WBEZ | Carol Moseley Braun http://www.wbez.org/tags/carol-moseley-braun Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Danny Davis: No regrets backing Braun http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/danny-davis-no-regrets-backing-braun <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Davis1.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Chicago, is standing by his decision to push Carol Moseley Braun as a &quot;consensus black candidate&quot; in the recent mayoral election.&nbsp;</p><p>Braun's poor showing has some political observers saying race no longer plays the role it did in local elections back in the 1980s when Harold Washington was elected the city's first black mayor.&nbsp; But Davis said race is still an important part of politics in Chicago.&nbsp; He said issues such as gun violence and high incarceration rates disproportionately affect black communities and the black community should be electing candidates who understand those issues and are committed to solving them.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Anybody that's trying to elect somebody to public office should want whoever it is that's going to think the most like them, who's going to do the most like what they would do.&nbsp; If you're not doing that then what's the point of participating,&quot; said Davis.</p></p> Mon, 07 Mar 2011 13:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/danny-davis-no-regrets-backing-braun What the numbers mean for Emanuel, Braun and Chico http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-02-25/what-numbers-mean-emanuel-braun-and-chico-82949 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Rahm Election Night_Getty_Scott Olson.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img title="" alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-25/rahm%26carol.jpg" style="width: 487px; height: 313px;" /></p><p>There&rsquo;s no disputing the numbers: Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel had an overwhelming victory in an election that &ndash; while not quite as big as had been anticipated &ndash; brought a higher percentage of registered voters to the polls than any other municipal campaign since 1995.</p><p><span style="font-family: Arial;">Emanuel won the heavily white, Jewish and gay lakefront by more than 60 percent of the vote, scoring nearly 75 percent in the 42<sup>nd</sup>, 43<sup>rd</sup> and 44<sup>th</sup>.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Rahm also won four of the ten Latino majority wards: the 26<sup>th</sup>, 30<sup>th</sup>, 31<sup>st</sup>, 33<sup>rd</sup> and 35<sup>th</sup> &ndash; all north side wards, each and every one far away from his good buddy Juan Rangel&rsquo;s sphere of influence (in other words, though Rahm may be giving him a shout out, there&rsquo;s no way Juan, based on the southwest side, had squat to do with those victories).</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">But most significantly &ndash; and perhaps most crucial to avoiding a run-off -- Emanuel won every single African-American majority ward in the city: the 3<sup>rd</sup>, 4<sup>th</sup>, 5<sup>th</sup>, 6<sup>th</sup>, 7<sup>th</sup>, 8<sup>th</sup>, 9<sup>th</sup>, 15<sup>th</sup>, 16th, 17<sup>th</sup>, 18<sup>th</sup>, 20<sup>th</sup>, 21<sup>st</sup>, 24<sup>th</sup>, 28<sup>th</sup>, 29<sup>th</sup>, 34<sup>th</sup> and 37<sup>th</sup>.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">And he won big -- often by breathtaking margins of 30 and even 40 points. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">No question the President&rsquo;s coattails were long in this case (again, in spite of Rahm&rsquo;s shout out, I don&rsquo;t buy that Jesse White&rsquo;s late endorsement had much to do with this win). And there seems little doubt that, in spite of a pre-election<a href="http://www.chicagodefender.com/article-10079-we-endorse-carol-moseley-braun-for-mayor-feb-22.html"> editorial</a> in <em>The Chicago Defender</em> that endorsed Carol Moseley Braun and claimed Emanuel &ldquo;has shown no affinity for (Chicago&rsquo;s) 1 million African-Americans,&rdquo; the vast majority of the city&rsquo;s black voters thought otherwise. Emanuel&rsquo;s victory margins in each African-American majority ward evidence support &ndash; frankly, very enthusiastic support.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">But in a contest with a &ldquo;consensus&rdquo; black candidate &ndash; with a campaign supported by some of the African-American community&rsquo;s best known and best loved figures and financed by black millionaires -- this kind of turnout for Rahm Emanuel is also irrefutable testimony of just how out of touch the old black leadership may well be with its own grassroots community. It is also startling proof of the utter lack of an on-the-ground organization to get the vote out, which means the &quot;consensus&quot; group's endorsement was ultimately meaningless.<br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">How badly did Braun, the &ldquo;consensus&rdquo; candidate, lose? Catastrophically. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">She came in fourth overall in the city, behind both Gery Chico and Miguel del Valle, and only better than the other two African-American candidates, both mavericks who were never expected to get more a few votes. </span><span style="font-family: Arial;">In her own 5th ward, Emanuel humiliated Braun 62 percent to 16.7 percent.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Carol didn&rsquo;t win a single ward &ndash; <em>not one</em> &ndash; in all of Chicago. And in the black majority wards, that was <em>her </em>Rahm Emanuel was trouncing by 30 to 40 points over and over. <br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">In the 18<sup>th</sup> ward, where African Americans make up nearly 68 percent of the population, Braun even came in <em>third</em> to Chico, 20.3 percent to 17.7 percent. Granted, the 18<sup>th</sup> ward has a maverick streak: Until Mayor Daley appointed Lola Lane to finish out Thomas Murphy&rsquo;s term once he got bumped up to judge, Murphy had been the only white alderman from a black majority ward. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">In fact, outside of the black majority wards, Braun was held to <em>single digits</em>. Only in the 27<sup>th</sup>, which is a black plurality ward, did she hit 10.5 percent of the vote.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">And in four wards &ndash; the 14<sup>th</sup>, 38<sup>th</sup>, 41<sup>st</sup>, and 45<sup>th</sup> (all white majority except the 14<sup>th</sup>, which has a Hispanic majority), she actually scored<em> less than one percent</em>.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">In spite of endorsing Braun days before election (in a twisted editorial that emphasized her resume way more than her achievements), <em>The Defender</em>&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.chicagodefender.com/article-10128-black-chicago-leadership-failed-in-this-election.html">editorial</a> late on election night may have bared the staff&rsquo;s real frustrations:</span></p> <blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Arial;">&ldquo;This election was lost over the last 22 years, because what constitutes Black leadership in Chicago seemed to be caught with its pants down when Daley decided he wasn&rsquo;t going to run for re-election. Since Harold Washington died in 1987, a whole generation of able and qualified aspirants to City Hall have been co-opted, bought out, or chased away, and when leaders went looking for mayoral candidates, they found the cupboards largely bare. So we got Cong. Danny Davis, at 69, running for mayor, a year older than Daley, who was retiring. We got Braun, who had not been active in politics for nearly 15 years, stepping into the fray. We had William &lsquo;Dock&rsquo; Walls running for this third different post in the last four years, and we had Patricia Van Pelt Watkins coming out of nowhere to seek the office of mayor in her first foray into politics. She obviously didn&rsquo;t read the book about paying political dues &hellip; This was a watershed election for Chicago, but especially for Black Chicago. Not only could we not come up with a &lsquo;consensus&rsquo; Black candidate (while the white community certainly did by sending Tom Dart and Lisa Madigan home to spend more time with family), we didn&rsquo;t really support any Black candidate.&rdquo;</span></p></blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Indeed, it might be time to make way, not for those who still have memories of Harold but for those for whom Harold fought for a better future long after he was gone.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">*<span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>*<span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>*</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">One other election note: Second place winner Gery Chico won ten wards, of which six were Latino majority wards. But the actual picture&rsquo;s a little bit more complicated. <br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Who supported Chico? Well, if you look at the wards he won, Chico's Machine ties are glaring. His victories came in:</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 10<sup>th</sup> ward, Ed Vrdolyak&rsquo;s old territory, where alderman and committeeman John Pope adheres to Machine tradition; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 11<sup>th</sup>, run by John Daley, the most &quot;old school&quot; of the Daleys; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 12<sup>th</sup>, coordinated by committeeman Tony Muñoz, the Machine ally who ousted progressive Jesus Garcia as state senator years ago;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * Michael Madigan&rsquo;s 13<sup>th</sup>;<span style="">&nbsp; </span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * Ed Burke&rsquo;s 14<sup>th</sup>; <span style="">&nbsp;</span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 19<sup>th</sup>, where Matt O&rsquo;Shea, the new alderman and heir to Machine stalwart Virginia Rugai, is also the committeeman;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * the 23<sup>rd</sup>, which is run by Daley&rsquo;s president <em>pro tempore</em> of the City Council, Michael Zalewski, also the old school ward committeeman; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; * and finally, the 25<sup>th</sup>, where Ald. Danny Solis is also the committeeman, and when he&rsquo;s not Daley&rsquo;s best Latino ally in the council, he&rsquo;s allied with Cong. Luis Gutierrez, who put everything he had into getting Chico elected this time.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Chico also won the 41<sup>st</sup>, the city&rsquo;s most Republican ward (and the most bipartisan, if we&rsquo;re talking old style Dems), where he may have found his most natural constituency. It&rsquo;s fair to say that most GOPers would find Rahm Emanuel's politics unthinkable, except for the utterly unfathomable and even more liberal and progressive politics of Carol Moseley Braun and Miguel del Valle. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Chico also won the 22<sup>nd</sup>, the city&rsquo;s most Latino ward, where he challenged alderman and committeeman Rick Munoz, County Commissioner Jesus Garcia and state legislature aspirant Rudy Lozano, Jr., all del Valle supporters, on their home turf. This was a classic 22<sup>nd</sup> ward fight, where ethnicity doesn&rsquo;t matter and the very last remnants of the Machine refuse to die while the progressives continue to flail. It&rsquo;s also the ward which historically casts the fewest votes, as was the case again with 4,847.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">And in spite of the tough words Chico had for Rahm Emanuel during the campaign, be assured that Chico will be back, and probably sooner rather than later. David Mosena, the former Daley chief of staff who made Chico his deputy and launched his career as Daley&rsquo;s go-to guy, has just been named to Mayor-elect Emanuel&rsquo;s transition team. </span><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br /></span></p></p> Fri, 25 Feb 2011 06:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-02-25/what-numbers-mean-emanuel-braun-and-chico-82949 A mayor is elected, as a dozen council races head for runoffs http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/mayor-elected-dozen-council-races-head-runoffs <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Rahm mayoral win - AP Charles Rex Arbogast_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago has a mayor-elect. Rahm Emanuel won 55-percent of the vote in Tuesday's election, enough to avoid a runoff. That means that in May, Emanuel will succeed his one-time boss, longtime Mayor Richard M. Daley.