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Another day, another mil (point three)

Monday, Feb 24, 2014

* Sun-Times

Multi-millionaire venture capitalist Bruce Rauner has sunk another $1.3 million into his campaign fund, state board of election records show. […]

Rauner has donated more than $5 million of his own money to his campaign fund — including $501,000 last week.

This is getting so routine that I didn’t even post about the half mil he kicked in last week.

But, make no mistake, if and/or when Rauner wins the primary, this’ll seem like chicken feed.

- Posted by Rich Miller   66 Comments      


Question of the day

Monday, Feb 24, 2014

* Should the Illinois income tax increase be allowed to partially expire on schedule? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


survey solutions

- Posted by Rich Miller   70 Comments      


Today’s number: 7,867

Monday, Feb 24, 2014

* Illinois recently became one of 20 states which allow 17 year-olds to vote in primaries if they turn 18 by the general election. The AP follows up

Illinois election officials say nearly 8,000 17-year-olds have registered to vote in the March primary.

Under a new law, teenagers who will be 18 by the time of the November election may cast a ballot in the spring primary.

Rupert Borgsmiller is director of the Illinois State Board of Elections. He said Friday that 7,867 registrations came in from eligible 17-year-olds.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


Today’s assignment: Budget toolbox

Monday, Feb 24, 2014

* From an e-mail…

Hi Mr. Miller,

The University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs is pleased to provide a new tool for anyone who is interested in examining ways to solve the state’s budget crisis. The Illinois Budget Policy Toobox, available now at http://igpa.uillinois.edu/budget-toolbox, can help you navigate the myriad proposals, ideas, and suggested solutions that have been or will be offered as possible ways to shrink the budget deficit and get Illinois out of its fiscal mess.

The Toolbox represents the work of IGPA faculty and other scholars who have examined several approaches to solving the problem. Our experts in public finance, economics and governance provide a nonpartisan overview of the state’s fiscal situation and evaluate the pros and cons of a variety of revenue and spending options, ranging from the reduction of the state income tax to business tax reform to reducing social services spending, among others. Our goal is to provide the background, context and evidence necessary to weigh each of these approaches fairly. We also expect the Toolbox to continue to develop. As new ideas and proposals arise, IGPA experts will examine them and provide new information to the Toolbox in a timely manner.

We at IGPA trust that you will find the information in the Toolbox useful in your efforts to tell your audiences about the fiscal policy debate in coming weeks and months. We invite you to use this information in concert with the many other sources of information at your disposal, knowing that the information that comes from IGPA is grounded in the best scholarship and is based on evidence rather than ideology or politics. The Toolbox essays will be followed by commentaries by the authors on each particular issue.

All of the experts who have contributed to the Toolbox are available for interviews, whether they be formal for use in a story or simply to gain more background and insight that will help you to work on a particular topic. And we stand ready to assist in whatever ways we can to enhance the value of this resource. We encourage you to check the Toolbox often for new information and, of course, we invite your feedback and ideas to help us make this resource even more useful for you.

Best,
Kelsey

Kelsey McCoy
Coordinator of Communication and Media
University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs

Go check it out and report back.

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      


Rate the new cable ad

Monday, Feb 24, 2014

* From a press release…

Republican 11th Congressional District candidate Bert Miller has launched his first television commercial, designed to better acquaint voters with his background and policy initiatives. The positive ad focuses on Miller’s background as a manufacturer and job creation.

“I’m Bert Miller,” the 30 second ad begins. “I manufacture plastic lids right here in Naperville.” His business, Phoenix Closures, makes plastic lids and caps for bottles and jars. He goes on to point out that all of the raw materials his company uses are from North America.

“After experiencing what Washington has done to make it harder for businesses to create jobs, I decided to run for Congress,” Miller states in the commercial. “I may not be a slick politician, but I know a thing or two about what it takes to put Americans back to work.”

The commercial will air on cable television channels reaching homes in the 11th Congressional District. Miller is seeking the Republican nomination to run against Democratic incumbent Bill Foster in November.

* Rate it

Miller is running against state Rep. Darlene Senger, Ian Bayne, Craig Robbins and Chris Balkema for the right to challenge incumbent Democrat Bill Foster.

Also, there’s no relation between myself and Miller. We merely share a very common surname.

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      


Labor hitting the boxes on Rauner

Monday, Feb 24, 2014

* The Illinois AFL-CIO sent a mailer to union members the other day to inform them about Bruce Rauner. A reader sent me phone pics of the front, back and inside pages…


* And AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan has sent out a letter to the editor on the same topic

For a candidate who built his entire campaign for governor on attacking public-sector unions, Bruce Rauner is astonishingly ignorant of the facts about those unions.

Flip-flopping from his previous position that public-sector unions have a “fundamental conflict of interest with the people of Illinois,” Rauner now says he wants government workers to be “free to decide whether they want to join a union.”

Earth to Rauner: Government workers have had that freedom since the day they gained the right to form unions. Unlike the companies Rauner runs, unions operate on the basis of democracy.

