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This just in… Lane Evans to retire

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006

Things are gonna get interesting very fast.

WASHINGTON — Rep. Lane Evans, who has battled Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade, has told fellow Illinois Democrats here that he intends to announce his retirement from Congress.

Evans, who was hospitalized for a brief period in February, had not cast a vote in the House since Feb. 14 and had not reported to work in his Washington office for more than a month. He began informing members of the Illinois delegation today and plans to make a public announcement as soon as this afternoon. […]

A spokesman for Evans could not immediately be reached for comment. But three officials from the Illinois delegation confirmed that Evans, 54, had told party officials of his decision to retire.

Who do you think will be slated? Maybe this guy? Or maybe Ted?

UPDATE: Comments closed. Go here to continue the discussion.

- Posted by Rich Miller   88 Comments      


Late morning shorts - UPDATED x2

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006

I missed these earlier and rather than do yet another update, I figured I’d give the links their own posts.

· Charlie Johnston: “The hot rumor flying around Springfield and Chicago yesterday was that State Sen. James Meeks and Jim Oberweis were going to team up in a third-party run for governor and lite guv.”

· Cal Skinner: “The End of the (Political) World As We Know It?” Read the whole thing. Very good stuff.

· Tom Roeser: The idea, propounded by the minister-pol, that State Senator James Meeks would be attractive to social conservatives and thus could get votes beyond the African American community as the nominee of an “Honesty and Integrity” third party is ridiculous. Meeks is proposing an income tax hike to cover a $1 billion hike in educational spending and supports further gun-control. These don’t go hand-in-hand with social conservatism, a philosophy that needs a perfect four-pro-life, anti-special favoritism for gays, anti-gun control and no new taxes in order to be effective. But if his candidacy really got going, it would depress Blagojevich’s numbers, that’s for sure…

· How many aldermen met with James Meeks yesterday? Tribune says 9. Sun-Times says “about a dozen.” ABC7 says 14.

· NBC5 has posted an online poll asking whether Meeks should run for governor.

· New SurveyUSA numbers. Durbin, 48 percent job approval, 40 percent disapprove. Obama, 70 percent approval, 25 percent disapprove. Trendlines here and here.

· Hiram: Democratic unity in DuPage, part 1 and part 2.

· “An effort to stop radical anti-gay protesters from disrupting soldiers’ funerals is hung up in the Illinois Senate, as proponents wrestle with union concerns that the law could be used to curtail legitimate labor protests by cemetery workers.”

· The Ten Commandments for CTA riders

· 11th Hour disagrees with Leach on seatbelt stuff.

· Primary colors.

UPDATE:

· Huh?

Visitors to Illinois’ capital city last week might have been wondering if they’d taken a wrong turn somewhere in Iowa. Flying atop a state historic building under construction across the street from the busy Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum was a University of Iowa Hawkeyes flag.

The flag flapped in the spring breeze for at least a couple of days before state officials discovered it and had the banner removed over the weekend. “When we found out about it, we immediately contacted the contractor and had them take the flag down,” said David Blanchette, spokesman for the Illinois Capital Development Board. “Only U.S. and state flags should be flying on top of state buildings, whether under construction or otherwise.

UPDATE 2:The capital bill has been on the ropes since before the governor unveiled it, so this isn’t really a new revelation, but at least he’s on the record.

A key state lawmaker cast more doubt Monday on the future of a long-sought road and school construction program.

Senate President Emil Jones, D-Chicago, put the chances that a $3.2 billion building program would win General Assembly approval this spring at “maybe 50 percent.”

That assessment is the latest sign that Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s plan likely will be postponed for another year as lawmakers head toward a mid-April, election year adjournment.

Blagojevich has been unable to convince Republicans to support the package, which must be approved by a three-fifths majority of lawmakers in both the House and Senate.

The program would earmark $2.3 billion for road and bridge construction projects, $425 million for mass transit and $500 million to help local school districts replace crumbling schools and add classrooms.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      


Protected: Subscribers only - One more precinct counted… plus roundups

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006

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Question of the day

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006

Every now and then I run out of ideas for our question of the day. Today is one of them. On days like this, I usually ask what questions that people would like to see here. Let’s do that again.

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      


Ryan trial is a freaking mess -UPDATED

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006

Oy.

