WBEZ | Joe Walsh http://www.wbez.org/tags/joe-walsh Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Emanuel moves on to the next union negotiations http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/emanuel-moves-next-union-negotiations-102575 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP201177006810.jpg" title="A moment of reflection for Mayor Rahm Emanuel (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)" /></p><p><strong>Lead Story:</strong> As the teacher strike grows smaller in the rearview mirror, Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s attention now <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/20/mayor-set-to-shift-focus-to-police-fire-transit-union-contracts/">turns to negotiations with unions</a> representing the city&rsquo;s fire, police and transit departments. Of course, none of those three unions are allowed to strike as they provide public services. But after the recent teachers strike, those groups sense blood in the water around Emanuel. And the mayor isn&rsquo;t standing pat, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-emanuel-strike-letter-0921-20120921,0,632300.story">launching a media blitz</a> that touts the mayor&rsquo;s reform agenda and the gains to be had from the negotiations with the teachers union. Seeing as how smoothly the negotiations with the teachers union went, I can&rsquo;t wait to see how <strike>Scott Walker</strike> Mayor Emanuel handles this round.</p><p><strong>Also: </strong>Adel Daoud, the 18-year-old charged with trying to blow-up a downtown bar, <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/20/teen-indicted-on-charges-tried-to-explode-bomb-outside-chicago-bar/#ixzz274GPM0s7">was indicted Thursday</a>, charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to damage or destroy a building by means of an explosive. Government officials <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-car-bomb-suspect-was-not-entrapped-federal-prosecutors-say-20120920,0,5327718.story">insist Daoud wasn&rsquo;t entrapped</a>, saying he was &ldquo;pushing the operation forward.&rdquo; Daoud&rsquo;s attorney, meanwhile,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-teen-accused-in-bomb-plot-in-court-today-20120917,0,615862.story">insists</a> his client is &ldquo;immature.&rdquo; Speaking of immature, Illinois&rsquo; crazy uncle Joe Walsh has weighed in, using the incident <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/18/walsh-arrest-in-car-bomb-plot-proves-my-point-about-radical-islam/">to justify his recent incendiary remarks</a> in regards to an ongoing threat to Americans from &ldquo;radical Islam.&rdquo;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><strong>And then: </strong>Christopher Vaughn, the man accused of killing his wife and three children on a road trip in 2007, <a href="http://www.sj-r.com/breaking/x1298144898/Vaughn-guilty-of-murdering-wife-kids-in-2007">was found guilty of all four murders Thursday</a>. The jury deliberated for less than an hour. After the verdict, Will County States Attorney James Glasgow told reporters, &ldquo;This case is not just a murder, it&#39;s an atrocity. To annihilate your family, I can&#39;t think of a more unspeakable crime.&rdquo; As <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/considering-chicagos-most-overlooked-murder-trial-102542">I pointed out yesterday</a>, this is indeed another reason why the case hasn&#39;t drawn the kind of media coverage other cases have. There was no breathless breaking news report on television to announce the verdict or tall headlines to grab attention. But maybe that&#39;s for the best; justice has now been served and the family can now grieve in peace.</p><p><strong>RIP: </strong><a href="http://aol.sportingnews.com/nascar/story/2012-09-20/cecil-gordon-nascar-team-owner-driver-crewman-dies-richard-childress-racing">Cecil Gordon</a>, NASCAR driver and owner, at the age of 71. While Gordon had a modest amount of success in his career as a driver, including 111 top 10 finishes, he never won a single race out of 449 total races in his 17-year driving career from 1968 to 1985.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Elsewhere</strong></p><ul><li>A man in Austin, Tex., tried to be clever in his anti-Obama racism and <a href="http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/12759/update-republican-adds-american-flag-to-lynched-chair-display">hung an empty chair from a tree</a>, an oh-so-clever reference to Clint Eastwood&rsquo;s Invisible Obama. And to lynchings.</li><li>Speaking of the charged election, <em>FiveThirtyEight&rsquo;s</em> Nate Silver <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/sept-19-a-wild-day-in-the-polls-but-obama-ends-up-ahead/">delves into the weird science behind polls</a>, using Wednesday&rsquo;s poll numbers as an example.</li><li>Fiona Apple joins Snoop Dogg (or <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-07-31/news/32966420_1_gangster-rap-doggystyle-lion">Snoop Lion</a>, whatever) and Willie Nelson the latest&nbsp;<a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/fiona-apple-arrested-for-hash-possession-being-a-b,85213/">musician nabbed for possession of drugs</a> at the Texas border stop of Sierra Blanca.</li><li>The Mars Curiosity rover is about to examine its first specific target: <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5944952/mars-rover-to-study-pyramid-rock-of-unknown-origin">a pyramid-shaped rock of unknown origin</a>.</li><li>&ldquo;99 Problems,&rdquo; <a href="http://blogs.bostonmagazine.com/boston_daily/2012/09/19/mitt-romneys-99-problems/">Mitt Romney edition</a>.</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Looking Ahead:</strong></p><ul><li>Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson has claimed that the Chicago Police Department <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/15269763-761/city-inspector-general-police-evidence-inadequently-protected.html">has grossly mismanaged its evidence department</a>.</li><li>For the third straight month, unemployment in Illinois rose, <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120920/EMPLOYMENT/120929977/illinois-unemployment-rises-again-in-august">up to 9.1 percent in August</a>.</li><li>Because he doesn&#39;t already have enough to negotiate, Mayor Emanuel is now <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19600874/isreali-defense-minister-meets-with-mayor-emanuel-as-tensions-rise">lending a hand</a> in talks with Israel.</li><li>The <em>Reader</em> <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/us-wastepaper-travels-roundtrip-to-china/Content?oid=7470141">takes a look at the long</a>, strange world journey of wastepaper.