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Friday, Jan 12, 2018

* Have a good one

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Rauner vetoes Jack Franks bill

Friday, Jan 12, 2018

* This legislation was pushed hard by former Democratic state Rep. Jack Franks, who is now the McHenry County Board Chairman…

Today I veto House Bill 171 from the 100th General Assembly, which would codify the authority of certain county board chairmen to create standing committees and appoint members to standing committees subject to those boards’ approval.

We should not be codifying in state law carve-outs and special solutions that only apply to certain counties to account for local concerns. Passing state law on such specific question of local authority undermines local control and the ability to create rules as elected Board’s may deem appropriate.

This legislation, which stems from a disagreement about a change in McHenry County Board rules that stripped the Chairman of his historical authority to create and appoint members to committees, does just that. While the county governance model introduced by this legislation may represent good practice and a healthy balance of power between the local officials for McHenry County, it is not appropriately addressed by state legislation.

Instead, questions concerning the balance of power within local governments can be most appropriately reconsidered by local voters. Just as the citizens of a county can vote via referendum on whether their county adopts an executive form of government, so too should they be able to determine the appropriate power balance in question in this bill.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 171, entitled “AN ACT concerning local government,” with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.

Sincerely,

Bruce Rauner

GOVERNOR

The bill only received 63 House votes, so an override doesn’t seem likely.

- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      


Question of the day

Friday, Jan 12, 2018

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

Leaving a dog inside your car in the summer could soon mean a broken window in Illinois.

Illinois is one of 24 states without a Good Samaritan law that allows people to rescue pets from hot cars. But that could change by the summer.

State Rep. David Olsen, R-Downers Grove, is pushing a plan to allow people to bust out a car window to rescue a hot dog from a hot car, and avoid any criminal liability.

Olsen said the idea is to let people help.

“If people act in good faith, in consultation with law enforcement,” Olsen said Wednesday. “This legislation is reasonable. It doesn’t allow for random acts of violence or criminal damage to property.”

Olsen said his legislation requires that people call the police before breaking a window, and then to wait with the dog at the car until police arrive.

“We’re looking to save animals and not make somebody liable for a lot of money, when they are just trying to be a Good Samaritan and help out,” Olsen said.

* The Question: Good idea or not? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


bike trails

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


Rauner, others respond to Trump

Friday, Jan 12, 2018

* Old news by now, but everybody seems to be weighing in, so let’s get to it

Sen. Dick Durbin left the White House Thursday “sickened and heartbroken,” after hearing President Donald Trump refer to certain nations as “sh*thole countries,” Illinois’ senior senator told reporters Friday.

“I cannot imagine that in the history of [the Oval Office], that hallowed room, where the president of the United States goes to work every day, there has ever been a conversation quite like that. It was vile, it was hateful, it was racist,” Durbin told reporters after attending a breakfast in the city to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Durbin said Trump repeated the term “sh*thole” during a meeting that was, ostensibly, a discussion about a potentially bipartisan deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. Trump has since tweeted that he used “tough” language during the meeting but never used the derogatory language that has caused outrage across the globe.

I asked Sen. Durbin’s staff whether Durbin stood up to Trump at that meeting and took him to task for his remarks, but haven’t yet heard back.

* Gov. Rauner was asked today if he had anything to say about President Trump’s alleged comments

Yeah, well, I’ll say this. That language has no place in our political conversation.

It ain’t the language, per se, it’s the sentiment behind the language. But, OK, at least he said something.

* From Sen. Kwame Raoul, the state’s most prominent Haitian-American…

As we approach Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the reported hateful comments spewed by the President remind us just how much further we have to go as a nation.

Today, I’m embracing the Kingian philosophy that darkness cannot drive out darkness and that only light can do that. That’s why today I’m using my light - as a citizen of this country, as the son of Haitian immigrants, as an elected official and a candidate for office - to call out the injustices committed on our watch.

