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This just in… *** Guv to appoint Burris *** White says No *** Blatant appeal to race *** Quinlan resigns ***

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2008

* 3:59 pm - OK, that’s it for me. Check the news feeds. I’ll leave comments open for the rest of the night. Heading back to the beach, I think.

* 3:53 pm - The governor’s chief legal counsel has resigned

The Blagojevich administration’s top lawyer, William J. Quinlan, resigned today — the same day that the governor announced he’s decided to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat.

“Today, I have decided to resign my position as General Counsel and return to private practice,” Quinlan wrote in a memo to his staff.

The memo, a copy of which was obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, made only a passing reference to Blagojevich’s Dec. 9 arrest on corruption charges.

“We should not let recent events diminish the pride in our accomplishments or the commitment to public service with which we approach our job each day,” he wrote. “The state of Illinois is a great place to live and work. The opportunity to serve its citizens is truly an honor.”

* These quotes show, even more, how detached from reality that Roland Burris is right now. Congressman Danny Davis quoted in The Hill

“He expressed confidence in his ability to have the trust of people to the extent that he could not only do a good job, but that he also could help restore trust,” Davis said.

“He sort of indicated that with all his years of statewide service, a lot of people knew Roland Burris, and knew what Roland Burris stood for, and knew that he had a record of working with all different kinds of people,” Davis said. […]

“I knew how much time one would need to spend defending the decision. I didn’t want to spend so much of my time dealing with that,” Davis said.

“He had a slightly different perspective,” Davis continued. “He was willing to go through it. I was not.”

* I didn’t notice (the sound was off on the TV I was watching) that both Blagojevich and Rush used the word “lynch” in their remarks…

Rush asked his audience “not to hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointor.”

“There are no African-Americans in the Senate and I don’t think anyone — any U. S. Senator that’s sitting in the Senate right now wants to go on record to deny one African-American from being seated in the U.S. Senate.

“Feel free to castigate the appointor but don’t lynch the appointor,” Governor Rod Blagojevich said as he left.

* From Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias…

Gov. Blagojevich’s actions today demonstrate an even greater need for the General Assembly to move quickly with impeachment proceedings and remove him from office. The question here is not whether Roland Burris would make a good Senator. The question is whether Blagojevich should have the right to make the appointment.

Regardless of whether he wanted to appoint Mother Theresa or Abraham Lincoln, I believe Blagojevich lost that right when he allegedly attempted to sell the Senate seat to the highest bidder. He abused his power and should lose his appointment power. Because of Blagojevich’s actions, the appointment process has been tainted and will continue to be tainted as long as he holds office. In the best interest of the people of Illinois, I encourage Secretary of State White to refuse to certify the appointment.

* The Republicans have no subpoena power. Keep that in mind while reading this

The minority spokesman on the committee investigating impeachment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich said today he will subpoena the governor’s nominee for U.S. Senate.

State Rep. Jim Durkin, R-82nd, of Western Springs, had asked former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to turn down the governor’s appointment.

“If Mr. Burris decides to accept this appointment, as I assume (he will) against the wishes of the millions of Illinoisans, I feel it is necessary he be compelled to testify before the Special Investigative Committee,” Durkin said.

* From Speaker Madigan’s spokesman, Steve Brown…

I think I will defer on today’s questions.

Be assured the impeachment process will continue

* Jesse White was just asked about the blatant racial component in Blagojevich’s latest move: “Even though Roland Burris is an African-American, it doesn’t mean that an appointment by a different governor would not be [a black person].”

* Blagojevich video clip blaming everything on the GA…


* From a good friend…

And if this is a race thing, how could [Burris] represent mortgage lenders during the midst of the subprime mess?

Roland Burris has no idea what sort of heat is coming his way. The hostile microscope. The negative, probing press. He’s never had to endure anything like this. He’s a goner, and he has no clue.

* This is the governor’s exact quote which blamed it all on the Illinois General Assembly…

But let me say again, the law requires that the Governor make an appointment of the United States Senator in the absence of any other law that would have given the people of Illinois a chance to be able to elect a successor. And when the legislature didn’t act on the legislation which would have given the people the right to elect the next senator, failing then, it’s the Governor’s responsibility to fill the vacancy.

* Kevin reports from the scene that several African-Americans began shouting questions at Pat Quinn, but were eventually quieted by reporters. “They seemed like lackeys,” Kevin said. Go figure.

