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*** UPDATED x3 - Rauner demands apology *** Senate Dems make formal request for IG probe, but Proft issues flat-out denial

Friday, May 19, 2017

* Background for this letter is here. From the Senate Democrats…

May 19, 2017

Maggie Hickey
Executive Inspector General of Illinois
Office of Executive Inspector General, Division of Investigations

Inspector General Hickey:

It has been brought to our attention that records and information from Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration and the Illinois State Board of Education were provided to a political group funded by the governor’s campaign. This is disturbing. The citizens of Illinois deserve honesty and integrity at every level of government.

Please consider this a formal request that your office research and investigate this situation.

If you or your office need additional information or have questions, please contact us.

Sincerely,

State Senator Andy Manar (D-48)
State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-40)
State Senator Donne Trotter (D-17)
Assistant Majority Leader
State Iris Y. Martinez (D-20)
Assistant Majority Leader
State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-19)
State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-49)

* The JB Pritzker campaign stepped in as well…

“It’s despicable that Bruce Rauner and Republicans would resort to leaking fake news in order to slow down progress for our state, and specifically for education,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen. “Students in Illinois shouldn’t be held hostage while Rauner tries to slash important programs and prevent their teachers from making a decent living. Illinois families deserve a governor that works to solve problems, not create them.”

* OK, now, if you click here, you’ll see a pdf of the original story on Dan Proft’s Kankakee Times website.

The story has since been updated without labeling it as an update to add these two paragraphs

The state funding cuts wouldn’t take effect immediately. Manar’s bill also includes a temporary “hold harmless” clause that would effectively delay them for two years.

The ISBE analysis was conducted last summer, after Manar unveiled his school funding proposal. It is the last known analysis of the bill.

As a Republican pointed out to me a few minutes ago, the ISBE analysis referred to is of SB 231, which was introduced last year. That analysis is available online. Click here and then scroll down to the SB 231 link to see it.

* I just talked to Proft and here are some quotes…

Everything Manar said at that press conference is false. We got no information from the governor’s office. None. Zero.

We got the numbers from Reboot Illinois. We did the story based on the last, best numbers we had.

The real story is that the Senate voted on that bill without any numbers… without knowing the implications of state funding schools… By their own admission, they don’t have the numbers.

*** UPDATE 1 ***  At my request, Proft sent me the e-mail chain with Reboot. I redacted all e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Click here.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…

The Rauner Administration released the following statement regarding the Senate Democrats’ false accusations. The following is attributable to spokesperson Eleni Demertzis:

“The Senate Democrats today jumped the shark. One cannot leak something that is on a public web site. Their false and outrageous accusations have been disproven, and they should apologize for manufacturing blatantly false accusations.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** Press release…

State Senator Andy Manar is urging Illinois school superintendents to be aware that misleading figures are being peddled about Senate Bill 1, the school funding plan that passed in the Illinois Senate this week.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office this afternoon acknowledged the figures are inaccurate and outdated but stopped short of denouncing them.

“This appears to be a textbook example of fake news. I am disturbed as to how and why this information was put out there and framed as official information from the Rauner administration, clearly with the intent of confusing and misleading people about Senate Bill 1,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat.

“Senate Democrats have asked the executive inspector general to look into that, but right now I want to make sure school superintendents are aware that outdated information is fraudulently being passed off as up-to-date news about Senate Bill 1.

“Furthermore, I hope Gov. Rauner and Education Secretary Beth Purvis will follow our lead and alert school officials about this misleading information to set the record straight. Anything less makes them complicit in a concerted effort to jeopardize Illinois’ shot at achieving meaningful school funding reform.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

40 Comments
  1. - Lance Mannion - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    The Dems. voting on the bill without any numbers may be a real “story,” but that’s not all that interesting. The rest is unnecessary and tiring drama.

    This nonsense is unhelpful to getting a deal done.


  2. - Fixer - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 12:34 pm:

    Someone got caught flat footed on this and didn’t expect a response. This should be fun.


  3. - wordslinger - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    Probably just a mistake in translation from the original
    German.

    Is this why Rauner has a redundant “education secretary” ghost buried at DHS at $250K a year? To phony up government data for use as a political club by his outside, paid, propaganda weasels?


  4. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    Proft’s fake paper portrayed this as an analysis of what was voted on Wednesday and said they obtained it from the Rauner administration.

    OK. The numbers are wrong. The info is old. And now they didn’t get it from the Rauner administration? So it was all a lie for political gain.

    OK. Fine. Fake news is what it is.

    But the Rauner administration has been put on notice that its information is being misused. Is it going to do anything about it?
    Is the governor or Sec. Purvis warning superintendents that incorrect info is making the rounds?
    Don’t they have a responsibility to the public?


  5. - A Jack - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    True or not, Democrats on the attack against Proft is refreshing.

    Imagine the fake news guy saying that anyone is lying.


  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    ===Proft’s fake paper portrayed this as an analysis of what was voted on Wednesday and said they obtained it from the Rauner administration.===

    Where did they say they obtained it from the Rauner administration?


