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No escaping the goofiness

Monday, May 17, 2010

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column expresses exasperation at the bumbling goofballs running for governor

It occurred to me not long ago that the best analogy for this year’s governor’s race would be if the Washington Generals played the Washington Generals.

The Washington Generals basketball team was formed in the 1950s specifically to play solely against the Harlem Globetrotters. The Generals lost over 13,000 games in the ensuing decades and won just a handful. All of those wins were mainly due to luck. If you ever saw them play, you know that the hapless team just couldn’t do anything right. They were comedic in their supreme ineptness.

A Washington Generals split squad game would surely be a sight to behold. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to imagine such a spectacle. We’ve got one right here in Illinois.

Last week, Gov. Pat Quinn spoke to throngs of angry union members at the site of a factory which is being retooled in part by out-of-state workers. Unions have been quite unhappy about the use of nonunion employees from other states and have been protesting for weeks.

“When there’s a job to be done,” Quinn told the union members, “look to Illinois workers because they are second to none.”

The very next day, Quinn finally announced the hiring of his new campaign manager - a young out-of-stater who has never run an Illinois campaign. His main claim to fame is that he works for the Wisconsin lieutenant governor. Before pursuing that guy, Quinn tried to hire someone from Kentucky, but was politely turned down.

If this “Factories should hire Illinois workers but I don’t have to” gaffe was an isolated case, then it would be no big deal. But Quinn has stumbled time and time again, to the point where he nearly lost his Democratic primary race after leading by more than 30 points. Like the Generals’ rare victories, Quinn lucked into his win.

And then there’s Bill Brady, who earlier this month challenged reporters to “find the tape” of him even once supporting a 10 percent across the board budget cut. Brady insisted he’d never said it. My intern Dan Weber found the tape quickly because Brady has made the across the board cut proposal literally dozens of times. Only a Washington General wannabe could make a goofy mistake like that. It almost looked like he did it on purpose, kinda like how the Generals stood around listlessly while the Globetrotters performed their awesome comedy routines.

Again, this is no isolated case. Brady, like Quinn, has a history of giving his opponent sweet little gifts, like introducing a puppy and kitty mass killing legalization bill right after he won his primary by 200-odd votes. A few months ago, Brady spoke in favor of a massive pension borrowing scheme. This month, he lobbied hard against a much smaller version supported by Gov. Quinn, claiming it was the wrong thing to do.

It’s no wonder that some top labor union officials have mulled the idea of backing Green Party nominee Rich Whitney this fall. Trouble is, Whitney can’t even manage to get himself into the Washington Generals split-squad game that’s playing out in front of our eyes. He’s that inept. Too often, people like him would rather “lose the good fight” than even consider the possibility of trying to actually win. Winning is so dirty and dishonorable. It’s not to be comprehended.

And that brings us to Scott Lee Cohen, he of the oh-so weird and allegedly violent, steroid-using past who announced an independent candidacy for governor this month. He then chose Baxter Swilley as his running mate. Swilley was Cohen’s spokesman during his post lieutenant governor primary meltdown. One can’t help but wonder whether Swilley will remain on Cohen’s payroll, and whether that would be the only way Cohen could ever persuade someone other than a total whack job to run with him. Cohen seems more intent on getting in on some of that Rod Blagojevich national clown show action now that Blagojevich’s trial is about to start, rather than actually winning this race.

The unmistakable conclusion from all this is that whichever candidate wins this November, we’re gonna have a goofball running this state for at least four years. God help us all.

* Related and a roundup…

* Seniors burdened by Madigan’s revenge?

* Enough with ’semantics’; give detailed plan: Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady should stop trying to explain away the “semantics” of when a call for a 10 percent across-the-board cut isn’t a call for a 10 percent across-the-board cut. Instead, the state senator from Bloomington should get specific — real specific — about where he thinks the 10 percent cut in state spending should be made.

