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Rauner to launch “People’s Pledge” campaign tomorrow

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* He’s been talking about doing this for weeks and weeks. From a media advisory…

Tomorrow, Governor Rauner will attend an event in Marion hosted by the House Republican Organization to launch the People’s Pledge campaign across the state. The People’s Pledge states that candidates for the State House of Representatives, when elected, will vote for term limits on all elected officials and for anyone other than Mike Madigan for Speaker of the House, making state government accountable to hardworking Illinoisans.

Taxes, Madigan, corruption, toilets. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The big question for me, though, is whether he’s finally going to drop some big bucks into the HRO’s coffers. Money talks, pledge gimmicks walk.

…Adding… From HRO…

“Mike Madigan has been in office for over 47 years, driving Illinois into the ground and personally profiting along the way. That’s wrong. With ‘The People’s Pledge,’ Illinois voters can hold candidates for state representative accountable by demanding they support term limits for lawmakers and constitutional officers and oppose Madigan as House Speaker. Together, the people of Illinois can take control of Springfield and end Madigan’s grip on power once and for all.” - House Republican Organization Political Director Joe Woodward

Today, House Republicans announced the creation of The People’s Pledge, a campaign to end Madigan’s grip on power and hold candidates for state representative across Illinois accountable by asking them two simple, yet powerful, questions:

    1) Do you pledge to support a term limits referendum that would amend the Illinois Constitution to term-limit state lawmakers and statewide officeholders?
    2) Do you pledge to oppose Mike Madigan’s speakership, voting to deny him another term as Speaker of the Illinois House?

The people of Illinois know that term limits are not a partisan issue. Public opinion polls show that over 80% of voters across the political spectrum support term limits on state lawmakers and statewide constitutional officers. Republicans, independents and Democrats across Illinois support term limits, but Mike Madigan and his allies are standing in the way.

    Madigan has held onto power for so long primarily because Illinois lacks term limits. Madigan and his lawyers have repeatedly blocked voter attempts to put it on the ballot. Madigan runs for office year after year, amassing more power and profiting along the way. That’s wrong. With term limits, we can hold state government accountable and make sure Illinois has no more ‘Madigans’ who accumulate power.

Together, the people of Illinois can hold their state representatives accountable by asking them to sign The People’s Pledge, putting the people back in charge of state government and ending Mike Madigan’s grip on power once and for all.

Visit to learn more about The People’s Pledge and get involved.

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      

Question of the day

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* Let’s welcome the Democratic Party of Illinois’ new interim executive director Rep. Christian Mitchell with a caption contest, shall we?

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      

Dunn’s fate now rests with Rauner

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* Post-Dispatch

The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Faculty Senate cast a vote of no confidence in SIU President Randy Dunn on Tuesday and is urging the Board of Trustees to remove him as soon as possible.

The resolution, which claims that Dunn worked to undermine the SIU system, passed 25-1; two senators abstained from the vote.

The group’s action comes after an analysis of nearly 1,900 pages of internal documents revealed that Dunn worked closely with SIU Edwardsville to develop a $5.1 million reallocation proposal, while leaving SIU Carbondale officials in the dark. Dunn also appears to have helped develop and guide legislation to dissolve the system.

* From the resolution

WHEREAS President Dunn has also acted contrary to the Board of Trustees statement Mutual and Respective Roles of the Board, President, and Chancellors which requires the System President to serve “as a ‘shield’ against outside interference in University and campus matters”;

WHEREAS President Dunn worked with SIUE leadership and constituents, the press, lobbyists, and legislators to write, guide, and promote legislation to dissolve the SIU System;

WHEREAS President Dunn coordinated efforts to undermine the SIU Carbondale Campus;

WHEREAS President Dunn’s activities have served in a variety of ways to damage the reputation of the SIU System at a critical time for all SIU campuses. WHEREAS President Dunn has lost the trust of the Carbondale faculty.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the SIUC Faculty Senate provides a vote of NO CONFIDENCE regarding President Randy Dunn and his ability to lead the SIU System.

