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*** UPDATED x3 - Pritzker campaign doubles down - Rauner campaign responds *** Pritzker to air brutally deceptive TV ad

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* Background is here. From the script of a new JB Pritzker TV ad that I’m told will be airing tomorrow…

Across the country, Democratic and Republican Governors spoke out against their state supporting Trump and keeping children away from their parents.

Rauner wasn’t giving it a thought and now we learn why.

Rauner has been profiting on Donald Trump’s policy.

Rauner is the owner of this company which is paid millions to keep children from their parents.

Bruce Rauner, that’s a disgrace.

OK, first of all, Rauner officially retired from GTCR in October of 2012. GTCR didn’t invest in Correct Care Solutions until 2014. GTCR co-owns the company with two other companies, Audax Private Equity and Frazier Healthcare. As I told you earlier today, Rauner hasn’t yet directly made any money off that GTCR investment. Audax Private Equity lists its own investment as “Unrealized.” And, despite what the Pritzker ad says, Rauner has spoken out against the family separation policy.

* But most importantly, this is what Correct Care Solutions actually does

We provide medical and behavioral health services for nearly 250,000 patients located in state hospitals, forensic treatment and civil commitment centers, as well as local, state and federal correctional facilities.

The company provides healthcare. It’s not “paid millions to keep children from their parents.”

* Like many of you, I’ve lost sleep at night over this absolutely obscene federal debacle. This tweet has been open in a browser tab all week and I find myself looking at it multiple times a day with the same disbelief and shock as the first time I saw it…


I just want to scream at somebody about this whole Kafkaesque nightmare.

And, for sure, this new Pritzker ad will strike a chord out there with people who will never know the whole story. It’s definitely a “get tough on Rauner” spot.

But it’s also dishonest.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Here’s the ad

*** UPDATE 2 *** Rauner campaign spokesman Alex Browning…

Pritzker’s latest ad intentionally misrepresents the facts of an unsubstantiated story to weave a false and deceitful narrative. The Pritzker campaign should immediately take down this dishonest and shameful ad.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Bernie

Galia Slayen, spokeswoman for Pritzker, stood by the ad. She called it “disgraceful and disgusting” that Rauner is “an owner of a company that has been paid to keep children separated from their families.”

Gonna be a long summer and fall. I hope the Pritzker campaign doesn’t whine when they are lied about because I’m gonna bring that quote right back up.

- Posted by Rich Miller   60 Comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* La Salle NewsTribune

Even after an appeals court ruled Streator resident David Cooke didn’t get a fair shake, the state Board of Elections again cast an inconclusive vote on whether Frank Mautino violated election law.

Tuesday, the elections board voted 4-4 on a pair of motions concerning Mautino’s disputed fuel, food and gas expenditures. It is effectively the same result issued last year and, barring another appeal or reversal, it could reduce the likelihood Cooke will get a prosecutor to open a criminal probe into Mautino’s missing campaign finance records. […]

“Obviously, we disagree,” said Jeffrey Schwab of the Liberty Justice Center in Chicago. “The evidence showed there were violations at both the gas station and at the bank. We’ll decide in the next few days whether to appeal. We’ll see.”

* Illinois News Network

The case stems from tens of thousands of dollars in questionable campaign spending from when Mautino was a state Representative. The case has been going on for over two years, and started shortly after Mautino was approved by the Illinois General Assembly to replace retiring Auditor General Bill Holland beginning in early 2016.

Campaign expenditure records over a 16-year period of large round figures being paid to a service station in Mautino’s then legislative district and checks for cash from a bank in his district raised red flags for Streator resident David Cooke, who filed a complaint against Mautino’s now-defunct campaign committee to the elections board.

The case made it up to the appellate court, which sent it back to the state elections board. The elections board heard the case again Tuesday.

* WMAY

Even if there had been a finding of a violation, it’s unclear what could have been done about it. The usual penalty is a fine, but the campaign committee was dissolved long ago and has no more assets.

* There was some heated debate…


McGuffage and Scholz are both Democrats. The board is evenly split with 4 Democrats and 4 Republicans. It’s that way by design, of course.

* The Question: Subject to confirmation by the Senate, should the governor be allowed to appoint a ninth member (and therefore a tie-breaking vote) to the State Board of Elections? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


bike trails

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Local union president says use of her photo by Illinois Policy Institute “a form of identity theft”

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* From the Illinois Policy Institute

* According to AFSCME, the woman on the left is Darneice Cooper, a casework manager with the Illinois Department of Human Services and the president of AFSCME Local 2806

“People e-mailed me and said, ‘You know your picture is on the web site of the Illinois Policy Institute,’” Cooper relates. “I’m like, ‘What? You’ve got to be kidding me.’ So I went on there and sure enough my picture was right there [next to a headline encouraging state workers to quit the union]. Like I’m supporting that caption that they have under my name! I was appalled. I was very upset.”

* Cooper sent the Illinois Policy Institute a letter

To whom it may concern:

I was shocked and dismayed to discover recently that you are using my photo on your website as part of your effort to get employees to drop out of our union. This is a really a form of identity theft—using my image to promote something that is completely wrong in my eyes.

