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*** UPDATED x1 *** Unclear on the details, but not on the concepts

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie today

“Now I see that the court’s ruled that the Libertarian candidate can be on the ticket but the Green Party can’t. Another interesting development. I told some people this morning: ‘You people in Illinois make New Jersey people blush, it’s unbelievable, right?’ Every obstacle that can be placed in front of Bruce by the establishment in this state will be placed in front of him. The great news is he’s strong enough to overcome those.”

The court didn’t rule on the Libertarians, the State Board of Elections ruled that the party had collected enough valid signatures. The Green Party didn’t have enough valid signatures and lost a ballot access lawsuit. But the Libertarians clearly demonstrated that they didn’t need that lawsuit to get onto the ballot.

As subscribers know, the Libertarians were aided by a union during their fight to stay on the ballot. The Republicans, we all know, worked hard against the Libertarians.

As far as I know, the GOP didn’t help out the Green Party, which is probably a mistake on its part. The Democrats did work against the Greens.

But there was no grand judicial conspiracy here. Both parties did what they did, and the GOP came up short fair and square - or as fair and square as you can get in this state, anyway.

Even so, he’s most likely right about the Democratic establishment. It will do whatever it can to stop Rauner.

* More Chris Christie

“He will try every trick in the book,” Christie said of Quinn. “I see the stuff that’s going on. Same-day registration all of a sudden this year comes to Illinois. Shocking,” he added sarcastically. “I’m sure it was all based upon public policy, good public policy to get same-day registration here in Illinois just this year, when the governor is in the toilet and needs as much help as he can get.”

Christie made that statement at Bruce Rauner’s campaign headquarters. Rauner wasn’t there, but he is on record supporting the new law

The bill would allow same-day voter registration and more days for in-person early voting - which Republicans in the General Assembly say is a ploy to bring more Democratic voters to the polls.

Rauner said he’s not familiar with the finer points of the bill, but he’s OK with the idea. “I’m a believer that our democratic process is critical to our prosperity as a state and as a nation. I think having voters engaged and involved and everybody voting, all registered voters voting, is a great thing, and the more folks that vote, the better, and to the degree we help that process, I’m supportive of that,” he said. […]

Rauner said he’s not afraid of Democratic constituencies casting more votes, because he’s campaigning to them. “We’re not doing what most Republicans do, and that is go to a few country clubs and go to a few farm events. We are in every neighborhood in every community,” he said.

But Christie is right about one thing. Notice that same-day registration and the law’s other reforms weren’t extended through next year’s Chicago mayoral race. Considering the likelihood that Mayor Emanuel could face a challenge from CTU’s president (and, back during spring session, the Cook County Board President), he probably didn’t want those reforms in place.

*** UPDATE *** From the union- and DGA-backed Illinois Freedom PAC…

Standing in Bruce Rauner’s headquarters today, scandal-plagued Governor Chris Christie suggested that allowing Illinois citizens to register to vote on Election Day is wrong because it is an “obstacle” to Bruce Rauner’s election efforts. Neal Waltmire, Communications Director for Illinois Freedom PAC, released the following statement in response to the remarks of Rauner’s ally:

    If allowing legally eligible citizens to register to vote is an obstacle to Bruce Rauner’s election, it speaks only to the billionaire’s deeply unpopular Wall Street values, not the merit of Illinois’ voting laws.

    In Rauner and Christie’s world, the opinions of Wall Street bankers and corporate CEOs rule, which means middle class families pay the price.

    That’s why Rauner and Christie have fought tax fairness and opposed upping the minimum wage.

    We call on Bruce Rauner to stand with Illinoisans against Christie’s attack on their right to vote.

