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Proft explains himself

Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

* I had an e-mail exchange with Dan Proft last month that I meant to post at the time, but didn’t get around to it because session had kicked into high gear and I was buried with government stuff. I asked him for permission yesterday to reprint our exchange and he agreed.

Proft sent me a characteristically ascerbic note last month about a post I did disagreeing with his big-bucks support for Keith Matune, a Republican who finished just a smidgeon behind GOP Rep. Ron Sandack in the March primary

The worst thing Proft did though, was that when the truth came out [about Matune’s multiple arrests], he didn’t back away. Instead, he doubled down, forcing the House Republicans to spend a fortune to keep the seat. If Proft’s guy had won, the House Democrats would have assuredly jumped in and made the House Republicans spend even more money to defend the seat.

Look, this is a free country. Proft can do whatever he wants. But the Matune race shows his only real priority was defeating a Republican he didn’t like, not winning a Republican seat. It was totally irresponsible to push a supremely flawed candidate so hard.

* Proft’s response…

Your analysis of Sandack-Matune conveniently ignores the substance of Sandack’s legislative record–the focus of the campaign material I put out. Additionally, it ignores the details of the Matune allegations Sandack misrepresented or outright manufactured and any context to his 20-year old arrests for such crimes against humanity as public urination.

But I’m “reckless and irresponsible.” Okay. Someday–and I know today is not that day–I hope you’ll give consideration to your routine defenses of all things GOP establishment, particularly when those defenses offer no contextual consideration of their performance–you know, those guys in the superminority–much less mine.

I am forever fascinated by the differing standards of analysis.

Regards.

* Lemme let you in on a little secret. We disagree about a lot of stuff, but Proft and I have a history that’s been mostly friendly, albeit peppered with occasional acrimony, which I actually have enjoyed. So I chuckled at his e-mail and, since I’m not generally in the habit of sending long e-mails, my reply was brief…

You do have a way with words. But your response completely ignores my points.

* Proft fired back…

Which is what, the shibboleth from Team Durkin you’re re-purposing that Matune would’ve put the district in play in the general? Nonsense. 60%+ GOP district.

They were making the same argument against [Peter] Breen and he is unlikely to even draw an appointed opponent (certainly not one of any consequence) according to what I understand.

* My reply…

More nice words. You may refer to it as a shibboleth, but it’s real. More importantly, though, you forced leadership to spend money it didn’t have on a primary to fight off a very flawed candidate.

Shibboleth: An old idea, opinion, or saying that is commonly believed and repeated but that may be seen as old-fashioned or untrue.

* Proft…

They spent money to defend a very flawed candidate. As they did with Pihos. No one forced Durkin to spend money. His choice. Just as it was my choice.

Two years ago against a woefully underfunded candidate Sandack won 54-46. This time by 150 votes. Maybe there is an actual uneasiness with Sandack in his district with darn nearly half of the GOP primary electorate that should be considered? Is that possible? Should that be part of the assessment? Why is Sandack such an unpopular incumbent (and was before his marriage vote)? Compare his fav/unfav numbers to Pihos, for example, before I ever spent a dime in either race (except on polling).

We don’t exist to do leadership’s bidding because they have titles. That philosophy begets the superminority–as they have proven. I don’t see offices as someone’s birthright where someone else gets to decide who runs and who doesn’t and when. That approach pushes talented people away–a long-running problem with the GOP.

So when does a decade-plus of under-performance demand questioning of “leadership’s” decision-making? I am baffled by the deference they are supposed to be afforded.

Oh, and considering our interests are now aligned for the general election and Durkin has expressly asked for me help, “leadership” has a strange-way of party-building or asking for help. But that too will be left on the cutting room floor, I suppose, as it doesn’t fit the narrative or a plucky group of legislative leaders financed by the politically promiscuous trying to stave off assaults from the radicals who believe in free minds and free markets.

* At that point, I said he’d made some good arguments, then shifted the discussion to our mutually beloved White Sox. I’m just not into these long back and forth e-mail arguments and figured we were finished arguing and now it was time to talk about other stuff.

