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Afternoon roundup

Monday, Mar 27, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* What the heck is going on with higher ed? Three?…

* Illinois Freedom Caucus…

The Illinois Freedom Caucus held a press conference today at a location across from of a proposed site of a new abortion clinic in Danville and called out the far left’s pro-abortion advocacy.

“The people of Danville don’t want an abortion clinic in their community,” said State Representative Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich). “My office has received numerous phone calls from people upset by what is happening in their own backyard. There seems to be an effort to bring abortion clinics to parts of Illinois that are overwhelmingly pro-life just to make a point. The far-left has moved far beyond merely making abortion legal. They have become abortion advocates.”

State Rep. Brad Halbrook said what is needed in downstate Illinois is a solution to the doctor shortage in rural areas.

“What we need in downstate Illinois is more doctors – not abortion providers,” Halbrook said. “We have a physician shortage issue in rural Illinois and the far-left’s solution is akin to a mechanic changing the tires to fix a fuel pump. The physician shortage is real. People often have to drive long distances just to get routine tests and basic medical services. We should be addressing the physician shortages instead of opening more abortion clinics.”

The intent of the clinics being built in rural counties is not to address the health concerns of Illinois residents but to capture the growing number of out of state abortions being performed in Illinois. Nearly one-third of all abortions in 2022 involved women not from Illinois. Prior to the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, only about 6 percent of abortions at Illinois clinics involved women from out of state. Women from 31 different states had abortions in Illinois last year.

“The proliferation of abortion clinics in Illinois is not about improving healthcare for Illinois citizens – it is about trying to bring more women from other states to Illinois to have abortions,” said State Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City). “The explosion of abortion clinics in Illinois is about making money. Abortion is the most protected industry in Illinois. The State of Illinois is actively working to shut down power plants which is increasing energy costs and leaving working people without a job. Working people don’t get these protections. Abortion providers in Illinois get proclamations from the Governor recognizing them. They get immunity from lawsuits. These clinics don’t have to live up to the same standards as regular ambulatory surgical centers. If you are in the abortion business, Illinois will roll out the red carpet. Illinois is a disgrace and a national embarrassment.”

State Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) said the celebration of abortion in Illinois such as Gov. JB Pritzker’s absurd Abortion Provider Appreciation Day proclamation is grotesque political pandering.

“No longer is it enough to merely keep abortion providers open for business in Illinois, but apparently all must bend the knee in humble submission to the sacred sacrament of abortion,” Miller said. “JB Pritzker’s proclamation trivializes the very serious challenges for women facing an unwanted pregnancy. Where is the compassion for these women who believe the only choice they have is to sentence their unborn child to death? If pro-abortion advocates were really ‘pro-choice,’ they would recognize the seriousness of the choice rather than minimizing it. The cartoonish efforts to use abortion and women as props for Pritzker’s laughable presidential aspirations is insulting and disrespectful to women facing the emotional stress of unwanted pregnancies.”

The Illinois Freedom Caucus is comprised of State Representatives Chris Miller (R-Oakland), chairman; Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City), vice-chairman; Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich); Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville); Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur); Jed Davis (R-Newark) and David Friess (R-Red Bud). The members of the Illinois Freedom Caucus are members of the Illinois General Assembly who are advocating for limited government, lower taxes and accountability and integrity in government.

* Johnson press release…

Chicago-based, multi-Grammy-award winning band Wilco endorsed Brandon Johnson for mayor.

In a video recorded ahead of their show at the Riviera Theatre, Wilco’s lead vocalist and Chicago native Jeff Tweedy said “we just want to let you know, this is the guy we’re voting for: Brandon Johnson. Be sure to do it before April 4th, do it right now.”

“Wilco started out via Chicago, and has ended up touring across the world, becoming a testament that if you can do it in Chicago, you can do it anywhere,” said Brandon Johnson. “This endorsement is a real shot in the arm for our movement.”

