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Durbin’s back to the future?

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* Riopell

Questions about whether U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin would run for governor in 2018 bubbled up at the Democratic Party convention this week.

“It’s a question about where I can best spend my life. Where can I achieve the goals that I want in public life? If I can do it in Washington and I feel I can be more effective there, of course that’s where I’ll stay,” Durbin told the Daily Herald about a potential run for governor — back in 2000.

He would go on to win re-election in 2002.

“I won’t make the final decision for some time now,” he said at the 2000 convention in comments that reflect what he’s said this week. “I want to focus on this election campaign first.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      


Rauner bites back at union leaders

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* As Tony Arnold reports, and as you’ve undoubtedly seen if you’ve been watching our live convention coverage posts, a long parade of union leaders has denounced Gov. Rauner at the daily Illinois delegation breakfasts this week, sometimes in a profane manner. The governor’s office responded

These comments demonstrate the lack of judgment and reasonableness of the leaders who are marching our state workers toward a September 1 strike.

National union leaders could care less about Illinois’s state employees or our worst-in-the-nation economic situation.

These national union leaders want to stir up unrest in Illinois so they can use our workers to fundraise for their national organizations.

Apparently local labor leaders are willing to let their own members be used in that way and that is wrong.

- Posted by Rich Miller   43 Comments      


Finally, some good Illinois news

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* I was just talking to Anders Lindall at AFSCME about a story that wasn’t panning out and he asked me if I’d heard that Jamey Johnson was playing at the Du Quoin State Fair this year. I hadn’t, but it’s true. He’s playing Friday, September 2nd at the grandstand.

Looks like I’m gonna be hauling the camper down ‘yonder this year.

* Love me some Jamey, man. As he sings in one of his songs, his music and attitude is somewhere between Waylon Jennings and George Jones. Let’s take a little break from the weirdness and have a listen

Started burning our candles
Both ends and the middle
A bunch of roaring outlaws at high speed

* Also, you may know that Anders used to be a music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. He wrote a piece not long ago about a rising country star from an AFSCME family from the same town where one of my brothers used to live. It’s definitely worth a read

One of the brightest new country music stars in Nashville comes from an AFSCME union family right here in Illinois.

With her debut album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, Margo Price has landed a guest spot on “Saturday Night Live”, a video on CMT, and a rave review in Rolling Stone, which called her “undeniable” and compared her to Loretta Lynn.

But what looks like a rocket ride to stardom is really the latest twist in a long road that started in Aledo, Ill., southwest of the Quad Cities, where Margo and her sisters were raised by mom Candace and dad Duane. He worked for 25 years in Illinois prisons, first as a correctional officer at East Moline, where he was a member of AFSCME Local 46, and then as a lieutenant at Hill Correctional Center (Local 1274). Duane was a PEOPLE contributor and after his retirement in 2010 joined AFSCME Retirees.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


Question of the day

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* Should US Sen. Richard Durbin run for governor in 2018? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


survey solutions

- Posted by Rich Miller   79 Comments      


Attorney General’s office says plaintiffs can’t back out of Duckworth settlement

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* Here’s an e-mail exchange I’ve been having with Maura Possley at the attorney general’s office about whether the two women who settled their lawsuit with the state over alleged workplace retaliation by Tammy Duckworth can now withdraw from the settlement…

Me: was that settlement binding?

Maura Possley: Yes. We worked with a judge on June 24 and reached a final settlement.

Me: so, they can’t back out?

MP: It’s typical practice that after finalizing a settlement, the parties sign our standard form. If a plaintiff declines to sign the form, that does not change whether the agreement is final.

Me: did these plaintiffs sign the form?

MP: No, they haven’t signed it yet, but that happens occasionally. It’s just a form. We’ve seen the stories in the press, but that doesn’t change that we have a final settlement agreement.

Me: but can they back out of it?

MP: No.

* Meanwhile, this is from the Kirk campaign…

This seems to be a rather large discrepancy. Why would they say it only covered legal fees when clearly payment for damages were offered. Did McGrath and AG office discuss how to communicate the settlement? AG have a statement on this?

    The AG Said The Settlement Was Only To Cover Attorney Fees And Was Worth $26,000. After a trial judge initiated a settlement conference, the case on Friday was settled for $26,000 to cover attorney fees and all costs, according to the Illinois Attorney General’s office, which represents state officials sued in their official capacities. (Tina Sfondeles And Lynn Sweet, “Lawsuit against Duckworth settled—but Kirk not letting it go,” Chicago Sun-Times, 6/24/16)

    The Plaintiff’s Say The AG Failed To Mention The Settlement Covered Attorney’s Fees And $9,000 To Go To Each Plaintiff For A Total Of $40,000.The original settlement offer was reported to be around $26,000, with the attorney general’s office paying for the employees’ attorney fees and other court costs. But Butler and Goins said the offer really was more like $40,000, with $21,000 of that sum paying for attorney’s fees and another $9,000 provided to each plaintiff. (Kerry Lester, “Women reject settlement in Duckworth workplace retaliation lawsuit,” Daily Herald, 7/27/16)

The attorney general’s office reached out to me after I posted that initial settlement story to tell me that the settlement involved more than just attorney fees and costs. But, as I recall, it was late in the day and I was swamped with something or another and didn’t get around to posting it. My bad.

