WBEZ | Democratic National Convention http://www.wbez.org/tags/democratic-national-convention Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Bernie Sanders Campaign Locked Out of Key Voter File after Data Breach http://www.wbez.org/news/bernie-sanders-campaign-locked-out-key-voter-file-after-data-breach-114223 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/501638710_wide-2ee0bc84dad84467e97bd850cf2d471981de1835-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res460284521" previewtitle="Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/18/501638710_wide-2ee0bc84dad84467e97bd850cf2d471981de1835-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. (Bloomberg via Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p><strong>This post was updated at 1:30 p.m. ET</strong></p></div></div></div><p>Bernie Sanders&#39; presidential campaign has been locked out of a key database of Democratic voter information after a staffer accessed data collected and organized by Hillary Clinton&#39;s campaign.</p><p>The Democratic National Committee&#39;s decision to block the Sanders campaign from conducting basic and fundamental voter outreach comes at a critical moment in the presidential race. The information is needed to identify and contact voters, and to secure their support in upcoming caucuses and primaries.</p><p><strong>Sanders Campaign Response</strong></p><p>The Sanders campaign blasted the DNC at a press conference Friday, calling the decision to block the data an &quot;inappropriate overreaction.&quot; The committee is &quot;now actively attempting to undermine our campaign,&quot; campaign manager Jeff Weaver said. He added that &quot;if the DNC continues to hold our data hostage,&quot; the campaign would be in federal court Friday afternoon &quot;seeking immediate relief.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Clearly, while the information was made available to our campaign because of the incompetence of the vendor, it should not have been looked at, period,&quot; Weaver said.</p><p>&quot;Rather incredibly,&quot; he continued, &quot;the leadership of the DNC has used this incident to shut down our ability to access our own information &mdash; information which is the lifeblood of this campaign.&quot;</p><p><strong>What Data Was Exposed</strong></p><p>First an explanation of the data breach: Like its Republican counterpart, the DNC maintains a massive database containing information about voters across the country.</p><p>Campaigns of all sizes, from presidential down to the local level, are granted access to this information, and use it to organize both big-picture strategy and day-to-day operations.</p><p>All campaigns have access to the same basic set of information that states collect about voters: names, addresses, party identification and voting history.</p><p>Campaigns add their own information about those voters &mdash; usually, information gathered from door-to-door canvassing and phone calls. They also use the data to conduct big-picture modeling about voters&#39; likely preferences for specific candidates and develop their overall strategy.</p><p>That proprietary information is supposed to be secure from other campaigns. But on Wednesday, a software bug in the database allowed campaigns to see each other&#39;s private voter info.</p><p><strong>Sanders Staffer Viewed Clinton Data</strong></p><p>A spokesman for the Bernie Sanders campaign confirms a staff member accessed another campaign&#39;s information.</p><p>&quot;After discussion with the DNC it became clear that one of our staffers accessed some modeling data from another campaign,&quot; said Sanders communications director Michael Briggs. &quot;That behavior is unacceptable, and that staffer was immediately fired.&quot;</p><p>The DNC says Sanders&#39; campaign won&#39;t be able to access the voter database until the incident is fully explained and there&#39;s proof that any improperly accessed data has been disposed of.</p><p>For its part, Sanders&#39; campaign is blaming the DNC and the vendor that runs the voter file system, NGP VAN. Here&#39;s more from Briggs&#39; statement, which implies this week&#39;s data breach wasn&#39;t an isolated incident:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;Sadly, the vendor who runs the DNC&#39;s voter file program continues to make serious errors. On more than one occasion, the vendor has dropped the firewall between the data of different Democratic campaigns. Our campaign months ago alerted the DNC to the fact that campaign data was being made available to other campaigns. At that time our campaign did not run to the media, relying instead on assurances from the vendor.</em></p><p><em>&quot;Unfortunately, yesterday, the vendor once again dropped the firewall between the campaigns for some data.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>Sanders&#39; supporters are painting this as another instance of the party establishment working against Sanders and favoring his rival Clinton. The DNC was already under scrutiny for a debate schedule that left many wanting more; there&#39;s a debate scheduled for Saturday &mdash; one of the busiest shopping days of the year.</p><p>The Clinton campaign has not commented on the incident.</p><p><strong>Locked Out At A Key Time</strong></p><p>There&#39;s no question that being locked out of the voter files is a major short-term hurdle for the Sanders campaign. Ethan Roeder, who directed data operations for Barack Obama&#39;s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, described the national database as &quot;an online search tool that all of the campaign staff all across the country use to do voter contact.&quot;</p><p>&quot;All of the organization activity that happens on the ground level is managed through this platform,&quot; Roeder said. &quot;When you make a phone call or knock on a door or have a conversation with a voter, the result of that goes straight into the [system],&quot; Roeder said. &quot;Not having access means there&#39;s nowhere to store your information. And there&#39;s nowhere to pull your information back out of.&quot;</p><p>The DNC and NGP VAN are both pushing back on the suggestion that this breach was anything but an isolated incident.</p><p>&quot;This bug was a brief, isolated issue, and we are not aware of any previous reports of such data being inappropriately available,&quot; the company said in a blog post on its website. &quot;We look forward to supporting all our Democratic clients, and in particular apologize to the DNC, Clinton and Sanders campaigns for our bug Wednesday. We will continue to work with and report to the DNC regarding this issue to ensure that this isolated incident does not recur. We have and will do better.&quot;</p><p>The DNC says it has ordered an audit of the breach, what led to the failure and how widespread it was.</p><p>&quot;The DNC places a high priority on maintaining the security of our system and protecting the data on it,&quot; said DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda in a statement. &quot;We are working with our campaigns and the vendor to have full clarity on the extent of the breach, ensure that this isolated incident does not happen again, and to enable our campaigns to continue engaging voters on the issues that matter most to them and their families.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/12/18/460273748/bernie-sanders-campaign-locked-out-of-key-voter-file-after-data-breach?ft=nprml&amp;f=460273748" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 18 Dec 2015 16:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/bernie-sanders-campaign-locked-out-key-voter-file-after-data-breach-114223 Illinois Democrats head home from Charlotte ready for a fight http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/illinois-democrats-head-home-charlotte-ready-fight-102265 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/IL dem convention.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Democrats are headed home after a week of politicking at their party&rsquo;s national convention in North Carolina, but their work for the 2012 elections is just heating up.</p><p>Illinois Democrats, Republicans, and opinion polls all suggest President Barack Obama is strongly favored to win his home state.