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Rep. Nekritz to retire

Friday, Jun 16, 2017

* From Rep. Elaine Nekritz…

I just sent this to the committeemen in my district.

Mr. Matt Flamm
Democratic Committeeman, Palatine Township

Mr. Michael Kreloff
Democratic Committeeman, Northfield Township

Mr. Terry Link
Democratic County Chair, Lake County

Mr. Mark Walker
Democratic Committeeman, Wheeling Township

Dear Sirs,

It has been an honor to serve as State Representative from the 57th District since 2003. I have worked diligently from the day I was elected to represent the good people of this district and this state with humility and passion. But after careful thought, it is time for me to step back and create an opportunity for a new leader who can take on our state’s tremendous problems with the same mindset.

I am writing to inform you that I will not be seeking reelection to the position in the 2018 election cycle and intend to leave at the appropriate time before the end of my term. I know how important it is for this seat to continue to be represented by someone who shares our core goals and values, so I wanted to make sure you and the other members of our local Democratic Party had ample time to find the right person who will best represent our area.

Thank you again for your support in my elections and service in Springfield, and your good work for our district. I trust you will find the right candidate who will help move our state forward.

Regards,

Elaine Nekritz

Man, that’s a huge loss for the House and for the state. Elaine is a quality legislator and highly respected. But she’s been supremely frustrated with this impasse and I don’t blame her for moving on.

I think there will be more of these, by the way. Lots more, particularly if nothing is done by the end of June.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

64 Comments
  1. - The Dude Abides - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:27 am:

    It’s too bad when you lose someone who is very capable at their job as in this case.
    Rich, when you say you anticipate there being more like this do you mean from both parties or mainly Democrats?


  2. - SAP - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:28 am:

    Too bad. Maybe the Governor can drop his term limits demand–he seems to be getting them the haard already.


  3. - Carhartt Union Negotiating Team - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:30 am:

    …and, in anticipation of another great investment they might be able to purchase, the saliva dribbles out the mouths of hedge fund millionaires at the wine club.

    Too bad. I don’t always agree with her, but Elaine is thoughtful, well-informed and duty-driven. She’s caught a lot of flak from “natural allies” for work in pensions, but she wasn’t mean-spirited or sinister in her work. Just practical.

    Let’s hope “practical” is a strong quality of whomever fills those well-worn shoes.


  4. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:33 am:

    Poor leadership does more to crush morale than any other single factor whether it be the public or private sector. The worker bees who are passionate about their jobs and who are serving for the right reasons quickly become disillusioned when those at the top seek ulterior motives. You continue fighting for what’s right but there comes a point when you’re tired and beaten down. That’s when good people are lost. It’s a dang shame this is allowed to happen.


  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:35 am:

    The former President of Northeastern Illinois University (Sharon Hahs) retired for similar reasons. The budget impasse has exhausted many good people


  6. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    I suspect we do not yet know the full story here.


  7. - Emily Miller - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    This is really, really bad news. Representative Nekritz is smart, compassionate, thoughtful and open to compromise and negotiation. She’s not prone to knee jerk reactions, and she’s independent-minded. She is exactly the kind of leader we need.


  8. - Roman - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:40 am:

    Unfortunately, it’s the reasonable people who can actually meet in the middle and solve problems (Bivins, Nekritz) who lose patients and leave during unreasonable times.

    I hate to see who’s next.


  9. - winners and losers - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    We need a balance of experienced legislators and new faces with other viewpoints.

    With the small number of legislative days, we do not need so many State Senators and State Representatives serving full-time.


  10. - NoNews - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:43 am:

    This is a huge loss. But who can blame her?


  11. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:43 am:

    Hopefully she will be cartwheeling into a better gig.


  12. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:43 am:

    SAP - 80% of the state wants term limits. And all he’s asking for is the right to VOTE on it. That’s the time to make your case, at this point Madigan and company are doing nothing less than sticking a middle finger out to the voters on the issue.

    Look, she bears far less of the blame for the state’s state than most, and she may be leaving for age/health/other personal reasons, but the people I’m going to respect the most are the ones who stick around through the pain to come. No Democrats during the Quinn years (well, maybe Drury and a handful of others but I don’t recall it) were truly shouting the alarm about the misery the poor and middle class in this face were going to be experiencing because of our commitments to public worker pensions. They all kicked the can down the road - some just kicked it harder. At least don’t run away right as the bill is coming due.


