Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford really has her work cut out for her if she wants to forge a compromise on an elected Chicago school board.

Roby Smith Iowa State Senator District 47 and Bobby Kaufmann Iowa Representative District 73

Throughout America, state legislatures are engaged in election reform to secure their states' election integrity by codifying policies, including the prohibition of certain toxic practices that prevailed under an umbrella response to COVID-19, but undermined election processes in varying degrees. Ten states are including the elimination of private funding of public elections, as well as other measures regarding voter identification, signature approval, securing gaps in counting ballots, mostly common-sense measures that would return voter confidence to elections.

Since 2006, federal law has capped annual interest-rates on payday loans to active-duty military members at 36 percent. The interest-rate cap was broadened in 2015 to include several more types of personal, unsecured loans. In Illinois, meanwhile, payday loan-borrowers have been subjected to average annual interest-rates of close to 300 percent.

When Marigold Resources' branding and agribusiness adviser Larry McDonald came up with the idea to re-purpose the portion of the I-74 Bridge that used to house the toll plaza operations into an elevated park on the Mississippi River, his concept rendering (pictured above) was posted to several social-media and LinkedIn accounts. 

I’ve given Governor JB Pritzker some grief for his failures during the past few months. His graduated income-tax proposal went down in flames in November. He failed to pass his top priorities during January’s lame-duck legislative session. And his candidate for Democratic Party of Illinois chair lost to US Representative Robin Kelly earlier this month.

Dr Seuss Cat in the Hat Sculpture at Geisel Library University of California San Diego

Political influence is permeating every facet of American society: culture, laws, finance, and most alarming of all, education.  If you are wondering where all the drama is coming from with censoring Dr. Seuss books, blurring gender lines, Critical Race Theory training prohibited then reinstated throughout the public sector, and Social Emotional Learning with its hyper focus on diversity and racism, the origins can be found largely in academia. 

Both Academia and M5M are largely financed by familiar foundations and NGOs, including the Rockefeller Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Welcome Trust … . The list is not surprising. Their patronage underscores what Justice ClarenceThomas accurately coined “The bigotry of low expectations.”

For the first year or so of Governor JB Pritzker’s administration leading up to the beginning of the pandemic, his polling wasn’t exactly horrible, but it was still pretty darned underwhelming. But after some spectacular, crisis-induced polling-spikes last year, the governor has seemingly come back down to Earth.

When legal questions were raised about US Representative Robin Kelly’s campaign for state Democratic Party chair last week and Kelly only got stronger, that should tell you a couple of things.

Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch gave his standard reply to a question about redistricting reform last week when queried at the Chicago Economic Club, saying different people have different opinions about what a “fair map” actually is. But then the new House Speaker leaned a bit harder into the concept of protecting minority rights when redrawing the new legislative district maps than I’ve heard him do in the past.

“The 22nd District is a garden,” then-House Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters several years ago when asked about his House district. Some thought it was funny, but he was serious. And he’s most definitely the head gardener. I’ve often said that Madigan, who officially resigned from the House on February 18 after more than 50 years in office, ran the Speaker’s office like he ran his ward and district offices. The House was an even bigger garden than his home turf.

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