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Archive for December 2009

Governor Pat Quinn Offers Overhaul of Fouled-Up Illinois Prisoner Early Release Program; Dan Hynes Claims “ScapeGoating”

(Chicago, IL) — December 30, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn yesterday announced an overhaul of the Illinois Department of Corrections’ prisoner early release program to undo the political damage that the early release of 1,718 inmates—which included violent prisoners and repeat drunk drivers–who served, on average, 37 days but some as little as 11 days, had … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: IVI-IPO Huffs, Puffs But Takes No Action on Dan Farley, Phantom IVI-IPO Tax Committee Flap

(Chicago, IL) — December 31, 2009. “Sometimes the results are wackadoodle.” That’s the reaction of Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO) state board member Suzanne Elder to the local IVI-IPO chapter endorsement re-vote of Democratic state representative candidate Dan Farley who is seeking the House seat on Chicago’s north side being vacated by John … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: State Rep Candidate Dan Farley Sweeps IVI-IPO Re-Vote

(Chicago, IL) — December 30, 2009. Democratic state representative candidate Dan Farley, who is seeking the House seat on Chicago’s north side being vacated by Democrat John Fritchey, yesterday swept an IVI-IPO endorsement re-vote. Farley, a former Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney, captured 17 votes from the local IVI-IPO voters to 3 votes for opponent … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: State Rep Candidate Dan Farley Rolls Out New Mike Quigley Enodrsement, Snuffs Out Smoldering IVI-IPO Tax Committee Flap

(Chicago, IL) — December 29, 2009. Democratic state representative candidate Dan Farley today rolled out a new and improved endorsement quote from U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL-Chicago). “I support Dan Farley because of his commitment to advocate for property tax relief and reform, reduce wasteful spending, and fight for what’s right for our community and … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: IVI-IPO State Board Rejects Endorsement of State Rep Candidate Dan Farley; Re-Vote Scheduled

(Chicago, IL) — December 28, 2009. The Independent Voters of Illinois–Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO) state board of directors has rejected the local district endorsement of Democratic state representative candidate Dan Farley and has scheduled a re-vote for Tuesday, December 29. Multiple IVI-IPO voters casting their ballots for Farley, a former Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: State Rep Candidate Dan Farley Attributes False Quote to Mike Quigley Jabbing Opponent Ann Williams

(Chicago, IL) — December 22, 2009. It’s a fib. Democratic state representative candidate Dan Farley yesterday issued a press releasing heralding his endorsement from U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) in his race to succeed State Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago). The Farley press release included this quote from Quigley: “Dan Farley is not a special interest … Continue reading »

Speaker Michael Madigan Sets Jobs Task Force, 30 Lawmakers Join in 2 Days

(Chicago, IL) – December 21, 2009. Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) last week created a new, bi-partisan jobs task force to address Illinois’ 10.9% November unemployment rate. Madigan appointed Deputy House Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) as chair as the Bipartisan Jobs Creation Task Force. Lang said the task force will focus on targeted … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Personal PAC Endorses State Rep Candidates Dan Farley, Ed Mullen and Ann Williams in Race to Succeed John Fritchey

(Chicago, IL) — December 21, 2009. Democratic state representative candidates Dan Farley, Ed Mullen and Ann Williams have all won the endorsement of the powerful pro-choice group Personal PAC in the race to succeed State Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago). Mullen and Farley, both attorneys, who are facing Williams, a pharmaceutical lobbyist, will have an easier … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Mike Quigley Endorses State Rep Candidate Dan Farley; Takes Subtle Swipe At Opponent Ann Williams

(Chicago, IL) — December 21, 2009. The gloves are off. In the race to succeed to succeed State Rep. John Fritchey on Chicago’s north side, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) today endorsed former Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Dan Farley and took scarcely veiled swipe at one of Farley’s opponents, Ann Williams. “Dan Farley is … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Sara Feigenholtz Endorses State Rep Candidate Ann Williams for John Fritchey’s House Seat

(Chicago, IL) — December 18, 2009. Democratic state representative candidate Ann Williams has reeled in a key endorsement from State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) for the 11th district House seat being vacated by John Fritchey on Chicago’s north side. “[Ann Williams] has the experience, smarts, and tenacity to push for solutions that make a real … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Illinois Sierra Club Endorses Democrats Todd Connor, Mariyana Spyropoulos, and Kari Steele to Water District Board

(Chicago, IL) — December 17, 2009. The Illinois Sierra Club today announced its endorsement of three candidates in the February 2nd Democratic Primary for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago–Todd Connor, Mariyana Spyropoulos, and Kari Steele. Sierra Club also has endorsed Nadine Bopp in the Green Party Primary. “The safety and quality of our … Continue reading »

Illinois Media: Sun-Times to Alderman Ed Burke “Move on Wal-Mart”

(Chicago, IL) — December 17, 2009. The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board has sent a blunt message to 14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke: Move on Wal-Mart. In an editorial today, the paper said: The time for a South Side Wal-Mart has come. Unemployment in the Chicago region hovers above 11 percent, with higher rates among blacks. … Continue reading »

