#ILGov: IEA’s Real Rauner Sing-Along
It’s paramount that people vote in Pat Quinn this fall!
#WI04 GOP Congressional Candidate: Supreme Court Is Conspiring To Prevent Scott Walker From Becoming President
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN—Republican Dan Sebring, who is running to represent Wisconsin’s 4th District in the House of Representatives, told ThinkProgress he suspects a political motive behind the Supreme Court’s recent ruling putting the state’s voter ID law on hold.
“The United States Supreme Court said we can’t implement it for this election,” he said at a Milwaukee County Republicans party this week. “My personal feeling is that this is a play to steer the outcome of the gubernatorial election so that Scott Walker wouldn’t have a chance of getting on the ticket in 2016 for the White House. I think that’s what they’re trying to do.”
Last week, the Supreme Court halted the state’s voter ID law without providing a clear explanation for its decision. However, a short dissenting opinion by Justice Samuel Alito suggested that the majority was relying on a 2006 decision which found that altering election law close to an election could “result in voter confusion and consequent incentive to remain away from the polls.” Federal trial judge Lynn Adelman struck down Wisconsin’s voter ID law in April before a federal appeals court reinstated the measure in September.
But many at the event expressed concern that Republicans would lose without a voter ID law. Conservative talk radio host Vicki McKenna, who served as the evening’s emcee, even connected voter fraud to President Obama’s upcoming trip to Milwaukee.
“Mary Burke can turn out the base Democrats in a state that has same-day voter registration and does not protect the integrity of the election with voter ID,” she warned. “When Barack Obama comes to the state of Wisconsin, 20,000 people will cast their vote absentee at the rally. That’s why she’s bringing Barack Obama to Wisconsin.” In Wisconsin, however, “voters do not need a reason or excuse, such as being out of town on Election Day, to vote absentee” and filling out ballots at a rally would not be in violation of any law.
Milwaukee County Elections Commissioner Rick Baas added that the event’s attendees should all remain on the lookout for what he called a “really weird” phenomenon. “If people start to get mail at their homes around election time addressed to people who don’t live in that house, what you need to do is collect that mail and get it to me, so I can see if that person is registered to vote at your address,” he said. “Then we’ve got a case, a case Democrats say we don’t have.”
Research has shown that voter fraud is rare. A study of votes cast in Wisconsin during the 2004 election found just seven cases of fraud, none of which could have been prevented by a voter ID law. Such a measure could however disproportionately disenfranchise African Americans, low income citizens and other groups who tend to vote for Democrats. In his opinion striking down the law, Judge Lynn Adelman noted that the state failed to identify a single instance of known voter impersonation in Wisconsin’s recent past. Nine percent of registered voters, about 300,000 people, also lack the ID required under the law.
#ILGov: Bruce Rauner's bullying tactics on display by interfering with Sun-Times reporter McKinney's job
A Chicago Sun-Times reporter hired former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins to investigate whether the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner tried to interfere with his employment after the newspaper ran a story unfavorable to the politician.
Mr. Collins said in an interview with Crain’s that the Rauner campaign attempted to retaliate against Sun-Times political reporter Dave McKinney after the paper ran the story about Mr. Rauner allegedly verbally threatening a top executive of a company controlled by Mr. Rauner’s onetime investment firm. Mr. Rauner denied that report through a spokesman.
Mr. Collins, who represented the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the prosecution of former Republican Gov. George Ryan, declined to comment on exactly what the retaliation against Mr. McKinney may have entailed.
Mr. McKinney declined to comment and the Sun-Times didn’t respond to requests for comment. Mr. Rauner and a spokesman for his campaign didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, either.
The Rauner campaign attempted to have the Sun-Times take action against Mr. McKinney because of what it alleged were conflicts of interest stemming from Mr. McKinney’s marriage to Democratic media consultant Ann Liston, Mr. Collins said.
