WBEZ | Republicans http://www.wbez.org/tags/republicans Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Fact Check: Fiorina's HP record; Trump's bankruptcies; vaccines and autism http://www.wbez.org/news/fact-check-fiorinas-hp-record-trumps-bankruptcies-vaccines-and-autism-112960 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gettyimages-488695618_wide-8f349786c1d896b324b3b9241e418a259447804c-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>At the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., would-be heirs to Reagan tried to land some punches last night on Republican front-runner Donald Trump. It was the second prime-time debate for the GOP field.</p><p>We want to cut through the spin with a new feature we&#39;re calling &quot;Break It Down.&quot;</p><p>Break It Down is going to be a regular part of our campaign coverage. We&#39;re going to try some new things. It might sound a little different from time to time. But our goal is to zoom in on what the candidates are saying, and give you the factual breakdown you need to make a sound judgment.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Claim 1 &mdash; Trump: Fiorina&#39;s management of HP &quot;led to the destruction of the company&quot;</span></p><p>There were a lot of sparks between the two CEOs on stage &mdash; Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump. Trump went after Fiorina&#39;s record as a business executive, especially the five years she spent as head of Hewlett-Packard about a decade ago:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;Today, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, they fired another 25- or 30,000 people, saying we still haven&#39;t recovered from the catastrophe. When Carly says the revenues went up, that&#39;s because she bought Compaq, it was a terrible deal, and it really led to the destruction of the company. Now one other company before that was Lucent. Carly was at Lucent before that. And Lucent turned out to be a catastrophe also. So I&#39;ll only say this &mdash; she can&#39;t run any of my companies.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>Fiorina&#39;s track record at HP was certainly controversial. The company cut about 30,000 jobs during her tenure, and when Fiorina herself was fired in 2005, she got a severance package worth more than $20 million.</p><p>The merger with Compaq also put her at odds with some people at HP, including the son of the founder, Walter Hewlett. In her defense, Fiorina notes that her tenure was a wrenching time for the whole industry &mdash; the tech bubble had just burst, and while HP continues to struggle, many other iconic companies from that period went out of business altogether.</p><p>As Fiorina noted during the debate, she&#39;s won the endorsement of a former HP board member, who says they were wrong to get rid of her.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Claim 2 &mdash; Fiorina: Trump was &quot;forced to file for bankruptcy ... four times&quot;</span></p><p>Fiorina gave as good as she got last night, taking direct aim at Trump&#39;s own business record:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;There are a lot of us Americans who believe that we&#39;re going to have trouble someday paying back the interest on our debt. Because politicians have run up mountains of debt using other people&#39;s money. That is, in fact, precisely the way you ran your casinos. You ran up mountains of debt, as well as losses, using other people&#39;s money, and you were forced to file for bankruptcy not once, not twice &mdash; four times.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>Trump protested during that charge, saying he never filed for bankruptcy. He means he never filed for personal bankruptcy. But Fiorina is correct when she says Trump corporations turned to bankruptcy court four different times to reorganize their debts.</p><p>Trump has defended that as perfectly legal under the bankruptcy code &mdash; and it is. Most of the bankruptcies were tied to Trump casinos in Atlantic City. The debts were restructured, and Trump&#39;s ownership stake was whittled down.</p><p>Like Fiorina, he insists context is important, saying just about every casino operator in Atlantic City has struggled and that the bankruptcies represent a small fraction of the many business deals he&#39;s done.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Claim 3 &mdash; Trump: Vaccines could lead to autism</span></p><p>Trump has touted his success as a businessman as his chief qualification for the Oval Office. But he also offered up some medical opinions last night, particularly on the question of vaccines.</p><p>Trump was asked Wednesday night about having previously raised the notion that childhood vaccines could cause autism. That&#39;s a long-discredited theory, but he again left open the possibility that they do:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;You take this little beautiful baby, and you pump &mdash; I mean, it looks just like it is meant for a horse, not for a child, and we had so many instances, people that work for me, just the other day, 2-years-old, beautiful child went to have the vaccine and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>Trump was quickly set straight by his fellow candidate Ben Carson, who&#39;s a retired pediatric neurosurgeon:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;We have extremely well-documented proof that there&#39;s no autism associated with vaccinations.