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Baise –

 

 

TAVINE LINK – BURGE – BAISE WAS TAVINE CAMPAIGN MGR

 

1985 thompson campaign MGR

 

DOT = Cellini – isea – stout – IBT – madonia – and see schnapp/dot/uis/forklift

 

Thompson campaign – gray – and see Gregg durham – lee daniels – and see gonet – long et al

 

Fleischli from petro was at Thompson admin w/ durham

 

Fleischli – worked for baise (fleischli- ihpa/ dana Thomas and new salem)

 

1988 - Mike Baise, 35, = assistant director of  agriculture cousin to greg baise

 

George Christofilakos - Arena foods – Jim’s steak house owned by baise/vala/Greco D. O. and partner at arena – madonia - yannone

 

Baise – stl casino - money

 

 

 

 

VOTER TURNOUT, CONFUSION SWUNG VICTORY TO THOMPSON

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Thursday, November 6, 1986

Author/Byline: Jeff Brody
Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: LOCAL
Page: 3

As expected, the Illinois governor's race Tuesday was determined by voter turnout and voter confusion on the Democratic side of the ballot.

Gov. James Thompson, who won his fourth term, claimed the results showed rejection of challenger Adlai Stevenson and the negative tone of his campaign.

But Stevenson's camp claimed the numbers showed significant voter confusion over the three-punch strategy the candidate was forced to employ because of the adherents of Lyndon LaRouche on the Democratic ticket.

With 99 percent of the state's precincts counted, Thompson had 53 percent of the gubernatorial vote, 1,643,058, to Stevenson's 1,232,688, or 40 percent. "No Candidate," the spot on the top of the Democratic ticket, received 201,431 votes, about 6 percent of the total.

Official turnout figures won't be available for at least a week.

Early indications are that turnout in Chicago was about 58 percent of 1.4 million registered voters, compared with 68 percent of 1.5 million in 1982, damaging Stevenson's bid. mTurnout in the suburban and downstate areas was thought to be the same or a little higher than four years ago, a trend that worked for Republican Thompson.

Stevenson said the race would have been close, like the 1982 matchup between the same candidates, had there been an opportunity for him to win straight Democratic ballots.

But Stevenson could not count on straight Democratic ballots this year, as he did in 1982, because of the LaRouche victories in March.

There is no doubt the nomination of LaRouche supporter Mark Fairchild as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor took Stevenson out of the race.

To disassociate himself from the LaRouchie, Stevenson withdrew from the party and lost the benefit of straight party ballots despite the attempts to publicize a three-punch ballot strategy.

The total vote for Jane Spirgel, Stevenson's Solidarity running mate for secretary of state -- 16 percent of the ballots cast -- is perhaps the best measure of the number of three-punch votes cast. Straight Democratic ballots normally amount to about 20 percent of the statewide vote.

At the same time, there were reports statewide of a higher percentage of straight Republican votes, indicating the success of GOP efforts to convince voters that the "safe" way to avoid voting for a LaRouchie was to vote straight Republican.

But the LaRouche victories meant more than just the loss of straight party voters for Stevenson.

The primary debacle gave Thompson the most powerful campaign issue he had against Stevenson, one he used daily in the last month of the race. If Stevenson did not have the leadership ability to get his own choice nominated as his running mate, Thompson asked, how will he have the ability to lead the state? The LaRouche victories contributed to the lackluster public perception of Stevenson, and never allowed the challenger to fully focus public attention on chinks in Thompson's record.

But titular party leader Alan Dixon said Wednesday that Stevenson "demonstrated his manhood" in a "long, hard year," and helped the party survive intact the "tragic circumstances" of the primary.

Before leaving for a vacation Wednesday, Thompson said his victory came about because "I've been a good governor and I've run a good campaign."

Thompson promised to "take nothing for granted" going into his fourth term, and said he would establish a transition team to review personnel in his administration and its policies.

There could be changes in Thompson's cabinet, and the governor will be looking to find a new place in his administration for

Greg Baise ,

 

his former patronage chief and

 

secretary of transportation,

 

who ran his campaign this year.

Despite the higher turnout in the Republican areas and an opponent dogged by the LaRouche factor, Thompson received about 200,000 fewer votes than he did in 1982. Now 50, Thompson is probably starting his final term as governor. He said during the campaign that he almost did not run again this year because of his concern for his family's financial security.

A number of potential successors are already in statewide office.

With near final results, here's how the other state races looked: Alan Dixon, 59, the state's senior U.S. senator, again proved enormously popular, outpolling Republican state Rep. Judy Koehler 1,999,919 votes to 1,047,503. Secretary of State Jim Edgar, 40, easily beat LaRouche Democrat Janice Hart and Solidarity nominee Jane Spirgel. Edgar, priming for a run for governor in four years, was the state's top vote-getter Tuesday, with 2,077,497 to Spirgel's 509,552 and Hart's 469,500. Attorney General Neil Hartigan, 47, won a second term, beating Republican Bernard Carey 1,893,356 votes to 1,121,211. Comptroller Roland Burris, 49, beat Republican state Sen. Adeline Geo-Karis 1,847,363 to 1,066,735. Nearly complete returns showed Democratic candidates for the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, Nina Shepherd, Charles Wolff and Judy Calder, won election to the board.

 

THOMPSON TEAM GETTING NEW LOOK

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Thursday, November 27, 1986

Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: EDITORIAL
Page: 17

WITHOUT SAYING so directly, Gov. James Thompson has promised a new look for his administration when it begins its fourth term Jan. 12.

The publicized "transition team" effort to identify new directions for the administration is just one part of the new look. The other will be in an expected turnover in cabinet-level positions that will rival any overall change since Thompson first took office 10 years ago.

Already, cabinet members Tom Johnson of Revenue, Michael Witte of Conservation and David Hardwick of Veterans Affairs said they won't seek reappointment.

Others are rumored to be reviewing employment opportunities in private business, and rumors also abound that some agency directors will not be asked to return. While some of these rumors are undoubtedly without foundation, there is already enough potential turnover to project a new cast on the Thompson government.

THOMPSON MUST also find spots for some key administration loyalists who left their government jobs to serve in his re-election campaign. Two that come immediately to mind are former Transportation Secretary Greg Baise , who ran Thompson's campaign, and Mark Frech, like Baise a former patronage chief in Thompson's office, who was deputy campaign manager.

Transportation Secretary Harry Hanley is due to retire from state government after a long career in the Department of Transportation, capped when Thompson tabbed him to head the department when Baise left. Baise could return to his old job.

James Zagel, director of the Department of State Police and a Thompson protege -- he served under Thompson when Thompson was U.S. attorney in Chicago -- has been a member of Thompson's cabinet almost from the beginning. However, Zagel, 45, is being considered for a federal judgeship in Chicago; another former Thompson assistant, Jeremy Margolis who is now the state's inspector general, could be Zagel's replacement.

ANOTHER DIRECTOR who may be looking elsewhere is Richard Carlson of the state Environmental Protection Agency. Carlson, 42, has filled upper-level management positions in the administration since 1977. Johnson, 40, the most recent cabinet member to announce he will leave the administration, served under Thompson for 10 years, first in the Department of Local Government Affairs, then in Revenue. Generally acknowledged in state government as a true professional, Johnson headed the state's tax collection agency longer than any of his predecessors.

Johnson will move to a partnership in one of the nation's major accounting and consulting firms, Grant Thornton.

Despite the department's role in implementing many major tax changes during his tenure, in administering the successful tax amnesty program in 1984 and in stepping up enforcement efforts against tax cheats, Johnson chose the formation of a customer service bureau as his proudest accomplishment.

THAT CHANGE, he said, made the state tax bureaucracy more sensitive and accessible to taxpayers. Many would think that typical of Johnson's commonsense management approach.

"That one will hurt," said one Thompson administration official of Johnson's resignation. "It's good to have a really experienced professional in that job."

The resignation of Witte, 35, also for a position in the private sector, has prompted a raft of editorial comment. The Department of Conservation was considered a leaky ship in troubled waters when Witte took the helm two years ago.

He brought with him eight years of experience in management positions in natural resource agencies of the Thompson administration and a sense that the agency could progress. Witte worked hard to improve the reputation of the department, which has more conflicting interest groups than any other in state government. Seldom in recent years has a director of Conservation been so successful in winning support from so many of those groups.

BUT WITTE grew frustrated at times with the state patronage system, and some of his supporters learned this summer that he was considering leaving government. Witte tried to turn patronage demands to his own benefit, agreeing to hire a "referral" only if he could hire his choice for a more important job.

In the end, Witte attributed his move to a desire to enter private sector employment at a time when his youth gave him the widest options: "The prospect of staying with the governor for another four years was very attractive, but the prospect of making the transition to the private sector at 40 is not as attractive."

Hardwick, also a veteran of the Thompson administration, cited only "personal considerations" in announcing his resignation from Veterans Affairs.

Those three resignations, and the likely exodus of other agency directors, open large holes to be filled by Thompson and his transition team.

The departments of Transportation, Revenue, Conservation, State Police and Veterans Affairs and the Environmental Protection Agency together employ about 17,900 people, almost one-quarter of the total state employees outside the educational institutions.

THERE WEREN'T many new faces on the transition team Thompson appointed to help him set a new direction for the administration. But there apparently will be some new faces when some of these vacancies are filled.

 

 

TAVINE LINK – BURGE –

 

 

WHAT QUALITIES MAKE A GOOD ALDERMAN IS A BIG ISSUE IN WOODSON-TAVINE RACE

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Thursday, October 29, 1987

Author/Byline: Jacqueline Price
Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: SPECIAL: ELECTION 1987
Page: 9A

Ward 10 residents will choose Tuesday between two very different candidates who nonetheless agree on many issues.

But on the issue of what makes a good alderman, Allan Woodson and Pat Tavine are on opposite sides.

Woodson says an alderman should be well-educated, have leadership ability, have fiscal management skills and have a good community service record. "My record shows that I have all those qualifications."

Tavine describes a good alderman as someone willing to listen to the concerns of the people in his ward. "I'm a common-sense person who can get things done. The people in general know they can talk to Pat Tavine," he said.

As a negotiator for the Illinois Association of School Boards, Woodson says he has learned to interact with people in sometimes confrontational atmospheres. "I have mastered the talent of being able to agreeably disagree, which will be beneficial as alderman."

Tavine said his experiences enable him to relate to both white-collar and blue-collar workers. He has unloaded trucks as a retail clerk at National Food Stores as well as owned a business. He used to own a Springfield tavern. "That's the toughest business to run."


Tavine, a Republican, has some political heavyweights in his camp –

including Greg Baise , who has been Gov. Jim Thompson's campaign manager

and has directed Republican presidential races in Illinios.

 

Finance reports also indicate he has the edge over Woodson in campaign funding.

On the other hand, Woodson -- who describes himself as an independent -- ran strongly in the Sept. 22 primary election. He led the five-candidate Ward 10 field with 1,271 votes to Tavine's 996. Ward 10 is on the leading edge of south and west side expansion. Issues such as traffic, zoning, public safety and commercial development concern both candidates.

City residents said in a recent survey that they support a traffic "channelizer" to reduce traffic in neighborhoods north of White Oaks Mall, and they want an east-west thoroughfare, Woodson says. "We support the channelizer, and we went before the city council to lobby in favor of that."

Tavine agrees that the channelizer is a good idea. But he admonishes Woodson for what he says was an attempt to take credit for it. An unsuccessful aldermanic candidate, Bruce Strom, initiated the channelizer project, Tavine said.

Tavine lists the channelizer and traffic problems on Wabash Avenue as the foremost issues in the Ward 10 race. He circulated a paper on the subject last week.

He said he intends to seek a seat on city council committees dealing with traffic and pledged to work closely with the director of public works on east-west flow of traffic near White Oaks Mall.

Woodson says zoning is a bigger issue with most Springfield and Ward 10 residents. He proposes that the new council create long-term zoning plans to avoid future problems. "Any new housing should conform to existing housing patterns," he says.

Tavine said he also would monitor the growth of the ward and make sure that future development follows current patterns.

In his paper, Tavine said he will speak out against zoning changes that affect property values in Ward 10 neighborhoods.

Woodson said widening of the underpass at Chatham Road is also a big issue. The road is narrow, with no margins for pedestrians or bicyclists, he said.

Woodson and Tavine both favor relocating the railroad tracks -- probably possible only with federal aid. Otherwise, the underpass should be widened, Woodson says. "But that would also be a major undertaking similar to what's being done to Cook Street," he said.

Tavine said the issue needs to be resolved. "Delays can only lead to an increased financial burden."

The candidates also agree on the need for more traffic lights are on Wabash Avenue. Woodson said his poll illustrated the need for traffic lights in the Kirkley Lane and Wabash Avenue intersection.

Tavine favors a detailed study of the problem.

Both candidates also say legal fees for the voting rights suit should be settled immediately.

Tavine said he hopes aldermen will vote unanimously on what to do about the $1.9 million bill.

Woodson said the issue should be handled without going to court, to avoid even more costs.

Alderman, Ward 10 Allan Woodson Age: 42. Occupation: Director of field services for Illinois Association of School Boards.

Home: 3216 Ellendale Drive.

Family: Married (Janet), two children.

Education: Graduate, Feitshans High School; bachelor's degree, Illinois State University; master's degree, University of Illinois; doctorate in education, University of Illinois.

Previous public offices: None.

Pat Tavine Age: 37. Occupation: Division chief with Illinois Department of Public Health.

Home: 90 Crusaders Road.

Family: Married (Jamie), three children.

Education: Griffin High School, attended Springfield College in Illinois.

Previous public offices: Convention center board member since 1980.

 

GOP'S ROLE NON-PARTISAN: LEONE

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Friday, November 6, 1987

Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: EDITORIAL
Page: 11

ALTHOUGH THEY lost big, Republicans in the Sangamon County organization profess not to be too unhappy with the outcome of Tuesday's city election.

At first blush, they wouldn't appear to have much to be happy about. Low, rumbling noises, in fact, have been heard among defeated candidates and rank-and-file Republicans.

For one thing, only two Republicans were elected to the new aldermanic city council -- County Chairman Irv Smith in Ward 8 and Bob Vose in Ward 5. At the same time, GOP candidates went down to defeat in four aldermanic races, despite considerable political experience behind them.

Tom Madonia's and Pat Tavine's defeats in particular raised eyebrows, since Madonia led the ticket for Springfield Park Board as recently as April and

 

Tavine had for his campaign manager Greg Baise ,

 

former campaign manager for Gov. Jim Thompson.

THE DEFEAT OF Norm Weiskopf, who lost by only 12 votes after conducting a savvy campaign in a heavily Democratic ward, was perhaps the most bitter pill of all.

In any event, the Democrats won big. Mayor-elect Ossie Langfelder is a Democrat, and seven members of the board of aldermen are Democrats of one factional persuasion or another.

But all that, according to Republican activist Tony Leone, misses the point.

The point, Leone says, is that the GOP role in Springfield's first election under the new form of government was as non-partisan as ever.

"I think that the whole Republicrat issue is dead," he said.

To Leone's way of looking at things, the issue is dead because the Sangamon County GOP organization stopped short of formal endorsements this year and got behind candidates of both parties.

"IT WAS NOT A clear Democrat victory, and Republicans and Democrats were working together," he said. "The Republicans did the responsible thing. We supported the people we thought would best serve the city."

In several wards, the GOP organization wasn't able to recruit candidates of its own and recommended Democrats who had already gotten in the race. In others, party activists ran themselves.

But Leone said the understanding was clear in most races that precinct committeemen were free to pass literature for Democrats or leave it out of their packets.

Nor did the party organization spend much money on most candidates of either party, he said.

LEONE SAID IN only a couple or three races did the organization make all-out efforts to elect candidates. Those efforts, as he described them, were pre-emptive in nature.

"In any races where there was clearly a radical, the radical lost," he said. "I can even say radical conservative -- look at (former Finance Com.

Jim) Dunham (who ran citywide against Utilities Com. Frank Madonia for utility director)." The upshot of the election, Leone said, will be a mayor and board of aldermen made up of reasonable people who will be able to work together for the city's best interest. And the GOP played a pivotal role in ensuring that outcome, he said.

"We tried to back off on that `endorsement' word, but everybody uses it," he said. "So the Republicans endorsed, the Democrats didn't. We took the responsible approach."

Footnote 1: My usual post-election analysis of the calls I missed in Tuesday's prediction column will not appear in this space today for a simple reason: I predicted them all correctly.

Footnote 2: But in all candor, I have to add that I second-guessed myself in a couple of races and lost in the office pool. It was won, by the way, by city hall reporter Jay Fitzgerald.

Modest proposal As the veto session went into its final days this week, the League of Women Voters of Illinois decided the time was ripe to urge the legislature to vote a modest tax increase.

According to state league president Mary Ellen Barry, the end-of-month balance in the general revenue fund tells the story. She said it's been below the accepted level of $200 million for the past 14 months and dipped to $17 million in August.

"This amount is much too low to ensure that the state's bills are paid in a timely fashion," she said. "That such low balances exist in relatively good times is even more troubling."

Barry said the legislature should have passed a tax increase in the spring, and that obligation hasn't gone away.

"By refusing to enact a modest state income tax increase during the spring session of the General Assembly, legislators in effect voted for a shaky fiscal situation and against better schools, against programs to meet basic human needs and against other services that would reduce depen dency, family disintegration and crime," she said.

She also said an income tax hike would enhance the state's economic development potential.

"Poor state services do not attract business development. Nor do they contribute to Illinois' quality of life," she said. "The legislature's refusal to increase revenues is penny-wise and pound-foolish."

A couple of short-term factors suggest the league's modest proposal will go unheeded, however.

For one thing, the General Assembly is expected to wind up the veto session this week.

For another, the filing period for primary candidates for seats in the General Assembly begins a month from Saturday. In brief Gary Clayton, director of the Department of Registration and Education, will leave state government next month to take a post as executive vice president of the Illinois Association of Realtors. . . . Celebrating his 50th birthday Sunday is state Sen. Denny Jacobs, D-East Moline, son of former Rep. Oral "Jake" Jacobs.

 

 

BILL FLEISCHLI, MOGERMAN GET NEW STATE POSTS

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Friday, December 30, 1988

Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: EDITORIAL
Page: 9

A FORMER PATRONAGE chief for Gov. James Thompson is moving to a top spot in the state Department of Transportation, and an assistant press secretary to

Thompson is taking his place as deputy director of the state Historic Preservation Agency.

Bill Fleischli, who joins the Transportation Department next month as director of its office of intergovernmental affairs, says the move isn't political.

"I'm going over there to do the (department's) state and federal legislation," Fleischli said. "That's what I'm hired for."

The intergovernmental affairs office deals with state and federal legislation and policy. Fleischli's salary will be $63,000 a year.

In the meantime, assistant press secretary Susan Mogerman will become deputy director of Historic Preservation at a salary of $52,000 a year. She said she looks forward to making the move from the governor's press office.

"IT'S HARD LEAVING here," Mogerman said. "It's hard leaving the center of things, but it's a job I'll look forward to going to in the morning."

Mogerman joined the governor's press office in 1983, after a stint as media coordinator of his 1982 re-election campaign. A Springfield resident, she is a journalism graduate of the University of Missouri.

At Historic Preservation, Mogerman will be responsible for policy planning and program supervision. She'll be the agency's legislative liaison and work with its office of public affairs and development.

