WBEZ | Jan Schakowsky http://www.wbez.org/tags/jan-schakowsky Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: The big personalities and big wins of the 1985 Chicago Bears http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-28/morning-shift-big-personalities-and-big-wins-1985 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/bears Flickr The Downstairs Lounge.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We talk with Rich Cohen about his new book on the Chicago Bears&#39; magical 1985 season. We also hear reactions to the long-awaited Lake Shore Drive extension and delve into the complications that come with labeling sexuality.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-43/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-43.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-43" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: The big personalities and big wins of the 1985 Chicago Bears" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 08:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-28/morning-shift-big-personalities-and-big-wins-1985 IL Congresswoman Schakowsky calls for U.S. to suspend aid to Honduras http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-03-12/il-congresswoman-schakowsky-calls-us-suspend-aid-honduras-97212 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-March/2012-03-12/AP110318144117.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Since democratically-elected former president <a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/z/jose_manuel_zelaya/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Jose Manuel Zelaya</a> was deposed by a coup in 2009, human rights in Honduras have deteriorated. The country is now the murder capital of the world. Journalists, peasant farmers, LGBT activists and those opposed to current President <a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/l/porfirio_lobo_sosa/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Porfirio Lobo</a> have been harassed and killed. The perpetrators, often members of the police force and military, largely operate with impunity.</p><p>Shortly after the coup, Illinois Congresswoman <a href="http://schakowsky.house.gov/" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Jan Schakowsky</a> went to Honduras and met with human rights victims and their families. She has been a vocal critic of U.S. support for the Lobo Administration. Schakowsky talks with <em>Worldview</em> about the human rights situation in Honduras, and the letter she recently initiated which calls for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to suspend all U.S. aid for the police and military in the country.</p></p> Mon, 12 Mar 2012 14:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-03-12/il-congresswoman-schakowsky-calls-us-suspend-aid-honduras-97212 Illinois pols swear they aren't communists http://www.wbez.org/story/loyaltyoath <p><p>Three quarters of the candidates in Illinois for the U.S. House have signed a loyalty oath to the United States. The optional form, submitted along with ballot paperwork, asks candidates to swear they're not communists.</p><p><strong>LOYALTY OATH:</strong> Read it (<a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/extras/2012-January/2012-01-23/loyalty.pdf">PDF</a>)</p><p>You can rest assured that candidates signing the oath don't plan to teach or advocate for the overthrow of the government, and that they're not affiliated with any communist groups or communist-front groups.</p><p>The oath used to be mandatory, but a federal court decision four decades ago made it optional. And while communism isn't much of a campaign topic these days, the loyalty oath is still popular.</p><p>The signees, according to the state election board, include 56 current candidates for Congress in Illinois, including all incumbents except for Bobby Rush and Jan Schakowsky.</p><p>"As a loyal American I did not submit a loyalty oath because it is an unconstitutional vestige of McCarthyism and a direct violation of the fundamental values that make America great," Schakowsky explained in a statement.</p><p>Three of Illinois' four state legislative leaders signed the loyalty oath, with Senate President John Cullerton the only exception.</p><p>A signed oath was included among the paperwork by two presidential candidates on the ballot in Illinois: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum. The others who filed - President Barack Obama, Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Louisiana Gov. Charles "Buddy" Roemer - did not turn in the loyalty oath.</p><p><strong>WHO SIGNED IT?