Voter choice is what matters

It's a four-candidate field in the wide open race for mayor of Champaign.

Since it's impossible to separate politics from politics, there's no reason to doubt that future elections will result in challenges to candidate petitions.

All aboard

If Champaign-Urbana doesn't win the bid to host the boys' high school basketball tournaments, it won't be for want of trying.

The days are dwindling down to a precious few for Champaign-Urbana officials to put the finishing touches on a bid to bring the boys' state basketball championships back to the State Farm Center.

Cameras coming to Cook County

Illinois' experiment with allowing cameras in court is slowly advancing.

Nearly three years ago, then-Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride announced the beginning of an experiment to permit cameras in Illinois' trial courts.

The two Pat Quinns

As he prepares to step down as governor, Gov. Pat Quinn has embraced the George Ryan model of departure.

Gov. Pat Quinn the self-styled political reformer has always been at odds with Gov. Quinn the bare-knuckled pol who embraced the same tactics for himself that he denounced when used by his opponents.

Unaffordable mandates

Here's another bright idea the Legislature dreamed up.

Our public officials love to pass the buck, one of their favorite tactics being to confer benefits that other entities must pay.

The latest example of this ill-advised and unaffordable practice is the decision by legislators to increase the fees individual counties must pay jurors.

Filling a vacancy

The appointment process to fill the vacant comptroller's office is not complicated.

The recent death of state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka cost Illinois one of its most colorful and popular elected officials. It also has set off a distastefully politicized discussion about who will name her successor and for how long.

On the fast track

The courts can move quickly, and sometimes they should.

There's not much good news on the public-pension front in Illinois.

But last week's decision by the Illinois Supreme to hear an expedited appeal on the pension issue isn't horrendous. So that alone makes it better than usual.

Down goes oil

Filling up the gas tank isn't nearly as painful these days.

The falling price of oil has caused a lot of excitement in the stock market, particularly in the hard-hit oil and oil services sectors, but it's good news for almost everyone else.

Then and now

Time has a way of changing peoples' perspectives.

Last week's "torture" report issued by Senate Democrats has renewed a firestorm of debate about the propriety of harsh interrogations for suspected al-Qaida terrorists captured after the 9/11 attacks.

Topinka was one of a kind

State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka was a former news reporter, a self-styled polka queen and an all-around straight shooter.

The sudden death of Comptroller Topinka has robbed Illinois of one of its most interesting and plain-spoken public officials.