WBEZ | chicago politics http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-politics Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: New strategies for higher ed http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-12/morning-shift-new-strategies-higher-ed-109353 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Cover photo Flickr davidcharlow.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We take a look at what some lawmakers and organizations are doing to try to combat the ever-increasing price of college textbooks. Plus, what trends and changes are happening in college admissions?&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-addressing-the-affordability-or-lack/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-addressing-the-affordability-or-lack.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-addressing-the-affordability-or-lack" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: New strategies for higher ed" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 08:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-12/morning-shift-new-strategies-higher-ed-109353 Daley officially candidate in 2014 governor's race http://www.wbez.org/news/daley-officially-candidate-2014-governors-race-108219 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP81863661396.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>CHICAGO &mdash; Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley filed documents on Tuesday declaring himself an official candidate to challenge Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in next year&#39;s Democratic primary.</p><p>More than a month after he released a videotaped announcement that he&#39;d opened an exploratory committee, Daley filed the paperwork hours after releasing another video late Monday in which he said &quot;there is no exploratory piece of this anymore.&quot;</p><p>Daley has been acting like a candidate in recent weeks, holding press conferences in which he has Quinn for his handling of the state&#39;s pension crisis and other issues. In the latest video, that was his theme again, saying that the fact that the state Legislature adjourned in May without finding a solution on state pensions or vote on same-sex marriage represents a &#39;dysfunction.&quot;</p><p>&quot;I think the biggest problem right now is the lack of leadership,&quot; he said in the 54-second video, during which he never mentioned Quinn by name.</p><p>Quinn hasn&#39;t spoken about his 2014 plans in detail aside from saying the best way to campaign is to continue doing his job as governor.</p><p>&quot;Nobody&#39;s built more as governor of our state than I have,&quot; he told reporters Tuesday after an unrelated event in Chicago.</p><p>Daley&#39;s campaign spokesman Pete Giangreco said Daley filed paperwork on Tuesday with the Illinois Board of Elections to remove the exploratory committee label from his campaign.</p><p>Giangreco said that a number of factors prompted Daley to jump into the race. He said Daley was encouraged by his ability to raise about $800,000 in less than three weeks, as well as his reception by mayors and others in visits he made to 11 downstate counties.</p><p>&quot;He went through all that and (concluded) it all added up to a vibrant, and viable candidacy,&quot; Giangreco said.</p><p>Daley is thus far Quinn&#39;s only 2014 Democratic primary challenger. Earlier this month, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who was widely considered Quinn&#39;s most serious challenger if she ran, announced that she had decided not to. In an emailed statement, she said she never planned on running if her father, longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan, remained in his job.</p><p>A member of Chicago&#39;s first political family, Daley&#39;s brother, Richard M. Daley, and father, Richard J. Daley, were each mayor for more than 20 years and are widely considered among the most powerful mayors in American history.</p><p>While Bill Daley, the youngest son of Richard J. Daley, has flirted with runs for political office, including governor of Illinois, he never has done so. He has appeared more comfortable in supporting roles, spending years as a Democratic operative. He also was tapped by President Bill Clinton in his first term to push through the North American Free Trade Agreement through Congress, and selected after Clinton&#39;s re-election to be secretary of commerce, a post he held from January 1997 to July 2000.</p><p>President Barack Obama chose him as his chief of staff to replace Rahm Emanuel after Emanuel stepped down to run for Chicago mayor when Daley&#39;s brother decided not to seek a seventh term.</p><p>CHICAGO &mdash; Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley is making his Illinois gubernatorial bid official.</p><p>He&#39;s set to remove his &quot;exploratory committee&quot; label Tuesday by filing paperwork with the Illinois Board of Elections. So far, he&#39;s Gov. Pat Quinn&#39;s only 2014 Democratic primary challenger.</p><p>In a video on his campaign website, Daley says the fact that the state Legislature adjourned in May without finding a solution to the pension crisis or voting on same-sex marriage represents a &quot;dysfunction.&quot;<br />He says he&#39;s running because of the positive response he&#39;s received and he&#39;ll work seven days a week.</p><p>The brother and son of two longtime Chicago mayors formed his exploratory committee last month, but has already been acting like a candidate. He&#39;s stepped out to criticize Quinn&#39;s leadership and made statewide tours.</p></p> Tue, 30 Jul 2013 08:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/daley-officially-candidate-2014-governors-race-108219 Judge refuses to toss Democrat's tax convictions http://www.wbez.org/news/judge-refuses-toss-democrats-tax-convictions-107857 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/beavers_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A federal judge in Chicago has refused to toss a former Cook County commissioner&#39;s tax-evasion convictions on grounds his jury had no African-American males.</p><p>The ruling came at a post-trial hearing Wednesday for once-powerful Democrat Williams Beavers.</p><p>Beavers is black and had argued that the jury selection was fundamentally flawed.</p><p>A jury of 10 whites, one Hispanic and one African-American female convicted Beavers early this year of using campaign money to gamble without reporting it as income.</p><p>Judge James Zagel took issue with the defense&#39;s emphasis on an absence of African-American jurors. He said there&#39;s an &quot;African-American&quot; category under rules meant to promote racially balanced juries but no &quot;African-American males&quot; category.</p><p>Zagel set sentencing for Sept. 25. Beavers faces a maximum three-year prison term on each of four tax-evasion counts.</p></p> Wed, 26 Jun 2013 11:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/judge-refuses-toss-democrats-tax-convictions-107857 Jurors convict ex-Chicago alderman in bribery case http://www.wbez.org/news/jurors-convict-ex-chicago-alderman-bribery-case-107735 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP539271569510_2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A jury has convicted a former Chicago alderman of a single count of conspiracy to commit bribery.</p><p>Ambrosio Medrano showed no emotion as the verdict was read Monday, sitting at a defense table with his hands folded on his lap.</p><p>He faced federal charges accusing him of paying bribes he was told would be given to a Los Angeles official in order to secure a lucrative contract.</p><p>Jurors deliberated for about four or five hours before returning with their decision. Two businessmen tried with him were also convicted.</p><p>Medrano&#39;s conviction carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.</p><p>The case isn&#39;t Medrano&#39;s first run-in with the law. He spent nearly two years in prison after pleading guilty in 1996 in a federal investigation into payoffs to aldermen and other Chicago-area politicians.</p></p> Mon, 17 Jun 2013 14:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/jurors-convict-ex-chicago-alderman-bribery-case-107735 Closing for ex-alderman at bribery trial http://www.wbez.org/news/closing-ex-alderman-bribery-trial-107709 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP539271569510_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The lawyer for a former Chicago alderman tells jurors his client can&#39;t be guilty of bribery because he never believed a fictitious public official in an FBI sting was real.</p><p>The argument came Friday during closing arguments at Ambrosio Medrano&#39;s federal bribery trial in Chicago.</p><p>Medrano and two businessmen are accused of paying bribes they were told would be given to a Los Angeles official to secure a business contract.</p><p>Defense lawyer John De Leon told jurors intent is key. He added, &quot;If you don&#39;t believe a person existed, you can&#39;t form the intent to bribe.&quot;</p><p>De Leon says he dubbed his client &quot;anxious Ambrosio&quot; because he was anxious to a fault to make money. But he insists Medrano thought the deal was legitimate.</p><p>Deliberations are expected to begin Monday.</p></p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 13:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/closing-ex-alderman-bribery-trial-107709 Lawyer: Ex-alderman never intended to bribe anyone http://www.wbez.org/news/lawyer-ex-alderman-never-intended-bribe-anyone-107530 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP539271569510_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A former Chicago alderman&#39;s attorney has told jurors at a federal bribery trial in Chicago that his client never intended to bribe anyone.</p><p>Ambrosio Medrano and two businessmen are accused of paying bribe money to an undercover agent posing as a sale representative.</p><p>The agent allegedly told the men he&#39;d pass the money to a Los Angeles official who would supposedly take steps to ensure the men landed a lucrative pharmaceutical contract.</p><p>But it was all part of an FBI sting and the official didn&#39;t actually exist.</p><p>During his opening Tuesday, defense attorney Gal Pissetzky said Medrano never believed the official existed and never thought money paid to the agent was bribe money.</p><p>Medrano spent nearly two years in prison after pleading guilty in 1996 to a payoff scheme.</p></p> Tue, 04 Jun 2013 14:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/lawyer-ex-alderman-never-intended-bribe-anyone-107530 Corruption trial begins for ex-Chicago alderman http://www.wbez.org/news/corruption-trial-begins-ex-chicago-alderman-107491 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP539271569510.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Jury selection is set to begin in the corruption trial of a former Chicago alderman.</p><p>Ambrosio Medrano is facing felony bribery charges after authorities say he tried to accept kickbacks in schemes that included selling bandages to public hospitals.</p><p>Medrano spent nearly two years in prison after pleading guilty in 1996 in a government investigation into payoffs to aldermen and other Chicago-area politicians. He tried to run for re-election, but his bid was short-circuited when the Illinois Supreme Court said he was ineligible to serve because of the conviction.</p><p>A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney&#39;s Office said Monday that the trial is expected to last about a week.</p></p> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/corruption-trial-begins-ex-chicago-alderman-107491 Obama returns to Chicago to boost Dems in 2014 http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-returns-chicago-boost-dems-2014-107420 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP636967575193.