</strong> Full list from election board (<a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/extras/2012-January/2012-01-23/Loyalty%20Oath%20signees.pdf">PDF</a>)</p><p>&nbsp;</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>Illinois U.S. House District</th><th>Candidate</th><th>Loyalty Oath</th></tr><tr><td>1</td><td>* Bobby L. Rush (D)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>1</td><td>Clifford M. Russell, Jr. (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>1</td><td>Jordam Sims (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>1</td><td>Fred Smith (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>1</td><td>Raymond M. Lodato (D)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>1</td><td>Harold L. Bailey (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>1</td><td>Frederick Collins (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>1</td><td>Donald E. Peloquin (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>1</td><td>Jimmy Lee Tillman II (R)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>2</td><td>* Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>2</td><td>Deborah "Debbie" Halvorson (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>2</td><td>James H. Taylor, Sr. (R)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>2</td><td>Brian Woodworth (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>3</td><td>* Daniel William Lipinski (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>3</td><td>Farah Baqai (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>3</td><td>Arthur J. Jones (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>3</td><td>Richard L. Grabowski (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>3</td><td>Jim Falvey (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>4</td><td>* Luis V. Gutierrez (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>5</td><td>* Mike Quigley (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>5</td><td>Dan Schmitt (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>6</td><td>Leslie Coolidge (D)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>6</td><td>Geoffrey Petzel (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>6</td><td>Tim Ritter (D)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>6</td><td>Maureen E. Yates (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>6</td><td>* Peter J. Roskam (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>7</td><td>Jacques A. Conway (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>7</td><td>* Danny K. Davis (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>8</td><td>Raja Krishnamoorthi (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>8</td><td>Tammy Duckworth (D)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>8</td><td>Robert Gregory Canfield (R)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>8</td><td>Richard Evans (R)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>8</td><td>* Joe Walsh (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>9</td><td>* Janice D. Schakowsky (D)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>9</td><td>Simon Ribeiro (D)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>9</td><td>Timothy C. Wolfe (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>9</td><td>Susanne Atanus (R)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>10</td><td>Vivek Bavda (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>10</td><td>Brad Schneider (D)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>10</td><td>Ilya Sheyman (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>10</td><td>John Tree (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>10</td><td>Aloys Rutagwibira (D)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>10</td><td>* Robert Dold (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>11</td><td>Bill Foster (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>11</td><td>Jim Hickey (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>11</td><td>Juan Thomas (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>11</td><td>* Judy Biggert (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>11</td><td>John A. "Jack" Cunningham (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>11</td><td>Diane M. Harris (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>12</td><td>Brad Harriman (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>12</td><td>Christopher Miller (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>12</td><td>Kenneth Charles Weizer (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>12</td><td>Rodger Cook (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>12</td><td>Jason Plummer (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>12</td><td>Theresa Kormos (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>12</td><td>Teri Newman (R)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>13</td><td>David M. Gill (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>13</td><td>Matthew J. Goetten (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>13</td><td>Michael Firsching (R)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>13</td><td>* Tim Johnson (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>13</td><td>Frank L. Metzger (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>14</td><td>Dennis Anderson (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>14</td><td>Jonathan Farnick (D)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>14</td><td>* Randy M. Hultgren (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>15</td><td>Angela Michael (D)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>15</td><td>* John M. Shumkus (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>16</td><td>* Adam