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Illinois Govt

Lawmakers: Not much will get done in Springfield this month



Don’t look for much action from the Illinois Capitol this month. In fact, don’t look for much of anything, lawmakers from both parties said, because the General Assembly is pretty much taking the month of March off.

Both the Illinois House and Senate are scheduled for just four days of sessions this month, and they could cancel some of them.

State Rep. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City, said Illinois lawmakers haven’t done much all year.

“If you look at the calendar, in January we were here just a few days. In February it was about the same. In March we’re in four days, that’s it for the House,” Bennett said.

State Rep. Will Davis, D-Homewood, said while lawmakers haven’t done much so far, he noted that the real action always comes in late April and May.

“I would say that we’re off to a slow start,” Davis said. “But nevertheless, we have a budget that we ultimately have to pass by the end of the year. So there are some things yet to be done.”

No one seems to know though, whether that will be a full state budget, a six-month state budget, or if there will be a budget at all.

On key issues – such as property tax reform, pension reform and workers compensation reform – there’s no expectation that lawmakers will do much of anything about them.


Article by Benjamin Yount. For more Illinois News Network content, visit 

Illinois News Network, publisher of, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media company dedicated to the principles of transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility in the state of Illinois. INN is Illinois’ pioneering non-profit news brand, offering content from the statehouse and beyond to Illinoisans through their local media of choice and from their digital hub at Springfield Daily was granted republishing permission by INN.

2018 Election

Illinois Constitution Party Selects William J. Kelly for Governor



Photo courtesy of

Last Saturday, the Illinois Constitution Party met in northwest Chicago for their annual state convention. The main order of business was to pick nominees for governor and lieutenant governor. William J. Kelly was nominated for governor and Chad Koppie was nominated for lieutenant governor.

Kelly previously announced his intent to run as a Republican, but ultimately decided not to. Kelly ran for Comptroller in the 2010 Republican primary. He finished second, behind Judy Baar Topinka and ahead of Jim Dodge (this year’s sole Republican treasurer candidate).

Chad Koppie has also sought political office. In 2016, he ran as the Constitution Party’s write-in candidate for U.S. Senate.

Kelly’s announcement to run for governor came as a shock to some people following the Constitution Party. Prior to his announcement, it was assumed that Randy Stufflebeam was going to be the nominee. He announced his intent to run in late 2016, but changed his mind due to unforeseen circumstances. Stufflebeam ran as a write-in candidate for governor in 2006.

Kelly’s nomination was peculiar not just because of Stufflebeam’s decision to not run, but also because he was neither a member of the Illinois Constitution Party nor physically present at the convention. Despite the circumstances, he was nominated with a set of conditions.

  1. He must become a member.
  2. He must sign an affirmation or oath stating that he understands and will uphold the party’s platform.
  3. He must give confirmation within 7 days of the convention.


On Thursday, the Illinois Constitution Party’s Facebook page put out the following statement.



Chicago, Illinois – March 15, 2018 – Randy Stufflebeam, Chairman of the Constitution Party of Illinois, has issued the following statement regarding the race for Illinois Governor:

“Based on the latest polls, it looks like two billionaires – one Democrat and one Republican – are likely to win their parties’ nominations on March 20th. Are either of these candidates committed to a constitutional government or are they committed to corrupt government?” asked Stufflebeam. “The time is right for a candidate who is committed to the three pillars of Integrity, Liberty, & Prosperity and a constitutionally correct government and that candidate is William J. Kelly. He was born and raised in Illinois. William Kelly has demonstrated his passion for truth and has stood up over and over again against the corruption in both parties – Democrat and Republican. He is a proven fighter who has fought for Illinois taxpayers and their families for twenty years and he will continue to fight for all of us at the ballot box in November. The Constitution Party of Illinois is proud to nominate William J. Kelly as our candidate for Governor.”

“I am very proud and honored to be part of the Constitution Party of Illinois’ effort to rebuild Illinois and our country, state by state,” said William J. Kelly. “This year marks Illinois’ bicentennial and after 200 years, the two major parties have all but destroyed our State, but not our hopes and dreams. At a Chicago meeting in 1860, a little known third party nominated Abraham Lincoln to be its candidate for President. That third party was the Republican Party. Today, it’s time for a new third party and I am proud to be following in the footsteps of Illinois’ favorite son, President Abraham Lincoln.”