* As some commenters have noted, the governor threw the GA right under the bus today

Blagojevich said he moved to appoint Burris after the General Assembly declined to approve legislation for a special election to find a new U.S. senator

* Politico

Another complication in the selection is that Burris is a registered lobbyist in Illinois and Washington, D.C. His Chicago-based firm, Burris & Lebed, is registered in Springfield to represent clients ranging from Comcast to the Illinois Funeral Directors Association. In 2007, the firm was also registered to represent the Illinois Association of Mortgage Bankers. The firm is registered in both Springfield and Washington to represent MicroSun Technologies LLC, an Illinois-based maker of battery and power supplies.

Burris’ lobbying partner is Fred Lebed, a veteran Democratic political operative who once served as executive director of the Cook County party and has also held a number of state government posts.

* From The Hill

Associate Senate Historian Don Ritchie said the four examples since 1913 include Democrat Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi, who died while a Senate committee was investigating corruption charges against him in 1947; Republican Frank Smith of Illinois, whom the Senate voted against seating due to corruption charges in 1928, and Democrats Henry Clayton and Franklin Glass of Alabama, both of whom withdrew their bids in 1913 after a dispute arose over the governor’s authority to appoint them.

Ritchie also said senators are often seated but then investigated by the chamber’s Rules Committee to determine whether any charges against the senator have merit.

That was the case in Sen. Mary Landrieu’s case, Ritchie noted for example. The Louisiana Democrat won a narrow election in 1996 and was seated while the Rules Committee probed charges of voter fraud before ultimately exonerating Landrieu after 10 months

But Ritchie conceded the Blagojevich situation was different.

“We really haven’t had a case like this,” he said. “There’s just nothing quite comparable.”

* The blatant play to race-baiting on Rush’s part wasn’t unexpected. He’s said pretty much the same for weeks now. But Rush went way beyond that, promising to pressure the Congressional Black Caucus and the Senate Democratic Caucus on behalf of this appoitment.

* CNN is now playing up the Jesse White angle. Keep in mind that this is not a state law that requires certification of the Senate choice. It’s a US Senate rule. This may very well stick.

* And, it’s over. Wow.

* Congressman Bobby Rush just said he wanted to “thank God” for this decision to appoint Burris. Laying it on thick. “He’s an esteemed member of this state and of this community… My prayers have been answered.”

* Blagojevich said he was “absolutely confident and certain” that the US Senate would seat Burris. He may be in for a surprise.

* The governor is fillibustering the press with a long statement about how not filling the vacancy would deprive the people of Illinois of full representation in the US Senate.

* Burris said he was called by Blagojevich on Sunday. He had no comment on the governor’s legal status, saying that as a former attorney general he believed in the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

* 2:01 pm - Here we go. CNN has it live

* 1:58 pm - Letter from US Senate Democrats on the pending Blagojevich action…

It is truly regrettable that despite warning from all 50 Democratic senators and public officials throughout Illinois, Gov. Blagojevich would take the imprudent step of appointing someone to the United States Senate who would serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety. We say this without prejudice toward Roland Burris’s ability, and we respect his years of public service. But this is not about Mr. Burris; it is about the integrity of a governor accused of attempting to sell this United States Senate seat. Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.

Next week we will start one of the most important debates of the year outlining an economic recovery plan to create jobs and invest in America. And in the coming weeks, we will be working to protect homeowners and consumers, make America more energy independent, strengthen our national security, and improve health care and educational opportunities. There is much work to do and a lot at stake. It is thus critical that Illinois and every other state have two seated senators without delay.

We again urge Gov. Blagojevich to not make this appointment. It is unfair to Mr. Burris, it is unfair to the people of Illinois and it will ultimately not stand. The governor must put the interests of the people of Illinois and all Americans first by stepping aside now and letting his successor appoint someone who we will seat.

* 1:58 pm - Jesse White statement…

As I have previously stated publicly, I cannot co-sign a document that certifies any appointment by Rod Blagojevich for the vacant United State Senate seat from Illiois.

Although I have respect for former Attorney General Roland Burris, because of the current cloud of controversy surrounding the Governor, I cannot accept the document.

* 12:59 pm - Secretary of State Jesse White’s office says they will not certify the appointment. Certification is required to be seated in the Senate.

* 11:30 am - So much for spending quiet time on the beach. Sources say that Gov. Blagojevich will appoint Roland Burris to the vacant US Senate seat.

