WBEZ | Illinois GOP http://www.wbez.org/tags/illinois-gop Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Could Chicago Public Schools Be Run by the State? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-20/could-chicago-public-schools-be-run-state-114536 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/17630326518_1d222d29e8_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>Republican lawmakers announced a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-republicans-mull-cps-bankruptcy-plan-114531" target="_blank">proposal to let the state of Illinois take control of Chicago Public Schools</a> in order to get the district&rsquo;s finances in order.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The move would reportedly pave the way for the district -- and possibly even the city of Chicago itself -- to declare bankruptcy. WBEZ&rsquo;s state politics reporter Tony Arnold explains.</div></p> Wed, 20 Jan 2016 14:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-20/could-chicago-public-schools-be-run-state-114536 Can new GOP Illinois governor deliver on the hype? http://www.wbez.org/news/can-new-gop-illinois-governor-deliver-hype-111335 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP586490258547.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Bruce Rauner became a Republican rock star when he unseated a Democratic governor in left-leaning Illinois, pledging to run Barack Obama&#39;s home state in the mold of GOP darlings Scott Walker and Mitch Daniels. But as he takes office this month, many are wondering: Can he deliver on the hype?</p><p>There are reasons to believe the answer is no, and that Rauner&#39;s victories may have ended on Election Day. Unlike Walker in Wisconsin and Daniels in Indiana &mdash; governors Rauner has called his role models &mdash; he inherits a state with deep financial problems and a Legislature that&#39;s overwhelmingly Democratic. That could make achieving his top priorities, such as closing the state&#39;s multibillion-dollar budget hole and switching public employees to a 401k-style retirement system, far more difficult.</p><p>But Rauner and others insist that Illinois&#39; first divided government in more than a decade won&#39;t mean four years of gridlock, but rather produce the kind of chemistry needed to end years of legislative near-paralysis.</p><p>If so, Illinois could be a notable outlier in an increasingly polarized nation of red and blue states, and could also help Republicans solve the mystery of how to become relevant again in a place that&#39;s been trending strongly Democratic.</p><p>&quot;People have cherry picked (businesses) from us and laughed at us for many years,&quot; said Republican state Sen. Bill Brady. &quot;I think now people are looking at us with a cautious but also optimistic eye.&quot;</p><p>Heightening Rauner&#39;s predicament is Illinois&#39; history of putting off major issues that other states tackled during the recession. Thus, the state now has the nation&#39;s worst-funded public pension system, slower-than-average job growth, billions in unpaid bills and the worst credit rating.</p><p>The political dynamic is now changed, either for better or worse.</p><p>With a Republican in the governor&#39;s office, GOP lawmakers will at least have an incentive &mdash; some would say mandate &mdash; to put &quot;yes&quot; votes on major initiatives rather than just uniformly opposing, and Democrats may have to compromise more.</p><p>&quot;I think they&#39;ll be very productive,&quot; said former Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady.</p><p>But first, Rauner has fences to mend. The multimillionaire private equity investor spent the year-long campaign ripping Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and the powerful leaders of the Illinois House and Senate, calling them &quot;career politicians&quot; who drove the state into a &quot;death spiral.&quot;</p><p>Rauner, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton made nice during a two-hour meeting shortly after Election Day. Rauner also been calling every member of the Legislature, saying he wants to get to know each one personally.</p><p>Many are skeptical. Among them are labor leaders, several of whom Rauner singled out by name during the campaign as contributing to the state&#39;s financial ruin. The unions are gearing up for a fight should Rauner move to weaken their bargaining power, as Daniels and Walker did in Indiana and Wisconsin.</p><p>&quot;Bruce Rauner has made it very clear he&#39;s very hostile to organized labor,&quot; said Tom Balanoff, president of the Service Employees International Union Local 1.</p><p>Yet Balanoff, who was one of those Rauner accused of &quot;owning&quot; state government and the Democratic Party, said his union has worked with GOP governors in the past.</p><p>Rauner himself has seemed to be lowering expectations. After telling voters during the campaign he had a plan to simultaneously lower taxes and increase spending for education, he now says the state&#39;s finances are far worse than he was led to believe. It could be a way to give himself some wiggle room while pinning blame for unkept promises on the Democrats who preceded him.