Downstate Democrat running for governor

http://ift.tt/2FaVkl8



The only downstate Democrat running for governor made a stop at Eastern Illinois University this week to speak with students and members of the public ahead of the March 20 primary.

Bob Daiber is an EIU alum, having graduated with a Master of Science in Education and a Bachelor of Science in Education in the late 1970s. Returning to the campus on Thursday, he said he’s been bothered to see the state’s public universities decimated in recent years.

“I was here in the heyday, in the ’70s when this place was booming and it bothers me when I read about the declining enrollments and it bothers me because of the impact it has on the economy, not just here but at Carbondale, at Western and Northern and everywhere,” said Daiber. “We’ve had an administration that has turned it’s back on higher ed and we have to rebuild.”

To do that, Daiber says he would do two things: Fund universities at 2012 levels and encourage more research at universities across the state to make them more attractive for students to attend.

Daiber went on to say the most pressing issue for Illinois is paying its backlog of bills.

“We cannot be first in anything in the state, we cannot attract business, we cannot attract students if we can’t pay our bills,” said Daiber. “Today we have about $8.9 billion in unpaid bills.”

To address the backlog, Daiber said he would refinance the state’s debt, or bond the bills, which would help the state avoid paying as much in interest payments.

“Put that debt interest into a manageable budget, move forward with a budget and pay off the principal over a set number of years,” said Daiber. “But stop the six to seven percent interest payments.”

Daiber also said he believes a progressive tax should be implemented and that loopholes that allow individuals to pay nothing in income tax should be closed. Those measures along with refinancing the backlog of bills would generate about $2 billion in additional revenue, claimed Daiber.

Daiber lives in Marine, Illinois. He has served 38 years at city, township and county levels of government, including as the current regional superintendent of schools in Madison County.

He said that experience is what gives him the upper hand on his opponents.

It’s also what has helped form his policies. Daiber says if elected, the first budget bill he will sign is for public education.

“We shouldn’t be funding schools last,” said Daiber. “We should be funding them first.”

Daiber also explained his other positions including his opposition to service taxes and fracking and his support of raising the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour and legalizing recreational marijuana through a referendum.

He said Illinois should also implement a state-wide marketing program to promote what the state has including transportation networks and agriculture.

“The current governor’s current marketing plan is, ‘Don’t come here. If you’re here, leave as fast as you can because we have high property taxes. We have high workers’ comp. This is not the place you want to stay and raise a family. Get out of here.’ That’s not true.”

Daiber says a similar marketing plan in southwestern Illinois has helped land several businesses including Amazon’s largest warehouse in the midwest.

Daiber also fielded dozens of questions from just over a handful of people who were in attendance.

When asked if he thought he had the money to beat Rauner, assuming the incumbent governor defeats primary challenger Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), Daiber said he will know following the March 20 primary.

“If I win the primary, the money will come,” said Daiber. “And I will have the money to beat Bruce Rauner. And it’s beyond money. It’s character and ethics that will beat Bruce Rauner. And I am the candidate that will get the independent voter.”

Daiber is one of six Democrats seeking the nomination in March. The other five candidates are Robert Marshall, Tio Hardiman, Daniel Biss, J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy.

But as Daiber is quick to point out, he is the only downstate Democrat running.

“If you complain after November of 2018 as to who is governor because we have another Chicago politician, you made the decision, you made the decision that you did not want someone outside of Cook County to be governor,” said Daiber. “I don’t believe we should be a one-county controlled state.”

Contact Keith Stewart at keith.stewart@effinghamdailynews.com or 217-347-7151, ext. 132.









Advertisements
Downstate Democrat running for governor

Rauner meets a simulation manikin and touts his education plan during visit

http://ift.tt/2o8MQTC


 

PEORIA — Governor Bruce Rauner made a new friend during his visit to Peoria Thursday afternoon — a high fidelity simulation manikin named Mr. Jackson.

Rauner helped as Justyce Bundy, a 19-year-old student at UnityPoint Health Methodist College, took Mr. Jackson’s blood pressure in the simulation lab at the college. The results weren’t good — 178 over 110.

“That’s super high, so we would go get the nurse,” Bundy told the governor.

Bundy and her three classmates in the Nursing Assistant to Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Bridge Program showed the governor what they’ve learned in the six months since starting the program. Partially funded through an Apprenticeship PLUS grant from the Illinois department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, an initiative of the Governor’s Cabinet for Children and Youth, the pilot program is an effort to provide better educational pathways to success for Illinois residents.

“This is one of our first major pilots,” Rauner said to a group of students, educators and media after the simulation. “We want to see how it works for you and then expand it around the state.”

Apprenticeship programs, which provide hands-on-learning to preparing people for specific jobs, are a key component of his plan, Rauner said.

