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Rich Miller biography

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Rich Miller has been writing about Illinois politics since 1990. He began publishing Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, in 1993. He is recognized …

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Miller: Frerichs keeps stumbling in treasurer race

In January, state Sen. Michael Frerichs formally kicked off his campaign for state treasurer and posted a video online touting the fact the he had ended “free, lifetime health care for state legislators.” Actually, Frerichs voted against that bill in the General Assembly. His campaign …

Miller: Poll shows Rauner economic plan popular, but ...

A July 17 poll by Capitol Fax/We Ask America asked 1,063 respondents about Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner’s economic plan for Illinois. “That plan calls for a freeze on property taxes and rolling back the 2010 income tax increase. It also implements a new tax …

Miller: Supreme Court ruling likely spells doom for pension reform

In a sweeping 6-1 decision, the Illinois Supreme Court has struck down an attempt to force state government retirees to pay more for their subsidized health insurance. And while nothing is ever certain when it comes to the judiciary, the justices made it pretty clear …

Miller: Poll shows why Rauner is trying to not be ‘Trumped’ by Quinn

It occurred to me when I was in Chicago the other day that the media furor about billionaire mogul Donald Trump placing his last name in 20-foot-high letters on his skyscraper is the same sort of mindset behind Gov. Pat Quinn’s campaign to tag “Billionaire …

Miller: Rauner’s $1 billion in cuts a fantasy

“Today, I laid out more than $1 billion in structural reforms,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner boasted to his supporters via a blast email last week. Baloney. Rauner’s news conference to announce $1 billion in alleged budget savings was an almost total farce. Fully half …

Miller: Lower income tax rate would mean budget time bomb

On the bright side, I suppose you could argue that last week’s budget passed by the General Assembly will lead to the largest income tax cut in Illinois history come Jan. 1, when the 2011 tax increase partially expires on schedule. But that’s about the …

Miller: Will Madigan back two who beat his candidates?

There’s an old Statehouse saying that House Speaker Michael Madigan cares mostly about two votes that each Democratic member makes — one to re-elect him as speaker, the other for the House’s operating rules. Some, such as state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, have gotten away …

Miller: Taxi, ride-sharing feud taints Black Caucus

Every year, we get at least one “corporate fight” in Springfield. Two or more corporations or industries will duke it out over some proposed law change or another. The cable TV industry, for instance, tried awhile back to persuade the General Assembly to tax satellite …

Miller: Some Springfield winners this spring

There were lots of losers during the spring legislative session, but there also were a few winners, so let’s take a look at them. First up, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner. Never before has a political party in Illinois nominated a candidate for governor who …

Miller: Poll says $100M for Obama library a bad idea

It has been assumed that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s proposal to spend $100 million to help build Barack Obama’s presidential library was designed to put Republicans on the spot and perhaps provoke an over-the-top, maybe even racial response by the GOP that would boost …

Miller: Quinn not popular, but Madigan even worse

A poll taken for Rasmussen Reports this month found that Gov. Pat Quinn’s unfavorable rating was 55 percent. That’s pretty bad, perhaps the worst in the nation for a governor. But Quinn ain’t got nothing on House Speaker Michael Madigan. A new Capitol Fax/We Ask …

Miller: Anti-violence grants give GOP ammo vs. Quinn

“There was no money allocated at all before the election of 2010,” Gov. Pat Quinn told Chicago TV reporter Charles Thomas about allegations that the governor had spent millions in state anti-violence grants to boost his flagging election campaign that year. Quinn used his TV …

Miller: Blistering report shows Quinn needs more friends

Some members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus are saying, “I told you so,” in the wake of the stunning report by the state auditor general’s office on its investigation into misspending, waste and possibly even fraud in an anti-violence initiative hastily created by Gov. …

Miller: Rauner support may have peaked, but no one’s close

State Sen. Kirk Dillard told Chicago radio station WLS that Republican county chairmen should try to get state Sen. Bill Brady and/or state Treasurer Dan Rutherford out of the primary race for governor so he could have a clear shot at wealthy front-runner Bruce Rauner. …

Miller: Wary of Rauner, Mike Madigan moves left

Worries about low Democratic turnout in an off-year election for an unpopular governor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s millions in campaign spending are obviously driving much of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s legislative agenda this year. “If you’re an African-American on the South Side, …

Miller: Rauner trying hard to pretend he’s not anti-union

It didn’t take long for Republican gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner to drop the word “unions” from his vocabulary. After bashing public employee union leaders for months as corrupt bosses who buy votes to control Springfield, Rauner and his campaign have assiduously avoided the use of …

Miller: Rutherford credibility, candidacy fading fast

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford delivered a forceful, even believable, defense of himself last week during a news conference hours after he was hit with a federal lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and coerced campaign work. Rutherford made a strong case that at least some of the …