Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » 2014 » February
Madigan pledges to cooperate with independent probe effort...
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** COMMENTS OPENED *** Reader comments closed for the holiday

Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014

* Today is a state holiday, but I forgot to shut down comments. Oops. Sorry about that. Instead of a song, here’s a story from Greg Hinz about how Bruce Rauner’s campaign already has a response ad on the airwaves

The response ad says suggestions that Mr. Rauner profited from his connections to convicted political fixer Stuart Levine — who was on the payroll of a company partially owned by Mr. Rauner’s firm, at $25,000 a month — have been “dismissed” by the Chicago Tribune, which took a look at them.

These “false attacks come from ‘allies’ of incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn “and Springfield insiders, so you know they must be worried,” the ad proclaims. But the Rauner critics “are right” that he’ll cut wasteful spending and push term limits, Mr. Rauner himself declares in the spot.

The Tribune did indeed label some charges involving Mr. Rauner and Mr. Levine “tenuous at best.” But other reporters, including this one, have questioned whether Mr. Rauner really didn’t know he was paying Mr. Levine at the same time that Mr. Rauner personally solicited investment work from a huge state pension fund on whose board Mr. Levine served.

* The ad, which we’ll talk about tomorrow

…Adding… Discuss away.

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      


Ban proposed for something that isn’t even available

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

* The same Illinois legislator who wanted the state government to regulate blog comments has a new idea: Ban Google Glass while driving

Google’s new computerized glasses aren’t on sale to the general public yet, but the devices already have lawmakers in Illinois and several other states concerned that they’ll become the latest deadly distraction for drivers.

Illinois state Sen. Ira Silverstein filed legislation Tuesday to bar motorists from using the Google Glass devices, which allow wearers to search the Internet, make phone calls and check email.

“It’s just another way people will be distracted,” the Chicago Democrat told the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers. “People’s attention to the road should not be interrupted.”

* But

At the moment, the only Illinois law that would regulate Google Glass usage in cars is related to operating a motor vehicle while watching a video monitor. That law forbids drivers from watching entertainment, like movies and television shows, on a video display while driving.

However, the display can show the driver information about the automobile’s performance, GPS-enabled directions within mapping software and the feed from a rear-mounted camera.

Hypothetically, Google Glass could display any of this information while driving and potentially enhance the driving experience. As a potential solution to appease lawmakers, Google could create some form of driving mode for Google Glass that locks out other distracting applications from use while operating a vehicle. However, it would likely be up to the driver to activate this mode before entering the vehicle.

* And

However, one application being promoted by [Google] appears to promote the wearing of the glasses while driving.

The company has developed a system in which wearers can direct the glasses to translate road signs into different languages, suggesting that a motorist driving in a foreign country could wear them and still find their way around.

I always have to keep telling myself, this is just a bill. It isn’t a law.

- Posted by Rich Miller   49 Comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

* Mark Brown writes Dan Rutherford’s political obituary

Rutherford’s entire political future rests on him being able to successfully rebut the allegations of a now former employee who contends the treasurer sexually harassed him and forced him to do political work on state time.

While Rutherford was forceful and assured in his strenuous denials, much more so than in his unusual pre-emptive strike 10 days earlier, I’m afraid he will continue to find that such accusations are more easily made than laid to rest. […]

Before his campaign was sidetracked by Michalowski’s allegations, Rutherford was telling reporters he was in the best position to challenge Rauner’s frontrunner status, an argument he repeated Monday.

Fair or not, it doesn’t look that way from here.

* Yepsen also weighs in

David Yepsen with the Paul Simon Institute says Rutherford was viewed as the alternative to businessman Bruce Rauner in a four man Republican governor’s race.

“This could be motivated by all kinds of things. Politics, money, personal spite; It doesn’t matter. It’s a very damaging charge,” Yepsen said.

He says the political damage may be too much to overcome.

“It’s such a stain, such a black eye that there’s not really time to get it laundered out before the election,” conceded Yepsen.

* The Tribune editorial board isn’t so sure

There is little that the rest of us can do right now other than step back, draw deep breaths, and see where the evidence leads us. That’s not so hard:

Illinois voters are steely veterans of political scandals, public corruption and lurid allegations variously true and false. Republican primary voters have some time to wait for more information before deciding whether they’ll nominate Rutherford for governor.

* Greg Hinz also looks at the future

Is [Rutherford’s response] enough to put Mr. Rutherford back on the political high ground, the innocent guy who fought back? Probably not — especially if the charges that he coerced aides to perform political chores turn out to have merit. But I can’t say that for sure.

Nor is it likely that either of the other two Republicans in the race, state Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady, will gain from the carnage, though a Rutherford exit or effective exit could allow Mr. Brady, who lives in Bloomington, to consolidate the downstate vote. Both are too far back and have too little money to fight with to make up much ground, I suspect. Unless, that is, Mr. Rutherford can roll out more proof that Mr. Rauner is behind it all.

It’s going to take a few days for all this to settle.

* Understatement of the week

Northern Illinois University Political Science Chair Matt Streb says the lawsuit will be a big distraction from the Chenoa Republican’s main message.

* The Question: How would you describe Dan Rutherford’s campaign troubles right now? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


panel management

- Posted by Rich Miller   80 Comments      


Sun-Times remains on the low road

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

* At least Ben was up front about it

ABC7 Reporter Ben Bradley: “The elephant in the room. Are you gay?”

Rutherford: “No. Next question.”

Rutherford points out his accuser Ed Michalowski never filed a formal complaint about inappropriate sexual advances, or any other wrong doing, until now, weeks before an election. But yes, Rutherford says, the two did share a hotel room with his male subordinate Ed Michalowski on at least two occasions.

“This is something you do in small business, in the NFL, NHL. It’s something you do to save resources,” said Rutherford.

* But, once again, the Sun-Times sticks solely with the innuendo

In the midst of defending against sexual harassment allegations by one male employee, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford acknowledged that he had shared a hotel room with a different male employee on state time — “to save resources.” […]

Another reporter queried Rutherford: “But I don’t share a hotel room with my boss.”

This is the second time in a week that the Sun-Times has tried to get cutesy with the Rutherford story. It’s beneath them.

- Posted by Rich Miller   78 Comments      


Site update

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

* We’ve had some site response issues recently, particularly yesterday. I apologize for that. My web hosting service sent me this e-mail today…

Last night we upgraded your site to use to MariaDB instead of MySQL. It looks like your site is performing well but I would imagine you are not getting the same load on the site. We will keep monitoring load to see if this helps.

Keep your fingers crossed.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


An examination of the he said/he said

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

* I thought Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s performance at yesterday’s press conference was pretty good. But not all of his claims totally hold up.