I am a proud AFSCME member, I support my union, and I will never quit standing with my fellow workers.

I was outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Janus case. Five conservative justices sided with the billionaires and corporate special interests who funded this case – and who fund your organization. They ruled against not just those of us who work in public service, but those we serve every day.

I help make sure some of Illinois’s most vulnerable seniors get the care they deserve. I don’t do what I do to get rich, like our billionaire governor or your corporate donors.

Like my coworkers, I’m in public service because I care about my community. Being in a union gives us a voice and allows us to fight for the resources we need to serve the people of Illinois.

Please remove my photo from your website immediately.

The photo is still there as I write this.

Cooper also appeared in a video. Click here.

I’ve asked the Illinois Policy Institute for comment.

*** UPDATE *** Illinois Policy Institute response…

Rich:

This photo is licensed through the Associated Press and has been available since May 23, 2012. It was a photo taken by an AP photographer at a public political rally at the Illinois State Capitol. Any concerns about the photograph should be directed to the Associated Press.

…Adding… Heh…



* Related…

* It’s time to opt in - After the Supreme Court ruling, a message to my fellow former fair-sharers: Two very nice union representatives knocked on my door last week. Anticipating an unfavorable ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, they asked me, a “fair share” state employee, to join the union. I didn’t have to think twice. Sign me up, I told them. I’m with you.

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      


*** UPDATED x3 *** More back and forth on HB40

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* Personal PAC press release…

With Roe v. Wade on the verge of being overturned, it is now more important than ever that we have a governor who’s a committed defender of a woman’s right to choose — someone who can be trusted on this issue.

Bruce Rauner has played politics with HB 40 and women’s lives for far too long. One day he is promising pro-choice voters he supports HB 40 and the next day he’s telling anti-choice extremists he’s opposed to HB 40. He lied to me, he lied to Personal PAC, he lied to Jeanne Ives, he lied to the Illinois Family Institute, and then he lied to the Cardinal. That’s quite an accomplishment.

The truth is, if re-elected, Bruce Rauner has proven he can’t be trusted to protect legal abortion in Illinois, unless the voters of Illinois have a written promise—this written promise—that if re-elected he won’t do anything to repeal, diminish or amend HB 40.

With the Supreme Court now on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade, Bruce Rauner’s refusal to sign this pledge by the June 22nd deadline puts Governor Rauner squarely on the same page with Donald Trump in counting the hours until abortion becomes illegal in Illinois. Prior to Roe, Cook County Hospital had an entire 17 bed ward called the “Septic Abortion Ward” where women were admitted with massive infections, hemorrhaging and dying from botched illegal abortions. That septic abortion ward closed on January 22, 1973 when Roe was decided.

If Governor Rauner does not commit to protecting HB 40, the re-opening of septic abortion wards is Bruce Rauner’s promise to the women of Illinois.

* Greg Hinz

At a Chicago press conference, a group of Democratic officials and a staunchly pro-choice group allied with Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker called on GOP incumbent Bruce Rauner to publicly pledge not to sign any legislation that “repeals, modifies or in any way diminishes H.B. 40 . . . (and) continue to support H.B. 40 as the law of the state.” […]

With a newly conservative Supreme Court, abortion rights will “suffer death by a thousand cuts,” as lawmakers consider a bill to enact waiting periods, hospital-like medical standards, and spousal approval, said state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, noting that Republicans some day could regain control of the Legislature.

But reporters at the session kept asking whether the call for a public promise wasn’t more about politics than protecting abortion rights, given that Rauner already signed H.B. 40 into law. And if Rauner “has shown his dishonesty” by “lying” to the cardinal and Ives, what use is getting him to sign a statement that would provoke conservatives and that he could walk away from later?

“You do the best you can to make sure,” answered Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago.

* From Will Allison at the Rauner campaign…

Hey, all-

Personal PAC held a press conference this morning about HB40 — a bill that Governor Rauner already signed into law.

Please see this quote from Rauner campaign manager Betsy Ankney:

“Governor Rauner supports a woman’s right to choose and he signed legislation that protects that right in Illinois, regardless of what happens at the federal level. This is pure politics from a group and politicians aligned with Pritzker seeking to scare women. Democrats need to stop playing politics with this critical issue.”

NOTE: JB Pritzker has donated $407,200 to Personal PAC.

Additionally, many of those who attended the press conference this morning praised Governor Rauner last year when he signed the bill into law.

Heather Steans: “I am thrilled that the governor decided to honor his commitment and protect women’s reproductive rights in Illinois by signing House Bill 40.”

Sara Feigenholtz: “I am grateful that Governor Rauner has finally realized how important this legislation is to women in the current political climate. Governor Rauner has decided to stick to his original promise, and his decision will help ensure women continue to have access to all reproductive care.”

Kelly Cassidy: Chicago Sun-Times Interview
QUESTION: Please list three of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s principles, or decisions he has made, with which you agree. Also please list three of the governor’s principles, or decisions he has made, with which you disagree.

ANSWER: “I agree with the Governor’s eventual stance on HB40, some aspects of criminal justice reform, and the TRUST act. He kept his campaign promise to keep abortion services legal and accessible in Illinois, which is a deeply personal issue for me.”