FURTHERMORE BE IT RESOLVED that the SIUC Faculty Senate urges the Board of Trustees to meet as soon as possible to remove Randy Dunn.

* I’m coming pretty late to these developments, but the latest blowup started with a fine piece of journalism by the Southern Illinoisan in an article entitled “SIU president said he was neutral on campus split. Documents appear to tell a different story”

Shortly after the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees voted down a proposal to shift millions of dollars to the Edwardsville campus this past spring, the chancellor of SIU Edwardsville sent out a bombshell announcement: A state representative would soon introduce legislation to split up the system.

A little over an hour later, SIU President Randy Dunn forwarded the announcement to his wife with a short message. “It’s on now. Xoxo,” he wrote.

For Dunn, who represents both Edwardsville and its sister campus, Carbondale, the April 12 board vote and separation bill filing represented what appears to be the culmination of several months of planning and working closely with Edwardsville officials.

Based on analysis of nearly 1,900 pages of internal emails, correspondence and meeting notes released by the SIU FOIA office, it appears Dunn was aware of the separation legislation before trustees were informed. The documents also suggest that Dunn’s staff might have assisted in developing the bill — even though Dunn publicly claimed a neutral stance on it.

If you haven’t read it yet, click here.

* Resulting stories…

* President Dunn’s full response to The Southern’s analysis of released documents

* Voice of The Southern: What’s done is Dunn: Given the problems facing the system, SIU needs a president like Abraham Lincoln, who said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Instead, Dunn’s actions are more secessionist.

* Southern Illinois lawmakers call for Dunn’s removal

Dunn survived a trustee motion to oust him because of a 4-4 tie. Both campuses have student trustees, with the tradition that one of the campuses has actual student voting powers for a year, and then the other campus gets the vote the next year. Edwardsville’s student trustee was Dunn’s saving grace.

* Regardless of tradition, however, the governor has the statutory authority to decide which campus has an official student trustee vote. The Southern recently interviewed the incoming Carbondale student trustee, Brione Lockett

“It’s intimidating because of the situation we’re in, but it’s less intimidating because my vote isn’t just supposed to be my own biased vote. It’s supposed to be the vote of the students.” […]

Lockett said the voting trustee for the 2018-19 academic year hasn’t yet been appointed, although the student trustees’ one-year terms began July 1. [Emphasis added.]

In other words, the ball is now in Gov. Rauner’s court.

It’s probably time for a peace conference.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

Chicago polls flying everywhere

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* Shia Kapos

By the numbers: The mayoral primary election is seven months away but the numbers are flying like it’s tomorrow.

A poll taken last month and secreted away by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s political campaign shows he has an approval rating of 43 percent and a favorable rating of 45 percent of voters.

The numbers popped up coincidentally (hmm) in my email after Lori Lightfoot’s campaign released a poll earlier this week showing the mayor had a approval rating of 32 percent and a favorability rating of 36 percent.

Lightfoot’s poll didn’t reveal head-to-head numbers between her and Emanuel, but the mayor’s did. It shows him leading Lightfoot by 16 points.

The bigger numbers have dollar signs in front of them. According to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, Emanuel has $8.2 million on hand and Lightfoot has $391,000.

Speaking of polls: A telephone poll last night about the Chicago mayor’s race threw out the names of all the usual suspects and this one: Valerie Jarrett. A source tells me it was hard to discern who conducted the poll, though more than a few questions were focused on Garry McCarthy, the former police chief. Adding Jarrett to the mix would sure make it interesting. Emanuel and Jarrett, both former White House aides who should be chums, have a bristly relationship.

Lightfoot hasn’t spent a dime and she’s only behind by 16 points according to Rahm’s own poll?

* More from Lightfoot’s dated poll

This latest poll was conducted roughly two weeks before Lightfoot declared her candidacy by condemning Emanuel’s autocratic, “us-vs.-them” style of government.

At the time, McCarthy’s 70 percent name recognition vaulted him into second-place, with 16 percent of the vote, followed by Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown with 15 percent and former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas with 9 percent.

