Sunday, October 31, 2010

GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 31, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 76,472 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 31, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 30, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 76,324 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 30, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Republicans:Quinn misleads with early release ad

By Jamey Dunn

Republicans are crying foul over the early release of some prisoners after Gov. Pat Quinn said he suspended the controversial Meritorious Good Time program. However, a report issued yesterday says their claims are unfounded.

Quinn drew heat after the Department of Correction’s “Meritorious Good Time Push [MGT Push]” program made news. The plan suspended a longstanding policy that required prisoners to wait 60 days before they received any “good time” credits that would shorten their sentences. The new policy, applied to the statutory Meritorious Good Time program, allowed some prisoners to be released after only serving weeks of their sentences.

Once the policy became a public scandal, Quinn terminated the practice of waiving the waiting period, which was referred to as the “push,” and suspended the Meritorious Good Time Program. Since that time more than 2,000 prisoners have been released with “good time” credits, and Republicans say Quinn’s claims that the programs have stopped are misleading.

However, a report issued yesterday by the Northwestern University School of Law says Quinn followed the law by releasing those prisoners, who received their credits before the program was stopped. The report calls the Republicans claims “trumped up allegations.” From the report:

Governor Quinn was accused of lying for not having attempted the impossible: retroactively revoking “good time” credits from all prisoners to whom they had been awarded prior to January 15, 2010.

Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Republican from Hinsdale, said the real problem is that Quinn is not being up front with the public by running a campaign ad claiming he stopped the program “cold,” which Dillard said “lets people think that early release is no longer taking place in any fashion.”

Dillard added: “Gov. Quinn misleads the public in his ad. And he has released thousands of additional early releases. … We still have thousands of people pouring out on the streets.”

Sharyn Elman, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections said the Republicans are the ones warping public perception by implying the “MGT Push” program is still active. She said the state has to honor credits awarded under the standard “good time” program before its suspension and calls the Republican complaints “fear mongering.”

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Quinn and Brady's last duel

By Jamey Dunn

In their last televised face-off before the election, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and his Republican challenger, state Sen. Bill Brady, tore into each other but failed to cover much new ground.

Last night’s event,
which was broadcast by WTTW Chicago Public Media, was a more loosely structured forum, as opposed to a formal debate. The candidates did not face time limits or make opening statements. The more lax format resulted in Brady and Quinn arguing, interrupting each other and sometimes outright sniping while trying to get in the last word before moderator Carol Marin cut them off.

The two candidates bickered over the possibility of borrowing $4 billion to make the state’s required pension payment for the current fiscal year. The Senate plans to return to Springfield on November 4 to vote on a borrowing bill, which the House narrowly approved last May.

Brady said Quinn should look for other ways to make the payment and is borrowing because “he’s not willing to face up to the tough decisions that a governor must make.” Brady added that he would do “everything [he] can” to oppose the borrowing. Quinn accused him of working behind the scenes in block the bill last spring.

Quinn said the state must make the pension payment, and — given the dire financial straits he inherited — borrowing is the way to go. “Our problems did not begin the day I lifted my hand off the Bible when I got sworn in.” He called Brady’s budget plans “irresponsible,” “reckless” and “wrong.” Meanwhile, Brady criticized Quinn for borrowing money without a dedicated funding source to pay it back.

Brady addressed recent media reports that his campaign failed to pay for airtime for its ads. He says the campaign made a “tactical” change and there was a “glitch” in payment, which has since been corrected. Quinn said the failure to pay spoke to Brady’s management skills.

When the conversation turned to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, Brady said he had no intentions of creating a “hostile” environment for the LGBT community. However, he stuck by his stance that the law should define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Quinn went after him on social issues saying: “The governor should be tolerant. …You haven’t been tolerant.”

When asked if he had any regrets, Quinn said he had been disappointed with the political climate after he was sworn into office. He said he “thought Illinois would have a bipartisan moment to really do hard things.”

Brady said he regretted sponsoring a bill early in his run that would allow for the mass euthanasia of cats and dogs, after Marin directly asked him about the legislation. He has taken political fire over the measure and quickly removed his name from the bill after it made news.

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GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 29, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 76,243 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 29, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Report: 'MGT Push' got a bad rap

By Jamey Dunn

A report released today claims the media and politicians wrongly vilified the now infamous “Meritorious Good Time Release Push [MGT Push]” program and exaggerated the program’s affect on public safety.

The report, issued by the Northwestern University School of Law, claims the program — which awarded prisoners “good time” credit at the beginning of their sentences, causing some to spend only weeks in jail — was in line with previous steps taken by the General Assembly to combat overcrowding and rehabilitate criminals through community-based programs when possible.

From the report:

Even before [Corrections Director Michael] Randle’s arrival in June 2009, Illinois policymakers had been considering ways to reduce the number of short-term prisoners. The Illinois legislature expressly endorsed the concept of keeping a significant portion of this group out of prison altogether by passing the Crime Reduction Act of 2009.

The report was written by Malcolm Young, director of the Program for Prison Reentry Strategies with the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law. He says the media and politicians mischaracterized the program by dwelling on the more sensational aspects and characterizing it as secret.

But he concedes that the complexity of the sentencing process and criminal justice system make it difficult to give a program like MGT Push context when explaining it to the public. “There’s two difficulties for the media on criminal justice issues. One, its very emotional for people. It produces a gut reaction. … The second is, it’s difficult to understand and explain.”

From the report:
While “MGT Push” was hardly secret, it also was not announced with a press conference. The Department treated “MGT Push” as what it was: an administrative change in a practice that was unsupported by law, the result of which was to credit prisoners with ‘good time’ to which they were entitled without an arbitrary 60-day delay and to reduce the cost of putting the Department through an expensive classification process, the outcome of which was irrelevant for prisoners soon to be released in any event.

Young — who is a member of the Quinn Administration's Illinois Adult Corrections Advisory Board but says he is not paid for his service and has never met the governor — said those aware of the program should have seen the controversy coming and done more to explain the need for early release to the public. “Those of us who heard [of MGT Push] or knew about it or talked about it, we’re guilty, too — of not really anticipating what the emotional trigger was or how it could be exploited.” The report accuses Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration of “bad public relations” during the public scandal that ensued.

Young said he is disappointed that the backlash has resulted in early-release programs being shut down in Illinois instead of creating a debate on the best way to fix the correction system with the goal of rehabilitating criminals and reducing crime rates.

Republicans question the results of the Northwestern report, citing a scathing report issued by Judge David Erickson and members of Quinn’s own administration.

