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*** UPDATED x1 - Quinn campaign responds *** Rauner campaign responds to firestorm over Sun-Times reporter’s sidelining

Saturday, Oct 18, 2014

* From Bruce Rauner’s campaign manager Chip Englander…

We prefer our interactions with news organizations be kept between us and that outlet. That remains true for this story as well. That said, since you are reporting on this matter, here are the facts the campaign presented the Sun-Times’ editors as well as the facts on related matters:

    · The allegations were tossed out in court and sworn depositions contradict the allegations. Given those facts, publishing the story was irresponsible.

    · One of the reporters had an extraordinary conflict of interest – married to a Democrat operative with deep connections to an attack group that has spent millions attacking Bruce Rauner.

    · 24 hours before the story Democrats were already polling on the attack, using language that mirrored what the Sun Times had asked the campaign.

    · The campaign asked the Sun Times that if it was running the story, in the interest of transparency, it ought to at least disclose to its readers the conflict of interest. The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics regarding conflicts of interest or the appearance stresses transparency. This request was rejected.

    · After the story was published, we asked for some important clarifications and corrections to the story. These were rejected.

    · No one reached out to Mr. Ferro.

    · Fortunately, voters have seen through these false allegations. New poll out yesterday has us beating Quinn by 2%.

The bottom line is the campaign followed all proper channels to combat the misleading and inaccurate story prior to its publication. Our request to editors was simply that the reporter’s deep connections to an attack group that has spent millions attacking Bruce Rauner be disclosed by the paper in accordance with the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.

For reference below is more information on the deep connections that we believe warranted a disclosure in the paper:

    · The website of Adelstein|Liston, the advertising firm she co-owns, lists ads attacking Bruce Rauner as examples of the firm’s work on its website.

    · Jemma Productions, the production company paid over $600,000 to make ads attacking Bruce Rauner, lists her business partner as its proprietor and is housed within the same office suite as Adelstein|Liston.

    · Illinois Board of Elections filings indicate that Adelstein|Liston and Jemma Productions are one in the same. In her third quarter report, Democratic state house candidate Kate Cloonen listed $128,800 in payments to “Adelstein|Liston Jemma Productions.”

    Again, in the interest of transparency, the campaign asked the Sun-Times to disclose to its readers the conflict of interest. The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics states that reporters should “avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.” Despite this, our request was rejected. Ironically, in its endorsement of Bruce Rauner, the Sun-Times disclosed that Bruce was once a minority investor in the parent company that owns the Sun-Times.

As the Rauner campaign surely knows by now, Liston is not doing any campaign consulting in Illinois, even though the firm she belongs to is. Rauner’s folks are keeping that attack going at their own risk. But, hey, I’m always happy to post their stuff.

*** UPDATE *** From the Quinn campaign…

Once again Bruce Rauner is blaming everybody but himself and refusing to take responsibility for his own actions.

The irony here is that Mr. Rauner got into this mess by bullying a woman executive and then he paid $500,000 to make the lawsuit go away. Now here he is again, going after another woman executive.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

New Quinn ad hits Rauner on nursing homes

Saturday, Oct 18, 2014

* Oof

* Script…

There are few things more terrifying than an elderly person alone and defenseless in a nursing home, being victimized by abuse.

An investigation into Bruce Rauner’s nursing home business uncovered staff cutbacks to maximize profits.

Juries found that helpless seniors had died of neglect and abuse.

And all Rauner could say was, “That’s what happens occasionally in nursing homes.”


That’s what happens?

Oh, man. It’s on.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

*** UPDATED x1 *** Sun-Times sidelined reporter after Rauner campaign intervention

Saturday, Oct 18, 2014

* Dave McKinney disappeared from the Sun-Times for several days after the paper ran his piece about Bruce Rauner’s alleged threat to “bury” a former female CEO. Crain’s has some of the back-story

A Chicago Sun-Times reporter hired former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins to investigate whether the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner tried to interfere with his employment after the newspaper ran a story unfavorable to the politician.

