Politics

Political news

House will convene Aug. 17 on Smith's fate

Jul 20, 2012

The Illinois House of Representatives will convene for one day next month to consider whether to expel one of its own.

A day after a special House committee recommended that Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, lose his seat, Speaker Michael Madigan told members to be in Springfield on Friday, Aug. 17.

A relatively short prison sentence seems to be bringing some relief to Stuart Levine, one of the central figures in the Blagojevich scandal.
After being sentenced yesterday, Stuart Levine smiled and shook hands and joked with many of the prosecutors and FBI agents who investigated him and brought him down.
And what a downfall it's been.
Levine went from being a multi-millionaire to working at a kiosk in a mall.

Wisconsin.gov

The race to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin’s Second District, which includes Beloit and much of Rock County,  has turned into a nasty fight between legislative colleagues, one championing experience and pragmatism, the other touting passion and exuberance.

Blagojevich fundraiser dodges prison time

Jul 18, 2012

Ali Ata donated $50,000 to Rod Blagojevich. In return he was appointed the executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority, a job that paid $125,000 a year.

Ata pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his relationship with the corrupt Blagojevich fundraiser and advisor Tony Rezko. But prosecutors say Ata began cooperating during Rezko's trial and ended up being a key witness.

On the stand Ata detailed a meeting where he gave Rezko a $25,000 contribution.

Federal prosecutors in Chicago contend that longtime Springfield powerbroker William Cellini deserves to go to prison for up to eight years.

A federal jury convicted Cellini in November of conspiring to shake down the Oscar-winning producer of "Million Dollar Baby" for a contribution to imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign. Cellini is scheduled to be sentenced July 23.

Jesse Jackson Jr. Getting Treated For 'Mood Disorder'

Jul 12, 2012

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is under intensive medical treatment for a "mood disorder," his office announced in a brief statement Wednesday, more than a month after the Chicago Democrat quietly went on medical leave of absence.

The two candidates are echoing thoughts from their respective parties when it comes to the Bush-era tax cuts.

Thomas Boken Jr. of DeKalb will be on the general election ballot as a Democratic candidate for the 90th House District seat being vacated by state Rep. Jerry Mitchell, R-Sterling, who is retiring after serving for 18 years.

The State Officers Electoral Board on Monday rejected an objection to Boken’s candidacy filed by Lee County Republican Party Chairman Greg Witzleb had objected to 178 signatures on Boken’s petitions.

Illinois State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, doesn’t expect lawmakers to act on pension reform until after the Nov. 6 general election, though Gov. Pat Quinn said they should be ready to return to Springfield this summer to work on the contentious issue.

A member of the governor’s pension reform committee, Nekritz told the Daily Herald editorial board “it’s not ideal” to delay the issue until after the election.

www.ilga.gov

A special legislative panel is scheduled to hold its final disciplinary hearing against indicted State Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, next Thursday, but Smith's attorneys want that timeline pushed back.

Smith was arrested in March on charges that he accepted a $7,000 bribe in exchange for helping a day care center get a state grant.

Although he's pleaded not guilty in federal court, there's no requirement that the General Assembly wait for a final verdict. The Illinois House is free to mete out punishment -- including taking away his seat.

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