Political Arena

Illinois: Land of Ideas and the Idealess

By John Biver

Imagine this scenario: a state in the union with a direction-less, idea-less, and principle-lacking Republican party. Now imagine that in that same state’s largest city resides the nation’s best state-level think tank. Can you conjure that…

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Karl Rove: King Hack

By John Biver

Many conservative Republicans don’t belong to the Karl Rove fan club for one simple reason: they believe winning elections is only the first step to victory. For them, governing success is the necessary second step….

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The Denny Hastert Predicament

By John Biver

In the sports business, skill and judgment are still what counts when it comes to winning and turning a profit. That stands in contrast to politics and government, where you can succeed just by…

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School Funding and AWOL Republicans

By John Biver

One of the biggest news stories of late has been the funding “crisis” experienced by Illinois public schools. The single most amazing aspect of this story has been the almost total lack of debate…

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What is a ‘moderate’ Republican?

By John Biver

A few months ago an Illinois state rep told me that there wasn’t much difference between the Republicans and Democrats in Springfield. Looking at the voting record of Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and…

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What to Know About the Modern IL GOP

By John Biver

Where we are as an Illinois Republican Party is not the result of the disastrous 2002 elections. It dates back to the 1970s, when the national party was sent packing and mal-motivated members of…

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New Conversations and Political Tin Ears

By John Biver

A statesman must be a transcendent teacher. He must ‘take the whole nation to school.’ — from Morton Frisch & Richard Stevens’ book, American Political Thought A confident candidate can rally the base while…

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What U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald Should Do

By John Biver

“I’m thinking about trying to make sure Peter has an opponent…I think we can do better than him.” — Illinois Republican Congressman Ray LaHood as quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times , November 25, 2002 referring…

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