I am revolted by Donald Trump’s vulgar dismissal and dehumanization of the people of Haiti, El Salvador and many African nations. Simply put, the President’s remarks are vile, racist and unbecoming of the office he holds. Donald J. Trump is unfit for the office of the Presidency of the United States. He should resign or Congress should do its job and proceed with the impeachment of the President.

My position isn’t simply about disagreements in policy, instead it’s about what type of country we want to be. Do we want to be a country with a corrupt racist at its helm or do we want to be a country which embraces King’s dream and those before us of to create a more perfect union? I choose the latter.

* JB Pritzker…

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Donald Trump is a racist and a xenophobe who has never had the dignity to be in the White House,” said JB Pritzker. “After unilaterally moving to end DACA and upend the lives of 800,000 young immigrants, including more than 41,000 in Illinois, Trump is resorting to offensive tactics to score a political win with his base. First, he insisted his senseless wall be part of an immigration deal and now Trump is spouting vile profanities about Haitian and African immigrants from the Oval Office. America deserves better, and when I’m governor, I’ll protect immigrant families and make Illinois a welcoming state for all.”

* Biss…

* Congressional candidate Chuy Garcia…

Donald Trump’s comments demonstrate his unfitness for the office. His ignorance, incompetence, and callousness make it difficult to distinguish him from a Klansman or a Nazi. As an immigrant and someone who has struggled to make our democracy inclusive of everyone, this is the most despicable comment I have heard from a President in my lifetime.

* AG candidate Jesse Ruiz…

In 2015, Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign by saying, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

Ever since that day, Trump has been displaying his racist attitudes like a badge of honor. It seems like the only words that can come out of Trump’s mouth are vile hate or lies. His despicable remarks about “sh*thole” countries are simply the latest in a long and ugly string of insults, epithets, and attacks. Instead of begging for forgiveness from the American public, he lies like a coward. He should resign or be removed from office.

We must not let Trump’s contemptible words distract us from his even more deplorable actions. Trump made this remark while talking with members of Congress about immigrants living here under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. The TPS program has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but it is clear that the lives of people of color do not matter to Trump.

Today, members of Congress from both parties are denouncing Trump’s disgusting words. That’s important, but it’s even more important to make sure that Trump’s vile attitudes do not destroy the lives of law-abiding immigrants from countries that have suffered catastrophic events. I call on Congress to move immediately to pass the SECURE Act, to continue the protections of the TPS program and create pathway to legal permanent residency in America, and to pass a clean DREAM act, to fix DACA and protect the futures of 800,000 promising young immigrants.

I hope Trump is out of office by next January, when I take office as Illinois Attorney General. If not, I look forward to standing up to the White House, holding Trump accountable, and taking him to court to protect the rights of everyone.

* Congressional candidate Sol Flores…

Flores said, “I’m deeply saddened by the incredibly disrespectful and racist remarks. This President does not speak for me or my community. Our country is stronger because of the diverse groups of immigrants that come here. I know this. I’ve lived this. And unfortunately President Trump doesn’t see what I see.”

* US Rep. Bobby Rush…

“It is disgusting and infuriating that the President remarks about immigration from “sh*thole countries” like Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries come on the 8th anniversary of the Haitian earthquake in which more than 200,000 people were killed.

“Is the President not aware that immigrants of all races, nationalities, and religions built this country?

“These comments not only highlight his pure ignorance, moral turpitude, and lack of judgment but his racism that has been a fixture of his career, campaign, and presidency.

“This is the same person who started his career being sued twice by the Department of Justice for racial discrimination because he would not rent apartments to African-Americans.

“This is the same person who launched the racist birther movement against the country’s first African-American President, casting doubt on Barack Obama’s birthplace.

“This is the same person who began his Presidential campaign calling Mexican immigrants rapists, murderers, and criminals.

“The President of the United States is racist.

“On the weekend where we should be honoring the spirit and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., who fought for racial equality, we have a President intent on dividing this country.

