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[17 Apr 2014 | No Comment | ]

In 2005, Forrest Claypool was a Cook County commissioner running for board president, and Gerald Nichols was a top aide — “patronage chief” was how Claypool put it — for John Stroger, the man Claypool was trying to unseat.
Today, Claypool is president of the Chicago Transit Authority, and Nichols is his $100,000-a-year manager of legislative affairs.
James D’Amico left his Cook County job last year after the inspector general recommended he be fired for allegedly pressuring employees to donate to the campaign of Todd Stroger, John Stroger’s successor and son.

Today, D’Amico, …

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[16 Apr 2014 | No Comment | ]

Republican Senate candidate Jim Oberweis disclosed Tuesday that he and his wife had an adjusted gross income of more than $1.3 million last year, and he asserted that his opponent, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, is also in the ranks of millionaires.

At a tea party rally in St. Charles, Oberweis led the crowd in a chant: “Millionaire. Career politician. Dick Durbin. Must go.”
Durbin has not yet disclosed his 2013 tax return, but in 2012 he and his wife, Loretta, a lobbyist in Springfield, reported an adjusted gross income of more than …

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[23 Mar 2014 | No Comment | ]

The president of Illinois State University has resigned, the school announced Saturday, following a police investigation into claims that he assaulted a former ISU employee late last year.

Timothy Flanagan, who was appointed president by the school’s board of trustees May 10, said in a statement: “I appreciate the experience of working with the students, faculty, staff and alumni of Illinois State, but, after discussion with the Board, I have decided it would be best that I pursue other opportunities.”
Flanagan is receiving a negotiated one-time payment of $480,418, said university spokesman …

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[5 Mar 2014 | No Comment | ]

House Speaker Michael Madigan called today for the state to put up $100 million to boost efforts to land the presidential library and museum of President Barack Obama.

The speaker joined fellow Democratic Chicago Rep. Monique Davis in introducing legislation to make the construction money available as the sweepstakes to secure the Obama library shifts into a higher gear.
“Chicago is where the president got his start in public service as a community organizer and as a state senator,” Madigan said in a statement. “Housing his library and museum in the city …

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[22 Jan 2014 | No Comment | ]

A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a bid by former MF Global Holdings Ltd Chief Executive Officer Jon Corzine to dismiss a U.S. regulator’s lawsuit that claims he played a key role in causing one of the country’s biggest bankruptcies ever.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s allegations “give rise to reasonable inferences” that Corzine and former Assistant Treasurer Edith O’Brien illegally transferred money out of customer accounts to stem losses from big bets on European sovereign debt. Marrero did not rule on the merits.
Read more at the Chicago Tribune

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[21 Jan 2014 | No Comment | ]

A Montreal-based equipment supplier for Divvy filed for bankruptcy Monday, but at least one city official said it shouldn’t affect operations of Chicago’s bicycle-sharing program.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre announced the filing by Public Bike System Co., or Bixi, which until recently ran that city’s bike-sharing program. The company owes its creditors millions of dollars.
Public Bike System Co. has provided the more than 3,000 bicycles, equipment for about 300 bike docking stations and computer software that is used to collect fees and keep track of bikes for the Divvy program, which …

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[3 Jan 2014 | No Comment | ]

Before the holiday break, Congress sent just 70 bills to the president’s desk. That compares — unfavorably, we are given to understand — with the 395 bills passed by the 80th Congress, whose supposed indolence Harry Truman ran against. It even compares unfavorably to the 112th Congress, which led to only 231 new laws.

The censorious pieces never stop to explain precisely why Congress should be judged according to the number of bills it passes. That’s simply assumed. This is one of those telltale signs of media bias that are always …

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[11 Nov 2013 | No Comment | ]

Manufacturers, grocery chains and retailers (are) interested in erecting solar panels along large swaths of abandoned industrial sites in Chicago.
“We have lots of clients and sites available,” Temple said.
But those companies are building large-scale projects in other states because they can’t make the math work in Illinois.

A glitch in the wording of a state law has prevented solar power from being purchased for Illinois electric customers even though they are paying into a fund for that purpose. What’s more, the state has yet to create a market for trading renewable …

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[20 Sep 2013 | One Comment | ]

Pope Francis warned that church leaders have become too focused on issues such as homosexuality and abortion at the expense of the church’s broader ministry.

“He spoke as somebody who is more human, and as a pastor, not as protector of dogma,” said Pett, the recent past president of the Chicago chapter of DignityUSA, a gay Catholic ministry not sponsored by the church.
His optimism over Francis’ comments resonated in Chicago among Catholics and observers sometimes at odds with church teachings even as those with more traditional views took comfort in the …

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[17 Sep 2013 | No Comment | ]

Jack Lavin, a longtime friend and chief of staff to Gov. Pat Quinn, is leaving state government to work in the private sector.

Lavin, 51, was was appointed chief of staff in 2010, a move that raised eyebrows given his previous position in imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration as well as Lavin’s connections to political fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, also in prison.
Lavin was Blagojevich’s director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity after Rezko recommended him for the post. Lavin once worked as the chief financial officer for Rezko’s …