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New Rasmussen poll shows governor sinking like a stone *** Transit riders threaten to abandon system *** Voters unhappy with gaming solution *** Happy with their health insurance

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2007

* Rasmussen’s latest Illinois poll is out.

Survey of 500 likely Illinois voters taken October 17, 2007. Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence…

1 - How do you rate the way that George W. Bush is performing his role as President?

14% Excellent
17% Good

16% Fair
52% Poor

1% Not Sure

* BUSH TOTALS: 31% good or excellent… 68% fair or poor… (32 and 67 in Rasmussen’s August poll)

2 - How do you rate the way that Rod Blagojevich is performing his role as Governor?

5% Excellent
11% Good

37% Fair
46% Poor

1% Not Sure

* BLAGOJEVICH TOTALS: 16% good or excellent… 83% fair or poor… (22 and 78 in Rasmussen’s August poll)

Oof. Could it get any worse for the governor? Now he’s polling much worse than Bush, and dropping like a stone. Wow.

* Now, on to gaming and mass transit…

5 - How closely have you followed recent news stories about the Chicago Transit Authority’s financial issues?

24% Very closely
29% Somewhat closely
25% Not very closely
21% Not at all
0% Not sure

6 - A proposal has been made to authorize more casinos in Illinois with the money going to help fund public transportation in Chicago. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?

31% Favor
57% Oppose
13% Not sure

7 - Suppose a choice had to be made between authorizing more casinos or having the Chicago Transit Authority cut half its routes. Which would you prefer?

51% Authorizing more casinos
32% Having the Chicago Transit Authority cut half its routes
17% Not sure

9 - [asked only of those who said at least once a week to the question: How often do you ride subways, trains, and buses in and around Chicago?]

Will you continue to ride CTA public transportation if fares go up to $3 or higher?

50% Yes
43% No
7% Not sure

10 - [asked only of those who said at least once a week]

Will you drive more if suburban bus and commuter train fares go up?

35% Yes
55% No
11% Not sure

Folks aren’t happy with gaming expansion for transit, and very big percentages threaten to abandon public transportation if a fare increase is enacted, as House GOP Leader Tom Cross and some Senate Republicans are suggesting. Not surprising.

* Also, according to the poll, 91 percent say they have health insurance, which is a lot more than what’s usually reported. Of those who say they have insurance, 40% rted their coverage as “Excellent,” 35% said it was “Good,” 20% said “Fair” and 4% rated it “Poor,” while 0% were not sure.

Discuss.

…Adding… Oops. I forgot to post the presidential numbers for Illinois. Click the pics for a larger view.

* Favorables…

* Matchups…

* Greg Blankenship of the Illinois Policy Institute makes a good point in comments about the health insurance results…

Likely voters — people who take citizenship seriously are likely to take other things more seriously…Thus the reason for the 7% difference between the 84.2% of the population who has coverage and the 91% coverage level in this poll.

My theory would be that you would see coverage rates drop for mere registered voters and drop further for Illinoisans or non voters.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


58 Comments
  1. - Levois - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 10:44 am:

    Why did we re-elect him again?


  2. - Anonymous Lawyer - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 10:46 am:

    Here’s the thing. If the state dedicated a legitimate new revenue stream to the CTA/RTA, something that adequately funds both capital improvements AND prevents further operating funds crises, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to impose some sort of modest fare increases. Maybe reduce the Chicago Card discount percentages a little in conjunction with the fare increase. I don’t think riders will flee because of a .25 cent increase here and there. Maybe do it again next year, phasing it in so people don’t get slammed with $2/day total increase in commuting costs.

    When I lived back in Boston, the T regularly increased fares from a very cheap 85 cents to approx $2 now. While the T isn’t the best, the money clearly went toward improving service and I don’t think people objected too strenuously as T ridership is still strong.

    I ride the Blue Line every day. While the trains are still packed during rush hours — and probably always will be — service is vastly improved since they fixed the downtown leg of Blue Line tracks over the past few months. Fix the rest of the line out on the northwest side and start buying some newer, more reliable trains and we have an almost working transit line. I’d pay another .25 a ride for that.


  3. - GoBearsss - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 10:47 am:

    Regarding health insurance -

    Everyone thinks their health insurance is OK until they get denied a claim, or have to go deep into their deductible, or need something that isn’t covered.

    People “settle” for their health insurance.

