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Report: Edgar won’t be endorsing Rauner

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* Not a surprise on any level…

* In case you need it, Jake explains why this isn’t a surprise…

- Posted by Rich Miller   57 Comments      

Appellate court upholds HB40 process

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* From November of 2017

Today, the Thomas More Society filed a taxpayer lawsuit against State of Illinois officials in a counterattack against House Bill 40, which requires public funding of tens of thousands of elective abortions. […]

The complaint levels two challenges against HB 40. First, the General Assembly has not set aside funds to pay for HB 40’s tens of thousands of elective abortions, and there’s no money available to pay for those abortions and still be within the Balanced Budget requirements of the Illinois Constitution. Second, despite efforts to make HB 40 effective January 1, 2018, it cannot come into effect until June 1, because it did not pass out of the Senate until September 25, 2017. The Illinois Constitution imposes a May 31 cut-off date for General Assembly action for bills to go into effect faster.

* January of 2018

A new law allowing public funding of abortion in Illinois will take effect as scheduled on January 1. That’s after a judge on Thursday ruled against anti-abortion groups who’d sued to block it.

* 4th District Appellate Court today

The appellate court affirmed, concluding (1) the circuit court lacked jurisdiction under the political-question doctrine, to determine whether the General Assembly failed to appropriate funds and adopt a revenue estimate to cover the cost of services under HB 40; and (2) the implementation of HB 40 on January 1, 2018, was not improper because the bill passed both houses of the General Assembly by May 10, 2017.

Go read the whole thing if you’re interested. But this was a longshot case from the beginning.

First, medical procedures covered by Medicaid and state employee insurance aren’t individually appropriated.

Second, notice how the court declined to weigh in on the need for an official revenue estimate - an issue that’s been pushed hard by the Illinois Policy Institute….

Before we turn to the political-question doctrine, we note a problem in the way plaintiffs couch their arguments before this court. Plaintiffs assert they simply want to know if the General Assembly complied with the revenue-estimate and appropriations requirements of the constitution. However, absent from the constitution is any language imposing an obligation on the General Assembly to develop a revenue estimate. Plaintiffs argue the language of the COGFA Act, read in conjunction with the constitution, imposes such a duty. However, the constitution and the COGFA Act are separate. We are reluctant to read the language of the COGFA Act into the constitution. […]

By its plain terms, the constitution requires only that the General Assembly refrain from appropriating funds in excess of the amount estimated by the General Assembly. Here, the constitution fails to provide discoverable and manageable standards illustrating how a court is to go about determining whether the General Assembly did in fact refrain from appropriating funds in excess of funds estimated by the General Assembly. Ill. Const. 1970, art. VIII, § 2(b). Plaintiffs also fail to point to any such standards. […]

When resolving the mandatory or directory question, a statute is mandatory where the legislature imposes specific consequences in the event of noncompliance. Id. at 514. On the other hand, a statute is directory where “no particular consequence flows from non[]compliance.” […]

Section 4(a) of the COGFA Act does not contain any consequences for the General Assembly’s failure to adopt a revenue estimate by joint resolution.

* And third, the bill passed way before the May 31st deadline. A parliamentary hold was placed on the legislation until it was withdrawn in September. The governor signed it a few days later. The courts here are loathe to adjudicate legislative rules and the appellate justices upheld that tradition today.

…Adding… From the attorney general’s office…

We are pleased the court rejected the plaintiffs’ attempts to prevent some women from accessing health care services, including reproductive health care services.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      

Biss to take over helm of Rust Belt Rising

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* Daniel Biss e-mail to supporters…

I wanted you to be the first to know about the next step in my professional life.

In thinking about this job search, a few things were clear: I wanted to stay in the fight for justice, to do so in a context not far from electoral or democracy work, and to have a chance to help shape an organization doing good and important work.

That’s why I’m so excited to have accepted the position of Executive Director at Rust Belt Rising, a young organization created to train midwestern Democratic candidates to lead on economic issues. The goal is to bring the Democratic Party back to its roots as the party of working families who have been left behind by a system rigged in favor of the top 1%.

Ever since Trump was elected, we’ve seen endless debates about whether Democrats should try to win back Obama-Trump voters or consolidate gains among Romney-Clinton voters. We’ve heard constant fighting about whether to focus on racial justice or economic justice.

