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McCann denies he resigned from the SGOP caucus, threatens legal action over access to “key resources”

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* A statement earlier today from Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady’s spokesman

This morning, Sen. Sam McCann offered his resignation from the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus and Leader Brady accepted.

* From Sen. McCann this afternoon…


I did not offer my resignation from the Republican Caucus today. In fact, I responded to the caucus with that clarification. I offered my resignation as Minority spokesman on committee. I am still a Republican until I complete the requisite legal requirements to establish a new party, which doesn’t occur until June.

The Republicans have also unlawfully restricted access to key resources that are needed to properly represent the constituents of my District. Today, I demanded access to all caucus resources available to any Republican member of in order to properly represent the constituents of my District, which duly elected me as an IL State Senator of the Republican Party. I am following the legal protocol to properly establish a Conservative Party, but at this time no such party exists until the proper protocols are completed. In addition, I remain Constitutionally obligated to represent my constituents. Moreover, it is the Republican Parties duty to allow all of its members equal access. Any continued denial of access will require immediate action up to and including legal action against the caucus.

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      

Question of the day

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* Caption?…

And, if you somehow don’t know, that’s Sen. Sam McCann with Gov. Rauner.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      

It’s just a bill

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* It passed with 63 votes…

Roll call is here. It now goes to the governor.

* Press release

The Illinois House today unanimously passed Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza’s “Truth in Hiring” Act to bring all “offshored” employees of the Governor’s office back into the Governor’s budget. State Rep. Christian Mitchell, D-Chicago, sponsored the bi-partisan bill in the House.

For too long, Illinois governors – Democratic and Republican – have engaged in the deceptive practice of “offshoring” their employees’ salaries to other agencies — for example, paying an education advisor $250,000 from the Department of Human Services; or a deputy chief of staff $140,000 from the Illinois State Police’s budget — to mask the true size of the Governor’s budget.

A recent payroll analysis shows only 44 of Governor Rauner’s staffers are actually paid from the Governor’s budget. MOST of his staff – 58 people – are hidden in other agency payrolls. If the Governor were honestly reporting all the people working in his office, he would have to disclose his office budget is more than $10 million, instead of the $4.9 million that is budgeted for the current fiscal year.

* Background is here. Press release…

Yesterday, 111th State Representative Monica Bristow made her feelings clear on the House floor regarding how much legislators should be paid:

    “Hopefully if this body [the Illinois House] and the Senate gets its act together, we will be able to have our revenue exceeding expenditures and we’ll all get raises.”

Monica Bristow made this astonishing admission live on the House floor while debating HB 5760 - a bill concerning mileage reimbursement rates for legislators and the halting of cost-of-living adjustments. We all have dreams of a more prosperous future - Monica’s dream just happens to be paid for by overburdened taxpayers.

Mike Babcock, Republican candidate for 111th state representative, had this to say in response to Bristows comments:

“It is no surprise that Rep. Bristow, tightly entrenched within the Madigan self-serving machine, would advocate for more pay for herself. Let me be clear, career politicians in Springfield shouldn’t be receiving an extra dime. As a small business owner, I wouldn’t give an employee with the same record of failure a raise - I’d replace them. Rep. Bristow is the taxpayers employee and I’d say it’s time we replaced her too.”

When it comes to elected officials safeguarding taxpayer money, Mike Babcock leads by example. Mike Babcock has forgone a pay raise during his 9 years as Wood River Township Supervisor, has never raised taxes, and has a budget surplus year after year.

* Other bills…

* ADDED: There’s another push to split up SIUE and SIUC. Could it really happen this time?: According to Redfield, the political observer, legislators from other parts of Illinois may not want to weigh in on the regional issue between the SIU campuses. “They would much rather this get worked out rather than having to pick sides,” Redfield said.

* Remap proponents trying to get issue before voters, but it’s not looking good: Senate leaders allowed proponents of the amendment to make their case at a subcommittee hearing Wednesday. However, in the House, the proposals have been locked up in the House Rules Committee and time is quickly running out. Both the House and Senate would have to vote by May 6 to put the issue on the ballot. The House is not scheduled to be in session the week of April 30 through May 4.

* Medical Marijuana for School Students Approved By Illinois House: “Before anyone sets their hair on fire about medical marijuana in school, it’s important to understand that tots won’t be toking up in class,” says Lang. “Discreet, private locations in a school will set aside for parents to administer the product and have no impact on anyone else in the building.”

