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

We Asked The Illinois Governor Candidates 18 Yes Or No Questions

Only one completely followed the directions.

WBEZ News

‘Sorry For Your Loss’: Rauner Apologizes To Legionnaires’ Families In Final Debate

Gov. Bruce Rauner clashed with Democratic Challenger JB Pritzker during their final debate before the Nov. 6 election.

WBEZ News

Before Debate, Quincy Legionnaires’ Families Gather To Reflect

After telling their stories to WBEZ, families of Legionnaires’ disease victims at the Quincy veterans’ home shift blame to Gov. Rauner.

On Background: WBEZ's Politics Podcast

Neglecting Veterans, Removing Toilets, Criminal Finger Pointing

Why are the top two candidates for Illinois governor being accused of criminal behavior?

WBEZ News

Pritzker’s Toilet Tax Break ‘In The Hands Of’ Special Prosecutions Unit

Cook County’s top prosecutor wades into spat over Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker’s questionable property tax appeal.

WBEZ News

Pritzker’s Toilet Tax Break ‘In The Hands Of’ Special Prosecutions Unit

Cook County’s top prosecutor wades into spat over Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker’s questionable property tax appeal.

WBEZ News

Rauner, Pritzker Debate Quincy ‘Cover-Up’ And ‘Toiletgate’

Scandals took center stage as the Republican governor and Democratic challenger faced off in the campaign’s second debate.

WBEZ News

Rauner Administration Faces Criminal Probe From Attorney General

Dem attorney general targets GOP Gov. Rauner’s administration over handling of deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks at a state vets' home.

WBEZ News

Rauner’s Office Contributed To Delay In Quincy Legionnaires' Notice

Slow public response by Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration to Legionnaires' crisis extended to outbreaks in 2016 and 2017, records show.

WBEZ News

Guv Candidates Jab At Each Other Over Taxes, Untruths

The first gubernatorial debate ahead of the November 6 midterm election saw more insult than substance.

WBEZ News

Report: Existing Evidence ‘Insufficient’ To Prove Hat Belonged To Lincoln

A report on the hat's authenticity encouraged the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to “soften its claim about the hat.”

WBEZ News

Rauner Blocks Bill To Raise Payouts To Families Of Legionnaires’ Victims

The bill would have raised the state’s $100,000 cap on damages to $2 million.

On Background: WBEZ's Politics Podcast

Deep Fried Politics

A closer look at the politics of the Illinois State Fair.

WBEZ News

Politics And Murder: Another Embarrassment For Madigan's Organization

A new disclosure represents another loosened thread in the once tightly-knit Madigan political organization.

WBEZ News

Vets’ Home Legionnaires’ Outbreaks Spur New Disease Notification Law

The new law would require state veterans’ homes to notify residents and their families within 24 hours of an infectious disease outbreak.

WBEZ News

Lawsuit: Hospital Slow To Detect Legionnaires’ In Quincy Home Resident

A new lawsuit claims a hospital botched tests that would have sooner detected Legionnaires’ disease in fatal Quincy veterans’ home case.

WBEZ News

New Lawsuit: Rauner Administration Negligent In Quincy Legionnaires’ Death

“They tried to sweep under the carpet an existing problem,” said the son of a Korean War vet who died at the downstate home.

WBEZ News

‘That’s A Sad Woman’: Struggling Lincoln Foundation To Sell Monroe, Sandburg Photos

The photos highlight the unlikely friendship between one of Illinois’ greatest poets and America’s most iconic sex symbol.

WBEZ News

Rauner Blames Legionnaires’ Outbreaks On ‘Floods And Tornadoes’

The governor blamed the deadly outbreaks on the weather, but experts say there is no proof.

WBEZ News

‘Rest In Honor’: Quincy Vet Hosted By Rauner Dies After Legionnaires’ Illness

The Air Force vet was a guest at Rauner’s State of the State speech. He later got Legionnaires’ and died after a series of health issues.

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