Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Putnam County feeling overlooked ]]> Lead story image

The people of Downstate Putnam County don’t mince words about politics. Or about Chicago politicians running for governor. Take Alma Toedter, who at 76 has been a Republican committeewoman for 35 years and is the GOP chairwoman in these parts. “I think (voters) are so fed up with the one we have now (Pat Quinn), and then the other one, (Bruce Rauner) he sounds like he’s got so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it all,” she tells me. “So I don’t know how this is going to go. I really don’t.” Mrs. Toedter and I are … ]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:32:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ Watch out for those wild cards ]]> Lead story image

With the race for governor tightening and the November election coming closer, any potential wild card is a source of worry. What Gov. Pat Quinn’s campaign has to concern itself with are legislative hearings set for Wednesday and Thursday looking into his now-defunct, debunked Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. Not only are the feds closely looking at how $54.5 million in violence-prevention money was spent or misspent, but state lawmakers — especially Republicans — see the hearings as a perfect way to depict Quinn as a “Machine politician.” It is a mantra of GOP candidate Bruce Rauner’s campaign, one that former state … ]]> Sun, 05 Oct 2014 02:37:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Making up a Treasurer hunt map ]]> Lead story image

One of the first axioms of a political campaign is define your opponent before he/she has a chance to. In the little-watched race for state treasurer, Democrat Mike Frerichs has been trying his best to define Republican Tom Cross. Frerichs is a 41-year-old state senator from Champaign and has a financial audit background. Cross is a 56-year-old state representative and attorney who until recently was the minority leader in the House. Frerichs is pitching hard that Cross is a right-wing conservative and a tea party acolyte. Cross is not. He is, however, a Republican who has, to use his word, … ]]> Sun, 28 Sep 2014 02:29:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ NFL’s shame will be yesterday’s news ]]> Lead story image

The $44-million-a-year man, NFL boss Roger Goodell, admitted mistakes on Friday and promised to do better. But when it comes to domestic abuse and the National Football League, ESPN senior writer and legal analyst Lester Munson has zero optimism. Zero. It was Munson and William Nack who co-authored a devastating Sports Illustrated investigation in 1995 titled: “Sports’ Dirty Secret: When Scarcely A Week Passes Without An Athlete Being Accused of Domestic Violence, It Is No longer Possible to Look The Other Way.” Turns out, despite their superb reporting two decades ago, pretty much everybody looked the other away. Long before … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:30:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ Emanuel vs. Lewis shifts up a gear ]]> Lead story image

The not-yet-formally-announced mayoral campaign of Karen Lewis is taking shape. After registering a campaign committee in late August and this month loaning it $40,000 of her own money, Chicago Teachers Union boss Karen Lewis has now put a long-time political activist in charge. The head of that exploratory committee is Jhatayn “Jay” Travis. If that name sounds familiar it’s because Travis recently lost a very hard-fought race for state representative on the South Side against incumbent Rep. Christian Mitchell. Mitchell had the backing of Obama guru David Axelrod, County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and, oh yes, Rahm Emanuel. Travis had … ]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 06:37:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Ind. senator looks to be neighborly ]]> Lead story image

When Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish clobbered rival Michigan on Saturday night in South Bend, Joe Donnelly was there. He and his wife, daughter and son-in-law were in the last row of what used to be the “old” stadium. The same place the family has sat for 30 years. “It’s a huge game, huge game,” said Indiana’s freshman U.S. senator last week, adding, “We’ll see who we are after this game.” He was talking sports. But I was thinking politics. In more ways than one, Donnelly is a charter member of the Fighting Irish. One generation removed from the Old Sod, … ]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 06:33:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Marin: Fear kept Penny Severns’ lesbian relationship with editor hidden ]]> Lead story image

Raw. Terry Mutchler’s memoir about her love affair with Sen. Penny Severns is brutal in its honesty. Shining in its love. And raw in its pain. Mutchler puts her whole heart on public view in “Under This Beautiful Dome,” the story of a relationship the two tried mightily to keep secret back in the ’90s. ]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:25:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ How to press a candidate in a bubble ]]> Lead story image

Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor, has created an almost impenetrable bubble around his candidacy to prevent the press from getting too close. But he’s just the most recent in a long line of politicians to do so. Before Rauner, there was Rahm Emanuel, who ran for mayor in the same way Emanuel’s former boss, Barack Obama, ran for president. By keeping a careful, highly controlled distance from reporters who had serious questions. Access limited. Photo ops maximized. Sound bites strategized. Reward reporters who seem willing to stay on the candidate’s message. Punish, whenever possible, those who do not. … ]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:14:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Gov woos African-American base ]]> Lead story image

Though no public events were listed on his Friday calendar, Gov. Pat Quinn had a 10 a.m. private meeting with a critical constituency. The invitation read, “All African American elected officials are invited and welcomed by Governor Pat Quinn to attend a planning session to develop action steps for the fall election.” How was the meeting? “How did you know I was there?” replied state Rep. Monique Davis when I called. More on our conversation in a second. The gathering was heldat the Quinn (no relation) Chapel AME Church at 2401 S. Wabash. According to some who were there, about … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:39:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Give a pat and a salute to Mikey C ]]> Lead story image

