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  • Home-rule push in Barrington raises questions Jul 21, 2014 5:23 AM
    Barrington leaders are discussing whether to ask voters in November to grant the village home rule authorities. But before residents answer that question, many first will be asking themselves “What is home rule, anyway?” Here are some answers to common questions about home rule.

     
  • Democrats’ turnout woes boost Republican senate hopes Jul 21, 2014 12:03 PM
    Voter turnout in primaries this year is down sharply, and more so for Democrats, suggesting a strong Republican showing in November. In the first 25 statewide primaries this year, according to the Center for the the Study of the American Electorate, overall turnout is down 18 percent from the last midterms elections, in 2010. Only 14.8 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot for governor or U.S. senator according to the nonpartisan group, which has done analysis of voter engagement for three decades. Turnout for Democrats plummeted 29 percent from four years ago. Republican turnout was down too, but only by 15 percent. The report buttresses Republicans’ contention the party will do better in November because the large Democratic turnout in the presidential year will decline significantly. This gives Republicans high hopes of gaining a net of at least six Senate seats to take control of that body, and of adding to their advantages in the House and among governors. Democrats counter this is misleading, as they had fewer contested primaries this spring and summer, providing less incentive to turn out. Moreolver, Democratic strategists claim their more-sophisticated voter identification and turnout operation will kick in this November. There are 61 million Americans who eligible but not registered to vote. The most effective way to address this, says Curtis Gans, who directs the voter study, would be to follow Mexico and create a biometric national identification card and system: “It would automatically enfranchise the 61 million, eliminate inaccurate voting lists, make voting a one-step act and eliminate the possibility of all type of fraud other than vote-buying and election-official misconduct.”

     
  • More studies needed in apparent chokehold death Jul 21, 2014 10:12 AM
    The medical examiner’s office has not yet determined what caused the death of a New York City man who appeared to be held in a chokehold as police attempted to arrest him. “The cause and manner of death are pending further studies, and no findings will be released until the investigation is complete,” the city’s medical examiner’s office said a statement released Sunday said. It was not clear when the medical examiner might issue its findings. A spokeswoman for the office declined to comment further on Monday.

     
  • Court OKs expedited appeal of term limits case Jul 21, 2014 5:32 PM
    An Illinois appellate court has agreed to hear an expedited appeal of a ruling that banned a question on term limits from the November ballot. The Chicago-based First District Appellate Court issued its order Monday.

     
  • Rauner keeps up push for term limits Jul 21, 2014 6:22 PM
    Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner kept up his drumbeat for Illinois term limits, saying Monday that “voters deserve a voice” on the issue and that the effort to put a measure on the November ballot isn’t over despite recent court decisions and a tight timeline.

     
  • Editorial: Our take on Rauner’s plan to get Illinois moving Jul 20, 2014 5:01 AM
    A Daily Herald editorial lauds Bruce Rauner's "blueprint" for fiscal reform and business growth as a good starting point for a serious discussion of the most important issues facing Illinois. But the editorial questions several aspects of the plan including Rauner's proposed property tax freeze.

     
  • Some in Congress now question Afghanistan drawdown Jul 19, 2014 9:36 PM
    The U.S. withdrawal plan is based on being able to fix the Afghan security force’s shortcomings by the end of 2016.

     
  • Google opens lobbying digs on Congress’s doorstep Jul 19, 2014 7:35 AM
    It’s a given, by now, that Google is a leader in free food, on-site massages and foosball for its employees. It’s also no secret that the tech giant has become one of America’s top lobbying spenders. In its public unveiling of the new Washington office, Google showed how it may propose to stay ahead of the pack on both fronts.

     
  • Police lodge endorses challenger Patt in Lake County sheriff election Jul 18, 2014 5:14 PM
    A fraternal order of police lodge that says its membership includes Lake County Sheriff’s personnel and Sheriff Mark Curran, has endorsed his Democratic challenger, Jason Patt, on the November election ballot. Curran says the group doesn't include a majority of sheriff's officers.

