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Tax hikes spur goofy quotes, Detroit card

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2007

* Our quote of the week is found in a Sun-Times story about an aldermanic revolt against Mayor Daley’s proposed tax hikes

Ald. George Cardenas (12th) said he got an e-mail from an angry constituent who warned him to “get your hands out of my pocket, you stooge.”

Why would anyone admit that? I almost spit out my coffee when I read Cardenas’ quote.

* More from the story…

“If this budget would pass right now with all these taxes, I suspect that probably half of the people who voted for it would not be in this Council next time around because this one has eyes. It’s going to walk all over the place,” said Ald. Ed Smith (28th), former chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus. […]

Ald. Richard Mell (33rd) was so desperate for a way out of raising property taxes, he proposed raiding the long-term reserve fund created to shore up the city’s bond rating after the $1.83 billion deal that privatized the Chicago Skyway.

When Johnson warned that the fund was for “major emergencies like catastrophes,” Mell said, “If you talk to some of the people I’ve been talking to — to them, this is a catastrophe.”

* The Tribune has more

After being grilled by aldermen, [Budget Director Bennett Johnson III] told reporters “we are going to try our best to build consensus” on the best way to balance next year’s budget. He said employee layoffs are an option “if people want to cut services.”

But to wipe out the proposed property-tax increase by cutting payroll would mean 2,160 job cuts, one in five workers who have duties not related to public safety, he said.

“If we want to be like Detroit, Toronto, San Antonio, Jacksonville, all these places where they are cutting services, it is a downward spiral that’s hard to get out of,” Johnson said.

Ah, the ol’ “Detroit card.” I wondered when that one was gonna be played.

* Meanwhile, over at the county, the budget deficit will be smaller than first projected, “just” $230 million, but lots of tax hikes are on the table

Stroger told commissioners what to expect in a series of meetings Monday. They say going to the store, filling up at the gas pump, parking downtown, talking on the phone or even warming up your furnace could cost more in order to help cover the county’s costs.

Under the proposed budget, property taxes would be hiked to pay for the Forest Preserve District. To pay for county government, Stroger is considering doubling the county gas tax to 12 cents a gallon, doubling the downtown parking tax to about $40 for monthly users and possibly renewing a push for an increased sales tax, just weeks after commissioners shot down a 2 percentage point hike.

Already on the table are hikes to utility and phone bills. “Everything’s on the table,”Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-10th) said.

* Making things worse for Stroger…

Adding a wrinkle to the budget debate is a critical presentation today from the health community concluding that the county hospital system has been so mismanaged, control should be put in the hands of an independent, medical panel.

* And

The Institute of Medicine of Chicago, meanwhile, is circulating a petition in the local health-care community asking the county to shift control of the system immediately to an independent board charged with reversing what the institute calls a “precipitous decline” in services

- Posted by Rich Miller        


38 Comments
  1. - Ghost - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 8:57 am:

    An independent board for County Hospital System is good in theory….but who gets to choose who sits on the board? Lets not forget the independent health facilities planning board? the one knee deep in indictments.


  2. - North by Northwest - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:02 am:

    Incompetence and politics has ruined Cook County’s health care system, which should be an extraordnary asset for the working poor and uninsured, but instead has been used as a dumping ground for patronage workers.

    Because they don’t bother to send bills to the insurance companies and Medicaid, Stroger now wants a record tax increase. Meanwhile, poor patients increasingly have no place to go or are turned away after long waits, as today’s Tribune front page story documents.

    Where else but Chicago could a scandal like this occur with so little protestation from civic leaders and the public?


  3. - Truthful James - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:03 am:

    “The party’s Over now”

    as the old song goes. The combination of a housing market in the tank, ever higher taxes and a continuing set of scandals which reveal the extent of the luxury chow for the fat cats is becoming too heavy for the voters — most of whom live in Wards or Districts where there is only one party and one person to elect.

