Friday, November 25, 2016


Factbox: The companies making money from Illinois’ unpaid bills

rs) - During a 10-month period starting in November 2015, four firms qualified by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration purchased $1.12 billion in unpaid bills due scores of vendors providing critical goods and services. In return, the firms stood to pocket at least $118 million in state-funded late-payment penalties as of late September.


Firm Receivables acquired*  Late-payment penalty*

Vendor Assistance Program $707.2 million                $82.4 million       

Illinois Financing Partners  $275.4 million                   $18.6 million

Vendor Capital Finance LLC   $145 million                  $16.9 million

Payplant                     $475,330                        $39,530

*As of Sept. 28, 2016

Source: Illinois Department of Central Management Services


Vendor Assistance Program (VAP)

VAP’s February 2014 disclosure, its latest available, identifies six funding sources and 12 owners, including Citibank N.A. and the consulting firm owned by Democratic political strategist Patti Solis Doyle, Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign manager.

Another VAP investor listed on that document is Manchester Securities, which is owned by billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer and had a 4 percent stake. State records show Singer donated $250,000 to Rauner in September 2014, two months before Rauner's election and 14 months before the launch of the Rauner administration's Vendor Support Initiative.

Argentina dubbed an affiliated Singer-owned company a "vulture" investor for its hardball tactics in a decade-plus legal battle with the South American nation over defaulted sovereign debt. At one point, the Singer firm had an Argentine naval training vessel briefly impounded by Ghana in an attempt to extract money from Buenos Aires.

Illinois Financing Partners (IFP

)Illinois Financing Partners, LLC's involvement in the program is backed by a $500 million Bank of America commitment, according to an IFP filing with the state in April. IFP’s purchases have consisted entirely of overdue Health Alliance bills. The group's president, founder and majority investor is Lindsay Trittipoe, who holds a 58 percent stake in the company.

IFP's minority investors include former two-term Illinois Republican Governor Jim Edgar, who is IFP's board chairman, and former U.S. Representative Jerry Costello, an Illinois Democrat. Both hold 1 percent stakes in the company.

Vendor Capital Finance LLC

A February 2014 disclosure to Illinois, the most recent available, lists New York municipal finance consultant Le Chen as VCF's chief executive officer. LeRose, LLC, of which Chen is identified as the lone member in state business records, reported a 6 percent ownership stake in VCF. With a nearly 94 percent stake, VCF's largest owner was ER Illinois LLC, based at the same New York address as Richmond Hill Investment Co., LP, VCF's filing showed.

Payplant LLC

The Palo Alto, California-based firm was co-founded by Ronjon Nag, an inventor and smartphone pioneer, and Neerav Berry, a computer engineering expert and co-founder of a mobile app store platform acquired by Blackberry. A February 2014 filing with Illinois showed Nag and wife Sally Ann Rudd committing $5 million to Payplant with another $5 million coming from the Berry & Pandey Living Trust.


The program targets invoices from contractors providing vital state services 90 or more days overdue. To date, Illinois has designated a variety of vendors, including some that supply state employees and retirees with medical services, feed prison inmates and keep Illinois’ computer systems functioning.

The outside groups front unpaid vendors 90 percent of the face value of their receivables. Whenever Illinois eventually pays those bills, vendors keep the remaining 10 percent of what they are owed, then forward the balance and late-payment penalties to the lenders.

SOURCES: Illinois Department of Central Management Services

(Reporting by Dave McKinney; Editing by Daniel Bases and Tomasz Janowski)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

PRESS RELEASE from Block GLB/Rock Against The Rail


  • Submitted by

    Mirjam Melin, Co-founder of Rock Against The Rail & Susan Sack,Co-founder of Block GLB Railroad

    8608 East Rye Drive 3799 East 7th Road

    Clinton, WI 53525 Mendota, IL 61342

    608-312-1512 815-910-9064



    For Immediate Release Proposed Rail Responds to Federal Agency Request

    On September 9, 2016 the Surface Transportation Board requested additional information from

    Great Lakes Basin Transportation Inc. (GLBT) regarding the average number of trains per day

    forecasted for each segment, the anticipated average speed of the trains and the anticipated average

    train length for the proposed GLBT toll railroad.