* Illinois youth tackle football ban dead for now: Opposition to restrictions on America’s most popular sport stifled it for now. Sente, a Vernon Hills Democrat, said she will not call the legislation for a House vote before the General Assembly’s scheduled May 31 adjournment. But the bill stays alive until year’s end, and Sente, who is not seeking re-election in November, raised the possibility that the issue might be ripe for a vote this fall.

* Lawmakers Seek Broader Reviews of Suburban Police Shootings - Following a BGA/WBEZ investigative series, members of the Illinois black legislative caucus vow a push to mandate reviews of whether officers who shoot citizens violated policies or best practices.

* Editorial: Time to throw away golden parachutes for public employees

* House OKs bill making Sangamon County default location for most state jobs

* Women fighting cancer ask, ‘why won’t Illinois insurers cover egg, embryo freezing?’: In Illinois, about 5,800 people of reproductive age — between 14 and 45 — are diagnosed with cancer each year, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, though not all those patients would need or want to freeze sperm, eggs or embryos.

* Slowik: Caregivers support expanding alerts to include people with disabilities: State law currently allows police to issue “Amber Alerts” for missing children and “Silver Searches” to help locate missing senior citizens. Police, however, cannot currently issue an emergency notice when a non-elderly adult with a developmental disability is missing.

- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      

Biss appears to backtrack on his pledge to “elect the Democratic nominee for governor whoever that person is”

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* NPR Illinois

Biss has yet to formally endorse Pritzker - saying he wants more assurances the nominee will work for issues like campaign finance reform. “It’s really important for us to say more than just we are against Bruce Rauner. I would love for J.B. to empower me to make that kind of affirmative endorsement of his campaign.”

* Last October, the gubernatorial candidates were asked by Mary Ann Ahern at a forum: “Will you line up behind the Democratic nominee for Governor whoever that may be? Do you all agree?” Sen. Biss raised his hand with everyone else

That was an Our Revolution candidate forum, by the way, and the audience loudly cheered when everybody raised their hands. The group went on to endorse Biss.

* And this is from a transcript the Biss campaign sent me back in December

But I will say, yes I did vote for Mike Madigan for Speaker. He was the Democratic candidate for Speaker and I’m a proud Democrat. And I’m going to work with everyone in the legislature, including [Madigan]. I’ll work with him to elect the Democratic nominee for governor whoever that person is. You can be a loyal Democrat and be independent as well. That’s who I am.

Biss also attended the Democratic unity event the weekend after the primary and had his photo taken with the nominee.

* From Biss’ own campaign website

That’s why in the past few days I spent time in conversation with JB Pritzker. While we have our differences, we have always been united in our commitment to defeat Bruce Rauner. And I am still 100% committed to defeating Bruce Rauner.

* All that being said, Pritzker has yet to propose his own campaign finance reform plan. His website doesn’t mention the topic and he’s been pretty vague elsewhere

Campaign funding has been an issue in the last few months. Should there be changes in the state’s campaign finance rules? Why or why not? If so, what changes would you want to see?

We need comprehensive campaign finance reform in Illinois, and as governor, I will work with stakeholders to change the system and put limits in place. We must also overturn Citizens United at the federal level.

* Sun-Times editorial

To his credit, Pritzker wants to restrain billionaires like himself, but says he can’t “unilaterally disarm” before the November general election. He says he favors campaign finance reforms that, at the very least, include a more generous system of public funding of elections.

That line may have been based on his answer to a Sun-Times questionnaire about publicly funding judicial races.

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      

Schock appeal roundup

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* AP

A lawyer for former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock says prosecutors are aiming to be the first to imprison a former member of Congress over ambiguous rules the U.S. House set for itself.

* Politco

“The government spent two years and two different grand juries investigating every aspect of my 14-year public service career. They investigated my business endeavors, from the age of 18 years old to the three years since leaving office, and they even investigated my personal life,” Schock said. “It’s a sad day in America when our U.S. Justice Department will stop at nothing, not even trampling the Constitution in its zeal to prosecute. Thankfully we have the courts, and I am confident they will provide the necessary check on this out-of-control prosecution.”

In oral arguments, Schock’s defense team claimed House rules for car mileage reimbursements are too vague to base criminal charges upon. Schock has been accused of pocketing tens of thousands of dollars in reimbursements after submitting false mileage reports following a POLITICO report.

