Friday, September 30, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
I believe that he is being heavily courted by national GOP strategists and, frankly, who wouldn't be flattered by that sort of attention? I'd bet that President Bush put in a call to Edgar. Remember when GOP leaders were courting Edgar to run for the U.S. Senate in 2004, and Edgar mentioned that he had not yet received a call from President Bush? I'd bet that if President Bush had *not* called, Edgar would have mentioned that.
And I would imagine it is difficult to say no to the President of the United States.
But my hunch (based on no inside information and every third-hand bit of inside information I've heard indicates that he is likely to run) is that Edgar will not run.
And the mail reason why I think he won't run is because I think the Blagojevich re-election campaign will be one of the best the state has seen, and I suspect that Edgar (a very smart politician) understands that.
So for a bold prediction....sometime next week, Jim Edgar announces......that he is endorsing Steve Rauschenberger!
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Saturday, September 24, 2005
I can't say that I'll stop shopping at Marshall Field's because I basically only shop there for Christmas presents, but it is lame that a New York store is buying up the name of a Chicago store.
They should have kept the State Street store named Marshall Field's and got rid of the rest -- or combined the two somehow: Macy's at Marshall Field's or Marshall Field's Macy's or something.
Nathan Kaufman has some thoughts here on his blog.
And Phil Kadner basically says that Marshall Field's is for rich people, which is why the downtown papers were so affected by it. *Regular* people shopped at Goldblatt's. . . . .his column is here.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Sunday, September 18, 2005
One nugget not in the article: his mother is former Democratic state representative Eugenia Schlickman, who was elected from the rock-ribbed Republican northwest suburbs to the House when we used three-member districts and had cumulative voting rights so every district was bipartisan. So I think he understands well the importance of ensuring that political minorities have a voice as well as the political majority.
Here is an interview in Jon Davis' article:
Speaking after Thursday’s vote, Schlickman said the transit agencies need “a unity of focus, a unity of purpose” before asking legislators for more money.
“I expect that they all understand that the way things played out last year is not the way it can play out in the future if we are to be successful,” he said. “When you talk about tensions, I think the issue is one of trust. Do you have the transparency that people desire to believe the numbers that are being put forward?
“That’s our job, to make sure everyone knows where the transit needs lie, and that no one is pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes to get more than is reasonable.”
Which basically means the CTA should have a more collaborative strategy in 2006 than they did in 2005. Whether it is fair or not, the perception that I've picked up among legislators is that the CTA came in hard and basically sought to shift all blame to the Illinois General Assembly in a rather confrontational manner. This year, somehow, with very similar budget pressures, we'll have to find a way to change that perception.
Friday, September 16, 2005
Enjoy this guest column by Representative Paul Froehlich, who just had one of his up-and-comers in his Republican organization lured away by Speaker Madigan to run as a Democratic candidate against Republican incumbent Terry Parke, instead of as Froehlich was hoping, keep the guy as the GOP heir apparent to Parke. My partisan side is glad for the ruthless Dem move to help move the northwest suburbs into the Democratic column (which will help flip those congressional seats as well), but I feel for Froehlich. He was betrayed, and it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Hang in there Paul!
Contrasting the civil rights records of the two parties
by State Representative Paul Froehlich
Cook County Republicans belatedly understand something that hasn’t dawned on their counterparts in red states. The GOP cannot hope to ever win countywide elections until it figures out how to attract a large share of minority voters. The truth is that Republicans can’t win statewide elections either if they keep getting clobbered in the County of Cook.
What Republicans haven’t figured out yet is how to make the GOP more attractive to African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans who currently prefer the Democrats by huge margins. A new documentary DVD called American History in Black & White (2004) by David Barton of Wallbuilders.com reminds Republicans – and African-Americans – of what the party once stood for.
While it’s too long (at 1:45) and would be better with a black co-narrator, American History in Black & White is full of historical facts demonstrating that Republicans were once the champions of civil rights for black Americans while Democrats were fierce opponents. Here are some of the little-known events contrasting the civil rights records of the two parties:
* The Republican Party was founded in 1854 on the principle of preventing the spread of slavery, while the Democrat-controlled Supreme Court handed down the Dred Scott decision (1857) declaring blacks non-persons.
* When the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery passed Congress in 1865, 100 percent of Republican Congressmen voted for it, but only 23 percent of the Democrats.
* When the 14th Amendment passed Congress to protect freedmen from state violations of their rights, 94 percent of Republicans and no Democrats voted for it. Southern Democrats created the KKK, however, which was anti-Republican as well as anti-black.
* Republicans passed the 15th Amendment to guarantee the vote for freedmen, while not a single Democrat in Congress voted for it. Southern Democrats invented methods to disenfranchise blacks: poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, black codes, white-only primaries, and so on.
* Every African-American elected to Congress between Reconstruction and 1934 was Republican.
* Republican Congressmen passed the 1871 Civil Rights Act against Klan violence and the.
1875 Civil Rights Act, while not a single Democrat voted for either. The 1875 law was the last civil rights bill to pass for 90 years due to Democrat opposition.
* Three African-Americans have presided over national Republican conventions: John R. Lynch, 1884, Edward Brook, 1968, and JC Watts in 2000. No African-American has presided over a Democrat convention.