A federal judge announced Monday that she has dismissed two jurors from former Gov. George Ryan’s racketeering and fraud trial and added that she is still trying to determine whether the stalled jury deliberations can be restarted.

“I haven’t made any final decisions about whether we will be able to proceed,” U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer told reporters after dismissing the two jurors.

Pallmeyer said that if she decides to avoid a mistrial and push ahead, she plans to call the jurors back into the courtroom, give them a fresh set of instructions and start deliberations from scratch. The plan could add weeks to the trial, which is now in its sixth month.

And restarting the trial apparently would require replacing the two jurors with alternates - something Ryan’s attorneys oppose.

Pallmeyer said, however, that she wanted to go ahead with the trial if she felt that the jury would be able to deliberate fairly.

If we’re not heading for a mistrial, then the appeals of this decision could mean Ryan never serves a day in prison. Then again, federal defendants often have to serve time while awaiting appeal.

And the Tribune explains how it broke the story.

Reporters frequently interview jurors after a case ends and the jurors are dismissed from duty. In preparation for a verdict, Tribune reporter Ray Gibson was checking computer databases for information about the jurors. He was not looking for criminal histories but was interested in the jurors’ political affiliations.

On the first screen of links to records for one juror, Gibson came across a 1995 felony conviction for aggravated DUI. The charge indicated the man had prior DUIs as well.

Police reporter David Heinzmann then located court and criminal records for the man, and Gibson and federal courts reporter Matt O’Connor matched information from those records with the answers given by the juror on his jury questionnaire. By Wednesday night, it was clear to the reporters and their editors that the records indicated that it was the same man.

UPDATE: I don’t know how I missed this, but NBC5 reporter Phil Rogers is blogging the trial.

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


Meeks moves ahead - UPDATED

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006

Sen. James Meeks is moving further, faster than most people predicted.

A big show of support Monday for a Democratic state senator who is considering a bid for Illinois governor. James Meeks met with more than a dozen of Chicago’s African-American aldermen. The aldermen say they would support Meeks if he ran for governor as an independent.

The possibility of South Side pastor-politician James Meeks running for governor as an independent is now more than whisper. Meeks met with 14 of Chicago’s 19 black aldermen Monday morning, and the result of that meeting exposed what could become a huge crack in the Democratic party’s foundation.

“The African-American vote will not be taken for granted,” said Meeks.

Following their closed door meeting with the Reverend Senator Meeks, the aldermen and several state representatives expressed their dissatisfaction with Democratic governor Rod Blagojevich.

“We’re meeting now to see if we want to get rid of him or how we’re going to get rid of him or how soon,” said Ald. William Beavers, 7th Ward.

“He’s not delivered any goods to our community and we’re going to figure out a way to get rid of him or get a piece of the pie,” said Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th Ward.

The Tribune has more complaints.

“There is a feeling amongst the group there is just not enough coming from [Gov. Blagojevich’s] office,” [Ald. Ike] Carothers said. “We’re talking about programs for job training, programs for ex-offenders, all kinds of social programs, summer jobs, that really are needed more in the African-American community than anywhere else.”

Brookins complained that after two African-American girls were killed by stray gunfire in Englewood recently, Blagojevich “showed up, made a TV cameo appearance, but there is no real commitment to helping fix that particular problem.”

“The guys who are running for these top offices can no longer discard our community,” said Ald. Ed Smith (28th). “They have to talk to us.”

And NBC-5 had a story yesterday about Meeks’ Sunday sermon. Check out the video here.

State Sen. James Meeks preached before his church congregation of thousands on Sunday that he might be considering a run for Illinois governor.

Meeks’ challenge to white voters could grow into a very big problem for Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

“Come on with me white churches … Call me and tell me to run for governor,” Meeks said. “White people who believe in Jesus, call me and tell me to run for governor”

Meeks is an Illinois senator in the 15th District. He is counting on an anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage platform to appeal to conservative white Christians.

“If I do run and there are two people in the race who both are not standing for morality, if I don’t have every white Christian vote in the state of Illinois, I will stand on top of the Sears Tower and call every one of ya’ll racist,” Meeks said from his pulpit.

When asked whether he would run, Meeks said he would make the decision after the public got a chance to hear his challenge.

