<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago Political News and Chicago Politics]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Sun, 30 Aug 2015 22:02:53 -0500 Sun, 30 Aug 2015 22:02:53 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Judge Orders Schock to Hand Over 3K Additional Documents]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 22:12:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/aaron-schock-1380870101.jpg

A federal judge in Springfield has ordered former congressman Aaron Schock to deliver nearly 3,000 documents relating to an ongoing investigation of Schock’s campaign and congressional office spending.

Schock has until Sept. 17 to turn over the documents for examination by the court.

Earlier this week, Schock released more than 10,000 records and offered to make the additional documents available for the judicial examination.

At one point this summer the argument over the congressman’s failure to produce the documents became so contentious that federal prosecutors tried to have him jailed for contempt.

“Mr. Schock personally owns the 18th District Office Records,” his attorneys declared in a motion filed Thursday. “They are not public records.” Schock has argued that being forced to turn over his former congressional papers would be a violation of his 5th Amendment right against self incrimination.

A hearing on the matter, scheduled for Friday, was canceled pending the new date in September.

<![CDATA[Clinton Says Biden Has 'Very Difficult' Decision]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 07:16:08 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_697432409813.jpg

Hillary Clinton pledged to run her campaign as usual, in spite of speculation about Vice President Joe Biden joining the race.

Clinton said Biden has a "very difficult decision" to make about the 2016 presidential run. She reiterated that she has "a great deal of admiration and affection" for the vice president, but wants him to make the right choice for him and his family following his son Beau Biden's death earlier this year. 

"He has to do what he has to do but I'm just going to continue with my campaign," Clinton said in Iowa Wednesday. 

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Chicago Board of Ed Approves New Budget Amid Protests]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:48:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/save+dyett+sign.jpg

Members of the Chicago Board of Education voted to pass the budget for Fiscal Year 2016 as three different protests took place across the city in opposition to some of the proposed cuts.

Hunger strikers gathered outside the Board of Education building on the ninth day of their strike in a bid to save Dyett High School in Bronzeville from closing. One of the strikers, 40-year-old Jeanette Taylor-Ramann, was taken away in an ambulance. Ramann passed out after demanding a decision from the school board on opening Dyett as a green technology academy.

Ramann said she and a dozen other parents on the hunger strike have not eaten in more than a week.

"I should not be hungry in 2015 over a neighborhood high school that's supposed to belong to the community," Ramann said.

The Board of Education met to consider the $5.7 billion budget for Chicago Public Schools, but the new board president, who was formally approved at the same meeting, called the proposed budget a short-term solution.

The budget calls for $200 million in cuts and approval of more than $1 billion in bonds, after the board agreed to $1.2 billion last month.

"This is much like in your personal lives when you begin to have revenue shortfall. You don't have enough income coming in, you start living off your credit cards," Frank Clark, the board president, said. "You can do it short-term, but sooner or later those credit cards max out."

The budget also includes a $480 "hole" the district hopes will be filled by the state. Forrest Claypool, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, called for state legislators to "step up and do the right thing when it comes to pensions and education funding."

The board unanimously passed the budget over the objections of the Chicago Teachers Union, which also staged protests outside the Bank of America located at 33 N. Dearborn and the CPS headquarters.

"We're going to have to keep going to the public with a simple message," said Jesse Sharkey, vice president of CTU. "You're going to have to fund public schools if you'd like to have one. And the fact is we're going to have to raise property taxes. No one will say it, but I will. It's as simple as that."

The Dyett supporters did not get the decision they were demanding on Wednesday, but they say they will continue their hunger strike as long as it takes, some of them saying they are willing to die over the issue.

At the meeting, Clark and board member Mahalia Hines agreed there needs to be a resolution on Dyett soon, but no decision has yet been made. A public hearing for Dyett is scheduled for Sept. 15.

<![CDATA['I'm Not a Bully': Trump Defends Ejecting Anchor]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 16:57:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_865379311727-ramos-trump-iowa.jpg

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wrangled with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos over his immigration policies in an extended — and occasionally personal — exchange, leading to the journalist's temporary removal during a news conference in Iowa Tuesday night.

