CHICAGO - With the Chicago subway system as their stage, this acapella group - "The Remedy" - is working their way via social media towards fame and fortune.
"Like" them on their Facebook page HERE and relax with their "Sonic Tonic"
CHICAGO - With the Chicago subway system as their stage, this acapella group - "The Remedy" - is working their way via social media towards fame and fortune.
"Like" them on their Facebook page HERE and relax with their "Sonic Tonic"
"Atlas Shrugged Part III - Who is John Galt?" concludes John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslov's film trilogy of Ayn Rand's 1947 capitalism-promoting fiction "Atlas Shrugged." The film was released this weekend at two Chicago area theatres. It's a film liberty-minded Americans should see.
As an audience member warned loudly enough for all to hear as the film's credits rolled Saturday afternoon in Naperville, "Coming soon to a country near you ..."
"Who is John Galt?" is the question that is asked in the first two parts of Atlas Shrugged, and in Part III, the question is answered. Author Ayn Rand's John Galt was a brilliant mind that decided his mental and physical capabilities were his, and not to be demanded or stolen by the government, society or anyone else. He sought to pull other gifted minds away from a insatiable society that sought to drain away all energies and creativity for their welfare.
Galt and his like-minded colleagues abandoned the world they knew to live in a Utopian world where everyone did their part and no one was allowed to take without giving. And that's where we learn who John Galt is.
SPRINGFIELD - Illinois' capital city was surrounded in prayer Saturday, when hundreds of prayer warriors walked the city streets and gathered in front of the State Capitol. The nationwide "God Belongs in My City" effort was led in Springfield by Pastor Bernie Lutchman and Pastor Stacey Barnett.
WINFIELD - The Northwest Territory Alliance is celebrating its 40th anniversary this weekend at Winfield's Cantigny Park. Both Saturday and Sunday, the American Revolutionary War reenactment organization is demonstrating artillery, crafts and battle techniques. Hundreds of Cub Scouts, children, parents and interested folks browsed the encampment and display tents Saturday afternoon, before and after cannons and muskets were fired to the delight of all.
The NWTA welcomes guests to join their organization, and invites trial encampments for interested parties. They participate in approximately ten weekend demonstrations throughout the midwest every summer.
It is not the headline of the Tribune poll that should worry the handlers of Bruce Rauner because horse race numbers change all the time and Quinn did outspend Rauner by almost two to one on Chicago media during August in an effort to play catch up.
But what should worry the Rauner camp is the fact that the internals of the Tribune poll indicate that "voters view the governor as more trustworthy than his opponent." You usually only get one chance to make a first impression and even if voters think Quinn is a failure in most ways, if they nevertheless think he can be trusted more than Rauner then Rauner has a major problem that is tough to correct by Nov. 4th.
CHICAGO - The Rauner camp got bad news Saturday as the Chicago Tribune rolled out a poll putting incumbent Democrat Governor Pat Quinn leading by 11 points. While earlier in the week a Democrat insider poll showed Quinn up by three points, the Tribune's poll will be more difficult to shrug off.
The poll found Quinn at 48 percent support compared with 37 percent for Rauner, with 8 percent undecided. And 5 percent went to little-known Libertarian candidate Chad Grimm — support that likely would have gone to Rauner if Republican forces had been able to knock the Libertarian Party slate off the ballot.
The poll, conducted Sept. 3 through Friday by APC Research Inc., featured interviews on landlines and cellphones with 800 registered voters. It has an error margin of 3.5 percentage points and a confidence level of 95 percent. That means if it were possible to contact every likely voter registered in Illinois, it could be said with 95 percent certainty that the results would differ by no greater or less than 3.5 percent.
SPRINGFIELD - An Effingham lawyer and a Springfield lobbyist form a partnership to set up 21 video gambling bars in central and southern Illinois... and then decide to set up a consulting practice for medical marijuana cultivators and dispensaries.
There's no punchline and there's no joke - there's simply big money to be made.
Springfield lobbyist Christopher Stone and Effingham lawyer Matt Hortenstine are part owners in Lucy's Place, LLC - an Illinois video gambling franchise with 21 locations throughout central and southern Illinois. From July 2013 to July 2014, Lucy's Place locations took in over $98 million gambling dollars and paid out over $90 million, netting approximately $7.6 million that is divided up among state and municipal taxes, machine operators/owners and the gambling bar owners.
But those numbers can be misleading to those not familiar with the process. Hortenstine told Illinois Review this week that despite the large numbers, Lucy's Place LLC is not as lucrative yet as they hope it to be in the future.
Responding to our Freedom of Information Act request for COD checkbook, the college produced a troubling record of payments. $27,931 for dues and fees flowed to the president’s private shooting club. Three global satellite phones were paid for each of the last three years so the president could “keep in touch” during his exotic hunting vacations (he shot an African elephant).
Andrzejewski found nine items from the school's "impest funds" that were particularly eyebrow-raising:
Whether it's fighting for the minimum wage, funding for our schools, or equal rights, Governor Quinn and Senator Durbin are leading the way -- and they need our help.
Tomorrow is a huge Democrats Day of Action -- and I'm asking you to step up and join us.
Working on Presidential campaigns, and leading the effort to regain the Congressional majority have taught me that this one thing is always true: when Democrats pull together, Democrats win.
SPRINGFIELD - SJ-R.com is reporting that GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner declined an invitation from The State Journal-Register and WICS-TV Channel 20 for a live debate in Springfield with Gov. Pat Quinn.
Quinn had said he would participate if Rauner agreed to take part. The University of Illinois Springfield had volunteered to host the debate, which would have been televised in central Illinois and throughout southern Illinois.
So far, Quinn and Rauner have agreed to only three televised debates, two in Chicago and one in Peoria.
Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf said in an email declining the invitation that the campaign believes the existing schedule of joint appearances “reflects the diversity of our state.”
CHICAGO - Fox 32 News is reporting that James Gomez, the husband of Cook County states attorney Anita Alvarez, is in has hot water for receiving homestead exemptions on multiple properties.
For the past three years, Gomez has been receiving a homeowner's exemption of about $400 a year for a house he owns on Chicago's Northwest side, while receiving an exemption for another home he owns and shares with his wife, Anita Alvarez.
The law says a person is only allowed to have one exemption.
The problem came to light in a confidential letter from Cook County inspector general Patrick Blanchard to Cook County assessor Joe Berrios. The letter was copied to a top official in the Illinois Attorney General's Office.
After conducting an investigation, the assessor's office sent Gomez a letter threatening to put a lien on the property and several bills totaling $1,489.
Gomez's lawyer argues Gomez is the victim of a clerical error by the assessor's office. Alvarez claims she was unaware of the double exemption and her name is not on the rental property's deed.
Conservatives react negatively to latest Rauner ad (update below)
CHICAGO - A new Rauner ad appears to define the GOP gubernatorial nominee's claim of "no social agenda" as being pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage.
The ad, airing on television only, is titled "Why Are You Voting for Bruce Rauner for Governor?" It opens with Marjorie Shapiro, who is identified in other videos on the Rauner website as a "pro-choice independent."
Shapiro states: "Bruce doesn't have a social agenda. He's pro-choice and will leave the marriage equality law alone."
Rauner has been recorded on several occasions saying he's personally pro-life, but believes in a "woman's right to choose." He has also been quoted as saying he would repeal the same-sex marriage law if he were governor. The conflicting statements, coupled with the ambiguous and situational definition of "no social agenda" has many conservative Republicans questioning their support for Rauner.
UPDATE x1: After viewing the ad, Illinois Family Action’s executive director David E. Smith told Illinois Review, “I’m shaking my head as to what that ad says. The Democrats are doing all they can to get their base out to vote in November, but the Rauner campaign is doing everything they can to alienate their base.”
"The life and marriage issues matter to social conservatives that make up the Illinois Republican Party base,” Smith said. “It’s like the ILGOP is purposely trying to put a cold, wet blanket on any social conservative enthusiasm leading up to November.”
Nationally known pro-life activist Jill Stanek agrees with Smith about the ad. “It is contradictory to say in one breath one has no social agenda but declare in the next, 'I'm pro-choice.' That's saying he has a social agenda. He has by no means neutered himself on the abortion issue,” Stanek told Illinois Review. "But let's pretend that's what he's doing. Is he promising not to advance any pro-abortion funding or legislation? Not to accept any campaign donations from Personal PAC or Planned Parenthood? He'd go totally neutral as governor on the abortion issue? Nothing either way will slip past his desk?
