Paul Simon Institute on Guns in Illinois

Rich has the details–not too much surprising in it.


3. Do you favor or oppose banning high-capacity ammunition clips that can contain more than 10 bullets?\

Favor 62.8%

Oppose 33.3%

Other/Don’t know 3.8%


4. Do you favor or oppose a law which would make it illegal to manufacture, sell, or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles?

Favor 58.7%

Oppose 35.2%

Other/Don’t know 6.2%


5. Do you favor or oppose a law that would ban the possession of handguns, except by the police and other authorized persons?

Favor 32.7%

Oppose 61.3%

Other/Don’t know 6.0%


6. Do you favor or oppose a law that would require background checks before people – including gun dealers – could buy guns at a gun show?

Favor 92.5%

Oppose 5.5%

Other/Don’t know 2.0%


The conceal carry question is about whether it’s Constitutionally protected, not where people fall on it.  While I’d expect them to be similar results, it’s still confuses the issue.

The Institute’s commentary is bizarre

“It’s striking how much stronger the support for gun control measures is in Illinois
compared to the nation as a whole,” said David Yepsen, the director of the Institute. “But
it’s not surprising because on measurements of many social issues, the electorate in
Illinois is more left of center than the American electorate.”

In a vague question about support for stricter controls that’s true, but not so much on individual proposals. For example, Polling Report has this on national support for assault weapons ban

Do you favor or oppose a nationwide ban on semi-automatic weapons — including some rifles, pistols, and shotguns — that have detachable magazines, allowing them to rapidly fire a high number of rounds?”

    Favor Oppose Unsure/
No answer
    % % %    


52 44 5    


28 67 5    


72 25 4    


49 46 5    

52 to 58 isn’t a huge difference.

As you may know, high-capacity magazines or clips can hold many rounds of ammunition, so a shooter can fire more rounds without manually reloading. Would you favor or oppose a nationwide ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines that hold many rounds of ammunition?”

    Favor Oppose Unsure/
No answer
    % % %    


59 38 3    


37 60 3    


78 21 1    


57 38 4    

62.8 to 59 isn’t a huge difference.

“Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers?”

    Favor Oppose Unsure/
No answer
    % % %    


91 7 2    


89 9 2    


94 5 2    


90 8 2

1.5 % difference.  Not great.

I expect better analysis from an academic unit like the Institute.  Frankly, the difference isn’t as great as I would have expected given the leftward tilt for Illinois on social issues.

Trib Covers How Firearms Get Transferred to Illinois from Indiana

The Tribune covers a bust by police arresting an individual who was buying guns in Indiana at a gun show and reselling them on the street in Chicago

“Twenty-five more in four hours,” Tanksley told his customer, who was secretly working for law enforcement and recording the conversation. “Give me $5,000 and you can put your order in then. I’ll get you whatever, give me a list.”

As Tanksley, who police say has ties to a Chicago street gang, made his sales pitch, David Lewisbey was stocking up on more weapons at a gun show 40 miles away in Crown Point, Ind., one of several trips he made across the state border and back in little more than a day, according to federal authorities. Five hours later, Lewisbey, an unlikely gun trafficker then enrolled in college, was back in Chicago as Tanksley made good on his promise and sold the informant nine more guns, authorities allege.

A federal indictment charges the two with illegally selling 43 firearms to the government informant in just under 26 hours, a volume made possible by gun shows and less restrictive state laws in Indiana, by far the No. 1 source of out-of-state guns used in crimes in Cook County. Private gun sales in Indiana don’t require background checks, a waiting period or even a record of the transaction.


K’s Merchandise, a big-box department store on a busy commercial strip outside Fort Wayne, Ind., has been shut for sometime. But on a recent Friday, a crowd swelled inside as shoppers slowly browsed hundreds of tables under bright fluorescent lights.

RIP about 2006–I worked at K’s in Normal and Cedar Rapids in high school, college, and a little after including selling firearms there.  No other relevance, just interesting side note (at least to me).


The basic point thing about the article is that if your require a background check on every sale, then private sellers who make iffy sales can be held accountable.  Currently, in Indiana the only standard is that you don’t have reason to believe the person is ineligible.   With background checks, the good private seller also gets the security of having gone through the federal process and is less likely to be seen as a suspect when a gun sale goes bad.

