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Politics

Political news, including Chicago City Hall, Cook County government, Chicago and county elections, the latest from Washington and Springfield and more.

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Man who shot Ronald Reagan to be freed from oversight

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Booting and ticketing make a comeback in Chicago

The city issued 853,906 parking tickets through June 30, up 71% from a year ago. The Denver boot is making a similar comeback.

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Chicago banker, lawyer who served 5 governors rejected for state gambling license

The Illinois Gaming Board rejected former Illinois Tollway board member James J. Banks for the coveted license, saying his ‘business and social associations . . . would discredit or tend to discredit the Illinois gaming industry.’

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Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th)

Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th), chairman of the City Council’s Hispanic Caucus and Mayor Lori Lightfoot's former floor leader, said 5,000 of Chicago’s neediest families would have been collecting $500 monthly checks since last spring, if only Lightfoot hadn’t dragged her feet on the ordinance he championed.

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Texas near total abortion ban opens door to Illinois parental notice repeal, bolstering abortion rights

"We’re looking at that, as well as what we might do in direct response to the law in Texas," Senate President Don Harmon said during the Sun-Times’ "At the Virtual Table" show.

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Ex-Ald. Ricardo Muñoz pleads guilty in fraud case, admits he used caucus money for personal expenses

The onetime veteran alderman pleaded guilty just five months after a federal indictment accused him of using the Progressive Reform Caucus as a personal piggy bank, stealing thousands to pay for a relative’s college tuition, skydiving excursions — and even at Lover’s Lane.

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FACT CHECK: Pro-Trump auditors spin election falsehoods

The report tried to paint routine election practices as errors, irregularities or sinister efforts to deny Donald Trump another term. Even so, the report actually came up with more votes for President Joe Biden than he was certified to have won in the county last year.

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Fall forward? As Illinois COVID-19 numbers improve, ‘now is the time’ to have some fun before ‘winter bump’

As seasons change, the latest figures released by public health officials Friday show Illinois closed out its second COVID-19 summer in a more encouraging fashion than its first.

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Pritzker signs new state legislative maps to ‘reflect diversity,’ but rivals say they ‘steal representation’ from people of color

Gov. J.B. Pritzker says the new maps "ensure Illinois’ diversity is reflected in the halls of government," but Republican rivals and several advocacy groups say they do just the opposite.

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Complaint that state official pushed for Trump tax break ruled ‘unfounded’

But the Illinois Office of Executive Inspector General also found Mauro Glorioso improperly deleted emails and other files on the case and said he shouldn’t be rehired by the state.

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Clybourn site near Lincoln Yards sells for $15 million

The warehouse, formerly home of the nonprofit Anixter Center, would be converted to housing as the seller transitions to serving disabled persons in smaller settings.

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All migrants are gone from Texas border camp: Officials

It’s a dramatic change from last Saturday, when the number peaked as migrants driven by confusion over the Biden administration’s policies and misinformation on social media converged at the border crossing connecting Del Rio, Texas, and Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

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Chinatown leaders eye Daley family’s 11th Ward stronghold for first Asian American-majority city ward

A proposed redrawing of Chicago’s ward map would create that majority by combining parts of Bridgeport, Armour Square and McKinley Park in a new 11th Ward.

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No property tax increase? Aldermen aren’t buying Lightfoot’s argument

The mayor contends the capital plan responsible for $25 million of the levy increase was approved last year and so was tying property taxes to the consumer price index. The remaining $28.6 million was captured from "new property."

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Camp run by Catholic religious order had 5 staffers later accused of child sex abuse

Camp Tivoli, run by Norbertine priests in Wisconsin for more than 50 years, attracted numerous children from the Chicago region. It also attracted clergy as counselors and administrators who were alleged child molesters.

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VP Harris’ in-studio ‘The View’ interview goes on remotely after 2 hosts test positive for COVID-19

Co-host Sunny Hostin and guest host Ana Navarro both had to leave the set mid-show after testing positive for the coronavirus.

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Obamas to visit Chicago next week for official presidential center groundbreaking

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot will join Obama for the small groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday.

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President Biden to visit Chicago on Wednesday to tout vaccine mandates for businesses

Biden intends to visit a Chicago business enforcing a vaccine mandate, a White House official said.