Illinois Right to Life had no comment on the ad, but radio talk show host Joe Walsh was critical of Rauner in his program yesterday (listen HERE).
SPRINGFIELD - The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has announced that 54 members of the Illinois General Assembly earned the organization's Guardian of Small Business Award for achieving at least an 80 percent NFIB Voting record during the 2013-14 legislative session.
"Clearly, these legislators understand what small business means to Illinois' economy," said Kim Clarke Maisch, Illinois Director of NFIB. "Our members appreciate the strong support from our senators and representatives, many of whom own and operate their own businesses back in their districts."
NFIB/Illinois 2013-14 Voting Record included nine key issues including prevailing wage, employee classification, pension reform, workers' compensation, the automatic IRA mandate, employee background checks, reduced filing fees and requiring contractors to participate in an apprenticeship program in order to qualify for local public works projects. Click here to download a copy of the voting record (PDF).
The 54 legislators - all Republican - include:
CHICAGO - Libertarian Candidate for Illinois Attorney General, Ben Koyl, has filed a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. Koyl is calling for a federal investigation regarding the intimidation of petition circulators and signers by Republican-hired private investigators.
The use of force, intimidation, threat or deception intended to impede the petitioning process is a Class 4 felony under Illinois Election Code (10 ILCS 5/29-4). Koyl filed complaints on August 28 with the Cook County State's Attorney and the Illinois Attorney General. To date he has received no indication that any investigation will be conducted at the county or state level.
As a result, Koyl is demanding the US Department of Justice "investigate this matter to ensure that citizens who run for public office and those who assist them can exercise their first amendment rights without fear of intimidation or deception, even in Illinois."
"According to his spokesperson, Bruce Rauner 'wants as many people engaged in the political process as possible,'" said Koyl. "If this is true, we expect he will 'walk the talk' and publicly announce his support to stop the Republican Party of Illinois' continuing ballot-blocking efforts and welcome Libertarian candidates into all upcoming debates."
By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O'Neil -
Our nation's forefathers were Christians, and they wrote often they believed the battle to attain their liberty was won due to their reliance on God and the Holy Bible. Through the years, Americans and their leaders enacted laws that reflected biblical values and principles. We remained a highly moral country for almost two centuries, largely because our people wove their Christian beliefs into all parts of their lives, including the public arena.
What happened to America from 1776 to the present? How can we explain the immorality that exists today? Where was the church in this unfortunate battle that ignored historical precedents and an established culture based on moral values, in order to introduce anti-biblical, moral defying laws? How did we slip so far away from the godly standards America once valued?
WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) has co-sponsored H.R. 3465, the Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2013, legislation to provide resources to state and local governments as well as community-based organizations to improve success rates for people released from prison and jail.
“The issues facing our criminal justice system are great, and modernizing federal criminal sentencing policies is only half the battle,” said Davis. “Research shows that more than half of individuals released from prison are reincarcerated within three years. But, we know that when these same individuals receive assistance in finding employment and housing, reincarceration rates drop sharply. This bill aims to do just that by giving local and state governments and other organizations recourses they need to combat recidivism and decrease incarceration costs.”
By Mark Weyermuller -
September 11 is a day for tributes and remembrance. 13 years ago Thursday, 3000 Americans were killed in attacks when four airplanes were hijacked by 19 Muslim extremists. They crashed the planes into the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington DC, and a field in Pennsylvania.
To honor the fallen on that fateful day, an area group placed 2871 American Flags in the Village Green at Oak and Maple in Winnetka, Illinois. While I visited the site Thursday morning, 75 middle schoolers were also visiting from the nearby Washburne School.
BARRINGTON HILLS, IL – Efforts are underway in the Illinois General Assembly to pass legislation that would shift billions of dollars in education pension obligations from the state to local schools. In response, Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills), has introduced a House Resolution to oppose the proposed cost shift.
“The efforts to try to pass the state’s education pension obligations onto local schools are intensifying in Springfield,” McSweeney said. “I am opposed to the cost shift because two-thirds of all Illinois schools are operating in the red and these school districts simply cannot afford to take on the state’s pension obligations. Shifting billions of dollars in pension obligations to our local schools would essentially create an unfunded mandate our local schools cannot afford.”
