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The [Thursday] Papers

"On the campaign trail, Gov. Pat Quinn told voters he'd veto any income tax hike that would raise Illinois' rate over 4 percent," the Daily Herald reports.

"But Wednesday Quinn said he'll sign into law a plan to raise the rate by 2 percentage points, to 5 percent."

In July, Quinn said he would only support a 1 percentage point increase.

"I'm going to veto anything that's not my plan."

I happen to believe an increase in the state income tax rate is long overdue. I also happen to believe Illinois should move to a progressive income tax rate instead of a flat tax. And I believe politicians should keep their campaign promises - or not make promises they know they may not be able to keep.

Finally, I suspect the only reason why Michael Madigan was willing to move on this now is because it was a lame-duck session following an election. How convenient.

*

Considering the recent spurt of activity in Washington, D.C., it appears that lame duck sessions are the most productive in America. But should they even exist? Once the voters have spoken, shouldn't outgoing elected officials transition out of power immediately instead of continuing to act? It's not like the old days when the wagon train had to deliver new officials to their destinations.

*

"Illinois Democrats note that even after the increase takes effect, the 5 percent personal income tax rate will still be lower than many nearby states'," AP reports. "The top personal rate in Wisconsin is 7.75 percent, for example, and Iowa's is 8.98 percent.

"Indiana and Michigan will have lower rates, however - 3.4 percent and 4.35 percent."

Yes. But you have to actually live there to qualify.

Daley & the Death Penalty
"Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday that he would "follow my conscience" in deciding whether to sign a bill abolishing the death penalty that has been approved by the General Assembly," the Tribune reports.

"Mayor Richard Daley made his position clear, saying certain crimes 'should be handled' by the death penalty.

"I have met parents, that their child has died, and this person has been out of prison," Daley said. "I mean, how do they live with that?"

1. Wouldn't life without parole solve that?

2. I'd like to know which cases he's talking about because obviously the death penalty wasn't sought or for some reason wasn't granted - nor was life without parole. Or maybe Daley just wants to kill everyone.

Driving Miss Maria
"She has a driver who makes $94,000 a year and a cleaning lady making $57,000 a year. Is Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas wasting tax dollars?

"In a joint investigation with the Better Government Association, CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman has been following these employees and found that their job titles have nothing to do with the work they actually do.

"For days the BGA and CBS 2 watched as Emanuel Hatzisavas picked up Pappas from her Gold Coast home. Some days he waits hours for Pappas to depart and some days he drives her to yoga lessons at the East Bank Club.

"CBS 2 hidden cameras captured Hatzisavas appearing to deliver clothes to the Pappas' home. When Pappas was showed the video and asked how she could justify Hatzisavas doing personal errands she replied, 'You know what, okay, alright, you know what look.'"

-

Bear Market
For Bears tickets.

*

Czar of the Playbook Playoff Preview: Seahawks over Bears.

Chalk Talk
Arne Duncan is a fan.

Carney Blarney
In 2009, a study by the Chicago Justice Project showed that the president of the Chicago Police Board, Demetrius Carney, missed 20 percent of the board's votes over the previous decade.

Yet, late last Friday, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin named Carney to his judicial screening committee reviewing candidates for federal judgeships.

Let that be a lesson to all the kids out there: Attendance is overrated.

*

CJP also found that "the nine members of the board have been paid for their service on the board starting in 1999, despite the fact that the ordinance governing the Chicago Police Board says board members shall serve without compensation. After a raise in 2008, the board president receives $25,000 per year and the eight other board members each receive $15,000."

So Carney is just the sort of person you want reviewing potential judges who will be sworn to uphold the law.

*

"Demetrius E. Carney is a Partner at Perkins Coie with more than 35 years of experience in public finance, business, and real estate government relations."

Here's where it gets good:

"Mr. Carney is co-chair of the firm's public-private partnership and privatization practice and chair of the Airport Concession Industry Practice . . . current clients include Ariel Investments LLC, Baldwin Richardson Foods, Inc., Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Board of Education, City of Chicago, Chicago Housing Authority, Cook County (Illinois) Board of Commissioners, Bluwire LLC, Hudson News Group, Lance Armstrong Foundation, PhaseNext Hospitality LLC and Robinson-Hill Hospitality Group LLC and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority."

*

No wonder he doesn't have time to show up for police board meetings.

*

Since 1997, Carney has contributed $17,849 to national Democratic candidates and the party, including $2,250 to Durbin; $1,100 to Gery Chico; and $1,000 to Carol Moseley-Braun.

Locally, Carney has contributed $1,500 to Ed Burke and $1,400 to Toni Preckwinkle.

Frankly, that's not a lot of money to any one individual, but he certainly spreads it around.

Stream Scheme
"A court hearing this week will have nationwide implications on how the public will watch high school sporting events online," the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune reports.

"A federal appeals court in Chicago will hear oral arguments Friday in a case that will determine whether the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletics Association can sign exclusive contracts for Internet streaming of high school sports tournaments."

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Hate speech.




Permalink

Posted on January 13, 2011


MUSIC - Blues Fest 2017.
TV - 'The Worst FCC I've Ever Seen.'
POLITICS - Minimum Wage Hikes Work.
SPORTS - On Joe Louis, Race And Sports Heroes.

BOOKS - The Blood Of Emmett Till.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Artist As Alchemist.


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