Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Illinois legislature says no to Sears bailout: Don’t give Sears bosses a taxpayer funded bailout

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Illinois legislature says no to Sears bailout: Don’t give Sears bosses a taxpayer funded bailout

By Ray Hanania

Sears says it wants to leave Illinois if the state doesn’t give it a tax break. The economy has been rough on the once great hardware giant that has diversity its retail products so much it’s hard to say what it specializes in these days.

But who isn’t hurting in Illinois or in any state for that matter?

The economy is falling and it is killing everyone.

This week, the legislature considered giving Sears a bailout, because Sears has vowed to relocate its headquarters outside of Illinois. A plan to bailout Sears failed by a 99-8 vote in the house and 36 to 18 in the Senate. Finally, the legislature does the right thing.

Sears has a headquarters in Hoffman Estates and a dozen or more stores in Illinois. There’s one store in Orland Park, one in Chicago Ridge, one in the Lincoln Mall, one in the North Riverside mall, one in the River Oaks mall, one in Joliet and one in the Oak Brook Mall. There are three stores in Chicago.

But Sears isn’t threatening to relocate its 10 Chicagoland stores or others throughout the state. It wants to relocate its corporate headquarters to help cut down on its taxes.

It’s a typical selfish blackmail move. If you don’t help us, we will bail on you, is what Sears honchos are threatening.

And what is it that they want?

Sears wants the state to cut its taxes. Sears bigwigs want the taxpayers to give them $15 million a year for the next 10 years in tax breaks.

It’s funny. Sears revenues are down because Sears has done a lousy job of managing its retail business. The economy sucks but when was the last time anyone went to Sears to buy something?

I walk through Sears from the parking ot in the Orland Mall sometimes to get to the mall itself. They’re just a pathway to me. I haven’t purchased anything from Sears in years. I used to really like their products but in recent yearsm they have failed to compete.

I wouldn’t go by their to buy a flat screen TV, tools or even tires for my car. Years ago, I did buy a vacuum cleaner there but that was the last major purchase I made.

Is it our fault as taxpayers and consumers that Sears is having troubles? We’re all having troubles. What makes them so special? What makes them special is that they decided to hold the public hostage and blackmail the state. And Gov, Patrick Quinn, Mr. Nice Guy with no loyalty to the public, wants to keep them in Illinois. Not because keeping them does anything for the state but it will prevent him from looking like a bad governor. The Chicago Merchantile Exchange wants to leave Illinois, too. And they want a taxpayer bailout, too.

Well, this is one taxpayer tired of giving big businesses bailouts. When we do give these corporate giants tax money, they use it to pay their big fat-cat bonuses.

Who works at the Hoffman Estates Sears headquarters? The blue collar schmoes? Or the wealthy corporate big shots who profit off of their failed leadership.

When a business goes down, and sales slump, the people who should be punished should be the owners and the big shots, not the employees and certainly not the consumers.

Fire some of those big salaried robber barons who have run Sears to the ground. If they want to leave Illinois, fine. We’ll leave Sears.

If Sears cared about Illinois, they would tighten their belts, trim back salaries at the top tier and do a better job of managing the inventory.

But these days, big businesses find it far easier to ask for government help and taxpayer money rather than to be better business managers.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gorman offers Coast2Coast RX prescription services from county office

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November 29, 2011

Dear Editor:

As the economy remains stagnant and expenses continue to rise for American families, especially healthcare expenses, everyone is looking for ways to cut costs to make ends meet. To help my constituents save money and ease some of the financial burdens on their already strained pocketbooks, I have been providing a Coast2Coast RX Prescription Discount Card which has been saving constituents money since June of this year.

The card is being distributed free of charge from my district office and from my web site as a download. The card is good at over 59,000 pharmacies nationwide and accepted at Walgreens, CVS, Osco, Target, Costco and many neighborhood pharmacies in your area.  It may also be used for discounts on lab tests and imaging, Outlook Vision program and Dentemax dental program.

