Why was Illinois Capitol on 'SNL'? And more politics
The new Illinois House Republican leadership team brings a few new suburban lawmakers onto the squad and leaves another out.
State Rep. Jim Durkin of Western Springs, the next House Republican leader, has named state Reps. Dennis Reboletti of Elmhurst and Mike Tryon of Crystal Lake as assistants.
And he keeps some of departing Leader Tom Cross' team on board, including state Rep. Patti Bellock of Hinsdale as one of his top two deputies and state Rep. JoAnn Osmond of Antioch.
Out is state Rep. Tim Schmitz, a Batavia Republican and Cross's No. 2 who's not running for re-election in November 2014.
Cross, of Oswego, is stepping down to run for Illinois treasurer, and the new appointments take effect Nov. 1.
This team will change after next year's session. Osmond also isn't running for re-election next year. Nor is Reboletti, who is seeking a seat in the Illinois Senate.
State Sen. Jim Oberweis, a Sugar Grove Republican, tells us he's 80 percent or 90 percent sure he'll make a bid for U.S. Senate in the March primary.
He says he'll make the announcement next week.
Oberweis finished second in U.S. Senate primaries in 2002 and 2004, losing to Durkin in the first go-round.
He says he's talked briefly about it with Downers Grove Republican Doug Truax, who has said he's staying in the race no matter who else gets in.
Have you lost a loan?
In the ongoing federal government shutdown saga, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, has expressed concern about the inability of some companies to get loans through the federal Small Business Administration.
A memo from the agency shows Duckworth's 8th Congressional District uses the agency's loans the most in Illinois, to the tune of about $392,000 in approved loans per day in the district in 2012. The second-most active district was U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam's 6th District, at about $307,000 per day.
The agency isn't approving new loans during the shutdown.
"Small businesses are the engine of our economy," Duckworth said. "The government shutdown is preventing millions of dollars from being invested in our community."
The National Federation for Independent Businesses suggests the lack of new loan approvals isn't a huge deal yet.
"Only 6 percent of those surveyed said their credit needs weren't met in September, while 53 percent said explicitly they didn't want to borrow money," it said in a memo.
The shutdown has been fodder for late-night comedy, but let's keep the Capitols straight, eh?
In the most recent installment of Weekend Update on "Saturday Night Live," one of the shutdown jokes was illustrated with a photo of a rally outside the Capitol building -- the Illinois Capitol building.
For all their difficulties, state lawmakers haven't shut down the state government, so state parks like the Chain O' Lakes remain open and the copper doors of the Illinois Capitol remain open even as lawmakers at the big, white Capitol in Washington, D.C., remain gridlocked over a temporary budget.
From the archives ...
Roskam, of Wheaton, is on the front lines of the ongoing government shutdown debate, not an entirely unfamiliar spot.
He was in the minority party of the Illinois Senate in 2004 when state lawmakers blew a budget deadline by weeks, nearly jeopardizing top Democrats' attendance at the party's nominating convention that year.
Here's part of a speech he made July 20 of that year, days before the budget was resolved.
"Well, Madam President, you know, we've had -- some of us have had more time than others recently to be around Springfield and we've been able to look at the various Lincoln sites -- Lincoln's tomb and Lincoln's home and Lincoln's this and Lincoln's that.
"And what has impressed the Republicans is the number of plaques that are littered really all over Springfield."
Roskam described a plaque he'd like placed outside the Illinois Senate Chamber, memorializing then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich taking the state "to a complete train wreck into the longest legislative session in the history of the state of Illinois."
"So we're all witnesses together. There's cake outside that you're all welcome to. And since we bought the cake, we figured you guys could buy the plaque," he said to Democrats.