For instance, this is from Rutherford’s press release

Michalowski claims that he was harassed at “an overnight retreat” at the Treasurer’s home in Chenoa on April 2, 2011. However, a travel voucher submitted and signed by Michalowski for the date of April 2, 2011 shows he traveled home from Pontiac (not Chenoa) at 2 in the afternoon. Most importantly, contrary to his claim that he planned to stay the night and that he was harassed in the evening, the voucher indicates Michalowski returned to his residence in Chicago by 4 in the afternoon that day. An email written by Michalowski to another co-worker confirms that he traveled to Pontiac and returned home the same day.

* But

In an interview with the Tribune, Michalowski acknowledged what the travel voucher showed but said he filled it out inaccurately at the time because he was embarrassed about what happened and Rutherford told him not to expense an overnight trip because they were going to be discussing politics.

Not expensing an overnight trip because of campaign work is common practice in government.

* Then again, some of the claims made by the accuser just seem bizarre. This is from Ed Michalowski’s lawsuit

The stress and anxiety suffered by Plaintiff from Defendants’ conduct has manifested itself physically.

In November 2012, Plaintiff was admitted to the hospital with severe headaches. After numerous hospitalizations and tests, Plaintiff was diagnosed with leakage of cerebral spinal fluid in the brain for which he has undergone four blood patches and one occipital nerve block as a result of Defendants’ conduct.

Plaintiff has missed time from work for these hospitalizations throughout 2013 as a result of Defendants’ conduct.

Plaintiff has incurred over $100,000.00 in medical bills related to these hospital stays as a result of Defendants’ conduct.

Really? Dan Rutherford caused “leakage of cerebral spinal fluid”? I really find that hard to believe without any solid evidence.

* Back to Rutherford’s press release

Michalowski has never suffered any demotion or decrease in salary, which was substantial; his $99,000 annual salary placed him among the six highest salaries at the treasurer’s office. He was never promised any promotion or position. The text messages produced to our office by Michalowski show continual civility, camaraderie, appreciation, and support from the treasurer and other co-workers for Michalowski and from Michalowski to the treasurer and other co-workers. This is true both pre- and post- the alleged harassment.

* But

Michalowski also claims he was promoted twice – first from deputy director to director of community affairs and later to director of the merged community affairs and marketing departments – with no pay increase. His lawsuit claims his salary stayed the same throughout his tenure at the treasurer’s office.

Rutherford is pretty cheap, so that might explain it.

* Timing is also an issue. From Rutherford’s press release

The alleged incidents of harassment started in 2011 and 2012, well beyond the statutes of limitations provided under state law and federal law for Equal Employment Opportunity claims. Only today does Michalowski raise incidents occurring in 2013 as a way to make these allegations seem timely. Like the timing of the claims, this is very convenient for Michalowski.

Likewise, the political activity is alleged to have primarily occurred in 2011 and 2012. Michalowski, like every Illinois State Treasurer’s Office employee, receives Ethics Training annually, and employees are instructed to report any allegations of prohibited political activity or other misconduct to the Office of Executive Inspector General. However, there is a one-year statute of limitations for the Office of Executive Inspector General to open investigations. These allegations were never reported to the Executive Inspector General at the tim

Sometimes, victims of these sorts of things just don’t act or speak up right away. It happens.

* And there’s the money angle

Public records show that Michalowski is in the midst of an on-going bankruptcy proceeding in which Michalowski is delinquent in making payments as of May 2013, with a hearing scheduled on the delinquency for January 23, 2014—the date his attorney first contacted the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office. His home was foreclosed upon in April 2013. In October 2013, Michalowski filed for divorce.

Lots of people have had financial troubles, particularly those who go through divorces. That doesn’t make them dishonest.

* Finally, this allegation may have looked salacious at first

On July 24, 2011, Treasurer’s Office employee and Rutherford political Chief of Staff Curt Conrad texted Plaintiff the following: “The treasurer specifically asked that you wear a tank top. Totally your decision if you want to ignore. I am just a messenger.”

* Rutherford’s response

Details such as a July 24, 2011 text from a staffer that the treasurer asked that Michalowski wear a “tank top” are deliberately taken out of context. Michalowski provided to the treasurer’s office what he claims to be the entire string of texts, which shows that Michalowski was engaging in light-hearted conversation with the staffer about appropriate dress.

* The full exchange

Curt: No coat and tie required tomorrow. Business casual fine.

Ed: What about my toupee, should I bring my business casual one?

Curt: The treasurer specifically asked that you wear a tank top. Totally your decision if you want to ignore. I am just a messenger.

Ed: OK. Sounds like a plan.

This is clearly all a joke. They don’t call Conrad “Monkey” for nothing.

However, there is most definitely a noticeable undercurrent here. Yes, this was in fun, but you don’t need a compass to know that the joke points in a definite direction.

* And this more than implies that Michalowski has a witness

In December 2013, Rutherford allegedly went over to Michalowski at an office party, rubbed his shoulders and said to him, “You need a full body massage.”

“That was creepy,” said another person who witnessed what happened, according to the lawsuit.

* Related…

* Dan Rutherford: ‘I’m going to continue on’

* Rutherford fires back at allegations of sexual harassment, political pressure

* Rutherford denies sex harassment charges: ‘This thing smells of politics’

* Rutherford Responds to Sexual Harassment Suit

* Former employee alleges Illinois treasurer sexually harassed him

* Rutherford denies sexual harassment, political coercion allegations in lawsuit filed by ex-employee

- Posted by Rich Miller   54 Comments      


Today’s quotables

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

* From last night’s gubernatorial candidates forum that Bruce Rauner skipped

The candidates were allowed the opportunity to ask one another questions and Dillard began by saying he regretted having to ask this of the state treasurer.

“Are there any more allegations of sexual harassment coming at you from anyone else?” Dillard said.

The question seemed to hang in the air as the crowd numbering in the hundreds booed and grumbled.

Appearing taken aback by the question, Rutherford offered a long pause, staring right at Dillard at first.

“Sen. Dillard, I believe that was inappropriate,” Rutherford responded and the room erupted in applause.

Dillard later defended his question, saying he wanted to make sure that whoever wins the Republican nomination would not be derailed in a contest against Democratic incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn.

Like it or not, that was a fair question by Dillard.

Nobody in the GOP wants to see a repeat of the Jack Ryan insanity. The possibility that the state party might have to look for a replacement gubernatorial candidate is scaring the daylights outta some folks.

- Posted by Rich Miller   42 Comments      


A closer look at that new Tribune poll

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

* The new Tribune poll shows pretty much what my polling has shown since last year, but with one big difference

The survey showed Rauner at 40 percent support, more than his top two rivals combined. State Sen. Bill Brady pulled 20 percent and Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford was at 13 percent. State Sen. Kirk Dillard had 11 percent.

Notice Treasurer Rutherford’s numbers?

All previous polling has shown Brady and Rutherford within a point or twoish of each other, even back when Rauner was trailing the pack. Rutherford trailing Brady by seven points in this new poll is not good news whatsoever.

