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Archive for March 2012

Late Night: Chicago Dog Registration Zooms after Chicago Clerk Susana Mendoza Crackdown… and More

(Chicago, IL) – March 31, 2012. After a string of high-profile, vicious attacks in Chicago by unlicensed pit bulls, Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza launched a crackdown on dog registration in January, an effort which has boosted dog licenses 99.4% in the first three months of 2012. Since the launch of the crackdown in January, … Continue reading »

Gov. Pat Quinn Gives Jolt to Use of Electric Cars in Illinois

(Chicago, IL) – March 30, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and other officials yesterday announced the availability of electric car fast-charging stations at four Illinois Tollway Oasis locations, charging stations will soon be available at all seven Tollway Oasis locations. Continue reading »

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Repackages Previously Announced Construction Projects and News Media Fawns

(Chicago, IL) – March 29, 2012. Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced a repackaging of many previously announced construction projects into one, $7 billion bundle. Continue reading »

Late Night: GOP Leader Tom Cross Helps Muscle Anti-School Bullying Bill through IL House… and More

(Chicago, IL) – Providing a bi-partisan assist, Illinois House GOP Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and three other Republican lawmakers yesterday helped muscle an anti-bullying bill through the House despite en-masse opposition from the House GOP caucus. Cross, State Rep. Skip Saviano (R-Elmwood Park), State Rep. Kent Gaffney (R-Lake Barrington), and State Rep. Sid Mathias (R-Buffalo … Continue reading »

Chicago Visit by Vice President Joe Biden Could Snarl Thursday Afternoon Rush Hour

(Chicago, IL) – March 28, 2012. Due to the visit of Vice President Joseph Biden on Thursday afternoon, March 29, 2012, the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications is advising the public to expect delays on Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago land expressway systems during the afternoon rush hour. Continue reading »

Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Local Cops Bust Major Fake Pot Supplier in Central Illinois

(Springfield, IL) – March 27, 2012. Law enforcement and investigators from Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office busted a major Central Illinois synthetic drug supplier on Friday, grabbing $110,000 worth of illegal synthetic drugs, like fake pot or “bath salts”, Madigan’s office announced yesterday. An informant’s tip led Madigan’s investigators, Jerseyville Police, the Jersey County Sheriff’s … Continue reading »

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Announces More than $1.6 Million in Illegal Drugs Seized in Lawndale

(Chicago, IL) – March 26, 2012. Two gang and narcotics take-downs by Chicago police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, an operation dubbed “Operation Triple Threat,” has snared more than $1.6 million in narcotics on Chicago’s West Side. Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced at a press conference that city and federal law enforcement nabbed 35 … Continue reading »

10 Lessons Learned From 2012 Illinois Primary

Low turnout isn’t all bad: no lines to vote, quicker returns, and you get to see where the diehard voters reside in each precinct. It also teaches you some new truths. Lesson 1: Chicago Democrats are not the problem for downstate conservatives, it is apparently all Chicagoans. The conservative leadership in Illinois has been preaching about … Continue reading »

Bill Clinton to Speak at World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Chicago

(Chicago, IL) – March 26, 2012. The Chicago World Summit Host Committee today announced that ex-President Bill Clinton will deliver the keynote address to the 12thWorld Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Chicago on April 23 – 25 Continue reading »

Late Night: Barack Obama’s Illinois General Assembly Scholarship Awards Probed by BGA… and More

(Chicago, IL) – The Illinois General Assembly Scholarship Gotcha Goes to a New Level – The records relating to legislative scholarships handed out by then-State Senator Barack Obama have landed in the lap of the Better Government Association on March 7. The BGA has been on a tear to end the program. Specifically, the BGA, which … Continue reading »

New Survey: The Top 10 Independent Political and News Blogs in Illinois

(Chicago, IL) – March 24, 2012. THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER today released its second Illinois blog survey since 2009 in which it ranks 67 independent or “mom and pop” Illinois-based blogs that cover Illinois politics and local government news, and we found once again that the Chicagoist headed up the top 10 list. Independent or “mom and … Continue reading »

THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER Coverage of Illinois Primary 2012 Election Grabs 5,062 Visitors

(Chicago, IL) – March 24, 2012. The March 20, 2012 Illinois primary generated a flood of election news and a gusher of new visitors to THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER. Continue reading »

Rep. Ann Williams Applauds Illinois Senate Panel Rejection of Anti-Gay Adoption Bill

(Springfield, IL) – March 23, 2012. The Illinois Senate Executive Subcommittee on Civil Rights voted down on Thursday a Republican plan that would allow Illinois adoption agencies to refuse to serve same-sex couples seeking to adopt children. Continue reading »

Illinois Unemployment Rate Falls to 9.1% Providing a Boost to Gov. Pat Quinn

(Chicago, IL) – March 23, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn got some good news yesterday. Continue reading »

