WBEZ | Republicans http://www.wbez.org/tags/republicans Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Are You an Evangelical? Are You Sure? http://www.wbez.org/news/are-you-evangelical-are-you-sure-114233 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gettyimages-482319366-e90a11d165d9430ebfbe4b5e1d505af644773c6b-s600-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res459389815"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="GOP presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee courts the religious vote at the Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Manning, South Carolina." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/11/gettyimages-482319366-e90a11d165d9430ebfbe4b5e1d505af644773c6b-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 464px; width: 620px;" title="GOP presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee courts the religious vote at the Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Manning, South Carolina. (The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>Here&#39;s what we&#39;ve heard about evangelical voters lately:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/trump-carson-white-house/2015/11/15/id/702235/">Donald Trump, Ben Carson</a>, and now Ted Cruz are fighting for them. Cruz says that a bunch of them are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/can-evangelicals-swing-2016-for-gop-as-cruz-says-1448905373">&quot;missing&quot;</a>&nbsp;(and that he&#39;s the man to find them). And anyone will tell you that they play a decisive role in Iowa GOP caucuses.</p></div></div></div><p>You can&#39;t talk about a U.S. national election &mdash; especially the Republican side of it &mdash; without a hefty discussion of what evangelicals want. But in the hurry to answer that question, the most basic of questions gets ignored: who are evangelicals? That definition can vary from person to person, or even from pollster to pollster. And at the center of it all is a term that, for all the attention it gets, is remarkably poorly defined.</p><p><strong>How do you define it?</strong></p><p>Here&#39;s how squishy the term &quot;evangelical&quot; is: depending on the method of measurement, more than one-third of Americans are evangelical, or fewer than one-in-10 are.</p><p>That huge range comes from the different ways pollsters and other social scientists define the term. In a lot of surveys, a pollster simply asks people how they identify, often adding on the question of whether someone has been &quot;reborn&quot; as a Christian: &quot;Do you consider yourself an evangelical or born-again Christian?&quot;</p><p>According to the Pew Research Center, around&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/chapter-1-the-changing-religious-composition-of-the-u-s/">35 percent of American adults</a>&nbsp;(that is, roughly half of all Christians) consider themselves evangelical or born-again. So when reporters and politicians talk about &quot;evangelicals,&quot; it can sound like they&#39;re talking about a huge chunk of the population &mdash; more than a third.</p><p>But then, other national political pollsters, like&nbsp;<a href="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2015/images/11/05/relia2.pdf">CNN/ORC</a>, add a modifier onto most of their evangelical polling, focusing on&nbsp;<em>white </em>evangelicals. (And this is the group most pundits are talking about, particularly when it comes to Republican primary politics.)</p><p>The idea, said one survey researcher, is to avoid lumping groups with clearly distinct political ideas into one bucket.</p><p>&quot;White evangelical protestants are some of the most reliably conservative and Republican voters in the electorate,&quot; said Greg Smith, associate director of research at Pew. &quot;African-American protestants, on the other hand, are some of the most strongly and consistently Democratic voters in the electorate.&quot;</p><p>&quot;If you didn&#39;t look at them separately,&quot; he added, &quot;if you lumped them all together, you would miss a big part of the story about the connections and the interrelations of religion, race, and politics in the U.S.&quot;</p><p>Cut that pool of evangelicals or born-agains to white, non-Hispanic evangelical Protestants only, and they account for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/chapter-1-the-changing-religious-composition-of-the-u-s/">19 percent of Americans</a>, according to Pew&#39;s data.</p><p>Beyond self-identification, there are more exacting ways of defining the group. In fact, Pew has two ways of counting evangelicals. In addition to asking people to self-identify, it sometimes uses a denominational system, creating a dividing line between &quot;evangelical&quot; Protestant denominations, like Southern Baptists, and &quot;mainline Protestants,&quot; like Methodists (&quot;historically black&quot; Protestant churches are in a separate category). By this definition, around&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/">25 percent</a>&nbsp;of Americans are evangelical.</p><div id="res459388809"><div><p data-pym-src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/evangelicals-20151211/child.html">&nbsp;</p><script src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/evangelicals-20151211/js/lib/pym.js" type="text/javascript"></script></div></div><p>Definitions can get even tighter &mdash; and with them come smaller estimates of evangelicals. The Barna Group, a research firm that specializes in religious issues, uses what may be the toughest definition of evangelicalism out there. It asks a series of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.barna.org/barna-update/culture/111-survey-explores-who-qualifies-as-an-evangelical#.Vmr1BhorJPV">nine questions</a>&nbsp;about beliefs (Did Jesus lead a sinless life? Does salvation come from &quot;grace, not works&quot;?). Only 6 percent of Americans are &quot;evangelical&quot; by Barna&#39;s definition, according to their latest count.