Audit: Illinois overdrew federal Medicaid dollars

Washington Times -

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal auditors have found that Illinois used faulty methods for withdrawing federal Medicaid money, resulting in overdraws the state later had trouble repaying.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General released the report Monday.

The report says Illinois created “a perpetual ‘treadmill effect’” as it continued to overdraw and repay later.

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22 STATES RECOGNIZE ILLINOIS’ CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT. ILLINOIS RECOGNIZES NONE.

Illinois Review -

CHICAGO – Twenty-two states now recognize Illinois conceal carry permits, The Northwest Herald reports. The states include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin.

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said the state’s 16-hour training course is likely a factor in that growth. Illinois’ training requirement is among the most stringent nationwide.

However, Illinois doesn’t have a reciprocity agreement with any states, meaning Illinois doesn’t recognize other state permits. Gun owners who want to carry in other parts of the country can get nonresident concealed-carry permits for Utah and Florida. Those require four hours of training and are recognized in more than 30 states.

The bill lawmakers approved in 2013 was due to a federal court order, though the measure was fought hard by those who wanted Illinois to retain its last-in-the-nation ban on concealed carry.

Posted in 2nd Amendment | Leave a comment

NEW POLL SHOWS GOP STRONG IN CHICAGO MAYORAL AND ALDERMANIC RACES

Illinois Review -

CHICAGO – A new poll shows that several incumbent Aldermen in Chicago are in trouble, and that a hypothetical Republican candidate for mayor is only six points behind Karen Lewis.

The poll conducted August 8-10 on behalf of the Chicago Republican Party tested the effect of adding a “qualified Republican” to the mix in the mayor’s race and in a number of Aldemanic races. In some wards an unnamed, hypothetical Republican was a strong contender for Alderman.

The raw data for the poll is here: Mayoral survey dataAldermanic survey dataPoll questions

In Chicago’s 43rd Ward, for example, incumbent Michele Smith was the choice of 37.3% of voters and a “qualified Republican” was only 13 points behind with 23.6%. 39.2% were undecided.

In other wards, the undecided vote was high enough that a Republican could be a contender. In the 2nd Ward, for example, a “qualified Democrat” gained 34.7% of the respondents, a “qualified Republican” gained 18.4%, with 46.9% undecided.

“Contrary to belief, voters in Chicago are open to a Republican if the right candidate emerges,” said Chris Cleveland, Vice Chairman of the Chicago GOP. “In the 43rd Ward, an unnamed, hypothetical, invisible Republican is running only 13 points behind the incumbent. The incumbent is below 40%, which usually means deep trouble. With a serious candidate and a little money, we’re looking at a strong possibility of a win. In a general election, Republicans get 40% of the vote in the 43rd Ward.”

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Dick Durbin: Guantanamo Transfer Prison ‘Will Be An Important Piece In The Economic Future’ Of Illinois

The Daily Caller -

Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday that the prison where the Obama administration is trying to transfer detainees  ”will be an important piece in the economic future of Illinois.”

Thomson Prison, which houses 1,600 cells, installed a new warden Tuesday. President Obama gave the federal government control of Thomson prison in 2009 through the Department of Justice. Obama planned to move Guantanamo refugees into the prison until Republicans blocked funding for detainee transfers.

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Obama Faces Potential Rifts With Democrats In Mounting Immigration Fight

Huffington Post -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is facing potential rifts with members of his own party in tough re-election contests as he barrels toward a fall fight with Republicans over his ability to change immigration policies.

If Obama takes the broadest action under consideration — removing the threat of deportation for millions of people in this country illegally — the short-term risks appear greatest for Senate Democrats in conservative-leaning states. Weeks before the November vote, they could find themselves on the hot seat for their views not only on immigration but also on Obama’s use of his presidential powers.

Wary of what could be coming, some of those lawmakers have said Obama should act with caution.

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Posted in Immigration Policy/Border Security | 1 Comment

SESSIONS: MELT DOWN SENATE’S PHONE LINES, FORCE REID TO ALLOW VOTE ON EXECUTIVE AMNESTY

Breitbart -

Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is throwing down the gauntlet again. He is calling on every American citizen to call their U.S. senators and demand to know where they stand on President Barack Obama’s planned executive amnesty.

Sessions, in a statement exclusively provided to Breitbart News, berated House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, calling on Reid to allow a vote on the House-passed measure that would block President Obama’s attempts to continue or expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive amnesty to millions more illegal aliens.

“Recent developments suggest the President’s planned executive amnesty could be increasingly imminent and broad in scope,” Sessions said, citing how Pelosi has called on the President to give the “broadest possible” executive amnesty to perhaps as many as ten million illegal aliens.

