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

Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/The-Governor-Who-Should-Have-Been-117935489

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.... http://www.pantagraph.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/article_67515d6e-4667-11e0-b940-001cc4c03286.html

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