</p><p>The ex-White House chief of staff and congressman will take office May 16th. And from the looks of things, the new mayor may be dealing with a large group of new aldermen.</p><p>Emanuel stepped to the stage last night, surrounded by his family and supporters at the surprisingly early hour of 9 o'clock - just two hours after the polls closed.<br /><br />EMANUEL: Thank you, Chicago, for this humbling victory. <br /><br />Humbling, perhaps, but also decisive. And Emanuel couldn't help but make a joke about the residency fight that nearly got him booted from the race just a few weeks earlier.<br /><br />EMANUEL: All I can say, you sure know how to make a guy feel at home.<br /><br />Since Emanuel's return to Chicago in October, he's run an orderly, professional campaign that at times seemed more White House than City Hall.<br /><br />Not counting money from his congressional campaign fund, Emanuel raised in excess of $12 million. Millions of that came from out of state, and it funded aggressive TV ads that attempted to turn a bulldog into a golden retriever, a leader with just enough bite to get things done.<br /><br />And it worked. He won the most votes in 40 out of 50 wards.<br /><br />With the win, Emanuel inherits a budget expected to be well out of balance, a monster pension debt, and school and public housing systems in the midst of enormous, and controversial, transitions.<br /><br />EMANUEL: The real work of building a better future begins tonight. And I intend to enlist every living one of you. Every one of you, in our city.<br /><br />Including his now-former opponents.<br /><br />EMANUEL: I look forward to drawing on their insights, their energy, their experiences, in the years to come and in days to come.<br /><br />CHICO: Whatever he needs me to do, I'm a phone call away. Because this is our city. And we all love our city. And we've elected a mayor tonight. We've elected a mayor tonight.<br /><br />Gery Chico emerged in the final weeks of the campaign as the clear number-two in this race. A former chief of staff to Mayor Daley, and Daley-appointed head of the school, park district and city college boards. That means he spent the campaign balancing his experience and accomplishments in the old administration, with promises that the city under his watch would do better.<br /><br />In the end, Chico won close to a quarter of all votes, and 10 wards - some with large Latino populations. Chico last night made a reference to this soft spot in Emanuel's results, along with the mayor-elect's troubles with organized labor. His campaign, Chico said, started building a coalition...<br /><br />CHICO: ...with ethnic groups, with the Latino community, the African American community, labor, working men and women. And Rahm will obviously need to continue that work to take our city where we want it to go.<br /><br />A high-profile backer of Chico's, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, said he was happy with Chico's results. But he said what allowed Emanuel to climb above 50-percent was that another candidate won so few votes.<br /><br />BRAUN: We didn't make it, in spite of all the prayers and in spite of all the work, and in spite of all the effort, it didn't happen for us.<br /><br />Carol Moseley Braun's candidacy was buoyed in December, when two other prominent African Americans - Congressman Danny Davis and state Senator James Meeks - dropped out of the race and endorsed her. But her candidacy never caught on, due in part to some high profile flubs. And the campaign reported zero large donations in the final weeks. Her money and her momentum had dried up.<br /><br />BRAUN: I said to my little niece Claire maybe you'll be the first woman elected mayor of the city of Chicago.<br /><br />Chicago has had a woman as mayor: Jane Byrne was elected more than 30 years ago. Braun herself is no stranger to history. In 1992, she was the first - and still only - black woman elected to the U.S. Senate. But Tuesday, Braun failed to win a single Chicago ward, and was kept to the single digits in total percentage.<br /><br />Same goes for another top mayoral contender, Miguel del Valle, who during his campaign couldn't multiply the kind of enthusiasm he shared Tuesday night with his supporters.<br /><br />DEL VALLE: Look around you. Look behind you. Look to the left. Look to the right. Look in front of you. This is Chicago. This is the future of the city of Chicago.<br /><br />Del Valle's speech sounded less like a concession and more like a call to arms.<br /><br />DEL VALLE: My worst enemy was not my political opponents, but rather time. We'll have time. We're going to have time to build. We are going to build. We are going to build a progressive agenda in this city.<br /><br />Del Valle's term as city clerk runs out in May. Voters Tuesday picked state Representative Susana Mendoza to replace him.<br /><br />They also weighed-in on 43 contested city council races. In at least 14 of them, no candidate won a majority, so there will be runoff elections. That includes 10 sitting aldermen fighting for their jobs, leaving the potential for even bigger change than expected in the council. That body could support - or stifle -&nbsp; the plans of its new mayor.<br /><br />EMANUEL: While not all the contests are settled, I want to reach out tonight to the members of the next city council. We have a chance for a new partnership that will serve our city and its taxpayers well.<br /><br />That may have been the only line in Emanuel's speech aimed directly at aldermen, and none of them were there to hear it. After the mayor-elect left, and the room half-cleared, one did show up: <br /><br />TUNNEY: Well, the fact is I didn't get here on time.<br /><br />That's 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney from the North Side's Lakeview neighborhood. He endorsed Emanuel, and now wants and expects him to get involved in the remaining city council races - both with endorsements and campaign cash.