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Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* Juliana Hatfield will play us out

Where did my innocence go

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

*** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner campaign creates new Snapchat filter to commemorate Supreme Court reviewing Blagojevich case today

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* I tried, I really did (OK, not that hard), but I just don’t get Snapchat…

As disgraced former governor Rod Blagojevich, federal inmate 40892-424, has his request for retrial considered by the Supreme Court today, the Rauner campaign launched a Snapchat filter to commemorate the occasion.

The filter allows users to take a selfie posing as Blagojevich and features his confidante JB Pritzker, the man caught on FBI wiretaps discussing potential appointments and donations surrouding the vacant Illinois U.S. Senate seat in 2008.

Pritzker has remained silent on the potential for his wiretap partner to receive another day in court.

* Here it is…

* Meanwhile, The Hill ran an interesting op-ed about the case

So how did we get to this point? It’s because federal courts around the country are interpreting two Supreme Court decisions differently. In some areas, courts hearing corruption cases treat a campaign contribution like a gift to a lawmaker of a winter trip to a Florida beach. That’s both absurd and dangerous to free speech.

In the first of these two cases, the Supreme Court said that to find guilt for extorting a campaign contribution, the law requires “an explicit promise or undertaking by the official to perform or not to perform an official act.” But a year later another Supreme Court ruling in another corruption case created confusion.

Some courts read the second decision as watering down the “explicit promise” requirement. These courts, including the one that hosted the Blagojevich trial, allow conviction under a looser standard. A jury can convict if it infers an implied promise from the candidate’s awareness that the donor expects something in return for a campaign contribution.

*** UPDATE *** Interesting development…

* Related…

* SCOTUS reviewing Blagojevich’s appeal today: In their court filing last fall, Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers argued blurry lines between lawful and unlawful fundraising leave politicians vulnerable. A letter signed by nineteen Illinois lawmakers asks justices to review Blagojevich’s case– calling it an issue of national importance.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

Question of the day

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* Hillary Clinton won US Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s district by 45 points. Tammy Duckworth won it by 30. Susana Mendoza won it by 18. Schakowsky won by 33.

But, today, Schakowsky’s Republican opponent John Elleson booked $10,885.60 of cable TV ads that are scheduled to run from April 16 through September 2nd. I kid you not. Click here to see the buy yourself.

* From early March

Elleson — who’s running in the Republican primary to challenge U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky in November’s general election — was ordered by a judge to complete 150 hours of community service and to return $49,000 in benefit payments he’d improperly collected after pleading “no contest” to a first degree theft charge in Hawaii in 2003, court records show. […]

Elleson sold Bethel half of his church, but after his plan to build a wall dividing the worship area into two was rejected by the village, he “repeatedly interrupted” Sunday services at Bethel by cutting off the electricity to the public address system, removing microphones from the podium during services, and by playing loud music and projection screen TVs during services, according to the lawsuit.

A Cook County jury sided with Bethel, ordering Elleson’s church to pay Bethel $257,600, plus costs. […]

Elleson wrote that he was “not aware of” a 1998 criminal damage conviction he holds in Cook County, according to court records, which indicate he plead guilty to the misdemeanor.

There’s so much more. Go read it.

* The Question: Your suggested campaign slogans for what appears to be the first Illinois candidate to buy general election cable TV ads?

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      

COGFA defends itself against Illinois Policy Institute report

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s former news service

The state constitution requires lawmakers to pass a budget that only spends what’s estimated to come in for the year. While the Senate has passed a revenue estimate in recent years, the House hasn’t. The number is typically a combination of the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget and input from the General Assembly.

The Illinois Policy Institute put out a study that showed five of the past ten years COGFA and GOMB’s revenue estimates were off by millions. In fiscal years 2013 and 2014, GOMB under former Gov. Pat Quinn was off by $2.1 billion and $1 billion respectively.

