Articles filed under Political Figures

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  • Jesse Jackson Jr. leaves federal prison for halfway house Mar 26, 2015 7:08 AM
    Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was released from an Alabama federal prison early Thursday, two years after pleading guilty to spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal items, his father said. The Rev. Jesse Jackson described his son’s release from the minimum security federal prison camp at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, as a “joyous reunion” and said the younger Jackson was doing “very well.” Jackson, a 50-year-old Illinois Democrat, began his sentence on Nov. 1, 2013. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons lists his release date as Sept. 20, 2015. Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who visited Jackson on Monday, said Jackson would serve out the remainder of his 2 1/2-year term in a Washington, D.C., halfway house. Jackson must also spend three years on supervised release and complete 500 hours of community service. Jackson served in Congress from 1995 until he resigned in November 2012. In June of 2012 he took medical leave for treatment of bipolar disorder and other issues. Jackson’s wife, Sandra Jackson, a former Chicago alderman, was sentenced to a year in prison for filing false joint federal income tax returns that knowingly understated the income the couple received. She must serve her term after her husband completes his sentence. The couple has two children. According to court documents, the Jacksons spent campaign money on televisions, restaurant dinners and other costly personal items, including $43,350 on a gold-plated men’s Rolex watch and $9,587.64 on children’s furniture. During sentencing, the judge scolded Jackson for using campaign funds as a “piggy bank.” Jackson’s resignation ended a once-promising political career that was tarnished by unproven allegations that he was involved in discussions to raise campaign funds for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for an appointment to President Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat. Jackson has denied the allegations.

  • O’Malley works to position himself as Clinton alternative Mar 21, 2015 4:19 PM
    “His name has not come up in visits I’ve had with my progressive people at all,” said Brenda Brink, a liberal activist from Huxley, Iowa, of Martin O’Malley. “I think people are just so interested in Bernie or Elizabeth.”

  • Suburban gun owners want concealed carry expanded Mar 19, 2015 9:01 AM
    Suburban gun owners rallied at the Capitol Wednesday urging lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner to expand where people can legally carry firearms in Illinois. “Predators look for places people are unarmed,” said Dawn Waters, a Lombard resident.

  • Fact Checker: Cruz claim that IRS tax code has more words than Bible Mar 15, 2015 7:00 AM
    Comparing the number of words in the U.S. tax code with the number in the Bible is a common theme among conservatives who fault the tax code for being overly burdensome. In fact, the claim has been made in some variation for at least 10 years. We tracked down a similar comparison by Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2005. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said the same at a press conference in 2013. There are countless other examples.

  • Mayors: Rauner cuts could lead to property tax hike Mar 10, 2015 7:02 AM
    Suburban mayors testified before a state senate hearing Monday that a proposed reduction to their share of state income taxes could mean drastic cuts to public services like police and fire protection, or an increase in local property taxes.

  • Park Ridge mayor remembered as taxpayer advocate Mar 5, 2015 9:35 PM
    Park Ridge Mayor Dave Schmidt was remembered by local officials as a tireless advocate for taxpayers and his community, upon the news of his sudden passing. "He was very active in reaching out to me and expressing his concerns that the state spend its money wisely and do what’s necessary to earn back the trust of taxpayers," said State Sen. Dan Kotowski.

  • Report: Thompson retiring from Chicago law firm Feb 24, 2015 2:10 PM
    Former Governor James R. Thompson is retiring from Wiston & Strawn law firm at the end of next year, Crain's Chicago Business is reporting. Thompson, who served as governor from 1977 to 1991, joined the firm 25 years ago.

  • Biden expected to miss Netanyahu speech to Congress Feb 6, 2015 3:13 PM
    The White House had previously announced that President Obama would not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while he is in Washington due to the proximity of his trip to the Israeli elections and the administration’s desire to avoid the appearance of taking sides. This week, officials began laying the groundwork for the prospect that Biden would skip the speech, nothing that he also missed a joint meeting of Congress in 2011 because of foreign travel.

