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Democrats vs. the unions

Thursday, Mar 20, 2014

* Scott Cisek, the executive director of the Cook County Democratic Party, was none too pleased with the Chicago Teachers Union this week

The CTU was, of course, involved in the race to defeat several party-slated candidates, including Rep. Toni Berrios, the daughter of the county party chairman.

* Jerry Morrison handles campaigns for SEIU, which also worked to defeat Rep. Berrios. Morrison fired back

* Cisek’s retort

Obviously, this split is gonna take a while to heal, particularly if Berrios remains chairman.

But I’d have to agree with Morrison that publicly criticizing a major and influential union after the election is over is probably not the best way to go here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:30 am:

    Twitter hurts.

    “Don’t press ‘Send’!” - Coach Herm Edwards.

    Is it worth “Sending”?

    “You play to win the game”…”Don’t press ‘Send’!”

  2. - John A Logan - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:32 am:

    Looks like a page out of the Illinois Republican playbook.

  3. - Bill White - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:32 am:

    Actually, I think these are Facebook posts.

    Doing good political posts on Twitter - 140 characters at a time - is something of an art form.

    Like haiku

  4. - OneMan - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    I disagree, you should totally do this in public…

    I’ll get the popcorn…

  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    Yep. Apologies.

    “Don’t press ‘Post’!”


  6. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    Historically, there have been some uneasy alliances within the county and state Democratic coalitions.

    In the past, smart Republicans have been successful in exploiting that. Haven’t seen to much of that in recent years, especially at the county level, where the GOP has become a rumor, at best.

    We’ve seen already that Rauner lined up Rev. Meeks. I doubt that he’s done chipping away.

  7. - Mighty M. Mouse - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    A haiku:

    I fear Bruce Rauner.
    He’s very scary to me.
    I vote for Pat Quinn.

  8. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    “a candidate who voted down pension reform”

    That candidate, Toni Berrios, voted for the reform before she voted against it. She may have voted against it to cover herself for the upcoming election. That didn’t work out too well for her.

    Speaking of Democrats vs. unions, I spoke with my AFSCME local leadership yesterday, and we were talking about dislike of both gubernatorial candidates. I offered my opinion, that the union must support Quinn. I strongly disagree with those who say there is no difference between the two political parties.

    I said we must support Quinn because we still have a contract and collective bargaining. I do not appreciate how Rauner talked about decapitating our leadership, and how he scapegoated unions and blamed them for corruption and the state’s economy. During the economic crisis, it was public union members who helped keep the economy going.

    There is much more, of course, and there will be more conversations.

  9. - Smoggie - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    I have to agree with Scott on this one.

    The unions did what the GOP is notorious for doing — they went after Democrats on a narrow issue and made Democrats defend their own rather than saving resources for the battle against the GOP.

    The attack on Berrios, after she voted with them, was ridiculous. She voted with the unions on pensions, but apparently lacked purity.

    The unions act like they’ve never had a seat at the table. However, in reality, they’ve always had the head chair, and now they are angry because they didn’t get the last piece of pie. They want it all, or they are going to throw a fit.

    You don’t attack people who vote with you. You don’t waste money that could be used going after people who are genuinely anti-union by going after your own. Instead of going after Berrios and Mitchell, they could have made a real difference by going after Rauner. Berrios may not be pure, but the difference between her and Rauner is still night and day.

    One last note — Rich’s note did not mention the weird and rambling piece that had some odd racial notes put out by the CTU. Basically, the CTU claimed (it is hard tell exactly, because their piece was more of a rant than anything) that Christian Mitchell somehow is against black people based on his conduct during the race. The CTU crossed a line with that, and I’m surprised there has not been more coverage. It was a pretty strange release.

    As I noted above, Scott is right. At times it is the duty of the Exec. Dir. of the party to tell the different parts of the party that they need to start acting like a real party. That was the time, and he did his job.

  10. - Smoggie - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    The CTU’s press release:

  11. - Bill White - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    LESSON EIGHT: This ain’t Wisconsin.

  12. - ZC - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    I still don’t quite understand what the CTU’s proposal is for how to handle Chicago’s impending pension dues. Are they calling for a property tax hike? I could actually see that, but I just don’t know what their plan is, and plan beats no plan. If anyone could ID what their preferred future course of action is, much thanks.

    Because this could be just a taste of what’s coming down the pike in the 2015 aldermanics.

  13. - MrJM - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    This comes as no surprise to anyone who’s had any dealings with Scott Cisek.