“Everyone should condemn the racist remarks made by the President, especially those who were present in the meeting. Their silence is deafening. I commend Senator Dick Durbin for giving truth power.

“We cannot continue to let this dangerous President erode this country’s reputation. We must stand up for our nation’s values because it is clear President Trump will not.”

* US Rep. Jan Schakowsky…

“Just when you thought Donald Trump could not get any more racist, he digs down to an even deeper low. These vile comments are unacceptable and unbecoming of the Presidency. It is time for my Republican colleagues to say so. Enough is enough. Silence is complicity.”

I have yet to receive any press release or see a social media post by an Illinois politician praising the president’s remarks. I’ll let you know if that happens.

…Adding… Lame

…Adding… Rep. Roskam…

“If true, the reported comments made by the President are disappointing and I urge him to reiterate his commitment to continuing America’s legacy as a welcoming country for those seeking a better life and those willing to play by the rules. Our country has opened its arms to legal immigrants from around the world and we should never disparage anyone from any country. Illinois’ 6th district has been a welcoming place for people from every nation, prioritizing missions and service to challenging regions across the globe to help make our world a better place. We must understand and appreciate that there are many people who wish for the opportunity to come to our country and live out the American Dream.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      


*** UPDATED x3 - Wallace faults Pritzker - Pritzker criticizes Kennedy - GOP Rep. Skillicorn favors legalization *** Pritzker reiterates support for legalized marijuana

Friday, Jan 12, 2018

* Press release…

Today, JB Pritzker was joined by State Senator Heather Steans and 48th Ward Democratic Committeewoman Carol Ronen at a press conference to lay out the importance of legalizing marijuana in Illinois and standing up to Donald Trump’s attacks on Illinois communities.

JB highlighted that no more studies are needed to show it’s time for Illinois to safely move forward with legalizing marijuana. He outlined how he would modernize drug laws and move Illinois towards a criminal justice system that gives all Illinoisans a chance to reach their full potential. JB also discussed the importance of regulating and taxing marijuana to generate much needed revenue for this state.

“Our state should legalize marijuana,” said JB Pritzker. “This is not a moment for a governor who stands with Trump. In the name of criminal justice reform, consumer safety, and increased state revenue, Illinois needs a governor who is ready to legalize marijuana in Illinois. There is an abundance of evidence that shows we can legalize marijuana in Illinois in a safe way. There is an abundance of evidence that shows the real benefits this would have on our state. Most importantly, it is a step forward in reforming our broken criminal justice system. Criminalizing marijuana hasn’t made our communities safer. What it’s done is disproportionately impact black and brown communities. The criminalization of cannabis never has been and never will be enforced fairly, and it’s time to bring that to an end.”

“With Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions attacking our communities, Illinois needs a governor who will do the right thing and stand up for legalized marijuana,” said Senator Heather Steans. “JB knows there have been enough studies on this. We know marijuana can be legalized in a safe way, and it’s time we do it. It will raise revenue for our state, and will help the communities devastated by the war on drugs. It’s time we elect a governor who will move our state forward on this issue, and JB is the leader to do it.”

*** UPDATE 1 *** Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee)…

Currently alcohol is regulated as a legal product. To sell, serve, or produce alcohol requires a license. Federal, State, and Local laws control where liquor can be sold, require labeling, and who can purchase. It’s time for small amounts of Marijuana to fall under similar regulations.

Like many,I would like to see fewer people using and addicted to recreational drugs like alcohol and Marijuana. I also recognize that current prohibition is not working. Just like alcohol, Marijuana is a moral issue not a legal one.

As a serious fiscal conservative, I must point out the disservice to taxpayers this prohibition is. According to the Criminal History Records Information (CHRI) the average misdemeanor arrest costs $892. Illinois taxpayers spend over $25 Million a year on these arrests alone. Most of these cases are dropped, plead out, or withheld judgment. I would like these taxpayers resources to redirected to reducing addiction, fighting serious crime, and even refunded back to the taxpayers.