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - Wrong dates *** IEA pushing early voting

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* IEA President Cinda Klickna recently did a robocall to her members telling them they are about to receive mailers about the union’s recommended candidates. “To protect our students, our schools and our pensions we must stop Bruce Rauner,” Klickna says, adding an encouragement to vote absentee…

* Today, a mailer touting early voting was received by IEA members. Click the pics for larger images…


*** UPDATE *** A county clerk pal of mine texts to say that the IEA got some of its dates wrong…

The IEA flier has some incorrect dates. 8/4 - absentee voting begins. 8/4 is first day for absentee ballot requests, not first day for voting. There’s going to be so much confusion this election. Absentee voting doesn’t begin until 9/25. Ballots aren’t ready yet in most jurisdictions, so there’s no way voting can being 8/4.

Also, Early Voting ends this election on Sunday, November 2, not November 1, as the flier states.

Oops.

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      


Swing and a miss

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* Gov. Pat Quinn’s campaign has been trying since last night to convince reporters, myself included, to write about how, unlike Bruce Rauner, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie disclosed his complete tax returns. Like Rauner, Christie’s wife works in private equity, and yet Christie still chose to release their full returns.

That push continued today when Christie visited Bruce Rauner’s campaign headquarters…


* The question was asked, but Christie didn’t take the bait…


* But Christie did say this

“This race is the one that looks the most like New Jersey in 2009. You have a state that’s typically demographically Democratic. You have a first-time statewide candidate. You have a miserably unpopular governor, with an extraordinarily dispirited citizenry,” he said.

He could very well be right about that.

Rauner, by the way, wasn’t at the event. He took his kid to college today.

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      


Rauner bids farewell to Downstate

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* I explained this to subscribers as a “smart move” several days ago

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus had words of warning for Edgar County Republicans: Don’t expect to see gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner in downstate Illinois after Labor Day.

“He’s been all over southern and central Illinois,” Shimkus, the longtime congressman from Colinsville, told about 75 members of the GOP in Paris last week. “But we’re advising him that after he’s through with this massive swing (through 38 downstate counties after the Illinois State Fair), you know where he needs to be? He needs to be in the suburbs and he needs to be in Cook County to win this for us. […]

“We’ve got to campaign hard around Chicago,” [Rauner] said. “It’s critical. If we just take the mindset that Cook County is just, you know, another country, that allows Cook County to be consolidated under the machine. And it’s so big that Cook County runs the rest of the state. No more. No more. That ain’t right.” […]

“I don’t have a specific goal but I really want to do well” in Cook County, he said. “We’re already leading in the polls by a good margin in the Cook County suburbs. We’re losing in Chicago and I don’t think I can win in Chicago. That’s not going to happen. But I think I can do decently well in Chicago. I think the polls showed us at about 20 percent in Chicago. I think if we’re in the low 20s we’ll be good.”

Discuss.

…Adding… Rauner appeared via live video feed during Marion’s Ronald Reagan dinner

Jim Patrick of Crainville was there too and he said the GOP is the party for him.

“The democrats platform is pro abortion, pro homosexual and has an anti-American tone in it,” he said. “I’m pro life and I won’t vote for anybody who is not pro life. I don’t care what they call themselves!”

Um, Rauner calls himself “pro-choice.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


Question of the day

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* Sun-Times

Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner were a few of the many politicians who made it out Sunday to watch Jackie Robinson West take on South Korea for the Little League World Series Championship.

And as it turns out, when the music got going, so did they.

* Quinn did the Wobble

* Rauner did the Dougie

* The Question: Which was more entertaining, Quinn’s Wobble or Rauner’s Dougie? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


survey tools

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      


Durbin hit again on “pay gap”

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* Illinois Review

Tom Donelson, chairman of Americas PAC, told Illinois Review that his organization has launched additional radio ads focused on U.S. Senator Richard “Dick” Durbin’s pay gap.

Analysis of Senate Staff payroll found that in 2012 Durbin “paid men $13,063 more, a difference of 23 percent,” or about 77 cents for every dollar earned by his male staffers.

