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Monday, Sep 29, 2008

* 3:31 pm - Martin Ozinga attempts to explain that big contribution to Rod Blagojevich

Republican congressional candidate Martin Ozinga III said Monday he donated $10,000 to Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s campaign fund so that he and other concrete industry officials could have a private audience to express their concerns to him about state construction projects. […]

But Ozinga said he saw nothing wrong with the private luncheon held with Blagojevich and other concrete and construction industry officials. He said the donation was made at the request of another concrete industry official he did not name. […]

“It’s interesting to me that making contributions to Democrats is automatically considered pay to play,” Ozinga said. “That, in my opinion, is outrageous and I would challenge my opponent or anybody else to show that my company’s benefited in any which way shape or form by making political contributions to anybody.”

Ozinga said his company, Mokena-based Ozinga Bros., does not have any major state contracts, and instead acts as a subcontractor on some construction projects. It does hold a long-time contract with the city of Chicago.

Perhaps more explaining is needed.

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      


Bailout roll call… *** UPDATED x11 ***

Monday, Sep 29, 2008

* As you probably already know, the financial systems bailout bill just failed in the US House. The roll call is here.

* Illinois congresscritters voting “Yes” - with those who have serious or semi-serious November opposition in bold…

* Bean (D)
* Davis (D)
* Emanuel (D)
* Foster (D)
* Gutierrez (D)
* Hare (D)
* Kirk (R)
* LaHood (R)
* Schakowsky (D)

* Illinois congresscritters voting “No” - with those who have serious or semi-serious November opposition in bold…

* Biggert (R)
* Costello (D)
* Jackson (D)
* Johnson (R)
* Lipinski (D)
* Manzullo (R)
* Roskam (R)
* Rush (D)
* Shimkus (R)

Congressman Weller was the only member of the US House recorded as not voting. Typical.

*** UPDATE 1 *** From a press release issued by Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr….

“To heal the systemic problems in our financial system we need to treat the cause, not only the symptoms. Congress needs to pass and the president needs to sign into law the following provisions: 1) a second stimulus to help those squeezed by the financial crisis; 2) a substantial investment in infrastructure which could jump start the economy while creating jobs, and; 3) a program that helps keep taxpayers in their homes. This bill does not contain provisions that explicitly help borrowers restructure their mortgages. Buying ‘trash (bad mortgages) for cash ($700 billion bailout)’ may not cure our financial system, since it was these bad mortgages that engineered this market collapse,” said Jackson.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Suburban context from the Daily Herald

From the start, Bean was working to win support for Paulson’s $700 billion plan.

Bean’s challenger, Steve Greenberg, supported the proposal as well.

Foster was also an early backer, despite facing attacks from challenger Jim Oberweis in the largely Republican 14th District in the far western suburbs.

Roskam and Manzullo were the most skeptical from the start.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Finger-pointing

After the vote, Republicans claimed that the Democratic leadership had been warned that fewer than 60 Republicans would vote for the bill. Democrats denied the claim, saying they never would have brought the bill to the floor if they had been told there was so little Republican support.

“We delivered our votes,” Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) said.

*** UPDATE 4 *** Judy Biggert explains her opposition to Chicago Public Radio.

BIGGERT: Everybody seems to be in such a hurry to go home that I don’t think Congress is thinking clearly.

Biggert says the proposal the House voted on today did not go through the normal committee channels, which hurt its odds of passing. She says she would like a rescue bill to include a measure that would beef up the number of FBI inspectors looking into mortgage fraud.

*** UPDATE 5 *** From a Phil Hare press release

“It was not a gift or a blank check. It provided the federal government the authority to loan money to certain financial institutions so they could resume lending to ordinary Americans. This would have allowed more families to afford their homes, cars and tuition payments and enabled our farmers to continue buying equipment, seed and fertilizer.

“Now it is imperative that we go back to the drawing board and craft new bipartisan legislation that protects Main Street from Wall Street. As we consider our next steps, I will continue to fight to enact stronger protections for homeowners facing foreclosure, something this bill lacked.

“We should also pass an economic stimulus package that creates jobs by investing in our crumbling infrastructure.

