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Drury, Mariotti survive ballot challenges

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

* Pending litigation, if any…

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      

Dems pounce on Greitens development

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

* DGA…

Today, the Democratic Governors Association called on Governor Bruce Rauner to rescind the endorsement from Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, following a KMOV report that Greitens was accused of blackmailing a mistress to keep his extramarital affair silent.

Rauner’s campaign has spent $1.3 million dollars on an ad featuring governors of neighboring states, including Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, that has been running pretty consistently since October. And Rauner’s been a big fan of Greitens, sending him a check for $100,000 just a year-and-a-half ago.

Rauner’s response? Well, the ad has been quietly taken off his YouTube account. (Don’t worry, it’s still available here.) And when Rauner’s team was asked if they would take down the ad, they simply said it had run its course anyway.

“Bruce Rauner must renounce the support of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens and promise to stop using him in ads,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Bruce Rauner proudly accepted Governor Greitens’ endorsement this year; now it’s time for him to rescind it. Governor Rauner cannot simply wish-away the $1.3 million he spent promoting Gov. Greitens in Illinois.”

* Pritzker campaign…

Bruce Rauner-ally Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is under fire after KMOV published a shocking and disturbing report: “In a recording obtained by News 4, a woman says she had a sexual encounter with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and that he tried to blackmail her to keep the encounter quiet.”

Rauner is closely allied with Greitens, airing campaign commercials featuring the Missouri governor badmouthing Illinois and previously contributing $100,000 to his political campaign. After these disturbing allegations, will Bruce Rauner ask Eric Greitens to resign?

“Our failed governor is a close ally of Greitens, but Bruce Rauner has quietly pulled ads featuring him from TV, while remaining silent on the Missouri governor’s behavior,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Eric Greitens is accused of engaging in disgusting conduct that disqualifies him from holding public office, but will Bruce Rauner call for his resignation?”

- Posted by Rich Miller   43 Comments      

Potential Madigan foe kicked off ballot

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

* Ted Slowik has a petition challenge story that shouldn’t be missed. It’s about Mat Tomkowiak, who filed to run against Speaker Madigan for 3rd State Central Democratic Committeeman.

Tomkowiak only needed 100 valid signatures, but the Madigan people had whittled his total down to just 107 before bringing in a handwriting expert, 80-year-old Diane Marsh of Westchester

Tomkowiak, who represented himself, challenged Marsh’s credentials, saying some of the professional organizations that certified her skills ceased to exist years ago. Hearing officer Bernadette Matthews, the state board’s assistant executive director, dismissed Tomkowiak’s line of questioning as “speculative” or “lacking foundation.”

Matthews also ruled that Tomkowiak could not submit 38 affidavits he obtained from people who swore that they had, in fact, signed his petitions. The deadline was Friday to submit evidence to be considered at the hearing, Matthews said.

Tomkowiak pleaded that submitting the affidavits prior to the hearing would have allowed the handwriting expert to know which signatures had supporting evidence of authenticity.

“Can you see how that is unfair to me?” he asked.

Matthews deemed the affidavits inadmissible.

“My job as hearing officer is not to rule on the motives or intent of the objectors,” Matthews said.

Across the table from Tomkowiak sat Michael Kasper, general counsel for Madigan’s Illinois Democratic Party. Kasper, wearing a dark suit and bow tie, is a highly skilled attorney who successfully argued the Illinois Supreme Court should strike down the 2016 ballot initiative known as the Illinois Independent Redistricting Map Amendment.

Go read the rest, but (spoiler alert!) it ended as expected today…

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      

Question of the day

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

* I was determined to make this a normal workday, with a subscriber edition and a full day of blogging. Well, I’m not gonna make it. I need a nap. This bug has really got me. I’ll be back in a couple of hours or so.

In the meantime, if you click here you’ll see Chris Kennedy’s economic plan. Take some time to read it through and then let us know what you think of it. Greg Hinz did a quick write-up as well.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      

Rauner overcorrects on Rivian

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

* Bernie writes about how Gov. Rauner can’t seem to get his story straight on the proposed Rivian Automotive plant

Last month, Rauner brought up the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal when doing an interview on a southern Illinois radio station, telling the Carterville-based WJPF audience that he couldn’t find another auto company to buy the facility.

“No auto company wants to invest in Illinois because of (House Speaker MICHAEL) MADIGAN’s power, because of regulations and the taxes,” Rauner said in that interview.