    The rest is not very surprising. I think the general mood in Illinois is what the pluralities show:

    - Bush is doing a very poor job
    - Rod is doing a fair-to-poor job


  4. - We noticed the first time - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 10:50 am:

    Rich, this poll may be new, but you posted a statewide poll that Bush is outpolling Blago a couple of weeks ago. Why pretend like this is a new fact? Is it because it’s now 2-1 in the positive category?

    Levois, sadly the voters thought Eisendrath, Topikna, and Whitney were not much better. As much as I depise Blago, I think they made the right choice.

    The bigger question is, why didn’t more Democrats run against Blago in the primary? The $15 million dollar question indeed.


  5. - It's TIFs stupid! - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 10:54 am:

    Almost 100% of the reason the CTA doesn’t have enough money is because of TIFs. The same goes for the public school system too. End the TIFs and billions of dollars goes back into the general city pool and not towards aldermen pet projects. Starve the beast!


  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 10:55 am:

    ===you posted a statewide poll that Bush is outpolling Blago a couple of weeks ago===

    That last poll wasn’t a couple of weeks ago. It was two months ago. This is the latest in a string of polls.

    As I note above and in the headline, the trend is downwards for the governor, which makes it even more newsworthy.

    Plus, I post all Illinois-related polls. I’m not sure I get your beef.


  7. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 10:58 am:

    ===Almost 100% of the reason the CTA doesn’t have enough money is because of TIFs.===

    C’mon. There’s no one magic solution to anything, including this one. You’ve been reading the Reader too much.


  8. - Anonymous Lawyer - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 10:59 am:

    The TIFs are a major issue — I don’t think they’re all bad, but the potential for abuse is obvious, the instances of actual abuse are even more obvious, there’s no transparency, and there is little acknowledgment that if the TIFs gain, some entity loses — I would argue it is primarily the public schools, though. CTA gets squat from the city and I don’t think they have a significant share of property taxes generally, although I could be wrong about the latter point as I am just speculating there.


  9. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 11:01 am:

    When the Illinois Tollway doubled tolls for trucks and non-I-Pass users, there were a lot of individual threats to divert from the system. After an initial modest traffic drop, traffic was soon up to its previous levels, and as a side benefit, more customers switched from cash to I-Pass, which eased system congestion with the concurrent change to Open Road Tolling. Notwithstanding all the governor’s shortcomings on transportation, ISTHA is the one shining example of a system that is much improved from 5 years ago.

    If a modest fare increase is enacted, I expect the same thing…especially if monthly CTA and Metra passes (the best bargain in Chicago-area transportation by far) are kept to a modest increase. $3 a ride seems too much of a hike in a one-time CTA fare raise, but if you use the “I-Pass” analogy, most regular riders are using a monthly pass anyway, and a single-ride fare hike will encourage more to do the same, as happened with the tollway’s experience. And those 35% to 43% that think they’re gonna drive more if fares are increased…if they all make good on their threat, they will cause a condition that will soon make the extra fares seem like a bargain at twice the price, and will sooner rather than later migrate back to transit.

    As I have mentioned previously, there are already reduced fare programs available at CTA and Metra that could be tailored to minimize the hit on the working poor.


  10. - I would love ... - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 11:01 am:

    … to see Milorad’s ratings by region for this one. What’s the odds he’s even beating the margin of error outside the city??


  11. - ahoy! - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 11:03 am:

    The Health Insurance Numbers seem a little odd to me. Anybody else?


  12. - What did you expect? - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 11:04 am:

    “As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap”


  13. - Greg - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 11:11 am:

    Do we have some data showing where Blago stacks up against other govenors? I can’t imagine many, besides KY and to a lesser extent LA, giving him a run for his money.

    And I don’t know why anyone would object to reviewing bad and worsening poll numbers. Personally, I’m wondering how much the IL Clinton/Guiliani spread would widen to approach the Obama/Giuliani spread should both of the former be nominated.


  14. - anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 11:18 am:

    ahoy, according to my info that is about the number that’s uninsured in the suburbs. Downstate it’s a little more, 15% to 12%. It’s a lot higher in Chgo where it’s about 25%


  15. - John - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 11:26 am:

    This poll, even though it’s from a reputable source, might be inaccurate. 500 likely voters is too small of a sample for a statewide survey. Accurate statewide polls have sample sizes of around 1,000.


