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Breen to be new House GOP floor leader

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* House Republican Leader Jim Durkin will announce this evening that Rep. Peter Breen will take over as his new floor leader.

Breen (R-Lombard) is an attorney who advocates for pro-life causes. He’s very sharp in floor debates, so this role should be a good fit. He’s from the Jeanne Ives ideological wing in the HGOP caucus, but doesn’t have the same personal abrasiveness as some of those folks. Even so, it’s going to be interesting watching this guy work. Smart, very conservative and quick-witted.

Former floor leader Steve Andersson was ousted after he helped lead the override of Gov. Rauner’s budget and tax hike vetoes. It’s pretty darned certain that Rep. Breen won’t ever be doing anything like that.

- Posted by Rich Miller   22 Comments      


*** UPDATED x2 - Barickman walks it back, blames the coverage *** Barickman claims Rauner will negotiate when he gets SB 1, cautions on outcome

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* Sen. Jason Barickman, the lead school funding reform negotiator for the Senate Republicans, told reporters this afternoon that he spoke to the governor about negotiating with the Democrats on SB 1

I asked the governor, ‘When the bill is transmitted to you, will you hold the bill so that we can have a negotiation?’

He said, ‘Yes.’ He said ‘That’s a very reasonable thing to do. But I need the bill first.’ […]

I will tell you I am concerned that those negotiations will play out like prior ones, where the Democrats walked away from the table, introduced legislation that had no public scrutiny and advanced it through the legislative process that they control.

After a follow-up question, Barickman confirmed what he said. “There will first be negotiations, yes.” He also said there are no “hard lines in the sand.”

So, if Barickman is right, the governor seems to have reversed himself on that whole “Don’t you see how outrageous that is?” schtick.

*** UPDATE ***  Press release…

The best way to help schoolchildren is for Gov. Rauner to agree to sign a landmark overhaul of how Illinois funds public education, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said Thursday.

Cullerton renewed his request for Rauner to indicate his support for Senate Bill 1 and cautioned him against using his veto powers to rewrite the plan, which would jeopardize its future. Cullerton noted that an amendatory veto does not automatically become law and instead sets up a showdown with lawmakers on an override vote.

Here is the full statement from Senate President John Cullerton:

    “All the governor needs to do is tell us he will sign his name. The fastest way to help the children is to sign this historic education reform into law.

    An unconstitutional amendatory veto threatens all the work that has gone into this reform proposal. I again urge the governor to show us any changes he wants and to sit down for rational discussions now.

    We’ve done our homework. We passed an overhaul of the worst public school funding system in the nation. All the governor has to do is sign his name to get credit.”

*** UPDATE 2 ***  Well that didn’t take long. And look how he’s blaming the coverage of his exact words…


- Posted by Rich Miller   59 Comments      


Safe or nanny?

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

A new safety report ranks Illinois as the second safest state in the country. But one lawmaker says there’s a fine line between safety and being a nanny state.

Illinois gets high marks from the National Safety Council’s latest state-by-state report of its safety laws. Everything from mandatory seatbelt laws to partial credit for a workplace safety mandate. The report even praises Illinois’ workers compensation system for it’s generous payouts and lifetime coverage.

Peoria Sen. Chuck Weaver says he talks to business owners every week who say Illinois shouldn’t be lauded for its workers’ compensation system.

“Right now, they feel that they are being taken advantage of. They feel that the laws are unfair. They feel that there’s a lot of fraud in the system,” Weaver said. “Every one of these [business owners] wants to make sure they are fair to workers. But you can’t have laws in place that allow the system to be taken advantage of. And that’s what we have in the state of Illinois right now.”

Fraud and taking advantage of the system have little to nothing to do with being an allegedly safe place to live. If you want workers to receive less compensation or receive fewer on the job protections, just come out and say it.

The full report is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      


Question of the day

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* SJ-R

Abe’s right arm temporarily joined the backlog of repairs and maintenance at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield earlier this month.

The 30-foot, fiberglass statue of a young, ax-carrying Abe Lincoln has stood inside the Main Gate on Sangamon Avenue for 50 years. Illinois Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Rebecca Clark said Wednesday fairground workers believe age simply took its toll.