</li><li>Gov. Quinn <a href="http://www.wbez.org/quinn-plans-brazil-trip-boost-illinois-trade-tourism-102555">is heading</a> to Brazil to allegedly boost tourism because if there&rsquo;s anywhere the people who live on the beaches of Brazil want to go, it&rsquo;s Chicago in February.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Sports</strong></p><ul><li>Sox Watch: <a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_09_20_chamlb_kcamlb_1&amp;mode=gameday&amp;c_id=cws">The Sox fell to Kansas City last night</a>, missing a chance to increase their lead over the Tigers, who <a href="http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=320920106">lost</a> earlier in the day. The Pale Hose are still up by two games in the AL Central.</li><li>While the Bears would like to act like there&rsquo;s no rift because of Jay Cutler&rsquo;s behavior, the fact <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/story/_/id/8398983/chicago-bears-brandon-marshall-defends-jay-cutler">that teammates are having to defend him</a> isn&rsquo;t a good sign.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Cubs manager Dale Sveum <a href="http://deadspin.com/5945016/dale-sveum-doesnt-even-have-the-heart-to-be-mad-at-his-players-for-not-paying-attention">can&rsquo;t even muster anger</a> at his players for their sloppy play.</li><li>The <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nationals-clinch-postseason-slot-beat-dodgers-022215163--mlb.html">Washington Nationals</a> and <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/news/reds-clinch-playoff-spot-minus-214711593--mlb.html">Cincinnati Reds</a> became the first MLB teams to clinch playoff spots.</li><li>Those awful replacement refs <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/hiestand-tv/story/2012/09/18/nfl-ratings-bulletproof-even-with-replacement-refs/57803444/1">don&rsquo;t seem to be hurting</a> the NFL&rsquo;s TV ratings.</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Finally</strong><br />It&rsquo;s Friday so here&rsquo;s an full choir and orchestra playing &ldquo;Call Me Maybe.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/oFVhSDQmIxs" width="560"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 21 Sep 2012 08:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/emanuel-moves-next-union-negotiations-102575 Walsh and Berrios: Just a pair of crazy Uncle Joes http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/walsh-and-berrios-just-pair-crazy-uncle-joes-102332 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/walsh_AP.jpg" title="Illinois' Crazy Uncle Joe Walsh (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)" /></p><p><strong>Lead Story:</strong> There comes a point when you have to throw your hands up and give credit where it&#39;s due. So today, I give credit to Illinois&rsquo; Crazy Uncle&trade;, U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh. Sure, I&rsquo;ve gotten riled up about the outlandish things Crazy Uncle Joe has said in the past, but with his latest volley?&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/08/joe-walsh-sandra-fluke_n_1867469.html">Telling Sandra Fluke</a> to &ldquo;get a job&rdquo;? Taking another potshot at his opponent, Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth, by <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/06/joe-walsh-tammy-duckworth_n_1862349.html">saying she only cares about her outfit</a>? You, sir, are nothing if not the most consistent candidate out there. You know when to say when and not simply stoop to, &ldquo;Women love shopping, am I right, fellas? That and staying barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen!&rdquo; You may be misogynistic and <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/joe-walshs-racist-remarks-exemplify-gop-bigotry-blame-183800380.html">racist</a>, but don&rsquo;t let anyone ever tell you you&rsquo;re a flip-flopper.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Also:</strong> Hey, it&rsquo;s Illinois&rsquo; <em>other</em> Crazy Uncle Joe, Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, and this time he&rsquo;s got a huge tax bill for his constituents because he&rsquo;s above ethics laws. Back in 2010 after he won re-election for his spot, Berrios <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-28/news/ct-met-cook-county-preckwinkle-berrios-20120628_1_assessor-joseph-berrios-son-and-sister-preckwinkle">added his sister and his son to his payroll</a> and has since claimed it&rsquo;s totally OK because ethics laws don&rsquo;t apply to some elected officials like him. Like with Walsh, I have to give Berrios credit for having the balls to say, &ldquo;Yeah, I did it, but it&rsquo;s totally OK!&rdquo; Berrios, who is also the Cook County Democratic Party chairman, hired a private lawyer to fight the charges and, you guessed it, <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/15000094-761/taxpayers-get-legal-tab-for-assessor-joe-berrios-ethics-fight-over-nepotism.html">that bill is being footed by taxpayers</a>, according to the <em>Sun-Times</em>. Berrios also has a <em>daughter</em> on his payroll (who hasn&rsquo;t come under scrutiny yet), and another daughter who <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/after-fraud-search-illinois-house-challenger-concedes-defeat-98719">just barely won her state rep seat primary</a> this spring. Illinois: The Clout State.</p><p><strong>And then:</strong> In the wake of the teachers&rsquo; strike, many local media outlets dug up a story from over the summer that seems all the more appropriate now: Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/Felsenthal-Files/July-2011/Rahm-Emanuel-Chooses-the-U-of-C-Lab-School-for-His-Kids/">decision to send his own kids to the private University of Chicago Lab Schools</a>. That action by itself shouldn&rsquo;t stir much trouble for the mayor. But the tenor of that decision has changed dramatically, at least <a href="http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/chicago-mayors-kids-school-remains-open_652113.html">in the eyes of the media</a>, now that the public school strike&nbsp;and Emanuel&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/10/mayor-rahm-emanuel-ctu-strike-totally-unnecessary/">attitude</a>&nbsp;towards the CTU are&nbsp;making&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/education/with-no-contract-deal-by-deadline-in-chicago-teachers-will-strike.html?_r=1&amp;ref=education">national headlines</a>.</p><p><strong>RIP:</strong> <a href="http://movies.yahoo.com/news/shark-expert-ron-taylor-dies-helped-jaws-034137356.html">Ron Taylor</a>, renowned Australian marine conservationist who helped with the filming of <em>Jaws</em>, at the age of 78. Taylor and his wife shot some footage of great white sharks later used by director Steven Spielberg in his legendary film. According to family members, Taylor and other shark-lovers often felt conflicted about their role in the film which terrified swimmers and beachgoers and portrayed the sharks as monsters.