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“Out of town stupid”

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* “Gregory Krieg is a New York-based reporter at CNN Politics. His beat is the offbeat, writing and reporting on politics, culture, and political movements. He also produces interactive projects and feature video.” Here’s his take on Illinois

A billionaire, a Kennedy, and a little known, progressive state senator are the three to keep an eye on as Democrats gear up for a fight with the wildly wealthy incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

J.B. Pritzker is the Hyatt heir and venture capitalist with a name familiar to everyone in the region (and a sister who served as President Barack Obama’s commerce secretary). Chris Kennedy, son of the late Robert Kennedy, had some practice jabbing at Rauner, assailing his “so-called turnaround agenda” as a sleight of hand, and “part of the narrative that government doesn’t work so he has to privatize it,” in remarks at the Democratic convention in 2016.

Kennedy is the early, if narrow, favorite, but Pritzker’s overstuffed pockets will allow him to spend (and spend and spend) all the way up to the vote.

State Sen. Daniel Biss might be the most interesting (and left-most) of the three, but his campaign is struggling to break through. In part, that’s a money issue. Pritzker and Kennedy are awash in it. Biss is not, and he tripped out of the gate when he brought on Chicago Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa as his running mate, then promptly parted ways with him after Ramirez-Rosa’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against the Israeli government grabbed some headlines. The decision dampened Biss’ progressive cred — Ramirez-Rosa, a Democratic Socialists of America member, never hid his support for BDS — and raised questions about the campaign’s vetting process.

* Mark is right…

Exactly. Biss outraised Kennedy two quarters in a row and doesn’t have Kennedy’s ridic burn rate. And a recent poll had Pritzker over Kennedy and Biss 39-15-6, respectively.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      

Caption contest!

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* Press release from House Republican Leader Jim Durkin’s primary opponent…

Mickey Straub kicks off campaign to bring true conservative leadership to Springfield

“The support and energy of this crowd reinforces what we already know: Illinois is on the wrong path, the Republican Party has lost its way and we need new leadership in Springfield,” said candidate Mickey Straub. “Everyone here recognizes that career politicians like Jim Durkin and Mike Madigan have hurt the state with yet another tax hike. We need a representative who puts principles and the people before self-preservation. It’s time to put Illinois first and elect a true, principled conservative as our state representative for this district.”

Kicking off the campaign with Mickey was a crowd of over one hundred friends and community leaders, including former Chicago Bear and ‘85 Super Bowl Champion, Hall of Famer Dan Hampton. Last night’s rally follows a release of data by the state board of elections showing current GOP leader Jim Durkin has turned his back on conservative principles – families of his district – and Republicans by taking money from Democrats and Mike Madigan supporters.

“The people of our community want common sense leadership and more principled conservatives in our statehouse. The time for a new direction is now, because Illinoisans can’t take a back seat to career politicians and special interests any longer. I’m running to put Illinois on the Right Path.”

Mickey Straub is the conservative reform candidate for the 82nd House District, which includes Western Springs, Burr Ridge and Lemont. Mickey is the president of Sales Activity Management, Inc., a faith-based performance measurement company in Burr Ridge, a husband, parent, Catholic and a community leader. He is serving his second term as mayor of Burr Ridge.

The “release of data by the state board of elections” stuff probably refers to this recent story in one of Dan Proft’s papers.

* Anyway, on to the caption contest featuring Dan Hampton and the candidate…

- Posted by Rich Miller   42 Comments      

It’s just a bill

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* Check out the last paragraph

Health care providers at facilities that require them to be vaccinated against specified flu viruses would no longer be able to opt out for philosophical reasons under legislation approved overwhelmingly Thursday by the Illinois House.

Rep. Marcus Evans’ bill, which affects only Chicago and other areas where the local health department has jurisdiction over more than 500,000 residents, would still allow health care workers to opt out of the vaccinations for religious reasons or if a doctor says the vaccine could affect a worker’s health.

“In any system, if you have a vaccination program … for whatever reason you don’t want to be vaccination, you can opt out with a doctor’s note or for religious reasons, but not for philosophical reasons,” Evans, D-Chicago, said.

