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Quinn and Daley vs. Hynes

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009

* Gov. Pat Quinn brought out the biggest gun of all yesterday…

Mayor Richard Daley stood with Quinn to talk up tourism’s importance to Chicago after Comptroller Dan Hynes last week said that he was suspending payments on more than $40 million in state and lottery tourism advertising contracts.

You’ll recall that last week Hynes refused to process about $50+ million of state bills, including $16 million for tourism. Mayor Daley expressed his displeasure

“You just can’t sit back and say, ‘They’re gonna come to the city of Chicago.’ It doesn’t work that way. Gov. Quinn has realized that — that you have to do more marketing outside of Illinois. You have to do more marketing outside the United States. Then, you have to really work to get the conventions here because other cities are working trying to get conventions to their cities.”

More Daley

Asked how he felt about Hynes’ threat to cut off the financial spigot, Daley said, “If you start cutting money off — say if we had a major, major layoff in that industry — you’re talking about a couple hundred thousand people. Where are they gonna go to work?”

Warning that Chicago’s unemployment rate would double without conventions and tourism, the mayor said, “From the Greyhound to the railroads to the airport to the cabs to the buses, rental cars, limousines, all these restaurants — that’s an enormous amount of money. You just can’t cut it off.”

* Hynes wants Quinn to resubmit his funding request

“Does [Quinn] want to spend $53 million on consultant and marketing contracts, or does he want to spend it on education and health care? If the governor believes that tourism contracts are a priority, then he should resubmit them and they will be paid” [Hynes spokeswoman Carol Knowles said in a statement].

Quinn says nyet

“My view is follow the law, follow the constitution, do your job,” Quinn said. “He doesn’t need direction from anyone other than his conscience to do his job.”

The Tribune’s print edition barely covered the ruckus. TV also mostly ignored it.

Your thoughts?

* Related…

* Top 2 CTA board officers to step down: “I’m not being as effective anymore.”

* Press release and video: Tourism Generates Big Economic Impact for Illinois, Chicago - Retains More Than 303,500 Statewide Jobs

* Raw audio

* Chicago 2016: Mayor Daley trumpets upsides of Olympics

* Quinn to Travel to Denmark for Olympics Announcement
* Chicago lured 45M tourists who dropped $11.8B last year

- Posted by Rich Miller        


41 Comments
  1. - Bill - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 10:56 am:

    Way to be loyal and remember who your friends are, Little Dick. The price to get you to sell out your loyal supporters gets cheaper every day. What happens when you have screwed everyone that has ever helped you? Are there enough trucking and construction companies to keep you in office? Maybe you are just going to quit sometime soon and don’t care anymore.


  2. - Niles Township - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 10:59 am:

    Hynes made a big faux paux on this one. Instead of backing away from it quietly, his spokesman is still pushing the issue. Not a good move. I know someone who works for a major hotel in town who is very apolitical. Yet, he had heard about Hynes stance on this, and just couldn’t believe it. He said it belied everything he already thought about politicians who have never worked a day in a real job. Of course, you have to spend money to get money. That is life. He said our state actually underspends on this type of thing compared to most other major states. He told me he normally doesn’t vote in primaries, but that he is going to vote in this one just to vote against Hynes.


  3. - Soutnern Man - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:00 am:

    Off topic but…Just heard through WSIL TV lawsuit to stay in Johnson County.


  4. - A Moderate's Moderate - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:03 am:

    Hynes should have looked before he leaped on this one.


  5. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:04 am:

    Hynes also seems a little late at the switch. The time to complain about a contract is when it is awarded, not when the services have already been provided and payment is sought. You can’t not pay for services already provided because you’ve had second thoughts about its importance.


