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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

   SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she'll seek another term instead of running for governor next year.

   In a statement Monday, the Chicago Democrat says she considered mounting a challenge to Gov. Pat Quinn, a fellow Democrat, but decided to stay in her current job and to seek re-election.

   Madigan says one factor in her decision is that her father is the powerful speaker of the state House. She says the state would not be well-served with a governor and speaker from the same family.

   Madigan's exit leaves former White House chief of staff Bill Daley, who's formed an exploratory committee to challenge Quinn, and four Republicans. Illinois faces major financial challenges, including a $97 billion hole in its pension funding.

   Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she'll seek another term instead of running for governor next year.  In a statement Monday, the Democrat says she did consider mounting a challenge to Governor Pat Quinn, a fellow Democrat, but decided against it.  Madigan says one factor in her decision is that her father is the speaker of the state House. She says the state would not be well-served with a governor and speaker from the same family.

   The decision by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to seek re-election may have put a cramp into the plans of at least two Democratic politicians - state Sen. Kwame Raoul and Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon.

   Raoul has made clear he would make a bid for the attorney general's office if Madigan ran for governor.

   Raoul planned to ramp up his fundraising efforts after the close of the last Legislative session.

   Simon has long made it known her political future won't include re-election next year. However, she hasn't been clear on what office she might seek instead. Simon has touted her legal background.

 

Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Lawyers for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich have appealed his corruption convictions and 14-year sentence.

   Monday's filing with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago comes more than two years after the Chicago Democrat's retrial and 16 months after he entered a Colorado prison.

   Jurors convicted the 56 year old for wide-ranging corruption, including his bid to profit from his power to appoint someone to the state senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president.

 

   His lawyers filed the appeal less than an hour before a midnight deadline to do so.

 

   In June, defense attorneys citing the complicated issues involved received permission to file a longer-than-usual appeal.

 
Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says she's looking into whether Gov. Pat Quinn can legally cut lawmakers' pay.

   Quinn cut $13.8 million for legislators' paychecks from a budget bill Wednesday. He says it's the consequence for lawmakers failing to address the state's $97 billion pension shortfall.

   Topinka says questions have been raised about whether Quinn's actions are constitutional.

   A provision of the Illinois Constitution says changes in lawmaker salary should not take effect during the term in which they were elected.

   Topinka says she has requested a legal review. It should be complete before Aug. 1, when lawmakers are scheduled to receive their next paychecks.

   Quinn says a prior court ruling gives him the authority. He also says he's not changing their salary, just withholding the money to pay it.

 
Published in Local News

   O'FALLON, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois Army National Guard veteran and former sports journalist says he's running for a southern Illinois congressional seat.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Republican Doug Bucshon is seeking the 12th Congressional District seat held by Bill Enyart, a Democrat who was elected to his first term last November.

   A 20-year veteran of the state's National Guard, Bucshon has never held political office. Since retiring from active duty, he has covered University of Illinois basketball and football.

   The 12th District stretches from the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis to the state's southernmost tip.

   Enyart succeeded Democrat Jerry Costello, who retired after more than two decades in office.

 
Published in Local News

   EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The former chief circuit judge in Madison County, Illinois says she's running for Congress.

   Forty-eight year old Democrat Ann Callis announced her candidacy Tuesday for the state's 13th Congressional District seat now held by Rodney Davis. Davis is a Taylorville Republican who was narrowly elected to the House last November.

   Callis has been a judge since 1995 and resigned last Friday from her 7 year role as the county's chief circuit judge.

   The congressional district stretches across parts of central and southwestern Illinois.

   A Davis campaign spokesman says that in the partisan-divided district, "it's no surprise that the Washington Democrats have been attempting to recruit candidates from the moment Congressman Davis was elected last fall." Andrew Flach adds that Davis looks forward to debating the issues against any eventual opponent.

 

Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Former state Rep. Robin Kelly says she's still a little shocked to have won the Democratic nomination to replace former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.

She won over Democratic front runners former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson and Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale, who both called her to concede.

Kelly emerged early on as an anti-guns voice and her campaign got a boost when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's super PAC poured $2 million in ads supporting her and blasting Halvorson, who doesn't favor an assault weapons ban.

Halvorson says big money won the race.

But Kelly says no one complains when the National Rifle Association pours money into races. She says she had a good team that worked hard on the ground.

Meanwhile, the race among Republicans to replace former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is too close to call.

Chicago resident Paul McKinley was leading fellow Republican Eric Wallace by about two dozen votes as of late Tuesday night. But with a handful of precincts outstanding, no winner was declared.

But regardless of the outcome, the winner will enter the April 9 general election with a huge disadvantage.

The 2nd Congressional District is heavily Democratic, and no Republican has won the Chicago-area seat in more than 50 years.

McKinley is a political newcomer. Wallace founded a Christian publishing company and ran an unsuccessful campaign for Illinois Senate in 2006.

Jackson resigned in November. He pleaded guilty earlier this month to spending about $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.
Published in Local News
Monday, 25 February 2013 00:43

IL Latino leaders advocate for gay marriage

CHICAGO (AP) - A group of prominent Latino leaders say legalizing gay marriage in Illinois would strengthen families and is "the right thing to do."

In an open letter to lawmakers Sunday, 23 Latino leaders say all families deserve to be treated with respect.

Among those signing the letter are former Chicago City Clerk Miguel Del Valle and Sylvia Puente, executive director of the Latino Policy Forum.

The Illinois Senate approved a bill earlier this month that would end the state's ban on same-sex marriage. A House committee is expected to consider it Tuesday.

If it passes the House Gov. Pat Quinn has said he will sign the legislation, making Illinois the 10th state where same-sex couples may marry.

Opponents say the proposal endangers religious freedom and diminishes the sanctity of marriage.
Published in Local News
WASHINGTON (AP) - Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandra, will appear in federal court today to answer criminal charges in an alleged scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.

Both have agreed to plead guilty in deals with federal prosecutors. Jackson is charged with conspiracy and his wife with one count of filing false joint federal income tax returns for the years 2006 through 2011 that knowingly understated the income the couple received.
Published in National News
Thursday, 14 February 2013 03:38

IL Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon won't seek re-election

SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says she won't seek re-election next year but is weighing her options when it comes to seeking another public office.

She declined to give details, but she spent much of a news conference yesterday playing up her legal and financial experience.

Political experts say the move points toward exploring a run for attorney general or another statewide office and would allow for Simon to raise campaign funds separately from Gov. Pat Quinn, who's seen his approval rating dip.

It would also allow Simon to see who else is running.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan said yesterday that she hasn't decided yet on a 2014 gubernatorial run.

Simon told Quinn her decision in December. She said that in a few months she'll make another announcement about her future plans.
Published in Local News
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