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>Trump said all he&#39;s really advocating is that vaccines be spaced out over a longer period of time, though the American Academy of Pediatrics says there&#39;s no evidence that&#39;s necessary.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Claim 4 &mdash; Bush: Trump used influence to get casinos in Florida</span></p><p>Jeb Bush tried to turn the tables on Trump when it came to special interests. Bush was asked about Trump&#39;s criticism that the money he raised for his campaign makes Bush a &quot;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVOCgUgwPqo" target="_blank">puppet to his donors</a>.&quot; Here&#39;s what Bush said:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;The one guy that had some special interests that I know of, that tried to get me to change my views on something, that was generous and gave me money, was Donald Trump. He wanted casino gambling in Florida.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>Trump responded, &quot;totally false&quot; and &quot;I promise if I wanted it I would have gotten it.&quot;</p><p>Trump did work with the Seminole tribe in Florida to operate a casino on Indian land in the late 1990s. Around the same time, he was raising money for Gov. Bush and the Florida GOP (Trump Hotels &amp; Casino Resorts reportedly gave $50,000 to the Republican Party of Florida while the party supported Bush&#39;s gubernatorial campaign). But, according to Bloomberg, Trump <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/2005-12-11/trumps-angry-apprentice" target="_blank">pulled the plug</a> on that effort once Bush became governor and made his opposition clear.</p></p> Thu, 17 Sep 2015 10:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/fact-check-fiorinas-hp-record-trumps-bankruptcies-vaccines-and-autism-112960 Worldview: Group of republicans send letter to government of Iran http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-03-12/worldview-group-republicans-send-letter-government-iran-111692 <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/AP745330664455.jpg" style="height: 458px; width: 620px;" title="Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. arrives to pose for photographers in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. The rookie Republican senator leading the effort to torpedo an agreement with Iran is an Army veteran with a Harvard law degree who has a full record of tough rhetoric against President Barack Obama's foreign policy. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/195568203&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">Republicans send letter to Iran</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c1b0020a-0fdd-b416-f4fb-ee478b0fe778">Earlier this week a group of 47 Republican senators sent a letter to the Iranian government explaining how the US Congress functions, noting that executive agreements can be overturned by Obama&rsquo;s successor &ldquo;with the stroke of a pen.&rdquo; The letter came as the U.S. and several other nations are engaged in negotiations over Iran&rsquo;s nuclear program. Today, Iran&rsquo;s Supreme Leader, &nbsp;Ayatollah Khamenei said the letter raised concerns about the trustworthiness of the US government and was &nbsp;&quot;a sign of the decay of political ethics in the American system.&quot; &nbsp;Richard Haas, &nbsp;president of the</span><a href="http://www.cfr.org/"> Council on Foreign Relations,</a> joins us to discuss how the state of the negotiations and the implications of the letter on US foreign policy.</p><div><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/RichardHaass">Richard Haass</a> is the president of the <a href="https://twitter.com/CFR_org">Council on Foreign Relations</a>.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/195569343&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">A retrospective of Ruben Ostlund films</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-6cdcef99-0fe0-b45d-89b8-4d2309dcedda">&ldquo;Force Majeure&rdquo; was the first film by Swedish director Ruben Ostlund to get a U.S. release. It also won a major prize at this year&rsquo;s Cannes Film Festival. A retrospective of the films of Ruben Ostlund, shows this weekend and next weekend at Facets Multimedia. Film contributor Milos Stehlik and Alissa Simon, senior programmer of the Palm Springs International Film Festival and film critic for Variety join us to talk about Ostlund&rsquo;s work.</span></p><div><strong>Guests:&nbsp;</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em><a href="https://twitter.com/milosstehlik">Milos Stehlik</a> is the director of <a href="https://twitter.com/facetschicago">Facets Chicago</a> and the WBEZ film contributor.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Alissa Simon is the senior programmer of the Palm Springs International Film Festival and a film critic for <a href="https://twitter.com/Variety">Variety</a>.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/195570088&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">Global Activism: Chicago Danztheater Ensemble</span></font></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-31cd0f5d-0fe4-4599-7d54-d2c964aad823">Ellyzabeth Adler is founder and executive director of Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble. The performing arts group, &ldquo;through innovative, multidisciplinary storytelling...unite[s] varied art media to achieve an all-embracing, radical change in humankind.