.

* If neither man is able to put together a winning margin, you can probably expect others to eventually jump in. Cross won a bitter race against former Rep. Art Tenhouse back in the day, but the suburbs had a lot more power and influence in those times and Cross had crossover appeal that Durkin has so far lacked. I also don’t expect Kay to drop out any time soon. He is what he is.

- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      

Dillard questionnaire: Repeal civil unions, Motor Voter laws

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

* I was looking up candidate questionnaires this morning for a story I did for subscribers and stumbled across a 2012 Illinois Review questionnaire filled out by state Sen. Kirk Dillard.

Dillard is often touted as a “moderate” candidate, but check this out

“It is a litigous nightmare!!” he wrote underneath his answer. It hasn’t really turned out to be that way, except for the lawsuit to overturn it and instate full marriage rights based on equal protection arguments.

* Dillard also said he favored repealing the state’s “Motor Voter” law. I hadn’t heard of anyone of prominence pushing that idea, so it really stuck out for me.

Dillard also revealed that he could support a so-called “right to work” law, although it “Depends on how it is drafted,” he noted.

To be sure, he said he supported the right of public employees to strike “with limits,” but the questionnaire is a very interesting read. Click here to read it for yourself, then discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   86 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Crosstabs and some campaign news

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

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Thursday, Aug 22, 2013

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Frerichs responds to Cross candidacy

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

* From state Sen. Michael Frerichs, Democratic candidate for state treasurer…

State House Republican Leader Cross has been a Springfield insider for over two decades during which he contributed to many of the most hazardous fiscal decisions leading to our current financial crisis.

Leader Cross has championed a Republican caucus which has lost touch with the middle class and has sought to cut to the core the very programs that working families across Illinois depend on like public schools, and programs to protect Illinois’ seniors.

I look forward to a vigorous and exciting debate about how best to protect the retirement security and college savings of working and middle class families.

As the statement clearly indicates, this is likely gonna turn out to be a union/business proxy war over pension reform. Expect it to be high dollar and brutal.

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      

Ignoring the warning signs

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

* This story

Illinois is outsourcing part of its Medicaid program to a company that is under a federal grand jury investigation in Louisiana, was disqualified from bidding in Arkansas, was ushered out of Maine and has been the subject of complaints in Utah.

The black marks against the company, including its firing in Louisiana in March, haven’t deterred Illinois officials, who say they are confident of their recently announced plan to use the company’s services through a partnership with Michigan.

Client Network Services Inc., an information technology company based in Gaithersburg, Md., will help Illinois set up an estimated $85 million system to handle processing and other administrative tasks for the state’s Medicaid program, the state-federal health program that covers about 2.8 million people.

Kinda reminds me of this story

A testy Mayor Rahm Emanuel today promised to bring in outside help to determine whether indicted ex-Comptroller Amer Ahmad did anything improper here, and he defended his decision to hire Mr. Ahmad in the first place.

In his first comments since news broke that Mr. Ahmad allegedly was at the center of a shakedown scheme in his former post with the Ohio state treasurer’s office, Mr. Emanuel promised a “thorough, comprehensive and complete” review of Mr. Ahmad’s performance here — including as a voting member of all four of Chicago’s huge employee pension funds.

Though the probe will be led jointly by Corporation Counsel Steve Patton and Inspector General Joe Ferguson, “We’re going to ask an independent third party to (actually) do the review,” Mr. Emanuel said. “They have resources we don’t have.”

State officials say they’ve checked into Client Network Services and aren’t worried. Emanuel knew about clear warning signs in Ahmad’s recent past and hired him anyway after he was “vetted.”

* Bill Daley responds to the Medicaid story…

In the wake of today’s Chicago Tribune story detailing Governor Quinn’s outsourcing an $85 million no-bid Medicaid administration contract to a company under federal grand jury investigation, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Daley called for the Governor to release all correspondence related to hiring the embattled firm.

“I am calling on Governor Quinn to release all correspondence and emails between his administration, the State of Michigan, this firm and their lobbyists regarding awarding a no-bid contract to a company under federal grand jury investigation. The State Inspector General should launch an immediate investigation into whether this inside deal was improperly awarded,” said Daley.

