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Illinois Politics

This category contains 160 posts

THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER Has Moved…

Dear Readers and Subscribers, THE iLLLINOIS OBSERVER has moved to a new Web site: http://www.illinoisobserver.net. After today, there will no longer be posts made to this site. The new site provides us an opportunity to provide more news and provide it in a more organized format that is easier on the eyes. We’re sure you’ll … Continue reading »

Governor Pat Quinn Pushes $2.7 Billion Illinois Medicaid Savings Plan

(Springfield, IL) – April 19, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced his own plan to cut Illinois Medicaid costs by $2.7 billion from the Illinois’ troubled health care program for poor. Continue reading »

Late Night: Indicted State Rep. Derrick Smith Has Stashed $100,000 in Campaign Cash… and More

(Chicago, IL) – April 16, 2012. Usually candidates­–even victors–in tough primary fights end a campaign with an empty treasury. But not indicted State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago). Smith apparently made a profit. Continue reading »

Judge Dismisses Ex-IL GOP Congressional Candidate Lawsuit Claiming Chicago Board of Trade Locks Fire Exit Doors

(Chicago, IL) – April 13, 2012. Special Report: On Friday the 13th, a federal judge decapitated a lawsuit filed by a former Illinois GOP congressional candidate against the CME Group seeking the court to order the Chicago Fire Department to be stationed at every Chicago Board of Trade emergency exit due to the alleged existence of “locked doors” where fire exit signs are posted. Continue reading »

Chicago GOP Committeemen Races See 4 Upsets, 27 New Faces

(Chicago, IL) – April 11, 2012. The March 20 GOP primary races for Chicago Republican Ward Committeemen witnessed four incumbent upsets out of 13 contested seats where incumbents were running, and saw a total of 27 new faces enter the GOP committeemen ranks, plus a jump in GOP voters going to the voting booths in Chicago. Continue reading »

Late Night: A.G. Lisa Madigan Reports Investigators See 3,200 in Illinois Trading Child Pornography Online… and More

(Chicago) — April 10, 2012. As part of crackdown on traffickers who are trading child pornography online, Attorney General Lisa Madigan revealed on Friday that her office’s investigators have monitored in the last 120 days 3,200 Illinois IP addresses trading child pornography. Continue reading »

Late Night: Beaubien Widow Reportedly to Launch Independent Challenge to GOP’s David McSweeney for House Seat… and More

(Chicago) – April 7, 2012. A conservative on-line newspaper is reporting that Dee Beaubien, the widow of State Rep. Mark Beaubien (R-Barrington), intends to run for the Illinois House as an independent against GOP nominee David McSweeney in the November 2012 election. Continue reading »

Clout Heavy Chicago Firm Gets $3.2 Million Contract to Rebuild Rosenblum Park… and More

(Chicago, IL) – April 6, 2012. The Board of Commissioners of the Public Building Commission of Chicago just announced last week on March 28 a nearly $3.2 million contract award to a clout-heavy firm for the redevelopment of Rosenblum Park on the city’s south side. Continue reading »

Late Night: Chris Welch Declares Illinois House Primary Victory–Finally… and More

(Chicago, IL) – With a 36-vote victory margin in his pocket, Emanuel “Chris” Welch finally declared victory on Tuesday over Rory Hoskins in the Democratic primary for 7th District House seat in western Cook County. Welch was waiting for Cook County Clerk David Orr to finish counting all the mail in and provisional ballots. Orr … Continue reading »

Who Are The Top 10, Bottom 10 Cook County Township Democratic, GOP Committeemen?

(Chicago, IL) – April 2, 2012. Like the City of Broad Shoulders, the 30 Cook County suburban townships collaring Chicago have their own elected Democratic and Republican committeemen who aim to push, pull, and drag voters to the polls like their city cousins–some doing it better than others. Continue reading »

Governor Pat Quinn Rolls Out New Cabinet Appointments

(Chicago, IL) – April 2, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn on Monday at 12:01 a.m. rolled-out new appointments to his administration, including a new Illinois public health chief and new budget and economic development directors. Quinn tapped Dr. La Mar Hasbrouck, who most recently served as public health director and commissioner of mental health in upstate … Continue reading »

At 50th Birthday Bash Capitol Fax Publisher Rich Miller Roasted, Charred

(Chicago, IL) – April 1, 2012. After nearly 20 years of being impaled by the rhetorical javelin hurled relentlessly by Capitol Fax Editor & Publisher Rich Miller, Illinois’ political elite gathered in phalanx formation at Maggiano’s in Chicago on Saturday evening and served up, along with the mostaccioli, heaps of steaming revenge. Continue reading »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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

(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 … Continue reading »

Will Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Endorsement Help Dem State Representative Hopeful Christian Mitchell?