UPDATE: NBC5 has a new story online. No text yet, but the video is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      


Crossing the line, Part 9,284

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006

Once again, the governor brazenly uses taxpayer dollars to promote his re-election campaign.

Each of the state’s roughly 2,700 pharmacies would be required to post a sign with Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s name on it that details what options customers have in buying contraceptives under a proposal the governor announced Monday.

Blagojevich’s plan comes during an election year in which he is pushing health-care issues, and it follows a controversial order he put into place last year requiring pharmacies that sell contraceptives–including the morning-after pill–to dispense them without delay.

Blagojevich said this newest order, which would take effect around Labor Day, is aimed at pharmacists who have lied when telling women that contraceptives are not in stock. On Monday, the state agency that regulates pharmacies filed a formal complaint against one Downstate pharmacist, alleging that she tried to skirt the rule in January by telling a customer that the morning-after pill was not available when it was. […]

At a Monday news conference, Blagojevich presented a prototype of a sign that the state would like to see pharmacies post, which included the governor’s name at the bottom.

A spokesman for Republican Judy Baar Topinka, who will face Blagojevich in the November election, said Topinka agrees with Blagojevich’s concept. But spokesman David Loveday noted that the governor might be violating the spirit of ethics legislation intended to crack down on the use of taxpayer dollars for political purposes. “A sign with a number on it to call is one thing, but like everything he’s done, if the signs go up around Labor Day, that close to the election, that will raise a question about what the real purpose is,” Loveday said.

And before you say anything, yes, everybody does it, but this is the same guy who led the charge against using state funds to advertise incumbents.

UPDATE: And then there’s this.

State auditors are questioning nearly $500,000 paid to advertising agencies retained by the state to inform motorists about the Dan Ryan Expressway reconstruction project that starts Friday, according to documents obtained by the Tribune.

The audit documents, obtained through sources at the Illinois Department of Transportation, say little or no documentation backs up thousands of dollars in taxpayer money paid by IDOT to politically connected ad firms to sponsor events such as the Bud Billiken Day Parade and Today’s Black Women Expo. The auditors questioned how those events helped educate drivers on how to steer clear of the massive $600 million highway project.

Taxpayers also paid $25,000 as reimbursement for sweat suits, polo shirts, T-shirts, pens, bracelets and key chains with no documentation that the items were ever purchased, the audit documents said.

Another $150 covered the costs for an ad agency official to attend a dinner honoring Robin Black, who had been IDOT’s chief of staff. Black, who resigned in December, signed off on many of the payments in question, auditors noted.

The public also paid former state Rep. Charles Morrow (D-Chicago) $23,566 in questionable reimbursements for insurance premiums and alleged overbillings for work at an advertising agency, auditors said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      


Morning shorts - UPDATED

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006

· I’m not saying that Sen. Hendon’s remarks were appropriate. They were clearly out of line and inappropriate for the state Senate. He should apologize. But I can’t help but wonder whether at least a little bit of the uproar has to do with the fact that he’s a black man and Sen. Axley is a white woman.

· Quote of the month: (Gov. Rod Blagojevich) ran the most cynical campaign I’ve ever seen and turned off more people than I’ve ever seen turned off. Here’s a guy who says there’s no campaign; he’s too busy governing to campaign. But he’s not too busy to cut 15 commercials and spend a million and a half dollars on ads. Mr. Testicular Virility could not get it up for one debate or one forum with Mr. Eisendrath. Now he’s challenging Judy Baar Topinka to 10 debates. Maybe he had his political Viagra this week. (Andy Shaw on “Chicago Tonight, the Week in Review.”)

· Blagojevich emerges from hiatus

· Trib asks, “Will the pols ground Peotone?”

· “Nearly a week after voters went to the polls, Cook County election officials Monday afternoon were poised to declare 100 percent of precincts reporting.”

· GOP officials ready to go ‘full throttle’ against Bean

· Gov wants tax credits to help vets find jobs

· FEMA still hasn’t gotten back to Springfield on what–if any–federal assistance it should expect for tornado recovery.

UPDATES:

· Proving once again that he has no sense of humor, Edwin Eisendrath didn’t like my Sun-Times column. (Scroll down.)

· Animal Farm cranks out the copy today. Good stuff.

· Leach is completely unimpressed with Topinka’s response to the seat belt thing. Make sure to read this today.