In 2014, a follow-up report by the Free Beacon found that Durbin was still paying his female staff less than his male staff. “The average female salary is $11,505 lower than the average male salary in Durbin’s office,” the paper reported.

* Listen to the ad…

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


Pot, meet kettle

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* From the twitters…


* I’ve seen plenty of “manhandling” in my day, and this doesn’t look like manhandling to my eyes. A few protesters tried to drown out a Callis speech and they were escorted away

Much of Callis’ speech on the SIUE quad was drowned out by a handful of protesters who shouted “Clueless Callis!” over her. Both Callis and Durbin said they recognized the protesters’ First Amendment right to speak. “I would have expected a little courtesy,” Durbin said. Callis said it was the first time this kind of counter-protest had happened.

* Watch

This allegation is from the same state party which defends using armed private detectives to allegedly intimidate Libertarian Party petition signers and gatherers.

Please.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


Beware the reformers

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* Tom Dougherty

It’s a scenario that has become all too familiar. You’re frustrated with the gridlock in DC; you’re sickened by the burgeoning national debt; you think the country has gone to “hell in a handbasket” under the current administration and party leadership; and then you get a direct mail piece, or an email, or see an ad on the web that promises change by supporting candidates who embrace your ideals.

Hopeful and excited to learn that there are organizations willing to fight for what you think will “fix this country,” you grab your credit card and fire off a donation, confident you have contributed to a worthwhile cause. […]

Here are five very recognizable organizations that spend vastly more on fundraising efforts than on support for any candidate.

* The chart…

* From the Atlantic

Journalists often lament the absence of presidential leadership. What they are really observing is the weakening of congressional followership. Members of the liberal Congress elected in 1974 overturned the old committee system in an effort to weaken the power of southern conservatives. Instead—and quite inadvertently—they weakened the power of any president to move any program through any Congress. Committees and subcommittees multiplied to the point where no single chair has the power to guarantee anything. […]

In short, in the name of “reform,” Americans over the past half century have weakened political authority. Instead of yielding more accountability, however, these reforms have yielded more lobbying, more expense, more delay, and more indecision.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


GOTV: In the streets and online

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Some recent Chicago Tribune poll resulst appear to indicate that support for raising the minimum wage in the state’s largest city may be enough to increase voter turnout for a non-binding November ballot referendum.

The poll found that 84 percent of registered Chicago voters support a city task force recommendation to increase the minimum wage to $13 per hour over the next three years. According to the poll, 78 percent of whites and 92 percent of African-Americans and even 71 percent of Chicagoans making over $100,000 a year back the plan.

Democrats have been hoping to use the statewide non-binding referendum to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour as a tool to help spur turnout in what is rapidly developing into a big Republican year. And with numbers like the Tribune’s backing a much higher minimum wage, it does seem likely that the issue can be effective, particularly among African-Americans. Support above 70-80 percent is generally seen as having a ballot impact. Get above 90 and it’s sure to drive votes. Then again, the comparatively “stingy” state ballot proposal, when compared to the Chicago proposal, might garner lesser enthusiasm.

Proponents are hoping to use the issue to convince 400,000 people to sign “pledge cards” stating they will definitely vote this November. So far, they’ve collected 70,000 cards, which they will use to track the signatories through election day.

The bigger question, though, is what Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan does with all the money he’s been raising to push the ballot initiative. Madigan, who is also the state Democratic Party chairman, has been traveling the country to raise cash. Everybody who chipped in to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in 2012 is being paid a visit. Labor unions alone spent over $20 million on that race, and Madigan is telling those labor leaders that they can spend the money now to defeat the anti-union Bruce Rauner, or spend the money later to fight Rauner after he’s elected.

The Republicans are attempting to convince themselves that Madigan will spend that cash on his hottest state legislative races instead of in Chicago and south suburban Cook County, where it would do the most good for the statewide ticket because of high numbers of African-Americans. Democrats have often complained in the past that “coordinated campaign” money has been redirected to Madigan’s legislative races, and they’re not sure what he’ll do this year.

