Category: Illinois Governor
The second trial of Rod Blagojevich begins with jury selection today, and the former governor admits in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times that sometimes at night his mind is under attack and he has moments of fear.
JoAnn Chiakulas, the lone juror to hold out in the first trial, has no remorse. Far from second-guessing her decision, she tells the Chicago Tribune she remains proud of her service and firm in her beliefs.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will deliver his budget address at noon Wednesday, or an hour after the deadline passes for the Cardinals and Albert Pujols to reach an agreement on a new contract. (SI.com is reporting St. Louis has offered more than $200 million over eight years, while Jayson Stark of ESPN.com says Pujols walks, it will be a business decision.)
From Illinois Statehouse News on the Quinn budget:
Republicans at the Illinois Capitol spent the day before Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget address complaining that they have not heard much about the spending plan. And what they have heard is not acceptable.
But statehouse Democrats say the state’s problems haven’t changed, and neither have the solutions.
The governor’s office stayed tight-lipped about specifics of the new state spending plan. An off-the-record briefing to lawmakers and reporters Tuesday evening left as many questions as it did provide answers.
Illinois is still facing a multi-billion dollar deficit and is projected to once again not have enough money to pay for a full year of state services. Quinn has proposed a combination of billions in borrowing and millions in cuts to remedy the situation.
“It think it’s a lean budget,” said Quinn spokesman Mica Matsoff. “(The budget) focuses the burden across all areas of state government.”
Democrats still control the statehouse, but lost just enough races last fall to give Republicans a seat at the table when it comes time to borrow. And Senate GOP boss, Christine Radogno, has said already they won’t support it.
“I’ve told (Gov. Quinn) multiple times since January that if he submits a budget that assumes borrowing (will be part of the mix), he will not get any Republican support,” she said.
State Sen. Pam Althoff, R-Crystal Lake, said they’ve heard these same cries for years that if lawmakers will only give just a little more, then everything will be OK.
“We need to say no. We need to go back to the board and find out where we’re going to make cuts,” Althoff said. “We need to be responsible with the money we’re going to obtain from this new income tax increase.”
State lawmakers last month raised the personal income tax increase by nearly 67 percent, from 3 percent to 5 percent, which is expected to garner close to $7 billion annually.
But as GOP lawmakers talked tough about turning their backs on borrowing, the Quinn administration quietly circulated lists that tallied the billions owed to state vendors. Each lawmaker got a list that showed which of their local businesses are still waiting for checks from Springfield.
Quinn has said in the past he’d like to borrow as much as $8.75 billion to erase close to $6.6 billion in unpaid bills.
When lawmakers approved the income tax increase last month, they did not act on the borrowing proposal.
State Rep Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, said there will be new money coming into Springfield from the tax hike, but not nearly enough to pay those past-due bills.
“The tax hike alone is helpful, but it is not nearly enough,” said Mautino “There is going to have to be additional borrowing to cover the state’s bills.”
Mautino said he does expect lawmakers to agree on some kind of borrowing plan, but he said the price tag and time line will have to be worked out.
The broad strokes of Quinn’s budget — borrowing, cuts, efficiencies — have been known for months. It still remains to be seen how those broad themes will impact local communities or social service providers.
And even though Quinn will unveil his budget at noon on Wednesday, it could be months or more before the local impact begins to be felt.
Dennis Byrne of the Chicago Tribune, which has been hammering state Democratic leaders nonstop in recent days for the proposed tax hike to address the state budget crisis, pines for the good ‘ole days.
Too bad we don’t have debtors’ prisons anymore. They would be suitable lodgings for House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and the rest who are responsible for Illinois’ financial demise. We could let Madigan, Gov. Pat Quinn, Senate President John Cullerton and others who are responsible for stiffing thousands of Illinois suppliers for billions and billions of dollars fester there until they come up with a sensible way to pay the bills.
The Associated Press is calling the Illinois governor’s race for incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn. The AP’s analysis shows that Republican state Sen. Bill Brady cannot make up the 19,400-vote deficit. At this hour, Brady has yet to concede. Absentee ballots did give Brady one more county, which means Quinn won a total of three out of 102 in the state.
