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Quinn presser raw audio

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* From earlier today. Fairly wide array of topics. Quinn did his best to appear upbeat about the state’s economic prospects, and came off fairly well

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      

MillerCoors matching donations for Equality Illinois GOTV efforts

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* From an Equality Illinois fundraising e-mail…

You may think it unimaginable that in 2014 in Illinois we are still sounding alarm about the risks to LGBT equality. However, it is expected that the midterm elections this November will have the lowest turnout ever and nearly every political analyst predicts that if we do nothing to change this we will lose this election, placing all our hard-won victories at risk. That’s not acceptable.

But there are concrete things to can do to prevent that from happening, such as supporting Equality Illinois voter education and engagement efforts that will make the 2014 election a success for our community and the equality agenda. Please make your donation now of $35, $50, or $100, so that we can leave no stone unturned in the next six weeks leading up to the election. When you give today, MillerCoors will MATCH YOUR DONATION dollar for dollar and you will be entered in a drawing to win a pair of tickets to an upcoming Broadway in Chicago performance.

In order to win this November, Equality Illinois, in partnership with our progressive allies, is:

    • Registering and turning out new voters
    • Turning out core voters and educating the undecided
    • Activating and getting out voters who don’t traditionally vote in the midterm elections

Equality Illinois is leading this groundbreaking effort to engage prospective voters who care about equal rights and treatment for LGBT individuals. In order to activate them to vote, we are relentlessly exposing the conservative social agenda of viable candidates, including explicit threats to marriage equality and equal treatment for LGBT individuals.

Remember the days when Coors was deemed a right-wing corporation? Those days are obviously gone. Now, they’re helping pay for EI’s anti-Rauner campaign. We live in fascinating times.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      

Question of the day

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* Bruce Rauner is to the NFL as Pat Quinn is to ____?

- Posted by Rich Miller   66 Comments      

Rauner takes batting practice

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* Bruce Rauner showed again today on WGN Radio that when he’s asked questions he’s answered many times before, he can sound like a master politician. He easily sprinted through every one of his talking points this morning, brushing aside the small handful of follow-up questions…

His problem is that when journalists who don’t get this sort of access want to ask tough, out of the ordinary questions, he doesn’t appear to know what to do. So, he turns away, or tries to laugh them off, or promises to unveil a detailed plan really, really, really soon.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      

Stagnant income, except at the top

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* Illinois Issues

The median household income for Illinois in 2013 was $56, 210—the same as it was in 2008, the year that the U.S. financial collapse began. Illinois’ median household income is slightly higher than the national of almost $52,000, which has stayed relatively flat over the same time period. Stateline, an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts, crunched the state numbers into this handy map for state comparisons. Meanwhile, the average income for the state’s top 5 percent of earners is $363,159. That number has increased by 6.4 percent since 2008.

According to Pew’s analysis, most of Illinois’ neighboring states saw an increase in median income. The exceptions were Indiana, which had a .9 percent decrease, Wisconsin, which had a 1.2 percent decrease and Michigan, which had a .7 percent decrease. However, the average household income for the top five percent of earners went up in all three states.

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      

If the US Attorney doesn’t believe he did it, that’s good enough for me

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* Man, this is one irresponsible lede

State Sen. Donne Trotter took $2,000 in cash from a convicted felon who got the money from an undercover FBI agent posing as an Indian businessman, lawyers for a South Side man allege.

And C. Gregory Turner’s attorneys hinted that other Chicago politicians also were approached as part of a federal sting in 2009.

So, Trotter allegedly took two grand during a federal sting operation five years ago but the feds never busted him?

C’mon. He’s a state legislator. If they had him dead to rights, or even if they only kinda had him dead to rights, off to the big house he’d go.

Everybody knows I’m a friend of Trotter’s. But as I tell all my friends, if you screw up there’s nothing I can or will do about it. It will be what it will be. This doesn’t look like one of those cases.

