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   Politics makes strange bedfellows, and that's certainly the case in the Illinois Governor's race.  

   Former East St. Louis mayor Carl Officer tells the Belleville News-Democrat that he's formed a SuperPAC to support Republican Bruce Rauner's challenge to Democratic Governor Pat Quinn. The group is called Democrats and Independents for Rauner.  

   SuperPACs emerged in 2010 and can raise and spend unlimited funds to campaign for or against candidates as long as the PAC doesn't coordinate their efforts with the candidates themselves.  

   Officer tells the paper he expects criticism from fellow Democrats, but he believes the state needs a totally different approach if everyone is to have a chance at the American Dream. 

Published in Local News
   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is set to present his state budget at a time when Illinois faces an expiring income tax increase and the massive budget shortfall that comes with it.
   The Wednesday speech also falls at the start of what's expected to be one of the toughest gubernatorial campaigns nationwide. Quinn's Republican challenger, businessman Bruce Rauner, has already blasted Quinn for a lack of leadership.
   However, Quinn says he has a five-year plan for Illinois' spending.
   The state's income tax increase expires in January, creating a roughly $1.6 billion hole. Illinois also has billions in unpaid bills.
   Quinn could propose extending the increase, which Republicans say they'll fight. He could also allow it to sunset and back other revenue-generating taxes. Or he could leave it up to the Legislature.
 
Published in Local News
   CHICAGO (AP) - A reform group wants to put the issue of how Illinois draws political boundaries on November's ballot.
   The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that the Yes! for Independent Maps campaign has proposed creating a bipartisan commission to draw districts, which would take the power away from lawmakers. The campaign needs to collect roughly 300,000 signatures before May 4, but organizers say they hope to get more.
   The remapping process has been under heavy scrutiny.
   Every decade, Illinois redraws political maps based on population. However, questions have been raised about lawmaker involvement, including criticism that the process is used to protect incumbents.
   Democrats led the remap in 2011 because they control both chambers and the governor's office. But Republicans sued and federal judges characterized the remap as a "blatant political move."
 
Published in Local News
   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is questioning his Republican gubernatorial rival's ethics, wealth and stance on minimum wage during his re-election bid.
   The Chicago Democrat raised the issues in a story published in Sunday's Chicago Sun-Times.
   Quinn has already tried to differentiate himself from businessman Bruce Rauner by playing up the venture capitalist's wealth and views on minimum wage. Quinn wants to raise Illinois' rate. Rauner initially said he wanted to cut the rate, later saying he'd raise it under certain circumstances.
   Now Quinn is raising questions about Rauner's business dealings and possible links to Stuart Levine, who was convicted in former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's corruption scandal.
   Rauner's campaign says Quinn is playing "political games" and blasts his signing of a pension overhaul cutting benefits for state employees and retirees.
 
Published in Local News
   The votes are in, and billionaire businessman Bruce Rauner has won the GOP nomination for Illinois governor.  Rauner overcame a late surge from State Senator Kirk Dillard to capture the nomination.  State Senator Bill Brady and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford had conceded defeat shortly after the polls closed.  
   If elected in November, Rauner has said he'll model his administration after Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker, who championed anti-union legislation. 
   As expected, Rauner willl face incumbent Governor Pat Quinn who easily won the Democratic nomination over challenger Tio Hardiman.
   There were no real surprises in any of the local races Tuesday.
   U.S. Representative Rodney Davis turned back a nationally watched GOP challenge from former Miss America Erika Harold to remain his party's pick for the District 13 congressional seat.  The Taylorville Republican now faces a November showdown with former Madison County Judge Ann Callis in a race that's being heavily targeted by the National Democratic Party.  Callis defeated George Gollin and David Green for the Democratic nod.
 
