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Final thoughts before calling it a night

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* Bruce Rauner is heading to the relatively sparsely populated Downstate on the final weekend of the campaign. Gov. Quinn just started running a deliberately incendiary ad on black radio stations for the campaign’s home stretch.

Does it look to any of you like maybe both of these guys have some base issues?

- Posted by Rich Miller   59 Comments      


*** UPDATED x3 - Script *** Quinn airs radio ad of Rauner joking about being “scared” of four African-Americans

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* Audio from an obscure YouTube video is playing on African-American radio stations in Chicago as part of a new and destined to be highly controversial ad.

I’ve heard tons of buzz since late this afternoon, but I don’t yet have the ad. I asked the Quinn campaign earlier today and received no response, so I spent the last three hours listening to WVON trying to record it, but it never came on. I gave up. And then John V. Moore tweeted out the video.

Watch it

* Transcript…

“Four African-American TSA guards, big guys, came and they rushed up to me. They looked like they played for the Bears.

“They said ‘Hey!’ I said [hands raised] “Wow, I’m not carrying my gun, what’s going on? Hold, what?’ [Laughter] They said ‘Hey! You’re running for governor.’ I said ‘Yes, I am, you scared me, don’t do that.’”

That video was posted last month. It’s unclear who’s behind the YouTube account.

* I asked Moore if he recalled anything about the rest of the radio ad…

“Yeah, it’s an African American male voice over. He said the audio was captured at a Republican or conservative event. After the audio the voice over mentions that Rauner has funded organizations that are trying to impeach President Obama.”

And, he said, it’s a Taxpayers for Quinn spot. That was finally confirmed by the Quinn campaign tonight.

* I asked the Rauner campaign for comment a couple of hours ago, and recently sent them the YouTube link. I’ll let you know what they say.

*** UPDATE 1 *** The Quinn campaign sent over the script…

Here’s Republican Billionaire Bruce Rauner, telling a story, at a recent conservative Republican fundraiser.

    “Four African-American TSA Security Guards, big guys, they rushed up to me, they looked like they played for the Bears. I was like, they said “HEY!” I thought Wow, I’m not carrying my gun, what’s going on? They said “HEY you’re running for Governor.” I said, “Yes I am, you scared me, don’t do that.”

If that’s the kind of story Bruce Rauner tells behind closed-doors at a Republican fundraiser, what’s it going to be like if he’s in the Governor’s mansion?

Rauner poured money into right-wing groups that are campaigning to impeach President Obama. And Rauner wants to legalize deadly assault weapons and cut the minimum wage.

We need a Governor like Pat Quinn who’s stood up for us – fighting for people’s rights and dignity – with courage and respect.

Gov. Quinn: “Taxpayers for Quinn paid for this message because there’s so much at stake.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** Updated with comment from the governor’s campaign…

Our ad includes Bruce Rauner in his own words.

This is just another example of Mr. Rauner saying one thing privately in front of an all-Republican audience and another thing publicly in the city of Chicago. People can judge for themselves whether his comments are appropriate or not.

Also, remember this guy?…


*** UPDATE 3 *** Not that it really matters, because there was no real reason for him to mention their race (and he usually doesn’t when he tells this story), but here’s the full video…


- Posted by Rich Miller   112 Comments      


Karen Lewis endorses Chuy Garcia for mayor

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* Tribune

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis released a video Friday night throwing her support behind Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia as he prepares to challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel in late February.

Lewis had been preparing her own run for mayor before being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor a few weeks ago. The video features Lewis wearing a fashionable head covering and offering her endorsement of Garcia in a series of jump cuts.

* The video

* Sun-Times

Garcia is the keynote speaker at the CTU’s 2014 Legislators and Educators Appreciation Dinner Friday night.

Also running for Chicago mayor against Emanuel is Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd).

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


Friday night TV ad rating

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* Bruce Rauner’s latest closer

- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Proft responds to HRO

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

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Quinn, Rauner head downstate

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* It’s my tradition to keep the blog open on the last weekend before a general election. I can’t promise many posts. I have to be in Chicago for the pre-election party I host every couple of years, so we’ll see what happens. And, for sure don’t expect anything early Sunday morning.

I used to keep comments open every weekend, but some of y’all would have a few adult beverage on a Friday or Saturday night and then would come home and comment away, sometimes angrily.

Please, refrain from doing that. Thanks.

* OK, on to the story from David Ormsby

Downstate Illinois is getting a big chunk of time from gubernatorial candidates in the 2014 campaign’s final weekend.

With polls showing that Republican Downstate dominance somewhat slipping in the race for Illinois governor, both Governor Pat Quinn and GOP challenger Bruce Rauner are or will be in the region this weekend, starting on Friday.

The governor started his day in Chicago, but then headed to UIUC to award some education and agriculture grants, then traveled to Mount Vernon and Edwardsville to hand out even more money. He’s in the Quad Cities this weekend for a rally with FLOTUS.

Rauner’s schedule has him in 14 cities over the next three days, with 11 of those towns outside the collar counties. He’ll be in southern Illinois, Quincy, Lawrenceville, Carmi, Harrisburg, and Marion on Saturday. On Sunday, he will be in Chicago and a suburban town, but then travels to East Alton and Peoria. On Monday, Jim Edgar and Rauner swing through Bloomington, Springfield, Moline, Rockford, and Lincolnshire.

* Back to Ormsby

Recent polling has shown that Rauner has been underperforming the 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee, Bill Brady, who captured 59% of the Downstate vote. Rauner is drawing as little as 45% up to 53% in surveys.

Rauner’s poorer showing Downstate is partly reflected by the presence of Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Chad Grimm on the November 4 ballot. According to a recent Illinois Observer poll, Grimm is drawing 8.5% of the Downstate vote, a fact that is hurting the GOP nominee.

Rauner’s weekend schedule of stops in Southern, Central, Western and Northern Illinois is the starkest signal yet of the concerns by his campaign about the GOP base. The wealthy venture capitalist had intended to pry a higher than average share of votes out of Chicago from disenchanted Democrats to build a winning coalition. That strategy depended on support from a robust GOP base in Southern and Central Illinois in order to free him to focus his energy on poaching votes in Chicago.

…Adding… Keep in mind, however, that Rauner could just be making one last pass to fire up the base. While most of the vote is around Chicago, and he does need to be there (and will be, and will get his face on TV), it’s not a guaranteed sign of weakness.

- Posted by Rich Miller   50 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - HRO responds to Proft

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

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Emptying out my in-box

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* Simon Edelman’s closer is pretty darned good

* In other news, Gov. Pat Quinn held a press conference today at a Chicago training center for new school “Safe Passage” workers. Some reporters surmised that it had more to do with politics than with an official governmental event…


* So, they played a little hardball

While Mayor Rahm Emanuel let politics trump friendship in backing Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn over Republican challenger Bruce Rauner, Quinn didn’t return the favor Friday when asked if Emanuel deserves another term in office.

“I am going to deal with my election on Tuesday, there will be plenty of time to talk about that,” Quinn told reporters after appearing with Emanuel at a training session that turned into a political rally for hundreds of new Safe Passage workers hired by Chicago Public Schools.

* Listen

* Meanwhile, Rauner is hitting the road. AP

Former Gov. Jim Edgar will campaign with fellow Republican Bruce Rauner as Rauner makes his final push to become Illinois’ next governor.