* Cosgrove’s response to reporters…

With all due respect to the questions about the need for the pledge to protect HB 40, you could easily answer the question of whether Governor Rauner would veto any bill that comes to his desk which would repeal, modify or in any way diminish HB 40 by simply asking him to reply “yes” or “no” to that question. I anxiously await your asking him and hearing his answer to that very simple question.

*** UPDATE 1 *** I didn’t see the governor’s quote in the Sun-Times

Rauner, too, accused Democrats of “trying to play politics with this issue.”

“I want to make clear that I signed legislation here in the state of Illinois so that women’s reproductive rights are protected regardless of what happens at the federal level,” the governor said.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Pritzker campaign…

In a tweet last night, Bruce Rauner hailed Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, calling for a “fair hearing and swift vote.”

Rauner applauded the nomination despite troubling threats to women’s rights, affordable healthcare, and Kavanaugh’s expressed opinion that a sitting president is above criminal prosecution. The praise comes as Rauner refused to sign a pledge guaranteeing a woman’s right to choose, claimed pro-choice groups were “seeking to scare women” with the pledge, and has bragged about being the “strongest supporter” of anti-choice candidates.

“Donald Trump is remaking the court in his own image and leading an all-out assault on affordable healthcare, basic rights for women, and the rule of law as Bruce Rauner cheers him on,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Illinoisans can’t afford to have a failed governor who puts politics before people and joins in on Trump’s attacks on fundamental rights.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** Illinois News Network

Illinois taxpayers paid for nearly four times more abortions in the first six months of 2018 than the year before and one state lawmakers expects the total number to eventually be much larger.

Records of the number of abortion reimbursement requests Illinois News Network obtained through an open records request from the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services showed 84 abortions from January to June last year. The same time period this year, there were 314 abortions.

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


Kapos: Roskam to report raising $1 million in Q2

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* Shia Kapos

[U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam] will report that he’s raised $1 million in the second quarter, bringing his total for the cycle to $4.4 million.

Roskam faces Democrat Sean Casten, a scientist and clean-energy entrepreneur who’s raised $807,000 for Q2 and is at $1.96 million for the cycle. […]

Immigration a hot-button. Roskam, who has more so-called Dreamers in his district than in any other in the state, has gone out on a limb, to some extent, speaking out against the Trump administration’s immigration policies. He even voted with Democrats on a recent anti-immigration measure.

“[D]ragging children away from their parents” is just plain wrong, said Roskam, who has held his seat since 2007.

Casten sees Roskam’s vote as disingenuous and has been courting the Latino voters. He’s teamed up with state representative candidate Karina Villa in West Chicago, specifically, to engage with the Latino community.

Impressive money. He’s gonna need every dime of it, too.

* The two men debated last week for the first time

Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam and Democratic challenger Sean Casten sparred over recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions involving public unions and a travel ban in the first of what’s promised to be several debates leading up to the November election. […]

Among the topics covered in the first meet-up was the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling that public sector workers do not have to pay labor union fees if they don’t wish to be part of the union.

“Now government workers have the choice of whether they want to be in a union or not, and I think that that is something that is healthy for us,” Roskam said early in the debate. […]

“The Janus (v. AFSCME) decision really shouldn’t be a bipartisan question,” Casten said. “If you were to ask objectively, should people be allowed to receive a benefit they didn’t pay for, I think Republican, Democrat we would all agree that free riders make the economy less efficient.”

You can listen to the full debate by clicking here.

* From a Roskam press release

When asked during a radio interview with WLS about a plan to raise taxes on gas, Casten said, “…absolutely we should raise the gas tax.”

Casten has been one of Mike Madigan’s most consistent supporters for a progressive tax hike.

Sean Casten supported Mike Madigan when his party voted to override the Governor’s veto, burdening Illinois taxpayers with a 32 percent state income tax hike.

Casten opposed the Governor’s recent budget because he said it didn’t do enough to raise taxes on Illinois residents.

Earlier this year, Casten announced his intention to repeal the tax breaks Sixth District families and small businesses received through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and support a plan to instead, raise their taxes.

In his white paper on tax policy, Casten proposes eliminating the cap on taxes for Social Security, claiming that senior citizens need to “pay their fair share to support” Social Security and Medicare.

“During the debate, Sean Casten renewed his promise to raise the gas tax, raise income taxes, support a progressive tax hike and support Mike Madigan’s plan to remove the property tax freeze,” said Roskam for Congress spokesman, Veronica Vera.

* After the debate, WFLD talked with both

“Sean says we need to raise the gas tax. He says we need to take the cap off the social security earnings tax,” said Rep. Peter Roskam.

“He’s voted with the Republican party 97% of the time. He’s voted with Donald Trump 94% of the time. He is working very hard to redefine himself,” Casten said.

“That 94% figure, when pushed, he can’t give an answer to where I’m going against the sixth district. So, when I’m voting to cut taxes, deregulate the economy, create more buoyancy, trying to fix health care, that’s reflecting the sixth district,” Roskam responded.

Casten said he’d repeal the Republican tax cut bill that Roskam helped to write, because it added a trillion dollars to the national debt, among other things.