"I'm going over at a real interesting time and building on a strong base," she said. "Bill Fleischli really laid some wonderful groundwork over there."



FLEISCHLI, A longtime member of the Springfield Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority,

 

was a teacher and coach at Griffin High School before joining state government in 1981.

 

In addition to setting up the Historic Preservation Agency's public affairs office, he said he's proudest of its contribution to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and of working with the General Assembly to get funding for the Dana-Thomas House and an educational center at New Salem State Park.

"We also created the Heritage Preservation Fund that allows us a check-off on state income taxes," he said. "It will be used to supplement our educational programs and assist in site preservation and the historical library."

HE WORKED FOR the Conservation, Transportation and Rehabilitation Services departments before joining the governor's personnel office in 1984. From 1984 to 1987, he was Thompson's patronage chief.

Fleischli said he isn't ruling anything out regarding plans to help further secretary Greg Baise 's political ambitions
.

Those include a possible run for statewide office in 1990. "He is my boss as secretary of transportation," Fleischli said. "I'm interested in doing anything he wants to do as secretary of transportation."

Fleischli starts next week at the Transportation Department. Mogerman goes over to Historic Preservation at the end of January.

Lake II talk Springfield 2nd Ward Ald. Frank McNeil will speak next week on the Lake Springfield II project, unanimously approved earlier this month by the city council, before the League of Women Voters of the Springfield Area.

His topic is the "Next Step for Lake Springfield II." He'll speak at noon Wednesday in the Carnegie Room of Lincoln Library in downtown Springfield.

Judge lauded Federal Appellate Judge Harlington Wood Jr. is profiled in a recent issue of Sullivan's Review, a legal periodical in the Chicago area.

The 28-page story reviews the life and career of the Sangamon County native who acted as a private Springfield lawyer, U.S. attorney, assistant U.S. attorney general and U.S. district judge before joining the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1976. Friends and associates praise Wood in the article, including 7th Circuit Chief Judge William Bauer, who is quoted as saying, "Nobody doesn't like the guy."

Sullivan's Review is published by Sullivan's Law Directory Inc. of Barrington.

Area lawmaker State Rep. Tom Homer, D-Canton, recently got an honorable mention for legislative leadership and a 1989 calendar from the Illinois Environmental Council.

The award was for his sponsorship of H3064, legislation requiring a countywide referendum for landfill site annexation approval. The calendar features photographs by nature photographer Willard Clay.

Caption: Fleischli / Mogerman

 

 

RIVERBOAT FEES FACE PANEL INVESTIGATION

Chicago Tribune - Wednesday, December 3, 1997

Author/Byline: Ted Gregory, Tribune Staff Writer.
Edition: DU PAGE SPORTS FINAL
Section: METRO DU PAGE
Page: 2

A retired U.S. District judge, the dean of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a retired attorney will begin reviewing the propriety of fees totaling more than $1 million that a Downstate riverboat operator paid to a former high-ranking state official and his business partner.

Nicholas Bua, retired from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and a former Illinois Circuit Court and Appellate Court judge, will preside over the three-person panel, appointed by the Illinois Gaming Board.

Bua and the two other members will examine whether Greg Baise , former Illinois Department of Transportation secretary, and Lawrence Lucas, owner of a communications company,

 

collected an excessive fee from the Casino Queen, an East St. Louis riverboat.

 

Baise and Lucas "assisted in the formative stages of the company" in 1991 and 1992,

 

said Michael Belletire, Illinois Gaming Board administrator, and the panel is expected to discern whether that work was worth $1 million.

The panel is expected to have its first meeting this month, although members have not set a date, Belletire said. The panel will conduct what amounts to a trial to determine whether Baise and Lucas were paid fair market value for the work, Belletire added.

Although a preliminary review of the documents showed nothing illegal, Belletire said the panel will determine if the Casino Queen's contracts with Baise and Lucas violate Illinois Gaming Board rules.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dot= airports

 

CAPITAL AIRPORT PROJECTS IN STATE PROGRAM

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Saturday, June 18, 1988

Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: LOCAL
Page: 15

The state airport improvement program for fiscal year 1989 includes $2.25 million for five projects at Springfield's Capital Airport.

The state Department of Transportation is proposing to spend $97.3 million on airport work statewide during the next fiscal year, which starts July 1. Logan County Airport at Lincoln will get two projects estimated to cost $565,000. The Litchfield Airport will have one project costing $114,000. Capital Airport projects funded with 90 percent federal funds, 5 percent state funds, and 5 percent local funds include: $1.1 million to repave and mark the north-south runway. $215,000 to replace an emergency vehicle. $129,000 to acquire land for clear zones. $761,000 to construct general aviation aprons and T-hangar taxiways in the south section of the airport.

A fifth project, construction of a parking lot to serve the general aviation area, would cost $40,000, 80 percent covered by the state and 20 percent from local funds.

The Logan County Airport will repave and mark its northeast-southwest runway at a cost of $513,000, with 90 percent federal financing, and install a perimeter fence and security gate at a cost of $54,000, funded with 80 percent state and 20 percent local funds.

The Litchfield Airport will replace its runway lighting system and install pilot controls for the system at a cost of $114,000, with 90 percent federal funding.

This year's program is up 90 percent over last year's $50 million program, Transportation Secretary Greg Baise said. About $60 million of the 1989 program will go for projects at large commercial airports, including Springfield.

Baise also released the state's proposed five-year airport improvement program, which outlines $500 million in projects, including another $8.25 million in proposed projects at Capital Airport and $1.18 million to construct a new taxiway at the Litchfield Airport.

 

 

THOMPSON SHUFFLES CABINET

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Saturday, January 24, 1987

Author/Byline: Jeff Brody
Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: LOCAL
Page: 1

Gov. James Thompson shuffled his Cabinet Friday, appointing two new agency directors and firing two others.

Thompson nominated his former deputy campaign manager, Mark Frech, to head the Illinois Department of Conservation.

Gwen Martin, a leader in the state AFL-CIO, was named to direct the Department of Labor.

Thompson did not reappoint Brad Evilsizer as head of the Department of Mines and Minerals or Mervin Bachman as chairman of the Illinois Industrial Commission, which hears workers compensation cases.

The governor also announced the reappointments of 22 current members of the Cabinet.

Thompson spokesman Jim Bray said the governor believes Evilsizer and Bachman "have done a good job, but it's time for a change in both departments."

Both agencies have been under fire in recent months.

The Department of Mines and Minerals is being stripped of its power to enforce some oil and gas drilling regulations. The federal Environmental Protection Agency says the state has not properly enforced the regulations.

EPA audits of the department's oil and gas division showed permit applications were approved without vital information, and reports were missing from department files. The audits also found a lack of on-site inspections.

The oil and gas division is being investigated by the Illinois State Police after its head, George Lane, resigned amid allegations he accepted gifts from companies the department regulates.

The industrial commission has been under fire for an inability to reduce the backlog of pending workers compensation cases.

The workers compensation system is supposed to give workers relatively quick compensation for work-related injuries, but cases often take more than two years to be resolved.

Despite legislation expanding the commission and allowing it to meet in concurrent panels, Bachman's agency has not put a significant dent in the backlog.

Improving the workers compensation system is one of the major goals Thompson cited in his Jan. 12 inaugural speech.

Frech, 36, of Springfield, replaces Michael Witte, who resigned as director of conservation to accept a job inthe private sector.

Frech served as director of personnel for the governor -- patronage chief -- from December 1983 to November 1985, when he left the administration to serve on the governor's re-election committee. He was deputy campaign manager of Citizens for Thompson.

He previously was assistant personnel director in Thompson's office.

Frech also has served on Thompson's Conservation Advisory Board. His appointment won support from environmental and sportsmen's groups.

"We appreciate Mark Frech's longstanding interest in Illinois habitat and wildlife issues," said Virginia Scott of the Illinois Environmental Council. "We hope that he will maintain high standards of professionalism with his staff and that he will work to bring sportsmen and environmentalist groups closer together with a common conservation agenda."

Fred Kirkpatrick, president of the Illinois Sportsmen's Legislative Coalition, said, "We are impressed with Mark Frech's credentials and his knowledge of conservation. He is concerned about the environment and the condition of our wildlife habitat in Illinois."

Martin, vice president of the Illinois State AFL-CIO since 1978, has been employed by the Communications Workers of America since 1972. She has recently served as CWA representative for a five-state Midwest region.

She replaces Al Bernardi of Springfield, who is retiring from state government.

Bob Gibson of the AFL-CIO and Robert Healey of the Illinois Federation of Teachers praised Martin's appointment and said she would be an asset to the Cabinet.

Frech will be paid $65,835 annually; Martin $60,349. Thompson also reappointed the following directors: Janet Otwell of Aging; Larry Werries of Agriculture; William Atkins of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse; Michael Tristano of Central Management Services; Gordon Johnson of Children and Family Services; Jay Hedges of Commerce and Community Affairs; Michael Lane of Corrections; Sally Ward of Employment Security; Don Etchison of Energy and Natural Resources; Richard Carlson of EPA; Michael Fryzel of Financial Institutions; Tom Bestudik, the state fire marshal; Joyce Tucker of Human Rights; John Washburn of Insurance; Rebecca Paul of the Lottery; Ann Kiley of Mental Health; Gen. Harold Holesinger of the Military and Naval Department; Terry Lash of Nuclear Safety; Bernard Turnock of Public Health; Gary Clayton of Registration and Education; Susan Suter of Rehabilitation Services; and

Greg Baise of Transportation.

Thompson still must find nominees for Revenue, Veterans Affairs, Public Aid and the Illinois State Police, where Director James Zagel has been nominated for a federal appointment, as well as for Mines and Minerals and the Industrial Commission.

All Cabinet appointments require Senate confirmation.

 

NEW COMMERCIAL BUILDING HAS DIFFERENT LOOK

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Friday, August 12, 1988

Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: BUSINESS
Page: 17

A recently completed west side commercial building with a "different look" will begin receiving tenants next month.

The 8,200-square-foot, one-story building at 993 Clock Tower Drive is owned by Pat Newman and Mike Suhadolnik and was built by their construction firm, Construx of Illinois.

Mattoon-based Consolidated Communications Co. will occupy about 4,800 square feet on the west end of the building, which backs up to Veterans Parkway. Another 2,400 square feet will be leased by the Illinois Beef Council, which currently has its offices in the Westgate office complex on West Monroe Street.

Newman said the all-brick building "is a different look for Springfield," with its purple-colored brick, gray trim and gray-tinted, solar-reflective windows. The building also has a 40-space parking lot, a premium in the Clock Tower area.

Consolidated Communications, a telecommunications company whose subsidiaries include Central Communications Co. and Illinois Consolidated Telephone Co., will open its demonstration and showroom for business telephone systems in the building around the middle of September, according to Mel Brunink, division manager for Springfield.

The space also will house sales personnel as well as installation and maintenance people for the phone systems, he said.

Central Communications, currently at 300 E. Monroe St., will operate under its parent-company name at the expanded facility.

The Illinois Beef Council, the statewide trade association for beef producers, plans to move into its offices on the east end of the building by Sept. 6. About 1,200 square feet of the building remains to be leased, Newman said.

Around town Springfield Recycling Co., the recycler formerly at 3301 Terminal Ave., has been sold and relocated.

New owners

Greg Baise ,

Sonny Greco and

Frank Vala

have moved the business, which takes in aluminum, glass and paper for recycling, to 1900 E. Moffat St. on the north side of

Victory Hall bingo parlor.

The trio also owns Victory Hall.

Hours and staff will remain the same for Springfield Recycling, which was purchased from Harry Alton.

Woody Smith of Remax Professionals real estate handled both ends of the business sale and purchase. . . .

 

 

NEW STATE NATURAL RESOURCES DIRECTOR NAMED

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Friday, August 26, 1988

Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: LOCAL
Page: 11

Karen Witter, an assistant to the governor for natural resources issues, was appointed Thursday to replace Don Etchison as the director of the state

Department of Energy and Natural Resources.

Gov. James Thompson, Witter's boss since March 1985, said Witter "has a deep commitment to both the development and protection of our state's abundant natural resources." "She brings with her a thorough understanding of state government and the critical issues that face ENR. Her skills will be put to good use as ENR leads the state's efforts to become the site of the superconducting super collider," Thompson said.

"Working within government as an active supporter of environmental causes, Karen has been instrumental in mediating conflicts that have arisen between competing interests on environmental issues and helped develop legislative initiatives, including the Illinois Groundwater Protection Act."

Etchison will leave the post in mid-October to become president of a consulting group specializing in U.S.-Canadian business and government affairs.

Witter has served as Thompson's liaison with eight state agencies, including ENR, has assisted in developing policies and agency budgets, and has advised Thompson on legislation affecting natural resource issues.

Witter, 34, of Springfield, was director of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission from 1982-85, and served as a resource planner with the Department of Conservation from 1978-82. She has a master's degree in ecology from the University of Wales and a bachelor's degree in zoology from Iowa State University.

Witter's appointment, subject to Senate confirmation, brings with it a $57,057 annual salary.

Also Thursday, a state Department of Agriculture official was appointed to fill the department's number two spot.

Thompson appointed Mike Baise, 35, as assistant director of the agriculture department, replacing Mike Williams, who resigned earlier this week.

Baise, of Jacksonville, has served as the department's superintendent of the marketing division since 1986.

He was Agriculture Director Larry Werries' executive assistant from 1983 to 1986.

 

Baise is the cousin of Greg Baise , the state Department of Transportation secretary and manager of Thompson's 1986 re-election campaign.

Werries said earlier this week that replacing Williams was "going to be my toughest challenge to date." "It was a tough decision," Werries said Thursday. "I had many candidates for the position. But I decided to stay in house."

Baise will move into the job on Oct. 1 at an annual salary of $54,862. He was raised on a Morgan County livestock and grain farm. He graduated from Illinois College in Jacksonville in 1975 and received a master's degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois in 1982. He worked with the federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare for the Chicago region.

Baise is on a state advisory committee for the Department of Agriculture and Economics at the University of Illinois

 

 

 

MACMURRAY TO HONOR BUNN

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Thursday, May 14, 1987

Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: LOCAL
Page: 16

JACKSONVILLE -- MacMurray College will confer honorarydegrees Sunday on Springfield industrialist George Bunn, Jacksonville Mayor Helen Foreman,

and Dr. B.G. Stephens, a former MacMurray president who will deliver the commencement address.

Kingman Brewster, former president of Yale University, will be the Illinois College commencement speaker May 24. Stephens was the MacMurray president from 1980 to 1986 and introduced several programs for gifted children.

He is director of institutional advancement at Wofford College in his native Spartanburg, S.C. Stephens' son, Todd, will be among the MacMurray graduates.

An honorary doctor of laws degree will be given to Bunn, who was a member of the MacMurray College Board of Trustees from 1965 to 1973. Foreman will receive an honorary doctor of public administration degree. Stephens will be conferred an honorary doctor of humane letters.

MacMurray will confer 17 bachelor of science in nursing degrees in pinning ceremonies Saturday. Featured speaker will be Dr. Philip Kalisch, professor of history, politics and economics of nursing at the University of Michigan. Kalisch is an author and authority on the image of nursing.

Brewster, currently an attorney in London, was president of Yale from 1964 to 1977 when the university increased the number of public school graduates, black students and admitted undergraduate women.

In 1977, Brewster was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to be ambassador to Great Britain. He served until 1981 at which time he returned to practicing law, first in New York and since 1984 in London.

Illinois College was founded by a group of Yale graduates in 1826. The Illinois College Alumni Association will award its Young Alumnus of the Year citation to Greg Baise , Illinois secretary of transportation. Baise graduated from I.C. in 1974 and began his political career as an aide to Gov. James Thompson in 1977.

 

 

ECONOMY KEY PART OF BAISE 'S STRATEGY IN BID FOR TREASURER

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Tuesday, August 29, 1989

Author/Byline: Pete Ellertsen
Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: LOCAL
Page: 6

JACKSONVILLE -- State Transportation Secretary Greg Baise recalled his Morgan County roots Monday as he announced his candidacy for state

treasurer on the Republican ticket.

Most of Baise 's campaign pledges had to do with economic development, a statewide issue that the treasurer's office deals with through its linked deposit program.

But Baise departed from his prepared text to speak to the 200 family members, friends and political supporters who gathered in the Central Park Plaza amphitheater to hear his announcement.

"I promise you one thing," he vowed, "I'll try never to let you down."

With that, the red-white-and-blue balloons were released over the town square, and Baise 's candidacy was official. It was a moment for which he spent 10 years preparing, he said.

The announcement ceremony was well scripted, and Baise 's formal statement dealt with such matters as linked deposits and the contribution the entire GOP ticket can make to Illinois.

But he said his remarks about his home town, and the debt he owes to his parents and early mentors in the Triopia school system and Jacksonville's Illinois College, were heartfelt.

"I was an alderman here, and when you're a local official like that, you're on the firing line," he said. "You get to know a lot of people and their problems."

Baise said his platform has the statewide goal of furthering economic development in concert with other Republican elected officials.

"It will be my goal to maximize the interest earned on funds invested while continuing to improve the economy throughout the state, through such programs as the linked deposit program which aided Chrysler Corp.," he said.

And with a background in rural Morgan County, Baise said, he will be especially interested in the treasurer's agricultural production loan program.

Baise said he decided to run for treasurer, after considering a bid for secretary of state, because he believes the treasurer's office can make a real contribution to the state's economic well-being.

He said he intends to do more than previous treasurers -- Democrats in recent years -- because he will work with GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Edgar and other statewide GOP officials if elected.

"Illinois is strong today because of the proven Republican leadership of the past decade," he said. "The Republican Party has consistently provided common-sense solutions to everyday problems. We have worked to create an environment for economic growth for the '90s and beyond."

Baise said he will run with the support of Gov. James Thompson and Edgar. But he said he'll raise his own money -- about $1 million -- and do his own campaigning.

"It is not as high a visibility office as governor or secretary of state," he said. "So you have to go out and get your name known. I'm not a household name."

Baise recently abandoned his nearly yearlong plans to run against Lt. Gov.

George Ryan for the GOP nomination for secretary of state. But he said he intends to go all-out for the treasurer's office.

"Any job that handles $2.6 billion a day is not a consolation prize by any means," he said.

Several Democrats have been mentioned as general election opponents. State Rep. Thomas Homer, D-Canton, announced his candidacy last month, and state Rep. Peg McDonnell Breslin, D-Ottawa, is considering a bid. Also mentioned are Chicago lawyer Michael Howlett Jr. and state Sen. Howard Carroll, D-Chicago.

Treasurer Jerry Cosentino announced in July that he would seek the Democratic nomination for secretary of state.

Baise has served as transportation secretary since 1984, with time off to manage Thompson's 1986 re-election bid. He says he will step down this fall in order to run for treasurer.

A Thompson protege, Baise worked in Thompson's first campaign in 1976 and joined the administration the following year. He was a member of the Jacksonville City Council from 1975 to 1977.

Caption: State Transportation Secretary Greg Baise announces his candidacy for state treasurer Monday on the Jacksonville town square.

 

 

 

TOP GOP OFFICE HOLDERS AMONG SECOND-DAY FILERS

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Wednesday, December 11, 1985

Edition: M1,M2,E1
Section: LOCAL
Page: 13

Petitions nominating Gov. James Thompson and his running mate Lt. Gov.

George Ryan for re-election to their posts were filed Tuesday at the State

Board of Elections.