Edgar is scheduled to join Rauner Monday in Bloomington, Springfield, Moline, Rockford and the Chicago suburbs. […]

Edgar supported then-state Sen. Kirk Dillard in the GOP primary. He says in a statement Friday that after 12 years of Democratic governors “voters are eager for change” and Rauner is “exactly what Illinois needs.”

* Sun-Times

In the closing days of toss-up campaigns, Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill., is stumping with GOP governor nominee Bruce Rauner and former Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., at events in his old north suburban House district, turf where Kirk has the strongest coattails.

On Saturday morning, Kirk— a Highland Park resident, in the 10th district — and Rep. Peter Roskam R-Ill. are featured at a Dold get-out-the-vote rally at the Lincolnshire Marriott, in the heart of the 10th congressional district where Dold is in a tight battle with Rep. Brad Schneider D-Ill.

On Monday night, Kirk will be the featured guest at Rauner’s final GOTV rally of the campaign Monday night in the 10th District, which could also provide a boost to Dold. Rauner’s race with Gov. Pat Quinn is winding up in a dead heat.

Kirk is also doing a recorded call targeting suburban voters, urging a vote for Bruce.

* Other stuff from my in-box or keeping my browser tabs open…

* For Rauner and GOP, magic number in Illinois House is 1

* NYT: Voters in Illinois Governor’s Race to Choose ‘Failure’ or the ‘Billionaire’

* Pipefitters union puts up billboard supporting Emanuel

* Chicago dominates top of state list with elite schools, with a catch

* Schilling distributes tabloid mailer as race against Bustos nears finish line

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      


Vast Majority of Illinois Voters Support Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

[The following is a paid advertisement]

Based on a recent poll of registered voters in Illinois, there is overwhelming support for increasing the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Illinois:

    - 95% of voters support energy efficiency
    - More than 80% of voters support development of wind and solar energy

Nearly 100,000 workers in Illinois are employed in clean energy jobs. They are manufacturing wind and solar equipment; they are building and operating clean energy projects; and they are installing and upgrading energy efficiency systems that cut energy use and reduce electricity bills for Illinois families and businesses. That’s why:

    • More than 65% of Illinoisans believe renewable energy and energy efficiency will create jobs in Illinois.
    • More than 68% believe renewable energy and energy efficiency stabilize or reduce energy costs.

Voters prioritize a clean energy future.

    - 84% of voters want to move towards cleaner sources of energy.
    - 92% of voters support diverse energy sources rather than relying on just a few.


The message from Illinoisans is clear: Legislators should prioritize voter-supported renewable energy and energy efficiency and support policies that maximize job creation in Illinois’ clean energy economy.

The survey was completed by a bipartisan research team of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) and Public Opinion Strategies. More info on this poll is available at ilenviro.org/cleanenergypoll.

- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      


Inducement or just a party?

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* As we’ve discussed before, state law is pretty clear about offering inducements to register or vote…

Sec. 29-1. Vote buying.

Any person who knowingly gives, lends or promises to give or lend any money or other valuable consideration to any other person to influence such other person to vote or to register to vote or to influence such other person to vote for or against any candidate or public question to be voted upon at any election shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.

* So, was this rally illegal?…



* Before you answer, the rally was held just 89 feet from the county building, the only early voting location in Pike County. It’s almost right next door. The flier was sent to me by a Republican, by the way.

I called the number on the flier and the guy on the other end didn’t say much. I called and e-mailed the state’s attorney and left a message, but he hasn’t responded.

* I reached out to noted election law attorney Burt Odelson, and his response, in a nutshell, was yes, it’s illegal because it clicked all the legal switches.

* This is the only response I’ve received from the Pittsfield area…

Please find the Pike County Democrats response to your inquiry. On October 25th the Pike County Democrats held a Democrat rally. We were pleased with the turn out and we’re happy with the event. We had people at the event who had already voted, people who who planned to vote later, and people who were voting on election day. Everyone was welcome at the event. Thank you for your interest in the pike County Democrats.

Rick Toumbs

* But as usual with these things, another election law attorney I consulted, a Democrat, said it could go either way…

It can be argued that it is a rally and that people are eligible for a prize for going to the rally and not for voting. Or one could argue that it is for voting.

But the mailer says door prizes which would appear to make them attendance prizes.

He also hinted that he doubted the state’s attorney would do anything, since he’s on the flier.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      


Question of the day

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* The ILGOP is running a TV ad touting Bruce Rauner’s support for “employer-provided birth control,” which is in response to a Personal PAC ad saying Rauner opposes it.

While airing those ads, the ILGOP is sending out mailers and doing robocalls blasting Libertarian Chad Grimm for being for gay marriage and belonging to a party that’s pro-choice.

* Meanwhile, Gov. Quinn’s running mate and other Democrats are holding a press conference blasting Rauner for essentially paying for those ILGOP pro-life, anti gay marriage mailers.

But the ILGOP is sending those mailers and doing those robocalls because some labor unions, which are also huge Quinn supporters, are spending big bucks to bolster the Libertarian Grimm by hammering Rauner in mail and robocalls for being pro-choice and anti-gun.

Got all that?

Good…

* The Question: Have you lost your mind yet? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


survey software

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      


UPDATE: $580 MILLION EXELON RATE HIKE?? Do They Really Need a Bailout After Making Nearly $1 BILLION In The Last 90 Days?

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

“Chicago-based Exelon’s profit rose 26 percent in the third quarter…The country’s largest owner of nuclear power plants, Exelon reported net income of $993 million…”[Chicago Tribune, October 29, 2014 – emphasis added]

Just this past week, a Crain’s analysis revealed that contrary to their claims, Exelon may not be in dire straits after all:

“The analysis…raises questions about whether the state effectively will be asked to compel ratepayers to subsidize a profitable enterprise.” [Crain’s, October 27, 2014 – emphasis added]

Illinois’ businesses and citizens are still struggling. The last thing we need is a massive rate increase to bail out Exelon nuclear plants built during the Nixon administration and already paid for several times by ratepayers.

Even ComEd, Exelon’s own sister company, doesn’t agree with subsidized generation at above-market prices:

“ComEd has long believed that competitive markets will work in the best interests of our customers…so we are concerned about the negative impact on our customers from a requirement that would force utilities to buy subsidized generation at above-market prices.” [Crain’s Chicago Business, November 20, 2013]

Just Say No To Exelon’s $580 Million Rate Hike!!

- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      


Very late Rauner oppo

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* Likely too late to make any difference and maybe not even enough to get picked up by any other media outlets. Click here and here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      


*** UPDATED x2 *** And speaking of abortion…

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* As noted below, the IL GOP is paying for a new TV ad touting Bruce Rauner’s support of employer birth control coverage. As we’ve already discussed, the IL GOP is also spending big bucks attacking the Libertarian Party candidate Chad Grimm on social issues. Greg Hinz has more

GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner frequently has said he “has no social agenda” on hot button issues such as gay marriage and abortion, even emphasizing through his wife, Diana Rauner, that he in fact is pro-choice. But in the final days of his campaign, his money is saying something else.

In the past 24 hours, Rauner-funded flyers and robocalls have surfaced that savage another candidate for governor, Libertarian Chad Grimm, for backing same-sex marriage and legal abortion. Republican insiders fear that Mr. Grimm’s small-government message is playing well in conservative sections of the state and could take away votes that otherwise would go to Mr. Rauner.

“Libertarian Chad Grimm’s party supports gay marriage,” says the flyer, which was passed on to me by a Burr Ridge resident who got it in the mail yesterday. A similar phone message that also was also passed on to me says, “His party’s 100 percent pro-choice.”

