Tag Archives: Michael Madigan

Michael Madigan And John Cullerton Have Used $3.5 Million In Campaign Funds For Cubs, Bulls, And White Sox Season Tickets

Michael Madigan(D-Chicago)

Michael Madigan(D-Chicago)

With playoff baseball in Chicago and a critical election just around the corner an examination of Illinois Board of Elections campaign reports by USofArn.com shows that the states two most powerful legislative leaders Speaker Michael Madigan(D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton(D-Chicago) have spent a combined $3.5 million from their campaign funds to purchase season tickets for the Chicago Cubs, Bulls, and White Sox dating back to 1999. They are the only two lawmakers to make such purchases according to state records.

Michael Madigan’s spokesman Steve Brown told USofArn that the Speaker used some of those  tickets to attend games with his friends and family, which includes his daughter Lisa Madigan the states Attorney General. Despite multiple attempts Mr. Brown hasn’t responded any further to questions family-video-internetabout Speaker Madigan’s campaign spending(Which includes how and why he spent more than $700 at a Springfield Family Video for internet service from 1999-2003 when they’ve never offered that service).

Chicago residents learned earlier in the MLB post season that Chicago politicians were given special access to Cubs playoff tickets as they try to break the teams 108 year World Series curse.

madigan cubs playoffsIn the last decade and a half, using a combination of his Friends of Michael Madigan and 13th Democratic Ward campaign funds Madigan has shelled out $1.25 million for Cubs tickets, including post season tickets in previous years, over madigan-cubs-3q-2016$933,000 for White Sox season tickets, playoff tickets, and all-star game tickets, and another $423,610 for Bulls season tickets. There were also $23,000 in unspecified season ticket purchases by Madigan to the University of Notre Dame, which for the geography challenged is in Indiana, not Illinois. Just in the latest 3rd quarter report Madigan used more than $42,000 in campaign funds to purchase Cubs tickets.

cullerton-soxs-2016John Cullerton, who became President of the Illinois Senate in 2009, used more than $418,000 from his campaign fund for Cubs tickets, over $300,000 for White Sox tickets, and another $178,954 for Bulls tickets from the first quarter of this year going back to 1999.

 

 

reinsdorf-tixCampaign records also show that in the Summer of 2004 Michael Madigan bought nearly $500 worth of White Sox tickets off of team owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who also owns the Chicago Bulls.

Records also show Sen. Cullerton used over $18,000 in campaign funds for unspecified tickets from Stub Hub, plus another $7,000 for more unspecified tickets from other ticket vendors, to go along with nearly $8,000 worth of Chicago Bears tickets and over $10,000 in unnamed event tickets at the United Center.

One Illinois lawmaker who wished anonymity couldn’t stop laughing at how brazen Madigan and Cullerton were with this misuse of campaign funds especially given the ongoing campaign spending scandal involving Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino, who spent 24 years in the state legislature as a top Madigan lieutenant. Mautino is under state and federal investigation for half a million dollars in questionable spending at his home town gas station and bank.

It is supposed to be against Illinois campaign spending law(s) for a politician to use their campaign funds for personal gain.

Tea Party Congressional Candidate Gets Dem Vote Rigging Stopped In Illinois

Patrick Harlan

Patrick Harlan

Knox county Tea Party leader and Republican congressional candidate in Illinois’ 17th district Patrick Harlan and the Liberty Justice Center scored a major victory in Federal court to stop Democrat efforts to rig the vote ahead of the November 8th Presidential election.

During the 2014 lame duck session Illinois Democrat Party boss and Speaker of the House Michael Madigan ushered throw a new same day voter registration law that required counties with populations of more than 100,000 to let people register to vote at all polling places on election day. Of the 102 counties in Illinois many have populations well under that threshold, there are several Illinois counties with populations of less than 10,000. Those counties with lower populations only are required to have a central same day registration site under the law.

This obviously allows Democrats to maximize their voter turn out and vote totals in Chicago and Cook county in favor of Hillary Clinton and congresswoman Tammy Duckworth who is running for the US Senate.  As Republican statewide office seekers have known for a long time in Illinois it doesn’t matter how Illinois 101 other counties vote, everything is determined by Chicago and Cook county.