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Elsewhere</strong></p><ul><li>Authorities <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-na-nn-sikh-temple-shooting-video-20120910,0,6857228.story">have released video</a> of the deadly August shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.</li><li>While Mitt Romney barely got any movement out of his convention, early indicators are that President Obama <a href="http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/polls-slight-post-convention-bounce-for-obama/?hp">got at least a small bump</a> in the polls out of his, something reflected on the continually <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/">excellent reports from Nate Silver</a>.</li><li>Speaking of Obama, the pizza shop owner who is responsible for <a href="http://www.trbimg.com/img-504d04df/turbine/sns-president-obama-gets-bear-hug-20120909/600">the second-greatest photo</a> of this election year (<a href="http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/enhanced/web05/2012/9/9/15/enhanced-buzz-22774-1347218736-5.jpg">the best goes to, of course, Joe Biden</a>) is now feeling <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/scott-van-duzer-big-apple-pizza-yelp-bear-hug_n_1871329.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012">the Republican backlash</a>.</li><li>Sweden: <a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/video/europe/2012/09/20129812148701922.html">the cashless country</a>?</li><li>Here&rsquo;s MC Hammer <a href="http://sfist.com/2012/09/10/photos_mc_hammer_handing_out_grille.php#photo-1">standing on a food truck barge</a> and handing out grilled cheese sandwiches to kayakers.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Looking Ahead:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong></p><ul><li>Our own Linda Lutton <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/whats-really-driving-teachers-strike-102331">continues to get the latest look</a> behind the CTU strike, now in its second day.</li><li>And you thought we were done with Blago!&nbsp;<em>The Sun-Times&rsquo;</em> Natasha Korecki, one of the <strong><em>best</em></strong> reporters in Chicago (non-WBEZ category, of course), has released a book about the Rod Blagojevich trial (<a href="http://www.agatepublishing.com/book/?GCOI=93284100104290">ebook edition, $5</a>!) in which she alleges Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/15003978-418/koreckis-book-jesse-jackson-jr-offered-to-arrange-blagojevich-a-pardon-from-obama.html">tried to arrange a pardon for Blagojevich Blag</a>&nbsp;via President Obama. Boom!</li><li>Would you like to look at the 171 TIF projects the city authorized from January 2000 through July 30, 2010? Of course you would. So go to <a href="http://derekeder.com/maps/chicago-tif/">this amazing website</a>.</li><li>Work continues on the north end of the Red Line with <a href="http://www.wbez.org/clarkdivision-red-line-station-renovation-begins-today-102307">the Clark/Division stop</a> getting a face-lift.</li><li>Speaking of construction, the <em>Reader</em>&rsquo;s Deanna Isaacs has a fantastic read on <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/northwestern-stoops-to-demolish-prentice-hospital/Content?oid=7412519">the ongoing Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital saga</a>.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Sports</strong></p><ul><li>Another victim of the teachers strike: <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/high-school/post/_/id/3136/ihsa-denies-waiver-for-cps-to-continue-athletics">Chicago Public Schools sports teams</a>.</li><li>The White Sox <a href="http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_09_10_detmlb_chamlb_1">got a huge win over the Detroit Tigers last night</a>, a good start to a four-game series that may go a long way to determining the AL Central champ. The Pale Hose now lead the Tigers by three games. &nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Bears fans: <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/09/cutler-to-fans-lets-tone-it-down-a-little-bit-in-red-zone/">Please be quieter when the Bears are in the red zone</a>. Thanks. Love, Jay Cutler.</li><li>The NFL has reportedly signed on those replacement refs <a href="http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8363525/nfl-official-replacement-refs-schedule-weeks">through at least week five</a> of the regular season.</li><li>On Sunday, the Redskins beat my beloved Saints. Even more impressive: the Redskins&rsquo; long-snapper <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/post/sundberg-calls-broken-arm-the-worst-thing-ive-ever-put-myself-through/2012/09/10/c2b89946-fb52-11e1-b2af-1f7d12fe907a_blog.html">played the entire second half with a broken arm</a>.<br />&nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Finally&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong></p><p>The first teaser for Steven Spielberg&rsquo;s film <em>Lincoln</em>, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the titular president, is out&hellip; and advertises the premiere of the film&rsquo;s first full trailer on Thursday. Weird. But whatever. This film is going to win <em>all the awards</em>.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/AqXiUdoKUVY" width="560"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 11 Sep 2012 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/walsh-and-berrios-just-pair-crazy-uncle-joes-102332 Election Analysis: Romney's delegates, Jackson's blowout, Manzullo's bow out http://www.wbez.org/story/election-analysis-romneys-delegates-jacksons-blowout-manzullos-bow-out-97491 <p><p>Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney grabbed an easy victory in Illinois&rsquo; primary. The former Massachusetts governor took 47 percent of the vote and at least 41 of Illinois&rsquo; 54 elected delegate spots.</p><p>Elsewhere, veteran U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., had a great day, veteran U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo had bad one and appointed Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis is one step closer to winning a full term on the bench.</p><p>WBEZ&rsquo;s political reporter Sam Hudzik joined host Lisa Labuz to chat about these and other hot primary races in the state.