Breaking News Bar
updated: 2/7/2014 4:11 PM

Foster: Stop cutting heroin addiction help

Success - Article sent! close
  • Bill Foster

    Bill Foster

  • Video: Foster heroin speech

  • Video: Winning voting video


U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Naperville Democrat, took to the House floor this week to criticize cuts to federal money used to fight heroin abuse, in the same week that award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died from an apparent overdose.

The drug of course has been a scourge in the suburbs.

"The media has shone a bright light on this issue this week, but for too many in my district, heroin abuse is too common," Foster said.

Foster says 2013 funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration was cut by $210 million.

"Heroin abuse affects people of every race, income and education level. These are mothers and fathers, friends and neighbors," he said.

On the campaign trail ...

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, a Wheaton Republican, says he'll back state Rep. Darlene Senger of Naperville in her March 18 primary race to take on Foster.

"Darlene Senger has been the voice for fiscal reform in Springfield and I know she will carry on the fight in Washington," Roskam said in a statement.

She also had won backing from U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, a Winfield Republican.

Senger, though, hasn't raised campaign money at nearly the rate of Hinsdale businessman Bert Miller, owner of Naperville's Phoenix Closures. Miller raised about $261,000 in the last three months of 2013 compared to about $49,000 for Senger.

Private investigator Ian Bayne of Aurora, Grundy County Board member Chris Balkema of Channahon and Craig Robbins of Lisle are also running for the 11th District GOP nomination.

Legal trouble

Former U.S. Rep. Phil Crane's son, George Washington Crane, 48, was sentenced to 12 years in prison Friday for "conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone," according to the U.S. attorney's office in eastern Virginia.

From their news release:

"According to court documents, between 2008 and 2011, Crane purchased Oxycodone several times each week from sources on the street in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Md. Crane then brought the Oxycodone to Leesburg, Va. and distributed the pills primarily to high school students and recent graduates. Crane sold Oxycodone to multiple customers daily from his residence and car."

He had pleaded guilty.

Rep. Phil Crane was a member of Congress from the Northern suburbs for more than 30 years before being defeated by Democrat Melissa Bean in the 2004 election.

What do you stand for?

Veronica Malesinski and Andrea Garneata of Maine East High School won Cook County Clerk David Orr's contest to make a video promoting the new state law that lets some 17-year-olds vote in the March 18 primary.

The winning entry featured the song "Some Nights" by Fun. And it closed by asking, "What do you stand for?"

Orr has been working to register 17-year-olds to vote. They can vote in the March 18 primary if they turn 18 by the November election.

Still debating

Some GOP candidates for governor will face off in the suburbs on Sunday at an Indian American Republican Organization in Downers Grove and on Monday at an event in Hoffman Estates that will be broadcast live on WLS-AM.

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford of Chenoa, state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington and state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale are set to attend. Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner isn't planning to show, a spokesman says.

Olympic tumblring

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has started a Tumblr blog,, to track Illinois Olympians in Russia over the next couple weeks.


Democrats in the Illinois Senate this week agreed to put off the date Gov. Pat Quinn has to deliver his budget proposal from Feb. 19 to March 26, which is after the primary election.

Both Brady and Dillard rose to protest, saying Quinn shouldn't get the extra time. After all, he's had a while to think about it.

Democratic Senate President John Cullerton suggested Feb. 19 be reserved for other people to present budget plans if they wanted to.

"Surely, people who have been running for governor for five years have some ideas about what their budget should be," Cullerton said.

Brady and Dillard both ran in 2010, and Brady also ran in 2006.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.