Several of our constituents have contacted us to let us know of the great savings they received by using this card. To date, the average savings to our constituents has been a whopping 66% off the regular costs of their prescription medications. For instance, one constituent who paid $59 per month for one prescription is now paying $19 and another was paying $281 per month for one prescription and by using the card his new cost is $121 per month. That same constituent found that if they switched to the generic brand of their medication, they would pay only $13 per month.

Everyone is eligible to use it. What’s even better is that one card may be used by your entire family. If you think you can benefit from this card, please contact my office at 708-349-1336 or log on to my web site at and download your own copy of the card.

Liz Gorman
Cook County Commissioner

Monday, November 28, 2011

Great idea: Orland Township to Launch New Prescription Drug Savings Program

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Orland Township to Launch New Prescription Drug Savings Program

November 23, 2011Orland, IL – On December 2, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’ Grady and IPPFA Benefits will hold a press conference to launch a new prescription drug discount program at 14807 S. Ravinia Avenue Orland Park, IL.

Once launched, the new Coast2Coast Rx card will allow all Township residents, regardless of income, age, or health status to participate in the program and save on the cost of their medications.  This program saved cardholders throughout the nation an average over 50% in 2011 on the cost of prescription drugs.  Even pets and other people living outside the Township are able to take part in the program.  The Rx card will be distributed free of charge and may be used at all pharmacy chains and most independent pharmacies in Orland Township and includes over 60,000 drugs in its formulary.

 “In offering the prescription drug discount card, I’d like to alleviate a bit of the stress that many residents are facing right now in this financially unstable time. Paying a little less at the drugstore can’t hurt, especially when the cost of healthcare is steadily rising,” said Orland Township Supervisor, Paul O’ Grady. There are no eligibility requirements so the Rx card is expected to have a sizeable impact on uninsured residents or residents facing high insurance deductibles.  If a particular drug isn’t covered under a person’s health plan – they can use the card to save on those prescriptions.

Providing savings for residents through the Rx program will come at no expense to the Township.  Besides the discount on prescriptions, the card also provides 50% to 80% discounts for lab and imaging tests, and discounts on Dental, Vision and Hearing services, further helping residents save even more money on their healthcare costs for these services.
Debby Karton, Benefits Coordinator at IPPFA, the distributor of the Coast2Coast Rx free discount card, says “we are pleased to work with the Township to help individuals, their families and pets combat the rising cost of healthcare.” Karton added, “we appreciate all that the Township and local pharmacies are doing to help those in need.” 

The Coast2Coast Rx card will be available for residents at most participating pharmacies, governmental offices, libraries, and the Orland Township offices.  Residents will also be able to print the Rx card, check their prescription prices and view the nearest participating locations at

The Coast2Coast Rx card will provide residents with a valuable tool to help maintain their health and wellbeing at a discounted cost. Orland Township joins over 30 townships in Cook, Lake and DuPage Counties making the program available to residents.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lots of annoyances in Orland Park, but here is one thing I enjoy

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There are a lot of annoyances in Orland Park. Some crappy neighbors, but lots of great ones to make up. ComEd digging in your yard without ever giving you a notice they're doing any work. Crowded LaGrange Road. But the one thing I enjoy, our population of Canadian Geese. Here's a video of a gaggle of geese crossing a road in Orland Park. Fortunately, all of the vehicles stopped and didn't run them over as some moronic drivers often do. Enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


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By Christina Hansen
November 15, 2011

ORLAND HILLS, Ill.  – In announcing his candidacy for the Illinois State Senate, Michael E. Hastings wrote in a letter to the residents of the 19th Senate District, “Over the past decade, a dark cloud has descended over the great State of Illinois.  We have been subjected to the worst leadership in both political parties that the State has ever seen.” 

Hastings, a West Point graduate, Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and member of the Consolidated High School District #230 School Board, promises to bring positive, effective change to Illinois government through “values-based leadership.”    

“The State of Illinois has politically entrenched leaders who do not act for what is in the best interest of the citizens they represent," Hastings wrote. "They are only interested in what will benefit their campaign war chests.  To be blunt, not all of our leaders – but a majority of them – have failed the people.” 
“Our Illinois legislators have mortgaged the future generations through poor financial management.  It has to change, and it will change.” 