In truth, these are all false choices. As we hopefully head toward a blue wave election this November, it’s become clearer than ever that in a world with terrifying consolidation of wealth, power, and privilege in the hands of a very few, the path to success is to focus on an agenda and message that unites the many who have been left behind around a bold vision of the just society we can build together.

Rust Belt Rising is committed to helping candidates in the Great Lakes states do just that, and I’m very excited to lead that effort. Already in this election cycle we’re training over 100 candidates, and this is just the beginning.

More info on the group is here. I’ve reached out to Sen. Biss to see if he’ll serve out his term. I’ll let you know what he says.

…Adding… Biss replied “At this point yes.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** The Seth McMillan campaign is kind of a hot mess

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* A since deleted tweet of outrage…

* Wanna know why it was deleted? Guess who else often uses the word “Downstate”? Seth McMillan, of course…

Click here for many more. That advanced Twitter search tool is awesome.

Also, check out McMillan’s campaign announcement video. At about the :50 mark he says “I think people feel like Downstate has been forgotten for a long time.”. And then click here for a McMillan press release, which uses the word “Downstate” three times.

* I put this post together, but decided to let it slide. He deleted the tweet, after all. And then I saw Bernie’s story about this McMillan tweet…

* Bernie

The problem here is that Manar said much more at that interview, making the same point he made in his own ad.

Manar made clear to the editorial board that he does not support term limits for all legislators. […]

He also said that he supported and pushed the “appropriate step” of limiting terms of Senate leaders. Manar was a chief sponsor of a Senate resolution passed unanimously on Jan. 11, 2017 — when the current General Assembly was sworn in — to limit terms, going forward, of 10 years for the Senate president and minority leader.

PATRICK PFINGSTEN, consultant to McMillan, said it is “bogus” to claim Manar was taken out of context in the McMillan video.

Sheesh. Do better.

* Meanwhile…

The typo is in an A-1 that claims the RSSCC paid a McMillan campaign staffer $1.2 million in salary. I’m not certain if McMillan or the RSSCC made the error, but it’s quite something.

Not including the $1.2 million for the staffer, McMillan has reported raising a whopping $14,915.20 this quarter.

Over a third of that - $5,000 - is from Richard Uihlein, which opens McMillan up to the unfortunately ubiquitous charge that he accepted money from somebody who supported an accused molester.

He also received $1,000 from the chairman of the Illinois Gaming Board and his spouse.

President Trump won this district by 17 big points. But Manar started spending TV money in June and it seems to have rattled McMillan to the bone.

*** UPDATE *** Looks like he’s gonna have to refund Chairman Don Tracy’s contribution. From state statute

Sec. 5. Gaming Board. […]

No member of the Board shall engage in any political activity. For the purposes of this Section, “political” means any activity in support of or in connection with any campaign for federal, State, or local elective office or any political organization […]

Any member of the Board may be removed by the Governor for neglect of duty, misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance in office or for engaging in any political activity.


- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

Question of the day

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* Brian Mackey

As of Monday, there are 50 days until Election Day. And in the race for Illinois governor, debate season is finally getting underway.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and his Democratic challenger, J.B. Pritzker, will meet in three formal debates in the coming month.

The first takes place this Thursday, and it’s sponsored by NBC Chicago and Telemundo, As well as the Union League of Chicago and the Chicago Urban League. […]

The first debate will also include the Libertarian Party candidate, Kash Jackson, as well as state Sen. Sam McCann, who left the Republican Party to run as a Conservative.

* The Question: Your debate preview?

- Posted by Rich Miller   42 Comments      

Daley hoping for Chicago pension help from a Gov. Pritzker

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* Greg Hinz talks to Bill Daley about his plans if elected mayor

For instance, Daley said he’s going to count hard on J.B. Pritkzer—”I have no doubt he’s going to be our next governor”—to help the city deal with its huge pension debt, which already has forced up local taxes roughly $1 billion a year and could force another increase of that size by 2023, when the city is supposed to be at the actuarial funding level.

“If the city can’t address its pension plans and bring them to balance, the future of the state is 10 times bleaker,” Daley said. “I think (Pritzker) will work with the mayor to address the issue.”

Yet, he added, “It can’t all be on the taxpayers. Everyone has to have some skin in the game.” Included in is view is labor, despite an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that overruled a pain-sharing deal outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel bargained. Daley said he’d start by getting all parties together, and said a negotiated constitutional amendment like one Arizona used to weaken a pension clause similar to the one Illinois has is “always is a possibility.”

