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Rauner Traps Journalist in Appearance-of-Impropriety Web PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 26 October 2014 05:23

Perhaps the worst thing to happen to journalism over the years is its simplistic over-reliance on the mere “appearance of impropriety” to justify big, splashy stories.

It’s based on the assumption that everybody is corrupt. No actual wrongdoing need ever be found – just something that might look a bit fishy to a reporter’s overly suspicious eyes. There’s no need to prove anything; one or two distant connections is enough to justify destroying somebody’s reputation – which didn’t deserve protection anyway because everybody is evil.

And that brings us to Dave McKinney, who resigned last week as the Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times. It was a reversal of what’s become the norm: In this case, a politician caught a journalist in the appearance-of-impropriety web.

 
Union Targets Rauner By Supporting Libertarian PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 19 October 2014 09:44

I wasn’t hugely surprised when Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers earlier this month contributed $30,000 to Chad Grimm, the Illinois Libertarian Party’s candidate for governor.

After all, the union’s president, James M. Sweeney, was out in front of the push to beat Bruce Rauner during the Republican primary. After a stormy meeting with Rauner, who is running on a pledge to allow local areas to opt-in to “right to work” laws, Sweeney demanded that organized labor stop the candidate in his tracks. (The law would give workers the right to not join the unions that negotiated their pay, benefits and working conditions.)

Sweeney’s union contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to state Senator Kirk Dillard’s primary campaign, and kicked in even more to the Fund for Progress & Jobs PAC, which was the vehicle some unions used to inform Republicans that Rauner was a “closet Democrat.”

 
A Potent Tool for Reform: Narcisse and The Iowa Party PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Todd McGreevy   
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 11:58

Jonathan Narcisse

If you’re an independent candidate for governor in Iowa, you know you’re getting traction when your message earns the support of county chairs from both major parties across the state. Your campaign must be striking powerful chords when you get endorsements from both conservative talk-radio hosts and liberal-activist leaders alike.

Jonathan Narcisse is running for governor again. (I have volunteered for and contributed to his campaign.) And if he garners at least 2 percent of Iowa’s vote, the Iowa Party will have official party status, which means automatic ballot access for all partisan elections for the next four years. The potency of this political weapon cannot be overstated.

Narcisse points out that partisan politics is the tail that wags the dog in Iowa, keeping voters distracted on presidential and national politics rather than focusing on how citizens’ tax dollars are extracted and spent in their hometowns, school districts, and counties – right where they live.

(This was never more evident than when, at the Scott County Republican Party board election, the central committee was told repeatedly by the leadership: “We don’t deal with issues here; we’re here to get good Republicans elected.”)

“The Occupy and Tea Party movements championed their causes through the Democrat and Republican parties, but after they helped get someone elected, they had no mechanism to hold them accountable,” says Narcisse. “The Iowa Party is not ideologically driven; it is an accountability party.” If Narcisse succeeds, the Iowa Party could be the “None of the Above” party that changes Iowa politics forever.

 
Rauner Hints at His Actual Plan in Debate PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 12 October 2014 05:26

The most important question asked of Bruce Rauner during last week’s gubernatorial debate in Peoria was posed by Jamey Dunn-Thomason of Illinois Issues magazine.

She pointed out that Republican Kansas Governor Sam Brownback had cut taxes across the board on the theory that it would boost the state’s economy. His idea hasn’t worked. What’s happened instead is a huge revenue shortfall, which has forced gigantic state budget cuts and created an economy that now lags behind the rest of the country. So what did Rauner think of Brownback’s policy, Dunn-Thomason asked.

 
End the Fed: The Economics of Liberty PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by Grant Mincy   
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 20:42

The Federal Reserve is responsible for implementing U.S. monetary policy. As it directs the world’s largest economy, the Fed earns top rank among powerful institutions. Though the central bank guides state monetary policy, the Fed is largely a private institution. As such, bank operations move in secrecy, absent of oversight from the public arena. Thanks to Carmen Segarra, however, we now have some keen insight to the inner operations of the Federal Reserve System.

Segarra was recently employed at the New York Fed as a bank examiner, charged with ensuring the bank followed internal regulations and conducting “oversight” of the economic powerhouse. During her tenure, Segarra grew suspicious that the Fed was rather lenient with powerful, well-connected investment banks – notably Goldman Sachs (a key player in the 2008 financial crisis). To document her concerns, she recorded 46 hours of private meetings and conversations. Her recordings reveal the Fed is, in fact, rather cozy with the financial institutions it’s supposed to regulate. With evidence in hand, Segarra voiced her objections. She was soon fired.

 
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