Politics

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What Happens To Empty Seats In Local Elections?

Apr 7, 2015
Flickr user Brendan C / "Local Election Ballot" (CC BY 2.0)

Local elections are being held today throughout Illinois. Some races are contested and some uncontested, but others have no candidates on the ballot.

What happens then? 

More than 115 seats out of about 1,600 races in 19 northern Illinois counties do not have registered candidates.

That's about seven percent of all the seats up for grabs in this election. Those seats include Education Service Region trustees within Boone and Winnebago Counties and the Village President seat in Campus.

Kirk Won't Lend Support To LaHood In 18th District Election

Apr 7, 2015
WTTW

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk isn't lending his support to anyone yet in the race to replace former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock in the 18th Illinois Congressional District.

Kirk says he's letting his fellow Republicans choose their candidate for a special election. He declined to endorse the current front-runner, state Sen. Darin LaHood.

"I would say Darin has the right family name for Peoria leadership because his dad is so well-loved," he said, referring to long-time Congressman Ray LaHood.

NIU

Illinois State Comptroller Leslie Munger and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin will meet with Northern Illinois University officials today to discuss financial matters.

Munger, a Republican appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, will discuss dealing with the state’s budget crisis at 1:30 p.m. She also will visit Waubonsee College this morning.

Durbin, the Number Two Democrat in the U.S. Senate, will talk about proposed legislation to ensure funding for research at 2:30 p.m.

Durbin is making earlier stops at the Whiteside Area Career Center in Sterling and the Rock Island Arsenal.

Emanuel, Garcia Face Off In Today's Election

Apr 7, 2015
WBEZ / WTTW

The candidates for Chicago mayor spent the final days of the campaign re-enforcing their priorities and challenging each other's points.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seeking a second term. He's in a runoff election against Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia after falling short of the needed majority to win February's election.

Emanuel took to T.V. cameras to emphasize something he’s pushed since his very early days in office. He says he’s brought corporate headquarters and new jobs to the city.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan says Illinois should deny a pension to a terminally-ill former lawmaker for collecting and trading nearly 3,000 pornographic images of children. 

Madigan ruled Thursday former state Rep. Keith Farnham forfeited his right to his twelve-hundred dollar monthly benefit.

Madigan says that’s because Farnham used the state's computers to access child porn before he resigned last year.

Madigan also says the Elgin Democrat is due a refund of his pension contributions.

A legislative panel will consider Farnham's pension April 15. 

WTTW

Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois is blasting a preliminary nuclear agreement between Iran, the U.S. and other world powers.

The deal announced Thursday outlines limits on Iran's nuclear program so it cannot lead to atomic weapons.

Kirk is one of the most vocal U.S. senators pushing for tougher sanctions against Iran, aimed at curtailing the country's nuclear program. He says Iran will be allowed to “keep vast capabilities to make nuclear weapons,” and the U.S. and its international partners will “dismantle the sanctions regime against Iran.”

Controversial Indiana Law Could Be Revisited

Apr 2, 2015
State of Indiana

Indiana lawmakers could vote Thursday on amending a law that's caused a firestorm.

Republican lawmakers and Governor Mike Pence have faced widespread criticism over a religious freedom law. In fact, one northern Indiana pizzeria says it will not cater same-sex weddings on religious grounds.

Now lawmakers want to amend that law so that it cannot be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Democrats like State Senator Earline Rogers of Gary says there’s a simpler solution.

WUIS

Illinois’s House speaker is staking an early claim in what may be a contentious budget battle. 

Billions of dollars in cuts proposed by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner already spurred rallies at the capitol. Groups foretell of grave consequences. 

House Speaker Michael Madigan says he acknowledges Illinois is in a difficult budget situation.

But there's one area he wants to spend more on: state crime labs.

Special Election Announced For Schock's Seat

Apr 1, 2015
Wiki

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner called for a special election to fill Aaron Schock's vacant congressional seat. Rauner's office wants a special primary election held on June 8 and a special election on July 24.

Candidates will be able to file nominating papers with the state board of elections later this month. 

Rauner's office warned Tuesday the actual dates of the election will change in order to comply with federal voting law.

Indiana Public Media

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence wants legislators to fix a controversial law by the end of the week.

That comes as pressure continues to mount for an economic boycott of the state.

Pence continued to blame the media for spreading misinformation about a Religious Freedom law that he says cannot be used to discriminate against gay people.

He says he wants legislators to draft language to make that message clear and he wants it in two days just as the NCAA’s men's Final Four gets underway in Indianapolis.

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