</p><p>Kirk Dillard, a former top GOP state senator, said Rauner could also benefit from his friendship with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a relationship nurtured during Emanuel&#39;s pre-mayoral days as an investment banker.</p><p>The state&#39;s biggest city controls &quot;a huge block of (Democratic) votes&quot; in the General Assembly, noted Dillard, who added that Quinn and his Democratic predecessor, now-imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, had rockier relationships with City Hall.</p><p>&quot;That&#39;s a huge plus&quot; for Rauner, Dillard said.</p><p>And while both Democrats and Republicans wonder if Rauner will be in over his head because he&#39;s never held public office before, supporters say he&#39;s navigated state and local government in pushing education reform, working sometimes with Emanuel on the issue. After a recent governors&#39; session at the White House, Rauner noted that it wasn&#39;t his first visit, telling reporters he&#39;s &quot;known a number of presidents.&quot;</p><p>Dillard says he is realistic about what Rauner can accomplish.</p><p>&quot;Gov. Rauner needs to keep his commitments to voters,&quot; Dillard said. &quot;And if he can&#39;t deliver on all of them, he needs to make it clear that it&#39;s the Democrats that are preventing him from doing so.&quot;</p></p> Mon, 05 Jan 2015 11:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/can-new-gop-illinois-governor-deliver-hype-111335 Citing gay marriage, state rep withdraws from Illinois GOP chair search http://www.wbez.org/news/citing-gay-marriage-state-rep-withdraws-illinois-gop-chair-search-107183 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/sandack.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Republican State Rep. Ron Sandack is bowing out of the running to become the next state GOP chairman, in part because some party insiders thought his support for same-sex marriage would be too controversial.</p><p>Sandack, from suburban Downers Grove, withdrew his name early Wednesday. He said he had heard from a number of Republican activists, elected officials and &ldquo;inside party people&rdquo; who suggested his public support of same-sex marriage legislation in Springfield might be too controversial for him to get the chairmanship.</p><p>But Sandack told WBEZ Wednesday afternoon he did not feel pressured to withdraw his name.</p><p>&ldquo;The issue is controversial,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And I don&rsquo;t wanna be a fight, and that issue to be a fight, when we really oughta be talking about who&rsquo;s best suited to be the next party chairman.&rdquo;</p><p>Sandack also expressed concerns about dividing his time between running the state party and serving constituents.</p><p>The issue of same-sex marriage has been a thorny one for the Illinois Republican Party. Former state GOP chairman Pat Brady <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/illinois-gop-chairman-pat-brady-resign-107043" target="_blank">resigned</a> last week following an embarrassing public flap over his support for gay marriage. Brady&rsquo;s opponents maintained his support of gay marriage wasn&rsquo;t the reason he had to go, but because he publicly bucked a plank in the party platform, which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.</p><p>Sandack echoed that concern Wednesday, anticipating his &ldquo;yes&rdquo; vote for gay marriage in the Illinois House before the end of the General Assembly&rsquo;s spring session.</p><p>&ldquo;I am in the state House and I gotta vote my district and my conscience and try and do, you know, both,&rdquo; Sandack said. &ldquo;Sometimes that doesn&rsquo;t comport with the black-letter law of the party platform.&rdquo;</p><p>Sandack said no member of the Republican State Central Committee, the panel of party bosses who will pick the next chairman, encouraged him to drop out.</p><p>Sandack&rsquo;s withdrawal means party bosses now have eight chairman candidates to choose from.</p><p>Still in the running is Cook County Commissioner Timothy Schneider, of Elk Grove Village; former Tea Party Congressman Joe Walsh; former congressional candidate Jim Nalepa; former Illinois lieutenant governor candidate Don Tracy; former Cook County State&#39;s Attorney candidate Lori Yokoyama; and current Republican State Central Committee members Jack Dorgan, Angel Garcia and Mark Shaw.</p><p><em>Correction: This story was updated to change the spelling of Lori Yokoyama&#39;s name, and the office for which she ran in 2012.</em></p><p><em>Alex Keefe is a WBEZ political reporter. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/akeefe" target="_blank">@akeefe</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 15 May 2013 12:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/citing-gay-marriage-state-rep-withdraws-illinois-gop-chair-search-107183 Illinois GOP senators get extra work, pay after election losses http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-gop-senators-get-extra-work-pay-after-election-losses-105198 <p><p>SPRINGFIELD, Ill. &mdash; Republicans in the Illinois Senate hold a dubious distinction: because of a November shellacking, every one of them will hold a caucus or leadership post.