Austin Berg | Illinois looks for leadership, but familiar faces remain

It's easy to criticize longevity in politics. "Career politician" is a pejorative for a reason. But there's a big difference between persistent public service and a political machine.

Unfortunately, the latter has won out in the Illinois General Assembly.

George Will | A declared candidate who believes in what he has lived

WASHINGTON — The world's oldest political party has developed an aversion to discretion. The Democratic Party is manacled to an over-caffeinated base that believes that deft government can deliver parity of status to everyone while micromanaging the economy's health care sector, which is larger than all but three other foreign nations' economies.

Capitol Fax | Female candidates bring new sense of enthusiasm

I had the pleasure of meeting several Democratic women candidates from Lake County during the Illinois State Fair last summer. Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) was showing them around town and brought them to a reception I was attending. We chatted for a while before they went on their merry way.

Jim Dey | 'I was comforted by the fact that Bob was so involved in the church'

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." — Matthew 25:40

Real Talk | Building a new leftist electorate

The 2018 midterm election was transformative. The blue wave was darker, deeper and broader than pundits expected or recognized on election night.

The election results shattered fictions promoted by both President Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin's "boy," Donald Trump.

Tom Kacich | A closer look at general election

One more look back at the 2018 midterm election in Champaign County, plus some items of history and Thanksgiving.

Dan McCaleb | Target's choice highlights Chicago's, Illinois' poor policy decisions

Picketers rallied outside a Chicago Target store this week, protesting the retail giant's decision to close two stores on the city's South Side.

That's their right, but perhaps these picketers also should have rallied outside of City Hall — and the state Capitol in Springfield — to protest the types of poor policy decisions that make it difficult for businesses in Illinois to succeed.

Jim Dey | Mentally ill inmates pose huge challenges

Illinois prison officials face intractable problems dealing with inmates suffering from serious mental-health woes, a problem that so far has required more resources to address than what the state can acquire.

The problem — mental illness behind bars — was recently highlighted in separate decisions by federal judges, one presiding in Peoria and the other in East St. Louis.

Jim Dey | Former state legislators have got a lot of what it takes to get along

In the aftermath of last week's elections, voters will be thrilled to know that 58 former state lawmakers are receiving annual pensions of over $100,000.

Of those 58 former lawmakers, 44 "have accumulated over $1 million in total pension benefits," according to the Illinois Policy Institute.

Jim Dey | Pritzker must share his election victory with McCann

There were two winners in last week's gubernatorial election in Illinois, both of whom remain in full victory mode.

One, Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker, won big. He'll be sworn in to office in January and take control of the executive branch of government. He has promised to oversee a resurrection of the state of Illinois.