    For these alderpeople to be in the least worried is amazing — unless they are shedding crocdile tears, and venting until they ever so reluctantly approve the budget.

    The mayor has brought out the two biggest guns service reductions (even unto the Police funds)– and the topper of all toppers the threat of letting employees go. These latter are the people whose (enforced) contributions keep the ward politicians in business.

    The circuses are done, the calliopes are winding down,


  4. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:05 am:

    It’s a horrible theory. Cook County doesn’t need an independent board to run Stroger Hosp.

    Cook County needs a new Cook County Board to run the County including Stroger.

    Quentin Young endorsed Stroger and now tells us Todd Stroger is corrupt? geez…


  5. - Greg - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:06 am:

    Comparing Chicago with Detroit would work a lot better if Detroit were also an international financial hub and the center of global interest rate markets. But instead, it hosts little more than 3 companies that, combined, are valued at roughly the same level as the CME.

    The regard with which these politicians hold themselves is laughable…as if, with respect to impacting local prosperity, the level of government spending comes anywhere close to private economic activity.


  6. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:08 am:

    Have they shifted responsibility for the Juvenile Authority away from Stroger and the County yet.

    For years, we read stories about children at the Authority being abused and neglected by patronage workers. Reformers came and went, bested by lifer Democratic patronage employees. ACLU somewhat timidly pursued a lawsuit. There was talk of transferring the Authority to the management of the Chief Judge of something but who knows if that ever happened.

    Anyway, moving the hospital authority sounds like a great idea. Or sell it. It needs new management not another wave of highly paid underworked and not very bright patronage workers to not collect the bills.

    Better yet, get rid of the whole Cook County apparatus. Privatize or transfer. Let the commissioners and the hacks go out and find a real job. And vastly improve the quality of the service. It’s worked in other places. But Cook County voters are far too dim to let it happen here.


  7. - Johnny USA - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:08 am:

    Oh this is going to be rich…watching an Illinois government entity give up power to a non-government agency for ‘quality reasons’

    I can’t wait to see whose juiced Dr. buddy gets put in charge of this, and how the campaign money is going to flow.

    Besides…I thought government was the solution to our health care crisis? Now we are saying the mismanaged it? Narf!


  8. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:09 am:

    The Trib says today that the phone and utility taxes are not even legal. Why take a hard tax increase vote that will end up in court and never be collected? Nice strategy by the County President.


  9. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:11 am:

    And people are wondering why thousands are moving into Northwest Indiana every month?

    Imagine working in Chicago, but not paying Cook County taxes, Chicago taxes or Illinois taxes!

    An imaginary line is shielding a million people from the mass political stagnation of Illinois. And it looks like hundreds of thousands more will cross that line while Blagojevich, Stroger, and Daley fiddle with the new Chicago fire.

    When will Democrats learn the economic facts of life? Government can only take until it’s taxbase is broken or moves away from it.

    That is what is happening.

    Change your ways or keep on losing, people.


  10. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:14 am:

    “Comparing Chicago with Detroit would work a lot better if Detroit were also an international financial hub…”

    Chicago WAS an international financial hub. Our banks were merged with bigger dogs from NYC and our real estate is also being bought up by financial institutions is real global cities. Hence the panic for the Olympics and the ruinous timing of these governmental meltdowns.


  11. - Leroy - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:24 am:

    Vanilla brings up an interesting point.

    Why isn’t NW Indiana a capitalists paradise? You think Indiana would declare 2 miles in a TAX FREE ZONE, and watch the business pour in. From miles 2-7 you could build multi million dollar houses solid and get rich off (fair) property tax.


  12. - Snidely Whiplash - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:25 am:

    Excellent point, VanMan


  13. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:26 am:

    Here’s the “stats” on the back of the Detroit card, and on the back of the Chicago card:

    Detroit: 2000 population 947,910
    2006 population (est) 871,121
    Population loss: 76,789

    Chicago: 2000 population 2,896,375
    2006 population (est) 2,833,321
    Population loss: 63,054

    Couldn’t find stats on batting average, but I’m sure they are below most other teams in the Rust Belt League.


