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Eisendrath out at Sun-Times

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Robert Feder

Edwin Eisendrath, the former Chicago alderman who led the investment group that bought the Chicago Sun-Times last year, has resigned after 16 months as chief executive officer of the struggling newspaper’s parent company.

Along with his departure, effective immediately, the company announced the appointment Wednesday of Nykia Wright as interim CEO. Wright joined Sun-Times Media Group as chief operating officer last October after working as a financial analyst and consultant for companies in Chicago, Atlanta and London. […]

Sources said Eisendrath had lost the confidence of the Sun-Times board, and that the paper was still losing money. Its path to profitability by no means assured, Eisendrath predicted earlier this year that the Sun-Times had no better than a “60 percent chance” of surviving for two years.

In addition, growing tensions between Eisendrath and Sun-Times editor-in-chief Chris Fusco had come to the board’s attention, according to insiders. Fusco’s predecessor as top editor, Jim Kirk, stepped down just weeks after Eisendrath took over. Eisendrath also raised eyebrows when he hired his wife, Jennifer Schulze, as executive producer – new media, reporting to her close friend, Carol Fowler, senior vice president of digital news products.

I had no beef with Ed, but they need to get back to being a good newspaper with a functioning website and forget about all those other gizmos. More reporters, less “digital news products” and “new media.”


It’s the Republicans’ turn to whine about being outspent

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Jake Griffin

Kevin Morrison might be a political newcomer, but the Democratic challenger for the Cook County Board District 15 seat that represents much of the Northwest suburbs is getting lots of financial help ahead of Tuesday’s vote.

The Cook County Democratic Party has spent more than $260,000 on his campaign since June in Morrison’s bid to unseat longtime Republican county board Commissioner Tim Schneider of Bartlett, who also chairs the Illinois Republican Party.

“This is insane,” Schneider said, charging county President Toni Preckwinkle and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan “are trying to buy this election.”

Schneider has raised more than $125,000 since July, most of it coming from state GOP in-kind contributions with business PACs make up the a large portion of the donations as well.

In addition to Morrison’s race, Cook Democrats have given more than $250,000 to two other candidates — Scott Britton and Abdelnassar Rashid — who are vying for the seats of Republicans Gregg Goslin of Glenview and Sean Morrison of Palos Park, respectively.

Morrison isn’t just relying on the Cook County Dems. He’s raised almost a half million dollars in total since the primary. That’s pretty darned impressive for a county board candidate.

Schneider, on the other hand, has raised just $134K since the primary. However, and this is important, the story doesn’t note that a dark money outfit called the Economic Freedom Alliance has spent significant bucks on Schneider: $105K to support Schneider and $26K to bash Morrison.

* Also, I didn’t hear Commissioner Schneider complain in 2016 when Rauner gave the chairman’s state party $15 million. All told, Rauner has given the ILGOP $36.656 million since June of 2014.

The Republicans were riding high on the governor’s money. But he’s since slowed his flow ($2 million to the ILGOP last year and $5.6 million this year) and the other side has a new sugar daddy.


Another gigantic state government failure

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Pantagraph

In a permanent injunction issued Tuesday, a federal judge found that Illinois prison inmates face an ongoing, serious risk of harm because of inadequate mental health care.

Judge Michael Mihm gave the Department of Corrections 14 days to submit a plan to address what he called “systemic and gross deficiencies in staffing” that denies more than 12,000 mentally ill inmates adequate treatment and care. The ruling was handed down by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in Peoria. […]

“A civilized society cares for the helpless. The IDOC has shirked this responsibility year after year. They should be ashamed,” [Harold Hirshman, one of the attorneys for inmates] added. […]

On the issue of segregation, Mihm noted that over 80 percent of the 1,105 inmates held in their cells 22 to 23 hours a day are mentally ill. In his testimony, [Pablo Stewart,a court-appointed monitor] called the inmates in segregation “some of the sickest individuals psychiatrically that I’ve seen in my career, and I’ve worked with seriously mentally ill (people). And these people are just suffering immensely.”

The order is here.

Once the state responds, the inmates’ attorneys will have a chance to respond and then the judge could turn the whole thing over to a special receiver who would oversee the prison system’s mental health reforms.

…Adding… IDOC…

We are disappointed by the court’s findings but remain committed to continuing to improve the quality of care for offenders on the mental health caseload. It’s important to point out that the court noted IDOC’s serious efforts to improve the care for offenders with mental illness and outlined several accomplishments, including:

    · The Department has implemented policies and procedures to improve mental health services.

    · The Department has invested more than $45 million to build new facilities and rehabilitate existing facilities to provide mental health services to offenders.

    · Plans are in place to construct a $150 million mental health and general medicine hospital for seriously mentally ill offenders.

In addition to these considerable improvements, other steps have been made to improve outcomes:

    · The Department has reduced segregation time by 47.5% since 2015 and has drastically increased out of cell time for offenders who are housed in segregation.

    · The Department has invested thousands of hours providing critical training for staff, which equips them with the knowledge and skills to safely defuse situations and meet the unique needs of the mentally ill population.

    · The Department created the position of Correctional Treatment Officer, which requires a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, psychology, or social work. In the past year, the Department has hired dozens of Correctional Treatment Officers for Joliet and Elgin Treatment Centers.

    · The Department has implemented additional programming for offenders who are on the mental health caseload.

The Department acknowledges its need for additional mental health professionals, and has been laser focused on recruiting new staff. We have dramatically increased our presence at hiring events throughout the state. In addition, we are expanding our partnerships with Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois.

…Adding… Keep in mind here that this lawsuit was filed eleven years ago. It’s been a problem for a very long time.


Trick or treat!

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Caption?…

Please try to be nice. It’s a holiday, after all.


Rauner says he’s frustrated as Pritzker begins his closing argument

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller


Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says the state has the best people, the best agriculture, best location and best transportation. But, after four years in office, he is frustrated.

“We should be thriving. But, we have these self-inflicted problems of taxes and corruption and job losses. It’s been strangling us for decades,” Rauner said.

Rauner tells WMBD’s Greg and Dan that the powerful political machine in Chicago, run by Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, keeps pushing back against efforts to fix Illinois’ financial problems.

“We’ve grown 210,000 jobs, cut taxes for families who adopt and disabled veterans. We’ve got historic education funding, made great improvements to Medicaid and criminal justice reform. We’ve made progress, but, there still so much to do,” Rauner said.

