When Governor JB Pritzker announced the state COVID-19 "mitigation" plan for the Metro East on August 16, he said it was done in conjunction "with local officials in the Metro East region and across the border in St Louis." Last week, though, the governor admitted the cross-border arrangement to try to contain the virus's spread was a "mistake." Man, was it ever.

The late Jim Thompson was just 40 years old when he was first elected governor of Illinois in 1976. Rod Blagojevich was called a youthful politician, but he was 45 on the day he was elected governor. Jim Edgar was 44 in November of 1990. After serving 14 years as governor, longer than anyone else in Illinois history, Thompson was still just 54 years old the day he left office.

Tuesday, August 11, was probably the best day, professionally, that Governor JB Pritzker has had in quite a while. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has been a source of legislative frustration for the governor all year. He didn't quite seem to grasp how best to work its process-dominated membership, and he was handed a major defeat back in May when JCAR members in both parties turned thumbs-down on a sweeping plan to impose fines and even jail time on violators of Governor Pritzker's COVID-19 executive orders.

"I need to be able to look myself in the mirror every day," was how Representative Terra Costa Howard (D-Glen Ellyn) explained to me recently why she decided to call for House Speaker Michael Madigan's resignation. "More importantly," the freshman suburban Democrat said, "I had to look at my daughters and remind them what it means to do what's right."

The calls were mostly brief and to the point, recipients said. House Speaker Michael Madigan just wanted to know where his members stood last week after two of his members demanded he step aside as House Speaker and Democratic Party of Illinois chairman. Did they agree with their fellow Democratic state Representatives Terra Costa Howard and Stephanie Kifowit that he should resign? he asked.

A couple of days after the July 17 disclosures in ComEd's deferred-prosecution agreement with the US Attorney's office, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan called individual House Democrats to try and reassure them that all would be well.

According to multiple legislators, the House Speaker told his members that he had done nothing wrong and that he never did things like recommend unqualified people for jobs, and fully expected that, if they were hired, they would actually show up for work.

One of the most politically powerful entities in this state, ComEd has basically admitted bribing the most politically powerful person in this state, House Speaker Michael Madigan, and agreed to pay $200 million and continue cooperating with federal investigators for at least the next three years.

Governor JB Pritzker has not had a lot of luck with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) since taking office in 2019. Governor Pritzker appointed Gustavo Giraldo as his IDES director in March of last year. Giraldo abruptly walked out of the office two weeks later. The Pritzker administration has never explained why.

Months after the nation's economy crashed and millions were (and continue to be) put out of work, a large group of Illinois House Democrats is still quite upset at the way Governor JB Pritzker's administration is handling unemployment insurance-claims.

But the Pritzker administration is refusing to bend on their most important demands, saying the governor will not move selected constituents to the “front of the line” ahead of others, which created a backlash within his own party.

Illinois Rising Action, a dark-money super PAC, is running a TV ad against Governor JB Pritzker. The group is reportedly putting $1 million behind the spot on both cable and broadcast over two weeks.

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