Politics and Elections

In an era of political gridlock, one of the few topics on which there's been hope of bipartisan cooperation is on the issues of crime and punishment.

Politicians have traditionally been averse to doing anything that could get them painted as being "soft on crime."

It's an easy attack, and one that's been frequently deployed in the past. But this year, criminal justice reform advocates are fighting back.

The most recent attempt at changing the way legislative districts are drawn might have had a shot — had only the proposal left the auditor general out of the equation. 

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

A softer-edged Donald Trump huddled with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in a hastily arranged meeting in Mexico City on Wednesday. Both men pledged a commitment to strengthening the U.S.-Mexico relationship.

Trump said he had a "very substantive" conversation with Peña Nieto during which he reaffirmed the right of the U.S. to protect its borders and build a wall, but that his pledge to make Mexico pay for it didn't come up.

"We didn't discuss that," Trump said.

The candidates vying to be Illinois comptroller are at odds over whether the office should even continue to exist.

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled a voter referendum seeking to change the system Illinois uses to draw political boundaries is unconstitutional, meaning it can't appear on the November ballot.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk has gained an endorsement in his bid for re-election. It could help him win crucial votes from suburban moderates, but it might also frustrate an important part of the Republican electorate.

Illinois voters go to the polls on November 8, but they won't official cast the votes for the next President. Both state parties have decided the handful of people who will have that privilege.

  Jesse White’s days as the Illinois Secretary of State may be coming to a close.

Just months after Paul Manafort was promoted to bring some structure to and scale up Donald Trump's presidential bid, the Washington insider has resigned from the campaign.

In a statement Friday morning, Trump said that Manafort offered his resignation. The candidate said he is "very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process."

"Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success," Trump continued.

Last month, when WikiLeaks published 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, cybersecurity experts quickly said that the hack bore a Russian fingerprint.

Russia denies that it is trying to meddle in the U.S. presidential election. But Mark Galeotti, who follows cyber crime for the Institute for International Relations in Prague, says worldwide research points in the Russians' direction.

Speculation continues to swirl over who Democrats will put up to challenge Gov. Bruce Rauner in two years.

A union of healthcare, child care, home care and nursing home workers is endorsing democratic candidates in five southern Illinois legislative races.

People
State Journal Register

Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is blasting Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's turnaround agenda as a ``complete disaster for Illinois.''

Durbin spoke Thursday during Democrats' Day at the Illinois State Fair. He says the lack of a full budget agreement has left downstate communities, particularly those home to universities, in a ``virtual recession.''

Support for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump remains tepid among leaders of the Illinois Republican Party.

People
Governor's office

Governor Bruce Rauner is questioning the independence of some Cook County judges from Democratic politicians.

Governor Rauner Wednesday lamented the power of the Democratic Machine in Illinois.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) about his party's nomination for President, as well as other issues.

The head of the Democratic Party of Illinois is sticking up for the beleaguered Auditor General.

As supporters of automatic voter registration are set to hold a press conference Monday morning, Gov. Bruce Rauner is defending his veto of a plan that would have made it a reality in Illinois.

Despite the vast differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, there were some striking similarities between the economic speeches they delivered this week. They both spoke in Michigan, where they both talked a lot about manufacturing, with both of them insisting that they would obtain fairer trade deals.

People
Chicago Tribune

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's failed primary opponent is suing over what he says amounts to defamation.

Leading up to the March primary, Madigan made a campaign issue of Jason Gonzales's past criminal record -- crimes for which Gonzales had been pardoned.

Gonzales says in his federal complaint the ads caused emotional distress.

A lawsuit seeks to strike down a portion of Illinois' Election Day voter registration law.

Liberty Justice Center in Chicago opposes a law requiring counties with populations of 100-thousand or more to offer Election Day voter registration at all polling places, while not requiring the same in less populated counties.

A number of Illinois politicians continue to push the issue of of term limits.

Let's take a step back from the news of the past few days and ask a fundamental question: Why does everything suddenly seem different?

Donald Trump, the unsinkable candidate who seemed immune to political consequences while winning Republican presidential primaries month after month, now finds himself with an ailing campaign and a bad case of personal toxicity.

 As Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, House Speaker Michael Madigan ran the show for Illinois’ delegation last week at the Democratic National Convention.

Madigan took some time before the convention wrapped up to sit down in Philadelphia with Illinois Public Radio Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky and WBBM radio's Craig Dellimore.

Last night Hillary Clinton - a woman born and raised in the Chicago suburbs – accepted Democrats’ nomination for President.

In roughly 100 days, voters will decide whether she or Republican Donald Trump will be the next president. Which means it’s the beginning of the end for President Barack Obama.

Illinois was right up front throughout the convention.

Literally.

Hillary Clinton was born in Chicago in 1947, and raised in the suburbs. Sixty-eight years later, she’s making history as the first woman to be nominated for President by a major party.

Following, a handful ladies in Illinois’ delegation reflect on Clinton’s candidacy and on what it’s like to be a woman in politics.

The third night of the 2016 Democratic convention scaled several major peaks: President Obama gave, perhaps, the best-written oration of his career. Vice President Joe Biden gave, perhaps, his last national convention address, and his prospective successor, Tim Kaine, gave his first.

The Democratic National Convention made history Tuesday evening: Amid applause, shouts, cheers and in some cases tears, the delegates on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia nominated Hillary Clinton for president of the United States.

Clinton is now the first female presidential candidate of a major American party.

Democrats have become accustomed to having the best speech at their quadrennial convention given by someone named Obama. This year, that person might also be named Michelle.

Hers was not the keynote, nor the most anticipated, nor the longest speech of the night. But it mesmerized and subdued the raucous and rebellious crowd, focusing the enormous energy of Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center just where convention organizers had hoped — on Hillary Clinton.

Republicans had their turn last week in Cleveland; now it’s Democrats turn. Illinois’ delegates to the Democratic National Convention are in Philadelphia, where they’re set to nominate Hillary Clinton for President.

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