WBEZ | Tea Party http://www.wbez.org/tags/tea-party Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Bush and Rove are back, and they're aiming at the Tea Party http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-02/bush-and-rove-are-back-and-theyre-aiming-tea-party-105378 <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/RS6997_AP070813014787-scr.jpg" style="height: 415px; width: 620px;" title="Bush and Rove have started a new PAC aimed at other Republicans." /></div><p>Guess who&rsquo;s back? And guess who&rsquo;s decided to take the Republican civil war up a notch?<br /><br />Karl Rove -- the man who had a meltdown on Fox on election night as each and every one of his candidates went down to defeat, <a href="http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/notes-on-an-election-scorecard/">the biggest loser</a> of the 2012 elections -- has decided to take on the Tea Party. Joining him is no other than former President George W. Bush!<br /><br />That&rsquo;s right: After wasting tens of millions of dollars trying to put Mitt Romney in the White House and tip the Senate for what he has called &ldquo;<a href="http://ask.metafilter.com/110239/When-did-Karl-Rove-make-his-famous-prediction">the real prize</a> ... a permanent Republican majority,&quot;&nbsp; Rove and the President-Whose-Name-Shall-Not-Be-Spoken have determined that there&rsquo;s a bigger enemy than Barack Obama, a bigger danger than gay-loving tax and send liberals -- the extreme right wing of the GOP that he manipulated and exploited for years. In other words, the Tea Party.<br /><br />Oh, <em>the irony!</em><br /><br />Rove and Bush&rsquo;s new PAC &mdash; yes, Rove now has a role in at least three major Republican PACs though it&rsquo;s a first for Bush &mdash;&nbsp; is the Conservative Victory Project. (How many PACs can one Republican dude direct? Apparently as many as he wants. )<br /><br />But here&rsquo;s what makes the Conservative Victory Project different: Instead of focusing on the general election, this one is aimed squarely establishment Republicans taking back their party&rsquo;s primaries. <a href="http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/02/new_pac_headed_by_karl_rove_st.html#incart_river_news">The goal</a> is to nominate &quot;the most conservative candidate who can win&rdquo; -- in other words, to keep the crazies out, to avoid the likes of Todd Akin and Richard Murdock, both of whom went down to defeat -- taking GOP Senate hopes with them -- after particularly loony comments about rape.<br /><br />(The goal is probably broader than that: Establishment Republicans have been trying to marginalize Tea Partiers for months. In the House, Speaker John Boehner <a href="http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/12/04/gop-gets-serious-boots-tea-partiers-off-budget-committee/">booted them </a>from leadership positions and ignores their bills. Consider that Michelle Bachman&rsquo;s bill to try and <a href="http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/01/17/michele-bachmann-obamacare-repeal-gets-zero-co-sponsors/">repeal Obamacare for the 34th</a> time got exactly zero co-sponsors.)<br /><br />Over at Breitbart.com, where <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/02/03/Rove-declares-war-Tea-Party">the Tea Party perches</a>, editor Ben Shapiro shot back immediately:&nbsp; &ldquo;It is American Crossroads and its ilk that have run the GOP into the ground. Spending millions of dollars on useless 30,000-ft. advertising campaigns during the last election cycle, training candidates to soften conservatism in order to appeal to &lsquo;moderates,&rsquo; blowing up the federal budget under George W. Bush as a bipartisan tactic &ndash; all of those strategies led the party to a disastrous defeat in 2012. The Tea Party, which may nominate losers from time to time, also brought the Republicans their historic 2010 Congressional victory ... The Bush insider team that helped lead to the rise of Barack Obama insists that they, and only they, know the path to victory.&rdquo;<br /><br />First project up for Rove and Bush&rsquo;s new group: To keep Iowa Congressman Steve King, a real wack job but a popular one, from grabbing the GOP nomination for the seat being vacated by Dem Tom Harkin, the state&rsquo;s junior senator. Right now, <a href="http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/02/poll-iowa-senate-steve-king.php">King leads all comers in the GOP field</a> by about 20 points but would likely fail in the general by about 10.<br /><br />How wacky is King? Well, he didn&rsquo;t just back Akin, he actually backed up what Akin <em>said</em>.</p></p> Wed, 06 Feb 2013 10:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-02/bush-and-rove-are-back-and-theyre-aiming-tea-party-105378 Rep. Walsh lashes back at child support claim http://www.wbez.org/story/rep-walsh-lashes-back-child-support-claim-89770 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-28/AP110727072578.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh says a newspaper report&nbsp;that he's being sued for more than $100,000 in unpaid child support&nbsp;is a "hit piece."</p><p>In a statement issued Thursday, the tea-party-backed Republican&nbsp;suggests that a Chicago <em>Sun-Times</em> story about his ex-wife's child-support claim is a politically motivated attack. Walsh says the&nbsp;story is old news and that he's being attacked for being at the&nbsp;forefront of the debate over whether to raise the nation's debt&nbsp;ceiling.