Saturday, July 25, 2009

Campaign '10 Begins

Quinn and Hynes exchange shots over state finances in primary preview

July 25, 2009 Chicago Tribune

Gov. Pat Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes traded the first shots Friday in next year's Democratic primary battle for governor over who's more culpable for the state's financial woes.The governor called Hynes a "no show" on tough budget choices, while Hynes' campaign accused Quinn of keeping quiet while disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich "drove our state into a ditch."The back-and-forth came after the Tribune reported Friday that Hynes, the three-term comptroller, has told top Democrats he will challenge Quinn for the governor nomination. Quinn, who twice campaigned as Blagojevich's running mate, was elevated to the state's top job in January when lawmakers ousted Blagojevich.The exchange represents an unusual early intensity in an evolving 2010 campaign -- a season shortened by a February primary. The rhetoric also provides an indication where each campaign is headed: Quinn is questioning Hynes' leadership from a lower-level statewide office, and Hynes is tying Quinn to the scandal-tainted Blagojevich.
Asked about a Hynes challenge in the governor primary, Quinn accused the comptroller of being among politicians "who just want to sort of drift along and not take tough positions.""When you get in the arena, you've got to make decisions," Quinn said. "You can't stand on the side of the road and not take part in tough battles. You can't be a no show. You can't just show up and say, 'Hey, I want to be elected to something.' I think you have to show you have the courage of your convictions to stand in the arena, take tough positions, do hard things because that's what the public demands."But Hynes campaign spokesman Michael Rendina disputed Quinn's characterization, noting Hynes has proposed $1.2 billion in cuts to the state budget along with $1.8 billion in new money by legalizing more casinos, closing business tax breaks and expanding the sales tax to luxury items. Hynes had been critical of inconsistencies behind Quinn's failed push for an income-tax increase and questioned why the governor hadn't made cuts to try to win public support."Gov. Quinn is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. After Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn spent six years in silence watching Rod Blagojevich drive our state into a ditch, it is puzzling that he describes a 50 percent income tax increase on Illinois families as leadership," Rendina said.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hynes reports $3.5 million in campaign fund

Comptroller Daniel Hynes says he has built up a campaign bankroll of $3.5 million as he considers running for governor.
Hynes said Monday that he raised about $900,000 during the first half of 2009.
That's comparable to incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn's $860,000.
But Hynes started out with far more in his fund. As a result, he has $3.5 million available, compared to $700,000 for Quinn.
A third possible Democratic candidate, Jack Franks, had $458,000 available. That's after raising $1.3 million, most of it from himself or from relatives.
Among the Republican candidates who have reported, Sen. Bill Brady leads the money race with $410,000 on hand.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Budget deal reached; workers to be paid


Fifteen days into the state’s new budget year, Illinois lawmakers Wednesday night finally cobbled together a new $26 billion spending plan that relies heavily on borrowed money and on Gov. Pat Quinn to spend it wisely.
The deal keeps the doors of state government open and will allow state workers to be paid. Quinn signed the payroll part of the budget into law Wednesday night.
“This budget tonight is the best we can do to get our work done,” Quinn said.
At the same time, the new budget will force state vendors to wait even longer to be paid for their services. Many state employees are still expected to lose their jobs, and human service agencies will still experience cuts, budget negotiators said.
Taxes were not increased, but lawmakers bemoaned the fact that the budget keeps the state in a precarious financial situation.
“We are not acting prudently here,” said Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo. “We are on the brink of a manmade disaster.”
Not everyone saw it as a disaster waiting to happen, though.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Governor signs $31B construction plan

CHICAGO - Gov. Pat Quinn has signed off on a $31 billion state construction plan that includes money for everything from bicycle trails and university buildings to a major overhaul of Illinois highways.
The plan is an effort to repair the state's crumbling infrastructure and create thousands of jobs.
Quinn projects the money will support 439,000 jobs around, though projections weren't immediately available on how many new jobs he expects the bill to create.
The bill won immediate praise Monday from many, including bicycle riders and advocates of higher education.
But gambling opponents were disappointed the construction plan relies heavily on a gambling expansion to pay for it.
Senate President John Cullerton calls the bill a bipartisan job creator.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