Moreover, in the public sector, every employee already has the right not to join the union, even if they are represented by it. They can choose instead to only pay a fair-share fee based on the cost of representation activities that unions are required by law to provide.

Then there’s Rauner’s false claim that public employee unions are a “corrupting influence” simply because their members’ salaries are paid from government revenues. That’s a slander on hundreds of thousands of teachers, caregivers, firefighters, snowplow drivers, police officers, nurses and other public employees who have a right to be heard.

Rauner also now claims he that has no problem with unions in the private sector. That’s yet another flip-flop.

The simple truth is that Rauner thinks he should have unfettered power. Unions, public and private, are standing in his way, so he’s out to destroy them. Every Illinois worker has a big stake in ensuring that someone so utterly hostile to the interests of average working families doesn’t become the next governor.

* Sen. Durbin also got into the act

With dozens of representatives from local unions in the audience at the Kane County Democrats annual Harry S. Truman Dinner on Sunday, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin did some finger-pointing to a Republican candidate for governor.

“Think of what voters in Wisconsin would have done if they had a make-over on that first race for Scott Walker,” Durbin said. […]

Durbin said the Republican gubernatorial candidate should be able to afford a history book and read about the emergence of the labor movement in America.

“It was a labor movement that stood up for a 40-hour work week; it was a labor movement that stood up for overtime; it was the labor movement that stood up against child labor and safety in the workplace,” Durbin said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   71 Comments      


More anti-Rauner oppo dumps

Monday, Feb 24, 2014

* Crain’s

Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner backed the boutique investment firm of a longtime business associate several years ago, only to be surprised when the Securities and Exchange Commission later shut down the firm for fraud.

In 2004, Mr. Rauner made a personal $4.5 million startup investment in fund manager Acartha Group LLC, a suburban St. Louis firm founded by Burton Douglas Morriss. Before Acartha, Mr. Morriss had already arranged one deal in which the duo made more than $75 million. Mr. Rauner, an avid outdoorsman, also owned a hunting camp with Mr. Morriss.

But in 2012, the SEC seized control of Acartha, accusing Mr. Morriss of defrauding investors of $9.1 million.

Mr. Rauner was a “passive investor” who was “misled and defrauded” by Mr. Morriss, like dozens of others, Mike Schrimpf, a spokesman for Mr. Rauner’s campaign, says in an email. “Bruce is angered and outraged by Morriss’ actions.” […]

The experience with Acartha could undercut his pitch that he is a savvy business executive who would bring that expertise to Springfield, a key part of his campaign for the Republican nomination for governor in the March 18 primary.

* And Doug Ibendahl has a long and involved piece about a new court filing in the Rauner-linked nursing home case. Click here to read the whole thing.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


McCarter withdrawing gay marriage repeal bill

Monday, Feb 24, 2014

* From Chicago Pride

Illinois State Senator Kyle McCarter, a Republican, has ended an effort to repeal Illinois’ gay marriage law approved by lawmakers last year.

Following a federal judge’s ruling handed down Friday that there is no need for gay couples to wait for the law to take effect in June, McCarter announced that he was withdrawing his bill (SB 2637), which was scheduled for debate in the Illinois Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday.

That would’ve been an interesting Exec Committee hearing, to say the least.

* Sen. McCarter remains defiant, however. From his statement

“It was my intention when I submitted Senate Bill 2637 this year to repeal the law which redefined legal marriage within Illinois law because the people of Illinois were not given a realistic chance to weigh in on an issue of immense and radical cultural change,” said McCarter (R-Lebanon). “Given the level of influence and corruption we have witnessed by the well-connected and special interest groups in recent years, I am not convinced the will of the people was met by the original passage of Senate Bill 10.”

The order allowing same-sex individuals to marry was issued by Federal District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman. According to the Chicago Tribune, Judge Coleman said, ‘There is no reason to delay further when no opposition has been presented to this Court and committed gay and lesbian couples have already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry.’

McCarter said while the ruling may be limited at this time to Cook County because the lawsuit was filed against the Cook County Clerk’s office to force him to issue marriage licenses, he expects similar suits will be filed against other county clerks throughout the state.

“The ruling is both disappointing and troubling,” said McCarter. “Obviously disappointing because of the radical change to our culture that the same-sex marriage law ushers in and the fact citizens in general were given no adequate voice in the decision-making. The troubling aspect of this is that the law passed last year contained protections for religious institutions from being forced to perform and solemnize ceremonies. I am concerned that those protections, as flimsy as I believe they were when the law was passed, won’t take effect until June 1, 2014. This puts our churches, wedding-related businesses and individuals at legal risk.”

Sen. McCarter said although the same-sex marriage law was passed by elected representatives, the people of Illinois were not given the opportunity through statewide public hearings to speak out for or against the redefinition of marriage.

“Legislative leaders have had no problem scheduling hearings around the state on other critical issues such as education funding and redrawing political boundaries for senators and representatives. Why didn’t they schedule hearings on redefining legal marriage to include same-sex couples?” said McCarter.

