Miriam Santos
Mike Cramer

When former City Treasurer Miriam Santos plea-bargained her way to a single mail fraud count last November and was sentenced to the three months and 17 days she had already served in a downstate Illinois prison camp, it was noted somewhere in most news reports that she was the first Hispanic ever elected to a city-wide office in Chicago. What they didn't say was that she's likely to be the last, at least for the time being.

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

My feeling about this new year differs from the last few, when January 1 meant little more than waking up for another day. I sense more urgency, but maybe it's just personal. I mention two items on my own wish list:

Peggy Boyer Long
WUIS/Illinois Issues

A once-in-a-decade legislative session. That's what Statehouse insiders are calling it, and they're not blowing smoke. A lot is riding on what happens over the next few months. For those insiders, yes. For the rest of us too.

Why? The short of it is this: It's the year of the remap and we're in for a heck of a show. The process amounts to political gamesmanship in its purest form - fun to watch, fun to report. Yet the results add up to something more.

One governor revels in pork-barrel politics, arranges sweet deals for cronies and gruffly dismisses questions about corruption. Another governor challenges the party line on abortion and guns, reaches out to blacks and gays and offers bold legislation.

And both governors are George H. Ryan.


Jan 1, 2001
Wm. S. Collins


Bears emerge as biggest
beneficiaries of veto
session benevolence


Jan 1, 2001
Gordon Pruett

Three new justices are on the state's high court

The Illinois Supreme Court became more Democratic last month after three new justices were installed in separate ceremonies in Moline, Springfield and Chicago.

Madeleine Doubek
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Addison Township Democrat Linda Bourke Hilbert ran for the DuPage County Board last fall like the placeholder she was supposed to be. She didn't knock on many doors. She didn't mail any campaign literature. On election night, Hilbert was so convinced she would lose, she paid more attention to presidential returns than her own.

Charles N. Wheeler III
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Monday morning quarterbacks have been having a field day of late, ever since the lame-duck legislative session produced a new home for the Chicago Bears.

Talk-show pundits and editorial writers - most of them from outside Chicagoland - have been picking at the details of the $587 million package that relies on an existing city hotel tax to bankroll renovation of Soldier Field, the Bears' home since they moved from Wrigley Field in 1971.