WBEZ | Illinois politics http://www.wbez.org/tags/illinois-politics Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Tio Hardiman considers write-in campaign for Illinois governor http://www.wbez.org/news/tio-hardiman-considers-write-campaign-illinois-governor-109891 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Tio H from campaign.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Updated 2:02 PM 3/20/2014</strong></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-fce19a07-dc93-a968-c822-beb681c1e481">Anti-violence activist <a href="http://www.hardimanforillinois.com/">Tio Hardiman</a> says he actually feels pretty good about his loss to incumbent Pat Quinn in Hardiman&rsquo;s first try to become the governor of Illinois.</p><p dir="ltr">Quinn was the expected winner in the primary race Tuesday, but Hardiman says he&rsquo;s proud that he was able to pull in more than 28 percent of the vote.</p><p dir="ltr">But that doesn&rsquo;t mean he was comfortable with the results.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Bottom line - the Democratic machine once again has failed the state,&rdquo; Hardiman said, moments after the results rolled in Tuesday night. &ldquo;And the machine continues to go with failed policies under Governor Quinn.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">And that&rsquo;s why Hardiman is going after a write-in campaign.</p><p dir="ltr">Hardiman says venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, the GOP nominee for governor, is not a good choice for the people of Illinois, and Governor Quinn &ldquo;has too many issues.&rdquo;</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-rauner-set-clash-illinois-governor-race-109885" target="_blank">Quinn, Rauner set to clash in Illinois governor race</a></strong></p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">So that lead me to ask - how does one become a write-in candidate in Illinois?</p><p dir="ltr">According to Jim Allen, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, the laws have evolved to make sure people don&rsquo;t waste their votes on silly candidates.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t have to count ballots cast for screwball names or made up candidate names,&rdquo; Allen said. &ldquo;And there has to be a declaration of intent by the write-in candidate filed with each jurisdiction where they want their ballots counted.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">So that means Daffy Duck or Derrick Rose wouldn&rsquo;t be counted, unless of course they filed ahead of time. But for those who really want to be a write-in, say, for the governor&rsquo;s race in Illinois, Allen says potential candidates would have to notify 109 election authorities - or however many that the candidate expects to get write-in votes for.</p><p dir="ltr">Turns out, people are willing to put in the time for the big national or statewide races.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;They never want to start at alderman, or ward committeeman, or school board member in the suburbs,&rdquo; Allen said. &ldquo;They seem to like to file for the higher profile offices.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Election lawyer Richard K. Means says the election laws are also meant to keep the ballot a reasonable length. But he says in a case like Tio Hardiman&rsquo;s, there&rsquo;s another regulation to be wary of: the &ldquo;Sore Loser&rdquo; law.</p><p dir="ltr">According to Means, <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=001000050K7-43">Section 7-43</a> of the Illinois Election Code basically says you only get one chance to present yourself to the electorate.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You can&rsquo;t do what people used to do in Illinois before this law was passed, and that&rsquo;s take a second bite of the apple and run as a member of a third party,&rdquo; Means said.</p><p dir="ltr">Means says that section also means you can&rsquo;t run again as a write-in in the general election after you lost in the primary.</p><p dir="ltr">And turns out, there&#39;s an even more specific <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=001000050K17-16.1">statute</a> that explicitly states write-in candidacy is a no-go for anyone who already ran and lost in a primary. The law states: &quot;A candidate for whom a nomination paper has been filed as a partisan candidate at a primary election, and who is defeated for his or her nomination at the primary election is ineligible to file a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate for election in that general or consolidated election.&quot;</p><p>When I took this information to Hardiman, he says his people will continue digging into the details. And if a write-in run doesn&rsquo;t work, he says he&rsquo;s got other plans to stay in the game and represent his supporters: Plans like requesting meetings with Rauner and Quinn to talk state policy, and running someone against Rahm Emanuel in the Chicago mayoral election in 2015.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/triciabobeda"> </a><a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p></p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 17:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/tio-hardiman-considers-write-campaign-illinois-governor-109891 The winners and losers of primary day in Illinois http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-03-19/winners-and-losers-primary-day-illinois-109886 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Teemu008.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A wrap-up of primary day and what each party plans to do to ensure its candidates win in November. We&#39;ll also examine Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in civilians. And, a critical look at recent film and TV portrayals of Chicago.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-chicago-on-the-silver-screen-and-the/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-chicago-on-the-silver-screen-and-the.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-chicago-on-the-silver-screen-and-the" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: The winners and losers of primary day in Illinois" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 08:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-03-19/winners-and-losers-primary-day-illinois-109886 Rauner wins GOP nomination for Illinois governor http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-wins-gop-nomination-illinois-governor-109884 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP89915563869.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner won the GOP primary Tuesday in his bid for Illinois governor, as voters embraced a first campaign by the multimillionaire who flooded the airwaves with vows to run the Democratic stronghold like a business and curb the influence of government unions.</p><p>With Republicans eyeing what they view as their best shot in years to win the top job in President Barack Obama&#39;s home state, Rauner defeated three longtime state lawmakers &mdash; including the current state treasurer. He advances to a November matchup with Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who easily won his nomination for a second full term.