(Chicago, IL) – March 1, 2012. Unlike his predecessor ex-Mayor Richard Daley, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been actively wading into Democratic legislative primary fights, and Emanuel did so again today, throwing his support to Christian Mitchell who’s locked in tough race against Kenny Johnson. Continue reading »

Boilermakers Back Kenny Johnson over Christian Mitchell in Illinois House Democratic Primary

(Chicago, IL) – February 27, 2012. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 1 has endorsed Kenny Johnson over Christian Mitchell in the Democratic primary for the seat once held by now-Chicago 4th Ward Alderman Will Burns. “Kenny Johnson has been and will continue to be a strong advocate for working families and neighborhoods,” said John … Continue reading »

THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER Gets a Subscriber Password …

Dear iLLINOIS OBSERVER Reader: Some changes are happening at THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER. For starters, this publication will begin to publish some “subscriber only” content for which you will need a password. The password for the remainder of February is: … . To get a password, please enter your e-mail address at the upper right of … Continue reading »

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Finds Additional Chicago Residents, Wants U.S. Census Bureau Redo

(Chicago, IL) – February 20, 2012. Whattya know. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has uncovered additional Chicago residents. And the mayor now wants the U. S. Census Bureau to revise Chicago’s 2010 Census count. Continue reading »

Our View: Paula Basta’s Ethics Plan is Hypocritical, Costly to Taxpayers

Our View: All candidates for elected office should follow two golden rules when they propose reforms: one, avoid exposing yourself to the charge of hypocrisy; and two, avoid costing taxpayers more money. Illinois Democratic state representative candidate Paula Basta recently violated both. On Valentine’s Day, Basta, who is challenging appointed State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) … Continue reading »

NBC Chicago Blogger Satire Stings Illinois Gay Rights Group

(Chicago, IL) – Despite the wacky, Onion-like satirical content of a post by an NBC Chicago TV blogger on a recently introduced same-sex marriage bill in Springfield, a Chicago-based gay rights group suspended disbelief to issue a stream of press releases condemning the “Lonesome No More Act,” which prompted the author to add an up-front … Continue reading »

Is Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Springfield Winning Streak Over?

(Chicago, IL) – In Springfield Rahm was on roll. He won approval for his school plan to extend the school day and school year. He won approval for the DREAM act to help enable privately-funded scholarship for undocumented students. He won approval of his speed camera plan to fine speeding drivers in school zones. He … Continue reading »

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy Pushes to Add Transgender, Immigrant, and Military to Punishable Hate Crimes

(Chicago, IL) – February 10, 2012. An Illinois House lawmaker last week introduced legislation that would add “gender identity, military status and immigration status” to Illinois’ list of punishable hate crimes. “This amendment to the hate crimes bill will create a truly inclusive act that will give law enforcement the tools they need to protect … Continue reading »

Democratic Primary Opponent Hits State Rep. Toni Berrios on CME, Sears Tax Break Vote

(Chicago, IL) – December 14, 2011. The tax break legislation for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group and Sears approved by the Illinois House on Monday was already causing political headaches for one House Democrat by Tuesday. Journalist Will Guzzardi, who is challenging incumbent State Rep. Toni Berrios (D-Chicago), in the March 2012 Democratic primary, slammed … Continue reading »

Senator Jeff Schoenberg Backs Rep. Daniel Biss for Illinois Senate

(Evanston, IL) – December 7, 2011. State Senator Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston) today endorsed first-term State Rep. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) for the north shore state Senate seat that Schoenberg is vacating. Continue reading »

Senate President John Cullerton Gets New Chief of Staff

(Springfield, IL) – November 29, 2011. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton today announced key changes to the Senate Democratic staff. Ex-Senate staffer David Gross will succeed Andrew Manar as Chief of Staff. Manar is running for an Illinois Senate seat located in Springfield. “I especially want to acknowledge the contribution of Andy Manar, who has … Continue reading »

Mayor Emanuel, Speaker Madigan, Fund-Raising Boost Rep. Kelly Cassidy’s Election Campaign against Paula Basta