</p><p><strong>The entanglement between race and religion</strong></p><p>Because political polls often focus on white evangelical voters (which is in turn in part because those evangelicals &mdash; however one defines them &mdash; are such a coveted demographic among GOP voters), white evangelicals end up getting a huge amount of media attention. But that means they can end up being portrayed as the face of evangelicalism, period. Indeed,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/09/25/the-evangelical-vote-the-conservative-vote-the-gop-race-isnt-breaking-down-so-neatly/">articles</a>&nbsp;about this polling sometimes end up conflating white evangelicals with all evangelicals.</p><p>Anthea Butler, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, believes that race ends up getting glossed over in the hubbub over the so-called &quot;evangelical vote,&quot; as she said in a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4UqpBnuCvI">February speech</a>.</p><p>&quot;The media does this all the time. You never hear them talk about black evangelicals,&quot; she said. &quot;Watch the 2016 election. When they begin to talk about evangelicals again, they won&#39;t go to Bible-believing black evangelicals. They&#39;re going to talk to white people. I know. I&#39;ve watched them do this, and I have argued with people about this over and over again.&quot;</p><p>Consider an imaginary pair of evangelicals &mdash; one black, one white &mdash; who sit next to each other in the pew every Sunday. They could have the same religious beliefs. But as Smith pointed out, they&#39;re likely to have vastly different political beliefs: the black churchgoer is more likely to vote Democratic, while the white one will lean GOP.</p><p>(Pew&#39;s polling on black Protestants focuses on that group as a whole, not on black evangelicals themselves. But&nbsp;<a href="http://www.people-press.org/2015/04/07/party-identification-trends-1992-2014/">82 percent</a>&nbsp;of attendees at historically black Protestant churches identify as or lean Democratic, according to Pew, and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/59315.png">72 percent</a>&nbsp;of black Protestant churchgoers identify as evangelical or born-again. Clearly, a huge share of black self-identified evangelicals also tend Democratic.)</p><p>All of which means something important: when evangelicalism comes into the U.S. political conversation, it&#39;s often also a conversation about race. The racial discrepancies in the numbers suggest that identifying as &quot;evangelical&quot; doesn&#39;t necessarily make a person more likely to vote Republican.</p><p><strong>The self-definition problem</strong></p><p>The question at issue with measuring evangelicals is the question of what people&#39;s religious beliefs mean for their political views.</p><p>Part of the problem here is that &quot;evangelical&quot; has a muddled definition, even when you strip away the politics and survey research.</p><p>&quot;The term &#39;evangelical&#39; has a very broad set of meanings in Christianity. In its origins, it refers to the evangel, which is a Greek word from the New Testament that refers to the &#39;good news,&#39; or the gospel of Jesus Christ,&quot; said John Green, professor of political science at the University of Akron and an expert in the intersection of politics and religion, in an August interview.</p><p>&quot;In some sense, all Christians have an element of being an evangelical, because they all share to one degree or another those basic Christian beliefs,&quot; he added.</p><p>Still, a few people and groups have tried to lay down some clear borders around evangelicalism. One of the better-known definitions (among religious scholars) comes from&nbsp;<a href="http://nae.net/what-is-an-evangelical/">David Bebbington</a>, a professor of history at Scotland&#39;s University of Stirling, who identifies four key traits of evangelicals. Those are, in turn, similar to&nbsp;<a href="http://nae.net/what-is-an-evangelical/">National Association of Evangelicals</a>&#39; own definition. That definition itself has four parts &mdash; four beliefs that a person must have in order to claim evangelicalism. Under NAE&#39;s rubric, an evangelical believes that the Bible is their &quot;highest authority,&quot; for example, and that it&#39;s important to spread the word to non-Christians.</p><p>That NAE definition is the &quot;most widely accepted definition&quot; of evangelicalism, as the Atlantic&#39;s Jonathan Merritt&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/12/evangelical-christian/418236/">wrote earlier this month.</a></p><p>That&#39;s not how specifically everyone defines their own evangelicalism, though. According to Jocelynn Bailey, who attends Centreville Baptist Church in Centreville, Va., it&#39;s about evangelizing.</p><p>&quot;What I think when I think &#39;evangelical&#39; is, &#39;I have good news about what I believe Jesus did for me on the cross, and I want other people to have that good news and that hope,&#39;&quot; she said, speaking in September. &quot;An evangelical is someone else who desires to share that.&quot;</p><p>One of her fellow parishioners, Tim Lemieux (himself a self-identified evangelical), had a different take about what&#39;s most important for an evangelical.</p><p>&quot;I define evangelical as someone who lives based on the beliefs of God and his authority for his purpose and his desires,&quot; he told NPR in September.</p><p>It&#39;s not that parishioners everywhere are likely to carry the same long, exacting definition in their heads. But Bailey and Lemeiux&#39;s differing definitions are a subtle sign that the meaning of &quot;evangelical&quot; is different from person to person, making it a tough thing to measure.