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Cross alleges lots and lots and lots of… stuff

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014

* Tom Cross’ campaign probably should’ve done this in small stages. I don’t think I’ve seen a longer press release this year…

State Senator and Democrat candidate for State Treasurer Mike Frerichs has consistently touted his financial experience, yet a review of his performance as Champaign Auditor calls into question his claims. In fact, based on his past performance, Frerichs’ financial mistakes coupled with his own patronage program ended up costing Champaign County taxpayers millions of dollars.

“Based upon the facts of his poor performance as auditor coupled with the patronage scandals he was engaged in, there truly is only one conclusion: Mike Frerichs is not ready to be Illinois’ next Treasurer,” said State Representative and Assistant House Republican Leader Bill Mitchell.

Frerichs’ Claims On The Campaign Trail

“I’m a certified public finance officer and I think people want someone who has some experience in government finance in this office.” (Mike Frerichs, WMAY Interview, 6/4/14)

“I think the state treasurer is the fiscal watchdog for the state, but the main responsibility of the treasurer is to oversee the state’s investments. As a certified public finance officer and former county auditor, that’s going to be my main priority.” (Mike Frerichs, 5/29/14)

“While Tom Cross is better known than Mike Frerichs on August 1st, we have the resources and game plan to turn that around and show voters there’s a clear choice between a prepared and experienced finance official and a twenty year Springfield insider to be the next state Treasurer. Mike Frerichs has detailed plans to clean up the mess created by the current Republican Treasurer and when voters tune into the race in the fall, we are confident they will choose what Mike has been talking about for over a year now; bringing competency and transparency to the Treasurer’s office while making wise investments to help build our economy from the middle out.” (Capitol Fax, August 1, 2014)

Mike Frerichs’ ERI Program Costs Taxpayers $3 Million

Even with the stock market in a steep decline since September 11, 2001, in 2003 County Auditor Mike Frerichs proposed an Early Retirement Initiative (ERI) that he said would be a ‘good tool to deal with budgetary problems for the county board.’ (The Champaign News-Gazette, 7/3/03)

The County Board, utilizing analysis and data from Mike Frerichs, approved the Frerichs ERI plan, but not without objection. Board Member Scott Tapley warned that with the past market decline and rising pension costs, the Frerichs’ ERI program would only add further pension costs. (The Champaign News-Gazette, 7/25/03)

Within months, Tapley was proven right as Frerichs’ plan failed to achieve savings and in fact created $2.5 million in new unfunded liability for the county catapulting Champaign County’s annual IMRF contribution from $755,769 to over $1,797,000. (Source: IMRF Champaign County Employer Rates)

Frerichs Mistakes Cost Taxpayers Over $3 Million:

To address the funding shortfall created by Frerichs’ ERI program, in 2005 the Champaign County Board approved a bonding issuance to pay off pension obligations for IMRF. The $2.75 million in bonds were issued to pay off the county’s funding shortfall. (source: Champaign County Board Meetings, 12/20/2005)

The bonds to fund the shortfall of Frerichs’ failed ERI program were finally paid off nine years later in January, 2014 with a total cost to taxpayers of over $3 million. (source: Champaign County Records)

“Mike Frerichs used bad math to fuel bad policy that cost Champaign County taxpayers over $3 million,” said former Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden. “Auditor Frerichs was warned that the market was in decline and that this had the potential to significantly increase costs, but he ignored the facts and the warnings and recklessly proceeded with a plan that ultimately cost taxpayers millions.”

County Board Removes Frerichs As IMRF Officer:

As a result of Frerichs’ reckless policy, he was dismissed by the Champaign County Board as the County’s agent with Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). Frerichs
fought the dismissal, but it was approved by the County Board by a bipartisan vote of 17-5. (source: Champaign County Board Resolution No. 5643)

“Mike Frerichs used poor planning to implement a plan that underfunded pensions while costing Champaign taxpayers millions,” said former Champaign County Board Member Stephanie Holderfield. “As a result of his poor planning and bad management in 2003, Champaign taxpayers were forced to pay for his mistakes until January of this year. Mike Frerichs simply isn’t ready to manage taxpayer money at any level.”

Frerichs Attempts To Blame Market, But Defense Falls Flat:

During his 2004 re-election campaign for Auditor, Frerichs’ campaign attempted to blame the mistakes on market forces, yet the market had already suffered its worst losses before Frerichs introduced his ERI plan. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 2,000 points between January 2001 and December 2002. (source: Champaign News Gazette 10/27/2004, www.djaverages.com)

“Throughout this whole event, Mike Frerichs refused to accept responsibility for this failed plan – blaming the error on anything and everyone but himself,” said former Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden. “But the simple fact is that he was removed from his role because he ignored the warnings, he didn’t understand the process and applied bad math that cost taxpayers $3 million.”

Now, as Mike Frerichs touts his past experience as Auditor as a key point in his campaign, many believe Frerichs’ record deserves a closer look.

“The best predictor of future performance is past performance and it is clear that Mike Frerichs does not have the skillset to effectively safeguard the hard-earned tax dollars of Illinois’ families,” said State Representative Adam Brown.

Rampant Patronage & Alleged Ghost Payroll

Mike Frerichs is at the epicenter of two of the most publicized and costly patronage scandals in recent Champaign County history. Patronage scandals that ended up depriving taxpayers of the honest delivery of services, while costing them over $100,000.

Frerichs’ Campaign Rhetoric:

“I think it’s time we have a Treasurer who knows the office, wants to be Treasurer and will end the political games from the outset. Our elected officials in Springfield need to work for the middle class, not for each other for political benefit.” (source: Mike Frerichs Facebook page, 7/12/14)

“Mixing state business and political activity is unacceptable. Unfortunately, this is a recurring problem for the current Republican Treasurer. From spending taxpayer dollars
on promotional brochures to Republican donors to asking government employees to perform campaign work, it’s time to take politics out of the Treasurer’s office. (source: Mike Frerichs Facebook page, 2/11/2014)

Mike Frerichs’ Focus On Patronage Costs Taxpayers Thousands

At Frerichs’ Urging, His Campaign Chairman Received Taxpayer-Paid Post:

“At one end of the Brookens Administrative Center, Curt Deedrich, a 44-year-old Pesotum farmer and multitownship township assessor, was smiling for the television cameras after narrowly being appointed to a four-year term as Champaign County supervisor of assessments … Deedrich was elected township assessor as a Democrat and he also served as campaign chairman for Michael Frerichs’ two unsuccessful campaigns for state representative in 1998 and 2000.” (“Pesotum Man Gets Top Assessor Post,”The Champaign News-Gazette, 5/7/04)

Frerichs Pushed For Deedrich To Get Patronage Post:

“After a big fight, Deedrich and his political sponsor, current state Sen. Mike Frerichs, for whom Deedrich had worked as a campaign manager, persuaded a majority of the county board to approve Deedrich’s appointment.” (“County Positions Should Be Filled On Merit, Not Loyalty,” The Champaign News-Gazette, 4/6/07)

Frerichs Patronage Program Led To The Bypassing A Better-Qualified Employee:

“The Deedrich appointment three years ago stemmed from the dual desire of county board Democrats both to flex their newfound political muscle by filling county jobs with patronage appointments and to satisfy current state Sen. Mike Frerichs’ desire to find a good job for his former campaign manager. So in a controversial decision, board Democrats passed over a better-qualified employee in the supervisor of assessments office and named Deedrich to what had been a nonpolitical post.” (“Deedrich Follies Are County Board’s Doing,” The Champaign News-Gazette, 6/10/07)

The Results Of Frerichs Patronage Program Called A “Disaster”:

“But he’s been such a disaster that it’s unlikely Deedrich will win reappointment when his term expires next year. That’s assuming he hasn’t been fired by then.” (“County Positions Should Be Filled On Merit, Not Loyalty,” The Champaign News-Gazette, 4/6/07)

Frerichs Patronage Program Also Called A “Fiasco” & “Awful”:

“To call the Deedrich chapter in county government a fiasco from beginning to end minimizes just how truly awful it was. Suffice it to say, he was the wrong person
appointed for the wrong reason to the wrong job.” (“Deedrich Follies Are County Board’s Doing, The Champaign News-Gazette, 6/10/07)

Frerichs Patronage Program Costly For Taxpayers – Scandal Cost $100,000:

“Curt Deedrich’s contentious three-year tenure as Champaign County’s supervisor of assessments ended with a $100,000 settlement.” (“Board Accepts Deedrich Resignation, Approves $100,000 Settlement,” The Champaign News-Gazette, 6/5/07)

Deedrich Resigns Amidst Resolution Calling For Dismissal:

According to the resolution that resulted in Deedrich’s dismissal, the county alleged that Deedrich changed a township assessor’s work on a Mahomet gravel pit and environs in 2006 without informing the assessor. In March 2007, he misrepresented the work to be performed by another official, used e-mail to urge legislators to investigate an Illinois Department of Revenue practice about the exempt status of hospitals, suggested school districts could sue the county on instant assessment and gave instructions to township assessors that may not be in accordance with the law.

“He was accused of harassment last year, but the board voted that he had not committed that offense – while admonishing Deedrich to improve relations with staff. At one point in his tenure, he was locked out of his office, but his attorney, Glenn Stanko of Champaign, had that decision reversed.” (“Board Accepts Deedrich Resignation, Approves $100,000 Settlement,” The Champaign News-Gazette, 6/5/07)

Frerichs Patronage 2.0: Program Didn’t End With Deedrich

Frerichs Pushes Fabri For County Auditor Post:

“[Tony] Fabri had the backing of two former auditors at the meeting, Frerichs and Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing.”(“Champaign County Democrats Nominate Fabri For Auditor,” The Champaign News-Gazette, 1/4/07)

Fabri Decides He Doesn’t Need To Show Up For Work:

“County government telephone records indicate that Champaign County Auditor Tony Fabri has been missing from his office for well over half the workdays in the last year, including two different periods when he apparently was gone for more than a month.” (“Phone Records Show County Auditor Frequently Absent,” The Champaign News-Gazette, 3/15/09)

But Fabri Does Find Time To Make Political Calls To Senator Frerichs:

“While Fabri said he is careful not to make potentially political phone calls from his desk phone, the records show he made calls from his desk phone to county board member Claudia Gross, state Sen. Mike Frerichs and Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing, all Democrats.” (“Phone Records Show County Auditor Frequently Absent,” The Champaign News-Gazette, 3/15/09)

And Frerichs Gives Fabri Advice On How To Avoid Ghost-Payroll Criticism:

Fabri Said Frerichs, Who Preceded Him As County Auditor, Warned There Might Be Sniping About His Attendance At Work. “He said that when you start hearing complaints to just walk around Brookens and say ‘Hi’ to everyone and make sure that they see you,’ Fabri recounted.” (“Phone Records Show County Auditor Frequently Absent,” The Champaign News-Gazette, 3/15/09)

Frerichs Admits Fabri Doesn’t Show Up For Work & Doesn’t Do A Good Job, But Urges Voters To Support Him Anyway:

Frerichs, A Longtime Ally Of Fabri’s, Urged Voters To Look Beyond The Charges Of Absenteeism Against Fabri. “I’m not saying that the current auditor shows up every day and does the best job.” (“Voters To Decide Whether To Keep Elected Auditor,” The Champaign News-Gazette, 3/29/11)

Fabri “Steal[ing] A Living,” But Frerichs To Blame:

“As an elected official, Fabri sets his own hours. If he chooses to steal a living from the taxpayers, they can only blame themselves for electing him. Sadly, it’s not just Fabri who is responsible for this outrage. He never would have been in the position to take advantage of the public if he hadn’t had an influential political patron (former auditor and current state Sen. Michael Frerichs) and supportive friends among the Democrats on the county board.” (“Tony’s Excellent Adventure,” The Champaign News-Gazette, 3/18/09)

“As Auditor and a State Senator, Mike Frerichs fueled a patronage driven program that put unqualified people in offices of significant public trust. Mike Frerichs’ patronage program cost taxpayers over $100,000 while clearly putting people in positions they had no business serving in. The simple fact is that at every opportunity Mike Frerichs has used his position to advance patronage at the expense of better-qualified people and honest service to the public,” said Pat Brady, former federal prosecutor. “It’s simply appalling that Mike Frerichs is giving one of his patronage employees tips on how to avoid being criticized as a ghost-payroller. Mike Frerichs represents the politics of the past, the failed politics that has sent Governors to jail and led to our culture of corruption. Mike Frerichs is unprepared, reckless and not ready to lead.”

Whew.

Get all that?

* The AP has the Frerichs response

Frerichs, of Champaign, issued a written statement to The Associated Press confirming basic facts behind the allegations but denying wrongdoing. Instead, he decried the Cross attack as “revisionist history.”

“Tom Cross’ media tour highlights exactly what is wrong with his run for treasurer: loose with the facts and worried more about running against his opponent than running with a vision for the office,” Zach Koutsky, Frerichs’ campaign manager said.

Frerichs blamed the retirement program losses on market forces and decisions made by county leaders. Tuesday, Koutsky noted the county board changed its management of the program as part of, “a greater restructuring plan by the board, not a criticism of Frerichs’ work as auditor.”

In response to the allegations of patronage, Frerichs also says he never employed the Democrats in his post as auditor.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


34 Comments
  1. - Toure's Latte - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    Once Little Tommy starts talking about nothing, he is the energizer bunny.


  2. - Peter R - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    Why in the world would Frerichs confirm the facts? What a dolt.


  3. - Nearly Normal - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    Cross is using Bill Mitchell and Dan Brady as his Central Illinois “attack dogs” on these issues. They used the same script in their press conference yesterday in Bloomington.


  4. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    He has this race won, so what he is doing here is risking that win for no reasons an observer can guess.

    Is there a poll out somewhere showing otherwise?

    Just asking that question isn’t good, Mr. Cross, yet this kind of press release makes one wonder if your sure thing isn’t so sure.


  5. - The Captain - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Are we now calling people who are elected by voters patronage positions? This seems new. And weird.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    It was done this way so Tom can golf today with me, before heading down for GOP Day at the Fair.

    When your press release has “Page 1 of 4″ at the bottom, yikes!

    I have heard of the “shotgun” style of accusations, and it working, but having it broken down in chapters and indexed…

    @FakeMikeFrerichs - I went to Yale, not speed reading school. #MessageLostInTheWords


  7. - Barney - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    had Frerichs come out earlier and confirmed the facts I’m sure the press release could have been condensed.


  8. - OneMan - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    TLDR in part…

    Guessing they did this in part to try and get it asked about today and by tossing so much at him, figuring he will screw something up.


  9. - Easy - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    Vanilla-
    what risk? Frerichs confirmed everything. maybe next time his press person should know they aren’t getting paid by the word.


  10. - Fire Ron Guenther - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    awfully verbose press release. Better to issue these as snippets in drips over the course of the rest of the campaign, IMO.

    The Fabri stuff was a big deal in Champaign.


  11. - A guy... - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    Yikes Cross! You didn’t have me at Hello, and you lost me a long time before Good bye. Size matters refers to too big as much as too small. This isn’t a press release, it’s a whole newspaper. Got it? Get it!


  12. - Big Debbie - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    ===Are we now calling people who are elected by voters patronage positions? This seems new. And weird.===

    Exactly.

    ===Why in the world would Frerichs confirm the facts?===

    I’m not exactly sure what the AP reporter meant by confirmed “basic” facts, as Frerichs called the accusations “verifiable falsehoods” to local media in Champaign. http://will.illinois.edu/news/story/il-treasurer-candidate-accuses-frerichs-of-patronage-financial-mismanagemen

    Also, the nonpartisan county administrator for Champaign also called Cross’ accusations on the early retirement program false, saying that it saved money in the long run and that it wasn’t even Frerichs idea. http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2014-08-12/claims-against-frerichs-treasurers-race-disputed-local-official.html

    Maybe by “basic facts” should be explained a bit more.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    ===I’m not exactly sure what the AP reporter meant by confirmed “basic” facts, as Frerichs called the accusations “verifiable falsehoods” to local media in Champaign.===

    When you can’t rollout “basic” facts about your own record, I’m not surprised at the confusion.

    @FakeMikeFrerichs - the only basic fact I can confirm is that I am Tall. Otherwise, you better double-check everything my campaign says or does. Honest. #WhichMadeUpRecordAreWeUsingToday


  14. - walker - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    Look like the report from the oppo research team to the Cross campaign chair, somehow got leaked.


  15. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    In other news, Pat Quinn’s press release writer took a new job with the Cross campaign . . .


  16. - DuPage - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    Sling enough mud, something might stick. That is a tactic that desperate politicians use. It makes Cross’s credibility weaker to engage in carpet-bombing with so much in one attack. If Frerichs has a clear explanation for even one of the allegations, a lot of people will sort of dismiss the others that are grouped in with it.
    Typical politician slinging mud.


  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    Woof, try the decaf, dude. Can anyone honestly say they read all that. Bite size is the right size.


  18. - Pius - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    ==a clear explanation for even one of the allegations, a lot of people will sort of dismiss the others that are grouped in with it==
    Concerning Resolution 5643, IMRF was barely part of the discussions at the two CB committee meeting (http://www.co.champaign.il.us/countybd/PPA/060809minutes.pdf and http://www.co.champaign.il.us/countybd/PPA/060906minutes.pdf) that resulted in Resolution 2643. There is nothing in these minutes that support the “reckless policy” claim. [Disclaimer: I was on the CB at the time, but not on the PPA Committee.] At the full CB meeting, which I was present, there also was no mention of IMRF problems. In my opinion, which I believe is supported by the CB minutes, the Payroll Accountant was moved from the Auditor’s office to the County Administrator office and the IMRF responsibility moved with her. You can read the minutes and learn why this re-organization occurred–but it mostly was the result of the use of new payroll software.


  19. - CornDog - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    No doubt, it is brutally long. but oh my gosh, those quotes from the News Gazette slamming Frerichs for patronage are out of this world good. I kind of understand why they wanted those in there. Especially love the one about Frerichs giving tips on how to avoid ghost payrolling. What a classic Frerichs


  20. - Jorge - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    That press release should have come with a warning label.


  21. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    - CornDog - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Many of those N-G quotes are from editorials. This is an NG editorial board the endorsed one of Frerichs Senate runs only because his opponent was a racist. They’re hardly of a bastion of objectivity, evenhandedness, or even rationalism.


  22. - Bakersfield - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    If Frerichs had taken the My Cousin Vinny approach he would have won my vote today

    “Everything he just said is BS…thank you”


  23. - the drake - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    Those quotes from the paper on Frerichs patronage are hilarious. Did Senate Rs ever use that stuff?


  24. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    === He has this race won, so what he is doing here is risking that win for no reasons an observer can guess. ===

    I don’t know if Cross’ win is a done deal. I certainly think he has the advantage, but this is still a very blue state. Cross would be dumb to take his opponent lightly.


  25. - Marty Funkhouser - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    Simply having Bill “Expel Cook County from Illinois” MItchell as your lead quote makes me question this press release’s credibility.


  26. - Pete - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    Here is why this worked for me:

    I didn’t read the whole thing. I stopped after I was convinced that Mike Frerichs is not able to hold the elected position. If I was going to vote for Frerichs and I lived outside Champaign County, I now feel (not think) that I have some background and have some history on Frerichs. Unless Frerichs can do the same on Cross, this pulls voters away from Frerichs and is a poison pill press release to independents and swing voters that do just enough homework to pick the lesser of two evils.


  27. - No Pain, No Gain - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Fabri was appointed for two years before running for and winning election.

    Deedrich’s position is purely an appointed one.

    So yes, patronage.


  28. - The Captain - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    == Fabri was appointed for two years before running for and winning election. ==

    So ..
    1) ran for office?
    2) elected by the voters?

    If Yes to both of the above this is an odd conclusion to reach:

    == So yes, patronage. ==


  29. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    It was too long and could have been handled a little better; however, those News-Gazette quotes (those who know you best)are gold and will give Cross an excellent base for paid media and keep Frerichs on the defensive.

    I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised at how well the Cross campaign is being run and delighted how awful the Frerichs campaign is.


  30. - DateNight - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    Coross is a petty little fella who lacks the ability to stand tall for Illinois like Big Mike Frerichs!


  31. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    Deedrich’s hiring was PATRONAGE, and his chief sponsor for the position was Frerichs.

    $100,000 settlement later, Deedrich was fired in a bipartisan vote.

    Wear it.


  32. - 1776 - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    I’m not a huge fan of Tom Cross or Kevin Artl but they’re running a good race and Frerichs looks more and more like a candidate for junior high student council. He better up his game or he risks being out of the running.


  33. - Big Muddy - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    “That document, based on its length alone, defends itself from ever being read.” ~ Churchill


  34. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    ==- Pete - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 12:25 pm:==

    All you should need to know is that Cross is the self-described “close friend” of Rod Blagojevich and worked closely with the administration when Madigan wouldn’t.


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        * Chicago business activity is growing—but at a slower pace


        * ||| Jack Higgins’ perspective
        * Educators up in arms over Rauner's question on budget cuts
        * Gutierrez: Obama's immigration delay cost Pat Quinn votes
        * How Illinois can charge  ahead on education
        * Thanksgiving parade draws thousands to State Street
        * Former alderman, North Lawndale activist Jesse Miller dies at 72
        * Rauners don hairnets, serve Thanksgiving to homeless
        * Rauners don hairnets, serve Thanksgiving meals to homeless
        * Norman Schoer, viola player with Grant Park Orchestra and Lyric Opera, dies at 103
        * Cupich: Work needed to ‘repair our broken immigration system’


        * 4 injured in separate Thanksgiving Day shootings
        * Crash-and-grab burglary in Austin
        * Boat service provider negligent in fatal accident, lawsuit alleges
        * Cupich celebrates Thanksgiving Mass, prays with the poor
        * Archbishop Cupich emphasizes spiritual blessings at Lake Forest Thanksgiving mass
        * Judge reassigned after failing to follow contempt rules, officials say
        * Pre-Thanksgiving revelers in Naperville unfazed by new alcohol rules
        * Woman shot dead in apparent domestic-related shooting in Gary
        * Ferguson protester in Chicago charged with felony
        * Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at Congress and State


        * LLCC Offers Variety Of Community Education Classes
        * Incoming U of I President Speaks To Springfield Audience
        * Another Year Of "Messiah" For Springfield Choral Society
        * 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
        * Part Timers & Manufacturing in Illinois Feeling a Slow Economic Recovery
        * Notes From Ferguson: A QA With St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann


        * Michael Carrigan: Illinois can’t afford another year without a raise
        * Esther Cepeda: How to really enjoy the holidays
        * E.J. Dionne: Thank a politician today
        * 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


        * Area residents enjoy fellowship, meal on Thanksgiving
        * SIU producing sought-after automotive talent
        * Staying home is a treasured Black Friday tradition
        * Goodfellow Fund 11/28/14
        * BND wants to hear your opinion on Madison County school consolidation
        * IHSA's Hickman: 'They're all going to be a bunch of fun'
        * Asmussen: Welcome back to C-U, football contenders
        * Champaign Central loses controversial heartbreaker
        * Big Ten football roundup: Illinois vs. N'western for all the marbles
        * MBB notebook: Orange and blue travels well


        * Seahawks stomp 49ers
        * Aurora man charged with attempted murder
        * Full holiday menu for Obamas, plus 6 pies
        * Cathedral may become museum to the slave trade
        * Novelist PD James dies at age 94

        * Rep. Adam Kinzinger Joins Eyewitness News ...
        * Rep. Davis: Keep coal in energy plan
        * Over 95 percent of ANCA-endorsed candidate...
        * Mr. Bost goes to Washington: ‘This is wher...
        * Medicare Open Enrollment - Newton Press Me...
        * Mike Frerichs pulls off slim win in Illino...
        * Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger return to C...
        * Hiring More Vets In Congress
        * Durbin wins 4th term; GOP seeks more House...
        * Welcome to Washington: Murphysboro’s Bost ...

        * Durbin Celebrates Obama’s Announcement at ......

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

        * What do we think about Obama’s efforts to force-feed immigration reform to infant-minded in our nation?
        * "Nigerian Kitchen" Closes On Wilson
        * #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


        * 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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