Political news


Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is calling on Governor Bruce Rauner to meet with Syrian refugee families.

“These are poor people who are trying to escape ISIS,” Durbin said. “If the governor would just take a few moments, his idea about these refugees might change.” 

Rauner last week said the state should temporarily stop accepting refugees following the terrorist attacks in Paris. A spokesman for the governor says Rauner is frustrated over the federal government’s refusal to address specific security concerns and requests for information.

Bobby Rush Running For Re-Election

Nov 23, 2015
U.S. Democrats

Bobby Rush is running for re-election and says he won’t be resigning any time soon.

In his re-election announcement Friday, Rush made it biblical.

“Truly, I feel like Moses,” Rush said.

Rush says Pharoh’s army was chasing Moses. Rush says he’s being chased by people who want his Congressional seat.

And in front of Moses was the Red Sea, which Rush says is like the issues facing Chicago.

“The Red Sea of police brutality and murder,” Rush said. “The Red Sea of indifference of our issues. I intend to go forward into the Red Sea.”

Human rights groups in Illinois say they'll continue programs for Syrian refugees. That’s despite the governor's calls to suspend accepting them.

As of 2010, Illinois has welcomed about 170 Syrian refugees. That's according to Sam Tuttle, policy director for Heartland Alliance.

"We hope that the governor and his staff and the people of Illinois will learn more about the resettlement program and that we can all be welcoming refugees who have oftentimes witnessed some great horrors, so that they can start their lives again," Tuttle said.

This is a story about a meeting that was supposed to happen today, but didn't, for an arguably good reason:

House Speaker Michael Madigan needed to attend a funeral for his father-in-law, and the memorial service was out of state.

The meeting would've been the first between Madigan, Gov. Bruce Rauner and the other legislative leaders since the end of May. The group hasn't met since then to talk about the budget, or anything else really.

Illinois General Assembly

Republicans interested in running for Raymond Poe's former district in the Illinois House have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to submit an application to the Sangamon County GOP.

Poe on Friday announced he'll begin Monday as the agriculture director, meaning he won't be running for reelection.

Sangamon County Republican Chairman Rosemarie Long says the party will run a candidate in the primary, even though petitions are due the end of this month.

"Very short, very short time," Long said with a chuckle.

Illinois House Democrats

One of the longest-serving state representatives in Springfield is responding to a potential challenge from the son of Congressman Bobby Rush.

Flynn Rush hasn’t run for office, but he recently filed paperwork against the No. 2 Democrat in the Illinois House.

Barbara Flynn Currie has represented Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood since 1979. She’s had a few challengers along the way, but she’s always won handily.

Illinois Public Radio asked Currie what her relationship is like with her congressman.

Illinois House Democrats

A Chicago Democrat is defending recent votes he made against his own party.

State Representative Ken Dunkin went against Democrats and House Speaker Michael Madigan this week on a big vote involving child care and services for seniors.

Dunkin says he did that because he made an arrangement with Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

We got a breakthrough in two different areas and I’m ecstatic that the governor kept his word and we got the funding back in the budget for those two items,” Dunkin said.

Thousands Come For Trump In Springfield

Nov 10, 2015
Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images / NPR

More than 10,000 people came to Illinois’s capitol city last night to hear from Donald Trump, who’s leading Republican polls in the race for President. 

Trump spoke for more than an hour at the convention center. That’s just blocks away from the Old State Capitol, where President Barack Obama declared his candidacy in 2007. 

Trump criticized Obama's nuclear deal with Iran and says he wants to repeal Obama's signature health care law.

"We have incompetent people leading us. And we can't keep doing it,” Trump said. “We can't keep doing it."

Two More Presidential Candidates Pop Up In Illinois

Nov 9, 2015

Presidential contenders have been popping up in Illinois.

That includes two today.

The Illinois primary election is March 15th. That's a full month and a half after the Iowa caucuses, which kick off the race for America's next president.

But some of the top candidates are spending time here. Hillary Clinton campaigned -- and raised money -- in Chicago last week.

Today, Republicans are flying in.

Donald Trump will hold a rally in Springfield tonight. Back up north, former Ohio former Gov. John Kasich is stopping by Chicago's Billy Goat tavern tonight.


The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture says a new international trade partnership will help farmers and ranchers in Illinois. That’s if it gains congressional approval.

But some Chicago representatives are already skeptical of the plan.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, known as TPP, was reached last month. But the details haven’t been released to congress yet.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says the partnership will open new market opportunities for the soybean, corn and pork industries in Illinois, among other things.