In an interview on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday Trump said Ramos was "totally out of line last night" and that he was "ranting and raving like a madman."

Ramos, the Miami-based anchor and journalist for the prominent Spanish-language network, was ejected from the event after attempting to engage with the GOP front-runner as he recognized another reporter.

“Sit down, you weren’t called,” Trump told him. “Go back to Univision.”

Ramos proceeded to question Trump on his proposal to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. As the two spoke over one another in a testy back-and-forth, Trump's security detail approached the Mexican-American journalist and escorted him out of the room.

"You cannot build a 1,900-mile wall," Ramos continued on his way out.

The exchange prompted several reporters to ask Trump about the incident. The real estate mogul said, “You can’t just stand up and scream,” noting that Ramos spoke out of turn.

On Wednesday, Trump told "Today's," Matt Lauer, "I was asking and being asked a question from another reporter. I would have gotten to (Ramos) very quickly. He stood up and started ranting and raving like a madman."

Lauer asked Trump why he lets people get under his skin, and suggested that his renewed feud with Fox News host Megyn Kelly reflects badly on him.

"I'm not a bully," he said about public perceptions. "In fact, I think it's just the opposite way."

Trump said he proved that point when Ramos was eventually allowed to return to the presser. 

Trump called on Ramos to ask a question.

“Good to have you back,” Trump said before Ramos fired a series of questions on the billionaire’s controversial immigration policies.

"Your immigration plan, it is full of empty promises," Ramos began. "You cannot deny citizenship to children born in this country."

"Why do you say that?" Trump replied. "Some of the great legal scholars agree that's not true."

Citizenship for infants born in the United States is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, and changing that would require amending the Constitution.

Ramos later asked Trump about the feasibility of building a wall extending the length of the U.S.-Mexico border. The real estate mogul responded that he’s a “builder,” adding that it is more complicated to build a “building that’s 95 stories tall.”

"We'll have a border, and we'll have a wall. And the wall's going to have a big beautiful door where we can let in people," Trump said.

The National Association for Hispanic Journalists condemned Trump for letting Ramos be ejected for what its president said was simply trying to hold the GOP candidate accountable to his own prior statements.

"Mr. Ramos was doing what journalists have done for decades – asking questions!" said Mekahlo Medina, a KNBC reporter serving as president of the NAHJ, in a statement posted to the organization's website.

Trump is in Iowa to host a 'Make America Great Again' rally at the Grand River Center in Dubuque.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Fox Chief Defends Kelly, Says Trump Should Apologize]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 18:49:25 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/trump-kelly-AP_511867665203.jpg

Fox News chief Roger Ailes said Tuesday that Donald Trump owes the network's Megyn Kelly an apology for an unprovoked Twitter attack that "is as unacceptable as it is disturbing," but Trump isn't backing down.

The Republican presidential front-runner-turned-TV-critic had welcomed Kelly back from a vacation Monday night by tweeting that he liked her show better while she was away. Trump said Kelly "must have had a terrible vacation" because "she's really off her game." He retweeted a message that referred to her as a bimbo.

"Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at Fox News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise," said Ailes, the Fox News Channel chairman. "I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump's verbal assaults."

Trump, in a statement, said he disagreed with Ailes and that he doesn't think Kelly is a quality journalist. "Hopefully in the future I will be proven wrong and she will be able to elevate her standards to a level of professionalism that a network such as Fox deserves."

In a news conference later Tuesday in Dubuque, Iowa, Trump again refused to apologize to Kelly, saying, "She should probably apologize to me, but I just don't care."

Trump has been attacking Kelly ever since her tough questioning of him during the first GOP presidential debate, seen by 24 million people on Fox on Aug. 6. A day after the debate, he said Kelly had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."

That led to a private, clear-the-air conversation between Ailes and Trump two weeks ago, but that clearly hasn't led to peace.

In his tweets, Trump repeated his contention that Kelly, host of a prime-time Fox News show and one of the network's biggest stars, was sent on an unplanned vacation that ended Monday. Fox said her time off had been scheduled long before the debate. Trump also tweeted that Kelly was afraid to confront a guest, Dr. Cornel West, and that she had "no clue" on immigration.

