Monday, March 31, 2014

Ron Sandack Wants to "Go To the Mattresses" Over Property Taxes in DuPage

If you live in DuPage County, this story from the  Daily Herald isn't great news:
DuPage County property owners again can expect to pay higher taxes on land that's worth less than it used to be.
DuPage officials on Tuesday announced the average tax rate for the county's 384 taxing bodies increased 9.36 percent. 
Meanwhile, the overall value of land in DuPage — the other half of the tax equation — fell last year by 5.4 percent, to roughly $32.7 billion. 
As a result, property owners across DuPage are going to pay an average of 3.96 percent more on their tax bills, which are due in equal installments in June and September.
"You are paying more because your districts asked for more (tax money)," County Clerk Gary King said.
The fact is that some of the 'empire builders' who run these local governments are out of control and can't rein in spending - even in light of lower property values'.

We spotted this on our Facebook feed this am and because a few of the members of the Illinois Truth Team Editorial Board live in DuPage County, we have to say we're interested to see what transpires when it comes to DuPage County taxes.

Frankly, we were were pleased to see this.   If State Representative Ron Sandack wants to "Go to the Mattresses" on Property Taxes, we'll stand right behind him the whole way.

Thankfully, common sense prevailed in March and we sent Ron Sandack back to Springfield to fight for things like this.

Let's get after it, Ron.

Our Top 5 Posts of March 2014

As we pointed out over the weekend, March 2014 was our biggest traffic month yet.  Thanks to all of you for tuning in!

We thought it would be interesting to show what the top 5 posts published in March were for the Truth Team.  As you can see, the Ron Sandack/Keith Matune race dominated the interest.

5.  Dem Watch: State Representative Keith Farnham's State of Illinois Office Searched by Feds
In Mid-March, we covered how Democrat State Representative Keith Farnham had his office and home raided by federal agents.  He later resigned due to *cough* *cough* "Health Reasons".

4.  Keith Matune: A Rotarians Worst Nightmare
In a post by "The Ghost of Babe Woodword", we look at Keith Matunes nutty responses to candidate surveys.

3.  Who you Crappin'? Coach Mike Ditka Backs Ron Sandack for State Representative
When you need a surrogate to help you 'close' your campaign, who do you call?  Da Coach.  Candidate Ron Sandack pulled out the big guns with this endorsement.

2.  Latest in Matune/Sandack Race: "Creepy Cicero Outsiders"
We were tipped this mail piece and broke it as an exclusive.  It tied the financial backers of Keith Matune to the seedy-underbelly of Cicero politics.

1.   Carol Marin Unloads on Dan Proft and Keith Matune
The nastiness of the Sandack/Matune race condensed into one succinct (and later updated) Carol Marin piece from the Chicago Sun-Times.  

So *That's* Where Bob Grogan Went After the Primary

On his Facebook Wall, Bob Grogan promised that he was going to 'take some time off the grid', but we had no idea he would go all the way to Arizona!  He sure is dedicated, we guess.  Glad to know that after the tough primary race, Bob was able to pick up his keyboarding again.  

From the Daily Courier:
A benefit for the Shrine of St. Joseph in Yarnell takes place at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Christ Lutheran Church, 25 Chapel Rd. in Sedona. 
Vocalist Al Raitano and keyboard artist Bob Grogan will entertain the crowd with song and laughter.

Play us off, Keyboard Cat!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

March Was Our Biggest Month Yet - Thank You!

Although the month isn't quite over, we wanted to share some news:  March was our biggest month yet when it comes to readership.  We can't thank you enough for coming to check out our stories and (hopefully!) laughing along with us.

The Primary race certainly fueled our rocket rise these past few months.  The Ron Sandack/Keith Matune race alone saw tons of inbound queries and social referral traffic.  But now we're moving on to help win in the General Election.

We're on our way to November.  Let's get after it!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pat Fee Picked For Board of National Federation of Republican Women

Pat Fee - who ran against Stephanie Kifowit for State Representative last cycle has been named to the Board of Directors of the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) for the 2014-2015 term.

She's building quite the Republican resume and has become a strong voice for women inside both the Illinois Republican Party and women across the State of Illinois.  

From a press release:
NFRW President Kathy Brugger has appointed Patricia Fee of Naperville to the Women’s Leadership Development Committee, which is responsible for the training of the women of NFRW to enable them to become the strong leaders of tomorrow to accomplish these goals.

“The NFRW is focused on reclaiming the U.S. Senate and increasing Republican victories at the state and local levels in November,” Brugger said. “We are pleased that Pat is going to play a key role in this effort by sharing her talents and ideas with our members across the nation.”