The legislation passed 104-1.

Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, was the lone no vote. She said the bill forces people to get vaccines against their will.

“My personal preference is being overruled by your bill,” Mayfield said. “Your bill says you cannot refuse and you can be fired if you refuse. … I don’t think it’s your job to mandate what I do with my body.”

* AP

A resolution headed to the Illinois House floor Wednesday would require an audit of a $94 million online insurance portal and the performance of the only company that responded to the contract request.

The State Government Administration Committee unanimously voted for a review by the auditor general of the 10-year contract with Atlanta-based Morneau Shepell following an Associated Press report in June.

The AP reported that the search for a contract lasted just three weeks, Morneau Shepell was the only company to seek the work, its bid came in at just one-third of the state’s estimated cost, and the company was allowed to forgo requirements in state law for ensuring minority participation.

The resolution was adopted unanimously today.

* SJ-R

Credit reporting agencies could no longer charge consumers fees for placing a security freeze on their credit reports under legislation approved by the Illinois House Thursday.

The House voted 109-0 on House Bill 4095. Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, said the bill is in response to the massive data breach at credit reporting agency Equifax.

The bill also prohibits credit agencies from charging a fee to consumers to unfreeze their reports if they want to obtain a loan or conduct some other financial transaction that requires access to the reports.

* Related…

* House Overrides Rauner On Salary History: Rep. Margo McDermed, R-Mokena, says wage disparity was a big issue when she entered the workforce in 1978 — and still is today. “Ladies and gentlemen here in the chamber, if you have a mother, a sister, a grandmother, a wife, a daughter, an auntie, or a niece who’s in the wage-earning private sector, you need to be a ‘yes’ on this vote,” she said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

Claim: ILGOP boots Chicago GOP from office over Ives allegiance

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* Illinois Review

In a press release today, the Chicago Republican Party expressed disappointment that a staffer has been denied access to Illinois Republican Party headquarters. The Chicago GOP staffer was told by a Rauner staffer that he could no longer use a desk within the office.

According to the press release, the reason the IL GOP offered is a press report that Chris Cleveland, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, is under consideration as a running mate for State Rep Jeanne Ives. Ives is considering a gubernatorial bid.

“We’re disappointed the governor’s team would do something like this. We’re running candidates in Chicago, and the city and state parties need to coordinate so they’re not left out in the cold,” said Cleveland. “The governor should be above such petty retribution.”

I’ve asked the ILGOP for a response.

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      

Another AG candidate will announce tonight

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* Democrat Renato Mariotti, who’s probably best known for several appearances a week on cable news shows, will announce his campaign for Illinois attorney general tonight on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” program. He said he will begin touring the state this weekend.

His campaign website is here. In our conversation earlier today and on his website, Mariotti plays up his blue collar roots

Renato is a Chicago native, born into a blue-collar family on the South Side. His father, a first-generation American who didn’t graduate from high school, worked as a barber and a newspaper deliveryman to help support his family while his mother answered phones at a local insurance agency. After moving to the suburbs Renato excelled in school and was accepted into the University of Chicago. He and his parents worked extra jobs to help afford his college tuition and he graduated with honors in 1998, earning entry into Yale Law School.

Mariotti eventually became a federal prosecutor in Chicago and was the first to convict a high frequency trader. He went into private practice about a year ago. He’s a partner at Thompson Coburn along with Senate President John Cullerton. One of Cullerton’s members, Sen. Kwame Raoul, is also running for AG, so partner meetings might get a bit awkward.

* Mariotti says he makes 5-10 appearances a week on MSNBC and he’s built a strong following on Twitter. He said he plans to use that social media presence to help him raise money.

“I have a good base of support financially,” Mariotti claimed. Hundreds of people, he said, have already reached out to him about the race. He’s filed A-1’s totaling about $82K so far. He has a goal of $3 million, which would be impressive if he reaches it. Mariotti claimed that MSNBC had made him a pretty good offer, but he is passing it up to run statewide. This period we’re in is a lot like spring training. Everybody’s hopes are high that they’ll make the team and go on to win the World Series with a walk-off grand slam.

