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Proft on “messaging to win”

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

* Dan Proft, yes Dan Proft

At the top of the list of fortune-cookie phrases that should be eliminated from the Republican Party’s messaging is, “Running government like a business.”

    1. Government is not a business and never will be. It is not possible to run government like a profit-maximizing business. (See James Buchanan’s work on public choice theory that earned him a Nobel in Economics for a detailed account)

    2. More importantly, people neither see themselves as numbers on a balance sheet nor do they want a government they perceive to be treating them as such. They see government as a non-profit provider of public goods not a business per se.

    3. Illinois at present is a good example of “running government like a business” in a sense. Business is good for the proprietors of big government—the Royals in Springfield. Politicians who are viewed as “running government like a business” (often like a family business in Illinois) are not generally seen in positive light, are they? That phrase is just as often used to describe politicians who enrich themselves at the public’s expense as it is to describe those proposing to operate government more efficiently. This should be instructive as to why the phrase has limited currency (in addition to its overuse).

    4. To the extent the trite phrase of “running government like a business” is a proxy for applying business principles in service to others, that description needs to be made explicit and the specific principles to be applied must be articulated along with an explanation of how the application will occur and what particular benefits non-politicians can expect from their precise application.

Candidates who trot out this surface-skimming cliché do more than fail to provide value. They stunt their ability and correspondingly their party’s ability to move into their camp those centrist voters who do not want their money squandered but who do want the government to effectively deliver public goods.

It is necessary to have a debate about just what is included in the phrase “public goods” as well as how those agreed-upon public goods should be provided. But where there is agreement on the provision of a public good—e.g. police protection, state services for individuals with developmental disabilities who need state services through no fault of their own, etc.—the extent to which the GOP offers messages that are human-being centered rather than green-eyeshades intensive is the extent to which the GOP can build a lasting center-right governing coalition.

In Illinois, if the GOP wants out of the super-minority, put the phrase “running government like a business” out of business and focus on delineating how free-market policy prescriptions best advance our shared values of caring about our fellow man and caring for our fellow man.

I thought he was with Rauner. Guess not.

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      


Today’s numbers

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

* From IDOT…

Motor vehicle crashes involving deer were responsible for four fatalities in 2012, a decrease from six fatalities in 2011. Injuries resulting from a motor vehicle – deer crash decreased from 613 in 2011 to 608 in 2012.

The number of deer-vehicle crashes decreased significantly to 15,489 in 2012, as compared to 18,044 in 2011.

The top 10 counties for collisions involving deer in 2012 were:

    1. Cook – 460
    2. Madison – 456
    3. Peoria – 432
    4. Will – 370
    5. Fulton – 368
    6. Sangamon–335
    7. Lake - 333
    8. Pike – 288
    9. McHenry - 279
    10. Kane - 276

They’re as thick as flies by my house.

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

* Scott Reeder’s latest column is on pension reform

But perhaps the biggest problem with the pension system is that it forces government to predict the future and taxpayers to underwrite those predictions. What will the stock market’s performance be over the next 30 years? How much longer will people be living in 2045? What will the annual rate of inflation?

All of these items are factored in when calculating pension payments. And yet they are pretty hard to calculate with much certainty. And taxpayers are on the hook for these predictions.

To be blunt, the best solution is to walk away from the system. Eighty percent of private sector employers have embraced 401(k)-type plans. In these plans, employees actually own their retirement savings and they can make decisions on how it is invested.

It’s time for Illinois to consider switching public school teachers, state workers and state university employees over to such plans. The state would still be responsible for the pensions of those who have already retired. But it’s time to move current and future employees into a more sustainable plan.

* The Question: Do you think private sector workers with 401(k) retirement plans are better off than public sector workers with defined benefit plans because they “actually own their retirement savings and they can make decisions on how it is invested”? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


surveys

- Posted by Rich Miller   124 Comments      


Tornado relief update

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

* Folks contributed well over a thousand dollars to our tornado relief effort for Washington IL-area victims since yesterday morning. That brings our total to date to $8,814.

Many, many thanks to folks like Secretary of State Jesse White, Jeff Glass, Jim Morphew, Bob Yadgir, Claude Walker, Pat McGuire, George Korda, Ryan McLaughlin, Chris Dudley, Vince DiFiore and lots more for your recent donations.

* That generosity deserves an Oscar the Puppy pic…

Click here to keep it going. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller   6 Comments      


More Rauner dollar deets

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

* More details on Bruce Rauner’s money

(A) spokesman says Rauner owns a stake in the Bulls as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Boston Red Sox.

Rauner says if he’s elected he’d put his holdings in a blind trust.

The sports teams are just his sexiest investments. Click here for the full list. His disclosure report (which is infinitely more detailed than mandated by law) shows stock holdings in British American Tobacco PLC and Imperial Tobacco PLC, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd, Education Management Group (which owns for-profit colleges), a partnership in Goldman Sachs, membership in Ken Griffin’s Citadel Tactical Trading and on and on and on and on. Tell us what you find.

