election 2016

13th Congressional District
U.S. Department of the Interior / Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

A central-Illinois physician has lost another round in his fight to become an independent candidate for Congress.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner has donated $16 million of his fortune to help elect Republican candidates. But he also says he's not really involved in the election. Huh?

A conservative-backed organization says it will continue efforts to topple the Illinois law limiting campaign contributions, after a judge ruled the law constitutional.

The law caps how much individuals, corporations, and political action committees can give.

Committees controlled by the legislative leaders are subject to caps too, but only in the primary. There's no limit on what they can give to candidates during the general election.

Liberty Justice Center attorney Jacob Huebert says the law is set up to help the leaders maintain power.

Amanda Vinicky

The November election will determine if the balance of power in Illinois politics tips in a direction that will help Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner carry out his agenda or whether Democrats will maintain enough seats to stand in his way. Even with that at stake, Rauner is professing a hands-off approach.

Before he was governor, Rauner was a private equity investor. He became rich by keeping a sharp eye on his investments.

But Rauner says he is not taking the same approach to politics.

Google Maps

A divided Illinois Supreme Court is sticking by its decision on redistricting.

The Independent Maps group spent millions of dollars pushing a plan it promised would do away with gerrymandering - if voters approved in the upcoming election. Supporters collected some 563,000 signatures from Illinois voters to put the question on the ballot. Independent Maps wants to change the Illinois Constitution so a commission would draw district boundaries, rather than legislators themselves.

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NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS  cordially invites you to to join our political team; Amanda Vinicky, Brian Mackey, and Jamey Dunn; to watch the first presidential debate Balen's Bar & Grill Monday, September 26.  

  A state senator who staved off a primary fight is now also free from a complaint that he misused campaign contributions but perhaps he’s not free for long. 

Members of the same political parties generally stick up for each other, like family. Not so for GOP Senator Sam McCann. He was challenged in the primary by a candidate, state trooper Bryce Benton, well-financed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

  Advocates for changing how Illinois’ legislative districts are drawn are not done yet, there’s continuing fallout from the ongoing unnatural disaster known as the Illinois budget, and Chicago violence hits a grim milestone.

John Bradley soft on crime ad
screen capture / Friends of John Bradley

In an era of political gridlock, one of the few topics on which there's been hope of bipartisan cooperation is on the issues of crime and punishment.

Politicians have traditionally been averse to doing anything that could get them painted as being "soft on crime."

It's an easy attack, and one that's been frequently deployed in the past. But this year, criminal justice reform advocates are fighting back.

The candidates vying to be Illinois comptroller are at odds over whether the office should even continue to exist.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Supreme Court has rejected an attempt to change the way Illinois' legislative districts are drawn.

Gill campaign

A Bloomington man running for Congress has successfully sued to keep his name on the ballot.

David Gill is running as an independent, and failed to file the number of valid signatures required by Illinois law.

That number is much higher than it would be if he were running as a Democrat or Republican, and a federal judge on Thursday ruled that Gill must remain on the ballot.

I Voted sticker roll
Wikimedia

Illinois voters go to the polls on November 8, but they won't official cast the votes for the next President. Both state parties have decided the handful of people who will have that privilege.

WUIS/Illinois Issues

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk has gained an endorsement in his bid for re-election. It could help him win crucial votes from suburban moderates, but it might also frustrate an important part of the Republican electorate.

albatross
Michael Sale / Flickr.com/michaelsale (cc-by-nc)

Republicans and Democrats gathered in Springfield this week for party meetings and rallies at the Illinois State Fair. Republicans mostly avoided mentioning presidential nominee Donald Trump, preferring to focus on Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. Democrats, meanwhile, were happy to embrace Madigan, and tried to tie Republicans into an embrace of Trump, too. Both parties are hoping the other side's top politicians will become an albatross around the necks of down-ballot candidates.

John Cullerton, Bruce Rauner and Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Can Democrats convince voters to see Donald Trump as an albatross around the neck of Illinois Republicans?

Amanda Vinicky

Speculation continues to swirl over who Democrats will put up to challenge Gov. Bruce Rauner in two years.

Bruce Rauner at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

In just a few years, one man has transformed the Illinois Republican Party from a perennial also-ran into a serious contender. Bruce Rauner been an agenda-setter, a shot-caller, and a rainmaker. And his party’s true believers couldn’t be happier.

Amanda Vinicky

Support for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump remains tepid among leaders of the Illinois Republican Party.

Speaker Madigan Sued By Primary Opponent

Aug 8, 2016
Jason Gonzales campaign website

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's failed primary opponent is suing over what he says amounts to defamation.

Leading up to the March primary, Madigan made a campaign issue of Jason Gonzales's past criminal record --- crimes for which Gonzales had been pardoned, by former Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

Gonzales is also complaining about two other "false" candidates with Hispanic surnames who were on the ballot for the Democratic nomination. He says they were recruited by Madigan and his affiliates to crowd the ballot and split the Latino vote.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Donald Trump continues causing headaches for down-ballot Republicans. Meanwhile, state legislators are already airing TV ads, and a conservative group sues to block same-day voter registration.

Steve Brown

 As Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, House Speaker Michael Madigan ran the show for Illinois’ delegation last week at the Democratic National Convention.

Madigan took some time before the convention wrapped up to sit down in Philadelphia with Illinois Public Radio Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky and WBBM radio's Craig Dellimore.

They touch on everything from term limits to Donald Trump, to the state budget and the November election. 

Durbin with reporters at the DNC in Philadelphia
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois Democrats joined fellow party members in Philadelphia Monday for the Democratic National Convention. But state politics, not the national scene, was the focus of the delegation’s first official day of business.

Amanda Vinicky

Republicans had their turn last week in Cleveland; now it’s Democrats turn. Illinois’ delegates to the Democratic National Convention are in Philadelphia, where they’re set to nominate Hillary Clinton for President.

Trump and Rauner
Trump by Michael Vadon / Flickr, Rauner by Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner may be done with the presidential campaign, but the presidential campaign isn’t done with Gov. Rauner.

Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Monday night's headline speech at the Republican National Convention by Donald Trump’s wife was supposed to exhibit the presumptive Republican nominee’s compassionate, fatherly side. Instead, it’s been a distraction, including for the Illinois delegation.

The political strategist who helped Trump take Illinois’ primary stopped by the morning state delegation breakfast, but reporters didn’t want to talk to him how Trump could win the general election.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy of California and former Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady at the Republican National Convention.
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

A key player in the attempt to supplant Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president says the fight is over for good.

Leading up to the Republican National Convention, Pat Brady was actively working to change the party’s rules, so that someone other than Trump could grab the nomination. Just a few years ago, he was chair of the Illinois GOP; he says Trump isn't a Republican when it comes to the party’s core issues, like free trade, national defense and economics.

Illinois Republican National Committeewoman Demetra Demonte and state party chairman Tim Schneider on the floor for the first night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois Republican leaders are trying to show a united front, and to build a bridge between two islands: that of party mainstays and Donald Trump-invigorated newcomers.

Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

 An Illinois delegation that’s a mix of political newcomers, elected officials, lobbyists and the like have arrived in Cleveland, as the Republican National Convention gets underway.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was in Springfield, Ill., Wednesday where she sought to use the symbolism of a historic landmark to draw parallels to a present-day America that is in need of repairing deepening racial and cultural divides.

The Old State Capitol — where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous "A house divided" speech in 1858 warning against the ills of slavery and where Barack Obama launched his presidential bid in 2007 — served as the backdrop for Clinton as she spoke of how "America's long struggle with race is far from finished."

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