The labor-union and trial-lawyer-backed All for Justice independent-expenditure committee has so far reported raising $3.5 million, with, I’m told, at least another $5 million in pledges. The committee’s sole purpose is to back the two Democratic candidates running for the Illinois Supreme Court, Appellate Justice Mary K O’Brien and Judge Elizabeth Rochford. And its spending is finally beginning.

Far-right activist Dan Proft has proved time and time again that he is very effective at calling attention to himself and getting under Governor JB Pritzker’s skin in the worst way.

Four distinct attacks have been launched against Governor JB Pritzker and Democratic legislators in the past couple of weeks, but don’t expect a massive response yet.

I was looking for something else recently on Scott Kennedy’s Illinois Election Data Web site and noticed he had voter-turn-out numbers from statewide races since 1990. We all know that Downstate has lost a significant amount of its political importance, but the numbers really help illustrate this decline.

Way back in 1996, I spent a few minutes walking around the Chicago-based Democratic National Convention with then-House Minority Leader Michael Madigan. Madigan at the time was working to regain his chamber’s majority after the 1994 national Republican wave, combined with the Republican-drawn legislative district maps, to knock the Speaker’s gavel out of his hand. But even with his lessened official status, Madigan was still hugely powerful within his party, and he was clever enough that many figured he’d somehow find a way back.

Back in early July, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, Governor JB Pritzker and the two Democratic legislative leaders, House Speaker Chris Welch and Senate President Don Harmon, issued a joint statement, which in part said: “We plan to work closely together for the remainder of the summer to assess every possibility of what we can do and convene a special session in the coming months.”

The two days of partisan political events during the Illinois State Fair are like miniature, stripped-down, informal versions of national political conventions. They serve as a sort of kick-off to our fall campaign season, so they are usually closely watched by reporters who cover campaigns and by insiders.

The ongoing uproar over Senator Darren Bailey’s 2017 claim that the Holocaust “doesn’t even compare on a shadow” to the lives lost to abortion reminded me of a scene in an old movie called A Bronx Tale.

One of the biggest unsung winners in the fight for control of the Democratic Party of Illinois is House Speaker Chris Welch.

During a sometimes-fiery interview last week, House Speaker Chris Welch pledged to tie House Republican candidates to the far-right top of their ticket and called House Republican Leader Jim Durkin a “failed leader.” A Durkin spokesperson, in turn, called Welch “unhinged.” It started when I asked Speaker Welch if he thought gun-law reform would play a major role in the fall campaign, which is basically just around the corner.