Similarly, balancing the city’s budget requires at least considering things such as a commuter tax and head tax, two idea pushed hard by political progressives. “I’m not putting anything off the table now.”

Pritzker has already piled up his spending plans so high that they already top $10 billion by my rough guesstimate. If Daley’s solution is a state bailout, it’s magic beans.

The Arizona model is not a bad idea, though. I even advocated for it over the weekend on Twitter. But it’s dangerous to get too far out in front of any talks with unilateral public demands.

…Adding… This…

* Related…

* Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to announce run for Chicago mayor this week

* Bill Daley on bid to replace Emanuel: ‘To be mayor, that would be the greatest’: “And you know, at this stage of my life, this is what I’d like to do for maybe the next four to maybe eight years. If people don’t accept it, I think I’ve had a great life. I’m lucky. But to be mayor, that would be the greatest,” he said.

* ‘I’m not going to change my name’: Bill Daley on why he’s seeking to become family’s third Chicago mayor: “The state of Illinois is great. They had a lot of problems, and I thought I might be able to bring something there, but this is home. This is where I live, this is where I’ve lived and this is where I’ll die,” Daley said. “That’s the difference. I’ve seen my father and brother try to lead this city, the difficulties of it, but the joy they got of trying to make a difference and help people. And the people of Chicago have been extremely good and kind to our family.

* Bill Daley ‘Excited’ for Mayoral Run He Calls Opportunity of a Lifetime: Some political experts have pointed to the Daley legacy as either a strength or a hindrance to his candidacy, but the freshly minted candidate is hopeful that voters will give him a chance to prove that he is just as capable of running the city as his famous family members.

* With Bill Daley running for mayor, it’s good to remember what happened the last time we turned Chicago over to the Daleys: Rahm made about $6.5 million as an investment banker in 2001, the year he helped broker that deal. As for Rauner, his company sold SecurityLink for about $1 billion, roughly six months after it was acquired for about $500 million. So Rauner owes a portion of his fortune to a couple of Democrats named Emanuel and Daley—something to remember the next time you hear Rauner raging against the machine.

- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      

Where does “middle-income” end and “upper-income” start in Illinois?

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* Pew Research Center

About half of American adults lived in middle-income households in 2016, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. In percentage terms, 52% of adults lived in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households and 19% in upper-income households.

Our calculator below, updated with 2016 data, lets you find out which group you are in – first compared with other adults in your metropolitan area and among American adults overall, and then compared with other adults in the United States similar to you in education, age, race or ethnicity, and marital status.

* I calculated this using 4-person households in each region. The numbers displayed are the lowest pre-tax incomes for upper-income households rounded to the nearest thousand. In other words, a thousand bucks lower would be classified as a middle-income household. The number in parentheses is the percentage of adults in the region who are classified as upper-income. To reconfigure the numbers to suit your own household, click here

Decatur: $135,000 (16%)
Rockford: $141,000 (16%)
Springfield: $143,000 (23%)
St. Louis: $143,000 (24%)
Bloomington: $147,000 (27%)
Champaign-Urbana: $147,000 (19%)
Kankakee: $151,000 (12%)
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin: $163,000 (22%)

Statewide: $155,000 (22%)

I did this to give you an idea of where higher tax rates might possibly kick in under a graduated income tax scheme that claims to hold the middle class harmless and even gives some a tax cut. Of course, the people who enact the new rates could always use different logic.


- Posted by Rich Miller   73 Comments      

Is it the campaign tone or health care votes?

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* Politico

In an interesting twist, GOP Congressman Peter Roskam’s team hopes 6th District voters reject Democrat Sean Casten for the same reason they turned on Donald Trump in 2016. Republicans see Casten as vitriolic — in a President Trump sort of way — which would be a turn-off for Hillary Clinton supporters. Roskam ran away with a victory two years ago and those 6th District voters also gave Clinton a 7-point victory over Trump.

Roskam’s supporters point to Casten’s Twitter storm Friday as an example of the Democrat’s lack of decorum. Between 7:36 a.m. and 7:48 a.m., Casten spit out 11 tweets that addressed Roskam’s record on everything from aid to Harvey victims to the Violence Against Women Act. Casten called Roskam “amoral,” saying the congressman “gives money to those who don’t need it, so they will in turn give him money to help stay in power and give them more.”

Casten spokesman Greg Bale says it’s wishful thinking on Roskam’s part that 6th District Dems would side with a Republican this November. “They’re trying to create a narrative that’s just not there. The issues that we’re seeing driving this are choice (and we know Roskam is unapologetically anti-choice) and health care. That’s what voters are paying attention to.”