The top state Republican office holders led the list of second-day filers in the period for candidates to declare their intent to seek party primary endorsements for public office.

Ryan, and

Thompson's campaign director Greg Baise ,

filed petitions containing 8,400 signatures to put the two candidates on the March 18 Republican primary ballot.

Other candidates filing Tuesday in statewide and central Illinois races were: Republican Michael Tate of Decatur in the 102nd Illinois House District; and Democrat Michael Brown, candidate for regional school superintendent of the Brown, Cass and Schuyler Educational Service Region.

Two candidates who filed Monday seeking the Republican nomination for the 45th Illinois Senate District seat were Ralph Klopfenstein of Gridley and Robert Madigan of Lincoln. Their names were inadvertently left out of a list naming the area candidates in Tuesday's editions of the State Journal-Register.

In local races, one additional candidate for Sangamon County sheriff also filed petitions Tuesday with the county clerk's office.

Carl Greenwood, of R.R. 7, Springfield, filed to run in the Republican primary. He will face Sheriff Bill DeMarco, the Republican who was appointed to replace former Sheriff Jim Purdon.

Two Democrats also have filed to run for sheriff. They are former Greene County Sheriff Ben Picou and Chatham police officer Mark Gleason.

The period for filing petitions for next spring's primary election runs through Monday.

 

GUBERNATORIAL REMATCH HAS CLASSIC RING

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Sunday, December 22, 1985

Author/Byline: Jeff Brody
Edition: M1,M2,E1
Section: LOCAL
Page: 1

The 1986 Illinois gubernatorial contest will have the traditional feel of a race matching an incumbent and a challenger if it follows the scenario

mapped out by campaign officials.

The main theme will be leadership: Which candidate has the leadership qualities to move the state toward the 1990s? Three-term incumbent Republican James Thompson will try to show that his record is a prologue to what can be done in the future, says Citizens for Thompson campaign manager Greg Baise .

On the other hand, the campaign of Adlai Stevenson will attempt to magnify the holes in the Thompson record and paint Stevenson as the kind of visionary the state needs, campaign spokesman Bob Benjamin says.

Independent candidate James Nowlan will be a dark horse. His only hope of becoming a major factor in the election is if the voters, by next fall, become disgusted with the tactics of the other two.

Nowlan's campaign approach has been to portray himself as a literate man with governmental experience who refuses to simplify his message to fit into 30-second campaign commercials.

Since the Thompson-Stevenson contest is a rematch from 1982, one would expect the candidates will have honed to a fine edge their campaign strategies and rhetoric.

By its very nature, Stevenson's campaign will be negative. He must be critical of the Thompson record to show why voters should turn their backs on a leader they have already elected three times.

However, Benjamin says the Stevenson campaign will only have to highlight the underlying concern that the state of the state has not improved during the last decade.

"We are going to assist in the process of pinning this tail on the governor. Anyone who can remember 10 years back, when Illinois was a healthy state, is certainly going to say, `This guy has been in office since then, and we're not in as good a shape. It's time for a change. Jim Thompson's had his chance, and he blew it.' " Baise says the Thompson campaign in 1986 will be "more aggressive in pointing out the differences in their records." "We want to show that Thompson will lead us better than the alternative. Adlai Stevenson has a record. Can anyone point to oneparticular thing he did that had a positive impact on the state of Illinois? He has to answer to that; that sets a tone, from our standpoint."

But Baise said the general tenor of the re-election effort will be more self-centered.

"The governor is better served by pointing to his own record and his beliefs about where the state can go. I don't think you will see us trying to decry Adlai Stevenson's record or abilities. He has shown he can appeal to a large segment of the state -- we won't try to deny that."

The 1982 gubernatorial campaign, which was expected to be a clash of titans, was full of surprises.

Stevenson, a veteran of several statewide campaigns and generally regarded as a thoughtful political leader, was disorganized and inept. He was unable to communicate his positions and ideas and unable to avoid foot-in-mouth disease.

His low point came when he managed to call himself a "wimp" while complaining that Thompson had used that characterization. Thompson never had -- and, thanks to Stevenson, never had to thereafter -- but the wimp label stuck.

Thompson, on the other hand, went into high gear as the 1982 campaign neared election day. His rhetoric was fiery; his campaign ads masterful. But the country was in the depths of recession, and the enthusiasm for incumbents was not there.

A lackluster campaign rally on the Capitol steps the day before the election signaled that the polls, which showed Thompson leading by 20 percentage points, could be wrong. The final margin was one-tenth of 1 percent, 5,074 votes out of 3.67 million cast in the race.

The two candidates draw different conclusions from the results three years ago.

Baise claims vote fraud in Chicago added as many as 100,000 votes to Stevenson's 1982 totals, although the well-publicized convictions of election officials stemming from the 1982 race involved a relatively small number of votes.

But Baise also acknowledges that Republicans were not prepared in 1982 to turn out the vote.

"I don't think the polls were that far off in 1982. But our turnout was lower. The polls hurt us. People believed the election was won.

"Historically, there has been a tre mendous off-year dropoff in Republican areas. Our job will be to make sure our voters turn out. We want to assure that the Thompson households come out to vote.

"We proved in 1984 (Baise organized the Reagan campaign apparatus in Illinois) that we could turn out our voters."

Baise says Citizens for Thompson will use their experience from the presidential campaign to help organize a "labor-intensive," precinct-level effort for 1986. "On our side, you will have a better organized effort to deliver the governor's vote."

On the other side, Benjamin admits that there were major organizational problems in the 1982 campaign. "Adlai Stevenson did not exploit the enthusiasm there was for his campaign in 1982." This time, Stevenson will start with one of the best political organizers in Illinois on his payroll. Gary LaPaille, chief of staff for House Speaker Michael Madigan, will officially join the Stevenson campaign in January to organize a statewide network of "Stevenson clubs" in Illinois communities.

Those clubs, in turn, will organize coffees and community fund-raisers.

But Benjamin says there is another important difference in the rematch.

"Thompson had the personal credibility to offset the Stevenson challenge in 1982. But too much has happened since then. He prevailed by telling people Stevenson was wrong to say the state was in bad shape. The people believed him. But two weeks later, Thompson declared a state of emergency and then asked for a $2 billion tax increase.

"He hopes people have short memories, but they don't."

There has been much speculation about the impact of the longevity issue on the upcoming race.

Stevenson is counting on some people feeling that three terms is enough for any governor to show what he can do. Thompson, Benjamin says, refuses to take responsibility for the negative things that have happened in Illinois during the past 10 years, even though other states weathered the same national recession and now are in better shape.

And there has been a lot of political water under the bridge since Thompson first ran for governor as a crusading "white knight" who was above politics.

Baise admits that, after signing or vetoing more than 1,000 bills every year for 10 years, the governor has disappointed his share of voters.

But Baise also sees polling data showing that Thompson's approval rating remains relatively high, especially for a three-term incumbent.

"The natural inclination of people would be to say maybe we should have someone else. But Stevenson must make a strong case that he is a good alternative. Thompson is still basically a well-liked individual. People think he's honest and that he does a good job."

Baise and Citizens for Thompson expect to have $6 million to make their case to the voters. The Stevenson campaign is hoping to raise $3 million. Nowlan probably will have no more than $100,000 to fund his effort.

Thompson is unopposed in the GOP primary; Stevenson has token primary opposition from Peter Bowen, a follower of Lyndon LaRouche, and Larry Burgess, both of Chicago.

 

 

HAY HOMES RESIDENTS, STATE OFFICIALS TO TALK ABOUT MADISON STREET

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Tuesday, September 10, 1985

Author/Byline: Doug Finke
Edition: M1,M2,E1
Section: LOCAL
Page: 9

State highway officials Monday promised to talk further with John Hay Homes residents to see if they can lessen the impact of the Madison Street

extension on the housing project's residents.

The Springfield City Council may also be hearing from the residents who apparently will try to have the city formally oppose construction of the street.

After a series of three meetings with John Hay Homes representatives Monday, transportation officials said they will meet further to see if residents' concerns can be accommodated in the project. James Slifer, District 6 highway engineer, said meetings will be scheduled with Hay Homes representatives to see what can be done.

"Some changes can be accommodated," Slifer told about two dozen residents Monday night. "The project was developed through normal channels. We felt we had (citizen) input."

But some residents, like Dwyane Readus, said the state never listened before to the residents' complaints.

"You asked for our input, but you didn't want to hear what we said," Readus said.

Hay Homes residents have been complaining about the Madison Street extension at least since 1979 saying the four-lane street will isolate the housing project. They were especially concerned that the road would be located between the Hay Homes and the Neighborhood Facilities Center, which is heavily used by Hay Homes residents.

Public complaints about the extension had largely died down until recently when construction machinery moved into the area to build the Clear Lake Avenue overpass and some related street work. The overpass is part of the plan eventually linking Clear Lake with Madison and Jefferson streets.

Slifer told the residents that plans have not been completed for the portion of Madison Street between 11th and 16th streets. He said district planners will work with Hay Homes residents to try to minimize the road's impact on the area. "We will consider changes," Slifer said. "We will have to take a look and see what can be done. One objective we have, of course, is to not do any more damage to the area than is necessary."

Most residents said they did not want the road in their neighborhood at all.

"How would you feel if we put this road through your front yard?" asked Jacqueline Readus.

James Craven, an attorney representing some of the residents, said the extension probably never would have been considered if the east side had a representative on the city council. Craven is also the attorney for three east side community leaders who are suing the city to stop at-large elections to the city council.

"If you had a voice on the city council it wouldn't have ever gotten off of the drawing board," Craven said. "There have always been people who said there should be an east/west street and South Grand Avenue should be extended west. Do you think South Grand Avenue will ever go through the Illini Country Club or Washington Park? The Madison Street corridor is just a symbol of the problem."

Craven noted that work on the Central Illinois Expressway was held up for several years because of concerns it would disrupt bald eagle nesting areas.

"If you can stop a project because of bald eagles, you can reexamine one that will affect 2,000 people," Craven said.

Craven and several Hay Homes representatives met Monday morning with state transportation director Greg Baise . Craven said he was encouraged by the meeting.

"He said that even if it cannot be stopped, he would be willing to have input into the design," Craven said.

State Rep. Mike Curran attended one of the Monday night meetings and said he will make sure transportation officials follow through on their promise to meet with Hay Homes representatives.

"I will let (Baise) know I am concerned about this," Curran said. He added that his support for the project in the General Assembly "depends on how reasonable the department is. I don't want to have a couple of meetings and then have them forget about it."

Curran said he was not aware of the Hay Homes residents' complaints about the project, but "now that I am aware, I'm not surprised they are upset."

Just how much the Hay Homes residents will be able to change the project remains in question. The Clear Lake overpass will be completed by the end of next year. Bids will be let this month on construction of Madison Street from the Hay Homes to Martin Luther King Drive, another part of the overall project. Slifer acknowledged that with those sections completed, there will be limits to changing the alignment of the remaining portion of Madison Street from 11th Street to 16th Street.

Final plans for the Madison Street extension should be completed in January, Slifer said.

In addition to the street itself, residents complained about a proposed pedestrian overpass that they contend would be dangerous. Plans for the overpass are not completed and also will be discussed by transportation officials with Hay Homes residents

 

 

 

 

LAWSUIT FILED CHALLENGING STATE GOP PATRONAGE SYSTEM

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Tuesday, July 2, 1985

Author/Byline: Sandy Hoefler
Edition: M1,M2,E1
Section: NEWS
Page: 5

A class-action lawsuit challenging the patronage system used by Gov. Jim Thompson and the Republican Party was filed Monday in federal court in

Springfield.

Among other things, the suit says the system discriminates against people who do not politically or financially support the Republican Party. Not only are applicants for jobs, promotions and other patronage appointments evaluated for their loyalty to the GOP, but so are their relatives, the suit claims.

"The system is totally outside procedures and practices of the Personnel Code of the state of Illinois," the suit says. It allows the governor "to coerce and enlist and reward" political supporters, although the Democratic Party in Cook County is under a federal court order banning similar practices, the suit says.

More than $2 million in tax money has been spent to support the patronage system, and more than $500 million has been channeled to those politically hired, the suit alleges.

The suit was filed by Springfield attorney and Democratic activist Mary Lee Leahy specifically on behalf of five people. The suit says the number of people affected statewide is so large that it would be difficult to list everyone who has been denied promotions or transfers, who have been laid off and not rehired, and who have not been hired because they are not Republicans or active Republicans.

The five plaintiffs listed in the suit are: Cynthia Rutan, an employee of the Department of Rehabilitative Services who says she has been denied a promotion since May 1974 because she is not active in the Republican Party; Franklin Taylor, who says he was passed up for a promotion with the Department of Transportation in favor of a person with less seniority and qualifications because the other person received approval from the Fulton County Republican Party. Taylor also is seeking a transfer from Fulton County to Schuyler County, but has been denied one because the party chairmen in those counties oppose the transfer, the suit says; Ricky Standefer, who says he was laid off from a temporary position with the state garage in November; the suit says others also laid off have been rehired because of support from the Republican Party; Dan O'Brien, laid off from the Lincoln Developmental Center in April 1983 after working there for 12 years; he says he was hired by the Department of Corrections in February -- with the help of the Logan County Republican Party chairman -- but at a lower salary and at the cost of his seniority; James Moore, who has sought a state position since 1978 but was told he needed signatures from two top Republicans in Pope County, where he lives. In the meantime, the suit says, three family members of Victor English, the Pope County GOP chairman, have been hired.

Defendants are: Thompson; Don Adams, chairman of the Republican State Central Committee; Irv Smith, Sangamon County Republican Central Committee; Jim Reilly,

 the governor's chief of staff; Greg Baise ,

the governor's former personnel office director, who now is Thompson's secretary of transportation; and Mark Frech, William Fleischli, Randy Hawkins, and Kevin Wright, all assistant directors in Thompson's personnel office.

"These defendants have and do spend a substantial part of their time in pursuit of this venture, and their salaries and the expenses of running the governor's office of personnel are paid for by tax dollars," the suit says.

On Nov. 12, 1980, Thompson issued an executive order requiring his approval of potential employees and promotions, the suit says. The governor's office of personnel oversees all aspects of employment. Employees of that office, the suit says, "are substantially motivated by political considerations." "Such political considerations include whether the individual under consideration is Republican or a relative or friend of a Republican, (or) is sponsored by an influential Republican," the suit says.

Those considered for positions are reviewed to see if they have supported Thompson or if a legislator supporting them has supported Thompson, the suit says.

The personnel office checks voting records of the applicant and the applicant's relatives in considering a person for employment, as well as the person's financial support of the Republican Party, the suit alleges.

Department employees bearing the titles of administrative assistant and assistant to the director act as liaisons with the governor's office, letting the governor's office know when positions become open, the suit says.

The system limits state employment and benefits by those who are not politically favored and forces people to contribute to the campaigns of Thompson and other Republicans, the suit says.

"This system thereby creates a significant political effort in favor of the `ins,' Thompson and his political allies and against the `outs,' those who may wish to challenge in elections," the suit says.

The suit seeks more than $500 million in compensatory damages and $500 million in punitive damages to be shared among the plaintiffs, and $2 million in damages to be paid to the state treasury as compensation for spending public funds to operate the patronage system.

 

 

 

BAISE TAKES FIRST STEP IN STATEWIDE OFFICE BID

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Friday, December 9, 1988

Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: EDITORIAL
Page: 9

STATE TRANSPORTATION Secretary Greg Baise says he won't let his politicking for statewide office interfere with his governmental duties.

Baise, of Springfield, has formed a campaign finance committee and says the time is right for him to make a bid for the Republican nomination to statewide office -- preferably secretary of state, although that remains to be determined.

But he says he's been balancing the demands of politics and government right along.

"I've been obviously viewed as one of the more political members of the Thompson administration," Baise said. "But I have certainly tried to draw the line. The demands of this office are heavy."

Baise filed papers last week with the State Board of Elections naming Republican ward committeeman Ron Gidwitz of Chicago, a Helene Curtis Corp. executive, as his chairman. Baise said it's a timely first step toward a statewide bid in 1990. "I FELT THAT in all my years of politics and counseling people, I've been saying that guys who come in and start talking two weeks before the filing period doom their candidacy to failure," he said. "I did not want to be in that position."

Baise, 36, has been in politics since he was elected an alderman in Jacksonville in 1975. He stepped down from that post in 1978 to join Republican Gov. James Thompson. He since has managed campaigns for politicians ranging from President-elect George Bush to unsuccessful Springfield aldermanic candidate Pat Tavine.

A high-ranking Thompson protege and ally for 10 years, Baise thinks the time is right now for him to seek office for himself.

"I think 1990 has the potential to be a real watershed year in politics for the Republican Party, one way or the other," he said.

Like everyone else in Illinois politics, Baise is waiting to see whether Thompson runs for a fifth term in 1990. He insists he has no inside knowledge.

"Well, I don't want to speculate on that," he said.

IF HE HAD his pick of offices, Baise would prefer the secretary of state's office. In addition to its sizable payroll, the post would involve him with some of the same interests he's worked with as transportation secretary.

"It's a high-profile office, of the secondary offices, and it's a challenging job," he said. "I think my background fits."

But he isn't limiting himself to the one office or specifying which office for which he's likely to run. That comes later, certainly after Thompson and Secretary of State Jim Edgar make their decisions at the top of the GOP ticket.

At least for the moment, Baise's interest in statewide office is best described as exploratory. The hard-and-fast decisions come later.

"If I decide to make a run, probably I would leave the office in about a year," he said. "I don't think I could do justice to the job here and also do the things I would need to do in order to run statewide."

SINCE HE STILL has the transportation department to administer, he said he'll lean over backward to avoid conflicts of interest.

"I'm in a bit of a unique position, being a sitting cabinet officer," he said. "Therefore, I will not accept contributions from highway contractors or others who do business with the department. My chairman is with Helene Curtis, and I'm not sure there's anything I can do for him as DOT secretary."

Job on hold The planned appointment of Gary Tinervan, 37, of Springfield, to a top job in the Veterans Affairs Department has been placed on hold, according to a spokesman for the governor's office.

Thompson in mid-November named Tinervan, an assistant personnel director in the governor's personnel office, to the $47,182-a-year post of assistant director of Veterans Affairs. The post is subject to Senate confirmation.

But a few days before the General Assembly returned for the second week of the veto session, a published report alleged that Tinervan had written a DuPage County judge urging bond reduction for a relative awaiting trial on charges of sexual assault. Tinervan reportedly enclosed his business card in the communication.

Rumblings in the Senate were that if Tinervan's appointment were presented to the Executive Appointments Committee, which met Nov. 30, it wouldn't be called. But it didn't get that far.

Before proceeding with the appointment, according to a spokesman for the governor's office, Thompson asked counsel Bill Ghesquiere to determine the accuracy of the newspaper account and assess what improprieties, if any, Tinervan may have committed. His report is still pending.

