Politics

Political news

The three candidates for the Democratic nomination to oppose incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk had their first informal debate Monday. It grew contentious over the issue of Laquan McDonald’s death and prosecuting police officers.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board asked the  candidates if the federal government should investigate practices at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

Andrea Zopp and Napoleon Harris are both African-American, and Zopp accused Harris of not leading on the topic of criminal justice in the black community.

An Egyptian activist is touring the U.S., reminding people that the struggle in her country continues five years after the uprising.

Tuesday night, she spoke in Rockford. Salma Hussein is a human rights advocate and journalist from Cairo, Egypt. She says "it's hard to see people talking about it like it's history because the movement is still there. Even if it's not necessarily with the same momentum anymore, the movement is still alive and present."

scottforchairman.com

The chairman of the Winnebago County Board will not run for re-election. Republican Scott Christiansen is dropping out of the March 15 primary. 

In Winnebago County, the chairman of the county board is elected by voters, not chosen by the board itself.

Christiansen has held the position since 2004 and, up until Sunday, it appeared he would run again. That’s when he told Rockford Register Star political editor Chuck Sweeny he was ending his re-election bid for health and family reasons.

College of DuPage

College campuses (and the politics behind them) are taking center stage in Springfield's festering stalemate.

Budget gridlock has kept money from going to higher education since July. Then, in a matter of hours on Thursday, Democratic lawmakers approved a plan that would pump $720 million dollars into the system. 

Republicans are calling it a "cruel hoax" that's giving students false hope, even though they, too, say they want to help higher ed. It's a scenario that demonstrates the partisan tensions -- and politics -- at play.

Gov. Bruce Rauner Creates New IT Agency

Jan 25, 2016

Illinois has doesn't have a centralized information technology infrastructure. It's a patchwork of old systems.

The field has narrowed in two northern Illinois contests on the March 15th primary ballot.

Rockford business consultant Colin McGroarty’s challenge to incumbent Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger is over.

His nominating petitions were challenged by Suzy Brown and David Welter, both of Morris in Grundy County, and he has been removed from the March primary ballot.

In the 67th Illinois House District, both challengers to incumbent Democrat Litesa Wallace also have been removed.

http://rockfordcityil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1212&Inline=True

A controversial housing proposal for Rockford’s east side has the go-ahead from a reluctant city council. Aldermen approved the site plans for the development on South New Towne Drive, on a 7 to 5 vote.

Jeff Bossert / Illinois Public Media

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says it’s too early to say who could come away with the GOP nomination for President.  

The Democrat and Senate Minority Whip says with the Iowa Caucuses two weeks away, he believes even most Republicans couldn’t yet answer that question.

Durbin says in his experience, voters need to wait until early March, after a few primaries and caucuses, to get a true sense of who’s leading. 

But the Senator admits surprise with Donald Trump’s high polling numbers.

Susan Walsh / AP

In this election year… each side of the political aisle had different takes on President Obama’s final State of the Union Address, and what it could mean for his legacy. 

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin calls President Obama’s address the kind given by a man tested by conflict, and served as a rebuttal to much of the rhetoric in the GOP race to succeed him. Like the president, the Illinois Democratic Senator is downplaying the threat ISIS poses to this country’s future.  

Amanda Vinicky / Illinois Public Radio

It'll be 2016 before Illinois' top political leaders meet again, as a historic stalemate grinds on.

If it wasn't obvious before that Illinois' political impasse wasn't going to end this year, it is now. "With the holidays now and, you know, kids on vacation, and travel, we may not be able to meet in the next two weeks," Gov. Bruce Rauner said Friday morning, after touring a Chicago high school.

Rauner says he expects he and the legislative leaders will next meet in early January. No date is set, but Rauner predicts it'll be around Jan. 3-5.

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