Candidates vying to represent Illinois' 12 Congressional District have agreed to participate in two debates -- one in Belleville and one in Marion.
The candidates are incumbent Rep. William Enyart, D-Belleville; Mike Bost, a Murphysboro Republican; and Paula Bradshaw, a Green Party candidate from Carbondale.
The Belleville debate is set for Oct. 29 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Lindenwood University.
The Marion debate is set for Oct. 8.
The debates will be live-streamed at bnd.com, and will be replayed on WSIU.
U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, says downstate voters shouldn't expect to see much of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner as the campaign gets down to the wire.
Shimkus last week told a gathering of GOP faithful in Edgar County that party leaders have advised Rauner he'll need to get some votes in Democrat-heavy Cook County in order to win. So when he wraps up a campaign swing through 38 downstate counties, Rauner will focus on campaigning in the Chicago area.
"He's been all over Southern and Central Illinois," Shimkus told the gathering, according to a Champaign News-Gazette report. "But we're advising him that after he's through with this massive swing (through Southern Illinois), you know where he needs to be? He needs to be in the suburbs and he needs to be in Cook County to win this for us."
Meantime, incumbent Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn has been hitting the metro-east with regularity. In August, Quinn has been in the metro-east for at least five events. They involved the naming of the approach to the new Mississippi River bridge, projects at the Granite City and East St. Louis ports, and a $3.5 million grant for an East St. Louis swimming pool, and the opening of a new state crime lab in Belleville.
When he won the governor's race in 2010, Quinn carried just three counties: Cook, St. Clair and Alexander, in the far southwest of the state.
Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, says staffers for congressional candidate and former Madison County judge Ann Callis got too rough with protesters at a Callis news conference last week.
The news conference was at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. In video footage, a staffer appears to boast that she ordered a protester to leave and "grabbed his sign." Callis appears to chuckle.
Also on the video is Callis' campaign manager, attempting to remove a person holding an anti-Callis sign.
"Does Ann Callis really think it's appropriate to send her campaign manager out with an errand to manhandle students, and then laugh about it afterward?" Schneider said. He called the actions "over-aggressive."
Callis, a Democrat, is challenging incumbent Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, in the 13th Congessional District.
Callis spokesman David Miyashiro offered the following statement Tuesday: "Knowing that voters don't stand with them on the issues, the Illinois Republican Party continues to resort to lies and smears while Congressman Davis does nothing to condemn these dirty tactics that hurt our democratic process. While Judge Callis has been visiting campuses around the district, talking directly to students about college affordability, Congressman Davis has been nowhere to be seen and clearly prefers to send aggressive cronies to drown out the substantive discussions that need to be had. Our campaign has treated Davis' protesters with respect and hopes Congressman Davis will start showing up at future student events to explain his votes to cut Pell grants."
It's not uncommon to have run-ins involving candidates, staffers and "trackers" -- people assigned by a candidate to follow or videotape an opponent.
You be the judge. Here are the links to the videos:
Don't forget to check out the BND's new social media aggregator, which is set up to gather tweets from the candidates and other politicos. It's a great way to get up-to-the-minute updates about the candidates.
The widget also can gather Instagram posts, and today we've added the first Instagram user.
Here's where to find it: http://www.bnd.com/2014/08/13/3347981/cover-it-live-election-2014.html
If you're a candidate and you have a Twitter or Instagram account, send your user-name information to News-Democrat reporter Brian Brueggemann at firstname.lastname@example.org.