Daily Dolt: Kyle McCarter

Senator McCarter is quickly becoming the loudest and dumbest member of the Illinois General Assembly–and that’s saying something.\


No.  Just no.  You see, a church that wants to still only allow marriages between different sex couples is allowed to do that. Just as when the states got rid of miscegenation laws, churches were allowed to perform marriages for people of two or more races.  So one really has to scratch his head to figure out how this is discrimination against anyone.  We allow people to be homophobic, racist, misogynistic, etc, we just require the government to treat people equally and for people engaged in commerce to do the same.  If you want to be an asshole on your own, that’s perfectly fine.

As Senator McCarter demonstrates quite nicely.


Hutchinson Out

Well that was a surprise

The day she received the backing of one of her biggest competitors, 2nd congressional candidate Robin Kelly says she’s far from starting any early celebrations.

“I take nothing for granted, I am working hard, I will have my nose to the grind until 7 p.m. Feb 26. My staff is working hard, my volunteers are working hard,” Kelly said in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday.

This is important–keep in mind Hutchinson and Halvorson had some of the same base. While I would expect some and even a majority of that support going to Robin Kelly, Halvorson will pick up some of it.  So keep at it.

The List of Personal Items


Bruce Lee memorabilia: $2,000
Bruce Lee memorabilia: $2,000
Bruce Lee memorabilia: $3,150
Martin Luther King Jr. memorabilia: $5,595
Bruce Lee memorabilia: $2,955
Martin Luther King Jr. memorabilia: $5,535
Football signed by American presidents: $5,000
Michael Jackson memorabilia: $2,000
Michael Jackson memorabilia: $4,600
Michael Jackson memorabilia: $1,400
Michael Jackson memorabilia: $2,000
Michael Jackson memorabilia: $1,000
Michael Jackson memorabilia: $1,200
Michael Jackson memorabilia: $1,000
Michael Jackson memorabilia: $1,000
Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen guitar: $4,000
Malcom X memorabilia: $2,200
Jimi Hendrix memorabilia: $2,775
Michael Jackson Fedora: $4,600
Mink cashmere cap: $800
Black and red cashmere cape: $1,500
Mink reversible parka: $1,200


And A Way We, Um, They Go

Charges filed against JJJ & wife Sandy–updates to come


Jackson, 47, a Democrat from Chicago, faces felony charges, including conspiracy, in a criminal information filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Typically, federal prosecutors use an information to charge defendants when a plea deal has been negotiated.

His wife, Sandi Jackson, was charged in an information with one count of filing false tax returns.

Jesse Jackson is accused of diverting $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use

Federal authorities allege that Jesse Jackson used campaign funds to purchase a $43,350 men’s gold-plated Rolex watch, $5,150 worth of fur capes and parkas, and $9,588 in children’s furniture. The purchases were made between 2007 and 2009, according to the criminal information, which authorities noted is not evidence of guilt.

Jackson stepped down from the House of Representatives on Nov. 21, citing both his poor health and an ongoing federal probe of his activities. In a statement then, he said he was doing his best to cooperate with federal investigators and to accept responsibility for his “mistakes.”

In a statement today, Jackson said:

“Over the course of my life I have come to realize that none of us are immune from our share of shortcomings and human frailties. Still I offer no excuses for my conduct and I fully accept my responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes I have made. To that end I want to offer my sincerest apologies to my family, my friends and all of my supporters for my errors in judgment and while my journey is not yet complete, it is my hope that I am remembered for the things that I did right.”