</p><p>But delegates like Chicagoan Jim Montgomery aren&#39;t taking that for granted. He says the president now needs to show voters he has concrete plans for fixing the economy. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m gonna go home with the idea that we&rsquo;ve got to fight like hell in order to win this election for Barack Obama,&quot; Montgomery said.</p><p>Meanwhile, Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said that he&rsquo;s focusing on tight Illinois congressional races and presidential swing states.</p><p>&quot;Don&rsquo;t forget, our first job&rsquo;s Illinois,&quot; Durbin said. &quot;Let&rsquo;s make sure we do well there for the president, and for every candidate. But our extra hours are gonna be spent in Iowa, Wisconsin, on the phones, when we can visit.&quot;</p><p>The Democrats will have their work cut out for them;&nbsp;Illinois Republicans came out of their convention just as focused on the same tight races further down the ticket.</p></p> Fri, 07 Sep 2012 11:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/illinois-democrats-head-home-charlotte-ready-fight-102265 IL Democrats who knew President Obama back in the day react to his speech http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/il-democrats-who-knew-president-obama-back-day-react-his-speech-102256 <p><p>Some Illinois delegates who saw President Obama&rsquo;s political rise first-hand were also there to witness his acceptance speech Thursday night.</p><p>Will Burns and Barack Obama go way back.&nbsp;Burns is currently a Chicago alderman representing the Hyde Park and Kenwood neighborhoods where Mr. Obama got his start in politics.</p><p>A few years ago, Mr. Obama reportedly did not endorse Burns in his bid for state office. But Thursday night just after the president&rsquo;s speech, Burns didn&#39;t seem to hold a grudge. He said Mr. Obama had come a long way.</p><p>&quot;I remember the days when pundits would say, &lsquo;If you&rsquo;re a supporter of Barack Obama, you are a minority of a minority,&rsquo;&quot; Burns said. &quot;Doors slammed in your face and people handing you back literature and he never gave up hope in what his vision was for this country.&quot;</p><p>Meantime, Emil Jones was also in the crowd. Mr. Obama once called the former state Senate President his political godfather. On the convention floor Jones returned the favor.</p><p>&quot;Well, my godson&rsquo;s done great. Now all we gotta do is get him re-elected,&quot; Jones said.</p><p>Jones kept his comments short since he was trying to beat the massive crowd to get outside.<br /><!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--><br /><!--[endif]--></p></p> Fri, 07 Sep 2012 00:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/il-democrats-who-knew-president-obama-back-day-react-his-speech-102256 Full text and video: President Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention http://www.wbez.org/news/full-text-and-video-president-barack-obamas-speech-democratic-national-convention-102253 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OykLAV-69QE" width="480"></iframe></p><p><em>Via PBS News Hour</em></p><p>Michelle, I love you. The other night, I think the entire country saw just how lucky I am. Malia and Sasha, you make me so proud&hellip;but don&rsquo;t get any ideas, you&rsquo;re still going to class tomorrow. And Joe Biden, thank you for being the best Vice President I could ever hope for.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">Madam Chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">The first time I addressed this convention in 2004, I was a younger man; a Senate candidate from Illinois who spoke about hope &ndash; not blind optimism or wishful thinking, but hope in the face of difficulty; hope in the face of uncertainty; that dogged faith in the future which has pushed this nation forward, even when the odds are great; even when the road is long.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">Eight years later, that hope has been tested &ndash; by the cost of war; by one of the worst economic crises in history; and by political gridlock that&rsquo;s left us wondering whether it&rsquo;s still possible to tackle the challenges of our time.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">I know that campaigns can seem small, and even silly. Trivial things become big distractions. Serious issues become sound bites. And the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. If you&rsquo;re sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me &ndash; so am I.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">But when all is said and done &ndash; when you pick up that ballot to vote &ndash; you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace &ndash; decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children&rsquo;s lives for decades to come.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">On every issue, the choice you face won&rsquo;t be just between two candidates or two parties.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">It will be a choice between two different paths for America.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">Ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known; the values my grandfather defended as a soldier in Patton&rsquo;s Army; the values that drove my grandmother to work on a bomber assembly line while he was gone.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">They knew they were part of something larger &ndash; a nation that triumphed over fascism and depression; a nation where the most innovative businesses turned out the world&rsquo;s best products, and everyone shared in the pride and success &ndash; from the corner office to the factory floor. My grandparents were given the chance to go to college, buy their first home, and fulfill the basic bargain at the heart of America&rsquo;s story: the promise that hard work will pay off; that responsibility will be rewarded; that everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules &ndash; from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, DC.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">I ran for President because I saw that basic bargain slipping away. I began my career helping people in the shadow of a shuttered steel mill, at a time when too many good jobs were starting to move overseas. And by 2008, we had seen nearly a decade in which families struggled with costs that kept rising but paychecks that didn&rsquo;t; racking up more and more debt just to make the mortgage or pay tuition; to put gas in the car or food on the table. And when the house of cards collapsed in the Great Recession, millions of innocent Americans lost their jobs, their homes, and their life savings &ndash; a tragedy from which we are still fighting to recover.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">Now, our friends at the Republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with America, but they didn&rsquo;t have much to say about how they&rsquo;d make it right. They want your vote, but they don&rsquo;t want you to know their plan. And that&rsquo;s because all they have to offer is the same prescription they&rsquo;ve had for the last thirty years:</p><p itemprop="articleBody">&ldquo;Have a surplus? Try a tax cut.&rdquo;</p><p itemprop="articleBody">&ldquo;Deficit too high? Try another.&rdquo;</p><p itemprop="articleBody">&ldquo;Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!&rdquo;</p><p itemprop="articleBody">Now, I&rsquo;ve cut taxes for those who need it &ndash; middle-class families and small businesses. But I don&rsquo;t believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores, or pay down our deficit. I don&rsquo;t believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy, or help us compete with the scientists and engineers coming out of China. After all that we&rsquo;ve been through, I don&rsquo;t believe that rolling back regulations on Wall Street will help the small businesswoman expand, or the laid-off construction worker keep his home. We&rsquo;ve been there, we&rsquo;ve tried that, and we&rsquo;re not going back. We&rsquo;re moving forward.