Lightfoot is my personal “one to watch” right now, with the caveat that she can raise the money. If I’m her, I’m calling everybody who contributed to Daniel Biss’ gubernatorial campaign. And if she can use that money to put “progressive” North Siders together with a sizable chunk of the African-American population, I think she could make a real run at this.

But, really, who knows at this point.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

Local 150 discloses petition work for McCann

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* No surprise at all considering they ran pretty much the whole show. Tribune

Third-party governor candidate Sam McCann reported receiving $77,700 more in campaign contributions from a union that endorsed J.B. Pritzker in the Democratic primary for governor, campaign finance records show.

About $60,000 from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 paid for petition circulation services for McCann. Last month, he turned in roughly 65,000 petition signatures to get on the November ballot, a number so big that it helped insulate him from an attempted challenge by Republican allies of Gov. Bruce Rauner and others.

McCann is running under the new Conservative Party banner, exacerbating the challenges facing Rauner’s re-election as he seeks to heal divisions within his party’s base.

The central Illinois Republican previously had received $50,000 from the politically active union. It plays politics on both sides of the aisle, but union leader James Sweeney has been highly critical of Rauner’s agenda, particularly in trying to end a requirement that prevailing union wages be paid on public construction projects.

150 has endorsed Pritzker. Not too difficult to figure out what’s going on there.

* Meanwhile, from a press release…

Today, Sam McCann applauded President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy left on the United States Supreme Court by retiring Justice Kennedy.

McCann issued the following statement:

Brett Kavanaugh is an outstanding choice to fill Justice Kennedy’s vacancy on the Supreme Court. He has made logical common-sense interpretations of gun laws throughout his years on the bench, and his appointment brings an opportunity to eliminate infringements upon the rights of lawful firearm owners in Illinois and across the country.

Once confirmed, Kavanaugh will protect and restore the conservative values that Americans hold dear, but which have been under attack for decades. Having a solid conservative majority on the court also brings hope for the overturn of Roe v. Wade, one of the most wrongly-decided cases in American history.

I am a staunch pro-life advocate and the distinction between my opponents and I could not be clearer on this issue. Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker are both outspoken advocates for abortion, with Rauner’s campaign pointing to his support of House Bill 40 as his effort to preserve women’s right to choose in Illinois in the case that Roe v. Wade is overturned. Prior to House Bill 40’s passage, a reversal of Roe v. Wade would have rendered abortions illegal in Illinois. When he signed House Bill 40, Bruce Rauner turned on conservatives and threw his support behind on-demand taxpayer-funded abortions, which have quadrupled in the first half of 2018.

Conservatives across Illinois should celebrate this nomination, and this movement should further alienate Governor Rauner for his betrayal of conservative principles and the sanctity of human life.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      

WCIA pulls back on ICE story

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* Earlier this week, WCIA TV ran a story based on Politico’s report about Gov. Rauner “turning a profit from a health care group that services U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers, including facilities that hold immigrant families with children.” Click here if the embed doesn’t work for you

* The station has since issued a clarification


And WCIA is clarifying a story we reported last night about the governor’s finances. A web story, published first by Politico, suggested with incomplete evidence that Gov. Rauner makes a profit from immigration detention centers at the southern border. We cannot confirm that report and the governor’s office denies it. An investment firm that Rauner used to control does hold stake in a healthcare company that provides medical treatment for inmates there. However, it remains unclear if that contract is profitable. A spokesperson for Rauner says the firm has not collected any profit from it.

FYI, the above YouTube video was posted by the governor’s campaign.

* Related…

* 10 Chicago-area politicians sign letter urging that ICE be abolished: Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Skokie), Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) and Rep. Theresa Mah (D-Chicago), joined Ald. George Cardenas (12th), Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th), Ricardo Muñoz (22nd), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), Milly Santiago (31st) and Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd) in co-signing an open letter calling for an end to the agency.

