State Senator James Meeks (D-Chicago) has continually brushed aside notions that he wouldn’t run for governor on a third-party ticket, saying last week, for instance, that he is very encouraged by the results of a new poll he commissioned that shows him right in the race.

The Meeks poll has some more bad news for Governor Rod Blagojevich, but also a rare spot of good news. 
Whenever there's a big story, a calamity of some sort, an outrage, or some type of disaster, you can bet that a lobbyist or special-interest group will try to take advantage of the situation to push its own legislation in Springfield.
I'm from Kankakee. That accident of birth automatically put me on George Ryan's "A" list. Everybody from Kankakee was given special treatment. Ryan treated me differently from many other reporters. But being from Kankakee also had its downside.
Despite what they said, it's not too hard to figure out why the Senate Republicans blocked two construction-bond bills proposed by Democrats, one for education and the other for roads and bridges. The idea is to starve the governor and the Democrats of cash for projects that they could use to promote their re-elections this fall.
For the first time, a statewide poll has included state Senator James Meeks in the gubernatorial mix, but the results are not yet encouraging for the potential third-party candidate. Meeks is an African-American minister and state legislator who has been threatening to run for governor for the past several weeks.
The paranoia level is pretty much at an all-time high at the Illinois Statehouse. Walk past House Speaker Michael Madigan's office and there's a good chance you'll see him standing in the hallway talking on his cell phone.
I'm not sure how long it will last, but black voters in Cook County are united and fired up right now like they haven't been in a long time. It goes back to Barack Obama's 2004 Democratic primary victory, but it flamed back up in January, when Chicago's historic Pilgrim Baptist Church burned down.
Alexi Giannoulias has big trouble ahead. As I write this, the wealthy, young, telegenic Democratic candidate for treasurer was favored to win this week's primary. U.S. Senator Barack Obama appears in his TV ad, and the latest Chicago Tribune poll shows Giannoulias leading downstater Paul Mangieri by 14 points.
After reading Marty Kovarik's sworn statement for the Jim Oberweis campaign last week, I came to the conclusion that his story has more holes in it than Dick Cheney's hunting buddy. Kovarik was Judy Baar Topinka's deputy treasurer in 1995.
As I write this, Governor Rod Blagojevich has made a real mess of things at the Illinois Statehouse. Through his inept handling of a silly little matter, he has managed to pit black legislators against Jewish legislators and Jews against each other.