    – MrJM

  14. - Bill White - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    Spend, Bruce Rauner, Spend.
    Futility reigns supreme
    This ain’t Wisconsin.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    ===LESSON EIGHT: This ain’t Wisconsin.===

    Lesson learned, or lesson needing reinforcement via ballot box… again.

    Both parties need to make sure they understand the Lesson.

  16. - anon - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    I’m 100% with Morrison! Labor should not be taken for granted, and I support any power that offsets the Speaker’s omnipotence. The unions made a strong statement on Tuesday. I believe that they will come around with Quinn, but they had to reassert their influence in order to have better leverage. You have to give Quinn credit, too. He pushed the unions out of necessity with pension reform. If the unions deny that some sort of action was necessary to address pensions that had no impact on unions, they’re delusional. I’m hopeful that labor will sit down with governor quinn, who has been a great supporter of labor throughout his career in public service, and come to an understanding on how to move forward together. The actions by Morrison and the CTU in Tuesday’s election will ensure that governor quinn takes them seriously. In the words of Rod B, i think this is an up day for quinn and the unions!

  17. - bloval27 - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    Now this is double-edged sword for Unions, not wise to bash the political party that’s been saving you from pension reform, now that the Dems have stuck it to the Unions this election in November will be telling, vote wisely Union members while you think voting for Quinn is better really think about that because I am telling you now Quinn and the Dems are not done taking your pension money away from you, just watch.

  18. - circularfiringsquad - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    Anybody planning to cover Mitt Rauner’s 10 a.m. presser….maybe they could ask for a list of his 400 companies to learn a little more about his management skills and problem solving talents

  19. - Walker - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    The CTU partied and puffed like they had won World War III. Especially Lewis, who seems to think CTU alone won some sort of “revolution”. She makes them very hard to take seriously, on any topic. She invited a little reality check.

    This was aimed right at CTU, not at Morrison or SEIU.

    I also believe Scott’s thought was right, but his action wrong. This is better handled away from social media.

    In case you’re wondering, I was a Guzzardi supporter.

  20. - logchain - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    Dumb question…Re: not liking either candidate. Would it be possible for Dillard to run in the fall as an independent?

  21. - anon - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    For you union members who would think to take Bloval27 (AKA Baron von Rauner) seriously, think again. While there may be more discussion and action on pensions, nobody will suggest throwing away your current benefits structure and moving you into a 401K like Brucey will. Quinn and the dems may ask for your assistance to fix the current system, and it may be difficult, and it may hurt a bit, but Rauner will bury you alive. Bury you alive.

  22. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    Scott Ciesk:

    Please explain if the unions should be blindly backing the Cook County Democratic machine, run by Berrios & Madigan, why the head of the Illinois Democratic party, Madigan, is blocking the court ordered back pay for state employees. If Madigan would call the pay issue for a vote it would pass easily. You are nowhere as big of friend to labor as you pretend to be.

  23. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    A couple of times yesterday I wrote things and then decided not to post them. Even with the typos, what you see here from me is usually the second or third draft.

    One of my thoughts yesterday was that it’s going to be tough to get the unions to happily come home to Quinn. There are the issues of both “pension reform” and back pay hanging out there. Quinn can’t really affect the ISC decision, but he could use his admittedly limited power to reassign / re-prioritize some funds and try to get the back pay issue off the table. That would at least be a start on mending fences with the unions.

  24. - Belle - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    The Berrios loss is probably not attributable to the Unions. I’m not even sure that many Union members live in Ukrainian Village/Logan/Humboldt Park. I live in her district and people are tired of the same old-same old. This is a very young neighborhood, from an age-standpoint, and my guess is that Toni and her old style of politics lacks the appeal compared to Guzzardi.
    Whenever there is something negative about Joe, he appears in the local Jewel store, pretending to be shopping but attempting to engage people while his driver is waiting outside in the lot.

  25. - dupage dan - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    === He (Quinn) pushed the unions out of necessity with pension reform ===

    Q) Who created that necessity?
    A) The state gov’t created it with their “pension holiday”, among other failings.

    Q) Was it avoidable?
    A) Yes

    Q) Is there a more reasonable solution?
    A) Yes.

    Q) Did Quinn entertain such a solution?
    A) No.

    Some champion of the unions, that Quinn.

  26. - Glass half full - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    Cisek has been delusional since Preckwinkle won in 2010….Morrisons right. It’s definitely time for a change in Cook County leadership….Joe Berrios got his daughter a 200 vote plurality in his ward…..HIS daughter!!!