&rdquo; Ellyzabeth wrote us that she was so inspired by our </span>Global Activism segment, that she organized her own arts festival of &ldquo;music, dance, theatre, media and art all around activism.&rdquo; We invited Ellyzabeth to tell us about how she stresses activism in her art, at home and abroad.</p><p><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-31cd0f5d-0fe4-9acc-b2ce-1116e88ca5db">Ellyzabeth Adler is the</span>&nbsp;founder and executive director of <a href="https://twitter.com/Chi_Danztheatre">Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 12 Mar 2015 16:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-03-12/worldview-group-republicans-send-letter-government-iran-111692 How to botch Latino outreach http://www.wbez.org/news/how-botch-latino-outreach-110623 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/ap477265004976_wide-3e67378e76f5c917f3d0daed3bb68a0e5691af79-s40-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Even as Republican leaders wrap up <a href="http://politics.suntimes.com/article/chicago/rnc-meeting-chicago-cheney-ryan-walker-speaking/wed-08062014-948am" target="_blank">a summer meeting</a> in Chicago where they&#39;re preparing for 2016, the party&#39;s fate in that election may be getting shaped in other places.</p><p>Places like Okoboji, Iowa, where Rep. Steve King was captured on <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI8rCleTbSo" target="_blank">video</a> getting into an extended argument with self-described &quot;DREAMers,&quot; American-raised children of undocumented immigrants. Or Alabama, where Rep. Mo Brooks has been describing immigration overhaul efforts as part of a Democratic &quot;<a href="http://www.lauraingraham.com/pg/jsp/charts/streamingAudioMaster.jsp?dispid=302&amp;headerDest=L3BnL2pzcC9tZWRpYS9mbGFzaHdlbGNvbWUuanNwP3BpZD0xOTA0Nw==" target="_blank">war on whites</a>.&quot;</p><p>Or even Washington, D.C., where a week ago, in order to win the support of immigration opponents like King and Brooks on a border crisis spending bill, leaders brought to the floor a <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:H.R.5272:" target="_blank">companion bill</a> ending President Obama&#39;s DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program that permits children who were brought to this country as minors by undocumented immigrants to remain.</p><p>Neither bill is likely to become law, but, say political strategists in both parties, the damage is done. While there may be little effect in the coming midterm elections &mdash; when Hispanic turnout is typically depressed &mdash; anger over the legislation and the well-publicized comments could cement a perception that becomes difficult to change by 2016.</p><p>&quot;It just reinforces existing beliefs about Republican views on immigration and, more broadly, Hispanics generally,&quot; said Anna Greenberg, a Democratic pollster.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s further evidence we&#39;re departing further and further into the wilderness,&quot; said John Weaver, a former adviser to Arizona Sen. John McCain. &quot;I don&#39;t really notice the &#39;war on whites&#39; myself, but maybe it&#39;s raging in northern Alabama.&quot;</p><p>McCain is among the 13 sitting GOP senators who last year voted for an immigration overhaul that includes a path to citizenship for the 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. It&#39;s that feature that angers many House Republicans, who typically represent districts with tiny Latino populations. They argue that any immigration law changes are inappropriate before the border with Mexico is fully secured.</p><p>In their opposition, they are also bucking leaders of the Republican National Committee, which last year specifically cited immigration legislation as a way to open doors among Hispanics and other minority groups.</p><p>It was this sensibility, in fact, that spurred House leaders to push for the border bill last week, even though it meant postponing the start of the August recess. Speaker John Boehner had already put out a statement suggesting that attempts to pass a $659 million funding bill were being abandoned for want of votes. Boehner and his team were quickly besieged by Republicans worried about heading home without having done anything about the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who had crossed the border. Republicans would seem uncaring, and Obama would have a political field day.</p><p>But in their desperation to win over immigration opponents, House leaders agreed to take up the proposal to end Obama&#39;s DACA program. It passed, with 212 Republican yes votes, and 11 Republicans voting no. (All but four Democrats voted against it.)</p><p>King was among those crowing about their victory &mdash; which led to Monday&#39;s confrontation at an Iowa fundraiser. Alabama&#39;s Brooks, meanwhile, defended the anti-DACA bill and dismissed criticisms against it as part of the Democratic &quot;war on whites.&quot;</p><p>(On a Huntsville, Ala., <a href="http://www.wvnn.com/" target="_blank">radio show</a> Wednesday with <em>National Journal</em> columnist <a href="http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/it-s-not-just-obama-brooks-now-says-gop-is-waging-war-on-whites-20140806" target="_blank">Ron Fournier</a>, Brooks accused Fournier of contributing to divisiveness with his &quot;commentary&quot; &mdash; though Fournier was quoting from the Republican Party&#39;s own .)