Tea Partiers protesting Barack Obama in Quincy Illinois this past Wednesday ...
We've got to agree with the Chicago Tribune's assessment of how things can get done in Springfield when the right people want it to ... this session it's protecting banks from losing millions in interest overcharging. Last year, it was video poker supporters:
This seems like a good time to remind everyone about what happened last year with legislation to legalize video gambling machines in bars. A bill came zipping out of the House, steamed through the Senate and skidded onto Gov. Pat Quinn's desk. Video gambling is unpopular with voters, but they barely had a chance to blink before the governor signed the bill as part of a plan to fund capital spending.
Why so quickly? The right people wanted it ...
House Republican Leader Tom Cross presented the Illinois Fair Map Amendment before a House Committee on Tuesday. Fair Map has received the endorsement of nearly every major newspaper throughout the state. It was suggested by Governor Quinn's reform commission and championed by a plethora of reform groups including the League of Women Voters, the Illinois Farm Bureau, and the Better Government Association.
Proposals with such an abundance of support from good government groups would normally be looked upon in a favorable view. However, here in Illinois nothing can be taken for granted, as was evident when Democrat committee members voted against the reform proposal and instead chose to continue the inherently flawed process of allowing legislators to hand pick their constituents through Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 121.
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Policy Institute, a non-partisan free market think tank, is urging the Illinois House of Representatives to reject the campaign of misinformation being used by union lobbyists who are opposed to landmark school voucher legislation that would allow more than 22,000 children the opportunity to receive the quality education they deserve.
A fact sheet being circulated by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) and their allies incorrectly claims that $100 million would be cut from suburban and downstate schools. On Thursday, the House Executive Committee amended the bill by a 10-1 vote, creating a firewall between Chicago Public Schools and the rest of the state and ensuring that the legislation does not negatively impact the finances of suburban and downstate schools. The Institute points out that the IEA's misinformation campaign is focused on keeping the unions in control of the schools rather than providing the best education possible to the children in the City of Chicago. SB 2494 is sponsored by Rev. Senator James Meeks (D-Chicago) and Rep. Kevin Joyce (D-Chicago).
Rasmussen reports U.S. Senate Republican candidate Mark Kirk's lead over Democrat Alexi Giannoulias has increased by five points in the past month:
Kirk now attracts 46% support in Illinois' race for the U.S. Senate, up from 41% in early April. Support for Giannoulias is at 38%, virtually unchanged from the previous survey but down from March, when he earned 44% of the vote. Five percent (5%) currently support some other candidate, and 12% are undecided.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state finds incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn with 38% support and his Republican challenger Bill Brady earning 45% of the vote. This is the identical level of support both earned earlier this month. Five percent (5%) favor some other candidate in the race, and 11% are undecided.
Brady posted a 47% to 37% lead over Quinn in early March just after the former was officially declared the GOP nominee by a 193-vote margin out of 750,000 cast.
The two are battling most notably these days over an income tax hike the governor has proposed as an alternative to a $1.3 billion cut in education funding.
Forty percent (40%) of voters in the state now approve of Quinn’s handling of the governorship, down three points from the previous survey. Fifty-eight percent (58%) disapprove. This includes seven percent (7%) who Strongly Approve and 28% who Strongly Disapprove.
by Ghost of John Brown
The non-partisan Cook Political Report (subscription required) says that Rep. Bill Foster is the most vulnerable House Democrat from Illinois and has declared the race to be a “Toss Up.” Cook has previously given Foster a slight advantage with a “Lean Democrat” designation.
Here’s what Cook’s House Editor David Wasserman wrote about the seat’s move towards the Republican column:
from the Illinois Policy Institute
On April 21st, up to 15,000 government workers from the IEA, IFT, AFSCME, and SEIU unions rallied at the Illinois statehouse to urge the legislature in favor of a 33% income tax hike.
They shouted, "Raise
my taxes, Raise my taxes, Raise my taxes!"