“Recently, nationally and now here in Illinois, we have seen example after example of the Executive and Judicial branches of government wielding supreme power over the will of the people or acting exclusively on their own without care to the will of the people,” said McCarter.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - Brady responds *** Poll: Dillard losing own Senate district

Monday, Feb 24, 2014

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Illinois state Sen. Kirk Dillard told Chicago radio station WLS last week that Republican county chairmen ought to try and get Bill Brady and/or Dan Rutherford out of the governor’s race so he could have a clear shot at wealthy frontrunner Bruce Rauner. Dillard claims he is building strong momentum with recent endorsements, including the powerful Illinois Education Association.

But two polls taken last week showed that Dillard isn’t even winning his own DuPage County-based state Senate district that he has represented for more than twenty years.

A Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll taken February 20th had Rauner leading in Dillard’s 24th state Senate District with 36 percent. Dillard placed a distant second with 30 percent. Brady polled 10 percent and Rutherford was at 2 percent. Another 22 percent were undecided. The poll of 614 likely Republican voters had a margin of error of ±3.95 percent. Twelve percent of the calling universe was cell phones.

I didn’t commission the poll to be a jerk, but because somebody slipped me results of a Strive Strategies tracking poll taken Tuesday, February 18th which had Rauner at 33 percent and Dillard at 26 percent in Dillard’s own district. The margins between the two men are almost exactly the same in both polls, so this is pretty solid evidence that Dillard is, indeed, losing his own Senate district, which he has represented since 1993.

What the heck is going on? Well, millions of dollars in campaign ads on Chicago TV by Rauner and pretty much nothing by Dillard is the simplest answer.

Rauner has not only dumped millions of his own money into his campaign, he has successfully vacuumed up pretty much all the available traditional Republican money out there. Campaign cash that Dillard, Brady or Rutherford would have normally been expected to tap has been Hoovered up by Rauner instead.

According to the Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll, Dillard is ahead of Rauner among women in his district 33-26, but he trails badly among men, 46-27. Rauner also leads among seniors 65 and over (perhaps the most important GOP demographic) 41-25.

Sen. Dillard said recently that the multitude of DuPage County congressional, legislative and local Republican primary races, plus county auditor Bob Grogan’s state treasurer bid, would gin up local turnout and help him defeat Rauner. But if he ain’t winning his own district, it’s tough to see how Dillard’s theory will come to fruition in the rest of the county.

So, what about that IEA endorsement? Well, as of last week the teachers’ union had sent a mailer to their members touting Dillard and had given him $50,000 cash. Dillard has such a high overhead cost, though, that fifty grand won’t do much except keep the lights on his office. Dillard received about $250K from the Operating Engineers union late last year and then spent pretty much all of it on overhead.

And even if the IEA puts more cash into Dillard and it all goes on TV, Bruce Rauner is spending a fortune on television ads and the latest We Ask America statewide tracking poll shows him leveling off, but still with a huge lead over the entire pack.

The poll of 1,323 likely Republican primary voters was taken February 18th and shows Rauner with 35 percent, to 14 percent for Bill Brady, 13 percent for Dillard and 8 percent for Dan Rutherford - which is confirmation of the Chicago Tribune’s recent poll results that showed Rutherford’s numbers are collapsing in the wake of his ongoing scandal. Rutherford was at 17 percent in a We Ask America poll taken February 3rd, which was nine points above where he is in the latest round.

The new TV ads being aimed at Rauner by the labor unions are also having an impact. The ads have whacked Rauner for associations with a corrupt bribery expert, and for alleged abuse at some nursing homes his company used to own.

The unions have spent about $2 million and Rauner has seemed to plateau since those attack ads began airing. He was at 37 percent on February 2nd and 39 percent on February 13th, then down four points less than a week later to 35.

But even if Rauner has peaked, the other three are a very long way from catching up, and so far none of them have the money to do so, and time is not on their side.

Subscribers have full crosstabs.

Discuss.

*** UPDATE *** Brady’s campaign responds…

BRADY SAYS POLL NUMBERS SHOW RAUNER-BRADY TWO-WAY RACE

Senator Bill Brady, Republican candidate for Governor, say recent poll results show that the Republican primary for Governor is now a two-way race between himself and businessman Bruce Rauner.

“Last week, Senator Dillard called on Republican officials to push Treasurer Rutherford and myself out of the race for him. He’s confused. This is a race between me and Mr. Rauner, not Mr. Rauner and Senator Dillard,” Brady said.

The Chicago Tribune poll earlier this month showed Senator Dillard in last place. In addition, a We Ask America/Capitol Fax poll last week showed him losing in his own Senate district.

“In order to win, a Republican candidate for Governor must win the base of the Republican Party. We have the base. Senator Dillard helped elect Barack Obama president with his commercial, saying he would serve the country well. That’s a non-starter for Republican primary voters. Mr. Rauner’s close relationship with Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel poses the same problem for him,” Brady said.

“I am the one reliable Republican and consistent conservative who has been tested and who has earned the trust of nearly 1.8 million voters throughout Illinois. I am the most electable candidate and, as other polling has shown, the one who can best defeat Governor Quinn in November.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   57 Comments      


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Monday, Feb 24, 2014

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