Stories by Amanda Vinicky

2018 Governor’s Race: Decade-Old Phone Call a Headache for Pritzker

A recording of a nearly decade-old phone call between disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and J.B. Pritzker is causing a headache for the Democratic front-runner for governor.

Jeanne Ives Asks ‘What’s Offensive?’ About ‘Provocative’ Campaign Ad

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s challenger, state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, says she’s been surprised by the “hysteria” surrounding a new ad her campaign released Friday. 

Rauner Speaks of Bipartisanship, Democrats Don’t Believe It

Gov. Bruce Rauner gives his election year State of the State speech, but Democrats – and even some Republicans – cast doubts on the sincerity of his message.

State of the State Preview: Bipartisan and Blows

Even as Gov. Bruce Rauner is expected to call for bipartisanship Wednesday, a source with knowledge of the speech says he will call for legislation that takes direct aim at House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Rauner, Ives Get Heated in Only Primary Matchup

Gov. Bruce Rauner and state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, speak to the media Monday following a debate at the Chicago Tribune.

The Republican candidates for governor squared off Monday for the first, and potentially only, time. 

Competition in Congress: A Primary Preview

Who will take U.S. Rep. Luis Guiterrez’s place in Washington? A preview of that highly competitive contest and others coming up next month.

Watchdog: Senator’s Behavior ‘Unbecoming’ But Not Sexual Harassment

Inset: State Sen. Ira Silverstein (Facebook)

Illinois’ legislative watchdog says state Sen. Ira Silverstein did not sexually harass a victim rights advocate, but that he did violate the state ethics law.

Meet John Lausch, Northern Illinois’ New U.S. Attorney

He is the top federal prosecutor in Northern Illinois. On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney John Lausch gave his first interviews since taking the job, sharing his plans to fight crime and corruption.

Legionella Detected in Illinois Statehouse Complex

Legionalla bacteria – a waterborne pathogen that can cause a type of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease – is present in the water systems at the Illinois state capitol complex in Springfield.

Chicago Women’s March to the Polls Draws Estimated Crowd of 300K

Crowds gather in Grant Park on Saturday for the 2018 March to the Polls. (Amanda Vinicky / Chicago Tonight)

On the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration—and as a federal government shutdown commenced—an estimated 300,000 people in Chicago gathered to express their dissatisfaction with his leadership as part of the Chicago Women’s March to the Polls.

Chicago Makes the Amazon HQ2 Short List. What Now?

Chicago has made it to the second round of cities for Amazon’s HQ2. The question now: What will it take for the city to make it to the final four?

Women’s March to the Polls: What You Need to Know

A crowd estimated at 250,000 participated in the 2017 Women’s March on Chicago. (Alexandra Silets / Chicago Tonight)

Nearly a year to the day that an estimated quarter of a million people gathered in the Loop for the Women’s March on Chicago, activists are set to fill downtown streets again for a March to the Polls this Saturday.

Inside the World’s Only Button Museum

We visit a Chicago museum that presents history in an unexpected way: as told by buttons.

Early Voting for Illinois Primary Election Less Than a Month Away

The Illinois primary is March 20, but you don’t have to wait until then to cast your ballot.

New Plumbing Promised for Quincy Veterans Home

In the face of mounting criticism over his handling of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at a veterans home, Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday promised additional upgrades to the facility.

Official: State’s Response to Legionnaires’ Outbreak ‘Quick,’ ‘Decisive’

Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Nirav Shah appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Jan. 4, 2018 to discuss the state’s opioid epidemic.

Illinois Public Health Director Nirav Shah told lawmakers Tuesday that he’s “proud” of the government’s response to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at a state veterans home in Quincy. But critics say it was a delayed reaction that put veterans at risk.

Obama Presidential Center Parking Garage to Move Underground

The Obama Foundation has given in to criticism, making a change to its plans. The decision comes as the Obama Presidential Center gained new critics: more than 100 University of Chicago faculty members.

The ABCs of Illinois’ New Private School Scholarships, Tax Credit Program

Contributors have pledged $38.5 million so far in 2018 to the state’s new and program, celebrated by advocates of school choice but derided by teachers unions and other critics as a subversion of the public education system.

Food Stamps Restored for 25K in Time for Christmas

The Illinois Department of Human Services announced Thursday that Link cards, which serve as a sort of debit card for food stamps, will be loaded with credit Thursday or Friday. 

How the Federal Tax Overhaul Could Affect You

(Bjoertvedt / Wikimedia Commons)

One change expected to hit individuals in states like Illinois particularly hard: A $10,000 limit on the amount of state and local taxes that can be deducted from your federal taxes. Previously, that deduction was uncapped. 

Why 25K SNAP Recipients Are Suddenly Without Food Stamps

Individuals often drift in and out of the SNAP system intermittently, but the number who suddenly lost benefits spiked last month to 41,000 after recipients apparently missed a Nov. 5 deadline.

Rauner, Berrios Call on Each Other to Resign

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday demanded with heated rhetoric that Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios step down—a call that Berrios, a Democrat, not only refused to heed, but fired back at Rauner.

Holiday Cheer Takes Root at Poinsettia Farm in Woodstock

They appear to be marbled, speckled, dipped and dyed, with names like “Red Glitter” and “Jingle Bell Rock.” We visit a poinsettia farm and learn what it takes to cultivate the crop in time for the holidays.

GOP House Members Call for Action on DACA by End of Year

(Bjoertvedt / Wikimedia Commons)

Thirty-four Republican Congressman, including two from Illinois, sent a letter Tuesday to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan calling for “a permanent legislative solution” for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients before year’s end.

Gov. Rauner Seeking Re-election: ‘I Am Not in Charge’

Gov. Bruce Rauner came into office selling his credentials as a deal-making businessman who could turn Illinois around. But nearly three years into his term, Rauner said he’s “not in charge.”