Wow! The International Olympic Committee Found a New Way To Be Hated Besides, You Know, All the Corruption

The IOC is considering dropping wrestling–apparently both Greco-Roman and Freestyle.  For a long time, Paul Wellstone and Jim Leach, a truly moderate Republican from Iowa who is now the head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, sponsored a bill to increase the number of scholarships available for wrestling as it was hit hard by Title IX.  Both were adamant supporters of Title IX, but also wanted to see wrestling flourish.  Iowa is one of the biggest wrestling states along with Nebraska and Leach had the University of Iowa in his District some of the time.  Wellstone had wrestled when younger and is even inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

So when I urge my readers to speak up on this, at least do it in honor of Paul Wellstone and his love of the sport.  Three current members of Congress, including David Loebsack my college adviser who replaced Leach in Congress, have introduced a resolution condemning the move and Sherrod Brown will introduce a similar resolution in the Senate

Loebsack on the decision:

“The decision by the International Olympic Committee to drop wresting is baffling.  The history of collegiate and Olympic wrestling runs through Iowa.  From Dan Gable and Tom Brands to Cael Sanderson and Jake Varner, Iowa has represented the sport with determination and the hard work it takes to succeed in life and sport.  I will continue to work with my colleagues to change this ruling on behalf of Iowa’s, and America’s, storied wrestling history,” said Congressman Dave Loebsack.

A petition calling on the White House to pressure the IOC to change the decision needs about 50,000 more signatures by March 14.  So go do it for Paul.  

Jackson May Face 46 – 57 Months in Prison

He’d fight, but he just doesn’t have any more fight in him….

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. could face up to 57 months in prison and could make his plea deal with federal prosecutors public as early as today in which he will allegedly admit to illegally spending as much as $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use, according to a source close to the Jackson family.

“This just stunned the Rev. Jackson,” the source said, referring to the family patriarch. “He doesn’t know what to do. This hit the family like a thunderbolt.”

Among the items purchased by campaign funds include a hat, cap and gloves once worn by Michael Jackson, a fur parka, expensive vacations and restaurant tabs.

“If Jesse had any fight in him, he could have fought this,” said another source close to Jackson Jr. said.

“He has tried to everything possible to stand up and be a man and to protect his wife…” the source said.

Because I’m sure there is a very good reason for the campaign to buy a hat, cap, and gloves once worn by Michael Jackson and a fur parka.  And who let’s this kind of self-serving bullshit hide behind anonymity? You need anonymity to say really nice things about someone your close to and help them deny the  whole thing?  Or is it just an absurd public relations move by the Jackson family?

The prosecutor would probably look down on this kind of nonsense since it tries to absolve Jackson of culpability.  There’s no reason to include it if someone close isn’t going on the record.

Bloomberg PAC Independence USA Endorses Kelly

Washington Post has it.

The super PAC started by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is putting its weight behind former state representative Robin Kelly in Illinois’s 2nd District special election, releasing a new ad that touts her stance on gun control and criticizes two of her opponents on the issue.

“Kelly will join President Obama to take on the NRA for effective background checks and to ban deadly assault weapons,” says the narrator of the ad. It’s the first time the organization, Independence USA PAC, has mentioned Kelly in a TV ad.

The group’s newest ad comes as Obama is set to discuss guns and other issues on Friday in his hometown of Chicago, a city that has been plagued by violence. The 2nd District covers the South Side of Chicago as well suburbs to the city’s south,

The spot also goes after two of Kelly’s main competitors in the crowded Democratic field — former congresswoman Debbie Halvorson and state Sen. Toi Hutchinson — for receiving high marks from the National Rifle Association. The PAC has already spent over a million dollars on an ad campaign hitting Halvorson for her stance on guns.

“Debbie Halvorson and Toi Hutchinson both earned an A from the NRA. They can’t be trusted,” the narrator of the new spot says.

Every early indication was they would stay negative on Halvorson, but neutral between Hutchinson and Kelly.  I presume two things have changed–the sheer audacity of Hutchinson’s claims to have changed her mind and brag about doing something  for a couple weeks that Kelly did over 6 years ago and (again presuming) the polling came back suggesting that it wasn’t Kelly splitting the vote to give Halvorson a shot, but Hutchinson is at best in the position they thought Kelly was in early.

One thing I’ve been noticing are some complaints about why aren’t people complaining about the SuperPac aspect of Bloomberg’s efforts.  There are two reasons–one, I don’t believe in unilateral disarmament and having the industry trade association in the NRA funding campaigns has created an uneven playing field for years.  While many gun safety bills have majority support, there has not been a way of organizing a very disorganized majority compared to a well organized trade group funded by the industry.

