WBEZ | Bill Foster http://www.wbez.org/tags/bill-foster Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Foster glides past Biggert after race that looked tight http://www.wbez.org/news/foster-glides-past-biggert-after-race-looked-tight-103708 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/foster_smal_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><div><p>Defying opinion polls that depicted a neck-and-neck contest, Democrat Bill Foster easily defeated Republican U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert in the 11th Congressional District on Tuesday. With nearly all precincts reporting, Foster had almost 58 percent of the vote; Biggert had 42 percent.</p><p>In his victory speech, Foster expressed misgivings about the race&rsquo;s negative television advertising, a months-long barrage funded by campaign contributions and outside spending totaling roughly $14 million. &ldquo;I sense that both Congresswoman Biggert and myself were forced into an increasingly ugly world of politics today &mdash; a world that we were both deeply uncomfortable with,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Biggert, a seven-term House member, appeared to blame her loss on congressional redistricting controlled by Illinois Democrats. &ldquo;This race wasn&rsquo;t supposed to happen,&rdquo; she told supporters in her concession speech. &ldquo;They thought that I would shy away from a tough race in a district tailor-made for my opponent, and they were wrong.&rdquo;</p><p>Other factors contributing to Biggert&rsquo;s defeat included strong Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts and growing Latino numbers in Chicago&rsquo;s suburbs. In the 11th District &mdash; which includes parts of Aurora, Naperville, Bolingbrook and Joliet &mdash; Hispanics constitute 22 percent of the population. Foster rallied them by pointing to Biggert&rsquo;s&nbsp;vote against the DREAM Act, a stalled bill that would have provided many young undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship.</p><p>Despite a bitter tone through much of the race, the candidates claimed to be moderate and eager to work across party lines. And they did not stand far apart on some hot-button issues. Both, for example, warmed up to legal recognition of same-sex marriage and avoided weighing in on whether Joliet should pursue a privately run detention center that would hold immigrants awaiting deportation.</p><p>On other issues, particularly economic matters, the candidates showed greater differences. Foster blasted Biggert&rsquo;s vote for a budget plan that would slash spending and overhaul Medicare, providing government subsidies to individuals who chose to buy private insurance.</p><p>On Social Security, Biggert backed enabling individuals to invest a portion of their contributions in the stock market &mdash; a proposal Foster called too risky. On health policy, Foster touted his vote for President Barack Obama&rsquo;s Affordable Care Act, a law Biggert characterized as a jobs killer and sought to repeal. On taxes, Biggert supported extending all of President George W. Bush&rsquo;s cuts, while Foster called for allowing them to expire for incomes above $250,000.</p><div><p>The election marks a comeback for Foster, 55, who served almost three years in a nearby House district. Republican Randy Hultren unseated Foster in a 2010 election that swept the GOP into control of the House.</p><p>As the Republicans retain their majority, Foster is vowing to work with them by focusing on, as he puts it, &ldquo;numbers instead of political positions.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We have to make sure that government investments are as cost-effective and highest-return as possible,&rdquo; he told WBEZ late Tuesday. &ldquo;And that&rsquo;s something that Democrats and Republicans agree on.&rdquo;</p><p>Foster said bipartisan points of unity could include cutting &ldquo;military systems the Pentagon doesn&rsquo;t want&rdquo; and encouraging a rebirth of domestic manufacturing. &ldquo;One of the best things about the ongoing recovery is that U.S. manufacturing is leading that,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Foster also had a prediction about the election results. He said they would end acrimonious debates about Obamacare and financial reregulation.</p></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 07 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/foster-glides-past-biggert-after-race-looked-tight-103708 Biggert, Foster turn to big names to drum up votes in tight House race http://www.wbez.org/news/biggert-foster-turn-big-names-drum-votes-tight-house-race-103671 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Judy Biggert AP cropped.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>After a firestorm of negative television advertising in their tight Illinois congressional race, Republican U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert and Democrat Bill Foster are trying to get their supporters to the polls using a few bells and whistles.