Suburban Political Recount
Later this month, state Rep. Barbara Wheeler, a Crystal Lake Republican is planning what she's calling a "Teeni Weeni Bikini Martini" fundraiser.
The invite is posted at her campaign website, www.barbarawheeler64.com.
Donors can give at different levels: $250 to be a "one piece" donor; $500 to be a "bikini" donor and $1,000 for "speedo."
Wheeler is a freshman Republican who will face her first re-election campaign next year. Fundraisers by lawmakers are common, of course, but this one is a little unique.
The bottom of the invite reads: "Families Welcome, Donations Appreciated, Bikinis Recommended!"
I taped a local public TV show that aired over the weekend wrapping up what lawmakers did and didn't get done in their session that ended May 31.
It's a couple days old, but nothing has changed since we taped. Thanks to WSEC for having me on.
State Rep. Sam Yingling, a Round Lake Beach Democrat and openly gay lawmaker, said watching advocates yell from the Illinois House galleries demanding a vote on same-sex marriage - and knowing one wasn't coming - was "surreal."
"It was a very surreal moment on the House floor," Yingling said. He said his freshman term was full of moments that maybe could be described in the same way.
"That one took the cake," he said.
Not getting same-sex marriage approved was a big disappointment for gay marriage advocates who saw Illinois Democrats' domination of Springfield as a good sign for their chances.
Likewise, the lack of a vote was a big win for opponents for the same reasons.
When Illinois Republican leaders chose Rosemont village Trustee and lobbyist Jack Dorgan as their chairman Saturday, the vote wasn't unanimous.
The other vote-getter was runner-up Jim Nalepa, a longtime party activist and businessman from Hinsdale who won, by his count, about 40 percent of the state central committee's weighted vote.
Unlike former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh's a href="http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130601/news/706019928/"> harsh words about Dorgan's lack of appeal to the GOP base, Nalepa says he's not a sore loser and Dorgan should get the "benefit of the doubt."
"You have my support until you you show me differently," Nalepa said.
Still, he said: "I think I was the far better choice for the base of the party."
We circled back with state Sen. Melinda Bush, a Grayslake Democrat, today to talk about Friday's last-minute bid by Gov. Pat Quinn to get senators to back the Illinois House's pension plan.
It was a tall order as the proposal only got barely half the votes it needed the day before.
In expressing frustration that legislation the Senate approved was bottled up without a vote by House Speaker Michael Madigan, Bush said something you don't often hear Democrats say about their party chairman.
"In my opinion, there's too much power held by the speaker of the House," Bush said.