Ailes again backed Kelly for her questioning during the debate, which he said was tough but fair.

"Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should," Ailes said. "We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we're certainly not going to start now."

Some of Kelly's Fox colleagues also came to her defense. Bret Baier, who moderated the debate with Kelly and Chris Wallace, tweeted that "this needs to stop." Brian Kilmeade said on "Fox & Friends" that Trump's comments bothered him personally.

"We are all friends with Donald Trump, but he is totally out of bounds reigniting that fight," Kilmeade said. "I don't know if he's trying to get ratings out of that or poll numbers, but he's not going to be successful."

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
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<![CDATA[Mayor to Host 3 Town Hall Meetings to Discuss City Budget]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 19:33:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rahm-generic-464267918.jpg

Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants Chicago residents' opinions on how to solve the city's financial crisis as his team works to put together a budget.

Emanuel announced Monday that he will host three town hall meetings next week "to discuss the City's current budget outlook and solicit savings, reform and revenue ideas from residents to assist in the preparation of the 2016 budget."

Members of the city's finance team and other city leaders will also attend the meetings, according to the mayor's office.

Residents can voice their ideas at the town hall meetings or via social media using the hashtag #ChiBudget2016.

The three meetings will be held Aug. 31 at Malcolm X College (1900 West Van Buren Street), Sept. 2 at South Shore Cultural Center (7059 South South Shore Drive) and Sept. 3 at Wright College (4300 North Narragansett Avenue).

The meetings are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., but doors will open at 5:30 p.m. They are open to all interested residents.

Emanuel will present the 2016 budget to City Council on Sept. 22.

Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Doubles Down on Building Border Wall at Ala. Rally]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 22:01:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-484797712-Trump-Alabama-Rally.jpg

Thousands of people showed up to hear Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump speak at an Alabama rally Friday, in which the business tycoon vowed, "we're going to make America better than it's ever been." 

The crowd filled about half of the 43,000-seat Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, NBC News reported. It was a hot night, and humid. Trump looked upwards and joked: "If it rains I'll take off my hat and prove, I'll prove, once and for all, that its mine," while stroking his hair.

Trump repeated his tough stance on immigration, vowing "we're going to build a wall," and saying Congress could end the guarantee of being granted citizenship upon being born within the U.S.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Blagojevich Attorneys Ask Appeals Court to Hold Decision]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 17:52:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/blago-sentenced.jpg

Attorneys for imprisoned former governor Rod Blagojevich have asked the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to place on hold the court’s own decision, rejecting the majority of Blagojevich’s appeal and sending the case back to the district court for resentencing.

Writing for Blagojevich, attorney Leonard Goodman said in a two-page motion Friday that he plans to take the case to the United States Supreme Court within the next 90 days.

The appellate court vacated Blagojevich’s conviction on five counts and remanded the case to the trial judge for retrial or, if the government elects to drop the charges, resentencing.

They found that Blagojevich was not entitled to be released pending those proceedings. In the motion, Goodman asked for what is known as a “stay of the mandate" until the Supreme Court can consider the former governor’s case.

“This petition will be filed,” he said, “Because there is a genuine disagreement as to whether this Court’s decision conflicts with the Supreme Court’s decision in Mccormick vs. United States.”

McCormick is considered a landmark case, regarding extortion and the question of quid pro quo’s in politics.

Blagojevich is serving a 14-year sentence in Englewood, Colorado.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Says 'A Lot' of Chicago Gang Members are Illegal Immigrants]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 11:50:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_464150734673.jpg

Donald Trump said he thinks a lot of “gang members” in America, particularly in Chicago, Baltimore and Ferguson, are illegal immigrants and, if he becomes president, “they’re going to be gone.”

“A lot of the gangs that you see – it doesn’t hopefully pertain to you guys so much – but when you look at Baltimore, when you look at Chicago and Ferguson and a lot of areas, you know a lot of these gang members are illegal immigrants,” he said during an interview with Mobile, Alabama radio station FM Talk 1065. “They’re going to be gone. We are going to get them out so fast, out of this country so fast.”