“House Democrat Leader Pelosi – clearly one of the White House’s closest allies – has just urged the President to issue ‘the broadest possible’ executive actions,” Sessions said. “Open borders groups have grown bolder and louder in their unlawful demands, launching a campaign for the President to ‘go big,’ and demanding that he ‘stand up’ to Congress and ‘expand DACA.’”

Sessions wonders whether Congressional Republicans – and even Democrats up for re-election this year – will stand up to the President to assert the legislature’s role in writing the laws of the country.

“Will Congress defend itself? Will it defend the country’s laws, its people, and the idea that a nation has enforceable borders that cannot be waived away with the flick of a pen?” Sessions said. “While the Senate recesses, activist groups and special interest lobbyists are huddling with the White House to implement through executive action… which Congress explicitly rejected. These are the same groups who met to devise the Senate’s ‘Gang of Eight’ plan, until that effort was exposed and then halted by the American people and their representatives in the House. It is chilling to consider now that these groups, frustrated in their aims by our Constitutional system of government, are plotting with the Obama administration to collect their spoils through executive fiat.”

Sessions specifically cited a report from the Associated Press that details how White House officials “are making plans to act before November’s mid-term elections to grant work permits to potentially millions of immigrants who are in this country illegally.” The officials, according to the AP report, include Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz, and White House Counsel Neil Eggleston, and the AP writes that they “have been working to chart a plan on executive actions Obama could take, hosting frequent meetings with interest groups.”

Working alongside the White House in favor of this plan, the AP wrote, is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – a business group that has poured tens of millions of dollars into backing amnesty.

Sessions warns increased immigration could depress wages and make it harder for the unemployed to find work. “So, with American workers hurting, special interest groups are collaborating with the White House on measures that would pull down wages and impoverish working Americans?” Sessions said, before calling on the Senate – and specifically Reid – to allow senators to vote on the House’s anti-DACA measure.

“The steps that must be taken are clear: the Senate must vote on the House-passed measure to stop these unlawful actions,” Sessions said. “It is true that Majority Leader Reid is blocking it from a vote. But Reid acts only with the blessing of his members in the Democrat conference – so the American people have the power to force it to a vote through their elected senators.”

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Posted in Immigration Policy/Border Security | 1 Comment

Illinois TEA Party Third Annual Golf Outing

TEA IT UP!

JOIN US FOR THE THIRD ANNUAL

Illinois TEA Party

GOLF OUTING

 

Please join us for our 3rd annual Illinois Tea Party golf outing on Sept.19th. We’ll have plenty of ‘Special Guests’ and a Day of Fun!

We reduced the cost this year for ‘Dinner Only’ to make it more affordable.

Hope to see you all there!

 

HELP BRING ABOUT CONSERVATIVE CHANGE IN ILLINOIS AND THE COUNTRY!

 

  • WHENFriday, September 19th  

    10:30 Registration – 11:00 Lunch – 12:00 Shotgun Start

    GOLF Includes – range balls – lunch and dinner

 

  • WHERETHE LINKS AT CARILLON

      21200 S. Carillon Dr. Plainfield (Just South Of I-55 – Exit Weber Road)

 

  • NOT A GOLFERGuests for dinner only welcome

 

  • GUEST SPEAKERS, RAFFLES, GOLF PRIZES

 

 

$600 – Foursome

$150 – Single Golfer

$50 – Dinner Event Only

CALL FOR SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

 

 

INFORMATION AND BOOKING: CONTACT BERT 630-541-5469

 or

Email: Dcattoni@aol.com

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We must solve Illinois’ insolvency for our children and theirs

Reboot Illinois -

Most of us like to give our children and grandchildren savings bonds or cash to invest and grow over time. We see it as helping to finance their futures.

In Illinois, we’re doing the opposite. We’re leaving our children and grandchildren a gargantuan bill for our short-sighted political expediency. Years of skipped state pension payments and meager recessionary returns mean that if the bill for all of Illinois’ debts came due today, every single one of us who pays taxes in Illinois would need to come up with $43,400.

That college fund for your child? Turn it over. Illinois isn’t paying its bills. It’s not providing enough to cover retirement security for the teachers, prison guards, state troopers and others who have been guaranteed a pension.

