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Springfield

News from the Illinois state legislature, governor and lawmakers in Springfield.

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Kim Foxx wins first spot on March primary ballot — but also picks up challenge to her candidacy

Lotteries were held for 29 candidates in seven countywide races; 21 vied for the top spot on the ballot, while eight wanted their names to appear last.

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City Club President Jay Doherty resigns, ‘distraction’ of federal investigation cited

FBI agents searched the former ComEd lobbyist’s City Club office in May as part of a broadening corruption investigation.

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Pritzker backs former Senate Republican leader for ethics commission after mistakenly appointing recent lobbyist

The initial choice, state Rep. Steven Andersson, stopped lobbying in June, but appointees must not have lobbied for five years.

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Financial hat trick means Lincoln foundation won’t have to auction off museum artifacts

A year after launching a GoFundMe to stave off a historic fire sale, new loan terms mean the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation won’t have to sell off a trove of items including a controversial stovepipe hat.

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How state Sen. President John Cullerton got back-door loan from clouted bank

Here’s how state Sen. President John Cullerton got $110,000 line of credit without putting up any personal assets.

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Lawsuit costs Madigan nearly $900,000 — woman who accused former aide of harassment gets $75,000

"I’m not a money person, and no amount of money is going to give me those three years of my life back," Alaina Hampton told the Sun-Times on Tuesday, adding that she had ultimate trust in her legal team. "I never questioned them."

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Monday was the last day for candidates to file their petitions. Here’s who’s running

Todd Stroger is back. So is Bob Fioretti. And so is just about every judge except Cara Smith. Here’s the full candidate list with some surprises — and some obvious names.

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Consultant settles sexual harassment lawsuit involving ex-Madigan aide

Alaina Hampton settled her lawsuit for $275,000 with the Democratic Party of Illinois, the Democratic Majority, the 13th Ward Democratic Organization, and Friends of Michael J. Madigan.

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In New York state corruption cases, a preview of coming attractions for Illinois

The New York experience reminds me corruption-busting can be a long process demanding patience, even after charges are brought.

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College student running for GOP ward post, hoping to pit Republican ‘yin’ against Madigan’s ‘yang’

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With ‘heavy heart,’ Sandoval resigning amid corruption probe to avoid ‘distraction’

State Sen Martin Sandoval’s resignation is effective on New Year’s Day.

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All aboard: Relatives of embattled state Sen. Martin Sandoval hitch a ride on CTA payroll

While Sandoval held significant power over transit agencies as the chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Transportation Committee, his daughter and daughter-in-law were hired by the CTA — after his son was hired by another transit agency, the Pace bus system.

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Is name change for ward bosses a breath of fresh air for Chicago’s smoke-filled rooms?

Thanks to a 2018 change in Illinois law, county parties now use gender-neutral language. The March primary will mark the first time voters choose Democratic and Republican ward and township committeepeople.

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And they’re off! Candidates begin filing for March primary, mixing politics, posturing, petitions

Candidates have a week to file their nominating petitions, but anyone in line when the doors opened Monday has a chance at the top ballot spot in a given race

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Fact-check: Pritzker’s savings from pension fund changes don’t add up

The governor tossed out a number of $25 billion, but he didn’t provide a timeframe, nor did he reveal other key details. We decided to find out.

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State senator slams Madigan over payments to ex-aide: ‘He wanted a cover-up’

"This action should not be tolerated from Chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party," Northwest Side state Sen. Iris Martinez said.

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Corruption scandal gives Pritzker opportunity to pass ethics reform, Emanuel says

"If you had a career politician in the governor’s office, they would trim their sails. Governor Pritzker is not part of this. He comes to it fresh, clean. He has no kind of history. ... That allows him to get something done," Emanuel said.

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Lincoln library director fired for improper loan of ‘priceless’ handwritten Gettysburg Address to Glenn Beck’s nonprofit

The Lincoln library’s copy of the speech had only been loaned out twice before, once to the Gettysburg Foundation in 2008 and another time to the Chicago History Museum in 2009.

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Operator of Summit bar that surfaced in corruption case was ‘close’ to Ed Burke operative

Mariano Martinez runs Mars Bar, faces heroin charges and goes way back with Rudy Acosta Sr., a precinct captain in the 14th Ward who’s done campaign work for state Sen. Martin Sandoval.

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War of succession? Pritzker asks replacement process scrutiny as ward bosses’ pick seeks Arroyo seat

"I want to make sure that the people of the district get represented properly," the governor said. "There’s no air of corruption around the person who gets appointed."

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With popping the question no longer ‘out of the question,’ same-sex marriages to hit 15,000 mark

"Vernita used to say when she was coming up the words ‘gay’ and marriage’ were never used in the same sentence," Pat Ewert said.

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Battle lines drawn: Madigan ‘stands by’ his ‘thoughts’ about Arroyo successor selection

And since the ward committeemen ignored Madigan’s warning, the speaker is expected to challenge the qualifications of the woman chosen to replace the criminally charged Arroyo.

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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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Cullerton escapes storm of federal investigations but clouds linger

Cullerton has always been a unique case study — an old-style Chicago Democratic Machine stalwart wrapped in a lakefront liberal veneer. That’s not all bad, and it’s not all good, either.

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Successor to former state Rep. Luis Arroyo chosen, but one Cook County Democrat says ‘the fix is in’

Using proxy votes of Arroyo, who resigned after he was charged with bribery, could set up a fight with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who had warned against any involvement by Arroyo in choosing his successor.

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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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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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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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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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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.