Mr. Collins said in an interview with Crain’s that the Rauner campaign attempted to retaliate against Sun-Times political reporter Dave McKinney after the paper ran the story about Mr. Rauner allegedly verbally threatening a top executive of a company controlled by Mr. Rauner’s onetime investment firm. Mr. Rauner denied that report through a spokesman. […]

The Rauner campaign attempted to have the Sun-Times take action against Mr. McKinney because of what it alleged were conflicts of interest stemming from Mr. McKinney’s marriage to Democratic media consultant Ann Liston, Mr. Collins said.

Mr. McKinney and Ms. Liston were married in April, but Mr. Collins said the couple made arrangements earlier in the year at each of their jobs to create barriers within their work so that their relationship wouldn’t present conflicts of interest for Mr. McKinney, who is the paper’s bureau chief in Springfield.

“Dave McKinney has a body of work as a dogged, but fair and impartial reporter and what happened recently was an attempt to unfairly besmirch Dave’s reputation and he has asked me to evaluate whether there was an improper interference with Dave’s employment relationship with the Sun-Times,” Mr. Collins said in an interview. […]

Just hours before the Sun-Times story went to press, the Rauner campaign attempted to quash the piece by bringing up Ms. Liston’s political work with Sun-Times management even though Mr. McKinney has been covering the campaign for months, according to Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins didn’t have details on who in the Rauner campaign contacted the Sun-Times and who at the newspaper was contacted.

Mr. McKinney has also written stories that were critical of incumbent Democratic candidate Gov. Pat Quinn, specifically his involvement with the troubled state-funded Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.

In recent days, Mr. McKinney was inexplicably absent from his statehouse beat for five days despite one of the hottest gubernatorial races in recent memory

The Rauner people went after McKinney, then all of a sudden the paper decided to endorse the guy. What a coinkidink.


And, by the way, Dave’s marriage to Ann had zero to do with this story. McKinney has been beating the Quinn administration over their freaking heads about the NRI investigation all year (to the point where I’ve criticized him in the Fax). Any suggestion that he was leaning Democratic is absolutely ridiculous and insane. And the decision to sideline him, to my mind, was purely about politics.

I have my own Sun-Times Rauner story, which I plan to share with subscribers on Monday.

…Adding… Liston is not a lobbyist. She’s a flak. Big difference.

*** UPDATE *** Chicago Sun-Times Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk claimed to Crain’s that no action was taken against McKinney, but did say this in an updated Crain’s piece

“Mr. Rauner’s campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf did level allegations with me that proved inaccurate and spurious,” Mr. Kirk wrote. “Out of an abundance of caution, we did review this matter and we are convinced Dave’s wife Ann Liston receives no financial benefit from any Illinois political campaign because of the extraordinary steps they’ve taken to establish business safeguards. Dave’s body of work during this campaign, including the ground-breaking stories on the investigation involving Gov. Pat Quinn and the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, demonstrates the hard-nosed reporting he has done on both campaigns. Both Dave and Ann are conscientious, ethical and among the best at their professions.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

*** UPDATED x2 *** Quinn campaign responds to Sun-Times endorsement decision

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* Brooke Anderson from the Quinn campaign…

“It’s bizarre. They said they weren’t going to endorse and suddenly - as billionaire Bruce Rauner falls behind in the polls - they are changing their policy. There’s a lot of concern out there that the new owners - who until recently included Bruce Rauner - are operating the paper in a way that is contrary to the independent journalistic standards of the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Unfortunately it appears that Bruce Rauner’s financial influence is still being felt. Any endorsement is clouded by the fact that Mr. Rauner was a part-owner of the paper which abruptly reversed its position when he fell behind in the polls.”

*** UPDATE 1 *** Robert Feder

The decision to endorse Rauner and no other candidates on the November ballot is certain to fuel cynicism about the motives of Michael Ferro Jr., chairman of Sun-Times Media parent company Wrapports LLC.

In recent weeks, sources said, Ferro has been exerting pressure on editors regarding coverage of Rauner, who held a 10 percent stake in Wrapports before he became a candidate for governor.

There is a lot more to this back-story, and we’ll just have to see if it emerges.

