Daily dose: Local history, Rose v. Pliura for state Senate, flooding in Vermont and COGFA/Health Alliance override
In 1911, portraits of Congressman Joseph G. Cannon and U.S. District Judge Francis M. Wright will be hung and unveiled in the courtroom at Danville’s handsome new federal court building at 2 p.m. Sept. 14. The portraits are to be hung on either side of the judge’s bench at the east end of the courtroom. For those who have not inspected the new federal building, the occasion will be a treat.
In 1961, despite rising costs of textbooks and other school materials, the Champaign school district is trying to keep costs to a minimum, said John F. Faulkner, administrative assistant in charge of business affairs. Fees for elementary grades one through six are $12. They are $15 for all junior and senior high students. The amount includes insurance collected from those desiring it at $1.85 per student.
Tom Pliura to challenge Chapin Rose
From yesterday's column ..
State Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, is going to have company in his run for the Republican nomination in the new 51st Senate District.
Tom Pliura, a businessman, physician and attorney who actively practices all three, said he’ll formally announce his candidacy Monday.
Pliura lives in rural Ellsworth in McLean County. He’ll be running against Rose, who lives in Champaign County.
Champaign County has the largest population of any of the 11 counties in the district, about 25 percent, while McLean County has among the smallest, about 5 percent.
“What I can say,” Pliura said, “is that this will be a very positive campaign. I’m not going to say anything negative about anybody here, certainly not my opponents. I’m critical of the system.”
Pliura said he’s running out of “frustration.
“I’m fed up. I think the people of Illinois are fed up. People have had it and it’s time for common people around the state of Illinois to do uncommon things. I’m certainly not a politician. I do not have a history or desire to be a career politician. That’s not why I’m in this. I’m going to limit myself to two terms, a maximum if I’m lucky enough to get in.”
Pliura said he’s frustrated about the “inaction” in the Legislature.
“What I’m tired of is the day-to-day doing nothing while the state is going down the drain. We just continue to fight. In my opinion, we just have career politicians that are more interested in getting a state paycheck and a big state pension for the fact that they’re a career politician than trying to really turn this state around,” he said. “I don’t know whether I or anybody else has all the answers, but I just believe that the citizens need to take back the state of Illinois one politician at a time.”
On the other hand, Pliura said he had nothing against Rose, who was elected to the House in 2002. That was the only time the Mahomet Republican has had primary opposition, wining a four-way race with 48 percent of the vote.
“I will tell you that I apologized to Chapin Rose for even having to run against him because he seemed like a great young man,” Pliura said. “I’ve got a lot of other stuff on my plate, just like a lot of good people. But I’ve got to stop and put this at the top of my list.”
Rose said Pliura’s candidacy “doesn’t change what I’m going to do. I’ll keep moving like I have been, tons of parades and tons of festivals.”
“There’s no substitute for hitting parades,” Rose said. “I was in three parades and four counties just last weekend. And I’m going to be in six counties today.”
He noted that he has either represented or has endorsements from top GOP officials in more than 70 percent of the counties in the district.
“When you look at where the Republican numbers are, they favor our area. Champaign County is the biggest county in the district. You add in Champaign County and Douglas and Piatt and Edgar counties you’re well up there,” he said. “And we’ve had good meeting and events in Macon County.”
Rose has more than $160,000 in his campaign fund. Pliura, who filed a statement of organization with the Illinois State Board of Elections last week, reported no cash in his campaign fund. But he is believed to have deep pockets.
“I salute the fact that people are interested. But we’re just going to keep doing what we do, which is focus on the budget and propose ideas that cut wasteful spending and get reform of the welfare state.”
Flooding in Vermont
Lest you think the damage from Hurricane Irene is minor, check out theses stories and videos from Vermont. That's where nearly 100 Ameren Illinois crew members went to help restore power.
From The New York Times ...
Much of Vermont was paralyzed Sunday by treacherous flooding in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, with scores of state and local roads closed, homes underwater, bridges wiped out and at least one person dead after being swept into a rushing river.
Much of the state was deluged with rain as Irene blew through on Sunday afternoon, with the southernmost counties affected first. Several feet of water flooded downtown Brattleboro during the afternoon, and smaller towns in Windham and Bennington Counties faced “catastrophic” flooding in some neighborhoods, said Gov. Peter Shumlin.
From Reuters ...
Weather reporters said the flooding was the worst in Vermont since 1973 and perhaps since 1927.
Hurricane Irene chugged up the eastern seaboard Saturday and Sunday, starting in North Carolina, and appears to have inflicted the greatest damage farther inland with heavy rains in western Massachusetts and Vermont.
Overnight every single road in Vermont — except interstate highways Routes 89 and 91 — was closed at one point due to flooding, Robert Stirewalt, a spokesman for the Vermont Emergency Management Agency said Monday.
“Things are bad throughout the state and we are just starting the recovery process in the light of day,” he said. ”It is too early to say what the damage will be as we assess it and we hope it won’t be more extensive than last night indicated.”
Bridge washed away by floods...
Sen. Jeff Schoenberg on COGFA veto override and Health Alliance
From State Journal-Register ..
SPRINGFIELD — Taxpayers will suffer in the long run if Illinois lawmakers override one of Gov. Pat Quinn’s vetoes this fall and, in doing so, cement a legislative panel’s power to turn down contracts awarded by state officials for employee health insurance.
That warning comes from state Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg, a longtime sponsor of reforms in the state’s often-abused process for awarding billions of dollars in state contracts.
Even though Schoenberg, D-Evanston, is co-chairman of the General Assembly’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, he believes the commission shouldn’t be granted explicit authority to intervene in the contracting process.