BATAVIA, IL - Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner and running mate Evelyn Sanguinetti have landed the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business.
"Under Pat Quinn, Illinois has lost 4,200 jobs so far this year, the most in the Midwest,” Rauner said. “I am honored to accept the endorsement of the NFIB because it is time to end the struggle small business owners are facing in this state and give them the confidence they deserve from their state government."
"NFIB proudly endorses Bruce Rauner for Governor,” said Kim Maisch, NFIB Illinois State Director. “Bruce’s business savvy and entrepreneurial instincts will help move Illinois' economy in the right direction, and we know in a Rauner Administration small business ideas and opinions will be sought, will be heard and will be appreciated."
WASHINGTON DC - U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) this week on the House floor called attention to the growing problem of food insecurity and hunger in Illinois and nationwide during September’s Hunger Action Month. Over the past decade, the number of those going without food has increased significantly. Hultgren emphasized the responsibility communities have to extend a helping hand to those in need. He wore an orange ribbon in support of the Go Orange hunger awareness effort.
WASHINGTON - Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin will be in Palatine Friday night to celebrate Heartland Institute's 30th Year Anniversary. In her latest syndicated column, Malkin reviews a former air marshal's testimony before Congress this week as to the devastation to his career he has endured as a whistleblower.
Robert MacLean said he was told all air marshalls would be pulled from long distance flights just as a emergency notice went into effect of a high level of terrorism threat in 2003. Malkin writes:
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) released the latest installment of his Ask Peter. In this segment, Congressman Roskam answers an email from Ted Whittington from Elgin, who lost his employer-sponsored healthcare plan and doctor under Obamacare, and asked what the House is doing to prevent the harmful effects of the President’s healthcare law.
Andrew Klavan takes a look at some real-life examples of microaggression and the deep harm such assaults can really do.
Thirteen years ago this Thursday Al Qaeda terrorist took the lives of nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans. While the nation has been reflecting on that horrific day as a new threat from ISIS looms and remembering the lives lost two members of Illinois' congressional delegation forgot to make any mention whatsoever of the day on their official Twitter accounts.
Amnesty advocate Luis Gutierrez's only tweet of the day was to promote his appearance on 89 WLS where he talked about what else immigration.
Thomas More Society wins dismissal of defamation lawsuit against Illinois Review
CHICAGO IL - Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued its decision to dismiss the appeal brought by Satkar Hospitality Inc. against Illinois Review, a conservative news blog. In 2011, Satkar sued Illinois Review for defamation. The U.S. District Court dismissed the lawsuit, but Satkar appealed the decision, and in May, 2013, Thomas More Society brought oral arguments in defense of Illinois Review before the Seventh Circuit.
"We're very pleased that this blatant attempt to silence aggressive political reporting has been finally rejected by the courts," said Peter Breen, Thomas More Society vice president and senior counsel. “Illinois Review has a First Amendment right to speak out on controversial issues, and frivolous lawsuits should not be permitted to shut down their free speech.”
From Illinois State Senator Kyle McCarter -
To the Mayors, County & Township leaders of the 54th State Senate District
Since the passage of the medical marijuana legislation (House Bill 1), I am seeing numerous municipalities, counties, and townships position themselves to welcome both cultivation centers and dispensaries. I have also been contacted by various investors looking to obtain these licenses. As a result of this activity, it is important for you to know my position on this issue.
I am not in favor of ‘medical marijuana.’ I will not support any of the investors in this industry nor will I promote the implementation of the new law. My reasons are as follows:
SPRINGFIELD - Applications from prospective companies wanting a license to grow or sell marijuana aren't subject to state open records laws, according to the law that legalized medical marijuana in Illinois. The application period opened Monday and will close Sept. 22. Melaney Arnold, a spokeswoman for Illinois' medical marijuana pilot project, said the state won't release any information about the number of applicants during the application period, and my never.
The lack of transparency will make it difficult to determine whether government regulators will show favoritism to companies with strong political connections.
Lobbyists and former government officials have already begun to team up to compete for the 22 growing center licenses or 60 dispensary licenses. Applicants have to pay a $5,000 nonrefundable application fee to sell marijuana and a $25,000 fee to grow it.
