Jim Dey | Macon County election cliffhanger likely headed to Champaign County court

That's some sheriff's race in Macon County, where the winner's one-vote victory margin has laid the groundwork for a possible recount and a legal battle over whether and how to do it.

Before it's all over, the recount question may end up on the desk of Champaign County Presiding Judge Tom Difanis because the dispute is too hot to handle in Macon.

Jim Dey | State's huge public-pension problem growing larger

Our dedicated public servants in Springfield got some more news this week that they most assuredly don't want to hear.

It comes from the General Assembly's Commission on Government Forecast and Accountability and concerns the state's public-pension woes.

Jim Dey | Blagojevich's tenure was quite the long, strange trip

Last weekend was an anniversary, of sorts, for Illinois — a memorable date that will live in infamy for those who follow politics and government in this state.

Dec. 9 was the 10th anniversary of the FBI's arrest of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the Democratic shooting star who zoomed up and then down the state's political ladder.

George Will | Movie tells ignored story of 'America's biggest serial killer'

WASHINGTON — A word can be worth a thousand pictures. In the movie "Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer," the mild word "snip" describes what the camera, demonstrating the eloquence of reticence, does not show in gory detail: Kermit Gosnell's use of scissors to cut the spinal cords of hundreds of babies that survived his late-term abortion procedures.

Jim Dey | Polar opposite opinions

What is society to do with the David Lundys of the world?

The record shows that he's a multiconvicted felon doing what amounts to a life sentence on the installment plan. He commits a crime, does time, is released and then commits another crime.

Off the Bench| First Amendment is a common element

We are in the middle of a very special time of year. Three significant events have happened or will soon take place. At first glance they may not seem related, but I suggest there is a common element. First, since I last wrote, the elections have been completed.

Capitol Fax | Governor-elect has his work cut out for him

Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker was asked last week about the timeline for passage of a new minimum wage law.

"That's very important to me," Pritzker said, "It's probably something we'll be able to get done in the first six months in office."

Pritzker had campaigned to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, so he was asked whether he was still on board for that goal.

Scott Reeder | Examining the legacy of segregation

SPRINGFIELD — When you are a young man, 20 years seems a long time.

But as we age, it seems just the blink of an eye.

I was thinking about that last week when I watched the "Green Book," a movie about a gifted black pianist, Don Shirley, touring the segregated South in the early 1960s with his white driver.

Jim Dey | Funny talk on outmigration

A funny — meaning peculiar — discussion took place earlier this week after a ratings agency analysis of Illinois' finances suggested to some that the state's "outmigration" doesn't pose an economic problem.

"Growth defies out-migration," one newspaper headlined declared.

Jim Dey | When it comes to state's finances, read the fine print

When it comes to reviewing the state of Illinois' finances, be skeptical of what politicians have to say.

They — no matter their party or political perspective — have a motive to shade or exaggerate the truth.

Those who want the straight dope need to listen to the money men, guys like Eric Kim from Fitch Ratings service.

So, Eric, what's the financial state of the state?