The Kennedy-Joy campaign will begin airing a new ad tomorrow on broadcast TV in the Chicago market and the ad will be released digitally statewide.
The ad highlights the broken property tax system that our state relies on to fund education. It’s consistent with Chris’s message about the need for property tax reform and the need to fully and fairly fund education at the state level. Chris was the first candidate to bring voice to this issue and just last week he released a comprehensive statewide property tax reform plan.
No word yet on how much the buy is for, but Kennedy ended December with about $737K in the bank and raised $428K since then ($250K from himself). However, the guy has a horrible burn rate. He spent $1.6 million in three months last quarter - mainly on his own operations - so if that rate continued into January he has about $632K cash on hand.
…Adding... From comments…
wasn’t 500k of the 1.6 million to adelstein for an ad buy? and 90k was to P2 which included a lot of quarter 3 backpay. so maybe his burn rate was *only 1 million- he should have 200k more on hand than 632k
OK, so it’s $800K. That’s a somewhat decent week of Chicago TV. And then he’s flat busted.
Content in the extent of his wealth and the power of his incumbency, Gov. Bruce Rauner this winter has effectively ignored his primary election foe, conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton. Instead, he’s been acting like Republicans already have re-crowned him as their champion, concentrating all his fire and energy on Democratic frontrunner J.B. Pritzker
The events of the past 24 hours show the limits of that strategy.
First, in the only debate they’re likely to have, before the Chicago Tribune editorial board, Ives gobbled him right up, seemingly scoring points at will. The Tribune’s coverage echoed that, and its editorial today broadly hinted that an Ives endorsement may well be on the way.
Then, news emerged that Ives finally has found the moneybags she’s needed, as ex-Rauner backer Dick Uihlein sent her a check for $500,000 that may be the first of a series.
Those twin developments have changed things. If nothing else, Ives’ name recognition probably has doubled. Rauner remains the favorite. But he could well just stagger across the finish line in March. And given the volatility of the electorate in the age of Donald Trump, an Ives win is not out of reach.
You want to avoid that fate, governor? Then quit whining about Mike Madigan and start acting like you would against any Democratic foe: Attack. Engage. Contrast your views and record with hers.
I can definitely see the reasons for firing back.
The other side of this coin is that Rauner has a huge lead; Ives is almost totally unknown and still doesn’t have the cash to make this a real race; attacking someone on his right flank could further alienate his party’s “base” voters; and she’s a woman, which makes things trickier (remember my admonition that just because Donald Trump got away with doing something doesn’t mean others can do the same).
* The Question: Should Rauner retaliate against Ives? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments with your own suggestions, please.
Update on @SenSilverstein petition challenge: He's now actually 1 petition short, City Board of Elections hearing officer acknowledges mistake in first reporting Silverstein cleared challenge, now hearing officer has 13 affidavits he must explain #notoveryet#ILMarchPrimary
* Former Florida governor and vanquished presidential hopeful Jeb Bush writing in National Review…
Something revolutionary is happening right now in education. Illinois, one of the most union-dominated states in the country, is ushering in a new era of educational freedom. Governor Bruce Rauner has pulled off the seemingly impossible: He led a bipartisan effort to bring educational choice to Illinois, and it begins this week.
Through a historic new program signed into law by Governor Rauner last year, taxpayers can now receive tax credits for helping fund a $100 million scholarship program. In the first year, children from families with incomes less than 300 percent of the federal poverty line will be eligible to receive a scholarship on a first-come, first-served basis.
Beginning this week, students and their families may apply for scholarships through the Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Program’s designated scholarship-granting organizations.
The scholarship program has received influential backing from across the political spectrum, including from religious leaders such as Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Just as encouragingly, the support from individuals and businesses wishing to participate in the tax-credit program has been overwhelming. In just the first 48 hours of opening the window for participation, the Illinois Department of Revenue reported that half of the needed donations for the first year of the program had been pledged.
That’s the same publication which claimed Rauner was the worst Republican governor in the country, by the way.
* So, how’s the program going? Notice that Gov. Bush only talks about the the first 48 hours of the new program’s rollout.
Since then, pledges to Invest in Kids seem to have slowed way down. As of today, they’re at $45 million in contributions out of $100 million in available tax credits. And most of that, 36.5 million, is from Cook County (which is still short of that county’s $51.2 million contribution limit).