</p><p>&quot;The term &#39;evangelical&#39; is squishy because people use the term differently,&quot; Green said in an email. &quot;This is not uncommon &mdash; think of words like &#39;middle class,&#39; &#39;moderate,&#39; or &#39;extreme.&#39;&quot; (Indeed, in one recent survey,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vox.com/2015/3/12/8193113/middle-class-rich-poor">87 percent of Americans</a>&nbsp;saw themselves as some form of &quot;middle class.&quot;)</p><p>Consider that a Catholic could easily believe in spreading his or her faith, as Bailey does, or leading a godly life, like Lemieux does. And, indeed, Catholics will sometimes self-identify as &quot;evangelical,&quot; according to Smith. But by many religious or denominational definitions, Catholics are not evangelicals.</p><p>Even within the confines of Protestantism, &quot;evangelical&quot; does not always mean evangelical. Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America &mdash; the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. &mdash; are mainline protestants, according to Pew&#39;s denominational definition.</p><p>To add to the confusion, here&#39;s another wrinkle: Missouri and Wisconsin Synod Lutherans&nbsp;are&nbsp;considered evangelical. (Another curveball: they don&#39;t necessarily go to church in Missouri and Wisconsin.)</p><p>There&#39;s one additional problem with the self-definition method, according to David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group.</p><p>&quot;The notion of a survey question asking, &#39;Do you consider yourself to be an evangelical or born-again [Christian]?&#39; offends me as a researcher because it is a double-barreled question,&quot; he told NPR in October. &quot;It has two very vague concepts.&quot;</p><p>He&#39;s not the only social scientist complaining about this: Pew demographer Conrad Hackett has likewise complained about this way of wording the question: it &quot;implies that &#39;born-again&#39; and &#39;evangelical&#39; are interchangeable labels, which may not be true for all respondents,&quot; he&nbsp;<a href="http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2008/11/04/the-evangelical-vote-in-question/">wrote in 2008</a>. &quot;It does not offer respondents alternate ways of expressing religious identity, which no doubt inflates estimates of the evangelical population.&quot;</p><p><strong>Politics may be blurring the lens</strong></p><p>You could dismiss this all as pedantry &mdash; that using &quot;evangelicals&quot; as a catch-all term for a certain group of Christians is a harmless shorthand, like calling all tissues Kleenexes or all sodas Coke.</p><p>But then, consider how pollsters and pundits often separate white and black evangelicals based on their political views. That&#39;s one piece of a bigger problem: the degree to which &quot;evangelical&quot; may be becoming redefined by its political associations.</p><p>&quot;While evangelical, in this traditional sense, is really a religious word,&quot; Green said, &quot;it&#39;s become very strongly associated with Republican and conservative politics, because since the days of Ronald Reagan up until today, that group of believers have moved in that direction politically.&quot;</p><p>Indeed, that association has grown stronger in the last couple of decades. In the late 1980s, around one-third of white evangelicals identified as Republican,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/2006/05/02/will-white-evangelicals-desert-the-gop/">according to Pew</a>. Earlier this year,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.people-press.org/2015/04/07/a-deep-dive-into-party-affiliation/">Pew found</a>&nbsp;that 68 percent of white evangelicals do.</p><p>&quot;For the most part, the concept of being an evangelical has been used so much within the last three to four election cycles ... as a key demographic that we find that there&#39;s a lot of perceptions that the term evangelicals means &#39;Christians who vote Republican,&#39;&quot; said Kinnaman.</p><p>That means American culture may be moving toward a mushy, self-reinforcing idea of who evangelicals are. The term becomes not a nuanced religious concept but a flat heuristic for the idea of &quot;politically conservative Christians.&quot; If this is indeed how some Americans view evangelicalism, their responses to pollsters would border on meaningless &mdash; at least, in terms of measuring the relationship between religion and political leanings.</p><p>&quot;It may very well be that when people hear those words, if they have conservative perspectives, they may feel, &#39;That&#39;s my group, maybe I identify with that group,&#39; whereas that may not be an accurate measure of their religion,&quot; Green said.</p><p><strong>So why measure?</strong></p><p>1976 was the first year Gallup asked Americans if they had been &quot;born again,&quot; as Hackett wrote in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.conradhackett.com/uploads/2/6/7/2/2672974/measuring_evangelicalism.pdf">a 2008 paper</a>. The organization&#39;s measurement methods varied over the next decade, but in 1986, the organization first asked the &quot;born-again or evangelical&quot; question that it uses today.</p><p>Over that time, self-proclaimed born-again Christians and evangelicals helped reshape the political landscape. In 1976, the born-again former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter was elected to the White House. After that, political interest in evangelicals and born-again Christians remained, but Rev. Pat Robertson&#39;s 1988 second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses in particular made it clear that white evangelicals were swinging Republican. Outspoken Christians like George W. Bush continued the trend of winning over these conservative Christians, and targeting those voters is still a key campaign strategy for politicians like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.