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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (right) and his former vice presidential running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., arrive Thursday night at the Union League Club in Chicago, where Romney interviewed Ryan’s about his new book, “The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea.” Ryan is on tour to promote the book as he weighs a presidential campaign of his own. | Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Romney, Ryan together again to talk policy — and critique Obama

 
Alderman Robert Fioretti, a potential challenger to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has been speaking to community and business groups around the city as part of his "listening tour." | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times Media

Is Robert Fioretti just listening, or is he running for mayor?

For the last four years Ald. Robert Fioretti has been on what he calls a "listening tour": giving talks to small groups in supporters' homes, showing up at community meetings all over town, and driving side streets and alleys in every ward.

Nine-year-old Antonio Smith was shot to death Wednesday afternoon in the 1200 block of East 71st Street. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Enough is enough: Another senseless child slaying in Chicago

Their names and faces are etched in our minds: Blair Holt; Hadiya Pendleton; Endia Martin; Shamiya Adams; Heaven Sutton; Tanaja Stokes; Starkesia Reed; Tsarina Powell; Jonylah Watkins. This time a 9-year-old is dead — shot multiple times in the backyard of an apartment building in the 1200 block of East 71st Street. 

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (right) and his former vice presidential running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., arrive Thursday night at the Union League Club in Chicago, where Romney interviewed Ryan’s about his new book, “The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea.” Ryan is on tour to promote the book as he weighs a presidential campaign of his own. | Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Romney, Ryan together again to talk policy — and critique Obama

Onetime Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his former running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, reunited in Chicago on Thursday night in a rare joint appearance. The event, dubbed a Romney-moderated interview with Ryan about his new book, “The Way Forward, Renewing the American Idea,” at the Union League Club of Chicago was instead a shared space for both men to voice their opinions — mostly criticism of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Off Message: Rahm and the Unions

Natash Korecki is joined by Fran Spielman, Mark Brown and Kristen Crowell to discuss Rahm Emanuel's relationship with unions, both the ones that support him and the ones that oppose him.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis talks about her childhood, her father, the minimum wage, potholes and other topics Thursday night before nearly 100 people who packed into chicken restaurant Thursday night in the Little Village neighborhood. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

Karen Lewis says dad seeded her populist platform

Sounding like a budding superhero trying to sell her origin story, possible mayoral candidate Karen Lewis delved into her formative years Thursday night before nearly 100 people who had packed into a chicken restaurant in the Little Village neighborhood. On Saturdays, her father would take her for rides in his raggedy old Plymouth, which she called the “Flintstone car.” She joked that if you pulled up the floor mats, you could see the pavement. At age 7, on of those rides, her dad told her, “You get an education, you maintain your dignity and then you fight like hell to never let anyone take that away from you.”

Karen Lewis (right), president of the Chicago Teachers Union, talks with journalist Walter Jacobson on Tuesday night at the Beverly Woods Banquet Hall. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times

Pro-Karen Lewis super PAC on the drawing board

With a robust campaign fund at $8 million and an outside super PAC already weighing in at $1 million, Mayor Rahm Emanuel certainly doesn’t have money problems. But if Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis decides to run against Emanuel, she won’t exactly be scraping bottom. Political insiders tell Early & Often there’s an effort underway exploring creation of a super PAC to counter Emanuel — and benefit a Lewis candidacy.  

 

Maria Bucio, director of La Casa, in Pilsen in 2012 . File Photo. | John H. White~Sun-Times

College dorm in Pilsen says ‘hola’

Polo Briones got a reasonably priced alternative to campus housing when the senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago moved to La Casa, a college dormitory in Pilsen for students attending colleges all over the city. Two years ago I wrote about the opening of La Casa, the first dormitory of its kind in the U.S., designed to house 100 full-time college students spread throughout the city. I stopped by again this week for an update.

50,000 drivers need to claim money from idle I-Pass accounts

Within the next several weeks, 50,000 motorists with a total of $2.2 million in idle I-Pass accounts will get letters telling them to contact the Illinois Tollway by Oct. 1, or else their I-Pass account balances will be transferred to the state’s unclaimed property program, officials warned Thursday.

Defense attorney Beau Brindley is accused in a federal indictment of coaching a witness to commit perjury in a drug case. | Sun-Times File Photo

Rising star defense lawyer charged with obstruction in drug case

Just two years ago, lawyer Beau Brindley stood at one of the peaks of his brilliant young career — representing drug dealer Alexander Vasquez in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

But on Thursday, Brindley’s status as a rising star of Chicago’s criminal defense bar took a severe blow when he was federally indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice in Vasquez’s case.

 
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