Republicans Crow As Questions Swirl Surrounding Sun-Times' Rauner Endorsement

The Illinois Republican Party and Rauner campaign sent out manic messages to the media and supporters this weekend crowing about the Chicago Sun-Times' endorsement of the Republican gubernatorial candidate as questions swirl about the motivation behind the decision. 

After sitting out of the endorsement game for the last three years, the newspaper switched gears and enthusiastically endorsed Bruce Rauner for governor, announcing their sole endorsement in the upcoming election. The endorsement states that the catalyst behind the about face is due to the race being "simply too important to the future of Illinois for us to stay silent."

"It may well be the most important election in our state’s modern history," reads the endorsement, which was posted online Saturday and published in the Sunday paper.

And although that may very well be true, there is much speculation that the endorsement had little to do with the high stakes of the race and much more to do with Rauner's relationship with the media company and Michael Ferro Jr., chairman of Wrapports LLC, the parent company of Sun-Times Media. Rauner previously owned 10 percent of Wrapports, selling his share to Ferro for $5 million shortly before announcing his gubernatorial run. 

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Report: Sexual Harassment Widespread In The Restaurant Industry

Many restaurant employees face frequent sexual harassment on the job from managers, co-workers and customers. 

That's according to a recent survey and report by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Forward Together, which found that 66 percent of female and more than half of male restaurant employees experienced sexual harassment at some point from a work superior.

The survey of 688 current and former restaurant workers in 39 states also showed that 80 percent of women and 70 percent of men faced sexual harassment at the hands of co-workers. Sexual teasing, inappropriate touching and sexually suggestive gestures are some of the harassment examples cited by workers, who were surveyed May through August of this year.

Among other troubling findings, nearly 80 percent of women and 55 percent of men reported being harassed by restaurant customers while at work.

"Our report finds that sexual harassment is absolutely systemic across the restaurant industry and is experienced by a majority of workers, but the heaviest impact is borne by women, trans people, tipped workers and workers in states that allow employers to pay tipped workers as little as $2.13 an hour," said Eveline Shen, executive director of Forward Together, a social advocacy organization.
 
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Durbin Discusses Election, Legislative Priorities With College Students (VIDEO)

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who is in the midst of a re-election campaign, met with college students in Chicago Tuesday morning to discuss his legislative priorities and a range of issues, including student loan debt.

“You ought to be teaching us,” Durbin said to the group of approximately 50. “What does it mean to go viral? How to you get a message out on the Internet—Facebook or something else—that says ‘on the Saturday before this election, we want every member of Congress to declare whether they’re going to vote to renegotiate student loans.’”

The University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics held the discussion with Durbin, the U.S. Senate's second-ranking Democrat. Republican businessman State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) is attempting to unseat Durbin in the upcoming November midterm election.

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Schneider, Preckwinkle Tout Affordable Care Act Benefits; Slam Dold For Anti-Obamacare Voting Record

U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL,10) and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle discussed the importance of the Affordable Care Act with Illinoisans who have benefited from the health reform law at a Tuesday roundtable discussion in Des Plaines.

At the small gathering, held at the Frisbie Senior Center, Schneider criticized his Republican opponent, former one-term Congressman Bob Dold, for voting several times while in Congress to repeal or weaken the president's signature health reform law. 

"When my opponent was in Congress, every time the Republicans brought an effort to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act — not some of the times, but every time — he voted with Republicans" to repeal it, said Schneider, who unseated Dold in 2012 and is seeking a second term. "In contrast ... I have not voted for repeal and I will not vote for repeal. We need to move forward."

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Chicagoans Speak Out Against School Actions Cited In Federal Civil Rights Complaint

U.S. Department of Education officials heard first-hand stories about the impact public school closings and consolidations are having in Chicago at a South Side community meeting held Monday night with parents, students and their supporters.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights is currently looking into a complaint filed by education activists alleging "racially discriminatory" school actions and closings in Chicago. Organizers with the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) and the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School spearheaded the town hall meeting, held at First Unitarian Church of Chicago in Hyde Park. The discussion was designed to allow education department reps to hear directly from the people affected by the school actions cited in the complaint. The two education department officials were at the meeting strictly to listen.

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