</p><p>Green acknowledges that it&#39;s a hard term to pin down, but he believes there&#39;s real value in studying evangelicals.</p><p>&quot;A lack of common definition doesn&#39;t mean that the realities behind these terms are unimportant &mdash; just that measuring the realities is challenging,&quot; Green added. &quot;Behind these definition issues are real groups of people with distinctive values and behaviors. The trick is how to define measure the group of people accurately.&quot;</p><p>Still, as with the term &quot;middle class,&quot; it&#39;s possible that people&#39;s self-definition is so clouded that it&#39;s obscuring what&#39;s really going on in the intersection between American religion and politics.</p><p>And Kinnaman believes there is one other danger in the range of measures of evangelicalism out there &mdash; the more ways there are to measure this group of people, the more opportunities there are for spin.</p><p>&quot;For different purposes I have found that evangelical leaders might say, &#39;We&#39;re so small and such a small minority, and we&#39;re overlooked, and woe is us,&#39; and other times they might say, &#39;Don&#39;t forget about us! We&#39;re huge and we&#39;re as many as a quarter or 40 percent of the population,&#39;&quot; Kinnaman said. &quot;It&#39;s easy to be elastic about these numbers when they suit our purposes.&quot;</p><p>The most obvious lesson from any of this is that political reporters and readers need to know what they&#39;re looking at when they&#39;re reading news about &quot;evangelicals.&quot; Green and Smith both agree on this point &mdash; because surveys can be done a few different ways, those paying close attention to the results need to know that &quot;evangelicals&quot; are not always evangelicals.</p><p>&quot;From a certain point of view, any kind of information is probably better than nothing, but we have to be very careful when we interpret these findings,&quot; Green said.</p><p>Of course, to Christian voters themselves, the term itself isn&#39;t what matters; it&#39;s how politicians relate to them. Just as &quot;evangelical&quot; has been reduced in some political rhetoric to &quot;conservative Christian,&quot; some self-identified evangelicals fear being treated as one-dimensional Bible-thumpers.</p><p>For her part, Jocelynn Bailey&#39;s top issues include national defense and her self-described constructionist view of the Constitution. And based on those issues, she says Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is currently her top choice as a presidential candidate. So when she hears that a particular politician is courting the &quot;evangelical vote,&quot; she bristles.</p><p>&quot;It frustrates me, to be honest, because I think that I&#39;m more than just that,&quot; Bailey says. &quot;Certainly that flavors the way I would vote, but I want them to tell me who they are, and all of who they are, not just the stuff that they think I might want to hear.&quot;</p><p>She added, &quot;My vote is about more than my faith.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/12/19/458058251/are-you-an-evangelical-are-you-sure?ft=nprml&amp;f=458058251"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Sun, 20 Dec 2015 22:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/are-you-evangelical-are-you-sure-114233 Live Blog: Clinton testifies before the House Benghazi Committee http://www.wbez.org/news/live-blog-clinton-testifies-house-benghazi-committee-113462 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_834504277719.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res450828233" previewtitle="Hillary Clinton arrives to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Thursday."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Hillary Clinton arrives to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Thursday." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/22/gettyimages-493708382_wide-9dd5089fe29f1f6eafa92bc1c6e962dc90ee938b-s700-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="Hillary Clinton arrives to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Thursday. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>Today is one of the most important days of Hillary Clinton&#39;s political career, as the Democratic presidential candidate will face grilling for as much as eight hours potentially over the 2012 terror attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.</p></div></div></div><p>Questions about the attack and whether Clinton, as secretary of state, should have heeded warnings and provided more security for Americans there abroad have been fodder for GOP attacks for some time.</p><p>But the House Select Committee on Benghazi has come under even more political scrutiny lately. Some Republicans &mdash; including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy &mdash; have said the committee succeeded in bringing down the Democratic presidential hopeful&#39;s poll numbers.</p><p>Now, more than ever, Select Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., will be under pressure to show the legitimacy of the committee&#39;s investigation and purpose.</p><p>Whatever Clinton says, along with how she acts and responds, will be heavily parsed and be even more material for GOP attack ads.</p><p>The committee consists of 12 members &mdash; seven Republicans and five Democrats. Following opening statements by Gowdy and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Clinton will make her opening statements. Then, each member will get 10 minutes to ask questions, per round. But the testimony and questions could go several rounds, meaning that the proceedings may not wrap up until very late.