“We do not believe this is related to storm damage or vandalism, rather just routine wear,” said Clark. “While repairs were underway, the decision was made to give Abe a fresh coat of paint so he can welcome visitors to the Illinois State Fair.” […]

The department called on the expertise of Ernie Ball at Ernie Ball Auto Body of Springfield to reattach the arm and repaint the statue.

“It’s fiberglass, just like a Corvette. I’ve been working on them for years,” said Ball. “It took about a day and a half.”

* The Question: There’s gotta be an Illinois government analogy here somewhere, so can you come up with any?

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


Not much to round up today

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

“We’re all here. Speaker Madigan, President Cullerton chose to do nothing,” Rauner said Thursday after both chambers adjourned with no action. “President Cullerton, Speaker Madigan, turn in your homework. … A bill was passed two months ago to fund schools, but they’re hiding it.”

Cullerton said Wednesday that he hoped to meet with Rauner to negotiate changes before the governor uses his amendatory veto powers on it. He said he’d send it to the governor’s desk Monday if that meeting does not happen before then.

Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, spoke to reporters Thursday afternoon and was asked why wait until Monday.

“There’s nothing magical about Monday, you’ll have to ask the senate president that question,” Manar said, adding that Rauner has changed his position multiple times since the Senate first passed the measure in mid-May.

“That makes it difficult for us to understand where and how he wants to land the plane,” Manar said. Sending the bill to Rauner and allowing him to veto it “would put the bill in … final action. There’s no redo on an amendatory veto. That’s a take-it-or-leave it proposition.” […]

“What is so outrageous is to use our children as political leverage,” Rauner said at Thursday’s news conference.

Rauner, interestingly enough, didn’t take questions at that news conference.

* Sen. Manar did chat with reporters, however

I’ve asked the governor’s office for a list of schools that might not be able to reopen after summer break, or would have to close down soon afterward. So far, nothing.

* Here’s an AP report on that topic

Without a state funding solution for public education, several Macon County districts could run out of money and turn to borrowing by January or earlier, district leaders said Wednesday. […]

For Cerro Gordo, the answer is 167 days, meaning the district would run out of money by early January, Robinson said. State money makes up about one-third of the district’s $5.1 million budget.

The need for a solution is even more urgent for Decatur Public Schools, which would run out of cash in mid-November, top officials have said. […]

Meridian Superintendent Dan Brue said his district also would consider those options if the state doesn’t come through with funding by mid-January, when his district would run out of money. […]

The Mount Zion district is in a better position than many of its Central Illinois neighbors, Superintendent Travis Roundcount said. The district has just under $11 million on hand, more than the $6 million to $7 million per year that it typically receives from the state.

CPS has said it will reopen in the fall come heck or high water.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


“Gotcha”

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* From the RGA

Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Illinois Dem Gov Candidate Chris Kennedy Caught Using Tax Reduction He Attacked

After spending months railing against property taxes on the campaign trail, a new report shows that Illinois Democrat gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy’s rhetoric does not match his actions. POLITICO has revealed that Kennedy, who has criticized Illinois’ property tax appeal system as a way of giving “lucrative tax breaks to politically connected insiders,” used the same process he condemned to pursue an appeal for a 20 percent tax reduction on his home in suburban Chicago.

POLITICO reports:

    “Democrat Chris Kennedy has made Illinois property taxes — among the highest in the nation — a focus of his campaign for governor. He’s railed against an appeal system that he has likened to “extortion” for kicking lucrative tax breaks to politically connected insiders with high-powered lawyers.

    But even as Kennedy took to social media and forums to complain about a ‘rigged system,’ he was actively pursuing a second property tax appeal of his own — asking for a 20 percent reduction for his personal home in the Chicago suburb of Kenilworth.

    Kennedy then quietly withdrew his appeal request, according to a letter obtained by POLITICO, seven days after a story surfaced that was critical of property tax reductions won by his chief primary opponent, billionaire J.B. Pritzker.

    ‘Dear board members, please withdraw the above-referenced complaint for the 2016 assessment year,’ said the letter, dated May 19.

    It was penned by Kennedy’s attorneys, Tully & Associates, a firm has donated at least $60,000 to members of the board that considers such requests. The firm also represented Kennedy and business partners when they won a nearly 63 percent reduction in one of the buildings under development, according to Crain’s Chicago.”