* The allegation

According to Turner’s lawyers, Prince Asiel Ben Israel, Turner’s co-defendant, met at the Trump Hotel restaurant in 2009 with an FBI agent who posed as an Indian businessman and gave Ben Israel cash to pass along to Illinois politicians in exchange for future political favors. Ben Israel later told authorities he gave $2,000 of the money to Trotter, a longtime friend, but Trotter has denied any knowledge of the cash payment, Turner’s attorneys said.

* And the feds are standing by Trotter

Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas acknowledged Ben Israel was caught up in the undercover sting but said there was no evidence Trotter ever accepted any of the bribe money.

* And

Ben Israel has since pleaded guilty to failing to register as an agent of Mugabe, and [Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas] said that there was no evidence of any “quid pro quo” Trotter performed in return for the alleged bribe.

* Trotter’s attorney

“I learned a long time ago not to answer questions that are baseless,” [Thomas Anthony Durkin] said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      

Today’s number: 20x

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* From Yale’s Andrew V. Papachristos

Anyone looking at a crime map in any city can tell you that violence tends to concentrate in particular places, and this remains true even as crime rates move up and down. The result is a huge gap, not only in rates of crime and violence across communities but in how people experience crime rates.

For example, the violent crime rate in Chicago’s West Garfield Park, one of the most violent parts of the city, fell nearly 30 percent over the past three years. Yet, its average homicide rate during this period of 64 per 100,000 is more than 20 times the rate of Jefferson Park on the city’s Northwest side.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

Cross endorsed by Democratic mayor

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* Non-gubernatorial news is pretty hard to find in the mainstream media these days, but this one is kinda big

Three-term Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner, a 2012 delegate for President Barack Obama and a donor to Gov. Pat Quinn, has endorsed [GOP Rep. Tom Cross] in his campaign against state Sen. Michael Frerichs, D-Champaign.

“I’m a fiscal conservative. I think Tom is also. I’ve known him for a number of years. He’s always been trustworthy as far as my experience went. I think he’s a down-to-earth individual, serious about public service, and will certainly do well,” Weisner told Early & Often, the Chicago Sun-Times political portal.

* The Frerichs response..

A spokesman for Frerichs questioned whether the Weisner endorsement amounted to a conflict of interest since the city of Aurora is listed with other municipalities as clients on the website of Cross’ Joliet law firm, Mahoney, Silverman and Cross.

“Mayor Weisner is free to endorse Tom Cross. But if Tom Cross wants to be treasurer, he owes the public a full disclosure of how much money his law firm has pocketed over the years from clients like the city of Aurora with legislation before the General Assembly, particularly the more than two dozen units of local government, and whether or not he voted on any legislation impacting them,” said Zach Koutsky, Frerichs’ campaign manager.

The Cross campaign responded that in the past twelve months, Cross’ firm has billed Aurora for $250.

* Meanwhile, in another statewide race

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon said Wednesday she was offended by comments Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka made about her family name while speaking to The Southern Illinoisan editorial board on Tuesday afternoon.

Topinka was asked to address an issue that made headlines recently when she apparently asked Gov. Pat Quinn for helping getting her son a job at SIU Carbondale during a public bill signing event, something Simon has criticized Topinka for doing.

Simon, a Democrat, and Topinka, a Republican, are both running for comptroller.

In a press release, Simon, of Carbondale, said the following comment made by Topinka was “insulting:”

“I’m sure my opponent did not feel that the Simon name hurt her in Southern Illinois, you know. What can I say? Same difference.” [Topinka said] […]

“I’m proud of my father’s work and legacy,” [Simon’s] statement continued, “but it’s been important for me to build my career on my own. I entered statewide politics only after my father’s death. To compare a patronage request to my decades of hard work is insulting.”

She entered statewide politics when Pat Quinn picked her.

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** Et tu, Cubbies?

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* Tribune

Despite a close proximity and upgrades, Kane County will lose its affiliation with the Chicago Cubs to South Bend [Indiana].

