Suburban Political Recount

Suburban Political Recount

Cronin backs Quinn's pay cut move

Posted by Mike Riopell on Thu, 07/11/2013 - 14:44

Gov. Pat Quinn has an ally in a top suburban Republican in his drive to find a solution to the state's $100 billion in pension debt by cutting lawmakers' pay.

"Drastic times call for drastic measures," DuPage County Board President Dan Cronin told me today.

Cronin reached out to Quinn's office Wednesday to support the governor's plan to cut lawmakers' salaries off until they send him pensions legislation. Cronin said he works with the governor's office on various issues every week, so his contact with Quinn and his staff isn't out of the ordinary.

But as Quinn faces questions about his ability to lead because the pension issue remains unresolved, Cronin has voiced his support.

Dillard announces Monday announcement

Posted by Mike Riopell on Wed, 07/10/2013 - 11:21

State Sen. Kirk Dillard will announce his candidacy for governor Monday.

I reported as much in my column Friday, but the Hinsdale Republican's website post makes it certain. He'll be the last Republican to get in the race unless WLS-AM talk show host Dan Proft gets in.

Proft told me last week he's still thinking about it.

VIDEO: Obama "pumping sunshine" on health care, Roskam says

Posted by Mike Riopell on Wed, 07/10/2013 - 11:15

This video of U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam at a committee hearing features him using a favored phrase to describe President Barack Obama's delay of implementing his health care reform law.

"Now we've got a situation where, essentially, the administration, for years, has been pumping sunshine," he says.

Video: CBS Sunday Morning on Mark Kirk's recovery

Posted by Mike Riopell on Mon, 07/08/2013 - 10:48

The reliable morning show ran a story about U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's stroke recovery.

Quinn in Lake County tomorrow

Posted by Mike Riopell on Tue, 07/02/2013 - 15:38

Gov. Pat Quinn is set to be in Lake County tomorrow to sign legislation allowing some 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections.

Adlai E. Stevenson history teacher Andrew Conneen helped spark the legislation.

The proposal would allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries starting next year if they'll turn 18 by the general election in November.

Wirtz rained on Quinn's victory parade

Posted by Mike Riopell on Fri, 06/28/2013 - 10:15

Gov. Pat Quinn has declared today Blackhawks Day in Illinois to coincide with the team's victory parade in Chicago.

But just a couple years ago the team's owner, Rocky Wirtz, tried to upend Quinn's biggest accomplishment in office via a lawsuit that made it all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court.

The Wirtz lawsuit nearly blocked a massive, $31 billion construction program to build roads and schools with money from increased vehicle fees and liquor taxes. From our story at the time:

Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz challenged the state's huge construction program in court because one of the new taxes, on liquor, hit his Schaumburg-based distributor.

Duckworth blasts witness over 28-year-old ankle injury

Posted by Mike Riopell on Wed, 06/26/2013 - 13:19

Via the Washington Post, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth went after a witness at a House hearing today.

Here's how the Post explains her target:

Duckworth grew visibly upset with Braulio Castillo, the president and CEO of Strong Castle, Inc. A congressional investigation found that Castillo claimed service-disabled veteran status in 2012 over an ankle injury he suffered in 1984 at the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School.

Duckworth, who lost both legs after a helicopter she was piloting in Iraq was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, didn't hold back.

Pat Brady to start lobbying firm

Posted by Mike Riopell on Tue, 06/25/2013 - 11:16

Former Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady of St. Charles has started a new lobbying firm called Next Generation Public Affairs Inc.

He's teaming up with former Iowa Republican Chairman Matt Strawn and Chicago business adviser Bob Fitzsimmons.

“NGPA is a full-service public affairs firm providing clients with comprehensive and technologically sophisticated government affairs, issue advocacy and media relations strategies," Brady said in a statement.

Brady left his spot as chair of the Illinois Republican Party this year shortly after he survived an attempt to ouster him based on, ironically, his lobbying of GOP lawmakers to vote for same-sex marriage.

He was replaced by Rosemont trustee and Statehouse lobbyist Jack Dorgan this month.

New rules to pick a new ruler

Posted by Mike Riopell on Fri, 06/21/2013 - 12:09

Illinois House Republicans continue to talk behind the scenes about who would be their leader if Tom Cross of Oswego steps down to run for Illinois attorney general in 2014.

State Rep. Mike Fortner, a West Chicago Republican, has begun circulating proposed rules for how a successor would be chosen.

Fortner isn’t proposing huge changes — a winner would need majority support of the 47 members — but he appears to be doing his due diligence, just in case.

The House already has rules to pick a leader at the beginning of the session. But this is a little different.

“We didn’t adopt rules thinking we’d need to make a change in the middle of a two-year cycle,” Fortner said.

Draft Oberweis for governor?

Posted by Mike Riopell on Wed, 06/19/2013 - 18:19

A website has emerged called DraftOberweis.com to apparently try to draft state Sen. Jim Oberweis, a Sugar Grove Republican, for a bid for governor.

Who is behind it?

"It is not I," Oberweis said.

Oberweis lost a primary bid for governor in 2006. He said the party already has some good candidates this time but isn't backing one in particular yet.

Would the dairy magnate be interested?

Oberweis said he'd think about it if there was a "really, really, really" big groundswell of support.

"But I don't see that at this time," he said.