In my 15 years writing about Illinois politics, I've never had a better day at the Statehouse than last Wednesday. I'm probably biased because that was the day the World Series champion White Sox came to Springfield.
Federal investigators didn't make it easy for Governor Rod Blagojevich last week. On his big day, when he tried to turn around his political fortunes with "All Kids," a major new public-health-policy initiative formally unveiled in front of a joint session of the General Assembly with most of the state's media in attendance, the feds dropped yet another subpoena.
A friend of mine asked me the other day why I stopped being a Cubs fan five years ago and converted to the White Sox. There were many reasons, but the most important one is that I had grown tired of rooting for a team that didn't seem to care about winning.
Something a bit out of the ordinary happened earlier this month. On Saturday, the Chicago Tribune published a story about a relatively minor allegation of corruption at the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS).
If there was any doubt that Governor Rod Blagojevich will use his dramatic new health-care program for children as a core issue in his upcoming re-election campaign, a flier handed out to state employees last week made things perfectly clear.
After months of indecision, former Republican Governor Jim Edgar finally announced Friday that he wouldn't run for Illinois governor. Edgar's months-long decision-making process often strained the patience of many political insiders, but it created an excitement that was too thick to cut with an ax.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich last week started showing a little of that "new way" of doing business that he has promised for so many years but so often failed to deliver. Since day one, Governor Blagojevich has been deep in the pockets of the state's utility industry.
The U.S. Attorney's office allowed two guilty-plea agreements to weave a sinister tale last week about an alleged "fundraising strategy" supposedly headed by Governor Rod Blagojevich. The alleged "strategy" was designed to strong-arm firms seeking business with the Teachers Retirement System and other state boards into hiring do-nothing consultants who would then kick money back to the governor's campaign fund.
You might have heard that another poll is showing former Governor Jim Edgar with a commanding lead over Governor Rod Blagojevich. The poll, taken late last month by the Judy Baar Topinka campaign, has Edgar leading Blagojevich 51 to 38.
It shouldn't have been much of a surprise that Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Oberweis hogged the spotlight at last week's annual Illinois State Fair Republican Day event. Oberweis' three statewide campaigns have provided ample evidence that he has a propensity for making outrageous claims designed to focus media attention on himself.