*** UPDATE 2 *** The endorsement is out, and it’s a doozy. Oh. My. Goodness….

Rauner has a detailed campaign platform, his “Jobs and Growth Agenda,” to do just that. It reads like a smart business plan. We invite you to read it at

The Beatles were wrong. Money can buy you love. And blindness.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Reader comments closed for the weekend

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* I’m assuming that a certain someone will dump a huge amount of money into his campaign fund later today, just like he does most Friday afternoons, so watch the middle column or click here for the Tribune’s invaluable campaign contribution Twitter feed to monitor any updates. I’m done for the day.

Mick and the boys will play us out

The change has come

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

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Friday, Oct 17, 2014

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Readers to Sun-Times: Tell us how to vote!

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* I’m trying really hard not to smirk

We will plunge back in Sunday with an endorsement in the race for governor, and we will make endorsements in the February Chicago municipal elections and other key local races.

Two years and nine months ago, we announced we would no longer make endorsements, explaining that we had come to believe they feed a perception of a hidden bias throughout a newspaper. The Chicago Sun-Times has always taken great care to keep its news coverage separate from its editorials and opinion pieces, but we are sensitive to the fact that we operate within an increasingly fragmented and politicized media market.

Our readers have taken a different view. They have told us they understand the difference between the independence exhibited in the news coverage from opinions expressed in the editorials. We appreciated this feedback and understanding.

In the years and months since our decision to stop making endorsements, readers have told us constantly that they found great value in them and wished we would make them again. Our endorsements, they said, offered another frame of reference, fresh analysis and insight. Even when they disagreed with an endorsement, readers said, it was of help to them in exercising the most fundamental right of a democratic republic — deciding who will represent them. For every reader who has commended us for standing on the sidelines, seemingly hundreds of others have asked, “Who’s gonna tell me how to vote for …?”

They already telegraphed their gubernatorial endorsement yesterday, without mentioning that a certain someone was part of the group that bought the Sun-Times a while back. He has since sold his ownership stake, of course, so no problem there.

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      

Quinn demands Rauner unseal deposition

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* Sun-Times

Gov. Pat Quinn jumped to his mother’s defense Friday and urged GOP rival Bruce Rauner to heed her advice to tone down his attacks on the gubernatorial campaign trail.

But while preaching civility, Quinn also used the comments from his mother, Eileen Quinn, in a Chicago Sun-Times interview Thursday to launch a lengthy new attack on Rauner and his alleged interactions with a former female executive in his one-time business empire who alleged in a now-settled lawsuit that Rauner threatened her. Rauner has forcefully denied the businesswoman’s claims. […]

“I think she gave him some good advice. It is never, ever right to use threatening language toward any woman anywhere in this state or this country,” Quinn said. […]

Quinn on Friday renewed his demand that Rauner release his full deposition. The governor also reacted to Rauner’s contention in his Thursday interview with the Sun-Times that GTCR and an associated law firm settled with Kirk and others for $511,000 to end the case because “we’re nice folks.”

“I don’t think it’s ever nice to use threatening language towards people who are working for your company and threatening their future, and their livelihood and their family, and paying $500,000 to make the lawsuit go away. I think the nice thing to do is unseal the deposition of Mr. Rauner in that very case and let’s see what’s in there,” Quinn said.

* Listen

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

*** UPDATED x2 *** Good news, not so good news

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* From a press release

The administration of Governor Pat Quinn, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and the Department of Insurance (DOI) announced that a national study has provided additional evidence that Illinois’ historic workers’ compensation reforms are delivering major savings for businesses across the state. The biennial report by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services shows Illinois recorded the sharpest reductions in workers’ compensation insurance premiums in the nation over the last two years. […]

The Oregon study - - ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia by the amount insurance premiums rose or dropped in the last two years. It highlights that Illinois had the steepest reduction in workers’ compensation rates when compared to the median, with an estimated rate drop of 24 percentage points between 2012 and 2014 (see chart below), compared to the national median reduction of only 2 percent.

The report shows Illinois employers workers’ compensation premiums dropped from $2.83 per $100 of payroll in 2012 to $2.35 in 2014. This means hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for Illinois businesses.

All good. No doubt about it. The trend is positive. But look at the actual rankings by clicking here and you’ll see Illinois has the 7th highest premiums in the nation. That’s down from 4th highest in 2012, but they’re still way too high.

