Democrat Christine Cegelis lost to longtime Republican U.S. Representative Henry Hyde last year 56 percent to 44 percent. Since then, she has argued that the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) ought to back her this time around in an open-seat contest against Republican Peter Roskam.

I was told a few weeks ago by a very good source that Governor Rod Blagojevich's campaign had assigned people to monitor my blog.

You may know that besides this weekly newspaper column I publish a daily political newsletter called Capitol Fax.

The fact that Ron Gidwitz and Steve Rauschenberger have teamed up to run as a ticket may seem a bit odd at first. But it makes sense in more ways than one, and it's probably their best shot at winning next spring.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka is somewhere in the middle on abortion issues. Because of that, both extremes hate her.

Last week, Planned Parenthood and the pro-choice group Personal PAC held a press conference to urge reporters to find out whether Topinka is pro-choice or not.

The lesson of this story: Be careful what you say, because Washington, D.C., can be a very bizarre, mean, and unforgiving place.

From: Tommy Vietor, Barack Obama press secretary

To: Rich Miller

Subject: Obama press release

U.

I have two George Ryan-related stories for you this week.

First, the irony of former Governor Jim Thompson's decision to defend former Governor George Ryan seems pretty obvious up-front, but there's more than first meets the eye.

Two new polls show pretty much the same thing: Illinois Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka is the only Republican with a solid lead over Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat.

An independent poll conducted by the Glengariff Group and a poll paid for by a Republican businessman both show Topinka leading the governor in head-to-head match-ups.

In my 15 years writing about Illinois politics, I've never had a better day at the Statehouse than last Wednesday.

I'm probably biased because that was the day the World Series champion White Sox came to Springfield.

A friend of mine asked me the other day why I stopped being a Cubs fan five years ago and converted to the White Sox.

There were many reasons, but the most important one is that I had grown tired of rooting for a team that didn't seem to care about winning.

Something a bit out of the ordinary happened earlier this month. On Saturday, the Chicago Tribune published a story about a relatively minor allegation of corruption at the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS).

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