<br /><br />TUNNEY: Any new mayor is going to have to build relationships. And when Rich Daley became mayor in 1989, he'd build relationships...And that's why he was so successful.<br /><br />Daley may be retiring, but he wasn't entirely missing from the scene Tuesday night. At his victory party, Emanuel said he'd received a phone call from Daley.<br /><br />EMANUEL: Rich Daley is the only mayor a whole generation of Chicagoans has known. And let's be honest: It's an impossible act to follow.<br /><br />Emanuel once worked for Daley - raising campaign donations for Daley's first mayoral win, in 1989. Tuesday night, Emanuel heaped on the praise.<br /><br />EMANUEL: Nobody has ever loved Chicago more or served it with greater passion or commitment. This city bears his imprint, and he has earned a special place in our hearts and our history.<br /><br />Those were perhaps the most explicitly kind words any mayoral candidate has said about Daley since this election began. In fact, the mayor was almost never mentioned by the candidates, even as they complained about how the city is run.<br /><br />His was the name that was rarely spoken. That is, until last night, after the voters had their say, and the mayor-elect got a phone call from the mayor.</p></p> Wed, 23 Feb 2011 14:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/mayor-elected-dozen-council-races-head-runoffs Chicago's Mayoral Election http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-chicago-mayor-race/chicagos-mayoral-election <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Rahm mayoral win - AP Charles Rex Arbogast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has been elected mayor of Chicago and will succeed the retiring Richard Daley.</p><p>Emanuel called his victory &quot;humbling&quot; and &quot;most gratifying.&quot; He also thanked Daley for his lifetime of service to the city.<br /> <br />Emanuel said he is ready to meet the challenges head-on to &quot;make a great city even greater.&quot; He also said he had just talked to President Barack Obama, who sent affection for his hometown.<br /> <br />It was the city's first mayoral race in more than 60 years without an incumbent on the ballot and the first in more than two decades without Daley among the candidates.<br /> <br />With 97 percent of the precincts reporting, Emanuel was trouncing five opponents Tuesday with 55 percent of the vote to avoid an April runoff. Emanuel needed more than 50 percent of the vote to win.<br /> <br />The other major candidates - former Chicago schools president Gery Chico, former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and City Clerk Miguel del Valle - had hoped to force a runoff but were no match for Emanuel.<br /> <br />Chico had 24 percent of the vote compared to 9 percent for both del Valle and Braun. Two other lesser-known candidates got about 1 to 2 percent of the vote.<br /> <br />Emanuel's win caps off a campaign that included an unsuccessful legal challenge to try to keep him off the ballot.</p><p>Chico told supporters tonight that he and Emanuel spoke on the phone and he pledged to help the new mayor any way he could.</p><p>2,522 of 2,570 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>x-Rahm Emanuel, 317,329 - 55 percent</p><p>Gery Chico, 138,864 - 24 percent</p><p>Miguel del Valle, 53,717 - 9 percent</p><p>Carol Moseley Braun, 50,974 - 9 percent</p><p>Patricia Van Pelt Watkins, 9,358 - 2 percent</p><p>William Walls, 5,142 - 1 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 22:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-chicago-mayor-race/chicagos-mayoral-election We make history today http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-02-22/we-make-history-today-82708 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/bean.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;" class="MsoNormal"><img width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-22/bean.jpg" /></p><p>It&rsquo;s such a ritual, this thing we do today.</p> <p>We trudge out to a neighborhood school or senior center or library and stand in line, sign our names and make a choice.</p> <p>Sometimes we&rsquo;re thrilled about our choice, sometimes indifferent, sometimes downright disgusted.</p> <p>But, in the end, we get to exercise this rare right and privilege that is voting.</p> <p>Today, the headlines from halfway around the world can only remind us how very fortunate we are that when we transition from one government to another, from the old leader to the new, our way is so safe and banal.</p> <p>And tonight, when the votes are finally counted, Chicago will be a little more democratic. We will know who our new mayor is or we will be one step closer toward that decision.</p> <p>And no matter who comes out on top, there will be a little bit of history to celebrate: all six candidates were unthinkable as potential leaders of the city a generation ago.</p> <p>And five of them will absolutely make history:</p> <p>If Carol Moseley Braun or Patricia Van Pelt Watkins wins, Chicago will have its first female African-American mayor.</p> <p>If Gery Chico or Miguel del Valle prevails, the city will have its first Latino mayor; a Mexican-American in Chico, a Puerto Rican in del Valle.</p> <p>If Rahm Emanuel wins, Chicago will seat its first Jewish mayor.</p> <p>Descendants of slaves, children of immigrants &hellip; the candidates all speak to the grandeur of our admittedly battered and often begrudging democracy.</p> <p>But they&rsquo;re all, each and every one, evidence of the arch of justice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 18:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-02-22/we-make-history-today-82708 The final mayoral push: Visiting churches, shaking hands and blaming the media http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/final-mayoral-push-visiting-churches-shaking-hands-and-blaming-media <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Photo150.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The candidates for Chicago mayor are making a final push before ballots are cast Tuesday, and everyone besides the front-runner is making the case for a runoff. Sunday campaigning included church visits, last minute fundraisers, hand-shaking at restaurants, pumping up volunteers and blaming the media.