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Metra Scandal

The Best Illinois GIF Gallery of 2013!

Madison Bondi | Posted 03.17.2014 | Chicago
Madison Bondi

2013 was an exciting, awkward, frustrating, and confusing year in Illinois. Join us as we take a look back at some of the most memorable highlights fr...

My Top Quotes in Illinois

Madison Bondi | Posted 10.28.2013 | Chicago
Madison Bondi

Only at the Illinois State Fair can you find corn dogs, politicians, and a 500-lb cow made of butter, all in the same place. Needless to say, it has been an exciting couple of weeks in Illinois, from our heated income tax debate to more messy Metra news, I don't know where to start!

What Metra and Transit Agency Improvements Will We Achieve?

Madeleine Doubek | Posted 10.20.2013 | Chicago
Madeleine Doubek

With news of another group looking at fixing our transit oversight in Illinois, we wonder what will be the legacy of the Metra Memogate? What will we have accomplished?

Metra's Memogate Is Bringing Us Results

Madeleine Doubek | Posted 10.20.2013 | Chicago
Madeleine Doubek

It takes commitment and care. It takes persistence, day after day after day after day. If we all do that, we will see more success. Metra's Memogate could just be the start of something really big: an activated citizenry.

State Rep. Jack Franks: Maybe Clifford Broke the Law?

Madeleine Doubek | Posted 10.19.2013 | Chicago
Madeleine Doubek

Ex-Metra CEO Alex Clifford might have had a duty to report to authorities the pressure he felt from House Speaker Michael Madigan and others to promote and hire certain workers. Madigan writes laws and doesn't break them.

Bruce Rauner: I'm Ready to Fight Unions

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 10.14.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Illinois has never seen a candidate for governor like Republican hopeful Bruce Rauner. The Chicago venture capitalist has nearly endless wealth he could put into his campaign. He has no experience in elected office.

Does the Whole World Think Illinois Is Crazy?

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 10.13.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Illinoisans have learned to weather a certain amount of scorn from the national media about our government's dysfunction. This week, though, the criticism goes international.

Metra's Memogate Is Bringing Us Results

Madeleine Doubek | Posted 10.08.2013 | Chicago
Madeleine Doubek

That any public, tax-funded body's members believed offering such severance was acceptable is outrageous. The secrecy directors clung to in trying to get through the mess is offensive and a prime example of how not to conduct the public's business.

Metra chairman resigns: No politics here, he says

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 10.02.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

METRA CONTINUED The Metra board chairman portrayed by former CEO Alex Clifford as a pawn of House Speaker Michael Madigan resigned on Thursday. Cliffo...

Where is Quinn's amendatory veto pen when we need it?

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 10.01.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

VETO PEN Three weeks ago Gov. Pat Quinn used his amendatory veto power to eliminate funding for lawmaker salaries after they failed to meet his July 9...

2014: Daley officially in for governor

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 09.29.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

DALEY OFFICIALLY IN Maybe it was a foregone conclusion, but Bill Daley today made his run for governor official, filing paperwork with the Illinois St...

When Who You Know Just Won't Work

Madeleine Doubek | Posted 09.28.2013 | Chicago
Madeleine Doubek

Taxpayers who are footing the bills want to know and trust that people are being hired on skill and merit, period. That they're being given promotions based on performance. And too often in Illinois government it does work that way.

Yet Another New Twist In The Metra Patronage Scandal

2012-03-30-BGA.jpg | Alden Loury/BGA | Posted 07.29.2013 | Chicago

This story is courtesy of the Better Government Association: Why did the heir apparent to ousted Metra CEO Alex Clifford give $1,000 to Toni Preckw...

Quinn's lawmaker salary veto: Playing with fire?

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 09.28.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

SALARY VETO AS STRATEGY This week Illinois lawmakers will miss their first monthly paycheck after Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed their salaries after their fai...

Deb Mell Is a Qualified Candidate Chosen Through a Corrupted Process

Madeleine Doubek | Posted 07.25.2013 | Chicago
Madeleine Doubek

State Rep and soon-to-be Alderman Deb Mell is, by all accounts, qualified for the job she is about to assume. She seems to have done good work in Spri...

Madigan Ally In Metra Patronage Scandal Was Getting Big Pension

Posted 07.26.2013 | Chicago

It turns out the man at the center of the Metra patronage scandal was receiving a sizable city pension at the same time he asked House Speaker Mike Ma...

More patronage outrage from Metra scandal

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 09.25.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

METRA OUTRAGE CONTINUES It turns out that the Metra employee for whom House Speaker Michael Madigan was trying to obtain a raise was already collectin...

Income tax debate takes center stage

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 09.24.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

SPOTLIGHT ON INCOME TAX Jan. 1, 2015, is D-Day for Illinois' income tax. That's when most of the 2011 temporary income tax increase expires, dropping ...

What's in Illinois' income tax future?

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 09.22.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

TAX TALK Illinois lawmakers face some tough choices about our state income tax. In 2011, they raised the income tax from 3 to 5 percent for four years...

Where to Begin on Metra Mess -- And Where Will It End?

Madeleine Doubek | Posted 09.21.2013 | Chicago
Madeleine Doubek

This Metra mess is wrong on so many different levels, it's hard to know where it will end or where to begin.

Did Madigan break laws? In Metra scandal, that's not the issue

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 09.21.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Let's be clear on thing regarding House Speaker Michael Madigan's role in the Metra scandal: he probably didn't break any laws. As State Rep. Jack Fr...

Madigan, Metra and clout culture: "Legal" doesn't mean "correct"

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 09.21.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

LEGAL VS. RIGHT Whether House Speaker Michael Madigan broke any laws in trying to obtain a raise for a political donor at Metra is all but irrelevant....

Rep. Franks: Maybe Metra's Clifford broke law?

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 09.18.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

IT'S ALL IN THE BERRIOS FAMILY CIRCLE Cook County taxpayers got dinged this week by county Assessor Joe Berrios as they will foot the $500,000 bill fo...

Ex Metra CEO: Speaker Madigan has "moral character flaw"

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 09.17.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

WHO'S GOT THE "MORAL CHARACTER FLAW?" Ex Metra CEO Alex Clifford says House Speaker Michael Madigan has that big character deficit. Wait, who? Only hi...

Metra scandal: Clout, connections, family ties

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 09.16.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

METRA AND THE MADIGANS With a $718,000 buyout that required the recipient never to divulge why he was being bought out, the Metra scandal already cont...