* Meanwhile, here’s a Pritzker closing ad

* Script…

Does Bruce Rauner deserve another four years? The short answer is no. That’s why newspapers across Illinois have endorsed JB Pritzker for governor, calling Pritzker a no-nonsense problem solver who has a record of job creation. JB has the best plan to put Illinois back on its feet, easing property taxes, boosting education and growing jobs. Hope for change rests only with JB Pritzker.


The state has to stop failing these kids

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* How can this happen?

A Chicago psychiatric hospital that treats hundreds of children in state care is under federal and state investigation over safety concerns and alleged sexual assaults, and it may be forced to close if it can’t correct deficiencies.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has investigated 16 allegations of abuse and neglect this year at the Aurora Chicago Lakeshore Hospital in the city’s Uptown community, including allegations that children were raped and sexually abused by staff and other patients, physically assaulted and inadequately supervised, a ProPublica Illinois investigation found. […]

In addition to child welfare investigations, the Illinois Department of Public Health has conducted a series of inspections on behalf of federal authorities since July that found the hospital had failed to ensure the safety of suicidal patients, obtain consent before giving patients — including children — powerful medications and sufficiently monitor patients.

Federal authorities have said they will cut off funding that is crucial to the hospital’s operations by the end of November if officials there do not implement immediate changes, according to federal records and court documents. […]

The child welfare agency continues to send children to the hospital, which serves children and adults in two buildings a few blocks apart. Nearly half of the 16 investigations have not been substantiated, and the other cases reflect individual incidents rather than a systemic problem, [Neil Skene, the special assistant to DCFS Acting Director Beverly “B.J.” Walker] said.

“The question for DCFS is whether children are safe there,” Skene said. “Nothing that we are seeing gives us concern for their safety.” […]

The investigations alarmed Meryl Paniak, DCFS’ acting inspector general, who in a confidential memo urged Walker to take action. Paniak wrote that she had “significant concerns for the care and safety of the children” at Lakeshore, according to a copy of the memo obtained by ProPublica Illinois.

The feds are about to shut off funding, the IG is alarmed, but no worries, nothing to see here, move along?

* One more item of note

At least three of those children had already been cleared for discharge but DCFS had not found them other placements, records show. ProPublica Illinois revealed in June that hundreds of children have spent weeks and even months trapped in psychiatric hospitals as the agency searched for residential treatment centers, foster homes and other placements.


S&P downgrades sales tax-backed Build Illinois bonds

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* S&P

S&P Global Ratings lowered its ratings on Illinois’ Build Illinois senior- and junior-lien sales tax bonds to ‘BBB’ from ‘AA-’ upon the implementation of our recently released priority-lien tax revenue debt criteria. The outlook is stable.

“The downgrade reflects our view of the state’s general creditworthiness, which, under the new criteria, limits the final ratings on priority-lien tax revenue debt,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Gabriel Petek. Our priority-lien criteria takes into account both the strength and stability of the pledged revenues, as well as the general credit quality of the obligor where taxes are distributed and/or collected, in this case, the state of Illinois.

The ratings reflect what we view as Illinois’:

    • Deep and diverse economic base and above-average income levels supporting sales tax collections;
    • Very strong debt service coverage; and
    • Strong credit structure that we believe largely insulates bondholders from economic and revenue volatility, with an additional bonds test that significantly constrains future leverage.

Offsetting these strengths, in our view, is the state’s general credit quality (general obligation [GO] rating BBB-/Stable). To date, the Build Illinois bond program’s authorizing legislation has restricted its use to financing capital and infrastructure projects. While this remained the case even throughout the state’s two-year budget impasse, future legislatures could enact laws broadening the program’s allowable uses. In our view, the inability to prohibit future lawmakers from taking such action, combined with the state’s unresolved fiscal imbalances, links the credit quality of the Build Illinois sales tax revenue bonds to the state’s general creditworthiness. Therefore, the rating on the Build Illinois bonds is constrained from going higher unless we raise the state GO rating. […]

The downgrade affects $2.27 billion in existing Build Illinois sales tax bonds and the state’s recent issuance of $250 million of Build Illinois sales tax bonds. The junior-lien bonds are subordinate in the flow of funds to the senior-lien bonds outstanding, but we have assigned the same ratings to bonds of both liens due to the similar credit structure, strong bond protections against dilution of coverage by additional debt, and very strong debt service coverage from the pledged sales tax revenues levied statewide.

This is a bit nuts, if you ask me. They’re backed up by sales taxes, nobody has ever talked about using that bond program for anything other than capital and infrastructure projects and bonds get paid first under Illinois law.


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Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Ives gonna Ives

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Rep. Jeanne Ives was asked this about Gov. Rauner on the Big John and Ramblin’ Ray show

So, you’re going to vote for him, but you’re not endorsing him - Isn’t that kind of a distinction without a difference?”

* Her response

I imagine it would be, but an endorsement would be like a strong appeal for this guy to have four more years, and, look, I feel like part of being a Republican, quite frankly, and being in that contest against him. But you know, I will vote for him. He won fair and square, I guess. But you know, I can’t stand on the stage and endorse somebody who’s done some of the stuff he’s done. And you’re right it’s a distinction without a difference, but that’s where I stand.

And after bemoaning the negative attacks this election cycle against Republicans, Rep. Ives went on to say that a grand jury should be empaneled to indict Pritzker, his wife and his brother-in-law over that property tax thing.


*** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Candidates love to shake hands and distribute campaign fliers at Metra and CTA train stations, but Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) adds a twist to that tradition…

I like it.

* The Question: Have you seen any memorable campaign lit this fall? Tell us about it.

*** UPDATE *** A friend of mine who always, always takes Republican primary ballots and lives in a very Republican area says he’s now received 7 mailers from the Democratic Party of Illinois and nothing from the state Republicans or the Rauner campaign. Here’s the latest…


New Rauner digital ad talks about his hardscrabble upbringing in Deerfield

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Today, the Rauner campaign is releasing a new digital video featuring Governor Bruce Rauner outside his childhood home in Deerfield.

In the video, Bruce talks about his old home, growing up in the neighborhood, and fond memories with his family and friends. Bruce says it’s these kind of wonderful neighborhoods with great schools that we need to have all across Illinois and he’s fighting hard to lower taxes so every community can thrive and grow.

* I was just messing with the governor a bit with that headline. I actually like this video

* Script…

This is the house I grew up in here in Deerfield. I have very fond memories of this house. Two-and-half bedrooms. My little baby sister had the tiny room, my two cousins and I shared a room. About 10-by-10, it was a pretty wild place, not a lot of sleeping going on in there.