* Sun-Times

The banner financial year Rauner had last year came with a cost. His tax forms show he paid $10.1 million in federal taxes in 2012, which amounted to an effective tax rate of 19 percent — a percentage still below what many middle-class families pay. Rauner paid state government $2.6 million in taxes for the year. […]

The immense wealth certainly doesn’t square with the common-man image Rauner has tried to portray to voters — that of a man who loves wearing an inexpensive watch, Wrangler jeans and Carhartt jackets, driving a “20-year-old camper van,” and toasting a rural Downstate audience with a swig of Stag beer.

But by openly putting his wealth on the table and releasing his taxes on the same day he filed his nominating petitions, Rauner moved to deprive his rivals from getting the first crack at defining him and his wealth.

I assume that Gov. Quinn will eventually demand that Rauner follow Mitt Romney’s lead and release all tax documents, not just the few pages he disclosed yesterday.

* React by two GOP opponents

A theme of the governor’s race has been that a newcomer to politics, venture capitalist Bruce Rauner of Winnetka, has already put more than $1.2 million into his own Republican campaign for governor. And a Chicago Tribune story Monday described Rauner’s real estate portfolio, including a 6,870-square-foot home in Winnetka, two units including a high-rise penthouse in downtown Chicago, a $10 million penthouse along New York City’s Central Park, a waterfront villa in the Florida Keys, ranches in Montana and Wyoming, and a condo in a Utah ski resort. The story also noted that Rauner talks in a TV ad about his $18 watch.

Asked about that story, Dillard said he has “two kids and a mortgage.”

“I worry about how I’m going to send my children, financially, to college,” said Dillard, who also has a law practice. “And I just think when you have that much property and you flaunt it, it just shows you are out of touch with regular Illinoisans. I’ve seen these kinds of acts before in a combination of Rod Blagojevich and Dan Walker, and the people of Illinois should never let anybody buy the governorship. … It’s buyer beware.” […]

“What people tell me is they find it a bit hypocritical that you spend millions of dollars running an ad on an … $18 watch, and then you have all these mansions,” Brady said. “But you know, Bruce has earned it. He’s made a lot of money. You don’t fault anybody for living the American dream.”

Brady’s comment was right on the money. And if Sen. Dillard is that worried about sending his kids to college, maybe he should be working full time at his law firm and not running for governor. Just sayin…

* Rauner fired back

“Why’s it bad in America to start up from a middle-class background and work really hard and be successful?” he said.

That ain’t what’s bad, Bruce. What’s wrong is that you’re a kazillionaire portraying yourself as an ordinary Joe. It’s kind of insulting to people who, unlike yourself, actually report income from wages on their tax returns.

- Posted by Rich Miller   80 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** PPP Poll: Unpopular Quinn essentially tied with all Republicans while Durbin is way ahead

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

* Public Policy Polling has a new poll of 557 Illinois voters conducted November 22-25. Let’s start with gubernatorial job approval/favorables

Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Pat Quinn’s job performance?
Approve …………………………………………………. 34%
Disapprove……………………………………………… 60%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 6%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Bill Brady?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 20%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 31%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 48%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Kirk Dillard?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 19%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 25%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 56%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Bruce Rauner?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 15%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 23%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 62%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Dan Rutherford?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 24%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 20%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 56%

Those “not sures” indicate that a strong majority of voters don’t know enough about three of the four Republican candidates to make a judgement.

* Head to heads are basically neck and neck across the board

If the candidates for Governor next year were Democrat Pat Quinn and Republican Bill Brady, who would you vote for?
Pat Quinn……………………………………………….. 41%
Bill Brady………………………………………………… 41%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 18%

If the candidates for Governor next year were Democrat Pat Quinn and Republican Kirk Dillard, who would you vote for?
Pat Quinn……………………………………………….. 39%
Kirk Dillard ……………………………………………… 39%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 21%

If the candidates for Governor next year were Democrat Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner, who would you vote for?
Pat Quinn……………………………………………….. 41%
Bruce Rauner………………………………………….. 38%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 21%

If the candidates for Governor next year were Democrat Pat Quinn and Republican Dan Rutherford, who would you vote for?
Pat Quinn……………………………………………….. 39%
Dan Rutherford ……………………………………….. 41%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 20%

Rutherford ahead by two and Rauner down by three may be significant, but it’s so early that it probably doesn’t matter much.

*** UPDATE *** I missed it in my first reading, but PPP also did a primary head to head. It’s only 375 GOP respondents, so take it for what it is

The biggest share of Republican primary voters - 36% - is undecided about who they want as their candidate for Governor next year.

Bruce Rauner leads with 24% to 17% for Bill Brady, 14% for Dan Rutherford, and 10% for Kirk Dillard.