</p></p> Wed, 21 Mar 2012 11:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/election-analysis-romneys-delegates-jacksons-blowout-manzullos-bow-out-97491 Duckworth, Krishnamoorthi debate their differences, or lack thereof http://www.wbez.org/story/duckworth-krishnamoorthi-debate-their-differences-or-lack-thereof-97080 <p><p>Democrats running for Congress in Chicago's northwest suburbs found very little to disagree about during a debate Wednesday at WTTW public television.</p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><p><strong>MORE ON THIS RACE: </strong>Discussion on Thursday's <a href="http://www.wbez.org/content-categories/100708"><em>Afternoon Shift with Steve Edwards</em></a><br> <audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332747483-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-march/2012-03-08/afternoonshift20120308hudzik.mp3">&nbsp;</audio><br> <strong>WATCH THE DEBATE: </strong>Posted at WTTW's <a href="http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2012/03/07/8th-district-democratic-primary-forum"><em>Chicago Tonight</em></a></p></div></div><p>Voters in Illinois' 8th Congressional District Democratic primary had better not be counting on policy differences to help make up their minds. Take, for instance, Iran. Are sanctions working?</p><p>"I think they are working," candidate Raja Krishnamoorthi said.</p><p>"I think the sanctions have worked significantly," Tammy Duckworth said in her reply.</p><p>And what about other options for Iran?</p><p>"I do agree with the president that all options should be on the table," Duckworth said, agreeing not just with Mr. Obama, but also Krishnamoorthi.</p><p>"Obviously all options are on the table," Krishnamoorthi said.</p><p>Both said the big difference in the race is experience. Duckworth is a former government official and injured Iraq war veteran. Kroshnamoorthi is a former government official who now runs a small business.</p><p>The only other rift at the debate was about their differing (or not really differering, depending on who's talking) economic plans.</p><p>Krishnamoorthi didn't complain about anything in Duckworth's proposal. He just said it's too short.</p><p>"The question before voters here is: do you want substance or do you want soundbites?" he said.</p><p>By our count, Krishnamoorthi's "<a href="http://rajaforcongress.com/economic-plan-pdf">Renewing Prosperity</a>" plan has about 6,800 words, not counting the title page or table of contents. Duckworth's "<a href="http://www.tammyduckworth.com/jobsplan/">Getting American Back to Work</a>" plan has roughly 1,400.</p><p>"I think that [criticism] was silly," Duckworth told reporters after the debate.</p><p>Duckworth said the plans are essentially the same, but her experience "at the state level, at the federal level is going to be the one where I can actually execute the items in the plan."</p><p>Both proposals talk of the debt, taxes, infrastructure and education spending. Krishnamoorthi's goes broader, touching on the housing crisis and Social Security.</p><p>The winner of the March 20th primary faces freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh in November. Walsh is running unopposed in the Republican primary.</p></p> Fri, 09 Mar 2012 03:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/duckworth-krishnamoorthi-debate-their-differences-or-lack-thereof-97080 Oh, Magic 8 ball? Is Josh McCown the Grinch that will ruin Christmas? All signs point to yes. http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-12-22/oh-magic-8-ball-josh-mccown-grinch-will-ruin-christmas-all-signs-poi <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-22/AP111218040967.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> is being sold...again. I'll just quote the Robert Feder Tweet I saw last night: @RobertFeder In 1994, Conrad Black bought the <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> for $180 million. Today it sold for $20 million. Feder <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/chicago-media-blog/15064867/yep-another-sale-sun-times-to-press-on-with-new-owners">goes on to break down</a> the chronology of the paper's former owners and how much the paper sold for. This investment group is also very interesting. You have the millionaire guy from Merrick (hot shot investment company), Joe Mansueto (owner of <em>Time Out Chicago</em>), and a few board members from the <em>Chicago News Cooperative</em>. And the guy they put in charge was former management from the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>. I don't know, every <em>Sun-Times</em> person I know doesn't really like the <em>Trib</em>. And it seems like they just got bought by those guys. Hm. That would be like WBEZ getting bought by WLS.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="345" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-22/AP111218040967.jpg" title="(AP/David Stluka)" width="512"></p><p style="text-align: left; ">Crains says the new <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20111221/BLOGS03/111229937/new-sun-times-will-ramp-up-specialized-content-online">Sun-Times will be all about the online</a>.<br> <br> <b>B story</b>: Why is Joe Walsh back in Illinois? Yesterday he had media availabilities in his district while Congress was still trying to work out the payroll tax cut. The Republican Senators have had stern words for the House Republicans, who aren't honoring what the Senate sees as a fair compromise (and in their words, a "win"). But the House GOP won't budge. And everyone in Washington is blaming the rogue rookie House Republicans. Hmmm, who would those guys be? I think we have one of those in our backyard. That's right, the leader (because he's a loud talker) Joe Walsh. Walsh seems to be turning his back on this issue and he's content on the payroll tax taking $40 or so bucks out of your check every week. <a href="http://capitolfax.com/2011/12/21/this-just-in-255/">Rich Miller at Capitol Fax leaves that issue alone</a> and instead focuses on how the IL GOP seems to have cleared the way for Walsh in the 8th District by forcing Darlene Ruscitti out of the primary by offering her some job in the party. Usually you wait a day, or maybe a week. This was same day.<br> <br> I dunno, it's December 22nd. Finish your work before you come home, Joe.<br> <br> <b>C story</b>: <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/story/_/id/7376058/chicago-bears-start-josh-mccown-vs-green-bay-packersp">The Bears are doing everything to ruin Christmas</a>. Remember when you first saw the schedule and it showcased a Christmas night game featuring the Bears vs. Packers?&nbsp; Now we have an off-the-street quarterback starting and a two touchdown spread favoring the Pack. I understand Lovie needs a spark. So he goes with the high school coach turned QB? Prime-time at Lambeau? Ouch. Thanks for ruining Christmas in advance.