Suburban Political Recount

Suburban Political Recount

Painting the dome

Posted by Mike Riopell on Thu, 01/09/2014 - 16:57

Elizabeth Roskam, wife of U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, painted depictions of the U.S. Capitol dome for a calendar sent out by the Wheaton Republican's campaign this year.

The Roskams Roll Call inspiration for the pictures came from photos taken by family. We'll have more photos of the calendar in Friday's column.

VIDEO: Durbin references Antioch man in debate

Posted by Mike Riopell on Tue, 01/07/2014 - 14:38

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Springfield Democrat, references a man from Antioch on the Senate floor while supporting the extension of unemployment benefits.

"A 35-year-old man from Antioch, Ill., Ryan, writes to me, with two children, about how difficult it is for him to keep his family together while he continues, day after weary day, looking for a job."

Getting kicked?

Posted by Mike Riopell on Mon, 01/06/2014 - 17:27

The state Board of Elections is set to meet Thursday and could make final decisions then about whether some local candidates can stay on the March primary ballot.

Among the highest-profile suburban questions: Will Republican Manju Goel of Aurora be allowed to stay in the 8th District Congressional race?

Republican Larry Kaifesh of Carpentersville is her opponent, and the winner will take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth in the fall.

Thursday is, by law, the last day to certify the March ballot, so we should get some answers by then. Stay tuned.

Mark Kirk's 2013

Posted by Mike Riopell on Thu, 01/02/2014 - 15:08

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, released this video about his 2013, which began with a climb up the Capitol steps to mark another milestone in his stroke recovery.

Cashing out

Posted by Mike Riopell on Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:50

In hunting through campaign finance records, we noticed former state Rep. Rosemary Mulligan, a Des Plaines Republican, closed out her account in the past few days. She finished her legislative career in 2012, and there was no money left in her final report.

Looking at the report before that showed that Mulligan had paid herself the remaining balance of the fund, $23,662.71, in July.

Can lawmakers just give themselves the remainder of their campaign funds? Usually not.

Candidate: 'Duck Dynasty' star is like Rosa Parks

Posted by Mike Riopell on Fri, 12/20/2013 - 12:53

As the controversy continues over A&E's suspension of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson over comments he made to GQ magazine, Republican candidate for Congress Ian Bayne of Aurora sent a statement this morning comparing Robertson to Rosa Parks.

From the statement:

Parks, famous for refusing to give up her seat on a bus for a white person, as was the rule of her day, provided inspiration for a movement of equality of black people and white people in America.

"What Parks did was courageous," said Bayne. "What Mr. Robertson did was courageous too."

Bayne believes that the Duck Dynasty star knew that going on GQ (magazine) would result in the current controversy going on surrounding his suspension...

Lottery mania

Posted by Mike Riopell on Wed, 12/18/2013 - 11:22

I found this tweet from Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka amusing because, first, everyone is caught up in lottery mania, and, second, I usually do these calculations for the blog, too. Now I don't have to.

Democrats detail coming unemployment cuts

Posted by Mike Riopell on Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:01

A handful of Illinois Democratic members of Congress Tuesday outlined county-by-county numbers of people who will lose unemployment benefits Dec. 28.

Their numbers come from the the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Evanston Democrat, was the only House member from Illinois to vote against a bipartisan budget deal, saying lawmakers should have extended unemployment benefits.

"That is inexcusable and Congress has an obligation to ensure that millions of people can keep their modest benefits," Schakowsky said in a statement.

As it is, people are set to lose benefits Dec. 28 if Congress doesn't extend benefits beyond the standard 26 weeks. Illinois has a higher unemployment rate than the national average.

Democrats detail coming unemployment cuts

Posted by Mike Riopell on Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:01

A handful of Illinois Democratic members of Congress Tuesday outlined county-by-county numbers of people who will lose unemployment benefits Dec. 28.

Their numbers come from the the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Evanston Democrat, was the only House member from Illinois to vote against a bipartisan budget deal, saying lawmakers should have extended unemployment benefits.

"That is inexcusable and Congress has an obligation to ensure that millions of people can keep their modest benefits," Schakowsky said in a statement.

As it is, people are set to lose benefits Dec. 28 if Congress doesn't extend benefits beyond the standard 26 weeks. Illinois has a higher unemployment rate than the national average.

New year, new tax fight

Posted by Mike Riopell on Mon, 12/16/2013 - 13:19

The Illinois arm of Americans for Prosperity, a national conservative advocacy group, is targeting a handful of suburban Democratic state lawmakers with TV ads in its fight against the idea of a graduated income tax.

Here's an example of the spot, which also airs online, which subs in different lawmakers' names depending on where it runs. A spokesman said the first lawmakers being targeted include Reps. Carol Sente of Vernon Hills, Marty Moylan of Des Plaines, Deb Conroy of Villa Park and Stephanie Kifowit of Aurora.

None of the three have signed on to legislation to install a graduated income tax in Illinois, and they haven't signed onto a resolution opposing it.