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*** UPDATED x1 - Madigan says bill 12 votes shy *** Still short

Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013

*** UPDATE *** House Speaker Michael Madigan says the vote gap is even worse than the Windy City Times/Illinois Review estimate…


[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* The Windy City Times took a close look last week at where the roll call stood on same sex marriage. The Illinois Review published it in a more unreadable form, apparently unaware that they were getting their source information from a gay publication.

I looked at the list, which purports to show that gay marriage is ten votes shy of passage. I’ve talked to some of the House members on that list and I think some of the “No” votes are now leaning in favor of the bill.

But it isn’t going to be easy. One House Democrat I talked with last week wants to vote for gay marriage, but his strongly Catholic wife is absolutely, completely dead set against it. Sometimes, these things happen. Legislators are human beings, after all. He said he’d likely push for an amendment strengthening the protections for religious institutions.

Even with a generous tilt, I think it’s still maybe one to five votes shy of passage, depending on whatever the prevailing winds are at the moment. But proponents are pretty darned sure they can pass this thing, so expect a very strong final push.

* Meanwhile, this isn’t gonna work at all

Paul Caprio, Family PAC’s director, provides the voice in the robocall and says, “Your state representative Mike Smiddy has received $6,500 from Chicago homosexuals.”

Henry County Republican Jon Zahm works as a field director for Family PAC and sent a statement to local media about the robocall.

Mr. Zahm initially said he did not know which “Chicago homosexuals” the robocall referred to.

But in a subsequent interview he pointed to donations to Rep. Smiddy’s election campaign from two groups that advocate for equal rights for gay people and to a contribution from Fred Eychaner, who Mr. Zahm said is “openly gay.”

The robocall…

Smiddy is an avowed liberal. No way will a robocall move him off that bill

“This is an issue primarily about the welfare of the children, protection of children, and what effect same-sex marriage has on that welfare and outcome,” Family-PAC’s Caprio said Sunday, claiming that children would less likely know their cultural and medical history if their parents were gay.

“Is it possible that what they call Parent 1 and Parent 2 could raise a child in a loving manner? Sure. But don’t you think it’s important a person know who their biological parents are?” he said.

Smiddy said adopted children can seek out their biological parents regardless of the parents’ orientation and called Caprio’s assertion “ridiculous.”

“I honestly thought it was a very ridiculous comment and a very untrue comment,” Smiddy said.

Caprio’s statement that he has been taking money from “Chicago homosexuals” is “greatly offensive.”

* And while these robocalls are more interesting, I’m not sure how effective they’ll be

With a vote looming in the Illinois House, Rev. James Meeks is taking a stand against same-sex marriage by sending an “emergency message” to Illinois households.

Meeks, pastor of Salem Baptist Church on Chicago’s South Side and former state senator, said the pre-recorded call that reached roughly 200,000 households in 14 legislative districts beginning Friday was sent mostly to African-Americans.

“Please listen closely,” the message began. “Your state representative in Springfield is under serious pressure to redefine marriage in Illinois. If marriage between one man and one woman is redefined to add same-sex marriage, our family structure, as we know it, is in serious jeopardy.

“While being a member of the General Assembly for the last 10 years, I maintained the fact that this decision is too big for 177 people to make. If we are going to change Illinois, as we know it on such a broad scale, then your voice and input are very much needed.”

The National Organization for Marriage, a nonprofit that lobbies for defining marriage between a man and a woman, funded the pre-recorded message. The group’s backers include a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

“Obviously [Meeks is] a very well known figure in the area,” said Brian Brown, the organization’s president and co-founder. “He’s an African-American standing up for the issue. We’re very happy he was willing to make the calls and stand up for marriage.”

Then again, Meeks may only have to scare one or two votes off the bill to kill it. Stay tuned.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


51 Comments
  1. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 9:03 am:

    Two things:

    Why would children who have gay parents not know who their biological parents are/were? Is it some kind of gay thing where the couple pretends they had the kid the same way other couples have children? If it’s a lesbian couple, they do what my brother and his wife did–eventually they explain IVF to the child when said child is old enough to understand about the test tube.