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">I won&rsquo;t pretend the path I&rsquo;m offering is quick or easy. I never have. You didn&rsquo;t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. It will require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one. And by the way &ndash; those of us who carry on his party&rsquo;s legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">But know this, America: Our problems can be solved. Our challenges can be met. The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place. And I&rsquo;m asking you to choose that future. I&rsquo;m asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country &ndash; goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security, and the deficit; a real, achievable plan that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity, and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. That&rsquo;s what we can do in the next four years, and that&rsquo;s why I&rsquo;m running for a second term as President of the United States.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">We can choose a future where we export more products and outsource fewer jobs. After a decade that was defined by what we bought and borrowed, we&rsquo;re getting back to basics, and doing what America has always done best:</p><p itemprop="articleBody">We&rsquo;re making things again.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">I&rsquo;ve met workers in Detroit and Toledo who feared they&rsquo;d never build another American car. Today, they can&rsquo;t build them fast enough, because we reinvented a dying auto industry that&rsquo;s back on top of the world.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">I&rsquo;ve worked with business leaders who are bringing jobs back to America &ndash; not because our workers make less pay, but because we make better products. Because we work harder and smarter than anyone else.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">I&rsquo;ve signed trade agreements that are helping our companies sell more goods to millions of new customers &ndash; goods that are stamped with three proud words: Made in America.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">After a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years. And now you have a choice: we can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here, in the United States of America. We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports, and if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. You can make that happen. You can choose that future.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">You can choose the path where we control more of our own energy. After thirty years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. We&rsquo;ve doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries. In the last year alone, we cut oil imports by one million barrels a day &ndash; more than any administration in recent history. And today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in nearly two decades.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">Now you have a choice &ndash; between a strategy that reverses this progress, or one that builds on it. We&rsquo;ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years, and we&rsquo;ll open more. But unlike my opponent, I will not let oil companies write this country&rsquo;s energy plan, or endanger our coastlines, or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">We&rsquo;re offering a better path &ndash; a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal; where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and trucks; where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy; where we develop a hundred year supply of natural gas that&rsquo;s right beneath our feet. If you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet &ndash; because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They&rsquo;re a threat to our children&rsquo;s future. And in this election, you can do something about it.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">You can choose a future where more Americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete, no matter how old they are or how much money they have. Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for Michelle. And now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle-class life.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">For the first time in a generation, nearly every state has answered our call to raise their standards for teaching and learning. Some of the worst schools in the country have made real gains in math and reading. Millions of students are paying less for college today because we finally took on a system that wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on banks and lenders.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">And now you have a choice &ndash; we can gut education, or we can decide that in the United States of America, no child should have her dreams deferred because of a crowded classroom or a crumbling school. No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don&rsquo;t have the money. No company should have to look for workers in China because they couldn&rsquo;t find any with the right skills here at home.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">Government has a role in this. But teachers must inspire; principals must lead; parents must instill a thirst for learning, and students, you&rsquo;ve got to do the work. And together, I promise you &ndash; we can out-educate and out-compete any country on Earth. Help me recruit 100,000 math and science teachers in the next ten years, and improve early childhood education. Help give two million workers the chance to learn skills at their community college that will lead directly to a job. Help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next ten years. We can meet that goal together. You can choose that future for America.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">In a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven. Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did. I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have. We&rsquo;ve blunted the Taliban&rsquo;s momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over. A new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">Tonight, we pay tribute to the Americans who still serve in harm&rsquo;s way. We are forever in debt to a generation whose sacrifice has made this country safer and more respected. We will never forget you. And so long as I&rsquo;m Commander-in-Chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. When you take off the uniform, we will serve you as well as you&rsquo;ve served us &ndash; because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they need when they come home.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">Around the world, we&rsquo;ve strengthened old alliances and forged new coalitions to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. We&rsquo;ve reasserted our power across the Pacific and stood up to China on behalf of our workers. From Burma to Libya to South Sudan, we have advanced the rights and dignity of all human beings &ndash; men and women; Christians and Muslims and Jews.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">But for all the progress we&rsquo;ve made, challenges remain. Terrorist plots must be disrupted. Europe&rsquo;s crisis must be contained. Our commitment to Israel&rsquo;s security must not waver, and neither must our pursuit of peace. The Iranian government must face a world that stays united against its nuclear ambitions. The historic change sweeping across the Arab World must be defined not by the iron fist of a dictator or the hate of extremists, but by the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people who are reaching for the same rights that we celebrate today.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">So now we face a choice. My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we&rsquo;ve seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">After all, you don&rsquo;t call Russia our number one enemy &ndash; and not al Qaeda &ndash; unless you&rsquo;re still stuck in a Cold War time warp. You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can&rsquo;t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally. My opponent said it was &ldquo;tragic&rdquo; to end the war in Iraq, and he won&rsquo;t tell us how he&rsquo;ll end the war in Afghanistan. I have, and I will. And while my opponent would spend more money on military hardware that our Joint Chiefs don&rsquo;t even want, I&rsquo;ll use the money we&rsquo;re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work &ndash; rebuilding roads and bridges; schools and runways. After two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it&rsquo;s time to do some nation-building right here at home.