I was looking for something else recently on Scott Kennedy’s Illinois Election Data Web site and noticed he had voter-turn-out numbers from statewide races since 1990. We all know that Downstate has lost a significant amount of its political importance, but the numbers really help illustrate this decline.

The proposed merger between the Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS) railways, if approved by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the coming weeks, will mean increased levels of downtown train activity, especially in Davenport.

In 2001, I wrote a tribute to Susie Martens, a fabulous woman who became great friends with my beloved grandmother thanks to the long and abiding friendship between Grandma and Susie's gracious and distinguished father (and Chris' grandfather) Henry “Hank” Wurzer. Chris H. Martens, the oldest of Susie's children, passed tragically and unexpectedly on June 19, 2022. It was a monumental blow to every single person in Chris's life, a loss that reverberates to this moment with no relief hoped for or expected.

Way back in 1996, I spent a few minutes walking around the Chicago-based Democratic National Convention with then-House Minority Leader Michael Madigan. Madigan at the time was working to regain his chamber’s majority after the 1994 national Republican wave, combined with the Republican-drawn legislative district maps, to knock the Speaker’s gavel out of his hand. But even with his lessened official status, Madigan was still hugely powerful within his party, and he was clever enough that many figured he’d somehow find a way back.

George W. Bush signs the USA Patriot Act

Following the deadly events of September 11, 2001, our country was in a state of shock, fear, and utter confusion. How could such an event take place? How was our National Security apparatus and Military caught off guard? What can we do as a nation to ensure nothing like this ever happens again?

Back in early July, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, Governor JB Pritzker and the two Democratic legislative leaders, House Speaker Chris Welch and Senate President Don Harmon, issued a joint statement, which in part said: “We plan to work closely together for the remainder of the summer to assess every possibility of what we can do and convene a special session in the coming months.”

The two days of partisan political events during the Illinois State Fair are like miniature, stripped-down, informal versions of national political conventions. They serve as a sort of kick-off to our fall campaign season, so they are usually closely watched by reporters who cover campaigns and by insiders.

The ongoing uproar over Senator Darren Bailey’s 2017 claim that the Holocaust “doesn’t even compare on a shadow” to the lives lost to abortion reminded me of a scene in an old movie called A Bronx Tale.

One of the biggest unsung winners in the fight for control of the Democratic Party of Illinois is House Speaker Chris Welch.

The time has come to make a personal change as an American, ignoring for the moment any partisan politics because for this purpose, party affiliation simply does not matter. Each of us needs to reclaim our individual authority, expressly acknowledged and protected via the Declaration of Independence, U.S. and State Constitutions, including the Bill of Rights (first 10 Amendments of the Constitution), the cumulative body of laws and substantive due process. That means robustly familiarizing ourselves with the above, especially the Bill of Rights and Declaration.