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Vote “No” on Fertilizer Plant PDF Print E-mail
Letters to the Editor
Written by Royce Bare   
Monday, 06 August 2012 10:17

Open Letter to the Scott County Board of Supervisors:

Recently you decided to delay the public hearing on the request by Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) to build a fertilizer-manufacturing facility in close proximity to Walcott from August 2 to August 28. The reason given for the change of date was to give OCI more time to produce a full presentation and to arrange for more company officials to attend the hearing. This is very accommodating of you.

How much time will OCI be given for this presentation – half an hour, a whole hour? Conversely, how much time will individual citizens be allowed to speak – two, possibly five minutes? Will the citizens of Scott County be given an extra four weeks, as OCI has, to make a studied rebuttal to its presentation? This would only be fair.

Quinn Pushes Legislators on Pension Reform PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 05 August 2012 05:24

Governor Pat Quinn’s office flatly denies it, but it’s hard to see how last week’s big announcement about calling a special session on pension reform wasn’t at least partially related to a major Chicago TV station’s special report on the very same subject a few hours after his proclamation.

The station, WGN, broadcast a lengthy documentary called “Pension Games” during its 9 p.m. news program, then hosted a live discussion afterward on its CLTV cable-television station, along with an exclusive sit-down with Quinn. The station hyped the program for days, and Quinn took clear advantage of the public-relations opportunity to promote himself, even taking an opportunity to whack the General Assembly for cutting the schools budget after receiving a viewer call-in question about how the pension bill would impact his property taxes.

“For all of us, Mark, I want to thank you,” Quinn gushed to the program’s host, Mark Suppelsa. He most certainly wasn’t speaking for members of the General Assembly, however.

London 2012 Olympics: The Staging Ground for the Coming Police State? PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 13:25

“As London prepares to throw the world a $14-billion party, it seems fair to ask the question: What does it get out of the bargain?” asks the Christian Science Monitor in a recent story on the 2012 Summer Olympics. “Salt Lake got to show that its Mormon community was open to the world,” observes journalist Mark Sappenfield. “Turin got to show that it was not the Detroit of Europe. China got to give the world a glimpse of the superpower-to-be. And Vancouver got to show the world that Canadians are not, in fact, Americans.”

And what is London showing the world? Sappenfield suggests that London is showing off its new ultramodern and efficient infrastructure, but if the security for the 2012 Olympics is anything to go by, it would seem that London is really showing the world how easy it is to make the move to a police state without much opposition from the populace.

Republicans Find Themselves in a Campaign Hole PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 29 July 2012 09:24

The House and Senate Democratic leaders have once again dominated the quarterly fundraising race. The Democrats are currently sitting on almost three times the amount of cash as the Republicans.

House Speaker Michael Madigan’s three committees raised a combined $591,000 in the quarter that ended June 30. Madigan had more than $3.5 million cash on hand. Senate President John Cullerton’s two committees netted about $655,000 during the quarter. Cullerton finished with more than $2.7 million in cash and investments.

House Republican Leader Tom Cross’ two committees raised $353,000 during the quarter. Cross ended the filing period with $789,000 on hand. Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno raised just under $263,000 during the quarter but had more than $1.4 million on hand.

Feds Appear to Be Targeting Former Illinois Senator PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 22 July 2012 05:15

Rickey HendonThe federal criminal complaint against the seven people arrested in Chicago last week for federal bribery conspiracy is 42 pages long. Former state Senator Rickey Hendon is mentioned 21 times in those 42 pages, although never by name.

It’s pretty clear from the complaint that the U.S. attorney has been looking at Hendon (D-Chicago) for at least the past four years.

In July 2008, the Chicago Tribune published a major exposé on state grants steered to local groups by Hendon. The Tribune claimed that half of the 48 grant recipients “were running dubious programs, or declined to show how they spent the money.”

Conveniently, that very same month, the feds busted a Chicago police officer during a probe of gun-trafficking and public corruption. The cop quickly offered to cooperate to reduce his sentence. It doesn’t take too much reading between the lines to see that the corrupt cop might have been given the task of helping the feds nab Rickey Hendon.

One of the police officer’s longtime friends was Dean Nichols. Nichols and Hendon are close friends.

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