Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The statement and press conference I hope the Governor has tomorrow.

Springfield, IL

Ladies and Gentlemen, I appreciate you coming down for this press conference on short notice.  Before I take questions, I have a statement.

I, like many of you, have read the Chicago Tribune's reporting about the use and misuse of isolation in education for addressing behavior and other issues with children, particularly children with special needs. I, like many of you, was deeply and profoundly disturbed why what I read profoundly disturbed.

That is why this morning, I instructed the Illinois Board of Education to immediately communicate with all schools under their jurisdiction that this practice has to stop immediately. Like today. Period. Any entity under their authority that fails to implement this immediately will be subject to the full sanctions available to the State of Illinois, not limited to the suspension on professional licenses and arrest by the state police.   I am serious about this as I have ever been about anything in my life. I will use the full powers available to me as governor to make this happen.

 Along with recent and long-standing issues with DCFS and other entities with responsibilities for the children of this state have now made it abundantly clear to me we have failed our most vulnerable citizens. That the state of Illinois has been unable or unwilling to meet our most significant responsibility as a government, that is, to protect children. This is going to end now!

I have also contacted the head of IDOT along with other state agencies, have been instructed to stop work on all capital projects that are not currently 'moving dirt'.  If we can not take care of our children, we do not deserve to have new roads and new buildings. I fully understand that the funds involved in these projects are different than the funds we are going to have to spend to address the issues facing the state.

However, I want the state legislature to have a laser focus when I call them into special session later this week to start to address these issues. There will be no ribbon-cutting on projects before we have begun to significantly address these issues.    Establishing yet another committee or blue-ribbon panel or any such nonsense is not going to be considered progress anymore.

How we got here is a question for another day, but we need to focus right now on fixing these issues not on assigning blame. That time will come but now is not that time.

Additional actions I  have taken this morning:

I have requested the Attorney General impanel a state-wide grand jury to investigate the use of isolation and other related issues when to children in this state.

I have directed the state board of education to
Begin an immediate review of all records of students isolated in the last 5 years and direct schools to submit this information as quickly as possible.
Review all situations where schools submit records and reports that are not reviewed by the state.

Finally, I want to make clear the following: if these actions result in me being a one-term governor, I am okay with that.  I will accept no delay by any entity, and I will use the full resources at my disposal to make real change happen.


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Who Thought the Jihad Squad Was A Good Idea

Dear Illinois GOP,

If you ever want to get college-educated people under 50 back into the party, I would suggest you ask yourself 'What made someone that someone has entrusted with some level of ability to put stuff on like that on a public Facebook group".

If the answer is "Someone thinks that is the way forward for the Illinois GOP"  then I would suggest you just give up medium and long term on Cook and the collar counties.  Seriously, save your money and spend what you have outside of the area.

Just because Trump is feeling that is his path forward does not mean in any way shape or form it needs to be your path forward.  If you feel the President is thinking about the best electoral interests of anyone besides what he thinks they are for himself you are mistaken.

This sort of crap is not the way back, it isn't going to get you any undecided voters, it just reinforces the image of the GOP as the angry old white dude party.

That being said at this point part of me thinks the only way forward for the GOP is for it to become even more irrelevant at the altar of Trump at the "Easter Block", in order for the party to have any chance it may need to become a ruin.

Then again, speaking for at least one person who used to identify as Republican and I suspect others if this is your path forward, I can't wish you good luck, I can be sure I am never coming back.


Thursday, May 09, 2019

Sports Betting In Illinois

How the state should implement sports betting (if it should at all), in part comes down to a question, not really a simple one, but perhaps a direct one.

Is Illinois going to allow sports betting in order to generate revenue or because now that courts allow states to do so it feels that it's citizens should be free to bet on sporting events.

Lets not kid ourselves, gaming expansion is going to lead to people having a problem with gambling who do not have a problem today.  We have to be willing to with eyes open be willing to say "This is going to be a problem for some people, but the revenue is going to be the greater good"

If the motivator is tax revenue for the state, be honest and open about that and plan on an implementation that maximizes revenue which may not be the implementation that optimizes the freedom to bet and the flexibility to bet. 

