Posts tagged "Illinois"

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers voted down a bill banning so-called conversion therapy aimed at changing the sexual orientation of gay young people.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the measure sponsored by Chicago Democratic Rep. Kelly Cassidy was defeated Thursday in the Illinois House on a 44-51 vote. Twenty-two members didn’t vote.

The measure would have prohibited mental health providers from providing the therapy to anyone under age 18.

The measure had been backed by gay and lesbian advocates, who argued the bill could have made Illinois a leader in protecting youth from “false and potentially dangerous treatment.”

But the conservative Illinois Family Institute opposed the bill, saying previously that it would prevent youths from getting counseling for “unwanted feelings.”

California and New Jersey have similar bans.


It’s headed to the Senate for easy passage and hopefully Gov. Quinn signs it. 

Bill Link:

h/t: Brian Brueggemann at

Hopefully it gets passed in the Senate and then by the voters in November. 

h/t: Ray Long and Maura Zurick at Chicago Tribune's Clout Street

* Rick Pearson at the Tribune takes a look at the claim made by Bruce Rauner’s wife Diana that she’s a Democrat

Since 1995, 77 percent of the more than $500,000 she’s given has gone to Republican candidates and causes, federal and state records show. […]

But state campaign finance records show that since 2009, when Bruce Rauner first contemplated and then rejected making a 2010 bid for governor, Diana Rauner made $238,150 in political donations, with 91 percent going to GOP candidates or conservative groups.

Among federal donations during that time frame, Diana Rauner gave $158,800 to candidates and committees, with 98 percent to Republicans. Several of the donations occurred when Bruce Rauner gave similar-size contributions to the same candidates.

* The Rauner campaign’s response

spokesman Mike Schrimpf said Diana Rauner “voted Democrat throughout the last decade and every time for Barack Obama” on the statewide ballot.

“If that doesn’t make you a Democrat, I don’t know what does,” Schrimpf said in a statement.

Except she didn’t vote in the 2012 primary, when Obama ran for reelection and she contributed to three GOP presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney. She also didn’t vote in the 2010 primary, the last time Gov. Pat Quinn faced voters.

Even more reasons that Bruce Rauner is NOT to be trusted or elected in November. 

h/t: CapitolFax


Right-wing newspaper publisher John Foreman is a total misogynist

John Foreman, the publisher of The News-Gazette, the local right-wing rag in Champaign-Urbana, went on C-U right-wing talk radio station WDWS-AM (which is owned by The News-Gazette) and delivered this sexist screed about Democratic nominee Ann Callis’s campaign in the 13th Congressional District of Illinois:

I think her message is not gelling because she doesn’t want her message to gel. I believe Ann Callis is making an effort to run for office and say as little as possible about what she would be or do. She’s making the point that she was a judge, that’s very admirable. She’s a very telegenic, attractive, lady who we saw a lot of her face in advertising. She’s the mother of a young man currently on active duty. Apart from that, relatively very few voters can tell you anything about Ann Callis, at least in this part of the district. And I think that’s the way she wants it to be. If she can stick to that, vote for me because of these things, she will.

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CHICAGO (March 26, 2014) – Equality Illinois is calling on the Illinois House of Representatives to protect minors by passing the Conversion Therapy Prohibition Act this spring after the House Human Services Committee approved it today by a 9 to 6 vote.

Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans, said so-called “conversion therapies” for youths pretend to supposedly “cure” people of being gay, but have actually proven to be very harmful and are actively opposed by leading mental health and medical professional groups.

“This bill would ensure that the most vulnerable individuals, those already struggling in the face of homophobia and transphobia, are not targeted and subjected to a practice that medical practitioners deem harmful and inappropriate,” Cherkasov said.

The measure would prohibit mental health providers from engaging in any effort to change the sexual orientation of anyone under the age of 18. The bill’s chief House sponsor is state Rep. Kelly Cassidy.

“We are grateful for the work of Rep. Cassidy and her cosponsors in advancing the bill and urge the full House to quickly follow suit,” Cherkasov said. “Illinois has been a leader in fighting anti-LGBT discrimination in the workplace and in public accommodations, and it should be a leader in protecting our youth from this false and potentially dangerous treatment.”

EQIL’s Twitter Account: 

h/t: Equality Illinois


Pat Quinn's Pension Problem

Pat Quinn’s pension reform is unpopular with everyone, whether on the right or the left. And so it should be, since it was the product of intentional neglect and underpayment by Republicans, pressure by bond rating agencies who shouldn’t be allowed to participate in this debate, and a budget that was already sliced to the bone.

So Quinn put pensions on the table, sliced the cost of living increases for some public employees, raised the retirement age for workers under age 45, and gave some workers a 401k option. To ease the pain of the cuts, he also cut workers’ contributions to the plan by 1 percent.

In the private sector, any changes to defined benefit pension plans must include a provision that earned benefits cannot be reduced. Consequently, unions are suing over these reforms, on the basis that cuts to cost-of-living increases and changes in retirement ages are benefit cuts, which they are.

Chuck Todd completely missed the boat in this conversation with one of the dumbest questions ever asked in a conversation: “Will we even have pensions — even for public workers — in 20 years?” The right question is “Why are public workers’ pensions being slashed to compensate Wall Street?”

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Pat Quinn/Paul Vallas or Bruce Rauner/Evelyn Sanguinetti?  

Rauner is out of touch for Illinois, vote Quinn!!!

Hopefully Ann Callis wins in November and tosses Rodney Davis out. 

h/t: Emily Cahn at Roll Call

Mitt Romney/Scott Walker/Nikki Haley-wannabe Bruce Rauner is going to lose big time to Quinn in November. 

h/t: Huffington Post

I casted my vote, and in the IL-Gov Democratic Primary, I took the write-in route and picked Steans/Harris.