Coming up A year-end wrapup of this year's state elections and next year's legislative issues in Illinois -- not to mention Missouri, where a state tax increase proposal is expected -- will be broadcast at 9:30 tonight on the CONVOCOM cable television network (cable channel 23 in Springfield). Appearing on the program are CONVOCOM's Scott Mulford, Kay Norton of the Macomb Journal, John Webber of the Quincy Herald-Whig and this reporter. . . . Craig Findley, aide to U.S. Rep. Bob Michel, R-Peoria, is running for mayor of Jacksonville in the spring elections. He'll have an announcement party at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Sherwood Eddy Memorial YMCA. . . . U.S. Sens. Paul Simon, D-Ill.; Robert Kasten, R-Wis.; and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., among others, appear on a "Great Lakes Watch on Washington" program on the outlook for federal action on the national trade and budget deficits, as well as regional economic issues, aired on WJPT-TV (Springfield cable channel 23) at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. . . . Springfield Mayor Ossie Langfelder will speak to the League of Women Voters of the Springfield Area at their annual holiday party at 7:30 p.m. Monday at 1630 Wiggins Ave.

 

CHRISTOFILAKOS IS MANAGING PARTNER OF JIM'S STEAKHOUSE

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Wednesday, May 10, 1989

Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: BUSINESS
Page: 24

George Christofilakos, a face familiar to the Springfield restaurant business, has surfaced at Jim's Steakhouse, 2242 S. Sixth St., these days.

Christofilakos, who operated the Top of the Arch restaurant for nine years and owned it for another 11, has become managing partner of Jim's.

Christofilakos, who has been behind the scenes in the food business for the past three years as director of operations and partner in

 

Arena Food Service,

 

said no changes are planned for the popular steak and seafood house, whose trademark is its dry-aged beef.

"I'm coming into a successful operation," he said. "To change anything would be foolish. I'm just going to stand at the door and shake hands with a lot of old friends."

The building housed the Black Angus Steak House for many years until Peorian Jim Comfort began operating Jim's Steak House there in July 1987.

 

The restaurant was purchased by Sonny Greco, Greg Baise , and Frank Vala late last year.


 

 

ATTENTION TURNS TO THE BELLWETHER - DELEGATES COULD PUT DOLE OVER THE TOP

Chicago Tribune - Wednesday, March 13, 1996

Author/Byline: Thomas Hardy, Tribune political writer.
Edition: NORTH SPORTS FINAL
Section: NEWS
Page: 10
Column: ELECTION '96.

With the presidential nominations virtually sewn up by the Super Tuesday results, Sen. Bob Dole embarks on a weeklong primary campaign in the bellwether Midwest region that promises to be more interesting as a preview for the general election than as a test of his now-solid GOP standing.

Three of the four states holding primaries next Tuesday, including Illinois, will be pivotal in the November contest, and issues that have arisen during the nominating season will be vital in the Rust Belt come fall

"These states could well decide the outcome of the general election," Democratic National Committee co-chairman Don Fowler said Tuesday. "And the candidates themselves will spend a lot of time here battling it out."

The four Midwestern states holding primaries next Tuesday are Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, representing a cache of 229 convention delegates that will come close to putting Dole over the top for the GOP nomination. Fowler said Democratic primaries on the same day will clinch a renomination for President Clinton.

Moreover, the four states' combined 72 electoral votes account for a quarter of the total needed for a general election victory, and the big three--Illinois, Ohio and Michigan--are political prizes that don't fall reliably into either party's presidential column.

Illinois has carried every presidential winner except two during this century and has provided Democratic nominees with biggest Midwestern margins.

Ohio's presidential vote usually mirrors the national average to the exact percentage point, and no Republican has ever been elected without carrying it. (Ohio got more 1992 campaign visits by members of the national tickets than any other state.)

Michigan has gone with the presidential winner for three elections in a row.

"This is the start of Bob Dole's quest for putting together the 290 electoral votes needed to win. . . . Those three big states are absolutely critical for a Republican presidential candidate," said

 

Greg Baise , who managed President Reagan's Illinois re-election campaign in 1984.

Republicans voiced different opinions about themes Dole should emphasize during the coming week.

In a campaign year dominated by discussions of economically anxious voters--and in a region where the unemployment rate is lower than the national average--most recommended an upbeat economic theme.

Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar said Dole should spend the next six days stressing the importance of free trade in an area where agriculture and manufacturing remain dominant.

State Comptroller Loleta Didrickson recommended that Dole emphasize his foreign-relations experience and strategies for balancing the budget and reducing the deficit.

"Jobs and the economy are on Illinoisans' minds," offered Baise, president of the Illinois Manufacturers Association. "And character is where you start to define the real differences between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole."

Democratic Party chief Fowler said the presidential election in the Midwest will turn on partisan differences over "the standard issues" such as health care, education, environmental protection, tax policy and leadership.

"Polls indicate that the people are on (Clinton's) side," Fowler said. But he cautioned that, "Politics are uncertain, and other things could happen."

Fowler acknowledged that the Clinton-Dole race will tighten before November, but he predicted that the traditional post-convention "bump" from the Democratic nominating extravaganza staged in Chicago--immediately before the Labor Day kickoff of the fall campaign--will be especially effective for the president's Midwestern campaign.

Beginning Thursday, Dole will begin six days of campaigning in all four primary states.

Clinton, however, has decided not to make the kind of high-profile campaign trips that stole the Republican candidates' thunder in Iowa and New Hampshire last month. The president traveled to Michigan last week and is scheduled for a trip to Ohio later in the month.

Given those circumstances, Edgar said, "We can talk a lot more about Bill Clinton and kind of zero in on the president, rather than worry or have to dwell on what Sen. Dole's Republican opponents are saying."

Nevertheless, Dole's two main Republican primary foes, Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes, indicated no willingness to abandon their campaigns and rally behind the eventual nominee, despite the defeat he handed both in the Super Tuesday primaries.

"Even though some people say there's a certain candidate who has it all wrapped up, it's my belief that it's important to get the issues before the voters," Forbes told a Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce audience Tuesday.

"The Republican Party itself, I don't think, yet recognizes the importance of having something to say to the American people. When they say `unify,' my answer is `unify for what?' "

Buchanan promised again to "battle for the party" all the way to the GOP convention in San Diego in August.

DePaul University political scientist Michael Mezey said the size of the Buchanan vote remains the only issue for Dole to confront for the remainder of the primary season.

"Because Dole already has the nomination in the bag, the size of that vote is an index of the trouble Dole will have when he gets to the convention and the power that Buchanan and his folks will have over the platform," Mezey said.

In his 1992 Republican primary challenge to President George Bush, Buchanan received 22 percent of the vote in Illinois; 25 percent in Michigan and 17 percent in Ohio and Wisconsin. All four states have popular, moderate governors who have rallied behind Dole

Caption: PHOTO GRAPHIC
PHOTO: Steve Forbes and his wife, Sabina, greet well-wishers Tuesday morning after speaking at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. Tribune photo by Carl Wagner. GRAPHIC: Great Lakes Primaries. Wisconsin. Primaries in the industrial states of the Midwest take center stage March 19, with races in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Sources: World Almanac, U.S. Census Bureau, University of Wisconsin--extension Wisconsin Survey Research Laboratory. Chicago Tribune

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This goes on baise site)

 

Consider also denzler – state farm – rust/trosino – SIU’s – PI’s – attys – see esp. narup/isp alj - ILFOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gregg durham

 

 

 

“Gregg durham” – dot – topinka – IESDA/IEMA

 

IMA/baise – ROVE – lee daniels/gray

 

And see gray at comptrollers/topinka – campaign – terry reed

 

Xa zielinski at holiday inn and IMA

 

See esp. baise, baise/Greco etc.

 

Bernard Schoenburg: Local polling firm is making its mark

Photos

 

Bernard Schoenburg

By Anonymous

THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER

Posted Mar 28, 2010 @ 12:04 AM

Last update Mar 28, 2010 @ 08:27 AM

I could have looked like a genius if I had listened to GREGG DURHAM before I made predictions for the Feb. 2 primary.

Durham, a former state spokesman who is now chief operating officer of Xpress Professional Services Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association that does things including polling, told me to watch for JASON PLUMMER of Edwardsville to be the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor.

I didn’t go that far in print, sticking to the more conventional wisdom that state Sen. MATT MURPHY, R-Palatine, would get the nod because he was running mate of former GOP state party chairman ANDY McKENNA, who spent oodles of his own money to advertise the pair. But many of those McKenna ads attacked other candidates, and most didn’t concentrate on Murphy. The Plummer campaign — which got past the $1 million mark in spending — was much more focused, with the public being told positives about the candidate and his conservative views.

“Jason Plummer was quietly not just sneaking up on Matt Murphy, but had overtaken him,” Durham recalled recently. “That was 10 days to two weeks out” from the primary.

“We tested it out the day before the election,” he added. “I would have bet my house that he was going to win.”

He did.

The information he was getting came from polling done by his firm. The polling operation is called We Ask America, and in recent weeks, the results of some of its polls started being much more public with the unveiling of a Web site, www.WeAskAmerica.com.

The Xpress business, started in 2003, does things including video production, and Durham said doing some of its own polling started a couple of years later — an extension of political work.

“We had some doubts about some poll numbers that some Illinois officials were feeding us,” he said. “We were curious to see whether some of the poll information … was correct.”

He said the information from We Ask America polling was generally kept internal. But when results predicted started to closely mirror actual election outcomes, the company decided to offer polling services to others.

Now, it accounts for 60 percent to 70 percent of the Xpress business. Durham said the firm is doing 80 to 120 polls a year.

“We call more than 4 million households every year, throughout the United States,” he said. In one case, he said, 1.1 million people were called for polling commissioned by a national company.

We Ask America does both automated polls — where recorded voices ask respondents for their views — and live-interview polls. The firm did more than 20 polls during the primary season for one client, the gubernatorial campaign of state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, and all but two of those were automated.

“Interview polls are very good at finding some depth of knowledge,” Durham said, and often have 600 to 800 respondents. Automated polls can have much higher sample sizes, usually 2,000 to 3,500, he added.

In mid-January, the firm’s numbers were challenged by some of the other candidates when they went public, showing Dillard with 22.4 percent but a clear lead over the field. In the weeks following, McKenna’s ads especially took aim at Dillard.

“You could see the effect … of Andy McKenna’s attack ads,” Durham said. “It wasn’t that he (Dillard) was losing ground, as much as his gains quit growing.”

He said state Sen. BILL BRADY, R-Bloomington, the ultimate winner in the seven-way race over Dillard by a miniscule 193 votes, wasn’t getting attacked late in the race.

“As people started making a break on this, which happened right before the election, they were breaking the way of the guy who more or less drafted behind the front-runners,” Durham said. “Our final prediction was too close to call because it was less than a half of one percentage point difference.”

All this happens with a staff that includes mainly just three full-time workers.

Call lists can be purchased from elections boards, but also can be found with demographic and other data built in.

“There’s list vendors all over the nation,” Durham said.

There also are companies, particularly in some college towns where part-time student workers are available, that have call centers that can be contracted to do the live-call polls.

The company has to watch for state-by-state regulations, Durham said. For example, automated calls aren’t allowed in Indiana, so the company does interview polls there.

In very recent history, Durham said, automated polls have been much more accurate than interview polls nationally, but he thinks both have a place and it depends on the needs of a client.

“My personal preference is for automated (polls) plus focus groups,” he said. “I think that’s a combination that works extremely well.”

Automated polls also can be worked up quickly.

“It’s not uncommon for someone to call late in the afternoon and (for the poll) to be in the field that night,” he said.

Durham, 57, a Pontiac native and married father of two, moved to Springfield in 1978 and got a public relations job with the state Environmental Protection Agency after teaching media production at Illinois State University, where he got a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and a master’s in educational media.

“I had never done PR work,” he said, “but I can talk my way out of a paper bag.”

He went on to work for politicians including former Illinois House Republican Leader LEE DANIELS and former state Treasurer JUDY BAAR TOPINKA. He was briefly a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation before joining the manufacturers’ association staff.

He said polls being put on the Web site are just a fraction of the surveys conducted by the firm. Interesting results from commissioned polls are only being put on the site with permission of clients. Some polls also are being done, in Illinois and other states, because of Web reader suggestions or general interest.

“There’s a great deal of interest throughout the country” in congressional races, he said, and he has generally noticed a trend of “independents continuing to look to the right” politically.

Durham provides the usual cautions that polls show a snapshot, and opinions can change. But some recent polls showed, for example, that as of March 10, the overall approval rating for President BARACK OBAMA in Illinois was 46.6 percent, with 49.5 percent disapproval; and as of Feb. 18, in the 17th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. PHIL HARE, D-Rock Island, was leading Republican challenger BOBBY SCHILLING of Colona by merely a 38.8-31.7 margin, with almost 4 percent for Green Party candidate ROGER DAVIS of Quincy and nearly 26 percent undecided.

As of March 10, Republican candidate Brady had a 44.6-31.6 margin over Democratic incumbent Gov. PAT QUINN, with 3.5 percent for RICH WHITNEY of the Green Party and 20.3 percent unsure.

Durham notes that survey came the day of Quinn’s gloomy budget address.

Polls are done for issues and candidates, for small organizations and large. And the new Web site not only promotes the business, but aims to generate some ad revenue.

Durham clearly enjoys getting good results.

“What we try to do is find interesting races,” he said.

On her way to Houston
NATALIE BOMKE, daughter of Springfield’s state Sen. LARRY and SALLY JO Bomke, is on the way up even higher in the TV world.

The one-time WICS-TV reporter, now 28, has been with KTXL-TV in Sacramento, Calif., for more than three years, and was among those to launch a 4 ½-hour news and entertainment morning program there, “FOX40 Live.”

While Sacramento is in the top 20 TV markets in the country, Bomke is on her way to the 10th — Houston. She begins April 5 as a reporter and part-time anchor at FOX affiliate there, KRIV.

“Houston is getting a great anchor, and an even better person,” FOX40 morning executive producer LEIGH ANNE KEYS said in a story on KTXL’s Web site. “I’ve watched Natalie grow into a great anchor and TV personality. She’s always prepared for whatever we throw at her every day, whether it’s hard news or fun segments.”

Her parents, of course, feel fortunate and proud that things are going well for their daughter despite the tough economy.

“We could do backflips,” Sally Jo Bomke said. “It’s such an exciting thing.”

Ethics award
The office of Attorney General LISA MADIGAN is this year’s recipient of the Abraham Lincoln Ethics Award from the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission.

JAMES FAUGHT, chairman of the commission, said in a statement that in 2009, Madigan’s office, working closely with the commission, spearheaded an overhaul of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act that raised ethical standards and increased transparency.

“I am proud to accept this honor on behalf of the employees in my office,” Madigan said.

Bernard Schoenburg is political columnist for The State Journal-Register. He can be reached at 788-1540 or bernard.schoenburg@sj-r.com.

Copyright 2010 The State Journal-Register. Some rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CURRAN VIRTUALLY SILENT IN THIS CAMPAIGN

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Thursday, October 10, 1996

Moving on KAREN GRUETER, 32, of Mount Zion has moved from being a $44,000 spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health to

the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, where she is director of communications.

Grueter has a degree in mass communications and public relations from Illinois State University, and has been with the state for a decade.

She replaced GREGG DURHAM at the Chamber. He went to the state treasurer's office.

 

 

 

 

Topinka – comptroller – didrickson – terry reed – gray

 

Gray was asst to topinka

 

TITLE: STATEHOUSE INSIDER

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Sunday, January 31, 1999

Edition: M1,M2
Section: FORUM
Page: 13

Senate President JAMES "PATE" PHILIP, R-Wood Dale, snubbed the speech last week by U.S. Defense Secretary WILLIAM COHEN, calling it a political stunt

and a big waste of taxpayer dollars.

Just for the record, on the day Cohen gave his speech, the Senate -- which is controlled by Senate President Frugal -- was in session for less than 30 minutes. That's about long enough for each member to show up and collect his $83 in daily expense money.

And remember in November, when the House canceled a scheduled veto session day because there was nothing to do, but Senator Frugal kept his chamber in town to vote on a measly three bills (and let each senator collect $83 in expense money)? And remember how several Democrats said the real motive for not canceling the session was to ensure a good turnout at a reception, sponsored by Illinois corporations, the night before? Apparently waste, like many things, is in the eye of the beholder.

If nothing else, Cohen showed during his speech that he has a quick wit.

In one case, it was a lot quicker than his lawmaker audience.

Cohen delivered his speech from the speaker's platform at the front of the House chamber, an area that includes all sorts of buttons and other gizmos necessary to operate the chamber. As Cohen was gliding along during his speech, the loudspeaker system in the chamber suddenly switched off. Cohen made a couple of fitful restarts to his speech before someone figured out what was wrong and the loudspeakers came back on. "One must always be careful in reaching for buttons," Cohen observed drily.

It was a good line, and a few chuckles rippled in parts of the room. But then, like the proverbial light coming on, the rest of the chamber finally got the joke and the place filled with loud laughter.

If you're not a lawmaker, you've probably already figured out the joke, but: Cohen is the guy with his finger on the missile button. Get it? Postscript: Near the end of the speech, a phone began ringing loudly in the chamber. Without missing a beat, Cohen said, "Mr. President, please. Not now." That joke everybody got right away.

Rep. LOU LANG, D-Skokie, last week held his annual (or is it semiannual) news conference to announce a gambling proposal.

Lang likes to come up with these suggested mega-gambling deals, although even casual observers may recall there hasn't been a mega-gambling deal in years. A day before his news conference, Lang's staff put out an announcement that called Lang "... House Speaker MICHAEL MADIGAN's point person on gaming in the Illinois House." And what was Madigan's reaction to Lang's gambling proposal? "What he does in gaming, he does on his own," Madigan said. "Mr. Lang is not speaking for me on the question of gaming." Looks like Lang has the point of a butter knife.

The biggest nonstory of the week was the great rules debate in the House.

House Republican Leader LEE DANIELS led a seemingly endless series of GOP lawmakers who alleged the Democrats were trampling all over the rights of the minority Republicans with some new debate rules.

It was so dull that even most House Republicans weren't paying attention. How dull? One Republican lawmaker sat at his desk on which sat a huge pile of plastic knives, forks and spoons. As the momentous debate raged on, he sorted the dinnerware into neat piles and stuffed it in his desk drawer.

Knowing that in the months ahead lawmakers will be eating a lot of meals at their desks, he was probably the smart one of the bunch.

There seems to be agreement there was NOT an emergency aboard a state airplane last week, but there is disagreement on whether the thing filled up with smoke.

Here's what people agree on: During a morning flight from Chicago to Springfield, passengers on a state plane -- including Attorney General JIM RYAN and an employee of Treasurer JUDY BAAR TOPINKA -- detected the odor of something burning. Apparently, a temperature sensor in a circuit board fried itself, but the plane's crew quickly took care of the problem and the aircraft was not forced to land or take emergency action. The circuit board was replaced in Springfield, and the plane went back into service.

Here's the rub:

 Topinka spokesman GREGG DURHAM

 

said the treasurer's employee reported that the cabin filled with smoke. However, a Ryan spokesman said his boss reported there was no smoke in the plane. And the Department of Transportation, which operates the aircraft, also denied there was any smoke.

That's 2-1 against smoke, and this being a democracy, the ruling is there was no smoke in the plane.

 

 

 

Richard hart – historic renovation – vinegar hill area

 

NEW BAR AND DELI IS SPORTS FAN'S DELIGHT

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Sunday, August 7, 1988

Springfield office Management Services Associates Inc., a marketing and management consulting firm, has opened an office at 630 S. Pasfield St. in the German Settlers Row complex.

MSA, which also has an office in Chicago, is composed of Chuck Jones and

 

Gregg Durham , former director and assistant director of the Illinois Emergency Services and Disaster Agency (IESDA).