By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O'Neil -
Patriot preachers of the 18th Century, in becoming prophets of liberty and truth, set the stage for the Revolutionary War. Hated and feared by the British, they were referred to as the "Black Robed Regiment." Believing the Bible addressed every subject, including politics, patriot pastors boldly preached about spiritual and civil liberty. When, however, the inevitable clash came they exchanged their black robes for military uniforms, leading men onto the battle field to face the dreaded Redcoats. For in the minds of patriot preachers religious (internal) liberty and civil (external) liberty were inextricably connected.
Accordingly,18th century pastors saw no need to separate church and state. They believed it was wrong to do so, as did Thomas Jefferson and most of the other Founders, despite holding to a strict adherence of separation of church and state. What Jefferson and preachers and congregations of the day adamantly opposed was the establishment of a government-sponsored church.
CHICAGO - Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jim Oberweis says his proposal to raise the minimum wage for all employees aged 26 and older is a search for middle ground on one of the left-wing's 2014 election issues.
Despite taking a position contradictory to the GOP, and meeting the Democratic proposal half-way, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D) continues to try and label Oberweis as too "radical" for Illinois.
During an interview with AP, Oberweis acknowledged he hasn't had the active support of the national Republican party. But he remains confident that help will eventually arrive.
"For me to win it's going to have to be a pretty significant Republican year,'' Oberweis said. But he believes his record of business success and job creation is something Durbin doesn't have, and are two skills that may tip the balance in November.
WASHINGTON DC - U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), spoke about Illinois races yesterday. According to Lynn Sweet, he had little to say about GOP Senate candidate Jim Oberweis except that he doesn't expect his organization will be helping Oberweis in his bid to unseat Democrat Dick Durbin.
So far the NRSC has declined to pump any resources into Illinois, and Portman declined to make any pledge to assist.
However, while he didn't have much to say about Oberweis, he was effusive about Illinois GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner, who he knows from their Dartmouth days.
Rauner graduated Dartmouth in 1978; Portman in 1979. And Portman has made two contributions to Rauner's campaign— $1,000 in July, 2013 and $500 last March.
For conservatives, Portman is a mixed bag. While he co-sponsored the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, in 2013 he reversed course and became the first national-level Republican to support same-sex marriage. However, Portman also sponsored a bill that would make it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion, and has been fairly consistent in his position on abortion.
URBANA, IL - Steve Salaita, a professor who lost a job offer from the University of Illinois after he posted dozens of profane and anti-Semitic Twitter messages, is demanding he be given a job.
Salaita said he and his wife sold their home and quit their jobs at Virginia Tech where he was a professor, in anticipation of a move to Illinois. He would have started last month, before the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved his hire.
Urbana-Champaign campus Chancellor Phyllis Wise told him Aug. 1 that the job was no longer being offered. She's said her decision was based on the abusive nature his Twitter messages.
Salaita's supporters argue he already had "essentially" been hired when he told him he didn't have a job, and therefore his tenure as a professor could have protected him from the repercussions of his hateful comments.
Salaita's attorneys said they believe the board of trustees will make a decision on Salaita at a meeting Thursday.
CHICAGO - Illinois fracking supporters said Wednesday they'll seek dozens of changes in proposed rules to govern the practice in the state that appear to violate a hard-won compromise between the industry and left-wing environmentalists.
A coalition of fracking groups will outline more than 65 areas of concern to a legislative panel that must decide whether the rules - written by bureaucrats in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) - can take effect as written, said Mark Denzler vice president of the Illinois Manufacturers Association.
The law passed last year was seen as a national model of compromise, but both advocates and opponents since have been critical of the rule-making process.
The DNR reworded some rules after receiving more than 30,000 comments on it original draft, and submitted the new version to the Joint Committee on Legislative Rules Aug. 29. The Committee has 45 days to approve the rules, reject them or ask for changes.
"We were very hopeful that the rules would simply implement the law, not expand or contract a law that was very carefully negotiated over three years,'' Denzler said.
OTTAWA - In response to President Obama's announcement Wednesday night that America would be leading a coalition to destroy the terrorist movement ISIL, Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) said in a statement that "no options should be left off the table."