&nbsp;</p><p>Walsh's ex-wife, Laura Walsh, filed the claim against him in&nbsp;December as part of their divorce case. The paper reports that she&nbsp;is seeking $117,437 in back child support and interest from her&nbsp;ex-husband.</p><p>The congressman's attorney says that amount is much too high. &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 28 Jul 2011 16:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/rep-walsh-lashes-back-child-support-claim-89770 House panel OKs scholarships for undocumented immigrants http://www.wbez.org/story/house-panel-oks-scholarships-undocumented-immigrants-86992 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-24/Dreamers3.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>An Illinois bill that could help tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants attend college is a step closer to becoming law.<br> <br> A state House of Representatives committee voted Tuesday afternoon for the Illinois Dream Act, which would set up scholarships for the students. The vote could lead to a House floor debate as early as Wednesday. Governor Pat Quinn says he would sign the measure into law.<br> <br> The bill would create a commission to raise money for the scholarships — all privately funded — and award them to students who arrived in the country before age 16. The legislation would also allow children of immigrants to join state-run college savings programs and would require high-school counselors to make students aware of the scholarships and the savings programs.<br> <br> The state Senate passed the bill 45-11 on May 4. Eleven of the votes for the legislation came from Republicans.<br> <br> House Speaker Michael Madigan, who supports the measure, then referred it to his chamber’s Executive Committee, which passed it Tuesday along party lines, 7-4.<br> <br> The Executive Committee members who voted against the bill included Assistant House Republican Leader Dan Brady of Bloomington. Brady told WBEZ afterwards he was concerned that the Illinois Student Assistance Commission would play a role. That agency runs a troubled pre-paid tuition program. “There’s legislation calling for an internal audit” of the commission, Brady said. “And so before we create something else, I’d like to see what happened — what the audit shows.”<br> <br> Brady said he had a second problem with the bill: “Certainly we want to try to assist [undocumented students] in their education but, on the other hand, I don’t think it should be at the expense of other students — citizens — who may lose the ability to have a seat at one of our universities across the state.”<br> <br> The bill’s supporters don’t deny that it would increase competition among potential college students. “But Illinois has already invested a lot to get the undocumented students through high school,” said Lawrence Benito, deputy director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. “The state also benefits when potential college students are judged on academic merit, not whether they can pay.”<br> <br> Republicans are getting an earful from Tea Party activists upset about the Senate vote and convinced the bill would lure illegal immigrants to Illinois.<br> <br> But immigrant advocates are warning the lawmakers to keep other constituents in mind. “Look at the demographic changes in some of these suburban swing districts,” Benito said. “There are 640,000 U.S. citizen children of immigrants [in Illinois]. Of these children, 70,000 will turn 18 by 2012. They’re going to remember. This is an important issue to the Latino immigrant community.”<br> <br> The Illinois measure has no relation to a federal bill, also called the Dream Act, which would lay a path to citizenship for undocumented students. That measure has stalled repeatedly over the last decade. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, reintroduced it this month.</p></p> Tue, 24 May 2011 22:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/house-panel-oks-scholarships-undocumented-immigrants-86992 Examining the history of tax protests http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/examining-history-tax-protests-85324 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-18/Chicago Tea Party Tax Day.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Tax Day protests are nothing new. From tea to whiskey to war, Americans have long voiced their dissent by opting to keep their tax dollars right in their pockets. But are tax protests effective? And how much do they connect to flaws in our tax policy? To answer these questions, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> turned to <a href="http://harrisschool.uchicago.edu/faculty/web-pages/christopher-berry.asp" target="_blank">Christopher Berry</a> from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.</p><p>Berry says taxes are an easier target for individuals than identifying specific spending cuts. Listen to the story to hear all of his remarks.