WBEZ | Scott Waguespack http://www.wbez.org/tags/scott-waguespack Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Aldermen consider campaigns to unseat Emanuel http://www.wbez.org/news/aldermen-consider-campaigns-unseat-emanuel-108932 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FiorettiCROP.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px 0px; float: left; height: 247px; width: 300px;" title="Ald. Bob Fioretti attends an activist meeting Tuesday night with 10 other aldermen. Afterwards, he and Ald. Scott Waguespack both told WBEZ they are considering runs against the mayor in 2015. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />An activist meeting Tuesday night in Chicago has at least two aldermen talking about trying to unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel.</p><p>Alds. Scott Waguespack (32nd) and Bob Fioretti (2nd) both told WBEZ they are considering running in the 2015 contest.</p><p>&ldquo;When you have times like this, where the policies are so hurtful, people step up sometimes and say, &lsquo;It doesn&rsquo;t matter how much money a candidate has. We&rsquo;ll vote against him,&rsquo;&nbsp;&rdquo; Waguespack said.</p><p>Emanuel thinks it does matter. By September 30, according to his State Board of Elections disclosures, his campaign fund had more than $5.1 million on hand. The election is 16 months away.</p><p>Fioretti said he and Waguespack have no major differences on issues and would not both end up running. Both aldermen publically considered taking on Emanuel in the 2011 election too.</p><p>Tuesday night&rsquo;s meeting, a gathering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, brought out about 1,400 union members and community activists to promote an &ldquo;<a href="http://www.thegrassrootscollaborative.org/takebackchicago">economic-justice platform</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>An umbrella group called the Grassroots Collaborative developed the platform, which includes overhauling state and local tax systems and setting up a Chicago minimum wage of $15 an hour. Other points include opposition to privatizations and school closings.</p><p>Many of the activists who got a chance at the microphone blasted Emanuel. Behind the podium, Waguespack and Fioretti sat in a row of 11 aldermen, mostly members of the council&rsquo;s progressive caucus. Gov. Pat Quinn and several Democratic state lawmakers also attended.</p><p>Noticeably absent was Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Some of her supporters are itching for her to take on Emanuel. But she says she is running for reelection.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1">@ChipMitchell1</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>, and connect with him through <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chipmitchell1">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://plus.google.com/111079509307132701769" rel="me">Google+</a> and <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/ChipMitchell1">LinkedIn</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 16 Oct 2013 00:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/aldermen-consider-campaigns-unseat-emanuel-108932 Report on alleged misconduct rankles aldermen http://www.wbez.org/news/report-alleged-misconduct-rankles-aldermen-108148 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/IG.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The office that investigates claims of misconduct by Chicago aldermen has released a new report, prompting a round of criticism from some members of City Council. The <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/olig/Documents/LIGrpt-Jul2013.pdf">18-page report</a> is the second released by Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan since the city council established that office by ordinance in 2010.</p><p>The report looks at 132 complaints filed between July 2012 and July 2013, of which 25 were investigated. The report elaborates on a handful of complaints in more detail, though no aldermen are named.</p><p>In one case, an alderman allegedly took more campaign donations from a contributor than permitted. Another investigation claims an alderman instructed a police officer to write two traffic summonses to a person who had gotten into a parking dispute with the alderman&rsquo;s sister-in-law.</p><p>Members of the City Council&rsquo;s Progressive Caucus demurred from commenting on specific examples cited in the study, saying they hadn&rsquo;t yet seen the report. Still, several accused Khan of releasing the study to the media before it was available to the public &ndash; a claim that Khan denies.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s got to be coming out of his office,&rdquo; said Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), &ldquo;he needs to be more tight-lipped on the approach that he&rsquo;s taking.&rdquo; Several aldermen said they believe Khan&rsquo;s office should be dissolved, and that aldermanic oversight could be given to City Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, who already has jurisdiction over city employees.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s interesting that they&rsquo;re focused more on the confidentiality and the city inspector general office rather than the substantive facts of these reports,&rdquo; Khan told WBEZ Monday.</p><p>Council members specifically declined to comment on one <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/22901456/ald-joe-moore-accused-of-ethics-violations-by-ig-inspector-general#ixzz2ZoIAqPln">alleged abuse of power</a> that <a href="http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2013/07/21/reform-ald-joe-moore-caught-ethics-probes">WTTW&rsquo;s &ldquo;Chicago Tonight&quot;</a> first reported on Sunday. In the story &lsquo;multiple sources&rsquo; named Joe Moore (49th) as the alderman who allegedly allowed campaign work to be done from his ward office, then paid off a former aide to stay silent about it.</p><p>First elected to the City Council in 1991, the reform-minded North Side alderman fired off a written statement on Monday denying any such misconduct. It said &ldquo;the issues involved were personnel matters--not political ones&rdquo; and came from a &ldquo;disgruntled former employee.&rdquo; Khan&rsquo;s office was &ldquo;run amok with a lack of professionalism...&rdquo; the statement continued, and according to Moore never interviewed him about the allegations.</p><p>Khan declined to confirm or deny the identity of any of the aldermen in the report.</p><p>The Office of the Legislative Inspector General has been criticized in the media for its expenditures, but in the newly-released report, Khan says his office has hired five part-time employees to help carry the workload. Their investigations now go to the city&rsquo;s Board of Ethics.</p><div><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="http://www.twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="http://www.twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></div></p> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 17:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/report-alleged-misconduct-rankles-aldermen-108148 Emanuel's budget receives unanimous support http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-17/emanuels-budget-receives-unanimous-support-94134 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-17/Rahm Inauguration - wbez Bill Healey.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget received unanimous support from the City Council Wednesday. After more than a month of vetting and tweaking, he got all 50 aldermen on board. With a $636 million deficit on the horizon, the council had to make some difficult decisions to right its course. <a href="http://ward32.org/" target="_blank">Ald. Scott Waguespack</a> hoped to avoid cuts to libraries and mental health services. However, the approved budget has about 180 fewer library employees and a dozen mental health clinics will be consolidated to six. To unpack the approved budget, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke to Ald. Waguespack and city budget director Alexandra Holt.</p><p><em>Music Button: The Budos Band, "His Girl", from the album II (Daptone)</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 17 Nov 2011 15:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-17/emanuels-budget-receives-unanimous-support-94134 Majority of aldermen call for budget changes http://www.wbez.org/story/majority-aldermen-call-budget-changes-93680 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-21/CPL books.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A majority of Chicago's aldermen are calling for changes to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2012 city budget. They say his proposed budget cuts would hurt public safety and quality of life.</p><p>Twenty-eight of the city's 50 aldermen signed the letter to Mayor Emanuel.&nbsp; They say his plan to cut library hours would cause too many layoffs and negatively effect patrons who rely on the library.</p><p>"We're hearing it loud and clear, all across the city, from the West Side to the East Side to the North Side to the South Side," said Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd). "Everybody's complaining about the cuts."</p><p>Fioretti said cutting library hours, as mayor Emanuel has proposed, would hurt kids and people who use the internet to search for jobs.</p><p>In addition to the library cuts, the 28 aldermen voiced other concerns.</p><p>The current budget proposal also consolidates 12 mental health clinics into six, and privatizes some health services. Aldermen say public clinics are vital for Chicago's neediest and must be protected.</p><p>Other concerns include the $10 million cut from the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. That would eliminate fire and police dispatcher positions - and, aldermen say, endanger public safety.</p><p>The bloc says they also "have reservations" about the proposed near doubling of the fee for city stickers on SUVs. But aldermen recognize that the 2012 budget won't avoid cuts entirely, said Ald. Walter Burnett (27th).</p><p>"'Cause somethin' have [sic] to give. And we're rational enough to understand that. But we just wanna see if we can balance the burden out a little bit more," Burnett said.</p><p>Meanwhile, Mayor Emanuel said he remains open to changing his proposed budget, as long as alderment identify other cuts or revenue sources to offset the ones they don't like.</p><p>"I hear them. It doesn't mean I agree. But it doesn't mean I disagree," Emanuel said. "And as I always said, not all signatures on a letter are created equal."</p><p><br> &nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 02 Nov 2011 11:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/majority-aldermen-call-budget-changes-93680 Who will pay up? Chicago's G8 'challenge' http://www.wbez.org/story/who-will-pay-chicagos-g8-challenge-93418 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-25/RS4481_G8_Reuters_Pasc.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>There's still no word on who will pay for security during the G8 and NATO summits Chicago is hosting next year. The head of Chicago's 911 center said the international meetings will be a "challenge" for all city departments.</p><p>Gary Schenkel told the city council Monday he's been in contact with congressional offices and federal agencies about reimbursement.</p><p>"That question is still to be answered as to the costs, because they will be somewhat substantial," said Schenkel, who is the director of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications. "But there is also an effort underway through the mayor's office to raise funds to help offset those costs."</p><p>Schenkel said it's the city's "desire" to have the costs paid for by the federal government and by private donors.</p><p>Ald. Scott Waguespack said Monday he's concerned the costs will end up falling on taxpayers.</p><p>The G8 and NATO summits will take place in Chicago next May.</p></p> Mon, 24 Oct 2011 21:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/who-will-pay-chicagos-g8-challenge-93418 Chicago aldermen: Who's going to get all those water infrastructure jobs? http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-aldermen-whos-going-get-all-those-water-infrastructure-jobs-93384 <p><p>Chicago aldermen aren't raising much of a stink over Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to boost water fees to pay for new water and sewer lines. But they are concerned over who'll get those construction jobs.</p><p>Ald. Ariel Reboyras said at a city council budget hearing Friday that initially he was skeptical, but now understands the need for a water fee hike. The he asked water commissioner Tom Powers who would be doing the $4.3 billion in work - city crews or outside contractors?</p><p>"It won't be outsourced, is what I'm saying," Reboyras asked. "Some of it I can understand."</p><p>"Yeah, some of it will be [outsourced] and some of it won't be," Powers replied. "It'll be a blend, just like we have now."</p><p>Ald. Scott Waguespack told Powers he hopes that blend includes more city workers than outsiders, especially in a time of high unemployment.</p><p>"It sounds like it's such a massive project that there are really people in the city that could get those jobs," Waguespack said.</p><p>Most city council resistance to Mayor Emanuel's big water proposal has to do with non-profits and churches. Right now most don't have to pay for their water, but if the mayor gets his way, they soon will.</p><p>Several influential aldermen, including Finance Committee Chair Ed Burke, have spoken out against that proposal.</p><p>The Archdiocese of Chicago estimated the fee change could cost its schools and parishes $1.5 million extra per year. Chancellor Jim Lago said the archdiocese is "seriously concerned," given that many city parishes already operate on budgets that are "running on the margin."</p></p> Sat, 22 Oct 2011 00:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-aldermen-whos-going-get-all-those-water-infrastructure-jobs-93384 How transparent is Emanuel's city hall? http://www.wbez.org/story/how-transparent-emanuels-city-hall-90772 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-22/RS235_Rham.looking_getty.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>This week, Rahm Emanuel marks his 100th day as Chicago's mayor. This is an artificial milestone - we know - but one Emanuel himself set before taking office, when he laid out some early goals.</p><p>Among the promises: making city hall more transparent than in the past. And there have been changes, but they haven't all been as dramatic as advertised.</p><p><strong>An agenda with a touch of hyperbole</strong></p><p>Emanuel made the promise during the campaign, in December, when he unveiled what he called his "ethics and good government agenda."</p><p>It aimed, Emanuel said, to "bring a level of transparency and accountability to the city government, reestablishing what I think is very important for the public, i.e. the taxpayers, with city government and those who serve in city government, a level of confidence in the way decisions are being made."</p><p>Emanuel was not the only candidate with a transparency agenda. You don't go far in politics by telling voters to "pay no attention" to what's going on behind "the curtain."</p><p>But he reinforced the open government agenda after he was elected, when he released his <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Chicago%202011%20Transition%20Plan.pdf">transition report</a>, a first-term to-do list. The document said "transparency" seven times, and "transparent" eight times.</p><p>A whole lot of Emanuel's promises relate to making information available online. Information like, as of last week, the city had 3,337 rodent control requests not yet taken care of, or that - on average - residents are waiting 26 days to get new garbage cans.</p><p>These numbers are available on a <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/progs/transparency.html">transparency web page</a> and a "<a href="http://data.cityofchicago.org/">data portal</a>" that Emanuel's been touting, like in this statement, last week:</p><p>"For the first time, we made everybody's salary public. Today we're going to put online everybody's financial disclosure," Emanuel said.</p><p>A bold announcement, to be sure, but not as bold as you might think.</p><p>Salaries - while now on the city's website for the first time - have not been made "public" for the first time. In the past, they could be requested through the Freedom of Information Act. And financial disclosure forms for city employees were already available online; Mayor Daley did that last year.</p><p>Emanuel made his less-than-accurate pronouncement during a discussion hosted by the <a href="http://www.bettergov.org/newsblogsvideo/bga_live.aspx">Better Government Association</a>. It's one of several internet forums he's taken part in. Earlier this summer he participated in a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxSWhtiQzKU">Facebook town hall</a>, which his administration said allowed him to "engage directly with people across Chicago."</p><p><strong>An at-times tense media relationship</strong></p><p>At least at this point, these new media events don't appear to be replacing the traditional press conferences mayors before him have held. In July, according to his public schedules, Emanuel took questions from reporters at more than a dozen events. And that doesn't include one-on-one interviews he did - though not all went well.</p><p>Emanuel - as I'm sure you know - does not shy from confrontation. Sometimes his responses to reporters’ questions carry more than a hint of condescension, and he will let reporters know when he feels they've crossed the line.</p><p>Last month, Mary Ann Ahern from NBC-5 Chicago pressed Emanuel about where he would send his children to school. With the camera off, <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/When-Rahms-Temper-Made-a-Comeback-125919838.html">things got tense</a>, Ahern recalled on WBEZ's <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-25/where-political-and-personal-spheres-public-figures-overlap-89582"><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em></a>.</p><p>"The mayor stood up and I stood up, and he stood about a half an inch from my face, and began pointing at me and yelling at me, and telling me to leave his children alone and how dare I," Ahern said.</p><p>Coincidence or not, a reporter from a rival TV station later that day reported a scoop: that Emanuel's kids would be attending the University of Chicago Lab School.</p><p>Emanuel's press operation is savvy, and at times, a bit too Washington, D.C. for Chicago reporters. Both his communications director and press secretary came from jobs in the Obama Administration.</p><p>Earlier this summer, the Emanuel team planned a "background" briefing - something common in Washington, but not so at City Hall - about last winter's blizzard response, in which no officials could be quoted directly. Reporters complained, and ended up getting their questions answered at an on-the-record press conference immediately following the briefing.</p><p><strong>Aldermanic expectations</strong></p><p>Transparency issues do not only arise from the media. Aldermen during the Daley Administration often complained they weren't getting their questions answered on big issues.&nbsp;</p><p>So when Emanuel provided them information about why he picked a certain company to get a concessions contract at O'Hare, "a lot of aldermen had never seen so many documents before that were dumped out there," Ald. Scott Waguespack said on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-04/first-100-searching-transparency-city-hall-90112"><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em></a>.</p><p>Waguespack said the Emanuel Administration has, in general, been more open than the Daley one.</p><p>"I think a lot of aldermen kind of looked at that, and said, 'Well, they've spoken to us, they've given us a lot of documents we've never seen before, more transparency than the last 20 years,'" Waguespack said. "But if you're missing the one page that you need, that's not transparency."</p><p>Waguespack claimed he didn't get all the answers he wanted about the O'Hare deal from that pile of documents, so he voted against it. Most of Waguespack's colleagues didn't agree with him. He was one of just three "no" votes.</p><p><strong>A 'junk drawer' of information</strong></p><p>Piles of government documents cover nearly every inch of Tim Novak's office. An investigative reporter for the <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em>, Novak broke open the Hired Truck scandal in 2004 that led to the convictions of nearly 30 city employees.</p><p>This past year, he's <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/koschman/index.html">written about</a> how the police investigated a fight - involving a nephew of former Mayor Daley - that led to a death. Novak said that after a while, the Daley administration stopped answering his calls and his emails.</p><p>"The only thing they would respond to were [Freedom of Information Act requests]," Novak said.</p><p>He has had better luck with the Emanuel administration. Novak said he's been able to get interviews with police officials he never would've gotten when Daley was in charge.</p><p>"That being said, the police department seems to only respond to us when the mayor's office tells them to," Novak said.</p><p>Novak relies heavily on public documents for his investigations. So I asked him about all the data the Emanuel administration has put in its online "data portal" - lists of city contracts, lobbyist and budget details.</p><p>Novak said he does find the employee information helpful. But, as a whole, he equated the "portal" with "the junk drawer everyone has in their kitchen, where you can open that drawer and Lord knows what you might find in it, but it's not organized in any particular fashion."</p><p>That is not a universal opinion. The Emanuel administration describes the portal as "easy to use." And it is constantly being updated.</p><p>But Novak is a reporter not easily impressed. And here's the underlying issue: Transparency, he said, is a buzz word these days.</p><p>"And governments don't really want to be transparent, in my opinion," Novak said. "If they were transparent, they would put glass on the back room door, so you could see into the back room. They don't really want you to do that."</p><p>And that's one transparency promise Emanuel has not made.</p></p> Mon, 22 Aug 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/how-transparent-emanuels-city-hall-90772 Oops! County Board incumbent's endorser list shrinks http://www.wbez.org/blog/oops-county-board-incumbents-endorser-list-shrinks <p><img class="size-full wp-image-12173" title="edwin_reyes_8" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//edwin_reyes_8.jpg" alt="Cook County Board Commissioner Edwin Reyes" width="240" height="318" /> A Cook County Board commissioner facing a tough primary challenge has gathered endorsements from some 18 Chicago politicians. Edwin Reyes (8th District), installed by Northwest Side political bosses to an open seat last summer, hopes the endorsements will help him beat back self-styled independent Xavier Nogueras in the February 2 primary. Reyes is running the list on the home page of his <a href="http://reyesforcommissioner.com/">campaign Web site.</a> There's just one problem. Until I called the Reyes campaign late yesterday, the list included a Chicago alderman who had not endorsed the commissioner. The alderman, Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward), says he's "disappointed" and "angry" to hear Reyes has been using his name. He says he didn't know until I told him. The Reyes campaign is apologizing for the "error." A spokesman blames it on the office of the 32nd Ward Democratic committeeman, state Rep. John Fritchey. But Fritchey insists neither he nor his staff had any role.</p> Thu, 21 Jan 2010 06:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/oops-county-board-incumbents-endorser-list-shrinks