*** UPDATE 6 *** From Peter Roskam’s press release

“While action is necessary to keep our economy on track, the heavy-handed push from the Bush Administration and this Democrat majority places too great a burden on taxpayers with no guarantee of success. The plan voted on in the House incorporated watered down aspects of executive compensation limits and provided for insufficient use of private capital.

“Unfortunately, negotiations were unable to produce a solution to keep our economy on track without exposing taxpayers to extraordinary risk – this is why the bill failed.

*** UPDATE 7 *** From a John Shimkus press release

“The free market system can deal with the crisis on its own. The free market system is not compassionate, but it is the quickest way to turn an economic crisis around.”

*** UPDATE 8 *** Another explanation

Prior to the vote, LaHood, R-Peoria, said he would back the $700 billion plan because changes made to it in recent days ease the concerns he previously had.

“I think it will give confidence to the market. I think it will give confidence to investors. I think it will give confidence to the American people,” LaHood said.

*** UPDATE 9 *** From Melissa Bean…

“I voted to support Secretary Paulson’s proposal only after working to improve it with limits on executive compensation for those who got us into this mess. I pushed for a strong equity stake for taxpayers, so that when the financial sector profits, taxpayers profit too. And I pushed for strong bipartisan oversight of this unprecedented authority.”

*** UPDATE 10 *** From Rep. Bill Foster…

“Nobody likes the situation we are in, and this bill was far from perfect, but today, in an extremely tough and close vote, I supported the Emergency Economic Stabilization bill to ensure the economic hardships facing our middle-class families and small businesses all over the 14th District would not worsen,” Rep. Foster said. “The bill was the tough medicine we needed to get the economy back on solid footing.”

After the bill failed, as a result political gamesmanship, the New York Stock Exchange lost 777.78 points or 7%. The NASDAQ lost more than 9 percent. According to Bloomberg News, $1.2 trillion in market value was erased from American equities.

Said Foster, “We now know the price of inaction — $1.2 trillion lost today alone. You don’t have to be a scientist or a businessman to know that the $350 billion we were committing to stabilize the market – with good prospects for most of the money being returned over time — was a much better deal for Americans than what happened as a result of the bill being defeated.”

*** UPDATE 11 *** Schock and Callahan both would have voted “Yes”

Both the Democrat and Republican candidates for the 18th District Congressional seat say they would have voted for the bailout bill. […]

“Those questions I did have, have been answered. And as distasteful as this bailout is, I could and would vote for this package,” said Democratic candidate Colleen Callahan.

“Something has to be done. To do nothing in this case, absolutely nothing, would wreak havoc on our economy in this country,” said Republican candidate Aaron Schock.

- Posted by Rich Miller   85 Comments      


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Monday, Sep 29, 2008

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In the face of budget cuts and a deficit, a constitutional convention would cost taxpayers $80 million

Monday, Sep 29, 2008

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

In Springfield, they’re cutting $140 million dollars for school construction across the state. They’re slashing $600 million in health care for the poor, shutting down drug prevention programs and removing funds for gun violence prevention initiatives. They’re even cutting funds to help abused children.

But on November 4th, some people in Springfield want us to spend an estimated $80 million dollars on a constitutional convention.

That’s why Citizen Action/Illinois, along with the Illinois League of Women Voters, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and many other organizations oppose a constitutional convention.

Let’s send a strong message to the lobbyists, politicians and special interests: Illinois can’t afford $80 million dollars for a con-con when we have so many other priorities.

Learn more about the why you should Vote No on a constitutional convention by visiting http://www.protectillinoisconstitution.org .

William McNary
Lynda DeLaforgue
Co-Directors, Citizen Action/Illinois

- Posted by Capitol Fax Blog Advertising Department   Comments Off      


DCCC makes costly error; Schock can’t see writing on the wall

Monday, Sep 29, 2008

* The DCCC made a pretty stupid mistake when it waited until just the other day tot release these relatively (in campaign terms) ancient poll numbers

A Global Strategy Group poll conducted August 17-19 of 400 likely voters with a 4.9% margin of error shows Dan Seals within striking distance of Congressman Mark Kirk 39%-46% with 14% undecided. After voters are informed with each candidates’ message and bio, Dan Seals comes out ahead 45%-40%.

At the presidential level, Illinois Senator Barack Obama leads the district 51%-36% over Senator John McCain. President Bush’s approval rating in the district is an abysmal 21%.