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


Can’t win for losing

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* A Democratic state Representative attends a Republican governor’s event in her own district, applauds politely at the end of his speech and then this happens

A Confused Kate Cloonen Stumbles into Governor Rauner’s Term Limits Event
Yet Cloonen continues to back Mike Madigan’s rigged system

Yesterday, Governor Bruce Rauner held an event in Kankakee advocating for term limits on elected officials in Springfield – a cumulative 10 years for State Representatives and Senators and 8 years for statewide elected officials, including Governor Rauner himself.

Democrat State Rep. Kate Cloonen, a vocal opponent of term limits, attended the event and applauded Governor Rauner as he concluded his remarks, but has remained silent on his term limits initiative. Why did Cloonen attend the Governor’s event?

Has Cloonen changed her mind on term limits?

Does she support Governor Rauner’s term limits initiative?

Does she still back Mike Madigan’s rigged system?

Was she playing Candy Crush and her attendance was by pure happenstance?

Is she politically calculating?

Is she just confused?

And what is she telling her constituents?…

“Kate Cloonen continues to support Mike Madigan’s rigged system,” said Aaron DeGroot, spokesman for the Illinois Republican Party. “For years, she has opposed term limits, but her attendance at the Governor’s event is a bit perplexing. Could it be that she tells her constituents one thing while doing another in Springfield? Cloonen has remained silent on the initiative, but her constituents deserve an answer. Does Kate Cloonen support Governor Rauner’s term limits initiative or not?”

* The accompanying video

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      


Rauner claims he’s meeting with Dem legislators today

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* From the Quincy Herald-Whig

Rauner will be meeting with Democrats from the Legislature in Chicago on Thursday to talk about what is needed in the upcoming budget.

Interesting, especially since many Democratic legislators are either in Philadelphia or out walking precincts today. But, hey, it’s a good thing if true.

* I asked reporter Doug Wilson if Gov. Rauner disclosed who he was meeting with…

No. The question was about whether there have been ongoing negotiations about what will follow the stopgap budget. Rauner started by saying that most lawmakers are more focused on their own elections, but then he said he was returning to Chicago on Wednesday night and would be meeting Thursday with some legislators to talk about the budget.

No word yet from the governor’s office about who he’s seeing today. I’ll let you know if they ever respond.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      


*** LIVE COVERAGE *** Rauner press conference

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* From the governor’s office…

Daily Public Schedule: Thursday, July 28, 2016
What: Governor Makes Announcement Regarding Transformation at Illinois Lottery
Where: James R. Thompson Center – Blue Room
100 W. Randolph, Chicago
Date: Thursday, July 28, 2016
Time: 11:00 a.m.

Live video from our good pals at BlueRoomStream.com is here.

* Follow along with ScribbleLive


- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - Gov. Rauner slams story *** Report that Mrs. Rauner wants no reelection is disputed

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* Sneed

Sneed hears rumbles Diana Rauner, wife of Gov. Bruce Rauner — who has been hammered on all sides for his conservative reins on the state’s finances — wants out.

• Translation: Sneed is told Diana, who has been ramrodding privately funded reconstruction of the state’s ancient pile known as the governor’s mansion — as well as managing a large family and successful marriage — has told close friends she hopes her husband doesn’t run again.

• Explanation: The state’s first lady is tired of the nasty spotlight since the inauguration of her hugely wealthy husband in January 2015. […]

“The Rauners have a good marriage and six kids, but all the criticism being lobbed at her husband — as well as a job which doesn’t leave a lot of time for family time — has to be very difficult,” a Sneed source said.

Sneed is told the governor spends more time at the Springfield mansion than his wife.

He does, indeed, spend a lot more time in Springfield than Mrs. Rauner, but a top Rauner source says the story is “garbage.”

*** UPDATE ***  Gov. Rauner was asked about the story at his press conference this morning…

“It is definitively baloney.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      


Another judge rules that IDPH director violated due process rights

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* This is the third time a judge has done something like this in just the past month

A Cook County judge today ordered the head of the state health department to reconsider adding irritable bowel syndrome to the list of conditions eligible for treatment with medical marijuana.

Circuit Judge Anna Helen Demacopoulos ruled that Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah violated procedural due process rights when he used his own review standard to deny the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board’s recommendation to add IBS to the list.

Beyond that, Demacopoulos ruled, the controlling statute and guidelines that govern Illinois’ medical marijuana program are silent regarding what kind of standard the director can use when issuing final decisions based on board recommendations.