Regulating and taxing Marijuana sales is not some panacea for increased tax revenue. Regulating, testing, and labeling for THC levels does prevent unknown or extremely potent strains, eliminating the argument about today’s street Marijuana being more powerful than decades ago.

Personally I think smoking or consuming Marijuana is foolish and want to see fewer people, especially young people use it. Even with prohibition, it’s reported that illegal Marijuana is commonly available. It’s time to find a solution that works.

I will continue to advance limited government and free market solutions to Illinois’ problems and legalizing small quantities of Marijuana is one of them.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Pritzker used his event today to criticize Chris Kennedy on the topic

Now, I know that there are lot of people who look at this race and they say that all the Democratic candidates for governor agree on the issues. Well this is one place where we do not agree.

I want to end the injustice by legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana. Chris Kennedy does not.

There are those, like Kennedy, who say this should wait. But the truth is, for far too long marijuana laws have led to discrimination and injustice. For far too long marijuana has been unregulated. And for far too long, our state has waited and watched and missed out on jobs and revenue that our economy so desperately needs.

After decades of studies, and of contemplation and of delay, the time to act is now.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Rep. Litesa Wallace…

JB Pritzker’s press conference on legalizing marijuana and criminal justice reform included no voices of those most affected by the racist and inconsistent application of current law. For decades we’ve had a war on drugs that has targeted black and brown communities. To have a press conference on the Northside of Chicago without any representation of those communities pays lip service to the issues JB is claiming to champion. Daniel and I will continue to fight to change the criminal justice system from a restorative lens.

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      


DGA commemorates Rauner’s three-year inauguration anniversary

Friday, Jan 12, 2018

* Press release…

Exactly three years ago today, Governor Bruce Rauner was inaugurated as Governor of Illinois and the state is worse off for it. Rauner spoke of an “opportunity to accomplish something historic,” to “fix busted budgets”, to “forge a new path” toward “a brighter future”, and make the state “a national leader in job growth and education quality.”

Illinois residents did not get that bright future. Instead, they suffered national humiliation as the state went two-years without a budget and had its credit rating nearly downgraded to junk bond status. They saw their Governor refuse to compromise, despite the toll his policies were doing on services and job creation. Crain’s Chicago wrote just one year into the two-year impasse, “by nearly every measure, the state is worse off since Rauner took office.” Illinois residents got everything but the turnaround they were promised.

Under Rauner’s failed leadership, Illinois suffered:

    Slower Job Creation: Illinois is now growing jobs at a much slower rate than when Rauner came into office. Over the past 12 months, Illinois had one of the worst job growth rates in the nation and trailed its neighbors.

    Accelerating Population Loss: Rauner’s not only failed to stem the population loss, it has gotten worse as more people are leaving the state.

    Higher Debt: Two years without a budget tripled the state’s bill backlog, which topped off at $16 billion. Interest was due to cost the state nearly $1 billion a year.

    Lower Credit Rating: Candidate Bruce Rauner used to attack his rival over lower credit ratings. As Governor, the rating dropped 8 more times and approached junk level.

    Lost Services: Rauner forced the state to endure two years without a budget, devastating state services. Under Rauner, 1 million Illinoisans lost access to services.

It’s even gotten worse for Rauner. Illinois voters disapprove of the job he’s done at nearly double the rate they approve, making him the nation’s “most vulnerable incumbent.”

“Bruce Rauner’s legacy has been set – a failed governor who drove the state further backwards,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “His tenure will be defined by his refusal to compromise, his non-existent leadership, and the two-year budget impasse he said he exacerbated for political purposes. Under Rauner, Illinois continues to lose jobs and people, and debt continues to rise. Rauner claimed he could get it done three years ago, but he has only made things worse.”