“Republican Congressman Kirk is clearly extremely vulnerable for voting with his Republican leadership 88% of the time,” said DCCC Midwest Regional Press Secretary Ryan Rudominer.

* Kirk’s campaign released its own poll two weeks ago which showed him with a 22-point lead.

* That poll prompted Charlie Cook to downgrade the Democratic challenger’s prospects from “tossup” to “lean Republican”…

While we still expect Kirk’s lead in polling to close between now and Election Day as Democratic voters “come home,” it is notable that he appears to maintain a significant lead against 2006 Democratic nominee Dan Seals.

Unlike some of his perennially targeted peers, Kirk has been aggressive in going after his opponent early on in the general election campaign. He has leveraged his financial edge over Seals to run ads accusing the Democrat of wanting to raise the capital gains tax and holding a subsidized-gas stunt in the district that clogged traffic and earned a police fine. For his part, Seals will label Kirk as a pro-war Bush ally who is out of touch on the economy and in the pocket of big oil.

Republican polling showing a 20 point gap in this race paints a picture that is likely to fade over the next few weeks, as Democrats ramp up their attacks on Kirk and Seals has more of a chance to tie himself to Obama. But Kirk has run an impressive campaign to date, and has put more distance between his own standing and that of the top of the GOP ticket than we expected. This race is still highly competitive, but for now, it moves back to the Lean Republican column.

That won’t help at all.

* Meanwhile, GOP congressional frontrunner Aaron Schock is still having trouble with that Bush fundraising issue…

State Rep. Aaron Schock’s campaign manager said Friday that if U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign pays the local costs of police and fire protection during a visit to Springfield last month, then they might consider doing the same for Peoria.

Might consider?

Considering that Springfield is billing Obama’s campaign for a public event that could be attended by anyone for free (unlike Schock’s purely private event that charged an admission price), Schock may have to do more than maybe consider a refund…

A city of Springfield spokesman said the city, behind a policy of Mayor Tim Davlin, will charge Obama’s presidential campaign approximately $50,000 for a visit to the Capitol City on Aug. 23 to announce that Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., would be his running mate.

* And there was more on the Bush visit in today’s Peoria paper

Police Chief Steven Settingsgaard got his picture taken with President George W. Bush in July, when the president attended a fundraiser at Angus Weaver Farm in support of state Rep. Aaron Schock, who is running for Congress. […]

What we’re not sure about, though, is whether the chief paid the $5,000 asking price for the picture, if he got to keep the photograph for free, or if he even walked off with a photograph. Plus, who was “they?” He declined to answer follow-up questions we had about the picture.

Regardless of the merits of reimbursing the city, this has become a political no-brainer.

* More roundups…

* Ill. congressional candidate capitalizing on Obama

* Congressional ad battle focuses on George Bush

* Bill to block CN buy fails in House

* Bean, Greenberg share economic goals

* Cook Report Downgrades Dan Seals [With Seals TV ad]

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


Question of the day

Monday, Sep 29, 2008

Do you use any “social network” sites like FaceBook, MySpace, Linkedin, Twitter, etc.?

If so, how often do you check your pages, how do you use your site(s) and do you think they’re worth the effort? Explain fully, please. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      


Daley continues to stonewall

Monday, Sep 29, 2008

* Mayor Daley dodged questions last Thursday about how hundreds of vacancies at the Chicago Police Dept. may be impacting the city’s horrible crime problem…

A broadcast journalist mentioned the Tribune story [regarding the vacancies] to him, and Daley replied: “I know, don’t worry. Tomorrow, we’ll be there. OK, thank you.”

* Hizzoner made no comments about the matter on Friday, but he did have something to say about the topic on Saturday

“No, no,” said Daley when asked about the lack of new hires and the impact on safety. When pressed, Daley bristled and said, “It just won’t.”

It just won’t.

Nice explanation, mayor.

* More from Saturday

Mayor Richard Daley says his administration is working on hiring more Chicago police officers but offered no time frame for the positions.

Just trust him. Magic money will certainly appear.

* A recent Rasmussen Reports poll asked respondents whether they believed Chicago was a safe place to live.

