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Illinois Politics

Late Night: Beaubien Widow Reportedly to Launch Independent Challenge to GOP’s David McSweeney for House Seat… and More

Mayor Emanuel on Friday visited the Chicago Fire Academy, at 1338 S. Clinton, and visited with a class of 111 firefighters-in-training. The firefighters are members of the Lewis v. City of Chicago class action lawsuit, who completed the hiring process and are currently undergoing training to begin their careers as firefighters and paramedics.

(Chicago) – April 9, 2012. A conservative, on-line newspaper is reporting that Dee Beaubien, the widow of State Rep. Mark Beaubien (R-Barrington), intends to run for the Illinois House as an independent against GOP nominee David McSweeney in the November 2012 election.

The Illinois Review reports that Personal PAC Executive Director Terry Cosgrove informed GOP House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) of Mrs. Beaubien’s plans.

Beaubien is a pro-choice supporter, like her late husband, and is a donor to Personal PAC.

If Mrs. Beaubien formally enters the race and secures Personal PAC’s support, it will certainly give House Republicans fits and force them to spend some money and staff-time to support their conservative nominee, pro-life McSweeney who defeated appointed State Rep. Kent Gaffney (R-Lake Barrington), a former House GOP staffer.

Though McSweeney largely self-funded his primary campaign, pulling $147,500 from his own wallet, he did raise $54,000 from other deep-pocketed donors.

Mrs. Beaubien and Personal PAC will need to raise some serious dough in this heavily GOP district if she does indeed jumps into the race, recognizing the edge in November belongs to McSweeney.

McGuire Gone – While Beaubien was jumping into a fall House race, long-time, beloved State Rep. Jack McGuire (D-Joliet) jumped out. McGuire, citing “health issues”, announced his retirement on Friday, effective immediately.

Local Democrats will appoint McGuire’s House replacement who will undoubtedly be the party’s nominee for the November 2 general election. The newly minted lawmaker will face Republican Ryan Alm, a Joliet paralegal.

Illinois FOID Card Mental Health Court Orders Fouled-Up – In a new audit, Illinois Auditor General Bill Holland found “significant deficiencies” in the reporting of potentially disqualifying mental health conditions for a state fire arms card. Notably, “…only 3 of the 102 circuit court clerks submitted mental health court orders.” It was also reported that the State Police spent over $200,000 in overtime pay for three employees over three years.

“The audit notes the inefficiencies of the entire process,” said State Rep. Rich Morthland (R-Cordova). Morthland sponsored House Resolution 89 that demanded the audit.

A gun rights advocate, the results were likely an unwelcome surprise to Morthland who has focused on his energies on protecting gun-owner identities and avoiding any gun-ownership limitations.

Quinn Acts on Clemency Petitions  – Governor Pat Quinn yesterday granted 52 and denied 136 clemency petitions. The 188 clemency petitions acted upon by Quinn are part of dockets ranging from 2005 through 2012.

Since taking office, the governor has acted on 1,923 clemency petitions. Quinn has granted 718 and denied 1205 petitions. Those actions include granting 701 pardons and authorizing 16 people who had already received pardons to seek expungement of their convictions.

Railroad Track to Nowhere No More – City of Chicago Construction crews on Friday removed century-old railroad tracks from the middle of Kingsbury Street today, a key element of a $4.3 million streetscape improvement of the former industrial roadway on the Near North Side from North Avenue to Scott Street and Scott from Kingsbury to Halsted Street.

Summer Jobs – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle on Friday announced that One Summer Chicago, a partnership with Cook County, City departments and sister agencies, community groups and non-profits, will provide 17,000 summer jobs and 168,000 educational and recreational opportunities to Chicago’s youth this summer.

Shackles Aren’t for Everyone – Not everyone arrested by the Chicago Police Department are spry, spring chickens. For that reason, Mayor Emanuel’s administration just signed on Thursday a $100,000 contract with SCR Medical Transportation, which is owned by Pamela and Stanely Rakestraw of Chicago, to transport wheelchair-bound arrestees. Who knew?

Chicago Klout – This week rambunctious raconteur Joe Lake announced his Klout score exceeded that of long-time foe John Fritchey, the Cook County Commissioner. Klout is a service that purportedly measures the social impact a person exerts. Lake’s score may surprise people familiar with how well Fritchey has mastered social media. But Lake is adept at using FaceBook and sites like EveryBlock. (What we need in this town is a new score to measure how much wind people have.) Hat Tip: Patrick Boylan, Editor, Welles Park Bulldog.

Blog Watch – Beating Dead Horses? A bombing of a Wisconsin Planned Parenthood clinic last Sunday, prompted Progress Illinois to run a story on Thursday, April 5, reporting on pro-choice activists’ urgent criticisms of two, anti-choice Illinois House measures, House Bill 4085 sponsored by State Rep. Joe Lyons (D-Chicago) and House Bill 4117 sponsored by State Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palatine), buried in the House Rules Committee, which are dead for the current spring session.

“Women should retain their freedom to request and receive these services only when they see fit. In our view, this bill seeks to do nothing more than insert politics between a woman and her doctor,” said Sharonda Glover, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Foundation for Women, referring to Lyons’ bill which would require doctors to offer their patient an ultrasound exam of their unborn child prior to an abortion.

There is no story here with two dead bills. Move along.

But the “alarm” is a great tactic to solicit pro-choice donors to “fight” against these bills.

Media Watch – WBEZ radio’s Michelle Puente reported on Wednesday that a coalition of Illinois hospitals rolled out their opposition to Governor Quinn’s proposed Medicaid cuts at a hearing of the Illinois House’s Health Care Availability and Accessibility Committee, which is chaired by State Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago).

What Were They Thinking? Nearly 63% of Americans say what they saw and heard about the Supreme Court’s hearings on the 2010 health care law did not change their opinion of the legislation. Approximately 23%, say they now have a less favorable opinion of the law and just 7% a more favorable opinion, according to a new Pew Research poll.

Tomorrow’s News? – On March 1, 2012, the City of Chicago awarded minority-certified business Virmac Services of Downers Grove, which is owned by Virgil McInstosh, a five-year, $2.8 million contract for garden-variety building supplies, and five-days later Andy Shaw’s Better Government Association launched an inquiry with the City about the firm. Stay tuned.

What’s a Weekend? – Nothin’ Doin’… Governor Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois’ Favorite Sun, President Barack Obama have no events on their public schedules.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.


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