Johnson’s campaign has continued to build momentum in recent weeks, earning new endorsements from several members of Congress, unions, progressive organizations, and community leaders across Chicago since entering the run-off.

* Sen. Ventura…

State Senator Rachel Ventura partnered with DePaul University to create a new legislative internship uniquely catered to incarcerated individuals at the Stateville Correctional Center.

The new program will allow either a Senator or Representative to interview a select few individuals at the Stateville prison to be a legislative intern for a semester. At the end of the program, the legislator will provide them with a grade and they would receive college credits for their participation. Ventura spearheaded this new program and has interviewed three potential candidates.

“As I interviewed the candidates and heard their stories and aspirations, I knew this program would be beneficial for not only the student but also the communities they will return to,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Giving a voice to the voiceless ensures we have balanced and fair legislation that has a positive impact for all.”

Stateville has a number of other programs within its facility including education, job training and restorative justice programs - however this program would be the first of its kind.

“As a society we are coming to better understand the difficulties that formerly incarcerated people often experience when reentering society,” said Dr. Susan Burgess, the Internship Coordinator for the Department of Political Science at DePaul University. “The opportunities that Senator Ventura is providing by opening up internship placements in partnership with DePaul University’s Department of Political Science will give men from Stateville much needed experience and the beginnings of a professional network as they prepare to reenter.”

Ventura has helped spearhead this program alongside DePaul University and other Illinois legislators.

“Many of the men incarcerated at Stateville have spent years improving themselves, pursuing higher education, and cultivating expertise in law and public policy,” said Representative Will Guzzardi. “Their lived experience with our criminal legal system and their extensive knowledge of policy-making will provide invaluable contributions to our office.”

Ventura will pick her candidate of choice in the upcoming week and the new internship will begin thereafter. The student will be researching legislation and providing a unique perspective.

“Stateville Correctional Center is proud to partner with State Senator Ventura and DePaul University on this new offering. The Department and Stateville will continue to provide all available resources to ensure individuals in our custody have educational opportunities at every level. This program will uplift the voices of each participant and enhance their sense of hope, self-worth, and confidence in preparation for community reentry,” said Warden Charles Truitt.

Within this program, they will submit weekly summaries to DePaul and suggested legislation changes to the Senator or Representative. Stateville houses a full law library for their usage as the individual will not have access to constituent records nor the internet.

* Today is March 27th, so some of these numbers are 18 days old. That’s way out of date. SJ-R

A Cor Strategies poll on the Springfield mayor’s race puts challenger Misty Buscher up by two percentage points over incumbent Mayor Jim Langfelder with a week to go before the April 4 consolidated election.

The poll was based on a survey of 510 registered voters in Springfield conducted from March 9-12.

The poll gives Buscher, the current city treasurer, 39% and Langfelder 37% with 25% undecided.

A Chicago mayoral poll was shopped around over the weekend, but it was also hopelessly out of date.

* Have a look at the thread and tell us what you think

…Adding… Press release…

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton today announced she will join the Reproductive Freedom Coalition (RFC), a group of Lieutenant Governors and Second-In-Commands from 22 states and territories. They are united in their dedication to protect and broaden paths to reproductive rights and ensure equitable access to health care for all.

“This coalition is needed now more than ever, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “There is a destructive movement in full swing in this country, hammering away at the rights that give people independence and a sense of wellbeing.”

Right now, more than a dozen states have banned or severely restricted abortions. And there is legal action that seeks to block or limit abortion medication that has been used safely for years. Members of the Reproductive Freedom Coalition will stand on the frontlines, fighting against legislation and policies that harm while advocating for laws that protect reproductive rights.

“I expect my daughters to have more rights than I had, not fewer,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “We cannot go back. Future generations will be shaped by what we do today. Our states can and must lead the way, that’s why in Illinois we fight back.”

* Isabel’s roundup…


  1. - Friendly Bob Adams - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 2:17 pm:

    Somehow I got to be this old and did not know that counties had flags….

