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Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Update to this morning’s Rauner story

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Reader comments closed for the weekend

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

* Sen. Kirk Dillard released his 2012 tax returns this afternoon. Click here to check them out.

* I’ll be back Monday, so you can keep voting on both of our Golden Horseshoe Award categories throughout the weekend. I’ll be able to see your nominations, but nobody else will.

* Ralph Stanley will play us out


All year ramblin’ far away

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Caption contest!

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

* I know it’s late on a Friday, but how could we pass up this pic of our first and second place Golden Horseshoe winners for Best House Democrat? Plus, it’s getting a bit stale in comments…

Better hurry, though, because I’m shutting down for the weekend at 4:30.

- Posted by Rich Miller   50 Comments      


Some halfway decent pension news for a change

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

* From the AP

Stable state funding over the last two years meant key state employee pension funds didn’t have to sell assets to meet payments in 2013, according to a report released Thursday.

The State Retirement Systems, covering pensions for former state employees, judges and lawmakers, withdrew $29.7 million in 2013, down 88 percent from $248.7 million a year earlier, Auditor General William Holland wrote in an annual financial audit of the Illinois State Board of Investment.

The nearly $30 million withdrawal in the fiscal year that ended June 30 is small enough for the Board of Investment to absorb with cash flow, said William Atwood, executive director of the agency, which manages the SRS portfolio.

But when withdrawals hit hundreds of millions of dollars, it means selling assets, such as stocks and bonds, highly liquid securities that make up about 80 percent of the board’s $12.9 billion portfolio, he added.

* Meanwhile, Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) talked about the new pension reform law at the Union League Club this week…

Murphy, who was a member of the Conference Committee for Pension Reform, which spent the summer hammering out the bill passed on Dec. 2, said the committee tried to “strike the right balance.”

“This bill, I think, goes as far as we could go politically,” he said, “given the environment we’re in.”

* But one of Sen. Murphy’s fellow Republicans, Rep. Jeanne Ives, openly mocked him

“‘We had to come up with a way to politically satisfy the Democrats, this is as far as we can go given the environment we were in.’ Are you kidding me?” Ives said, referring back to comments made by Murphy. “Is that any way to respond to a serious problem if you’re a mature adult?”

Whew.

* By the way, I told you earlier this week that Ives had penned a Tribune op-ed defending her vote against the pension reform bill

The Tribune may bend to the will of Mike Madigan and provide political cover to the same people who brought us the most unfunded pension systems in the country but I will not. Our party’s stance in the ILGA is to uphold fiscal responsibility and strong policy at every decision-point. Let’s not retreat from this mission.

* But this is how Rep. Ives defended her vote for Madigan’s pension bill in May

It is not a secret that I do not think that Senate Bill 1 is an adequate solution to our pension crisis. However, pension reform is needed now.

I guess the word “now” has different meanings in May and December.

- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      


Question of the day

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

* Please continue making Golden Horseshoe Award nominations on our earlier post today, but since I stupidly forgot to open up any nominations on Monday, we are behind schedule and we need to do another one today…

* The 2013 Mike McClain Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Statehouse Insider

Last year, McClain won his own award. If it happens again, I’m just gonna retire the thing. .

Remember to explain your nominations. Thanks!

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


I really hesitate to do this, but…

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

* Ian Bayne is one of five Republicans competing to challenge Democratic Congressman Bill Foster. From a press release…

Today, Ian Bayne called Phil Robertson, star of the A&E series “Duck Dynasty,” the ‘Rosa Parks’ of our generation.

“In December 1955, Rosa Parks took a stand against an unjust societal persecution of black people, and in December 2013, Robertson took a stand against persecution of Christians,” said Bayne.

Parks, famous for refusing to give up her seat on a bus for a white person, as was the rule of her day, provided inspiration for a movement of equality of black people and white people in America.

“What Parks did was courageous,” said Bayne. “What Mr. Robertson did was courageous too.”

Bayne believes that the Duck Dynasty star knew that going on GQ would result in the current controversy going on surrounding his suspension, as well as his suspension.

