Thursday, December 08, 2005

Brady: Fast and Loose with the Truth

Gubernatorial hopeful Bill Brady was in Macomb yesterday. He criticized Governor Blagojevich for having not visited Macomb as Governor. A good point, but Brady should have stopped there.

Instead, he went on to criticize Blagojevich on job creation, a hot topic in Western Illinois. According to The Peoria Journal Star, Brady blamed Blagojevich for the fact Illinois has lost 200,000-300,000 jobs. A great soundbite. Only one problem: it's simply not true.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois has created over 200,000 private sector jobs since Blagojevich became Governor, with 4.866 million jobs when he took over in January, 2003 and a preliminary 5.068 million jobs as of Sept., 2005.

And while the Illinois Chamber of Commerce's Doug Whitley likes to rail that Illinois has lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs over the last five years, what Whitley fails to mention is that 166,000 of those jobs were lost while the Republicans were in charge. Illinois started 1999 with 900,000 manufacturing jobs, and by the time Democrats took over in 2003, we were down to 734,000. At last report, Illinois had 692,000 manufacturing jobs.

In fact, if you look at the boom years of the nineties, when all of America was prospering, you'll see that the Edgar administration (of which Whitley was a part) did very little to create manufacturing jobs, with an annual growth rate of well below 1%.

Numbers don't lie, my friends. But Brady does.

P.S. Sorry, I tried to put Bureau tables in, but they were too tough to read. Don't take my word for it. Go here to create your own.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Will County Pushes to Execute Retarded Man

From CBS-2's AP Wire:
Will County prosecutors plan to appeal a judge's ruling that a murder defendant is mentally retarded and ineligible for the death penalty....

....Circuit Judge Gerald Kinney ruled last month that Ausby is mentally retarded, meaning he can't be sentenced to death if found guilty. Kinney noted testimony by two psychologists who determined Ausby's IQ to be between 64 and 79.
This is not Will County's first death penalty controversy. During the 2004 elections, State's Attorney Jeff Tomczak was accused of attempting to railroad Kevin Fox in the murder of his daughter, Riley, in the months leading up to the election. Fox confessed after hours of interrogation, but was later exonerated by DNA evidence - evidence which Tomczak sat on through Election Day. Tomczak is now the subject of a lawsuit.

I'm not excusing Ausby's actions -- but I can't explain either the actions of Will County State's Attorney Jeff Glasgow. Life in prison without chance of parole would serve justice, but it apparently doesn't feed Will County's thirst for revenge. God help Will County.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Did Umholtz Follow the Law?

Rich Miller stirs the pot today with GOP hopeful Stu Umholtz.

Stu wants to be our next Attorney General.

However, as I first noted back in November on CapitolFax Blog, Umholtz closed down his campaign committee in 2000 and hasn't filed a report with the State Board of Elections in over five years.

Anxious readers want to know:

Is Umholtz the worst fundraiser to ever run for statewide office, or did he ignore the law?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Quigley Proposes Countywide Ban as City Nears Smoking Votes

As the Chicago City Council approaches a rare divided vote on a proposal to eliminate secondhand smoke from public places, Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley is announcing plans to make the ban on involuntary smoke countywide.

Mike Flannery reports that ban opponents, including the Billy Goat Tavern's Sam Cianis, are still trying to block the citywide effort.

Meanwhile, the Tribune says that some Chicago alderman are scrambling desperately to split the baby, including leading ban opponent Burt Natarus, who has a competing proposal that would exempt bars.

According to the Sun-Times, Natarus is the leading fundraiser on the City Council when it comes to tobacco industry allies, with $151,830 pocketed recently.

But the idea of a compromise is a no-go with the ordinance's supporters, who believe the facts and public opinion are on their side:

Joel Africk, CEO of the American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago, said his group could not choose to protect only some people.

If Chicago had gone smoke-free in 1995 when an earlier Smith-like ordinance was proposed, data from other smoking ban cities suggest that 8,000 deaths here could have been prevented, Africk said.
Natarus's Ban Light will be voted on Tuesday morning before the City's Finance Committee, meanwhile ban supporters are hopeful they will have the 26 votes necessary when the American Cancer Society's version comes before the full City Council on Wednesday.

George Ryan Endorses Topinka?

This closer made me giggle, from the SJ-R:
He [George Ryan] predicted the state could be in for an exciting governor's race with Republican Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka as the front-runner in a crowded GOP primary field vying to take on Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

"I think he could have a lot of trouble with Judy," Ryan said of Blagojevich.

Thanks but no thanks for the endorsement, I'm sure Topinka says.