<br /><br />Miguel del Valle said he visited four churches on the South and West Sides.<br /><br />&quot;And we're getting a great response everywhere,&quot; del Valle, the city clerk, told a group of supporters at a restaurant in the Logan Square neighborhood.<br /><br />Del Valle said a runoff is necessary because voters have been distracted - by the blizzard, and the lengthy challenge to Rahm Emanuel's residency.<br /><br />&quot;Because of all that, they feel that they haven't had a chance to really get a good look at the candidates,&quot; del Valle said.<br /><br />Nine miles to the northwest, Gery Chico tried to excite volunteers who crowded into his Edison Park campaign office.<br /><br />&quot;We will win this election. If not the 22nd, we'll become the mayor on April 5th in this city,&quot; Chico said to cheers.<br /><br />Polls show Emanuel with roughly 50-percent support. His opponents, including former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, need to keep him below that mark Tuesday or he'll will win without a runoff.<br /><br />Some of the candidates Sunday blamed the media for Emanuel's front-runner status. Chico told reporters this has been an &quot;odd&quot; election.<br /><br />&quot;In this race, we have a candidate who was dropped in by parachute with all of you guys - not you guys, but your colleagues - who [was] walking around like a rock star since day one,&quot; Chico said. &quot;So it's been a little bit different dynamic, so you got to give it a chance to catch up.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;This race is not over, number one,&quot; del Valle told his supporters. &quot;Number two, this race should not be decided by the media. It has to be decided by the voters in the neighborhoods.&quot;</p><p>Patricia Van Pelt Watkins and William &quot;Dock&quot; Walls are also on the ballot for mayor.</p><p>Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday, and close at 7 p.m.</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 04:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/final-mayoral-push-visiting-churches-shaking-hands-and-blaming-media Mayoral jokes: The candidates share their best http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-21/mayoral-jokes-candidates-share-their-best-82636 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/mic_flickr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Campaigns may be serious things but face it &ndash; you can&rsquo;t have politics without a bit of personality! Candidates need to connect to voters, and successful leaders need to show a bit of humility. With that in mind, WBEZ's Sam Hudzik decided to investigate a previously untested aspect of Chicago&rsquo;s candidates for mayor: their humor. Hudzik asked each candidate to tell him their favorite jokes.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Hudzik presented the jokes he recorded over the weekend at the live variety show <a target="_blank" href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/"><em>The Paper Machete</em></a> in Chicago&rsquo;s Lincoln Square neighborhood<a target="_blank" href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/"></a>.</p><p>Hear jokes from all of the candidates and another former mayor (for a week, at least), David Orr at<a target="_blank" href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-02-21/mayoral-jokes-candidates-share-their-best-82486"> The&nbsp;City Room Blog<em>.</em></a><br /><br /><em>Music Button: Genji Siraisi, &quot;Surviving Freedom&quot;, from the CD Censorsh!t, (Expansion Team) </em></p></p> Mon, 21 Feb 2011 14:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-21/mayoral-jokes-candidates-share-their-best-82636 Mayoral jokes: The candidates share their best http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-02-21/mayoral-jokes-candidates-share-their-best-82486 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Chico laugh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: left;">With the polls set to open just hours from now, we felt the need for a bit of fun after so much exhaustion. Don&rsquo;t get us wrong: we love policy papers, press conferences and stump speeches as much as the next Chicago media outlet. But every now and then, we want to laugh.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img width="350" height="217" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-17/Chico laugh.jpg" alt="Gery Chico laughing following a debate on WGN-TV in late January." title="(Getty/File)" /></p><p>So we asked each of the six candidates for Chicago mayor to tell us their favorite joke. They all agreed, though we&rsquo;re not sure these are their favorites. (They all seem a bit too clean.)</p><p>We played these jokes this weekend at the <a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/">Paper Machete</a>, a live variety show in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. (Click &quot;Listen to this Story&quot; above to hear the live version, with an introduction by host Christopher Piatt. Producer Tim Mata recorded the show.) But here are the jokes themselves, in alphabetical order by candidate. Pick your favorites. And when you&rsquo;re criticizing their comedic timing, keep this in mind: at least they don&rsquo;t take themselves so seriously that they can&rsquo;t stop for a moment and tell a joke.<br /><br /><strong>Gery Chico goes with a Packers joke.</strong></p><p><span player="null" class="filefield_audio_insert_player" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-88467" href="/sites/default/files/CHICO GERY JOKE.mp3">CHICO GERY JOKE.mp3</span></p><p><strong>Miguel del Valle goes for the jugular.</strong></p><p><span player="null" class="filefield_audio_insert_player" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-88468" href="/sites/default/files/DEL VALLE MIGUEL JOKE.mp3">DEL VALLE MIGUEL JOKE.mp3</span></p><p><strong>Rahm Emanuel picks a short one.</strong></p><p><span player="null" class="filefield_audio_insert_player" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-88469" href="/sites/default/files/EMANUEL RAHM JOKE.mp3">EMANUEL RAHM JOKE.mp3</span></p><p><strong>Carol Moseley Braun, organic entrepreneur that she is, tells a food joke.