Suburban Political Recount
As part of the House Republican leadership team, U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton is on the front lines of the ongoing government shutdown debate.
Roskam was in the minority party of the Illinois Senate in 2004 when state lawmakers blew a budget deadline by weeks, nearly jeopardizing top Democrats' attendance the party's nominating convention that year.
I went hunting for transcripts from those long summer sessions to see if Roskam said anything noteworthy on the Senate floor at the time. I found this speech from July 20, a few days before the impasse was settled.
Two suburban Republican incumbents announced their re-election campaigns for Illinois House today.
State Rep. Mike Tryon of Crystal Lake represents a district in southern McHenry County and Northern Kane. And state Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein represents a central Lake County district.
Both have been in the news lately. Tryon is the ranking Republican on the House Mass Transit committee, and he's asked for more meetings about the summer's Metra scandal.
Sullivan has told me before he expects to have a primary opponent following his saying he'll vote for same-sex marriage.
On Saturday Night Live this weekend, the Weekend Update anchors made a series of jokes about the federal government shutdown, one illustrated by this graphic showing the Illinois Capitol instead of the big, white one in Washington, D.C.
We've heard through various channels from everyone in the local delegation that everyone at the Capitol is OK.
U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth tweeted she was on the House floor at the time of the shooting, for example, and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's spokesman says he was at the World War II memorial.
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam put out a video late Monday with his take on the late-night shutdown fight.
I followed up on Mike Spellman's interesting story today about how the number of racing days at Arlington International Racecourse this year could depend on lawmakers' further approval of betting on horses online.
The law allowing Internet gambling on horses in Illinois expired at the end of 2012. It's known as advanced deposit wagering. Spellman explains why that affects Arlington:
It wasn't extended this year until the spring, and it cost the (Illinois Racing Board), which is partially funded by ADW, approximately $750,000 in tax revenues.
Now that primary season has picked up, I'll do this occasionally because it's the time of year when party leaders will back one candidate or another.
Today, we got notice that state Rep. JoAnn Osmond, an Antioch Republican who isn't running for re-election in 2014, said she's backing state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale for governor. Dillard is running against state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington, businessman Bruce Rauner of Chicago and Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford of Chenoa.
And U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, a Winfield Republican, will support state Rep. Darlene Senger for Congress in the 11th District over Chris Balkema of Channahon and Ian Bayne of Aurora.
The primary is set for March 18.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin spoke on the Senate floor today about yesterday's shooting.
Today I stumbled across the blog of Steve Kim, the running mate of Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford.
Kim is from Northbrook, and his blog is a 2010 accounting of his bid that year to be Illinois attorney general. He lost that race, but his website is still up: http://www.stevekimforag.com/
The blog is full of interesting nuggets about the rigors of a statewide campaign, especially one run against a popular politician most people was certain would win (Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan).
Kim had some nice words for Rutherford even then: "Dan can definitely draw a crowd. He is going to make a great Treasurer."
Kim also had kind words for state Sen. Bill Brady, who is now Rutherford's - and by extension Kim's - electoral opponent.
Last month wasn't the first traveling of Illinois U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk did since suffering a stroke last year, but the Highland Park Republican is touting the extent of his visits in this video.