* And IWT adds its own two cents…



- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


Rauner administration looking at Medicaid work requirements

Friday, Jan 12, 2018

* Tribune

Illinois is reviewing new guidance from the Trump administration that opens the door for states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, but there is no indication yet that it will follow the lead of neighboring states that are pursuing plans to tighten their rules.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office and the state’s Department of Healthcare and Family Services said the new policy and its implications are “under review,” but the Republican administration has not signaled whether it supports Medicaid work requirements. Local patient advocates said they hope Illinois does not join the 10 states that already have submitted proposals to make having a job a condition of Medicaid eligibility, for fear it would leave tens of thousands of people without health insurance. […]

More than 1.2 million non-disabled working-age adults receive Medicaid in Illinois, and most do work. Two-thirds of Illinois’ non-disabled and non-elderly Medicaid recipients hold a full-time or part-time job, and more than 80 percent are part of working families, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s analysis of 2016 Census data. Many others are caregivers or go to school. […]

Work requirements also are opposed by the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, which advocates for more than 200 hospitals and nearly 50 health systems in the state. The group believes work requirements would limit access to care and leave hospitals picking up the tab for uninsured patients.

Thoughts on this?

* Related…

* Another Illinois Medicaid shake-up threatens hospitals: For years, nearly every Illinois hospital has paid into a pot of money that helps the state bring in more federal dollars. But the program, effectively a tax on hospitals, is dated and doesn’t reflect how much the health care industry has changed… The reality is that a lot has changed. Low-income Chicago neighborhoods that surround safety-net hospitals have emptied out, dwindling their patient base. The push toward outpatient care means fewer people need to be hospitalized. At the same time, the state expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leading to crops of new patients who sought care elsewhere. The bottom line: The current assessment program doesn’t reflect where Medicaid patients seek treatment. “It’s a tough process to renegotiate,” said Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat who is among the state lawmakers working to redesign the program. “Every hospital in the state is affected. There will be winners and there will be losers.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


AFSCME files Janus brief

Friday, Jan 12, 2018

* Press release…

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) submitted today its brief on the merits of the corporate-backed Supreme Court Case, Janus v. AFSCME Council 31.

Enclosed you will find the merits brief that AFSCME submitted to the Supreme Court today, along with a summary of this brief. If facts, law, and precedent matter, all nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in favor of working people in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 – just as they did more than 40 years ago when they found the state and local governments’ system of ordering their labor relations to be constitutional.

Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 is nothing more than a politically-motivated assault on the freedom of working people to earn a better life and an attempt to further rig the rules in favor of billionaires and corporate interests. In these turbulent times, marked by division and attacks on fact and reason, we hope the Supreme Court will consider carefully the facts, precedent, decades of labor peace and stability, and the motivations behind those seeking to undo it.

Now more than ever in the modern era, Americans must be able to trust their governmental institutions. Just as millions of Americans who rely on public service workers to keep their water clean, care for their families in hospitals, and respond to their emergencies quickly and professionally, millions of public service workers now rely on nine Supreme Court justices to decide this case on its merits — not on the ideological animus of the billionaires and corporate interests who are funding this blatant effort to silence the voices of workers.

The brief is here.

* From its introduction

In Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977), this Court confirmed the constitutionality of “fair-share fees” to finance collective-bargaining activi- ties of unions obligated under state law to represent both union members and non-members. Abood should be reaffirmed.

Abood accords with the First Amendment’s original meaning, which afforded public employees no rights against curtailments of free speech in the workplace setting. Overturning Abood would thus mark a radical departure from the original understanding of the Constitution. Abood also aligns with more recent jurisprudence deferring to government management decisions by upholding public employers’ rights to limit employee speech as contrasted with citizen speech. This Court’s application of Abood to other non-employment contexts highlights its stature as foundational First Amendment precedent.