  6. - Phil - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:05 am:

    Great timing by Hynes…What was he thinking??? With Daley preparing to go to Copenhagen with Pat Ryan, Michelle and Possibly Barack, Hynes cheap attempt at scoring political points came back to slap him in the face and made Chicago 2016 have to play defense when they should be making their closing arguments to the IOC. Talk about bad press… Whether we get the Olympics or not, Daley and Ryan will hold a grudge. Therefore Chicago’s business and civic leaders will too. Not smart by Hynes.


  7. - Amalia - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:08 am:

    John Daley votes for Hynes at the slating. Mayor Daley appears with Quinn. net neutrality for the family. they are oh so good
    at hedging their bets.

    but, on the public issue, Hynes looks like he hates the Olympics. if we get the Olympics, he will look especially bad.


  8. - Okay Then... - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:09 am:

    “My view is follow the law, follow the constitution, do your job,” Quinn said. “He doesn’t need direction from anyone other than his conscience to do his job.”

    Yikes! That flip-flopping conscience of his?

    On the merits Hynes has the better argument. But, his problem is in the messaging or delivery of it. He is having a lot of trouble getting his ideas across in a compelling way against Quinn.

    Hynes’ point is essentially that the state is neglecting paying its backlog of bills to vendors etc. who rely on the money to stay in business or people who provide services for state residents who need to be paid in order to continue providing service. He is wondering why the state is willing to pay money for what are essentially frivilous things by comparison?

    Mayor Daley and Governor Quinn are correct that tourism brings in money, but surely both would agree that the backlogged bills must be paid too.

    Which comes first the chicken or the egg?

    Chicago is already losing convention trade business to Las Vegas and Orlando, and has been for sometime.

    We’re heading into the winter months, so not much tourism to play up here.

    I think Quinn and Daley need to be more realistic here, and understand the seriouness of the backlog that Hynes is dealing with and attempting to address. I also think the problem is that Quinn isn’t getting the angry and worried calls from those yet to be paid by the state, but Hynes is.

    The whole essence of Quinn’s budget and call for the 50 percent tax increase was based upon the need for the state to pay its bills. It seems he forget that because by April he started running around talking about how the state needed to pay for its vulnerable and neediest citizens (he went off message and never really returned).

    The fiscally prudent thing to do is what Hynes is suggesting–use the money to pay down some of the backlog of bills that the state owes.


  9. - Just Because - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:11 am:

    I hate to agree but Quinn is right.


  10. - Scooby - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:14 am:

    My uneducated assumption here is that the vendors being paid by these vouchers are in some way politically connected and Hynes was hoping to pick a quick fight on this issue to embarrass Quinn for standing up for these politically connected companies and it backfired. Quinn didn’t take the bait and Hynes never really had a leg to stand on. I thought the Gov would be smart to find a way to rope the AG into giving an opinion, but Quinn seems to have come up with an even smarter way of dealing with the situation. They haven’t had a very good year but they’re learning.

    Hynes has really painted himself into a corner now that Quinn didn’t bite. If I understand their position correctly it’s that the Comptroller has the legal authority to refuse to pay any voucher for any reason he can think of unless the Governor submits a voucher a second time and says that he wasn’t just sort of kidding the first time and now he really, really means it. Interesting. It should be fun to watch them defend that imaginary legal authority.


  11. - Fat Mike - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:18 am:

    Phil has got a point…All the chattering class and the movers and shakers in the loop have been mobilizing resources in support of His Honor’s Olympic Bid for the last three years. This dust up makes Hynes look like he doesn’t support the bid, and while he is working the Chicago money pit for donations, he will probably have some explaining to do.


  12. - casandra - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:21 am:

    I’m with Hynes on this. Quinn should be forced to account for his decision to prioritize these advertsing funds over all the other funding needs the state claims are urgent.

    Besides, I had no idea that the state’s (and in particular, Chicago’s) economy was so dependent on taxpayers-provided advertising dollars. Are tourist businesses so strapped that they can’t do their own advertising? And what are these “consultants” doing with state funds that come there way. Businesses can’t pay their own consultants?.