  • Obama spells out national security blueprint Feb 6, 2015 3:44 PM
    President Obama’s critics have accused the president of putting his desire to keep the U.S. out of overseas conflicts ahead of the need for more robust action against the world’s bad actors.

  • Budget battle looms between president, Congress Jan 31, 2015 5:21 PM
    President Obama’s plan will contain familiar prescriptions. He wants higher taxes on upper bracket earners and the oil and gas industry. He is proposing new initiatives for education and child care. He is pitching investments in roads, bridges and other projects. And he is pushing for increases for annual agency operating budgets.

  • What issues roil Washington? Obama’s veto threats are clues Jan 23, 2015 11:12 AM
    President Barack Obama has a telling hit list. The veto threats that he’s issued over the last three weeks are a microcosm of American politics, representing the roiling issues of the day, the power struggle playing out between Congress and the White House, and even the pique between the president and GOP congressional leaders.

  • Analysis: Obama seizes on recovery, bets on staying power Jan 21, 2015 8:37 AM
    President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address marked a sweet spot in his presidency when economic signs and his own personal approval are on the rise. He made sure to capitalize, taking credit for policies he said raised the country out of its recession. But sweet spots are by definition fleeting — moments in time that can just as quickly sour.

  • 5 goals from Obama’s 2014 State of the Union: Yay or Nay? Jan 19, 2015 9:58 AM
    President Barack Obama used his last State of the Union to declare 2014 a “Year of Action,” and he can claim credit for accomplishing several of the goals he laid out. The smaller ones. That’s because while he was able to check off most of what he promised to do through executive action in last year’s speech, Obama was unable in the bitterly partisan election year to get Congress to go along with the bigger plans he had for the country that required their approval.

  • Obama’s tax proposals get cool reception from GOP lawmakers Jan 19, 2015 9:58 AM
    Republican lawmakers are already signaling they will do what they can to block President Barack Obama’s pitch for tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. Obama is making that pitch to a huge television audience in hopes of putting the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over the middle class.

  • Outgoing Gov. Quinn takes looks back, offers hints at future Jan 6, 2015 6:43 PM
    Gov. Pat Quinn is characterizing his tenure as one of fairness — trying to create jobs by inking a capital construction plan, legalizing same-sex marriage and ending Illinois’ death penalty — and hinted Tuesday that he’ll stay focused on that principle by returning to his activist roots after leaving office.

  • Walker draws contrast with federal government in speech Jan 5, 2015 12:37 PM
    Gov. Scott Walker argued during his inaugural address kicking off his second term in office on Monday that his record in Wisconsin stands in contrast to that of the federal government, an increasingly common theme of his as he eyes a run for the White House next year. “We’ve shown why the founders of this great nation looked to the states — and not the federal government — as the source of hope for this exceptional country,” the Republican Walker said after being sworn in. “We will not let them down.”

  • Policies of GOP governors could find national play Dec 27, 2014 8:42 AM
    One group of potential candidates for president probably won’t be shuffling off to Iowa, New Hampshire or other early campaign spots in the new year. They’ll be hunkered down in statehouses across the Midwest, pushing bills through their legislatures. Few outside their home states will notice, but these governors and their policies could wind up in the national campaign picture.

  • Clinton economic approach under scrutiny Dec 27, 2014 8:43 AM
    If Hillary Rodham Clinton seeks the White House again, her message on the economy could be an important barometer as she courts fellow Democrats. Members of her party are watching closely how the former secretary of state outlines steps to address income inequality and economic anxieties for middle-class families.

  • Sanders: I’ll decide on presidential run by March Dec 26, 2014 7:19 AM
    Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders says he’ll decide by March whether to launch a 2016 presidential campaign and, if so, whether he’ll seek the Democratic nomination. Either way, Sanders says he wouldn’t run just to nudge the debate to the left.

  • A look at the biggest donors of the 2014 election Dec 23, 2014 11:39 AM
    Big-dollar donors helped inject hundreds of millions into the 2014 midterm federal elections. Here's a look at some of the biggest donors of the election cycle.

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