  14. - Greg - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:39 am:

    Regarding NW Indiana: Indiana would need to lower its income tax rate below IL’s to attract the very rich. Property and sales taxes are completely insignificant compared to very rich’s income tax burdens.

    As to VM’s financial hub response: VM, as you may know I agree with your conclusions, but in the interest of accuracy, Chicago bond trading couldn’t be going better. The CME bought the BOT, NY banks haven’t bought much of anything, and more local funds have popped up in the last few years than you can count. That’s not to say IL govt has created it…but they’re here nonetheless.


  15. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:42 am:

    If Chicago wants to be considered a global city, which it needs to be to stay competative, comparing it to other Rust Belt cities isn’t the way to go.

    The Federal Reserve in the Loop is starting to consider Chicago as a Regional city in the Midwest - (or, Rust Belt, if you prefer), NOT a national city or a global one. During the past 10 years, Chicago has been consistently outpaced by booming US cities eager to replace it.

    Go ahead and keep comparing Chicago to Detroit or St. Louis and pretend it is keeping up. It isn’t. Chicago isn’t even keeping up with Indianapolis anymore, which is already the size of Detroit and growing.


  16. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:51 am:

    What I wish for bloggers to realize is that Chicago needs to shed it’s nanny-state mentality and drop it’s single-party rule. It needs to completely reform and grab the 21st Century as it had the 19th and 20th.

    Over the past 30 years, Chicago has been too comfortable and resting on it’s history too much. When one sees themselves as one of THE US cities, there is an assumption that what happens to you is happening to others too.

    But since Reagan, Chicago hasn’t kicked it up a notch as it’s competition has. As Russia ditched the single-party Soviet Union mentality, Chicago embraced it further. The miasma that is effecting Chicago has trickled down to Illinois, just as all the benefits of Chicago has trickled down as well.

    We are broke three ways; city, county and state. It isn’t a coincidence that all three governments are being run by the same party. A political party that pretends that it can keep slaying mythical golden geese full of golden eggs will one day find thousands of physicians, hospitals, social workers and schools standing at the door with unpaid bills in the billions without a goose left.

    Chicago has been eating it’s seed corn for 30 years. Except for the 1990s, the City has not been seeing growth on par with booming US cities. We are now out of seed corn, and our politicians are looking at us to bail their political butts out of the dumpster through taxes that should encourage us to leave the Land of Lincoln.


  17. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:54 am:

    The “stooge” comment is great!

    Something straight out of a Bellow novel.


  18. - Hugh - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:59 am:

    Listen to your fav Chicago aldermen (verbally) grow sacks

    courtesy AlderTrack

    Budget Hearings - Day 1 - Monday, October 15, 2007

    http://aldertrack.typepad.com/aldertrack2/2007/10/budget-hearings.html


  19. - Levois - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 10:02 am:

    In light of the Cardenas except I have to say whoever that person was has been watching too much Malcolm X.


  20. - RBD - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 10:03 am:

    Vanilla: Please send Chicagoans a Republican candidate that is not a wacko.

    The problem in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois is not with the Democrats. The problem is that the Republicans are not contributing powerful leaders. Your complaint about a one-party system is quite valid but don’t blame the people who are already at the party.


  21. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 10:11 am:

    “- Ghost - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 9:59 am:

    VanillaMan I have to disagree, the problem is not the single party, its what the elected officials are doing or failing to do. ”

    You can make that point and it is correct. But what we are seeing is a similar myopic governing mentality that is causing these trough fights. The single-party in power isn’t growing the economy. Instead we are seeing fights over the remaining pieces of scrap. If we had any political diversity, especially at the City level, new ideas to get us out of the fix we are in would most likely include more investments and more deal making. Instead we are seeing residents jumped for more cash and turf wars over fiscal responsibilities.

