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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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Clout on trial? Madigan rival demands jury weigh in on speaker’s ‘unmatched public power’

Gonzales’ lawyers also argue Madigan’s tactics took a deep personal toll on their client, contending that the "sham candidates being on the ballot left him ‘incapacitated,’ ‘ personally and emotionally devastated, hopeless and helpless.’"

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Preckwinkle purges — sheds $33,000-plus in campaign cash linked to Ed Burke soirée

Preckwinkle was tied to the veteran alderman earlier this year, when it was revealed in a 37-page criminal complaint that Burke leaned on a pair of Burger King franchise executives to attend a fundraiser for her.

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In extraordinary rebuke, House condemns Trump’s racist tweets

Before the showdown roll call, Trump characteristically plunged forward with time-tested insults.

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CHA board chairman stepping down

John T. Hooker is resigning after completing a four-year term.

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After another violent summer weekend, ‘it feels like we’re losing the streets’: Lightfoot

If fatalities and shootings are the measuring stick, nine dead and 32 shot is not the kind of report card likely to keep the CPD superintendent in his job long-term.

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Former Mayor Rahm Emanuel spent $600K on send-offs for himself

The biggest of those expenses included payments of $166,884 and $47,198 for an event at Revel Motor Row.

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Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jesse Jackson Jr. urge President Trump to pardon former Gov. Rod Blagojevich

The letter follows several attempts by Patti Blagojevich to plead with the president for her husband’s release from federal prison.

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Pritzker names Melody Spann Cooper commissioner for state liquor commission

The liquor commission’s chairman and commissioners — six in total — are appointed to six-year terms by the governor, and require confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

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FBI mole Danny Solis uses $220K in campaign funds to pay legal fees

The former alderman somehow avoided paying a criminal defense attorney — until now.

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Lightfoot raises $2.7 million in campaign cash during second quarter

The mayor closed out June with a flurry of fundraisers — and had enough to repay the $250,000 loan she made to her own campaign, with interest, and still have a hefty war chest left over.

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62 border employees under internal investigation amid posts

In a secret group called "I’m 10-15," messages depicted crude, doctored images of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., purporting to perform a sex act on President Donald Trump.

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Obama Foundation lands donations from Spielberg; Eychaner foundation and ‘Africa’s richest man’

Former President Barack Obama is raising hundreds of millions of dollars for the proposed construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park and for an expanding number of domestic and international programs.

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Chicago launches $1M program to reach the 25 percent of seniors who are ‘living in isolation’

Many of Chicago’s 315,900 senior citizens suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia and are being ‘left on the curbside,’ aldermen were told Monday.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot writes open letter to President Trump decrying ICE raids

"Rethink the harmful policies that your administration is promoting ...," Lightfoot urges in her Washington Post op-ed.

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Fact-check: Pritzker’s claims about Downstate capital spending leave some unanswered questions

Pritzker’s specific claim about where the rest of the funding will go under this plan is not yet possible to pin down based on our analysis.

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Carrie Austin grand jury also looking into family who has made millions on City Hall deals

South Side alderman pushed to rename a stretch of a street for the Nitchoffs, whose companies have soundproofed homes near O’Hare, Midway, among other city work.

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Donald Trump tells Democratic congresswomen to go back where they came from

"Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," the president said on Twitter.

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Former alderman hires defense lawyers as feds’ net widens

While it’s not known why Zalewski is under investigation, public records show he has had recent tax troubles with the Internal Revenue Service.

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CTU accuses Mayor Lightfoot of provoking another teachers strike — just like Rahm Emanuel did

The president and vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union said Lightfoot has delivered far less than promised, leaving teachers virtually no alternative but to walk off the job.

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Why Lightfoot won’t sign order barring ICE, Homeland from city databases

"It would be easy to pander to the crowd. But I want to do this in a way that’s actually gonna be meaningful and structural and lasting," the mayor said.

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State looks to Las Vegas to figure out what’s in the cards for Chicago casino

The gaming board is still aiming to stay on track with the legislative timeline, despite the initial hiccup that officials chalked up to state procurement regulations.

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The best — and worst — places to put a Chicago casino

To help ensure that it helps, rather than hurts, the city, put it right downtown, not in an isolated spot.

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State blows first deadline in Chicago casino timeline: ‘Working through the process’

The new gambling expansion law had required a feasibility consultant be hired by Monday. Three days later, it still hasn’t happened.

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Chicago cops getting training on working in schools for first time in 10 years

Police will also hold four public meetings on the future of police in schools following heated criticism of the program.

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Weed 101? New law could pave way for future college students to really major in marijuana

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Ocasio-Cortez feud with Pelosi tests party unity heading into 2020 election

The power struggle between the House Speaker and freshman congresswoman has spilled open in what could be a momentary blip or a foreshadowing of divisions to come.

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Pritzker administration derails Confederate Railroad band for promoting ‘symbols of racism’ in logo

The flare-up in DuQuoin, about 320 miles south of Chicago, rekindles a centuries-old rift in Illinois, whose southern tip reaches far into the confines of the old Confederacy.

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Lightfoot pauses water meter installations after more tests show homes with elevated lead levels

Of the 510 homes now tested by the city, 36 homes show lead levels that exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s guideline.

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Fire can host matches in Chicago under amended SeatGeek Stadium lease

The road is paved for the Fire to play home games in the city.

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Lightfoot condemns Carrie Austin’s overspending but won’t strip her of committee chair

How did the alderman’s Budget Committee overspend by $352,629 last year? "You’re gonna have to ask Rahm Emanuel that question," the mayor said. "I’m telling you it’s never happening again on my watch."

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Trump can’t ban critics from Twitter account, federal appeals court rules

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld a lower court judge who said Trump violates the Constitution when he blocks critics.

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Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot dies at age 89

Perot rose from Depression-era poverty to become one of the nation’s richest men.

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On the street with Lightfoot: Mayor seeks light on Chicago violence after dark

It was the second 24 hours of the Independence Day weekend, a hot Friday night when anything can happen. We caught up with Mayor Lori Lightfoot on a periodic appointment during her first seven weeks — visiting violence-plagued communities after dark, seeking insight on Chicago violence from those wrestling with it.

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Margaret Blackshere, 78, trailblazing ‘giant of the Illinois labor movement’

"She wouldn’t just tell you who to call, but would often make calls for you and make introductions and draw you a roadmap to how to win statewide in Illinois," Hynes said.