Second, it’s not Citizen’s United that really applies here.  Bloomberg has formed his PAC, but he is reporting both donations and expenditures to the FEC.  I’d link to it, but the FEC web site sucks.  Second, it’s Baker v Carr Buckley v Valeo (fixed for stupidity) that’s more applicable.  Rich individuals have always been able to spend their own money on political issues without limits and Independence PAC has 1 Donor–Mike Bloomberg.  In other words, this isn’t a PAC as we used to think of them, this is an individual spending money on his own for his message while fully reporting that activity.  Most people think of Baker v Carr applying to self-funders only, but it also applied to individuals who wanted to run their own individual efforts to influence elections.

Complaints About Robin Kelly’s Supporters Being Problematic From Toi Hutchinson Backers A Bit Hypocritical

Donne Trotter and Napoleon Harris have both endorsed Kelly and their problematic issues–Harris in particular is pro-life and anti-gay.  So one might think that Toi Hutchinson would never accept such support right?  No, don’t be silly–politics is about addition and endorses don’t always have the same views as the endorsee.  You certainly turn down the Matt Hale’s when they offer you an endorsement–neither Toi nor Robin would have to worry about that for obvious reasons–but you do accept most endorsements even from people you disagree with on some key issues.

Hutchinson made a direct criticism of Robin Kelly for accepting these endorsements

Vlad Gutman, campaign manager for Toi Hutchinson’s campaign for Congress, today made the following statement on Robin Kelly’s endorsements over the last two days:
While pretending to be an advocate for gun safety reform, Robin Kelly yesterday accepted the endorsement of someone facing a felony gun charge. And today, after claiming to be a progressive supporter of women’s rights, she accepted the endorsement of Senator Napoleon Harris, one of the Democratic Party’s most deeply conservative voices. Senator Harris is on record as anti-choice, anti-marriage equality, against the Equal Rights Amendment, and in favor of voter ID laws. Anyone who values these rights needs to question whether Robin Kelly can be trusted to stand up for them in Washington.

So Toi wouldn’t accept anyone like that would she? Of course she would.  From the Kankakee Daily Journal

Both Republicans and Democrats in Kankakee County are throwing support behind state Sen. Toi Hutchinson’s bid to take the 2nd Congressional District seat formerly held by Jessie Jackson Jr.

Kankakee County Republicans held a bipartisan rally for Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, on Monday, and the Kankakee County Democratic Central Committee handed her a unanimous endorsement earlier in the day. The rally, held at The Homestead Restaurant in Kankakee, featured county and municipal officials from both political parties.

“People are so locked into their differences that we don’t talk,” Hutchinson said. “But I’ve never met a person who didn’t want good schools, a good job or a safe place to go home. It’s about moving all of us forward.”

Hutchinson is one of three front-runners in the Feb. 26primary election in a field of 10 Democratic candidates. Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who held a seat in the former 11th Congressional District, and former state Rep. Robin Kelly also are considered front-runners, according to recent polls conducted by their campaigns.

Bruce Adams, a Democrat and mayor of Bradley, one of Kankakee County’s Democratic strongholds, said both parties recognized the benefits of working together.

“I think it’s important that we at the local level do things in a bipartisan manner so people in Springfield and Washington, D.C., know we mean business,” Adams said.

Mike Bossert, Republican Kankakee County Board chairman, said his party agreed with the approach.

“It’s about getting our county behind a candidate who supports us,” Bossert said. “We thought we’d put partisan issues aside and come together.”

For their part, the local Democratic Party handed Hutchinson their unanimous endorsement in an official statement earlier in the day. John Willard, Kankakee County Democratic Central Committee chairman, called the unanimous endorsement from his party “rare.”

“It really speaks to how firmly Democrats in Kankakee County are behind Toi Hutchinson,” Willard said. “We know when Toi goes to Congress, she will work tirelessly to create jobs, improve our infrastructure and support the core ideals of the Democratic Party.”

James Taylor Sr., a Republican candidate vying for his party’s nomination to the post, also announced on Monday he was dropping out of the primary race and endorsing Hutchinson for the job.

