Tag Archives: chicago tribune

Indicted State Rep Derrick Smith will Serve Through a Full Legislative Session While Awaiting Trial

Indicted, expelled and now reelected former State Rep. Derrick Smith will serve through a full legislative session as he awaits trial on federal bribery charges. His trial for allegedly accepting a $7,000 cash bribe has been set for October 2013. His House colleagues could kick him out again, but they can’t do it a second time on the bribery charges.

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Trib to Dems: “Don’t You Dare”

The Chicago Tribune editorial board has heard “scuttlebutt” that Democrats in the Illinois Legislature may try to make the temporary income tax increase permanent during the lame duck session in January. Most of the increase is scheduled to expire in 2015 — just after the next governor is elected. The Trib’s message: “Don’t you dare.”
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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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What Not To Do?: Follow The CPS Example

All Illinois school districts should study Chicago Public Schools as an example of what not to do. It needs to close more than 100 schools, but its CEO acknowledges it first needs to gain “trust, respect and transparency” among parents. Bad policy over the years has created a toxic relationship between the school system and those it is supposed to serve.

 

 

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Tribune on School Closings: “This Will be Painful”

Last month the Chicago Teachers Union strike became a national symbol of the clash between government and teacher unions in how to implement education reform. Expect more national attention as Chicago prepares to close more than 100 schools as it faces a budget gap of $1 billion. “Make no mistake: This will be painful. But scores of schools must be closed,” says the Chicago Tribune.

Amendment 49: Harmless Gesture or Sneaky Ploy

Ballot amendment 49: harmless gesture toward pension reform or sneaky ploy to slash retirement benefits for millions? The Chicago Tribune investigates. House Speaker Mike Madigan’s office clearly has no use for advocates of the latter theory: “”Those are legal minds that I wouldn’t hire to get me out of a traffic ticket,” says Madigan’s spokesman.

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Chicago Papers to Voters: Don’t Be Chumps

The Chicago Tribune editorial board  says anyone who votes for the pension amendment on the Nov. 6 ballot is a chump. “Don’t be a chump,” says the Trib. It adds that what we really need is a constitutional amendment that gives lawmakers some guidelines for what can and can’t be done to fix the pension disaster Illinois faces. Rival The Chicago Sun-Times agrees: “Voters should say no to the constitutional amendment and send the message that Illinois residents want real pension reform, not potentially harmful window dressing.”

 

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Reforming can be a lonely and punishing pursuit

Being a reformer can be a lonely and punishing pursuit. Russell Sonneveld was an investigator in George Ryan’s Secretary of State’s Office who heard about people paying bribes to get drivers licenses. He investigated aggressively, knowing the trail could lead to his boss. He was demoted, his career wrecked. “Without Sonneveld and his partner, Ed Hammer, George Ryan would probably be a free man today,” writes Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass. Sonneveld died last week, still haunted by 1994 the deaths of six children killed by a truck driver who paid a bribe to get his license.

Meet Mike Madigan!

Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass is perhaps the most creative conjurer of politician nicknames in Illinois. Today he anoints Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (a favorite Kass target) the “Lord of Madiganistan.” Kass is writing about an offer from Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady (inventor of the “Fire Mike Madigan” campaign) to throw free “Meet Mike Madigan” parties for Democratic candidates if they’ll invite Speaker Madigan. Free sandwiches for all, says Brady. Festive!

 

 

Tribune has some advice for Pat Quinn

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn has some advice for Gov. Pat Quinn: Be a little more careful in the political battles you choose.

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