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John Thomas is shown leaving court Friday. The former federal informant is accused of stealing $370,000 from the village of Riverdale that was meant for the development of Riverdale Marina. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Informant in Rezko, Carothers cases accused of stealing TIF money

Federal authorities gave long-time government mole John Thomas a Good Friday surprise, arresting him at his home early Friday morning.

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., recently said he will now campaign for Republican Senate candidate Jim Oberweis. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times

Mark Kirk’s conundrum in Durbin-Oberweis race

After U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., suffered a major stroke in early 2012, a whispering campaign quickly followed. Reporters queried. Political operatives impatiently pushed. Would he come back? Could he come back? Shouldn’t he resign if he couldn’t return yet?

Bruce Rauner spent $15.2 million from the time he launched his bid in 2013 to the end of March. That was more than any of his rivals for the GOP nomination, which he won with 327,289 votes — meaning he spent about $46 per vote. | Associated Press

Rauner wins again, this time in money spent per vote

Sometimes, money can buy you love. In the contest for the Republican governor primary nomination, Bruce Rauner spent a staggering $15.2 million from the time he launched his bid in 2013 to the end of March. The spending eclipsed any of his rivals, paving the way for the Winnetka venture capitalist to not only clinch the GOP nomination in March, but walk away with more primary votes than even Gov. Pat Quinn.

Bruce Rauner. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Illinois State Medical Society backs Rauner with $150k

The Illinois State Medical Society PAC has pumped $150,000 into the campaign account of GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner, state reports show. The money was part of a Rauner campaign filing on Thursday that reflected more than $350,000 to the candidate. 

Judge Sheldon A. Harris in 2007

Harris spends $1 million for judge post — five times the salary

Landing a position on the Illinois appeals court now comes with a bigger price tag, newly released campaign finance reports show.  Sheldon “Shelly” Harris, whose ads blanketed TV for two weeks during the March primary, spent nearly $1 million — 14 times more than his closest competitor — in his successful bid for the state’s appellate court in the first district. Another first district appellate candidate, John Simon, spent $660,000 for a different vacancy and went on to win his bid. 

No kidding? Dan Rutherford's campaign fund closed out with about $1.1 million after a federal lawsuit derailed his chances for governor.

No kidding? Dan Rutherford closes quarter with $1.1 million

Illinois State Treasurer's Dan Rutherford's crash and burn campaign for governor left him with a campaign balance of more than $1.1 million — largely due to a decision within the campaign to cut off spending. 

Gov. Pat Quinn is sitting pretty with $8.8 million in his campaign warchest as he heads into battle against Republican challenger Bruce Rauner.

Quinn's war chest swells to nearly $9 million as Rauner recovers

Thanks to an easy primary, Gov. Pat Quinn holds a huge fund-raising advantage over Bruce Rauner as the two head into the general election.

Dairy magnate Jim Oberweis, who wants to unseat U.S. Senate Dick Durbin in November, made $1 million in 2013.

Oberweis releases taxes; Made $1 million in 2013

Republican U.S. Senate contender and dairy magnate Jim Oberweis made more than $1 million in 2013 and $1.3 million the previous year, his campaign disclosed today.

Illinois Gov. George Ryan, right, and State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka get together on Governors Day in 2001 at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Guilt by association often used, rarely successful in politics

Anyone following politics in Illinois remembers the ad well. Judy Baar Topinka in khakis dancing the polka with the casually dressed former Gov. George Ryan.