Join the Illinois Policy Institute for our Liberty Leaders Capitol Day on May 5. It’s an opportunity to show legislators that we can balance the state budget without tax hikes that target struggling taxpayers, hurt our state’s business climate, and hamper job creation. You can read more details in our Budget Solutions 2011 report.
Wednesday night at a townhall meeting held in the 8th CD, Republican candidate Joe Walsh told supporters that he was aware of an 85-page public records report with negative information circulating among various media sources, sent to them by an anonymous source. Walsh reportedly shrugged off the information as dirty campaign tactics to be ignored.
Illinois Review referred to the 85-page report in a post Wednesday, so we contacted the campaign to ask for a response to be published. At 7:45 AM, we wrote to Whitney Schlosser, Walsh's communications director:
Has Mr. Walsh issued a statement about the 85 page public report many of us in the media received anonymously late Tuesday night?Please advise.
By Mark Rhoads
Once Upon a time there was a liberal Republican U.S. Senator from Illinois. He was a supporter of the pro-abortion decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade (1973). His record of support for the conservative foreign policy of President Ronald Reagan was shaky at best. Many supporters of Israel as America's strongest ally in the Middle East worried about his pro-Arab leaning rhetoric. He was supported by The Chicago Tribune and other liberal newspaper editorial writers and he was very popular in his own home base in Kenilworth and the north shore suburbs of Chicago.
So, "jobs" is the political topic of 2010. "Jobs" and "the economy." Illinois unemployment at its highest in decades -- 11.5%. Not good for incumbents. So, where does the average Democrat go to find more of these "jobs" to improve "the economy"? Democrats believe all of our citizens' needs are met by whom? Yes, the government. The State. Uncle Sam. In this case, Uncle Pat.
From the Illinois Department of Human Services' website, we find Governor Pat Quinn's newest taxpayer-funded campaign tactic -- launching a website that connect employers with those needing jobs. The nuance with this new program is that if employers want to sign up for the program, the jobs they offer could be subsidized by Obama's federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and TANF for six months.
Six months ... April, May, June, July, August, funding expires September 30, then there's October ... and what happens the first of November? Hmmm...
A couple weeks ago at a press conference, Governor Pat Quinn mentioned several times his personal hero tax-hike-promoting Republican former Governor Jim Edgar, as edited by NBC5 Chicago. Just how many times?
by Joe Calomino, Americans for Prosperity
We’re at the time in the legislative cycle when the Illinois General Assembly will engage in a flurry of activities that may produce bills the public and for that matter lawmakers have never seen, bills that may request spending of billions of our tax dollars, bills that can become laws in a blink of an eye. Next week brings along certain legislative deadlines for the reading and passage of “Substantive” bills...
by Maria Rodriguez, For the Good of Illinois
Friday night (April 30) at the Landmark Theater from 7:00 to 10:00, the Heartland Institute, For the Good of Illinois and America’s Future Foundation invite you to the Chicago premier of “The Cartel”.
This compelling documentary highlights the problems and the promise involved in transforming America’s schools…and exposes the cartel blocking that transformation at every turn.
Roskam, a second term lawmaker and a rising star within the Republican conference, will be vice chairman of a new committee charged with producing the contract-like GOP document — initially dubbed "Commitment with America."
The project, Republican leaders say, will be built in part from a social media network where the GOP solicits input from people around the country.
"A newer member of Congress, Peter understands that the old Washington-knows-best attitude in Congress has failed the American people and we need a new way of doing business," Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the head of the project, said in an e-mailed statement.
(South Barrington, Illinois) --8th District Republican Congressional Nominee spent an hour last night speaking with, listening to, and answering questions from more than 100 Eighth District residents at a candidate forum last night.
"I am not a perfect candidate," Walsh said, "But I am the perfect candidate to defeat Melissa Bean," he said to great applause from the audience.
"I wasn't the establishment choice," Walsh said. "And the fact that I am neck-and-neck with Rep. Bean in the polls makes those who benefit from the status quo nervous. That's okay. I'm not going to make the same mistakes Melissa Bean has made by putting her political party ahead of her district. You elected me and it is your interests that will fight for and your values that I will represent in Congress."
