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Springfield Mayor Mike Houston will make a campaign announcement Monday morning.  While his release did not say specifically that he will run for another term, the release included this quote, "With so many evolving projects, there's too high of an investment to get off course or to go backwards. Springfield can't afford to make the mistakes again I've worked so hard to correct."  His announcement is at 10:30 a.m.

Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says he doesn't agree with proposals in Illinois to impose term limits on elected officials.

Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner is pushing a voter initiative to limit state lawmakers. This week, the Republican leaders of the
Illinois House and Senate backed an amendment to the state's constitution that'll limit statewide officers to two terms. The officers include the governor
and comptroller.

flickr/dborman

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican gubernatorial challenger Bruce Rauner have filed their latest campaign reports with the state.  

Rauner on Tuesday announced he raised more than $9 million in the first three months of the year.  
Quinn says he raised $5 million in the first quarter, much of it from labor unions. He spent little of it defeat a little-known challenger in last month's Democratic primary.  Quinn finished the quarter with $8.8 million in his campaign fund.  

Sen. Dick Durbin
Hannah Meisel / WUIS

It's been a few years since Congressional "earmarks" were eliminated from federal transportation spending. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says it's time to bring them back.

Earmarks have a bad name — remember the "bridge to nowhere," a plan to spend nearly $400 million on a bridge to an island in Alaska with 50 residents?

Durbin says earmarks should have been reformed, not eliminated. He says legislators are in touch with the transportation needs of their districts and states.

NPR

Illinois' Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says he has no plans to campaign with the GOP state lawmaker hoping to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick
Durbin in November.
 
On election night, Kirk said he'd support the GOP nominee. Still, he told reporters Monday he's going to be ``protecting his relationship'' with Durbin
and won't launch ``into a partisan jihad.''
 
Durbin is the Senate's No. 2 Democrat.
 
State Sen. Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove won the GOP nomination last week. His

Tio Hardiman Considers Write-In Campaign For Governor

Mar 20, 2014
Tio Hardiman campaign

Anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman says he actually feels pretty good about his loss to incumbent Pat Quinn in Hardiman’s first try to become the governor of Illinois.

Quinn was the expected winner in the primary race Tuesday, but Hardiman says he’s proud that he was able to pull in more than 28 percent of the vote.

But that doesn’t mean he was comfortable with the results.

An advocacy group supporting gay and lesbian causes in Illinois is bolstering the campaign funds of two Republican lawmakers.
 
Equality Illinois' political action committee says it plans to put $150,000 into the campaigns of candidates that support same-sex marriage before Tuesday's primary.
 
That includes state Reps. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove and Ed Sullivan of Mundelein _ two of three GOP members of the House to vote to legalize same-sex marriage last fall. The third, state Rep. Tom Cross, is making a bid for state treasurer.
 

Callis for Illinois

In May of last year, Ann Callis abruptly stepped down as Madison County’s chief circuit judge in May of last year, after serving 18 years on the bench.  The Democrat says it's time to use her experience to help people in new ways - in Illinois' 13th Congressional District.

The Democrat said it was time to 'use her experience to help people in new ways' when stepping down last year.

She entered what became a crowded field for the office, facing two other Democrats, and three Republicans, including incumbent Rodney Davis.

Oberweis for US Senate

Voters this month will decide the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate.  It's a race between two suburban businessmen, Doug Truax and Jim Oberweis.

The Oberweis name is recognizable for the Illinois based dairy business the candidate started and still owns along with an investment firm.

Oberweis,  67, is also known for his previous five failed campaigns.  That included unsuccessful attempts to run for U.S. Senate. He won a state Senate seat in 2012. 
 

Sean Powers

A veterinarian from Illinois’ Metro East area is making a third primary bid for Congress.  Michael Firsching previously ran for the state's old 19th Congressional district, and lost a primary 2012 bid for the 13th district.

He lost to Congressman John Shimkus in 2010, and he was defeated in 2012 by former 13th District Congressman Tim Johnson of Urbana.  This year, Firsching is in a field of six candidates, three from each major party, including Republican incumbent Rodney Davis of Taylorville.