  13. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    (Um, in this state…sorry - sometimes I think my fingers have a mind of their own)


  14. - titan - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    I’ve met her on several occasions and had the chance to talk with her at some length. She is highly intelligent, very thoughtful and was always very reasonable to deal with. She will be missed.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    To the Post,

    What makes legislators like Elaine Nektitz, in both chambers, in both parties, so incredibly good is that they bring their talents, expertise, but more importantly they bring the ability to see all sides and understand that the politics of governing shouldn’t be placed ahead of what’s needed for the state or the people.

    We throw “thoughtful” around quite a bit, I know I do, but when you see a legislator like Elaine Nekritz and you understand her motivations and how she goes about her business, agree with her politics or not, you respect her, and the thoughtfulness she has brought to the job and for the state of Illinois.

    Independent thoughtfulness will get frustrating when your partisan side stifles your own willingness to compromise for a greater good outside a political framing.

    Losses like Elaine Nekritz are the fallout this state can’t afford in this short term, and the chances we have left right now are dwindling. Only a blind partisan would see losses like an Elaine Nekritz as anything but what it truly is. It’s a loss for Illinois and a loss of a thoughtful legislator when both chambers and both caucuses need them most.

    Rep. Nekritz, thank you for your service, your thoughtfulness, and your hard work in the Illinois House.

    Oswego Willy


  16. - don the legend - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    Anonymous is like the holy trinity, 3 in 1.

    —The former President of Northeastern Illinois University (Sharon Hahs) retired for similar reasons. The budget impasse has exhausted many good people—

    —I suspect we do not yet know the full story here. —

    —Hopefully she will be cartwheeling into a better gig. —


  17. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    We need more legislators like Elaine Nekritz, not fewer. She’s very smart, works hard, represents her district well and can work across the aisle. She went to Springfield with the best intentions and worked hard to uphold her principles. She will be sorely missed.

    Best wishes Rep. Nekritz, and thanks for all you’ve done for Illinois.


  18. - walker - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 9:53 am:

    The best, period.


  19. - Cassandra - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 10:00 am:

    I didn’t always agree with her either-especially on the pension issue-but I agree it’s a loss. And she had a long career ahead of her, had she stayed. That experience is hard to replace.

    There are many, many members of the General Assembly who are, well, fairly useless-in both parties, I hasten to add-but Ms. Nekritz is not one of them.

    I wish her well.


  20. - State worker - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    I’m speechless. This can’t be.


  21. - Dee4Three - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    Devastating loss.


  22. - walker - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    Elaine knew where to announce it first — Rich’s blog.

    This is heartbreaking at many levels. Best wishes to her.


  23. - PublicServant - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    Man, Rauner and Proft will bury that district in negative ads, and misinformation for whoever the Democrats put forward, and I’m sure the frat boys are going to be searching for the next Rauner puppet to take over.


  24. - JoeMaddon - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    I knew this was coming, but it still really, really sucks.

    Elaine was and is one of the best legislators in Springfield. She will very much be missed.


  25. - Amalia - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    Well, when your former intern has a sweet gig as a suburban mayor, it makes the drive to a crazy session look longer.


  26. - Morty - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    After her zeal in going after pensioners in Illinios I can’t say that I’m sorry to see her go.

    I wonder which side this will weaken more. Rauner often made a point of saying she was a member open to compromise. But she then went pretty quiet in the last year, so I wonder if Madigan began pressuring her to toe the company line.

    But as others said I’m sure he sees this as a golden opprotunity to buy a seat in the next cycle.


  27. - cdog - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    She seems to be a quality member, as the testimonies here prove.

    So now, does this mean she and any others intending to leave can be counted on to vote independently of the wishes of The Overlords?

    I hope so. We need as many free Dem reps and free GOP reps/senators as possible in this era when elected politicians find themselves owned.


  28. - yo - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    Noooooooooooooo. So sad, can’t say I blame her. Toxic place.


  29. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    I thought the world of her and just became her constituent and was looking forward to voting for her. Just shocked.


  30. - Smitty Irving - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    lake county democrat -
    Term limits are nothing more than Voter A telling Voter B “You’re guy is better than my guy, so I’m going to take away your right to vote for him.” Nothing more, nothing less.


  31. - A guy - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    Personally…I’ll miss her.


  32. - the Cardinal - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    Bike on Elain ! Your have always been a thoughtful legislator.


  33. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    Smitty - two entirely separate questions. I’d actually vote against term limits myself (I’m a fervent believer in redistricting reform). But they are constitutional at the state level and 80% of voters consistently say they support them (most of them strongly). When that happens and the voters have no way to effect change other than the ludicrous suggestion that they become single-issue voters on the subject and throw opponents in both parties out en mass, you effectively aren’t a representative democracy anymore. Even the draconian constitutional referendum process isn’t available to them on this issue (and probably redistricting - the supposedly independent state supreme court has refused to answer that question though it’s been put to them 3 times).


  34. - Not It - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    The Illinois General Assembly does not appreciate independent thinkers.

    We don’t want nobody that nobody sent.


  35. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    For all the love of independence out there, amazing how much some of y’all hate Drury. Guess pushing back on arrogance is more important.


  36. - Rod - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 11:52 am:

    As Representative Nekritz said in 2012: “Today, I proudly stand with our district and oppose concealed carry in Illinois. We need better gun laws in our state, and as I receive the endorsement of Brady PAC Illinois, I will work to reach that goal.” Unlike most of the posters so far I am totally thrilled to see Rep Nekritz retire and look forward to the possibility that the 57th district can elect a Democrat who respects the rights of legal gun owners in towns like Arlington Heights where its Police Chief Gerald Mourning was quoted in the Chicago Tribune stating problems with concealed carry have been virtually non-existent.


  37. - Mama - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    Dear Rep. Elaine Nekritz, thank you for your service. Thank you for standing up for what is right for the people of Illinois and not the special interest money.


  38. - Vasyl - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 12:13 pm:

    This is a huge loss for the state. I hope she reconsiders, but I still want to thank her for her service and wish her the bgbgest in whatever she does next in life. Shevdeserves it.


  39. - Adam Eaton - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 12:14 pm:

    It will be hard to find a more thoughtful and respected legislator than Rep. Nekritz. If someone like her has grown so frustrated with this process that it is time to walk away, we are in a dark period of state government.

    We need more like her, not less.

    Best of luck, Rep. Nekritz. You will be missed.


  40. - for real - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    Do you have any idea what legislators, particularly those like Nekritz, go through on a day-to-day basis? They are put through hell, and I don’t mean by legislative leaders or the Governor. They are treated like absolutely trash by people who have little understand or knowledge what a legislator actually does for them or the State. Some legitimately fear for their lives and the lives of their families. They are subjected to constant personal and political attacks for sticking up for their beliefs or doing what they think is right.

    You want to know why smart, hard working, thoughtful people are leaving government? Because right now too many people aren’t looking for the kind of government that someone like Elaine can provide. They want something far different, and far too frightening for my taste.

    President Obama said, “People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don’t work, but as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve,” and, “if you don’t vote and you don’t pay attention, you’ll get policies that don’t reflect your interest.”

    We lose people like Elaine because people aren’t paying attention.


  41. - DuPage - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    She bailed long and hard to try to keep the ship afloat. As Rauner drills more holes in the bottom of a sinking ship, the time has come to put down the bucket and go to the lifeboat. Best wishes to Ms. Nekritz


  42. - Mongo - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    Representative Nekritz, I salute you. Your view of the big picture, your attention to detail, your compassion, your acknowledgement that good ideas come from both sides of the aisle, your goddang persistence, are so valuable. From budgets to pensions, open space to ethics, you make a difference and will be sorely missed.


  43. - Capitol View - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 12:36 pm:

    If we throw retirement parties for some of the deadwood in the legislature, perhaps they will retire too? I understand Elaine’s frustrations; perhaps if a true budget and revenue modernizations pass this month she may change her mind.


  44. - Veil of Ignorance - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 1:09 pm:

    I’ve worked with Elaine for the last 5-6 years and have always appreciated her candor, thoughtfulness, and desire to fix real problems faced by different comnunities. She will be missed a great deal.


  45. - BobO - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    Thanks to Elaine and her work on behalf of individuals with disabilities throughout her district and Illinois. You will be missed!


  46. - blue collar - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 1:41 pm:

    Man, that’s a huge loss for the House and for the state. Elaine is a quality legislator and highly respected. But she’s been supremely frustrated with this impasse and I don’t blame her for moving on.
    With all due respect, I do not know much about her other than her support of the completely unconstitutional effort to reduce my pension.


  47. - stateandlake - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    Thank you for your service Rep. Nekritz. You will be missed. Always listening, always fair in my dealings with you.


  48. - blue collar - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 2:04 pm:

    OW shows his true RINO colors. Go ahead OW try to chastise, humiliate me or whatever else you wish. I really do not care what you say or believe. One of the reasons I usually only read and do not comment on this blog


  49. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 2:10 pm:

    ===One of the reasons I usually only read and do not comment on this blog.===

    … and yet, here you are, commenting.

    Commenting about “R _ _ _ “, when my comment says…

    ===We throw “thoughtful” around quite a bit, I know I do, but when you see a legislator like Elaine Nekritz and you understand her motivations and how she goes about her business, agree with her politics or not, you respect her, and the thoughtfulness she has brought to the job and for the state of Illinois.===

    “agree with her politics or not”

    It’s embarrassing for you to not read thoughtfully, and have your distain for respecting other on the other side of the aisle be one of the few times you comment on this blog.

    Your comment says more about you and probably why you don’t comment often. Rabid, blind, partisanship usually faces blowback.

    I don’t need to embarrass you, you are very aware your own words do that better than I ever could.


  50. - Illinois poster - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 2:14 pm:

    There are about 10 legislators in Springfield, both parties and chambers, who are smart enough on policy and politics and hard working enough to take on virtually any complex issue and find a solution. Elaine is one of them. Regardless of how you feel about the position she took on any particular issue, she worked harder and was more strategic than just about anyone in the building. Her retirement is a huge loss to all Illinois citizens.

    Thank you Elaine for your many years of work. You will be sorely missed.


  51. - blue collar - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 2:15 pm:

    OW As expected. As I noted I rarely comment, but had to when all the praise was being bestowed on a legislator that has been part of the problem for years. She,supported the unconstitutional robbery of state pensioners, and probably is going to collect one that is much more substantial than mine. As noted, your response was completely expected and anticipated. And BTW, I am not in the least embarrassed, although you should be daily. Done now. Absolutely aware that I cannot “win” against you on this blog.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    ===Absolutely aware that I cannot “win” against you on this blog.===

    Your victim hood is noted.

    ===I am not in the least embarrassed===

    Welp, I’m sure you can live with that.

    I again point you here. Seeing disagreement here, yikes.

    “agree with her politics or not”

    The fact you can’t get past that explains why “R _ _ _” is such an important word for you.


  53. - Illinois poster - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    Blue Collar - your frustration with Elaine is understandable from the myopic view that pensions are the only thing matter. And that may be true for you and you certainly have every right to hold that view but what the other posters (myself included) are saying is that Elaine is/was far from being “part of the problem”. She was actually part of the solution.

    For those of us who work in or around the General Assembly on hundreds of issues a year, Elaine stood out one of the very few people who always tried to find a compromise on the 50 hard bills a year that satisified the many, not the few. It’s that trait that made her so invaluable to the institution and that trait that is so lacking among so many of her colleagues. With her retirement there is one less person to be the adult in the room. She’ll either be replaced by a Raunerite or a Madigan mushroom. Neither is a good outcome.


  54. - City Zen - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 2:34 pm:

    ==The former President of Northeastern Illinois University (Sharon Hahs) retired for similar reasons. ==

    I’m sure her $205,284 pension had nothing to do with it.


  55. - Loop Lady - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 2:36 pm:

    Sad to see her go, but totally understandable in the testosterone laden morass and bluster of Springfield…Godspeed…


  56. - DrummerGirl - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 2:38 pm:

    Rep Nekritz - You go, girl!


  57. - energist - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 2:46 pm:

    One of the best of the best. Smart as a whip, kind, empathetic - an all around good person that was in it for the right reasons. I don’t blame her, but man am I going to miss her.


  58. - Al Grosboll - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    Rich, Elaine Nekritz’s departure is sad news. She is among the smartest and most dedicated legislators. I respect her honesty and willingness to take on difficult, complicated issues even when it is not popular. From my perspective as an environmental advocate, Rep. Nekritz was one of the legislature’s strongest and most consistent supporters of clean air and water. Thanks to Elaine for all of her good work.


  59. - Urban Anon - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:44 pm:

    lake county democrat, term limits are completely undemocratic and take power away from the voters to give it to unelected staffers. It is completely inconsequential that “80% of voters support it,” if that’s even true - call it the “Puppy and Kitten Act,” (or perhaps even the “Safe Roads Amendment”) and a bunch of people would support that. It’s undemocratic and thinking people know it.


  60. - Left Leaner - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    This ruins my Friday.

    Thank you for your excellent service, Elaine.


  61. - Jeff Schoenberg - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 4:57 pm:

    Congratulations, Elaine, for a brilliant career in public service. I’m so proud of the fearlessness, intelligence and integrity that you’ve shown every moment of your tenure in the House.

    When we first met in 1996, I knew you had what it took to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives, and that you were going into politics for all the right reasons. I saw first-hand from the neighboring House district how doggedly you ran in a contest that no one expected you to win. Despite the fact that you were pretty much on your own until the last couple of weeks, you knocked on every door and showed how caring, genuine and intelligent you were a person. When you came up short, I was thrilled that you agreed to join my staff. It was immediately clear how special a talent you are, but even more importantly, what a wonderful friend and colleague you could be.

    When you succeeded the next time you ran and all the years since, we’ve all been fortunate to have benefited from your talent and your character. So many people who you’ll never get to meet have had their lives improved because you gave them a voice and a presence in the community and at the State Capitol.

    Looking forward to your next act — I’m certain it’ll be every bit as impressive as the one you’re drawing to a close.


  62. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 8:57 pm:

    Elaine is the best of the best and will be missed !!
    She is respected by all since she is thoughtful and listens and trys her utmost to come up with solutions . She will be dificujt to replace since there are not many like her!!


  63. - Pirate - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 10:38 pm:

    Elaine and Tim were class acts,throwbacks to a time when legislators fought the good fight but came together and compromised for the good and welfare of the citizens of this state,sadly many of this mindset are dropping like flies.
    I wish both well and thank them for their service.
    Best in your future endeavors.


  64. - Joe Bidenopolous - Saturday, Jun 17, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    I didn’t have a chance to look at the blog yesterday so I didn’t know this was happening until I got a text from someone close to her late yesterday. This makes me sad. I’ve known Elaine since before she was a legislator and she has truly been one of the most thoughtful, purposeful members during her time in Springfield. I and many others will miss her, Madigan will miss her, and despite what some Republicans think of her, I think they will eventually miss her because of her outstanding abilities and willingness to listen and compromise. Whoever takes that seat has some pretty big shoes to fill. We didn’t always agree - lord knows we had our differences - but she always listened. And the COWL skits will never be the same either (though they may be dead already anyway).

    God speed Elaine, I’m sure we haven’t heard the last from you.


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* Dawn Patrol: Teen accused of pointing toy rifle at traffic is detained
* Power fully restored at Atlanta's international airport
* Haula's go-ahead goal in 3rd leads Vegas past Panthers

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* High school football: Randy Hultgren lauds...
* Suburban Democrats line up to challenge Ro...
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* Letter to the editor: Hultgren should oppo...
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* Investigation: Emanuel's Chicago Infrastructure Trust has cost taxpayers $5 million but has contributed little, and other news
* Let’s not presume that Trump and his political ilk are beaten quite yet
* Bling for the budget- and design-conscious
* Standing on the shoulders of ancestors.
* Sketchbook.
* Whenever the fight for democracy reaches a crossroads, look south.
* Sunday, Sunday.
* Rahm on Colbert.
* Sketchbook.
* A Black friend and a Jew lawyer.


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* Bloomberg report lends further credence to Samsung Galaxy S9 February announcement
* There’s still time to bring the Oculus Rift home for the holidays at a discounted price
* Purported Sony H8216 specs could foreshadow Xperia XZ1 sequel with Snapdragon 845
* Samsung Market Share Slipping and the Post Net Neutrality World | #PNWeekly 283
* HQ Smashed Its All-Time Player Record Tonight as iPhone Trivia Show Continues to Surge in Popularity
* Play the best strategy game in the world — now 50% off
* BlackBerry nixes security support for the PRIV after two years

* Lull in Manny Machado rumors, but plates shift underneath
* Sporcle Saturday: The richest free agent deals in White Sox history
* Former White Sox players return to rep team
* White Sox news that doesn’t involve Manny Machado
* Former White Sox players return to rep team
* The cracks in the White Sox-Manny Machado rumors
* Hahn mum on any White Sox-Machado talks


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