WBEZ | Republican Party http://www.wbez.org/tags/republican-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 Dirty tricks at the Wigwam: Chicago's first convention http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-08/dirty-tricks-wigwam-chicagos-first-convention-101880 <p><p>Republicans staged Chicago&rsquo;s first national political convention in May of 1860. And for the first time ever, a citizen of Illinois was nominated for President of the United States. His name was Abraham Lincoln. &nbsp;</p><p>In 1860 the Republican Party was a new, dynamic, anti-slavery party. Four years before, in their first presidential campaign, they&rsquo;d run a surprisingly strong race. Now the Democrats were split on the slavery issue. The Republicans would likely be picking the next occupant of the White House.</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/08-28--The%20Wigwam.jpg" title="The Wigwam (Library of Congress)" /></div><p>The Chicago convention site was a big wooden barn at Lake and Market (Wacker) called The Wigwam. Local boosters bragged the building could hold 10,000 people, making it the largest auditorium in the country</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/08-28--Seward.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 200px; float: right; " title="Candidate Seward (Wikipedia Commons)" />As the delegates and party faithful arrived, Lincoln looked like a longshot, one of a half-dozen minor candidates. He had served a single term in Congress, then gone back to practicing law in Springfield. He&#39;d also waged a spirited &mdash; but losing &mdash; senatorial campaign against Stephen Douglas.</p><p>The favorite for the nomination was William Seward, Senator from New York. He was known and respected throughout the country, and had the largest number of delegates. His people exuded a confidence that bordered on arrogance.</p><p>What Seward and his followers didn&rsquo;t know was they were about to be present at a historic event. They were about to witness the birth of Chicago&rsquo;s reputation for hardball politics.</p><p>Balloting was to begin on May 18<sup>th</sup>. That morning, thousands of Seward fans marched through downtown. They waved banners, they shouted, they sang. But when they got to The Wigwam, they couldn&rsquo;t get in. Lincoln&rsquo;s supporters had printed counterfeit tickets and packed the hall.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/08-28--candidate Lincoln.jpg" style="height: 302px; width: 200px; float: left; " title="Nominee Lincoln (Library of Congress)" />First ballot. As expected, Seward led. Yet whenever a speaker mentioned Lincoln&rsquo;s name, the audience exploded into cheers that shook The Wigwam. Uncommitted delegated were impressed. Honest Abe seemed to be the people&rsquo;s choice!</p><p>The Seward delegates were in shock. Meanwhile, Lincoln&rsquo;s people wheeled and dealed. On the third ballot, Lincoln was nominated.</p><p>The <em>Chicago Press and Tribune</em>, owned by Friend-Of-Abe Joseph Medill, was ready. A special souvenir edition was rolled out, with a discount price for bulk purchase. The paper also offered the delegates a variety of mail subscriptions, so they could follow the campaign once they returned home.</p><p>Following tradition, Lincoln had not attended the convention. He stayed in Springfield and got his news by telegraph.</p><p>If Lincoln had come to Chicago, he might have walked a few blocks from The Wigwam to McVicker&rsquo;s Theater, to see the hit comedy &ldquo;Our American Cousin.&rdquo; Five years later, when he was president, Lincoln finally caught the play in Washington&ndash;and was assassinated during the performance.</p></p> Wed, 29 Aug 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-08/dirty-tricks-wigwam-chicagos-first-convention-101880 The original 'smoke-filled room' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-08/original-smoke-filled-room-101807 <p><p>The big news the next two weeks will be the national political conventions. Chicago has hosted 25 of these gatherings, far more than any other city. That makes it an appropriate time to recall a few historic Chicago conventions, this week the Republicans, next week the Democrats.</p><p>We begin with 1920, when the President of the United States was chosen in a suite at the Blackstone Hotel.</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/Blackstone--3.jpg" title="The Blackstone Hotel and Grant Park, about 1920 (Library of Congress)" /></div><p>In 1920 Democrat Woodrow Wilson was finishing up his second term in the White House.&nbsp;The Republican Convention was being held at the Chicago Coliseum that year, and it looked like happy days for the GOP.&nbsp;The country was in the mood for change.