“[Those who wrote the] Erickson report had inside and in-depth knowledge of the Department of Corrections,” said Patty Schuh, a spokeswoman for Sen. Bill Brady, the Republican candidate for governor. “The bottom line is, what [Erickson] found was 1,700 inmates were secretly released — many after only serving days in prison. That is a problem. That is a public safety risk.”

Young’s report is critical of Erickson's findings. It also alleges that cutting early release programs may actually harm public safety because criminals whose sentences are reduced spend the time they would have spent behind bars under supervision back in society. The logic is that criminals who serve their full sentences would have to fend for themselves on the outside sooner after release and would be more likely to resort to crime.

Young said that MGT Push set the state back in terms of trying to address overcrowded prisons and rehabilitate felons through community-based programs when appropriate “In retrospect, it wasn’t worth it. It cost a huge amount. But the problem is not that someone tried to implement something as modest as MGT Push. The episode shows us that at any point in time, it would be very difficult to put in place any reform in Illinois that visibly shortens or reduces prison sentences.”

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Million$ in Motion in Lead Up to Last Weekend

Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

The last weekend approaches and looking through the disclosure reports shows how the candidates are filling up for their final push. Some interesting deployments of money:

* The Republican Governors Association has moved $900K to Illinois in the last two days. We can guess where that’s going; Bill Brady has reported $100K from the RGA the day after some of these transfers, and more is likely. Where the RGA money came from is much harder to figure out. We wish the RGA would identify the sources of funds used in Illinois in real time, as the DGA does.

* Other large recent donors to Brady include Lake Forest business owner Ernie Semersky ($35K), Glenview businessman John Miller ($25K), Molex honcho John Krehbiel ($25K) and the Illinois Republican Party ($208K). In all, Brady reports $735,600 in the last two days

* House Republican Leader Tom Cross moved $125K to his Citizens to Change Illinois committee. Expect to see in-kinds from CCI to favored legislative candidates in the next few days. Note that CCI is in no way affiliated with CHANGE Illinois!, the reform organization of which ICPR is a member.

* House Speaker Michael Madigan gave $250K to the Democratic Party of Illinois (which he also chairs). DPI gave $250K to Gov. Quinn’s campaign. Madigan also reported $100K from the same DC-based Engineers local that previously gave Quinn $400K. The reports show only that all three of these transactions took place on the same day (October 26); it’s impossible to say which occurred first or whether there's any correlation.

* In addition to the DPI, Quinn shows $38K from the Health Care Council of Illnois, a trade group of nursing homes, and another $50K from JB Pritzker. In all, Quinn has reported about $450K in the last few days.

* The Senate Republicans transferred $275K to the Illinois Republican Party, which has done a lot of mailings on behalf of candidates. Tom Cross sent $300K at the same time.

* AFSCME reloaded its coffers with $100K from DC. AFSCME has been comparatively bipartisan this year, so it’s hard to predict where that money is going.

ICPR will have more tomorrow on the top legislative races around the state.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 28, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 76,125 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 28, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Judge upholds Blagojevich conviction

By Jamey Dunn

Federal Judge James Zagel denied former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s bid to have the single conviction from his corruption trial tossed out.

Blagojevich was convicted in August on one charge of lying to federal agents — stemming from a 2005 discussion when he told FBI agents he kept a “firewall” between campaign fundraising and his job as governor.

Blagojevich asked Zagel to nullify the conviction based alleged misconduct by the prosecution.

Zagel did not agree that the prosecution took any inappropriate actions. "The arguments made here are weak in themselves. Defendant's motion is founded in substantial part on the well-known principle that if a lawyer cannot attack the law or the facts in a criminal prosecution, the only recourse is to attack the prosecutor,” Zagel said in a written opinion.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on 23 other corruption charges, including allegations that Blagojevich tried to sell President Barack Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat. The former governor faces a retrial in April 2011. Zagel gave Blagojevich’s trimmed-down defense team more time to prepare after his earlier outspoken father-son lawyer team, Sam Adam and Sam Adam Jr., bowed out of having an active role in the retrial.

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GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 27, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 76,020 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 27, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Overall Kilbride retention funding surpasses $3 million; NPR profiles the contest

Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

With the disclosure of large contributions on both sides of Justice Tom Kilbride's retention effort over the last five days, the campaign has met and exceeded the $3 million fundraising mark.

An updated ICPR analysis of fundraising in the retention campaign shows that the Democratic Justice's fundraising is outpacing that of his leading opponent by almost a 4-to-1 margin. Kilbride, from the 3rd Judicial District, has raised more than $2.48 million since July 1; more than half of that ($1,425,000) has come from the Democratic Party of Illinois. JUSTPAC, the Illinois Civil Justice League's political committee, has reported more than $667,000 in contributions.

(Illinois' previous most expensive retention campaign was logged a decade ago, when Supreme Court Justice Charles Freeman raised $235,799 in his successful bid to win another 10-year term.)

With combined fundraising of more than $3.1 million, the Kilbride retention campaign has become the nation's most expensive one-candidate retention election and the nation's second most expensive such contest, ever.

The campaign's oversized pricetag has drawn national attention -- even that of NPR.

The station visited Illinois, trekking through Kilbride's district and visiting ICPR's headquarters as well, to learn more about the campaign and the issues at play.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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A New Voice in the Party? Plus, Dugan & McAsey get DPI Funds, and Colvin Files

Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

A new political committee filed this afternoon to participate in next Tuesday's election. The Democratic Lieutenant Governor's Association - Illinois filed its statement of organization. Maybe they'll be helping Sheila Simon? Simon can't win without Democrat Pat Quinn also crossing the line, so while it may seem odd, this group would really be supplementing the work of the Democratic Governor's Association -IL committee.

A number of Democratic legislative candidates filed this afternoon showing big receipts from DPI. Lisa Dugan reported $20K, Emily McAsey showed $15K, and Pat Verschoore and Chuck Jefferson had smaller figures. The bigger amounts look to be cash transfers, not mail.

Marlow Colvin filed his Pre-Election report. Voters are still waiting on Edwin Reyes to file, he is now the lone holdout among the candidates for statewide, legislative, or Cook County office who had not filed as of last week.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 26, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 75, 934 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 26, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Kilbride logs more Democratic Party, teacher's union money; Opponent JUSTPAC fundraising continues but doesn't keep pace

Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

The retention campaign of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride – the nation’s most expensive such contest in the nation this year – continues to grow more costly.

JUSTPAC, the opposition’s leading committee, reported today that it had received another $25,000 from the American Tort Reform Association. Late last week, the Illinois Civil Justice League’s committee disclosed that it had received $50,000 from Caterpillar.