* The Illinois Policy Institute and its legislative allies have been loudly harping on this revenue estimate issue for a few years. My ears perked up when Gov. Rauner said this week that an official revenue estimate was one of his chief demands heading into budget talks. Could Rauner and the Institute be doing a bit of reconciling? Stay tuned.

Anyway, this is from that aforementioned study

Based on the standard for revenue projections used by the National Association of State Budget Officers – estimates within 0.5 percent of actual revenues are considered “on target” – COGFA revenue estimates have been accurate in only four of the last 10 years. GOMB estimates have been on target in only two of the last 10 years.

They include this chart

Pew took a look at this topic a few years ago and found that states are not nearly as accurate as the Institute suggests. 0.5 percent may be considered “on target,” but it’s not what real world prognosticators always get.

* I asked Clayton Klenke, who runs COGFA, for a response…

The table showing actual revenues and the comparisons to revenue estimates serves as a starting point for the analysis, but it is also important to take into consideration the various factors that were occurring which were leading to increased volatility during this time period.

For FY12, this was the first full year of the implementation of the temporary tax increase. Significant changes to tax structures can lead to increased volatility between estimates and actual receipts. Actual income tax receipts performed better than anticipated in FY12 by $349 million.

Again in FY13, actual income tax receipts performed better than estimated. This variance was largely related to the “April Surprise” in which receipts in April 2013 spiked as taxpayers sought to minimize the impact of recently enacted changes in Federal tax policies. The total difference between the FY13 estimate and actual receipts of $348 million is essentially a difference of 1%.

In FY15, there was increased volatility associated with the partial sunset of the temporary tax increase. Once again, actual receipts from income taxes exceeded estimates, with total variance of about 1.3%.

In each of the examples above, actual receipts exceeded estimates, and the variance was about 1%.

For FY16, at first look there appears to be a large variance, with estimates exceeding actual receipts by $1.3 billion. Remember, this was during a time frame when there was not a comprehensive enacted budget. Further examination of this variance shows that of the $1.3 billion in variance, over $1 billion was associated with Federal Sources. Federal Sources are going to be dependent on the enacted budget, bill payment prioritization, and cash flow at the Comptroller’s office. Aside from the Federal Sources, the revenue estimate for FY16 was within about $300 million of actual receipts, less than 1% variance.

Again in FY17, the vast majority of the $804 million in variance in the table is associated with the $517 million variance in Federal Sources. Controlling for the Federal Source number would leave a variance of $287 million - less than 1%.

Emphasis added.

…Adding… From Adam Schuster, director of budget and tax research at the Illinois Policy Institute…

“We wanted to clarify something about the IPI report you posted on your blog today. The takeaway from that report is not that COGFA does a bad job of estimating revenue (”Both COGFA and GOMB are likely doing their best …”). The point is that revenue estimating is a bad way to do budgeting. As we pointed out in the report, only four states were on target for their revenue estimates in 2017, according to the Spring Fiscal Survey of States put out by the National Association of State Budget Officers.

“Our proposal is to enact a spending cap constitutional amendment that would instead give lawmakers a definite amount of money to spend each year. It has bipartisan support in the General Assembly: SJRCA 21, HJRCA 38.”

Except, COGFA does a pretty good job at estimating, as the post shows.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

It’s just a bill

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* Some days, I have to really try to keep in mind that these are just bills not laws. Here’s Rep. CD Davidsmeyer’s HB4230

Provides that various information after an individual’s arrest must be made available to the news media for inspection and copying as soon as practicable after the individual’s arraignment (rather than in no event shall the time period exceed 72 hours from the arrest).

So… the police don’t have to disclose they’ve got you until after you’re arraigned? Yeah. I can see no problems with that one. None at all

Davidsmeyer wants to change that to “as soon as practicable” after arraignment, the court proceeding in which a person accused of a crime enters a formal plea. That usually occurs weeks — and, in extreme cases, months — after an arrest.

