Jim Nowlan

Jim Nowlan

Jim Nowlan | Cheatham's Hill a monument to our enduring Union

The Illinois Monument at the Kennesaw Mountain Civil War battlefield north of Atlanta is a rather nondescript vertical block of marble.

Jim Nowlan | Madigan has shut down democracy

Illinois Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan is not the evil Darth Vader trumpeted by opponents' ads — but he has shut down democracy in Illinois and must go.

Madigan is simply an old-fashioned Chicago pol who has had a half a century in office to hone his skills and thus accrue unprecedented power.

Jim Nowlan | Stop neglecting transportation infrastructure

Transportation infrastructure is our crown jewel, sparkling atop the lid on Illinois' economic development toolkit. Neglect the jewel, and it might just slip off. And we are neglecting it.

Jim Nowlan: State slow growth continues

I am writing this the day before the election, so as you read this you know much that I did not yet know. Thus I turn to broader topics: Where are we in Illinois at present, and whither are we tending?

Jim Nowlan: Illinois democracy uneven at best

My sample election ballot offers me slim pickings in terms of votes I can cast that might make a difference. We can do better.

The presidential camps long ago conceded Illinois to Hillary Clinton. As you have probably noticed, there is little active campaigning in our state.

Jim Nowlan: The constants of campaigning

In 64 B.C., Quintus T. Cicero gave the following advice to his more famous brother, during Cicero's successful campaign for consul of the Roman Republic that year:

Exploit the weaknesses of your opponents (he had two), flatter voters shamelessly, promise them anything, and give people hope. He undoubtedly added, though it is not recorded: Spend buckets of money, as they did back then.

Nowlan: Crosstown journey, from wealth to ruin

I took the #20 Chicago CTA bus recently, starting from a canyon of towering office and residential buildings in the central Loop, exuding wealth.

The bus traveled along Madison Street straight west to the depleted Austin neighborhood on the far edge of the city, 60 blocks away but within the long shadow of the Sears Tower, still visible.

Jim Nowlan: Why do we so rarely talk about depression?

My friend Beth Smith asked me to write about this. Beth is community health educator for the Henry-Stark County Health Department. She has personal family experience with what I discuss.

I feel a bit self-conscious, but here goes.

Jim Nowlan: 'Nuclear option' for reform

In the wake of the recent embarrassingly political, 4-3 partisan decision by the Illinois Supreme Court Democratic majority to reject a proposed voter initiative to reduce legislative district gerrymandering, savvy political observer Rich Miller has suggested the "nuclear option" of a voter initiative that would simply abolish the Illinois House altogether.

Jim Nowlan: Special interests' real role

The nearly 2,000 interest groups and individuals registered to lobby in our state exert powerful influence in their respective narrow, special scope of interest, but rarely do they concern themselves with the state's general long-term interests.

The National Rifle Association doesn't get involved in housing issues, and the Realtors don't weigh in on protecting access to AK-47 rifles.