E-Mail To Ellicia (from Vanessa Miller, age 16):

Hey hun, how are you? I am doin' just fine. I just got back from the state fair. These last two days have been awesome for me. I have my own press pass for future use and I can pretend that I am all-important.

A budding political dynasty is in deep trouble on Chicago's Southwest Side.

No, I'm not talking about the attorney- general candidacy of House Speaker Michael Madigan's daughter, Lisa. And I'm not referring to former Senate President Tom Hynes' son, Dan, whose re-election as state comptroller is all but assured.

You know it's bad news when the Republican state treasurer has more money in her campaign account than all her fellow GOP statewide candidates and the state Republican Party combined.

Plus, to top it all off, most big-time Republican who filed campaign-finance disclosure reports last week - except Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka - did business with a corrupt little mail house called Unistat, run by the now infamous (and indicted) Roger "The Hog" Stanley.

It's easy to blame the legislative leaders at the Illinois statehouse for accumulating so much power. I've done it a lot, myself.

Dozens of reforms have been proposed to curtail their influence.

The leaders raise the vast majority of all legislative campaign cash, so some reformers want to cap the amount of money they can contribute to candidates.

In a startling election-year power shift last week, Illinois legislators - particularly Democrats in the Illinois House of Representatives - broke ranks with legislative leaders and reclaimed some authority over the troubled state budget.

Mayor

Vince Thomas

Mark Schwiebert

What are the three most pressing issues likely to fact your city during your term, and what specifically would you support to address them?

Thomas: Affordable housing for all income ranges.

Mayor
Dave Duran, Democrat
Candidate did not return survey.
Stan Leach, Republican
Georgine Corby, Independent
What are the three most pressing issues likely to fact your city during your term, and what specifically would you support to address them?
Leach: Need for new I-74 bridge.

Two major issues will dominate discussion in the Illinois General Assembly this year, but one will probably knock the other out of the picture for a few years. Uncertainty surrounding re-drawing Illinois' state and federal legislative districts will probably scare the General Assembly away from passing bills of much significance or controversy, said State Senator Denny Jacobs (D-Moline).

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