Late Night: Despite Last Minute Support from Ald. Dick Mell, Judge Hopeful Greg Ahern Loses… and More

(Chicago, IL) – “I’m With Ya” – Despite an election day switch of support by powerful 33rd Ward Alderman Dick Mell from the endorsed Democrat in the 6th judicial subcircuit race, Beatriz Santiago, to a will-financed challenger, Gregory Ahern, Ahern still lost to Santiago 3,500 to 5,640. The race totaled five candidates, including Mark Ferrante, … Continue reading »

U.S. Small Business Administration Approves Gov. Pat Quinn’s Southern Illinois Disaster Declaration Request

(Springfield, IL) – March 22, 2012. In a relentless pursuit of federal assistance, Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Illinois’ request for a U.S. Small Business Administration disaster declaration has been approved for Southern Illinois, including Harrisburg, which was whacked by deadly tornadoes in February. The declaration makes low-interest loans available to homeowners, renters … Continue reading »

Rep. Aaron Schock Campaign Committee Pays Congressman Expenses of $150,000 Since 2008, New Report Says

(Washington, D.C.) – March 22, 2012. Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington released its new report, Family Affair, detailing how members of the House of Representatives use their campaign accounts to sometimes generously reimburse themselves or pay spouses for campaign-related consulting services. Continue reading »

Federal Government Denies Help to Tornado Ravaged Harrisburg Illinois–Again; Quinn “Disappointed”

(Springfield, IL) ­– March 21, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement regarding FEMA’s denial of Illinois’ appeal for federal assistance to help people in Southern Illinois and Harrisburg walloped by the February 29 tornado. “Today we were informed that FEMA denied our appeal for federal assistance to help people in Southern Illinois … Continue reading »

Gov. Pat Quinn Hails Illinois House Passage of Legislative Scholarship Repeal

(Springfield, IL) – March 21, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today praised the Illinois House of Representatives for voting to abolish the troubled Illinois General Assembly scholarship program. The House voted, 79-25, to approve the plan, House Bill 3810, which is sponsored by State Rep. Fred Crespo (D-Hoffman Estates). “I applaud the members of the House … Continue reading »

Illinois Primary Election Results: Chicago Democratic Committeemen Races See Two Upsets, Four New Faces…Complete Results

(Chicago, IL) – March 21, 2012. Races for Chicago Democratic Ward Committeemen witnessed two incumbent upsets out of ten contested seats where incumbents were running and saw four new faces enter the committeemen ranks. Continue reading »

Illinois Primary 2012 Election Results: Garcia Clobbers Bocanegra in Chicago Green Party 12th Ward Committeeman Contest

(Chicago, IL) – March 20, 2012. The Green Party of Chicago had its own 2012 primary fight for control of the party’s 12th ward political organization. Continue reading »

Illinois Primary 2012 Election Results: Openly Gay Judge Candidate John Ehrlich is Trouncing Opponents in Chicago Judicial Election

(Chicago, IL) – March 20, 2012. In a Cook County 8th subcircuit judicial race on Chicago’s North Side, openly gay candidate John Ehrlich is trouncing his opponents in the contest, including two sitting judges, an ex-state representative, and an another openly gay candidate. Continue reading »

Illinois Primary 2012 Election Results: Senator Annazette Collins Loses; Kirk Dillard Wins… and More

(Chicago, IL) – March 20, 2012. As of 10:20 p.m., some key Illinois Senate primary race results have been settled, with one senator losing her seat. Incumbent State Senators Annazette Collins (D-Chicago) has lost to challenger Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins. Here are current the results for other key senate races: Illinois Senate 5th Democratic: Patricia Van … Continue reading »

Illinois Primary 2012 Election Results: Derrick Smith, Kelly Cassidy, David McSweeney, Silvana Tabares Win… and More

(Chicago, IL) – March 20, 2012. As of 7:44 p.m., some key Illinois House of Representative primary race results are coming in strong, with one incumbent lawmaker losing at this point. Continue reading »

Illinois Primary Election 2012: Chicago Green Party Has Committeemen Primary Fight

(Chicago, IL) – March 20, 2012. Lost in the snore-fest that is the Illinois 2012 Democratic and Republican primary election contests in Chicago, is a Green Party of Chicago primary fight. Continue reading »

Illinois Primary 2012: Is State Rep. Kelly Cassidy Heading for Victory on Tuesday?… and More

(Chicago, IL) – Storming Towards Tuesday – State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) is campaigning furiously like someone who wants to win on Tuesday. She is aiming to defeat her Democratic primary opponent, lesbian activist Paula Basta who has mounted a tough challenge. But can she? At summer’s start, Cassidy’s campaign lurched agonizingly and slowly forward, … Continue reading »