But Cook is closer to its limit than any other region. The southern Illinois region has seen just $983K in contributions even though the region’s contribution limit is $8.2 million. You can click here for a pdf file of a search I ran at about 12:30 this afternoon.
…Adding… Pritzker campaign…
Today, failed presidential candidate Jeb Bush endorsed failed governor Bruce Rauner’s twice vetoed “accomplishment” on school funding reform.
First, Rauner used his veto to hold school funding hostage to force through a back-door school voucher program. Rauner then issued another amendatory veto of a fix to the new funding formula. After throwing school funding into crisis, Rauner finally struck a deal with his own political appointees to avert the crisis he originally caused, implementing the school funding formula he vetoed.
“Bruce Rauner vetoed school funding reform, touted the reform as an accomplishment, vetoed a fix to that ‘accomplishment,’ struck a deal with his own appointees, and now wants the General Assembly to re-pass the same fix he vetoed,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Jeb may be asking Illinoisans to ‘please clap’ for this failed governor, but students and families are tired of being subjected to the whims of Bruce Rauner’s incompetence.”
President Donald Trump’s job approval rating averaged 38% throughout the U.S. in 2017, but at the state level it ranged from a high of 61% in West Virginia to a low of 26% in Vermont. […]
Trump averaged the lowest first-year approval rating of any president in Gallup history, and lagged Barack Obama’s 57% first-year rating by nearly 20 points. Naturally, this is reflected in Trump’s state-level ratings, with only 12 states giving him 50% or higher approval, compared with 41 for Obama in 2009.
The 50% mark is an important threshold in presidential election years for presidents seeking a second term, as it correlates strongly with reelection. Popular presidents also tend to weather midterm election years with fewer party losses in Congress.
Trump’s latest weekly approval rating is 38%, matching his 2017 average. Not only is the overall number not encouraging for his party heading into the 2018 midterms, but the latest state-level averages suggest Trump will be a liability for Republican candidates in far more states than he will be an asset. […]
These results are based on 171,469 Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted nationally throughout 2017. Gallup interviewed more than 1,000 respondents in 39 states in 2017, and no fewer than 471 in any other state. Each state’s sample is weighted to match U.S. Census Bureau demographic parameters for that state’s adult population. The full results by state appear at the end of this article.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted January 20-December 30, 2017, on the Gallup Daily survey, with a random sample of 171,469 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
Margins of error for individual states are no greater than ±8 percentage points and are ±4 percentage points in most states. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.
Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.
* That’s right, narrow the property tax base even further. Great idea…
Democratic state Senator Laura Murphy of Des Plaines said the cost of owning a home in her suburban district is getting too pricey for older people.
“It’s a very common concern of seniors anxious about how they’re gonna remain in their homes,” she said.
She wants more seniors to be able to claim a homestead exemption on their property taxes — raising the maximum annual income from $65,000 to $75,000. Another proposal would allow seniors in downstate communities to cut their tax by $7,000, up from the current $5,000.
But Carol Portman, president of the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois, calls that problematic.
“By reducing the taxes of those folks a little bit, then you’re raising it for the next door neighbors and the people across the street. Where you draw the line of who gets the benefit and who has to pay the taxes for them, it gets really tough to draw.”
Portman is right. Let’s jack up everyone else’s taxes to give one group of people a break.
* Press release…
Parents who choose to send their children to K-12 private or parochial schools in Illinois may soon be able to use their Illinois Bright Start program funds to help offset those costs rather than only using those funds for college, due to a new bill filed today by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard).
The new Republican federal tax law clears the way for states to allow residents to use 529 plan accounts for K-12 education expenses, in addition to their current allowed use for college expenses. In Illinois, the 529 plan (Bright Start) specifically only allows funds to be used for higher education or post-secondary training.
“Today’s Bright Start Program does not provide for the recent changes in federal tax law that allow families to use their 529 plan account for K-12 educational expenses,” said Breen. “My bill expands the Illinois Bright Start Program’s definition of ‘qualifying expenses’ so that families may enjoy the full tax benefits newly available through the Republican federal tax law. Expanding the use of these tax-free funds will be help hard-working Illinois families save for their kids’ education.”