Mariotti said he plans to use Periscope, Facebook Live and other social media to run a “more modern” campaign that will allow “tens of thousands of my fans” to get involved. He said he will focus more on Downstate than the other current candidates, with a specific emphasis on economic justice.

* Here’s a list of Democrats who’ve filed D-1’s to run as AG

Scott Drury, Sharon Fairley, Aaron Goldstein, Renato Mariotti, Kwame Raoul, Nancy Rotering and Jesse Ruiz

Republicans Erika Harold and Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon have also filed as well as independent candidate South Jacksonville resident Tyson Manker.

I count ten, with perhaps more to come.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 - Kennedy responds *** Moylan’s bump stock ban fails on House floor

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* The sponsor of this bill, Rep. Marty Moylan, is facing a contested race next year against a very pro-gun Republican opponent. Just something to keep in mind…

This bill wasn’t necessarily designed to pass.

* The synopsis

Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Provides that no person may acquire or possess any pre-packaged explosive components within this State without having in his or her possession a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card previously issued in his or her name by the Department of State Police. Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Prohibits the knowing sale, manufacture, purchase, possession, or carrying of a trigger modification device. Defines “trigger modification device”. Creates the offense of unlawful sale or delivery of pre-packaged explosive components. Defines “pre-packaged explosive components”. Establishes penalties for these offenses. Effective immediately.

* From the debate…

…Adding… Monique

Changing gun laws typically is a tough sell in Illinois. The state is politically fractured along geographical lines, with city and some suburban lawmakers calling for tighter restrictions as those from Downstate push back.

Detractors called for action on a competing bill backed by Rep. Barbara Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake, that would only ban bump stocks, not other devices. That bill has the support of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

“The language in the actual bill matters,” said Rep. Mark Batnick, R-Plainfield. “If you want to address the issue, let’s address the issue in a thoughtful, bipartisan manner.”

Following the vote, Moylan said he was willing to consider narrowing the proposal to win more support, but argued the bill pushed by Republicans did not go far enough.

“We’re not going to dilute it so it’s not effective,” Moylan said.

*** UPDATE ***  Chris Kennedy campaign…

Illinois needs a common sense ban on bump stocks. These devices turn weapons into mass killing machines. Everyday in Illinois, we are losing our fellow citizens to gun violence. Springfield needs to rise above politics to stop the slaughter. Now is the time for immediate action. Governor Rauner and the General Assembly must pursue this public safety measure to protect the people of Illinois from gun violence.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

House overrode veto of Frerichs life insurance bill

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* AP

The House also failed to override Rauner’s veto of a plan to set up an independent insurance company to compete for workers’ compensation coverage. But it did override Rauner on legislation to prohibit employers from seeking applicants’ salary histories and a measure pushed by Democratic Treasurer Michael Frerichs designed to make it easier to claim life insurance benefits when a policyholder dies.

The House voted 71-40 Wednesday to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto.

The proposal requires life insurance companies to compare electronic records of its policies in force since 2000 with the Social Security Administration’s list of deaths to determine whether a policy should be paid.

Auditors hired by the treasurer found that life insurance companies held more than $550 million between 2011 and 2015 that should have been paid to a decedent’s family members.

Republican Reps. Andersson, Harris, McAuliffe, McSweeney, Mitchell, Welter and Winger voted for it.

* The treasurer sent this out yesterday…

Thank you to the Illinois House of Representatives for siding with grieving families and overriding Governor Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of House Bill 302.

For decades, greedy life insurance companies have gotten away with using loopholes to pad their bottom line by avoiding paying grieving families.

Today’s action is a major step forward to help put a stop to this trend and require life insurance companies to pay what is owed to beneficiaries dating back to 2000.”

“I want to offer a special thanks to the House sponsor, Rep. Robert Martwick, AARP, NAACP, the many beneficiaries who stood with us to share their personal stories, and the seven House Republicans who voted to override the Governor’s veto and put aside partisanship to do the right thing,” added Frerichs.

