Editorial: Rauner is the change agent in the GOP field

Tribune editorial board “In 2013, annual average unemployment rates declined in 43 states and the District of Columbia, rose in two states, and were unchanged in five states.” — U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Feb. 28, 2014. Nobody who lives here can be surprised that moribund Illinois is one of this nation’s Wrong-Way Two. ————————————————————————- Enough. […]

Chicago Unions Call for Tax Hikes Instead of Pension Cuts

By Hal Dardick A coalition of Chicago public sector unions resistant to a push by Mayor Rahm Emanuel for changes to the pension system released a report Monday that concluded that the city should focus on new or higher taxes instead of significant cuts to benefits. The We Are One Chicago group contended that cutting […]

GOP Senate candidates differ on policy, politics

Oberweis, Truax offer opinions on immigration, budget issues ahead of bid to take on Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin On foreign policy, Oberweis said he supports Obama’s decision not to take military action against Iran or Syria. Truax said Obama showed weakness on the world stage, particularly in declining to establish a no-fly zone over Syria. […]

Brady vote on tax subsidies raises ethics issue

By David Heinzmann and Ray Long, Tribune State Sen. Bill Brady voted in November for tax subsidies that helped revive his family’s struggling real estate investment in a central Illinois town, raising issues of potential conflict of interest as Brady seeks the Republican nomination for governor. A developer building an assisted-living complex in Gibson City […]

Editorial: The Republicans are getting serious

Watch Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, Dan Rutherford and Bruce Rauner speak with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board.

Watchdog: Red light bribe scandal could be widespread

By David Kidwell, Tribune reporter 7:09 a.m. CST, January 23, 2014 A fired executive of Chicago’s beleaguered red light camera company alleges in a lawsuit that Redflex Traffic Systems doled out bribes and gifts at “dozens of municipalities” in 13 other states and says he is cooperating in an ongoing federal investigation. The explosive allegations, […]

Proposed medical marijuana rules: Your pot or your gun

By Robert McCoppin, Tribune reporter Patients who want to qualify for medical marijuana in Illinois would have to be fingerprinted for a background check and pay $150 a year — and give up their right to own a gun, state officials proposed Tuesday. The plan outlines how adults who have any of 41 specified medical conditions, […]

Incumbent Protection is in Full Force

This year, Illinois voters will choose 137 members of the General Assembly. Sort of. For a lot of people, there won’t be any choices. ———————————————- The House has 30 contested primaries; the Senate has two. Why are there so few candidates? Because the results of the election are already cooked. Lawmakers draw their own districts, […]

How Mike Madigan Gets His Way — and How You Pay

House Speaker Michael Madigan doesn’t demand favors. Not overtly. Not loudly. You won’t hear Madigan gush, “I’ve got this thing and it’s (expletive) golden,” like a mouthy ex-governor of Illinois. He doesn’t have to be direct. He’s Mike Madigan.   [See previous article on how Madigan built his patronage army] ——————————————————————– Officials fear Madigan, and […]

How Madigan builds his patronage army

No government job too small for House speaker to exert his considerable influence By David Kidwell, John Chase and Alex Richards, Tribune reporters The newspaper found more than 400 current or retired government employees with strong political ties to Madigan. It also found repeated instances in which Madigan took personal action to get them jobs, […]