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Rauner Shows Smart Strategy in Early Moves PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 25 August 2013 05:24

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has focused like a laser on his absolute disgust with public-employee unions such as AFSCME, the Illinois Education Association, and the Illinois Federation of Teachers. The wealthy former business executive claims the unions are the root of most of Illinois’ problems and has decried the “corrupting” influence of their campaign cash on both political parties.

Illinois Republicans appear to overwhelmingly agree with Rauner.

“Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a Republican candidate for governor who received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from public-employee unions?” 1,614 likely Republican-primary voters were asked August 21 in a Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll.

An overwhelming 80 percent said they’d be less likely to back such a candidate, while a mere 8 percent said they’d be more likely to do so.

 
Time to Review Davenport’s 60-Year-Old Fluoridation Agreement PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Todd McGreevy   
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 09:46

(Publisher’s note: It’s time for Davenport’s city leaders to carefully and seriously review the requirements, terms, and benefits of a 60-year-old contract that has resulted in the practice of medicating nearly the entire Scott County population with an industrial waste byproduct. The fluoridation of our water supply is happening without informed consent, and even if one wished to be medicated through the water supply, the current practice does not even use medical-grade materials. This issue is no longer fringe. Modern science points to the folly of fluoridation, much like science caught up with the folly of claiming the health benefits of cigarette smoking. What follows are the prepared remarks delivered by Joe Amato to the Davenport City Council Public Works Committee on July 17. The video of this presentation, and subsequent additional public comments, is online at RCReader.com/y/amato. (The documents provided to the city council are here as a pdf.) Fluoride-Free Quad Cities has a meet-up at the Bettendorf Public Library on Tuesday, September 3, at 6:30 p.m.)

Good evening. My name is Joe Amato. On behalf of the coalition Fluoride-Free Quad Cities, I would like to thank you for giving us this time to speak.

We are here tonight to present to you evidence that ingesting fluoride by drinking fluoridated water is definitely harmful and only insignificantly effective, and to request that you, as the responsible legal authority, pass an ordinance to cease fluoridating the public water supply.

 
The NSA: “The Abyss from Which There Is No Return” PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Tuesday, 20 August 2013 16:48

We now find ourselves operating in a strange paradigm where the government not only views the citizenry as suspects but treats them as suspects, as well. Thus, the news that the National Security Agency (NSA) is routinely operating outside of the law and overstepping its legal authority by carrying out surveillance on American citizens is not really much of a surprise. This is what happens when you give the government broad powers and allow government agencies to routinely sidestep the Constitution.

Indeed, as I document in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, these newly revealed privacy violations by the NSA are just the tip of the iceberg. Consider that the government’s Utah Data Center (UDC), the central hub of the NSA’s vast spying infrastructure, will be a clearinghouse and depository for every imaginable kind of information – whether innocent or not, private or public – including communications, transactions, and the like. In fact, anything and everything you’ve ever said or done, from the trivial to the damning – phone calls, Facebook posts, Tweets, Google searches, e-mails, bookstore and grocery purchases, bank statements, commuter toll records, etc. – will be tracked, collected, catalogued, and analyzed by the UDC’s supercomputers and teams of government agents.

By sifting through the detritus of your once-private life, the government will come to its own conclusions about who you are, where you fit in, and how best to deal with you should the need arise. Indeed, we are all becoming data-collected in government files. Whether or not the surveillance is undertaken for “innocent” reasons, surveillance of all citizens gradually poisons the soul of a nation. Surveillance limits personal options – denies freedom of choice – and increases the powers of those who are in a position to enjoy the fruits of this activity.

 
Two GOP Hopefuls Could Be Sunk by Ties to Democrats PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 18 August 2013 05:18

I had heard that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s longtime personal and business connections to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were “killer” issues among GOP primary voters, so I commissioned a poll.

The question I settled on is pretty mild in comparison to what could be used in a TV ad, so the response may turn out to be even worse for Rauner than the Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll shows, if that’s possible.

“Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate for governor if you found out he was a friend and political ally to Chicago Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel?" 1,102 likely Republican-primary voters were asked on August 13.

A truly astounding 83 percent of Republicans said they’d be less likely to support that candidate. Any time you see a “less likely” response above 80 percent, you can pretty much figure that the target is toast. But maybe not in this case.

 
Attorney General Has Questions to Answer About Campaign Decision PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 11 August 2013 05:12

“Ask her,” Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan told a Sun-Times reporter last week. The journalist wanted to know why Madigan’s daughter Lisa would consider running for governor knowing that her father had no plans to step down as speaker.

So I tried to ask her. But I didn’t get very far.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan, I was told, is still refusing to discuss in any way the “personal” conversations she had with her father leading up to her decision not to run for governor.

Attorney General Madigan had this to say when she announced she would run for re-election instead of the state’s highest office: “I feel strongly that the state would not be well served by having a governor and speaker of the House from the same family and have never planned to run for governor if that would be the case. With Speaker Madigan planning to continue in office, I will not run for governor.”

But last week, Speaker Madigan said he had told his daughter on “several occasions” that he had no plans to step down. “She knew very well that I did not plan to retire,” he said. “She knew what my position was. She knew.”

 
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