* Speaking of health care, this is from the DCCC…

It’s no coincidence that less than two months out from Election Day, vulnerable Reps. Mike Bost and Rodney Davis are doing damage control to hide their disastrous records of voting to gut protections for individuals with preexisting conditions and raise healthcare costs on Illinois families.

Late last week, Bost and Davis tried to take credit for introducing a non-binding “resolution” with a litany of vulnerable House Republicans to call for protecting individuals with preexisting conditions, nearly a year and half after they voted to do the opposite. The resolution does not have any force of law.

    “After their own votes to gut protections for people in Illinois, Reps. Bost and Davis’s empty gesture is a gut punch to those living with asthma, cancer, diabetes and other preexisting conditions. The number of people in Illinois protected under this resolution is zero. The number of their own constituents with preexisting conditions who Bost and Davis voted to gut protections for is 581,900. Bost and Davis’s last-ditch effort to save their dimming re-election prospects is deceptive, shameful and one more reason to vote them out this November.” –DCCC spokesperson Jacob Peters

In a press release, Bost falsely stated: “Since day one in Congress, I have been crystal clear that we must protect individuals with pre-existing conditions from losing coverage. This resolution reaffirms to Southern Illinoisans that my commitment hasn’t changed.”

In a release with the sponsor of the powerless resolution, Davis falsely stated: “As we have said and done all along, people with pre-existing conditions should be and will be protected. Many of us fought for these protections in the AHCA and I thank Rep. Young for leading this resolution that reaffirms our support of maintaining those protections regardless of any future changes to Obamacare or a court ruling.”

Here are the facts:

    · Bost and Davis voted repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would’ve eliminated protections for those with preexisting conditions.
    · Bost and Davis voted for the AHCA, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Politifact confirmed would weaken protections for those with pre-existing conditions, including making health insurance unaffordable for older Americans and jack up healthcare costs.
    · Bost and Davis both voted for the GOP Tax Scam, which their party is now using as their justification for a lawsuit that would end protections for Americans with preexisting conditions.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      

Journal Star shuts down state/local politics column

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* Nick Vlahos at the Peoria Journal Star

A Red-Blue cage-match election this fall. A contrite Bruce Rauner. An alleged per-mile-driving-taxing JB Pritzker. Local municipal budget cuts. Hotel defaults that leave local taxpayers on the hook for $7 million.

This is a heck of a time to stop Word on the Street, isn’t it?

The Journal Star’s political column is going on hiatus, at least for now, because of the recent departure of co-author Chris Kaergard.

We’ve enjoyed sharing Monday mornings with you. And Sunday nights, too, since the advent of the internet has allowed the column to appear there before it hits print.

But part of us feels bad about leaving when perhaps this forum might be needed the most.

“Departure” is one way to put it. “Fired to help pad the bottom line” would be another.

* Ahem…

* Related…

* Edwin Eisendrath named ‘Illinoisan of the Year’ by state broadcast journalists: “The first is economic. As the margins in our business have fallen, the industry has been helpless against investors who consolidate, cut, sell assets and charge management fees. These are behaviors that make the American economy the world’s most dynamic. Journalism, however, has a different role in a democracy than does an outdated carriage factory. The damage has been particularly devastating to newspapers, and the Sun-Times was no exception.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      

Rauner’s Trump policy ties

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* From January of 2017

In one of his strongest public shows of support for Donald Trump, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner joined 19 other Republican governors to support the president-elect’s controversial nominee for secretary of education.

Billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos is an “inspired choice,” Republican governors from 18 states and two U.S. territories wrote, saying she “will fight to streamline the federal education bureaucracy” and also is a “passionate supporter . . . of harnessing the power of competition to drive improvement in all K-12 schools, whether they be public, private or virtual.”

* AP weekend report

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was campaigning against states regulating student-loan companies when she called her friend, Gov. Bruce Rauner, in August 2017.

Two weeks later, the Republican governor vetoed legislation creating protections for students taking out federal loans . In language that echoes President Donald Trump’s education chief in her continuing crusade against state intervention, Rauner, who’s considered one of the nation’s more vulnerable incumbents in November, declared in his veto message that the measure “encroaches on the federal government’s responsibilities.”