He told us the legislation was inspired by the arrest of a college-aged woman after a domestic dispute. She ultimately wasn’t charged, but news of the arrest was published, causing her to face ridicule on Facebook. […]

The ACLU’s Ed Yohnka said the proposal flies against the principle that people shouldn’t be held in secret. […]

[Don Craven, a media law attorney representing the Illinois Broadcasters Association] told us the current 72-hour rule was established about 15 years ago through a compromise between media outlets and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

* Rep. Jeanne Ives press release…

This morning, Springfield whistleblower Denise Rotheimer testified on HB 4840 before the House Executive Committee. HB 4840 is a bill filed by State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) that would give Illinois residents who file an Inspector General complaint in state government the right to notification, information, and participation during the investigative process.

Republicans David Reis, John Caveletto and Dan Brady joined Democrats Barbara Flynn Currie, Robert Rita, Marcus Evans, Gregory Harris, Arthur Turner and Chris Welch in voting against the bill. The committee cited a task force that was “working on the issue.” This is an often-used excuse to delay real action in Springfield.

“This is shameful,” said Ives. “Denise is the whistleblower who pushed for her complaint to be heard and only because she kept asking about it was it revealed that the Legislative Inspector General position was vacant for three years. But for her diligence, we still would not know 27 complaints sat for up to three years unheard.
“She was also the first person to go through the complaint process once an LIG was appointed. She had no rights in the process which is why she helped write HB4840.

“Unbelievably, the Sexual Harassment Task Force has refused to have her testify.

“Complainants need rights now. Not after a task force of elected officials water down the issue.”

In October, nearly three hundred women signed an open #MeToo letter about the culture of sexual harassment in Springfield.

“Misogyny is alive and well in this industry,” read the letter in reference to Illinois politics.

And it remains alive and well because of neglect by the leaders of both political parties in Springfield – and aided by obliviousness of Governor Rauner, whose OEIG slipped in opposition to the legislation.

Faux outrage and kabuki theater in response to serious accusations is all part of the bipartisan protection racket that furthers Illinois’ corrupt political culture.

“If Illinoisans don’t wake up, we will continue to have a system where those in power abuse, instead of a system that checks the abuses of those in power,” Ives concluded.

* Press release

Individuals who threaten gun violence against schools on social media would be required to reimburse police departments for added security and emergency response costs under legislation sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat representing Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs.

The legislation, Senate Bill 563, is aimed at reducing the trend of copycat threats in the wake of school shootings by updating the disorderly conduct statute, which is the state law most often used to prosecute individuals who make threats against schools. Under current law, those convicted of making threats are required to reimburse public safety agencies for response-related costs, but only if they make the threat via a 9-1-1 phone call or if they specifically threaten to use a bomb.

“Most threats of violence against schools are no longer made through a phone call and increasingly, the threats make no mention of a bomb,” Cunningham said. “According to law enforcement agencies in my district, threats against schools are more commonly made via social media posts. The law needs to be updated to address this change.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      

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Friday, Apr 13, 2018

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Groups vow: Vote for ERA, lose pro-life endorsement

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* Illinois Review

Six major prolife leaders signed a statement Friday morning declaring they would withhold endorsements of Republican Senate members that voted for the ERA this week in Springfield. The lack of enthusiasm among conservatives could be even more devastating for Illinois Republicans down ballot that are already preparing for a low turnout in the fall.

The state’s prolife leadership points to eight Republicans - despite self-declarations that they’re ‘prolife’ - that the groups will not encourage voters to support in the November election: Senator Pamela Althoff (R), Senator Michael Connelly (R), Senator Karen McConnaughay (R), Senator Jason A. Barickman (R), Senator John F. Curran (R), Senator Chris Nybo (R), Senator Sue Rezin (R), and Senator Tom Rooney (R).

* From the statement

A vote for the ERA is a vote for overturning abortion restrictions and enshrining abortion rights in the US Constitution. A vote for the ERA is a vote against the unborn child. State court judges have held that their state ERAs mandate “HB40” style taxpayer funding of elective abortions. The ERA further threatens parental notification and consent laws throughout the country, along with every reasonable regulation on abortion.

