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).
If there was any doubt that Governor Rod Blagojevich will use his dramatic new health-care program for children as a core issue in his upcoming re-election campaign, a flier handed out to state employees last week made things perfectly clear.
The U.S. Attorney's office allowed two guilty-plea agreements to weave a sinister tale last week about an alleged "fundraising strategy" supposedly headed by Governor Rod Blagojevich.
The alleged "strategy" was designed to strong-arm firms seeking business with the Teachers Retirement System and other state boards into hiring do-nothing consultants who would then kick money back to the governor's campaign fund.
You probably don't know this, but Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn has attended all but three of the 92 wakes and/or funerals held for Illinois servicemen and -women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The three he missed (because he was out-of-state) were attended by a top member of his staff.
There are some important milestones in every statewide campaign. The benchmark polling is the first. In the race for governor, Judy Baar Topinka won that one hands down, but wasn't as far ahead, perhaps, as she should have been.