</p><p>NPR&#39;s Tamara Keith has a full preview&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/22/450644975/why-the-stakes-are-so-high-for-hillary-clinton-and-the-benghazi-committee">here</a>. We&#39;ll be liveblogging the day&#39;s proceedings until 6 p.m. ET. You can watch the hearings live&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/22/450825144/watch-hillary-clinton-testify-before-house-select-committee-on-benghazi">here</a>.</p><p><strong>10 a.m.</strong>&nbsp;NPR&#39;s Tamara Keith, in the room for today&#39;s hearing, sends this video capturing the frenzy of this morning as Clinton arrives to testify.</p><div id="res450830171"><iframe allowtransparency="true" class="instagram-media instagram-media-rendered" data-instgrm-payload-id="instagram-media-payload-0" frameborder="0" height="755" id="instagram-embed-0" scrolling="no" src="https://instagram.com/p/9JITHEteK0/embed/captioned/?v=5" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 1px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; max-width: 658px; width: calc(100% - 2px); border-radius: 4px; box-shadow: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.498039) 0px 0px 1px 0px, rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.14902) 0px 1px 10px 0px; display: block; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;"></iframe></div><p><strong>10:15 a.m.</strong>&nbsp;Chairman Gowdy&#39;s opening statement is largely trying to legitimize the committee&#39;s efforts, which have been under fire and damaged by the GOP suggestions that the committee&#39;s purpose is political.</p><p>Gowdy argues that even though many previous committees have investigated these attacks as well, theirs goes much deeper in scope and is far more comprehensive &mdash; largely because they have her emails from the State Department to peruse. Remember, this is how the scrutiny over Clinton&#39;s private server at State began.</p><p>Still, Gowdy tells Clinton &quot;let me assure you&quot; this investigation is not about her. &quot;This investigation is about four people who were killed representing our country on foreign soil. It is about what happened before, after and during the attacks that killed them. It is about what this country owes to risk their lives to serve it. And it is about the fundamental obligation for the government to tell the truth always to the people.&quot;</p><p>As for her emails, which Gowdy calls &quot;an unusual email arrangement,&quot; Gowdy again argues that &quot;not a single member of this committee signed up to investigate you or your email.&quot;</p><p>His closing: &quot;We are going to find the truth because there is no statute of limitations on the truth.&quot;</p><p><strong>10:30 a.m.&nbsp;</strong>As much as Gowdy&#39;s opening statement was about legitimizing the committee&#39;s efforts, Cummings&#39;s remarks are about de-legitimizing it. Very forcefully, the Democrat decries the committee&#39;s existence &mdash; &quot;with no rules, no deadline, and an unlimited budget....set loose on Secretary Clinton because she is running for president.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Clearly, it is possible to conduct a serious, bipartisan investigation. What is impossible is for any reasonable person to continue denying that Republicans are squandering millions of taxpayer dollars on this abusive effort to derail Secretary Clinton&#39;s presidential campaign,&quot; said Cummings.</p><p>He concludes that none of her emails or documents &quot;show any nefarious activity.</p><p>In fact, it&#39;s just the opposite. The new information we have obtained confirms and corroborates the core facts we already knew from the eight previous investigations. They provide more detail, but they do not change the basic conclusions.&quot;</p><p><strong>10:45 a.m.</strong>&nbsp;The biggest difference between Clinton&#39;s opening statement and the fiery rhetoric and verbal barbs of Gowdy and Cummings &mdash; tone. Clinton begins her testimony very reserved and soft, striking a very reverent when talking about what happened and those who were killed.</p><p>&quot;I am here to honor the service of those four men...and the work their colleagues do every single day all over the world,&quot; she says.</p><p>She defends the work that Stevens and other did in Libya, and the dangers that foreign service officers encounter every day: &quot;America must lead in a dangerous world, and our diplomats must continue representing us in dangerous places....Retreat from the world is not an option. America cannot shrink from our responsibility to lead.&quot;</p><p>She also pivots to other attacks that took American lives &mdash; most notably, on 9/11. &quot;Part of America&#39;s strength is we learn, we adapt and we get stronger.&quot;</p><p>She also notes that recommendations from the Accountability Review Boards are being implemented after Benghazi &mdash; but that those for more training facilities before going into the field are being held up by Congress.</p><p>And a nod to her own White House hopes, perhaps: &quot;We need leadership at home to match our leadership abroad....We should resist denigrating the patriotism or loyalty with whom we disagree. So I am here.&quot;</p><p><strong>10:55 a.m.</strong>&nbsp;Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., presses Clinton on whether the U.S.&#39;s Libya policy was driven by her. &quot;Our Libya policy couldn&#39;t have happened without you, because you were its chief architect,&quot; he tells her. She turns it back to pointing out it is the White House, not her, that drove foreign policy.</p><p>But the most notable, and most memorable, exchange between the two is when Roskam, twice, lectures her for looking at her notes. &quot;I can pause while you&#39;re reading your notes,&quot; he tries to chastise her. Clinton&#39;s retort: &quot;I can do to things at once.&quot;</p><p><strong>11:05 a.m.