(Chicago, IL) – November 19, 2011. In a significant boost to Chicago Democratic State Rep. Kelly Cassidy’s election chances, Chicago’s newly minted mayor and the state’s powerful House Speaker have rolled out their backing for the first-term North Side lawmaker. Continue reading »

Kenny Johnson Leads Christian Mitchell in Illinois State House Race, Poll Says

(Chicago, IL) – November 17, 2011. In the campaign to capture the Illinois state house seat recently held by current Chicago 4th Ward Alderman Will Burns, Kenny Johnson (D-Chicago) has a 13 point lead over Democratic primary opponent Christian Mitchell of Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, while the bulk of voters remain undecided in the contest, according to a new poll. Continue reading »

Toni Preckwinkle-Backed State Rep Candidate Draws Opponent

(Chicago, IL) – November 7, 2011. During an interview on WVON radio last week, small business owner Kenny Johnson announced his candidacy in the Democratic primary for 26th district state representative in Chicago’s south shore, south side neighborhoods. Continue reading »

Does McCormick Place Agreement Mark the High-Point of the Quinn-Emanuel Chum-Fest?

(Chicago, IL) – October 21, 2011. Despite—or because of—their growing and testy rivalry, Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today appeared with together for a press conference—where they could keep an eye on each other–to announce agreements with two McCormick Place labor unions to re-patch earlier legislated labor reforms that a court had earlier overturned stemming from a union lawsuit. Continue reading »

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy Rolls Out Advisory Committees, Senior Tax Relief, Political Reform Initiatives

(Chicago, IL) – October 21, 2011. In an ongoing burst of legislative activity since her appointment to a state house seat, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) announced this week the rollout of multiple “Citizen Advisory Committees” to be populated by community residents. “My biggest priority as a Representative is to be accessible to people and … Continue reading »

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy Hosts Environmental Forum

(Chicago, IL) – October 13, 2011. State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) this week brought academics, environmental activists, and business leaders to a forum at Loyola University to tackle environmental initiatives. Continue reading »

Will the Occupy Wall Street Movement and its Chicago Offshoot Bolster Gov. Pat Quinn ComEd “Smart Grid” Veto?

(Chicago, IL) — October 12, 2011. The thinking among Springfield insiders up until a few weeks had been that the legislature was likely to override Governor Pat Quinn’s veto of Commonwealth Edison’s “Smart Grid” bill, a measure that guaranteed the electric giant a rate increase of 6 percentage points over the 30-year Treasury rate to … Continue reading »

Gov. Pat Quinn OKs Illinois Gun Owner ID Publication Exemption, Easing Fears in Armed Illinois Households

(Springfield, IL) – July 2, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today quietly signed legislation that exempts Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification Card holders from the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, easing the fears in armed households around Illinois. “As Governor, I have made increasing openness and transparency in government one of my top priorities,” said Quinn, who … Continue reading »

Gov. Pat Quinn Signs Illinois Congressional Redistricting Map – Bye, Bye Joe Walsh

(Springfield, IL) — June 24, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed the Illinois congressional restricting map. “The people of Illinois provided input at public hearings for both the congressional and state legislative maps. I have carefully reviewed the congressional redistricting map,” said Quinn. “This map is fair, maintains competitiveness within congressional districts, and protects the … Continue reading »

Rep. Sara Feigenholtz Calls on Illinois Senate to Fix $30 Million “Mistake” to Save Mental Health Care for 20,000 Illinois Residents

(Chicago, IL) — June 21, 2011. State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) today called on the Illinois Senate to approve legislation this week that fixes a clerical “mistake” made in the budget bill sent to Governor Pat Quinn that unintentionally reduced community mental health care funding by $30 million. Continue reading »

Illinois Gets $48 Million from U.S. Government to Recover from Hurricane “Ike” storm damage in 2008

(Springfield, IL) – June 17, 2011. You remember Hurricane Ike from 2008? Well, the federal government is still dishing “recovery” cash. And Illinois is getting some. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Warren Ribley yesterday announced that Illinois is getting $48 million. Continue reading »

Gov. Pat Quinn Taps Jay Rowell as Director of Illinois Department of Employment Security

(Chicago, IL) – June 6, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn on Friday evening announced several top appointments to state agencies, including Jay Rowell as director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Rowell, who is currently the political director for the Senate President John Cullerton’s Illinois Democratic Senate operation, is a former deputy director in the … Continue reading »

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