Nearly half the States have relied on Abood in their labor-relations systems. Currently, 22 States permit fair-share fees for public employees, two (Michigan and Wisconsin) permit agency fees for some public employees, and 26 States prohibit fair-share fees or public-sector collective bargaining completely. As this diversity of viewpoints reflects, the Framers’ design functions well when States are “laboratories of democracy.” State legislatures often debate these issues and periodically change their policies. Overruling Abood would remove this issue from the people and their elected representatives and override their policy judgments about managing public workforces.

Petitioner asks this Court to upend the collective-bargaining systems of many States – in a jurisdictionally flawed case without any record – based on numerous unsupported and inaccurate factual assertions. For example, petitioner claims all collective bargaining is inherently political and employees choose not to join unions because they object to the union’s collective-bargaining positions. Those assertions are false – and unsupported by an evidentiary record.

This Court’s jurisprudence should rest on evidence, not fiction, and arise out of cases over which the Court has subject-matter jurisdiction, which is lacking here. If the Court considers re-evaluating Abood necessary, it should await a case with a factual record that does not require overruling or ignoring a century-old jurisdictional rule.

- Posted by Rich Miller   80 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** ISBE warns Rauner veto could cause “disruption and confusion for all 852 school districts”

Friday, Jan 12, 2018

* Illinois State Board of Education press release…

ISBE is committed to advocating for the best education system for Illinois to serve districts most in need. Last year the General Assembly passed landmark legislation that changed the way in which schools are funded in Illinois. While the State Board was working to implement PA 100-465 as passed by the General Assembly, it was discovered that the adequacy targets of 178 school districts would unfairly include local resources that those districts are not able to access – to the sum of $37.8 million. According to the sponsors of the initial legislation, this was not the intent of the legislature. To correct this large drafting error, the State Board requested the changes included in SB 444 (Manar/Davis) and requested that the Governor sign the bill that was approved by the General Assembly as soon as possible. On the last possible day, the Governor issued an amendatory veto to SB 444 which has caused a disruption for the agency as it continues preparations for tier funding distribution as quickly as possible. If PA 100-465 is not changed in accordance with SB 444, there will be further disruption and confusion for all 852 school districts.

The new Evidence-Based Funding formula creates a distribution system where each district’s state allocation is directly related to and dependent upon the needs of all 852 school districts. If the changes included in SB 444 are not enacted, 178 school districts will see a reduction in funding based on their inability to access local resources. The State Board is continuing to gather and clean data needed to distribute tier funding as we wait for the General Assembly to act on this amendatory veto. Time is of the essence to ensure that what districts receive from the state this year is equitable and fair.

* From the governor’s office earlier this week

“We believe it is unfair for critics to say that this amendatory veto will delay implementation of SB 1947,” she said via email. “The Illinois State Board of Education continues to work on the new funding formula, and tier funding is still several months from being sent out.”

Sounds to me like the ISBE isn’t exactly on board with that thinking.

*** UPDATE *** Biss campaign…

Today, Daniel Biss released the following statement after the Illinois State Board of Education criticized Bruce Rauner for his amendatory veto of SB 444, the bill to fix errors in SB 1947, and for creating disruption for the agency and all 852 school districts.

“After jeopardizing public school funding by vetoing SB1 and then diverting tax dollars to private schools through a last-minute voucher program, Rauner is only adding to the confusion now by refusing to fix major drafting errors in the bill. Our students and teachers are again left to wonder if their schools will receive funding—and if Rauner cares at all.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      


AG race is getting bitter in a hurry

Friday, Jan 12, 2018

* The eight Democratic attorney general candidates met with the Sun-Times editorial board yesterday. The whole thing is definitely worth a read

And perceived frontrunner state Sen. Kwame Raoul, who on Thursday received the powerful endorsement of the AFL-CIO, took heat over a contribution from tobacco companies.

Raoul last year received 10 political contributions of $10,000 each from companies including Top Tubes, Republic Tobacco and Top Tobacco. Top is included in a national tobacco settlement enforced by Lisa Madigan that is still being negotiated in Illinois.