Brady has the lead 21/18 with the ‘very conservative’ voters who helped him secure the nomination in 2010. But among moderate Republicans- less of an endangered species in Illinois than other places- Rauner leads Brady 33/14, giving him most of his overall lead in the primary. [Emphasis added.]

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* OK, now on to the US Senate

Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Dick Durbin’s job performance?
Approve …………………………………………………. 46%
Disapprove……………………………………………… 40%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 14%

Not great, but way, WAY better than generic congressional.

* Head to heads

If the candidates for Senate next year were Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Jim Oberweis, who would you vote for?

Dick Durbin …………………………………………….. 51%
Jim Oberweis ………………………………………….. 36%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 12%

If the candidates for Senate next year were Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Doug Truax, who would you vote for?

Dick Durbin …………………………………………….. 51%
Doug Truax …………………………………………….. 33%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 16%

He’s over 50 against both of them. Need I say more?

* Two more results

Do you approve or disapprove of President Barack Obama’s job performance?
Approve …………………………………………………. 50%
Disapprove……………………………………………… 46%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 3%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Rahm Emanuel?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 36%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 46%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 19%

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      


Federal judge rules gay wedding can proceed, despite constitutionally required wait

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

* I can understand the reasoning, I can totally sympathize with the plaintiffs and I am glad they’re now allowed to get married; but it still makes me somewhat uncomfortable that a federal judge would so easily toss aside a strict requirement in the Illinois Constitution

US District Court Judge Thomas Durkin has ordered the Cook County, Illinois, clerk to issue an expedited marriage license to Chicago lesbian couple Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert as Gray is terminally ill.

Gray, 64, has brain and bone cancer and Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on the couple’s behalf to ensure that they can marry before she dies.

Despite being signed into law by state Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois’ law allowing same-sex marriage does not take effect until 1 June, meaning without the ruling the couple would have a half year wait before they could marry.

Cook County clerk David Orr has said that he will comply with the court’s order, noting that expedited marriage licenses are granted to heterosexuals in similar situations.

* From the Illinois Constitution

A bill passed after May 31 shall not become effective prior to June 1 of the next calendar year unless the General Assembly by the vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each house provides for an earlier effective date.

This language was inserted into the Constitution after the public voted for an amendment in 1994.

* Back to the plaintiffs

Gray, who has inoperable brain tumors and breast cancer that has spread to her bones, learned of the news shortly after undergoing chemotherapy, which left her in a weakened state. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996.

“She may choose to wait a day or two to get married, just because the day after treatment can be very difficult,” said Camilla Taylor, the couple’s attorney. Taylor said Gray’s brain tumors could begin to fatally swell any day. “It could happen at any time without warning.”

Courtney Greve, spokesman for Clerk David Orr, said the paperwork for the marriage license would be hand-delivered to the couple Monday night and would make them eligible for marriage at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

* Tribune

Orr’s office, which was represented by the state’s attorney’s office, chose not to defend itself against the lawsuit.

Durkin essentially ruled that because of the special circumstance, the women should get a marriage license. The ruling affects only them but could serve as an inspiration for other couples facing similar situations, their attorneys said.

“This case illustrates the cruelty of being made to wait seven months to be able to marry,” Taylor said. “There is no sense to that, and there are many Illinois families that are suffering significant harm because they are not married. While this family’s situation is particularly dire, there are others, too, who need to be able to marry.”

This could set some interesting precedents.

- Posted by Rich Miller   49 Comments      


Truax attacks Oberweis over wife’s Florida residence

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

* Republican US Senate candidate Doug Truax talked to the Sun-Times about rival Jim Oberweis and the fact that Oberweis’ spouse established residency in Florida to avoid Illinois taxes

“As a state senator, I think he should show better leadership in general,” Truax told reporters after submitting signatures at the State Board of Elections. “If you’re going to be on the state payroll and set up a luxury tax shelter to avoid paying state taxes, most of us can’t do that. I can’t imagine why he’d think it’s OK.

“But if you lost five races in the last 11 years,” Truax continued, referring to Oberweis’ string of electoral failures, “you might be looking for a different state to run in, so I can understand that.”

* The Oberweis campaign issued an even-keeled response

“Julie’s very involved with the business,” Oberweis spokesman Jon Zahm said. “I don’t think this campaign is about candidate spouses, so we’re not going to make an issue out of Doug’s spouse, and I don’t think he’d make an issue out of Jim’s.

“We’re just going to keep it on the issues, keep it on our business experience, keep it on our record in the state Senate, keep it on our conservative values and not make an issue out of the children, grandchildren or spouses of candidates,” Zahm said.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      


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Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

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« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Outside money starts flowing
* IDES does a good job spinning job numbers
* Two more ads from Pritzker
* We're number one! And second. And fourth.
* Report: Edgar "coaching" Pritzker
* Mendoza releases new report on the damage done during and since the impasse
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition
* Pritzker's Downstate response ad: "Lie. Lie. Lie."
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* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* On eve of campaign kick-off, Preckwinkle admits she fired her chief of staff for "inappropriate behavior"
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