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I Hate Illinois Nazis

John Neal of PTI Securities & Futures‘ Peoria, AZ location talks gold and why puts are so important. Kathy Dervin is in-studio. She and the Chief welcome John Higdon of Politico to take a deep dive into the new, yet already booming legal marijuana industry in the U.S.. Then, Dave McKinney, formerly of the Chicago Sun-Times and now reporting for Thomson Reuters, joins the show to expose Illinois’s major financial issues and how they’re affecting tax payers more than they even realize.

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Guests & Co-Hosts

John Neal

John Neal directs PTI Securities’ Glendale, Arizona office serving the firm’s clients in the Phoenix metro area and across the Western U.S. He oversees day-to-day operations, including client services, investor education, staff management and marketing. John has more than 12 years of management experience in the securities and financial services industry. He joined PTI Securities in 2003 in this role. Prior to that time, he was a branch manager with Phoenix area firms, Granite Capital Management and, most recently, Independent Financial Management. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, John earned a bachelor’s degree in international management from Arizona State University in Tempe. Away from work, John enjoys reading, live music and outdoor activities. He also volunteers with the St. Vincent De Paul Society and the Lupus Foundation of America. Married with two children, John and his family live in Peoria, Arizona.

Kathy Dervin

Kathy Dervin has been with Stocks & Jocks since 2011 as our Friday morning contributor, producer and banking guru. She has worked in the financial markets industry since 1993, including PC Quote/HyperFeed 1993 to 2003 and Thomson Reuters 2003 to 2013. She is currently Vice President at an investment bank. Read more.

Jim Higdon

A native Kentuckian, Jim Higdon is a graduate of Centre College, Brown University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. After working as a web producer for the New York Times, Higdon became the first journalist subpoenaed by the Obama administration for his on-going book reporting on the Cornbread Mafia. He currently writes for Politico. He blogs at twitter: @jimhigdon and

Dave McKinney

‘Tell the truth and don’t be afraid.’ Simple but profound words from the president of my college alma mater almost 90 years ago capture the way I practice journalism.

Most of my career has been spent as the Springfield correspondent for the Chicago Sun-Times, where for 19 years I helped unearth some of the shady dealings that sent two Illinois governors to federal prison and derailed the career of a U.S. senator.

When I left the Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune media reporter Robert Feder called my departure “a huge loss for the newspaper and its readers at a time when neither can afford to be without his diligent, uncompromising and vital work.”

The Washington Post included me in its list of  “the best statehouse reporters in America.”

My stint in Springfield came during a golden era of reporting there. Barack Obama rose from obscurity in the state Senate to become president, and corruption scandals consumed the governorships of George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich.

No story proved bigger than the investigative series that I co-authored that helped trigger the political downfall of former U.S. Sen. Roland Burris.

After his 2008 arrest, Blagojevich stunned Illinois’ political world by appointing Burris to fill the vacancy left by Obama’s election as president. Blagojevich’s brother solicited Burris for campaign contributions before his controversial appointment. Burris didn’t disclose that important detail during an appearance before an Illinois House impeachment panel, triggering a state perjury investigation and U.S. Senate ethics probe that dashed any hope Burris had of retaining the seat.

“This series reveals how U.S. Sen. Roland Burris changed his sworn testimony regarding his contacts with Rod Blagojevich,” Investigative Reporters & Editors wrote about the project, which like my other work is highlighted in this website. “The series also revealed the U.S. senator lied and then he lied about lying.”

Tell the truth and don’t be afraid. That’s what I’ve done.

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