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      


Protected: THIS JUST IN… FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Overtime looking much more likely (Use the password from today’s Capitol Fax - all upper-case)

Monday, Mar 27, 2006

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Enter your password to view comments      


Afternoon shorts

Monday, Mar 27, 2006

· My newspaper column: “I’m not sure how long it will last, but black voters in Cook County are united and fired up right now like they haven’t been in a long time.”

· Laura Washington’s column: “Black voters and the machine teamed up to decapitate Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool’s “reform” bid. As I have noted before, a reform campaign that lacks significant black, Latino and gay support had better dial 911.”

· “It’s My Mind” blog also weighs in on this topic. I’m gonna invite this person to post at Illinoize.

· Mayor Daley says a James Meeks candidacy could jeopardize the entire Democratic slate of candidates for statewide office.

· Oby stuff: “Failed governor candidate Jim Oberweis is setting his sights on a spot on the Republican Party’s governing body and also might run for Kane County GOP chairman to ensure he gets it.”

· Trib editorializes on behalf of assault weapons ban, admits: “Let’s acknowledge up front that a state ban might well not have spared the two girls from Englewood. Their killers could fairly easily have gotten the weapons in a neighboring state, legally or illegally. Does that mean a state law is a bad idea? No.”

· Guv, Topinka spar over All Kids.

· “A top Chicago Democrat is defending Republican Judy Baar Topinka on the subject of seat belt laws.”

· “Missouri applauded for tort reform; reports says Illinois lags”

· “Governor Blagojevich introduces new rule to ensure women’s access to prescription contraceptives after new tactic to deny women access to birth control surfaces “

· Watchdogs fight I-PASS changes

· Topinka responds to seat belt stuff: “Firing back, the Topinka campaign drew attention to a recent state audit that faulted the administration of Gov. Blagojevich for failing to spend $12.8 million in federal traffic safety funds. ‘Rod is worried about votes 20 years ago, but we are about to lose $13 million for traffic safety,’ Germann said.”

· Rep. Fritchey mulls the possibility of an overtime session.

· Speaking of which, lots going on at Illinoize today.

· OpenLine blog looks at Sangamon County results and predicts trouble for the guv.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


The battle continues

Monday, Mar 27, 2006

More craziness at the Ryan trial.

Attorneys for former Gov. George H. Ryan asked a federal judge today not to substitute alternate jurors for any who might be dismissed during contentious deliberations at his corruption trial.

“Even if an alternate juror were able to avoid all the substantial press and publicity surrounding deliberations, it is simply not possible to expect that he or she could engage in meaningful, constitutionally required deliberations with jurors who have already spent two and a half weeks deliberating the case in detail,” Ryan attorneys Dan Webb, Bradley Lerman and Timothy J. Rooney wrote.

The move came as U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer huddled with prosecutors and defense attorneys behind closed doors this morning to try to sort out a rapidly escalating mess with the jury.

Pallmeyer spent the weekend investigating whether two of the jurors lied on their applications when they said they’d never been charged with a crime. One of the jurors, a suburban man, has four convictions for drunk driving, including felony. The other juror, a Chicago woman, had been charged with several drug and domestic offenses but was never convicted. […]

“Nor can the original jurors be expected to erase from their minds conclusions (or partial verdicts) they have reached over the past two weeks. Asking them to ‘start delib-erations anew’ is asking the impossible,” Ryan’s lawyers wrote.

I almost never get any comments on Ryan trial stuff, which has always been somewhat puzzling to me.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


Question of the day

Monday, Mar 27, 2006

Of all the people who lost statewide on Tuesday, which ones are most likely to run again?

Here’s a list: Brady, Oberweis, Gidwitz, Wegman, Rauschenberger, Mangieri.

Oh, yeah. And Eisendrath. Already forgot about hm.

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      


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Monday, Mar 27, 2006

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Blagojevich vs. Topinka

Monday, Mar 27, 2006

As I told you Saturday, the governor issued a press release on state time chastising Judy Baar Topinka on the assault weapons ban. Here’s how the Tribune covered it.

Using taxpayer-financed resources, Gov. Rod Blagojevich issued a letter and news release Saturday asking his Republican re-election opponent, Judy Baar Topinka, to support his call for an assault weapon ban.