This was a statewide poll, but a plurality, 42-33, believed the city was safe. 25 percent were unsure. Even a plurality of self-identified conservatives thought the city was a safe place to live by a 38-35 margin. Just shy of a majority of liberals said it was safe, 48-37. 42 percent of males and females thought it was safe.

The racial disparity, however, was huge.

42 percent of whites thought the city was a safe place to live, while 30 percent said it wasn’t.

But just 18 percent of African-Americans surveyed said Chicago was a safe place to live and a large majority, 59 percent, said it wasn’t safe.

63 percent of those making over $100K a year thought the city was safe, while just 25 percent of those making $20K-$40K said it was safe.

Not surprising, of course, but definitely food for thought. For all its progress, Chicago is still a sharply divided town when it comes to standard of living.

Daley needs to stop stonewalling on this police vacancy situation, own up to the mess and get something done.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


Sun-Times: Rezko talking; Federal probe of guv & wife “at top speed” *** UPDATED x1 ***

Monday, Sep 29, 2008

[Bumped up a couple of times and comments now open.]

* Ominous news afoot

Just weeks before he is to be sentenced, political fund-raiser Tony Rezko is in the midst of intense discussions with federal investigators, sources close to the investigation confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times.

There’s no question federal authorities are interested in Rezko, a former top adviser and fundraiser to Gov. Blagojevich, as a federal witness. But one source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, warned it’s too early to call the discussions full-fledged cooperation.

Already, however, Rezko has provided information to the feds, who are in the process of vetting it, sources said. […]

Rezko not only was privy to inside meetings with the governor, but engaged in numerous real estate dealings with his wife, Patti.

* And the kicker…

One source with knowledge of the investigation into the governor and into his wife Patti Blagojevich’s real estate dealings say the probe is going “at top speed.” [emphasis added]

* The Tribune also uses the governor/wife angle in its story

[Rezko’s] cooperation would give prosecutors investigating the governor and his wife access to someone they have described as an ultimate political insider at the center of a pervasive pay-to-play scheme. […]

Still, there are indications Rezko has already provided investigators with information.

Four attorneys have told the Tribune in recent days that federal prosecutors have telephoned them and other attorneys either with news Rezko is talking, or armed with details only Rezko could know. The lawyers speculated prosecutors are using the preliminary talks with Rezko to shake loose more cooperation from other witnesses.

“I had very recent a conversation with an assistant U.S. attorney that led me to believe they were getting specific information from either Mr. Rezko or Mr. Rezko’s lawyer,” said a defense attorney who said he represents a figure in the case.

*** UPDATE *** Check out the comments by the BGA guy in this CLTV report…


- Posted by Rich Miller   85 Comments      


Waste, fraud, ineptitude and abuse *** UPDATED x1 ***

Monday, Sep 29, 2008

* Considering all the recent reports that Tony Rezko is talking, possibly related to some of Ali Ata’s stories about alleged corruption involving the governor, the timing of this story seems like a bit of a coinkydink

Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration has canceled a lucrative office lease with a convicted former state agency director who testified in the corruption trial of Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

The decision, announced Friday, came four months after the Tribune reported that Ali Ata had failed to disclose the names of his partners in that lease and three old leases, as required by law.

Ata was in line to receive up to $13 million under a contract extending to 2018 for a South Side office building used by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Ata was a onetime associate of Rezko, the Blagojevich fundraiser convicted on federal charges that he used his political clout to orchestrate a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme.

* This next one just doesn’t surprise me. Another splashy gubernatorial press conference to announce a sexy initiative that has a totally bungled follow-through

With deaths on the rise in highway construction zones, the state cracked down four years ago by mandating stiff fines for motorists caught speeding by high-tech photo enforcement.

Yet so far this year, Cook County has not recorded a single conviction carrying the hefty fines and court costs, a Tribune analysis of court records has found. The vast majority of offenders saw the charges dismissed outright or reduced to a regular speeding ticket with much smaller fines and penalties.

Enforcement of the law appears spotty in DuPage County as well.

The supervising judge over Traffic Court in Chicago expressed surprise at the results, while Cook County prosecutors blamed poor photo quality for many of the cases being thrown out by judges or passed over for prosecution.

