Eastern Illinois University’s legislative liaison Katie Anselment had some strong words for legislators during an Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee hearing last week.

Four years ago, I mistakenly believed candidate Bruce Rauner would take a page from Governor Rod Blagojevich’s 2014 reelection playbook and immediately bury Governor Pat Quinn under a mountain of negative advertising. Instead, Rauner waited until July 11 to air his first general-election TV ad.

So what’s it gonna be this year?

Several months ago, House Speaker Michael Madigan’s chief of staff Tim Mapes made copies of candidate nominating petitions for what appeared to be every single candidate in the state, regardless of party or office sought. Madigan’s spokesperson was mum when asked why.

It turns out that a database was constructed of the names of all the petition circulators who worked during the primary.

I’ve read, watched, and heard a whole lot of commentary about the upcoming state-budget negotiations during the past few weeks and it pretty much all ignores recent history and focuses instead on one-sided claims of pending controversy.

JB Pritzker appears to have chosen a solid message for the fall campaign. The overall theme at the successful Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s press conference the day after he won the primary race was “Bruce Rauner is a failed governor.” The message is also the primary subject of his online advertising push against Rauner.

The oddest political couple in all of Illinois did pretty well in last Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of a gun-dealer licensing bill last week took a lot of folks by surprise. It probably shouldn’t have.

House Speaker Michael Madigan cares most about three House votes: The votes every two years for both the next Speaker and the House rules; and the vote every 10 years on the new state legislative district maps.

Sources in both parties said last week that their tracking polls were showing a dip in support for Senator Daniel Biss and a trending increase for Chris Kennedy in the Democratic primary race for governor.

Madigan had to dump two top campaign advisers after #MeToo scandals, and more controversy is almost undoubtedly on the way.

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