  7. - Ahoy! - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:00 pm:

    Personally, I think it’s all kind of silly (Proft is just a joke himself) but the Democrats don’t have a legitimate complaint, they do this kind of stuff all the time. Someone can say that they are more upfront and use their own internal political campaigns instead of 3rd party groups.

    Either way, this side show is stupid compared to the major problems we have that neither side is adequately addressing.


  8. - Manar - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:06 pm:

    His temper got the best of him and now he publicly accused Rauner of doing something that appears to have been easily refuted. In other words, Manar played same political game he accused Rauner of playing. I’m sure he will apologize to Rauner in 3,2,1…


  9. - erick389875253 - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    Some really tremendous work on behalf of the owner of this site, utterly great content material.


  10. - Rod - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    All the discussion of SB 1 is based on it being funded, with the failure of SB 42 there is as yet no budget implementation bill for even the first stages of the new evidence based model.

    SB 1 is not an appropriation bill so this entire discussion by Senator Manar on funding going to particular districts is based on funding assumptions built into the bill, but not yet approved by the Senate, House, and signed by the Governor. Moreover as the bill states the funding ratios in the bill are targets for “June
    30, 2027.”

    This entire discussion is most bizarre and SB 1 will never be fully funded unless revenue increases over the next 9 years or cuts are made elsewhere in the state budget and transferred to k-12 education. Shall we cut Medicare even more or how about higher education? Pick your poison.


  11. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:20 pm:

    ===Pick your poison===

    In what might be his only “accomplishment” as Governor, Rauner brags about increasing money for K-12 education. “Biggest increase in history,” if i recall correctly.

    Are you saying he should just pour it into a broken school formula instead of fixing the formula to get those precious dollars to the students who need it most? It sounds like you’re arguing FOR the status quo there Ron.


  12. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:23 pm:

    So the “despicable” actions of Governor Rauner’s office . . . uh . . . never took place? And Rauner’s office never “leaked” any such information to the Proft papers?

    The IG request for investigation is based on tin foil hat wearing?

    Good Grief!


  13. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    “… according to an Illinois State Board of Education analysis obtained …”

    Where else does one obtain an ISBE analysis?

    Look, we now know Proft was making it all up. But that’s not what he said.


  14. - PJ - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    Unless Manar is just outright lying, someone from the governor’s office brought that outdated, inapplicable analysis to the meeting yesterday, and then it ended up in Proft’s paper purporting to be an analysis of SB1.

    Rauner can say what he wants, but if that isn’t suspicious to you I don’t know what to say.


  15. - ste_with_a_v_en - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    Nothing like making Dan Proft look calm and reasonable to help their chances.


  16. - Texas Red - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:41 pm:

    It is amazing what they fight about in Springfield. Remind me of my kids fighting over the most insignificant stuff just to get attention.


  17. - Rich Miller - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    ===someone from the governor’s office brought that outdated, inapplicable analysis to the meeting yesterday, and then it ended up in Proft’s paper===

    Nope. The gov’s people brought an analysis of more recent legislation.


  18. - Saluki - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    Seems like everyone needs a drink, a smoke, and a nap today.


  19. - Try-4-Truth - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:53 pm:

    “Jumped the Shark”??????? Is this how low our political discourse has sunk? Wow, I’m speechless.

    I can’t believe someone typed that let alone sent it out into the world. Just amazing.


  20. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    Tell ya what Gov., you’ll get your apology when Kenea Williams gets hers. Deal?


  21. - Rich Miller - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:55 pm:

    ===Seems like everyone needs a drink, a smoke, and a nap today===

    It’s been a week.


  22. - wordslinger - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:57 pm:

    So who gave Proft the ISBE analysis? Assange?


  23. - so... - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    ==So who gave Proft the ISBE analysis? Assange?==

    Perhaps try reading the email Rich posted? Reboot did.


  24. - Responsa - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 2:03 pm:

    I am confused by some of the comments here–possibly because it’s hard to gauge when they were written in relation to the updates Rich posted. No matter how you might feel about him personally I hope some people are not suggesting they wish Proft had not clarified and hit back at the misinformation and the hysteria generated by both the list of Dems and the Pritzker campaign.

    Confirmation bias is an increasingly dangerous thing in our polarized society.


  25. - Skeptic - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    “Their false and outrageous accusations have been disproven, and they should apologize for manufacturing blatantly false accusations.” … sez the people who insisted AFSCME was going on strike September 1.


  26. - Rod - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 2:15 pm:

    To 47th ward: one approach is simply start to fully fund the existing k-12 budget. Develop a realistic revenue increase based on taxation that can be approved by the Assembly, examine the other obligations of the State for health care, roads, human services, and effectively develop a revenue augmentation plan for those districts with low property wealth, and higher poverty levels using real money, not magic money that will appear over time. CPS would get limited additional dollars because it does not have low property wealth, but does have high poverty. But the key is to use real money not pretend money.