Kinzinger (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>16</td><td>* Donald A. Manzullo (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>17</td><td>Greg Aguilar (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>17</td><td>Cheri Bustos (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>17</td><td>George Gaulrapp (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>17</td><td>* Bobby Schilling (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>18</td><td>Steve Waterworth (D)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr><tr><td>18</td><td>Matthew A. Woodmancy (D)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>18</td><td>* Aaron Schock (R)</td><td>Filed</td></tr><tr><td>18</td><td>Darrel Miller (R)</td><td>Not filed</td></tr></tbody></table><p>(* indicates incumbent member of Congress)</p></p> Mon, 23 Jan 2012 02:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/loyaltyoath Rep. Schakowsky backs Obama’s deficit proposal http://www.wbez.org/story/rep-schakowsky-backs-obama%E2%80%99s-deficit-proposal-92188 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-14/janschakowsky_ap_Lauren Victoria Burke.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky is backing President Obama’s deficit reduction plan, including his promise to veto any bill that relies solely on spending cuts without raising new revenues.</p><p>“I applaud him, and I think most Americans do, too,” Schakowsky said at a luncheon with city and state officials.</p><p>On Monday, the President proposed a plan to reduce the nation's deficit by $3 trillion over the next 10 years. The package includes $1.5 trillion in new revenues, generated in part by allowing Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest earners to expire, and by limiting their deductions. The plan would also trim Medicare and Medicaid funding by $320 billion.</p><p>"It's only right we ask everyone to pay their fair share," said Obama in his speech Monday morning.</p><p>Republicans were quick to respond to Obama’s proposed deficit plan. Minutes after the president spoke, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement saying, "Veto threats, a massive tax hike, phantom savings, and punting on entitlement reform is not a recipe for economic or job growth."</p><p>Schakowsky, who represents Chicago's north suburbs, says Republicans’ insistence on not raising taxes is not a balanced approach to solving the deficit problem and is contrary to what the majority of Americans want.</p><p>“If the Republicans push a proposal that would maintain these tax cuts and all the tax breaks that go to the wealthiest Americans, they do that at their peril,” she said.</p></p> Mon, 19 Sep 2011 20:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/rep-schakowsky-backs-obama%E2%80%99s-deficit-proposal-92188 Unwanted publicity: Emanuel's Blagojevich trial headache http://www.wbez.org/story/news/criminal-justice/unwanted-publicity-emanuels-blagojevich-trial-headache-85357 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-18/51183398.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's second corruption trial begins Wednesday. And it's likely to once again put a lot of attention on Rahm Emanuel, now Chicago's mayor-elect.</p><p>Emanuel was never called to testify last summer and has not been accused of wrongdoing. But his name came up repeatedly at trial, including in some secretly-recorded phone calls.</p><p>Jurors heard Emanuel's name an awful lot during the first trial. They heard about a scheme in which Blagojevich allegedly tried to shake down then-Congressman Emanuel for fundraising help.</p><p>And Emanuel popped up again in testimony about the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama. Emanuel, who was then the soon-to-be White House chief of staff, got in the debate about who Blagojevich should appoint. In a taped phone call from November 2008, Blagojevich chief of staff John Harris told the governor he got a call from lobbyist John Wyma, on behalf of Emanuel.</p><p>HARRIS: Rahm asked him to deliver the message that [the] president-elect would be very pleased if you appointed Valerie...</p><p>Valerie is Valerie Jarrett, an Obama confidante.</p><p>HARRIS: ...and he would be thankful and appreciate. Those are the operative words.<br> BLAGOJEVICH: Uh huh.<br> HARRIS: And I said, 'Okay. I will deliver the message.'</p><p>Harris and Blagojevich then chat about what the governor can redeem for that "appreciation."</p><p>BLAGOJEVICH: Okay, so we know he wants her. They're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [BLEEP] them. You know what I mean?</p><p>In a phone call one day later, Harris tells Blagojevich he got another call, from Emanuel himself this time.</p><p>HARRIS: Yeah, I just got a call from Rahm.</p><p>Things had changed. Valerie Jarrett no longer wanted to be considered for the Senate, and Emanuel was talking about new candidates.</p><p>HARRIS: He gave us four names that the president would find acceptable.<br> BLAGOJEVICH: Who are they?<br> HARRIS: Not in any rank order.<br> BLAGOJEVICH: Who are they?<br> HARRIS: Jesse Jackson, Jr.<br> BLAGOJEVICH: Go ahead.