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*** UPDATED x1 *** Dunkin doubles down

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* Rep. Ken Dunkin is best known these days for skipping a crucial House vote to override Gov. Rauner’s veto of AFSCME’s “no strike” bill. Rep. Esther Golar succumbed to cancer just a few days after needlessly traveling to Springfield to vote to override that same veto.

Dunkin has taken tons of heat for missing that vote. But he sat next to Gov. Rauner at Golar’s funeral today.


*** UPDATE *** Photo from a pal…

- Posted by Rich Miller   161 Comments      

Roskam: More “aggressive” rhetoric can lead to “incremental” change

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* Lynn Sweet

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., mulling a leadership run in the wake of the resignation of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday that House Republicans “need to be more rhetorically aggressive against the administration.” […]

“We need to be more rhetorically aggressive against the administration,” Roskam said. “There are many times I hear from folks at home — and other Republicans — ‘you’re not fighting.” […]

Roskam said being more aggressive might be helpful – in moving along, not stopping the business of lawmaking.

If those hard liners “know you are fighting,” then “if you make a suggestion that the next move is incremental” then they may accept taking those smaller steps.

That last quote puts it in the proper context. He obviously understands his party’s base and believes harsher rhetoric can be used to manipulate the folks out there in the hinterlands to support more moderate solutions. But, still…

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      

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Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Lottery dumps WGN for digital drawings

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* Just don’t asked to be paid if you win

There won’t be any more ping pong balls flying up tubes to pick daily winners in the Illinois Lottery, which goes to an all-digital format later this week.

Starting Thursday, Pick 3, Pick 4, Lotto and Lucky Day Lotto will go to the all-digital format, and that means the daily drawings will no longer be aired live on WGN-TV, Illinois Lottery officials have announced. Instead, winners will posted at […]

The new digital draw system uses a random number generator (RNG) to pick numbers, the lottery said. A similar system has long been used for raffle games; the My 3 and Hit or Miss games; and at retail terminals when players use the Quick Pick option instead of picking their own numbers.

About half of all state lotteries nationwide use digital draw systems, according to the lottery.

This being Illinois, I’m wondering if Lottery players will trust the digital draw mode.

- Posted by Rich Miller   42 Comments      

Caption contest!

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* From left, Gov. Bruce Rauner, Tom Ricketts and Kerry Wood at the Wood Foundation’s recent gala

- Posted by Rich Miller   70 Comments      

Question of the day

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* From Michael Robertson at…

Hey Rich,

I watch Illinois politics from afar. (My brother in law lives there.) Your site has unique content and amazing engagement and here’s a way to generate revenue with no sales effort. (My state CA has many similarities with IL.)

My company is launching “promoted comments”. This is where users can bid to push their comment to the top of the comment list. Users can still comment for free but any user can also pay to have their comment listed in the top 3 slots. It’s a fantastic way to generate revenue just using your natural visitor engagement. There’s no selling on your part. Commenters are given the option to pay using points (which are purchased with cash) to have their comment at the top of the list. Think of it as a mix between ebay/google ads/comment section. It’s super easy to implement. Just replace your current comment code with code from my company SolidOpinion. You get a check each month for 50% of whatever revenue is generated. You get more engaged users, relevant content and revenue!

A little about me. I’m the guy behind digital music pioneer This is my new company. We’re launching with Yahoo in their politics section in October and with a major finance site. I’m looking for a few marquee smaller publishers to launch with to show how it will work for any size publisher. Your site looks perfect.

Attached is a mockup of a non-profit news site based in San Diego that may use our technology. Please let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to get on the phone or answer more questions via email.

– MR

* The attachment…

* I had some follow-up questions and he provided some answers. I added some emphasis…

1) How much do they pay to promote each comment?

The publisher (you) can set a minimum but the “market” sets the price much like a seller on ebay. If nobody wants it then you may not even get the minimum. If lots of people want it then they can outbid each other.

Lets say somebody bids 100 points for the top slot. If another commenter wants to list theres above that person they will have to bid more than 100 and so on and so on.

2) What payment method is used?

Commenters buy points using Paypal. It’s 88 points per dollar and they buy them in $10 increments.

3) Can they pay to promote somebody else’s comment?


4) How about if I post this email and ask my commenters what they think?

Sure why not? I imagine some will be negative because everyone would rather have everything free. However, creating a market is actually a service to the community because if people feel strongly they have an avenue to insure their voice is heard.

Remember free comments are still available. They’re just displayed below up to 3 promoted comments.

There’s another benefit you might appreciate. Our commenting engine has a built-in reputation system so your time to manage comments will be greatly reduced. Here’s an example of a site running our comment engine:

They aren’t running “promoted comments” yet because that isn’t available until October 10th. It is very easy for you to turn on/off promoted comments. Our hope is that you have a very un-intrusive way to generate revenue for your site that some users actually see as a service.