    GLBT provided their answers on November 10, 2016 as requested by the STB.

    GLBT submitted train speeds based on maximum speeds allowed by freight type; intermodal 70

    mph,coal and grain 45-55 mph, Oil 45 mph, General Car loads 55 mph.

    The number of trains per day, their lengths and speeds vary and are broken down by sections based

    on railroad interchange points. At the northern end of the route, GLBT estimates that there will be

    1-2 trains per day in the first year of operation on the Rock County, WI segment. By year three,

    GLBT estimates there to be 3-8 trains per day on that segment. At the Rochelle area section mile

    marker164 estimates range from 4-8 trains per day the first year to 17 to 34 by the third year. At

    Earlville mile marker 140, an approximate midpoint, the first year estimates are 11-20 trains per

    day increasing to 56-86 the third year. Manteno mile marker 63 is the site of the proposed 1,500 acre

    rail port. It is estimated the Manteno to Lowell Indiana stretches would see 21-35 trains daily the

    first year increasing to 56-85 per day the third year.

    GLB advised information provided in regards to the number of trains per day forecasted is based on

    traffic projections based on Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) traffic maps.

    Opposition to the rail points out it is not based on information or assurances provided by any of the

    railroads (GLBT’s potential customers) which the proposed toll rail would intersect.

    It was earlier revealed two of the six Class I railroads, Union Pacific and Norfolk & Southern have

    publicly stated they have no interest in using the GLBT proposed rail. The remaining four Class I

    railroads have not publicly stated that they will use the proposed GLBT toll rail.

    GLB’s letter dated November 10, 2016, states the following; “The volume of traffic that would be

    carried on the proposed line, and thus GLBR’s forecast of that volume, depends on many factors.

    These include the level of economic activity when construction of the line is completed, the types and

    volumes of rail freight traffic which would be transiting through the Chicago area at that time, and

    the business decisions of GLBR's connecting railroads and their shippers.”

    Mirjam Melin Co-founder of a grassroots opposition group Rock the Rail noted, “From all publicly

    available information it seems that GLBT is building this rail purely on speculation and a ‘If you

    build it, they will come’ philosophy. This entrepreneurial way of thinking is admirable only if you

    gamble with your own or your investors assets but not if you risk assets of people who involuntarily

    have become part of your project”.

  • The proposed 3 state toll railroad has come under scrutiny with over 4,000 opposition statements

    being submitted to the federal Surface Transportation Board and thousands of citizens using social

    media and informational outreach meetings to unite and educate themselves.

    Susan Sack of Block GLB commented, “ GLB would require the taking of property via eminent

    domain and taxpayers might end up footing the bill. Transparency of finances and a detailed

    business plan including customers who have agreed to pay to use the line must be available to

    determine feasibility. Citizens and communities should not bear the burden of risk for a speculative


    Many of the comments submitted to the STB have addressed concerns over the negative economic

    impact on communities and landowners, safety concerns, and environmental concerns. Submissions

    site a GLBT employee Mr. Pehta, market advisor, stating 90% of the ‘privately financed’ rail line

    would be paid for by federal railroad grants raising the question; If this project would go bankrupt

    who would be stuck with the debt?

    Carl Zimmerman, Earlville area farmer and co founder of Block GLB expressed disappointment

    upon reading the data submitted. “GLB did not provide answers as to who is going to pay to ship

    freight on the proposed rail or even what types of freight: oil, coal, grain, or intermodal, would be

    traveling through our communities. All that was provided was a disclaimer that the data provided

    was a guess as there were many variables.”

    The STB has provided GLB with a late Nov. deadline for an additional information request.

    Other GLBT news

    In a telephone conversation on November 10, 2016, Surface Transportation Board's Office of

    Environmental Analysis project manager Ken Blodgett confirmed that any letters written re Docket

    # 35952 (the proposed GLBT rail) will be processed, entered into the Public Record and considered in

    writing the Draft Scope of Study and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). He stated

    that the public should be assured that their comments would be considered and he encouraged the

    public to write. Mr. Blodgett acknowledged the public’s frustration with the complicity of the

    approval process. Aside from this, he also acknowledged that the people in Washington DC were

    unfamiliar with the complexities of farming and the impacts the proposed rail would have.