The new Tribune poll appears to show some real damage to Rutherford. The Trib’s poll was taken Wednesday through Sunday, which means the pollster was in the field after the allegations against Rutherford surfaced.

Then again, Rauner’s two-to one lead (which We Ask America has been showing for quite a while now), is the real problem for those who don’t want to see Rauner nominated.

* The poll shows that huge numbers of voters have no opinion of or haven’t heard of three of the four candidates.

61 percent don’t have an opinion of Dillard or haven’t heard of him (49 and 12, respectively), 58 percent don’t have an opinion or never heard of Rutherford (49 and 9) and 45 percent don’t have an opinion or never heard of Brady (42 and 3).

Time definitely fades memories. And even statewide officeholders on a lower rung aren’t that well known to voters.

Rauner, however, has been running ads since last summer. He has a 48 percent favorable rating, just a 10 percent unfavorable rating, 28 percent had no opinion of him and 14 percent never heard of him, the poll found.

* Another question

Bruce Rauner says his personal wealth makes him independent of special interests. His opponents say he is trying to buy the Republican nomination for governor. Who do you side with….Rauner or his Opponents?

The results

* Side with Rauner 54 percent

* Side with opponents 20 percent

* Don’t know 26 percent

* More

Dillard had complained that he was denied the Republican nomination last time because the crowded field split up his home base of support in Republican-rich DuPage County. But the poll found Rauner leading in the six-county area, which holds the bulk of the GOP primary vote, 43 percent to 18 percent for Brady. Dillard had support of 15 percent of voters in the area, while Rutherford had 11.

At the same time, Brady and Rutherford were expected to look to Downstate for a core base. While the contest tightens outside the Chicago area, the poll found that Rauner led Downstate with 35 percent to 23 percent for Brady. The poll found Rutherford had 15 percent and Dillard had 6 percent among Downstate Republicans, with 20 percent undecided.

Rauner’s opponents also have sought to attack his ideology by noting his relationship with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Mayor Richard M. Daley and other Democrats nationally. But among voters who call themselves conservatives, Rauner leads with 42 percent compared with 19 percent for Brady.

If there is an area for weakness for Rauner, it is a slight gap between men and women. Republican men prefer Rauner 44 percent to 19 percent for Brady, while GOP women backed Rauner 35 percent to 22 percent for Brady.

* Methodology

This Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll is based on a sample of 600 confirmed registered voters in Illinois likely to vote in the March 18th Republican primary. The potential margin of error for a sample of 600 is +/- 4% at the 95% level of confidence. Interviewing was conducted by phone with live interviewers from Wednesday - Friday evenings and Saturday daytime, February 5-8.

Registered voters are screened to determine voting likelihood - registered to vote where they now live, absolutely or fairly sure will vote, and voted in one of last two GOP state primary elections. Illinois is one of the states that do not have party registration. Self-described party identification is a variable.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** New TV ad attacks Rauner, ties him to Stu Levine

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

* Labor unions funding a new campaign committee, Illinois Freedom PAC, have unveiled their first TV ad. Subscribers know more about the buy’s cost and reach and flight length, but this is basically a statewide buy and backed by big bucks. Rate it

* Script…

Bruce Rauner says he’d shake up Springfield.

Hmm.

News reports tie Rauner to Stu Levine. Remember him? He’s the Blagojevich crony now in prison.

Levin testified that a company financed by Rauner’s firm gave him $1 million to get state contracts by “whatever means,” including payoffs.

At the same time, Levine voted to help Rauner’s firm get $50 million in state pension funds.

Trust Bruce Rauner to shake up Springfield? He’s tied to people who shook it down.

* The new committee describes itself on its website thusly

Illinois Freedom is dedicated to educating Illinois families about the important issues at stake in this election.

* The accompanying press release…

Illinois Freedom PAC launched a new television ad today holding gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner accountable for his insider ties to Stuart Levine, a Blagojevich crony now in prison. The ad and the facts can be viewed at www.IllinoisFreedom.com.

“Bruce Rauner says he is an outsider who can shake up Springfield, but nothing could be further from the truth,” says Michael Murray, spokesman for Illinois Freedom. “A company co-owned by Rauner’s firm paid Blagojevich crony Stuart Levine $25,000 a month at the same time that Levine, who sat on the Illinois Teacher Retirement System board, voted to give Rauner’s firm tens of millions of dollars in state pension funds. Bruce Rauner isn’t who he says he is. As a businessman he made a fortune using his Springfield ties; just think what he’d do as governor.”

Representing hundreds of thousands of working families in Illinois, Illinois Freedom is dedicated to educating Illinois voters about the important issues at stake in this election. The ad is supported by an initial weeklong buy worth more than $1 million in the Chicago, Champaign, Peoria, and Rockford media markets as well as online.

Check the facts:

    • In 1981, Bruce Rauner helped found the private equity firm GTCR. Rauner worked at GTCR for more than 30 years before retiring as the firm’s chairman in 2012 as he prepared to run for governor. [Chicago Tribune, 10.19.12[articles.chicagotribune.com]]

    • Rauner’s firm GTCR had an ownership stake in a company called CompBenefits Corp., that retained Stuart Levine who has been called a “notorious political fixer, federal felon and corrupt Springfield insider who helped bring down Rod Blagojevich.” [Crain’s, 3.11.13[chicagobusiness.com]]

    • According to Levine, the company paid him $25,000 per month to get city and state contracts by whatever means necessary, including payoffs. Levine even admitted to paying a bribe to get a $15 million city contract for the company. [Crain’s, 3.11.13[chicagobusiness.com] & Sun-Times, 8.25.05[blogs.suntimes.com]]

    • At the same time Levine was being paid by the company that Rauner’s firm partially owned, he voted to award Rauner’s firm $50 million from the state teachers pension fund. [Sun-Times, 1.14.14][parkridge.suntimes.com]

    • In January 2014, Greg Hinz, a columnist for Crain’s wrote, “I’d like to report that Mr. Rauner and his campaign have forthrightly answered the questions [about his relationship with Stuart Levine]. But I still can’t… How can Mr. Rauner be trusted to clean up corrupt Springfield when he won’t fully explain how and why Mr. Levine made $25,000 a month trying to get government business for a company owned in part by Mr. Rauner?” [Crain’s. 1.15.14[chicagobusiness.com]]

I’ll post the Rauner campaign’s response as soon as I get it. Check back soon.

…Adding… Here’s the Rauner campaign’s response…

Fact Check: New Attack Ad Gets It Wrong

- - Chicago Tribune Analysis Finds No Real Link Between Rauner, Levine - -

Supporters of Pat Quinn launched advertisements today in attempt to hijack the Republican primary and defeat Bruce Rauner. The ads are based on a de-bunked theory that tries to connect Bruce to Stuart Levine.

