Suburban Political Recount
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.
We usually shy away from writing much about political endorsements as to avoid swaying opinion one way or the other, but this, we felt, was occasion to break the rules because it raises eyebrows on a few levels.
We heard from Democratic strategist Kitty Kurth this morning, who wryly noted on a voicemail message that this was probably the only time she'd be calling us about John McCain.
The Arizona Republican Senator and former presidential nominee is endorsing Ron Drake, who is bidding against Tom Hayes and Mark Hellner in the three way race for Arlington Heights mayor.
Brook Hougesen, communications director for Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Mateno, tells us she's heading to the National Republican Senatorial Committee next week to work as press secretary.
She will work under Communications Director Brad Dayspring, who is, like Kerry, a Villanova University alum.
Kinzinger has tapped Zach Hunter to fill the comms director post. He is scheduled to begin in April. Both Hougesen and Hunter have worked for former Roskam communications director Dan Conston at the American Action Network.
We wish Hougesen well.
DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan, of Downer's Grove, says he's exploring running for Illinois State Treasurer.
He'll hold a fundraiser at Ashyana Banquets on 75th street in Downer's Grove at 5:30 p.m. April 25 to that effect.
Tickets range from $50 to $100, with appetizers and cash bar.
For more information, visit the Facebook event page or call (630) 412-1997.
GOP Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam was in Naperville today to visit the chamber of commerce, taking time to speak with reporters afterward.
DuPage County bureau staff writer Justin Kmitch, present at the event, took the opportunity to ask him about the recent skirmish within the Illinois GOP, over calls for Chairman Pat Brady's ouster for supporting same sex marriage.
New Trier Township Republicans will get to hear from two likely gubernatorial bidders at Friday’s annual corned beef dinner at the Winnetka Community House.
Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, a Winnetka resident (who can literally walk from his home to the restaurant), will appear along with state treasurer Dan Rutherford, of Chenoa. Township Committeeman Bill Cadigan tells us that the organization is expecting attendance to double from past years.
“I think people are curious,” Cadigan said.
Rauner got some attention for comments he made at a similar event - a Cumberland County Lincoln Day Dinner - suggesting he might shut down state government if elected.
After lawmakers Wednesday rejected state Rep. Carol Sente's plan to limit tackling at high school football practices, she spend the rest of the day trying to get support.
"I spent last night talking to high school coaches," Sente said.
Time was important because Friday is a deadline in Springfield to get proposals through a certain point in the legislative process.
Today, Sente threw a Hail Mary pass and tried to get the plan through the same House committee again. But it didn't work.
"Let's not pretend good coaches are against this," the Vernon Hills Democrat told us. "Because they're not.
This morning, 9th District Congressman Jan Schakowsky unveiled a website that is designed to serve as an alternative to House Majority Eric Cantor's You Cut site, which allows them to select the programs they'd like to cut from the government's budget.
By contrast, the Evanston Democrat's site visitors can opt to keep current federal sequester cuts in place -a move supported by House Republicans - or cut the budget by, as she says, "eliminating or reducing provisions in the tax code that benefit specific corporations and wealthier taxpayers."
Your choice leads you to more information on the impact of each choice, from her office's vantage point.