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James Robert Thompson

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  • Reversing course in Illinois

    Reversing course in Illinois
    The most portentous election of 2014, which gave the worst-governed state its first Republican governor in 12 years, has initiated this century's most intriguing political experiment. Illinois has favored Democratic presidential candidates by an average of 16 points in the last six elections. But by electing businessman Bruce Rauner, it initiated a process that might dismantle a form of governance that afflicts many states and municipalities.
  • The great school funding con game

    Ladies and gentlemen, friends and neighbors, boys and girls, you are about to witness the ability of human beings to believe almost anything (the willingness to suspend their disbelief, as thespians refer to it) in order to reach a conclusion that...

    American Quality Schools sets sights on Batavia for new private school

    American Quality Schools sets sights on Batavia for new private school
    A former state and national education official has set his sights on Kane County as the location for his new venture – a small, private school that won't focus on standardized tests. Michael Bakalis, a former Illinois state superintendent,...

    Mr. Rauner: Advice from a Democrat who voted for you

    Mr. Rauner: Advice from a Democrat who voted for you
    As a Democrat who voted for Republican Bruce Rauner, I'd like to offer 10 suggestions to make him an effective governor. 1) Send your campaign staff home. The campaign by both sides was disgraceful. Too much money, too many commercials, too much nasty...

    4 key advisers who will help shape Rauner's administration

    4 key advisers who will help shape Rauner's administration
    It's difficult to predict who will take official positions in the administration of Illinois governor-elect Bruce Rauner, a multimillionaire private equity executive-turned-politician. But it was clear he will rely heavily on about a dozen mostly...