A campaign aide to Topinka, the state treasurer and the lone GOP statewide officeholder, criticized Blagojevich’s use of state materials for what the aide said was a blatant campaign-oriented letter.

“He’ll do everything he can to win, whether it’s raising millions of dollars for his political war chest through pay-to-play politics, to using state resources to try to win the governorship,” said Topinka spokesman Roger Germann.

But a spokeswoman for the governor said Blagojevich thinks he needs help in attracting suburban Republican votes for the weapons ban legislation. “We thought as we’re trying to get the votes we need, that we would ask one of the state’s leading Republicans,” said the governor’s spokeswoman, Rebecca Rausch.

On Sunday, Topinka was hit for a 20-year-old vote on seat belt use.

State Senator John Cullerton raised questions today about Judy Baar Topinka’s record as a lawmaker more than 20 years ago.

The Chicago Democrat says the legislation Topinka opposed in the 1980s making the use of seat belts mandatory has helped saved lives. Cullerton spoke at a press conference organized by Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s re-election campaign.

Blagojevch did not attend. But a woman whose daughter was killed in an auto accident in Ireland was there.

No offense, but Ireland?

While national GOP chairman Ken Mehlman was in town to boost Topinka, he was asked about Bob Kjellander’s role as national committeeman.

“He’s someone who is very smart. He is someone who is very committed to helping expand our party and strengthen our party and to public service,” Mehlman said of Kjellander. “I’ve worked closely with him, and I disagree with that analysis very much and believe he has been a great servant for the state, and also for the party and the president.”

And Doug Finke had some interesting thoughts.

Just a day after winning the Democratic nomination for governor, Gov. ROD BLAGOJEVICH announced he wants a $1-per-hour increase in Illinois’ minimum wage. In a news release issued with the announcement, Blagojevich said he would seek the increase “during a second term as governor,” presumably meaning sometime in the next four years.

Blagojevich made the announcement in Chicago. Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. PAT QUINN was trotted out in Springfield to make the same pitch. Quinn sounded a little more urgent.

“In this election, they (Republicans) should take a position,” Quinn said. “Are they for raising the minimum wage in Illinois from $6.50 to $7.50 an hour right now? We need to do it, not sometime in the future.”

And: “If we want to help families … there’s no excuse to say it’s not the right time. When is the right time? It’s got to be now. My view is the sooner, the better.”

Funny thing, though, Blagojevich never mentioned the minimum wage in his State of the State speech in January. The minimum wage was $6.50 an hour then, and if it is inadequate now, it was inadequate then. If Blagojevich had raised the issue in January, it might have passed by now.

But there’s still time. The General Assembly has two weeks left before its scheduled adjournment. Blagojevich’s enormously complicated All Kids health insurance plan for children passed in just three days last fall. A straightforward thing like increasing the minimum wage should have no problem getting approved in two weeks.

- Posted by Rich Miller   60 Comments      


Blagojevich has problems with Meeks and Jackson

Monday, Mar 27, 2006

As I told Capitol Fax readers this morning, Gov. Blagojevich is taking hits from both Sen. James Meeks and Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Power concedes nothing without a demand,” [Meeks] says, quoting Frederick Douglass. “And the African-American constituency, we have not placed a demand on the Democratic Party.”

Meeks cites the $40 million World Shooting Complex in downstate Sparta as an example of a project that received state funds because its supporters are perceived to be swing voters.

“Three hundred million dollars went to Republican pet projects to get their support on the budget,” he says, after offering a blessing over our meals. “Nine million dollars went to a meth clinic in Southern Illinois. But we’ve got crack, cocaine and heroin on the North and West Sides. Where are those clinics?”

And then there’s this

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. believes Gov. Rod Blagojevich is trying to derail the proposed Peotone airport project.

“He wants to appease Daley,” Jackson said of the governor and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. “He doesn’t care if the project gets done.”

Jackson, D-Chicago, made his statement Friday at a Herald News editorial board meeting. He also said the governor keeps telling all of the parties vying for control of the airport what they want to hear.

“He’s telling (Senate Majority Leader) Debbie Halvorson one thing. He’s telling (Will County Executive) Larry Walsh one thing. … He’s telling me something else,” Jackson said. “He means to keep everybody fighting so it doesn’t get done.”

Meeks also had another interesting thing to say, by the way.

