THE BLOG
07/09/2013 02:13 pm ET Updated Sep 08, 2013

Video: Lawmakers get testy with Quinn on pensions; Mell: political power as family heirloom; Google buzz on 2014 gov candidates

LAWMAKERS TO QUINN: WHERE ARE YOU? Both Republicans and Democrats on a 10-member special pension committee teed off on Gov. Pat Quinn Monday. More accurately, they teed off on Quinn's chief of staff, Jerry Stermer, because Quinn wasn't at the committee meeting. Bottom line: Quinn has been an absentee, he's given no directives for what he'll sign and they're sick of his criticism and threats. Not a happy bunch. We've got some great video clips here and a link to a whole lot more. Don't miss it!
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ROAD TO RUIN How did Illinois turn its public worker pension system into a threat to the entire state budget? How can you be part of the solution? We've combined a petition with an infographic that shows the timeline of the Illinois pension debacle so you can do both in one click. It's all right here.

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BUZZ-METER You can learn a lot about a candidate with a Google search. But you can learn a lot about what people are wondering about a candidate if you let Google autofill do the work for you. That's what we've done with this week's Buzz-Meter. Lots of people out there are wondering about Bruce Rauner's net worth (quite large, though Rauner won't say whether he's actually a billionaire) and Lisa Madigan being Michael Madigan's adopted daughter (she is), but nary a search for Dan Rutherford's talking car, Pongee. No, it's not the most serious 2014 election metric you'll find, but you should seriously check it out.

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MELL FAMILY BEQUEST Longtime Chicago Ald. Richard Mell is following a time-honored Illinois tradition as he prepares to leave office. He's bequeathing his seat on the Chicago City Council to his daughter, State Rep. Deb Mell. Then he'll also have a hand in filling his daughter's vacated House seat. Mayor Rahm Emanuel could make a strong statement about ending Illinois' power-as-family-heirloom culture by denying Deb Mell's appointment. Reboot's Madeleine Doubek thinks he should. Find out why here.

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TIRED OF IT? Have you had it with politicians making power their personal family business? Join us and do something about it.

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2014: PERSONAL FORTUNES, SUPER PACS Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner raised more than $900,000 in the second quarter of 2013, but he's also got a vast personal fortune he can spend as he pleases. Democratic challenger Bill Daley raised $800,000 in short order, but could get a big boost from Michael Bloomberg's Independence USA super PAC. Lisa Madigan isn't in the race, but she's already got $5 million. Are we on pace for record spending on the 2014 campaign? Read on...

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5 THINGS WORTH KNOWING You can always find links to the day's news from around Illinois in the Daily Tip-Off section of our website. Here are today's top picks:
• 5. Cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools generated a little extra income on their own by leasing roof space to cellular phone companies. Now CPS is cutting into that income. (Chicago Sun-Times)
4. Lawmakers on a pension reform committee Monday blasted Gov. Pat Quinn for setting an "artificial" deadline to pass a bill and for skipping a chance to tell the committee in person what he wants from pension reform. (State Journal-Register)
3. For all his criticism of the General Assembly missing deadlines to fix the state's pension systems, Gov. Pat Quinn has missed a different kind of deadline. (Pantagraph)
2. Lawmakers return to Springfield today poised to override Gov. Pat Quinn's rewrite of a proposed law allowing concealed carry of firearms, but his actions and those of his potential rivals have created a conundrum for many Downstate Democrats in the early stages of the 2014 race for governor. (Chicago Tribune)
1. A court-imposed deadline put concealed carry of firearms on a fast track to passage in the General Assembly. Maybe such a deadline would work for pension reform, which has languished for years. (Rockford Register Star)

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