<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago Political News and Chicago Politics]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.comen-usSun, 26 Jun 2016 23:49:51 -0500Sun, 26 Jun 2016 23:49:51 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Dump Trump Movement Planning for Convention Floor Fight]]> Sun, 26 Jun 2016 23:20:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_16171043306152.jpg

The grassroots movement aimed at ousting Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention is planning for a convention floor fight, hiring staff, establishing a command center in Cleveland and rolling out ads in key states over the next week, NBC News reported

Organizers of the effort held their second weekly conference call Sunday night.

Former Bogota, New Jersey, Mayor Steve Lonegan, a Ted Cruz supporter and spokesman for a super PAC backing the effort, said he plans to hire East, West and Central regional field directors to begin building a "comprehensive list of every single delegate" to get to know their interests and issues.

The group is also planning to hire a full-time executive director, because the current staff is working on a volunteer basis, Lonegan said. An advance team is heading to Cleveland this week to build a command center outside the convention center.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hillary Clinton Visits the Midwest, Chicago]]> Sun, 26 Jun 2016 11:36:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/clinton+GettyImages-542155470.jpg

The Midwest is front and center for Hillary Clinton's campaign over the next two days.

Clinton is speaking at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis Sunday afternoon, her first visit to Indiana since losing the Hoosier state primary in May to Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sunday evening, Clinton will head to all-important battleground state Ohio. She will attend a fundraiser at the home of Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley.

Before Clinton travels to Chicago to deliver the keynote speech at the Operation PUSH convention on Monday, she and Sen. Elizabeth Warren will campaign together in Ohio.

The two will hold their first rally together at the Cincinnati Museum Center on Monday morning, further fueling speculation of a possible Clinton-Warren ticket in November.

Regardless, Warren's more public role in the 2016 race is a sign that the Democratic Party is uniting behind Clinton.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Governor Rauner Tours Tornado Damage in Pontiac]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 22:19:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000018418336_1200x675_712451651969.jpg Governor Rauner went to Pontiac, Illinois, on Friday to survey the damage of a dangerous EF-2 tornado that tore through the town Wednesday night. ]]> <![CDATA[What Stands Between Trump and a US Brexit Effect]]> Sat, 25 Jun 2016 05:44:05 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/542736486-donald-trump-brexit-vote-election.jpg

Even as Donald Trump drew parallels on Friday between the British vote to leave the European Union and the American presidential election, migration experts cautioned against too close a comparison of anti-immigrant sentiment in the two countries.

There are lessons to be taken from the Brexit decision, but more important are the very different heritages of U.S. and the United Kingdom, they said. 

Together with Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling blocking President Barack Obama's immigration reforms, the vote did put some wind back in Trump’s sails, said Kevin Appleby, the director of international migration policy at the Center for Migration Studies of New York. And it showed that an anti-establishment movement is not unique to the United States.

But the presidential election is months off. American voters are more diverse and the country’s history is one of immigrants building the country, he said.

"It doesn't mean that we'll have the same result on this side of the pond as Britain did, because I think our nation is different in a lot of ways," he said.

Tapping a 'Well of Anxiety' on Immigration
The EU is the world's largest zone of free movement, letting anyone with its passport settle in any of its member nations, and the Brexit victory was as much a referendum on open borders and immigration policies as on British sovereignty. An Ipsos MORI poll found last week that immigration was the most important issue to voters in the UK.

"Free movement is basically the defining achievement of the European Union," said Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, assistant director of the Migration Policy Institute's International Program.

But although economists agree that globalization brings benefits, the effects can be jarring locally. When the EU opened up to 10 new member states in 2004, the result was an influx of Eastern European workers to the UK. 

"It's harder to point your finger at this amorphous, global event, and it's much easier to point your finger at a foreign worker who's still employed," Banulescu-Bogdan said. 

The decision to leave reflected a populist, anti-elite sentiment and prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to announce he would step down in October. 

In Scotland on Friday for the re-opening of his historic golf course in Turnberry, Trump praised the results and said that the British had reasserted control over their politics, their borders and economy. In November, Americans also will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put Americans first, he said.

"They took their country back, just like we will take America back," the presumptive Republican nominee tweeted.

Since he entered the race last June, Trump has promised to build a wall to stop undocumented immigrants from Mexico whom he has called rapists and criminals, and wants a temporary ban on Muslims coming into the country as a way to combat terrorism.

"Both are tapping into this well of anxiety about the fast pace of change that has brought about unfavorable conditions for a lot of people, and they've really tapped into this sense that people are being left behind," Banulescu-Bogdan said. 

But the British experience of immigration largely began after its colonies became independent and, more recently, after the formation of the European Union, according to Muzaffar Chishti, the director of the Migration Policy Institute’s office at New York University School of Law.

The U.S., by contrast, is a country that has long thought of itself as a destination for people hoping to improve their lives, and throughout American history, impulses to close borders or restrict immigration have largely failed, he said. Phenomena such as the Know-Nothing Party, the anti-immigrant party of the mid-1800s and the Chinese Exclusion Act of the 1880s, prohibiting immigration of Chinese laborers, are looked back at with disapproval. Even Trump focuses on "illegal" immigration, he said.

"In our history there have been many moments of anti-immigrant sentiment and we have gone beyond them," Chishti said.

Today, in the U.S., only one third of people say immigrants are a burden to the country by taking jobs, housing and health care, while about 60 percent say their hard work and talent strengthen the country, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March. 

Referendum vs. General Election
Plus, Chishti said, the U.S. elections are not determined by popular vote. If the British parliament had taken that vote instead of opening it up into a referendum, the outcome would have been very different, he said.

Henry Fernandez of the Center for American Progress Action Fund faulted Cameron for allowing the far right and its anti-immigrant message to play an outsized role in the Conservative Party's policy and campaign messages.

Republicans leaders in the United States have allowed a similar anti-immigrant feeling to flourish, he said. That Trump is the party's presumptive nominee should come as no surprise, he said. 

"David Cameron rolled the dice on a very bad gamble in order to try to appease that extreme right wing of his party," he said. "That's very similar to what Republican leadership has done in the United States. They rolled the dice, and the dice came up Trump."

But he also predicted that the Americans would reject targeting immigrants.

"Allowing the card of racism and anti-immigrant sentiment to be played again and again will have toxic results," he said. "But what I think it will do in the United States is create very severe electoral problems for the Republican Party."

Activists say they are prepared to fight Trump's portrayal of immigrants as dangerous and a drain on the economy.

"We're worried but we're also ready to fight back against Trump's scare tactics and lies," said Pili Tobar, the director of communications at the Latino Victory Project. 

NBC's Asher Klein contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Duckworth Settles Workplace Retaliation Lawsuit]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 18:41:28 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tammy+duckworth+getty.jpg

A lawsuit filed against Rep. Tammy Duckworth was settled Friday, just over a month before the case, stemming from her time as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, was set to go to trial in mid-August.