Benjamin Hatch, Schock’s lawyer, also asserted in a highly technical argument that it would be a violation of the separation of powers doctrine, as well as the Speech or Debate Clause, to prosecute Schock. According to Hatch, the executive branch shouldn’t be involved in interpreting internal congressional rules, stating it would be a constitutional violation to do so.

“Our position is an ambiguous House rule can’t be used as evidence to prosecute a member of Congress,” Hatch told the three-judge panel. “The House rules do not determine whether anyone, including Mr. Schock, violated” federal law.

* Back to the AP

Prosecutors said half of the charges Schock faces have nothing to do with House rules, including ones alleging he falsified tax returns.

A Department of Justice lawyer, William Glaser, said at Wednesday’s hearing that the defense was mischaracterizing the government’s approach — as if “we want to go around prosecuting people based on ambiguous rules.”

Glaser said prosecutors won’t rely heavily on House rules in trying to prove their case at a trial for Schock. In some instances, he said, showing Schock violated rules would simply be a way to try and show criminal intent.

* Sun-Times

Seventh Circuit Chief Judge Diane Wood and Judge Frank Easterbrook tested Hatch’s argument, pushing him to say whether members of Congress could write their own rules about paying taxes — and bypass the law itself.

Hatch said clear violations of federal law are a different matter. Rather, he argued it would be an overreach for the courts to delve into the gray areas. He based much of his argument on a precedent set during the prosecution of former Illinois Congressman Dan Rostenkowski.

“It would be the court fashioning a rule of Congress,” Hatch said.

Wood seemed to dwell on the more glaring examples of Schock’s alleged malfeasance, like seeking mileage reimbursements for more miles than his vehicle was actually driven.

* Jim Dey

Hatch was interrupted by Wood just 40 seconds into his argument. She wondered why her panel should entertain Schock’s appeal now rather than post-trial. Wood said she was “having a really hard time” understanding why the court should accept Schock’s rule-making argument for dismissal, characterizing his position as asserting a “right not to be tried.” […]

But Wood wondered whether the rules would be used by prosecutors as a “piece of evidence” or “as a basis of liability,” a statement supporting the prosecution.

In the next breath, she threw a potential lifeline to the defense.

“There are regulations, and there are regulations. … Some of them have struck me as pretty vague,” she said, specifically citing House rules on office furnishings. […]

The confusing Q&A raised more questions than it answered. But it seems clear that the appeals court is seriously wrestling with the question of whether it has jurisdiction to issue a ruling on the merits or send the case back to Bruce for trial followed by a possible appeal.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      

Dorothy Brown to join long line of candidates running for mayor

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* Perhaps the headline should read: “Brown has astounding lack of self awareness”…

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** What’s Rauner doing in Europe?

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* Tom Kacich talked to Gov. Rauner by phone this week about his European trade mission

In September, [Gov. Rauner] said, Hannover Messe will have an exhibition in Chicago.

“We’re working out the details to do a big Hannover Messe show in McCormick Place later this year,” he said. […]

“I had dinner with a business owner in Poland who makes agricultural equipment and he would like to evaluate opening a plant in central Illinois to make agriculture-related equipment We had good discussion there,” he said. “I think Illinois is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the Polish economy’s growth. […]

“We have Ed Seidel from the U of I (the university’s vice president for economic development) and we’re going to talk about joint research projects between the U of I and Aachen University,” Rauner said. “We’ve also met with research organization called Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, which does joint projects around the world focused on economic development. We’re going to be working with them to do a partnership with the U of I in Champaign.”

That Hannover Messe trade show was announced last September.

* Chuck Sweeny also chatted with the governor and one of his traveling companions

The 21 leaders on “Intersect Illinois” mission include state economic development officials, leaders of the Illinois Manufacturers Association and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, economic development officials from Lake and DuPage counties, and officials from the University of Illinois and Rend Lake and Harper community colleges. There are also representatives from German-American and Polish-American business groups.

I reached Anderson and the governor by phone late Tuesday afternoon. It was about 11 p.m. their time and they were in Germany aboard a bus bound for Frankfurt. Each man was in a buoyant mood despite having been on the go since 4:30 that morning. “It’s no glamour trip. We’re working nonstop,” said Anderson, who was sitting next to Rauner on the bus. […]

Anderson met in Warsaw with the Polish president and other Polish officials.

“I used the skills I learned working from (former Illinois senator) Peter Fitzgerald,” Anderson said. “I worked the room with the staff people. The Polish people and their leaders are in love with America and they are extremely impressed that we came all this way to meet with them.”