* The U.S. Senate recently apologized for failing to enact laws against lynching until a few decades ago. Republicans and some Northern Democrats tried repeatedly to pass federal anti-lynching legislation well into the 20th century only to see it blocked year after year by Southern Democrats. That's why Herbert Hoover won 3 of 4 black votes in 1932 vs. FDR.
* Senator Dirksen (R, IL) provided the crucial votes to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act over a Democrat filibuster.
This film reminds Republicans that the GOP was once dedicated to freedom for the enslaved and civil rights for the freedmen. It reminds that justice used to be the party’s top priority, and virtually all black voters were once Republicans. The film leaves out the Nixon Southern Stragety, however, that Ken Melman recently apologized for in a speech to the NAACP.
Unfortunately, Republicans no longer talk much about justice unless it’s to advocate the death penalty. Lowering taxes is more important to many Republicans today than correcting injustice.
It is this writer’s opinion that if the GOP is to make significant inroads in winning back black and other minority voters, Republicans will have to restore the pursuit of justice as a top priority. Republicans should take the lead, for example, in reforming the criminal justice system that convicts too many innocent minorities. Republicans should also recognize the injustice in gross school funding disparities and propose ways to reduce it.
Here's an article with a brief mention from the Trib.
I think the papers should write a profile of him soon. He'll be a big player in figuring out how to fund transit (raise the gax tax, I say) and help make the Chicago area even more civilized. Congratulations to Steve.
If you want to help out, call their office and offer. Or just show up.
Sorry I've been such a negligent blogger. I'll try to be more productive.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
This means that if a city like Oak Park or Urbana or Berwyn or Carbondale or any home rule municipality wants to use a modern election system, the municipality can put a referendum on the ballot (or citizens can petition to put an initiative on the ballot), and if the voters approve the proposition, the city will use an innovative election system.
Instant runoff voting (www.instantrunoff.com) is one example that would work very well in Chicago or any other city that uses single-member districts and holds elections in both February and Apil. This ends the spoiler dynamic where similar candidates split the vote, and it also ends the expense of a second election.
Cumulative voting rights (http://www.midwestdemocracy.org/cv.html) as used in the Illinois House from 1870-1980, would be a great fit for any municipality that uses at-large elections. The right is to cast all three or four votes for one candidate, allowing a political minority to elect one of their own, creating a more diverse local government. There's a movement in corporate America to provide cumulative voting rights for corporate elections to get an independent, non-establishment director on the board.
Now municipalities in Illinois have an opportunity to modernize their voting systems beyond what the Illinois General Assembly can imagine.
Also, to see how San Francisco uses instant runoff voting (they call is 'ranked choice voting') for their local elections, check out their Department of Elections page here with a nice flash demonstration here. They had a similar non-partisan, runoff election like Chicago and Springfield, until they decided to consolidate the two elections into one. Instead of voting twice (once in the 'primary' and once in the run-off), they count the ballots twice and let people indicate their runoff-choice by ranking the candidates (1, 2, 3). Now they have all the benefits of a runoff election (the candidate with the most support wins, there are no split votes or manipulation with fake candidates designed to harm an opponent) without the expense of two, separate elections.
This is exciting news. Perhaps some municipalities will have the chance to vote on some interesting referenda this March....
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, that is supposed to protect us all from the biggest disasters, is a patronage dump for Bush campaign hacks.
The Chief of Staff, Patrick Rhode, was a campaign worker for the campaign and has zero experience in emergency management. Here is his bio.
Same with the Deputy, Scott Morris. He had no experience either and worked on producing TV spots for the Bush campaign. Here is his bio.
No wonder the feds abandoned all those people for those four or five days. They didn't know any better because they were run by patronage hacks.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Well, you can.
This Saturday, Young Chicago Lakefront, a North Side Democratic Organization, is sponsoring a breakfast with Dick Durbin at 10 am. It's $10 if you are a YCL Member or a college student, $15 if you're not.
If you want to get on YCL's email list, do this:
|Join the YCL Mailing List|
Sunday, September 04, 2005
It's $10 and you get all the draft you want.
If you're in Springfield, go on by.
For more information, email Matt at MErwin@hds.ilga.gov
Saturday, September 03, 2005
"They are feeding the public a line of bull. And they are spinning. And people are dying down here."
Consider that for five days there were no National Guardsmen in New Orleans. Five days. And about a third of everyone in Iraq is part of the National Guard.
The National Guard has been sent to fight in a foreign war. And then they aren't here to protect us when we need them.
And we don't have the money to fix levees because we cut taxes on the rich and pay for a war and an occupation of foreign lands.
What's going to happen to all these devasted people when they file for bankruptcy? The GOP bankruptcy bill will keep them in debt.
They better fix that bankruptcy bill.
I saw an article mentioning that the Republican Congress is thinking about tax relief for people in the area.
Are they still going to repeal the estate tax on the wealthiest Americans?
New Orleans is a picture of poverty.
And the Republicans have been forsaking the poor.
This is a disgrace.
It didn't have to be this way.
Friday, September 02, 2005
What happens when you invade and occupy another country, avoid a draft and send the National Guard overseas?
There isn't anyone in the U.S. to protect the homeland.
And only today -- days after the flood -- does the National Guard finally reach New Orleans.
And, of course, when we spend hundreds of billions in Iraq, there isn't money left for levees and other infrastructure in the U.S.