The committee supporting Kilbride’s bid to serve another 10-year term on the state’s high court reported receiving another $175,000 from the justice’s largest backer, the Democratic Party of Illinois, late last week. The Kilbride committee also reported another $100,000 from the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and $25,000 from the SEIU Illinois Council PAC Fund, in addition to some smaller contributions from individuals.

With these contributions accounted for, the Kilbride race has raised more than $3.1 million, including supporters and opponents. The justice's committee has reported raising more than $2.48 million since July 1, while JUSTPAC has netted more than $667,000 in support.

NPR was in our office Friday to interview ICPR director Cindi Canary on this record-setting retention election. Check back here tomorrow for a link to that report.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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Safeguard in recall amendment could be its downfall

By Jamey Dunn

A provision to require statewide voter support to unseat a governor, which legislators viewed as a safeguard in proposed recall amendment to the Illinois Constitution, has raised questions of constitutionality days before voters will consider it.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois claims that requiring any effort to recall the governor from office to get at least 100 signatures from 20 different counties violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by running counter to the “one person, one vote” principle.

Harvey Grossman, ACLU of Illinois’ legal director, said the requirement gives individual voters in smaller counties more power. In a large county, such as Cook, it would theoretically be easier to find 100 voters to sign a petition, while in a much smaller county it might be more difficult. Grossman said this would mean signatures from voters in smaller counties would be in greater demand, and the voice of a voter in larger county would be diluted.

Grossman said one alternative that would ensure statewide support would be to require signatures from a certain number of legislative districts, which are drawn up to contain the same number of voters. He said such a plan would prevent the problem that using counties, with varying populations, presents.

Rep. Jack Franks, a sponsor of the amendment, said legislators, working with Gov. Pat Quinn’s office, tried to ease the fears of those who were concerned that a governor could be recalled too easily or that recall power could be used as a political cudgel to threaten a sitting governor and sway his or her decisions. The requirement that a recall campaign collect signatures from multiple counties was meant to prevent a more populous county from single-handedly initiating a process, which would affect residents throughout the state.

Those seeking to recall a sitting governor would have to collect signatures from citizens equal to 15 percent of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. A bipartisan group of 20 House members and 10 Senate members also have to sign off on a recall effort.

Franks, a lawyer, said he does not know if the ACLU’s argument would hold up in court, but he said the organization should have raised concerns earlier in the process instead of days before the election. He is encouraging voters to approve the amendment, saying that if it is struck down, previous voter support would make it easier to pass a new version through the legislature.
Grossman, who wrote an opinion piece on the topic for the Chicago Tribune, said that his organization was responding to recent complaints from voters. “We felt we had a duty, once it was brought to our attention, to inform the voters.”

While the ACLU does not take a stance on recall, the organization is encouraging voters to reject the amendment because it is unconstitutional. He said the ACLU does not have any immediate plans to stage a legal challenge of the amendment if it receives the required support from 60 percent of individuals who vote in the general election next Tuesday. However, he thinks if it does pass, “the most likely result would be a court would strike down recall altogether.” He said the legislature should "go back to the drawing board" and create an amendment that would not face such legal challenges.

Kent Redfield, an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois Springfield and director of the Sunshine Project, a nonprofit campaign contribution database connected to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, described finding the right balance of safeguards against abuse while still making a recall process feasible for voters as a “three bears kind of problem.” He added the Quinn and the legislature could have taken more time if they wanted to get the amendment just right. “I don’t know that there as a lot of thought about these issues. … They could have found better mechanisms to protect against the things they wanted to protect against. … Could we have spent six months and got a better provision that would have been on the ballot two years from now? Sure.”

Redfield said although Quinn has historically supported recall, the impeachment and removal from office of his predecessor, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, added political pressure to get an amendment on the ballot this November. “The governor wanted that skin up on the wall as he was running for election.”

Redfield said he is not convinced by the ACLU’s case against the amendment. “I think the argument is a stretch, and I think it’s one of the reasons [they] didn’t raise it sooner.” He thinks it will do little to sway voters one way or another. “If you’re for recall, you’re for recall. If you’re against it, then you’re against it.”

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Scott Lee Cohen at $5.7M

Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

Cohen, Healy, and Lightford file Pre-Election Reports

Last week, we listed five active candidates who had failed to file timely Pre-Election reports showing the sources of their funds in the summer months. Today we can say that three of the five have filed. We're still waiting for Edwin Reyes and Marlow Colvin, but we are glad to see the campaigns of Scott Lee Cohen, Linda Healy and Kimberly Lightford have all now complied with the Election Code.

Scott Lee Cohen filed earlier today and reports $2,132,734.55 in receipts on his pre-election report. All told, he's showing $3,371,825 for the General Election -- of which he gave $3,253,550. His second largest contributor is Kathy Pizzo of Chicago Tempered Glass, who gave him $1,000. Another donor gave $500, and two are tied for fourth at $300. All of the money he's put into the General is in the form of loans, and while the jokes write themselves, it's not clear who else is going to give to the campaign. Including the Primary Election, he's put $5.7 million into his campaign in the last year -- more than twice what the McKennas put into Andy's campaign.

Linda Healy filed late last week and reports $7,400 in non-itemized contributions.

Kimberly Lightford filed on Friday. Her report apparently came in electronically, but is not available for viewing. We'll see if we can't find out more about the report.

In other news we noted earlier that a campaign fund called Leadership 2011 had filed non-participation for the General Election. Now, we see that they have been spending some money this fall. The group gave Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti $19K on October 2. Committees are allowed to file non-participation as long as they are not giving to candidates who are on the ballot; Fioretti is not running for any office in November. Still, that's a big chunk of money to give to a guy who's not on the ballot.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 25, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 75,872 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 25, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 24, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 75,797 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 24, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Congratulations to Phil Hare on that Peoria Journal Star endorsement

Back on Sept 11 Phil Hare was thrilled to see the NY Times House Race Ratings had him at 74% chance of winning.

The PJ-S endorsed his roundness today. The same NY Times now has Schilling at a 63.1% chance of winning. Which camp would you rather be in? Buh Bye, Phil!

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GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 23, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 75,714 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 23, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Much ado about Kilbride opponents' radio ad

Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

A radio ad from JUSTPAC, the leading opponent of retention-seeking Illinois Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride, has caused a bit of a stir the last couple of days, resulting in coverage in the Chicago newspapers, an admonishment by the Illinois State Bar Association and a response ad from Kilbride's own campaign.