He didn’t mention then that Rivian Automotive had purchased the plant, or that he himself had appeared there last March with its CEO.

Well, on Sunday, a Rauner campaign Twitter account had a post that said in part: “We brought Rivian Automotive and 1,500 new jobs to Normal.”

Sounds good, but the state isn’t quite there yet. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has promised $49 million in tax credits over 15 years if the company creates 1,000 new full-time jobs by the end of 2024. That state deal — granted by the Rauner administration — also initially calls for at least 35 new jobs by the end of 2018.

I still have trouble believing that this Rivian thing is really gonna happen.

* Related…

* Google eyes Chicago for up to 5,000-job office

* Chicago VC deals top $1 billion for first time since 2000

* Why more Chicago hospitals are getting into the housing business

* Wisconsin launches $1 million ad blitz to lure Chicago’s ‘disillusioned’ millennials

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      

“Rauner was treated like a conquering hero”

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

* Not a great lede from the Tribune

More than two years after Legionnaire’s disease killed a dozen residents at a state-run veterans home in Quincy, Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday said he would convene a task force to look at how to best overhaul the facility and prevent another outbreak. […]

The governor, however, provided little in the way of details about how he plans to achieve that, beyond laying out some broad ideas for the task force to explore. That includes the possibility of replacing pipes, exploring whether to change the water source from the nearby Mississippi River, and constructing a new building on campus to improve resident rooms.


Even so, the governor received the most positive media coverage since before his staff purges.

* AP

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner emerged Wednesday from a weeklong stay at a military veterans home beset by a deadly Legionnaires’ outbreak and announced that the state would replace the plumbing at the sprawling, 130-year-old site.

He told reporters that cutting-edge water distribution would quickly advance his goal of “zero risk” of Legionnaires’ at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy, where the disease has contributed to the deaths of 13 residents since 2015 and sickened dozens more veterans and staff members.

“The goal is, latest technology on material, latest technology on water flow,” Rauner said. “We do not want any places where any water could be standing for any period of time.”

Rauner, a Republican, also said he would assemble a group of experts to determine whether a state-of-the-art dorm should be built and whether a safer groundwater source was available for the home.

* ABC 7 topped the AP

Gov. Bruce Rauner showered and drank the water at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy for the last week during his stay at the facility where 13 people have died of Legionnaires’ disease since 2015.

On Wednesday, Rauner held a press conference to talk about his stay at the veterans home where he ate and slept with residents. He also laid out his long-term plans for addressing water safety concerns.

“What I’ve determined being here and living here is, okay, let’s take it to the next level. Now let’s fundamentally change, replace and upgrade our water systems for this campus,” said Rauner, who toured the 200-acre campus and followed the water management team around during his stay.

The governor said they will be developing plans for a new plumbing system and work could begin in the coming weeks. He said he has secured a funding commitment from lawmakers, but will be looking to federal partners and philanthropists to contribute.

* Sun-Times

He slept in the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. He drank the water. He got schooled in “Connect Four.” And he walked to the public shower with a towel wrapped around his waist.

Breaking his public silence after spending a week at the troubled state-run home, Gov. Bruce Rauner also said he wants to replace and upgrade “water systems” there and is considering the possibility of a brand-new facility on the campus.

* CBS 2 topped them all

Since 2015, 13 veterans have died from a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. Now, after his weeklong stay at the troubled home, Gov. Bruce Rauner is vowing to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The governor has taken some heat for the response to the outbreak. Now, however, CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley reports Rauner received nothing but love while promising change.

In fact, after seven days of visits, chats, card games, shared meals, and even the same medical tests as the residents, Rauner was treated like a conquering hero.

* Meanwhile, you don’t usually see state government press releases issued on a Sunday, but IDPH did just that on January 7th

A water pipe in the building that houses the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Chicago Laboratory at 2121 W. Taylor St. in Chicago burst Sunday morning, damaging several areas of the laboratory and pieces of equipment. IDPH has notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Illinois Central Management Services. Emergency clean-up crews are on site.

The IDPH Chicago laboratory performs testing for environmental hazards, arboviruses, pathogens, newborn screening, novel diseases and potential biological threat agents. Examples include Zika virus, Ebola, Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, influenza, measles, tuberculosis, meningitis, rabies, cystic fibrosis, plague, environmental lead, and more./blockquote>

OK, so that release seems quite responsible. All sorts of bad things could’ve happened (Ebola!), so the public should most definitely have been made aware of the potential hazards as soon as possible.