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">You can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without wrecking our middle class. Independent analysis shows that my plan would cut our deficits by $4 trillion. Last summer, I worked with Republicans in Congress to cut $1 trillion in spending &ndash; because those of us who believe government can be a force for good should work harder than anyone to reform it, so that it&rsquo;s leaner, more efficient, and more responsive to the American people.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">I want to reform the tax code so that it&rsquo;s simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes over $250,000 &ndash; the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was president; the same rate we had when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history, and a lot of millionaires to boot.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">Now, I&rsquo;m still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission. No party has a monopoly on wisdom. No democracy works without compromise. But when Governor Romney and his allies in Congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficit by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy &ndash; well, you do the math. I refuse to go along with that. And as long as I&rsquo;m President, I never will.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">I refuse to ask middle class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire&rsquo;s tax cut. I refuse to ask students to pay more for college; or kick children out of Head Start programs, or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor, elderly, or disabled &ndash; all so those with the most can pay less.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">And I will never turn Medicare into a voucher. No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. They should retire with the care and dignity they have earned. Yes, we will reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we&rsquo;ll do it by reducing the cost of health care &ndash; not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more. And we will keep the promise of Social Security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it &ndash; not by turning it over to Wall Street.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">This is the choice we now face. This is what the election comes down to. Over and over, we have been told by our opponents that bigger tax cuts and fewer regulations are the only way; that since government can&rsquo;t do everything, it should do almost nothing. If you can&rsquo;t afford health insurance, hope that you don&rsquo;t get sick. If a company releases toxic pollution into the air your children breathe, well, that&rsquo;s just the price of progress. If you can&rsquo;t afford to start a business or go to college, take my opponent&rsquo;s advice and &ldquo;borrow money from your parents.&rdquo;</p><p itemprop="articleBody">You know what? That&rsquo;s not who we are. That&rsquo;s not what this country&rsquo;s about. As Americans, we believe we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights &ndash; rights that no man or government can take away. We insist on personal responsibility and we celebrate individual initiative. We&rsquo;re not entitled to success. We have to earn it. We honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk-takers who have always been the driving force behind our free enterprise system &ndash; the greatest engine of growth and prosperity the world has ever known.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">But we also believe in something called citizenship &ndash; a word at the very heart of our founding, at the very essence of our democracy; the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another, and to future generations.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">We believe that when a CEO pays his autoworkers enough to buy the cars that they build, the whole company does better.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">We believe that when a family can no longer be tricked into signing a mortgage they can&rsquo;t afford, that family is protected, but so is the value of other people&rsquo;s homes, and so is the entire economy.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">We believe that a little girl who&rsquo;s offered an escape from poverty by a great teacher or a grant for college could become the founder of the next Google, or the scientist who cures cancer, or the President of the United States &ndash; and it&rsquo;s in our power to give her that chance.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">We know that churches and charities can often make more of a difference than a poverty program alone. We don&rsquo;t want handouts for people who refuse to help themselves, and we don&rsquo;t want bailouts for banks that break the rules. We don&rsquo;t think government can solve all our problems. But we don&rsquo;t think that government is the source of all our problems &ndash; any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we&rsquo;re told to blame for our troubles.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">Because we understand that this democracy is ours.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what&rsquo;s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It&rsquo;s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">So you see, the election four years ago wasn&rsquo;t about me. It was about you. My fellow citizens &ndash; you were the change.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">You&rsquo;re the reason there&rsquo;s a little girl with a heart disorder in Phoenix who&rsquo;ll get the surgery she needs because an insurance company can&rsquo;t limit her coverage. You did that.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">You&rsquo;re the reason a young man in Colorado who never thought he&rsquo;d be able to afford his dream of earning a medical degree is about to get that chance. You made that possible.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">You&rsquo;re the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she&rsquo;s ever called home; why selfless soldiers won&rsquo;t be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love; why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely: &ldquo;Welcome home.&rdquo;</p><p itemprop="articleBody">If you turn away now &ndash; if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn&rsquo;t possible&hellip;well, change will not happen. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should make for themselves.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">Only you can make sure that doesn&rsquo;t happen. Only you have the power to move us forward.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">I recognize that times have changed since I first spoke to this convention. The times have changed &ndash; and so have I.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">I&rsquo;m no longer just a candidate. I&rsquo;m the President. I know what it means to send young Americans into battle, for I have held in my arms the mothers and fathers of those who didn&rsquo;t return. I&rsquo;ve shared the pain of families who&rsquo;ve lost their homes, and the frustration of workers who&rsquo;ve lost their jobs. If the critics are right that I&rsquo;ve made all my decisions based on polls, then I must not be very good at reading them. And while I&rsquo;m proud of what we&rsquo;ve achieved together, I&rsquo;m far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, &ldquo;I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.&rdquo;</p><p itemprop="articleBody">But as I stand here tonight, I have never been more hopeful about America. Not because I think I have all the answers. Not because I&rsquo;m naïve about the magnitude of our challenges.