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Could a primary be good for Quinn?

Monday, Aug 31, 2009

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column looks at the Dan Hynes vs. Pat Quinn Democratic primary

There’s been quite a bit of private grumbling by Democratic county party chairmen and women and other party leaders about Comptroller Dan Hynes’ decision to run in the February primary against Gov. Pat Quinn.

They worry that Hynes will unnecessarily divide the party yet again and serve as a constant reminder to voters that Quinn was Rod Blagojevich’s mostly silent lieutenant governor for six years. Hynes’ bid, they worry, will only help the Republican Party.

That very well may be true. If Hynes loses the primary after spending millions of dollars tying Rod Blagojevich around Pat Quinn’s neck, then Quinn could be served up on a platter in the general election. The best thing the Republicans have going for them right now in this Democratic state is Rod Blagojevich’s ignominious legacy, so any help they can get from the Democratic Party would be eagerly welcomed.

But a tough primary race also could turn out to be a good thing for Quinn.

Quinn has never won a top-tier race. He lost a general election to George Ryan for secretary of state in 1994. Two years later, Quinn lost a Democratic primary to Dick Durbin for U.S. Senate.

History shows that Quinn’s campaign skills and instincts are questionable, at best. Nobody really knows if he has what it takes deep down inside to win the big one. A hot primary race will provide an opportunity to test Quinn’s ability to hold off the Republicans next fall. If he loses to Hynes in February, he probably wouldn’t have won in November, either. If he decisively defeats Hynes in February, he may settle some nervous Democratic stomachs.

Quinn is getting better at the game. He hired a top-notch fundraiser in David Rosen, who helped the campaign rake in more than $300,000 in June alone (trouble is, Quinn has yet to settle on the rest of his senior campaign team, even though the election now is kicking into a much higher gear).

Quinn always has railed against party slatemaking, particularly in Cook County. One of Quinn’s demands during negotiations over the campaign finance reform bill was a provision to prevent the Democratic Party of Illinois from slating and financing candidates. The governor demanded that particular “reform” back when Lisa Madigan, the daughter of the state party chairman, widely was believed to be gearing up to run against Quinn.

But, the other day Quinn refused to join Hynes’ request that the Cook County Democratic Central Committee avoid slating statewide candidates. After delivering a long, rambling response which didn’t even come close to answering the question, Quinn was pressed again on the issue and said, “What they do is up to them.” During the slating meeting, Quinn reportedly asked for the party’s endorsement.

So now that he’s in a position of power and has the advantage of incumbency, Quinn appears to be beginning to understand that he needs to use whatever leverage he can to achieve a win. At least he demonstrated it on this issue.

The Cook County thing may have been a cynical move, it may not have even been the “right” thing to do, but what some reformer candidates never will understand is that you can’t govern if you don’t win. Quinn has too often been one of “those” candidates. He could get clobbered in the 2010 general election with that sort of attitude.

So, yes, Hynes could definitely harm Quinn and the Democratic chances next year with the upcoming primary battle. Ominously, Hynes’ campaign press releases to date have often attempted to tie Quinn to Blagojevich.

As any loyal party member should do, Hynes ought to think long and hard about how far he can go before he damages his own side, no matter the outcome. The last two Republican gubernatorial primaries were so nasty and divisive that they contributed significantly to their party’s general election losses. And the last time an incumbent Democratic governor lost a primary, in 1976, the Republicans won the governor’s mansion and held on to power for 26 years.

On balance, though, I think Quinn probably needs this primary race. It’ll give us all a chance to see what he’s really made of.

Your thoughts?

* Meanwhile, John Kass has some kind words for 19th Warder Dan Hynes and is not all that kind ot Pat Quinn…

Quinn, also a nice fellow who portrays himself as a reformer, sold out his own reform legislation in a political deal. He negotiated a provision with the legislature that would have prevented the state Democrats from endorsing a gubernatorial candidate. In exchange, he let the legislators gut the work of his blue-ribbon reform commission.

