The Illinois Supreme Court ruled today that former Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich is suspended from the practice of law immediately and his wife is working at a new job.
The ruling came in response to Blagojevich’s conviction in June on political corruption charges. His sentencing has been delayed indefinitely while the corruption trial of Bill Cellini continues.
Former Illinois first lady Patti Blagojevich has launched a new business: Business Insurance Specialist Inc. Her website touts the company’s team of insurance specialists and includes the question “Have you planned for the unexpected?”
With the business operating from the Blagojevich home in Ravenswood — which is for sale — that may be an appropriate question.
“Make my day,” Gov. Pat Quinn said during a press conference in which he challenged Illinois lawmakers to send him a gambling bill.
The video by Illinois Statehouse News also deals with smart grid legislation that would add a modest charge to customer bills to fund an upgrade of the electric delivery systems for Ameren and Commonwealth Edison.
It is interesting theater for this week’s veto session, even if it’s over-the-top political posturing.
Gov. Pat Quinn has said for months that he does not like some of the things proposed in Senate Bill 744, which would expand gambling in the state.
Quinn’s generalizations about the bill led Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, to hold onto it, preventing a veto. Cullerton hoped to pin Quinn down on what changes it would take to win the governor’s signature.
Today, Quinn finally spelled out his conditions.
“To promote and protect the interests of the people of Illinois, I can only support a smaller, more moderate expansion that prevents corruption and provides adequate revenue for education,” Quinn said.
He wants the Illinois Gaming Board to provide ultimate oversight, legislation banning campaign contributions from gaming licensees, fewer casinos and higher gaming taxes to benefit education.
He wants to limit casinos to five locations: Chicago, southern Cook County, Lake County, Rockford and Danville.
State Rep. Rich Morthland, R-Cordova, wants to help gas stations within 30 miles of its western or southern borders by suspending part of the state sales tax on fuel.
Morthland, a freshman legislator, sponsored a House resolution this year that resulted in a study by the state’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. The report noted that Illinois has the third highest fuel taxes in the nation due to a 6.25 percent sales tax on fuels, in addition to the state’s 19-cent per gallon motor fuel tax and 1.1 cents in environmental fees on each gallon.
“I tried to get the sales tax off of gasoline. Then I wanted to get relief only in the border communities. None of that got anywhere,” Morthland said last month when the COGFA report was released.
According to a story on Quad Cities Online, Morthland hopes his new proposal — to suspend 5 cents of sales tax on fuel within 30 miles of borders near Missouri, Iowa or Kentucky — will win legislative support as a way to boost fuel sales and the sale of other convenience store items at Illinois businesses. Morthland said the loss in sales tax revenue could be countered by higher sales volume and taxes on other items.
With Chris Christie and Sarah Palin announcing they won’t run for president in 2012, that leaves Mitt Romney in the lead among Republican hopefuls.
According to Real Clear Politics multi-poll average, Romney has a 3.6 percent edge over Rick Perry and a 6.6 percent lead over Herman Cain. Newt Gingrich is 12.4 percent back and Ron Paul 14.6 percent back.
It should be noted that Romney has at most a 25 percent support base in an eight-way race. Things can change a lot in the next 13 months.
John Wilson, the recently retired executive director of the National Education Association (NEA), has been named chairman of Purple America.
The group seeks a dialogue on American’s shared values that provide a common ground and uses the Purple America name to point out the mixing of Red and Blue viewpoints used to denote conservative and liberal views respectively.
“Our nation has a critical need for a meaningful and civil discussion about America’s future built around the values that have shaped our history and our character,” Wilson said.
Wilson, a long-time special education teacher, led the NEA, the nation’s largest teachers union, for almost 11 years. He has chaired the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and was presented with the Educator 500 President’s Award in 2006.
Warren Buffett answered questions about tax rates, the economic recovery and the Greek debt crisis for CNN recently.
Buffett said “the juices of capitalism” continue to work and he expects that European debt problems will not derail the U.S. economy. As the owner of more than 70 companies, Buffett said he sees the figures each day, showing there is a recovery. He agrees, however, that the incline is very gradual.