 

Jones said although the firm has large clients like Laventhol and Horwath, Commonwealth Edison and the state Deaprtment of Public Aid, it also is suited for start-up companies "that need help in all phases of marketing but can't afford a full-time sales strategy or government relations staff."

Jones and Durham each have marketing/media degrees and experience in government and public relations, training and publishing.

 

 

 

CONTACT MINISTRIES INSTALLS OFFICERS

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Monday, February 2, 1998

Edition: M1,M2
Section: LOCAL
Page: 17

Mike Barker has been installed as president of Contact Ministries at its annual meeting.

Other officers are the Rev. Jon Berg, vice president; Kyle Schultz and Katie Huther, secretary; and Darin Jenkins, treasurer.

New directors are Veronica Cook, the Rev. John Hembruch, Darin Jenkins, Betty McLean, Linda Chronister and Don LoBue. Remaining board members are Diane O'Connor, Sid Marder, John Nosari, Jane Hawe, the Rev. Jerry Doss, Larry Ryherd and the Rev. William Moore.

Retiring board members are Maria Ferraro, Elaine Birtch, Dale Becker, Gregg Durham , William Branham and Ann Lienemann. Charles Hammond will serve as immediate past president.

Pat Price received the Sid Wood Memorial Award in recognition of being named "volunteer of the year." Price contributes many hours annually to the agency, serving as a receptionist, telephone operator and file clerk. Price has volunteered at the agency for more than eight years and volunteers one to two days a week

 

RALPH DUNN LEAVING TREASURY POSITION

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Tuesday, April 15, 1997

Edition: M1,M2
Section: LOCAL
Page: 2

Former state Sen. Ralph Dunn, R-DuQuoin, will leave his job with state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka at the end of April.

"It wasn't a surprise to Senator Dunn," said Gregg Durham , spokesman for Topinka, who said Dunn was told Monday that he would be let go. Durham said that Dunn, 83, did a "great job," but knew when he was hired that the duration of the job would be limited.

Following his 1995 resignation from the Senate, Dunn was hired as a $60,000 program adviser for the Illinois Public Treasurers' Investment Pool, a state-run investment fund for local governments.

He was assigned to work with public treasurers in his southern Illinois area and encourage them to use the fund. He was very successful, Durham said.

"Ralph Dunn is responsible for bringing in millions of dollars" into IPTIP, Durham said. "We think he did a very good job of producing what was available from his district."

 

Billboards target Dems - They aren't campaign signs, group insists

Herald News, The (Joliet, IL) - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Author/Byline: Paul Dailing, pdailing@scn1.com
Section: MAIN
Page: A10

What do you get when you cross George W. Bush's chief strategist, unregulated corporate cash and a congressional candidate's father?

You get DoNotLetBillFosterKillJobs.com.

Billboards simply stating that Web site and the name Economic Freedom Alliance have been popping up around the area.

While the Economic Freedom Alliance's local signs name freshman U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Geneva, as the potential job murderer, identical signs target Democrat Rep. Debbie Halvorson from Crete, Missouri Democrat Rep. Ike Skelton, Indiana Democrat Sen. Evan Bayh and Missouri Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Five signs, five Democrats. Four are up for re-election next year.

One of the consultants the EFA said helped strategize the campaign - Denny Hastert, former speaker of the House and the longtime congressman in the 14th District - is the father of one of Foster's challengers.

But the signs aren't campaign signs, EFA leaders say. They're about the Employee Free Choice Act, a proposed change to union rules not mentioned anywhere on the billboards.

The signs can't be campaign signs, the EFA said. That would be illegal.

Why the signs?

"The concept is that somebody should see that billboard, go to the Internet and see what that's all about," said Economic Freedom Alliance President Ron Gidwitz, who ran for Illinois governor in 2006.

But people who don't look up the site where the Free Choice Act is discussed just see a sign with a politician's name and the idea of killing jobs.

"I'm sure lots of people will see the billboard and not go to the Internet. That happens to all sorts of advertising," Gidwitz said.

This type of tactic is common among "527 groups" like the EFA, said Dave Levinthal of the Center for Responsive Politics.

"They can criticize or promote a candidate's record but aren't specifically telling you to vote for Candidate X," he said.

The 527 groups file with the IRS as political organizations, not with the Federal Election Commission as political committees. Committees have rules limiting individual donations to $5,000 a year and forbidding corporate or union money.

Since the EFA formed two years ago, it has taken in $146,000 in corporate donations, IRS records show.

And the EFA has taken in $305,500 in individual donations, some as high as $50,000. The average donation was just more than $14,500.

Of the 21 individual donations the group reported to the IRS, nine would have been legal had the group registered as a political committee.

Why these five?

The Employee Free Choice Act, if Congress approves it, would make it easier to join or form unions. In general the unions are for it, factory owners against it.

Of the 225 co-sponsors of the House version of the bill, only Foster, Halvorson and Skelton were targeted. Bayh and McCaskill did not co-sponsor the Senate version of the bill.

Gidwitz said the five candidates were targeted in part because they aren't strong supporters.

"There's no sense in spending money on people whose minds you can't change," Gidwitz said, adding there are more possible targets in Ohio, Wisconsin and Missouri.

Who got paid?

"The Economic Freedom Alliance affords our members an opportunity to express their opinions about different issues, in this case the so-called Employee Free Choice Act," said Illinois Manufacturer Association President Greg Baise, who also acts as EFA treasurer and helped set up the group.

The Illinois Manufacturer Association is both the biggest EFA donor ($390,000 in the first half of this year) and the biggest recipient of EFA money. More than $393,000 went to Xpress Professional Services , a for-profit polling and advertising division of the IMA.

The next biggest recipient of EFA money is Karl Rove, former strategist for President George W. Bush. Rove received $100,000 in consultant fees in the first half of this year.

The offices of Karl Rove and Co. did not respond to repeated requests for comment.


What did Hastert do?

Foster's Republican opponent in 2010 could be Ethan Hastert, son of Denny Hastert. Denny Hastert was paid $10,000 in May as an EFA consultant.

His spokesman, Brad Hahn, said the elder Hastert was hired only as an out-of-state fundraiser. Any strategy was just something that came up in conversation, he said.

"The actual work was for the fundraising, but he and Ron (Gidwitz) know each other and talked about that as well," Hahn said.

However, Baise said Hastert was specifically asked to strategize.

"Denny Hastert was asked to help us formulate a strategy of the kind of opposition and language that could be used," Baise said.

Gidwitz said Hastert's involvement has been ongoing.

"Denny Hastert and Karl Rove have been involved since we got started back in November, early December and have been advising us all the way," he said.

This surprised Ethan Hastert.

"I didn't know that," the younger Hastert said when told of his father's EFA involvement. "News to me."

Comment on this story.

www.heraldnewsonline.com

Caption: Hastert Halvorson Foster

 

Foster campaign disputes accuracy of robocall results

Kane County Chronicle (Geneva, IL) - Saturday, March 27, 2010

Author/Byline: BRENDA SCHORY
Section: News

BATAVIA – Bill Foster's campaign claims technical difficulties skewed poll results released Friday by a Springfield pollster.

On Thursday, Foster campaign director Matt Snodgrass alleged the robocalls assessing whether or not Foster's vote for the health care plan were deliberately confusing. At the time, Snodgrass did not know who was doing the polls.

Springfield pollster, We Ask America Inc., a division of XPress Professional Services Inc ., came forward Friday, saying they conducted the poll earlier this week, calling more than 1,300 voters in the 14th Congressional District.

The results showed 55.36 percent of respondents would be less likely to support Foster in the fall because of his health care vote. According to the poll, 37.13 percent would be more likely to vote for Foster.

The company's results are posted on its Web site, http://weaskamerica.com.

Foster, D-Batavia, is facing off against State Senator Randall Hultgren, R-West Chicago, for the 14th Congressional seat in the general election Nov. 2.

"We stand behind the results of these polls," said Gregg Durham, chief operating officer for XPress Professional Services. "If a handful had a technical problem, their responses would not count."

Durham also questioned whether any of Foster's constituents really had problems or maybe they pressed the wrong button or two buttons together on their phones.

Snodgrass disputed the assertion that the poll results are accurate.

"We Ask America are aware respondents had difficulty registering their true feelings, and knowing this, they decided to publish their results anyway," Snodgrass said. "He wants to stand behind his poll results and question constituents and their ability to operate a phone."

The robocall asked voters in the 14th district, "Your congressman, Bill Foster, voted in favor of the president's health-care package last Sunday. Does that make you more likely, or less likely to support him for re-election?"

In order to support Foster, voters were to press one. Snodgrass said at least a dozen people let the campaign know that the automated operator would not accept press one for Foster.

Marie Harris of Bartlett said she pressed one for Foster three times.

She said she pressed the correct number and did not press two at the same time on her phone.

"I just found it so strange, [when] the voice said, ‘We can't recognize your response,'" Harris said. "That's why I contacted the Foster office."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illinois GOP Party poll on Gitmo north. Oppose? Support?

Chicago Sun-Times: Blogs (IL) - Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Author/Byline: Lynn Sweet
Section: Lynn Sweet

Below, release from Illinois GOP survey....

Survey Shows Only 32% of Illinois Voters Support Quinn/Durbin Plan to Move Gitmo to Illinois, 57% Oppose

60% of women, 58% of independents and plurality of Democrats call plan a "bad idea"

CHICAGO - Less than one-third of Illinois voters support a plan to move terrorists from Gitmo to Thomson, Illinois while 57 percent call it a "bad idea," according to a survey released today by We Ask America, a division of Xpress Professional Services, Inc . of Springfield, Illinois.

According to the overnight survey of 1,791 likely Illinois voters, 60 percent of women and 58 percent of independents oppose the plan. Even Democrats narrowly oppose the plan, 44.5 percent to 43 percent.

It has been reported that a prison in northwestern Illinois is being considered to house individuals that have been incarcerated at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay. The individuals in question are being held due to suspicion that they have connections to terrorist activities. Do you think that housing these prisoners in an Illinois prison is a GOOD IDEA or a BAD IDEA?

Overall: Independents Democrats

Good idea: 32.33% Good idea: 33.78% Good idea: 42.62%

Bad idea: 56.95% Bad idea: 57.90% Bad idea: 44.46%

Unsure: 10.72% Unsure: 8.32% Unsure: 12.92%

"Democrat mismanagement and corruption is no excuse to put our homeland security at risk," IL Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said. "Governor Quinn and Senator Durbin should listen to the people of Illinois and oppose this risky scheme."

ILGOP Note: Poll Data Courtesy of We Ask America, a division of Xpress Professional Services, Inc . www.xps-web.com, 217-522-1257

# # #

Not Sent At Taxpayer Expense

PAID FOR BY THE ILLINOIS REPUBLICAN PARTY www.WeAreIllinois.org

NOT AUTHORIZED BY ANY CANDIDATE OR CANDIDATE COMMITTEE.

 

 

 

 

Poller in 14th not sorry

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) - Saturday, March 27, 2010

Author/Byline: James Fuller jfuller@dailyherald.com
Section: News
Page: 4

Springfield-based We Ask America owned up to being the source of an anonymous phone poll in the 14th Congressional District on Friday, but it didn’t offer the apology Congressman Bill Foster’s campaign asked for.

Instead, We Ask America spokesman Gregg Durham said Foster’s campaign has a gripe with the poll only because they don’t like the results.

Those results show the majority of the 1,371 people polled in the district are less likely to vote for Foster in November because he supported the health care bill passed by the House this week. The results include 57 percent of the district’s key independent voters saying they are less likely to support Foster. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.64 percent.

"If my results had been the other way, my guess is there wouldn’t be this human cry," Durham said of the Foster camp’s complaints. "The reality is people in that district did not like that vote."

Foster’s campaign requested an apology after some respondents complained that the poll rejected every attempt they made to record support for Foster’s vote.

The campaign also said the poll was set up to come from a Washington, D.C., area code to make it seem like it was Foster himself who was conducting the poll.

Durham said the Washington area code is sometimes used because people are more likely to respond to a call from that area code. He said an occasional glitch in a phone poll is not unheard of. But all attempts to reproduce an inability to respond in support of Foster’s vote failed.

Durham said any person who did not complete the full poll was not counted in the votes. He added that no political party or candidate commissioned his company to run the poll, so it is free of any partisan bias.

"We did it on our own to create discussion and promote polling," Durham said.

Durham’s and We Ask America’s ties to the Republican Party won’t be lost on Democrats suspicious of the poll. Durham has a long history of working for and financially supporting the Illinois Republican Party and political candidates such as Judy Baar Topinka and Ron Gidwitz.

Durham said these days his work is commissioned about 60 percent of the time by Republicans and 40 percent of the time by Democrats.

We Ask America is also a subsidiary of XPress Professional Services . That company also has a long history of work and support of Republican candidates. Most recently it did polling work for Kirk Dillard’s gubernatorial campaign and made a $750 campaign contribution to Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay.

All of those facts left Foster’s campaign unsatisfied with Durham’s lack of an apology.

"We Ask America admits to technical errors in their polling technology, which completely compromises the accuracy of their polling," said Matt Snodgrass, political director of Foster’s campaign. "Why should we trust the data from an organization that neither identifies themselves nor uses functional polling technology?"

 

 

 

 

Internet aids in candidate transparency

Kane County Chronicle (Geneva, IL) - Monday, February 1, 2010

Author/Byline: BRENDA SCHORY
Section: Local

For those who wonder who supports who in federal elections, look no further than the Federal Election Commission and its online database.

In state elections, there’s the Illinois State Board of Elections and in Kane County, Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham. Layer upon layer of transparency and information – enough to make your head spin.

But it will also tell the voters who is supporting who with cash, in-kind contributions or working against an opponent.

And it’s all there online.

• • •

For example, Ann Marie Konopack, an attorney at Mayer Brown, donated $250 to Ethan Hastert’s campaign to win his father’s former seat in the 14th Congressional District. Hastert is a lawyer at Mayer Brown.

Michael Larson of DeKalb donated $50 to Hastert’s campaign, as did another Mayer Brown attorney, Dan Luther. Peter Orum of St. Charles, an executive with Midwest Ground Covers, donated $500 to Hastert’s campaign.

Hastert’s opponent in the Feb. 2 primary, State Sen. Randall Hultgren R-Winfield, received $500 from Eric Brown of Wayne, an investment banker, $2,400 from Millie Carney, a North Barrington homemaker, $500 from Barrt Morris, a State Farm Insurance agent from San Antonio, Texas. He also received $1,000 from Duncan Wall of Geneva, a manager with Fox River Associates.

But the Web site differentiates between individuals, party committees and other committee contributions for all federal candidates.

Hastert received $1,000 from Lorillard Tobacco Company PAC of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Hultgren received $2,000 from AT&T Federal PAC.

The database will also show what other politicians and campaigns send money, as well as who else those same PACS gave to.

For example, click on the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers Political Action Committee. The FEC database will list its address and registered lobbyist and three new sections of queries: Contributions received by the candidate’s committees, committees and candidates supported or opposed and individuals who gave to the committee.

The insurance agents’ PAC received contributions from the Americans for a Republican Majority PAC, Aon Corporation PAC and the Willis North America Inc. Further clicking on the contributors’ names will tell you who their lobbyists are – and who contributed to their PAC. Click on the Willis name for individual contributors and see that Peter Hearn of Fort Washington, Pa. donated $2,000. Hearn is the Willis chief executive officer.

• • •

The FEC database also allows inquiries directly into names of political action committees or other organizations and shows who they gave to and how much.

For example, in a recent piece of campaign literature, Hultgren criticized Hastert for being endorsed by Mainstreet Partnership, calling it a “liberal Republican organization that has supported pro-abortion candidates.”

According to the database, Hastert received a $2,000 contribution from Mainstreet Partnership. The partnership received contributions from a wide-ranging list of attorneys, homemakers, retirees, doctors and investment bankers – and spent money independently for and against candidates.

In 2004, it spent money against Republican congressional candidates Andrew Harris in Annapolis, Md. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in Spokane, Wash. and Greg Ruehle in Lincoln, Neb.

The partnership spent money to support the Republican congressional campaigns of Charles Bass in New Hampshire and Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island in 2006.

The database provides layers upon layers of who contributions, and who is connected to whom – such as when candidates’ political campaigns donate to each other.

The Mark Kirk senate campaign donated $1,000 to Hastert, while Ted Poe and Donald Manzullo’s congressional campaigns each donated $500, according to the database.

• • •

Illinois’ online database is nearly as detailed.

State Sen. Chris Lauzen, R-Aurora, lists contributors to his campaign, Friends for Lauzen. They include $3,000 from Robert Bonifas, president of Alarm Detection Systems in Aurora; $500 from Joan Hedley of Sugar Grove; and $500 from Windy City Amusements through Tony Salerno of St. Charles.

Political action committees’ contributions to Lauzen include Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis, Mo., for $500; Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois in Springfield for $1,000; and Jack Roeser’s Champion News Network for $1,000 and his Republican Renaissance PAC for $4,000.

The database also lists the contributions to Lauzen’s primary opponent, Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels’ committee, Friends of Sean Michels.

Contributions include $500 from Dallas Ingemunson of Yorkville; John Bryan of Sugar Grove for $500; and Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove for $500. Oberweis ran against Lauzen in a hotly contested primary for the GOP nomination to face off against Foster. Oberweis won the primary, but lost the race to Foster.

• • •

In Kane County, the state’s Web site and County Clerk Jack Cunningham’s site both lists local campaign disclosures in local races.

For example, even politicos who are not in a current race are still engaged in fundraising. Kane County Board Chairwoman Karen McConnaughay’s campaign, Citizens for Karen McConnaughay, reported a $5,000 contribution on Friday from Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers in Countryside.

In her year-end report, the committee listed contributions from Mark Barkowski of Orland Park for $500; John Patrick of Sugar Grove, owner of Geneva Construction, for $250; $750 from Vestuto Real Estate Corporation in St. Charles; and $750 from Xpress Professional Services in Springfield, a company that does electronic polling.

The database also lists “in-kind” contributions, which are not cash, but have a cash value. For McConnaughay, Plote Construction of Schaumburg provided the food for a Nov. 3 fundraiser at Nick’s Pizza and Pub in Elgin.

Others, such as county board member Barbara Wojnicki, R-15th, who is in a three-way primary race against challengers Susan Secondi of unincorporated Campton Township and Campton Hills Trustee Al Lenkaitis, have more modest war chests.

According to the state database, Wojnicki had $2,960.98 at the close of the Dec. 31 reporting period, while Secondi listed no contributions to Citizens for Secondi and Lenkaitis did not list a campaign committee at all.

• • •

General information

Polls open: 6 a.m.

Polls close: 7 p.m.

Questions: Call the Kane County Clerk’s Election Help Line at 630-232-5990.

Keep up to date with the races at www.kcchronicle.com/election2010. We'll have a live chat with Editor Joe Grace from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday and election results as they come in.

What do I do if I experience a voting problem?

Kane County voters who observe or experience voting problems or irregularities during next week’s primary election should call the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office to report the problems.

The Election Complaint Line will be available from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 2, 2010.

Anyone who experiences or witnesses any possible illegal election activity, such as electioneering, illegally placed campaign signs or denial of voting rights at any of Kane County’s 228 voting precincts should call the hotline at 630-208-5328.

The hotline will be staffed by representatives of the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office. Assistant state’s attorneys will take the complaints about potential violations of Illinois election laws and are prepared to travel to polling places to ensure compliance with state election laws.