“That was his ‘landmark’ legislation which he testified for,” Hynes said, “and that was the product of a deal he cut to try to eliminate the party’s endorsement of [state Atty. Gen.] Lisa Madigan. That’s basically what he did. Then it turns out that Lisa doesn’t run for governor, so he didn’t need the ‘landmark’ legislation anymore.”

That’s a pretty good analysis by Hynes.

* And the Tribune looks at the flip-flop effect in the primary

The governor has been a frequent target for Comptroller Dan Hynes, Quinn’s Feb. 2 Democratic primary challenger, who contends the governor’s flip-flops represent a failure to lead.

If such criticism resonates with voters, Quinn’s meandering ways could become a thorny issue, said Charles Wheeler, a former statehouse reporter who teaches at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

“It’s kind of inside baseball,” Wheeler said, “but it becomes a liability when it allows people to present you as an ineffective leader.”

* Related…

* Kirk Dillard Press Release: Quinn’s Lack of Leadership on Jobs and Economic Recovery Hurts Illinois’ Workers & Job Creators

- Posted by Rich Miller        


29 Comments
  1. - One of the 35 - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 9:37 am:

    Rich: Part of Quinn’s appeal to his constituentcy was his image of being above the politics most other politicians utilized. As you point out, now he is in the seat and is starting to play the polictics he formerly critcized, that may alienate his supporters. He may be giving the impression that he is only opposed to political pragmatism if it relates to others.


  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 9:53 am:

    I still think Quinn would be better off without a primary, simply because he could quite easily lose it. The GOP seems to be gearing up for an ideological bloodletting, which could cripple them for the fall and brighten his chances, despite Blago.

    If I were Quinn, I’d like my chances a lot better having to win one race, rather than two.


  3. - Louis Howe - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 9:57 am:

    Actually, neither Quinn nor Hynes has ever won a “top-tier race.” Hynes lost in the 2004 Senate race, Quinn lost in the 1994 GOP landslide and against Durbin in 1996. However, 1994 was a special case and I would suggest doesn’t count. In my opinion, Hynes and Quinn are even when it comes to winning “The Big One.”


  4. - siriusly - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 10:06 am:

    As usual, the best column of the bunch is Rich’s.

    The flip-flop thing only matters to editorial boards, that’s not an issue that will translate to votes. Quinn’s problem is that I think he has no real base.

    His numbers were high after impeachment because he was the new governor. Now that dems have a real choice for Governor, I think a lot will decide they can do better on good government and reform agenda - ironically even if it comes from Dan Hynes.

    I don’t buy into the “weakening the party” criticism of Hynes one bit. If Quinn can’t defend himself to Dems, he has no chance in the fall. I disagree with Rich on one point, the primary won’t be good for Quinn because he’ll lose.


  5. - Niles Township - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 10:06 am:

    Quinn actually recieved more votes in 1994 than any other Democrat running that year, even though he lost to the corrupt Geroge Ryan. Frankly, if more of us had listened to Quinn in 1994 about Ryan’s issues (he gave low # license plates to the influential, including many donors, and having his SOS police and other staff solicit car dealers that he regulated for contributions while on their inspections), history might have been very different.

    On the question of the primary, there are pluses and minuses for Quinn. The biggest plus, as Rich points out, is the impetus to get organized sooner rather than later. Quinn is actually a good guy with a solid head on his shoulders, though he tends to be disorganized thinking about multiple big things at once. I think this is coming through quite clearly in his first few months under the big spotlight. Hiring Rosen, and getting a campaign manager on board, are good moves that will strengthen his biggest weakness. He wins the primary & the general, if he allows people to manage his campaign, and organize his government initiatives. Let him decide on the big projects etc, but he needs to let others do the little things. He loses if runs the campaign making day-to-day minor decisions which is how he has run several of his last campaigns.


  6. - Hank - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 10:49 am:

    Gov Jello; per Kass…Priceless


  7. - Responsa - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 11:18 am:

    I’m not convinced that Quinn has no real base. Quinn was generally well thought of by the public while he was Lt. Gov. and he gained a lot of sympathy there towards the end when it became known how totally shut out of the state’s affairs by King Blago Quinn had been. He had the sweet spot of “Ant-Blago” and “not politics as usual” covered pretty well when he assumed the governorship–and regular people very much liked the sound of that. His recent dithering (or whatever else you want to call it) on a variety of issues has now made him seem more like just a regular old politician than many had hoped and wanted to believe.

