Kadner: Rita serious about state-owne...

Kadner: Rita serious about state-owned casino

There are 74 comments on the The Southtown Star story from Mar 31, 2014, titled Kadner: Rita serious about state-owned casino. In it, The Southtown Star reports that:

It has been three weeks since state Rep. Robert Rita, D-Blue Island, proposed legislation creating a state-owned mega casino in Chicago, and Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have yet to comment on it.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Southtown Star.

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Its Christmas Again

Maywood, IL

#1 Mar 31, 2014
Kadner: Rita serious about state-owned casino

March 31, 2014 8:56PM

Updated: March 31, 2014 10:49PM
A surprising silence has greeted a plan for a state-owned casino in Chicago.

It has been three weeks since state Rep. Robert Rita, D-Blue Island, proposed legislation creating a state-owned mega casino in Chicago, and Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have yet to comment on it.

“I take that as a good sign,” Rita said during an interview at his Blue Island legislative office Monday.“I think they’re actually taking the time to study the options I’ve proposed.”

Rita, the chief sponsor of gambling expansion legislation in the House, has added two amendments to an existing gambling bill.

The first amendment would create only one new casino in Illinois, which would be in Chicago and have up to 10,000 gambling positions.

The city would pick the casino site, Rita said, but the state would own it. Gambling revenue would be split 50-50 between the city and state. Chicago would have to use its share of the money to finance public education, capital development projects and pension funds. The state would have to use its share on education and capital development.

Also, the city would have to share its profits with more than 40 Southland towns because the plan does not call for a casino in the south suburbs. Under Rita’s plan, the suburbs would get 1.5 percent of the casino revenue or a minimum of $6 million per year.

The second amendment, which Rita calls an alternative plan, would create a smaller state-owned casino (4,000 to 6,000 gambling positions) in Chicago and four new casinos in other areas of the state, including the south suburbs.

Horse tracks also would get video gambling under Rita’s Plan B, but only half as many as they would have under previous legislation.

“I think some people looked at my amendments as a joke when I first announced them,” Rita said.“But I am serious. These amendments came out of hearings I held in East St. Louis and Tinley Park (a third hearing is scheduled for Chicago on April 16).

“I carefully studied the previous bill and the comments the governor made about them and decided what we really needed was a scaled-down plan. The governor vetoed the gambling bill twice before and, I think it was the first time, he said he couldn’t approve casino expansion without strong ethical standards, comprehensive oversight and dedicated resources for education.

“I tried to address all three of those concerns. My bill prohibits campaign contributions from anyone who owns more than 1 percent of a casino. It places the Chicago casino under the authority of the Illinois Gaming Board instead of a city gaming board.

“And it provides money for education. Every dollar would be assigned per student, except for Chicago’s share, which it could use to fund education in the city. The state’s share of the money does not fund education in Chicago since the city would have its own revenue stream from the casino.

“The governor has also said in the past that the casino bill allowed for ‘an excessive expansion that is simply too much.’ Well, both my amendments scale back the amount of gambling. One amendment creates only one new casino in the state, and that should address not only the governor’s concerns about expansion but the concerns of existing casinos, like those in Joliet, that fear cannibalization of existing casinos if there’s expansion.

“My second amendment addresses the needs of horse track owners. It gives them the potential to earn more money but isn’t as large as the previous versions of the bill.”

Previous sponsors of a gambling bill in the Legislature — state Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, and state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie — had said the bill was designed as a Christmas tree, with something for everyone, in order to assure there would be enough votes to pass it.
Ho Ho Ho

Maywood, IL

#2 Mar 31, 2014
I asked Rita why he thought his bill would pass without things such as special funds for minority communities, depressed communities and the state fairgrounds (there were about 30 such special funds in the previous casino bill).

“I would simply say to my colleagues,‘do you want more money for capital development, for education and new jobs or not?’” Rita said.“I think those are pretty good things. If you don’t like them, vote ‘no’ on the bill and we’ll move on.

