Skillicorn spotlights district’s blight, slams tax-increment financing

“Walmart wins while taxpayers in Community School District 300 are stuck with the bill,” – Allen

By Jamie Barrand

Allen Skillicorn, Republican candidate for the 66th State House District seat and an East Dundee village trustee, is upset about the epidemic of abandoned and blighted buildings in the district he wants to represent, the latest of which is the former Walmart store in East Dundee.

Ethics questions nag Illinois Auditor General Mautino

Editorial by the Daily Herald

For days, newly appointed Auditor General Frank J. Mautino of north central Spring Valley has been getting hammered by government watchdog groups and some downstate newspapers for his spending habits while he was a Democratic member of the Illinois General Assembly.

Some pretty significant questions. For instance:

How could his campaign have racked up $55 a day in gas and auto repairs over the past decade? Could he explain why so much campaign money was spent for meals at his wife’s family’s restaurant in Spring Valley? Why did another family business, Mautino Distributing Company, once owned by his father and now owned by his cousin, receive a large bump in state business after he became assistant majority leader to House Speaker Michael Madigan in 2009?

You don’t have to be an ideologue to ask these questions.

Only in Illinois (12/4/2015)

from Reboot Illinois

When reporter Kurt Erickson began covering the Illinois Statehouse, Jim Edgar was governor, George Ryan was secretary of state, Rod Blagojevich was a little-known state representative and a civil rights attorney from Chicago named Barack Obama was about to win election to his first term in the Illinois Senate.

In nearly two decades of covering Illinois government and politics for Lee Enterprises newspapers, Erickson saw a transition from an atmosphere of deal-making amid a healthy state economy to the current state of budget gridlock and partisan bickering as leaders argue over the cause of the economic malaise that’s gripped Illinois since the Great Recession. He has covered five governors, including two who would go to prison on corruption charges.

House Speaker Michael Madigan has worked all year to show Gov. Bruce Rauner that he’s still the most powerful person in Springfield, but that wasn’t the scene when Erickson arrived at the Statehouse. Continue reading

Feds allege Redflex conspirator talked to Madigan and Daley

by David Kidwell | Chicago Tribune

The former city transportation manager indicted in a $2 million conspiracy to bring red light cameras to Chicago met with then-Mayor Richard M. Daley and House Speaker Michael Madigan as he championed the agenda of the company that was secretly bribing him, federal prosecutors alleged Wednesday.

It was the first time federal authorities alleged publicly that John Bills, the man at the center of the case, personally reached out to Chicago’s two most powerful politicians in his efforts to steer lucrative contracts to Redflex Traffic Systems Inc…

NO ONE ELSE OWNS ILLINOIS DEBT LIKE SPEAKER MADIGAN

East Dundee, IL – Allen Skillicorn, Republican candidate for State Representative seeking Rep. Mike Tryon’s open-seat, challenges statements by Speaker Michael Madigan. During a public meeting arranged by local good government groups to facilitate budget negotiations, Madigan criticized Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposals as unbalanced and extreme.

“I have to point out that Speaker Madigan calling Governor Rauner ‘extreme’ for just a few modest reforms, is, in itself extreme.” Skillicorn continued, ”Speaker Madigan has been Speaker of the House for thirty years now… No one else owns Illinois debt like Speaker Madigan… He controls a veto proof majority. He could override the Governor and pass a budget today, yet he doesn’t.” Continue reading

Why Redistricting Matters

Ohio wants a fair map. Sound familiar, Illinois?
by the Editorial Board | Chicago Tribune

Tired of talking about how Democrats in Illinois rigged the legislative maps to elect more Democrats? Let’s talk about how Republicans in Ohio rigged the legislative maps to elect more Republicans. And about how Ohio voters are trying to fix it.

In the 2012 election — the first using new maps based on the 2010 U.S. Census numbers — Republican candidates for the Ohio House of Representatives got 49 percent of the vote and won 60 percent of the seats. Republicans running for Senate got 68 percent of the vote and won 83 percent of the seats.

Those maps weren’t drawn to ensure that voters had their say. They were drawn to benefit the politicians who controlled the redistricting process. Using sophisticated software and voter history data, Republicans drew grossly misshapen districts, surrounding their allies with friendly voters and busting up communities to disadvantage their enemies.

It worked. Based on a “partisan index” that measures how strongly a district is stacked in favor of one party, the League of Women Voters of Ohio determined that the results of the 2012 election were dictated by mapmakers in 97 of 99 House races and in all 18 Senate races.

Does that sound familiar? It should. It’s exactly what goes on in Illinois. Actually, it goes on in every state that allows politicians to draw their own districts. The only thing that varies is which party has the upper hand.