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Roundup and open thread

Friday, Dec 6, 2019

* I fully intended to have a subscriber edition and the blog up and going for at least a few hours today, but life has intervened. I have workers at my home and people I haven’t seen in a while are coming to town. Not to mention that my Internet connection is buggy as heck so I’m currently tethering from my mobile phone. Like I said, life has intervened.

My buddy Ryan Keith sends out a very handy news roundup every morning, so I’m going to post that. You also have our live coverage post and all the RSS feeds to rely on. I’ll see if I can post a story or two/tree today, but it could be tough unless it’s big breaking news.

As always, please keep your conversations Illinois-centric and be nice to each other. Thanks…

* Pritzker backs former Senate Republican leader for ethics commission after mistakenly appointing recent lobbyist

* Illinois GOP uses Trump impeachment effort to fuel fundraising: Despite Schneider’s rhetoric, any money raised by the “defense fund” will go to the Illinois Republican Party and not to any legal defense fund or to Trump’s campaign fund, according to the fundraising website.

* Editorial: ‘We need to send a message’ about corruption? Illinois voters, too, should send a message.

* Elgin mayor wants ethics ordinance after reports that councilman is a lobbyist

* Police shouldn’t ticket pot smokers in backyards or on balconies, Lightfoot says

* When a ComEd rate cut is actually a rate hike

* The stakes are high for Illinois cannabis

* Your Guide to Marijuana in Illinois

* And here’s a few more from me…

* CVS Health to buy Illinois insurance unit: IlliniCare has 16 percent of the state’s Medicaid managed care market, and WellCare’s Meridian has 36 percent, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Healthcare & Family Services, which oversees Medicaid. … Centene says it will retain IlliniCare’s Medicare-Medicaid Alignment Initiative business and that its Ambetter business in Illinois is not affected.

* FOID card law’s age saves it from constitutional challenge: appeals court: A state appellate court this week ruled that the saving grace for Illinois’ Firearm Owners Identification card law was the fact that it’s been in place for 51 years — and any ruling finding it unconstitutional would upset the status quo. But in the same opinion, justices on the state’s Fourth Appellate Court said the group that filed the case against Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly earlier this year satisfied three other key elements of an argument against the law’s constitutionality.

* How Bad Are Billionaire Politicians for Democracy?

* SIU Carbondale applications up significantly as recruitment efforts pay off

* Mascots, Money Or Math: What Stops School Consolidation?

* Springfield’s Shortfall Illustrates Broader Pension Problem

* Schoenburg: Despite distance, Gray thinks he’s best for 15th

* Colleges and Universities Adopting Test Optional Policies

* Preliminary plan for downtown Springfield university campus emerges

* Trump food stamps rule could affect up to 140K people in Illinois

* CTA wants answers from Chinese L car manufacturer after NBC report on child labor

* SJ-R veteran reporter set to depart

* Nearly 5 decades into performing career, Tawl Paul releases 1st studio album

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 32nd warder - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 8:47 am:

    Rich, you mean a couple two tree stories.

  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 8:51 am:

    32nd is correct. My bad.

  3. - R A T - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 9:00 am:

    When union state workers received their overdue pay raises, it made news. But now that exempt staff are getting some attention and money, I have not heard any opinions on this. I’m not sure why. But I am curious how it was received, especially by middle management staff.

  4. - Hazmat - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 9:01 am:

    I didn’t understand the Cullerton loan story yesterday. Is he under media scrutiny for using his campaign fund as a personal piggy bank?

  5. - logic not emotion - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 9:29 am:

    Terrible ruling on the FOID… Using the same logic that it is ok since its been in place for a long time, one would have ruled that discrimination and segregation were ok since they were in place for a long time too.

  6. - Demoralized - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 9:35 am:


    Read the ruling. That’s not exactly what they said. That headline isn’t a good one. Their ruling was basically in two parts. The gist of the ruling was that a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the Act wasn’t an appropirate remedy at this time and that the argument regarding the fee being an unconstitutional tax was unlikely to suceed based on precedents related to other fees charged for the exercise of other constitutional rights.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 9:37 am:

    The link to the Tribune editorial - “ We need to send a message’ about corruption? Illinois voters, too, should send a message”

    I do find it ironically comical that a board is begging, literally, for voters to consider corruption, as, according to the editorial, the voters seemingly don’t consider it at all.

