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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
   CHICAGO (AP) - Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and Democratic congressman Danny Davis say they want an end to federal government price protections for sugar farmers.
   The Farm Bill that passed this month leaves intact the government's depression-era program, which supports prices and protects growers from foreign competition.
   Candy makers and other food and beverage companies long have said the protections artificially restrict supplies, force consumers to pay more and only benefit a few thousand well-off growers.
   The two Illinois lawmakers are held a news conference Sunday to highlight their efforts. They were joined Sunday by Bill Kelley, vice chairman of Jelly Belly.
   They say 130,000 U.S. jobs have been lost to overseas competitors over the past 15 years because of the sugar program.
 
Published in Local News
ALTON, Ill. (AP) - Members of Illinois' congressional delegation want the Army Corps of Engineers to use some of the funding included in a spending bill to fix portions of a Mississippi River levee.
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, and Republican congressmen Rodney Davis and John Shimkus made the request in a letter also signed by Democratic Rep. Bill Enyart.
In correspondence to Jo-Ellen Darcy, a top Army Corps official, the delegation asks that the corps make fixing the Wood River levee northeast of St. Louis near Alton a priority.
Calling the problem "critical," the lawmakers say the river barrier was negatively affected by a design deficiency in the construction of the Melvin Price Lock and Dam near Alton.
 
Published in Local News

   WASHINGTON (AP) - Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk took to the U.S. Senate floor for the first time since suffering a stroke to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

   The bill would prohibit workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

   Seated at a desk, Kirk said it was especially important for an Illinois Republican to speak out for the legislation in the tradition of Everett Dirksen and Abraham Lincoln. Kirk hadn't taken the Senate floor since suffering a stroke in January 2012.

   Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race and national origin. But it doesn't stop an employer from firing or refusing to hire workers because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

   All of the Senate Democratic majority and at least five Republicans are expected to vote for the bill.

 
Published in Local News

   QUAD CITIES, Ill. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is advocating for the U.S. to launch a missile strike at the Syrian regime which is believed to have used chemical weapons on civilians.

   The Quad City Times reports that Kirk made the comments Monday while visiting the Rock Island Arsenal.

   Kirk opposes extending "boots on the ground" U.S. military involvement in Syria. He likened an air strike to the 1998 attack on Iraq aimed at curbing weapons of mass destruction. Kirk is a Highland Park Republican and a recently retired Naval intelligence officer.

   Secretary of State John Kerry has decried what he called Syria's "indiscriminate slaughter of civilians," but hasn't indicated whether the U.S. will take action. Syrian President Bashar Assad has denied launching a chemical attack.

 
Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Gay rights advocates say Sen. Mark Kirk's announcement that he supports gay marriage is "a sign of progress."

Kirk posted a statement on his blog Tuesday saying same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. He says what matters in life is who you love and "government has no place in the middle."

He is the second Republican in the U.S. Senate to back same-sex marriage.

Rick Garcia is director of the Equal Marriage Illinois Project. He says momentum is growing for marriage equality, especially among Republicans.

Opponents like Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute disagree. Higgins says Kirk and other Republicans who back gay marriage are contributing to the destruction of marriage and diminished religious liberty.

Published in Local News

 CHICAGO (AP) - Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois says he supports same-sex marriage.

<br><br>

   Kirk said in a post on his blog Tuesday that same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. He says what matters in life is who you love and "government has no place in the middle."

<br><br>

   Kirk previously voted to end the policy barring gays from openly serving in the military, known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." He's a lead co-sponsor of a bill to ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, and has opposed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

<br><br>

   Kirk is Illinois' ranking Republican lawmaker.

 

Published in Local News

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