* Sun-Times: Legislature’s failure hitting home already

* Daily Herald: The state’s priorities confusing

* Legislators are pretty unhappy, too

* States’ Budget Woes Hitting Programs For Kids Hard

* Bugdet quagmire leaves communities in limbo

* Bill to help state police will cost local governments

* Journal-Star: Effective, lasting fixes needed for mismanaged ‘All Kids’ program

* Bill to help state police will cost local governments

* Journal-Star: Effective, lasting fixes needed for mismanaged ‘All Kids’ program

* Lack of funding for MAP grants could affect future JWCC students

* State Delay Costs Schools Millions on Construction

* Pantagraph: Edgar knows what it will take to fix state mess

* Can regulators keep video gambling crime-free?

* Simon, Madigan like their party’s chances in election

* Ex-Dem candidates for governor run as independents

* Walls, Scanlan Team Up to Run for Ill. Governor, Lt. Governor on Independent Ticket

* Whitney trying to raise awareness about Capital Green Bill

* Women in politics: Do they have an advantage over male candidates?

* Quinn says 3,800 employees to get subsidized jobs

* Quinn touts job program in Peoria

* Quinn signs bill closing suburban Cook office of education

* Quinn Abolishes Suburban Cook Office of Education in Response to Scandal

* Bill would allow craft distillers to sell their own liquor

* Debt settlement legislation close to becoming law: Legislation was passed by Springfield lawmakers that will keep these companies from charging fees for their services until they actually manage to negotiate lower debts for their customers. And when they do charge consumers, the amount cannot be more than 15 percent of what a person saved.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


40 Comments
  1. - Pelon - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    Part of the reason people don’t vote is because of choices like this. Why do the political parties always seem to select the worst candidates?


  2. - anon - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    Great column, Rich. I laughed my face off!


  3. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 10:47 am:

    Some pretty harsh words for Senator Brady from his hometown paper:

    Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady should stop trying to explain away the ’semantics’ of when a call for a 10 percent across-the-board cut isn’t a call for a 10 percent across-the-board cut….As of last week, Brady’s campaign website…still lacked details on how he would address the state’s financial problems”

    I agree with the Tribune…Brady’s been in the legislature for almost two decades, and this is his second run for governor. His refusal to propose a detailed budget plan, at a time when the state budget is the #1 issue, is a clear effort to dodge reality and any accountability.


  4. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    Strike the Tribune reference, I meant Pantagraph…Mother Tribune is as bad or worse than Brady when it comes to the budget: lots of Platitudes, no Plan.


  5. - Sewanee - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 10:52 am:

    ==Why do the political parties always seem to select the worst candidates?==

    In a gubernatorial race in which both candidates won their respective primaries by razor thin margins, I don’t think we can say the parties ’selected’ their candidates. The voters did.


  6. - just sayin' - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 10:54 am:

    Yep, one would think the country’s 5th largest state could produce better offerings all around.


  7. - the Other Anonymous - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 10:58 am:

    Can Baxter Swilley even get a salary for being a candidate? I read the Illinois campaign finance personal use ban, and it’s really ambiguous — you can’t pay candidates or their family members except for work that’s actually performed. It sounds like the “work actually performed” exception might have been intended only for family members, but it’s murky.

    Anyway, Rich’s point about Cohen having to pay someone to be a running mate (if Swilley receives a salary) is still true.


  8. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:18 am:

    What do IL media and StateWideTOm have in Common?
    Lot of whining but no solutions. I think the media handwringing has contibuted to record # of sprained writst according the NIH officials. Meanwhile another reminder from the WSJ that IL is not alone
    BTW Capt Fax power system in SPI has not worked right since the Great Ice Storm — Todd, Todd?

    States’ Tax Collections Falter, Widening Budget Gaps

    By AMY MERRICK
    April tax collections are falling short of forecasts and even dropping below last year’s depressed levels in a number of states, complicating budget troubles and prompting some governors to dip into rainy-day funds.

    Following several months of modest improvement, the weak April revenue numbers are disappointing for states that hoped for economic recovery soon.