<br> &nbsp;<br> <b>D story</b>: <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/dec/22/r-kelly-trapped-in-closet?newsfeed=true">R. Kelly has 32 chapters of Trapped in the Closet written and ready for production</a>. 2012 just got super awesome.<br> <br> <b>E story</b>: Andrew Gill put together <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-12-21/top-10-most-viewed-videos-2011-95090">Top 10 most viewed videos from WBEZ 2011</a>. There are some great videos that focus on news, music and comedy. #1 is Drunk Cubs Fan. Did you know that I get recognized still for that video? Kate (who plays Henneman) gets it worst than I do (cell phone photos galore).<br> <br> <b>Weather</b>: Is it supposed to snow? I hope it does. Then never again.<br> <br> <b>Sports</b>: Derrick Rose's new $94 million contract will expire when he is 29. So if he wins a few championships and plays at this level for the rest of his 20s, he'll be in line for another $100 million contract before he's 30. There's a good chance Derrick Rose will make $250 million from NBA contracts. That's not even counting all the other advertising stuff. That's unbelievable. And he wants to give it to his family &amp; friends, and make sure his nieces and nephews never have to worry about money. Derrick Rose is Chicago's good kid. Until he does something wrong.<br> <br> <b>Kicker</b>: All right, I'm out until next week. I'll have a few posts before the end of 2011. Here's the Colbert/Daily Show duet that will stir up some Christmas/Hanukkah cheer:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/gK0b_4bBW0I" width="480"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 22 Dec 2011 15:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-12-22/oh-magic-8-ball-josh-mccown-grinch-will-ruin-christmas-all-signs-poi Ruscitti to step aside for Joe Walsh, setting stage for heated House race http://www.wbez.org/story/ruscitti-step-aside-joe-walsh-setting-stage-heated-house-race-95089 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-09/joe walsh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A little-known Illinois Republican is stepping aside for U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh in a race for a House seat in Chicago's northwest suburbs.</p><p>Darlene Ruscitti says she wants to avoid a primary battle now that Walsh has announced he will change districts to run for re-election next year.</p><p>Walsh is a conservative firebrand well-known nationally for his attacks on President Barack Obama. He was elected to Congress last year.</p><p>But state Democrats changed the boundaries of his district to put him in the same area as another first-term Republican, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren. Party leaders then asked Walsh to move to a district that's closer to Chicago and considered friendlier ground for Democrats.</p><p>Democrats Tammy Duckworth and Raja Krishnamoorthi (krish-nah-MOOR'-thee) have said they will challenge Walsh.</p></p> Wed, 21 Dec 2011 21:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/ruscitti-step-aside-joe-walsh-setting-stage-heated-house-race-95089 Rep. Joe Walsh loses cool with constituents on bank regulation http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-11-09/rep-joe-walsh-loses-cool-constituents-bank-regulation-93903 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-09/walsh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nb73zqY6lZM" width="420" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p><p>Last Sunday, U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh met with constituents at a UNO Bar &amp; Grill on&nbsp;Grand Avenue in Gurnee, Ill. &nbsp;The event was advertised on Facebook as a <a href="http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=272922152746097">"Cup of Joe with Joe" session</a>, a townhall like meeting the freshman representative likes to hold.</p><p>Among the topics discussed was the role of regulation in the banking sector. That's when things got interesting.</p><p>According to a video that was published on Monday, Walsh got very passionate about the Dodd-Frank law. &nbsp;</p><p>In the video, he started yelling at attendees, saying: "Don't blame the banks! &nbsp;...This pisses me off! Too many people don't listen!"</p><p><a href="http://capitolfax.com/2011/11/09/tea-partiers-losing-support-in-illinois/">In a response to captiolfax.com</a>, Walsh stated:</p><blockquote><p><em>"I do these cup of joe’s every wkend (sic), I show up at a coffee shop or restaurant anywhere in district and anyone can come meet with me and talk to me about anything. They are fun, engaging sessions, I often get people who disagree w (sic) me on issues at these events and the conversation can be very spirited.</em></p><p><em>I am very passionate at these events as well as at my town halls. This was no different except I was working on an empty stomach and had a quicker fuse than normal."</em></p></blockquote></p> Wed, 09 Nov 2011 17:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-11-09/rep-joe-walsh-loses-cool-constituents-bank-regulation-93903 Election 2012: Congressional money race http://www.wbez.org/story/election-2012-congressional-money-race-93125 <p><p><em>Updated at 2:46 a.m. on Oct. 17&nbsp;</em></p><p>Campaign finance reports from the third quarter (July – September) were due this weekend to federal election officials. Candidates had to report how much cash they raised (and from whom), how much they spent (and to whom) and how much they have left.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/fec.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 151px;" title=""></p><p>Illinois looks to have some super competitive U.S. House races in the March primaries. This is, in part, the result of new district boundaries formed during this year’s redistricting. The once-a-decade process was controlled by Illinois Democrats, as they hold the governor's office and majorities in both chambers of the legislature. Keep in mind, Republicans filed a lawsuit against the new map, and the boundaries could change.</p><p>But, for now, the map is what the map is. So here’s a look at the top-line money situation in a few of the expected primary races in Northern Illinois congressional districts. And if you just can’t get enough of campaign finance data, listen to WBEZ's <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> on Monday morning.</p><p><strong>SOUTH CITY, SUBURBS AND EX-URBS: Illinois’ Second Congressional District</strong></p><p>Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson is running against 16-year incumbent U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. The two have battled for years over control of the non-existent Peotone Airport. Now they’ll battle in a Democratic primary as Jackson’s district absorbs area much farther south. Halvorson announced her campaign about ten days ago. She told me at the time she had some cash left in her account from her 2010 loss, but had not started fundraising for this race.