U.S. Sen. Roland Burris won't seek election next year

Embattled Democratic U.S. Sen. Roland Burris is expected to announce tomorrow that he will not seek election next year to the seat that he was appointed to by disgraced then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, sources said today.
The senator is scheduled to make his decision known at a 2 p.m. news conference at a South Side hotel in a "speech to Illinois youth," according to an advisory put out by his office late this afternoon.
A top source close to the senator said that since starting in the U.S. Senate, Burris wasn’t sure he could handle the grueling schedule of fundraising and trying to be a senator, especially in an environment where his popularity waned and “the tide was against him.”
Burris thought it would be very difficult to raise the campaign cash he’d need to win the Democratic nomination, let alone the general election, the source said. But Burris plans to stay in office until his term ends in January 2011, the source added.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Madigan Declines Senate, Gov Bids

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said today that family considerations caused her to pass on a run for U.S. Senate or governor and run next year for a third term in her current job.
“There was plenty of agonizing over my decision," she said at a Chicago news conference. “I have a job that I love right now and I also have a family that I love and I plan on continuing to serve as your attorney general because I think it’s absolutely vital to have an independent advocate in that office.”
She said the prospect of her father, Michael Madigan staying on as Illinois House speaker did not weigh into her decision. “No, I made a decision about what was best for me and what was best for my family and what I ultimately thought was best for the state at this point," she said.
Madigan’s decision stunned Illinois politicians, who saw her being groomed by her father for top statewide office in a state where he has been the longest-running speaker of the House.
Democrats in Washington, including her former state Senate seatmate, President Barack Obama, courted her for a U.S. Senate bid for the seat he once held.
Madigan initially rejected a bid for the U.S. Senate, saying she preferred to serve in the executive branch. But top Democrats in Washington began reaching out to her, contending she would be the best to assure the seat would stay in Democratic hands amid the political debacle that resulted in disgraced and ousted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s appointment of Roland Burris to the seat.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Quinn rejects budget

Refusing to wear the collar alone for painful choices, Gov. Pat Quinn today said he’s rejecting a budget bill approved by lawmakers and directing lawmakers to cut $1 billion from state operations.
Quinn said he’s vetoing House Bill 2145 entirely with specific instructions for lawmakers to make cuts in state government, including for the General Assembly. He’s also sending out notices to lay off 2,600 state workers and asking workers - union and non-union - to take 12 furlough days as part of the cuts.
“It’s clearly way, way out of balance. They want me to do it,” Quinn said at a news conference in Chicago. “We’ve got to do that as a joint exercise.”
By rejecting the bill entirely, Quinn avoids taking all the heat for the cuts and tries to put the onus back on lawmakers. He could have used his amendatory veto power and signed the bill but made the cuts himself, but instead decided to veto the whole bill.
Quinn said lawmakers simply did not cut enough from government expenses at a time when Illinoisans are being forced to scale back.

Full Article...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Madigan blasts Quinn for 'flip flops'

House Speaker Michael Madigan today sharply criticized the governor for vetoing a key state budget piece, saying the governor’s “flip flops” on key issues are not helpful to resolving the mess.
Madigan responded to Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of Senate Bill 1197, which lawmakers sent him yesterday that provided huge shortfalls in spending for social services and other grant programs in state government.
Madigan said the governor should have approved that measure because it at least offered those grants some money, instead of not having any after the veto.

Bringing out the veto stamp

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn brandishes a veto stamp before using it on a portion of the state budget dealing with social services at his office at the State Capitol.

Democrat Elected Officials

  • Effingham County Board Distric G-Doug McCain
  • Effingham County Treasurer - Steve Dasenbrock
  • Effingham County Board District C - Karen Luchtefeld

Effingham County Democrats Officers

  • Chairman - Audrey Griffith
  • First Vice Chairman - Dan Niebrugge
  • Second Vice Chairman - Allen Wente
  • Secretary - James Hammer
  • Treasurer - Shirley McEvers