As of yet, however, the governor’s office has not released a list with names of all the people he’s traveling with, even though he did it before both of his previous overseas trips (click here and here).

* There are delegation photos, however, including this one…


*** UPDATE *** Choose DuPage has posted the list of folks traveling with the governor. Click here.

* Related…

* Zorn: Rauner to ask Germans, Poles to invest in a ‘broken’ Illinois: When state or city leaders are forever rending their garments about how terrible things are, it makes the job of attracting and keeping business and residents all that much more difficult. This, in turn, makes things more terrible.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 - Pritzker camp responds *** Rauner campaign claims Dem shenanigans with McCann

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* From Will Allison at the Rauner campaign…

Hey, everyone-

We already know that Sam McCann is profiting off of politics. But now it’s readily apparent that he’s also a pawn being used by Democrats. Just check out the statements from JB Pritzker and Democratic Governors Association. Their joy about McCann is blatantly transparent. So what conversations has Sam McCann had with Pritzker’s campaign and Illinois Democrats?

    Statement from JB Pritzker: “I welcome another voice to the race for governor at this critical time for our state,” said JB Pritzker.

    Statement From the DGA: “Today, the nation’s most vulnerable incumbent saw his reelection chances dwindle even further. Bruce Rauner is still reeling from a brutal primary and now he has to deal with an outright revolt from the right. Jeanne Ives voters now have another Republican to vote for in Sen. Sam McCann.”

These are the same tricks from the old corrupt machine that tried and failed to defeat Bruce Rauner before. It happened in the 2014 primary and general elections and in the 2018 primary.

Mike Madigan and McCann’s biggest backers have been playing both sides for years.

In an August 2017 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Brown, IUOE Local 150 President-Business Manager Jim Sweeney, a “staunch ally of Speaker Madigan,” revealed his strategy to support both McCann and Pritzker in the 2018 election. McCann knows he can’t win, so he’s teaming up with allies of Pritzker and Madigan to play the part of spoiler and profit along the way.

* There was also this friendly little exchange today…

*** UPDATE *** From Galia Slayen at the Pritzker campaign…

Jeanne Ives, Sam McCann, and 48% of Bruce Rauner’s own party are in open revolt against his failed leadership. Rauner can keep spewing desperate lies, but the only person he has to blame for this is himself.

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      

No, Rauner didn’t “forget” about UIC yesterday

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* Press release…

While Bruce Rauner is on another tour abroad to promote a state he constantly attacks, he called into a radio show yesterday to discuss a higher education system he decimated— only to forget about a state university.

While discussing the University of Illinois, the failed governor said he wants to “get them to open a campus in Chicago,” seemingly unaware of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The clueless comment comes after Rauner devastated higher education in Illinois, forcing state universities to junk bond status, slashing spending on MAP grants, and driving students from state universities.

“Bruce Rauner only remembers our colleges and universities when he is decimating their funding,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Instead of investing in Illinois’ students, this failed governor has leveraged their future to pursue his destructive agenda.”

* The governor’s comment made kind of a splash on social media yesterday…

And etc.

* I checked with the governor’s office yesterday about this apparent faux pas and was told Rauner was referring to this

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the University of Illinois are pursuing a sprawling innovation center in the South Loop with two other research universities, but the project’s backers have yet to forge a political consensus and a lack of detail about how it would be funded has created uncertainty about the project.

Rauner is backing the University of Illinois-led Discovery Partners Institute, a public-private facility for conducting specialized research in an array of fields, including computing and big data, food and agriculture, and health and wellness.

- Posted by Rich Miller   42 Comments      

Maybe some movement in the Senate on gun dealer licensing, but not yet in the House

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* Remember this from April 9th?

After weekend talks with House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, Emanuel believes the chances for an override [of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a gun dealer licensing bill] may well come down to the votes of three DuPage Republicans, all of who are being challenged by women.

At the time, I said I was highly dubious that they were only three suburban GOP votes shy of passage

The bill fell seven votes shy of a veto-proof majority in the House. It only received 30 votes in the Senate - six votes shy of passage. So they flipped ten members?

* Tribune today

Even as gun control advocates rallied under the Capitol dome, Democrats said they’re still looking for the votes they’d need to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a gun store licensing bill. […]

[Sponsoring Democratic Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park] said he is still working to get enough votes to override Rauner’s veto. The Senate deadline to vote is April 25, and Harmon said he’s hoping for a vote next week. Democratic state Rep. Kathleen Willis of Addison, the bill’s House sponsor, said she was still about seven votes short in that chamber.