</p><p><em>Duane Eddy, "Rebel 'Rouser", from the CD Greatest Hits, (Camden International)</em></p></p> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 13:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/examining-history-tax-protests-85324 Deal averting shutdown proves compromise is alive, if not well http://www.wbez.org/story/budget/2011-04-08/deal-averting-shutdown-proves-compromise-alive-if-not-well-84977 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-09/Sen Min Leader Mitch McConnell_Getty.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Reports of the death of compromise in Washington are greatly exaggerated.</p><p>That's one important message from the 11th-hour agreement that averted a partial shutdown of the federal government Friday night.</p><p>"No compromise" has been the rallying cry of the Tea Party movement. Some Republican lawmakers have echoed that.</p><p>But the agreement reached Friday was the epitome of compromise. Republicans had come into the negotiations demanding $61 billion in spending cuts from the remainder of fiscal year 2011 which ends in September.</p><p>GOP lawmakers also wanted numerous policy riders on the legislation that would have placed restrictions on social policies. They included the by-now infamous Planned Parenthood rider to bar the organization from receiving any federal funding.</p><p></p><p>By the time negotiations ended late Friday, Republicans had agreed to $41 billion in cuts, including $2 billion in a stopgap bill that funds the government through next Thursday, and had dropped most of their policy riders.</p><p>For their part, Democrats had initially offered a far smaller menu of cuts, then begrudgingly got up to about $30 billion before finishing about $11 billion above that level.</p><p>Meanwhile, Senate Democrats agreed to allow votes on defunding the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood and agreed that there would be no additional funding of Internal Revenue Service agents to enforce the new health care law's individual mandate provisions.</p><p>The defunding votes aren't expected to pass in the Senate but, again, it was a a not inconsiderable concession by Democrats to promise the floor votes at all. The health care law vote, for instance, will likely cause heartburn for some Democrats facing tough re-election fights, like Sen. Clair McCaskill of Missouri and Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska.</p><p>That a compromise was possible and a shutdown averted at least proves that Democrats and Republicans are capable of bridging fierce differences, if only when they are staring into the abyss.</p><p>Heading into the fights over raising the federal debt-ceiling as well as the fiscal 2012 budget, the agreement establishes what is possible. Not that those fights will be easy.</p><p>The dynamics of each of those will be different because of their greater significance.</p><p>The debt ceiling is about the "full faith and credit" of the U.S. which has even greater long-term consequence than the 2011 budget.</p><p>And the 2012 budget fight will in large part be a battle over the future of the Medicare and Medicaid entitlements.</p><p>But with lawmakers clearly blinking at the prospect of shutting down the government if even for a few days, it's difficult to imagine them wanting to cause the worldwide financial disruption by failing to increase the debt ceiling.</p><p>Of the three major players in the shutdown showdown, Speaker John Boehner probably had the most to gain and lose if the government had been forced to partially close.</p><p>The other major players, President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, had already proven their ability to get major complicated legislation over the finish line, past resistance in their own and opposition parties.</p><p>If Boehner hadn't been able to close a deal, it would have thrown into doubt his ability to deliver during future negotiations with the White House and Senate.</p><p>Instead, he has achieved an important success. He showed he can ride herd on his Tea Party firebrands enough to successfully close a deal like the spending agreement.</p><p>He can also take credit for forcing Democrats to accept a historic level of spending cuts.</p><p>Boehner told reporters late Friday:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>As you all know, this has been a lot of discussion and a long<br />fight. But we fought to keep government spending down because it<br />really will, in fact, help create a better environment for job<br />creators in our country.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>But Democrats were spinning the agreement as a victory, too. The hallmark of a compromise is when both sides can claim a win.</p><p>Obama's reaction to the agreement was upbeat and confident, as though things had worked out exactly as he had envisioned.</p><p>With the Washington Monument clearly visible through the White House window behind him, the president provided viewers a visual reminder of what was averted, the closing of tourist attractions like the world's most famous obelisk.</p><p>But was particularly striking was how quickly the president moved to co-opt the Republican spending-cut message.</p><p>Obama said:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>This agreement between Democrats and Republicans, on behalf of all Americans, is on a budget that invests in our future while making the largest annual spending cut in our history. Like any worthwhile compromise, both sides had to make tough decisions and give ground on issues that were important to them. And I certainly did that.