The hubbub started brewing when the political committee of the tort reform group, the Illinois Civil Justice League, released an advertisement featuring dramatizations of parts of cases which the Illinois Supreme Court had decided. The Kilbride campaign denounced the ads as inaccurate, and then reported many of the stations running it yanked it. (JUSTPAC has since released a modified ad, which is here.)

Then earlier this week, the the Illinois State Bar Association issued a statement which slapped JUSTPAC for the ad campaign, saying it "is inappropriate and distorts his record" by characterizing Kilbride as allegedly soft on crime.

(In the interest of disclosure, I'll note that the ISBA has endorsed Kilbride.)

The admonishment was made by the bar association’s committee on Tone and Conduct, which considers political advertisements in Appellate and Supreme Court campaigns. (The committee was formed in 2004, with the support and urging of ICPR, as a result of the attack ads that dominated the Maag-Karmeier Supreme Court campaign in Illinois’ southernmost judicial district, the Fifth.) Composed of lawyers and non-lawyers, the permanent committee aims to discourage campaign activities that negatively affect the judiciary’s integrity and independence.

Today, the Chicago Tribune reported on the retention campaign and the ad controversy. The article quoted legal experts who explained that the Kilbride opinions referenced in JUSTPAC's ad were based on "legal procedures and points of law."

The Illinois' Civil Justice League's director, Ed Murnane, has defended the ad's content.

The Kilbride committee now has released its own radio ad refuting the claims made by his opponents and slamming its creators.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 22, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 75,588 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 22, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 21, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 75,480 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 21, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Bill Brady and his Indiana/Kentucky/Tennessee envy

It never occurred to me that anyone in Illinois envied Indiana. Here we are, with Chicago, the jewel of the Midwest, the gravitational force that draws people from throughout the region, and one of our gubernatorial candidates actually wants Illinois to be more like Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee???

I've heard of people being ashamed of their family, but I guess I had never witnessed someone being ashamed of their state. More to the point, why would anyone want to be like Indiana?

I get to see how bad Indiana is every single school day. I live in a school district of some renown close to the border, and one of the problems the district has is that people outside the boundaries of the district try to get their kids in it. So every morning, when the train comes, you see a line of kids walking from the train to school. Employees who are supposed to verify residency have told me that many of these kids who try to sneak into the school come from Indiana.

With Bill Brady wanting to cut a billion dollars from our public schools and make us "more like Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee" I have to wonder what schools *our* kids will be trying to sneak into under a Governor Bill Brady? Missouri's??? Mississippi's???

It's almost like Bill Brady wants to undermine public education -- and an economic legacy once the envy of the world.

There really is a difference in approach between the two parties, and it was made clear in last night's debate. Democrats are talking about building Illinois into a great post-Industrial power, not just in the Midwest but in the country. While the term silicon prairie is overused, Democratic candidates talk about investing in the state, expanding beyond the bizarrely single-sector focus on financial technology and welcoming development in future technologies, whether they would be classified as high tech or not.

But listen to the Republicans. They keep focusing on "small business," as if small business was the savior for all the jobs lost by the rusting away of the Industrial complex. Not only is that belief a pipe dream -- there isn't a single economist out there who would argue that small businesses could replace all the jobs lost by the de-industrialization of the Midwest -- it's defies reality.

Had Republican ideology been based in reality, it would have noticed that credit markets have been reducing loans to small businesses, especially the vital short-term loans that many small businesses use to cover expenses. St. Louis Fed economist Julie Stackhouse reports, “Businesses across the country report that credit conditions remain very difficult. In fact, the data on small loans made by banks show that outstanding loans have dropped from almost $700 billion in the second quarter of 2008 to approximately $660 billion in the first quarter of 2010.”

Republicans keep talking about jobs, but Democrats have been creating them by investing in Illinois and its people. And that's the difference. Democratic candidates like Pat Quinn, Alexi Giannoulias, David Miller and Robin Kelly want Illinois to be, well, MORE LIKE Illinois. They dream of a state that is, once again, not only the economic engine of the Midwest but in the driver's seat for the entire country, even the world.

These two difference visions for the future of Illinois expose another difference: that over the future of education in the state, and how much value we should attach to it. If Illinois' future is "small business" (whatever that is), then education isn't that important. You don't need a college degree to work in a small business (at least not the kind of small business that Brady or Rutherford are talking about). You probably don't even need a high school education. Brady's small business strategy backs up his intention of cutting state spending in public education.

But the Democrat's vision of an Illinois that is once again a leader in high technology and leading edge economic development requires a strong commitment to public education, through the post-grad level. It's a big gap: one in a future where Illinois is a world leader, the other where Illinois is, well, "like Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee."

When you think about Indiana, Kentucky or Tennessee, you don't think about economic engines or driving the world economy. You don't think of supercomputers or cutting-edge development. These are small states with small goals and small futures. And that appears to be what Republicans like Bill Brady and Dan Rutherford want: a small future for Illinois. A simple choice. A simple belief in our future. Or not. But I sure don't want to live in a state "like Indiana."

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quinn and Brady touch on budget ideas: Part 2

By Jamey Dunn

During recent debates, Gov. Pat Quinn has mentioned the “Budgeting for Results” provision — a plan to reform the state budgeting process — included in a budget bill approved last spring. (Scroll almost to the end of the bill. Section 50-25 is the bulk of it.)

However, Quinn has done little to describe the new law that seeks to make drastic changes in the way money is doled out to agencies and programs by next fiscal year.

The changes require the governor to work with legislative budgeteers and lay out priorities and goals for each agency in the budget. Executive officers will be required to set goals for their offices, as well. Budgeting for the next fiscal year will be based in part on the agencies’ abilities to meet their goals, and the governor’s office is required to report to the public on the results, compared with the original goals.

Democratic Sen. Dan Kotowski , who sponsored the bill that originally contained the reforms, said the measures represent a “paradigm change in Springfield.”

Kotowski said measuring effectiveness would give lawmakers the ability to “make decisions to cut, fund, eliminate and reform programs” based on data. He added that funding choices are now often made based on how much money a program got in the previous year and which programs have the most vocal backers. He said there is a mentality of “You have to support this because we’ve always supported it.”

Kotowski, who is from Park Ridge, said having measurable outcomes could make difficult cuts more tolerable for politicians and constituents, but they will also make it easier to justify funding for programs that work. “Here’s our budget, and it’s not just numbers, and it’s not just dollars being spent. It’s outcomes.”