  16. - BlunderBoy Biografer - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 11:29 am:

    So I guess it is safe to surmise if Blaggo sez someone sux( now an official FAA word btw) and wiggles those floppy ears at them…..the someone is probably beloved or at least less despised than Blaggo.


  17. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 11:30 am:

    A lot of the uninsured in Chicago may be young white unmarried males who have chosen not to purchase health insurance. This is not a population which needs taxpayer rescue. There is affordable health insurance out therer to be bought.

    Or illegals. That’s another can of worms but in any case, they (and the young white males) can always go to Stroger Hospital, where they can get free care whether they can pay for it or not.
    Free meds, too.


  18. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 11:32 am:

    John, nobody does polling with sample sizes that large any longer. Unfortunate, but true.

    600 is better than 500, because it gets you down to +/- 4 percent. But we can probably live with this one on pretty much everything except the presidential matchups, which might be slightly different.


  19. - Greg - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 11:38 am:

    John,

    You’re right that polls often do about 1,000, but statistically speaking, doubling the size to 1,000 shaves just a little off the margin of error. Margin of error moves with the sq rt of sample size, so it’s not like it’s going to be 1/2 as accurate. So I wouldn’t discard it just bc of that, but of course a bigger sample if always better.


  20. - Lisa for Gov - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 11:39 am:

    All my Blagojevich friends keep telling me they have backed the Speaker into a corner and have him right where they want him. I laugh. 83% unfavorables is a dark corner the Gov will never come out of. As these numbers get worse for Rod, Lisa is more likely to run. Cross doesn’t want that–he wants the wounded King–Blago. I love it!


  21. - Greg - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 11:41 am:

    Likely voters — people who take citizenship seriously are likely to take other things more seriously…Thus the reason for the 7% difference between the 84.2% of the population who has coverage and the 91% coverage level in this poll.

    My theory would be that you would see coverage rates drop for mere registered voters and drop further for Illinoisans or non voters.


  22. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 12:10 pm:

    The poll is not surprising at all.


  23. - Reddbyrd - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 12:11 pm:

    Gotta wonder where the subgroups stand.
    Does Blaggo score a majority with any group like blacks, poor, Cook County? Or is he +50% poor/fair with all them too?
    The ship is going down. All hands overboard
    Could make it tough for Jay Magoo and others to spread their message of love and compromise.


  24. Pingback Blago Utterly Collapsing…Still in Denial « Illinois Reason - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 12:13 pm:

    […] Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 in Democrats, President George W. Bush by jerry101 Tags: Blagojevich How pathetic is it when your approval rating is below Bush’s?  No, I’m not talking about the approval of the Congress as a whole.  I’m talking about our very own Dear Leader, Governor Blagojevich.  Rasmussen’s latest polling pegs Bush’s approval rating at 31% in Illinois (down 1 point from last month).  Blagojevich dropped to 16%.  Let me say that again… […]


  25. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 12:18 pm:

    I’ve seen the internals and no group gives him a majority approval rating. Not even a plurality. More on that in Friday’s Capitol Fax.


  26. - GoBearsss - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 12:28 pm:

    One thing that is bugging me—
    I always have this problem with polls like this.

    Excellent and Good are both positive responses.

    Fair is a neutral response.

    Poor is a negative response.

    Looking at Bush, people mostly have extreme feelings towards him – either positive or negative. Not really anything neutral.

    Looking at Rod, it seems to be there is a significant neutral block at “fair” that I wouldn’t lump in with the negative block of “poor.”

    Rod still has extremely high negative ratings (46%), but it isn’t an apples to apples comparison with Bush. There isn’t that partisan split that you see with Bush.

    With Bush it is either: You hate him or you are loyal to him.
    With Rod it is either: You hate him or you are indifferent to him.

    One is a lot easier to pull out of a rut than the other.


  27. - anon - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 1:17 pm:

    I found that fact that Hillary’s head-to-head numbers against the gop didn’t change (basically within the margin of error). Does this mean she has her voters and the undecideds would be likely to break GOP? and is this a national trend?…I have heard people, mainly republicans, saying this but hadn’t seen the numbers to back it up


  28. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 1:27 pm:

    I would be interested to know what percentage of people have had a medical bill declined they feel should have been paid.

    How many people have been asked for payment by medical providers beyond the compensation provided by insurance companies?

    How many people have had to spend significant amounts of time haggling over tests, specialists or procedures recommended by their physician?

    How many people have a close friend or immediate family member who had a really bad experience with an insurance company?