The Cubs will announce Thursday their new agreement with South Bend after two successful seasons with Kane County, which promised upgrades to its facility that included a climate-controlled batting cage, an expanded weight room and a video room for players and coaches for evaluation purposes at Fifth Third Bank in Geneva.

* Meanwhile, from Indiana’s Economic Development Corporation…

Chicago Craft Bottling, LLC announced plans today to locate its first Indiana bottling facility here, creating up to 35 new jobs by 2017.

“Companies like Chicago Craft Bottling save money in Indiana, from our lower tax burdens to our more affordable cost of doing business,” said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “Those savings earn companies a competitive advantage, allowing them to reinvest in their operations. That keeps Indiana businesses growing, expanding our economy and creating more jobs for Hoosiers.”

The Chicago, Illinois-based company will invest $910,000 to construct and equip a new 10,000 square-foot bottling and packaging plant. The new facility, which is expected to be operational by the end of the year, will allow the company to provide bottling and co-packing services to craft and innovative beverages, including its anchor client, Crafthouse Cocktails. Chicago Craft Bottling plans to hire for approximately 10 new positions in Indiana by early November. […]

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Chicago Craft Bottling, LLC up to $295,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Michigan City approved additional tax abatement at the request of the Economic Development Corporation Michigan City.

So, they want the obvious cachet of our largest city’s name, but they don’t want to make it here. The mayor ought to do something about that one.

* Now, on to some good news…

The Illinois unemployment rate fell in August for the sixth consecutive month to reach 6.7 percent while employers created +13,800 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 9.2 percent one year ago marks the largest year-over-year decline since 1984. The last time the rate was lower than 6.7 was in July 2008 when it was 6.6. Also, there are +40,600 more jobs than one year ago.

“Five months of job creation coupled with increased help-wanted advertising indicate a bit of momentum as we head into the Fall,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “It is not surprising that fewer people are looking for work given retirement trends, although it does underscore that more needs to be done to give the long-term unemployed the skills necessary to secure meaningful employment.”

Since 1976, the monthly Illinois rate has averaged 0.6 points higher than the national rate. August marks the second consecutive month that the state rate has hit that benchmark. Illinois last did so in Spring, 2012. […]

August job growth was led by Leisure and Hospitality (+5,000), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+4,300), and Professional and Business Services (+3,300). Other Services (-1,800), Education and Health Services ( 1,700) and Financial Activities (-300) declined.

*** UPDATE *** Bruce Rauner…

“It’s always good news when more Illinoisans are working. Unfortunately, we still have a huge ways to go to get out of the massive hole that’s been dug in our state by the Quinn-Madigan-Blagojevich machine. We need to put our economy on jet fuel, and under Pat Quinn it’s struggling along on leaded gas. It took eight months to add a single job this year.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      

Cutting to the chase

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* Whet Moser at Chicago Magazine is fast becoming my favorite political blogger.

Moser doesn’t post a lot, but when he does it’s clearly after he’s given things much thought. For instance, during all the hooplah over Bruce Rauner’s $140,000 wine club, Moser took a decidedly contrarian, but fact-based position

Napa Valley Reserve isn’t a wine club in the sense that you plunk down six figures and get a bottle of wine in the mail. It’s somewhere between a dude ranch, a time-share for hobbyist winemakers, and Costco for wine collectors.

And it might be a bargain. Here’s how Food & Wine describes it:

    An alternative to owning a vineyard is belonging to the Napa Valley Reserve, winemaker Bill Harlan’s new club. A $150,000 deposit buys the right to purchase from one-half to three barrels of wine. You can do as much of the work as you want, from grape picking to barrel tasting. About 275 people have joined so far, half from outside California, and Harlan expects to cut off membership at 400.

According to a 2010 Huffington Post piece, members can buy bottles for $78.

He did the math of deposit plus wine costs and concluded that members could buy wine for about $250 a bottle. But that wine actually retails for between $450 and $900 a bottle….

