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Ever seen that part of a war movie when soldiers parachute onto a raging battlefield?  Bullets are flying in every direction while bombs explode in the darkness. For the paratroopers, the first few minutes on the ground in search of their bearings are absolutely the most critical.  In the movie, our hero survives the chaos, locates his unit and lives to fight another day!
  Well, yours truly has a similar role in a in a recurring political  epic playing these days on ABC7 News that might be titled "Drop Zone Illinois".  With Andy Shaw's eminent retirement, I have taken over the Political reporter's job that he mastered for 25 years, "parachuting" into the coverage of several of the biggest stories in Illinois and Chicago political history.
  I've got to believe my 35 years as a professional journalist (the last 18 at ABC7) have prepared me well for the challenge and my confidence is rooted in the knowledge that I am supported by the on and off-the-air team at the top-rated news organization in Chicago. 
  "Journalist of the Year" Andy Shaw has been the best.  But we want our political coverage at ABC7 to be even better.  That's how  you and "Precinct7" are involved.  The precinct is the basic point at which citizens in our democracy engage the political process.  I hope that this space becomes the new age version of the proverbial "smoke-filled room".   I'll drop in frequently with on and off-the-record stuff that I get from the pols themselves and hopefully, many of you will add your opinions and what you know and hear.

  By the way, headed back to Chicago from Springfield where yesterday, the newly-sworn State Senate technically began the Governor's impeachment trial.  Is this process moving fast or what?  Too fast to be fair?



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