Obama told America he was sending 475 American troops to advise those fighting ISIL, but emphasized he would not be putting American boots on the ground.
“I am encouraged to see President Obama unleashing the might of the American military against the evil group known as ISIS, no matter where they may try to hide,” said Kinzinger. “We must remain focused on eradicating this threat, and strong leadership from President Obama will be key in the coming weeks and months. Our chief aim must be the destruction of ISIS, and no options should be off the table.”
Kinzinger has served in the Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command and Air National Guard, where he currently holds the rank of Major.
CHICAGO - Illinois Congressman Peter Roskam and GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner issued statements today on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack.
“Thirteen years ago, 3,000 innocent Americans were senselessly killed in a terrorist attack on our nation. Among them, first responders who bravely ran into the burning Twin Towers, passengers of United 93 who took on their hijackers and saved countless lives on the ground, and heroes at the Pentagon and in New York who sought to save others--their coworkers, friends and people they had never met. Today we pause in a moment of silence for the victims of September 11th and for their families who still mourn their loss. We offer up prayers that God in His infinite love grant them peace on this sad day and all days.
“That clear Tuesday morning thirteen years ago revealed to us the face of a new enemy, but also the unshakable resolve of our nation. In the wake of 9/11, Americans joined together, vowing to rebuild, to never forget, and to confront our attackers wherever they were. We remember each September 11th that we live in a dangerous world, where the very freedoms we hold dear make us targets of terror both at home and abroad. Today we also mark the second anniversary of the Benghazi terrorist attack that took the lives of four Americans, and we look to the Middle East where we must confront the ascendant threat from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Today we join together to reflect, to renew our commitment to stand together to defeat those who seek to attack our very way of life, and to endeavor to live up to the ideals that have made our great nation strong, prosperous, and free.”
We remember towers falling in New York and smoke rising from the Pentagon. We remember the lives cut short and the promise of so many left unfulfilled. We remember the first responders running into burning buildings; the heroes who sacrificed themselves to save their fellow citizens.
Today we pause, we reflect and we reaffirm our faith as Americans in this great nation -- the greatest force for good the world has ever known.
On September 11th, we weren’t Republicans or Democrats; we weren’t rich or poor; we weren’t white or black or Hispanic – we were Americans. No matter our politics, no matter our differences, that which divides us will never conquer that which unites us.
And so, as we mark this 13th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, let us remember the fallen and those they left behind. Let us honor our heroes and the unmatchable courage they displayed. And let us rededicate ourselves to the values we share as citizens of this great nation – indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
CHICAGO - Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner announced today that he received the endorsement of the Illinois State Police Command Officers Association (ISPCOA).
“I have tremendous admiration for every member of our state police force. They are heroes who are willing to risk their safety for all of us, and they deserve the best in return,” Rauner said. “I’m humbled and grateful to have the support of the State Police’s top leaders with the endorsement of Illinois’ Police Command Officers.”
“Our Association strongly supports your effort to establish term limits for elected leaders in our state and sincerely appreciates your support of law enforcement and public safety,” ISCPOA President James Alexander wrote in the endorsement letter. “We enthusiastically support your candidacy.”
The full endorsement letter can be viewed by clicking here.
CHICAGO - The Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois has endorsed Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn.
The union's President, Pat Devaney, believes Quinn is the better advocate for the state’s working families than Bruce Rauner. “An extremely wealthy man who has actually proposed cutting the minimum wage. Imagine how he feels about a prevailing wage or collective bargaining,” said Devaney.
“I believe we have to stand with our firefighters and their right to a decent retirement and decent pension,” Quinn said.
The union also endorsed Quinn in the 2010 election.
PEKIN, IL - Bobby Schilling, Republican candidate for Congress in the Illinois 17th District, stopped by Pekin today to visit several small businesses and talk to voters about issues impacting them, including health care costs, the economy, and veterans issues.
Schilling stopped at Busy Corner, CJ's, Ernie's, the Cobbler Corner, and Hardee's while he toured Pekin this morning.
"It's always a joy to visit Pekin," Schilling said. "Every town matters, and I've made it a priority, both while serving in Congress and while campaigning, to visit all parts of my district—from Freeport to Oquawka, and from Stockton to Pekin. It's time to fight for the middle class, get our economy back on track, and bring accountability to Washington, and if elected, I'm going to do just that."