Client Network Services Inc. (CNSI) was awarded the no-bid contract under an unusual partnership with the State of Michigan even after Quinn administration officials admitted that they knew the firm was under federal investigation and had been fired, replaced or banned from bidding on similar projects in Louisiana, Arkansas and Maine.

“When it comes to giving this no bid contract to a company that is both under federal investigation and had its contract cancelled by other states, we need to know who spoke to whom about this agreement and who lobbied whom, especially because of the cloud of suspicion this company is under in other parts of the country,” added Daley.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal fired CNSI in March after his state received a subpoena from a federal investigation into improper and potentially illegal communications between CNSI and state officials. In addition to questionable practices in awarding the contract, CSNI underbid competitors only to come back and blindside Louisiana with a request for an additional $40 million in fees.

In July, Arkansas banned CNSI from bidding on their Medicaid program after they received unfavorable reviews from others states where CNSI does business. This is after CNSI’s debacle in Maine forced the state into $500 million in temporary payments resulting from CNSI’s system crashing in 2005. CNSI’s contract in Utah is also in question after getting bad reviews from the state.

“We need to know why a company with a string of failures in other states which is also under investigation by the federal government would be given a no-bid contract by Governor Quinn’s administration,” concluded Daley.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

First black Republican in 30 years takes Illinois House seat

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

* Pat Quinn’s Cutback Amendment was the end of black Republicans in the Illinois House, until this week

Republican officials have chosen a Kendall County sheriff’s deputy, who’ll be the first black Republican lawmaker in the state Legislature in three decades, to replace resigning state Rep. Pam Roth, of Morris.

John Anthony, 37, was appointed after GOP officials in the four counties making up the 75th District — Kendall, Grundy, Will and LaSalle — deliberated over nine potentials Monday. Their pick was announced Tuesday. […]

His appointment comes as Republicans have vowed to better reach out to minorities in the wake of major Election Day losses.

Anthony, who also has roots in Puerto Rico, will be the first black GOP state lawmaker since the early 1980s — something Thornton said was simply “icing on the cake.”

“He transcends,” she said.

It’ll be interesting to see what the House Black Caucus does now.

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      

Question of the day

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

* Yesterday, we talked a bit about about Republican state treasurer candidate Michael Scott Carter’s pledge to generate economic growth in “all 110 counties in Illinois.”

That would be eight more counties than Illinois actually has.

* The Question: What should we name our state’s “new” counties?

Obviously, snark is heavily encouraged.

- Posted by Rich Miller   85 Comments      

The Metra mess continues

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

* Ugh

Metra officials repeatedly misled the public when they insisted that an unusually large severance package for former CEO Alex Clifford saved taxpayers millions of dollars in potential litigation costs, a bruising report from the Regional Transportation Authority suggests.

The transit agency offered Clifford a $718,000 departure deal in June after he threatened to file a whistle-blower lawsuit alleging political back-scratching and questionable contracts at the nation’s second-largest commuter service. Metra attorneys and board members have defended the settlement for weeks, saying the move thwarted a costly legal battle.

A preliminary RTA audit, however, found that Metra has an insurance policy that would have covered litigation costs if Clifford actually had sued, according to documents obtained by the Tribune. The agency’s deductible is $150,000 — a fraction of the cost of Clifford’s severance package.

* However

Another Metra source says that it wasn’t nearly that simple, given that Mr. Clifford was threatening a whistleblower action that might have been difficult to cover insurance wise.

* But

The acting chairman of the Metra board says he’s going to take a look to see if it’s legally and financially possible to undo the agency’s $718,000 “departure settlement” with ex-CEO and Executive Director Alex Clifford and instead shift the costs of his severance settlement to an insurance policy.

Responding to a storm of controversy, Jack Partelow told me he will spend much of the day talking to attorneys and others in an effort to determine if the agency can backtrack on the severance deal.

- Posted by Rich Miller   16 Comments      

*** UPDATED x3 - Cross issues statement *** Cross to step aside

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

* Leader Cross is holding an 11:30 conference call with his members, and I’ll give you more details then, but as subscribers already know, this is true

After weeks of saying he would stay on as Illinois House GOP leader, Tom Cross apparently has decided to give up that post to run for Illinois treasurer.