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-gov-quinn-wins-democratic-nomination-109882" target="_blank">Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn wins Democratic nomination in bid for a second term</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Between Quinn and predecessor Rod Blagojevich, now imprisoned for corruption, Democrats have held the governorship since 2003. But Rauner could present a serious threat, partly due to a massive campaign bank account that already includes more than $6 million of his own money.</p><p>For voters across Illinois, the governor&#39;s race represented a potentially transformative battle over union influence, with some voters saying they wanted to break an alliance between organized labor and Democrats, who have long controlled most statewide offices and the Legislature.</p><p>Organized labor battled back out of concern that Rauner could seek to weaken unions in the same way GOP governors have in other states across the Midwest.</p><p>Rauner says he would model his governorship after those of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. Both significantly rolled back union power in what they said were necessary steps to attract business and reduce costs. Rauner defeated state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford in the primary.</p><p>&quot;Rauner is going to be a bull in a china shop; we need a bull,&quot; said Tom Sommer, a 57-year-old real estate broker from the Chicago suburb Hinsdale. &quot;It&#39;s not going to be more of the same.&quot;</p><p>Issues such as a public pension overhaul and high taxes &quot;are coming to the fore and the old guard is not going to handle that,&quot; Sommer said, adding that he voted for Rauner because of his tough talk against the unions that represent public sector workers. That sentiment persists despite Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn&#39;s push to fix Illinois&#39; finances by overhauling the heavily underwater public pension systems, which earned him the unions&#39; ire.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-republicans-nominate-oberweis-senate-109883" target="_blank">Jim Oberweis wins GOP primary for U.S. Senate, will face Dick Durbin</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Rauner has also won supporters with his call for term limits.</p><p>Union leaders, meanwhile, sought Rauner&#39;s defeat by encouraging members to pull Republican ballots and vote for Dillard, who picked up several union endorsements.</p><p>The typically left-leaning unions spent more than $6 million on the GOP primary, both in anti-Rauner and pro-Dillard ads. Rauner raised more than $14 million, including $6 million of his own money &mdash; more than any candidate seeking a gubernatorial nomination in state history.</p><p>Rauner warned supporters about the unions&#39; efforts, saying Quinn&#39;s &quot;allies&quot; were trying to hijack the election. He said legislative term limits could break the labor-Democratic alliance.</p><p>Quinn&#39;s first re-election ad of the season &mdash; focusing on Rauner&#39;s evolving stance on raising the minimum wage &mdash; hit the airwaves Tuesday evening. Quinn has called for increasing the state&#39;s rate from $8.25 to at least $10 an hour. Rauner had initially called for a cut and later said he&#39;d raise it under certain circumstances.</p><p>In the southern Illinois, voters had another reason to want to upend the state&#39;s political order, saying they felt marginalized and neglected by a political balance weighted toward Democrats and the Chicago region.</p><p>&quot;In the last 10 years, things have gotten really bad (in the state),&quot; said Marty Johns, 48, of Godfrey. &quot;Throw out all the Democrats in Chicago. All of our money goes up there while southern Illinois gets the crumbs.&quot;</p><p>Johns said he voted for Dillard to &quot;remove Quinn.&quot;</p><p>But others said they liked Quinn, whose administration has avoided major scandals &mdash; unlike his two predecessors who went to prison.</p><p>&quot;I think he&#39;s honest and he does the best he can do with what he&#39;s got to work with,&quot; said Ed Kline, a 61-year-old LeRoy farmer who voted for Quinn.</p><p>Quinn, who was Blagojevich&#39;s lieutenant governor and assumed the office after he was booted amid a corruption scandal, easily defeated a lesser-known primary challenger Tio Hardiman in his bid for a second full term.</p><p>Brady won the 2010 GOP nomination, but lost the general election to Quinn. Brady, of Bloomington, argued he built the support during that bid to defeat Quinn this time around.</p><p>Rutherford, of Chenoa, did little campaigning recently. He all but conceded defeat after a former employee filed a federal lawsuit accusing Rutherford of sexual harassment and political coercion. Rutherford denied the allegations.</p><p>Republican primary voters also chose state Sen. Jim Oberweis, a dairy magnate, to run in November against U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate&#39;s second-ranking Democrat. Oberweis, who defeated businessman and West Point graduate Doug Truax in the primary, has lost five of his six bids for public office.</p><p>Also on the ballot were primary races for the U.S. House, Illinois Legislature and statewide constitutional officers.</p></p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 20:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-wins-gop-nomination-illinois-governor-109884 Illinois primary results http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-primary-results-109879 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS6642_voting sign AP-scr_2.jpg" alt="" /><p><ul><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-wins-gop-nomination-illinois-governor-109884">Businessman Bruce Rauner wins GOP nomination for Illinois governor</a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-gov-quinn-wins-democratic-nomination-109882" target="_blank">Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn wins Democratic nomination in bid for a second term</a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-republicans-nominate-oberweis-senate-109883" target="_blank">Jim Oberweis wins GOP primary for U.S. Senate, will face Dick Durbin</a></li></ul><p><strong>Election Results:</strong></p><table border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" dir="ltr" style="table-layout:fixed;font-size:13px;font-family:arial,sans,sans-serif;border-collapse:collapse;border:1px solid #ccc"><colgroup><col width="120" /><col width="120" /><col width="120" /><col width="120" /></colgroup><tbody><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);">Race</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);">Candidate</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);">Votes</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);">Percent</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);">Illinois Governor</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">IL Governor (R)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Bill Brady</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">119,213</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">15.1%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Dan Rutherford</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">59,763</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">7.6%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Kirk Dillard</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">295,295</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">37.4%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;"><strong>Bruce Rauner (W)</strong></td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">314,457</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">39.9%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">IL Governor (D)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;"><strong>Pat Quinn (W)</strong></td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">301,912</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">71.8%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Tio Hardiman</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">118,449</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">28.2%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);">U.S. Senate</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">U.S. Senate (R)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Douglas Truax</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">319,273</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">43.9%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;"><strong>Jim Oberweis (W)</strong></td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">407,271</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">56.1%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);">U.S. House</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">3rd District (R)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;"><strong>S. Brannigan (W)</strong></td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">17,709</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">62.7%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">D. Harris</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">10,507</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">37.3%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">4th District (D)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">A. Eidenberg</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">4,531</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">16.5%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">J. Zavala</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">2,472</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">9%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;"><strong>L. Gutierrez (W)</strong></td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">20,402</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">74.4%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">8th District (R)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">M. Goel</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">9,338</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">28.6%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;"><strong>L. Kaifesh (W)</strong></td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">23,295</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">71.4%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">9th District (R)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;"><strong>S. Atanus</strong></td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">14,955</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">52.4%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">D. Williams</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">13,603</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">47.6%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">11th District (R)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">C. Balkema</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; 10,704</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">32.4%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">I. Bayne</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; 1,155</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">3.5%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">B. Miller</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; 8,704</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">26.4%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;"><strong>D. Senger (W)</strong></td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; 10,835</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">37.1%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">13th District (R)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;"><strong>R. Davis (W)</strong></td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; 27,773</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;54.6%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">M. Firsching</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; 2,145</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">4.2%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">E. Harold</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; 20,921</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">41.2%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">13th District (D)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;"><strong>A. Callis (W)</strong></td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">17,279</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">58.2%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">G. Gollin</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">9,908</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">31.3%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">D. Green</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">4,431</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">14%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">14th District (D)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;"><strong>D. Anderson (W)</strong></td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">4,589</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">65.4%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">J. Hosta</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">2,426</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">34.6%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">16th District (R)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;"><strong>A. Kinzinger (W)</strong></td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; 55,781</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">78.5%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">D. Hale</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; 15,319</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">21.3%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">18th District (D)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">R. Mellon</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">5,669</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">45.7%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;"><strong>D. Miller (W)</strong></td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">6,732</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">54.3%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; background-color: white; font-size: 100%; vertical-align: bottom; overflow: hidden;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; background-color: white; font-size: 100%; vertical-align: bottom; overflow: hidden;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; background-color: white; font-size: 100%; vertical-align: bottom; overflow: hidden;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; background-color: white; font-size: 100%; vertical-align: bottom; overflow: hidden;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr; background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);">Cook County</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; background-color: white; font-size: 100%; vertical-align: bottom; overflow: hidden;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; background-color: white; font-size: 100%; vertical-align: bottom; overflow: hidden;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; background-color: white; font-size: 100%; vertical-align: bottom; overflow: hidden;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; background-color: white; font-size: 100%; vertical-align: bottom; overflow: hidden;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Cook County Sheriff (D)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Thomas Dart</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">156,821</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">69.6%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Bill Evans</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">31,924</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">14.2%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Sylvester Baker, Jr.</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">22,495</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; 10%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Ted Palka</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">14,045</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">6.2%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Cook County Comissioner, 1st District (D)</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Richard Boykin</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">6,201</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">30.5%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Ike Carothers</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">4,451</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">21.9%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Ronald Lawless</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">751</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">3.7%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Blake Sercye</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">5,518</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">27.1%</td></tr><tr style="height:17px;"><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">&nbsp;</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; direction: ltr;">Brenda Smith</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">3,422</td><td style="padding: 0px 3px; vertical-align: bottom; text-align: right;">16.8%</td></tr></tbody></table><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 16:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-primary-results-109879 Could Illinois' next governor undo same-sex marriage? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/could-illinois-next-governor-undo-same-sex-marriage-109844 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/thumb_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicagoan Christie Pettitt-Schieber has spent a lot of time thinking about the future of same-sex marriage in Illinois. Apparently, so has her girlfriend of two years.</p><p>As Pettitt-Scheiber tells it: &ldquo;She goes on Etsy all the time, and she will, pull up, like, hundreds and hundreds of engagement rings, and then force me to look at the website and go, &lsquo;Do you like this one? Do you like this one? What do you think about this one?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>But before they take the plunge, Pettitt-Schieber, 26, asked Curious City a more fundamental question about Illinois&rsquo; gay marriage law, which was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-says-he-will-sign-marriage-equality-bill-month-109084" target="_blank">approved by the legislature</a> late last year and is set to take effect statewide on June 1st.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>Could the next governor reverse the same-sex marriage legislation that just passed?</em></p><p>Gay marriage has been a hot-button political issue in Illinois for a few years, and the allegiances and beliefs involved don&rsquo;t always break along party lines. After months of furious lobbying and nose-counting by both backers and opponents, the bill to legalize same-sex marriages passed by a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-says-he-will-sign-marriage-equality-bill-month-109084" target="_blank">narrow margin</a> in the state House in early November.</p><p>But the foundation of Christie&rsquo;s question gets to an apolitical issue: the relationship between the branches of Illinois government.</p><p><strong>Illinois Civics: 101</strong></p><p>To find out whether an Illinois governor could unilaterally undo the state&rsquo;s same-sex marriage law &mdash; or any law, for that matter &mdash; we called up Charles Wheeler, director of the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield and an expert on the state constitution.</p><p>Wheeler&rsquo;s answer is pretty straightforward: &ldquo;No.&rdquo;</p><p>But there&rsquo;s a civics lesson behind that &ldquo;no.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;The Illinois governor has no ability to unilaterally rewrite the statutes,&rdquo; Wheeler said. The only way a governor could undo a state law was by the same way it was done in the first place: with the approval of a majority of state Senators and Representatives.</p><p>The closest an Illinois governor can get to ruling by fiat is an executive order, Wheeler said. But the <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/con5.htm" target="_blank">Illinois Constitution</a> only lets governors use that power to reorganize parts of state government, not to magic away laws they dislike. And even then, the legislature can overturn an order.</p><p>But that doesn&rsquo;t mean governors haven&rsquo;t tried.</p><p>When former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was impeached by the Illinois House in 2009, the charges against him weren&rsquo;t limited to the corruption that would later send him to prison. Buried in the <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/95/HR/09500HR1671.htm" target="_blank">laundry list</a> of Blagojevich&rsquo;s misdeeds was Article 9, which accused him of &ldquo;utter disregard of the doctrine of separation of powers&rdquo; when he unilaterally expanded a state healthcare program that the legislature rejected.</p><p>Complicating matters more recently is a ruling <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/judge-allows-same-sex-couples-marry-cook-county-starting-now-109751" target="_blank">last month</a> by Chicago Federal Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, ordering that gay couples in Cook County must be issued marriage licenses immediately, rather than waiting for the new law&rsquo;s original June 1 start date. Coleman <a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/140221%20Federal%20gay%20marriage%20ruling%20Cook%20County.pdf" target="_blank">wrote</a> that the state&rsquo;s current prohibition of same-sex marriages (which is still in effect until June) violates the U.S. Constitution. That ruling <a href="http://www.senatormccarter.com/index.cfm?sectionid=22&amp;parentid=21&amp;sectiontree=21,22&amp;itemid=532" target="_blank">put an end</a> to one downstate Illinois Senator&rsquo;s move to repeal the gay marriage law.