But if IDPH could immediately notify the public about the flooding of its testing lab, why do its top officials still insist that waiting 6 days to tell residents and their families about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease was perfectly fine?

…Adding… Press release…

Irked by three years of inaction from Gov. Bruce Rauner, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) filed legislation this week to begin fixing infrastructure problems at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

“Governor Rauner has had three years to come up with a long-term solution to protect these heroes of our nation, and during that time, 13 people have died from the spread of Legionnaire’s disease,” Cullerton said. “My hope is this time the governor will realize the severity of inaction and do his job to provide our veterans the service and care they deserve, not more bureaucratic red tape and band aids.”

Cullerton aimed to kick start progress at the facility by filing Senate Bill 2308, which would authorize infrastructure improvements at Illinois’ flagship veterans home. The improvements would include updates to the water systems or new construction to prevent the spread of Legionella bacteria.

A veteran himself, Cullerton serves as the Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and is leading the way to a legislative fix to the spread of Legionnaire’s disease at any Illinois veterans home.

State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills), the chief sponsor of the bill in the House, is working on building a bipartisan coalition to ensure speedy passage in that chamber once the bill clears the Senate.

During the Veterans Affairs Committee hearing this week, Gov. Rauner’s agency directors made their first request for additional funding to begin construction and renovations at the veterans facility despite the three-year outbreak and 13 deaths at the facility.

“If we in the general assembly knew additional funds were needed to improve living conditions and eliminate risk factors for Legionella at this facility, it would have been approved in a heartbeat,” Cullerton said. “Sadly, we are once again waiting on the governor for answers and results.”

On Wednesday, the governor punctuated a weeklong, well-publicized stay at the Quincy facility with a theatrical press conference calling for funding to either fix water piping systems throughout the complex or build a whole new facility.

“The Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy is a home for our heroes. Not a hotel for the governor to check in and out of,” Cullerton said. “Now that he’s had his picture taken, I would hope the governor’s office will submit legislative language within the next week to begin discussions on how to prevent the death of even one more United States Veteran.”

While Cullerton is committed to fixing the problems with the infrastructure at the facility, he said he was impressed by the care and the staff at the facility during a recent tour.

“The care and service residents receive there is exceptional,” he said. “The staff comes to work every day and gives our veterans and their loved ones their very best. Still, our heroes shouldn’t have to wait three years for the governor’s “world-class” work.”

Cullerton is hoping to have some answers from the governor’s office within the next week.

“At the end of the day, 13 brave heroes have died on the governor’s watch,” Cullerton said. “We cannot afford to lose another warrior to a preventable disease. Let’s get to work and give our veterans the service and care they deserve.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** Chicago GOP follows its leader and endorses Ives

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

* I’m not sure how this is a “major upset” since the party’s chairman was recently kicked out of state GOP headquarters because of his strong support for Jeanne Ives’ campaign. Chairman Chris Cleveland countered by saying: “I ask that you prevail upon Bruce Rauner to stop the petty retribution. This is the Republican Party, not the mob.”

But, anyway, from a press release…

In a major upset, the Central Committee of the Chicago Republican Party voted 17 to 3 with 2 abstentions to back conservative challenger Jeanne Ives over incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner. The vote took place Wednesday evening at a general meeting of the city’s Republican ward committeemen.

Ives spoke to the group for nearly an hour before the vote. Governor Rauner had been invited to speak, but declined to do so. Rauner has avoided large gatherings of Republicans since signing a bill to create taxpayer-funded abortions earlier in the year.

“Jeanne impressed everyone with her determination to hit the state’s problems head-on. She also showed a command of policy details,” said Chris Cleveland, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party.

“It’s almost unheard of for a regular Republican organization to fail to endorse an incumbent governor,” said Cleveland. “The people in the room felt that Rauner had betrayed them.”

The vote kicks off a season of endorsement sessions by county and township Republican organizations in the run-up to the March primary. So far, two suburban organizations have announced endorsements, both for Ives.

The decision by the Chicago Republican Party to back Ives is significant because of the sheer number of votes produced by the City of Chicago. Republicans in the city produce 5% of the Republican primary vote, and 7.5% of the Republican vote in a general election. The number of Republican votes in the city is larger than the number produced by any county except Cook and DuPage. Primary voters often look to local party organizations for guidance on candidate selection.