Bayne added that this exposure of Robertson’s situation is an eye opener for many who may have been previously in disbelief that the bible is fast becoming considered “hate speech” by the media and society.

* Ironically enough, this is also from Louisiana native Robertson’s GQ interview

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. … They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word! … Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Doesn’t that sound just like Rosa Parks? Sheesh.

* Related…

* Rauner ads targets Illinois hunters and Duck Dynasty fans on Robertson website

- Posted by Rich Miller   76 Comments      


Campaign quotables

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

* Sen. Kirk Dillard was on WDWS-AM this week and was asked about Bruce Rauner

“No one should ever be able to buy the governor’s office and nobody’s taken as much special interest or out of state money in a primary than Mr. Rauner, who’s a billionaire a friend of Rahm Emanuel’s, a member of his inner circle, and actually the guy that made Rahm Emanuel rich in a $16 million dollar deal when Mayor Emanuel was leaving the Clinton administration.

“So you gotta be aware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. No one should be able to buy the governor’s office. And it hasn’t happened. A fellow named Ron Gidwitz spent multi-millions, so did a man named Blair Hull, Jim Oberweis hasn’t been successful. And to the state’s credit we haven’t let people buy the office of the governor nor should we.”

OK, that first sentence was so long that Dillard had to stop and take a deep breath before he could finish his thought. That should be an indication that you’re droning.

Also, nice touch on throwing Gidwitz under the bus and interesting that he’d whack a fellow Senate Republican and his party’s likely US Senate nominee.

It’s not a bad line of attack, it’s just way too long and a bit too disjointed, particularly for live radio. He ought to know that by now.

* Speaking of Rahm

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and millionaire venture capitalist Bruce Rauner are friends, school reforms allies and business associates whose families have vacationed together.

But, the mayor made it clear Thursday he’s not about to climb aboard the political bandwagon Rauner is driving aimed at imposing term limits.

“My view is, you have term limits. They’re called elections. That’s what elections are for. You stand before the voters and you run for election…An active and engaged public will do that,” the mayor said.

Ignoring the fact that the city’s new ward boundaries were drawn to protect incumbents, Emanuel said, “My way of [imposing term limits] is dealing with how the maps are drawn and bringing real competition, rather than actually through re-districting, taking it out. But, I don’t believe in arbitrary term limits. I haven’t supported that in the past. I wouldn’t change now.”

* However, at the very same press conference

When Emanuel was asked if he listened to Lujack and had any recollections he replied, “Do I? No, I gotta be honest, I listened to XRT as a I probably showed yesterday.” […]

However, even one of the mayor’s press aides said later that Emanuel’s answer on Lujack was probably the most honest thing he said during his wide-ranging half hour news conference

That’s one weird admission by a spokesperson. And so therefore I don’t believe a word of what Emanuel said regarding Rauner.

Just sayin…

* And speaking of rambling, check out Gov. Quinn’s remarks about the minimum wage bill

“We want a decent society, like Jimmy Stewart said. He wanted Bedford Falls in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ to take care of your neighbor. And there are folks like Mr. Potter who just want to run people down and grind them down. We don’t believe in that,” Quinn told reporters Wednesday at St. Pius V Church on the city’s Lower West Side.

“Mr. Potter is one of those who probably wouldn’t raise the minimum wage in a million years. But Jimmy Stewart and all of those in Bedford Falls understood how important it was to help your community. The community grows when you help everybody, and I think that’s important in Illinois,” Quinn continued.

“That’s why in this coming year, we want to make sure we talk to all the people in government and run for government and get them on board,” the governor said.

* From WTVO

Illinois temporarily hiked income taxes to help pay its bills and now, is even deeper in debt. So should the tax hike be made permanent?

State Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford says “no” but also says the state needs to be smarter about taxing and budgeting.

“So I don’t want it to stay, but realistically, there may need to be a discussion of some form of revenue, some form of revenue, in the position to put Illinois back into a financially solvent situation,” said Rutherford (R). “But I'’ll tell you what, I will not sign any bill into law that will generate revenue that does not fit into a comprehensive package for the financial situation of our state.”