The fight now goes to the House. The Illinois Federation for Right to Life PAC, Illinois Citizens for Life PAC, Illinois Family Action PAC, and Lake County Life PAC will not endorse or support any legislator that casts a vote for such a sweeping pro-abortion piece of legislation as the ERA. […]

While we are disappointed with all 43 Senators who voted for abortion, we are gravely disturbed by those who solicited pro-life support and presented themselves as pro-life but voted for the ERA. Their vote was a vote in opposition to life and will not be ignored by the undersigned.

That statement could very well cause problems for the House’s passage efforts.

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      

More pension hand-wringing

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* A BGA employee has a new op-ed entitled “The $130 billion question Rauner and Pritzker won’t answer”

Lost in the standard-issue political histrionics of the Illinois governor’s race is serious talk of how to resolve a $130 billion public pension shortfall that has a stranglehold over much of what can be accomplished by any state leader.

Rivals Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker agree on little, yet they so far have found common purpose in tiptoeing around the pension minefield that likely will dictate the success or failure of whichever of them is sworn in next year.

* And then he goes on to explain that one fix (changing the constitution) probably probably won’t work

So if the Constitution is an obstacle to change, why not just change the Constitution? That, in essence, is the argument underpinning a recent recommendation from the Civic Federation, a budget watchdog, for an Illinois Constitutional amendment aimed at modifying the pension clause to allow “reasonable, moderate changes” to retiree benefits. […]

“You can’t retroactively change substantive rights,” said Ann Lousin, a professor of constitutional law at John Marshall Law School who was a research assistant at the 1970 constitutional convention.

And another may be unwise

Indeed, the Chicago-based Government Finance Officers Association argues against state and local governments issuing bonds to cover pension obligations.

And another is risky

“Borrowing is a real desperation move,” said William Glasgall, who directs state and local initiatives for the Volcker Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit that advocates for policies that rebuild public trust in government. “A $100 billion sale is beyond absurd. I don’t think there are enough investors to buy something that size, especially given Illinois’ crappy bond rating.”

* Not mentioned is Pritzker’s idea

To manage future budgets and meet our pension obligations, we should determine a level dollar annual payment beginning now and into future years and re-amortize the pension payment schedule so we pay into the system at a rate that pays all pensioners what is due.

So, in other words, adjust the ramp. But that is more costly in the long term.

- Posted by Rich Miller   82 Comments      

Behind Sandoval’s press pop

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* One thing Sen. Sandoval does exceedingly well is get himself in the news. AP

The Illinois Senate is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to reject a presidential call to send National Guard troops to help secure the U.S.-Mexican border.

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 33-22 Thursday to adopt a resolution urging the GOP governor not to comply if President Donald Trump makes a request.

Chicago Democratic Sen. Martin Sandoval sponsored the resolution a day after Rauner said he’d deploy troops if the Republican president asks. Sandoval says National Guard troops are needed at home and criticized similar moves by former GOP President George W. Bush and Democratic President Barack Obama. […]

Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have pledged state troops and Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown acquiesced on Wednesday.

* Gov. Brown acquiesced? LA Times

Gov. Jerry Brown agreed Wednesday to take money but not marching orders from President Trump in deploying 400 National Guard troops to various locations around the state, insisting any service members near the border would not enforce federal immigration law.

“Your funding for new staffing will allow the Guard to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state,” Brown wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis.

Brown was the last of the nation’s border governors to respond to Trump’s request for a beefed-up presence. In his letter, he said that he wanted to be “crystal clear” in what he was agreeing to provide.

“This will not be a mission to build a new wall,” Brown wrote. “It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”

* The “people escaping violence and seeking a better life” appear to be these asylum seekers

Organizers with the “refugee caravan” say they are less than a week away from reaching the U.S.-Mexico border—but only the “most vulnerable” members of the group are left.

