WBEZ | Democrats http://www.wbez.org/tags/democrats Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Hey Gov: An Illinois politics road trip http://www.wbez.org/news/hey-gov-illinois-politics-road-trip-110657 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Bu1yd1ZCcAEYqlk.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/hey-gov-an-illinois-politics-road-trip/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/hey-gov-an-illinois-politics-road-trip.js?header=none&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/hey-gov-an-illinois-politics-road-trip" target="_blank">View the story "Hey Gov: An Illinois politics road trip " on Storify</a>]<h1>Hey Gov: An Illinois politics road trip </h1><h2>WBEZ political reporters Alex Keefe and Tony Arnold took off from Chicago and drove along the Illinois River until the hit the State Fair. All along the way, they stopped to ask people what they want from the next governor. </h2><p>Storified by <a href="https://storify.com/WBEZ">WBEZ</a>&middot; Thu, Aug 14 2014 16:56:40 </p><div>WBEZ&apos;s @akeefe &amp; @tonyjarnold are following the Illinois River to the State Fair, asking citizens what they want from a governor. #HeyGovWBEZ</div><div>Best Game in Town: Governor's Day at the Illinois State Fair by WBEZ's Afternoon ShiftThe Illinois State Fair hosts &quot;Governor's Day&quot; today at the fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. Governor's Day is the traditional rally and picnic for the Illinois democratic party. Tomorrow is Republican Day. The big story is how Governor Quinn has changed the format of today's festivities.</div><div>Gov. Quinn heads to Illinois State Fair to rally his base by WBEZ's Morning ShiftThe Illinois State Fair brings out politicians, special interest groups and voters looking to get some answers from candidates. Incumbent Governor Quinn is following the same pattern as last year and making Wednesday's Governor's Day at the Fair a family event rather than an opportunity to hash out political agendas.</div><div>What Walt Willey, Ottawa #il native and longtime &quot;All My Children&quot; soap star, wants from the next gov http://t.co/IFmdwcg9u9 #heygov @WBEZAlex Keefe</div><div>A brief history of Ottawa, #IL, in mural form. #heygov @ Illinois River, Ottawa IL http://t.co/LpoCI5xsA8Alex Keefe</div><div>.@akeefe is driving me to Springfield. At least if we take a wrong turn I know we have a map. http://t.co/0ZBKrpc8E7Tony Arnold</div></noscript></div></p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/hey-gov-illinois-politics-road-trip-110657 Top Illinois Democrat missing from party’s big day at State Fair http://www.wbez.org/news/top-illinois-democrat-missing-party%E2%80%99s-big-day-state-fair-108417 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/madigan_1.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Illinois Democrats gathered in Springfield Wednesday to rally behind their candidates ahead of next year&rsquo;s election--but they met amidst party infighting, lawsuits and without the state&rsquo;s party chairman.</p><p dir="ltr">Michael Madigan serves as Speaker of the Statehouse and as chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Yet Madigan did not appear at the state fair Wednesday, a day designed for political events.</p><p dir="ltr">Many Democratic officials seemed surprised - even unaware - that Madigan would not be attending the day&rsquo;s events.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think the Democratic Party is pretty strong here in Illinois and the Speaker has done a very good job in leading the party, so whether he comes to the State Fair or not is not as important,&rdquo; said Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton.</p><p dir="ltr">Meantime, Gov. Pat Quinn wouldn&rsquo;t say much about Madigan&rsquo;s notable absence.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know why he&rsquo;s not here, but I talked to him this week and I think he&rsquo;s fired up, ready to go for 2014,&rdquo; Quinn said.</p><p dir="ltr">A spokesman for Madigan did not return calls for comment.</p><p dir="ltr">The governor was recently sued by Madigan and Cullerton for withholding lawmakers paychecks. Quinn said the action was a consequence of legislators&rsquo; failure to address the state&rsquo;s unfunded pension liability--Madigan and Cullerton called the maneuver unconstitutional. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Meantime, Quinn&rsquo;s primary opponent, Bill Daley, told a room full of Democrats that Quinn doesn&rsquo;t have what it takes to win another election next year.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We will not win if we do not make change,&rdquo; Daley said in his prepared remarks to the party Wednesday morning.</p><p dir="ltr">For his part, Quinn didn&rsquo;t criticize Daley by name, but hinted at upcoming attacks against Daley for his work in the financial sector at JPMorgan Chase.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We had a recession, the Great Recession,&rdquo; Quinn said. &ldquo;There were a lot of millionaire bankers and big shots that caused great harm to the American economy.&rdquo;</p><p>Republicans are scheduled to have their own day of rallies and attacks on Democrats at the Illinois State Fair on Thursday.</p></p> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 16:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/top-illinois-democrat-missing-party%E2%80%99s-big-day-state-fair-108417 With FAA, Democrats lose the sequester battle http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-04/faa-democrats-lose-sequester-battle-106870 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7216_AP118705097809-scr.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Sequester cuts caused travel delays at airports across the country before Friday's congressional votes. (AP/File)" /></div><p>Not that Democrats have ever been particularly good negotiators, but it&rsquo;s possible President Barack Obama&rsquo;s namby pamby adjudicating may have rubbed off on them, to bad effect.</p><p>Just last Friday, finally given a chance to show their courage in the sequester battle, the Democrats blinked &mdash; hard. by agreeing to a bill that allows the Federal Aviation Administration to bypass, at least for now, sequester-mandated cuts, the Democrats actually agreed to a strategy that basically hands the budget battle victory to the Republicans.</p><p>Do you remember the sequester? It was supposed to be so damn bad both sides in Washington were going to be forced back to the negotiating table, bipartisanship would have no choice but to emerge from the bitter pill of automatic cuts to the federal budget, without regard to need or politics: Head Start, the military &mdash; every favorite program was going to be guillotined.</p><p>When the Republicans didn&rsquo;t fall for that and allowed the sequester to go into effect, the White House &mdash; which unconvincingly disavows the sequester as its idea &mdash; went on a campaign to warn about the hardships the cuts would cause. Things were going to get so bad, we were all going to be really sorry. And, in fact, things were going to get so terribly bad, the people would rise up and blame the GOP and then the Dems would have the upper hand and things would get fixed, probably.</p><p>There&rsquo;s still a <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/sequester" target="_blank">White House page</a> with many dire warnings such as this: &ldquo;Harmful automatic budget cuts &mdash; known as the sequester &mdash; threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs, and cut vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform. These cuts will make it harder to grow our economy and create jobs by affecting our ability to invest in important priorities like education, research and innovation, public safety, and military readiness.&rdquo;</p><p>Except it hasn&rsquo;t happened that way. Not that the sequester isn&rsquo;t slicing and dicing: It is. But the very nature of the cuts means the pain is being administered slowly, over a huge swath of programs, and most people haven&rsquo;t seen a big change in their lives post-sequester.</p><p>Still, the damage is real. In Illinois alone, the <a href="http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/politics/sequester-cuts-illinois/309/" target="_blank">sequester affects</a> funding for teachers, funding for special education for kids with disabilities, work study jobs, Head Start programs, child care, vaccines, nutrition programs for seniors, mental health programs, cuts to the FBI, emergency responders, veteran services, senior meals, housing voucher programs, AIDS and HIV services and many more programs.</p><p>So you&rsquo;d think once the cuts actually started to squeeze people in a noticeable way &mdash; like say, hours long delays at the nation&rsquo;s airports because of furloughed air traffic controllers &mdash; that the Dems would turn around and say, &ldquo;See? This is what we mean. And it&rsquo;s going to get worse.&rdquo;</p><p>And then, you know, maybe the Republicans would at least have to explain their position.</p><p>But no. In fact, not at all. The Democrats completed caved. The <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/national_world&amp;id=9079898" target="_blank">vote wasn&rsquo;t even close</a>: unanimous in the Senate and 361 to 41 in the House.