    By asking “excellent”, “good”, “fair” or “poor” the question exploits respondents having low expectations. Someone who got jerked around by her/his insurer might answer “good” just because s/he knows people who were treated much worse.

    The diminished expectations of Americans is one of the big disappointments of our political and economic system.

    This country is supposed to be great, not just, “not as bad as it could be.”


  29. - Jake From Elwood - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 1:28 pm:

    Are Rod’s latest approval numbers even worse than George Ryan’s approval numbers at the end of his term? Are they worse than George Ryan’s approval numbers would be today? Just asking.


  30. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 1:29 pm:

    When Huey Long strong-armed the legislature to expand government services, he had the people with him. And he could punish opponents at the ballot box.

    Blagojevich is ignorant of his history and lacking common sense if he thinks he can muscle through major expansions of government services without either the people or the legislators on his side.


  31. - He makes Ryan Look like a Saint - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 1:31 pm:

    I am not suprised by the numbers on the Governor. It would be interesting if they would have included the General Assembly. I would have also liked to know what the respondents thought about a Con Con or Recall.


  32. - He makes Ryan Look like a Saint - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 1:39 pm:

    Rich, Is there a way to find out what the record is for the worse rating? And who owns it?


  33. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 1:43 pm:

    I’m pretty sure he’s at or worse than any approval ratings that George Ryan ever posted. But I should check that one. Could be fun.


  34. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 1:49 pm:

    Rasmussen confirms what anyone who talks to any of their neighbors, co-workers, friends, or strangers could already tell you. Opinions of Blagojevich range from “bungling” to “evil”.

    If you asked 100 voters to name one word which they think best describes him, you’d hear “confrontational”, “grandstanding”, “crooked”, and “incompetent” alot, but I don’t think anyone would describe him as “competent” or “leader”.


  35. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 1:52 pm:

    P.S. The gambling numbers are yet another wake-up call to Blagojevich. I’d like to see the crosstabs though. I wonder if alot of downstate voters aren’t opposed just because the money would go to Chicago.


  36. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 1:55 pm:

    They don’t break it down by region except they break out cook county, which opposes the plan 46-49


  37. - ZC - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 2:04 pm:

    Sampling size aside, I take that “would you ride public transportation if fares went up” with some healthy skepticism. Needy people with a limited budget will get hurt, because they don’t have the raw funds. But a lot of the surveyed are going to give a knee-jerk, inaccurate answer to that question. It’s still a lot cheaper to get downtown on $3 then to drive and park. I think the gap between how the CTA and suburban questions were answered is relevant though.


  38. - Jaded - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 2:15 pm:

    Sure Blago’s numbers are going to be worse than George Ryan’s. Why?

    People, for the most part, thought Ryan was a crook, but not a terrible Governor. With Blagojevich, people, for the most part, think he is a crook AND a terrible governor.


  39. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 2:51 pm:

    The poll with respect to the CTA and more gambling is not surprising. People do not want more gambling that sucks the lifeblood from a society to pay for everyday things. Maybe a trip to Mars, but I can assure you riding the CTA is not a trip to Mars.

    Doug Dobmeyer


  40. - Reddbyrd - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 2:54 pm:

    Maybe we can call him RockBlogovejich rather than ^@^%$@^%%$….but that might give Rock a bad name…and it feeds the attention disorder too
    Never mind


  41. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 3:02 pm:

    I just love these bloggers who are trying to put lipstick on this pig! Saying Blagojevich’s numbers are not as bad as Bush’s is utterly delusional.

    1.) These are Illinois voters - Bush never carried this state, and this state is Democratic!

    2.) You guys are quibbling over - what? 4 percentage difference?

    Face it guys, Blagojevich is seen as bad as president you have been bad-mouthing for seven years - right here in blue state Illinois.

    OK?

    No surprises there.

    I also love these bloggers that are claiming that the polling doesn’t reflect those who have had problems with their health care. Oh really? And how do you know that? You guys seem to have no problem quoting the same type of statistic about the Canadian health care fiasco, but are whining about this poll. You can’t have it both ways!

    The persons polled reflected their opinion. Just because you can’t use the results for your own biased postures, doesn’t mean that these people are stupid, ugly, or have never used their health insurance. What they have said is what we know.

    Quit whining.

    Blagojevich’s numbers are no surprise. The numbers regarding health care are also no surprise. Sorry guys but there are no silver linings for you today!


