Presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois

Busy Beaver Button Company is located at 3279 W. Armitage in Chicago. Christen and Joel Carter are co-owners of the company and the museum. Monday, September 15, 2014. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media

Buttons point to popularity, and no one is winning in Illinois

Beyond the voters and candidates, the pundits and public relations people, there’s another group that lives for election season: button collectors. The collectors’ quarry doesn’t have much monetary value, but it can reveal voter excitement — or the absence of it. It’s slim pickings this year for Illinois collectors, despite a race for governor and Chicago mayor.

As Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis continues to ponder a run for mayor, CPS employees have been reminded that school district policy means that prohibits improper political activity on the job. | Chandler West/For Sun-Times Media

CPS reminds employees of restrictions on political activity

As petitions began circulating to add the president of the Chicago Teachers Union to the mayoral ballot, the head of Chicago Public Schools reminded employees that engaging in improper political activity on the job could cost them their jobs.

Second Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti’s Sept. 13 announcement of his candidacy marked the unofficial kickoff of the 2015 mayoral campaign. | AP file

Look for a Fioretti & Lewis tango

Fioretti can’t take City Hall on his own. Right now, his standing in the mayor's race is limited to his old base and hyperactive progressives who will take “Anybody but Rahm.” Fioretti could raise $3 million-plus. Count on Emanuel to pull in $20 million-plus. If it’s mano a mano, it’s over. Fioretti needs another contender: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.

Off Message: Fioretti's mayoral prospects

Fresh off his announcement that he's running for mayor, Ald. Bob Fioretti stops by Off Message to talk with Natasha Korecki, Fran Spielman and Dan Mihalopoulos about why he's running, the hurdles he faces and how he plans to defeat Rahm Emanuel, $25 at a time.

Karen Lewis on CTU and mayoral run: 'Yes, I can do both jobs'

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said on Thursday she doesn't see a problem with staying put in her high-profile position with labor should she decide to run for mayor. "Yes, I can do both jobs," Lewis told E&O. "People act like I'm the only one in this office and that I do all these different things. We have a bargaining team of 75 people."

Now that Karen Lewis may be making a run for mayor, she's quickly mastered Twitter.

Hey Karen Lewis, I can still read your Tweets

This might come as a shock to Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis. But I can read her Tweets. I say this because for some reason months ago, Lewis blocked me as a follower after I tried sending her a direct message to follow up on a story.

Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, addresses the crowd at a rally during the teacher strike in 2012. | AP

Pro-Rahm group tells Karen Lewis to choose: Mayor's race or CTU

A group that has supported Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the past on Tuesday called on Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis to make a choice: Declare candidacy for mayor or lead in negotiating the next teachers contract. 

Buttons that a Karen Lewis spokeswoman said are being created by union members and other supporters who want the CTU president to run for mayor. File Photo.

Emanuel versus Lewis shifts up a gear

The not-yet-formally-announced mayoral campaign of Karen Lewis is taking shape. After registering a campaign committee in late August and this month loaning it $40,000 of her own money, Chicago Teachers Union boss Karen Lewis has now put a long-time political activist in charge.

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