The caravan started on March 25, with more than 1,200 migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Central America (about 80% of caravan participants are from Honduras). The caravan made national headlines when President Donald Trump learned the migrants planned on seeking refuge in the United States. “It had better be stopped before it gets there,” Trump tweeted.

Trump then announced he planned to send 2,000 to 4,000 National Guard troops to guard the border.

By now, only an estimated 250-300 migrants are expected to reach the U.S.-Mexico border near Tijuana next week, according to Rodrigo Abeja, a coordinator from Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a transnational organization that organized the caravan.

The remaining group is made up of mostly unaccompanied minors, women migrating on their own, and family units—“the most vulnerable individuals,” as Abeja described them.

The migrants who are seeking asylum when they reach the border have all been vetted by a team of more than 20 attorneys, Abeja told Splinter.

Fox News has run several breathless stories about the caravan.

* Sun-Times

Sandoval said the resolution’s intent was to urge Rauner to put the safety of the state “ahead of his political ambitions and the political ambitions of the Trump administration,” by not deploying the state’s National Guard to the border.

State Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, called the resolution “premature,” considering Trump has not yet asked Rauner to deploy the Illinois National Guard. New Mexico, Texas and Arizona have pledged troops, and California this week said it would, as well.

But Rauner on Wednesday told reporters in Springfield he will honor the request should it be made.

* Related…

* Migrant caravans, Trump’s latest immigration obsession, explained

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      

Good job, coppers!

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* Half of the state’s recent spike in serious synthetic cannabis illnesses (and three deaths) have been in the Peoria-Pekin area, so this is good news

A Pekin man has been charged with a drug induced homicide for selling synthetic cannabis to a man who ingested it and died.

Lonnie K. Smith will appear at the Tazewell County Justice Center at 1 on the charge, a Class X felony, along with a charges of aggravated battery and unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

According to the probable cause statement provided by Tazewell County States Attorney’s office, Smith knowingly delivered FUB-AMB, a controlled substance, to Anthony Phillips who ingested around 11 p.m. April 7. He died at UnityPoint Health - Methodist April 9.

Smith is also being charged with aggravated battery for delivering the substance to Rena Corp, who lived with Phillips, because she also got sick after ingesting it.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      

Madigan sets state party chairman vote

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* DPI late yesterday afternoon…

Democratic Party of Illinois Chairman Michael J. Madigan announced today that the party would be holding an organizational meeting for the State Central Committee on Monday, April 23 in Springfield.

“Voters in the March primary elected new members of the State Central Committee, and now it is our job to choose party officials and begin planning to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in November,” Chairman Madigan said.

The meeting will take place on Monday, April 23 at 1 p.m. in the Gallery Room on the first floor of the State House Inn, located at 101 East Adams Street in Springfield. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

The Democratic State Central Committee is composed of 36 members, one man and one woman elected from each congressional district. Each member will have a weighted vote that is equal to the number of Democratic ballots cast in their congressional district in the March 20, 2018 primary election.

* Sun-Times

Despite months of criticism over his handling of sexual harassment allegations in his political organization, powerful Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan appears poised to hold onto his seat as chairman of the state Democratic Party.

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said he “doesn’t do predictions,” but noted he wasn’t aware of any opponents throwing their names in the ring as the 36 state central committeemen and committeewomen prepare to vote for the party chair on April 23. […]

The only one breaking ranks with Madigan is newly elected progressive committeeman Peter Janko, who said Democrats in his McHenry-area district were “almost universal” in their desire to oust Madigan. […]

Madigan has led the party since 1998, and if elected to a sixth term on April 23, he would become the longest-tenured Democratic party chairman in state history.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

GOP unity watch

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* You’ll recall this quote from Gov. Bruce Rauner about Rep. Jeanne Ives yesterday

“We spoke last night. I saw her at (Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery),” Rauner told me. “I went over to shake hands, and we promised to get together soon.”

* Greg Hinz contacted Ives directly

I finally got Ives on the phone and she flatly denies any deal or understanding with Rauner to talk peace.

