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Early voting underway
Early voting begins Monday in Illinois for the Nov. 4 general election.In Champaign County, you have a choice of eight sites where you can cast your ballot early.  County clerk Gordy Hulten said early voting provides an additional way to vote in the election.[player1]Hulten said registered vote
Tom's Mailbag Sept. 26, 2014
Some mysteries solved this week, such as what’s on top of the roofs of some of the UI’s newest buildings, who’s behind a yard sign campaign in Urbana and how some political candidates are doing. The good news: most of the political questions will go away in about six weeks.
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Catching up on the local races
After taking a couple weeks off for vacation and hosting the famous Glow in the Dark Regatta at Clinton Lake, I'm getting excited for the fall election.  A couple things really caught my attention during my break:

103rd State Rep

I wasn't able to attend the Williamson vs. Ammons debate at Mike and Molly's, but hear Ammons hopes to raise the minimum wage to even higher than the $15 per hour rate she mentioned in the primary. I'm looking forward to the SP follow-up article and audio feed. I noticed on her website where she talks about "jobs" and says this, "Small businesses, including microbusiness (up to 5 employees), are an engine of job growth in this economy and should play a greater role in job creation for local communities. In 2011 small businesses accounted for 26 million jobs in the U.S. economy. To grow jobs, we need to look at a combination of large and small business development. As State Representative, Carol will work with the Small Business Administration and the Association for Enterprise Opportunity to create legislation that will support the growth of micro-businesses in the 103rd District." By raising the minimum wage to > $15/hour?? This lady clearly doesn't have an f-ing clue and it is no surprise the Chamber's Business Empowered PAC has contributed $10k to Williamson's campaign. Good for the Chamber for getting behind common sense candidates. In the 103rd district, small business priorities are obviously not going to be the highest priority, but to suggest she is going to be helping small business growth by dramatically raising the minimum wage is silly. Clearly, that mail-order degree she purchased was not an economics degree. This race is not supposed to be a topic of discussion in this dark, dark blue district. The Williamson campaign has made it interesting with a strong candidate and campaign effort.   It would be embarrassing for the local dems if this race ended up being close.

County Clerk


Honestly, I had to spend a few minutes looking up who Gordy's opponent was because I couldn't remember the guy's name. I had to go the comment section of Tom Kacich's article about the lack of debates to get his name (Scott Hayes) and noticed this was his message, "I'll save Mr. Hulten the hassle of a troublesome debate which would only raise more bothersome accountability questions: Would Mr. Hulten or some of his apologists please answer the simple question: "Can you count, man?"" I had sat down with the placeholder candidate Wayne Williams who admitted that his reason for running was to hold Hulten accountable and now we hear this from the last-second candidate Scott Hayes. I think people get it: the local democrats hate Gordy Hulten. I think a much more attractive message would be one that focused on wanting to serve the interests of the county voters and not simply hating on Gordy Hulten.  If you look on the issues for Scott Hayes it's Gordy-centric. I'm looking forward to seeing how this hyper partisan message resonates with the county voters. I mean, I suppose it could work....

13th Congressional Race


The only thing this race has generated was an increase in steak eating within the Bussell household. Outside of Ann Callis promoting steak dinners, her campaign has been a huge flop and I'm feeling a little sorry for the #gaurdiansofthe13th.  This race was suppose to be exciting. Then again, maybe they have something up their sleeves for the home stretch. Impress us....because you haven't thus far.  


Sorry for the lack of content in recent weeks. I enjoyed my time off and look forward to keeping you informed on the latest and greatest as we approach the election.
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!
Carol Ammons pushes for $17/hour (at least) minimum wage in Illinois

At the Smile Politely debate on October 2, 2014, Carol Ammons pushes for a $17/hour minimum "at least" wage and stated that the Governor's $10.10/hour proposal is "inadequate".   

I think Smile Politely did a great job as always, but I'm not sure I agree with Rebecah's take on Ammons' minimum wage answer and explained why in the comment section.  You can watch the entire video of the event by following the link to Rebecah's article on Smile Politely. 

I like the format and think both candidates did a very good job.  Kristin Williamson danced around the minimum wage question and Carol Ammons danced around the Steven Salaita question.   I wish Seth Fein (moderator) would have challenged Ammons on that question the way he challenged Williamson on the minimum wage question, but think it was very fair overall and I appreciated Seth's fun, yet serious approach to the debate. 

  

Capitolfax.com » Callis recycles ad, reportedly lowers buys

From the NRCC, "Rodney Davis just announced today a hugely successful Q3 – over $500k raised with $1.2M cash on hand. Apparently the folks in Washington understand Callis’ campaign is a total flop. What else would explain the fake “new” TV ad?  Has the Pelosi money tree been chopped down?"

(video)

Former Chief Judge and Congressional challenger Ann Callis today released her fourth television ad of the general election, focusing on her pragmatic leaders...

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