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First lady Michelle Obama speaks during a campaign event for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn at the University of Illinois Chicago earlier this month. (File Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

How first lady, Rauner factor into their parties' House races

Off Message: Election Preview

Natasha Korecki, Lynn Sweet, Madeleine Doubek and Mary Mitchell preview the upcoming election from the race for a U.S. senate seat to the referendums that will show up on the ballot.

GOP senators' message to President Barack Obama on immigration legislation? Hold the phone. | Getty Images

GOP senators urge Obama wait on immigration legislation

WASHINGTON — The three Republican senators responsible for comprehensive immigration legislation, which remains stalled in Congress, on Thursday urged President Barack Obama to hold off on any steps to shield millions of people from deportation.


Your guide to voting for Cook County judges

Cook County voters on Tuesday will be asked to elect dozens of judges, many of whom have had little publicity during this election season. To assist voters, numerous local bar associations have provided ratings for each judicial candidate. The chart below lists these ratings from the following associations:

Exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington in 2013. File Photo. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

IRS’ blithe seizure of assets should terrify us

 The IRS, looking for tax cheats, has a rule where banks must flag cash deposits over $10,000. So in an attempt to avoid this scrutiny, drug dealers and other criminal types keep their deposits under $10,000. But legal small-business owners also make regular small cash deposits. You’d think the IRS would differentiate between running a drug ring and running a bakery. But they didn’t.

Bruce Rauner (left) and United States Senator Mark Kirk wait to be introduced at news conference announcing the Veterans for Rauner Coalition in September. File Photo. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times

Sen. Mark Kirk stumping for Rauner, Dold

In the closing days of toss-up campaigns, Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill., is stumping with GOP governor nominee Bruce Rauner and former Rep.

Arkansas candidate's 'American dream' includes sewage, stripping

John Burkhalter, Arkansas’ candidate for lieutenant governor, says he has "lived the American dream," which included time spent working as a male stripper, and a job that included bucketing "sewage out of the sewers with a five-gallon bucket on a ski rope with an ice scoop in my hand."

Michelle Obama will speak at two commencement speeches this year as part of two video contests. | AP

Michelle Obama wants to come to your graduation ceremony

WASHINGTON — High school and college students are competing for Michelle Obama to come to their schools to share her wisdom about moving on to higher education and adulthood.

Three Ways ACA is affecting Business

More often than not, when healthcare reform is brought up, the impact and the interests of businesses are lumped together, as if each faces with the same challenges as the next.

Dr. Linda Brubaker, Dean of the Loyola University of Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, talks to students after accepting one of three Tradition of Excellence awards in 2012. File Photo. | Curtis Lehmkuhl

Students not legal — but superb

Dr. Mark Kuczewski of Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine heard of a star student on the West Coast who wanted to be a doctor, but she was not a legal resident. Medical schools were not accepting such students. Kuczewski and higher-ups at Loyola moved quickly to allow undocumented students to compete for admittance. Loyola was the first to make the change and 34 universities have so far followed suit.