So, the Senate doesn’t yet have the votes (although Sen. Harmon told the SJ-R that “he’s ‘not quite there’ yet but has picked up a few extra votes”) and, according to the Tribune, the House roll call is stuck right where it was when it passed.

House GOP Leader Jim Durkin is working against the bill and predicted last week it would fall short in that chamber, but also said he believes the override will pass the Senate.

* Meanwhile

Sen. Kwame Raoul, who is sponsoring a Senate bump stock ban bill, said he’s waiting to see what happens with a House bump stock ban bill that already passed both chambers.

That bill hit a road block after the Senate added an amendment to it.

Rep. Marty Moylan, D-Des Plaines, said Wednesday he doesn’t have a timeline on when he’ll be ready to proceed on his bill. He was unhappy with the Senate amendment, and said last week he’d either start over and write a completely new bill or take action to remove the amendment in the House.

Raoul said he thinks it’d be faster to keep moving forward with the House bump stock ban bill, but said if Moylan doesn’t take action soon, he’s not opposed to proceeding with his proposed measure.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

After seven months of federal mediation, WIU faculty authorize strike

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* Facebook post yesterday from the union representing Western Illinois University’s faculty

The WIU UPI strike authorization vote passes with high turnout and an overwhelming majority.


Union President William Thompson issued the following statement:

    “We stand for a mutually beneficial, future: a better future for our students, for our members, for WIU’s employees, and for our community. Our goal with contract negotiations is to move Western Illinois University forward while allowing the institution to retain and attract quality faculty and academic support professionals. Unfortunately, management is not yet on board with this plan, so we decided to have this vote to allow the bargaining team to call a strike if management continues not to listen to our united voice.

    “In the spring of 2016, UPI worked with management and deferred a previously negotiated 3% salary increases leading to a $3.2 million give back to Western from our members. We additionally gave up a 1% raise (worth $470,000 a year). We aren’t asking for the world, but the University can afford to give us a reasonable contract that will allow us to keep and retain the high quality faculty and staff that will provide a better future for all of us and make Western Illinois University, the Right Choice for our students.”

* Tri-States Public Radio

[Jim LaPrad, a member of the union’s leadership team] said the union plans to go ahead and file the paperwork, but members do not have plans, at this time, to go on strike. Still, he said the vote is an important tool to have given that the administration can, at any time, impose a contract.

“We believe having the authority is necessary at this time to show the administration that there’s a unity of one voice,” LaPrad said.

Negotiations between UPI and the university’s administration over the past seven months have involved a federal mediator. The next mediation session is scheduled for Monday, April 23.

The two sides remain divided on a number of issues including proposed salary cuts and changes to the salary minima structure.

* Western Courier earlier this week

Western Contract Administrator Russ Morgan released a statement on behalf of the university in response to the announcement of the vote.

“We urge our faculty to vote against an authorization to strike, remain in the classroom, and remain committed to our students,” Morgan said. “Our students have entrusted their education to Western Illinois University. They deserve the education for which they have paid. With approximately four weeks remaining in the Spring 2018 semester, we need to live up to our commitment to our students.”.

* From WIU

Striking will not change the economic realities surrounding higher education in Illinois and, more particularly, at WIU (such that the university can afford the contract the union wants).

Striking and the uncertainty created by the threat of a strike will harm enrollment and retention efforts.

Striking will not change that WIU needs to move forward with restructuring to positively impact the institution’s financial health and create a viable and sustainable foundation for the future.

Striking will bring negative publicity to WIU and its surrounding communities.

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      

Illinois Legislators: Make Health Coverage Fair by Supporting HB 4146

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

Did you know that health plans are changing Illinois families’ benefits while consumers are locked into their plans for the year? People in Illinois, especially those living with chronic conditions, carefully shop for a health plan which covers the treatments they need at prices they can afford. But health plans aren’t delivering the benefits they have marketed and sold to Illinois consumers.

House Bill 4146 Fixes the Health Plan Bait-and-Switch

House Bill 4146 would simply prevent insurers from making unfair – and potentially unsafe – benefit changes while Illinoisans are locked into the plan. The legislation, however, would still allow insurers to utilize generics, add treatments to their formularies and also remove them for safety reasons.