In the end, he thinks such reforms could make voters more open to a possible tax increase. “When people see that government is making a difference in their lives, they are more likely to support revenue for those programs.” Kotowski made a down-to-the-wire decision to back the income tax increase approved by the Senate last year.

This new process would, in theory, mean no more budgeting in the way the legislature has for the last two fiscal years — approving lump sums and letting the governor make the cuts. “We wanted to turn a bad situation into a good one,” Kotowski said. He added that the reforms are intended to “make sure that we never, never do budgets like this again in the state of Illinois.”

Kotowski said he has been working with Quinn on the plan for the last year. If Brady wins the governor’s race, the senator said he could work with him on the reforms. However, he is worried about Brady’s proposal to cut the budget by 10 percent. “My concern is that he doesn’t understand the concept of funding: what works and cutting what doesn’t.”

Calls to Brady’s campaign on the subject were not returned. Brady voted against the bill, but since the reforms were contained in the “Emergency Budget Act,” which broadly expanded Quinn’s budgeting powers, little can be determined from the vote in relation to these measures. A section of Brady’s recovery plan does sound similar to some aspects of the new law:

No new spending initiative or program expansion will be allowed without a linked

funding source and measurable outcomes. … Further, when an agency seeks budget authority, it makes a contract with the people that it will meet its performance expectations, or it will be discontinued.

However, Brady’s plan puts more emphasis on balancing the budget and programs being linked to specific funding sources.

Kotowski admitted that the changes he sought have been met with some skepticism but added that he has been working with stakeholders on the plan for some time. He also pointed out that the requirements have been signed into law and will apply to the budget for fiscal year 2012. “If they don’t follow the law, we’ll file an injunction with the attorney general.”

Calls to Quinn’s budget office to inquire about the “Budgeting for Results” plan were not returned.

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Kirk and Giannoulias spar in debate

By Jamey Dunn

During last night’s debate, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk and state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias spoke about events from their pasts that have become fodder for the negative campaign ads that are characterizing their race for the U.S. Senate. They also weighed in on some national issues.

Both candidates acknowledged that the race has gotten personal. “This has been a tough and at times very negative campaign,” Giannoulias said at the Chicago debate. Kirk agreed that the focus has often been on the two candidates’ backgrounds but added that voters will be more concerned with the economy when they cast their votes.

Kirk — who has taken flack for exaggerating his military record as well as some personal stories about his life — said he has taken responsibility for his mistakes. Kurt has apologized for making false claims about his military service. “I misstated a part of my military record. It’s a painful process. I learned a big lesson from that. … It’s made me a better congressman.”

When asked about accusations that he was involved in loans his family bank made to alleged mobsters and criminals, Giannoulias said he should have done a better job of explaining the loan approval process when he ran for state treasurer.

“It’s easy to cherry-pick a few individuals out of thousand — out of thousands — and make a nasty political ad. But any business owner will tell you that running a business is not a straight line. Of course, mistakes are made. And inevitably, unfortunately, there are people you wish you would have never done business with.”

Kirk said he could have supported a different version of the federal stimulus program if it were “a much smaller bill with a much larger amount of money for infrastructure.” He said too much money was spent on social programs, and the package was ultimately a failure because it did not keep unemployment below President Barack Obama’s goal of 8 percent.

He also railed against deficit spending, saying the “legacy” of Obama’s recovery bill will be the debt “leveled on the financial future of our kids.” He added, “Our country used to number our debts in billions; now it’s in trillions.”

Giannoulias accused Kirk of recently becoming a deficit hawk after backing former President George W. Bush’s budgets, which put the country trillions of dollars into the red. He said the stimulus bill wasn’t perfect, but it kept the country out of another “Great Depression.”

Kirk said the bill excluded valid stimulus opportunities, such as an overhaul of O’Hare International Airport, because it excluded projects that were not “shovel-ready.”

Giannoulias said he supports the repeal of the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, which prevents gays and lesbians from openly serving in the U.S. military. A federal judge recently deemed the policy unconstitutional, and military recruiters have been ordered to begin accepting gay and lesbian recruits.

Kirk said he voted to keep the policy in place and thinks mixed messages coming from Obama’s administration, which sought to block the judge’s order, are bad for the military. Obama has said he supports the repeal of “Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell.”

“I think we ought to listen to the men and women who run the U.S. military. It is one of the most complicated organizations on Earth,” Kirk said.

Giannoulias also supports the “Dream Act,” which would create a path to citizenship for immigrants who go to college in America or serve in the military. Kirk said he doesn’t think the time is right for the bill. He said it should not be debated until officials “restore the trust of the American people in the ability to administer our own border.”

Kirk said he supports civil unions for same-sex couples. However, he added: “I also don’t think we should have a federal takeover of all marriage law in the United States. I think the federal government is already trying to take over too much.”

Giannoulias said he supports same-sex marriage rights. “We’re going to look back in 20 or 30 years and be embarrassed that we didn’t move sooner on this." (For more on the race for U.S. Senate see the current (October) Illinois Issues, Page 24.)

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Candidates who Failed to Disclose

Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

Have you seen these candidates? They owe voters an explanation.

Candidates for office file disclosure reports to let the public know the source of their campaign funds. Who gives to a candidate is important for several reasons. It suggests to whom the candidate may feel obligated after the election. Knowing the donors can also suggest positions that may not be immediately apparent, since big donors don't make big donations without vetting candidates.

For these reasons, candidates are required to disclosure their campaign finances in the weeks before an election. The reports are called "pre-election forms" and they list reportable receipts since July 1. But several candidates have failed to make these required disclosures.

If you should see these candidates out on the campaign trail, please ask them for their reports. They owe it to the voters.

Gubernatorial Candidate Scott Lee Cohen (I)
State Rep. Marlow Colvin (D-Chicago)
State House Candidate Linda Healy (D-Aurora)
State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Chicago)*
Cook County Commissioner Edwin Reyes (D-Chicago)*

* - These two candidates filed Non-Participation for the General Election. But candidates who are on the ballot cannot seriously claim to be "not participating" in the November General.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 20, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 75,382 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 20, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kilbride Retention Leads for Most Expensive

Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

Although there are two weeks before the election, the retention campaign for 3rd Judicial district Illinois Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride has broken the record as the most expensive one-candidate retention race nationwide this decade, a new analysis shows.

More than $2.6 million has been raised between the justice’s committee and a group that is working to oust him.

To date, Kilbride has reported receiving almost $2.1 million in checks, monetary transfers from political committees, and donated goods and services since he started fundraising in July, according to documents filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

JUSTPAC, the political committee of the Illinois Civil Justice League, has raised about $561,000 since July.