</strong>&nbsp;Cummings again largely gives Clinton cover, asking her about the process for security and pointing to other partisan attacks on Clinton over Benghazi, like hearings led by former House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. Cummings: &quot;The problem is that Republicans keep asking the same question over and over again and pretend they don&#39;t know the answer.&quot;</p><p><strong>11:15 a.m.</strong>&nbsp;NPR&#39;s Will Huntsberry, also in the room for the hearings, notes this exchange, about Ambassador Stevens: &quot;Clinton says Chris Stevens volunteered for his mission and was anxious to undertake it. He was using 19th-century diplomatic techniques more than those of current day, she says. Before more sophisticated communication systems were available, Clinton says diplomats would often operate for months at a time without having communication with State Department. During uprising in Libya, internet and communications were spotty, she says. Stevens would meet with local leaders and make decisions on the ground about how much he could accomplish. His length of stay would be uncertain and based on his own assessment of capabilities on the ground. It was &#39;hard-nosed&#39; diplomacy, based on building relationships and gathering information, says Clinton. &#39;We all knew this was risky undertaking.&#39;&quot;</p><p><strong>11:25 a.m.</strong>&nbsp;Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., focuses on Clinton&#39;s email habits at state, and brings a prop &mdash; showing the large number of emails Clinton sent about Libya and Benghazi after the attacks versus the much smaller pile she sent before.</p><p>Clinton underscores again that she didn&#39;t receive classified material &mdash; or things that were then classified, some have been classified retroactively &mdash; on her email server. &quot;Most of my work was not done on emails,&quot; she says, also noting that she &quot;did not email during the day&quot; except on rare occasions, because she was busy and didn&#39;t have a computer in her office.</p><p><strong>11:30 a.m.</strong>&nbsp;The Benghazi hearing are also the hottest ticket in the Capitol it seems &mdash; with very limited space. NPR&#39;s Tamara Keith notes that members of Congress from both parties keep coming in to monitor the hearing. But there&#39;s not enough room for them at the reserved members table, so they are sitting in open seats in the public seating area. Issa, the former Oversight committee chairman, was just here, then bailed out &mdash; the seats in the room are pretty uncomfortable and cramped.</p><p><strong>11:35 a.m.</strong>&nbsp;Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is the only military veteran to question Clinton so far &mdash; she lost both her legs in Iraq when a helicopter she was piloting was downed. She&#39;s also running for Senate this year in one of the top competitive races. Her questioning mainly focuses on the logistics of security and military forces on the ground.</p><p><strong>11:45 a.m.&nbsp;</strong>Rep. Martha Roby&#39;s, R-Ala., line of questioning seemed primed to try to paint Clinton as disengaged, even seeming to suggest Clinton didn&#39;t know about the extent of the U.S. presence there. &quot;Of course I knew we had a presence in Benghazi,&quot; she tells her. She defends the amount of security on the ground, saying it was Stevens&#39;s decision to go to Benghazi and that he had the requisite five members of security, but that &quot;the kind of attack that took place would have been very hard to repel.&quot;</p><p><strong>11:55 a.m.&nbsp;</strong>Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., again gives Clinton cover from Republican attacks, decrying the partisan nature of the committee, which he says has &quot;an obsession&quot; with her emails, per NPR&#39;s Amita Kelly. &quot;Why have we spent the $4.7 million we&#39;ve spent? This committee is simply not doing its job,&quot; noting &quot;we&#39;ve learned nothing we didn&#39;t know already.&quot; When he yields back his time, Chairman Gowdy takes a swing at him, saying he can refer him back to his opening statement detailing their findings.</p><p><strong>12:10 p.m.&nbsp;</strong>Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., peppers Clinton with questions about Stevens&#39;s requests for more security. While he did not have her personal email, he did correspond with other members of her staff, she says. &quot;Yes, he and the people working for him asked for more security. Some of those were approved, others were not. We&#39;re obviously looking to learn what more we could do, because it was not only about Bengahzi but it was about the embassy in Tripoli,&quot; Clinton says.</p><p><strong>12:20 p.m.</strong>&nbsp;Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., continues a tough line of questioning about why more security wasn&#39;t provided per Stevens&#39;s request. He also focuses on why no one was held accountable for the intelligence failures. She says that in the review, no breach of duty was found in the review.</p><p>He also focuses in on the role of &quot;frequent emailer&quot; Sidney Blumenthal &mdash; a longtime adviser to the Clintons. She says he was just passing along information, but Republicans are trying to make him the bogeyman of hearings and show Clinton was relying on political advisers, not foreign policy advisers.</p><p>Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., picks up the questioning next and gives a lot of cover to Clinton, throwing her softball questions to let her &quot;debunk myths&quot; on the Blumenthal allegations, saying she received intelligence from many people, including Stevens himself. She also plays a clip of this past weekend&#39;s &quot;Meet the Press&quot; on NBC, when Pompeo repeated his allegations that Blumenthal was her primary source on Libya. Andrea Mitchell jumps in, telling him she covers the State Department day in and day out, and that is factually inaccurate. It&#39;s something the Washington Post&#39;s fact-checker (who&#39;s getting a lot of love from Democrats today) also&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/10/20/the-false-claim-that-clinton-relied-on-sid-blumenthal-for-most-of-her-intelligence-on-libya/">debunked</a>, giving it four Pinocchios.