You've probably heard that Governor Rod Blagojevich is fighting with the Illinois Legislature again.

This time, he's claiming the General Assembly is on a "spending orgy" and tossing around taxpayer money like "drunken sailors" who have "run amok.

Addison Township was once king of the state's Republican hill.

The Illinois Senate President (Pate Philip), House Republican Leader (Lee Daniels), and state attorney general (Jim Ryan) all lived in the eastern DuPage County township.

A fascinating month-long political standoff might finally be coming to a close in Kankakee County.

The trouble started when Governor Rod Blagojevich promised state Representative Phil Novak (D-Bradley) a seat on the Illinois Pollution Control Board.

I can only take so much of Illinois politics before I begin to go a little crazy.

Don't get me wrong, Illinois politics is my life. I truly enjoy my job. But, eventually, the bickering, the corruption, the pettiness start to infect my soul and I gotta stop for a while.

Editor's note: This is the fourth and last story in a series of articles being filed from Iraq by River Cities' Reader political columnist and Chicago-based journalist Rich Miller. The previous three stories can be found

As I've told you before, I spent much of my childhood on a farm in rural Iroquois County. One of the chores I thought was completely pointless back then was mowing the ditches.

It was dangerous work.

Editor's note: This is the third in a series of articles being filed from Iraq by River Cities' Reader political columnist and Chicago-based journalist Rich Miller. The previous two stories can be found

This seems like a good time to rate the various U.S. Senate candidates. Let's start with the Republicans.

• Jack Ryan - A handsome multi-millionaire with three Ivy League degrees, quit his investment-banking career and went to work as a teacher in an inner-city school.

The media missed the mark on Illinois Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka's press conference not long ago.

Topinka summoned reporters to issue a public demand that the governor call a special session to deal with the budget problem.

Editor's note: River Cities' Reader political columnist and Chicago-based journalist Rich Miller is spending a month in Iraq. This is the first in a series of articles he's filing presenting an alternative viewpoint on the postwar effort there.

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