Chris Kennedy’s message to Illinois voters is clear: do as I say, not as I do. Kennedy’s decision to engage in this level of hypocrisy shows voters that they can’t trust him to tell the truth or govern effectively.

Meh. He withdrew it. Nobody busted him out first. He did it on his own. I just have trouble getting all worked up about this. Maybe I’m wrong. Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


No, “Tom” is that other guy in DuPage

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* From NBC 5 last night…

Background on this weird and persistent phenomenon is here.

[The person who sent that to me said it was WGN, so it’s been corrected and sorry for the confusion. I hear that’s going around.]

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      


Two different conflicts

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* Bernie recounts Gov. Rauner’s claims about Speaker Madigan’s alleged conflict of interest

“When a person who sets tax policy and has controlled it for 35 years also controls a property tax appeal law firm that fundamentally makes money from the property tax policy in a way that … specifically disadvantages the families of Illinois, that is wrong; our system is broken; it’s fundamentally unfair.”

* Here’s some of Madigan’s response via Bernie’s column

Asked about it at his own news conference later, Madigan reiterated what he has said in the past: His law firm’s clients are a matter of public record, and an extensive newspaper investigation into his law practice found no client that got special or inappropriate treatment.

“My firm and myself operate under conflict rules,” Madigan said. “Any potential client seeking a state benefit is rejected. If a client requests my intercession with a state agency, I refuse. If a client expresses an interest in legislation, I recuse myself from consideration of the bill.”

* Steve Brown sent me the outline of Madigan’s statement that he read to the press yesterday…

* It’s plain that they’re talking about two different types of conflicts of interest. Madigan is focusing on the legal and direct ethical conflicts of dealing with law firm clients. Rauner is talking about the broader concept.

Raw audio of Madigan’s presser is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   42 Comments      


Two views on the new workers’ comp rate recommendation

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* During his press conference yesterday, Senate President John Cullerton mentioned the new workers’ comp ratings advisory. Cullerton crowed about the recommended 10.9 percent drop. We have two views today, starting with Sean Stott at the Laborers’ Union…

This week, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) released the latest figures on what Illinois employers should expect to pay for workers’ compensation insurance next year – a 10.9% decrease in their premium rates compared to this year. This is the fifth consecutive recommendation for lower rates for employers following the 2011 workers’ compensation benefit cuts enacted by the Illinois General Assembly, and follows the third largest drop in the nation in 2017. In total, Illinois employers should have seen a 36.5% reduction in their workers’ compensation rates since the 2011 benefit cuts, according to the NCCI.

But in Illinois, insurance companies aren’t required to follow those recommendations, and the industry has increased its own profit margin rather than pass savings on to Illinois employers.

“Common sense will tell you that if insurance companies are paying out less to injured workers and paying less to health care providers, costs should also go down for Illinois employers,” said Sean Stott, Director of Governmental Affairs for the Midwest Region of the Laborers’ International Union of North America. “But that’s not happening. In fact, insurance profits have increased more than 400% since the 2011 benefit cuts.”

“The Legislature passed bills that would hold insurance companies accountable for what they charge Illinois employers and create a more competitive market,” said Stott. “If Governor Rauner truly wants to save Illinois employers money, he would sign those bills into law.”

This year’s recommendation is the fifth time since 2011 in which the NCCI has recommended lower rates for workers’ compensation insurance, including the second consecutive double-digit percentage reduction. The NCCI did not make a recommendation in 2016.

In 2011, the General Assembly made the following changes to the workers’ compensation system in Illinois:

    · Cut medical fee payments by 30%;
    · Expanded the use of American Medical Association (AMA) Guidelines for assessing permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits (despite the AMA’s insistence that this is an inappropriate use of their Guidelines);
    · Restricted PPD wage differential benefits to the later of age 67 or 5 years after injury;
    · Cut PPD for most carpal tunnel cases by 20% and reduced the basis upon which benefits are calculated by 7.5%; and
    · Allowed employers to limit injured workers’ choice of medical providers.