Voters should note that this hotline is not for election questions, such as polling times and places. Voters in need of election information should call the Kane County Clerk’s Election Help Line at 630-232-5990. Eligible voters must be registered, a United States citizen and at least 18 years old.

 

 

 

 

Candidates ponder mystery robocalls

Kane County Chronicle (Geneva, IL) - Friday, January 29, 2010

Author/Byline: BRENDA SCHORY
Section: Local

A company that does electronic polling has made calls on behalf of candidates in four Kane County district races, but candidates contacted said they did not pay for it.

Electronic polling or robocalls that did not identify themselves were made in these county board Republican primary races:

• The 15th where incumbent Barbara Wojnicki of Campton Hills has two challengers, Susan Secondi of Campton Township and Albert Lenkaitis Jr., a Campton Hills trustee

• The 5th where incumbent William Wyatt of Aurora is being challenged by Melisa Taylor, a Sugar Grove trustee

• The 25th where incumbent Bob Kudlicki of Hampshire is being challenged by T.R. Smith of Burlington

• The 21st where incumbent John Fahy of West Dundee is being challenged by Lee Barrett of Algonquin

Candidates Wojnicki, Secondi, Lenkaitis, Wyatt, Taylor, Kudlicki, Smith and Fahy said they did not hire a company to do the polling. Barrett did not return phone messages seeking comment.

Despite rumors that the polling number on caller ID is connected to Republican Kirk Dillard's campaign for governor, a spokesman for his campaign and the polling company both said there is no connection.

"I've done all the polling for Kirk Dillard and he's never asked me to do anything for races in Kane County," said Gregg Durham, chief operating officer of Xpress Professional Services in Springfield, an electronic polling company. "No one from the Kirk Dillard campaign has shown any interest in Kane County district races."

Durham said any number can be the caller ID number when doing electronic polling.

"It's pick any or go with the flow," Durham said. "You can fake caller ID calls with old-fashioned dirty tricks. You can take the caller ID off somebody else and insert it into the system. We have an 800 number."

Despite how people and candidates say they do not like electronic polling or robocalls, Durham said they are accurate in foretelling who will win a race.

"We take huge samples, 35 to 40 percent of people answer the questions," Durham said. "It's the automated pollers who are getting it right. They predicted who would win the governors' races in Virginia and New York and the senatorial race in Massachusetts."

Taylor said she believes that County Board President Karen McConnaughay is behind the polling, that McConnaughay is worried about losing board members who vote her way.

"She's worried about losing Wyatt," Taylor said. "He votes with her 99.9 percent of the time. She is connected to those robocalls, and Wyatt is part of that, too."

Wyatt and McConnaughay say they are not involved with the calls.

"My campaign had nothing to do with it," Wyatt said. "That is desperate pre-election rhetoric."

"This truly is silly and ridiculous – much ado about nothing," McConnaughay said of the electronic polling. "I work with whomever gets elected. That is what democracy is. I have done nothing in the (county) primary. The fact that I am co-chair on the Dillard campaign has nothing to do with vendors who do polling."

Smith said he could not afford to do electronic polling.

"In these county board races, who would care?" Smith asked. "The county board people who would care enough to pay for it."

Smith said he was baffled by the calls.

"I don't have a lot of money to put in my campaign and no money for robocalls," Smith said.

Kudlicki said he had to laugh when he got the robocall.

"They asked if I'd vote for 'Bill' Kudlicki," he said. "I hung up when I heard they got my name wrong."

Jack Roeser, a Carpentersville conservative who runs Family Taxpayers Network, also founded Republican Renaissance PAC and has listed several Kane endorsements on his Web site.

These include Wojnicki, Smith and Taylor.

Roeser said his group has been polling every week on the governor's race but not on any other race.

Jim Edwards, executive director of the Republican Renaissance PAC, said he does not know who's been polling the district races in Kane County.

"It's a mystery," Edwards said. "We have gotten other phone calls from candidates who do not know who's doing the calls."

Durham said the mystery may be less mysterious than people think.

He suggested that all four races were polled to hide which race was the pollers' true interest.

"That's a very common thing," Durham said. "Politically speaking, if a politician pays for a poll, they have to report it. If it's not paid by a political action committee, and you do a poll as a favor, that has to be reported as an in-kind contribution."

 

 

 

Bernard Schoenburg: Hynes OK'd ethics chief's outside law work

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Saturday, January 16, 2010

Author/Byline: THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER
Section: opinions

Is it a problem that the executive inspector general of the state comptroller's office also practices law on the side?

No, according to a spokeswoman for Comptroller DAN HYNES. In fact, the comptroller himself cleared it before reappointing the inspector general, MICHAEL DRAKE of Springfield, to his job in 2008.

Drake was open about this when I called late last week.

"My agreement with Mr. Hynes is that I can practice law," Drake said. "I do not mix my state job with my private criminal defense work. I do not use state equipment. I do not use state office space."

He said he also uses his own cell phone.

"When I have to meet clients, I meet them at a friend's law office. I don't meet them here on state property. And I don't take any cases that would create any kind of conflict."

Drake was a partner with the Springfield firm of Brown, Hay & Stephens when he was "basically called out of the blue" to apply to become the comptroller's inspector general. It was among jobs created by legislation signed in late 2003 by then-Gov. ROD BLAGOJEVICH as a reaction to corruption under his predecessor, former Gov. GEORGE RYAN. My, how things progress.

Among positions called for in that bill were executive inspectors general for the offices of the governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller and treasurer. (The relative handful of employees under the lieutenant governor are under ethical auspices of the governor's executive inspector general.)

Drake began the state job in early 2004. He makes $101,008 annually from the state, and said he's paid the minimum prescribed for the job by the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission, and hasn't gotten a raise.

Drake said he had a civil case pending when he took the state job, and he tried that case - which took about a week's court time - during his first couple of years in the state job. He used personal and vacation time to do so, he said.

As his reappointment was being contemplated in 2008, he said, he told Hynes that to stay, "I'd like to be able to work a little bit in the court system."

Criminal court dockets usually call for lawyers to be in court at 9 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. More than 90 percent of the time, cases are continued, so sometimes a visit to court lasts only 10 minutes, Drake said.

A felony case at times "can last a little longer - you might be there an hour," he said.

"Virtually any other time, you will find me in my state office," he said. As an "officeholder," he said, he's not tied to the clock. Still, he said, "I'm available 24/7."

"I take phone calls all day long, all week long," Drake said, in addition to handling some specified tasks, such as ethics training. He said he gets questions or complaints from employees, but he also gets many calls from people who receive any sort of state check - they're all signed by Hynes. People with problems or questions often find the inspector general's phone number on the Internet.

He says he often has to explain that the act is very limited in scope, but he tries to "do my best to put them in the right direction," telling them where to call or calling on their behalf.

"That's not my job description, but it happens all day long," he said.

Except for vacation, he's in the office daily.

"There's nobody saying Mike Drake isn't doing his job," he said.

At Hynes' request, Drake added, he's been compiling quarterly reports of vendors and sending them to the Hynes campaign to help Hynes follow what began as a self-imposed pledge not to take money from businesses that do work for the office.

In any conflict between a law case and the state job, the comptroller's office would win, he said.

CAROL KNOWLES, spokeswoman for Hynes, said Drake is "completely independent of our office," as called for in the ethics law. Although he reports directly to the comptroller, the inspector general has an office away from comptroller's workers and "has the ability to investigate whatever comes up whenever it comes up."

"The comptroller believes that he's doing a very good job," Knowles said, and Hynes agreed to the outside work because "lawyers in private practice can make significantly more."

Drake said he also sought an OK from the Executive Ethics Commission before doing the outside work.

CHAD FORNOFF, executive director of commission, said he checked with commission members, and "we told him it wouldn't be a problem" as long as there are no cases that cause a conflict.

Judge PATRICK KELLEY, chief Judge of the 7th Circuit, said Drake also asked him about it. Kelley said the arrangement really is between the Drake and his employer, but he saw no problem.

"Mike's a fine lawyer," Kelley said. "It's always a pleasure to have him in court."

Some activity reports for the various inspectors general are available online at the Web site of the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission, www.eec.Illinois.gov. It's obvious there that the level of activity is quite different depending on how many employees are being overseen. There are 50,000 or more under the governor's purview, but only about 250 under the comptroller and less under the treasurer.

In state fiscal year 2009, which ended June 30, quarterly reports list no allegations received in the comptroller's inspector general's office and just two in the treasurer's inspector general's office. The numbers go up in larger offices, with more than 1,300 in the governor's inspector general's office. Those translated to more than 200 investigations initiated by the governor's inspector general, and two in the treasurer's office.

That doesn't mean there is no activity - because many inquiries don't fit under the specific ethics law. Asked about the recent case of a comptroller's employee who was disciplined for using his state computer to make comments via the Internet about penny stocks, Drake said he reviewed the case, found it not to be within the purview of the ethics act, and recommended it be passed on to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, which it was.

Drake said he was initially discouraged that he didn't have more complaints to act on. But he thinks his being there might act as a deterrent to wrongdoing.

Knowles agreed, saying having an independent inspector "is a reminder to the staff that there is somebody out there watching."

Drake is the lowest paid of the executive inspectors general. JAMES WRIGHT, for the governor's agencies, gets $150,168 annually. DIANE SALTOUN, a 70-percent-time employee for the attorney general's office, gets $106,404. NATHAN MADDOX with the secretary of state gets $115,584. And DAVID WELLS for the treasurer's office gets $105,996.

Wells says he puts in full time for the treasurer, but also works as a police officer for 16 hours a month - on weekends - at Harper College "to keep my license up."

Wells, of Chicago, started in the job under former Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, and was renominated by Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. Wells said said that in addition to answering questions or providing training about the ethics law, he's done program audits and made recommendations for policy or program changes. "I'm in Springfield three days a week, in Chicago two days a week," he said. "I'm doing my job."

Knowles said the comptroller "has very high ethical standards and very high demands on his staff and his staff's time."

"I am quite confident that if Mr. Drake were not meeting the comptroller's expectations, that would have been dealt with," she said.

The secretary of state has another inspector general, JIM BURNS, in addition to its executive inspector general. Burns was appointed earlier and has some significantly different powers and authority, Maddox said.

Dueling GOP numbers

The approaching primary election is bringing out dueling statistics in the GOP race for governor.

The reliability of campaign-generated polls certainly can be suspect, but I was told some numbers that later were confirmed by TIM PETERS, campaign manager for state Sen. KIRK DILLARD.

The Dillard campaign paid for an automated poll of 2,153 likely Republican primary voters on Wednesday, results of which showed Dillard leading with 22.4 percent support.

ANDY McKENNA had 13.5 percent, former Attorney General JIM RYAN 10.3 percent, state Sen. BILL BRADY 8.3 percent, DAN PROFT about 6 percent, ADAM ANDRZEJEWSKI 5.6 percent and BOB SCHILLERSTROM 2.1 percent. Nearly 32 percent of those polled were undecided.

GREGG DURHAM, chief operating office of Xpress Professional Services , a subsidiary of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association that runs the We Ask America polls, said later that, although Dillard's campaign paid for the poll, the question was simply who the voter would select if the election were held that day.

The names were read in ballot order, which has Dillard on top. Durham said he ran a similar poll the next night with similar results.

Durham said he would "fully expect" other campaigns to downplay such numbers, and such polls should only be seen as showing trends.

The results of Dillard's poll were far different than, for example, a poll done for the Chicago Tribune in early December that showed Ryan far ahead.

Illinois House Minority Leader TOM CROSS, R-Oswego, who has endorsed McKenna, said fresh results from a poll of 500 people in the Kane and Kendall County areas on Wednesday put McKenna at 23 percent, Ryan at 14 percent, Dillard at 10 percent, Proft at 7 percent, Andrzejewski at 6 percent, Brady at 4 percent and Schillerstrom at 2 percent.

"That's the take we have on reality," Cross said.

LANCE TROVER, spokesman for McKenna, said state Reps. BOB PRITCHARD, R-Hinckley, and ED SULLIVAN, R-Mundelein, will endorse McKenna next week.

Bernard Schoenburg is political columnist for The State Journal-Register. He can be reached at 788-1540 or bernard.schoenburg@sj-r.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STUDENTS OF THE WEEK

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Sunday, November 20, 2005

Section: LOCAL
Page: 54

Ten high school seniors have been selected by their respective student councils to participate in the JPMorgan Chase Student of the Week program for the 2005-06 school year. Students are chosen on the basis of scholarship and school activities as well as leadership and community involvement. Selected this week are:

MOLLY DURHAM, daughter of Pat and Gregg Durham , of Springfield High School.

National Honor Society, musicals, French Club, Do Something, Literature Club, Best Buddies, The Voice. Employed at Baskin-Robbins.

Plans to attend Emory University to study creative writing.

 

 

FOR THE RECORD

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Sunday, July 27, 2008



PERSONAL

Marriage licenses



Denise Elizabeth Gregg of Bethany and Denis Gregg Durham of Decatur.

 

 

 

 

Note ICC police problems

 

Governor tries again on ICC chief / Former mayor of Rockford chosen

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Author/Byline: ADRIANA COLINDRES STATE CAPITOL BUREAU
Section: NEWS
Page: 1

In a second attempt to fill a key vacancy,

 

Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Monday nominated

 

former Rockford Mayor Charles Box to chair the

 

Illinois Commerce Commission.

If the 54-year-old Box wins state Senate confirmation, he will lead the five-member ICC as it addresses matters involving companies that provide electricity, telecommunications and other services to Illinois residents.

"Working families, senior citizens and individuals living on fixed incomes across Illinois are feeling the pressure from increasing energy costs," Blagojevich said in a news release. "It's critical that we have an Illinois Commerce Commission committed to making sure consumers are getting reliable service at fair, affordable and reasonable rates."

He called Box "a veteran public servant who has shown throughout his distinguished career that he can be fair-minded and make decisions in the best interest of the public."

At present, the ICC is considering proposals from Commonwealth Edison and Ameren Corp. that would use a "reverse auction" to set electricity rates for business and residential customers starting next year. Commission members met Monday in Chicago to hear oral arguments on the proposals, and Box said he would participate in further meetings this week.

Box, a Democrat, said he has not yet taken a position on the power auction proposals.

"I have a lot of homework to do," said Box, who was Rockford's mayor from 1989 to 2001. Earlier, he served as Rockford's legal director and city administrator.

The reverse auction is expected to result in substantial rate increases for consumers - for instance, as much as 35 percent for those served by AmerenCIPS, AmerenIP and AmerenCILCO.

But ComEd and Ameren say rates have been artificially low for years. A temporary freeze that was part of Illinois' 1997 electric-rate restructuring law is scheduled to expire at the end of 2006.

Attorneys for ComEd and Ameren told the commission Monday that the reverse auction would ensure that electricity is purchased at the lowest rate possible when the rate freeze expires.

"History has shown us that competition is the best way to drive costs down," said attorney E. Glen Rippie, who is representing ComEd.

The hearing continues today.

Box said that in conversations with the governor and his staff about the ICC job, no one ever "point-blank asked me how would I rule on this case or that case."

Blagojevich's previous nominee to chair the ICC, Martin Cohen, fell two votes short of winning the 30 votes needed for Senate confirmation in November.

Some Senate critics questioned whether Cohen, the longtime executive director of the pro-consumer Citizens Utility Board, could be impartial as ICC chairman.

Sen. Rickey Hendon, a Chicago Democrat who co-chairs the Senate Executive Appointments Committee, added that Cohen had shown him "total disrespect" by not talking with him sooner about the nomination.

On Monday, Hendon said he intends to quiz Box to ensure that he would look out for consumer interests.

The Executive Appointments Committee could consider Box's nomination as soon as next week, the senator said.

"I hope he doesn't fall into the Marty ohen trap of not calling me until the last second," Hendon said, adding that Box ought to contact him this week "if he's as wise as I believe he is."

Another committee member, Republican Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, said that based on what he knows so far, he sees "no reason not to vote for Mayor Box."

Interest groups also weighed in on the Box nomination.

"Everything we've heard about Mr. Box is that he is a fair and honest man with impressive credentials," said Gregg Durham , spokesman for the Illinois Manufacturers' Association.

CUB executive director David Kolata said, "There's no question that Mayor Box is qualified."

Spokeswomen for Ameren and ComEd said they look forward to working with the new ICC chairman.

Caption: Box

 

 

 

 

Campaign funding raises questions / Board of elections to investigate race for Supreme Court

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Friday, February 11, 2005

Author/Byline: BRIAN MACKEY STATE CAPITOL BUREAU
Section: CITY/STATE
Page: 13

The State Board of Elections will investigate whether two organizations on opposite sides of last fall's 5th District Illinois Supreme Court race violated state campaign finance disclosure laws.

The organizations allegedly bankrolled at least $830,000 of the most expensive court race in Illinois history without disclosing the source of the money, according to complaints filed Thursday by two campaign watchdog groups.

More than $7 million was spent in the contest to represent a southern Illinois district that includes Madison County, which has become a popular venue for class-action lawsuits around the country. Campaign contributions from special-interest groups representing physicians, hospitals and trial lawyers poured into both candidates' coffers.

Cynthia Canary of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform and Kent Redfield of the Sunshine Project filed the complaints, with the assistance of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.

Redfield, who also is a professor of political studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said the foundations raised money to contribute to campaigns from unnamed sources and then passed the money to another entity. The second entity then contributed to candidates and filed disclosure reports with the elections board.

"They are, in a sense, hiding the identity of the real contributors," Redfield said.

Illinois law requires full disclosure through the State Board of Elections.

According to one complaint, the Justice for All Foundation incorporated in June as a charitable organization "engaged in grassroots lobbying and political activities for the protection of the Courts of Madison County, Illinois." The complaint alleges that the foundation never sought tax-exempt status from the federal government and, as of Feb. 8, had yet to register as a charity with the state attorney general, which it was legally required to do before soliciting donations.

The foundation apparently collected donations over four months, then, on Oct. 20 - 13 days before the election - the Justice for All Political Action Committee was created. That PAC collected and spent its entire $1.2 million in the next eight days.

According to campaign disclosure forms, the PAC raised $1,221,500 and spent all but $133 of it on advertising for Gordon Maag, the Democrat seeking the Supreme Court seat. More than $836,500 of the $1.2 million came from five named attorneys and law firms, but the remaining $385,000 was listed only as coming from the Justice for All Foundation.

The root of the complaint is that the foundation was not a charity but a political committee, and as such, should have disclosed the source of its contributions.

Officers of the Justice For All Foundation could not be reached Thursday night.

The other complaint is similar.

The Illinois Coalition for Jobs, Growth & Prosperity PAC received all of its $505,000 in contributions in 2004 from a not-for-profit corporation known as the Illinois Coalition for Jobs, Growth & Prosperity.

The PAC then gave $150,000 to the pro-tort reform group JUSTPAC, the political action committee of the Illinois Civil Justice League. It also gave $8,000 directly to Lloyd Karmeier, the Republican candidate who won the election and is a justice on the state Supreme Court.

The rest of its money was spent on in-kind contributions to Xpress Printing Services in Springfield. "In-kinds" usually pay for advertising on a candidate's behalf, but the beneficiary from the contributions must be disclosed.

The coalition reported in-kind contributions with itself as the benefactor, but Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, reported he was a beneficiary of in-kind contributions from the coalition. Canary said that discrepancy caught her group's attention. Lang reported less than $11,000 in in-kind contributions from the coalition, which leaves nearly $335,000 unaccounted for.