</p><p>The Dems agreed to a Republican bill that allows the FAA to shift funds to keep air traffic controllers working, and to keep travelers from being inconvenienced. And in doing so, the Democrats have given the GOP a blueprint on how to get around any other cuts to favored programs they&rsquo;d like to alleviate.</p><p>In other words, the Democrats have given away whatever leverage they might have had had &mdash; especially because Obama has agreed to sign this bill, as is his wont, without concessions (like, say, Head Start in exchange for the air traffic controllers).</p><p>Let me be even clearer: The Republicans have figured out how to save programs important to their relatively privileged constituencies. The Democrats have completely sold their constituencies &mdash; especially the poor, young people, and women &mdash; down the river.</p><p>Obama and the Democrats are back out there now <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/congress-sends-obama-bill-to-end-delays/2013/04/26/27f94706-ae81-11e2-a986-eec837b1888b_story.html" target="_blank">talking</a> about ending the sequester, how it&rsquo;s unfair to this and that program, and that the Republicans need to come back to the negotiating table. But why would be the GOP ever do that?</p><p>The Republicans are enjoying the sequester. It is, after all, what they wanted: cuts to government programs. Sure, they would have preferred more say in what to cut, what to preserve. But in the long run &mdash; in terms of goals &mdash; the sequester, which both parties signed on to as a strategy, is actually doing what the Republicans &mdash; and only the Republicans &mdash; wanted.</p></p> Sun, 28 Apr 2013 16:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-04/faa-democrats-lose-sequester-battle-106870 Indiana Dems stop right-to-work debate http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-dems-stop-right-work-debate-95302 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-January/2012-01-04/Indy GOP speaker Brian Bosma.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>It’s a new year with a new legislative session, but an all-too-familiar story is recurring in the Indiana Statehouse, at least from the Republican viewpoint: House Democrats once again held up any work because they oppose a GOP proposal to make Indiana a right-to-work state.</p><p>Wednesday was to have been the start of the new legislative session, but House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) couldn’t even call the session to order. While Republicans were ready and seated, only a few Democrats arrived to the chambers as the roll call was read about 12:30 p.m. CT.</p><p>A Democratic representative told Bosma that the party was caucusing, but something else was actually going on — Democrats were staying away.</p><p>Democratic House leader Patrick Bauer of South Bend described the action as a filibuster, not a protest or a walkout.</p><p>“We refuse to let the most controversial public policy bill of the decade be railroaded through with the public being denied their fair and adequate input,” Bauer said. “What’s the urgency? Are they ignoring the public input? They have not made the case that Indiana is in dire need of an anti-paycheck bill.”</p><p>Bauer said unless GOP leaders agree to hold hearings throughout the state on the right-to-work bill, Democrats won’t be coming back anytime soon.</p><p>“The public needs to be informed. The process [by the Republicans] is to avoid the public,” Bauer said.</p><p>Bauer said the Democrats plan to remain in the Indiana Statehouse, unlike last year, when they fled to Urbana, Illinois. They returned some five weeks later, when Republican leaders abandoned their right-to-work proposals.</p><p>House Speaker Brian Bosma, a Republican, said Democrats shouldn’t expect the same outcome.</p><p>“That was an accommodation that was made last year,” Bosma said. “This is the number one jobs issue that we can address this session and the number one issue is jobs. These are middle class jobs that we’re talking about. It’s about personal freedom.”</p><p>If adopted, right-to-work legislation would prohibit an employer from forcing an employee to pay union dues as a condition of employment if a union is already in place. About two dozen states, mostly outside the industrial Midwest, now have such laws in place.<br> Democrats say the bill would undermine unions that, by federal law, must represent all employees — even ones who are not union members and pay no dues.</p><p>Wedneseday's action drew thousands of pro-union representatives to the Indiana Statehouse, many of whom chanted down Republicans and hailed Democratic efforts.</p><p>“It’s a shame to think that we’re going to lose our benefits and our health insurance,” said Chris Roark, a Teamster union member from Gary, Indiana. “They think this bill is going to help Indiana. It’s not going to help Indiana.”