Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady has been able to build his political career with the aid of his family’s Bloomington-based real estate development business. But now it is reported the business has been sued twice for defaulting on loans since Brady ran for governor in 2010. One of the lawsuits is playing out in court currently as Brady runs for governor again.

From the Chicago Tribune:

“The family business has continued to struggle. Just weeks before the March primary election, Brady is due in court in Bloomington for a status hearing on a $2.38 million loan default lawsuit filed against him, his brothers and several of their development companies after they failed to make good on a series of loans.

Last year, Brady resolved a $1.7 million default case in Champaign County Circuit Court by selling some of the mortgaged properties to a campaign contributor.

Brady said his inability to pay off the debts was a result of falling land values and the ongoing depressed market for new houses.

“It’s hard to develop land and sell lots,” he said in an interview, adding that he has reduced his interest in the homebuilding business and focused more on sales of existing homes through his ReMax realty offices.

He also sought to frame his own setbacks in the context of a pro-business political platform. Brady decried a tax environment he believes is hostile to business and said the housing market won’t come back until businesses are able to create new jobs around the state.”

While Brady looks ahead to the lawsuit being resolved and a possible win in the gubernatorial race in 2014, Chicagoans have increased taxes and fees to look forward to in 2014. Those include increases in cigarette taxes, cable taxes, property taxes and parking violations.

However, parking meter rates won’t be increasing for the first time since 2009. The Chicago Tribune has a breakdown here of all the tax and fee hikes, measures that “are expected to pump about $32.4 million into city coffers next year.”

Finally, the Chicago Tribune has an op-ed from Republican Senator Matt Murphy on why he voted in favor of the pension reform bill earlier this month.

Writes Murphy:

“As I stood on the Senate floor recently imploring my colleagues to have the courage to remove the cloud of doubt hanging over Illinois’ economy and its public employees, I can honestly say that I feared the outcome of the vote. Fortunately, a majority of my colleagues in both chambers voted to meaningfully address the pension crisis.”

Read Murphy’s entire column here.

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With Christmas in two days, we took a look at the 12 Days of Christmas in Illinois this past year. Singing is not required. Meanwhile, we hope you aren’t on the naughty list this year, but we do know some Illinois figures that would be. Check out our naughty and nice lists here.