PASS IT ON! Know someone who is concerned about the state of the state in Illinois? Forward this email to your friends and encourage them to subscribe!
THE UNSWEET SCIENCE I attended a terrific
session for Chicago Ideas Week last night that featured "Meet the
Press" host David Gregory guiding a discussion titled, "Politics:
State of the Union." If focused mostly in the dismal state of affairs in
Washington, but also contained a surprise: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and top
national Democratic pollster/strategist Cornell Belcher both emphasized the
need to reform the way political districts are drawn. Emanuel, while acknowledging
he has been a "practitioner" and beneficiary of the politically
driven mapmaking process, called the system "upside-down." Belcher
lamented the "success" of parties making a science out of the
"backroom art of gerrymandering." Great observations. I've got more on my blog here.
HEY MR. SPEAKER Maybe now that a
couple of top Democrats have acknowledged the damage done by precision
gerrymanding, the leaders of the Illinois General Assembly will acknowledge
that their constituents would be better off with a system in which voters
choose candidates, not the other way around. We've joined the Yes for
Independent Maps movement to place a constitutional amendment for redistricting
reform on the November 2014 ballot, but it will take at least 300,000
signatures to do that, and even that doesn't guarantee it'll make it before
voters. It would be so much better if the legislature passed a redistricting
bill in cooperation with Yes for Independent Maps and put it on the ballot. Use our Sound Off tool to
send this message to your representatives in Springfield along with House
Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, the two Republican
legislative leaders and Gov. Pat Quinn. Use our message or write your
own. Click here to get started.
JUST TO BE SAFE We can't rely on
those who most cherish the current map-making system to give it up. You should
get involved with Yes for Independent Maps to help in the herculean effort
required in gathering a minimum of 300,000 signatures to establish a fair
system for drawing legislative districts in Illinois. There is no bigger reform
than this one, nor is there one that will be more difficult to achieve. Click here and learn how you can be
part of this process.
CLOSING TIME A drive across
Illinois from his native Jacksonville gave Illinois Manufacturers Association
President Greg Baise a first-hand look at the sad decline of manufacturing
throughout the state. "Illinois is the poster child of ruinous economic
policies of high taxes, excessive workers compensation cost and regulatory
policies that drive employers to look elsewhere," Baise writes in an op-ed today. Click here to read it. For the results of
those policies, scroll to the chart below.
HELP SMALL BUSINESS It's not just manufacturers who complain of Illinois having a less-than-hospitable business climate. Small businesses have long been upset that Illinois has a very high fee for registering an LLC -- the preferred structure for small business. Let your lawmakers in Springfield know that this needs to change. Use Sound Off to send a message on behalf of small businesses throughout Illinois. Click here!
2014: SHOW US THE MONEY The fund-raising numbers are in for the third quarter, and Bruce Rauner and Pat Quinn lead the pack. Bill Brady, who missed becoming governor in 2010 by a razor-thin margin, is barely making a blip in the fundraising department this time around. Find the figures here.
POLL: HEALTHY POLITICAL SYSTEM Attendees at last night's Chicago Ideas Week political forum were invited to share their thoughts on what constitutes a healthy political system on a whiteboard in the lobby before and after the event. We want to hear your answers to that question. We can't send a whiteboard, but we can offer you a chance to take our online poll. Click here!
HEADLINES Here's what's making news in Illinois today:
- 5. Opinion: Illinois should
give Archer Daniels Midland the tax breaks it wants. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
4. Pat Quinn and Dan Rutherford have the most money currently in the bank, but everyone has been out-raised and outspent by Bruce Rauner. (Chicago Sun-Times)
3. Senator Mark Kirk explains why he supports the proposed Illiana Expressway. (Southtown Star)
2. Senate President John Cullerton says the pension reform issue could bypass the divided committee if needed. (Associated Press)
1. Months after forming the pension conference committee, Pat Quinn will finally meet with the legislators on the committee. (Peoria Public Radio)