“This ad is irresponsible and shortchanges the truth in a desperate attempt to smear Bruce Rauner,” said Chip Englander, campaign manager for Bruce Rauner. “Pat Quinn’s special interest allies will say anything to try to stop Bruce, even peddling allegations that have been debunked by the media and they know aren’t true.”

Fact Sheet:

    “[A] closer look at the available details suggests any such connection is tenuous at best.” – Chicago Tribune, 1/31/14
    “[R]ecords cast doubt on any strong link between GOP candidate, convicted power broker.” – Chicago Tribune, 1/31/14
    Bruce Rauner never hired Stuart Levine
    Records show Rauner’s firm, GTCR Golder Rauner, took its ownership stake in CompDent in 1999 — three years after CompDent’s arrangement with Levine was inked.” - Chicago Tribune, 1/31/14

2003 Vote to Invest in GTCR was Unanimous

    “Roll call resulted in affirmative voice votes from Trustees Bruner, Cleveland, Glennon, Klickna, Leggett, Levine, O’Neill, Phalen, Schmidt, and Schiller. Motion CARRIED.” (Illinois Teacher Retirement System, “Board of Trustee Minutes,”http://trs.illinois.gov/subsections/trustees/2003minutes/5_23_03.pdf, 5/23/03)

TRS Investments in GTCR Have Performed Exceptionally Well

    Average rate of return by GTCR funds invested in by TRS is 25%.

    o Fund VII: 26%
    o Fund VIII: 24%
    (Lynne Marek, www.chicagobusiness.com, 4/8/13)

Attack Fueled by Pat Quinn’s Special Interest Allies With Links to Levine

2003 TRS Motion to Invest Was Made by Cinda Klickna, President of the Illinois Education Association (IEA)

    “On a motion by Cinda Klickna, seconded by Sharon Leggett, it was resolved: To allocate $50 million in GTCR Fund VIII, L.P., subject to satisfactory completion of contract and fee negotiations. Source of funds shall be the TRS Cash Flow account. - Illinois Teacher Retirement System, “Board of Trustee Minutes,” http://trs.illinois.gov/subsections/trustees/2003minutes/5_23_03.pdf, 5/23/03

IEA Directly Linked to “Illinois Freedom PAC”

    Jean Luft is listed as chairman and treasurer of the “Illinois Freedom PAC.” – Illinois State Board of Elections, Accessed 2/10/14

    Jean Luft is also President of the District 65 Educators’ Council, an affiliate of the Illinois Education Association. – District 65 Educators’ Council Website, Accessed 2/10/14

*** UPDATE *** The response to Rauner’s response…

Like I said before, you can’t trust Bruce Rauner. Levine said he was paid to secure contracts by whatever means necessary and Rauner wants us to believe that Levine changing his vote to give Rauner’s company $50 mil was just a coincidence?

Mr. Rauner just can’t be trusted. He says he’s an outsider but he’s tied to corrupt insiders like Levine. He gushed about how involved he was with ALL his companies but now pretends he knew nothing about one of the highest paid employees of one of those companies. He can’t have it both ways — that’s an insult to the intelligence of Illinois voters.

    JUNE 17, 1999: GTCR And TA Funds Completed Its LBO Of CompDent. “CompDent Corporation (Nasdaq: CPDN), a leader in providing total dental benefits, announced today that it has completed its merger with the newly formed company, TAGTCR Acquisition, Inc., which was organized at the direction of Golder, Thoma, Cressey, Rauner, Inc. (”GTCR”) and TA Associates, Inc. (”TA”). Under the terms of the merger, CompDent was recapitalized and each outstanding share of CompDent’s common stock, other than certain shares held by management and other investors, was converted into the right to receive $15.00 in cash, and the existing funded indebtedness of CompDent was refinanced. The merger became effective June 17, 1999.” [CompDent Press Release, 6/18/99]

    · AUGUST 9, 1999: Rauner: “We Spend A Lot Of Time Living With Our Companies On A Week-To-Week Basis, Understanding What’s Going On, And Being In The Flow Of Information, So We Can Be Helpful And Knowledgeable About The Operation.” Rauner said in an interview with The Wall Street Transcript, “We spend a lot of time living with our companies on a week-to-week basis, understanding what’s going on, and being in the flow of information, so we can be helpful and knowledgeable about the operation.” [Rauner Interview, The Wall Street Transcript, 8/9/99]

- Posted by Rich Miller   99 Comments      


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

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


*** LIVE *** Rutherford press conference

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* The presser is scheduled to begin at 4:30 pm

- Posted by Rich Miller   91 Comments      


*** UPDATED x3 - Rutherford schedules presser *** Lawsuit filed

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* Floodgates are now open

A former high-ranking employee for Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford dropped bombshell allegations in federal court Monday – charging that Rutherford sexually harassed him and used his state office to further his political aspirations.

The employee, Ed Michalowski, charged that Rutherford has made unwanted sexual advances against him since 2011. In one instance, Michalowski claims that in 2011 Rutherford held an overnight office retreat at Rutherford’s Pontiac home, entered Michalowski’s bedroom and grabbed his genitals.

Michalowski, 43, served as Rutherford’s Director of Community Affairs and Marketing. He resigned last week, telling the Sun-Times he felt intimidated by a news conference Rutherford held promising to combat the allegations while flanked by former federal agents. […]

In August of 2011, at D.H. Brown’s, a bar in Springfield, Michalowski alleges that Rutherford approached him and said: “If you go home with me you can have anything you want in the office.”

Michalowski further alleges that Rutherford demanded that he go through his personal list of past clients and ask them to donate to Rutherford’s campaign fund.

Michalowski’s attorney said on Monday that her client kept some text messages as corroboration but concedes there were likely no witnesses to the alleged incidents.

Michalowski worked for the secretary of state’s office before Rutherford hired him.

*** UPDATE *** Rutherford spokesperson Judy Pardonnet told Eric Zorn this today

I would say the chances of anyone else coming forward is very unlikely.

Denial runs awful deep in that office.

*** UPDATE 2 *** The lawsuit can be read by clicking here.

*** UPDATE 3 *** From Rutherford’s office…

Treasurer Rutherford will hold a media availability this afternoon to address an ex-employee’s complaint.

Date: Monday, February 10, 2014
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: Hyatt Regency, 1800 E. Golf Rd., Schaumburg

- Posted by Rich Miller   79 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Unanswered questions about DNR resignation

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* From Fox 32

A deputy director at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources resigned Thursday just hours after FOX 32 confronted DNR officials with evidence that he needed a gone fishin’ sign on his door last summer, while he was claiming to be sick. […]

Last year, according to the Illinois comptroller’s office, he earned $92,809.04 in his full-time job as Deputy Director for the Department of Natural Resources.

So, how did he manage to squeeze in four-day fishing tournaments in Florida, Alabama Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Michigan and still handle his state job?

