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Friday, Aug 18, 2017

* I’m going to hang out with my brother Devin and some friends in southern Illinois and watch the eclipse on Monday. Unless the world ends, I’ll be back Tuesday morning. Ozzy will be playing this song Monday during the eclipse and I’m kinda stoked to see it

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Kennedy delivered an unusually somber Democrat Day speech

Friday, Aug 18, 2017

* Chris Kennedy caught a little flack for quoting Walt Whitman at the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association brunch this week. It was most certainly a different sort of speech than the loud and raw red meat served up by most of the other gubernatorial hopefuls that day. But I thought you might want to watch it yourself

I’m not sure he successfully closed the circle, but not a bad speech.

The transcript is here in case you can’t watch videos at work.

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      

Governor signs River Edge bill in Rockford… err… Aurora

Friday, Aug 18, 2017

* Press release…

Gov. Bruce Rauner today signed Senate Bill 1783, bipartisan legislation that extends the River Edge Redevelopment Zone tax credit program. The tax credit program has helped preserve historic buildings and grow local economies in the five communities where the credit is applicable: Aurora, East St. Louis, Elgin, Peoria and Rockford.

“This program has already been a huge success,” Gov. Rauner said. “The River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program helps stimulate the state’s economy and the local economies where the program is available. It’s an important tool for municipalities to utilize to spur economic development while saving and restoring historic buildings, and it’s the right move to extend this program through Dec. 31, 2021, so these communities can continue to grow and prosper.”

The redevelopment program is credited with creating a $10 return for every $1 of credit, and a series of success stories have materialized as a result of the program. For example, the St. Charles Senior Living Center ─ a rehabilitated, 60-unit independent living facility in downtown Aurora ─ was a beneficiary of the tax credit and subsequently received the 2017 Landmarks Illinois Award for Rehabilitation. In Peoria, an old barrel-making facility was transformed into luxury apartments that still reflect the historic building’s original charm. And in Rockford, the program supported the very successful Prairie Street Brewhouse.

“On behalf of the residents of Aurora, I thank our state legislators and the governor for their support of this integral bill that will potentially create hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in economic development in the state’s second-largest city,” Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin said. “The quality of Aurora’s 180-year-old downtown is integral to the success of the entire city.”

“The River Edge Redevelopment Zone initiative has been a critical tool for economic growth in downtown Rockford and provides a strong return on investment,” Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said. “The incentive has helped us fill vacant properties and attract new capital investment to the city, while, at the same time, preserving culturally and architecturally significant buildings.”

Specifically, SB 1783 extends the River Edge Redevelopment Zone tax credit until Dec. 31, 2021. The program allows for an income tax credit to be awarded for the restoration and preservation of a qualified historic structure located in a River Edge Redevelopment Zone, which is a specific area designated by the state of Illinois, in cooperation with a local government, to safely revive and redevelop environmentally-challenged properties that will stimulate economic revitalization and create jobs in Illinois.

“For years, I have been a strong advocate for historic preservation, not only so that we can keep our history alive, but also because of the economic impact these sites have on our communities here in Illinois,” said state Sen. Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry), a co-sponsor of the bill. “By preserving local history, we are also supporting and promoting economic development.”

The bill was sponsored by a bipartisan group of legislators.

* Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) was a chief co-sponsor…

“This tax credit is an example of what happens when lawmakers put aside their differences to do what is best for their communities and the entire state. In this era of hyper-partisan tension, it is reassuring to see overwhelming bipartisan support for a measure that spurs economic growth in places like Peoria’s Warehouse District.”

* Despite a big “Aurora” sign behind him, the governor got a bit confused when he began to speak


- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      

Do Your Job, Inc. puts latest online ad on TV

Friday, Aug 18, 2017

* As mentioned in the release, this is the same ad we’ve already discussed when it was just an online spot…

Last night, Do Your Job, Inc. placed a nearly half-million-dollar ad buy on broadcast television which will run ahead of the IL House’s vote to override Gov. Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1.

Do Your Job, Inc. is on air with the ad “Déjà vu” which debuted on digital platforms last Sunday ahead of the IL Senate’s bipartisan vote to override the Governor. The House is expected to reconvene on August 23rd to vote on that motion after Governor Rauner’s education funding plan failed to receive a single vote on the House floor.

“Déjà vu” can be viewed here: and contains the following narration:

    It’s déjà vu.
    After losing the budget fight, Governor Rauner is targeting our schools.
    Principals, teachers and parents statewide support SB1 for fairer funding across the whole state but Rauner has vetoed SB1 creating chaos and another crisis.
    Without the funding bill schools will close.
    Rauner won’t compromise.
    Republicans and Democrats have to fund our schools without him.
    Sound familiar?
    Tell your legislator override Rauner. Fund our schools.

The ad will run in the following media markets on broadcast television:


Do Your Job, Inc. is led by IL Sen. Michael E. Hastings of South Suburban Cook County, IL Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie and Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael T. Carrigan.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      

Rauner explains his weight loss

Friday, Aug 18, 2017

* Tribune

The lanky governor — he’s 6 feet 4 inches — didn’t exactly carry excess baggage on his frame to start with, but he’s lost 20 pounds since his election, he said on WTTW-Ch. 11’s “Chicago Tonight” earlier this week.