“When you hear about an apprenticeship it’s in electrical or plumbing, not this,” said Anna Buehrer, vice-chancellor for strategic marketing and external affairs at Methodist College. The idea of creating an apprenticeship for medical professions is new. The college created the pilot program after they learned they’d been awarded the grant last summer. All tuition and expenses are covered for students in the program.

“I wouldn’t be able to do this if it weren’t for the grant,” said Bundy, a single mother. Her classmate Catianna Smart, 20, is also a mother with two sets of twins – her classmates call her ‘super mom.’

“I knew I wanted to be in the medical field and I saw this as a great door opener,” said Smart.

All four women in the program are recent high school graduates from Peoria public high schools. Once they graduate in August 2019 and pass the state exam, they will be certified to work in doctor’s offices and hospitals as medical assistants. They will have also earned 20 college credit hours which could be applied toward a nursing degree. And the women are already working. They all passed the State’s Basic Nurses Aid examination in November and are currently rotating into CNA positions at Methodist, Proctor, and Pekin hospitals.

Rauner told the group that the push to improve higher education is the next phase in his long-term efforts to bolster the state’s educational system.

“We are transforming K-12 education, and now I want to do that for higher education.”

 

Leslie Renken can be reached at 686-3250 or lrenken@pjstar.com. Follow her on Twitter.com/LeslieRenken, and subscribe to her on Facebook.com/leslie.renken.

Rauner meets a simulation manikin and touts his education plan during visit

Corruption costs millions, say ISU professors

http://ift.tt/2Ex1gqR



NORMAL — Corruption is costly, easy to define and hard to root out. Those are among the conclusions in a new book edited by two Illinois State University professors.

Corruption is “using a public resource for private gain,” said Nancy Lind, professor of politics and government, one of the editors of “Corruption, Accountability and Discretion: Public Policy and Governance.”

“It’s a hot topic, not only in the state of Illinois but nationally,” said Lind. “It’s one of those things that doesn’t go away.”

Chapters within the book cover topics ranging from national security whistleblowers to criminal justice policy and politics.

The other editor, Cara Rabe-Hemp, professor of criminal justice sciences, said, “Corruption is really costly,” pointing to FBI estimates that corruption costs the United States billions of dollars a year.

Worldwide estimates indicate corruption costs $2.6 trillion, with more than $1 trillion of that just in bribes, she said.

But other “costs” of corruption are more difficult to measure, such as the cost of lost trust.

“Public distrust turns into political apathy and political apathy turns into lower voter turnout,” said Rabe-Hemp.

Fortunately, that’s not true of everyone.

For some, distrust turns into activism and protest.

“This idea that you can change the system from within is still popular,” said Rabe-Hemp.

For example, a record number of women and people of color are running for office this year, she noted, and “that’s an exciting way of protesting.”

But it’s important to ensure government is held accountable, she said.

In the Oscar-nominated movie “The Post,” Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg is shown photocopying pages and pages and pages of classified documents.

But many of today’s whistleblowers can share documents with the click of a mouse.

That’s not necessarily a good thing, said John Huxford, associate professor of journalism, and one of the authors of a chapter on whisletblowers and national security.

“There is information that shouldn’t be leaked; some information is important to keep secret,” said Huxford. “On the other hand, there are times when there is information that needs to get out and leads to change.”

Huxford said it is “absolutely vital” to protect whistleblowers to root out corruption. But journalists have to handle the information carefully to produce an accurate story and consider whether the whistleblower has the complete context, he said.

During President Barack Obama’s administration, the Justice Department aggressively went after national security leaks.

Of 13 cases in which people have been charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 for revealing information to the media, eight were identified during the the Obama administration, said Huxford. They included Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

“Generally, Obama went after things he thought were damaging,” said Huxford. “Trump basically rails against anyone who embarrassed him by leaking.”

Lind said with the growth of social media and use of cellphone cameras and even drones, people engaged in corruption are more likely to get caught.

“These citizens are at a point where they are beginning to make a difference,” she said.

But Rabe-Hemp said while videos of police shootings, for example, have “definitely led to an increase in awareness, whether it’s led to an increase in accountability is still open to discussion.”

Subscribe to The Pantagraph

Reporting like this is brought to you by a staff of experienced local journalists committed to telling the stories of your community.

Support from subscribers is vital to continue our mission.

Become a subscriber

Thank you for subscribing

Your contribution makes local journalism possible.






Follow Lenore Sobota on Twitter @Pg_Sobota



Corruption costs millions, say ISU professors

Corruption costs millions, say ISU professors

http://ift.tt/2Ex1gqR



NORMAL — Corruption is costly, easy to define and hard to root out. Those are among the conclusions in a new book edited by two Illinois State University professors.

