Skillicorn moves into lead

-from Illinois Review

EAST DUNDEE – A four-way Republican primary to fill retiring State Rep. Michael Tryon’s 66th House seat may have a candidate that is breaking out of the pack. Recent polling shows East Dundee trustee Allen Skillicorn could be moving into the lead to win the March 15th GOP primary.

While the majority of the 346 polled by Compass Consulting have yet to make their pick in the 66th House District GOP primary, on a sample ballot, the survey showed that Skillicorn leads with 24%, 15 points ahead of next highest GOP candidate in the race.

Editorial: Who’s afraid of a fair map for Illinois?

by Chicago Tribune Editorial Board

Two sure signs that the fight for a fair legislative map is off to a strong start: Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment have collected more than 263,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot. And the attack mailers are already coming in.

Opposition letters started hitting mailboxes a few days ago, soon after the Independent Map Amendment campaign announced that it was more than a third of the way to its goal of 600,000 voter signatures. (The group needs roughly 300,000 valid signatures before May 2016.)

Recycled rhetoric and no progress as Rauner, Madigan meet

by Monique Garcia and Kim Geiger | Chicago Tribune

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the four legislative leaders sat down together Tuesday for the first time since May, only to discover little has changed since then to resolve a budget impasse that’s entered month six.

Even the talking points on both sides were recycled. Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan again labeled Rauner’s political agenda “extreme,” blaming the governor for a state “awash in debt” as various court orders and laws mean spending carries on even though fewer tax dollars are flowing into state coffers.

Rauner quickly shot back, saying Illinois must take on the “structural causes” of the state’s financial problems. Lawmakers, he said, can’t just raise taxes and make “modest cuts,” otherwise “we’ll still just chase our tail.”

“I respectfully disagree that any of our ideas are extreme,” Rauner said.

The back-and-forth played out before cameras that broadcast the opening remarks online. The gathering then continued behind closed doors for about another hour. While a major breakthrough was hardly expected, the politicians emerged with little more to celebrate than an agreement to meet again next week. Continue reading

Where the big primary races will be in suburbs

by Mike Riopell | Daily Herald

Despite frustration over a historic budget impasse in Springfield, Republicans and Democrats in the suburbs so far are avoiding dramatic primary election challenges to their veteran incumbents, state elections records show.

Monday is the last day for candidates to make their intentions known, and so far, the only major local primary contests for seats at the state Capitol are where incumbents — Rep. Mike Tryon of Crystal Lake and Sen. Mike Noland of Elgin — are departing.

Only in Illinois (11-6-2015) [Video]

Rauner’s money, looming March primary will make Illinois budget vote especially complicated

by Matt Dietrich and Madeleine Doubek | Reboot Illinois

We’re within three weeks of candidate filings for the March 2016 primary.

By January, all legislative candidates should know whether they’ll have a challenger in the primary, which means a lot of lawmakers will find out if they’re “safe” for the November general election.

This is important, because passing a long-overdue state budget will mean voting to raise taxes, and no lawmaker in a tight reelection or primary race wants to go on record raising taxes right before an election.

With Gov. Bruce Rauner dispensing limitless sums to support Republican candidates, Democrats are especially wary.
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.

Former COD President Sues after termination by Clean Slate Reformers

Only a day after the College of DuPage Board elected to fire him, President Robert Breuder filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the school and select members of the board.

COD trustees declared Dr. Breuder an “at-will” employee after the Attorney General’s Office ruled that a prior board violated the Open Meetings Act in 2011 when it extended his contract.

This allowed the current board to fire him and void the $763,000 severance payment he negotiated to step down that later became a political lightning rod.

Kathy Hamilton and Allen Skillicorn

COD Reformer Kathy Hamilton and Allen Skillicorn at a fundraiser in 2015

How Illinois Democrats hoodwinked the middle class

by Kristen McQueary | Chicago Tribune | 10/22/2015

In 2011, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan attended a private fundraiser for Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. Madigan was a guest of the host, Terrence Duffy, chairman of CME Group, the parent company of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.

Four months later, Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton gathered lawmakers in Springfield for a rare special session to approve tax-break legislation that included CME Group, cutting the company’s annual state income taxes nearly in half.

At the time, Illinois was facing the possible shutdown of seven facilities, including mental health institutions and a home for the developmentally disabled. For weeks, parents with adult disabled children were visiting the Capitol trying to save the facility slated for closure. They pushed their loved ones around in wheelchairs or sat outside the House chamber carrying framed pictures of their kids.

Their efforts didn’t work. Jacksonville Developmental Center was eventually closed. But CME Group got its tax break.

CME Group is one of many big-donor firms to benefit from a form of corporate welfare from a Democrat-led state government. From 2010 to 2014, the state handed out tax breaks worth roughly $4.6 billion to Sears and Mitsubishi, Motorola and others, according to a subsidy tracker website.

Remember that the next time you hear Madigan or Cullerton or any Illinois Democrat boast that their party is the one putting the interests of the middle class ahead of big business.

It’s a theme you’ll hear repeatedly as the election cycle takes off.

Voters Did Not Skip The Governor’s Race!

Democrats and unions didn’t like Quinn for passing pension reform. Social conservatives didn’t like Rauner because he wasn’t conservative enough. Despite these groups pledging to skip the Governor’s, the numbers show something drastically different. More people voted in the governor’s race than in any other statewide contest…

US Senate – 3,439,117

Governor – 3,464,622

AG – 3,442,333

SOS – 3,454,120

Comptroller – 3,423,838

Treasurer – 3,370,406