Plus the Reserve deposit is refunded if you quit. At these prices, you’d be crazy not to join.

Excellent point.

* One of his more recent posts does a good job of explaining this exceedingly frustrating statement by Rauner

* Moser uses some past articles to explain that this is how Rauner does business. From a 2011 Rauner interview in Chicago Mag

Most private equity firms buy mature companies and unwanted divisions of large corporations, managements intact. But you seem to go out and find management and then, together with them, go buy the companies.

We’re in two businesses: industry research and executive recruiting. We study industries, and we network like crazy to find the superstars. Today, we’re partners with two dozen CEOs. Some we’re backing for the second, third time. It can take from six months to nine years from the time we meet someone until we actually become partners with each other.

* Rauner’s 1999 explanation of how GTCR is involved with companies

We’ll take one or two seats on a company’s board of directors, and then help out in areas where we can be useful, focusing on issues like recruiting additional executives; identifying acquisitions for the company; helping structure, price, and negotiate acquisitions, if they ask us to do that; arranging other types of capital in addition to our own arranging debt or mezzanine financing, arranging joint ventures or leasing terms, etc.; helping the company go public selecting the underwriters and the analysts, and getting it public at the right time at the right price. We try to be supportive partners and advisors, without getting in the way.

* Whet’s conclusion

It’s banking and management, but not necessarily the operations of the business itself.

And that might go some way towards explaining Rauner and his goal-first, plan-later approach. He’s accustomed to targeting acquisitions or industries in which to create a business, setting goals for that business—and then assembling management to carry out those goals.

Rauner has been emphatic about his plan to put together a can-do bureaucracy from experts; indeed, that’s much of his expertise, a hands-on recruiter of talent… But much of Rauner’s “management” will be selected by the fractious, divided state he wants to govern in the form of the legislature. Will it work? He wants you to trust him—and for the state to pick him on the basis of his business success, as he’s done his whole life.


- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

Welcome to the NFL, rookie

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* As you’ll recall, Channel 5’s Mary Ann Ahern asked Bruce Rauner about the NFL domestic violence scandals yesterday. Last night, she reported this

The Rauner team was not happy with today’s questions on the NFL and said we should have submitted them ahead of time.

The Rauner campaign flat-out denies anybody told her that. Ahern firmly stood by her story this morning. She also denied, and deemed it personally insulting, that anyone would claim her NFL questions were planted by the Quinnsters.

* The first-time candidate might be dismayed at the way he’s being treated by the city’s media, but it’s merely his turn in the barrel. The governor has served his time in said barrel quite often and will be back in there very soon.

And it’s only gonna get worse. Much worse.

* And while the governor’s campaign talked to me about the NFL abuse issue and Rauner’s Steelers ownership two nights ago, Chicago reporters can always smell a good local angle on a hot national story, and the NFL abuse scandal is the hottest thing going right now. Rauner, as a part-owner of an NFL team, gave them the perfect local angle. Craig Dellimore

Republican candidate Bruce Rauner called a news conference to talk about ethics but as a partial owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was asked what he thought of the way the NFL handled recent domestic violence incidents including former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice knocking out his then fiancé. He sidestepped.

Why Rauner wasn’t prepared to answer that question is just beyond me. He could’ve turned it into a huge positive. Instead, he whiffed.

- Posted by Rich Miller   70 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** This just in… Court keeps Libertarians on ballot

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* 11:00 am - Sangamon County Circuit Judge has ruled against an attempt by Illinois Republican Party attorneys to knock the Libertarian Party’s statewide slate off the November ballot. The full ruling is here.

*** UPDATE *** AP

Kelley found that the evidence supported the board’s decision, noting that the court could overturn it “only if it finds the rulings are clearly erroneous.”

Illinois GOP attorney John Fogarty had argued that thousands of signatures were invalid because they were illegible, not genuine and because petition circulators didn’t reside at their stated addresses.