* From Mark Denzler at the IMA…

Illinois continues to have the 8th most expensive cost of workers’ compensation in the United States and it remains a major impediment for manufacturing companies operating in this state. Surgeons continue to charge 250 to 350 percent more for performing the exact same surgery on a patient covered by workers’ compensation than they receive under private insurance. In real numbers, an arm injury in Illinois pays out an average of $439,858 compared to the national average of $169,878 – these out-of-whack numbers are the reasons why wealthy trial attorneys, union bosses and doctors oppose even modest changes to the current system. The fact is that the average cost of a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois is among the highest in the nation.

While we are pleased that NCCI’s latest advisory recommends an advisory rate level decrease, and our members hope to see some reduction in their premium cost from insurers, the cause behind NCCI’s advisory underscores the real problem facing the state’s economy.

NCCI made a key observation about a drop in the lost-time claim frequency of 4.6 percent in the last year. However, NCCI research points to three main reasons for reductions in lost-time claim frequency including

    * an industry shift away from construction and manufacturing jobs,
    * a decrease in average weekly hours for employees, and
    * a reduction in earned premium resulting from an unstable economic climate.

Quite simply, Illinois’ poor economic climate coupled with the loss of good, middle-class manufacturing jobs and reduced hours for workers is causing the drop in lost-time claim frequency.

At the end of the day, Illinois is not competitive when it comes to the cost of workers’ compensation and we will continue seeing companies leaving the state and families suffer because Illinois lawmakers choose to protect the interests of wealth trial lawyers, union bosses, and the medical community over job creators and hard working Illinoisans who struggle to find good jobs.

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      


FOIA reveals how Rauner calculated his school funding numbers

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* The governor has never been able to specify just how he arrived at the district-by-district numbers in his school funding reform plan. From the other day

REPORTER: Did ISBE score this version of your amendatory veto?

RAUNER: Uh, I don’t know. We, we’ve done the calculations.

REPORTER: Who is we?

RAUNER: Our administration in conjunction with, uh, our legislators and in conjunction with, uh, school officials.

* And then Bill Brady tried his hand at an explanation that turned out to be false

Another topic Rauner sidestepped today was whether the Illinois State Board of Education had run the numbers on his plan. State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) stepped to the microphone to state that ISBE analyzes only legislation, not proposals.

Via email, ISBE spokesperson Jackie Mathews later offered this explanation for the confusion: “ISBE will produce an analysis for legislation before it is filed but will make the analysis public only at the request of the bill sponsor. An analysis is considered draft until the bill is filed.”

* As it turns out, there’s a simple explanation. Dusty Rhodes had to file a FOIA to get it, however

When lawmakers want to see how a school funding bill would work out, they ask the Illinois State Board of Education to build a simulation or model. But on June 26th — the Monday after House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) held a press conference to demand that Rauner sign the school funding bill known as Senate Bill 1 — ISBE received “multiple requests” for new models showing varying appropriation levels. To expedite matters, the board’s legislative liaison, Amanda Elliott, sent an email to several staffers in both parties with a detailed plug-and-play diagram attached, showing them how to build their own school funding simulations using models already published on isbe.net. […]

​NPR Illinois obtained the email through the Freedom of Information Act.

So, why the need for sloppy answers and secrecy? Couldn’t they have just said right off the bat how they arrived at their numbers? Sheesh.

Better messaging, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - Purvis does it again *** Purvis partially blames Comptroller Mendoza for coming school crisis

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* Gov. Rauner’s education czar Beth Purvis was on Steve Cochrane’s radio show this morning

PURVIS: In addition, the comptroller has not yet released the Q3 and Q4 what are called mandatory categorical payments. The schools are owed about $850 million from FY17. And so we also call on the comptroller to release at least those Q3 dollars so that schools have the cash on hand that they need to open their doors.

COCHRANE: Why did she not release that?

PURVIS: That is a question for the comptroller. We believe that, and I think there have been conversations with her from many people saying she can at least release those Q3 dollars. Again, Q3 and Q4 the districts across the state for their mandated categorical payments, which is serving students with disabilities, serving English language learners, transportation, transportation for special education students. So when you add what is now a 56 or 57-day delay [in sending SB 1 to the governor’s desk] and the fact that the comptroller will not release those Q3 and Q4 payments, it is creating a crisis in all 850, well, not all, in those districts that serve a high percentage of low income kids, including the Chicago Public Schools, and those districts, who, because of proration of General State Aid or the fact that the General Assembly did not fully fund the schools from 2009 to 2015, a lot of them have burned through their cash reserves, so this cash flow issue is a really big one.