Secretary of State Jesse White has said he wouldn’t sign off on any Blagojevich appointment, as is required, but his spokesman could not be reached. I’ll let you know what I hear.


* 11:45 am -
From the Tribune

Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected today to name former Illinois Atty. Gen. Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.

The action comes despite warnings by Democratic Senate leaders that they would not seat anyone appointed by the disgraced governor who faces criminal charges of trying to sell the post, sources familiar with the decision said.

Shortly after Obama’s Nov. 4 victory, Burris made known his interest in an appointment to the Senate but was never seriously considered, according to Blagojevich insiders. But in the days following Blagojevich’s arrest, and despite questions over the taint of a Senate appointment, Burris stepped up his efforts to win the governor’s support.

Though he is 71, Burris has said that Obama’s replacement should be able to win re-election and he has noted that despite a string of primary losses in races ranging from Chicago mayor to governor and U.S. senator, he’s never lost to a Republican.

* 12:11 pm - A quick check of campaign finance records shows Burris’ consulting company has contributed about $11K to Blagojevich’s campaign fund. The consulting company has benefitted from a bunch of state contracts since then, many of which doing PR work on behalf of IDOT minority contracting efforts.

Blagojevich privately credits Burris with playing a major role in the governor’s 2002 Democratic primary win. Burris took the African-American vote away from Paul Vallas, who was always quite popular in the black community. Blagojevich finished behind Burris and Vallas in Chicago (he barely won his own congressional district), so Burris’ spoiler role was crucial to Blagojevich’s win.

* 12:29 pm - Ben Smith at Politico

The Senate will not seat Roland Burris if Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich attempts to appoint him, a Democratic leadership aide said.

Majority Leader Harry Reid views Burris as “unacceptable,” the aide said.

* 12:38 pm - From the IL GOP…

Statement from Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna on Roland Burris Senate Appointment:

“Illinois Republicans were the first to demand Rod Blagojevich have nothing to do with appointing our next United States Senator.

“Because they went back on their word and refused to strip Blagojevich of his appointment power and pass a special election, Illinois Democrats have created yet another constitutional crisis for Illinois.

“Blagojevich Democrat Roland Burris is emblematic of the old-school, pay-to-play culture that has plagued Illinois for generations and this appointment is another embarrassment for the people of Illinois.

“Once again, Blagojevich Democrats have failed the people of Illinois by refusing to strip Rod Blagojevich of his senate appointment power and blocking a vote of the people.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   422 Comments      


Reader comments closed until Monday

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2008

* Note from Rich: Here’s the roundup compiled by my new intern Mike. Have a great week. We’re taking some time off…

* Probe of Rod Blagojevich targeted state hiring going back to January 2003

Federal grand jury subpoenas released Monday by Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration after a long court fight show that a widespread-corruption investigation of state hiring extended even to decisions made before the Democratic governor took office in January 2003.

Now four subpoenas from 2006, made public as the result of a lawsuit the administration lost, shed a little more light on what federal authorities were examining.

The 17 pages of documents show federal investigators sought all personnel records from the governor’s office dating to Jan. 1, 2003, as well as computer records or other backup materials from the governor’s office and more than a dozen state agencies that report to the governor. The subpoenas, written between May and July of 2006, also sought detailed personnel information about 14 people, many of whom were state employees involved in hiring.

The release of the documents is the result of a long court battle waged over a state Freedom of Information Act request filed by the non-profit Better Government Association, which sued two years ago when the administration refused to hand over the subpoenas.

* Impeachment: Day 5, defense

* ‘We’re fighting shadows’

Blagojevich’s lawyer Ed Genson bemoans inability to call witnesses

Genson also told lawmakers they should not take a negative view of Blagojevich’s refusal to appear before them, citing his constitutional right against self-incrimination over the criminal charges he faces.

“He has a 5th Amendment right and he’s exercising that,” Genson said of Blagojevich. “Until the United States government tells us what he’s charged with, we choose not to talk about it.”

But comments from Currie and other committee members indicated Blagojevich’s refusal to appear may be one factor as they deliberate.

“We would be happy to have the governor stand up for himself and explain those shadows,” Currie told Genson. And Rep. Lou Lang (D- Skokie) said, “I’d be interested in just having the governor come here and tell the truth once.”

Genson repeatedly said Blagojevich had not “violated the law” and that the panel’s witnesses “have not shown impeachable conduct.”