While approving the Libertarian’s candidacy, the board ruled that Green, Constitution and Independent party candidates should not be on the ballot because the parties gathered too few valid signatures. Democratic Party attorneys had challenged the validity of the signatures for the Green candidate, who could have taken votes away from Quinn.

Fogarty declined comment Thursday on whether attorneys would appeal. Illinois GOP spokesman Andrew Welhouse said the party would “continue to work in every part of Illinois to elect Bruce Rauner and Republicans up and down the ticket.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      

Callis releases new negative ad

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* She isn’t going down without a fight

* Script…

NARRATOR: Rodney Davis will tell you he started out small, but Davis hit the big time in Washington. As a congressman, Davis spent forty grand at DC steakhouses. He wined and dined with insiders, and voted to protect tax breaks for millionaires. Davis shut down the government, but kept his own taxpayer funded perks like a private gym and first class flights.

CALLIS: I’m Ann Callis, I approve this message. I’ll do without the perks, so we can do more for middle class families.

* Davis campaign response…

To distract the public from her growing residency scandal, Ann Callis once again throws untruthful bombs in her latest TV commercial. Instead of talking about actual issues, or coming clean on where she lived while serving as an elected official in Illinois, Callis continues her attacks on Congressman Davis.

As we know, Callis’ last ad attacking Congressman Davis was a flat-out lie. In reality, fact checkers called the attacks in the last Callis ad “smarmy.” (Washington Post 5/5/2014). That Callis attack received a Four Pinocchios rating by fact checkers…the worst rating possible.

She continues the pattern in this latest ad:

    Callis ad: “Davis shut down the government”
    Truth: Congressman Davis actually voted to keep the government up and running. (Roll Call Vote #478, 9/20/2013)

    Callis ad: “kept his own taxpayer funded perks like a private gym and first class flights”
    Truth: Congressman Davis voted to BAN first-class flights by members of Congress and have never flown first-class on the taxpayer’s dime. He voted to stop Members of Congress for receiving taxpayer-funded health care for life. (Roll Call Vote #177, 4/10/14). Davis also pays his own money for his gym membership.

“Ann Callis is running a desperate campaign of deceit and untruthfulness,” said Tim Butler, Davis campaign manager. “This ad only continues a dishonest pattern established over many years when she signed multiple documents attesting to her residency in Missouri while serving as an elected judge in Illinois. As an attorney, she should know that her residency in Missouri violated the Illinois Constitution.

“Ann Callis also needs to let the public know about her own gold-plated judicial pension,” Butler continued, “and her free lifetime health care, both courtesy of the taxpayers of Illinois. I doubt she wants to talk about that, but instead she will continue to attack Congressman Davis.”

* But Callis has her own documentation…


Davis Drops Nearly $40,000 on Washington Steakhouses

    In 2013 and 2014, Congressman Davis spent $38,834 in campaign funds at exclusive Washingon steakhouses.
    [State Journal-Register, 7/26/14]

Davis Twice Voted for the Ryan Budget, Giving the Average Millionaire a Tax Cut of $245,000

    Congressman Davis twice voted for a budget that gives Americans with incomes of $1 million or more an average net tax cut of about $245,000.
    [House Clerk, H Con Res 96, Vote #177, 4/10/14, H Con Res 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/17/13]

Congressman Davis Signed a Letter Urging the House Republican Leadership to only Fund the Government if it Defunded the Affordable Health Care Act

    According to Freedom Works, Rodney Davis signed a letter authored by Tea Party Congressman Mark Meadows, “affirming that they will refuse to vote for a CR that contains ObamaCare funding.”
    [Freedom Works Website, 8/14/13; Meadows Letter, 8/21/13]

Davis Voted for a Continuing Resolution that would “Likely Result” In a Government Shutdown.