</p><p>Northwest Indiana’s Democratic contingent opposes the bill. They’re joined by at least one Republican House member from the region: Ed Soliday of Valparaiso.</p><p>“I will vote against it,” Soliday told WBEZ. “I don’t see what we get for it. I’m not convinced of what I’ve seen. I don’t provoke labor. There’s no point. I have an honest disagreement with some of my colleagues.”</p><p>Republican Speaker Bosma tried three times Wednesday afternoon to gavel the House into order, but each time no more than five of the 40 Democratic members were on the floor.</p><p>Bosma said he’ll try to have the House meet again Thursday.</p></p> Thu, 05 Jan 2012 01:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-dems-stop-right-work-debate-95302 Indiana lawmakers to debate ‘right to work’ http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-lawmakers-debate-%E2%80%98right-work%E2%80%99-95257 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-January/2012-01-03/RS4852_AP120103128050-scr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Indiana’s legislative session will be short this year —&nbsp;it’s expected to last until March — but judging by the political tone set before the start of the session Wednesday, the debate will be furious.</p><p>The Republican leadership, as well as Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, have already vowed to make so-called right-to-work legislation the centerpiece of their agenda — a move that’s already stirred an uproar among Hoosier Democrats.&nbsp;If approved, the legislation would prohibit companies from making employees pay dues to a union as a condition of employment.</p><p>The GOP attempted to push the issue through the General Assembly in 2010, but Hoosier Democratic state representatives scuttled debate by fleeing Indiana and holing up in Illinois for more than a month.</p><p>Indiana Legislative Insight Publisher Ed Feigenbaum does not expect such a boycott this time.</p><p>“I think there will be a number of parliamentary maneuvers that Democrats will employ that will be to their strategic advantage that will show their displeasure,” he said.</p><p>Those maneuvers could include delays in showing up for quorum calls or otherwise disrupting business without leaving the Statehouse.</p><p>Supporters of current right-to-work proposals say Indiana needs such a law to attract businesses. Democrats say the move is an attempt to hurt organized labor and that such laws in other states have driven down wages.</p><p>Pro-union supporters say they want to get a jump on the debate and are expected to flood the Statehouse Wednesday afternoon, but they may encounter resistance. State police last week announced a new 3,000-person cap on the number of people allowed inside the Statehouse at any given time.</p><p>Unions quickly shot back, calling the limit a move by Daniels’ administration to stifle debate.</p><p>Republican Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman said Tuesday that the rules don’t discriminate against anyone, and that the limit is based on public safety concerns. He added that the limits will be evaluated daily.</p><p>Aside from union legislation, lawmakers are also expected to again consider a statewide smoking ban, legislation that failed to get past the committee level in 2011. Supporters want such a ban to be implemented in time for the Super Bowl, which will be hosted in Indianapolis next month.</p><p>A statewide smoking ban has been sought by Indiana state Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) for years without success.</p><p>With no budget to approve, this session is considered the “short session” and must be completed by March 14.</p></p> Wed, 04 Jan 2012 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-lawmakers-debate-%E2%80%98right-work%E2%80%99-95257 Indiana likely to revisit divisive ‘Right-to-Work’ debate http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-likely-revisit-divisive-%E2%80%98right-work%E2%80%99-debate-94266 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-22/Indiana union protests - AP Tom Strattman.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Indiana Republicans and Democrats come together Tuesday in Indianapolis for what’s called Organization Day, a kind of symbolic start to the new legislative session that often sets a tone for what’s to come.</p><p>And what’s to come could be more fighting between the minority Democrats and majority Republicans.</p><p>GOP leaders in the both the Indiana House and Senate on Monday announced plans to try to pursue so-called “right to work” legislation. If adopted, the law would stop requirements that force workers to join unions or pay dues as a condition of employment. Similar legislation has caused political uproars in other states, most recently in Ohio.