Truax for Senate

At the top of the ticket this year in Illinois is a race for the U-S Senate. 

Republican Doug Truax is running against a state Senator, Jim Oberweis in the G-O-P primary.  The winner will take on Democrat Dick Durbin in the fall.  

Truax is making his first bid for political office.   Oberweis lost five previous elections, including two unsuccessful bids for U-S Senate, before being elected to the Illinois General Assembly.  

13th Congressional District Candidate David Green

Mar 4, 2014

Over the last few weeks, you’ve heard from Congressional candidates running in Illinois' 13th District. There are three Republicans and three Democrats seeking their party's nomination.  

Champaign Democrat David Green works as a social policy analyst with the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs. Green said he believes Congress functions well for 1 percent of Americans.

He told Sean Powers that he feels he can bring a voice to Washington that is more representative of the rest of the country.

13th Dist. Congressional Candidate Erika Harold

Feb 26, 2014
Jim Meadows/WILL

Over the next few weeks, you'll be hearing from Congressional candidates running in Illinois' 13th District. There are three Republicans and three Democrats seeking their party's nomination.  

Attorney Erika Harold (R-Urbana) is making her second run for Congress. Two years ago, she tried to replace former Congressman Tim Johnson on the ballot after Johnson announced plans to retire from politics. But Republican Party chairs instead chose incumbent Rodney Davis.

Harold talks with  Sean Powers about her campaign and what she hopes to accomplish.

13th Cong. District Candidate: George Gollin

Feb 24, 2014
Jeff Bossert/WILL

University of Illinois physics professor George Gollin is one of three Democrats seeking their party's nomination in the 13th Congressional District, along with three Republicans.

He hasn't run for elected office before, but he tells  Sean Powers that he has worked on federal legislation, while serving on the board of a higher education group.

Sean Powers/WILL

Fifteen months after narrowly defeating four-time candidate David Gill, Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) is seeking a second term.

In the first in a series of interviews covering the 13th Congressional District race, we talked with Davis about his re-election bid.

The U.S. Senate conducts a procedural vote Thursday with hopes of extending unemployment benefits by three months for nearly  two million Americans.

Davis said any extension measure to clear both chambers should not only help those in need, but reform the system to help these people find work.

  Illinois' senior U.S. Senator says he supports President Barack Obama's changes for the National Security Agency.

President Obama has seen a split within his own party since Edward Snowden's revelations about how the U.S is gathering intelligence.

But at least one Democrat — Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin — says Obama is taking the right steps in balancing privacy with keeping America safe.

Audio Of Blagojevich Appeals Hearing Now Available

Dec 30, 2013
WUIS file photo

The sometimes contentious and surprising audio from the appeal hearing of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is now online.

Attorneys spent an hour arguing Blagojevich’s appeal on December 13th.  Leonard Goodman told judges that Blagojevich never intended to commit fraud, he thought he was engaging in political horse trading.

That led Judge Frank Easterbrook to repeatedly ask Blagojevich’s attorney about a case called  Cheek.

WBEZ

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan says Nelson Mandela was instrumental in his 2003 decision to empty death row.  

Ryan addressed attendees gathered Sunday at the Chicago church of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, who hosted a "people's tribute'' to the late South African leader.  

Ryan, a Republican, was released from prison earlier this year after serving more than five years on corruption charges. His roughly five-minute speech was one of his first public appearances since his release.  

Ryan and Mandela met in 2000 on a trade mission to South Africa.  

Mark Kirk
Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

Illinois U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has had his gall bladder removed. The procedure happened Monday morning at a hospital in the northern suburbs of Chicago.

Kirk checked himself in to Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital on Saturday. He reported feeling pain in his abdomen. Doctors diagnosed gall stones, and decided to remove his gall bladder.

Dr. Kim Sobinsky did the 30-minute operation. He says most patients recover pretty quickly.