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">I&rsquo;m hopeful because of you.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">The young woman I met at a science fair who won national recognition for her biology research while living with her family at a homeless shelter &ndash; she gives me hope.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">The auto worker who won the lottery after his plant almost closed, but kept coming to work every day, and bought flags for his whole town and one of the cars that he built to surprise his wife &ndash; he gives me hope.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">The family business in Warroad, Minnesota that didn&rsquo;t lay off a single one of their four thousand employees during this recession, even when their competitors shut down dozens of plants, even when it meant the owners gave up some perks and pay &ndash; because they understood their biggest asset was the community and the workers who helped build that business &ndash; they give me hope.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">And I think about the young sailor I met at Walter Reed hospital, still recovering from a grenade attack that would cause him to have his leg amputated above the knee. Six months ago, I would watch him walk into a White House dinner honoring those who served in Iraq, tall and twenty pounds heavier, dashing in his uniform, with a big grin on his face; sturdy on his new leg. And I remember how a few months after that I would watch him on a bicycle, racing with his fellow wounded warriors on a sparkling spring day, inspiring other heroes who had just begun the hard path he had traveled.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">He gives me hope.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">I don&rsquo;t know what party these men and women belong to. I don&rsquo;t know if they&rsquo;ll vote for me. But I know that their spirit defines us. They remind me, in the words of Scripture, that ours is a &ldquo;future filled with hope.&rdquo;</p><p itemprop="articleBody">And if you share that faith with me &ndash; if you share that hope with me &ndash; I ask you tonight for your vote.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">If you reject the notion that this nation&rsquo;s promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">If you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">If you believe that new plants and factories can dot our landscape; that new energy can power our future; that new schools can provide ladders of opportunity to this nation of dreamers; if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules, then I need you to vote this November.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won&rsquo;t promise that now. Yes, our path is harder &ndash; but it leads to a better place. Yes our road is longer &ndash; but we travel it together. We don&rsquo;t turn back. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up. We draw strength from our victories, and we learn from our mistakes, but we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon, knowing that Providence is with us, and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on Earth.</p><p itemprop="articleBody">Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless these United States.</p></p> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 21:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/full-text-and-video-president-barack-obamas-speech-democratic-national-convention-102253 In convention speech, Obama says that recovery path will be hard, but 'our challenges can be met' http://www.wbez.org/news/convention-speech-obama-says-recovery-path-will-be-hard-our-challenges-can-be-met-102252 <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/AP949302248601.jpg" style="height: 426px; width: 620px; " title="President Barack Obama waves after his speech to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (AP/Charlie Neibergall)" /></div><p>CHARLOTTE, NC &mdash; His re-election in doubt, President Barack Obama conceded only halting progress Thursday night toward fixing the nation&#39;s stubborn economic woes, but vowed in a Democratic National Convention finale, &quot;Our problems can be solved, our challenges can be met.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Yes, our path is harder &mdash; but it leads to a better place,&quot; he declared in a prime-time speech to convention delegates and the nation that blended resolve about the challenges ahead with stinging criticism of Republican rival Mitt Romney&#39;s proposals to repair the economy.</p><p>He acknowledged &quot;my own failings&quot; as he asked for a second term, four years after taking office as the nation&#39;s first black president.</p><p>&quot;Four more years,&quot; delegates chanted over and over as the 51-year-old Obama stepped to the podium, noticeably grayer than four years ago when he was a history-making candidate for the White House.</p><p>The president&#39;s speech was the final act of a pair of highly scripted national political conventions in as many weeks, and the opening salvo of a two-month drive toward Election Day that pits Obama against Republican rival Romney. The contest is ever tighter for the White House in a dreary season of economic struggle for millions.</p><p>Vice President Joe Biden preceded Obama at the convention podium and proclaimed, &quot;America has turned the corner&quot; after experiencing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.</p><p>Obama didn&#39;t go that far in his own remarks, but he said firmly, &quot;We are not going back, we are moving forward, America.&quot;</p><p>With unemployment at 8.3 percent, the president said the task of recovering from the economic disaster of 2008 is exceeded in American history only by the challenge Franklin Delano Roosevelt faced when he took office in 1933.</p><p>&quot;It will require common effort, shared responsibility and the kind of bold persistent experimentation&quot; that FDR employed, Obama said.</p><p>In an appeal to independent voters who might be considering a vote for Romney, he added that those who carry on Roosevelt&#39;s legacy &quot;should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington.</p><p>He said, &quot;The truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over the decades.&quot;</p><p>In the run-up to Obama&#39;s speech, delegates erupted in tumultuous cheers when former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, grievously wounded in a 2011 assassination attempt, walked onstage to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. The hall grew louder when she blew kisses to the crowd.</p><p>And louder still when huge video screens inside the hall showed the face of Osama bin Laden, the terrorist mastermind killed in a daring raid on his Pakistani hideout by U.S. special operations forces â&euro;&quot; on a mission approved by the current commander in chief.</p><p>The hall was filled to capacity long before Obama stepped to the podium, and officials shut off the entrances because of a fear of overcrowding for a speech that the campaign had originally slated for the 74,000-seat football stadium nearby. Aides said weather concerns prompted the move to the convention arena, capacity 15,000 or so.</p><p>Obama&#39;s campaign said the president would ask the country to rally around a &quot;real achievable plan that will create jobs, expand opportunity and ensure an economy built to last.&quot;</p><p>He added, &quot;The truth is it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over a decade.&quot;</p><p>In convention parlance, both Obama and Biden were delivering acceptance speeches before delegates who nominated them for new terms in office.</p><p>But the political significance went far beyond that - the moment when the general election campaign begins in earnest even though Obama and Romney have been pointing toward a Nov. 6 showdown for months.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP829850220308.jpg" style="height: 425px; width: 300px; float: right; " title="President Barack Obama hugs his wife First lady Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (AP/Charlie Neibergall)" />To the cheers of delegates, Obama retraced his steps to halt the economic slide, including the auto bailout that Romney opposed.