    In 2013 House Republicans passed a Continuing Resolution that the Associated Press reported would “likely result” in the shutdown of the federal government.
    [House Clerk, HJ Res 59, Vote #478, 9/20/13; Associated Press, 8/23/13; New York Times, 9/18/13]

Congressman Davis Voted Sixteen Times Against Efforts to Re-Open the Government

    Following the government shutdown, Congressman Davis voted sixteen times against efforts to vote on a clean government funding resolution by allowing consideration of the Senate-passed continuing resolution.
    [House Clerk, H Res 370, Vote #509, 10/02/13, HJ Res 70, Vote #512, 10/02/13, HR 3230, Vote #515, 10/03/13, HJ Res 72, Vote #517, 10/03/13, H Res 371, Vote #519, 10/04/13, HJ Res 85, Vote #521, 10/04/13, HJ Res 75, Vote #523, 10/04/13, H J Res 77, Vote #527, 10/7/13, HJ Res 84, Vote #529, 10/08/13, H Res 373, Vote #531, 10/08/13, HR 3273, Vote #533, 10/08/13, HJ Res 90, Vote #536, 10/09/13, HJ Res 79, Vote #539, 10/10/13, HJ Res 76, Vote #541, 10/11/13, HJ Res 380, Vote #543, 10/11/13, HJ Res 80, Vote #547, 10/14/13; New York Times, 10/07/13]

Congressman Davis Defends Keeping the House Gym for Members of Congress During the Government Shutdown

    During the government shutdown the House gym for Members of Congress stayed open despite assurances that it would close and even though employees were furloughed and tours were canceled. Congressman Davis did not sponsor or cosponsor H.R. 3276, The Shutdown Prioritization Act, a bill that would have explicitly banned this activity. Davis’ office defended his continued use of the facility during the shutdown.
    [NBC 4, 10/9/13;, 9/16/14; State Journal-Register, 7/21/14]

Davis Refuses to Support Commonsense Ban on Taxpayer Funded First Class Flights for Members of Congress

    Congressman Davis voted against a budget that would have explicitly banned first class travel. He also is not a sponsor or cosponsor of H.R. 4632, If Our Military has to Fly Coach then so should Congress Act of 2014, a bill that bans Members of Congress and their staff from using taxpayer dollars to pay for first class tickets for flights.
    [House Clerk, H. Con. Res. 96, Vote #176, 4/10/14;, 9/5/14]

I am way too ill today to include any of the dozens of hyperlinks in both those press releases. Sorry. New maladies have befallen me. Gonna be a long day.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments calls Schilling ad “shamefully misleading”

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* Remember this Bobby Schilling TV ad I posted yesterday?

Munos: [Congresswoman Cheri Bustos] voted to cut veteran benefits by six billion dollars.

Ron Tady (East Moline): Six billion dollars!

Moffett: That’s billion with a B.

Munos: After promising she never would.

Moffett: How could you cut our benefits, Cheri? […]

Tady: How could you? Shame on you.

* Well, takes a look at the vote in question and pronounces it “shamefully misleading”

The ad refers to the bill introduced last Dec. 10 by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, chairs of their respective budget committees in the House and Senate. Ryan, who was also the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2012, said at the time: “I’m proud of this agreement. It reduces the deficit — without raising taxes. … I ask all my colleagues in the House to support it.”

And the deal was approved overwhelmingly, by a vote of 332 to 94 in the House on Dec. 12, 2013, with 169 Republicans and 163 Democrats voting in favor. The Senate followed suit a few days later, passing the package on Dec. 18 by a vote of 64 to 36. This time, all 55 members of the Democratic caucus voted in favor, but only nine Republicans did so.

The deal avoided any tax increase or revisions to Social Security, Medicare or other major entitlement programs, and restored some earlier “sequester” cuts to the military budget. But one of the offsetting cuts was a reduction in future cost-of-living adjustments to the pensions of military retirees that would cut spending by an estimated $6.2 billion over 10 years, beginning in fiscal year 2016.

That would have affected about 750,000 military retirees, only a small fraction of the roughly 22 million that the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates have served in the U.S. armed forces. So the large majority of veterans would not have been affected.

