SOCIAL SUPREMACY The Obama
campaigns in 2008 and 2012 taught the political world the value of social media
for messaging, fundraising and getting out the vote. The six candidates
competing for Illinois governor in 2014 learned from the examples of their
fellow Illinoisan, and the race for social media supremacy is on. We've been
tracking it since June and have seen trends emerging since then. Bill Daley
didn't even have a Facebook page three months ago and has been rapidly
attracting Facebook friends lately. Republican Bruce Rauner leads in Facebook
traffic but his numbers have begun to plateau. Gov. Pat Quinn, meanwhile, rules
the Twitterverse. See the social media trends in action on our Buzz Meter today.
PENSION NEWS A memo circulated
Thursday among lawmakers confirms some of the details about a pension reform
bill being hammered out by the General Assembly's special conference committee
on pensions. As we've said before, we're confident there will be plenty for
everyone to dislike about this compromise bill. For example, we're not pleased
that the bill will not raise the retirement age for public employees, who can
retire in some cases at age 55, and that employee contributions are reduced in
the bill. It's also possible that annual cost of living adjustments could go up
from the current 3 percent in some situations. This bill seems to favor
guessing what the Illinois Supreme Court might find acceptable to addressing
the pension crisis as a true emergency. The unions already have said they will
sue over this bill. If you're going to end up in court anyway, go in strong and
make your case for the biggest savings possible. That's what we say in our editorial
BUCKING JOBLESS TREND Yesterday we noted the
Top 10 worst cities in Illinois for unemployment. Despite Illinois'
second-worst-in-the-nation 9.2 percent unemployment rate, some cities are doing
much better than the national 7.4 percent jobless rate. See the Top 10 best
places for jobs in Illinois on today's map and Top 10 list.
WANTED: JOBS Tired of seeing
Illinois on the wrong end of the nation's jobless rate? Tired of the state
making it hard for business to thrive and expand here? Help us do something
about it. Sign on here.
ROAD REPORT Illinois ranks third
in the nation for miles of Interstate highway and we're the top rail hub in the
country. The state's status as the nation's transportation center is among the
biggest drivers of the state economy. Yet Illinois seems intent on letting it
all fall apart, writes Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Doug Whitley.
Will it take a bridge collapse for Illinois to get serious about protecting
this asset? Whitley explains here.
TAX FORUM Is it time to scrap the flat-rate income tax system required by the Illinois Constitution and replace it with a graduated rate system in which your tax rate goes up with your income? Some lawmakers believe so and want to give voters a chance to decide on the November 2014 ballot. Progressive tax supporter Ralph Martire of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and opponent Ted Dabrowski of the Illinois Policy Institute will debate the issue Sept. 9 in a forum co-sponsored by Reboot Illinois and the Naperville Chamber of Commerce. Please join us if you can. Information and advance registration is here.
TOP 5 Here are five important Illinois news stories to carry you well-informed into the weekend:
- 5. There’s a reason why Bill
Daley has been quiet this week – he’s been on jury duty. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
4. Mayor Emanuel has grounded the privatization plans for Midway Airport. (Chicago Sun-Times)
3. Opinion: Illinois’ minimum wage should be raised. (Joliet Herald News)
2. Opinion: Township governments are outdated and should be eliminated. (Northwest Herald)
1. Don’t understand how a TIF works? WBEZ breaks down what they are and what they do. (WBEZ)