Sources close to the leader reported last night that he intends to hold a conference call with House Republicans late this morning to announce that he is moving on. Mr. Cross himself was not available for comment, but the information came from top-notch sources.

Mr. Cross had been preparing to run for attorney general but took a pass when incumbent Democrat Lisa Madigan decided to run for a new term instead of governor.

Among other Republicans who have been considering a race is former DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom, but it’s not known whether he will oppose Mr. Cross, who as leader has had access to fairly considerable campaign cash.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Cross has asked his members to begin the process of a succession plan. He said he isn’t making any endorsements for his successor.

Cross wants the transition completed by the first week in October, but will be open to advancing the time frame.

He says he will be making a formal announcement for treasurer in two weeks.

Cross will serve out his term in the House.

*** UPDATE 2 *** From the House GOP…


This afternoon I shared with my colleagues in the House Republican Caucus my sincere appreciation for all of their support, hard-work and repeated confidence in me to serve as the House Republican Leader for the last 10 years. Serving as House Republican Leader has been an immense privilege and a humbling honor and I will forever cherish the friendships, the successes and yes, even the battles.

As I consider the challenge of serving Illinois at a higher level, I did ask my colleagues in the House Republican Caucus to begin the process of a succession plan so that a new leader may be chosen in preparation for the 2014 elections. I will be announcing my plans within the next two weeks and I remain committed to adding members to the House Republican Caucus.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Sen. Darin LaHood is backing Cross

Republicans informed of Cross’s plan confirmed the details, including Republican Sen. Darin LaHood, who once considered a bid for treasurer but is now backing Cross.

“He will be a steady hand at the wheel of the treasurer’s office,” he said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

Who wears short shorts?

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

* Umm

A Southern Illinois courthouse is relaxing its dress code to allow visitors to wear shorts — if they’re long enough.

Jefferson County officials began enforcing a new dress code this week. The rules also banned pajamas, house slippers, hats, tank tops, muscle shirts and halter tops along with inappropriate or offensive logos.

But officials now say they’re relaxing the shorts ban to include “appropriate” items. But too-short shorts are still verboten — if their hemline is above a person’s fingertips when their arms are extended at their sides.

So, what if somebody has really short arms?

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      

Perennial candidate decamps to New Hampshire

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

* I wasn’t aware that Andy Martin had left Illinois. From a press release

New Hampshire U. S. Senate candidate Andy Martin says aid to Greece should be on the 2014 U.S. election agenda

Andy is circulating a letter seeking the support of Greek-Americans to “put the issue of [aid to] Greece on the 2014 election agenda”

But he’s still bashing Mark Kirk

I am committed to stopping the defamation of Greece by politicians such as Mark Kirk, and the creation of renewed respect for the crucial role Greece plays as Turkey increasingly slips into the orbit of radical Islam.

* Martin received 37,480 votes in the 2010 Republican US Senate primary. Kirk received over 420,000.

His long history of campaigns

# U.S. Senator from Illinois, 1978 (Democratic primary)
# U.S. Senator from Illinois, 1980 (Democratic primary)
# U.S. House from Connecticut, 1986 (Republican primary)
# President of the United States, 1988 (Democratic primary)
# Governor of Florida, 1990 (Republican primary) 4th of five candidates 28,591 votes (4.30%)
# U.S. House from Florida, 1992 (Republican primary)
# Florida State Senate, 1996 (unsuccessful Republican nominee)
# U.S. Senator from Florida, 1998 (Republican primary) 2nd of two candidates 184,739 votes (33.60%)
# President of the United States, 2000 (Republican primary)
# U.S. Senator from Florida, 2000 (unsuccessful independent candidate) finished 7th of seven candidates with 15,889 votes (0.27%)
# U.S. Senator from Illinois, 2004 (Republican primary, removed from ballot according to Illinois State Board of Elections)
# U.S. Senator from Florida, 2004 (Republican primary)
# Governor of Illinois, 2006 (Republican primary) 5th of five candidates 6,095 votes (0.83%)
# U.S. Senator from Illinois, 2008 (Republican primary) 2nd of three candidates 240,548 (33.85%)
# U.S. Senator from Illinois, 2010 (Republican primary) 5th of six candidates 37,359 votes (5.0%)
# President of the United States, 2012 (Republican primary)

