Politics

Political news

Both sides of the recall election targeting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are prepared for a razor-thin margin as the Republican tries to become the first U.S. governor to successfully fend off a recall effort.

Also targeted in today’s voting are Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and majority control of the state Senate.

A record turnout -- estimated as high as 65 percent of registered voters – is expected. Polls opened at 7 a.m., and voting continues until 8 p.m.

WNIJ

Illinois smokers could soon see a huge increase in the cost of a pack of cigarettes. The Illinois House today approved a plan to more than double the tax on cigarettes, to $1.98 a pack. Other tobacco products would see a similar increase.

Fitzgerald: I'm not running for office

May 24, 2012

Outgoing U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald says he will not run for elective office.

That comes after the highly respected federal prosecutor announced yesterday that he'll step down at the end of June. In a 35-minute news conference today the media-averse Fitzgerald talked to reporters about why he's stepping down.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

ComEd President and CEO Anne Pramaggiore says there will be two new state-of-the art facilities to train the next generation of utility workers -- and the first one will be in Rockford.

Rockford is one step closer to a casino

May 23, 2012
worldcasinodirectory.com

The Illinois House, in a 69 to 47 vote, has passed a gambling expansion bill that would create new casinos -- including one in Rockford -- and allow slot machines at the state's racetracks.

Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, says it will bring Illinois money it needs as the state faces steep budget cuts. Lang says that, as the budget process progresses, it’s clear the state isn't doing well enough.

“We haven't created enough jobs. We don't have enough revenue," he said. "Is this a panacea for all of our ills? Of course not.  Can it be step to build a better economy? Absolutely it can."

Patrick Fitzgerald has scheduled a news conference Thursday to announce his resignation, according to the Justice Department.  Fitzgerald was selected as northern Illinois' top prosecutor in 2001.

During his tenure he successfully tried two Illinois governors, George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich, and media mogul Conrad Black.

As a special prosecutor, he investigated Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.  Fitzgerald's investigation led to Libby's conviction on charges that he leaked the covert identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Democratic leaders in the 16th Congressional district have chosen a candidate to run against Republican Adam Kinzinger this fall. A caucus of county party leaders within the district voted to slate Wanda Rohl.

Senator Mark Kirk / www.kirk.senate.gov

Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) has released a video showing his progress in recovering from his January stroke. The video is quite candid: it shows Kirk laboring to learn to walk again, with a cane, treadmill, and a harness. 

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Illinois' junior U.S.  Senator Mark Kirk is moving home from a local rehab center after suffering a stroke in January.

Kirk's office says the Republican senator has "progressed to the point where he can move home with his family."

His office sent out a statement today at the request of Kirk's family. The senator has been recovering at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and will continue to do so, but as an out-patient.

Part of Kirk's skull was removed following the surgery to alleviate pressure, but doctors have said he's "mentally sharp."

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