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Suburban mayoral jockeying shaped NRI move
Newly released emails from Gov. Pat Quinn’s office show politics appeared to trump credentials when deciding how big a serving some nonprofits should get from his now-tarnished $54.5 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative anti-violence grant program. Emails from Quinn’s former top aides recount how Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough, a Maywood Democrat who had been the suburb’s state representative, approached Quinn’s administration in January 2011 to oppose giving NRI funding to a longtime social service provider in Maywood.
Democratic candidate for Illinois Treasurer needs on the job training

Mr. Frerichs has earned a reputation for being a hardworking state legislator. He's easy to talk to, but educated and ambitious. He raised a ton of money early on. The Downstater worked overtime to keep all potential Chicago-area candidates out of the Democratic primary. Most Democratic primary voters are in Cook County, so that was a real coup for the Champaign County legislator.

But he's obviously not living up to expectations. He needs to up his game.

Eric B: Welcome to the new and improved Halfway!
Enjoy the new and improved Halfway Interesting.  Halfway Interesting will be aggregating the most interesting political news content for state and local policy and elections.   Of course, I will be providing the occasional supplement from time and time when the situation requires.   Be sure to check out our BlogTalk page for in-depth interviews with C-U's political movers and shakers.  If you have any suggestions on news stories, please DM me on Twitter or FB.  Enjoy!
Mayor Race REALLY Heats Up!

UPDATE 7/24: After generating so much attention in the N-G, I have attached a copy of the invite for your reference.    

1. You have to check out the new Tom's Mailbag where I am personally targeted for my campaign contribution and Tom responds, "Your question implies some wrongdoing that isn't there. Lighten up, dude." I guess the pig is out of the bag about my in-kind fundraiser donation. Tom informed everyone the fundraiser will be hosted at Pear Tree Estate on August 6th at 6PM.  Since the article was published, I received several inquiries about event details. Invitations were just sent out, but you can check out the event page HERE. All readers are welcome to attend! I guess I can thank that TMB contributor for helping me to promote the event...

2. Don Gerard responded to my Smile Politely Radio interview on his personal facebook page and lied by suggesting that Joe Petry's campaign manager (also on radio interview) and I were bad mouthing the people of Champaign. Sure, he was criticized for not showing up to the Smile Politely Q&A, but what do you expect? That was followed up by a FB post to his politician page where he accuses us of mudslinging and initiates class warfare and works to make it "us vs. them" (while asking for a donation). People in downtown Champaign last night were reporting about some type of Don Gerard event at the Hyatt where Don was passing out tickets on the street. Looks like the recent fundraising filings have really lit a fire ...

3. Tom's Mailbag also discussed the notion of Gerard taking credit for job growth. While Tom disagreed with the contributor's numbers, he did say "I agree that it’s a big stretch for the Mayor of Champaign to take credit for an improving unemployment rate in Champaign-Urbana." I wonder if the Gerard campaign will be accusing Tom Kacich of "mudslinging"?

4. It's been a tough two weeks for the Gerard campaign. I can only imagine that Big Debbie needs a hug right about now. It seems their whole campaign approach right now is to unite people against the supporters of other campaigns. It is what it is.

It is hard to believe that the Mayor's race is still almost a year away with all the attention and enthusiasm it is generating. Wow. 

Champaign Mayor Fundraising Totals (Q2 Receipts)

Joe Petry (Link Here) - $25,031.70

Deb Feinen (Link Here) - $9349 

Don Gerard (Link Here) - $2,639.25

Karen Foster (Link Here) - $750

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The links take you to the filing pages at the State Board of Elections.    If you look at the filings, you can review more details such as itemized receipts and itemized expenditures.   Note that a donation from a single individual or entity over $1000 requires candidates and/or committees to immediately report an A-1.  Candidates and committees are required to file quarterly reports. 

Check out my coverage of the Champaign mayoral race on the Smile Politely blog online magazine, where you can share your opinion and observations about fundraising and/or developments in this race.  (It will be published sometime today or Wednesday if not already published)

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