Trump spoke in the interview Thursday ahead of a scheduled rally Friday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Trump, who has moved to the top of summer polls, has called for the mass deportation of people who have entered the country illegally. He has also said he plans to build a giant wall along the Mexican border.

Also on Thursday, Trump appeared on the cover of Time magazine.

In an interview with the publication, Trump sounded off on undocumented immigrants.

When pressed on how feasible it would be to remove undocumented immigrants from the U.S., he did not detail specifics but said, "it'll all work out."

“It’s called management,” Trump said. “Politicians can’t manage; all they can do is talk. It’s called management. And we’ll do an expedited system. Because I agree with you, there are some very, very good people here who they are here illegally. But they are illegal.”

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Prosecutors: Schock Not ‘Immune From Criminal Responsibility’]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 19:19:54 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/150317-aaron_schock_resign_-1415_5f46d51318d3ce21bfc65de2f5df39a9.jpg

Federal prosecutors fired back at former congressman Aaron Schock Thursday, declaring that members of Congress are not “super citizens, immune from criminal responsibility.”

At issue, Schock’s contention that records from his former congressional office are his own personal property, not documents owned by the public. The target of a grand jury investigation over how he spent his office accounts and campaign funds, the former lawmaker says he has a 5th Amendment right to withhold the documents prosecutors are seeking.

In a filing Thursday, prosecutors alleged that Schock, and the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States Congress argue that every other current and future member of congress have a right against production of public documents which will, among other things, reflect how they spend public funds.

“The government respectfully submits that this argument is repugnant to the fundamental principal that no man is above the law,” they wrote. “And therefore it should be rejected.”

“Its absurdity is self-evident,” they said. “And the House has no right to confer a constitutional privilege where none exists.”

Prosecutors have previously sought contempt proceedings against Schock. A hearing on the matter is set for next week.

<![CDATA[Trump Poses With Bald Eagle for Time Magazine]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 16:20:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/Trump-Time-Cover.jpg

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump posed with a bald eagle at his New York City office for a spread in this week’s issue of Time magazine.

The 27-year-old eagle, named uncle Sam, was flown in from Texas and brought to the 25th floor of the Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan.

Trump appears on the cover of the magazine under the headline "Deal with it.”

In an interview with the publication, Trump sounded off on undocumented immigrants, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy, and taxes.

When pressed on how feasible it would be to remove undocumented immigrants from the U.S., he did not detail specifics but said, "it'll all work out."

“It’s called management,” Trump said. “Politicians can’t manage; all they can do is talk. It’s called management. And we’ll do an expedited system. Because I agree with you, there are some very, very good people here who they are here illegally. But they are illegal.”

He also discussed the controversy around Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server at the State Department.

“She’s going through something that for me, for me is Watergate,” Trump said. “Her only hope is that because the prosecutors are Democrats she doesn’t get prosecuted. That’s the only hope she’s got.”

Trump also said that as president, he may decide to change laws around taxes. 

“Well I’m thinking about it but I have a problem because I may want to switch taxes around,” Trump said. “I want to save the middle class.”

Trump’s Time magazine cover issue hits newsstands Thursday.

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<![CDATA[Protesters Rally at State Fair on Rauner's First 'Governor's Day']]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 18:36:07 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rauner+protest+state+fair.jpg

Opponents of Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed state budget cuts rallied outside of the Illinois State Fair Wednesday during the fair's annual "Governor's Day."

As Rauner roared into the fairgrounds on his Harley, protesters and members of the Service Employees International Union attempted to drown out his message.

Meanwhile, the governor took the stage to point his finger at House Speaker Mike Madigan, saying he "picked a fight with the wrong guy."

"Speaker Madigan, you know what, he's got ice water in his veins," Rauner said. "He's standing this route. He's refused to vote on a single one of the reforms."

Madigan responded to the governor's comment today, saying the budget crisis is Rauner's fault, not his.

Protesters argued that without a state budget, social service agencies are hurting.

"We want him to know that Illinois cares, even if he doesn't," James Muhammad, a communications director for SEIU, said. "It's evident that he does not because of the things he is doing."

State Democrats also attempted to drown out Rauner's message as they prepared to vote to override his veto of a measure that would ban a union strike or government lockout in the event of an impasse.