So far, Rutherford is being the most honest person about the revenue situation.

If you listen closely, Rutherford does sorta have a campaign theme other than his constant refrain about him being the most electable guy. He also wants a “smarter” government. He should’ve been developing that a lot more than he has.

* The Southern Illinoisan

State Sen. Dave Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, on Wednesday announced his support for Bill Brady in the 2014 Illinois gubernatorial race.

In a news release, Luechtefeld, said the Bloomington Republican will “make the tough decisions and follow through on them” to improve Illinois.

“I coached a lot of teams over the years. If one of my teams came in second in a championship game one year, they came back stronger and more determined the following year, Luechtefeld said.

Brady raised over $460,000 during the last six months of 2009, the same point in the cycle we’re at today. This year, he’s raised about 46 cents. Just kidding, but not by much. I don’t know how he’s become any stronger, other than he has a lot of residual name ID and could still win the primary that way.

* News-Gazette

Three of the four Republican candidates for Illinois governor — state Sens. Bill Brady of Bloomington and Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, and State Treasurer Dan Rutherford of Chenoa — have agreed to participate in a televised debate on Jan. 23, hosted by four Illinois public broadcasters and the League of Women Voters of Illinois.

The debate sponsors say they’re still waiting to hear from the fourth GOP candidate, Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner.

So, when is somebody gonna start following Rauner around in a chicken suit?

- Posted by Rich Miller   16 Comments      


Protected: *** UPDATED x1 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - This just in…

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

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Rate the new anti-tax ad

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

* Daily Herald

The Illinois arm of Americans for Prosperity, a national conservative advocacy group, is targeting a handful of suburban Democratic state lawmakers with video ads in its fight against the idea of a graduated income tax.

The spot subs in different lawmakers’ names depending on where it runs. A spokesman said the first lawmakers being targeted include Reps. Carol Sente of Vernon Hills, Marty Moylan of Des Plaines, Deb Conroy of Villa Park and Stephanie Kifowit of Aurora.

You might have seen similar ads in the spring, particularly online.

None of the four has signed on to legislation to install a graduated income tax in Illinois, and they haven’t signed onto a resolution opposing it.

* Rate it

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


“ABR”

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

* Sneed

Sneed hears GOP gubernatorial hopefuls State Sen. Kirk Dillard, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and State Sen. Bill Brady were busy campaigning this week.

But not for themselves.

All three Republican candidates were involved in a one-act play with one major objective: stopping gazillionaire Bruce Rauner from winning the Cook County Republican Party primary endorsement.

◆ Translation: “They and their minions were hitting the campaign phones: Dillard, Rutherford and Brady don’t care so much who gets the endorsement, as long as it isn’t Rauner,” a Sneed source said.

◆ Buckshot: “If Rauner wins the endorsement, it will be hard for the other candidates to raise money, or they can expect to see all their donations dry up,” a top GOP source said.

“This is the first time the Cook County Republican Party is endorsing someone pre-primary; it’s a first major endorsement; and it carries the biggest city in the state,” said Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman.

“It could mean a 3 to 5 percent bump in the polls and a way to open the money spigot,” she said.

◆ Scoop: Although the winner won’t be announced until Saturday, Sneed is told that Rauner had already logged 60 percent of the committeemen voting online.

Rauner has already dried up the other candidates’ money, but a slating could give him a little bump.

* Subscribers know much more about this

“This is a sideshow,” said a Rauner source. “It’s what damage the unions are going to do to Rauner that’s the big deal. Rauner has been very outspoken against union leadership.”

Sneed hears that if the unions are going to launch a major Rauner offensive, they plan to do it soon after the holidays.

That Rauner source is probably right. It’s what the unions do that will matter most. Stay tuned. Actually, you really should subscribe if you haven’t. I mean, what the heck?

- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      


Today’s Golden Horseshoe Awards

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

* The 2013 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Legislative Liaison is a tie. Randy Wells

Keeping in mind he is not just the liaison but Deputy Chief of Staff with all of those responsibilities as well speaks a lot about his load. He is always on his way somewhere, meeting with someone, putting out a fire, or getting ready to take one on the chin for his agency. He is not just a political hack, but comes from a social service background and lives and breathes the issues DHS deals with everyday. He works well with legislators, staffs, and everyone else around the rail and had contributed to all of the biggest bills this year in some way, shape or form. Concealed carry, check; medical cannabis, check; pension reform, check; same sex marriage, check; still dealing with medicaid reforms from last year, check; state facility closures, triple check; budget cuts… you get the idea.

* Shannon Miller

Miller has an arsenal of impressive qualities. First, she is never afraid to take on new and challenging tasks. Second, she has built a platoon of support from both Chicago and Downstate Members. Last, she puts on a good face no matter how late or hard the day is.

Shannon has Members’ questions answered quickly and accurately. She networks tirelessly. She handles work, family and an old Bitter cat like a pro – she doesn’t let the two affect each other.

Northern Members like her. Southern Members understand her. Legislative staffers admire her.

Shannon is a social friend, but we’re not related. Just FYI. She’s been a commenter favorite for the past few years, so I’m not gonna penalize her this year because she’s a friend. She’s earned it. And I hope I didn’t just kill her career track by pointing this out.

* Most of the nominations for the 2013 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Do-Gooder Lobbyist were quite strong. Picking a winner wasn’t easy. They all work very hard and most don’t make much money. In the end, I think that the best nominations were for Khadine Bennett from the ACLU…

The sex ed reform bill languished for years without success. Khadine through sheer determination, the quiet force of her personality and persistence developed and protected the momentum that led to the measure being signed into law by the Governor. She also worked round-the-clock on marriage, literally talking to the toughest votes up until the 11th hour in a polite, respectful — yet unrelenting — tone. She is a force of nature.

* The runner-up only received one nomination, but he worked tireless to pass an historic piece of legislation, and he’s top-notch in my book, so I called an audible…

Do -gooder- my vote is for Mike Pollak. He is nice and very easy to work with. For years, he has tried to pass medical marijuana and his efforts finally paid off. From medical marijuana to marriage equality, Mike was constantly working his roll calls this year.

* Before we move on to today’s nominations, the outgoing Third House Speaker asked that I tell you something…

Rich;

For virtually the entire year the lobbying community gets blasted for being who we are and doing what we do. Generally, we do it well.

Every once in a while, we get to do the right thing. For the last several years, the 3rd House has made charitable donations following our Annual Luncheon. This year is no different. We were able to make donations to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund and to the Central Illinois Food Bank.

If you don’t mind, remind your readers that we really do have hearts.

Mark Strawn
Speaker of the Third House
2013

* From Politico

Lobbyists came in dead last in a poll out Monday of professions Americans consider honest and ethical, and the reaction on K Street was not particularly surprised.

“Lobbyists fall into the same place that Spiderman and great white sharks do: We’re misunderstood,” said Richard Gold, practice group leader at Holland & Knight. “People don’t really understand what the job is, they just kind of know the cartoon worst version and make judgments based on that.”

Gold said that if you asked people the same question without the term “lobbyist,” but rather asked for impressions of people who advocate causes to the government, he believes Americans would be much more favorable.

“Lobbying does not only include corporate lobbyists, but also NGOs and folks fighting for a lot of good things out there,” Gold said. “The irony is our democracy doesn’t function without this.”

The poll referenced in the story is here.

They do indeed get a bad rap, and it’s not deserved for the most part, as those awards today clearly show.

* OK, let’s move on to today’s nominations

* Best Contract Lobbyist

* Best In-House Lobbyist

As always, make sure to explain your nominations. Quickie posts will likely be ignored. Also, please try your best to nominate in both categories. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      


Huh?

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

* In a long story about how members of the state’s congressional delegation legally use their campaign accounts for meals, travel and other expenses was this weird revelation about Congressman Aaron Schock

Schock’s campaign spent $407 at a Lombard studio that offers ultrasounds for expectant mothers and $452 at a Peoria maternity boutique, all of which were identified on the disclosure forms as gift expenses.

Um, OK.

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

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

Friday, Dec 20, 2013

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