Sharon Fairley, who served as the chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, argued people “toe the line” they are given, while saying the contributions “fly in the face of the campaign finance laws.”

Jesse Ruiz, former Chicago Board of Education head, chimed in that the matter is still pending with the attorney general’s office.

“It will be most likely still pending when I become attorney general or if you were to be attorney general. That’s an advance bribe,” Ruiz said.

Raoul shot back at the accusation: “Coming from somebody who just stepped off of Exelon’s board and took a contribution.”

“You took Exelon money,” Fairley told Raoul.

“I did, but I’m not pointing fingers,” Raoul said.

* This campaign will definitely get more heated as we go along. Former Gov. Pat Quinn took off after two of his opponents earlier this week and they both fired back

Quinn noted that two of his opponents in the March Democratic primary, state Sen. Kwame Raoul of Chicago and former Chicago Board of Education President Jesse Ruiz, have accepted maximum campaign contributions of $11,100 each from Peoples Gas. Indeed, state disclosure records indicate that checks in that amount went to the candidates from the company on Dec. 29, as well an identical $11,100 to a third candidate, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering.

“I don’t think you can take on Peoples Gas if you’re on the payroll,” snapped Quinn. “You’ve got to have an attorney general who’s independent,” he added, clearly implying that some of his foes are not. […]

“I guess Gov. Quinn is hoping that his voters are either suffering from memory loss or stupid,” says a spokesman for Raoul, referring to $19,000 in campaign donations Quinn got from executives of Commonwealth Edison and its parent, Exelon, in 2009-10.

Said Ruiz in a statement, “Pat Quinn became something of an expert on ethical violations and cronyism during his troubled tenure as governor of Illinois. An investigation into the Illinois Department of Transportation found that Quinn’s office exerted pressure on lower-level state officials to ‘onboard low-level politically connected candidates,’ with ‘little regard for the actual hiring need or whether the politically connected candidates were qualified to perform the stated duties of the job.’ The Chicago Tribune reported that, during his unsuccessful 2014 bid for re-election, Quinn’s office ignored standard protocols in distributing grants from a $54 million anti-violence program.”

* There was even a dustup yesterday over an endorsement…

We are deeply disappointed by the decision of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action to exclude Jesse Ruiz from their Illinois Attorney General endorsement interview process.

As the only Latino candidate, Jesse Ruiz brings an important perspective to the office of Attorney General. Jesse is a strong and unwavering advocate for women’s reproductive health. As the chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education, and as vice president of the Chicago Board of Education, he was instrumental in making sure that public school students had access to accurate, complete sexual health information and contraceptive care. As a longtime supporter of Planned Parenthood, I am very proud to serve on Jesse Ruiz’s campaign.

As Planned Parenthood’s website notes: “All women have concerns when it comes to reproductive health, but for Latinas, the lack of access to quality health care has an impact that will be felt for generations…. Four in 10 Latinas will become pregnant before the age of 20, and Latina teens are 1 ½ times more likely than their white non-Latina peers to have a repeat teen birth.” In addition, Latinas are more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer than women of any other racial or ethnic group.

In Illinois and across our nation, Planned Parenthood is doing important work to protect women’s health and assure equity in reproductive care for women in all communities. We hope that, in future, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action will be more inclusive in its political process, to ensure that all voices are heard and considered on this fundamental issue.

* Planned Parenthood’s response…

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) communicated to the Jesse Ruiz campaign yesterday that the PPIA Board of Directors is in the ongoing process of evaluating and interviewing candidates. This morning, prior to Mr. Ruiz’s statement, we reached out to his staff and offered two date and time options for the candidate to meet with the PPIA Board of Directors. Mr. Ruiz’s office has not responded. We look forward to working with his campaign to get a meeting scheduled. Candidate interviews are have not been completed, nor have decisions been made in any races.​

* And the last word goes to the Ruiz campaign…

Jesse was not invited to participate in yesterday’s interviews with the Planned Parenthood Illinois Action board. In fact, he received a text yesterday from a board member asking why he wasn’t there.

