Politics and Government

Josh Barnett

New McLean County Board member Josh Barnett said he has already met with all the committee chairs on the board.

Barnett was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Ben Owens.

Senate Democrats / Flickr

Senator Dick Durbin has some ideas for what Hillary Clinton should address if she becomes president in January. Democrat Dick Durbin said she should consider addressing a few priorities.

Bloomington Aldermen To Discuss Downtown

Aug 14, 2016
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Aldermen will meet as a committee to learn more about the hotel proposal that was rejected by city officials last month.

Brett Levin / Flickr

The Normal Town Council will be asked to vote on changing the town's ordinance on cannabis possession to align with a state law passed last month.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Community leaders and government officials in McLean County are receiving praise for their improvements to resources for people suffering from mental illness in the Twin Cities and surrounding communities. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said the area is moving in the right direction.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Republican Congressman Rodney Davis and Democratic State Treasurer Michael Frerichs are barnstorming across Illinois Universities in a bipartisan effort to improve college savings programs.

Among the ideas the two promote is allowing employers to take a tax credit for up to five thousand dollars per worker per year used to pay off student debt.

Society of Jesus

  When Father Mauricio Gaborit hears vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine break into Spanish or speak movingly about the poor, he says he is watching the flowering of seeds planted decades earlier in Kaine at a small Catholic mission in Honduras.

Rep. LaHood Supports Trump, Not Trump's Comments

Aug 11, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

Donald Trump continues to receive support from Republicans, despite comments that have been described as racist, misogynistic and divisive. 18th District Representative Darin LaHood said he will support Trump, but he will not defend Trump's comments.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Bloomington's Liquor Commission will stay the same, for now. Currently, the city has a three-person commission. The City Council was scheduled to vote Monday night on eliminating the city's liquor commission as it is and allow Mayor Tari Renner to appoint a Deputy Liquor Commissioner. The Deputy Liquor Commissioner would primarily sign documents and fulfill duties when the mayor is not available.

Former Opponent Sues Speaker Madigan

Aug 8, 2016

Longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is being sued by one of his opponent’s in this year’s Democratic primary.

Jason Gonzales lost to Speaker Madigan in the March primary, receiving 27 percent of the votes.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Bloomington Aldermen will consider changes to ordinances on smoking and the liquor commission tonight. The city council will vote on a ban on electronic cigarette vaping in city-owned facilities where smoking is banned.

BU Rob13 and Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

An ISU political scientist says top Republican leaders will play the hand they are dealt with Donald Trump, in spite of a series of self inflicted wounds by the GOP Presidential candidate this week. 

Staff / WGLT

City of Bloomington officials are mulling over two new proposals for a downtown hotel, following last month's collapse of a plan to locate an upscale hotel and conference center near the coliseum. Both proposals come from developer Jeff Giebelhausen, who's been working with the city for more than a year to redevelop a dilapidated building and the Commerce Bank facility.

Michael Hill / WGLT

People in the Twin Cities are reacting to the Connect Transit route and schedule overhaul that will start on August 15th. Sheila Eskew of Bloomington said she's happy with the changes.

Staff / WGLT

The Normal Town Council has unanimously approved a Complete Streets resolution. The policy establishes rules for making streets and sidewalks accessible to people using any form of transportation.

City Manager Mark Peterson said budget is a consideration when implementing a Complete Streets upgrade and some improvements are not financially supportable. Peterson said there is enough flexibility to make adjustments in street design based upon the existing conditions.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr


  Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump have been in the national spotlight for decades. But Americans are still getting to know their vice presidential running mates, Gov. Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, and Gov. Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana. 

Someone who's known Pence a long time is a Catholic Benedictine Sister from Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, IN.

Sister Sharon Bierman taught Pence in seventh and eight grades at St. Columba Catholic School in Columbus, IN.

Normal Council To Consider 'Complete Streets' Policy

Jul 31, 2016
IvoShandor / Wikimedia Commons

A formal Complete Streets proposal is under consideration at Monday's Normal Town Council meeting. If approved, the resolution would further establish rules for making streets and sidewalks accessible to people using all forms of transportation.

