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Rich Miller biography

@capitolfax

Rich Miller has been writing about Illinois politics since 1990. He began publishing Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, in 1993. He is recognized …

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Republican Rauner speaks Madigan’s language

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has made no bones about his eagerness to take on House Speaker Michael if he’s elected. Rauner constantly claims he is the best man for the job of cutting the entrenched, powerful Democrat down to size. The other three Republican …

Vallas won’t just be second fiddle to Quinn

Except for his own distinguished six years of service in the job, Gov. Pat Quinn hasn’t had much luck with the lieutenant governor’s office. Back in 2010, Democratic primary voters nominated wealthy pawnshop owner Scott Lee Cohen to the second banana slot on the gubernatorial …

Just don’t get gay marriage fight

  ‘ Where we go to church on Saturday or Sunday is under attack here,” insisted Rev. Lance Davis, pastor of Dolton’s New Zion Covenant Church, on Wednesday during a Statehouse rally against a gay marriage bill that’s languishing in the Illinois House. Rev. Davis …

There’s a road forward for Illiana Expressway

For years, Illinois leaders have been scolded for not being more like our neighboring states’ leaders. Why can’t our government come up with innovative ideas like theirs? Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was hoisted so high up on a pedestal by some folks here that …

Copper doors make pension reform hard sell

Bill Daley’s withdrawal from the governor’s race pretty much snuffed out the “Statehouse doors” controversy. The late-summer scandal quickly cranked up to full roar after details emerged that a set of six, custom-made doors on the newly remodeled Western wing of the Illinois Statehouse cost …

Raoul for governor? He could win

The numbers so far show that Raoul could overcome a somewhat late start and very well win the race.

Ty Fahner’s bad fantasy

Last March, the president of the influential and heavily corporate CEO-populated Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago told a long and involved story. The tale was about how he and some members of his group had tried to browbeat the New York credit …

Tipping the scales against Illinois

While watching White Sox players embarrass themselves yet again this week, my sad eyes turned to a private club behind home plate. The slogan “You got a guy” was plastered all over the front of the club, which is run by a Chicago ticket broker. …

Quinn’s payroll stunt dangerous

Pretty much everybody is cheering Gov. Pat Quinn for vetoing state legislators’ salaries out of the Illinois budget this week. Quinn vetoed lawmaker salaries because, he said, he was tired of waiting year after year for legislators to pass a comprehensive pension reform plan. Probably …

Whom not to boo at Pride Parade

If you’re heading to the Pride Parade this weekend, you might be tempted to boo some of the state politicians who’ll be marching. If you want to boo them for screwing up the state’s finances, then go right ahead. But don’t jeer because the marriage …

Travel state, then run for governor

Several months ago, I offered Bill Daley some unsolicited advice. Before you decide whether to run for governor, I suggested to Daley during a phone call, you should take some time off and drive around Illinois. Cairo, in deep Southern Illinois, is 370 miles from …

If Gov. Pat Quinn’s a leader, it’s from behind

How can you be a leader if nobody is following you? This week on my blog (CapitolFax.com) I wrote that Gov. Pat Quinn is honest, but “no leader.” His press secretary fired off an angry retort: “Give me a break. “Real leadership requires honesty and …

Pension problem began long ago

Lawmakers are human beings, and like most human beings they don’t make any major changes until it’s clear that something absolutely has to be done. Pension reform is a good case in point. It’s been obvious since just after World War II that Illinois’ pension …

Illinois GOP is out of step with changing electorate

Not all that long ago, DuPage County was about as reliably Republican and rock-ribbed conservative as they came. Things are changing For one, it’s not nearly as Republican. Back in the 1998 governor’s race, Republican George Ryan defeated Democrat Glenn Poshard by 104,000 votes in …

Black pastors hit gay marriage

There was a time at the Illinois Statehouse when using African-American ministers as political props was all the rage. ComEd touted support from black preachers to pass a bill to raise its rates. AT&T did the same when it passed a major piece of legislation. …

It’s Cullerton vs. crowd on pensions

What we have in Springfield right now is an epic legislative stalemate over an issue of absolute importance. On one side we have the Senate president, John Cullerton, who says he wants to make sure that any pension reform legislation has a chance of being …

Fracking could be Illinois’ savior

Before “fracking” and horizontal oil drilling was tried in North Dakota, the state was producing about 80,000 barrels of the sticky black stuff a day, not much more than Illinois. Last December, North Dakota pumped out almost 800,000 barrels a day, making it the second-largest …