Most are fairly certain that Madigan won’t have his candidates run away from the top of the ticket. The Speaker tried that in 1994, during a huge Republican wave. Late in the game, photos of Republican Gov. Jim Edgar started appearing in Democratic legislative mailers. But that backfired in a major way. It just helped Edgar win by a larger margin, which swept away Madigan’s candidates. Madigan has to do whatever he can to boost Gov. Pat Quinn’s prospects within his districts, and that means lots of voter registration and get out the vote activities. And none of those all important districts are in Chicago or south suburban Cook County.

But it won’t be easy. I’ve seen some private polling results recently that show Quinn doing even worse than expected in suburban counties where Madigan has some other tough races. My own polling has shown Bruce Rauner doing quite well in suburban Cook County, which has trended Democratic over the years and will be the scene of several hotly contested Illinois House races.

And, the other day, a top Democratic strategist derided the Quinn campaign’s attempt to convince Illinoisans that the job and economic situation is starting to turn around as “stupid.”

“They’re telling voters not to believe their own lying eyes,” he complained. Focus groups, he said, are finding that voters “are so mad at the state of things that it insults their intelligence to tell them things are changing, especially in the Downstate communities.”

The Democrat had knowledge of one particular Downstate congressional focus group which found people were “openly hostile to Quinn - like punch him if he was in the room at the time hostile.” Madigan has one Tier One contest in that congressional district and another adjacent to the district.

So, keep an eye on Chicago and south suburban Cook “get out the vote” efforts. It’s Gov. Quinn’s best hope right now and a likely drain on Madigan’s resources. If he spends lots of cash there, Quinn just might make this thing a close one.

* Paul Green breaks it down

Quinn needs Chicago to come alive in ’14. He needs a huge minority vote turnout – plus he must stress the social issues – along the lakefront and on the near west side. And lastly on the northwest and southwest sides, he must talk about “income inequity” – whether it’s Rauner’s personal wealth or his wealthy close friends’ huge donations to his campaign.

No matter how many Chicagoans vote – Rauner could be in trouble if he falls below 20% of the city vote.

From 1976 to 1998, Republican gubernatorial candidates won seven straight victories (Jim Thompson – 4; Jim Edgar – 2; George Ryan – 1). In every one of those elections, the GOP candidate carried suburban Cook County by at least 100,000 votes. In fact, Ryan’s 1998 win was the lowest victory margin for a Republican candidate (109,000 votes/57.6%) in the party’s “mansion” winning streak. To some observers (including me) this margin drop-off was an omen of real demographic political change taking place in suburban Cook. In the three Democratic gubernatorial wins since 1998, their candidate has won suburban Cook – thereby adding to and not subtracting from the expected margin win in Chicago. (The vote margin numbers: 2002 – 50,924; 2006 – 103,880; 2010 – 100,250.)

Clearly, Rauner needs to reestablish a solid GOP vote in suburban Cook. He could do that by doing better than expected in the heavily minority south suburbs, convincing wealthy north suburban residents that his business background can fix the state’s fiscal woes or winning back once rock-rib GOP voters living in northwest and southwest townships and convincing them that he can not only win, but in doing so can resurrect the Republican party statewide. It is indeed a mighty task, but for Rauner to beat Quinn in 2014 he must do some or all of the above. Why? I do not believe it is an overstatement to predict “as goes suburban Cook – so goes the state.” Said another way, “Whoever wins suburban Cook will be sworn in as Illinois governor in 2015.”

* Paul Merrion in Crain’s

“It’s hard to see how Quinn can win if he can’t pull out at least a million votes from Cook County, absent surprisingly low turnout everywhere else,” says Brian Gaines, professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. […]

As of Aug. 19, there are roughly 10,000 fewer registered voters in Chicago than during the 2010 election, a decline of less than 1 percent, according to the Chicago Board of Elections. But the most intense efforts by voter registration groups are just getting underway.