Erik Rankin

Democrats, led by Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are continuing to try to appeal to a segment of voters most think may vote for GOP nominee Donald Trump.  Illinois State University Politics and Government professor Erik Rankin and ISU students attended the convention in Philadelphia this week. 

DNC Featured Speeches 'From The Heart'

Jul 28, 2016
Sarah Burris / Flickr

The stage at the Democratic National Convention was a Who’s Who of the Democratic Party Wednesday night, and it was almost unclear who took the cake as the best speaker of the night.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Chris Koos says he will run for his fourth full term as Mayor of the Town of Normal. The 68-year old Koos also served a portion of a term when former Mayor Kent Karraker resigned.

Eight years ago Koos said he probably wouldn't run again. Four years ago, Mayor Koos said he would not run again and would make an effort during the term to mentor potential successors.

Yusuf Sarfati / Personal Collection

On July 15, a faction within the Turkish Armed Forces failed in its attempt to overthrow the government.   On the day of the coup, Illinois State University Professor of Comparative Politics Dr. Yusuf Sarfati landed in Istanbul to begin a one-year sabbatical. Talking with WGLT's Jon Norton via Skype, Sarfati said despite the tension between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and various opposition groups, he had no inkling a coup was imminent.

"Neither me or anyone who was watching Turkey closely imagined a coup or at least a coup attempt could have happened right now" said Sarfati.  "Turkey has been unstable for the past year, however not in anyone's wildest imagination was that expected." Everyone was shocked."

Connect Transit

Connect Transit General Manager Andrew Johnson is speaking out against the 2016 Republican Platform released last week at the Republican National Convention. The document calls for the removal of Highway Trust Fund money from public transit systems such as Connect Transit in Bloomington-Normal.

City of Bloomington

The City of Bloomington believes it's too expensive to stay self insured for worker health coverage. During GLT's Sound Ideas, Mayor Tari Renner said the city is moving to a risk pooling group with more than 100 other municipalities and other units of government.

Haley Kosik

Humanization was the unofficial theme of speeches at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night. Illinois State University Politics and Government Professor Erik Rankin is in Philadelphia with ISU students for the convention this week. During GLT's Sound Ideas, Rankin said Hillary Clinton has often been accused of having a "non-feeling political presence", but speakers highlighted her as a mother and grandmother.

Rankin said President Bill Clinton's speech about his relationship with Hillary was great to bring up her early political career and how she has become stronger and more powerful over time. Rankin said it was interesting for his students to watch Bill speak about his wife due to the fact that many people look back at his infidelities.

Connect Transit Moving Forward With August Overhaul

Jul 26, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

The Connect Transit Board of Trustees approved proposed fee changes as part of a system overhaul that takes effect in three weeks. Beginning on August 15, riders will be able to purchase one-day and seven-day passes for fixed routes as well as 10-ride and 20-ride cards for Connect Mobilitity routes. 

Gender Important to ISU Student at DNC

Jul 26, 2016
Erik Rankin

An ISU student at the Democratic National Convention is now committed to Hillary Clinton, after first supporting Bernie Sanders. Speaking during GLT's Sound Ideas, Haley Kosik said gender does matter in this election.

Judith Valente / WGLT

The Bloomington city council  unanimously agreed to drill water supply wells around Lake Bloomington and Lake Evergreen. At a cost of $170,000, engineering firm Baxter and Woodman Inc. will drill into the St. Peter Aquifer

Erik Rankin

Bernie Sanders has the large task of speaking to his supporters at the Democratic National Convention, while also working to unify the party for Hillary Clinton, according to an ISU political scientist.

Illinois State University Politics and Government Professor Erik Rankin is in Philadelphia with ISU students for the convention this week. During GLT's Sound Ideas, Rankin said Sanders has to make sure people don't forget about his revolution within the Democratic party. 

State Rep. Ron Sandack Abruptly Quits

Jul 25, 2016
Ron Sandack / Ron4Illinois.com

Top-ranking Republican state Rep. Ron Sandack from suburban Chicago has resigned from the Illinois House, citing ``cyber security issues.''  

The House Republican floor leader from Downers Grove issued a statement late Sunday that said he began to ``re-evaluate his continued public service'' his role ``after some cyber security issues arose.''