You can play the lottery in Illinois these days, but you just can’t win much. The cash-strapped state said on Thursday that it can’t pay out anything over $600 for the time being. For a ticket worth more than that, winners get an IOU that won’t be paid off until the state government resolves its long-running budget crisis.
Today is the day for the primary for the special election in Illinois-18. I’ve stayed out of that primary because I don’t really enjoy getting involved in primaries anymore. People invariably get upset when you like one candidate above another, and as a loyal Republican hack I prefer not to say anything in the primary that I’m going to regret saying later in the general.
Anyway: Mike Flynn vs. Darin LaHood vs Donald Rients, with the winner heavily favored to win this Republican district. Despite the fact that the incumbent Aaron Schock left rather… precipitously. AoSHQ Decision Desk will be covering the election in real time tonight here, so check them out.
Found here. Short version: turns out that if you like school choice, you probably wanted Rahm Emanuel to win re-election as Chicago mayor. His opponent hated it, just like the unions told him to.
I know. Go figure, huh?
This is not expected, but neither is it a surprise.
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) March 17, 2015
Aside from everything else: honestly, Rep. Schock was showing signs of Invulnerability Syndrome. Legislators get that after their third or fourth term, sometimes: they think that they’ve got this, so they can do whatever they like. It doesn’t… really work that way, as many a politician has subsequently discovered. As Aaron Schock has just demonstrated.
PS: Take the special election for IL-18 seriously. The voters have been known to spank the party, if they can’t spank the politician. It happens quite often, in fact.
…because, according to George Will, he just took one*.
[Illinois governor Bruce] Rauner [R] hopes to ban, as some states do, public employees unions from making political contributions, whereby they elect the employers with whom they negotiate their compensation. Rauner notes that an owner of a small firm that does business with Illinois’s government is forbidden to make political contributions. Rauner also hopes to enable counties and local jurisdictions to adopt right-to-work laws, thereby attracting businesses that will locate only where there are such laws.
He hopes the legislature will empower voters to ratify changes to the state constitutional provision that says public pensions can never be “diminished or impaired.” He also proposes shifting state employees from unaffordable defined-benefit plans to a more affordable plan for the state. Furthermore, he hopes to end practices that now have more than 11,000 retirees receiving six-figure pensions.
I may have to reassess my opinion of the nature of Illinois politics: perhaps somebody actually can achieve statewide office there without also being fully-tied into the Illinois Combine. New Republican governor Bruce Rauner apparently wants to have a brawl: “Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner struck a first official blow on Monday against the public sector labor unions he has frequently criticized by ordering an end to a requirement that workers pay dues even if they decide not to join a union.” It’s an executive order, not legislation: because – like Barack Obama – Bruce Rauner has a pen and a phone, and is apparently unafraid to use either. He also has a budget crisis that’s fueled in no small part by the inability of public sector unions to not be quite so greedy, which is one reason why we’re seeing this reform now.
Put another way… Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune is bitter, but accurate enough*: “Rauner’s order isn’t animated by empathy or some fastidious concern with constitutional fine points. It’s animated by a desire to put public employee unions into a death spiral, which will ultimately shrink the state’s payroll.” This, of course, is not exactly bad news to anybody who despises public employee unions, which are indeed kind of abominations unto the Lord – but I suppose that the Chicago Tribune might feel differently, given that the Tribune is fully-tied into the Illinois Combine. Continue reading Gov. Bruce Rauner (R, Illinois) is… actually going to go to war with the unions.
I certainly hope that that gets his attention. Or that of his staff. Either will do.
Anyway… once upon a time, in the far-off year of 2004, there was a Republican candidate for Illinois Senator called Jack Ryan. Ryan was widely considered to be an excellent replacement for retiring Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald… right up to the point that the Chicago Tribune got tipped off to some juicy bits in Ryan’s divorce records. The Tribune petitioned to get the records unsealed; a compliant judge complied; Ryan had to withdraw from the race in disgrace, because frankly those bits really were kind of juicy. Barack Obama went on to win that Senate race.
All of this is relevant because this was not the first time that the Chicago Tribune had gotten divorce records unsealed; during the Democratic primary the paper similarly petitioned to have then-frontrunner Blair Hull’s records unsealed. Blair Hull ended up losing that nomination… to, hey, Barack Obama! Continue reading How Bruce Rauner (R, GOV-ELECT, Illinois) can instantly become a Republican rock star.
Ah, Roland Burris lived up** to the finest traditions of his beloved Chicago Democrats:
[Roland Burris’s] name came up during a pre-trial hearing on Sept. 26 in a bizarre case against a businessman accused of illegally lobbying to overturn U.S. sanctions on the regime of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Defense attorneys questioned Burris’ credibility as a witness because of allegations he was involved in a shakedown scheme during his time in the Senate.
Then-Sen. Burris offered to promote a business to the U.S. military in exchange for a $250,000 a year job when he left office, court documents allege. An FBI informant made the claim in 2012 during grand jury testimony, according to a transcript of the sidebar conversation between the judge and attorneys that was shared by the Chicago Sun-Times.
It’s illustrative that when Pat Quinn’s campaign wanted to push back on Mike Ditka endorsing Bruce Rauner for Illinois governor…
..they didn’t say a word about Ditka. And here’s the thing: Mike Ditka endorsed Pat Quinn in 2010. This is an endorsement that Quinn wanted. The campaign can’t be happy that Ditka has since switched his support back to the GOP. Continue reading Mike Ditka endorses Da Bruce (R CAND) for Illinois-GOV.
I am… hesitant to put too much weight on this Illinois Senate poll showing Dick Durbin ahead by only seven points. Don’t get me wrong: I despise Dick Durbin for being a re-segregationist, corrupt, constitutionally ignorant hypocrite who has no feel for his constituents and no interest in their welfare. And I don’t think that Durbin can count on the Gov. Pat Quinn race giving him a boost in the election this go-round, largely because Pat Quinn is having difficulty breaking 40 in the polls himself. It’s just that it’s still really, really easy to believe that this poll is just an outlier. That’s usually the safe way to bet.
Mind you: I’d be ecstatic to find out that I was wrong, so… Jim Oberweis for Senate. Because Dick Durbin is an awful Senator and not that great a human being*. It’s long since time he found something else to do with his time.
*The DC school choice thing really sticks in my craw. There’s following a policy, and then there’s just meanness. Durbin made his choice.