* Blagojevich attorney: No reason to impeach

“There’s nothing in those tapes that says he did anything,” said Genson.

Lawmakers in charge of the impeachment investigation adjourned until they get word on the tapes. Chairwoman Barbara Flynn Currie said the timetable for an impeachment report is now uncertain. Before Monday’s wiretap tape news, she’d said a report could come as soon as next week.

Meanwhile, in making what could end up being closing arguments to the impeachment panel, Genson argued that if the circumstances surrounding Blagojevich’s arrest are stripped away, the impeachment case boils down to a dispute over health-care policy and an ongoing political and personality clash with lawmakers, neither of which rises to an impeachable offense.

“Rod Blagojevich was elected by the people of Illinois,” Genson told members of the impeachment investigation panel.

* Blagojevich lawyer gets few takers in defense of Gov.

In the end, however, Genson found few takers among the 21 members of the committee.

“Is anybody going to stand up for the governor?” Genson asked.

No one did.

* Impeachment panel pauses for ruling on tapes

* Impeachment committee may get tapes of governor

Impeachment committee chair Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, said the panel’s work will be on hold until it learns if, and when, it might obtain the tapes.

“If the judge were to say we will have a briefing schedule in three months’ time, I think probably the committee would decide that we should go back to look at what we already have and make a determination whether that is adequate (to impeach),” Currie said.

If the committee gets the tapes quickly, though, they could provide the final evidence to impeach Blagojevich, she said.

* Feds want lawmakers to hear 4 Blagojevich wiretaps

Federal prosecutors are asking a court to allow lawmakers investigating Gov. Rod Blagojevich to hear tapes of four potentially incriminating phone calls the governor had with a lobbyist.

* Rod Blagojevich tapes could be released next week

* Blagojevich lawyer: Tapes all talk, no action

But Genson said there’s no evidence the Democratic governor ever took action to make any of that happen.

“There is nothing in that tape that shows people were asked to give money or campaign contributions or anything. It’s just talk. That’s what it is: unfortunate talk, talk that shouldn’t have been made perhaps, but not action,” Genson said.

* Blago’s attorney: remarks don’t justify impeachment

* Ex-San Francisco mayor defends Blagojevich’s ‘this-for-that talk’

* Birthday present for Lincoln? Oust naughty governor

* Funeral arrangements for state Rep. Wyvetter Younge

A funeral service for state Rep. Wyvetter H. Younge, D-East St. Louis, will be at noon Saturday at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 2235 Bond Avenue in East St. Louis. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery in Fairview Heights.

Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday at Wyvetter Younge Middle School, 3939 Caseyville Avenue in East St. Louis.

Rep. Younge, who was one of the longest serving representatives in the Illinois House and a lifelong resident of East St. Louis, died Friday (Dec. 26, 2008) at Barnes-Jewish Hospital after a brief illness. She was 78.

* Lawmaker: Raise gas tax to pay for road work

A southern Illinois lawmaker wants motorists to pay eight cents more for every gallon of gasoline they buy to help pay for a state road construction program.

State Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, said Monday he will push the proposal when lawmakers reconvene in January. He said he hopes the idea jumpstarts talks about a statewide construction program that has languished over the past several years.

“Obviously, this is not the end of the road by any stretch of the imagination,” Bradley said. “I’m interested to see what people think.”

Bradley’s plan would allow the state to pay for about $7 billion in road construction, leaving out other projects such as prisons and university buildings.

He proposes adding 8 cents per gallon to the state’s gas tax, a 42 percent hike of the current 19-cent state tax. For an average motorist, they’d have to pay 80 cents more for a 10-gallon fill-up.

* Lt. Gov. Quinn to visit Pontiac to open fallen soldier exhibit

* Lt. Gov. Quinn not openly preparing yet

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn has predicted Gov. Rod Blagojevich will leave office by mid-February, but Quinn’s preparations to perhaps take over the job appear to be minimal so far.

Quinn has had preliminary behind-the-scenes talks with a handful of possible staff members, but publicly he’s said that his very job is why he’s prepared to take the state’s top office.

“Being lieutenant governor, he is prepared to be governor,” said spokesman Bob Reed.

* Corruption crisis creates confusion in Illinois

* Senate election compromise worth considering

* Letter to gov seals Emanuel’s exit from Congress

Emanuel, first elected to the House in 2002, formally announced Monday he would end his House career Jan. 2 to join the Obama administration as White House chief of staff. He was the fourth ranking Democrat in the House, given the post after he ran the political operation that won back control of the House for Democrats in 2006.

