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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
9:31pm
Fri Oct 24

Chicago Activists Target 'Rubberstamp' Aldermen, Unveil Website Tracking Voting History

While the focus is on the November midterm elections, Chicago residents will soon head to the ballot box again for February’s municipal elections. In order to help voters prep for that election, community activists launched a new website Thursday designed to make the votes of Chicago aldermen more transparent and clear.

“Voters need a real tool to understand who their alderman stand for and what they stand for,” said Amisha Patel, executive director of the Grassroots Collaborative, which helped put the website together.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:23pm
Fri Oct 24

First-Time Candidate Seeks GOP Incumbent's Defeat In 20th State House District

Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the race for the 20th district state representative seat, which pits first-time candidate and law student Mo Khan against long-serving GOP incumbent Mike McAuliffe.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
8:25pm
Thu Oct 23

McKinney, Clout & The Freedom Of The Press: Where Would Illinois Be Headed Under Rauner's Reign?

Former Chicago Sun-Times Springfield Bureau Chief Dave McKinney’s resignation from the paper is fueling players in both the political and media worlds to speculate about not only the future of the Windy City’s oldest news publication, but also what it means for journalism in the state in a greater sense — and what a Rauner-ruled Illinois could look like.

After 19 years at the newspaper, McKinney issued his immediate resignation Wednesday, stating in an open letter that, essentially, he had no choice but to make the “difficult decision due to the disturbing developments I’ve experienced in the last two weeks that cannot be reconciled with this newspaper’s storied commitment to journalism.”

The “disturbing developments” stem from the newspaper’s response to the “multiple tactics” GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s campaign deployed in an attempt to stop the publication of a story co-written by McKinney, Carol Marin and Don Moseley. The article detailed allegations that Rauner threatened a former employee, ex-LeapSource CEO Christine Kirk, as well as her family when it became clear that she planned to sue Rauner and his then-investment firm GTCR. Despite threats from the Republican’s campaign stating they would “go over” the heads of those working on the story, according to McKinney, the piece ran.

And that’s when the Rauner camp reportedly pounced even more viciously, penning an “opposition-research hit piece–rife with errors–about” McKinney’s wife Ann Liston, a Democratic consultant. Although Sun-Times Publisher and Editor Jim Kirk responded to the Rauner camp’s allegations of a conflict of interest, saying the “’assault’ on my integrity ’border[ed] on defamation’ and represented ’a low point in the campaign,’” according to the political reporter, actions were allegedly taken days later to silence and demote him.

Enter Sun-Times Chairman Michael Ferro.

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