By Margaret McCarthy -
Tuesday night at Libertyville's Austin's, the Northern Illinois Patriots honored retiring Lake County Clerk Willard Helander. At the monthly meeting, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran pronounced Hellander as his favorite woman in politics - with a Southern Belle image that belied her toughness.
Helander reviewed her time as Lake County Clerk and shared some light vignettes of her grandmother and mother’s efforts to bring the Republican Party to life in Tennessee.
“My grandmother asked for a Republican ballot to vote for Eisenhower in the primary and was told that no one had ever asked for one before and so they hadn’t printed any," Helander recalled. "‘Well then,' my grandmother said, 'I guess I’ll just have to organize the party.’ So she did!”
Clerk Helander grew up on politics and had the energy, integrity, toughness, plus a law degree, to make her an outstanding County Clerk. Her integrity, the institution of many checks and balances, the training of election judges made the election process free of any taint of fraud during her time in office.
CHICAGO - In the walls of the earliest Christian catacombs outside Rome, Italy are countless small tombs, only a foot or two across. These gravesites mark the burial places of infants that were commonly cast out of their pagan homes and left to die of starvation and exposure. With care and grief, the early Christians buried the innocent victims' bodies and mourned their loss in a time of prayer.
On Saturday, September 13, 21st Century Christians will memorialize the innocents that have died due to legalized abortion in America with the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Chldren. Mourners across America will visit the gravesites of aborted children whose broken bodies were recovered over the last 40 years from trash dumpsters and pathology labs.
The memorial service will be held at several sites throughout Illinois, including the gravesite of 2000 babies at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside. His Eminence Francis Cardinal George will officiate the memorial starting at 2:00 PM.
By Pat Hughes -
In an interview with CNBC, President Obama said: “if you’re basically still an American company but you’re simply changing your mailing address in order to avoid paying taxes, then you’re really not doing right by the country.”
The real question, however, is not why companies are fleeing the USA (and, likewise, states such as Illinois), but why the political establishment continues to drive them out?
If we are committed to “creating jobs,” does it make sense to levy the highest corporate tax rate in the Western world on our biggest and best job creators?
We are doing it wrong. We should reward what we want to see more of, not punish it. If we want our economy to grow and new jobs to be created, then we need to incentivize localized capital investment and entrepreneurial activity in the private sector. We can start by reducing the tax burden on those that create jobs. U.S. corporations are increasingly at a competitive disadvantage. They currently face the highest statutory corporate income tax rate in the world at 39.1 percent.
Operating under a higher tax rate automatically puts U.S. based firms at a competitive disadvantage to their foreign counterparts. Developments in technology and greater global integration have opened international boundaries. Companies today face fewer road blocks to deter them from relocating their operations to areas that provide the most economically conducive environment. So they leave.
By Irene F. Starkehaus -
Per Victor Hugo, there is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come. For the purposes of this discussion, the idea is nothing less than the brainchild of technology overlord Bill Gates and Oxford scholar David Christian. Their offspring has been christened Big History and its coming to a high school near you by some organically grown design or another.
Now, to set the record straight, the concept behind Big History isn't completely without merit if we consider the possibilities. I actually love the idea in its generic form. The theory, that is. Within the crunchy-granola, one-world exterior that is the purpose of every Bill Gates initiative lives a kernel of innovation in education that absolutely could improve a student's ability to recognize the cause and effect of any given problem and promote big picture solutions.
If any of you are familiar with the BBC series Connections starring James Burke it's a bit like that, but instead of being offered to the general TV viewing public as an everyman's History Channel look at the world, it's for course credit. You know, how did the discovery of indigo bring mankind to the evolving dollar menu at McDonald's…it's that kind of otherwise random but oddly connected thinking. It's all about stepping outside the preconceived silos of study and seeing the interconnections that exist between science and history – what a great way to make learning more relevant. Why be satisfied with knowing that Earth is round when you can connect it to the reason that people started wondering about its shape in the first place.
CHICAGO – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said he won’t criticize the president’s decision to wait until after the election to take executive action on immigration reform.
Durbin, who is a lead sponsor of the so-called DREAM Act, which would give amnesty to undocumented students, says he isn’t disappointed in Obama for playing politics and putting off his decision until after the midterm elections in November.