Chad Koppie has also been nominated to be Kelly’s running mate for Lt. Governor.


The Constitution Party is the fifth largest political party in the United States. It is a socially and fiscally conservative party that makes frequent mention of the Founding Fathers throughout its platform. Read more about the Constitution Party’s platform here.

The Illinois Constitution Party will need to collect 25,000 signatures to get on the ballot. Democrats and Republicans require just 5,000.

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2018 Election

Pritzker hounded by reported tax evasion schemes in final debate before primary election



Illinois’ Democratic candidates for governor used their last public debate before the primary to pound front-runner J.B. Pritzker on his secret offshore tax holdings.

On the day of the Democrats’ final debate before the March 20 primary, the Chicago Tribune released an investigation showing another of Pritzker’s various offshore companies is working on purchasing land from the city of Chicago.

The billionaire heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune has been dodging Chicago Tribune reporters seeking a comment about newly discovered offshore holdings of his being tied to a potential purchase of land owned by the city of Chicago, according to the Tribune.

Throughout the debate hosted by WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, Pritzker repeated that any divestments from his Hyatt inheritance go to his philanthropic organizations, splitting the slight difference between a trust and a company.

“There were trusts created generations ago. I don’t receive any distributions from those trusts. Those distributions go to charity,” he said.

Records leaked from an offshore law firm that have become known as the Paradise Papers show Pritzker has formed offshore companies as recently as 2011.

The paper reports Moreau Capital Holdings Ltd., which is owned by Pritzker and was created in the Bahamas, is part of a deal with his brother, Robert, to purchase the riverfront land. They reportedly aim to sell duck boat tours out of the location. Pritzker said the paper was incorrect.

State Sen. Daniel Biss was the first to pounce.

“J.B. Pritzker set up companies offshore, probably to avoid taxes, and spent the entire last year lying about it,” Biss said.

Chris Kennedy, a Chicago businessman and son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, said Pritzker’s dishonesty should disqualify him.

“We’re interviewing for a job to be the next governor of the state of Illinois,” Kennedy said. “You should never hire someone who lies to you during a job interview because if they’ll lie to you to get the job, they’ll lie to you to keep the job.”

Pritzker and Kennedy went after Biss’ support for a pension reform bill that would eventually be shot down in the courts. Kennedy took heat over comments that were seen as supportive of taxing retirement income.

All three gave varying degrees of dissatisfaction with House Speaker Michael Madigan and his handling of an ongoing harassment allegations on his watch.

Illinois’ primary elections are Tuesday.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face either Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner or his GOP primary opponent, Rep. Jeanne Ives.


Article by Cole Lauterbach. For more Illinois News Network content, visit Image courtesy of BlueRoomStream. Gubernatorial candidates J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss participate in the last Democratic debate before the March 20 Primary Election.

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Illinois Govt

McCann endorses Petty, hints at plans during Pittsfield event

Thomas Clatterbuck



This evening was hyped as a “historic announcement” by State Senator Sam McCann’s team. McCann currently serves the 50th Senate District, and he had previously stated he did not intend to seek reelection. However, numerous campaign donations and other hints led many to believe that McCann was not yet done with Illinois politics.

When he mentioned his announcement last week, speculation abounded about what McCann was actually going to say. Among the more likely choices were an independent run for governor, or an independent run for his current seat. McCann had previously been elected as a Republican.

But those who came out hoping to learn what he plans to do went away somewhat disappointed. He gave himself 30 days to decide if he will run for governor or his current seat. With the primary just a week away, that will give him plenty of time to see how the highly contested governor’s primary plays out before making his announcement.

The real announcement was the endorsement of Jonas Petty in the 100th House District. Petty is running against incumbent C.D. Davidsmeyer in the Republican Primary. Petty was portrayed as a key counter to the growing influence Governor Rauner and the Sangamon County Republicans have over the 100th House and 50th Senate districts. Although McCann stressed he still had a great deal of respect for Davidsmeyer, he was disturbed by Davidsmeyer’s decision to vote both for and against the budget deal last summer. This was described as being proof of being under the governor’s control. McCann himself has often been at odds with both Rauner and the Republican establishment; the details of this conflict were described at length in his opening remarks.

You can watch McCann’s full remarks below:

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