Both happened to be at the same restaurant for separate events, and when Rauner came in, he started working the tables, including hers. “He said hello, and moved on….We agreed on nothing,” with no discussion of a meeting.

So, was the governor lying? “If he said there was an agreement to meet, yes.”


* DGA…

“Bruce Rauner’s desperation is reaching new, pathetic lows as he tries to win back Jeanne Ives’ voters by lying to them,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Maybe Rauner knows his failed leadership has turned off the Republicans, Democrats, and Independents he needs to save his sinking reelection campaign.”

* Meanwhile, Rep. Allen Skillicorn, an Ives supporter, has some unsolicited advice for the governor…

A Gubernatorial Opportunity to Act for Unity

In agreement with what the Chicago Tribune characterized as a largely symbolic gesture, the Illinois Senate approved the Equal Rights Amendment 36 years after the deadline, 46 years after being passed by the U.S. Senate for ratification and 95 years after it was first proposed. Yes, you read that right, it appears that Illinois isn’t the only place where playing by the rules is optional. We have now stepped through the looking glass where unpopular Constitutional amendments are perpetually pushed until they are passed.

My colleague in the Senate made the statement “You are looking at a group of women who really, we have our differences on many issues, but we respect each other and together we are very committed to the idea of advancing and promoting legislation and policy that is good for women,” With all due respect, while the ERA was proposed in 1923 by the National Woman’s party with the initial focus on advancing women’s rights, are we really going to say that women’s rights haven’t advanced in the United States for 95 years?

Even a New York Times Op-Ed penned in 2016 by Mary Anne Case, professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School, stated, “Indeed, the current constitutional law of sex discrimination is almost exactly what E.R.A. supporters in the 1970s hoped for from the E.R.A….. For ordinary citizens to treat men and women more equally in venues from the voting booth to the family dinner table does not at this point require a change in law, but in mindset.”

Opponents point out that the major goal for continuing to push the ERA is to end the Hyde Amendment and force unlimited taxpayer funding of abortion at all levels of government. The NRLC in a 2017 memo to the Illinois General Assembly stated that they, “…strongly urge legislators to oppose this resolution for two reasons: (1) The language of the proposed 1972 ERA, which cannot now be revised, is virtually identical to language that the major pro-abortion groups have used in other states (including New Mexico) for highly successful legal attacks on laws protecting unborn children and limiting tax funding of abortion. (2) The Illinois resolution is part of an effort to evade the federal constitutional amendment process spelled out in the U.S. Constitution itself.”

Governor Rauner has been touring the state attempting to bring together the fractured pieces of the Republican Party. His critics, of which I am one, along with many of the Republicans he met with, have emphasized that the time for talk is well over. Only policy deeds could possibly unite us, and there are few opportunities for those remaining this session. So, I have a suggestion for the Governor: take the initiative to encourage legislators in the House to oppose the ERA resolution.

Like bell bottoms, this idea should have stayed in the 70’s.

* Gov. Rauner was asked yesterday about the Equal Rights Amendment that passed the Senate. “I support equal rights for everyone,” he said. Asked to be more specific about the legislative proposal, he said

That won’t ever come to my desk so that’s not the nature of the process. But I support equality for everyone. And what I’m very supportive of is the Illinois Constitution already is very strong and very protective of equal rights for women and for everyone. I think we’ve got a great Constitution in that regard.

You can see those protections by clicking here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

Rauner spent $1.7 million to air “Conservative Voter Alert” ad over just four days

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* Korecki

Data kept by Advertising Analytics show the single ad that Team Rauner put the most money behind aired just four days before the March 20 primary. It was a response to an ad the Democratic Governors Association released that called Rauner challenger, state Rep. Jeanne Ives, too conservative for Illinois, a spot aimed to strategically push Republican primary voters toward Ives.