</p><p><strong>12:45 p.m.&nbsp;</strong>Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has perhaps the toughest line of questioning of Clinton so far &mdash; pressing her on why she and other administration officials at first insinuated the attack in Benghazi was spurred by an offensive video instead of being a terrorist attack. She answers that her mention of the video at first was trying to quell attacks in other places that were being influenced by the video. Clinton also pushes back that her moves were designed to help the president, with these attacks coming less than two months before the 2012 election.</p><p>Bloomberg&#39;s Josh Rogin notes that this exchange gives us two new bits of information about the timeline over the video in the immediate aftermath &mdash; she had&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/joshrogin/status/657235227111247873">told</a>&nbsp;the Egyptian Prime Minister the day after that the attacks had nothing to do with the video, but was a &quot;planned attack,&quot; per her emails, and also that she had&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/joshrogin/status/657235703412236288">emailed</a>&nbsp;her family that night, telling them that the attackers were from a group similar to al-Quaeda.</p><p><strong>1 p.m.&nbsp;</strong>Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the final questioner in this first round, again attacks Republicans for making the committee a political one, saying the only reason Clinton is even here because a Stop Hillary PAC pressed for her to appear.</p><p>His questioning of her gives her a chance to have perhaps her most memorable moment so far. When asked if the allegations are painful to her, Clinton becomes very quiet and thoughtful. &quot;I would imagine I&#39;ve thought more about what happened than all of you put together,&quot; she tells the committee. &quot;I&#39;ve lost more sleep than all of you put together. I&#39;ve been racking my brain about what more could have been done or should have been done.&quot;</p><p><strong>1:05 p.m.</strong>&nbsp;Rounding out the first round, Chairman Benghazi snips back at Schiff&#39;s allegations that Republicans are prosecuting her. He underscores there are many more witnesses to hear and no one has reached any conclusions again. He also brings back up Blumenthal, trying to show how influential he was to Clinton given his many emails, and also noting that he worked for liberal groups like Media Matters and Correct the Record, a group supporting Clinton. She says many of the emails were unsolicited, and she passed along some of those emails, and others she did not.</p><p><strong>1:15 p.m.&nbsp;</strong>The biggest fireworks of the day so far aren&#39;t between Clinton and any committee member &mdash; Gowdy vs. Cummings that got very heated, very quickly. The two are arguing again over Blumenthal &mdash; Cummings is insisting that his testimony before the committee be released and says, per a parliamentary maneuver, he can move for it to be done right now; Gowdy disagrees. It&#39;s clear that Blumenthal has become the biggest flashpoint &mdash; and before Gowdy abruptly breaks he says there will be much more about him during the next round. They weren&#39;t even questioning Clinton at the end &mdash; and per people in the room on social media, Clinton looked perfectly gleeful that the whole affair had devolved into screaming and mudslinging.</p><p>And with that, we&#39;re on a lunch break. We&#39;ll return with the next round of questioning soon.</p><p><strong>2:15 p.m.</strong>&nbsp;Testimony is about to resume, but during the break NPR&#39;s Will Huntsberry sends over this tidbit: &quot;When the hearing took its first break, Clinton shook hands with some congressmen and well-wishers among the crowd. Speaking to one person she said, &#39;I tried to meditate during the breaks,&#39; presumably referring to long stretches where committee members were talking.&quot;</p><p><strong>2:21 p.m.</strong>&nbsp;Round 2 is off. First act: They vote on whether to release the transcripts of Sidney Blumenthal&#39;s testimony &mdash; what the tiff between Gowdy and Cummings was just before the break. It&#39;s shot down along party lines, 7-5, but not before a near miss. Westmoreland, R-Ga., at first votes yes before Gowdy nudges him that it&#39;s supposed to be a no vote.</p><p><strong>2:35 p.m.&nbsp;</strong>Gowdy opens the second round by, as promised, peppering Clinton with more questions about her emails from Sidney Blumenthal. His, and other GOP, objections, boil down to this &mdash; Blumenthal could reach Clinton on her personal email while Ambassador Stevens could not. Gowdy characterizes his correspondence as &quot;meaningless political advice&quot; and &quot;insults of people you worked with.&quot; Clinton again underscores that he was not an adviser. Stevens&#39; security concerns were channeled through the appropriate people, she says. During questioning later from Democratic Rep. Sanchez, she notes that Stevens never asked her for her personal email &mdash; but if he had, she would have given it to him.</p><p><strong>2:40 p.m.&nbsp;</strong>Former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul tweets this, seemingly bolstering Clinton&#39;s claims. Democratic Rep. Smith brings it up later in his testimony.</p><p><strong>3:05 p.m.