Pat currently is the First Vice President, Illinois Federation of Republican Women.President of the Illinois Republican Woman’s PAC
Chairwoman of Women for Cross, Treasurer Candidate, Illinois
Former Candidate for the Illinois House of Representatives, 84th District/2012

Founded in 1938, the NFRW has thousands of active members in local clubs across the nation and in several U.S. territories, making it one of the largest women’s political organizations in the country. The grassroots organization works to promote the principles and objectives of the Republican Party, elect Republican candidates, inform the public through political education and activity, and increase the effectiveness of women in the cause of good government.

NRCC Chair Greg Walden - @votegregwalden - In Town to Support Candidates

Lynn Sweet at the Sun-Times is reporting that in addition to naming Darlene Senger and other Illinois Republican candidates to the NRCC 'Young Guns' Program, Greg Walden, the Chair of the NRCC is coming to town to demonstrate the national support of a handful of candidates here in Illinois.

From the S-T:
Greg Walden, R-Oregon, the chair of the House GOP political operation — the National Republican Campaign Committee --is traveling around Illinois on Thursday and Friday to fundraise and stump with five GOP House candidates in tight races. 
"This is a battleground state for us again this cycle and we will continue to put a focus on ensuring victories in Illinois this November," NRCC spokesman Katie Prill told me.
You can check out the full schedule of events they have planned including one with each of:  Bob Dold, Darlene Senger, Mike Bost, Rodney Davis, and Bobby Schilling.  

Paul Schrimpf Notes Involvement of Prosecution of Saddam Hussein in Email Blast

Over at McHenry County Blog, Cal Skinner has the full text of an email blast sent out by the Paul Schrimpf for Illinois Attorney General campaign.    Maybe we've been living under a rock, but we had no idea that the prosecution of Saddam Hussein was in his background.  Seems like an interesting stump speech point.

Go check out the whole thing.   There's an odd line in there about Paul being 'exhausted from the brutal primary'.   He had a primary?  It was brutal?  Well...whatever.

You can check out the more about Paul and get involved with his campaign at his site:

Darlene Senger Moving Up in NRCC "Young Guns" Program

Hot off the heels of her big win in the Republican Primary, Darlene Senger has received some great news out of the national party.  She's moving up and getting more support.

From the Darlene Senger for Congress site:
Today, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced that Darlene Senger has been elevated to ‘Contender’ in the NRCC’s ‘Young Guns’ program. The program helps to provide candidates and their campaigns the tools they need to run effective, successful and winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents. Originally founded in the 2007-2008 election cycle by Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Young Guns program supports and mentors challenger and open-seat candidates in races across the country. Senger is running in the 11th Congressional District of Illinois.
Senger is running against Bill Foster for Congress.  Let's get involved in this race.  Head over to her site to get involved.  Or better yet?  Chip in $5 right now.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pat Quinn Meet "Quinnocchio"

Over on Facebook, Bruce Rauner has posted this (small) photo.  We are displaying it bigger so it is grainy.  It appears to be a 'character' holding a hand-made sign outside of a Chicago elementary school that is "welcoming" Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

The guy is holding a sign that says:  "Quinnocchio.  I Lied About Your Taxes".

Clever stuff.

Think Rauner is going to keep Quinnocchio alive through the campaign?  We'd love that.  There should be a Mike Frerichs alter-ego, too?  Bernie FrerichsOff?

Aaron Schock Was the Belle of the Ball At Annual NRCC "Mega" Dinner

Peoria's Congressman Aaron Schock isn't slowing down on his ascent into national GOP politics.  

Last night, he Chaired the biggest fundraising event for the National Republican Congressional Committee and according to Lynn Sweet, he delivered:
Shock R-Ill. chaired the mega National Republican Congressional Committee fundraising dinner on Wednesday night, hauling in $15.1 million for House races and boosting his national profile in the process. Schock raised $2 million of that total. I'm told that was more than anyone--except House Speaker John Boehner R-Ohio.
...Politico said in a story about Schock and the NRCC dinner that the dinner is "a particularly important moment for Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) — the dinner’s chairman — as he becomes a more and more prominent figure in the Republican Party. The sum shows he can pull in big money for the GOP." 
The Hill said the $15.1 million was "an increase from the $14.1 million the dinner brought in last year, and a win for Rep. Aaron Schock (Ill.), chairman of this year’s dinner. He personally pledged to raise $2 million for the dinner, and NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (Ore.) praised his hard work on the fundraiser."

Sorry Guys. It's Not Going To Happen

We've said it before: Voters in Illinois are smart enough to not get caught up in all the distraction techniques being thrown at them from Democrat Boss Mike Madigan and his toadies Pat Quinn and Treasurer's Candidate Mike Frerichs.

