A bill’s name is part of the game

“Political language,” wrote George Orwell in his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language,” “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.”

If that’s so, then the job of rooting out the truth isn’t made any easier when political language strays into hundreds or thousands of pages, as major pieces of legislation do. But one line has the ability to shape a bill’s reception and chance of passage: the title.

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Cohen volunteer pays drunk man for petition signatures

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Just when Scott Lee Cohen’s push to get on the 2010 gubernatorial ballot seemed that it couldn’t get any weirder, it did. The latest twist includes a curbside argument over money, an allegation that a woman paid someone to lie to a reporter, and an admission by that woman she gave an inebriated man money for signatures he had collected earlier.

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Untrained petition-passers recruited from street to get signatures for Cohen

They say they don’t know who Scott Lee Cohen is, why he’s running for governor or who his opponents are.
They don’t know who can legally sign a petition. But that’s not stopping people hired off the street on behalf of the Cohen campaign from collecting petition signatures for a dollar each.

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City pays $16M in class-action police abuse suit


The City of Chicago is not admitting it violated the constitutional rights of people arrested by the Chicago Police Department despite agreeing to a $16.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit that may affect more than 500,000 people arrested since 1999.

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Campaign 2010 in Illinois: What to expect


With the 2010 general election less than six months away, activists on the left and right are gearing up for a heated midterm fight. This graphic previews the strategies, issues and voter groups both sides will be targeting in the coming months as they work for ballot box victory in November.

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Illinois petition law perfectly unclear

The entrance of Scott Lee Cohen into the race for Illinois governor as an independent candidate has exposed a gaping gray area in state election law: Whether people who voted in the primary election can still sign an independent candidate’s petition in the general election.

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Financial reform, New York to Chicago

Financial experts said some elements of financial reform, described by Obama in Illinois Wednesday, may have unique benefits in Chicago. The plan calls for accountability and ending bailouts, closure of loopholes on derivatives, consumer protections and shareholder say on executive pay.

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Illinois congressman fighting anti-immigration bill – in Arizona

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez is fighting an anti-immigration bill he finds unjust and destructive – that’s no surprise. But the bill is in Arizona, and Gutierrez represents Illinois.

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Judge to Blago: Submit list of tapes you want played

A federal judge told former Gov. Rod Blagojevich Wednesday he won’t waste the jury’s time playing hundreds of hours of secret recordings, but he invited the defense to submit a list of recordings it may want played for the jury, and will consider each individually. U.S. District Judge James Zagel even likened himself to a referee during a long boxing analogy admonishing the former governor.

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Tea party trying to shed reputation as racist, uncivil, fringe

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Underneath the flurry of potent emotions ignited by every mention of the tea party, underneath the rhetoric and talking points, underneath the posters, protests and pundits, there is a movement anxiously trying to reinvent itself — and stepping on its own toes in the process.

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