</p><p>Today&rsquo;s party conventions are nothing more than pep rallies &ndash; by the time the opening gavel is banged, one candidate has locked up the nomination.&nbsp;That wasn&rsquo;t the case in 1920.&nbsp;Back then local party bosses controlled things.&nbsp;Several roll-call ballots were usually needed to pick a nominee.</p><p>When the Republicans assembled on June 8th, there were two front-runners&ndash;General Leonard Wood and Illinois Governor Frank Lowden.&nbsp;The balloting began.&nbsp;Neither man could get a majority. The party elders called a recess, then met behind closed doors at the Blackstone to break the deadlock.</p><p>Warren G. Harding was a Senator from Ohio.&nbsp;He was one of the minor candidates, and few people outside his state had ever heard of him.&nbsp;His main selling point seemed to be that he &ldquo;looked like a President.&rdquo;</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/Harding%20with%20vets.jpg" title="Warren G. Harding: 'He looked like a President.' (Library of Congress)" /></div><p>Harding&rsquo;s campaign manager, Harry Daugherty, had predicted the deadlock. Daugherty said that at about 2 in the morning of the convention&#39;s fourth day, 15 or 20 men would be sitting around a table in a smoke-filled room, bleary-eyed from heat and lack of sleep.&nbsp;The men would be looking for a compromise candidate.</p><p>&ldquo;At that decisive time,&rdquo; Daugherty declared, &ldquo;the friends of Senator Harding will suggest him.&rdquo;</p><p>Daugherty was quite a prophet.&nbsp;After several hours of wrangling, the party bosses summoned Harding to the power suite at the Blackstone.&nbsp;It was just after 2 a.m. on the fourth day.</p><p>Harding was asked if there were anything in his past that might embarrass the party.&nbsp;He said there was not.&nbsp;He didn&rsquo;t mention that he&rsquo;d fathered a child outside his marriage&ndash;a scandalous act in 1920.</p><p>So the bosses annointed Harding.&nbsp;He was quickly nominated, and won the November election in a landslide.&nbsp;When he died in office in 1923, he was one of the most popular presidents in history.</p><p>And today&ndash;even with all the restrictions on smoking &ndash; we still call a private gathering of political fixers a &ldquo;smoke-filled room.&rdquo;</p></p> Mon, 27 Aug 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-08/original-smoke-filled-room-101807 100 years ago: Bull Moose Party stampedes in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-08/100-years-ago-bull-moose-party-stampedes-chicago-101275 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/00--TR in Chicago (CDN).jpg" title="August 6, 1912--Roosevelt arriving in Chicago (Library of Congress/Chicago Daily News)" /></div><p>He was back! Before an ecstatic crowd of 15,000 people at the Chicago Coliseum, Col. Theodore Roosevelt declared himself a candidate for President of the United States &mdash; 100 years ago today.</p><p>The occasion was the first convention of the Progressive Party. Roosevelt had served two terms as president, then engineered the election of his friend William Howard Taft in 1908. By 1912 the two men had broken over policy matters, and Roosevelt had challenged Taft in the Republican primaries.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/00--Bull Moose cartoon.jpg" style="height: 316px; width: 250px; float: left; " title="'A new animal in the political menagerie' (author's collection)" />The crowd at the Coliseum knew the rest of the story too well. Roosevelt had won most of the primaries, but the Republican bosses had still nominated Taft. The people had been ignored. So when Roosevelt announced he was quitting the Republicans, he took much of the party with him.</p><p>They had formed a new third party, the Progressives. Now Roosevelt was speaking to them. &ldquo;You know where I stand!&rdquo; he roared. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m ready if you want me!&rdquo;</p><p>The audience yelled themselves hoarse. They remembered the golden years of the Roosevelt administration. He had broken up monopolies, settled strikes, built the Panama Canal, started the National Park system, and won a Nobel Peace Prize for ending the war between Russia and Japan. He&rsquo;d been the most popular president since George Washington.</p><p>Roosevelt spoke for nearly an hour, but the people in the Coliseum didn&rsquo;t notice the time pass. Nothing else mattered when the Colonel was talking. At the end he brought them to their feet, comparing the current fight to the Bible&rsquo;s final war of good against evil: &quot;We stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord!&quot;</p><p>Afterward someone asked Roosevelt about his health. &ldquo;I feel as fit as a bull moose,&rdquo; he declared. From that time on, the new party was nicknamed the Bull Moose Party.