We'll be doing our part to remind voters leading up to November.  But, we need your help.  Go "Like" our Facebook page right now and tell your friends to tune in.

Milton Friedman Knew Illinois All Too Well...

From the Becker Friedman Institute site.

Let's face it, boys.  The trash heap knows all.  The trash heap sees all.  The trash heap *is* all.

Rahm Emanuel's Ashland Avenue Bus Boondoggle

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his administration has put forth a 'Bus Rapid Transit' proposal together for a 16 mile stretch of Ashland Avenue that would turn it from a useuful street for business owners and residents into a bus superhighway.    Their plan removes most left turns and the center turn lane.  

You'd think that the community who lives and works and shops along Ashland Avenue would know better than some beaurocrat down at City Hall about how to improve the transportation options while maintaining their community?  Well, Rahm doesn't think so.  

Fortunately, there is a group of folks from the local community who have put together a program to "Save Ashland Avenue" from Rahm's $200M boondoggle.  They're putting together an alternative proposal that improves mass transit while maintaining the ability to turn left!

Say no to "Bus Rapid Transit" and yes to "Modern Ashland Bus".  
Seems that the group's effort is working.  From the Sun-Times:
Rebekah Scheinfeld says she’s “not up to speed on speed cameras,” but she knows plenty about the furor surrounding the CTA’s $160 million plan to install bus rapid transit lanes along a 16-mile stretch of Ashland Avenue. 
On Monday, the veteran CTA planner chosen by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to become Chicago’s $169,500-a-year transportation commissioner made it clear that she’s listening to those concerns.
“We’re specifically contemplating the possibility of adding more left-turns back into the concept design for the corridor,” Scheinfeld said after the City Council’s Transportation Committee confirmed her appointment.
If you want to get involved, you can go sign their petition or download flyers.  

Illinois Democrats Unite: Let's Talk About More Taxes, Baby!

Over the course of the past seven days, one thing has become clear:  Illinois Democrats, lead by Governor Pat Quinn, Speaker Mike Madigan, and Senator Mike Frerichs are absolutely possessed by one uniting factor:  the unquenchable need for more taxes.

From the ILGOP where they're calling it the "Democrat Tax Obsession":
In the past week alone, Illinois Democrats announced three separate tax hike proposals to increase the burden on Illinois families. The one common theme: soak the taxpayers. 
“It’s clear that the Democrats have one goal in mind – more government spending ahead of November’s election,” said Jack Dorgan, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. “For the sake of the people who actually have to pay these taxes, the need for Republican balance in Illinois has never been more clear.” 
“Illinois has two paths forward: a government controlled by Democrats that soaks the taxpayers as a first and only option, or electing Republican leaders who believe in truly reforming this broken system,” Dorgan said. “We need to create a business climate that creates good-paying jobs for working families, not simply raise taxes with no thought on the spending side or the impact on jobs.”

Our 325th Post - Thank You!

It was two months ago this week that we reached our 100th post here on the Illinois Truth Team.

Since then, we've put the pedal to the floor and poured on another 225 posts leading up to the March primary.  

Thank you to all the readers who have come along for the ride.  Remember...drop us your tips!

Democrat Mike Frerichs Can't Get *Anything* Right

It is well documented that Democrat Mike Frerichs had the worst.campaign rollout.ever in Illinois history.

See our post here for background on his campaign where he proudly proclaimed his accomplishments only to have to recant them the next day because THEY WERE LIES.

Now, a day after Governor Pat Quinn announces his push to raise taxes on Illinois, Mike Frerichs wants us to believe him about the things he's saying about his opponent Tom Cross.

In what has become his signature "Breathless" style of campaigning where everything feels like he is coming from his mouth in a 'squeal-like tone', he publishes a long-winded press release where he tries to tie his opponent to some stuff.

The problem?  We can't get past the terrible spacing and type problems.  Let alone...can anyone believe Mike Frerichs anyway?

His staff clearly isn't checking things.  From his 'immediate' press release we find this glorious mistake.

Guess we should just add it to the pile of Frerichs for Illinois mistakes, right?

Illinois Needs a New Direction, No More Broken Promises

Republican candidate for Illinois State Treasurer Tom Cross released a statement yesterday in response to Governor Quinn's budget address where he announced that along with Speaker Mike Madigan and State Senator Mike Frerichs, they would push to make the income tax from 2011 permanent.

