Politic-IL Insider

Analysis of Illinois’ Political Issues and Personalities

When it comes to politics, there’s nowhere like Illinois. Throughout the election season, ProPublica Illinois reporter and political junkie Mick Dumke will analyze the state’s political issues and personalities in this occasional column.

When Is a Meeting Not a Meeting and a Lawmaker Not a Lawmaker? When It’s Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago.

Chicago’s mayor held secretive calls with the City Council and claimed they weren't “public business.” We asked the state attorney general’s office to review whether she and the council violated the Open Meetings Act. Its ruling: Yes.

As Trump Calls for Law and Order, Can Chicago’s Top Prosecutor Beat the Charge That She’s Soft on Crime?

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx was elected on a promise of reform. In a year of unrest and fear, she’ll find out if voters really want it.

In Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago, Bridges Have Become Barricades

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has repeatedly ordered Chicago’s river bridges raised to keep people out of downtown. She said the move was to protect businesses and residents. But it is also a symbol of the city’s divisions.

Bill Barr Has Done This Before

As the Trump administration publicizes its latest show of federal force in Chicago, advocates say there are better ways to prevent violence.

Leaked Recordings Reveal Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Firmly in Charge and City Alderman Left Largely on the Sidelines

Combative and, at times, dismissive, Chicago’s first-term mayor gathers power as she leads the city’s fight against the coronavirus.

The Chicago Housing Authority Was Slow to Protect Residents During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Internal communications show CHA officials waited weeks before hastily drawing up plans that could reduce the risk of coronavirus exposure for staff and residents.

During Tuesday’s Illinois Primary, Chicago Alderman and Former Firefighter Nicholas Sposato Delivered Pizzas at the Polls as His Ward Office Remained Open

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Sposato said he wanted to serve his constituents. “It is what it is,” he said.

Chicago’s Inspector General Finds the City’s Gang Database Is Riddled With Errors

The database has been accessed more than 1 million times, including some 32,000 times by immigration officials. Police said they will fix the database but not erase it.

Promises, Tamales and Even Truth-Telling: Chicago’s Mayoral Race Hits the Final Stretch

In the campaign to succeed Rahm Emanuel, candidates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle talk neighborhoods and look for votes.

Chicago’s Election Signals Break from the Past — in Wards and at City Hall

In the 49th Ward, a newcomer from the left unseated the once progressive Joe Moore. And mayoral candidates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle tried to distance themselves from Rahm Emanuel, although the two top finishers have their own ties to the political establishment.

Cook County Takes Steps to Erase Its Regional Gang Database

Commissioners are set to pass a law banning the database and requiring it to be destroyed.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain

Many welcomed the announcement that the sheriff took the database offline. But the office has resisted calls to destroy it immediately or publicly explain other details of its plans.

The Laquan McDonald Shooting Keeps Exposing Critical Flaws in Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act

After Chicago officials denied records requests from the police shooting, the attorney general’s office did little to push the city to make documents public.

The Election Is Over. And Now the Next Elections Begin.

After Tuesday’s bluebath, Democrats dominate. But what comes next?

In Illinois Governor’s Race, Rauner and Pritzker See a Clear Need to Promise Transparency

The Freedom of Information Act backlog starts with offices around the state, including the governor’s.

Note to the Next Mayor: Chicago Is a City of the World, But We Want the Neighborhoods Fixed, Too

In the community where Officer Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald four years ago, residents worry about policing, crime and inequality.

Protests and Blaming the Media. Sound Familiar? That Was During the ’68 Democratic National Convention.

Archived letters to former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley bring up familiar concerns about unrest, policing, political divisions and “propaganda.”

Illinois House Candidate Will Walk for Votes — And Has To

Challenger Amanda Biela takes on the “Madigan machine,” and copes with a divided Republican Party.

Like Chicago Police, Cook County and Illinois Officials Track Thousands of People in Gang Databases

Gang files at other agencies include missing information and dead people.

The Administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel Keeps Monitoring Protesters

Chicago police and City Hall tracked anti-Trump demonstrators — and now state legislators want to let them use drones.

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