    And also equal rights are good for the economy: http://progressillinois.com/posts/content/2013/03/12/marriage-equality-boosts-economy


  2. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 9:19 am:

    The level of anti-gay vitriol from some of these people greatly saddens me. The treatment of gays by these people essentially indicates that they think gay people are less than equal members of society.

    First of all, these robocalls about donations by “homosexuals” couldn’t be any more offensive. Not that anybody has a right to not be offended, but the insinuation about gays with this robocall is disgusting.

    Second, as a gay person and a parent of 3 children, I get very angry when people suggest that I am somehow less of a family and less of a parent simply because I am gay. What really infuriates me about the Family-PAC statement is this particular phrase: “protection of children.” Protection from what exactly? Are gay people dangerous somehow? Maybe they are trying to protect kids from the loving family gay people can provide to kids.

    Finally, I am most saddened by our religious leaders’ assault against gays. If the issue were somehow related to the fact that churches would be forced to marry gay people then I would likely side with them. But that’s not the issue. Nobody is forcing churches to participate in these ceremonies. Their issue is simple: it offends are religious beliefs and we believe our religious beliefs trump everything else. I have news for these pastors. You and your followers are free to believe what you want. It’s a free country, and I’m thankful that we are allowed to shout our beliefs, in public, from the highest mountain. But, when it comes to my life, and more importantly my rights as a member of society, you need to keep your noses out of it. I’m not bound by your religious beliefs.

    A lot of people argue that gays are militant and try to throw it in everybody’s face. And, there are some that do go about it the wrong way. The reason I am so passionate is because there is an attack on me going on. And that attack is based solely on the fact that I am gay. I have news for the world. Gay people exist and they are here to stay. We have a right to be treated with respect and dignity and not be treated as some sort of lesser human beings simply because we are gay. I’m tired of the anti-gay rhetoric and I look forward to the continued fight against those who are anti-gay until we ground them into oblivion and take our place as an equal member of society.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 9:23 am:

    Caprio and Zahm…

    They are the BEST examples of being “Right”, instead of winning at the Ballot Box.

    I have nothing against anyone being against SSM, or even saying they are going to vote against it.

    My issue has always been, you can NOT have one issue, ANY one issue, be the “Litmus Test” to your credibility of being a Republican.

    Family-PAC, and those who “speak” for that organization make no bones about, “Our way, or the highway, and if we cut off your nose to spite all of us …GOOD!”

    Really? Chicago Homosexuals?

    Are Peoria Homosexuals more “tolerable” to Caprio or Zahm? “Well, it was a ‘Peoria Homosexual’ who gave money, maybe we should re-think this. ..”

    Zealots who … THINK … they can dictate the “no tolerance” doctrine, or be seen as a RINO miss the point of being part of a Political Party. Religions can, and do, dictate the morality of its followers, and that is the role. Politcal Parties are not a “religion”, although it is easy to find the GOP Zealots who try to stain anyone opposed to them …RINO.

    Now I know Smiddy is a Dem. I am not missing THAT point, but Family-PAC’s history or threats and “slates” and intimidation towards Republicans, based on what Family-PAC thinks a “true Republican” should be, is exactly the rationale of these RoboCalls in Smiddy’s district is the “wake-up” call to any Republican in the House;

    “We called into Smiddy’s District, don’t think we won’t do the same to you.”

    Work the bill, Family-PAC, kill it, do the work necessary to succeed, but let’s stop with the “Chicago Homosexuals”. It’s shameful, embarrassing, and reeks of a group more desperate about a failing issue, than an organization that can make valid points to influence legislation.

    One last thought …Does Family-PAC… think …there are NO homosexuals outside
    Chicago? A valid question, since it appears Family-PAC is worried about an … invasion… of its Purity outside Chicago?

    Just wondering.


  4. - Just Me - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 9:23 am:

    I thought equal marriage was a part of the Democratic party’s platform, and since the House is controlled by Democrats, I’m surprised there is an issue. I thought elected officials and party leaders always followed the platform or were removed from their positions?