Both the flyer and the calls were paid for by the Illinois Republican Party.

Mr. Rauner’s campaign, in a statement, denied any responsibility.

“This is not a Bruce Rauner mail piece,” said a spokesman, later extending his comment to cover the robocall after I emailed him a copy. “Bruce doesn’t have a social agenda — he’s pro-choice, comfortable with the existing marriage law and doesn’t seek to change it.”

But it’s impossible to believe that the state party would have send out either communication without the approval from Mr. Rauner. He’s contributed at least $4.5 million to the state party since summer — comprising 80 percent of the party’s total receiptss in the quarter ended Sept. 30. And he largely was responsible for the selection of Tim Schneider as the party’s chairman earlier this year. The previous chairman, Pat Brady, was forced out in part because of a flap over his support for same-sex marriage.

* From the Quinn campaign…

Directly disproving his claim that he “has no social agenda,” Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner is spending millions of dollars attacking reproductive freedom and marriage equality. Crain’s Chicago is reporting that Rauner is bankrolling anti-choice, anti-marriage equality efforts and advertisements. Rauner has sought to hide his beliefs from voters throughout the campaign. Quinn for Illinois communications director Brooke Anderson responded:

“Just days before the election, Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner’s true colors are showing - he really does oppose a woman’s right to choose and equal marriage rights.

“Mr. Rauner cannot be trusted to look out for women’s reproductive freedom and equal marriage rights when in fact he’s spending millions of dollars attacking those freedoms.

“Under Governor Quinn’s leadership, our state has made real progress from enacting marriage equality to one of the strongest pay equity laws in the nation.

“Mr. Rauner’s out-of-touch social agenda would be a setback for women and families in Illinois.”

*** UPDATE 1 *** More from the Quinn campaign…

Quinn for Illinois Media Advisory

**Friday, October 31, 2014**

CHICAGO – Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor Paul Vallas will be joined by women leaders and legislators to discuss Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner’s real position opposing a woman’s right to choose and marriage equality. Crain’s Chicago is reporting that Rauner is bankrolling anti-choice, anti-marriage equality advertisements in the closing days of the campaign.

WHEN: 2 p.m.

WHERE: Personal PAC - 7th Floor

134 N. LaSalle St.

Chicago, 60602

*** UPDATE 2 *** From a press release…

Equality Illinois today condemns Republican nominee for governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois Republican Party for attacking a rival candidate for supporting marriage equality and women’s rights.

The campaign tactic was funded by Rauner despite his protestations that he has no social agenda, Crain’s Chicago Business reports today.

A flyer and robocalls put out by the Rauner-funded Illinois Republican Party attack Libertarian nominee for governor, Chad Grimm, who Republicans fear will siphon votes from Rauner and help Gov. Pat Quinn win re-election. The article and a copy of the flyer can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/Rauner-Anti-Gay.

“This is just the latest evidence of Bruce Rauner showing his true conservative social agenda and his opposition to marriage equality for same-sex couples. It is condemnable and unsurprising at the same time,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.

“We’ve exposed his repeated statements against marriage equality when he thought he was only speaking to conservative audiences. Now, there is one more direct evidence of Bruce Rauner money funding an anti-marriage equality mailer,” Cherkasov said. “It is clear for all that Bruce Rauner has no moral compass, and will say anything to win, and that makes him unqualified to be Governor of the Land of Abraham Lincoln.”

* Related…

* Associated Press: Gay marriage, abortion issues take back seat in governor’s race

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      


GOP defends Rauner on “employer-provided birth control”

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* As I told subscribers a few days ago, Personal PAC is running a new TV ad…

The spot begins with television news coverage of the “Hobby Lobby” decision, which allowed most businesses to opt out of providing birth control coverage in their employee health insurance. “Is it right for your boss to decide if your birth control is covered?” the ad continues. “Now you get to decide by voting ‘Yes’ to require Illinois health insurers to cover birth control.”

The ad then moves on to the Republican nominee. “Where does Bruce Rauner stand? He donated millions to right-wing groups and politicians who oppose birth control coverage. Vote ‘Yes’ for birth control coverage and vote ‘No’ on Bruce Rauner.”

* The ad

* Well, the Illinois Republican Party has a new TV ad which calls the Personal PAC spot “Totally false”…

The truth? Bruce Rauner supports employer-provided birth control. Always has.

* Watch

Notice, however, that the ad doesn’t say Rauner supports the actual ballot measure.

Even so, that could make some conservative heads explode.

This is a substantial buy, I’m told.

* Meanwhile, some unknown somebodies have produced a slick new online video attacking Personal PAC’s Terry Cosgrove

* Cosgrove sent me an e-mail yesterday in which he says he isn’t the one endorsing candidates…

The Personal PAC Board of Directors votes on all endorsements (I am not a board member) after agreeing on the attached candidate questionnaire language, reviewing all other pertinent information, bringing all new candidates in for a personal interview, or conducts phone interviews for those living far from Chicago. Usually, upward of 20 board members participate in the candidates interviews and take that responsibility very seriously.

After the board officially votes to endorse candidates and sets priorities based on financial projections, it asks that the staff, of which I am one, to implement our program to get our endorsed candidates elected. We in no way attempt to hide or “distort” our process or intentions. […]

The problem for the right-wing is that there are two kinds of anti-choice candidates: those who want to hide their views from everyone except the right-wing and those who think they are clever enough to get away with it. At least they should be honest about that point.

Candidates are, indeed, warned that a non-response is considered to be 100 percent anti pro-choice. Check out the group’s questionnaire by clicking here. The warning about non-response isn’t in the “fine print,” it’s right at the top. A sample letter is here. And this stuff is sent by registered mail several times.

And the group has also spent a fortune protecting pro-choice Republicans and has often attacked Democrats. It’s not as partisan as the video above makes it appear.

* Despite all this, and despite the fact that Cosgrove raises millions of dollars every cycle and has a pretty strong win-loss record, candidates still evade the questionnaire and then scream when they’re attacked. For instance, from House candidate Leslie Munger…

Bolstered by an infusion of campaign cash with only four days until the November 4th election, State Representative Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) has moved her negative attacks into high gear, accusing first-time candidate Leslie Munger (R-Lincolnshire) of allowing sexual assaults on women, not protecting women from rape and incest and saying Munger will “stick it to our families.”

In their endorsement of Leslie Munger, the Chicago Tribune called Sente’s campaign, “one of the most disgusting campaigns in the state.” Sente appears to be living up to her reputation.

In the past two weeks, Rep. Sente has received $173,523 from Mike Madigan and the Illinois Democratic Party and an additional $13,873 from Personal PAC, a Springfield lobbying group headed by Terry Cosgrove. In a two-day period, Personal PAC sent four direct mail pieces and directed robo-calls into the 59th district telling people that Leslie Munger would vote for a law that would hurt women who had been sexually assaulted.

The Democratic Party of Illinois also sent three direct mail pieces on behalf of Sente with pictures of young women with captions including “What if I am raped?” and “Leslie Munger will stick it to our families,” claiming Munger would take away a women’s right to choose “even in the case of rape, incest and when the life or health of the mother is at risk.”

Munger has vehemently denied all of the allegations as intentional and malicious lies intended to smear her integrity, misrepresent her views and distract voters from issues Munger has focused on throughout her campaign.