Using the Freedom of Information Act, FOX 32 obtained Loyd’s time sheets. They show that between May 1 and mid-August last summer, about three and half months, the deputy director put in just seven and half hours working for the state.

He took 12 and a half vacation days in May, no problem there, but then claimed he was on sick leave for 44 consecutive days, not including weekends.

According to the WALMART FLW fishing tournament website, on five specific days when Loyd was using sick leave he was fishing for dollars in those tournaments.

Loyd had accumulated his unused sick days during his four years with the DNR, but state regulations say, “sick leave may be used for illness, disability, or injury of the employee, appointments with the doctor, dentist or other professional medical practitioner.”

There’s no mention of going fishing.

He was a deputy director. So, how did the DNR director not know about this? It just seems awful weird that a top official would essentially disappear for months and nobody bothers to wonder why.

*** UPDATE *** A DNR spokesman says Loyd was on a “physician-approved” family medical leave.

Still, the guy is posting pics all over his Facebook page and nobody at the office notices?

- Posted by Rich Miller   51 Comments      


A meatball right over the plate

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* In listening to Christine Svenson’s interview on WLS from earlier this morning, I heard a very easy push-back talking point for Dan Rutherford.

Svenson’s client said that after Rutherford made inappropriate advances, her client twice took his complaints to Rutherford’s chief of staff. The chief of staff then allegedly said “At least we have job security,” and claimed Rutherford had done similar things to him.

Look, I don’t know Rutherford’s chief of staff well, but I know him well enough to know that there is no way on God’s Green Earth that he will ever say that Rutherford did the same thing to him. Period.

In fact, in my discussions with the chief, he has said that he’s never witnessed anything of the kind.

So, a forceful and absolute denial by Rutherford’s chief could undermine some of the accuser’s claims.

* However, there’s still all those other Rutherford employees who are talking to the internal investigator.

* Also, Svenson said this about how she got the case

SVENSON: About a month ago, two individuals, none of whom is my client, came to my office to tell me that they were on a “list” called the “Gang of Thirteen.” This “Gang of Thirteen” who were employees in the treasurer’s office was rumored to have been terminated by Treasurer Rutherford for not engaging in sufficient political activity and or were just people who he didn’t like in the office. He came up with this list with his chief of staff and perhaps one other person.

PROFT: You mean they were going to be terminated.

SVENSON: Going to be terminated. Correct.

SVENSON: So these two individuals that came into my office about a month ago were on this list and they came to me for advice and I still am giving them advice regarding their situations and they may have claims, who knows, at some point.

PROFT: What about the person who you’re representing…?

SVENSON: Right. So, those two individuals after talking to me went back to the office and talked to the other individuals that had been on the list. This individual, my current client, his name is Ed, was one of those people. They told Ed about me. So, then Ed came to me a couple of days later, so it would’ve been perhaps three and a half weeks ago. And his set of circumstances [were] even more unusual and troubling, frankly.

She wouldn’t reveal Ed’s last name.

* Full audio…

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


Attorney sets clients up on dates

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* Christine Svenson is the attorney representing Dan Rutherford’s chief accuser. This is from an article posted on her firm’s website about events she coordinates

Svenson said she has divorce clients that she also helps with employment and family law issues. She sometimes sets her clients up on dates, and she thought the event would help lift their spirits.

“It really was a great way for women to feel good about themselves again,” Svenson said. “I’m helping [my clients] not only get back on their feet financially, but also back into the social scene.

“I only take cases from individuals that I actually personally believe in and like because you have this bond with your client. You want to help them not just with the financial implications of what they’re going through. I want to see the aftermath. I want them to have a good outcome five year or ten years down the road.” [Emphasis added.]

A full service law firm, eh?

[Hat tip to a commenter]

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


Question of the day

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* The AP has the umpteen millionth annual story on why this could be the year that gaming expansion is approved

[Sen. Terry Link] said this year’s bill would include ample money for oversight. He also promised it would be much more streamlined than the 500-page previous version that Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe has called a “Christmas tree bill.”

“It can get so top heavy that nobody wants to be a supporter,” Link said. “… Everyone thinks we’re going to be making billions of dollars off of this. The whole point of this is to try to get money for schools and possibly a capital development bill.”

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont wants even more limits in place and a better evaluation of the impact of video gaming machines at restaurants and bars around the state. Yet, with Democrats’ current veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate, Radogno said she expects the proposal will be pushed this year.

“It’s a perennial issue, but I think what will drive it (this time) is the fact that Democrats have not done what they need to do to get spending under control and they’re looking for revenue,” she said.

She might be right, though, even if it is an election year.

* The Question: Do you think some form of gaming expansion will happen this spring? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


survey tools

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


Cross harshly criticizes own party

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* From Bernie’s latest column about Rep. Tom Cross

“I think we have to be cognizant of the fact that we got our clocks cleaned in the last … presidential race,” he said, “and we have done, I think, a very miserable job of reaching out to young people. I think we scare women. I think we sometimes scare men. And I think we need to be cognizant of that as a party.

“And I think we’ve done a pretty lousy job on outreach to minorities,” he added. “In the last presidential race, Hispanic, Latino, voters went 80-20 against us. … We need to learn from all of it.”

Cross is running in the primary for treasurer against DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogran. Grogan opposes same-sex marriage, but Cross voted for it when it passed in the fall.

“It was the right thing to do,” Cross said. “You have a different role in life when you’re not the House Republican leader.” He had earlier opposed legalizing gay marriage.

“Personal decisions are important to people,” he said last week, “and I’m an advocate for that and will continue to be.”

Discuss.

…Adding… From a Daily Herald story about a weekend Indian-American candidates’ forum

“We see the best and brightest students come to the United States for a college education and then go back home,” said community member Amol Shelat. “There is a perception among Indian Americans that Republicans are anti-immigration, so why should we vote for your party?”

Rutherford contended that the problem is more of perception than reality.

“The Republican Party has a brand problem right now from the national scene. It is perceived to be intolerant,” Rutherford said.

“We need to have a reasonable Republican, one that understands that there are people from different backgrounds who make up our state.”

Dillard said he voted for the Illinois version of the DREAM Act and would be welcoming to immigrants.

Brady said it actually the Democratic Party that is labeling Republicans as anti-immigration.

“We want to keep the doors open. For national security reasons we need to protect our country’s borders, but this state’s strength lies in immigration,” Brady said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


Caption contest!

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* From a Sunday press release…

Governor Quinn today was joined by Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka at Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS) Chicago to encourage all Illinois residents to consider adopting a pet this year. Today’s event is a part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to protect pets and their owners, while ensuring that all animals in Illinois are treated ethically and responsibly.