But wonderful neighborhood. That was the Claremore’s house, that was the Baker’s house. Every house had between three and six kids in it. Lot of fun memories playing with everybody. My mom in the evenings to get us back home for dinner, she used to come outside, she got a boat horn, and squeeze and blow it out the back kitchen door. Every kid on the block in the neighborhood knew it was dinner time when my mom blew the boat horn, so we’d all run home and go get dinner.

This is what we want in every community in the state of Illinois. Wonderful neighborhoods for children with outstanding schools. And we need to make sure government is efficient so we can bring down the property taxes. I know even back then my parents used to talk about property taxes. They’ve always been higher, and boy they’ve grown a lot in Illinois. We need to find ways to bring those down, that’s what we’re working for every day.


It’s way too early for this, but let’s talk about it anyway since Greg brought it up

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* WGN TV’s Tahman Bradley interviewed JB Pritzker yesterday

TB: Gov. Rauner is a wealthy man with no government experience. President Trump, wealthy man, no government experience. You’re a wealthy man, no government experience. How are you different?

Pritzker: Well, that’s not true. I do have government experience. In fact, I think people should take note that if I was some sort of political person that was running for everything, I might not have chosen this year to run just for the point you made. There’s a failed president in Washington, DC who’s a wealthy businessman. There’s a failed governor here in Illinois, who’s a wealthy businessman. But here’s the thing: I bring real experience to the job getting things done for working families.

The only state government experience he has is chairing the Human Rights Commission and occasionally yakking on the phone with Rod Blagojevich. That ain’t much. I get that he’s in campaign mode and has to say those things, but I do hope he doesn’t actually believe that his limited experience means he understands state government. He doesn’t. If elected, he will need people who do understand.

* Brian Mackey

“I had probably as good a resume as anybody going into the governor’s office,” says Jim Edgar, who was governor of Illinois from 1991 to 1999 — after being secretary of state, Gov. Jim Thompson’s top lobbyist, and a state legislator.

“But jiminy, I’ve got to say a lot of things surprised me,” Edgar says. “I can’t imagine people that hadn’t had any experience.”

Edgar says there are ways an amateur politician could help himself in the job: Bring in good people. People who know the history and process of Illinois government. And listen to their advice.

* With that in mind, Greg Hinz takes a look at possible Pritzker administration honchos

Possibly more likely to move to government is former Clinton labor outreach director Nikki Budzinski. A former president of Illini Democrats, she is a senior campaign adviser and would be a solid choice for a policy slot. Ditto scheduler Mary Urbani, political director Sean Rapelyea and Mike Alexander, a former staffer to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin who’s been around the campaign a lot. Campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen also may have a continuing role.

Some outside names also come up, including state Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill and state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago, a veteran House member who ran for Congress several years back and lost to Mike Quigley.

Manar’s name came up a lot in my calls, and for good reason: He has excellent legislative ties as former chief of staff to Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, comes from downstate and was chief sponsor of the new education aid package. In other words, he has the inside knowledge of how state government works that Pritzker lacks. He might work as state school superintendent, budget director or even chief of staff. But Manar is having to fight very hard for re-election—so hard that Pritzker might really, really have to lean on him to take the job.

Also mentioned for chief of staff is Steven Collens, who was J.B. Pritzker’s chief of staff at the Pritzker Group and played a key role in putting together the 1871 tech incubator. He now runs health care incubator Matter.

IMHO, under no circumstances should a governor - whoever it is - hire a chief of staff with no state government experience in Illinois. We do not need a Rauner repeat.

Also, while Manar is still campaigning hard all day every day, he’s practically coasting to reelection right now. The GOP has done almost nothing to take him out. But that’s an Andy Manar district. An appointed replacement would have a tougher time. If he ever wants to run statewide, though, he needs to get out of the Senate and move away from his position on guns or he’ll have a rough Democratic primary (unless the field can be cleared). He could be a good chief of staff, though. He could also be a good budget director (so would Sen. Elgie Sims, by the way, or Rep. Greg Harris, or Sen. Heather Steans, or Jessica Basham, or Kristin Richards or a ton of other good people).

Anyway, I’m gonna avoid talking about everyone else because the campaign is still chugging along and I have to deal with some of these folks. Your thoughts?


First ever charter school teacher strike a possibility

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* More evidence that the governor’s first term in office is not ending the way he initially hoped

On Tuesday, teachers at 15 Chicago charter schools voted 98 percent to authorize a strike as they continue to bargain a contract with Acero Schools, the largest unionized charter network in the city. On Friday, four locations of the Chicago International Charter Schools (CICS) will take a strike authorization vote. And teachers at nine other Chicago charter networks are also in contract negotiations, and could similarly opt to take strikes votes in the coming months.

If no agreement is reached, Chicago could be home to the nation’s first-ever charter strike. Teachers have been inching closer to this possibility for the past two years, during which time eleventh-hour deals have narrowly averted strikes against at least three other charter operators.

That’s a stunning reversal from 2012, when Chicago charter operators bragged that, unlike unionized public schools, charters were unaffected by teacher strikes.

Since then, “Chicago has become the epicenter of charter union organizing in the country,” as Illinois Network of Charter Schools President Andrew Broy lamented in the Chicago Tribune last year.

What’s more, charter teachers are currently bargaining their first contracts as members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), which also represents the city’s 27,000 public school teachers. In March, the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers that represents more than 30 charters in the city, merged with the CTU in a bid to strengthen the hands of both unions.


*** UPDATED x1 - Rauner campaign responds *** Obama to appear at Chicago GOTV rally this Sunday

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Pritzker campaign…

President Barack Obama to Headline Get Out the Vote Rally in Chicago

JB Pritzker, Juliana Stratton, Kwame Raoul, Sean Casten, Lauren Underwood and Democrats Up and Down the Ballot to Join Rally

President Barack Obama to headline a Chicago GOTV rally to highlight the importance of electing Democrats up and down the ballot, including JB Pritzker, Juliana Stratton, Kwame Raoul, Sean Casten, and Lauren Underwood. President Obama will focus on electing Democrats and encouraging Illinoisans to get out and vote on November 6th.

Sunday, November 4 at 3:00 PM

UIC Pavilion
525 South Racine Avenue
Chicago, IL 60607

* Related…

* Joe Biden Campaigns for Democratic Candidates Across Illinois: Biden was expected to first stop in suburban St. Charles for a rally with Lauren Underwood, the Democratic challenger looking to unseat incumbent GOP Rep. Randy Hultgren in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District. … Later in the day, Biden was expected to head to East St. Louis to stump for a statewide and downstate candidates.

