has written 630 posts for THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER


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 »

Our View: Rahm’s Rush on Chicago Infrastructure Bank Wrong

Our View: Although Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced his Chicago Infrastructure Bank ordinance–a thoroughly complex proposal–only a month ago, he claims that there has been enough public debate. Continue reading »

Rahm Emanuel, Toni Preckwinkle Release Cautious Statements of Support on Quinn Illinois Pension Plan

(Chicago, IL) – April 20, 2012. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today released cautious statements of support for Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed Illinois pension plan reforms. Continue reading »

Governor Pat Quinn Announces Illinois Pension Reform Plan

(Chicago, IL) – April 20, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced an Illinois pension reform plan that he claims is expected to save taxpayers $65 to $85 billion. Continue reading »

Cook County Board OK’s Suffredin Tax Administration Office Proposal

(Chicago) – April 19, 2012. Special Report: Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-Evanston) on Tuesday won approval by the county board for a plan to create the Cook County Office of Tax Administration to coordinate the multi-layered county tax system. 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 »

Video: IL House Minority Leader Tom Cross, U.S. Rep Aaron Schock Hit Illinois Health Exchange Implementation

(Chicago, IL) — April 14, 2014. Special Report: U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria) and Illinois House Republican Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) on Friday held a press conference in Cahokia, Illinois to criticize Governor Pat Quinn and lawmakers’ efforts to move forward with plan to establish Illinois Health Exchanges, a key feature of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law. Continue reading »

Suffredin Cook County Tax Plan in Doubt as Commissioner John Fritchey Withholds Support–For Now

(Chicago) – April 14, 2012. Special Report: The fate of a plan by Democratic Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin of Evanston to streamline the county property tax system may be in doubt as another key Democratic commissioner is for now withholding support. 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 »

Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin Pushes News County Tax Administrator Plan

(Chicago) – April 13, 2012. Special Report: In the wake of other aborted attempts to streamline the administrative apparatus of Cook County’s property tax system, a top county lawmaker is rolling out another proposal for a county panel vote on Tuesday. Continue reading »

Stealing a March on Emanuel, Ald. Michele Smith Wins Approval of Local Convenience Store Liquor Sales Crackdown

(Chicago) – April 12, 2012. Special Report: While Mayor Rahm Emanuel today was revving up a new effort to crackdown on problematic convenience stores that sell liquor, 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith earlier in the week had already won approval of a measure by a Chicago City Council panel to crackdown on expanded liquor sales on a slice of North Avenue. Continue reading »

Ex-Employee Hits Art Institute of Chicago Executives with $300,000 Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

(Chicago) – April 11, 2012. Special Report: The Art Institute of Chicago may display fine art on its walls, but behind closed doors allegations are flying that top officials have displayed less than fine behavior. A former Art Institute employee has filed a lawsuit against the institution claiming she was the victim of employment sex discrimination … Continue reading »

Illinois 2012: Tammy Duckworth Issues 3rd Challenge to Joe Walsh on Super PAC Spending

(Chicago) – April 11, 2012. Tammy Duckworth today took a third swing at GOP opponent U.S.Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), calling again on him to sign a pledge to reject Super PAC spending in the general election. Walsh has ignored Duckworth’s challenges. Before she won the March 20 primary, Duckworth challenged the Tea Part’s favorite lawmaker … Continue reading »

Bending to Parents, Mayor Rahm Emanuel Sets Chicago Grade School Day Length to 7 Hours

(Chicago) – April 10, 2012. After getting an ear-full from parents, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard today announced that Chicago elementary schools will shrink their original expanded school day to a 7-hour day next year and high schools will adopt a 7 1/2-hour day. 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 »

74,000 in Illinois to Lose Food Stamps in Republican 2012 Farm Bill, Nutrition Advocates Say

(Chicago) – April 5, 2012. Special Report: Indiana U.S. Republican Senator Richard Lugar reintroduced legislation last month to cut $40 billion from federal farming support and federal nutrition assistance funding, which could eliminate food stamps for 74,000 already hungry Illinois residents, including 15,000 in Chicago. Those estimates come from a Chicago-based nutrition group which helps … 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 »

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 »

Greg Harris: “Illinois Budget Choices Before Us Are Dire”

Editor’s Note: State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) is the Chairman of the Illinois House Human Services Committee and a member of the House Appropriations Public Safety Committee. By Greg Harris Last week, the Illinois House voted to pass House Joint Resolution 69 and House Resolution 706, which are the House proposals to divvy up available … 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 »

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 »

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 »

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