Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category


By Rick Pearson | Chicago Tribune

The host committee for next year’s Democratic National Convention in Chicago announced Wednesday the creation of an advisory council to assist efforts to ensure broad involvement of businesses owned by diverse racial, ethnic and gender entrepreneurs in the convention.

The council will work with the host committee to set diversity spending goals as well as to establish equity practices, community engagement strategies and contract and event execution plans, the host committee said.

Co-chairing the diversity council are Jaemie Neely, executive director of the Federation of Women Contractors, and Jackie Gomez, executive director of the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association.

The host committee wants to ensure that the August convention “highlights and utilizes Chicago’s robust diverse business community,” said Christy George, the committee’s executive director. Creating the council “is a critical step in ensuring business and individuals from a wide array of backgrounds have a seat at the table where decisions are being made,” George said.

Read more here.

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IL Uhaul

A U-Haul truck pictured in Illinois | Greg Bishop / The Center Square

A new report finds a connection between high tax states and population loss, which may explain why Illinoisans are leaving the state.

IRS data shows that between 2020 and 2021, Illinois, with the second highest property taxes in the country, experienced the third highest outmigration in the country, losing nearly 54,000 residents on net.

JD Tuccelli with the Reason Foundation said Illinois lawmakers are well aware this is going on.

“You know they know this because they make it as difficult as they possibly can to leave high tax regimes,” Tuccelli said.

Tuccelli points to a 2018 Illinois law that aims to claw back tax breaks from any business that moves business operations out of state.

Twenty-six states experienced a net gain of income tax filers, led by Florida, Texas and North Carolina. The report found that eight of the top 10 states that gained population either forgo individual income taxes on wage and salary income, have a flat income tax, or are moving to a flat income tax.

Read more here.

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AI Elections

The OpenAI logo is seen on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen displaying output from ChatGPT, March 21, 2023. |Michael Dwyer / AP Photo

By Kevin Bessler | The Center Square

A University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy professor is waving a red flag on the impact that artificial intelligence could have on next year’s elections.

Ethan Bueno de Mesquita has written a white paper which he said provides an overview of the potential impact of generative AI on the electoral process. The paper offers specific recommendations for voters, journalists, civil society, tech leaders and other stakeholders to help manage the risks and capitalize on the promise of AI for electoral democracy in the hope of fostering a more productive public discussion of these issues.

“The No. 1 issue that we need to be thinking about are the ways in which AI is going to matter for elections and the ways it poses risks of degrading the information environment for voters,” Bueno de Mesquita said.

The Federal Election Commission has been investigating the possibility of regulating AI-generated images known as “deepfakes” in political ads ahead of next year’s elections.

The Biden administration recently issued an executive order on AI that “will develop effective labeling and content provenance mechanisms, so that Americans are able to determine when content is generated using AI and when it is not.”

Bueno de Mesquita said that misinformation or a “deepfake” close to election day could be damaging “if such a thing gets released and gets released widely on social media or traditional media very close to the election when there is not enough time for responsible actors to figure out what’s true and what’s false and help voters sort through that information.”

More here.

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By: Mark Glennon* | Wirepoints

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday announced his Think Big America initiative that will focus on the progress his administration has made in Illinois, “right wing extremism” and abortion rights. His Think Big organization, a 501(c)(4), will lobby for passage of pro-choice ballot initiatives around the country.

It’s not hard to see what this is really about — his presidential ambitions.

That’s apparent in the material at the top of Think Big’s new website. “Think Big America builds on the progress that Governor JB Pritzker’s administration and its allies have made in Illinois and takes the fight to right wing extremists all across the country,” comes first, followed by abortion. Then there’s a link to a page labeled JB Administration’s accomplishments.”


Even Public TV’s Chicago affiliate, WTTW, saw what it’s about, beginning it’s story on Think Big with this: “Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker may demure when asked about future presidential ambitions, but the Democrat is raising his profile with a new, national campaign to secure abortion rights.”

It’s actually quite clever, from Pritzker’s perspective. By promoting himself nationally through Think Big, he will still be honoring his public promise not to challenge Joe Biden in the presidential primary. But if Biden drops out, gets pushed out or becomes incapacitated before the November 2024 election, as seems more likely each day, Pritzker’s name will be established nationally.

To be specific, if Biden drops out before the August Democratic National Convention, the presidential nominee would be chosen by the party’s delegates. If Biden drops out after nomination at the convention but before the election, his replacement would be chosen by the Democratic National Committee — party bigwigs, basically. The exact rules are a bit more complicated but that’s the general idea. Either way, Think Big will have made Pritzker well-known to the decision makers.

Read more here.

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.

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J.B. Pritzker

Most Illinoisans don’t want to see Gov. J.B. Pritzker seek the Oval Office. Just less than a majority of voters support the job Pritzker is doing in Illinois.

Dylan Sharkey | Illinois Policy

Illinois Policy Institute polling found 60% of Illinois voters would not support Gov. J.B. Pritzker in seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2024.

The Lincoln Poll found 60% don’t want Pritzker to run for president, 28% do and 12% were unsure. The survey of 800 registered Illinois voters from Sept. 20-24 was conducted by Echelon Insights for the Illinois Policy Institute.


When grouped by parental status, 70% of parents surveyed did not want Pritzker to run in 2024, 20% did and 11% were unsure. Among non-parents, 56% didn’t want him to run, 31% did and 13% were unsure.


Pritzker has said he has no intention of running, but some have speculated he would be the candidate on the Democratic side if President Biden chose not to run.

Overall, 48% of voters said Pritzker’s been doing a good job. More voters strongly disapproved of Pritzker, 37%, than strongly approved, 25%.

Read more here.