* Early Voting Up 62 Percent in Chicago, Led By Women

* Suburban Cook County sets record for early voting in 2018 midterm election

*** UPDATE *** Rauner campaign communications director Will Allison…

JB Pritzker has spent the last month being investigated for tax fraud and sued for discrimination, so it’s no wonder he’s bringing in President Obama at the last minute. This proves that this race is much tighter than public polling and pundits have indicated, and the momentum is with Governor Rauner in this final stretch.


The thin-skinned Sam McCann

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* So gubernatorial

Is it November 6th yet?


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Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Rauner: “Madigan’s always thinking”

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tina Sfondeles interviewed Gov. Rauner on his campaign bus yesterday. You really should read the whole thing

“The president is not on the ballot. Who is on the ballot is Pritzker and [Illinois House Speaker Mike] Madigan, and then Rauner and [Lt. Governor Evelyn] Sanguinetti,” Rauner said. […]

Rauner also claimed Madigan “orchestrated” the budget battles, which ultimately led to a historic and destructive impasse.

“Madigan — Pritzker wasn’t around then — Madigan, this was all orchestrated. Madigan’s always thinking. I give the guy credit. He was thinking about this election, that fight in 2015, three years prior. Cause a fight, blame the governor. And Madigan, because he’s so powerful and there are so any elected officials loyal to him, the comptroller, the treasurer, the members of the General Assembly in the super majority, all chattering to you in the media, all saying, ‘Oh it’s the governors’ fault. He’s so unreasonable.”

Rauner said he proposed “so many” budget ideas, compromises and policy reforms: “I was willing to do things that I didn’t agree with but would compromise to get some other good reforms done.”

“It was all to spin. Spin a story of, the governor was the problem,” Rauner said. “I’m one guy. They could do any budget they wanted.”

Rauner should at least make Madigan pay rent for all the space he’s been occupying in the governor’s head.


Two candidates who deserve notice… and respect

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* President Trump won the 109th House District with a 61.5 percentage-point margin. Yes, you read that right. It was his highest margin in any House district in Illinois. Gov. Rauner won the 109th by 55 percentage points four years ago - also the best he did anywhere. Secretary of State Jesse White lost a handful of House districts four years ago, but he lost the 109th by the largest margin, 9.83 percentage points.

Remember the Olney Daily Mail story that slobbered all over Gov. Rauner and his throbbing black motorcycle? Olney is in the 109th House District.

* So my hat is off to Cynthia Given, the Democratic candidate in the 109th. To even think about running in a district like that requires strong character

Cynthia Given, a Democrat, is a resident of Olney and recently celebrated her 11th year as a small business owner. She also spends her time mentoring other small business owners and helping their businesses to grow. Given is a graduate of Carmi-White County High School, Wabash Valley College and Southeastern Illinois College. She has served on the board of directors for her high school alumni association for over 10 years and is involved in the Richland County CEO program, Richland County 100 Women Who Care and the Olney and Greater Richland County Chamber of Commerce. Given also serves as a precinct committeewoman and secretary of the Richland County Democratic party. […]

Given said that even before she began running for office, she has reached out to those across the political spectrum in the district and asked their opinions on her candidacy for the 109th House District. She said she also already has made connections with constituents through her work in two state Senate offices. […]

“I am one of those people who some of their political values don’t always fit into those neat boxes of ‘R’ or ‘D’, and I’ve kept that transparency. I’ve been open to people,” Given said. “The word that I haven’t heard here yet is ‘listen,’ and I think that is how you connect to your constituents.”

Given spent $1800 for yard signs in the last quarter and gave $275 to a Richland County 4-H fundraiser.

* Moving right along, Hillary Clinton won the 58th House District by a 40-point margin. It can be a bit “swingy” down-ballot, but, overall, this is a Democratic district currently represented by Scott Drury.

Republican Rick Lesser is an attorney and a former township official whose campaign slogan is “A better Illinois for our grandchildren.” From his bio

Since 1980, Rick has been in private practice representing individuals and small businesses. He has an A-V rating, the highest available, for integrity and skill. In 1987, he moved his business to Lake County. In 1997, Rick founded a firm in Lake County dedicated to estate planning for individuals and succession planning for small business owners. That firm, Lesser, Lutrey, Pasquesi and Howe, LLP, won the Chamber of Commerce award for community service.

Rick is an active community leader. He has served as a volunteer President of six civic organizations: Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce (Rick organized the merger of the two organizations); Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Rotary Club; Lake County Bar Association; Lake County Bar Foundation; Lake County Estate Planning Council; and Deerfield Optimist Club. As President of the Bar Association, Rick created the Association’s Board of Directors and opened the Association to non-lawyer members, such as paralegals. The result was a substantial increase in the size and the vitality of the 100-year-old Association. […]

In 1976, Rick graduated with an A average as a History major from the University of Illinois. After graduating college, he went to the corner of LaSalle and Jackson, took the elevator up to the top floor, and walked door to door until he found a job as a clerk with a small law firm. He then went on to graduate from the University of Michigan Law School, one of the country’s top law schools.

The Sun-Times said Lesser has “a strong resume of public service as a village trustee and former president of a variety of local civic and business organizations,” but endorsed his opponent Bob Morgan, who was also endorsed by the Tribune. The Daily Herald endorsed Lesser, saying his “local-government experience and background as a real estate attorney give him strong insight into the workings of government and an understanding of the complex challenges of the state’s property tax and pension problems — as well as a sense of urgency on the need to solve them.”

Lesser had $24K in his campaign account coming in to October compared to his Democratic opponent’s $164K. He’s gonna get slaughtered, but he’s still out there working.

* You don’t have to agree with either of these two candidates on the issues, or their sources of funding or whatever to respect what they’re doing. Neither has a chance in heck of winning and their respective state party chairmen have likely given them zero thought. They’re receiving almost no attention from any media outlet, no fancy political columnist will sing their praises or even make the effort to cut them down a peg. But they are both civic-minded people doing what they can to make a difference in the communities they love.

Hang in there, Cynthia and Rick. You make me proud to be an Illinoisan.


