On election night, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan started making his usual post-election calls to his Democratic members asking for their support for his re-election as speaker. But at least a couple said they’d like to sit down with him before providing a firm answer.

There’s been a lot of spin from the Illinois House Democrats about how Tuesday’s losses were not that big a deal. Don’t believe it.

The innocuous-looking mailer began arriving November 2.

During any given campaign season, one or maybe two state-legislative campaigns wind up running ads on Chicago broadcast-television stations. But in the age of Governor Bruce Rauner’s gigantic campaign contributions, it may be easier to count the number of Chicago-area candidates who aren’t running any city broadcast ads.

Democratic House candidate John Bartman was appointed to the ballot in July when Representative Jack Franks (D-Marengo) dropped out of the race to run for McHenry County Board chair. Bartman is not getting help from the House Democrats, who appear to have all but conceded.

Presidential candidates set the turnout. That’s the race voters care about the most by far, so everybody else who’s running down-ballot essentially has to work within the structure of that year’s presidential-turnout numbers.

A harsh new TV ad slams Representative John Bradley (D-Marion) for supporting a convicted sex offender. It’s described by the Republicans as a form of payback for all the sex-offender-related ads that the House Democrats have been using against Republicans this year and in years past.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is reportedly mulling whether to settle a civil-rights lawsuit filed eight years ago by the Chicago Urban League. The suit essentially claims that Illinois’ education-funding system violates minority students’ rights because a disproportionate number of those kids reside in areas with the lowest property wealth and also attend schools with majority-minority enrollment. They’re basically getting shafted by the state, so they sued.

Since his inauguration, Governor Bruce Rauner has consciously aped Washington, DC’s notoriously noxious battle to “win” the daily media spin cycle. Rauner has a set base of talking points based on tried and true poll-tested topics, and he rarely if ever deviates.

Republicans have been saying behind the scenes that they have put four Democratic state Senators “on the bubble”: Tom Cullerton in DuPage County, Melinda Bush in Lake County, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant in Will County, and Gary Forby in southern Illinois.

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