COCHRANE: Nobody runs a business like this. How can you run, you know, politicians standing up and going ‘Oh, it’s the kids, it’s all about the kids.’ Kiss my butt. It’s all about the kids, you care about yourself. And let me tell you something, when it comes to the comptroller, gimme an e-mail address Andrea for the comptroller so that we can let every listener know that they should be e-mailing the comptroller today and demanding an answer for why those Q3-Q4 payments haven’t been released, and when will they be…

* From the comptroller’s office…

If creating havoc for the State of Illinois was a form of art, Governor Bruce Rauner would be Michelangelo. Just three weeks removed from a narrowly-avoided statewide financial meltdown, he’s back at work on his latest masterpiece, plunging the state into a school funding crisis, and blaming everyone but himself.

Governor Rauner more than tripled the state’s bill backlog from $5 billion to $15.4 billion since taking office. Despite Governor Rauner’s manufactured budget crisis, our office prioritized putting together $429 million last month to make a delayed categorical payment to schools around the state. As of today, the state’s checkbook balance is only $254 million. The Governor has not left enough money in the state’s accounts for another categorical payment to happen again soon. Falsely blaming our office for not making payments from a bank account he emptied is like a check-bouncer blaming the bank for bouncing his check.

Thanks to the General Assembly overriding his veto and passing a budget, our office has been able to use dedicated funds — funds that can’t be used for K-12 education — to provide much-needed relief to higher education and Medicaid. General State Aid (GSA) to K-12 schools cannot be paid through interfund borrowing or through the General Revenue Fund (GRF) without a school funding bill being passed to authorize those expenditures.

This misinformation campaign coordinated by the Rauner Administration is the height of hypocrisy. Unfortunately, we have seen this playbook before. The governor needs to stop the political spin, do his job, and stop holding schools hostage. School funding legislation must be sent to the governor and he needs to sign it so I have the legal authority to release critical funds for schools.

In other words, you can’t pay big bills with a nearly empty checking account.

*** UPDATE ***  Purvis tried it again at the Sun-Times today

In an interview with the Sun-Times on Monday, Education Secretary Beth Purvis noted vouchers were submitted to the comptroller’s office on time by the Illinois State Board of Education and implored Mendoza to “prioritize” the payment the same way she prioritized post-secondary education payments.

Purvis said that payment would alleviate some pressure — without a school funding bill in place. The governor and Democratic leaders continue to bicker about that measure, with Rauner vowing to issue an amendatory veto to take out Chicago pension costs.

The comptroller’s office released about $429 million for “categoricals” a month ago. But another quarterly payment is delayed because there’s no revenue in the books yet to pay for it.

Mendoza on Thursday pinned the blame for the delayed payment — and the budget impasse — squarely on Rauner’s back.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune: Madigan, Cullerton to blame for losing Foxconn to Wisconsin

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* I seriously doubt that this particular POTUS would’ve favored a state he lost by 17 points over a state he unexpectedly won and which helped make him President, but whatever

Early this month, when they hit taxpayers with a 32 percent jump in the individual income tax rate, many legislators broke a promise they had made: No more tax hikes without major reforms to help Illinois’ moribund economy. Don’t worry, said Democrats who pushed the tax hike. We’ll get to those reforms soon enough.

But not soon enough, we now see, to keep electronics giant Foxconn from bypassing Illinois to make a jobs-rich investment in southeast Wisconsin. This is a huge win for Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin whom Illinois Democrats loathe. Just as this is an embarrassment for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.

Once again, the people of Illinois see how Madigan and Cullerton, with their combined 86 years in Springfield, have left Illinois ill-prepared to compete for 21st-century jobs. Their agenda is about raising taxes, not about delivering those reforms. As we wrote a few days ago, every other state on Foxconn’s short list looked better than Illinois by the basic measures of financial stability and pro-growth economies. […]

But we do know this: Wisconsin boasts a freshly burnished global image. One of the planet’s largest tech firms, with a million workers worldwide, says its search led it to bet a fraction of its future on Wisconsin. Assuming that happens, expect robust economic growth from suppliers, subcontractors, construction companies and other businesses that will serve Foxconn and its workforce.

