Category Archives: Elections

Journalist Natasha Korcecki: “Blago was radioactive” but politicians dealt with him anyway

Jesse Jackson Jr. was part of “a whole cadre of politicians who knew Blagojevich was radioactive, but dealt with him anyway,” writes Natasha Korecki.  Korecki covered both Blago trials for the Sun-Times and had a ringside seat as prosecutors untangled the web of corruption that defined the Blagojevich administration. Her book, “Only in Chicago: How the Rod Blagojevich Scandal Engulfed Illinois; Embroiled Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel and Jesse Jackson Jr. and Enthralled the Nation,” details a dark chapter in Illinois’ political history.

More Politicians Demand Jesse Jackson Jr. Explanation

Political allies who mostly stayed quiet about U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. as he sought mental health treatment and stayed out of public view are speaking up about the congressman’s future.

Word of a pending plea bargain on corruption allegations has changed the outlook on Jackson. “The fact is, if this is honest and accurate, then it raises some serious questions about his continued service in Congress,” said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Jackson needs to talk to the people who reelected him last week about what’s going on. http://cbsloc.al/STuGgM (via CBS Chicago)

 

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Congrats, Dems… Now What Are You Going to Do About This Mess

Illinois Democrats in the General Assembly won big Tuesday, and now have the votes to override any veto by Gov. Pat Quinn. The Chicago Tribune congratulates the Dems. Their prize, says the Tribune, is ownership of a financial disaster largely of their own making which they must now fix – probably without much help from across the aisle.
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How Big is Illinois’s Lame Duck Class Going to Be?

With 30 of the state’s 177 legislators not seeking re-election and every House and Senate seat up for election today, the General Assembly could have a huge lame-duck class this year. It’s likely that critically important issues, like pension reform, will be decided with help from these lawmakers, who can vote without fear of voter backlash. Not an especially courageous or smart way to govern.

Legislative Maps the Cornerstone of Illinois Re-election Successes

Ever wonder why you see the same names on the ballot year after year? Why there aren’t more legislative races that really are races? Chris Mooney, a faculty member at the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs and a political scientist at the University of Illinois at Springfield, blames it on Illinois’ highly politicized system of drawing legislative maps.

 

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Derrick Smith’s Turkey of a Reelection

It’s not about graft, it’s about turkeys. If State Rep. Derrick Smith is reelected on Tuesday, remember these words from today’s story on Huffington Post:

“I just vote Democrat all the way across. Whoever’s there, I give them a chance,’ said Percy Winfields, 74, a resident of an apartment complex that caters to seniors. Besides, Winfields said, Smith showed up before Christmas last year and delivered on a promise to provide turkeys to the tenants for the holiday.”

Derrick Smith Remains Optimistic on Re-election

The reelection campaign for State Rep. Derrick Smith will be a test of the iron-clad code of party loyalty for which Illinois politics is famous (or infamous). Facing trial for bribery charges and expelled from the House in August by his colleagues, Smith remains optimistic voters in his 10th District will return him to office.

Do you know who is financing the candidates in your legislative district?

Do you know who is financing the candidates in your legislative district? Check out this example from the newly drawn 96th Illinois House District, which includes parts of Springfield and Decatur: “Aided heavily by funds controlled by House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, (Sue) Scherer was able to spend more than $237,000 on her campaign from July 1 through Sept. 30. Nearly $90,000 more was spent on her behalf for staff assistance, printing and postage. All but $2,600 of that came from campaign funds controlled by Madigan.” Illinois campaign finance laws allow legislative leaders to give unlimited amounts to House and Senate candidates. Thus targeted races can become proxy wars between leaders, and winning candidates arrive at the Capitol dependent on the caucus leader who financed his or her campaign.

 

Reboot Illinois’ Pension Amendment Guide

Been wondering about how to cut through all the noise and debate over the pension amendment? Here’s Reboot’s handy infographic on the ballot question…

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Andrzejewski Correclates Chicago Government with Failing Neighborhood

It starts with a couple broken windows. Fail to punish the vandals, and soon your neighborhood is in a free-fall of decline. That neighborhood is government in Illinois at all levels, writes Adam Andrzejewski, 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate. He’s got a list of examples and some criticism for county attorneys general and Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

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