“There is no IDPH rule, nor is there any language in the [Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program] Act, empowering the [d]irector to conduct his own investigation or add materials to the record that were not considered at the hearing,” Demacopoulos wrote in her nine-page memorandum and order.

While it appears Shah employed a standard to consider evidence from “adequate, well controlled clinical trials,” Demacopoulos ruled, it’s a standard the plaintiff did not have a chance to challenge before a decision was made.

“The [d]irector’s supplying of evidence post-hearing indicates demonstrable prejudice to the plaintiff and therefore serves as a basis for reversal,” she wrote.

- Posted by Rich Miller   16 Comments      


“It’s not even close to being balanced”

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* Illinois Issues has a new story on the stopgap budget. Most of it has already been covered here, but this is new

“It’s not even close to being balanced,” says Richard Dye, co-director of the Fiscal Futures Project at the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs. “What was passed was with either optimism or ignorance of what revenues were actually flowing in. So it’s not clear that everything that was approved in the stopgap budget can be funded because the cash flow through the state through the comptroller’s office is just not sufficient.” […]

“I come at this somewhat pessimistically. … It’s hard to be optimistic. Even if there were new revenue sources, are they sufficient to pay down the backlog? Are they sufficient to catch up … the extent to which different agencies have not been funded for a year and a half?”

Dye says he expects that if a budget deal is reached after November, it will rely on accounting gimmicks and push some costs into future years because trying to completely tackle the deficit would be virtually politically impossible. “We really are in a position where things have gotten so bad that we can’t have expectations of taxing and spending levels kind of what they were like in recent years. Things have to change in terms of the nature of government and what people expect to have to pay or expect to get. “

- Posted by Rich Miller   43 Comments      


Kirk campaign admits contact with “whistleblowers” after Duckworth settlement

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* From the National Review

Two women suing Representative Tammy Duckworth, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Illinois, rejected an agreed upon settlement offer on Wednesday, forcing the case to go to trial next month, according to the Daily Herald.

The timing is unfortunate for Duckworth, who is running to unseat Senator Mark Kirk, one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection this year. The formal rejection of the settlement comes the day before Duckworth is set to take the stage at the Democratic National Convention. And per the Herald, the trial will take place on August 15, in the heat of campaign season. […]

Some Democrats suggested the timing of the two women rejecting the lawsuit was suspect, coming the day before Duckworth’s address in Philadelphia.

[Mark Kirk campaign manager Kevin Artl] says the campaign had no discussions with the two plaintiffs about their decision, and says they were under the impression that the whole case had been settled, noting that they had already begun running an ad attacking her for settling. Artl adds that he spoke with the two women by phone in their capacity as whistleblowers, saying they reached out to the campaign after the settlement was announced to tell their story.

Hmm.

* I followed up with Artl…

They reached out to us the week following the announcement of the settlement. They wanted to tell their story. We have talked to many whistleblowers who have felt bullied and ignored by Duckworth.

* Related…

* Kirk Campaign Utilizing Snapchat To Tie Duckworth To Blago

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      


Durbin attacks Rauner, says he’ll decide about run after November

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* From this morning’s delegation breakfast…



Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      


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Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

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*** LIVE COVERAGE *** Democratic National Convention

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* Follow all the Illinois-related developments with ScribbleLive


- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      


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*** UPDATED x1 - Emanuel responds *** Right under the bus he goes

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

[Bumped up for visibility.]

* Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post

Losers…

* Rahm Emanuel: The president’s first chief of staff and the now-mayor of Chicago was a key cog in Obama’s first term. But the celebratory video that led into the president’s speech barely made mention of Rahm — and, when it did, it cast him as the guy saying that the Affordable Care Act couldn’t pass. Not great.

Man, that was a brutal moment.

* The video quote

Among the White House achievements championed in the video was the passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. However, one of the voices in the video relays that Emanuel, as Chief of Staff during the first two years of Obama’s administration, tried to get him to kill the bill because it would cost him re-election in 2012.

“A lot of people argued the politics were too costly,” former adviser David Axelrod said.

“Rahm Emanuel came to him and said you’re going to have to pull the bill, because if you push this legislation, you will lose in 2012,” another voice said.

However, the video depicts Obama as soldiering on to get it passed, no matter the politics. Obamacare would wind up passing Congress without a single Republican vote before Obama signed it into law.

* Oof…


* There was also this presidential line during the video when he’s talking about kids who’ve died in mass shootings…

“And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”

* Video

You gotta wonder what the mood is at his big party tonight.

*** UPDATE ***  Rahm and Durbin responded this morning…


* Related…

* Mark Brown: White House not only race on some Chicago delegates’ radar: Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a late arrival Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention, but many of those regarded as possible successors have been on the scene all week.

* ADDED: Democratic National Convention video leaves Emanuel ‘under the bus’

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


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* Open thread 2
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