  2. - Stuck in Celliniland - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 2:19 pm:

    This won’t be good for Mayor Langfelder entering the last week. Illinois Times reported Saturday that United Airlines is canceling its Springfield to Chicago service starting June 1, and pulling out of the Capitol entirely.

    Unsurprisingly, unless it appeared in the print edition only, “the paper that was Lincoln’s friend” was out to lunch on this story. Nothing in the SJ-R online.

  3. - Big Dipper - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 2:26 pm:

    I could see Vallas endorsed by Kenny G.

  4. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 2:29 pm:

    The SPI airport has been bleeding service for years. At one point in the 90s, you could fly to Midway, O’Hare, STL and Cincinnati from Springfield.

    SPI’s competes with Bloomington, Champaign, Peoria and at one time Decatur for air service. Not every city can support a commercial airport and without the Feds propping them up, many airports would have gone without commercial service years ago.

  5. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 2:47 pm:

    ===“What we need in downstate Illinois is more doctors – not abortion providers,” Halbrook said.===

    As much as I enjoy hearing a bunch of men with no meaningful qualifications to practice medicine opine about medical procedures and biological functions they don’t understand, this specific comment stood out to me as more absurd than usual.

    Does this imbecile think that abortions are being performed in this state by someone other than a licensed physician? Does this simpleton understand that these clinics are being built to also provide healthcare in general and that other medical services will be performed there besides just the one he is grumpy about?

    Rural areas in Illinois are about to get more providers as these new clinics open.

    Incidentally, where is their bill to address the shortage of providers in rural Illinois? What are they themselves doing to address it? Or are the big bad democrats stopping them from even being able to write legislation?

  6. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 2:57 pm:

    ==who believe the only choice==

    You don’t want to give them any choices. You want to make the choice for them. So don’t lecture anyone about choices.

  7. - Flyin'Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 3:02 pm:

    “What we need in downstate Illinois is more doctors”

    So we can ignore their recommendations, and threaten their lives, come the next pandemic.

  8. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 3:11 pm:

    == State Rep. Brad Halbrook said what is needed in downstate Illinois is a solution to the doctor shortage in rural areas.

    “What we need in downstate Illinois is more doctors – not abortion providers,” Halbrook said. “We have a physician shortage issue in rural Illinois and the far-left’s solution is akin to a mechanic changing the tires to fix a fuel pump. The physician shortage is real. People often have to drive long distances just to get routine tests and basic medical services. We should be addressing the physician shortages instead of opening more abortion clinics.”==

    Rep Halbrook,

    What legislation have you introduced to try and address this issue? I checked the 17 bills you introduced and only saw one about EMTs who are not exactly doctors. I did see several bills to prevent various elected and appointed officials from getting health insurance which I don’t see helping increase the number of doctors. I did see one to prevent hospitals from stopping a doctor from prescribing something, not sure how that helps the shortage either.

    Was it your social media censorship bill? Was that the one?

    I’d be more impressed if you put some legislative effort into doing something about the doctor shortage. Also, dude you have a provider shortage. NPs and APNs can help fill some of those gaps.

    It’s easy to complain about something including ‘the far left’, actually doing is harder. How about you start doing?

  9. - Norseman - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 3:11 pm:

    If the IL Freedom for My People Only Caucus thinks this issue is a winning issue for the MAGA GOP, go all in. See what that gets your upstate political brethren and statewide candidates.

  10. - Kippax Blue - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 3:15 pm:

    I believe more doctors are on the way to Illinois as they flee the red states that threaten their profession… but they ain’t gonna go to Dixienois; why would they want to go where “faith” suppresses science?

  11. - Interim Retiree - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 3:23 pm:

    I was surprised, and glad, to read that 88% of Illinois college students stay in Illinois. The Inside Higher Ed article was a good and interesting read. Thanks for posting it.

  12. - Rabid - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 3:31 pm:

    freedom caucus gets the wrong doctor

  13. - Benniefly2 - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 3:32 pm:

    Not sure about the other two, but I was side-eyeing the press push a few months ago about Chicago State wanting to start up a Division 1 football program at the same time they were at the bargaining table saying they don’t have any money for raises and services. Sounds like an administrative problem to me.