    Clever to have Quinn resubmit if he wants to.
    Forces him to actually justify his decision not to fund other things….he’s had a free ride on the budget so far. $16 million, for example, would more than provide for more parole officers to keep an eye on all those nonviolent drug offenders who are getting out early.


  13. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:24 am:

    SM, that alleged WSIL TV report was wrong.


  14. - Anonymous45 - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:40 am:

    Dear Cassandra-

    Your last post proves to me you just can’t be objective when it comes to Quinn-ever.

    This dust up by Hynes couldn’t come at a worse time (just prior to the Olympic bid announcement) and Hynes is required to pay on contracts previously let…plain and simple…tourism brings in billions every year for Chicago…takes money to make money sister…


  15. - Johnnyc - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:45 am:

    “What happens when you have screwed everyone that has ever helped you?”

    Bill, Dan Hynes helped Mayor Daley in what way? What does Mayor Daley owe Dan Hynes?

    “On the merits Hynes has the better argument.”

    Okay, actually, on the merits Hynes has no argument. This is simply a political ploy and is outside the scope of his constitutionally prescribed duties.

    “I’m with Hynes on this.”

    Cassandra, really? Shocking. You’re Hynes cheerleading knows no bounds. There is simply no way to justify this move as anything other than an overtly political stunt. Hynes has made political mistake after mistake since his announcement. I don’t see how he mounts a serious challenge, especially when the Governor catches up in $$$.


  16. - Thomas Westgard - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:48 am:

    Stupid mistake by Hynes. The contractor did their work and now he refuses to pay? That’s not going to earn him points anywhere.


  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 11:49 am:

    Quinn and Daley are right on the advertising money. It more than pays for itself in increased hotel/motel and sales taxes. There’s also revenue earmarked for the McCormick Place bonds that otherwise would come out of GRF.

    It’s important to distinguish between convention and leisure travel. They’re two very different markets. The big conventions are dying out for a variety of reasons, and the trend is going toward smaller, educational meetings in specialized fields, particularly medical. That’s what the McCormick Place West building was built for.

    Chicago’s two biggest competitors for conventions are Las Vegas and Orlando, both of which have marketing budgets many times that of Chicago. They both have good weather; central location and accessibility via the interstates and airports are Chicago’s biggest advantages.

    Leisure is leisure: dinner, shopping, shows, attractions. For Chicago, the biggest market is the suburbs — “staycations,” basically. After that, it’s the Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo area. Chicago is not seen as a primary leisure destination on the order of New York, LA, Las Vegas and Florida. The international market is very small.


  18. - Okay Then... - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:01 pm:

    Fat Mike & Phil-

    Hynes may actually be wise to look like he doesn’t support the Olympics. According to recent reports most Chicagoans do not want the Olympics, and don’t care a hill of beans about the potential lost revenue. None of the people flanking Quinn & Daley’s at the press conference were everyday Chicagoans. So Hynes just may score some points with the anti-Olympics element of Chicago, which according to the Tribune runs as high as 70 percent.

    I think it is pretty fair to say that Hynes does support the Chicago Olympics in theory and practice for the same reasons that Quinn & Daley cite, but also for the sake of his political friends, as you suggest.

    I didn’t quite take it as you both did when I saw and heard about this on the news. The way it was reported made it seem like Hynes was just being petty. I don’t think reporters really understood or wanted to understand what he was actually suggesting.


  19. - L.S. - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:06 pm:

    watching these two try to manuever is like watching a Lions vs. Rams game. Whole lotta incomplete passes and missed field goals.

    Hynes is right on the merits of the argument. The state is broke and he wants to pay the important stuff first. This is consistent with his attempt at the “responsible adult” theme. The problem is he left himself open for shots from the mayor, who is so totally consumed by the olympic bid that they will need to take his belt and shoelaces away if it goes to Rio.