- Posted by Rich Miller   3 Comments      


Gov. Eeyore strikes again

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* Gov. Rauner again bad-mouthed Chicago yesterday, bemoaning the city’s “failure of government in Chicago to reduce crime, to bring down the taxes and create more jobs.” But the Sun-Times noted this at the bottom of the story

Despite Rauner’s claim that the city has failed to reduce crime, Chicago Police statistics in June showed the city has seen its 16th consecutive month of declining violence. The city saw 79 fewer murders and 270 fewer shootings in the first six months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, police said.

* And then there’s this

A $169 million industrial complex is planned for the Southeast Side, according to NorthPoint Development, the Kansas City company that will build the project just north of Ford’s Torrence Avenue plant on the site of a former Republic Steel mill. […]

NorthPoint estimates the project will create more than 1,300 permanent jobs and says about 650 construction jobs will be needed for the duration of the project.

The 2.2 million-square-foot project is to include six industrial buildings, each ranging from 215,000 to 600,000 square feet, and would be the largest industrial park in Chicago, according to the mayor’s office. […]

Each of the six buildings would house one or more firms. Hagedorn said they are expecting 10 businesses to operate from the complex.

* And this

A private equity firm plans to buy a smattering of brands, including the U.S. rights to Pillsbury baking products and the Funfetti brand, from the The J.M. Smucker Co. for $375 million, the Connecticut-based Brynwood Partners announced Monday.

To manage those brands, Brynwood intends to create a new company, Hometown Food Co., that will be headquartered in Chicago, said Henk Hartong, chairman and CEO of Brynwood Partners. The office will employ about 40 people, said Hartong, who declined to provide an exact location for the office until the lease is finalized.

Chicago is the center of the universe for (consumer packaged goods),” Hartong said in an interview Monday. “We want to recruit the most talented management team that we can.” […]

Once final, this will be the largest deal yet for Brynwood, which is making a name for itself as a firm that acquires lagging businesses from food companies, also known as “corporate carve-outs.” [Emphasis added]

* And this

By one count, more than 50 high-rise buildings were under construction as the year began. The pace of construction starts has slowed lately, but the booming redevelopment of downtown will be creating jobs in Chicago for years.

To civic boosters, this is good news. But for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, facing a tough re-election battle, the downtown construction boom is a political mixed bag. When construction cranes spring up like midsummer weeds in the 312 area code, a mayor with a reputation for favoring downtown at the expense of the neighborhoods will have some explaining to do. Lori Lightfoot, Paul Vallas and other mayoral contenders no doubt are laying plans to use the construction boom against the mayor. Even Emanuel’s energetic pitch for Amazon’s HQ2 and its bounty of 50,000 jobs has been criticized by opponents.

When the critique comes in, Emanuel will be ready to strike back, and one of his favorite counterpunches likely will be the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund. It’s a program that takes the downtown boom and turns it into cash for businesses on the South and West sides. Chicago’s building codes limit the density of construction projects. But under the program, developers can “purchase” the right to ignore the density caps downtown. […]

With 80 percent of the funds earmarked to those South and West Side neighborhoods, Emanuel will be able to use the program to parry thrusts from mayoral contenders claiming he has ignored the neighborhoods. He’ll also surely mention major investment in the Red Line and in CTA stations throughout those neighborhoods, while his opponents will wonder—with good reason—why he has not made more progress addressing crime or fixing the crises in Chicago Public Schools.

I’m not at all saying that everything is well in the city. At all. I’m just saying that this constant bad-mouthing is really getting old.

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      


A year since the tax hike, state is slowly digging its way out

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* The impact of a budget impasse lasting two and a half years cannot be instantly cured. It’s going to take a while longer...

The Illinois State Dental Society said as of last week, the state still owed dental practices $50 million.

In November 2017, they said the state was $150 million behind in payments.

Dr. Albert Capati said the state payments are coming in more regularly now compared to this time last year. […]

“During the impasse, the state was about 15 months behind in paying,” Capati said. “Prior to the impasse, it took about three months to get paid and now we’re at about six months.”

* And this is will be a problem for perhaps years to come

“We’re happy to have a state budget but what many people don’t realize is that the budget impasse effects continue to be felt,” said Andrea Durbin, CEO of the Illinois Collaboration on Youth. “This year’s budget didn’t address the backlog of bills.”

* From Fitch

Illinois’ lingering structural issues include a lack of progress in addressing its sizable accounts payable backlog and questions around $400 million in unpaid step-pay increases. Nonetheless, “enacting an on-time budget with bipartisan support allows Illinois to enter the new year with a clear fiscal plan and clarity for the state’s key fiscal partners,” said Porter.

* AP

A year after Illinois lawmakers ended a historic state budget impasse, social service agencies and other providers hardest hit by funding cuts say they’re just starting to recover.

The providers say some rate increases approved in fiscal 2018 and 2019 isn’t enough to undo all the damage.

Judith Gethner is executive director of Chicago-based Illinois Partners for Human Service. She says the impasse led to layoffs and those positions haven’t been filled.

Gethner says the crisis has made it a challenge for many nonprofits to recruit qualified professionals willing to work in such an environment.