  27. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:17 am:


    “The Berrios loss is probably not attributable to the Unions.”

    AFSCME, SEIU & The CTU were all heavily involved in this race. The margain of victory is definately in part because of union support.

  28. - March Madness - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    Scott Cisek should work to resolve any issues with labor rather than fueling the fire - Facebook posts are not the way to go.

    With that said, he makes a good point in that the only legislative race out of the big 3 primaries (Mitchell, Andrade & Berrios) where the union backed candidate won was the Berrios race. In the Andrade race in particular, the union backed candidate was blown out.

    I think the lesson here is that the unions are not irrelevant, but also not the unstoppable force that they are trying to portray themselves as.

  29. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    ==At times it is the duty of the Exec. Dir. of the party to tell the different parts of the party that they need to start acting like a real party.==

    Labor IS NOT a part of the Democratic Party. Sometimes, a Dem will take Labor’s support for granted. Labor is, and should be, a narrowly focused interest group. The focus is on Labor issues.

    Endorsements for incumbents are based on their voting records. If you stop basing endorsements on voting records, why would a rep. or sen. pay attention to Labor’s support or opposition for a given bill?

    Labor and the Dems typically align, but not always. Labor will support the candidates who support Labor. Opposing candidates that do not support Labor, regardless of their party affiliation, should be expected.

  30. - anon - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    Dupage Dan, are the unions partly responsible for the pension crisis? YES!! Look, Im a union supporting dem, but for years the unions bragged about the generous contracts they got in illinois (best in the nation), and sat idly by as the GA avoided the tough budget decisions that allowed the crisis to grow. Dont act like labor woke up one day and was shocked that there wasn’t money to fund the pension system. If you spent a little less time bragging about your big wins, and a little more being responsible, you wouldn’t find yourself in this mess. And dont overplay your hand again. Voters can turn quickly when its brought to their attention that programs important to them are being defunded to pay for your generous pensions. Go easy, and get it right. Now.

  31. - Walker - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    The only group that seems to require more purity in all statements than the “Slytherin” Republicans, are the the union politicos.

    Take a breath!

  32. - Upon Further Review - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    By law, the County Central Committees for each political party must meet in a few weeks and conduct an election to choose their chairs. Any chance that Berrios gets pushed aside?

  33. - Hey There - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    You can always count on Cisek telling it the way he sees it. The problem is that the way he sees it usually seems to be wrong. It is definitely time for a leadership change in the Cook County Democratic Party; both Joe and Scott.

  34. - WhoKnew - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Hopefully, come up with Union back pay will be the only monies Quinn gets to hand out this election!

    I still want my money back!

  35. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    Ironically, Cisek’s dismissive attitude of CTU is exactly the reason CTU had to oppose Democratic candidates this primary. For some bizarre reason, Democrats in Illinois want to enjoy union support without having to do anything to earn the support.

    It’s not just Cisek. It’s implicit in Quinn too.
    “I’m good for the 99.99%!” Says Quinn.
    “But what about the retirees making $31,000 a year you just took money from?”

  36. - Statesman - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Berrios and the machine have to own up to the fact that they have entered a divide in their party: 1. The progressives (bank rolled by CTU) that want to take the party further left and 2. the Mainstream Dems are going to get chipped off one by one. Wait until the 2015 election.

  37. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:50 am:


    This was not about Toni Berrios voting record. Toni voted against the pension reform bill.

    Berrios was targeted to send a message to Madigan, and because she was perceived as being the most vulnerable.

    I think that is the pretense that drives Cisek nuts.

  38. - Smoggie - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    Following up on Yellow Dog’s comment –

    It seems like there are a lot of very pro-uion people here today. Can any of you explain exactly why Toni Berrios was targeted?

    It sure seems like the unions went after her because she was weak and because losing her seat would bother Joe Berrios on a personal level. It had nothing to do with her votes. It was an attempt to show Democratic Party leadership “do as we say or we will do mean things.”

    This was an attack on a daughter — for nothing she did — aimed at her father.

    That’s not the way adults should behave, and I suspect Scott and Joe took it personally, as they should.

  39. - OneMan - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    Would it be possible for Dillard to run in the fall as an independent?

    Think Illinois Election law specifically prohibits you for running for an office as an independent when you ran it in the primary for the same office.