Btw, the promoted comment must be relevant to the story or it removed. We believe promoted comments can enhance the content and help publishers generate revenue from their efforts!

Let me know if you have any questions. The company is:

– MR

I’ll make the final decision, but I most definitely want your input.

Also, keep in mind that this is not a “pay to comment” system. It’s simply a “pay to promote a comment” system.

* The Question: On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most supportive, how do you feel about switching over to this new commenting system? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

web surveys

- Posted by Rich Miller   165 Comments      

SEIU sued over dues

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* From the Illinois Policy Institute

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Harris v. Quinn in 2014 forced Illinois to stop requiring the payment of union fees from unwilling home care providers and day care operators. The court ruled that the First Amendment prohibits Illinois and other state governments from compelling people like home care and day care providers – who accept state subsidies but are not government employees – to pay money to a union as a condition of receiving state funds.

Since then, revenue has plummeted for the union those providers were forced to support – the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU. Before the decision, SEIU skimmed about $808,000 a month from the checks of day care providers alone; since the Harris decision, it has only been able to take about $343,000 per month from the minority of providers who have not opted out of paying union fees.

And the Harris decision might land another financial blow on SEIU: A class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of nonunion day care providers seeks to make SEIU repay the tens of millions of dollars it wrongfully took from those workers since the state force-unionized them in 2005.

The lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Laura Baston and Sandy Winner, who operate small businesses that provide day care services to low-income children. Watch them tell their stories in this video:

The lawsuit is here.

* The video

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      

The cutting hand is ignorant of what the promotional hand values

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* The Illinois Office of Tourism has a couple of new promotional videos

Michael Higgins, owner of Maldaner’s Restaurant in downtown Springfield, wondered why the Illinois State Museum was being showcased with its future hanging in the balance. The museum’s fate, at least for the near term, became clearer as Friday wore on. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced late in the afternoon that the state museum system and the World Shooting and Recreational Complex near Sparta will close Wednesday.

The facilities will stay closed to the public until a court case over layoffs of state workers is decided.

The facilities were targeted earlier this summer for closure at the end of this month, casualties of the ongoing budget fight. Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration earlier this week postponed previously planned layoffs of more than 100 unionized workers, including museum employees, due to an agreement between the state and the unions. The employees will return to work despite the closures.

Gemberling said the bureau’s video project that included museum footage began “several months ago.”

“We do have a contingency plan in place to replace some of that footage depending on what happens with the Illinois State Museum,” she said earlier Friday.

Video production takes a while, so I can see why it’s still in there.

But, here’s something to ponder: If the museum is so good that it’s in a state tourism promotional video, why is it being shut down even though the employees are still working?

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

Dems: There’s really no point in meeting with Rauner

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* Senate President John Cullerton on Chicago Tonight

“I would love to meet with the governor. I’ll meet on any conditions, whether it’s just us, whether it’s all the leaders.

“The question is what are we gonna talk about? And are we really gonna talk about some serious negotiations and not just ‘This is my bottom line and I want a hundred percent’? That’s not gonna work.”

* Steve Brown to Bernie

House Speaker MICHAEL MADIGAN, D-Chicago, and the governor did meet Monday, Madigan spokesman STEVE BROWN said.

Rauner hasn’t shifted from wanting action on what Madigan has called “nonbudget issues,” Brown said, so “it would be hard to say there was much progress.”

* And that seemed to be confirmed by a Republican leader last night. Back to Chicago Tonight

Senate President Cullerton: “What [Gov. Rauner is] doing is… the process of shutting down government in order to get leverage for these things [like workers’ comp and prevailing wage reforms].”

Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno: “Otherwise, how does it get done?”

…Adding… But

Achieving a budget deal before 2016 looks to be a near impossibility. “Highly unlikely,” Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin tells POLITICO. The Illinois House only has two more session days scheduled for the remainder of 2015. Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders haven’t met since May. “At what point do they realize if they want to get through this they have to be willing to negotiate?”

- Posted by Rich Miller   91 Comments      

Illinois Credit Unions – A Smarter Choice

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

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- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      

Paper: State threatening human service agencies

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* If true, this needs to be a much bigger story. From the Rockford Register-Star editorial board

To make matters worse, the state is threatening human services agencies, telling them they must continue to operate without funding or else be barred from ever getting a contract should there ever be a budget. In what universe does that kind of blackmail make sense? Only in Illinois.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      

Somebody’s not telling the truth

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* Tom Kacich

A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton said there have been no budget meetings with Rauner in September although Cullerton is willing to talk anytime, anywhere.