He informed residents of his 5th Congressional District, anchored in Chicago’s North and Northwest Side neighborhoods, with robo calls on Monday. Emanuel is on a long-planned vacation to Kenya, Uganda and Zambia, traveling with his wife, Amy, their three children and friends.

Emanuel’s letter makes his departure official — he will not be sworn in to a fourth term when the new Congress convenes Jan. 6, and sets the stage for Blagojevich to call a special election to fill the vacancy. Unlike the Senate seat Obama vacated, filled by gubernatorial appointment, a vacated House seat is filled through a vote. Eleven people have filed statements with the Federal Election Commission that they are mulling a run, with more contestants expected. The Democratic primary front-runners so far (the district is heavily Democratic) are state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), Cook County Board member Mike Quigley and former Transportation Security Administration official Justin Oberman.

Emanuel must decide what to do with the $1,782,189 million in his campaign warchest, of which about $400,000 is a loan he made to his campaign.

* Emanuel to resign seat Friday

* Smoke ban boosts, burns

Before the state smoking ban went into effect last Jan. 1, many bar and restaurant owners feared that the new law would have a disastrous impact on business.

But revenue figures for 2008 show that sales tax receipts for bars, nightclubs and restaurants increased in the six months after Illinois went smoke-free. Illinois casinos, on the other hand, have seen a double-digit drop in gaming receipts this year.

“At the very least, I think it’s safe to say that [the ban] hasn’t hurt business,” said Barbara De Nekker, a community health specialist with Tobacco Free Lake County.

Anecdotal evidence from Chicago area restaurants and bars shows a mixed bag.

* Breathalizer Devices Required for Drunk Drivers in Illinois

Beginning January 1, Illinois motorists convicted of drunk driving will have to take a breathalizer test in order to start their car. The new law makes all convicted drunk drivers install a device in their car to determine their blood alcohol level. If it’s too high, the car won’t start.

Susan McKinney is with the Secretary of State’s office. She says despite some flaws, the law will be a big deterrent for anyone thinking of driving drunk.

* What the GOP needs: A dose of optimism and big thinking

For Illinois Republicans, a hair-thin line separates the sublime from the ridiculous.

They need a political grand slam, but the state GOP is gesturing for a bunt.

With a governor in disgrace and Mayor Richard M. Daley under fire for a stream of rising taxes and fees but depleted city services, Republicans are focusing on a special election for a U.S. Senate seat they have minimal chance of capturing.

Can you say small ball?

It’s time they stopped playing the lovable (I guess) loser role in Illinois and started playing to win.

* Exelon: No plans for second reactor in Clinton, despite rumors

* For Central Illinois, it’s tug-of-war to find economy’s silver lining

“Lower fuel prices have been driven down by the fact that the economy is not very strong,” Skaggs said. “On the other hand, it certainly does reduce the cost of living for anybody who has to drive at all.”

So goes the tug-of-war.

* Retail in ruin?

The specter of tens of thousands of retail stores being shuttered looms large after holiday retail sales look to be as dismal as predicted, driving up long-held skepticism that America is over-stored.

Four retail analysts — Britt Beemer, Howard Davidowitz, Larry Freed and Michael Niemira — believe retail names will be wiped off the map and thousands of stores will close in the new year.

Davidowitz estimates retailers will shutter 12,000 money-losing stores in 2009; Beemer predicted that half of today’s retailers will be in big trouble — perhaps at risk of shutting down — next year; Freed believes 20 to 40 retail chains will go out of business in the first three months of the new year, and Niemira predicts 73,000 retail locations will close in the first half of 2009.

* Financial woes have made many more price-conscious

* Food pantries hope giving spirit continues beyond holidays

“People don’t just eat at Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Charles McLimans, executive director of Naperville-based Loaves and Fishes Community Pantry. “I’m very worried about what is going to happen in January and February, which are traditionally our down months.”

McLimans said Loaves and Fishes experienced a 140 percent increase of first-time Naperville clients this November compared to the same time last year. He said overall enrollment in Loaves and Fishes’ programs is up 59 percent from 2007 for the first half of its fiscal year (which started July 1).

Along with job losses, Smith points out that many families also are being hit with growing food prices and transportation costs - something many food pantries are also faced with.

