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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

3 Years, 13 Legionnaires’ Deaths At Illinois Veterans’ Home

Since 2015, 13 residents of a veterans’ home have died from Legionnaires’ disease. Eleven families are suing the state.

WBEZ News

Chicago Lawmaker In Sexual Harassment Probe Did Legal Work For Accuser’s Family

North Side lawmaker Ira Silverstein’s political career is at risk. His law license could be, too.

WBEZ Updates

Gov. Rauner Signs Law To Allow Watchdog To Probe Springfield Ethics Complaints

A new Illinois law empowers a recently named legislative watchdog to probe a backlog of ethics complaints in Springfield.

WBEZ Updates

State Rep. Jeanne Ives Aligns With Trump In Potential Primary Challenge Against Rauner

Republican state Representative Jeanne Ives is aligning herself with President Trump in her potential primary challenge against Governor Bruce Rauner.

Morning Shift

Suburban State Rep. Blames Chicago Violence On ‘Cultural Problem’

Republican Rep. Jeanne Ives says Chicago’s violence can be blamed on absentee fathers.

WBEZ News

DePaul Professor: Trump Adviser Was ‘Zealous And A Bit Simple’

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about ties to a Russian official. He graduated from DePaul with a political science degree.

WBEZ Updates

Another Former Federal Prosecutor Joins Attorney General Race

Another former federal prosecutor is joining the crowded Democratic field for attorney general.

WBEZ Updates

Proposed Bump Stock Ban Flounders

A proposed ban on the firearms attachment used by the Las Vegas gunman to kill dozens of music fans is floundering.

WBEZ News

4 Takeaways From Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Re-election Launch

Dressed in a leather jacket and perched atop his Harley Davidson, Gov. Bruce Rauner made his re-election announcement Monday in a YouTube video.

WBEZ Updates

Chris Kennedy: Illinois Should Seize NS Rail Yard To Crack Down On Gun Trafficking

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Chris Kennedy says Illinois should consider seizing Norfolk Southern’s South Side rail yard as part of a dramatic gun-trafficking crackdown.

WBEZ Updates

Former Police Conduct Top Investigator Announces Run For Illinois Attorney General

The former top investigator of alleged police misconduct in Chicago is joining the crowded field of Democrats running for Illinois attorney general.

WBEZ Updates

Rauner’s Priorities Differ On Obama Library, Amazon

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the state may be too broke to help the Obama presidential library but not to lure Amazon's headquarters.

WBEZ Updates

Next Illinois Governor Would Sign Off On Amazon Incentives

When Amazon announces the location of its second headquarters, Illinois will likely be immersed in a heated gubernatorial campaign.

WBEZ News

Illinois’ Amazon Prime Time: Gov Candidates Weigh In On Possible HQ2 Deal

The Democratic candidates want local leaders to think hard about what tax breaks to offer, but that’s where the agreement ends.

WBEZ News

Rauner Signs Abortion Bill That He Vowed To Veto

Rauner's decision prompted a backlash from conservatives, with the House Republican floor leader renouncing his support for the governor.

Morning Shift Podcast

In Luring Amazon, How Much Is Too Much?

Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin said Illinois shouldn't make some of the same concessions Wisconsin made to lure Foxconn.

Morning Shift

In Luring Amazon, How Much Is Too Much?

Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin said Illinois shouldn't make some of the same concessions Wisconsin made to lure Foxconn.

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