* Meanwhile, from another press release…

The Illinois unemployment rate fell in September for the seventh consecutive month to reach 6.6 percent while employers created +19,300 jobs, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The data is seasonally adjusted.

The drop from 9.1 percent one year ago marks, for the second consecutive month, the largest year-over-year decline since 1984. The last time the rate was lower than 6.6 percent was in June 2008 when it was 6.3 percent. Also, there are +69,000 more jobs than one year ago.

“Unemployment rates continue to fall because private-sector employers are averaging more than 5,400 new jobs each month since the Illinois economy began to improve,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Meanwhile, help wanted ads for full-time work continue to grow and indicate employers expect their need for more workers to remain strong.”

September job growth was led by Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+6,500), Professional and Business Services (+6,000), and Other Services (+5,500). Manufacturing (-2,800), and Leisure and Hospitality payrolls ( 1,100) declined.

Employers added +300,700 private sector jobs since job creation returned to Illinois in February 2010. Leading sectors are Professional and Business Services (+126,800); Education and Health Services (+60,900); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+56,100); and Leisure and Hospitality (+36,200). Government remains the job loss leader, shedding -21,500 positions during the same period.

The unemployment rate also is in line with other economic indicators. First-time jobless claims have been trending lower for the past four years and in September the number of monthly claims was at its lowest level since 2000. Numbers from the independent Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine Index show that Illinois employers in September advertised for nearly 212,000 jobs and 85 percent sought full-time work.

Those lost manufacturing jobs are not a good thing, and it’s been trending that way for months.

*** UPDATE 1 *** From Bruce Rauner…

“Any monthly job growth is welcome news, but under Pat Quinn, Illinois’ unemployment rate continues to trail most of our neighboring states and far too many people remain out of work. Now, we’ve learned that Pat Quinn wants to make things even tougher on hard-working Illinoisans by enacting another massive tax hike next month.

“Since Pat Quinn became governor Illinois has lost more than 48,000 manufacturing jobs, including more than 2,500 last month alone. The people of Illinois have suffered enough under Pat Quinn and it’s time for him to go. I have a plan to lower taxes and create more jobs so our economy is booming again. I’m eager to get to work for you.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** From Brooke Anderson of the Quinn campaign…

We’re not surprised that Bruce Rauner continues to root for the Illinois economy to fail. The truth is, Illinois’ improving economy doesn’t fit the false narrative he’s made the foundation of his campaign.

Jobs are up and unemployment is down. Unemployment is now at its lowest point in more than 6 years… more people are working today than when Governor Quinn took office.

In the last 2 months alone, Illinois has created 40,000 jobs. In the last 6 months, Illinois has seen the steepest decline in unemployment of any state in the nation.

Bruce Rauner just can’t handle the truth. Having a Governor who makes the tough decisions is leading our economy in the right direction.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

Question of the day

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* As you may or may not know, the Chicago Tribune refused to endorse either attorney general candidate this week

In her first run for statewide office, Lisa Madigan championed the notion of an aggressive attorney general. With then-Gov. George Ryan’s administration under federal investigation for widespread corruption — he would be indicted the following year and eventually imprisoned — Madigan repeatedly pledged to clean up state government:

“All too often in recent years we have seen our current attorney general sit on the sidelines in the face of mounting evidence of government corruption,” Madigan wrote to the Tribune that year, describing her plan to create a Public Integrity Division within the attorney general’s office. She exhaustively reassured voters she would not be conflicted in her role as attorney general with her father serving as speaker of the Illinois House. Allegations of wrongdoing “must be investigated, no matter if they involve Democrats, Republicans or even my father,” she said.

Twelve years later, Madigan is imprecise about her noticeable mission shift: While she can point to a few cases where her office has pursued public corruption, she has largely focused on civil matters. State’s attorneys are better equipped to prosecute corruption cases, and she has occasionally lent a hand to them, she says. She explains that she doesn’t have the authority to impanel a grand jury; legislation to empower her office with that tool has been stuck in the General Assembly. You’d almost think some legislators don’t want an attorney general to have that power to meddl …. um, to investigate.