The Aug. 10, 2017, phone call, which appears on both officials’ appointment calendars reviewed by The Associated Press, underscores the interaction the first-term governor has with Trump while publicly trying to distance himself from a president who is hugely unpopular in Democratic Illinois.

Lawmakers reversed Rauner’s veto, with wide GOP support in the House on a pro-student education bill. The “Student Loan Bill of Rights,” which takes effect at the end of this year, requires companies that administer the programs to properly process payments, tell borrowers about debt forgiveness because of disability or problems with the schools they attended, and to provide experts to explain all repayment options. DeVos continues to oppose involvement from outside the federal government.

* From the Democratic Party of Illinois…

The AP wrote the call “underscores the interaction the first-term governor has with Trump while publicly trying to distance himself from a president who is hugely unpopular in Democratic Illinois.” And the call was not the only instance of cooperation - Rauner recently praised Trump’s selection of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and vetoed a bill “to the dismay of health care advocates” that would have regulated short-term health insurance plans, among other actions detailed by the AP.

“Instead of looking out for Illinois families, Bruce Rauner is taking marching orders from the Trump White House and Betsy DeVos,” said DPI Executive Director Christian Mitchell. “Bruce Rauner already failed Illinois families by gutting higher education and making college more unaffordable. Now we know Rauner sided with Betsy DeVos and her special interest allies over hard working Illinois families struggling to pay down student loan debt. Illinoisans wanted Bruce Rauner to stand up to Donald Trump, not do his bidding.”

* Coincidentally or not, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law issued a report last week entitled “Illinois Governor Rauner’s Vetoes Advance the Trump Administration’s Main Policy Goals”

Unfortunately, this year Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner used his veto power to block bipartisan, negotiated bills that would have advanced justice for Illinois’s most vulnerable residents. In doing so, the governor advanced some of the main policy goals of the Trump Administration — undermining the foundations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), denying immigrants basic legal protections, and curtailing voting rights of people of color. […]

Advancing the Trump Administration’s major goal of undoing the ACA, Governor Rauner struck down HB 2624, a bipartisan measure that would have limited the use of short-term health insurance policies to six months and made these plans non-renewable. Short-term health plans circumvent the ACA’s basic protections, including the requirement that insurance plans cover preexisting conditions. Oftentimes, people are duped into purchasing these plans and only realize their healthcare is not covered once they get sick or become injured. The Trump Administration has promoted the unrestricted use of these junk policies. HB 2624 would have also given the Illinois Department of Insurance authority to regulate short-term plans and would have required insurance companies to use easily understood language in promotional materials.

The Governor also vetoed HB 4165, which would have guaranteed members of the Illinois General Assembly — and the constituents they serve — access to a public process if any Illinois governor sought a waiver of federal law to reduce healthcare access and treatment. Governors throughout the country are using such waivers to deny healthcare coverage to patients with low income. Governor Rauner’s veto prevents members of the Illinois General Assembly from providing a necessary check and balance on a governor’s attempts to undermine healthcare. […]

Aligning himself with the dangerous anti-immigrant rhetoric and actions of the Trump Administration, Governor Rauner vetoed the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act, SB 3103. This legislation would have prevented landlords from intimidating, harassing, or retaliating against tenants based on their immigration status. For example, this measure would have prohibited landlords from threatening to disclose a tenant’s immigration status to avoid making needed repairs or otherwise escape their legal responsibilities. […]

Consistent with the Trump Administration’s refusal to enforce the voting rights of all Americans, Governor Rauner vetoed the Let People Vote bill, HB 4469. This bill would have required jails in Illinois to arrange in-person or absentee voting for pretrial detainees. It also would have ensured that corrections officials provide people leaving prison — after having served their sentences — with updated voter registration forms and other information about their right to vote.

…Adding… Tribune

Illinois is getting 78 percent less federal money this year to hire Obamacare workers to help people enroll in health insurance plans, causing some advocates to worry that more Illinois residents will go without coverage.

The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is handing two Illinois organizations $389,216 this year, down from nearly $1.8 million distributed to five Illinois groups last year, the agency announced Wednesday. One of the largest groups that got grant money for navigators in the past, the United Way of Metro Chicago, won’t get any money this time around.

Pritzker campaign…

“Donald Trump is once again sabotaging the Affordable Care Act, cutting critical outreach dollars while less and less people get covered, and Bruce Rauner is once again his silent partner,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Illinoisans deserve a governor who believes healthcare is a right, not a privilege — and JB Pritzker will be that governor and stand up to Trump when he attacks our state.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      

Scapegoat scaped again

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* Press release…

Today, the Rauner campaign is launching a new ad featuring Mike Tracy, a dispatcher for the Chicago Police Department. Mike believes that Governor Rauner’s policies will get Illinois back on its feet, and a vote for JB Pritzker is a vote for a blank check to Mike Madigan.

* Spot

* Transcript…

I’m a dispatcher for Chicago Police. I met Bruce when he became Governor-Elect. His ideas are the right ideas. He wants to help get the state back on its feet. If we go in a different direction than Bruce for four years, you know, the state will be gone. I cannot see Prtizker doing anything that would benefit anybody other than himself and Madigan. A vote for Pritzker is absolutely just basically writing a blank check to Madigan.

* Related press release…

This Thursday, Governor Rauner and JB Pritzker will appear in their first debate of the campaign on NBC 5 Chicago. It’s been clear from day one that Pritzker was Madigan’s handpicked candidate for governor, which explains why Pritzker won’t utter a criticism of the House Speaker.

Madigan has been in power for 47 years while Illinois has suffered through unbalanced budgets, massive tax hikes, and historic corruption.

Yet, JB Pritzker seems to be the only person in Illinois who doesn’t see the problem with Madigan’s fiscal irresponsibility.

But on Thusday, JB Pritzker will stand before voters with an opportunity to show he won’t be a blank check for Madigan. Will he have the courage to do so?

* OK, let’s go back to the governor’s campaign “reset” speech

The reforms we need aren’t partisan or unreasonable. Our neighboring states have flattened and reduced taxes for their residents. Bluer states than Illinois have put in place the same common sense reforms I’ve proposed: Rhode Island Democrats achieved bipartisan pension reform, Massachusetts Democrats reformed their worker’s compensation and government healthcare systems, California Democrats passed term limits and have tackled gerrymandering.

We’ve proposed these things before, but Speaker Madigan has pulled the rug out from under reform. Even when his fellow Democrats desired the same changes, he has stood in the way.

That totally ignores how Rauner stopped Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno’s attempt at a “grand bargain” on many of those issues. If he had just let her do her job, it would’ve been four against one and they would’ve had a real shot at putting Madigan’s back up against the wall. But, no.

* Rauner himself seemed to admit that to the Tribune editorial board the very next day

He said, in retrospect, he would have accepted smaller changes in such issues as workers’ compensation, local mandate relief, property tax controls and state pensions. During his first term, Rauner pulled back from Senate Republican-led efforts to fashion a “grand bargain” aimed at trying to resolve differences between the governor’s agenda and the Democratic-led General Assembly because it didn’t go far enough.

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      

How stupid does Rep. Jerry Long think we are?

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* Background is here. From Rep. Jerry Long’s Facebook page

I was entrusted by the good people of the 76th District to be their State Representative and to FIGHT for them in Springfield. I would never do anything to violate their trust.

I work for the people of the 76th District and not the House Republican Organization. The HRO and I have always had a contentious relationship due to the fact that I refuse to be their puppet.

On Friday before Labor Day, HRO through an employee, prepared statement for me to read for robo calls to voters which did not meet my expectations. The HRO employee wanted me to read a statement that sounded more like HRO and not the people’s State Representative Jerry Long. I refused to record HRO’s message and recorded my own message to the people I represent, which infuriated the HRO employee. Rather than allow me the ability to speak my own mind and represent the 76th District, the HRO has used this simple disagreement as a way to pull their support.

I want to make it perfectly clear to my constituents and supporters, I have done nothing which warrants my resignation as your State Representative. In fact, just the opposite. I stood my ground and stayed true to my values. I work seven days a week for the people of the 76th District and will continue to do so. I do not need the support of the HRO because I have the support of the people.

As always, I thank you for your support. Please share this to everyone.

So, lemme get this straight. He’s saying that the House Republicans pulled out of a Tier One, must-win race over a robocall dispute? And they withdrew after spending $47K on his campaign early last week because of said robocall dispute?


- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      

SEMO mailer stresses higher ed costs

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* From a buddy…


- Posted by Rich Miller   83 Comments      

New Erika Harold ad quotes Pat Quinn to attack Kwame Raoul

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* Press release…

Today, Erika Harold’s campaign for Attorney General is launching a new statewide TV ad titled “Anything.”

Kwame Raoul will do or say anything to win. That’s why one former Democratic governor of Illinois called Raoul’s attacks “false” and “desperate.”