    John Hintzsche, AG instructor and Ogle County farmer noted, “The fact the people making the

    decisions admittedly know little about Midwest farming operations should be a reason for those in

    the farming community to provide detailed descriptions of their operations and the negative impacts

    the proposed rail would have. People 30 miles each side of the proposed route should by submitting.”

    The STB’s Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) will update the public once a range of reasonable

    alternatives has been defined and will invite comment from the public on those alternatives prior to

    issuing the Final Scope of Study. Mr. Blodgett indicated that the writing of the Draft Scope of Study

    (the outline of what will be studied and considered in the Draft EIS) might take several months yet.

    It would likely be early 2017, he stated, when the next official Public Comment period would open.

  • It is important for the public to be aware that the STB has stated the following; “As part of our

    environmental review process, we will identify and evaluate any reasonable and feasible alternative

    routes to the proposed rail line route shown on the map. We anticipate that any such alternative

    routes would likely be located within approximately 30 miles of the proposed rail line.

    Thus, the project area consists of a 60-mile wide corridor (i.e., 30 miles on either side of the

    proposed rail line).” (emphasis added)

    For additional information or to fact check:

    Click on the Documents and Related Links tab at and look

    under Information Requests for the complete November 10, 2016 GLBT response. and the linked county face book pages or

Monday, November 21, 2016

Grand Opening--Boone County Animal Service Building



No injuries in fire at vacant Eden building in Poplar Grove


By Susan MoranCorrespondent

POPLAR GROVE — The former Eden Processing Inc. building at 100 East St. caught fire today, drawing response from multiple county fire departments.

The building has been vacant for several years and no one was inside at the time of the fire, said Gail Worley, chief of North Boone Fire District 3. Eight different departments responded.

"We contained it pretty much to one or two rooms, it was nothing real major," Worley said. "It looked like it was going to spread but we were able to get it under control."

Firefighters were dispatched shortly after noon and arrived to find heavy black smoke pouring from the building. The fire was contained to the southwest corner of the building, Worley said.

The cause of the fire has not been determined. State fire marshals are investigating.

Above is from:

Ogle County Board says no to proposed railroad project

County Board says no to proposed railroad project

Posted: Friday, Nov 18th, 2016


OREGON — In a 23-1 vote Tuesday night, Ogle County Board members voted to pass a resolution that urges the Surface Transportation Board to pursue a "no-action alternative" of denying the petition or application of the proposed Great Lakes Basin Railroad project.