    A candidate for whom a nomination paper has been filed as a partisan candidate at a Primary Election, and who is defeated for nomination, is prohibited from being listed on the ballot at the General Election as an independent candidate or as a candidate of another political party, and may not file a Declaration of Intent to be a Write-In Candidate at that General Election. [10 ILCS 5/7-61, 10-3, 17-16.1, 18-9.1]

  40. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    Guzzardi was going to beat Berrios with or without union support. The hipsters have spoken.

  41. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:13 am:


    Berrios was a pretty active supporter of more charters. Something that is not good for teachers unions. Further, who do you think will be more vocal and willing to disagree with Dem leadership over union issues: Guzzardi or Berrios? It’s pretty simple and obvious.

  42. - Will Caskey - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    Rich if you had told me you were going to write up this slap fight I’d have given you far stronger words than Cisek’s Facebook post.

    Anyway. There are exactly zero races in the general in Cook County that matter to anyone. This is all about 2015 and everyone knows it.

    CTU were the ones who made this about Joe Berrios in their own press release that has been linked above. God knows what the Chairman did to irritate them but they started this fight and now they have it.

    If Jerry Morrison wants Cisek fired he’s welcome to try. Let’s meet back here in a month or whatever and see how that worked out for him.

  43. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:18 am:


    “This was an attack on a daughter — for nothing she did — aimed at her father.

    That’s not the way adults should behave, and I suspect Scott and Joe took it personally, as they should.”

    Perhaps the reason she was elected as a State Rep in the first place is because of her father, who has a long track record of nepotism. Her father is a totally legitimate issue in this race. Additionally, as was already mentioned here, this was also a strong message directed at Madigan.

  44. - Smoggie - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    That’s interesting Johnny S.

    Are there any other fans of charters in the House? Who else was primaried solely on that issue?

    And you really think some kid who is a first term rep is going to be “vocal” about anything? How does a first term rep being vocal do for a career? Does it tend to go over well when first term reps are vocal?

  45. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    ===Does it tend to go over well when first term reps are vocal?===

    Ask Jeanne Ives.

  46. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    …or Scott Drury. (Bi-Partisan)

    You could have the “Teaching Caucus” of Ives, Scott, Guzzardi, and Peter Breen.

    “House ‘Know-it-Alls’, your table for 4 is ready…”

  47. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    ==One last note — Rich’s note did not mention the weird and rambling piece that had some odd racial notes put out by the CTU. Basically, the CTU claimed (it is hard tell exactly, because their piece was more of a rant than anything) that Christian Mitchell somehow is against black people based on his conduct during the race. The CTU crossed a line with that, and I’m surprised there has not been more coverage. It was a pretty strange release.==

    Not strange at all, especially if you consider the black middle class (and middle class in general) is under attack in this country. Historically, the black middle class developed well after the white middle class and ended up being made up much more of people who were more in the working class sections of the middle class than the managerial/professional sections. Those who weren’t in the working class sections of the black middle class were mostly teachers or public sector workers (even many of the public sector workers were actually in working class positions). Thus, attacking pensions and attacking teachers and other public workers is a direct assault (intentional or not) on the black middle class. More stress at home results in students less focused on education at school. I’d say this is right up CTU’s alley.

    ==I still don’t quite understand what the CTU’s proposal is for how to handle Chicago’s impending pension dues. Are they calling for a property tax hike?==

    I don’t know if CTU has directly called for a property tax hike, but it has been reported that Rahm wants Springfield to raise property taxes for him so he can avoid the heat.

    Re: Berrios & pension reform, she voted for it until she saw it was gonna be horrible for her when she then voted against pension reform proposals.

  48. - Upon Further Review - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    @AFSCME Steward:

    The nepotism puppetry was reinforced by Joe Berrios responding for Toni in the media.

  49. - Teacher - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    CTU is going to do what CTU is going to do. Did they play a role in Guzzardi’s win? Absolutely. Not to say that Guzzardi may still have won without them, but they made a big difference and sent a message, whether Cisek and the regulars like or not. (By the way, the back and forth between Cisek, Morrison, Caskey, etc makes them all really small to those they represent or seek to work for).

    Back to my first point. CTU is going to do and say what they want. Unfortunately, it’s often at their own detriment. If you want to see the difference between a rant and a thoughtful strategy, check out their parent state org’s statement:

  50. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Those who are calling the 39th IL House district a “hipster” obviously haven’t looked at the map.