Illinois Churches in Action say that it appears likely State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Chicago) will call for a House floor vote SB 1381 to legalize marijuana in Illinois. Lang was four votes short yesterday, and evidently he and the pro-pot advocates have convinced enough House members that California's experience with legalized marijuana is unique, that Illinois won't ever decline to consider legalizing pot use for all adults, not just those with pain-killing needs as SB 1381 permits.
SB 1381 passed the Illinois Senate last year, so passage in the House today would send it to the Governor's desk. Lawmakers are being bombarded with calls in support for the legalization. Opponents are urged to call their state reps today.
Evidently, potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates have decided it a good thing to get involved in helping to raise funds for 2010 candidates. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's launched this Freedom First PAC endorsing U.S. House and U.S. Senate candidates, three from Illinois.
Now we learn of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's Free and Strong America PAC announcing the endorsement of seven candidates in Illinois -- congressional and U.S. Senate as well as one statewide candidate.
Illinois 11th CD's Adam Kinzinger is in a tight race with Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann for the lead in Governor Tim Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC online contest. There's only a few more hours to vote, in the 22-way contest with other Pawlenty-endorsed Republican candidates to be Freedom First PAC's favorite candidate for 2010.
Weekly Standard's Mary Katherine Hamm writes about the contest today that the first place winner gets some pretty decent prizes --co-hosting a Facebook town hall with Pawlenty, access to the PAC's list for fund raising, and a promise from the PAC to match donations up to $5000.
Kinzinger would grab national attention with this come-from-behind win in his race against freshman incumbent Deborah Halvorson, an Obama ally from their days in the Illinois Senate. Kinzinger hails from the huge, mostly rural, partial ex-burb 11th CD, which reaches from Joliet to Bloomington and west to LaSalle.
Others from Illinois in the Freedom First PAC contest include U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk and 10th CD candidate Robert Dold.
UPDATE: State Rep. Jim Durkin is telling constitutents he's a definite YES on SB 2494.
The Illinois House of Representatives is considering a key vote right now. Senate Bill 2494 would save thousands of children from Chicago’s worst schools by giving them a voucher allowing them to attend the school of their choice.
This program has been successful in other states, and it won’t cost downstate or suburban schools any money. After years of your tax dollars going to failing schools, this bill will also hold Chicago Public Schools accountable for their performance.
Is your legislator standing with the kids who need help, or with the teachers unions who oppose this bill? Below is a list of undecided legislators.
by Phil Kerpen, Americans for Prosperity
As we’ve seen on health care, cap-and-trade, bailouts, and overspending, thousands of Americans who were previously able to go about their lives without worrying about politics have stepped into the breach to defend a free-market system that’s under assault. Most Americans simply do not support the Obama administration’s attempts to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.”
The Illinois Public Interest Research Group argues that potholes and cracks at highways and bridges across the state are costing motorists at car repair shops. The state ranks 10th in the nation in terms of highest number of roads in poor or mediocre condition, the study states.
But Illinois Department of Transportation officials counter that the nonprofit advocacy group is using outdated data.
According to the ALEC/Laffer State Competitiveness Index, based on government data, Illinois ranks in the bottom fifth of states in many key economic health indicators. Illinois ranks:
Will the U.S. add another state and another star to our flag today? Glenn Beck explains what's about to happen in D.C., specifically at 3:25 into the video.
Glenn Beck will be coming to the Chicago area September 18, 2010. Tickets will go on sale soon.
David Ratowitz, Republican Candidate for Illinois’ 5th Congressional seat, demands to know: where does Mike Quigley (D IL-5) stand on taxing retirement savings?
U. S. Congressional Candidate, David Ratowitz (IL – 5), wants to know: “where does Mike Quigley stand on taxing retirement savings? Just this week, Democrats in Congress said they wanted to tax IRA and 401(k) retirement accounts. Obviously, Mike Quigley doesn’t care about us, otherwise he would oppose tax increases that target our retirement savings and destroy jobs in the District.”