* CTA, Pace Fares Set to Climb

Soon, Pace bus fares will rise to $1.75. That’s an increase of $0.25 to $0.50 per ride. Pace spokesperson Patrick Wilmot says the fare hike is necessary, even though gas prices have fallen in recent months.

WILMOT: You know, the reason for this increase was never solely about fuel. But that said, fuel prices are expected to remain volatile, and we need to try to prepare for what can happen in the coming year.

Another issue, according to Wilmot: the money Pace gets from sales taxes has dropped along with the economy.

The fare increases won’t change the cost of Pace services for people with disabilities. As for the possibility of another fare hike in 2010, Wilmot says it’s way too early to know.

* City’s pothole purgatory

Chicago’s pothole population has roughly tripled in the last eight days.

The city had a daily average of 300 to 400 potholes in the days before Christmas, but the number jumped to more than 1,100 Monday, city officials said.

The dramatic freeze-thaw cycle is to blame, city officials said.

Last week, temperatures swung from -7 to 61 degrees — a good recipe for potholes. When water seeps into cracks, and then freezes and thaws, mini-craters can form, officials said.

Byrne said the city is increasing repair crews, starting seven-day-a-week repairs and getting overtime concessions from unions that should save about $300,000.

But there is so much work, crews might take six or seven days to fill holes, Byrne said. “It remains a challenge for us to keep up with the increasing demand,” he said.

* Potholes making presence felt

Byrne said a computerized map that tracks work crews and unfilled potholes will speed the patching process and added that an estimated $300,000 in savings from the overtime deal will be crucial in helping the city stay within its $10 million-to-$12 million pothole repair budget.

Still, it may do little to assuage frustrated motorists contending with the city’s pitted arterial streets, made worse by this month’s dramatic shifts between freezing, thawing and rain, a blend of physical process that has formed a worst-case scenario for repair crews.

Facing an enormous backlog now, the city this winter has concentrated on arterial streets and emergency situations—the holes big enough to damage cars. Chicago Transit Authority bus drivers and other city workers have been asked to call in pothole locations. The public has been urged to phone them in to the city’s 311 non-emergency line.

* Chicago area dodges worst of the flooding

* Rain, runoff pushing Illinois rivers to flood

* Flood warning remains; river levels fall

* Black-on-black murder rates: What are the solutions?

- Posted by Mike Murray   Comments Off      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Oberweis now for gay marriage
* The patented Pat Quinn close has begun
* Question of the day
* McKinney resigns from Sun-Times: "I’m convinced this newspaper no longer has the backs of reporters like me"
* Another one pops
* Reality vs. reporting
* New anti-Rauner theme: "Wolf of Winnetka"
* Redefining Bobby
* Pat and Bruce
* The lindane file
* US judge orders hiring monitor at IDOT
* Underdog endorsements
* Birth control, millionaires and the minimum wage
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

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        * Moderators of the 2014 Debates Overwhelmingly A.....
        * BC-IL--Illinois News Digest 12 am, IL..
        * Rauner Campaign Accused of Bullying Newspaper..
        * Candidates Differ on Charter Schools..


        * Officials rethink vote-counting after AG decree
        * Quinn says he'll comply with hiring monitor
        * Complications arise just 12 days before Ill. vote
        * Vereen brothers square off when Bears visit Pats
        * Gary killings put spotlight on abandoned buildings
        * Illinois GOP files lawsuit over poll practices
        * New bridge helping ease Chicago rail congestion
        * Injured Illinois Cub Scouts expected to recover
        * Woman admits theft from Quincy community theater
        * Jobless rate falls in all 12 Illinois metro areas

        * Officials rethink early vote-counting after Madigan ruling
        * Minimum wage increase supporters urge early voting
        * Sun-Times political reporter resigns following Rauner complaint
        * Minimum wage hike supporters urge early voting
        * Federal judge orders court-appointed monitor for IDOT hiring
        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates
        * What to watch for in third governor debate tonight

        * Quinn says he'll comply with hiring monitor
        * Sun-Times' colorful past in covering (and making) news
        * Chicago KPMG executive named Girl Scouts board president
        * Record annual haul for U of C fundraising
        * Airlines say Ebola not scaring away flyers