Other Republicans celebrating "Governor's Day" at the state fair, however, sent a message of support for the governor.

"People are saying, hang in there, don't let the Democrats win," House Minority Leader Jim Durkin said. "And that is a message I'm hearing from more than just Republicans."

<![CDATA[Sen. Mark Kirk a No-Show at State Fair 'Governor's Day']]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 18:32:04 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP152309323941.jpg

Wednesday was a big day for the GOP at the Illinois State Fair as it marked the first "Governor's Day" with a Republican governor in 12 years, but one notable member of the party was missing during the festivities.

Sen. Mark Kirk, who faces a tough election next year to hold onto his Senate seat, did not show up for "Governor's Day," although other important members of the party did, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, GOP State Chairman Tim Schneider and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin.

Other candidates for various political offices attended the fair to rouse support for their upcoming elections. Kirk, however, spent the day in Chicago

Kirk's election team told NBC Chicago he worked in his office in the city, attending meetings as he looks to gather support to defeat the Iran treaty.

"Sometimes schedules just work in funny ways, but for Sen. Kirk it's very important to govern," Kevin Artl, Kirk's campaign manager, said. "With the upcoming vote on Iran, he wanted to make sure he's got the facts right."

Kirk has faced difficult elections in the past as a Congressman, but this race could prove his most difficult. But while there have been questions about whether his party supports him wholeheartedly, no one voiced that opinion publicly at the fair.

Durkin called Kirk a "fighter" and said he supported him "100 percent." Schneider also said he took no issue with Kirk staying in Chicago instead of attending the state fair.

"Mark Kirk is doing his job," Schneider said. "He's with the Israeli foreign ministry talking about the Iran deal, and he's working."

<![CDATA[Rep. Foster Offers Lottery for Tickets to See Pope Francis]]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 16:56:54 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/pope+francis+happy.jpg

Rep. Bill Foster announced Wednesday that he will hold a lottery for a limited number of tickets to see Pope Francis address Congress in September.

The lottery is only open to residents in Foster's district, the 11th. Winners will gain access to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol during the pope's address, which will be broadcast live to the public watching outdoors. The speech is scheduled for 9:20 a.m. on Sept. 24.

The pope is also scheduled to make an appearance on the steps of the U.S. Capitol after the speech.

Residents of the 11th District can enter the lottery online. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 7, and winners will be notified Sept. 8.

Winners will be responsible for their own transportation to and from Washington, D.C., as well as their lodging and other trip expenses while they are there. If a winner cannot use the ticket for whatever reason, it will be given to someone on a waiting list.

To find out if you live in the 11th District and are eligible to enter the lottery, click here.

Pope Francis will arrive in the U.S. on Sept. 22. Included in his itinerary are a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, a celebration of Mass in Spanish at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a trip to New York City to address the United Nations general assembly and a visit to Philadelphia to take part in the World Meeting of Families.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Patti Blagojevich, Lawyer to Appeal to Supreme Court ]]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 20:44:30 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/patti+blagojevich+and+daughter.jpg

The wife of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his lawyer said Wednesday they would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after a full appellate court announced it would not rehear the appeal of the former governor's corruption convictions.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals posted a notice indicating there would be no rehearing for the imprisoned Blagojevich, who hoped the full court might overturn more of his 18 convictions than the five counts a three-judge panel tossed in July.

The only remaining option for more counts to be overturned is an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"While I am disappointed that the petition for rehearing was denied, I am thankful that the decision came quickly because the waiting is awful," Patti Blagojevich said. "What's clear is that in order for us to see justice, the appeal needs to be taken out of Illinois and be in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court where we can find fairness and impartial justice." 

Leonard Goodman, Blagojevich's appellate attorney, echoed Patti Blagojevich's hope for justice in the Supreme Court, adding that the decision in Illinois was "flawed."

"We believe the decision is flawed and puts every public official, who must raise campaign funds to stay in office and to be effective, at the mercy of an ambitious or politically-motivated federal prosecutor," Goodman said. "But we remain hopeful that we will prevail in the end because the decision is in conflict with established legal precedent which has existed for more than 20 years. Now we will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court." 

