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[29 Oct 2015 | No Comment | ]

Jeb Bush forces are visibly sweating.

Marco Rubio forces are beaming—when not bragging about all of the big names and money now headed their way.

That’s the picture here the day after the latest GOP presidential debate seemed to raise real questions about whether ex-Florida Gov. Bush can stop his plunge, and whether Sen. Rubio is the contender that moderate conservatives have been looking for in the year of Donald Trump.

Fittingly, Rubio will be in town this evening for a series of smallish fundraisers in Lincoln Park and one bigger-buck event being thrown for him at law firm Kirkland & Ellis by partner Robert Porter, Illinois’ GOP national committeeman.

“We’re in great shape,” says state Sen. Mike Connelly of Lisle, who along with downstate Congressman Darren LaHood is co-chairing Rubio’s Illinois campaign. “He’s attracting both traditional Republicans and millennials. He crosses lines.”

Connelly declined to talk about money but said Team Rubio soon will unveil a slate of delegate candidates to next year’s Republican National Convention that will include three current or former congressmen, four or five Illinois Senate colleagues and up to a dozen state representatives.Meanwhile, insiders were buzzing about which of Bush’s backers—he’s put together his own slate of delegate candidates and raised millions of dollars in the state in the past year—might be defecting.

“As of yet, there is no sign that money or delegates are leaving Bush,” said Illinois Manufacturers’ Association chief Greg Baise, who’s agreed to run as a Bush alternative delegate candidate. “But I’d be less than honest if I didn’t say people are concerned at the governor’s performance.”

Equally blunt was political strategist and media consultant Thom Serafin, whose clients include the Duchossois clan, owners of Arlington racetrack and big Bush funders.

“People close to the campaign are not happy with the way things are going and can’t be happy with last night’s performance,” Serafin told me.

Perhaps more telling, top Illinois Bush fundraisers such as Lisa Wagner failed to return calls—likely having figured out what I wanted to ask.

“Bush just didn’t show any spunk,” said GOP consultant and lobbyist Nancy Kimme, who’s backing Ohio Gov. John Kasich. “I think (Bush backers) are starting to hedge their bets.”

I wouldn’t write anyone off quite yet, particularly a guy such as Bush, whose super PAC has tens of millions of dollars stocked away. But the shape of the GOP presidential world sure has changed.

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[29 Oct 2015 | No Comment | ]

Illinois is No. 1 in something besides running up debts.According to a new report out today, last fall’s wild retention race for Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier not only turned into a high-stakes battle among trial lawyers, tort reformers…

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[29 Oct 2015 | No Comment | ]

The Chicago Tribune reports on joking before Chicago’s massive tax increase:

Ald. Ed Burke, 14th, the longtime chairman of the Finance Committee, seemed to flub the punch line on a very old joke — one some folks may not consider so funny — about Moses and the Ten Commandments.

With Ald. George Cardenas, 12th, talking about prayers for an answer to the city’s pension woes, Burke said it reminded him of the one about Moses coming down from Mt. Sinai to deliver good news and bad news to his followers. Here it is as recounted by Burke to much laughter from his colleagues:

“They said, ‘Moses, Moses, Moses, tell us what is the good news.’ And Moses said, ‘I’ve got the good Lord down to just 10 commandments. ‘Oh, they said, that’s wonderful, wonderful Moses, thank you. What’s the bad news?’ And Moses said six and nine are still in there.’”

The sixth commandment is “Thou shalt not kill,” and the ninth is, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” As usually told, the punch line is “Seven is still in there.” The seventh commandment is “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

Before Burke continued, Emanuel interjected. “You all better know what six and nine are too,” the mayor said.

The Chicago Democrats use religion to justify massive tax increase. They did forget about “thou shall not steal”, even by majority vote as Gary North would say.

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[29 Oct 2015 | No Comment | ]

* Illinois Chamber President Todd Maisch writing in Crain’s…
The real question is whether the status quo in Illinois is acceptable. To a large majority of our members—the people whom Illinoisans expect to create jobs and prosperity—the answer is an emphatic “No!”
The chamber recognizes that the current budget stalemate is causing real pain across our state. […]

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[28 Oct 2015 | No Comment | ]

The good news is that there are elections in November. The bad news is that they are only in Mississippi, Kentucky and Louisiana.
That means that there are 55 weeks until the November, 2016, presidential election and 20 weeks until the March 15, 2016, Illinois primary election. The motto of the Chicago Cubs has been “Wait Until Next Year.” Politically, in Chicago and Illinois, this year is always “Next Year.” Politics is 24/7.
With the Nov. 30 nominating petition filing deadline approaching, here’s a look at developing races:
40th Illinois House District: The …

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[28 Oct 2015 | No Comment | ]

* Click here…
So candidate Rauner, back in 2012, you sketched out a plan that would have social service spending be held up as a way to prod Democrats to back your plans to weaken government labor unions like SEIU and AFSCME. But Gov. Rauner, didn’t just this week you say it was Democrats who were […]

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[28 Oct 2015 | Comments Off | ]

Horner Park's Ash Trees Are Thriving Thanks to Real-Life Lorax

The city wouldn’t pay to treat the trees, so local activists took matters into their own hands.