    Based on reports from more than a dozen states, the figures suggest the recession may have taken a heavier-than-expected toll on employment last year, cutting into income taxes.

    The shortfalls also are punching fresh holes in state budgets. Widening state deficits could in turn put pressure on the federal government to issue new stimulus funding; a 2009 cash injection from Washington has helped shore up battered state finances, but much of that will dry up by the end of this year.

    April is the biggest revenue month for many states because it is when they collect a large portion of income taxes. The month’s collections came up short of expectations in California by 26.4%, or $3.6 billion; in Pennsylvania by 11.8%, or $390.1 million; and in Kansas by 10.2%, or $65.3 million. More states will report in the next few weeks.

    In some states—including a few where April tax collections fell short of forecasts—revenue actually increased slightly from the same month a year ago.

    But even if the results topped last year’s, states that received lower-than-expected income in April still may need to reduce spending to balance budgets.


  9. - wordslinger - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:18 am:

    Look around the bigger states; not so hot, either. It’s a good bet you’ll see the return on Jerry Brown in California.

    Does the winner in Illinois then automatically become a leader in the national goofball movement?


  10. - El Conquistador - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:21 am:

    I think this should be the new state slogan - “We’re gonna have a goofball running this state for at least four years. God help us all.”


  11. - jonbtuba - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:21 am:

    I was hoping that there would be mention of Bill Brady wanting to go back to “John Wayne’s America” or Scott Lee Cohen saying his plan for fixing the budget would be to shoot all elected officials. Even without those, it is still a very funny and spot-on column.


  12. - Joe from Joliet - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:24 am:

    Dillard v Hynes would have been the chance for some better political discussion.

    Why not Dillard? Wrong home zip code for downstate voters. DuPage ganged up to stop him.

    Why not Hynes? Not the incumbent, albeit unelected incumbent.

    Yep, I believe a race between a candidate that has proved to have the ability to work across the aisle versus a candidate who had the guts to criticize the disastrous Blago would have been a good thing for us


  13. - Anonymous - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:24 am:

    Dock walls will get a lot of black votes in chicago b/c way art turmer was treated by quinn. Watch for Walls to becomoe a serious contender.


  14. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:27 am:

    This is not necessarily an issue of poor candidates running for governor, but a repeated pattern of poor candidates for governor starting back in 1998 when the GOP had no one but Grandpa Ryan to select.

    If we look at our governors over the past decade, we see a massive failure which points at the even bigger failure within our two political parties in Illinois.

    I’ve been saying for a few years that until we see political reforms within our political parties, we will see flawed candidates. Even after Ryan and Blagojevich, we did not see any political reforms within either party. We did not hear any admission of failure for nominating and electing these men. We did not read of any intra-party reforms focusing on preventing future Ryans and Blagojevichs. Both political parties have failed Illinois.

    As long as the focus on either party is to win in the General, without recognizing their failure in promoting, nominating and electing the best qualified candidates - we will continue to see candidates like Brady and Quinn, Cohen and Plummer. We will continue to see people like Roland Burris ooze their way into political offices to represent our state.

    The Democrats knew who Rod Blagojevich was, what he did in previous offices, who he knew, who was on his personal staff, and his qualifications for Office. Yet they promoted him, nominated him and elected him - twice. The Republicans were led by George Ryan for decades before he outlasted his political opposition to become the 1998 nominee. The GOP knew George Ryan, yet they still nominated and elected him.

    You want to know why family names rule the polls in Illinois? One of the reasons is the fact that a nomination by either party doesn’t make a candidate credible in the eyes of voters anymore. They would rather vote for a family name, than a political party today, because our political parties have sold their souls too often to have their nominations worth anything.

    The corruption within Illinois is more than about elected officials, it is also about corrupted political parties nominating god-forsaken candidates who couldn’t govern if elected. If their history is any proof of their ability to lead our state, both Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan have proven to us that neither party is qualified to lead this state.