<![CDATA[Cook County Democratic Party Passes on Duckworth Endorsement]]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 13:39:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/zopp+and+duckworth.jpg

Senate candidate Andrea Zopp gained a victory Wednesday when the Cook County Democratic Party announced it was not endorsing Rep. Tammy Duckworth and instead leaving the primary open between the two candidates.

"When I announced my intention to run for U.S. Senate in May, many underestimated my ability to garner support," Zopp said in a statement. "Now, just 60 days later, my campaign had its first major victory." 

Duckworth has already picked up several endorsements, most notably from Sen. Dick Durbin, who failed to support the re-election bid of his Republican counterpart in the Senate, Mark Kirk.

Zopp's campaign has lagged a bit behind Duckworth's, who has much greater name recognition.

As former president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League and a former member of the Chicago School Board, Zopp has perhaps greater influence in the Chicago area, but her name is not as easily recognized out of the city.

Duckworth and Zopp will face off in the Democratic primary race before one of them takes on incumbent Sen. Kirk in November 2016.

<![CDATA[New Poll Shows Trump Leads GOP Race in Illinois]]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 12:36:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-481233084TheDonald72115.jpg

New poll results show that businessman Donald Trump has widened his lead over the other GOP presidential contenders in Illinois.

Victory Research, a political consulting firm, surveyed 801 "likely Republican primary voters" in Illinois from Aug. 16-18, and many of them chose Trump as their candidate.

Trump held 23.3 percent of votes compared to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's 16.5 percent and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's 11 percent.

Rounding out the top six in the poll are neurosurgeon Ben Carson (5.5 percent), Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (5 percent) and former Hewlett Packard executive Carly Fiorina (4.6 percent). Less than one-fifth of those surveyed (17.9 percent) said they were still undecided.

The margin of error for the poll is 3.46 percent.

In another poll conducted by Victory Research in July, Trump took an early lead, but he was only ahead by 1.5 percent.

Since the last poll, the GOP candidates engaged in their first live debate and traveled the country campaigning.

Trump has not visited Illinois in the last month, but at the end of June, just two weeks into his presidential run, he spoke at the City Club of Chicago, where he addressed immigration and his recently severed ties with NBC.

Bush has also stayed away from Illinois so far on his campaign trail, but Sen. Walker has visited the state twice in the last month.

Another poll released at the end of July by Public Policy Polling showed Walker leading the race in Illinois, followed by Trump and Bush.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rauner Pushes Agenda at Illinois State Fair]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 18:48:03 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rauner+state+fair.jpg

Gov. Bruce Rauner mingled with Illinois residents and pushed his agenda at the state fair in Springfield Tuesday on the eve of an important vote in the Senate.

On Wednesday, the Senate is expected to vote to override the governor's veto of a measure that would ban a union strike or a government lockout in the event of an impasse. The state's contract with members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees expired June 30.

"They want to go to an arbitrator, an unelected, unaccountable, bureaucratic arbitrator who probably — most of them have the labor union backgrounds, and they're somebody who's going to be very sympathetic to their cause," Rauner said.

The Illinois State Fair took place this year in the middle of a budget crisis that has caused some potential problems for the fair's vendors, who have been told they may not be paid on time.

Some have complained that a state fair should not be held without a state budget, but Rauner stands by the decision to keep the event going.

"People said you shouldn't have a fair if you don't have a budget. I said, look, a lot of the money to support the fair was already spent prior to this crisis and the reality is the state fair brings in a lot of revenue," the governor said.

On Wednesday, Rauner will attend the annual "Governor's Day" at the fair. This day is reserved specifically for the governor, who often hosts special guests, including former governors.

<![CDATA[Bernie Sanders Draws Big Crowd at Chicago Fundraiser]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 07:14:47 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/221*120/bernie+sanders1.jpg

Sen. Bernie Sanders continued his push for the Democratic presidential nomination Monday, addressing a packed room of supporters during a stop in Chicago.

The Vermont senator, speaking at a meet-and-greet fundraiser at the Park West theater, blasted the “billionaire class” and said he doesn’t “believe in the agenda of corporate America.”