</strong>&nbsp;Republican Rep. Brooks points out that the committee still doesn&#39;t have a full picture of Stevens via his emails, because they only have copies of hers and ones of his forwarded to her. Democratic Rep. Smith turns back to the Democratic chorus: this is a partisan prosecution, seemingly apologizing to her for it, saying there will be plenty of time to do that in the coming presidential campaign. &quot;Right now this committee is not doing a service to the four people who died or their families.&quot;</p><div id="res450906053"><iframe allowfullscreen="true" allowtransparency="true" class="twitter-tweet twitter-tweet-rendered" data-tweet-id="657264938210185216" frameborder="0" id="twitter-widget-0" scrolling="no" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 10px 0px; padding: 0px; border-style: none; border-width: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; width: 500px; position: static; visibility: visible; display: block; height: 203.766px; max-width: 500px; min-width: 220px;" title="Twitter Tweet"></iframe></div><p><strong>3:15 p.m</strong>.&nbsp;Clinton is now describing, in pretty stark detail, about the night of Sept. 11, 2012, and how Stevens and diplomat Sean Smith died. Despite retreating to a safe room in the nearby CIA annex, they still were not safe from the attack because they eventually died from smoke inhalation. &quot;This was the fog of war,&quot; Clinton says.</p><p><strong>3:25 p.m.</strong>&nbsp;GOP Rep. Pompeo back to questioning, trying to establish the close relationship Clinton had with Blumenthal as compared to Stevens. &quot;Did he have your cell number? Your home address? Your fax?&quot; he asks her. The answer to all, no.</p><p><strong>3:35 p.m.&nbsp;</strong>A good point from CNN&#39;s Manu Raju on Democratic Rep. Duckworth&#39;s questions so far &mdash; Democrats are making partisan jabs at every turn, but she has focused on facts and asked specifics. She&#39;s also the only one who is running in a tough Senate race next year.</p><p><strong>3:50 p.m.&nbsp;</strong>Just before a break for votes, much of GOP Rep. Roskam&#39;s questions focused on an&nbsp;<a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/242982-email-calls-clinton-public-face-of-us-effort-in-libya">April 2012 memo</a>&nbsp;that her top aide Jake Sullivan had drafted &mdash; before the Benghazi tragedy &mdash; calling Clinton &quot;the public face of the U.S. effort in Libya&quot; and points to the appointment of Stevens along with her role in removing dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Roskam accuses her of trying to milk the situation for political gain and to get favorable press &mdash; which is pretty much what every politician&#39;s press office does, and memos like this are routine. She says it was drafted to aid an article a reporter was writing. But Roskam says it&#39;s the personification of what he calls the Clinton Doctrine: Seizing an opportunity &quot;to turn progress in Libya into a political win for Hillary, and at the precise moment things look good to take a victory lap.&quot;</p><div id="res450924939"><iframe allowfullscreen="true" allowtransparency="true" class="twitter-tweet twitter-tweet-rendered" data-tweet-id="657278464005963776" frameborder="0" id="twitter-widget-1" scrolling="no" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 10px 0px; padding: 0px; border-style: none; border-width: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; width: 500px; position: static; visibility: visible; display: block; height: 203.766px; max-width: 500px; min-width: 220px;" title="Twitter Tweet"></iframe></div><p>The committee has now taken a brief recess for House votes, and is expected to return around 4:30 p.m. We&#39;ll be back then.</p><p><strong>5:15 p.m.&nbsp;</strong>Votes took a bit longer than expected and didn&#39;t resume until just after 5 p.m. From there, GOP Rep. Roby picked back up the questioning, asking Clinton about $20 million designated for Libyan security, and why that wasn&#39;t used to provide more diplomatic security, if Stevens and others had indicated it was needed. Clinton said they asked Congress for additional money but that request was not fulfilled; Congress, she says, has since provided more.</p><p><strong>5:25 p.m.&nbsp;</strong>Ranking member Cummings is next, and he again uses his time to hammer home that the committee is political and unnecessary. He shows a clip to his old nemesis, former Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa.</p><p>Also, Clinton is talking again about a controversial anti-Muslim video that, at first report, seemed to be the cause for the protests in Benghazi. Asked why she didn&#39;t correct it elsewhere, she underscores that the video was still spurring protests in other places and still provided a security threat and needed to be disproved.</p><p><strong>5:35 p.m.</strong>&nbsp;GOP Rep. Westmoreland asks, as to Clinton&#39;s earlier statement that she&#39;s been kept up at night as to what she could have done differently to prevent the Benghazi attacks. Her answer: militia engaged by CIA &amp; State Dept. could have been more reliable.</p><p><strong>5:45 p.m.</strong>&nbsp;Republicans voted down earlier allowing the testimony of the much-discussed Sidney Blumenthal into the public record, but Democratic Rep. Schiff tries to find a way around that by characterizing the types of questions the committee asked him.</p><p>Per his recounting: Republicans asked him 50 questions about the Clinton foundation, but only four about security in Benghazi; there were 270 questions about his business interests in Libya; and 40 questions about Media Matters/Clinton ally David Brock but none about Ambassador Stevens and other U.S. personnel in Libya.</p><p>With the time spent on Blumenthal, Schiff says, &quot;you&#39;d think he was in Benghazi, manning the barricades.&quot;</p></p> Thu, 22 Oct 2015 10:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/live-blog-clinton-testifies-house-benghazi-committee-113462 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