</strong></p><p><span player="null" class="filefield_audio_insert_player" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-88470" href="/sites/default/files/MOSELEY BRAUN CAROL JOKE.mp3">MOSELEY BRAUN CAROL JOKE.mp3</span></p><p><strong>Patricia Van Pelt Watkins tells the grossest joke.</strong></p><p><span player="null" class="filefield_audio_insert_player" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-88471" href="/sites/default/files/VAN PELT WATKINS PATRICIA JOKE.mp3">VAN PELT WATKINS PATRICIA JOKE.mp3</span></p><p><strong>William &ldquo;Dock&rdquo; Walls goes political.</strong></p><p><span player="null" class="filefield_audio_insert_player" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-88472" href="/sites/default/files/WALLS WILLIAM DOCK JOKE.mp3">WALLS WILLIAM DOCK JOKE.mp3</span></p><p>We tried to get Mayor Richard Daley, our resident expert on mayoral humor, to weigh in on the candidates&rsquo; jokes. His office did not respond. So instead we turn to another former mayor (for a week, at least), David Orr.</p><p><strong>Cook County clerk makes no clear endorsement in mayoral joke-off.</strong></p><p><span player="null" class="filefield_audio_insert_player" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-88584" href="/sites/default/files/ORR DAVID JUDGE.mp3">ORR DAVID JUDGE.mp3</span></p><p>And there you have it. Along with issue positions, debate performances, newspaper endorsements and TV commercials to consider when you cast your ballot, you now also have some attempts at humor.</p></p> Mon, 21 Feb 2011 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-02-21/mayoral-jokes-candidates-share-their-best-82486 Not all fun and stump on mayoral campaign trail http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/not-all-fun-and-stump-mayoral-campaign-trail <p><p>Candidates for Chicago mayor are having a busy final campaign weekend, and they're doing more than just shaking hands. On Saturday, they focused much of their attention on the city's South Side. <br /><br />Former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun attended a rally at the headquarters of the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH. &nbsp;Jackson has supported Braun's bid for mayor.<br /><br />Braun was introduced by Jackson's son, Jonathon, who ripped mayoral front-runner Rahm Emanuel. <br /><br />&quot;He's not new to Chicago,&quot; Jackson said. &quot;He's new to coming to the South Side, because he's like so many others. He just wants to come here and take something. I want him to stay out of here and go back to where he just came from.&quot;<br /><br />A few blocks away, Emanuel visited his Hyde Park volunteer office. Told of Jackson's remarks, Emanuel defended his record in Congress and as White House chief of staff.<br /><br />&quot;I have worked on a set of issues, whether it was the auto industry, we're here on the South Side, we have the Ford plant, whether it was getting kids healthcare whose parents work full-time and...the kids did not have healthcare, to leading the effort of Democrats of Congress, to refuse a pay raise for Congress until we passed a minimum wage.&quot;<br /><br />Other candidates for mayor, including Gery Chico and Miguel del Valle, also made campaign stops on the city's South Side on Saturday.</p></p> Sun, 20 Feb 2011 03:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/not-all-fun-and-stump-mayoral-campaign-trail The Weekly Political Roundup: February 14th – February 18th http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-18/weekly-political-roundup-february-14th-%E2%80%93-february-18th-82524 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/0217debate.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="267" width="400" alt="" class="'caption'" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-18/0217debate.jpg" title="(Getty Images/Scott Olson)" /></p><p>Missed anything this week in Chicago politics? We have you covered with our weekly digest of the best game in town.</p><p>We&rsquo;re in the final stretch to the municipal race of the century (thus far). So read up and get ready to vote on Tuesday, if you haven&rsquo;t already. Federal officials <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20110215/NEWS02/110219930/feds-to-monitor-mayoral-election#axzz1E2g6K6bD">will be watching</a> to make sure nothing untoward goes down. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-final-early-voting-count-73251-20110218,0,1159623.story">Over 73,000</a> have voted already --Thursday was the last day to vote early. The intensity of the mayoral race could be one reason the early turnout was over double what it was in 2007. The Obamas say <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-obama-casts-absentee-vote-in-mayor-race-20110217,0,6049295.story">they&rsquo;ve cast</a> their absentee ballots, but they&rsquo;re not saying for whom. Of course, President Obama&rsquo;s been saying nice things about Rahm Emanuel, without formally endorsing him. On that note, Obama says his <a href="http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/02/15/obama-less-chicago-mayors-race-working-just-fine-says-obama">help isn&rsquo;t necessary</a>, so he&rsquo;s staying out of it. <br /><br />A couple of new&mdash;and conflicting&mdash;polls came out this week. First, <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/state-a-local-politics/143813-chicago-mayors-race--new-poll-puts-carol-moseley-braun-in-second-place-really">one that found</a> Carol Moseley Braun with 22.5 percent and in second place. The poll&mdash;notably paid for by Braun herself&mdash;contrasts other recent polls, including <a href="http://irma.org/2011/02/14/chicago-retail-merchants-association-poll-finds-emanuel-surpassing-50-margin-one-week-before-election/ ">another this week</a> from the Chicago Retail Merchants Association, which has Emanuel &ldquo;surpassing the 50% mark&rdquo; and Gery Chico in second place with 24%. It also puts Miguel Del Valle at 10 % and Braun at 6%. The low number for del Valle isn&rsquo;t deterring the candidate, who&rsquo;s out with a <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Del-Valle-Is-Back-On-The-Air-116317314.html ">new TV ad</a> saying it&rsquo;s time for reform. Chico also has <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZBGFHXMSA0&amp;feature=player_embedded ">a new ad</a>, hitting Emanuel for growing up &ldquo;in suburban safety and privilege,&rdquo; and calling Emanuel out for his tax plan. <br /><br />Emanuel says the plan will increase city revenue while saving &ldquo;working families&rdquo; hundreds of dollars a year; Chico says it really amounts to higher taxes for those same working families. Earlier this week, the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/elections/ct-met-chicago-mayor-race-taxes-0217-20110216,0,5478357.story">fact-checked</a> both claims and determined both candidates are exaggerating. Another point of contention between the two&mdash;pension reform&mdash;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/3859977-417/city-workers-not-happy-to-get-letter-from-rahm-emanuel.html">raised the pique</a> of some city workers who received a letter from Emanuel explaining his position on pensions. The workers want to know how he got their information to send the letter; the Emanuel camp says the letter was sent all over the city, not just to city workers. Braun called for <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/metro/rahm-emanuel-letter-city-workers-carol-moseley-braun-investigation-20110217">a federal investigation</a> into the matter. <br />Emanuel this week also reached out to his comedic foul-mouthed impersonator, <a href="http://twitter.com/mayoremanuel ">@MayorEmanuel</a>, offering a<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-talk-mayoremanuel-bounty-0217-20110216,0,5582026.story"> personal donation</a> to charity in exchange for revealing his or her identity. The Twitter sensation didn&rsquo;t bite and remains anonymous.<br /><br />Emanuel is also hoping to lure Latino voters to his side&mdash;in that effort, his campaign is <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-02-16/news/ct-met-chicago-mayor-race-sidebar-02120110216_1_tea-party-gery-chico-dirty-trick">putting out robocalls</a> recorded in Spanish that link Chico to an &ldquo;anti-immigrant&rdquo; tea party group that endorsed Chico. The Chico campaign calls it a &ldquo;dirty trick&rdquo; and says he&rsquo;s rejected the endorsement. On the flip side, the Emanuel campaign says <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Emanuel-Accuses-Chico-of-Supporting-Anti-Semetic-Comments-116355774.html">a pejorative</a> made by a Chico supporter has &ldquo;ugliness behind it&rdquo;; a union leader called Emanuel a &ldquo;Wall Street Judas.&rdquo; Chico&rsquo;s not denouncing the comment&mdash;his spokeswoman says the Judas reference only has to do with being a traitor, not being Jewish. Mayor Daley <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/daley-slams-chico-not-denouncing-judas-comment">criticized Chico</a> for standing behind the comment, and <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/116445469.html ">Chico responded</a> with disappointment.&nbsp; All this came after a <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/braun-producers-gaffe-another-setback/">failed joke</a> on Sunday by Braun, in which she seemed to liken Emanuel to Hitler. She says that&rsquo;s not what she meant. Emanuel says he takes her at her word. Meanwhile, some <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Anti-Semitic-Fliers-Attack-Emanuel.html">anonymous fliers</a> attacking Emanuel were undoubtedly anti-Semitic; Emanuel shrugged them off.<br /><br />Also this week, the University of Illinois at Chicago put out <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2011/0214/On-eve-of-Chicago-election-a-call-to-confront-city-s-legacy-of-corruption">a report</a> calling for Chicago&rsquo;s next mayor to rid the city of corruption. Chico and Bill &ldquo;Dock&rdquo; Walls have officially signed on. When it comes to street crime, Emanuel says <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/elections/3820391-418/emanuel-endorses-supt.-weis-meeting-with-gang-leaders-bashes-chico-over-tea-party">he&rsquo;s down </a>with Police Superintendent Jody Weis&rsquo; gang tactics, despite having previously said he&rsquo;d replace Weis if elected. Emanuel also suggested he might replace the powerful Alderman Ed Burke as chairman of the City Council&rsquo;s Finance Committee&mdash;that has <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/3839401-418/emanuel-burke-battle-brewing.html ">the ink</a> <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/elections/ct-met-chicago-mayor-race-0216-20110215,0,589715.story">flowing</a> over the potential of Council Wars Redux. <br /><br />That little poke came within Monday&rsquo;s candidate forum on WTTW, in which the other leading candidates also had their say on how the Council might change. You can watch the debate in full <a href="http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=42,8,80,32&amp;pid=d7VnX17bqUG5L53jUnjUct8DHz9HVbvH">here</a>. Thursday night was the last debate in the primary contest&mdash;the <em>Tribune</em> <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2011/02/live-blogging-the-final-chicago-mayors-debate.html">live-blogged</a> it, and you can watch the <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/politics&amp;id=7965893">whole thing</a> from ABC7. If you&rsquo;re hungry for more from the candidates, check out <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>&rsquo;s interviews from this week from <br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-17/mayoral-candidate-gery-chico-touts-past-chicago-service-82461">Chico</a>, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-16/chicago-mayoral-candidate-william-dock-walls-iii-takes-another-run-offic">Walls</a>, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-15/chicago-mayoral-candidate-rahm-emanuel-82353 ">Emanuel</a>, and <a href="http://ttp://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-14/chicago-mayoral-candidate-patricia-van-pelt-watkins-82296">Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins</a> (they had <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-08/chicago-mayoral-candidate-miguel-del-valle-campaigns-reformer-81970">del