    This will not create equity among school districts in Illinois. But the truth is a school district like East St. Louis District 189 is not going to achieve an equal status to Lake Forest Community High School District 115, SB 1 will not make that happen.


  27. - Shark Sandwich - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    I demand an investigation into the improper usage of the phrase “jumped the shark”.


  28. - (un)Happy - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 2:50 pm:

    I just heard from the President. He says “Jumped the Shark” is big, a great, a really terrific new phrase that he just came up with a couple days ago. He says that literally everyone, especially the really smart superstars are using it now… :/


  29. - Albany Park Patriot - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 2:52 pm:

    This Proft guy is doing a good job for his master. He doesn’t care if he’s credible. He just wants fog so that nobody’s really sure what they’re looking at.


  30. - PJ - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 3:03 pm:

    ===Nope. The gov’s people brought an analysis of more recent legislation.===

    Well then Manar was flat out wrong, because that’s definitely what he said in the press conference.


  31. - VanillaMan - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    I tried going to Proft’s site, but it had a virus that rewrote my browser homepage - “Lose weight now, ask me how!”

    “Rich Miller’s 13 Horrific Wardrobe Fails!”


  32. - Hit Em With the Hein - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    If you remember a few months ago the last time Manar was going to bring SB 1 to a vote the guvs office torpedoed the vote by having Robert Wolfe at ISBE release the numbers to school districts that he had been sitting on right up until the last second before the vote was called. Problem was the numbers didn’t include the amendments then either. It is a shame that the governor has turned the State Board of Education into a political piece for him to use as he pleases. They should be an independent body. How about an elected state superintendent? Not one appointed every 4 years essentially by the governor?


  33. - Hit Em With the Hein - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 3:16 pm:

    The one thing I do like is the use of Jump the Shark which was “created” by the same man my nickname is about. Great to use when talking about Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch but shouldn’t be used by the guvs office!


  34. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 3:27 pm:

    At this point, does it matter where Proft got his info? In this climate, everyone believes whatever they feel like. Raunerites will call it fake news and ignore it. Dems will proclaim this as one more lie in the mountain of lies the Governor and his political hacks have been spreading for three and a half years. Bought and paid for Illinois media will still parrot whatever statement Eleni puts out, and with Farro buying the sun times again, they’ll still all endorse Bruce in 2018.

    As ridiculous as it might sound, nothing will come of this.


  35. - Boone's is back - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 3:31 pm:

    This whole thing is just ridiculous. Can we please get a budget. The sniping over Dan Proft’s paper is so insignificant compared the major problems facing this state. Both groups would be better served getting back to work rather than trying to score political points.


  36. - wordslinger - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    Fonzie jumped the shark in 1977. Cousin Oliver showed up at the Brady’s in 1974.

    Regardless, I guess such a lame and dated reference is the best the Superstars can do in whining for an apology for Gov. Sensitive Feelings. Earned their money today.


  37. - Hit Em With the Hein - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 3:41 pm:

    Next time the governors office will have Ted McGinley give the press conference. If you get that joke good on you. If they use the term “Nuke the Fridge” next time we are really in trouble!!


  38. - The Other Anonymous - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    Word, for the under 60 crowd jump the shark is a pretty common expression.


  39. - winners and losers - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 3:49 pm:

    ==Nope. The gov’s people brought an analysis of more recent legislation.==

    If Rich is correct, Manar is wrong.

    But Andy Manar has misled us all on school formulas.

    Saying they were “broken”, they “stink”, that funding current school formulas was “sending money down a rathole”.

    As Rod just pointed out “one approach is simply start to fully fund the existing k-12 budget.”

    “Develop a realistic revenue increase based on taxation that can be approved by the Assembly,”

    “examine the other obligations of the State for health care, roads, human services, and effectively develop a revenue augmentation plan for those districts with low property wealth, and higher poverty levels”

    “using real money, not magic money”

    We are such suckers. We fell for the oldest political ploy: (1) saying things are so bad that any new proposal must be better;

    (2) believing that something called Evidence Based really was based on things that had really worked when NO State has implemented this grandiose theory;

    (3) ignoring that the ONLY way to help the poorest schools was massive amounts of NEW money, not just changing the school formulas so each local school district would have maximum local control;

    (4) we have State and Federal education laws JUST BECAUSE local school districts have never as a whole been able to efficiently educate all children;

    (5)Illinois has over 850 school districts, over 220 of which have JUST ONE school (SB 1 does NOTHING to correct this problem as SB 1 was written by the school administrators.)


  40. - Hit Em With the Hein - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 3:54 pm:

    Top 5 Jump the Shark moments:

    5. The Connors win the lottery on Roseanne
    4. Rauner beats Kirk Dillard in the primary
    3. Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch
    2. Bobby Ewing in the shower on Dallas
    1. Fonzie literally jumps the shark on Happy Days!

    I like this game. If Rauner’s people say “nuke the fridge” you’ll get my movie list!

    Hit with the Heinnnnnnnn!!!!


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