Downstate Jackson County is the most recent addition to the growing list of Illinois counties allowing marriage equality ahead of the previously planned June 1 start date.

Jackson County Clerk Larry Reinhardt told the Southern Illinoisan that Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s affirming the right of county clerk’s to issue same-sex marriage licenses spurred his decision.

"We were only three months away from ( the legislation’s original ) implementation," Reinhardt said. "I didn’t think it was worth the chance to open us up for a lawsuit."

Joe Powers and Duane Cole, who have been together for 33 years, were the first gay couple to receive their marriage license. They were also the first couple to get a civil union in Jackson County back in June 2011.

"It was important because we have waited so long," Cole told the Southern Illinoisan. "We never believed this day would come. It has been a very slow process."

After Judge Sharon Coleman declared Illinois’ gay marriage ban unconstitutional Feb. 21, she ordered that marriages for same-sex couples could begin immediately in Cook County. Some other Illinois counties followed suit and began issuing licenses as well in subsequent weeks. Other county authorities have said they want to wait until June 1, which was the planned effective date of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, for fear of complicating divorce and probate litigation with the early start date.

Madigan said March 4 that by not offering licenses to gay couples, counties might be opening themselves up to lawsuits, and added that her office would likely intervene on behalf of the couples.

The Southern Illinoisan's article is here: .

State Rep. and IL-12 Congressional candidate Mike Bost will NOT be happy about hearing this news, and that’s good news for us sane-minded Illinoisans.  

H/T: Matt Simonette at Windy City Times

Bruce Rauner is NOT what Illinois needs! 

h/t: Daniel Strauss at TPM LiveWire

The race for the GOP nomination for governor is likely to be a contentious one. Wealthy businessman Bruce Rauner, Sen. Kirk Dillard, Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Sen. Bill Brady will face off in the Illinois General Primary Election March 18. Here are some of the main issues touted in their campaigns and why you should know them.

The Issue: Charter schools

Here’s Why: It’s no surprise that education reform is at the top of the agendas for Illinoisans running for public office. Amidst school closings around Chicago, publicly funded private charter schools have become a point of controversy as their effectiveness has yet to be proven. Rauner has made his support for charter schools a centerpiece of his campaign, while the other candidates have all expressed support in some form or another.

The Issue: Corporate tax breaks

Here’s Why: In recent years, corporate tax breaks have become a big issue in Illinois as the state struggles to retain large companies that bring in lots of jobs. Corporate tax breaks for those companies are incentives for them to stay, but opponents cry injustice for the everyday taxpayer and small business. All four GOP candidates are focused on job creation and making Illinois a more competitive state for business, but their views on corporate tax breaks are not yet clear. 

The Issue: Minimum wage

Here’s Why: Concerning minimum wage, the four GOP candidates stand in staunch opposition to Gov. Quinn, who made raising the minimum wage the principle issue of his own campaign. The current minimum wage is $8.25 per hour, a full dollar above the national rate. Rauner has previously advocated for lowering the Illinois rate to match the national minimum wage, but all four candidates currently support keeping it the same.

The Issue: Pensions

Here’s Why: Pension reform has been a hallmark of Gov. Quinn’s time in office. The controversial bill he signed last year was the climax of the crisis. The four GOP candidates held varying views on the bill. Rauner doesn’t believe the measures go far enough. Rutherford and Dillard have questioned its constitutionality. And Brady expressed that it was the best that could be done under the circumstances.

The Issue: Progressive taxation

Here’s Why: The temporary 5 percent income tax hike is set to expire in 2015, making taxation a big issue in the governor’s race. The question isn’t just whether the current tax rate should be renewed, but also whether Illinois should make the bigger change of converting to a progressive tax system. Gov. Quinn has said he would support this change, but all four GOP candidates stand behind the current flat-rate system, which they say makes Illinois a more business-friendly state.

The Issue: Term limits

Here’s Why: Illinois is one of 30 states without constitutional term limits for its legislators. But there has been a lot of talk surrounding whether to change that, possibly limiting terms to eight years. Rauner has been one of the biggest proponents for term limits and has made it one of the main features of his campaign. The other GOP candidates support term limits as well. Gov. Quinn, however, seems less decided about the issue.

The Issue: Campaign finance

Here’s Why: In 2009, Gov. Quinn enacted a bill that calls for more campaign finance transparency and places stricter limits on campaign contributions. This has become an issue with Rauner, who caused a minor scandal when he used the third-party firm Paylocity to pay his employees, making it unclear who was getting paid and how much. Billionaire Rauner leads the GOP campaign financial race by a long shot, while the other three contenders have struggled to stay in the race.

The Issue: Abortion

Here’s Why: The four GOP candidates run the gamut on views of abortion. Rauner takes the most liberal stance saying he supports the woman’s right to choose, but abortion should be very rare. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Brady, who has previously advocated for a complete ban on abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. Although they describe themselves as pro-life, Dillard and Rutherford are somewhere in the middle.

Next Tuesday in Illinois, there will be a primary for ‪‎IL-Gov‬ on the GOP side for the right to face off against Pat Quinn in November. 
Bruce Rauner is the favorite to win the primary next Tueday. 
All four are GOP candidates bad for Illinois, especially Brady and Rauner.

h/t: Colleen Connolly at

Image Credit: PROMO Missouri’s Facebook Page.

Glad to see St. Clair and Madison (my county) issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, with Jackson not too far behind.

CC: promomissouri