</p><p>“Because I did not want to raise money until I knew I was going to do this, because it wouldn’t be fair to anybody to take their money and then me decide not to do this,” Halvorson said. However, she did claim to have nearly $100,000 in pledged donations, “all in very small amounts.” Those pledges, of course, are not reflected in the totals below.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>DEM primary IL 2</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Debbie Halvorson</td><td style="text-align: right;">$221,772.39</td><td style="text-align: right;">$83.66 (interest)</td><td style="text-align: right;">$11,544.86</td><td style="text-align: right;">$210,311.19</td></tr><tr><td>Jesse Jackson, Jr.</td><td style="text-align: right;">$305,818.10</td><td style="text-align: right;">$85,725.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$132,327.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$259,215.47</td></tr></tbody></table><p>This is a solidly Democratic seat. The only Republican with paperwork on file with the Federal Election Commission is the Rev. Isaac Hayes. He ran in 2010 against Jackson, but told me last week, “Right now it doesn’t look like I’m running” in 2012. He said he’s focusing on helping Mitt Romney win the Republican nomination for president. (Romney was one of the only established politicians to help Hayes in 2010; his PAC gave Hayes $2,500.)</p><p><strong>NORTHWEST SUBURBS: Illinois’ Eighth Congressional District</strong></p><p>The new 8<sup>th </sup>District is quite a bit more Democratic than it was a year ago, when Tea Partier Joe Walsh upset incumbent U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean. Walsh is likely to run in the new 14<sup>th</sup>, so this is an open seat.</p><p>The Democratic primary is a showdown between two candidates who’ve run big races before and impressed a lot of people, but failed to take home a win. Tammy Duckworth is a Purple Heart-awarded Iraq War veteran and former veterans affairs official at the state and federal levels. She lost a 2006 bid for Congress in the 6<sup>th</sup> District to Republican Peter Roskam.</p><p>Raja Krishnamoorthi is a former campaign advisor to now-President Barack Obama, and a former deputy state treasurer under Alexi Giannoulias. Krishnamoorthi lost the Democratic primary last year for state comptroller to state Rep. David Miller (who ended up getting crushed by Republican Judy Baar Topinka in November).</p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>DEM primary IL 8</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Tammy Duckworth</td><td style="text-align: right;">$0.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$478,354.47</td><td style="text-align: right;">$113,016.43</td><td style="text-align: right;">$365,338.04</td></tr><tr><td>Raja Krishnamoorthi</td><td style="text-align: right;">$403,335.51</td><td style="text-align: right;">$313,535.74</td><td style="text-align: right;">$80,874.53</td><td style="text-align: right;">$635,996.72</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Duckworth got into this race a few weeks after Krishnamoorthi, so the cash-on-hand total is a bit misleading. But that's still a considerable advantage for Krishnamoorthi.</p><p>While a number of Republican names have popped up in press reports considering runs for the district, none have filed recently with the FEC.</p><p><strong>NORTH SHORE: Illinois’ Tenth Congressional District</strong></p><p>The 10<sup>th</sup> has become more Democratic under the new map, but freshman U.S. Rep. Robert Dold is still going for re-election. Right now he has a huge cash advantage over the Democrats eying the seat, with just shy of a million dollars on-hand, having raised $376,534 in the quarter. (As is common with sitting members of Congress, he got more than half of those recent donations from political action committees.)</p><p>The Democrats include Ilya Sheyman, a former MoveOn.org organizer and staffer to then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, and business consultant Bradley Schneider.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>DEM primary IL 10</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Bradley Schneider</td><td style="text-align: right;">$306,150.46</td><td style="text-align: right;">$179,045.34</td><td style="text-align: right;">$68,178.87</td><td style="text-align: right;">$417,016.93</td></tr><tr><td>Ilya Sheyman</td><td style="text-align: right;">$60,255.30</td><td style="text-align: right;">$151,169.35</td><td style="text-align: right;">$69,911.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$141,513.65</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Schneider's total raised this quarter includes a $100,000 loan from himself - on the final day of the reporting period. Take that away and his fundraising appears to be stalling.</p><p><strong>NORTH AND WEST EX-URBS: Illinois’ Fourteenth Congressional District</strong></p><p>U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, currently of the old 8<sup>th </sup>District, announced last month that – unless the Democrats’ map is changed – he’ll be running in the new 14<sup>th</sup>. That pits him against the district’s current occupant, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren. Both are Republican, both freshmen who beat Democratic incumbents in the 2010 wave and both are on the more conservative end of the GOP House caucus.</p><p>Where they differ is style. Walsh is a cable TV regular, a flame-thrower, a “fighter” in his words. And he’s already casting Hultgren as a career politician and a go-along-get-along type. Hultgren, a former state legislator, is soft-spoken, and – he argues – more focused on local issues than Walsh is. He’s painting Walsh as erratic and sound-bite driven.</p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>GOP primary IL 14</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Randy Hultgren</td><td style="text-align: right;">$244,780.47</td><td style="text-align: right;">$186,945.00</td><td style="text-align: right;">$155,915.90</td><td style="text-align: right;">$275,809.57</td></tr><tr><td>Joe Walsh</td><td style="text-align: right;">$472,894.53</td><td style="text-align: right;">$156,099.72</td><td style="text-align: right;">$162,936.47</td><td style="text-align: right;">$466,057.78</td></tr></tbody></table><p>The candidates' cash totals look much like they did at the beginning of the quarter, with both spending roughly what they raised. But Walsh has a definite cash advantage going into the final months.