Thursday, August 25, 2016

Bodine’s referendum is on the ballot


See the county board’s vote at:



State Representative candidate works to get Illinois Anti-Corruption Act on November ballot

Posted by RVPEditor / In Belvidere Daily Republican, Public Meetings

Illinois Anti Corruption Act

By Kathryn Menue


Illinois State Representative candidate for the 69th District, Angelique Bodine, has made it her mission to get the Illinois Anti-Corruption Act on the ballot for the November election.

Bodine began her quest on Feb. 9 at the Boone County Finance, Taxation, and Salaries Committee meeting. From there, Bodine has spoken with board members and has attended other Boone County board meetings to discuss the same issue.

“You can see how important this is to me, as I have spoken to you about this on numerous occasions, now,” Bodine said at the Monday, July 11 Boone County Administrative and Legislative meeting.

“This is not only important to me; it’s also a very important issue to most of the other members of the community. The reason it’s so important is because constituents are very concerned about corruption, specifically the corrupting influence of money on our politics. It’s very important for elected officials to be willing to effectively address the issues of corruption within our government.”

Bodine feels as though the Illinois Anti-Corruption Act will be a good start to help Illinois weed out corruption from all political bodies.

If put on the ballot, voters would get to vote yes or no on the Illinois Anti-Corruption Act, which reads: “Do you support removing the corrupting influence of money on our political system by prohibiting politicians from taking campaign money from industries they regulate; increasing transparency for campaign funding; empowers all voters through a tax rebate voucher to contribute to the candidates they support; prohibiting representatives and senior staff from all lobbying activity for five years once they leave office; and placing limits on super PACs.”

If citizens vote ‘yes’ come Election Day, then they are voting in favor of “removing” corruptive influences from government. If citizens vote ‘no,’ then they are voting for no change to policies.

Winnebago and DeKalb Counties already passed this act, and McHenry County is working to get the act on their November ballot.

“Five out of six voters in our neighboring counties (Winnebago and DeKalb) support this initiative. I have seen statistics that it passed with an overwhelming 87 percent approval in both counties, and a whopping 89 percent in Genoa Township. A community that is very similar to Belvidere,” Bodine said. “McHenry County is also moving toward putting this on their ballot for the November election, as well. I, for one, don’t want to see Boone County be the last one in our region on this.”

Bodine thinks it is about time that Boone County stepped up with the other counties to fight corruption. A good way to move forward is to put the Illinois Anti-Corruption Act on the ballot for the November election, so citizens can have the right to voice their opinions on the matter.

“According to a new poll conducted by the Paul Simon Institute [source at: WBBM on Sunday, July 10], 82 percent of voters think Illinois is headed in the wrong direction,” Bodine said.

At the Administrative and Legislative meeting on July 11, Bodine advocated to the board that they make the right decision.

“Please do right by the constituents and put this on the ballot,” Bodine said.

She said many of the board members were supportive of the initiative and that the community is one step closer to having the Illinois Anti-Corruption Act on the ballot.

“Several people on the committee stated that they were in favor of the question going onto the ballot and were willing to approve it then,” Bodine said.

However, one of the board members “voiced” his “apprehension” over the initiative.

The board moved the initiative to their August committee meeting where they will vote on whether or not to send the Illinois Anti-Corruption Act proposal to the regular August meeting.

“That’s where the board will decide whether or not to put it onto the ballot,” Bodine said.

BDR coverage of county referendum

Countywide vote on board chairman getting more discussion

Posted by RVPEditor / In Belvidere Daily Republican, Public Meetings


By Bob Balgemann


The chairman of the Boone County Board now is elected each year from among sitting board members. The position is good for one year and a new chair is chosen each December.

Currently, board member Cathy Ward would like a referendum asking voters if they believe future board chairs should be elected countywide.

No decision is expected to be made in time for the question to be placed on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. The issue was discussed at the Aug. 1 meeting of the administrative and legislative committee, chaired by District I board member Sherry Giesecke.

This is one of seven standing committees of the county board and its membership consists of five county board members.

Here are some of the thoughts offered on Aug. 1:

Adding a 13th person to the board is not a good idea.

Voters elected the 12 board members to represent them and that includes deciding a new board chairman.

The size of the current county board should be reduced, not increased.

Why not let social media run the county?

Having the board chair elected county-wide would be changing the board to a different form of government.