In a sign of the potential impact of the DGA ad, Rauner’s campaign spent more than $1.7 million to air this response 1,162 times over four days. It’s the highest dollar amount the governor’s reelection campaign spent on any single ad throughout the campaign. Of that, more than $1.2 million was dedicated to a single market: Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, that central Illinois swath Rauner desperately needed to keep from defecting to Ives. “Conservative voter alert,” the ad begins in all red. “The same Washington liberals that support J.B. Pritzker are now helping Jeanne Ives with last-second ads. Why? Because Jeanne Ives has already surrendered to Mike Madigan. Liberals are highjacking the Republican primary in Illinois.” In the end, Ives lost to Rauner by fewer than 3 percentage points.

* We talked about this ad

* Illinois Review is not pleased. Check out: “Rauner and Democrats’ campaigns tricked Central Illinois GOPers in final days of primary.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      

Rauner signs 5G wireless bill

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* Press release from late yesterday afternoon…

Today Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 1451 to standardize and streamline regulation of small wireless cell facilities, paving the way for 5G wireless and other technology in Illinois.

“This legislation sends a strong, competitive message that Illinois is open for business. We want to make Illinois a leader in wireless technology. We are working to grow jobs and our economy and set our community up for future success,” Rauner said.

Small cells are lower-profile wireless signal alternatives to traditional cell towers that can be attached to existing structures. Their deployment will help lay the foundation required to support the technologies of the future, such as the next generation wireless systems known as 5G.

Besides faster internet and devices, Accenture has forecast that 5G and smart cities investments will create nearly 100,000 jobs and bring in nearly $9 billion in investment to Illinois over the next seven years.

“We are building a future where our economy booms, job creation soars and our Midwest neighbors watch in amazement as Illinois takes the lead in innovation, job growth and economic opportunity,” Rauner said.

“As technology continues to advance and smartphone data use continues to increase, it’s important that we have the infrastructure in place to support those advancements,” said Sen. Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills), who sponsored the legislation. “This measure will help ensure a smooth transition to 5G and allow Illinois to stay at the forefront of new wireless technology.”

“The Small Cell Wireless Bill ensures that consumers in Illinois stay on the forefront of wireless technology,” said Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard). “Illinoisans will now have greater access to 5G technology, allowing for more data to be transferred faster than ever before.”

“As demand grows, small cells can help bring Illinois consumers a faster and more efficient wireless internet experience. This legislation is a balanced approach to making progress for technology advancements in our state,” said Rep. Kelly Burke (D-Oak Lawn).

“I’m glad that we were able to work in a collaborative and bipartisan way to meet the growing public demand for improved technology that will assist consumers and business development, while making us competitive with neighboring states,” said Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy).

Wireless demand is expected to increase five times by 2022.

“This legislation will benefit businesses, employers and job seekers throughout our state, while providing valuable services for our citizens. Wireless technology is essential for small and start-up businesses that are the core of our economy. We are happy the Governor and the General Assembly made this step forward for our community,” said President & CEO of the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce Larry D. Ivory.

Small cell technology will help provide Illinoisans with faster download speeds, improved call quality and support Telemedicine, connected cars, distance learning, smart homes, smart farms and Smart Cities, creating a more connected network across the state.

“Innovative and life changing technologies coming from shop floors across Illinois play a central role in creating manufacturing jobs and maintaining our competitive advantage in the global marketplace,” said Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of the Illinois Manufacturers Association Mark Denzler. “We applaud Governor Bruce Rauner and lawmakers who recognize that manufacturing is very technology-infused and technology-driven today. This new law will keep Illinois on the leading edge and provide opportunities for manufacturers to compete in the current period of innovation known as Industry 4.0.”

The bill will also help improve wireless service in areas where large cell towers are not the best solution.

“This is about communities across Illinois – ensuring they have access to cutting edge technology and equal opportunity to compete for jobs in tomorrow’s economy,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Todd Maisch.

The bill still ensures local governments retain their role and authority in the permitting process of telecommunications equipment by allowing them to exercise their zoning, land use, planning, and permitting authorities within their territorial boundaries, including with respect to wireless support structures and utility poles.

