Correspondent, Chicago
James's Feed
Nov 26, 2012

Illinois sets March election to replace Jesse Jackson Junior

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois has set a date of March 19 for a special election to fill the U.S. congressional seat vacated by Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned last week amid an ethics investigation and concerns over his health.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced the date in a statement on Monday but said the special election may be delayed a few weeks to coincide with local elections in April.

Nov 22, 2012

Jesse Jackson Jr. resigns from House, citing health

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., who has been treated for bipolar disorder and is reportedly under investigation for possible misuse of campaign funds, resigned his seat on Wednesday, citing health reasons.

“My health issues and treatment regimen have become incompatible with service in the House of Representatives. Therefore, it is with great regret that I hereby resign … effective today, in order to focus on restoring my health,” the Chicago Democrat said in a letter to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.

Nov 21, 2012

Jesse Jackson Jr., promising political scion, resigns

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Jesse Jackson Jr. is the namesake son of one of the most prominent black men in the United States, a progressive-minded activist whose ascent into public life prompted talk of a new era of African-American political power.

In the early years, speculation swirled around the Democratic representative to the U.S. House and his appetite and ambition, almost all of it positive. Would he be the next mayor of Chicago? The next U.S. senator from Illinois?

Nov 16, 2012

U.S. gives states more time to make Obama health law decision

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The federal government on Thursday gave states another month to decide if they will operate insurance exchanges under the new U.S. healthcare law, after some Republican governors stalled in the hope President Barack Obama would lose last week’s election.

The delay was the second time in a week that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius showed flexibility on deadlines as a way to entice states to cooperate in implementing Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

Nov 11, 2012

Should this school be saved? The fight over Chicago’s Dyett High

CHICAGO (Reuters) – By just about any definition, Walter H. Dyett High School has failed.

Just 10 percent can pass the state math exam; barely one in six is proficient in reading. The technology lab is so ancient, some of the computers still take 3-inch floppy disks. More teens drop out than graduate.

Nov 7, 2012

Michigan voters poised to reject union rights amendment

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) – Michigan voters appeared poised on Wednesday to reject an effort to make collective bargaining a constitutionally protected right in the state, dealing organized labor another setback in a part of the country that once was its stronghold.

With more than half the state’s precincts reporting, the proposed amendment was going down to defeat by a 60-40 margin, according to the Michigan Secretary of State.

Nov 5, 2012

Illinois senator vows January return to Washington after stroke

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Republican Senator Mark Kirk, who suffered a stroke last year, hopes to return to Washington in January, his spokesman said on Monday.

Kirk, 53, won President Barack Obama’s former seat in the U.S. Senate in 2010. He is not up for election this year.

Oct 25, 2012

Appeals court allows Illinois limits on campaign financing

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that an Illinois law limiting contributions to political campaigns can remain in force at least until the November 6 election.

Passed in 2009, the law imposed a $5,000 limit on contributions from individuals, a $10,000 limit on unions and corporations, and a $50,000 limit on political action committees.

Oct 15, 2012

Massachusetts Senate hopeful Warren leads fundraising race

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic hopeful in a hotly contested Massachusetts race, was the top fundraiser among U.S. Senate candidates in the third quarter with $12.1 million, according to reports from candidates on Monday.

Monday was the deadline for political campaigns to file their fund-raising reports with the Federal Election Commission for the quarter ended September 30.

Oct 4, 2012

Snowy winter ahead for some in the US

By James B. Kelleher and Sam Nelson

(Reuters) – Snow lovers living in the U.S. Northeast and Rocky Mountains are going t o rejoice this winter, according to AccuWeather.com.

The private weather forecasting firm released its long-range winter forecast on Wednesday, highlighting its predictions for temperature and precipitation trends.