“I’m disappointed that we passed the DREAM Act in the Senate with a bipartisan vote, [68-32], and we sent it to the House of Representatives 16 months ago, and they never called it for consideration; not our bill or any part of it,” he said.
Durbin said he understands why liberals are furious that President Obama, himself a liberal Democrat, keeps pushing the issue further away. But he blames Republicans rather than the President.
“I share their disappointment. Don’t forget where it starts. It starts with a Republican House of Representatives which refuses to call the bipartisan immigration reform bill. If they had accepted their responsibility, as they promised too over and over again, we wouldn’t be in this situation today,” Durbin said.
By Richard K. Vedder, Ph.D. -
A great natural experiment has been going on in labor markets in the United States, over the last two-thirds of a century. Under the 1947 Taft-Hartley amendment to the National Labor Relations Act, state governments can elect to override a provision of the federal law regarding employee collective bargaining.
Some 24 states have passed right-to-work laws, which allow workers free choice with respect to being represented by a labor union. The other 26 states permit union shop labor agreements that require employees to join the labor union representing workers where one exists, or at least pay dues to that union.
The right-to-work states have had substantially more economic success than the others that restrict individual rights with respect to employment. Perhaps the ultimate test of the quality of life of an area is whether people move into or away from it.
By Kyle Pomerleau -
In September, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking to tax the free food offered by many Silicon Valley companies to entice prospective employees.
The IRS and U.S. Treasury Department have stated that measuring and beginning taxation of ‘employer-provided meals’ is a top tax priority for the fiscal year ending next June. The agencies said they intend to issue new ‘guidance’ on the matter, but have not revealed when this new initiative would officially begin.
Generally, there are two ways that the tax code looks at meals provided to employees. The code tries to distinguish between whether the meals are compensation — a regular payment in exchange for labor, or for the convenience of the employer —an expense necessary for an employee to do their job, such as a meal for a worker on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean.
By Aloysius Hogan -
New studies on the harms of American labor laws paint a grim picture. The laws drag down economic growth, suppress workers’ wages, and cause government debt to soar.
Could your family use an additional $13,100 a year? If you live in a forced-unionism state, that’s what the lack of a Right to Work law may be costing you.
At the same time, you’re harmed by the federal mandate that gives unions the power of monopoly (a.k.a. “collective”) bargaining. That federal mandate, it’s estimated, costs workers about 15 percent in forgone income.
In addition, unionization of government employees has helped add many billions of dollars to the unfunded liabilities of public employees’ pensions—a debt for which taxpayers will be held responsible.
Three new studies from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the Washington, D.C. think tank where I am a senior fellow, examine these harmful consequences of unionization and of laws that push unionization. The purpose of the studies is to identify the problems caused by union power in states across America; express the problems in numbers; rank the states based on the problems’ severity; and point the way toward solutions by comparing states to see what policies work.
WASHINGTON DC - As polls show Republican Jim Oberweis closing in on Democrat Dick Durbin, the U.S. Senator played Santa Claus on Tuesday, handing out a $15.7 million, taxpayer-funded federal grant to the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD).
The massive grant is suppose to rebuild five major traffic corridors in central Champaign-Urbana. Per state and federal law, the money can only be paid to union contractors.
It was the third time the MTD had applied for one of the grants. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation 797 applications totaling $9.5 billion were submitted for the program, 15 times the $600 million set aside.
"There are many more people applyng than funds available and I know Champaign-Urbana was thinking, are we ever going to win this thing?" Durbin said. "I think they improved their application and it improved their chances. And I kept reminding (Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx) that Illinois is the president's home state, in hopes that he’ll smile kindly our way, and it worked."
Durbin said he didn't "want to overstate my role in this but we are in constant contact with the US Department of Transportation. We got in the habit with former Secretary Ray LaHood, who was a terrific ally, whether it was for high speed rail or TIGER grants. And we’ve kept a good relationship with Secretary Foxx."
The $34.88 million project involves $15.7 million in federal taxpayer funds and $19.1 million in local taxpayer money. In this grant application, local contributions were increased by both the University of Illinois (from $2 million to $3.6 million) and the city of Urbana (from $650,000 to $2.1 million).