David Orr Says GOP Turn Out Up 44%, Democratic Down 45% in Cook County Early Primary Voting 2012

(Chicago, IL) – March 18, 2012. Republicans in suburban Cook County cast 44 percent more Early Voting ballots for Tuesday’s Presidential Primary than during Early Voting in 2008, Cook County Clerk David Orr announced Friday. Continue reading »

Attorney General Lisa Madigan Deploys 160 Investigator Teams to Monitor Illinois Primary Election 2012

(Chicago) – March 17, 2012. Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced yesterday that more than 160 teams of assistant attorneys general and investigators will be working on Tuesday, March 20, to monitor the Illinois primary election 2012. Continue reading »

Gov. Pat Quinn Names New Illinois Commerce Commission Member

(Chicago, IL) – March 16, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a new appointment to the Illinois Commerce Commission, tapping an energy and environment policy expert. Continue reading »

Late Night: How Did Democrat Chris Welch Snag Republican Skip Saviano’s Support?…and More

(Chicago, IL) – All Politics is Local Part I – Democratic state representative candidate Chris Welch of Hillside, who’s campaigning for an open seat in western Cook County, won the open support of the Illinois House GOP Campaign Chairman and nearby incumbent State Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano (R-Elmwood Park) in large part because he is not fellow Democrat Rory Hoskins, Welch’s top opponent in the four-way Democratic primary, sources say. Continue reading »

Gov. Pat Quinn Submits Federal Emergency Management Agency Appeal for Harrisburg Tornado

(Springfield, IL) – March 16, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn will submit an official appeal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday morning asking the agency to reconsider its denial of Illinois’ federal disaster assistance request for five Southern Illinois counties, including the town of Harrisburg in which 7 people died, walloped on February 29 by deadly tornadoes. Continue reading »

Illinois Primary Elections 2012: Illinois House Endorsements Part III

Editor’s Note: In this publication’s nearly five-year history of covering Illinois state government, we have had a policy of offering no election endorsements. For the 2012 elections and beyond, that policy has changed. Last month, THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER launched its “Endorsement Project 2012”. We gathered seasoned observers of Springfield to form an “Editorial Board” and … Continue reading »

Illinois 2012 Elections: Who Are The Top 10, Bottom 10 Chicago Dem, GOP Committeemen?

(Chicago, IL) – March 15, 2012. Who Leads the Lambs to Vote in Chicago? The Vatican has the College of Cardinals, known as the “Princes of the Church.” Chicago has Ward Committeemen. Continue reading »

Illinois Primary Elections 2012: Illinois House Endorsements Part II

Editor’s Note: In this publication’s nearly five-year history of covering Illinois state government, we have had a policy of offering no election endorsements. For the 2012 elections and beyond, that policy has changed. Last month, THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER launched its “Endorsement Project 2012”. We gathered seasoned observers of Springfield to form an “Editorial Board” and … Continue reading »

Chicago State Rep. Derrick Smith Arrested by Feds

(Chicago, IL) — March 13, 2012. State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) was arrested Tuesday on charges of accepting a $7,000 bribe to steer a Illinois grant to a daycare facility. The Chicago Democrat’s arrest comes after a three-month investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois. Smith agreed to write … Continue reading »

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz Praises Emanuel on Fullerton Parkway Bridge Reconstruction that Begins Monday

(Chicago, IL) – March 13, 2012. Mayor Rahm Emanuel‘s administration announced today that it was beginning the reconstruction of the Fullerton Parkway Bridge over the Lincoln Park Lagoon and adjacent pedestrian underpass on Monday, March 19, a step that drew praise from an area state lawmaker. “Key drainage and landscaping enhancements are provided in this … Continue reading »

This Just In … U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Leads Democratic Opponent Debbie Halvorson by 36 Points, New Poll Says

(Chicago, IL) – March 12, 2012.  A new poll obtained by THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER reveals that among likely Democratic primary voters in Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District, Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. has solidified his support and is walloping ex-Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson by 36 percentage points. Governor Pat Quinn, who was likely tipped to the poll results … Continue reading »

Illinois Primary Elections 2012: Illinois House Endorsements Part I

Editor’s Note: In this publication’s nearly five-year history of covering Illinois state government, we have had a policy of offering no election endorsements. For the 2012 elections and beyond, that policy has changed. Last month, THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER launched its “Endorsement Project 2012”. We gathered seasoned observers of Springfield to form an “Editorial Board” and … Continue reading »

Late Night: Illinois House GOP Lawmaker Backs Democrat for House… and More

(Chicago, IL)  – Friends Like This Are Hard to Find – When it is your job to help elect Republicans to the Illinois House of Representatives, an out-stretched, bi-partisan hand can seem, sometimes, stretched out of its socket when the Chairman of the Illinois House Republican campaign committee endorses a Democrat for the House. But … Continue reading »