  15. - Plutocrat03 - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:27 am:

    The slogan should be for four more years since there has been a goofball in the Governor’s office since ‘99 or ‘03 based on what constitutes a goofball.


  16. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:30 am:

    ===Watch for Walls to becomoe a serious contender.===

    lol


  17. - Ronbo - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:31 am:

    STAR BONDS SYNOPSIS

    1. Star Bonds will be used to provide incentives to the following projects within the District:
    a. Amusement Park
    b. One 150+ room hotel
    c. Two “Destination Retailers” (A retailer that has over (150,000 sq ft and derives 30% of its sales from 70 miles away. Examples include an Outlet Mall, Cabela’s, Costco, etc.)
    d. Up to 900,000 sq ft of “Traditional Retail Space”
    (e.g. any retail entity, restaurants hotels, etc.)

    2. Star Bonds will be used to provide incentives to the following projects outside the District:

    a. All infrastructure to the site deemed “essential” to serve the District. Will provide assistance to untold hundreds of additional acres to subsidize retail development.

    3. One hundred percent of State Sales Taxes from the 4 “Destination Projects” (projects a, b and c above) will be used to provide incentives to projects inside and outside the District.

    4. Twenty-five percent of State Sales Taxes from all other projects will be used to provide incentives to projects inside and outside the District.

    5. Up to 50% of total State Sales Taxes will be used through the 23 year life of the District to subsidize projects in and out of the District.


  18. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:53 am:

    Speaking of Goofy Columns —- which is what Capt. Fax shoved out this week — here is this week’s first nomination for the DTDK award.
    It is a snippet from Carol Marin’s vacation opus ( which we guess allows her to write off the entire trip)
    And so the Arizona legislature late last month passed what some consider a Draconian immigration law, the harshest in the country.

    Some Conside a Draconian…..
    Some?
    Yeah just anyone playing with all 52 Cards


  19. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:54 am:

    Speaking of 2 competing goofballs, how are our two MLB teams doing so far?


  20. - Niles Township - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:58 am:

    Why not Hynes? = Tom Hynes

    Watch for Walls to becomoe a serious contender = not getting on the ballot, and if he does he will be a serious contender for getting the least votes ever a state-wide race.


  21. - Ghost - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 11:59 am:

    the colution is simple, cuts and a tax increase. The problem is electing to the Gov and general assembly folks with the testicular virality to do what needs to be done.

    For all of Quinn’s goofiness, at least he is bing honest by stating we need to raise tax revenue to get us out of the mess.

    Brady will not even be honest on this critical point. The reason brady has no plan is simple, there is not plan that works without a tax increase, and he is either so incompetent he can not recongise this fact, or so dishonest he will not speak the truth when it is unpleasant.

    Quinn may not be the best, but I trust him; Brady so far looks like another dishonest public official.


  22. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 12:14 pm:

    We really cannot expect honesty from political candidates at any time. What Quinn is on record as saying is that he will do whatever he can to support the status quo. So, if you want to try and muddle your way out of this disaster, Quinn is your guy. What Brady is on record as saying is that he will do whatever he can to not raise taxes. So, if you want to try and muddle your way out of this disaster without a tax increase, Brady is your guy.

    Blagojevich ran as an anti-tax governor twice, and won. Since both men are candidates, Brady’s position is more politically attractive, than Quinn’s - and polls are showing this.

    Never expect honesty from these people. The best we can do is watch the directions of their “poll dances”.

    Voters know this. They don’t believe in what these two are saying, anymore than they believed that Blagojevich wasn’t corrupt when he won in 2006. Voters voted for the direction each candidate presented.

    This is going to drive Democrats crazy this year because Brady isn’t going to give details enough to derail his campaign. He isn’t going to feed the arguments against him, anymore than Quinn will. All these arguments against Brady’s “plans” is secondary to the direction voters see him taking - which polls currently show that they approve.