On Tuesday Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan agreed with arguments made by Harlan(whose is facing Rep. Cheri Bustos) and the Liberty Justice Center that the Madigan same day registration law was unconstitutional and disenfranchised the vote of residents of the states many rural counties.

Yehiayan wrote, “while it may be true that the polling place registration option can assist voters in certain populous counties, that option cannot be provided at the expense of lower population counties, thereby decreasing their political representation in Illinois.

Judge Yehiayan continued, “The application of this legislation favors the urban citizen and dilutes the vote of the rural citizen,” wrote Der-Yeghiayan, who added, “Illinois is made up of more than the Chicago metropolitan area and other high population areas. Equality under the law does not end at the city limits.”

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan(Speaker Madigan’s daughter) has said that she will appeal the ruling.

Jacob Huebert of the Liberty Justice Center said in a press release,

Today the court recognized the unfairness of guaranteeing a voting right to some voters but not others. The court ruled that if Illinois is going to have Election Day voter registration at polling places, it should be available statewide – and it should be fair. The government shouldn’t make it harder for people in some parts of the state to register and vote. If Illinois wants to provide Election Day voter registration at the polls, it can do so in a way that’s fair and equal. Six other states, including Illinois’ neighbors Wisconsin and Iowa, give all of their citizens the right to register and vote at their local polling places; they don’t favor voters in some counties over voters in other counties. We’re pleased the court affirmed that everyone has right to the same opportunity to vote.”

As it stands the ruling gives Gov. Bruce Rauner and his allies better chances of picking up a few seats in the state legislature; any GOP gains would end Speaker Madigan’s veto-proof super-majority.  The ruling is not likely to help Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who was in the Chicagoland area Wednesday, much as Hillary Clinton is still widely expected to win the heavily blue state, although her margin of victory is probably going to be diminished due to the courts actions. This court order might also be the only thing that can save Sen. Mark Kirk’s bacon.

Congresswoman Bustos has had no comment on the court ruling, although she will probably fire off a bunch of fundraising emails about it; she has more than $2 million in the bank, Patrick Harlan’s campaign is broke(donate here).

Voters across Illinois owe Patrick Harlan and the Liberty Justice Center a huge debt of gratitude for taking a small bite out of the Madigan machine and for making it a little easier to have fair(er) elections this November.

Illinois’ Institutionalized Corruption: How Auditor General Frank Mautino Could Walk For His Misdeeds

Frank Mautino

Frank Mautino

There is corruption and then there is Illinois corruption.

The fine art of Illinois political corruption is and has been on full display the last 9 months with the ongoing campaign spending scandal of Illinois’ new Auditor General Frank Mautino and it is a sickening display that could very well end up with Mautino walking away from his troubles Scott free thanks to the indifference of the states mainstream media, the lack of interest on the part of Republican leadership, the enormous clout and power held by Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, and the handicapping of a state agency or two.

This story begins in 1991 when Frank Mautino first became a state Representative replacing his late father. Frank would go on to serve in the state legislature for the next 24 years rising to the rank of deputy majority leader, the 3rd highest ranking Democrat in the state House. Frank would only resign in late 2015 to take the position of Auditor General at the strong behest and backing of Speaker Michael Madigan.

It was in taking the Auditor General job that Frank Mautino’s problems began because Frank’s last campaign disclosure report was scrutinized by the Springfield based Illinois Times, a weekly newspaper. What the IL Times discovered was Frank taking in large amounts of campaign donations after it was widely known that he was going to get the Auditor General job.  In response to that story Mautino claimed that the donations were to payoff outstanding campaign debts.

Government watchdogs John Kraft and Kirk Allen(Edgar County Watchdogs) found that Mautino’s debt payment claim to be false as campaign disclosure records show that Mautino had paid off all of his campaign debts months prior to the donations he said he solicited for that purpose.

Then the Kraft and Allen went further into Mautino’s campaign expenditure reports and found that in addition to making payments on a loan that totaled nearly 4 times the loan amount, Mautino was also paying a quarter of a million dollars($250,000) to his hometown bank Spring Valley City Bank for such things as campaign workers, poll watchers, and travel to Chicago, things one cannot get from their local bank.

