More Election Coverage
ANALYSIS: By Tuesday night, organized labor was shouting “pension theft,” while Republican candidates for governor either grumbled about the constitution or a raw deal for taxpayers. But once again, it was Gov. Pat Quinn who walked away smiling.
Gov. Pat Quinn Monday championed a landmark pension-reform deal and vouched for its constitutionality as he and legislative leaders frantically prepared for what the governor called “the most important fiscal vote” lawmakers will ever make.
If Jim Oberweis wants to run for the U.S. Senate, he should be ready to deal with some long memories, says the longtime holder of the seat he’s after — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin.
This summer, the Metra patronage scandal erupted after an allegation that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan tried getting the rail agency to give a raise to a campaign worker who held a state job. Tempers once again flared after the Sun-Times revealed that the raise request — which Madigan said he later withdrew — came even as that worker, Patrick Ward, was already drawing a pubic pension roughly equal to his $57,000 annual salary. A new bill in Springfield, however, would ban such practices. The new legislation dubbed: “Retirement Means Retirement Act” proposed by state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, takes
The sky will soon be the limit for candidates raising cash to run for governor. Wealthy venture capitalist Bruce Rauner is putting $500,000 of his own money into his Republican campaign kitty.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) on Monday said the only hope for a Republican taking control of the governor’s mansion in Illinois is to remain moderate on social issues. Kirk, the state’s ranking Republican, said he wouldn’t endorse in the four-way GOP primary for governor. But he offered some advice. “It’s pretty tough to win statewide as a Republican in Illinois. I would just urge, be a moderate on the social issues,” he said.
SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Pat Quinn announced Thursday he plans to sign legislation allowing same-sex marriages on Nov. 20 at the UIC Forum, a venue that can hold as many as 3,000 people. Quinn’s office said the free event will be open to anyone who wants to attend but asked those planning to go to register at a website the administration established: www.Equality.Illinois.gov.
SPRINGFIELD — Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s legislative offensive against lenient gun sentences stalled at the Capitol Thursday in the face of opposition from the Rev. Jesse Jackson and what the mayor derided as “political stunts” by a key bloc of black lawmakers. As the House and Senate concluded their scheduled fall session, other issues wound up on the legislative cutting-room floor, as well, as lawmakers failed to act on state pension reform and a series of corporate tax incentives sought by Archer Daniels Midland and other companies.
A personal friend of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White who also held a $75,000-a-year job in his office was at the center of an internal probe that allegedly found she was double-billing her time with the state. The investigation also concluded she had lied about her background — including having nine variations of her name in public records. The woman, Marlene Liss, left the office in September when a report by the office’s inspector general was finalized.
The state Legislature may have resolved a hot-button social issue on Tuesday — but that doesn’t mean questions about same-sex marriage are off the table for four Republican candidates running for governor. It’s likely to re-emerge throughout the Republican gubernatorial primary — even as GOP contenders push to shift the focus to the state’s dismal finances.
“Tonight, I applaud the men and women of the Illinois General Assembly, a body in which I was proud to serve, for voting to legalize marriage equality in my home state. “As President, I have always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated …
Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is now in custody in federal prison in North Carolina Tuesday morning after some initial confusion on Monday when he tried to turn himself in but couldn’t.
Gov. Pat Quinn vowed Friday not to give “any more” school construction money to the scandal-tainted United Neighborhood Organization after word surfaced this week of a federal securities probe into the clout-heavy group that’s spent tens of millions of dollars in state grant funds building charter schools. “My judgment is we’re not going to give any more construction money to UNO given the situation that they have found themselves in,” Quinn told reporters. On Thursday, aides to the governor disclosed they froze the last $15 million from a $98 million grant that lawmakers and the governor approved in 2009 for
As government doors reopened Thursday following a painful, 16-day economic odyssey, some of the nation’s top business groups were taking a hard look at their political strategy. Specifically: how to counter Tea Party members who brought the country to the brink of default. The political arm of the National Retail Federation said it was reviewing 25 different primaries and would likely invest in challengers in a small group of them. “This was a man-made disaster. This didn’t have to happen,” David French, the National Retail Federation’s top lobbyist, told the Sun-Times on Thursday.
Judging by their running-mate picks, the four Illinois Republican candidates for governor recognize their party needs an image makeover. While there are four white males competing in the Republican primary, each has chosen either a woman or a minority as his choice for lieutenant governor in the GOP quest to take control of the governor’s mansion. The reason? To try to appeal to more than just white males. On Tuesday, candidate Bruce Rauner was the latest, tapping Evelyn Sanguinetti — a Spanish-speaking Wheaton city councilwoman, first generation citizen.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is exploring the possibility of raising the city’s tax on amusements, cigarettes, liquor and personal property lease transactions to chip away at a $338.7 million budget shortfall, City Hall sources said Friday. New revenues are needed to close at least part of a gap that will balloon to nearly $1 billion next year without a solution to the city’s pension crisis. Property and sales tax increases have been ruled out. So have increased taxes on natural gas, bottled water, soft drinks and parking, which the mayor has already targeted twice. But, that leaves a host of taxes
An ex-Marine living on Chicago’s South Side once worked to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military. Now, Marquell Smith is taking on a battle closer to home. The 32-year-old native of the West Side’s Austin neighborhood launched a new political action committee on Thursday night that aims to mobilize people of color behind the effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois.
Millionaire venture capitalist Bruce Rauner reported Tuesday that he has raised $1 million for his GOP gubernatorial primary race over the past three months — marking the third consecutive quarter he reached or neared seven figures in donations. The rate at which Rauner is raising money appears to be dwarfing his opponents. But so too is the rate at which he’s spending it. The Rauner campaign reports it will have about $600,000 cash on hand by the time filings are due Oct. 15, having spent around $2.3 million. The period covered by the reports is the three months ending Monday
State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) said he wasn’t planning to make a run against U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. But he could be persuaded. A privately-commissioned We Ask America poll conducted this week showed Oberweis, 67, trailing Durbin by 11 percentage points. Of those surveyed, 38.6 percent said they would back Oberweis and 49.9 percent said they would support the Springfield Democrat.
Hillary Clinton knows Illinois, politics, luck — and Bill Daley. And the former secretary of State joked Wednesday that all of that worked out quite well for Gov. Pat Quinn. “He’s just been entered into the Guinness World Records Book as luckiest politician,” she quipped at a charity luncheon in Chicago.
ANALYSIS: It’s official. Pat Quinn is the luckiest person in Illinois politics. The incumbent governor who is lagging in opinion polls and heading a state in the midst of a fiscal crisis, is on a path to coast to a March 2014 Democratic Primary victory without spending a nickel of his campaign cash. Just a few months ago, Quinn faced the possibility of a three-way primary.
In a stunning political development, former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley is dropping out of the governor’s race because, as one longtime political friend put it Monday, he didn’t have the “fire in the belly.” When asked if he was throwing his hat out of the ring, Daley said emphatically: “Yes.” Daley, the brother and son of former Chicago mayors, scheduled a news conference for Tuesday morning at the Union League Club, where his spokesman said the former Commerce Secretary would explain his decision to voters.
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois may be broke, but it isn’t so poor that it can’t afford to equip the Capitol offices of 19 state senators and a corps of legislative staffers with nearly $500,000 worth of new office furniture. That expenditure is the latest costly piece of a controversial $50 million makeover that Gov. Pat Quinn says has turned the Illinois Statehouse into a Midwestern version of the “Palace of Versailles.” The purchases, which will mean $7,100 in new furniture for each state senator moving into a new office, are being financed through a long-term borrowing plan that means taxpayers won’t
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) has increasingly stepped into the spotlight over the last several months; as a searing critic of the Obama Administration’s handling of the IRS scandal, as a vocal opponent to the new health care law and as a proponent for a piecemeal approach to immigration reform. Last week, the U.S. House Chief Deputy Whip from suburban Chicago made news again on diverging fronts – he stood apart from party leadership saying he was a “no” vote on use of military force in Syria — but also was hit with the unwelcome announcement that a House ethics
On the eve of the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States, President Barack Obama stood before a war-weary nation Tuesday night making the case for a military strike against Syria — if diplomacy fails. In a 15-minute speech from the White House, Obama argued the need to take action against a leader whom Obama painted as a dangerous dictator whose atrocities would only worsen if gone unpunished. At the same time, Obama announced he would ask Congress to postpone a vote on the use of force in Syria until diplomatic negotiations had run