“Everyone is doing organizing now, but the big push comes in September for most,” says Cook County Clerk David Orr, who oversees voter registration in the suburbs.

Higher registration helps the Quinn campaign only if it can get people to the polls. “We will be outspent; we expect that,” Quinn campaign spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says. “Turning out the vote will be very important to the campaign.”

* This isn’t just about putting boots on the ground. The Sun-Times visited Quinn’s war room and spoke with the campaign’s digital director, Christopher Hass, who worked on President Obama’s two campaigns

With Hass and other members of the Obama 2008 and 2012 teams aboard, Quinn is counting on the digital aspect of the campaign to turn out big numbers in November as he tries to beat Republican Bruce Rauner.

“It is certainly one of the largest, if not the largest in-house digital teams for a statewide race right now,” Hass told the Chicago Sun-Times. […]

Hass said the Quinn camp’s approach is more targeted. For instance, early on, the campaign connected with people who supported an increase to the minimum wage. After identifying those people, they recruited volunteers, and worked to expand their field campaign or social media presence. He also has learned it’s up to the campaign to educate voters who are looking up information on a candidate online. […]

“We work very closely with the communication team to amplify their message and work closely with the field team. We do a lot of recruitment for them,” Hass says. […]

As early voting begins, the digital team works with tracking who has voted.

“We are able to see within our universe of people who support us, how many have voted. Then you start to narrow that down as you go. I think that’s one of the areas that digital can be a huge force,” Hass says. “As we look at our lists and say, “OK, these are the people who haven’t voted, these are the people we need to focus our attention on.”

Then supporters are asked to apply social pressure on friends, neighbors or family members.

“You may not listen to me but you may listen to your mom. So if your mom is a Quinn supporter, [she] may say: ‘Gotta get those kids out to the early vote location,’ ” Hass says. “What we found in 2012, there were some people we just couldn’t reach on the phone. We found that social media and through the Internet was perhaps the only way we could ever reach them.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


IDOT layoffs could mean lots of lawsuits

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* From the AP’s short version

The unexpected firing of 58 state workers whose jobs were improperly filled with politic considerations probably won’t end the controversy for Gov. Pat Quinn.

His aides announced the firings last week ahead of a report saying more than 250 people had been improperly hired at the Department of Transportation over the last decade.

Agency officials said previously that they’d avoid dismissing any of the 250 workers because it could lead to expensive lawsuits.

* From the long version

(O)n Friday, IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell said keeping the employees on the payroll would have required creating new positions for them that were covered by the hiring rules.

“We determined that … eliminating the staff assistant position was the best path forward to ensure integrity,” he said.

Carl Draper, a Springfield-based attorney who represented the 16 employees who sued Blagojevich, said it wouldn’t be inconceivable for the 58 employees to argue in court that the inspector general found they were doing work protected by the Rutan rules, so they can’t be fired without cause. Key to his case was showing “the jury that there was no material reorganization.”

“It sounds to me more like [in this case] the material reorganization is, ‘We’re firing all the people that the [news media have] now reported as having gotten Rutan-protected jobs and we shouldn’t have hired them that way,” Draper said.

The terminations also render moot a time-consuming, months-long process the administration says it had undertaken to reclassify the IDOT jobs.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


Grand jury subpoenas Lavin’s e-mails

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* Tribune

A federal grand jury subpoenaed emails of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s former chief of staff and two other onetime top aides as a criminal probe into a botched $54.5 million anti-violence grant program continues ahead of the November election.

The subpoenas, disclosed by the Quinn administration in response to a Tribune open records request, shows the grand jury asking the state for the emails of Jack Lavin, who served as Quinn’s chief operating officer and later as his chief of staff until departing state government last September.