    Oh wait…..


  5. - Keep Calm and Carry On - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 9:28 am:

    “Just Me” makes a good point.

    Highly instructive example of how the two parties deal with differences of opinion.


  6. - qcexaminer - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 9:28 am:

    “Legislators are human beings”? What about human rights? What about being on the right side of history? What about the right to be with who you love? What about the civil rights struggle of our times?

    Oops, politics happen.

    Checking out the yes vote list I noticed Pat Verschoore is a yes for SSM but voted against civil unions. What’s up with that?

    Rich you always like to point out the pressure the Catholic Church and other traditional values groups use, but you never, ever say anything about the tactics gay advocacy groups use.

    I’ll bet you have some juicy stories about THAT!


  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 9:33 am:

    - Just Me -,

    Great Point!

    Well said, and thank you for shining a harsh, but needed spotlight on what seems to be the “struggle” of My Party, that doesn’t need to be a “struggle”… at all.

    Thanks.


  8. - Esquire - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 9:37 am:

    I would like to listen to the taped message from Reverend Meeks.


  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 9:49 am:

    Flipping 12 votes would seem to be a bridge too far at this point.


  10. - Conservative Republican - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 9:49 am:

    Get a clue. The “Chicago homosexuals” reference is not some indication that Chicago is more gay than any other part of the state, but that the Chicago-centric GBLT PAC money is driving this issue, with the consequences being felt in downstate districts. Its an anti Chicago dig, subsumed in the pro-family rallying cry.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 9:51 am:

    Needing 12 votes is a tough “ask” for Rep. Harris to get fairly quick.

    This Bill is going to need some “work” and time, like a Late May timetable.

    Speaker Madigan ain’t no “Vote Countula”.


  12. - ZC - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 9:51 am:

    >> I’m surprised there is an issue. I thought elected officials and party leaders always followed the platform or were removed from their positions?

    Just Me, this is an intensely visible vote that is highly salient to the public (and media) and one that even normally under-informed Illinoisans will have a moral opinion about. To use a poli sci term, it’s highly “traceable” come election (and primary) time. Different rules apply, is my supposition.


  13. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 10:00 am:

    Very disappointing.


  14. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 10:01 am:

    ===I’ll bet you have some juicy stories about THAT!===

    Actually, not really. So far, at least, it’s been pretty tame and standard stuff.


  15. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 10:05 am:

    Not to digress, but this is at least the second time in recent memory (the other was with Todd V) where the Illinois Review has basically taken another publication’s work without attributing the source.

    Somebody over there needs to take a look at what they are doing.


  16. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 10:05 am:

    @Conservative Republican:

    I don’t understand your comment about the “consequences being felt in downstate districts.” Are you suggesting that Chicago is the only area that supports same sex marriage and that this somehow is a steamroll of downstate? I live downstate and fully support same sex marriage as do many other people I know that live downstate. This isn’t a Chicago centric issue no matter how hard some of you attempt to say it is.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 10:07 am:

    ===Get a clue.===

    Since I was … MOCKING … the idea of Chicago being more/less/same than say, Peoria, maybe you need to read things more carefully.

    ===Its an anti Chicago dig.===

    Really? Or is it both a “Chicago” dig, or a “Homosexual” dig?

    If you say it’s not a “Homosexual” dig too, then why the heck get involved in SSM which is supported … by Homosexuals?

    Can’t wish away the “dig” as geography-only.


  18. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    “The “Chicago homosexuals” reference is not some indication that Chicago is more gay than any other part of the state….”

    Even with the proposed NHL realignment from 6 divisions to 4, I’d expect Bettman to shut down the league owned revenue draining Phoenix franchise, so maybe Chicago could get a second hockey team.


  19. - Colossus - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    Anon@10:11 - You owe me a clean keyboard. This one has too much coffee on it.


  20. - Shoeless - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 10:27 am:

    I’m interested in the possibility of horse-trading. Is it possible that say, some downstaters could be persuaded to vote for marriage equality of some non-downstaters say they’ll back off, at the least, anything to ban or freeze fracking? Just an idea.