</p><p>No Democrats have recently notified the FEC that they intend to run in this district, which is considered solidly Republican under the new boundaries.</p><p><strong>NORTH CENTRAL STATE: Illinois’ Sixteenth Congressional District</strong></p><p>Youth vs. experience. Energy vs. stability. Freshman vs. ten-termer.</p><p>U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, elected just last year to the 11<sup>th </sup>District, would face fellow Republican Donald Manzullo if the new map holds. Kinzinger will be just 34 when voters go to the polls in March, when the primary rolls around. Manzullo, who’s represented much of the district since 1993, will be just shy of his 68<sup>th</sup> birthday. And there’s going to be a lot of money around to buy up Rockford airtime.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>GOP primary IL 16</th><th>Cash as of July 1</th><th>Third quarter raised</th><th>Third quarter spent</th><th>Cash as of September 30</th></tr><tr><td>Adam Kinzinger</td><td style="text-align: right;">$431,511.86</td><td style="text-align: right;">$212,258.19</td><td style="text-align: right;">$76,757.82</td><td style="text-align: right;">$567,012.23</td></tr><tr><td>Don Manzullo</td><td style="text-align: right;">$222,994.33</td><td style="text-align: right;">$320,392.15</td><td style="text-align: right;">$59,392.07</td><td style="text-align: right;">$483,994.41</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Manzullo really stepped up his game this quarter, but trails Kinzinger due to the freshman's aggressive fundraising earlier in the term.</p><p>No Democrats have recently filed with the FEC to run in this solidly Republican district.</p><p><strong>OTHERS</strong></p><p>Keep an eye on the 11<sup>th </sup>District - though for the general election, not the primary. Former Congressman Bill Foster, a Democrat defeated last year by Hultgren, is looking for a comeback as the party's presumed nominee. He raised nearly $300k these past few months, and has $552,588.36 on hand. And he'll need it, as his likely GOP competition is flush.</p><p>If the map holds, he'll probably face Republican U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, whose 13<sup>th </sup>District was relocated to the southern half of the state, and whose Hinsdale home got swallowed up in Congressman Mike Quigley’s 5<sup>th </sup>District, which extends all the way to Chicago’s North Side. Biggert took in nearly as much as Foster did in the third quarter, but started with a bulging bank account. She now has $886,412.29 at the ready.</p></p> Sun, 16 Oct 2011 17:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/election-2012-congressional-money-race-93125 Attack or hold back? Candidates hedge when asked if they’ll go personal http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-10-10/attack-or-hold-back-candidates-hedge-when-asked-if-they%E2%80%99ll-go-persona <p><p>It’s early. The primary elections are almost six months away. There is a lot of time left for candidates to wave around their resumes in front of voters. There’s also lots of time for candidates to wave around their opponents’ garbage: corruption allegations, DUIs, sex scandals, you name it.</p><p>No one likes to be associated with these kinds of attacks. They can work really well, but they can also backfire. And they’re messy.</p><p>I asked a few candidates if they plan to go personal on some choice nugget in their opponents’ pasts. They each hedged, leaving the door at least a little bit open.</p><p><strong>Halvorson on Jackson</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-07/jackson.gif" title="(Chicago Tribune website)" width="529" height="69"></p><p>A couple weeks ago, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson was mulling a challenge to a fellow Democrat, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. In a phone interview then, I asked Halvorson if she believed Jackson was more vulnerable as a result of questions surrounding his bid to be named to the U.S. Senate by ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich.</p><blockquote><p>HALVORSON: Well, you know, that’s for the voters to decide. You know, like I tell people, maybe he’s had a few distractions lately, you know what, and that’s up to the voters. I’m not here to talk about what’s happened in the past. I’m here to talk about giving the people a choice. […]</p><p>HUDZIK: So, so I mean would you not bring up some of that Blagojevich stuff should you run?</p><p>HALVORSON: You know, we’re dealing in hypotheticals at this point. You know, that’s for the pundits, and all I know is what the people want to talk about. So, you know what, I’m just going to talk about what the people want to talk about, and you know what, let’s just move ahead. You know what, we don’t have a whole lot of differences with regards to the issues in Washington. We have differences in how hard we work in our districts. […]</p></blockquote><p>But last Thursday, when Halvorson made her formal campaign kick-off in front of Bloom High School in Chicago Heights (her alma mater), she went a bit farther. Here’s part of her opening statement to reporters.</p><blockquote><p>HALVORSON: We need an airport [in Peotone]. The current congressman has not made it happen. This has been his pet project for 15 years. Where is it? I want to make it happen, too, but we’ve got to do it right. And we need a congressman who doesn’t have ethical distractions. Maybe that’s why he can’t get anything done anymore.</p></blockquote><p>Halvorson was asked by Charles Thomas from ABC-7 to clarify what she meant by “ethical distractions.”</p><blockquote><p>HALVORSON: Well, I’m going to leave that up to you guys, because I’m going to…</p><p>THOMAS: No, no, no. You said it. I didn’t say it. You said it.</p><p>HALVORSON:&nbsp; Okay, here’s the thing. He’s got distractions. He’s up before the House Committee of Ethics. He’s been listed as one of the most corrupt members of Congress [by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, in 2009]. And the House Ethics Committee has him under investigation. It’s up to them to take then take that under consideration.</p></blockquote><p>Do Jackson’s problems from the Blagojevich probe even fit in the “personal attacks” category? It’s not as though Halvorson is hitting the congressman on infidelity issues (see <em><a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/blago/2010/09/jesse_jackson_jr_responds_to_s.html">Sun-Times</a></em>).</p><p>Jackson’s office did not make him available for an interview with us after Halvorson’s announcement, so I couldn’t ask him whether he expected such attacks. But a statement sent by his office included this line: “People today want more jobs and less political infighting."