The appearance marked Sanders’ first fundraising trip to Chicago, the hometown of his rival Hillary Clinton. Supporters lined the streets outside the theater, many wearing pins that read “Feel the Bern.”

During the event, Sanders called for three months paid maternity leave for all women, two weeks of paid vacation for U.S. workers, free public college tuition in America, and legal rights for undocumented immigrants.

Sanders said he plans to fund these efforts through a tax on Wall Street.

“When Wall Street collapsed, this country bailed them out, now it’s their time to help the middle class out,” he said.

Sanders also vowed to fight “institutional racism” and referenced the case of Sandra Bland, a Chicago-area woman who was found dead in a Texas jail cell last month after being arrested during a traffic stop.

“Her crime was she didn’t change her signal. You don’t die in this country for not signaling a turn,” Sanders said. “Nobody will fight harder to end institutional racism in this country and, equally important, reform our broken criminal justice system.”

Sanders came to Chicago after a weekend in Des Moines for the Iowa State Fair, where he drew big crowds.

The senator also visited Chicago in April, before he declared his candidacy, to endorse Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who challenged Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a runoff election. Sanders rallied with Garcia on the South Side and also pledged his support for 10th Ward City Council candidate Susan Sadlowski Garza.

<![CDATA[Government: Schock Docs Were Released by Judge, Not Leaked]]> Mon, 17 Aug 2015 19:41:54 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/schock-lead-102935952.jpg

Suspicious that the other side was leaking sealed information, federal prosecutors in Springfield demanded a hearing this week before the judge overseeing a grand jury investigation of former congressman Aaron Schock. But that hearing was abruptly canceled Monday when the government was forced to admit that the “leaked” document in question had in fact been properly released by the judge herself, and that nothing was amiss.

The grand jury is believed to be investigating Schock’s use of campaign funds and monies from his official congressional account.

At issue was a previously-sealed prosecution motion which detailed, among other things, the fact that Schock continued driving a car even after he sold it back to a Peoria car dealership for $46,000. Portions of that motion were included in another document which was unsealed by the court on Monday, August 10, and stories about the car were reported by NBC5 and the Chicago Sun-Times.

Problem was, the actual document was not unsealed until the following day, and federal prosecutors did not know it had been attached to that other document the day before. Smelling a rat, they notified the court, demanding a hearing to determine who was leaking sealed documents to the media.

“The government has advised the court that on August 10, 2015 there were media reports containing information that appear to derive solely from the government’s motion…which remained sealed as of August 10, 2015,” the court wrote in an item docketed last Wednesday. A hearing on the purported leak was set for Tuesday.

That prompted an angry backlash from the Schock camp.

“To the extent any information derived from a government pleading under seal was revealed before or after being redacted by the government, it was not provided to any person, media representative or otherwise, by Mr. Schock or his counsel,” the former congressman’s attorneys stated. “Such allegation is baseless and uncalled for and should be corrected immediately.”

It turns out they were correct. On Monday, prosecutors filed a motion, admitting that a portion of the document in question had been in the court file all along. “As a result,” they wrote, “the public had access to part of the government’s motion…before it was unsealed the following day.”

No harm, no foul, apparently. “The government has no objection to the Court determining that the (hearing) on August 18, 2015 is unnecessary,” they stated. And the judge struck the hearing from her calendar.

Schock is next scheduled to appear in court August 28.

Photo Credit: Bill Clark/Roll Call via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Walker Agrees with Trump on Ending Birthright Immigration]]> Mon, 17 Aug 2015 18:17:29 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/scott+walker+new.jpg

Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, said Monday that he agrees with Donald Trump's idea that the United States should end the practice of allowing children of undocumented immigrants who are born in this country to gain citizenship as a birthright, NBC News reported

Asked by msnbc if birthright citizenship should be ended, Walker replied: "Yeah, to me it's about enforcing the laws in this country. And I've been very clear, I think you enforce the laws, and I think it's important to send a message that we're going to enforce the laws, no matter how people come here we're going to enforce the laws."