Chicago, IL, March 12, 2010 – Long time transparency and pro-liberty advocate Candidate for U. S. Congress from Illinois’ 5th Congressional District, David Ratowitz demands answers from Congressman, Mike Quigley (D –IL 5) regarding his view on a Democratic proposal made earlier this week to tax IRA and 401(k) savings accounts.
by James Valvo, Americans for Prosperity
In the third installment of my continuing series , I bring two items to your attention. First, rational observers of the health care debate repeatedly asserted that the bill was a fiscal disaster. Turns out now that the bill has passed, the Obama administration is starting to admit it too. Second, one of the biggest problems with the government health care takeover is that it puts bureaucrats between you and your doctor. President Obama is ready to introduce us to one of those new bureaucrats, Donald Berwick.
by Mark Rhoads
Ever since President Ronald Reagan appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy to the Court in 1988, Kennedy has been referred to by many court observers as "a swing vote" who was neither firmly in the conservative nor liberal bloc. Kennedy was the swing vote in an important 5-4 decision on the separation of church and state on Wednesday in which six justices wrote different opinions- a highly unusual development.
U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-18) held a media conference call Wednesday while Barack Obama was in the 18th district's town of Quincy, IL. Rather than rewrite, here's Schock's comments as heard on the call...
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Peter Roskam, Deputy Whip and member of the Ways and Means Committee, issued the following statement on President Obama’s Quincy, Illinois stop later this afternoon:
“While the President is in town to speak today about the need for economic and regulatory reforms, I hope he will take this opportunity to listen to Illinois common sense. The people of Illinois have been speaking clearly: stop the out-of-control spending and create jobs.”
John Tillman discusses the passage of the Sunshine Act, an important bill that will allow citizens to hold government accountable. For more on the Sunshine Act, read this press release from the Illinois Policy Institute.
by Rafael Rivadeneira
For almost a week now, I’ve watched and listened to the criticisms of and threatened boycotts of Arizona. I’ve seen the Left go nuts, the Hispanic media go nuts, and frankly, I’m left feeling like I’m going a little nuts. Albeit for a totally different reason: namely, because I think all these attacks on the recent Arizona bill are ridiculous. Especially when they come from a U.S. Congressman.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL4) calls this bill a “civil rights catastrophe that Republicans in Arizona are unleashing on immigrants and Latinos in the state.” (Never mind, that according to Rasmussen, 51% of Arizona Democrats and 69% of Independents supported this bill.) On National Public Radio Rep. Gutierrez said that we should boycott vacationing in Arizona: “Why would you want to contribute to a group of people that clearly are engaged in a discriminatory act?” I certainly wouldn’t, but I don’t think that’s what’s going on here. The people of Arizona haven’t committed the crimes. They aren’t being “discriminatory.” They’re simply asking their authorities to make Arizona less hospitable and accommodating to undocumented immigrants. They just want an end to the madness.
After speaking at the Illinois Association of Park Districts meeting in Springfield, Quinn said he doesn't think that's an appropriate way to raise revenue.
"We'll look at anyone's proposal, but I wouldn't hold my breath," Quinn said. "We already had one in 2003. You can't have amnesties all of the time. After a while, people start to think just wait for the next amnesty."
The idea of an amnesty was raised as a way of producing millions in revenue by getting people who owe back taxes to the state to pay up.
Quinn ducked a question about calling lawmakers into special session if they leave town without approving the income tax surcharge he wants for education. The legislature has set a May 7 adjournment date, but Quinn talked about continuing budget negotiations through the entire month.
"I want to make sure the budget issue is given proper attention," he said.
Less than a week after his campaign was hit hard when federal regulators seized his family bank, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias said today he believes he has received appropriate backing from President Obama.
But did you know Beyonce's father Matthew Knowles owns a block of property in Galveston, Texas that was devastated by Hurricane Ike? And did you know that FEMA is going to pay Beyonce and her father a cool $425,000 to reimburse them for close to the original value of the house? Yep, it's true, according to an excellent report from Mother Jones.