Look, I don’t agree with everything Proft wrote or everything he has done, but that’s not required. Some of y’all hate the man and you have your reasons. But while I’ve winced more than once when he’s said or done something I didn’t agree with, I have never, ever disliked him.

My best friend in the world once told me that you should never hate more than three people at once. If you hated more than three, it probably said more about you than them. A disagreement is just that. It ain’t personal and you shouldn’t make it personal unless everybody’s going to the mattresses.

* Anyway, try to address his points in your comments instead of his personality. And keep my best friend’s warning about hatred in your thoughts. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


51 Comments
  1. - A. Nonymous - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 5:44 am:

    Proft: “That approach pushes talented people away–a long-running problem with the GOP.”

    There are probably only two people in the world who associate Matune with the adjective “talented” - Matune himself and Proft.

    “Convenient” seems more appropriate. Perhaps also “available.”

    To each their own…


  2. - Smoggie - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 6:57 am:

    Proft’s comments confirm that he remains one of the most self-centered and self-important people in IL politics. And considering IL politics, that says a lot.

    Proft does not like Sandack. He’s made that clear. Fine. He’s entitled to that view.

    What Proft deliberately ignored was the very real impact on Matune. Sure Matune is a creep, but even creeps need proper advice.

    Proft surely must have known that Matune would be dragged through the mud and that it would have a serious long term impact on Matune, Matune is new to the game. Proft is not. Matune needs the advice of somebody who has been there before, who could tell him the consequences of going forward with the race.

    Because of Proft, Matune personally went from “that teacher” to “that teacher who got arrested for creepy stuff.” As long as he teaches (if he remains allowed to do so), because of Proft, Matune’s students are going to look at him and snicker.

    And for what? So that Dan Proft can show the world how much Dan Proft hates Ron Sandack.

    Proft talks about morality and ethics. It seems the more he talks about those things, the less he feels to live up to those things.

    Proft really did a number on Matune, and Proft’s response boils down to “But I don’t like Ron.” That’s not moral. That’s not ethical. But it sure is Proft.


  3. - Big Muddy - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 7:21 am:

    Smoggie with an early win of the interwebs today.
    Proft is all about Proft. What he did benefited no one but Dan. Matune may have very well thrown away a teaching career. GOP party is once again spending money to fight internal battles and looking foolish in the process. NO ONE involved with this election made themselves, or conservatives, look good in any way.


  4. - Pete - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 7:28 am:

    He’s right.

    The GOP leadership has failed Illinois.
    The decision making process is flawed.

    Rich, you make the argument each time this blog highlights Mark Kirk as the poster boy for the direction Illinois GOP needs to move towards.

    The only way to get leadership to make a change, is to either replace it or challenge it. If the argument is that the GOP can not afford to be challenged, that strongly implies that the status-quo has more value than the effort to change.

    I find that not to be the case, and agree with Proft’s point.

    The methods could be better, but the fundamental arguement is correct.


  5. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 7:53 am:

    This is why I love this site. It’s not personal and both sides are looked at. As someone who recieved mailings, some days, 10 of the same. I found myself at my mailbox everyday making certain I took the mail from the box. Not my children under 12. Big Muddy, spot on but please add all the constituents in that area. I can only say, when I became a father, my entire world view changed. I know Ron has children and Dan does not. I wish they could look through the lens of what is put out to families. It is hypocritical to expose values and what was in my mailbox for both sides. I will take the shots of “It’s politics.” But some folks are able to run and win without the dirt I saw.


  6. - Frustrated Voter - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 8:08 am:

    Thank God the ILGOP has someone like Proft around to keep them somewhat honest. People can say he wants to only benefit himself, but there are many conservatives in this state, especially downstate, that feel like we have no representation and no one really fighting for us, while we fight for our fiscal lives. It’s nice to know that someone like Proft is up in Chicago at least attempting to hold the Republican leadership accountable. Durkin is a fool for wasting so much of the caucus’ money to defend non-starter candidates in ultra-safe GOP districts. If I were a Republican House member in a swing district, I would be livid with Durkin right now.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 8:16 am:

    “Thank God the ILGOP has someone like Durkin around to keep Slytherins somewhat honest. People can say Durkin wants to only benefit the entire Caucus, but there are many Reagan Rule Republicans in this state, especially those who were Republicans, but became Indies, that feel like we have no representation and no one really fighting for us, while we fight for our fiscal lives. It’s nice to know that someone like Durkin is down in Springfield at least attempting to hold the Slytherins accountable. Proft is a fool for wasting so much of the caucus’ money to defeat Caucus candidates in ultra-safe GOP districts. If I were a Republican House member in a swing district, I would be livid with Proft right now.”