“I believe in freedom and that it is not the role of government to interfere with a woman’s personal health choice,” Munger stated, “I corrected Rep. Sente when she misstated my views on this topic during our Daily Herald endorsement interview which was videotaped. It’s clear she believes it is ok to misrepresent my view on women’s reproductive rights and perpetuate falsehoods to her constituents.”

Notice how she never describes herself as “pro-choice”? She dances close, but can’t quite commit.

- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Friday morning fundraising report

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

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It’s not anything new, but that doesn’t make it Kosher

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* The Tribune editorial board commented today on a DCEO spokesman’s admission this week that the agency is trying to get new project announcements out the door before election day. You remember that one, right?

“We have a good story to tell — and do I want to tell it before Nov. 4? Yes. Is that a crime?”

* From the Trib

As Crain’s pointed out: Quinn committed $22 million to four companies this month alone.

Did taxpayers get snookered in the rush to roll out these projects before Nov. 4? Did the companies slyly extort especially sweet packages, knowing that Team Quinn faced a pre-election deadline to get the deals done?

Those are good questions for Gov. Quinn. Inquiring Illinois taxpayers surely want to know.

Yes, those are good questions.

* But back to the DCEO spokesman for a minute. Longtime commenter “Soccermom” made this valid point the other day

Being an effective government spokesperson is not actually intuitive — you need to learn (preferably not the hard way) that whenever somebody mentions an election, you refer them to the campaign office. Boom. End of story.

It’s not an issue of “telling the truth.” It’s an issue of knowing where your paycheck comes from. And when you work for the State, your paycheck comes from the residents of Illinois — no matter who they vote for, or even if they vote.

Are the people of Illinois paying you to comment on the election? No, they are not. They are paying you to let them know what the State is doing with their money. That’s your job. Period.

Yep.

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


Polling averages, models, projections, etc.

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* Huffington Post

* Real Clear Politics

* Talking Points Memo

* Bing.com

* USA Today

* ElectionProjection.com

* 270toWin.com

* More from Sabato

That brings us to the seven Toss-ups. Because we now expect overtime in Georgia, we are calling that race a Toss-up, but at the end of the day it would be surprising if the Democrats ultimately won that seat. Also, and while we are keeping these races as Toss-ups in our ratings, it appears that Govs. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Pat Quinn (D-IL) have stabilized their positions, and they seem to have better than even odds to win second, full terms. So that’s three of the seven Toss-ups where we think the incumbent party is positioned to hold on, though we have not made picks yet and we reserve the right to change our minds before the end. Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-CO) seeming decline, in particular, could really hurt Hickenlooper.

Gut feeling?

- Posted by Rich Miller   163 Comments      


Today’s number: $3.5 million

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* I told subscribers about this earlier in the week

A race for a seat in the Illinois Senate representing the Quad-Cities has become the most expensive legislative election in state history.

According to state campaign finance reports, the 36th Senate District battle between Democratic state Sen. Mike Jacobs of East Moline and Republican challenger Neil Anderson of Rock Island has topped the $3.5 million mark as the two hurtle toward the Nov. 4 election.

That figure, according to political scientist Kent Redfield, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois-Springfield, beats a record-breaking 2010 Senate race in which $2.7 million was raised in the contest in which Republican challenger Sam McCann of Carlinville beat then-state Sen. Deanna Demuzio.

The Jacobs-Anderson tilt comes just two years after Jacobs was involved in another expensive race, when more than $2 million was raised in his contest against Republican Bill Albrecht.

…Adding… But that’s a relative pittance compared to the governor’s race…



- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


Rauner makes “Top 10″ robocall list

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* From the New York Times

NoMoRobo, a free service, allows VOIP customers to sign up to block political robocalls, which get around the national “Do Not Call List” because they fall under the nonprofit clarification.

The service’s founder, Aaron Foss, put together a list for First Draft of the top 10 offenders:

* The list

No. 1: Presidential Coalition (an affiliate of the nonprofit conservative group Citizens United).
No. 2: N.R.A.
No. 3: Crossroads GPS (founded by Karl Rove).
No. 4: Democrats for Senator Mark Warner and John Foust (a House candidate in Virginia).
No. 5: Newt Gingrich Tax Policy Center.
No. 6: National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer (a Citizens United affiliate).
No. 7: Citizens United.
No. 8: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
No. 9: Larry Hogan, Republican nominee for governor in Maryland.
No. 10: Bruce Rauner, Republican nominee for governor in Illinois.

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Cable TV buy report and a spending update

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

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

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

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Good morning!

Friday, Oct 31, 2014

* Whatever happens next Tuesday, whoever wins, whoever loses, whatever this beautifully insane state ends up looking like, we’ll still have Neil Young and Eddie Vedder

Don’t feel like Satan,
but I am to them

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


Ginning up the base

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* From the IL GOP…

The Illinois Republican Party sent a second “voter fraud alert” robocall to Illinois Republicans this afternoon, following a new round of questionable issues at polling locations, including an admitted “vote buying” attempt by a Chicago Alderwoman.

“This election is far too important for the Democrats to get away with their attempts to rig the election for Pat Quinn,” said Tim Schneider, Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. “We deserve a change from the Democrats’ corruption and ‘same-old, same-old’ failures in our state.”

* Robocall script…

Hello, this is Chairman Tim Schneider calling Republicans with another important voter alert. Across the state we’re seeing electronic voting machines that automatically switch a vote from Republican to Democrat. We’re also seeing news reports of Democrats offering money and prizes for votes. Tampering with voting machines and vote-buying is illegal - it’s a felony, and we’re going to make sure anyone who does it gets prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But we need your help. If you see something, say something. If you suspect your voting machine was mis-calibrated or you see offers of money for votes, call our voter fraud hotline at 312-201-9000. Don’t let the Democrats steal this election - get out and vote, and help us stop voter fraud. This call was paid for by the Illinois Republican Party. 312-201-9000.

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      


Cool new online stuff

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* We Ask America has a new turnout effect calculator. It looks pretty cool, and it ought to because I had a little input into how it was built. From the explanation

The calculator splits Illinois into four regions (Chicago, Suburban Cook Co., Collar Counties and Downstate) and we preset the turnout in each of those areas to match the 2010 midterm turnout. Of course, you can change those anyway you want. We’ve also populated the vote splits with our latest poll results, but you can wipe that out and put your own numbers. After you twiddle the numbers, click the submit button to see what it does to the final results. The whole thing is designed to fit on an iPad, and we included a RESET button to put all the numbers back to presets.

With the Illinois governor’s race as tight as it seems, this shows how tweaking a few numbers effects the final result. Instructions are on the page (just click on the INSTRUCTIONS button).

Have fun.

Click here to try it out. Post your result in comments and the person who is the closest to all three candidate results will win a steak dinner with Gregg Durham.

Just kidding.

Or not. We’ll see how Gregg reacts to this post.

* Meanwhile, subscribers already know that I’ve endorsed TrackBill, a really well-designed bill tracking system. It constantly scans everything over at LIS and will text or e-mail you right after any sort of legislation is introduced or moves that relates to your interests.

Very cool stuff, but - and this is important - make sure to click on their ad in the center column or click here so this website gets the credit. I love the product, but a guy’s gotta eat.

* Back to politics, the folks at Bing.com would like you to know that they have a fancy new election forecaster. Click here to see how their system sees the Illinois governor’s race playing out.

Have you seen any cool new political apps out there?

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      


It’s just basic mathematics

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Bond expert states the obvious

In Illinois, which has the most underfunded retirement system among U.S. states with a $100 billion uncovered pension liability, incumbent Democratic governor Pat Quinn wants to turn a temporary income tax rise enacted in 2011 into a permanent one.

His Republican opponent Bruce Rauner wants to phase it out and suggests savings instead, such as ending the practice of ramping up state employees’ pay before they retire to boost their pensions.

“The permanence of that tax increase would make it a better credit,” said Peter Hayes, Head of BlackRock’s Municipal Bonds Group, which holds a variety of Illinois-based debt. Hays said that could potentially make the group notch up its exposure to the state’s debt.

* And now, let’s clean out my in-box. AP

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner picked up additional endorsements from newspapers around the state.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan endorsed Quinn on Wednesday, while The Quincy Herald-Whig endorsed Rauner on Thursday.

The Southern described its choice of Quinn as “the devil you know.” The endorsement says Illinois is a “mess” but questions Rauner’s proposals to reduce the state’s income tax and freeze property taxes.

The Herald-Whig says it backs Rauner because the state needs “bold, decisive leadership.”

* Pat Quinn’s latest 15-second TV ad

* Tribune

First lady Michelle Obama will appear Saturday in Moline at a get-out-the-vote rally for three Democrats: Gov. Pat Quinn, Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Cheri Bustos.

All three are running for re-election Tuesday and face Republican challenges.

* BND

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will attend a rally Sunday in East Alton for GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner.

* Not playing well in the sandbox

In a press release today, the Illinois Conservatives Facebook page announced they are recommending that Illinois conservatives vote for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner in Tuesday’s election.

The announcement caused division within the Facebook page’s leadership. Two longtime conservatives on the board - Downstate businessman Brian Milleville and attorney Sharee Langenstein - resigned after the board voted by 70 percent to endorse Rauner.

* I’ve been warning the GOP about this for a while now. Sending voting reminder notices to Democrats is not a good idea…


* Speaking of the twitters…


Heh.

* Other stuff that’s keeping my browser tabs open all day…

* Bernard Schoenburg: Bell accuses Scherer of ‘illegally’ taking tax break while he got same exemption

* Even with GOP pushback, Libertarians optimistic in final stretch

* Chicago ad execs on the Bruce Rauner and Pat Quinn ad campaigns

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


$580 MILLION EXELON RATE HIKE?? That’s the price tag for their nuke bailout…EVERY YEAR!

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

“Exelon Corp. is urging state utility regulators to press for changes in power markets that would boost revenue at the company’s Illinois nuclear power fleet by about $580 million.” [Crain’s Chicago Business, September 24, 2014]

Exelon wants a $580 million rate hike!! $580 million…for what??? Even if ratepayers bail out Exelon’s plants with $580 million every year, they won’t even guarantee to keep the plants open.

Illinois’ businesses and citizens are still struggling and the last thing we need is a massive rate increase to bail out Exelon nuclear plants built during the Nixon administration and already paid for several times by ratepayers.

Even ComEd, Exelon’s own sister company, doesn’t agree with subsidized generation at above-market prices:

“ComEd has long believed that competitive markets will work in the best interests of our customers…so we are concerned about the negative impact on our customers from a requirement that would force utilities to buy subsidized generation at above-market prices.” [Crain’s Chicago Business, November 20, 2013]

Yet now Exelon is demanding an annual 580 million dollar bailout from ratepayers—industrial, commercial and residential—because they don’t want to face the risks of the market they championed when it helped Exelon. So much for the “best interests of our customers.”

Just Say No To Exelon’s $580 Million Rate Hike!!

- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      


Schilling sat on racist recording for three months

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* An uproar developed earlier this week when Bobby Schilling released a secretly recorded conversation with a Cheri Bustos congressional district office employee. The employee made some racist remarks about Rockfordians, and then resigned when Bustos found out.

It’s probably no surprise, but the person who made the recording once worked for Schilling’s campaign…

Austin Quick, 33, was paid a $3,792 salary in 2009 to work for Schilling’s 2010 congressional campaign, records show. He currently is a seminary student at Mundelein Seminary in the Chicago suburbs. […]

[Schilling campaign spokesman Jon Schweppe] said no one from the campaign asked Quick to make the recording. In a Facebook post dated the same week the recording was made, Quick posted a photo of Schilling and his wife and remarked on having had dinner together.

Contacted by phone Thursday, Quick would not say why he made the secret recording. Asked whether he was denying having covertly recorded Bustos’ district director, Heidi Schultz, he replied, “I’m saying there’s no proof to that.”

Schultz, who resigned her post Monday, said she was provided a photo of Quick and is certain he is the man who appeared in her Rock Island district office late last year, asking about her boss’ position on abortion.

* Now, there’s no defense for what that employee said. Zero.

However, the story also notes that the guy gave the Schilling campaign the recording three months ago.

Let’s revisit Schilling’s press release from earlier this week…

This recording is particularly revealing and Cheri Bustos has a lot to answer for. The views stated on the recording are a window into a cynical operation that does not respect the people she serves.

But it’s in no way “cynical” to sit on this until a week before the election?

C’mon.

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      


Question of the day

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Two of the three gubernatorial candidates bumped into each other today…


* The Question: Caption?

- Posted by Rich Miller   71 Comments      


Dold campaign celebrates Sabato ratings change

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* From a press release…

Adding to the growing momentum leading into Election Day behind Bob Dold’s (R-10) candidacy for Congress, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball – the nationally recognized nonpartisan Congressional rating system that is housed in the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, upgraded its race rating from “Toss-Up” to “Lean Republican.”

Sabato’s move marks the second time that the leading political handicapper shifted the race in Dold’s direction. View the rating’s change here. The Roll Call newspaper has consistently listed Congressman Schneider as one of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents in the U.S. House of Representatives.

* They did change the rating, but this is what Sabato’s managing editor wrote

Finally, Reps. Brad Schneider (D, IL-10) and Rick Nolan (D, MN-8) are perhaps the best bets to survive on this list, but strong challengers could very well do them in, even on Democratic turf.

* By the way, he also wrote this

We have long said that Rep. Nick Rahall (D, WV-3) is in deep trouble, and we continue to believe that he is the most endangered Democratic House incumbent in the country. Right behind him is Rep. Bill Enyart (D, IL-12), whose southern Illinois seat is trending GOP.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      


Rate “K Text”

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Remember the College Republicans’ “Say Yes To Bruce Rauner “ online ad? Despite huge publicity nationally and locally for the political spoof of a popular cable TV show, it has received fewer than 15,000 views, less than any other state where the ad appeared.

The Quinn campaign’s “Wolf of Winnetka” online ad, which y’all absolutely hated and which got zero earned media, has more than twice as many views as the College GOP ad, 32K+. The follow-up to that “Wolf” ad has almost 24,000 views so far, more than half again as many as the “Say Yes To The Dress” spoof.

I guess there’s no accounting for taste.

* Here’s the new College GOP ad for your amusement. It’s called “K Text”..

Hat tip: Illinois Review.

- Posted by Rich Miller   59 Comments      


Today’s quotable

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* From last night’s debate between Congressman Bill Enyart and Republican challenger Mike Bost Here’s Bost answering a question about corporate personhood

“I believe that corporate…corporate…corporations that are making up this United States are also individuals, that those individuals have rights and therefore the corporations have rights to establish what they believe because if you go…and and we’re talking about Hobby Lobby, but how about if we go down to the family farm which is also incorporated? When we start telling them that, okay, you’re incorporated, now you can’t follow your own religious beliefs. I don’t agree with it and I’m…I’m just adamantly opposed.”