</p><p><strong>Pankau on Ramey</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-07/ramey.gif" title="(Chicago Sun-Times website)" width="538" height="76"></p><p>Last month, DuPage County Republican Party Chair Randy Ramey, a state representative, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence (see <em><a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/7892196-418/dupage-gop-chief-state-sen-randy-ramey-pleads-guilty-to-dui.html">Sun-Times</a></em>). Ramey is challenging state Sen. Carole Pankau, a fellow DuPage Republican, in the primary election next March. When I talked to Ramey the week before his plea (but well after the DUI arrest had been made public), he called for a positive race.</p><blockquote><p>RAMEY: Far too many people are tired of the personal attacks. Unfortunately, they always seem to come out, because to a certain extent, they still work. But – obviously – I have issues, she has issues. There’s no need to go there. The idea is here to present your case to the people why you would be the best person to represent them in Springfield.</p></blockquote><p>Later that day, I asked Pankau if she would bring up Ramey’s DUI in the campaign.</p><blockquote><p>PANKAU: I think other people are more than capable of evaluating that. You have, I know there are newspapers and other things that are covering that. We’ll just let them do that. […]</p><p>HUDZIK: That’s not something you’re going to bring up at all during the campaign?</p><p>PANKAU: Well, I feel sorry for Randy, and, um, we’ll see how that campaign advances. But, um, he basically did that to himself.</p><p>HUDZIK: So, so I guess, you’re leaving the door open to possibly using that.</p><p>PANKAU: I don’t know. We’ll see how the campaign unfolds.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Hultgren on Walsh</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-07/walsh.gif" title="(Chicago Sun-Times website)" width="497" height="80"></p><p>U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, currently of Illinois’ 8<sup>th</sup> District, announced a few weeks ago that he would run in Illinois’ new 14<sup>th</sup> Congressional District, unless the courts overturn the Democratic-drawn political boundaries. That pits him against the GOP incumbent from the 14<sup>th</sup>, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren.</p><p>Walsh can’t seem to get through a public appearance these days without being asked about his ex-wife’s claim that he’s more than $100,000 arrears in child support payments (see <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/6720892-417/tea-party-rep.-joe-walsh-sued-for-100000-in-child-support"><em>Sun-Times</em></a>). Walsh denies the charge, and called the paper's story a "hit piece."</p><p>After his speech to TeaCon 2011 a little more than a week ago, I asked Walsh how much he thought personal issues like the child support allegations would play into the race.</p><blockquote><p>WALSH: It’s all part of any kind of campaign. When you’ve got two guys like this running against each, my God I hope we can focus on the issues. That’s what we need to focus on.</p></blockquote><p>Last week, I chatted with Hultgren about the expected primary. I asked him if he would bring up the child support issue.</p><blockquote><p>HULTGREN: You know, we’re going to talk about what we’ve been doing. I don’t, I really don’t know, what all is going to happen in this. I hope it doesn’t happen. I’m still hopeful that the courts are going to do the right thing and change these districts. So, what we’re going to do is focus on what we’ve been doing, and the good work that we’ve done for the people. […] In this district, particularly, I know that people are sick and tired of negative campaigns. I know in the media that, that people – they like that. But in this, there’s so much positive, that I feel like I can talk about, of what we’ve been doing and what we’ve done and what we’re going to do, that that’s going to be the focus.</p></blockquote><p>I pointed out to Hultgren that his statement left the door open to using personal issues. He replied that his “focus is going to be on a positive race,” but added…</p><blockquote><p>HULTGREN: There’s so many other things that play into it, of what people on the radio will say or what people in newspapers will say, but our focus is going to be positive. I think that’s absolutely what the 14<sup>th</sup> Congressional District wants.</p></blockquote><p>Noting negative races in the past, Hultgren said, “I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”</p><p>So does that mean he’s personally pledging to run a positive race?</p><blockquote><p>HULTGREN: Well, my focus is going to be on talking about positive things. We’re, I’ve, I’m careful on pledges, other than my pledges to serve the people that I represent as best as I possibly can, and to tell the truth, and to follow through on what I said I was going to do. Those are the pledges I’ve made and those are the pledges I’m going to keep.</p></blockquote><p>That, my friends, is a careful answer.</p></p> Mon, 10 Oct 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-10-10/attack-or-hold-back-candidates-hedge-when-asked-if-they%E2%80%99ll-go-persona Early Hultgren and Walsh debate focusing on style, experience http://www.wbez.org/story/early-hultgren-and-walsh-debate-focusing-style-experience-92958 <p><p>The early rhetoric tossed around in the Republican primary for Illinois' 14th congressional district is focusing on style and experience. The district includes much of Chicago's western and northern ex-urbs, pairing two GOP incumbents.</p><p>U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh has not been shy about criticizing his likely opponent, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, suggesting he's not a fighter for conservative causes. Hultgren is holding back, while still trying to differentiate himself from Walsh, a cable TV regular.</p><p>"I have been much less focused on national media," Hultgren said in an interview last week. "I am focused on the 14th congressional district."</p><p>Hultgren has been criticized by Walsh for being "in politics too long," a reference to Hultgren's decade in the Illinois legislature. But he threw that back at Walsh.</p><p>"When you look, he's been running for Congress since 1996, and the first time that he's gotten elected just this last year," Hultgren said.</p><p>Walsh did run for Congress in 1996, but didn't seek the office again until 2010.</p><p>Both Republicans say they hope a judge orders changes to the district boundaries, so the primary can be avoided.</p></p> Mon, 10 Oct 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/early-hultgren-and-walsh-debate-focusing-style-experience-92958