The Illinois House vote to override passed 71- 40. The motion to override the Governor’s amendatory veto now moves to the Senate where Sen. Jacqueline Collins is the lead sponsor. If Sen. Collins’ motion to override receives the required 3/5 vote in the Senate, then House Bill 302 will become law despite the Governor’s veto.

House Bill 302 requires life insurance companies to compare electronic records of policies in force since 2000 with the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (DMF) to determine if policies should have been paid to grieving families. Between 2011 and 2015, outside auditors hired by the state treasurer identified more than $550 million held by life insurance companies that should be have been paid to grieving families in Illinois.

* Meanwhile, here’s Michon Lindstrom

The Senate approved an override of a bill backed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan which aims at protecting students when taking out student loans. SB1351, creates the Student Bill of Rights and prevents loan servicers from engaging in unfair or deceptive practices toward student borrowers.

“At a time where many young people are graduating from college with crippling debt, we need to make sure that students understand their rights and have access to proper resources. This legislation is a good first step to take in helping students and their families from falling behind on payments or defaulting on their loans.” said Senator Scott Bennett, (D-Champaign).

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 - Hearing scheduled on Madigan bill *** This culture is messed up and it has to be changed

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* I’m getting some strong and legitimate pushback for something I wrote for subscribers this morning

I think we can safely stipulate that lots and lots of men aren’t directly contributing to the culture of sexual harassment at the Statehouse. But, just remember this, almost all women have experienced problems in one way or another. Something has to be done to stop this problem.

My intent was to address the men who are acting defensive and claiming they aren’t part of the problem. We are part of the problem no matter how pristine we may think our behavior might be because just about every woman has at least one (and some have many) horror stories to tell about being harassed, groped, discriminated against, silenced, etc. That means, on its face, the culture is really messed up here and far more men are perpetrators/witnesses/enablers than we might allow ourselves to believe, so everybody has to participate in a solution, both personal and structural. Men don’t have the luxury of distance here. You don’t get to say it’s not you just because you never groped anybody.

I’m truly sorry that I wasn’t clear. I wasn’t attempting to excuse people who turn a blind eye or don’t step up. And by “lots and lots” I didn’t mean to imply that it was the majority or the vast majority.

We’re all learning and we all need to continue learning.

* On to the Sun-Times editorial

State Sen. Kimberly Lightford endured crude remarks about her legs from a male colleague in Springfield. She had to remind another fellow legislator that he was the same age as her grandfather to get him to stop making “inappropriate” comments about her.

“I think that when you’re just around people who are in powerful positions, men and women alike, they think they can do that,” Lightford, who is from Maywood, told Sun-Times political reporter Tina Sfondeles on Tuesday as women who work at the state Capitol spoke up about being sexually harassed by men in power.

Galvanized by women who have gone public with allegations of harassment and sexual abuse by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, and the ensuing #MeToo social media campaign, women in Illinois politics are talking about their own experiences. Some are telling their stories on the “Say No More” Facebook page, and more than 150 women who are elected officials, lobbyists or consultants have signed a letter describing harassment by powerful men they work with. So far, the alleged harassers have been lucky — they haven’t been named publicly.

Ironically, a state Legislature charged with writing laws about discrimination, harassment and protecting vulnerable people is under fire for fostering an environment ripe for abuse. It’s up to leaders in Springfield to transform the culture. Insiders have known forever that the Capitol can be a toxic and sleazy place. House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton as well as minority leaders Jim Durkin and Bill Brady — and all their deputies — must make it a more decent and professional place to work. It’s what they would demand of a rogue corporation, university or public agency that mistreats people.

* And JB Pritzker has a long Medium piece on the topic which concludes this way

As for Springfield, the capitol is not a club house. It is a place where democracy and the free exchange of ideas should thrive. As long as women are being demeaned, harassed, and assaulted as the price of entry into Illinois politics, we, as a state and as a democracy, are failing. We must take steps to address these issues in our state capitols:

    We must make sure women are elected, appointed and hired in all levels of government to break up the culture of “boys’ clubs.”