    To paraphrase; Democracy is the worst form of governing but it’s the best we got, and voters’ decisions reflect that too.

    Reading, it appears even the editorial board knows that corruption in of itself isn’t disqualifying, and while Illinois centric, including the embarrassingly ridiculous call from the legislators here in the House Raunerites that Rich covered here on the blog.

    The sheer short-sided thinking of the editorial is tone deaf to the national narrative too that could drive the 2020 election, because their own obsession with Madigan, while complaining about Stockholm Syndrome and ignoring the rejection here for the national discussion on “what is corrupt”.

    “Fire Madigan”, since 2003, is a loser because it’s not the tipping point reason to vote for Raunerites. It makes the angry happy to be angry about a strategy that’s failed, but it’s not a winning strategy at the ballot box.

    Focusing on the 4 Illinois House members thoughts to prop up the argument isn’t going to be the difference to win seats. The focus is for those angry to feel good about decisions to be angry, and if corruption is the cloak to hide other feelings, then that’s ok with the editorial board, as they ignore so much to make “Fire Madigan” the losing narrative… again.

  8. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 9:40 am:

    Hazmat - exactly, but he is allowed to because that amount was in his piggy bank before the law banning the use of campaign funds for personal use.

  9. - Barton Lorimor - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 9:45 am:

    Two things that would have made life so much easier 10 years ago:

    1) RK’s clips
    2) Tawl Paul’s album

  10. - ChrisB - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    Hasn’t anyone at the CTA ever watched Snowpiercer? Of course they were using child labor.


  11. - Steve Rogers - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 10:10 am:

    As an SIUC grad, I was very happy to see a 27% increase in applications. Hopefully, that will result in more students actually choosing to go there.

  12. - RNUG - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    == Terrible ruling on the FOID …==

    Not really.

    Just finished reading the decision. All it really said was the lower court was right that a preliminary injunction was not warranted at this time because it would upset the status quo, and less overall harm would likely occur by maintaining the status quo.

    For the rest of it, the appeals court basically said the lower court needs to hear the case on its’ merits. They also said the fee claim (#4) was unlikely to succeed but, reading between the lines, the first 3 claims have some weight, deserve to be argued, and may be successful.

    So we will have the FOID for at least another year or two while the original case makes its’ way through the legal system. Heck, it may be 3 to 5 years if there are no intervening Federal rulings and this case has to go to SCOTUS.

  13. - Nadigam - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 10:17 am:

    I faintly heard the tiniest violin playing in the background as Rich typed this post. /s

  14. - Nick Name - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 10:36 am:

    Best of luck to Dean Olsen.

    Utterly shameful, what Gatehouse is doing to the SJ-R and to its news staff. Down to four reporters, who of which (Schoenberg and Finke, I would image) cover the state house politics.

  15. - Practical Politics - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    Memo to the Tribune editorial board: How can Illinois voters send a message at the ballot box opposing corruption when there are seldom any opposition candidates? Incumbents rarely have to campaign in the general election.

    Ballot access is more difficult than in days of old (higher signature requirements) and election districts are gerrymandered.

  16. - Nick Name - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    *two of which

  17. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 10:59 am:

    I do find it ironically comical that a board is begging, literally, for voters to consider corruption, as, according to the editorial, the voters seemingly don’t consider it at all.

    OW, did you miss a former Federal Prosecutor, with no ties to the political establishment many voters believe is corrupt, won all 50 wards in the Mayoral election in Chicago? No wonder you call her an amateur in every post

    Did you miss Democratic Senator Iris Martinez also calling on Mike Madigan to resign as the Head of the Democratic party in Illinois unless he can explain why his close associates directed money to an accused sexual harasser in his organization?

    Maybe the voters won’t have to fire Madigan if the US Attorney indicts him.

  18. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 11:03 am:

    The Bears put a whoopin’ on the Cowboys last night, getting control of the outcome early and often. Even though playoff hopes may be very dim, it’s still nice to beat the Cowboys at home for a national TV audience.

