politics

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.  

Lawmakers Suggest Bill To Recall Chicago Mayor

Dec 10, 2015

Two Chicago Democrats are proposing legislation that would allow city voters to recall their mayor.

Democratic Rep. La Shawn Ford filed legislation Wednesday outlining a lengthy process for a city special election. Ford tells Chicago's WBBM-TV that people have lost confidence in Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

State Representative Mary Flowers says the recall bill probably couldn’t apply to Emanuel, since it hasn’t been passed and he’s already elected.

Flowers represents the Gresham neighborhood on the city’s South Side, where she says Emanuel hasn’t brought enough jobs.

Illinois House Republicans

The newest Illinois state legislator has been sworn in.

Sara Wojcicki-Jiminez is a Republican from Springfield. She was previously an aide to first lady Diana Rauner and a spokeswoman for the House Republican caucus.

"One of the things that I learned on staff is that I should definitely keep this brief,” she said. “So I am very humbled by the opportunity. I am honored. I look forward to working with everybody in our caucus, and for our friends across the aisle."

WUIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is rebuffing a bid by the White House to assuage concerns over Syrian refugees.

Rauner is one of about 30 governors nationwide who said no to taking in people fleeing war-ravaged Syria. Rauner, a Republican, cited security concerns following the terror attacks in Paris.

"What matters is a coordinated, cooperative, highly communicative effort at a national scale to protect the people of America against terrorists," he said in November.

Flickr: West Midlands Police / Photo cropped from original

A Chicago Democrat says he hopes a new state law will prevent the very situation that’s playing out over the death of a 17-year-old killed by a Chicago police officer.

The new law sets standards for officers who wear body cameras.

State representative Elgie Sims says it’s significant, given the release of a police dashboard video of the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

“It only reinforces what we did,” Sims said.

Senate.gov

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.

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.

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