</p><p>For Wheeler, all of this adds up to one conclusion: &ldquo;I would be willing to bet any amount of money that Illinois will not repeal same-sex marriage.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Answers from the candidates</strong></p><p>Given that any repeal of the gay marriage law would take an act of political will (versus executive decree), Curious City asked the two Democrats and six Republicans running in the March 18th gubernatorial primary whether they would work to overturn same-sex marriage.</p><p>Some answers required some tooth-pulling (as you&rsquo;ll hear in the <a href="#playlist">audio excerpts</a>&nbsp;below), but here&rsquo;s what they had to say.</p><p><strong>Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn:</strong> &ldquo;The Governor led the charge to make Illinois the 16th state to embrace full marriage equality, and he is proud to have gotten the job done,&rdquo; spokeswoman Brooke Anderson wrote in an email. &ldquo;This was a major step forward for Illinois. As long as he&rsquo;s Governor, he will defend this law and make sure all couples have equal rights in Illinois.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Democrat Tio Hardiman, anti-violence advocate:</strong> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the law. If somebody was to bring some legislation to my desk, we would look at it. But ... I plan to enforce that law. People need to be happy in their lives. I&rsquo;m not here to, you know, try to play God with people&rsquo;s lives.&rdquo;</p><p>The four candidates running for the Republican Party&rsquo;s nomination <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/videogallery/79102861/Live-Republican-candidates-for-Illinois-governor" target="_blank">were asked a similar question recently</a> by the Chicago Tribune editorial board.</p><p><strong>Republican Illinois State Sen. Bill Brady:</strong> &ldquo;I&rsquo;d be consistent with my position,&rdquo; Brady said. He clarified that he would sign a repeal &ldquo;if it came to me,&rdquo; but added &ldquo;it&rsquo;s unrealistic to even address the issue.&rdquo; Brady <a href="http://ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/98/senate/09800SB0010_11052013_001000C.pdf" target="_blank">voted against the bill</a> in the legislature.</p><p><strong>Republican businessman Bruce Rauner: </strong>&ldquo;I would not sign it if there hasn&rsquo;t been a referendum on it. I wanna see what the voters want on that issue. I won&rsquo;t take any action on that issue unless I see what the voters want.&rdquo; Rauner has repeatedly refused to reveal how he feels about gay marriage.</p><p><strong>Republican Illinois State Sen. Kirk Dillard:</strong> &ldquo;If [a repeal] got to my desk [I would sign it], but that&rsquo;s not gonna happen. Let&rsquo;s focus on things like the economy and how we&rsquo;re gonna fix the state&rsquo;s finances.&rdquo; Dillard <a href="http://ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/98/senate/09800SB0010_11052013_001000C.pdf" target="_blank">voted against the bill</a> in the legislature.</p><p><strong>Republican Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford: </strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not gonna get to the desk. It&rsquo;s not gonna pass. It&rsquo;s not gonna get there. It is the law. ... I did not support the bill from the religious standpoint of it.&rdquo; Rutherford was out of the legislature when the same-sex marriage bill was passed, though he previously <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/96/senate/09600SB1716_12012010_006000C.pdf" target="_blank">voted in favor</a> of same-sex civil unions when he was a state senator.<a name="playlist"></a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="400" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/26498163&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>It&rsquo;s all politics</strong></p><p>If the unilateral repeal of gay marriage by an Illinois governor is legally impossible, it&rsquo;s also politically improbable, said Gregg Durham, an Illinois pollster who has worked with many Republican candidates (though he said he is not currently working for any gubernatorial campaign.)</p><p>Durham said the Republican candidates&rsquo; hesitation to talk about repealing gay marriage &mdash; even if they believe it should be repealed &mdash; is because it&rsquo;s a losing issue for the Illinois GOP.</p><p>&ldquo;I would tell them to run away as fast as they could from the question,&rdquo; Durham said.</p><p>Why?</p><p>Public opinion, for one: Durham&rsquo;s polling reflects growing approval of same-sex marriage in Illinois, and more resignation from people who are still opposed to it.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re starting to hear less and less about changing it, and more about, &lsquo;Fine, can we get onto more important issues now?&rsquo;&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Durham also cites the political math in Springfield. Democrats enjoy large majorities in both houses of the General Assembly, and the party has two powerful leaders &mdash; House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. Both exercise broad control over which bills are actually called up for a vote.</p><p>And even with those hefty majorities, and the support of some heavy-hitting Democratic pols, the gay marriage vote was still a tough one for rank-and-file lawmakers. And the difficulty wasn&rsquo;t just for Republicans, whose party platform defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.</p><p>Durham&rsquo;s own polling also showed opposition from some Democrats in Chicago and southern Illinois.</p><p>&ldquo;No one likes to pay for real estate twice,&rdquo; Durham said. &ldquo;The passage of that bill took a long time and a lot of effort by a lot of people. Now they don&rsquo;t wanna go back and have a second vote on it &mdash; anybody, probably on either side of the issue.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/akeefe">Alex Keefe</a> is a political reporter at WBEZ. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZpolitics">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://plus.google.com/102759794640397640028">Google+</a>.</em></p><p><em>Note: This report received additional support through <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center">Front &amp; Center</a>, an occasional WBEZ series funded by The Joyce Foundation. </em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 15:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/could-illinois-next-governor-undo-same-sex-marriage-109844 Minimum wage hike to test 2014 governor candidates http://www.wbez.org/news/minimum-wage-hike-test-2014-governor-candidates-109509 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP275293127269.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The long-percolating issue of Illinois&#39; minimum wage rate could take center stage throughout the 2014 election campaign as Gov. Pat Quinn pushes to raise it by year&#39;s end while his Republican challengers fine-tune arguments that it could backfire on workers who want to keep their jobs.</p><p>Quinn wants Illinois to hike its minimum wage from $8.25 per hour to at least $10, an effort that coincides with a national Democratic strategy to make the economy and income differences a prominent theme in this year&#39;s elections.</p><p>On the other side, a coalition of business groups is ready to oppose those efforts, saying a wage hike pushes employers to cut jobs. One Quinn challenger, Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner, already has been criticized for reversing his position on the issue, while all four Republican gubernatorial candidates are set to attend a Feb. 4 Illinois Manufacturers&#39; Association forum, where organizers say the minimum wage will be a main topic.</p><p>Roughly 1.1 million people in Illinois make the state minimum wage, meaning a full-time minimum wage worker makes roughly $17,000 annually. Illinois last raised its minimum wage in 2010 through a four-step increase, and the state&#39;s rate is the highest among Midwestern states, $1 more than in neighboring Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin.</p><p>Experts say the issue will be a tough one for GOP candidates, especially leading up to the March 18 primary. The idea of raising the rate is something the party typically opposes as bad for business, but it&#39;s popular with voters.</p><p>&quot;Republican candidates ... have to finesse this issue in the primary where they don&#39;t alienate primary voters and, at the same time ... leave themselves to appeal to the (general) electorate,&quot; said David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University.</p><p>The candidates detailed their views on the issue in an Associated Press campaign questionnaire. State Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford all say they are against an increase. Rauner said he&#39;d support an increase if the national rate of $7.25 per hour is raised or Illinois makes other business reforms first &mdash; a shift from previous statements in which he&#39;d advocated cutting the state&#39;s rate to the national minimum wage and said he was &quot;adamantly&quot; against raising it.</p><p>His reversal made headlines last week, but it&#39;s not the first time an Illinois candidate has struggled with the issue.</p><p>In 2010, when Brady was the Republican nominee against Quinn, he said he wanted to equal or adopt the federal minimum wage &mdash; which was interpreted to imply he wanted to cut Illinois&#39; rate. His staff quickly said that was untrue, but Quinn would often accuse Brady of wanting to cut the rate while on the campaign trail.</p><p>Brady wrote in the 2014 AP questionnaire that he wants a moratorium on increases until the federal rate catches up. He called raising the rate &quot;counterproductive.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Business considers many factors when deciding to expand or add staff, and the cost of labor is certainly one of those prime considerations,&quot; he wrote.</p><p>Dillard in 2006 voted for raising the state&#39;s minimum wage but now says he&#39;s against it, noting Illinois&#39; rate is among the highest in the country.</p><p>&quot;Last decade, economic times were better and Illinois hadn&#39;t raised its minimum wage up to the fourth highest in the country,&quot; he told The Associated Press Sunday.</p><p>&quot;I believe the upper echelons of the minimum wage and the different cost-of-living adjustments need to be set by the marketplace.&quot;</p><p>Dillard said increasing the rate is risky considering Illinois&#39; high unemployment and fiscal problems. &quot;Small businesses will be impacted the most and these are the very businesses that employ the bulk of Illinois residents,&quot; he wrote in his questionnaire.</p><p>Rutherford doesn&#39;t want any increases. &quot;I believe every American should be able to make as much money as possible, legally and ethically. State government should not put an artificial cost of doing business increase on a business, church or local unit of government,&quot; he wrote in his questionnaire.</p><p>Echoing the revised stance he laid out in media interviews last week, Rauner told the AP that he&#39;d favor an increase if the state adopts &quot;creative solutions to avoid further damage to our state&#39;s already shattered business climate,&quot; like incentives for small businesses.</p><p>Democrats, who maintain supermajorities in both chambers of the Illinois Legislature, could try to push the issue through this year on their own.</p><p>Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has characterized the differences over the minimum wage as part of a &quot;clash of values&quot; with the other candidates.</p><p>&quot;The question is, people are making $8.25 an hour in Illinois. That&#39;s not enough in my book,&quot; he told The Associated Press in a year-end interview in December. &quot;To have a Republican candidate running around saying it&#39;s too much for tough jobs, I think they really ought to examine their conscience.&quot;</p><p>His Democratic primary challenger, Tio Hardiman, the former head of an anti-violence group in Chicago, told the AP he&#39;d like to see the hourly rate as high as $12 an hour but only if the state would simultaneously reduce or eliminate a tax on corporations.</p><p>Studies on the impact of raising the minimum wage have been mixed.</p><p>Traditionally, economists say significantly raising it can lead to job loss as companies struggling to make payroll respond by cutting workers or hours. However, smaller increases, especially when times are good, typically have little effect.</p><p>Geography also is a factor. Raising the rate in the Chicago area, where both wages and the demand for workers are greater, won&#39;t be felt as much as in downstate Illinois, according to Fred Giertz, an economist at the University of Illinois&#39; Institute of Government and Public Affairs.</p><p>Business groups don&#39;t see any upside. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association, which represents 20,000 Illinois businesses and is part of a coalition fighting any proposed increase, says raising the rate would kill jobs.</p><p>But unions aren&#39;t persuaded.</p><p>&quot;People desperately need to have their wages raised,&quot; said Roberta Lynch, the deputy director of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31. &quot;We think the Illinois economy will improve if more people have more money to spend.&quot;</p></p> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 13:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/minimum-wage-hike-test-2014-governor-candidates-109509 Vallas says he's OK playing 'second fiddle' http://www.wbez.org/news/vallas-says-hes-ok-playing-second-fiddle-109134 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP93819347138.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former Chicago schools CEO Paul Vallas says he&#39;ll have no trouble playing &quot;second fiddle&quot; to Gov. Pat Quinn as his 2014 running mate.</p><p>Vallas and Quinn appeared together Tuesday for the first time since the governor announced last week that Vallas was his pick for lieutenant governor.</p><p>Vallas sought the 2002 Democratic nomination for&nbsp;Illinois&nbsp;governor but lost to now-imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.</p><p>He says he was initially surprised when Quinn approached him about the job. But he says the Chicago Democrat &quot;wants to assemble the strongest team possible.&quot;</p><p>Vallas also says he&#39;s OK with playing second fiddle, &quot;or whatever instrument in the orchestra Pat wants me to play&quot; because he believes in Quinn.</p><p>Both men say addressing&nbsp;Illinois&#39; pension crisis will remain the administration&#39;s top priority.</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 12:45:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/vallas-says-hes-ok-playing-second-fiddle-109134 New Illinois laws crack down on domestic violence http://www.wbez.org/news/new-illinois-laws-crack-down-domestic-violence-108317 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP090130018261.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>CHICAGO &mdash; Gov. Pat Quinn has signed laws cracking down on domestic violence and for aiding victims.</p><p>One of the bills toughens penalties for repeat offenders. It classifies subsequent offenses as felonies and increases prison time to as much as 14 years for four or more convictions. Currently, many&nbsp;domestic&nbsp;violence&nbsp;cases are considered misdemeanors. The&nbsp;law&nbsp;takes effect Jan. 1.</p><p>Joliet Democratic Sen. Pat McGuire sponsored the legislation. He says it &quot;sends domestic&nbsp;abusers a strong message.&quot;</p><p>One of the other&nbsp;laws&nbsp;signed by Quinn requires school districts to have policies for responding to teen dating&nbsp;violence. It takes effect immediately.</p><p>A third bill aims to protect victims covered by their abuser&#39;s insurance policy.</p><p>It allows insurance companies to communicate with victims without informing their abuser. It takes effect Jan. 1.</p></p> Wed, 07 Aug 2013 10:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/new-illinois-laws-crack-down-domestic-violence-108317 Springfield is now the battleground in Chicago’s politics of booze http://www.wbez.org/news/springfield-now-battleground-chicago%E2%80%99s-politics-booze-106167 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/4755330401_82a15751fe_n.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Eaid Masud manages Skip&rsquo;s Food &amp; Liquor on 55th and Damen. On a recent weekday morning, he&rsquo;s at the register ringing up meats, canned food and snacks. Behind him, the wide shelves brim with a rainbow of alcohol &mdash; everything from the cheap stuff to the high end.</p><p dir="ltr">This store could be in a kind of jeopardy. On Wednesday the executive committee in the Illinois House approved a bill that would allow Chicago to close liquor stores for up to 30 days when they&rsquo;re the stage for criminal activity or they threaten &ldquo;the welfare of the community.&rdquo; Current law allows the city to close such establishments for just seven days.</p><p dir="ltr">Support from the full House is still needed.</p><p dir="ltr">Not that Masud is worried. He said Skip&rsquo;s is a family-owned business that&rsquo;s a part of the West Englewood community. But Masud is aware liquor stores can sometimes attract crime.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;There should definitely be more police presence in the areas where they think there&rsquo;s activity like that going on,&rdquo; he said.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, neighbors have complained about the store and, as Masud acknowledges, Skip&rsquo;s deals with people who loiter or illegally sell loose cigarettes in the parking lot. He said if he sees drug dealing, he calls the police.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We act accordingly and call authorities but sometimes like during the summers there&rsquo;s a lot of teenagers and maybe fighting outside or along the streets,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s out of our control. It&rsquo;s nothing we allow; it just happens.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">State Rep. Esther Golar, a Democrat, introduced the bill. She said she&rsquo;s fed up with drug dealing and shootings at liquor stores. Her district is in Chicago&rsquo;s Englewood neighborhood, which she dubs a liquor corridor with up to 60 such establishments.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;These liquor licensees, which are the owners, they have knowledge of this,&rdquo; Golar said. &ldquo;Many times they&rsquo;re either too scared, they do not care or many times they&rsquo;re complicit in allowing these illegal activities to occur.</p><p dir="ltr">Golar&rsquo;s bill would allow the liquor commissioner to shutter an errant store for 30 days &mdash; up from the current seven days. An investigation and a hearing would take place during that time.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We wouldn&rsquo;t be doing anything that&rsquo;s not in the law right now,&rdquo; Golar said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s just that we need more time. Rather than having a store close down for seven days, they reopen up with the same issues. I&rsquo;ve seen this over and over again. And what does it do for the community? The negative impact these stores have.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/local/muslim-coalition-targets-arab-run-stores-food-deserts">problems and politics surrounding liquor stores</a> problems aren&rsquo;t limited to Englewood. Booze is a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/200-cut-rate-liquors/winning-referendum-no-silver-bullet">quality of life issue</a> in many communities. In some, residents feel store owners show them too little respect and, in others, they&rsquo;ve effectively removed malt liquor or otherwise dictated what alcohol a store can sell. In other areas, voters approved measures that turned entire precincts dry. After a long fight, Bronzeville got <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/barcc/chicago-bronzeville-residents-hope-liquor-ban-improves-quality-life">one store</a> shut down.</p><p dir="ltr">The East Village Association is happy with a moratorium on packaged liquor stores from Division Street to Augusta Boulevard. The area had been populated by Latino immigrants. A wave of gentrification has washed over the community and new residents say they want to eliminate liquor-store vagrancy and crimes.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Drunks hanging out on the streets led to crime,&rdquo; said Neal McKnight, president of the association and a supporter of Golar&rsquo;s bill.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Anything that gives sort of a little bit of teeth to the liquor commissioner in dealing with difficult businesses is good for me,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;When they [liquor stores] go bad it&rsquo;s really difficult to get them to close ... fighting tooth and nail with the businesses.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The East Village group has voted to lift a liquor-ban moratorium, subject to approval by the liquor commissioner, that would allow a convenience store to only sell beer and wine. No malt liquor, Wild Irish Rose or single bottle sales unless it&rsquo;s a craft beer.</p><p dir="ltr">Originally, the group wanted to ban mass-market beers such as Budweiser but scaled back. McKnight said the board recently decided such a limitation would be overlimiting.</p><p dir="ltr">Last year Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the city would be aggressive in collecting data on problem businesses. Convenience stores and liquor stores are placed on the monthly flagged business list and subject to increased inspections by all city departments. Since April 2012, the city has taken disciplinary action on 89 liquor establishments and revoked 19 licenses.</p><p dir="ltr">A spokeswoman for Emanuel says Golar&rsquo;s bill would complement the city&rsquo;s efforts, as it would target liquor stores that have been on a list of trouble building.