Confronting this crisis remains an absolute must for us all. Already, it is strangling our ability to devote more resources to better schools, smarter transportation options and healthier communities with homes near jobs and reliable public transit. Soon we will have no choice but to make severe cuts to basics including schools, roads and rail, and water infrastructure, hurting our communities now and for decades to come.
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Roskam Demands Answers on New Allegations of IRS Targeting of Conservative Religious Organizations

WEST CHICAGO—Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) sent a letter to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, inquiring about recent reports of an agreement between the IRS Exempt Organizations Examinations Department and the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) to investigate 99 “high priority” churches.

In the letter, Roskam raises concerns about the IRS-FFRF agreement coming on the heels of the ongoing targeting scandal where IRS was found to have targeted organizations applying for tax-exempt status based on their personal political, social and religious beliefs.  This IRS-FFRF agreement to more closely monitor and investigate the electioneering activities of a select number of churches could be the latest threat to the free speech protections and religious liberties of the organizations.

The text of the letter is below.  A PDF of the letter can be found here.

The Honorable John Koskinen
Commissioner
Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20224

Dear Commissioner Koskinen,

I write today to express my strongest concerns about an apparent agreement recently entered into between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF). This agreement has raised serious questions that require immediate answers.

Specifically, I request a written response to the below questions no later than Monday, August 25, 2014:

1.       What criteria were used to identify the 99 churches referenced in the letter from Mary Epps, Acting Director, Exempt Organizations (EO) Examinations, to the Department of Justice dated June 27, 2014 that would be subject to “high priority examination?”
2.       List the city and state of each church identified for high priority examination.
3.       What, if any, communication took place between the IRS and FFRF relating to the selection of churches subject to examination?
4.       According to page two of the Plaintiff’s Memorandum in Support of the Motion to Dismiss, “The IRS has recently, in the context of this litigation, tried to assure FFRF that procedures are now in place for enforcement of the electioneering restrictions of § 501(c)(3), including a procedure to initiate investigations/examinations of churches for possible violations.”

a.       How were these new procedures promulgated?
b.      Were they subject to any public comment period?
c.       If they were subject to a public comment period, what were the nature and quantity of the comments?
d.      If they were not subject to a public comment period, how were organizations subject to examination under the new procedures notified about them?
e.      If such organizations have not yet been notified, how and when does the IRS intend to do so?
f.        If the IRS does not intend to notify such organizations, what specific authority does the IRS rely on to keep the details of this program secret?
g.       Please describe the provisions that are in place in these new procedures to protect the religious freedom of groups subject to examination.
h.      Were these procedures in place at the time that the alleged violations by the 99 churches identified for high priority examination occurred?
i.         Who from the IRS will be involved in implementing the new procedures?
j.        What, if any, training have they received in order to perform this task?

Ongoing Congressional investigations have exposed extraordinary, potentially criminal overreach at the IRS dating back to early 2010 with respect to enforcement activities seeking to curtail individual expression and association in contravention of the protections enshrined in the Bill of Rights. The EO Examinations Division was the focal point of this overreach, targeting groups applying for tax-exempt status based on their personal political, social, and religious beliefs. The correspondence uncovered over the course of the Congressional investigations between the EO Examinations Division and applicants for tax-exempt status was exceptionally onerous and intrusive, going so far as to ask one group to detail specifically the content of their prayers.

Subsequent Congressional rebuke has been strong and bipartisan. Any IRS effort to change the standards or process of examination and enforcement in a way that may impede the religious liberties of private citizens and nonprofit organizations should therefore be afforded the highest level of transparency and accountability.

These new IRS actions raise serious questions about the appropriateness of the agency’s enforcement conduct. On behalf of my constituents and the American people, I request detailed answers to the above listed questions no later than August 25, 2014.

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MAJORITY WHIP STEVE SCALISE SEEKS HELP FROM ANTI-TEA PARTY LOBBYIST

Breitbart -

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has been seeking help from a federal lobbyist while putting together his new staff, according to a Politico report.

The report shows that John Feehery, aligned with the lobbyist shop Quinn Gillespie & Associates, “sat in on and participated in multiple official interviews with job candidates,” helping Scalise put together his press operation.

Part of the old establishment, Feehery managed communications for Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Whip Tom Delay.

But Feehery has a history of being critical if not outright hostile about the Tea Party.

“It is time to get rid of the Tea Party. They are an embarrassment,” he wrote in a January post titled, “Tea Party Must be Crushed”

Feehery described he modern Tea Party as ”a collection of wing-nuts, racists, hucksters, extremists, con-men and front-men, who collaborate with Hollywood and left-wing organizations to plot the demise of Republicans in good standing.”

Chief among the “good” Republicans, he wrote was Mitch McConnell, who he described as “probably the most conservative leader of either party in the history of the Senate.”

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Posted in National GOP | 1 Comment