Thursday, October 21, 2010

Top Companies Aid Chamber of Commerce in Policy Fights -


Prudential Financial sent in a $2 million donation last year as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce kicked off a national advertising campaign to weaken the historic rewrite of the nation’s financial regulations.

Dow Chemical delivered $1.7 million to the chamber last year

Goldman Sachs, Chevron Texaco, and Aegon, a multinational insurance company based in the Netherlands, donated more than $8 million in recent years to a chamber foundation that has been critical of growing federal regulation and spending. These large donations — none of which were publicly disclosed by the chamber, a tax-exempt group that keeps its donors secret

chamber’s increasingly aggressive role — including record spending in the midterm elections that supports Republicans more than 90 percent of the time

annual tax returns that the chamber releases include a list of all donations over $5,000, including 21 in 2008 that each exceed $1 million, one of them for $15 million. However, the chamber omits the donors’ names.

nearly half of its $140 million in contributions in 2008 came from just 45 donors

organization that in 2003 had an overall budget of about $130 million, it is spending $200 million this year, and the chamber and its affiliates allocated $144 million last year just for lobbying, making it the biggest lobbyist in the United States.

Top Companies Aid Chamber of Commerce in Policy Fights -

Remember 11-18-2009: Vote on Boone budget was done correctly

Will Boone County have any of this drama when the county budget is voted next month?

Their decision to lay those objections to rest means that the $13.4 million budget will stand as approved

Previous shortfall
In recent months, the proposed 2010 budget contained a shortfall that measured — by some estimates — $285,000.
Instead of making painful spending cuts, the board erased the shortfall by infusing the 2010 spending plan with additional property tax penalties — fees that property owners pay when they make late tax payments. Doing so would add up to $133,500 in revenue to the 2010 budget

Click on the following for more details:  Courier: Vote on Boone budget was done correctly - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Invisible border fence: Costly virtual border fence in tatters - The U.S. is set to defund the troubled project. It was intended to keep a high-tech eye on the Mexican border.


after an investment of more than $1 billion, may be a system with only 53 miles of unreliable coverage along the nearly 2,000-mile border.

Click on the following for more details:  Invisible border fence: Costly virtual border fence in tatters -

Politics Northwest | Texas governor uses I-1098 to court Washington business | Seattle Times Newspaper

See what Illinois should look forward if the state income taxes on wealthy increase.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has sent letters to around 90 top employers and a few business associations in Washington urging companies worried about taxes to head on over to his state.
"As the State of Washington considers a multibillion-dollar tax increase for citizens and businesses ... I invite you to consider your future in America's new land of opportunity: the State of Texas," Perry wrote.

Politics Northwest | Texas governor uses I-1098 to court Washington business | Seattle Times Newspaper

Money reported missing from suburban waste agency -


One source said the funds could amount to $400,000.

Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County is a local government entity and a nonprofit corporation formed in 1988 by 23 municipalities. Its members are Arlington Heights, Barrington, Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Kenilworth, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Palatine, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows, South Barrington, Skokie, Wheeling, Wilmette and Winnetka.

Money reported missing from suburban waste agency -

Ill. state money to help fund railcar plant in Rochelle

Chicago's Metra commuter rail service awarded Nippon Sharyo a contract to build its next generation of railcars. Metra will buy 160 over the next five years.

Nippon Sharyo U.S.A. will receive $12 million in the form of a state business investment package to supplement $35 million in private investment

Click on the following for more details: | News from Associated Press


The following are excerpts from Nippon Sharyo’s news releases.  See:

cars for this [Metra] contract will be similar to the 26 gallery-type electric multiple units (EMUs) that were delivered in 2005 and 2006. The cars will accommodate up to 140 passengers each, and will replace existing cars that have been in service at Metra since the 1970s. Half of the new cars will be equipped with bathrooms.

The contract price is $560 million. Delivery is scheduled to start at the end of 2012, and finish by the middle of 2015.

The new strategy is focusing on two elements, one to increase competiveness in the expanding passenger railcar market in the United States, and the other to respond to the increased desires for “localization” of railcar assembly.

The new production facility is also expected to reduce total production costs by reducing transportation costs and by mitigating the risks of exchange rate fluctuations. Having a new production facility in the US also offers greater flexibility for production planning and delivery schedules while increasing the “local content” for Illinois and providing job opportunities in the Region.

The new facility will also enhance Nippon Sharyo’s consistent “on-time, on-budget” contract performance accomplishment on every United States contract over the past 30 years.

Nippon Sharyo has delivered an aggregate of 886 passenger railcars to the US market since early 80’s, and has complied with “Buy America” and local content requirements without exception by utilizing US suppliers and conducting final assembly in the US.

Nippon Sharyo decided to enhance its presence in the United States by building its own new production facility in Rochelle, Illinois. This is in response to the Obama Administration's initiative in support of passenger rail investments to create more jobs in the United States.