Kraft and Allen also found that Frank Mautino had paid another $250,000 to Happy’s gas station in Spring Valley for gas and car repairs, for what Mautino’s camp has claimed were 3 vehicles, one of which was a newer model car(2012?) and therefore couldn’t have been responsible for the more than $50 a day average Frank was paying out to Happy’s.  Based upon the dollar amounts and number of transactions involved any reasonable person would concluded that Frank was engaging in some type of kickback scheme or money laundering at Happy’s. Note, of the multiple gas stations in Spring Valley, and the dozens of them in his district Mautino only spent money on gas at Happy’s, which turns out is owned by one Fred West, a longtime Mautino campaign ally and currently a member of the Spring Valley city council, a city that has gotten large chunks of state spending thanks to Mautino’s long tenure as a top Lieutenant to Speaker Madigan.

Further investigation of Mautino’s campaign spending records dating back to 1999 by local reporter David Giuliani of the Ottawa Times, and myself found that Frank had used $78,000 of his campaign funds over a 10 year period on food at 4 Spring Valley restaurants, the bulk of the money spent was at the restaurant owned by the family of Frank’s wife.  Mautino also somehow managed to pay a waste management company more than the company charges for dumpster rental, a dumpster Frank doesn’t seem to have had any need for.  Mautino also used campaign funds to pay a couple of his regular campaign workers an additional $35,000(combined) to do repairs and other work on his “office” and he paid-out nearly $8,000 for US and Illinois flags from a place called Flag World in Springfield.

Whatsmore it has also been learned that after he got the Auditor Generals job Mautino asked retiring Auditor General William Holland to create a brand new chief of staff position in the Auditor’s office and the only candidate for that position would be Frank’s friend and neighbor Dean Devert, who’d move over from the Illinois Department of Transportation and take the new $121,000 a year job. This patronage deal also included getting one of Mautino’s former campaign staffers to be his new secretary at the Auditor Generals office.

All of these questions, coming in rapid succession, prompted a group of 20 or so Republican lawmakers led by Naperville Rep. Grant Wehrli and Wheaton Rep. Jeanne Ives to press Mautino for answers in February.   When Mautino, his lawyers, and PR firm continued to refuse to answer any questions from lawmakers or the press this Summer they filed a bill that would force Mautino out as Auditor General.

The impetus for that being the revelation in May that the US attorney’s office in Springfield had launched a criminal grand jury investigation into Frank Mautino for his campaign spending practices. In addition to the federal investigation the state Board of Elections is also probing Mautino’s campaign spending. However, that Board of Elections inquest comes with this tiny wrinkle; the Illinois Board of Elections hasn’t had an investigator to look into possible wrongdoing by lawmakers and campaign committees for at least 10 years.  For those 10 years Speaker Michael Madigan and the Democrats have controlled state government, including the budget process, a process Frank Mautino was a central figure in as a state Rep.

Now this is where Illinois’ synergy of corruption comes into play.

Aside from running wire service stories coinciding with the announcement of the federal probe virtually no Illinois based newspaper or TV station has covered Frank Mautino’s scandal at all, let alone in any detail. Unless you read the Illinois Times, Ottawa Times, or follow the Edgar County Watchdogs blog or mine you wouldn’t know the state of Illinois has an Auditor General, let alone one that is mired in scandal, or tied to the hip to Michael Madigan. At one point the Chicago Tribune tried to sweep this whole thing under the rug.

With no great media pressure on state lawmakers to do something about the clear impropriety of Frank Mautino continuing on as Auditor General, the states top financial watchdog, those 20 or so Republican lawmakers, half of whom were the only ones to vote against Mautino being Auditor General in the first place, haven’t gotten any support from GOP leadership including Senate minority leader Christine Radogno, House minority leader Jim Durkin, or Gov. Bruce Rauner nor have they gotten much support from Mautino’s fellow Democrats in the state legislature as most only want him to answer questions and nothing more.

The best Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner could muster was saying that the federal and state investigations should be allowed to play themselves out.

Playing itself out to Speaker Michael Madigan, who gave Frank Mautino the Auditor General job in the first place, is that Mautino will be vindicated and that he will stay on as Auditor, as he told NPR last month.  The Auditor Generals position comes with a 10 year term.

Playing itself out also means that come January 1st of next year Frank Mautino will be able to increase his state pension by about $60,000 a year as it will be based off of the $157,000 Auditor General’s salary instead of the much lower pay for state Representatives, giving him a pension of around $133,000 a year. Illinois has a pension debt of over $100 billion.

Playing itself out also means that if Frank Mautino’s lawyer, from a Madigan allied law firm, Anthony Jacob, gets his way the Board of Elections inquiry will be put on indefinite hold until the federal investigation is over because answering any Board of Elections question would violate Frank’s 5th amendment right against self-incrimination.

Playing itself out means that the Attorney General’s office under the leadership of Lisa Madigan,  will once again let a case of public corruption go uninvestigated and unprosecuted.

Playing itself out also means putting all our hopes of seeing Frank Mautino brought to justice hinge on a Justice Department that has become politicized in favor of the Democrats and Hillary Clinton specifically and wouldn’t you know Michael Madigan is the chairman of the Illinois Democrat Party and a superdelegate, his wife Shirley was a Clinton delegate at the convention in Philly, and daughter Lisa(the Attorney General) was a staunch Clinton supporter during the run up to the Illinois primary in March. Hillary Clinton you may remember was born and raised in Chicagoland, she’s running for President of the United States.

All of this adds up to the institutionalization of corruption and a very high probability that Frank Mautino will retire early next year with a huge taxpayer financed pension and face nothing but a slap on the wrist for making a mockery of campaign finance and disclosure laws and spending a year stonewalling lawmakers and the press.

There is corruption and then there is Illinois corruption.

 

Of Ricketts And Madigan

Michael Madigan(Left) Ricketts Family(Right)

Michael Madigan(Left) Ricketts Family(Right)

For the last several weeks Conservative Review’s Robert Eno has been detailing the attempts by the Ricketts family, of TD Ameritrade and owner of the Chicago Cubs, to take out members of the House Freedom Caucus, such as their successful effort against Rep. Tim Huelskamp, and to defeat Republican challengers who either want to join the Freedom Caucus or are endorsed by it running in congressional races around the country by way of their Ending Spending Action Fund(ESA Fund) PAC.

No matter who the President is Congress needs to have as many conservatives and constitutionalist in the House of Representatives and Senate as possible.

It is bad enough that the Republican Party establishment and donor class have it out for conservatives, it is even worse when you find those same establishment figures having a cozy little deal with the Democrat who runs Illinois Michael Madigan.

The Speaker of the Illinois House since 1983(minus 2 years during the Gingrich revolution) Madigan has run this state like a tyrannical King.  It was Madigan, by way of his lawyers and his Judges, that recently kept a citizen driven state constitutional amendment ballot measure to take legislative redistricting power away from him off the November ballot. It has been those Madigan allies that have been keeping similar efforts to amend the Illinois Constitution to impose term limits on the legislature from ever going before the voters; Madigan has been in elected office since 1971. Reforming state government by way of redistricting and term limits have been two of the key agenda items of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Madigan’s staunch opposition to those reforms and other elements of Rauner’s Turn Around Agenda, such a collective bargaining and other union related reforms, led the state to go a year without a budget.

By controlling redistricting Michael Madigan and the Democrat Party, of which he is state chairman, have been able to control who gets to represent the people of Illinois in Springfield and Washington DC.

Following the Tea Party wave of 2010, which even hit deep blue Illinois, Madigan used redistricting to oust Tea Party firebrand Joe Walsh and the mild-mannered Bobby Schilling from their congressional districts in order to make easy paths to victory for Democrat party darling Tammy Duckworth, and Cheri Bustos whose a close family friend of Sen. Dick Durbin’s. Madigan also used that same opportunity to pit longtime conservative congressman Don Manzullo up against one the GOPe’s young rising stars Adam Kinzinger, a race that Manzullo lost and conservatives the nation over have been lamenting ever since.  Controlling redistricting has also allowed Michael Madigan to build a veto-proof super majority in both chambers of the legislature.

As any Illinois resident can tell you Michael Madigan’s rule has been disastrous. Over $110 billion in pension debt. Sky high property taxes, which are just about to get even worse in the city of Chicago thanks to its bankrupt public school system. Massive outward migration of jobs and taxpayers to neighboring states. Out of control business costs(workers compensation), wayward regulations, we even are terrible when it comes to lawsuits and jury awards and the like.

And all the while Madigan has been ruining this great state, we did give to the nation Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, he has been apparently enjoying himself at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field padding the Chicago Cubs front office ticket sales, which in turn has been money at the disposal of the Ricketts family since they bought the team in 2009.

madigan season ticketsIllinois Board of Election campaign reports dating back to 1999(which is as far as state online records go) show that Michael Madigan used a combination of his campaign funds and the campaign funds of the Democrats 13th Ward organization, which Madigan has controlled since the late ’60s, to buy more than $1.25 million worth of season tickets to the Cubs, including playoff tickets. State records also show that Madigan, and Senate President John Cullerton(D-Chicago) were the only two elected officials buying season tickets. All other lawmakers buying Cubs, or any other team tickets, made single game or weekend package purchases, and all of them listed the purpose as being for fundraising; something Michael Madigan never did(only in the earliest years did the records even say season tickets).

Madigan’s spokesman Steve Brown indicated to me several days prior to the Democrat Party convention in July that the Speaker did use some of those tickets along with his family.  As of this writing he has yet to respond more fully to questions surrounding those and other season ticket purchases to the Chicago Bulls and White Sox made with campaign funds.

That could possibly be a legal issue for the all mighty ruler of Illinois given that it is supposed to be illegal to use campaign funds for personal use. But, given every law passed in this state for the last four decades has his fingers prints, if not outright stamp of approval, on them, maybe Madigan and Mr. Brown know something the rest of us don’t.  I haven’t yet heard from the states Attorney General’s office, something about Lisa(Madigan) going to a baseball game with her dad.

O’ the tangle webs we weave.

Michael Madigan rules Illinois with an iron fist while enjoying the fine team the Ricketts family is bankrolling as they look to end Chicago’s World Series curse and all the while both work behind the scenes to destroy conservatives.

Lovely.

 

 

Michael Madigan’s Corrupt Machine Strike Again As Cook County Judge Tosses Fair Map Amendment

Michael Madigan(D-Chicago)

Michael Madigan(D-Chicago)

Illinois Democrat Party leader, Speaker of the House, and 13th Ward boss, Michael Madigan is the head of a very corrupt Chicago political machine.

It is a machine which has allowed Madigan to pick who gets to be a Judge in Cook county and how gets to be on the states Supreme Court.

It is a machine that has kept Madigan in control of the state legislature and thus the drawing of legislative district maps every 10 years.

And the various elements of the corrupt machine came together today in a Cook county court where Judge  Diane Larsen, who again is a Judge because of Madigan, ruled in favor of a lawsuit from minority coalition seeking to have the Fair Map amendment, which would take redistricting power away from Madigan, taken off the November ballot.

The Chicago minority groups lawyer Mike Kasper is a key Madigan ally and like in 2014 when a similar Fair Map amendment was attempted they got Judge Larsen to quash the amendment effort by saying any such map making changes were unconstitutional under the states petition amendment provision which limits amendment offered by Illinois resident to only making procedural and structural changes to the state legislature.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Kasper argued the proposed amendment runs afoul of that limitation because it gives additional duties to the state’s auditor general and two justices on the state Supreme Court. Such a move could affect other parts of the constitution, Kasper contended. He also argued the proposal didn’t enough to change the “basic structure of the General Assembly as an institution.”

Proponents countered that changing the redistricting process is indeed a structural and procedural change. “Legislative districts are the building blocks…that determine the makeup of the General Assembly,” argued Michele Odorizzi, a partner at Mayer Brown and lead attorney of the Independent Maps coalition.

Judge Larsen agreed with Kasper, concluding that the proposal “is not limited to structural and procedural subjects.” Among the problems Larsen identified was the provision requiring Supreme Court justices from two different political parties to select a special commissioner if the new commission can’t agree.

Noting that party affiliation is not included on Illinois judicial retention ballots, Larsen concluded that “the requirement that at least two Illinois Supreme Court justices not have the same political affiliation adds a new eligibility requirement for the office of Judge of the Illinois Supreme Court.”

Larsen kept the door open for future attempts to amend the constitution’s provisions on redistricting, writing that “redistricting in general is a structural and procedural subject” of the constitution, but that the referendum question as written went too far.

To make things simple, taking power away from Madigan is unconstitutional, term limiting the state legislature is unconstitutional(2014 ruling).

We Illini are going to be stuck with Michael Madigan being in charge of everything, including the Attorney Generals office run by his daughter, and the Auditor Generals post which is currently occupied by embattled Madigan Lt. Frank Mautino, until the day he dies, or federal agents arrest him for corruption.

The supporters of the Fair Map amendment, which had way more signatures than needed to get the amendment on the November ballot, plan on appealing the ruling to the IL Supreme Court so that it can appear on the ballot on election day.

Michael And Lisa Madigan Tied To Rep. Bobby Rush Campaign Spending Scandal

Michael Madigan(D-Chicago)

Michael Madigan(D-Chicago)

On Friday the Washington Free Beacon reported on campaign spending problems with Illinois Democrat congressman Bobby Rush.

According to campaign reports the Free Beacon examined Rush paid his wife $550,000 since 2002 with campaign funds, his single largest expense.  The Free Beacon also found that Rush put campaign money towards his own Beloved Community Christian Church in Chicago where he is a Pastor and the founder.  That church has two charity groups associated with it which have gotten some $14 million in federal grants and other funding between 2008 and 2014.

A review of Illinois campaign expenditure reports by USofArn.com have found that Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan and his daughter Attorney General Lisa Madigan have both given money to Rush’s church.

from IL Board of Elections

from IL Board of Elections

Illinois Board of Elections records show Michael Madigan made at least two contributions of $1,000 each in 2003 and 2004 to Beloved Community Christian Church from his Friends of Michael J. Madigan campaign committee. Records also show Lisa Madigan making at least one payment to the church from her Citizens for Lisa Madigan campaign committee in 2004.

Congressman Rush started the Church in 2002.

This latest bit of corruption among Illinois politicians follows on the heels of reports showing Illinois Democrat congressman Luis Gutierrez also paying his wife hundreds of thousands of dollars out of campaign funds. Former Republican congressman Aaron Schock is still under a federal investigation relating to his Downton Abbey style decor of his DC office. Former Democrat congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has recently done a prison stint for using campaign funds for personal use.  And Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino, and top Lt. to Speaker Madigan remains the subject of a federal grand jury investigation into his campaign spending. Mautino is supposed to respond to Board of Elections inquiries into his spending at Spring Valley City Bank and at his hometown gas station totaling over $250,000, a station owned by a friend and campaign supporter who is now a city alderman, by Monday.

 

We Have A Budget

2000px-Flag_of_Illinois.svgFor the first time in a year the state of Illinois has a budget; at least for the rest of the calendar year anyway.

Thursday the Illinois Senate unanimously approved a stop-gap spending measure that will fully fund K-12 education as well as social services and other state programs.

The House approved the measure 105-4 earlier in the day. The four no votes came from retiring Democrat Jack Franks, and Republicans Jeanne Ives, Tom Morrison, and David McSweeney.  They all objected over the stop-gap measure because it didn’t cover a full fiscal years spending and that they fear will mean a MASSIVE tax hike come January.

McSweeney told Illinois Review:

I voted against the stopgap funding bill because it will worsen our fiscal problems and increase the likelihood of a massive income tax increase in January. The bill is the equivalent of putting a band-aid on a gaping wound. As Legislators, we should do our job and pass a permanent balanced budget. We should be reforming pensions and Medicaid, not setting up a massive tax increase that will kill Illinois jobs and hurt families.

The measure is nearly identical to a stop-gap spending measure backed by Gov. Bruce Rauner that Republican lawmakers introduced in May.

The stop-gap spending measure, Rauner is expected to sign by morning at the latest, does not include any bailout of the Chicago school system which had been seeking nearly $500 million from taxpayers statewide. The spending measure also does not include any tax increase.