Mr. McKinney and Ms. Liston were married in April, but Mr. Collins said the couple made arrangements earlier in the year at each of their jobs to create barriers within their work so that their relationship wouldn’t present conflicts of interest for Mr. McKinney, who is the paper’s bureau chief in Springfield.
“Dave McKinney has a body of work as a dogged, but fair and impartial reporter and what happened recently was an attempt to unfairly besmirch Dave’s reputation and he has asked me to evaluate whether there was an improper interference with Dave’s employment relationship with the Sun-Times,” Mr. Collins said in an interview.
Mr. Collins, who is an attorney in Chicago at the law firm of Perkins Coie, declined to comment on any “legal strategy” for his client.
Mr. McKinney’s Oct. 6 story, which he co-wrote with Sun-Times and NBC5 News reporter Carol Marin and Sun-Times reporter Don Moseley, said Mr. Rauner threatened Christine Kirk, who served as CEO of a Tempe, Arizona-based business-outsourcing company called LeapSource that was owned by Mr. Rauner’s former firm, GTCR LLC. The threat was disclosed as part of litigation in which Ms. Kirk sued Mr. Rauner and GTCR, but agreed to a settlement in 2008. The ‘R’ in GTCR stands for Rauner and Mr. Rauner led that firm until 2012.
The Quinn campaign has been using the story in its advertising.
Just hours before the Sun-Times story went to press, the Rauner campaign attempted to quash the piece by bringing up Ms. Liston’s political work with Sun-Times management even though Mr. McKinney has been covering the campaign for months, according to Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins didn’t have details on who in the Rauner campaign contacted the Sun-Times and who at the newspaper was contacted.
Mr. McKinney has also written stories that were critical of incumbent Democratic candidate Gov. Pat Quinn, specifically his involvement with the troubled state-funded Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.
In recent days, Mr. McKinney was inexplicably absent from his statehouse beat for five days despite one of the hottest gubernatorial races in recent memory.
SUN-TIMES EDITOR’S TAKE
When asked last week whether the newspaper company had taken action against Mr. McKinney, Chicago Sun-Times Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk said it had not, and he reiterated that response in a statement emailed to Crain’s on Oct. 18.
"Dave McKinney remains on his beat as Springfield Bureau Chief and continues to be one of our best political reporters on our talented team," said Mr. Kirk, a former Crain’s editor.
"Mr. Rauner’s campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf did level allegations with me that proved inaccurate and spurious," Mr. Kirk wrote. "Out of an abundance of caution, we did review this matter and we are convinced Dave’s wife Ann Liston receives no financial benefit from any Illinois political campaign because of the extraordinary steps they’ve taken to establish business safeguards. Dave’s body of work during this campaign, including the ground-breaking stories on the investigation involving Gov. Pat Quinn and the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, demonstrates the hard-nosed reporting he has done on both campaigns. Both Dave and Ann are conscientious, ethical and among the best at their professions."
Mr. Abbott, you are a hate filled idiot who is about as useful as a milk bucket under a bull. The only thing that will reduce the number of babies born out of wedlock is comprehensive sex education in our schools. Clearly whatever you were taught is for shit if you think there is any correlation between same sex marriage and unplanned pregnancies. And for the record, if you have an issue with gay marriage, don’t get married to a gay person. And if you don’t want another idiot as Governor of Texas, don’t vote for Greg Abbott. Vote for Wendy Davis. She knows where babies come from. I mean it. Really.
And if you don’t want another idiot as Governor of Texas, don’t vote for Greg Abbott. Vote for Wendy Davis.
At a meeting with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board on Tuesday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was asked whether there should be a minimum wage. He responded, “I’m not going to repeal it, but I don’t think it serves a purpose.”
He went on to say that he doesn’t want to debate the lowest levels people can make, but instead, he said, “I want people to get jobs that make two or three times that.”