</p><p>Some of the cuts we agreed to will be painful. Programs people rely on will be cut back. Needed infrastructure projects will be delayed. And I would not have made these cuts in better circumstances.</p><p>But beginning to live within our means is the only way to protect those investments that will help America compete for new jobs — investments in our kids' education and student loans; in clean energy and life-saving medical research. We protected the investments we need to win the future.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>As a sign of how far the discussion has shifted in Washington since Election Day, Reid also spoke of the importance of spending cuts.</p><p>And he gave credit to some players in the drama who haven't gotten much attention in recent days but who apparently played a role in urging Republicans to come to an agreement — the business community. He thanked the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable for their help.</p><p>A Democratic president and Senate majority leader talking about spending cuts and praising big business. It was definitely a sign of the times. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. </p> Sat, 09 Apr 2011 00:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/budget/2011-04-08/deal-averting-shutdown-proves-compromise-alive-if-not-well-84977 Horse urine, breathalyzers, media wars and ALL CAPS liberal bashing http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-03-31/horse-urine-breathalyzers-media-wars-and-all-caps-liberal-bashing-84 <p><p>Today we have some great content on wbez.org to round out March. Seriously, I have over 10 blogs publishing today. All top notch (except this one, of course). Take a look around if you have time. May I suggest "<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/cabrini/teardown-begins-last-cabrini-high-rise-84447">Top 5 dinosaur myths</a> from Clever Apes, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-03-31/top-5-chicago-bars-serving-above-average-food-84103">Top 5 above-average bars</a> from Dolinsky and the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-03-31/skyscraper-jailhouse-harry-weese-de-luxe-compartments-sky-84478">jailhouse skyscraper</a> from Lee Bey.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rotatingframe/5573349634/" title="full serve by Rotating Frame, on Flickr"><img alt="full serve" src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5226/5573349634_1397634710.jpg" width="333" height="500"></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><sup>(Looks like I'm filling up with ultimate! Photo by Rotating Frame/Flickr)</sup></p><p><strong>Top story</strong>: I forgot this from last week, but did you see the story of Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's favorite choice for police chief <a href="http://articles.philly.com/2011-03-24/news/29181749_1_dui-cases-breathalyzer-machines-hundreds-of-drunk-drivers">botching eight Philadelphia breathalyzers</a>? Apparently an officer (a lone officer, according to Charles Ramsey) was responsible for not properly calibrating eight breathalyzer machines and it was giving bad numbers. Therefore, the Philly police may have to throw out 1,100 drunk driving charges. So if you are a drunk driver in Chicago, Ramsey might be your guy.</p><p><strong>B story</strong>: <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-longtime-chicago-magazine-editor-stepping-down-20110330,0,4300169.story">Richard Babcock is stepping down as the editor of Chicago Magazine</a>. He held the position for over 20 years and is moving on. The media vultures are circling, asking if <a href="http://www.chicagocurrent.com/articles/31504-Does-Chicago-mag-have-a-future-">Chicago can survive in this new media age</a>. Of course, <a href="http://twitter.com/ourmaninchicago/status/53206205438500864">Chi Mag takes offense</a>. Ooooh, media fight!</p><p><strong>C story</strong>: Alderman Brendan Reilly is on a hot streak! First, he succeeded in <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/23/chicago-childrens-museum-_n_839671.html">finishing off the Children's Museum's idea to move to Grant Park</a>. Then, he stepped up to the plate to put into law that <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/alderman-brendan-reilly/chicago-ordinance-cracks-down-smell-horse-urine-84506">horse urine be deodorized</a> on the spot where it falls. I remember Alderman Natarus (former 42nd Ward alderman) making a stink about horses and urine/diapers back in his heyday and the Chicago media (including me) laughing him off the City Council floor. But somehow, Reilly is serving his constituents on this very, very serious manner. Hey, you have to hand it to Reilly. His first two campaign points that won him the election were 1) Keep out kids, and 2) No more horse piss. I remember the campaign signs.</p><p><strong>D story</strong>: I don't want to be insensitive and this is mainly directed at the media: But how many times can it be the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/cabrini/teardown-begins-last-cabrini-high-rise-84447">end of Cabrini Green</a>? I swear we've covered every building that has been knocked down with that emphasis.