Kilbride was elected to the state’s high court in 2000 as a Democrat, but is running in a non-partisan retention election this year. He needs 60 percent of the vote to be returned to the bench.

The pre-election report Kilbride filed late Monday, which contains fundraising and expenditure information for the three-month period between July 1 and Oct. 3, shows that more than half of the justice’s support – $1.25 million – has come from the Democratic Party of Illinois.

The bulk of the justice’s other financial support has come from labor organizations and members of the legal community: more than $50,000 from the Illinois Laborers’ Legislative committee, about $354,000 from the Illinois Federation of Teachers, $90,000 from the Illinois Political Action Committee for Education (IPACE).

Attorneys and law firms have contributed to Kilbride’s committee and to the Democratic Party of Illinois, which is lead by Speaker of the House Michael Madigan. A joint analysis by Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU’s School of Law found that of the 33 contributions greater than $25,000 that the party reported receiving, 31 came from law firms.

The JAS/Brennan Center report also revealed that Kilbride has spent an estimated more than $880,000 on television ads.

Opponent JUSTPAC’s money has primarily come from players in the business and tort reform communities. Within the last month, the group has received: $50,000 from the Illinois State Medical Society’s committee, $180,000 from the American Manufacturers Association-created group American Justice Partnership; $150,000 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and about $64,000 from the American Tort Reform association. Other contributions have come from insurance companies ISMIE, First Nonprofit Insurance Company, and CNA, a commercial property and casualty insurance provider.

Another groups seeking to kick Kilbride out of Springfield, the Vote NO Kilbride committee, has raised $8,200 since it was formed earlier this year.

The Vote Yes Tom Kilbride committee, as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, had not filed its pre-election report. (Yes, the report that was due by midnight Monday.)

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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Is Cook County going Dem?

Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

Cook County has long been a Dem stronghold. While the statewide and national trends appear to be favoring Republicans, it also looks like the Dems are making a serious run at picking up more seats on the Cook County board.

Races with the most money are those with a Republican incumbent and a Dem (and sometimes Green) challenger. In the 17th, incumbent Liz Gorman faces Democrat Patrick Maher and Green Matthew Ogean. Gorman shows $151K for the general, while Maher reports $128K. Ogean has not formed a committee. Money isn't the only factor; this is the part of Cook County where Democrat Brendan Houlihan won the traditional Republican seat on the Board of Review four years ago. Maybe there's a broader shift going on here.

In the neighboring 16th, incumbent Republican Tony Peraica shows just $45K for the general. His Democratic challenger, McCook mayor Jeff Tobolski, shows $255K, a better than 5:1 advantage. As in the 17th, the Green candidate, Alejandro Reyes, has not yet formed a committee. Here, too, one should remember that money is only one resource in a campaign, and there may be more happening than the campaign finance reports indicate.

The biggest race, if you call it that, is in the 9th, where incumbent Republican Peter Silvestri shows $317K. His sole challenger, Democrat Cary Capparelli, reports $26K. Incumbents often do not spend all that they have available, so it's hard to say just yet whether this one will see significant spending.

Other notes on Cook races:

Edwin Reyes is the Democratic nominee for the 8th District seat on the Cook County Board. He's running unopposed. But he is still on the ballot, which makes it odd that he filed non-participation for the November general. Until he files, we won't know how much he's raised since July 1, or from whom. Just because he has no opponent doesn't mean the public has no right to know about his campaign finances.

There's a neat stair-step thing with fundraising in the race for Cook County Board President. Toni Preckwinkle raised about as much in small donations from individuals as Republican Roger Keats raised in total, and Keats, in turn, raised about as much from small individual donors as Green Tom Tresser raised in total. Preckwinkle reports $25K in non-itemized receipts on her pre-election report, all told, she shows $1M for the General Election.. Republican Roger Keats shows $4K in individual non-itemized giving, and $31K total, while Green Tom Tresser reports just $4K in total. Significant non-itemized contributions can sometimes be taken as an early sign of voter support, assuming that they come from voters in the district. On that basis, Republican Bill Brady's $204K in non-itemized individual contributions compares favorably with Democrat Pat Quinn's $40K in non-itemized individual contributions.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 19, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 75,286 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 19, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Voters oppose major cuts and tax increases

By Jamey Dunn

New poll numbers from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute show Illinois voters generally don’t support tax increases or substantial cuts to the state budget.

More than half of those surveyed in the poll of 1,000 registered voters said the state should cut the budget, and more than a quarter said cuts and new revenue are needed. Only 9 percent said a tax increase was the answer to balancing the budget.

When asked about sources for more revenue, an income tax increase had 40 percent support, with 56 percent opposed. Support on the issue has grown by 9 percentage points from a poll by the institute last year.

Only 24 percent were in favor of increasing the state sales tax, while 45 percent supported extending the sales tax to services. Increased gambling in the state had 49.9 percent support.

While no revenue increase could garner majority support, participants were even less likely to support cuts to major areas of state spending. More than 80 percent were against cuts to services for residents with developmental or physical disabilities and K-12 education. More than 70 percent opposed cuts to police forces or corrections, and more than 60 percent did not back cuts to services for low-income residents. More than 50 percent of participants opposed cuts to higher education and spending on natural resources and conservation.

Public pension benefits garnered the lowest support, with only 47.3 percent opposed to cuts. However, cuts to pension benefits were not backed by a majority either — 45.5 percent were in favor, and 7.2 percent were undecided.

John Jackson, a visiting professor with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, said the results, coupled with studies such as a recent report from the Pew Center on the States, show that voters do not understand the budget, which leads to unrealistic expectations. He added politicians have not done enough to educate voters about budget realities. “People have been fed this line that there is ‘waste and fraud out there’ and that it will painlessly solve the problem,” he said.

Jackson said that both nationally and on the state level, politicians have listened to voters’ distaste for tax increases and cuts, and that has contributed to some dire budget troubles. “I think they’ve done what people want so long that we have wound up in this incredible morass that we’re in.”

He said voters dwell on cuts that may get them fired up but fail to do much to help the budget. He used the example of some voters arguing the legislature should cut its staff. “You could fire them all, and all the rest of us that work for the state, and the sum total would be about $3 billion.” Then Illinois would still be facing a $10 billion deficit with no state government left to sort it out.

However, Jackson said some symbolic “high profile sacrificial lamb” cuts, such as politicians’ salary and travel expenses, shouldn’t be ignored because they can help voters have more trust in their leaders. But he said voters need to know that “painless” cuts will not be enough.

