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Stories by Amanda Vinicky

Mudslinging Begins as Democrats Look to Take Back Governor’s Mansion

J.B. Pritzker speaks to the media after a “Chicago Tonight” candidate forum on March 14, 2018.

With the race for governor winnowed down, Democrat J.B. Pritzker and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner are wasting no time in going after one another. 

Battle of the Big Bucks: It’s Pritzker vs. Rauner for Illinois Governor

Gov. Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker appear on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 14, 2017 and March 14, 2018, respectively.

Brace yourselves, Illinois residents. The matchup between Gov. Bruce Rauner and venture capitalist J.B. Pritkzer virtually guarantees incessant campaigning and political ads leading up to the Nov. 6 general election.

Cook County Assessor’s Race: Andrea Raila in the Running After All

A conversation with on-again, off-again Cook County assessor candidate Andrea Raila, now that she’s on the ballot.

Democratic AG Candidates Say Madigan Should Step Down as Head of Party

Democratic candidates for attorney general raise their hands Monday on “Chicago Tonight” in response to Carol Marin’s question, “Should Mike Madigan step down as chairman of the Democratic Party?”

Political leaders of the fabled Chicago Democratic machine have lost public support from a group of lawyers, one of whom may in the near future be well-placed to do more than just talk about rooting out corruption.

Rauner’s ‘Crystal Clear’ Gun Stance Doesn’t Include Dealer Licensing Bill

Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks Wednesday at a ribbon-cutting for a new AT&T call center on the Northwest Side. (Chicago Tonight)

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he’s been clear about his stance on guns. But he won’t say whether he’ll sign recently passed legislation that would require Illinois gun dealers to be licensed by the state.

Early Voting for March Primary Gets Underway, Though Ballot Issues Persist

Illinois voters can begin casting their votes in a series of heavily contested primary races, as early voting began in earnest Monday.

Illinois Lawmakers Vote to License Gun Dealers

Cardinal Blase Cupich urges lawmakers Wednesday in Springfield to pass gun control laws.

As students in Florida returned to class for the first time since a gunman opened fire at their Parkland high school, Illinois lawmakers advanced a series of gun control measures in Springfield.

2018 Primary: Democrats Pin Hopes on 6th District Voters

As Democrats aim to retake control of the U.S. House, they’re pinning hope on voters who live in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District. But first, primary voters need to decide who will be the nominee.

From Pyeongchang to ‘Heart and Seoul,’ Exhibit Highlights Korean Culture

The Winter Olympics will soon come to an end, but at the Chicago Children’s Museum, kids can continue to experience elements of the Korean culture they’re seeing glimpses of on TV.

Democratic Candidates for Governor Want Madigan to Resign

Democratic candidates for governor Daniel Biss, left, and Chris Kennedy participate in a candidate forum at WTTW on Monday.

Republicans have spent years trying to thwart House Speaker Michael Madigan. As allegations of sexual harassment by those in Madigan’s inner circle continue to swirl, leading Democrats are joining that chorus.

Property Tax System ‘More Regressive’ in Cook County, Report Finds

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios (File footage / Chicago Tonight)

A bombshell report on Cook County’s property tax system exposes flaws in how the assessor determines how much residents owe in property taxes. 

Rauner Re-election Budget Plan Puts Burden on Local Governments

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday laid out a $37.6 billion spending plan that heavily relies on the income tax increase he constantly bemoans and calls for balancing the budget largely by shifting costs to local governments.

Woman Accusing Madigan Aide of Sexual Harassment Speaks Out

Alaina Hampton, right, speaks to the media Tuesday with her spokesperson Lorna Brett.

A 28-year-old woman unsatisfied with the way in which House Speaker Michael Madigan handled her accusations of sexual harassment against Kevin Quinn is taking her complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Madigan Fires High-Ranking Aide Amid Sexual Harassment Claims

House Speaker Michael Madigan

After 20 years, Kevin Quinn is “no longer an employee of any of my political committees” given “inappropriate conduct,” House Speaker Michael Madigan announced in a statement Monday.

2018 Governor’s Race: Decade-Old Phone Call a Headache for Pritzker

A recording of a nearly decade-old phone call between disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and J.B. Pritzker is causing a headache for the Democratic front-runner for governor.

Jeanne Ives Asks ‘What’s Offensive?’ About ‘Provocative’ Campaign Ad

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s challenger, state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, says she’s been surprised by the “hysteria” surrounding a new ad her campaign released Friday. 

Rauner Speaks of Bipartisanship, Democrats Don’t Believe It

Gov. Bruce Rauner gives his election year State of the State speech, but Democrats – and even some Republicans – cast doubts on the sincerity of his message.

State of the State Preview: Bipartisan and Blows

Even as Gov. Bruce Rauner is expected to call for bipartisanship Wednesday, a source with knowledge of the speech says he will call for legislation that takes direct aim at House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Rauner, Ives Get Heated in Only Primary Matchup

Gov. Bruce Rauner and state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, speak to the media Monday following a debate at the Chicago Tribune.

The Republican candidates for governor squared off Monday for the first, and potentially only, time. 

Competition in Congress: A Primary Preview

Who will take U.S. Rep. Luis Guiterrez’s place in Washington? A preview of that highly competitive contest and others coming up next month.

Watchdog: Senator’s Behavior ‘Unbecoming’ But Not Sexual Harassment

Inset: State Sen. Ira Silverstein (Facebook)

Illinois’ legislative watchdog says state Sen. Ira Silverstein did not sexually harass a victim rights advocate, but that he did violate the state ethics law.

Meet John Lausch, Northern Illinois’ New U.S. Attorney

He is the top federal prosecutor in Northern Illinois. On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney John Lausch gave his first interviews since taking the job, sharing his plans to fight crime and corruption.

Legionella Detected in Illinois Statehouse Complex

Legionalla bacteria – a waterborne pathogen that can cause a type of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease – is present in the water systems at the Illinois state capitol complex in Springfield.

Chicago Women’s March to the Polls Draws Estimated Crowd of 300K

Crowds gather in Grant Park on Saturday for the 2018 March to the Polls. (Amanda Vinicky / Chicago Tonight)

On the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration—and as a federal government shutdown commenced—an estimated 300,000 people in Chicago gathered to express their dissatisfaction with his leadership as part of the Chicago Women’s March to the Polls.

Chicago Makes the Amazon HQ2 Short List. What Now?

| Kristen Thometz

Chicago has made it to the second round of cities for Amazon’s HQ2. The question now: What will it take for the city to make it to the final four?