Updates

  • Column 11-5-16

    So it finally happened. The Chicago Cubs overcame the longest drought of any American professional sports franchise.  After 108 years, the Cubs are winners once again.  1908, the year the Cubs last won the World Series was the year that Henry Ford completed production on the first Model T.

    No matter what happens this year, we can all point to one day where we just lived in the moment.  Our local team did something that made us all enjoy life just a little bit more for at least one day.  Everything else was put on the back burner, and we all sang “Go Cubs Go.”

    As I write this column, we are just days from the election.  Some of you may be reading this...

  • Column 10-29-16

    In the New Testament of the Bible, there’s a passage in Acts in which Paul describes the new believers in Thessalonica.  These converts were good people, and the Bible says they were of “noble character.”  But perhaps the highest praise that was said of the Bereans was that they diligently searched the scriptures daily.  When the Apostle Paul preached, they verified everything he said by doing their own research.

    We live in an age where information is literally at our fingertips.  Give me thirty seconds, and I could tell you the capitol of any country in the world; give me a minute and I can translate any phrase from any language into English.  That’s how far technology has advanced.  In a world...

  • Column 10-21-16

    A February article of Crain’s Chicago Business stated that Illinois ranked 46th out of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. in non-farm payroll growth.  Our ranking is falling among other states in median household income growth, and the state actually had a net loss of jobs in 2015.

     

    Anyone who has lived in Northwest Illinois for more than a few years isn’t surprised by any of these numbers.  We have observed the ebb and flow of our local economy, and many of us have experienced firsthand the pain of watching industry leave the area.  To blame this on any single factor would be unfair and incorrect, but there is no question that the State of Illinois has done little to positively impact our region’s plight.

    Column 10-14-16

    Can we just forget about politics for one second and revel in the fact that the Cubs are in the National League Championship Series.  If the Cubs make it to the World Series it will be the first time since Mike Madigan became Speaker of the House.  Ok, that’s the last time I’ll use that joke for a while.  But the point is that it has been a long time coming!  Here’s to singing “Go Cubs Go” and flying the “W.”

     

    Shifting gears now to what to write about this week – politics.  Many of you have seen me out and about in the community.  I keep my schedule jam-packed with as many public events, activities and dinners as...

  • Column 10-7-16

    Several weeks ago, I wrote about the dangers of voter fraud and how many instances go unreported or underreported. And with a porous amount of checks and balances in place, many people are led to believe that fraud is virtually nonexistent. In fact, I remember seeing at least one column pooh-poohing the notion that it even existed. Well, there’s an interesting story that I feel compelled to share with all of you.

     

    The Chicago Sun Times headline reads “Vote Fraud, Intimidation Allegations Hurled About In Kankakee Co.” To summarize the article, the Kankakee County State’s Attorney said that “Individuals from Chicago” offered gifts in exchange for votes. Who exactly was involved is unclear...

  • Column 9-30-16

    If you’ve read my column or watched the news over the course of the past several months, you know that Illinois is in dire financial straits. There are too many contributing factors to count, but I try to tackle them one at a time. Last week I made brief reference to one such area that I hope to shed more light on this week. I welcome your comments and feedback, and if you would like any source or reference material, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

    There is little doubt that Illinois is heading towards a fiscal cliff. When you couple unsustainable state spending with an unstable tax base, the results are never good. On top of these mounting issues, we have even more bad news: Chicago is fiscally insolvent. Why does this matter to us in Northwest Illinois? Well, if the stopgap budget is any indication, our...

  • Column 9-23-16

     

    Each week many of you send me responses to my column. They range anywhere from “Great column, Brian!” to “What the heck were you thinking, Brian!” and everything in between. I read all your responses. And even if we are diametrically opposed on a given issue, I absolutely appreciate your comments!

     

    That being said, I am honored to be your State Representative and your voice in Springfield. That’s part of the reason why I write this column – so I can hear your responses. So I say this: “Keep them coming.” Keep sending me your comments, and I’ll keep writing this column.

     

    Last week we talked about how Illinois needs a complete overhaul. In baseball terms, we called it a complete rebuild. Allow me to glean one more thing from the Cubs in this week’s column. When the Cubs rebuilt their team they also rebuilt their stadium....

  • Column 9-16-16

     

     

    How about them Cubbies ?

     

    The Chicago Cubs are - almost indisputably - the best team in baseball. Hard to believe that the team that was once the punchline of so many sports jokes is now at the top of the Majors. Not more than a few years ago the Cubs were still known as the “Lovable Losers” of baseball. In fact, I was once told by a Cardinals and a Sox fan that C-U-B-S stood for “Completely Useless By September.” Not this September.

     

    Allow me to use the Chicago Cubs as a metaphor for the state of Illinois because I just see far too many similarities. I know what you’re thinking, “Leave it to a politician to make baseball political,” but I promise you there is a valid point to be made.

     

    Let’s back up a bit. The...

  • Column 9-9-16

    This Sunday is the fifteenth anniversary of the horrendous attacks on our country on September 11, 2001. This day is now known as Patriot Day and is a National Day of Service and Remembrance for the victims. Even though much has changed in the world since that day let us not forget all those lost and their families.

    Now, over the past couple of weeks I have been mulling over a topic that has been making headlines – an NFL quarterback has chosen to kneel for the National Anthem instead of standing up and putting his hand on his heart like the rest of his teammates. Why? The man points to what he perceives to be racial injustices within the judicial system.

    I would like to address in this week’s column simply this: what is freedom of speech, and how does freedom of speech apply to this particular instance?

    It...

  • Column 8-26-16

    All of us who live in Northwest Illinois know that speeding on U.S. 20 is risky business. Why? Because Illinois State Police District 16 Headquarters is located in Pecatonica, and State Troopers patrol on that stretch of road.

    Now, imagine if U.S. 20 had little to no state police patrolling the roadway. Do you suppose there would be more speeding or less speeding on U.S. 20 if this were the case? Obviously, in this hypothetical instance, if there were very few state troopers on 20, then many of us would notice and may take advantage of the situation. But how ridiculous would it be if people were to say “Because there haven’t been many tickets written along that stretch of road, then that must mean people are not speeding.”

    I believe this to be the very same case with voter fraud. So many people are so quick to say “Voter...

 
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