Walker may want to focus on creating jobs that make more than minimum wage, but his administration has also determined that $7.25, the federal level and the state’s current minimum, is a living wage. Low-wage workers had filed complaints with the administration, saying that $7.25 or even as much as $12 isn’t enough to live on in the state, which they said violates a state statute that the minimum wage amount to a living wage. The Department of Workforce Development issued a statement saying that their wages were enough to live on, in part because they said they need to buy “items that go beyond basic necessities” and because some receive public assistance.
The minimum wage used to be able to keep a family of two or even three out of poverty, but today’s wage won’t even keep a single parent above that threshold. A living wage in Wisconsin’s capitol city, for example, would have to be more than $21 an hour for a single parent. The federal wage would be more than $10 an hour today if it had kept up with inflation over past decades and more than $20 an hour if it had kept up with gains in workers’ productivity.
WASHINGTON — The campaign of state senator and Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis (D) on Friday rushed to defend a controversial ad attacking her opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), after the ad received near-unanimous condemnation from Republicans and members of the media.
The spot attacks Abbott, who is partially paralyzed, for opposing litigation on behalf of disabled victims even though he in 2002 successfully sued for, and won, a large reward due to the accident that led to his paralysis.
"A tree fell on Greg Abbott," the ad’s narrator says, over an image of an empty wheelchair. "Abbott argued a woman whose leg was amputated was not disabled because she had an artificial limb. He ruled against a rape victim who sued a corporation for failing to do a background check on a sexual predator. He sided with a hospital that failed to stop a dangerous surgeon who paralyzed patients."
The ad was met with immediate derision from Republicans, who accused the Davis campaign of exploiting Abbott’s paralysis to resuscitate a floundering campaign in Republican-leaning Texas.
Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, called the spot “ridiculous.”
Reached for comment on Friday, a Davis spokesman brushed off the criticism and explained that Texans had a right to know about Abbott’s past history.
"What this ad shows is that after rightly seeking justice for himself, Greg Abbott turned around and spent his entire career denying that same kind of justice to other victims," Davis communications director Zac Petkanas told The Huffington Post. "Whether they were victims of brutal rape, whether they were disabled individuals, or whether they were patients who were maimed by a surgeon who was under the influence. These are important questions that Texans have a right to know about."
Petkanas said he wasn’t concerned the ad would backfire for Davis, instead insisting that it raised “legitimate questions” about the attorney general.
"This is simply another example of how he has done this," Petkanas added. "Seeking justice for himself, while fighting against others seeking justice for themselves."
In a statement responding to the ad, the Abbott campaign accused Davis of showing a “disturbing lack of judgment.”
“It is challenging to find language strong enough to condemn Sen. Davis’ disgusting television ad, which represents a historic low for someone seeking to represent Texans,” said Abbott spokeswoman Amelia Chase. “Sen. Davis’ ad shows a disturbing lack of judgment from a desperate politician and completely disqualifies her from seeking higher office in Texas.”
Kudos to Wendy Davis for having the guts to air that ad against Greg Abbott, even if it infuriates Abbott’s backers.
h/t: Igor Bobic at HuffPost Politics
Wendy Davis Ad in #TXGov: Justice
A very powerful and truthful ad from Wendy Davis on the hypocrisy of Greg Abbott on disabilities issues, even though Abbott himself is disabled.
* Gov. Pat Quinn’s new TV ad is brutal and, to my eyes and ears anyway, incredibly effective. Perhaps you disagree, so watch it and discuss below…
I’m not calling it “Bloodtober” for nothing.
NARRATOR: What do we really know about Bruce Rauner?
Court documents reveal Rauner threatened an executive after firing her for not laying off workers to maximize profits.
NBC news reported Rauner said:
CAROL MARIN: “Quote. I will bury her. I will bankrupt her with legal fees. I don’t know if she has a family or not but if she does she better think twice about this.”
NARRATOR: Did Bruce Rauner really think no one would find out?