“But this bill creates money to build bridges, roads, new school buildings and pay teachers, and while there’s not a specific fund designated to do some of the things they wanted done in the old bill, it could create money for many of those as well.

“I just want people to appreciate that this wasn’t done as a joke,” Rita said.“It’s a serious plan created after talking to a lot of people and studying the problems with the previous bills. I tried to take a step back and look at what we were trying to do, what the state really needed, and this offers people two options to consider that both have merit.

“As for downstate legislators, I would tell them if you vote for a casino in Chicago, you have none of the headaches of dealing with the casino in your community and you get a share of the revenues. What’s not to like?”

Remarkably, Rita said no one from the city of Chicago or the governor’s office has reached out to him to indicate how Quinn or Emanuel feel about his proposals.

I have left numerous messages with the press offices of both men, seeking a comment, and neither has gotten back to me.

In truth, I expected a quick reaction from both men, especially Quinn, rejecting the idea of a state-owned casino.

Like Rita, I think the governor’s lack of a response indicates that he’s considering the possibility.

In his legislation, Rita restricts money raised from new casinos outside of Chicago to capital projects and local pension plans.

“I don’t want to see the revenue squandered,” he said.“I think people should be able to see where the money is being spent.

“I said when I started this process I want to do it the right way. That’s my only goal here. To make sure it’s done the right way and not behind closed doors.”
Seriously

Maywood, IL

#3 Mar 31, 2014
How many millions have already changed hands?
some kind of a joke

Blue Island, IL

#4 Apr 1, 2014
Is this article a joke?
LOL

Maywood, IL

#5 Apr 1, 2014
.... what a grand plan .... he can't open two small bridges.... He is a real dreamer, LOL!
Bob Rita just dont get it

Blue Island, IL

#6 Apr 2, 2014
Indiana Attracts and Grows Business

PORTAGE | MonoSol LLC received its tax abatement from the Portage City Council on Tuesday night but not without disagreement and three rounds of voting.

The motion to approve the abatement was initially denied 4-3 with council members Liz Modesto, Matt Scheuer, Sue Lynch and Pat Clem voting against the abatement. After nearly another hour of discussion, Modesto, Lynch and Clem changed their minds and voted in favor of the abatement.

The primary issue was the request by MonoSol for a 10-year 100 percent abatement on personal property or equipment. The council never has granted such an abatement. The requested abatement on the real estate would be a standard five-year, graduated abatement.

"It is very, very poor to change something at the last minute," said Modesto, adding that information on the abatement initially presented was for a graduated, shorter term abatement for the personal property.

Company representatives said the company plans to build a 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that will employ about 60 workers from the first day of operations. The facility's anticipated payroll is $4 million.

The facility could grow to employ more than 150 workers with a $10 million annual payroll within three to four years, the paperwork says.

The first phase of capital investment includes $35 million in construction and equipment. The second phase involves an additional $30 million. A third phase would provide another $30 million in investments.
Rita Ignores Real Problem

Blue Island, IL

#7 Apr 5, 2014


13 shot since 8 p.m., including 6 at West Side party

By Peter Nickeas and Deanese Williams-Harris
Tribune reporters
April 5, 2014

A pair of gunmen shot six people at a West Side party early Saturday morning - one opened fire toward a back porch from an alley while someone else opened fire from the front door as party goers tried to run inside.

The first to open fire was an unknown gunman from the alley, Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines said. People running back into the apartment building from the back porch were confronted by a man at the front door who also opened fire, he said.

One of the six, a 24-year-old man, died from a head wound at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, police said. He and at least one other person were found by police at the scene, at the corner of Wilcox Street and Kostner Avenue. The rest made it into area hospitals without the help of paramedics.

Five people survived the attack. A 25-year-old woman is in stable condition at Stroger hospital. Three people - a 23-year-old man, a 32-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman - were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. The youngest of the three is in critical condition with back and shoulder wounds, Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines said. The other two are in stable condition - the man with an abdomen wound and the woman with a foot wound.