Walker's comments came hours after front-runner Trump released an immigration plan that calls for the deportation of undocumented immigrants, the construction of a large wall along the border with Mexico, an increase in trade tariffs with Mexico and fees on NAFTA workers visas. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Rauner Offers CPS $200 Million for Pension Costs]]> Mon, 17 Aug 2015 17:34:35 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000013798626_1200x675_507036739612.jpg

Gov. Bruce Rauner offered a compromise to Chicago Public Schools Monday when he proposed a two-year property tax freeze along with $200 million in pension and health care costs for the district.

Calling it the "Local Government Taxpayer Protection Act," Rauner the legislation is the "most important single piece of legislation we can pass this year."

The bill proposes a two-year property tax freeze as well as local control of collective bargaining in school districts and city and county governments. Rauner also said it includes increased state support for low-income school districts, including Chicago.

"We're willing to have the state start paying pension costs for Chicago teachers, just as the state does for other school districts," Rauner said.

The bill also means that lawmakers must agree to restrict workers' compensation and allow local governments to control collective bargaining, which leaves members of the Chicago Teachers Union skeptical.

"There's nothing new here," Jesse Sharkey, vice president of CTU, said. "This is Rauner's 'turnaround agenda.' Rauner has proven himself to be nothing if not tone deaf."

With Chicago schools facing a $1 billion budget hole and the city asking teachers to pay 7 percent more for their pensions, the financial outlook is uncertain.

Also uncertain is whether House Speaker Mike Madigan will agree to the Rauner plan.

"We're trying to get the speaker to move, and we're asking him, at least take up a real bill, a real reform bill, just one," Rauner said. 

The governor insists the bill gives CPS the ability to solve all its financial problems, but Sharkey says Rauner's plan hurts Chicago schools. 

"While Rauner sticks to his talking points and sticks to his ideological agenda, we're seeing real devastation on the grounds at public schools in Chicago.," Sharkey said.

<![CDATA[Bernie Sanders to Make Trip to Chicago]]> Mon, 17 Aug 2015 17:48:53 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_447836430931.jpg

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders will make a stop in Chicago Monday on his campaign trail.

The Vermont senator is scheduled to attend a meet-and-greet fundraiser at Park West, located at 322 W. Armitage Ave., at 5 p.m.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online for $50, $250, $750 or $1,000.

Sanders comes to Chicago after a weekend in Des Moines for the Iowa State Fair, where he drew big crowds.

The senator also visited Chicago in April, before he declared his candidacy, to endorse Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who challenged Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a runoff election. Sanders rallied with Garcia on the South Side and also pledged his support for 10th Ward City Council candidate Susan Sadlowski Garza.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders Draws Big Crowds at Iowa State Fair, Town Hall]]> Sun, 16 Aug 2015 00:12:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_331484957977.jpg

Bernie Sanders may not leave Iowa as popular as the pork chop on a stick or fried PBJ — but the Democratic candidate rolled into the Iowa State Fair to a crowd that wrapped around to the back of the soapbox stage to hear him speak on Saturday afternoon.

Earlier in the morning, the Vermont senator spoke at a town hall in Boone, a town about an hour outside of Des Moines.

Sanders called for expanding Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income, creating a single-payer healthcare system, and pushed back against the government's use of an unemployment rate figure that does not include those who gave up on looking for work and those who are working part time but would like to work full time.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Trump: Undocumented Immigrants 'Have to Go']]> Sun, 16 Aug 2015 07:17:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_879695016320.jpg

Donald Trump would reverse President Obama's executive orders on immigration and deport all undocumented immigrants from the U.S. as president, he said in an exclusive interview with NBC's Chuck Todd.

"We're going to keep the families together, but they have to go," he said in the interview, which will air in full on NBC's "Meet the Press" this Sunday.

Trump said, to begin, "we have to" rescind Obama's executive order offering those brought to the U.S. illegally as children — known as DREAMers — protection from deportation, as well as Obama's unilateral move to delay deportation for their families as well.

The comments are certain to further inflame already fierce opposition from Latino activists and advocacy groups. They've been critical of Trump's candidacy from the start, when he kicked off his campaign with a speech that accused Mexico of sending "criminals" and "rapists" to the U.S.

Photo Credit: AP
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