The purpose of journalism is to uncover truth – especially uncomfortable truth – and to publish it for the benefit of society. In a free society, we must be informed of the criminal acts carried out by governments in the name of the people. Throughout history, journalists have uncovered the many ways governments lie, cheat, and steal – and the great lengths they will go to keep the people from finding out.

As of October 21, hospital admissions for patients with COVID-like illnesses had increased 75 percent in two weeks within the Illinois Department of Public Health's “Region 8,” which includes DuPage and Kane counties. As of October 23, only 25 percent of hospital beds in Region 8 were open, down from a third earlier that week. The state's hospitalization “red zone” is 20-percent availability. At that point, regions are automatically put into state mitigation.

After Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan appeared in all but actual name in ComEd's deferred federal-prosecution agreement, Representative Terra Costa Howard (D-Glen Ellyn) was one of the first Democratic state Representatives to call on him to resign without the qualifying “if he did it” language. And the freshman Democratic legislator has been breaking pretty much all precedent the past month or so by putting significant campaign money where her mouth is.

Blinders will have to come off before masks do.

We all agree there is a new coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 that causes a disease called COVID-19, from which people have died. That's pretty much where the agreement begins to wobble as new information is discovered, building on the science and informing the relative risk, which in turn informs the extreme response that lingers with increasingly less justification.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin is a former prosecutor, and that outlook on life has never really left him. He's not big on a lot of criminal-justice reforms, even standing up to his party's president to oppose the early prison-release of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. He was staunchly opposed to legalizing cannabis. I'm sure that House Speaker Michael Madigan's highly-public legal troubles grate on Durkin to no end, as they would on almost any former prosecutor.

The River Cities’ Reader asked the four candidates vying for two of the available County Supervisor seats to answer six questions in advance of the November 3 election. The background information, questions, and answers for incumbent Republicans Tony Knobbe and Ken Beck and challenger Democrats Jazmin Newton and Rogers Kirk are printed below. Responses are presented in full but have been lightly edited for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.  Please see these additional introductory remarks on Why Local County Elections Matter

The River Cities’ Reader asked the two candidates for Scott County Sheriff to answer 12 questions in advance of the November 3 election. The background information, questions, and answers for incumbent Republican County Sheriff Tim Lane and his Democratic challenger Scott County Sheriff's Deputy Pete Bawden are printed below. Responses are presented in full but have been lightly edited for spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Please see these additional introductory remarks on Why Local County Elections Matter

Why Local County Elections Matter

We've written about the importance of the quiet government, the county officers, for years. Most Quad Citizens can't name their county sheriff or a single county supervisor. And that's just fine for them, as they have no readily tangible example of how those offices impact their daily lives. If you don't pay property taxes, interact with the court system, develop property in the unincorporated rural county, or utilize mental-health services, then this indifference is somewhat understandable.

Iowa Voter Alliance Sues Scott County Over CTCL Election Grnt

Scott Countians recently learned that County Auditor Roxanna Moritz, a longtime activist for both the Scott County and Iowa Democrat Parties, applied for and received a COVID-19 Relief Grant from the privately funded, Chicago-based non-profit organization Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) in the amount of $286,870 for election management. (RCReader.com/y/ctcl1 and RCReader.com/y/ctcl2)

It's well-known that the Illinois House Republicans (along with pretty much all Illinois Republicans) are using House Speaker Michael Madigan's bad reputation to bludgeon their Democratic opponents. Speaker Madigan has been enormously unpopular in Illinois. It's probably worse now because he's been in the news so much during the long federal investigation into ComEd and the company's resulting deferred-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney in Chicago.

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