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Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Follow along with ScribbleLive

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*** UPDATED x1 - ILGOP responds *** Judge denies Madigan motion to dismiss Hampton suit

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Interesting…

* Meanwhile…

WEDS, 1:30PM: Women accuse Cure Violence, formerly CeaseFire, of culture of rampant sexual abuse
Women file suits with Illinois Department of Human Rights, federal court

WHO: Ameena Matthews, star of the award-winning documentary about CeaseFire, “The Interrupters”; Angalia Bianca and Lakisha McGowan, women employees and former employees of Cure Violence, the organization formerly known as CeaseFire; attorney Ed Mullen

WHERE: Union League Club of Chicago, Room 700, 65 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604

WHEN: Wednesday, October 31, 2018, 1:30PM

WHAT: Women employees and former employees at Cure Violence, formerly known as CeaseFire, a project of the University of Illinois at Chicago, will hold a press conference on Wednesday to come forward about their experiences being sexually abused and harassed at work and the resulting federal lawsuit, Illinois Department of Human Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints.


Last night, it was reported that a federal judge has refused a motion from the Democratic Party of Illinois to dismiss the case filed by Alaina Hampton alleging sexual harassment within the organization. This means that DPI and Speaker Madigan will enter Election Day next Tuesday with a cloud of harassment and intimidation hanging over their heads.

Illinois Republican Party Executive Director Travis Sterling issued the following statement:

“The judge’s denial of this motion to dismiss further proves that the Democratic Party of Illinois and the rest of Mike Madigan’s operation has fostered a culture of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Madigan tried to keep this hidden and he has only shown faux remorse now that he’s been caught. What’s shameful is that while other Democrats spoke out against Mike Madigan when these allegations first surfaced, JB Pritzker couldn’t muster a single criticism of Madigan. Pritzker is Madigan’s handpicked candidate and he put his campaign ahead of the concerns of women.” - Illinois Republican Party Executive Director Travis Sterling

The opinion is here. From the Cook County Record’s story

Ellis said she found lacking the state Democratic Party’s attempt to argue it could not be considered Hampton’s employer, noting Hampton worked on Democratic political campaigns under the watch and thumb of Speaker Madigan, and Madigan was involved in the decisions concerning her continued employment with his political organizations. Essentially, the judge determined the campaign organizations under Madigan’s sway are close enough to the Illinois Democratic Party to allow Hampton’s lawsuit to continue against all the political organizations Madigan controls, including the state party.

“As the Chairman of all four Defendants, Madigan controls their bank accounts, has the ability to transfer money between the accounts, and controls the employment decisions for each Defendant,” Ellis wrote in her six-page decision. “Madigan took an active role in assigning Hampton to various positions working for the Defendants and he made these decisions in his capacity as Chairman of DPI (Democratic Party of Illinois).”


Rate the closers: Londrigan and Davis

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Today, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan’s campaign released the second of its closing ads, titled “Learned.” The spot tells the story of the last 15 months of her campaign for Illinois’ 13th congressional district. It underscores the importance of health care in this race, and highlights the miles Betsy has traveled, and the stories that she has heard in the last year. The ad began airing across the district today.

* The ad

Her other closing ad, which started last week, is here.

* Script…

I’ve shared my story with you, about how we almost lost our son, Jack. And you’ve shared your stories with me. About premiums that are too high, prescription drugs that cost too much, and yes, politicians who just don’t care. I’ve put 60,000 miles on my car, meeting with neighbors, asking questions, and listening. And I hear you. You need good health care at a price you can afford. I’m Betsy Dirksen Londrigan and I approve this message, because you deserve leaders who listen to you, and fight all of us.

* Press release…

Today Rodney Davis released a new TV ad titled “Baseball.” The ad features Rodney and Shannon Davis speaking about the day a gunman shot at Republicans practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game and how it changed his life and job forever. Davis was up to bat when the gunman from Belleville, IL started firing.

* The ad

* Script…

Rodney: I never thought that my friends and I would have to dodge bullets from somebody who just disagreed with us politically. I made a decision that day to talk about what I’d seen.

TV clip of Rodney from day of shooting plays: “This hatefulness that we see in this country over policy differences has got to stop.”

Shannon: It’s so important to come forward and say enough. It’s going to take both parties to bring that level of rhetoric and hate-speech down.

Rodney: Let’s expect people to work together and find solutions.


Is Michael Sacks gearing up for a mayoral bid?

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Hmm…

* This may be the poll, which was taken today by a friend of a friend who quickly transcribed it and forwarded it along. Conducted by Central Marketing Research…

Likely to vote (5pt scale)

Voter ID (5pt scale)

Direction of city? Right direction / wrong track

Favorability (5pt scale)

    · Toni Preckwinkle
    · JB Pritzker
    · Rahm Emanuel
    · Amara Enyia
    · Bill Daley
    · Susana Mendoza
    · Michael Sacks

Which would you vote for, above + all declared candidates

Second choice

Head to head

    · Bill Daley v. Michael Sacks
    · Susana Mendoza v. Bill Daley
    · Toni Preckwinkle v. Bill Daley
    · Toni Preckwinkle v. Michael Sacks
    · Toni Preckwinkle v. Susana Mendoza

Sacks. Successful businessman, supported philanthropic. Turned local investment firm to global business. Largest investor in minority businesses. Vice chair of world business Chicago. Created thousands of jobs. Job training, economic development. Trustee Obama foundation. Growing Chicago economy is best way to being prosperity to neighborhood. Fought Rauner’s attacks on CPS. fiscal discipline. Ensure downtown & neighborhoods prosper.

Daley. Deep roots. Former commerce sec. Obama COS, operations, key successes. Financial issues.

Chico. Successful attorney, son of Mexican immigrant. COS Rich Daley, CPS, ISBE. Stood up to Rahm in 2011.

Vallas. Leading public superintendents. Track record of success in Philly and CPS. Daley admin oversaw 100% funded pensions, upgraded bond rating. Get finances back on track, invest in neighborhood schools, more resources for police.

Preckwinkle. Cook County Board Prez, independent and progressive leadership. Standing up to machine to fight for the people of Chicago. Worked to implement major reform. Rebuilt county govt. 1.8B in deficit and cut expenditure.

Head to head

    · Bill Daley v. Michael Sacks
    · Toni Preckwinkle v. Michael Sacks
    · Susana Mendoza v. Bill Daley
    · Toni Preckwinkle v. Susana Mendoza
    · Toni Preckwinkle v. Bill Daley

Preckwinkle neg. Claims to be reformer. Supported corrupt Berrios while he raised property taxes. Revered course on sales tax. Steamrolled soda tax that hurt minority communities. Unable to manage budget, 200m deficit, highest in country. Violent & repeat offenders.

Doubts? Major/minor

Daley neg. Political opportunist, ward politics of past, bro + father 44 yrs. Daley leadership brought segregation, bad relations w/ police. Schemes. Parking meters. Worked for big banker. Served on Rauner’s transition. He think it’s his term.