To categorically accept that explanation for her office’s devotion to civil matters rather than criminal is to ignore Madigan’s own promises — and some of her early actions in office. Those were her words, vowing to pursue public corruption wherever it led. Those were her accusations leveled at her predecessor, Jim Ryan, who was “too passive” about fighting corruption. Those were her actions when she began investigating wrongdoing in Rod Blagojevich’s administration. That was her office that blocked a casino in Rosemont due to concerns about the potential for mob influence.

* The Question: Should AG Madigan more vigorously investigate and prosecute corruption? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

September 23 through October 15?

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* I don’t know why anybody would publish poll results that include data as old as 25 days, but whatever, here are the numbers…

Democratic Illinois Governor Pat Quinn enjoys a two and one-half point lead among registered voters over Republican challenger Bruce Rauner, according to the latest statewide poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

But when likely voters are asked for their preference, Rauner holds the two point lead.

“It’s a tied race,” said David Yepsen, director of the Institute. “No one can predict from these numbers who will win. It’s likely to be close on election night and every vote will be important.”

    • Among registered voters, the survey shows 41.2 percent favoring or leading toward Quinn and 38.6 percent favoring or leaning toward Rauner. Libertarian Chad Grimm had 4.5 percent supporting or leaning toward his candidacy.

    • But among the 691 respondents considered to be likely voters, it’s Rauner who holds a slim lead: He gets 42.4 percent, Quinn has 40.7 percent and 3.0 percent are for Grimm.

The full sample of registered voters has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points. The smaller likely voter sample has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points. That means both leads are within margins for error, hence a statistical tie.

Among the 1,006 registered voters surveyed, Republicans held the edge in voter enthusiasm, with half (49.8 percent) saying they were more enthusiastic to vote than usual, compared with barely a third (31.4 percent) of Democrats and Independents (29.5 percent).

On the other hand, Democrats held the edge in the generic vote for US House of Representatives, with 46.6% favoring or leaning toward the Democratic House candidate and just 33.1% leaning toward the Republican candidate. Among likely voters, the margin shrank to 43.3 percent for the generic Democrat and 37.6 percent for the Republican.

“If every vote is important, then Republicans have the easier turnout task, since their folks are clearly more excited about the election,” Yepsen said.


- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      

That’s life, baby

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* Eric Scott doesn’t like the practice of using clips of TV news anchors/reporters in political ads

The Republican candidate for governor, Bruce Rauner, is now running a commercial featuring local TV news anchor lead-ins to negative stories about his Democratic opponent. It shows three clips from newscasts that aired on stations in the Champaign-Decatur and Rockford TV markets where anchors are reading copy leading into stories, but all you see and hear is a quick sentence that is taken out of context when shown in a political ad. Worse yet, the video clips are not actually what viewers saw when these newscasts aired live, but post-produced recordings and slick video editing added some “darkened graininess” and quick-flash negative imagery to give it more of a dark and scary look for further manipulation — all trick, no treat.

But I raise the red flag for the much larger issue at hand, which deals with trashing journalistic ethics and tarnishing the hard-earned reputations of those unwillingly being featured in these ads. Unfortunately, these media professionals have absolutely no control over their appearances or the power to stop this practice from happening.

At the end of the day, journalists must always maintain their credibility as a trustworthy and objective source of information. You want to watch a certain TV newscast or read stories from your favorite news source because you want to get the details from people you trust — you want to hear it from them first.

By leveraging video clips of TV news anchors and reporters for political gain, candidates and their campaigns are wilfully discrediting these journalists in using their images and voices to suggest they are endorsing one candidate by criticizing the opponent. This is different from campaigns showing newspaper headlines and mast head logos in ads — those ads usually reflect actual newspaper endorsements and don’t use individual reporters’ names or images to strengthen their point.

He goes on to upbraid the Quinn campaign for using the now-infamous Carol Marin clip in the “bury her” ad.


* The “Fair Use Doctrine” allows campaign to use clips of what TV reporters say in their ads, just as it allows people like me to use those same clips right here.

As a result, everyone in TV and radio knows - or should know - that whatever they say could be used by a campaign.

* NBC 5 posted this on its website after the Quinn ad began airing

NBC 5 strongly objects to use of our material in a campaign ad, and we asked the Quinn campaign to not use it.