The coalition is a joint venture of the

Illinois Business Roundtable,

the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce,

the Illinois Manufacturers' Association,

the Illinois Civil Justice League and the

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.


Gregg Durham , a spokesman for the coalition, said one of its attorneys did consult with the elections board to get the arrangement approved.

 



"We've always intended to comply fully with the law," he said.

Because the coalition just found out about the complaints Thursday afternoon, Durham declined to comment further on the matter.

In the case of both Justice for All and the coalition, the PAC and the non-profit organization shared the same address.

"There's no logical reason why you would do this other than to obscure the names of the real contributors," Redfield said.

Daniel White, executive director of the State Board of Elections, said the board could find that there was no violation of the disclosure laws, or that the two non-profit groups were indeed political committees. Then the board would "work with the committee to correct whatever mistakes - whatever shortcomings - have been exposed." Continued non-compliance could result in fines.

At any time in the process, the accused organizations could choose to file disclosure forms, and the hearings would end immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

Democrat aldermanic candidates get boost from unions

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Thursday, March 6, 2003

 GREGG DURHAM , former spokesman for then-House GOP Leader LEE DANIELS, was briefly director of public affairs for IDOT. He was let go last week from the $102,000 post.

"The governor has every right to put his own senior-level people in place," said Durham. "That's something that I knew going in." Here's betting he finds a good job soon.

 

 

 

On standby / Pilots hope IDOT air transport will return

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Sunday, February 16, 2003

Author/Byline: DEAN OLSEN STAFF WRITER
Section: NEWS
Page: 1

At his home in Williamsville, Gary Anderson keeps a logbook of his 18 years as a helicopter pilot for the state, when he was part of what once was the nation's largest emergency medical transport program.

All the names of patients he transported throughout Illinois are written there. He is proud to say that none of his patients ever died en route to his or her destination.

"That's my legacy," said Anderson, 53.

The helicopter program, which began in 1971, was for years the only service providing rapid air transportation to thousands of patients needing high-level medical care at hospitals in Springfield, Champaign-Urbana, Peoria, Carbondale and Rockford.

The service didn't bill for the rides it gave to a total of more than 18,000 accident victims, premature babies, adults with heart problems and other critically-ill patients for three decades. The transportation was considered a public service.

The program, which cost the state $2.5 million a year, ended quietly in late 2002. It was the victim of budgetary constraints and concerns within the administration of former Gov. George Ryan about whether the program was the best use of state funds.

All of the 11 pilots remaining in the program took advantage of the state's early retirement plan. Many have since become employees of private helicopter companies that have helped fill the gaps created by the IDOT program's closure.

Some of the pilots, including Anderson and Petersburg resident John Pedersen, 56, believe the program could have been salvaged and even expanded if the public knew more about its benefits and put pressure on the politicians.

Pedersen said pilots had to deal the past two years with a "campaign of misinformation" from IDOT officials who wanted the program canceled.

Kirk Brown, the transportation secretary under Ryan, works for a Springfield engineering firm. He declined a request for an interview.

Gregg Durham , the IDOT spokesman under Gov. Rod Blagojevich, said: "There's no doubt that the program provided a valuable service to certain portions of Illinois. I don't think there was one concern that caused the demise of the program. It was the totality of all the concerns."

Pedersen holds out some hope that the program can be resurrected, and Durham said Blagojevich would consider any such requests.

But Durham said the governor and lawmakers would have to weigh the costs in light of the state's budget crunch.

Pedersen and the other pilots said they don't want to be remembered solely for griping about the program's fate.

More than anything else, they are happy about their unusual record. In all those years, there were no fatalities from crashes or other incidents connected with the flights.

"You cannot beat our record for safety," Pedersen said. "It's a level of skill that we're proud of."

Hospitals appreciated the service, and hospital officials stressed that they have made arrangements to ensure that quick air transports continue.

"Air medical transport has a very important role in a critical-care service," said Charles Callahan, administrator of emergency services at Memorial Medical Center. "In any kind of critical care, minutes are life. The IDOT transport served a very critical role for the critical-care patient and the heart patient."

Memorial participates in the Southern Illinois Trauma Center in cooperation with St. John's Hospital and the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

The IDOT program was started by Duane Moore, a Springfield resident who was manager of aviation development for IDOT. He died of cancer in 1991 at age 56. In the late 1980s, IDOT helicopters were ferrying about 1,000 patients around the state each year, according to a 1987 article in The State Journal-Register.

Moore at that time attributed the program's safety record to the care that pilots took and a certain amount of luck.

The pilots, who earned $50,000 to $60,000 a year in base pay and up to $20,000 annually in overtime, were a close-knit bunch. Many of them got their start flying helicopters during the Vietnam War. Anderson recalled lifting off from battlefields in Vietnam when enemy soldiers were so close that he could see the whites of their eyes.

Back home in Illinois, the pilots felt satisfaction in working long shifts to provide 24-hour service, whether it was transferring sick patients from rural hospitals at 125 mph to urban centers or flying donated organs and tissues to transplant centers.

The helicopters also flew people in need of transplants to the appropriate facilities, helped police locate fugitives and gave government officials a view from above during assessments of damages after disasters.

During the Mississippi River floods of 1993, the helicopters even plucked people from the roofs of homes surrounded by water.

Before more helicopters were added to the IDOT fleet, the pilots sometimes took politicians around the state, including former Govs. James Thompson and Jim Edgar and former secretary of state and Lt. Gov. George Ryan before he became governor. The politicians sometimes had to be dropped off short of their destinations so the helicopters could handle medical emergencies.

The program changed over the years, depending on local preferences.

In Rockford, IDOT helicopter service ended in 1987 as programs operated by hospitals expanded.

In the Springfield area, privately operated helicopters have supplemented the IDOT program, which was based at Capital Airport, for more than a decade. Coverage by the helicopter companies increased the past two years.

St. John's and Memorial combined handle about 1,000 trauma cases a year. Typically, about 90 percent of those patients will arrive by ambulance and 10 percent or less will come via helicopter, said Callahan, the Memorial manager.

Most helicopter flights bringing patients to St. John's or Memorial pick them up from hospitals as far away as Peoria, Carbondale and the Metro East area. Because of the region's relatively flat terrain, few victims of car crashes need a helicopter, Callahan said.

Two competing companies offer helicopter transport in much of central and southern Illinois: Arch Air Medical Service Inc., based in St. Louis; and Air Evac Emergency Medical Service, based in West Plains, Mo.

Arch's facilities include bases in Litchfield and Sparta and soon-to-open bases in Effingham and at Urbana's Carle Hospital. Air Evac last year opened bases at Capital Airport and in Effingham.

Both companies have their own pilots, flight nurses and paramedics ready to get on helicopters within minutes, in contrast to the IDOT service, which had to travel to a hospital and pick up medical personnel before heading out to get patients.

Brown told an Illinois House committee last year that the helicopters were old and difficult to maintain. But Pedersen said the helicopters had parts replaced regularly and didn't require any more maintenance than other IDOT aircraft.

Anderson said state officials saw the lack of fees charged to patients as a drain on state coffers. "In IDOT's eyes, the helicopter program was a liability," he said.

Durham said agency officials also wondered whether the state needed to continue the service when faster service was available to hospitals from private companies.

IDOT officials also were concerned that taxpayers statewide were paying for a service that benefited only downstate areas. He said officials worried how the state could comply with new federal health-care regulations affecting helicopter services.

Brown said in 2002 that, after the program's closure, the state planned to retain three helicopters from its original fleet of seven.

The remaining helicopters would be used only to respond to natural disasters, homeland security or police emergencies, he said.

Arch charges patients an average of $5,800 per flight, spokesman Matt Kasten said. Air Evac's average bill is $6,000, spokeswoman Toni Chritton said. Both said their companies write off bad debt associated with the care of uninsured patients and others who can't afford to pay.

Even though IDOT didn't bill patients, hospitals still charged patients for the medical services provided by their staffs.

Colleen Grabow, 26, a registered nurse at Memorial, flew on IDOT helicopters a half-dozen times.

She recalled calming patients amid the noise of the helicopter blades and the roar of the engine by telling jokes.

She said patients were grateful for the IDOT service, "and the families were always very nice. They were happy ... their loved one was getting where they needed to go."

Caption: John Pedersen of Petersburg, a former pilot for IDOT, is working for a private medical transport company.

 

 

 

53 frozen out of work at IDOT

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Friday, January 17, 2003

Section: NEWS
Page: 4

Fifty-three new highway maintainers scheduled to start work Thursday morning for the Illinois Department of Transportation were sent home because of the hiring freeze imposed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

"No one was told they were hired improperly," said IDOT spokesman Gregg Durham . "Clearly, the governor's office wants to get a handle on the budget situation. It's a gargantuan task."

Durham said no IDOT snowplows went unmanned after the new workers were sent home.

"We were fully staffed," he said. "None of the new hires were scheduled to be on the roads today, not a single one of them. Obviously, you don't hire somebody and put them on the snowplow the same day without training."

Durham noted that IDOT has gotten approval from the governor's office to hire temporary workers as snowplow operators if needed.

Poe up against Craven in 99th District

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Thursday, October 31, 2002

Author/Byline: DEAN OLSEN STATE CAPITOL BUREAU
Section: SPECIAL
Page: 8A

A Springfield incumbent is attempting to win a fifth term in the Illinois House on Tuesday against a lawyer who says the capital city deserves better.

"Once you're involved and working in the community, you see a lot of positive things done in the community in the last eight years," said Rep. Raymond Poe, R-Springfield.

Poe, 58, says he sees more work to be done. Ensuring more state funding for public schools, assisting hospitals and nursing homes, and dealing with a continuing state budget crisis are his top goals.

His opponent, Springfield lawyer Donald Craven, 46, said Poe's performance has been mediocre. Craven said he could do a better job for the newly configured 99th House District, which takes in most of Springfield, including the Capitol complex, downtown and much of the city's north, east and southeast sides.

"Illinois is at a critical point, given the state budget problems and citizens' cynicism about public officials and government in general," Craven said.

Despite Poe's advantages as an incumbent and his reputation as a friendly and enthusiastic lawmaker, Craven, the son of retired 4th District Appellate Judge James Craven, rates his chances for an upset Tuesday as "very high."

Craven said his top priority if elected would be education funding reform. He said he would support a swap that would increase state tax revenues in exchange for a dollar-for-dollar reduction in property taxes at the local level.

Although he probably could support increased state taxes for public schools, Craven said, legislators should consider a dollar-for-dollar swap separately from any tax increases, he said.

Poe also supports a dollar-for-dollar swap. But he wouldn't commit to vote for a boost in overall school funding unless schools in his district would be assured of getting more money overall.

On abortion, Craven is pro-choice. Poe opposes abortion except to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest.

On gun issues, Poe said he is "pro-gun" and has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association. He would support a law that would give Illinoisans the right to carry concealed weapons if the legislation included mandatory training and annual reviews of individual licenses.

Craven opposes concealed-carry legislation and said Poe's views are out of step with the district. Craven criticized Poe's vote in 2000 against reinstatement of a law that made illegal possession or transportation of a weapon an automatic felony.

Poe said he voted against the bill out of concerns that it would be declared unconstitutional on technical grounds. He voted in favor of other bills that would have accomplished the same thing, said Gregg Durham , a spokesman for House Republicans.

 

 

Edgar credits J. Ryan for taking active role in party

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Thursday, July 11, 2002

Section: EDITORIAL
Page: 5

So was JIM RYAN nuts to name former Gov. JIM EDGAR as his first choice to take over the reins of the state GOP before it was a done deal?

The fact that Edgar ultimately didn't take the job certainly hasn't helped the GOP dispose of its organizational problems. But Jim Ryan wasn't just taking a stab in the dark when he made Edgar's name public.

"When we talked, I told him I'd give it serious consideration," Edgar said this week - he was calling via cell phone in Colorado, where he was getting his exercise walking on a mountain. "The reason that I didn't do it wasn't because, as some have speculated, that the campaign's in disarray. It was because of some personal reasons that were beyond my control."

Edgar won't discuss those reasons publicly, but sources say the administration at the University of Illinois, where he now works, had problems with him taking the party post.

Edgar, a strong supporter of Jim Ryan, thinks the GOP candidate has "got a shot" at winning this November, despite the party reorganization.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained," Edgar said of Jim Ryan's active role in party changes that have included the resignation of LEE DANIELS as party chairman and the search for a permanent replacement.

"Sometimes, he (Ryan) gets accused of being too cautious. In this whole state central committee thing, he's taken the offensive, which I think is good," Edgar said.

The Management Services of Illinois scandal tarnished Edgar a bit, but he was very popular when he left office in 1999 and remains so today.

The GOP saga of recent days has likely provided Democratic gubernatorial candidate ROD BLAGOJEVICH with a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Not only did the GOP fail to name a permanent replacement for Daniels as chairman at a meeting Monday in Oak Brook, but the group's executive committee met Tuesday to immediately end the tenure of ALLEN FORE as party executive director. Fore, of Belvidere, whom Daniels brought in in December, had expected to stay until a new permanent chairman is named, so he declined to turn in his resignation along with other staffers, allowing their positions to be re-evaluated by interim Chairman DALLAS INGEMUNSON of Yorkville.

BRAD GOODRICH of Springfield, the former executive director and now a consultant, took over the staff temporarily.

Goodrich said there shouldn't be too much read into the fact that locks were changed late Monday on the state GOP offices in Chicago and Springfield. The offices continued to be open and operating, and it was his suggestion as a "standard business practice" at a time of unexpected staff change to avoid any problems by having new locks.

Goodrich said Ingemunson, a former Kendall County state's attorney, agreed with the move.

Recommendations were not yet complete on who should stay with the GOP's staff as of Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Ryan has had a campaign director, former Circuit Judge STEVE CULLITON, since last year, but his primary campaign manager, JERRY CLARKE, a former Daniels staffer, is back at work for U.S. Rep. TIM JOHNSON, R-Urbana, and isn't expected to return.

Ryan spokesman ERIC ROBINSON said that the Ryan campaign continued to have discussions with CARTER HENDREN, the chief of staff to Senate Republicans, about joining the campaign. Hendren ran Edgar's successful 1990 campaign against Democrat NEIL HARTIGAN.

Conservative Web site

An interesting sidelight to the GOP infighting is a new Web site that's been providing lots of commentary and breaking some of the news.

Illinoisleader.com is, says one of its three founders, DAN PROFT, a forum for conservative thought and a vehicle to help conservatives build coalitions

Proft, 30, of Rosemont, doesn't object to being called a true believer in conservative principles.

"It's not about the candidates, it's about the issues," he said.

A native of Wheaton and graduate of Northwestern University in political science and business institutions, Proft has a company called Starfish Consulting and says the Illinoisleader site is intended to make money. He was campaign manager for a losing GOP House candidate in 1994 and worked for Daniels from January 1996 to April 1997.

In a column Proft posted on the site on July 5, praising Chicago-based U.S. Attorney PATRICK FITZGERALD for working to clean up the state GOP - a move Proft thinks will give it a chance to rise again - he didn't have nice things to say about Daniels.

Writing that Daniels was quoted as saying any former staffers who may have done wrong would have to pay the consequences, Proft stated: "Former staffers, myself included, know that Lee Daniels and his aforementioned cronies are the type of guys who would have dressed up like women to get on one of the Titanic's lifeboats. Now, as the state GOP heads for the proverbial iceberg, Daniels is using his staffers as human shields."

GREGG DURHAM , spokesman for Daniels, said later that Daniels has also praised his staff for its hard work, doesn't know of wrongdoing and was the one to call for an investigation of allegations that staff may have worked in campaigns on state time.

Proft got his name in papers across the state during the GOP primary, when he signed on as spokesman for state Sen. PATRICK O'MALLEY's campaign for governor. The conservative O'Malley was strongly critical of Jim Ryan during that primary. Proft, who no longer works for O'Malley, said the Web site will be endorsing candidates across the state. In the governor's race, he would only say that Blagojevich will not be the choice.

Other principals in Illinoisleader.com are FRAN EATON, 49, of Oak Forest, state director of Eagle Forum; and BRIAN TIMPONE, 29, of Chicago, a onetime spokesman for Daniels who ran O'Malley's campaign Web site.

Proft says the site features Illinois-focused original news and commentary, with new material daily.

GOP family picnic

Watch for GOP candidates including Supreme Court Justice RITA GARMAN, state Sen. LARRY BOMKE, state Rep. RAYMOND POE and would-be Rep. RICH BRAUER to be serving up the food at the Sangamon County GOP's family picnic from 4-7 p.m. Saturday at the Ethnic Village area of the Illinois State State Fairgrounds. The Giant Slide should be operating as well. The fund-raiser is $25 per person and $35 per family.

Some state officials benefited from Enron campaign donations

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Saturday, February 2, 2002

Author/Byline: JEFF DRUCHNIAK STATE CAPITOL BUREAU
Section: LOCAL
Page: 8

Some of the millions of dollars Enron Corp. lavished on nationwide campaign donations found its way to Illinois state officials.

The Houston-based energy-trading company donated nearly $27,000 to the campaigns of Illinois legislators, constitutional officers and government-related political action committees, or PACs. The donations date back to 1997, but more than two-thirds are from the 2000 election cycle or later, and they continued until within months of Enron's December bankruptcy filing.

Enron targeted Senate President James "Pate" Philip, R-Wood Dale, with more than half the money. That included $10,000 to the Republican State Senate campaign committee, which Philip controls; $1,950 to Philip's own campaign fund; and $1,480 to the DuPage County Republican Central Committee, which Philip chairs.

Philip's office did not return requests for comment Friday.

Once one of the nation's highest-revenue companies, Enron's stock price collapsed in a matter of weeks last fall amid allegations of fraudulent accounting practices and years of inflated profit reports. The company's bankruptcy left thousands of employees out of work and deprived of their retirement investments that were dominated by Enron stock.

Enron gave $1,500 to the campaign and leadership funds of House Minority Leader Lee Daniels, R-Elmhurst, since 1998.

Daniels spokesman Gregg Durham said Daniels would withdraw "every penny" and was trying to find out how to donate it to a fund set up to benefit laid-off Enron employees. The company temporarily barred those workers from unloading the Enron stock in their 401(k) plans as its value plummeted.

"Shy of that, we're giving it to a charity," Durham said. "We're not giving it to the company, I can tell you that."

Attorney General Jim Ryan, now a candidate for governor, received $1,000 for his 1998 re-election campaign. Ryan returned the money to Enron on Jan. 22.

"He felt uncomfortable using the money in light of what was being done to their employees," his spokesman, Dan Curry, said.

Gov. George Ryan also received a $1,000 contribution but does not intend to return the money.

Ten other state legislators - three Democratic and seven Republican - received amounts ranging from $200 to $1,500. Among them was former state Rep. Tom Ryder, R-Jerseyville, who resigned his seat in November to work for the Illinois Community College Board. Ryder received $250 in 1999. He said he had not heard about the laid-off employees' fund.

The others were Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale; Sen. Ed Petka, R-Plainfield; Sen. Steve Rauschenberger, R-Elgin; Sen. Dave Sullivan, R-Mount Prospect; Sen. Larry Walsh, D-Elwood; Sen. Larry Woolard, D-Carterville; Rep. J. Philip Novak, D-Bradley; Rep. Terry Parke, R-Hoffman Estates; and Rep. Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa.