    I think a strong primary challenger and fight would give Quinn the opportunity to: first of all think through who he really is, then consistently present himself as such through his own actions and decent professional messaging, and therefore possibly reclaim that sweet spot again–a spot he should be able to own more naturally than Hynes can.


  8. - Rob_N - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 11:41 am:

    Rich says, “On balance, though, I think Quinn probably needs this primary race. It’ll give us all a chance to see what he’s really made of. | Your thoughts?”

    So far Hynes hasn’t said or done anything that the GOP nominee wouldn’t also say or do, but much more harshly.

    If Quinn can’t survive that in a primary, he wouldn’t win in November either.


  9. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 12:29 pm:

    Those headlines proclaiming flip flops or backing down from positions certainly are not going to help Quinn. When headlines like that exist, it’s no longer “insider baseball” stuff.


  10. - Tom Joad - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 12:30 pm:

    It looks like Hynes has underestimated another Dem primary opponent like he did with Obama.
    The use of “flip-flops” as a campaign issue assumes that voters will not like the final position Quinn arrives at. On ethics, he will get a stronger reform bill before the primary, because Madigan and Cullerton also “flipped.’ On the U of I Trustees issue, this will clear up with either a fumigation bill, expansion or reduction of the board, or die of its own weight.
    How many voters really care who is on the Uof I board? Probably fewer than 1,000.
    As I recall, Hynes was on the ticket with Blago the same number of times as Quinn was. Some of Hynes charges about Quinn not criticizing Blago apply to Hynes as well. In the end, there is a lot more blame to go around about Blago than just these two, like every county chairman and organization.
    Unless Hynes points out how things would be better with proposed legislation that can pass, the county chairmen are right in being puzzled about why Hynes is taking on an incumbent Democratic Governor.


  11. - Obamarama - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 12:31 pm:

    My instinct tells me that Governor* Quinn is not capable of winning a Gubernatorial race in Illinois. He has a history of failing to surround himself with the right people both in his public office and campaign staff (Rosen not included) and frankly I don’t believe he has the poise to make it through a campaign cycle/schedule without embarrassing himself with a ridiculous quote, hapless rollerskating accident, etc.

    If he gets passed Hynes in the primary, he’ll find a way to screw up the General in nine months that will follow.


  12. - Will County Woman - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 12:37 pm:

    I think some of you are off base to suggest that as Lt. Gov, Quinn had a very strong. Do you honestly think that most people even knew who he was? no. not really. that’s why the press had to work over time to “introduce” him to (the average illinoisan) right before blago was ousted. i’m not saying that quinn had abosolutely no name recognition, though. but with people 18-34 most of them i suspect had no real clue who he was or his 35-40 year history in illinois politics. the lt. gov office has no real power constitutionally, so his actions there really don’t count for much. in other words, he doesn’t have nuch of a record from that office, and he’s totally flipped on everything he’s ever stood for since becoming governor, so…

    the primary will hurt quinn only if hynes is serious and really wants to make a go of this run. hynes’ interview with kass did cause me to pause and question if he’s really ready when he raised the prospect of his losing and what he would do should he lose. no real serious candidate for any office should be thinking (out loud) like that. we all know that the gov’s office is not the office he was seeking earlier this year. i also have to wonder about the campaign staff that he hired. he hired the people who ran sara feigenholtz’s campaign. she lost what was an easy race truthfully speaking. this gov’s race is too huge and could mean the end of hynes’ political career. one would think he would’ve hired the best and biggest that money could by buy so far as the people heading his campaign are concerned. some else commented on this blog about this when hynes’ campaign team was announced, so i’m really just just reiterating.