Illinois is a train wreck. The government is paralyzed with infighting and barely keeping its fiscal head above water, it can’t figure out how to fund its schools, the state has a lousy economic climate overall and is losing population. What’s not to love?

But it will still benefit from this because workers in the northern part of the state could find employment, and some or even many of those suppliers and contractors could wind up being from Illinois (unless they move operations north, of course).

* Not to mention that, at a time when the state is still struggling mightily to recover from the just-ended impasse and can’t even revive its most important corporate incentive (click here for that story), shelling out as much as $3 billion in subsidies probably would be frowned upon here

Let’s take a look at those figures: Wisconsin is paying as much as $1 million per job, which will carry an average salary of $54,000. The state’s economic development corporation is selling the project to taxpayers with a claim that it will create 10,000 construction jobs for building the facility and another 6,000 indirect positions. It’s expecting $3.3 million of investment per employee from the Taiwanese company.

Politicians, lobbyists and Foxconn can make the figures work by being generous with the facts. For example, if every one of those jobs came to fruition, they can claim 29,000 positions for $3 billion, or $103,000 per job. But that’s not going to happen.

Foxconn has factories in China and another dozen countries globally, yet that stated $10 billion investment is more than the group’s publicly traded flagship — Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. — has devoted to capital expenditure over the past five years combined.

There is potential for the payroll to climb to 13,000 in the future — a figure crucial to Wisconsin justifying the expense — but I wouldn’t bet your 401(k) on it. That’s because if Gou really does dish out $10 billion on this facility, the only way to make it viable is by keeping staffing low and leaning on automation to boost productivity. This LCD factory will be either labor intensive or highly automated. It can’t be both.

* But it still would’ve been a big win

The agreement represents an opportunity as well as a risk for Wisconsin — state lawmakers must now consider a subsidy package nearly 50 times bigger than the state’s previous record.

The factory project would involve a virtual village, with housing, stores and service businesses spread over at least 1,000 acres, according to interviews. That acreage, a 1.5 square-mile area the size of Shorewood, could be assembled from parcels that initially aren’t contiguous, the source said.

At 20 million square feet, the factory would be three times the size of the Pentagon, making it one of the largest manufacturing campuses in the nation. It would initially employ 3,000 workers making an average of $53,900 a year plus benefits and could eventually boast more than four times that.

*** UPDATE ***  Greg Hinz reached out to an upbeat Mark Peterson, the new head of Intersect Illinois...

Intersect Illinois already has been talking with county officials about how to plug local folks into Foxconn Technology Group’s talent search, and has had preliminary talks with the company that likely will be followed by a fuller discussion later this year, he said.

“We want to talk to them about what they need,” he says. “What can we do to customize (through worker training and other programs)?”

The state also may facilitate a connection between Foxconn and Northwestern University, Peterson said. Foxconn likes to work with academic institutions, and engineering-heavy NU “has a lot of things that could be beneficial.” […]

The potential is at least equally large for suppliers, Peterson said.

Though some will be located on a campus with Foxconn’s main factory—and still, a site hasn’t been chosen—”A lot of times, they want their suppliers close but not in their backyard. They don’t want to cannibalize their own workforce.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   93 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker lampoon’s Rauner’s “Best team in America” comment

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* Press release…

Crisis Creatin’ Rauner released a new video today highlighting Bruce Rauner’s so-called “best team in America,” a group of radicals and amateurs, many of whom were hired directly from the Illinois Policy Institute.

After Rauner was asked about his controversial new hires by a Quad City TV station, Rauner said, “we’re building the best team in America.” So far that team has included a staffer fired on his first day for “racially-charged, homophobic and sexually explicit tweets,” and a still employed staffer who “compared abortion to Nazi eugenics.” In total, over 20 Rauner staffers have been fired or resigned in protest and have been replaced by people with little to no government experience and extremist views.

“The only thing Rauner’s new team is ‘best’ at is unleashing crisis on this state,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. ‘‘His new hires will only aid Rauner in furthering the damage he’s done to the state, and their radical views are deeply out of step with the people of Illinois. Surely, even Bruce Rauner and the Illinois GOP can do better than this.”

* The video

Oof.

*** UPDATE ***  That video reminded me of something that a buddy pointed out to me earlier this week and I forgot to post. This is from Gov. Rauner’s recent WSIL TV interview about the hiring and firing of his one-day body man, who, you’ll recall, tweeted out some pretty disgusting things

REPORTER: But weren’t you involved in interviewing him?