Now, Kwame Raoul is lying about Erika Harold’s record because he can’t run on his own record of doing Mike Madigan’s bidding in Springfield for fourteen years.

Kwame Raoul teamed up with Madigan to raise property taxes, supported Madigan’s 67% tax hike, and even allowed disgraced former governor Rod Blagojevich to skip billions of dollars in pension payments.

Kwame Raoul squandered his time in Springfield and can’t be trusted to be Attorney General. Fourteen years of failure is enough.

* The spot

* Transcript…

Erika Harold: After spending years raising taxes and opposing reform, Kwame Raoul can’t run on his record – so he’s lying about mine.

Announcer: Even Democrats have called out Raoul for “desperate, false attacks.”

He’ll say anything to win – and do anything for Madigan:

Raoul teamed up with Madigan to raise property taxes.

Voted for his sixty-seven percent income tax hike.

…And let Blagojevich skip pension payments.

Kwame Raoul: “I’m Kwame Raoul, and I’m just getting started.”

Announcer: Stop Kwame Raoul. 14 years of failure is enough.

* The Raoul campaign pointed to this Politifact item from yesterday about an earlier ad

Harold says “Mike Madigan and Kwame Raoul team up to raise property taxes.”

Her statement contains an element of truth in that Raoul and Madigan did sponsor legislation in 2014 that initially contained a proposal from Emanuel for a new property tax levy for several ailing pension funds.

But the tax component was not the primary aim of the bill, which also sought to shore up the funds by cutting city worker retirement benefits and requiring both workers and the city to put more money into them. That tax language didn’t even make it into the final version of the bill.

Yet Harold’s claim spuriously suggests Raoul teamed up with Madigan for the express purpose of hiking taxes, leaving out all mitigating context. We rate it Mostly False.

…Adding… I remember that bill and it was indeed about making legislators let the locals off the hook for the property tax hike. The pushback was strong, which is why the specific language was removed.

- Posted by Rich Miller   16 Comments      

An important point to remember about polls during “wave” years

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* Harry Enten of CNN

I went back since the 2006 election and looked at how much the polls from roughly within a month of this point in the cycle performed. (That is, polls completed from about 52 to 82 days before the election.) […]

Back in 2006, the average district poll had the Democrats trailing by 1.5 points. The result in those districts polled ended up being Democrats winning by 4 points. That’s a bias of 5.5 points against the Democrats.

Jump ahead to 2010. When Republicans were ones riding the wave, they were down by 3 points in the average district poll right now. They ended up winning in those districts by 1 point. That’s a 4-point overperformance for the Republicans.

The 2014 midterm election tells the same story. Republicans did 5.5 points better than the district polls suggested they would at this point. […]

Look at these same years, but only at the polls within the final 10 days of the elections. The polls have less than a point bias in 2006 and 2010. In 2014, the district polls — like all the national and state polling — underestimated the Republicans (though the underestimation was 2 points fewer than the polls two months out).

It’s not that the polls are wrong. It’s that the voting public starts moving more in tandem with the wave later in the season. Now, maybe something will be different this year. I don’t know. But this is a pretty established phenomenon and I first saw it up close in 1994.

* Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns at the New York Times

Republican officials say privately that the performance of the economy under Mr. Trump has not been a major motivating factor for pro-Trump voters. For some Americans on the right, it may even be contributing to the mood of political apathy that has so alarmed G.O.P. leaders, since voters who are optimistic rarely vote with the intensity of those who are angry or afraid.

America First Action, a political committee aligned with Mr. Trump, conducted a series of focus groups over the summer and concluded the party had a severe voter-turnout problem, brought on in part by contentment about the economy and a refusal by Republicans to believe that Democrats could actually win the midterm elections.

Conservative-leaning voters in the study routinely dismissed the possibility of a Democratic wave election, with some describing the prospect as “fake news,” said an official familiar with the research


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“Most normal people practice this ‘wisdom’ in their own lives every day”

Monday, Sep 17, 2018

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign-reset speech last week has been described as “contrite,” a “mea culpa” and even an “apology.”

It most certainly wasn’t an easy speech to deliver for a man who never publicly admits mistakes. I mean, he claimed last month that his administration did an “excellent job” at the state’s Quincy veterans home, where 14 residents died.

But there he was, claiming that after four years he’s learned some valuable lessons.

I actually do believe, as Rauner claimed, that he’s “grown” in office. He had to be dragged kicking and screaming into it, but he’s grown some.

