Former Chicago Ald. Edward Vrdolyak was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison today after being convicted in a tax scheme related to his receipt of millions of dollars in Illinois tobacco settlement money. In what’s viewed as a largely symbolic move, the U.S. House voted to decriminalize cannabis and tax it at the federal level. Two Illinois Democrats joined the rest of the state’s Republican delegation to Congress in voting against the proposal. And, Illinois’ top public health official said today that the state is planning to distribute its initial inventory of COVID-19 vaccinations to the 50 counties with the highest coronavirus death rates. Welcome to The Spin.
Former Chicago Ald. Edward “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison in a tax scheme related to his receipt of millions of dollars in Illinois tobacco settlement money. A political powerhouse in Chicago politics during the 1980s, he’s had a long, colorful career characterized by wheeling and dealing in and around local politics and law. Here are five things to know about the former alderman.
Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis launched a discovery recount Thursday after unofficial results from the Nov. 3 general election showed him losing by 5,374 votes to first-term U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood.
Embattled House Speaker Michael Madigan, his bid for reelection to the post in jeopardy, will appear Saturday at a “candidate’s forum” hosted by one of his most loyal constituencies — the House Black Caucus.
Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger retweeted a link to President Donald Trump’s Wednesday afternoon video from the White House in which he continued questioning the results of last month’s election with a five-word message.“ Time to delete your account,” Kinzinger tweeted.
Citing her experience as a federal prosecutor, Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday said she’s been following the ComEd bribery case that’s cast a shadow over Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan but stopped short of saying he shouldn’t be reelected to his leadership post.
Illinois earlier today reported its single highest death count from COVID-19 since the pandemic began — 238 coronavirus deaths, which also marks the highest number of single day fatalities from the disease since May. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration responded to questions about whether she was involved in a wager over how long the 2019 Chicago Teachers Union strike might last. Her spokeswoman said she did not, but an email obtained by the Tribune lays out a wager that included scotch and cigars. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, teased a White House holiday reception crowd with a 2024 presidential run, The Associated Press is reporting. Welcome to The Spin.
Joe Biden won Illinois by nearly 17 percentage points, 57.4% to 40.7%; Sen. Richard Durbin sailed to re-election over Republican Mark Curran 54.5% to 38.8%; and the graduated income tax fell by a not-insignificant margin of 53.4% to 46.6%. However, break the vote behind those landslides into the smallest electoral pieces — precincts — and a more nuanced picture emerges.
Most companies that have expressed interest in building and operating a Chicago casino would want to do so downtown, according to a summary of responses released by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration Wednesday. In all, 11 organizations responded to the city’s request for information from interested parties. Eight said the casino should be built in or near downtown, while one preferred a Southeast Side site near Lake Calumet. One didn’t respond, according to the city, which did not specify what each party said.
The city of Chicago expects to begin rolling out vaccines for health care workers later this month and could provide them to lower-risk residents in spring and children by summer, public health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Tuesday. The first distribution of vaccines will go toward Chicago hospitals and health care workers, possibly by the third week of December, Arwady said. The city’s also working with long-term care facilities in the city on vaccines, she said.
Two plans designed to slow the destruction of existing buildings in parts of the fast-gentrifying Pilsen neighborhood failed Tuesday, one opposed by the local alderman and one he supported. An ordinance to create a landmark district along a stretch of 18th Street and adjacent streets in the near South Side neighborhood fell unanimously in the Zoning Committee after Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, 25th, spoke against it.
Legislation at the heart of the bribery scandal that has ensnared House Speaker Michael Madigan as well as former Commonwealth Edison executives enhanced the utility’s bottom line but failed to produce promised benefits for consumers, according to a report released Tuesday by Illinois PIRG, a public interest advocacy group.