* From Rep. Ives…

“I am proud to have won the confidence of the Chicago GOP. They are warriors for transparency and small government reforms in a city run almost exclusively by the Chicago Machine. Their bold advocacy will be critical to stoking the revolt, so that we can deliver the conservative reforms Illinoisans were promised in 2014, before Governor Rauner’s wholesale betrayal of the GOP. “

*** UPDATE *** Press release…


Chicago, IL – It has come to the attention of Cook County Republican Central Committee Chairman Sean M. Morrison that the Chicago Republican Party led by Mr. Chris Cleveland recently held a meeting of its club. Mr. Cleveland’s expressed intent for this meeting was to usurp the statutory authority of the Cook County Republican Party and its Chairman by illegitimately claiming the authority to appoint individuals to the position of Ward Committeeman.

Chairman Morrison believes that it’s imperative to publicly clarify that the Chicago Republican Party is a private club and holds no statutory authority within the Cook County Republican Central Committee. Thus, Mr. Cleveland has no authority to make any appointments to the position of Ward Committeeman and to indicate otherwise is pure deception.

“I recognize that Mr. Cleveland plays a very prominent role as Campaign Chair for the Jeanne Ives campaign for governor and he has a right to support the candidate of his choice. But, that does not mean that he can manipulate the use and influence of his role as Chairman of the Chicago Republican Club to mislead individuals into the belief that he can appoint them to the position of Ward Committeeman. His sole intent was to manufacture some sort of perceived endorsement for his candidate Jeanne Ives,” said Chairman Morrison.

Mr. Cleveland’s actions are nothing more than a blatant exploitation of his club and its By-Laws and are eerily reminiscent of the actions taken by former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz when she helped rig the DNC support and primary election in favor of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Mr. Cleveland’s unilateral actions are an attempt to de-legitimize the vote and influence of every single Republican Committeeman in Cook County.

Deputy Chairman Aaron Del Mar added, “Mr. Cleveland’s deceitful actions have raised grave concern from numerous legitimate Republican Committeemen throughout Cook County. These actions appear to indicate a level of desperation on behalf of the Jeanne Ives campaign for governor. I’m hopeful Jeanne Ives had no previous knowledge of this rigged endorsement stunt and I call on her to publicly disavow Chris Cleveland and the devious actions he took on behalf of her campaign. I would also hope that this is not an indication on how she would govern, if elected.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      

Kennedy denies claim that he asked for Emanuel’s endorsement

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

* Mayor Emanuel’s people have been talking up this Chris Kennedy angle most of the week

The mayor also said the heir to the iconic Massachusetts political family had asked for Emanuel’s endorsement.

Kennedy on Wednesday denied it.

“I did not. No,” Kennedy told reporters. “I didn’t do that, and frankly, I’m not sure his endorsement would be helpful with the voters.” […]

“Yes, he did ask,” Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins said later. “Chris knows the truth.”

* A source close to the mayor sent me this quote for publication…

“Sure, he didn’t ask for the Mayor’s support. Just like he didn’t ask Mike Madigan and John Cullerton for support. Just like he didn’t seek organized labor’s support. Just like didn’t ask for Toni Preckwinkle’s or Dick Durbin’s support. It’s one thing to try to rewrite history and cast yourself as an outsider. It’s another thing when that history was just last year.”

* So, there should be little doubt who was circulating this video yesterday

It looks like Chris Kennedy may have stepped on his own foot with accusations that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is behind a “strategic gentrification plan” to push blacks out of Chicago.

On Wednesday, while the gubernatorial Democratic candidate was unveiling an economic plan that he claimed would help stem the “mass exodus” of minorities from the city, a YouTube video of Kennedy praising Emanuel’s leadership in 2014 was making the rounds.

The video shows Kennedy, framed by shots of cranes and renderings of a luxury high-rise tower, comparing Emanuel to Joe Kennedy.

“He saw something in Chicago that he thought was extraordinary … It had stable and powerful political leadership, and it had a confident group of business leaders … Those factors were at work 60 years ago, and now with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s leadership, they are still true in Chicago today,” Kennedy said at the time.

The video is here.

To me, this is much ado about very little. It’s just politics. I meet with you about a possible endorsement, you go with someone else, I attack you. Such is life. The difference being that the Chicago media always works itself into a frenzy whenever any politician attacks the mayor. And not just this mayor, either.