…Adding… DGA’s Sam Salustro…

Good afternoon reporters –

Today, as Governor Bruce Rauner visits WINGS Program, a non-profit serving victim of domestic violence, Rauner has yet to answer for the damage his policies have done to the state’s domestic violence programs. Due to Bruce Rauner’s budget crisis, payments to domestic violence shelters were delayed or cut, resulting in many agencies reducing staff hours, laying people off, and taking out lines of credit. One advocacy group reported that 7,800 people seeking shelter were turned away in 2016.

Did the failed governor ask providers how they felt about the fact that he vetoed all funding for their programs twice?

Thank you,

Sam

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      


It’s just a bill

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* Rep. Sam Yingling press release…

Despite hearing testimony from dozens of local property taxpayers and receiving hundreds of phone calls in support of SB2544, today the Lake County Board approved a resolution recommending that the governor issue an amendatory veto on the bill.

SB2544 increases fairness and accountability in the office of the Lake County Assessor by putting a question on the ballot in November to let the people decide whether the position of Lake County Chief County Assessment Office, the Lake County Assessor, should be popularly elected by the people.

“An amendatory veto by the governor would deny taxpayers the right to vote on the measure in November, and that’s unacceptable,” said Yingling. “It’s appalling that some members of the Lake County Board are so eager to ignore the will of the people.”

A strong grassroots campaign has been built to support SB2544. Yingling has been airing TV ads in Lake County that have been reaching thousands of taxpayers at home every day. The campaign’s digital ad has been viewed over to 20,000 times on social media. Thousands of Lake County taxpayers have made phone calls to the governor to urge him to sign the bill. Hundreds more have called Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor to urge him to stop playing games and support the measure.

“Last week, I sent Governor Rauner over 1,000 signatures from my constituents urging him to sign SB2544 because the property tax status quo is not working,” concluded Yingling. “I remain hopeful that Governor Rauner will sign SB2544 instead of interfering with the will of the people as the Lake County Board has chosen to do. Anything short of a signed bill from the governor will deny the taxpayers of Lake County their right to vote this November to make the property tax system accountable to them.”

Yingling is a former Avon Township Supervisor.

* Daily Herald yesterday

Lake County officials are weighing asking Rauner to use his amendatory veto power to expand the legislation so the same question appears on ballots for the roughly 60 Illinois counties that have board-appointed assessment officers and board-chosen chairmen, just as Lake does. The board will debate forwarding the veto request to Rauner Tuesday.

“We support the right of voters to make this decision,” said Chairman Aaron Lawlor, a Vernon Hills Republican. “But if it’s such a good idea, why not make it applicable (elsewhere)?”

Clever.

* Other stuff…

* How Illinois retirement program works (and is it a good idea?): An estimated 1.2 million workers will be eligible for automatic enrollment in Secure Choice, with 5 percent of gross pay being deducted and placed in a default target-date retirement fund. Employees will be able to switch savings rates and retirement funds or may opt out of the program.

* Editorial: The merits of Illinois’ retirement savings option: Perhaps you work for a company with no retirement program and you’re disciplined enough to contribute on your own to a money-market, IRA or other retirement savings account. If so, good for you and feel free to bypass Illinois Secure Choice. But if you’re like most people, you’ll benefit greatly from this program.

* Effort to consolidate local governments is finally making headway: The bill to encourage streamlining was sponsored by state Sen. Tom Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat, and state Rep. David Olsen, a Downers Grove Republican. It would allow a majority of mosquito abatement district trustees to vote to fold its functions into a neighboring township, municipality or county.

* Rauner: Wage hike could bankrupt school districts: “We’ve got to be careful that we don’t crush small communities that have very limited resources,” Rauner warned last week when asked if he would sign the bill. “To be told they have to pay ‘X’ may bankrupt some small school districts.” Lawmakers sent the plan to the governor’s desk last month in a bipartisan vote. Four Senate Republicans and two others in the House joined Democrats to pass the measure which would require districts to immediately pay teachers at least $32,076 per school year. The proposed increases would peak at a minimum of $40,000 in the 2022-23 school year pending review by the General Assembly.

* Two Bills On Governor’s Desk Could Help Address Illinois’ Addiction Treatment Gap: According to federal data, only one in ten people with a drug addiction receive treatment. Behavioral health advocates say two bills awaiting action from Governor Bruce Rauner would help bridge the treatment gap in Illinois. One of the bills - SB 682 - would keep providers from sending patients home if they don’t get immediate authorization from their insurance company for treatment, said Sara Howe, CEO of the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health. … Another bill - SB 1707 - would provide stricter enforcement of the state’s existing mental health parity laws, which Howe said should help patients stay engaged in treatment for as long as they need.

* Physician assistant hirings could rise under legislation sent to governor: “That would allow me so much more latitude,” Dowell said of Senate Bill 2904, which passed the Illinois House and Senate this year without opposition. “What this legislation really does for me is that it gives me the ability to hire more physician assistants in markets where it’s hard to hire physicians to work.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


Does the Rauner ICE hit fall flat?

