Monday, April 5, 2010

What's Illinois voters' mood?

Democrats hold an iron grip on Illinois state government, control both U.S. Senate seats and occupy 12 of the state’s 19-seat delegation in the House of Representatives.

Illinois, remains solidly in that Democrats’ column, said Christopher Mooney, a professor with the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The state has a lot of union members who tend to vote Democratic and are bolstered by the party in return.

“The political culture here is not ideological. It’s all about where you are pouring concrete, providing services,” he said. Solidly Democrat Chicago still “dominates state politics.”

Given the political makeup of the state, minority Republicans won’t be able to make much headway on national issues like the Obama administration’s passage of health care reform, said Charles Wheeler, director of the Public Affairs Reporting graduate program at the university.

Mooney and Wheeler's comments were featured in a April 5, 2010, article in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100405-JJC-What's-Illinois-voters'-mood.pdf

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Illinois Issues available at Paris library

Illinois Issues, an award winning public affairs magazine, is now available at the Paris Carnegie Public Library.

Rep. Roger Eddy (R-Hutsonville) has partnered with the magazine’s Issues for Citizens campaign to promote public policy information and education via the public library system. In addition to Paris, Eddy is providing subscriptions to libraries in Lawrenceville and Robinson.

Illinois Issues is a not-for-profit magazine published at the University of Illinois Springfield, as part of the Center for State Policy and Leadership. Executive editor Dana Heupel noted recent articles have explored redistricting, wind power as an energy source and an analysis of the state’s retirement system.


The magazine was featured in a March 16, 2010, edition of the Paris, IL Beacon News.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100316-PBN-Illinois-Issues-available.pdf

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Students use time to work on Innocence Project

College students often have a bad reputation for how they spend their leisure hours, but at UIS, some students are using their spare time to work with the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project, and battle what they see as miscarriages of justice.
Students' work on the Innocence Project was featured in a news segment from WICS Channel 20.

Watch the segment here.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sheriff slashes bill to Innocence Project

After an article ran on Sunday, November 9, in the State Journal-Register about the Springfield sheriff's office charging $700 for copies of CDs and audio tapes to the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project, the office hand-delivered a new bill for $37.78.

The CDs and tapes are from police interviews in a case the Project is investigating involving the conviction of Thomas McMillen of murder in the 1989 stabbing death of Melissa Koontz.

Download a PDF file from the November 11, 2008 article from the State Journal-Register
20081112-SJR-SheriffSlashesProjectBill.pdf

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Redfield on the importance of fundraising

With Illinois Senate President Emil Jones stepping down in January, a number of state senators are positioning themselves to replace him. The ability to raise funds is seen as an important part of that process, for a variety of reasons.

Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of Political Science at UIS, noted that it's "all about creating relationships or a sense of obligation." Redfield's comments were part of an article that appeared in the October 21, 2008, Chicago Tribune.

Download a pdf file of the article
20081021-CT-MoneyaFactorinRaceforSenatePresident.pdf

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mooney says different motives may be behind House move to cut veto session

The Illinois House of Representatives has cancelled half of its November veto session and the state Senate may do the same. Legislators say this is because they have already dealt with a number of issues during many special sessions over the summer.

Christopher Mooney, UIS professor of Political Science, says that while this is true, the reason may also have something to do with the troubled relationship between Gov. Rod Blagojevich and House Speaker Michael Madigan.

An article that appeared in the October 14, 2008, Peoria Journal Star examined the situation.

Download a pdf file of the article
20081014-PJS-HouseCutsVeto.pdf

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Redfield sees McCain decision to suspend campaign as a ploy

Opinions differ on Sen. John McCain's suspension of his Presidential campaign to return to Washington while Congress considered the administration's plan to resolve the economic crisis.

In an article that appeared in the September 25, 2008, Galesburg Register Mail, UIS Professor Emeritus of Political Science Kent Redfield observed, "His implication is, I care more about this issue than Obama does, and I'm above politics….The irony is, you have a political ploy…to show he's above politics."

Download a pdf file of the article
20080925-GRM-PoliticsorStatesmanship.pdf

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Redfield sees campaign suspension as a political ploy

Opinions differ on Sen. John McCain's recent decision to suspend his Presidential campaign in order to return to Washington while Congress considers the Bush administration's proposal to mend the economic crisis.

In an article that appeared in the September 24, 2008, State Journal-Register, UIS Professor Emeritus of Political Science Kent Redfield observes, "The irony is, you have a political ploy from the McCain camp to show he's above politics."

Download a pdf file of the article
20080924-SJR-PoliticsorStatesmanship.pdf

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Redfield: Comment about draft is a "third rail"

At a recent public forum in Peoria, Colleen Callahan, Democratic candidate for a seat in the 18th Congressional District, suggested that she could support a reinstatement of the military draft as "the fairest way for us to begin to rebuild our military." Her comment touched off an immediate controversy, much as her opponent, Aaron Schock, had done earlier when he stated that the U.S. should sell nuclear missiles to Taiwan.

State Journal-Register columnist Bernard Schoenburg discussed the situation at length with Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Studies, for an article that appeared on September 14, 2008.

Download a pdf file of the article

20080914-SJR-CallahanHitsHotButton.pdf

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Redfield on Governor's third term

On August 29, 2008, Chicago Newsradio WBBM reported on Governor Rod Blagojevich's hint that he might seek a third term. The report cited UIS Professor Emeritus of Political Studies Kent Redfield's assessment that there would be "little enthusiasm" should the Governor decide to run for reelection in 2010.

Download a pdf file of the report

20080829-WBBM-Blagojevich3rdTerm.pdf

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Monday, August 25, 2008

State senators vie for Jones' spot

Members of the Illinois Senate are already jockeying to be in position to fill Emil Jones' spot as Senate President when he retires.

Chris Mooney, UIS Professor of Political Studies, is quoted in an article published August 22, 2008, by the Sun Times News Group. The article discusses senators who have expressed an interest, as well as why the senate presidency is so important.

Download a pdf file of the article

20080822-STNG-NextSenatePrez.pdf

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Redfield says method used to redraw county districts was good

Two maps suggesting possible redistricting if membership of the Sangamon County Board is reduced from 29 to 15 are drawing criticism from a number of constituencies. However Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Science, notes that the criteria used to determine the district boundaries was correct.

Read the article that appeared in the August 3, 2008, State Journal-Register.

20080803-SJR-MapsofPossibleCoBdDistricts.pdf

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Illinois Issues is among Chicago Tribune's favorites

Illinois Issues has been selected as one of 50 favorite magazines by the Chicago Tribune. The list appears in the Tempo section of the July 9, 2008, newspaper.

Download a pdf file of the list

20080709-CT-50Favorites.pdf

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Redfield says Governor's tour of flooded areas helpful

Gov. Rod Blagojevich stepped back into the public eye to visit flooded communities along the Mississippi River recently and to take a turn filling sandbags in Pike County. Area residents greeted Blagojevich with smiles and handshakes, a change of pace for the embattled Governor.

Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of Political Science at UIS, noted that appearances such as these are reminders of Blagojevich's role as the state's leader and also help let people know that officials are aware of their problems. "You can't look bad out showing concern for disaster victims," he said.

Redfield's comments appeared in an article that ran in the June 20, 2008, Peoria Journal Star.

Download a pdf file of the article

20080620-PJS-FloodsBoostBlagojevich.pdf

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Mooney quoted in article on Obama's ability to win in rural areas

As a new member of the Illinois Senate, Barack Obama began trying to forge connections with voters in the southern part of the state; the results were mixed. Today he is the apparent Democratic presidential candidate, and some in the party are still concerned about his ability to win over voters in largely rural and blue collar areas.

In an article that appeared in the June 15, 2008, Washington Post, UIS Professor of Political Science Chris Mooney noted that one reason Obama has had an impact in southern Illinois is his constituent service.

Download a pdf file of the article

20080615-WP-RuralIllandObamasElectability.pdf

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Redfield sees irony in campaign contributions bill

While the Illinois legislature unanimously passed a bill banning campaign contributions from those who hold large contracts with the state, Gov. Rod Blagojevich has yet to sign the bill into law, saying a lot of work remains to be done on it.

Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Science, said it is ironic that the man whom many see as a prime of example of why the bill is necessary is the one who is expected to sign it into law.

Redfield's comments appeared in an article in the Dekalb Daily Chronicle on June 15, 2008.

Download a pdf file of the article

20080615-DDC-ContributionBanNotDoneDeal.pdf

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Redfield says impeachment memo might help Governor

Many Illinois lawmakers say they see House Speaker Michael Madigan's impeachment memo as "posturing" and a distraction from their efforts to balance the state budget.

Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of Political Science at UIS, says that the memo could actually end up helping Gov. Blagojevich. "It helps the governor to say the speaker is out to get me and he's the one causing the problems," Redfield noted in an article that appeared in the June 12, 2008, West Frankfort Daily American.

Download a pdf file of the article

20080612-WFDA-MemoMayHelpGov.pdf

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Redfield calls memo "out of character"

The leaked memo from Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's staff instructing candidates to call for the impeachment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich may in fact have weakened Madigan's position in his long-standing conflict with the Governor.

"It was pretty heavy-handed and out of character," noted Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Science, in an article in St. Louis Today.com. The article ran on June 12, 2008.

Download a pdf file

20080612-SLT-MemoFalloutContinues.pdf

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Redfield says ethics bill is a "historic opportunity"

Gov. Blagojevich has indicated that he may not sign the new ethics bill recently passed by the General Assembly because it doesn't go far enough. However, many observers are questioning his motives for refusing to sign the bill, which passed both the Senate and the House by large majorities.

An article published in the June 8, 2008, Chicago Tribune quotes Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Science, who notes that the bill presents "a historic opportunity to eliminate one of the major sources of corruption in Illinois politics."

Download a pdf file of the article

20080608-CT-EthicsBillLoomsLarge.pdf

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Redfield offers tips for citizen lobbyists

When it comes to lobbying with state legislators, ordinary citizens can often have an advantage over the professionals. However there are a number of things people can do to present their ideas more effectively.

Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Science, was among the political observers to offer some tips in an article that appeared June 5, 2008, in Medill Reports.

Download a pdf file of the article

20080605-MR-LobbyingIsntJustforPros.pdf

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Redfield says Rezko conviction may mean trouble for others

Now that Antoin Rezko has been convicted in federal court on multiple counts including mail and wire fraud and aiding and abetting bribery, speculation is increasing on what implications that may hold for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and, to a lesser extent, for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

In an article in the June 5, 2008, St. Louis Today.com, Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Science, says there is no question that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald intends to bargain with Rezko over sentencing in exchange for his help in indicting Blagojevich.

Download a pdf file of the article

20080605-STLT-RezkoConvicted.pdf

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Redfield: Obama may suffer "collateral damage" from Rezko ties

With the corruption trial of former political fundraiser Antoin Rezko ending in a conviction, the Republican Party has increased its efforts to publicize Rezko's links to Illinois Senator and Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

In an article in the June 4, 2008, Chicago Daily Herald, UIS Professor Emeritus of Political Science Kent Redfield noted that while nothing in the case directly related to the Senator, "There will certainly, though, be an effort by Republicans to define Obama as just another corrupt Chicago politician."

Download a pdf file of the article

20080604-CDH-GOPExploitRezko.pdf

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Mooney notes legislative session didn't accomplish much

In a report from the Statehouse reviewing what passed or didn't pass during this legislative session, UIS Professor of Political Science Chris Mooney notes that "there wasn't a lot accomplished."

The article appeared on June 5, 2008, in St. Louis Today.com.

Download a pdf file of the article


20080605-STLT-GovLegisBlameEachOther.pdf

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Mooney thinks state won't see much presidential campaigning

Political observers say that Illinoisans shouldn’t expect to see much campaigning by either side in the upcoming Presidential race as it is already nearly a given that the state will go to favorite son Barack Obama.

An article in the June 3, 2008, Galesburg Register-Mail presented observations and predictions from several pundits, including UIS Professor of Political Science Chris Mooney.

Mooney noted that the state has been "moving pretty heavily" toward the Democrats in recent presidential elections. "I think Illinois would have been out of it even if Senator Clinton had won (the nomination)," he said.

Download a pdf file of the article

20080603-GRM-ObamaHasIllinois.pdf

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tribune quotes Redfield in article on payday loans

The multibillion dollar payday loan industry has dramatically increased political contributions across the country in an attempt to minimize the effects of new laws aimed at protecting consumers; politicians in Illinois have received a large share of this money.

Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Studies, was quoted in an article on the subject in the May 27, 2008, Chicago Tribune.

Download a pdf file of the article

20080527-Trib-PaydayLoans.pdf

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Article on Jones' use of campaign funds quotes Redfield

Since 1989, Illinois Senate President Emil Jones has taken thousands of dollars in interest-free personal loans from his campaign funds.

An article that appeared in CBS2 on May 23, 2008, quotes UIS Professor Emeritus Kent Redfield, who reviewed Jones' records on behalf of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. Redfield noted that using "other people's money" to augment one's personal lifestyle is a conflict of interest.

Download a pdf file of the article

20080523-CBS2-JonesUseofFunds.pdf

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Redfield quoted in article on Aurora political contributions

A number of business owners in Aurora have made thousands of dollars in political contributions to the city’s mayor in the names of various corporate entities. Though legal, this practice takes advantage of a loophole in Illinois campaign finance rules.

An article on the subject in the May 25, 2008, Aurora Beacon News quoted Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of Political Studies at UIS.

Download a pdf file of the article

20080525-ABN-MayorsFund.pdf

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

State's name-selling practice is "a way to make money"

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the agency that oversees more than 100 professions in the state, sells its database of names to marketing companies, and has done so for at least 30 years.

UIS Professor of Political Science Chris Mooney was quoted in an article that ran in the May 20, 2008, edition of the Rockford Register Star. Said Mooney, "It sounds like it might be a little bit shady, but the argument on the other side is, 'Would you rather be taxed?'"

Download a pdf file of the article

20080520-RRS-StateSellsNames.pdf

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Redfield cited in Sun-Times article on Jones' use of campaign funds

A government watchdog group is questioning whether Illinois Senate President Emil Jones is taking advantage of a loophole in the law designed to ban personal use of campaign contributions. Since 1989, Jones has taken more than $120,000 in interest-free personal loans from his campaign funds, repaying less than $100,000.

An article that appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times on May 22, 2008, examines the subject and quotes UIS Professor Emeritus Kent Redfield, who reviewed Jones' records on behalf of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. Said Redfield, "It's the kind of open-ended float you would not get if you went to a commercial bank…"

Download a pdf file of the article

20080522-CST-JonesLoans.pdf

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Heupel takes "Issues" into a new era

Illinois Issues, the public affairs magazine published by UIS' Center for State Policy and Leadership, is entering a new era with veteran statehouse reporter Dana Heupel as executive editor.

An article in the May 2008 edition of the Springfield Business Journal profiles both Heupel and the magazine.

Download a pdf file of the article.
20080509-SBJ-Heupel.pdf

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