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Signs of the times

Monday, Feb 1, 2016

* This made the rounds of social media over the weekeend…


* But Dunkin ain’t giving up. Far from it

State Rep. Ken Dunkin wants House Speaker Mike Madigan to let legislators vote on a bill that would eliminate red-light cameras and speed cameras in Illinois, pointing to the recent federal bribery conviction of a former Chicago official who helped establish the city’s red-light camera program.

“All I’m asking today is for Speaker Mike Madigan to call House Bill 141 that’s been held hostage in the Rules Committee since last spring,” Dunkin, a South Side Democrat, said at a news conference Sunday at the corner of 76th and Stony Island in the shadow of a red-light camera. […]

Dunkin claimed the cameras are a money-making scheme, do not improve safety and were born of corruption that was evidenced by the recent conviction of former Chicago Transportation Department official John Bills, who accepted bribes to steer business to the company that established red-light cameras in Chicago. […]

“There’s no (legislative) member in their right mind who would not support this legislation,” said Dunkin, who noted the highly unpopular red-light and speed camera programs allow for residents “to be gouged and to be played by the scam of the century.”

That’s a smart move. Obviously, red light and speed cams are hugely unpopular. Whenever former West Side state Sen. Rickey Hendon had a tough race (or was doing ads for someone who did) he’d always highlight his (or his candidate’s) opposition to red light cams. It’s a great issue.

* However, there are two glaring omissions in the above story.

1) During the 2011 veto session, the General Assembly took up this issue

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is lobbying hard for a bill that would allow the city to use red light cameras to catch speeders near school zones and parks.

The measure quickly passed the Senate two weeks ago, but some representatives say it could face stiffer opposition in the House, which is expected to vote this week.

The House passed that bill, SB 965, by a vote of 64-50. Wanna guess who one of those “Yes” votes was in that relatively close roll call? Yep. You’re right.

2) The vast majority of spending in Dunkin’s primary has been done by a group called IllinoisGO. That group is run by Greg Goldner, who was hired early on by RedFlex

The O’Malley commissions also went to pay for an Arizona condominium, a speedboat, a Mercedes-Benz, even Bills’ June 2011 retirement party when he left the city and soon took a job on Redflex’s payroll working with Resolute Consulting. The consulting firm, owned by longtime Chicago political power broker Greg Goldner, was hired by Redflex around the same time the company was pushing to expand its red light cameras to include speed cameras.

Just to be super clear here, nobody has ever suggested that Goldner did anything unethical or illegal. I’m not making that suggestion either, and neither should you.

But at least we now know that IllinoisGO is most definitely not coordinating with Dunkin’s campaign messaging.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon221 - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 11:30 am:

    I’m surprised that KD is coming down on the red lights. Red seems to be his favorite color lately;) /s

  2. - Big Joe - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 11:34 am:

    Gosh, that Dunkin is such a piece of work!! He knows that people will not remember how he voted on that bill, so he will come out and scream for the removal of the cameras that he approved. He will do just about anything to get attention these days. Actually, I’m surprised that there wasn’t a tennis tournament out of state when that vote was taken./s

  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 11:35 am:

    If the Unions, Social Services and Advocates and Democrats want a Raunerite in the Democratic House Caucus.

    IllinoisGO is helping that stranger move into the HDem House for 2 more years.

    That’s real, these are the signs… Hmm, signs

  4. - Wensicia - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 11:36 am:

    Dunkin’s campaign slogan: “I was for it before Rauner told me I am against it.”

  5. - Dome Gnome - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 11:38 am:

    As curious as I am about the origins of Dunkin’s campaign funding, I’m even more curious to know from whence he gets his moxie.

  6. - Facts are Stubborn Things - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 11:38 am:

    pride always precedeth the fall.

  7. - Union Leader - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 11:39 am:

    He gets his moxie from Rauner.

  8. - Not Rich - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    I had a voicemail.robo call on my cell yesterday from Jesse White, urging me to support KD’s opponent..

  9. - Anon221 - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 11:55 am:

    Overall voting record-

    Just in case you want an easy way to keep “score” in the months to come.

  10. - Langhorne - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 11:57 am:

    Durkins next caucus should be fun

  11. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 11:59 am:

    Of course red light cameras are about money. Does Dunkin want the city to raise $150 million in extra taxes to replace the dough from the cameras?

    I don’t think so. But he sure knows how to pander.

  12. - Lincoln Lad - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 12:05 pm:

    A couple years ago, the red light cameras were viewed as contributing to safety, and a revenue source. Both, with the revenue source decreasing over time as people slowed down and were more careful. Those were both supportable objectives. Now we know that safety isn’t enhanced, and the revenue Is now relied upon. I see no issue with changing your mind on this now that we’ve learned more about it. Put on top of that the corruption, and I’ve changed my mind on it as well. Call the vote, Mr. Speaker.

  13. - Soccermom - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    Is this a real sign? Are there more of them?

  14. - burbanite - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 12:20 pm:

    Wonder who bought the signs. :)

  15. - Cubs in '16 - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 12:33 pm:

    This may be a completely insignificant non-issue but does anyone have an opinion as to why Rauner’s political party is noted on the sign but Dunkin’s isn’t?

  16. - Anon221 - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 12:57 pm:

  17. - siriusly - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 1:00 pm:

    My Ken Dunkin yard sign says “Ken Dunkin Loves Soy Milk”

  18. - Pink E Kent - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 1:09 pm:


    Isn’t he still suppose to be Plantation Camping outside MJMs Capitol office?

  19. - sideline watcher - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 1:13 pm:

    Cubs…its to align Ken with the Republican party in his heavily Democratic district. Not a non issue at all. It’s THE issue. It’s not a compliment.

  20. - Cubs in '16 - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 1:26 pm:

    I’ve caught up now. Thanks sideline watcher.

  21. - Soccermom - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 1:56 pm:

    When will Dunkin’s position as president of the Nickelback fan club come to light?

  22. - Huh - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    The other side of this sign says “paid for by friends of Juliana Stratton”

  23. - jt - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 2:34 pm:

    James Meeks, Corey Brooks, Ken Dunkin - who’s next up for Bruce to pick off?

  24. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 2:39 pm:

    Time for the voters to put up a red light on Dunkin’s tenure.

  25. - Formerpol - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 2:49 pm:

    Drivers are getting worse and worse. Something must be done to stop speeding and red light running.
    Without cameras, what is your solution?

  26. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 4:25 pm:

    Former, how about the police?

  27. - Payback - Monday, Feb 1, 16 @ 4:51 pm:

    Support Rep. Dunkin on red light camera removal regardless of his motives. Got my first boot in Chicago a couple of summers ago, what an experience.

    Went to the City payment center the next morning to settle before I got towed. The accounting room was filled with working class people who had to take the day off work to deal with tickets. I signed the form to contest because I never got any notice in the mail and had no idea I had three tickets outstanding.

    Went in front of the administrative law judge, who is really just a hack lawyer who took a class. He told me that five notices went out, but they don’t send any mail certified, so there’s no proof of service. The whole process is basically a shadow system that looks like justice but isn’t.

    $798.00 for three tickets including the boot fee! The red light racket is a scam that preys on the poor and working class, like currency exchanges and rent to own furniture stores. Flush the red light cameras in Illinois.

  28. - low level - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 7:20 am:

    LOL… Details have never been Dunkin’s thing.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
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* *** UPDATED x3 - Morrison wants emergency meeting of ILGOP - McConnaughay explains - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary
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* Yesterday's stories

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