<br><br>Foster, a former one-term U.S. House member, started robocalls Monday to potential voters in the suburban Chicago district using the voice of former President Bill Clinton, who said the candidate&rsquo;s experience in science and business provided &ldquo;the kind of common-sense experience and leadership we need in Washington.&rdquo;<br><br>Biggert, a seven-term House member, came up with an attention grabber of her own. In a YouTube video, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk praised her as &ldquo;one of the ultimate suburban moms who should be representing us in the Congress next year.&rdquo; Kirk, the state&rsquo;s top Republican, has kept a low profile since suffering a stroke in January.<p>&nbsp;</p>The uplifting words from Clinton and Kirk stood out after months of mind-numbing accusations and counteraccusations in the TV ads. The money behind those ads flowed in as polls suggested the 11th District contest was one of the closest House races in the country. By October 17, according to their latest federal filings, the Biggert and Foster campaigns had raked in more than $2.5 million each.<p>&nbsp;</p>And that&rsquo;s just the beginning. The race attracted more than $8 million in outside money, according to the Federal Election Commission. Figures from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics last month showed Biggert&rsquo;s campaign with an edge in that spending.<p>&nbsp;</p>On Friday, Foster resorted to lending his campaign $500,000. The money paid for his final TV ad, according to Foster campaign aide Aviva Bowen. &ldquo;We have to keep pace with the millions that [Biggert], her allies and the rightwing super-PACs have put up in false claims on TV,&rdquo; Bowen said.<p>&nbsp;</p>Biggert&rsquo;s team saw the loan differently. &ldquo;Congressman Foster is clearly desperate and terrified that Illinois voters are about to reject him and his dishonest smear campaigns once again,&rdquo; Biggert spokesman Gill Stevens wrote.<p>&nbsp;</p>On Monday, the candidates made a flurry of stops across the barbell-shaped district, which includes parts of Aurora, Naperville, Bolingbrook, Joliet and other suburbs west and southwest of Chicago. Foster&rsquo;s campaign said U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Maryland) was joining him on afternoon visits to sites set up for campaign volunteers. A Biggert aide said the Republican would attend a Joliet dinner hosted by the local chamber of commerce.<p>&nbsp;</p>Amid the combative TV ads, both candidates claimed to be moderate and eager to work across party lines. And they did not stand far apart on some hot-button issues. Both, for example, warmed up to legal recognition of same-sex marriage and avoided weighing in on whether Joliet should pursue a privately run detention center that would hold immigrants awaiting deportation.<p>&nbsp;</p>On other issues, particularly economic matters, the candidates showed greater differences. Foster blasted Biggert&rsquo;s vote for a budget plan that would slash spending and overhaul Medicare, providing government subsidies to individuals who choose to buy private insurance.<p>&nbsp;</p>On Social Security, Biggert backed enabling individuals to invest a portion of their contributions in the stock market &mdash; a proposal Foster called too risky. On health policy, Foster touted his vote for President Barack Obama&rsquo;s Affordable Care Act, a law Biggert characterized as a jobs killer and sought to repeal. On taxes, Biggert supported extending all of President George W. Bush&rsquo;s cuts, while Foster called for allowing them to expire for incomes above $250,000.<p></p>Both Biggert and Foster said they were trying to protect the middle class but neither seemed to have a personal stake in reversing the economic squeeze of recent decades.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>Biggert, 75, lives in Hinsdale and grew up in Wilmette, a suburb north of Chicago. Her father was a Walgreen Co. executive who headed the drugstore chain in the 1960s. She received a Northwestern University law degree and clerked for a federal judge. In politics, she began on a Hinsdale school board and made it to the U.S. House.<p>&nbsp;</p>Foster, 55, and his brother launched a theater lighting business that made them rich. Foster, a Harvard-educated physicist, also spent more than 20 years at the U.S. Department of Energy&rsquo;s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Batavia, a suburb west of Chicago.<p>&nbsp;</p><div>Foster won a 2008 special election to replace retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert, a former longtime House speaker. The Democrat served just one full term before Randy Hultgren, a Republican state senator, unseated him in 2010. Foster moved to a Naperville section included in the 11th, a new congressional district with borders drawn by state Democrats after the 2010 census.