Illinois politics | St. Louis Public Radio

Illinois politics

Illinois will host what could be the most expensive race for governor in U.S. history. The huge increase in campaign spending raises a lot of questions about the rise of big money in politics. Between now and the election, Illinois Issues will examine the impact in a series we're calling Money Machines.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 13, 2011 - St. Clair County's former regional superintendent officially kicked off his congressional bid, pledging to continue Democratic U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello's legacy of securing federal funds for projects across southern Illinois.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 12, 2011 - A Carbondale native who appeared in a memorable series of pro-veteran ads during the 2010 election cycle is trying his hand at electoral politics.

Chris Miller, a 31-year-old Army veteran who served two tours of duty in Iraq, is running as a Democrat in Illinois' 12th Congressional District. The race for that seat is garnering lots of attention because U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, is retiring.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 22, 2008 - So now we're mad?

A couple of weeks ago, Illinoisans woke to the news that our governor had been hauled from his Chicago home in handcuffs. Federal officials swept in just before dawn, they said, to stop him from selling the state's vacant U.S. Senate seat. In the capital city of Springfield, filled with mid-level government workers, it was hard to find anyone who could drum up sympathy for our second-term chief executive.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 21, 2008 - Even if Gov. Rod Blagojevich had been comatose instead of incriminatingly verbose, it would have made no difference: Illinois lacks a blueprint for urgently removing an incapacitated governor unable or unwilling to step aside.

The state Constitution approved by voters nearly four decades ago directed the legislature to establish one. It also instructed the Supreme Court to do so if the General Assembly balked. But the lawmakers and the justices have failed us even after being reminded of their obligation five years ago.

Commentary: Pardon me? Or thee?

Dec 18, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 18, 2008 - Article II, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution provides that the president "...shall have the Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in cases of Impeachment."

The founders obviously anticipated that Illinois would eventually achieve statehood and elect a governor. Three of the last seven men to hold that post wound up in prison. With the current occupant of the office presently out on federal bond, the odds look good that the magical 50 percent convict-to-governor ratio could soon be breached.

Commentary: Who will replace Barack Obama in the Senate?

Nov 9, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 9, 2008 - Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has an important decision to make — determining who will fill Barack Obama’s seat in the Senate. There will be two years remaining in his Senate term when Obama takes the presidential oath of office.

The governor has two important factors to keep in mind while making this appointment. 

Metro East incumbents win as expected

Nov 5, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 5, 2008 - They voted in the metro-east Tuesday, but the campaign season had little of the fervor common in the "battleground" states around the nation. With more than half of the votes in, favorite son Barack Obama rolled up a large majority in Illinois, and incumbent U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin swamped his dentist opponent.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 17, 2008 - Republicans used to have a fighting chance in Illinois politics. The GOP for years held the governor's mansion and at least one of the U.S. Senate seats with such officials as Gov. James Thompson, Gov. Jim Edgar, Sen. Charles Percy and Sen. Peter Fitzgerald. Incumbent Democrats didn't have a lock on re-election in statewide races.