From the Tom Cross site:
“The simple fact is under Governor Pat Quinn and Senator Mike Frerichs, Illinois is going from bad to worse. Three years after the 67 percent income tax increase supported by Quinn/Frerichs, there is less funding for education, less funding for critical safety-net programs, over $7 billion in unpaid bills and fewer jobs. Despite the tax increase being a complete failure, the Quinn/Frerichs team has doubled down and is seeking to make it permanent. In the process, they have broken their word to Illinois taxpayers as they previously pledged the tax increase would be temporary."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sign Our Petition: Susanne Atanus Needs To Go

Thank you to those readers who have already committed to the cause of demanding Congressional Candidate Susanne Atanus to step down from the ballot.   The very future of the ILGOP demands action today.

If you haven't signed on, click here to put your name on the petition.

Bruce Rauner: Illinois Can Do Better

In a recently released video ad, Governor's candidate Bruce Rauner says:  "Illinois can do better".  The spot, timed with Today's Budget Address from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn points out that for the five years of service Governor Quinn has given us here's what we've received:
  • 90K jobs lost
  • massive tax hikes
  • thousands of children in failing schools
  • worst pension debt and credit rating in America

Tom Cross - Candidate For Treasurer - Calls for Honest, Balanced Budget from Governor Pat Quinn

In a piece titled "One Bold Solution", Illinois Candidate for State Treasurer Tom Cross has called on Governor Pat Quinn to deliver during his budget address today.  Tom Cross has been vocal in calling for what he calls an "honest balanced budget".  He has a letter up asking for citizens to join his campaign to demand the Governor and Legislature deliver a balanced budget.  You can go sign the letter at

From the One Bold Solution piece on Tom Cross' site:
Three years ago, Democrats – namely Governor Pat Quinn– promised us that when they raised our taxes they would use that money to pay our backlog of bills. Three years later, the 67 percent tax increase has chased thousands of jobs out of Illinois, but our unpaid bills still remain at over $7 billion.

What’s the real impact of a billion dollar deficit and the unpaid bills? Social service agencies don’t receive funding and they reduce their workload, jobs are lost, and taxpayers pay late payments which totaled $318 million last year alone.
The impact of this mismanagement isn’t just about numbers, it’s affecting people and Illinois’ future. We were told that the tax increase would allow for greater investments in education and safety net programs for those who most need our help. Yet now we face a budget that seeks deep cuts to those very same programs.
...We must put a stop this cycle of weak leadership and poor decisions that penalize citizens. 
As Governor Quinn unveils his budget address, it is my sincere hope that the numbers are real, the budget assumptions are sound and spending decisions are responsible and reflect the priorities of taxpayers. And most importantly, that he proposes a balanced budget.
But if this budget is built on gimmicks, false assumptions and bad math, then it should be immediately rejected. We simply cannot afford any more bad decisions. 
Illinois is craving results that positively and meaningfully impact people’s lives. That begins right now with having an honestly balanced budget.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Don't Be Distracted By The Flailing About of Illinois Democrats

Now the Morris Daily Herald is reminding voters the same thing.  In a piece called:  "Don't Get Distracted" they lay out the case against Governor Pat Quinn, Speaker Mike Madigan and Democrat State Senator Mike Frerichs:
Illinois’ dire fiscal situation is well-documented.

It’s public pension systems are underfunded by more than $1 billion.
The state ended its last fiscal year with more than $7 billion in unpaid bills.
Illinois has the nation’s second-highest property taxes, the fourth-highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world, and the fourth-highest workers’ compensation costs in the nation.
It has the second highest unemployment rate in the country, and the worst credit rating of all 50 states. 
These are the facts, and they aren’t pretty. 
These also are the issues that voters must focus on as the campaign for governor now turns to two people – Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner. 
In the months leading up to the Nov. 4 general election, expect to hear tons of campaign rhetoric from both sides. A lot of it will be nothing but noise, meant to distract voters from the issues that matter. 
But don’t be distracted. Tune out the nonsense and focus on each candidate’s plans to return Illinois to a fiscally solvent state.
Take the advice, voters.

Sorry.  Just testing you...

Stantis: Governor Pat Quinn Will NEVER Be What Bruce Rauner Is...

Scott Stantis from the Chicago Tribune punches up Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's re-election message for him.

Illinois: Worst in the Midwest for Jobs. Take a Bow Governor Quinn

Take a bow, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.  You've taken Illinois from middle-of-the-pack when it comes to 'jobless' numbers to second to last in the nation and worst in the "midwest".  You can see our previous post - which includes a map showing the jobless rates (meaning...the rate at which people without jobs has gone up or down.  In our case, it...went up.  Not a good thing.).

A fine line from Jack Dorgan:  
“Pat Quinn’s five years in Springfield have given us a broken budget, the biggest tax hike in Illinois history, and dropped our state to the bottom of the barrel on jobs. Businesses and families are leaving our state. We need a change, because we can’t afford four more years of Pat Quinn."
You'll hear that question a lot in these coming months:  Can we afford to keep these guys running Illinois?

Dem Watch: Federal Officials Wanted "Child Porn" from Democrat State Representative's Government Office

As we covered a few weeks ago in our "Dem Watch" column, Democrat State Representative Keith Farnham of Elgin, had an unexpected guest at his State of Illinois office and home.  And they weren't there there to appraise the place.  From the Chicago Tribune:
Federal agents sought evidence of child pornography last week when they seized computers from the Elgin district office of former state Rep. Keith Farnham, who resigned Wednesday, according to a search warrant released Friday. 
In addition, a federal agent on Thursday took a laptop computer that Farnham used in the Illinois House chamber, and last week agents removed a computer from a legislative office building next to the Capitol, according to the documents and an interview with a state technology official.
Used the machine on the House Floor?  Guess the pension bill wasn't interesting enough for him?  

Listen, we'll allow Representative Farnham the right of innocence until proven guilty.  And...the fact that he's a Democrat doesn't really matter.  But, now that he's gone, let's find a Republican who can win this seat.  Who's out there?  Steve Rauschenberger?  From a local report:
Farnham’s resignation means Democratic leaders now have to appoint someone to fill his seat and vote on someone to take his slot on the November ballot. 
Farnham ran unopposed this primary. His departure now has Elgin area Republicans poised to get back in the general election game.
“It gives us an opportunity if we can identify a candidate that has got leadership and community service,” said Elgin Township GOP Chairman David Rickert. 
Republican leaders in Elgin will hold a slating meeting on April first. Some have already expressed interest in running in November – including former Elgin State Senator Steve Rauschenberger.
Let's get after it Republicans.  

Demand Susanne Atanus Step Down. Sign Our Petition NOW!

The only way we right the ship in Illinois is if we support strong candidates for office.  Susanne Atanus is wrong not just for Illinois and our Country, but most importantly, she's wrong for the Illinois Republican Party.

ILGOP Chairman Jack Dorgan has said this about Susanne Atanus as a candidate:
"The offensive statements by Susanne Atanus have no place in the modern political debate, and she has no place on the ballot as a Republican. Her candidacy is neither supported nor endorsed by the leaders of our party, and she should withdraw from the race immediately.”
-- Illinois Republican Chairman Jack Dorgan
If you care about the future of our state and our party, take action now.  We'll deliver the full list of petition signers to the Atanus campaign office, the Illinois Republican Party office and the NRCC office.  Click the button below or fill out our petition at the bottom.

Sorry, Cokie. We Still Have One "Yahoo" On The Ballot in Illinois

And her name is Susanne Atanus.  Back in the primary, we called for her to 'go'.

The Sun-Times has a post up on Early & Often that includes video of ABC News Cokie Roberts - who says that the prospects for the Republican Party are much better because we've done a better job of finding better candidates. she put it:
We're 'doing "a much better job" of not electing "yahoos" in congressional primaries.'
You can go check out the video at the Sun-Times here.

The problem?  We still have a yahoo.  In fact, a big one.  Her name is Susanne Atanus.  And she won the Illinois Republican Primary to take on Jan Schakowsky for Congress.  You can see our early coverage of Susanne Atanus here.

We add our voice to the list of folks who have asked her to step down.  Kudos to Jack Dorgan for saying this about Atanus:
The offensive statements by Susanne Atanus have no place in the modern political debate, and she has no place on the ballot as a Republican. Her candidacy is neither supported nor endorsed by the leaders of our party, and she should withdraw from the race immediately.

Now lets do one better.  Let's get active.

Do you agree that Susanne Atanus has to go?  For the good of the Illinois Republican Party and for all of our candidates up and down the ballot, we ask you to sign our petition.  Stand with the Truth Team!

OneMan Chimes in on the Big Ten School Bill from State Senators Connelly and Murphy

As we covered over the weekend, two of our favorite State Senators -  State Senator Matt Murphy and State Senator Mike Connelly - have introduce legistlation that would begin to unearth - for the State of Illinois - how hard it would be to get Illinois State University or Southern Illinois University into the Big Ten.

Our piece can be found here on the Truth Team. of our 'brothers-in-arms' OneMan has a response to the news up over on his blog.

From his post:
Only three schools in the state play Div I-BCS football and two of them are already in the Big 10 and the third NIU would have to spend millions just to upgrade the football stadium. For any of the other schools to join the conference they would also have to spend millions to upgrade their football stadiums as well as upgrade their programs to Div I-BCS programs and that would cost millions of dollars. 
If you want to upgrade the academics of a state school, I am all for that. Odds are by the time the process would bear fruit it would be long after either of my kids would be done with college. But using an athletic conference as some sort of smoke screen. 
If you want more in state smart kids to go to state schools, upgrade the state schools, get tuition under control. That is going to help, if a kid is going to a school just because it is in a specific athletic conference, the kid isn't that smart to begin with.