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* From yesterday

Gov. Bruce Rauner this year reported turning a profit from a health care group that services U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers, including facilities that hold immigrant families with children. […]

Rauner’s financial disclosure does not specify the level of profit from Correct Care, except to say he earned more than $5,000 from GTCR’s Fund X, which owns the company. GTCR, Rauner’s former private-equity firm, raised $3.25 billion in capital for its Fund X and used that money to acquire companies, including Correctional Healthcare in 2012, which later became Correct Care Solutions through a merger.

In 2017, Moody’s reported Correct Care held $1.2 billion in revenue and listed GTCR as among the company’s top co-investors. [Emphasis added.]

* Fund X is a $3.25 billion fund and it’s quite broad-based

GTCR Fund X, L.P. specializes in buyouts and corporate finance. The fund seeks to invest across healthcare, banking, financial services, financial technology, business services, information technology, software, data, and services. The fund also seeks bolt-on acquisitions. It targets investing in North America. GTCR Fund X, L.P. comprises of GTCR Fund X, L.P. and parallel funds GTCR fund X/A LP and GTCR fund X/B LP.

And while Fund X may be a “top investor,” to claim that it “owns the company” may be an exaggeration.

* Also from yesterday…



* From Rauner press secretary Patty Schuh…

GTCR still owns the investment so there are no profits or losses yet. If and when there are profits, the Governor will abide by his agreement and donate any profits to charity.

In other words, while Rauner has “turned a profit” off of the massive Fund X, he says he hasn’t yet made any money off of Correct Care. If that’s accurate, a retraction may be in order.

- Posted by Rich Miller   56 Comments      


Could the Janus decision be applied to private sector unions?

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* Tribune

The fair-share fees required of employees who decline to join the union — which in the Janus case were about $45 monthly, or 22 percent less than regular dues — are meant to support only the union’s collective bargaining activities and not its political initiatives. But Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion said that all public sector bargaining is inherently political. Collecting fees from nonconsenting government employees, who are protected by the First Amendment, violates their free-speech rights, the court said.

Private sector employees don’t have that same First Amendment protection in their employer relationships, and most legal analyses of the ruling said the court’s reasoning wouldn’t apply to them. But [Cesar Rosado, co-director of the Institute for Law and the Workplace at Chicago-Kent College of Law] disagrees.

Private sector employees are governed by the National Labor Relations Act, a federal law that requires employers to bargain with unions that employees have voted to represent them, and those unions may set mandatory fees and may lobby for all sorts of public causes, including government spending and minimum wage levels, that some employees may not agree with, he said.

“I don’t see a big difference, therefore, between the First Amendment issue in the public and private sectors,” Rosado said. “Therefore, I can totally see Janus getting extended to the private sector.”

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      


Kavanaugh roundup

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* Madigan…

Democratic Party of Illinois Chairman Michael J. Madigan is calling on senators to reject President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, and instead insist on a consensus candidate who will stand with the majority of Americans in supporting a woman’s right to choose, access to quality health care and voting rights.

“President Trump has said he would only consider Supreme Court candidates who will roll back women’s most fundamental rights, restrict access to health care and impose a narrow special interest agenda on Americans for 40 years or more,” Madigan said. “As Trump continues putting his own extreme ideology ahead of what’s best for the country, it’s up to senators to insist on a candidate who will respect the law and precedent, instead of a right-wing ideologue whose goal is to move the court to the right and enforce minority rule on our country from the bench for a generation. And it is now up to each and every one of us to hold our elected leaders accountable.”

Madigan has launched a petition drive calling on senators to stand with this vast majority of Americans by rejecting Trump’s anti-choice nominee and instead provide Trump with a list of mainstream candidates who will protect women’s health, ballot access for all, quality health care and other hard-won rights and freedoms.

Concerned citizens can sign Madigan’s petition at http://bit.ly/noextremecourt.

If you click that link, you’ll see this banner headline: Join Chairman Michael Madigan and the Democratic Party of Illinois in Opposing Trump’s Extremist Supreme Court Nominee.

That’s something different.

* Pritzker…

“Donald Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court could upend the rights of communities across Illinois and considering that Bruce Rauner is in ‘constant communication’ with the White House, I call on this governor to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination in full force,” said JB Pritzker. “This nomination comes less than four months before an election and entirely disregards precedent set by the Senate Republican’s own majority leader. It is an attempt by Donald Trump to remake the court in his own, hateful image and will leave us with a judicial branch that sides with special interests instead of vulnerable communities. A woman’s right to choose is on the line, LGBTQ rights could be rolled back, affordable healthcare could be brought down, fair housing, consumer protections, and environmental protections could all be decimated. There are lives on the line here and this is a moment that calls for leaders of all political stripes to come together. I call on Bruce Rauner to join me in opposing this nomination and to stand up for the rights of Illinois’ families.”

* Rauner…



* Kwame Raoul…

Kwame Raoul, Democratic candidate for Attorney General, issued the following response to President Trump’s appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    “I am incredibly disappointed that Donald Trump has put so many critical protections on the line, including the right to access abortion safely and legally. I will not stand by and allow my children to have fewer rights than my generation or see Illinoisans made vulnerable to federal attacks on healthcare, voting rights, the environment, the rights of workers or the importance of diversity on college campuses.