“Pets are part of our families and we want to make 2014 the Year of Animal Rescue,” Governor Quinn said. “It is important that we try our hardest to find loving homes for these displaced animals and make sure they get the care and attention they need. Rosie – the first dog of Illinois – came from PAWS and the other animals here today would make fine additions to many families.”

“I thank Judy Baar Topinka for her lifelong commitment to protecting pets and promoting animal rights. She is one-of-a-kind,” the Governor added.

“I am thrilled to have Governor Quinn as a partner in finding homes for these pets and thank him for all his efforts,” Comptroller Topinka said. “I also love that he personally rescued another animal through the adoption of his new dog, Rosie. And that’s what this effort is all about – introducing critters to the right people.”

Wanna bet that Quinn’s lieutenant governor wasn’t exactly thrilled about the governor appearing with her November opponent?

* Audio from the event…

* And a photo of Quinn, Rosie and Topinka

- Posted by Rich Miller   56 Comments      


Lisa Madigan finally wins a contest

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* I get some weird press releases sometimes…

Hi Rich,

The Illinois General Election is still a few months away, but the results of a recent poll comparing Illinois politicians have Attorney General Lisa Madigan grinning from ear to ear.

In a survey of more than 250 member dentists from the Chicago Dental Society, when asked which Illinois politician has the best smile, the state’s first female attorney general (headshot attached) received the highest marks with 53 percent of the vote.

Here are the complete results:

    1. Lisa Madigan (53%) – Illinois Attorney General
    2. Jesse White (26%) – Illinois Secretary of State
    3. Toni Preckwinkle (5.8%) – Cook County Board President
    4. Rahm Emanuel (5.4%) – Chicago Mayor
    5. Judy Baar Topinka (5%) – Illinois State Comptroller
    6. Pat Quinn (3%) – Illinois Governor

The state AG’s oral regiment should make her dentist proud. A model patient, Madigan says she brushes her teeth at least twice a day and flosses regularly in order to keep her pearly whites ready for the public eye.

“The dentist is my most favorite doctor to visit,” Madigan said. “I am almost religious about seeing my dentist every six months and taking care of my teeth.”

The survey was conducted in preparation for the Chicago Dental Society’s 149th Midwinter Meeting, which will welcome more than 30,000 dentists to McCormick Place from February 20-22.

I’m surprised she didn’t withdraw from the competition before it was over.

Just sayin…

Also, “The dentist is my most favorite doctor to visit”? Pandering like that could get her nicknamed Kirk Dillard.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


Behind the scenes

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

One of the reasons why people near Treasurer Dan Rutherford are so nervous these days is because of the possibility that other employees might come out of the woodwork with even more allegations.

As I write this, the publicly revealed facts are still quite thin. A now former employee of Rutherford’s has claimed, without producing any hard evidence as of this writing, that he was sexually harassed and told to do political fundraising work. Rutherford has flatly denied the allegations, claiming they are politically motivated and part of a shakedown attempt that’s being pushed by his Republican gubernatorial primary opponent Bruce Rauner. The former employee, Rutherford claims, demanded $300,000 through his attorney to remain quiet. Rauner has denied any involvement.

The treasurer’s office has negotiated two previous severance agreements, a fact that the accuser’s lawyer alluded to last week when she told WLS Radio’s Dan Proft “Their standard MO [mode of operation] is to work out standard severance agreements. That’s what they do, and they’ve been doing that the last two or three years with employees.”

But a top Rutherford aide completely and adamantly denied last week that the prior severance agreements had anything to do with any sort of allegations of misconduct by Rutherford whatsoever. So, Rutherford’s allies can probably rest easy on that potential problem because it likely doesn’t exist.

Rutherford has a reputation among his friends and acquaintances as being a pleasant, positive, somewhat quirky, but almost always upbeat guy. You can’t help but like the man. He’s one of the truly nice guys in this state’s political world.

Working for Rutherford, however, is sometimes anything but a pleasant experience. He is, like many in politics, a man driven by ambition who has long aimed his sights at a higher office. He works almost nonstop, and he doesn’t care for those who can’t keep up with him or don’t meet his standards.

For instance, several weeks ago, Rutherford, an aide and a driver were on the road. Rutherford was not happy with the driver’s performance at an event. As punishment, Rutherford ordered the driver to remain in the car while he and the other aide went into a restaurant. Rutherford also reportedly took the car keys with him into the restaurant. The devastated young man called his sister and had her pick him up and quit on the spot.

A top aide to Rutherford confirmed the story the other day, but brushed it off, explaining that everybody has their bad moments. We all do, indeed, have our bad moments which shouldn’t wind up being used to judge our complete character.

While admittedly on the extreme end of his personality spectrum, it’s that sort of behavior which has Rutherford’s allies worried about what some other employees might say to a lawyer or a reporter. And there are a dozen or more stories of a similar nature. The treasurer, to put it bluntly, has more than a few disgruntled people in his office.

But potential trouble from revenge-minded employees represents only a small part of the storm facing the treasurer. Word from inside is that the folks who say they can corroborate allegations of sexual harassment and pressure to raise campaign funds by Treasurer Dan Rutherford were telling their full stories last week to the independent investigator appointed by Rutherford to get to the bottom of the story. We’ll see if those stories hold up to scrutiny.

The very real possibility of a Rutherford political collapse has not yet completely deterred labor groups from pushing ahead with their plan to attack Bruce Rauner via negative TV ads. However, they don’t seem as confident as they were a month ago that the strategy will work.

One top labor official said last week that he never thought they had more than a 25 percent chance of defeating Rauner in the Republican primary, even though a month ago he appeared quite confident they could throw a knockout punch.

The fallback plan appears to be to tarnish Rauner enough in the next month or so that he doesn’t start off with a huge and insurmountable lead over Gov. Pat Quinn after the primary ends. Quinn is already trailing all four of his Republican opponents by eight to ten points, so, barring a knockout, they want to stop any further Quinn erosion and knock Rauner back on his heels a bit.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


Urlacher was paid big bucks to appear for Schock

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* From last October

-Former Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher’s brother is a Lake County mayor, and now the former middle linebacker himself is stepping up his own involvement in politics by helping launch the re-election effort of Republican downstate U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock.

The three-term, Peoria congressman’s campaign put out word Wednesday morning that Urlacher would be the headliner at Schock’s Nov. 15 re-election announcement at a $50-a-ticket event dubbed Schocktoberfest at Brewers Distributing in Peoria. […]

“My family understands the important role of public service. My brother Casey Urlacher was elected mayor of Lake County’s Mettawa, IL earlier this year. In Peoria, he was fullback-linebacker for the Peoria Pirates. So we’re both looking forward to visiting our friends in central Illinois,” Urlacher said.