“Illinois retailers need next generation telecommunications infrastructure to provide the customized offerings and services our customers expect. The same infrastructure other states and much of the world already enjoys,” said President & CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association Rob Karr. “This legislation makes that possible and propels Illinois into the 21st Century. We applaud Governor Rauner and the members of the General Assembly for making this possible.”

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont have already passed similar technology legislation.

The Illinois bill will compensate local governments at a higher rate than any other state’s small cell law.

* AP

But local municipalities across the state oppose the proposal. They say it is a handout to big businesses and will lead to higher taxes for residents.

The legislation affects all areas of the state except the city of Chicago. Ohio and Texas have also passed similar measures.


The legislation boosts “small cell technology” that will expand 5G service to many more locations around the state.

But it caps the rates that local governments can charge companies who want to install those towers… and Springfield officials say that’s an unfair limit on the city’s publicly-owned utility.

* Springfield’s Mayor Jim Langfelder

First - the bill usurps municipal authority of public infrastructure for private profits. Currently wireless companies have agreements with local governments for small cell installations or they can pay for their own cell tower infrastructure. This bill is just an end around to create greater profits for the wireless companies on the backs of municipalities and taxpayers.

Second - the bill is another hit to municipalities’ budgets. This year the State implemented a sales tax administration fee and reduced the city’s portion of the state income tax. Those changes for the City of Springfield are projected to reduce revenues by over $2 million. This bill eliminates the City’s ability to properly recover ongoing costs associated with installing and maintaining public infrastructure.

Third - the bill preempts home-rule. By eliminating the rights of home-rule, you are essentially opening “Pandora’s Box” which would allow other industries to do the same. The bill should honor the exemption of home-rule municipalities.

Finally - the City of Springfield is unique in that we have our own municipally owned utility (CWLP) from which we generate and distribute electricity and water. During the extremely difficult two-year state budget impasse, we kept the lights and water on while outstanding bills peaked at approximately $15 million.

They should probably tweak this law for Springfield and a few other towns, but overall I think this is a good piece of legislation.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      

Pritzker campaign has some fun with “National Blame Someone Else Day”

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* Background


National Blame Someone Else Day is always celebrated on the first Friday the 13th of the year.

The way to celebrate is self-explanatory in the name, and not much more needs to be said. If you do not want to blame someone, put the blame on something (remember, it is all in fun!)


Use #BlameSomeoneElseDay to post on social media.


National Blame Someone Else Day was invented by Anne Moeller of Clio, Michigan in 1982. One day, her alarm clock failed to go off, hence creating a domino effect of bad luck events throughout the day. The day happened to be Friday the 13th.

* Press release…

Today is Bruce Rauner’s favorite holiday: National Blame Someone Else Day. To celebrate the joyous occasion, we compiled the greatest hits of Rauner blaming everyone but himself for his failures as governor:

    * First up, the most ridiculous and poignant example. The chief executive of the state said: “I am not in charge. I’m trying to get to be in charge” of the same state he was elected to run.

    * After an editorial board grilled Rauner for having accomplished next to nothing during his first term, Rauner blamed lawmakers and more for coming up short.

    * When asked if he’d take responsibility for his fatal mismanagement of the Quincy Veterans’ Home, Rauner said “it’s so false” that he’d be responsible and then went on downplay the 13 deaths by saying “these things happen.”

    * Following their boss’ lead, Rauner’s agency heads said they’re not in charge either and told lawmakers to ask a local health department and the governor’s legal team to answer for emails within their department.

“Every day is national blame someone else day for Bruce Rauner, a failed leader not in charge of the state,” said Pritzker campaign spokesman Jason Rubin. “No matter the crisis he causes, the agency he mismanages, and the damage he does, it’s clear Rauner will never take responsibility for his abundant failures as governor.”

Who do you blame today?

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      

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Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* The Senate left town yesterday, but the House is in. Watch it all in real time with ScribbleLive

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