Daily dose: Local history, Governor's pay, Politicians in big trouble, Sen. Sullivan's cancer diagnosis
In 1912, the second day of Champaign’s public market started well today, although there were only two merchants on hand. Thomas Fitzsimmons and E.B. Dibble, both living north of Urbana, had their counters filled with good Campaign County produce. Fitzsimmons said he took in $22.60 last Saturday and that as of 11 a.m. today, he had taken in more than $17. “This public market beats house to house peddling all to pieces,” he said. “I don’t make much more money, but I can stay in one place all day and not be eternally hopping off and on my wagon. The horses, too, are resting in stalls all morning.”
In 1962, two persons were killed and several were injured Sunday when three cars of the Dixie Flyer, a Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad train carrying 91 passengers, derailed near Watseka. The train was en route to Jacksonville, Fla. The dead were James O’Connell, 41, a brakeman from Danville, and Evelyn Gates, 42, of Rockford. The 12-car train had left Chicago Saturday night and derailed in Pittwood, a small community about 6 miles north of Watseka.
Gov. Quinn's pay
From Sunday's N-G column ...
During Wednesday’s brutally hostile Governor’s Day appearance at the Illinois State Fair, Gov. Pat Quinn was criticized for a number of things by public employee union members.
Among the complaints was that Quinn hasn’t awarded state employees their promised wage increases.
“You take the pay cut” was one of the chants of the angry workers.
It turns out that Quinn took a pay cut — for a while.
The governor was paid less in calendar year 2011, according to the state comptroller’s office, than the $173,623 that federal prison inmate and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich got in his last full year (2008) as the state’s chief executive.
Although the current salary for the governor (as established in fiscal year 2009) is $177,412, Quinn was paid $174,013 in calendar year 2010 and $172,653 in calendar year 2011, according to the comptroller’s office.
Quinn’s office said the governor took 12 furlough days the first year and 24 in the second.
But the governor is taking his full $177,412 this year, his office confirmed, without any furlough days.
Legislators, on the other hand, passed a bill and Quinn signed it, that requires them to take furlough days and prohibits cost of living adjustments for the fourth consecutive year. Under the law legislators will take 12 furlough days this year, an amount about equal to about a 5 percent pay cut, or about $3,000.
POLITICIANS IN TROUBLE
Skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee
The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff — and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses.
During a fact-finding congressional trip to the Holy Land last summer, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) took off his clothes and jumped into the sea, joining a number of members, their families and GOP staff during a night out in Israel, the sources told POLITICO. Other participants, including the daughter of another congressman, swam fully clothed, while some lawmakers partially disrobed. More than 20 people took part in the late-night dip in the sea, according to sources who were participants in the trip.
A year ago, my wife, Brooke, and I joined colleagues for dinner at the Sea of Galilee in Israel. After dinner I followed some Members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea and regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit,” Yoder said in a statement to POLITICO. “It is my greatest honor to represent the people of Kansas in Congress and [for] any embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents, I apologize.”
Travis Smith, Yoder’s chief of staff, told POLITICO “Neither Congressman Yoder, nor his staff, have been interviewed by the FBI.”
These GOP sources confirmed the following freshmen lawmakers also went swimming that night: Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and his daughter; Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and his wife; Reps. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.). Many of the lawmakers who ventured into the lake said they did so because of the religious significance of the waters. Others said they were simply cooling off after a long day. Several privately admitted that alcohol may have played a role in why some of those present decided to jump in.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79865.html#ixzz245qxLwyr
Missouri candidates now says he "misspoke" about "legitimate rape"
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican challenger for a hotly contested U.S. Senate seat in Missouri said on Sunday that he "misspoke" when he said women have biological defenses to prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape," making legal abortion rights unnecessary.
U.S.Representative Todd Akin, who is running against Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in the November 6 election, made the comments to KTVI television in St. Louis, drawing swift protest from McCaskill and other Democrats.
Akin, aTea Party-backed conservative who opposes abortion, said in the interview that the need for abortions in the case of rape was "a particularly tough ethical question."
"It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that is really rare," Akin said of pregnancy caused by rape. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin said.
"But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child."
McCaskill, who is considered one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats in a state that has shifted to the right since she was first elected in 2006, immediately fired off a rebuke on Twitter.
"As a woman and former prosecutor who handled 100s of rape cases, I'm stunned by Rep. Akin's comments about victims this AM," she wrote.
Akin later backtracked, saying in a statement:
"In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it's clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year."
Illinois senator has cancer diagnosis
From the Quincy Herald-Whig
RUSHVILLE, Ill. -- Sen. John Sullivan plans to have surgery this week to manage a rare but treatable form of cancer.
"It's a personal and private issue, and yet because I'm a public official I just thought it was important that I let my constituents know what's going on," Sullivan said.
Four years ago Sullivan had a small growth removed from his lower abdomen as an outpatient procedure. Recently, his doctor observed a recurrence.
"I am scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure this week and will be away from my full-time duties for two or three weeks," Sullivan said.
Doctors have identified the cancer as a form of liposarcoma. It is considered a slow-growing cancer comprised mostly of fat cells. It rarely invades organs, but can displace them. Liposarcoma patients have excellent survival rates and low recurrence rates, according to medical literature.
"My doctors and I are confident I will make a full recovery and return to my duties full time in early September," Sullivan said.
He will have the surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Sullivan chose Johns Hopkins because it has specialists who deal with liposarcoma on a regular basis. In addition, he has a sister-in-law working in the oncology department there.
Sullivan, a Democrat from Rushville, has been in the Illinois Senate for 10 years. He is running for re-election and wanted to let people know he would be away from the office and the campaign trail.
He joked that he might have been able to disappear without anybody noticing because he has six brothers who are often mistaken for each other.
"I take my job very seriously. When I was talking with the doctor about treatment, there was some flexibility in timing of the surgery, so I scheduled it after (Friday's) special session," Sullivan said.
"When you look at the priorities, your health and your family have to be No. 1."
Sullivan, 53, said the cancer diagnosis is frustrating.
"I don't have an ache or a pain. I feel as good as I've ever felt. Obviously, I wish I didn't have to deal with it," Sullivan said.