A 43-year-old who walked into Rush University Medical Center with a leg wound is also in good condition, Gaines said.

A number of the party goers appeared intoxicated, cursed at police, ran under the crime scene tape and shouted in general about the poor police response.

Police blocked traffic on Kostner Avenue in both directions about a block each side of the crime scene.

Seven others were wounded in shootings across the city overnight.

A 24-year-old man was wounded in the 500 block of South Clinton Street about 12:15 a.m. He was standing outside when someone in a vehicle shot at him, police said. He walked into Rush University Medical Center with a leg wound and was transferred to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines said.

Earlier, a 15-year-old boy who was shot last month and a 20-year-old man he was with were shot Friday night in the East Garfield Park neighborhood.

Police saw the shooting, which happened about 10:20 p.m in the 3400 block of West Walnut Street about a block north of Garfield Park.

Police stopped a white minivan and found a gun, shell casings and three people inside that they took into custody. The van was stopped at Homan Avenue and Maypole Street.

The two people shot were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital - the teen with a wound to his back and in serious condition and the man with a wound to his buttocks.

Later Friday, two men were shot on the South Side within about 15 minutes of each other.

A 30-year-old man was shot in the abdomen and shoulder in the 9600 block of South Carpenter Street in the Longwood Manor neighborhood. He's in serious condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center.

No one is in custody. Detectives knocked on doors in the neighborhood, and were answered by mostly annoyed residents who had been sleeping and said they didn't see or hear anything.

About 11:20 p.m. in the West Englewood neighborhood, a man whose age wasn't available was shot twice in the back and taken to an area hospital. He was wounded near 61st Street and Hermitage Avenue.

Earlier, a man and a woman were wounded tonight in separate shootings in the city's Humboldt Park and Lawndale neighborhoods.

The first shoooting happened about 8 p.m. on the 900 block of North Monticello Avenue in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, according to Police News Affairs.

In that shooting a 27-year-old woman suffered gunshot wounds and was being treated at Norwegian-American Hospital where her condition was stabilized, said police.

Ten minutes later, a 21-year-old man was shot in the city's Lawndale neigh
Coco

Blue Island, IL

#8 Apr 6, 2014
Hey Ralph, Bob Rita needs to address the real problems, not ignore them! Why are you reporting on his nonsense? The following article is about a law that must be repealed, now.
Reeder: An overdue rejection of a really bad law
By Scott Reeder April 4, 2014
The Illinois Supreme Court hit the erase button last month on the state’s eavesdropping law.
It was a smart decision on a very bad law.
Millions of Illinoisans carry cellphones that can be whipped out at a moment’s notice to record just about anything. It’s a world apart from when the state passed its eavesdropping law in 1965. Back then, tape recorders were about as big as a shoebox and not readily used by the general public.
The ubiquitous nature of recording devices today has landed some folks in trouble when they have taken to recording government officials.
In one case, a woman recorded three phone conversations with a courthouse supervisor about getting a court transcript corrected. The supervisor apparently was none too happy when the woman posted the conversations on the Internet. And she was prosecuted.
Others have been prosecuted when they have recorded their public interactions with police officers.
And in a Kane County case, a man was prosecuted for recording a conversation between himself, an attorney and a judge.
What do all of these cases have in common? People in power who don’t want the public to actually hear what they said.
The ubiquity of digital recording devices these days should make government more transparent and more accountable. But not everyone sees it that way.
Fortunately, the state Supreme Court does. It rightly ruled that the state’s eavesdropping law is unconstitutional.
If a police officer isn’t saying anything inappropriate in an interaction with a citizen, she should welcome being recorded — it just verifies that she is doing a good job. The same goes for judges, politicians and other government functionaries.
Why not allow ordinary citizens to record their interactions with such people?
Here’s what Chief Justice Rita Garman had to say in her written opinion on the eavesdropping law:“The statute criminalizes the recording of conversations that cannot be deemed private: a loud argument on the street, a political debate on a college quad, yelling fans at an athletic event or any conversation loud enough that the speakers should expect to be heard by others. None of these examples implicate privacy interests, yet the statute makes it a felony to audio record each one.”
In the Kane County opinion, also written by Garman, she said, a “person may write down what we say and publish it, and this is not a violation of the eavesdropping statute. Yet if that same person records our words with an audio recording device, even if it is not published in any way, a criminal act has been committed.”
Garman failed to see the distinction between the two. Nor should she.
It’s common for politicians to deny saying something stupid that a journalist has quoted them as saying.
But the wonderful thing about the Internet is that the reporter can simply post the audio recording online for the public to discern whether the quotes were accurate. The public should feel empowered by this.
So how on Earth did Illinois become one of only a dozen or so states with a law like this on the books?
Well, like so much in Springfield, it began in scandal.
Back in 1965, lobbyists were secretly recorded talking about which legislators were on the take.
Embarrassed lawmakers responded to the scandal by making it illegal to secretly tape conversations without a court order, the late Bill O’Connell, a retired statehouse reporter for the Peoria Journal Star, told me several years ago.
So the impetus behind the law was to cover up official skullduggery and make Illinois legislators who might have been on the take sleep a little better at night.
That’s a bad law grounded in official deception.
Coco