The July 28 subpoenas were requested by Timothy Bass, an assistant U.S. attorney in Springfield who has prosecuted government grant fraud cases. In May, Bass used a subpoena to request the emails of five other key players in the anti-violence program, including the now-retired aide who ran it for Quinn. […]

Also subpoenaed were the emails of Billy Ocasio, a former 26th Ward alderman who served as Quinn’s senior adviser on social justice issues. Ocasio, who worked for the Illinois Housing Development Authority after Quinn’s election, left state government last year.

In addition to the emails of top Quinn advisers, a separate subpoena seeks all records from the state Department of Human Services involving any anti-violence program in which the agency worked with the former Illinois Violence Prevention Authority or the current Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

* The Sun-Times has the Quinn response

A Quinn spokesman said the records being sought by prosecutors are records the governor’s office already was asked to provide to the Legislative Audit Commission as part of its ongoing probe spurred by a February audit of the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative by state Auditor General William Holland.

“The governor has zero tolerance for any mismanagement and took decisive action to fix the problems long ago,” Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman said Saturday, repeating the stance Quinn has taken since the first word of the NRI probes. “The program has been shut down for nearly two years, we enacted legislation that would make Illinois a national leader for grant oversight, and the governor has ordered all state agencies to fully support any inquiries. If any grantee has done anything wrong, they should be held fully accountable.”

* Rauner in the Trib

At a downtown news conference, Rauner sought to link his call for term limits to a grand jury probe of Quinn’s $54.5 million anti-violence grant program as well as a new watchdog report questioning Quinn administration hiring practices at the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“Illinois is suffering so badly under our career politicians with massive corruption and massive failure to improve the quality of life for the families of our state,” said Rauner […]

“This goes right to the heart of Quinn’s administration…You can’t get any more close to Pat Quinn personally that Jack Lavin,” Rauner said.

He’s probably right about that last point. Lavin was Quinn’s deputy treasurer, then was the governor’s chief operating officer before moving up to chief of staff. He also worked for Tony Rezko and did a stint at DCEO under Blagojevich. But he survived both of those gigs without a single blemish.

^ Quinn’s response to Rauner in the Trib

Later, Quinn said the Rauner “doesn’t have any credibility at all when it comes to ethics,” a reference to problems at some companies that GTCR, the wealthy Rauner’s former equity firm, had invested in. “So I don’t pay any attention to him when he talks about that issue,” Quinn said.

* Greg Hinz gets the last word

Mr. Quinn says he cleaned up the program when he heard of the problems — just like he’s now abolished the position of “staff assistant” at IDOT and fired those still on the payroll.

But that’s not going to keep the grand jury from doing its thing. Nor may it stop General Assembly panels from resuming their own review after mid-October. (Prosecutors asked the Legislature to hold off until then lest the federal probe be compromised.)

Even more important, the issue is back on Page 1, and Mr. Rauner likely will be able to keep it there. In the same way that I’ve challenged Mr. Rauner to take responsibility for some of the mess-ups that occurred in companies owned by his former investment company, GTCR LLC, it’s fair to ask Mr. Quinn to take responsibility for what occurred on his watch.

Pat Quinn would much rather be talking about what he sees as a recovering economy and “billionaire Bruce Rauner.” But if the past few days are any indication, another subject is going to be on the agenda, too.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      


Another media slam on Quinn’s anti-violence program

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* Look, there are no magic solutions for all of Chicago’s violence problems. If there were, then the violence would’ve already stopped. So pointing out one failure may be politically fun, but what we really need to find out is if Gov. Quinn’s 2010 program made any inroads at all

When Gov. Pat Quinn invested millions of state dollars into his now-tainted Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, one aim was to steer kids away from crime while putting a little spending money in their pockets.

Shaquille Wilson allegedly didn’t get that money the way Quinn’s administration envisioned when rolling out the 2010 anti-violence program with a promise of “economic opportunity” for young people in the city’s most violent neighborhoods.