Rauner = not trustworthy.
h/t: Rich Miller at CapitolFax
Gov. Pat Quinn won the #ILGovDebate tonight. #ILGov
My Senate/Gubernatorial Ratings (10.08.2014)
Safe D: IL, MN, others that are currently Dem-held
Likely D: NC, NH
Lean D: CO
Tilt D: IA, KS* (Orman-I, gain)
Tossup: AK, AR, KY, LA (Runoff Likely)
Tilt R: GA (Runoff Possible)
Lean R: SD (gain)
Likely R: none
Safe R: MT (gain), VW (gain), others that are currently GOP-held
* Orman is listed as Tossup/Tilt D, due to the fact that he is the quasi-Dem in the race.
Safe D > Likely D: NH
Lean D > Likely D: NC
Likely D > Lean D: CO
Likely D > Tilt D: IA
Tilt R > Tossup: KY
Likely R > Lean R: SD
Lean R > Tilt R: GA
Safe D: HI, MN, PA (gain), RI (gain), others that are currently Dem-held
Likely D: MA
Lean D: CO, IL, ME (gain),
Tilt D: AK (gain),CT, KS (gain)
Tossup: AR, FL, MI, WI
Tilt R: NONE
Lean R: AZ, GA (Runoff Possible)
Likely R: ID, NE, OK, SC
Safe R: IA, NM, OH, others that are currently GOP-held
Tilt D > Lean D: IL
Likely D > Lean D: ME
Likely D > Safe D: MN
Lean D > Tilt D: CT
Tilt R > Tossup: AR
Tossup > Tossup/Tilt D: AK
Likely R > Lean R: GA
Likely R > Safe R: NM
Safe R > Likely R: ID, OK
#ILGov GOP Candidate Rauner Allegedly Threatened CEO Over Lawsuit: 'I Will Bury Her' [TW: Sexism, Misogyny]
Those comments, allegedly made by Rauner to Christine Kirk, were published in a report from The Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday. Rauner’s alleged threats were directed at Christine Kirk, a CEO of a national accounting firm who Rauner and GTCR recruited to help run the business-outsourcing company LeapSource. Rauner was a member of LeapSource’s board.
The threats the Sun-Times reported came from a 2005 deposition that came out of a “corporate divorce” between Kirk and Rauner as a result of the LeapSource project collapsing. The Chicago Sun-Times was able to obtain records of the lawsuit Kirk filed against Rauner and GTCR. In it Kirk alleged that Rauner very directly threatened her.
"If you go legal on us, we’ll hurt you and your family," Rauner allegedly threatened to Kirk in February 2001.
According to Kirk, Rauner also suggested to another board member, Thomas Gilman, that he might go after her.
"I will bury her," Rauner allegedly said to Gilman.
There’s more. Rauner also allegedly told Gilman that he would make Kirk “radioactive.”
"She will never get another job anywhere, ever. I will bankrupt her with legal fees," Rauner said. "I don’t know if she has a family or not, but if she does, she better think twice about this."
Gilman refused to comment to the Sun-Times.
Most of the lawsuit was thrown out by a federal judge, the Chicago newspaper reported, including the part that contained the alleged threats. The judge didn’t specifically weigh in on how credible the allegations of the threats were.
A Rauner spokesman strongly denied that Rauner threatened Kirk.
"It’s no surprise these allegations were dismissed in summary judgement, which means the complaint had no merit in the eyes of the judge," Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf said in a statement to the Sun-Times.
In Rauner’s deposition in the case, he described Kirk as determined to keep funding LeapSource no matter what.
"She would say whatever she felt she needed to say to get us to continue to fund the business, that we were very close to a sale, that we were very close to an investor, that…we had a lot of clients signed up or virtually signed up," Rauner said in the deposition. "We were trying to be pretty believing and tried to be pretty patient, and we would keep going. And then we would explore whatever came up, whatever she brought up, and it would end up, in my judgement, being a house of cards."
Kirk was fired from GTCR in 2001. The company cited growing losses from LeapSource. Kirk refused to sit down with the Sun-Times for an interview.