    I think Quinn wins out in this 6-3 snore-fest, but only becuase Hynes didn’t do a good job of defending his position and didn’t cut and run when he had the chance. But a dust up over tourism money isn’t going to do much to soldify Quinn’s soft support. That sucking sound you hear is the leadership vaccum.


  20. - I Don't Get It - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:07 pm:

    Gee, I could be wrong about this but isn’t there a difference between a contract and a bill for services?
    Doesn’t a contract say someone will do X work for Y pay?
    So isn’t Hynes saying before the work is done and the money is due, shouldn’t the Governor reconsider? Other states are cutting back on this stuff. Why isn’t Illinois?
    Oh yeah, I forgot. Silly me. We never saw a contract we didn’t like……


  21. - Bill - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:07 pm:

    Johnny,
    Maybe you aren’t old enough to remember what the Daley family owes the Hynes family. This kind of backstabbing always comes back to haunt you, especially in politics. Ask Rod about that.


  22. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:16 pm:

    Quinn is the Governor. Hynes is the Comptroller. Who decides what, and who is overstepping here? Hynes started a fight he couldn’t win. He selected a target and fired at it. But as Comptroller he is just not as important or as big a political player as he thinks he is.

    Governors are France. Comptrollers are Luxemborg. Hynes screwed up entirely here. After over a decade as Comptroller, he hasn’t realized that his office isn’t as big a step for him politically as the had hoped. What was he thinking?

    And who is giving him political advice here? Whoever it is must have also given political advice to Ron Gidwitz to spend millions for a dozen votes. When your political advisors cannot differentiate between a big swingin’ office like the Governor’s, and a teeny-weeny office like the Comptroller’s, their advice is NO GOOD.

    Luxemborg doesn’t challenge France. Hynes is a silly little mouse that roared.


  23. - Okay Then... - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:25 pm:

    Wordslinger, get real Las Vegas and Orlando are just more attractive to people, and that’s why they are beating Chicago on convention business. The dollars spent on marketing really have little to do with that fact.

    Chicago is getting its butt kicked and will continue to regardless as to how much money it spends on marketing at the expense of overdue bills.


  24. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:29 pm:

    Vegas is doing poorly on convention business lately, so I think that’s an overstatement.

    Also, convention managers like it when people actually go to the events, not gamble in the hotel or lay on the beach.


  25. - Okay Then... - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:39 pm:

    Rich, lately, you say. I think the down economy perhaps has a lot to do with Sin City’s woes. But overall is what I’m saying—Chicago cannot compete with the likes of Vegas or Orland and it should not expect to realistically. From Sept- June no one lays out on the beach in Chicago. Orlando? Yes and the from July-August as well.

    Vegas for example is a sexy and exciting place, and I don’t think Sin City has to market that fact too hard, meanwhile Chicago cannot make that claim. So, Chicago loses right there.


  26. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:41 pm:

    ===Chicago cannot compete with the likes of Vegas or Orland and it should not expect to realistically. ===

    That’s just silly. Seriously. It’s a huge industry in Chicago. Has it declined with competition? Yep. But it’s still the center.


  27. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:42 pm:

    ===Vegas for example is a sexy and exciting place===

    And that’s one big reason why many conventions specifically avoid it. Spouses.


  28. - cassandra - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:43 pm:

    Johnnyc

    If the state were not (purportedly) in a budget crunch, I might see this as a political stunt too, although I still wonder why taxpayers have to pay businesses’ advertising costs for them. But according to Quinn, we have a huge deficit. Medical vendors are being paid 8 or 9 months late. Prisoners are being let out early. The guv has threatened thousands of layoffs.

    Maybe the budget deficit was inflated for political reasons. But we have to take the administration at its word on its size. If the deficit is as bad as Quinn and Co say it is, it’s fair for Hynes to question the priorities and the sequencing of bill payments. We should be asking questions too. Answering them is Quinn’s job.