    Illinois now has laws protecting access to abortion in case Roe v. Wade is overturned, but Illinoisans must be able to trust their Attorney General to enforce these laws and defend them in court. That’s why it’s more important than ever to elect leaders who will fight back and be a strong advocate for women and victims of assault, not just a bystander to the attacks.

    So much hangs in the balance, and I urge the Senate to reject this nominee.”

While running for Congress in 2014, Republican candidate for Attorney General Erika Harold told the State Journal-Register that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape and incest, stating, “I would not discriminate (against the fetus) based on the circumstance of conception.”

She re-confirmed this position in a recent interview on WCIA.

    Reporter: “In a previous run for Congress, you mention that even in cases of rape and incest - which most Republicans carve those out - you are still opposed to abortion. Have your views at all evolved or changed on that particular issue?”

    Harold: “My views are clear. I will uphold Illinois law, and that’s what’s important for voters to know about this.”

* Erika Harold…



* RAGA…

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) praised President Donald J. Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to the Supreme Court of the United States. RAGA Chairman and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge offered the following statement:

“Judge Brett Kavanaugh is eminently qualified to serve as an Associate Justice of the highest court in the United States. In our divisive times, where politics is pervasive in our society, we often look to the courts for clarity. I have every confidence that Judge Kavanaugh will serve with distinction on the Supreme Court; he will apply textualist and originalist reasoning to the legal questions of our time.

“’The president shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint… Judges of the supreme Court…’ so reads our U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 2, Clause 2. I urge the Senate to take up this worthy nominee and confirm him swiftly.”

* US Rep. Mike Bost…

“I am pleased to see President Trump nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He is a highly qualified jurist with the temperament and mindset to interpret the U.S. Constitution in the spirit in which our Founders wrote it. I expect Judge Kavanaugh to showcase his sterling credentials and brilliant legal mind in the weeks ahead during confirmation hearings conducted in the Senate.”

* And now let’s hear from the only two people from Illinois who will actually have a vote. Sen. Durbin…

The next Justice will likely be the deciding vote on whether Americans will keep affordable health insurance for pre-existing conditions, whether women will lose the freedom to make their own health care choices, and whether we have a Constitution that protects the rights of all Americans or just big corporations and wealthy elites.

Brett Kavanaugh is a judge who consistently favors big business and undermines protections for consumers, workers, women, and the environment. Replacing Justice Kennedy’s swing vote with a far-right jurist like Judge Kavanaugh could change the rules in America. Just as troubling, in light of the ongoing Russia investigation, Judge Kavanaugh has expressed staunch opposition to criminal investigations of sitting Presidents.

With a subservient Republican Congress and a far-right Supreme Court, there is a real risk that the worst impulses of the Trump presidency will go unchecked. The stakes for this nomination are historic.

* Sen. Duckworth…

“The newfound urgency to fill Justice Kennedy’s Supreme Court seat from many of the same people who refused to even consider President Obama’s nominee is transparent opportunism that represents everything Americans hate most about politics today. We can’t ignore the reality that Donald Trump wants to take us back to a time when insurers could refuse coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or that he promised to only nominate Justices who would put the government back in between women and their doctors.

“If he succeeds, it won’t only affect people like me who could be prevented from having children through IVF; the impacts will be felt by everyone. Whoever replaces Justice Kennedy will play a critical role in the lives of all women and every single American. Moving forward, I will thoroughly review Judge Kavanaugh’s rulings, evaluate his qualifications and look for him to make it clear to the American public that he would be independent, not simply a rubber stamp for Donald Trump’s whims, if he hopes to earn my support.”

* Mark Maxwell’s Twitter feed was particularly helpful last night. For instance…



- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


*** UPDATED x5 - Cassidy, Hampton approve *** Rep. Christian Mitchell named interim executive director of DPI

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* I’ve been able to confirm that Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) has been named the interim executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois. He’ll serve through the fall campaign, and then a new search for a permanent director will commence. The position became vacant when Tim Mapes was forced out as Speaker Madigan’s right hand man over a #MeToo controversy.

Mitchell has plenty of campaign experience, not only in a couple of his own hard-fought primaries, but also working for President Obama’s Midwest operation and Tammy Duckworth’s Senate campaign. He worked for The Strategy Group, so you can see the rest of his bio by clicking here. I think he’ll have the chops to do this job.

Rep. Mitchell was also an early supporter of JB Pritzker’s campaign, so this appointment shows yet again that the Pritzker folks are not going to just sit back and let Speaker Madigan run the entire show. DPI’s search committee for a new executive director was co-chaired by Rep. Juliana Stratton, Pritzker’s running mate.

* And speaking of Pritzker, expect an announcement sometime today from Rep. Mitchell about a new $1 million voter registration project funded by Pritzker and run by the DPI. It will reportedly focus on flippable districts.

DPI has long been criticized for focusing exclusively on Speaker Madigan’s House priorities. Those days may be over, but Madigan is still the party chairman, so we’ll see. Last month, the party named longtime Madigan loyalist Mary Morrissey as Chief Operating Officer and promoted DPI staffer Emily Wurth to the job of Chief Financial Officer.

