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News Headlines – February 7, 2017

Last Updated on February 6th, 2018

Written by Paul Bomleny

The Latest 

(Undated)  —  Here’s the latest news:  The latest FBI surveillance tapes catch Democrat J.B. Pritzker talking about race in Illinois politics. Jeanne Ives’ running mate says their latest campaign ad is ‘in your face,’ but not hateful. One Illinois university is clarifying its rules about student free speech. Police in Urbana say their rules on marijuana are landing fewer people in jail. 

>>FBI Tapes Catch Pritzker, Blagojevich Talking Race And Politics 

(Chicago, IL)  —  The Democratic frontrunner in the race for Illinois governor is trying to explain the latest taped conversations with former Governor Rod Blagojevich. “The Chicago Tribune” last night reported that FBI surveillance tapes caught J.B. Pritzker talking about race and politics with the former governor in 2008. At one point Pritzker talks about Secretary of State Jesse White and the patronage power he has. Then Pritzker and Blagojevich talk about former Obama Pastor Jeremiah Wright, and both laugh as they say ‘God Damn America’ when talking about appointing Wright to the U.S. Senate. 

>>Ives Running Mate: Add In Your Face, Not Hateful 

(Moline, IL)  —  State Rep Jeanne Ives’ running mate is defending the campaign’s latest political ad. Former Quad Cities state Rep Rich Morthland yesterday said the ad, which thanks Governor Rauner, is ‘in your face’ but he says the ad is not hateful. A number of people, including some top Republicans, say the ad sends the wrong message in the way it talks about transgendered people. 

>>Democrats In A-G Race Squabble In Springfield Forum 

(Springfield, IL)  —  The Democrats running for Illinois Attorney General can’t stop squabbling. Even when they aren’t in the same room. Former Governor Pat Quinn last night attacked state Senator Kwame Raoul for not appearing at a Springfield candidate’s forum, Quinn said Raoul needs to explain his many conflicts of interest. Raoul said he couldn’t make it because of the weather. Seven of the eight Democrats running for attorney general spoke instead. 

>>SIU-Edwardsville Settles Campus Free Speech Case 

(Edwardsville, IL)  —  Students at Southern Illinois University’s Edwardsville campus can speak their mind anywhere on campus. The school yesterday announced it has settled a lawsuit that challenged the school’s free speech zones. The Alliance Defending Freedom sued the school last year for trying to limit free speech to a small part of the campus quad. SIU-E spokesman Doug McIlhagga says the settlement is more a clarification of the school’s policy and not a change. All outdoor areas on campus will now be open to students to speak, protest, or rally. 

>>Urbana Police Tout Fewer Marijuana Arrests 

(Urbana, IL)  —  A lot fewer people in Urbana are going to jail for having marijuana, but a lot more people are getting tickets. Urbana Police Chief Sylvia Morgan yesterday told city leaders that just 17 people were arrested last year on misdemeanor marijuana charges. That’s down from almost 80 the year before. Morgan says Urbana has instead started writing people tickets for pot, and she thinks Illinois will eventually legalize marijuana all together.