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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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Suburban businessmen linked to Ald. Carrie Austin involved in a property tax shell game

Suburban businessmen linked to a federal investigation didn’t pay taxes on properties for years, then bought up $861,000 of their own tax debts — for $26,000.

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Watch: Trump impeachment inquiry continues with Marie Yovanovich hearing

Watch hearing footage from the first two days of the Trump impeachment inquiry.

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State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz eyeing appointment to Senate seat of mentor John Cullerton

Feigenholtz worked for the retiring Cullerton for years before joining him in Springfield.

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Trump impeachment inquiry: Here’s what happened Friday

Hearings continued Friday with testimony from former ambassador Marie Yovanovich.

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State Dept. official says he heard Trump’s call about ‘investigations’

David Holmes, the political counsel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, said Trump was talking so loudly that Ambassador Gordon Sondland had to hold the phone from his ear.

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Trump impeachment hearings, Day 2: Takeaways on Yovanovitch testimony

Chicago Democrat Rep. Mike Quigley: "It’s the end of a really bad reality TV show brought to you by someone who knows a lot about that."

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Initial consent decree progress report shows CPD missed most deadlines, fell short on key benchmarks

Chicago police officials said they expected the report to paint a negative picture, but argued the department has made progress that won’t be noted until the federal monitor’s second report is released next year.

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Here are some of the contenders to replace Illinois Senate President John Cullerton

Kimberly Lightford, Heather Steans, Tony Munoz and others are among the candidates.

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Pot lottery winners chosen — and downtown tops their choices for weed shops

Cresco Labs and PharmaCann were among the pot companies able to chose the most lucrative locations to sell cannabis when recreational pot becomes legal next year.

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Civic Federation president questions whether CPS can afford $1.5B cost of new teachers contract

The first-year cost is not the issue. The problem, according to Laurence Msall, is what happens after that.

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In Chicago and across the Midwest, Trump’s EPA is inspecting polluters less, cutting staff

The number of people working in the federal environmental agency’s Chicago region has hit an all-time low. So has the number of inspections — down 60% since the president took office.

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Roger Stone found guilty of lying to Congress, witness tampering

Roger Stone was charged in a seven-count indictment that alleged he lied to lawmakers about WikiLeaks, tampered with witnesses and obstructed a House intelligence committee probe.

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At 70, Chicago artist with Parkinson’s disease paints his first mural, a tribute to veterans

‘You feel as if you don’t have Parkinson’s,’ George Zaremba says of doing art. ‘It may sound crazy, but this can be the best part of your life . . . You feel the need to do things you’ve put off in the past.’

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Read the rough transcript of first Trump-Zelensky call in April

Read the summary transcript of President Trump’s April call with Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, which the White House released during Marie Yovanovich’s hearing in the impeachment inquiry.

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Read ‘Binga: The Rise and Fall of Chicago’s First Black Banker’ excerpt

The new book by former Sun-Times editor Don Hayner tells the story of the South Side as seen through the eyes of one very ambitious man and also the story of the start of segregation in Chicago.

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Public weed consumption will be allowed only at dispensaries and smoke shops, not bars and restaurants

Backtracking on the law they passed last spring, Illinois lawmakers voted Thursday to sharply restrict where people will be able to consume cannabis once it becomes legal in January.

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Illinois Senate President John Cullerton to retire after decade as Dem leader

The Chicago Democrat told the Senate Democratic caucus on Thursday that he plans to retire next year.

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Senate President John Cullerton says plan to retire in January is a ‘promise kept’

"I promised my wife, Pam, I would retire a year ago to help her take care of our grandkids," said Cullerton, who made the surprise announcement Thursday.

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Former CPD Detective Dante Servin seeking ‘closure’ in request for expungement

Dante Servin was acquitted in the fatal off-duty shooting of Rekia Boyd. Chief Cook County Criminal Courts Judge LeRoy K. Martin Jr. said he will rule on the expungement Tuesday.

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Chicago casino plan craps out in waning hours of veto session

The House "needs to stop the regionalism and take a leap of faith that will allow Chicago to move forward appropriately and responsibly with a casino," State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago said.

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Donald Trump Jr., Lee Child top Publishers Weekly best-sellers lists

The president’s son jumps to the top of the hardcover nonfiction list with ‘Triggered,’ while the bestselling novelist’s ‘Blue Moon’ again is the chart-topper for hardcover fiction.

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Lightfoot wants to expand Chicago Police Board powers

Just as the board is launching a search to find a replacement for Eddie Johnson, the mayor wants the board to hear appeals from rejected CPD applicants whose names have been removed from the eligibility list.

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Hospital quiet zone ordinance stalls amid concern about aldermanic prerogative

The ordinance stalled because it would allow additional quiet zones to be designated, but only with the approval of three city departments.

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Illinois Senate clears pension consolidation plan, landing Gov. Pritzker a big win

The governor unveiled the plan in October after a task force recommended consolidating the pension plans under two new statewide funds: one for police and one for fire.

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County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski gives up committee leadership posts

Tobolski was asked to step down after missing a string of meeting since federal agents raided McCook Village Hall, where he’s mayor.

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Impeachment: A boring train wreck well worth watching

The House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearings won’t change anyone’s mind. They’re not supposed to.

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Lightfoot comes up empty in Springfield; No wonder she tamped down expectations in advance

The rookie mayor came up empty on both of her top priorities.

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Lightfoot softens $54 million ‘payoff’ charge against Uber

Instead of calling it a payoff, as she did Wednesday, the mayor on Thursday used "investments" to describe the offer she said was made to African-American ministers enlisted by Uber.

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First company in city gets feds’ OK to fly drones over people

Helios Visions has found a niche providing mapping and photo services on construction projects, but the waiver could eventually allow companies to make deliveries.

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Clock ticking for Mayor Lightfoot to gain support on Chicago casino ‘compromise’

Changes in the language of Illinois’ new gambling law have mostly been agreed upon to lighten the tax burden on the big city casino to make it viable. But sources say Mayor Lori Lightfoot is struggling to gain support, even after deploying labor union forces to try to seal the deal in the waning hours of the fall veto session.

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The coalition that could? Why the Senate’s vote on removing Trump might not be a foregone conclusion

If fewer than half of the Republican senators are mulling their own entries in the history books, it isn’t impossible to think that some could abandon the president to save themselves.

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Aldermen propose lobbying ban for City Council

Aviation Committee Chairman Matt O’Shea and Ethics Chairman Michele Smith are trying to stay one step ahead of the lobbying scandal swirling around ComEd and video gaming interests pushing to legalize sweepstakes machines.