</p><p>“I don’t expect a free-for-all but I do expect an intense debate,” Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said in Indianapolis on Monday. “There are very strongly-held feelings on this (right to work) issue.”</p><p>Democrats fought right to work provisions during the last legislative session. Because they’ve been in the minority in both legislative houses, their most effective tool was to simply be absent from statehouse work. Democrats walked out of the House last spring and didn’t return for five weeks. They spent most of their time at a hotel near Urbana, Ill.</p><p>“We may be in the minority but we have a duty to protect ourselves against the tyranny of the majority,” said House minority leader Patrick Bauer, a Democrat from South Bend.</p><p>Bauer counters Republican claims that such legislation would make Indiana more competitive in luring businesses and jobs to the Hoosier state.</p><p>“This could be the eventual decline and fall of Indiana being an economic, viable state,” Bauer said.</p><p>Bauer would not say whether Democrats would walk out of the upcoming legislative session if right to work legislation is introduced.</p><p>Senate Pro Tem David Long says the legislation is not about getting rid of unions.</p><p>“This effort will not and does not seek to eliminate unions in our state, nor will unions be eliminated in our state,” said Long, a Republican from Fort Wayne.</p><p>The new session begins in January.</p></p> Tue, 22 Nov 2011 04:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-likely-revisit-divisive-%E2%80%98right-work%E2%80%99-debate-94266 What House Speaker Michael Madigan is up to http://www.wbez.org/story/what-house-speaker-michael-madigan-91448 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-02/RS2798_AP080109029993-madigan.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>House Speaker Michael Madigan is one of Illinois' most mysterious politicians. He's so guarded, even his mere utterances can make a big splash.</p><p>Last month was no exception. Madigan raised eyebrows after attending a fundraiser for U.S. House Speaker John Boehner - as in Republican, John Boehner. Then a week later, he skipped the "Democrat Day" rally at the Illinois State Fair.</p><p>So what's the story behind Madigan's recent behavior and what does it mean for the 2012 election cycle? WBEZ's Kristen McQueary, who's been looking into this, talked with Alex Keefe.</p></p> Fri, 02 Sep 2011 11:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/what-house-speaker-michael-madigan-91448 New redistricting lawsuit seeks to restart the whole process http://www.wbez.org/story/new-redistricting-lawsuit-seeks-restart-whole-process-90673 <p><p>The League of Women Voters of Illinois is asking a federal court to order a big change in the highly political, once-a-decade redistricting process. It's the latest suit tied to Illinois' new boundaries for U.S. House and state legislative districts.</p><p>The League last year tried to change how Illinois draws the boundaries, but its petition drive to get a proposal on the ballot came up short. Now the group is asking the courts to get involved.</p><p>In its lawsuit, the League claims its members' First Amendment rights were violated when Democratic leaders took into account party identification while drawing the maps. The lawsuit says this "unlawfully attempt[s] to control or influence the kinds of views, opinions and speech that residents placed in those districts are likely to express or hear or receive."</p><p>Illinois Republicans, who have a lot to lose if the Democratic-drawn maps stand, have also asked the courts to get involved.</p><p>But the League's lawsuit notes both parties have engaged in partisan gerrymandering in the past and wants the court to order a new process driven by "impartial" decision-makers.</p><p>But the League's president, Jan Dorner, acknowledged on that such a change may not be possible before next year's election.</p></p> Wed, 17 Aug 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/new-redistricting-lawsuit-seeks-restart-whole-process-90673 The Wu scandal: What Democrats should do http://www.wbez.org/node/89627 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-25/ap110223130375_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In the wake of <a href="http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/07/rep_david_wu_accused_of_aggres.html" target="_blank">allegations</a> that Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) engaged in unwanted sexual activity with the teenage daughter of a donor, Democratic leaders in the House quickly called for an ethics investigation. Others called for Wu's immediate resignation from office. On Monday there were reports that Wu would not seek re-election, but would not resign either. Wu issued a statement calling the allegations, published in <em>The Oregonian</em>, "very serious," but did not confirm or deny the report.