Illinois Treasurer's Candidate Mike Frerichs Knows How To Throw A Party (Sarcasm)

Just take a look at the misery on the face of this guy.  He looks thrilled to be there with Democrat Mike Frerichs - candidate for Illinois Treasurer.

And, what exactly is happening behind Big Mike Frerichs here?  (and...guess he's chairing the "Diabetes Caucus" these days will that huge pile of regular Coca-Cola at his parties, eh?)

And these were the 'best' photos?  At least they were the ones that were deemed good enough to post on Facebook?  He's got a pretty low bar for showing off his whereabouts and what-have-yous.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Illinois State Senators Want Say in Big Ten Teams?

Listen...we here at the Illinois Truth Team really like State Senator Matt Murphy and State Senator Mike Connelly.  They might be our two favorite State Senators.  Seriously.

But the news that they're sponsoring a bill that would 'study the feasibility' of adding another Illinois state university to the Big Ten is nuts.

From CCB:
Two state lawmakers propose adding another public Illinois college to the Big Ten. 
The legislation, sponsored by Republican Sens. Matt Murphy and Michael Connelly, would study the feasibility of having another of the state's nine public universities join the conference, which includes Penn State, the University of Michigan and Purdue University. 
The measure passed a Senate Higher Education committee this week and now heads to the chamber floor.
So...let's first set aside the fact that the Big Ten is an athletic organization (the CIC is the academic counterpart but has U of C in it) and there isn't another State School that is up to par in terms of competition, facilities or alumni base.  (Oh, be quiet you NIU Huskie fans.  3 years of success does not make a B1G team.  Please.  Go back to the kids table in the MAC.  We don't want to hear about it.  Your stadium holds like 10K people.  And you don't even field teams in many NCAA sports.)

Then...let's also forget that the B1G Conference is now a non-Midwest-centric conference that cares about their 'footprint' due to their cable network.   The expansion to include Maryland and Rutgers had little to do with those schools, we suspect, and everything to do with adding the Washington DC and NYC media markets.  Charleston, Carbondale and Dekalb gain the B1G Conference exactly NOTHING.  No new expanded footprint.  No more cable boxes.

But beyond that, is this what our legislature should be thinking about?

We've got everything else regarding higher education figured out, we guess.

Murphy is a B1G guy - he went to Iowa, but Connelly is a Loyola guy.  If we're saying that Illinois is too competitive and therefore kids who don't get in there head to Iowa or Indiana because they don't want to go to Eastern or Northern or Southern, is the real reason Big Ten athletics?

We're suspect.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Latest Poll: Tom Cross Leading Mike Frerichs for Illinois Treasurer

Hot off the heels of his overwhelming (100K vote margin) victory over the DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan in the Republican Primary this week, Illinois Treasurer's candidate Tom Cross is being reported to be ahead of his November opponent Democrat Mike Frerichs in the race.

Mike #TallTales Frerichs, who has "has joined with Governor Pat Quinn to raise taxes on Illinois’ middle class families and support economically destructive fees and regulations" and driven jobs out of Illinois is trailing Cross in the latest poll.

It appears that Illinois voters have taken notice of Mike Frerichs and his record of killing jobs and ignoring constituents.  Voters in Chicago have even had enough.   From a story in Crains' Chicago Business.
The survey found Mr. Cross ahead 34 percent to 30 percent over the Democratic nominee, state Sen. Michael Frerichs, with Mr. Cross getting an impressive 21 percent of the vote in heavily Democratic Chicago.
Along with Judy Baar Topinka - our candidate for Illinois Comptroller - we're going to line up behind Tom Cross for Illinois Treasurer.  If you haven't already, head over to his site and get involved.  Sign up for a yard sign right now!

Let's make sure we're doing everything we can to support Tom Cross this fall!  This is an important race for Illinois.

Judy Baar Topinka Leading Sheila Simon in Latest Poll

In a recently released poll (taken before the Primary), Republican Comptroller - and strong vote getter in General Elections - Judy Baar Topinka is leading her new General Election rival Sheila Simon 39 to 32.  
One survey, taken by Lake Research Partners in late January, show that Sheila Simon, who's giving up her spot as lieutenant governor to run for comptroller, trails veteran GOP incumbent Judy Baar Topinka by a fairly narrow 39 percent to 32 percent among likely general election voters. 29 percent were undecided or not answering.
The poll was shared by the Simon campaign. looking at it, we're surprised that Simon is behind by 7 points.  As pointed out by Greg Hinz at Crain's Chicago Business:
In response, a political aide to Ms. Topinka suggested that Ms. Simon should be doing better, given that she shares the same last name as the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, D.-Ill. And it released a page from a survey taken at roughly the same time for U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., by GS Strategy Group that showed Ms. Topinka up 43 percent to 30 percent.

