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Illinois Politics

Illinois Poll Shows Strong Opposition to Fracking

Will Reynolds | Posted 04.06.2015 | Chicago
Will Reynolds

As the poll shows, many voters are looking for leaders who offer more than empty assurances that regulation will make fracking safe or provide good jobs.

Reports: Ex-U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Released From Prison

Reuters | Posted 03.26.2015 | Politics

March 26 (Reuters) - Former U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. was released from an Alabama prison on Thursday after serving time for misusing ab...

America's Fracking Mayor: Rahm Emanuel

Will Reynolds | Posted 03.18.2015 | Chicago
Will Reynolds

When Rahm Emanuel became mayor, the city of Chicago was making lists of top green cities in America. During the election he pledged support to a community movement aimed at closing the polluting Fisk & Crawford coal plants.

Poll: Voters Sour Further on Rauner

David Ormsby | Posted 03.18.2015 | Chicago
David Ormsby

Shortly after his election, Bruce Rauner warned that "tough" decisions needed to be made to fix Illinois and that he would likely not be "Mr. Popularity" for a while. That prediction continues to be prescient.

Rauner Funding Cut to Preschool for HIV/AIDS-Affected Kids Promises Political Fight

David Ormsby | Posted 03.10.2015 | Chicago
David Ormsby

Insiders were struck by the political tone-deafness of the cut, given the charged history of the well-regarded nonprofit and its 13-year struggle to cling to the funding for its preschool and specialized nursing care for ill children.

Dominick Cleans Up Cicero Legal Woes, Creates Business Boom

David Ormsby | Posted 03.06.2015 | Chicago
David Ormsby

During the reign of incumbent Town President Larry Dominick, the notorious Cook County suburb has shed much the inefficient bureaucratic bloat that at times made the town ungovernable and ripe for corruption.

Sam Levine

Public Unions Sue Illinois Governor Over Blocking 'Fair Share' Fees

HuffingtonPost.com | Sam Levine | Posted 03.05.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Illinois public employee unions struck back Thursday, filing a lawsuit to block Gov. Bruce Rauner's attempt to prevent them from collect...

K-12, Higher Education Worlds Must Collide to Improve Student Outcomes

Douglas D. Baker | Posted 04.26.2015 | College
Douglas D. Baker

We believe that budget discussions should consider the growing role that institutions like ours play in educating our young people, long before freshmen check into their residence hall rooms for fall semester.

Former Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh Claims He's 'Seriously Considering' A Senate Run

The Huffington Post | Samantha Lachman | Posted 02.17.2015 | Politics

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) doesn't appear to be content with fading graciously into obscurity after failing to return to Congress for a second ter...

Poll: Gov. Bruce Rauner's Approval Rating Tumbles

David Ormsby | Posted 04.17.2015 | Chicago
David Ormsby

Polls may confirm the angst that some GOP lawmakers are feeling about the governor's full-throated attack on the unions, fearing that slippage of Rauner's approval rating could hit their own numbers, particularly those labor-friendly Republican legislators who may be forced to vote for anti-labor initiatives.

Poll: Jeb Bush Trails Badly Among Illinois GOP Voters

David Ormsby | Posted 04.15.2015 | Chicago
David Ormsby

Whatever "momentum" Bush has among the moneyed crowd is offset by the commanding lead Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has among Illinois Republican primary voters, according to a new poll commissioned by The Illinois Observer's e-newsletter, The Insider.

Is Bruce Rauner Sneaking a Tax Increase Past Illinois Voters?

John A. Tures | Posted 04.19.2015 | Politics
John A. Tures

When Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was elected in 2014, he ran on an anti-tax platform. But is he trying to sneak a tax increase past voters that he never called for in last year's campaign?

Industry Campaign Contributions Should Disqualify Rauner's Pick for Natural Resources Director

Will Reynolds | Posted 03.17.2015 | Chicago
Will Reynolds

Foresight Energy also gave $10,000 to Rauner's campaign fund and was a top inauguration sponsor giving up to $100,000. It's looking like business as usual in the new administration.