    The district is (almost) entirely north of Armitage Ave(therefore not inclusive of any part of Ukrainian Village or Humboldt Park). About 1/3 of Logan Square is in the 39th - the rest of the neighborhood is split between several other districts. The Square itself along with the ridiculous new restaurant/bar strip on Milwaukee are in the 39th, which makes casual observers assume the entire neighborhood is in the 39th.

    Hermosa, a big chunk of Belmont-Cragin, and the southern end of Portage Park make up much more of the 39th District than Logan Square.

    It’s fun to make fun of hipsters and residents of Logan Square - but it was a diverse coalition of voters who kicked Toni Berrios to the curb.

  51. - From the 'Dale to HP - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    Cisek’s a hack, but his job (and he’s paid) is to be a hack. So I’m not sure what the point of getting into it with him is. And Cisek makes a great point, the people who want to get rid of him also want him to get Toni to run for mayor.

    That said, he shouldn’t be taking shots at CTU. They’re on a pretty good roll over the last two years and probably have a better beat on the pulse of the City than leadership in the party does.

    It seems clear that there a major disconnect between a number of Chicago Democrats and leadership. The machine is all but gone in some neighborhoods, not what it was in others, and as good as ever was still in others. There are far too many odd, very loose, alliances right now. We’ve seen some fracturing since Rahm took over… considering the budget situation at CPS and the City, it could lead to a civil war.

  52. - Will Caskey - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    What’s CTU gonna do about it? Primary electeds personally important to the party chairman?

  53. - Downstater - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    Unions bashing the Democrats for taking away their pensions. Same Democrats who voted in more lush benefits years ago that helped get us down the road to this pension mess.

  54. - Walker - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    @Teacher: ==”If you want to see the difference between a rant and thoughtful strategy, check out the [IFT] statement”==

    You are so right! The IFT seems to be the adult in any conversation, relative to all the other teacher organizations.

  55. - Not Five Thirty Eight - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    Cisek needs to keep the family squabbles behind closed doors.

    He might be a hack, but save it for the other side not your allies or even your strange bedfellows.

  56. - Will Caskey - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    Again, CTU is claiming the reason they went after Toni Berrios was to take on the “top down northwest side machine” but Cisek is the jerk for saying completely true things about their political activity?

  57. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    Personally, I’d give as much credit to Senator Delgado as anyone.

    He runs one of the best ground games in the city, which is another way of saying one of the best ground games in the country.

    I recall one year Mayor Daley/Hispanic Dems/UNO through everything they could at Delgado.

    It was like a political version of the Battle of Thermopylae, only Delgado actually won by 32 votes.

  58. - dave - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 3:41 pm:

    FWIW…Delgado has never won those tough races without significant help from labor, especially SEIU.

    Also…how much did CTU actually do for Guzzardi? From the looks of it, CTU spent almost all of their resources on Mitchell, and gave a little to Guzzarsi, while the rest of public sector labor invested heavily in Guzzardi.

  59. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    ==”Unions bashing the Democrats for taking away their pensions. Same Democrats who voted in more lush benefits years ago that helped get us down the road to this pension mess.==

    This issue isn’t benefits, it is the state skipping its payments to the pension systems. But I guess you are the kind of person to go after to blame anything other than the cause.

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        * Letter: Rauner economics..
        * Senator wants Rauner to fill vacancy on board c.....
        * Wage comparison is apples and oranges..
        * Quotes of the day..
        * Erickson: Road to savings filled with potholes..

        * Storm crawls into Midwest, threatens Northeast
        * Hill delivers nail-biting 60-58 Illini win over Penn State
        * More than a foot of snow possible for parts of Midwest
        * Chicago police seize cocaine worth nearly $7M
        * Cubs legend Ernie Banks remembered for unwavering optimism
        * Southern Illinois town investigating suspicious fires
        * Illinois suspends Rice, Cosby indefinitely
        * Cubs teammates say Ernie Banks was about more than baseball
        * Chicago mayor wages lively campaign with no big challengers
        * Pair sentenced to prison for $665 million financial fraud

        * Observers await specifics in Rauner's first State of the State speech
        * Statehouse Insider: Rauner pension slide slides over some details
        * Bill to ban pure caffeine introduced in General Assembly
        * Rauner defends paying staff more than Quinn did
        * Local lawmakers named to paid committee positions
        * Decision looms on ATV facility in western Illinois park
        * 'Right to Try' bill would give access to experimental drugs
        * Top Rauner staff receiving higher pay than Quinn's
        * Springfield lawmakers want oversight commission to monitor 10th Street rail promises
        * Rauner staff receiving higher pay than Quinn's