Now that we have the 2014 Statewide Republican ticket in place, let's - as a party - start to rally around these candidates.   Head over to Judy's website and get involved or donate a few bucks.  Or you can head over to Facebook and "Like" her there to keep in touch.

Let's do this!

The 2014 Illinois Truth Team Primary Scorecard: B+

With the week coming to an end, we wanted to make sure we took time to check-in with how we - as the Illinois Truth Team - did as a group this past week in the Primary Elections.

If you'll look up you'll see our mission: Get the facts. Help Good Candidates. Turn Illinois Around.

That middle part is key:  Helping good candidates.  The only way we'll turn Illinois around - and to ensure we grow the Illinois Republican Party is by doing just that: supporting through content, links, endorsements, and attention these good candidates.

While there were tons of great candidates on the ballot, in looking through our archives, we can see that the team here at the Illinois Truth Team focused on 11 specific Illinois Republican Primary races.  They were at the State Representative level, statewide Constitutional officer level, Congressional office, and the United States Senate.'d we do?

The tally shows: We had 8 wins.  And...3 losses.  The Susanne Atanus loss is particularly difficult to see while the Ron Sandack triumph makes us excited about the future of our Republican Party.  So it is a decidedly mixed bag.

Based on the totality of the outcomes, we give ourselves a B+.  We certainly have more work to do this fall if we want to turn Illinois around.

Here's how the races broke down:

Illinois Democrats: Move Along, Illinois Voters. Nothing To See Here.

Illinois Democrats are trying to make this fall's election into a "Class War" where they're positioning the Republicans as being against the 'Middle Class'.

They're desperate to NOT have to talk about or deal with their failed leadership.  

With the actions of the past 24 hours the message from Illinois Democrats is clear:  "Move along, Illinois voters.  There's nothing to see here."

Let's not let that happen.  Don't be fooled, Illinois.  Let's focus on what got us here in the first place:  wasteful spending and job killing regulations brought to you by Speaker Mike Madigan, Governor Pat Quinn, and State Senator Mike Frerichs.

IL Governor Pat Quinn and His Poor Spelling - "Courtesty" of The Illinois Truth Team

Posted by:  The Ghost of Babe Woodyard

As you guys well know by now...We here at the Illinois Truth Team dwell a tad bit on spelling from campaigns Even...perhaps a bit too much. (Seriously...go check out the archives of our posts that chronicle all the spelling mistakes by politicians in Illinois!)

But, let's be honest:  It isn't just spelling errors amuse us, sometimes a really good gaffe or awkward political move excites us just as much as a poorly punctuated politician’s post on Pinterest.

Yesterday we got a treat from Gov. Pat Quinn, but if you didn’t catch it quick it was gone in a flash.

Luckily for you - our dear readers - I will lay out the story line in great detail.

Yesterday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn released what one would describe as a lame web video comparing Bruce Rauner to C. Montgomery Burns, the miserly power plant owner from the Simpsons.

Quinn’s camp made the Truth Team proud with an awesome misspelling that was lost in time (when the video got pulled) but saved in a Capitol Fax comment.  Thank the Lord for mjrothjr!

Then within an hour of posting the video YouTube pulled it because Fox didn’t give Gov. Quinn the “courtesty” of using C. Montgomery Burns after all.

But don’t fret Governor Quinn, the voters aren’t booing you they are just yelling Q, you know for your last name.

Governor Pat Quinn's Distraction Ploy on Illinois Voters

If we're honest with ourselves here at the Truth Team, we will admit that we're easily distracted.  But we're hopeful that the voters in Illinois aren't as susceptible as we are to these distractions.  

Governor Pat Quinn, Speaker Mike Madigan and even Democrat Mike Frerichs - who is running for Illinois Treasurer -  are going to do everything they can to try to get you to not pay attention to what is really going on in Illinois over the next seven months. 

Let's not let that happen.  

From the Chicago Tribune Editorial:
All of us understand why Gov. Pat Quinn and his political brain trust want to change the subject — that is, why they urgently want to distract Illinois voters. We can even sympathize with Team Quinn. When your state is one of only two where unemployment rose last year, when its current jobless rate is America's second-worst, when its creditworthiness is dead last nationwide, when its debts total some $200 billion, when you're the guy who demanded the 67 percent income tax increase ... well, if you don't distract people with an alternative narrative, they're sure to focus on their state's downward mobility. 
So you talk indignantly about nine homes as if you just discovered them — Who knew? As if your opponent, Bruce Rauner, hasn't acknowledged that he's a successful venture capitalist. As if dunk-tank politics will liberate you from the problems on your watch: I'll win if I just get enough people who resent the rich to take out their frustrations on that guy, my opponent. Dunk him!

