Local Commentaries

The opinions expressed in these commentaries are not necessarily those of Tri States Public Radio or Western Illinois University. Diverse viewpoints are welcomed and encouraged.

Rich Egger

Progressive Democrats are fighting back against employers that break the law by introducing legislation on Capitol Hill that makes free association with unions a Civil Right.

Wiki Commons

A lot of attention is understandably being paid to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent “Harris v. Quinn” ruling.

Wiki Commons

Last month, a progressive actor equally at ease playing a ne’er-do-well gambler, private eye or astronaut died: James Garner. The best among favorite actors, he still lives on old black-and-white western reruns.

Rich Egger

Township and municipal officials statewide are trying to comply with Illinois’ law on providing past public records to a Chicagoland Republican with connections to Tea Party groups while coping with a lack of staff or the type of material requested.

Progressives and conservatives alike should be outraged at the bipartisan stonewalling and slights that last week culminated in the Illinois Green Party having to file a federal lawsuit about ballot access.

Rich Egger

College costs and student loans aren’t being discussed enough, but maybe this month’s increase of student-loan interest rates will start something.

Wage Theft in Baseball

Jul 16, 2014
Rich Egger

Two days after Major League Baseball’s annual All-Star Game, the contest at Minneapolis’ Target Field is over but the contest between owners and their employees who aren’t players is in extra innings.


Six years ago this week, when George W. Bush was still President, terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, killing six.


As flags unfurl, fireworks explode, and independence celebrated this week, patriotism seems absent from many corporate boardrooms, and an effort to encourage America-first business with roots in west-central Illinois lies dormant since being introduced eight years ago.

Renee C. Byer

Eighty-five people have more wealth than the poorest 3.5 billion people on the planet.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

After Republican Eric Cantor lost his primary race to a Tea Party challenger last week, most press prophets seemed either to sympathize with the House Majority Loser as Capitol Hill’s equivalent of California Chrome losing the Belmont Stakes to little-known Tonalist or to celebrate the upset as Washington’s or the GOP’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

But it’s less about the Loser – an Establishment Republican, despite his ultra-conservative bona fides – than the Virginia voters who supported Dave Brat: populists.

Rich Egger

Corporations and mainstream media often repeat the “jobs vs. the environment” angle to situations, but that’s a false choice.


Spring is here.  (All together now: “FINALLY!”)

Rich Egger

The Illinois legislature’s spring session is supposed to end this week, roads and bridges are deteriorating, and state and federal programs to fund construction are expiring, so an unusual coalition of business and labor proposed a plan to address the situation.

However, it’s unclear where it stands in Springfield.

Wrapping up are Illinois Jobs Now – which funds maintenance and construction of roads, highways and public transit, set to end July 1 – and the federal Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), ending Sept. 30 (if its funds don’t run out sooner).

Harvest Public Media

As recently reported, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea killed millions of piglets in 27 states this year. Possibly originating in China, Iowa farmers were hurt the worst.