        * The paperless office is here, so why is Acco stock up?
        * Elected or apppointed? Pick your poison for Chicago Board of Ed
        * Governor to find out if Illinois is ready for 'right to work'
        * Rauner's CFO sharpens axe for Illinois budget
        * These fast-food chains are resisting the gluten-free craze

          * Man rescued out of water at North Avenue Beach
          * Man, woman stabbed in separate incidents in Roseland
          * Man fatally shot, 3 others hurt in separate shootings
          * Amber alert: Effingham girl abducted, may be in Chicago area
          * Up to 14 inches of snow in the forecast: 'We have a lot of winter left'
          * Father, son hurt in accidental shooting in Marengo
          * Mother of murder victim: 'Nobody can hurt her now'
          * South Shore on track for express train in March
          * Officials investigate bridge demolition in Hammond
          * Roseland man charged with burglary, threatening cops on West Side

          * Jason Barickman
          * Latest Update: Springfield Area Expecting 3-6 Inches
          * Springfield Attorney Picked To Chair Illinois Gaming Board
          * Up To 8 Inches Of Snow Forecast For Springfield Area
          * Could Rauner's Spending Hold Derail New Train Routes?
          * Listen to State Week - January 30, 2015
          * Rauner Staff Receiving Higher Pay Than Quinn's
          * Rauner Defends Higher Staff Salaries
          * Unmasking Ernie Banks
          * Guzzardi Wants Parents To Be Able To Opt Kids Out Of Testing

          * Our Opinion: Rauner driving wedges instead of building bridges
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Campaign discussion — Oak Ridge to park district?
          * Sharmin Doering: Simulation helps local officials understand poverty struggles
          * Steven Simpson-Black: Human rights struggle continues 150 years after the 13th Amendment
          * Quote of the Day: Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015
          * Observers await specifics in Rauner's first State of the State speech
          * Statehouse Insider: Rauner pension slide slides over some details
          * Statehouse Insider: Rauner pension slide slides over some details
          * In My View: Remembering Mary Lou "Smokey" Schneider
          * Charles Krauthammer: Auschwitz, today

          * Touch of Nature outdoor trips planned for March
          * Top of the morning, Feb. 1, 2015
          * Area Calendar 2/1/15
          * Winchester looking at affordable homes
          * SIU hosts robotics competition
          * Upcoming Services (Feb. 1)
          * Police Beat
          * In the groove
          * SHELF LIFE
          * Police warn about winter road conditions

          * Republican lawmaker brings back GPS tracking bill
          * Court invader interrupts Australian Open men's final
          * Djokovic wins 3rd set, leads 2-1 in Australian Open final
          * Pope to visit Sarajevo to boost 'brotherhood and peace'
          * Seahawks repeat would be a scary prospect for NFL

          * 013115-spt-marcar-bb-car-kelly
          * EPA, Farm Bill, Cuban trade among topics a...
          * Democrats Court Ex-Congressman for Rematch
          * U.S. Congressmen Take Ceremonial Oath in B...
          * GOP Rep: Obama Does Not Hold to Idea of We...
          * Congressional swearing-in held at Benton, ...
          * Sunday Morning Bobblehead Thread
          * “Human trafficking for sexual exploitation...
          * Officials get peek at Transportation Isola...
          * TV News Shows, Jan. 25

          * Tv news shows...
          * Loretta Lynch disarms GOP challengers...

          * Netanyahu invitation shows GOP's disdain f......

          * Can We Trust The Infrastructure Trust?
          * Numbers Are In! Illinois Leads In Most Government Bodies
          * Check Out Chicago’s New Infrastructure Trust Bylaws
          * Municipalities’ New Frontier: Ending Local Debt Disaster
          * We’ve moved!
          * In The Lyons Of Fire
          * BGA Backs New State Disclosure Effort
          * Budget Crisis Task Force Examines Illinois’ Debt Woes
          * To Cut Costs, Suburbs Eye Police Dept. Merger
          * State’s High Court Hears IG’s Case

          * IDHS reminds eligible workers to take advantage of free tax help and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) - More than 30 sites offer free tax services Statewide
          * IEMA, American Lung Association Launch Health House - Radon Excellence Program in Savoy - Two Champaign builders coordinating with Heyworth radon mitigator in program to reduce radon-related lung cancer risks in new homes
          * One Confirmed Case of Measles in Illinois
          * Governor announces latest round of agency appointments
          * Rauner announces “Turnaround Team” - Stellar team to help turn Illinois around

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