</p><p>In November Roosevelt and the Progressives pulled more votes than Taft. But the split in the Republican ranks sent Democrat Woodrow Wilson to the White House.</p><p>The Progressive Party eventually fell apart, and Roosevelt rejoined the Republicans. He died suddenly in 1919. At the time of his death, he was the odds-on favorite to win the Republican nomination for 1920.</p></p> Mon, 06 Aug 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-08/100-years-ago-bull-moose-party-stampedes-chicago-101275 Identity crisis: Gay foot soldiers of the GOP http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-05/identity-crisis-gay-foot-soldiers-gop-98749 <p><p>What the hell are these guys thinking?</p><p>I’m talking about gay men who end up working for the Republican Party that ultimately betrays them, of course.</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/AP051025010466.jpg" style="height: 365px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman with former President George W. Bush. Mehlman is openly gay. (AP/file) "></div><p>The latest victim -- if you can call a powerful, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mitt-romney-adviser-richard-grenell-faces-backlash-over-tweets-sexual-orientation/2012/04/24/gIQAVhwhfT_story.html?hpid=z2">misogynistic heap of crap</a> like this a victim -- is Richard Grenell. Until just days ago, Grenell was the first ever out gay spokesperson for a Republican presidential campaign. (He <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/22/richard-grenell-mitt-romney-online-attacks_n_1442726.html">made headlines</a> for a series of snarky, sexist tweets -- all removed from his Twitter feed now -- aimed at female political and media figures such as Hillary Clinton, Callista Gingrich and Rachel Maddow, whom he urged to “wear a necklace.”)</p><p>Grenell’s sexuality was no surprise to anyone in Romney camp. He came to them fully, publicly gay, having previously served as an out United Nations mission spokesperson during the George W. Bush administration. He’d worked, always out, for a number of GOP politicians before that.</p><p>Grenell now says he’s leaving of his own accord, because anti-gay forces in the GOP are distracting from Romney’s campaign by focusing on “personal” matters -- “personal” matters here being his sexuality, which Grenell himself has made a big deal about. Among other things, Grenell supports and strongly advocates for same sex marriage. The Romney campaign says Grenell’s sexuality was irrelevant, and it’s certainly true that as governor, Romney had gay staffers.</p><p>Indeed, back at the UN, Grenell tried, unsuccessfully, to <a href="http://www.advocate.com/news/2008/09/27/gay-bush-appointee-loses-appeal%C2%A0-fair-treatment">include his longtime partner</a> in the Blue Book, a directory of UN spouses. Why couldn’t he do this? Although the Bush administration originally told him the exclusion was due to the UN, this turned out not to be the case: The Bush administration flatly refused to acknowledge Grenell's relationship on par with those of his heteroexual colleagues.</p><p>I can only think of cynical reasons, though, for having hired Grenell in the first place. I don't think he was intended as a signal to the gay community, which will no doubt see Romney’s anti-same sex marriage and pro-"Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" stances as stronger reasons to vote against him than the appointment of a gay man might be to vote for him. Rather, I think he was intended as a sign to moderate and independent voters that Romney’s not so bad after all. As far as I can tell, this is part of Romney’s wink-wink campaign to moderates and independents to ignore the rightwing b.s. he said during the primaries.</p><p>All this is really just a continuation of a longtime Republican public/private split on queerness that a good number of gay men buy into. Like Grenell, they take the fact that his partner’s name is included in private invitations as a signal of acceptance instead of simply good manners.</p><p>I say gay men but what I really mean are mostly white gay men, usually middle or upper class -- the guys who, but for their sexual orientation, would be as much a part of the 1 percent as the people who ultimately kick them to the curb and ask them to understand when their orientation becomes unseemly and problematic.</p><p>What in heaven’s name is the issue that trumps human dignity for gay, male Republicans like <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/04/mitt-romneys-gay-spokesman-a-milestone-in-republican-politics/256263/">Ken Mehlman</a>, who reigned as Bush’s campaign chairman and head of the Republican National Committee while Bush promoted an anti-same sex marriage amendment to the Constitution? What was Pete Williams, now an NBC correspondent, thinking during those years when he was a spokesperson for Dick Cheney?