    I’m amazed by the legislator who’d rather not upset his wife than vote for this bill. Would this be acceptable if his wife were opposed to [insert name of oppressed minority group legislation here]?


  21. - Served - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 10:33 am:

    I’m going to need clarification from Paul Caprio. If I was born and raised and went to college downstate, but now reside in Chicago, do I count as a Chicago Homosexual, or should I register as something else?


  22. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 11:01 am:

    The vote shows the reality that a majority of IL voters may want it, but most of those are in Chicago. The lack of votes shows that a majority of downstate districts do not want it or care.

    I really think the problem for SSM proponents is they are still a very small minority of people and our society is so self involved, most people just don’t care. Do you think the basic downstate voter is going to back his legislator because of how he feels about taxes, pensions, guns, education, or SSM. This makes a great blog topic, but like it or not this issue is not even on the radar for a majority of voters.


  23. - Ruby - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    Patriot, the same can be said of the ERA, but here we are 89 years later and the ERA is still not ratified in Illinois.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 11:15 am:

    ===The vote shows the reality that a majority of IL voters may want it, but most of those are in Chicago. The lack of votes shows that a majority of downstate districts do not want it or care.===

    If a majority of ILLINOIS voters … want it … why does it matter where?

    Can you clarify? No snark, asking… Can you clarify how you reconcile a majority of Illinois voters differs as to where those voters are …?


  25. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    Further,

    Are you saying that, as PER district, when you “count” the districts and those who represent those districts, there is the disconnect, like the ERA votes, for example?

    A mojority of voters favor “X”, but they are packed in too few districts to overturn the other Reps. whose district may/may not have a large enough constituency to influence the elected Rep?

    That is what I am/was think you were going, am I right?


  26. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 11:37 am:

    Been saying to have a Referendum on this for quite a while… Let the people decide, and then our elected officials can assure that laws are written to protect EVERYONE’s rights, including Churches.


  27. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 11:43 am:

    @Cinci:

    YOU DON’T VOTE ON ISSUES OF EQUAL RIGHTS. I get tired of this mantra that the “people” should get to vote on issues. You already did vote - for a Representative. If you don’t like our system then move to change it. Otherwise work within it.


  28. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 11:44 am:

    @Cinci:

    Also point to me where the law DOESN’T protect Churches. That’s always been a red herring argument for those looking for cover to oppose SSM.


  29. - OneMan - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    Again right on target OW…

    Think the Meeks call is going to have an impact.


  30. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    - Been saying to have a Referendum on this for quite a while… -

    And it’s roundly been pointed out that in Illinois that wouldn’t matter. It’s just a cop out so you don’t have to admit you’re against.

    It’s coming, if not this session, likely the next. The world won’t end, and those who oppose it loudest will leave a shameful legacy.


  31. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 11:47 am:

    I normally hang up as soon as I realize a call is robo-political, but maybe I shouldn’t.

    Not only does that beat most sitcoms, it takes less time.


  32. - Ray Midge - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 11:50 am:

    @Patriot - You’re half right. Most people don’t care. But if you ask them their opinion, they think, “If two people want to get married, who am I to stand in their way?” That’s the majority view in Illinois, and in the country.


  33. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 11:59 am:

    If this is such a non-issue among Downstate voters, why wouldn’t their reps vote for it? They should not fear backlash over an issue no one cares about.


  34. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 12:18 pm:

    Chavez, good point and congrats on the best new handle we’ve seen around here in some time. Love it.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    - AA - beat me to it, I enjoy that handle, - Chavez-respecting Obamist -.

    Well done!!


  36. - Midwest Mom - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 1:08 pm:

    Demoralized and Chavez–
    I agree completely. EQUAL RIGHTS IS NOT UP FOR VOTE!

    If we keep screwing around with this, MN will beat us to it and we’ll appear even more incompetant. Even IA beat us to it! CO just made a step forward this week as well. IT’S TIME TO GET ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY.


