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Illinois Tag

That strict gun control in Chicago has obviously worked. America's third largest city had 762 homicides in 2016, the most in two decades and more than New York and Los Angeles combined. It also saw 3,500 shooting incidents, which is 1,100 more than it had in 2015. From WGN:
According to the Chicago Police Department, there were 762 murders in the city in 2016 and 3,550 shooting incidents with 4,331 shooting victims. A department spokesman says more than 80% of the fatal and non-fatal shooting victims were previously identified by police as being likely to be involved in an act of gun violence, either as a victim or an offender. Most of the murders occurred on the city's South and West Sides.

Chicago authorities have charged four people for beating David Wilcox and hijacking his car after a car accident. People around him just watched and did nothing to help him. Instead they screamed anti-Trump sentiments:
On a video posted online, Wilcox, 50, was pummeled by several individuals, while onlookers shouted “You Voted Trump!” The altercation started when his car was rear-ended at Kedzie and Roosevelt in the North Lawndale neighborhood on Wednesday.

Say it with me: The Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series. A perfect way to end a magical season that still seems unreal to us lifelong diehard crazy Cubs fans who have endured heartache after heartache.

"Vote early, vote often" is one of Chicago's unofficial mottos. One of the most corrupt cities in America is famous for its voter fraud back in the day, but officials now insist that everything is on the down low and technology has helped wipe out voter fraud. Well, investigators at the local CBS station found that "119 dead people have voted a total of 229 times in Chicago in the last decade" after they merged the "Chicago Board of Election voter histories with the death master file from the Social Security Administration."

Veterans at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital have demanded action to clean the black mold in their housing complex, which has built up for the past 10 months. From Fox News:
Veterans Affairs documents indicate officials at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital knew about the black mold infestation in August 2015 but conducted no testing until mid-April 2016 and have yet to clean up the problem – though they are promising to act soon. The mold is contained in two rooms of the Residential Care Facility (RCF), a separate building housing 30 residents for indefinite stays. “I was going by the hallway and the door was open. The back wall was all moldy black,” 81-year-old resident Raymond Shibek told “I went and told the director of nursing. She said, ‘How did you see that?’ I said, ‘The door was open.’ She said, ‘You weren’t supposed to see that.’” Shibek said the mold covered an entire wall measuring roughly 10 feet-by-10 feet.

Illinois has become the first U.S. state to identify specific companies it will no longer invest state assets in because they engage in the Boycott, Divest and Sanction ("BDS") campaign.  LI has discussed various state anti-BDS laws here. The Illinois Investment Policy Board included eleven companies on its new "Prohibited Investment List" because those companies boycott Israel.  The list also includes five companies for their business in or with Iran and dozens of companies for their activities in Sudan. The listed companies have a grace period before the state actually begins divesting.  Under Illinois General Statute 1-110.16:
(e) The Illinois Investment Policy Board shall adhere to the following procedures for companies on the list of restricted companies:

In all the news noise over the Iowa caucuses, a decision by the Illinois Board of Elections passed almost entirely under the radar. There was much hoopla when two voters filed a challenge to Ted Cruz appearing on the ballot because Cruz allegedly was not a "natural born Citizen" and ineligible. (My research and conclusions on the subject are here.) I have not been able to find the actual decision, but Huffington Post reports:
Two objectors, Lawrence Joyce and William Graham, had challenged Cruz's presidential bid with the board, contending that his name should not appear on the March 15 ballot because his candidacy did not comply with Article II of the Constitution. Adopting the recommendations of a hearing officer who considered the matter last week, the board of elections on Monday rejected both objections, ruled Cruz eligible and ordered that his name be certified for the election.

Will they, or won't they? Signs point to yes---the Illinois government will "shut down" at midnight tonight. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner spent the majority of today touring various agencies in an effort to calm the nerves of state employees who can't be assured of a paycheck after mid-July. Democrats in the Illinois legislature led by House Speaker Michael Madigan plan on pitching an alternate, short-term spending plan tomorrow that would fund "essential" programs for the next month; Rauner, however, has already vetoed one Democrat-drafted budget, and indicated that short-term fixes aren't a viable funding option. Still, Rauner is a Republican pilgrim in an unholy "blue" land, and the pressure is mounting. Will Rauner cave? It doesn't look like it:

The movement to boycott those who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is gaining steam, particularly at the legislative level. We previously highlighted federal legislation aimed at the European boycott movement, and the apoplectic reaction, Breaking! Anti-Israel boycotters don’t like being boycotted!:
The vicious anti-Israel boycotters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement don’t like it when the tables are turned on them. That’s why, when faculty pass their anti-Israel boycott resolutions, they include in the resolutions the demand that their right to boycott be protected. In other words, boycotters claim the right to boycott others, but deny others the right to boycott them.
In addition to federal legislation, Illinois is on the verge of passing legislation which effectively causes the State to boycott the boycotters. The Washington Free Beacon reports, Anti-BDS Bill Poised for Passage in Illinois Legislature:
A milestone bill meant to combat international boycotts of Israel cleared a major procedural hurdle in the Illinois House this week, paving the way for the state to become among the first to divest funds from any company supporting the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment (BDS) movement. The bill, which would force Illinois’ five state pension funds to divest from any company supporting boycotts of Israel, passed by a 10-0 vote through a key executive committee on Wednesday and is now on its way to a full vote in the state’s legislature, where it is expected to garner widespread support.... If passed, Illinois would become the first state in nation to divest from companies abroad that support Israel boycotts.
The anti-Israel movement issued urgent alerts to try to stop the legislation in committee.

Hey, remember when I wrote in February 2011 how state employees accused Scott Walker of being Hitler because he wanted to scale back state employee unions? First They Came For The Right To Retire After 30 Years On Full Salary With COLAs. Welcome to Illinois, where in 2011 the legislature made a similar "Hitlerian" move to protect the State from fiscal oblivion by scaling back annual compounding of retiree Cost of Living Adjustments and other retiree perks as part of a reform package. Those perks, not available in the private sector, were crushing the state budget.

You would think a state with such dire financial problems couldn't even consider spending such a large sum of tax dollars on something that's usually built with private money. Luckily, the Illinois House has backed off the idea for the moment. USA Today reported...
Illinois shelving $100M gift to Obama library A plan to offer $100 million in tax dollars to lure Barack Obama's presidential library to Illinois is on the shelf, with lawmakers prepared to wrap up their spring session without advancing the idea. Democrats in the president's home state pushed the proposal to compete against rival bids from Hawaii and New York. But it faced opposition from Republicans wary of an expensive and precedent-setting gift — with no immediately identified funding source — for a mostly private endeavor when the state faces serious financial difficulties. Not all Democrats were on board either, and the Illinois House adjourned Friday without calling for any final votes on the measure.

Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for northern Illinois, announced his resignation today after more than ten years of service to that state. His tenure was remarkable not only for what he accomplished--his prosecutions put away two governors (Blagojevich and Ryan), uncovered political corruption at all levels...