Doubts? Major/minor

Chico neg. Typical insider lobbyist. Shady deals w burke and machine. At cps, presided over sexual abuse scandal.

Doubts? Major/minor

Sacks neg. Wealthy hedge fund billionaire, far moved from issues. Close ally of Rahm & #1 donor. He’d be a third term for Rahm. In Rahm emails re: Laquan that were withheld, but exposed after Trib sued under FOIA. No experience in govt.

Doubts? Major/minor

Who’d you vote for?

Head to head

    · Susana Mendoza v. Bill Daley
    · Bill Daley v. Michael Sacks
    · Toni Preckwinkle v. Michael Sacks
    · Toni Preckwinkle v. Susana Medonza
    · Toni Preckwinkle v. Bill Daley

Amara endorsed by Chance and Kanye. More or less likely to vote for?

Van Dyke found guilty. Agree or disagree with verdict?

Year born


Labor Union Member?



Child in CPS?




Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Campaign Updates: Madigan; Moylan; Personal PAC

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

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*** UPDATED x1 - Sterigenics responds *** AG Madigan, DuPage state’s attorney file lawsuit to shut down or limit Sterigenics

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tribune

The cancer-causing gas released by Sterigenics in west suburban Willowbrook is so dangerous the company is violating state laws intended to protect Illinoisans from harmful pollution, according to a bipartisan lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a Democrat who isn’t running for re-election, and Robert Berlin, the Republican state’s attorney of DuPage County, urged a state court to either shut down Sterigenics or enforce more stringent limits on its emissions of ethylene oxide, a toxic chemical that increases the long-term risks of breast cancer and lymphomas at extremely low levels.

By filing their complaint at the state level, Madigan and Berlin sidestepped federal regulations that haven’t been updated to reflect the chemical’s long-studied dangers. They also increased the legal and political pressure on a company owned in part by a private equity firm co-founded by Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican on the Nov. 6 ballot who initially downplayed the pollution problems before joining officials from both political parties calling for Sterigenics to shut down its local operations.

The 21-page lawsuit, filed in DuPage County Circuit Court, provides new details about how Sterigenics uses ethylene oxide to sterilize medical instruments, pharmaceutical drugs and food. While annual emissions from the Willowbrook facility generally have declined during the past 25 years, company-provided records cited in the complaint show it released more than 254,000 pounds of the chemical into surrounding neighborhoods between 1993 and 2017.

* The lawsuit (click here) quotes the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry on July 26

These elevated risks present a public health hazard to these populations.

* Gov. Rauner a month later

“This is not an emergency, this is not a public health immediate crisis, this is something we’re managing”

Rauner’s IEPA then punted to the attorney general.

The lawsuit is filed on some pretty broad grounds, including “creating a public nuisance.” We’ll see how it works out, but at least somebody is doing something.

…Adding… Sen. Curran…

State Sen. John Curran (R-41st District) is commending the Illinois Attorney General and the DuPage County State’s Attorney for filing a lawsuit against Sterigenics, which will provide temporary relief for area residents concerned about the release of ethylene oxide into their communities. At the same time, Curran is reiterating his call for the Illinois Senate to advance his legislation that addresses this critical public health issue.

“While today’s action has taken longer than I would have liked, I am thankful for the thoroughness and support provided by the Illinois Attorney General and DuPage County State’s Attorney,” said Curran. “It is clear in reading their release that if we’re going to adequately address this issue, and bring peace of mind to the residents in Willowbrook and surrounding communities, then the Illinois Legislature is going to have to act. And we must act now.”

In their release announcing the lawsuit, the Attorney General and DuPage County State’s Attorney “called on the Illinois General Assembly to address the public health impacts from the use of ethylene oxide.”

Curran, the only member of the Senate to introduce legislation addressing this issue, filed Senate Bill 3630 on Sept. 5th, which would reopen Sterigenics’ current air permit for an additional public comment period and hearing process at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). He’s also introduced Senate Bill 3640, which would immediately prohibit all non-medical uses of ethylene oxide while moving toward a complete ban throughout Illinois by 2022.

“I want to reiterate my call that Senate President John Cullerton advance the legislation I introduced in the Senate so we can bring peace of mind to those being adversely impacted,” said Curran. “I also look forward to working with the Attorney General and DuPage County State’s Attorney on advancing my legislation, and welcome their continued support and expertise to ensure the measure’s success.”

*** UPDATE *** From Sterigenics…

Sterigenics is disappointed that the Illinois Attorney General has chosen to assert “air pollution” and “public nuisance” claims against the company’s Willowbrook facility. The lawsuit filed today expressly recognizes that Sterigenics has operated, and continues to operate, well within the limits of its permit and the regulations. Any action brought against a business operating well within regulatory limits sets an extremely bad precedent.

The sterilization process that we operate is the only one approved by the Food and Drug Administration for sterilizing many vital medical instruments, devices and surgical kits, necessary for surgeries and other health care procedures. As such, any disruption to the operations of the Sterigenics Willowbrook facility would seriously undermine the ability to proceed with scheduled surgeries and procedures and would put patients’ lives at risk.

By properly controlling emissions and preventing life-threatening infection, the Willowbrook facility serves to improve public health every day. We will work with public officials to achieve the appropriate limits to allay the concerns of the community and the regulatory agencies. However, we will vigorously defend ourselves against this lawsuit.


Random numbers on a random day

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Ad Age

TV and radio DMAs (designated market areas) cross state lines in various parts of the country, and much of the time that works out just fine—particularly for brand advertising and merchants that routinely draw customers from a wide region. But when it comes to political advertising, an ad for a local candidate in State X is, of course, useless for a person who lives and votes in neighboring State Y. Yet this person still has to endure the message because of DMA bleed-over.

According to an Ad Age Datacenter analysis of political-ad spending from Kantar Media, the problem is most maddeningly acute in the St. Louis DMA. From January 2017 through Election Day next month (including advance bookings), 47 percent of the spending on TV and radio political ads for races tracked by Kantar directed at the Missouri city and its suburbs are for Illinois candidates. That equates to $29 million of the $62.1 million in Republican and Democratic spending in the St. Louis market (both by candidates themselves and groups, such as PACs, supporting them) tallied by Datacenter.

Illinoisans make up 695,117 out of the region’s 2,916,447 people. So, that works out to 31 percent of the population. In other words, Illinoisans are less than a third of the area’s population, but our candidates are spending almost half the money on STL TV.