Breen’s legislation also provides for a rollover of 529 plan funds into an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account for an individual living with a significant disability. Whereas 529 plans may only be used for education, ABLE accounts may also be used for housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology, personal support services and health care expenses. “These types of accounts really help folks living with disabilities to maintain their independence and quality of life,” Breen said. “Individuals with disabilities and their families often rely on public benefits for income, health care, housing and other assistance, and eligibility is largely based on meeting an income threshold. ABLE accounts allow families to create a long-term plan with defined tax benefits for covering the significant costs associated to living with a disability.”
Breen hopes to garner wide bipartisan support for his bill and is pressing for its immediate consideration in the appropriate House committee in the coming weeks.
An effort is underway in Illinois that would let the terminally ill choose to end their life.
Oregon approved the option back in the mid 90’s. A few more states and Canada have followed with similar laws. They allow a terminally ill and mentally sound individual to choose to end their life.
“We all die and unfortunately as we approach death, as we get sicker and sicker, often a lot of pain and suffering comes with it. And when death is imminent, when suffering is intolerable, it should be your choice,” said Ed Gogol of Final Options Illinois. […]
Gogol wants an Illinois law that would have the patient being prescribed medication they would self-administer. It’s not “physician-assisted suicide” or “euthanasia” because the doctor would only make sure the person qualified.
Gogol calls it compassion. “The ability to say, when suffering has truly gotten intolerable, that I don’t want to go through these final agonies. I am approaching death anyway. That should be a human right.”
Rick Bruno was in another room last fall when his wife Jean shrieked “Oh, my God, no” in a way that led him to think there must have been a death in the family.
Instead, Jean had just opened a letter from Easterseals informing them that the agency would soon be closing the program that for the past decade has been a lifeline for their autistic 32-year-old son Danny.
“It was like getting punched in the gut,” said Bruno, 62, a retired Tinley Park police officer who now works stadium security part-time.
The closing becomes final on Wednesday, when Easterseals finishes winding down two adult day programs that previously served 44 individuals with developmental disabilities.
The day programs — one in Chicago and the other in Tinley Park — have provided an intimate, structured environment in a school-like setting for adults 22 and over who face a variety of intellectual challenges.
Easterseals says it could no longer afford to operate the programs because of the low reimbursement rate paid by the state of Illinois, which has resulted in a statewide shortage of frontline caregivers to staff such facilities.
For the Brunos, the closing of the Tinley Park program set off a desperate search for another that can fill the special needs of their son. So far, they haven’t found anything.
TrackBill CEO, Steven Marciniak, and his team will be in Springfield next week to show off the latest features of their legislative tracking platform.
Together with Rich Miller, we’ll be hosting a happy hour reception at the Sangamo Club, 227 E Adams St, on Tuesday, February 13th from 3:30 to 6:30pm. They’ll have a computer set up, so you can see first-hand how TrackBill can work for you.
Stop by for cocktails and light appetizers, and feel free to bring a friend!
A former candidate who is suing Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and some of his supporters for allegedly using political tricks to sabotage his campaign, is now locked in a fight in Chicago federal court to secure the release of a 2014 inspector general’s report his lawyer says is needed to shed light on how the longest serving state house speaker in U.S. history and his political organization work, to help substantiate the candidate’s claims.
On Jan. 21, U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly ordered Julie Porter, who serves as the state’s Special Legislative Inspector General, to turn over to him for his review a selection of documents subpoenaed by counsel for Jason Gonzales, a Chicago Democrat who unsuccessfully campaigned against Madigan in the 2016 Democratic Party primary. Among those documents, according to court filings, was a copy of the so-called “Homer Report,” a report prepared nearly four years ago by former Legislative Inspector General Thomas Homer, purportedly focusing on Madigan’s alleged influence over hiring decisions at the Metra commuter rail agency. […]
Porter responded to the subpoena by asking the judge to allow her to keep the report away from public view. In a motion to quash the subpoena, filed by Assistant Illinois Attorney General Sunil Bhave, who serves under Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the Speaker’s daughter, Porter asserts Illinois state law mandates such reports remain confidential, primarily to protect those who may have testified or cooperated with the LIG’s office.