…Adding… Rep. Litesa Wallace (D-Rockford) had been interested in the job (she gave up her seat to run as Daniel Biss’ running mate) and she’s not exactly ecstatic

Although there was no clear application, submission, or selection process for individuals who were interested in the position of Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Illinois to participate in, an individual has been selected. I would like to wish my colleague Rep. Christian Mitchell all the best in his new role as Executive Director of our party. I will continue efforts to move our party forward, which means ridding ourselves of the issues of power and oppression inherent to systemic racism and sexism, even as we work to elect candidates that value the rights of all.

…Adding… Press release…

Today, members of the Democratic Party of Illinois Search Committee announced State Representative Christian Mitchell as the new Interim Executive Director of the state party, Mary Morrissey as the Chief Operating Officer, and Emily Wurth as the Chief Financial Officer. The historic announcement will make Mitchell the first African-American to serve in the role.

Representative Mitchell currently serves as state representative for the 26th District and brings his background as a grassroots organizer and communications professional to the role. As state representative, Mitchell has played an instrumental role in standing up for women’s rights, fighting for criminal justice reform, and advocating for Illinois’ working families. Prior to serving as state representative, Mitchell served as the Midwest Director of Paid Media and Polling for Obama for America, senior advisor for Tammy Duckworth’s U.S. Senate campaign, Director of External Affairs for Cook County government, and as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago.

The committee’s announcement comes after making their selection and with the support of Chairman Madigan, the JB Pritzker campaign, and other Democratic leaders across the state.

“I am so proud to announce State Representative Christian Mitchell has been selected as the Interim Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Illinois,” said search committee co-chair Juliana Stratton. “As a community organizer, Christian is part of a new generation of leaders who know how to build grassroots movements and win campaigns. As a state representative, Christian was critical in the fight to pass the ERA and has a strong record of protecting a woman’s right to choose, standing up for our working families, and building a more inclusive economy. And as the first African-American Executive Director in the history of the Democratic Party of Illinois, I am confident he will play an essential role in building a party that reflects the diversity of our state and helps us win up and down the ticket, in every corner of Illinois.”

Notice that the press release not only was issued by Stratton, she’s the only one quoted. I’m not yet sure if Speaker Madigan will issue his own release. Stay tuned.

*** UPDATE 1 *** From Rep. Mitchell…

Today, State Representative Christian Mitchell was historically selected as the new interim Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Illinois and released the following statement:

“I’m honored to accept the role of interim Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Illinois,” said State Rep. Christian Mitchell. “I look forward to doing the work necessary to assure Democratic victories up and down the ticket and charting a new and inclusive path forward for our party. Together, I know we can build a party that represents the diversity of our state, listens to our young people, and relentlessly fights for the values that make Illinois strong.

“In my work in Democratic politics, I’ve seen the power of bringing people together and building from the grassroots up to win – and that is exactly what we’ll do in November. To that end, I’m excited to announce that my first action as interim Executive Director is to launch a new voter registration initiative in partnership with the JB Pritzker for Governor campaign. This $1 million initiative will help us reach voters in districts where a strong Democratic turnout from new or unregistered voters could flip seats and lead Democrats to victory up and down the ballot. We’re going to win in November and move our communities forward. I’m so proud to help lead that fight.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** From the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Sen. Kimberly Lightford…

“We are so proud of today’s historic announcement naming our colleague, State Representative Christian Mitchell, as the next interim executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois. We believe it is essential that our party reflects the diversity that makes our state great, and today’s announcement shows the Democratic Party shares that commitment. With Christian’s background building grassroots campaigns and fighting for working families, we know he is the right person to chart the way forward for the Democratic party and help us win up and down the ticket, in every community.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** Pearson

The choice of a man by the all-women panel was somewhat unexpected because the fallout from the #MeToo movement has plagued Democrats under Madigan, who also serves as the party’s chairman. […]

“People tried to make the best decision going through the election,” said Lauren Beth Gash, Democratic state central committeewoman for the 10th Congressional District and a former state lawmaker. “There are many people who would be qualified, but Christian’s experience in this arena is unique.” […]

Additionally, the choice of Mitchell and the involvement of Pritzker’s campaign team may represent a broadening of the state Democratic Party’s role into down-ballot contests across the state.

“I would like to see that,” Gash said. “I believe that (Mitchell’s appointment) does that.”

*** UPDATE 4 *** Interesting…



*** UPDATE 5 *** And now Kelly Cassidy. Another MJM critic…



- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      


*** LIVE COVERAGE ***

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* Follow along with ScribbleLive


- Posted by Rich Miller   Comment      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Transitions: Baise, Denzler, Demmer, DeWitte, Mazzochi
* Caption contest!
* *** LIVE *** Campaign finance reports
* Rauner denies tacking to the right with Pence praise
* Rauner signs Firearms Restraining Order Act, 72-hour gun purchase waiting period, will veto gun shop regulation bill
* John McGovern: "An honorable man in politics"
* *** UPDATED x1 - Rauner to veto *** Raoul to Rauner: "Get us out of Crosscheck"
* Unclear on the concept
* Mitchell is "a foot in the door for the next generation"
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

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