The resolution passed highlights the effects the proposed railroad project would have on Ogle County – including specific negative effects to townships of Scott, White Rock, Lynnville, Dement and Flagg.
Village of Davis Junction Trustee William Luchsinger spoke to the board about his concern over the proposed railroad project and its impact on his community.
“Due to the change in the route, the railroad will now go ¼-mile of the current north/south railroad [in the village] and would be detrimental to our entire village,” Luchsinger said. “The effects on a proposed subdivision and plans for a restaurant/gas station already in place would be detrimental.”
The village has had to put all development plans on hold because of the proposed re-route of the railroad.
Luchsinger added that the proposal would bring an estimated 85 to 100 trains per day with 100 or more cars using the new tracks.
“[We’d see] a train every 13 minutes…. It’s a detriment to our village,” he said.
The negative impacts would include environmental, agricultural and safety to members of the community.
In a report prepared by the Ogle County Planning and Zoning Department and presented to county board members, details of the proposed railroad were outlined, including impacts on communities throughout Ogle County.
Impact on Natural Resources
• Floodplains
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has designated and mapped floodplains, or Special Flood Hazard Areas within Ogle County. Encroachment on floodplains by development, such as structures and fill, reduces the flood-carrying capacity, increases the flood heights and velocities, and increases flood hazards in areas beyond the encroachment itself.
The proposed GLBRR will cross several mapped Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), including the following:
> Ryly Ditch SFHA in Section 28 Dement Township (Flood zone AE);
> Creston Ditch SFHA in Section 21 Dement Township (Flood zone AE);
> Kilbuck Creek tributary in Section 5, 8 and 9 Dement Township (Flood zoned A).
In addition, the proposed GLBRR will cross seven other small streams that have not been mapped as having a SFHA, but may experience occasional flood events
• Wetlands
Wetlands are important features in the landscape that provide numerous beneficial services for people and for fish and wildlife. Some of these services, or functions, include protecting and improving water quality, providing fish and wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods. These valuable functions are the result of the unique natural characteristics of wetlands.
The proposed GLBRR crosses two mapped wetlands in Ogle County:
> Freshwater emergent wetland in Section 36 White Rock Township;
> Freshwater emergent wetland in Section 2 White Rock Township.
• Impact on Transportation Systems
The new preferred route for the GLBRR will cross 18 public roadways and one private roadway in Ogle County. The letter from Frank Patton, Chairman of Great Lakes Basin
Transportation, Inc. (GLBT) to Kim Gouker dated Nov. 4, states that GLBT is planning multiple overpasses for major roads as well as utilizing quiet zone at-grade crossings where possible. However, it is uncertain at this time what type of crossing (if any) is proposed for the various locations.
The following is a listing of the roadways currently planned to be crossed in Ogle County (in order from south to north).
1) Ritchie Road (Dement Township) - Serves as an access point to the south end of the Rochelle Dual Rail Industrial Park. High probability of at-grade crossing at this location.
2) Interstate 88 (Illinois Tollway) - Mandatory grade separation (bridge).
3) Creston Road (City of Rochelle) - Serves as connection between Rochelle and Creston. Also access to Rochelle landfill with a high probability of at-grade crossing at this location.
4) IL Route 38 - East/West running state route from Dixon to Chicago suburbs. This location is likely to have a grade separation (bridge) but may be an at-grade crossing.
5) Twombly Road (Dement Township) - Rural road with access to both sides of I-39 with a high probability of at-grade crossing at this location.
6) Interstate 39 - Mandatory grade separation (bridge).
7) Lind Road (Dement Township) - Rural road connecting IL Route 251 to Lynnville Road. This site could have an at-grade crossing or may be petitioned for closure.
8) IL Route 251 (IDOT) - North/South running state route connecting Mendota to Beloit, Wis. This location is likely to have a grade separation (bridge) but may be an at-grade crossing.
9) Bethel Road (Village of Hillcrest) - Rural village road that access both sides of I-39. There is a high probability of at-grade crossing at this location.
10) Kent Road (White Rock Township) - Rural north/south road approximately 1.5 miles long. At-grade crossing, or may be petitioned for road closure.
11) IL Route 64 (IDOT) - East/West running state route connecting Savanna to Chicago. Likely to have a grade separation (bridge), but may be an at-grade crossing.
12) Mowers Road (White Rock Township) - East/West running rural road connecting White Rock Road to Malta Road in DeKalb County with access to both sides of I-39 and adjacent to and parallel to Illinois Railnet tracks. An at-grade crossing, or may be petitioned for road closure.
13) Dutch Road (White Rock Township) - East/West running rural road connecting Church Road to IL Route 251 that runs adjacent to and parallel to Illinois Railnet tracks. At-grade crossing, or may be petitioned for road closure.
14) Lindenwood Road (White Rock Township) - East/West running rural road connecting Stillman Road to DeKalb County with access to both sides of I-39 and adjacent to and parallel to Illinois Railnet tracks. High probability of at-grade crossing at this location.
15) Holcomb Road (Ogle County) - East/West running rural road connecting German Church Road to Lindenwood with a proposed crossing located 0.5 miles east of Illinois Railnet. High probability of at-grade crossing at this location.
16) Big Mound Road (Scott Township) - East/West running rural road connecting Meridian Road to Mulford Road with access to both sides of I-39. High probability of at-grade crossing at this location.
17) IL Route 72 (IDOT) - East/West running state route connecting Lake Carroll to O’Hare. Likely to have a grade separation (bridge), but may be an at-grade crossing.
18) Scott Road (Private) - Private dirt road that connects Junction Road to Orchard Hills Landfill. Likely to be closed to through traffic.
19) Edson Road (Rockford Township) - East/West running rural road passing between two landfills with a high probability of at-grade crossing at this location.
There are currently approximately 150 railroad crossings of roads and highways in Ogle County.
The proposed GLBRR would add up to 19 new crossings – an increase of 12.7 percent. The majority of these new crossings will likely be at-grade crossings rather than grade-separated crossings (bridges).
James Milligan, an Ogle County farmer, voiced his concerns over the project stating the track would intersect through his cattle farm.
“The track would run 3/10 of a mile from my main farm and I would have to go nearly 5-miles around to feed my cattle,” Milligan said. “There’s an awful lot of good farm land not being farmed.”
Lauren Hintzsche – a resident in Lynnville Township – also had concerns of the project, specifically reminding county board members how others have voted against the project.
“On June 13 the Rochelle City Council did pass a resolution against the railroad even though the city could benefit from the project,” she said.
Following public comment, county board members voiced their concerns as well.
“I don’t see any advantage to this in our county,” Bill Welty (Dist. 2) said. “Trains could be carrying hazardous materials close to our schools [in some instances].”
“This project is effecting neighbors, roads, townships and cutting off several roads [in our county],” Nick Bolin (Dist. 1) said. “I find this unacceptable and am voting no.”
“There are so many unknowns and they want us in the dark,” Tom Smith, White Rock Township supervisor said.
Smith added that school buses, emergency services and law enforcement would all be slowed or re-routed by trains passing through the township on new tracks.
Board member Ron Colson cast the only vote against the resolution.
“We really don’t know what we’re dealing with,” Colson said. “There’s already been two plans –there could be four or five. We don’t know.”
For the complete article see the 11-21-2016 issue.