Blue Island, IL

#9 Apr 6, 2014
It’s time for Illinois to erase this bad policy and allow folks to just press “record.”

Scott Reeder is a veteran statehouse reporter and the journalist-in-residence at the Illinois Policy Institute, a nonprofit research group that supports the free market and limited government.
Scandal Indeed

Maywood, IL

#10 Apr 6, 2014
Well, like so much in Springfield, it began in scandal.
Concentrate Real Problems

Blue Island, IL

#11 Apr 6, 2014
Simeon H.S. football player, 16, shot to death on South Side
BY JON SEIDEL AND MITCH ARMENTROUT

The sobs of another grieving family filled a Chatham apartment Sunday after a Simeon Career Academy sophomore and football player was shot to death 2 miles from home.

Michael Flournoy III, 16, who lived in the 8000 block of South Evans Avenue, was shot just before 8 p.m. Saturday in the 1000 block of East 93rd Street and died at the scene, officials said.

Michael’s grandfather, Samuel Woods, said the boy was his “best friend.”

“I saw Michael come in this world,” Woods said.“I kept him with me. I talked to him. We joked. We laughed. We played games on PlayStation. He was my friend. And I’m going to miss him.”

Family, friends and neighbors all described Michael as an ambitious, soft-spoken kid with a good head on his shoulders who steered clear of drugs and gangs. On Tuesday, he planned to interview for a summer job at Navy Pier, Woods said.

“That’s all he kept talking about,” Woods said.“‘Granddad, I got a job.’”

But Michael knew the danger lurking in his neighborhood, according to his grandfather. About a month ago, Michael was mugged on his way to a gas station a few blocks from home.

“They pressed the knife so hard in his belly it left a little hole,” Woods said.“And all they took from him was his cellphone and $5.”

On Saturday, Woods said, Michael was on his way to pick up chips at a store on 93rd Street in the Burnside neighborhood when he got into a fight with some other boys.

“They jumped on him,” Woods said.“Beat him up. And then they shot him in the face.”

Area South detectives are investigating.

Woods said he used to drive Michael to the North Side to look at buildings. The boy loved cars, thought about becoming a firefighter but really wanted to be an architect, Woods said.

“He wanted to build something,” Woods said.“He felt he wanted to be one of the best.”

Michael also played defensive back and wide receiver on the sophomore football team at Simeon.

“He was a great kid, always helping people out. He was a very soft-spoken young man, you would have to tell him to speak up just to hear him talk. Just a good kid,” Simeon football coach Dante Culbreath said of Michael.

By Sunday afternoon, a makeshift memorial marked the scene of his death outside St. Anthony’s Church. Mourners left stuffed animals and remembrances written on signs in black marker:“Gone too soon,”“God bless the family,”“Pray for our children.”