</p><p>&quot;After a decade of decline, this country created over a half million manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years,&quot; he said.</p><p>Turning to national security, he said he had promised to end the war in Iraq, and had done so.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;ve blunted the Taliban&#39;s momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014 our longest war will be over,&quot; he said.</p><p>&quot;A new tower rises above the New York skyline, al-Qaida is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead,&quot; he declared, one of the night&#39;s repeated references to the special operations forces raid that resulted in the terrorist mastermind&#39;s demise more than a year ago.</p><p>He lampooned Romney&#39;s own economic proposals.</p><p>&quot;Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another. Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations and call us in the morning,&quot; he said.</p><p>Mocking Romney for his overseas trip earlier this summer, Obama said, &quot;You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can&#39;t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.&quot; That was a reference to a verbal gaffe the former Massachusetts governor committed while visiting London.</p><p>The hall was filled to capacity long before Obama stepped to the podium, and officials shut off the entrances because of a fear of overcrowding for a speech that the campaign had originally slated for the 74,000-seat football stadium nearby. Aides said weather concerns prompted the move to the convention arena, capacity 15,000 or so.</p><p>Obama&#39;s campaign said the president would ask the country to rally around a &quot;real achievable plan that will create jobs, expand opportunity and ensure an economy built to last.&quot;</p><p>Biden told the convention in his own speech that he had watched as Obama &quot;made one gutsy decision after another&quot; to stop an economic free-fall after they took office in 2009.</p><p>Now, he said, &quot;we&#39;re on a mission to move this nation forward â&euro;&quot; from doubt and downturn to promise and prosperity. ... America has turned the corner.&quot;</p><p>Delegates who packed into their convention hall were serenaded by singer James Taylor and rocked by R&amp;B blues artist Mary J. Blige as they awaited Obama&#39;s speech.</p><p>There was no end to the jabs aimed at Romney and the Republicans.</p><p>&quot;Ask Osama bin Laden if he&#39;s better off than four years ago,&quot; said Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who lost the 2004 election in a close contest with President George W. Bush. It was a mocking answer to the Republicans&#39; repeated question of whether Americans are better off than when Obama took office.</p><p>The campaign focus was shifting quickly to politically sensitive monthly unemployment figures due out Friday morning and the first presidential debate on Oct. 3 in Denver. Wall Street hit a four-year high a few hours before Obama&#39;s speech after the European Central Bank laid out a concrete plan to support the region&#39;s struggling countries.</p><p>The economy is by far the dominant issue in the campaign, and the differences between Obama and his challenger could hardly be more pronounced.</p><p>Romney wants to extend all tax cuts that are due to expire on Dec. 31 with an additional 20 percent reduction in rates across the board, arguing that job growth would result. He also favors deep cuts in domestic programs ranging from education to parks, repeal of the health care legislation that Obama pushed through Congress and landmark changes in Medicare, the program that provides health care to seniors.</p><p>Obama wants to renew the tax cuts except on incomes higher than $250,000, saying that millionaires should contribute to an overall attack on federal deficits. He also criticizes the spending cuts Romney advocates, saying they would fall unfairly on the poor, lower-income college students and others. He argues that Republicans would &quot;end Medicare as we know it&quot; and saddle seniors with ever-rising costs.</p><p>After two weeks of back-to-back conventions, the impact on the race remained to be determined.</p><p>You&#39;re not going to see big bounces in this election,&quot; said David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser. &quot;For the next 61 days, it&#39;s going to remain tight as a tick.&quot;</p><p>Romney wrapped up several days of debate rehearsals with close aides in Vermont and is expected to resume full-time campaigning in the next day or two.</p><p>In a brief stop to talk with veterans on Thursday, he defended his decision to omit mention of the war in Afghanistan when he delivered his acceptance speech last week at the Republican National Convention. He noted he had spoken to the American Legion only one day before.</p><p>Romney&#39;s campaign released its first new television ad since the convention season began.</p><p>It shows Clinton sharply questioning Obama&#39;s credibility on the Iraq War in 2008, saying &quot;Give me a break, this whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I&#39;ve ever seen.&quot; Obama was running against Hillary Rodham Clinton at the time for the Democratic nomination.</p><p>It will likely be a week or more before the two campaigns can fully digest post-convention polls and adjust their strategies for the fall.</p><p>Based on the volume of campaign appearances to date and the hundreds of millions of dollars spent already on television advertising, the election appears likely to be decided in a small number of battleground states. The list includes New Hampshire, Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada and Iowa, as well as Florida and North Carolina, the states where first Republicans and then Democrats held their conventions. Those states hold 100 electoral votes among them, out of 270 needed to win the White House.</p><p>Money has become an ever-present concern for the Democrats, an irony given the overwhelming advantage Obama held over John McCain in the 2008 campaign.</p><p>This time, Romney is outpacing him, and independent groups seeking the Republican&#39;s election are pouring tens of millions of dollars into television advertising, far exceeding what Obama&#39;s supporters can afford.</p><p>___</p><p><em>Associated Press writers Leo Buckle, Ben Feller, Ken Thomas, Matt Michaels and Jim Kuhnhenn in Charlotte, Calvin Woodward, Jennifer Agiesta, Jack Gillum and Josh Lederman in Washington, Kasie Hunt in Vermont and Thomas Beaumont and Steve Peoples in Iowa contributed to this report.</em></p></p> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 21:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/convention-speech-obama-says-recovery-path-will-be-hard-our-challenges-can-be-met-102252 Fired up by DNC, Illinois Dems vow to 'fight like hell' until November http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/fired-dnc-illinois-dems-vow-fight-hell-until-november-102251 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/photo (9).JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Democratic Party stalwarts emerged from their national convention Thursday night energized by President Barack Obama&rsquo;s acceptance speech, while acknowledging they have a tough few months of campaigning ahead of November&rsquo;s elections.</p><p>Illinois&rsquo; delegation to the Democratic National Convention, seated front and center on the convention floor in Charlotte, N.C., waved blue signs that read &ldquo;Forward&rdquo; as the president delivered his roughly 39-minute speech.</p><p>Afterward, several of the state&rsquo;s most powerful Democrats heaped praise upon president Obama, saying the speech &ndash; and the whole convention &ndash; were successful.</p><p>&ldquo;I&#39;ve been to a lot of conventions. This really was the best convention I&#39;ve ever seen in every way,&quot; said U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who represents Chicago&rsquo;s northern suburbs in the U.S. House.</p><p>&ldquo;I remember the days when pundits would say, &lsquo;If you are a supporter of Barack Obama, you are a minority of a minority,&rsquo;&rdquo; said Chicago Ald. Will Burns, who has had a long relationship with the president. &ldquo;Doors slammed in your face and people handing you back literature and he never gave up hope and what his vision was for this country.