  23. - Small Town Liberal - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 12:30 pm:

    - What Quinn is on record as saying is that he will do whatever he can to support the status quo. -

    No, he’s clearly on the record saying he supports an income tax increase and budget cuts to work towards fixing the state’s economic problems. That would be kind of a silly thing to lie about given the unpopularity of both ideas among large groups of voters. Brady is on the record saying lots of things, he just won’t admit to any of them.


  24. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 12:51 pm:

    Sadly, many voters will excuse a cerain amount of dishonesty, as long as it’s a dishonesty that they want to hear. Advantage, Brady…just as it was with Blago, twice.


  25. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 12:53 pm:

    Vman -

    Let’s try to base things on, say, facts.

    Quinn’s cut payroll, he’s cut pensions, he’s cut programs, he’s cut operating budgets.

    He’s proposed a budget based on a combination of cuts, borrowing, and new revenue, which is about the only realistic way out of this in the short-term and the best path for the long-term.

    No one can suggest with a straight face that he’s for the status quo.

    Brady, on the other hand, said he supports 10% cuts in spending, which would save us $3 billion, but hasn’t said where or how he plans to come up with the other $13 B to close the budget deficit, especially since he’s said NO to new revenue and flip-flopped on borrowing.


  26. - Some Guy - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 12:55 pm:

    Blago ran on ( and still seems to be running on) the “no tax increase” platform, but in fact that was also all “semantics”. The massive fee increases and passing on the bills to county and city governments under Blago stuck the voters with more bills and more debt but Rod was able to say that technically *he* didn’t raise taxes. This is probably what Sen. Brady (R, Walmart) is hoping to try as well if he gets elected.

    But that well’s been tapped dry long ago. And municipalities and counties are going to scream bloody murder if the same trick is tried again, because the anti-incumbent ire generated by it will be aimed right at them, though they weren’t the initiators of the added costs requiring more revenue.


  27. - Loop Lady - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 1:03 pm:

    You know what they say Rich, people get the government they deserve/tolerate…I hope November 3rd 2010 comes and most incumbents are out on their *ss…try to find a job now guys/gals!
    Good Luck with that!


  28. - wordslinger - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 1:18 pm:

    CFC, you’re spot on about the Marin column. “I like to vacation in Arizona, so don’t say anything bad about them.” How superficial.

    Well, “Chinatown” is one of my favorite movies, but I hope Roman Polanski spends his remaining golden years in San Quentin, not at some Swiss chalet.


  29. - Bill - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 1:32 pm:

    At this time I am pleased to announce that I am supporting Sheila Simon for Lt. Gov..I know that this means I will have to also vote for her goofy running mate. However, in the last Gov. election I also had to vote for a goofy running mate when I voted for Rod. So I’m used to it.


  30. - JonShibleyFan - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 1:36 pm:

    “Watch for Walls to becomoe a serious contender.”

    Funny. You were kidding, right? If one could swap delusion of campaign cash and ego for petition signatures, then Walls would be a contender.

    As they can not, look for Walls to fail to get on the ballot.


  31. - JonShibleyFan - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 1:36 pm:

    That’s “delusion *FOR* campaign cash”


  32. - steve schnorf - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 2:37 pm:

    VM, that’s about as silly a thing as I’ve read on here for a while


  33. - steve schnorf - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 3:07 pm:

    VM-sorry, forgot to include the specific quote

    “The Republicans were led by George Ryan for decades”


  34. - train111 - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 3:10 pm:

    You know, the office of Lieutenant Governor has been vacant for over a year and it hasn’t caused any impediment to the state’s operations.
    I wonder if we couldn’t just leave the office of Governor vacant for the next 4 years. It certainly couldn’t be any worse than our other options.

    train111


  35. - Tom Pliura - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 3:22 pm:

    Respectfully, I don’t see how anything productive can come from labeling either of the candidates as “goofballs.” Regardless of whether you like one particular candidate, or not, it just seems unnecessary to call someone a goofball in a public forum like this site.