</p><p>To find out how Democrats might deal with another sex scandal just a month after the resignation of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), we spoke with crisis management specialist Eric Dezenhall, CEO of Dezenhall Resources, in Washington, and author of the books <em><em>Nail 'em!: Confronting High-Profile Attacks on Celebrities and Business </em></em><em><em>and </em></em><em>Damage Control: Why Everything You Know About Crisis Management is Wrong</em>.</p><p><strong>Corey Dade:</strong> Should House Democrats handle this differently so soon after the scandal involving Anthony Weiner?</p><p><strong>Eric Dezenhall:</strong> Every case like this is different. There is a tendency to view them as a dogma, that there's a right way and a wrong way to handle them. That's just not true. It would be sort of like saying no matter what your illness is, use Calamine lotion.</p><p>I think the problem with the Weiner situation is there was proof. You handle a situation where there is unequivocal proof quite differently than a situation where there is not.</p><p>Quite literally, unfortunately, the American legal system has become about entertainment and punishing witches. It's not about truth and justice anymore. So when you have a famous person facing allegations, the media-Internet-political-legal apparatus is all ginned up to only to convict.</p><p>There is automatically an assumption of guilt here. So what is somebody in the House going to do, say we shouldn't have an ethics inquiry? Of course, they are going to say 'we should look into this.'</p><p><strong>Dade:</strong> There were already signs of trouble for Wu. He cited mental health issues and already had two primary challengers for a potential 2012 reelection bid. How does this change the advice for him, and for House Democratic leaders who may try to nudge him out of office?</p><p><strong>Dezenhall:</strong> Well, the picture of him in the tiger outfit [which he acknowledged sending to staffers earlier this year] doesn't help. This is a 'Where there's smoke, there's fire' situation, which gives the Democrats a pillar to stand on [in urging him to step down]. And he hasn't denied being troubled.</p><p><strong>Dade:</strong> How would you advise Pelosi and the Democrats to handle this?</p><p><strong>Dezenhall: </strong>I see no risk to them in suggesting an inquiry. But to the target of the investigation, it's ruinous. Investigations destroy people's lives.</p><p>Where they are going to have to be careful, though, is going beyond that because we don't know the extent to which the accuser has been vetted. Which should always be an issue because accusers lie. Now, I don't want to say anything about this accuser because I don't know the case.</p><p>What you've got is a rather serious claim. But I'm in a business where people make serious claims against my clients all the time. A lot of times it's for money; sometimes it's for vengeance. The public has a hard time believing people make stuff up, but they do.</p><p>But [House Democrats] don't want to be responsible for killing the career of a colleague because this was just there but for the grace of God... If you're a member of Congress, you're only one stroke of bad luck away from an allegation about you. That's what was so interesting about the [Sen.] Larry Craig scandal. The [Senate] Ethics Committee didn't proceed aggressively because a number of people on that committee were facing issues of their own.</p><p><strong>Dade:</strong> Why do some scandal-plagued politicians resist calls to resign?</p><p><strong>Dezenhall:</strong> The good news about resigning is you knock it out of the news, like [former New York Gov. Eliot] Spitzer and [former New Jersey Gov. Jim] McGreevey did. The bad news is you're out of a job. Resigning in disgrace has baggage that staying in office doesn't have.</p><p>What factors in the calculations is 'Is this survivable to the end of a term?' And if it looks like it may be, staying in office and letting it fade away is different than resigning in disgrace. So, you're better off if you stay.</p><p>The thing is that the subject of the crisis is usually 10 steps behind the rest of us in realizing what's going on. It's very different on a psychological and biochemical level to come coolly to grips with the fact that your life, as you know it, is over. That's the problem I have with clients — and one of the reasons I represent corporations and usually don't represent individual clients — people don't dispassionately just go 'Yeah, my life is over. That's fine.' No, they do something quite different. A lot of the problems you have are protecting a client from himself. They often want to go out there and say 'These things aren't true.'