    We must enact formal sexual harassment and interruption training for lobbyists, elected officials, and staff and establish a culture of accountability.

In the end, it’s all of our responsibility to change the culture to one where women are treated with dignity and respect. It will be uncomfortable, and it will require an ongoing effort even when the news moves on. But I’m inspired by the women who have persisted for so many years — who quietly kept going in the face of such adversity, who never allowed those who would demean them to diminish them, and who are now fighting so bravely for a better future.

The burden and opportunity to create change falls significantly on me and on other men. It is our responsibility to make it better. I accept that responsibility and will carry it out in the days, weeks and years ahead — and as your next governor in Springfield.

* And Speaker Madigan’s proposed legislation has surfaced as an amendment to SB402. Click here for the text. Here are some bullet points…

1) The State Officials and Employees Ethics Act and the Lobbyist Registration Act are amended to specifically state that all persons have a right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment, and that person shall refrain from sexual harassment.

2) Every constitutional officer, legislator, unit of local government, and lobbyist is required to adopt a sexual harassment policy that includes a prohibition on sexual harassment, how an individual can report allegations, and any disciplinary actions for violation of the policy.

3) Every constitutional officer, legislator, State employee, and lobbyist is required to attend sexual harassment training, which includes a description of sexual harassment utilizing examples.

4) Each state Inspector General will have authority to review allegations of sexual harassment and submit any founded complaints to the applicable Ethics Commission for a hearing. Each Ethics Commission will have the authority to fine an individual up to $5,000 for a violation of the prohibition on sexual harassment.

5) Every constitutional officer and legislative leader must annually submit to the applicable Ethics Commission a report detailing plans for training and the names of those who did not participate in training.

*** UPDATE ***  A House Personnel & Pensions Committee hearing on Speaker Madigan’s proposal has been scheduled for next Tuesday morning at 10 in the Bilandic Building.

- Posted by Rich Miller   61 Comments      

House unanimously overrides Debt Transparency Act veto

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* Unanimous override votes are not a common occurrence, to say the least

Illinois House members sent a message about transparency Wednesday, voting unanimously to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill requiring greater disclosure of state finances.

The House voted 112-0 to reject Rauner’s veto of House Bill 3649 that requires state agencies to report monthly on bills they have not forwarded to the comptroller’s office for payment. Currently, agencies are only required to report the information annually, which makes it completely out of date by the time it is disclosed.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza, whose job it is to write the checks to pay the state’s bills, has pushed for the legislation to give her a clearer picture of what bills are waiting to be paid.

“I understand that our problems are really bad financially, but the only way to ever get to a position where we can fix the state’s financials is to know the true extent of how bad our financials are,” Mendoza said at a news conference following the House vote.

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

Wednesday’s vote was 112-0. When the bill initially passed the House in April, it passed by a margin of 70-40, with many Republican lawmakers opposing it. […]

Illinois’ backlog of bills as of last Friday was $16.3 billion, but Mendoza’s office said it could be more than that because state departments aren’t required to report their expenditures regularly.

* Monique

Rauner said the legislation was an attempt by Mendoza to “micromanage” state agencies. Lawmakers, though, countered it was commonsense accounting that would help officials gain a better understanding of Illinois’ finances. After the House vote, the bill now heads to the Senate.

“Today is a great day for transparency in the state of Illinois,” Mendoza said after the vote. “I understand that our problems are really bad financially, but the only way to ever get to a position where we can fix the state’s financials and get us on better financial footing is to know the true extent of how bad our financials are.”

* Tina

Rauner vetoed the measure on Aug. 18, saying “the inclination” to be more transparent about the state’s finances is a “good one.” But he said her bill “more closely resembles an attempt by the Comptroller to micromanage executive agencies than an attempt to get the information most helpful to the monitoring of state government.”

Rauner too said it would divert limited funds and staff attention from their main duties in providing services to Illinois citizens.