</p><p><strong>E story</strong>: Funny little point - yesterday, an NPR newscaster stumbled on the phrase "Tea Party-backed candidate..." She stumbled on the word "party" &amp; "backed" and irate listeners, callers and e-mailers thought she wanted to say "tea baggers" because according to their rants, she is a lefty, pinko, communist, elite, liberal, biased NPR scumbag. I'm paraphrasing, of course. The calls to our newsroom (it was a national newsreader, not us, but thanks for listening) reminded me of this gem of a comment, left on a post I did last week about Berny Stone:</p><p><strong>"I'm here to tell you that you ,Justin Kaufmann, aren't fit to discuss Berny Stone. You're a LEFT-WING PUNK blogging for a soon to be DEFUNDED Cesspool,NPR"</strong></p><p>May I respond?</p><ul><li>What's with conservative commenters and using proper names. I ran into this last time I ticked off this crowd. They must have been taught an SEO class on "how to drag one's name through the internet mud." Was that class offered at the Discovery Center, right after "How to use ALL-CAPS effectively."</li><li>LEFT-WING PUNK? I may be a punk, but left-wing is a bit much. I don't consider myself left or right wing, but the goal is to be in the center. I mean, who would want to be out on a wing? You don't hear of a core or heart or soul being in a person's arm or shoulder.&nbsp;</li><li>Finally - last I checked, Berny Stone was a liberal Democrat from Chicago. If I am a left-wing punk as you say, how would I not be fit to discuss Berny Stone? It took one sentence for you to contradict yourself. Awesome.</li></ul><p>Okay, so you've been served. Thanks for reading, though!</p><p><strong>Weather</strong>: Oh no, it's now supposed to rain and perhaps snow tomorrow for the Cubs' opener.</p><p><strong>Sports</strong>: The Bulls bounced back with a <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/sports/4587090-419/bulls-head-off-slippage-with-rebound-win-over-timberwolves.html">huge rout last night</a> to protect their #1 seed status in the Eastern Conference. In other news, Bruce Weber says there is no truth to rumors about him taking Oklahoma head coach job. Darn.</p><p><strong>Kicker</strong>: Now that @MayorEmanuel is taking a breather, may we turn our attention to our real mayor, White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen. Comics and impressionists are working hard, including this gem on Vimeo where fake-Ozzie hosts a book club:</p><p><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/21379297?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" width="600" frameborder="0" height="338"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 31 Mar 2011 13:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-03-31/horse-urine-breathalyzers-media-wars-and-all-caps-liberal-bashing-84 Best Game in Town #18: Politics Year in Review http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/best-game-town-18-politics-year-review <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/AP100320043985.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-29/AP100320043985.jpg" title="" alt="" style="width: 465px; height: 327px;" /></p><p>This week on WBEZ's political podcast The Best Game in Town, we recap the biggest stories of the year and get the dish on the top political players of 2010 (hint: one of them is pictured above). Joining us for the conversation are Northwestern professor Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, Democratic public affairs strategist Dave Lundy, and Republican public affairs strategist Scott McPherson.</p></p> Fri, 31 Dec 2010 21:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/best-game-town-18-politics-year-review Delaware's O'Donnell Fires Back At 'Thug Politic Tactic' http://www.wbez.org/story/christine-o039donnell/delawares-odonnell-fires-back-thug-politic-tactic <p><p>There was "no impermissible use of campaign funds whatsoever," Christine O'Donnell, this year's Tea Party/Republican candidate for Senate from Delaware, said this morning during several TV interviews. She was responding to <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/12/29/132447327/reports-feds-probing-christine-odonnells-use-of-campaign-funds" target="_blank">the news</a> that federal investigators are reportedly looking into whether she improperly used campaign funds for personal expenses.</p><p>The "phony" investigation is part of the "thug politic" strategy lined up against her, O'Donnell <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/" target="_blank">told ABC News' <em>Good Morning America</em></a> (she did say "politic," not politics, as you'll hear). And she pointed a finger at Vice President Biden (who served in the Senate from Delaware) and his fellow Democrats:</p><p>As <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129888759" target="_blank">we noted yesterday</a>, O'Donnell said during the campaign that she was paying about half the rent on her home with campaign funds -- but that she thinks it was OK to do that because she was running the campaign from her house.</p><p>O'Donnell also said this morning that she's forming a new political action committee and is writing a book.</p><p>After defeating Republican Rep. Mike Castle in the GOP primary, she lost to Democrat Chris Coons in the November election. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1293716836?