Corruption is “using a public resource for private gain,” said Nancy Lind, professor of politics and government, one of the editors of “Corruption, Accountability and Discretion: Public Policy and Governance.”

“It’s a hot topic, not only in the state of Illinois but nationally,” said Lind. “It’s one of those things that doesn’t go away.”

Chapters within the book cover topics ranging from national security whistleblowers to criminal justice policy and politics.

The other editor, Cara Rabe-Hemp, professor of criminal justice sciences, said, “Corruption is really costly,” pointing to FBI estimates that corruption costs the United States billions of dollars a year.

Worldwide estimates indicate corruption costs $2.6 trillion, with more than $1 trillion of that just in bribes, she said.

But other “costs” of corruption are more difficult to measure, such as the cost of lost trust.

“Public distrust turns into political apathy and political apathy turns into lower voter turnout,” said Rabe-Hemp.

Fortunately, that’s not true of everyone.

For some, distrust turns into activism and protest.

“This idea that you can change the system from within is still popular,” said Rabe-Hemp.

For example, a record number of women and people of color are running for office this year, she noted, and “that’s an exciting way of protesting.”

But it’s important to ensure government is held accountable, she said.

In the Oscar-nominated movie “The Post,” Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg is shown photocopying pages and pages and pages of classified documents.

But many of today’s whistleblowers can share documents with the click of a mouse.

That’s not necessarily a good thing, said John Huxford, associate professor of journalism, and one of the authors of a chapter on whisletblowers and national security.

“There is information that shouldn’t be leaked; some information is important to keep secret,” said Huxford. “On the other hand, there are times when there is information that needs to get out and leads to change.”

Huxford said it is “absolutely vital” to protect whistleblowers to root out corruption. But journalists have to handle the information carefully to produce an accurate story and consider whether the whistleblower has the complete context, he said.

During President Barack Obama’s administration, the Justice Department aggressively went after national security leaks.

Of 13 cases in which people have been charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 for revealing information to the media, eight were identified during the the Obama administration, said Huxford. They included Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

“Generally, Obama went after things he thought were damaging,” said Huxford. “Trump basically rails against anyone who embarrassed him by leaking.”

Lind said with the growth of social media and use of cellphone cameras and even drones, people engaged in corruption are more likely to get caught.

“These citizens are at a point where they are beginning to make a difference,” she said.

But Rabe-Hemp said while videos of police shootings, for example, have “definitely led to an increase in awareness, whether it’s led to an increase in accountability is still open to discussion.”

Subscribe to The Pantagraph

Reporting like this is brought to you by a staff of experienced local journalists committed to telling the stories of your community.

Support from subscribers is vital to continue our mission.

Become a subscriber

Thank you for subscribing

Your contribution makes local journalism possible.






Follow Lenore Sobota on Twitter @Pg_Sobota



Corruption costs millions, say ISU professors

Morning Spin: Civic Federation calls for taxing retirement income, maybe closing universities to balance state budget

http://ift.tt/2FZbVrc

Welcome to Clout Street: Morning Spin, our weekday feature to catch you up with what’s going on in government and politics from Chicago to Springfield. Subscribe here.

Topspin

A nonpartisan watchdog group is recommending that Illinois start taxing retirement income and study closing or consolidating university campuses to deal with its budget woes.

Unveiled days before Gov. Bruce Rauner is scheduled to deliver his budget next week, a report from the Civic Federation also suggests expanding sales taxes to services like dry cleaning, landscaping, boat docking and internet access. The gas tax, it says, should go up, too, to pay for construction projects.

While the state’s finances have begun to stabilize in the months since lawmakers passed a major income tax hike over Rauner’s veto, the group says tough choices must be made to fully dig out of the hole.

To achieve that, the group recommends limiting government spending growth to 2.1 percent a year; reducing the amount of penalties the state must pay for falling behind on bills; applying Illinois income taxes to federally taxable retirement income; and expanding the sales tax.

The Civic Federation also suggests placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot to allow for changes to the state’s employee pension system; requiring Chicago Public Schools and all other districts to pick up the cost of teacher pensions; and streamlining government, including studying the possibility of closing or consolidating university campuses. 

Also on the group’s list is establishing a rainy day fund and approving a major infrastructure construction program. It would be paid for by an increase in the gasoline tax, as well as congestion taxes and levies based on how many miles a vehicle has traveled. 

“Building political will to implement more painful tax and fiscal policies will be difficult, but it is necessary in order to secure Illinois’ financial future,” Civic Federation President Laurence Msall said in a statement.  “Recent state-issued documents offered potential investors no assurances that Illinois will enact budgets in future years. This is troubling, as another impasse could wipe out any modest progress made in recent months and leave us with increasingly grim financial decisions.” (Monique Garcia)

 

What’s on tap

*Mayor Rahm Emanuel will speak at an energy efficiency conference and attend a 911 center media briefing on Chicago’s response to the snowstorm.

