Illinois Democrats

  Environmental activists hoping to curb hydraulic fracturing in Illinois crashed a breakfast held for Democratic party organizers in Springfield Wednesday. They want to stop natural gas extraction in the state before it starts.


"Drought! Pollution! Earthquake! Fracking is a big mistake!"

Even as states like Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin are known as political battlegrounds and bellwethers, Illinois has the reputation for being a solid "blue" state. Illinois sends double as many Democrats to Washington as it does Congressional Republicans. The state legislature tips heavily in favor of Democrats, who hold veto-proof majorities. And it has been more than a decade since a Republican last sat in Illinois' governor's seat.

Funeral services are set for former area state lawmaker Mike Smith. The 48-year-old Democrat died Saturday morning at his home of a suspected heart attack. Visitation is Wednesday from three to seven at Oak-Hines Funeral Home in Canton.  The funeral is set for Thursday at 10 at the funeral home.  

Progressives and conservatives alike should be outraged at the bipartisan stonewalling and slights that last week culminated in the Illinois Green Party having to file a federal lawsuit about ballot access.

Former Democratic Senator Alan Dixon Dies At 86

Jul 7, 2014

Former U.S. Senator Alan Dixon died Sunday, just shy of his 87th birthday.  His political career ended in 1992 when he lost a Democratic primary to Carol Moseley Braun.

In an interview recorded a couple of years ago, Dixon says a neighbor, who was the Democratic Party Chairman of Belleville, took him under his wing. He helped Dixon land his first elected office, as the local police magistrate.

From there, Dixon didn't stop, for decades.

Two months after Governor Pat Quinn laid out his vision for Illinois' budget, the House of Representatives has approved a state spending plan. Quinn presented two options: make 2011's temporary tax hike permanent, or make steep cuts across government. Lawmakers considered those options and chose ... neither.

Quinn has been clear about the potential consequences of letting Illinois' income tax rate drop, as it's scheduled to do at the end of the year.

Gov. Pat Quinn appealed directly to Democrats in the Illinois House Monday evening. He’s struggling to win support for his plan to extend Illinois’ higher income tax rate.

The governor appeared at a closed meeting of the Illinois House Democratic caucus.

Quinn is trying to win the support of the 60 Democrats required to make Illinois’ 5 percent income-tax rate permanent — instead of letting it decline by more than a percentage point as scheduled at the end of the year. Quinn warns without the higher tax rate, there will have to be drastic cuts in state services.

 Two major Democratic initiatives are still short the votes needed to pass, at least in the House, as the General Assembly heads into the final stretch of its spring session.

    

How to deal with Illinois' income tax rate is arguably the biggest issue looming over Illinois politics.

Simon Keynotes Democratic Women's dinner

Apr 15, 2014

With her banjo in hand, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon arrived at the Kensington Ballroom in Galesburg to keynote the 17th annual Knox County Democratic Women’s Camelot Dinner April 12.

Amanda Vinicky

The bidding is starting early for Illinois Republicans interested in campaigning for Governor. The issue of who will run was a main topic of conversation during the GOP’s national convention in Tampa. 

So many Republicans are considering it that at one point during the convention, Pat Brady, Chair of the Illinois GOP, joked about it.

“I do want to thank those of you in the room that aren't running for governor,” Brady cracked.

The state Supreme Court tossed out the lawsuit filed by Illinois Republicans, who challenged the new map of legislative districts.  The decision was issued Thursday, June 7.

The GOP  said Democrats drew the borders so the district territories would benefit Democratic candidates -- in effect, diluting the Republican vote.

State Democrats charged the lawsuit was too little, too late. The GOP waited until just six weeks before the March primary to file it.