Jackson said Quinn has claimed substantial budget cuts, but he needs to do more to illustrate the specifics. “It’s pretty muddy, even though he’s announced $3 billion [in cuts].”

Jackson is not singling out Quinn. He said no candidate running for state office has done a good job explaining the current budget crisis and laying out his or her plan for reform. “I think we’ve missed a good opportunity to have an enlightened conversation.”

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Quinn, Brady both out of step with voters on some social issues

By Jamey Dunn

Both Sen. Bill Brady and Gov. Pat Quinn hold positions on major social issues that do not align with the opinions of Illinois voters, according to one poll.

During last night’s debate at Elmhurst College, Brady said that as governor, he would lift the moratorium on the death penalty, which former Gov. George Ryan put in place in 2006 after DNA evidence exonerated prisoners on death row.

According to a recent poll of more than 750 likely voters by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, residents intending to participate in the upcoming election agree with Brady. More than half of respondents, 56 percent, said Illinois should reinstate the death penalty. However, 36 percent said the moratorium should remain in place. The poll has a 3 percent margin of error.
“The people of Illinois have spoken, and they have said that this is the law of the land,” Brady said at the debate. He added that Illinois has the “utmost obligation to make sure that innocent people aren’t put to death.” But when Brady was asked how he would avoid such errors, he did not give any specifics.

Meanwhile Quinn — who does not want to abolish the death penalty but does want to keep the hold in place — said at the debate that he has Illinoisans' backing. “I think the people of Illinois really do support the moratorium and support me.”

He said more time is needed to see whether reforms that have been put in place are effective before the state starts using capital punishment again. “I think we should take a pause and make sure the reforms are working, so not one human being is wrongfully executed.”

“If you contrast the two governor candidates, Brady is on the side of public opinion on that one, and Quinn is on the side of public opinion when it comes to gay marriage and civil unions,” said John Jackson, a visiting professor with the public policy institute.

Brady’s stance on civil unions does not match up with poll numbers. Almost 68 percent of participants in the public policy institute poll supported some form of legal recognition from same-sex unions — with 33.6 percent supporting marriage, and 33.9 percent backing civil unions. About a quarter of respondents said there should be no legal recognition for same-sex couples.

But Brady said during the debate that he did not think he was out of step with Illinoisans when he backed a constitutional ban on civil unions. “My beliefs are what they are, and I believe a lot of people in Illinois respect those beliefs.” Brady then changed the subject to economic issues.

Jackson said Brady has “skillfully” avoided making social issues a substantial part of the campaign. “I agree that the budget is by far the bigger thing right now,” Jackson said. However, he said Brady has been “very, very vague” on his intentions regarding social issues if he is elected governor.

Respondents to the poll also weighed in on a national issue that has made recent news. More than 70 percent favored openly gay and lesbian soldiers serving in the U.S. military, while 19 percent were opposed. Last week, a federal judge ruled the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy on gay and lesbians serving in the military unconstitutional and ordered that it should no longer be enforced.

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Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

Retention-seeking Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride and his opponents reported receiving tens of thousands of dollars over the last three days.

Prominent Kilbride opponent JUSTPAC, the committee of the Illinois Civil Justice League, reported receiving an additional $80,000 from the American Justice Partnership. (JUSTPAC reported receiving $100,000 from the Partnership, last week.) The Partnership was founded by the National Association of Manufacturers and does not disclose the source of its funds.

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, which tracks campaign contributions nationally, has identified AJP as a group which traditionally advocates for Republican judges. In that sense, it's not surprising that the group would seek to kick Kilbride, who was elected in 2000 as a Democrat, off the state's high court.

And this isn't the AJP's first venture in Illinois judicial campaigns. In 2006, State Board of Elections data shows that AJP contributed $305,000 directly to Illinois Appellate Court Republican incumbent Steve McGlynn, as part of a campaign that established a new bar for appellate court campaign funding. In addition to the money AJP sent directly to the candidate, the group gave JUSTPAC $300,000 and to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce's PAC, $100,000.

Kilbride's political committee disclosed receiving $25,000 from the Illinois Labors' Legislative Committee, and $40,000 from the Illinois Political Action Committee for Education on Oct. 15. Another report shows the Illinois Federation of Teachers has supported the justice's retention bid with a $1,059 worth of campaign assistance.

The education community's significant involvement in a judicial election is pretty curious.

A more comprehensive picture of the pro- and anti-Kilbride groups' supporters is just around the corner. By midnight today, committees must complete their pre-election reports, which covers campaign activity since the last report July 1 and Oct. 3.

Please check back with the blog tomorrow for an updates on the Kilbride election and other top state campaigns.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 18, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 75,220 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 18, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 17, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 75,168 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 17, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - October 16, 2010

Articles of interest to Illinois Republicans recently posted by ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Daily Herald, Suburban Chicago News, Suburban Life, Pioneer Local, Southtown Star, Rockford Register Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal Star, Springfield State Journal Register, Belleville News Democrat, Southern Illinoisan, Illinois Review, Public Affairs, Champion News, Illinois Family Institute, Americans For Truth, Chicago Daily Observer, Tom Roeser, Capitol Fax, etc. Since January 1, 2005, GOPUSA ILLINOIS has brought 75.105 such articles and information on many upcoming events to its subscribers' attention each morning, free of charge, and without any advertising. To view the October 16, 2010 GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips, please visit www.gopillinois.com or www.gopusa.com/state-news/IL/. Thanks

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Debate includes third-party candidate

By Jamey Dunn

During last night’s gubernatorial debate, Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican candidate for governor Sen. Bill Brady took shots at each other, while Green Party candidate Rich Whitney advocated for free higher education.

Much of what Quinn and Brady focused on was a rehash of their talking points from previous debates and campaign events.

Quinn criticized Brady for wanting to eliminate the Put Illinois to Work program. Meanwhile, Quinn said that he has “taken on the crisis of state government with a heart.”

Brady, who was leading the race in a recent poll, called the program a cynical election ploy and characterized the work it has created for residents as “temporary tax jobs.” He said as governor, he would grow the public sector by being “business friendly” and create more permanent jobs.

Whitney took a swipe at Brady’s economic plan calling it “warmed over Reaganomics.” He added: “It didn’t work then. It doesn’t work now.”

Whitney's plan for recovery involved free public higher education for all. Whitney said it would create jobs at universities, which are, “well-distributed geographically around the state.” Whitney said the money students and parents would save by not paying tuition could provide economic stimulus and not having to take out loans to get an education would help residents avoid debt.