</p><p>Both incidents have gotten widespread play in the media &mdash; more play than the Republican Party&#39;s outreach to Latinos is getting nowadays. In an <a href="http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/changing_lanes/2014/08/07/reince_priebus_responds_to_war_on_whites.html" target="_blank">interview with RealClearPolitics</a> from Chicago, GOP chairman Reince Priebus called Brooks&#39; remarks &quot;idiotic.&quot;</p><p>&quot;We have to be a party that grows. That means we have to have more people in our party, not less,&quot; Priebus said.</p><p>Weaver, who in recent years has criticized the party for its failure to embrace an immigration overhaul, said the latest turn proves his point. &quot;If you&#39;re on the wrong side of history on immigration, that&#39;s not a good place to be,&quot; he said.</p><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/08/08/338631780/how-to-botch-latino-outreach" target="_blank">via NPR&#39;s It&#39;s All Politics blog</a></em></p></p> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 14:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/how-botch-latino-outreach-110623 The politics behind the pension vote http://www.wbez.org/news/politics-behind-pension-vote-109301 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/dan montgomery.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois lawmakers have approved a long-awaited plan to restructure retirement benefits for state employees and Gov. Pat Quinn says he&rsquo;ll sign the bill into law.</p><p>But labor groups are vowing to sue, saying the measure unlawfully cuts the pensions of their members.</p><p>And even though the dialogue around changing the pension benefits of state employees started years ago, the proposal sets up a big fight for next year&rsquo;s election.</p><p>Legislative leaders gave themselves a week - a holiday week, at that - to sell the bill to their own members. Senate President John Cullerton spent Tuesday morning meeting privately with his senators to get them on board.</p><p>Republican House Leader Jim Durkin says the short timeframe made for a busy home stretch.</p><p>&ldquo;I had people running in and running out over the last 24 hours,&rdquo; he said in an interview after Tuesday&rsquo;s vote. &ldquo;Talking to every member, every question.&rdquo;</p><p>Except, Durkin said, there may have been an ulterior motive behind some of the questions he was getting from his own fellow Republicans.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ll say some questions weren&rsquo;t exactly sincere. So that&rsquo;s politics. That&rsquo;s what we live in,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;But there was a lot of - to say that it got a little tense is an understatement.&rdquo;</p><p>Durkin said some Republicans had legitimate concerns. For instance, he says some downstate GOP representatives have a lot of state employees in their districts, especially those with prisons. Meantime, others want to move state pension funds into 401K style plans -- and nothing else would do.</p><p>&ldquo;Some people I will just say that their reasoning is not reasonable and I question it because of the dynamics of what&rsquo;s going on in the State of Illinois over this next year,&rdquo; Durkin said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a political season and some people believe that we shouldn&rsquo;t deliver a win to the Democrats.&rdquo;</p><p>The logic goes: If Republicans blocked yesterday&rsquo;s pensions vote, Democrats - and Governor Pat Quinn - would look bad for not getting the job done come Election Day. That&rsquo;s a claim reiterated by Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, who&rsquo;s also chair of the Illinois Democratic Party.</p><p>&ldquo;I find Bruce Rauner to be particularly disingenuous with his approach to this,&rdquo; Madigan said.</p><p>Rauner is a venture capitalist running for governor who opposes the pension deal.</p><p>&ldquo;My view is that (Rauner) would like to blow it up so that he would maintain a campaign issue,&rdquo; Madigan said. &ldquo;So with the passage of the bill and the anticipated signature by the governor, why, Rauner has lost one of his campaign issues.&rdquo;</p><p>In response to Madigan&rsquo;s claim, a Rauner spokesman said the Republican thinks the plan is a bad one. After the vote, Rauner released a statement saying the pension bill doesn&rsquo;t go far enough.</p><p>When asked if Rauner and his allies made the pension vote more complicated for Republican senators, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said, &ldquo;Absolutely it made it more complicated.&rdquo;</p><p>She said if the vote had taken place at another time - and not three months before the primary - the votes might have been different. When asked why Rauner, who&rsquo;s never held political office, could influence lawmakers so much, Radogno said it&rsquo;s not just about Rauner&rsquo;s political influence, but also his money.</p><p>And Rauner has a lot of it.</p><p>&ldquo;I mean, people think about campaign funding. They think about what support they&rsquo;ll get when they&rsquo;re running. They think about their own political futures. They think about the people that are around Bruce Rauner and how they relate to them and their campaigns,&rdquo; Radogno said.</p><p>There are three other Republicans in the primary for governor.