"Today’s resolution is appropriate for what was always a frivolous workplace case that dragged on over eight years and was dismissed in whole or in part multiple times," deputy campaign manager Matt McGrath said in a statement. "Tammy has and always will put protecting our Veterans first, and she has never hesitated to hold others accountable."

"Meanwhile, the Kirk campaign — which has lied about this case as frequently and as colorfully as Senator Kirk lied about his military record — needs to come clean. Senator Kirk himself falsely suggested it involved patronage hiring and ‘goombahs’ — whatever that means," McGrath continued.

"His campaign also lied when they said the case was about Tammy endangering Veterans’ care, and when they suggested taxpayers were on the hook for a six figure settlement. Kirk had clearly pinned his desperate campaign hopes on what a federal judge deemed a ‘garden variety workplace case,’ and now it's clear he’s got nothing left to offer Illinois families."

Incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk had been using the case as a component of his strategy against the congresswoman, even sending "save the date" postcards to remind voters of the trial. His campaign responded with an equally vitriolic statement, having spent several months deploying a strategy of tying Duckworth to incarcerated former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who appointed her Director of the IDVA in 2006.

"We now know that there are 26,000 reasons why Tammy Duckworth was guilty. The simple truth is that if Tammy Duckworth was innocent, she would not have settled this case," Kirk's campaign manager Kevin Artl said in a statement.

"Instead of taking the stand and testifying, Duckworth has chosen to stay silent and settle the case at taxpayer expense in order to hide from the truth. Duckworth's actions have cost Illinois taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars while prolonging the legacy of Rod Blagojevich corruption."

According to the Attorney General's office, who represented Duckworth in the case, the settlement was not a finding of guilt or violation of the law, but more about the cost to the state if the case went to trial. 

“During the course of today’s discussions, it became clear that we could resolve this matter on behalf of the State and both Trish Simms and Tammy Duckworth for nuisance value – saving the State the costs of lawyers preparing for and trying the case,” spokesperson for the Attorney General's office Maura Possley said in a statement. “As a result, the Attorney General’s Office, on behalf of the State, has reached an agreement to settle the case for $26,000, which will cover attorney’s fees and all costs. The settlement is based on the agreement that there is no finding of a violation of the law.”

The 8-year-old lawsuit against Duckworth alleged ethics violations and workplace retaliation, although the congresswoman denied treating the employees unfairly.

According to the lawsuit, Christine Butler claimed she was fired for insubordination after filing complaints against her boss, the facility's director. After later meeting with Duckworth, the termination was reversed within days.

Denise Goins claimed that her complaints about the same supervisor led to an unfavorable performance review after initially being ignored. Goins claimed the performance review prevented her from receiving a raise. In addition to this, she claimed Duckworth told her to "do your job and keep your mouth shut" during a meeting.

Butler and Goins sought compensatory damages of at least $50,000, as well as other financial penalties.

The trial was slated to take place August 15 and 16, just months before Duckworth faces Kirk in the November 8 election for U.S. Senator. The race is widely considered to be one of the most highly contested in the nation.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Emanuel Short on Details During Deposition About Cops: Report]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:35:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Emanuel10.png

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was deposed Friday as part of a lawsuit filed by eight Chicago police officers who claim they were dropped from the mayor’s security detail for political reasons after he took office in 2011.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Emanuel gave little detail about how four CPD officers who worked as campaign volunteers were added as members of his security staff.

Four CPD officers, who previously worked on former Mayor Richard M. Daley's security team, claim they were removed from their posts for political reasons and replaced by the four other officers. They are seeking financial compensation, claiming they lost out on nearly $3 million in salary and benifits. Another group of four officers also sued the city for being transferred from the mayor's detail.

The eight officers, who are all white or Hispanic, filed a 2012 lawsuit alleging that Emanuel took part in selecting a new security team that included African-American officers with less seniority and other officers who volunteered on the mayor’s campaign.

The group claims Emanuel directed Terry Hillard to select a “diverse” team and participated in meetings to choose campaign volunteers to reassign to the mayor’s police protection.

According to a transcript of the deposition acquired by the Tribune, Emanuel's answers about the selection of his security detail weren't particularly revealing, although the mayor noted that he told Hillard "this is your job, not mine."

"The only thing I said to him was, make it smaller than my predecessor and make it diverse, but you make the call," Emanuel said.

On Wednesday, Emanuel was specifically questioned about how four Chicago police officers who previously worked on his campaign were hired to work on his security detail.

Throughout the deposition, Emanuel repeatedly said he didn't know or couldn't recall details to answer certain questions about his 2011 mayoral campaign.

Although the mayor was compelled to give the deposition last week, a rarity for a sitting mayor, he didn't have to appear in court.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[House Dems Stream Sit-In]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 06:15:58 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Periscope-GettyImages-473860588.jpg

The shot wasn’t always steady, and sometimes people got in the way.

Such are the perils of recording video on a cellphone.

Streaming media conveyed House Democrats' message to the masses when C-SPAN cameras were turned off during a 25-hour sit-in seeking to force a vote on gun control.

Democrats have Bay Area technology to thank. Periscope and Facebook Live were put into play when the mics on the House floor were switched off. Millions of people watched, commented and encouraged the men and women of the House, who said they appreciate the support.

"I thought, well, there’s an app for that," said Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, whose Periscope stream lasted for hours.

Fellow California House member Rep. Jackie Speier said, "For 25 hours we were streaming video to outlets across the country."

Scott streams on Twitter and Periscope: @scottbudman



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['No Fly, No Buy' Gun Measure Survives Senate]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 06:15:05 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GUNS_AP_16173672808809.jpg

A Republican-backed compromise amendment to prevent people on the "no-fly list" from acquiring firearms survived an effort to kill the measure Thursday — but at the moment it likely lacks the votes to pass it.

The amendment, sponsored by moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, would allow the Justice Department to block people on the no-fly list and one other watchlist from buying guns, but would give them an ability to appeal.

A procedural vote to table, or essentially kill, the amendment failed 46-52. Eight Republicans voted against tabling the bill. If Thursday's motion is seen as a test vote, supporters of the amendment lack a handful of votes to pass it.

"I'm very pleased with where we stand," Collins said after the vote. "Obviously I'd like to get to 60 but this was a good day."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rauner Won't Agree to Budget Deal With CPS 'Bailout']]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 22:11:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rauner+rahm+0527.jpg

With time running out before the July 1 deadline to pass a budget, the Illinois House and Senate will return to Springfield next week, with a vote likely to take place on a stop-gap measure to pay the state's backlog of bills until January. But there's a new wrinkle in the plan, as a battle over Chicago Public Schools grows.

If no stop-gap budget measure is in place by next Friday, construction crews may peel away from road projects, struggling social service agencies may close their doors, and even as schools interview new teachers, they may have to put all plans on hold as well.

Governor Bruce Rauner says Democrats are close to an agreement on a stop-gap budget for social services, roads and even schools, but it also includes what he called a "bail out" for Chicago Public Schools, and he will not agree to that condition.

"They want to bring every pressure they can to force a crisis," Rauner said of legislators in Springfield on Thursday. "It won't solve any of our long-term problems, and a bailout of Chicago, just sending a lot more money to CPS, they've proven they squander their money."

Rauner said he supports the school district declaring bankruptcy instead.

"They could have CPS reorganize their debts and their contracts under a bankruptcy in front of a judge, reorganize their obligations," Rauner said. "That's not a terrible thing, it wouldn't have to result in any layoffs."

Chicago Public Schools fired back Thursday, saying that under Illinois law, CPS cannot legally declare bankruptcy. 

"Governor Rauner is itching to subject Chicago students to his old slash-and-burn corporate takeover tactics, decimating our schools and cheating teachers of their pensions – when he should be providing adequate and equitable funding," said CPS spokesperson Emily Bittner. "We’ll keep fighting to make sure that Governor Rauner can’t avoid his responsibility to fund schools around the state and protect our children’s futures."

Mayor Emanuel also criticized the governor's suggestion, and for recently comparing Chicago Public Schools to prisons.

"Do we give that child at a better tomorrow, or run them down and say that they're in prisons?" Emanuel asked Thursday. "I am tired of this. This child is not a prisoner in a prison."

Mayor Emanuel and the governor continue to be at odds as the state lingers without a budget now for 18 months. With the possibility of schools not opening on time growing ever more legitimate, the debate over Chicago versus the rest of the state is amplified.

"I think everybody wants to see Chicago succeed, but there have got to be reforms to how Chicago operates on the money side," said state Senator Matt Murphy.

So as lawmakers return to Springfield next week, it's important to note that if the stop-gap budget is tied to a Chicago Public Schools bailout, the governor will not approve it.

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<![CDATA[Quinn Urges Emanuel to Sign Term-Limit Petition: Report]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 18:31:25 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/patquinn123.jpg

Former Gov. Pat Quinn urged Mayor Rahm Emanuel to sign a petition Wednesday that looks to impose term limits on the mayor, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Quinn is circulating a petition that pushes for a two-term limit for Chicago mayors. The former governor spoke at City Hall Wednesday during a Chicago Teachers Union rally for long-term funding solutions for public education.

After being asked what he thought Emanuel could do to improve Chicago Public Schools, Quinn pointed to the petition.

“I think he should sign our petition,” Quinn said.

Quinn also took shots at his successor, Gov. Bruce Rauner, after being asked about CPS’ dire financial situation.

Quinn said the state’s ongoing budget impasse is hurting the district and claimed Rauner’s “alibis” about the stalemate “are insufficient.”

“The people of Illinois deserve a budget and that’s the job of the governor, you know,” Quinn said. “I think Illinois right now is on four flat tires.”

Illinois’ budget impasse will likely stretch into its second year at the start of next month. Lawmakers were unable to agree on a budget plan before the end of the spring legislative session, leaving state schools and social services in limbo.

In recent weeks, Gov. Bruce Rauner has toured to state pushing stopgap measures to fund education and other essential state services.

Additionally, the governor wrote an op-ed for the Daily Herald Wednesday claiming suburban and downstate taxpayers “shouldn’t pay for Chicago’s mess.”

“Democrats want to force suburban and downstate taxpayers to bailout CPS from years of financial mismanagement and declining student enrollment - to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars,” Rauner said in the editorial.

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<![CDATA[New Kirk Ad Distances Senator from GOP, Trump]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 18:32:13 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP152309323941.jpg

Sen. Mark Kirk's campaign released a new TV advertisement Thursday that frames the senator as “bipartisan” and “independent" on a series of issues.

The ad highlights Kirk’s opposition to presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump and looks to distance the senator from Republican stances on abortion and President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

According to the Kirk campaign, $285,000 will be spent on ad buys in the Chicago market through the end of June.

In a highly-publicized move, Kirk walked back his endorsement of Trump earlier this month, calling the candidate's comments about the heritage of a Hispanic judge presiding over lawsuit against his beleaguered Trump University “un-American.”

Kirk originally told NBC Chicago that he would support Trump if he became the GOP’s presidential nominee in March.

In May, Kirk also told USA Today that he would be willing to serve as a national security advisor to Trump, but called the divisive nominee “a river boat gamble.”

Kirk plans to skip the Republican National Convention in July.

The ad also points out that Kirk was the first Republican senator to meet with Obama’s SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland. The two sat down in March. Kirk also urged Republican lawmakers to “man up and cast a vote” on Garland shortly after he was nominated.

A group of senators, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, continues to stifle the nomination process for Garland.

The 30-second spot also highlights the senator’s pro-choice voting record.

Kirk is locked in a highly-contested bid for reelection against Rep. Tammy Duckworth. Duckworth’s campaign responded to the ad Thursday, claiming Kirk lied about his military service record. Duckworth, a combat veteran, lost her legs piloting a helicopter in Iraq.

“Republican Senator Mark Kirk has lied for many years about his military record, falsely claiming to have served in combat and claiming an award he never earned, and now he’s not being straight with Illinois voters by portraying himself as a liberal Democrat in Chicago while apparently hoping no one else across the state notices,” Duckworth campaign spokesman Matt McGrath said in a statement. “You can always count on two things from Kirk: dishonesty and crude political calculation, and this ad has an abundance of both.”

During Kirk’s initial run for Senate in 2010, it was revealed that he didn’t serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of the Navy Reserve, like his campaign biography said, but rather served at the same time as the conflict.

Additionally, The Washington Post reported that Kirk "inaccurately claimed" the Navy’s "Intelligence Officer of the Year" award, and had been doing so since 2002.

Kirk ultimately apologized for the misrepresentations and beat out former Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias for the Senate seat.

Kirk’s campaign responded to the claims, pointing to Duckworth’s upcoming civil trial related to a workplace retaliation lawsuit stemming from the congresswoman’s time as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

“A hyperbolic and petty response by Duckworth meant to distract from the fact that she is going to trial in August and still refuses to say whether she will testify or not in her own trial,” Duckworth spokesman Kevin Artl said in a statement.

The trial, which is set to start August 15, might not go forward because Duckworth’s legal team is reportedly in closed-door talks to settle the case. The Kirk campaign claimed the potential settlement means that the congresswoman "does not want the truth to come out."

Nevertheless, a spokeswoman for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madian, who is representing Duckworth in the case, said the settlement meeting was "initiated by the judge," according to the Chicago Tribune.

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<![CDATA[Illinois Democrats Join House Sit-In for Gun Control]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 18:19:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/HOUSE_DEM_AP_16175088225937.jpg

Illinois Democrats joined a protest in the chamber of the House of Representatives Wednesday to demand a vote on gun control measures, NBC News reports.

Lawmakers shouted “no bill, no break” as Republican leaders pushed to adjourn the body until July 5.

Illinois Rep. Robin Kelly, who helped organize the sit-in and spoke on the House floor, called for immediate action on gun safety during the protest. Kelly’s district includes some of the most violent areas in Chicago.

In April, Kelly launched the Urban Progress Initiative that looks to reduce gun violence and create economic development in Chicago and across the country. Kelly initiative is supported by fellow Illinois Reps. Tammy Duckworth and Cheri Bustos.

In May, Kelly also introduced a joint resolution to the House and Senate alongside Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin to create National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Durbin was also present for the sit-in.

The first National Gun Violence Awareness Day was held on June 2. 

Rep. Tammy Duckworth was also present at the sit-in. She called American gun violence “absolutely horrific” Wednesday.

“We can work to end this violence with common sense gun legislation,” Duckworth said in a statement. "But to do that, the House needs to take action. The fact of the matter is all we’re asking for is a vote. Americans want this vote on gun violence."

"Do not silence my constituents - no bill, no break,” she added.

Illinois Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Luis Gutierrez, Cheri Bustos, Danny Davis, Mike Quigley and Bill Foster were also present during the protest.

"I’ve been on the House floor for over 24 [hours] fighting for action on gun safety,” Schakowsky wrote on twitter Thursday.

Democrats were forced to turn to social media to document the protest after Republican congressional leaders shut off C-SPAN cameras Wednesday.

The sit-in stretched into its second day Thursday after Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan finally adjourned the body during a contentious overnight session.

Ryan said that despite outcry from Democrats, measures that would ban terror suspects from buying guns and impose universal background checks would not be considered because they “already failed in committee.” He also called the sit-in "a publicity stunt."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Says He 'Heard' Clinton's Email Server Was Hacked]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 15:52:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TrumpNightlyNews.png

Donald Trump insisted Thursday that Hillary Clinton’s private email server was hacked, but could not say where he learned the information. 

"I think I read that," Trump said. "And I heard it, and somebody--"

Trump was pressed for evidence to back up his claims during an interview with NBC Nightly News’ Lester Holt, which will air Thursday.

"—that also gave me that information. I will report back to you," Trump said.

Trump’s comments come after he argued that Clinton’s server, which she used as secretary of state, left her vulnerable to blackmail if she were president.

Clinton’s campaign said there is no evidence that her server was ever hacked. U.S. officials have also told NBC News there is no evidence anyone hacked into the server, although there was evidence of phishing attempts. 



Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Civil Rights Icon Rep. John Lewis No Stranger to Sit-Ins]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 23:44:00 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/SIT_IN_AP_16174617154578.jpg

Rep. John Lewis, 76, led a sit-in on Wednesday in a quest to force a vote on gun control.

And the Civil Rights icon has faced angry mobs hurling racial epithets, jail and a beating by cops wielding night sticks that was so brutal that his skull was fractured.

Over 50 House Democrats participated in the historic protest which went into Wednesday evening.

"This is an important moment. I never dreamed that one day, after coming to Congress, I would have to sit in on the floor of the House, sit down, occupy the well of the House," Lewis said Wednesday. "We've been waiting, waiting for a long time, for the leadership to bring a piece of legislation, or maybe more than one piece, to deal with gun violence. There are too many people, too many children, babies, teachers, our mothers, our fathers, our sisters and brothers, people going out to dance and have fun, to die because of gun violence."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rubio Move Part of GOP Strategy to Keep Senate Even if Trump Loses]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 06:21:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/RUBIO_GettyImages-515906890.jpg

Marco Rubio's decision on Wednesday to run for re-election for his Florida U.S. Senate seat, at the urging of party leaders, is part of an aggressive series of moves the GOP is taking in the hopes of keeping control of the Senate, even if Donald Trump is badly defeated in the presidential race.

Key party officials, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, passed over several Republicans who were already running for the Florida seat to implore Rubio to seek a second term, even though the former presidential candidate had spent months saying that he was leaving the Senate.

Former President George W. Bush, who has largely stayed out of politics since he left office, is holding fundraisers for Republican Senate candidates in close races, even as his aides have said that he will not attend the GOP convention in Cleveland that will nominate Trump. And groups affiliated with the conservative Koch brothers are already investing heavily in campaign ads and ground operations to win key Senate races in states like Ohio and Wisconsin.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sick Days, Wrigley Plaza: What City Council Did Wednesday]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 19:15:08 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/city+hall+GettyImages-500588420.jpg

Chicago City Council approved a variety of measures Wednesday, including regulations on the house-sharing and ride-sharing industries and new rules for the Wrigley Field plaza.

Aldermen also approved paid sick leave for about 460,000 private sector employees and a ban on public places' denying access to bathrooms on the basis of gender identity.

During a press conference following the City Council session, Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised aldermen, saying “we’re not Springfield.”

“Compromise has worked for Chicago today,” Emanuel said. “This is an example of working together."

Wednesday’s session almost ended early after Ald. Scott Waguespack tried to delay the ride-sharing vote. In response, Mayor Rahm Emanuel moved to end the meeting and call aldermen back to session on Friday, at which point Waguespack withdrew his motion.

Here’s a breakdown of the ordinances approved by City Council Wednesday:

Paid Sick Leave

Roughly 460,000 employees will now be granted paid sick days. In Chicago. 40 percent of private sector workers had no form of paid sick leave.

Under the plan, workers can earn up to five sick days every twelve months. Half of that time can be carried over to the next year if it goes unused. New employees can use sick days after a six month probationary period.

Additionally, sick leave benefits that are negotiated as part of a collective bargaining agreement are exempt.

Public Bathroom Discrimination

Under the plan, public places can’t deny access to their bathrooms on the basis of gender identity. The measure looks to protect residents from discrimination and ensure gender equality. 

“The City of Chicago celebrates diversity and has a long and proud history of being a welcoming place for LGBT residents,” Emanuel said in a statement. “Chicago stands in solidarity with the LGBT community here and across the country, and today’s action will ensure that we are a place of inclusion and tolerance that allows people from all groups - no matter their gender or who they love - to participate free of discrimination.”

The measure serves as the gender equality amendment to Chicago's Human Rights Ordinance.

On Wednesday, the council also approved various community and land development and confirmed Erin Keane as City Comptroller.

Wrigley Field Plaza

Under the plan, beer and wine would be sold until one hour after day games end and until the end of night games. If there is a rain delay, sales would be cut off by 11p.m.

Additionally, the Cubs would be allowed to hold up to 12 other events in the plaza, including five large concerts. Alcohol sales would be cut off one hour before the end of events, which would run no later than 10 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The plaza would only be open to ticket holders for games and events and would be required to close 45 minutes after the end of a game or event.

To be considerate of parents and children during the school year, there is a provision in the legislation that prohibits the team from holding concerts at the stadium from Labor Day to June 15. Other events between Sunday and Thursday during that time are required to end by 9 p.m.

Ald. Tom Tunney, who first introduced an ordinance for the plaza in 2013, unveiled the updated plan earlier this month.

The Cubs called some rules unfair, namely the caveat that only allows ticketed patrons in the plaza during games. The team originally envisioned a plaza that could possibly available 365 days a year.

On Tuesday, Tunney said the revised plan includes input from the mayor, the neighborhood and the team.

Ride-Sharing

Drivers for Uber and Lyft will now be required to to get a transportation network driver license, in order to even the playing field with the taxi industry. Companies will also be required to continue administering criminal background checks and drivers will need to receive training developed by the rideshare industry, either in person or online.

The issue of fingerprinting, a major point of contention for Uber and Lyft, was also tabled for the time being. Instead, a six-month study on fingerprinting drivers for background checks for rideshare companies was approved Wednesday.

Rideshare companies will also be given an additional six months to devise a plan for expanding accessibility for the disabled.

Also gone are drug tests and physical exams for drivers, which were part of the previous plan. Last week, Uber and Lyft threatened to leave Chicago after the more restrictive rideshare ordinance was unanimously approved by a joint City Council committee.

House-Sharing

Under the approved plan, individual voting precincts can ban house-sharing through petition, according to the Chicago Tribune. A complete petition requires signatures from 25 percent of voters in a given area. Residents who oppose such a move can also get signatures to overturn the original petition.

Buildings of five units can only list one unit at a time. Larger buildings will be able to rent six units at a time or 25 percent of the building, whichever is less.

Additionally, renters will also be required to pay a $60 charge for each address listed on Airbnb, which will be used to enforce the new rules.

The company will also be required to pay the city $10,000 annually for a license to operate.

Mayor Emanuel’s 4 percent surcharge on each rental to fund services for the city’s homeless is also included in the ordinance.

Airbnb waged a strong campaign to fight against new regulations, organizing renters and buying ads to sway opinion. Despite their initial opposition, the company praised the ordinance Wednesday.

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<![CDATA[City Council Approves New Rules for Airbnb]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 16:56:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AIRBNB5.jpg

After months of debate, the Chicago City Council approved a series of regulations for house-sharing services like Airbnb on Wednesday.

Airbnb waged a strong campaign to fight against new regulations, organizing renters and buying ads to sway opinion. Despite their initial opposition, the company praised the ordinance Wednesday.

"We’re excited to see Chicago join the ranks of leading global cities that have worked to protect the right of everyday people to share their homes to make some extra money," Airbnb Senior Advisor and Midwest Director of Policy Will Burns said in a statement. "As home-sharing grows and flourishes in Chicago, we look forward to continuing our partnership with city leaders, the neighborhood business and community organizations to generate economic activity in neighborhoods, protect quality of life and support the thousands of regular Chicagoans who depend of home-sharing to make ends meet."

During a news conference Wednesday, Emanuel commended City Council for doing "something completely different," calling house-sharing an "emerging industry."

"While other cities struggle to regulate the new sharing economy, Chicago worked with stakeholders to create a consensus around how to reasonably regulate these emerging industries in a way that protects consumers and neighborhoods," Emanuel added in a release.

Under the plan, individual voting precincts can ban house-sharing through petition, according to the Chicago Tribune. A complete petition requires signatures from 25 percent of voters in a given area. Residents who oppose such a move can also get signatures to overturn the original petition.

Buildings of five units can only list one unit at a time. Larger buildings will be able to rent six units at a time or 25 percent of the building, whichever is less.

Additionally, renters will also be required to pay a $60 charge for each address listed on Airbnb, which will be used to enforce the new rules.

The company will also be required to pay the city $10,000 annually for a license to operate.

Mayor Emanuel’s 4 percent surcharge on each rental to fund services for the city’s homeless is also included in the ordinance.

Airbnb thanked Emanuel and Chicago aldermen for creating the program.

"We are particularly excited that, under the leadership of the mayor and aldermen, the tax revenue generated from our community will go to helping to fund the city’s homelessness program - and we believe that using the tax dollars for important needs like homelessness is a model for other cities to consider," Burns said.

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<![CDATA[Time's Running Out for Bernie Sanders to Make a Deal]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 16:43:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/topNews-AP_16161617906947.jpg

The last Democratic primary is done, President Obama, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Oprah have all endorsed Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Bernie Sanders is increasingly out of the limelight.

With the country now focused on the race between Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, how much bargaining power does Sanders still have? Can the Democratic socialist from Vermont push the Democratic party any further toward the left?

"People are paying less attention to him with each passing day," said Seth Masket, an associate professor of political science at the University of Denver. "Without contests, without media attention, he doesn't have anything. He has every incentive to try and make some sort of deal pretty quickly."

Sanders still has not ended his campaign two weeks after Clinton became the Democrats' presumptive nominee, the first woman to do so for either major party. But in a C-SPAN interview on Wednesday, Sanders conceded, "It doesn't appear that I'm going to be the nominee."

He will address his supporters about what comes next for his campaign in a speech in New York on Thursday called "Where We Go From Here."

"Real change never takes place from the top on down or in the living rooms of wealthy campaign contributors," he said last week when he talked about continuing to press for economic and social justice. "It always occurs from the bottom on up when tens of millions of people say loudly and clearly, 'Enough is enough,' and they become engaged it the fight for justice."

Leah Wright Rigueur, an assistant professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, said it continued to be important for Democrats to get the support of Sanders and his backers. He will campaign energetically against Trump, she said.

Clinton met with Sanders last week and in an interview with USA Today the former secretary of state appeared to acknowledge Sanders' success in the primaries when talking about "progressive" Democrats being vetted as vice presidential candidates. Sanders said on C-SPAN that it would be a terrible mistake for Clinton to pick someone with roots in Wall Street.  

The Vermont senator could force fights at the convention over positions where he differs with Clinton -- over the U.S. relationship with Israel, whose prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, he has criticized, and the Glass-Steagall Act's banking regulations, which he would reinstate. He has called for imposing a ban on fracking and for federally administered single-payer health care, neither of which Clinton supports. He would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour -- Clinton has said she backs $12 an hour though would encourage some states and cities to go higher. And Sanders opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal Clinton championed while it was being negotiated but now is against.

Sanders has already won an unprecedented say over the party's platform. He was awarded almost as many members on the committee writing the platform as Clinton, five to her six of the 15, and among his picks are James Zogby, an advocate for a more even-handed approach to Palestinian rights, and Cornell West, who challenged former Attorney General Eric Holder on why no banks were held accountable for the economic collapse in 2008.

"His delegates to the platform committee are going to put forward a radical vision of what they imagine the Democratic Party to be," Rigueur said. "And so what happens after that is the hammering out of the platform."

But presidents are not bound by a party's platform and most voters know little about them, said Keena Lipsitz, an associate professor at Queens College in New York City. Activists use them when they try to win over lawmakers and they can show how a party has evolved over time, but ordinary people care little about what's in them.

"They don’t really matter," she said.

John Hudak, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, said that although Sanders' performance in the primaries gave him some power to seek changes, he needed to be careful not to overplay his hand.

"He is not going to get everything he wants because at the end of the day he did not win the nomination," Hudak said. "The longer that he holds out on endorsement and a sign of party unity, the less eager Democrats will be to meet whatever demands he has."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday that she hoped Sanders would endorse Clinton before the convention. Sanders knows what is at stake in November, she said. "Two words: 'Donald Trump.'"

Sanders persists in calling for a fundamental transformation of the Democratic Party. He wants a change in its leadership, primaries open not just to registered Democrats, same-day registration and the elimination of super delegates, the party officials and leaders who are free to vote for any candidate at the national convention at the end of July in Philadelphia.

Sanders wants the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to be replaced. In the USA Today interview, Clinton noted that she did not choose Wasserman Schultz but also praised the congresswoman's commitment to defeating Trump. 

Masket said that he thought that the party would resist open primaries, which could enable voters other than Democrats to pick the nominee. Sanders might win a commitment for a task force to study the nominating process, maybe with Sanders as the chairman, he said.

The national party has traditionally given state parties latitude about how to conduct their primaries.

"It's not as if — and it's important for Sanders supporters to understand this —the DNC can wave a magic wand and change every nominating contest in the United States overnight," Hudak said.

That said the Democratic Party could prompt nationwide changes if it wanted to, Masket said. The national committee protects Iowa's and New Hampshire's first in the nation voting status, for example.

Eliminating super delegates could also be a sticking point, especially considering Trump's success in the Republican primaries. The Republican Party does not have super delegates.

"It's sort of a tough sell for Sanders because in one sense there's a lot of skepticism of super delegates in the Democratic Party but if you look at what Republicans are doing this year, I imagine they wish to God that they had super delegates," Hudak said. "So I think the irony might be that if anything undermines Sanders desire to get rid of Democratic super delegates, it's the Republican nominee who is standing in the way."

The Vermont senator should focus on building his movement, supporting candidates who share his views, finding a position that would allow him to further his goals, Lipsitz said. Were Democrats to regain control of the Senate, she could imagine him head of its budget committee.

"Ultimately what matters is what Bernie Sanders does with all the excitement he's created and all these people who are following him," she said. "He needs to somehow turn that into something that’s more long term."

Only about half of his supporters plan to vote for Clinton in the national election, according to a Bloomberg poll of likely voters conducted earlier this month. Some of his supporters plan to demonstrate in his favor at the convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28. A group called Occupy DNC Convention, whose goal is to swing super delegates in Sanders' favor, has more than 28,000 members on Facebook.

And more than a dozen former staff members from his campaign already have joined NextGen Climate, the group founded by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer to build political power to fight climate change.

The question now for Sanders is whether he becomes an integral part of the Democrats' strategy, Rigueur said.

"Given how exciting this primary season has been, I don't think Bernie Sanders is going to walk off into the sunset and disappear," she said.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Rubio to Run for Re-Election]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 16:29:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/031216Rubio.jpg

One year ago, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination while promising to not seek re-election.

After failing in his run for the White House, the Florida senator is now reversing his stance and announcing that he will indeed run for a second term. The news was initially reported by the Washington Post and confirmed by NBC News.

Rubio was elected in 2010 as part of the Tea Party movement that put several Republicans into both chambers of Congress.

After dropping out of the running for the GOP nomination, Rubio was approached by Senate leadership in an effort to convince him to reconsider his initial pledge. Republicans who had announced they would run for the office said they would drop out if Rubio did run, including U.S. Rep. David Jolly and Lt. Gov.Carlos Lopez-Cantera.

Several potential opponents on both sides of the aisle came out against Rubio for not keeping his promise to stay out of the race. Businessman and GOP candidate Carlos Beruff said that Rubio is “more worried about keeping the job than doing the job”, while U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, said Rubio is treating Floridians like "a consolation prize.”

Rubio released a statement admitting that he changed his mind and said he has no problem with potential opponents using it against him, saying "I have never claimed to be perfect." Rubio went on to say that he is running because he feels Washington needs "principled, persuasive leaders" no matter who is elected President.

Recent polls show Rubio easily winning the Republican primary despite his late decision, while being a slight favorite against both Democratic contenders.

"Keeping Florida’s US Senate seat Republican is a top priority for our party and for hardworking Floridians who reject Democrats’ policies of ineffective government that put Washington first. That is why we welcome Senator Rubio’s decision to run for reelection," Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said in a statement. "From the chambers of the Florida House to the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio has proven himself as bold leader who is focused on real solutions to the issues facing Floridians across the state and to the nation."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Donald Trump and the 'Mad Men' Ad Agency Mystery]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 16:23:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP16170075104020_opt.jpg

Donald Trump's latest campaign finance filing contains the names of dozens of companies that were paid for services, but one really stands out: Draper Sterling, a play on the name of the fictional ad agency from the cable TV series "Mad Men," NBC News reports.

The firm that collected $35,000 from Trump for "web advertising" in late April isn't headquartered in Madison Avenue offices filled with mid-century modern furniture and stylish secretaries; it traces back to a private home in suburban New Hampshire that's about a 15-minute drive from the home of ousted Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

Unraveling what it is and how it wound up getting a big chunk of Trump change is a bit like trying to figure out Don Draper's true identity.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to questions about Draper Sterling and the work it did, and efforts to reach people connected with the firm were unsuccessful.



Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Republican Senator Seeks Bipartisan Support for Gun Deal]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 14:00:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_16173674394575.jpg

A moderate Republican senator was seeking broad support Tuesday for a compromise to block guns from suspected terrorists, a day after the chamber split along partisan lines to derail each party's more sweeping proposals. 

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was discussing her plan with GOP leaders and said she expected the Senate to vote on her proposal. 

"I remain encouraged," she said.

There was no immediate word from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on whether a vote would occur. And it remained unclear whether she could attract enough support to win if a vote were held. 

In an ominous sign, the National Rifle Association's chief lobbyist criticized Collins' emerging effort, though he stopped short of outright opposition to it. 

"According to reports, Sen. Collins and others would prefer to continue to talk about gun control and ignore the growing threat from ISIS," an acronym for the Islamic State group, the NRA's Chris W. Cox said in a statement. 

Cox said keeping guns from terrorists and "providing meaningful due process are not mutually exclusive." 

That could be aimed at a provision in Collins' bill that allows people to appeal to federal courts after they've been denied a gun, not before it happens.

Collins was pushing her proposal at a time when election-year politics has made partisan compromise on guns difficult to achieve. 

Even after the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando by a sympathizer of Islamic State extremists that left 49 people dead, neither party has seemed eager to cut a deal that might anger its most loyal voters — NRA-backing conservatives and pro-gun control liberals. 

The government's overall terrorist watch list has 1 million people on it. Collins' proposal would let federal prosecutors bar guns to two narrower groups of suspected terrorists: the no-fly list with 81,000 people and the selectee list with 28,000 people. 

Selectees are people who can fly after unusually intensive screening. Nearly all the people on all three lists are foreigners. 

Under Collins' proposal, Americans denied guns could appeal their rejection to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

In addition, the FBI would be notified if someone who's been on the broader terrorist watch list in the past five years buys a gun. 

Senators expressing support for Collins' plan included Democrats Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Tim Kaine of Virginia, along with independent Angus King of Maine, who usually backs Democrats. 

Republicans supporting her included Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Women Who Ran for the Presidency]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 13:02:47 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Presidency-thumb.jpg Hillary Clinton made history as the first woman to become the presumptive presidential nominee of a major political party. But the first woman to try for the White House ran 144 years ago. Here are some of Clinton's female predecessors, who in seeking the presidential nomination, one by one splintered the glass ceiling that Clinton would eventually break.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gov. Rauner Says He Will Run Again]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 08:58:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rauner.png With no state budget in place and the new fiscal year just 10 days away, Gov. Bruce Rauner is pushing for a stopgap spending bill, but Democrats are not budging. NBC 5’s political reporter Mary Ann Ahern sat down for a one-on-one interview.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Speaker Hastert to Report to Prison This Week]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 06:09:47 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Hastert2.png

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is enjoying his last 48 hours of freedom.

Hastert has until 2 p.m. Wednesday, to surrender to the Federal Medical Center prison in Rochester, Minnesota, where he will begin serving a 15-month sentence.

While the former speaker’s jail term is technically a financial crime, he admitted in court that the hush-money case stemmed from the sexual abuse of athletes in his care, when he was wrestling coach at Yorkville High School.

“I am deeply ashamed,” Hastert told Judge Thomas Durkin. “I mistreated some of the athletes that I coached.”

With credit for good behavior, he will be released from custody in about 12 and a half months.

Upon arrival in Rochester, Hastert will be required to submit a DNA sample, and will be required to attend a mandatory admission session, where his physical and psychological needs will be assessed. The disgraced speaker’s incoming and outgoing mail and parcels will be opened, read, and examined. His movements around the facility will be strictly controlled in various ten minute periods throughout the day. If he is deemed medically fit, he will be given a job shortly after arrival, which he will hold for at least three months. 

Upon rising every day, Hastert will be expected to have his bed made by 7:30, according to the prison’s inmate handbook, and he is to sweep and wet mop his cell daily. He will be allowed to post photos of immediate family, but outside clothing is strictly prohibited. If he wants to watch television in any of the facility’s common areas, he will be required to bring his own chair. 

The halls at Rochester have been walked by familiar and notorious names. Former Chicago congressman Dan Rostenkowski did his time there, as did televangelist Jim Bakker, mob boss Joey Aiuppa, and County Commissioner Bill Beavers. Disgraced Chicago detective chief William Hanhardt also served at Rochester, and Jared Loughner, the assailant of congresswoman Gabby Giffords is housed there now serving a life sentence.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clintons to Attend Chicago Fundraisers: Report]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 12:40:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bill+hillary+clinton.png

Bill Clinton is scheduled to attend a Chicago fundraiser for his wife’s campaign Friday, while Hillary will be in town next Monday for a pair of events, according to Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times.

The former president will speak at a Hillary Victory Fund reception in downtown Chicago Friday. The fund contributes money to Clinton’s primary campaign fund, Hillary for America, as well as the Democratic National Committee and 32 state Democratic Parties.

The event’s hosts, who will receive preferred seating and a VIP reception with Clinton, have to contribute or raise $50,000. Additionally, co-hosts have to give or raise $33,400. General admission is $2,700.

Additionally, Hillary Clinton will be the keynote speaker at an International Women’s Luncheon next Monday as part of the 50th annual Rainbow PUSH Coalition convention.

The event, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, will be hosted by Jacqueline Jackson, wife of Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. Jackson is the founder and president of Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

The luncheon’s theme is lifting as we climb. Mrs. Jackson said Clinton was an appropriate speaker because “that is exactly what Hillary has done her entire career.”

Clinton clinched the Democratic presidential nomination earlier this month, becoming the first female in the country’s history to be nominated for president, Rev. Jackson endorsed Clinton earlier this month, calling her “the most qualified and best hope” for America.

Clinton will also hold a fundraiser at The Ivy Room next Monday. Hosts for the event, who will receive a VIP reception with Clinton, have to raise $27,000. General admission is $2,700.

According to the Sun-Times, Members of Clinton’s National Finance Committee, known as “Hillblazers,” will host the event. These are individiuals who have raised over $100,000 since Clinton launched her campaign in 2015.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky is among the hosts for the event.

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<![CDATA[Anti-Trump Republicans Allege 'Intimidation' by Party Leaders]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 06:25:07 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TrumpArizona-AP_16171030319864.jpg

Republicans who do not support Donald Trump as their presidential candidate said that "intimidation" tactics were being used by party leaders against them to prevent any subversion at the party's convention next month, NBC News reported.

A North Carolina delegate said the delegates in her state "are very much under direct threat from our state with a $10,000 fine," adding that she had been "threatened" by the state GOP "vice-president" over Facebook and asked about the possibility of a legal fund being established to defend them.

"I think that that's definitely going to affect very many people who are not going to be willing to step up in front of the committeemen" and contest votes for Trump at the convention, she said.

She also noted that delegates in Arizona are required to sign a pledge committing to vote for Trump or they'll be barred from the convention.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rauner Cancels Juneteenth Event Amid Criticism]]> Sun, 19 Jun 2016 17:29:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rauner+pfleger.jpg

Gov. Bruce Rauner cancelled a Juneteenth celebration he was set to host at the DuSable Museum of African American History Monday after facing criticism from leaders in the African-American community.

"It is unfortunate that special interests politicized what was supposed to be a celebratory event," a Rauner spokesperson said in an e-mail. "Out of an abundance of caution and respect for the safety of visitors and the museum, we have regretfully cancelled the planned Juneteenth event at the DuSable Museum."

A representative for DuSable said the museum was not affiliated with the event, claiming the governor merely rented the space for an hour Monday afternoon to host a Juneteenth celebration. The holiday commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery.

Father Michael Pfleger, the outspoken pastor at St. Sabina’s church in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, took to social media Friday to condemn Rauner's event at the museum.

Pfleger called the appearance "disrespectful" and urged readers to call DuSable to “tell them to stop this.”

“Can’t understand why the DuSable Museum will allow Gov. Rauner to speak there on Monday,” Pfleger wrote on Facebook.