    We always lose when we are stuck without diversity. If everyone believes the same thing, than there is no one to point a new way when everyone discovers their beliefs are obsolete.


  22. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 10:18 am:

    There is a really great Chicago Republican named Gidwitz who is a proven political moderate. He has earned his way into our conversations by doing a great deal of community service and opening his family’s wallet to give to Chicago.

    The Republican Party needs a couple effective leaders in Chicago. What would NYC or Los Angeles be like without having elected Giuliani or Reardon? Both men help resurrect the GOP in those cities and both cities benefitted greatly by having new blood and fresh ideas.

    The answer is in the political competition that hasn’t been see in my city since the Great Depression.


  23. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 10:19 am:

    VM, Gidwitz spent $1 million for each percentage point he received in the 2006 GOP primary. He was flatly rejected by GOP voters.


  24. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 10:19 am:

    former LA Mayor Riordan!


  25. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 10:24 am:

    Gidwitz is a good Chicago Republican. In the last GOP primary, he was a fish-out-of-water, a Topinka without the flash.

    If he had listened to me, he would have made the DEMOCRATIC primary the General Election by taking on Blagojevich at the primary level. He would have be able to beat Topinka in the General Election after beating Blagojevich in the primary, as an Independant Democrat.

    BUT he is a Republican and ran as one.


  26. - Captain America - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 10:25 am:

    I worked at Cook County Hospital for a short time during the Phelan adminstration before I went to graduate school. At the time, I thought that once the County built a new physical facility to replace the antiquated hospital, it would be possible to turn around the Comnty health system. Great strides were made under the leadershp of the venerable Ruth Rothstein. However, since RR retired, it’s been all downhill.

    Stroger and his team never had any real commitment to maximizing revenues available from Medicare and other third party payers to supplement funding.They routinely lied about the hospital’s fiancial situation.

    It’s not easy to implement the organizational culture change and the financial management infrastucture to run a large hospital. It was easier just to continue passing the costs on to taxpayers rather than to invest in the required computer technology and financial management tools necessary to run a modern hospital.

    John/Todd Stroger’s record in managing the Cook Health care system is abysmal. Dick Phelan renovated and opened Provident Hospital. A little more that a decade letter, Provident’s accreditation was in jeopardy because of poor management. Even though John Stroger’s life was a modern day Horatio Alger story and he was a great guy and a shrewd politican, his real legacy to the people who need the county hospital/health sytem is the current tragic meltdown.

    From a governance standpoint, the Cook County Board of Commissioners is totally unfit to serve as a Board of Directors for the hospital/health care system. Conseqently, it would highly desirable for the Board to cede operating control to an independent entity. Any further investments in the Cook County health system without changing the governance structure and managemnt team would be like dumping money down a rathole.

    There are many dedicated physicana and other medical professionals rendering great public service. I am a strong advocate for Stroger Hospital and related health care facilities/services as vital social safety net institutions. But the status quo governance and management situation are completely unacceptable. Dr. Simon is doing the best he can under very difficult circumstances.

    Kudos to Dr. Quentin Young for “fighting the good fight” on behalf of the County health sytem fot the last four decades. I hope he and his disciples never give up!


  27. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 11:33 am:

    The old mayor Daley had a knack for bringing in a “blue ribbon commission” that usually had a few well-respected well known folks on it to turn things around when something had gone wrong. I can see an independent board that has well-known, well-respected people on it (like say Dr. Young).

    Privitization is not the answer. Private hospitals abound, but don’t do much for the poor and even less for the working poor or lower middle class.

    I still believe that Stroger was a better choice than Peraica. Peraica seems to me to be a kook. Stroger is a hack. And in my calculus, hack beats kook.


  28. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 12:15 pm:

    Old Mayor Daley was a sharp guy. His son learned at his knee.

