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Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks to the media after his 14-year sentence was cut short by President Donald Trump. At right is Mark A. Vargas. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

Lost in the hoopla of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s homecoming speech Wednesday was a nod he gave to the mild-mannered man standing nearby. So, who is Mark A. Vargas? Our politics team digs into that and more.

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Actor Jussie Smollett is facing a fresh set of charges for allegedly staging a hate crime on himself. Our politics team digs into that and more in our weekly roundtable.

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There are more reports of alleged bad behavior involving former state lawmakers. Our politics team digs into that and more in our weekly roundtable.

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Beyond Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s State of the State address, the guilty plea of yet another former public official is the talk of Springfield and Chicago. Our politics team digs into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

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Why 574 people in Illinois were erroneously registered to vote. Our politics team digs into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

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Just weeks into 2020, fresh headlines are shining light on politicians behaving unethically. Our politics team digs into those stories and more in our weekly roundtable.

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The fallout from an explosive story involving a top ally of House Speaker Michael Madigan. Our politics team digs into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

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A bombshell announcement from Mayor Lori Lightfoot – with few specifics. Our politics team digs into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

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“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is back in the headlines as the state’s attorney whose office cleared him of charges announces she’s running for re-election. Our politics team digs into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

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A big change could be coming to the Chicago Police Department. Our politics team digs into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

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Who will be the political winners and losers of the Chicago teachers strike? Our politics team digs into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

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The powerful Illinois House speaker is named in a federal subpoena. Our politics team tackles that story and Mayor Lightfoot’s budget proposal in our weekly roundtable.

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A state watchdog’s highly anticipated report on sexual harassment is finally public. Our politics team dives into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

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Federal agents zero in on another powerful Chicago politician. Our politics team dives into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

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Are there early signs of a revolt that could make life harder for Chicago’s mayor? Our politics team takes on that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

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Ald. Ed Burke faces federal corruption charges, but his wife is in line for a promotion. Our politics team takes on that story and more in our weekly roundtable.