“You’ll have Judy Baar Topinka, who believes in abortion and gay rights . . . and Rod Blagojevich, who believes in abortion and gay rights,” says Meeks, who opposes both. “Theologically, politically, for the white conservative voter, I’m their guy. I have their philosophy.”

Except that he’s anti-gun, which could be a big issue for the Right if he gets into the race.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


Not so good

Monday, Mar 27, 2006

Kane County Circuit Court Clerk Sandy Wegman didn’t do too well in her home county, finishing third in the lt. governor’s race and receiving less than 17 percent of the vote.

Jim Oberweis, who lives in Kane County and is thinking about running for Kane County GOP Chairman, among other things, finished first, but was held below 40 percent.

Jack Roeser, whose greatest political highlights in recent years has been defeating one school referendum after another, finally lost a big referendum vote on Tuesday.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      


Morning shorts

Monday, Mar 27, 2006

· Newspaper mulls over the question of why “race refuses to stay out of elections.”

· “Glitches in new voting machines in Illinois’ primary elections last week may foreshadow snafus in several states this year, as more than 30.6 million voters are expected to encounter new equipment when they go to the polls.”

· Gender not an issue for Topinka

· 2nd Ryan juror in question

· Weird lede: “Asian carp clogging Illinois rivers could be used to feed inmates and the starving under a proposal being championed by one state lawmaker.”

· Dental care for poor poses looming crisis

· Invite the entire state to debates

· Local legislators call for party unity

· Another Bronze age

· Marin: What do women want — Rod or Judy?

· Crisis at affordable housing financer as city risks losing 2,000 apartments for low-income renters

· Steve Rauschenberger: “The problem wasn’t money after joining with Ron Gidwitz. The problem was as lieutenant governor, you don’t have a message” […] “I was hopeful Ron would promote the team more strongly. He spent a lot of time on TV, but the problem was I was only in about 2½ weeks of (commercials). And that’s when we were climbing in the polls, when we were both featured on TV.”

· Rockford mayor is open for bids.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


Crossing the line?

Saturday, Mar 25, 2006

On Saturday morning, the governor’s state office issued a press release calling on Judy Baar Topinka to support the assault weapons ban. From a state press release:

Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today sent a letter to State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka urging her to change her position and support a statewide assault weapons ban. The Governor believes Topinka, as the only republican statewide officer holder, can help convince republican lawmakers to vote for the ban.

This is dangerously close to crossing over the line of using state resources to campaign. I’ll open comments on Monday.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Sunday leaders meeting notes: Madigan counts the minutes, Republicans claim "new level of stalling"
* *** UPDATED x1 *** *** LIVE *** Leaders meeting coverage
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Mendoza transition team responds to the Sun-Times' Madigan conspiracy theory
* *** UPDATED x1 - Durkin responds *** Back to the future: Madigan demands "memorandums of understanding"
* Question of the day
* Shimkus loses out on plum post
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Moody's says Rauner veto is just one of many problems facing CPS
* *** UPDATED x4 - Mendoza responds - Munger calls suit "cowardly" *** Lawsuit filed over legislator pay
* The "green energy" side of the Exelon bill
* Caption contest!
* How is this "breaking our agreement"?
* Positioning, practicalities and politics weigh heavily against a House override
* Report: A decade to reach solvency, if leaders cooperate on tough plan
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Rauner goes into the lion's den
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* Another year of financial uncertainty looms for.....
* Another Year of Financial Uncertainty Looms for.....
* Madigan: Illinois budget discussed for 14 minut.....
* Illinois Seeks ‘Light Touch’ Blockchain Regulat.....
* Another Year Of Financial Uncertainty Looms For.....


* Vets to help protesters, asked not clash with officials
* University of Illinois chancellor reviews emergency plans
* University of Illinois chancellor reviews emergency plans
* Another year of financial uncertainty looms for Illinois
* Another year of financial uncertainty looms for Illinois
* EXCHANGE: Augmented reality in app for visually impaired
* EXCHANGE: Man creates memorial for fellow servicemen
* Lawyer seeks to replace 105-year murder sentence
* Weather advisory issued for Sunday in northern Illinois
* Ukulele is a popular music-class addition