    One of the challenges seems to be that this isn’t 1950s-1970s. The spot-on political techniques of the Daleys are losing some of their effectiveness in the 2000s.

    Old Man Daley’s job was to caretake a thriving industrial city during the first suburban boom. His fiscal approach is taught in grad schools on how to spin-off costly social services while retaining political control.

    The current mayor is trying to revitalize a complacent city where the largest employers are governments and where married couples starting families move from. All the while, an increasing demand for social services come from a higher percentage of the remaining citizens as the population declines.

    Few cities have found easy ways to fix these problems, but we do know that growing governments to fill this vacuum is a dead end. We cannot expect the remaining taxpayers to simply sit back and shovel out what they earn to prop up a city that is rapidly becoming a poor residential value.

    Something has to give and what we have been seeing is what happens when the city, county and state are all busted and on the hunt for more taxes instead of changing what they do. Raising taxes is not the answer, and we all know it.


  29. - Levois - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 12:28 pm:

    I still like the “get your hands outta my pocket approach”!


  30. - Hugh - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 1:00 pm:

    Speaking of goofy quotes, listen to frosh Alderman Denise Dixon (24th) 2nd round question. She’s identified a major revenue leak in her west-side ward: the City sells land to churches for a dollar, then the churches don’t do anything with it! She’d like to get the property tax base working for us, but the City has sold all the undeveloped land in her ward to churches. Can’t something be done?

    Seems like a hard way to get to $300M for next year.

    We’re in good hands.

    courtesy AlderTrack

    Budget Hearings - Day 1 - Monday, October 15, 2007

    http://aldertrack.typepad.com/aldertrack2/2007/10/budget-hearings.html


  31. - Hugh - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 1:16 pm:

    more goofy quotes

    Stone’s Skyway: Billboard Taxes

    Old Man Stone gets his 2nd shot at the City’s Budget Director, and his recommendation: collect back-taxes from billboard companies.

    Stone claims the City has been routinely undercharging billboard companies for years.
    Stone said collecting the back-taxes would be a “major windfall for the City of Chicago.”

    I dunno. The billboard companies are way hooked-up & connected, big campaign contributors. I gotta think this is a non-starter. It’s not that the billboard co. didn’t pay, Stone is saying the City taxed them wrong. This idea would get bogged down in court for years.

    Stone used the remainder of his 2nd round time to complain about tech support to the City of Chicago’s Director of the Budget. Stone asked the Director of the Budget what operating system he ran on his computer, because every computer in his office is running WINDOWS 98, the horror! He said the only new computer in his office was a new laptop his Chief of Staff daughter got.

    The City of Chicago’s Director of the Budget dutifully said he would look into it for Stone. If you listen, it’s painfully clear he is humoring a dotty old man.

    The Council’s vote on the Mayor’s budget is where the line is drawn between the executive and the representatives of the people in Chicago’s government. A mayor of a city in Illinois can do next to NOTHING without Council approval, theoretically the aldermen control the purse strings. If you want something done, NOW is the time to bring it up, I guess.

    So Stone asks for new versions of Windows and Adobe. Thanks, Bernie!

    god, this is embarrassing

    I guess if you love Chicago you shouldn’t listen to City Council audio.


  32. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 1:34 pm:

    VanillaMan,

    The reason many families move from Chicago is they can’t afford the housing for a family along with the need to pay for a private education if they’re children can’t get into the selective enrollment schools. So they move out. The thing that’s interesting is the current trend of them moving back when their children are grown. This doesn’t seem like a losing bet for the city. It is alleviated of the cost of providing services for children (who are expensive as residents, they are the drivers behind needs for parks, libraries and schools all costly items) yet has people without children who want to move into the city, maybe turning a 2 or 3 flat into a single residence. Lincoln Park, Bucktown, Ukrainian village, etc. all have really high housing costs as a result of the demand for housing there. And the stats I’ve seen show that the decline in housing prices has barely rippled recently in Chicago. The decline in children in Chicago has also occurred in the other end of the economic spectrum. Due to the CHA plan for reformation, an awful lot of poor families have also moved out to the burbs, again, taking their need for schools, libraries, parks, etc. with them. I can see why philisophically this might be obnoxious, but from a purely economic view point, it looks positive to me.