    let’s be clear people right now hynes doesn’t have to state why he is better than quinn and/or what he would do better. right now, as others commented last week, hynes only has to show why quinn is bad for the democrats. hynes is winning so far, and now that the press statewide are finally waking up to see quinn’s serious flaws, hynes has been helped tremendously

    quinn’s inability to lead is his biggest weakness, and should be bought by hynes and republicans. quinn’s credibility, or lackthereof is also a lianility. the press has finally caught on to why he was so happy with reform legislation he signed earlier this year—it gave him some political cushion over lisa madigan who was running at the time. now that she’s not running he’s had a change of heart and thinks the “reforms” could be a tad bit better. also, he praised blago during their first term, and especially in 2006. blago was under investigation during much of his first term, so much for quinn’s “fiduciary” responsibility to protect the people of illinois and our interests or the state’s integrity.

    if the democratic regulars are smart they won’t go with quinn. between hynes and quinn, quinn has the most baggage of the two, which makes him weak for nov. the republicans have plenty of ammunition to use against quinn going all the way back to the cutback amendment. once the republicans publicize that and make voters (democrat and republican) aware that it was quinn who created the problem we now see in springfield (e.g. consolidated power in the hands of one or two that controls everything), quinn wom’t win in November.

    the best republican to defeat hynes or quinn is kirk dillard. (wake up and be smart IL GOP!)


  13. - Beowulf - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 12:37 pm:

    I am in agreement with Rich. Quinn needs to stand up and get some spine. A primary with Hynes would probably win Quinn some much needed respect from members within his own party as well as with Republicans and Independents. His image is one of a “dufus” although a likeable and honest “dufus” (but a “dufus” just the same). He was “quiet as a church mouse” until near the end with Blagojevich. It was reminiscent of Judy Barr Topinka doing the polka with George Ryan near Ryan’s end in office. We all saw where that “see no evil-hear no evil-speak no evil” image got Judy come election day. Nobody (GOP nor Democrat) wants a leader who keeps wandering around in circles when asked to take a firm position. Dan Hynes scored some major points with “all” voters with his interview with John Kass. It was a very astute political move on Hynes part to do that interview. It showed that he had courage and could speak from his heart rather than through the normal channels of a Democrat Party mouthpiece. I am a Republican but if I had to choose who I think would make the best Governor (between Quinn or Hynes), it would have to be Dan Hynes based simply on what appears to be his willingness to “now” be his own man.


  14. - Will County Woman - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 12:44 pm:

    in the para below…liability, not lianility.

    quinn’s inability to lead is his biggest weakness, and should be bought by hynes and republicans. quinn’s credibility, or lackthereof is also a lianility. the press has finally caught on to why he was so happy with reform legislation he signed earlier this year—it gave him some political cushion over lisa madigan who was running at the time. now that she’s not running he’s had a change of heart and thinks the “reforms” could be a tad bit better. also, he praised blago during their first term, and especially in 2006. blago was under investigation during much of his first term, so much for quinn’s “fiduciary” responsibility to protect the people of illinois and our interests or the state’s integrity.


  15. - VanillaMan - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 12:45 pm:

    While Quinn may benefit personally, the Democrats don’t benefit. They are opening themselves to a primary win of a plurality candidate, not a decisive win. These things are gambles. You might end up with an attractive candidate, or you might end up with a fringe candidate winning the plurality.

    Illinoisans are tired of chaos, and Quinn has the advantage of not being chaos compared to the guy he followed. No one is going to be able to really portrait Quinn as Blagojevich, because most voters know a loon when they see him. What Quinn has to avoid is being shown as corrupted as Blagojevich, which isn’t likely.

    Voters wanted a change from Blagojevich, and got Quinn. He might not be a “star”, but he is now in the leading role, which is a star-maker.

    Every politician has a freshness date. Quinn’s previous roles in government have not given him enough attention to have exceeded that date. He runs the risk of expiring if he is actually elected - he is good for only one more statewide run, and 2010 could be it.

    Hynes hasn’t exceeded his freshness date either, and looks like he might have longer to go. A 2010 win for him can give him another term in office.

    Both men run the risk of becoming a Gray Davis - a governor without charisma, exposed as incompetent or ethically tainted. Without charisma, Quinn or Hynes has to show competence to stay politically relevent, or voters will tire of them quickly.