        * Marina City residents reminded to watch their step during Wallenda’s walk
        * At panel on school closings, board acknowledges more planning needed
        * Republican senators question Quinn’s IDOT scandal response
        * Child who became ill on plane tests negative for Ebola
        * Tollway might permanently lower cost to open I-Pass account
        * Illinois needs better way to deal with terminally ill inmates
        * Killer gets 27 years for throwing woman out 3rd-floor window
        * CPS wants to delay new standardized test, even though state already has said 'no'
        * Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85
        * Scandal or not, Bring on that  federal monitor


        * Off-duty Chicago police officer shot on South Side
        * 1 stabbed, 3 teens shot in separate incidents
        * Ebola test negative for child who fell ill on flight from Liberia to O'Hare
        * Cops: Girl, 12, with bipolar disorder missing
        * War vets vying in 8th District diverge on Islamic State tactics
        * Tollway update: 400 lawsuits filed against scofflaws
        * Pit bull breaks through screen door, attacks woman in Carpentersville
        * Victim of serial killing suspect lived in fear: 'She was too scared to do anything'
        * Man sentenced to 35 years for sex assault on girl, 12
        * Man charged with arson in Logan Square fire


        * Bedrock 66: Charlie Parr Plays Springfield Friday
        * Oberweis Would Back Federal Same Sex Marriage Law
        * Wild Bison Return To IL
        * Scary Story: The Diviner by Susan Vondrak
        * Artist Profile: Local Troubadour Tom Irwin
        * Real estate and religion: The tale of Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist
        * Suspicion lingers over Ebola treatment
        * Judge Orders Court Appointed Monitor For IDOT Hiring
        * 13th Dist. Candidates Talk NAFTA, Ebola During Springfield Debate
        * Attorneys Due In Court For Quinn Hiring Lawsuit


        * Our Opinion: Bell, Manar, Davidsmeyer endorsed in state legislative races
        * Craig Burns: Honesty, integrity in great supply at CWLP
        * E.J. Dionne: Ebola, pandering and courage
        * Esther Cepeda: Benefits of closing the word gap
        * Officials rethink early vote-counting after Madigan ruling
        * Our Opinion: Frerichs has the expertise to be Illinois treasurer
        * Robert Kaestner: Good education policy is good health policy
        * Eugene Robinson: Warren makes the case for a presidential run
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Local Rauner ad leaves out ‘everything Springfield isn’t’ line
        * Minimum wage increase supporters urge early voting


        * Letter: With sales tax, 117 is doing the wrong thing
        * Open Line
        * Our View: Checking vote a sound caution in these days
        * Looking Back (Oct. 24, 2014)
        * Group to host movie and costume party
        * Animal shelter to hold annual fundraiser
        * ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ takes the stage in time for Halloween
        * Tucker completes basic training
        * Interfaith Council to host dinner
        * SIU and Co-op hold community project


        * Girls tennis: Thursday's results
        * Girls volleyball: Thursday's results
        * Girls volleyball: Carmel picks up share of ESCC title
        * Could Hinrich, Mohammed coach one day?
        * Hawks can't climb out of 2-goal hole

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * US Senate: Durbin for another term...
        * Rauner Campaign Accused of Bullying Newspaper...
        * Rauner Campaign Accused of Bullying Newspaper...
        * Rauner Campaign Accused of Bullying Newspaper...
        * Rauner Campaign Accused of Bullying Newspaper...

        * U.S. Senator Mark Kirk to talk with Triton......
        * A Brief History of Michelle Obama Career-G......
        * Marco Rubio, Mark Kirk Warn John Kerry on ......

        * The Heavy Metal Scene in Tehran [video]
        * College Republicans launch new ad: Why I Am [video]
        * Bustos and Illinois Dems attempt to paint Schilling as "pro-rape"
        * Lessons Learned from Past Tax Reform Efforts [video]
        * Illinois Watchdog Radio - Live on IR
        * Stantis: Captain Pat Quinn and our ship of state
        * Do celebrity backings mean much to pols? Or just to their wallets?
        * Chicago Ald. Latasha Thomas Will Not Run For Re-Election
        * McKinney, Clout & The Freedom Of The Press: Where Would Illinois Be Headed Under Rauner's Reign?
        * Waukegan’s school board president speaks. Crazy talk.


        * New Ad: Labor leader backs Rauner
        * Jewish Newspapers Endorse Rauner for Governor
        * TV Breaking News: Ethics blow for Pat Quinn
        * Federal judge deals Quinn ethics blow on IDOT patronage hiring
        * Rauner Statement on Federal Hiring Monitor at IDOT




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