After losing the budget and tax hike veto battle last year, Rauner eventually found a way to accept a win by signing an historic education funding reform bill. And then he agreed to his very first budget this year, which spent every dime of that 2017 tax hike and more.

Rauner said leaders must be willing to “accept incremental improvements,” and thank goodness he finally mouthed those words. As former President Barack Obama said at his recent Illinois speech: “Better is good… That’s the history of progress in this country. Not perfect. Better.”

The governor said he now finally understands that there are “different points of view, different priorities and approaches, even when we share the same goal of wanting to improve Illinois.”

As former Gov. Jim Edgar said during the impasse, Rauner should look for ways to accomplish his goals in a more “doable” manner. Rauner and the Chicago Tribune editorial board absolutely hated that “doable” talk. For whatever insane reasons they’d convinced themselves that “doable” was an abomination. It was their way or no way. At least one person now at least says that was a mistake.

“I know the budget impasse was painful,” Gov. Rauner admitted. “It kept me up at night worrying about the disruption that many families experienced. All of us elected officials let you down in that struggle.”

While I’m glad he finally confessed that he was at least a part of a group that let the state down, he bragged more than once during the impasse about how “my wife tells me she hasn’t seen me this happy in 20 years,” including right up to late June of 2017 – just days before a bipartisan super-majority in the General Assembly finally put an end to the monstrous impasse despite his vetoes.

Passing a budget with higher taxes over a gubernatorial veto wasn’t easy for most legislators. And while it wasn’t great legislation, it was the best they could do under trying circumstances and Rauner did everything he could to stop them and went on to berate and bully them for months. I’d like to believe that those days are over.

“It takes wisdom to listen to those who disagree with you,” Rauner said, “wisdom that can be gained only through years of tough political fights.”

Sorry, but that simple lesson could’ve been learned without years of unnecessary brutality. Most normal people practice this “wisdom” in their own lives every day.

The governor seemed to use that line to imply that his politically inexperienced opponent hadn’t yet faced a trial by fire like Rauner has and therefore wasn’t yet ready to be governor. But, the truth is most people know this stuff. They don’t burn down their own houses during an argument.

And just a few hours after he delivered his speech, the governor received yet another reminder that Illinois voters understand what Gov. Rauner only now claims to have discerned.

A mere 27 percent of Illinoisans say they’ll vote for the governor come November, according to a poll conducted for the Illinois Broadcasters Association. Just 24 percent said they have a favorable view of Rauner. The governor trails Democrat J.B. Pritzker by 17 points.

This is the third poll since June where the governor scored 30 points or less.

We know from the end of his speech that the governor truly believes his opponent is the worst thing that could possibly happen to the state — which kinda negates a lot of the stuff he said at the beginning about being so open minded.

He could’ve ended on a high note, but chose to drive right back into the ditch. “He might be the only person in Illinois who doesn’t think corruption is a problem,” Rauner said of Pritzker. Oh, c’mon.

But, hey, it’s politics. Both men are going to wage a bitterly negative fight to the end no matter what the polls say or how much one of them promises to change. Strap it down.

* Related…

* ADDED: Eric Zorn: Rauner 2.0 — a little bit of change we can’t quite believe in: But aside from saying that Democratic lawmakers secretly agree with him and can be coaxed into supporting his initiatives over the opposition of their leaders, he still can’t explain why the next four years under him will be any different than the last four years.

* Jim Dey: Rauner’s sorry, so sorry — but do the voters care anymore?

* Doug Finke: Gov. Bruce Rauner has a revelation

* Chuck Sweeny: Rauner says he’ll be reasonable in 2nd term

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* *** LIVE *** Gubernatorial debate coverage
* Ives doesn't believe Rauner can win, won't rule out another gubernatorial bid
* Answer the question, please
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Long changes his story again... and again... and again
* Question of the day
* Outside money starts flowing
* IDES does a good job spinning job numbers
* Two more ads from Pritzker
* We're number one! And second. And fourth.
* Report: Edgar "coaching" Pritzker
* Mendoza releases new report on the damage done during and since the impasse
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition
* Pritzker's Downstate response ad: "Lie. Lie. Lie."
* Mendoza bobs and weaves when asked about running for mayor
* ALPLM won't display Lincoln hat and curator ousted
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* On eve of campaign kick-off, Preckwinkle admits she fired her chief of staff for "inappropriate behavior"
* Yesterday's stories

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