* But this part of Mary Mitchell’s column was interesting to me

Interestingly enough, usually in a planned development like Wolf Point Tower, a certain number of units have to be set aside for affordable housing. But with the help of a zoning lawyer, the Wolf Point project was able to avoid that requirement.

“It is nearly impossible when a building is 70 stories tall to create affordable housing because the construction cost itself is probably three times more expensive,” Kennedy told me, adding that the zoning for the land was put in place in 1973 when he was in grade school. […]

“Our new residents eat in restaurants and engage in neighborhood activities which provide entry level jobs to low skilled workers at a living wage,” he said.

Who knew that Chris Kennedy was a big fan of trickle down economics?

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner campaign blasts Pritzker defense

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

* Will Allison at the Rauner campaign…

Hey, all-

In response to our new TV ad featuring JB Pritzker encouraging Blago to engage in a quid pro quo, the Pritzker campaign issued a puzzling response.

Here’s a quick reality check:

Pritzker Claim: “JB was never accused of wrongdoing”

Reality Check: Just because Pritzker was lucky enough to avoid an indictment that doesn’t mean what he did was aboveboard or morally right. Pritzker encouraging Blago to pull off a quid pro quo so he could personally benefit should set off alarms for anyone concerned about corruption.

Pritzker Claim: The tapes are “selectively edited”

Reality Check: Nope. Just as the ad states, the audio was completely unedited. However, due to the laws of physics, we weren’t able to squeeze 11 minutes of phone conversations into a single 60-second TV spot. So if the Pritzker campaign would like to listen to the whole thing, we’ve got it posted here:

Pritzker Claim: These are “nine-year-old tapes”

Reality Check: Surely JB Pritzker, as a lawyer, is aware that voters don’t have a statute of limitations. While this conversation happened in 2008, no one even knew about it until last May. Essentially claiming “but it was a long time ago” is a weak defense for an episode that demonstrates the nature of J.B. Pritzker’s character.

Some good points, although “lucky enough to avoid an indictment” is a bit much. There is zero evidence that Pritzker was even a minor target back then. The government never released the audio and neither did the judge, which probably says something. We only know about this because the Tribune published the audio, which had been sealed by a federal judge.

* Anyway, let’s look at what Blagojevich says on that particular tape

Ok, so, but, what if, and I’m telling ya this could happen, because I know how Madigan is, he says ‘I’ll give ya health care, I’ll give ya a capital bill, OK. We’ll work with you to balance the budget the way you want to do it and I’ll raise taxes on people…and you make Lisa the senator, OK?’

Speaker Madigan wouldn’t even consent to be in the same room as Rod Blagojevich by that point. Madigan refused to approve a capital bill because he believed Rod and his pals would steal every dime. But he’s gonna give away the store so his daughter could be appointed to a Senate seat she didn’t want?

The man was beyond delusional.

*** UPDATE *** Pritzker campaign…

Bruce Rauner is getting desperate. With no accomplishments to run on and growing turmoil surrounding the Quincy Veterans’ Home, this failed governor is desperate to distract from his failed record and inability to lead. Here are five of Desperate Rauner’s countless crises that he would like voters to ignore:
1. LEGIONNAIRES CRISIS TAKES 13 LIVES: Rauner’s fatal mismanagement of the Legionnaires crisis in Quincy led to 13 deaths and 11 families suing the state for negligence. After seeing the “beginning of an epidemic,” the Rauner administration waited six days to notify the public and residents’ families of an outbreak in 2015. Two more outbreaks occurred each year afterwards, but Rauner’s agency heads continue to defend their failed response. Rauner still refuses to take responsibility.

2. DAMAGE DONE FROM HIS BUDGET CRISIS: At social service agencies and medical providers across the state, services were cut, hours were reduced, staff were let go, and some were forced to close altogether. State bonds were downgraded to one notch above junk status while the bill backlog tripled to historic highs. After 736-days, Republicans and Democrats came together to end Rauner’s historic crisis.

3. SCHOOL FUNDING JEOPARDIZED: Rauner vetoed the first bipartisan school funding formula, then claimed credit for passing the historic legislation, only to amendatory veto a trailer bill that now puts the entire formula at risk.

4. MEDICAID DEAL COSTS SKYROCKETED: Rauner’s MCO scheme violated procurement law, skyrocketed in cost overnight, and has been shrouded in secrecy from day one. This historically massive deal could jeopardize Medicaid in Illinois as dangerously low reimbursement rates threaten to upend the entire system.