Hastings is running on the platform of revitalizing the crippled job market in Illinois and restoring financial responsibility to Springfield.  He can be reached at or visited at

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How ComEd screwed in the legislative lightbulb and screwed its customers with a rate increase

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Vote shows how much control ComEd has over our pocketbooks
By Ray Hanania

Commonwealth Edison is all about wealth and less about Thomas Edison’s driving desire to serve mankind with electrical power.

The ComEd combine steamrolled through Springfield’s legislature this past session doling out donations and roping in legislators to back its push for a rate increase.

In the neighborhoods, many homeowners were dragged in the fight when their electricity – in many cases for absolutely no reason – went out for hours. It was kind of like the mafia coming by and busting your store window to remind owners to pay-up of face the consequences.

The consequences for the public are steep. Their rates will again go up. And for what? Continued erratic and lousy service.

ComEd continues to play the pauper while it is the abandoned son of Exelon the multi-billioned profit center parent. Exelon threw ComEd out of the “house” so it could separate ComEd’s financial needs from Exelon’s profits. How can you pretend to be in need of money when you are one of the wealthiest companies in America? So Exelon cut ComEd from its corporate structure creating all kinds of phony distances so ComEd could profess to be the pauper.

Meanwhile, ComEd’s lobbyists and media minions worked the legislature like the Mafia on Chicago’s South Side, even to the point of having colleagues vote on behalf of the skittish few.

ComEd’s spin machine claimed that the new increases would help them to improve the delivery of electricity through a new “smart grid” system. They only need $3.5 billion. (They probably spent that much for the army of lobbyists who swarmed through Springfield to push for the consumer rate increase.)

Amazingly, the ComEd army sold the hapless legislators on the anemic argument that a rate hike will actually save consumers money.

Gov. Pat Quinn was right when he pointed out that something stinks in the passage of the ComEd “Smart Grind” legislation – the name was a lobbyist’s wet-dream. Supposedly it will help improve the service so neighborhoods won’t experience so many electricity service shutdowns. After pummeling residents in neighborhoods in legislative districts where legislators were on the fence with electricity shut downs, those legislators managed to somehow cast a shaky vote or walked away from the vote so that their colleagues could cast their votes for them.

Gov. Quinn rightly calls it a theft of representation, but suddenly Quinn is the bad guy in this. Suddenly the media which touted Quinn as the best alternative to the scandal-plagued former governor Rod Blagojevich – who never met a friend he could turn in to an enemy – and now somehow Quinn is worse.

How fast the media whores can spin their ethics?

The "smart grid" measure passed 36-19 in the Illinois Senate. There was no debate before the House voted which rallied for a rate hike and ComEd’s lobbyists by a whopping 74-42 vote, making the vote veto-proof.

It’s a snub against Quinn but the real victims are consumers. The utility company managed to once again find a way to increase rates without a whimper from our centurions in the legislature. Centurians? More like puppets.

The bill was sponsored by:

In the Senate, Mike Jacobs, John O. Jones and John J. Millner. In the House, by Kevin McCarthy, Mike Bost, Dave Winters, Kenneth Dunkin and Dan Reitz.

McCarthy’s legislative office is in the ComEd hit zone that was targeted for electrical shut-offs. There were five just in the past month in that area, each time for several hours during the day. No explanation. No one cares except the homeowners stuck in their homes wondering what the hell happened.

Here’s how your legislator voted to give ComEd, which provides terrible service, a means of increasing rates and Exelon’s profits. House Vote followed by Senate vote -- (By vote and by last name except where last names are similar to other members):

Click to display the House Vote in PDF Format or check list below: Click here.
Click to display Senate Vote in PDF Format or check lists below: Click here.