Valle</a> and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-10/chicago-mayoral-candidate-carol-moseley-braun-82097">Braun</a> on last week). Oh, and don&rsquo;t forget 53rd ward alderman and mayoral candidate <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-18/weekly-guide-mayoral-candidate-and-53rd-ward-alderman-ed-bus-82513">Ed Bus</a>. <br /><br />On the aldermanic front, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform filed a <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/new-pro-business-pac-sued-to-reveal-donors/">state elections complaint</a> against For a Better Chicago. The watchdog group says the PAC, which is supporting several aldermanic candidates, should have to reveal its donor list. The chairman of For a Better Chicago says that&rsquo;s not true. If you&rsquo;re looking for some good reads on individual aldermanic races, start with the <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/chicago-politics-election-aldermania-wards/Content?oid=3263589 "><em>Chicago Reader</em> story</a> on the 27th, 47th and 32nd wards. <br />The <em>Sun-Times</em> profiled a <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/3545354-417/several-candidates-look-to-keep-political-power-in-family.html ">handful of candidates</a> who are hoping to follow family members into the City Council. The <em>Tribune</em> has a piece on the <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-02-16/news/ct-x-c-46th-ward-race-20110216_1_wilson-yard-vacant-storefronts-uptown">46th ward</a> race--where 11 candidates are running to succeed outgoing alderman Helen Shiller. ABC7 has a <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/politics&amp;id=7965347 ">brief story</a> on the 18 candidates in the 24th ward. The Chicago News Cooperative wrote up the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/18/us/18cncward.html?_r=1&amp;partner=rssnyt&amp;emc=rss ">15th ward</a>. And Progress Illinois covered the issues in the race for the <a href="http://progressillinois.com/posts/content/2011/02/15/checking-aldermanic-races-3rd-ward">3rd ward</a>. <br /><br />Also up for City Council consideration is a proposed Clean Power Ordinance, though it doesn&rsquo;t seem to be going anywhere fast; frustration over that fact was evident in <a href="http://progressillinois.com/posts/content/2011/02/14/ad-hoc-hearing-clean-power-ordinance?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">an unofficial hearing</a> on the issue. The Civic Federation, meanwhile, said they would like future city leaders to consider privatizing <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/elections/3807051-505/group-next-mayor-should-consider-privatizing-everything.html ">all city services</a>. In his way out, Mayor Daley hopes to <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2011/02/daley-launches-final-gun-control-push.html">tighten gun control </a>for the city and beyond. And don&rsquo;t expect him to fade into oblivion when he&rsquo;s gone&mdash;he&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-il-daley-speakingcir,0,4604996.story">signed up</a> with an agent to launch a new public speaking career. If he&rsquo;s talking to Chicagoans, note that there are considerably fewer of them than there were ten years ago, according to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/us/16illinois.html?_r=1&amp;src=mv ">new Census data</a>, which also reveals a declining African-American population.<br /><br />Another declining population is that of Cook County employees; the Circuit Court Clerk this week issued <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/3820198-417/court-clerk-lays-off-170-county-workers.html ">170 layoffs</a>. On Tuesday, county workers <a href="http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/news/local/chibrknews-cook-county-workers-decry-budget-cuts-20110215,0,4844780.story">spoke out</a> publicly against the ongoing cuts.<br /><br />Governor Pat Quinn is proposing <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&amp;plckController=Blog&amp;plckScript=blogScript&amp;plckElementId=blogDest&amp;plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&amp;plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a8fe4ddf1-40e8-4fbb-8795-8dc4b6b9fc36&amp;sid=sitelife.chicagobusiness.com#axzz1EEwhePzG">deep cuts</a> in the budget he introduced this week for his State of the State address. Still, spending would increase by almost $2 billion. As the governor begins work on getting his budget passed, advocates for a ban on the death penalty are <a href="http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2011/02/15/full-court-press-death-penalty-abolition-heats?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressIllinois+%28Progress+Illinois%29">pushing hard</a> to get him to sign a bill that passed 2 months ago. And in news of a former governor, federal prosecutors this week <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/blagojevich-missing-phone-record-116194659.html">refuted</a> Rod Blagojevich&rsquo;s claims that any phone tap tapes were missing&mdash;they say if there&rsquo;s a conversation that&rsquo;s not there, it wasn&rsquo;t recorded. <br /><br />Meanwhile: House Speaker Mike Madigan, who recently went on the record saying he would consider pension changes for current state employees despite claims that it would be unconstitutional, said <a href="http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x1992209634/Pension-changes-likely-to-be-decided-by-state-Supreme-Court">it&rsquo;ll be up to</a> the Illinois Supreme Court to decide that. Another cost-saving measure up for consideration in the General Assembly is a proposal to merge the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer&mdash;that <a href="http://www.sj-r.com/breaking/x2097056262/Comptroller-treasurer-merger-advances-to-Senate">passed out</a> of Senate committee this week. <br /><br />Okie-doke, that&rsquo;s it for this week in review. Let me know if you think we missed anything, and have a great weekend.</p><p><em>Photo by Scott Olson (Getty Images)</em></p></p> Fri, 18 Feb 2011 17:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/2011-02-18/weekly-political-roundup-february-14th-%E2%80%93-february-18th-82524