Though the veto message appeared to take a political shot at Mendoza, bill sponsor state Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, said the intent of the bill wasn’t a continuation of the Mendoza-Rauner war.

“I know on her end I can attest to this, it was never political. It’s just doing the right thing,” Crespo said.

* And the Champaign News-Gazette’s editorial board offered belated and begrudged support

State legislators only rarely do the right thing for the right reason. They sometimes do the right thing for the wrong reason, and that may be the case here.

This legislation reeks of politics, Democrats sticking it to Republican Rauner. The party of Chicago House Speaker Michael Madigan, which controlled the governor’s mansion from 2003 to 2015, never raised the issue during that time — a time when Govs. Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn routinely held back invoices. Suddenly, it’s become a top legislative priority. […]

Whatever the merits of the claim, few outside the governor’s office put much stock in Rauner’s words. They suggest that, for political reasons, he wants to hide what’s really hard to hide — the amount of the state’s unpaid bills. They’re currently $15 billion-plus, and when numbers are that big, people understand the circumstances are dire.

Nonetheless, Rauner is taking regular public beatings as a foe of transparency for purely venal reasons.

Since it’s unclear who has the better argument, we’ll follow our instincts and go with transparency.

If the mandate really is as burdensome as Rauner claims, Democrats can repeal H.B. 3649 when a Democrat holds the governor’s office.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      

GOP Leaders heavily reliant on Rauner bucks

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* From Dan Proft’s Prairie State Wire

On the last weekend of Aug.1999, then-Illinois House Republican Leader Lee Daniels held a golf outing and fundraiser dinner at Medinah Country Club that attracted 1,200, raising $680,000 for his members’ campaigns– $1.01 million in 2017 dollars, inflation-adjusted.

Jim Durkin, the current House Republican Leader, spent the last weekend of Aug. 2017 hosting a recycling event. That was weeks after holding an animal adoption fair and, before that, a “children’s safety expo.” […]

The summer before an election year was once filled with outings, rallies and donor meetings, as legislative leaders scrambled to friend-raise and fund-raise, amassing the millions required to compete for majorities, from thousands of Republican supporters.

House GOP Leader Durkin and Senate GOP Leader Bill Brady have relinquished the “rainmaker” role their predecessors once embraced. Instead, they are working a single contributor this year who, they hope, will cover it all: Governor Bruce Rauner.

For his House Republican Organization (HRO), which is supposed to fund member campaigns next year, Durkin raised just $60,675 from 19 outside donors between July 1 and Sept 30, according to his filing with the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE). […]

Durkin and his members need supporter votes, but he isn’t asking for their money. He’s waiting for a check from Rauner, who spent $12 million on House legislative races in 2016, instead.

Excluding Rauner, HRO is on pace to register just 110 outside contributions this year– including corporations and individuals, but not contributions from candidate political action committees– for a grand total of $220,000.

In contrast, two decades ago in 1997, Daniels managed to raise seven times as much money from nine times as many contributors.

Daniels’ House Republican Campaign Committee (HRCC) reported $979,314 raised from 1,019 contributors in 1997, the equivalent of $1.506 million today. […]

The Illinois State Medical Society, which represents doctors, donated $1,002,512 to state political campaigns in the 1999-2000 election cycle, or $1.436 million, inflation-adjusted.

In 2015-16, it donated just $536,904, 60 percent less.

The Illinois Manufacturer’s Association donated $453,058 in 1999-2000, or $649,381.

In 2015-16, it gave just $138,311.

Proft is running a primary opponent against Durkin, but he’s not wrong about how things have changed. If Rauner loses next year, the Republican leaders are gonna be in a world of hurt.

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      

Rotering announces AG campaign

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* No press conference, no rally, not even a video. Just a press release

Nancy Rotering, the first woman elected Mayor of Highland Park, banned assault weapons in her city, and then fought the NRA all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and prevailed, launched her campaign for Attorney General of Illinois.

Nancy Rotering vows that as Attorney General, she will be uncompromising in her commitment to protect citizens from gun violence, and will use the power of her office to hold Big Pharma accountable for flooding our communities with the opioids causing death and heartbreak throughout Illinois.