In a note to committee Chairperson Giesecke, board member Ward said she had been told by State’s Attorney Michelle Courier that the board could approve having such a referendum placed on the ballot.

Ultimately, the committee decided much more discussion was needed before a recommendation – if one was agreed upon – the recommendation could be referred to the full board for consideration.

More talk is expected at the September meeting.

Also at the Aug. 1 meeting, the committee approved a resolution in support of an advisory referendum concerning “anti-corruption reform.” The board was expected to consider the resolution at its Aug. 17 meeting.

The referendum is being proposed by the group, “Represent US,” and would read:

“Do you support reducing the corrupting influence of money on our political system by prohibiting politicians from taking campaign money from the special interests they regulate; increasing transparency for campaign funding; empowering all voters through a tax rebate voucher to contribute to the candidates they support; prohibiting representatives and senior staff from lobbying activity for five years after they leave office; and placing limits on Super PAC-campaign coordination?”

The measure is being advanced locally by Angelique Bodine of Candlewick Lake, a Democratic candidate for the State House District 69 seat currently held by State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford. District 69 includes the vast majority of Boone County.

A second resolution, which had not been drafted as of Aug. 1, would be in support of term limits and redistricting reform at the state and federal levels. This is being supported by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who maintains it has bipartisan backing in Springfield.

The local referendum, should it get on the Nov. 8 general election ballot, would be advisory in nature.



Image may contain: text



Thanks to Mary S. Steurer, Boone County Clerk and Recorder for kindly providing the language that will appear on the November ballot here in Boone County. The referendum was recently approved by the Boone County Board to be placed on the ballot.

Here is how your Boone County Board members voted.

Voting yes were Jeff Carlisle, Denny Ellingson, Ken Freeman, Sherry Giesecke, Ray Larson, Jessica Muellner and Cathy Ward.

Voting no were Boone County Board Chairman Bob Walberg, Karl Johnson, Cory Lind and Brad Stark.

Board member Sherry Branson was absent.

Above is from The Rhubarb, FACEBOOK

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Koch Network Building A Senate Wall Against Trump

Conservative donor David Koch in a 2013 file photo. The political network he and his brother, Charles, have created is not backing Donald Trump's presidential bid this year. (AP)<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = "[default]" NS = "" />closemore

Conservative donor David Koch in a 2013 file photo. The political network he and his brother, Charles, have created is not backing Donald Trump's presidential bid this year. (AP)

Four years after Charles and David Koch's political network opened its bank accounts to promote Republican nominee Mitt Romney, it's now spending millions to save the Republicans' Senate majority from their presidential candidate.

This year's Senate ads will focus on issues involving the candidates, not national issues, said James Davis, spokesman for Freedom Partners Action Fund, a superPAC that is doing most of the network's TV ads.

Most of the ads deal with "cronyism and corporate welfare, and/or spending and government over-regulation," Davis told NPR in an interview. "What we see is that there's not a national issue per se that is mobilizing voters or that voters are encouraged or discouraged about."

This strategy marks a reversal from 2012, when Koch ads hammered at Obamacare and other Washington controversies. The network spent $78 million on general-election presidential advertising, according to the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks political advertising.

The Koch network accounted for 92 percent of the spending by all conservative outside groups in the Obama-Romney fall campaign.

This time around, the network isn't doing anything to help Trump.

In Pennsylvania, where first-term Sen. Pat Toomey is now trailing Democrat Katie McGinty, Koch groups have spent at least $3.5 million, or half of the total conservative spending, according to federal records analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The latest ad alleges cronyism, one of the elements listed by Davis. McGinty this week asked if Toomey would trust Trump with the nation's nuclear codes, a popular Democratic theme.

That's how the Democrats are playing it — making sure to keep Trump in the debate. Sadie Weiner, spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said the Kochs' Trump-free strategy won't work.

"The Republican senators who they're advertising for and spending tens of millions of dollars for, are pretty much unanimously standing with Donald Trump," she said.

Most of those endorsements have been pretty tepid, but still warmer than the relationship between Trump and the Koch brothers.

Trump tweeted a year ago that his primary rivals might be Koch "puppets."

Charles Koch, interviewed by ABC News in April, could hardly have sounded more appalled by Trump's idea to make Muslims register with the government.

"That's reminiscent of Nazi Germany. I mean, that's monstrous," he said.