NBC 5 is required by law to air campaign commercials bought by bona-fide candidates for public office so you will see it on our air.

We want to make clear that this commercial is not an endorsement of Governor Quinn by Carol Marin or NBC 5. We will continue to work hard to make sure we cover both candidates for governor fairly and objectively.

And that’s as it should be.

* The Rauner campaign has been using one of my Crain’s Chicago Business columns in its entirety as a fundraising tool for months. I haven’t objected for a couple of reasons. First, the copyright issue is up to Crain’s to deal with, and secondly, those mailers probably put my column in front of a lot more eyeballs than Crain’s did. I’m not ashamed of that piece, in fact, I’m pretty proud of it.

I really hate it when campaigns use stuff from behind my subscriber firewall, and I often make a big private stink about that. Fortunately, such behavior has been kept to a minimum this year. And I was pretty darned surprised when a candidate in the primary used one of my comments beneath a blog post to attack his opponent, but whatever. That’s life and it re-taught me a lesson: If you don’t want your words used by a campaign against somebody else, then watch what you say.


- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

Sparring partners

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* Not surprisingly, the City Club debate between treasurer candidates Tom Cross and Mike Frerichs this week was heated at times


If you go to the 40-minute mark of this video, you’ll see the two men go toe-to-toe over whether Bruce Rauner’s budget proposal is balanced or not.

* From the Sun-Times

Cross, who has promised if he wins to fight the General Assembly if it passes unbalanced budgets, made his comment after Frerichs asked him about Rauner’s spending proposals.

“Bruce Rauner’s put forward a budget plan that’s been widely criticized by economists, by journalists, by political scientists, as being out of balance,” Frerichs said. “Would you sue Bruce Rauner’s budget? Would you call that budget out as being out of balance?”

Cross said he would, if that turns out to be the case.

“If, in fact, Bruce Rauner’s the governor, and when he actually lays out a budget that’s passed, and it’s not balanced, you’re darn right I’ll take him to court,” Cross said.

Even so, Cross still dodged the central question, which is whether he thinks Rauner’s proposal is balanced. It ain’t.

* Moving right along

In the treasurer’s race, Tom Cross, the former state House minority leader, had collected $331,000 over the past three months, spending $226,000 and leaving $614,000 on hand.

A big chunk of that $614K is now gone because Cross reserved a bunch of cable TV buys last month. Cross has reported raising another $67,500 since the first of this month.

* Frerichs reported raising $423,624 in the third quarter, spent $1.3 million (TV buys) and had $413,563.22 cash on hand. He has reported raising another $36,001 since the first of the month.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

Not that this is a surprise, but Quinn’s mom loves him

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* Gov. Quinn’s mom has been making the media rounds lately. NBC 5 interviewed her earlier this week, and the Sun-Times got access to her yesterday

“I’m a little affected, I must say,” by how [Bruce Rauner’s] campaign has portrayed her son, she said. “It’s a very harsh campaign. We’ve been through several. But I’ve never been through one like this.” […]

“I would say, I think that you should modify your tone and your language. I think you have a very poor way of addressing people.” [she responded when asked what she would say to Rauner] […]

“I’m horrified,” Rauner said Thursday, laughing. “At least what I say is true. Unlike him…

“We gotta deal with facts. and we got to hit those hard. And if his mom is mad at me for trying to get those facts out, you know, so be it.”

Rauner’s right to laugh that one off. Of course Quinn’s mom is gonna say nice things about her son and harsh things about his opponent. But the “so be it” line is not exactly nice.

Full video of the interview is here.

* The paper also posted a photo of the governor as a young boy


- Posted by Rich Miller   94 Comments      

When a “fact check” is neither

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* This could be the worst AP story of the 2014 campaign

Whether education funding in Illinois rose or fell under Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn depends on whose money you’re talking about, and during what time period.

The question has surfaced repeatedly in the heated campaign between Quinn and his challenger, Republican businessman Bruce Rauner. In two televised debates, Rauner has said money for schools dropped by a half-billion dollars under Quinn. In turn, Quinn insists it actually rose nearly $500 million since he assumed office in 2009.

Determining who is right depends on whether you count an influx of federal stimulus dollars in the 2010 fiscal year, the first budget that the Quinn administration crafted. […]

But Rauner’s campaign focuses on there being less money today for schools than six years ago — suggesting Quinn should have come up with funding to replace the lost stimulus funds.

* Wait a second: “Rauner has said money for schools dropped by a half-billion dollars under Quinn”?

Um, no. Rauner has said that Quinn “cut” school funding by half a billion dollars. And he’s been using the word “cut” since April, and even used the word in a TV ad this summer.

But Quinn couldn’t “cut” federal money that expired on its own. That’s an impossibility.

The AP has allowed Rauner’s campaign to redefine the terms of the debate after having been thoroughly debunked by everyone who has taken a close look at this, including Reboot, myself, the Civic Federation and now Eric Zorn.

If you’re gonna “fact check” a candidate, then fact check what the candidate has been saying for six months.

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      

Rauner: We settled case “because we’re nice folks”

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* Sun-Times

Republican gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner on Thursday defended his role in a case brought against him by a former female CEO that’s been the subject of a TV attack ad, saying his firm settled part of the case “because we’re nice folks.”

The ad cites a court deposition claiming Rauner, through an intermediary, communicated a threat to “bankrupt” and “bury her,” if the CEO filed a lawsuit against him and his Chicago-based investment firm, GTCR. […]

Rauner acknowledged a portion of the case with former Leapsource CEO Christine Kirk was settled. However, he said it wasn’t an admission of wrongdoing but: “because we’re nice folks. We treat people well,” Rauner said. “This is for legal expenses, is nothin’.”

Rauner outright denied that he ever communicated a threat and said that sworn depositions in the case contradict one another.

“In my deposition, I wasn’t even asked about it. This is, you know what, lawsuits contain a lot of false accusations,” Rauner said. “That’s what a lot of lawsuits often have. This is false, it’s a false accusation.”

* Quinn campaign react…

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting today that Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner is claiming he settled allegations that he threatened to “bury” a female CEO and her family “because we’re nice folks.”

Rauner again mischaracterized the LeapSource allegations, contained in a lawsuit that he settled for more than $500,000, as frivolous.

But the attorney for the female CEO - who claimed that Rauner threatened to make her “radioactive” if she ever took legal action against him - stood by the sworn statements, saying, “The judge never said it was frivolous. The judge never said these statements quoted in the complaint were not true.”

Further, the judge confirmed that Rauner and his partners played “hardball” every step of the way. […]

Below is the statement of Quinn for Illinois Deputy Press Secretary Izabela Miltko:

    “If Bruce Rauner is so nice and has nothing to hide, he should nicely release his deposition now.

    “Nice guys do not threaten women. Ever.

    “How Mr. Rauner treated a woman executive at his business is information that the public has a right to know and also reflects the temperament he’d bring to the Governor’s Office.

    “The voters have no reason to take Bruce Rauner at his word about what happened in this case involving his threatening a woman. His deposition should be unsealed immediately to let the people of Illinois hear his testimony under oath in this very troubling case.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   70 Comments      

“The Myth of the Incumbent 50% Rule”

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* Nate Silver

1) It is extremely common for an incumbent come back to win re-election while having less than 50 percent of the vote in early polls.

2) In comparison to early polls, there is no demonstrable tendency for challengers to pick up a larger share of the undecided vote than incumbents.

3) Incumbents almost always get a larger share of the actual vote than they do in early polls (as do challengers). They do not “get what they get in the tracking”; they almost always get more.

4) However, the incumbent’s vote share in early polls may in fact be a better predictor of the final margin in the race than the opponent’s vote share. That is, it may be proper to focus more on the incumbent’s number than the opponent’s when evaluating such a poll — even though it is extremely improper to assume that the incumbent will not pick up any additional percentage of the vote.

Go read the rest for his research.

- Posted by Rich Miller   4 Comments      

Ebola breaks through as political issue in Illinois

Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* From a press release…

Former Congressman and Congressional candidate Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) is calling for an immediate halt of commercial air traffic in and out of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the three countries where the Ebola virus is out of control, and any new countries that experience an uncontrolled outbreak.