RAUNER: Interviewing?

REPORTER: When he was hired?

RAUNER: No. I met him once.

If you watch the video, “I met him once” was said in an offhanded way.

We already know that the governor’s denial about interviewing his own body man has been contradicted by reporters, including Tina Sfondeles at the Sun-Times.

* And if you click here and let the video run for a few seconds, you’ll see the governor appearing at an event with his body man on the day he was fired. Here’s a screen grab…

I suppose that traveling with the guy for a couple/three hours back and forth to an event in Mt. Zion could be characterized as meeting him “once.” Or maybe he was just hoping nobody would notice.

By itself, on a scale of 1-10 this might rise to a 1.3. Not a big deal at all (which is why this is an update and not its own post). But politicians who establish a pattern of telling little fibs to reporters can often find themselves in hot water down the line.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* And this is from the ILGOP…

It’s been over 57 days since Mike Madigan and his machine have taken school funding and the futures of Illinois children hostage for their $500 million Chicago bailout.

Today, the Illinois Republican Party has updated BossMadigan.com with a stopwatch to remind voters just how long the Madigan Machine has taken our children hostage.

On May 31st, SB1 passed the General Assembly. Per the Illinois Constitution, the bill is supposed to head to Governor Rauner’s desk.

But Mike Madigan and John Cullerton are intentionally holding the bill, perverting the legislative process.

It’s a blatant assault on our democracy in order to create pressure for their Chicago bailout.

See the updated BossMadigan page here:

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      


Team Rauner sets 5-day fundraising target “to show Madigan that Illinois does not want the old way”

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* From a fundraising e-mail…

In case you missed it: this month, Michael Madigan forced the largest tax hike in state history on Illinois families.

FIRST: Career politicians crippled our state for decades with a culture of corruption and self-interest.

THEN: Madigan, the House and Senate rejected commonsense reforms presented by Governor Rauner.

NOW: Madigan forced a permanent 32% income tax hike on Illinois families and passed a budget that is $2 billion out of balance.

We can’t sit by and watch Illinois go back to the old way of doing things.

Illinois is already suffering and the last thing we need is higher taxes without structural reform.

We have only 5 short days until July 31st and we need to raise $10,000 by then in order to send the message that we’re not going to accept the unsustainable and dangerous habits of the past.

Will you help fight back against the 32% tax hike?

If you agree we need to see real budget reform in our state - NOT a massive 32% tax hike - please donate to our reform fund today so we can fight back.

    >>Donate $10>>
    >>Donate $25>>
    >>Donate $50>>
    >>Donate $100>>

We need to show Madigan that Illinois does not want the old way.

Team Rauner

As I’ve talked about before, small-dollar fundraising helps people feel they have “buy-in” on a campaign. The tiny amount of money is irrelevant to Rauner. But a list of committed small-dollar donors is worth its weight in gold. Rauner reported over $182K in unitemized receipts during the last quarter. Not bad for a rich guy.

* Meanwhile, in other campaign news…

Today, Illinois Painters District Councils No. 14, No. 30, and No. 58 joined together to endorse JB Pritzker for governor. As members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, they represent 36 different craft trades collectively across Illinois. This endorsement comes as labor support for JB Pritzker continues to grow, with support from the Illinois AFL-CIO and seventeen unions across the state of Illinois, including the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881, and the United Steelworkers Union.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


“Don’t you see how outrageous that is?”

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* The governor was asked this question during a press conference yesterday…

Governor, the Senate President says he’s holding [SB 1] until Monday in the hopes that you’ll come around and agree to meet with him and to negotiate. Are you unwilling to have that meeting?

* The governor’s clearly angry response, after a long pause, is the headline to this post

Now, the governor does go on to explain there is a constitutional process here. The legislature passed a bill in May, but haven’t sent it to him yet. The next step in the process is he takes action and then the General Assembly takes further action on his amendatory veto. He’s right about all of that.

But to claim that a meeting with a legislative leader is an “outrageous” demand is a bit much.

