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).

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.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich last week started showing a little of that "new way" of doing business that he has promised for so many years but so often failed to deliver.

Since day one, Governor Blagojevich has been deep in the pockets of the state's utility industry.

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 might have heard that another poll is showing former Governor Jim Edgar with a commanding lead over Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The poll, taken late last month by the Judy Baar Topinka campaign, has Edgar leading Blagojevich 51 to 38.

It shouldn't have been much of a surprise that Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Oberweis hogged the spotlight at last week's annual Illinois State Fair Republican Day event.

Oberweis' three statewide campaigns have provided ample evidence that he has a propensity for making outrageous claims designed to focus media attention on himself.

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.