Lake County politics has been rocked to the core this month by the abrupt resignation of state Representative Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington) and the announcement by Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor that he is dropping out of his reelection campaign after earlier disclosing that he was suffering from drug addiction.

It’s really a mess up there.

Last month, Representative Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) was interviewed by Chicago Public Radio about his new role as interim executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

President Donald Trump visited an Illinois county last week which was once considered a Democratic-party bastion, but has been slipping away to the Republicans throughout this decade.

A couple of years ago, a little more than 1,400 voters took Democratic primary ballots in sparsely populated Warren County, which is about an hour west of Peoria. Almost twice that many took Republican ballots.

Right up front, let’s just stipulate that the recent appointment of state Representaive Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) as the Democratic Party of Illinois’ interim executive director will not usher in an immediate sea-change.

Back in the old, old days, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley would pack passenger trains full of loyalists and send them all to the Illinois State Fair’s Democrat Day rally, where they were treated to rousing speeches by party leaders and candidates. Governor Rod Blagojevich kept that tradition alive on a somewhat smaller scale by chartering buses filled with supporters.

A political-action committee run by top officials of Operating Engineers Local 150 reported a $255,000 contribution last week from a “dark money” organization controlled by the same Local 150 honchos.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan will be on the ballot in just one of Illinois’ 118 House districts this November, but his name and reputation will be featured in electoral battles throughout the state as Governor Bruce Rauner and the Republican Party use Madigan against every Democrat from JB Pritzker on down to maybe even mosquito-abatement district races. Can his lousy statewide image be used to defeat his fellow Democrats?

According to a recent Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll, Democrat JB Pritzker leads Republican Governor Bruce Rauner by nine points, 36-27, with 26 percent choosing an unnamed third-party candidate and 11 percent undecided. In other words, slightly more people said they preferred third party and/or were undecided than supported the frontrunner Pritzker.

If you ask anyone at the Statehouse about House Speaker Michael Madigan’s former chief of staff Tim Mapes, they'll all say he "made the trains run on time.”

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