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Special interest groups
Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Thu Nov 8, 2012

Why Republican Super PAC, Dark Money Funds Fell Flat

If the Republican Party was the big election-day loser, maybe the second biggest loser was outside spending groups such as Super Political Action Committees and so-called “dark money” non-profits that need not disclose their donors. In the presidential race and majority of the close races for Congress, there was an inverse relationship between who won and who got the most outside money.

Nowhere was this more apparent than in Illinois. In six hotly-contested congressional contests, Republican candidates received drastically more outside cash than Democrats. Yet the Democrat won five of these races.

Only in the 13th congressional district did the GOP prevail. And even there, Republican Rodney Davis is ahead just 1,287 votes over Democrat David Gill, who will not concede until the provisional ballots are counted.

After the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United decision, these outside spending groups could suddenly spend unlimited sums of money so long as they did not directly coordinate with political campaigns.

So why were Super PACs and dark money groups not the difference makers that campaign finance watchdogs feared and an array of political observers anticipated? 

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Wed Nov 7, 2012

In Victory, Duckworth Calls For Pragmatism (VIDEO)

Chicago's northwest suburbs have a new representative in the U.S. House tonight as Democrat Tammy Duckworth, perhaps best known for losing her legs in the Iraq War and her work on veterans' issues, defeated Joe Walsh, a Tea Party icon and now one-term Congressman.

Quick Hit
by Michael Sandler
Tue Nov 6, 2012

Lakeview Residents Share Thoughts On 2012 Election (VIDEO)

About 10 Lakeview residents trickled in and out of the John Merlo Branch Library from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. this morning, and a few of them spoke with Progress Illinois about the 2012 election.

Alison Fukuchi—voting for the first time in Illinois—said the presidential election between incumbent President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was at the forefront of her thoughts. When asked to make a prediction, Fukuchi didn’t mince words.

“It better be Obama,” she said. “Otherwise it’s kind of scary what might happen.”

Quick Hit
by Bob Skolnik
Tue Nov 6, 2012

Catching Up With Tammy Duckworth In the 8th Congressional District

A confident Tammy Duckworth voted at around 10:00 a.m. at the massive Willow Creek Church complex in Barrington. Duckworth is trying to unseat controversial Congressman Joe Walsh, a Tea Party favorite, in one of the most high-profile and expensive congressional races in the nation in a redrawn 8th district.

PI Original
by Bob Skolnik
Fri Nov 2, 2012

Getting To Know Eric Reyes, 17th Congressional District Write-In Candidate

Eric Reyes, a 33 year-old attorney from Rock Island, is running as an independent write-in candidate for Congress in the northwest Illinois 17th Congressional District. Reyes, who first planned to run as a Democrat, says he is tired of partisanship. But he knows that his effort is quixotic because the 17th District race between Republican incumbent Bobby Schilling and Democratic challenger Cheri Bustos is a high-profile race with national implications. We talk to the candidiate about the overall race and his platform.

Quick Hit
by Progress Illinois
Thu Nov 1, 2012

Op-Ed: Unions Stand Up For The Middle Class

The following op-ed is written by Henry Bayer, executive director of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31.

Wherever we live and whatever political party we identify with, most Americans agree on a few basic things.

We believe that those who work hard should have decent pay, affordable health care, security in retirement and respect on the job — and that government should provide essential services, like good schools for our children, safe streets for our families and a safety net for the most vulnerable, including the elderly, disabled, at-risk kids and unemployed workers.

Despite this common-sense consensus in support of vital public services and the men and women who provide them, a chorus of corporate special interests are echoing extreme attacks on workers and their rights. And far too many politicians are listening.