Sunday, November 6, 2011

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Statement on Senate Republicans’ Vote to Block Job Growth Through U.S. Infrastructure Development

Following the vote by Republicans in the U.S. Senate to block legislation that would create jobs and grow the economy through the development of our nation’s infrastructure, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:
“It’s almost hard to believe: This is now the third time in a matter of weeks that Republicans in the Senate have voted in unison to block part or all of the American Jobs Act, which would create jobs and strengthen our economy. First, Republicans filibustered the President’s jobs bill in its entirety—then, when President Obama and Democrats tried to move forward with legislation that would prevent hundreds of thousands of teachers and first responders from losing their jobs, the Senate GOP shot that down, too.“Today, they did it again—voting to block legislation that would make an immediate $50 billion investment in America’s roads and bridges and a $10 billion investment to create a bipartisan National Infrastructure Bank. This bill would create hundreds of thousands of jobs for construction workers who will rebuild our nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, rails and runways—and it would help transform our infrastructure to keep American businesses competitive in the global economy. But Republicans keep standing in the way.“With too many Americans looking for work and middle-class families struggling to get ahead, this is unacceptable. It’s time for Republicans in Congress to stop putting partisan politics before the needs of the American people. It’s time for them to come to the table and work with the President to pass the American Jobs Act and move our country forward.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hillary Clinton’s mother, Dorothy Rodham, dies at 92

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham, died shortly after midnight Tuesday surrounded by her family, the Clinton family said in a statement. She was 92.
On Monday, Clinton had canceled a planned trip to the United Kingdom and Turkey to care for her ailing mother.
"Dorothy Howell Rodham was born in Chicago on June 4, 1919 and died shortly after midnight on November 1, 2011 in Washington, D.C., surrounded by her family," the Clinton family said in the statement sent to journalists by the State Department Tuesday morning.
"Her story was a quintessentially American one, largely because she wrote it herself," it said. "She overcame abandonment and hardship as a young girl to become the remarkable woman she was—a warm, generous and strong woman; an intellectual; a woman who told a great joke and always got the joke; an extraordinary friend and, most of all, a loving wife, mother and grandmother."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Senate Democrats to Present over $1 Billion in Cuts for Consideration

Starting today, the Senate intends to take up a series of budget cutting amendments in committee and for final floor action this week in an effort to cut more than $1 billion from the governor’s proposed spending plan in order to bring about a balanced budget.

The Senate’s plan is to return to the open budgeting process of committee and Senate Floor votes on specific program cuts and agency budgets. Read more about budget cuts...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Central Illinois residents ask for legislative districts that don't divide counties

SPRINGFIELD - Democrats drawing the state's new political boundaries should avoid dividing downstate counties into multiple districts, two Central Illinois men told a Senate panel Wednesday. Dennis Fisher of Shelby County and Randy Becker of Effingham County testified that the current political maps have caused confusion among residents because multiple senators, representatives and congressmen represent the region. "We would like to see the county kept intact," Fisher said. "We feel we sometimes get lost in the shuffle," Becker added. The two were among a number of people testifying in the first downstate session of the Senate Redistricting Committee, which is holding hearings about the state's new political map. more.....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Meet the Man Who Should Have Been Governor

A few weeks ago, I spoke to Glenn Poshard, the Democratic candidate for governor in 1998.

He’s president of Southern Illinois University now. I called him to talk about the union-busting that went on in Decatur when he was a congressman and I was a reporter for the local newspaper, the Herald & Review.

The A.E. Staley Mfg. Co. locked out its workers for more than two years until they capitulated and accepted the company’s contract. Poshard tried, unsuccessfully, to resolve the dispute.

I reminded Poshard that I’d profiled him for the Chicago Reader during the 1998 campaign.

“Oh, yes,” I remember, he said. “You were very kind to us.”

“I wish I could have been a little kinder,” I said.

“Well, that’s just one of those things that happens in life.”

I was sorry Poshard lost in 1998. Thirteen years later, I’m twice as sorry, because now we know that his victory would have spared us two of the crookedest governors in Illinois history: George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich. Ryan never would have served, and Blagojevich couldn’t have run against an incumbent Democrat in 2002.

Poshard, who grew up in deep Southern Illinois, lost as a result of qualities that were part of life in his rural, Bible Belt hometown: He was a religious conservative, and he didn’t have any money. A Baptist, Poshard called himself a “whole life Democrat,” meaning he opposed abortion but favored aid to poor families. The gay community was outraged when an aide suggested that doctors who opposed homosexuality shouldn’t have to treat gay patients.

Poshard ended up losing the lakefront to Ryan, who had reinvented himself as a liberal since helping Phyllis Schlafly stamp out the Equal Rights Amendment in the early 1980s. Poshard learned the same lesson Bill Brady learned last year: a social conservative cannot be elected governor of Illinois.

During the campaign, Poshard also refused to take PAC money, instead encouraging his supporters to send him 10 bucks apiece. Ryan was less scrupulous about the sources of his financing -- he took PAC money, five-figure private donations and bribes. As a result, he outspent Poshard 4-to-1.

