EMANUEL ON LETTERMAN Chicago Mayor Rahm
Emanuel appeared on "Late Show with David Letterman" Monday to
promote the Discovery Channel documentary "The Presidents'
Gatekeepers," which starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday. While Emanuel talked quite
a bit about his role as chief of staff in the Obama White House -- a job he
says he would not want at the moment -- the interview featured plenty of
discussion of Emanuel's current job and the city he runs. “What I hear
about Chicago now is don’t go to Chicago, the violence is unbelievable. Now,
tell us why people say that," Letterman says as the interview gets
started. Hear Emanuel's response and his thoughts on gun control, Syria and
running a president's staff -- plus a pretty good impression of his former
boss, Bill Clinton -- in the video here..
QUINN AND THE ECONOMY The respected
magazine Governing in its current issue examines what effect, if any, a state's
economy has on its governor's chances for reelection. Voters often are willing
to forgive a governor for a slumping state economy if he or she has other
accomplishments that earn high marks. New Jersey, for example, has a bad
economy and is a Democratic state in which Republican Chris Christie is the
incumbent. But Christie's Hurricane Sandy response has given him a big boost. The
magazine says Pat Quinn has no such diversion as he seeks reelection here.
Unemployment is high, the state remains in a fiscal crisis and Quinn has little
legislative success to brag about. But as I note in my blog, we heard the exact
same things about Quinn four years ago. See Governing's list of rules for
governors and their state economies here.
WANTED: JOBS Governing places
Illinois' overall economy 45th out of 50, due largely to our
second-worst-in-the-nation unemployment rate of 9.2 percent. The magazine
emphasizes that a governor's role in reversing such trends is debatable, but
there is no debating that Illinois has hurt its jobs outlook with its high
workers compensation and unemployment insurance costs and an unpredictable tax
picture due to pension costs. Help us send a message that Illinois needs a
better business climate that will bring jobs. Sign on here.
PROGRESSIVE VS. FLAT With Illinois in the
midst of an ongoing financial crisis that has hurt all aspects of public life
in the state, some members of the General Assembly believe it's time to scrap
the constitutionally required flat-rate income tax in favor of a progressive
system in which tax rates go up with a taxpayer's income. Opponents say the
flat tax, currently 5 percent, works best, and that a progressive system is a
tax increase in disguise. Two experts on opposite sides of this debate
discussed the state's tax system and its financial future in a forum Monday
co-hosted by Reboot Illinois and the Naperville Chamber of Commerce. As was the
case when we held this forum in Springfield last month, it was a spirited and
informative session for all. Check out the highlights here.
YOU SAY YOU'LL CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION Before Illinois
can even consider a graduated-rate income tax system, voters will have to
approve changing the constitution's requirement that any state income tax be
assessed at the same rate to all taxpayers. But before voters get that chance,
it faces significant hurdles in the General Assembly. A progressive tax
amendment is just one of several proposed constitutional amendments that have
been introduced in the General Assembly. Find out what the others are and what
needs to happen for any of them to take effect in our handy infographic guide to amending
the state constitution.
BIG JIM ON BIG DOORS Those $680,000
doors that were part of the $50 million renovation of the Illinois State
Capitol have drawn plenty of criticism. But one staunch defender of the cost
and the effort to renovate the Capitol is former Gov. Jim Thompson. Find out what he has to say here.
5 TO KNOW: Keep up with the top news in Illinois here:
- 5. Reboot Illinois and the
Naperville Chamber of Commerce brought the progressive tax debate to the
suburbs on Monday. (Daily Herald)
4. Opinion: The concept of term limits is something that is worth exploring in Illinois. (Crain’s Business Chicago)
3. Former governor Jim Thompson says those new State Capitol doors are a bargain. (Chicago Magazine)
2. Opinion: From all appearances, Mayor Emanuel’s decision to pull the plug on the Midway Airport privatization deal was the right one. (Chicago Tribune)
1. Opinion: Rahm Emanuel describes in his own words why he backed out of the Midway deal. (Chicago Tribune)