  14. - Jibba - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 3:52 pm:

    Old news. We decided about the Danville clinic at the far left meeting last year. Just wait until you hear what we decided at this spring’s far left meeting.

  15. - Homebody - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 3:55 pm:

    Rural hospitals don’t make money. American healthcare is broken. We spend more dollars per capita than any other developed country, but get worse results almost across the board.

    If you want effective rural medical services, you need to address the profit focused medical system first.

  16. - Montrose - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 3:57 pm:

    Here’s hoping that if Johnson wins, he walks out on election night to “Kingpin” playing over the loudspeakers.

  17. - Give Us Barabbas - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 4:10 pm:

    The Freakout Caucus is trying so hard to paint abortion as a for-profit industry. And it just isn’t. That press release was a whole lot of spaghetti being thrown at the wall.

  18. - Downstate Sally - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 4:16 pm:

    I get that State legislators are supposed to make rules and regulations for the entire state, but they should be representing the concerns of the constituents who elected them. None of the members of the Illinois Freedom Caucus live in Danville or represent Danville or Vermilion County in the State Legislature. Maybe they need to look to their own back yards and let our duly elected representatives represent us. While they are demonstrating against “abortion” clinics, they are clearly demonstrating their lack of understanding/knowledge about the full menu of services offered at women’s health clinics, and a clear dereliction of duty when it comes to dealing with the health provider shortage. By the way, our local hospital has no birthing center due to lack of providers….why aren’t they protesting that?

  19. - Sweet Mama - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 4:44 pm:

    Why do these out of state and out of town people think they have the right to dictate to Danville’s women what they can do with their bodies? If they don’t want an abortion, they won’t have one. Oddly enough, no one in the Freedumb Caucus is capable of giving birth, which, IMHO, gives them the right to step down and walk away.

  20. - Stormsw7706 - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 5:12 pm:

    Yes all 7 members stood together in Danville. Collectively their districts don’t even represent 3 percent of the Illinois population. While pushing a cause that is not supported by a large majority of Americans and a larger majority of Illinois citizens. I do want to commend them on their efficiency in all being able to travel in one vehicle. Our. Planet thanks you.

  21. - cover - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 5:20 pm:

    = State Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) =

    Rich, you missed your obligatory “(R-No Relation)” editorial comment.

  22. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 6:01 pm:

    “The people of Danville don’t want an abortion clinic in their community,”
    More like the Representative doesn’t want it.

  23. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 6:03 pm:

    And someone should tell Halbrook that unless the rural clinics and hospitals want to break out the checkbooks and start paying a LOT more for doctors it will not get any better.

  24. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 6:05 pm:

    “What they and other groups like them are claiming is their prerogative to decide what is right not just for their kids, but for your kids.”

    That. Right. There.

  25. - Big Dipper - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 6:35 pm:

    ==“The people of Danville don’t want an abortion clinic in their community,”==

    If that’s true, it will go out of business. Let’s see.

  26. - East Side - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 7:53 am:

    Regarding higher ed, the unions also frame their concerns as beneficial to students, yet threaten a strike when it would be terribly disruptive to students. That speaks volumes. The higher ed financial model is broken… not nearly enough money to satisfy all the demands of all the constituencies. Meanwhile, student debt is crippling former students, alums and the economy.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Today's number: $13.33 billion
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup (Updated x2)
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraiser list
* How does this medical debt relief plan work?
* Pritzker, Preckwinkle ‘optimistic’ that Chicago city council will approve asylum-seeker funding
* Pritzker says prison facilities must be replaced: "This is not an optional issue" (Updated)
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Update to today’s edition and some campaign stuff
* Governor says free speech is a right, but doesn’t support protesters blocking traffic
* On Harmon, the White Sox, the Bears and BIPA
* It’s just a bill
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
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