  42. - Leigh - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 3:05 pm:

    I can’t believe that 16% of the folks in Illinois are dumb enough not to recognize the failure that Blago is.


  43. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 3:06 pm:

    OH and PS - The anti-Iraq War movement is dying quickly. Better find a new dead horse to whip if voters are no longer hearing bad news from Baghdad. Bush will be history, and you will need new excuses for Pelosi and Reid’s antics!


  44. - Ghost - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 3:32 pm:

    Whats interesting is the Gov’s favorable numbers are smaller then half of the democratic base.


  45. - Nort'sider - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 3:36 pm:

    Did this poll, or has any similar poll, asked voters what they think of how Mike Madigan and Emil Jones, Tom Cross and Frank Watson are doing? As much as the public has sized up the governor, I’m very curious to know how the public views the legislative leaders.

    As for the RTA funding crisis, it’s time for the Cheshire Governor to put up or shut up. What’s YOUR plan, Rod? What are the details? How is it better than SB 572? Will your plan address transit needs outside the Chicago area? Will it correct the insane 10-1:roads-transit spending imbalance in the current capital spending bill? Are you really going to continue fiddling while the transit system burns?


  46. - Leigh - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 3:43 pm:

    I remember seeing a poll about who the public blamed. It was overwhelming how much they blamed the governor over everyone else.


  47. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 3:48 pm:

    Leigh, that was the August poll

    Who is most to blame for the government’s budget stalemate—Governor Rod Blagojevich, the state legislature, special interest groups, or voters?

    53% Blagojevich

    19% State Legislature

    20% Special Interest Groups

    2% Voters

    7% Not Sure


  48. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 3:54 pm:

    I think the multi-billions being asked for are going to keep Iraq on the people’s minds whatever the casualty levels are. $$ matter and they matter a lot when people are told the government can’t afford other things yet continue to pay out large sums towards the war.

    Truthfully, when I ask non-political friends and colleagues about Blago, I tend to get a non-committal answer. Most of them have either no opinion or a slightly negative opinion. I’m guessing it’s because none of my friends relies on the government for any service–they don’t take mass transit, they don’t receive state government benefits and they don’t work for the state government. Additionally, they don’t expect the Trib to say anything good about any Dem so they easily shrug off the negative news coverage of him.

    The politically activated friends either analytically dislike him or emotionally loathe him.


  49. - Macbeth - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 4:01 pm:

    At what point do the numbers need to dive to begin to question the people who *do* think Blago is doing a good job?

    In other words, if 83% say “fair or poor” — then what does that say about the 16%?

    This may be the case with all polls — but this poll in particular looks to say more about the people polled than the subject of the poll.

    Is there any more information on that 16% number?


  50. - one of the 35 - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 4:02 pm:

    Rich: This poll is obviously flawed. Blago’s favorable rating is way too high.


  51. - Reddbyrd - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 4:25 pm:

    Rich:
    Could get any one the 16% to submit to a exam? or some other review to see just what kind of whack job they are.
    Thanks a Heap


  52. - The big Fatty - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 4:28 pm:

    83% negative before Fitzgerald reegages. Some of that should be coming soon. Anyone else notice the absence of Chris Kelly doing the Gov’s fundraising?


  53. - Southern Right - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 4:57 pm:

    VM
    I agree with you on all counts. The Kaiser Foundation has called the so called 47 million uninsured a bogus number. It calculates at any one time that we average 15-20 million uninsured. We have allowed the media and liberals to keep saying their inflated propaganda as fact. Health care is out there if you look for it and most do.


  54. - Disgusted - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 7:10 pm:

    Where’s Bill???????


  55. - Faux Bill - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 7:25 pm:

    The governor’s popularity is on the verge of hitting an upslope. More than half of the public think he is not doing a poor job. Over half a million Illinoisans think he is doing an excellent job! (5% times 12 million).


  56. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 9:18 pm:

    Bill is working on his ‘10 campaign. His poll numbers are incredible!


  57. - JSF - Wednesday, Oct 24, 07 @ 10:54 pm:

    I’m a millionaire.
    I’m a millionaire.
    I’m a millionaire.

    Sorry, hope you all don’t mind indulging me.

    I’m trying the Vanilla Man “Repeat your fantasy and it will become true program.”

    For him, it involves repeating constantly, “The Iraq war has faded from the American consciousness as an issue.”

    For me, “I’m a millionaire. I’m a millionaire…”

    Carry on.