  29. - Okay Then... - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:45 pm:

    wait, does Orlando even have beaches? not that I am trying to negate my own point you understand. *face blushing*


  30. - Scooby - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:46 pm:

    Hynes’ point is essentially that the state is neglecting paying its backlog of bills to vendors etc. who rely on the money to stay in business or people who provide services for state residents who need to be paid in order to continue providing service.

    Mayor Daley and Governor Quinn are correct that tourism brings in money, but surely both would agree that the backlogged bills must be paid too.

    The fiscally prudent thing to do is what Hynes is suggesting–use the money to pay down some of the backlog of bills that the state owes.

    I’m with Hynes on this. Quinn should be forced to account for his decision to prioritize these advertsing funds over all the other funding needs the state claims are urgent.

    Hynes is right on the merits of the argument. The state is broke and he wants to pay the important stuff first.

    Perhaps I’m wrong but I don’t think the issue is that Hynes is prioritizing certain past due bills over others, it’s that he is outright refusing to pay these bills, backlog or not.

    The Comptroller’s office already prioritizes payments. Payroll gets paid on pay day, regardless of any backlog. Utility bills for state facilities get paid before they get shut off, while vendors with no leverage wait 45, 60, 90 days. The issue isn’t that Hynes is prioritizing medicaid bills and service providers over lottery and tourism promotions, it’s that he’s refusing to pay them period.


  31. - Amalia - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:49 pm:

    Bill, please explain for us youngsters what the Daley family
    owes the Hynes family.


  32. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 12:52 pm:

    Okay Then, it’s a little more complicated than that. Rich is absolutely right about show managers — they want you on the floor, not out goofing around. Still, some big, for-profit consumer shows pick Vegas and Orlando for the weather and off-floor attractions as a draw.

    Also, Chicago is not getting it’s “butt kicked.” It’s highly competitive among the Big 3 — Orlando, Vegas and Chicago, the only cities that have the space to host the big shows. They all have advantages.

    For example, one of the biggest prizes in the industry is RSNA, the Radiologist Society of North America. Every year, the week after Thanksgiving, 80,000 of the highest paid medical professionals in the world come to Chicago.

    They ain’t coming for the weather. They come for the restaurants, shopping, CSO, Art Institute, theater — real, sophisticated big-city attractions.

    They don’t want all-you-can-eat buffets and Disneyland.


  33. - Okay Then... - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 1:01 pm:

    Rich, Chicago fell off its perch as the #1 covention and was defeated by Vegas.

    I appreciate that Mayor Daley is clamoring for a return to the good ol’ days, but it won’t happen. Other cities have just as much, if not more, to offer. True to history a big scale national or international event can and will attract a lot of people and stimulate Chicago’s fledging economy. It happened with both World’s Fairs. But, Chicago’s hey-dey as the nation’s top convention city is over.


  34. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 1:20 pm:

    ==Vegas for example is a sexy and exciting place, and I don’t think Sin City has to market that fact too hard–

    $227.8 million — annual budget, Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority

    $40.8 million — annual budget, Orlando Travel and Visitor’s Bureau

    $14.5 million — annual budget, Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau


  35. - Anonymous45 - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 1:27 pm:

    Cassandra-once again your reasoning is flawed and you pull your facts from where? If Wordslinger’s
    data is correct, we’re getting alot of bang for our taxpayer buck…


  36. - Chi Gal - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 1:34 pm:

    Chicago certainly gets points for cultural options but the cost to host a convention in a Chicago or New York is significantly higher due to union requirements than cities like Vegas, Orlando or New Orleans. Those hosting conventions count on the exhibitor income and exhibitors get nickled and dimed in union cities and put pressure on organizers to stay out of these types of cities. The attendee side of conferences and conventions has generally been declining since 9-11. Some have rebounded and others have gone by the wayside. As silly as it sounds, things like the cost of a gallon of coffee affect the bottom line and you are paying 3x for things like that in Chicago versus other cities. There are organizations based in Chicago that don’t host their conferences here because it is cheaper to move staff to other locations for two weeks to put on an event than it is to host one in Chicago.

