Rick Pearson
Rick Pearson
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Illinois legislators begin redistricting process amid census delays that complicate an already raucously partisan event

Illinois legislators begin redistricting process amid census delays that complicate an already raucously partisan event

Illinois lawmakers are set to formally begin the once-a-decade task of redrawing the state’s legislative and congressional districts, a raucously partisan exercise complicated even further this time around by federal census delays. Another complicating factor: pending federal legislation that would put congressional redistricting in the hands of independent commissions. Advertisement The Illinois Senate’s redistricting committee meets for the first time Wednesday, while the House redistricting committee convenes April 1 with plans for hearings across the state to follow. In play are maps...

March 17, 2021
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Conservative Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey announces governor run, pledges to fight ‘political elites’

Conservative Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey announces governor run, pledges to fight ‘political elites’

Conservative Downstate Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey, the fiercest legislative opponent of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s pandemic-induced public health restrictions, formally announced his candidacy for governor Monday night, pledging a grassroots movement to take Illinois back from “political elites.” “Republicans and Democrats have worried about the donor class more than they’ve worried about the working class, and friends, that ends now,” Bailey told supporters at a kickoff event in Effingham. Advertisement “I will be a governor for the people of Illinois, guided by the lessons...

February 23, 2021
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Michael Madigan’s hand-picked successor in state House resigns just three days after being installed

Michael Madigan’s hand-picked successor in state House resigns just three days after being installed

Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s hand-picked successor for the legislative seat he held for a half-century resigned Wednesday morning, just three days after being appointed and hours after Madigan and 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn called on him to step down. Edward Guerra Kodatt, an assistant in Quinn’s ward office, on Sunday after Madigan from the House Thursday. The House clerk received Kodatt’s letter of resignation Wednesday morning, a spokesman for new House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch said. Advertisement Kodatt’s resignation follows a statement released by Madigan and...

February 24, 2021
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Republican US Rep. Kinzinger, an outspoken Trump opponent, says he doesn’t intend to seek statewide office in 2022

Republican US Rep. Kinzinger, an outspoken Trump opponent, says he doesn’t intend to seek statewide office in 2022

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Channahon, who has sought and gained national attention for battling Donald Trump’s influence over the Republican Party, said Tuesday he has no intention of seeking statewide office in 2022 and acknowledged it would be difficult for him to get through a GOP primary. Speaking to reporters on the day of opening arguments in the former president’s second impeachment trial, Kinzinger also said if he were a senator he would vote to convict Trump to hold him accountable for his role in the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol that occurred as a joint session of...

February 10, 2021
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Democratic, Republican Illinois politicians ask Biden to keep Chicago’s top federal prosecutor to see through ongoing corruption probes

Democratic, Republican Illinois politicians ask Biden to keep Chicago’s top federal prosecutor to see through ongoing corruption probes

Illinois’ two Democratic senators and several Republican congressmen were among a bipartisan chorus calling on President Joe Biden to reconsider removing Chicago’s top federal prosecutor so he can see through a range of ongoing corruption investigations that have roiled state politics. The reaction came Tuesday as the U.S. Justice Department said the Biden administration was seeking the resignations of virtually all remaining U.S. attorneys who were appointed by former Republican President Donald Trump — a group that includes John Lausch, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of...

February 9, 2021
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New state House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch made commitments for reform to force out Madigan. Can he keep them?

New state House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch made commitments for reform to force out Madigan. Can he keep them?

Shortly after picking up the speaker’s gavel for the first time, Emanuel “Chris” Welch pledged “a new day” in the Illinois House, one that recognized diversity, autonomy and transparency and a break from the near-autocratic rule of Michael Madigan. Whether Welch can fulfill that promise will quickly become evident as he puts together a leadership team, writes new rules for how House business is conducted and works on a legislative redistricting plan. Although an ally of Madigan’s, Welch told legislators he intends to take the chamber in a new direction. Advertisement “There are some things...

January 16, 2021
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Pritzker says it’s time for House Speaker Michael Madigan to be replaced as head of Illinois Democrats

Pritzker says it’s time for House Speaker Michael Madigan to be replaced as head of Illinois Democrats

After the defeat of his signature policy initiative, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday said Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan should no longer be in charge of the state Democratic Party. Although he’s said Madigan should answer questions about Commonwealth Edison’s admission that it engaged in a yearslong bribery scheme to try to win the speaker’s favor, Pritzker previously has stopped short of questioning his role as the head of the state party. Advertisement Pritzker’s comments come after U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin told WTTW-Ch. 11 in an interview Wednesday that he believes the governor’s...

November 5, 2020
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Pritzker-funded group concedes defeat on Illinois graduated income tax amendment, throwing future of state finances in doubt

Pritzker-funded group concedes defeat on Illinois graduated income tax amendment, throwing future of state finances in doubt

The group backed by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker to pitch his proposal to enact a graduated state income tax in Illinois acknowledged the constitutional amendment’s defeat Wednesday and warned of a financial morass as a result of the rejection of the proposed constitutional amendment. “We are undoubtedly disappointed with this result but are proud of the millions of Illinoisans who cast their ballots in support of tax fairness in this election,” said Quentin Fulks, chair of the Pritzker-funded Vote Yes for Fairness group. Advertisement “Now lawmakers must address a multibillion dollar...

November 4, 2020
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Under fire amid federal corruption probe, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan faces a new challenge from a fellow Democrat

Under fire amid federal corruption probe, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan faces a new challenge from a fellow Democrat

With a federal corruption investigation circling around longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, four-term Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego said Thursday she will challenge the powerful Southwest Side Democrat for leadership of the chamber when the new General Assembly is seated in January. Kifowit is one of a handful of House Democrats who have called for Madigan’s resignation since Commonwealth Edison admitted to federal prosecutors earlier this year that it engaged in a yearslong bribery scheme aimed at currying favor with the speaker. Advertisement “The people...

October 1, 2020
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Schaumburg businessman Gary Rabine, supporter of Trump and conservative causes, launches bid for GOP nomination for governor

Schaumburg businessman Gary Rabine, supporter of Trump and conservative causes, launches bid for GOP nomination for governor

Northwest suburban businessman Gary Rabine, an ardent supporter of Donald Trump who turned his family’s driveway paving business into a multimillion-dollar business services group, on Tuesday announced his bid for the Republican nomination for governor. Rabine, of Bull Valley, pledged a pro-business administration that would seek to relax many regulations in an effort to spur business and job growth, while seeking cuts in taxes he contends have led to an exodus of Illinois jobs and residents. Advertisement “I’m really worried about Illinois,” Rabine said before making his formal entry into...

March 30, 2021
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