Governor Rauner's Environment & Energy Adviser Represents Many of Illinois' Worst Polluters

Will Reynolds | Posted 03.18.2015 | Chicago
Will Reynolds

Rauner distinguished himself among Republicans during the campaign by acknowledging the scientific reality of climate change. Yet, Rauner's report includes more than a dozen calls for changing the business climate while making no mention of addressing the global climate crisis.

Big Mess Awaits New Governor

Reuters | Posted 03.14.2015 | Politics

By Karen Pierog CHICAGO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Illinois' new governor, Bruce Rauner, will begin tackling perhaps the biggest fiscal mess ...

Incoming Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Faces Big Challenges

AP | SARA BURNETT | Posted 01.06.2015 | Politics

CHICAGO (AP) -- Bruce Rauner became a Republican rock star when he unseated a Democratic governor in left-leaning Illinois, pledging to run Barack Oba...

Can Illinois Learn From New York's Victory Against Fracking?

Will Reynolds | Posted 03.07.2015 | Chicago
Will Reynolds

Illinois environmentalists are cheering the spectacular success of the movement to ban fracking in New York. The victory is justifiably spurring reflection on how it was done. What happened in New York that Illinois environmentalists can learn from?

5 Things You Need to Know About Illinois New Eavesdropping Law

Dan Johnson | Posted 02.16.2015 | Politics
Dan Johnson

There has been a flurry of information about SB 1342, a pending rewrite of Illinois eavesdropping statutes. Some say it will punish ordinary citizens who record the police. Here's what you need to know about SB 1342 as it awaits the governor's signature.

Remembering One Of The Gay Rights Movement's Most Exuberant GOP Supporters

The Huffington Post | Joseph Erbentraut | Posted 12.11.2014 | Gay Voices

As Illinois continues to mourn the passing of comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, one of the state’s most universally admired elected officials, a key fa...

One Idea, Many Consequences

Henryk A. Kowalczyk | Posted 02.08.2015 | Chicago
Henryk A. Kowalczyk

Preparing to take office in January, Bruce Rauner has turned to Illinoisans for ideas. People providing ideas are asked to allocate them to one of the 88 state agencies. The Department of Aging, being the first on the list, caught my attention.

Profile in Cowardice: Senator Don Harmon Fracks Illinois

Will Reynolds | Posted 01.13.2015 | Chicago
Will Reynolds

The Illinois fracking law was negotiated by lobbyists behind closed doors with no southern Illinois environmentalists invited. The rules were finished the same way, but this time even the pro-regulation statehouse green groups were shut outside.

Illinois Governor's Race: Every Vote Should Be Counted, and Recounted, Perhaps

Lonna Saunders | Posted 01.07.2015 | Chicago
Lonna Saunders

With many ballots yet to be counted, Quinn trails by around 165,000 votes out of perhaps 4 million cast. That vote total, is an educated guess, by me, because no one really knows yet.

Bruce Rauner's Victory: A Break From the Recent Past in Illinois?

Keith Koeneman | Posted 01.05.2015 | Chicago
Keith Koeneman

In April of this year, Gallup released the results of a national survey in which Illinois was ranked as the state with the highest percentage of residents who believe it is the worst place to live in the United States. Infamy of this sort is not easily earned, but instead accrues over decades.

Where Character Counts, Win With Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn

Lonna Saunders | Posted 12.29.2014 | Chicago
Lonna Saunders

Even in law school, Pat Quinn was concerned about those "living from paycheck to paycheck." Families who can't afford to miss a paycheck to make the mortgage or rent payment, put food on the table, keep the lights on, the home fires burning. And he never stopped reminding us of this.

Congressional Candidate Jokes About His Dog Killing

The Huffington Post | Michael McAuliff | Posted 10.24.2014 | Politics

The Illinois congressional candidate who once killed a beagle that bit his daughter is not happy the story resurfaced after all these years, but he wa...