Jesse received a text from a board member at 7:30 a.m. today, confirming that he had not been included in the candidate slate under consideration, and that the endorsement process took place yesterday. It was clear that they did not consider him a “viable candidate.”

After the board member notified us of their exclusionary decision, PPIA attempted to backtrack. But by then, as Jesse says, it was too little, too late.

This was an affront to the only Latino candidate in the race, and to the Latino community as a whole.

* Related…

* Candidate for Illinois attorney general robbed at gunpoint: Aaron Goldstein, 42, and several members of his campaign team were in the middle of taking publicity shots when the robbery happened, according to Goldstein’s campaign manager. The robbery took place about 3:25 p.m. in the 4600 block of North Albany Avenue in Albany Park, when three men in their early 20s approached them, according to a law-enforcement source. One of the men flashed a handgun and demanded the camera equipment and other personal belongings from the team, according to police.

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


Unclear on the concept

Friday, Jan 12, 2018

* Rep. Jeanne Ives campaign

Rauner Loses IEA Endorsement He Coveted to Pritzker

The IEA chose the big government Democrat over the big government Republican, despite Governor Rauner’s best efforts to cater to the IEA with Chicago Public School bailouts at the expense of suburban and downstate schools.

January 11, 2018 - The Illinois Education Association has announced it is endorsing Democrat J.B. Pritzker for governor. The 135,000 members of the IEA represent the state’s largest education employee’s organization.

“Republican teachers are reminded again that the union they are forced to fund is a far left-leaning activist group intent on growing government at all costs and bankrupting the state,” said State Representative Jeanne Ives, conservative reform Republican Candidate for Governor. “In his endeavor to betray all his promises of conservative reform, Governor Rauner attempted to woo the IEA with his ’state money for things, not students’ concept and massive CPS bailout on the backs of taxpayers. It must be disappointing that the IEA didn’t give him any consideration after all he did for them.”

* Pearson steps in

But suggesting Rauner is trying to suck up to the IEA by helping CPS doesn’t track. That’s because the IEA doesn’t represent CPS teachers. A different education labor umbrella group does — the Illinois Federation of Teachers, which is affiliated with the Chicago Teachers Union.

The new funding formula, which Rauner has touted as a major success, is currently in limbo after he issued an amendatory veto this week of a clean-up bill to allow more private schools to be considered for funds from a new private school tax-credit program.

At any rate, the IEA wasn’t going to give its endorsement to Rauner, who has made weakening union influence part of his long-standing agenda. Still, Ives referred to the union as “a far left-leaning activist group intent on growing government at all costs and bankrupting the state.”

The IEA has a traditionally more Republican-friendly history. In the 2014 Republican primary, the IEA and the IFT backed Kirk Dillard’s unsuccessful bid for governor over Rauner. In the past, the IEA also has backed GOP candidates for governor including Jim Thompson, Jim Edgar and George Ryan.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


Rate the new Rauner digital ad

Friday, Jan 12, 2018

* Press release…

Today, Citizens for Rauner launched a new digital ad to complement the 60-second TV ad released on Wednesday.

Pritzker was caught on FBI wiretaps encouraging Blagojevich to engage in a quid pro quo with Mike Madigan, opening up a statewide position to which Pritzker could be appointed.

Wednesday’s ad is just part of a much longer tape containing conversations between Blagojevich and Pritzker. Those tapes and transcripts can be found at pritzkerblago.com.

The ad released today focuses on the core themes from the longer 60-second version: Pritzker hoping for a jumpstart to his political career by helping Blagojevich’s campaign bank account.

It’s time for Illinois to know the truth about JB Pritzker.

* The ad

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      


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