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Coronavirus course correct? State’s recovery steers $44 million to ailing businesses, the unemployed, at-risk youth

The individual programs announced Thursday aren’t "the goals in and of themselves, but they are the key components of our recovery from the pandemic and our commitment to build a better Illinois for everyone," Pritzker said.

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City’s new vaccination plan aims to vaccinate 77% of all residents by year’s end

The Protect Chicago 77 vaccination initiative draws its name from the city’s 77 official community areas.

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US sets stage for COVID booster shots

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said boosters should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents and those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems.

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Lightfoot stalled universal basic income pilot to use it as budget sweetener, former floor leader says

Ald. Gilbert Villegas said 5,000 of Chicago’s neediest families could have been getting $500 monthly checks since spring had the mayor not dragged her feet. Dozens of U.S. cities and towns already have such programs.

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Nothing short of new stadium along the lake will keep Bears in Chicago, consultant says

Chicagoan Marc Ganis has advised numerous NFL teams on their stadium financing and has closely followed the Bears’ stadium saga for decades, including past team flirtations with Hoffman Estates and Gary, Indiana.

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Plan to keep the Bears in Chicago complicated by constraints of Soldier Field

Two architects who worked on the $660 million renovation — which won’t be paid off until 2032 — said only modest expansion is possible at the 61,500-seat stadium. And a retractable roof would be architecturally challenging, if not impossible.

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California waiting? Downstate GOP gov hopeful Sullivan owes Golden State $3,200 in taxes for nonprofit ‘paperwork error’

That nonprofit, called Alter Investments, is one of two created by Sullivan. Alter Global, the other non-profit that was registered as a charity and public benefit entity, has had a delinquent status in California since February 2020.

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Despite united opposition from police unions, Lightfoot won’t budge from Oct. 15 vaccine mandate for city workers

"The deadline is not gonna be pushed back," the mayor said Wednesday. "We are not gonna retreat from that because the only way that we can create a safe workplace is by getting people vaccinated."

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With half of kids quarantined at W. Side school, union pushes for more safety measures, district official backs vaccine mandate

Some 173 students at Jensen Elementary are in quarantine.

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Chicago City Council on the clock to pass new ward map by Dec. 1

Mike Kasper for decades was the election law expert for deposed Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Now he’s guiding aldermen through the politically excruciating process of dividing the city’s 2.7 million residents into 50 wards, each with a target population of 54,923.

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As CPS board OKs new $11M police contract, community groups praise district’s progress on school cops

The unified message ahead of the vote is a stark departure from this time last year, when students and police-free school advocates marched through the city and protested outside the downtown Chicago Public Schools headquarters.

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City looks to add 100 miles of bike lanes by end of 2022

Chicago Department of Transportation will spend $17 million over the next two years to add bike lanes across the city, with a focus on the South and West sides.

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Joe Pecoraro, Chicago’s most famous lifeguard, serving under eight mayors, dead at 91

‘Joe Pec’ helped establish national standards for the profession. ‘How many lives have been saved because of Joe Pecoraro’s impact?’ a colleague from California said.

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New Medicare online tool lets you check nursing home COVID vaccination data

It comes acted after complaints about how hard it was to find that information on Medicare.gov. Until now, one way to do that had required accessing a huge spreadsheet.

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At the Virtual Table with Laura Washington & Lynn Sweet

Featuring newsmaker guests Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy and Rich Miller, publisher of CapitolFax.

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Biden doubles US global donation of COVID-19 vaccine shots

The stepped-up U.S. commitment marks the cornerstone of the global vaccination summit President Joe Biden convened virtually on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, where he encouraged well-off nations to do more to get the coronavirus under control.

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Rahm Emanuel made $13M since leaving City Hall, financial disclosure reports show

Former Mayor Emanuel’s nomination to be ambassador to Japan has no significant opposition.

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Speaker Welch taps first Latina to run House elections — ex-ComEd lobbyist and staffer who promises ‘inclusion and inclusiveness’

Lizbeth Ramirez, 36, said it would be "naive of anyone, including myself, to consolidate my professional career, which started about 13 years ago, with just one role at ComEd." "I think pulling just that one factor takes away from everything I have done in the last 12 or 13 years."