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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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Omicron on the horizon: COVID-19 hospitalizations hit nearly 10-month high as latest variant looms: ‘We need to be serious’

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At Sen. Durbin event for Mayor Lightfoot, GOP Rep. Rodney Davis swings by and makes bold prediction

Republican Davis doubts the new congressional maps Illinois state Dems created will actually yield 14 Democratic districts.

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South Side religious leader calls for Lightfoot to drop casino bidder tied to problematic housing complex

Bishop Larry Trotter said Related Midwest shouldn’t be rewarded with a casino because of its poor ownership of the Parkway Gardens housing complex.

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The Fran Spielman Show

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Ald. George Cardenas (12th)

Sun-Times City Hall reporter Fran Spielman is joined by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s City Council floor leader Ald. George Cardenas (12th) to discuss his plan to study the feasibility of the city to purchase the Chicago Bears as well as the current state of crime and whether or not to give CPD Supt. David Brown more time as top cop.

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Lightfoot threatens to veto any new ward map that protects indicted Ald. Edward Burke

The veto threat is not surprising, given the mayor’s political animus toward Burke. But it further muddles a contentious situation already going down to the wire, with the Rules Committee abruptly canceling Tuesday’s meeting.

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President Biden signs veterans’ maternal health bill sponsored by Rep. Underwood, Sen. Duckworth

GOP Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, seeking another House term, announced the backing of two GOP House incumbents from Illinois, Darin LaHood and Mike Bost.

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Abortion rights at stake in historic Supreme Court arguments

The stakes for the fate of the Roe v. Wade decision have never been greater.

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Showdown vote on Chicago ward map called off

Ald. Michelle Harris, chairman of the City Council’s Rules Committee, said a citywide ward map will be introduced Wednesday, but no vote will be taken. That will allow to public input while negotiations continue in hopes of avoiding a referendum, Chicago’s first in 30 years.

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Tracking of COVID variants across the United States has improved after a slow start

Viruses mutate constantly. To find and track new versions of the coronavirus, scientists analyze the genetic makeup of a portion of samples that test positive.

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Houston man who used COVID relief money on Lamborghini, strip clubs gets more than 9 years in prison

Prosecutors said Lee Price III also used the money to buy a Rolex and an $85,000 Ford F-350 pickup truck and to pay off a loan on a residential property.

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Dr. Oz plans to run for Senate seat in Pennsylvania: Sources

Oz — a longtime New Jersey resident — would enter a Republican field that is resetting with an influx of candidates and a new opportunity to appeal to voters loyal to former President Donald Trump, now that the candidate endorsed by Trump has just exited the race.

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Mayor Lightfoot travels to DC for White House, Capitol meetings

Lightfoot will be discussing city priorities with members from the Illinois delegation at a dinner Tuesday evening hosted by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., in his Capitol office.

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GOP Rep. Rodney Davis not running for Illinois governor, will seek another term in Congress

With Davis deciding to run again for the U.S. House, freshman Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., is the only GOP incumbent from Illinois who has not announced plans for 2022.

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House Democratic leader Harris to end legislative run after giving ‘a voice to so many who have continuously felt left out’

Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris said when he took office he was "committed to making change" and pointed to improving the lives of LGBTQ people, supporting the state’s immigrant communities and fighting "for those who for so long have been ignored" as his main focal points.

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Lightfoot denies flip-flop on sports betting

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she would never do anything that would meaningfully compromise the casino revenue needed to shore up police and fire pension funds that are now dangerously close to insolvency.

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Fight over ward boundaries appears headed for costly referendum after Lightfoot fails to forge weekend compromise

After months on the sidelines, Mayor Lori Lightfoot jumped into the fray over the weekend, trying to bring the two sides closer together. It didn’t work, and now the mayor sounds almost resigned to a referendum.

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New COVID-19 variant cause for concern, not panic, Biden tells US

The president urged Americans to get vaccinated, said no lockdown is being considered for the new coronavirus variant omicron.

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Is it DeEnd for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy? Sure looks like it

President Biden seeks to replace two DeJoy loyalists on the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, making it likely the Trump appointee will finally be sent packing.

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What can be done to stop Chicago’s Black exodus?