<br> HARRIS:Jan Schakowsky.<br> BLAGOJEVICH: Yeah.<br> HARRIS: Tammy Duckworth.<br> BLAGOJEVICH:Yeah.<br> HARRIS: Dan Hynes.</p><p>The discussions between Emanuel and Blagojevich and his staff were briefly outlined in <a href="http://change.gov/page/-/hem5zet3nalm2/2008%2012%2023%20PTT%20Contacts%20Memo.pdf">a report</a> prepared for the Obama transition office in December 2008. The report says Emanuel talked by phone personally to Blagojevich "one or two" times about the Senate seat, and to John Harris "about four" times.</p><p>The report says no one in the transition was aware Blagojevich was trying to get anything "personal" in exchange for the appointment. Speaking to reporters in late 2008, Greg Craig, the attorney who wrote the report, said Emanuel was not aware of Blagojevich's alleged efforts until after the ex-governor was arrested.</p><p>CRAIG: There was no reason for Rahm to suspect there was any effort going on - at least with him, and he knew of no other effort with anybody else - to negotiate some <em>quid pro quo</em> in exchange for the Senate appointment.</p><p>But Emanuel himself has said he was aware Blagojevich was looking for something in return for appointing a candidate preferred by the president-elect. At a press conference during the mayoral campaign, in February, he recounted a conversation with a Blagojevich "representative."</p><p>EMANUEL: The governor's representative said, 'What's in it for us?' And I responded that 'You'll get thanks and appreciation.' And I think you also know how the governor responded to the word 'appreciation.' That's been detailed over two years ago, in the report. (<em>audio courtesy of <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Blagojevich-Wants-Phone-Calls--115552979.html">NBC-5 Chicago</a>)</em></p><p>But that is not in the Obama transition report. There's not a word in the report about a Blagojevich representative asking "What's in it for us," and not a word about Emanuel answering "you'll get thanks and appreciation." A similar conversation, though, was described at the trial.</p><p>An Emanuel spokesperson declined to comment on the apparent misstatement.</p><p>But specifics like that may matter in court. Sheldon Sorosky is an attorney for Rod Blagojevich.</p><p>SOROSKY: Let me say this clearly: There has never been any allegation that Mayor Emanuel - or Mayor-elect Emanuel - has ever done anything wrong.</p><p>Blagojevich has said that Emanuel offered to negotiate a deal between the governor and House Speaker Mike Madigan. Madigan's daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, would get the Senate seat. And Blagojevich would get legislative concessions from the speaker.</p><p>Sorosky could call Emanuel to testify about that in the upcoming trial. And the mayoral election results, he says, will have no impact on his decision.</p><p>SOROSKY: Absolutely not. Abso...<br> REPORTER: Do you plan to?<br> SOROSKY: Oh, we don't know yet.<br> REPORTER: Well, surely...<br> SOROSKY: But I want you to know our legal team was evenly divided on voting for and against the new mayor.</p><p>Unlike during the first trial when he was working in the White House, away from the Chicago press corps, these proceedings come at a time when Emanuel will likely hold regular press conferences. So whether or not he's asked questions about Blagojevich in court, he will face them from reporters.</p></p> Tue, 19 Apr 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/criminal-justice/unwanted-publicity-emanuels-blagojevich-trial-headache-85357 Which congressional staff are 'essential' during shutdown? http://www.wbez.org/story/business/which-congressional-staff-are-essential-during-shutdown-84895 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/P1010056.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Members of Illinois' congressional delegation may have to decide which of their staff are "essential," and which they can do without. That's if no spending bill is signed into law by midnight Friday, triggering a government shutdown.</p><p>Congressional employees can stick around if they're deemed "essential" to "upholding...constitutional responsibilities." And the member of Congress gets to personally make that decision.<br> <br> "You know, I think my staff is all going to be particularly essential," said U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Democrat from Evanston.<br> <br> Schakowsky said if there's a shutdown, her staff will be answering all sorts of questions about affected government services.<br> <br> Likewise, U.S. Rep. Robert Dold, a North Shore Republican, said he wants his constituents to still be able to reach his office.<br> <br> "For me, I want to make sure we are as responsive as possible, while recognizing that if indeed it does come to that, that we are paring back," Dold said.<br> <br> Dold planned to first ask his staff if anyone wanted to volunteer to be furloughed.<br> <br> Meantime, some members of Congress - including at least one from Illinois - say they don't plan to keep any salary earned during a potential shutdown. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, Republican from Highland Park, announced on Twitter that he would donate his pay to charity.