The guy has filed a ton of lawsuits, so be careful in comments.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      

Anti gay marriage group hit with complaint

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

* From a press release…

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) announced today that it has filed complaints against two Illinois SuperPACs for failing to comply with state election statutes. The committees, African American Clergy Coalition and Moving Aurora Forward #461, each received the majority of their funding from a single source, but failed to identify that source as their sponsoring entity in filings with the State Board of Elections as required by law.

“ICPR believes strongly that the public has a right to know who is speaking about issues and candidates that will be on the ballot. Political donors should not be able to disguise their identities by running money through a SuperPAC,” said David Morrison, Deputy Director of ICPR.

Most political committees are barred from taking outsized contributions from a single source due to contribution limits, which have been in effect in Illinois since 2011. But SuperPACs are exempt from contribution limits and so may take vast sums from a single donor.

State law requires that all political committees list on their Statement of Organization (“D-1 form”) the name of any donor whose contributions account for more than one-third of their total receipts. Such donors are labeled “sponsoring entities.”

“SuperPACs should not be allowed to be political sock puppets. Political groups have a duty to the public to be honest about who they are,” said Morrison.

The complaints filed by ICPR allege the following violations of state law:

· African American Clergy Coalition formed in March of this year and since then has reported raising $82,000. All of that money came from the Washington DC- based National Organization for Marriage, but African American Clergy Coalition did not list that organization as its sponsoring entity.

· Moving Aurora Forward #461 formed in February of this year and since then has reported raising $23,800. More than three-fourths of that money, $18,000, came from Friends of Tom Weisner, but Moving Aurora Forward #461 did not list the committee, formed to support the mayor of Aurora, as a sponsoring entity.

ICPR routinely examines filings by SuperPACS precisely because they are not covered by contribution limits. Of the 17 SuperPACs now operating in Illinois, these two were the only ones that appear to have violated the sponsoring entity rule.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      

Rauner forms new PAC, but can he succeed?

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

* As subscribers already know, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has created a new PAC. The “Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits” has already raised over $200,000. The two top contributors are real estate magnate Howard Rich and a trust controlled by Sam Zell.

From the Trib

Imposing term limits in Illinois will require asking voters to approve a constitutional amendment. To get it on the ballot, hundreds of thousands of signatures will have to be gathered. On Tuesday, Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf said that details of the petition drive, as well as the exact wording of the proposed term limit amendment, will be publicly announced “in the next few weeks.” […]

Traditional political action committees that support candidates for election also have limits on donations. But since Rauner’s term limits PAC is pushing a proposed question for the November 2014 general election ballot, there are no limits to what donors may contribute.

That means Rauner could give unlimited amounts of his own money to his PAC, ostensibly pushing term limits while helping to promote his candidacy for governor. Meanwhile, his opponents would continue to be hamstrung by state donation limits. […]

There’s another potential benefit for Rauner. If he wins the Republican primary in March and gets the term limit question on the November ballot, it could create a powerful way to drive turnout in a state where the Democratic Party controls Illinois government. The strategy is similar to one used by President George W. Bush in his successful 2004 re-election effort. Bush adviser Karl Rove got anti-gay marriage referendum questions on the ballot in several battleground states, including Ohio, drawing conservative voters to the polls.

* The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in the 1990s that citizen-initiated constitutional amendments must change both the structure of the General Assembly and its procedures. From the Constitution…

Amendments shall be limited to structural and procedural subjects contained in Article IV

From the court’s ruling

The eligibility or qualifications of an individual legislator does not involve the structure of the legislature as an institution. The General Assembly would remain a bicameral legislature consisting of a House and Senate with a total of 177 members, and would maintain the same organization.