James Taylor is a peach (scroll down to read the different bits for the following on Facebook)

  • -Opposes President Obama
    • Called for Obama to be voted out of office
      • “What we all need to do is vote to get President Barack Obama out of the White House before our entire country looks like the black communities he has helped to destroy.”
      • “I believe future historians will look back on this time in years to come and see the November 2012 Presidential Elections as a major cross-roads in the survival of the American Dream and that the success of American will be marked by voters, and that includes black voters deciding to back a not perfect Republican agenda above that of a socialist one supplied by President Barack Obams. (sic) God willing, the black voter and voters of all races will make the right decision.”
    • Said “his failures have far exceeded even the often alleged failures of former President George Bush.”
    • Said Obama has “relegated (African-Americans) to second-class citizenship.”
    • Accused Obama of political corruption.
    • Said Obama “and the Democratic Party is (sic) robbing black Americans.”
    • Taylor’s newspaper, The City News, endorsed Mitt Romney for president.
    • Taylor on his reasons for running for Congress: “My reason for running for Congress is I am concerned about the direction our nation is headed and about the failed leadership of President Barack Obama and where his socialist form of government is leading America.”
    • Called for Obama’s impeachment: “Now, don’t get mad, but the next word may just be, impeachment! We all know the saying, “If it looks like a duck……..then it is a duck”
    •  Called the Congressional Black Caucus “as useful as tit’s on a bull.”
    • “The Democratic Party is truly the party of the four S’s: slavery, secession, segregation and now socialism.”

He’s a Tea-Partier with all the attendant crazy ideas

  • A strong military budget
  • Efforts to make English the official language of the U.S.
  • Laws to oppose amnesty to illegal aliens
  • Legislation to allow contributions to individual savings accounts to replace some Social Security Taxes
  • Repeal the Obama Health Care Laws and replace them with a contributions based, Proactive Health Tax Abatement Plan
  • Stimulating the economy and create jobs by cutting taxes on small businesses
  • A balanced budget
  • Pro-Life initiatives
  • Capital Punishment
  • Legalized Prayers in Schools
  • Freeze in discretionary spending and freeze on Federal salaries
  • Change the way America utilizes foreign aid by introducing a plan to trade America’s natural resources for the natural resources of the nations this country helps, (Example – America trades grains and other assistance / agricultural expertise to countries in exchange for oil, minerals and other natural resources.

The Oddest Thing About Support for Toi Hutchinson Calling Her The Progressive Alternative

My view on Debbie Halvorson in the 2nd is that in that liberal of a district, she’s not a good fit.  I’ve defended Halvorson before and supported her when she was in the old 11th.  I’d rather get a more progressive candidate in the 2nd given the kind of district it is.  That said, I’ve been a bit baffled about how Toi Hutchinson is a progressive alternative to Halvorson and even more oddly, Robin Kelly.  Hutchinson was the handpicked successor to Halvorson when Halvorson went to DC

Chicago Argus

January 6, 2009 Tuesday 1:01 AM EST

Its replacement season in Illinois

BYLINE: (Gregory Tejeda

LENGTH: 1101 words

Democratic officials from south suburban Cook and Will counties, along with rural Kankakee and Iroquois counties, picked a replacement for Rep.-elect Debbie D. Halvorson, D-Ill., who gave up her seat in the Illinois Senate in Springfield to move up to Washington.It would appear that the party officials decided to go along with the wishes of Halvorson, as they chose her former chief of staff, Toi Hutchinson, to be the new Democratic state senator.THE KANKAKEE DAILY Journal newspaper reported that Hutchinson got a unanimous vote of support over two other officials “ one of whom is a member of the Will County Board. Officials claim that Hutchinsons knowledge of the Statehouse Scene is what gave her the edge.In one respect, the suburban and rural folks are a notch ahead of their city-based political counterparts. Halvorson formally resigned her state Senate seat on Monday, and a replacement was picked promptly.Hutchinson literally took the oath that made her state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, by noon of the same day.Approving a replacement so quickly provides a sense of confidence for the residents of that legislative district, in that they know there was no gap in political representation and that the local officials who pick the replacement had a sense of what they were doing.

