WBEZ | Election Day http://www.wbez.org/tags/election-day Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Playing hoops with the President http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-01/playing-hoops-president-105011 <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/rsz_obama-basketball-2-11061-cbs-chicago.jpg" style="height: 225px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Former Bull Randy Brown (far right) had a thrill playing basketball with the President on Election Day. ( Photo courtesy from Randy Brown)" />It was not an ordinary pick-up game. There was a star bigger than any player former Bulls guard Randy Brown had met with on the court. Bigger than his former teammate Michael Jordan. Another former teammate, Scottie Pippen, was there. But the spotlight was on the President.</div><p>It was a day Brown will remember for the rest of his life. Brown knew President Barack Obama and had played basketball with him before. However, this day was different. It was Election Day.</p><p>Brown played 12 years in the NBA and from 1995-2000 he was a member of the Chicago Bulls. He was part of three NBA titles with the Bulls. He became aquainted with Obama while playing here when Obama was a Illinois state senator. They played pick-up games at the East Bank Club during those days. The President had the same modus operandi for Election Day in 2008, but the former Bull was in California and not part of the action that day.</p><p>When Brown and I talked about the 2012 Election Day game, he still seemed astonished by the magnitude of the moment. The President&rsquo;s close friend and confidante Marty Nesbitt, initiated the contact through another former NBA player and it was all supposed to be done under secrecy.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;They didn&rsquo;t want the crowds around the gym,&quot; Brown said. &quot;We were told to keep it a secret. I tried my best.&rdquo;</p><p>He did have to spill to a few people, mainly his bosses. Brown works for the Bulls as an assistant to General Manager Gar Forman. He told Forman and Bull&#39;s President John Paxson so he could get permission to leave the office. There was one more person he couldn&rsquo;t keep the secret from, his wife Tamara. &nbsp;They did manage to keep it from their children. After the fact, when they found out that their dad had participated in this game with the President, Brown was &ldquo;cool&rdquo; again to his children.&nbsp;</p><p>As to the actual action, Brown wasn&rsquo;t figuring it was going to be much of a contest, just a little &ldquo;hoop&rdquo; play.</p><p>It was four-twelve minute quarters, with three referees and fouls and free throws.</p><p>&ldquo;It was like a real game,&rdquo; Brown said.</p><p>There were at least 20 participants, including staff members, Reggie Love, John Rogers, former Bull Jeff Sanders and Arne Duncan. Nesbitt was the coach for the team that included Brown and Pippen. The President&rsquo;s team was coached by his brother-in-law and Oregon State coach Craig Robinson. &nbsp;</p><p>Father time may be catching up to this group, but Brown said it was competitive and the President can still shoot. Maybe the two-and-a-half hour game was an omen. The President&rsquo;s team pulled out the win.</p><p>&ldquo;He was calm, laid back and casual,&rdquo; Brown said about Obama. &ldquo;He just wanted to go out and have fun.&rdquo;</p><p>Randy Brown wasn&rsquo;t a star in the NBA; he was a role player from the West side of Chicago.</p><p>When I asked him what this pick-up game meant to him in regards to his basketball career, Brown hoped his former Bulls teammates won&rsquo;t mind his sentiments.</p><p>&ldquo;My first NBA Championship in my hometown was a dream come true,&quot; Brown said. &quot;I got to play with the President of the United States of America. It is right up there.&rdquo;</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout" target="_blank">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame" target="_blank">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a>.</p></p> Mon, 21 Jan 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-01/playing-hoops-president-105011 Turnout about average in Chicago and suburbs http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/turnout-about-average-chicago-and-suburbs <p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt;">The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners said Election Day ran smoothly in the city.</span></p> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Langdon Neal is the chairman of the board. He's predicting voter turnout between 50 and 55 percent. That's slightly higher than the last midterm election four years ago.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">&ldquo;Everything worked extremely well today and went smoothly,&rdquo; said Neal. &ldquo;We would&rsquo;ve liked to have seen a higher turn out in the city of Chicago, slightly disappointed in that respect. But overall, I think, a good day.&rdquo;</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">But there were a few small irregularities in Chicago. Neal said they involved the removal of four election judges. Two were arrested involving a confrontation with a voter. One judge arrived drunk at 5:30 this morning and was removed. Another judge was removed for being disruptive.</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Suburban election commissions have been hoping for a high voter turnout today. But some were disappointed.</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">A 50 percent turnout is about average for midterm elections and that's what many of the collar counties are expecting.</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Robert Saar is the executive director for the DuPage County election commission. He said earlier today voter turnout looked like it could break the average, but things fizzled out.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">&ldquo;But again it was just one of those things where the traditional last minute rush just wasn't there this afternoon starting at about 3 o'clock,&rdquo; Saar said.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">The Cook County Board of Elections expected to hit the average voter turnout, but some polling stations will remain open for an extra hour until 8.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 03 Nov 2010 00:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/turnout-about-average-chicago-and-suburbs After you vote, snag a great burger http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/after-you-vote-snag-great-burger <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2010-October/2010-10-26/ch_cheeseburger_Hi.jpeg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="334" width="500" title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-October/2010-10-26/customhouse_cheeseburger.jpg" /></p><p>The folks at <a href="http://www.customhouse.cc">Custom House Tavern </a>are beefing up for Election Day. &nbsp;If you do vote on November 2nd, just bring in your voting receipt (that day) and their $12 burger ($14 at dinner) is yours for just $5. &nbsp;The thick, hand-formed patty is topped with aged cheddar and shaved onions; it rests on sourdough brioche and comes with hand-cut fries.</p></p> Wed, 27 Oct 2010 05:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/after-you-vote-snag-great-burger