Mark Brown


Mark Brown is a columnist who specializes in politics and public policy issues.

MARK BROWN: I don’t remember a lot about the night I almost died in a hospital bed, except for desperately wanting one more chance to tell my wife and kids that I loved them, but not wanting to unduly alarm them by waking them.
Instead of looking forward to their own majority, Republicans are now facing a 5-2 deficit on the court after Democrats Elizabeth Rochford and Mary K. O’Brien pulled out hard fought victories for two open suburban seats indirectly created by Kilbride’s ouster.
Secretary of State Jesse White’s decision to retire changed the calculus for 46-year-old Alexi Giannoulias, who is now Illinois’ youngest statewide elected official.
It wasn’t really possible for Democrats to draw the new state Supreme Court map in a way that would have assured them of winning one of the seats on the November ballot, as would have been their normal tendency. Instead, both seats are in play.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker will be a big favorite in the matchup against Republican Darren Bailey, but the conservative farmer will put up a fight.
Attacks on Madigan’s influence over state government have been part of the Republican campaign playbook going at least as far back as Bruce Rauner’s election in 2014. There’s no reason to think that’s going to let up now that Madigan has been charged with racketeering and bribery.
The ex-Illinois House speaker was caught on a wiretapped call in 2018 discussing with lobbyist confidant Michael McClain a plan to arrange secret payments to a political ally who’d been implicated in a sexual harassment scandal, newly released court documents show. Madigan has always denied any involvement in the scheme.
City Hall and HUD now agree: People shouldn’t have to live in the conditions faced by residents of the badly run, federally subsidized Ellis Lakeview Apartments in North Kenwood.
In San Miguel de Allende, I learned of Stirling Dickinson, a larger-than-life Chicago native who transformed this place, for better and worse.