</p><p dir="ltr">However, the caveats and qualifications don&rsquo;t satisfy Jerry Rosen of the Beverage Retailers Alliance of Illinois.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s the most horrible bill I ever heard,&rdquo; Rosen said, adding that problem liquor stores should be the province for police.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It totally flies in the face of a retailer&rsquo;s rights,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re just taking away any rights he may have. When you shut somebody down because somebody made a complaint or an accusation of a criminal activity, you&rsquo;re in essence almost putting them out of business.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Illinois has a 30-day credit law for distributors of wine and spirits to purchase those beverages. Rosen says this new liquor law could end up putting someone out of business permanently, and an army of lawyers is fighting the bill.</p><p dir="ltr">Rosen&rsquo;s prediction: Golar&rsquo;s measure will be ruled unconstitutional and doesn&rsquo;t stand a chance.</p><p>Still, with the current state of Chicago booze politics, Rosen said he&rsquo;s ready to testify against the bill, if need be.</p></p> Tue, 19 Mar 2013 14:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/springfield-now-battleground-chicago%E2%80%99s-politics-booze-106167 The Lincoln Effect: Are we taking advantage of Honest Abe’s good name? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-02/lincoln-effect-are-we-taking-advantage-honest-abe%E2%80%99s-good-name-105682 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 12.09.09 PM.png" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Tbzfvef0aE0" width="853"></iframe></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F80375342" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>This month many Americans celebrated what would have been the 204th birthday of Abraham Lincoln.</p><p>But if recent popular culture is any indication, our 16th president is still alive and well.</p><p>Daniel Day Lewis&rsquo; strong performance as the president in <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTA5rdz51XI"><em>Lincoln</em></a> may help Steven Spielberg&rsquo;s film sweep the Oscars -- it&rsquo;s up for 12 awards.</p><p>Ford brought him back to sell cars. In <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NklipvTBf64">the ad,</a> which premiered at the Superbowl, Lincoln strides out of the mist, wearing tinted shades, with his coat tails flapping in the wind.</p><p>And in a <em>Saturday Night Live</em> skit, comedian Louie C.K. depicts Lincoln as a henpecked husband, running late for the theatre. You can watch the entire segment above.</p><p>Now maybe it&rsquo;s just the view from Illinois, but doesn&rsquo;t it feel like we&rsquo;ve gone too far?</p><p>Do we really appreciate Honest Abe? Or are we taking advantage of him?</p><p>&ldquo;The fact that he&rsquo;s in the public domain doesn&rsquo;t necessarily mean we should use him as a poster child for, you know, a sale for clothing or furniture in February,&rdquo; says Carla Knorowski, CEO of the <a href="http://alplm.org/">Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.</a></p><p>As a person charged with protecting his legacy, Knorowski said Lincoln needs an agent, and in fact she already considers herself the &ldquo;self-appointed agent of Abe.&rdquo;</p><p>But Knorowski says it&rsquo;s not just her. Everyone can find something to like in Lincoln, the everyman.</p><p>She gave me a laundry list of his attributes: That he was &ldquo;self-taught, had a sense of fairness, and honesty&rdquo;.</p><p>She also referenced his skills as a poet, inventor and &ldquo;one of our greatest humorists&rdquo;.</p><p>Still, some of our tributes to Lincoln can seem kind of funny, like we&rsquo;re just adding his name to something to make it sound better.&nbsp;</p><p>I&rsquo;ve deemed it the &ldquo;Lincoln Effect.&rdquo;</p><p>Here&rsquo;s an example.</p><p>In 2004, Donald Peloquin, the longtime Mayor of Blue Island, tried to get a bunch of southwest suburban municipalities <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004-10-28/news/0410280320_1_home-rule-municipalities-sales-tax">to actually secede from Cook County.</a></p><p>He and his band of rebels thought Cook was too big, too wasteful, and neglecting suburban taxpayers.</p><p>So they wanted to break off and create a new county. To help sell this controversial idea, he decided to call it Lincoln.</p><p>I asked Peloquin why, and he told me the answer was simple.</p><p>&ldquo;The State&rsquo;s motto is the land of Lincoln. And there&rsquo;s no Lincoln County. 103 counties and not one of them named Lincoln&rdquo;.</p><p>So naming his county Lincoln would help people get on board with the idea?</p><p>&ldquo;Well, I...yeah sure, partially,&rdquo; Peloquin said &ldquo;But the big thing is the credibility and the honesty and integrity that go with the name&rdquo;. He added, &ldquo;I think the ability to say we&rsquo;re going to start a new county and create it on the basis of what Lincoln promised and that&rsquo;d be honest and truthful government&rdquo;.</p><p>Peloquin&rsquo;s secession bid was a non-starter. But another effort he supports, which also has a Lincoln connection, is still up in the air.</p><p>For decades people have been talking about building a third airport in the southern suburbs.</p><p>But politics, environmental concerns, and competing airport proposals always got in the way.</p><p>Then in 2005 it became the pet project of former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.</p><p>Last year, Jackson Jr. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/water/will-county-pushes-peotone-action-while-jacksons-absent-101654">led a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site</a>, even though no plans for the airport have been finalized.</p><p>Still, in his comments Jackson Jr., said &ldquo;Today&rsquo;s turnout clearly shows that the will of the people is to build our own future by constructing the Abraham Lincoln National Airport.&rdquo;</p><p>Well, we all know what happened to Jackson, and so far, invoking Honest Abe hasn&rsquo;t helped the airport either.&nbsp;</p><p>So is it a stretch to keep Lincoln&rsquo;s name attached to it?</p><p>When I put the question to Donald Peloquin he said &ldquo;I guess if you look at it that way. You know I look at it as it&rsquo;s for the people. And he was always for the people&rdquo;.</p><p>Sure. <a href="http://myloc.gov/exhibitions/gettysburgaddress/pages/default.aspx">And of the people and by the people.</a></p><p>But arguments for airports or state pension fights are a long way from Lincoln&rsquo;s high ideals and stirring oratory.</p><p>When you look at the state of Illinois politics you have to wonder are we really hitting the Lincoln bar all that often?</p><p>Maybe not but Peloquin says it&rsquo;s still worth conjuring the spirit of Lincoln &ldquo;because we have to turn it around.&rdquo;</p><p>Peloquin is not the only one looking back to Lincoln for a political fix. Spielberg&rsquo;s movie projects the same fantasy.</p><p>But maybe, even in the land of Lincoln, it&rsquo;s time to move on.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Follow Alison Cuddy on <a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison">Facebook</a></em></p></p> Fri, 22 Feb 2013 11:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-02/lincoln-effect-are-we-taking-advantage-honest-abe%E2%80%99s-good-name-105682