State Sen. Suzi Schmidt, R-Lake Villa, has heard calls for her to step down after recordings of a 911 call have her suggesting to law enforcement officers they should disregard a call from her husband … and mentioned she was a state senator and “was Lake County Board chairman for 10 years.”
At issue is whether Schmidt was trying to unduly influence officials to handle her case differently than they might those of other people.
The issue is guaranteed to be controversial, because Schmidt had locked her husband out of the house after she reportedly learned he was cheating — something she mentions in the recording above. Other recordings of 911 calls can be heard here.
Some Republican leaders, including attorney Doug Ibendahl, a former general counsel for the Illinois Republican Party, have suggested that Schmidt cannot win in next year’s election due to the scandal and should step aside.
Schmidt is expected to announce her plans within a few days.
A challenge of the health reform legislation passed by Congress last year has been filed by the National Federation of Independent Business.
This is not the first challenge, but it could be important because it seeks to have the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, voided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 11th Circuit Court ruled the individual mandate — that Americans must buy health insurance policies — is unconstitutional. But the 11th Circuit treated the mandate as something that can be deleted from the law. The NFIB suit challenges the severance decision.
“If the Supreme Court grants the NFIB petition and goes on to reverse the 11th Circuit’s severance decision, the entire Obamacare statute would be declared invalid. All of it,” Maureen Martin, senior fellow for legal affairs at the Heartland Institute, said.
There have been differing court decisions on the health care law. The U.S. Appeals Court for the 6th Circuit, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, ruled 2-to-1 to uphold the mandate before the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, said Congress exceeded its constitutional authority with the mandate, but reversed a lower court decision that the entire law should be thrown out.
A Supreme Court case on this would be the final word.
A press release from U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarty, D-NY, today announced her plans to ban all corporal punishment in U.S. schools.
“There are two Americas out there for young students right now — one where they go to school knowing they’ll be guided positively by caring adults, and one where they live in constant fear of being beaten,” McCarty said.
I guess I’m old school in thinking there’s a difference between being paddled and being beaten. That’s the America where I live.
Then there’s a question about of which Illinois people live in.
From the Quad Cities, comes a story about Lou Hare, the son of former U.S. Rep. Phil Hare, getting a job as an assistant prison warden. Hare has a master’s degree in theater and worked for five years at the Rock Island County Council on Addictions until he was laid off in August.
Phil Hare said his son scored very well on a test for the job and that’s how the decision was made.
The hiring announcement has unified people in the Quad Cities at least for a time. Republicans say this is another case of political influence in a patronage hiring. Union officials who supported Hare, a Democrat, say people with experience in corrections should be first in line for this type of job.
On the one hand this sounds like the Illinois politics everyone has complained about for years. But this case is a little different with both Republicans and Democrats complaining.
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton told The Associated Press he thinks the gambling expansion legislation passed in the spring session can be adjusted to eliminate the objections of Gov. Pat Quinn.
Cullerton said he is willing to drop year-round horse racing and slot machines at the state fairgrounds in Springfield. He does not want to see slot machines removed from other horse tracks.
Quinn has threatened to veto the bill, but Cullerton has not forwarded it to Quinn, hoping to reach an agreement. Veto session days are coming up in October and November and Cullerton sees that as the best chance of convincing Quinn of an expansion that will bring money in to help out with a budget that is billions of dollars out of balance.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., has joined a number of farm-state lawmakers in urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to abandon plans to regulate dust produced on farms.
“Dust in rural America is just a face of life, and unless we’re going to pave every road in the country, it’s going to stay that way,” McCaskill said.
McCaskill is joining U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., in supporting the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act. She also sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson saying that “common sense dictates that the federal government should not regulate dust creation in farm fields and on rural roads.”
The legislation is aimed at halting regulations the EPA might impose after studying coarse particulate matter that is generated by field work or driving on gravel roads.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg rode the subway after federal officials announced they had an unconfirmed, but credible threat that terrorists might be planning attacks during the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Counterterrorism officials are investigating the threat and will step up patrols in New York and Washington, D.C.
Former state Sen. Laura Kent Donahue officially announced her candidacy for Adams County circuit clerk on Thursday.
Donahue, a 62-year-old Republican from Quincy, spent 21 years in the Illinois Senate and sees that experience as one of her strong points if she is elected to run the county office. In the second part of the accompanying video, Donahue tells how state law requires circuit clerks to deal with a three-ring binder that must be used to disperse court fines to various state agencies by a complicated formula. She plans to seek support from lawmakers to create a more efficient system.
The circuit clerk job, which currently pays $55,673 per year, will be filled after the Nov. 2012 general election. Incumbent Randy Frese, R-Paloma, is not seeking re-election. He is running for the state Senate in the 47th District.