5. SECRET SCANDALS: Former communications chief Diana Rickert is suing Rauner for the public release of emails from First Lady Diana Rauner and top administration officials regarding a state agency and HB 40. Former General Counsel Dennis Murashko also abruptly resigned after penning an ethics memo on the separation of Rauner’s political and government operations.

“After spending three years lurching from crisis to crisis, Bruce Rauner is desperate to distract from his failed record as governor,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “With his fatal mismanagement of the Legionnaires crisis, damage done to working families across the state, brewing scandals, and new school funding turmoil, this Desperate Rauner can’t run on his record so he’s running scared from the truth.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      

Chad Hays fires away

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

* Retiring GOP state Rep. Chad Hays spoke at a recent event and gave what he called “the most unvarnished presentation of my career.” He talked about several things, including last summer’s bipartisan budget deal

“The fact of the matter is that had we not done something, the income tax rate would have been much higher than it is now, the unpaid bills would have been around toward $25 billion, headed toward $30 billion. Let that wash over you for a minute. We only had $15 billion of unpaid bills. If it gets to $25 or even $30 billion, the entire general revenue budget is only $36 billion. We could have been facing a situation at the end of this fiscal year where the unpaid bills in this state were as high as the general revenue taken in by the state. Can you imagine such a thing?” […]

Hays again disputed the claim advanced by some Republicans that the GOP lawmakers who broke ranks and worked with Democrats on the tax and budget issue overturned work being done by other Republicans.

“From my perspective, I hung in there a long, long, long, long time, and we were no closer to a budget the first of July last year than on the day the governor took office. We were not. Anyone who tells you that wasn’t there. And if they were there, they weren’t in a room where the negotiation was actually happening. And I’ve told those people that to their face. They know it.

* I liked this analogy

“From the minority, any candidate who tells you that we’re just going to go over there and we’re going to tell them [in the majority party] how it’s done and we’re going to crack them in the back of the head with a 2 by 4 because if we hit them hard enough, they’re going to come around to our way of thinking, that sounds great. But the likelihood of that happening with the head count the way it is in the General Assembly (a 67-51 Democratic advantage in the House; 37-22 Democrats in the Senate) is nonexistent. This notion that we’re going to go over there and hit a 3-run home run and we’re going to drive everybody in (while in the minority) is fool’s gold.

“Let me tell you how it really happens in the minority, using a baseball analogy. You beat out an infield hit, you steal second and you bunt the guy to third and you score on a wild pitch. And you plant your flag in the ground and you take the progress you made and you live to fight another day. That’s reality.”

Go read the whole thing. Lots of good stuff in that Kacich piece.

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      

Rauner pulls “Thanks, Mike Madigan” TV ad after Missouri scandal breaks

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

* Mary Ann Ahern

A campaign ad for Gov. Bruce Rauner featuring embattled Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens will no longer be airing in Illinois, a spokesperson for Rauner said Thursday.

“It was pulled to run the Blago ad and won’t be running anymore,” said spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski.

News of the ad being pulled follows a bombshell news report as Greitens on Wednesday night acknowledged that he’s been “unfaithful” in his marriage. Greitens denied allegations that he blackmailed the woman he had an extramarital affair with to stay quiet.

The Republican governor and his wife released a statement after the St. Louis television station KMOV reported that he had a sexual relationship with his former hairdresser in 2015. The station’s report, released late Wednesday after Greitens gave his State of the State address, said the woman’s ex-husband alleged Greitens photographed her nude and threatened to publicize the images if she spoke about the affair.

The YouTube version also appears to have been pulled down.

* Background

KMOV, leaning on the recorded conversations, reported that Greitens invited the woman to his house and “scared her” by blindfolding her, photographing her and telling her not to talk about it.

The ex-husband described Greitens’ taking nude pictures of the woman as “blackmail,” and he and his attorney, Al Watkins, said they had been in contact with law enforcement recently, KMOV reported.

The woman told her ex-husband on the recording that Greitens apologized afterward and said he had deleted the photograph, KMOV reported.

The ex-husband’s attorney, Watkins, released a statement after they were asked about KMOV’s report.