If you watch the video, he received significant applause for that one.

- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      


Frerichs lashes out at outside intervention in campaign

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* From a fundraising pitch by the Frerichs campaign…

Yesterday, the Koch Brothers-backed American Future Fund bought attack ads on 12 downstate radio stations in an attempt to rescue Tom Cross’s Treasurer bid.

This is the same PAC that spent millions to limit labor rights in California and has backed extremist conservative candidates across the nation.

This should come as no surprise, as Tom Cross has time and again put the Koch brothers and other big business interests ahead of Illinois residents. Cross voted against legislation to warn parents of contaminated drinking water and against a bill to protect Lake Michigan from waste dumping, siding with corporate interests.

Don’t let the Koch Brothers buy the State Treasurer’s race! Donate $10, $25, or $30 today so Mike can reform the State Treasurer’s office so that it works for the people of Illinois instead of the special interests!

Thank you!

Team Frerichs

The Koch ties are somewhat tenuous, but, whatever, it’s a fundraising e-mail. You can’t fire people up by screaming “Nick Ryan!”

* Listen to the ad…

* The AFF press release

The American Future Fund Political Action issued a new radio advertisement in support of Illinois Treasurer candidate Tom Cross. The ad focuses on Cross’ experience, bipartisan record, and reform-minded approach to clean up Springfield, stand up to the Governor’s deficit spending, and protect the hard-earned tax dollars of Illinois families.

The ad, titled “Clear Choice,” is airing on radio stations statewide.

Nick Ryan, Chairman of the American Future Fund Political Action, said: “The Illinois state government has become a pool of corruption that is wasting tax dollars for the benefit of corrupt politicians. Time has come for a change in Springfield. There is one candidate in the race for Illinois Treasurer who will stand up and fight this corruption and stand with Illinois voters – and that choice is Tom Cross.”

* The official Frerichs campaign media statement…

Across three decades, when energy companies and polluters have needed a friend in Springfield, Tom Cross has been their man. Tom Cross was one of only a handful of lawmakers to oppose bipartisan legislation backed by Mark Kirk, Barack Obama and even Jim Durkin to prevent toxic sledge from being dumped near Lake Michigan, and Tom Cross voted to allow toxic mercury into the drinking water of millions. Its no surprise the Koch Brothers, who are leading the charge against the environment in Illinois, are coming to rescue their friend Tom Cross.

The group has not yet filed a report with the State Board of Elections.

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


McKeon upset by “hatchet job”

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* From pollster Mike McKeon regarding my opinion of yesterday’s Sun-Times poll story…

Rich, hadn’t seen your hatchet job before I talked to you. If you even bothered to check the cross tabs you would have seen that the reporter was referring to the Southern Illinois section of my poll (below) and not downstate out side the collar counties. If you are calling an area that has St Clair, Madison and Jackson counties in it a traditional Republican strong hold then - I fear- you are snorting pixie dust..

If you believe that social issues - which is all the Dem super pacs are pushing -are more important to women then jobs, good luck. And you think Frerichs is a much more traditional ballot name than Cross? Also the Rauner spokes person is a moron, he has a chance to say Rauner is doing well with women talking jobs and he blasts the down state numbers instead?

As for the “controversial” women’s vote I go with what is there. Whether it is Madigan (see attached) to LaRouche, to Duke in Louisiana, to the recall elections in Colorado last year or showing that Rahm was not viewed favorably - that is what I do - show what’s there when I poll. I know I will take heat when I come out with things like this. Been taking heat for a long time, no problem.

As for your offer to kiss my ass if I am right I will pass- would not be able to tell if your mooning or kissing.it.

All the best Mike

* OK, first of all, I excerpted the Sun-Times story on the Downstate numbers. If he has a beef with that, he should take it up with the Sun-Times.

Secondly, here’s how McKeon explained the highly unusual poll result showing women favored Rauner 55-38

But McKeon stands by the numbers, saying the high percentage of cellphone interviews in his polling captures a better cross-section of women of all ages than other surveys that are more dependant on traditional land lines.

And McKeon said women want to hear more about good-paying jobs and the economy and believe that the Democratic message has been too focused on social issues and the minimum wage.

“Women are in bad shape in the work force and the Democrats, all they’re doing is pushing social issues, overwhelmingly,” McKeon argued.

* Thirdly, notice how he never explains why Quinn is supposedly leading Rauner among men by 23 points, 53-30. I mean, that’s more unusual than the women’s preference. By far.

From the 2010 exit poll

* And lastly, I did indeed tell him yesterday that I would publicly kiss his behind if the exit polls show Quinn winning men by a huge margin and losing women by a huge margin while still managing to win the race. I figured it was a safe bet.

* Also, the attachments he sent are here…

* Regions defined

* 1983 letter from Mike Madigan

* 1980s era article on the LaRouchies

* 1991 articles on David Duke race

* 2013 Colorado recall press release and article

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      


Run away! Run away!

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Rep. Marty Moylan debated his Republican opponent Mel Thillens yesterday

In response to a question from debate moderator Joe Campagna, past president of the Park Ridge chamber, only one candidate said who he is supporting for governor.

“Bruce Rauner’s got to be the guy who goes to the governor’s mansion next,” Thillens said. “We’ve got to change the conversation in Springfield.”

Moylan didn’t declare.

“I’m concentrating on my election. … I’m worried about Marty Moylan.”

* The Rauner campaign react…

“Independent suburban voters are rejecting Pat Quinn and his plan to raise taxes right after the election. You know Pat Quinn’s in serious trouble when members of his own party won’t admit they support his re-election with under a week to go.” - Rauner spokesperson Mike Schrimpf

- Posted by Rich Miller   60 Comments      


*** UPDATED - Quinn response *** Rauner complains that Quinn “stole” his accomplishment

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* From a press release…

“With five days left before a close election, Pat Quinn is so bankrupt of ideas he has to steal one of Bruce Rauner’s accomplishments to get positive press coverage.” – Rauner spokesperson Mike Schrimpf

Fact: Bruce Rauner was an early supporter and helped create the plan for the recently launched UI Labs, a research and commercialization collaborative. The Chicago Tribune reported on it in January 2013:

    “Some students and researchers prefer the city to a smaller community … so this could increase the quality of the faculty,” said Bruce Rauner, a prominent Chicago venture capitalist who has worked on the development of this plan. “This can drive better research.”

The intent is to develop a “junior year abroad program” as well, with the aim of attracting top students from overseas.

Fact: With five days left before a close election, Pat Quinn is so bankrupt of ideas he has to steal one of Bruce Rauner’s accomplishments to get positive press coverage. #desperate #shameless #timeforchange

But that Tribune story also noted

The goal of this project, supported by Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is to retain the next generation of Illinois-trained innovators.

* From February, 2013

The University of Illinois is taking its second big step in a month to sharply increase its involvement in a Chicago-area economy that arguably could use some help.

Gov. Pat Quinn will announce today in his State of the State speech that the Urbana-Champaign school, in partnership with its National Center for Supercomputing Applications and private companies, will be forming an Illinois Manufacturing Lab likely to be located in the central area of Chicago.

* From December, 2013

Plans for Chicago to become a hub for advanced manufacturing technology are moving down the assembly line with people, money and pilot projects.

Gov. Pat Quinn, who laid out the idea for a manufacturing lab in February, is expected to announce this morning that it will be the first assignment for UI Labs and will begin pilot projects with 10 manufacturers.