* Advertising Analytics…

* Meanwhile

As of Tuesday, about 600,000 ballots had been cast either at the polls or via mail. That’s double the number cast as of this time last week, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

This year’s number is creeping up on the early voting tally from 2014, which was about 800,000, but still has a way to go to match the 1.9 million early votes cast in 2016.

* Our next number is 3

Only Rhode Island, Delaware and Alaska give their attorneys general exclusive criminal jurisdiction, according to the National Association of Attorneys General. In six other states, Connecticut among them, attorneys general have no criminal jurisdiction, the group says. The rest, Illinois included, impose varying levels of impediments.

* Speaking of the Madigan family…

Friends of MJM has raised more than $11.5 million since the House Speaker busted the contribution caps in August. Madigan’s personal committee has transferred out about $4 million in that same time period.

…Adding… Make that $5 million. MJM transferred another $1 million to DPI just now.

…Adding… One more number…


Question of the day

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* AP

The tough-talking Rauner, a former private equity investor known for his open-collared shirts, giant belt buckles and Harley-Davidson motorcycle, finds himself in danger of becoming only the third Illinois governor since 1900 – after Democrat Edward Dunne in 1916 and Republican Richard Ogilvie in 1972 – to serve one 4-year term but lose re-election. Polls have shown him trailing Pritzker by double digits.

Only two incumbents have lost by more than 10 percentage points since the 19th century – in 1948 and 1960.

Double-digit losses by incuments are obviously very rare.

* The Question: Your over/under number for the final margin in the governor’s race?


Who says journalism is dead?

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* By Michael Winter, a “contributor” to the Olney Daily Mail

Sunday, the Richland County Republican Central Committee hosted their annual fall event at Olney City Park. The community building was filled with republicans from the top down.

In a surprise visit, Governor Bruce Rauner made an appearance to meet and greet his Illinois constituents. He also took the microphone and showed his support for republican candidates here in Richland County; for County Council, Tim Grove, and Mike Hann as candidate for County Treasurer. […]

The governor thanked J.C., then spoke to the gathered crowd. “Thank you for being republicans and thank you for your commitment to the republican party. I want to say a quick hello. I’m on my way to Murphysboro, and I’m riding a motorcycle today…..a beautiful fall day. […]

Amid rousing cheers and appreciative applause, the governor made toward the front of the community center, a man keeping his schedule on his own whistle stop tour of southern Illinois.

The governor stopped for a photo op with Mike Hann on one side and Tim Grove on the other. With handshakes all around, he at last climbed on his iron horse to move on down the road.

The Governor, dressed in black leather riding gear, headed for Murphysboro on a large, throbbing jet black motorcycle. He left Olney to cheers and undoubtedly heads for more at his next stop ‘on the trail’.

[Hat tip: Anon221]

…Adding… Heh…


Rauner blames Trump’s late arrival for lack of facetime

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Sun-Times

Gov. Bruce Rauner wasted his time riding his Harley to President Donald Trump’s rally in southern Illinois last weekend.

That’s the opinion of state Rep. Jeanne Ives, the conservative firebrand who gave the embattled governor a run for his money in the March primary.

“I don’t see that he got anything out of it,” Ives said of Rauner’s weekend road trip during a pre-election show at the Sun-Times on Monday. […]

“Quite frankly. He went down there. He would have been better of doing his own thing, separate from the Trump event because he was basically not even recognized at the Trump event,” Ives said. “So I think it hurts him more than it helps him.”

* The governor explained to ABC 7 why he didn’t meet with Trump. You should really watch the video, but here’s the online version

Rauner is hoping to rally more support from voters than he did from the president Saturday at Trump’s rally in southern Illinois, where the governor appeared to get snubbed.

“He was an hour late, he had to get right on the stage and I spend my time before he got there really thanking all our volunteers,” Rauner said.

Pritzker called it a desperate move.

“Remember Bruce Rauner has been flip-flopping all along, first he doesn’t want to say Donald Trump’s name, now he wants to get on stage with Donald Trump but can’t even get that done,” Pritzker said.

* CBS 2

Rauner said he wasn’t embarrassed about President Trump’s failure to address him in the crowd at the rally in Murphysboro, Ill.

“He’s travelled in many states and doesn’t call out every elected official,” Rauner said.

Just saying, but the president managed to name-check the Republican candidate for California governor at that event.

* Other stuff…

* ABATE rescinds Rauner endorsement over autonomous vehicles: The decision was made even though Rauner is an avid motorcyclist and was seen wearing an ABATE sweatshirt Saturday when President Donald Trump campaigned for Republican congressional candidates in southern Illinois.

* Motorcycle Group Pulls Rauner Endorsement: He launched his reelection campaign with a video that featured him riding a Harley. And this weekend, he showed up to President Trump’s southern Illinois rally wearing an ABATE sweatshirt.

* Motorcycle-advocacy group ABATE pulls support for Gov. Bruce Rauner over autonomous vehicles order: Back in August, Gov. Bruce Rauner used social media to tout receiving the endorsement of the political arm of the motorcycle-advocacy group ABATE (A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education) and was lauded by the group’s chairman for “including the motorcycle community in relevant discussions.” But on Monday, the group posted on its Facebook site that it had yanked its backing for the motorcycle-riding GOP governor who most recently sported his cycle vest at President Donald Trump’s rally in Murphysboro last weekend.


Uihlein kicks in another half mil

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* People are always spreading rumors that Dick Uihlein will soon shut off the cash spigot to Proft, and they’re always wrong. Proft is his guy…

Click here for all of Uihlein’s state and local contributions.

* Related…

* GOP megadonor Uihlein gave $305,000 to state Senate candidate Davie, report shows: Uihlein, co-owner of the Uline shipping supplies company, donated $305,000 of the $389,095 Davie collected between July 1 and Sept. 30, Illinois State Board of Elections records show.

* Amazon’s Jeff Bezos ranks No. 1 among S&P 500 CEOs in political spending: Richard Uihlein, CEO of privately held Uline Inc., has spent more than $21 million in support of Republican candidates in the current cycle.

* Eleven donors plowed $1 billion into super PACs since 2010: In second place behind the Adelsons is Steyer, who gave $213.8 million. He is followed by Bloomberg ($120.7 million), Democratic media executive Fred Eychaner ($74.1 million), Democratic hedge fund executive Donald Sussman ($62.9 million), GOP shipping supplies magnate Richard Uihlein ($61.3 million), Democratic hedge fund founder James Simons and his wife, Marilyn ($57.9 million), Republican hedge fund executive Paul Singer ($42.5 million), GOP hedge fund executive Robert Mercer ($41.2 million), Soros ($39.4 million) and Republican backer and TD Ameritrade founder J. Joe Ricketts ($38.4 million).


