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Illinois Politics

Late Night: Poll Says Kenny Johnson Leads Christian Mitchell; Who Wants Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Private Cell Phone Bills?… and More

Chamber musicians played in the capitol's rotunda on Thursday to draw attention to the proposed "Marsy's Law" or House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 29, boosting the legal rights of crime victims. The measure is sponsored by House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie).

(Chicago, IL) – Over the Cliff Together – Governor Pat Quinn’s opposition to a bi-partisan revenue estimate resolution, sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), which was $221 million below the Governor’s estimate, was well known.

The Illinois Responsible Budget Coalition, chaired by John Bouman, also criticized the Madigan-Cross estimate. In fact, Bouman and fellow travelers besieged the March 1st House Revenue Committee hearing with a full frontal assault, heaving dozens of opposition witness slips from coalition members onto the committee desktop in an effort to stop Madigan and Cross, a move that drew barely-disguised operatic derision from committee chairman State Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion).

The House’s 95-11 vote in favor of the Madigan-Cross plan humiliated the coalition folks.

Why would Bouman, who draws $25,000 per year and a future $15,000 annual pension after five years of CTA board service as Quinn’s appointee in 2009, lead his coalition members over the cliff? Who would have advised such a futile and clownish move? Who?

In Springfield, Timing is Everything–Literally – State Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) yesterday morning needed to file a significant bill amendment. A typically routine task morphed into an action adventure as the 12:00 p.m. filing deadline hovered. With her offices in the Stratton Building, Gabel found her secretary was momentarily “indisposed.” State Rep. Elaine Nekritz’s secretary was dragooned. The faithful aide barreled over to the capitol, sprinting, hustling, and perspiring all the way. Mission accomplished. The amendment was filed–at 11:59 a.m.

The education lobbying bullies from the Illinois Elementary School Association bulldozed their way through the capitol and hounded terrified lawmakers on Wednesday.

Follow the Money – Two-time House Democratic candidate Rudy Lozano (D-Chicago), who’s trailing 33-37 in a new poll commissioned by his opponent Silvana Taberes (D-Chicago), was boosted this week by $14,000 in new contributions reported, including $1,500 from State Senator Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) and $5,000 from the Illinois Federation of Teachers… Aurora Alderman Stephanie Kifowit, who’s battling in a four-way Democratic primary for a open Aurora House seat, reported on Thursday at 8:54 p.m. a $1,698.37 contribution from the House Democratic Majority for mail brochure postage… Aurora Democratic State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, who is not facing a primary opponent, snagged on Thursday a $2,000 contribution from the Illinois Federation of Teachers. Chapa LaVia is backing Kifowitz opponent Alex Arroyo, the former Chairman of the Aurora Township Democrats.

Cash Rushes In – State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale), who is fighting to hold his senate seat–and keep alive a future gubernatorial rerun–faces a rough challenge from State Rep. Chris Nybo (R-Lombard). Dillard was slow to raise money at the start of the campaign, but he hauled in a hefty $17,000 on Thursday alone, including $5,000 from the CT & C Illinois Political Action Committee and $1,000 from retiring State Senator John Millner (R-Carol Stream)…

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited the site of the Fisk coal plant Thursday afternoon. During this visit, Emanuel announced the City’s plan to begin the redevelopment of the Fisk and Crawford power plants.

What’s Loyalty Worth? Chicago Democrat and ex-mayoral candidate Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins, who is challenging State Senator Annazette Collins (D-Chicago) yesterday donated $73,000 to herself. Today, Pelt-Watkins reported that Veronica Pringle, her firm’s accountant at TARGET Area Development Corporation, donated $3,000 to her boss’ campaign, too. Gosh, you just don’t see employee loyalty like that anymore, do you? No, sir. It must be Boss’ Day or something.

Don’t Quote MeRumor and gossip that’s not quite fit to print, but, what the heck, we’re including it anyway as a public service because we’re sure you’ll find it as titillating as we do… Who’s Up? – Kenny Johnson, that’s who. Johnson, a Chicago Democrat, is locked in a fierce fight with fellow Chicago Democrat Christian Mitchell for a Chicago House seat. Johnson’s legislative backers were crowing in Springfield on Wednesday night that a new internal poll has their guy up by six points… Snake Eyes–Again: Another gaming expansion meeting in State Senator Terry Link’s office this week, this time with the horsemen, ended in exasperation… Veto Proof – Despite the nightmarish cuts to the Illinois budget being pondered by the legislature, lawmakers will likely hurdle a veto-proof budget through Governor Quinn window and onto his desk, sources say.

Governor Pat Quinn will not be at his capitol office in Springfield on Friday. Instead, he will be in Chicago with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.

Not Good. The Illinois Central District U.S. Attorney’s Office dropped a subpoena on the Illinois State Board of Education on October 28, 2011 for records targeting the Homework Hangout Club, a youth group in Decatur.

Tomorrow’s News… Stop! – CBS Channel-2 Chicago Investigative Producer Dan Blom is working on a story targeting Chicago’s top-ten red-light intersections… Who’s Calling? Chicago Tribune reporter David Kidwell is angling for a story on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s private cell phone bills for calls made about city business… What Price World Peace? Fox 32 Chicago is searching for city contracts on the planned NATO summit and the failed G-8 conflab…

What’s a Work Day? For Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Secretary General Angel Gurría, U.S. Department of Commerce Acting Assistant Secretary Matthew Erskine, and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, they will announce an economic development plan at the Chicago Hilton Hotel, 11:00 a.m… For Governor Pat Quinn and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, they will announce federal approval of the Illinois Coastal Management Program at Loyola University, 1:30 p.m.

Send press releases and comments to David Ormsby at [email protected].

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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