Illinois Primary Endorsements 2012: Illinois State Senate Part II

Editor’s Note: In this publication’s nearly five-year history of covering Illinois state government, we have had a policy of offering no election endorsements. For the 2012 elections and beyond, that policy has changed. Last month, THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER launched its “Endorsement Project 2012”. We gathered seasoned observers of Springfield to form an “Editorial Board” and … Continue reading »

Obama to Illinois: Drop Dead – Feds Deny Gov. Pat Quinn’s Disaster Assistance Request for Harrisburg Tornado

(Springfield, IL) – March 11, 2012. Well, he’s not playing favorites with his home state. Continue reading »

This Just In … Gov. Pat Quinn Endorses Jesse Jackson, Jr. over Debbie Halvorson

(Chicago, IL) – March 11, 2012. Annoyed by ex-U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson’s public campaign for the job of Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary in an effort to box in Gov. Pat Quinn on the decision, Quinn today returned the favor by endorsing Halvorson’s opponent, Jesse Jackson Jr. in their congressional primary battle. Continue reading »

Illinois Primary Endorsements 2012: Illinois State Senate Part I

Editor’s Note: In this publication’s nearly five-year history of covering Illinois state government, we have had a policy of offering no election endorsements. For the 2012 elections and beyond, that policy has changed. Last month, THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER launched its “Endorsement Project 2012”. We gathered seasoned observers of Springfield to form an “Editorial Board” and … Continue reading »

Saturday Late Night: Chicago GOP Party Alleges Fellow Republican Jack Roeser Launders Campaign Cash…and More

(Chicago, IL) – Chicago GOP Clown Car: Part I – GOP State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who is laying the groundwork for a 2014 gubernatorial campaign, on Friday jumped into the backseat of the clown car that is the Chicago Republican Party, endorsing the party’s current driver, Eloise Gerson, who is locked in a bitter primary battle against Chicago Young Republican Tom Smithburg for the booby prize of Chicago’s 42nd Ward GOP Committeeman post. Continue reading »

Chicago Parents Abandon Kids: Local School Council Elections Lack 5,000 Candidates, Filing Deadline Extended

(Chicago, IL) – March 9, 2012. What if an election was planned and no candidates showed up? That’s the problem facing the Chicago Public Schools. With a shortage of nearly 5,000 local school council candidates, CPS has extended the candidate deadline to file election petitions to Friday, March 23. So far, only 2,060 candidates have … Continue reading »

Late Night: Poll Says Kenny Johnson Leads Christian Mitchell; Who Wants Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Private Cell Phone Bills?… and More

(Chicago, IL) – Over the Cliff Together – Governor Pat Quinn’s opposition to a bi-partisan revenue estimate resolution, sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), which was $221 million below the Governor’s estimate, was well known. The Illinois Responsible Budget Coalition, chaired by John Bouman, also criticized the Madigan-Cross … Continue reading »

Late Night: Poll Says Silvana Tabares Leads Rudy Lozano; Nursing Home Reform Imperiled?… and More

(Chicago, IL) – Transparency for Everyone – At an Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing today, State Senator Martin Sandoval’s plan to subject Illinois non-profits who receive state money to the state’s Freedom of Information Act unleashed a storm of opposition from, unsurprisingly, non-profits. Among them at the hearing was the influential Donors Forum of Chicago. … Continue reading »

Wednesday Watch: The Most Expensive Illinois Legislative Primary? Judicial Pensions on the Table?…and More

(Springfield, IL) – And The Prize For Most Expensive Primary So Far Goes To… GOP State Senators Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) and Christine Johnson (R-Shabbona) for harvesting $581,100 with which to clobber each other. Second Prize Goes To… State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) and State Rep. Chris Nybo (R-Lombard) for vacuuming in $512,800 for their slugflest. … Continue reading »

Gov. Pat Quinn, County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Dump Illinois Medical District Commissioners

(Chicago, IL) – March 6, 2012. Launching a joint strike, Governor Pat Quinn and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today dumped five commissioners on the financially troubled Illinois Medical District Commission and replaced them with fresh appointees. Continue reading »

Tuesday Tips: Chicago North Side Judge Campaign Rolls in Dough, Rolls Out Cable Ad; Emanuel Wants to Lease City Land to Catholic Charities for $1 … and More

(Chicago, IL) – Chicago North Side Judge Campaign Rolls in Dough, Rolls Out Video Ad ­– Judge Celia Louise Gamrath, who is hustling by going door-to-door for a seat from the lakefront 8th Judicial Subcircuit on Chicago’s north side once held Chicago’s first openly gay judge, Tom Chiola, is out with a polished video ad … Continue reading »

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