</p></p> Fri, 08 Apr 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/business/which-congressional-staff-are-essential-during-shutdown-84895 Illinois reps position themselves ahead of shutdown http://www.wbez.org/story/government-shutdown/illinois-reps-position-themselves-ahead-shutdown-84891 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-07/IMG_2389.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>With a government shutdown looming at midnight Friday night, all U.S. House Republicans from Illinois voted Thursday to fund the government for at least a week. The state's Democrats all voted against the bill.</p><p>Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Dold from the North Shore voted for the stopgap spending bill, which he says proves his party wants to avoid a shutdown.<br> <br> "What we're doing right now is doing all we can to make sure we keep this budget - or the continuing resolution going so we can keep the government up and functioning for the American public," Dold said in an interview following the vote.</p><p>The bill would also fund the military through the end of the fiscal year.</p><p>The president has promised he would veto that measure, his staff pointing out it contains some $12 billion dollars in non-negotiated cuts.<br> <br> Evanston Democrat Jan Schakowsky said Thursday that the onus is on Republicans to agree to a final deal.<br> <br> "We have agreed to a number of pretty painful things. I'm not thrilled about what we've agreed to," Schakowsky said. "But they keep moving the goal posts, and it's clear that they are pushing for a shutdown."<br> <br> Federal employees deemed "essential" can work through a shutdown. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/business/which-congressional-staff-are-essential-during-shutdown-84895">Members of Congress</a> get to decide which of their staff fit that description. Schakowsky said she believes all her staff are essential, while Dold said he would "pare down" his team.</p></p> Thu, 07 Apr 2011 21:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/government-shutdown/illinois-reps-position-themselves-ahead-shutdown-84891 Lawmakers reassess security in wake of AZ shootings http://www.wbez.org/story/arizona-rampage-congresswoman/lawmakers-reassess-security-wake-az-shootings <p><p>&nbsp;Many members of Congress are reassessing their security at public events after this weekend's shootings in Arizona.&nbsp;The violent incident killed six people, including a federal judge, and injured many more, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.</p> <div>The shooting happened while Giffords was meeting with constituents at a public event near a supermarket in Tucson. Illinois Representative Jan Schakowsky says she often holds events exactly like that.&nbsp;&ldquo;Does it make you think twice? Because frankly, I don't think twice when I have an event,&rdquo; said Schakowsky. &ldquo;Yes, it does,&rdquo; she continued. &ldquo;But I am not considering at this time changing overall my behavior in terms of my accessibility to constituents.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>But Schakowsky says she will heed suggestions from the Sergeant at Arms, the House&rsquo;s top law enforcement and security official.&nbsp;Security was part of a giant conference call discussion on Sunday for members of Congress and their spouses. On the call, Schakowsky says House members were told they'd get briefings this week on how to handle their security.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Already, Schakowsky says she&rsquo;s received a call from the chief of police in Evanston, where she lives, to offer protection at her public events.</div></p> Sun, 09 Jan 2011 23:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/arizona-rampage-congresswoman/lawmakers-reassess-security-wake-az-shootings Fundraisers, lotteries and leases: Congressional freshmen prepare http://www.wbez.org/story/adam-kinzinger/fundraisers-lotteries-and-leases-congressional-freshmen-prepare <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Cong freshman on cap steps - Getty Mark Wilson.jpg.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In less than three weeks, Illinois' newest members of Congress will be sworn in. Robert Dold, Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, Bobby Schilling and Joe Walsh have all been busy setting up their offices. They're each Republicans, and they're responsible for the Illinois congressional delegation shifting from majority blue to majority red. So, what have the &quot;freshman five&quot; have been up to since November?</p><p>Last week the new Republican members of Congress from Illinois got together twice at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, just steps away from their future office buildings. These weren't private gatherings to prepare for the coming GOP takeover of the U.S. House, or to brainstorm legislation the newbies would focus on. These events were fundraisers.<br /><br />DOLD: Some people that were in and around Washington that gathered for a breakfast and one that gathered for kind-of some appetizers before dinner.