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PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
4:28pm
Thu Feb 14, 2013

Are Republicans Really Courting The Minority Vote?

A lack of minority presence in the Republican Party and a poor turnout of non-white voters has prompted many to question the party’s ability to reach out, and forced Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, to travel to Atlanta and speak to black voters.

PI Original
by Steven Ross Johnson
5:18pm
Mon Nov 19, 2012

Illinois Revenue Projections, Allocation Procedures Need Revamping, Report Finds

A new report from the governor’s advisory commission on improving the state’s budget process is calling on lawmakers to find a more accurate way of estimating how much revenue the state takes in, and become more flexible when it comes to how those funds are allocated.

Quick Hit
by Nathan Greenhalgh
2:46pm
Mon Nov 12, 2012

Latino, Immigrant Voter Registration Drive Pays Off As Turnout Fuels Immigration Reform Efforts

In a true display of people power, President Barack Obama’s heavy support from Latino and immigrant voters on November 6 is already prompting bipartisan action on immigration reform.

On Sunday, both parties called for immigration reform. In the U.S. Senate, where Republicans filibustered the federal DREAM Act into defeat, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York) announced that they are working on an immigration reform bill that would create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The same day House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) urged Obama to take the lead on immigration reform. Just before the election, President Obama said he was confident immigration reform would pass Congress in 2013, predicting that Republicans will switch previous votes against immigration reform after seeing the consequences of alienating the voter demographic.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
5:16pm
Wed Nov 7, 2012

Muddled Public Employee Pension Referendum Fails

The state’s biggest political issue of 2012 has been growing unfunded pension obligations to public employees, with the shortfall expected to hit $93 billion by next summer. By comparison, the annual state budget is about $33 billion a year.

Considering this, Illinois voters could have been forgiven for thinking that a failed referendum on yesterday’s ballot regarding the approval of pension benefit increases had something to do with these addressing the deficit. But it really didn’t, and neither the referendum’s merits nor its key political backers were ever made clear.

Quick Hit
by Michael Sandler
4:23pm
Wed Nov 7, 2012

Thompson Center Viewing Party Attendees Detail What They Want To See In Obama’s Second Term (VIDEO)

The chilly November weather didn’t keep about 75 people from gathering at the Thompson Center in what would turn out to be an election night victory party for President Barack Obama.

As part of CNN’s nationwide “Election Night in America” promotion, a jumbo TV screen was erected just outside the building, and the pro-Obama crowd cheered every time it was announced the president won another state.

Quick Hit
by Michael Sandler
12:05am
Wed Nov 7, 2012

Chicago’s Asian American Voters Feeling Alienated, Economic Pain

Fred, a native of India who immigrated to the United States to find work, came to DeWitt Clinton Elementary School in Uptown on Tuesday afternoon to let his voice be heard.

“People still have dreams. They still have hope.” Fred told Progress Illinois. “But we are facing the debt of the last ten years.”

Married with two sons and a daughter, Fred studied to be a medical technologist. But now, he’s looking for work. In this election, Fred said finances are his big concern. “When you have a family, you aren’t looking out for one stomach, you have to feed four people at the house,” he said. Fred also made it clear he doesn’t want to take care of his family by using government handouts. “I want to live off real paid checks,” he said.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
6:35pm
Tue Nov 6, 2012

10th House District: Lack Of Enthusiasm For Derrick Smith Opponent, Lance Tyson (VIDEO)

Despite a federal indictment on bribery charges and being kicked out of the Illinois General Assembly in August, former state Rep. Derrick Smith may be elected to his old seat today in Illinois’ 10th House district.

Across the 10th state House district today, which loosely includes the Garfield Park and West Town neighborhoods on Chicago’s West Side but also stretches near the lakefront, ripped apart signs can be found that state Derrick Smith is “Wanted” for “Disgracing the Democratic Party” and “Crimes Against the Residents of the 10th District” and “Federal Bribery.”

Yet support appears lukewarm for Lance Tyson, the 10th District Unity Party candidate and former chief of staff for Cook County President Todd Stroger. Tyson has billed himself as the “real Democrat”

For example, PI caught up with Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) at a polling place in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood. Fioretti is also the 2nd Ward Democratic Committeeman and part of a coterie of West Side Democrats, including Secretary of State Jesse White, who agreed to “unify” their support behind Tyson.

But Fioretti said Tyson’s get out the vote efforts left something to be desired.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
6:21pm
Tue Nov 6, 2012

Down For The Day, Chicago Board Of Election Site Back Up

The Chicago Board of Elections Web site was down for the majority of today amid some confusion about what polling places voters should cast their ballot.

The Web site was back up as of 5 p.m., or two hours prior to polls closing.

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
3:13pm
Tue Nov 6, 2012

Checking In With Bill Foster And Voters In The 11th Congressional District (VIDEO)

As voters in Illinois’ 11th Congressional decide the fate of one of the closest, most hotly-contested races of this election season, Democratic challenger Bill Foster said he felt confident a high turnout in Democratic strongholds was key for his path to victory over longtime incumbent, U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert.

Foster, who won the 14th Congressional District seat in 2008, but lost his re-election bid in 2010, said he was encouraged by Democratic turnout thus far in areas such as Joliet, which he felt could rival numbers seen in 2008.

“I just got back from the Route 66 Diner in downtown Joliet where the place was actually full of people and most of them had just come from voting,” Foster said. “They said things were busier in downtown Joliet than they were in 2008, which you know, high turnout is great for Democrats, and I was very encouraged by this.”   

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