Candidates’ Night Thursday to be Televised

DeKalb City Council Chambers will serve as the setting for a candidates’ night on Thursday evening involving some of the candidates City of DeKalb residents will vote on, and will include a telecast on Channel 14, the city’s public access channel.

The newly reconstituted League of Women Voters of DeKalb County (LWVDC) is hosting. Participating candidates of non-contested races will provide short presentations about themselves and their platforms, while contested races will involve questions from the audience as well.

Find more info at the Chronicle or e-mail

Full disclosure: I serve on the LWVDC board of directors.

Straightforward Explanation of Illinois Budget Complications

Eric Zorn explains why calling for 10% across-the-board cuts in the state budget wouldn’t solve our money problems.

I happen to disagree with him about the value/ROI of a forensic audit of state spending, however. Here’s another discussion, including a recap of Adam Andrzjewski’s arguments in support of such an audit, here.

Brady’s Conflicts of Interest

The Chicago Trib reports that Bill Brady, Republican candidate for governor, almost certainly has benefited from votes he’s cast as a state senator.

In 2003, the state legislature gave the local government authority to take land for sewers along Curtis Road east of Brady’s property. A final vote to enact the law occurred Nov. 4, as Brady was securing options on the land he planned to develop. He voted for it.

Three years later, when the legislature re-authorized the sewer plans, well after Brady began acquiring the land, he again voted in favor of the measure. In 2007, Brady also voted for similar legislation allowing Champaign and other local governments to seize property to build their share of the interchange.

Although the actions would help move the interchange project along, and affect the value of his land, Brady did not recuse himself.

They couldn’t have dug this up before the primary, so maybe we’d have had half a chance of getting somebody to vote for this fall?

Brady & His Tax Returns

While the hoo-ha over State Sen. Bill Brady’s reluctance to disclose his tax returns is understandable — we are the transparency crowd here, after all — I also understand his reluctance under the circumstances. Additionally, the actual content of the returns don’t concern me much. We all are careful to pay only what we have to, right? If you have a problem with what he paid, or didn’t pay, your gripe is with the feds, really.

What we should be paying close attention to IMO is his legislative record, on its own merits and perhaps within the context of his businesses and donors as well. How about conflicts of interest?

Which reminds me: Check out the improved Illinois State Board of Elections website. The link is under the Good Government heading on the lower right of this page. Navigability is better, and we can now link to individual search result pages, like this.

Post-Election Open Thread

For election judges at the NIU Rec Center, here’s how Election Day played out yesterday:

From 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., 856 people came in to use the Campus Recreation Center. In the same amount of time, 2 people came to vote. By 6 p.m., the total was up to 3 voters and one more person was preparing to be the fourth voter of the night.

The Rec center was the polling place for the DeKalb precincts 2, 7, 9 and 12, the precincts for students who live in the Douglas, Lincoln, Grant and Stevenson Residence Halls. Students who are registered to vote at their home address rather than in the precincts of the residence halls were not able to vote at the Rec Center on Tuesday.

Other students were simply not aware there was an election.

Guess whose precinct had to deliver a ballot box that didn’t rattle at all? Continue reading Post-Election Open Thread

Andrzejewski Runs for Governor

Click here to watch the Illinois Channel interview with declared GOP candidate for Illinois governor Adam Andrzejewski. It’s about 35 minutes long and covers his business background, his dad’s runs for state rep. against George Ryan in the ’70s, budget strategies (the 14-18 minute stretch is the most interesting to me), schools, and environmental regulation.

Full disclosure: I’ve worked with Adam, consider him the real deal, and like him for the job.

Other City Barbs coverage of Adam’s endeavors is here.

Campaign website is here.

More later, I’m sure.

Election Judge Notes

I’ve been an election judge on the Northern Illinois University campus for two years now. If memory serves our precinct got 62 votes in the 2006 General, “winning” the “contest” over the other three precincts stationed at the Recreation Center. From then it was all downhill, the lowlight having only 4 or 5 ballots rattling around the ballot transfer box by the end of the IL-14 special Congressional last spring.

Then yesterday we helped 334 young voters cast their ballots, and the precinct next to us tallied close to 600. Continue reading Election Judge Notes

Gov Weighs in on Con-Con

Chicago Tribune’s “Clout Street” Blog:

The governor said he likes the “concept” of a constitutional convention, but said it could be a costly endeavor that “could upset the delicate balance between the executive branch and the legislative branch.”

“Thank God that the constitution gives the executive branch a lot of power to get around the legislative branch,” Blagojevich said, adding that without his ability to issue executive orders or use his amendatory veto power there would be no free mass transit rides for seniors or free breast and cervical cancer exams for women.

“If the constitutional convention were to occur and there was an effort to erode the executive branch’s ability to do those things, then I think less good things would happen for people,” Blagojevich said.

Place under “it should be satire, but it’s not” heading.

Con-Con Talk

At least one local educator is telling children that a state constitutional convention (con-con) equals elimination of their beloved teachers’ pensions. Evidently the subject of special-interest propaganda, along with the dangers of driving and drugs and death-metal music, must be discussed with the offspring both early and often. So be it. I’ll also go on record once again in support of a con-con.

Short “pro-con-con” argument: “Egregious constitutional errors are not fixing themselves.” But also take a look at the following longer version, well-expressed by Springfield blogger Will Reynolds in a post titled “Bring Democracy to Illinois”:

The Illinois Constitution does not provide for democratic measures existing in other states such as: a binding referendum that allows the public to vote directly on laws; a reasonable discharge petition requirement that permits legislative action on bills opposed by leadership; fair rules to allow equal participation by third party and independent candidates; and limits on the use of the amendatory veto. Continue reading Con-Con Talk