Mr. Quinn’s Illinois Manufacturing Lab was launched with a $5 million commitment from the state. University of Illinois trustees are expected to vote today on providing matching funds for the project. Chicago manufacturing consultant Scott Miller has been named interim director of the IML.

More here.

…Adding… If Quinn did steal it, and he may have, he’s been stealing it for almost two years now.

…Adding More… From Quinn’s press release…

Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and leadership from UI LABS to break ground on UI LABS’ future headquarters and the new Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII). The event is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.

“I’ve made this facility a major priority for Illinois by personally making our case to both the White House and Secretary of Defense, as well as securing key private sector partners because I know how important this institution will be to revitalizing our manufacturing industry,” Governor Quinn said. “The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute will help keep Illinois’ economic comeback going. I’m pleased to break ground on this facility that will solidify Illinois’ position as a high-tech manufacturing hub, support our growing technology and innovation sectors and create jobs across the state.”

The Governor personally petitioned the Secretary of Defense twice and made the case to key White House officials about the benefits and importance of DMDII. The Governor also worked to bring key private sector partners into the initiative, including CAT, Deere & Company, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and many more.

…Adding Still More… The Rauner folks have been pushing back on this all morning and moments ago sent me a link to this Greg Hinz piece

Mr. Rauner put out a rather overblown press release today terming today’s news “one of Bruce Rauner’s accomplishments.” That’s a bit overstated, and I’ll put that down to an overeager press aide. But it is an absolute fact that the first person I heard about UI Labs from a year and a half ago was Mr. Rauner, who had been quietly pushing the concept for some period.

The press release said Quinn stole Rauner’s “accomplishment.” That implies that Rauner did the whole thing, which is completely bogus. He didn’t say that Quinn stole his idea. He was most definitely in on the original idea. But the record is obvious that he did not “accomplish” this thing entirely on his own. Period.

Greg also wrote this

Credit also goes to Mr. Quinn, Michael Sacks at World Business Chicago, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and — legitimately — Mayor Rahm Emanuel. All were heavily involved in lining up companion state and local funding, and in pushing the Obama Administration to just say yes.

In 30 years of covering this kind of thing, I’ve not seen anything that’s drawn this much potential. Try working together some more, gang. And don’t blow it.

Exactly.

…Adding Quinn Response… From a press release…

Quinn Communications Chief Responds to Bruce Rauner’s Arrogant “It Was All Me” Claim

As Governor Pat Quinn stood with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Senator Dick Durbin this morning to break ground on a new digital manufacturing hub that they worked together to make possible, Quinn for Illinois communications director Brooke Anderson responded to billionaire Bruce Rauner’s false and arrogant claim that this hard-fought manufacturing win for Illinois was all about Rauner:

“Only billionaire Bruce Rauner - who couldn’t name a single one of his companies that created any jobs - would resort to arrogantly taking credit for the Governor’s work and partnership with other leaders to bring this advanced manufacturing hub to Illinois.

“All week, Mr. Rauner has complained about good economic news that he views as detrimental to his doomsayer campaign. Fortunately for the people of Illinois and unfortunately for Mr. Rauner, Illinois is making a comeback and currently leading the Midwest in job creation.

“Given that Mr. Rauner’s whole career has been about eliminating jobs, making millions at other people’s expense and always passing the buck when things go wrong, we’re not surprised that he’d be exemplifying this behavior down to the very end. ”

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


Two colleagues, two different takes on a reporter’s resignation

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Bruce Rushton at the Illinois Times writes about his good friend Dave McKinney

Reporters get lied to every day. It’s part of the job. But if you’re a journalist with any gumption, you can’t work with people you can’t trust, and so McKinney had no choice but to quit after this bizarre shell game with his livelihood in the finishing weeks of a white-hot gubernatorial race.

McKinney will land on his feet somewhere, but maybe not in journalism. All newspapers talk a good game, but lots of editors are afraid of someone like McKinney who, naively or not, demands as much integrity from his employer as he does from himself. […]

In the end, then, we have learned nothing about either Rauner or McKinney. We have, however learned a great deal about the Sun-Times. The only thing that can salvage a shred of the newspaper’s credibility now is an explanation that makes sense coupled with a rolling head or two. You can’t suspend a reporter, then say you have that reporter’s back, then yank his byline, all the while proclaiming that everything is on the up-and-up. If McKinney’s marriage was going to cost him his job, he should have been told before the wedding. Instead, the Sun-Times told him that everything would be fine, then cut him off at the knees on the back end.

* McKinney’s former Sun-Times colleague Neil Steinberg had his own take

The news was nauseating when it first hit, but now it’s settled down a bit. I don’t know all the intricacies of what occurred, just what I’ve gleaned from the buzz going around. So my take is both half-informed and skewed from someone who has worked at the Sun-Times for 27 years and did not quit on the countless occasions when I ran into aspects of the business that made me wince.

A previous owner, David Radler used to push for all sorts of squishy stories to benefit his pal, Rod Blagojevich; the trick was to accept the assignment, and then quietly bury it into a Dumpster and forget about it, so ethics weren’t compromised. It worked; Radler’s long gone and Rod’s long gone—both men wound up in prison—but I’m still here. To me, the still-being-at-the-paper part is important. Rauner getting Dave fired and Dave quitting are functionally the same thing—he’s gone either way—and while I admire Dave as much as anybody, I can’t fight the creeping feeling he played into the hands of the Evil We All Oppose.

A few things to keep in mind: A) the newspaper that many are castigating for supposedly caving to Rauner is the same newspaper that just last week was happily publishing McKinney’s sharp pieces shredding Rauner; B) the endorsement of Rauner, though regrettable, is a different beast entirely than the supposed pressure he put on reporters. Every owner in the history of newspapering ballyhoos candidates he likes, a little or a lot, though no one is arguing that this was smoothly done; C) Rauner’s accusations that McKinney’s wife, a Democratic operative, was somehow driving the stories, while ridiculous—a story either is solid or it’s not; it hardly matters who suggested it, not that I have any reason to doubt Dave’s version of events—had a veneer of seriousness that justified investigation, and being nudged off your beat for a week is not, in itself, a big deal. I was suspended for a week last year for what struck me as a truly tenuous reason. But I didn’t tell anybody and few noticed (sigh) making it a whole lot easier to come back and start doing my job again, which is the route I wish Dave had chosen to take since while it is courageous to make a stand for journalistic integrity, you can only self-immolate once, there’s a dramatic flash and then ashes but what have you accomplished? The bottom line is, D) I sincerely believe that had McKinney managed to just step around this mess and gone back to doing his job, an important life skill in journalism, instead of pouring gasoline over himself, and the paper, and striking a match, the whole thing would be over by now and he’d be back to kicking Rauner’s ass, which is what this is supposedly all about; E) I wish this were “The Front Page” era so everybody involved could just go out and get drunk together, shake their heads at their collective stupidity, and go back to work the next day. But F) it’s not. The only upside I see in the real world is that G) Bruce Rauner revealed himself even more starkly as the ruthless, vindictive creature that he most certainly is, eager to try to squelch a story by leaning hard on the little folk reporting it. I can’t imagine anybody wanting that as governor. So maybe it’ll do some ultimate good, though the sting will linger on this one, and now we have to find somebody who thinks it’s a good career move to spend time in Springfield.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   63 Comments      


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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Rauner with 2-1 money lead over Quinn

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Tribune

Republican Bruce Rauner and Democrat Pat Quinn are on pace to spend more than $100 million on the Illinois governor’s race, doubling the state’s previous record in a closely watched contest featuring heavy investment by business and labor.