“When a person in a position of power decides to belly up to the bar, it is always wise to belly all the way up,” Watkins said in an email. Asked for clarification, he continued: “I am strongly suggesting a fully forthcoming acknowledgment of his actions is a far more prudent course to pursue than a statement crafted to minimize his role and the ensuing devastation which inured to the detriment of innocents.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      

Personal PAC endorses Pritzker

Thursday, Jan 11, 2018

* Another big get…

Today, Personal PAC endorsed JB Pritzker for governor. For nearly 30 years, Personal PAC has fought to protect and advance reproductive rights for women in Illinois. With the endorsement, Personal PAC joins Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois AFL-CIO, and over 30 individual unions in support of JB Pritzker.

“With Donald Trump trying to dismantle women’s rights in Washington, and with Bruce Rauner failing to stand up to him in Springfield, we are in the fight of our lives to defend women’s rights in Illinois,” said JB Pritzker. “I am so proud to stand with an organization on the frontlines of that fight. The women and men at Personal PAC are fierce and unwavering advocates for women’s health and the right to choose. When HB 40 came before Bruce Rauner’s desk, we stood together and demanded that Bruce Rauner sign it into law. Together, we will keep fighting for women’s rights in every corner of this state. Personal PAC knows how to win and that’s exactly what we’re going to do in this election.”

“Personal PAC is proud to join U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos, Mike Quigley and Luis Gutierrez, Secretary of State Jesse White, Comptroller Susana Mendoza, Treasurer Mike Frerichs, HB 40 Sponsors Senator Heather Steans and Representative Sara Feigenholtz, Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia, Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers, Illinois AFL-CIO, Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), Illinois Education Association (IEA), Illinois Democratic County Chair’s Association and many others throughout Illinois in uniting behind JB Pritzker as the strongest pro-choice candidate in the Democratic primary and November general election,” said Personal PAC Board Chair Melissa Widen. “JB understands that reproductive rights are under attack in Illinois and across the country, and he has demonstrated a deep commitment to supporting pro-choice candidates, organizations and legislation. JB was a strong advocate for HB 40 and his campaign led a coordinated effort to pressure Gov. Rauner to sign the bill. Illinois needs a real pro-choice Governor who can be counted on to protect women and families at every turn.”

“It has become extremely clear to Personal PAC and most people in the State of Illinois that Bruce Rauner simply can’t be trusted to tell the truth,” said Personal PAC President & CEO Terry Cosgrove. “While Governor Rauner eventually did the right thing by signing HB 40, he took every conceivable position on the bill in the space of months, told different people different things at the same time, caused pro-choice advocates to spend countless hours and dollars getting him to keep his original written promise until he finally signed the bill. There is not a single pro-choice advocate in Illinois who can say with any certainty that if Gov. Rauner were re-elected, he would oppose the efforts to repeal HB 40. He sadly cannot be trusted to keep his word from one day to the next. On the other hand, Personal PAC has every confidence that JB Pritzker’s unwavering commitment to reproductive justice over several decades will ensure that Pritzker will be a pro-choice Governor that Illinois will be proud of every single day.”

* This probably didn’t help Rauner’s case, either

Facing a primary challenge amid Republican unrest over his expansion of taxpayer-funded abortions, Gov. Bruce Rauner is offering a new answer to why abortion opponents should support him: Look at what his wallet has done.

“I am the strongest supporter of candidates for office who are pro-life. Nobody has worked harder to elect pro-life Republicans than I have and I remind everybody of that. I have fought hard,” Rauner said Friday on WJPF-AM 1340 in Herrin when asked what he was telling angry social conservatives.

“I supported Bill Brady when he ran. I’m supporting Erika Harold,” the governor said of the unsuccessful 2010 GOP candidate for governor and current Republican contender for attorney general, respectively. “I’m supporting legislators who are pro-life. I am a strong ally and strong supporter for pro-life candidates.”

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* Question of the day
* Next week's House session cancelled
* *** UPDATED x2 - Pritzker "Did Chris Kennedy Just Endorse Bruce Rauner?" - Kennedy campaign tries to explain *** Kennedy says Rauner "should be applauded" for "trying to do what he thinks is best for the state of Illinois"
* Sen. Donne Trotter retires
* Illinois payrolls were up just 0.5 percent last year
* Vitriol continues in Durkin's primary race
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Judge clears courtroom in Rauner lawsuit hearing
* You can't "fully inform" voters without money
* State agrees to a $400 million consent decree
* Rate Prizker's new online ad
* Rauner gets another property tax press pop
* Emanuel pokes Rauner over Amazon comments
* Rauner's new Pritzker ad cost just $11,900
* Kennedy unveils health care plan
* Gov. Rauner gets his own blog
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