</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 05 Nov 2012 15:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/biggert-foster-turn-big-names-drum-votes-tight-house-race-103671 Biggert, Foster sidestep immigrant detention-center project http://www.wbez.org/news/biggert-foster-sidestep-joliet-immigrant-detention-center-project-103508 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Elisa_Chombo_CROP.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px 0px; float: left; height: 360px; width: 250px; " title="Elisa Chombo of Joliet signs a petition against the detention center at a Monday night forum. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert and her Democratic challenger, Bill Foster, are locking horns in one of the nation&rsquo;s most competitive House races, but both are trying to sidestep a brewing controversy over something President Barack Obama&rsquo;s administration is talking about bringing to the district: a privately run immigrant detention center.</p><p>The project came to light last week when an official of Joliet, a city 40 miles southwest of Chicago, said he had had talks with federal officials and Tennessee-based Corrections Corporation of America. The Joliet official, City Manager Thomas Thanas, said the detention center could generate hundreds of jobs and city revenue.</p><p>The project is not going over well with Latino groups that organized a candidate forum Monday night at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a Joliet church. The forum&rsquo;s moderator tried to ask the 11th Congressional District candidates whether they would help fight the project.</p><p>The response from Foster, a former U.S. representative, elicited nods from the roughly 200 audience members at points. &ldquo;For-profit incarceration is something that I am personally quite leery of,&rdquo; Foster said. &ldquo;We have an immigration system that depends way too heavily on incarceration and deportation.&rdquo;</p><p>But Foster said it was too early for him to make a decision about the detention center. &ldquo;I want to see the details of it,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;So the answer is, I&rsquo;m waiting and seeing.&rdquo;</p><p>Biggert, the race&rsquo;s Republican, did not attend the forum. She sent a spokesman, who read a campaign statement that did not answer the moderator&rsquo;s question. &ldquo;Congresswoman Biggert would strongly oppose the federal government coming in and mandating what Joliet should or should not do,&rdquo; the spokesman told the crowd. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s really, ultimately, Joliet&rsquo;s decision.&rdquo;</p><p>Hours before the forum, WBEZ asked the Biggert campaign whether she would back a privately built and operated immigrant detention center in the district. The campaign sent the statement and did not answer the question.</p><p>Joliet&rsquo;s project follows a setback for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and CCA in south suburban Crete, where the agency wanted the company to build and run the detention center.</p><p>A political tide against the Crete project rose in January, when rivals in the area&rsquo;s Democratic House primary &mdash; U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his challenger, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson &mdash; both sided against it. Village trustees rejected the plan in June.</p></p> Tue, 30 Oct 2012 02:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/biggert-foster-sidestep-joliet-immigrant-detention-center-project-103508 Election 2012: Congressional money race http://www.wbez.org/story/election-2012-congressional-money-race-93125 <p><p><em>Updated at 2:46 a.m. on Oct. 17&nbsp;</em></p><p>Campaign finance reports from the third quarter (July – September) were due this weekend to federal election officials. Candidates had to report how much cash they raised (and from whom), how much they spent (and to whom) and how much they have left.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/fec.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 151px;" title=""></p><p>Illinois looks to have some super competitive U.S. House races in the March primaries. This is, in part, the result of new district boundaries formed during this year’s redistricting. The once-a-decade process was controlled by Illinois Democrats, as they hold the governor's office and majorities in both chambers of the legislature. Keep in mind, Republicans filed a lawsuit against the new map, and the boundaries could change.</p><p>But, for now, the map is what the map is. So here’s a look at the top-line money situation in a few of the expected primary races in Northern Illinois congressional districts. And if you just can’t get enough of campaign finance data, listen to WBEZ's <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> on Monday morning.