In the last weeks of the election, Poshard tried to bring up the licenses-for-bribes scandal, which resulted in the deaths of six children in a crash caused by an unqualified trucker who’d bought his license at one Ryan’s Secretary of State offices. He was shouted down by the Chicago Tribune and Sen. Paul Simon. If we’d known the truth about the scandal, Poshard would have won. Ryan might be a retired Secretary of State puttering around Kankakee, and Blagojevich would still be a vain, shallow congressman, instead of a vain, shallow felon. The recent history of Illinois would be entirely different.

It’s just one of those things that happen in life.

BY Edward McClelland // Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 11:45 CDT


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action

CHICAGO – March 4, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:
Bill No.: HB 1410
Allows the Executive Ethics Commission to define the value of gifts prohibited by the ethics act.
An Act Concerning: State Government
Action: Signed
Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1525
Extends the EDGE tax credit to the NALCO water purification and treatment company.
An Act Concerning: Revenue
Action: Signed
Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1565
Fixes the formula for calculating interest owed on furlough day credit “bought back” by state employees.
An Act Concerning: Revenue
Action: Signed
Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 1606
Requires municipalities and counties to notify an applicant for certain demolition or renovation permits
of the requirement to file a notification with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
An Act Concerning: Local Government
Action: Signed
Effective Date: 90 days after becoming law

Bill No.: HB 2022
Enables the City of Country Club Hills to use quick-take proceedings under eminent domain authority
for the purpose of connecting two commercial developments as a part of their ongoing I-57/I-80 Tax
Increment Financing (TIF) District project.
An Act Concerning: Civil Law
Action: Signed
Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 6063
Permits the Department of Aging to fund a demonstration program of bundled services to clients who
qualify for Community Care Program (CCP) and reside in projects designated as Comprehensive Care
Residential Settings (CCRS).
An Act Concerning: State Government
Action: Signed
Effective Date: Immediately

Bill No.: HB 6881
Amends a provision allowing individuals on MSR to earn a reduction for earning a GED to also earn a
reduction for High School Diplomas.
An Act Concerning: Criminal Law
Action: Signed
Effective Date: Immediately

Auditor: State's pension hole grew in 2010

Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, left, and Rep. John Fritchey, D-Chicago, right, look on as lawmakers argue state pension legislation while on the House floor in Springfield on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

SPRINGFIELD -- The financial hole in Illinois' government pension systems grew even larger last year, the state auditor reported Thursday, a problem that tends to increase pressure on a state budget already stretched too far.

The long-term gap between what Illinois owes future retirees and the money available to pay them jumped 21 percent under a new measuring system, Auditor General William Holland reported. Even under the old system, the gap grew by 10 percent.

Illinois government employees, downstate teachers and university staff have been promised $139 billion worth of retirement benefits, but the pension systems have only $63 billion in assets. Eventually, the state will have to come up with money to make up that difference.

As state government devotes more money to government pensions, it leaves less for education, law enforcement, human services and other needs.

Illinois borrowed about $3.7 billion this year to help make the annual contribution to retirement systems. The amount owed in the next budget will top $5.4 billion, the auditor said.

Full article....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

15-3 Illinois Map: First Attempt

The goal of this map is to reduce the number of Republican representatives in Illinois from the current 11 to 3. I must admit that my ideal would be for every single state to have a non-partisan commission to do redistricting. Doing partisan maps such as this is indeed playing "ugly." However, as long as Republicans continue to push the envelope on this issue (including unprecedented mid-decade remaps like the one in Texas) there is no reason the Democratic Party should not likewise draw partisan maps in the states where it controls the process.

silver spring :: 15-3 Illinois Map: First Attempt

This is my first try at Illinois using Dave's Application. It's really a type of "first-draft" for me because the Application currently does not provide partisan data. I focused here more on demographics -- making sure the three African-American majority seats and single Hispanic majority seat are preserved, as well as creating a second Hispanic-majority seat. In several past diaries on Illinois, I read comments that a second seat might not be viable. However, I think a viable second seat can be created without too much trouble on the south side of Chicago -- one that's at least 63% Hispanic (under this proposed plan) while preserving the north side seat (which is 59% Hispanic under this map). I intentionally made the "south-side" seat relatively more Hispanic as that area is composed mostly of Mexican-Americans, while the "north-side" seat encompasses people of mostly Puerto Rican descent who are all citizens and therefore does not need to be as Hispanic.

Full article......

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Missouri, Illinois to lose one congressional seat each

WASHINGTON -- Slow population growth will reduce national political influence in both Missouri and Illinois starting in 2012, as Census Bureau figures released Tuesday cut each state’s congressional delegations by one.

Missouri will drop to 8 congressional seats from 9; while Illinois will lose one seat and drop to 18. The drop also means each state loses a vote in the Electoral College that formally elects the president. The losses will kick off intense political battles in both states as state legislatures convene to redraw the congressional boundaries early next year.

With each state losing a seat, the redistricting process will be a quest for power, as both parties seek to create districts that are safe for existing incumbents. At least one incumbent will be out of luck in each state and would have to face another incumbent in either a primary or general election to battle for the right to go back to Congress in 2012.

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