If the motivator is to give the residents and visitors to Illinois the chance to bet on sports because they should have the freedom to do so, we need to consider that 'freedom' as the dirver, not the desire for the state to generate revenue.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Toni Preckwinkle and Ed Burke

In an act of burring a political story for the ages (making an announcement right after the Bears lost a playoff game on a blocked/missed field goal that hit the upright and the crossbar) Toni announce she is returning $116,000 from a fundraiser at Ed Burke's home.

In a mass email, Preckwinkle — who also is the Cook County Democratic Party chair — said she’s removing Burke as chair of the Cook County Democratic Party Judicial Slating Committee, returning the money raised at his home, demanding he resign as Democratic committeeman of the 14th Ward and calling on him to resign from the City Council immediately. She also called for an end to outside employment by city elected officials.
So I guess my first question would be, does she feel Cook County Commissioners should be allowed outside employment?  What prompted her change in view on city elected officials having outside employment.  Why wait until after she had called for Burke to step down to return the money? 

I am not sure how you can be Chair of  Democratic Party in Cook County and try and wear the progressive hat at the same time. The ties to Burke are going to be everywhere and to be blunt it might be better just to own it than try and run from it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

My Desire To Ensure We Create A Culture....

I have stated my commitment to eliminating harassment of any kind in the Capitol, as well as all political committees, and my desire to ensure we create a culture where individuals feel secure in making a complaint. I intend to appoint an individual with extensive experience conducting investigations to review all operations of the House of Representatives, including but not limited to the Clerk’s Office where Ms. Garrett works.

Read the longer release over at CapFax

But, you have been Speaker Of The House longer than anyone has been a Speaker of any statehouse in the history of the United States.  As the commemorative clock reminds us.

How does the Speaker not 'own' the culture in the State House at this point?  I would say the Speaker is responsible to a large degree for the culture as it now exists in the House.  So if he did not create the culture where individuals feel secure in making a complaint, he certainly helped perpetuate it.  I know people in Springfield and I think I know them well enough to know they don't want this culture and it isn't something they decided a month ago.

Is it the silence of good people who let this go on the problem, is the nature of how the legislature works and is structured that if these people decided to stand they were going to be crushed?  Is the fear so strong that the Democratic nominee for Governor doesn't seem to want to say the Speakers name out loud?

Come on, if Republicans were running the House and this stuff was coming out, would JB be silent?

Regardless of how this all plays out, at some point, there is going to be a new Speaker, and I would like to think that the legislature would have the good sense not to let one person have as much power as the Speaker does now.  Be it power over the party purse-strings or over legislation or over the campaign apparatus concentrated political power over time will become a problem.

The Speaker and those who supported him at the least facilitated this culture of fear and intimidation and it's time it ended.  You have to own some of it. This culture doesn't do the people of Illinois any favors and it doesn't do democracy any favors.

The easiest form of leadership is using power to bully and intimidate, it is also the weakest and the most pathetic.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

So the Fox Metro Water Reclamation Board is Going to be Elected, How About Doing the Same For the CPS School Board.

The bill is here, it is headed to the governor.

I guess I missed the huge community outcry for an elected water reclamation board in the Aurora area.  I am also confident that there are a much larger number of people wanting the CPS School Board to be elected. 

It seems if GA can take the time to ensure that people in my neck of the woods have the right to vote for people of the Fox Metro board, they can find time to give the people of Chicago the right to vote for their school board.

It seems that if electing the folks who help decide how to run the outfit that deals with waste water (an important task) it only seems fair that electing the folks who decide how the largest school system in the state is run is a good idea as well.

After all as one state rep put it..

At least the no votes and the yes votes had the chance to vote on it, which is more than it seems the GA is willing to due for those parents and 'people' of Chicago. 

Then again I am sure it is just sitting in the rules committee for a good reason, not because some sort of secret reason why the members of the GA don't get to vote on it (it has something like 56 co-sponsors in the house).

It makes you think that politics is being put ahead of people.  The fine members of the GA wouldn't do that, would they?

Monday, March 19, 2018

I Think Ives Might Pull It Off

If she does, I think Rauner can look in the mirror and blame himself for the campaign that he ran. Also an Ives win will not bode well for the entire party in November.