</p><p>And what about <a href="http://projectqatlanta.com/index.php/news_articles/view/gay_attorney_plays_key_role_for_mccain/">Trevor Potter</a>, the former FEC chair and John McCain general counsel? How does he work for a man who went to his electoral death promising to defend “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell"? What kind of mental twisting does Rick Santorum’s former senate communications director, <a href="http://www.towleroad.com/2012/01/traynham.html">Robert Traynham</a> -- black and gay -- do to continue defending Santorum and his “man on dog” statements about gay sex?</p><p>Does Tony Fabrizio, Rick Perry’s openly gay pollster, poll for anyone who pays the bill? Would he poll for Obama, the Pope or <em>Ms.</em> magazine? Or is there some ideological line in play and, if so, what is it?</p><p>I understand that for the GOP to be gay-inclusive and get rid of its anti-gay policies, there must be gay Republicans brave and/or stupid enough to join and engage in the fight.</p><p>But my question, to quote John Lennon, is this: How do you sleep?</p></p> Wed, 02 May 2012 14:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-05/identity-crisis-gay-foot-soldiers-gop-98749 Gas drilling could take air out of offshore wind http://www.wbez.org/content/gas-drilling-could-take-air-out-offshore-wind <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-08/Wind_Farm_D36.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I understand the power of Lake Erie wind as soon we’re out past the breakwaters of Cleveland Harbor. The waves make our 74-foot tugboat bob like a rubber toy in my preschooler’s bath tub.</p><p>Before long, I’m sweating and looking for a place to heave.</p><p>Right next to me, Bill Mason seems to be enjoying the ride. In fact, he wants to show me a spot where the wind is even stronger. “Where we’re headed is to an anemometer,” Mason says, mispronouncing the instrument’s name. “It’s been measuring the wind speeds since, I think, 2007. So I know we have good wind.”</p><p>Mason doesn’t know all the particulars about wind energy. But, as the Cuyahoga County prosecutor, he knows a lot about Northeast Ohio. Since taking office in 1999, Mason has seen about a 100,000 manufacturing jobs disappear from the area.</p><p>Installing a handful of wind turbines offshore could spark a revival, Mason says, changing Cleveland’s image from a deindustrialized ghost town to “a green city on the blue lake.”</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-09/RS4522_Wind_Farm_A28-scr.jpg" style="width: 275px; height: 184px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 18px; float: left;" title="Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason says putting turbines in Lake Erie could revive the city. (Front and Center/Bridget Caswell)">Mason has been promoting the wind-farm idea for seven years. In 2009, he helped form a quasi-public group, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, to turn the idea into reality. Representing Cleveland and four counties along the lake, LEEDCo has held dozens of community meetings. It has secured an option for nine square miles of the lake. It has studied possible impacts on wildlife. And it has begun work on designs and permits.</p><p>Mason tells me Cleveland could help build offshore wind farms throughout the Great Lakes. He points to the city’s proximity to rail lines, deep-water port facilities and manufacturers. He says companies in the area could retool to make parts and supplies ranging from transmission cables to ice-resistant blade coating. The wind-farm supporters commissioned a study that says their project could lead to 15,000 new Ohio jobs within two decades.</p><p>The supply chain could include Lincoln Electric, which makes welding equipment in Euclid, a suburb northeast of Cleveland. Lincoln Electric is already getting a taste of wind-energy generation since installing a 443-foot-tall turbine this year to help power the company’s main plant.</p><p>Driving up the lakeshore, I can see the three rotor blades spinning from miles away. On a windy day, the tips go 160 miles an hour, the company tells me. But I can’t hear any sound from the turbine until I’m within a stone’s throw. Looking straight up at the blades, I notice a subtle swoosh as each one passes.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-09/RS4525_Wind_Farm_D36-scr.jpg" style="width: 275px; height: 183px; float: right; margin-left: 15px; margin-right: 4px;" title="Lincoln Electric’s Seth Mason says his company’s new turbine provides a case study for the offshore project. (Front and Center/Bridget Caswell)">The turbine has given a lot of local people—from regulators to engineers to truck drivers—their first contact with a wind project. Lincoln Electric energy manager Seth Mason (no relation to the prosecutor) says this experience could help with the offshore installation, which would be just a few miles away.