Here is a Statehouse News video of Brady talking to reporters Thursday in Springfield:
Illinois Republicans have to be elated that they grabbed a U.S. Senate seat, claimed the majority in the state’s congressional delegation, and wrestled the comptroller and treasurer jobs from Democratic control.
But the job they really wanted was governor, and it looks like Gov. Pat Quinn is going to come back from the dead to beat state Sen. Bill Brady, who polls showed enjoying a comfortable lead during much of the year. The 8,349-vote spread between Quinn and Brady with 99 percent of precincts reporting is the closest in a gubernatorial race since 1982, when former Gov. Jim Thompson beat Democrat Adlai Stevenson by 5,074 votes out of 3.67 million cast.
A CNN map shows that Quinn won only four of the state’s 102 counties, but one of those was Cook, where he outpolled Brady by more than 400,000 votes. Bet the GOP wishes the more moderate state Sen. Kirk Dillard would have emerged from the February primary to siphon some of those Chicago-area votes from Quinn.
The Chicago Sun-Times points out a Quinn victory would make him the first lieutenant governor — seated because an Illinois governor became ill, ascended to another job or was impeached — to stake a legitimate claim to state government’s top job by winning a gubernatorial election. The last lieutenant governor in similar circumstances was Democrat Samuel Shapiro, a onetime lieutenant governor who stepped in when former Gov. Otto Kerner resigned in 1968 to accept a federal judgeship. Shapiro lost that year’s gubernatorial election against Republican Richard Ogilvie.
It is estimated that Quinn and Brady combined to spend more than $30 million for the right to try to fix the state’s $13 billion budget deficit.
Close elections are not new to Brady. He won the crowded GOP primary in February by 193 votes — a result that took 31 days to finalize — and captured his first race for the state Legislature in 1982 by eight votes.
• The 28-year hold Democrats have had on the 17th District U.S. House seat came to an end Tuesday night when Bobby Schilling defeated incumbent Phil Hare.
As the final weekend of the 2010 campaign approaches:
The race between Gov. Pat Quinn and state Sen. Bill Brady is still considered too close to call, with most polls still within the margin of error. Paul Green, the director of the Institute for Politics at Roosevelt University in Chicago, provides these keys for victory for either Quinn or Brady.
Meanwhile, WGN-TV said it and other Chicago television stations have pulled Brady ads because of lack of payment by the GOP candidate.
The Political Fix calls the U.S House race in Illinois between incumbent Phil Hare and challenger Bobby Schilling a battle between labor money and the secretive American Future Fund. (Note: Schilling’s first name is misspelled and the endorsement by the Illinois Corn Growers Association didn’t happen.) A link to the Des Moines Register outlines the influence of the American Future Fund in neighboring Iowa.
The Springfield State Journal-Register believes voters should know who is behind the ads.
Thirteen mailed campaign pieces have arrived so far this week, nearly all blasting the opponent rather than touting the credentials of the favored candidate. In one, every accusation was factually incorrect. Unfortunately, too many voters don’t take the time to pay attention.
In case you’re interested in a refreshing non-attack ad, here is one from Carl Thompson, a Ralls County farmer running for the 6th District Missouri House seat. (You gotta love the weathered picture of the kids and the family dog. If you grew up in a rural area, you know what I mean.)
Capitol Fax is reporting that Republican state Sen. Bill Brady is rolling the dice trying to link Gov. Pat Quinn with Rod Blagojevich in the campaign’s waning days. Brady opted not to do it earlier because polling didn’t show it to be that big of a deal, but apparently polling information has changed. Capitol Fax also notes that the reference to the $250,000 pay raise is completely false in the really nasty TV spot seen below:
Here’s Brady’s other ad. And remember, in a state of 13 million people, these are the two we came up with to run for governor. Toss in Scott Lee Cohen, and we’re talking Moe, Curly and Larry.
The State Journal-Register in Springfield is endorsing Brady, but not with a lot of conviction.
The recession doesn’t appear to be hurting fundraising for these guys. A check for $100,000 here, a couple for $50,000 there. A lot of it going to ads like these. Click here and navigate through the site if you want to see who is giving money to which candidate.
Meawnhile, some political experts rate the 12 hottest U.S. House races in the country. It’s no surprise that the Phil Hare-Bobby Schilling battle in the Illinois 17th District makes the list.