</p><p><strong>SOUTH CITY, SUBURBS AND EX-URBS: Illinois’ Second Congressional District</strong></p><p>Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson is running against 16-year incumbent U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. The two have battled for years over control of the non-existent Peotone Airport. Now they’ll battle in a Democratic primary as Jackson’s district absorbs area much farther south. Halvorson announced her campaign about ten days ago. She told me at the time she had some cash left in her account from her 2010 loss, but had not started fundraising for this race.</p><p>“Because I did not want to raise money until I knew I was going to do this, because it wouldn’t be fair to anybody to take their money and then me decide not to do this,” Halvorson said. However, she did claim to have nearly $100,000 in pledged donations, “all in very small amounts.” Those pledges, of course, are not reflected in the totals below.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>DEM primary IL 2</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Debbie Halvorson</td><td style="text-align: right;">$221,772.39</td><td style="text-align: right;">$83.66 (interest)</td><td style="text-align: right;">$11,544.86</td><td style="text-align: right;">$210,311.19</td></tr><tr><td>Jesse Jackson, Jr.</td><td style="text-align: right;">$305,818.10</td><td style="text-align: right;">$85,725.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$132,327.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$259,215.47</td></tr></tbody></table><p>This is a solidly Democratic seat. The only Republican with paperwork on file with the Federal Election Commission is the Rev. Isaac Hayes. He ran in 2010 against Jackson, but told me last week, “Right now it doesn’t look like I’m running” in 2012. He said he’s focusing on helping Mitt Romney win the Republican nomination for president. (Romney was one of the only established politicians to help Hayes in 2010; his PAC gave Hayes $2,500.)</p><p><strong>NORTHWEST SUBURBS: Illinois’ Eighth Congressional District</strong></p><p>The new 8<sup>th </sup>District is quite a bit more Democratic than it was a year ago, when Tea Partier Joe Walsh upset incumbent U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean. Walsh is likely to run in the new 14<sup>th</sup>, so this is an open seat.</p><p>The Democratic primary is a showdown between two candidates who’ve run big races before and impressed a lot of people, but failed to take home a win. Tammy Duckworth is a Purple Heart-awarded Iraq War veteran and former veterans affairs official at the state and federal levels. She lost a 2006 bid for Congress in the 6<sup>th</sup> District to Republican Peter Roskam.</p><p>Raja Krishnamoorthi is a former campaign advisor to now-President Barack Obama, and a former deputy state treasurer under Alexi Giannoulias. Krishnamoorthi lost the Democratic primary last year for state comptroller to state Rep. David Miller (who ended up getting crushed by Republican Judy Baar Topinka in November).</p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>DEM primary IL 8</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Tammy Duckworth</td><td style="text-align: right;">$0.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$478,354.47</td><td style="text-align: right;">$113,016.43</td><td style="text-align: right;">$365,338.04</td></tr><tr><td>Raja Krishnamoorthi</td><td style="text-align: right;">$403,335.51</td><td style="text-align: right;">$313,535.74</td><td style="text-align: right;">$80,874.53</td><td style="text-align: right;">$635,996.72</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Duckworth got into this race a few weeks after Krishnamoorthi, so the cash-on-hand total is a bit misleading. But that's still a considerable advantage for Krishnamoorthi.</p><p>While a number of Republican names have popped up in press reports considering runs for the district, none have filed recently with the FEC.</p><p><strong>NORTH SHORE: Illinois’ Tenth Congressional District</strong></p><p>The 10<sup>th</sup> has become more Democratic under the new map, but freshman U.S. Rep. Robert Dold is still going for re-election. Right now he has a huge cash advantage over the Democrats eying the seat, with just shy of a million dollars on-hand, having raised $376,534 in the quarter. (As is common with sitting members of Congress, he got more than half of those recent donations from political action committees.)</p><p>The Democrats include Ilya Sheyman, a former MoveOn.org organizer and staffer to then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, and business consultant Bradley Schneider.