  58. - JSF - Thursday, Oct 25, 07 @ 7:06 am:

    “46.5 million nonelderly Americans lacked health insurance
    in 2006. ”

    Southern Right, that line comes directly from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s web site.

    What’s more, for you and VM, the same Kaiser Foundation conducted a poll and found Iraq the number one issue on Americans’ minds followed by health care.

    BS, even when presented with blustery certitude, is still BS.


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        * Illinois AG files notice of appeal in pension case..
        * Clemency for man wrongfully jailed for 1991 murder..
        * Rauner asks state agencies to prepare for the w.....


        * Clemency for man wrongfully jailed for 1991 murder
        * Illinois doctor fined over medical marijuana slip
        * Archbishop praises Obama's action on immigration
        * Firefighters rescue 4 boa constrictors from fire
        * Illinois AG files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Holiday travelers greeted by cheap gas, storms
        * Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed
        * Jobless rate falls in all 12 Illinois metro areas
        * New Lincoln museum exhibit has bed where he died
        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization

        * 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
        * 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


        * 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’
        * Norman Schoer, viola player with Grant Park Orchestra and Lyric Opera, dies at 103
        * Charity event looks like turkey tokenism
        * Lisa Madigan appeals ruling that KOed pension law
        * Lisa Madigan appeals ruling that KO'd pension law
        * Chicago’s overnight parking ban begins Monday
        * At least five cold-related deaths reported in Cook County
        * Release Koschman grand jury records


        * 3 Ferguson-related protesters arrested in Chicago
        * Oak Lawn insurer wants out of $3M award in cop shooting
        * Judge reassigned after failing to follow contempt rules, officials say
        * 5 hurt in separate city shootings
        * Crash-and-grab burglars hitting high-end stores in suburbs and Chicago
        * Cupich calls Obama action on immigration a 'first step'
        * Quinn pardons 126, including 1 of Dixmoor Five
        * New dog-friendly park coming to South Loop
        * Island Lake cops recount helping at scene where 2 deputies were shot
        * School lunch sales rise in district that rejected health guidelines


        * Let's Talk Kids - "Love Is Love"
        * LLCC Offers Variety Of Community Education Classes
        * Incoming U of I President Speaks To Springfield Audience
        * Another Year Of "Messiah" For Springfield Choral Society
        * Fumée Gypsy Project Plays At WUIS
        * 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


        * 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


        * Plenty of reasons to give thanks
        * Illini scramble for big win
        * Finke-led Chargers win in Danville
        * Huddle Up: Begrudging respect for Louisville
        * WBB preview: Paradise Jam
        * Couple sues owner of plane that crashed into home
        * MBB Preview: Sycamores bringing Big Ten style
        * Saluki women hand out 19 assists on 32 buckets to beat Memphis, 82-75
        * Casino appearance nothing new
        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization


        * Fremd turns back Meadows' tough newcomers
        * Vacant Lake Zurich parking ready for Christmas tree sales
        * Boys basketball: Fox Valley roundup Wednesday, Nov. 26
        * Palatine powers past Richards
        * Unbeaten Northern Iowa tops Northwestern 61-42 in Cancun

        * Luis Gutierrez: 'My Responsibility' to Reg...
        * Representatives Schakowsky, Gutierrez and ...
        * Gutiérrez warns of GOP 'fear campaign' aga...
        * Rep. Lipinski Urges Ways and Means Committ...
        * Reps. Lipinski and Roskam Lead Effort to S...
        * Lipinski on track with new rail policy pos...
        * Lipinski: New Mixture in Washington May Ge...
        * Lipinski Hoping for Restraint after Israel...
        * Opponents of deportation relief are scarin...
        * Lipinski Welcomes Archbishop Cupich, Thank...

        * U.S. Senators Urge Uzbek President To Rele......

        * Obama headed for defeat on Iran sanctions...

        * The Better Government Association continues to spread the lie about public employee pensions.
        * In Chicago the race is on. It’s easy as ABC.
        * No justice.
        * Be like Martin Luther King.
        * Bruce still hasn’t gotten it right. Pardon who?
        * Tweeting #FergusonInClass
        * If only I could hit the delete button on white racism.
        * Glen Brown: Should we worry about the unions’ “commitment… to develop a fair and constitutional solution to fund the state’s retirement systems” after the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling?
        * Rahm, the closer.
        * The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #27: The Bears Are Like Butter


        * 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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