Suburban Political Recount
From Kerry in Washington:
Without any votes scheduled today in the U.S. Senate, we spent some time hanging out in the Capitol tunnels, watching senators from both sides of the aisle arrive at their weekly (lengthy) Tuesday policy lunches.
Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords - a guest of Congressman Joe Manchin's at lunch today - also passed through the tunnels with her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly. Giffords - who was nearly fatally shot in the head in her district in January 2011 - is on the hill to try to rally support for gun control.
Good morning from Washington, DC, where Kerry is for a few days this week to do some on-the-ground reporting about local members.
As we wait on the Senate's "Gang of Eight" bipartisan immigration reform proposal to be released (it was delayed, this morning, because of the Boston marathon bombings), we wanted to pass on a CQ Roll Call piece by David Drucker .
Roskam says here that instead of comprehensive immigration reform legislation, overhaul in several incremental pieces is more likely.
The transcript here:
"CQ Roll Call: On an immigration overhaul, what’s more likely, comprehensive legislation or running an overhaul through in pieces?
In the early stages, how much money a candidate has raised can give a glimpse into a campaign's strength. But there's still a long, long way to go in the campaign for Illinois governor.
Here's how much some of the others had on hand as of March 31:
Republican state Sen. Bill Brady: $244,826.
Republican Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford: $739,715.
Republican businessman Bruce Rauner: $1,222,864.
Republican State Sen. Kirk Dillard: $34,322.
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn: $1,510,667.
Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan: $4,359,413.
And federal officials use different schedules, but Republican U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock of Peoria had more than $2 million in the bank at the beginning of the year.
Kerry caught up with Dillard to talk about his early total.
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: