Chicagoans Push Back Against Walgreens' Potential Tax Inversion (VIDEO)

Tax fairness activists delivered 70,000 petition signatures to a downtown Chicago Walgreens store Thursday, calling on the nation’s largest pharmacy chain to remain a U.S company and pay its "fair share of taxes."

It is rumored that Deerfield-based Walgreen Co. is considering plans to reincorporate itself offshore in Switzerland, a "tax haven," through a maneuver called a corporate tax inversion. Such a move could reportedly cost U.S. taxpayers $4 billion in lost tax revenue over a five-year period.

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Sheriff Dart, Chicago Faith Leaders Discuss Incarceration Alternatives For Mentally Ill Inmates (VIDEO)

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has pledged to work with Chicago community and faith leaders in their effort to establish pilot restorative justice "hubs" with a focus on mental health services on the South and Southwest Sides as a means to keep people with mental illness out of the county's jail.

The Reclaim Campaign, comprised of Chicago community and church leaders, wants to see more community-based alternatives to incarceration created in order to reduce the number of nonviolent inmates at the jail. Specifically, the group has called for community mental health centers, or hubs, to work towards preventing those with mental illness from being unnecessarily incarcerated.

At a packed public meeting Monday evening hosted by the Reclaim Campaign at the South Side's St. Gall Church, Teresa Fraga, with the Pilsen Neighbors Community Council and Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, said a restorative justice hub would serve as "a community-based, accessible, affordable institution that provides health care to the uninsured, the underinsured and the undocumented."

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Republicans In Competitive IL Congressional Races Get Support From Koch Brothers

The Koch Brothers have their eyes on Illinois. Republican candidates running in four of the state's competitive congressional races received campaign contributions last quarter from the political action committee of Koch Industries Inc., a Kansas-based energy and manufacturing conglomerate run by the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

From April 1 through June 30, the Koch Industries Inc. Political Action Committee, or KochPAC, gave a collective $17,500 to the Illinois GOP candidates in 11th, 12th, 13th and 17th congressional districts, according to second-quarter reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

The industrialists Charles and David Koch are well known nationally as big election spenders who also fund a number of right-wing organizations. The notorious billionaire brothers are reportedly expected to spend $290 million in the 2014 election.

“Out of state billionaires like the Koch Brothers are bankrolling Illinois Republicans like Mike Bost, Darlene Senger, Rodney Davis and Bobby Schilling because the Kochs will pay top dollar for anyone who will stack the deck for special interests and the ultra-wealthy at the expense of hardworking families,” said Brandon Lorenz of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of U.S. House Democrats.

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Report: U.S. Lags Behind Other Nations On Energy Efficiency

The United States is lagging behind many other nations in terms of energy efficiency, according to a new scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The ACEEE's second edition of its "International Energy Efficiency Scorecard" ranks the United States 13 out of 16 leading world economies analyzed for policies and performance on energy efficiency. The 16 economies cover more than 81 percent of global gross domestic product and 71 percent of global energy consumption.

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Chicago Cab Drivers Rally For Better Wages, Fair Representation

Hundreds rallied at the Thompson Center Wednesday afternoon to show their support for cab drivers in Chicago who are demanding better wages and working conditions. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has been working with cab drivers in Chicago to help them unionize, which they say would give the drivers a better chance at raising their wages, handling city regulations and competing with newer ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. 

According to a study from AFSCME released last month, wages for at least half of Chicago’s taxicab drivers fall far short of the state’s minimum wage of $8.25 an hour, with some earning just over $5.00 an hour. Some 10 percent of drivers actually lose money.

“We make Chicago run, but that is not enough for City Hall,” Maxwell Akinton, a Chicago cab driver, told the massive crowd on the plaza. “They treat us like an ATM machine and pull money out of us every day. We have no way to fight back.”

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