Several years ago, Rotering founded a local legal aid clinic focusing on helping woman escape domestic violence, and to help families battling deportation. The legal aid clinic now has more than one hundred volunteer attorneys and has processed more than four hundred cases.

“As Attorney General, I will be a powerful advocate, continuing my fight against the NRA to reduce gun violence, and taking on unscrupulous drug makers and online and offshore pharmacies to help curb the opioid epidemic gripping our state,” said Rotering. “As a mother of four and a local Mayor, I know how to get things done. I have a record of holding big corporations accountable and cleaning up government - something we need now more than ever in Illinois,” added Rotering.

During her two terms as Mayor, Rotering has maintained balanced and sustainable budgets, reformed city government, and forced ComEd to invest millions in infrastructure upgrades after they repeatedly left residents of northeast Illinois stranded without power. As an attorney, who practiced with McDermott Will & Emery in Chicago before taking leave to care for a child with Type 1 diabetes, Rotering worked on white collar crime and regulation matters in the health care industry.

“I have built a strong team and have support from across the state. My background in business and law, coupled with my experience of taking action, will serve the people of Illinois well. Illinois deserves a strong, principled advocate,” said Rotering.

She has raised about $118,000 this month, however.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

Question of the day

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* Scott Reeder

State Rep. Jeanne Ives sounds like she’ll be a candidate for Illinois governor.

The Wheaton Republican is one of the most conservative members of the General Assembly and she is hopping mad at Gov. Bruce Rauner who she contends is not trustworthy.

Rauner angered many in his party by signing a bill last month providing state funding for elective abortions. He did this after promising multiple Catholic bishops and state lawmakers that he wouldn’t.

“He’s failed the integrity test. No one in the Legislature believes a word he says,” Ives said.

If Ives enters the race, she would be the only candidate opposing abortion rights in either the Republican or Democrat gubernatorial primaries.

* The Question: Suggested Jeanne Ives campaign slogans?

- Posted by Rich Miller   85 Comments      

“Right to work” roundup

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* Tina Sfondeles

In a big win for Gov. Bruce Rauner — and perhaps a sign that Republican legislators haven’t deserted him — the Illinois House failed by just one vote to override his veto of a bill that would prohibit local municipalities from enacting “right-to-work” zones to get around unions.

This week of the veto session was seen as a test of how badly the governor had alienated Republicans after signing into law a House bill that expands public funding of abortion — a move that even spawned the possibility he’ll get a primary challenger.

The test comes three months after Rauner saw some House Republicans buck him on a tax and budget package. But on Wednesday, Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin worked his caucus hard — and only four Republicans broke ranks on the override measure, joining 66 Democrats. The 70-42 vote fell one vote short.

Rauner’s victory lap for an issue he’s pushed since his election may be a short one, however. A motion to reconsider the vote can still be filed, and bill sponsor state Rep. Marty Moylan, D-Des Plaines, plans to file separate legislation ahead of the veto session next month to remove a controversial portion of the measure that offers a criminal penalty to local governments that enact right-to-work. Both of those options offer an opportunity to get additional votes on the measure.

* Gov. Rauner’s statement…

The people of Illinois scored a victory today. The House of Representatives rejected efforts to close a door to job opportunity here.

Instead, courageous House lawmakers stood together to dump the old playbook and move forward to make Illinois more competitive.

Local communities should be able to decide how best to compete for jobs and choose reforms that can make their economies stronger, help their businesses grow and give the freedom to individual workers to support a union at their own discretion.

It will help Illinois be better positioned to be competitive nationally and globally and create opportunity for all the people of our state.

* Monique Garcia

Democrats say they might try to override him again soon, though.

Sponsoring state Rep. Marty Moylan, D-Des Plaines, said he’d try again when lawmakers return to Springfield for the second half of their annual veto session in November. The Senate already voted to override the governor Tuesday.