Above is from:

Toria Funderburg’s View: Time for a new direction in Boone County




Boone County has elected its new board; now members will vote among themselves and select the next county chairman. The chairman has the power to appoint more than 100 individuals throughout the county to these positions and committees;planning commission, zoning board of appeals, building board of appeals,board of review,and the health department’s board. This is a very powerful position.

Our current chairman will retire after eight years, but his policies will continue. With a usual 8-to-4 approval vote by the board, he has appointed, in some cases, multiple family members, cousin, and friends to these influential positions with terms lasting one to five years, thereby extending the current chairman’s political position on matters for years to come.

The chairman appointed or didn't appoint elected county board members to the seven standing committees, which run the central government. If you didn’t support his position on matters, you were likely overlooked for a committee position where you might have presented opposition to his plans.

These seven committees direct the future of our county, how it will grow, what projects get done and who gets their budgets approved. Our current financial situation has evolved over the past eight years. Decreased tax revenue and increased demands from our county departments with little or no effort to conserve spending has brought us to this deficit-crisis.

The chairman, his supporters on the board and some of the farming sector decided no one could have a big turbine. Now the opportunity to provide clean industry is gone. The wind farms would have provided a much-needed revenue resource. Individual landowners had a choice. Not now. Individual rights gone.

The chairman’s invitation to “bring on the train” blindsided our citizens and left them scrambling to protect their homes and property. There was no individual right to say, “Not on my land.”

The chairman’s decision to end the City-County Planning Department. and the Belvidere-Boone County Regional Planning Commission was financially irresponsible. It has cost the county twice the money to have a planning department and has ended our grant money from the state. State grant money for regional planning helped both the county and the city in carrying out plans for future growth, and that included infrastructure to bring industry to our area. Board members Branson, Freeman, Shultz and Ward voted against that insanity.

The new chairman must understand finance, work well with the county administrator, all members of the board, be able to negotiate and bring clean industry to our area. It will require a person who has an open mind to the needs of our county and a vision for its future. He must represent all 54,000 citizens, not special interest groups or just those of the farmers. He must conduct open and transparent government.