Arthur Andersen, the Chicago-based accounting firm accused of shredding documents and helping suppress Enron's improper practices, did not bankroll state candidates but gave $7,500 to U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and $800 to the Mexican American Political Action Committee.

Rauschenberger and Dillard received from Enron $1,500 and $1,000, respectively, before the 2000 election. They said they would not return the money, which has been spent, but would consider making a charitable donation. "We're going to take a look at some kind of victims' fund (to see) if we're comfortable with how it's set up," Rauschenberger said.

Asked whether Jim Ryan considered making a donation instead of writing a new check to Enron, Curry said it was "the policy of the campaign to return donations" directly to their donors. Curry said he hoped bankruptcy proceedings resulted in the money going to the same place.

All but $1,150 of the $26,980 went to Republicans, in keeping with the national trend of Enron's political bestowals. The last two contributions Enron made within the state, in August 2001, went to Daniels' House Republican leadership fund for $500 and the DuPage County GOP for $400.

"I see it as just like any other business doing business in Illinois," said Rutherford, who received $1,350 from Enron between October 1998 and September 2000.

Rutherford said he received the donation "as a pro-business type of legislator, not to do with federal energy policy. "Doing something about it now sort of gives it an air of impropriety."

 

 

Topinka – comptroller – didrickson – terry reed – gray

 

Gray was asst to topinka

 

TITLE: STATEHOUSE INSIDER

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Sunday, January 31, 1999

Edition: M1,M2
Section: FORUM
Page: 13

Senate President JAMES "PATE" PHILIP, R-Wood Dale, snubbed the speech last week by U.S. Defense Secretary WILLIAM COHEN, calling it a political stunt

and a big waste of taxpayer dollars.

Just for the record, on the day Cohen gave his speech, the Senate -- which is controlled by Senate President Frugal -- was in session for less than 30 minutes. That's about long enough for each member to show up and collect his $83 in daily expense money.

And remember in November, when the House canceled a scheduled veto session day because there was nothing to do, but Senator Frugal kept his chamber in town to vote on a measly three bills (and let each senator collect $83 in expense money)? And remember how several Democrats said the real motive for not canceling the session was to ensure a good turnout at a reception, sponsored by Illinois corporations, the night before? Apparently waste, like many things, is in the eye of the beholder.

If nothing else, Cohen showed during his speech that he has a quick wit.

In one case, it was a lot quicker than his lawmaker audience.

Cohen delivered his speech from the speaker's platform at the front of the House chamber, an area that includes all sorts of buttons and other gizmos necessary to operate the chamber. As Cohen was gliding along during his speech, the loudspeaker system in the chamber suddenly switched off. Cohen made a couple of fitful restarts to his speech before someone figured out what was wrong and the loudspeakers came back on. "One must always be careful in reaching for buttons," Cohen observed drily.

It was a good line, and a few chuckles rippled in parts of the room. But then, like the proverbial light coming on, the rest of the chamber finally got the joke and the place filled with loud laughter.

If you're not a lawmaker, you've probably already figured out the joke, but: Cohen is the guy with his finger on the missile button. Get it? Postscript: Near the end of the speech, a phone began ringing loudly in the chamber. Without missing a beat, Cohen said, "Mr. President, please. Not now." That joke everybody got right away.

Rep. LOU LANG, D-Skokie, last week held his annual (or is it semiannual) news conference to announce a gambling proposal.

Lang likes to come up with these suggested mega-gambling deals, although even casual observers may recall there hasn't been a mega-gambling deal in years. A day before his news conference, Lang's staff put out an announcement that called Lang "... House Speaker MICHAEL MADIGAN's point person on gaming in the Illinois House." And what was Madigan's reaction to Lang's gambling proposal? "What he does in gaming, he does on his own," Madigan said. "Mr. Lang is not speaking for me on the question of gaming." Looks like Lang has the point of a butter knife.

The biggest nonstory of the week was the great rules debate in the House.

House Republican Leader LEE DANIELS led a seemingly endless series of GOP lawmakers who alleged the Democrats were trampling all over the rights of the minority Republicans with some new debate rules.

It was so dull that even most House Republicans weren't paying attention. How dull? One Republican lawmaker sat at his desk on which sat a huge pile of plastic knives, forks and spoons. As the momentous debate raged on, he sorted the dinnerware into neat piles and stuffed it in his desk drawer.

Knowing that in the months ahead lawmakers will be eating a lot of meals at their desks, he was probably the smart one of the bunch.

There seems to be agreement there was NOT an emergency aboard a state airplane last week, but there is disagreement on whether the thing filled up with smoke.

Here's what people agree on: During a morning flight from Chicago to Springfield, passengers on a state plane -- including Attorney General JIM RYAN and an employee of Treasurer JUDY BAAR TOPINKA -- detected the odor of something burning. Apparently, a temperature sensor in a circuit board fried itself, but the plane's crew quickly took care of the problem and the aircraft was not forced to land or take emergency action. The circuit board was replaced in Springfield, and the plane went back into service.

Here's the rub:

 Topinka spokesman GREGG DURHAM

 

said the treasurer's employee reported that the cabin filled with smoke. However, a Ryan spokesman said his boss reported there was no smoke in the plane. And the Department of Transportation, which operates the aircraft, also denied there was any smoke.

That's 2-1 against smoke, and this being a democracy, the ruling is there was no smoke in the plane.

 

 

HEALTH-CARE BUYING ALLIANCE ANNOUNCED SMALL BUSINESSES WILL BE ABLE TO PROVIDE COVERAGE

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Wednesday, September 21, 1994

Author/Byline: CHRIS DETTRO BUSINESS EDITOR
Edition: M1,M2
Section: BUSINESS
Page: 30

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce and a Chicago-based nonprofit employer group have announced formation of a health-care buying alliance that has

the potential to become the largest such pool in the state.

The new organization, the Illinois Employers Benefit Alliance, is the state's first employer-sponsored purchasing cooperative for health-care benefits. It is being formed by the state chamber, the Midwest Business Group on Health and the Chicago Business Group on Health.

State chamber of commerce members will be able to join the pool, as will members of organizations that belong to the state chamber, such as associations and local chambers of commerce, if they buy into the purchasing cooperative.

"It will give the `mom and pop' shops a chance to buy health insurance at the same rate as large corporations," said Gregg Durham of the state chamber.

IEBA will assume no risk but will serve as the purchasing vehicle on behalf of employer associations and their members. It will provide management services, educational programs and employee communications -- reducing overhead and administrative duties that burden many small firms.

Employers will be able to enroll in the plan starting in early 1995. Durham said a nominal fee will be required to join the IEBA, but projected savings of 10 percent to 40 percent over other health-care benefit plans already take that fee into account.

Initially, IEBA will focus on the Chicago metropolitan area, then spread out over the rest of Illinois.

"Coverage will be available throughout the state, with some of the managed-care components being initially offered only in the Chicago area," said Sally Jackson, state chamber president and CEO. "This alliance will be unique by offering employers of all sizes the ability to select among multiple carriers, health systems and insurance options."

Durham said the program is probably six months away from offering benefits.

"We have to gather the pool first," he said. After a pool is established, IEBA will solicit proposals from insurance carriers, health systems and managed-care plans.

The providers, plans and carriers offered by IEBA will have to meet strict criteria for being customer-focused, efficiently managed and accountable, said Jim Mortimer, president of MBGH. The state chamber is sending out questionnaires to its 6,000 member firms to see if they are interested in the alliance. Durham said the response to date has been extremely good.

"The phone has been ringing off the hook," he said. "And that's good, because the more people who get in the pool, the better are the chances for savings.

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce already has a relationship with an underwriter who groups very small firms together for health insurance purposes.

"Before we'd introduce another one, we'd have to look at that," Boer said. "We need more details before we decide what to do."

The Pennsylvania State Chamber of Commerce has a similar program with 700 member companies covering thousands of employees and their families. It currently provides savings of 18 percent to 20 percent compared with similar health-care alliances.

Other successful employer-controlled purchasing groups in Cleveland, Chicago, Racine (Wis.) and northwest Indiana also have saved members in health benefit costs, the state chamber said.

Currently the only associations participating in the plan are the state chamber and the Midwest Business Group on Health, a 15-year-old nonprofit organization made up of employers in 11 states.

 

 

 

SPRINGFIELD SOGGY

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Wednesday, October 1, 1986

Author/Byline: Angela Fracaro
Edition: M1,M2,S1
Section: LOCAL
Page: 1

Springfield has just witnessed its third-wettest September in history, and there's not much hope for a drier October, according to the National

Weather Service.

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, rainfall at Capital Airport for September stood at 8.56 inches. That figure is topped only by the 15.16-inch record set in 1926 and by the 10.68-inch rainfall total in 1911. The normal rainfall for September is 3.05 inches.

"We've had rain almost every day since the 17th," said Ray Hughes, officer in charge at Springfield's National Weather Service at the airport. "In the last two weeks, we have had rain every day with the exception of four. And on those four days, we may have had rain at night."

Meteorologists could offer no explanation for the sudden shift in weather patterns.

"We just happen to have a frontal system that has stalled," Hughes said. "No cold air system has built up over Canada to push it out."

In the 30-day outlook for October, released by the weather service Tuesday, prospects for sunshine aren't much brighter. Although temperatures are expected to be normal, rainfall is expected to be heavier than usual. The normal rainfall for October is 2.52 inches.

"We don't see much chance of being rid of this system that's producing the bad weather," Hughes said. "There's a little hope in that there's a little cooler air forming over western Canada. That might just be enough to push this frontal system south.

"It may just be a wet fall."

Springfield joins much of Illinois and a large part of the Midwest in suffering from a deluge of showers and thunderstorms.

In the upper third of Illinois, the continuing downpour has caused severe flooding, countless injuries and left one man feared dead. In Springfield, the rain so far has been more of an inconvenience than an emergency.

In the Chicago area, Lake, McHenry and northern Cook counties have been declared state disaster areas as a result of recent flooding. More than 2,000 families have been evacuated from these areas, and more flooding is feared, according to Gregg Durham , assistant to the director of the Illinois Emergency Services and Disaster Agency.

"The Des Plaines River is horribly flooded, and it's moving downstate," he said. "It's possible for flooding to happen in the Illinois River, and possibly the Mississippi."

In Lake and McHenry counties, a series of storms dumped 9 to 11 inches of rain since Sept. 22 -- three times more than average for the entire month -- said Jim Lebda, a meteorologist for the weather service in Chicago.

More than 20 roads and highways were closed, and dozens of schools were still closed in the evacuated areas Tuesday.

As much as 3 to 4 feet of water was reported in Gurnee, in Lake County, and an estimated 165 families were displaced because of flooding, according to police, who patrolled the area in boats. Lt. Gov. George Ryan also toured the town via boat and called it "probably the worst flooding I've seen in Illinois."

In Libertyville, a man in his 20s was feared dead after a boat he was riding on the swollen Des Plaines River capsized.

At Forest Hospital, a private mental health facility in Des Plaines, 85 patients and 85 staff members were evacuated due to the threat of flooding.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported 1 inch of rain fell in one hour at O'Hare International Airport on Monday, delaying flights as long as three hours.

In other areas, roofs were blown off and minor accidents were reported as a result of storms and heavy winds.

Altogether, officials set the damage estimate at between $30 million and $40 million for this most recent blitz of bad weather in Illinois.

Even in southern Illinois, which has been relatively drier, 3 to 5 inches of rain drenched the area around St. Louis, and 3 to 4 inches more were expected to fall by the end of the week.

Caption: Quinton Canada, 29, of Washington Park climbs from his flooded pickup truck after he ran into a rain-swollen ditch in Roxana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baise - Denzler

 

Mark denzler – lobbyist for baise group

 

State farm lobbyist – rust/trosino

 

Active in SCRP – possible cand for city council

 

Runs for and loses SCB 26 – panther creek – piper glen - lincolnshire

 

Davlin coy about running again / Says he will announce his decision within a week

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Author/Byline: CHRIS WETTERICH STAFF WRITER
Section: CITY/STATE
Page: 9

As the first day to file as a candidate for citywide office approaches, Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin said Tuesday he expects to announce within a week whether he will run for a second term.

Responding to questions from reporters, Davlin said he has not yet started to circulate petitions, although "somebody" was passing them out at a meeting "unbeknownst to me."

Asked if he had already made up his mind about seeking re-election, Davlin would say only that an announcement is forthcoming.

Davlin, a Democrat, is expected to run again. No one has yet announced their intention to oppose him, although Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom, a Republican who is prevented by term limits from running for a fourth term as alderman, is weighing a mayoral bid.

City offices are officially nonpartisan, although the political parties usually are heavily involved in citywide and aldermanic races.

City Clerk Cecilia Tumulty, a Democrat, also is expected to announce she will run again. Tumulty, a Democrat, is in her first term and previously served a term as Ward 5 alderman. No one has yet announced that they will oppose her.

Springfield Treasurer Jim Langfelder, a Democrat and the only other citywide elected official, has already announced his bid for a second term. He, too, currently has no opponent.

In the aldermanic races:

* Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards, a Republican, has said he intends to run for a second term. He does not have an announced opponent. Ward 1 takes in the areas around Lake Springfield and the University of Illinois at Springfield.

* Ward 2 Ald. Frank McNeil, a Democrat, cannot run again because of term limits. He has been on the city council since 1987, the first year aldermanic government resumed.

Former Democratic county board member Darryl Harris and Charles Starks, a Democratic precinct committeeman, are eyeing the race. Ward 2 mostly takes in the near east side.

* Ward 3 Ald. Frank Kunz, a Democrat, is circulating petitions to run for a third term. No one has announced a run against him.

Kunz, who said he voted for Green Party candidate Rich Whitney for governor, has also talked about running for mayor in 2011. Ward 3 is mostly composed of Springfield's far east side and a sliver of the north end.

* Ward 4 Ald. Chuck Redpath, a Democrat, cannot run again because of term limits. Former City Water, Light and Power worker Dave Danner, Springfield Park Board member Frank Lesko and Mike Buscher, president and managing broker of Aspen Real Estate, are in the race.

Danner is a Democrat, and Lesko is a Republican. Buscher has not discussed his party affiliation in detail, although he said he supports Davlin's re-election. Ward 4 includes most of the north end.

* Ward 5 Ald. Joe Bartolomucci,a Republican, has announced a run for a second term. Former Springfield Fire Chief Bob Bartnick, a Democrat, is also running. Others eyeing the race are retiring Sangamon County Board member Sam Cahnman, a Democrat, and Clint Sabin, a Republican dissatisfied with Bartolomucci.

Ward 5 takes in part of the north end and most of downtown.

* Ward 6 Ald. Mark Mahoney, a Democrat, is circulating petitions and definitely is running. No one else has made the race. Ward 6's alderman represents part of downtown and the south side.

* Ward 7 Ald. Judy Yeager, a Republican, will also be forced into retirement by term limits. Joe Rock, a Democrat who lost to Yeager in 2003, is running.

Three others are eyeing the race: Mike Coffey Jr., who is on the Springfield Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority, Sangamon County Board member Debbie Cimarossa and state trooper Mark Beagles. Coffey and Cimarossa are Republicans, while Beagles is running as an independent, although he has voted in GOP primaries for 20 years.

Ward 7 takes in areas around Leland Grove and Jerome and parts of the near southwest side.

* Ward 8 Ald. Irv Smith, a Republican, is term-limited. George Petrilli, legislative liaison for the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, is seeking to succeed him. Petrilli said he is not running as a Democrat or a Republican, but he voted in Democratic primaries in 2004 and 2006.

Brian Weatherford, a customer service representative for Cingular Wireless and a waiter at the Sangamo Club, also has taken out petitions in Ward 8. Weatherford said he has always leaned toward Democratic positions but is running a grassroots campaign.

Ward 8 is a winding district including part of the west side, mostly east of Veterans Parkway.

* Ward 9 Ald. Tom Selinger, a Democrat, has not announced whether he will run for a third term, but de did have a fundraiser recently. No one else has announced a run in that ward. Ward 9 includes the northwest side, including the area south of Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport.

* Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom, a Republican who has served since 1995, is term-limited. Possible candidates in the ward are Mark Denzler , vice president of government affairs and membership for the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, and Republican county board member Tim Griffin, who works for the state Teachers' Retirement System.

Ward 10 takes in the west and southwest sides, mostly west of Veterans Parkway.

The top two finishers in the Feb. 27 primary will advance to the general election April 18. If there are two candidates or less in a race, there will be no primary.

Candidates can begin filing their petitions with the city clerk's office Monday. The last day to do so is Dec. 18. For more information on the election, go to the city clerk's Web site at www.springfield.il.us/CityClerk/2007%20Elections.htm.

 

 

O'Neill defeats Denzler for county seat

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Author/Byline: JOHN REYNOLDS STAFF WRITER
Section: ILLINOIS PRIMARY / SPECIAL
Page: 7

Incumbent Republican Sangamon County Board member John O'Neill defeated primary opponent Mark Denzler during Tuesday's election.

O'Neill beat Denzler by 439 votes to 195 or a margin of 69.2 percent to 30.8 percent.

The 26th Sangamon County Board District includes Panther Creek, Lincolnshire, Piper Glen, Irongate, the southeast portion of Westchester and a small part of Chatham Township.

The two candidates had positive things to say about each other after the results were tabulated.

"I offer (O'Neill) my best wishes and support," Denzler said. "This race was never personal."

O'Neill, first elected to the board in 2002, had similar thoughts even though he had never met Denzler face to face.

"I'm sure he's a very intelligent young man who has a lot of experience. I wish him the best," O'Neill said.

O'Neill said one of the most important county issues in the near future is holding the line on spending and not cutting services to county residents.

"Most people I've talked to are pretty conservative about property taxes," O'Neill said.

Denzler said it is possible that he might attempt another run for public office.

O'Neill, 58, is retired from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and volunteers as assistant state legislative director for the VFW in Illinois. Denzler, 32, is a former House GOP staff member who works as a government affairs specialist for State Farm Insurance.

No Democratic candidate was on the ballot in the 26th.

 

 

Kolaz governor's new deputy chief for operations

State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - Thursday, January 19, 2006

Reljic joins Abbott

BORO RELJIC, who has been a lobbyist for the Illinois Manufacturers' Association for 20 years, has taken a new job as the multi-state regional director of government affairs for Abbott Laboratories.

The company is based near North Chicago in Abbott Park, but Reljic, 44, will continue to live in Springfield. He was vice president of government affairs at IMA.

A Chicago native with a political science degree from the former Sangamon State University, Reljic said he's excited about the new job, which begins next week. While the new post involves other Midwestern states, he'll still be lobbying at the Statehouse - where he just might run into his wife, KATY LAWRENCE, who runs her own lobbying firm, KML Consulting.

Meanwhile, MARK DENZLER , 34, a Decatur native living in Springfield, is moving from being government affairs specialist with State Farm Insurance Companies to vice president of government affairs with the manufacturers' group.

Denzler earlier worked on the House Republican staff for six years and was with IMA for four years. In 2004, he took on an incumbent member of the Sangamon County Board, JOHN O'NEILL, in the GOP primary, but lost. He said he might, at some point, consider another run for office.

Denzler, a 1993 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, said he helped produce a bit of history there because as senior class president, he helped pick a graduation speaker. Back then, he said, nobody knew much about DONALD RUMSFELD, but they do now. The current secretary of defense was by 1993 a former congressman and a heavy hitter in the business world.