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      

National campaign memorabilia convention coming to Springfield

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* My mom sent me a link to this SJ-R story last week and I’m just now getting around to posting it

The [American Political Items Collectors] national convention – a once-every-two-years event – will be in Springfield for the first time July 18-22 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

The non-profit membership organization is dedicated to promoting the collection, preservation and study of materials relating to political campaigns and the presidency – though the buttons, banners and bandanas can also come from races for governor or other offices.

The convention will include more than 225 dealer tables of political and historical items being bought and sold.

Part of the show – from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 21 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 22 – will be free of charge and open to the public. On that weekend, members of the public will also be able to get free appraisals of their political items and can have them auctioned at one of several sessions during the day for a commission fee.

* You can’t see it very well in the pic below, but Mayor Richard J. Daley signed this 1975 campaign poster and it’s one of my favorite pieces in my own personal collection…

I used to have a “Honkies for Harold” button, but I somehow lost it. One day, I’ll replace it.

* And this poster was, um, obtained from the Illinois GOP’s state fair tent many moons ago…

I shoulda got Rod to sign that before he went away. Oh, well. He may be out soon. One never knows.

We had an “official” Question of the Day about memorabilia years ago, but maybe you’d like to refresh our memories about your own favorite items.

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      

Reason for Rauner optimism?

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* Gov. Rauner’s campaign manager Betsey Ankney tells Greg Hinz that there is a path to victory for her boss

“In our focus groups, people can’t cite a single positive thing about Pritzker even after he’s spent $80 million” on TV ads, Ankney said. That’s why, when Rauner in the spring spent “$4 million over six weeks” running ads tying Pritzker to imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, “his positive rating dropped 20 (percentage) points.”

Ankney declined to release the latest results from her campaign’s pollster, Dave Sackett. But said Rauner has pulled “closer than any public poll indicates.” The closest poll that I’m aware of came a couple of weeks ago from We Ask America for Capital Fax. It showed Pritzker ahead just 36 percent to 27 percent, a nine-point margin. (Pritzker hasn’t released his poll figures either, but it’s believed they show him much further ahead.)

Ankney said the campaign will seek to drive those numbers down more by staying on the attack. “There’s a whole host of things to come,” she said, indicating that among them are the Pritzker family’s failed Superior Bank. “The oppo book on him is very thick. You can expect to see a lot more. . . .He’s a target-rich environment.”

That having been said, Ankney’s view appears to be a minority one, even among Republicans. “There is a path to re-election for Rauner,” says one insider. “I just don’t think they’ve found it yet.”

“Maybe if Hillary Clinton was president and Democrats weren’t crawling out of their skin,” said another.

Pritzker put the blame on his sister Penny for the failure of Superior Bank on the FBI wiretaps

“What happened to her bank?” Blagojevich asked. “Did it collapse or something?”

“Yeah, she was chairman of the bank,” Pritzker said. “It had subprime loans. I mean bad stuff.”

“Superior Bank turned out to be an inferior bank,” the governor remarked.

“Inferior. Exactly, exactly. Very good,” Pritzker said. “I like that. Inferior Bank. I haven’t thought about that. That’s a good one.”

However, the Pritzker campaign is currently running an ad which falsely claims that Rauner owns a company “which is paid millions to keep children from their parents.” You go down that road and it’s tough to complain when the other side does it back to you.

Even so, the Rauner campaign has cycled through three different messaging tracks in the past month or so. They kicked everything off with a Blagojevich ad, then switched to the toilet issue and now they’re on a Madigan track.

“How do you build a narrative if you’re changing messages every 2 weeks?” a Democratic pal of mine asked yesterday.

But, hey, this is politics. And just about anything can happen in politics, which is why I love it so much.

By the way, I heard weeks ago that the Rauner folks were touting a poll showing the Republican trailing by 8 points, which is 1 point closer than the poll I commissioned.

- Posted by Rich Miller   60 Comments      

Suicide is a bigger problem than you might think

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* Illinois News Network

Suicide rates in Illinois have increased by nearly 25 percent, mirroring national trends.