…Adding… Roundup…

* Rauner camp calls Cullerton’s ‘mental state’ remark ‘inappropriate’

* Cullerton won’t send Rauner school funding bill until Monday

* Finger-pointing continues as Cullerton says he’ll wait until Monday to send education funding bill to Rauner’s desk

* Sparring continues on school funding bill; nothing resolved

* No movement on 1st day of special session on school funding

* School Funding Special Session Keeps Legislators & Gov. At Odds

- Posted by Rich Miller   57 Comments      


DGA Poll: Rauner disapproval at 63 percent

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* I’ve already given my brief take to subscribers, but here’s the full polling memo from Normington Petts on behalf of the Democratic Governors Association

• Incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner remains extremely vulnerable with every measure of his political support below 40%.

• Rauner’s veto of the budget has worsened his standing with voters.

    o His favorable rating has declined since January, dropping from an already meager 33%-44% to 33%-48%.

    o His job rating as governor is also lower, falling from 36%-58% to 34%-63%.

    o Against a generic Democrat, Rauner trails 37% to 49%, a wider margin than the 35%-45% deficit we measured in January.

• Rauner’s job rating on “the state budget” is a devastating 29%-65%, with a majority (50%) saying Rauner has done a “poor” job on that issue.

Not only do the common measures of political strength show weakness, but under the surface there are signs of significant trouble for Rauner’s re-election chances. Since January, the percentage of voters who rate the job he is doing as governor as “not so good” or “poor” has increased from 58% to 63% (+5) across the Prairie State. In what should be alarming for Rauner supporters, Rauner’s negative job rating stands at 61% and has increased 10 points among white voters age 60 and older since January (61% negative, +10). Rauner has seen negative increases in other key demographic and geographic groups including in the Chicago media market (68% negative, +8), among Independents (65% negative, +8) and in the Collars (54% negative, +4).

Rauner is not just losing ground with those critical constituencies, but there are signs that Rauner’s low standing among his own partisans combined with the intensity of dislike from Democrats could create a disproportionate turnout scenario that further damages his re-election chances. Democrats rate the job Rauner is doing as governor at 8%-89%, with 66% saying he is doing a “poor” job. That level of intensity among Democrats is met with tepid support from Republicans who give him a job rating of 68%-29%, with just 17% saying he is doing an “excellent” job. That is a nearly 4 to 1 ratio of hate to love. These kinds of ratings create a plausible scenario of unenthused Republicans staying home and angry Democrats coming out in larger than expected numbers, which results in a wave across Illinois that will affect every candidate in 2018. Rauner is on track to be an albatross around the neck of GOP candidates up and down the ballot.

* Chart

* Methodology

(L)ive interview telephone survey conducted among 600 likely voters in Illinois on behalf of the Democratic Governors Association. Respondents were reached on both landlines and mobile phones. Interviews were conducted July 18-20, 2017. The sampling error for this survey is ±4%. There are references to a poll conducted January 3-5, 2017 with the same sample size and methodology.

* Pritzker campaign response…

Today, the Pritzker campaign released the following statement in response to a new poll showing Bruce Rauner’s poll numbers underwater after failing to do his job, vetoing the state budget, and causing lasting damage across our state.

“Bruce Rauner is the most vulnerable governor in the country and it’s clear that Illinois voters are ready for a real leader like JB,” said Pritzker campaign manager Anne Caprara. “While Rauner continues to blame everyone but himself for his failures, Illinois families know the truth. Rauner created a 736-day budget crisis, drove the bond rating to the edge of junk status, and is now holding funding for schoolchildren hostage to force his reckless, special interest agenda. Our campaign is committed to holding Rauner accountable for his callous disregard for the people of this state. This should be a wake-up call for anyone who thinks it’s politically wise to follow the governor’s polling numbers off a cliff.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   73 Comments      


*** LIVE *** Special session coverage

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* Both chambers convene at noon. No committee hearings are currently scheduled. And since the Senate President said yesterday that he isn’t sending SB 1 to the governor’s desk until Monday, attendance may be even lighter today. Follow along with ScribbleLive


- Posted by Rich Miller   4 Comments      


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

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Harith Augustus coverage roundup
* Transitions: Baise, Denzler, Demmer, DeWitte, Mazzochi
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* *** LIVE *** Campaign finance reports
* Rauner denies tacking to the right with Pence praise
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* John McGovern: "An honorable man in politics"
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