    And that is how I’d run against them. I would demonstrate their incompetence. Quinn has his daily issues, and Hynes can be undone by the extremely emotional cemetery issue. Yeah, it isn’t Hynes’ fault - but the negative image is powerfully ugly and hard to shake. Another one of those kind of issues may sink Dan’s boat.

    Both men are too similar, allowing another candidate backed by the Chicago African American voting block to win the Primary. Not because the candidate would be black - but because the candidate would be more appealing to this voting block than either Hynes or Quinn. If Senator James Meeks is interested in winning, or if Representative Danny Davis has an itch to win the Illinois Democratic Gubernatorial Primary, then these two Chicago leaders have an excellent shot.

    Meeks would win in a Quinn vs. Hynes primary. That is the risk the Democrats face right now. Not a bad one, mind you - just a risk.


  16. - Niles Township - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 12:47 pm:

    Some of Hynes quotes in the Kass piece today make me think that the rumors of him running for governor so that he can lose and get a higher profile private sector position might be true.


  17. - Ghost - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 12:55 pm:

    This pprimary was needed by Quinn; it is the crucible from whcih his candacy will either be formed or turned to slag.

    Overall I think it will help him to get in front of the GOP attacks by peppering the allegations and responses early on. If the GOP just repeats the Hynes campaign attacks the audience mey have become inoculated of not innured to those claims by then.

    The real danger is if Hynes people or Quinns people refuse to vote for the other canidate when their choice loses. The losing canidate needs to get behind the winning (like Clinton ostenisbly did for Obama) to mend the fences.

    I think the primary is critical to the Dems holding the seat; Win or lose, it was definetly needed. An unopposed Quin would be vulnerable to attacks from the GOP, not a lot of expereince responding, and a shorter period to campaign in.


  18. - Will County Woman - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 1:09 pm:

    Ghost, i’d like to agree with you, but i can’t. quinn has been too disingenuous with his own flip-flopping, lying and taking all of the credit when he derserves none to jump out ahead of potential GOP attacks. he won’t and doesn’t admit his many shortcomings, for obvious reason though. he honestly thinks he has done no wrong while governor, you can see it in his face and hear it in his words.


  19. - Will County Woman - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    Also, on the money front…

    I don’t know that David Rosen is going to be all of the effective asking for money for Quinn on top of Quinns most recent political blunders. I have to wonder how people would respond to a fundraiser for quinn right now.

    I’m a moderate democrat and I don’t support Quinn to begin with, but I have to wonder how many people would really poney-up for him today? Big money might, but then I would wonder what has been promised to big money interests? face time with the governor, like back in the spring of this year? I appreciate the media was sleeping on that for the most part, but I suspect had they thought of him then as they do today some deep digging would have been done on that $15,000 face time blunder that his campaign made earlier this year, and found something. Instead the media took his word for it that it was just a “mistake” and let it drop. And, frankly I still think it is worth revisting.


  20. - Niles Township - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 1:47 pm:

    I came across one of Emerson’s famous quotes to his students: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” I thought it might be interesting to share it in light of the criticism of Quinn for his back & forth public decisionmaking and thinking.


  21. - Ghost - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 2:07 pm:

    === honestly thinks he has done no wrong while governor, you can see it in his face and hear it in his words. ===

    Yep, not unlike a former Gov of ours….


  22. - okay then.. - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 2:45 pm:

    “There’s been quite a bit of private grumbling by Democratic county party chairmen and women and other party leaders about Comptroller Dan Hynes’ decision to run in the February primary against Gov. Pat Quinn.”

    This is exactly what is wrong with the Democratic Party in this state. Following Blagojevich and their own so-called reform efforts, the last thing they should be doing is be seen as engineering anyone to win for governor. Wasn’t it MJM who recently said that the Dems are due credit for cleaning up the own mistakes? Yeah well, doing stuff like this only adds fuel to the speculation that the democratic party isn’t so democratic and is full of games and tricks. Precisely the games and tricks that lead to problems like Blagojevich.

    As per MJM and Cullerton’s standing behind the governor last week on reform, Quinn is the Democratic Party candidate. That explains why Hynes is running as, LOL, an independent. If this is to be Hynes’ last effort for political office he might as well go out fighting and fighting hard. If quinn is damaged oh, well. But contrary to what the democratic party leaders think, Quinn is damaged goods by his own hands already. He will not win in November. Voters have had enough of the democrats in Illinois. Democrat rule has ruined Chicago and Cook County.