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Illinois state Rep. Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills)

LAKE BARRINGTON… State Representative Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) from the 52ND House District released the following statement:

Rep. McLaughlin said, “When did the People of Illinois approve of the Governor, and his progressive minions, overtaxing you to create a $1 billion ‘Rainy Day Fund’?”

“All of this money has been sent to fund new programs, yet they continue to tell 22,000 Illinois families that, “we can’t afford $75 million for underprivileged kids’, to participate in the successful, bi-partisan Invest in Kids Scholarship program. God forbid that these families may want to choose a better school to attend, than their local public option,” said McLaughlin.

McLaughlin said, “How about we implement a ‘Sunny Day Rebate Fund’ to pay for the 22,000 kids waiting to get out of our failing public school system and participate in the Invest in Kids Act? To all my colleagues in the House who proclaim that they are for choice, why not this choice?”

“Join me in Veto session to support House Bill 4105 to continue this successful scholarship program without all the political gamesmanship,” concluded Rep. McLaughlin.

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By John Kass
August 23, 2023

Remember when CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune—among other liberal media outlets–gathered together and in one loud angry voice decided to tell President Joe Biden to stop lying?


Funny, but I don’t remember it either. Not like I remember their unctuous slogans about how they’re the saviors of American democracy even as they spit on it and warn Americans against committing a “Thought Crime”, and protect political “leaders” who’d sell us out to foreign adversaries like China.

National media has been too busy kissing Joe’s behind to call out his many lies. They protect him from reality until even they must admit that the old man is wandering around with no clothes, the same way that Chicago media kissed Daley’s behind to protect him from the reality that he and the Illinois Democrats were spending bankrupt Chicago and bankrupt Illinois into oblivion.

Reality is tough. It bites those who can’t bite back.

But the other day there was China Joe commiserating with survivors of the Maui wildfires mourning the untold loss of lives and property destroyed by the wildfires in Hawaii. An Obama connected bureaucrat who strongly believes in “water equity” was behind the delay of hours and hours to release water to fight the fires. The people died from idiocy, and politics. And to make it worse, the survivors were lied to by Biden. CNN declared him to be “empathizer in chief.”

Biden couldn’t be bothered to visit Maui for days, until finally he cut short one of his vacations to show up on Maui. And in true China Joe fashion, like the old man at the end of the bar in the neighborhood tavern bragging about his exploits that never happened, Joe made the wildfires all about himself.

Not the people who suffered. But himself. He lied and kept on lying, as is his way.

Read more here.

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The city of Chicago faces a pension crisis, heightened crime and a failing public school system. New Mayor Brandon Johnson has taken no concrete steps to deal with any of it.

When Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson took office on May 15, he inherited numerous challenges plaguing the city.

According to a survey conducted by Echelon Insights on behalf of the Illinois Policy Institute in February, 75% of Chicagoans were dissatisfied with public safety, with 60% dissatisfied with affordability in the city. Just 33% of Chicagoans were satisfied with public education in the city.

Johnson has had 100 days to begin addressing these issues. To date, he hasn’t started seriously tackling any of it.


  • Overall crime is up 39% this year.
  • Violence against, and committed by, school-age youth has seen historic increases since COVID-19. The University of Chicago’s Crime Lab just reported a 50% increase in murders of youth 17 years and younger since 2019.


  • Chicago is facing a projected budget shortfall of between $306 million and $951 million for 2024.
  • Debt service and pension contributions now make up 42% of the city budget, crowding out services.

Read the full 100-day review here.

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Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee are all having back-to-school sales tax holidays. Not Illinois, where state leaders saw the need during the 2022 election.

Back-to-school shopping is typically the second-biggest spending time for families next to the holiday season.

Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee are all offering sales tax holidays on clothes or school supplies. Families in Illinois are out of luck.

Illinois offered a back-to-school sales tax holiday last year, lowering the sales tax from 6.25% to 1.25% for 10 days in August on select items. Families saved roughly $50 million on clothes and school supplies.

Illinoisans pay the eighth-highest combined state and local average sales taxes in the nation at 8.8%.

Back to school

Last year was the first time Illinois had such a tax holiday in more than a decade, coincidentally in an election year.

More here.

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Less than 8% of NEA and IEA’s spending in 2022 was on representing teachers, according to the unions’ federal reports. That could be why nearly 203,000 public school employees – including more than 6,000 in Illinois – have left NEA since 2017.

How an organization spends its money reveals a lot about that organization’s priorities, so for the National Education Association and its state affiliate, the Illinois Education Association, the priority is not representing teachers.

Less than 8% of NEA and IEA’s combined spending in 2022 was on representing teachers, according to their federal filings with the U.S. Department of Labor. In fact, NEA spent more on politics than it did on representing its members.

That could be why so many teachers are leaving the union. Since 2017, NEA has seen nearly 203,0000 teachers and other public school employees nationwide stop paying dues or fees to the union. That includes more than 6,000 in Illinois.

Most of a teacher’s dues money doesn’t stay local, but instead flows up the chain to the national and state affiliates.

Illinois teachers concerned about how NEA and IEA spend their hard-earned money have options. They can stop paying dues by opting out of union membership yet maintain all of the raises and other benefits their employers provide. Other professional organizations can provide liability insurance and job protection coverage, often at a fraction of the price of union membership.

Less than 8% of NEA and IEA’s combined spending was on representing teachers in 2022

NEA and IEA spent a combined $659 million in 2022, according to the unions’ LM-2s, which are reporting documents the unions filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Yet just $50 million of that was on “representational activities,” which the department states are activities “associated with preparation for, and participation in, the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements and the administration and enforcement of the agreements.”

Read more here.

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