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[11 Aug 2017 | No Comment | ]

For field goal kickers and punters in football, as well as for astute politicians, distance is the difference between winning and losing.

In 2018, Republican candidates will be busily putting distance between themselves and President Donald Trump. And in 2019, those Northwest Side Chicago aldermen who don’t distance themselves from Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be at serious political risk.

In recent years, Emanuel has imposed a phone tax, jacked-up water rates to cover one city pension shortfall, increased property taxes to cover teachers’ pensions, and brought in a budget higher every year …

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[14 Jul 2017 | One Comment | ]

Mike Madigan, like that poetic old gray mare, just ain’t what he used to be. The speaker is no longer the undisputed master of Springfield. He has failed his members; he has failed his party; and he may have insured the 2018 re-election of Illinois Republican governor Bruce Rauner.
By passing a personal and corporate income tax hike, and a $36.1 billion budget, Madigan has done precisely what he has been trying to avoid for more than 700 days – hang the blame on the Democrats. Madigan wanted to get a …

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[20 Apr 2017 | No Comment | ]

Embattled Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner caught a bit of good news lately: According to a nationwide poll, he’s only America’s eighth-worst governor. He dropped a notch from ninth when Alabama’s governor recently resigned while facing impeachment.

Republican Rauner can look on the bright side: There’s just 41 governors deemed less-worse, and he’s gradually growing less-unpopular. And there are still seven governors viewed as worse, including New Jersey’s Chris Christie.

Conducted by pollster Morning Consult, 85,000 registered voters were surveyed in all 50 states, and asked: Do you approve or disapprove of your …

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[30 Mar 2017 | 2 Comments | ]

Most people who reside in north suburban Evanston think that they are special. While there is a modest amount of black and Hispanic folks around in Evanston, most residents are white, affluent, ideologically “progressive” meaning liberal and Democratic, obsessively politically correct and they think they know what is best.

Evanston, population 74,239, is a city where there is zero-tolerance for anybody who doesn’t think and act like they’re supposed to. Conformity is the norm. They rejected the abominable Donald Trump 34,038-2,808 or 88.4 percent on Nov. 8, which topped Barack Obama’s …

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[22 Mar 2017 | No Comment | ]

Marty Maloney, the current acting mayor of northwest suburban Park Ridge, is over-worked, underpaid, unappreciated, unknown and, according to his April 4 opponent, Lucas Fuksa, is inept, devious, disingenuous, non-transparent and unaccountable. That’s a huge mouthful of negativity.

The conundrum confronting Fuksa is simple: How do you convince voters to throw out an “acting” incumbent nobody knows, in an election where nobody cares? Maloney is “Mayor Nobody,” which makes attacking him dicey: It either makes him better known, or negatively defines him. Fuksa is doing neither.

Park Ridge is economically booming. There …

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[29 Dec 2016 | No Comment | ]

Illinoisans have no cause to be modest. The state’s legislators are unquestionably the best that money can buy, and Bruce Rauner, Mike Madigan and John Cullerton spent a combined $100 million to purchase them in 2016.
The second most underreported Springfield political story of 2016 is that the governor got more bang for his bucks while the speaker got his proverbial clock cleaned, losing his precious House super majority. Madigan’s Democratic majority dropped from 71-47 to 67-51. The Madigan-funded Democratic candidate lost to the Rauner-funded Republican in seven of the nine …

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[8 Dec 2016 | 2 Comments | ]

As the hapless Mark Kirk fades into oblivion after one forgettable term as a Republican U.S. senator from Illinois, he will be remembered for two reasons.

First, Kirk is the worst beaten senator in the state since 1948. Kirk lost to Democrat Tammy Duckworth 2,908,363-2,150,099 in November, an astounding margin of 758,264 votes. If there is any consolation for Kirk, he did top Donald Trump’s 2,140,595-vote performance, if only by 9,504 votes.

Kirk made a gargantuan effort to separate himself from Trump, claiming to be an independent senator, pointedly withdrawing his endorsement …

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[23 Sep 2016 | 3 Comments | ]

The 2016 contest for Cook County Circuit Court Clerk is one of mind over matter. In short, for the great bulk of voters, it’s out of mind and doesn’t matter.
For any politician or political candidate, a quick indictment is good to have…as long as the indictee is your opponent. For Diane Shapiro, the 2016 Republican candidate for the office, an indictment of 16-year incumbent Dorothy Brown before Nov. 8 is potentially the difference between victory and defeat. Or maybe not.

Brown manages – or, as many suggest, mismanages – the county’s …

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[21 Jul 2016 | One Comment | ]

Here’s a multiple-choice question: If you are one of 110 elected Democratic legislators in Springfield, 71 in the House and 39 in the Senate, to whom are you subservient and from whom do you take your orders?

(a) House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.
(b) Legislative staff.
(c) Political campaign staff.
(d) The Democratic Party of Illinois.
(e) Your constituents.
(f) None of the Above.

If you answered (a), (c) or (d), you are a shrewd observer of the Illinois political scene, and you probably suspect that (a) is a bit more blameworthy than …

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[15 Apr 2016 | No Comment | ]

In the past, at least through the mid-1990s, judicial aspirants in Cook County lusted after some magical letters, such as HQ, Q and R. Those letters indicated qualification ratings from various bar associations, signifying highly qualified, qualified and recommended. An NR – “not recommended” – usually was the kiss of death.

Not any more. The only letters which currently matter in getting elected judge are XX, as in the female chromosome. XY, the male chromosome, is now the kiss of death. Twenty of the 29 countywide or subcircuit judges nominated in …