Porter’s motion also asserts Gonzales wouldn’t be able to demonstrate how the Homer Report and his lawsuit are connected. […]
As a compromise, Porter offered to turn over the documents to the judge for his review before he ruled on the subpoena, an offer Kennelly accepted on Jan. 21.
In response to Porter’s motion to quash, Peraica and Gonzales argued the subpoenaed documents would allow them to buttress their claims asserting “Madigan’s personal actions are inseparable from his political actions” and “Madigan intertwines his political office and campaign.”
“Each of these matters is likely addressed in the Homer Report, the investigation led by Homer and in complaints filed against Michael Madigan,” Gonzales and Peraica said in their reply, filed Jan. 5.
…Adding… From Rep. Scott Drury…
Patronage is a corrupt practice that puts political self-interest ahead of the public interest. Politicians who benefit from or promote patronage cannot be trusted to change the status quo.
As Attorney General, I will root out corruption - including patronage - wherever it exists. We have to transform Illinois into a State that works for people, not politicians.
The woman who accused a Senator of sexual harassment is speaking out after the charges were cleared.
Denise Rotheimer accused Sen. Ira Silverstein of sexual harassment in October. Just last week Inspector General Julie Porter ruled that Silverstein didn’t harass Rotheimer but said he acted with “conduct unbecoming of a legislator”.
Rotheimer said during a press conference on Monday, she believes Porter omitted critical information thus slanting the case for Sen. Silverstein.
Rotheimer said earlier during a news conference the LIG report from Julie Porter was incomplete, contradictory and full of errors. She said people should be outraged.
“But if this is how the legislators want to behave at the taxpayer expense while not wanting to provide us representation and incurring higher taxes because of all this misconduct and corruption, then it will be high time for the people to be outraged,” Rotheimer said.
In a written statement, Porter responded, “I fully considered all of the information Ms. Rotheimer chose to provide to me, as well as extensive additional information supplied by 19 other witnesses. I stand by my report (which is a summary, not intended to convey every detail I examined) and its conclusions.”
Jeanne Ives crushed it so hard, way up into the upper deck, Rauner’s re-election dreams bouncing up there all alone, echoing desperately, and all the governor seemed to be able to say was “Mike Madigan” again and again. How many times did he say Mike Madigan? You couldn’t keep count.
We said at the top of this editorial that the governor is eager to run against a Democrat, not another Republican. He made clear Monday he thinks his greatest adversary is Madigan, whom the governor attacked for being a property tax attorney in a state where many property owners challenge their assessments. “We need to focus on Speaker Madigan and his corruption,” Rauner told us. He then connected dots from Madigan to J.B. Pritzker, one of the Democrats running for governor. “Pritzker is Madigan’s handpicked candidate for governor. He’s in effect Madigan’s bagman for funding that whole corrupt culture.”
One comment about such incendiary talk: We don’t see how it convinces employers such as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who values a stable culture of governance, to invest money and hire in Illinois.
Can Illinois improve its reputation in time to snag all those jobs? House Speaker Mike Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, we’ve suggested that you step down from leadership and, like former Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, make way for fresh leadership. Gentlemen, your combined 86 years in the legislature have left Chicago and Illinois weakened for this competition. Show Amazon and others in the most convincing way possible that this state’s future holds more promise.
* One of the arguments made by JB Pritzker and his defenders is that Democrats attacking Democrats only helps Bruce Rauner. The governor made the same sort of argument in reverse yesterday…
[Rep. Ives] went on to contend that Rauner broke a “strong tenet” of the GOP after promising during his initial campaign that he had no social agenda.
“He sure did have an agenda, it happened to be his wife’s agenda, socially progressive agenda from his wife in a state that is broke,” she said, referring to Illinois first lady Diana Rauner.
Rauner replied, “This is more false, vicious attacks.”
“It’s not false. It’s not vicious,” Ives said. “I said it nicely. It’s the truth.”
Rauner responded, “And Madigan loves everything that you’re saying, everything that you’re doing. Social issues are divisive. We need to be united.”
“And the bottom line is Speaker Madigan would like nothing more than Rep. Ives to be the primary victor and to have a run against Pritzker,” Rauner said.