AFSCME mailer pairs Rauner with Harold

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* A buddy of mine sent me this AFSCME mailer last night and wondered aloud why the Raoul campaign didn’t use this image of Rauner with Erika Harold. I didn’t have an answer…

* Related…

* Illinois Attorney General Forum: Kwame Raoul, Erika Harold

* In final attorney general forum, Kwame Raoul says he’ll fight President Trump; Erika Harold says she’ll pursue corruption

* In attorney general debate, Raoul and Harold critique Madigan, Rauner

* Raoul, Harold square off in final debate for Illinois attorney general


The Credit Union Difference

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Advertising Department

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that focus on the financial needs of their members and communities they serve. In 2017, the beneficial contributions of Illinois credit unions extended beyond their members to impact the health of the local economy with an estimated $5.6 billion in economic output. Illinois credit unions made further economic impacts by approving 3,057 home mortgages worth $192,899,757 and creating nearly 30,000 jobs among 685 credit union branches. To learn more about the credit union difference, visit

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*** UPDATED x1 - Rauner campaign says it did a VBM campaign *** Rauner campaign didn’t do a vote-by-mail push, while Pritzker has spent at least $2.2 million

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The voter-shaming letters are back…

* But there’s some “new” news in Hannah’s story

In the weeks before Pritzker cast his ballot last month, his campaign had sent two rounds of vote-by-mail applications to 2.5 million likely voters around Illinois, the campaign said. Campaign finance records show the Pritzker campaign paid $1.2 million to Chicago-based firm The Strategy Group, Inc. for the first round of applications, which went out in early September, and spent an additional $1 million on the second round of mailings, which were sent later in the month.

Rauner is not doing a vote-by-mail application drive this campaign cycle, breaking tradition from the last few general elections when the gubernatorial candidates from both parties had done so. […]

Though local election authorities don’t keep track of which vote-by-mail applications come in through specific channels like the Pritzker campaign, the campaign can still keep track via information provided by the U.S. Postal Service. The applications sent out to likely voters also had pre-paid return envelopes, which allows the Pritzker campaign to keep a running tally of how many vote-by-mail applications the Democrat has spurred.

The Pritzker campaign told The Daily Line on Monday that the latest numbers indicate 200,000 of the 450,000 vote-by-mail applications originated from Pritzker’s mailings.

Emphasis added.

*** UPDATE *** The Rauner campaign insists it did do a vote-by-mail campaign. “Mail, digital, texting, doors, phones,” I was told.


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Update to today’s edition and a couple of new ads

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Politics 101

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The governor is absolutely right here. Even if his party is united, he cannot win statewide with Republican votes alone. He also needs lots of independents and even some Democratic votes (either passively through not voting or actively) to have a hope of winning this thing

For months, Rauner has worked to win back the roughly 300,000 GOP conservatives who voted for his primary challenger, State Rep. Jeannie Ives.

But his efforts, he admitted, may not be enough.

“We need a lot more than 300,000 votes,” Rauner said. “We need to come together–united.”

That’s why Republicans tend to run to the right in the primary and back to the center in the general. Instead, Rauner has done this all backwards.


Lack of IEPA expert delays Sterigenics action

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* One Illinois

The state and federal Environmental Protection Agency knew for eight months that the Sterigenics firm in Willowbrook was causing a “cancer cluster” in the southwest Chicago suburbs before informing the public, and the Illinois EPA is so understaffed it can’t supply an expert to get the firm shut down, according to Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Madigan’s office issued a statement Friday saying: “The Rauner administration hid information on the increased risks from the Sterigenics plant for over eight months. We then had to fight with IEPA to get access to needed information. We still do not have an expert from IEPA who can testify in court and prove that Sterigenics should be immediately shut down. Nonetheless, we are moving as quickly as possible to finalize legal action.”

That came as the Chicago Tribune was reporting that it had obtained a letter showing that the U.S. EPA informed the IEPA of the elevated cancer risk in the area surrounding the Willowbrook Sterigenics facility late last year. […]

In October, as local residents were rallying outside the Thompson Center where Rauner’s Chicago offices are located to demand answers, Rauner’s IEPA was asking Madigan to step in and use her authority to close down Sterigenics.

As Madigan pointed out Friday, it hasn’t been able to proceed with that legal action because the IEPA hasn’t supplied an expert to testify. That’s not surprising, in that sources say Rauner has “gutted” the IEPA and left it understaffed. That has left Madigan’s office to take on issues the IEPA should be policing itself.

From what I understand, AG Madigan’s office has been trying to find its own expert since the IEPA revealed it had nobody on staff to handle the case.


New Rauner ad: “JB stands for Jail Bird”

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* It doesn’t say in the press release if this is a TV ad or a digital ad, so keep that in mind…

Today, the Rauner campaign is launching a new ad titled “Crooks.” The ad features Stan, a former UAW worker from Chicago Heights, and Pete, a union carpenter from Chicago.

In the ad, Stan and Pete say that Illinois can’t afford to elect JB Pritzker because of his corrupt history with Rod Blagojevich and that he’ll be Mike Madigan’s puppet to hike taxes and kill jobs. The ad finishes with Governor Rauner stating that “this might be our last chance.”

* The ad

* Script…

Stan: I’m voting for Bruce Rauner because Pritzker is a tax-hiking job-killer.

Pete: This guy tried to bribe Blago.

Stan: He’s a tax cheat. He stole from us.

Pete: JB stands for Jail Bird.

Stan: Junior Blago.

Pete: The man is Mike Madigan’s puppet.

Stan: Those two will steal us blind.

Pete: Bruce Rauner is our only shot.

Stan: I’m voting for Bruce Rauner to save us from all these crooks.

Graphic: Vote Bruce Rauner. Save our state.

Rauner: This might be our last chance.


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

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Follow along with ScribbleLive

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* Isabel’s afternoon briefing
* Beyond the horse race
* Cannabis baron ridicules equity programs: "We’re going to give these assets to felons and people that have two heads and all this kind of stuff"
* IEPA says it won't do anything about polluting refineries
* Pritzker stands behind his messaging, claims support for candidates
* A quick Illinois history lesson
* Vallas gets out in front of attacks
* Following the money
* A massive failure
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* Laurence Msall
* Yesterday's stories

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