Nevertheless, the pension cut quickly drew fire from military and veterans groups, prompting a rapid retreat by Congress. The House voted Feb. 11 to restore the old cost-of-living formula for all who had signed up for military service prior to 2014. The vote was 326 to 90, and Bustos was among the 120 Democrats who voted in favor. The next day, the Senate voted 95 to 3 for final passage, and the president signed the repeal into law on Feb. 15.

Given all that, we find the ad to be shamefully misleading. The man in the ad who says, “Shame on you, Congresswoman Bustos,” might accurately have said instead, “Thank you, Congresswoman Bustos, for restoring our full military pensions.”

* She’s being hammered for doing the right thing. She and the rest of Congress retreated, which was chicken-hearted, but the right political move. They retreated partly because they could all foresee ads like Schilling’s in their next elections.

There are no innocents here, but it is most definitely a misleading ad. I even wonder whether any of Schilling’s vets would’ve been among the tiny fraction who would’ve received a slightly lower COLA.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      

Rauner zeroing in on 20 IDOT workers

Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

* From a press release…

Yesterday, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn was asked to explain why he won’t fire 103 illegal patronage hires that remain at the Illinois Department of Transportation. Here was his response:

    “Those that are still in the state government they did apply for positions that were covered by civil service, they followed all the rules, they were hired under those particular proper rules, and I see no need to fire them if they followed the rules and the agency followed the rules.”

What a load of baloney. All of these people were hired illegally – they got inside the IDOT system improperly while Illinois workers, particularly our veterans, were never given opportunities to apply. And once inside the system, Quinn’s cronies had preferential access to job openings – ahead of other Illinois job seekers.

Meanwhile, while Pat Quinn tries to hide behind “job protections” for some of the remaining 103 illegal patronage hires, IDOT publicly stated that 20 of these cronies do not have job protections against being fired. Why can’t Pat Quinn – at the very least – fire these 20 illegal patronage hires? Who is he protecting and why?


    According To IDOT, Twenty Of The Illegal Hires That Quinn Is Protecting Do Not Have Job Protections Against Being Fired “The 103 IDOT workers who Quinn’s office said will keep their jobs include 83 who have moved into positions that come with job protections they didn’t have when they hired in as staff assistants. Another 20 don’t have those protections, but still are not expected to be let go, Tridgell said.” (Ray Long and Monique Garcia, “IDOT To Retain 103 Hired Despite Anti-Patronage Rules,” Chicago Tribune, 9/13/14)

    Current IDOT Employees Are Given Preferential Access To Job Openings Within IDOT. “When the employer determines to fill a permanent vacancy within the bargaining unit, the Employer shall post for 10 days within the Agency the position is located, by District Offices and Central Bureaus and will make a reasonable attempt to provide the same information to field offices. The posting notice shall state the position classification, any specialized skills, training, experience or other necessary qualifications, the shift, the work location and assignment, rate of pay and shall indicate that it is a bargaining unit position. Any bargaining unit employee may bid on a position in any Agency under this collective bargaining agreement; however, they must be deemed qualified and eligible in order to be considered for selection.” (IDOT Collective Bargaining Agreement, Accessed 9/18/14, p. 32)


- Posted by Rich Miller   105 Comments      

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Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

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* Quinn presser raw audio
* MillerCoors matching donations for Equality Illinois GOTV efforts
* Question of the day
* Rauner takes batting practice
* Stagnant income, except at the top
* If the US Attorney doesn't believe he did it, that's good enough for me
* Today's number: 20x
* Cross endorsed by Democratic mayor
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Et tu, Cubbies?
* Cutting to the chase
* Welcome to the NFL, rookie
* *** UPDATED x1 *** This just in... Court keeps Libertarians on ballot
* Callis releases new negative ad
* calls Schilling ad "shamefully misleading"
* Rauner zeroing in on 20 IDOT workers
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: Crosstabs, mailers, latest cable TV buys
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

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