</p><p>“You basically have the same wind regime [and] you’re basically going to have the same amount of migratory birds at this longitude,” Mason says. “So I think it provides a case study for the next machine.”</p><p>It’s not just local boosters who think a Lake Erie wind farm could revive Northeast Ohio. Christopher Hart, the U.S. Department of Energy’s offshore wind chief, sees it that way too. “If a place like Cleveland is able to establish the demonstration project and then is able to leverage that demonstration project into a larger position in the industry, this could really, really have an impact on the local economy.”</p><p>Hart tells me Cleveland has the best shot at installing the first Great Lakes wind farm. But he points to a huge barrier: “Given the current technology, given the current regulatory structure, offshore wind doesn’t make economic sense.”</p><p>DOE calculations suggest it’s more than twice as expensive to generate electricity from offshore wind as from coal, natural gas or nuclear fission. The New York Power Authority pointed to costs this fall when it pulled the plug on some proposed Great Lakes turbines.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> div .inline { width: 290px; float: left; margin-right: 19px; margin-left: 3px; clear: left; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }div .inlineContent { border-top: 1px dotted rgb(170, 33, 29); margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 2px; }ul { margin-left: 15px; }li { font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }</style> </p><div class="inline"><div class="inlineContent"><a href="/frontandcenter"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-06/FC-logo-sm_0.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 38px;" title=""></a><ul><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/plant-entrepreneurs-turn-waste-jobs-93782"><span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);">ViDEO:</span></a> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/plant-entrepreneurs-turn-waste-jobs-93782">Plant turns waste into jobs</a></strong></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/imadeajob"><strong><span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);">INTERACT: </span>Made a Job? Tell us about it.</strong></a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/can-milwaukee-become-silicon-valley-water-93835"><strong>The Silicon Valley of water</strong>:<strong> Milwaukee?</strong></a></li></ul></div><div class="inlineContent">&nbsp;</div></div><p>That frustrates Chris Wisseman, who leads a consortium called Freshwater Wind that LEEDCo chose last year to develop Cleveland’s offshore wind farm. “All we’re talking about here is a new technology that looks like it’s got the ability to be very cost-effective inside of a decade,” he says.</p><p>The construction will run about $130 million, Wisseman tells me. The financing will be tricky because few utilities are eager to buy electricity that is so expensive. The only purchaser on board so far is municipally owned Cleveland Public Power, which has agreed to buy a quarter of the wind-farm output.</p><p>So LEEDCo is pushing for Ohio to <em>compel</em> utilities to buy the electricity and pass along the cost to customers—a process known as rate recovery. If the plan covered just northern Ohio, Wisseman says, business and residential customers would each pay an extra $0.40 a month.</p><p>The area’s big utility, Akron-based First Energy, says it won’t take a stand on that rate recovery until it sees a proposal. The Ohio Association of Manufacturers tells me it will probably go along with the plan if it doesn’t hit electricity-intensive companies hard.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-08/Kasich.jpg" style="width: 275px; height: 268px; margin-top: 5px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 18px; float: left;" title="Ohio Gov. John Kasich isn’t saying whether he’ll support rate recovery for the offshore wind project. (AP/File)">But rate recovery won’t get far without support from Gov. John Kasich. He appoints the members of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which regulates the state’s electricity rates. And his Republican Party controls both houses of the state legislature.