    I still think we need to advertise but the real issue keeping conventions from Chicago is the inflated costs due to the strong union presence.


  37. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 1:44 pm:

    Vegas spends a lot, and is getting the largest number of the Tradeshow 200 biggest shows. But as recently as 2004, Chicago had a larger number of attendees for all events.

    Remember, the big shows are dying. The future is in the smaller, educational events where in-house technology will matter more than shrimp cocktails and golf.


  38. - Okay Then... - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 1:56 pm:

    wordslinger thanks for the 2006 data. The LVCVA is self-sustaining. That $227.8 million covers a lot, and even spares the good people of nevada from having to pay income taxes.
    Here’s a good source, though it doesn’t give a breakdown on dollars spent on strictly on marketing, it lumps everything together. Including facility operating costs, which undoubtedly account for a large portion of the $227 million.
    http://www.visitlasvegas.com.au/images/presskit/About-the-LVCVA.pdf

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-146845412.html


  39. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 2:09 pm:

    –The LVCVA is self-sustaining.==

    The taxes and spending generated by state and city tourism is enormous. State and local taxpayer spending in support of it is very small.

    Check out the release from yesterday’s event. Lot of good numbers. One to remember is that taxes from tourism spending generated $1 billion in GRF in 2008.

    http://www.choosechicago.com/media/news_releases/Pages/economic%20impact.aspx


  40. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 2:10 pm:

    The funds in question are dedicated for tourism. They come from the hotel-motel tax you pay, which is not State sales tax. Spending these funds for a non-tourism purpose, say education or health care, would require a legislative exception, not just the Governor’s decision.


  41. - cassandra - Wednesday, Sep 23, 09 @ 2:33 pm:

    Anon45. I didn’t say we should never provide taxpayer monies to promote tourism (that’s another discussion). If Quinn’s estimate of the budget deficit is correct, and if we thus are half a year or more behind in paying, say, medical vendors, I say medical bills trump tourism “consulting” contracts. Not for all eternity. But for right now.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * Caterpillar looking at deals, has 'lots’ of capital
        * Can one person run long frieght trains alone? Railroad execs say yes
        * Tribune sells land holding Baltimore Sun printing facility
        * Tribune Media cashes in on real estate portfolio


        * Lakeview pot dispensary on hold; Tunney opposes Halsted location
        * Despite community pleas, CPS puts Dyett HS out for proposals
        * Quinn to appoint new Illinois Comptroller today
        * Gov. Quinn appoints longtime aide as Illinois comptroller
        * Watch: President Obama's year-end press conference
        * Rewriting the Sony cyberattack script
        * time for new course in Cuba
        * Are Rahm's numbers creeping up? New internals show him near 50
        * Obama guidance, press schedule, Dec. 19, 2014. Press conference
        * A whole lot of nothing from the City Council


        * 8 taken into custody in Far North Side barricade incident
        * Apple Store in Naperville reports $10,000 in merchandise stolen
        * Teen killed in Southwest Side shooting
        * Police arrest 3 teens in Arlington Heights burglaries
        * No charges against ex-cop in fatal Milwaukee shooting of mentally ill man
        * Former Chicago Alderman Bernie Stone dead at 87
        * Lake Shore Drive reopened after deadly wrong-way crash
        * 2 dead, 10 wounded in separate West, South side shootings
        * 1 killed after shooting leads to police pursuit
        * CTA reopens Damen Blue Line stop


        * StoryCorps: Bilingual pre-school teacher describes the state of education in Chicago
        * Long-serving Alderman Berny Stone dies at 87
        * Report Faults State For Closing Women's Prison
        * WUIS-SJR Business Report The End of Times For Bel-Aire Motel
        * Local Book Club Provides Camaraderie For Vets
        * Agencies To Ask For More, Rauner Says ... Without Giving An Opinion On If They Deserve It Or Not
        * Rauner Favors Merging Comptroller, Treasurer. Just Not Now.
        * Rauner Named Nation's Most Influential Pension Figure
        * Sangamon Auditorium: Beware Second Party Ticket Brokers
        * Illinois Republican: Cuba Agreement "Good First Step"