Rutherford Expects No Backlash For State GOP Candidates

Oct 16, 2013
danrutherford.org

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford doesn’t think he will see a backlash against Republicans in next year’s race for governor. Some recent polls have shown most Americans disapprove the way congressional Republicans handled the budget.
Rutherford says he doesn’t think the conflicts in Washington, D-C will be a factor in a race closer to home - like his bid to win the Republican nomination for governor.

WVIK

Former Illinois Congressman Lane Evans has been honored by his hometown. Tuesday, Rock Island re-named a street in the neighborhood where he grew up "Lane Evans Drive." 

Champaign Dem Joins Growing 13th District Field

Aug 20, 2013
https://www.facebook.com/david.green.98892615

Another Democrat is joining what is becoming a crowded field of candidates for Illinois' 13th Congressional District seat. David Green of Champaign said Monday that he will run in the Democratic Party primary. He joins University of Illinois physicist George Gollin and retired Edwardsville judge Ann Callis. Green is a 63-year-old social policy analyst at the University of Illinois' Center for Prevention Research and Development. He told The News-Gazette in Champaign that he's anti-war and hopes to appeal to leftists and anti-war libertarians.

Jackson: "I Misled The American People"

Aug 14, 2013
wikipedia.org

An emotional Jesse Jackson Jr. says he "misled the American people.''

He made the statement Wednesday to a federal judge who is sentencing him for misusing $750,000 in campaign money.

Pausing and appearing to get choked up in the Washington courtroom on Wednesday, Jackson Jr. also apologized to his mother and his father, civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson.

He added: "I take responsibility for my actions and am very sorry for what I've done.''

Lt. Gov. Simon Seeks Comptroller's Office

Jul 30, 2013
Sheila Simon
Illinois.gov

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is jumping into the 2014 race for Illinois comptroller.

After months of considering other statewide offices, she'll make it official Wednesday with stops in Chicago, Springfield and Carbondale. She tells The Associated Press the idea of teaching the public about the budget is appealing.

She could face Will County Auditor Duffy Blackburn in a Democratic primary.

Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is seeking re-election and has a fundraising advantage. She's a former state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate.

Ethics Panel Votes To Investigate Madigan's Metra Role

Jul 26, 2013

House Speaker Michael Madigan's request to be investigated by the Legislative Ethics Commission is being granted.

https://www.facebook.com/cory.jobe.7

Springfield residents may soon know more about events this spring that led to the abrupt resignation of city attorney Mark Cullen and retirement of Police Chief Robert Williams.

On Tuesday, July 30th, the City Council will decide whether to release the audio recording and transcript of a closed-door meeting about the shredding of police internal affairs files. 

perkinscoie.com

Metra is considering hiring a former assistant U.S. attorney to investigate allegations that prominent politicians pressured staff in personnel and contract decisions.

The public agency's board of directors will vote Monday on whether to approve hiring Patrick Collins, who prosecuted the case that sent former Gov. George Ryan to prison for corruption.

The allegations involving Metra emerged during inquiries into a lucrative buyout for former CEO Alex Clifford.

Metra

A former California transit executive tapped to clean up Chicago's scandal-tarnished Metra commuter rail agency says he was pushed out for doing exactly that and resisting pressure from Illinois politicians.
 
Alex Clifford was allowed to speak publicly for the first time Wednesday about his lucrative buyout agreement, which critics have called hush money and a waste of taxpayer funds.
 

Peter Gray/WUIS

The electronic system Springfield aldermen use to record their votes is getting an upgrade the city clerk says will soon allow the public to follow along with City Council action in real-time on the web.

City Clerk Cecilia  Tumulty introduced aldermen to the new eVote system during their committee meeting Tuesday.  Tumulty says work will now begin to link the technology to her website.  She says the goal is to give the public a more "comprehensive snapshot" of Council action:

wikipedia

The new law regulating the concealed carry of handguns in Illinois will also revoke larger cities' power to enact new or updated bans on bigger weapons.

Cities with "home rule" authority have just 10 days to get an assault weapons ban on the books.  The mayor of Chicago is pushing to make the gun laws it has in place even tougher.

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