Well, it's final: Rahm Emanuel is on the ballot for Chicago mayor, thanks to a decision late Thursday by the Illinois Supreme Court. In this episode of WBEZ's political podcast The Best Game in Town, we gather four political minds around a table to reach beneath the surface of the battle over Rahm's residency. Was it a political plot masterminded by powerful Alderman Ed Burke? What happens next? Joining us are Bruce DuMont of Inside Politics, former Chicago Alderman Marty Oberman, Abdon Pallasch of the Chicago Sun-Times and Dan Mihalopoulos of the Chicago News Cooperative.
In this installment of WBEZ's political podcast The Best Game in Town, we take a dive into the giant pool of money that is campaign cash: How much, where from, to whom and how to.
First: a primer on new campaign finance rules in the Prairie State, with Cindi Canary of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
Then, WBEZ's Sam Hudzik tells us who's getting what on the Chicago mayoral campaign trail.
And Democratic money man Michael Bauer reveals how it's done.
Chicago mayoral candidate Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins launched her second TV commercial of the campaign on Tuesday. The 60 second spot emphasizes Watkins personal story, as well as her approach to education, job creation and transportation.
The ad was produced by the Chicago-based firm Sparkfactor and will run exclusively on cable - including local buys of CNN, FOX, HLN, MSNBC and USA, according to campaign spokesperson Sara Sedlacek.
Sedlacek said that Watkins had raised $535,000 during the last quarterly reporting period. The latest state financial disclosure reports are due on Thursday.
On this week's episode of the WBEZ political podcast The Best Game in town, we talk taxes, from Springfield to the race for Chicago mayor. First, Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky takes us behind the scenes as the deal went down to raise taxes in Illinois. Then University of Illinois at Chicago professor David Merriman gives us the breakdown of what this income really means for the state. We wrap it all up with the Chicago Reporter's Kimbriell Kelly and blogger/strategist Rebecca Sive on Carol Moseley Braun's tax troubles in the mayor's race.
These have not been easy times for Illinois bean counters and those who depend on them. An already weakened state balance sheet, like the pocketbooks of its already stretched citizens, was hard-hit by the recession. Ever since, the state has been caught in a cycle of rising costs, unpaid bills, public protests, and political gridlock.
That's why the Illinois Senate rocked the political world when it voted to raise the state's personal income tax rate from 3 percent to 5 percent early Wednesday morning.
The tax plan amounts to a 67 percent increase in individual income taxes, far more than the 33 percent increase Governor Pat Quinn proposed - and campaigned on - during much of 2010.
All told, the tax increase deal is expected to raise an estimated $6 billion in additional revenues for the state - an enormous windfall for state coffers and a big help to its operating budget.
But a closer look at the Illinois' fiscal condition suggests that these new tax revenues won't be enough to solve Illinois' mounting fiscal woes.
For starters, the revenue impact won't hit all at once; it will take time before the state reaps the benefits of the tax hikes. Meanwhile, the state still needs to pay unpaid bills.
In addition, by
"Kirk might have the best foreign-policy chops of any new senator, " writes Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin.
The January/February issue of Foreign Policy highlights four key lawmakers who are poised to play key roles in the 112th session of Congress.
In addition to Kirk, they include Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), as well as U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the new chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S Rep. Howard McKeon (R-CA), the new chair of the House Armed Services Committee.