Illinois Media–Carol Marin: Ex-Senate President Emil Jones’ Stepson Gets $787,000 Contract–No Work Reports Submitted

(Chicago, IL) – December 17, 2009. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin has unearthed a doozy of political consulting contracts light on the work, heavy on the wampum: “A consulting firm headed by former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr.’s stepson John Sterling has been paid more than $787,000 under a Cook County contract funded by … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Ok, Alexi Giannoulias for $500

(Chicago, IL) — December 11, 2009. Ok, we are in with Alexi Giannoulias for $500. US Senate hopeful Alexi Giannoulias is making fund-raising calls today and he reached yours truly, the editor of THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER, on our mobile phone to make a pitch for his candidacy. Giannoulias, who is making calls from his “prison … Continue reading »

Illinois AFSCME Council 31 to Pat Quinn on Refusing WBEZ Access to St. Charles Juvenile Prison: “… [A]n unacceptable breach of the public’s right to know”

Just ahead of Illinois AFSCME Council 31′s endorsement decision in the Illinois 2010 Democratic primary for governor, the state’s largest union is taking a swipe at Governor Pat Quinn’s refusal to open up Illinois juvenile justice centers in St. Charles and elsewhere to WBEZ radio reporters. Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: State Senator Terry Link Rides Lt. Governor Endorsement Wave as AFL-CIO, Other Support Rolls In

(Chicago, IL) — December 10, 2009.  State Senator and Lieutenant Governor candidate Terry Link‘s political wave machine is operating at full-tilt boogie. On Tuesday, Link scored the endorsement of the 1,000,000 member Illinois AFL-CIO, the state’s largest labor organization, an endorsement that is a potential game-changer in the crowded, seven-candidate Lt. Governor race in the … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Illinois Federation of Teachers Endorses State Rep. David Miller for Illinois Comptroller

Citing his many years of leadership on education funding reform, the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) today endorsed State Rep. David Miller (D-Dolton) for Illinois Comptroller. Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Dem State Rep Candidate Ann Williams Snags Plum AFL-CIO Endorsement

(Chicago, IL) — December 9, 2009. Democratic state representative candidate Ann Williams, who is seeking the House seat on Chicago’s north side being vacated by John Fritchey,  snagged a hugely important endorsement from the Illinois AFL-CIO on Tuesday. Williams, who faces attorneys Ed Mullen and Dan Farley in the Democratic primary, adds the AFL-CIO endorsement … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Illinois Sierra Club Endorses Robin Kelly over Justin Oberman

December 9, 2009. Sierra Club today announced its endorsement of Robin Kelly for State Treasurer over Justin Oberman in the February 2, 2010 Democratic primary election. Continue reading »

Happy Anniversary Rod Blagojevich–Pat Quinn Signs Illinois Campaign Finance Reform; Dan Hynes Hits Sour Note

(Chicago, IL) — December 9, 2009. On the first anniversary of former Governor Rod Blagojevich‘s arrest, Governor Pat Quinn today signed into law a campaign finance bill that imposes Illinois’ first-ever contribution limits in Illinois. “This new law requires politicians to be more candid, open and accountable than ever before. It is a crucial and … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Northside Democracy for America Endorses State Rep Candidate Ed Mullen

(Chicago, IL) — December 9, 2009. Democrat Ed Mullen who is seeking the State House seat on Chicago’s north side being vacated incumbent John Fritchey scored an important endorsement for his campaign in February 2 Democratic primary. Northside Democracy for America voted 28-7 to endorse Mullen over opponent Ann Williams. A third Democratic contender, attorney … Continue reading »

Illinois Politics: “One Year after Rod Blagojevich” with Ray Hanania WJJG 1530 AM Radio

Looking back on the year without Blagojevich, Ray Hanania, radio host of “Mornings with Ray Hanania” on WJJG 1530 AM Radio today brought on a series of guests to chew on Rod Blagojevich’s ankle, arrest, and his legacy. Continue reading »

Illinois Budget: Gov Pat Quinn is Planning to Cut Illinois Budget by 14%

(Chicago, IL) — December 8, 2009. If Illinois residents who depend on state services were suffering insufficiently up until now due to earlier Illinois budget cuts, more suffering is on deck. Governor Pat Quinn‘s budget director, David Vaught, is directing state agencies to cut 14 percent from their budget. Gulp. The state has an estimated … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley Endorses Water District Candidate Todd Connor

(Chicago, IL) — December 8, 2009. U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) yesterday endorsed Metropolitan Water Reclamation District candidate Todd Connor, a former Illinois Inspector General, in the Democratic primary. The Quigley endorsement, a “must-have” among Democratic candidates seeking to run under a progressive, reform banner in Cook County, joins the growing ranks of elected Cook … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Citizen Action Illinois Endorses David Schroeder

(Chicago, IL) — December 7, 2009. Citizen Action Illinois on Saturday endorsed David Schroeder in the Democratic primary for the in the Illinois House 5th District race over State Rep. Ken Dunkin and Gwyendolyn Drake. Illinois Citizen Action is the state’s largest public interest organization, fighting for Illinoisans on issues as varied as utility rates, … Continue reading »

