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Illinois Politics

Saturday Odd Bits: New Illinois GOP Labor PAC Gets 1st Check; Ex-Mob Bookie’s Chicago Employment History Probed…and More

The headquarters of the new Illinois "Judicial Integrity Project" based in Hinsdale, Illinois.

(Chicago, IL) – Illinois GOP Gets Labor Love, Cash – Formed on February 22 by beer distributor and GOP donor Kevin Burke, president of LaGrange-based Burke Beverage, Inc., to help Republican state legislative candidates friendly to organized labor, the Illinois Lunch Pail Republican PAC got its first check on Friday. Chicagoland Operators Joint Labor-Management PAC kicked in $2,500.

Illinois GOP Advocacy Group Probes Chicago Employment History of Ex-Mob Bookie – The Republican-dominated Illinois Policy Institute recently asked Chicago’s City Hall for the employment and salary records of ex-Mob Bookie Ralph Peluso who was bounced from his state job at the Illinois Department of Transportation in 2010 once his former mob ties surfaced, but who was reinstated by a state arbitrator this year. Peluso reportedly last worked for the city in the 1990s. We’ll see what records the city delivers.

DuPage Couple Aims to Bring “Judicial Integrity” to Illinois – On Friday, March 2, Karen and Michael Peters of 727 S. Bruner Street in Hinsdale filed paperwork forming a new PAC, the “Judicial Integrity Project”. Donors of neither money nor integrity have yet surfaced.

Campaign Cash Rolls in for Cook County Circuit Judge Campaign – Speaking of the judiciary and money, Judge Michael Clancy, who was appointed in May 2011 and who has run twice previously for judge, today reported $11,500 in contributions, including a $5,000 check from Matthew Kipp, an executive at the Option Funding Group. If Clancy loses, he’s out of a job at the end of December.

Supreme Campaign – Cook County Democratic Supreme Court Justice candidate Joy Cunningham reported $8,500 in campaign cash on Friday, including $5,000 from Grund & Leavitt. Meanwhile, Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis thumped Cunningham’s report. Theis reported $22,750 in contributions, including $5,000 from Chicago Gold Coast “homemaker” Julie Prendergast. Appellate Court Justice Aurelia Pucinski, who is also running, filed no money on Friday. Pucinski, the ex-Cook County Circuit Court Clerk who defeated ex-Mayor Jane Byrne for the job in 1988, is reportedly leading the race in internal polling.

Illinois Realtors Love Illinois Politics – The Illinois Association of Realtors must really, really love Illinois politics. Why else would they form three separate state PACS within 10 minutes of each other? On Friday starting at 11:19 a.m until 11:31 a.m., the Realtors formed “Realtors in Opposition to Home Rule”, “Realtors in Support of Local Sales Tax and Property Tax Relief”, and “Realtors in Opposition to Real Estate Transfer Tax”. Who knows what Monday will bring.

Illinois Sierra Club Endorses 18 Illinois Legislative Candidates, One Republican – On Friday, the Illinois Sierra Club announced its 18 endorsed primary candidates, which included one lone Republican, appointed-State Senator Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove). Sandack is however running for the Illinois House against fellow Downers Grove resident Debbie Boyle. Sandack is also backed by the National Rifle Association. You don’t see that combination of backers everyday.

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Jumps into House Dem Primary Fight – The Washington, D.C.-based anti-gun group dropped $2,500 into the campaign kitty of State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) who is in a tough primary fight with lesbian activist Paula Basta. Cassidy recently introduced an ammo tax bill in Springfield which ignited the hairs of the gun-rights advocates. The Brady Campaign is providing a little air cover.

Guns Blazing … State Rep. Will Davis (D-Hazel Crest) this week shoved his hand gun registration legislation, House Bill 5831, out of the Illinois House Executive Committee on a 7-4 partisan vote. The committee vote brought cheers from the Illinois Council against Handgun Violence’s lobbyist Mark Walsh. There may be much less to cheer on any House floor vote.

Not Lovin’ It…A McDonald’s restaurant located at 6900 S. Lafayette in Chicago failed its City of Chicago food inspection on February 21. “Leaks, food debris, foul smells, and food handling complaints” were on the inspector’s menu of faults.

Tomorrow’s News … Chicago’s Red Light Cameras; Public Relations Spending – WBEZ’s Chicago Public Radio reporter Sam Hudzik is working on a story aiming to detail the payment status of 215 people ticketed by Chicago’s red light camera program since its inception…Meanwhile, Andy Shaw’s Better Government Association is breathing down the city’s neck looking for contracts on public relations spending to Chicago’s biggest public relations players.

What is a Weekend? … For Governor Pat Quinn, he has no public events on his calendar. He is likely at home rearranging his sock drawer…For Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner Michelle Boone, they will celebrate Chicago’s 175th birthday at the Chicago History Museum on Sunday starting at 1:00 p.m. Will Rahm blow out all 175 candles by himself? You betcha.

Send press releases or comments to David Ormsby at [email protected]

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.


2 Responses to “Saturday Odd Bits: New Illinois GOP Labor PAC Gets 1st Check; Ex-Mob Bookie’s Chicago Employment History Probed…and More”

  1. RE: Judicial Integrity Project: OK which one of them got busted and for what?.

    Posted by Jim Sather | March 3, 2012, 6:02 PM
  2. Jim,

    ROFL. You kill me.


    Posted by David Ormsby | March 3, 2012, 6:24 PM

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