* The Post-Dispatch runs a very well-researched story today about alleged spending abuses in the Illinois Capital Litigation Trust Fund…

— The fund has become a magnet for investigators and experts who travel to Illinois from all over the country to participate in trials, and a full-time income source for area professionals. One Springfield investigator’s website states that the fund “created an opening … to go into business” for himself.

— Defense professionals routinely charge private-sector rates to the tax-funded system, sometimes billing hundreds of dollars an hour for making phone calls, driving, flying — even packing suitcases. Many have earned six figures from the fund; a couple have approached the $1 million mark.

— Prosecutors, too, have been allowed to bill the state fund for death penalty trials, a fact that some critics believe encourages them to seek the death penalty in murder trials, pushing costs onto the state instead of their home counties. Records show some prosecutors used death penalty trials as justification to bill the state for office equipment, computers and inmate medical care, all normally county expenses.

— Three years after the Legislature revised the fund’s rules in response to reported abuses, there remain few limitations on how much can be billed, and for what. Cost control rests with presiding judges who, swamped with stacks of bills and hesitant to taint their trials, are under pressure to approve just about any voucher that’s put in front of them.

* An accompanying article takes a closer look at one beneficiary…

A Metro East private investigator has been the biggest beneficiary of the state’s death penalty fund.

Alva Busch, a retired Illinois State Police crime scene technician prone to wearing an Indiana Jones-style hat and suspenders, has billed the Illinois death penalty fund more than $920,000 over about five years through his company, Metro Investigations.

A Post-Dispatch review of records show Busch, 60, has worked on more than 20 death penalty cases from Belleville to Chicago.

His billing hours range from as many as 49 hours (a total of $3,185.00) billed on one day to a quarter of an hour ($18) to send an e-mail.

On a Cook County death penalty case, he billed 1.5 hours — the time it took him to prepare billing statements for the previous two years. On April 16, 2007, he billed $65 — or one hour —to send trial exhibits through UPS. […]

Busch was allowed to bill for hundreds of dollars in “out of pocket” expenses, but rules governing the fund don’t require itemized receipts.

Oy.

* And check this out

$88,000 - Charge for bringing in Harvard psychiatrist as a witness
$10,000 - Cost to build mock-up of crime scene that was never used
$9,500 - Bills for “attempts to locate witness,” at $75 per hour
$360 - Charge for 80 minutes it took expert witness to pack for flight
$97 - Bill for 90 minutes spent making $17 in copies at Kinko’s
$18 - Investigator’s bill for sending an e-mail

Go read the whole thing.

*** UPDATE *** Oops. Forgot to add the “somewhat related” links…

* Illinois’ Human Services Network Anticipating Layoffs

* Budget issues far from decided

* State budget mess far from fixed

* Lawmakers: Budget revolt aimed at governor, not laws

* Lawmakers continue tussle with Blagojevich

* Blagojevich’s ‘double dippers’ law just might be unconstitutional

- Posted by Rich Miller   6 Comments      


Tribune now favors pre-impeachment hearings

Monday, Sep 29, 2008

* Today’s Tribune editorial makes a stunning prediction in its opening paragraph…

After what has happened in the last few days, it’s more likely that Gov. Rod Blagojevich will be indicted or impeached or both.

* The Trib goes on to reference the allegations of a stepped-up investigation against Blagojevich and his wife, and last week’s appellate court ruling which stopped the governor from implementing a new program without legislative approval. The Tribsters say all we can do is wait and see what Patrick Fitzgerald does, but

Blagojevich’s attempt to go around lawmakers and spend money they didn’t approve for a vast health care program may be just as insidious as his pay-to-play politics. His effort to expand health care through the program known as FamilyCare was soundly rejected by the Illinois legislature. But he did it anyway, spending millions of dollars to broaden eligibility for state-funded health care to people with higher family incomes.

* And that leads us to the Tribune’s flip-flop on impeachment…

Earlier this year, this page strongly supported a movement to give voters the chance, through a constitutional amendment, to recall public officials. We said at the time that impeachment of the governor shouldn’t be pursued. But this court ruling on his health care gamble gives reason to revisit that.

Democratic Rep. Jack Franks has encouraged House Speaker Michael Madigan to convene a committee to investigate if articles of impeachment are warranted. That seems like a sound idea.