At the last minute Democrats on the Black Caucus attempted to add millions of dollars in new spending to the extremely troubled, and highly ineffective Grow Your Own Teachers Program. This effort threatened to derail the stop-gap spending bill that had been in the works all month among members of bi-partisan working groups who’ve been attempting to agree to a state budget since the states budget impasse started last year when no spending agreement was reached after Gov. Rauner vetoed a $3 billion unbalanced budget put forward by Speaker Michael Madigan.

Illinois was facing the prospects of starting year 2 on Friday without a state budget.

Little to no progress will likely be made on funding for the other 6 months of the fiscal year until after the November election.

 

Mayor Morrissey: Sue Legislature And Gov. Rauner If No Budget July 1st

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey told the Rockford Register Star this week that cities like Rockford, social service agencies, schools, and others should sue the Democrat controlled Illinois legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner should the state start July without a budget.

“If there isn’t a budget passed by end of June, I don’t want to see the state go through the same dynamics of last year when everybody and their brother was bringing lawsuits forward to force the state to pay for this or pay for that,” Morrissey said. “My preference would be one lawsuit that’s brought by everybody that asks a judge to hold lawmakers and the governor accountable for their constitutional duty to pass a balanced budget.

“The state constitution says the legislative branch needs to adopt a balanced budget,” he said. “They need to do their job. I think there’s a great constitutional case that could be brought to settle this matter.”

The state is looking at going into a second year without a budget as Speaker Michael Madigan and Gov. Rauner remained deadlocked over the states budget. Madigan wants to massively raise taxes, while Rauner is trying to get some reforms made to the state.

I’m not as bullish on the Courts saving the day as the Mayor. Courts routinely stay out of purely political and legislative matters. For that matter what Court would have the power, and the Judge with the balls, to tell Madigan to do something let alone tell him no?

 

Sosnowski Pressuring Madigan To Fund Schools

state Rep. Joe Sosnowski

state Rep. Joe Sosnowski

With school districts across the state threatening that they may not be able to open in the Fall, or may not be able to make it past February, should the states budget impasse continue state Rep. Joe Sosnowski is putting pressure on Speaker Michael Madigan to pass a spending plan that would fund the states public school districts while the rest of the states budget mess gets sorted out.

Sosnowski told WTVO, “The students in this state should not be punished for the disagreements in our legislature. The Speaker and Senate President need to call our stopgap solution to a vote,”

To get Madigan to budge from his do-nothing tell after the election stance, Sosnowki is petitioning the Speaker to act on legislation Republicans introduced at the end of May.

Sen. Durbin Blames Gov. Rauner’s Turn Around Agenda For Illinois’ Budget Woes

Sen. Dick Durbin(D-IL)

Sen. Dick Durbin(D-IL)

Speaking with National Public Radio on Sunday Illinois Democrat Sen. “Little” Dick Durbin blamed in part Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Turn Around Agenda for the state going into year 2 without a budget.

Durbin said both parties are to blame for the 11-month budget impasse, but he specifically targeted Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda” as the main culprit for the deadlock in Springfield. Sen. Durbin considers the pro-business plan to be “flawed and wrong.”

“He’s got to swallow his pride on this and stop this notion of bringing down middle-income families as a recipe for tomorrow’s economic future in Illinois,” Durbin said.

What part of freezing property taxes, letting localities vote on right to work zones, making collective bargaining reform for state workers, term limiting the state legislature, Fair Map redistricting, consolidating units of government(Illinois has the most of any state in the US by a lot), eliminating unfunded mandates on local governments, and workers compensation reform have to do with how much someone in the “middle class” makes? We all aren’t state workers affiliated with AFSCME or SEIU, some of us actually pay taxes.

No the real blame, the true culprit, for the states budget mess is Speaker of the House and Democrat Party Boss Michael Madigan. He pushed a budget last year that was $3 billion over projected revenues, which was rightfully vetoed by Gov. Rauner. He has been the one to steadfastly refuse to even contemplate one of the Governors reforms. He was the one just days ago dropping a 500 page, $40 billion spending plan at the 11th hour and 59th minute which overspent by a whopping $7 billion.

Michael Madigan is addicted to spending other people’s money and is singularly obsessed with raising taxes on the states wealthy.

I say he’s the problem.