Oh, there was just a little bit of national news this week. While the Trump-Ukraine and impeachment stories keep breaking, we thought we’d keep you informed on what’s happening in Illinois in the meantime. Here’s a slice:
1. Each of the 13 House Democrats from Illinois support an impeachment inquiry. Two House Republicans, Mike Bost, of the 12th Congressional District, and Darin M. LaHood, of the 18th District, have stated they do not. Three House Republicans had not made a statement as of Thursday afternoon, according to this list via The New York Times. Crain’s Chicago Business reporter Greg Hinz followed up with some House members, including the Democract Dan Lipinski, of the 3rd District, “a relative conservative who has been reluctant to board the impeachment train” but who tweeted his support for an investigation.
2. Remember when the former director of the Alexander County Housing Authority, James Wilson, was accused by the agency of fraud for “traveling extensively to conferences in destination cities, drinking on the authority’s dime, shelling out hundreds of dollars for steak, salmon, shrimp cocktails, sorbet and other multi-course meals”? Last November, he agreed to pay a $500,000 fine. But guess what? He hasn’t paid any of it yet, reports Molly Parker via The Southern Illinoisan.
3. Speaking of getting paid, Taiwanese importers have committed to buying $2.2 billion in Illinois corn and soybeans over the next two years, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday. If you’re wondering how common it is for foreign buyers to make these kinds of deals with individual states, well, it’s apparently not common, which is one point of skepticism for critics of the deal, according to Reuters.
4. Add this to your list of ways your personal data is shared: your I-Pass. WBEZ’s Tony Arnold reported that the “Illinois Tollway regularly receives court-enforced requests for information — called subpoenas — relating to drivers’ movements on the roads. WBEZ obtained 117 subpoena requests from a 14-month timeframe made by local police departments, federal prosecutors and even private divorce attorneys looking to track what their clients’ exes are up to.”
5. “The Illinois Republican Party is in shambles,” reads the first line of a piece published Monday in the Illinois Review, a conservative news platform. The piece highlights readers’ responses to a question posed by the Illinois Review about what the state’s Republican party should do “to turn itself around.” One response: “Work on new messaging. Blaming Madigan is old. No one cares. Blaming JB [Pritzker] is going to become just as old quickly.” Read more.
What’s on your mind this week? Is there something you’d like to see us investigate in your community, or just something you think we should know about? Email us.
P.S. As part of our Ask ProPublica Illinois series, reporting fellow Lakeidra Chavis answered a reader’s question this week about books and other resources we recommend to learn more about journalism. Here’s our list: The Books and Movies That Made Us Better Journalists. Have a question about journalism? Email us at [email protected].