  37. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 1:20 pm:

    Perspective in today’s Salon from a former Iowa GOP state senator, Jeff Angelo, who sponsored a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, on the state’s four-year experience with gay marriage:

    –“Most of our small towns have people in them that are gay, and live peaceful lives. They’re not made to feel like outsiders. So what occurred to me was that the political debate didn’t really match up what was going on in Iowa communities. And that’s when I thought this is just unfair. There’s no evil force that’s out there that’s trying to destroy marriage. It was people that just wanted to fall in love, and have stable families and monogamous relationships just like I do. That’s what changed my mind.”–

    I’m sure Family PAC would say he’s a tool of those Des Moines homosexuals.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/03/11/former_gop_state_senator_no_evil_force_is_trying_to_destroy_marriage/


  38. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 1:55 pm:

    For the record, thanks - OneMan -, appreciate that.

    ===…he’s a tool of those Des Moines homosexuals.===

    Wonder what cities Family-PAC has homosexuals they agree with …

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.


  39. - ChicagoR - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 2:02 pm:

    Well, guess I’ll put the tux away for a while…


  40. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    Can somebody explain to me why the Speaker was giving out vote counts on an issue like this? Wouldn’t he defer to Harris?

    I’m sure I am missing something.


  41. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 2:37 pm:

    –Can somebody explain to me why the Speaker was giving out vote counts on an issue like this? Wouldn’t he defer to Harris?–

    Not surprisingly, I suspect he wants to put pressure on some suburban Republicans who would like to see the issue go away.


  42. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 2:54 pm:

    Possibly, wordslinger (your condescension noted, by the way). Some of my friends say he just gave cover to African-American legislators afraid of their church leaders.


  43. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 3:04 pm:

    LL, I don’t know where you see the condescension. I’m not very subtle.


  44. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 3:58 pm:

    FTR, I am the poster formerly known as Cheryl44. I just couldn’t resist.


  45. - haverford - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 4:24 pm:

    Late to the game here, but had to comment about the mystery legislator.

    He was sent there to represent his constituents, not his wife.


  46. - OneMan - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 4:32 pm:

    In terms of donations, unless I have missed something you have to report you who work for and not much else…

    Just waiting for the day one of my donations becomes

    “Donations from obese suburban curlers”


  47. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 4:35 pm:

    ===Not surprisingly, I suspect he wants to put pressure on some suburban Republicans who would like to see the issue go away.===

    100% concur.

    The Speaker is not being subtle to “educate” all the “Undecided”s as to where everything stands …If there are ZERO Reublicans, and it fails, and after all this SSM-ILGOP dust up, this is not done by accident.


  48. - Just Me - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 5:14 pm:

    @Concinnatus: Illinois is a republic form of government. We elect our officials to vote on legislation. You should advocate for a constitutional amendment, and then your point will make sense.


  49. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 6:47 pm:

    This one’s going to be a Cliffhanger at best, and apparently, as previous mutterings have indicated, as well as this current report, the proposal may just fall short. Hence, on such an incredibly divided issue, is it really the best thing to push right now? Highly questionable…


  50. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 7:16 pm:

    –Hence, on such an incredibly divided issue, is it really the best thing to push right now? Highly questionable…–

    LOL, nice try.

    Supporters want a vote. Hard-core opponents want a vote.

    Those who don’t want to vote, don’t want a vote.

    But there will be a vote. And it will be recorded.

    And that scares some quite a bit.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 7:41 pm:

    ===Supporters want a vote. Hard-core opponents want a vote.

    Those who don’t want to vote, don’t want a vote.