About a dozen balloons whipped in the breeze as more than 100 people gathered there later in the day. Michael’s mother, Tymeka Woods, wore her son’s Simeon letterman’s jacket and moaned as she dropped to her knees, adding another stuffed animal to the collection.

Family members said Michael was always on the lookout for his 10 siblings.

Brandee Jones, Michael’s 16-year-old cousin, said she’ll miss their occasional “cousin dates” for lunch. She remembered having pillow fights when she and Michael used to baby-sit their other cousins.

“All he thought about was protecting his mother and younger brothers,” Jones said.“He was a leader.”

Andrew Holmes, a community activist with Generational Progress, announced a $1,000 reward for information leading to Michael’s killer. Tips can be reported to 1 (800) U-TELL-US.
Crime what crime

Blue Island, IL

#12 Apr 7, 2014
Convicted murderer charged with sexually assaulting elderly woman
Victim is 95 or 96 years old, according to authorities

By Kim Geiger
Tribune reporter
7:40 p.m. CDT, April 6, 2014

A Chicago man and convicted murderer was ordered held without bail Sunday after being charged in the February sexual assault of a woman in her mid-90s.

Robert Mitchell, 60, was arrested Saturday at a residence in the Pullman neighborhood and charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault of a victim over the age of 60.

The assault occurred Feb. 4 about 9 p.m., when the victim answered a knock on the door of her Morgan Park home near 111th and Aberdeen streets from a man who said that he was a friend of the victim’s deceased son, prosecutors said.

The woman welcomed the man in and was standing with him in her kitchen when he picked her up and carried her into a bedroom, threw her on a bed, and sexually assaulted her with his hand, prosecutors said.

He also hit her in the head, causing injuries to her face, prosecutors said.
The woman was treated for her injuries but continues to suffer bleeding in her brain, prosecutors said. Records and prosecutor statements Sunday put her age at either 95 or 96.

The victim identified Mitchell as her attacker, Assistant State’s Attorney Allison Sise told Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas.

Mitchell is a convicted murderer who was sentenced to 22 years in a 1984 case in which he was also convicted of home invasion and armed robbery, Sise said. After he was released from prison in the murder case, he later served time for theft, robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle, Sise said.
RITA UNIONS

United States

#13 Apr 9, 2014
PUPPET BOY
Bee Eff Dee

Webster, MA

#14 Apr 9, 2014
this has to be an Aprils Fools joke right?
Mr Kadner Wake Up

Blue Island, IL

#16 Apr 10, 2014
Mr. Kadner, why don't you report how Ritas' treat residents at the Calumet Township Annual Town Hall Meeting? And the monthly township meeting? The Gaming Industry does not correctly understand who the Ritas' actually are. They need to spend some of their Billions on investigating who is caring the ball for them in Illinois. He refuses to take care of the needs of the 28th district,and anything he is involved with. You have a need to WAKE UP MR. KADNER. WAKE UP.
No Sun Shine Here

Blue Island, IL

#17 Apr 10, 2014
The Rita's don't want any sunshine. Shame on the people that allow this to happen.
Bill

Blue Island, IL

#18 Apr 12, 2014
Hey Phil, what about all the murders? What are you writing about this. What about the state rep ignoring the less glamorous issues?
Blood Moon

Maywood, IL

#19 Apr 12, 2014
Another Eclipse.
Phil you could help us

Blue Island, IL

#20 Apr 12, 2014
Phil this crime problem must be addressed by the state Rep.

Prosecutors: Man raped Roseland woman in front of teen son
BY TINA SFONDELES Staff Reporter April 12, 2014

A convicted felon wanted for allegedly busting into a Roseland apartment and raping a woman at gunpoint in front of her teen son last year was arrested Thursday.

Jordan Whitaker is charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault for the May 24, 2013 rape in the 10400 block of South Maryland.

Whitaker allegedly knocked on the door about 5:50 a.m. twice but the woman’s teen son opened the door and wouldn’t let him in.