A good start would be for the city and county to come together and restore the City-County Planning Department and the Belvidere-BC Regional Planning Commission. It would be financially beneficial for both. Any industry that comes to the county or the city will bring tax dollars to both governments. The city is within the county and common sense says, “WORK TOGETHER.”

Toria Funderburg is a 40-year Boone County citizen.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Clinton's Popular-Vote Lead Will Grow, and Grow, and Grow



Millions of mail-in and absentee ballots haven’t been counted yet. They won’t change anything, though.


  • Nov 13, 201

Andrew McGill

Updated on November 13 at 4:22 p.m. ET

This chart has been making the rounds on Twitter these past few days:


Donald Trump didn’t actually flip many Democrats, the thinking goes. Instead, Hillary Clinton failed to turn out liberal voters who had previously voted for Barack Obama. It’s a tempting narrative for smarting progressives, as it maintains status quo thinking—Clinton’s unlikable!and removes any culpability on the part of the Democrats for missing a massive shift in the electorate. In other words, it’s Clinton’s fault, not theirs, that Trump won the presidency.

Unfortunately, that graph is missing something important. (And not just a properly scaled y-axis.) The numbers that came out on Election Night were enough to secure Trump the presidency, but they weren’t complete. State officials are still counting millions of provisional and absentee ballots, and within two weeks, Clinton will likely have another few million votes in the bank.


Most were cast in the Clinton-leaning states of California, Washington, and New York—not swing states—so they won’t change the Electoral College. But there’s a sufficient amount to put her within striking distance of Obama’s 2012 turnout, and help put an end to the argument that she simply didn’t work hard enough.

“We probably have about 7 million votes left to count,” said David Wasserman, an editor at Cook Political Report who is tracking turnout. “A majority of them are on the coasts, in New York, California, and Washington. She should be able to win those votes, probably 2-1.” By mid-December, when the Electoral College officially casts its ballots, Wasserman estimates that Clinton could be ahead by 2 percentage points in the popular vote.

What’s with the delay? Several states, notably California and Washington, have liberal absentee and mail-in voting laws. California, for instance, allows residents to submit ballots up to three days late (although they must be postmarked on or before Election Day). These provisions have made alternative voting pretty popular, and the ballots a bit harder to count. California alone has more than 4 million votes pending; Washington is waiting on another 700,000.

This has happened before. David Leip is the one-man band behind The Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, a website cataloging vote totals all the way back to the early days of the Republic. He remembers seeing much of the same vote-counting hysteria after Election Day in 2012, when it appeared Obama would fall far short of his 2008 total. “They did the same thing—‘Oh my goodness, look at all those missing votes,’” he said. From the numbers he’s seeing, California is due for a record turnout, and possibly other states are as well. It’s too soon to tell, he cautions, if Clinton’s total haul, which sat at 61.3 million as of the afternoon of November 13, will match or surpass the 66 million votes Obama received in 2012.

But let’s be clear: While these uncounted votes may grow Clinton’s popular lead, they absolutely will not change the course of the election. That math is settled; Trump holds an insurmountable lead in swing states, which turned his popular defeat into a sizable electoral victory. All the votes in liberal-leaning New York and California will not change that.

However, these ballots will knock the legs out beneath the argument that Clinton failed to mobilize Democrats. Yes, she’s no Obama in 2008. (Neither was Obama in 2012.) But county-by-county results indicate Democratic voters flipped for Trump, not that they stayed home. “We just saw massive shifts in the industrial midwest from ’12 to ’16, and those are the same voters,” Wasserman said. This is the conclusion Democrats must face, and in the absence of other data, it’s the one they’ll have to live with

Above is from:

Defying Trump, Chicago will continue as immigrant sanctuary


By Natasha Korecki

11/13/16 10:08 PM EST


CHICAGO — Joining other cities around the country, Chicago is pledging to remain a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants, an act of defiance in the face of Donald Trump’s past promise to cut off those cities from federal funding.

In sanctuary cities, local law enforcement officials aren’t required to alert U.S. Immigration and Customs authorities about the immigration status of individuals with whom they come in contact.

