Republicans have waited a long time for some good news in this state, and it finally arrived last week. U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald announced he wouldn't run for re-election, and former Governor Jim Edgar hinted that he just might enter the race.
The cacophony of angry voices has started rising to a fever pitch in the wake of Governor Rod Blagojevich's state budget address last Wednesday. Most of the complaining is coming from three areas: riverboat owners; elementary and secondary educators; and higher-education institutions.
The state's new deputy governor, 29-year-old New York native Bradley Tusk, evidently has a lot to learn. Tusk was appointed to the important job not long ago even though he has absolutely no Illinois political experience and has never managed anything larger than a tiny staff.
You might have heard that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich wants to "re-finance" some state debt, which will supposedly free up $1.9 billion to help close the state's massive $4.8-billion budget deficit.
But the media coverage of this plan has been ill-informed, at best, mainly because the governor has done a good job of obfuscating the issue.
Back in the day, Ray Frias was one of the sharpest political operators at the Illinois statehouse.
The Chicago south-sider was first elected to the Illinois House in 1992 after securing the unlikely support of the Illinois State Medical Society, a usually Republican-leaning group with very deep pockets.
Just when you think you've seen it all, Pat Quinn hits the mute button - a device nobody ever thought he possessed.
Lieutenant Governor Quinn, a self-styled consumer activist, has for well over 20 years raged against the political clout wielded by the company formerly known as Ameritech, then Ameritech/SBC, and now just plain ol' SBC.
Illinois State Representative Julie Hamos (D-Chicago) begged me last week not to make her out to be some kind of lone-wolf hero or get her in trouble with her fellow legislators. But what she did rates a notice.