So, they’re not exactly in favor of impeachment, just in favor of holding hearings to see whether impeachment is warranted. But that’s a start. The Blagojevich administration was spinning last June’s wishy-washy editorial as a stern warning against holding preliminary impeachment hearings. I can’t wait to see the react to this one.

…Adding… But will the governor even read the editorial?

[Blagojevich was] appearing on WGN on a panel of Tribune sportswriters and a couple former Cub players assigned the task of compiling the best all-Chicago baseball team of all time.

Upon his introduction, the governor said it’s great to be with all the sportswriters.

“It’s the only part of the newspaper I read.”

Yeah. I’m sure.

* Related…

* Blagojevich can’t expand state-subsidized health care without lawmakers’ approval, appellate court rules

* Court denies Blagojevich health care expansion

* Court blocks Blagojevich’s health-care expansion

* Rezko saga hits big time in SNL debate

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


Morning shorts

Monday, Sep 29, 2008

* Chicagoans in for Property Tax Shocker

Houlihan says less affluent communities will be hit the hardest. He says half of all homeowners in the Garfield Park neighborhood will see an increase of about 20 percent or more on their tax bill.

* Chicago’s toxic air

People living in Chicago and nearby suburbs face some of the highest risks in the nation for cancer, lung disease and other health problems linked to toxic chemicals pouring from industry smokestacks, according to a Tribune analysis of federal data.

* Sun-Times: Alvarez is our pick for state’s attorney

It is an office of enormous power. Simply by starting an investigation, a prosecutor can savage a person’s life. We raise this issue because Peraica, for all his strengths, has revealed a habit of attacking first and mastering the details later, a troubling trait for someone who wants to be the county’s top criminal prosecutor.

In one instance, for example, Peraica turned a fair shot into a cheap shot. He appropriately questioned whether Alvarez was wise to pick Robert Clifford, a powerhouse personal injury lawyer who has sued the county in the past, to be her campaign finance chairman. Alvarez’s response is that if a conflict of interest were to arise, she would deal with it openly.

But Peraica went on to suggest that Alvarez somehow violated legal ethics and the law by turning over to Clifford various criminal court files in the case of Girl X, the 9-year-old girl who was raped and beaten in 1997. Clifford was representing Girl X in a civil suit. In truth, Alvarez did not personally turn over any files to Clifford. Rather, he obtained the files through the routine, legal and entirely appropriate discovery process.

Peraica is a smart lawyer. He knows better.

* EDITORIAL: Legislation could help curb credit card abuses in college

* Bernard Schoenburg: Candidates push their messages with e-mail — lots of it

* Ethics loophole needs to be closed

* SJ-R Opinion: Take a simple approach to ethics reform

* Vote no on state con-con question

* Arlington Heights Legislator Wants to Add Bite to Rail Safety Rules

- Posted by Kevin Fanning   7 Comments      


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Monday, Sep 29, 2008

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


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        * Man dies after being shot during Missouri hunt
        * Illinois' Rauner tackles full transition agenda

        * 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
        * State pension changes ruled unconstitutional; appeal to Illinois Supreme Court likely
        * Illinois pension case likely headed to high court
        * Judge: Pension ruling to come Friday
        * Rauner mum on fixes for ‘dire’ state finances, wants Quinn to freeze hiring
        * Rauner mum on fixes for ‘dire’ state finances
        * Judge to hear pension law arguments today

        * Here's how Chicago church members are spending their $500
        * Obama's Chicago visit tomorrow will focus on immigration order
        * Chicago's neon signs shine in new book
        * AndroGel giving AbbVie performance anxiety
        * Turning the kitchen into a tech hot spot


        * Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85
        * Simple GOP remedy: Enact immigration reform
        * Jarrett: Obama honored Boehner's request on immigration
        * Rauner, Brooks hand out turkeys and trimmings
        * Garcia says he has 60,000 signatures for mayoral run
        * After aid papers are forged, city colleges repay $4 million
        * Our ancestors, all immigrants, are watching us now
        * Is there a way for GOP to defuse immigration issue?
        * Coalition pushing advisory vote for elected CPS board
        * Obama dismisses GOP criticism on immigration


