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Shaw: More suburban FDs imposing ‘crash tax’

One of our jobs at the Better Government Association is to look for warning signs that suggest that trouble may be on the way. And with that in mind, I point to a recent BGA investigation that sounds the alarm at a number of Chicago-area …

McGrath: Confronting a different kind of tyrant

When I attended Chicago State University on the South Side in the late 1960s, I opted to take my daily lunch break off campus. There were no in-house McDonald’s or Subways as there are at many colleges today. And while I’ll grant that the school …

Reeder: Quinn veto on FOIA measure good move

Kudos to Gov. Pat Quinn. The governor vetoed a measure that greatly would restrict an ordinary citizen’s ability to file Freedom of Information Act requests. I don’t agree with the governor on a lot of things, but this veto was the proper response to a …

Laurie Samuels: Don’t let retirement make you vulnerable to senior scams

Fraud is one of the fasting growing crimes in America — with senior citizens being common targets. In fact, the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs attributes approximately $100 billion a year to fraud. In this age of information, anyone in possession of a credit card, …

Reeder: Job growth in Illinois? Follow Indiana’s lead

For every job Illinois has created during the past decade, Indiana has created 35, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. I’ve been to Indiana. I know Hoosiers. And the average Hoosier isn’t any smarter than the rest of us. They may think so, …

Daniel Biss and Michael Frerichs: House must act to improve Illinoisans’ retirement security

We need a retirement system that works for every resident of Illinois. Our state is facing a looming crisis — more than 2.5 million people are working in Illinois today without access to a retirement savings plan at work. Research shows that we are 15 …

McGrath: Why banks love foreclosures

It was going to be a reunion. Tom Booth and I hadn’t seen each other since he started school at Iowa Wesleyan College on an academic/athletic scholarship. He and I grew up in Evergreen Park, and he had been a basketball star at St. Bernadette …

Reeder: Ballot question to keep voters guessing

A bit of hay is being made over a grammatical error that will appear on the ballot in November. It seems no one caught the improper use of the word “their” in the text of the proposed referendum question on imposing a higher tax on …

Reeder: Another year, another Illinois pol imprisoned

Well, another Illinois legislator is heading to prison. You won’t hear much outrage in Springfield. Or dismay for that matter. In the grand scheme of things, the conviction of state Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, on bribery charges is picayune. You’ll hear it whispered around the …

Margaret Rose McDonnell: Turning tragedy into an affirmation of life

On June 25, 1980, my life forever changed. I became a member of an exclusive group of people who have suffered tetraplegia because of an unanticipated event. The day was absolutely gorgeous, a beautifully calm and sunny day that soon became my defining moment in …

Reeder: In deadbeat Illinois, at least we have ‘the leg’

First, those Texans took our jobs. Then they took lots of Illinoisans and our money. Now, they want our leg. Well, to be precise, famous Mexican Gen. Santa Anna’s artificial leg. But a group of Illinois soldiers stole it fair and square, back in 1845. …

McGrath: My dad, a politically incorrect father figure

In Psychology Today magazine, Dr. Ditta Oliker wrote that a child’s emotional and social development depends on a positive paternal role model. And that if the father is absent, the child’s reasoning and communicating abilities lag behind. It’s unlikely that my father had any of …

Reeder: Fight over income tax rate far from over

Politicians are like water — they always take the easiest path. When faced with difficult decisions this year, the Illinois General Assembly sat on its hands and told you a fib. We were told Illinois government is entering a period of “austerity.” Baloney. This year’s …

Nelson: U.S.-India relations now depend on ‘Modi factor’

The legislative elections are over in India, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Narendra Modi, is the big winner. The BJP won a majority of the seats in the lower house of the legislature (the Lok Sabha), the largest single-party win in 30 …

Reeder: Right-to-work law needed in Illinois

Thirty-one years ago, I gave a speech to my high school rhetoric class on how Illinois ought to become a right-to-work state. Back when I was in high school, my hometown of Galesburg was an industrial center that churned out lawn mowers, refrigerators, steel buildings …

Shaw: Anti-corruption campaign largely stymied

This spring marks the fifth anniversary of a valiant campaign to try to eliminate the “culture of corruption” that’s ripped off Illinois taxpayers and citizens for decades. Sadly, it’s not a celebration because it didn’t produce enough government reform. But it’s worth remembering because it’s …