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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry has spent a record 14 years in office vanquishing nearly all who dared confront him.

But with eight months left on the job and a decision to make about the 2016 presidential race, the nation's longest-serving governor is now the focus of a grand jury investigation over a veto he cast last summer.

A special prosecutor will probe whether Perry abused his power by vetoing state funds for a unit headed by a district attorney he had called on to resign. Perry said the official, Democrat Rosemary Lehmberg, had lost public trust after being convicted of drunken driving. She alleged the veto was partisan.

The grand jury investigation comes as Perry has been softening his image. He hasn't ruled out another White House run in 2016.

Published in National News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City remains in the running to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.
 
The Republican National Committee said Wednesday that the list of competing cities had been narrowed from eight to six.
 
Besides Kansas City, those still in the running are Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas.
 
Republican staff members now will visit each of the six cities for a more in-depth look at the financing, convention site, media work space and hotels. They are to present their findings to a site selection committee in May. The panel then will determine which sites will get official visits from the full delegation of Republican National Committee members.
 
The two applicants eliminated Wednesday were Phoenix and Columbus, Ohio.
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri House Republicans were told they could face primary opposition this year if they voted to sustain Governor Jay Nixon's veto of income tax cut legislation.

Fifteen Republicans voted anyway against the override despite the threats, but only four drew primary challengers for this year's election as candidate filing closed this past week.

The Missouri Club for Growth, which promised to recruit primary challengers, said they have spoken to those challengers. But the group declined to say if it would provide financial backing to those campaigns.

The link between the tax vote and Republican primaries isn't clear. A political scientist from Missouri State University said many of the incumbents would have drawn challengers regardless of their vote.

Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A proposal to impose an additional tax on millionaires is advancing in the Illinois Legislature.
 
A House committee voted 6-4 along party lines Thursday to approve Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan's proposed constitutional amendment. It would tack a 3 percent surcharge onto income over $1 million.
 
The measure now advances to the House floor.
 
Madigan says the tax would raise $1 billion a year for elementary and secondary education - about $550 per student.
 
Republicans say the tax unfairly penalizes Illinois' most successful residents.
 
The issue is expected to be a focal point in the race between Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner, a wealthy businessman.
 
The candidates present starkly contrasting visions of how to fix Illinois' lagging economy and improve state finances.
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has picked up a major labor endorsement for his re-election during a campaign that's already focused on union influence.
 
Service Employees International Union in Illinois said Monday it was backing the Chicago Democrat because of his stance on the minimum wage and integrity in Springfield.
 
Quinn faces what's expected to be a tough challenge from Republican businessman Bruce Rauner.
 
The Winnetka venture capitalist made fighting "government union bosses" a theme during the GOP primary. Unions also made the unusual move of endorsing a Republican in the primary: state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale.
 
Quinn has traditionally enjoyed union support. However, public employee unions disagreed with his signing of a pension overhaul that cuts benefits for state employees and retirees.
 
SEIU represents roughly 170,000 workers in Illinois.
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois' Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says he has no plans to campaign with the GOP state lawmaker hoping to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin in November.
 
Kirk told reporters Monday that he's going to be "protecting his relationship" with Durbin and won't launch "into a partisan jihad."
 
Durbin is the Senate's No. 2 Democrat.
 
State Sen. Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove won the GOP nomination last week. His family owns a chain of ice cream shops. Oberweis says his name recognition will help his U.S. Senate campaign. However, Oberweis has been under fire in the past, including for remarks about immigrants.
 
Kirk and Durbin have worked together and have had a public friendship, particularly after Kirk suffered a stroke in 2012.
Published in Local News
Thursday, 20 March 2014 03:52

Cunningham not running for STL County Exec

   Despite months of speculation and tweets this week indicating a big announcement, former Missouri State Senator Jane Cunningham says she's not going to run for St. Louis County Executive.  

   The West County Republican says the party has another candidate in mind, but declined to name names.  Cunningham says voters should expect an announcement on Monday.  

   There had been some criticism of a potential run by Cunningham, since she's only one year into a six-year term as director of the Monarch Fire Protection District and had promised constituents that she wouldn't leave the post early.  

   The GOP will formally nominate a candidate for County Executive in the August primary.

Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - The chief strategist behind Gov. Pat Quinn's re-election campaign calls the Chicago Democrat a tough "street fighter" who knows how to win elections.
   
Bill Hyers told reporters in a conference call Wednesday that the race will boil down to a "clear contrast" between Quinn and Republican nominee Bruce Rauner.
 
Hyers most recently managed Bill de Blasio's successful campaign for New York mayor. In 2012 he managed President Barack Obama's Pennsylvania campaign operations. He also was Midwest director for Obama in 2008.
 
Hyers says Quinn shouldn't be underestimated and is ready for a tough fight. He says those who've dismissed Quinn before have been wrong. Quinn narrowly won a first full term in 2010.
 
Quinn's campaign has focused on Rauner's wealth and changing stance on raising the minimum wage.
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Republicans spent the day after the Illinois primary stressing the need to work together to reclaim the governor's mansion in November.
 
New GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner told a group of party officials at a "March to Victory" luncheon in Chicago that "division doesn't help anything."
 
The Winnetka businessman says the party must effectively communicate that it cares for people from different backgrounds.
 
Rauner was the victor of a costly, four-way primary Tuesday. He'll face Gov. Pat Quinn in the November general election.
 
Illinois GOP party Chair Jack Dorgan says the party must expand and appeal to Democrats and independents in all races.
 
Democrats also held a party breakfast at the Billy Goat Tavern in downtown Chicago on Wednesday stressing party unity.
Published in Local News

 

GLEN ELLYN, Ill. (AP) - Republican primary voters are talking about wanting a shake-up in Springfield and say they believe they have a real chance of putting one of their own back in the governor's office.
 
The big issues, they say, are reversing the state's indebtedness and keeping businesses from leaving Illinois. Some are after term limits that they say would do away with "career politicians" too cozy with special interests and unions.
 
Joan Youhn of the western Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn is an 81-year-old retired medical biller who voted Tuesday for venture capitalist Bruce Rauner. Weighing on her mind, she says, is the economy because her architect son was out of work until recently.
 
She says Illinois needs more statesman-like politicians "who care about what they're doing, not just getting re-elected."
Published in Local News
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