</p><p>The (Springfield) State Journal-Register <a href="http://tinyurl.com/a7pjrwj" target="_blank">reported </a>Tuesday that every GOP senator will receive a stipend for extra work on top of a $68,000 salary.</p><p>Some will even pull double duty. The 59-seat Senate has 21 standing committees but just 19 Republicans.</p><p>Democrats added five seats in the fall election to rule with an unprecedented 40 votes.</p><p>The GOP allowances range from about $10,000 for ranking Republicans on committees to the $27,000 that Christine Radogno of Lemont receives as Senate minority leader.</p><p>Republican senators doubling up on work will only get one stipend.</p></p> Tue, 29 Jan 2013 12:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-gop-senators-get-extra-work-pay-after-election-losses-105198 Transportation secretary Ray LaHood to leave administration http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation-secretary-ray-lahood-leave-administration-105193 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 9.28.24 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON &mdash; Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who lifted the profile of distracted driving as a national safety concern, is stepping down, presenting President Barack Obama with another Cabinet vacancy at the start of his second term.</p><p>The former congressman from Illinois and one of only two Republicans who served in Obama&#39;s Cabinet, LaHood worked for more safety in the air and on the ground and pushed for improvements of roads and bridges. Under his watch, the department demanded tougher fuel efficiency requirements for automakers and took steps to address airline pilot fatigue.</p><p>Obama, who at one point served with LaHood in the Illinois congressional delegation, said they were &quot;drawn together by a shared belief that those of us in public service owe an allegiance not to party or faction, but to the people we were elected to represent. And Ray has never wavered in that belief.&quot;</p><p>LaHood, 67, said in an interview with The Associated Press that he told Obama a week after the November election that he needed to move on. But he also said he was still &quot;conflicted&quot; by his decision because he liked working for the president and considered it the &quot;best job I&#39;ve ever had in public service.&quot;</p><p>He said he plans to remain at the department until his successor is confirmed by the Senate, which he expects in about two months. The only other Republican who was in Obama&#39;s first-term Cabinet was Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who stepped aside and was replaced by Democrat Leon Panetta earlier.</p><p>LaHood, who once considered likely to run for governor in his home state, said he would not seek public office and indicated he didn&#39;t have any specific plans.</p><p>&quot;I have had a good run. I&#39;m one of these people who believe that you should go out while they&#39;re applauding,&quot; he said. LaHood said he was content to watch from the sidelines as his oldest son, Darin, serves in the Illinois state senate.</p><p>His move continues an exodus that will give Obama&#39;s team a new look in his second term. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Panetta and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are departing and in addition to LaHood, the heads of the Interior and Labor departments also have announced their resignations. Obama has nominated former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican, to serve as defense secretary to succeed Panetta.</p><p>Possible replacements for LaHood include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has pushed for increased rail service in Los Angeles and served as chairman of last year&#39;s Democratic National Convention, and Debbie Hersman, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. The name of former Rep. Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, who led the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has also been mentioned.</p><p>LaHood served seven terms in Congress representing a central Illinois district that includes his hometown of Peoria, Ill., before he was chosen by Obama for the post. He traveled widely, visiting 49 states, 210 cities and 18 countries promoting Obama&#39;s agenda. He made trips that allowed him to ride some of the world&#39;s fastest trains and inspect the latest vehicles at auto shows.</p><p>In Washington, he would occasionally don a bicycle helmet and peddle around the District to promote bike lanes.</p><p>At the start of the new administration, LaHood spearheaded efforts to stimulate the economy through transportation construction projects and promoted the administration&#39;s vision of a nation connected by high-speed trains. But the high-speed rail program, which was supposed to be one of the president&#39;s signature projects, has been on life-support since Republicans regained control of the House in the 2010 election.</p><p>The department struggled with how to pay for the repair and improvement of the nation&#39;s aging transportation network and eventually reached a compromise with Congress last year on a more limited, scaled-back 2-year plan that gives states more flexibility in how they spend federal money.</p><p>Perhaps LaHood&#39;s most passionate work involved distracted driving, which he called a &quot;national epidemic.&quot; He launched a national media campaign to end texting and cellphone use by drivers, an awareness campaign that drew comparisons to efforts to promote seat belt use more than a generation ago. He buttonholed auto executives to help reduce driver distraction and would even yell at other drivers on occasion to put down their cellphones.</p><p>&quot;Every time someone takes their focus off the road &mdash; even if it&#39;s just for a moment &mdash; they put their lives and the lives of others in danger,&quot; he said in 2010.</p><p>During his tenure he slapped Toyota Motor Co. with record fines for delaying safety recalls and failing to promptly report problems to federal regulators. And he recently ordered United Airlines to ground its Boeing 787 Dreamliner following mishaps with the aircraft&#39;s batteries.</p></p> Tue, 29 Jan 2013 09:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation-secretary-ray-lahood-leave-administration-105193 Gay marriage advocates lobby Illinois Republicans, while Party rejects same-sex marriage http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/gay-marriage-advocates-lobby-illinois-republicans-while-party-rejects-same-sex <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/7881025162_f46108f40f_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Gay marriage advocates are lobbying Illinois Republicans at the party&rsquo;s national convention.&nbsp;But it&rsquo;s not clear how their message is being received.</p><p>A group called Equality Illinois, an organization that lobbies for gay marriage in the state,&nbsp;sponsored the drinks at Tuesday&#39;s state GOP lunch.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;There&rsquo;s a lot of Republicans still on the fence,&quot; said Randy Hannig, a spokesman for Equality Illinois. &quot;They&rsquo;re not too sure on how they would vote on say, for example, the marriage bill. So this is an opportunity for us to kind of talk to them, answer their questions, kind of assuage any fears they have.&quot;</p><p>Hannig said his group will sponsor a similar event at next week&rsquo;s Democratic Convention. But despite their presence, yesterday&rsquo;s lunch was sparsely attended.&nbsp;Most delegates were leaving for the Republican Convention at that time.</p><p>And some who were there, like delegate Bill Anderson, gave the group&rsquo;s message a cool reception.</p><p>&quot;I think there&rsquo;s far, uh, there are many other issues that are far more important,&quot; he said.</p><p>Later in the day, the national Republican Party passed a platform that explicitly rejects gay marriage.</p></p> Wed, 29 Aug 2012 08:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/gay-marriage-advocates-lobby-illinois-republicans-while-party-rejects-same-sex Former Illinois Santorum delegates help Romney clinch nomination http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/former-illinois-santorum-delegates-help-romney-clinch-nomination-102040 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/7883210482_b44d57631b_o.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As of Tuesday, Mitt Romney has all the nominating votes from Illinois&rsquo; delegation at the Republican National Convention &mdash; including some from supporters of former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.</p><p>State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who heads up Romney&rsquo;s Illinois campaign, had what he wanted when he took to the convention floor yesterday. Illinois cast 69 votes unanimously for Romney&#39;s presidency.</p><p>Unanimously is the key word: 12 of those votes were originally promised to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who later dropped out of the race.</p><p>But delegate Jon Zahm, Santorum&rsquo;s Illinois campaign chair, said he now supports Romney.</p><p>&quot;Because it&rsquo;s all about the best opportunity to beat Barack Obama,&quot; said Zahm. &quot;I don&rsquo;t wanna distract from that. I&rsquo;m not somebody who casts protest votes.&quot;</p><p>Illinois&rsquo; unanimous vote came as some supporters of Texas Congressman Ron Paul refused to cast their votes for Romney&rsquo;s nomination.</p></p> Wed, 29 Aug 2012 08:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/former-illinois-santorum-delegates-help-romney-clinch-nomination-102040 Taking the pulse of GOP voters in Illinois http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-10/taking-pulse-gop-voters-illinois-95422 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-10/EIYQ_Republican_Debate_Colo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Political commentator <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/lennymcallister" target="_blank">Lenny McAllister</a> was in Iowa last week for that state's caucus. Tuesday, New Hampshire headed to the polls and<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em> listened back to McAllister’s play-by-play musings from his 72 hours in Iowa. Then, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson, Republican pundit <a href="http://www.fokn.com/FOKN/David_Dring.html">David Dring</a> and McAllister joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to examine how the Illinois GOP will assert itself during the early primary season. <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> also looked at what the Prairie State has traditionally looked for in a Republican candidate. Listeners joined the conversation by calling <strong>312-923-9239,</strong> e-mailing&nbsp; <a href="mailto:848@wbez.org">848@wbez.org</a> or tweeting <strong><a href="http://twitter.com/848" target="_blank">@848</a></strong>.</p><p><em>Music Button: Orgone, "Impala", from the CD Killion Vaults, (Ubiquity)</em><br> &nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 10 Jan 2012 14:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-10/taking-pulse-gop-voters-illinois-95422 The $5 rules: Advice from off-off-off Loop theater pro to the IL GOP http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-11-07/5-rules-advice-loop-theater-pro-il-gop-93806 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-07/strawpoll.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-07/strawpoll.JPG" style="width: 492px; height: 369px;" title="Popcorn? For 5 bucks, I want chicken. (WBEZ/Sam Hudzik) "></p><p>What's up Illinois?!<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-gop-paul-wins-presidential-straw-poll-93794"> Ron Paul in the house</a>! More than 3,600 people voted in the Illinois Republican straw poll over the weekend. The Ill. GOP needs cash, apparently to help with the 2012 election, so they charged people $5 to vote in this informal poll. Now, $5 might seem like it goes a long way (3,600x5=$18k) but party leaders really should've talked with some local off-Loop theater companies who actually have experience with $5 tickets before settling on that amount. Why? Because while $18,000 might seem like nice pull, my bet is the party overlooked a few things.&nbsp; Did you pay the door guy yet? How 'bout props? Did you have any props at your straw poll (straw hats, perhaps)? And do you have the rights to the "Straw Poll" script? And are you paying the actors (in this case, candidates)? And the wrap party? Did you pay for the wrap party?</p><p>My guess is that the Ill. GOP has about $1,200 left. My advice? Spend it on a new set.</p><p><strong>B story</strong>: <a href="http://gawker.com/5856928/heres-the-freaky-surveillance-equipment-chicago-police-are-using-to-spy-on-you/gallery/1">Gawker has a story about Occupy Chicago protesters accusing the Chicago Police Department</a> of installing eavesdropping equipment near their camp.</p><p><strong>C story</strong>: In my regular Monday morning "give me a break" segment, I focus on two of our state's esteemed leaders. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-cardinal-quinn-dispute-20111107,0,4634777.story">Cardinal George and Gov. Pat Quinn got into a spat over the weekend</a>, and the rape victim at the center of the brawl (she was going to receive an award) has hurt feelings. Then the Cardinal backtracks, saying he didn't even know she was involved. Cardinal, let me explain: I've been in many shoving matches. If you want to have a shoving match with another dude, first thing you want to do is make sure someone isn't standing between you.&nbsp; That's just obvious, right? Fighters, am I right?</p><p><strong>D story</strong>: Wow, I guess it's good that no <a href="http://www.rollcall.com/news/mccaul_leaps_top_50_richest_members_congress-208231-1.html?pos=adp">Illinois Congressman is on the list of the top 50 richest members of Congress</a>? I wonder where Obama would rank if he were still in the Senate. Now, my question has to be: Do people who run for congress know that they can become millionaires? Is it sort of a move to take your financial status to the next level? Or are they rich before and just do it cause they are bored.</p><p>Remember when it was cool to want to be rich?</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="369" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Ztk9t_m1FpY" width="500"></iframe></p><p><strong>E story</strong>: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-11-07/central-park-theater-chicagos-first-movie-palace-93727">John R. Schmidt gives us the story behind Chicago's first movie palace</a>. Greatest blog ever.</p><p><strong>F story</strong>: I'm sure it's a great show, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-eberts-movie-review-show-will-end-without-more-financial-backing-20111107,0,1767642.story">but isn't "lack of funds" the reason most shows on public media go away</a>? Ebert needs money and he has access to all the newspapers, who are writing up his financial conundrum like a news story. Weird. Well, this blog needs cash or it might go away too. Sneed, can you help?</p><p><strong>G story</strong>: Nope, Sneed is busy. She has a great bit from Friday - <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/sneed/8575767-452/fast-eddie-thisclose-to-release-from-federal-prison.html">Fast Eddie is close to getting out of federal prison</a>.</p><p><strong>Weather</strong>: So dark. So cold. So dark and cold. Remind me why I don't live in Phoenix again? Oh right, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8W4Cx44XKZ4">the dust storms</a>.</p><p><strong>Sports</strong>: The Bears play another game on Monday Night Football tonight. They draw the Philadelphia Eagles, a team coined "The Dream Team" at the beginning of the season. The Eagles dropped mad cash in free agency to bolster the team, but have stumbled early. However, they just destroyed the Dallas Cowboys last week and all eyebrows are partially raised. Is this team legit? The Bears win tonight in Philly and we will be looking at a team that is sort of a carbon copy of the 2010 squad, which managed to get to the NFC Championship game. Now, I'll give the Bears a bit of credit. This is what we want from our NFL franchise. To be relevant late into the season. If they were 1-6 right now, nobody would care. But they are in the thick of it, so we have a national audience. Please, please, please Lovie - do not sh*t the bed tonight. We watched the other marquee games live up to their hype this weekend, so finish strong.</p><p>Right now, Chicago has switched back to Wildcat town, shunning the over-hyped Illini.The <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/ncf/recap?gameId=313090158">Northwestern win over Nebraska was prime time</a>. The Wildcats under Pat Fitzgerald are always good for at least one or two games like this a year. How many are the Illini good for? And stinker award goes to the Blackhawks, who played their new arch rival Vancouver last night at the UC. <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/nhl/recap?gameId=400046901">Not a good showing</a>. They were blown out, 6-2. That's not what we want to see.</p><p>So to recap: We want to see the Wildcats. We don't want to see the Blackhawks. We hope to see more of the Bears.</p><p><strong>Kicker</strong>: This is the week of 11/11/11, which means that <a href="http://www.whoisamy.com/">Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Beckoning of Lovely project is due</a>. This film has been in the works for three years. Seriously, I remember we did a Writers' Block Party episode on 8/08/08, and the launch of the project in June 2008. She's having a big party/show release at 11am on 11/11/11 at Millennium Park. I'll be there!!!!!</p><p>Here's the first video that started it all. It's called <strong>17 things i made</strong>:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="369" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/o3eZvEIdmq4" width="500"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 07 Nov 2011 14:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-11-07/5-rules-advice-loop-theater-pro-il-gop-93806 Rep. Costello announces retirement from Congress http://www.wbez.org/story/rep-costello-announces-retirement-congress-92820 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-04/4796868402_f2d7119ca6.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello announced today he won't be seeking re-election next year after 23 years in office.</p><p>In a press conference on Tuesday, the 62-year-old downstate Democrat insisted he never intended to be<br> a career congressman and said he's retiring to pursue other interests.</p><p>“You have to make a decision,” Costello said at a press conference on Tuesday. “Do you want to continue to do what you're doing just to do it, or do you want to move on and do other things and be productive in other ways.”</p><p>Costello’s retirement sets up a potential fight for the soon-to-be vacant southwest seat in next year’s election, one Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady thinks the GOP can win. He says Costello’s district has been trending red in recent elections, pointing to Republicans Rep. Mark Kirk and gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady’s victories there in the 2010 election.</p><p>“We think that is now a Republican district,” said Brady. “And with Congressman Costello's sudden resignation, I think we're in a pretty good position to take that back and will take it back.”</p><p>Costello currently serves the southwest part of Illinois, which includes the East St. Louis area.</p><p>Upon announcing his retirement on Tuesday he said he’s most proud of securing a future for Scott Air Force Base, and seeing construction start on the new Mississippi River Bridge.</p></p> Tue, 04 Oct 2011 20:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/rep-costello-announces-retirement-congress-92820