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Can Chicago Mayor Get Something Done on Gun Control? PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 27 October 2013 05:11

Back when Richard M. Daley was Chicago’s mayor, Hizzoner would hold a big, splashy press conference every year with cops and prosecutors and crime victims to unveil his new state gun-control legislation.

The Chicago media poobahs would shout their huzzahs, the NRA would fume and raise tons of money from angry members, and then Daley would quietly go back to his job as mayor and nothing much would ever happen in Springfield.

Rahm Emanuel is not Rich Daley.

Mayor Emanuel’s Statehouse lobbyists are engaged in serious talks with the NRA and even the more strident Illinois State Rifle Association (something that Daley would never do, and vice versa) to try to work out a compromise on legislation to force convicted gun-possession violators to remain in prison for a lot longer than they already are. Emanuel himself is said to be actively involved by phone.

Checking in on Fundraising by Statewide Candidates PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 20 October 2013 05:58

Let’s take a quick look at the campaign-finance disclosure reports filed last week by some of the statewide candidates.

• Bill Brady. It goes without saying that the $66,104 Brady reported raising during the third quarter was beyond pathetic. But here’s how bad the Republican gubernatorial candidate’s performance really was: Even Sheila Simon outraised him. The notoriously poor fundraiser Simon pulled in more than $106K during the quarter. And if it weren’t for the $200K in leftover funds from his 2010 governor’s race, Brady would’ve reported having just $73K at the end of the quarter. He also spent a bit more than he took in – which isn’t very difficult, considering his paltry take.

Rauner Presents Huge Threat to Democrats PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 13 October 2013 05:27

Bruce Rauner has closer ties to top Democrats in this state and nation than many Democrats do, is pro-choice, and is reluctant to say where he stands on gay marriage, so you wouldn’t think he’d have much chance at winning a Republican primary for governor.

But the retired multi-millionaire is running a pretty smart campaign and raising tons more money than his opponents, so nobody can really count him out.

Bill Brady told the Chicago Sun-Times he’d raised a mere $75,000 this past quarter, which ended September 30. The Tribune reported that state Senator Kirk Dillard had raised just $239,000 in large contributions during the third quarter, but he’s still carrying quite a lot of debt from his failed 2010 campaign for governor. Treasurer Dan Rutherford says he raised $333,000 and has $1.2 million in the bank. Rauner, on the other hand, raised more than a million dollars during the quarter and about $3 million since he kicked off his campaign. And he has so much personal wealth that he could spend lots, lots more.

More than a few Democrats and even some Republicans wary of Rauner are saying that somebody else with deep pockets may need to step in to snuff out Rauner’s campaign before he makes it out of the primary. And Democrat-affiliated groups appear to be the most logical source of that cash.

ADM the Latest Hostage of Pension Reform PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 06 October 2013 05:44

Governor Pat Quinn refused to say for several days whether he’d support a $1.2-million-a-year tax break for Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to move 100 jobs out of Decatur and open up a world headquarters and new tech center in Chicago. But last week he made it clear that without pension reform, the ADM proposal would be a nonstarter and he would veto it.

“He won’t even consider the ADM bill much less get on board when pension reform has not been done,” a Quinn spokesperson told me.

“The best way to help jobs in Illinois is to do pension reform,” Quinn himself told the Associated Press. “To distract legislators in any way from this issue of a lifetime is just plain wrong.”

Quinn didn’t say, probably because he wasn’t asked, whether he thought a vote on gay marriage during the upcoming fall veto session would also “distract legislators.” But a spokesperson later explained that pension reform was vital to the state’s economic interests, and gay marriage, while important, was not.

And so the governor has seized yet another political hostage in his quest to ease Illinois’ enormous budget problems by reducing pension benefits for public employees and retirees.

Rand Paul’s NSA War and the Invisible Liberals PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by Ted Rall   
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 09:45

Way back when, Democrats such as George McGovern opposed wars of choice. And Democrats such as Frank Church exposed the CIA. It later led to an executive order – by President Ronald Reagan, of all people – that banned political assassinations.

A Democratic Congress held impeachment hearings against U.S. President Richard Nixon – partly because he tapped the phones of a few hundred Americans and, in so doing, violated their privacy rights. Back then, millions of liberals marched against the Vietnam War without blinking. It didn’t matter a bit that the president at the time was a Democrat.

But look what’s going on now.

As I write, we have a so-called liberal president in the White House. Yet he and his Democratic congressional allies aren’t fighting the good fight. They’re committing the worst crimes of anyone.

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