Hey Look!  Prehistoric Forest.

Congrats to Democrat Mike Frerichs - A Major Award!

Some really great news for Democrat Mike Frerichs!  We were sent this "Certificate of Achievement" on behalf of Treasurer's candidate Frerichs for his efforts of 'flailing about with his whereabouts in a totally unnecessary way on Facebook'.

Congrats, Mike Frerichs.  Keep up the incessant Facebook postings with your whereabouts.  The team at the "Little Lebowski Urban Achievers" knows that's the *best* way to win votes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Is This How Speaker Mike Madigan Reacted This Morning?

After seeing all the losers pile up in his column for the first time in a while, we're thinking that Speaker Mike Madigan didn't have that great of a morning read of his newspaper.

Yesterday Was Our Best Traffic Day Ever

While every candidate around the state is giving their "Thank you's" to voters, we here at the Illinois Truth Team wanted to thank all of you:  our readers.  Yesterday - Primary Election Day - was the highest traffic day we've ever had with close to double the number of readers we get during a normal week day.

Thanks for laughing along with us.  Can't wait to keep moving things forward by supporting great candidates on the ballot this fall.

Want to write for us?  Drop us a line:

Have something you want us to cover?  Drop us a line:

Illinois Can't Afford Mike Frerichs as our State Treasurer

Illinois can't afford Mike Frerichs as our State Treasurer.

From the ILGOP:
“The very last thing Illinois voters can afford is Mike Frerichs as Treasurer. For the past seven years, Frerichs has joined with Governor Pat Quinn to raise taxes on Illinois’ middle class families and support economically destructive fees and regulations -- an agenda that has driven jobs out of the state. The irresponsible taxing and spending habits under Quinn and Frerichs have led to the nation’s worst budget deficit. Illinois families simply cannot afford four more years of Quinn/Frerichs. We can do better.”

Tom Cross Easily Wins Illinois Treasurer's Race

Illinois Republican Treasurer's Candidate Tom Cross breezed to a more than 100,000 vote victory over DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan.  Cross ran a strong campaign that focused on reforming the finances of the State of Illinois.  He mostly kept his 'powder dry' during the primary and began to drive distinctions between his opponent (worst.campaign.ever) and himself.  

He'll go on to face one of our favorites in November:  Democrat Mike "Earmuffs" Frerichs.

From the Chicago Tribune:
Cross, who declared victory at a downtown Chicago hotel among supporters and family, said Tuesday night by phone he believes his message about using the office to implore lawmakers not to spend more than the state has resonated with voters. 
“We think the treasurer's office can be used in a more aggressive manner,” Cross said Tuesday night.

Bruce Rauner Wins Republican Governor's Nomination

In what was a closer final result than everyone predicted, businessman Bruce Rauner came out on top and bested State Senator Kirk Dillard for the Republican Nomination for Illinois Governor.

This tee's up what surely is going to be a 'class warfare' battle.  We here at the Truth Team are ready!

From the Tribune:
Rauner and Quinn quickly pivoted to the general election campaign in their victory speeches late Tuesday. 
Rauner accused Quinn of practicing “the politics of division” as he labeled the governor “a failure.” Rauner said voters face a stark choice Nov. 4 between the “old status quo” versus “a new direction.” 
Quinn called working-class people “the real everyday heroes of our state” and then ripped Rauner, contending the challenger's wealth left him out of touch.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How the Candidates Feel Right About Now...

Just a few more hours until the polls close here in Illinois.

If you're on the ballot, we wish you good luck!

The Dan Rutherford Campaign Has a Van?!?!

This is all too much.

Just when you think the Dan Rutherford for Governor campaign can't get any weirder, we just were tipped this screenshot of the Rutherford A-1 from the State Board of Elections.  The Dan Rutherford Campaign Committee apparently has a van.

Let's all say it together: "Vans are creepy".

We wonder if Frankie Merman works at Green Holding Company?  Doing his buddy a 'solid'?

To be perfectly honest....We have a lot of sympathy for current State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and how his campaign rolled on after the storm around an employee allegations.  Ending our coverage here at the Truth Team about Dan's campaign with a post on a campaign van somehow seems apt, doesn't it?

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The Illinois Truth Team is an Illinois Politics Blog. We cover breaking news and issues related to changing the culture of the politics of Illinois and the politicians involved in the races. We support good candidates and are trying to help voters get the information needed to make educated votes.
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