  33. - wallace - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 1:40 pm:

    When the citizenry requests concrete steps to reduce waste and corruption our leaders cynically respond by threatening to cut obviously needed services. What is it that the dolts don’t understand about the words “waste and corruption”. We are not talking about the beat cops but rather those “semi retired” misfits that end up reading newspapers at O’Hare airport. We are not talking about garbage collection services we are talking about three man trucks where private services have one man trucks. We are not talking about city street work crews we are talking about five guys watching one guy work. Daley would not know waste and corruption if it bit him in the leg.


  34. - Hugh - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 1:47 pm:

    Daley is sweetening the deal for aldermen, offering them a 120% increase in their “office allowance”. Mind you this is over & above the COL salary increases they made automatic last year.

    Stone announced his intention to use his $40K increase in his office allowance to create an additional patronage post in his ward organization. But Stone used his time to criticize the $40K increase, pointing out that when you consider benefits, it is not quite enough to keep a friend or family in the style to which they are accustomed. The City of Chicago’s Director of the Budget agreed, the increase in the office allowance would probably not be sufficient in itself if used for an additional hire.

    Sigh


  35. - Anon E. Mouse - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 2:50 pm:

    If you want some real action, take the City’s myriad TIFs and require that all funds surplus to debt and planned project (inside the TIF) expenditures be distributed annually to the overlapping taxing bodies in proportion to their tax raters. Also insist the City pay back to the TIFs any money ‘borrowed’ from TIF fUnds to support non District expenditures.

    That will solve three budget problems — the City, the County and the CPS — and reduce taxpayer burdens.

    In the meantime, stop this threatening essential services and instead cease the featherbedding which generates in turn Party contributions and keeps the machine oiled.


  36. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 5:27 pm:

    Cermak,

    Astute observations. However, there are pluses and minuses associated with a city that has a low # of middle class or upper class children, especially to the institutions that are left. If Chicago becomes more gentrified and the average age of its citizenry goes way up, a different set of social services will be needed. And a city that has a low # of children will eventually have a low # of adults that want to come back home.


  37. - wallace - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 8:57 pm:

    Does Alderman Stone have any decency or is he so buried in the patronage mentality that he can’t see the foolishness of his behavior. They almost beat him this time, next time they can beat his daughter. Natarus is gone, Bernie you are next.


  38. - wallace - Tuesday, Oct 16, 07 @ 8:59 pm:

    How could any of us come across with a clearer message than, “get out of my pocket stooge”.


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        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization
        * State begins accepting fracking applications
        * Debt rating agencies weigh in on state pension ruling
        * Lisa Madigan to ask Illinois Supreme Court to consider pensions
        * Rauner tackles transition agenda
        * Attorney general warns of immigration scams
        * State pension changes ruled unconstitutional; appeal to Illinois Supreme Court next
        * State to refund $60 million in retiree health care money

        * Most BP oil spill claims handled correctly, McGladrey says
        * Illinois AG Madigan files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Congressmen sound alarm over anti-Asian Carp move
        * Motorola Mobility loses bid to extend antitrust law reach
        * Chicago business activity is growing—but at a slower pace


        * Rauners don hairnets, serve Thanksgiving to homeless
        * Norman Schoer, viola player with Grant Park Orchestra and Lyric Opera, dies at 103
        * Cupich: Work needed to ‘repair our broken immigration system’
        * Obama 2014 Thanksgiving menu: Turkey, Ham, six kinds of pies
        * Obama guidance, press schedule Nov 27-30, 2014 Thanksgiving break
        * Charity event looks like turkey tokenism
        * Decatur Classical parents want to expand into old Stewart building
        * Cupich: More must be done to ‘repair our broken immigration system’
        * Gutierrez: Obama's immigration delay cost Pat Quinn votes
        * Charity event looks like turkey tokenism