...Some enzyme kicks in and they don't see themselves as lying, when the rest of us do.</p><p>I just think it's a psychological thing with people. They can't look at themselves as at fault because they need denial to get through it. It's like Bernie Madoff when he said 'I'm not a bad guy. I just did a bad thing.'</p><p><strong>Dade:</strong> Is there any way these latest scandals become a broader election issue that Republicans could use to their advantage?</p><p><strong>Dezenhall: </strong>I tend to doubt that. This may be an issue on the local level, where this election is held. But I'm not sure that it is plausible to conclude that a wide swath of voters see Democrats' sexual behavior as a viable issue, especially since Republicans have had their share of issues.</p><p><strong>Dade:</strong> What allows some politicians to survive scandals and others not to survive? Where is the line for when a politician should resign?</p><p><strong>Dezenhall: </strong>There are a few variables. One variable: Are there optics? Do we have proof shoved in our faces? Going back to Gary Hart, you had a contrast between his complete denial and the [incriminating] photograph.</p><p>There's a reason for 'you have the right to remain silent.' When you don't have data thrown in the public's face, you have the ability to tip toe your way out of it.</p><p>Then you have the issue of likability. Bill Clinton is a lot more likeable guy than Anthony Weiner. Anthony Weiner was not popular with his friends (fellow House Democrats). So, do people want to defend him? During the Clinton scandal, I wrote a piece saying he is going to survive. He survived for the same reason that beautiful women don't get speeding tickets. People get away with stuff.</p><p>And a third variable is what I call the hypocrisy variable: what we've learned about you at odds what we thought about you. So, when we have Eliot Spitzer prosecuting people and it turns out he was committing a crime, there's no where for him to go. With Bill Clinton, we all knew what he was. So when it turned out that's what he was doing, we all said 'Oh, well, yeah, we know how he is.'</p><p>I think people can imagine a powerful person having an affair. But when you're emailing and sending photos on Twitter, that's harder to accept. That's off the grid. I think people have a harder time forgiving behavior that's off the grid.</p><p><strong>Dade:</strong> Can Wu or Weiner rehabilitate his image and thrive again in public life?</p><p><strong>Dezenhall:</strong> From a PR perspective, there are few corrective measures once a scandal like this gets started. The system, the vortex, only goes one way, which is to destroy. The only way you get vindication is through the courts or your personal life. The media just isn't inclined to redeem. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1311632745?&gn=The+Wu+Scandal%3A+What+Democrats+Should+Do&ev=event2&ch=1014&h1=Politics,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=138686459&c7=1014&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1014&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110725&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Mon, 25 Jul 2011 17:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/node/89627 Republicans sue over Illinois legislative remap http://www.wbez.org/story/republicans-sue-over-illinois-legislative-remap-89415 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-20/AP110524144588.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Top Illinois Republicans have sued to invalidate the state's new legislative district map drawn by Democrats.</p><div><p>In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court, House Republican leader Tom Cross and Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno contend the map shortchanges blacks and Latinos and dilutes the voting strength of Republicans.</p><p>Democrats were in charge of the redistricting process because they control both the Legislature and the governor's office. Gov. Pat Quinn has signed the map into law.</p><p>Democrats have defended the map, but it's gotten mixed reviews from community groups. Some praised it for adequately reflecting the state's growing Latino population, while others say it could go further and also better maximize the black voting population in some districts.</p><p>The map could be redrawn if the lawsuit is successful.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 20 Jul 2011 18:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/republicans-sue-over-illinois-legislative-remap-89415