Suburban Political Recount
A group of Huntley seniors have gathered over 500 signatures for what they call sensible gun control measures.
We spoke with Sun City resident David Williams this morning, who told us that about two dozen seniors have been canvassing neighborhoods within the 14th Congressional district in recent weeks, asking them to sign a petition that will be delivered to Congressman Randy Hultgren's office later this month.
A number of the seniors involved, Williams tells us, are World War II and Korean War veterans, "people who know how guns work, who have fought in wars, but have the opinion we don't need to have battles at home."
Williams says the aim is sensible gun control legislation in a county where gun ownership is largely viewed as a privilege.
On Monday, Hinsale Republican and 2010 primary candidate for governor Adam Andrzejewski said he was announcing a “major announcement regarding the future of Illinois” today.
Today, in a live-streaming news conference, Andrzejewski announced he isn't running for anything in 2014.
Andrzejewski now runs For the Good of Illinois, a good government group, and will continue to do so.
Gov. Pat Quinn appointed and reappointed a bunch of people to various boards and high-level jobs today, including some familiar suburban names:
--Dan Seals of Wilmette, a Democrat who lost three campaigns for Congress to Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, is reappointed to his job as assistant director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The job pays about $121,000. Seals first got the job and was confirmed a couple years ago.
--Former state Sen. Tom Johnson, a West Chicago Republican, was appointed to a spot on the Prisoner Review Board, at a salary of about $86,000 per year. Before his recent stint in the Illinois Senate, Johnson previously served on the board, which reviews parole cases.
Seven Democratic members of Illinois' congressional delegation have signed a letter urging the passage of gay marriage legislation in their home state.
"The Illinois General Assembly is now faced with the opportunity to extend civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples in Illinois," Reps. Mike Quigley, Jan Schakowsky, Luis Guitierrez, Brad Schneider, Bill Foster, Tammy Duckworth and Danny Davis wrote in a March 13 letter to members of the state legislature.
"You have the chance to provide recognition as well as basic legal protections to all Illinois families across the state."
By voting "yes" on Senate Bill 10, the letter continues, "Illinois will be stronger when we allow all loving and committed couples the chance to care for and protect one another through marriage."
From Doug T. Graham, one of our reporters in Springfield:
Lawmakers spent another day debating gun issues at the Capitol Wednesday. While no permanent solutions were reached, an afternoon of passionate speeches from representatives on all sides of guns issues provided unique takes on aspects of gun legislation.
State Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Wheaton Republican, cited gender equality as a reason that a proposal to ban ammunition magazines that contain more than 10 bullets should fail.
“This I find pretty much offensive to women especially because more than anybody else it’s women who need the high-capacity magazines for which to defend themselves,” Ives said of one’s right to own a firearm that can shoot more than ten rounds without needing to be reloaded.
The Illinois Senate today started moving legislation to ban kids ages 14-17 from using tanning beds.
"Obviously, it's a known carcinogen, and we should protect our children from that," said Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont.
This idea has been floating around Illinois for a while now but hasn't had enough support to become law. It was approved without opposition in a Senate committee today.
The legislation often surfaces around prom time for obvious reasons, but the usual arguments against the proposal - that the state shouldn't be telling parents what their kids can and can't do - didn't come up today.
After receiving a letter from two Downer's Grove boys disappointed they won't be able to visit the White House over spring break because of federal sequestration cuts, Republican Congressman Peter Roskam of Wheaton released a tongue-in-cheek version of his "Ask Peter" video series, featuring the popular grade school paper traveler, Flat Stanley. GOP leaders - which include Roskam - have ridiculed Obama for shutting down White House tours, which yearly, cost the country just shy of $1 million.
President Barack Obama's outreach to Senate Republicans hit home Monday, as he called Mark Kirk, the Highland Park Republican elected to his former Senate seat in 2010.
Kirk, spokesman Lance Trover tells us, spoke about Kirk's involvement in bipartisan gun control efforts, the budget, and Iran sanctions.
The call follows the president's Wednesday Jefferson Hotel dinner with 12 Republican senators, where he picked up the tab. Kirk was not part of that group.
What is being called Obama's "charm offensive" is part of the first formal congressional budget debate in his tenure.
We learned today that Josh Wessell, the longtime Illinois GOP staffer who ran House Leader Tom Cross's district office over the past year, has been named communications director for Congressman Randy Hultgren, of Winfield.
Wessell replaces Laura Finch, who earlier this year took a post at C-SPAN.
Wessell, 30, says he's excited to transition from state to congressional politics.
A Des Plaines native like Kerry, he tells us his favorite hometown spot to eat is the Mr. Pup hotdog stand on Algonquin and Lee.
Some members of Congress do townhalls, or teleconferences with constituents. Putting sort of a coffee klatch spin on things, Eighth District Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth on Saturday held her first "Congress at Your Corner" events businesses in Lombard and Glendale Heights. This follows some veterans meetings at diners and discussions with local business owners over lunch.