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Video: Dick Durbin on gun reform: 'This is not the end.'

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At a news appearance on Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said "this is not the end" and called on members to find "political courage" to pass sensible gun safety legislation.
The news conference was held after the U.S. Senate defeated a bipartisan measure that aimed to strengthen background checks. It was designed after the tragic December school shootings in Newtown, Conn.
"We have to do what we can to spare another family from this grief," Durbin said.

"To the families and victims of the shootings in Newtown, Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, and the victims of gun violence in cities and towns like Chicago and East St. Louis across America - You deserved better than what you got today," Durbin said on Wednesday. "But we're not done fighting. We didn't have the votes we needed to overcome a filibuster today, but America, with your help we will get this common sense reform done."

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) rounded out the first quarter of the year with $3.23 million in his campaign fund, placing him in a strong position for a reelection run.

Last month, U.S. Durbin told other Democrats he intended on running for reelection.

The official announcement is expected in coming weeks.

Durbin, 68, raised more than $736,00 in the first quarter of 2013.

According a source close to Durbin's campaign fund, the senior senator from Illinois held about a dozen fund-raising events over the first quarter.

"Durbin's haul is impressive and shows he has continued to be a strong fundraiser even without a formal campaign announcement," said the source.

For more details, click here: Durbincampaign

durbin_jan15.JPGPhoto by Michael Smart/Sun-Times

Here are the seven names U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) forwarded to President Obama to fill vacancies in the Northern District of Illinois. There are three federal judge vacancies, according to Durbin's office.

Since Durbin is the senior senator from Illinois he has the lead role in sending the president recommendations for federal judicial posts. Durbin made the list after the candidates went through a screening committee.

"One of the most important jobs I have as a U.S. Senator is recommending candidates to fill federal judicial vacancies in Illinois," Durbin said in a statement. "The screening committee I set up last year worked diligently to evaluate each application and recommend applicants they thought were particularly noteworthy. After meeting personally with the recommended applicants, I am honored to forward the names of seven well-qualified individuals with proven track records to President Obama. Each of them would make an outstanding nominee for federal district court judge if selected."

Durbin, who was first elected to the Senate in 1996, is the senior senator from Illinois. The senior senator from the President's political party has traditionally had the lead role in making recommendations to the President for the positions of Federal District Court Judge, U.S. Attorney, and U.S. Marshal in the senator's home state. There are currently three judicial vacancies on the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Here are the names and bios:

Jorge Alonso - Judge Alonso has served as an Associate Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County since 2003. He currently serves in the Criminal Division and also presides over a specialty court program for women with mental illness in the criminal justice system. He previously worked for over eleven years as an Assistant Public Defender in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender. He is a graduate of the George Washington University Law School. Judge Alonso lives in Park Ridge.

Michael Brody - Mr. Brody is a partner in the Chicago office of Jenner & Block, where he has worked since 1984. He currently serves as the Secretary of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, where he served on the law review and where he has taught a seminar on class action litigation for the past decade. He served as a judicial law clerk to then-Judge Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Mr. Brody lives in Evanston.

Sara Ellis - Ms. Ellis has worked as a counsel at Schiff Hardin in Chicago since 2008. Previously she served for six years as a staff attorney for the Federal Defender Program in Chicago, for three years as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the City of Chicago Department of Law, and in private practice at Stetler & Duffy in Chicago. She graduated from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she has taught as an adjunct professor. Ms. Ellis lives in Chicago.

Caryn Jacobs - Ms. Jacobs is currently a partner in the Chicago office of Winston & Strawn, where she has worked since 2010. Previously she served for over five years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and worked for about seventeen years at Mayer Brown in Chicago, having become a partner there in 1994. She served as a judicial law clerk to Judge Susan Getzendanner of the Northern District of Illinois. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School. Ms. Jacobs lives in Evanston.

Patricia Martin - Judge Martin has served as a judge in Circuit Court of Cook County since 1996. Since 2000, she has been the Presiding Judge in the Child Protection Division, and she previously served as a judge in the Law Division and in the Child Protection Division. She worked in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender from 1986-1996, ultimately serving as Deputy Chief of the Fifth Municipal District. She is a graduate of the Northern Illinois University College of Law. Judge Martin lives in Chicago.

Mary Smith - Ms. Smith is currently the General Counsel of the Illinois Department of Insurance, where she has served since 2012. She worked as a Counselor in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 2010-2012, where she had also previously served as a trial attorney. She served on the White House Domestic Policy Council from 1997-1999 and as an Associate Counsel in the White House Counsel's Office in 2000. She has also worked as a senior litigation counsel at Tyco International and in private practice. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago School of Law, and served as a judicial law clerk for Judge R. Lanier Anderson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Ms. Smith lives in Lansing.

Andrea Wood - Ms. Wood has served as a Senior Trial Counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Chicago since 2007. Previously she worked as an attorney in the SEC Division of Enforcement and in private practice at Kirkland & Ellis. She served as a judicial law clerk to Judge Diane Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Yale Law School, where she served on the law review. Ms. Wood lives in Chicago.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin hosts a listening session with local law enforcement officials and experts to discuss ways to combat gun violence in the area, with Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Aurora Police Chief Gregory Thomas // Photo by Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

At a Chicago meeting on gun violence today, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin predicted a "close vote" in the U.S. Senate when it came to changing gun laws.

"It's going to be a much more difficult task in the House of Representatives," Durbin said. "It's going to take some extraordinary courage for some members of Congress to step forward."

Durbin said there was undoubted political risk in going against the powerful National Rifle Association.

" It certainly is. I can tell you that. I've had their wrath. As a Downstate Congressman I was one of the few who opposed them and they came out to get me and they almost got it done one year," Durbin said. "They're pretty tough, they're pretty organized. They've got a lot of money and a lot of emotion in terms of their cause."

After sitting with top law enforcement leaders in Illinois, Durbin said he believed that politically "we can seize a moment here," and make streets and schools more safe with a serious discussion about gun laws.

Though the national debate has centered on banning military-style type weapons, Chicago top cops made it clear that there are myriad issues locally. That ranged from strict reporting laws to help track a gun's ownership to upping minimum sentences for illegal gun possession to boosting state databases to better identify those with mental health issues.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin took to Meet the Press Sunday morning to discuss, with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca), the looming fiscal cliff, same sex marriage and Susan Rice's name in relation to the Secretary of State's office.

Durbin and McCarthy basically plumbed the same areas that have been dragged through the public back-and-forth on the fiscal cliff since the election in November - closing loopholes vs. increased tax rates for the wealthy vs. clamping down on entitlements - and managed to point the fingers of blame in the usual directions. The discussion:

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