Brady took the opportunity to again slam Quinn’s deal with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which guarantees no layoffs until 2012 in exchange for $50 million in savings. The union endorsed Quinn shortly before the deal was signed, and Brady accused Quinn of making a trade to get the organization’s support. “Gov. Quinn has an endorsement. The union has a deal that will tie the hands of the next governor.”

However Quinn played up the fact that the union plans to make cutbacks under a contract that has already been negotiated. “I’ve been able to get concession from the unions … under the existing union contracts.” He also touted cost-saving pension reforms that he signed last spring.

Quinn and Brady both focused on the economic state of the state. Quinn highlighted manufacturing jobs that are new to Illinois in recent months. However, Brady said Illinois’ unfriendly business policies are running jobs out of the state. “Gov. Quinn’s the job governor all right, but it just happens to be for Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and other states.”

Whitney said that until state government can pay its bills and “perform its most basic functions,” Illinois does not look like a good bet to the business sector. “What business wants to come to or stay in a state whose public sector is falling apart, whose schools are falling apart — the cost of higher education going through the roof. … Where the infrastructure is falling apart where health care vendors aren’t being paid on time. Where people dependent on social services aren’t being paid on time. Social services are crumbling. What business wants to stay in a state like that?”

The debate, held on Southern Illinois University’s Carbondale campus, was Whitney’s chance for exposure before three upcoming debates in which he will likely not participate. Sponsors in those debates did not extend an invitation to the Green Party candidate, citing his low numbers in recent polls.

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Kilbride opponent JUSTPAC reports $165,000 in business, hospital group money

Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

Opponents of a retention-seeking Supreme Court justice from Rock Island have netted another $165,000, according to campaign reports filed this afternoon.

JUSTPAC, the political committee of the Illinois Civil Justice League, a pro-business/tort-reform organization, reported receiving $150,000 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and another $15,000 from the Illinois Hospital Association.

JUSTPAC is working to oust Democrat Tom Kilbride, a Supreme Court Justice from the 3rd Judicial District who needs 60 percent of the vote in order to hold another a 10-year term.

The six-figure checks we’ve reported over the last two days suggests there’s going to be a lot of activity on both the pro- and anti-Kilbride sides in the final weeks before the election.

The Kilbride retention election has drawn the interest of business groups and medical malpractice reform interests in part because of the justice’s participation on a 4-2 majority decision that struck down laws establishing some caps on jury awards for victims.

Both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Hospital Association were large contributors to 2004 Republican State Supreme Court candidate Lloyd Karmeier in what became the nation’s most expensive judicial contest in history. The Karmeier-Maag contest set a new record for the most expensive State Supreme Court campaign, as the two candidates, combined, raised more than $9.3 million.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was noted as one of the nation’s “Super Spenders” in judicial campaigns in a report analyzing campaign money over the last 10 years from the Brennan Center for Justice, Justice At Stake, and the National Institute on Money in State Politics. The report noted the Chamber’s involvement in campaigns in Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Mississippi and West Virginia.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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AFSCME reports $650K, Stand for Children, Griffin Family Close Behind

Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

AFSCME filed their pre-election report, showing $640K in receipts since July 1. What won't get press is how much of that they gave to Gov. Quinn. So far? None. Quinn took flak for extending a union agreement at the same time (and with the same staff) that the union was considering its endorsement. Of course, there's still time for the money to flow.

The House Republicans sent $25K to Dwight Kay. And took in $10K from Dave Lenkowski. Lenkowski is running for state House against incumbent Democrat Sara Feigenholtz in a Chicago district. Lenkowski previously reported $25K from Ken Griffin and less than $3K in other fundraising.

Koch Industries gave the Manufacturers PAC $10K today, on top of $3K last July. Koch was the subject of a New Yorker profile a few weeks ago, and many Democratic groups have used the family as a counter-point to Republican jabs at George Soros.

ActBlue continues to report receipts of money from individuals, even though it's those individuals, and not ActBlue, who determine who gets the money. Money from ActBlue is often listed as if it's from ActBlue, not the actual donors.

Bill Brady reports $25K from J&J Ventures. The donation ties for largest from the Central Illinois food vending company; in April, they gave $25K to the Senate Democratic Victory Fund.

Ken and Anna Griffin showed up again yesterday with $50K each to Bill Brady. So far, they've given about $500K in the last two weeks. Stand for Children haven't appeared in a few days, but net of internal transfers and mistaken reports, they're at almost $600K this month. We'll compile a list of the top donors in the next coming days.

For people who complain that the candidates at the top of the ticket don’t' inspire much confidence, know that there is a political committee called Leadership 2011 in Illinois. They filed today that they will not be participating in the November election. More's the pity.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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Illinois Federation of Teachers puts $350,000 into Kilbride retention effort

Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

The Illinois Federation of Teachers has a keen interest in the retention campaign of Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride.

Just how keen, you might ask?

$350,000 keen.

Two campaign finance disclosure reports filed with the State Board of Elections (here and here) show that over the last two months, teacher’s union has given the Rock Island justice $350,000.

Kilbride was elected to the state’s high court from the 3rd Judicial District as a Democrat in 2000. Now at the end of his 10-year term, Kilbride must receive at least 60 percent of the vote in his district on this November’s ballot in a retention election in order to hold the office for another term.

The Illinois Federation of Teachers primarily supports Democratic candidates for General Assembly and statewide office, so it’s a little peculiar that the group is putting so much money – $350,000, its largest aggregate contribution to any one candidate this election cycle reported, by far – into a judicial campaign.

The IFT's endorsement note on Kilbride may shed some light on why the union is so involved in this election: the Supreme Court "makes critical decisions on matters that often directly impact IFT members and their families, including pension protections and the scheduled statewide legislative remap."

On Aug. 25, 2010, the Illinois Federation of Teachers transferred $100,000 to Kilbride’s committee for what the union noted was a fundraiser, according to IFT’s D-2 semi-annual report, which details contributions and expenditures between July 1 and Oct. 3.

A few weeks later, on Sept. 21, the IFT gave Kilbride $150,000, according to that same report.

And in the evening yesterday, Kilbride’s committee filed a notice that the justice received another $100,000 from the IFT. (That Kilbride contribution was disclosed the same day that a major opponent, the tort reform group JUSTPAC, reported receiving $100,000.)

Tort reform and business/medical interest groups have said they want to knock Kilbride off the bench in this election. Judicial observers have said the campaign has the potential to be one of the country’s most bitter and expensive judicial retention elections this year.

To learn more about judicial elections, retention elections and the Kilbride race, visit ICPR’s Retention Watch page.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.

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