        * Blagojevich brother: I was used as ‘pawn’ to get then-governor
        * Quote of the day: Monday, Dec. 22, 2014
        * Raising juror pay gets mixed reviews
        * Gov. Quinn set to go to Maryland to visit soldiers
        * Quote of the day: Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Rauner talks of dogs, housing and the work ahead as governor
        * State treasurer employees get raises, stipends as Rutherford’s term comes to end
        * Cathy Becker: Because it’s the right thing to do
        * T. Ray McJunkins: Justice, righteousness descend to fulfill dream
        * Springfield-based U.S. attorney’s investigations nab 13; race questions raised


        * Former Carterville band director makes court appearance
        * Congressman urges completion of levee project
        * Zoo to close early on Christmas Eve, reopens Friday
        * 'Wooooooooooo!!!!!!!"
        * Last day for candidates to file for municipal elections
        * Pope in blistering critique of Vatican bureaucrats
        * Occupant has to be extricated from three-car crash on I-64
        * 12-22-14 The Shot by Nick Anderson March 1989 over Indiana
        * 12-22-14 Monday Morning Quarterbacks, The greatest basketball shots in Illinois history.
        * Four to be charged with robbing UI students


        * Bears say Clausen will miss finale because of concussion
        * British singer Joe Cocker dies of lung cancer
        * Joe Cocker dies at 70
        * Loose bear eludes capture in Phoenix suburb
        * South Carolina women remain No. 1 in AP Poll

        * REP. DANNY K. DAVIS NOW SUPPORTS DR. WILLI...
        * Danny Davis Defeats Robert Bumpers In Illi...
        * Representatives Issue Bipartisan Letter Ur...
        * Rehab of Affordable Housing Building in Ol...
        * Rep. Danny Davis Hopes to Keep His Seat fo...
        * Roskam helps lead charge to protect Chicag...
        * Illinois House Dems agonize over vote to f...
        * Durbin 'overjoyed' Gross is home; Roskam q...
        * Congressman calls for removal of police co...
        * Roskam gives impassioned plea for better m...

        * Report: Steyer, Bloomberg Topped List of 2......
        * Education Dept. OKs Sale of Failing For-Pr......

        * Senator Demands a Sony Hack Hearing...
        * Kirk skeptical of increased trade with Cuba...

        * Police Still Looking For Owners of Stolen Property
        * The [Wednesday] Papers
        * Fire-Damaged Vintage Home Rises From The Ashes
        * The [Monday] Papers
        * Stolen Bike BOLO
        * Free Fitness Week @ Park District To Kick Off 2015
        * Rahm privatizes.
        * Mark Anderson: Chicago moving pensions to risky alternative investment schemes.
        * The Weekend In Chicago Rock
        * Rev. Garland R. Hunt Interview [video]


        * IDHR Reminder: Law Protecting the Rights of Pregnant Women in Illinois Takes Effect January 1st
        * Governor Quinn Departs for Annual Trip to Visit Wounded Servicemembers - Will Deliver Holiday Cards to Servicemembers on Monday; Encourages People to Donate Miles and Help Reunite Servicemembers with Families
        * Governor Quinn Appoints Jerry Stermer as Illinois Comptroller
        * Governor Quinn Recognizes First Program to Help Military Veterans Use their Training to Achieve a Nursing Degree - Bridge Program at Joliet Junior College Could Help Veterans Save Dozens of Credit Hours and Thousands in Tuition and Fees
        * Governor Quinn Calls Legislative Special Session - Governor Urges Legislature to Set Up 2016 Special Election for Comptroller




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