    I personally plan to strongly support Senator Brady, but it seems like our entire society has degraded to name-calling, belittling and personal attacks on individual political candidates. In my opinion, people are always free to disagree with an elected official or candidate for office. And they are certainly free to voice whatever concerns they have about a candidate or elected official. But just because a person doesn’t like somebody doesn’t mean it is wise or appropriate to disregard common courtesy, respect for the office, decent communication skills. Governor Quinn is our duly elected officer, and whether you agree with him or not, I personally believe the Office of the Governor deems a certain level of respect. In my opinion, when people disregard that notion, then the whole entire process loses credibility.

    I believe there would be some benefit to all persons taking a long, hard look in the mirror before anyone reverts to name-calling. I am relatively new to this process, and I hope I haven’t offended anyone. But I just see no point to name-calling against any political candidate or elected official. I wonder if we, as a society, are partly responsibile for the plight we are now in.

    Tom Pliura
    Le Roy, IL


  36. - Realo - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 3:49 pm:

    Rich, that bit about Whitney is a pretty spurious assertion. You have to take into account that there’s so much going against the a third party. They don’t get equal time or coverage in the media. They’re still a growing organization and don’t have the party infrastructure the other two parties have. And law makers continue to jerry-rig election laws to marginalize third party and independents to protect incumbents. And obviously they don’t have the millions that the major parties to trash their opponents (not saying they would).

    I think you are being a little harsh.


  37. - VanillaMan - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 3:49 pm:

    “The Republicans were led by George Ryan for decades”

    From 1983 to 2002, Thompson, Edgar and Ryan lead the Illinois GOP as Governors, Lt. Governors or as Secretary of States. That would be decades.


  38. - steve schnorf - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 4:43 pm:

    Yes, if you had said “Thompson, Edgar, and Ryan” it would have been harder to quibble


  39. - southern illinoisan - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 8:07 pm:

    I say we start a grass roots campaign to elect the most knowledgable person in Illinois politics — Rich Miller for Governor!


  40. - southern illinoisan - Monday, May 17, 10 @ 8:09 pm:

    Here’s the 1st campaign slogan — It’s Miller time. :)


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        * Attorney general warns of immigration scams
        * State pension changes ruled unconstitutional; appeal to Illinois Supreme Court next
        * State to refund $60 million in retiree health care money
        * State pension changes ruled unconstitutional; appeal to Illinois Supreme Court likely
        * Illinois pension case likely headed to high court

        * Now you can add 'health insurance' to your Black Friday shopping list
        * Chicago airports expect 1.9 million holiday travelers
        * Ferguson protesters leave Chicago mayor's office
        * How Brad of Brad's Deals became the king of e-coupons
        * Bin 36 leaving River North after 15-year run


        * Anti-coal activists rip Mayor Rahm Emanuel over campaign ad
        * WATCH LIVE: White House turkey pardon
        * Ginsburg has surgery for coronary blockage
        * Obama administration sets stricter smog standard
        * City needs to put its house in order in protecting tenants
        * Finding food for hope in Ferguson
        * Applications for U.S. jobless aid jump to 313,000
        * Obama guidance, press schedule Nov. 26, 2014. Turkey pardon
        * Off Message: Chicago election preview
        * Rauner getting a fixer-upper: governor’s mansion


        * FBI: Probe into contentious Hammond police stop not over
        * Activists: Emanuel taking too much credit for power plant closures
        * Suburban police prepare for 'Black Wednesday' drinking crowds, traffic
        * Burglars drive van into West Side clothing store
        * Surveillance video shows thieves crashing into Louis Vuitton store
        * 44 arrested in second, calmer night of Ferguson protests
        * Man wounded when bullet smashes through bedroom window
        * Police search for missing South Shore man last seen month ago
        * City Hall sit-in morphs into march along Michigan Avenue
        * Former Chicago-area homebuilder gets prison for failing to pay taxes