The house is one of 68 that will receive a FEMA-sponsored buyout according to KHOU. Lucky them. So what's the area like - or the house for that matter? We found a similar home right on Beyonce's block thanks to Trulia.com.
Muslims have demanded that Christian evangelist Franklin Graham be booted from yet another National Day of Prayer service, prompting officials with the National Day of Prayer Task Force to condemn as "ridiculous" the idea that religious leaders should be excluded from public events because of their faith statements.
Director of education policy Collin Hitt gives an update on the status of SB 2494, the bill that would give vouchers to students in struggling schools in Chicago.
We're sure Illinois' angry leftists will get to demanding that Barack Obama give back to Goldman Sachs the $996,000 they gave to his senate campaign fund, but just not yet. They've got a march to attend.
Wednesday at 11:00 am, Citizen Action-Illinois is planning a march and rally to blast "Big Banks" and "make them pay." Citizen Action is calling on thousands to gather outside Goldman Sachs in downtown Chicago and march down to the Federal Reserve to demand change.
"Big Wall Street banks brought on America's worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. While their actions destroyed American's jobs, homes, and hope, the Big Banks got billions in taxpayer bailouts -- and went back to business as usual," CA-I writes on their website. "They gave their execs about $145 Billion in 2009 pay and bonuses, and now they're spending millions lobbying to kill financial reform."
Southern Illinoisans are split on issues such as gay marriage but a bit less opposed toward abortion, according to a new poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute,
About 9 percent of voters feel that abortion should be legal under all circumstances, 58.9 percent think it should be legal under certain circumstances, 28.9 percent believe it should be illegal and 3.2 percent responded to other or don't know, according to a new poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute,
While 48.6 percent of voters polled feel that there should be no legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples, 20 percent believe that they should be allowed to marry and 25.2 percent believe they should have recognized civil unions. That makes more than 45 percent of voters in favor of some kind of recognition.
IR and several Chicago area media outlets received a copy of an 85-page report on 8th CD Republican candidate Joe Walsh's public record late Tuesday evening. The email, entitled "Joe Walsh must step down in the 8th District of Illinois" was sent by an email@example.com.
We have no way of knowing the credibility of the source or the information, or whether it is the original report or an amended version, so we will not be publishing it on Illinois Review. However, much of the information does seem to coincide with public stories already circulating.
The report contains a list of various names Walsh has gone by over the years. It shows his residences over the last twenty years, several from which the report alleges he was evicted. The report also shows numerous liens against Walsh's assets now on file in Cook County.
If this report, going back over twenty years, contains accurate information, then it raises questions that could make it difficult for Walsh to raise the support required to compete with (and defeat) Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean.
State Rep. Deb Mell said she wants nothing more than to marry her partner of nearly six years in her home state of Illinois.
Mell — who six years ago turned to her father, Ald. Richard Mell, 33rd, to help her put a public face on families where a member is gay — plans to announce her engagement to Christin Baker on the House floor Wednesday.
from the Pollak for Congress campaign
EVANSTON, IL - This week, Rep. Jan Schakowsky suggested that President Obama’s deficit panel ought to consider revoking tax credits for retirement savings, including Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) plans. She referred to the tax credits as “tax entitlements.”
Revoking tax credits on retirement savings could cost each taxpayer in our district up to $1,000 per year (or $2,000 if filing jointly). It is an absurd idea that will punish people for hard work and fiscal responsibility. Lower income earners would be particularly hurt by Rep. Schakowsky’s proposal, because they recover a higher percentage of their savings, according to the terms of the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit.
EPA researchers publishing a study in the Feb. 16 issue of Environmental Science & Technology were "surprise[ed]" to find a worldwide jump in the incidence of autism beginning in 1988. The Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute actually found 3 "change points" in autism trends - 1981, 1988 and 1995....
All those bumps followed the introduction of vaccines containing aborted human fetal cells. The EPA study relied on previous studies to deny a link between autism and vaccines whatsoever. But there is a new wrinkle. NaturalNews.com reported April 12: