Political news

Republicans in the redrawn 90th Illinois House District are attempting to prevent Thomas Boken Jr. of DeKalb from appearing on the November ballot to oppose Tom Demmer of Dixon for retiring state Rep. Jerry Mitchell’s seat.

Rep. Jackson off on medical leave

Jun 26, 2012

Few details are being provided about the unexpected medical leave of absence that U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Chicago, began on June 10.

The three-sentence statement says Jackson went on medical leave just over two weeks ago. It says Jackson "asks that you respect his family's privacy."

A spokesman says the congressman is being treated for exhaustion. He had no further comment. Jackson's district offices remain open.

A southern Illinois priest is being ousted for improvising part of his services.

Bishop Edward Braxton of the Belleville Diocese has told the Rev. Bill Rowe he's now considered retired and must leave the rectory at St. Mary Parish in Mount Carmel on July 10.

Rowe's long-stated practice of changing portions of the liturgy to make them easier to understand didn't become public until February. That came after church leaders in Rome revamped the liturgy to be based on earlier Latin versions.

Jim Hughes, Winnebago County Director of Development Services, has announced that he plans to run mayor of Rockford.

A former Rockford alderman and Winnebago County Board member, the self-described “Zeke Giorgi Democrat” filed as a candidate for State Senate in the 34th District last fall but withdrew when his petitions were challenged. He also has been a Rockford mayoral candidate before.

Hughes plans to announce his candidacy officially at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main St.

Poll says Illinois' small businesses appear to favor health care law

Jun 20, 2012

The Illinois-based Campaign for Better Health Care reports that  63% of small business owners said they want the Affordable Care Act kept intact. The figure grows to 68% when respondents learn more details about what's contained in the law. Only 22% of respondents said they want the law overturned.

Winnebago Village Trustee Kris Kieper has been named to the first class of Edgar Fellows to address issues facing the future of Illinois.

Kieper is CEO of the Rockford YWCA and writes a blog for the Rockford Register Star.

  • Democratic congressional hopeful files petitions
  • Rockford casino not likely to get Quinn’s OK
  • Rockford man gets 37 years for Will County murder
  • Starved Rock hopes for contest windfall
  • Staggered state senate terms assigned

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.


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.