Top folks in the governor’s office said they didn’t quite understand last week why the Senate Democrats and the spokesperson for House Speaker Michael Madigan were so upset with them about canceling last Thursday’s leaders meeting to discuss ending the long Statehouse impasse and finishing up a budget.

As Senate President John Cullerton sees it, Governor Bruce Rauner “needed an excuse” to veto a bill last week that would’ve given the Chicago Public Schools $215 million for its June 30 pension payment. And Cullerton believes he turned out to be that excuse.

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.

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