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BGA investigates Bobby Rush, finds lots of money questions for Congress' "utility man"

RUSH HOUR In 2000, Congressman Bobby Rush of Chicago got a $1.7 million grant to build a technology/community center in the economically depressed Englewood neighborhood. Today the money's gone, the center doesn't exist and the Better Government Association wants answers from Rush. BGA investigator Bob Herguth explains in this video interview with Chicago Tonight's Phil Ponce.

  • The BGA/Chicago Sun-Times investigation of the non-existent tech center described above is here
  • In the process of that investigation, the BGA found that utilities' generosity to Rush had made him one of their strongest allies in Congress. Read it here.
  • Rush hasn't paid rent on his campaign office for 12 years, possibly violating campaign finance rules. It's one of several financial deals the BGA questions in this piece.
  • The BGA also found that Rush has a habit of being delinquent on and slow to pay various taxes. That investigation is here.

TAX TIME Will our income tax go down in a year? Will sales taxes go up? Will retirees pay income tax? Taxes dominated the discussion Monday among three of the leading advocates for the pension reform bill passed two weeks ago. Reboot's Madeleine Doubek was there and provides details here.

RECOGNIZING RAUNER A recent poll suggests Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's ongoing ad blitz is working. Or at least that a lot more people know who he is. See it here.

BRADY'S RETURNS In 2010, gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady got a lot of flak for not releasing his income tax returns. He's not making that mistake this time. Find out what Brady earned in 2012 here.

IVES EXPLAINS Suburban State Rep. Jeanne Ives is the latest Republican to issue an explanation for voting against the pension reform bill two weeks ago. She's not happy with the Chicago Tribune. More here.

JUST SAY NO Pete Sepp, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, doesn't want to hear any talk about fuel taxes being the ticket out of financial trouble for the nation or for Illinois. He explains why in this op-ed.

TOP 5 Here's a look at headlines from around Illinois today:

  • 5. Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady and his running mate, Maria Rodriguez, released their tax return information. (Associated Press)
  • 4. Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has already spent $1.5 million on television ads to air through Christmas. (Chicago Tribune)
  • 3. A downstate lawmaker is pushing for Boeing to build a new manufacturing plant in Decatur. (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • 2. Opinion: There is no denying public pensions in Illinois needed to be reined in, but lawmakers need to be careful they don’t overreach on pension reform. (Peoria Journal Star)
  • 1. State Rep. Jeanne Ives explains her “no” vote to the pension reform bill in an Op-ed. (Chicago Tribune)

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