  23. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 3:12 pm:

    –Both men run the risk of becoming a Gray Davis - a governor without charisma, exposed as incompetent or ethically tainted. Without charisma, Quinn or Hynes has to show competence to stay politically relevent, or voters will tire of them quickly.–

    Illinoisans are always a sucker for charisma. Jim Edgar, Paul Simon, Adlais, Peter Fitzgerald…

    I thought Gray Davis got tossed because Enron shut the lights out in California to drive up the cost of electricity everywhere.


  24. - Okay then... - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 3:35 pm:

    “History shows that Quinn’s campaign skills and instincts are questionable, at best. Nobody really knows if he has what it takes deep down inside to win the big one.”–Rich Miller

    We see how he has run the big office, and it ain’t good. IMHO, I never thought he has it in him to win a governor’s race. Based on what I have seen of him as a governor, I definiely don’t think that he has it in him to win a governor’s race. Time is of the essence and he won’t be able to prep for debates or much else. It really makes me shutter to think of how he will sound and come across in debates. Ugggh!


  25. - Ghost - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 4:22 pm:

    === thought Gray Davis got tossed because Enron shut the lights out in California to drive up the cost of electricity everywhere. ===

    I though it was because he signed that sweet heart 60 million dollar deal with his buddy who owns sun microsytems, when the State was in the red.


  26. - steve schnorf - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 7:39 pm:

    WS, lately my party has only 2 conditions it might be in; preparing to engage in an ideological bloodletting, or trying to recover from having just engaged in an ideological bloodletting.

    Until our side learns that there is a reason GOP moderates governed 26 straight years, and 30 of 34 (and yes, Gov Ryan was perceived as the more moderate during his gubernatorial campaign) we will wander in the wilderness. Illinois elects Republicans who are moderate 9or at least quiet) on social issues, with the hope that they will be more fiscally sound than their Dem opponents. Think about the past two elections. Either of the R candidates would have done a far better job than the person who was elected.

    Oh, well, it gives us something to do.


  27. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 8:16 pm:

    Steve S, I’m all for the moderates rising again, but I’ll take a real GOP conservative like Lugar or McCain, any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I grew up on Main Street in small town Illinois. I know a real Republican and a conservative when I see one.

    This current GOP faction dominated by the yabbos on Fox and a.m. radio have not only abandoned the optimism and positive engagement of Buckley, Goldwater and Reagan, but corrupted the word “conservative” to mean sticking their noses into other people’s personal business and something-for-nothing, anti-tax lunacy.

    But there’s always hope. Like the original Illinois GOP Conservative said, “you can fool some of the people all of the time…”

    Here’s an article on a forthcoming book by a biographer of Buckley and Whittaker Chambers. You can bet he’ll take a concerted, mindless beating by morning from the “true believers.”

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/214253


  28. - steve schnorf - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 10:40 pm:

    Well written and thought. I would only add that we can’t abandon the field of forward thinking and innovation and leave it entirely to the Ds, as we have been doing lately as the party of “No” rather than, at least sometimes, the party of far more rational and workable alternatives.

    I believe there are areas of public policy that need a Republican perspective other than hoping that Obama fails. I believe healthcare is one of those. There are Republican ideas floating but they are drowned in the shouting at town hall meetings and the threat of gunfire.


  29. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 10:44 pm:

    SS, I’m with you.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * No FBI cold-case inquiry for missing civil rights pioneer
        * Work begins on U of Illinois solar farm
        * Some Midwest farmers' crops falter in record rains
        * Trooper in Sandra Bland arrest once warned for conduct
        * Take me out to the rooftop: Wrigley changes bring new looks
        * Battery charge against Bills coach Kromer dropped
        * Judge approves place for Mel Reynolds to stay while on bond
        * Geneva man convicted of murdering wife gets 30-year sentence
        * Chicago poised to require breast-feeding rooms at airports
        * 164 skydivers smash head-down world record in Illinois