Moylan noted that one Democratic lawmaker was absent, and he said he planned to offer a second bill that would remove criminal penalties for officials who violate the right-to-work ban. Republicans had raised concerns about charging local elected officials with a crime for proposing ideas they believe would benefit their communities. […]

The override effort’s 70 votes was four more than when the legislation first passed the House in June. Four Republicans voted in favor, but most were unwilling to buck Rauner on the issue.

* Doug Finke

Rep. Martin Moylan, D-Des Plaines, House sponsor of the bill, said workers in right-to-work states have lower wages and less workplace safety than workers in states that are not right-to-work. He also said that being right-to-work does not promote economic activity.

“Right-to-work laws have no impact on job growth,” he said.

Opponents disagreed. Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said a vote to override Rauner’s veto would be a “nail in the coffin” for Illinois’ economy. Other Republicans complained that the bill actually made it a misdemeanor crime for local officials to enact a right-to-work ordinance.

“A yes vote is a vote to lock up village trustees and putting local mayors in jail,” said Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee.

* Greg Bishop and Dan McCaleb

Business and industry leaders say the fact Illinois is not a right-to-work state hurts it when trying to lure job creators.

“Illinois is at a competitive disadvantage to attract the employers we need,” Rep Tom Morrison, R-Palatine, said. “Our citizens need these jobs.”

The village of Lincolnshire enacted an ordinance creating a “local right-to-work zone” in 2015. The new ordinance was immediately challenged in court and is still ongoing. SB 1905 would void that ordinance.

Two Republicans – Reps. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, and Terri Bryant, R-Murhpysboro – who voted against the right-to-work ban legislation in June changed their votes Wednesday and voted to override Rauner’s veto. Republican Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park, did not vote on it in June and voted for the override.

- Posted by Rich Miller   58 Comments      

House overrides veto of cursive instruction mandate

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* Tribune

Among the losses state lawmakers dealt Gov. Bruce Rauner Wednesday was one over a signature issue: Whether the state should require schools to teach cursive writing.

Rauner vetoed a bill to enact such a requirement, and the Illinois House voted to override him on Wednesday. The Senate would have to follow suit when it returns next month for the proposal to become law.

In pushing for one mandatory cursive unit in elementary schools, Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch said children need to be able to read documents the Founding Fathers wrote, as well as notes from grandma. And there was a political angle to making sure kids could sign their names too.

“Can sign your driver’s license. Can sign your passport,” the Hillside Democrat said. “Can sign a petition to run for office.”

* More from the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

Rep. Grant Wehrli, R-Naperville, asked if there’s a law to mandate that schools teach keyboard or typing. Welch said lawmakers can consider that later.

Wehrli said schools are teaching cursive already without the mandate.

“Why does this have to be law?” Wehrli asked.

“It’s our job to pass good policy,” Welch said. “This is good, sound policy.”

The veto override passed 77-36. It now heads to the Senate, where a successful override will mean Illinois’ public elementary schools and high schools will be required to teach cursive writing.

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      

Chicago enlists Capt. Kirk in HQ2 bid

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* Tribune

Captain James T. Kirk has been added to the bridge of Chicago’s all-hands-on-deck bid to try to woo Amazon to build its second headquarters here, say aldermen who saw the city’s pitch video.

On Wednesday morning, City Council committee chairmen and other aldermen whose wards include potential sites for Amazon’s HQ2 were treated to a private screening of the presentation that city officials will make to the company.

William Shatner, the hammy actor who played the confident, daring Starfleet captain in the original “Star Trek” TV series and movies, does the narration. That’s an attempt to curry favor with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who’s a rabid fan of the franchise and even appeared as a heavily made-up alien in last year’s “Star Trek: Beyond.”

Mayoral spokesman Grant Klinzman said the city economic development agency World Business Chicago is picking up the tab for the presentation. He declined to discuss how much Shatner was paid for the voice work, or other costs of the presentation.

Unfortunately, the video is still under wraps. I’ll post it if it ever surfaces.

- Posted by Rich Miller   22 Comments      

*** LIVE *** Veto session coverage

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

* The Senate left town yesterday, the House convenes at 10. Watch the action with ScribbleLive

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      

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