<br /><br />That is Robert Dold, congressman-elect from the 10th district in Chicago's north suburbs.<br /><br />DOLD: Largely just an opportunity to mix and mingle with people in and around the area that generally had not contributed to the campaigns of the five of us.<br /><br />Not contributed to - until last week, that is.<br /><br />Congressman-elect Randy Hultgren is from the 14th district to the west of Chicago.<br /><br />HULTGREN: Nice group, but not huge, but it was a good opportunity again to be able to talk with many different people out there, from different parts, but most of them from [the] Midwest area.<br /><br />But this is also about money. According to a copy of the invitations obtained by the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation, contributors at the events were asked to give at least a thousand dollars to Illinois House Republican Freshmen, a joint fundraising committee established earlier this month. <br /><br />These newcomers are not apologetic about using one of their first post-election trips to Washington to raise some cash. Here is Adam Kinzinger from the 11th District, which includes much of Will County and snakes south to Bloomington.<br /><br />KINZINGER: I always thinks it's interesting when people are amazed to find out that candidates are out fundraising, but yet at the same time, if you don't put a million dollar ad buy on television, people wonder if that slam attack ad against you was true.<br /><br />Since those ads stopped airing and the votes were all counted, the congressmen-elect have begun planning their new lives. That includes learning the parliamentary rules of the U.S. House, but also finding a place to live when in Washington. Hultgren and Dold are each still looking.<br /><br />HULTGREN: My intention is to just rent a room hopefully from a family out there in Washington, D.C. Hopefully something close to the Capitol, something inexpensive, but at least a place where I can get away a little bit.<br />DOLD: Some sort of an apartment or something that we could share with another congressman-elect or maybe two congressmen-elect, depending on what we can find, just to try to keep costs down.<br /><br />Joe Walsh, who scored a surprise victory in the 8th district in Chicago's northwest suburbs, plans to sleep in his Capitol Hill office.<br /><br />WALSH:&nbsp; Our kids are older, and when my wife comes and visits me or whenever she comes with me, we'll have to find something else. But in general I'm going to stay in my office.<br />HUDZIK: You don't think she's going to want to stay in the office with you?<br />WALSH: I don't think that will be an option.<br /><br />KINZINGER: Ah, heck no I am not doing the office thing. <br /><br />Again, Adam Kinzinger.<br /><br />KINZINGER: I spent enough days in the military to say I, you know, it's time to...I don't have to do that. So I got an apartment actually just within walking distance of my office building.<br /><br />And what about office space? Each member of Congress will set up offices in their home districts. They also get a Capitol Hill spot, with picking order for primo locations determined by a lottery.<br /><br />KINZINGER: Whatever number you get, it goes in order then and then when it comes up to you, you get to pick from what's left. Well, I actually got 80 out of 85. I just figured, you know what, I guess I'm destined to have one of the worst offices in Congress.<br /><br />But Kinzinger says he's actually happy with what he ended up getting.<br /><br />Joe Walsh was able to avoid the office lottery, thanks to how narrow his victory was over three-term&nbsp; incumbent Democrat Melissa Bean.</p><p>WALSH: Because my race was decided late, I was not thrown in to the freshman lottery, so I inherited Ms. Bean's office.<br /><br />A better office than Walsh likely would've gotten otherwise.<br /><br />WALSH: And to Ms. Bean's credit, it's been decorated beautifully. It's a lovely, it's a lovely space.<br />HUDZIK: No plans for redecorating?<br />WALSH: No, we will redecorate. Just to put more of a male touch in there.<br /><br />In fact, Illinois' congressional delegation as a whole will have more of a &quot;male touch&quot; come January. Bean is out, as is Representative Debbie Halvorson. Out of the delegation's 19 House members, there will be just two women: Republican Judy Biggert and Democrat Jan Schakowsky.<br /><br />The &quot;freshman five&quot; are all men, and all white. But their views are not all the same, and neither are their supporters.<br /><br />Walsh's insurgent campaign was helped by tea party activists, which made up for his receiving zero support from Republican Party leaders. And he insists he won't forget about those tea partiers.<br /><br />WALSH: Well, that's who I am. So that would be like forgetting about myself, Sam, and I'm never going to to forget about myself. So, no. That movement is alive and well and it's going to grow every single day.<br /><br />But Walsh is not afraid to compromise on some issues of importance to the tea party. For example, he offered tentative support for the tax cut deal worked out between the White House and congressional Republicans, even though some conservative lawmakers oppose it.