HOUSE VOTE,  Oct 26, 2011

Y  Acevedo      
Y  DeLuca      
Y  Kosel         
Y  Reboletti   
Y  Arroyo       
Y  du Buclet   
Y  Lang          
Y  Reis        
Y  Leitch        
Y  Beiser       
Y  Dunkin      
Y  Rita        
Y  Bellock      
Y  Durkin      
Y  Lyons         
Y  Rose        
Y  Berrios      
Y  Eddy        
Y  Mautino       
Y  Roth        
Y  Bost         
Y  May           
Y  Sacia       
Y  Bradley      
Y  Mayfield      
Y  Saviano     
Y  Flowers     
Y  Schmitz     
Y  Brauer       
Y  McAuliffe     
Y  Senger      
Y  Fortner     
Y  McCarthy      
Y  Burke, Daniel 
Y  Franks      
Y  McGuire       
Y  Smith       
Y  Gabel       
Y  Carli        
Y  Mitchell, Bill 
Y  Sosnowski   
Y  Mitchell, Jerry
Y  Soto        
Y  Sullivan    
Y  Chapa LaVia  
Y  Morrison      
Y  Thapedi     
Y  Morthland     
Y  Tracy       
Y  Tryon       
Y  Colvin       
Y  Turner      
Y  Connelly     
Y  Hernandez   
Y  Nybo          
Y  Verschoore  
Y  Howard      
Y  Osmond        
Y  Watson      
Y  Cross        
Y  Phelps        
Y  Jakobsson   
Y  Pihos         
Y  Winters     
Y  Currie       
Y  Jefferson   
Y  Poe           
Y  Yarbrough   
Y  Jones       
Y  Pritchard     
Y  Davis, Monique N  Kay         
Y  Ramey         
Y  Mr. Speaker Madigan
Y  Davis, William 

N  Barickman   
N  Dugan       
N  Riley       
N  Lilly         
N  Mathias       
N  Rosenthal   
N  Biss         
N  Evans       
N  Farnham     
N  Feigenholtz 
N  Brady        
N  McAsey        
N  Ford        
N  Brown        
N  Sente       
N  Burke,Kelly  
N  Mell          
N  Sommer      
N  Gaffney     
N  Cassidy      
N  Golar       
N  Cavaletto    
N  Gordon      
N  Moffitt       
N  Hammond     
N  Harris,David
N  Cole         
N  Harris,Greg 
N  Mulligan      
N  Hatcher     
N  Mussman       
N  Hays        
N  Nekritz       
N  Unes        
N  Costello     
N  Crespo       
N  Jackson     
N  Williams    
N  Cunningham   
N  D'Amico      
N  Zalewski    

E  Coladipietro 

(y – Yes, N – No, E - Excused Absence)

Senate Bill No. 1652  OVERRIDE VETO
Oct 26, 2011
Y  Althoff      
Y  Haine         
Y  Lightford    
Y  Raoul           
Y  Harmon       
Y  Link         
Y  Rezin           
Y  Holmes       
Y  Luechtefeld  
Y  Righter         
Y  Brady        
Y  Hunter       
Y  Sandack          
Y  Hutchinson   
Y  Martinez     
Y  Sandoval        
Y  Collins, A.  
Y  Jacobs       
Y  Crotty       
Y  Johnson, T.  
Y  Meeks        
Y  Jones, E.    
Y  Millner      
Y  Delgado      
Y  Jones, J. 
Y  Dillard      
Y  Koehler      
Y  Muñoz        
Y  Murphy       
Y  Trotter             
Y  Noland       
Y  Wilhelmi      
Y  Landek       
Y  Pankau       
Y  Mr. President Cullerton
Y  Radogno       

N  Bivins       
N  Maloney      
N  Clayborne    
N  McCann       
N  Schmidt         
N  Johnson, C.  
N  Schoenberg      
N  Silverstein     
N  Cultra       
N  Steans          
N  Sullivan        
N  Syverson        
N  Duffy        
N  Kotowski     
N  Forby        
N  LaHood       
N  Frerichs   
N  Garrett      
N  Lauzen    
NV McCarter     
NV Bomke        

P  Collins, J.  
P  Mulroe       

(Y – Yes, N = No, P – Present, NV – No Vote cast)