* Another year of financial uncertainty looms for Illinois
* Lawmakers sue comptroller for not paying them
* Electronic road signs are dark near Effingham due to budget
* State lawmakers vote to spare 2 nuclear plants
* Legislature OKs Exelon subsidy plan, goes to Rauner
* Rauner: No more stopgap budgets without property tax freeze, term limits
* Illinois shutters nation's last prison roundhouse
* Clinton nuclear plant has history of cost, job uncertainty
* AFSCME files lawsuit over labor contract
* Rauner to Dems: No budget without term limits, property tax freeze

* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* A right hook to men and women hurt on the job
* Nothing brings pols together like a bailout
* Drink up, Chicago. Jim Beam's in town now
* Think Springfield can borrow its way out of trouble? Think again


* Monday letters: Like after a flood, declare state of emergency
* Could be worse: Bears thump 49ers, 26-6, for third win of season
* Madigan: Illinois budget discussed for 14 minutes
* Mount Prospect man dies after crash on Route 390
* The days of the ‘Bench Mob’ are long gone for the Bulls in ’16
* Trump threatens payback for US companies that move abroad
* Steinberg: How to refute Trump’s lies? With force and alacrity
* City dispatches 210 snow plows as city’s first snow falls
* Ohio St.-Clemson, Bama-Washington set for CFB playoff
* Vehicle on tracks in Skokie suspends Yellow Line service


* Dylann Roof to judge: Let lawyers back on S.C. church death penalty case
* California warehouse fire: 30 dead, 'arduous' search for victims continues
* Week 13 live blog: Bears get third win of season, defeat Niners 26-6
* Petraeus defends candidacy to run State despite past 'mistake'
* Fidel Castro laid to rest in private ceremony in east Cuba
* Syrian army tells rebels in Aleppo to leave or die
* Northwestern will face Pittsburgh in Pinstripe Bowl
* 1 killed in shooting involving northern Indiana officers
* Washington gets final spot in college football playoff rankings; Penn State misses out
* Russian President Vladimir Putin calls Trump 'smart,' but it's not entirely a compliment


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* Another year of financial uncertainty looms for Illinois
* Our View: Fall veto session leaves Illinois in worse state than before
* Bernard Schoenburg: Divine intervention on budget? Still waiting
* Statehouse Insider: No budget deal; see you in January
* Angie Muhs: New sports editor to start at the SJ-R
* Amy Voils: How do I really help the homeless?
* Jason Dockter: LLCC a leader in online education
* A home for the holidays: How do I really help the homeless?
* LLCC a leader in online education
* Guest Column: Where is the bailout for human services?


* Looking Ahead: Bucktown Building on Davenport council agenda
* Slippery roads reported following snowfall
* Hy-Vee seeds Mr. Thanksgiving's 2017 meal with $21,000 donation
* Dec. 4 Asmussen Top 25
* Club members give back, festively
* Follow-up file: 40 years ago, Broadway star Fred Applegate got first job at Circa '21
* Childhood favorite finds new home at museum
* Committee picks Alabama, Washington, Ohio State and Clemson
* Eastview Church welcomes, feeds, clothes thousands
* Coming home: Man freed after 18 years in prison


* Bears beat hapless 49ers at snowy Soldier Field
* Florida, Iowa a matchup of 8-4 teams at Outback Bowl
* The Latest: Falcons left tackle Matthews injures knee
* The Latest: Western Michigan going to row to the Cotton Bowl
* Syrian army tells rebels in Aleppo to leave or die

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Sen. Dick Durbin Unveils Protection Effort......

* SEIU leaders say planned Monday strike by ......

* Governor Rauner vetoes CPS budget agreement. “We know Trump,” says CTU President Karen Lewis. “We’ve had Rauner for two years.”
* Qualified.
* Sunday mishmosh.
* Zombies in Washington (an art project).
* A Nickel's Worth of Difference
* #TBT. Los Angeles. 1963. Fighting segregation.
* Peace through fear.
* On the day Trump formally handed the U.S. government over to Wall Street Executives (and not the first time this has happened by any means).
* Get it in writing? It is in writing. It’s called the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution.
* Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts to be Trump's deputy commerce secretary


* Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Brings Lowest Fatality Rate In Six Years
* Governor Announces Appointments to Illinois Bicentennial Commission
* Stateville Correctional Center’s F House Officially Closed
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* IEMA Highlights Safety during the Holidays - Encourages holiday shoppers to give preparedness gifts this year




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