Insurers need to deliver on the policies they sell. The Illinois Legislature should support HB 4146 to make health coverage fair.

- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      

My eyes! It burns!

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* Give ‘em trolling points…

That’s two Illinois politics Rickrolls in two days. (Headline explained here.)

Happy birthday, Speaker Madigan.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      

“I can’t ask people in the private sector to do it if I won’t as well”

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* Good point…

* And check out Sen. Raoul’s response to the Tribune story

Democratic attorney general candidate Kwame Raoul paid more than $13,000 to a former Blagojevich administration official who pleaded guilty to steering state business to companies in which he had a stake and then pocketing much of the money.

Raoul said he was “unapologetic” about hiring former Department of Children and Family Services deputy director Bamani Obadele to help with his campaign, saying ex-offenders deserve second chances.

“I don’t think it’s something we should just say as policymakers, we should put our money where our mouths are,” said Raoul, a state senator from Hyde Park who has worked on criminal justice issues. “I can’t ask people in the private sector to do it if I won’t as well.”

In 2011, Obadele was sentenced to six months in federal prison on a mail fraud count. He admitted directing DCFS contractors to buy promotional items, such as magnets, yo-yos and tote bags, from a company he secretly owned. Gov. Rod Blagojevich had met Obadele years earlier, striking up a conversation at a South Side police station where the teen was shining shoes. The then-governor appointed Obadele to be deputy director of external affairs for DCFS in 2003, but he resigned in 2005 amid an investigation.

Obadele also worked for Rep. Julianna Stratton’s campaign in 2016 and did some volunteer work for Gov. Rauner’s 2014 campaign. He worked for Rep. Justin Slaughter’s surprisingly close primary race this year (and is taking the blame in some quarters for how that turned out).

The bottom line is he made some really big mistakes, then he paid his debt. Even so, this story was bound to run sooner or later. If he stays clean, the issue will likely fade away. Other people have moved beyond much worse.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

*** UPDATED x7 - Bill Brady, Pat Brady, Ives, Durkin, DGA, ILGOP, Pritzker, Rauner respond - Brady accepts caucus resignation *** Sen. Sam McCann announces for governor as Conservative Party candidate

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018

* I’ve gone over my thoughts on this with subscribers for the past couple of days, so I’ll just post the press release here and y’all can talk about it in comments…

This morning, Senator Sam McCann (C-Plainview) announced that he and Veterans’ Rights Activist Aaron Merreighn (pronounced “marine”) (C-Riverton) would join the Illinois Gubernatorial race as Conservative Party candidates. They will face Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker and incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

“When I announced I was not going to run for Senate, I said the Republican Party under Rauner was unrecognizable to me. Rauner has smeared the reputations of proven conservatives and abandoned the principles that millions of Illinois working families hold dear: economic liberty, traditional values, and law and order,” said McCann. Sen. McCann was first elected to the State Senate in 2010 and decided not to seek reelection as a Republican in 2018. In the legislature, McCann has been an advocate for taxpayers, working people and small businesses, veterans, and common sense.

McCann added, “Illinois deserves a clear choice in November. I am the only conservative in the race, and the only candidate who has stood up to both Rauner and Madigan. Our campaign offers a real chance for Illinois to break free from the politics as usual crowd. Our campaign offers the only choice voters have to take back Illinois.”

McCann tapped Veterans’ Rights Activist Aaron Merreighn as his running mate. The two have worked together on a variety of veterans issues, most notably the Quincy Veterans Home. “Rauner’s handling of the Legionnaires’ outbreak at the Quincy Veterans Homeneedlessly put lives at risk, and his record on veteransissues is nothing short of shameful,” said Aaron Merreighn. “Sadly, it has become symbolic of the failed leadership in Springfield that governs by crisis instead of by common sense.”

Merreighn is a United States Marine Corps combat veteran, serving five tours of duty, including three in Iraq. Following his service to his country, Merreighn worked as a mechanic for a trucking company and for a family business. He now works for the State of Illinois as a Human Resource Representative. “In the Marine Corps, the values you learn lead you to service and helping others. That is why I became an advocate for my buddies, and why I want to serve my fellow Illinoisans as Lt. Governor,” Merreighn added.

McCann and Merreighn must reach the 25,000 signature requirement to make the ballot for the General Election as the Conservative Party candidates. The General Election is November 6, 2018.