During the program’s first full year in 2011, Wilson underwent NRI-funded mentoring through a West Side legal advocacy organization, the Lawndale Christian Legal Center, and was given a state-funded, part-time job to tout a message of anti-violence in North Lawndale, state records show.

But in December of that year, Wilson, then 17 and a student at Westside Holistic Leadership Academy, was arrested and accused of being part of a burglary ring that hit six homes in Riverside and North Riverside, state and court records show.

His lawyer says he’s innocent and has completed high school and managed to find work.

* This could be problematic if the lawyer isn’t telling the truth, however

After being charged with four burglaries, Wilson was shifted into Lawndale Christian Legal Center’s NRI-funded re-entry program and has been represented in Cook County Circuit Court by the organization, records show.

The group received nearly $86,000 in NRI funding from Quinn’s administration, though Wilson’s lawyer said that none of that money has been used in his defense.

* Rauner’s response

“Quinn said it was all about fighting violence and fighting criminal behavior,” Rauner said. “But it looks like some of his NRI program money was given to a criminal and some of that money was used to defend that criminal — it looks like.”

Not to get too into the semantics weeds here, but burglary isn’t necessarily a violent crime.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


Rate Rauner’s new TV ad

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* From a press release…

After the Illinois Supreme Court sided with Quinn-Madigan against nearly 600,000 Illinoisans who signed a petition to put term limits on the November ballot, Bruce Rauner’s campaign for governor today launched a new television ad urging voters to hold Pat Quinn and Mike Madigan accountable for opposing Rauner’s term limits initiative.

“Pat Quinn, Mike Madigan and the Springfield crowd don’t care what you think – they’ll say or do anything to keep power,” Rauner says in the new 30-second spot entitled “Kick.” “They let term limits get kicked off the ballot, but come November it’s our turn to kick them out of office.”

“Term limits go to the heart of corrupt political self-dealing,” Rauner spokesperson Mike Schrimpf said. “Term limits speak to a governor and a legislature who first promise that a massive tax increase on working families will be temporary, and then break that promise and try to make it permanent. Term limits speak to a governor and legislature who campaign as champions of public schools, and then break that promise and cut half a billion dollars out of public schools, resulting in teacher layoffs and crowded classrooms. And term limits speak to the newest Quinn-Madigan corruption revelations we’ve seen over the last few days – from illegal patronage hiring to federal subpoenas to misuse of taxpayer funds.”

* The ad

* The script…

BRUCE RAUNER: A half million people signed petitions to put term limits on the ballot. Illinois voters overwhelming support term limits, democrats, republicans, and independents. But Pat Quinn, Mike Madigan, and the Springfield crowd don’t care what you think, They’ll say or do anything to keep power. They let term limits get kicked off the ballot but come November it’s our term to kick them out of office.

- Posted by Rich Miller   69 Comments      


*** UPDATED x6 *** Quinn vetoes ridesharing bill

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* The taxi companies were expecting an AV. Nope. Full-on veto. From a press release…

Governor Pat Quinn today vetoed House Bill 4075, also known as the “Uber bill.” The bill would have imposed statewide regulations on commercial ridesharing and prevented local governments across Illinois from adopting rules that fit their respective communities. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to protect consumers, create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.

“The principle of home rule is an important one,” Governor Quinn said. “I am vetoing this legislation because it would have mandated a one-size-fits-all approach to a service that is best regulated at the local level.”

While transportation services are traditionally regulated at the local government level, House Bill 4075 would have limited the ability of home rule units of government to adopt alternative approaches that best fit local needs.

For example, the city of Chicago passed an ordinance that will go into effect Aug. 26, 2014 which establishes a comprehensive set of regulations to ensure ridesharing companies maintain public safety including regulations on licensure, insurance, background checks, vehicle inspections and operating hours for drivers. The ordinance – which is in the process of being implemented – will help ensure these transportation services maintain public safety while keeping the regulation at the appropriate and traditional level of government.