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>President Barack Obama is returning home to Chicago to help fellow Democrats who want to take back some House seats in 2014.</p><p>The midterm elections may be 18 months away--but the president&rsquo;s party is gearing up for a fight.</p><p>And after the beating Democrats took in 2010, who could blame them?</p><p>They&rsquo;ll need to pick up 17 seats to regain the majority in the House. That may not sound like too tall an order--but when you consider Democrats lost nearly quadruple that in the last midterm, it&rsquo;s no small potatoes either.</p><p>But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee&rsquo;s chairman, Congressman Steve Israel, says it&rsquo;s doable--with a little help, from a lot of friends.</p><p>&ldquo;We had four days last year where we raised over $1 million dollars online in average donations of about $30. You know how many $30 donations it takes to get to a million? A lot!&rdquo; Israel explained.</p><p>It doesn&rsquo;t hurt to have some heavy hitters in the dugout either.&nbsp;</p><p>President Obama is, after all, the most successful fundraiser in history.</p><p>But Chairman Israel looks to another Chicago politician for guidance...literally.</p><p>&ldquo;I have his picture hanging in my office at the DCCC. He taught me almost everything I need to know--with a few less curse words,&rdquo; Israel explained.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel aggressively spearheaded victories in both chambers as chairman of DCCC during the 2006 midterm elections.</p><p>Israel said the mayor&rsquo;s photo serves as more than a personal reminder of his predecessor.</p><p>&ldquo;When people come into talk to me, whether it&rsquo;s candidates or colleagues, and they think I&rsquo;m giving them a tough time, I point to that picture and say, &lsquo;Look, it could be a heck of a lot worse,&rsquo;&rdquo; said Israel.</p><p>The chairman will get a face-to-face reminder Wednesday night when he joins the mayor, the president and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a fundraiser in Chicago.</p></p> Wed, 29 May 2013 15:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-returns-chicago-boost-dems-2014-107420 William Beavers argues jury selection fundamentally flawed http://www.wbez.org/news/william-beavers-argues-jury-selection-fundamentally-flawed-107053 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/beavers_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A Chicago Democrat is asking a judge to toss his tax-evasion conviction, arguing that the selection of jurors in the district is fundamentally flawed and resulted in no black men on his jury.</p><p>William Beavers&#39; attorneys made that argument in a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.</p><p>Jurors convicted the 78-year-old Cook County commissioner earlier this year for not declaring campaign cash he used to gamble as income.</p><p>Beavers is black. His lawyers say a jury of his peers should have included at least a few African-American males. There was one African-American female juror.</p><p>The 26-page motion filed late Monday says the district&#39;s practice of drawing jury pools randomly from voter registration lists is more likely to exclude African-Americans.</p><p>It claims older whites are overrepresented on the lists.</p></p> Tue, 07 May 2013 11:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/william-beavers-argues-jury-selection-fundamentally-flawed-107053 Jurors endure hours of tax testimony at Beavers' federal tax trial http://www.wbez.org/news/jurors-endure-hours-tax-testimony-beavers-federal-tax-trial-106142 <p><p>Prosecutors in the federal trial of William Beavers on Monday showed jurors how the Cook County commissioner got hit with a nearly $28,000 tax bill in 2005, then reported no income from his campaign accounts for the three years that followed.</p><p>Beavers&rsquo; tax evasion trial centers on charges he spent $221,000 from his campaign and County Board accounts between 2006 and 2008, but lied on legal documents to cover his tracks and avoid paying taxes on the money.</p><p>Jurors endured hours of dry testimony Monday morning, as prosecutors led Beavers&rsquo; accountant, Philip Achusim, through a line-by-line explanation of four years&rsquo; worth of tax returns and earnings documents. The commissioner himself, dressed in a dark gray suit and crimson tie, sat expressionless.</p><p>But in showing Beavers&rsquo; return from 2005, the government is trying to strike at the heart of the defense&rsquo;s main argument: The commissioner loaned himself the campaign cash and always intended to pay it back.</p><p>The government showed jurors that Beavers did claim $43,000 in campaign money as income in 2005, according to testimony from Beavers&rsquo; accountant, Philip Achusim. The government also showed how Beavers got slammed with a $27,814 tax bill that year, which took him years to pay off.</p><p>After 2005, Achusim testified, Beavers didn&rsquo;t report any campaign cash on his tax returns.</p><p>Federal prosecutors also continued to hammer at Beavers for his gambling habit, highlighting his six digit gambling losses each year between 2006 and 2008.</p><p>A former worker at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind., testified last week that Beavers spent at least $500,000 a year playing slot machines.</p><p>The government said Monday it has several more witnesses to go through this week before the defense makes its case. Beavers&rsquo; lawyers have maintained the money he took out of his campaign accounts was in the form of loans, and so the commissioner doesn&rsquo;t have to pay taxes on it. They also blame Cook County for failing to report as income Beavers&rsquo; $1,200 monthly stipend.</p></p> Mon, 18 Mar 2013 13:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/jurors-endure-hours-tax-testimony-beavers-federal-tax-trial-106142