Politics and Government | WGLT

Politics and Government

Legal Immigrant Boosts Trump Online

Mar 14, 2016
Judy Valente / WGLT

Toward the end of Donald Trump's speech in Bloomington Sunday, the Republican presidential front-runner invited a rally attendee on to the stage. Trump said it wasn't a scripted moment, and he was in hopes the Secret Service would allow the guest to approach, who was wearing a T-Shirt with the words, "Legal Immigrant For Trump."

Wikimedia Commons

Both the city of Bloomington Election Commission and the McLean County Clerk's office are pleased with the results of an early voting station at Eastland Mall in Bloomington. Combined, the two jurisdictions saw more than 800 people cast their ballots in the Mall over six weekend days.

Jacob DeGeal

With Illinois in play for both major political parties, turnout is expected to be high election day in central Illinois.


The District 87 School Board has approved issuing annual Reduction In Force notices to eight people. It's part of what has become an annual exercise for many school districts who are legally required to issue layoff notices if they are to avoid guaranteeing a job for the fall.

Bloomington Council To Vote On Economic Development

Mar 14, 2016

The Bloomington City Council will consider options for economic development in downtown during tonight’s regular meeting.

Sparks Fly Between Trump Supporters, Protesters

Mar 13, 2016
Judith Valente

Although there were no violent clashes at Sunday's rally in Bloomington for Donald Trump, there were nonetheless some angry exchanges.

"Trump and Hitler," shouted one woman who held up a sign likening the Republican presidential candidate to  Adolph Hitler. Another protester called out, "Black lives matter." A Trump supporter shouted back at the two women, "That's racist. All lives matter. Respect the police, get a job , contribute to society, stop being a criminal. What's your problem!”


Hours away from the Illinois primary, the campaign's most high-profile presidential candidate stopped off in the Twin Cities. Republican front-runner Donald Trump  made a campaign stop at an airline hangar in Bloomington.

For a half century, U.S. Presidents have received daily briefings on national security threats and opportunities.

Staff / WGLT

The front runner for the GOP presidential nomination touched on familiar themes at a rally at the Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA) in Bloomington. Protesters also had a presence outside the rally and interrupted Trump inside the hangar.

Unknown / NSA.gov

As a federal spy agency weighs where to relocate in the St. Louis area, it now is being offered free land at two sites. Several top political leaders from the Missouri side of the region say 99 acres of no-cost land is now part of the effort to woo the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to north St. Louis. Illinois leaders are also offering free land near Scott Air Force Base and have pledged $115 million for transportation improvements. Two St. Louis County sites are also in the running.

Congressman Darin LaHood

Central Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood said the current havoc apparent in the GOP presidential primary is a result of a disenfranchised electorate.

In a Sound Ideas interview with Willis Kern, the Republican from Dunlap said, "I wish the rhetoric and the name-calling hadn't been elevated like it has. It's unfortunate, and I wish we could talk about policy, and I think that's what we need to stick with. But it's part of the democrat process."

Donkey Hotey / Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump won big on Super Tuesday in the Republican Party. So did Hillary Clinton on the Democratic Party side.

Michael Coghlan / Creative Commons

Even as Governor Bruce Rauner announced his first steps toward criminal justice reform Wednesday, a police group says the lack of a state budget is making Illinois a more dangerous place to live.

Meg Lantz

With the Illinois primary now less than two weeks away, more presidential hopefuls will be campaigning in the state, especially with the stakes being so high. While voter turnout in primaries tends to be lower than the general election, young voters are showing extreme interest in this campaign.

Even young people who are still a few years from being old enough to cast their first ballots. WGLT's Jon Norton spoke with Terri Lantz of Bloomington, and her 16-year old daughter Bridget, who says her political leanings are shaped in part by the type of music she enjoys.

Bloomington Public Library

The Bloomington Public Library faces a number of challenges and opportunities, most of which will wait until a new director is found.


Many laid off Mitsubishi workers are still searching for new directions after the plant ended production last year.

The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from Springfield, Illinois, officials seeking to reinstate an ordinance that banned panhandling in the city's downtown historic district. The justices have let stand an appeals court ruling that said the city's ban was unconstitutional. The ordinance defined panhandling as a verbal request for the immediate donation of money. A federal appeals court ruled last year that the ban infringed on free speech rights. The city argued that the anti-panhandling ordinance was meant to regulate the behavior of panhandlers but not their message.  

College-Age Voters Defy Easy Definitions

Feb 29, 2016
Miami Dade College

Recent primary contests indicate that young adults could play a key role in selecting the next president. Many college students are volunteering to work on primary campaigns. With Super Tuesday nearly here and the Illinois primary coming up next week, college-age voters have another chance to influence the political landscape. But many of these young voters defy easy description.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The Bloomington Normal Economic Development Council is readying its annual trip to Washington D.C. 39 members of various groups will pay their own way to the nation's capitol to meet with elected officials and agency workers about the priorities of the region.

Jim Browne / WGLT

Journalists in Illinois have come up short trying to get information about Governor Bruce Rauner's state email.


Twin cities water workers are reassuring the public the lead contamination that happened to Flint, Michigan is unlikely in central Illinois.

Bloomington Back In Black

Feb 22, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

Bloomington Aldermen heard next year’s budget proposal from City Manager David Hales and Finance Director Patti-Lynn Silva. The plan includes $207 million in spending, with $9.7 million coming from the sales tax increase passed last year. The proposal also eliminates the $7.5 million structural deficit projected last year.

Creative Commons

A federal judge is easing travel restrictions during Jesse Jackson Jr.'s supervised release so the ex-congressman can take his children to visit his imprisoned wife more often and see the children's grandparents in Chicago.  

Court documents show the judge signed the order Monday after Jackson's attorneys filed it. The motion says it's burdensome that Jackson and the children are limited to monthly visits with his wife and unable to visit Chicago family, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson.  

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has broken with fellow Republicans by saying he ``looks forward'' to President Barack Obama nominating a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Kirk says the constitution gives the president, Republican or Democrat, the right to send a nominee to the Senate.

He says he swore an oath to uphold the constitution, "not to a party or any one individual." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans say the next president should choose Scalia's successor.  

Darron Birgenheier / Flickr

The extent to which Donald Trump remains the front runner depends on how long John Kasich stays in the GOP Presidential primary race. That's according to ISU Political Scientist Kerri Milita speaking on GLT's Sound Ideas.

McLean County League of Women Voters

Among those going to the polls during the March 15 presidential primary in Illinois will be a large number of first-time voters, many still in high school. A change in voter registration rules is allowing young people to vote in the primary as long as they will turn 18 by the general election on Nov. 8.

Phylis VerSteegh of the McLean County League of Women Voters has been going out to schools with other League members to register these young voters and listening to their comments on the long list of presidential contenders. 

District 87 Schools

The District 87 school board recently passed a $10 million working cash fund bond to make up for the lack of certainty over money coming from the state. Superintendent Barry Reilly says the interest could be in the neighborhood of $200,000.

Bloomington Council Considering Downtown Project

Feb 16, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council may participate in the development of a hotel and conference center downtown. During a committee meeting, aldermen informally supported an inducement resolution, which is usually the first step in issuing bonds.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk

Three Democratic contenders aiming to replace Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois are pressing him to take a definitive position on who should choose a replacement for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

State agriculture director Raymond Poe was honored Tuesday by his former peers in the General Assembly. The Illinois House passed a resolution recognizing Poe, a Springfield area Republican, for his service. Representative Don Moffitt, a Knox County Republican, says it's bittersweet; bitter because Poe won't be in the house, sweet because Poe will do good things statewide.