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Alexi Giannoulias
Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
4:36pm
Thu Mar 22

Voter Turnout Low In Chicago, But Worse Downstate

Our election coverage revealed alarmingly low voter turnout, even at precincts with tight races for state legislature. Early reports confirmed these precinct observations – “Record low voter turnout in Chicago,” declared a Washington Post headline Tuesday night.

But, according to statistics from the Chicago Board of Elections and Cook County Clerk, voter turnout was where one would expect in a primary that lacked a competitive Democratic presidential, gubernatorial, or U.S. Senate contest. If anything, turnout was a bit more discouraging downstate where, percentage wise, more voters partook in a competitive Republican presidential primary. Read more »

Quick Hit
by dradmin
12:45pm
Mon Mar 7, 2011

Battle Over Campaign Spending Is Not A Fair Fight

The 2010 election cycle was the first since the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, which opened the floodgates for corporate interests to influence campaigns through huge, untraceable donations. Citizens United overwhelmingly helped the GOP last year, and no candidate benefited more than Illinois' Republican Senator Mark Kirk. Political organizations set up to accept unlimited sums of money or groups that do not disclose their donors spent more than $8.7 million, according to a Public Citizen report (PDF), supporting Kirk, as compared to about $787,000 these outside groups spent supporting Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias.

A new study by the Center for Responsive Politics shows again how conservatives are using Citizens United to dominate the political spending on the federal level. Their analysis found that between 2009 and 2010, the top conservative groups spent more than $97.6 million on campaigns, accounting for about one-third of all non-party spending. By contrast, labor unions contributed $46.7 million to political campaigns, or 16 percent of non-party committee spending, almost all of which went to Democrats, over the same time period.

The disparity promises to get worse. Amidst the union-busting attempts by Republican governors in the Midwest comes a report that American Crossroads, a 527 group founded last year by Karl Rove, plans to spend $120 million in 2012.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
3:54pm
Wed Nov 3, 2010

Schakowsky's Message To Progressives

Successful incumbent U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (9th) had a message for progressives last night after it became clear that the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Alexi Giannoulias, lost to GOP candidate Congressman Mark Kirk. Citing the desire of some Republicans, including Kirk, to repeal the health care reform bill, Schakowsky said "don't mourn, organize." Watch her message:

PI Original
by Progress Illinois
7:06pm
Tue Nov 2, 2010

Live Blog: The Next Illinois Senator

Democrats across the country are watching Illinois as the race for U.S. Senate between Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Mark Kirk comes to an end tonight. A win by Giannoulias would likely mean a continued majority for Democrats in the U.S. Senate.