“He would love nothing more because I am on the only person at this table that can beat Pritzker in November. And we will beat Pritzker in November because we are fighting for everyone. This is not about Republicans versus Democrats. This is about taking power away from Madigan, giving it back to the people of Illinois, and we will win.”
Rauner says he’s been blocked by Madigan — speaker for more than three decades. […]
Ives says there are ways to work around Madigan to accomplish goals. She says Republicans don’t trust Rauner because he signed a law providing for publicly funded abortions and one friendly to immigrants.
Rauner called the longest-serving state House speaker in U.S. history a “crook” who has enriched himself through politics. […]
Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said he wouldn’t “dignify” Rauner’s “crook” remark with a statement and said it appears the governor is running a campaign against Madigan because he has alienated his Republican base.
Conservative State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) received a massive donation last week from Lake Forest businessman Richard Uihlein, who formerly backed incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.
Crain’s Chicago Business reports that Uihlein wrote Ives’s insurgent campaign a $500,000 check Jan. 24, giving it a boost even as Rauner attempts to look past the March 20 primary and towards likely Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker.
Um, dude. This is 2018 Illinois A Democratic candidate has already put $42.2 million into his own race and the Republican governor has self-funded to the tune of $50 million so far and raised another $23 million.
Hey, Rich- We just spotted this on TV. I don’t think the Pritzker campaign has formally “launched” it yet. Pritzker must be nervous if he’s spending money to defend his conversations with Blagojevich.
…Adding… Pritzker campaign manager…
Odd strategy from the Rauner camp to be bragging about "finding" a negative ad against their candidate…I mean we're putting it on TV, guys. But hey, it's been a rough few days for the best political team in America. Appreciate you doing the press on the ad for us! https://t.co/Lxf9uWqwJs
TV News Anchor: A new court filing suggests Bruce Rauner isn’t telling the truth about…
Announcer: A new scandal in Springfield. Serious corruption in the governor’s office. Not only has Bruce Rauner continued to do private business, he’s been doing it at the governor’s mansion. So, what does Bruce Rauner do? He tries to distract with attacks in the Democratic primary. But the truth is, JB Pritzker did not say anything improper. And he was accused of no wrongdoing. Bruce Rauner, attacking JB Pritzker because he can’t defend his own record.
Rauner said, “No private business was conducted on public property. That issue is a contract dispute.”
At its core, the question raised by the lawsuit against Rauner is simple to address. He has claimed from his first days as governor that he would have no involvement in managing an investment portfolio worth hundreds of millions of dollars to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.
Kirkpatrick’s lawsuit contends Rauner violated that pledge. In defending himself, Rauner has appeared evasive and is now attempting to parse the difference between personal involvement with an investment and personal involvement with a contract dispute stemming from an investment.
It is a distinction without a difference. Rauner is being disingenuous and obtuse, and we rate his statement as False.
* Pritzker campaign…
“Despite repeated vows to the contrary, Bruce Rauner was caught conducting business while governor, and he continues to lie to cover it up,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “This failed governor broke the trust of the people, exposed himself to conflicts of interest, and refuses to come clean to Illinois families.”
* From a self described leader of “The Resistance”…
Congressman Quigley just made it clear that the Russians successfully hacked into different Boards of Elections across America. Then he eluded to the fact that the Russians may have successfully changed the presidential vote tally in multiple states from Hillary to Trump.
I just — we are not talking about the — we are not talking about the investigation; we are talking about the distraction that they have created. And that’s sad and unfortunate, because if you’re a Democrat or Republican, you should care just as much about this. They attacked the Democratic process. They hacked into boards of elections. And one can imagine a scenario in which they were just as likely to attack a Republican candidate as a Democrat.
Today, the Rauner Campaign launched a new digital ad titled “JB Pritzker, Champion of the Status Quo.”
Pritzker has made it clear throughout his campaign that he is unable and unwilling to stand up to Mike Madigan and his cronies like Joe Berrios. This ad highlights how Pritzker tossed aside middle class homeowners by refusing to criticize Madigan and Berrios’ property tax racket and how he stated he doesn’t support term limits that would have ended Madigan’s career years ago. No wonder fellow Democrats laughed at his claim that he’s “an independent.”
Pritzker is unwilling to stand up to the system, because he is just another cog in the Madigan Machine.