</p><p>At an energy forum Kasich’s office organized this fall, the governor didn’t leave any doubt that his energy focus would be an Appalachian rock layer called Utica Shale. In Ohio, that shale holds a lot of natural gas. To free up the fuel, companies such as Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. want to drill thousands of horizontal wells and inject pressurized fluids—a process known as fracking.</p><p>An industry-funded study says the fracking could create more than 200,000 jobs in Ohio over the next four years. The potential boom is keeping Kasich’s staff busy. “We have had 129 separate meetings—5 regional meetings, 78 with business associations, 46 meetings with oil-and-gas division experts—all across Ohio,” the governor said at the forum.</p><p>At the same time, contaminated groundwater in nearby Pennsylvania is giving fracking a bad name. Kasich promises environmental safeguards for Ohio.</p><p>The governor says he’ll also promote renewable energy efforts. So, when I catch up with him, I ask whether those will include Cleveland’s offshore wind project.</p><p>“There is a place for renewables,” Kasich replies. “But we have to be very clear: They’re very expensive. That doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities in the state. It doesn’t mean that over time they [won’t] become less expensive. But specific projects have to be looked at very, very carefully.”</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-09/RS4524_Wind_Farm_C26-scr.jpg" style="width: 275px; height: 184px; margin-left: 15px; margin-right: 2px; margin-top: 5px; float: right;" title="A tugboat captain who knows about Lake Erie wind recalls cleaning a seasick crewmate with a hose. (Front and Center/Bridget Caswell)">I press Kasich, asking whether he will support the rate recovery proposed for the offshore project. He declines to answer.</p><p>Another Ohio Republican is talking about that rate recovery. State Sen. Kris Jordan, who represents suburbs north of Columbus, tells me it’s a bad idea. “I just don’t believe—when we have more affordable, more ready energy sources—that government should be subsidizing" an offshore wind farm.</p><p>Back on the Lake Erie tugboat, the vessel’s captain notices my pale color. He says he once had to clean off a seasick crewmate with a hose.</p><p>Bill Mason, the prosecutor behind the proposed wind farm, agrees I’ve seen enough of the lake. On the way back to port, he shakes his head at the thought of a natural-gas boom tripping up his project.</p><p>“We don’t know how much energy is going to be produced from this fracking,” Mason says. “We don’t know the environmental damage that possibly could happen from it. And we don’t know what it’s going to cost, if there is damage, for that recovery. If we take that step down that road, won’t it be nice to know that we have other alternatives such as the wind industry out here on the Great Lakes?”</p><p>And wouldn’t it be nice, Mason adds, if the center of that industry were Cleveland?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2>Great Lakes wind projects struggle for footing</h2><p>Offshore wind-energy advocates face tall hurdles in the Great Lakes, but some projects are advancing. WBEZ’s Maham Khan brings us these snapshots.</p><script type="text/javascript" src="http://public.tableausoftware.com/javascripts/api/viz_v1.js"></script><div class="tableauPlaceholder" style="width: 554px; height: 769px;"><noscript><a href="#"><img alt="Offshore wind " src="http:&#47;&#47;public.tableausoftware.com&#47;static&#47;images&#47;Gr&#47;GreatLakesoffshorewindfarmproposalsandstudies&#47;Offshorewind&#47;1_rss.png" style="height: 100%; width: 100%; border: none" /></a></noscript><object class="tableauViz" style="display: none;" width="554" height="769"><param name="host_url" value="http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.tableausoftware.com%2F"><param name="name" value="GreatLakesoffshorewindfarmproposalsandstudies/Offshorewind"><param name="tabs" value="no"><param name="toolbar" value="yes"><param name="static_image" value="http://public.tableausoftware.com/static/images/Gr/GreatLakesoffshorewindfarmproposalsandstudies/Offshorewind/1.png"><param name="animate_transition" value="yes"><param name="display_static_image" value="yes"><param name="display_spinner" value="yes"><param name="display_overlay" value="yes"></object></div><div style="width: 554px; height: 22px; padding: 0px 10px 0px 0px; color: black; font: 8pt verdana,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;"><div style="float: right; padding-right: 8px;">&nbsp;</div></div></p> Wed, 09 Nov 2011 11:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/gas-drilling-could-take-air-out-offshore-wind Herman Cain's campaign assails accuser http://www.wbez.org/story/herman-cains-campaign-assails-accuser-93854 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-08/6220942571_0b7a105b8b_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>ATLANTA — Herman Cain's presidential campaign is assailing the woman who accused him of groping her while she sought a job, presumably in an effort to undercut her credibility.