As of Wednesday evening, Rauner had collected $63.75 million and Quinn had raised $29.3 million — the balance tilted to the Republican side largely because the Winnetka equity investor has dipped into his own fortune for $26.1 million. […]

Campaign disclosure reports show Rauner has raised his money from more than 8,500 separate donations. But 23 individuals or groups account for donations of $100,000 or more, generating more than $47 million of the $63 million he’s raised. Rauner sits atop the list with his own $26.1 million — nearly as much as Quinn has raised overall.

Rauner’s top six donors, excluding himself, account for $15.2 million: the Republican Governors Association with $8.6 million; Chicago hedge fund CEO Ken Griffin with $4.6 million; longtime conservative donor Richard Uihlein and his Uline Corp. with $640,000; the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association with $565,000; and Rauner former equity firm business partner Edgar Jannotta Jr. and Elizabeth Christie, another donor to GOP causes, with $405,300 each.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


Waukegan school strike finally ends

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Things got tense in Waukegan Tuesday night when an angry audience confronted the local school board over a three-week teachers strike

Tempers flared in the north suburbs Tuesday night as anger and frustration over a three-week teachers’ strike boil over.

Despite extra security, metal detectors and barricades for crowd control, the Waukegan school board abruptly ended its meeting. […]

When the school board announced the time allotted for public comment would be shorter than expected, tempers flared.

Board members tried to conduct the meeting, but the crowd shouted them down. What happened next eliciting even more anger.

And

In response to jeers, school board member Victoria Torres leapt off the stage and into the crowd, where she scolded teachers and parents.

“Alright, let’s go! I’m a parent too! Yeah, sit down and shut up. Yeah, shut up!” Torres told the crowd. […]

“Her conduct was unacceptable, unnecessary, unprofessional; and I think the only thing she should do now is resign her position,” Waukegan Mayor Wayne Motley told a local CBS outlet. “I will contact the board members. I think that she set negotiations back two weeks.”

Raw video is here. Torres apologized the next day.

This strike has torn open some major wounds, as teacher strikes usually do. But quite a few politicians embraced the striking teachers, putting even more pressure on the school board.

* Yesterday, Gov. Quinn dispatched his state school board chairman Gery Chico to help mediate and the strike was finally settled last night. From a joint statement from the Board of Education and the Waukegan Teachers’ Council…

Shortly before midnight tonight, the Board of Education for Waukegan Community Unit School District # 60 and the Waukegan Teachers’ Council reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract.

All schools will remain closed on October 30 and October 31, as both parties review the agreement. Pending a ratification by teachers on Thursday, teachers will return to work on Friday to help prepare schools for re-opening to students on Monday, November 3.

“This tentative agreement represents not only a compromise between the Union and the Board, but an end to what was a long, trying process for all parties involved,” said Waukegan Teachers’ Council President Kathy Schwarz. “We are grateful to the entire Waukegan community that struggled with us through these difficult times. We would also like to thank Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery Chico for their assistance during the conclusion of contract talks. After years of instability, we are hopeful that this agreement will be the first step in giving our students the schools they deserve.”

“It is with great delight that we acknowledge having reached a Tentative Agreement with our teachers that will return our students to their classrooms. These last four weeks have been difficult for everyone involved. Both the Board of Education and I have witnessed first hand a great passion for education from parents, students and community members.

We eagerly look forward to working together as a community for the betterment of our students,” said Waukegan Superintendent Dr. Donaldo R. Batiste, and we thank the many community partners who came forward to offer invaluable support and assistance. Particular gratitude is extended to Governor Quinn, ISBE Chairman Chico, State Superintendent Koch, and Regional Superintendent Wood,” said Superintendent, Dr. Donaldo R. Batiste.​

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      


*** UPDATED x2 Siedle responds - Rauner response *** Today’s must-read

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Ted Siedle at Forbes

In short, I learned from my experience with Rauner that you don’t have to be brilliant to be successful in the silly business of buying and melding together established businesses—businesses you really know very little about—using state workers’ retirement savings. Access to public pension assets is the key prerequisite.

Trust me, any money manager with workers’ monies committed to funding his professional development for a protracted period of time, eventually—assuming he’s reasonably intelligent and capable of learning from his mistakes—will stumble upon a winner. Worse case, he’ll lose much of the workers savings over the course of the standard ten-year lock-up commitment period and pocket millions in asset-based management fees along the way.

Just being around all that pension cha-ching, tweaking purchase and sale agreements and engaging in thinly-disclosed rampant self-dealing virtually guarantees the manager blessed with Other People’s Money under his care will end up wealthy himself. Call it a “wealth transfer.”

Better still, thanks to private equity secrecy agreements, your clients may never know just how much you profited potentially at their expense.

Read the whole thing.

*** UPDATE 1 *** The Rauner campaign responds by attacking the author…

EDWARD SIEDLE IS A UNION ATTACK DOG

Siedle Wrote Articles Attacking Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo For Investing In Private Equity Funds. “In an online column for Forbes on April 4, Siedle blasted Raimondo for dramatically increasing both risk and fees by steering a sizable chunk of Rhode Island’s $7-billion state pension fund into ‘alternative investments,’ including hedge funds. He accused her of enabling a ‘Wall Street feeding frenzy.’” (Mike Stanton, “Former SEC Watchdog Edward Siedle Criticizes Rhode Island Treasurer’s Pension Strategies,” Providence Journal, 6/30/13)

Shortly After Attacking Raimondo, Siedle Was Paid $20,000 By A Union Hostile To The Treasurer. “A month later, he was having lunch in Providence at Capriccio with Rhode Island union officials and retirees who had read his columns, including two top officials of the state’s largest public employees union, Council 94 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Shortly thereafter, Council 94 hired Siedle for $20,000 to investigate Rhode Island’s pension funds. Siedle declined to reveal his fee, but Council 94 president J. Michael Downey confirmed it after questions from The Providence Journal.” (Mike Stanton, “Former SEC Watchdog Edward Siedle Criticizes Rhode Island Treasurer’s Pension Strategies,” Providence Journal, 6/30/13)

Forbes Forced Sielde To Stop Writing About Rhode Island. “Raimondo immediately attacked Siedle’s credibility and motives. ‘This was a bait and switch,’ said Raimondo spokeswoman Joy Fox. ‘He sold himself as a journalist while pitching a local union for business.’ Raimondo complained to Forbes, which says it has asked Siedle, an unpaid contributor since 2006, to ‘cease writing about Rhode Island.’” (Mike Stanton, “Former SEC Watchdog Edward Siedle Criticizes Rhode Island Treasurer’s Pension Strategies,” Providence Journal, 6/30/13)

*** UPDATE 2 *** The author has responded to the Rauner camp’s claims…

While Gina Raimondo, Democratic Treasurer of Rhode Island (and candidate for Governor) did indeed complain to Forbes about my writings exposing her Wall Street agenda, Forbes never asked me to stop writing about her. I have written a dozen articles on Forbes about her since her complaint which have been read by hundreds of thousands.

Check the record Bruce before you embarrass yourself with bogus allegations.

What about the red flags I’ve identified at GTCR, conflicts and secret dealings? Will you make public the potentially damning evidence?

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


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Good morning!

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* Ms. Franklin will do the honors this morning

Because company’s alright with me every once in a while.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


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