Community leaders in Greater Englewood and Austin think a concerted effort to close the gaps in homeownership, wages and life expectancy between Black and white Chicagoans could stem the city’s loss of Black residents.

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High-interest loans in Chicago target Black neighborhoods

‘Statistical significance on steroids’ shows payday borrowers mostly lived in majority-Black ZIP codes.

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City hits vaccination rate goal of 77% for residents 12 or older

The city reached that goal a month early, but many neighborhoods on the South and West sides still lag behind.

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Top mayoral adviser on reducing violence quits in what City Hall calls an ‘amicable departure’

A mayoral spokesman did not respond to a question about why Norman Kerr resigned. But according to a City Hall statement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is "incredibly grateful" to Kerr for his "steadfast leadership and commitment to reducing violence in our city, both during his time with the City, and beyond."

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Democrats name successor to D’Amico in Illinois House — a firefighter who the ex-lawmaker has known ‘most of our lives’

Seven Democratic committeepersons — and one who voted by proxy — backed Chicago firefighter Michael Kelly to serve the remainder of former state Rep. John D’Amico’s term in the Illinois House.

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs congressional map; Rep. Rodney Davis to decide soon on governor bid

Gov. Pritzker said, "These maps align with the landmark Voting Rights Act and will ensure all communities are equitably represented in our congressional delegation."

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Fighting gas prices, US to release 50 million barrels of oil

The U.S. action is aimed at global energy markets, but also at U.S. voters who are coping with higher inflation and rising prices ahead of Thanksgiving and winter holiday travel.

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Jeff Bezos donates $100 million to the Obama Presidential Foundation, largest individual gift ever

Bezos, one of the richest people in the world, asked for the plaza in the Obama Presidential Center to be named for the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., the civil rights icon who died in 2020.

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‘Reprehensible’ tweets about Waukesha parade tragedy sink DuPage Democratic Party’s social media director

"It was probably just self-defense," Mary Lemanski tweeted Sunday, comparing the driver who plowed into a Christmas parade outside Milwaukee to Kyle Rittenhouse.

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Orland Park Mayor Pekau launches GOP Congress bid in same district with Democrats Casten, Newman in faceoff

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign the new congressional map drawn by state Democrats resulting in incumbent Reps. Newman and Casten running against each other in a Democratic primary.

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Hispanic ward added, African American ward subtracted under plan Black Caucus calls ‘fair for all’ — but Latino Caucus finds ‘concerning’

The proposal from the City Council’s Black Caucus would make the 11th Ward — the historic home base of former Mayor Richard J. Daley and his family — an Asian-majority stronghold, Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), the chairman of the Black Caucus, said.

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City officials say Chicago will reach 77% vaccination rate by the week’s end

A large swath of the population remains unvaccinated. As of Nov. 18, 51.6% of Black residents have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health. Among Latinos, the rate was 61.6%.

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House Jan. 6 panel subpoenas Alex Jones and Roger Stone

The subpoenas include demands for documents and testimony from Stone and Jones as well as three people accused of organizing and promoting the two rallies that took place on Jan. 6.

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Proud Boys join effort to ban ‘Gender Queer’ book from school library — rattling students in suburban Chicago

The Sun-Times has confirmed that members of the far-right group attend a school board meeting in Downers Grove last week. One allegedly called a student who spoke in favor of the book a "pedophile."

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Behind the dollars: Who has the best hand in the Chicago casino dealing

The city’s five bids are full of lofty boasts, but the choice will come down to quick delivery and economic potential.

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Illinois House Democrats’ district remap plan is up against more challenges

MALDEF claims the legislature’s district remap plan unconstitutionally discriminates against Latinos. The Republicans’ proposed remap is even worse for Democrats.

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Cold weather, cold facts: COVID-19 spreading across Illinois, bringing worst daily caseload this fall

The weekly caseload is a 25% increase over last week’s seven-day total, marking the third consecutive week to see rising cases. Public health experts are concerned, but not surprised since winter is approaching, forcing people to retreat inside, often without masks.

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City Hall releases details of casino proposals

The five competing submissions promise complete entertainment destinations with revenue to bail out city pension funds.