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>DEM primary IL 10</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Bradley Schneider</td><td style="text-align: right;">$306,150.46</td><td style="text-align: right;">$179,045.34</td><td style="text-align: right;">$68,178.87</td><td style="text-align: right;">$417,016.93</td></tr><tr><td>Ilya Sheyman</td><td style="text-align: right;">$60,255.30</td><td style="text-align: right;">$151,169.35</td><td style="text-align: right;">$69,911.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$141,513.65</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Schneider's total raised this quarter includes a $100,000 loan from himself - on the final day of the reporting period. Take that away and his fundraising appears to be stalling.</p><p><strong>NORTH AND WEST EX-URBS: Illinois’ Fourteenth Congressional District</strong></p><p>U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, currently of the old 8<sup>th </sup>District, announced last month that – unless the Democrats’ map is changed – he’ll be running in the new 14<sup>th</sup>. That pits him against the district’s current occupant, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren. Both are Republican, both freshmen who beat Democratic incumbents in the 2010 wave and both are on the more conservative end of the GOP House caucus.</p><p>Where they differ is style. Walsh is a cable TV regular, a flame-thrower, a “fighter” in his words. And he’s already casting Hultgren as a career politician and a go-along-get-along type. Hultgren, a former state legislator, is soft-spoken, and – he argues – more focused on local issues than Walsh is. He’s painting Walsh as erratic and sound-bite driven.</p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>GOP primary IL 14</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Randy Hultgren</td><td style="text-align: right;">$244,780.47</td><td style="text-align: right;">$186,945.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$155,915.90</td><td style="text-align: right;">$275,809.57</td></tr><tr><td>Joe Walsh</td><td style="text-align: right;">$472,894.53</td><td style="text-align: right;">$156,099.72</td><td style="text-align: right;">$162,936.47</td><td style="text-align: right;">$466,057.78</td></tr></tbody></table><p>The candidates' cash totals look much like they did at the beginning of the quarter, with both spending roughly what they raised. But Walsh has a definite cash advantage going into the final months.</p><p>No Democrats have recently notified the FEC that they intend to run in this district, which is considered solidly Republican under the new boundaries.</p><p><strong>NORTH CENTRAL STATE: Illinois’ Sixteenth Congressional District</strong></p><p>Youth vs. experience. Energy vs. stability. Freshman vs. ten-termer.</p><p>U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, elected just last year to the 11<sup>th </sup>District, would face fellow Republican Donald Manzullo if the new map holds. Kinzinger will be just 34 when voters go to the polls in March, when the primary rolls around. Manzullo, who’s represented much of the district since 1993, will be just shy of his 68<sup>th</sup> birthday. And there’s going to be a lot of money around to buy up Rockford airtime.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>GOP primary IL 16</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Adam Kinzinger</td><td style="text-align: right;">$431,511.86</td><td style="text-align: right;">$212,258.19</td><td style="text-align: right;">$76,757.82</td><td style="text-align: right;">$567,012.23</td></tr><tr><td>Don Manzullo</td><td style="text-align: right;">$222,994.33</td><td style="text-align: right;">$320,392.15</td><td style="text-align: right;">$59,392.07</td><td style="text-align: right;">$483,994.41</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Manzullo really stepped up his game this quarter, but trails Kinzinger due to the freshman's aggressive fundraising earlier in the term.</p><p>No Democrats have recently filed with the FEC to run in this solidly Republican district.</p><p><strong>OTHERS</strong></p><p>Keep an eye on the 11<sup>th </sup>District - though for the general election, not the primary. Former Congressman Bill Foster, a Democrat defeated last year by Hultgren, is looking for a comeback as the party's presumed nominee. He raised nearly $300k these past few months, and has $552,588.36 on hand. And he'll need it, as his likely GOP competition is flush.</p><p>If the map holds, he'll probably face Republican U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, whose 13<sup>th </sup>District was relocated to the southern half of the state, and whose Hinsdale home got swallowed up in Congressman Mike Quigley’s 5<sup>th </sup>District, which extends all the way to Chicago’s North Side. Biggert took in nearly as much as Foster did in the third quarter, but started with a bulging bank account. She now has $886,412.29 at the ready.</p></p> Sun, 16 Oct 2011 17:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/election-2012-congressional-money-race-93125 Wrapup: Dems lose big in Senate, House elections http://www.wbez.org/story/alexi-giannoulias/wrapup-dems-lose-big-senate-house-elections <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2010-November/2010-11-03/KIRK2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It was a huge election night for Republicans across the country. And in Illinois, it was a rebirth of sorts for a state GOP that practically fell into a shallow grave eight years ago.</p><p>Republicans in this state scored big wins in federal contests - especially - and made gains in state government. The race for that top office though, governor, remains unsettled.&nbsp;Incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn all but claimed victory. But Republican state Senator Bill Brady is not ready to give up.</p><p>Bill Brady got this far in the 2010 election thanks to 193 votes - 193 votes that separated him from his closest competitor in the Republican primary for governor way back in February. And after watching election results for hours Tuesday night showing yet another tight race, Brady came out to chat with his supporters just after midnight.<br /><br />BRADY: As some of you may have realized by now I have a penchant for close elections.<br /><br />Out of the more than 3-and-a-half million that were cast in Illinois, Brady trails Quinn by less than 10,000 votes. But Tuesday night in his home town of Bloomington, Brady was talking like a winner.<br /><br />BRADY: We are excited and optimistic, but we want to make sure every voter in the state of Illinois has a right to have their vote counted. And we're going to make sure that happens. And we're going to make sure that this process is done right.<br /><br />QUINN: We know there are more votes to be counted, but we're 10,933 ahead...<br /><br />About 45 minutes after Brady's speech, Quinn jogged on stage at his campaign party in a downtown Chicago hotel.<br /><br />QUINN: And I'd rather be ahead, than 10,933 behind.<br /><br />That number has narrowed a bit since, but the Quinn campaign Tuesday night was all smiles.<br /><br />The governor who came into office after his infamous former running mate was removed, and then endured roughly 21 months of turbulence and controversy, had climbed back into this race. Just a few weeks ago he trailed by double digits in some polls, but he's leading when it counts, with a chance for a full term of his own.<br /><br />QUINN: I know that there are votes out here, in Cook County, in other counties across the state. And so we want to make sure they're counted, counted fairly. But I think when all is said, we'll end up on top with the most votes, and a majority.<br /><br />Well, not quite a majority. Whoever wins will still be well short of 50-percent, because of votes that went for third party and independent candidates.<br /><br />But a victory is a victory, and the next governor - even if it's the old governor - gets the privilege of dealing with what could be a $15-billion budget deficit. That governor must work with a Democratic-controlled state House and Senate. Despite some gains by Republicans, they fell well short of taking control of either chamber.<br /><br />The GOP did win in some statewide constitutional offices. They've held none for four years, but now they have two. Former Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka returned to the political scene to capture the comptroller's office, and state Senator Dan Rutherford will be the new treasurer, an office left vacant by Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, who had U.S. Senate aspirations.<br /><br />GIANNOULIAS: Losing is not easy. Losing is not something you expect, which is probably why I didn't write a speech.<br /><br />Giannoulias lost to Republican Mark Kirk, a five-term member of the U.S. House.<br /><br />GIANNOULIAS: He made a promise to me that he will never forget who he's fighting for. I think he will make a good senator. I think he will make a strong senator. And - hang on, no, no, hey, no, no - he is our senator and he will help a lot of people.<br /><br />You can't blame Giannoulias' supporters for their strong opinions. This race was marked by nasty commercials - attacks - including labels like liar, and mob banker. But Kirk also got the post-election memo to be nice, generous even.<br /><br />KIRK: Alexi and I, during this campaign, we discussed having a beer when this is all over. And so I will give this invitation: Alexi, if you still want that beer, I'll see you tomorrow night at Lower Wacker Drive's Billy Goat Tavern and the first round's on me. <br /><br />Kirk last night pointed out the difficult recent history of this seat, from its alleged attempted sale by ex-Governor Blagojevich, to the back-and-forth over a special election, to the drama around current U.S. Senator Roland Burris.<br /><br />KIRK This Senate seat was just returned to its rightful owners, the people of Illinois.<br /><br />This race was one of those most closely watched in the country. President Obama, the seat's former occupant, campaigned and raised money for Giannoulias in Chicago. But Kirk won, and will hang out in that exclusive capitol club along with veteran U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat who chaired Giannoulias campaign, and offered these thoughts on the 34-year-old's defeat:<br /><br />DURBIN: If you notice one of the late ads that came out from Mark Kirk's campaign suggested this is a question of maturity. Was he ready? And I think that probably cost Alexi some votes in the end, the question about whether he was mature enough, ready enough for the United States Senate.<br /><br />But if the Senate race was about personalities and experience, races for the U.S. House in Illinois were about the national mood, the Obama administration and a rejection of Democratic Party rule. At least three Democrats - including Debbie Halvorson from the 11th District, Bill Foster from the 14th and the 17th District's Phil Hare - all lost to their Republican challengers. And each of those challengers won by attacking health care reform and the $787-billion dollar economic stimulus bill.<br /><br />Meanwhile, one of the few chances nationally Democrats had to pick up a Republican-held seat was Illinois' 10th Congressional District, the one vacated by Mark Kirk. But Dan Seals, a three-time Democratic candidate, still couldn't close the deal. He lost to his Republican opponent, Robert Dold.<br /><br />DOLD: The national groups from Washington spent literally millions of dollars running a vicious negative campaign on us in attacks. They tried to come into this district and instill fear on each and every one of you, and try to tell you how to vote. They failed.<br /><br />In fact, outside money was used against both parties' candidates in Illinois. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks this money, outside groups spent more than $11-million on U.S. House races in Illinois alone. And for Republicans, it was money well spent. The GOP now holds a majority in Illinois' congressional delegation.<br /><br />But in Cook County government, the Democratic Party still rules. As expected, Chicago Alderman Toni Preckwinkle won big in her race for the county board presidency, as did Democratic incumbents running for county clerk, treasurer and sheriff.<br /><br />And in the one county-wide race where Democrats were expected to suffer, they didn't. Joe Berrios, the party chairman and tax board of review member, easily won the assessor's office, which sets property values that figure into taxes. That despite a fierce challenge from Democrat-turned-independent Forrest Claypool, a county commissioner. And Berrios didn't exactly get good press, called out for everything from his day job as a lobbyist to potentially shady conflicts of interest.<br /><br />BERRIOS: We were beat up, we were stomped on. You can take every newspaper - major newspaper, they call themselves - here in Chicago, that just tried to beat me up every which way but loose. But you know what, the voters and the taxpayers here in Cook County saw through all that.<br /><br />Berrios ran proudly as a Democrat, and in this county, that still counts for something.<br /><br />Also Tuesday, Illinois residents OK'ed an amendment to the state constitution, the 11th time they've done so since 1970. Voters will now be able to recall their governors; boot them from office before their terms are up. Something for our next governor - whoever he may be - to think about, when taking on all those big issues that lie ahead.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 03 Nov 2010 12:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/alexi-giannoulias/wrapup-dems-lose-big-senate-house-elections AP: Republican Hultgren defeats Foster in 14th http://www.wbez.org/story/14th-congressional-district/ap-republican-hultgren-defeats-foster-14th <p><p>Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster has been defeated by Republican Randy Hultgren in Illlinois' 14th congressional district. With 76 percent of precincts reporting, Hultgren had 51 percent of the votes on Tuesday and Foster had about 45 percent.</p><p>The 14th district stretches west of Chicago and is heavily Republican. Foster won the seat in a special election in 2008 after former House Speaker Dennis Hastert retired after two decades. Hultgren is an investment adviser. He was a state representative for nearly a decade before serving in the state Senate.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 03 Nov 2010 01:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/14th-congressional-district/ap-republican-hultgren-defeats-foster-14th