&rdquo;</p><p>But even some of the president&rsquo;s most ardent supporters said there&rsquo;s still a hard road ahead for Democrats as the 2012 elections kick into high gear now that both Democrats and Republicans have wrapped up their national conventions.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m gonna go home with the idea that we&rsquo;ve got to fight like hell in order to win this election for Barack Obama, and to bring this country back to the economic stability that it is entitled to,&rdquo; said delegate Jim Montgomery, a Chicago lawyer who lives down the street from the first family&rsquo;s Hyde Park home.</p><p>While many of Illinois&rsquo; top Democrats and Republicans acknowledge the president will likely win his home state, both state parties have devoted a lot of time during their national conventions over the last two weeks discussing how to win a handful of competitive Illinois Congressional races and seats in the General Assembly.</p><p>The president mentioned his adopted home state only once during his speech, when talking about the start of his political career as a state senator from Chicago.</p><p>Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin introduced the president Thursday night by recounting his own close relationship to Mr. Obama. He recalled how he helped launch the then-U.S. Senate candidate to national prominence by introducing Obama at the 2004 DNC in Boston.</p><p>&ldquo;He had a name that was hard to pronounce and Loretta [Durbin] and Michelle [Obama] and I stood on the side of the stage in Boston and wondered if you would accept his message about the future of this party, and you did,&rdquo; Durbin said.</p><p>&ldquo;Four years ago in Denver, I asked you to give him our party&rsquo;s nomination for president. And tonight in Charlotte, I ask you to join me in giving President Barack Obama four more years to finish the job he started.&rdquo;</p></p> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 20:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/fired-dnc-illinois-dems-vow-fight-hell-until-november-102251 At DNC, woman has artistic crush on Democrats http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/dnc-woman-has-artistic-crush-democrats-102246 <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/painting%201.jpg" title="(WBEZ/Alex Keefe)" /></div><p>Over the years, Chicago has become infamous for producing politicians who can be bought and sold.</p><p>That&rsquo;s what drew me to Elizabeth McClancy, who was camped out the other day in the lobby of the Illinois delegation&rsquo;s hotel in Charlotte, N.C.<br /><br />&ldquo;Rahm Emanuel is for sale,&rdquo; McClancy said quietly.</p><p>For how much?</p><p>&ldquo;Well, maybe twenty,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>That&rsquo;s $20,000. But let&rsquo;s be clear: McClancy is talking about a painting.</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/painting%203.jpg" style="float: left; height: 385px; width: 280px;" title="(WBEZ/Alex Keefe)" />She actually has an <a href="http://www.elizabethmcclancy.com/McClancy_Home_Page.html" target="_blank">entire series</a> of them, all of prominent Democrats like Emanuel, including President Jimmy Carter, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Massachusetts U.S. Sen. John Kerry, and others. Each portrait is displayed alongside a public speech from each politician.</div><p><br />McClancy lives in eastern North Carolina, so she was pretty excited when the convention came to Charlotte, just a few hours away. She&rsquo;s been doing these Democratic portraits since 2006, and there are 23 in all, including one she&rsquo;d just as soon forget.<br /><br />&ldquo;The 23rd one is John Edwards,&rdquo; she laughs.<br /><br />As she started to explain how the paintings capture Democratic leaders who embody the party&rsquo;s core ideals on certain issues, but then she&rsquo;s interrupted as a former Democratic star walks into the hotel lobby.<br /><br />&ldquo;There&rsquo;s Governor Dukakis! Hello, Governor Dukakis!&rdquo; she shouts.<br /><br />Even though she now sounds like a DNC groupie, McClancy says she used to be a die-hard Reagan Republican.<br /><br />But the other morning, she proudly held the portrait of Emanuel in her lap.<br /><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/painting%202.jpg" style="float: right; height: 375px; width: 280px;" title="(WBEZ/Alex Keefe)" /><br />The portrait makes Emanuel bigger than he is in real life, with his chin resting on one hand, and little flecks of royal blue in his eyes.<br /><br />&ldquo;[He&rsquo;s] thinking, considering, but thinking with - and I think his eyes show this - thinking with a very well-informed perspective,&rdquo; McClancy said.</p><div class="image-insert-image ">She said the point of the portraits and the accompanying speeches is to highlight what she says are the best parts of the Democratic Party &ndash; not GOP-bashing, but positive affirmations of Democrats&#39; core principles.</div><p>Earlier, she actually buttonholed the mayor before a press conference, portrait in hand, to get his verdict.</p><p>&ldquo;And he said, &lsquo;Wow. Oh, wow. Oh, wow!&rsquo; And he said that about five times.&rdquo;<br /><br />It might not be $20,000, but for McClancy, that just may have been worth the trip to Charlotte.</p></p> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 16:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/dnc-woman-has-artistic-crush-democrats-102246 Illinois delegates are happy Democrats embrace gay marriage http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/illinois-delegates-are-happy-democrats-embrace-gay-marriage-102243 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/photo_30.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>For the first time ever, one of the two major political parties in the country adopted a platform that embraces gay marriage.&nbsp;And&nbsp;two of Illinois&#39; Democratic delegates say the issue isn&rsquo;t just political. It&#39;s personal.</p><p>Lauren Verdich got wistful when she talked about how she met Gail Morse, her partner of 16 years.</p><p>&quot;I catered her 40th birthday party, but I told her I owed her a birthday drink because I really didn&rsquo;t want to mix business with going out with her but I thought she was very cute,&quot; she said at a hotel restaurant in Charlotte, where they&#39;re both delegates for President Barack Obama.</p><p>The two now live together on Chicago&rsquo;s North Side and they were on hand when the Democrats approved a party platform that included gay marriage.</p><p>&quot;This is fundamental. It&rsquo;s our lives. If we don&rsquo;t stand up for us, who is?&quot; Morse asked.</p><p>Morse is glad Obama is now standing up for them, but she was starting to get impatient.</p><p>&quot;I was advocating for him to do it, to just come out and say, &lsquo;Yes, I support it.&rsquo; The way he did, slowly evolving, rolling it out, having it come out at the appropriate time was a much better teaching moment and a much better way to bring people along with him,&quot; she said.</p><p>Regardless of the national debate over gay marriage, Morse and Verdich have a personal interest in what happens in Illinois. A lawsuit is currently pending that seeks to end the state&rsquo;s gay marriage ban.</p><p>But several state lawmakers, nine Republicans and two Democrats, filed briefs supporting the current ban on gay marriage.</p><p>Morse and Verdich did enter into a civil union when that became legal a little over a year ago.</p><p>&quot;It was very validating, but when it comes time in April for you to file your taxes, it doesn&rsquo;t mean a thing,&quot; Verdich said.</p><p>When asked if they would get married if Illinois ever allows same sex couples to do so, Morse sarcastically said, &quot;Oh, I don&#39;t know.&quot;</p><p>She then casually popped the question to Verdich.</p><p>&quot;I will marry you, Gail,&quot; Verdich said.</p><p>Now that Morse has popped the question, they just have to wait to see what Illinois&rsquo; answer will be.<br /><!--[endif]--></p></p> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 15:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/illinois-delegates-are-happy-democrats-embrace-gay-marriage-102243 Roll call fun at the DNC http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-09/roll-call-fun-dnc-102233 <p><p>Man, I love a good roll call at a national convention. And Wednesday night&rsquo;s at the DNC didn&rsquo;t disappoint, with its odd collection of state facts, jabs and braggadocio.<br /><br /><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP388810933235.jpg" style="float: right; height: 395px; width: 300px; " title="Alice Germond, secretary of Democratic National Committee, runs a roll call rehearsal at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. (AP)" />Most outrageous? Hands down D.C.&rsquo;s embattled mayor, Vince Gray, casting the district&rsquo;s votes.<br /><br />&quot;We are a city that pays three-and-a-half billion dollars annually in federal taxes and raises $5.6 billion dollars in local taxes to support our city. Our great nation was founded on the fundamental principle of resistance to taxation without representation, yet we continue to endure that in the District of Columbia. So we ask you, please America, as we work to re-elect President Obama, work with us to bring justice and equality to the District of Columbia,&quot; Gray said, with a D.C. statehood sticker on his jacket.<br /><br />A little later, the Virgin Islands rep made a similar plea: &ldquo;We ask Americans for their support so that one day we too will be able cast our votes [in the presidential election].&rdquo;<br /><br />Puerto Rico skipped a plea for statehood. Instead, it declared itself &ldquo;the land of Sonia Sotomayor, the first wise Latina on the Supreme Court ... here to support our great amigo ... in favor of <em>el presidente de los Estados Unidos</em>, Barack Obama.&rdquo;<br /><br />Most awkward moment? When Mississippi passed &mdash; it just looked like they were totally disorganized&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;and then it turned out that they were only passing so that Ohio, dubbed &ldquo;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-06/ohio-wooed-at-convention-as-center-of-the-universe-.html">the center of the universe&rdquo;</a> by party chairman Patrick Gaspard earlier in the week, could put the president over the top as the party&#39;s nominee.<br /><br />Alabama boasted that it&rsquo;s the state with the most black officials per capita and &ldquo;where the right to vote is worth dying for.&rdquo;<br /><br />American Samoa claimed it&rsquo;s the &ldquo;only part of the country south of the equator, where we have our nation&rsquo;s cleanest air.&rdquo;<br /><br />Speaking for the Arizona delegation, C.C. Goldwater, Barry Goldwater&rsquo;s granddaughter, said, &ldquo;My grandfather wouldn&rsquo;t recognize the Republican party of today. My grandfather believed in personal freedom, the right to privacy and a woman&rsquo;s right to choose.&rdquo;<br /><br />Connecticut claimed to be &ldquo;the home of the industrial revolution in America and the home of the insurance industry today.&rdquo;<br /><br />Delaware underscored its ties to the Biden family &mdash; &ldquo;the home of of Dr. Jill Biden&rdquo;&nbsp;&mdash; &nbsp;and boasted that it was &ldquo;the first state to ratify the Constitution.&rdquo;<br /><br />Guam said it was &ldquo;where America&rsquo;s day begins&rdquo; and called for a military build up &ldquo;done right.&rdquo; (!)<br /><br />Hawai&rsquo;i cast its votes &ldquo;in the memory of the president&rsquo;s mother and father ... for our <em>keiki o ka &lsquo;aina</em>, or child of the islands.&rdquo;<br /><br />Indiana, &ldquo;the heart of the heartland,&rdquo; reminded the world that its late Democratic Sen. Birch Bayh shepherded Title IX through Congress and claimed that Obama&rsquo;s &ldquo;commitment to the auto industry saved 150,000 Hoosier jobs.&rdquo;<br /><br />Kansas declared itself &ldquo;the birthplace of the president&rsquo;s mother ... where Kansas citizens fought against segregation in Kansas vs. Board of Education.&rdquo;<br /><br />Kentucky &ldquo;showed the nation how Democrats can win in the south&rdquo; and also declared itself &ldquo;home of a reinvigorated and rejuvenated auto industry and host of the one and only vice presidential debate in which Joe Biden will deliver a knockout punch to Paul Ryan.&rdquo;<br /><br />Louisiana: &ldquo;Home of the nation&rsquo;s richest gumbo of culture.&rdquo;<br /><br />Maryland: &ldquo;The number one state state for innovation and entrepreneurship, for public education in America and looking forward to the Baltimore Orioles winning the world series.&rdquo;<br /><br />Massachusetts: &ldquo;First in healthcare, first in clean energy.&rdquo;<br /><br />Michigan: &ldquo;Home of the first Muslim-American woman elected to a state legislature.&rdquo;<br /><br />Nebraska: &ldquo;The only state &mdash; a red state&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;a great state&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;to beat down a repressive voter registration law.&rdquo;<br /><br />New Jersey: &ldquo;Home of Thomas Edison.&rdquo;<br /><br />New Mexico: &ldquo;Home of the hottest chili in America.&rdquo;<br /><br />Oklahoma: &ldquo;Home of the people&rsquo;s poet, Woody Guthrie.&rdquo;<br /><br />Pennsylvania claimed to be &ldquo;where the Constitution was born, where the labor movement was born, the birthplace of Joe Biden.&rdquo;<br /><br />South Carolina only claimed to be &ldquo;the place where the fired up chant was organized.&rdquo;<br /><br />Speaking for the Tennessee delegation, actor Ashley Judd promised, &ldquo;We&rsquo;re going to dance to Otis Redding later.&rdquo;<br /><br />Utah: &ldquo;Home of the most successful Winter Olympics ever&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;because of 32,000 volunteers and $1.3 billion in tax support.&rdquo;<br /><br />Vermont: &ldquo;National leader in the fight for healthcare, the first state in the union to abolish slavery, the first state to grant equal marriage rights.&rdquo;<br /><br />Virginia: &ldquo;Home of SEAL Team 6, home of Gabby Douglas.&rdquo;<br /><br />Wisconsin&nbsp; made sure the stakes were properly understood: &ldquo;The Green Bay Packers have never won a Super Bowl without a Democrat in the White House.&rdquo;<br /><br />And Illinois? A snore. Michael Madigan read of the names of every Dem state elected official, and of all six congressional challengers, then finally cast our votes for &ldquo;a son of Illinois.&rdquo; Snooze ...</p></p> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 14:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-09/roll-call-fun-dnc-102233 Emanuel defends trip to Charlotte while teachers strike looms http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/emanuel-defends-trip-charlotte-while-teachers-strike-looms-102195 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/rahmDNC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel is defending his decision to go to Charlotte, N.C., for the Democratic National Convention instead of negotiating with teachers in Chicago.</p><p>Following his address to the full DNC <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/dnc-emanuel-seeks-revive-excitement-obama-102170">on Tuesday night</a>, Emanuel riled up the Illinois delegation in a raucous speech Wednesday morning.</p><p>But after his speech, Emanuel was swarmed by Chicago media. He said his aides are negotiating with the Chicago Teachers Union, even though he&rsquo;s in Charlotte.</p><p>&quot;The president and his team asked me to come and speak. I&rsquo;m going to be here,&quot; he said. &quot;I don&rsquo;t think the 36 hours - we miss a beat.&quot;</p><p>Meanwhile, the Chicago negotiations are being watched on a broader scale even by those not directly involved. Cinda Klickna&rsquo;s in Charlotte representing the Illinois Education Association.</p><p>&quot;It&rsquo;s comforting to be here and hear support for unions so I hope that that can be brought into Chicago because what happens in Chicago affects the rest of us, too,&quot; she said.</p><p>Emanuel is expected to arrive back in Chicago later Wednesday in the evening.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 05 Sep 2012 13:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/emanuel-defends-trip-charlotte-while-teachers-strike-looms-102195