Rauner is running to replace Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D). The TPM Polltracker average gives Quinn a small 1.7 point lead over Rauner.
The College Republican National Committee (CRNC), a federation of Republican organizations on college campuses across the country, is running one of the most bizarre ad campaigns I’ve ever seen. The CRNC’s ad campaign compares voting to picking wedding dresses and Democratic Governor Pat Quinn to a bad wedding dress:
The CRNC is either running or intends to run similar ad campaigns in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, and other states on behalf of Republican gubernatorial candidates.
I found the CRNC’s ad campaign downright distasteful for a couple of reasons.
First off, comparing candidates for the office of Governor of Illinois, the highest office in our state, to wedding dresses is downright insulting to Illinois voters. Voting for our state’s chief executive is far more important than picking a wedding dress. That’s because the governor holds considerable political power, being responsible for signing or vetoing legislation passed by the General Assembly, appointing top officials of numerous state government departments and agencies, and proposing a state budget, among other things.
Additionally, while Pat Quinn has done some things that I’ve disagreed with (such as signing legislation to gerrymander our state’s congressional and state legislative districts and legalizing fracking in our state), to compare him to a bad wedding dress is absolutely absurd. Quinn has made Illinois a marriage equality state, has legalized medical marijuana in Illinois, and supports raising the minimum wage in order to lift thousands of Illinoisans out of poverty. More importantly, I wouldn’t want to be “married” to a crook like ultra-wealthy Bruce Rauner, who wants to bust unions, drive down wages, and put more Illinoisans in poverty, for the next four years.
h/t: Blue Downstate
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — At least a dozen of the many companies owned by the investment firm of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner have gone bankrupt, according to a published report.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reported (http://bit.ly/1rvTRKN ) Thursday that a review of court records and news accounts found a dozen of hundreds of companies owned by the GTCR firm went bankrupt during or soon after Rauner’s 20-year tenure at the company. A federal bankruptcy trial regarding one of the firms, Trans Healthcare Inc., is unfolding this week in Tampa, Florida.
Rauner served as a board member on seven of the dozen companies, the review found.
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, Rauner’s opponent in the November election, has tried to make the Winnetka venture capitalist’s business management record an issue in the campaign, just as Rauner has criticized Quinn’s management of state government.
The Quinn campaign claims that the Trans Healthcare case is evidence that Rauner does not take responsibility for problems with his businesses. But Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf argues that Rauner has seen far more successes than failures as an investor.
"What’s beyond doubt is that GTCR is one of the most respected and admired venture capital and investment firms in the country and helps drive the economy forward. Bruce is proud of his role in building the business," Schrimpf said.
Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson charged Thursday that Rauner “has never taken responsibility for any of his business failures — yet he always takes the profits and takes off.”
GTCR, from which Rauner officially retired in 2012, works by creating new companies or acquiring existing ones and later selling them or taking them public. It also manages money from Illinois state employees’ retirement funds.
The campaign says GTCR created and oversaw “hundreds” of companies. Rauner put the figure at around 400 in an appearance earlier this month.
The companies that went bankrupt include Sorenson Communications, a company purchased by GTCR in 2005 that provides telephone services for the hearing-impaired. Lee Enterprises reported that in 2013, after Rauner left GTCR, the company agreed to pay $15.75 million to settle a Federal Communications Commission investigation into whether the company billed for questionable calls. Sorenson filed for bankruptcy in March.
In the case of Trans Healthcare, a nursing home chain, the families of several residents filed suit in two state courts, claiming that GTCR took part in a fraudulent scheme to avoid liability for deaths, allegations GTCR denies. The families are now seeking to collect on multimillion-dollar judgments in federal bankruptcy court.
Rauner is not named as a defendant in the suit, but GTCR is. Trans Healthcare went into receivership in 2009.
"The courts will sort out all the facts," Rauner told reporters this week. "I’m confident that no one at GTCR engaged in any inappropriate behavior."
h/t: The Pantagraph