<br /><br />Robert Dold also must balance loyalty to party with some policy stands he took during the campaign. Dold presented himself to voters as a social moderate on issues like abortion and gun control.<br /><br />DOLD: And I'm sure there are many within the [House Republican] conference that will take issue with some of my positions on certain things but perhaps more on the social side of things than on the fiscal side.<br /><br />Kinzinger - more so than any of his fellow Illinois freshmen - is dealing with a newfound fame. He won a spot on the GOP transition team, and has made recent appearances on national cable television. He insists, though, that he plans to keep his focus on his district, and says the new members can help each other avoid political pitfalls.<br /><br />KINZINGER: We have to work together, and as we face the temptation of Washington, you need people that you're close to that feel comfortable enough to call you out if you feel yourself slipping or you're doing something stupid.<br /><br />And there will be plenty of opportunities to say or do politically careless things in the 22-and-a-half months before the next general election. And Illinois Democrats could hold a key advantage then.&nbsp; They control the state legislature and governor's office, so they control redistricting - the process every ten years when the boundaries of congressional districts are re-drawn.<br /><br />With Illinois expected to lose a seat in the House, Republicans have reason to be worried. When I asked the freshmen about it, they insisted they are focused on the present, but acknowledged they've given it some thought.<br /><br />HULTGREN: I think we are all uncertain of what's going to happen, so there is that concern of 'What will it look like?'<br />WALSH: It's always in the back of your mind. And if any of us are telling you we don't think about it, we're lying to you.<br />DOLD: I try not to think about it too often because there's too many things in front us right now.<br /><br />And on January 5th at noon, their work officially begins.</p></p> Thu, 16 Dec 2010 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/adam-kinzinger/fundraisers-lotteries-and-leases-congressional-freshmen-prepare Schakowsky rejects deficit-reduction plan http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/schakowsky-rejects-deficit-reduction-plan <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Jan.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>U.S. Rep <a target="_blank" href="http://schakowsky.house.gov/">Jan Schakowsky</a> (D-IL) says she cannot support a revised plan to reduce the national deficit. The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0CBYQFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fiscalcommission.gov%2F&amp;rct=j&amp;q=Bipartisan%20National%20Commission%20on%20Fiscal%20Responsibility%20and%20Reform&amp;ei=tmD2TKzNFsmWnAf4kdCjCQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNH3fbvvWU9JngEHCQsajLTR4Q_oZA&amp;sig2=lMSno77yb_LlJBy9Bsbxyg&amp;cad=rja">Bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform</a> was asked to agree on a plan to shrink the national debt by Dec. 1, but the final vote has been postponed. <br /><br />Elected officials on the panel, including Schakowsky, have been unable to agree on a proposal put forth by co-chairs <a target="_blank" href="http://www.northcarolina.edu/president/index.htm">Erskine Bowles</a> and <a href="http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=S000429" target="_blank">Alan Simpson</a>, who floated their plan in early November. Today is the first day commissioners will see a revised version; a final vote on that proposal is expected Friday. Fourteen of the 18 commissioners must agree on the proposal in order for it to move to Congress for a full vote.<br /><br />Schakowsky told Eight Forty-Eight&rsquo;s Alison Cuddy that she&rsquo;s seen some of the proposed changes, and believes the plan to reduce the deficit &ldquo;places an inordinate burden on the elderly and on middle-class people.&rdquo; For one, the proposal will require people on Medicare to pay more out-of-pocket for health care.<br /><br />Schakowsky has offered an alternative plan. One idea for reducing health care costs, she says, is to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices. She also believes that the U.S. should offer a &ldquo;public option&rdquo; for health care coverage, which she says will lower costs and give consumers more choice.<br /><br />Schakowsky also proposed waiting until 2015 to address the national deficit. &ldquo;First we have to invest in the economy to put people back to work,&rdquo; she remarked. For example, she suggested that extending unemployment benefits will stimulate the economy and actually help reduce the deficit.</p><p><em>Music Button: The Lions, &quot;Thin Man Skank&quot;, from the CD Jungle Struttin', (Ubiquity) </em><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 01 Dec 2010 14:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/schakowsky-rejects-deficit-reduction-plan