</p><p>State Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington, was the only candidate to support the pension bill.</p><p>Twenty percent of the current budget&rsquo;s revenue goes toward pensions. Brady says that number will only get worse - and the remaining money isn&rsquo;t enough to pay for education and other government services.</p><p>State Sen. Kirk Dillard of Westmont, wanted more time to review the legislation - and voted no. But his pick for Lieutenant Governor in next year&rsquo;s campaign, State Representative Jil Tracy of Quincy, voted yes.</p><p>Treasurer Dan Rutherford said he thinks it&rsquo;s unconstitutional.</p><p>On the Democratic side, incumbent Pat Quinn, who&rsquo;s running for re-election, could face some opposition from a group who previously supported him: labor unions.</p><p>&ldquo;I do think, as I said, this is the triumph of politics over the rule of law in this state, so I would imagine there are political consequences all around,&rdquo; said Dan Montgomery, the head of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.</p><p>When asked what those consequences will be, Montgomery replied, &ldquo;Well, that&rsquo;s yet to be seen.&rdquo;</p><p>But with a lawsuit from the unions imminent, the issue isn&rsquo;t likely to disappear before next year&rsquo;s election.</p><p>Already, Chicago and Cook County officials are wondering how the vote will affect their own pension systems.</p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement shortly after the legislature approved the pension bill.</p><p>&ldquo;The pension crisis is not truly solved until relief is brought to Chicago and all of the other local governments across our state that are standing on the brink of a fiscal cliff because of our pension liabilities,&rdquo; Emanuel said.</p><p>State lawmakers agree.</p><p>State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Buffalo Grove, said that while some of the state&rsquo;s pension systems are poorly funded, Chicago&rsquo;s teachers&rsquo; retirement plans are perhaps even worse.</p><p>&ldquo;Our work on pensions is by no means done, but this will let a lot of air back in the room to start addressing the other systems,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said county employees&rsquo; retirement system&rsquo;s unfunded liability grew by $1 billion last year, and also needs state intervention.</p><p>Meantime, House Republican Leader Durkin said he&rsquo;ll work with Mayor Emanuel, even though he&rsquo;s with the opposing political party.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">@tonyjarnold</a>.&nbsp;</em><em>Illinois Public Radio&rsquo;s Amanda Vinicky contributed to this report. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/AmandaVinicky">@amandavinicky</a>.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 04 Dec 2013 13:53:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics-behind-pension-vote-109301 Stalled immigration reform takes toll on Polish theater group http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/stalled-immigration-reform-takes-toll-polish-theater-group-109029 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Republicans immigration.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A small Polish theater company says they&rsquo;re another victim of stalled legislation on immigration reform. Teatr Brama Goleniow is regrouping after U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services denied eight of their company members visas to bring a stage production to the Logan Square/Avondale neighborhood.</p><p>The group had planned Chicago showings of Emotions in Sound &nbsp;in late September, a production they&rsquo;ve previously brought to the Ukraine, Peru, Scotland and Greece. But the U.S. visa snafu has delayed their plans to share the production with U.S. audiences.</p><p>&ldquo;In the beginning we applied for tourist visas,&rdquo; explained Jennifer Crissey, actor and project manager at Teatr Brama.</p><p>Crissey said she had been advised by officials at the U.S. embassy in Warsaw to apply for B-visas because their company was small, and did not view their intended travel as one that would yield commercial profit.</p><p>&ldquo;The actors going wouldn&rsquo;t be receiving salary, they wouldn&rsquo;t be getting paid to do this project,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Crissey said when the group went to the U.S. embassy in Warsaw for their visa interview in August, however, they were told that they should instead apply for artists&rsquo; visas.</p><p>&ldquo;So they essentially advised us one thing, and then changed their mind,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Crissey said that&rsquo;s when she asked the company&rsquo;s Chicago-based partner, Voice of the City, to sponsor their petition for P-3 visas, a class of visa specific to culturally unique artists and entertainers.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it was very evident in the application that this was geared for commercial exchanges on a scale that we just weren&rsquo;t doing,&rdquo; said Dawn Marie Galtieri, artistic director of Voice of the City, an arts alliance based in the Logan Square/Avondale neighborhood, &ldquo;so it started to make us very nervous.&rdquo;</p><p>Galtieri said she had to obtain a letter from the American Guild of Musical Artists to support their petition, as well as provide additional paperwork attesting to the wages and hours of the actors, contracts detailing the parameters of the production, and flyers and press releases about the show.