    But there will be a vote. And it will be recorded===

    lol

    Too true! That Madigan…


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        * Congressmen sound alarm over anti-Asian Carp move
        * Motorola Mobility loses bid to extend antitrust law reach
        * Chicago business activity is growing—but at a slower pace


        * Obama 2014 Thanksgiving menu: Turkey, Ham, six kinds of pies
        * Obama guidance, press schedule Nov 27-30, 2014 Thanksgiving break
        * Charity event looks like turkey tokenism
        * Decatur Classical parents want to expand into old Stewart building
        * Cupich: More must be done to ‘repair our broken immigration system’
        * Norman Schoer, viola player with Grant Park Orchestra and Lyric Opera, dies at 103
        * Charity event looks like turkey tokenism
        * Lisa Madigan appeals ruling that KOed pension law
        * Lisa Madigan appeals ruling that KO'd pension law
        * Chicago’s overnight parking ban begins Monday


        * Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at Congress and State
        * Woman, 31, found shot dead in Gary alley
        * Crash-and-grab burglars hitting high-end stores in suburbs and Chicago
        * Ferguson protester in Chicago charged with felony
        * Flurries, cold expected for Thanksgiving
        * Crash-and-grab robbery in North Austin
        * Woman hospitalized after Blue Island crash
        * 3 Ferguson-related protesters arrested in Chicago
        * Oak Lawn insurer wants out of $3M award in cop shooting
        * Judge reassigned after failing to follow contempt rules, officials say


        * Let's Talk Kids - "Love Is Love"
        * LLCC Offers Variety Of Community Education Classes
        * Incoming U of I President Speaks To Springfield Audience
        * Another Year Of "Messiah" For Springfield Choral Society
        * Fumée Gypsy Project Plays At WUIS
        * New Exhibit On Lincoln's "Undying Words"
        * Locals Organize For Vigil In Response To Ferguson
        * 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


        * Our Opinion: Help combat hunger this holiday season
        * Eugene Robinson: On replacement, caution urged
        * George Will: Thanks, or something
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 27, 2014
        * Illinois attorney general files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Quinn grants clemency to 126 ahead of holiday
        * 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


        * News in brief 11/27/14
        * YWCA Holiday Helpers program begins
        * Blue Sky Vineyard: A Tuscan hideaway in Southern Illinois
        * Illinois health officials offer turkey safety tip
        * Williamson County budget approved
        * Goodfellow Fund helps young, seniors to independence
        * Area history, Nov. 27, 2014
        * This day in history: Nov. 27, 2014
        * Edgar County hunters top results for first deer season
        * Main route to shopping includes prospect for crashes


        * Suspect arrested after Elk Grove Village robbery
        * Things Constable family (with 3 teen boys!) are grateful for
        * The new Black Friday: Shopping kickoff has evolved, expanded
        * Will helps Prospect repeat at York
        * Girls basketball scoreboard: Wednesday's results

        * Brannigan cuts into Lipinski landslide ter...
        * Lipinski rolls to victory and a sixth term...
        * Obama stops in Chicago for immigration rou...
        * Our View: Help prevent vets’ suicides
        * Davis retains US Congress 7th seat with ea...
        * After his defeat, Illinois Congressman Bil...
        * Danny Davis Defeats Robert Bumpers In Illi...
        * Tom Kacich: How Frerichs won
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Statement on...
        * Reps. Lipinski and Roskam Lead Effort to S...

        * We Blew It On Obamacare, Top Democrat Admi......
        * Senate committee to hold civil rights hear......

        * Iran's Supreme Leader supports extending t......
        * Chicago Tribuen: Squeeze a stalling Iran t......

        * #HappyThanksgiving from The Sixth Ward blog!
        * In Chicago the race is on. It’s easy as ABC.
        * Lisa Madigan files her appeal.
        * The Better Government Association continues to spread the lie about public employee pensions.
        * Happy Thanksgiving. “My idea,” says Rahm.
        * Chicago parents demand answers from Emanuel after sex ed lessons revealed
        * Happy Thanksgiving
        * We're Grateful To Live In Uptown, And For You
        * Will Thanksgiving meal someday come at shopping mall food court?
        * No TIF Funds Will Be Used If Stewart School Reopens As Decatur


        * Governor Quinn Announces Investment to Help Regional Food Banks Better Serve Those in Need - Governor’s Investment Will Ensure Lower Cost and Higher Efficiency for Services Reaching Nearly 2 Million Illinois Residents
        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * 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




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