Lynn Sweet biography

Lynn Sweet is the Chicago Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief. She writes a column, a blog and files on Twitter. Find and follow her at http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet …Read More

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Labor using minimum wage question to drive Dem turnout: Sweet

WASHINGTON — Major unions are pumping big money into a November ballot question about raising Illinois’ minimum wage, which in reality is a political tool to energize Democratic voters who are also more than likely to vote for Gov. Pat Quinn and other Democrats on the ticket.

High-profile Dems to hit city to raise cash, boost Quinn

WASHINGTON — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has a string of high-profile surrogates hitting Chicago for him in the coming days to raise funds and rally the Democratic base: both Obamas, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Hillary Rodham Clinton, new granddaughter permitting.

In 10th District race, Dold’s ob-gyn sister stars in ad aimed at women

WASHINGTON — With the Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorsing Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., a new television spot by former Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., features his pregnant ob-gyn sister, Dr. Kristie Dold Bennett, vouching for him on women’s reproductive issues. Meanwhile, the latest Schneider ad reminds voters Dold is a Republican — a party label Dold is aggressively playing down.

Quinn getting help from first couple

WASHINGTON — Gov. Pat Quinn is getting a double dose of help from the White House in his re-election battle; I’ve learned first lady Michelle Obama hits Chicago on Oct. 7 to headline a rally for the governor. She comes home after President Barack Obama stumps for Quinn in Chicago on Thursday.

Congress didn't authorize war, but we're in one now in Syria

WASHINGTON — The U.S. and allies started punching at Islamic State militants on Monday with airstrikes in Syria, days after Congress agreed to equip and train Syrian rebel forces and during the week when global leaders meet at the United Nations.

5 things to know about the Obama library, museum

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s presidential library and museum — whether located on the South or West side of Chicago, Manhattan or Honolulu — must be a place that “nurtures thinkers, artists, activists and change agents” and “creates a space for investigation and experimentation.”

Why Durbin voted yes on funding Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON — On Oct. 11, 2002, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., was one of only 23 senators to vote against the invasion of Iraq. That was a vote that has defined Durbin ever since. “I remember that vote as if it were yesterday,” Durbin said from …

Illinois House Dems agonize over vote to fund Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON — The House vote to fund, train and equip Syrian rebels to battle the Islamic State group — also known as ISIS or ISIL — was an agonizing decision for many war-weary Illinois Democrats, some undecided until just before the Wednesday roll call.

Odds favor Chicago sites — U. of C. or UIC — in competition for Obama library

WASHINGTON — The finalists for the Obama library and museum announced Monday — the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago,Columbia University and the University of Hawaii — face a very heavy lift to win the competition.

Five things to know as Hillary Clinton heads to Iowa

WASHINGTON — Hillary and Bill Clinton hit Iowa on Sunday, her first trip back since she came in third in the 2008 caucuses, triggering a frenzy of rising expectations that this means she is getting closer to a 2016 White House run.

Kirk fundraising off ‘rumor’ Michelle Obama will seek his seat

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., is invoking first lady Michelle Obama as a possible 2016 opponent in a recent fundraising appeal, citing the “press and rumor mills” as his source — even though she has shown no interest in running for elected office.

Obama steps up offensive to destroy ISIL militants in Iraq, Syria

“Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-errorism strategy,” Obama said in a 14-minute prime time speech from the White House. He announced that the U.S. will lead a “broad coalition” of nations in the battle — with no U.S. troops taking part in ground combat.

Obama’s immigration decision could hurt Dems in Illinois

WASHINGTON — While Democrats worried about losing control of the Senate urged President Barack Obama to hold off on taking action on immigration until after the November elections, in Illinois, Obama’s decision will just make it tougher for Democrats in tough battles, especially Gov. Pat Quinn, Rep. Bill Foster and Rep. Brad Schneider.

  • Ald. Ed Burke hoards $10 mil. political cash, hauls in more

    WASHINGTON — It’s no secret that Ald. Ed Burke (14th) controls three campaign funds with a combined balance of about $10 million, an astounding amount for an alderman. What’s lesser examined is the expenditure side: Burke is barely spending any of that money while raising more at a nice clip.

  • Schneider, Dold launch ads in battle for 10th District seat

    What the ads have in common is both avoid mention of actually being a member of Congress. The Schneider team does not say he is currently in the House. Dold’s spot does not say he used to be a member. Perhaps that’s because of the record low opinion folks have of Congress.

  • Oberweis pushing for debates with Durbin

    WASHINGTON — GOP Senate nominee Jim Oberweis is trying to pressure Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to participate in seven televised debates before November — as his campaign is focusing on African-Americans on the South Side of Chicago, an untraditional place to seek Republican votes.

    Obama to act on immigration by end of September

    Sources who have been in meetings at the White House said the decision for Obama to act has been made, legal reviews have been conducted and “right now, it is a question of timing, scale, how to pay for it and how to make it work.”