On Monday, Chicago's elected officials, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, are expected to hold a news conference to formally discuss how the city will retain its sanctuary status. Aldermen are expected to call on Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to pressure Trump to back off his vow to interfere with funding.

“Across the country and in Chicago and Illinois ... young men and women [are] very distraught about this,” Chicago Alderman Danny Solis told POLITICO Illinois on Sunday.

Solis is among those planning to attend the news conference with Emanuel. "There’s some people, though I disagree with them, but I have some respect for — Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus," Solis said, referring to the House speaker and the RNC chairman who will serve as Trump's chief of staff. "I’m hoping that those guys have much more influence on Trump and what needs to be done not only on his first 100 days, but in his term."

Illinois Comptroller-elect Susana Mendoza, whose parents are Mexican immigrants, called on Rauner to take a stand on the issue.

“As a leader of this state, the governor, and everyone in a leadership position, should be saying it’s wrong,” Mendoza told POLITICO Illinois on Sunday. “I would expect that the governor would say, ‘that’s ridiculous.’ Besides moral bankruptcy, it’s bad fiscal policy for the city or any city.”

Above is from:



Kate MatherKate MatherContact Reporter

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Monday that he has no plans to change the LAPD’s stance on immigration enforcement, despite President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to toughen federal immigration laws and deport millions of people upon taking office.

For decades, the LAPD has distanced itself from federal immigration policies. The LAPD prohibits officers from initiating contact with someone solely to determine whether he or she is in the country legally, mandated by a special order signed by then-chief Daryl Gates in 1979. During Beck’s tenure as chief, the department stopped turning over people arrested for low-level crimes to federal agents for deportation and moved away from honoring federal requests to detain inmates who might be deportable past their jail terms.

On Monday, Beck said he planned to maintain the long-standing separation.

“I don’t intend on doing anything different,” he said. “We are not going to engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody’s immigration status. We are not going to work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts. That is not our job, nor will I make it our job.”

Fear among immigrants and their families has rippled across the country in the days following Trump’s election to the presidency. Trump made illegal immigration a central issue of his campaign, vowing to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, deport people who are in the country illegally and unwind immigration relief created under President Obama.

In Los Angeles, officials have tried to alleviate some of those concerns by signaling their support for the city’s immigrant residents. At a meeting Friday at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city would question Trump’s decisions on immigration.

More than 1 million of the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country without legal status live in Los Angeles County, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

“If the first day, as president, we see something that is hostile to our people, hostile to our city, bad for our economy, bad for our security, we will speak up, speak out, act up and act out,” Garcetti said.

The mayor also said that the LAPD would continue to enforce Special Order 40, the Gates-signed directive that bars officers from contacting someone solely to determine their immigration status.

“Our law enforcement officers and LAPD don’t go around asking people for their papers, nor should they,” he said. “That’s not the role of local law enforcement.”

Capt. Jeff Scroggin, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, said it is too soon to say how sheriff’s officials would react to any changes required by the Trump administration. Those changes could be tied to federal funding, he noted.

In the meantime, he said, sheriff’s deputies who patrol the county will continue their longstanding practice of treating all residents the same, regardless of background.

“We just want people to come forward so we have a better community. It doesn’t matter whether they’re an immigrant or going through the process of citizenship,” Scroggin said. “Whatever it is, we want to hear from them. We don’t want them to not cooperate. It’s important to keep the community safe. We never ask about immigration status.”

In the county jails, the Sheriff’s Department recently scaled back its cooperation with federal immigration agents. Previously, under a program called 287(g), federal agents were stationed in the jails, and jail deputies helped them to identify potentially deportable inmates.

Since September 2015, deputies have still been referring some inmates to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but only those convicted of serious crimes, such as burglary, assault, sexual abuse or felony drunk driving.

Beck said his command staff has also been meeting with community leaders to hear their concerns about immigration enforcement.

“This is the same LAPD you had Monday, a week ago. We have not changed because of the election on Tuesday. We have the same principles. We have the same values,” he said. “This is not going to change the way that the Los Angeles Police Department enforces the law.”

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