   There were several other primary races for congressional seats:  
   In District 3, Sharon Brannigan took the Republican nomination over Diane Harris.
   In District 4, incumbent Democrat Luis Gutierrez easily beat challengers Alexandra Eidenberg and Jorge Zavala to retain the party's nomination.
   In District 8, Republican voters overwhelmingly picked Larry Kaifesh over Manju Goel.
   In District 9, Susanne Atanus edged David Earl Williams for the GOP nod.
   In District 11, Darlene Senger defeated three candidates for the Republican nomination, including strong challenges from Chris Balkema and Bert Miller. 
   In District 14, Democrat Dennis Anderson bested John Hosta for the nomination.
   In District 16, incumbent Republican Adam Kinzinger easily overcame a challenge from David Hale.
   In District 18, Darrel Miller won the Democratic nomination over Rob Mellon.
 
   Tom Cross defeated Bob Grogan for the GOP nomination for State Treasurer. Cross will take on Democratic state Sen. Michael Frerichs of Champaign in the November general election.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's re-election campaign is getting an out-of-state boost.
   The Chicago Democrat flew to Los Angeles on Friday for a fundraiser attended by actors and others in the movie industry.
   Quinn campaign spokeswoman Leslie Wertheimer confirmed Monday that Quinn was in Los Angeles for the fundraiser. She said a similar one was thrown in his honor in 2013.
   The Chicago Sun-Times reported those in attendance included actor Joe Mantegna of CBS' "Criminal Minds."
   Quinn has kept a low-profile on the campaign trail so far. He faces one lesser-known Democratic challenger on March 18. Activist Tio Hardiman of suburban Hillside is running.
   Four Republicans are running for Illinois governor. They are state Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady, business man Bruce Rauner and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford.
 
Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has removed a Facebook post that erroneously claimed a GOP leader had told the president, "I can't even stand to look at you."

   Durbin said Monday he's satisfied that that people now know he's not to blame for the mistake.

   The decision resolves a point of tension between the White House and one of President Barack Obama's most loyal defenders. The White House acknowledges the error stemmed from a "miscommunication."

   Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, was not at the meeting where the statement in question would have been made. He says his source was a White House staffer who briefed him.

   The post drew rebukes from Republicans who said no such statement was made.

 
Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - State Sen. Jim Oberweis says he's gathering petition signatures to make a bid for the U.S. Senate.

   The Republican from Sugar Grove made the comments Wednesday at a Springfield rally for opponents of same-sex marriage. He says he wants to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. Oberweis is a dairy magnate who has made numerous bids for office before.

   He made previous unsuccessful attempts for U.S. Senate in 2002 and 2004. He also ran and lost in the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary, and a congressional bid in 2008. He won a seat to the state Senate last November.

   Downers Grove businessman Doug Truax and Kane County Regional School board member Chad Koppie are also making primary bids.

 
Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Republican gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Kirk Dillard has chosen state Rep. Jil Tracy as his running mate.

   Dillard announced his lieutenant governor pick late Monday on Instagram with a video message.

   Tracy is a Quincy Republican who first took office in 2006 and is a member of the bipartisan pension panel tasked with trying to find a solution to Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension problem.

   Dillard is set to make the announcement official Tuesday with a statewide tour, including stops in Quincy, Springfield and Rockford. Tuesday is the first day candidate petitions can be circulated

   It's the first year lieutenant governor candidates will run with governor candidates on the same ticket.

   Also Monday, Treasurer Dan Rutherford announced his running mate is Chicago attorney Steve Kim.

   

 
Published in Local News
Monday, 19 August 2013 02:03

Gov. signs in tougher new IL gun laws

   CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois gun owners who fail to report the theft or loss of a weapon will face tougher restrictions under a new law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn.

   The law beefs up background checks and requires firearm thefts or losses to be reported within 72 hours.

   Quinn signed the bill Sunday at a South Side Chicago park where police officer was fatally shot in 2010. The Chicago Democrat says the restrictions are common sense and will help crack down on crime.

   Democrats State Sen. Kwame Raoul and state Rep. Mike Zalewski sponsored the bill.  It's also supported by Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy.

   The requirement to report thefts goes into effect immediately. The background check changes start next year.

 

 
Published in Local News
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