* But Urlacher didn’t make that appearance totally out of the goodness of his heart. Roll Call

Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., spent $25,000 last fall for a former Chicago Bears linebacker to headline his re-election campaign’s kick-off fundraising event, according to a report filed with the Federal Elections Commission. […]

An event appearance fee was paid to B.U. Enterprises, according to the Schock Victory Committee’s year-end filing. Illinois public records show B.U. Enterprises is a company registered to Urlacher. […]

While the $25,000 appearance fee is perfectly legal, it’s unusual to see such a hefty sum for an event appearance on a campaign finance filing.

“Generally speaking, the rule of thumb seems to be that outreach to smaller donors costs more than raising money from bigger donors, who tend to be insiders,” said Bill Allison, a campaign finance expert with the Sunlight Foundation. “Insiders don’t need a former Bears player there to show up — they go to a fundraiser to talk to the member.”

* Schock is an expert at raising money, and he’s being tapped for bigger things in DC

Rep. Aaron Schock R-Ill. is the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee March fundraising dinner here, one of the major events to raise campaign cash for the House GOP political operation. Schock faces no opponent in the March Illinois primary, leaving him free to work on the March 26 dinner. Schock already raised $1.1 million for the dinner, the NRCC said on Tuesday, and pledged to raise another $1 million by March 26.

So, featuring a popular ex-Bear at his fundraiser got him notice, which is what he wants in order to help move him up. Trouble is, fundraising is supposed to be a bit more discrete than this.

* And Schock’s fundraising committees have, indeed, caught the eye of the media lately, but not in a good way. New York Times

After some time in the hot tub, an evening cocktail reception and a two-and-a-half-hour dinner in a private dining room named Out of Bounds, Representative Adrian Smith, Republican of Nebraska, made one last stop, visiting the lounge at the Four Seasons Resort hotel here to spend more time with the lobbyists and other donors who had jetted in from Washington, D.C., to join him for the weekend getaway. […]

This is the world of destination fund-raisers, where business interests blend with pleasure in exclusive vacation venues. Lobbyists go to build relationships with lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans alike, seeking action — and often inaction — in Washington for their clients and companies, with millions of dollars at stake. While approval ratings are at historic lows for members of Congress, their allure to those seeking influence in the nation’s capital is as strong as ever. […]

The fund-raising events that are not in the lawmakers’ home states often dovetail with their hobbies. Representative Aaron Schock, Republican of Illinois and an avid skier, made the trip this month to Vail, for example

* Tribune

Rep. Aaron Schock’s campaign spent more than $2,600 on cuff links, paid $390 to a seaplane company based in the British Virgin Islands and spent more than $1,500 on concert tickets.

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


*** UPDATED x2 - Audio posted - Rutherford could speak today *** Attorney says complaint to be filed today

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* The treasurer’s office says they haven’t seen anything yet, and pointed out that the attorney didn’t even know in what court she was filing the charges, but say they’re ready to rebut and refute. They’d better be

Attorney Christine Svenson, who represents a former employee of the treasurer’s office, and was on with Bruce and Dan Monday morning, says the allegations lay out the employee being forced to do political work on state time as well as sexual harassment.

Svenson detailed points in which she says her client was allegedly harassed by Rutherford, including an incident at an overnight retreat at Rutherford’s home in 2011.

Svenson told Bruce and Dan, “Mr. Rutherford entered my client’s bedroom and grabbed at his genital area. My client immediately forced him off of him, gathered his belongings and left. He went to go talk to the chief of staff about it, and the chief of staff said quote…’at least we have job security’…unquote, and that it had happened to him as well.”

Svenson says complaints are also being filed against Rutherford’s chief of staff.

Oy.

This story has been going around for a bit, and at least some people have said that it appeared to change over time. So, let’s all reserve judgement on this for a while.

Also, in my opinion, Svenson ought to be doing her talking in court from now on.

*** UPDATE *** Sun-Times

“Obviously the allegations are false. If there is a lawsuit filed today then the Treasurer will respond,” his spokeswoman Mary Frances Bragiel said. “He’ll possibly have a media avail if something is filed today.”

That’ll probably be the wildest presser since the Jack Ryan death march.

*** UPDATE 2 *** The full audio has now been posted

- Posted by Rich Miller   69 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Fourth Legionnaires’ case confirmed at Quincy veterans' home
* Biss endorsed by Sierra Club
* Question of the day
* Two Metro East GOP primaries take sharp turns toward weirdness
* Rotheimer becomes issue in Rep. Hammond's primary
* Agencies a no-show for Senate hearing on Quincy veterans' home
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition and other campaign news
* Rauner on pension cost-shift's impact on property taxes: "It'll help bring them down"
* *** UPDATED x4 - Cassidy explains - Madigan responds - Mendoza, Bustos and Ammons issue statement - Sen. Bush echoes demand *** Rep. Cassidy wants independent probe into "culture that appears to pervade the organizations led by Speaker Madigan"
* Ives, Kennedy up with two new ads
* Raoul donates Decremer contribution to TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund
* Candidates lash out at Pritzker after WCIA cancels debate
* More on Gov. Rauner's budget proposal
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** UPDATED x1 - Madigan responds *** Madigan operative removed from campaigns after complaints, Biss demands resignation of party chairmanship
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner slammed from the right over Janus case
* *** UPDATED x3 - IDCCA clarifies - Biss buy - Quinn responds *** Holiday Monday quick takes: Rotering's new ad slams Quinn; Biss is up on Downstate TV; Pritzker reloads; Daily Journal endorses Ives; IDCCA unveils zero-tolerance policy and pledge
* Konkol out at Chicago Reader after "tumultuous ten days"
* Madigan asks Bustos, Mendoza and Ammons to "develop a plan for elevating the status of women in the party"
* Saturday quick hits: Mendoza wants Quincy veterans moved; Biss and Raoul report big bucks; Reader cover fallout intensifies
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* Lawmaker rips Rauner on Legionnaires' response .....
* Lawmaker rips Rauner on Legionnaires' response .....
* Democratic Lawmakers Call For Independent Inves.....
* Lawmaker rips Rauner on Legionnaires' response .....
* Lawmaker rips Rauner on Legionnaires' response .....
* Lawmaker rips Rauner on Legionnaires' response .....
* Lawmaker rips Rauner on Legionnaires' response .....
* Lawmaker rips Rauner on Legionnaires' response .....
* Lawmaker rips Rauner on Legionnaires' response .....
* Lawmaker rips Rauner on Legionnaires' response .....