Likewise, Rauner spokeswoman Lyndsey Walters said that since May the governor “has invited the four (legislative) leaders to meet as a group and members of the majority party have declined. Despite their unwillingness to meet as a group, the governor has held individual meetings with the leaders whenever and wherever they’ve agreed to meet.”

* Bernie

Phelon also said there have been no such meetings with all four leaders and the governor since May, and she denied that Cullerton has turned down any meetings since the last one took place.

“At this point, we’re ready to work with the governor to resolve the budget issues in whatever forum that works,” Phelon said. […]

Asked if Madigan has turned down any requests for a full meeting of the governor and leaders, Brown said, “I’m not aware of anything like that, so … that doesn’t hold any water either.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   59 Comments      

Study: Decatur ranked just above Detroit in growth

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* From WalletHub

In 2014, the U.S. recorded its lowest population gain since the Great Depression. Growth stood at .73 percent, largely in contrast with the 5 percent of the 1990s, a period of prosperity. Demographer William H. Frey of the Brookings Institution attributed the decline to the economic downturn. Not only did the crisis deter job-seeking migrants from flocking to the U.S., but it also discouraged couples from having children. Meanwhile, population numbers shifted across states, creating short- and long-term effects on local economies.

In order to identify the cities that have expanded most rapidly in socioeconomic terms between 2008 and 2014, WalletHub compared 515 U.S. cities of varying sizes across 10 key metrics, ranging from population growth to unemployment rate decrease. The results of our study, as well as additional insight from experts and a detailed methodology, can be found below.

The highest ranking Illinois city was Elgin, at 211th Aurora at 187th [thanks to a commenter for pointing out my mistake].


Bloomington was ranked 270th, Naperville tied for 336th, Peoria ranked 372nd and Chicago ranked 379th.

Illinois had two cities in the bottom ten, Skokie was 508th and Decatur ranked 510th, just a sinlge notch above Detroit.

- Posted by Rich Miller   47 Comments      

We have a new state Senator

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* I told subscribers about this last week

Democrat Laura Murphy of Des Plaines will be the newest member of the Illinois Senate after being picked by party leaders Monday to finish the term of the departing Dan Kotowski of Park Ridge.

Murphy, a former Des Plaines alderman, was backed by Kotowski going into Monday’s vote and emerged the victor.

Schaumburg Township Democratic Committeeman Mike Cudzik said no other candidates made presentations before party leaders, and Murphy — the Maine Township committeeman — abstained from voting for herself. […]

Kotowski announced earlier this month he’d be stepping down to become the CEO of the Chicago nonprofit ChildServ, capping a nearly nine-year career in Springfield.

Murphy will stand for election next year.

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      

* The natives are getting restless
* A polling lesson for the future
* Pritzker's victory speech, annotated
* Does McCarthy even have a path to victory?
* Question of the day - Part 2
* Berrios county party chairmanship in peril
* Rauner dodges tax return question, pivots instead to Pritzker's tax dodging and tax hikes
* *** UPDATED x2 - Madigan responds *** Hampton sues Madigan organization
* The Proft scorecard
* AFSCME wins, SEIU may be dealt setback
* Rauner dinged with another "False" ruling by Politifact
* Ives' latest demand: A million-dollar apology ad
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day
* Pritzker and the black vote
* A very rough road ahead for Rauner
* Rauner campaign warns on Pritzker tax hike
* Rauner had weakest primary showing by a GOP governor since 1928
* Oh, please
* Yesterday's stories

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* The Latest: Lawyers question police tactics in woman's death
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* 5 universities partner to combat cyber security threats
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* Former campaign worker sues Madigan fund in sexual harassment case
* Rauner says he has yet to speak to Ives after primary win
* LLCC gets $18 million donation to benefit agriculture program
* Fact check: Rauner cites own remarks as proof of outside support for Election Night claim
* Under the Dome Podcast: It's Pritzker vs. Rauner
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* Bolton may herald rightward shift in Trump’s foreign policy
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* Stocks dive on trade war fears after China sanctions
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* Illinois Supreme Court won't take up Rauner's appeal of step pay case
* Former campaign worker sues Madigan fund in sexual harassment case
* Rauner says he has yet to speak to Ives after primary win
* LLCC gets $18 million donation to benefit agriculture program
* Fact check: Rauner cites own remarks as proof of outside support for Election Night claim

* Police looking for SUV from hit-and-run accident in Breese
* Police say victim in fatal Johnson County crash is 24-year-old from Buncombe
* Macon County population's has dropped 4,976 since '10. But business leaders say data doesn't tell the whole story.
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* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties
* Winter Storm Warnings for Areas Along and North of I-80
* IEMA Encourages People to Prepare for Earthquakes

* Samsung investigating Galaxy S9 touch screen problems
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