“This man has abandoned and raped the community of resources,” he added.

The pastor's incendiary post received a considerable amount of pushback on social media, with some users siding with Rauner.

"Rauner should have never been allowed," Pfleger told NBC 5 Sunday following the cancellation. "A person whose policies are keeping whole communities in bondage should not be allowed anywhere in the community unless he's coming to say he's sorry and sign a budget."

Additionally, a coalition of 20 community activist groups, including Freedom First International, planned a protest of the event Monday "to send a clear message to the governor that a political narrative was not welcome on Juneteenth at the DuSable nor anywhere else in our community."

Following the governor's cancellation, the group will now hold a peace rally instead.

Pfleger has been a sharp critic of Rauner throughout the budget impasse. In March, Pfleger and other activists staged a demonstration outside the Thompson Center to protest the governor’s budget proposal, which included deep cuts for social service agencies.

"You don't balance the budgets on the backs of poor people and balance it on child care and violence prevention programs. That's not how you're going to balance the budget," Pfleger said.

In May of last year, Pfleger pointed to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s declared budget cuts as a future obstacle in curbing gun violence in the city.

"With all these state cuts taking place in this city, all the jobs that are not going to be there, the programs are not going to be there, I think it’s frightening what’s ahead of us right now in this city,” Pfleger told NBC 5.

Illinois' anti-violence program CeaseFire, which treats violence as a public health issue, was among the programs that were cut as part of an executive order Rauner issued last February.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Speaker Ryan Talks Obligation to Support Trump]]> Sun, 19 Jun 2016 11:42:19 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/split2-ryan-trump.jpg

Paul Ryan says it's his obligation as the Speaker of the House to support presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, but he won't force fellow Republicans to do the same.

In an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, Ryan said it's his responsibility as Speaker of the House to keep the Republican Party united and promised to continue criticizing Trump if he says or does "something that puts a bad label on conservatism."

"Imagine the Speaker of the House not supporting the duly elected nominee of our party, therefore creating a chasm in our party that splits us in half which basically helps deny us the White House, and strong majorities in Congress.”

Ryan explicitly denied that he was choosing party over country, arguing that he remains behind Trump because Republican primary voters chose him.

"He won the election. The voters voted for him…That's the choice they made." He continued, "That's not something I can control."



Photo Credit: Illustration by Daniel Sircar/NBC; Photos by Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Marco Rubio Laying Groundwork for Potential Senate Bid]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 23:14:18 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/RUBIO_GettyImages-515906890.jpg

Signs are growing that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is moving towards a run for reelection, a reversal of his past statements committing to retire from the Senate at the end of his term, NBC News reported.

A major fundraiser for Rubio's presidential bid confirmed the senator and his advisers are instructing operatives and donors to begin laying the groundwork for a run — but emphasized Rubio hasn't made the final decision yet.

"I think it's making sure things are in place should he make the decision," the fundraiser said.

Rubio is expected to announce his decision as early as Monday, after consulting with his family this weekend.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Vows to 'Save' Gun Rights at Texas Rally]]> Sat, 18 Jun 2016 07:33:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP16170075104020_opt.jpg

Donald Trump emphatically told a Texas crowd Friday night that when he wins the presidency, people will call the White House to say they "can't believe you've saved the Second Amendment,” NBC News reported.

"We're going to save your guns," Trump roared to the thousands in a Houston hotel ballroom. "They're not going to take away your bullets. They're not going to shorten up your magazines. They're not going to do anything."

Trump also said it would have been a "beautiful sight" to see the Orlando gunman shot by someone armed at the nightclub last week.

"If we had people where the bullets were going in the opposite direction, right smack between the eyes of this maniac," Trump began to openly consider. He then added: "That would've been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks." 

But despite his colorful denouncement of gun restriction efforts, Trump did not specifically refer to the gun measures that the Senate is expected to vote on next week.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dump Trump Campaign at GOP Convention Emerges]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 18:19:18 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Trump-AP_16169030171563.jpg

Anti-Donald Trump forces are launching a "multi-pronged" approach to stop the presumptive nominee at the Republican National Convention, which could lead to chaos on the floor, NBC News reported.

Kendal Unruh, a Colorado delegate, is the leader of the effort, which centers around changing convention rules to include a "conscience clause" that would allow delegates bound to Trump to vote against him -- even on the first ballot in July.

According to Unruh, there's been growing interest in her proposal since last week, and many delegates she's hearing from already believe they aren't bound under RNC rules to back Trump.

Trump's strategists involved with delegate operations have downplayed the prospect, with one adviser telling NBC News they believe they have the "overwhelming majority" of delegates on the Rules Committee supporting Trump.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Uber, Lyft Threaten to Leave Chicago Over Proposed Rules]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 17:53:59 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Uber-X-Generic.jpg

Uber and Lyft are threatening to leave Chicago if a rideshare ordinance that was unanimously approved Friday by a joint City Council committee passes the full council next week.

"It would make true ridesharing impossible," Chelsea Wilson, a Lyft spokeswoman, said in a statement following the committee vote. "Because of this, we will be forced to cease operations in Chicago if this ordinance becomes law.”

The Ridesharing Reform Ordinance, which passed out of a joint Transportation and License Committee on Friday, would require drivers to obtain restricted public chauffeur licenses. This includes protections like fingerprinted background checks, drug testing and city debt checks.

The ordinance will now move to the full City Council for a vote.

The ridesharing industry has pushed back against fingerprinted background checks, physical exams and drug tests for all their Chicago drivers. Companies warned against what could happen to the industry if the ordinance ultimately passes.

Wilson said the ordinance "forces part-time Lyft drivers into an onerous, outdated model, requiring hundreds of dollars in fees just to share a seat in their car."

Chicago's City Council has argued that the ordinance would level the playing field between rideshare services and the city's struggling taxi industry. A similar ordinance passed in Austin last month, and both companies pulled out of the city.

Ald. Anthony Beale, the Chicago ordinance's sponsor, praised the legislation Friday and called on fellow lawmakers to approve the measure.

“I applaud the committee for sending the message that rideshare company drivers need to follow the same rules as other for-hire drivers to ensure public safety,” Beale said in a statement. “Now it’s up to my colleagues to enact the ordinance to make sure our ridesharing services are safe and accountable.”

Uber Chicago General Manager Marco McCottry noted Uber already operates under Chicago guidelines that require criminal background checks for drivers and vehicle safety checks. He said "costly and complicated barriers for drivers" would prevent them from becoming drivers, taking away affordable rides in the city.

"We love Chicago," McCottry said in a statement. "But the ordinance that advanced today would eliminate ridesharing as we know it here."

"There is no need to harm one industry to help another," he said. "We continue to urge aldermen to reject this ordinance and instead modernize taxi's rules to make life easier for their drivers."

An Uber petition to keep the company in Chicago has received over 100,000 signatures.



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