     
  • GOP may need more cash to win back legislative seats Jul 18, 2014 9:41 AM
    Republicans in November will try to undo some of the 2012 damage Democrats did to their ranks in Springfield, but the campaign cash reports released this week showed the challenges they'll face trying to raise their numbers in the Illinois House, in particular.

     
  • Panel supports early release for drug felons Jul 18, 2014 4:13 PM
    Though sentencing guidelines are advisory rather than mandatory, judges still rely heavily on them in deciding on prison sentences. The guidelines recommend sentences that factor in the types and quantities of the drugs. The commission in April voted to lower recommended sentences across all drug types, meaning, for instance, that a cocaine package of a given size would now be linked to a shorter range of punishment than before.

     
  • Hultgren holds meeting on reducing backlog of veteran claims Jul 18, 2014 5:21 PM
    Congressman Randy Hultgren sorted through gripes with various veterans groups about the quality of services they receive through the government Friday. Chief among the complaints is an average three year waiting time to work through the appeals process when benefits are denied. One interesting proposal involved a process that defaults in favor of the veteran if the appeal isn't handled in a timely fashion.

     
  • Kirk: ‘Russia should pay a significant cost’ over plane crash Jul 18, 2014 7:00 PM
    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk Friday urged aggressive action by the U.S. against Russia after the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over Ukraine. The U.S. should bring “one hell of a wrongful-death suit against Russian assets that are located in the United States to make sure there’s a significant cost paid by Russia,” the Highland Park Republican said on CNN.

     
  • Rauner wants freeze on local property taxes Jul 17, 2014 6:31 PM
    Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner announced details of his job growth and tax reform plan at a Schaumburg business Thursday, including a proposal to require voter approval before any local government can raise its property tax. Rauner outlined his plan to phase out the income tax increase over four years, reform business taxes and fees, phase in an increase of the minimum wage up to $10 per hour and make changes to workers’ compensation policies.

     
  • No hints from Hillary Clinton on ‘The Daily Show’ Jul 16, 2014 9:38 AM
    Hillary Rodham Clinton gave Jon Stewart no hints about whether she will run for president, but acknowledged during Tuesday’s taping of “The Daily Show” that the speculation surrounding her possible candidacy has become “a cottage industry.” Stewart introduced Clinton by saying, “She’s here solely for one reason: to publicly and definitively declare her candidacy for president of the United States ... I think.” That proved not to be true.

     
  • New guidelines could help many pregnant workers Jul 16, 2014 7:49 AM
    New federal guidelines on job discrimination against pregnant workers could have a big impact on the workplace and in the courtroom. The expanded rules adopted by the bipartisan Equal Employment Opportunity Commission make clear that any form of workplace discrimination or harassment against pregnant workers by employers is a form of sex discrimination — and illegal.

     
  • Save Buffalo Grove forms PAC Jul 16, 2014 4:07 PM
    Save Buffalo Grove, a citizen group that formed to oppose a proposal to build a 65-acre “downtown” project in the village, has formed the Save Buffalo Grove Political Action Committee, allowing the group to raise funds and engage in political activities. “We can do more to educate the entire community regarding the implications of the downtown development and how sad it will be to lose this land to another commercial development. I think that being a PAC will give us more clout,” said Marilyn Weisberg, the group’s communications director.

     
  • Quinn signs law barring double dipping on transit boards Jul 16, 2014 5:52 PM
    Gov. Pat Quinn Wednesday signed a law barring CTA board members from holding other government work and further clarifying that other transit board members can’t, either.

     
  • Republicans have some catching up to do in suburban races, monetarily speaking Jul 15, 2014 5:15 PM
    Incumbent Democrats in the suburbs’ three biggest races for Congress are heading toward November with sometimes sizable cash advantages Republicans challengers will have to try to overcome, reports filed Tuesday show.

     
  • Quinn, Rauner campaigns trade barbs Jul 14, 2014 8:42 PM
    The candidates for Illinois governor hammered each other on Monday, with Republican Bruce Rauner saying that Gov. Pat Quinn hasn’t delivered for African-Americans and the Quinn campaign suggesting Rauner profited from a business that provided substandard care to the developmentally disabled.

     
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