Hutchinson was Halvorson’s Chief-of-Staff and then her handpicked replacement for the Illinois Senate seat.  If you have a problem with Halvorson, it’s hard to see how you don’t have a problem with Hutchinson.  The only difference is Hutchinson’s recent move to flip on gun safety.  Welcome, but a bit late.

Daily Dolt: Joe Walsh


Late this afternoon, the Chicago Sun-Times posted a story on-line that claimed that I wanted to stop making child support payments. That claim is an absolute lie, and I will no longer stand for it.

Here are the facts: My three kids are 25, 22, and 18-years-old. My youngest son will be emancipated in May of this year when he graduates from high school. Two weeks ago, I did what every other father who is paying child support is supposed to do — by law — when their employment situation changes — I modified my support agreement. With my Congressional term ending on January 3, and with my ex-wife having been paid in full through my term in Congress, by law, I filed a modification of my support payments for my remaining unemancipated child for these next four months. This modification called for me to pay my ex-wife 20% of my net income during these four months, which is my responsibility by law.

This is what the law requires me to do, and I’ve met that obligation. I’ve only been out of Congress for a month, and I expect to be employed again very soon. Regardless, I will continue with my child support payments by law until my son Patrick is emancipated.

This action was not done surreptitiously or with any malice towards my ex-wife. I did exactly what the law required me to do. Nothing was covered-up. Nothing was hidden.

Earlier this afternoon, Natasha Korecki of the Chicago Sun-Times, wrote a story about me and my child support arrangement, without bothering to speak to me or to my attorney. The story stated and implied that I did not want to make child support payments and was behind on payments. Both statements are false.

I have never shirked my financial responsibility for my children. The Sun Times has had a vendetta against me since I was first elected. I will no longer take it. I have had to live with the “deadbeat dad” label, even though the original case against me was dropped one year ago, and my ex-wife acknowledged that I have always been a loving and supportive father.

This article by the Sun Times is a deliberate attempt to defame me, and I will sue them immediately. My adult children have been my life. I pledged to them two years ago that I would fight these charges privately to keep them out of the news, but with the Chicago Sun Times fabricating a story, I am, at long last, going to fight back.

There is no story here. I did what all supportive fathers are supposed to do by law, and as always, I will continue to support my children and now go after anyone w ho says otherwise.

UPDATE: As you can see by the screenshots below, Ms. Korecki of the Sun-Times posted her story to the newspaper’s website at the exact same time that she sent an e-mail to my attorney asking for comment. She claims falsely in her e-mail that my voicemail was full. That is not true.

Notice the time the story was posted on the Sun-Times’ website:

I’ve got nothing that makes this any better than he already has.  Thank you Joe Walsh.  I can’t imagine a better illustration of the Tea Party ideology.

Joe Walsh Would Make a Great Governor of Illinois

He can’t plan ahead financially to save his life

But an attorney for Walsh’s ex-wife said that the former congressman is behind on child support payments that were dictated under a previous court order and that Walsh’s ex-wife was taken by surprise by a Feb. 1 court filing that asks “to terminate child support obligation,” saying Walsh “is without sufficient income or assets with which to continue to pay his support obligation.”

“This is the first communication we’ve received from the congressman; she had no information prior to receiving this filing in the mail that he was going to seek,” said Jack Coladarci, an attorney for Walsh’s ex-wife. “He did not pay January and he has not paid February support… You still have to keep paying until the judge says you can stop.”

Walsh’s court filing states: “Joe’s employment has been terminated through no voluntary act of his own and he is without sufficient income or assets with which to continue to pay his support obligation. Due to a substantial change in circumstances, Joe requests that his child support obligation be terminated based on his present income and circumstances.”

I mean, who could have predicted Joe Walsh would have been out of a job at the beginning of January, other than everyone who read a paper in the beginning of November.  Oh, and me well before then–remember the Joe Walsh Get a Job Countdown.

But more than that–with this kind of foresight of putting money away for planned issues, he is the best person to continue Illinois’ historic non-commitment to pension fund.  That should be plain for anyone to see.


On a more serious note–my Dad was laid off and on strike a few times while I grew up.  He never missed one damn payment and he never made as much money as this idiot.  Oh, and not communicating with the ex-wife before the order was filed–pure class act there Joe.