Commercial ridesharing services are provided by drivers who use their personal automobiles to provide transportation services to the public. Customers use an application on their smart phones to order rides offered through these companies such as Uber X, Lyft, Sidecar and others.

Governor Quinn today also vetoed House Bill 5331, which contained related ridesharing regulations.

*** UPDATE 1 *** An hour before this press release was issued, the taxi drivers sent out a media advisory saying “hundreds” of taxi drivers would be demonstrating at the Thompson Center at 11:15 this morning to demand that Quinn sign the bill. Too late, it turns out.

…Adding… And, of course, Bruce Rauner has been urging Quinn to veto the bill for the past month.

The veto message is here. It uses the line “stifle innovation,” which is similar to Rauner’s claim that the bill would stifle competition.

*** UPDATE 2 *** The House sponsor, Rep. Mike Zalewski, responds…

“I’m disappointed that the two bills I worked on this spring to put consumer safety first and provide a fair marketplace for the ridesharing services were vetoed. I disagree with the contention that this should be decided only locally, as these services stretch across city and county lines and the bills would provide important baseline protections that local governments could build upon. Both the main bill and trailer bill received overwhelming support in the House and Senate in the spring. I will now talk with my colleagues and evaluate the best path for moving forward. It is clear to me we need to provide consumers with the assurances they will get to their destinations safely when they use these services.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** Rauner response…

Bruce Rauner campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf issued the following statement regarding Pat Quinn’s decision to veto the anti-ridesharing bill:

“One month after Bruce urged Governor Quinn to veto the anti-ridesharing legislation Pat Quinn finally did the right thing. It’s too bad that Pat Quinn refused to follow Bruce’s lead on term limits and getting rid of the Quinn-Madigan tax hike.”

*** UPDATE 4 *** Mayor Rahm Emanuel…

“I want to thank Governor Quinn for his thoughtful approach to regulating an emerging industry so that new transportation options can flourish in Chicago while consumers are ensured a safe and reliable experience. Beginning next week, the City will implement the commonsense ordinance that passed City Council in May so that rideshare is no longer operating in a regulatory vacuum.”

*** UPDATE 5 *** Lyft…

By vetoing HB 4075 and HB 5551, Governor Quinn has sent a strong message in support of Illinois residents who want access to the convenient and safe transportation options that ridesharing provides. Lyft’s peer-to-peer model enables communities to enjoy affordable and reliable transportation alternatives while creating new economic opportunities for residents.

The legislation – designed to protect entrenched industries and maintain the status quo – would have stifled innovation and reduced consumer choice. We applaud Governor Quinn’s leadership in standing up for consumers’ right to choose ridesharing, which has forged a path for other governors across the country to follow. We look forward to seeing Lyft grow and thrive in Illinois.

*** UPDATE 6 *** Uber…

The veto of anti-ridesharing legislation today by Governor Quinn shows not only his commitment to affordable transportation choices for Illinois consumers, but his commitment to the thousands of drivers who rely on ridesharing to pay their bills and invest in their communities.

The people of Illinois overwhelmingly support ridesharing – this veto is a victory for them against the influence of Big Taxi. It’s a victory for the more than 85,000 Illinois residents who signed the petition to save ridesharing. It’s a victory for those in underserved neighborhoods who can finally get a ride. And it’s a victory for the teachers, military veterans, college students and thousands of other driver partners who use the Uber platform.

HB 4075 was intended to limit competition and protect the profits of taxi company owners. It would have done nothing to improve the safety of Illinois’ streets and would have limited the growth of transportation alternatives across the state.

Governor Quinn’s embrace of innovation adds to a growing chorus of leaders who understand the benefits of this new industry: higher incomes for drivers, choices for residents and visitors who need a ride, lower DUI rates, service in neighborhoods that have been ignored by taxi companies for decades, and economic opportunities in cities of all sizes.

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      


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