</p><p>&ldquo;Really, it&rsquo;s a process for big stars,&rdquo; Crissey said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s when some big name comes from another country to play here, and they&rsquo;re playing at like United Center or some big stage like that.&rdquo;</p><p>Crissey estimated that in total, Teatr Brama spent nearly $3,000 in applying for the visas. Still, they were denied.</p><p>&ldquo;And I never in a million year thought that after providing them with all of the evidence that they asked for that we would get such an empty answer like, &lsquo;this isn&rsquo;t culturally unique enough,&rsquo;&rdquo; said Crissey, &ldquo;because, who can be the judge of that?&rdquo;</p><p>Crissey and Galtieri said they are now cobbling together an ensemble of actors from Chicago and across Europe who have authorization to travel to the U.S., and that they plan to move forward with the production in the absence of the original cast.</p><p>The show will be staged in mid-November.</p><p>A representative from Congressman Michael Quigley&rsquo;s (D-Illinois) office said that if Congress had moved on immigration reform this summer, Teatr Brama&rsquo;s visa woes might not have happened.</p><p>Poland, unlike many of its European Union counterparts, is not included in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the U.S. without first obtaining visas. Quigley and other members of Illinois&rsquo;s congressional delegation have &nbsp;been <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/polish-community-may-get-travel-perk-immigration-reform-107412">pushing to expand the parameters of the program</a> to include more countries, such as Poland.</p><p>In addition to a standalone bill that he has introduced in the House, Quigley also helped ensure that language to broaden the program be included in immigration legislation that the U.S. Senate passed in June.</p><p>Meanwhile, with just 18 days left in the House legislative calendar this year, pressure continues to mount for U.S. House Republicans to take up an immigration bill.</p><p>On Tuesday, hundreds of conservatives from business, faith and law enforcement groups converged on Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers to nudge them toward bringing legislation to the floor for a vote.</p><p>&ldquo;Ultimately, if you&rsquo;re going against this legislation, you are absolutely going against the entire faith community and you are also going against essentially what every respected economist in America has been asking for,&rdquo; said Sheriff Mark Curran of Lake County.</p><p>Curran is among a handful of conservatives from Illinois joining the effort. The effort is organized by the Partnership for a New American Economy, the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network, FWD.us, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.</p><p>Earlier this month, House Democrats introduced a comprehensive immigration bill, after a bipartisan committee failed to produce its own bill. Congressman Jeff Denham (R-California) is the sole Republican to cosponsor the bill, along with 185 Democrats.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 29 Oct 2013 13:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/stalled-immigration-reform-takes-toll-polish-theater-group-109029 Morning Shift: The music of Curtis Mayfield http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-26/morning-shift-music-curtis-mayfield-108776 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/vinyl music thursday Flickr by Peter Organisciak.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Tony Sarabia and Richard Steele welcome Reggie Torian to talk abou the soulful, complex sounds of Curtis Mayfield. We also hear about Bears head coach, Marc Trestman, and check in with an organizer of the world&#39;s second oldest LGBT film fest.</p></p> Thu, 26 Sep 2013 12:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-26/morning-shift-music-curtis-mayfield-108776 For GOP hopefuls, Labor Day is for politicking http://www.wbez.org/news/gop-hopefuls-labor-day-politicking-108585 <p><p>The Republican field for the 2014 Illinois governor and lieutenant governor races began to crystalize Monday, as Tuesday marks the day that candidates can begin gathering signatures to get on the ballot for March&rsquo;s primary.</p><p>Among the Republican gubernatorial hopefuls who spent their holiday politicking was Illinois State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, who greeted voters with his two frisky golden retrievers at Schaumburg&rsquo;s Labor Day parade.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s just a good opportunity to visit and mingle with the voters, people who care about Illinois,&rdquo; Brady said before Monday&rsquo;s parade stepped off. &ldquo;This election&rsquo;s gonna be about who can best lead our state. Clearly [Democratic Governor] Pat Quinn&rsquo;s failing.&rdquo;</p><p>The parade&rsquo;s marching order put Brady not far from a navy blue-shirted troupe of volunteers supporting Bruce Rauner, a venture capitalist seeking to be the GOP gubernatorial candidate.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s about shaking up Springfield and turning it around,&rdquo; said Rauner, who has sought to play up his role as a political outsider. &ldquo;Taking the government in Springfield back from the corrupt, career politicians who are controlling it for their own benefit, and get it so it&rsquo;s responsive to the voters again.