&gn=Delaware%27s+O%27Donnell+Fires+Back+At+%27Thug+Politic+Tactic%27&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=Tea+Party,Christine+O%27Donnell,National+News,Politics,The+Two-Way,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=132470424&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20101230&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Thu, 30 Dec 2010 07:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/christine-o039donnell/delawares-odonnell-fires-back-thug-politic-tactic Undocumented youths try to derail Senate hopeful Mark Kirk http://www.wbez.org/story/19th-ward/undocumented-youths-try-derail-senate-hopeful-mark-kirk <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2010-October/2010-10-29/Rogelio_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A requirement to vote in the United States is citizenship. But voting isn&rsquo;t the only way to affect a race&rsquo;s outcome. Some undocumented young people in the Chicago area are going all out against the Republican in Illinois&rsquo;s U.S. Senate election Tuesday.<br /><br />Their motivation is a federal bill called the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. The DREAM Act, as it&rsquo;s known, would provide legal status to many college students and service members who&rsquo;ve grown up in the United States.<br /><br />The undocumented youths are upset that Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) isn&rsquo;t supporting the legislation. They&rsquo;re trying to derail his U.S. Senate campaign and get in his face.<br /><br />Ambi: DREAM Act? Yeah, yeah, yeah! Mark Kirk? No, no, no!<br /><br />About a dozen undocumented students have donned graduation gowns and caps outside a Republican office on Chicago&rsquo;s North Side. Three others are staging a sit-in inside. They include this 23-year-old.<br /><br />UNZUETA: My name is Irere Unzueta.<br /><br />Unzueta says her parents brought her to Chicago from Mexico at age 6. She&rsquo;s graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Now she wants a master&rsquo;s in engineering. But she&rsquo;s not a legal resident so doesn&rsquo;t qualify for most financial aid.<br /><br />Unzueta says she and the others aren&rsquo;t leaving the Republican office until Kirk agrees to meet with them.<br /><br />UNZUETA: Him saying that he is going to want to push for a lot more border security -- border enforcement -- before anything positive is really passed, I just think, is a really bad idea.<br /><br />Unzueta says her group isn&rsquo;t endorsing the race&rsquo;s Democrat, Alexi Giannoulias. She says they just want Kirk defeated.<br /><br />After four hours inside the office, police show up and the students leave. But about 10 miles away, some other undocumented youths keep at it.<br /><br />Ambi: Walking through fallen leaves.<br /><br />MITCHELL: I&rsquo;m going door to door through a Latino neighborhood of west-suburban Melrose Park. A 22-year-old named Rogelio is leading a crew of volunteer canvassers that&rsquo;s reminding folks to vote on Tuesday.<br />Ambi: Knocking.<br />ROGELIO: Here we come. (Door opens.) Hola buenas noches. Cómo estás? Se encuentra el señor... <br />MITCHELL: He asked us not to broadcast his last name because he&rsquo;s undocumented. Rogelio says he&rsquo;s lived in the area since his parents brought him from Mexico City at age 6. After graduating from a high school in Northlake, he says he fell into a depression as he realized how hard it would be to go to college or find a decent job without papers.<br />ROGELIO: This is crazy because I&rsquo;m undocumented and I&rsquo;m doing this. And people are thanking me. Even though I can&rsquo;t vote, the people are thanking us for doing this.<br />MITCHELL: Rogelio&rsquo;s not telling anyone how to vote. But he is handing out some yellow fliers comparing the immigration stands of the U.S. Senate candidates. That flier suggests a big difference between Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias on the DREAM Act.<br />ROGELIO: I really enjoy doing this. It gets me out of my depression. It gets me out from where I was at two years ago, just there home doing nothing, like a loser. And I&rsquo;m not a loser. We&rsquo;re not losers, we&rsquo;re winners. And I feel like a winner right now, doing this, just getting out there and just informing the community.<br /><br />We left messages this morning to see what the Kirk campaign and the Illinois Republican Party think about undocumented youths working against the Senate candidate. They didn&rsquo;t get back to us.<br /><br />But a local Tea Party activist says the young people are hurting their own cause.<br /><br />WOJTOWICZ: They&rsquo;re helping Mark Kirk with this.<br /><br />Catherina Wojtowicz lives on Chicago&rsquo;s Southwest Side.<br /><br />WOJTOWICZ: They&rsquo;re strategy is completely skewed. Mark Kirk&rsquo;s weak base is with the conservative movement. If they want to come to the Southwest Side, I&rsquo;ll give them a donation.<br />MITCHELL: Why?<br />WOJTOWICZ: It&rsquo;ll help me. And Worth Township and the 19th Ward are Democratic bastions.<br /><br />The undocumented youths may not have a good shot at winning over Wojtowicz&rsquo;s part of town. But they still think can defeat Kirk.</p></p> Fri, 29 Oct 2010 22:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/19th-ward/undocumented-youths-try-derail-senate-hopeful-mark-kirk