Democratic House candidate John Bartman was appointed to the ballot in July when Representative Jack Franks (D-Marengo) dropped out of the race to run for McHenry County Board chair. Bartman is not getting help from the House Democrats, who appear to have all but conceded.

Presidential candidates set the turnout. That’s the race voters care about the most by far, so everybody else who’s running down-ballot essentially has to work within the structure of that year’s presidential-turnout numbers.

A harsh new TV ad slams Representative John Bradley (D-Marion) for supporting a convicted sex offender. It’s described by the Republicans as a form of payback for all the sex-offender-related ads that the House Democrats have been using against Republicans this year and in years past.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is reportedly mulling whether to settle a civil-rights lawsuit filed eight years ago by the Chicago Urban League. The suit essentially claims that Illinois’ education-funding system violates minority students’ rights because a disproportionate number of those kids reside in areas with the lowest property wealth and also attend schools with majority-minority enrollment. They’re basically getting shafted by the state, so they sued.

The world became markedly less interesting when Lanny C. Powell departed it on September 10. He, too, was a force of nature, living his life with intense purpose and depth.

Since his inauguration, Governor Bruce Rauner has consciously aped Washington, DC’s notoriously noxious battle to “win” the daily media spin cycle. Rauner has a set base of talking points based on tried and true poll-tested topics, and he rarely if ever deviates.

Republicans have been saying behind the scenes that they have put four Democratic state Senators “on the bubble”: Tom Cullerton in DuPage County, Melinda Bush in Lake County, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant in Will County, and Gary Forby in southern Illinois.

Somebody should familiarize Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley with Aesop’s Fable “The Farmer & the Viper,” which famously ends with a snake biting a man who showed it kindness: “Did you not know that a serpent in the bosom, a mouse in a bag, and fire in a barn give their hosts an ill reward?” In other words, you knew I was a snake.

David E. “Halvy” Halverson (1950-2016)
David E. “Halvy” Halverson (1950-2016)

Many of us have arrived at that place in the cycle of life where we are forced to deal with the passings of those most dear to us. So it is with David E. “Halvy” Halverson, who departed September 1.

The Washington Post published a story the other day titled “Meet the Wealthy Donors Who Are Pouring Millions into the 2016 Elections.”

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