</p><p>The Republican businessman's advisers issued a news release Tuesday asking -- quote -- "Who is Sharon Bialek?" That document then outlines what it calls her "long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances."</p><p>It lists civil lawsuits that allegedly relate to her in the Cook County Court system in Illinois. It also quotes news reports mentioning her involvement in a paternity case and a bankruptcy filing.</p><p>The document contrasts that record with what it says is Cain's "four decades spent climbing the corporate ladder rising to the level of CEO at multiple successful business enterprises.</p></p> Tue, 08 Nov 2011 17:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/herman-cains-campaign-assails-accuser-93854 Ron Paul beats out top GOP candidates in Illinois straw poll http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-07/ron-paul-beats-out-top-gop-candidates-illinois-straw-poll-93803 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-07/David Wallace, AP PhotoThe Arizona Republic.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>While U.S. Rep. <a href="http://www.ronpaul2012.com/" target="_blank">Ron Paul's</a> name was often unmentioned among the top-tier Republicans running for president, the Libertarian Texas congressman made a splash in Illinois over the weekend. Rep. Paul was the winner of the first-ever statewide presidential straw poll in Illinois. The congressman won 52 percent of the vote. <a href="http://www.weareillinois.org/" target="_blank">Illinois Republican Party</a> chair Pat Brady announced the straw poll results Saturday night. More than 3,600 people paid a $5 fee to cast a ballot, mostly online. Some folks cast paper ballots at about two dozen locations around the state. WBEZ's political reporter, Sam Hudzik, went to a few of those locations, and he joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to share his findings.</p></p> Mon, 07 Nov 2011 14:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-07/ron-paul-beats-out-top-gop-candidates-illinois-straw-poll-93803 Getting to know the Illinois' GOP presidential straw poll candidates http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-03/getting-know-illinois-gop-presidential-straw-poll-candidates-93724 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-03/Cain-and-Romney-at-last-weeks-debate-AP Oct-11 2011.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Illinois GOP presidential straw poll began online last week. For voters who prefer the traditional paper ballot, the main event is Saturday.</p><p>Republicans candidates have made appearances but have not spent a lot of time in Illinois.</p><p>The Land of Lincoln is of course home to Barack Obama, the sitting president and Democratic candidate; so, Republicans will likely face an uphill battle in the state.</p><p>To get a better sense of the field heading into the weekend, political consultant David Dring joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to handicap the field.</p><p>Dring is former advisor to Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross and is a political and public affairs consultant with<a href="http://www.fokn.com/FOKN/Home.html" target="_blank"> Fletcher, O’Brien, Kasper &amp; Nottage</a>.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 03 Nov 2011 14:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-03/getting-know-illinois-gop-presidential-straw-poll-candidates-93724 Ind. GOP chair: Daniels to help shape 2012 debate http://www.wbez.org/story/ind-gop-chair-daniels-help-shape-2012-debate-86925 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-23/Mitch Daniels_Getty_Pool.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The leader of Indiana's Republican Party says Gov. Mitch Daniels will continue to influence the national debate surrounding the 2012 presidential campaign while working as Indiana's governor.&nbsp;</p><p>Daniels said over the weekend that he won't run for president in 2012, citing concerns for his family.</p><p>State Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb told reporters on a conference call Monday that speculation of Daniels as a vice presidential candidate is hypothetical. Holcomb acknowledges that that a vice presidential run presents some similar obstacles as a presidential run, but says he won't "take it off the table" for Daniels.</p><p>Daniels' first public appearance is scheduled for Tuesday at a meeting of the Indiana Education Roundtable.</p></p> Mon, 23 May 2011 20:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/ind-gop-chair-daniels-help-shape-2012-debate-86925