        * Ferguson grand jury expected to resume deliberations Monday
        * 3 men, boy hurt in separate shootings
        * 2 women, dog rescued from rubble of collapsed South Side building
        * Colder temperatures to turn rain into snow
        * 2 injured in hit and run crash on Dan Ryan
        * Man dies after single-car crash in Ashburn
        * 3 people hurt in wrong-way crash on I-90
        * Police alert Ravenswood residents of two burglaries
        * Cook County Sheriff's police find missing 12-year-old girl
        * Police warn West Town residents of recent robberies


        * WUIS/SJ-R Business Report: Transmission Line Meetings Planned; More Space For Senior Living
        * Part Timers & Manufacturing in Illinois Feeling a Slow Economic Recovery
        * Photographer Kari Bedford Puts "Girls In Focus"
        * Midwest Travel: Starved Rock In The Winter
        * Ears Turn To Supreme Court For Next Pensions Cue
        * Listen to State Week - November 21, 2014
        * State To Refund Retiree Health Care Money
        * Labor unions celebrate judge's ruling against Illinois pension law
        * Judge Finds Reductions In Pension Benefits Unconstitutional
        * Pension Ruling Imminent


        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 24, 2014
        * Our Opinion: Illiana project too risky for tapped-out Illinois
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Sen. Manar backs aide Watson over Cahnman, Proctor in Ward 5
        * Karen Cox: Shop for a cause
        * Andy Shaw: Protect Illinois’ FOIA law from unnecessary tinkering
        * Quote of the Day: Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014
        * Rauner tackles transition agenda
        * Attorney general warns of immigration scams
        * Deckle McLean: Plagiarism comes with a price
        * Charles Krauthammer: The climate pact swindle


        * Snow in forecasts to begin holiday week
        * New mixed-use development for downtown
        * Best deal on two wheels? Urbana bike giveaway
        * Salute to veterans: 'They didn't know where we were'
        * Pope Francis calls for family resurrection
        * This day in history: Nov. 24, 2014
        * A hiring freeze?
        * Area history, Nov. 24, 2014
        * Monticello senior joins the parade
        * Future Five: Entertainment for the week ahead


        * Missing Hoffman Estates girl found in Mount Prospect
        * Dawn Patrol: Snow on the way; Bears beat Bucs 21-13
        * Mount Prospect denies officer's discrimination complaint
        * Students sought for planned private high school in Batavia
        * Gusty winds, snow expected in some suburbs Monday

        * Bob Dold Defeats Brad Schneider In Illinoi...
        * Republican Bob Dold wins 10th District seat
        * Roskam, Deutch Introduce Stop SCAMS Act - ...
        * Veteran guest speaker shares brain injury ...
        * Images: Tammy Duckworth's 2006 6th Congres...
        * Peter Roskam Defeats Michael Mason In Illi...
        * Roskam keeps 6th Congressional seat - Chic...
        * Davis retains US Congress 7th seat with ea...
        * Dold, Schneider massive GOTV drive for Ill...
        * Roskam, Mason Target Spending - Journal & ...

        * Durbin Releases Statement On EPA Decision ......
        * Supreme Court Decision Could Impact Illinois...
        * Weiss for Treasury Secretary...

        * Jackson: Menendez prods Obama over ISIS...
        * As deadline nears for Iran nuclear talks, ......

        * Republican House members propose state school funding advisory committee
        * City of Elgin, Illinois blocks Christians from witnessing to gang members
        * Illinois' Luis Gutierrez tells Republicans to 'Stop Whining'
        * Left-wing activists plan Chicago viewing party for Obama's immigration speech
        * 'Deception' alleged as Illinois abortionist obtains Indiana license
        * More Gambling in the Gates for Horse Tracks [video]
        * Rep. Kinzinger responds to Obama's immigration executive order [audio]
        * Women's Look at the 2014 Election Results and American Public Opinion [video]
        * Portrait of an Artist as a Sexual Atheist
        * ‘Star Wars’ Museum: Emanuel Got Campaign Cash From Disney, George Lucas’ Wife, Before Pushing to Donate City Land


        * Illinois Residents Asked to Put the Tobacco Down - Support the Great American Smokeout – November 20
        * Governor Quinn Statement on President Obama’s Executive Action
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Selection of New University of Illinois President
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Senate Committee Passage of Minimum Wage Legislation
        * Governor Quinn Statement on the Installation of Archbishop Blase Cupich




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