Gov. Pat Quinn Appoints 25 to Key Education Council, Names Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle as Panel Chairman

Governor Pat Quinn last week made 25 important appointments to the P-20 Council, a key education advisory panel, and named Chicago City Clerk and former state senator Miguel del Valle, as Chair. Continue reading »

Jesse White, Lisa Madigan, John Cullerton, Barbara Flynn Currie, Robin Kelly and Other Illinois Pols Attend White House Holiday Party

(Chicago, IL) — December 5, 2009. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed a group of Illinois Democrats to a glittering holiday party at the White House on Thursday. A select group. Heading up the Illinois White House party goers–with an invitation–were: Secretary of State Jesse White, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, State Senate … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Seven Reform Cook County Candidates Form Joint 2010 Campaign Coalition–ChangeCookCounty.Com

Six Democratic Cook County reform candidates have formed a joint 2010 campaign coalition —“ChangeCookCounty.Com”— to help advance an electoral victory for a “change agenda” in Cook County government. Continue reading »

Illinois Policy Institute Launches New Web Site–IllinoisOpenGov.Org–to Track Illinois Budget Spending

(Chicago, IL) — December 4, 2009. The Illinois Policy Institute has launched a new Web site–IllinoisOpenGov.org–to help Illinois taxpayers pry open a window for a better view of Illinois state government spending. The IllinoisOpenGov.org site aims to provide “an unbiased look into raw state government spending data collected directly from official government sources,” according to … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: State Rep. Carol Sente, Buffalo Grove Village President Elliott Hartstein Clash on Illinois Income Tax Increase

(Chicago, IL) — December 4, 2009.  Appointed State Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) and three-term Buffalo Grove Village President Elliott Hartstein–who is challenging Sente in the upcoming Democratic primary–are clashing on the issue of an Illinois income tax increase. According to their questionnaires submitted to the Chicago Tribune, Sente opposes an income tax hike and … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Three Unions Totaling 40,000 Workers Back Dan Hynes for Governor

(Chicago, IL) — December 4, 2009. Three important unions yesterday endorsed Comptroller Dan Hynes’ candidacy for governor, giving the Hynes campaign a crucial boost. The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1546, and the International Brotherhood of the Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers Local 1—representing approximately 40,000 … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Barbara Currie, Lou Lang Endorse State Rep Candidate Ann Williams, Giving Boost to Campaign to Succeed John Fritchey

House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) and Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie)–the number two and three leaders respectively in the Illinois House–have endorsed Ann Williams’ candidacy. Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: New Poll Says State Rep. Ken Dunkin Faces “Classic Signs of an Incumbent in Trouble”

“These are classic signs of an incumbent in trouble. Despite his several years in office, [Ken] Dunkin’s image is remarkably thin and his job performance mixed among the Democratic base,” Continue reading »

Cronin, Froehlich, Kotowski and Lang Get “Champion for Children” Honors

(Chicago, IL) – December 3, 2009. The Child Care Association of Illinois today bestowed its “Champion for Children” award on four Illinois state lawmakers for their legislative initiatives in behalf of Illinois abused and neglected children and foster families. Being honored were: State Rep. Paul Froehlich (D-Schaumburg), State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), State Senator Dan … Continue reading »

Governor Pat Quinn Signs Bill to Tap $488 Million in New U.S.-Backed Construction Bonds

(Chicago, IL) — December 3, 2009. December 2, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn yesterday signed a bill that allows the State to issue $488 million in federal-supported bonds to fund critical capital projects, such as roads, bridges and schools. This funding is part of Quinn’s capital construction bill signed in July. Quinn estimates the capital program … Continue reading »

Happy 2nd Anniversary to Us–THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER Jumps from 2 Visits in November 2007 to 8,841 Visits In November 2009

(Chicago, IL) — December 3, 2009. Happy 2nd Anniversary to us. On November 17, 2007, THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER–originally known as Your Two Cents Less-published its first story and generated a grand total of, drum roll here, 2 visits for the month. Yep, 2. During the month of November 2009, THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER published a raft … Continue reading »

Stop the Presses—A New News Operation–Illinois Statehouse News—Opens in Springfield

(Springfield, IL) – December 3, 2009. A fresh set of eyes and ears will be covering Illinois state government. Thank goodness. Illinois Statehouse News, or ISN, is a group of journalists dedicated to covering issues of importance to Illinoisans has placed its stake in Springfield. “Cash-strapped news organizations are cutting back in many areas including … Continue reading »

Illinois 2010 Elections: Ken Dunkin’s Voter Re-Elect Support is 35%, According to Poll by Opponent David Schroeder

State Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) faces doubting voters as he seeks a fifth term. Continue reading »

White House Party Crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi Crashed 2nd Party with Roland Burris, Barack Obama–Obama Stalkers?

(Chicago, IL) – December 1, 2009. White House party crashers Michaele Salahi and her husband Tareq Salahi get around. And they seem to be stalking Barack Obama. Before they crashed President Obama’s first White House state dinner, they also crashed the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Awards Dinner on Sept. 26, 2009, according to the Associated … Continue reading »

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