        * Archbishop Cupich emphasizes spiritual blessings at Lake Forest Thanksgiving mass
        * 1 shot on South Side
        * Judge reassigned after failing to follow contempt rules, officials say
        * Pre-Thanksgiving revelers in Naperville unfazed by new alcohol rules
        * Woman shot dead in apparent domestic-related shooting in Gary
        * Ferguson protester in Chicago charged with felony
        * Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at Congress and State
        * Crash-and-grab burglars hitting high-end stores in suburbs and Chicago
        * Flurries, cold expected for Thanksgiving
        * Crash-and-grab robbery in North Austin


        * LLCC Offers Variety Of Community Education Classes
        * Incoming U of I President Speaks To Springfield Audience
        * Another Year Of "Messiah" For Springfield Choral Society
        * New Exhibit On Lincoln's "Undying Words"
        * Locals Organize For Vigil In Response To Ferguson
        * Illinois Hunters Kill 52,000 Deer Over The Weekend
        * Pension Ruling "Credit Negative," But No Ratings Change
        * Tim Landis: Foreclosure Sales, CIPS Icehouse and Heritage River Trail
        * Part Timers & Manufacturing in Illinois Feeling a Slow Economic Recovery
        * Notes From Ferguson: A QA With St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann


        * Our Opinion: Help combat hunger this holiday season
        * Eugene Robinson: On replacement, caution urged
        * George Will: Thanks, or something
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 27, 2014
        * Illinois attorney general files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Quinn grants clemency to 126 ahead of holiday
        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization
        * Michael Gerson: The big ‘but’ on immigration
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 26, 2014
        * State begins accepting fracking applications


        * Thanksgiving Day shopper
        * Kenneth Saul
        * Indiana State Pregame 11-27-14
        * LIVE! Indiana State from Las Vegas
        * Library to host senior citizen program
        * Minonk Christmas light parade set Dec. 6
        * News in brief 11/27/14
        * YWCA Holiday Helpers program begins
        * Blue Sky Vineyard: A Tuscan hideaway in Southern Illinois
        * Illinois health officials offer turkey safety tip


        * Palatine Jaycees hold 57th annual tree sale
        * Naperville police watching for street racing on 95th
        * Navy recruits celebrate Thanksgiving with veterans in Arlington Heights
        * Images: Thanksgiving Day in the Suburbs
        * Suspect arrested after Elk Grove Village robbery

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        * "Nigerian Kitchen" Closes On Wilson
        * #HappyThanksgiving from The Sixth Ward blog!
        * In Chicago the race is on. It’s easy as ABC.
        * Lisa Madigan files her appeal.
        * The Better Government Association continues to spread the lie about public employee pensions.
        * Happy Thanksgiving. “My idea,” says Rahm.
        * Chicago parents demand answers from Emanuel after sex ed lessons revealed
        * Happy Thanksgiving
        * We're Grateful To Live In Uptown, And For You
        * Will Thanksgiving meal someday come at shopping mall food court?


        * Governor Quinn Announces Investment to Help Regional Food Banks Better Serve Those in Need - Governor’s Investment Will Ensure Lower Cost and Higher Efficiency for Services Reaching Nearly 2 Million Illinois Residents
        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Abner Mikva Receiving Nation’s Highest Civilian Honor
        * Department of Insurance Announces Multi-State Settlement with Symetra Life Insurance and Symetra National Life Insurance Company - Illinois will share part of a $1.2 million penalty against Symetra Life regarding Life Insurance policies
        * Avoid Foodborne Illness This Holiday Season




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