    Better.


  8. - Smoggie - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 8:33 am:

    One more note on this — does anybody really believe that if a Democrat had an arrest record like Matune’s, Dan would be saying: “Ignore it. It is 20 years old. It is nothing.”

    Or is it more likely that Dan would be on the air every day demanding that the teacher be fired?

    We all know how he would respond if it was a Democrat, which is simply more evidence of Dan’s motivation in making that comment.

    He likes to claim that those in power are simply in it for personal gain. Noting how Dan would react if the arrest record were reversed, we can conclude that, if what Dan says is true about the motives of his opponents, then the primary difference between them and Dan is that they are better at winning elections.


  9. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 8:51 am:

    @Pete-

    LOL.

    Dan Proft was a consultant for Beth Coulson, without question the most liberal Republican in the General Assembly in recent memory.

    So, let’s all just stop pretending this is about party purity.


  10. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 8:57 am:

    Proft recognizes one agenda, his own. Nothing else matters, certainly not Matune’s or the Republican Party’s reputation.


  11. - Barney - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    the problem here is dan lives by the creed of do as I say, not as I do. Had HRO backed a candidate as flawed as matune Proft would have been one of the first to criticize their judgement. Plus, what’s his record of winning?


  12. - Not in the Know - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    Someone needs to show Proft how to read an arrest record, ‘manufactured’? Please take a fraction of a second to read and you’ll be enlightened. And yes, had this been the other party he’d be barking at the moon.

    ‘I know Ron has children and Dan does not’….not so fast, hmmmmm someone might like to shed some more light on this subject. Pillar of the conservative community, great family values. I think not!!! Hello pot….your daughter kettle would like to meet you.


  13. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    Proft abused Matune to satisfy his own political ego. Proft knew all about Matune’s arrest record and instead of directing him towards a way to defuse it as an issue - did the very worse thing that could be done by a new candidate - a cover up.

    This allowed his political opponent to expose Matune and define him in the worse way possible.

    Anyone thinking that Dan Proft is some kind of political player with a handle on campaigns and elections needs to remember how badly he abused and mishandled Matune’s 20 year old arrest record.

    Proft wrecked Matune’s political viability with his own horrific, foolish and willfully blind ambition.

    This is why Rich Miller was asking Proft about it. This is why we are discussing it. What Proft did to Matune last month was treacherous.


  14. - Walker - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    Matune should have gotten better advice before deciding to run, and then how to get ahead of the certain attacks, with the press and his employer.

    Proft was not the only available coach in this game.


  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    @Frustrated Voter

    Again, don’t be a rube.

    Proft was a consultant for Beth Coulson.

    His firm also worked for Anthony DeLuca.


  16. - SonofSuperAbe2014 - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    Dan Proft’s hatred of Sandack is evident. Matune was duped by Dan. Let me be clear Dan Proft is one self-centered knucklehead and Durkin should remind Nixon & Holen every time when money is not available for their campaigns.


  17. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    Proft is more about money than ideology.

    If Uihlein will bankroll him to go after a guy like Sandack, he’ll do it.

    If he can get no-bid public contracts to promote mobbed-up Cicero politicians on the taxpayer dime, he’ll do that, too.

    He’s not the first guy to be in politics for the money.


  18. - Bill White - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    This may be the most important quote of the entire piece:

    = My best friend in the world once told me that you should never hate more than three people at once. If you hated more than three, it probably said more about you than them. =


  19. - Walker - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    Another version I like:

    “If you see more than three ass’….s in a room, you’re one of them.”


  20. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    Frustrated Voter

    “Thank God the ILGOP has someone like Proft around to keep them somewhat honest. People can say he wants to only benefit himself, but there are many conservatives in this state, especially downstate, that feel like we have no representation and no one really fighting for us, while we fight for our fiscal lives. It’s nice to know that someone like Proft is up in Chicago at least attempting to hold the Republican leadership accountable. Durkin is a fool for wasting so much of the caucus’ money to defend non-starter candidates in ultra-safe GOP districts. If I were a Republican House member in a swing district, I would be livid with Durkin right now.”

    So how is your version of the ILGOP doing these days ?


  21. - A guy... - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    Afsme Steward, The very same could be asked of you. All versions could use a goose.


  22. - Ghost - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    This whole discussion, as-well-as profts discussion, begs one question: what is a republican?

    generalizing a bit, proft and other appear to be arguing that certain canidates arent republicans, and so they want canidate X to prevail becuase they are the onl true republican.

    And that is why the GOP fails at times, the general inability to support a canidate unless they meet everything that person wants. The Dems fight as much if not more then the GOP, but when the times comes they will work together and get behind a dem canidate even if they dont agree with all of their positions.


  23. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    ““If you see more than three ass’….s in a room, you’re one of them.” ”

    lol Perfect timing. I just watched William Kelly’s video of his close encounters with Rauner’s staff. And while he certainly has a style all his own, he seemed to be the smaller one this time and the other two surprisingly managed to stay out of the way and hold their own fairly well.


  24. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    –The Dems fight as much if not more then the GOP, but when the times comes they will work together and get behind a dem canidate even if they dont agree with all of their positions.–

    Tell that to Diana Rauner, lol!

    To your main point about today’s Dems, that’s mostly, but not always, true, and more true now than it was in the past.

    Thompson, Edgar and Ryan certainly enjoyed significant Dem support in their statewide runs. Back when the GOP had a real Cook County organization, guys like Ogilvie, Carey, O’Grady and O’Malley enjoyed some Dem support, at times.


  25. - DuPage Rep - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    Come on guys, Proft can’t be all that bad. He brought us Jeanne Ives afterall.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    ===This whole discussion, as-well-as profts discussion, begs one question: what is a republican?===

    A Republican for me is someone I agree with 80%, and not an enemy I disagree with 20% of the time.

    Also, for me, given that 20% of the time I am going to disagree with members of My Party, I have no Litmus Test, or Blood Oath to cement a concrete “must” with members of My Party.

    The rest is just noise, divisiveness, anger, frustration, and worst of all a lack of diversity.

    My Party is a political organization, not a religion.


  27. - SonofSuperAbe2014 - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    Remember DuPage Rep, that Ives is an Army of dumb, I mean one.


  28. - Here we go... - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    What makes a Republican? If you were to use Proft’s general standards and those of his recent donors…it would be angry white homophobic and corrupt business types. Now there’s a winning formula!


  29. - Befuddled - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    Proft uses the GOP superminority status as evidence the GOP is failing. A fair point.

    But what is Proft’s record? Hasn’t he run for office before, and lost? Badly?

    Look, the Miami Marlins baseball team stinks, but they aren’t taking any advice from the Cubs.


  30. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    Seriously, I have no idea why everyone is always trying to define what “qualifies” as a Republican–other than the bunch must obviously be more diverse than what the same crowd would define as a Democrat (assuming that they even bother). And I also don’t understand why some feel the 80/20 equation is so magical as we all know that different factors have different weights.

    In reality, I think there are many more RINOs than anyone could ever imagine. And yes, we can all identify one another somehow.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    ===And I also don’t understand why some feel the 80/20 equation is so magical as we all know that different factors have different weights.===

    First, it is only Magical because Ronald Reagan come up with the analogy. It is an analogy to show a majority of agreement should not be taken away from a minority of disagreement.

    If you take the 80/20 and “weigh” what is worth what, you miss the whoile point, and bevome a Litmus Tester / Blood Oather or even a 1 issue voter trying to run a diverse party on “Must”.

    R _ _ O is a term used to belittle the Reagan Rule. It’s lazy and disingenuous to building a diverse party, but perfect for having a lack of diversity seem rational.


  32. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    Reagan, say you? Really?

    Gosh. I never even heard of that before.

    Thank goodness such a staunch R such as you is around to “teach” the rest of us.


  33. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    =R _ _ O is a term used to belittle the Reagan Rule. =

    Yes. However, it seems a bit illogical, doesn’t it? I can’t imagine that one can be all that thick-skinned if their feelings get hurt so easily. Most RINOs I know have absolutely no problem being called one.

    Does that surprise you, Willy?


  34. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    Well,

    ===And I also don’t understand why some feel the 80/20 equation is so magical…===

    Golly, is that a rhetorical question, or were you playing opposum? I would have said rhetorical, but that would have menat you would have answered your own question, or left it quite obvious what the answer IS…

    English is hard.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    “I’m Out”


  36. - DuPage Rep - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    Do I sense a softening of Mr. Willy towards Rauner?


  37. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    It’s bizarre in a state with Dem super-majorities in the GA, a Dem governor, and only two GOP statewide officeholders, the Torqumadas are still out there talking about “RINOs.”

    What don’t these folks understand about the arithmetic?

    There was very telling posting here either on primary day or the day before about a guy who gets it.

    A photo was posted of Rep. Durkin stopping by Rep. Ive’s campaign office to offer support, then a report that he went straight from there to Rep. Sandack’s headquarters to do the same.

    See how that works? He backs them both.


  38. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    =English is hard. =

    Ouch. Must have struck a nerve. Have fun, then, talking to your little Democratic friends. Wouldn’t want to get in the way of an adult discussion.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    - DuPage Rep -,

    Nah. Rauner is a Raunerite. Bruce Rauner has his wife saying it doesn’t matter, just be for Bruce, or… a Raunerite.

    Now, if Rauner belongs to one of those swanky golf clubs I read about and invites me, as long as its not on election day…


  40. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===A photo was posted of Rep. Durkin stopping by Rep. Ive’s campaign office to offer support, then a report that he went straight from there to Rep. Sandack’s headquarters to do the same.

    See how that works? He backs them both.===

    Which is why I love how Leader Durkin goes about his business.


  41. - DuPage Rep - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    Come on Willy. Rauner is making nice with everyone, even the IEA. Surely there is room for you at the table. BTW, I hear Evelyn makes some real tasty empanadas.


  42. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    - DuPage Rep -,

    It’s only April. I doubt I will come around. I made a promise to myslef; I would not be party to assisting a Blago-Type Character if My Party ever nominates a candidate like him.

    Remember. Rauner has called 1/3 of My Party’s members in the GA corrupt. He picked that, based on … I don’t know. Like Rod, Rauner wants a PAC to garner “support” for Rauner. Party is no issue, and lest we forget the Tom Hagen way Rauner wants to work with the GA, knowing “weaknesses”, for example.

    I get rhetoric. I even get hyperbole. Some even say I understand snark. I also understand why I can’t come around.

    Plus, Rauner’s Crew, they don’t need people like me. Ask them. Their cake has no ingredient on its list that resembles those like me.


  43. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    – Have fun, then, talking to your little Democratic friends. –

    “Say hello to my lil’ friends!”

    A Guy, is that you with the “no-handle” Willie criticisms?


  44. - Responsa - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    ==Most RINOs I know have absolutely no problem being called one.==

    Oh, baby, you are so very very wrong about that. Who the heck are you to “decide” who is a true Republican or not? On what possible basis or what application of what litmus test makes you qualified to make that judgement about others on the right?


  45. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    Nice try at a spin, Responsa, but you failed as you so often do. Except, of course, when it comes to making judgments about others.


  46. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    Now you and Willy can stand fully united…in your seething whatever it is.


  47. - DuPage Rep - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    Willy,
    Rauner is not a physco like Blago. I believe he got carried away with his government union/conflict of interest mantra when he was talking about the GA and his party. In this holy season, can you find it in your heart to forgive?


  48. - Responsa - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    Sorry, “Anonymous”. Mr. Willy and I have been at odds on several issues recently but we are apparently smart enough and respectful enough to keep the convo between us general, non personal, and civil. Since you post as “Anonymous” as do a number of other commenters here, I honestly have no idea about what you and I may have agreed or disagreed on prior to today’s discussion about “RINOS”. But you sure do seem to be keeping score. I just know I like big tents. Do you?


  49. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    - DuPage Rep -,

    You are a good egg trying to bring people together during Easter.

    It’s only April. I don’t see me going back on my promise. I will watch, as I always do. I appreciate you trying to make your case. The fencens Rauner needs to be mending do not include mine, there are enough fences to keep his Crew pretty busy.


  50. - A guy... - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    Besides, I have plenty of Democratic friends. They aren’t to lil’ though. If I’m stuck liking them, and I do, I want them to be Big Dogs. I’ve converted a few over the years, but like Frank Sinatra says “too few to mention”.
    So, to Anonymous-whoever you are- no flotation devices in the deep end. Sink or swim here. I’ve got my hands full without any of your help.


  51. - Bill White - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 7:46 pm:

    I am waiting to see whether Sandack / Matune spending will exceed Berrios / Guzzardi spending.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * Illinois governor calls special session over co.....
        * Rauner's inauguration events could mean big bus.....
        * Quinn Wants Special Legis Session to Consider S.....
        * Governor Quinn calls a special session to deal .....
        * Gov. Quinn calls session for comptroller election..
        * Quinn Wants Special Election To Replace Topinka..


        * Report: Illinois fails to monitor runaway kids
        * Gov. Quinn calls session for comptroller election
        * Chickenpox forces southern Illinois prison lockdown
        * Instructor at Illinois school for visually impaired arrested
        * Chicago announces plans to build 88-story skyscraper
        * GOP says Rauner should appoint next comptroller
        * Quincy mother gets 2 years for unlawful restraint
        * Contract to bring 75 jobs to Scott Air Force Base
        * Illinois jobless rate falls to 6.4 percent
        * George Ryan: Cuba relations will open markets

        * Quinn calls legislature back to Springfield to approve special election to replace Topinka
        * Audit: Illinois fails to monitor runaway kids
        * Chicago couple convicted of stealing state grants
        * Topinka remembered as tough, honest leader at memorial service
        * Illinois employers reminded of income-tax rollback
        * Memorial service for Topinka begins in suburban Chicago
        * Police use vacant Jacksonville site to train for worst-case scenarios
        * State-grant fraud case in hands of federal jury
        * Gov.-elect Rauner says some agency directors may stay
        * Attorney blames couple's bookkeeper in state grant fraud case

        * McDonald's to sponsor 2015 SXSW festival
        * Chicago tourism arm opens fourth bureau in China
        * Dow soars more than 400 points
        * University of Illinois at Chicago names next chancellor
        * Gov. Quinn to lawmakers: Come back to decide comptroller election


        * Rewriting the Sony cyberattack script
        * Sen. Kirk wants to show 'The Interview' at fundraisers
        * Emanuel vows to introduce his own privatization ordinance
        * Durbin's advice to GOP: Get Sen. Ted Cruz under control
        * Garcia vows to hire the 1,000 police officers Emanuel promised
        * Obama OKs new sanctions against Russia, but won't enforce them
        * IRS head: Budget cuts could delay tax refunds
        * Dead groundhog can't stop Bill de Blasio from getting PETA award
        * Obama calls during 'Ask the Governor' show
        * Playing for dollars and smiles at O'Hare


        * 2 shot in separate incidents on the South, West sides
        * 2 found dead in South Side home died in murder-suicide
        * Wisconsin girls in Slenderman case ruled competent to stand trial
        * North Chicago 21-year-old dies after hit and run in Waukegan
        * Suspect in 2 downtown bank robberies caught red-handed
        * Schiller Park woman stole money from elderly parents: prosecutor
        * Mundelein teen arrested after armed beer heist in Round Lake Beach
        * South Carolina provost introduced as next UIC chancellor
        * Travel agent charged in religious trip scam
        * Northbrook man, 72, arrested on child porn charges


        * Let's Talk Kids - "Your Phone-a-Friend List"
        * Vatican signals new tone on US nuns
        * StoryCorps: Bilingual pre-school teacher describes the state of education in Chicago
        * Chicago mayor's commission unveils plan for a safer Chicago
        * US announces protections for transgender workers
        * Cook County to join cameras-in-court program
        * IIAA Teaches Life Skills Through Sports
        * Illinois Republican: Cuba Agreement "Good First Step"
        * Unions sue to stop Chicago pension overhaul
        * Durbin leaving Congressional roommates behind


        * Quinn calls legislature back to Springfield to approve special election to replace Topinka
        * Audit: Illinois fails to monitor runaway kids
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Schmidt considers challenging Sgro for park board president
        * Brian Sauder: Faithful decisions for the holidays
        * Eugene Robinson: The price of being hacked
        * George Will: A Texas-sized license plate dispute
        * Quote of the day: Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014
        * Chicago couple convicted of stealing state grants
        * Topinka remembered as tough, honest leader at memorial service
        * Illinois employers reminded of income-tax rollback


        * Sports Talk 12-18-14
        * Brother's telescope opened up new worlds
        * Ring found in Salvation Army kettle
        * Devil's Kitchen Water District cancelled boil order for Dogwood Ridge Road
        * Lifestar Ambulance offering rides home for the holidays
        * Augustana College restricts access to Yik Yak following racist remarks
        * Sprint Car star Joey Saldana rolling into Du Quoin Saturday
        * Westville taps Oakwood administrator for position
        * Phone scammers pretend to call from Edwardsville Police
        * Substitute aides get raise in Mahomet-Seymour


        * Women's Top 25 College Basketball Schedule
        * NCAA Division III Football Playoff Glance
        * Thursday's Scores
        * BC-FBC--Schedule,2nd Add
        * BC-FBC--Schedule,1st Add

        * Controversy and change mark 2014 in Highla...
        * Republican David Brat Wins Virginia’s 7th ...
        * Rep. Bob Dold
        * Illinois District 10 Race
        * 8 things new members of Congress definitel...
        * Mike Bloomberg takes his money local
        * Midterm elections see Big Red wins in Ill....
        * Obama: 'I've got to take responsibility" f...
        * T’was a Famous Victory: Why? How? and What...
        * Over 95 Percent of ANCA Endorsed Candidate...

        * Not much chance of Congress stopping Cuba ......
        * Defense Department IG investigating POV co......
        * Reaction to release of Alan Gross, future ......
        * Galesburg veterans facility named in honor......

        * GOP senator wants 'The Interview' shown at......
        * Sen. Kirk suggests raising money with scre......
        * Obama signs legislation naming veterans fa......
        * Durbin, Kirk split on Obama’s shift on Cub......

        * Kinzinger bullish on America and Illinois
        * Illinois U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk Promises to Screen 'The Interview' at Fundraisers
        * Quinn calls for special session to push special 2016 comptroller election
        * Rocco Claps Honored at 23rd Annual Excellence in Public Service Award Breakfast
        * Business School?
        * School of Business?
        * Cameras To Be Allowed in Certain Cook County Courtrooms
        * Quinn Calls Special Session For 2016 Comptroller Election
        * James O’Keefe Interviews the Man Who Discovered Jonathan Gruber Videos
        * Thomas More Society seeks Lerner emails affecting policy towards pro-life groups


        * Governor Quinn Calls Legislative Special Session - Governor Urges Legislature to Set Up 2016 Special Election for Comptroller
        * Governor Quinn Announces Illinois’ Unemployment Rate Hits New Low - Illinois’ Economic Comeback Continues; Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Level in More than Six Years
        * Illinois Ranks #1 in Volunteer Rate Among the Country’s 8 Largest States - 2.57 Million Illinoisans Give $7.2 Billion in Service
        * Law Enforcement, IDOT Make Final Push to Save Lives in 2014, Roadside Safety Checks Planned Over Holidays - New Episode of “The Driving Dead” Premieres Friday as Holiday Travelers are Reminded to Drive Sober and Buckle Up
        * Department of Insurance Announces Two Convictions Resulting from its Workers’ Compensation Fraud Investigations - Former Crystal Lake Police Officer and Former Business Owner Convicted




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