With a state total of 1,415 suicides in Illinois in 2016, it’s becoming increasingly clear to advocates and experts that awareness is only half the battle. The state’s suicide rate increased about 23 percent from 1999 to 2016. Nationally, the rate increased about 25 percent over the same period.

“(Suicide) is the 11th leading cause of death in Illinois last year, and actually, when you look at the numbers for young people, the number is actually greater,” said Steve Moore, co-chair of the board of directors for the Illinois chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “For (the) age group of 15 to 34, it is the third leading cause of death. It’s the fourth leading cause of death for those between the ages of 35 and 54. [The number of suicides in 2016] is actually higher than homicide.” […]

Placing some of the blame for suicides on the availability of healthcare resources, Moore said that to lower the risks, proper help needs to be provided. In fact, 90 percent of suicide victims had diagnosable mental illnesses, he said.

Emphasis added because wow.

- Posted by Rich Miller   79 Comments      

He does have a point

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* Phil Kadner

Now “union” is a dirty word. Whenever a Sun-Times story mentions “union” these days, the word is quickly followed by an explanation that the ownership of this newspaper includes a number of union organizations.

Newspapers owned by rich guys and run by corporations (and that’s almost all of them) do not include such disclaimers in stories about tax cuts for big business or appointments of Supreme Court justices expected to rule against the rights of workers.

It would be refreshing to see something like, “For the sake of disclosure we must reveal that our multi-millionaire owner is going to benefit substantially from government deregulation, which is likely to pollute your drinking water and increase the likelihood that your children will die from cancer.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      

Rauner talks tariffs with Japanese ambassador

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* Sun-Times

Gov. Bruce Rauner discussed the threat posed by escalating trade disputes with the the Japanese ambassador to the United States on Tuesday at a machine tools facility in Schaumburg.

“We … talked about tariffs, and the importance of making sure we don’t break out in a full trade war, how tariffs can cause massive unemployment, job losses, around the world and here in Illinois,” Rauner said.

Rauner said he told Ambassador Shinsuke J. Sugiyama in a private meeting that he had cautioned Trump administration officials to avoid a “tariff war” during a recent trip to Washington D.C.

* Daily Herald

Gov. Bruce Rauner acknowledged a trade war “could cause massive unemployment and job losses” in Illinois as he was touring a Schaumburg steel company Tuesday with Japanese officials who worry the White House will double down on tariffs. […]

Japan-based Amada America Inc. fabricates sheet metal and employs about 90 people at its Schaumburg location, mostly engineers and managers.

The company gets much of its steel domestically but is facing uncertainty, Amada Executive General Manager Jeff Otten said. “We’re still waiting to see what happens,” he said.

Steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by Trump are a grave concern, Consul-General of Japan in Chicago Naoki Ito said, as is a new threat of similar tariffs against auto parts.

“Japan is a major investor in Illinois … and is responsible for creating many tens of thousands of jobs,” said Rauner, who added he’d voiced concerns about the policy to Vice President Mike Pence and congressional leaders while visiting Washington recently.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

Cook County GOP Chairman wants to get rid of partisan elections

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* Illinois Review

It’s just too hard to get Republicans elected in Democrat-dominated Cook County and Chicago, so there’s an effort to throw in the towel and wipe out partisan labels in the county’s elections.

At least that’s what it sounds like Cook County GOP Chairman Sean Morrison is pushing to happen in the state’s largest county - with the help of IL GOP Governor Rauner.

Morrison - who also serves on the Cook County Board as one its few Republicans - is asking for help for a petition drive to “get a binding referendum question on the ballot that would make elections for all Cook County countywide offices non-partisan.”

“This initiative, if we are successful, will have a longstanding impact on our ability to run candidates countywide,” Morrison wrote to the Palos Township GOP Friday.

Indeed. Morrison was unable to get candidates to run in Cook County’s countywide races this time around. Democrats are running unopposed - making the Republican platform and its public policy positions unavailable for Republicans living in the county.


- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      


Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

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