* And here’s the announcement video

…Adding… Some of you are missing the point in comments, so here’s a little context. Check out this contribution to McCann from earlier in the week

Do you really think that Operating Engineers Local 150 wants to defeat JB Pritzker? Nope.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Posted in the order they were received. Pritzker campaign…

Today, JB Pritzker issued the following statement in response to State Senator Sam McCann entering the race for governor:

“I welcome another voice to the race for governor at this critical time for our state,” said JB Pritzker. “Bruce Rauner is a failed governor who has done untold damage to communities throughout Illinois, and people from across the political spectrum are ready for change. Since announcing this campaign, I have worked to hold Rauner accountable for his failure and I will continue doing so as we bring Illinoisans together to put Springfield back on the side of working families.”

* Rauner campaign…

The Rauner campaign released the following statement in response to Sam McCann’s entry into the Govenor’s race:

“Sam McCann is the worst kind of political opportunist who is only running for Governor to line his own pockets. McCann’s unethical record speaks for itself: he failed to pay his taxes, racked up massive debts, lied about serving in the Marine Corps, and used his campaign account as a personal piggy bank, even buying himself an SUV.”

“Public service should not be for personal gain and Sam McCann’s new ‘campaign’ is just a thinly veiled attempt to profit off of politics.”

- Rauner Campaign Communications Director Will Allison


*** UPDATE 2 *** From Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady’s spokesman…

This morning, Sen. Sam McCann offered his resignation from the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus and Leader Brady accepted.

*** UPDATE 3 *** ILGOP…

Sam McCann’s Entry Into Governor’s Race Is His Latest Example Of Self-Dealing And Using Politics For Profit
McCann’s shady record makes him the perfect crook to cut a deal with Pritzker and Madigan

“Sam McCann’s professional and political careers have been devoted to serving himself. Whether it’s lying about serving in the Marines, dodging taxes on his failed business, or treating his campaign funds like a personal piggy bank, McCann will say or do anything just to make a buck.

“Now, McCann is jumping into the governor’s race to play the part of spoiler, hoping to cash in along the way and maybe land a lucrative appointment from Pritzker or Madigan after the election. Sam McCann is the worst kind of politician - one who uses politics for profit.” - Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot

Today, State Sen. Sam McCann announced his intention to run as a third-party candidate for Illinois Governor. McCann’s goal? Money for himself – and lots of it. McCann’s campaign has been funded by Madigan-allied labor unions that have already endorsed Pritzker’s campaign for governor.

So why would these same unions back another candidate for governor? To spoil the election. They tried and failed the same dirty tricks in 2014 and it looks like they’re back to their old habits. McCann is taking the opportunity to cash in big time. Public records reveal that McCann treats his campaign fund like his own personal piggy bank, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on himself and his lifestyle. The potential for even more big checks from unions gives McCann the opportunity to make even more money.

McCann’s time in Springfield has been mired in lies, scandal and self-dealing, which makes him the perfect crook to cut a deal with Madigan and Pritzker in an attempt to spoil the election for Illinois Republicans. Be on the lookout for McCann to receive a lucrative appointment or job from Pritzker or Madigan after the election, but in the meantime, Sam McCann will be exposed for what he is: a crooked politician who uses politics for profit.

More here.

*** UPDATE 4 *** DGA…

Today, Democratic Governors Association spokesman Sam Salustro released the following statement in response to state Senator Sam McCann’s entry into the Illinois governor’s race:

“Today, the nation’s most vulnerable incumbent saw his reelection chances dwindle even further. Bruce Rauner is still reeling from a brutal primary and now he has to deal with an outright revolt from the right. Jeanne Ives voters now have another Republican to vote for in Sen. Sam McCann. It’s no surprise Republicans keep lining up to challenge Rauner – they know that he is a failed governor who has betrayed families across the state.”

*** UPDATE 5 *** House GOP Leader Jim Durkin…

It is no surprise that Sen. McCann sells out the Republican party for his own self-interest.

*** UPDATE 5 *** Ives has said previously that she would vote for Rauner…

*** UPDATE 6 *** Yep…

*** UPDATE 7 *** Whew

Illinois Senate Minority Leader and Bloomington Republican Bill Brady also had harsh words for McCann.

“The Illinois Republican Party didn’t leave Sam McCann,” Brady tweeted Thursday. “He left the Republican Party with his lockstep votes to support Mike Madigan’s agenda of unbalanced budgets and putting the interests of public sector unions ahead of Illinois taxpayers.”

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