Suburban Political Recount
Republican gubernatorial bidder Kirk Dillard's first quarter fundraising numbers aren't in yet (they're due by day's end), but we've learned he's brought on two top Republican fundraisers to help him build his warchest. Dillard has hired former Illinois Lottery Director Lori Montana and Barret Kedzior, finance director for Mark Kirk's Senate campaign and Congressman Rodney Davis, of Taylorville. The moves suggest that Dillard may be the GOP base's choice.
Stay tuned as the numbers continue to roll in.
Democratic Congressman Bill Foster delivered a House floor tribute to the city of Naperville, also his home town, for winning a “Sunny Award” for transparency from the Sunlight Foundation.
“Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise today to congratulate the city of Naperville, Illinois on its “Sunny Award” for local government transparency. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants,” and I believe this statement applies to all forms of government,” Foster said.
Just a couple days ago, we told you about the rapidly rising numbers of video gambling machines in the suburbs.
Six months after video gambling operations began in earnest, the number of machines is rising sharply as regulators approve hundreds of new ones across the Illinois each month. Revenue for the state also is up, to $3.4 million in February compared to $2.4 million in January and just $22,607 in September.
The March numbers are out today, and we were right about the trend.
State Rep. Ed Sullivan is on the receiving end of a stern statement from the Catholic bishop that serves where he lives after the Mundelein Republican declared his support for same-sex marriage.
From Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago George J. Rassas:
(Same-sex marriage legislation) proposes to legally alter an institution that has been the bedrock of human society for much longer than our state has been in existence. This bill would declare that gender and gender differences play no unique role in marriage and the family and thereby undermine the norms that have defined marriage (i.e. gender, procreation) throughout human history and that are essential for healthy families and the common good of society.
State Rep. Lou Lang said today that a vote on legalizing medical marijuana in Illinois could be coming in the Illinois House later this week or early next week.
The Skokie Democrat held a news conference with several people suffering from serious diseases who he said can benefit from smoking marijuana.
"It's not about people getting high," Lang said.
If you feel like you've heard this before, you have. Lang has tried to get this plan approved before, even coming close to predicting he'd win in late 2012.
So far, he hasn't, though. Lang thinks this time will be different because his plan is so strict, seriously limiting who could get medical marijuana and from whom.
He's trying to battle an image from other states, where things are a little looser.
Just in time for the first games of the season this week, the government transparency group Sunlight Foundation ran the numbers on the biggest political spenders in Major League Baseball.
And the Chicago Cubs were on top during the 2012 campaign, thanks largely to millions in donations from Joe Ricketts of the Cubs-owning Ricketts family.
Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin Congressman Bill Foster met with current and former students at Aurora University who have benefitted from the Obama Administration's recent immigration directive. The program, which is modeled after Durbin's DREAM Act, allows young immigrants brought to the United States as children a chance to apply for a two-year renewable work permit and exemption from deportation.
From a news release:
In the middle of a two-week recess, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is home in Chicago for the first time since returning to Congress in January following a yearlong recovery from a serious stroke.
Kirk is not expected to hold any public events, but his staff announced today that he spent some time presenting Lincolnwood resident Joseph Noferi with the Legion of Merit military award.
You read our piece yesterday about Carol Stream businessman Shalli Kumar's funding of a congressional and business delegation trip to India, which includes Congressman Aaron Schock, of Peoria.
Kumar, you'll remember, last fall formed a SuperPAC to help the (ultimately unsuccessful) re-election campaign of then-Congressman Joe Walsh of the 8th Congressional Distict.
Well, life has come full circle. Kumar tells us that he has been invited to join Walsh as a weekly guest on Walsh's WIND 560-AM radio show. The invitation, Kumar said, has been pitched as "An hour with Kumar."
Kumar says he's still mulling the offer.
Possible Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner criticized Gov. Pat Quinn today for the Democrat's suggestion that the state should be required to make a full payment into its retirement system every year.
It's an idea that has accompanied many of the top pension reform plans. For years, lawmakers and governors didn't put as much money into pension funds as the math experts said they should. And now, the state is $100 billion in debt.
Making such payments mandatory is part of both of proposals both from reformers and union leaders.
Still, Rauner blasted Quinn's comments.
"After years of continued mismanagement, Governor Quinn continues to reveal his true colors: a lackey to the government union bosses," Rauner said in his statement.