* Senate plan would require rear-facing car seats until age 2
* Storm system brings flooding, freezing rain, snow to Midwest
* Guardian to make decisions about Amanda Ware's children
* Lawmaker rips Rauner on Legionnaires' response at vets' home
* Man who died in Yellowstone was looking for hidden treasure
* The Latest: Officials pledge cooperation on Legionnaires'
* Brothers from St. Louis accused in Glen Carbon death
* Widow of slain police commander thanks Chicago
* Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in Illinois
* NTSB asks FAA to look at carry-on bags during emergencies

* Illinois Senate plan would require rear-facing car seats until age 2
* Gov. Rauner accused of politicizing Janus union dues case
* Another Legionnaires' case found in Quincy as lawmakers meet
* Democratic candidates for governor debate Wednesday at UIS
* Madigan parts ways with second operative after female lawmaker alleges 'abuse of power'
* Opponents: Rauner insurance changes would hurt state workers, retired teachers
* Can middle-class candidate Daniel Biss defeat millionaires in Illinois?
* Speaker Madigan: 'I take responsibility' for not doing enough on sexual harassment issue
* Former Lanphier player among the latest Legionnaires' cases in Quincy
* Former Lanphier player among the latest Legionnaire's cases in Quincy

* Loyola health system CEO takes job out west
* Hospital accounting error adds up to $92 million
* Rite Aid was Albertson's last best hope
* $6.50 a share? Try 18 cents.
* Rite Aid was Albertsons' last best hope


* Local character study’s wonderful cast in a ‘Rogers Park’ state of mind
* Don’t overestimate Russian attempts to sway election
* Washington Street bridge over Chicago River to close Wednesday morning
* Florida survivors, lawmakers on collision course over guns
* Bears start 2018 construction by letting Josh Sitton, Jerrell Freeman walk
* The changing seasons: Chicago fishing, the Midwest Fishing Report
* Bulls point guard Cameron Payne set to make season debut Thursday
* Man, 62, reported missing from East Chatham
* Flood warning in effect until Wednesday morning for Chicago Area
* Freed from prison, Nevest Coleman ready to get back in the game with White Sox


* West Point posthumously admits Parkland shooting victim Peter Wang
* Man charged with breaking judge's window with snowball ordered held without bond
* Already serving life in prison for boyfriend's slaying, Hobart woman to stand trial for husband's murder
* Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on playing spoiler: ‘Nothing to get excited about’
* District: Round Lake High student turned in by fellow students for threatening video
* Bulls' youth movement begins in earnest with starting roles for Cristiano Felicio and David Nwaba
* Second patient asks to join lawsuit over Delnor hostage standoff
* Hitters Group No. 4 — Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Micker Adolfo — hopes to become a Big 3 for White Sox
* DuPage judge's actions weren't criminal when he fired gun in his home, lawyer argues at trial
* Seven things about NBC's Olympics coverage, including an idea for Scott Hamilton


» Lawmaker Rips Rauner On Legionnaires' Response At Vets' Home
» Illinois Lawmaker Looks To Ban AR-15, 'Ghost Guns'
» After Husband's DUI, Supreme Court OKs Seizure Of Wife's Harley
» Setting the Record Not-So-Straight: Rights Group Pushes Inclusive History in IL Classrooms
» Mourners: Slain Chicago Officer Was 'One Of The Good Guys'
» Madigan Says He's Taking Steps To End Harassment, Abuse
» 2016 Report Put Quincy Plumbing Fix At $8M
» State Week: Governor Rauner Presents His Budget
» Rauner Budget Doesn’t Use 'Pixie Dust,' But It’s Fanciful Nonetheless
» Dem Candidates Dissatisfied With Madigan's Response To Sexual Harrassment Claims


* Illinois Senate plan would require rear-facing car seats until age 2
* Gov. Rauner accused of politicizing Janus union dues case
* Another Legionnaires' case found in Quincy as lawmakers meet
* Democratic candidates for governor debate Wednesday at UIS
* Madigan parts ways with second operative after female lawmaker alleges 'abuse of power'
* E.J. Dionne: On gun violence, we are a failed state
* George Will: LA's mayor deserves a presidential hearing
* Bernard Schoenburg: 3 years later, Rauner tells similar incomplete story
* Statehouse Insider: Don't spend that tax cut all at once
* Andy Shaw: Basic responsibilities in a democracy


* LIVE! Michigan State
* UPDATE: flood, winter weather advisories in play
* New Baden man charged with soliciting sex from undercover agent posing as child
* Illinois man who died in Yellowstone was looking for hidden treasure
* Man sentenced for role in attempted armed robbery that resulted in friend's death
* Frontier to build hotel at Bettendorf sports complex
* Lawmaker rips Rauner on Legionnaires' response at vets' home
* Reliving the stories from black Civil War veterans who lived in Southern Illinois
* Stop the Bleed: Law enfocement officers receive training, kits for control of bleeding
* In Murphysboro, Illinois treasurer announces $500 million investment for new loan program


* Kansas lawmakers split on response to teen governor hopefuls
* The Latest: Rep fires aide who claimed survivors were actors
* Schaumburg High students plan to take part in national walkout Wednesday
* New MLB rules: Pitching change a must for 7th mound visit
* Toy makers turn to the toilet for poop-inspired toys

* Reps Question DHS's Decision to Deny Asylu...
* Duckworth taps downstate principal as Stat...
* ELECTIONS 14TH CONGRESSIONAL DIST. Victor ...
* Before the State of the Union, a chance to...
* Gun-rights groups giving to Illinois Repub...
* Endorsement: Underwood for the Democrats i...
* House Passes Bill Boosting Funding To Illi...
* What to Expect When Congress Talks Blockch...
* ELECTIONS, 14th CONG DIST Jim Walz on why ...
* Morning Spin: AG candidate Raoul gets Trum...

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...
* Durbin: No one needs semi-automatic rifles......

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...
* Duckworth promises help getting federal do......

* Hole up in a mountainside bunker on the gig poster of the week
* Watch chef Christopher Thompson create the most expensive pizza ever made with Chef Boyardee ravioli
* Grand Purim Party At Chabad of Uptown
* Sketchbook.
* The Satellite Cafe Now Serving Liquor
* Where is Tim Cunningham? #ATL #Morehouse #Blackandmissing
* High-ranking Chicago Police commander Paul Bauer shot and killed near the Thompson Center, and other Chicago news
* For Chelsea Rectanus, 30, owning a used bookstore is ‘as great as the romance would lead you to believe’
* Driftwood Bar To Host Luau & Disco Party Events
* Have you seen the lastest Chicago Reader cover?


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* Android P can ban background apps from recording audio
* AT&T Sponsored Data program now available for prepaid plans
* Mozilla and NSF awards $380K to small projects connecting the unconnected
* Judge denies AT&T’s request to see White House thoughts on Time Warner acquisition
* Moto G5 Plus, Moto G5S Plus now up to $50 off
* FCC may publish net neutrality reversal terms on Thursday
* Apple Shares Three New iPhone Photography Tutorials

* All clubs to don Stoneman caps for ST openers
* Jimenez adjusting to MLB life in spring camp
* Photo of the Week: Little Looie crashes into 3rd
* White Sox alight with possibilities on Day 1
* Great moments in the heretofore innocuous base-stealing career of J...
* Man of Steel turns Man of Steal
* Avi ready to build on breakout 2017 season


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller