WBEZ | Michael Bloomberg http://www.wbez.org/tags/michael-bloomberg Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Biden: Illinois election sends message on guns http://www.wbez.org/news/biden-illinois-election-sends-message-guns-105784 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS7067_AP295119131125-scr(1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON &mdash; Vice President Joe Biden argued Wednesday that the primary election victory of a gun control advocate to represent Illinois in Congress sends a message that voters won&#39;t stand for inaction in response to shooting violence after the Connecticut school shooting.</p><p>Robin Kelly was elected Tuesday as the Democratic nominee in a Chicago-area district to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., forced out in an ethics scandal, after running on gun control. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg&#39;s political fund poured $2 million into television ads against an opponent who had been highly rated by the National Rifle Association.</p><p>&quot;For the first time since Newtown, voters sent a clear unequivocal signal,&quot; Biden told state attorneys general gathered at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington.</p><p>&quot;The voters sent a message last night, not just to the NRA but to the politicians all around the country by electing Robin Kelly, who stood up, who stood strong for gun safety totally consistent with our Second Amendment rights,&quot; Biden said. &quot;The message is there will be a moral price as well as a political price to be paid for inaction. This is not 1994. People know too much.&quot;</p><p>In 1994, Congress passed an assault weapons ban and some lawmakers who supported it paid an electoral price by being voted out of office. But Biden argued the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 students and six workers has changed the gun debate in a way he&#39;s never seen.</p><p>&quot;This senseless act not only shocked the conscience of the American people, but I believe it has changed and galvanized the attitude of the American people demanding concrete action. I&#39;ve been doing this for a long time. The public mood has changed,&quot; Biden said, his voice rising to a yell. &quot;The excuse that it&#39;s too politically risky to act is no longer acceptable. We cannot remain silent. We have to become the voices of those 20 beautiful children.&quot;</p><p>Biden has been the White House&#39;s leader on pushing for gun control legislation, including a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and a push for universal background checks. The vice president planned to meet later in the day with Bloomberg at the White House.</p></p> Wed, 27 Feb 2013 11:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/biden-illinois-election-sends-message-guns-105784 Anti-gun Democrat wins primary to replace Jackson Jr. http://www.wbez.org/news/anti-gun-democrat-wins-primary-replace-jackson-jr-105776 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP Robin Kelly.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The newly elected Democratic nominee to replace disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. vowed to become a leader in the fight for federal gun control and directly challenged the National Rifle Association in her victory speech.</p><p>Robin Kelly, a former state representative, emerged early as a voice for gun control after Jackson resigned in November. Then she gained huge momentum when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg&#39;s super PAC poured $2 million into anti-gun television ads that blasted one of her Democratic opponents, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, for receiving a previous high rating from the NRA.</p><p>Kelly supports an assault weapons ban, while Halvorson does not.</p><p>&quot;We were on the right side of the issue, and our message resonated,&quot; Kelly said shortly after her win.</p><p>In her victory speech, she promised to fight &quot;until gun violence is no longer a nightly feature on the evening news&quot; and directly addressed the NRA, saying &quot;their days of holding our country hostage are coming to an end.&quot;</p><p>Bloomberg called Kelly&#39;s win an important victory for &quot;common-sense leadership&quot; on gun violence, saying in a statement that voters nationwide are demanding change.</p><p>But other Democratic front-runners accused Bloomberg of buying a race and interfering in the heavily urban district that also includes some Chicago suburbs and rural areas.</p><p>&quot;It shows, unfortunately, you can&#39;t go up against that big money. ... That&#39;s the problem with super PACs,&quot; said Halvorson, who unsuccessfully challenged Jackson in a primary last year. &quot;There is nothing I could have done differently.&quot;</p><p>Because the district is overwhelmingly Democratic, Kelly&#39;s primary win all but assures she will sail through the April 9 general election and head to Washington.</p><p>In the Republican contest, Chicago resident Paul McKinley led Eric Wallace, a publisher of Christian books, by 23 votes with a handful of precincts still uncounted. McKinley, a former felon, describes himself as a grassroots activist on behalf of ex-offenders.</p><p>The race was the district&#39;s first wide-open primary since 1995, when Jackson was first elected to Congress. He resigned in November after a months-long medical leave for treatment of bipolar disorder and other issues, then pleaded guilty this month to spending $750,000 in campaign money on lavish personal items.</p><p>Even with his legal saga playing out in the courts, the gun debate dominated the primary, which featured 14 Democrats. The election came after Chicago saw its deadliest January in more than a decade, including the fatal shooting of an honors student just days after she performed at President Barack Obama&#39;s second inauguration.</p><p>Political experts and fellow candidates said the super PAC money made all the difference, particularly in an election with a short primary and low voter turnout.</p><p>&quot;The money bought Kelly a tremendous among of attention,&quot; said Laura Washington, a political analyst in Chicago. &quot;She tapped into a real hard nerve out there in the community. People are really concerned about gun control and violence. She was smart to focus like a laser on that issue.&quot;</p><p>Bloomberg&#39;s entrance into the race became controversial, at least with the candidates and some voters.</p><p>The Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent has long taken a vocal stance against guns. He launched his super PAC weeks before the November election and spent more than $12 million to back seven candidates nationwide, including newly elected Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, a California Democrat who ousted an incumbent during a race where guns were an issue.</p><p>On Tuesday, Kelly told supporters that she would work with Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to get gun control legislation through Congress.</p><p>However, gun-rights advocates dismissed the notion that Kelly&#39;s election and Bloomberg&#39;s attention would fuel the debate on gun control.</p><p>&quot;This is an aberration,&quot; said Illinois State Rifle Association spokesman Richard Pearson. &quot;This shows what you can do with $2 million in an offseason race. He bought the election.&quot;</p><p>Another Democratic front-runner, Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale, also took issue with the ads, saying people were &quot;extremely upset&quot; that someone from New York was trying to tell people in Illinois how to vote.</p><p>&quot;That&#39;s what money gets you,&quot; he said after conceding the race. &quot;We earned every vote.&quot;</p><p>Roughly 14 percent of registered voters came to the polls, an estimate Chicago officials called the lowest turnout in decades. Adding to the problem was a blast of wintry weather that snarled traffic and could have kept some voters home.</p><p>But those who did cast ballots indicated that guns, ethics and economic woes were on their minds.</p><p>Mary Jo Higgins of Steger, a south Chicago suburb, said she voted for Halvorson because the former congresswoman was &quot;the only Democrat who believes in the Second Amendment.&quot;</p><p>But Country Club Hills minister Rosemary Gage said she voted for Kelly because she was &quot;standing with (Obama) and trying to get rid of guns.&quot;</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s really bad in Chicago and across the country,&quot; Gage said. &quot;Too many children have died.&quot;</p></p> Tue, 26 Feb 2013 20:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/anti-gun-democrat-wins-primary-replace-jackson-jr-105776 Bloomberg ads draw candidates' ire in Illinois http://www.wbez.org/news/bloomberg-ads-draw-candidates-ire-illinois-105763 <p><p>Two candidates to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress say voters should send a message that money cannot buy the election.</p><p>New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg&#39;s super PAC has spent more than $2 million on ads attacking former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson over her positions on guns.</p><p>Halvorson says if the ads are successful Bloomberg will try to &quot;buy seats&quot; across the country. She says &quot;we can&#39;t let that happen.&quot;</p><p>Alderman Anthony Beale says voters are &quot;extremely upset&quot; that someone from New York is trying to tell people in Illinois how to vote. He predicts there will be a &quot;backlash.&quot;</p><p>Halvorson, Beale and former state Rep. Robin Kelly are considered front runners in Tuesday&#39;s Democratic primary.</p><p>Jackson resigned in November. He pleaded guilty this month to misusing campaign funds.</p></p> Tue, 26 Feb 2013 10:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/bloomberg-ads-draw-candidates-ire-illinois-105763 Maggie Daley remembered at funeral mass: tireless advocate, devoted mom, big singer http://www.wbez.org/story/maggie-daley-remembered-funeral-mass-tireless-advocate-devoted-mom-big-singer-94405 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-28/AP111128029217.jpg.crop_display.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago's former first lady, Maggie Daley, was honored Monday in a funeral mass at Old Saint Patrick's Church just west of the city's downtown. Daley died on Thanksgiving at the age of 68.</p><p>So many people showed up, that more than a few Chicago aldermen were relegated to the church basement to watch the scene on TVs. Others without seats stood outside the church, listening to just the piped-out sound.</p><p>Delivering the homily, Father Jack Wall spoke of Maggie Daley's nearly decade-long fight with breast cancer.</p><p>"Some people when the going gets tough, they just see themselves as victims," Wall said. "But this woman kept on saying, Nothing is going to take life from me. Nothing. I'm too busy giving it away."</p><p>Wall talked of Daley's work to establish a parish school at Old St. Pat's, and her committment to after school programs for Chicago's kids. And he described the former first lady's personal "blue law."</p><p>"There was not going to be one mayoral event on a Sunday," he recalled. "There had to be a family day, a day where people celebrate and nurture this gift of family."</p><p>Speaking for the Daley children, son Patrick provided a personal remembrance.</p><p>"Enjoying life, laughter, and the occasional piece of dark chocolate," he said to laughter. "She was the first one out and the last one off the dance floor. She was a singer, encouraging everyone - sometimes very strongly - to join her."</p><p>"As a mother, she was the embodiment of unconditional, yet tough, love," Patrick Daley said. "And as a grandmother, we saw her move from tough love and discipline to tenderness and indulgence."</p><p>Former Mayor Richard Daley embraced his children when they returned to their seats. He did not speak at the mass.</p><p>Others in attendance: Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, First Lady Michelle Obama, U.S. Sens. Duck Durbin and Mark Kirk, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.</p><p>Bagpipes played outside the church. As the casket was carried out to the hearse, the former mayor followed right behind.</p><p>By order of the current mayor, Rahm Emanuel, city flags are supposed to remain at half-mast for the rest of the week in honor of Maggie Daley.</p></p> Mon, 28 Nov 2011 21:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/maggie-daley-remembered-funeral-mass-tireless-advocate-devoted-mom-big-singer-94405 Cleanup begins in wake of Irene http://www.wbez.org/story/clean-begins-wake-irene-91166 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-29/6093413756_78818c96d1_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Irene is gone but the trouble it started isn't finished by a long-shot. It could be days or even weeks before some of the millions<br> without electricity get it back. Airlines will be busy untangling masses of stranded passengers delayed by canceled flights. And some&nbsp;rivers in New York and New England pose potentially major flood threats today.</p><p>And then there's the damage. It hasn't been tallied up yet but one private estimate is up to $7 billion.</p><p>Flooding is widespread in Vermont and the Mohawk River is over its banks in parts of New York. Officials say they may be seeing<br> 500-year flood conditions on the Mohawk. New York City's three main airports will be reopening today as will part of the subway system. Commuters have been warned of long lines and waits.</p><p>Airports in Philadelphia and Washington are open and Boston's transit system is reopening. So are Atlantic City casinos.</p><p>Aviation officials in Chicago say almost 400 flights have been canceled at both of Chicago's airports because of Tropical<br> Storm Irene. Airlines canceled more than 300 flights at O'Hare International Airport and around 70 at Midway International Airport on Sunday.</p><p>Chicago's Department of Aviation says most of the cancellations are due to East Coast weather conditions. There aren't any delays. More than 11,500 flights have been canceled nationwide.</p><p>Weather officials downgraded Irene from a hurricane to a tropical storm Sunday as the storm's winds lost speed. As a hurricane, Irene had already unloaded more than a foot of water on North Carolina, spun off tornadoes in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, and left 4 million homes and businesses without power. At least 18 people died in the storm.</p><p>Meantime, New York City subway service is back on track for the morning rush. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said limited service resumed at 5:40 a.m. Monday. It said service remains suspended on Metro-North Railroad because of heavy damage from Tropical Storm Irene. Metro-North serves regions north of New York City, from Westchester County to southern Connecticut.</p><p>The MTA's decision Saturday to halt all subways, buses and commuter trains in preparation for the storm had threatened to disrupt the start of the work week for millions of New Yorkers. It was the first time a natural disaster ever shut the system down.</p><p>New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making no apologies for ordering hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate for a hurricane that ended up doing relatively little damage in New York. Bloomberg said he was unwilling to risk the life of a single New Yorker in the face of Hurricane Irene. He spent days urging people to get out of harm's way and to prepare for storm. Irene caused some flooding and other problems in New York but no deaths or injuries.</p><p>The mayor said he's not sure whether it's the city's preparations or luck that prevented the toll from being worse. But he said he would make the same decisions again.</p></p> Mon, 29 Aug 2011 11:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/clean-begins-wake-irene-91166