JB’s budget needs to be a careful balancing act

By Rich Miller The governor’s top budget people sent a memo last week to agency directors, giving them a heads up about what will be required in their annual budget request submissions. They are not easy-peasy asks. This fiscal year’s budget was originally supposed to be austere; but then a $1.5 billion flood of unexpected…

Read More

Dem presidential hopefuls have no clue

By Ray Hanania If the Democratic presidential debates prove anything, it is that the candidates have no answers, and the biased national mainstream news media is worse. The candidates argued hot-button issues that generate media headlines, ignoring the issues average voters like you and me care about. Where was the focus? They said Julian Castro…

Read More

Careful what you wish for, state GOP

By Rich Miller Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) announced last week that he will not seek reelection. Instead, he said he’ll likely be making a 2022 statewide bid for either U.S. Senate against Sen. Tammy Duckworth or secretary of state, if Jesse White retires. He may not be a household name, but Rep. McSweeney has…

Read More

This kid’s going to be alright

By Ray Hanania My son, Aaron, leaves for college next week, and I spent a lot of time trying to describe what it was like when I went to college in the early 1970s. That’s when I realized how different it is today. I don’t know how families today can afford to send their kids…

Read More

Last hurrah for state labor leader

By Rich Miller The Illinois AFL-CIO hosted its annual State Fair reception last week. The highlight was probably a speech by Gov. JB Pritzker, who thanked his audience of union leaders for their support in the 2018 campaign and for their help passing an enormous amount of legislation during his first session of the General…

Read More

Hate trumps facts these days

By Ray Hanania It was a quiet fall news day at Chicago’s City Hall. Ald. Robert Shaw and I were standing next to a large copy of Chicago’s official city seal on a wall. I pointed to the seal asking, “Don’t you have a problem with this seal, as an African American?” Shaw looked at…

Read More

Still waiting for Madigan to see the light

By Rich Miller When Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D-22nd) announced in February of 2018 that he’d fired Kevin Quinn, the brother of Madigan’s alderman and political general, he said he made the decision because of Quinn’s “inappropriate conduct” with Alaina Hampton, whom he called a “courageous woman.” Hampton had come forward with allegations…

Read More

Chicago is a city, not an island

By Rich Miller One of the points that Gov. JB Pritzker has made since Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot began using the news media to ask for a multi-billion dollar state pension bailout is that other parts of Illinois are having the same problems as our largest city. Rockford is one of them, as the governor…

Read More

Problem with pot? Get over it

By Ray Hanania Baby BoomersÑpeople my age–probably are sympathetic to the argument that there is no difference between drinking alcohol and smoking pot. Marijuana was a big part of teenage and young adult life in the 1960s. Instead of drinking Jack Daniels, we smoked pot. It was our parents, many of them drunks and alcoholics,…

Read More

Good-government types need to pick a lane

By Rich Miller Gov. JB Pritzker signed the $45 billion infrastructure bill into law last week during a three-day fly-around to several Illinois cities. It’s a good bet that the billionaire Pritzker paid for the plane that took him and whatever staff he brought to the various venues, since he’s regularly done that since taking…

Read More