  19. - @misterjayem - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 12:41 pm:

    Operation Safe Road — the licenses-for-bribes scandal that eventually sent former Illinois Governor George Ryan to prison — encompassed Costa Rican prostitutes, a Jamaican vacation villa, document-shredding, payola, money laundering, influence-peddling, mysteriously missing evidence and a total of nine fatalities tied to drivers with sham licenses.

    And to that shameful list, it now appears that we can add R. Kelly’s 1994 marriage to the 15-year old singer Aaliyah.

    – MrJM

  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 12:57 pm:


    Jay Doherty, the ageless and priceless President of the City Club of Chicago is out.

    Upshot: the City Club will try to up their reputation by making this move.

    Downshot: It came down to 100 folks getting money thru Jay and ComEd, according to Hinz at Crain’s

    Buckshot: We night find out how many of those big buck went to so many people.

    Even if others are over the moon with his ouster, Chief Supreme Court Justice Ann Burke and her husband, the indicted former powerful chairman Alderman Ed Burke will lunch with Jay in hush-hush tones. Natch.

  21. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 1:07 pm:

    Doherty made $3.1 million in fees from just ComEd? That is almost half a million more than what the average American makes in a lifetime. Nice work if you can get it.

  22. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 1:08 pm:

    ===the ageless and priceless===

    Evidently, not priceless.

  23. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    - Three Dimensional Checkers -

    === Evidently, not priceless.===

    I was hoping the irony of that would ring. Shoulda went “less” subtle, lol. My bad.


  24. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    Oswego Willy, no, your Sneed impression is so good that I didn’t realize you were being ironic.

  25. - Stones - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    Where has that Bears team been all year?

  26. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 1:42 pm:

    - Three Dimensional Checkers -

    You’re too kind. I had thought of putting priceless in quotes, but that ain’t Sneed’s style of writing.


  27. - R A T - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 1:59 pm:

    Doherty made $3.1 million in fees from just ComEd? That is almost half a million more than what the average American makes in a lifetime. Nice work if you can get it.

    As I read this all I could think of was professional athlete salaries. Made my stomach hurt.

  28. - zatoichi - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    So ‘a market research survey indicated SIUC needed to increase its outreach to high school guidance counselors’ and they started giving out more scholarships for those counselors to use. Those are some cutting edge ideas.

  29. - Anonanonsir - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    I’m seeing this under the news feed for Senator Duckworth:
    “Al Franken urged to resign by Democratic colleagues”

    Poor guy. This hasn’t exactly been the Al Franken decade.

    The Trib article is encouraging Dems to vote for self-styled reformers in March. They’ll probably keep coming back to that message. Good way to fill space.

  30. - Demoralized - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 4:11 pm:

    ==No wonder you call her an amateur in every post==

    I believe that’s because some of the way she has conducted herself has been amateurish and I’m pretty sure there would be a lot of agreement with that assessment.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 6, 19 @ 4:19 pm:

    === No wonder you call her an amateur in every post===

    Not unlike the Illinois Policy Institute, the thinking is always to take a fact, twist it to a narrative to seem smart and winning, but in reality, it’s not what they (or you) think it means.

    If you think 3 press conferences to laud, then replace, then diminish one person who *still* is being investigated, and think that Crew isn’t handling they’re business as “amateurs”, it’s a lil more embarrassing for you, lol.

    “Fire Madigan”, like the failed governor who also failed at quitting, and the $130 million only make Madigan get to a zenith unlike he hadn’t reached, is a failed tact to win seats.

    It’s not an opinion, it’s a proven fact.

    Ask the failed governor, his “Democrat” wife, and the monies they lost to prove it’s a loser.

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* Pritzker announces death of infant - "We're preparing ourselves for the worst" - McDonald's donates 400k masks - Talks Medicaid waivers - New guidance for grocery stores - Adresses Trump comments on NYC; Advises kids not to continually watch the news, including "God forbid, Fox" - Lagging test results - Joint buying with other states? - Feds not preventing drug stockpiling - Still scrambling to find ventilators
* 465 new cases, 13 new deaths
* COVID-19 roundup: Child dies; Aurora mayor and police chief test positive; Dart lashes out; GA will have to approve home cannabis delivery; Strike? Maybe; Abbott's new test; Remote notary allowed; Sewing warriors; Adorable video
* Yesterday's stories

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