“I have been constantly amazed by the ineptitude of President Obama and international agencies who keep saying it would be counter-productive to halt flights in and out of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia because there would be no way to get world health experts and medical supplies into and out of those countries,” Schilling said.

“We must protect our population, first and foremost. The answer is to immediately halt commercial air traffic with hundreds of civilian passengers who could then spread the virus all over our country and the world,” Schilling continued. “Instead, we should be using U.S. government small planes for Center for Disease Control (CDC) personnel and technicians who can wear masks and hazmat suits on the way out. A small plane with a few experts and medical supplies is infinitely better able to have both the passengers and the plane itself controlled and quarantined upon arrival.”

“It absolutely defies common sense why this hasn’t been done already,” Schilling said.

Schilling noted that neighboring countries Nigeria and Senegal have stamped out their Ebola outbreaks in small part by sealing their borders with Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. In this case, the world is like a hospital—those who have deadly contagious diseases are put in isolation until they are out of danger of spreading the disease. The same needs to be done with countries. It seems to have been part of the solution for Nigeria and Senegal.

Nigeria had 20 Ebola cases and eight deaths with 900 people potentially exposed. They got to business with a massive sense of urgency from the beginning with outstanding epidemiological detective work, and they closed their borders with countries where the outbreak was uncontrolled.

Schilling also said he has heard from numerous doctors and nurses here at home who are alarmed at the very slow progress in developing protocols on what to do if confronted by the need to treat a potential Ebola victim.

“Our Administration and healthcare leaders need to work around the clock until this vital planning is done because the Ebola virus is already here,” concluded Schilling.

* Polls show that an overwhelming majority agrees with this opinion, but a new Washington Post poll finds a majority has at least some confidence in the federal government to handle the situation

* Kent Sepkowitz urges calm

The same large sigh of relief should be heard from for the large health-care worker staff at the beleaguered Dallas hospital where Duncan was seen on Sept. 25 (when he was sent home) and again on Sept. 28, when he arrived by ambulance quite ill. They too seem to be in the clear. And the people on the airplane with Duncan through Brussels and Washington, D.C. are also in the clear.

Speaking of air travel, the single most important epidemiologic fact arguing for the public’s safety is this: Patrick Sawyer, the American who flew from Liberia to Nigeria while sick with Ebola, spread infection to absolutely no one who shared the plane with him. This information should go a long way to assuring those Frontier Airlines passengers who accompanied the second infected nurse from Cleveland to Dallas this week.

And still more: Spain, where a nurse caring for two repatriated patients dying of Ebola herself developed the disease, has not seen a second case related to these men’s care or the ill nurse’s, despite what has been reported by local groups as a complete lack of preparation and appropriate supplies to minimize the risk of transmission.

Despite a raging, unconscionable epidemic in West Africa, no other cases other than Duncan have appeared unexpectedly outside of Africa. Europe: Zero cases. USA: No further cases three weeks since Duncan’s illness began. Obviously past performance does not predict future returns and the world is not out of the danger zone but for now, the infected traveler is a rare event.

In other words, the rules of transmission in the community are exactly as promised with calm assurance weeks and months ago; and, conversely, the risk of caring for the super sick is every bit as harrowing and dangerous as feared when all of this began.

- Posted by Rich Miller   114 Comments      

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Friday, Oct 17, 2014

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Friday, Oct 17, 2014

* Janis

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      

* *** UPDATED x1 - Quinn campaign responds *** Rauner campaign responds to firestorm over Sun-Times reporter's sidelining
* New Quinn ad hits Rauner on nursing homes
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Sun-Times sidelined reporter after Rauner campaign intervention
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Quinn campaign responds to Sun-Times endorsement decision
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's cable TV buys
* Readers to Sun-Times: Tell us how to vote!
* Quinn demands Rauner unseal deposition
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Good news, not so good news
* Question of the day
* September 23 through October 15?
* That's life, baby
* Sparring partners
* Not that this is a surprise, but Quinn's mom loves him
* When a "fact check" is neither
* Rauner: We settled case "because we're nice folks"
* "The Myth of the Incumbent 50% Rule"
* Ebola breaks through as political issue in Illinois
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: LSSI tickets, radio, poll, etc.
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