        * Executive Mansion to get new roof; fundraising event coming up
        * Blagojevich attorney says he'll ask full court for rehearing
        * Executive Mansion to get roof replaced for $493K
        * Illinois' health insurance co-op among those struggling
        * Court ruling helps some child care providers amid ongoing state budget impasse
        * Rauner, AFSCME reach another contract extension; governor vetoes bill to prohibit strike, lockout
        * Court ruling helps some child care providers
        * Private employers now can give hiring preference to veterans after Rauner signs law
        * Private employers now can give hiring preference to veterans
        * Illinois House votes to reject pay raise; Senate vote expected next week

        * FDA says hospitals should stop using Hospira pump
        * Emanuel sees $426 million hole in 2016 city budget
        * After Gidwitz mess, Rauner sends a message
        * Doctors fight to save Stroger Hospital pediatric unit
        * Chicago mulls borrowing that Puerto Rico rejected as too risky


          * Carol Stream woman missing in Lake Michigan
          * Man charged after stealing suitcase from O'Hare Airport
          * 10 people wounded in separate shootings
          * Man hurt after being stabbed in Palmer Square
          * Man dies after West Pullman shooting
          * Trooper in Sandra Bland arrest was warned about 'unprofessional conduct' in 2014
          * Almost 6 acres of land added near Fullerton Avenue Beach
          * Bizarre scene unfolds at cop killing trial as defendant takes stand
          * 3 charged in Elk Grove Village armed robbery
          * Arlington Heights man charged in Glenview rape, robbery


          * David Gerlach: Lincoln College ready to serve students
          * Charles Krauthammer: Among the ruins, a case of righteousness
          * Executive Mansion to get new roof; fundraising event coming up
          * Blagojevich attorney says he'll ask full court for rehearing
          * E.J. Dionne: The price Boehner pays
          * Charles Steele, Jr.: EPA putting affordable energy in jeopardy
          * Illinois' health insurance co-op among those struggling
          * Catherine Rampell: One job government does better
          * Tom Kiernan: Wind could power Illinois' economic future
          * George Will: With Iran deal, Obama makes bad history


          * Cookoff set in Paxton
          * Wright named city clerk for Villa Grove
          * Best of Illini: No. 8, V'Angelo Bentley
          * Best of teams: No. 8, Notre Dame
          * Governor signs Rose bill on caregivers
          * Schools defunct, but camaraderie isn't
          * 'We've got this disease in our community'
          * Weekend planner: Butterflies at the Virginia
          * Sandra Mason: Q & A in the vegetable garden
          * Who lives here? Aug. 1, 2015


          * Infrequently Asked Questions: Carpentersville Ironman share all
          * Mets get Cespedes at trade deadline
          * Phillies trade Revere to Blue Jays
          * Blue Jays recall Kawasaki, option Tepera, cut 2 others
          * Haren dealt by Marlins to Cubs for 2 minor leaguers

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

          * Durbin says newly passed transportation bi......

          * Top GOP fundraiser questions Illinois sena......

          * Keeping retirement weird. Can you hear me now?
          * How about a Visa Card?
          * ISBE publishes 2016 Candidate Guide, Election and Campaign Finance Calendar
          * Festival Get A+ In Warning Drivers Of Parking Restrictions
          * “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
          * The Yankees are coming! The Yankees are coming! Does anybody still care?
          * "Body Slam" #RIPRoddyPiper
          * TrackNotes: The Good, Bad, Sad And Suspicious Return Of American Pharoah
          * Chicago Book Haul
          * Huston: Fascist NBC Commentator Says FCC Should Fine Those Who Call 'Transgender' people the Wrong Name


          * Governor Announces Appointments
          * Parents Encouraged to Include Emergency Preparedness in Back-to-School Plans - August is School and Campus Preparedness Month in Illinois
          * Governor Takes Bill Action
          * Safety Belt Use in Illinois Reaches 95.2 Percent - Drivers and front seat passengers are buckling up more than ever before in Illinois
          * IDOT Seeks Ownership of Arsenal Road in Will County - Walter Strawn Hearing Request Withdrawn, Work on Long-Term Solutions Continues




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