Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Ever wonder what happens to campaign swag after election day? Some of it is thrown away, but a lot finds a home with collectors of political memorabilia.

Collectors of campaign buttons, posters and flags are in Springfield this week at the national convention of the American Political Items Collectors.

Co-organizer Bob Atwater says there’s something for everyone.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Commentary: Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Madigan fixation may reflect how little the governor has to show for his first three years in office.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Federal records show that Illinois television stations will begin to air ads tomorrow, paid for by Governor Bruce Rauner's political action committee.

When the depths of the dispute between Republican Gov. Rauner and the General Assembly's Democratic leaders really became public at the end of last month, Senate President John Cullerton said the governor had warned a media blitz was on the way.

  If you hate negative political ads, you may want to turn off your television and spend this summer outside. 

Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner are facing off in a race that is expected to break campaign-spending records in the state. The contest will likely draw national interest and money, and much of the resources on both sides will be spent on television advertising.

Brian Mackey/WUIS

  Candidates are making their final pushes for support ahead of Tuesday's elections. It's all about getting out the vote.

As they travel the state on St. Patrick's Day, each of the Republicans seeking the party's nomination for governor are hoping for some luck they can carry over to election day.

While polls show private equity investor Bruce Rauner ahead, Sen. Kirk Dillard has seen his support rise in recent weeks. At an Dillard rally last night in Springfield, his onetime boss, former Gov. Jim Edgar, said primary results are hard to predict by polls.

Murphysboro Republican Rep. Mike Bost’s rant went viral on YouTube and made Late Night with David Letterman.
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Willie Sutton reputedly said he robbed banks because that’s where the money was.

That kind of stark mathematical logic also could explain why Illinois’ political system has, more than ever it seems, turned its back on that oddly defined region we call “Downstate” to focus almost exclusively on “Chicagoland.”

As Sutton might say, with painful obviousness, it’s because that’s where the money is. And the votes.

While he waited for the concession call from Mitt Romney, the president worked on his acceptance speech with Jon Favreau, director of speechwriting, and campaign adviser David Axelrod at a Chicago hotel.
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Collin Corbett is a Republican whose job it is to elect Republicans. His company in Chicago’s northern suburbs, Cor Strategies, has worked with presidential contender Mitt Romney, gubernatorial hopeful Sen. Bill Brady and dozens of lesser-known politicians vying for offices such as city council or circuit clerk. 

After President Barack Obama won re-election in November, Corbett says his Republican clients immediately wanted to copy the Democrat’s campaign tactics, especially when it came to technology. 

Charles N. Wheeler III
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Everybody knows that holding Illinois' presidential primary in mid-March virtually assures that a front-runner will have all but locked up both major parties' nominations by the time Illinoisans cast ballots.

The 2008 presidential campaign figures to be the most wide-open contest for the White House in decades. Not since 1928 has neither a sitting president nor a sitting vice president sought his party's nomination for the top spot.

Peggy Boyer Long
WUIS/Illinois Issues

The Democratic senator from Massachusetts won the debate without breaking a sweat. Literally. No, not John Kerry. That was John Kennedy, who went head-to-head with Republican Richard Nixon on Chicago television. 

It was the first of four debates, the most ever between presidential contenders. Kennedy scored because he looked young and energetic under the studio lights. Nixon suffered from a knee infection and a bad make-up job. The year was 1960. And it was the beginning of a new era of presidential campaigning.

Charles N. Wheeler III
WUIS/Illinois Issues

As one of his 12 labors, Hercules had to clean out the Aegean stables, a task he completed without dirtying his hands by diverting two rivers through the vast and noisome barnyard.

But the mythic Greek hero might have met his match had he tried to clean up the mess from the political campaigns that mercifully ended here last month, even with the Mississippi and Ohio rivers at his disposal.

Peggy Boyer Long
WUIS/Illinois Issues

The 2002 primary season should be in full swing when this magazine reaches your mailbox.

By late last month, in the days before we sent our February edition to the printer, two of the Republicans who want to be governor had displaced the hard-hit auto industry’s zero percent financing pitches with televised ads of their own — counter-punching one another’s positions on abortion. And cheerful, but no-nonsense phone bank volunteers were interrupting dinners to ask whether the name of one of the Democrats who wants to be governor rings a bell.

Charles N. Wheeler III
WUIS/Illinois Issues

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” 

Benjamin Franklin, 1789

Were Old Ben around today, he might be tempted to amend his well-known maxim to add a third category: a sure General Assembly seat for whoever wins the primary in most of the state’s new legislative districts.

In 1967, John Schmidt graduated from law school into a nation rocked by the civil rights movement and increasingly divided by a war, two issues which would soon occupy a good deal of the newly minted attorney’s energy. 

Lisa Madigan, too, would earn her law degree and wade into the big social and political issues of her time, but not for a while. For her, 1967 was the year she turned 1.

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Phillip Paludan says he can tell when public officials don’t respect citizens. We can tell what others think of us, he says, by the way they talk to us. Too many officials talk down to us, which suggests they don't respect our ability to think. Paludan's perspective is especially intriguing because he's among the top Lincoln scholars in the United States. He believes one mark of Lincoln¸s greatness was his insistence on taking the high road in his speeches.