Dave McKinney | WBEZ
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Dave McKinney

Dave McKinney

Reporter, State Politics

Dave McKinney, state politics reporter at WBEZ, spent 19 years as the Chicago Sun-Times Springfield bureau chief with additional stops at Reuters and the Daily Herald. His work also has been published in Crain’s Chicago Business, the New York Times and Chicago Magazine.

McKinney, named by the Washington Post in 2014 as one of the country’s best statehouse reporters, has won the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Best-in-Business award, the Chicago Headline Club’s Lisagor Award for political and government reporting, the Chicago Bar Association’s Herman Kogan Award for Meritorious Achievement and the Chicago Journalists Association’s Sarah Brown Boyden Award. McKinney also was named Journalist of the Year by his alma mater, Eastern Illinois University, inducted into the university’s journalism hall of fame and was recipient of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform’s Dawn Clark Netsch “Straight Talk Award” in 2015.

In Springfield, McKinney captured Rod Blagojevich’s final words as governor on the day of his 2009 impeachment by asking if he felt obliged to apologize to Illinoisans. “Sorry for what?” Blagojevich answered in a phrase that became the next day’s front-page headline. McKinney also covered corruption under Blagojevich and George Ryan, came face to face with Fidel Castro during Ryan’s 1999 trip to Cuba and live-tweeted an exorcism by Springfield’s Roman Catholic bishop after Illinois legalized gay marriage in 2013.

A lifelong Illinoisan with family roots downstate, McKinney is married, the proud father of two children and owner of a golden retriever and Wheaten terrier.

Recent Stories

WBEZ News

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker Says His Arsenal Against COVID-19 Is ‘Nearly Exhausted’

"Our strongest weapon against COVID-19 is you,” Pritzker said, pleading for Illinoisans to stay indoors.

WBEZ News

As COVID-19 Cases Spike, Illinois Health Chief Sees ‘More and More Difficult’ Weeks Ahead

Illinois' total number of cases has doubled since Saturday, and the new deaths announced Wednesday mark a 42% jump in fatalities in one day.

WBEZ News

Still Weeks From The COVID-19 Peak, Pritzker Extends Illinois ‘Stay-At-Home’ Order For Another Month

Gov. JB Pritzker acknowledged Illinois is still weeks away from weathering the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WBEZ News

Pritzker: McCormick Place Will Be Fully Converted Into A COVID-19 Field Hospital By The End Of April

The plan puts 3,000 beds at McCormick Place and outfits facilities in Elgin and Blue Island

WBEZ News

Illinois Governor Expands Relief Programs As COVID-19 Deaths Jump

Pritzker expands the state food, homeless and child care programs as the COVID-19 death toll reaches 34.

WBEZ News

COVID-19 Cases Race Higher As Illinois Awaits Billions In Federal Relief

New cases are now accumulating at a staggering pace of one nearly every two minutes.

WBEZ News

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker Postpones Tax-Filing Deadline As COVID-19 Chaos Worsens

Besides a tax-filing extension, Pritzker offers $90 million in small-business aid as Illinois COVID-19 fatalities more than triple since Saturday

WBEZ News

Pritzker: Virus Could Have Swamped Hospitals By Next Week If Not For The Stay At Home Order

Illinois could have exhausted its supply of hospital beds, intensive-care space and ventilators by next week if not for business and school closures and a stay at home order.

WBEZ News

Stymied By The Feds, The Pritzker Administration Secures COVID-19 Gear On Its Own

The state purchased millions of masks urgently needed by health care workers on the COVID-19 frontlines.

WBEZ News

‘I Don’t Come To This Decision Easily’: Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker Issues A ‘Stay At Home’ Order

The governor orders nonessential workers and residents to stay home as COVID-19 cases continue to swell.

WBEZ News

March 19: Total Number of COVID-19 Cases Reaches 422 In Illinois

The governor points to an "exponential" 47% spike in cases from Wednesday as more Illinoisans get tests.

WBEZ News

As COVID-19 Cases Climb, Governor Promises More Testing Capacity

State officials announced 128 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, and cautioned the numbers will only continue to rise.

WBEZ News

Joe Biden Wins Illinois Democratic Nomination For President

The coronavirus outbreak forced campaigns to cancel rallies in the battleground state.

WBEZ News

Election Day: Polling Problems, Political Squabbling, But Better Turnout Than Feared Amid Coronavirus

The governor's office said it was "disgusted" by a Chicago election official's complaint that Tuesday's voting wasn't postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But low turnout not as low as some feared it could be.

WBEZ News

With Coronavirus Pandemic Weighing On Illinois Democratic Presidential Primary, Voters Choose Biden Or Sanders

The coronavirus outbreak forced campaigns to cancel rallies in the battleground state.

WBEZ News

Pence Calls Pritzker After Twitter Rant, Promises O’Hare Help

Gov. JB Pritzker got a promise from Vice President Pence for more O'Hare customs staffing after huge delays caused by coronavirus screening.

WBEZ News

Illinois Gov. Pritzker: ‘We’re Gonna Go Ahead’ With Tuesday’s Primary Elections

Gov. JB Pritzker’s comments come as election officials across Chicagoland race to find new polling places amid COVD-19 concerns.

WBEZ News

With 7 New COVID-19 Cases, Governor Cancels Large Gatherings

Gov. JB Pritzker cancels gatherings of more than 1,000 people and major sports events. He’s also closing the Thompson Center.

WBEZ News

Chicago Mayor Lightfoot, Sen. Durbin Endorse Biden In Democratic Presidential Race

The endorsements of the former vice president comes less than two weeks before Illinois’ March 17 primary election.

WBEZ News

Emails Show ComEd Lobbyist’s Deep Impact In Madigan’s Inner Circle

Speaker’s top aide and utility’s chief advocate in Springfield discussed finding jobs at the power company for former aides.

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