        * Fumée Gypsy Project Plays At WUIS
        * New Exhibit On Lincoln's "Undying Words"
        * Locals Organize For Vigil In Response To Ferguson
        * Latest Minimum Wage Hike Goes To Eleven
        * Illinois Hunters Kill 52,000 Deer Over The Weekend
        * Pension Ruling "Credit Negative," But No Ratings Change
        * Tim Landis: Foreclosure Sales, CIPS Icehouse and Heritage River Trail
        * Part Timers & Manufacturing in Illinois Feeling a Slow Economic Recovery
        * Notes From Ferguson: A QA With St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann
        * Notes From Ferguson: Q & A With St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann


        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization
        * Michael Gerson: The big ‘but’ on immigration
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 26, 2014
        * State begins accepting fracking applications
        * Debt rating agencies weigh in on state pension ruling
        * Our Opinion: Another big weekend for football fans
        * Mary Auchstetter: The true story of Grain Belt Express
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 25, 2014
        * Lisa Madigan to ask Illinois Supreme Court to consider pensions
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 24, 2014


        * Friends turn to online site to help children of late couple
        * Friends raising money for children of Collinsville couple killed in crash
        * ‘I put my heart in this’: East St. Louis students volunteer to feed the hungry
        * Illinois hunters kill 52,000 deer in weekend
        * Belleville trash collection delayed because of Thanksgiving
        * Illinois health officials offer turkey safety tip
        * Inclement weather affecting Thanksgiving travelers
        * Black Friday gun buys test background check system
        * Guard reinforcements contain damage in Ferguson
        * Daily Digest 11/26/14


        * Imrem: Bad things come to Bears coaches who wait
        * 'Penguins of Madagascar' hatch kid-friendly plot
        * Learn how to plan reunions or retreats
        * Cuban couple opens ballet school in Wheaton
        * Elk Grove nonprofit CEO makes a difference in the community

        * Gutiérrez warns of GOP 'fear campaign' aga...
        * Opponents of deportation relief are scarin...
        * Rep. Gutierrez: Executive Action Questions...
        * Democrat Congressman Insists Obama Is Goin...
        * Democrat to GOP: 'Roll up your sleeves' an...
        * On Sunday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said...
        * Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Raul Labrador De...
        * Luis Gutierrez: Exec Amnesty Critics Think...
        * Advocates Warn Immigrants To Watch Out For...
        * Luis Gutierrez: 'My Responsibility' to Reg...

        * Durbin, Reed Lead 40 U.S. Senators In Back......
        * U.S. Senate to Hold Civil Rights Hearing A......

        * NORPAC Hosting Event For Senator Mark Kirk......
        * FAA studying military-style air-traffic ba......

        * Three facts about Illinois October home sales #IARMarketStats
        * RAFV members spread their charity around
        * A street kid from Chicago leans on helping hands to lift himself out of poverty [video]
        * Op-Ed: Reflections on the Purpose of Thanksgiving
        * Infographic: October Illinois Housing Snapshot #IARMarketStats
        * Aldermanic Hopefuls Challenging Mitts, O'Connor File Nominating Petitions
        * Justice For Mike Brown Sign
        * Survey: Many Illinois LGBT Youth Face Combative School Environments
        * LGBT youth
        * Ruling OK’s release of fracking rules


        * Governor Quinn Statement on Abner Mikva Receiving Nation’s Highest Civilian Honor
        * Department of Insurance Announces Multi-State Settlement with Symetra Life Insurance and Symetra National Life Insurance Company - Illinois will share part of a $1.2 million penalty against Symetra Life regarding Life Insurance policies
        * Avoid Foodborne Illness This Holiday Season
        * Dept on Aging Observes Family Caregivers Awareness Month by Reminding about Resources to Assist - Administers the Family Caregiver Support Program
        * State Seeks Public Input on Strategy to Reduce Phosphorous and Nitrogen Pollution in Mississippi River Basin - Draft Strategy Aims to Have Agricultural and Municipal Interests Work Together to Improve Water Quality




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