This month is Mikey C’s anniversary. On an August day three years ago, Mikey C was on duty on North Avenue Beach when he suddenly reared up, gasped convulsively, lay down, and died. His Chicago Police Department partner, Mounted Patrol Officer Paul Casasanto, did everything he could to comfort his fallen comrade. But it all came so fast and so hard. This is a police story. This is a horse story. Taken together, it’s greater than the sum of its parts. As the Chicago Police Memorial Fund launches “Horses of Honor,” a new art/sculpture campaign to put 50 fiberglass horses … ]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:43:39 -0500 <![CDATA[ Carol Marin: Feds back off on ruining a good man’s life ]]> Lead story image

It almost never happens. But on Monday, it did. Federal prosecutors dropped 17 felony counts of bank fraud and false information against State Rep. La Shawn Ford in exchange for his pleading guilty to a single misdemeanor income tax charge. Let that sink in. The Chicago lawmaker faced years in prison. Each felony charge carried a 30-year maximum sentence. Multiply 17 by 30 and see what you get. Then, just last week, Ford’s trial was removed from the federal docket. Poof! Gone. ]]> Sat, 06 Sep 2014 06:22:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Marin: Alvarez spokeswoman called reporters investigating Koschman case “j--offs” ]]> Lead story image

Cook County prosecutors cheered on efforts by lawyers for former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko to keep the David Koschman case from going to special prosecutor, emails obtained by Chicago Sun-Times show ]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 06:48:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago numb to murder numbers ]]> Lead story image

I’m still searching for a kid named Larry Davis who would be about 15 by now. I told you about him last week, that I’d met him on the West Side in the gang territory known as Holy City and that his mother and siblings lived on West Cortez in 2010 when I met him. He was 11 years old then and already a weary soul surrounded by the sounds of gunfire. The summer I met Larry, there were 436 homicides in Chicago. CPD reports there has been a drop since then, with Chicago recording fewer — 415 — murders … ]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:49:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Looking for Larry in ‘Holy City’ ]]> Lead story image

I’m looking for a kid named Larry Davis. Finding him has been harder than I anticipated. Larry should be about 15 by now. I say “should be” because in the shooting parts of this city, the teen survival rate is also not what it “should be.” I last saw Larry in 2010 when he was 11 and I was covering an anti-violence rally in the North Lawndale neighborhood outside of William Penn Elementary School. The same school that was on lockdown this June as a shooting victim lay bleeding in front of it. Nobody wanted little kids walking out of … ]]> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 06:31:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ What does the applause for Preckwinkle mean? ]]> Lead story image

Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board, got a standing ovation Monday at the White Eagle Banquet Hall in Niles. Meaning? Quite a bit, I’d say, considering Preckwinkle is getting increasing pressure to run against Rahm Emanuel in 2015. The dinner at which Preckwinkle made a surprise appearance was the 40th Annual Ed Kelly Sports Banquet. The crowd of 700 was a racial and ethnic mix, though predominantly white, not unlike Chicago’s 47th Ward, where Ed Kelly ruled the roost for decades. Headliners included Bears’ legend Gale Sayers, Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull, daughters of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, Senate … ]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 06:31:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ How I learned from Howard Baker ]]> Lead story image

Howard Baker taught me a thing or two about reading a script in front of a camera. Yes, that Howard Baker. The one who died on Thursday at the age of 88. Son-in-law of the legendary Everett Dirksen of Illinois. Before he was Ronald Reagan’s White House chief of staff and George Bush’s ambassador to Japan, Baker was the U.S. senator from Tennessee. In 1978, he walked into the WSM-TV news studio in Nashville where I worked. He sat at the anchor desk I normally occupied. And he recorded a statement about why he, a Republican, voted to give the … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:35:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ Carol Marin: Wilders take to Lake Shore Drive ]]> Lead story image

I called 911. It was rush hour on Tuesday on Lake Shore Drive. I’d just rounded the curve, northbound, by Oak Street Beach and noticed a heavy presence of Chicago Police officers on bikes and in cars. And, if I’m not mistaken, on ATVs. The beach was throbbing with people on this warm summer day. Then, all of a sudden, I saw a pack of young people racing into traffic. Against the backdrop of flashing CPD blue lights by the North Avenue Beach house, I’d estimate 20 to 30 young men and women were running through the North Avenue/La Salle … ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:41:18 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bruce Rauner’s game of chicken ]]> Lead story image

Running for governor should not be a game of chicken. It’s a waste of time and an insult to a voter’s intelligence. Yet, there was Bruce Rauner, the GOP candidate for governor, with his running mate, Evelyn Sanguinetti, posing with three caged soon-to-be roasted hens. An optic — yet another — offered this time to demonstrate how the state has allegedly wasted money to fly prairie chickens into Illinois at taxpayer expense. Except it’s not true. A combination of federal species preservation grant money and fees from hunting licenses paid for the effort to keep Illinois prairie chickens from extinction. … ]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:35:43 -0500