On a third try, the 32-year-old woman answered and Whitaker forced his way in with a semi-automatic gun, prosecutors said Saturday.

He dragged her to the bathroom where he allegedly raped the woman, then fled, Cook County prosecutors said. Her teen son witnessed the attack. And another man witnessed Whitaker running from the home, prosecutors said.

Whitaker’s DNA was positively identified in August last year and an investigative alert was put out, prosecutors said.

Whitaker, 20, of the 7900 block of South Avalon, was arrested Thursday in Lansing on unrelated charges.

Judge Laura Sullivan ordered Whitaker held in lieu of $300,000 bail Saturday.

Both the victim’s son and the other witness said they knew Whitaker from the neighborhood, prosecutors said.

Whitaker served two years in prison for a 2012 conviction for possessing a firearm in a school.
bloodiest weekend of 2014

Blue Island, IL

#21 Apr 13, 2014
Mr. Kadner , The State Reps needs to concentrate on our real problems. Even if it won't attract large donations to their campaign (slush fund) fund.

4 killed, 31 wounded in weekend shootings
SUN-TIMES MEDIA April 13, 2014

MAP: Chicago shootings for April 11
Updated: April 13, 2014

During the bloodiest weekend of the year, four people were killed and 31 were wounded in shootings, including a 24-year-old-mother of two.

Police said Jasmine Martinez was shot twice in the head early Sunday while driving on the West Side. She was clinging to life at Stroger Hospital on Sunday, but doctors told her mother, Myrna Flores, that her daughter was brain dead and there was not much hope.

Martinez was making a left turn at Kedzie and Grand early Sunday when a gunman in another car pulled alongside her SUV and opened fire, family members and police said. Martinez also was shot in the chest. Her fiance and another man in the SUV were not injured. Martinez’s fiance said she kissed him and told her she loved him just before the shooting.

Minutes earlier, the trio was confronted in the parking lot of a liquor store by several men who were throwing gang signs, said Natalie Flores, Martinez’s sister.

“She’s not into that. She’s not in a gang. She just drove away like a normal person would, trying to get away from danger,” said Eduardo Aviles, Martinez’s brother-in-law.

“I want the person who did this to pay,” Myrna Flores said.“If you want to kill each other, why don’t you all go into a corral and do it and leave us alone,” she said.

Martinez, a stay-at-home mom who planned to go back to school to study medical billing or nursing, lived less than a mile from where she was shot, family members said.

“How are we going to tell her kids? She has a son who is one and a daughter who is nine,” Myrna Flores said.

Police said the incident appeared to be gang-related. Martinez’s family disputes this.

The number of shootings each weekend for the last four weeks have risen steadily: 17, 19, 25, and, most recently, 35, as of Sunday afternoon.

In the most recent fatal shooting, Corey Brownlee, 32, was shot in the chest about 2:40 a.m. Sunday in the 6000 block of South Indiana Avenue, the same block where he lived in the Washington Park neighborhood, authorities said. A 27-year-old woman was shot in the right leg in the same incident, police said.

About 1 a.m. Sunday, Joshua Martinez, 20, was shot to death in the Gage Park neighborhood. He was found unresponsive with gunshot wounds to the head and back in the 3000 block of West 53rd Place, authorities said. Joshua Martinez, of the 4900 block of South Karlov Avenue, was pronounced dead at the scene about 1:30 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Police said they were questioning someone in connection with the shooting.

About 9:30 p.m. Friday, Shannon Mack, 34, was shot multiple times in the 2800 block of East 76th Street in the South Shore neighborhood, police said. Mack, of the 6800 block of South Crandon Avenue, was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:45 p.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.

About 3:30 p.m. Friday, a 17-year-old girl was killed and two men were wounded in a shooting in the 6400 block of South Eberhart Avenue in the Woodlawn neighborhood, police said.

Gakirah Barnes, of the 8000 block of South South Shore Drive, suffered multiple gunshot wounds to her upper body and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:43 p.m., authorities said.

At least 30 others have been injured in shootings since Friday afternoon.

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