But the Koch network wouldn't go with Hillary Clinton

"We do not like Ms. Clinton's record," said Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity. "Clearly, on the issues that matter to us, she's just a disaster."

Americans for Prosperity is the network's main organization for ground operations. Phillips said it has about 700 paid staff in 35 states, plus volunteers.

Two other groups are also working in Senate races: The Libre Initiative, focusing on Latino voters, and Concerned Veterans for America.

"We think we can make the biggest difference by focusing very specifically on the issue differences between these Senate candidates," Phillips said.

"The presidential race will absolutely buffet and have an impact on these Senate races. We're just not going to get involved in it."

Above is from:

Koch brothers investing in state-level Wisconsin lawmakers


August 20, 2016

by Louis Weisberg

After apparently shrugging off the 2016 presidential election, Charles and David Koch are focusing their campaign dollars further down the ballot to maintain control over state governments, according to the Center for Media and Democracy;

CMD intern David Armiak reported that the billionaire brothers, who are the bedrock of the modern Republican Party, have already spent $400 million this year on influencing campaigns around the nation. Some of that money is believed to have gone to Verona Swanigan’s failed campaign to oust Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.

Chisholm and other district attorneys conducted a “John Doe” probe of Koch-backed groups they suspected of illegally coordinating their campaign activities with those of Gov. Scott Walker during his recall race. Justices who’ve received millions of dollars in campaign contributions from those same Koch-backed groups ruled unconstitutional the law under which the probe was conducted. They ordered the case closed and, in what many called an unprecedented move, they ordered the files destroyed.

The DAs appealed the case the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to hear it.

As this election year heats up, Wisconsin is once again in the Koch brothers’ sites.

Below are candidates for state office — all Republicans —  in whom the industrialist titans have already invested this year, Amiak's research revealed.

  • Joel Kitchens (WI-01) is receiving campaign help from Americans for Prosperity’s door-to-door operation. Kitchens also received $500 from KochPAC to Joel Kitchens for Assembly.
  • AndrĂ© Jacque (WI-02) received $500 from KochPAC to his Jacque for Assembly.
  • Majority Leader Rep. Jim Steineke (WI-05) received $500 from KochPAC to his Steineke for Assembly.
  • Gary Tauchen (WI-06) received $500 from KochPAC to Tauchen for Assembly.
  • Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Daniel Knodl (WI-24) received $500 from KochPAC to Knodl Assembly 24.
  • Mark Born (WI-39) received $500 from KochPAC to Born For Assembly
  • Michael Schraa (WI-53) received $500 from KochPAC to Michael Schraa for Assembly.
  • Mike Rohrkaste (WI-55) received $500 from KochPAC to Rohrkaste for Assembly.
  • Speaker of the House Rep. Robin Vos (WI-63) received $500 from KochPAC to his Friends & Neighbors of Robin Vos.
  • John Spiros (WI-86) received $500 from KochPAC to Spiros for Assembly.
  • John Macco (WI-88) received $500 from KochPAC to Friends of John Macco.
  • John Nygren (WI-89) received $500 from KochPAC to Taxpayers for Nygren.
  • Above is from:

NLRB rules that grad students are employees, opens door to unionization

In a major decision that opens the door for graduate students across the country to unionize, the National Labor Relations Board ruled Tuesday that grad students who work as teaching and research assistants are employees covered by federal labor laws.

The 3-1 decision — which stems from a petition filed by a group of graduate students at Columbia University in New York who wished to join the United Auto Workers union — reverses a 2004 decision involving Rhode Island's Brown University that had held that grad students are not employees because they are primarily students.

The majority wrote that the Brown decision "deprived an entire category of workers of the protections of the (National Labor Relations) Act without a convincing justification."

The decision states: "The Board has the statutory authority to treat student assistants as statutory employees, where they perform work, at the direction of the university, for which they are compensated. Statutory coverage is permitted by virtue of an employment relationship; it is not foreclosed by the existence of some other, additional relationship that the Act does not reach."

Above is from:

Pink Tax to end in 2017


ILLINOIS -- A big break for women in the state. Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill eliminating the tax on feminine hygiene products starting in January.

The decision makes Illinois the third state to do away with the sale tax, following in the footsteps of New York and Connecticut. 

Lawmakers and support groups say women should not pay a tax on a necessary product which is only used by them.

Women were paying more than 6% for sanitary napkins and tampons. California's state assembly is close to sending a plan to its governor and eleven other states proposed legislation this year.

Above is from: