QUINN/RAOUL IN 2014? For an office derided as meaningless and unnecessary, lieutenant
governor is getting a lot of attention these days. The Chicago Sun-Times
reports that Sen. Kwame Raoul, a leader in the Illinois Senate and holder of
Barack Obama's former seat, would consider being Gov. Pat Quinn's running mate
if Quinn gave him significant duties in office. Raoul, of course, had been
considered a possible challenger to Quinn for governor until he announced
otherwise last month. A pairing with Raoul would make Quinn much stronger in
the 2014 election. If they win, Raoul would help Quinn overcome his biggest
weakness: almost complete lack of influence with the General Assembly. Much ado
over an office the House voted to abolish.
Find out more here.
FORTUNE 500 OF ILLINOIS Is there a Fortune 500 company near you? Check out our
list of the Top 25 Illinois
companies on this year's Fortune 500. We've also got a list showing
how Illinois compares to other states in the number of Fortune 500 members that
call Illinois home. (One of those companies, Decatur-based Archer Daniels
Midland, is in the news today as it seeks tax incentives to keep its corporate
headquarters in Illinois. Find a link to the story in the headlines below.)
PAT QUINN: GOOFBALL OR SAVVY TACTICIAN? "He acts like such a goofball at times that it's often difficult to take what he says and does at face value, but this is obviously very serious business to the governor." That's Capitol Fax publisher Rich Miller writing about Gov. Pat Quinn's cancellation of lawmaker paychecks and subsequent appeal after losing a lawsuit over it. Canceling legislators' pay was no mere publicity stunt, Miller writes. It was Quinn trying to even up the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches. Miller breaks it down here.
FAIR MAPS FOR ALL One way legislative leaders in Illinois have solidified their
power is by drawing up legislative districts to keep their members in and to
push members of the opposite party out. These maps are re-drawn after every
census. Democrats drew the last two maps. Republicans -- by luck of the draw --
got to do the drawing in 1990. This is a ridiculous system that discourages
competition, keeps incumbents in office 97 percent of the time and puts
solidifying party power over the best interest of voters. Tell your legislators
in Springfield and the four legislative leaders that you want politicians out
of the map-making business in Illinois.
Click here and use our Sound Off
tool to look up your legislators and send your message.
GANGSTER DISCIPLE CLOUT Larry Hoover made the Gangster Disciples into a $100
million-a-year criminal enterprise in dozens of states. A Better Government
Association investigation shows that when Hoover wanted to rehabilitate his
image and regain his freedom in the 1990s, he had some powerful allies in
Chicago political circles. This is a fascinating series that shows the power of
money -- regardless of its source -- to open doors off limits to
"normal" folks. BGA President Andy Shaw
sums it up in his column this week,
with links to other stories in the investigation.
METRA EVERYWHERE This summer's Metra scandal still is unfolding. It showed
us what happens when government boards act in secret and when powerful
politicians use their power as leverage for patronage. Tell your
representatives in Springfield you don't want more Metra-style scandals in
other areas of state government.
Click here to use our Sound Off
tool to demand transparency in board activities and an end to the
kind of patronage pressure that runs throughout the Metra case. It's fast, easy
and effective. And if you don't know your legislators, Sound Off will tell you.
HEADLINES Here's what's making news in Illinois today as we begin the week:
5. The Regional Transportation Authority isn’t practicing what it preaches on overpaying for spin control. ( Daily Herald)4. Opinion: It was no surprise that the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning recommended against the Illiana Expressway. ( Chicago Tribune)
3. Chicago Public Schools had 28 elementary schools removed from probation. ( Chicago Tribune)
2. State Rep. Elaine Nekritz said a pension plan is ‘very likely’ by next month’s veto session. ( Chicago Tribune)
1. Legislation was introduced to institute a series of tax breaks in order to keep agricultural giant Archer Daniels Midland’s home base in Illinois .(Decatur Herald & Review)