Asked about it during the Illinois State Fair this week, Rauner said there’s no secret, special diet or workout regime behind his weight loss.

“It’s just hard work,” he told Chicago Inc.

* Pretty much everybody who has seen him up close, particularly when he’s not wearing a jacket or a vest, has noticed how thin he is these days. You can really see it in his own video…

- Posted by Rich Miller   60 Comments      

Bloomberg pop tax ad called “act of desperation”

Thursday, Aug 17, 2017

* If this works, it’ll be about the biggest polling turnaround in history

Sneed has learned former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is unloading his Super PAC big-time to back Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s soda tax.

The billionaire Bloomberg is one of the few who has the resources and political savvy to fight back and he is apparently rolling his plan into Illinois, starting tomorrow, to do just that.

Sneed has learned that a seven-figure broadcast and radio buy was made Thursday and Bloomberg plans to be “on the ground” driving that message and supporting those who support the tax for as long as it takes,” according to a top Sneed source. […]

“Bloomberg’s determination and resources could very likely impact elections throughout the state, not just Cook County, in 2018,” he added. “Having spent over $20 million in San Francisco, this development could easily see the largest issue advocacy fight in the history of Illinois.”

* From a recent poll

As you may know, a new tax has taken effect in Cook County that places a one cent per ounce tax on most sweetened beverages. We’d like to know if you APPROVE, or DISAPPROVE of the new Cook County beverage tax that places a new tax on most sweetened beverages.

    Approve 12.34%
    Disapprove 86.64%
    Undecided 1.02%

Just to give you some context, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s latest job approval rating was 15 percent and his disapproval was 81 percent. So the pop tax is actually polling worse than him, and that’s really quite something. Could Christie’s reputation be saved with ads alone? Nope.

* Greg Hinz

The former New York City mayor tomorrow will begin airing what a spokesman says will be a $2 million-plus TV ad campaign in the Chicago media market. The spots don’t mention Preckwinkle, but do make the case she has tried to make that the penny-an-ounce levy on sweetened tax is about health, not raising money.

The spot depicts a teenager in front of a vending machine. Only, instead of cans of pop, there are signs saying “obesity,” “tooth decay,” “kidney failure” and the like.

In the background, an announcer declares, “When kids drink soda pop, they’re getting a lot more than they bargain for.” The announcer goes on to mention that drinking just one can of soda a day can make a child gain 10 pounds a year in weight, and declares that a soda tax “can make a difference” by making children healthier and providing money for county health programs.

The ads, which also will run on radio and online, were commissioned after Bloomberg “decided it was important to counter all the one-sided advertising from the soda industry,” said a spokesman. “This is a campaign to counterbalance all the special interests that profit off soda.”

* The ad

It’s a good ad, but it should’ve been running months ago.

* Press release from Can The Tax…

Cook County has issued an SOS over its deeply unpopular beverage tax.

With dwindling credibility and a brewing voter revolt, Cook County and County Board President Toni Preckwinkle have turned to a New York City billionaire to try and tell county residents why they’re wrong about the unfair, anti-working family beverage tax.

That’s right. New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg has announced a $2 million-plus television ad buy in Cook County beginning tomorrow. Bloomberg’s track record has been to mislead viewers by making unproven public health claims. We don’t think Cook County families need an outsider billionaire to tell them what to do.

Cook County’s call for a lifesaver comes as resident outrage over the beverage tax is at record levels, some county retailers are already reporting beverage sales declines as much as 39%, and residents are voicing their outrage.

Cook County residents, local shops and restaurants don’t need New Yorkers to tell them they are wrong – they know this tax is just a money grab that has dramatically increased costs for consumers, is hurting small businesses and will hurt small businesses.

It’s an act of desperation when Cook County and President Preckwinkle have to turn to a New York billionaire for leadership in their effort to whitewash a tax that residents, consumers, small businesses, editorial boards and a growing list of bipartisan elected officials have universally rejected.

- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      

* Weekend news roundup
* React to Rauner's Friday vetoes
* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* Rauner vetoes several major pieces of legislation
* Four leaders meet in Chicago, plan another sitdown on Tuesday
* Kennedy delivered an unusually somber Democrat Day speech
* Governor signs River Edge bill in Rockford... err... Aurora
* Caption contest!
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* Question of the day
* SDems have most seniority, HGOPs the least
* Asked when he'll take responsibility, Rauner blames Madigan
* Do Your Job, Inc. puts latest online ad on TV
* *** UPDATED x1 - IDHS responds *** What's the holdup on domestic violence funding?
* Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez says she won't run again
* Rauner calls TRUST Act a "very reasonable" bill, won't commit to signing it
* Drury says he has a "good sense" of how government works
* The story behind that Facebook pic of Madigan
* Rauner explains his weight loss
* Today's quotable: “No one’s going to locate there"
* *** UPDATED x3 - Still hasn't seen it - DGA criticizes Rauner *** Rauner points to WVON host's defense of Illinois Policy Institute cartoon as legislators to protest HQ
* Yesterday's stories

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