&rdquo;</p><p>Earlier in the day, Dan Rutherford, the Illinois treasurer, announced a Chicago attorney as his lieutenant governor pick.</p><p>Rutherford revealed on Twitter that his choice is Steve Kim, a 42-year-old attorney who lives in Northbrook. Kim, who has served as a Northfield township trustee, unsuccessfully challenged Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in 2010.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Bruce%20Rauner.jpg" style="float: right; margin: 5px; height: 290px; width: 285px;" title="Bruce Rauner, a venture capitalist seeking the 2014 GOP gubernatorial nomination, talks with supporters before Schaumburg’s 2013 Labor Day parade. (WBEZ/Alex Keefe)" />&quot;He comes from having been on the statewide stage before,&quot; Rutherford told The Associated Press. The Chenoa Republican said his first priority was choosing someone who could succeed him if he wins. Rutherford said he would release more details Thursday at a news conference.</p><p>Rutherford became the first among the four Republicans and two Democrats seeking the state&#39;s highest office to announce his running mate.</p><p>It&#39;s the first time that candidates for governor will run with their lieutenant governor choices. The change was instituted after 2010 when it was revealed after the primary that the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor &mdash; Scott Lee Cohen &mdash; had past troubles including domestic battery charge. Cohen dropped out after pressure from Democratic leaders who feared it would hurt Quinn.</p><p>Other Republicans are expected to announce their picks soon.</p><p>Republican state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale scheduled a statewide fly around with his pick for Tuesday. Sen. Brady has said his choice is also coming soon. The other candidates &mdash; including Rauner and Chicago Democrats, Gov. Pat Quinn and his challenger former White House chief of staff Bill Daley &mdash; have said they&#39;re not in a rush to make their choices public. Rutherford said he considered Kim&#39;s business experience and his background.</p><p>Kim is a managing partner at Rosenberg Kim &amp; Jimenez, Ltd., which does international and trade law and business development law, among other areas. Kim is also Korean American. He immigrated with his family as a young boy and is a U.S. citizen.</p><p>Rutherford said Kim has the ability to reach out to Illinois&#39; diverse residents, particularly the growing Asian population.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re a state where there is a very strong and vital immigrant community,&quot; Kim said, adding that his family&#39;s immigration story was one that would resonate with many groups.</p><p>Kim declined to talk specifics on where he stands on issues, like gay marriage, saying that he still formulating his opinions.</p><p>He said his focus is improving Illinois&#39; business climate.</p><p>&quot;I understand how to create jobs,&quot; he said. &quot;I strongly believe the climate in Illinois is not right now best suited for jobs and economic growth. We can change that.&quot;</p></p> Mon, 02 Sep 2013 15:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/gop-hopefuls-labor-day-politicking-108585 Conservative conference draws lawmakers, picketers http://www.wbez.org/news/conservative-conference-draws-lawmakers-picketers-108356 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/repubs.png" alt="" /><p><p>CHICAGO &mdash;More than a thousand conservative lawmakers and business executives from across the nation are gathering in Chicago to craft policy proposals that could be pushed in state capitols next year.</p><p>Attendees at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council were countered Thursday by a roughly equal number of protesters upset by the close ties between big businesses and lawmakers.</p><p>The council has backed model legislation passed in Republican-led states that has sought to invalidate key portions of the federal health care law, reduce union powers and cut taxes. Participants discussed ways Thursday of injecting more private-sector involvement in state Medicaid programs and pushing laws that bar union membership from being a requirement for employment.</p><p>Protesters outside the meeting accused the organization of corporate greed and union busting.</p></p> Thu, 08 Aug 2013 13:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/conservative-conference-draws-lawmakers-picketers-108356 Illinois Republicans start bickering in potentially crowded field for governor http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/illinois-republicans-start-bickering-potentially-crowded-field-governor-105136 <p><p>Republican primary voters might see a long list of candidates next year for Illinois governor.</p><p>Several potential candidates are already explaining why they would be the ideal candidate. But ask each one what the ideal GOP candidate looks like, and you&rsquo;re likely to get a different answer from each.</p><p>&ldquo;The perfect template of a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor needs to be a suburbanite with strong downstate roots,&rdquo; said Kirk Dillard, a state senator who represents parts of Chicago&rsquo;s Western suburbs in Springfield.</p><p>&ldquo;I think some people that are looking at running again are going to have trouble getting that necessary support to run,&rdquo; said U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock.</p><p>The Peoria Republican held a 20-minute <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/gop-rep-aaron-schock-considering-run-governor-105128" target="_blank">news conference</a> with Chicago reporters Thursday about the race for governor.</p><p>&ldquo;I see the Republican primary voter as going to be looking at who has the best shot at winning the governor&rsquo;s office,&rdquo; said Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford.</p><p>State Sen. Bill Brady and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner are also considered potential candidates.</p><p>But despite the high level of interest, the chairman of the Illinois GOP, Pat Brady, said he wants to avoid a crowded primary. He said it&rsquo;s premature to talk about the possibility of the party slating a candidate before the primary. But that process worked out for Wisconsin Republicans in the election of Scott Walker as governor.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s out of the conversation like it was four years ago,&rdquo; Pat Brady said, who&rsquo;s not related to Sen. Bill Brady.</p><p>Pat Brady said the Republican nominee has to perform better north of I-80 around Chicago than in 2010, when Democrat Pat Quinn won election.</p><p>Meanwhile, Rep. Schock had some harsh words for his fellow Republicans who are also interested in becoming governor.</p><p>Schock criticized both Democrats and Republicans who, like him, have expressed an interest in running but haven&rsquo;t yet announced.</p><p>&ldquo;As a Republican in this state, I&rsquo;ve watched cycle after cycle a lot of the same horses trot out on the track that have proven nothing more than they can lose an election,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Schock later said he was referring to State Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, both of whom ran for governor in 2010 and lost.</p><p>In response, Dillard said the 31-year-old Schock is young and &ldquo;has a bright future in politics.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a little early for these political shenanigans and posturing like this and, you know, I think may show a little bit of immaturity,&rdquo; Dillard said of Schock&rsquo;s comments.</p><p>Schock has also been in an ongoing public battle with Rauner. <a href="http://www.sj-r.com/opinions/x1665862994/Bernard-Schoenburg-Schock-Rauner-already-at-odds-in-possible-governor-race?zc_p=0">Rauner recently told the Peoria Journal Star</a> Schock isn&rsquo;t qualified to be governor.</p><p>Schock on Thursday all but directly accused Rauner of funding <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_6V3DxEJsY&amp;feature=youtu.be">ads running in his home district</a> criticizing the representative for voting in favor of the so-called fiscal cliff bill in the House of Representatives.</p><p>&ldquo;Any time someone spends the lion&rsquo;s share of their time, energy and money attacking someone as opposed to talking about themselves, I think says a lot about that person,&rdquo; Schock said.</p><p>The infighting among the possible gubernatorial candidates comes as some GOP committeemen have been <a href="http://www.wbez.org/facing-rebellion-state-gop-chair-rejects-calls-resign-over-gay-marriage-support-104807" target="_blank">criticizing</a> chairman Pat Brady for supporting gay marriage.</p><p>Brady said that debate within the party will be resolved by the time the primary comes around in March of 2014.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s still early and we&rsquo;ll see what happens, but we&rsquo;re prepared to do whatever it takes to make sure we have a good, strong, well-funded, well-supported candidate,&rdquo; Brady said.</p><p>On the Democratic side, incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn has said he wants to keep his job. Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/politics&amp;id=8961303">told ABC 7 Chicago</a> she&#39;s interested in the job. And former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/bill-daley-considering-run-illinois-governor-104511">has also said </a>he&#39;s considering challenging Quinn in a Democratic primary.</p></p> Fri, 25 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/illinois-republicans-start-bickering-potentially-crowded-field-governor-105136 GOP support helps move immigrant driver's licenses http://www.wbez.org/news/gop-support-helps-move-immigrant-drivers-licenses-104179 <p><p>SPRINGFIELD, Ill.&nbsp; &mdash; Illinois legislative Republican leaders&#39; support of allowing illegal immigrants to get driver&#39;s licenses should help move the issue.</p><p>Advocates expect the Senate to take up the matter on the floor Tuesday.</p><p>House Minority Leader Tom Cross of Oswego and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno announced at a morning Capitol news conference that they&#39;ll back the proposal.</p><p>The plan awaiting a Senate floor vote would allow the 250,000 illegal immigrants who are already driving the chance to be tested, licensed and buy insurance.</p><p>Cross and Radogno were no-shows two weeks ago when Chicago Democratic Senate President John Cullerton announced the plan.</p><p>Cross says he hadn&#39;t seen the legislation but supports it now. Radogno says both parties have worked on it for five years.</p></p> Tue, 04 Dec 2012 11:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/gop-support-helps-move-immigrant-drivers-licenses-104179