Likewise, the eligibility or qualifications of an individual legislator does not involve any of the General Assembly’s procedures. The process by which the General Assembly adopts a law would remain unchanged. […]

the proposed amendment does not meet either the structural or the procedural requirement of article XIV, section 3 [Emphasis added]

So, it’s quite likely that any term limit proposal would be prevented from appearing on the ballot. Still, it’ll give Rauner a rallying cry and an organizing tool

* Signature and other requirements

(I)n order for a term limits initiative to come to a vote, a petition with signatures totaling 8 percent of the number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election would first need to be approved.11 Moreover, the Illinois Supreme Court would then have to rule such an initiative permissible under Article XIV, Section 3.

Eight percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election would equal 298,399 valid signatures.

* The term limits case involved Pat Quinn, who gathered over 400,000 signatures to get a term limits amendment on the ballot. This is how the then state treasurer reacted to the Supreme Court’s ruling

In a statewide opinion poll published recently by the Chicago Tribune, nearly 70 percent of voters said they would vote in support of the term limit amendment if it appeared on the ballot in November. But in the midst of all this support for change, the Chicago Bar Association (CBA)—a registered lobby group of 21,000 lawyers—rushed forward to protect the political status quo. The CBA filed a lawsuit to block the Eight is Enough term limit referendum from appearing on the November 1994 ballot statewide.

Interestingly, the CBA also lobbied the General Assembly in support of a pay raise for judges. On the same day that the legislators approved the judicial pay raise, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to hear the CBA challenge to the term limit referendum. Six weeks later, on August 10, in a 4-3 split decision, the Illinois Supreme Court denied voters the chance to vote on the term limit referendum this November. In a cowardly action, the court refused to explain why it will not allow Illinois voters the chance to participate fully in the democratic process.

Illinois is the first state in the nation to reject term limits before the people have had a chance to vote on the issue. The Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling against the Eight is Enough referendum is a slap in the faces of more than six million voters and is an insult to the highest ideals of democracy. The court’s majority ruling ignores the fact that the Illinois Constitution clearly gives voters the right to reform their legislature. The constitution provides citizens with the power of initiative and referendum. The authors of our state constitution wanted voters to be able to propose changes to the legislature in cases where, through self-interest, the General Assembly opposed them.

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** Kicking up the hysteria

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

* From Guns Save Life

Governor Patrick Quinn, the clueless, inept and bumbling Illinois chief executive, signed HB-1189 yesterday – a bill to end private transfers of guns between individuals. The bill also mandates the reporting of lost or stolen firearms within 72-hours of the loss, effectively penalizing gun owners a second time if their guns are stolen and they don’t detect it right away.

The only people affected by this legislation are the law-abiding Illinois residents.

“Guns are a plague on too many of our communities,” Quinn said at his big press conference.

No, governor. Anti-gun politicians are a plague on our entire state, handicapping the good guys against those criminal predators who ignore basic societal norms against murder, rape and robbery.

So, why wouldn’t gun owners want to know if a potential buyer has a valid FOID card? I don’t get it. It’s called responsible gun ownership. And how, exactly, does this “handicap the good guys?” I don’t get it. How do you know a buyer is a “good guy” if you can’t be certain that his or her FOID card is actually valid?

Also, if your gun is stolen, why wouldn’t you file a police report?

And, finally, first violations of these two new statutes are petty offenses, similar to a traffic ticket. They’re hardly “round ‘em up and throw away the key” laws.

If you say you’re a law-abider, then abide by and respect the law. Simple.

*** UPDATE *** From the Senate Dems…

Under the new FOID Card verification procedure, there is no penalty for failing to contact ISP to confirm a valid FOID Card.

Instead, there’s a “safe harbor” provision for people who do properly confirm with ISP. In the event that firearm is later misused, the owner who properly contacted ISP cannot be held liable for the misuse of that firearm. The bill specifically states that failure to comply with the new “requirement” shall not be punishable as a crime or petty offense. That was key in getting some members to support the legislation.

- Posted by Rich Miller   67 Comments      

Not by a long shot

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

* Finke

One of the more popular items that was distributed at Republican Day at the fair was a bumper sticker. It read “Blagojevich. No longer our worst governor.”

I was given one of the bumper stickers, but I put it in my back pocket and it got a bit crumpled…

Say what you want about Pat Quinn, but worse than Rod Blagojevich? C’mon.

- Posted by Rich Miller   48 Comments      

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

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

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* 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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