*Gov. Bruce Rauner will attend a chamber of commerce dinner in Carterville in southern Illinois.

*Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth will visit the veterans home in downstate Quincy that was the site of the 2015 Legionnaires’ outbreak.

*Snow. Cook County courts and CPS are closed.

 

From the notebook

*“Civic-minded citizens” and IL-3: The Illinois Republican Party failed to find someone to run in the 3rd Congressional District, and it also failed to challenge the nominating petitions of the lone candidate who did. Those failures all but ensure that the GOP nominee will be Arthur Jones, a Holocaust denier and perennial candidate who’d been knocked off the ballot before.

To hear the seven members of the Illinois congressional delegation tell it, however, the blame lies elsewhere. The GOP delegation put out a statement Thursday condemning Jones’ views and candidacy. But the statement also noted the lack of “civic-minded citizens” coming forward to run for the seat (it’s currently held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, and he’s being challenged by political newcomer Marie Newman of LaGrange).

Here’s the thing in full: “The Illinois Republican Congressional delegation strongly and unequivocally condemns the racist views and candidacy of Arthur Jones in the 3rd Congressional District. This is not who we are as a party or as a country and we urge civic-minded citizens to get involved in the political process to prevent non-party extremists like Jones from hijacking nominations.”

It was signed by U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam, 6th District; Mike Bost, 12th District; Rodney Davis, 13th District; Randy Hultgren, 14th District; John Shimkus, 15th District; Adam Kinzinger, 16th District; and Darin LaHood, 18th District.

*Raining on Trump’s parade: Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider of Deerfield introduced a bill Thursday meant to throw cold water on President Donald Trump’s proposal for a large-scale military parade in Washington.

Schneider’s “Preparedness Before Parades Act” would require the U.S. secretary of defense to certify to Congress that such a spectacle would not hurt the military’s readiness or budget. The parade seemed “conceived only to pleasure the whims of the president,” Schneider said.

His bill comes after Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth on Wednesday blasted the prospect of a military parade, tweeting: “Our troops in danger overseas don’t need a show of bravado, they need steady leadership, long-term funding and resources so they can stay safe while protecting and defending our nation.” (Katherine Skiba) 

*A casino, Frank Sinatra and “Jaws”: Comedian John Mulaney weighed in on Illinois’ gambling laws during a recent appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

Mulaney recounts his father taking him to the casino in Aurora to see Frank Sinatra in 1993, for his 11th birthday.

“They basically tied a boat far enough away by rope that you could have legal gambling in the state of Illinois,” Mulaney said.

“You know the length of the roast on the chain in ‘Jaws’? Those idiots with the roast? That’s how far away the gambling boat was,” he said. “But you could gamble, and it was a casino. And it’s gone now, it didn’t work. It was illegal.”

Of course, it wasn’t illegal. And while the boat is gone, there is a casino in Aurora.

*Quick spin: Cook County assessor candidate Fritz Kaegi was endorsed by North Side U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, Southeast Side Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza and Democracy for America, the organization foounded by former presidential candidate Howard Dean.

*On the “Sunday Spin”: Chicago Tribune political reporter Rick Pearson’s guests are Kaegi; Tribune statehouse reporter Monique Garcia and Michael Golden, author of “Unlock Congress” who teaches government and democracy at Arizona State University. The “Sunday Spin” airs from 7 to 9 a.m. on WGN-AM 720.

 

What we’re writing

*Rauner won’t give “another nickel” to former ally Illinois Policy Institute.

*Facing lack of money, Kennedy says Democratic voters “quite capable of learning on their own.”

*Caught by a red light camera? The same violation could get you a ticket in one suburb, but not another.

*DCFS worker beaten while on duty last year has died, officials say.

 

What we’re reading

*U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments this month in major union case sparked by Rauner.

*“Dibs” folding chairs, designed by artists, auctioned for charity.

*John Mahoney was determined to avoid the spotlight.

 

Follow the money

*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.

 

Beyond Chicago

*The stock market drops again.

*Shutdown drama continues in Washington.

*Ben Carson’s first year in Trump’s Cabinet.

*The Olympics get going.

Morning Spin: Civic Federation calls for taxing retirement income, maybe closing universities to balance state budget
Chris Kennedy on higher ed, pensions, taxes

Higher Ed Board Makes A ‘Modest’ Request

http://ift.tt/2Ea5GnU

After years of cuts and chronic underfunding, state higher education officials voted yesterday to make a modest request for next year’s budget. Meeting in Springfield, the Illinois Board of Higher Education had a lengthy debate: Do we ask for what we really need? Or do we ask for what we think we can get?

Higher Ed Board Makes A ‘Modest’ Request